The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:
 








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Yankees (70-63) @ Blue Jays (67-67), Saturday, August 30, 2014, 1:07pm
(37 Comments - 8/30/2014 6:26:55 pm)

Yankees (69-63) @ Blue Jays (67-66), Friday, August 29, 2014, 7:07pm
(57 Comments - 8/30/2014 1:44:11 pm)

NY Times: In Season of 63 Losses So Far, Yankees Find Few as Agonizing as This One
(29 Comments - 8/29/2014 5:37:03 pm)

Yankees (69-62) @ Tigers (71-60),  Thursday, August 28, 2014, 1:08pm
(93 Comments - 8/29/2014 7:31:32 am)

NYDN: Yankees sign Mets reject Chris Young to minor-league deal
(10 Comments - 8/28/2014 1:11:26 pm)

Yankees.com: Detroit sock city: Yanks hammer Price, gain in WC race
(9 Comments - 8/28/2014 1:03:08 am)

Yankees (68-62) @ Tigers (71-59), Wednesday, August 27, 2014, 7:08pm
(85 Comments - 8/27/2014 11:10:42 pm)

NYDN: Yankees GM Cashman reveals how the last-minute deal for Martin Prado went down
(17 Comments - 8/27/2014 7:12:33 pm)

Yankees.com: McCarthy battles, but Yankees’ win streak snapped
(6 Comments - 8/27/2014 10:36:39 am)

Yankees (68-61) @ Tigers (70-59), Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 7:08pm
(71 Comments - 8/26/2014 11:27:45 pm)



Player

Current Projected

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.
-alskor

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

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.
OldYanksFan




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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Yankees (70-63) @ Blue Jays (67-67), Saturday, August 30, 2014, 1:07pm

Joined in progress with the Yankees already shockingly losing, 2-0.

--Posted at 12:53 pm by SG / 37 Comments | - (0)




Friday, August 29, 2014

Yankees (69-63) @ Blue Jays (67-66), Friday, August 29, 2014, 7:07pm

NYY: Chris Capuano (#26, 35, LHP, 1-3, 4.37) vs. TOR: Mark Buehrle (#56, 35, LHP, 11-8, 3.41)

Lineups
Yankees
1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
2. Derek Jeter (R) SS
3. Martin Prado (R) 3B
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B
5. Brian McCann (L) C
6. Carlos Beltran (S) DH
7. Brett Gardner (L) LF
8. Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF
9. Stephen Drew (L) 2B

Blue Jays
1. Jose Reyes (S) SS
2. Melky Cabrera (S) LF
3. Jose Bautista (R) RF
4. Edwin Encarnacion (R) 1B
5. Dioner Navarro (S) C
6. Danny Valencia (R) 3B
7. Steve Tolleson (R) 2B
8. Colby Rasmus (L) DH
9. Kevin Pillar (R) CF

Congratulations to Brett Gardner on his promotion to the seventh spot in the lineup.

--Posted at 3:36 pm by SG / 57 Comments | - (0)



NY Times: In Season of 63 Losses So Far, Yankees Find Few as Agonizing as This One

DETROIT — The Yankees sat in silence, eating their postgame meals or sitting at their lockers, staring at their phones, perhaps searching for solace. For several minutes, though, after an agonizing loss, they seemed as inconsolable as they had been all season.

It had been barely 10 minutes since an Alex Avila shot off the right-field wall with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning had eluded Ichiro Suzuki and given the Detroit Tigers a 3-2 win — not enough time for the Yankees to shake off one of their most painful losses of the year.

In recent days, the Yankees had been playing better than they had for much of the season. But the feeling that they were once again playoff contenders made the loss hurt that much more.

“That was about as bad as I’ve felt walking off a mound in my career,” Shawn Kelley said Thursday after giving up the winning hit. Kelley, who slammed his glove to the ground before the ball even landed, added, “Not good.”

Thankfully I was at work and not watching, but following the bottom of the ninth on Gameday was excruciating.

It would have been nice to gain a game on one of the teams in front of them for the wild card, but at least they didn’t lose much ground either. 

I feel like they have to sweep the next series with Toronto, but I don’t see that happening.

--Posted at 8:35 am by SG / 29 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, August 28, 2014

Yankees (69-62) @ Tigers (71-60),  Thursday, August 28, 2014, 1:08pm

NYY: Hiroki Kuroda (#18, 39, RHP, 9-8, 3.94) vs. DET: Kyle Lobstein (#53, 24, LHP, 0-0, 4.76)

Lineups
Yankees
1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
2. Derek Jeter (R) SS
3. Martin Prado (R) 2B
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B
5. Carlos Beltran (S) DH
6. Brian McCann (L) C
7. Chase Headley (S) 3B
8. Brett Gardner (L) LF
9. Zelous Wheeler (R) RF

Detroit
. Rajai Davis (R) CF
2. Ian Kinsler (R) 2B
3. Miguel Cabrera (R) 1B
4. Victor Martinez (S) DH
5. J.D. Martinez (R) RF
6. Nick Castellanos (R) 3B
7. Don Kelly (L) LF
8. Alex Avila (L) C
9. Andrew Romine (S) SS

Yeah, bat your best offensive player 8th.  I guess to be fair, Lobstein is a left-hander.

Can’t say I like this pitching matchup very much for the Yankees.

--Posted at 11:56 am by SG / 93 Comments | - (0)



NYDN: Yankees sign Mets reject Chris Young to minor-league deal

DETROIT — Chris Young was a bust with the Mets. Can he redeem himself on the other side of town?

The outfielder inked a minor-league deal with the Yankees on Wednesday, reporting to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

“Obviously it’s a guy that’s had some success in his career,” Joe Girardi said. “It’s a very good outfielder, it’s a guy who can hit the ball out of the ballpark. We’re going to see what we have.”

Young hit .205/.283/.346 with eight home runs and 28 RBI in 88 games for the Mets this season before being released on Aug. 15. An All-Star in 2010 with the Diamondbacks, Young has four career seasons of 20-plus homers, his best campaign coming in 2010 when he had 27 homers, 91 RBI and 28 stolen bases.

See, this is where I make a snarky comment along the lines of “If you’re not good enough to play for the Mets…”, but the Mets actually have a better run differential than the Yankees this year.  Granted, that’s in the inferior National League, but still.

Anyway, I don’t have a major problem with this.  Young has hit lefties reasonably well in his career (.254/.357/.458) and could be useful on the bench when rosters expand if he shows them anything in AAA.  If not, he doesn’t get on the roster.

--Posted at 8:42 am by SG / 10 Comments | - (0)




Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Yankees.com: Detroit sock city: Yanks hammer Price, gain in WC race

DETROIT—The Yankees have been talking about working better quality at-bats throughout their batting order, one through nine, over their last winning week. In one memorable inning Wednesday night at Comerica Park, every single hitter in the lineup delivered on that promise.

Beginning with leadoff man Jacoby Ellsbury, nine straight batters collected hits as the Yankees took a swing at the record books. The resulting eight-run inning sent David Price to the showers early as New York defeated the Tigers, 8-4, to move to within 2 1/2 games of Seattle for the second American League Wild Card spot.

The Yanks are quite familiar with Price from his previous service in the AL East, but they have never seen him like this. After being forced to throw 43 pitches in the first two innings, Price didn’t record an out in the third as eight earned runs came around, matching his career high.

Derek Jeter had two RBIs in the frame, starting the damage with a run-scoring double to right field off the left-hander. The Yankees stayed on Price’s pitches throughout the inning, as Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann followed by stringing three consecutive RBI hits together.

Brett Gardner and Francisco Cervelli also collected run-scoring singles before Tigers manager Brad Ausmus finally claimed the ball from Price, who recorded no swings and misses in the inning. Blaine Hardy recorded the first out on an Ellsbury sacrifice fly, and Jeter lifted a sac fly to push home the eighth run.

The nine straight hits off Price—who hadn’t allowed nine hits in any of his last 10 starts—were three shy of a Major League record set by the 1920 Cardinals and equaled by the 1930 Brooklyn Robins. Price permitted 12 hits overall, working two-plus innings.

The Yankee offense actually looked like a legitimate MLB offense for an inning there.  Still, take away those nine straight hits and eight runs in the third inning and they lose 4-0.

Shane Greene had another strong game and I am starting to believe he’s developed to the point that his minor league track record is of limited utility when trying to forecast him going forward.  There’s nothing in his peripherals that indicate particularly unsustainable good fortune, as he entered the game with a BABIP against of .321 and a HR/FB rate of 12.5%, both above league average.  He’s pitched about as well as his ERA says he has.

I was just hoping the Yankees wouldn’t get swept here, but now a series win seems like a real possibility. 

Not a likely one, but a possibility nonetheless.

--Posted at 9:40 pm by SG / 9 Comments | - (0)



Yankees (68-62) @ Tigers (71-59), Wednesday, August 27, 2014, 7:08pm

NYY: Shane Greene (#61, 25, RHP, 3-1, 3.17) vs. DET: David Price (#14, 28, LHP, 12-9, 3.00)

Lineups
Yankees
1. Smellsbury (L) CF
2. Derek Jeter (R) SS
3. Martin Prado (R) 2B
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B
5. Carlos Beltran (S) RF
6. Brian McCann (L) DH
7. Chase Headley (S) 3B
8. Brett Gardner (L) LF
9. Francisco Cervelli (R) C

Detroit
1. Ian Kinsler (R) 2B
2. Torii Hunter (R) RF
3. Miguel Cabrera (R) 1B
4. Victor Martinez (S) DH
5. J.D. Martinez (R) LF
6. Nick Castellanos (R) 3B
7. Alex Avila (L) C
8. Eugenio Suarez (R) SS
9. Rajai Davis (R) CF

Yeah, bat your best offensive player 8th.  I guess to be fair, Price is a left-hander.

Can’t say I like this pitching matchup very much for the Yankees.

--Posted at 3:53 pm by SG / 85 Comments | - (0)



NYDN: Yankees GM Cashman reveals how the last-minute deal for Martin Prado went down

Lately Martin Prado has provided a much-needed spark for the Yankees’ revived offense, hitting .417 with six doubles and three home runs while his ballclub was winning seven of nine games to get back in the wild-card chase.

Though he went 0-for-4 in a 5-2 loss to the Tigers on Tuesday night, Prado has been invaluable, playing four different positions while injecting the Yankees’ clubhouse with energy and selflessness that seem to have changed the vibe.

And to think, by about 3 p.m. on July 31, an hour before the trading deadline, Brian Cashman had pretty much given up on trying to make a deal for Prado.

Cashman had engaged Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers for several days on the possibility, and the rebuilding D-Backs were willing to trade Prado, no doubt at least partly because he is owed $22 million over the next two seasons.

But Towers was looking for a bigger haul in return than simply Pete O’Brien, the slugging minor league catcher. In the days leading up to the deadline, and for much of that Thursday, he proposed multi-player deals asking for various Yankee prospects Cashman wasn’t willing to trade.

It’d be interesting to see who Towers was asking for.

--Posted at 8:43 am by SG / 17 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Yankees.com: McCarthy battles, but Yankees’ win streak snapped

DETROIT—The Yankees used Brandon McCarthy’s most dominant outing in pinstripes as a springboard to a five-game winning streak, one that resuscitated their flagging postseason dreams. Eyeing this series as crucial to that cause, they’ll now need to start a new roll.

McCarthy didn’t have that same razor-sharp command against the Tigers, who peppered the right-hander for nine hits over 6 1/3 innings in handing the Yankees a 5-2 loss on Tuesday night at Comerica Park in a game delayed more than an hour at the start due to rain.

The loss put the Yankees three games back of Detroit and Seattle in the race for the second American League Wild Card spot.

Eh, I’m just hoping the Yankees don’t get swept here.  And I’ll keep hoping that even after they lose tomorrow and Thursday.

--Posted at 10:11 pm by SG / 6 Comments | - (0)



Yankees (68-61) @ Tigers (70-59), Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 7:08pm

NYY: Brandon McCarthy (#38, 30, RHP, 8-12, 4.01) vs. DET: Rick Porcello (#21, 25, RHP, 14-8, 3.10)

Lineups
Yankees
1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
2. Derek Jeter (R) DH
3. Brian McCann (L) C
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B
5. Carlos Beltran (S) RF
6. Martin Prado (R) 2B
7. Stephen Drew (L) SS
8. Chase Headley (S) 3B
9. Ichiro Suzuki (L) LF

Detroit
1. Ian Kinsler (R) 2B
2. Torii Hunter (R) RF
3. Miguel Cabrera (R) 1B
4. Victor Martinez (S) DH
5. J.D. Martinez (R) LF
6. Nick Castellanos (R) 3B
7. Alex Avila (L) C
8. Eugenio Suarez (R) SS
9. Rajai Davis (R) CF

I miss TPBG™...

The Tigers entered 2014 as arguably the best team in the American League on paper, but are now staring into the abyss.  They still control their own destiny with six games left against Kansas City, and they have the advantage of a fairly soft schedule over the test of the season with heaping helpings of the Indians, Twins and White Sox.

Not to mention the three-game cream puff series that starts tonight.

The Yankees are not even remotely in the same class as Detroit, and it would be a miracle if the were to win even one game of this series.  Think 2012 ALCS, but make the Tigers better and the Yankees worse and you should get a sense of the carnage that will be unfurled, beginning tonight.

--Posted at 3:12 pm by SG / 71 Comments | - (0)



A Tale of Two Offenses

Offense PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO HBP GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS LOB
A 4891 4409 514 1101 197 18 118 481 373 903 45 93 93 23 .250 .312 .383 .695 897
B 4809 4331 515 1065 182 18 114 484 370 933 45 103 95 24 .246 .310 .375 .685 856

 

--Posted at 8:41 am by SG / 22 Comments | - (0)




Monday, August 25, 2014

Yankees.com: Yanks’ streak to five after makeup-game win in KC

KANSAS CITY—Michael Pineda turned his back to home plate in the fifth inning Monday night and gazed out at center field following his fourth strikeout. A few hundred feet away, the Kauffman Stadium CrownVision HD scoreboard provided a replay of Mike Moustakas’ solo home run off the Yankees’ right-hander, two innings earlier.

Pineda observed this, then turned around, stomped on the mound, and redeemed himself by making Moustakas strikeout victim No. 5.

The Moustakas home run was all Pineda would allow in New York’s fifth straight win, a 8-1 triumph over the Royals. The Yankees visited Kansas City to make up a June 9 postponement, and they now head to Detroit to continue a tough stretch that includes 13 games—and four different cities—in 13 days.

