Replacement Level Yankees Weblog
The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:

RSS 2.0 Atom Pineda’s six shutout innings steer Yanks to sweep
(26 Comments - 4/17/2014 3:36:52 pm) Mark Teixeira could return to Yankees Sunday; David Robertson targeted for Tuesday
(34 Comments - 4/17/2014 3:03:18 pm)

Cubs (4-8) @ The Championship Caliber Yankees (7-6), Wednesday, April 16, 2014, Double Header
(288 Comments - 4/17/2014 12:00:23 am)

Lohud: Murphy and Sizemore called up; Cervelli placed on 60-day
(29 Comments - 4/16/2014 9:07:48 pm)

NY Post: Why the Yankees are using the shift more than ever
(13 Comments - 4/16/2014 12:11:02 pm)

NY Post: Cervelli going to DL as Yankees continue to jumble roster
(23 Comments - 4/15/2014 7:29:53 pm) Nova, Beltran lead Yanks to series win over Red Sox
(78 Comments - 4/15/2014 9:44:48 am)

Q&A with the Replacement Level Red Sox Blog, Part 2
(4 Comments - 4/14/2014 10:52:43 am)

Red Sox (5-7) @ The Championship Caliber Yankees (6-6), Sunday, April 13, 2014, 8:05pm
(217 Comments - 4/13/2014 11:21:36 pm) Comforts of homers: McCann powers win over Sox
(28 Comments - 4/13/2014 6:58:38 pm)

Look what people have to say about the RLYW!

CAIRO just takes the Marcels and changes the underlying assumptions and components in a bunch of ways that make the Yankees look better.

Wow, two stupid posts in one day. I think you’ve reached your yearly quota.

I don’t know if any of you current posters were around for that, but if so, I just can’t understand how you can call yourselves Yankee fans. Pathetic quitters is what you sounded like. Of the lame posts I could stand to read, the only person who had any confidence in the Yankees at that point was a (yeesh) Red Sox fan.
Jeter is King

Quite the attitude you have SG. Maybe you should shitcan this blog and join Steve at WasWatching? Or follow some other stupid team that has made the PS 15 of the last 17 years. Jeez… and some people think Yankee fans are entitled.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014 Mark Teixeira could return to Yankees Sunday; David Robertson targeted for Tuesday

NEW YORK—First baseman Mark Teixeira and closer David Robertson, two players on the long list of injured Yankees, could be getting closer to returning.

Manager Joe Girardi said Wednesday night that Teixeira—who went on the disabled list on April 5 with a hamstring injury—will play three innings on Thursday (he didn’t clarify where exactly, except that it will be somewhere in Florida) and that he’s “right on track where we want him to be and [a return off the DL] Sunday is definitely a possibility.”

Girardi said Teixeira took a full batting practice Wednesday at the Yankees complex in Tampa, and also ran the bases.

Robertson, who was placed on the DL with strained groin earlier in the month, said “Tuesday is the plan” to return to the Yankees.

If Teixeira does come back, does it make the team worse?  I guess it depends on who’s healthy going forward, but it seems to me the best Yankee infield right now has Yangervis Solarte and Kelly Johnson in it, and Teixeira’s return complicates that unless the Yankees decide to cut bait on Brian Roberts.  It’s probably too soon to do that despite Roberts’ disappointing results to this point, but he’s limited to 2B which makes him sort of a poor bench option.  Then again, in Johnson, Scott Sizemore, Solarte and Dean Anna the Yankees do have some flexibility in the infield.

Roberts’ defense has looked better than I expected so far, and I do like the fact that he’s working deep counts (4.56 P/PA, higher than everyone on the team but Ichiro that’s had more than 1 PA).  But the hits aren’t falling in, and I don’t know if that’s just bad luck or the loss of some of the bat speed needed to get hits.  There’s a fairly good chance Roberts’ health will make the decision on him for the Yankees, so I’m not worried about it yet.

As much as I’m enjoying watching Joe Girardi mix and match his various non-Robertson relief options, getting Robertson back will be nice.  The bullpen has been fine, albeit a little scary at times, but it will look a lot better with a healthy Robertson in it.

--Posted at 8:43 am by SG / 34 Comments | - (0)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 Pineda’s six shutout innings steer Yanks to sweep

NEW YORK—The Yankees got to take a long look at what they hope will be the future of their rotation, as Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda each turned in dominant efforts on Wednesday to help the club sweep a day-night doubleheader from the Cubs at Yankee Stadium.

Pitching under chilly conditions, Pineda whipped six efficient innings of scoreless ball in the evening contest, backed by a solid performance from Yankees newcomer Scott Sizemore as New York posted a 2-0 victory over Chicago.

Can the Yankees play the Cubs all the time?  I didn’t think Pineda looked great, but the weather was pretty crappy and six shutout innings are six shutout innings. 

