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








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Newsday: Gary Denbo expected to replace Mark Newman in Yankees’ front office
(35 Comments - 10/21/2014 10:59:33 pm)

NY Post: With Chili Davis off market, Yankees turn to Dave Magadan
(27 Comments - 10/21/2014 4:14:39 am)

TGS NY: Can McCann help lead the Bombers back?
(42 Comments - 10/19/2014 6:53:53 pm)

NYDN: Dave Magadan, Chili Davis are early frontrunners for Yankees hitting coach job
(34 Comments - 10/17/2014 9:05:10 am)

TGS NY: Eleven young Yankees on the rise in 2015
(76 Comments - 10/16/2014 10:13:29 am)

Newsday: Sources: Yankees considering Omar Minaya for high-ranking position in front office
(75 Comments - 10/15/2014 9:29:03 am)

NY Post: Yankees make to-do list: Third base, shortstop, rotation, closer
(63 Comments - 10/15/2014 1:12:44 am)

CBS Local: Yankees, General Manager Brian Cashman Agree To 3-Year Extension
(120 Comments - 10/14/2014 8:11:12 pm)

Yankees.com: Cashman signs three-year deal to continue as GM
(1 Comment - 10/10/2014 3:26:05 pm)

NY Post: Why David Robertson likely will remain a Yankee in 2015
(15 Comments - 10/10/2014 3:22:39 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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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Newsday: Gary Denbo expected to replace Mark Newman in Yankees’ front office

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Gary Denbo will assume many, though not all, of the responsibilities that had been held by Mark Newman, sources confirmed Monday, as the Yankees’ organizational overhaul continues. Newman, the club’s senior vice president of baseball operations, announced in September he is retiring after 26 years with the team, the last 15 in his current role.

Denbo, 53, formerly a hitting coach for the club who in recent years has been in player development and scouting, will oversee the farm system, which has received a good deal of criticism in recent years for not producing enough major league-caliber players, particularly position players.

I was thinking, the Yankees really should put a hitting coach in charge of their minor league system.

To be fair, Denbo has been working in a capacity more suited to directing the farm system over the least few seasons, and may end up being a good hire.  I’m willing to wait and see.

As if I had a choice.

--Posted at 8:03 am by SG / 35 Comments | - (0)




Monday, October 20, 2014

NY Post: With Chili Davis off market, Yankees turn to Dave Magadan

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With the Red Sox hiring Chili Davis as their hitting coach Sunday, it could mean Dave Magadan will be Kevin Long’s replacement as the Yankees’ hitting coach.

Magadan interviewed with Yankees brass Wednesday and Davis followed on Thursday. They were considered strong candidates for the job.

Chili Davis is a trader.

--Posted at 6:56 am by SG / 27 Comments | - (0)




Friday, October 17, 2014

TGS NY: Can McCann help lead the Bombers back?

No.

--Posted at 8:36 am by SG / 42 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, October 16, 2014

NYDN: Dave Magadan, Chili Davis are early frontrunners for Yankees hitting coach job

The Yankees have interviewed or will talk to Magadan, 52, and ex-Yankee Chili Davis for the job that became open last week when Kevin Long was fired with a year left on his contract. Other candidates are likely to emerge as well.

If the Yankees are expecting better results just by changing hitting coaches, they are being foolish.  But hey, it should trick enough people into thinking they’re being pro-active.

I don’t think hitting coaches really can have that much impact on players that are already established major leaguers, but Magadan and Davis had strong MLB careers and have received praise for their coaching so I think both are good candidates.  Plus I always feel indebted to Davis for ruining what would have been a Pedro Martinez 17 strikeout no-walk no-hitter with a solo homer back in 1999.

--Posted at 1:02 pm by SG / 34 Comments | - (0)




Wednesday, October 15, 2014

TGS NY: Eleven young Yankees on the rise in 2015

The Yankees’ farm system improved in 2014. While it’s still not great, there are a handful of players in the minors who could make a difference.

Let’s take a look at 11 who could make a direct impact on the Yankees in 2015, be a big part of their future, or be traded to fill holes.

The list starts with Luis Severino and runs through most of the names that any one who follows the minors at least loosely should be cognizant of.  I am excited about a few of the players on this list, particularly Aaron Judge and Rob Refsnyder.  Judge is still probably a couple of years away, but we should see Refsnyder in the majors in some capacity at some point in 2015.

--Posted at 8:11 am by SG / 76 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Newsday: Sources: Yankees considering Omar Minaya for high-ranking position in front office

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - As the Yankees reorganize their baseball operations staff this offseason, a familiar name in New York is getting strong consideration for a high-ranking position with the team.

Several club sources said there has been serious dialogue about hiring former Mets general manager Omar Minaya, now a senior vice president of baseball operations with the Padres.

Minaya, who served as Mets GM from 2005-10, is close with Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. It was not immediately clear in what capacity he would serve.

Minaya’s track record as a general manager isn’t particularly great, but he’s got a reputation as a pretty good scout.  So I think in the right role he can help the Yankees.

--Posted at 8:41 am by SG / 75 Comments | - (0)




Monday, October 13, 2014

NY Post: Yankees make to-do list: Third base, shortstop, rotation, closer

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Equipped with a new three-year contract, general manager Brian Cashman will chair a week-long meeting of scouts and other members of the organization this week at Yankee Stadium as the club attempts to make sure 2015 isn’t the third straight year without a playoff appearance.

Starting Monday, the Yankees will begin to pore over scouting reports on possible free agents and players they have targeted as potential trades.

With plenty of holes to fill and other positions that need reinforcing, there is a lot of work to do.

I’d be surprised if the 2015 Yankees are any better than the 2014 Yankees, but I am mildy interested in seeing how the Yankees approach this offseason.

--Posted at 10:31 am by SG / 63 Comments | - (0)




Friday, October 10, 2014

CBS Local: Yankees, General Manager Brian Cashman Agree To 3-Year Extension

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — As expected, he’s coming back.

The Yankees have re-signed general manager Brian Cashman to a three-year contract.

