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

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Yankees (12-9) @ Red Sox (10-12), Thursday, April 24, 2014, 7:10pm
(5 Comments - 4/24/2014 5:39:55 pm)

NYDN: Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda suspended 10 games for using pine tar against Red Sox
(8 Comments - 4/24/2014 4:31:34 pm)

Newsday: Michael Pineda’s ejection creates a sticky mess for Yankees and himself
(44 Comments - 4/24/2014 3:30:02 pm)

Player A vs. Player B
(34 Comments - 4/24/2014 12:11:11 pm)

Yankees (12-8) @ The World Series Champion Red Sox (9-12), Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 7:10pm
(110 Comments - 4/24/2014 8:30:52 am) Tanaka yields just two solo homers, notches seven strikeouts to get win
(19 Comments - 4/23/2014 10:03:36 am)

Yankees (11-8) @ The World Series Champion Boston Red Sox (9-11), Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 7:10pm
(108 Comments - 4/22/2014 10:56:22 pm)

Pitcher A vs. Pitcher B
(10 Comments - 4/22/2014 5:20:01 pm)

Newsday: Masahiro Tanaka looking forward to Fenway debut
(5 Comments - 4/22/2014 3:43:16 pm)

NYDN: Ivan Nova has partial tear of elbow ligament, Yankees pitcher’s season appears to be over
(73 Comments - 4/22/2014 12:15:18 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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Disclaimer: If you think this is the official website of the New York Yankees, you're an idiot. Go away.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Red Sox (4-5) @ Yankees (4-5),Thursday, April 10, 2014, 7:05pm

BOS: Clay Buchholz (#11, 29, RHP, 0-0, 12.46) vs. NYY: Michael Pineda (#35, 25, RHP, 0-1, 1.50)

Red Sox
Grady Sizemore, LF: .364/.440/.591
Dustin Pedroia, 2B: .286/.286/.333
David Ortiz, DH: .278/.316/.500
Mike Napoli, 1B: .333/.415/.528
Daniel Nava, RF: .125/.200/.156
Xander Bogaerts, SS: .290/.405/.355
A.J. Pierzynski, C: .360/.360/.360
Jackie Bradle, CF: .400/.478/.500
Jonathan Herrera, 3B: .300/.417/.300
Total: .295/.356/.402

Brett Gardner, LF: .300/.400/.433
Derek Jeter, SS: .259/.375/.296
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF: .364/.417/.455
Carlos Beltran, RF: .267/.324/.467
Brian McCann, C: .152/.176/.152
Alfonso Soriano, DH: .200/.273/.367
Kelly Johnson, 1B: .280/.357/.680
Yangervis Solarte, 3B: .429/.484/.643
Dean Anna, 2B: .143/.250/.143
Total: .276/.347/.420

Oh great, one of these.

I would be shocked if the Yankees won even one of the seven games these two teams will play over the next two weeks.  Their bullpen is missing their best reliever, their shortstop has the range of a tree stump, and their number three hitter has played professional baseball for 13 seasons and has cleared double-digit home runs exactly once in all that time.  Oh, and their catcher makes Chris Stewart looks like Barry Bonds circa 2002.  And their “ace” can’t dent bread with his fastball any more.  And their best CF is playing LF.

Other than that, I think the Yankees are looking great.

--Posted at 2:57 pm by SG / 152 Comments | - (0)

Q&A with the Replacement Level Red Sox Blog, Part 2

I just realized I never posted the second part of the Q&A with the Replacement Level Red Sox blog so here it is.  You can go read the second part of our answers to their questions here.

How excited are you by the player tracking technology that MLBAM previewed recently?

(Jose) More data is better than less.  I really like the idea of being able to track how quickly a player reacts and how efficient he is and running his route to the ball.  I think that can be really instructive, if a guy is good at those things he will adjust as he ages better than a guy (like Ellsbury in my opinion) who often just outruns his mistakes.

(MCoA) I’m kind of getting tired of baseball producing all these new important data sets I don’t have time to understand. Back in my day we had Runs Created and OPS+ and it was good enough for us. These fancy new statistics just detract from my enjoyment of the game.