The Royals managed just five hits in 6 1/3 innings off Pineda, who made his MLB-leading 15th straight start allowing six hits or fewer. Pineda’s control and command matched his dazzling repertoire, as he issued zero walks and struck out five. His seventh start this season surrendering two runs or fewer dropped his ERA to 1.95.

It usually takes the Yankees a week to score eight runs.

Pineda’s continued to look strong since returning from the 60 day DL.  Let’s hope he can stay healthy.

--Posted at 9:18 pm by SG / 12 Comments | - (0)



Yankees (67-61) @ Royals (72-57), Monday, August 25, 2014, 7:10pm

NYY: Michael Pineda (#35, 25, RHP, 2-2, 2.05) vs. KCR: James Shields (#33, 32, RHP, 12-6, 3.28)

Lineups
Yankees
1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
2. Derek Jeter (R) SS
3. Brian McCann (L) C
4. Carlos Beltran (S) DH
5. Stephen Drew (L) 2B
6. Martin Prado (R) LF
7. Chase Headley (S) 1B
8. Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF
9. Zelous Wheeler (R) 3B

Kansas City
1. Jarrod Dyson (L) CF
2. Omar Infante (R) 2B
3. Alex Gordon (L) LF
4. Billy Butler (R) 1B
5. Salvador Perez (R) C
6. Raul Ibanez (L) DH
7. Lorenzo Cain (R) RF
8. Mike Moustakas (L) 3B
9. Alcides Escobar (R) SS

No Gardner = No chance.

We know just how hot Kansas City can be around this time of the year.  Forecast for 94 degrees at first pitch.  Hopefully Pineda’s pine tar doesn’t melt.

--Posted at 3:27 pm by SG / 77 Comments | - (0)



NYDN: Masahiro Tanaka makes for meaningful September for Yankees

Nothing comes easy for the Yankees these days, certainly not scoring runs, and so even after they scratched out a 4-3 walk-off win against the White Sox on Friday night, their chances of playing meaningful baseball deep into September seem to be iffy at best.

And in that case it’s only natural to ask if it makes sense to pitch Masahiro Tanaka regardless.

The Yankees say it does and I tend to agree. They need to find out if his elbow will hold up under game conditions rather than waiting until spring training, because if he winds up needing Tommy John surgery, obviously the earlier the better.

In other words, the last thing they should do is bring the 2016 season into question, in addition to 2015.

But are they putting Tanaka at greater risk by pitching him in the coming weeks, after he was diagnosed in July with a small tear in his elbow ligament?

“We’ve asked the doctors that same question like three times,” GM Brian Cashman said by phone on Friday. “Should we slow him down? Should we sit him down? And they say no, he’s doing all the right things.

“So we’re following their instructions. A small tear can repair itself with rehab, and that’s why the doctors have recommended this course of action. So we’re going to let him pitch. It’s in our best interests for him to declare himself healthy.”

So far so good on Tanaka’s rehab.  If he’s back in the rotation in September it still may not be enough for the Yankees to get into the postseason, but it will make things more interesting and make me more optimistic about his 2015 availability.  I’ll still worry about every pitch being “the one”, but I suppose that is the case for every pitcher.

--Posted at 8:27 am by SG / 27 Comments | - (0)




Sunday, August 24, 2014

Yankees.com: McCann’s three-run HR extends Yanks’ streak

NEW YORK—Pumping his right fist, Brian McCann screamed as he bounced off first base, tracking the flight of his deep drive into the right-field seats. He made three hard left turns and charged toward a waiting mob of celebrating teammates, having just watched the ink dry on his new Yankees signature moment.

McCann came off the bench to deliver a pinch-hit, three-run home run in the bottom of the 10th inning on Sunday, lifting the Yankees to a 7-4 victory over the White Sox. The winning rally keeps momentum on the Bombers’ side as they prepare to embark on a crucial road trip.

“It was awesome,” said McCann, who was doused with two icy showers while he spoke in front of the home dugout. “Pinch-hitting is not the easiest thing to do, so to lay off some tough pitches and get a pitch up in the zone, then not miss it with the game on the line—it’s really, really special.”

I was out all day and figured there was no way in hell the Yankees would win a game started by Chris Sale, so catching what happened on MLB network was a pretty nice surprise.

If only the Yankees hadn’t shit the bed against Houston in the first two games of this homestand…

--Posted at 6:44 pm by SG / 9 Comments | - (0)



White Sox (59-69) @ Yankees (65-61), Sunday, August 24, 2014, 1:05pm

CHW: Chris Sale (#49, 25, LHP, 10-3, 2.12) vs. NYY: Hiroki Kuroda Chris Capuano (#, 35, LHP, 1-3, 4.35)

Lineups
White Sox
1. Alexei Ramirez (R) SS
2. Carlos Sanchez (S) 2B
3. Jose Abreu (R) 1B
4. Avisail Garcia (R) RF
5. Conor Gillaspie (L) 3B
6. Paul Konerko (R) DH
7. Dayan Viciedo (R) LF
8. Tyler Flowers (R) C
9. Jordan Danks (L) CF

Yankees
1. Derek Jeter (R) SS
2. Martin Prado (R) LF
3. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B
4. Carlos Beltran (S) DH
5. Chase Headley (S) 3B
6. Francisco Cervelli (R) C
7. Zelous Wheeler (R) RF
8. Ichiro Suzuki (L) CF
9. Brendan Ryan (R) 2B

Here’s the list of qualified starting pitchers that have a better ERA+ than Chris Sale 2014.

Clayton Kershaw

What happens when a pitcher as good as Sale faces a lineup as anemic as the Yankees?  I’m guessing nothing good for the Yankees.

--Posted at 8:27 am by SG / 85 Comments | - (0)




Saturday, August 23, 2014

Yankees.com: Yanks punctuate Torre’s day with third straight win

NEW YORK—Over the last several days, manager Joe Girardi has insisted that his players’ effort has been there and that he still believed the team’s lackluster offense will turn around. Even position players initiated a midweek meeting, hoping to ignite their underachieving bats.

Saturday afternoon’s 5-3 victory over the White Sox wasn’t a giant offensive leap in the right direction, but marked some noticeable progress. The win was the Yankees’ third in a row and first time since Aug. 8 that they scored more than four runs in a game.

“I’ve said all along this offense has the ability to score more runs and they’ve worked really hard at it,” said Girardi. “Today, we put together some good at-bats and some walks in there and took advantage of a miscue on their part and did a nice job.”

I had no idea this team could actually score more than four runs in a game.  What’s next, beating Chris Sale tomorrow?

--Posted at 6:01 pm by SG / 5 Comments | - (0)



White Sox (59-69) @ Yankees (65-61), Saturday, August 23, 2014, 1:05pm

CHW: Scott Carroll (#67, 29, RHP, 5-7, 4.99) vs. NYY: Hiroki Kuroda (#18, 39, RHP, 8-8, 3.97)

Lineups
White Sox
1. Alejandro De Aza (L) LF
2. Carlos Sanchez (S) 2B
3. Jose Abreu (R) 1B
4. Adam Dunn (L) DH
5. Avisail Garcia (R) RF
6. Conor Gillaspie (L) 3B
7. Alexei Ramirez (R) SS
8. Jordan Danks (L) CF
9. Adrian Nieto (S) C

Yankees
1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
2. Brett Gardner (L) LF
3. Brian McCann (L) C
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B
5. Carlos Beltran (S) DH
6. Martin Prado (R) 2B
7. Chase Headley (S) 3B
8. Stephen Drew (L) SS
9. Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF

If the Yankees win today and Baltimore loses, the Orioles’ division lead will shrink to a mere seven games! #Season2Watch!

--Posted at 10:08 am by SG / 19 Comments | - (0)




Friday, August 22, 2014

Yankees.com: Prado homers, delivers walk-off winner for Yanks

NEW YORK—Martin Prado connected for a game-winning single to center field in the bottom of the ninth inning, lifting the Yankees to a 4-3 victory over the White Sox on Friday night at Yankee Stadium.

The decisive hit came off Daniel Webb. Ichiro Suzuki started the ninth with a single to center field and advanced on a Brett Gardner sacrifice bunt. Derek Jeter lined softly to center, and after an intentional walk, Webb walked Mark Teixeira to load the bases.

Prado worked the count full, then hit a ground ball up the middle and was mobbed between first and second as the Yankees celebrated their second straight win.

Martin Prado, True Yankee™.

--Posted at 10:51 pm by SG / 16 Comments | - (0)



White Sox (59-68) @ Yankees (64-61), Friday, August 22, 2014, 7:05pm

CHW: John Danks (#50, 29, LHP, 9-8, 4.94) vs. NYY: Shane Greene (#61, 25, RHP, 3-1, 2.91)

Lineups
White Sox
1. Alejandro De Aza (L) LF
2. Carlos Sanchez (S) 2B
3. Jose Abreu (R) 1B
4. Adam Dunn (L) DH
5. Avisail Garcia (R) RF
6. Conor Gillaspie (L) 3B
7. Alexei Ramirez (R) SS
8. Jordan Danks (L) CF
9. Tyler Flowers (R) C

Yankees
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF
2. Derek Jeter (R) SS
3. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B
5. Martin Prado (R) 2B
6. Brian McCann (L) DH
7. Chase Headley (S) 3B
8. Francisco Cervelli (R) C
9. Zelous Wheeler (R) RF

Yay, Zelous is back!

Boo, he’s on the Yankees.

--Posted at 3:09 pm by SG / 26 Comments | - (0)



NJ.com: Yankees’ Brandon McCarthy explains adjustment that’s helped him dominate

NEW YORK — It’s still unclear whether some of Yankees general manager Brian Cashman’s midseason gambles will pay off. Chase Headley had been solid. Stephen Drew hasn’t. Martin Prado has been OK. So has Chris Capuano.

One that’s obviously paid off? Brandon McCarthy. After throwing a complete-game shutout in a 3-0 win over the Astros Thursday, the tall righty improved to 5-2 with a 1.90 ERA since coming to the Yankees in an early-July trade with the Diamondbacks in exchange for lefty starter Vidal Nuno.

But things weren’t going so well for McCarthy before the deal. The 31-year-old was 3-10 with a 5.01 ERA before donning pinstripes for the first time.

On Thursday, McCarthy said the biggest difference between his time in Arizona and in New York has been that the Yankees have encouraged him to reincorporate his four-seamer and cutter into his regular repertoire.

Here’s how McCarthy said the change went down.

It’s fairly apparent the Yankees have a budget under Hal Steinbrenner.  They will have about $30M coming off the books next season, and I doubt they will spend much more than that in the offseason given the less than dazzling array of available talent.  Missing the playoffs again and losing the #Season2ScratchMyAss thing may entice them to go above budget, but I’d be surprised if they go significantly higher than that.

I’m convinced they will make a strong push for Jon Lester, which I am not crazy about.  I think they’ll make a decent effort at keeping David Robertson.  If both of those things are true, they likely can’t keep McCarthy.  McCarthy has been great with the Yankees, and his peripherals with Arizona indicated that he was likely pitching better than his raw data indicated. 

Should the Yankees try and bring McCarthy back next year?  He’s not without risk given his past health record, but he could probably be re-signed on a shorter-term deal than the more marquee free agents.  His average fastball velocity this season is the highest of his career, and 2 mph faster than his career average. 

Frankly, I think they’d be better off with McCarthy, Robertson and some other mid-tier free agent position player.  Lester is not as good as CC Sabathia was when he was signed, and he’ll be a couple of years older than Sabathia was.  The back-end of a Lester contract could be every bit as bad as Sabathia’s looks right now.

McCarthy could make four to six more starts this year.  If he continues doing what he’s done as a Yankee to this point, I think they will try and bring him back.

--Posted at 9:33 am by SG / 31 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, August 21, 2014

FanGraphs: Brian McCann Probably Couldn’t Be Given Away For Free

Well, there’s a few things. First, here’s an incredibly depressing list of numbers:

13.1 — 10.8 — 9.0 — 9.7 — 6.4

You don’t know what those are. I’ll tell you what they are. They’re McCann’s walk rate, declining pretty steadily from 2010 until now, where it’s less than half what it was, and this is sort of the thing: McCann’s lousy year isn’t any one thing. It’s a few small things, adding up. Giving back 30 or so free trips to first base isn’t fatal by itself, but it certainly isn’t helping. It’s not why his batting average is lousy, obviously; it is a part of why his OBP is below .300.

There’s also this: McCann’s power, which everyone figured would translate well to the short right field porch at Yankee Stadium, hasn’t come with him. It’s actually less that he’s failed to take advantage of right field in the Bronx, and more that it’s been the only thing making his homer totals look even respectable.

It seems like almost any free agent contract seems like a bad one as soon as it’s signed.  I doubt anyone would trade for the Robinson Cano contract as well as he’s played this year, for example.

In the non-injury division, McCann is probably the biggest disappointment on this year’s Yankees team, at least for me.  I liked his signing, figured a year removed from shoulder surgery he’d hit better than he did in 2013 and also figured it was a massive upgrade over what the Yankees got out of catcher in 2013.  I didn’t expect Beltran to do much this year or over the life of his contract, and as much crap as I give the Ellsbury signing he’s been the Yankees’ second best position player this year.  Granted, that’s sort of like being the best-groomed Red Sock or the healthiest member of the Yankees rotation, but he hasn’t been a problem.  He’s been an asset, albeit an overpaid one.

CAIRO had McCann pegged at around 3 WAR, without incorporating pitch framing where he has rated well again this year.  Instead he’s a bit over 1 WAR and not likely to get much past that at this point.

I’d like to think he’ll be better next year, but I wouldn’t bet a penny on it.

It’s particularly frustrating given the fact that the Yankees have organizational depth at catcher and could’ve potentially used the money spent on McCann elsewhere.  But what’s done is done, and now I’ll just hope he hits well over the rest of the season and gives us some reason to think 2015 will be better.

--Posted at 6:41 pm by SG / 27 Comments | - (0)



Yankees.com: McCarthy masters Astros in four-hit shutout

NEW YORK—The Yankees enjoyed yet another strong outing from Brandon McCarthy, this one a dominating four-hit shutout that helped his club to a 3-0 victory over the Astros on Thursday afternoon, salvaging the finale of a three-game series at Yankee Stadium.

McCarthy has been terrific since being acquired in a midseason trade, and the right-hander flashed that form in a 107-pitch outing, walking none and striking out eight.

Chase Headley connected for a two-run double to highlight a three-run second inning, giving McCarthy an early lead and accounting for the Yankees’ scoring off Houston lefty Dallas Keuchel.

New York had been 2-for-19 with runners in scoring position in losing the first two games of the series against Houston, but Headley capitalized on the team’s first chance of the afternoon after hits by Mark Teixeira and Martin Prado, banging a ball down the right-field line.