Cashman has been New York’s GM since 1998, when the Yankees won the World Series in his first season. He has built three more championship teams, most recently in 2009.

The #Yankees have re-signed Brian Cashman to a three-year contract to serve as Senior Vice President and General Manager.
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) October 10, 2014

I’m apathetic to this, much like I am apathetic to the team I used to care about.

Update:
***************************************************************************
Below, Brian [Cronin not Cashman]‘s more thoughtful take:

Brian Cashman is one of the most intriguing figures in baseball. I think he is one of the best general managers in the game, but there is always the question of whether he is actually good or if he just happens to be the General Manager of the team that is willing to outspend nearly every other team out there. The Yankees have done a poor job of team-building these past four seasons or so, but there’s always the question of who is to blame for it - Cashman or his higher-ups? It seems clear that he was given a strict payroll to work with in every offseason from 2010-2012 and then suddenly had that strict payroll lifted in the 2013 offseason. That strict cap, coupled with the changing face of Major League Baseball free agency (where young talented position players simply do not make it to free agency any more), was the biggest problem the Yankees had these past few seasons and that was not Cashman’s fault. However, once given freer reign this offseason, he handed out two terrible contracts to Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran while choosing not to give Robinson Cano (a player who is single-handedly better than Ellsbury and Beltran combined) a bad contract that certainly seemed to still be a better idea than the contracts handed out to Ellsbury and Beltran. So that’s on Cashman. As was the bad decision to sign Brian Roberts.

But then, during the regular season, he made astute trades that netted the Yankees some of their best players during the regular season - Brandon McCarthy, Martin Prado and Chase Headley. Those three helped keep the Yankees far more competitive than they had any reason to expect to be. And he gave up basically nobody in the deals (Pete O’Brien, a catcher who can’t catch, being the only one player traded who seemed to be actually part of the Yankees’ possible future plans).

So I think Cashman has still got “it,” but at the same time, there is a very good argument to be made that the Yankees should make a fresh start. I don’t really have a problem with that, except for the facts that:

1. The front office is going to remain no matter what
2. The front office would clearly either hire…
a. Cashman’s top assistant, Billy Eppler, in which case things won’t change since Eppler is very similar to Cashman
or
b. Some terrible outside GM who will be much worse than Cashman

With those two facts agreed on, I think they might as well stick with Cashman.

Another Update: Sources: Yankees fire well-respected hitting coach Kevin Long

Kevin Long, the well-respected hitting coach who presided over a couple record-setting Yankees hitting seasons, was fired by the team after its failure to make the playoffs, sources said.

Long helped guide the team to a couple of its greatest offensive seasons but was a victim of disappointing veteran performance this past season, as a few of their older players struggled. Long, an extremely well-respected hitting coach throughout baseball, is paying for the underachievement of some established veteran hitters in 2014, including Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann and Mark Teixeira.

Makes sense.  When a 38 year old outfielder with bad knees shows up out of shape and has a shitty year, it’s the hitting coach’s fault.  When you let your best offensive player go and replace him with a bunch of garbage, it’s also the hitting coach’s fault.

--Posted at 1:51 pm by SG / 120 Comments | - (0)



Yankees.com: Cashman signs three-year deal to continue as GM

The Yankees signed Brian Cashman on Friday to a new three-year contract to continue in his role as senior vice president and general manager.

Managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner recently stated that the organization was in discussions about an extension with Cashman, 47, who has been the Yankees’ GM since February 1998.
Cashman’s re-signing is the first piece of business in what promises to be a busy offseason for the Yankees, who missed the playoffs for a second consecutive season, winning 84 games to finish in second place in the American League East.

Steinbrenner has said that the Yankees will pursue a shortstop to replace retired captain Derek Jeter and are also in need of a starting pitcher, with right-hander Ivan Nova recovering from Tommy John elbow surgery and not expected to be ready to start the season.

In evaluating Cashman’s construction of the 2014 roster, Steinbrenner stood by the signings of free agents Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran and Masahiro Tanaka, stating that he approved those deals and believes they will work out in the future.

Steinbrenner also has noted that Cashman was able to rebuild the Yankees on the fly in midseason after several injuries, triggering deals to import right-hander Brandon McCarthy and infielders Martin Prado and Chase Headley, among others.

Brian Cashman is one of the most intriguing figures in baseball. I think he is one of the best general managers in the game, but there is always the question of whether he is actually good or if he just happens to be the General Manager of the team that is willing to outspend nearly every other team out there. The Yankees have done a poor job of team-building these past four seasons or so, but there’s always the question of who is to blame for it - Cashman or his higher-ups? It seems clear that he was given a strict payroll to work with in every offseason from 2010-2012 and then suddenly had that strict payroll lifted in the 2013 offseason. That strict cap, coupled with the changing face of Major League Baseball free agency (where young talented position players simply do not make it to free agency any more), was the biggest problem the Yankees had these past few seasons and that was not Cashman’s fault. However, once given freer reign this offseason, he handed out two terrible contracts to Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran while choosing not to give Robinson Cano (a player who is single-handedly better than Ellsbury and Beltran combined) a bad contract that certainly seemed to still be a better idea than the contracts handed out to Ellsbury and Beltran. So that’s on Cashman. As was the bad decision to sign Brian Roberts.

But then, during the regular season, he made astute trades that netted the Yankees some of their best players during the regular season - Brandon McCarthy, Martin Prado and Chase Headley. Those three helped keep the Yankees far more competitive than they had any reason to expect to be. And he gave up basically nobody in the deals (Pete O’Brien, a catcher who can’t catch, being the only one player traded who seemed to be actually part of the Yankees’ possible future plans).

So I think Cashman has still got “it,” but at the same time, there is a very good argument to be made that the Yankees should make a fresh start. I don’t really have a problem with that, except for the facts that:

1. The front office is going to remain no matter what
2. The front office would clearly either hire…
a. Cashman’s top assistant, Billy Eppler, in which case things won’t change since Eppler is very similar to Cashman
or
b. Some terrible outside GM who will be much worse than Cashman

With those two facts agreed on, I think they might as well stick with Cashman.