Derek Jeter looks you straight in the eyes with his calm captainy gaze. Do you A) swoon B) wake-up because you are dreaming C) Wake up several days later with a gift basket D) YEAH JEETS!

(MCoA) Is this choose your own adventure? A -> D -> C -> B.

Would you rather have a) Jacoby Ellsbury or b) Grady Sizemore and $152 million?  Asked in another way, what is your opinion of the Yankees FO?

(MCoA) It took me a while to get over Ellsbury signing with the Yankees. I love Ellsbury. He provides all the joys of a pure speed player—get ready for some straight steals of home—with almost none of the frustrations (reasonable plate discipline, power, and contact skills). If you can look past your analyses of the contract, I think you’re going to have a terribly fun time rooting for him.

I am confused by the Yankees offseason. Cano is obviously better than Ellsbury and seems a better bet to age well. If they’d just sucked up that second round pick, they could have had the solidly above average Stephen Drew locked in for third base, backing up shortstop, with whichever of Brian Roberts or Kelly Johnson is most healthy and effective at second. The lack of depth on the infield boggles. I know these guys project to 1 WAR or whatever, but the risk of full-on below replacement Wilton Veras style disasters seems way too high for a contending team. A Masahiro Tanaka can cover for all manner of sins, I guess.

With AJ Pierzynski on the team now, has there ever been a Red Sox free agent signing that you hated so much when he played for another team that you couldn’t get past rooting for him as a Red Sox? Like, if Joba Chamberlain suddenly started pitching for the Red Sox, would it be hard to root for him?

(Jose) I’m a pretty simple root for the laundry guy.  Jarome Iginla was booed every time he touched the puck for the Penguins last year and now he’s one of the most popular Bruins.  I think it is most impactful where a player struggles.  I’m going to give a guy I like a little more rope than a guy like AJ.

(MCoA) I’m a sucker. I’ve completely talked myself into A.J. based on his appearances on the postseason teevee. He’s just a tough competitor, you guys.

Now that Cano is gone, is there a player worth fearing on the Yankees?

(MCoA) Masahiro Tanaka. That dude looks every inch a Cy Young contender and playoff ace. The Yankees are all about the pitching now, it seems. Behind Tanaka, Hiroki Kuroda will never age and Ivan Nova is probably pretty good. I dunno. If enough breaks right in the rotation, if Tanaka is a Cy Young contender, Nova is as good as his component stats, Sabathia figures out how to get results with diminished velocity, that’s a rotation that could carry a merely ok lineup to an easy division title. I’m probably being too optimistic—this is what I do every spring—but I see more potential for this Yankees team to underplay their ~85 win projection than to outperform.

How many home runs do you think Pedroia will hit in 2014 now that he appears fully recovered from his thumb injury?

(MCoA) Dustin Pedroia doesn’t recover from injuries. He just develops a new injury which sediments over the old one. I’m amazed Pedroia remains effective given what he’s inevitably playing through. He’ll have another Dustin Pedroia season complete with a month-long slump where the pain gets to be too much.

What do you think is a fair extension number for Jon Lester?

(MCoA) Lester’s a strange case. He’s actually been no more than average for going on two seasons. He has a 101 ERA- over 2012 and 2013. Lester is better than that, based on his component stats and pre-2012 performance, but the projection systems generally peg him around 2.5 WAR. That’s a nice pitcher, but it’s not a guy you’d give $100M to. That’s maybe a 4/65 kind of pitcher, and obviously Jon Lester ain’t signing for no sixty million dollars.

At the same time, Lester was an ace from 2008 to 2011, and he found that same stuff and command last year in the postseason. One thing we had noticed about Lester during his weaker outings was that he would get locked in to pounding the inner half of the zone with his fastball to RHB, and when his command wasn’t good enough, he’d get pounded. Lester needs to work inside with the fastball to get hitters to swing and miss on the cutter, but he seemed too stubborn to make adjustments when it wasn’t working. In the postseason, Lester mixed up his repertoire and showed real improvement. Is that sustainable? Who knows. This is all by way of saying that I could totally justify a 5/110 contract extension, and I can see the case for letting him walk. If Lester wants more than five years or significantly more than $20M per season, I’d probably say it’s better to start working in the kids. It kind of feels like whichever choice the Sox make, it’ll be the wrong one.