Earlier today, Tanaka’s 10 K’s lead Yanks in twin-bill opener.

If this is what Tanaka does when he feels settled in, that spells bad news for the rest of the league. Tanaka limited the Cubs to a pair of bunt singles and struck out 10 over eight scoreless innings, pitching the Yankees to a 3-0 victory on Wednesday afternoon in the first game of a day-night doubleheader.

“I feel that I was a little bit more calmer, compared to the first two,” Tanaka said through an interpreter. “I’m very satisfied with how I pitched out there today.”

So were the Yankees, who watched Tanaka use his trademark splitter and a sharp slider to retire 14 straight Cubs after Junior Lake’s video-reviewed bunt single in the second inning.

After a great home stand, it’s off to St. Petersburg now to play a real major league team with the struggling CC Sabathia taking the hill tomorrow.

--Posted at 9:23 pm by SG / 26 Comments | - (0)

Cubs (4-8) @ The Championship Caliber Yankees (7-6), Wednesday, April 16, 2014, Double Header

Game 1: CHC:Jason Hammel (#39, 31, RHP, 2-0, 2.63) vs. NYY:Masahiro Tanaka (#19, 25, RHP, 1-0, 3.21)
Chicago Cubs
1. Emilio Bonifacio (S) 2B
2. Justin Ruggiano (R) CF
3. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
4. Nate Schierholtz (L) RF
5. Starlin Castro (R) SS
6. Junior Lake (R) LF
7. Luis Valbuena (L) 3B
8. Mike Olt (R) DH
9. John Baker (L) C

The Championship Caliber Yankees
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF
2. The Tattered Remains of Carlos Beltran (S) RF
3. $153M for a singles hitter (L) CF
4. Alfonso Soriano (R) DH
5. Brian “Bust” McCann (L) C
6. Yangervis Solarte (S) 2B
7. Kelly Johnson (L) 1B
8. Dean Anna (L) SS
9. Scott Sizemore (R) 3B

The Cubs would not be outbid for Masahiro Tanaka.  Until they were.  Let’s see if they regret it today.

Game 2: CHC: Travis Wood (#36, 27, LHP, 0-1, 2.92) vs. NYY: Michael Pineda (#35, 25, RHP, 1-1, 1.50)

Chicago Cubs
1. Emilio Bonifacio (S) CF
2. Ryan Sweeney (L) LF
3. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
4. Nate Schierholtz (L) DH
5. Starlin Castro (R) SS
6. Luis Valbuena (L) 3B
7. Welington Castillo (R) C
8. Ryan Kalish (L) RF
9. Darwin Barney (R) 2B

The Championship Caliber Yankees
1. Brett Gardner (L) CF
2. All That’s Left of Derek Jeter (R) SS
3. The Tattered Remains of Carlos Beltran (S) DH
4. Alfonso Soriano (R) LF
5. Yangervis Solarte (S) 2B
6. Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF
7. Tom Sizemore (R) 3B
8. Kelly Johnson (L) 1B
9. John Ryan Murphy (R) C

We’ll see how the loss of his pine tar affects Pineda in the night cap.  It would be nice if he continued to pitch well, but more likely he’ll have a bad game and we’ll hear that it’s because he no longer has grip.  Maybe the Yankees should trade him before this game for Jesus Montero.

--Posted at 11:08 am by SG / 288 Comments | - (0)

NY Post: Why the Yankees are using the shift more than ever

With just two weeks down in this baseball season — if we were at a football game, there would be roughly 11:11 left in the first quarter — the Yankees are on pace to win two more games than last year. Hit 18 more home runs.
And save 22 more runs via the defensive shift.

Yes, the Yankees have become hard-core believers in the shift. If the quality of their infield has dropped precipitously, with a new guy expected in time for Tuesday night’s game against the Cubs at Yankee Stadium, then they are getting far more bang for their buck.
“You’re going to be burned on it,” Billy Eppler, the Yankees’ assistant general manager/pro personnel, said Monday in a telephone interview. “You just want to have more instances of run-saving circumstances than run-yielding circumstances.”

Smart shifting can help cover for up some of the limitations of the Yankees’ infield defense, so I applaud this shift (get it?) in thinking.  The Yankees did shift quite a bit last year, they just did it poorly as their BABIP against with the shift was around .030 higher than it was without.  So far this year they appear to be doing it better.

--Posted at 7:45 am by SG / 13 Comments | - (0)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lohud: Murphy and Sizemore called up; Cervelli placed on 60-day

The Yankees have announced their anticipated roster moves.

1. Francisco Cervelli was placed on the disabled list with a strained hamstring. The injury is serious enough that he’s going directly to the 60-day DL.