--Posted at 1:48 pm by Brian Cronin / 1 Comment | - (0)



NY Post: Why David Robertson likely will remain a Yankee in 2015

The qualifying offer figure has been established at $15.3 million, and I think there is a strong likelihood the Yankees use it on David Robertson, and a pretty compelling case the right-handed reliever will become the first player ever to accept a qualifying offer.

Quick background: The qualifying offer figure comes from averaging the top 125 contracts. Teams must notify their free agents within five days after the World Series if they are putting the qualifying offer on them. Players have an additional week to accept or reject.

If rejected, the player becomes a free agent, but when he signs elsewhere his old team gets a sandwich pick between the first and second round of June’s draft while the signing team loses either its first-round pick (if it has one of the top 20 2014 records) or a second-round pick (worse 10 records).

$15.3M for one season for a closer no matter how good he may be is pretty obviously an overpay.  But it probably makes sense for the Yankees to extend the offer to Robertson and either keep him for one more year or try and negotiate a more reasonable long-term deal (or gain a draft pick if Ruben Amaro Jr. comes calling). 

I don’t know what would qualify as reasonable, but I’d probably be willing to do something like 3 years, $36M, maybe 4/$40M.  Robertson’s very good, and while the Yankees have managed to build bullpens pretty well under Joe Girardi, I’m not sure they are in a position where they can let very good players leave over money.

Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if they bring back Robertson and also make a play for Andrew Miller in an effort to build a super bullpen, in lieu of going after someone like Max Scherzer or Jon Lester. 

--Posted at 8:21 am by SG / 15 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, October 9, 2014

NJ.com: Yankees games get 15% increase in viewership on YES Network; Derek Jeter to thank?

The YES Network announced today that the television station saw a 15 percent increase in viewership for Yankees games this season despite another lukewarm year for the team. The Yankees went 84-78 this year, finishing second in the AL East, and missed the playoffs.

But the network averaged 223,000 households per game, a 15 percent bump from the 194,000 it averaged last season, it said in a press release. Even the pre-game show audience grew by 25 percent this season.

I find this shocking, honestly.  I found this year’s team dull and largely unwatchable, and I probably missed at least 3/4 of the games.  It’ll be interesting to see what ratings look like next year, with no more Jeter and with what I imagine will be yet another dull and largely unwatchable team.

--Posted at 8:53 am by SG / 47 Comments | - (0)




Wednesday, October 8, 2014

NY Post: The two reasons Yankees will likely pass on Cuban slugger

Before reading the article, I’d have assumed that it was because:

1. He is young.
2. He has power.

“He is a good player, but for $100 million? I don’t know,’’ a baseball official said of the 6-foot-1, 230-pound right-handed hitting outfielder who batted .375 (6-for-16) with two homers and five RBIs for Cuba in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. “He is better than [Castillo], but that doesn’t mean he is worth $100 million.’’

Castillo’s contract topped the $68 million Jose Abreu got from the White Sox. Abreu is the favorite to win the AL Rookie of the Year. The Dodgers gave Yasiel Puig $42 million and current Red Sox Yoenis Cespedes got $32 million from the A’s.

The Yankees’ disinterest in Tomas likely isn’t only financial. They hope Carlos Beltran can play right field if Alex Rodriguez needs to DH. That means there isn’t room for Tomas.

Yes, why would you pursue a young player who could be a potential source of power for a lineup that needs power badly when you have Carlos Beltran and Alex Rodriguez?

Seriously, I can see Tomas being a bust.  And a $100M bust is a major one.  But the Yankees have pissed away lots more money on other busts, and their avenues for improving their anemic offense are becoming narrower and narrower.  If their scouts think Tomas can be a productive bat at the major league level but they aren’t pursuing him because he’ll cost a bit more than they are comfortable paying and because they need to keep spots in the lineup for Carlos F’ing Beltran and Alex F’ing Rodriguez, I really think I’m done with this team.

--Posted at 8:05 am by SG / 52 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, October 7, 2014

NYDN: Yankees’ Mark Teixeira looking to play 150 games season next year

Mark Teixeira spoke Monday about exchanging text messages with Alex Rodriguez, but it’s a different kind of message – one delivered by Hal Steinbrenner last Wednesday – is the one that seems to be making an impact on the Yankees’ first baseman.

Teixeira is once again talking about playing 150 games in a season.

On Sept. 22, when he was sidelined for the third time by his surgically-repaired right wrist, he said 150 games was something he could no longer promise. Steinbrenner didn’t like the sound of that and said last Wednesday on the Michael Kay Show that the club would be more “forceful” with him.

Good luck with all that.

--Posted at 8:58 am by SG / 69 Comments | - (0)




Monday, October 6, 2014

NYDN: Even with aging, overpriced sluggers and empty farm, Yankees have shot to win AL East in 2015

To hear Hal Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman tell it, a second straight season of missing the playoffs was a freak occurrence and a product of injuries — and all the impending gloom about the post-Derek Jeter Yankees is ill-conceived.

“I honestly believe if you repeated this season 100 times, you would not get this result,” is the way Cashman put it to the Daily News’ John Harper last week, and a couple of days later, Son of Boss Hal cited the injuries, “especially to the pitchers” and added: “We did invest a lot of money ($283 million in Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann) into upgrading the offense and I don’t think anybody would have seen some of the performances we wound up having.”

It’s funny, because I played this season out 100,000 times before it started and got the same result most of the time.

--Posted at 8:12 am by SG / 74 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, October 2, 2014

ALDS Day 1 - Thursday, October 2, 2014

Gameday Link: 5:30 PM ET: DET: Max Scherzer (#37, 29, RHP, 18-5, 3.15) vs. BAL: Chris Tillman (#30, 26, RHP, 13-6, 3.34)

Gameday Link: 9:00 PM ET: KC: Jason Vargas (#51, 31, LHP, 11-10, 3.71) vs. LAA: Jered Weaver (#36, 31, RHP, 18-9, 3.59)

I pretty much have reasons to dislike all these teams except Kansas City, which is unfortunately the worst of the four.  But go Royals anyway.