Which of the Red Sox starting pitchers are you most worried about?

(Jose) Lackey easily.  I think he’s the X factor in the rotation.  If he’s right then Lester/Buchholz are your aces, Peavy/Doubront are depth and Lackey is the guy that rounds it out.  He was kind of “eh” in the spring and he’s a mid-30s pitcher who isn’t that far from being historically craptacular.

How weird is this Jerry Remy thing? Should there be anything less meaningful to a baseball fan than an announcer’s private life.

(Jose) I’ll start with a disclaimer that I’m a huge Remy fan.  I attended a baseball camp he ran in the early 80s (real live MLB player Roger LaFrancois taught me how to block pitches!) and I still remember the way he used to bounce at the plate as he waited for pitches.  Earlier in the off-season I wrote on our site that I was glad he was coming back and that he shouldn’t be punished for his adult son’s misdeeds.

But (saw that comin’ didn’t you?) having listened to a few games this spring it is awkward.  I think it is terribly unfair for him to lose his job over the behavior of his adult child but right now listening to Jerry Remy announce baseball games makes the experience less enjoyable, not more enjoyable like it used to.

(MCoA) There’s a lot of evidence that Jerry Remy and his wife were effectively enablers for their monster of a son. Jared was arrested many, many times but never actually punished for his serial abuse of women in part because of the legal and material support of the Remys. I can’t get past it, and I am going to be watching the other feed on MLBtv for Red Sox games until Remy is out of the booth.

--Posted at 12:15 pm by SG / 4 Comments | - (0) Tanaka fans 10 in Yanks’ loss to Orioles

The game was supposed to showcase Masahiro Tanaka, the Yankees’ prized new starter pitching in front of his new fans in the Bronx for the first time, but even his dazzling debut and major offensive support from fellow newcomer Carlos Beltran weren’t enough, as the Orioles prevailed, 5-4, following a four-hit, two-run ninth-inning surge.

Hailed by opposing manager Buck Showalter as “the best acquisition of the offseason” before the game, Tanaka showed those in attendance why the franchise made such a financial investment in him. The $155 million man went seven innings, yielding three runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out 10. Orioles hitters whiffed at 22 of his 101 offerings, with half the misses induced by his splitter.

Honestly, I am on the whole relatively pleased with the Yankee season so far. I mean, a losing record is not good, of course, and I might be singing a different tune after the Yankees are finished with the Rays and the Red Sox, but 4-5 while mostly keeping pace with every other team in the American League East is not awful to me. Tanaka has looked great despite the fact that it looks like he’ll give up a home run per game. Pineda and Kuroda look good. CC doesn’t look awful. Of the starting pitchers, only Nova has been outright awful. They have a pretty good looking starting rotation and I expect them to keep the team competitive all year. And this is all while being supported by an offense that has a key player, Brian McCann, not hitting at all. If McCann even kind of sort of produced the Yankees would likely be 5-4 or better right now. And you have to figure a guy like McCann won’t hit this poorly all season. So I am not feeling bad about this team at all…yet.

--Posted at 3:06 am by Brian Cronin / 12 Comments | - (0)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Orioles (3-5) @ Yankees (4-4),Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 7:05pm

BAL: Miguel Gonzalez (#50, 30, RHP, 0-1, 18.90) vs. NYY: Masahiro Tanaka (#19, 25, RHP, 1-0, 2.57)

Nick Markakis, RF: .265/.278/.353
Delmon Young, DH: .333/.385/.583
Chris Davis, 1B: .310/.364/.414
Adam Jones, CF: .286/.344/.536
Matt Wieters, C: .370/.357/.630
Nelson Cruz, LF: .286/.394/.571
Steve Lombardozzi, 2B: .333/.333/.333
Ryan Flaherty, SS: .154/.185/.192
Jonathan Schoop, 3B: .192/.192/.269
Total: .278/.313/.423

Brett Gardner, CF: .269/.387/.385
Derek Jeter, SS: .250/.379/.292
Jacoby Ellsbury, DH: .414/.469/.517
Carlos Beltran, RF: .185/.233/.259
Brian McCann, C: .172/.200/.172
Alfonso Soriano, LF: .192/.276/.346
Kelly Johnson, 1B: .238/.333/.571
Brian Roberts, 2B: .174/.345/.174
Yangervis Solarte, 3B: .458/.519/.708
Total: .262/.349/.376

The Orioles lineup yesterday had hit a collective .233/.273/.342.  With yesterday’s game they’re now up to .278/.313/.423.