If two crappy teams play a meaningless day game, does it make a sound?

Good for the Yankees salvaging an impressive 2-4 record against Houston this year.  It’s not likely to end up mattering, but if they do end up missing the postseason by a game or two, this can be pointed to as one of the reasons.

As could the decision to let Robinson Cano go and replace with him about 30% of his value at around 300% of his cost*.

But I digress.

*Estimated, may not be completely accurate

--Posted at 3:23 pm by SG / 7 Comments | - (0)



NY Post: Joe Girardi out of options as Yankees’ ship sinks

The end comes slowly, one painful injury, one telling loss after another.

That is what is happening to the Yankees.

On a night Carlos Beltran was scratched from the lineup with more elbow pain, the Yankees dropped their second straight game to the lowly Astros, 5-2, Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium, the fourth loss in five games to Houston this season.

Manager Joe Girardi didn’t do himself any favors, bringing in David Huff and Esmil Rogers in the seventh inning as the Yankees blew a 2-1 lead. The 42,102 fans at the Stadium let loose with the loudest boos of the season as the bullpen surrendered five singles and four runs in the inning, ruining Michael Pineda’s effort.

Girardi’s offense continues to be stuck in reverse.

Yes, the Yankees’ STARTING ROTATION has been hurt by injuries.  Their offense has not, unless they really thought Carlos Beltran was going to hit at the level he hit at back when they should have signed him 10 years ago.

Their offense hasn’t really been hurt by injuries.  They are just a bad offense. 

It makes for boring baseball and I don’t see how it’s going to change in the near future..

--Posted at 11:43 am by SG / 25 Comments | - (0)




Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Yankees.com: Yankees Stink

NEW YORK—The Yankees’ fading postseason hopes were dealt another major blow on Wednesday. Relievers David Huff and Esmil Rogers were knocked around in a four-run seventh inning as the Astros rallied for a 5-2 victory at Yankee Stadium.

Houston rapped out five straight hits, all singles, as they batted around to spoil a solid second start off the disabled list by Michael Pineda, who held the Astros to one run over the first six innings before issuing a walk to start the seventh.

With manager Joe Girardi’s bullpen choices limited after the recent barrage of close games, Huff faced two batters and allowed a hit. Rogers gave up hits to the next four; Jake Marisnick had an RBI single, Robbie Grossman knocked home two and Jose Altuve collected an RBI single before Rogers escaped with two strikeouts.

The loss, the Yankees’ seventh in their last nine games, will further dent New York’s chances of keeping the lights on in October. New York dropped five games behind the Tigers for the second American League Wild Card slot, and have lost four of five to the Astros this season.

Houston’s a really good team, so there’s no shame in losing to them at home.

I think you can consider the Yankees’ season effectively over now.

--Posted at 11:22 pm by SG / 19 Comments | - (0)



Astros (53-73) @ Yankees (63-60), Wednesday, August 20, 2014, 7:05pm

HOU: Scott Feldman (#46, 31, RHP, 6-9, 4.45) vs. NYY: Michael Pineda (#35, 25, RHP, 2-2, 1.82)

Lineups
Astros
1. Robbie Grossman (S) RF
2. Jose Altuve (R) 2B
3. Chris Carter (R) DH
4. Dexter Fowler (S) CF
5. Jason Castro (L) C
6. Jon Singleton (L) 1B
7. Marwin Gonzalez (S) SS
8. Matt Dominguez (R) 3B
9. Jake Marisnick (R) LF

Whatever
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF
2. Derek Jeter (R) DH
3. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B
5. Brian McCann (L) C
6. Chase Headley (S) 3B
7. Stephen Drew (L) SS
8. Martin Prado (R) 2B
9. Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF

Wake me up when the season’s over.

--Posted at 3:48 pm by SG / 51 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Whatever

NEW YORK—Chris Carter was having about the worst kind of night at the plate as you could imagine through four at-bats Tuesday night, going 0-for-4 with four strikeouts in his first game since being named the American League Player of the Week.

He made up for it with one mighty swing in the ninth inning.

Carter broke a tie by launching a no-doubt, three-run home run to left field on a 3-0 pitch off David Robertson with one out—his career-high 30th homer of the season—to send the Astros to a 7-4 win over the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.

--Posted at 10:12 pm by SG / 18 Comments | - (0)



Astros (52-73) @ Yankees (63-59), Tuesday, August 19, 2014,  7:05pm

HOU: Brett Oberholtzer (#39, 24, LHP, 4-8, 3.87) vs. NYY: Chris Capuano (#26, 35, LHP, 1-3, 4.13)

Lineups
Houston
1. Robbie Grossman (S) RF
2. Jose Altuve (R) 2B
3. Chris Carter (R) DH
4. Dexter Fowler (S) CF
5. Jason Castro (L) C
6. Matt Dominguez (R) 3B
7. Jon Singleton (L) 1B
8. Jake Marisnick (R) LF
9. Gregorio Petit (R) SS

Yankees
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF
2. Derek Jeter (R) SS
3. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B
5. Carlos Beltran (S) DH
6. Martin Prado (R) 2B
7. Brian McCann (L) C
8. Chase Headley (S) 3B
9. Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF

The Yankees pretty much have to sweep this homestand if they want to keep their laughably small postseason odds from dwindling to imperceptible levels.  They play arguably the hardest schedule of any of the postseason contenders over the remainder of the season, and that includes the upcoming three home games against the Astros and three more home games against the White Sox.

--Posted at 4:10 pm by SG / 94 Comments | - (0)



North Jersey: Out on Castillo

NEW YORK – The Yankees won’t be signing Cuban outfielder/second baseman Rusney Castillo, according to an industry source.

It’s tempting to get mad about this as another indicator of the Yankees’ tightening purse strings, but Castillo wasn’t really a great fit for the roster the Yankees have now and for the foreseeable future.  I’d rather see what Refsnyder can do at 2B at a fraction of the cost of Castillo anyway, and if Castillo’s best position is CF, that doesn’t really work on a team that has a brilliant CF in LF and a mediocre one in CF.

--Posted at 7:51 am by SG / 25 Comments | - (0)



Newsday: Ambidextrous Pitcher Pat Venditte Hoping for His Call to the Majors

Yankees minor-leaguer Pat Venditte is one phone call away from his dream of making it to the major leagues. But there are two sides to this pitcher’s story. If that call comes, Venditte will become the first man in major-league history to be promoted as an ambidextrous pitcher.

There have been countless switch hitters in the game’s history, of course, but there has never been a pitcher to make it to the majors who could routinely throw with both arms. And Venditte is determined to prove that his pitching style is not a gimmick. He believes he can get big-league hitters out—with either hand—if given the chance.

“Any time you’re different in this game, there’s a level of doubt that comes along with it,” he said. “You overcome that with good performance.”

Venditte’s performance in the minor leagues shows he could be ready for the call. He has a 2.65 ERA and has held opposing hitters to a .217 batting average while playing in Double-A and Triple-A this season.

Still, the injury-depleted Yankees have reached into the minor leagues for a pitcher 25 times this season but have never called on the 29-year-old switch pitcher.

General manager Brian Cashman said last week that Venditte’s name has come up lately in the team’s conversations when a reliever was needed.

“I visualize myself coming out of that bullpen in New York every day,” Venditte said. “It’s a thought that crosses my mind, and it would be crazy if it didn’t.’‘

It seems unlikely to me that we’ll ever see Venditte, but boy would it be a blast. They already have a special rule written for him (the pitcher must indicate which arm he is going to use when he comes to the mound. Once he has done so, he cannot switch during an at-bat except for rare exceptions like the pitcher injuring himself and being unable to pitch from that side) so I’d love to see it actually used!

--Posted at 12:55 am by Brian Cronin / 6 Comments | - (0)




Monday, August 18, 2014

NY Times: Thanks to Pitchers, Yankees Finish Trip on an Upbeat Note

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The grim and near silent atmosphere in the visitors’ clubhouse Friday, when the hitting instructor Kevin Long noted that morale was low, suggested the dreary reality facing the Yankees.

After two miserable losses in Baltimore and a shutout defeat here Friday that extended their losing streak to five games, one more loss in the sequence could easily have doomed the fragile 2014 Yankees.

But it did not come, and what started out as a disastrous trip turned into something a tad less odious.

Seems like I picked a perfect time to go on vacation and not see a single pitch of a Yankees game. 

Actually, that can be said for large swaths of the season.

--Posted at 11:49 am by SG / 27 Comments | - (0)




Sunday, August 17, 2014

Yankees.com: If At First You Don’t Succeed in Losing, Try, Try Again

Hiroki Kuroda retired 17 straight batters to highlight a dominant outing and Brett Gardner drove in two runs as the Yankees completed their road trip with a 4-2 victory over the Rays on Sunday at Tropicana Field.

Mark Teixeira also hit an eighth-inning homer as New York wrapped up a weather-shortened five-game trip with a pair of weekend wins over Tampa Bay, heading home 2-3 overall after dropping two games to the Orioles in Baltimore.

The Yankees were held hitless into the fifth inning by Jeremy Hellickson, but mounted a two-out rally that produced three runs. Martin Prado notched the Yankees’ first hit of the afternoon, a double to left field that moved Stephen Drew to third base after a walk.

Gardner cashed both runs with a base hit into center field, and after Derek Jeter singled through the left side of the infield, Jacoby Ellsbury picked up his first hit of the road trip with a single to left field. Ellsbury had been in an 0-for-17 skid.

The Yankees get an off day tomorrow and then begin what is most likely their biggest homestand of the season, six games against the Astros and the White Sox. If they can’t go at least 4-2 on the homestand then their season is more over than it already is.

--Posted at 5:07 pm by Brian Cronin / 14 Comments | - (0)



Yankees (62-59) @ Rays (61-62), Sunday, 17 August 2014, 1:40pm

Hiroki Kuroda vs. Jeremy Hellickson


YANKEES
TBA

RAYS
TBA

I am not going to be around Sunday afternoon, so I figured I’d get a placeholder thread up here for discussions.

--Posted at 11:00 am by Brian Cronin / 24 Comments | - (0)




Saturday, August 16, 2014

Yankees.com: Well, You Can’t Lose Them All

These series between the Yankees and Rays have always been circled on Derek Jeter’s calendar, since they provide the opportunity to sleep in his own bed, just a short drive away from Tropicana Field. This one sounded and felt a lot like a home game.

Jeter connected for a run-scoring, go-ahead single in the ninth inning off Jake McGee on Saturday, lifting New York to a 3-2 victory over Tampa Bay that snapped the Bombers’ five-game losing streak.

Brett Gardner scored from second base on the ground ball, shooting past a diving attempt by second baseman Logan Forsythe. Jeter had tried unsuccessfully to bunt the runner ahead, but his knock was rewarded with a standing ovation from much of the sellout crowd of 31,042.

David Robertson, pitching for the first time since Aug. 7, recorded the final three outs for his 32nd save. Dellin Betances was credited with the victory, having pitched a scoreless eighth inning with a strikeout.

Shane Greene struck out a career-high 10 men over six-plus innings but settled for a no-decision after the Rays mounted a soft seventh-inning rally that tied the game.

I’ve already checked out on this season, so I will instead look to the positives for next season.

1. Shane Greene is looking pretty damn good.

2. Masahiro Tanaka hasn’t hit his inevitable setback during his rehab yet.

3. Carlos Beltran’s return to right field signals that his age 38 season will be a healthy season spent in the field and it will offensively be a marked improvement over his age 37 season.

Okay, that last one was a stretch.

--Posted at 7:05 pm by Brian Cronin / 29 Comments | - (0)



Ships That Pass in the Night

Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing, only a signal shown, and a distant voice in the darkness; So on the ocean of life, we pass and speak one another, only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence.

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Yankees (61-59) @ Rays (61-61), Saturday, 16 August 2014, 4:10pm

Shane Greene (25, RHP, 3-1, 2.89) vs. Drew Smyly (25, LHP, 7-10, 3.73)

YANKEES
Gardner LF
Jeter DH
Ellsbury CF
Teixeira 1B
Beltran RF
Headley 3B
Prado 2B
Cervelli C
Ryan SS

RAYS
Jennings CF
Zobrist 2B
Joyce LF
Longoria 3B
Loney 1B
Escobar SS
Belnome DH
Casali C
Kiermaier RF

The Rays are in the midst of passing the Yankees in the standings and it is pretty depressing.

--Posted at 11:57 am by Brian Cronin / 41 Comments | - (0)




Friday, August 15, 2014

Yankees.com: The Last One to Leave Has to Turn the Lights Off

The Yankees have run out of ways to explain their season-long difficulty in scoring runs. The numbers aren’t matching up to the backs of the baseball cards, and the time for excuses has expired. They need production, and they need it urgently.

For at least one more night, that proved to be easier said than done. Alex Cobb handcuffed their lineup to six hits over 7 1/3 innings as the Yankees lost their fifth straight game, dropping a 5-0 decision to the Rays on Friday at Tropicana Field.

The Yankees managed one runner as far as second base through the first seven innings against Cobb, who struck out eight and helped Tampa Bay reach the .500 mark for the first time since April 22. The Yankees have totaled seven runs during this losing skid.

Good golly, Miss Molly, this team is so bad.

--Posted at 10:32 pm by Brian Cronin / 11 Comments | - (0)



Yankees (61-58) @ Rays (60-61), Friday, 15 August 2014, 7:10pm

Brandon McCarthy (30, RHP, 7-11, 4.31) vs. Alex Cobb (26, RHP, 7-6, 3.41)

YANKEES
Gardner LF
Jeter SS
Ellsbury CF
Teixeira 1B
Beltran DH
Headley 3B
Drew 2B
Prado RF
Cervelli C

RAYS
Jennings CF
Zobrist LF
Joyce DH
Longoria 3B
Loney 1B
Forsythe 2B
Escobar SS
Casali C
Kiermaier RF

Well, let’s just hope that when this series ends, the Rays are not over .500. It is crazy that they have a realistic chance of passing the Yankees in the standings. Stupid Yankees.

--Posted at 2:34 pm by Brian Cronin / 35 Comments | - (0)



Yankees.com: Steinbrenner: Offense needs to step it up

Hal Steinbrenner believes it is important to factor injuries into evaluations of how his Yankees have performed this season to date, but the team’s managing general partner also is firmly pointing his finger at the bats to score more runs.

Steinbrenner spoke with a small group of reporters at the quarterly Owners Meetings, taking place at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore. The Yankees have not received the expected returns after investing a combined $283 million on Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran as free agents this past offseason.