--Posted at 3:48 pm by SG / 119 Comments | - (0)



NY Post: Hal Steinbrenner reveals a very un-Boss-like agenda for Yankees

Hal Steinbrenner expressed “frustration” and “disappointment” in a second straight playoff-less season for the Yankees. However, in yet another example of how he will boss rather than Boss this franchise, the Yankees’ managing general partner praised the work of Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi, expressed confidence that disappointing veterans will do better in 2015, insisted the team’s player development is pointed in the right direction and even opened his arms for Alex Rodriguez.

Amid the worst phase in two decades for the Yankees, Steinbrenner responded Wednesday not only with the dispassionate logic we are now coming to expect from him, but hopefulness.

In a State of the Yankees interview after the 2014 season, Steinbrenner told The Post, “I am as disappointed as the fans are. They expect better of us and me. We will work very hard in the offseason to put together a team to win it all. It is a new slate. We need to be optimistic about our young players and believe that our veterans will be healthy and better next year.”

When Hal speaks, i fall asleep…

Is it true that Steinbrenner didn’t show up for Jeter’s last game at DNYS?  And is it time to drop the N and just call it DYS?

--Posted at 8:05 am by SG / 29 Comments | - (0)




Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Giants (88-74) @ Pirates (88-74), Wednesday, October 31, 2014, 8:00pm

SFG: Madison Bumgarner (#40, 24, LHP, 18-10, 2.98) vs. PIT: Edinson Volquez (#36, 30, RHP, 13-7, 3.04)

Lineups
San Francisco
1. Gregor Blanco (L) CF
2. Joe Panik (L) 2B
3. Buster Posey (R) C
4. Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B
5. Hunter Pence (R) RF
6. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
7. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
8. Travis Ishikawa (L) LF
9. Madison Bumgarner (R) P

Pittsburgh
1. Josh Harrison (R) 3B
2. Jordy Mercer (R) SS
3. Andrew McCutchen (R) CF
4. Russell Martin (R) C
5. Starling Marte (R) LF
6. Neil Walker (S) 2B
7. Gaby Sanchez (R) 1B
8. Travis Snider (L) RF
9. Edinson Volquez (R) P

It’s the National League, which means inferior baseball.  But as fans of a team that played inferior baseball all year, that should be right up our alley.  Or is alleys? 

**Read Below If you Are Interested in Attending an ALDS Game**
Our very own Ugly Johnny Dickshot has four tickets to Thursday night’s game in Anaheim.  If you are interested, you can email him through the site’s email function by clicking on his screen name above and clicking the button marked ‘Email’.

--Posted at 4:31 pm by SG / 17 Comments | - (0)



NYDN: As Yankees head into offseason, here are five must-make moves to get them back to playoffs

What do they need to do with the rest in order to get back to the postseason for the first time since 2012? Here are five ideas.

1. SIGN YASMANI TOMAS
...
2. RE-SIGN DAVID ROBERTSON

I’m on board with most of Mark Feinsand’s list here.  Tomas could end up being a $100M+ bust, but he’s young and has power, both things the Yankees need badly.

I might cross out his number four and replace it with at least kicking the tires on Jung-ho Kang.

--Posted at 8:42 am by SG / 54 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Athletics (88-74) @ Royals (89-73), Tuesday, September 30, 2014, 8:07 pm

OAK: Jon Lester (#31, 30, LHP, 16-11, 2.46) vs. KCR: James Shields (#33, 32, RHP, 14-8, 3.21)

Lineups
Oakland
1. Coco Crisp (S) CF
2. Sam Fuld (L) LF
3. Josh Donaldson (R) 3B
4. Brandon Moss (L) DH
5. Josh Reddick (L) RF
6. Jed Lowrie (S) SS
7. Stephen Vogt (L) 1B
8. Geovany Soto (R) C
9. Eric Sogard (L) 2B

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

I’m not sure who I’d rather see win this one.  Oakland is almost certainly the better team, but Kansas City’s fans have suffered for a long time.  I guess I don’t really care, and I’m just hoping for a compelling game.

--Posted at 3:46 pm by SG / 55 Comments | - (0)



TGS NY: Yankees prep Brian Cashman deal

The New York Yankees have begun the process of constructing a new contract for longtime general manager Brian Cashman, sources close to the situation said.

He just completed his 17th season as the Yankees’ GM, yet they failed to make the playoffs the last two years—the first time that’s happened in consecutive seasons since 1992-93.

While I wouldn’t blame Cashman for everything that has put the Yankees in the position they are in right now, I find it awfully frustrating that a team that seems to need to change something will apparently not change anything.

--Posted at 1:03 pm by SG / 17 Comments | - (0)



NYDN: Brandon McCarthy enjoyed pitching for Yankees, appears willing to return to Bombers

BOSTON — The Yankees got a good, long look at righthander Brandon McCarthy this season and he got a good, long look at them. Both liked what they saw, but only the weeks ahead will tell if they will be reunited when the 2015 season begins.

McCarthy went 7-5 with a 2.89 ERA in 14 starts after the Yankees acquired him in a trade with the Diamondbacks for Vidal Nuno on July 6. He is joining a class of free agent starting pitchers that is fairly interesting now.

The big names in the group are Max Scherzer from the Tigers, Jon Lester from the A’s and James Shields from the Royals (by coincidence Lester and Shields will be opposing one another in Tuesday’s AL Wild Card game in Kansas City). Each is expected to draw offers of five years or more with annual salaries in excess of $20 million.

The Yankees need offense a lot more than pitching, but the free agent market for offense is horrendous.  So they may be better off adding to their pitching and then freeing up some trade chips to bring in offense via avenues other than free agency.  I’d be happy to see McCarthy back on a short-term contract.  I’d certainly rather see that than another Sabathia contract to Lester or Scherzer.  McCarthy has a troubling injury history, but that should bring his cost down, and it’s not like any pitcher you sign isn’t at risk to get hurt anyway.

I’m resigned to the fact that there’s no real maneuvering the Yankees can do that will make them a good team in 2015.  But they can make themselves a slightly better than average team and roll the dice that they will luck into a postseason berth of some sort.