All hope rests on the shoulders of the Yankees’ fourth starter.  Who could be a three one day.

--Posted at 4:07 pm by SG / 118 Comments | - (0) Yankees: What’s to like and dislike after a week?

The Yankees are 4-4 a week into their 2014 regular season, and there have been plenty of ups and downs.

There have been moments where everything’s fallen into place, like when they got 6.1 strong innings from Hiroki Kuroda and the bats woke up in Monday’s win.

And then there have been times when it’s hard to see this team breaking out of the stacked AL East, like when Ivan Nova got roughed up and the Yankees couldn’t amount an offensive of their own Tuesday.

Here’s what we’ve liked and disliked so far.

Brendan Kuty runs through a few of the good and bad things that we’ve seen so far this season.  To his list, I’d add Adam Warren and Dellin Betances to the likes, and Brian McCann and the overall defense to the dislikes.

It’s still too early to get a good read on this team.  The pitching looks like it could be very good, but I am very concerned about the offense.

--Posted at 9:13 am by SG / 38 Comments | - (0)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 Matinee vs. Orioles gets away from Yankees

NEW YORK—Joe Girardi looked at his lineup card on Tuesday morning and remarked that he was not sure which reliever he’d ask to close out a save situation. It turned out not to matter all that much.

Ivan Nova was thumped for seven runs and knocked out in the fourth inning as the Orioles grabbed an early lead and continued to hack away against the Yankees, producing a 14-5 rout on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium.

Adam Jones, Delmon Young and Matt Wieters all homered for the Orioles, who connected for 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings against Nova. Baltimore piled on against Vidal Nuno, who allowed seven runs in 3 1/3 innings of relief.

I guess I can skip the encore of this one…

--Posted at 3:55 pm by SG / 10 Comments | - (0)

Orioles (2-5) @ Yankees (4-3),Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 1:05pm

BAL: Wei-Yin Chen (#16, 28, LHP, 0-1, 6.35) vs. NYY: Ivan Nova (#47, 27, RHP, 1-0, 3.18)

Nick Markakis, RF: .241/.267/.345
Delmon Young, DH: .167/.286/.167
Chris Davis, 1B: .269/.321/.385
Adam Jones, CF: .250/.296/.375
Matt Wieters, C: .391/.391/.565
Nelson Cruz, LF: .250/.357/.542
Steve Lombardozzi, 2B: .263/.263/.263
Ryan Flaherty, SS: .048/.091/.048
Jonathan Schoop, 3B: .143/.143/.190
Total: .233/.273/.342

Brett Gardner, LF: .273/.385/.409
Derek Jeter, SS: .250/.400/.300
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF: .360/.429/.440
Carlos Beltran, RF: .182/.240/.227
Alfonso Soriano, DH: .136/.208/.136
Brian McCann, C: .200/.231/.200
Francisco Cervelli, 1B: .286/.375/.429
Brian Roberts, 2B: .150/.346/.150
Yangervis Solarte, 3B: .450/.522/.650
Total: .251/.346/.317

Another day game?  Luckily I don’t have to actually watch the game to make snarky comments about it.  How about that collective slugging percentage for the Bronx “Bombers?”

Nova did not pitch all that well in his first start, but held Houston to two runs.  If he walks five and strikes out one again today, he will not be so fortunate.

--Posted at 10:12 am by SG / 123 Comments | - (0) Yankees call up Cesar Cabral from Triple-A to replace injured David Robertson

NEW YORK — The Yankees have promoted left-hander Cesar Cabral from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to replace injured closer David Robertson, who was officially placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left groin strain.