“All teams have injuries, but when you lose four of your starting pitchers by the All-Star break, three by the first or second week in May—it’s going to have an impact on any club, in my opinion, regardless of how good their farm system is,” Steinbrenner said.

“That’s certainly been part of it. But we put a lot of money into the offense as well, and they have been, as a whole, inconsistent. It’s been a problem. And it needs to change, needless to say.”

The Yankees entered play on Wednesday ranked 11th in the American League in runs scored (471) and OPS (.696), and ninth in home runs (107). They had scored in just three of their past 29 innings, and they’ve scored one run or fewer in 22 games this year.

Steinbrenner, who authorized the July acquisitions of Stephen Drew, Chase Headley and Martin Prado in an attempt to upgrade the lineup, said that he wants to see the production improve over the season’s final 44 games.

“They have to. They know that,” Steinbrenner said. “They’re professionals and the talent is there. But they’ve got to step it up and they know that. ... Look, my job is to be an optimist, and I am confident.”

Steinbrenner added that he has not made any decisions about general manager Brian Cashman’s future. Cashman has held his current position since February 1998, and his current three-year contract expires after 2014.

Ah, I see. So that was the issue all along. The owner just forgot to tell the offense to do better. Well, that should be solved now. Phew.

Seriously though, I wonder if Cashman’s job might actually be in jeopardy this time around.

--Posted at 9:03 am by Brian Cronin / 37 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, August 14, 2014

ESPN: Rob Manfred one vote short on 1st ballot

Rob Manfred was one vote short of the required three-quarters majority Thursday in balloting to succeed Bud Selig as baseball commissioner, a person familiar with the balloting told The Associated Press.

Manfred, baseball’s chief operating officer, received 22 votes and Boston Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner got eight, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because no statements were authorized.

I don’t think it is overselling it to suggest that the winner of the Manfred/Werner competition might be one of the most important developments in baseball for the next five or so years.

Like Bud Selig or not, electing Manfred is a vote for things staying pretty much the way they are. If you like labor peace, Manfred is the way to go.

Werner, meanwhile, is supported by a dedicated eight owner bloc led by Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf that want to try to do to the players what the other leagues have done in their respective recent labor disputes. They look at the NFL, the NHL and the NBA (where Reinsdorf owns the Chicago Bulls) and say, “They all broke their players unions and got massive concessions from the players. Why can’t we do that, too?”

So if you’re a fan of labor peace, a fan of sharing the vast MLB wealth with the players, a fan of not having a former Boston Red Sox owner becoming the Commissioner of Major League Baseball and, of course, a fan of a system that allows the Yankees to exploit their economic advantages, then you should be pulling for Manfred here.

It’ll be fascinating to see who caves.

EDITED TO ADD: Well,  THAT didn’t take long. Rob Manfred is the new Commissioner of Major League Baseball. As it turned out, it was the Nationals who broke from Jerry Reinsdorf’s eight-owner voting bloc (earlier, Milwaukee and Tampa Bay had also done so, back when Reinsdorf had a tentative ten-owner bloc) to vote for Manfred. Here are the teams whose owners held out against Manfred:

White Sox
Red Sox
Blue Jays
Angels
Diamondbacks
Athletics
Reds

Note that the way the system works is that once there is a majority, everyone agrees to vote for the winning candidate “officially,” so he was technically elected unanimously. Just throwing that out there in case anyone is confused by headlines like “Manfred elected unanimously.”

Well, as stated, I’m a fan of this move, if only because he is the lesser of two evils. Let’s hope that 2016 doesn’t bring any labor strife.

--Posted at 4:58 pm by Brian Cronin / 24 Comments | - (0)



Yankees.com: After Pineda’s solid start, Yanks let one get away

The deep eighth-inning drive off Adam Jones’ bat disappeared over the left-center-field fence to find a safe landing spot in the bullpen, and the Yankees’ hopes of catching the Orioles in the American League East may have vanished with it.

Dellin Betances served up a game-tying Jonathan Schoop homer, spoiling his third inning of relief, and Jones blasted a go-ahead three-run homer off Shawn Kelley that sent the Yankees to a 5-3 loss on Wednesday at Camden Yards. The defeat dropped New York a season-high eight games behind Baltimore for the division lead.

“That’s where we are? Well, I think we were more looking at that second Wild Card spot,” Kelley said. “That’s a little bit better number. That seems a little more achievable at this point, but we’ve got to win every day. We’ve got to go out there and we got to win series and we got to win in our division. We didn’t get it done.”

You almost have to love the ability of Bryan Hoch (who is a very good writer) to avoid just pointing out crazy cuckoo bananas this game was by Yankee manager Joe Girardi. He literally brought Dellin Betances in in the 6th inning and then tried to get 2 and 2/3rd innings out of the guy with a 2-1 lead. Say whaaaaaaa???? Like I said, it was just crazy cuckoo bananas. Especially learning after the game that David Robertson was going to come in had Betances gotten the second out of the 8th. So D-Rob could get four outs with an off day tomorrow but not six? For serious?

Yankee killer Jonathan Schoop had a hilarious quote about his success against the Yankees (4 of his 11 home runs have come against the Yankees): “I don’t know exactly why, but I think I put more emphasis, more focus on [those at-bats], I need to learn how to do that every at-bat.” Yeah, probably a good idea there, Schoop. What an odd thing to say.

Anyhow, while clearly this is up there with the most painful losses of the season, I can’t help but come away still pretty pleased about two things…

1. Michael Pineda was excellent. He doesn’t even look fully healed and he was still excellent. I think he’ll even be better once he’s fully healthy. Awesome news for next year.

2. Speaking of next year, Masahiro Tanaka continues to throw without incident. He became the latest flat ground all star today and as he notes, things went well

“It’s feeling really good,” Tanaka said through an interpreter. “Really, I didn’t feel anything special compared to just regular tossing. I thought everything went well.”

It seems pretty hard to believe he seemingly is coming back, but, well, all we can judge is what he’s doing and so far he’s doing okay.

--Posted at 12:25 am by Brian Cronin / 35 Comments | - (0)




Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Yankees (61-57) @ Orioles (68-50), Wednesday, 13 August 2014, 7:05pm

Michael Pineda (25, RHP, 2-2, 1.83) vs. Chris Tillman (26, RHP, 9-5, 3.73)

YANKEES
Gardner LF
Jeter SS
Ellsbury CF
Teixeira 1B
Beltran DH
Headley 3B
Drew 2B
Prado RF
Cervelli C

ORIOLES
Markakis RF
Davis 3B
Jones CF
Cruz-DH
Young LF
Pearce 1B
Flaherty SS
Schoop 2B
Hundley C

The Yankees are pretty much screwed this year, but it’s weird, as screwed as they are (and they definitely are screwed) it is just too hard to look at a team that’s 2.5 games out of the playoffs on August 13th and say “Yeah, it’s over. They’re done.” That just can’t be. It is UNLIKELY that they will make the playoffs, but to be so close to the playoffs with over forty games left to play, you just can’t give up yet.

Luckily, even if you disagree with that sentiment, the Yankees are still giving us reasons to pay attention tonight as Michael Pineda returns to the team tonight. He was one of the few early bright spots and if he can return well, then at least 2015 will look a little bit brighter.

--Posted at 5:13 pm by Brian Cronin / 115 Comments | - (0)




Monday, August 11, 2014

Yankees.com: Yankees can’t keep up with first-place Orioles

The Yankees arrived at Camden Yards recognizing what a pivotal week this will be for their postseason chances, perhaps determining if they have a realistic shot at the division or should instead focus their attention upon one of the Wild Card spots.

After one game, the early returns aren’t what they would have hoped. Chris Davis hit a go-ahead fifth-inning homer, Nelson Cruz also went deep and the Yankees’ bats couldn’t respond in an 11-3 loss to the American League East-leading Orioles on Monday evening.

Davis started the night on the bench before replacing Manny Machado, who exited in the third inning with a right knee sprain. The slugger’s 21st home run carried deep into the right-field seats off Yanks starter Chris Capuano, boosting Bud Norris to a win in his five-inning effort.


Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright,
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light;
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children run amok,
But there is no joy in New York— because the Yankees fucking suck.

--Posted at 11:22 pm by Brian Cronin / 50 Comments | - (0)



Yankees (61-56) @ Orioles (67-50), Monday, 11 August 2014, 7:05pm

Chris Capuano (35, LHP, 1-2, 3.91) vs.  Bud Norris (29, RHP, 9-7, 3.68)

YANKEES
Gardner LF
Jeter SS
Ellsbury CF
Teixeira 1B
Beltran DH
Headley 3B
Drew 2B
Prado RF
Cervelli C

ORIOLES
Markakis RF
Machado 3B
Jones CF
Cruz DH
Young LF
Pearce 1B
Joseph C
Flaherty SS
Schoop 2B

No Chris Davis or JJ Hardy tonight, so the Yankees really need to win this game. Of course, they “really need” to win every game against Baltimore going forward, seeing as how they are six games back of the Orioles with 45 games to go, but still.

--Posted at 3:40 pm by Brian Cronin / 43 Comments | - (0)



ESPN: Michael Pineda to start Wednesday

The Yankees will forgo another rehab start for Michael Pineda and throw him into the fire for Wednesday night’s series finale against the Baltimore Orioles.

Originally, Esmil Rogers had been listed as the probable starter, and Pineda, who has made two rehab starts for Triple-A Scranton, had been slated to make one more. But with time, and games, running out on the Yankees in their quest to remain in the AL East race—they trail the Orioles by six games, with 10 remaining between the teams—the Yankees have decided to get Pineda back into the rotation.

He will face right-hander Chris Tillman (9-5, 3.73 ERA) in a 7:05 p.m. ET start

It is kind of crazy to think that he hasn’t pitched since April 23rd.

It seems a bit rash to skip a last rehab start to throw him against a decent offense like Baltimore, but I suppose these are desperate times.

--Posted at 2:31 pm by Brian Cronin / 6 Comments | - (0)




Sunday, August 10, 2014

Yankees.com: Kuroda, Yanks go quietly in finale loss to Tribe

It was understandable when the Indians’ Corey Kluber, one of the American League’s top pitchers this season, put the Yankees’ bats to sleep Saturday. But it was quite puzzling, if not frustrating for the 46,152 in attendance, to see Carlos Carrasco produce the same result Sunday.

Making his first start since April 25, Carrasco, who was moved to the bullpen after just four starts this year, limited the Yankees to only two hits over five innings and 77 pitches. The Indians’ bullpen then tossed four solid frames, and the Yankees dropped the rubber match to the Tribe, 4-1.

“We ran into some pretty good pitching this week,” said manager Joe Girardi. “That’s part of the game. You’re going to go through that as an offense.”

After a loud 10 runs on Friday, the Yankees’ offense was baffled again by Cleveland’s pitching staff, which produced 19 straight scoreless innings against them, dating back to the last two innings of Friday’s game. Jacoby Ellsbury hit a solo homer in the ninth to break that streak, but the Yankees’ fifth hit of the day was too little, too late.

This is up there with one of the most embarrassing losses of the season. On top of that, the Tigers blew a five-run lead behind David Price and then lost in the nineteenth inning to the Blue Jays.

Not good, people. Not good.

--Posted at 8:20 pm by Brian Cronin / 15 Comments | - (0)



Indians (58-59) @ Yankees (61-55), Sunday, August 10, 2014, 1:05pm

CLE: Carlos Carrasco (#59, 27, RHP, 3-4, 3.88) vs. NYY: Hiroki Kuroda (#18, 39, RHP, 7-7, 3.97)

Lineups
Cleveland
1. Jason Kipnis (L) 2B
2. Jose Ramirez (S) SS
3. Michael Brantley (L) DH
4. Carlos Santana (S) 1B
5. Yan Gomes (R) C
6. Lonnie Chisenhall (L) 3B
7. Zach Walters (S) LF
8. Chris Dickerson (L) CF
9. Ryan Raburn (R) RF

Yankees
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF
2. Derek Jeter (R) SS
3. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B
5. Carlos Beltran (S) DH
6. Stephen Drew (L) 2B
7. Martin Prado (R) 3B
8. Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF
9. Francisco Cervelli (R) C

It would be nice if Kuroda doesn’t give up more runs in the first inning than the Yankees will score all game.

The Yankees are running out of time in their quest for the postseason.  With 46 games remaining for both them and the Orioles, if the Orioles go 23-23 the Yankees would have to go 28-18 just to tie them at 90 wins.  Can this Yankee team play at the equivalent of a 99 win pace over 46 games?  I guess they could, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

The Angels are a game ahead of the Orioles and seem even less likely for the Yankees to catch.  So it’s essentially a four team race for the second wild card spot between surging Kansas City(14-3 in their last 17 games), the Mariners(that get to play Texas and Houson 13 more times), the Blue Jays, and the only one of those four teams that has scored fewer runs than they’ve allowed (the Yankees).

Interestingly, Toronto and Seattle have yet to play this season and have seven games remaining against each other.  So it’s likely those games will have a big impact on which of those teams is still there at the end.  It’s also conceivable that the Royals could catch Detroit for their division lead, which just means the Yankees would be contending against another better team for a wild card spot.

Wouldn’t it be hilarious if the Mariners end up taking that spot, with their margin over the Yankees the difference in WAR between Robinson Cano and a certain highly overpaid CF? A gap that currently sits at about 2.5 wins?

Hilarious.

--Posted at 9:42 am by SG / 46 Comments | - (0)




Saturday, August 9, 2014

Yankees.com: Effective McCarthy absorbs first loss with Yanks

NEW YORK—Brandon McCarthy made one costly mistake, but it was all the Indians needed to ride another dominant performance by Corey Kluber toward Cleveland’s 3-0 victory at Yankee Stadium on Saturday.

McCarthy allowed a two-run home run to Jose Ramirez in the second inning, the rookie shortstop’s first career home run, and Cleveland never looked back.

McCarthy (4-1) was solid again, which has become expected since he was traded to the Yankees last month. The veteran right-hander allowed two runs on seven hits while striking out eight in 6 1/3 innings.

This was McCarthy’s first loss in six starts as a member of the Yankees, and it ended a personal six-game winning streak.

Kluber stifled the Yankees’ offense throughout his six innings. The Yankees mounted their best scoring chance against the right-hander when they led off the sixth inning with a pair of singles, one of which came off the bat of Derek Jeter. The captain’s 3,431st career hit moved him past Honus Wagner and into sole possession of sixth place on Major League Baseball’s all-time list.

It can be annoying when you have one of those tip your hat to the opposing pitcher games when it feels like the offense is to blame and not the pitcher, but this one didn’t feel like that.  Kluber’s on one a hell of a run, and the Yankees couldn’t do much against him.  Paul O’Neill deserved better.