2. John Ryan Murphy was called up to replace Cervelli as the backup catcher. The Yankees have already had four different catchers on their roster this year.

3. Infielder Scott Sizemore was called up to give the Yankees a full bench. He’ll take the roster spot opened when Shane Greene was optioned to Triple-A. Sizemore gives the Yankees a second reserve infielder, which they haven’t had since Mark Teixeira landed on the disabled list. Sizemore has major-league experience at second and third.

Mel Hall can rejoice, as Sizemore has been freed!

Poor Cervelli.  He just can’t catch a break…

Seems like the right moves, particularly if they plan to play Murphy as opposed to running McCann into the ground.

--Posted at 6:05 pm by SG / 29 Comments | - (0)

NY Post: Cervelli going to DL as Yankees continue to jumble roster

Move over Mark Teixeira, David Robertson and Brendan Ryan, make room for Francisco Cervelli on the disabled list. And you might want to make room for others.

As expected, the Yankees put Cervelli on the 15-day DL Monday with a Grade 2 right hamstring strain. A Grade 1 strain is the slightest; Grade 3 the most severe. But, eventually, Cervelli could be headed to the 60-day DL.
The Yankees are likely to promote catcher John Ryan Murphy from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre instead of Austin Romine, who was with the club briefly last week and was Chris Stewart’s backup last season.

While the Yankees lost Cervelli they were fortunate frontline catcher Brian McCann didn’t suffer a broken index finger Sunday night when he was hit on the hand while catching. X-rays Sunday evening were negative. His status for Tuesday night wasn’t addressed by the club.

You get the sense Cervelli is jinxed.

The Yankees could probably use another infielder, but they’ll have to make a 40 man roster move to get one onto the team.  They could 60 day DL Brendan Ryan if they don’t think he will be ready before the end of May, which is what I guess they will do.  They could also DFA someone like Preston Claiborne.  If the Yankees are deep in one thing, it’s right-handed relievers.

--Posted at 9:57 am by SG / 23 Comments | - (0)

Sunday, April 13, 2014 Nova, Beltran lead Yanks to series win over Red Sox

NEW YORK—Carlos Beltran homered as part of a three-hit performance, and Ivan Nova pitched solidly into the eighth inning as the Yankees defeated the Red Sox, 3-2, in an eventful contest on Sunday night at Yankee Stadium.

Beltran hit his third homer as a Bomber, a two-run shot in the third inning off Boston starter Felix Doubront, as the Yankees secured their third victory in the four-game series against their American League East rivals.

Coming off two inconsistent outings to open the season, Nova found his groove and was able to limit Boston to two runs and eight hits over 7 1/3 innings, keeping the ball down more reliably.

Allowing Jonathan Herrera’s second-inning RBI single and a long Mike Napoli home run in the sixth, Napoli’s third of the year, Nova walked none and struck out four to log his second victory of the year.

Perhaps Beltran’s remains are not as tattered as I believed.

I am shocked the Yankees won this series.  But I’m happy they did.

--Posted at 10:19 pm by SG / 78 Comments | - (0)

Red Sox (5-7) @ The Championship Caliber Yankees (6-6), Sunday, April 13, 2014, 8:05pm

BOS:Felix Doubront (#22, 26, LHP, 1-1, 9.00) vs. NYY:Ivan Nova (#47, 27, RHP, 1-1, 8.68)

Red Sox
1. Grady Sizemore (L) LF
2. Xander Bogaerts (R) SS
3. David Ortiz (L) DH
4. Mike Napoli (R) 1B
5. Daniel Nava (S) RF
6. A.J. Pierzynski (L) C
7. Ryan Roberts (R) 3B
8. Jackie Bradley Jr. (L) CF
9. Jonathan Herrera (S) 2B

1. Brett Gardner (L) LF
2. The Tattered Remains of Carlos Beltran (S) RF
3. The Guy who got the money that would have been better spent on Robinson Cano (L) CF
4. Alfonso Soriano (R) DH
5. Brian “Bust” McCann (L) C
6. Yangervis Solarte (S) 2B
7. Kelly Johnson (L) 3B
8. Francisco Cervelli (R) 1B
9. Dean Anna (L) SS

Hmm, no Jeter with a lefty on the mound after a day off?

Ivan Nova is really testing my belief in him.  His first two starts of the season have not been good.  He’s probably not in any danger of losing his spot in the rotation yet, but you wonder if that will happen at some point if he keeps pitching like he has to this point.

In his career, he’s allowed the Red Sox a line of .303/.390/.465 and has an ERA of 5.03 and a WHIP of 1.699 against them.  Hopefully all those go down after tonight.