As luck would have it, the Yankees will be without their best reliever over a two week stretch where they play Boston seven times and Tampa Bay four times.  So I guess Cabral makes sense as a tactical option, particularly since the Yankees theoretically have three long relievers available to them.

--Posted at 9:10 am by SG / 5 Comments | - (0)

Monday, April 7, 2014 Jeter helps guide Yanks in final home opener

NEW YORK—Derek Jeter took a few loping steps out of the batter’s box, seeming to allow himself a little extra time to take in the sights of his final home opener at Yankee Stadium. The deep drive off his bat smacked into the left-field wall instead of the palms of an eager fan, and the captain had to turn it on.

Jeter legged out that fifth-inning double, his left hand grasping the bag just ahead of the tag, and he could exhale with relief. Jeter would score as part of a two-run rally, helping the Yankees post a 4-2 victory over the Orioles on Monday in the season’s first game in the Bronx.

Receiving the loudest cheers during pregame introductions and joining former teammates Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera for a first-pitch ceremony, Jeter pushed across the Yanks’ first run with a third-inning double-play ball, finishing 1-for-4 in his return to the Stadium.

The Yankees squeezed 6 1/3 innings of solid two-run ball from starter Hiroki Kuroda (1-1), who scattered eight hits and struck out four without issuing a walk in his second start of the year.

That’s the good news.  This is the not so good news.

The win was closed out by Shawn Kelley instead of closer David Robertson, who is headed to the 15-day disabled list with a strained groin.

I have not been worried about the Yankee bullpen despite that fact that it is heavily populated by unproven players because I trust Joe Girardi to cobble something good together.  But that gets harder when you lose your best reliever.  On the one hand it will give some guys like Dellin Betances and Adam Warren a chance to pitch in more important situations.  On the other hand that may cause the team to lose some games.

But hopefully it won’t be too bad, and Robertson will be back at the end of his DL stint and this is not something that lingers.

--Posted at 3:59 pm by SG / 39 Comments | - (0)

Orioles (2-4) @ Yankees (3-3),Monday, April 7, 2014, 1:05pm

BAL: Ubaldo Jimenez (#31, 30, RHP, 0-1, 6.00) vs. NYY: Hiroki Kuroda (#18, 39, RHP, 0-1, 3.00)

David Lough, LF: .125/.176/.250
Nick Markakis, RF: .240/.269/.320
Adam Jones, CF: .250/.304/.400
Chris Davis, 1B: .273/.333/.364
Matt Wieters, C: .368/.368/.579
Nelson Cruz, DH: .200/.333/.550
Steve Lombardozzi, 2B: .333/.333/.333
Ryan Flaherty, SS: .056/.105/.056
Jonathan Schoop, 3B: .111/.111/.111
Total: .220/.265/.335

Brett Gardner, LF: .278/.409/.444
Derek Jeter, SS: .250/.429/.250
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF: .333/.417/.429
Carlos Beltran, RF: .158/.190/.211
Brian McCann, C: .238/.273/.238
Alfonso Soriano, DH: .053/.100/.053
Brian Roberts, 2B: .176/.364/.176
Kelly Johnson, 1B: .222/.263/.444
Yangervis Solarte, 3B: .471/.526/.706
Total: .241/.332/.325

You may think that the Yankees are last in MLB in homers with 1.  Actually, the Royals trail them with none.  But now that the Yankees are back at DNYS where lazy infield flies find the seats, they may actually hit another homer or two.

Probably not today, but some time in this homestand.


--Posted at 9:38 am by SG / 154 Comments | - (0)

NY Times: Jeter, With His Final Home Opener Up Next, Climbs Career Hits List to No. 8

TORONTO — A year ago, when the Yankees opened their season in the Bronx against the Boston Red Sox, there was a noticeable void. It was felt during the pregame introductions when players like Kevin Youkilis and Travis Hafner were announced over the public-address system, but Derek Jeter was not.

It was felt again when the Yankees took the field and the player who ran to shortstop was Eduardo Nunez, not Jeter. In fact, Jeter missed all but 17 games last season as he experienced the most maddening, injury-marred season of his career.