--Posted at 5:46 pm by SG / 17 Comments | - (0)



Indians (57-59) @ Yankees (61-54), Saturday, August 9, 2014, 1:05pm

CLE: Corey Kluber (#28, 28, RHP, 12-6, 2.55) vs. NYY: Brandon McCarthy (#38, 30, RHP, 7-10, 4.37)

Lineups
Cleveland
1. Jason Kipnis (L) 2B
2. David Murphy (L) LF
3. Michael Brantley (L) DH
4. Carlos Santana (S) 1B
5. Yan Gomes (R) C
6. Nick Swisher (S) RF
7. Lonnie Chisenhall (L) 3B
8. Jose Ramirez (S) SS
9. Chris Dickerson (L) CF

Yankees
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF
2. Derek Jeter (R) SS
3. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
4. Carlos Beltran (S) DH
5. Chase Headley (S) 1B
6. Stephen Drew (L) 2B
7. Martin Prado (R) 3B
8. Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF
9. Francisco Cervelli (R) C

Remember how good Masahiro Tanaka was this season?  In some ways, Kluber has been as good or even better.

Player Age Tm Lg W L ERA IP H R ER HR BB SO BF ERA+ FIP WHIP
Kluber 28 CLE AL 12 6 2.55 165.2 144 54 47 10 35 177 664 147 2.49 1.08
Tanaka 25 NYY AL 12 4 2.51 129.1 111 39 36 15 19 135 508 154 3.07 1.01

Needless to say, I am not loving the Yankees’ chances today.  Maybe the pre-game tribute to Paul O’Neill will get them amped up though.

--Posted at 10:31 am by SG / 41 Comments | - (0)



Yankees.com: One-Legged Man Wins Ass-Kicking Contest

NEW YORK—The home clubhouse at Yankee Stadium was clearing out late on Thursday afternoon, and behind closed doors, the Yankees had decided that Esmil Rogers was the best choice to serve as their spot starter for Friday’s series opener against the Indians.

There was only one problem: Rogers’ cell phone kept kicking over to voice mail, and so manager Joe Girardi guessed that his pitcher was on the subway. Rogers eventually got the message and so did the Yankees’ bats, pounding the Indians in a 10-6 victory.

New York sent 10 men to the plate in a five-run first inning, providing Rogers—who was claimed off waivers from the Blue Jays on July 31—with all of the support he’d need in his first Yankees start.

“Unbelievable; an unbelievable opportunity,” Rogers said. “When you come in the first inning and they got five right away, I just told myself try to throw five or six innings and win the game.”

Rogers worked five solid frames of one-run ball before Carlos Beltran blew the game open in the sixth with his 11th career grand slam and first as a Yankee, crushing a John Axford pitch into the lower deck in right field.

The Indians had intentionally walked Jacoby Ellsbury to load the bases for Beltran, who was 1-for-8 lifetime against Axford before that matchup.

“I faced John Axford many times in the National League; I guess I had maybe like one hit against him,” Beltran said. “He felt that it was the right matchup for me. I was able to put a good at-bat and come through for the team.”

You’d have thought the Yankees could finally win via an easy blowout when they scored five runs in the first. 

You’d have been wrong.  But a win is a win.

Congratulations to Derek Jeter on tying Honus Wagner on the all time hits list.  It’s virtually impossible that Jeter will get past anyone else by the end of the season, but passing Wagner would be a pretty major accomplishment.

--Posted at 12:05 am by SG / 12 Comments | - (0)




Friday, August 8, 2014

Indians (57-58) @ Yankees (60-54), Friday, August 8, 2014, 7:05pm

CLE: Trevor Bauer (#47, 23, RHP, 4-6, 4.20) vs. NYY: Esmil Rogers (#53, 28, RHP, 1-0, 5.84)

Lineups
Cleveland
1. Jason Kipnis (L) 2B
2. Mike Aviles (R) 3B
3. Michael Brantley (L) DH
4. Carlos Santana (S) 1B
5. David Murphy (L) LF
6. Nick Swisher (S) RF
7. Chris Dickerson (L) CF
8. Jose Ramirez (S) SS
9. Roberto Perez (R) C

Yankees
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF
2. Derek Jeter (R) SS
3. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
4. Carlos Beltran (S) DH
5. Brian McCann (L) C
6. Chase Headley (S) 1B
7. Stephen Drew (L) 2B
8. Martin Prado (R) 3B
9. Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF

The over/under on innings pitched by Rogers tonight is two.
The over/under on runs allowed by Rogers is nine.

--Posted at 2:57 pm by SG / 86 Comments | - (0)



NJ.com: Yankees: Esmil Rogers will take David Phelps’ start Friday

NEW YORK — The weeklong mystery is finally over.

Esmil Rogers will start for the Yankees against the Indians on Friday, the team said.

David Phelps was set to start the game, but the righty went on the disabled list Monday with elbow inflammation.

Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports the team will call up righty Bryan Mitchell from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Mitchell would serve as bullpen depth.

The Yankees claimed Rogers off waivers from the Blue Jays on July 31.

Well, this ought to be interesting.  Rogers has made 42 career starts and has an ERA of 5.59 in those games.  Opposing batters have hit .300/.367/.482 in 1002 plate appearances in those starts.

--Posted at 8:20 am by SG / 22 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, August 7, 2014

Yankees.com: Sun Rises in the West

NEW YORK—It is a small sample size, but the battery of rookie right-hander Shane Greene and catcher Francisco Cervelli has produced favorable results, to the point where Yankees manager Joe Girardi has expressed a preference to keep the pair together.

Now, there is little doubt that Cervelli should count on getting an assignment behind the plate in five days. Greene sailed through eight scoreless innings, scattering four hits to pick up his third Major League win in a 1-0 victory over the Tigers on Thursday at Yankee Stadium.

Greene surrendered a leadoff single to Ian Kinsler in the ninth before Girardi summoned David Robertson, who shut the door for his 31st save as the Yankees took three of four games from the Tigers in the series.

New York produced its only run off starter Rick Porcello in the third inning. Carlos Beltran stroked a two-out single, moved to third on a Chase Headley hit and scored as Stephen Drew lifted a ground-rule double down the left-field line.

Have to be happy beating one of the top two teams in the league three times in a four game series.

Well, not necessarily happy since this team still stinks.  How about, less unhappy?

--Posted at 3:36 pm by SG / 32 Comments | - (0)



Tigers (62-49) @ Yankees (59-54), Thursday, August 7, 2014, 1:05pm

DET: Rick Porcello (#21, 25, RHP, 13-5, 3.18) vs. NYY: Shane Greene (#61, 25, RHP, 2-1, 3.68)

Lineups
Detroit
1. Rajai Davis (R) LF
2. Ezequiel Carrera (L) CF
3. Ian Kinsler (R) 2B
4. Victor Martinez (S) DH
5. J.D. Martinez (R) RF
6. Don Kelly (L) 1B
7. Nick Castellanos (R) 3B
8. Alex Avila (L) C
9. Andrew Romine (S) SS

Yankees
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF
2. Martin Prado (R) 3B
3. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
4. Carlos Beltran (S) DH
5. Chase Headley (S) 1B
6. Stephen Drew (L) SS
7. Francisco Cervelli (R) C
8. Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF
9. Brendan Ryan (R) 2B

I’m trying to tell if that’s a house money lineup or not.  It kind of is, and it kind of isn’t.

It’s pretty wild that Porcello and Greene are effectively the same age (25 years and 223 days vs. 25 years and 263 days).  One has 1010 MLB innings, and one has 29.1.

The Yankees have already won two more games in this series than I expected them to, but it would be kind of nice if they actually won the series. 

It won’t happen, but it would’ve been nice.

--Posted at 9:35 am by SG / 77 Comments | - (0)



Newsday: Yankees lefthander CC Sabathia knows how it feels to be David Price

The Yankees would have preferred Price to be starting for them rather than the Tigers, who added a third Cy Young winner to their collection with the July 31 deadline deal. It’s not like Brian Cashman didn’t try.

Not only did Cashman call his Rays counterpart, Andrew Friedman, about trading for Price, he also dialed up the Red Sox’s Ben Cherington to discuss Jon Lester and John Lackey. Those conversations didn’t get very far.

Both GMs told Cashman they had been given approval by ownership to trade their elite pitchers anywhere in the majors—except to the Yankees.

Cashman expected as much from the Red Sox. Who do you think came up with the term “Evil Empire” anyway? He held out a sliver of hope on Price, but Friedman soon gave him the thumbs-down. So the Yankees, the contender that most wanted an ace-type starter, got shut out while the two teams that least needed one—the Tigers and A’s—wound up with Price and Lester, respectively.

I can kind of see the Red Sox’s point of view if they do intend to make a serious run at Lester once he hits free agency.  I don’t know why the Rays wouldn’t at least listen to what the Yankees might have offered.

--Posted at 8:18 am by SG / 6 Comments | - (0)




Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Yankees.com: Yankees Stink a Bit Less

NEW YORK—Brian McCann connected for a go-ahead home run off Justin Verlander in the seventh inning, leading the Yankees to a 5-1 victory over the Tigers on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.

Chase Headley also slugged a fifth-inning homer into the second deck in right field, his second as a Yankee, while Verlander remained winless at the current Yankee Stadium.

Chris Capuano received a standing ovation from the home crowd after striking out eight Tigers over 6 2/3 scoreless innings, permitting five hits and just an unearned run.

Adam Warren relieved Capuano after a pair of two-out singles in the seventh, qualifying for the win when McCann gave the Yankees the lead with a blast that carried into the right-field bullpen—his 13th homer of the season.

Warren pitched out of trouble in the eighth after Stephen Drew committed two errors on the same play—bobbling Victor Martinez’s grounder and then throwing wildly to first base. Warren struck out J.D. Martinez and got Nick Castellanos to fly out, stranding two men aboard.

When Drew made his errors I thought for sure this one was going to end up as another tough loss, but kudos to Warren for getting out of a mess.

All is not rosy though, as Mark Teixeira came out of the game with some sort of hand injury, the severity of which is yet to be announced.  Hopefully it won’t be too long.

--Posted at 9:59 pm by SG / 23 Comments | - (0)



Tigers (62-48) @ Yankees (58-54), Wednesday, August 6, 2014, 7:05pm

DET: Verlander (10-9, 4.66) vs. NYY: Capuano (1-2, 4.50)

Lineups
Tigers
1. Rajai Davis (R) LF
2. Ian Kinsler (R) 2B
3. Miguel Cabrera (R) 1B
4. Victor Martinez (S) DH
5. J.D. Martinez (R) RF
6. Nick Castellanos (R) 3B
7. Bryan Holaday (R) C
8. Andrew Romine (S) SS
9. Ezequiel Carrera (L) CF

Yankees
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF
2. Derek Jeter (R) SS
3. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B
5. Carlos Beltran (S) DH
6. Brian McCann (L) C
7. Chase Headley (S) 3B
8. Stephen Drew (L) 2B
9. Martin Prado (R) RF

A 4.50 ERA is better than a 4.66 ERA.  Advantage, Yankees.

--Posted at 3:50 pm by SG / 53 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Yankees.com: Yankees Stink

NEW YORK—The Yankees’ one-run victory over the Tigers on Monday marked the team’s 15th straight game decided by two runs or fewer. Manager Joe Girardi said afterward that he didn’t mind the consecutive narrow games so long as they won them.

But Tuesday night, after seeing a two-run lead disappear, and ultimately dropping the second game of the series to Detroit, 4-3, it appeared as though preserving the win in their 16th straight close game had begun to finally wear on them.

Locked in a 3-3 game in the 12th inning, Alex Avila crushed his eighth home run of the season to deep right-center field off Matt Daley in the Yankees reliever’s second inning of work.

The loss spoiled a superb night from Hiroki Kuroda, who spun one of his most efficient games this season, lasting seven innings and surrendering three runs over just 91 pitches.

Annoying game.  Annoying season.

--Posted at 10:27 pm by SG / 30 Comments | - (0)



Tigers (61-48) @ Yankees (58-53), Tuesday, August 5, 2014, 7:05pm

DET: David Price (#14, 28, LHP, 11-8, 3.11) vs. NYY: Hiroki Kuroda (#18, 39, RHP, 7-7, 3.98)

Lineups
Detroit
1. Rajai Davis (R) CF
2. Ian Kinsler (R) 2B
3. Miguel Cabrera (R) 1B
4. Victor Martinez (S) DH
5. Torii Hunter (R) RF
6. J.D. Martinez (R) LF
7. Nick Castellanos (R) 3B
8. Alex Avila (L) C
9. Andrew Romine (S) SS

Yankees
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF
2. Derek Jeter (R) SS
3. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B
5. Carlos Beltran (S) DH
6. Brian McCann (L) C
7. Chase Headley (S) 3B
8. Martin Prado (R) RF
9. Brendan Ryan (R) 2B

I haven’t seen a matchup this one-sided since yesterday.

--Posted at 4:30 pm by SG / 131 Comments | - (0)



Heyman: Nationals Claim Matt Thornton on Waivers, so the Yankees Let Them Have Him

#nats put in claim on matt thornton, and nats get him

I’m guessing the Yankees jumped at the chance to lose the second year of Thornton’s deal.  On the surface, Thornton’s stats look pretty good with a 3/1 K/BB rate and a 2.55 ERA.  But if you look beyond those,he’s had a negative impact in a lot of the situations he’s been asked to deal with.  His RE24 is -2.54, which I think paints a better picture of how he’s impacted the team.

The Yankees do still have David Huff, who’s not really a lefty specialist.  Then again, I’m not sure Thornton who throws nothing but 92-95 mph straight fastballs was either. 

--Posted at 1:40 pm by SG / 29 Comments | - (0)



WSJ: Masahiro Tanaka Feels Nothing, Yankees Rejoice

Masahiro Tanaka’s priceless right elbow didn’t explode Monday. It didn’t bark, it didn’t grab. The Yankees’ invaluable ace played catch for the first time since he left the rotation in early July with an elbow injury, and there were no tweaks, there was no soreness. It was a normal game of catch, and that represents one of the biggest victories of the Yankee season so far.

“I think it all went well,” Tanaka said.

It was the first major test for Tanaka, whose arm holds the key to the Yankees’ season. After dominating the league for the first three months of the season, Tanaka complained of elbow soreness after a loss to Cleveland on July 8. An MRI revealed he had a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow.

Because the tear was small, doctors advised him to undergo a platelet-rich plasma injection and hope the area would stabilize without season-ending surgery.

Tanaka took three weeks off, finally picking up a baseball on Monday to make 25 throws from 60 feet in the Yankee outfield before the team’s game against Detroit. Had he felt any discomfort at all, his season might have been over. Next season, too.