How exciting.

--Posted at 8:11 am by SG / 34 Comments | - (0)




Monday, September 29, 2014

NY Times: As Jeter Ends Farewell Tour, Yanks Plan a Welcome Party

“I’ve already been talking to Alex, personally,” Cashman said. “I just talked to Alex about 10 days ago to try to get his thought process on what’s the best way to come back and how to come back, whether winter ball, for instance.”

A year ago, during the height of the tension between Rodriguez and the Yankees and Major League Baseball, Cashman said he was wary of speaking with Rodriguez because he did not want to risk becoming embroiled in a lawsuit. At the time, Rodriguez was suing or threatening to sue the Yankees’ team doctor, Commissioner Bud Selig and the players union.

Since then, Rodriguez has dropped all lawsuits and has adopted a more conciliatory approach to his team and his sport, a strategy designed by his lawyer Jim Sharp.

The return of Rodriguez should make this team the favorite to win the AL East next year.

--Posted at 8:06 am by SG / 30 Comments | - (0)




Sunday, September 28, 2014

Yankees.com: Jeter fittingly goes out a winner in final game

BOSTON—In one of several thoughtful moments over the past several days, Derek Jeter reflected on his storied career and noted that though he shared the field with many athletes who possessed more talent, he believes that no one ever gave more of an effort.

With that in mind, Jeter’s season-long goodbye ended in fitting fashion on Sunday afternoon, running hard down the first-base line to notch the 3,465th hit of his career. He signaled for a pinch-runner and waved his batting helmet as he left the field, exiting a game that the Yankees went on to win, 9-5.

“I felt like the time was right,” Jeter said. “My emotions were so all over the place on Thursday in New York. When I got here, I was ready. I was ready for my career to be over with. I’m happy I had an opportunity to come and play here in a couple games, but I’m ready for this to be the end.”

After a stirring on-field ceremony that included several stars from the Boston sports scene, which Jeter called “unbelievable,” the Yankees captain’s final at-bat came against Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz.

I didn’t see any of the game or ceremony, but hopefully it wasn’t just a 2004 Red Sox ceremony disguised as a celebration of Jeter’s career.

I guess 2013 kind of prepared me for the day that Jeter wouldn’t be the Yankee shortstop anymore, but it’s still going to be odd to not have him out there.  For me, spring training never really felt like it started until Mariano Rivera got into his first game, and maybe that is why I never really go into this team this year.  Well, that and the fact that they looked to be pretty boring and mediocre and were exactly that.  Not having Jeter around is going to feel similar to me.

Anyway, Jeter had a great career, and now it’s over.  And the time is right for it to be over.  It will be interesting to see how Yankee attendance looks next year when they are running yet another boring team out there without the cachet of seeing Jeter one final time.

--Posted at 9:19 pm by SG / 7 Comments | - (0)



Yankees (83-78) @ Red Sox (71-90), Sunday, September 28, 2014, 1:35pm

NYY: Michael Pineda (#35, 25, RHP, 4-5, 1.93) vs. BOS: Clay Buchholz (#11, 29, RHP, 8-10, 5.31)

Lineups
Yankees
TBA

Red Sox
TBA

The season that would not end finally ends today, and I could not possibly care less.  I haven’t watched either of the last two games and I won’t be watching this one.  As far as I’m concerned, the season ended with Derek Jeter’s RBI walk-off single on Thursday night.

--Posted at 8:04 am by SG / 41 Comments | - (0)




Friday, September 26, 2014

Yankees (82-77) @ Red Sox (70-89), Friday, September 26, 2014, 7:10pm

NYY: Chris Capuano (#26, 35, LHP, 2-4, 4.67) vs. BOS: Steven Wright (#65, 29, RHP, 0-0, 3.38)

Lineups
Yankees
1. Jose Pirela (R) 2B
2. Eury Perez (R) CF
3. Francisco Cervelli (R) 1B
4. Chris Young (R) LF
5. JR Murphy (R) C
6. Austin Romine (R) DH
7. Brendan Ryan (R) SS
8. Zelous Wheeler (R) 3B
9. Antoan Richardson (S) RF

Boston
1. Mookie Betts (R) 2B
2. Xander Bogaerts (R) SS
3. Yoenis Cespedes (R) DH
4. Allen Craig (R) RF
5. Garin Cecchini (L) 3B
6. Rusney Castillo (R) CF
7. Bryce Brentz (R) LF
8. Ryan Lavarnway (R) 1B
9. Dan Butler (R) C

If a mute swears, does his mother wash his hands with soap?

Isn’t it a bit unnerving that doctors call what they do “practice?”

Is there another word for synonym?

Why do they put Braille on the drive-through bank machines?

Why did kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

--Posted at 3:32 pm by SG / 73 Comments | - (0)



USA Today: Derek Jeter’s unbelievable closing act at Yankee Stadium

NEW YORK—Derek Jeter, trying to blink away the tears, and holding a towel over his face, walked slowly around the Yankee Stadium infield Thursday night, his head spinning, trying to digest what just happened.

When he finally reached the dugout, hugging his family, and walking through the tunnel for the final time toward the clubhouse, he finally surrendered, with the emotions oozing out of his body.

In one of the most surreal and remarkable farewells in Yankee history, leave it up to Jeter to deliver the dramatic game-winning hit in the Yankees’ 6-5 triumph over the Baltimore Orioles, just minutes after the Yankees had blown a 3-run lead.

“It was sort of an out of body experience, Jeter said. “It was a weird range of emotions. I was just trying not to cry.’‘

Jeter has tended to come off as robotic and rehearsed for almost his entire career, but he was genuine last night and it was really cool to see. 

I’m honestly not sad to see him retiring, because he’s not really an asset to the team anymore.  But he was a big asset from 1996-2012 during a fantastic time to be a Yankee fan.

Jeter’s given us a lot of memorable moments, and last night was another one to add to the pile.

I still think he should let his hit last night be the last moment of his career. 

He can sing the national anthem for the people that bought tickets to see him in Fenway.