But on Monday, Jeter — healthy and eager — is scheduled to be a part of all the festivities as the Yankees celebrate their 112th home opener, and Jeter’s last.

“We all look forward to the home opener,” Jeter said Sunday before the Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 6-4. “It almost doesn’t seem like the season is underway until you get your home opener. Especially missing last year, I’m looking forward to this one.”

The thing here is according to Baseball Reference, Jeter is actually ninth, not eighth.  Perhaps in haste to put Jeter into the all important eighth slot, people are ignoring Cap Anson’s 423 hits in the National Association.

100 hits would move Jeter past Carl Yastrezmski and into a tie for seventh with Honus Wagner.  116 would move him past Anson and into sole possession of sixth place.  It’s not likely he’ll get the 195 more hits he needs to pass Tris Speaker and get into fifth place by himself.

But it would be pretty sweet if he did.

--Posted at 8:11 am by SG / 15 Comments | - (0)

Sunday, April 6, 2014 First homer puts Yanks over hump vs. Jays

TORONTO—Brett Gardner cracked the Yankees’ first home run of the young season and CC Sabathia bounced back from a rough outing in the club’s season opener as New York posted a 6-4 victory on Sunday at Rogers Centre.

The Yankees were unable to produce a long ball through their first five games of the season. An unlikely candidate to break that string, Gardner slugged a two-run homer in the fourth inning, part of the attack against starter Drew Hutchison.

Mo bless TPBG.  Is it a stretch to think he could lead this team in homers?

Didn’t get to see the game, so didn’t get to form any opinion on how CC looked.  But it sounds like it’s still a work in progress.

--Posted at 3:42 pm by SG / 12 Comments | - (0)

Yankees (2-3) @ Blue Jays (3-3), Sunday, April 6, 2014, 1:07pm

NYY:CC Sabathia (#52, 33, LHP, 0-1, 9.00) vs. TOR:Drew Hutchison (#36, 23, RHP, 1-0, 0.00)


Given the Yankee “offense”, CC could pitch a gem like Michael Pineda and lose anyway.  Fortunately, CC has lost all ability to pitch anything even remotely resembling a gem, so he’ll get lit up, the Yankees will not score and this game will be a nice painless loss.


--Posted at 9:51 am by SG / 98 Comments | - (0)

Saturday, April 5, 2014 Despite loss, Pineda’s debut a success

The Yankees were thrilled to finally see right-hander Michael Pineda on the mound in their uniform on Saturday, firing a fastball with a free and easy motion after seeming to disappear for the last two seasons while he worked his way back from injury.

Pineda’s first Yankees start went into the books as a rousing success, as he provided six innings of one-run ball, but the heart of New York’s batting order was stymied by R.A. Dickey and three Toronto relievers, and the Blue Jays notched a 4-0 victory at Rogers Centre.

Dickey used his trademark knuckleball to blank the Yankees over 6 2/3 innings, scattering five hits and striking out six. He was supported by Josh Thole’s run-scoring single, which knocked home Adam Lind in the second inning. Melky Cabrera and Jose Bautista provided some insurance for the Jays with homers off David Phelps in the eighth.

Joe Girardi has managed David Phelps for the entirety of Phelps’ major league career, and yet he still thinks Phelps is the type of pitcher you bring in to pitch the 7th and 8th innings of a 1-run game. He is not. Phelps is not a bad pitcher, but he’s a guy who is almost assuredly going to give up some runs every time he pitches. When he gives you 5-6 innings, those runs are enough to keep you in the ballgame. When he gives you 1-2 innings, those runs crush you. I still like Phelps a lot, but he just is not the shutdown reliever you use in a 1-run game in the 7th and 8th innings.

In the end, though, it likely would not have mattered as the Yankees got shut out. The big culprits were the Yankees #3-5 hitters, who combined to go 0-12 with three strikeouts and one GIDP. You have to imagine that the odds are that that will not continue. So with that in mind, I think there was a lot to still like about this game. Pineda pitched very well. Ellsbury is still hot. The Yankees are getting guys on base, they just need to plate some of those runners. I think it likely is a matter of bad luck more than anything. I think Pineda’s good performance is a lot more likely to continue than Beltran/McCann/Soriano’s bad performance. In addition, when Dickey is on, he is filthy. The problem for the Blue Jays is that you never know which Dickey you’re going to get. Lights out Dickey or Batting Practice Dickey. Today was the former while he debut was the latter.