It seems to me that the true test will be how he feels over the next few days than how he felt yesterday but this is good news.

--Posted at 10:31 am by SG / 17 Comments | - (0)




Monday, August 4, 2014

Yankees.com: Blind Squirrel Finds Acorn

NEW YORK—The Yankees knew that starting a homestand against the American League Central-leading Tigers was going to be challenging. They knew that facing the last three AL Cy Young Award winners in the first three games of their series was going to be even more challenging. They knew that they would need to score runs.

But what they didn’t know—and maybe what they should have known—was that Monday night, Brandon McCarthy was going to be the Brandon McCarthy they’ve come to know over the last few weeks. He outpaced Tigers ace Max Scherzer for nearly six innings, allowing an unearned run, which was just good enough for a hard-fought 2-1 victory for New York.

The win was McCarthy’s fifth win in six Yankees starts in what could be called a midseason renaissance since starting the season 3-10 in Arizona. The most noticeable change he has instituted has been varying his pitch selection, which had become too sinkerball-heavy with the D-backs. His comfort with catcher Brian McCann continued to play a large role in the opener.

On Monday, McCarthy wasn’t his most-dominant self—he had thrown 69 pitches after three innings—but it was his ability to escape jams that impressed. In the second, he avoided bases-loaded trouble by striking out the next three batters, going on to record eight strikeouts.

McCarthy’s certainly making a case to be in the Yankees’ rotation in 2015.

--Posted at 9:48 pm by SG / 20 Comments | - (0)



Tigers (61-47) @ Yankees (57-53), Monday, August 4, 2014, 7:05 pm

DET: Max Scherzer (#37, 29, RHP, 13-3, 3.27) vs. NYY: Brandon McCarthy (#38, 30, RHP, 6-10, 4.56)

Lineups
Detroit
1. Ian Kinsler (R) 2B
2. Ezequiel Carrera (L) CF
3. Miguel Cabrera (R) 1B
4. Victor Martinez (S) DH
5. Torii Hunter (R) RF
6. J.D. Martinez (R) LF
7. Don Kelly (L) 3B
8. Alex Avila (L) C
9. Eugenio Suarez (R) SS

Yankees
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF
2. Derek Jeter (R) SS
3. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B
5. Carlos Beltran (S) DH
6. Brian McCann (L) C
7. Chase Headley (S) 3B
8. Stephen Drew (L) 2B
9. Martin Prado (R) RF

There should be a rule that if you can’t even slug .400, you shouldn’t bat third.  Actually, research has shown you should hit your best hitter leadoff and your worst hitter third so the Yankees are running an optimal lineup.

When you look at the pitching matchups in this series, you realize that it’s pretty much pointless for the Yankees to make the postseason just so they can get their asses handed to them by Detroit or Oakland. 

Not that we really need to be that worried about it.

--Posted at 4:13 pm by SG / 46 Comments | - (0)



CBS Sports:  Tanaka plays catch, feels good after throwing for first time since injury

As expected, Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka played catch on Monday afternoon for the first time since suffering a partially torn elbow ligament the week before the All-Star break. He received a platelet-rich plasma injection three weeks ago.

Sweeny Murti of WFAN has an update:

Tanaka was sweaty and smiling after 50-pitch game of catch. Told me he felt good and no pain. First of many steps.

— Sweeny Murti (@YankeesWFAN) August 4, 2014

It’s only the first step, but there’s a very good chance the flat squad team will be getting an All Star addition shortly.

--Posted at 2:29 pm by SG / 7 Comments | - (0)



Yankees.com: Hell Freezes Over

BOSTON—The Red Sox wished Stephen Drew well when they dealt him to the Yankees last week, offering a fresh start to his season as he relocated from the home clubhouse to join the visitors’ dugout, but they didn’t expect that he would come back to hurt them so quickly.

Drew had a pair of hits and drove in four runs in his third game against his former club before Brett Gardner gave the Yankees the lead with his career-high 15th home run, powering a wild 8-7 slugfest victory over the Red Sox on Sunday at Fenway Park.

“It was a good game for all of us, getting a win,” Drew said. “It’s been a whirlwind for three days, but it’s still baseball, so you go out there and do your job. That’s the way I look at it.”

Gardner’s solo shot came off Craig Breslow, putting Esmil Rogers in position to pick up the victory in his Yankees debut. New York took two of the three games in Boston, and Gardner said that he sees signs that the offense is finally getting on track.

“I feel like it,” Gardner said. “I’ve been saying that all year and we’re [110] games in. It’s about time. Hopefully we can take this momentum home with us this week against the Tigers, get on a little roll and get a winning streak going.”

Rk Name Age Tm bWAR
1 Mike Trout 22 LAA 5.8
2 Josh Donaldson 28 OAK 5.2
3 Kyle Seager* 26 SEA 4.5
4 Michael Brantley* 27 CLE 4.4
5 Robinson Cano* 31 SEA 4.3
6 Adrian Beltre 35 TEX 4.2
7 Jose Bautista 33 TOR 4.2
8 Alex Gordon* 30 KCR 4.2
9 Brett Gardner* 30 NYY 4
10 Adam Eaton* 25 CHW 3.8
11 Jose Abreu 27 CHW 3.8
12 Jose Altuve 24 HOU 3.8
13 Dustin Pedroia 30 BOS 3.7
14 Steve Pearce 31 BAL 3.7
15 Ian Kinsler 32 DET 3.5
16 Leonys Martin* 26 TEX 3.4
17 Salvador Perez 24 KCR 3.3
18 Lorenzo Cain 28 KCR 3.3
19 Ben Zobrist# 33 TBR 3.3
20 Edwin Encarnacion 31 TOR 3.2
21 Erick Aybar# 30 LAA 3.2

You kind of wish the Yankees would have done better than splitting six games against the teams with the two worst records in the AL, but I’ll take it.  Unfortunately, the Yankees suffered yet another blow to their rotation with the news that David Phelps left the game with elbow inflammation.  Right now it looks like he will miss at least one start. I’ve been concerned about Phelps ever since he had some forearm tightness last year, but hopefully this is just a passing thing. 

The rotation may get a reinforcement soon, as Michael Pineda pitched pretty well in a rehab game yesterday, getting up to 94 mph.

Also encouraging is the new that Masahiro Tanaka could play catch today.  I’m still not very optimistic that he will be able to avoid Tommy John surgery but stranger things have happened.

--Posted at 7:11 am by SG / 25 Comments | - (0)




Sunday, August 3, 2014

Yankees (56-53) @ Red Sox (49-61), Sunday, August 3, 2014, 8:00pm

NYY: David Phelps (#41, 27, RHP, 5-5, 3.89) vs. BOS: Clay Buchholz (#11, 29, RHP, 5-7, 5.87)

Lineups
Yankees
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF
2. Derek Jeter (R) SS
3. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B
5. Carlos Beltran (S) DH
6. Brian McCann (L) C
7. Chase Headley (S) 3B
8. Stephen Drew (L) 2B
9. Martin Prado (R) RF

Boston
. Brock Holt (L) 3B
2. Dustin Pedroia (R) 2B
3. David Ortiz (L) DH
4. Yoenis Cespedes (R) LF
5. Mike Napoli (R) 1B
6. Daniel Nava (S) RF
7. Xander Bogaerts (R) SS
8. Jackie Bradley Jr. (L) CF
9. Christian Vazquez (R) C

Someone ought to tell ESPN that this matchup is no longer a primetime worthy matchup.

--Posted at 4:27 pm by SG / 85 Comments | - (0)




Saturday, August 2, 2014

Yankees.com: Pigs Fly

BOSTON—If the Yankees are to accomplish their goal of being present in the postseason race, now that their final third of the season has officially started, they’ll need to take advantage of whatever opportunities come their way.

Three straight walks by a rookie starter would qualify as one of those chances, flashing in neon orange. The Yankees did not miss it, as they sent 10 men to the plate in a four-run third inning to spark a 6-4 victory over the Red Sox on Saturday at Fenway Park.

--Posted at 10:10 pm by SG / 27 Comments | - (0)



Yankees (55-53) @ Red Sox (49-60), Saturday, August 2, 2014, 4:05pm

NYY: Shane Greene (#61, 25, RHP, 2-1, 3.28) vs. BOS: Allen Webster (#64, 24, RHP, 1-0, 3.38)

--Posted at 3:02 pm by SG / 36 Comments | - (0)




Friday, August 1, 2014

Yankees.com: Yankees Stink

BOSTON—There were new faces on both sides as the Yankees and Red Sox renewed acquaintances on Friday evening, but the familiar old guard made its presence felt as the weekend series kicked off at Fenway Park.

Dustin Pedroia drove in a pair of runs and David Ortiz also collected an RBI as the Red Sox racked up four runs against Chris Capuano, who took the loss against his former club in Boston’s 4-3 victory.

Derek Jeter hit an eighth-inning home run over the Green Monster, connecting for his third of the year off Junichi Tazawa, but center fielder Mookie Betts made a terrific lunging stab approaching the triangle to take away an extra-base hit from Jacoby Ellsbury and likely save the lead.

Matched against a Red Sox roster that saw wholesale changes in advance of Thursday’s non-waivers Trade Deadline, the Yankees managed two runs in six innings against rookie Anthony Ranaudo, who picked up the victory in his Major League debut.

Ooh, that smell
Can’t you smell that smell?
Ooh, that smell
The smell of death surrounds you, yeah.

Seriously, the Yankees may have lost this one on the scoreboard.  But according to FIP, they won 6.71 - 2.05.

--Posted at 10:49 pm by SG / 9 Comments | - (0)



Yankees (55-52) @ Red Sox (48-60), Friday, August 1, 2014, 7:10pm

NYY: Chris Capuano (#26, 35, LHP, 1-1, 4.30) vs. BOS: Anthony Ranaudo (#0, 24, RHP, 0-0, undef)

Lineups
Yankees
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF
2. Derek Jeter (R) SS
3. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B
5. Carlos Beltran (S) DH
6. Brian McCann (L) C
7. Chase Headley (S) 3B
8. Stephen Drew (L) 2B
9. Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF

Boston
1. Brock Holt (L) RF
2. Dustin Pedroia (R) 2B
3. David Ortiz (L) DH
4. Mike Napoli (R) 1B
5. Allen Craig (R) LF
6. Xander Bogaerts (R) SS
7. Will Middlebrooks (R) 3B
8. David Ross (R) C
9. Mookie Betts (R) CF

These games used to mean something.

Apparently Martin Prado was acquired to ride the pine…

--Posted at 4:30 pm by SG / 40 Comments | - (0)



The “New” Yankees vs. the “Old” Yankees

With the recent acquisitions of Chase Headley, Stephen Drew and Martin Prado, it’s fair to say the Yankees should have a better lineup going forward than they’ve had for most of the season.  The question is, how much better?

Here are the rest of the season Steamer projections for the Yankees’ most frequently used lineup to this point of the season.

Order Player Pos PA wOBA Outs BR
1 Brett Gardner LF 4.45 .328 3 0.54
2 Derek Jeter SS 4.00 .311 3 0.42
3 Jacoby Ellsbury CF 4.00 .332 3 0.51
4 Mark Teixeira 1B 4.00 .348 3 0.54
5 Brian McCann C 4.00 .336 3 0.50
6 Carlos Beltran DH 4.00 .353 3 0.57
7 Ichiro Suzuki RF 4.00 .297 3 0.39
8 Brian Roberts 2B 4.00 .296 3 0.42
9 Kelly Johnson 3B 4.00 .318 3 0.53
36.45 .324 24.00 4.41
p162 714.85

wOBA: Weighted on-base average
BR: Linear weights batting runs
Outs: Outs made at the plate per game

Here’s what the lineup could look like now with the new additions.

Order Player Pos PA wOBA Outs BR
1 Brett Gardner LF 4.56 .328 3 0.55
2 Derek Jeter SS 4.00 .311 3 0.42
3 Jacoby Ellsbury CF 4.00 .332 3 0.51
4 Mark Teixeira 1B 4.00 .348 3 0.54
5 Brian McCann C 4.00 .336 3 0.50
6 Carlos Beltran DH 4.00 .353 3 0.57
7 Chase Headley 3B 4.00 .337 3 0.51
8 Martin Prado RF 4.00 .322 3 0.47
9 Stephen Drew 2B 4.00 .306 3 0.43
36.56 .330 24.00 4.50
p162 728.96

Standard caveats about projections apply.  They are imprecise attempts to estimate a player’s true talent and could be inaccurate in either direction for a myriad number of reasons.

The Yankees added about one-tenth of a run per game.  Over a full season that might be worth a win or two.  We can also probably assume that the defense will be better with Headley at 3B and Drew at 2B, although he’s never played the position before.

The Yankees still face long odds to qualify for the postseason given where they are in the standings and the fact that they still aren’t a particularly good team.  But they are better today than they were on Wednesday, and they did it without harming themselves in the long-term.

It’s hard to complain about that.

--Posted at 9:10 am by SG / 26 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, July 31, 2014

TGS NY: Stephen Drew traded to Yankees

The Boston Red Sox have completed a rare trade with the rival New York Yankees, sending shortstop Stephen Drew to New York, sources told ESPN.

Drew was the fourth member of the Red Sox to be dealt ahead of Thursday’s non-waiver trade deadline, joining Jon Lester, John Lackey and Andrew Miller in the mass exodus from Boston.

Drew joins a Yankees infield that already includes shortstop Derek Jeter, third baseman Chase Headley and shortstop Brian Roberts.

Wow.  I am pumped for the rest of the season now.  Adding a 63 OPS+ bat to displace Brian Roberts’s 85 OPS+ was really the missing piece.

My guess, Kelly Johnson (who got traded for Drew) will out-WAR him over the rest of the season.  My other guess, it’s an irrelevant move.

Just like how the Yankees are becoming irrelevant.

Update: Yankees have acquired [Martin] Prado from Arizona

Prado’s a pretty valuable player because he hits around league average and can play pretty good defense at 3B, 2B and LF.  He’s signed for two more seasons so he gives the Yankees some flexibility when trying to construct their roster going forward.  The cost is believed to be Pete O’Brien, who’s shown great power in the minors, but whose defense and plate discipline make hinder him in his quest for a significant major league career.

--Posted at 3:00 pm by SG / 104 Comments | - (0)



CBS New York: Yankees Linked To Several Players As Trade Deadline Fast Approaches

What they do before Thursday’s 4 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline will likely shape whether or not they make the postseason.