--Posted at 3:55 pm by SG / 217 Comments | - (0)

Saturday, April 12, 2014 Comforts of homers: McCann powers win over Sox

NEW YORK—It was a cold winter afternoon when Brian McCann took on a private tour of Yankee Stadium, hearing a sales pitch from team executives who wanted to fit him for pinstripes. As McCann walked the hallways that day, he couldn’t help but think about what the cozy right-field dimensions might do for his power numbers.

It took a little longer than McCann might have anticipated, but the slugging catcher is on the board with his first home runs as a Yankee. McCann homered twice, going back-to-back with Alfonso Soriano once, and Carlos Beltran also cleared the wall as the Yankees thumped the Red Sox, 7-4, on a sunny Saturday in the Bronx.

The homers were part of a six-run pounding that the Yankees unloaded on Boston starter John Lackey, who permitted 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings, giving Hiroki Kuroda some welcome run support as the Yankees right-hander improved to 2-1 this season.

Mo bless DNYS.

The Yankees have already won two more games in this series than I thought they would.

--Posted at 6:21 pm by SG / 28 Comments | - (0)

Red Sox (5-6) @ The Championship Caliber Yankees (5-6), Saturday, April 12, 1:05pm

BOS: John Lackey (#41, 35, RHP, 2-0, 1.38) vs. NYY: Hiroki Kuroda (#18, 39, RHP, 1-1, 2.92)

Red Sox
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Daniel Nava RF
David Ortiz DH
Mike Napoli 1B
Mike Carp LF
Xander Bogaerts SS
A.J. Pierzynski C
Jonathan Herrera 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF

The Championship Caliber Yankees
Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS Brian Roberts 2B
The Obscenely Overpaid Jacoby Ellsbury CF
The Tattered Remains of Carlos Beltran RF
Brian “Bust” McCann C
Alfonso Soriano DH
Kelly Johnson 1B
Yangervis Solarte 3B
Dean Anna SS

--Posted at 9:10 am by SG / 83 Comments | - (0)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Red Sox (4-6) @ Yankees (5-5),Friday, April 11, 2014, 7:05pm

BOS: Jon Lester (#31, 30, LHP, 0-2, 2.51) vs. NYY: CC Sabathia (#52, 33, LHP, 1-1, 7.50)

Red Sox
Jonny Gomes, RF: .174/.321/.217
Dustin Pedroia, 2B: .261/.261/.304
David Ortiz, DH: .275/.310/.500
Mike Napoli, 1B: .308/.400/.487
Grady Sizemore, LF: .308/.379/.500
Xander Bogaerts, SS: .314/.415/.371
Ryan Roberts, 3B: .000/.286/.000
David Ross, C: .222/.300/.222
Jackie Bradley, CF: .364/.462/.455
Total: .278/.354/.392

Derek Jeter, SS: .290/.389/.355
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF: .351/.400/.432
Carlos Beltran, RF: .273/.324/.455
Alfonso Soriano, DH: .182/.250/.333
Francisco Cervelli, C: .273/.333/.364
Yangervis Solarte, 3B: .387/.441/.581
Ichiro Suzuki, LF: .429/.429/.500
Brian Roberts, 2B: .160/.333/.160
Kelly Johnson, 1B: .250/.323/.607
Total: .284/.355/.424

I would be shocked if the Yankees won even one of the six remaining games these two teams will play over the next two weeks. 

Shocked, I tell you.

--Posted at 3:21 pm by SG / 85 Comments | - (0)

Boston Globe: Questions swirl over substance on Yankees pitcher’s hand

NEW YORK — Michael Pineda had retired 10 of 11 Red Sox batters by the time anyone spotted the sticky, brown stain on his right hand.

As soon as Pineda fired a 93-mile-per-hour fastball by David Ortiz in the fourth inning, NESN announcers Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy started asking questions.

“What is on the hand of Michael Pineda?” Orsillo said.

Remy’s first assumption was pine tar.

“Could be Stickum,” Remy said.

When Pineda rubbed his hand into his glove after getting A.J. Pierzynski to fly out in the fifth inning, Remy surmised that it was to create a better grip.

We better see the same thing on CC’s hand tonight then.

--Posted at 9:00 am by SG / 38 Comments | - (0)

Thursday, April 10, 2014 Pineda shines under bright lights of the Bronx

NEW YORK—The Yankees patiently waited more than two years to see Michael Pineda wearing their uniform in a home game. Finally presented with his first opportunity under the bright lights in the Bronx, the hard-throwing right-hander did not disappoint.

Making his Yankee Stadium debut, Pineda pitched into the seventh inning in a commanding seven-strikeout performance, leading the Yankees to a 4-1 victory over the Red Sox in the first meeting between the division rivals this season.

That was unexpected.  And awesome.  Pineda has looked good to great in his first two starts of the season and hopefully he can continue to pitch well.

--Posted at 9:34 pm by SG / 24 Comments | - (0)

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