--Posted at 3:51 pm by Brian Cronin / 30 Comments | - (0)

Yankees (2-2) @ Blue Jays (2-3), Saturday, April 5, 2014, 1:07pm

NYY:Michael Pineda (#35, 25, RHP, 0-0, undef) vs. TOR:R.A. Dickey (#43, 39, RHP, 0-1, 10.80)

1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
2. Derek Jeter (R) SS
3. Carlos Beltran (S) RF
4. Brian McCann (L) DH
5. Alfonso Soriano (R) LF
6. Kelly Johnson (L) 1B
7. Francisco Cervelli (R) C
8. Yangervis Solarte (S) 3B
9. Dean Anna (L) 2B

Blue Jays
1. Melky Cabrera (S) LF
2. Colby Rasmus (L) CF
3. Jose Bautista (R) RF
4. Edwin Encarnacion (R) 1B
5. Adam Lind (L) DH
6. Brett Lawrie (R) 3B
7. Josh Thole (L) C
8. Ryan Goins (L) 2B
9. Jonathan Diaz (R) SS

After two long years, Michael Pineda will finally make his debut as a Yankee. 

--Posted at 10:25 am by SG / 131 Comments | - (0) Resilient Tanaka wins big league debut

The third pitch of Masahiro Tanaka’s career in the Major Leagues came to rest somewhere behind the 375-foot marker painted on the right-center-field wall at Rogers Centre, and the debuting rookie placed his right hand on his hip, kicking at the mound.

He was nervous, Tanaka would admit later, sensing something like what he felt while preparing for last year’s Japan Series. And as he did then, Tanaka was able to settle those emotions and give his new team a winning outing on Friday, pitching the Yankees to a 7-3 victory over the Blue Jays.

Tanaka, the Yankees’ $155 million prize, bounced back from serving up Melky Cabrera’s leadoff homer and a pair of second-inning runs to retire 16 of the last 18 batters he faced in a seven-inning performance, striking out eight without a walk.

“I was missing some spots earlier in the game, but as the game progressed, I think I was getting better out there,” Tanaka said through an interpreter. “Obviously I’m happy. I think No. 1 is that I’m relieved.”

It ended up being a very successful debut for Tanaka, who opened up a lot of comparisons to his rotation-mate and fellow countryman, Hiroki Kuroda, only with a filthy splitter. If Tanaka “only” translates into Hiroki Kuroda, the Yankees will be very happy with him over the next four years before he opts out and they extend him for too much money.

Jacoby Ellsbury had his first awesome game as a Yankee, including a stunning sliding catch in the sixth inning that we’ve all seen him make way too many times against the Yankees over the years, so it was sure nice to have it on the Yankees’ side for a change. However, I read some comments by Yankee media guys about how Ellsbury’s great game showed that it was right for the Yankees to rest him last night. I somewhat disagree, if only because if you seriously need to just “give a rest” to your $22 million player in the third game of the season just to get a great performance out of him in the fourth game of the season, then something is seriously wrong with your set-up.

Yangervis Solarte had another strong game, including good defense in the field (although he misplayed a ball that should have been an error).

Of course, this being the Yankees, they couldn’t go four games without one of their regular players getting injured. Mark Teixeira injured his right hamstring. They haven’t announced if he will be placed on the disabled list, but knowing the Yankees, it is likely that that this is it for Teixeira in 2014. I kid, I kid. It probably is at worst a 15-day DL trip, but still, pretty annoying to happen so quickly. Even more annoying is that Kelly Johnson apparently will be the everyday first baseman and not Brian McCann. At least that will get Solarte into the starting lineup as the third baseman until Teix returns.

Anyhow, great win. Let’s hope that Michael Pineda can be similarly impressive (or at least not suck) on Saturday.