Yankees working hard on trying to improve rotation and bullpen according to a pair of NL GM’s.— Nick Cafardo (@nickcafardo) July 29, 2014

With starting pitchers CC Sabathia (knee) and Ivan Nova (elbow) out for the season, and the likelihood of Masahiro Tanaka (elbow) getting back to pre-injury form sketchy at best, the Yankees have gotten by with the likes of youngsters David Phelps, Chase Whitley and Shane Greene, but they likely cannot be counted on during a pennant race. The Bombers hope to get Michael Pineda (shoulder) back in the middle of August, but definitely could use another starter.

According to multiple reports the Yankees have been linked to big ticket items like Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels of the Philadelphia Phillies, as well as solid youngster Jake Arrieta of the Chicago Cubs and veteran left-hander Brett Anderson of the Colorado Rockies.

I predict the Yankees will make a move or two, but it won’t help them much.  Hopefully it won’t hurt them further down the line.

--Posted at 8:49 am by SG / 143 Comments | - (0)




Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Yankees.com: Yankees Stink

ARLINGTON—One night after producing their biggest inning of the season, the Yankees’ bats quickly went cold against Colby Lewis and the Rangers’ pitching staff in a 3-2 loss on Wednesday at Globe Life Park.

Lewis retired the final 13 batters he faced in a sharp seven-inning outing, recording his second quality start against the Yankees in a week. Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury hit solo homers, accounting for the Yanks’ only run production.

After Derek Jeter was honored by a pregame ceremony that included a surprise appearance by former President George W. Bush, Hiroki Kuroda allowed three first-inning runs as the Yankees were handed their fourth defeat in the last five games.

In the five-hit first inning, Elvis Andrus ripped a run-scoring double down the left-field line, Adrian Beltre knocked home a run with a single to center field, and Leonys Martin blooped a run-scoring hit in front of Gardner in left field.

Very impressive showing by the offense tonight.  In their defense, when you’re facing a tough customer like Colby Lewis, runs are hard to come by.

--Posted at 10:15 pm by SG / 14 Comments | - (0)



Yankees (55-51) @ Rangers (42-65), Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 8:05pm

NYY: Hiroki Kuroda (39, RHP, 7-6, 3.99) vs. TEX: Colby Lewis (34, RHP, 6-8, 6.23)

Lineups
Yankees
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF
2. Derek Jeter (R) SS
3. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B
5. Carlos Beltran (S) DH
6. Chase Headley (S) 3B
7. Francisco Cervelli (R) C
8. Zoilo Almonte (S) RF
9. Brendan Ryan (R) 2B

Rangers
1. Shin-Soo Choo (L) DH
2. Elvis Andrus (R) SS
3. Alex Rios (R) RF
4. Adrian Beltre (R) 3B
5. Jim Adduci (L) LF
6. J.P. Arencibia (R) 1B
7. Leonys Martin (L) CF
8. Robinson Chirinos (R) C
9. Rougned Odor (L) 2B

I hope Kuroda’s up for going nine innings today.  Well eight, since the Rangers won’t need to bat in the bottom of the ninth.

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



The Sustainability of TPBG

Brett Gardner came into 2014 with a career SLG of .381 in 2228 PA.  Gardner’s been a very valuable player for the Yankees in his career, but it’s primarily been due to his ability to get on base at an above-average rate, his ability to use his speed on the bases, and his defense in the outfield.  Since he was often called “The Speedy Brett Gardner” and I am too lazy to keep typing that, he became TSBG.

After a couple of big games in Texas Gardner is now slugging .455 this year and he has hit 13 home runs in 385 at bats this season after hitting 23 in 1932 prior at bats in MLB.  If Gardner has roughly a .381 true talent SLG, here is the standard deviation of his slugging percentage.

+2:.434
+1:.408
Mean:.381
-1: .354
-2: .328

Now it’s worth noting that players do add power as they get older.  If Gardner is closer to a .400 SLG true talent player now, his .455 is still about two standard deviations above his mean.

The truth is, Gardner’s been a different player over the last two season.

Year PA AVG OBP SLG OPS+ BB/PA K/PA P/PA GB% FB% LD% BABIP
2008-2012 1619 .266 .355 .368 93 11.0% 19.5% 4.29 49.3% 28.4% 18.4% .319
2013-2014 1052 .277 .349 .432 116 8.9% 24.0% 4.32 46.6% 29.5% 19.6% .341

He’s been swinging at more pitches, which has led to a reduced walk rate and an increased strikeout rate.  But more importantly, it also means he’s been hitting the ball harder, and he’s been a more valuable offensive player.  The walks have been mostly replaced by hits so his OBP has not changed much, and he’s still seeing a lot of pitches in every plate appearance.  He’s gone from The Speedy Brett Gardner to The Powerful Brett Gardner.

Can he keep it up?  I don’t know. 

Using Baseball-Reference’s play index, I found 472 players that had at least 2000 PA and a SLG of less than .400 through age 29.  Of those players, just 14 had at least 2000 more PA and slugged over .400.

Gardner doesn’t have to slug .400 to still be pretty useful, and it’s been fun to watch his progression to where he is now.  Here’s hoping he can continue to defy the odds.

--Posted at 9:54 am by SG / 18 Comments | - (0)



Yankees.com: Seven-run sixth helps Yanks hold off Rangers

ARLINGTON—The Yankees erupted for their biggest inning of the season on Tuesday night, sending 11 men to the plate in a seven-run sixth inning. It could have been a laugher, but instead they had to hang on for a 12-11 victory over the Rangers at Globe Life Park.

Brett Gardner had four hits, including a homer, as the Yankees snapped a three-game losing streak. They rallied to wipe away an early deficit, helping Brandon McCarthy notch his third victory in four starts since joining the club earlier this month.

It didn’t come easily; J.P. Arencibia drove in seven runs for Texas, hitting a seventh-inning grand slam off Dellin Betances, Arencibia’s second homer of the night. Arencibia entered the game batting .152 and finished 4-for-4, also stroking a pair of doubles.

New York was limited to Gardner’s leadoff homer, his career-high 13th long ball of the season, before they pounded Rangers rookie Nick Martinez in the decisive sixth inning. The Yanks did their damage on five hits, two walks, a sac fly and an error.

That was a lot more stressful than it needed to be.

--Posted at 12:10 am by SG / 6 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Yankees (54-51) @ Rangers (42-64), Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 8:05pm

NYY: Brandon McCarthy (#38, 30, RHP, 5-10, 4.49) vs. TEX: Nick Martinez (#22, 23, RHP, 1-6, 4.73)

Lineups
Yankees
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF
2. Derek Jeter (R) SS
3. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B
5. Carlos Beltran (S) DH
6. Brian McCann (L) C
7. Chase Headley (S) 3B
8. Zoilo Almonte (S) RF
9. Brendan Ryan (R) 2B

Rangers
1. Shin-Soo Choo (L) LF
2. Elvis Andrus (R) SS
3. Alex Rios (R) RF
4. Adrian Beltre (R) 3B
5. Jim Adduci (L) DH
6. J.P. Arencibia (R) 1B
7. Leonys Martin (L) CF
8. Robinson Chirinos (R) C
9. Rougned Odor (L) 2B

I am stunned that Almonte is getting a second consecutive start.  They must be trying to showcase him for a trade.

--Posted at 4:08 pm by SG / 101 Comments | - (0)



Anonymous MLB Scout: They[The Yankees] have more in their farm system than people think

One American League scout on the Yankees’ farm system: “They have more in their farm system than people think. They have some arms, they have the Aaron Judge kid, [Luis] Severino, [Gary] Sanchez, [Peter] O’Brien, [Eric] Jagielo. If they wanted to make a deal, they have enough to give up.”

Sure, if the Yankees are willing to trade most of their top five prospects they can make a deal. 

I sure hope they don’t.

--Posted at 9:12 am by SG / 19 Comments | - (0)




Monday, July 28, 2014

Yankees.com: Gardner has Yu’s number, but Yanks fall in Texas

ARLINGTON—Brett Gardner continued to show off his head-scratching dominance of Yu Darvish, but the Rangers batted around against David Phelps in a four-run fifth inning and defeated the Yankees, 4-2, on Monday night at Globe Life Park.

New York lost its third straight game, flushing an early lead on a night when Gardner homered twice and Derek Jeter went 3-for-4, passing Carl Yastrzemski with his 3,420th career hit and claiming sole possession of seventh place on baseball’s all-time list.

J.P. Arencibia’s two-run single with two outs served as the go-ahead knock off Phelps, who had hurled four scoreless innings to start the game but left a mistake over the plate on an 0-2 pitch to the Texas first baseman, who came into the game batting .147.

- Yu Darvish is very good
- The Yankee offense aside from TPBG is not. 
- David Phelps made one bad pitch to Arencibia, and that was pretty much the game.

The Yankees have dropped three straight games.

--Posted at 10:14 pm by SG / 8 Comments | - (0)



Yankees (54-50) @ Rangers (41-64), Monday, July 28, 2014, 8:05pm

NYY: David Phelps (#41, 27, RHP, 5-4, 3.77) vs. TEX: Yu Darvish (#0, 27, RHP, 9-6, 2.92)

Lineups
Yankees
1. Brett Gardner (L) CF
2. Derek Jeter (R) SS
3. Brian McCann (L) 1B
4. Carlos Beltran (S) DH
5. Chase Headley (S) 3B
6. Francisco Cervelli (R) C
7. Brian Roberts (S) 2B
8. Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF
9. Zoilo Almonte (S) LF

Rangers
1. Shin-Soo Choo (L) RF
2. Elvis Andrus (R) SS
3. Alex Rios (R) DH
4. Adrian Beltre (R) 3B
5. Jim Adduci (L) LF
6. J.P. Arencibia (R) 1B
7. Leonys Martin (L) CF
8. Chris Gimenez (R) C
9. Rougned Odor (L) 2B

I don’t suppose there’s any chance this game can get rained out after 5 innings?

The Yankees have recalled Zoilo Almonte for some bizarre reason, and have designated Jeff Francis for assignment.  He will be missed.

--Posted at 5:39 pm by SG / 51 Comments | - (0)



USA Today: Injured Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki shows up at Yankees game

Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who landed on the 15-day disabled list with a hip flexor strain, flew to Philadelphia Saturday to have a specialist examine him. According to MLB.com’s Thomas Harding, Tulowtizki visited Dr. William Meyers, who performed surgery on Tulowitzki in 2012. It’s not uncommon for players to seek a second opinion from a trusted doctor, and no one could criticize Tulowitzki for making his health a priority.

What is a little strange was Tulowitzki’s appearance at Yankee Stadium on Sunday. Tulowitzki went to New York and was shown on the YES Network during the Blue Jays-Yankees game.

Tulowitzki, who has spent his entire career in Colorado, and is a four-time All-Star. Tulowitzki signed a six-year contract extension in 2010 guaranteeing more than $150 million that would keep him in Colorado until 2020. With the Rockies in last place in the NL West, they may prefer to send Tulowitzki elsewhere.

The timing of Tulowitzki’s visit to the Yankees is awkward for a few reasons. He said before the season started that it would be an “honor” to replace Derek Jeter as the Yankees’ shortstop, and said in July that he doesn’t want to become baseball’s Dan Marino.

If Tulowitzki really wants to win a World Series title, there are probably much better places to go than the Yankees.

--Posted at 2:37 pm by SG / 14 Comments | - (0)



NJ.com: Yankees end homestand with 5-4 loss to Blue Jays

NEW YORK – The Yankees’ 10-game post-All-Star break homestand covered the gamut, starting with celebration and renewed hope following a sweep of the Cincinnati Reds.

Then, there was a wild and whacky four-game set with the Texas Rangers that included a 14-inning marathon, heroics from newly-acquired third baseman Chase Headley and a frightening thunderstorm and tarp fiasco by the grounds crew. The Yankees won three of four.

It ended in bitter disappointment as they dropped the final two games of a three-game set to the division rival Toronto Blue Jays, including a 5-4 loss this afternoon at Yankee Stadium before 45,063 sun-splashed fans, among them Rockies All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.

“Any loss is tough, especially in the second half,” said reliever Dellin Betances, who allowed a run. “We had a great homestand but we had a chance to win this series today.”

Despite the loss, the Yankees (54-50) finished their crucial homestand with a 7-3 mark and made up ground in the AL East and the second wild card race.
At the All-Star break, the Yankees trailed the Orioles by five games in the division race and were 3 ½ games out of the second wild card. They are now four games behind Baltimore and one game behind Toronto for the second wild card.

Before the homestand I’d have been happy with 7-3, but to win seven of the first eight and then drop the last two winnable games to a team that you are fighting with in the standings is pretty rough and kind of takes the luster off the homestand.

--Posted at 8:23 am by SG / 13 Comments | - (0)




Saturday, July 26, 2014

Blue Jays (54-50) @ Yankees (54-48), Saturday, July 26, 2014, 1:05pm

TOR: Drew Hutchison (#36, 23, RHP, 6-9, 4.54) vs. NYY: Chris Capuano (#26, 35, LHP, 1-1, 4.55)

Lineups
Toronto
TBA

Yankees
TBA

Chris Capuano makes his long-awaited Yankee debut!

--Posted at 9:22 am by SG / 92 Comments | - (0)




Friday, July 25, 2014

Blue Jays (54-49) @ Yankees (53-48), Friday, July 25, 2014, 7:05pm

TOR: Mark Buehrle (#0, 35, LHP, 10-6, 2.86) vs. NYY: Hiroki Kuroda (#18, 39, RHP, 6-6, 3.88)

Lineups
Toronto
TBA

Yankees

1. Brett Gardner (L) LF
2. Derek Jeter (R) SS
3. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
4. Carlos Beltran (S) DH
5. Brian McCann (L) 1B
6. Chase Headley (S) 3B
7. Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF
8. Brian Roberts (S) 2B
9. Francisco Cervelli (R) C

--Posted at 2:30 pm by SG / 52 Comments | - (0)



MLB.com: Cashman prioritizes adding bat before August

NEW YORK—The reformulated Yankees rotation has performed better than Brian Cashman would have anticipated, and the general manager said that he’d prefer to focus his attention on acquiring a big bat as the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches.

“It’s weird,” Cashman said in an interview with ESPN New York 98.7 FM. “Our pitching has been drastically altered because of the injuries, and despite losing four out of five starters and all that stuff, our pitching has survived—surprisingly—to this point. I think our offense should be better.

“It still feels like the pitching needs more help, but honestly, the offense has been consistently poor throughout the entire year. The answer has to be an offensive piece, I guess.”