--Posted at 8:27 am by SG / 55 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, September 25, 2014

Yankees.com: Captain Clutch! Jeter scripts walk-off

After the Orioles tied it with homers in the ninth inning, Derek Jeter, who had three RBIs in his final Bronx game, won it with a walk-off single. Box »

I wish I wasn’t as cynical as I am sometimes, but that was fun.

I kind of wish Jeter wouldn’t play another game and this would be his post-script.

Thanks for the memories Captain.

--Posted at 9:24 pm by SG / 28 Comments | - (0)



Orioles (95-63) @ Yankees (81-77), Thursday, September 25, 2014, 7:05pm

BAL: Kevin Gausman (#39, 23, RHP, 7-7, 3.57) vs. NYY: Hiroki Kuroda (#18, 39, RHP, 11-9, 3.77)

Lineups
Orioles
1. Nick Markakis (L) RF
2. Alejandro De Aza (L) LF
3. Adam Jones (R) CF
4. Nelson Cruz (R) DH
5. Steve Pearce (R) 1B
6. J.J. Hardy (R) SS
7. Kelly Johnson (L) 2B
8. Jimmy Paredes (S) 3B
9. Caleb Joseph (R) C

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

Apparently this game signifies something, but I’m not really sure what. 

Aside from yet another game that Smellsbury is sitting out with an injury.

There’s lots of rain around New York right now, but because this game apparently signifies something, you can imagine they will do whatever they can to get it in.  So it may be a long night.

--Posted at 4:18 pm by SG / 132 Comments | - (0)



Hardball Talk: Phil Hughes sets the all-time strikeout-to-walk ratio record

Thanks to an ill-timed rain delay in his final start this afternoon Twins right-hander Phil Hughes is one out short of hitting 210 innings for the season, which would have triggered a $500,000 bonus.

However, in tossing eight innings of one-run ball against the Diamondbacks–instead of the necessary 8.1 innings for the bonus–Hughes did set MLB’s all-time record for best strikeout-to-walk ratio in a season:

PLAYER              YEAR     SO/BB
PHIL HUGHES         2014     11.63
Bret Saberhagen     1994     11.00
Cliff Lee           2010     10.28
Curt Schilling      2002      9.58
Pedro Martinez      2000      8.88
Greg Maddux         1997      8.85
Pedro Martinez      1999      8.46 

That’s a helluva list to sit atop.

Raise your hand if you saw that coming.

I’m happy for Hughes, who had a very good season for the Twins.

--Posted at 8:55 am by SG / 33 Comments | - (0)




Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Yankees.com: Time runs out on Yankees’ postseason chase

It’s officially down to the farewell tour for Derek Jeter and the Yankees.

The Yankees have been clinging to fading postseason hopes for weeks, but their reality was confirmed on Wednesday afternoon with a 9-5 loss to the Orioles at Yankee Stadium, ensuring that the team will pack its bags and scatter at the conclusion of the weekend.

“It’s a rough feeling—it should be a rough feeling for everyone in here,” Jeter said. “We didn’t play well enough. You put a lot of work into an offseason and see it as a good opportunity to go to the playoffs, and unfortunately we’re not going.”

Despite an offseason makeover that saw the club extend nearly $500 million to Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, Masahiro Tanaka and Carlos Beltran, this marks the first time since 1992-93 that the Yankees will have watched the playoffs from the sidelines in consecutive years.

“It’s disappointing. It’s frustrating,” manager Joe Girardi said. “It’s a lot of work that goes into it through the course of the year for everyone involved, and this is not where you want to be this time of year. And that’s why it’s frustrating.”

Well, so that’s that. I mean, don’t get me wrong, they were already effectively eliminated. It was just a matter of time for when the OFFICIAL elimination would take place. And the answer was, well, today.

I feel bad for Shane Greene that his last memory of 2014 would be him getting rocked for six runs in the fourth inning (this Kelly Johnson guy did well for the Orioles. He’s a free agent. I think that the Yankees should look into signing him).

--Posted at 7:14 pm by Brian Cronin / 20 Comments | - (0)



Orioles (94-63) @ Yankees (81-76), Wednesday, September 24, 2014, 1:05pm

BAL: Bud Norris (#25, 29, RHP, 14-8, 3.62) vs. NYY: Shane Greene (#61, 25, RHP, 5-3, 3.24)

Lineups
Orioles
1. Nick Markakis (L) RF
2. David Lough (L) LF
3. Adam Jones (R) CF
4. Nelson Cruz (R) DH
5. Steve Clevenger (L) 1B
6. Jimmy Paredes (S) 3B
7. Kelly Johnson (L) 2B
8. Ryan Flaherty (L) SS
9. Caleb Joseph (R) C

Yankees
1. Brett Gardner (L) CF
2. Derek Jeter (R) DH
3. Chase Headley (S) 3B
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B
5. Francisco Cervelli (R) C
6. Stephen Drew (L) 2B
7. Chris Young (R) LF
8. Antoan Richardson (S) RF
9. Brendan Ryan (R) SS

I had no idea there was a day game today.  With the forecast tomorrow, there’s a chance this will be Derek Jeter’s final game in Yankee pinstripes.  I predict he will ground out multiple times to commemorate the event.

--Posted at 12:31 pm by SG / 41 Comments | - (0)



NY Post: Expect same albatrosses in middle of 2015 Yankees lineup

With all else that went wrong for the Yankees this year, just give them wins in the four games they lost this month when giving up one or two runs and they would have begun Monday a half-game out of a wild-card spot.

That says as much about the competition as anything. But it defines why the Yankees are almost certainly not going to reach the postseason. They couldn’t score.

Now I am going to let you in on a secret: Just about nobody can. It sure does feel as if the Yankees are constantly unable to exceed two runs. They have failed to reach three runs 50 times this year, a third of their games. That was tied for 19th. That is right — 18 teams had failed to reach three runs more often than even the Yankees.

And, in a way, that is terrible for the Yankees. It emphasizes how difficult it is to find offense in this era, at a time when the Yankees are going to have to do just that again this offseason after spending nearly $300 million last winter on Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann.