--Posted at 2:27 am by Brian Cronin / 11 Comments | - (0)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Yankees (1-2) @ Blue Jays (2-2),Friday, April 4, 2014, 7:07pm

  NYY: Masahiro Tanaka (#19, 25, RHP, 0-0, undef) vs.  TOR: Dustin McGowan (#29, 32, RHP, 0-0, undef)

Jacoby Ellsbury, CF: .000/.222/.000
Brett Gardner, LF: .200/.385/.200
Carlos Beltran, DH: .182/.167/.273
Brian McCann, C: .375/.375/.375
Mark Teixeira, 1B: .182/.250/.182
Kelly Johnson, 3B: .167/.167/.333
Ichiro Suzuki, RF: .500/.500/.750
Yangervis Solarte, 2B: .600/.667/.800
Dean Anna, SS:—-/—-/—-

Blue Jays
Melky Cabrera, LF: .333/.333/.333
Colby Rasmus, CF: .071/.235/.143
Jose Bautista, RF: .273/.529/.818
Edwin Encarnacion, 1B: .063/.118/.125
Adam Lind, DH: .429/.556/1.000
Dioner Navarro, C: .188/.176/.188
Brett Lawrie, 3B: .071/.188/.071
Ryan Goins, 2B: .000/.000/.000
Jonathan Diaz, SS: .200/.333/.200

Obviously tonight’s game is all about a big MLB debut.  That’s right, Dean Anna will be making his long-awaited MLB debut tonight!

--Posted at 3:06 pm by SG / 139 Comments | - (0)

Newsday: Eduardo Nuñez asked for release and got it from Yankees

HOUSTON - Eduardo Nuñez figured the Yankees had had enough of him, so he asked for his release and got it.

The Yankees, needing to make a move on their 40-man roster to get Yangervis Solarte on it, designated Nuñez for assignment before Tuesday night’s season opener, ending the 26-year-old’s career with the club.
Nuñez, signed by the team as an amateur free agent in 2004, was disappointed by the Yankees’ decision to award the final infield spot, on the last day of spring training, to Solarte and told the club he’d like a fresh start somewhere else. That in itself is not unusual for a player to do and it likely influenced general manager Brian Cashman’s decision.

The Yankees have 10 days to either trade or release Nuñez, who will have interested parties. The Cubs, in need of infield help, could be interested, as could the Blue Jays, who need help at second and, after the Opening Day injury to Jose Reyes, short.

A source said the Astros, who would get the first crack at Nuñez if a trade isn’t worked out, could be an option, as well.

“I think it’s best for right now to give him a fresh start and we’ll see where that takes him,” Cashman said.

For those who feared a Nun-E return, fear no more.

Nunez was frustrating, but I still think he has a chance to be a useful player.  But the Yankees made the right move to release him I think.

I wish him well as long as he doesn’t end up in the AL East.

--Posted at 11:38 am by SG / 13 Comments | - (0)

Thursday, April 3, 2014 Solarte shines in Yankees’ first victory of 2014

HOUSTON—Yangervis Solarte collected three hits and an RBI in his first Major League start, Derek Jeter moved one hit closer to claiming eighth place on the all-time list and the Yankees defeated the Astros, 4-2, on Thursday at Minute Maid Park.

New York picked up its first victory of the young campaign with a boost from the 26-year-old Solarte, who got the nod at third base and singled and doubled in his first two at-bats. The rookie also knocked home a run with a fluke seventh-inning single that fell between three fielders near the mound.

Jeter punched a fifth-inning RBI single off left-hander Brett Oberholtzer for his 3,318th career hit. He needs one more to tie Hall of Famer Paul Molitor.

Starter Ivan Nova had said that he thought it was important for the Yankees to get into the win column after losing the first two games of the season, and the right-hander did a good job of limiting the damage, taking advantage of four double plays from his defense.

Nova was not particularly sharp tonight, but the DP ball helped him get out of multiple jams and the Yankee offense was led by Solarte and Ichiro in picking up a much-needed win.

Are we ready for Masahiro Tanaka’s debut tomorrow?  I am looking forward to it.

--Posted at 10:43 pm by SG / 30 Comments | - (0)

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