I’ve felt all along this team was a few bats short of a legitimate offense.  I’m encouraged that Cashman feels the same way.  The most obvious place where they could use an upgrade is probably RF if we assume Beltran is more or less restricted to one pitch plate appearances as a DH.  But I haven’t really looked at who might fit the bill and would be available.  I still don’t understand why they won’t give Zoilo Almonte a legitimate shot at MLB playing time.  All it would cost them is some Ichiro plate appearances…

--Posted at 10:04 am by SG / 13 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, July 24, 2014

CBS Sports: Yankees acquire Chris Capuano from Rockies for cash

The New York Yankees have acquired left-handed pitcher Chris Capuano from the Colorado Rockies for cash considerations, the club announced Thursday evening.

The Yankees will be the third franchise for Capuano this season, as he started off with the Red Sox and was later released on July 1. He then signed a minor-league deal with the Rockies on July 4.

Eh, why not?

--Posted at 9:00 pm by SG / 7 Comments | - (0)



Yankees.com: Victorious McCarthy continues to stabilize Yanks

NEW YORK—When Brandon McCarthy learned he’d been traded to the Yankees earlier this month, the right-hander experienced a rush of relief, knowing that his unimpressive season statistics could effectively be flushed. This would be, he said, a fresh start.

McCarthy is making the most of that second season, fitting nicely into pinstripes and providing the Yankees with another solid outing on Thursday. He permitted just one run over six innings as New York defeated the Rangers, 4-2, at Yankee Stadium.

Chase Headley and Francisco Cervelli each contributed run-scoring hits against Texas starter Colby Lewis to pace the attack as the Yankees took three of four games from the Rangers.

Acquired from the D-backs on July 6 in exchange for left-hander Vidal Nuno, McCarthy has bolstered a reconstructed Yankees staff, improving to 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in his three starts for New York. He was 3-10 with a 5.01 ERA with Arizona.

The pitching continues to carry this team.

--Posted at 3:07 pm by SG / 20 Comments | - (0)



Rangers (40-61) @ Yankees (52-48), Thursday, July 24, 2014, 1:05pm

TEX: Colby Lewis (#48, 34, RHP, 6-7, 6.37) vs. NYY: Brandon McCarthy (#38, 30, RHP, 4-10, 4.63)

Lineups
Texas
1. Shin-Soo Choo (L) LF
2. Elvis Andrus (R) SS
3. Alex Rios (R) RF
4. Adrian Beltre (R) 3B
5. Jim Adduci (L) 1B
6. J.P. Arencibia (R) DH
7. Leonys Martin (L) CF
8. Robinson Chirinos (R) C
9. Rougned Odor (L) 2B

Yankees
1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
2. Brett Gardner (L) LF
3. Carlos Beltran (S) DH
4. Brian McCann (L) 1B
5. Chase Headley (S) 3B
6. Brian Roberts (S) 2B
7. Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF
8. Francisco Cervelli (R) C
9. Brendan Ryan (R) SS

It would be nice if this game also got rained out after four and a half innings since the Yankees tend to do what little scoring they do in the first three.

--Posted at 11:36 am by SG / 55 Comments | - (0)




Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Yankees.com: Phelps, Yanks take rain-shortened win over Rangers

NEW YORK—David Phelps hurled five strong innings and Brett Gardner homered as the Yankees defeated the Rangers, 2-1, in a rain-shortened game on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.

Heavy rain and wind stopped play at 8:46 p.m. ET with one out in the home half of the fifth inning, and the Yankees’ grounds crew needed 14 more minutes to apply the tarpaulin.

The game was called nearly two hours later, once it was determined the field was unplayable for the rest of the night.

Phelps was credited with the first complete game of his career, and is the first Yankees pitcher with a complete game and save in the same season since 2006, when Chien-Ming Wang accomplished the double.

The Yankees produced two runs in 4 1/3 innings against Texas starter Yu Darvish, who scattered four hits and was charged with the loss; both runs came across in the third inning.

Yay rain!

--Posted at 11:21 pm by SG / 14 Comments | - (0)



Rangers (40-60) @ Yankees (51-48), Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 7:05pm

TEX: Yu Darvish (#0, 27, RHP, 9-5, 2.88) vs. NYY: David Phelps (#41, 27, RHP, 4-4, 3.87)

Lineups
Texas
1. Shin-Soo Choo (L) LF
2. Elvis Andrus (R) SS
3. Alex Rios (R) RF
4. Adrian Beltre (R) 3B
5. Jim Adduci (L) 1B
6. J.P. Arencibia (R) DH
7. Leonys Martin (L) CF
8. Chris Gimenez (R) C
9. Rougned Odor (L) 2B

Yankees
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF
2. Derek Jeter (R) SS
3. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
4. Carlos Beltran (S) DH
5. Brian McCann (L) 1B
6. Chase Headley (S) 3B
7. Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF
8. Francisco Cervelli (R) C
9. Brendan Ryan (R) 2B

Remember when the Yankees made a comically low “bid” on Yu Darvish?

--Posted at 2:48 pm by SG / 64 Comments | - (0)



Dan Szymborski: Headley RoS ZiPS in Yankee Stadium

Headley RoS ZiPS in Yankee Stadium: 253/331/426.

That .757 OPS would rank fourth on the Yankees right now.

--Posted at 9:06 am by SG / 9 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Yankees.com: Newcomer Headley Yanks’ walk-off hero in 14th

NEW YORK—In his first game as a Yankee, Chase Headley connected for a game-winning single in the 14th inning, lifting the Yankees to a 2-1 victory over the Rangers late Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.

The decisive hit came off right-hander Nick Tepesch, the ninth Texas pitcher of the evening. Brian Roberts laced a one-out ground-rule double, and Francisco Cervelli singled through the right side of the infield to set up Headley’s flare to left-center field.

J.P. Arencibia had put the Rangers ahead in the top half of the 13th with a solo home run into the left-field bullpen off left-hander David Huff, marking the first run of the game.

The Yankees answered in the home half, as Brett Gardner greeted closer Joakim Soria with a double, advanced on a sacrifice and scored on Jacoby Ellsbury’s single to right field. After another hit, Soria got Brian McCann to hit into a inning-ending double play.

--Posted at 11:12 pm by SG / 9 Comments | - (0)



Rangers (40-59) @ Yankees (50-48), Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 7:05pm

TEX: Nick Martinez (#22, 23, RHP, 1-6, 5.10) vs. NYY: Chase Whitley (#39, 25, RHP, 4-3, 5.10)

Lineups
Texas
1. Shin-Soo Choo (L) RF
2. Elvis Andrus (R) SS
3. Jim Adduci (L) LF
4. Adrian Beltre (R) 3B
5. Leonys Martin (L) CF
6. J.P. Arencibia (R) 1B
7. Robinson Chirinos (R) C
8. Rougned Odor (L) 2B
9. Daniel Robertson (R) DH

Yankees
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF
2. Derek Jeter (R) SS
3. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
4. Carlos Beltran (S) DH
5. Brian McCann (L) 1B
6. Kelly Johnson (L) RF
7. Brian Roberts (S) 2B
8. Francisco Cervelli (R) C
9. Zelous Wheeler (R) 3B

Yawn.

--Posted at 4:15 pm by SG / 107 Comments | - (0)



MLB Trade Rumors: Yankees Acquire Chase Headley

The Yankees announced that they have officially acquired Chase Headley from the Padres. The Yankees will send Yangervis Solarte and minor league right-hander Rafael De Paula to the Padres in return for Headley and $1MM.

Headley, a lifetime member of the Padres, is hitting just .229/.296/.355 with seven homers this season, though he’s playing outstanding defense at third base, per both UZR/150 (+19.7) and Defensive Runs Saved (+7). Headley is earning $10.535MM in 2014, of which $3.97MM remains. He is eligible for free agency following the season.

I don’t get the point, but whatever.

--Posted at 12:51 pm by SG / 24 Comments | - (0)



NYDN: Yankees commit five errors in 4-2 loss to Texas Rangers

On Monday night, it wasn’t easy being Greene.

A sloppy, five-error effort and a slew of lifeless bats caused the Yankees to drop a 4-2 game to the AL-worst Rangers in front of 45,278 in the Bronx. Rookie starter Shane Greene took his first career loss in his first appearance at Yankee Stadium in a game in which the Yankees had as many errors as hits.

“It was an ugly game on our part,” Joe Girardi said. “Our defense was bad, we weren’t swinging the bats particularly well. Their pitcher worked hard the first two innings and he ends up getting into the eighth inning. It was an ugly game.”

The Yankees (50-48) struck first with some small ball in the first. Derek Jeter drew a one-out walk, advanced to second on a balk and then to third on an infield hit by Jacoby Ellsbury. Carlos Beltran brought him home with a sacrifice fly. Ellsbury would later put the Bombers up 2-1 with a home run over the right field wall to lead off the fourth.

Nothing like losing to team that had lost 20 of its last 24 games.

I thought Joe Girardi stuck with Greene one batter too long, but I also figured that when Matt Thornton came in he’d blow it.  To be fair to Thornton, the hit that gave the Rangers the lead would likely have been fielded if the Yankees hadn’t put a Derek Jeter figurine at shortstop last night.  If you were to look at surface stats like ERA or FIP, Thornton has been okay this year, but if you look at his RE24 which estimates how his performances have changed the opposing team’s run expectancy he’s been pretty terrible (-5.21).  To put that in context, Dellin Betances’s RE24 this season is 22.67.

Again though, if this team had an offense it’s a game they probably would have won.  But they don’t.  So they didn’t.

--Posted at 8:52 am by SG / 19 Comments | - (0)




Monday, July 21, 2014

Rangers (39-59) @ Yankees (50-47), Monday, July 21, 2014, 7:05pm

TEX: Miles Mikolas (#36, 25, RHP, 0-2, 10.05) vs. NYY: Shane Greene (#61, 25, RHP, 2-0, 1.32)

Lineups
Rangers
TBA

Yankees
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF
2. Derek Jeter (R) SS
3. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
4. Carlos Beltran DH
5. Kelly Johnson (L) 1B
6. Brian Roberts (S) 2B
7. Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF
8. Francisco Cervelli (R) C
9. Zelous Wheeler (R) 3B

Is tonight the night Shane Greene gets exposed?  Texas is injury-ravaged, but their team OPS+ of 94 blows away the Yankees’ OPS+ of 93.

--Posted at 3:43 pm by SG / 46 Comments | - (0)



NY Times: A Bloop Leads to a Blooper, Lifting the Yankees to a Sweep

When a batter is facing a pitcher who throws 102 miles per hour, there is not really time for directional hitting. It is the kind of heat that sends murmurs through the crowd during warm-ups. The pop of the baseball when it hits the catcher’s mitt echoes an extra beat, and even major league hitters take notice of the radar-gun readings. At the plate, hitters just hope for the best.

They perhaps hope, as Brian McCann did, that the angle of the afternoon sun coupled with a light southerly breeze might play tricks on a languid pop-up to short right field and help it drop for a hit.

It does not happen often, but it happened Sunday to account for the Yankees’ winning hit in a 3-2 victory against the Cincinnati Reds at Yankee Stadium.

Reds closer Aroldis Chapman faced three batters in the ninth inning and threw 15 pitches that reached triple digits. But after a leadoff single by Jacoby Ellsbury, who stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch, Chapman could not escape the inning with a 2-2 tie intact. He struck out Mark Teixeira to get one out before McCann blooped a 1-0 pitch into right that fell among three Reds fielders.

Much has been made of McCann’s recent performance since he’s hit .310/.333/.437 over his last 75 PA.  But I’d say that with his BABIP of .364 over that stretch and the relatively low isolated power and discipline in that data as well as the ridiculously small sample size of it I’m not all that convinced he’s turned the corner just yet.

That being said, I think he’ll be a significantly better in the second half.

The Yankees were fortunate to catch Cincinnati with Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips out, but a sweep is a sweep.  Yay sweep.

--Posted at 9:31 am by SG / 19 Comments | - (0)




Sunday, July 20, 2014

Reds (51-46) @ Yankees (49-47), Sunday, July 20, 2014, 1:05pm

CIN: Johnny Cueto (#47, 28, RHP, 10-6, 2.13) vs. NYY: Hiroki Kuroda (#18, 39, RHP, 6-6, 4.10)

Lineups
Reds
TBA

Yankees
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF
2. Derek Jeter (R) SS
3. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B
5. Brian McCann (L) C
6. Carlos Beltran (S) DH
7. Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF
8. Brian Roberts (S) 2B
9. Kelly Johnson (L) 3B

I still can’t believe the 2014 Yankees scored a week’s worth of runs in one game.  Have the Yankees swept a series yet this year?  With Cueto going I don’t like their chances today.  As opposed to all the other days where I also don’t like their chances.

--Posted at 10:03 am by SG / 45 Comments | - (0)




Saturday, July 19, 2014

Reds (51-45) @ Yankees (48-47), Saturday, July 19, 2014, 1:05pm

CIN: Alfredo Simon (#0, 33, RHP, 12-3, 2.70) vs. NYY: Brandon McCarthy (#38, 30, RHP, 3-10, 4.80)

Lineups
Reds
1. Billy Hamilton (S) CF
2. Zack Cozart (R) SS
3. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
4. Jay Bruce (L) RF
5. Devin Mesoraco (R) C
6. Brayan Pena (S) 1B
7. Chris Heisey (R) LF
8. Donald Lutz (L) DH
9. Kristopher Negron (R) 2B

Yankees
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF
2. Derek Jeter (R) SS
3. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B
5. Brian McCann (L) C
6. Carlos Beltran (S) DH
7. Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF
8. Brian Roberts (S) 2B
9. Kelly Johnson (L) 3B

Alfredo Simon has a FIP of 4.34.  Brandon McCarthy has a FIP of 3.76.

Advantage Yankees!

--Posted at 10:34 am by SG / 50 Comments | - (0)




Friday, July 18, 2014

Reds (51-44) @ Yankees (47-47), Friday, July 18, 2014, 7:05 pm

CIN: Mike Leake (#44, 26, RHP, 7-7, 3.54) vs. NYY: David Phelps (#41, 27, RHP, 3-4, 3.94)

Lineups
Reds
1. Billy Hamilton (S) CF
2. Zack Cozart (R) SS
3. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
4. Jay Bruce (L) RF
5. Devin Mesoraco (R) C
6. Ryan Ludwick (R) DH
7. Brayan Pena (S) 1B
8. Chris Heisey (R) LF
9. Ramon Santiago (S) 2B

Yankees
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF
2. Derek Jeter (R) SS
3. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B
5. Brian McCann (L) C
6. Carlos Beltran (S) DH
7. Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF
8. Brian Roberts (S) 2B
9. Kelly Johnson (L) 3B

There was a time not long ago where the All Star Break seemed interminable. 

Now I’m sad it’s already over.

--Posted at 3:47 pm by SG / 18 Comments | - (0)



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