Translation: The Yankees are as likely to be as beholden to Beltran, McCann and Mark Teixeira next year as they have been in 2014.

Wonderful.

--Posted at 8:22 am by SG / 13 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Orioles (93-63) @ Yankees (81-75), Tuesday, September 23, 2014, 7:05pm

BAL: Ubaldo Jimenez (#31, 30, RHP, 5-9, 4.90) vs. NYY: Brandon McCarthy (#38, 30, RHP, 10-14, 3.93)

Lineups
Orioles
1. Nick Markakis (L) RF
2. Alejandro De Aza (L) LF
3. Adam Jones (R) CF
4. Nelson Cruz (R) DH
5. Kelly Johnson (L) 2B
6. J.J. Hardy (R) SS
7. Jimmy Paredes (S) 3B
8. Ryan Flaherty (L) 1B
9. Nick Hundley (R) C

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

--Posted at 5:38 pm by SG / 26 Comments | - (0)



NY Post: J.J. Hardy would ‘listen’ if Yankees called about shortstop opening

Pretty soon, attention will turn from Derek Jeter’s goodbye to his replacement.

And there’s a chance that player was in The Bronx on Monday.

Baltimore’s J.J. Hardy will be a free agent and is not surprisingly aware of the upcoming job opening at shortstop.

“Of course I’ve heard it,” Hardy said before Jeter began his final series at Yankee Stadium. “It’s not something I can look into the future and see what’s going to happen. I’ve just got to focus on helping our team right now and obviously the playoff this year. But if it comes to it, I’ll have to think about it more.”

And since he’s not about to be the first prospective free agent to declare he has no interest in the Yankees’ money, Hardy said he would listen if they called.

“Of course,” Hardy said.

I haven’t really looked at the numbers, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Hardy’s the best option to replace Jeter on the free agent market. 

That doesn’t necessarily make him a good option, unfortunately.

Hardy may project to be worth around 3.5 WAR in 2014.  Assuming a standard 0.7 WAR decline per season, a fair deal for Hardy might be something in the area of 4 years and $60M.  If that’s the rate, I’d be fine with him being the next Yankee shortstop, and he’d certainly be an upgrade over the current version 0.4 WAR version of Jeter.  But Hardy’s going to be 32 next season, and probably is a bit of a risk because of that.

That being said, it’s not like the Yankees have their future shortstop in the organization.

--Posted at 10:11 am by SG / 47 Comments | - (0)




Monday, September 22, 2014

Yankees.com: Jeter turns back clock with three-RBI night

NEW YORK—Derek Jeter rolled the clock back to enjoy his first three-RBI game since 2012 and Michael Pineda turned in his most dominant start in pinstripes, leading the Yankees to a 5-0 victory over the Orioles on Monday at Yankee Stadium.

Beginning the final regular-season home series of his career, Jeter ripped a two-run double down the left-field line off Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen and also knocked a run-scoring groundout, extending his hitting streak to six games.

Jose Pirela, the franchise-record 57th player used in a game by the Yankees this season, turned in a notable Major League debut by blasting a run-scoring triple off Chen in his first plate appearance, part of a two-hit performance for the 24-year-old prospect.

That was enough support for Pineda, who has looked strong in the majority of his eight starts since returning from the disabled list in August, and had all of his pitches working against a Baltimore squad trying to lock up home-field advantage for the American League Division Series.

If only the Yankees hadn’t played like complete garbage for 90% of the season…

--Posted at 9:59 pm by SG / 12 Comments | - (0)



Orioles (93-62) @ Yankees (80-75), Monday, September 22, 2014, 7:05pm

BAL: Wei-Yin Chen (#16, 28, LHP, 16-4, 3.58) vs. NYY: Michael Pineda (#35, 25, RHP, 3-5, 2.15)

Lineups
Baltimore
1. Nick Markakis (L) RF
2. Alejandro De Aza (L) LF
3. Adam Jones (R) CF
4. Nelson Cruz (R) DH
5. J.J. Hardy (R) SS
6. Christian Walker (R) 1B
7. Ryan Flaherty (L) 3B
8. Caleb Joseph (R) C
9. Jonathan Schoop (R) 2B

Yankees
1. Brett Gardner (L) CF
2. Derek Jeter (R) SS
3. Brian McCann (L) C
4. Chris Young (R) LF
5. Chase Headley (S) 3B
6. Francisco Cervelli (R) 1B
7. Stephen Drew (L) 2B
8. Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF
9. Jose Pirela (R) DH

The Yankees are still playing huh?  Good for them.

--Posted at 2:56 pm by SG / 41 Comments | - (0)



NYDN: Masahiro Tanaka stellar in return for Yankees, who earn 5-2 win over Blue Jays

Masahiro Tanaka was a singular sensation for the Yankees in the first half of the season, an All-Star right out of the gate since arriving from Japan and a contender for the AL Cy Young Award. In the 75 days since he felt elbow pain during a July 8 start, he has been the club’s enormous $155 million question mark.

Sunday, the answers might have started coming for the Bombers.

The injured ace returned to the mound for the first time since doctors counseled against Tommy John surgery for a small tear in his ulnar collateral ligament and instead recommended rehab, platelet-rich plasma treatment and a throwing program. It’s only one start, but it looks like the right call so far.

Tanaka was every bit as effective as he was before the injury, allowing just one run in 5.1 innings against the Blue Jays on a day the Yankees hit three home runs and Derek Jeter delighted a crowd of 48,144 in a 5-2 victory at the Stadium.

“I thought it was great,” catcher Brian McCann said of Tanaka’s 70-pitch performance. “He looked the same. . . . As far as the difference between today and what he did early on, (it) was nothing.”

“Pretty darn good,” Joe Girardi said. “His first pitch was 92. I don’t know if I was really prepared for that. That was really encouraging to me, too.”

I feel exactly 0% more confident that Tanaka’s successful return to the mound yesterday means he’ll be healthy going forward, but I guess it’s something to build on with an eye towards 2015.

--Posted at 8:08 am by SG / 22 Comments | - (0)




Sunday, September 21, 2014

Blue Jays (78-76) @ Yankees (79-75), Sunday, September 21, 2014, 1:05pm

TOR: Drew Hutchison (#36, 23, RHP, 10-12, 4.51) vs. NYY: Masahiro Tanaka (#19, 25, RHP, 12-4, 2.51)

If Tanaka pitches well in this meaningless rehab start today, it augurs well for the flat ground squad’s chances in 2015.

--Posted at 6:41 am by SG / 23 Comments | - (0)




Saturday, September 20, 2014

Blue Jays (77-76) @ Yankees (79-74), Saturday, September 20, 2014, 4:05pm

TOR: Marcus Stroman (#54, 23, RHP, 10-6, 3.80) vs. NYY: Chris Capuano (#26, 35, LHP, 2-3, 4.55)

--Posted at 12:43 pm by SG / 23 Comments | - (0)




Friday, September 19, 2014

Blue Jays (77-75) @ Yankees (78-74), Friday, September 19, 2014, 7:05pm

TOR: Mark Buehrle (#56, 35, LHP, 12-9, 3.40) vs. NYY: Hiroki Kuroda (#18, 39, RHP, 10-9, 3.81)

Lineups
Blue Jays
TBA

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

I look at the Yankees lineup and I realize this season really can’t end soon enough.

--Posted at 2:54 pm by SG / 25 Comments | - (0)



NY Times: Against Blue Jays, Derek Jeter and Yankees Show Signs of Life

The flashbulbs portion of the season has finally arrived. That was one of the first surefire signs of Derek Jeter’s final regular-season homestand at Yankee Stadium: the winking lights from digital cameras greeting his every at-bat.

There were many more signs, and more to come still. The farewell tour has turned its final corner. But with the Yankees still ostensibly in the hunt for the postseason — at least according to the standings — Jeter was hardly in a mood for remembrance.

He jogged right past the No. 2 logo painted along each baseline, and remained in the dugout as fans cheered his name after a sixth-inning home run, forgoing a curtain call so that Brian McCann could focus on his at-bat.

I figured Jeter would never have another extra base hit again, so the homer was a pleasant surprise.

The Yankees aren’t playing for anything now, so it’s basically going to be a Jeter love-fest for the rest of the season.

Am I a bad person for hoping Jeter sits out the final series in Fenway?

--Posted at 8:08 am by SG / 24 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, September 18, 2014

Blue Jays (77-74) @ Yankees (77-74), Thursday, September 18, 2014, 7:05pm

TOR: R.A. Dickey (#43, 39, RHP, 13-12, 3.84) vs. NYY: Shane Greene (#61, 25, RHP, 5-3, 3.56)

Lineups
Blue Jays
1. Jose Reyes (S) SS
2. Jose Bautista (R) RF
3. Edwin Encarnacion (R) DH
4. Adam Lind (L) 1B
5. Danny Valencia (R) 3B
6. Munenori Kawasaki (L) 2B
7. Josh Thole (L) C
8. Kevin Pillar (R) LF
9. Anthony Gose (L) CF

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

The final homestand of the 2014 season starts tonight.  I’ll predict the Yankees score a total of four runs over the next eight games.

--Posted at 2:46 pm by SG / 25 Comments | - (0)



NJ.com: Derek Jeter breaks his slump

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — It hasn’t happened often for the Yankees in 2014, but just about everything went right for them Wednesday.

Their win went much like the way they envisioned many more of them going at the start of the year. The 3-2 victory over the Rays at Tropicana Field feature a strong outing from starter Brandon McCarthy, who lasted seven innings, some timely hitting and an easy save by David Robertson.

Unfortunate, it’s too little, too late — a theme with which these Yankees are all too familiar.

PLAYOFFS?
In reality, there’s no shot. But let’s talk math, which still says the Yankees can make the postseason. With 11 games remaining, the Yankees climbed within 5.5 games of the Royals in the race for the second American League Wild Card spot.

The .600 OPS watch continues for Jeter (.249/.298/.297).

--Posted at 9:37 am by SG / 19 Comments | - (0)




Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Yankees (76-74) @ Rays (74-78), Wednesday, September 17, 2014, 7:10pm

NYY: Brandon McCarthy (#38, 30, RHP, 9-14, 3.98) vs. TBR: Alex Cobb (#53, 26, RHP, 9-7, 2.75)

Lineups
WOE
TBA, but an embarrassment

Rays
The 1927 Yankees

--Posted at 12:29 pm by SG / 38 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Yankees.com: Rays open floodgates on Yanks after close call

ST. PETERSBURG—A gift, an aggressive play, some late scoring and, as usual, a lot of good pitching led the way for a 6-1 Rays win over the Yankees on Tuesday night at Tropicana Field.

The Rays (74-78) won for the fourth time in five games while clinching the three-game series and moving to 11-7 against the Yankees this season.

Trailing, 1-0, in the fifth, the Rays got some help from the Yankees when they benefited from two New York errors. The first came when Kevin Kiermaier reached on a throwing error by second baseman Brendan Ryan. After Ryan Hanigan walked, Yankees starter Michael Pineda made the second error while covering first base on Ben Zobrist’s chopper. First baseman Brian McCann flipped Pineda the ball, then watched as Pineda played hot potato until finally dropping the ball. Kiermaier scored from second on the play.

Different night, same crap.

--Posted at 10:16 pm by SG / 21 Comments | - (0)



Yankees (76-73) @ Rays (73-78), Tuesday, September 16, 2014, 7:10pm

NYY: Michael Pineda (25, RHP, 3-4, 2.20) vs. TBR: Jake Odorizzi (24, RHP, 10-12, 4.08)

Lineups
Yankees
TBA, but guaranteed to stink

Rays
1. Ben Zobrist (S) LF
2. David DeJesus (L) DH
3. Evan Longoria (R) 3B
4. James Loney (L) 1B
5. Nick Franklin (S) 2B
6. Matt Joyce (L) RF
7. Yunel Escobar (R) SS
8. Kevin Kiermaier (L) CF
9. Ryan Hanigan (R) C

Am I a bad fan because I don’t watch the games anymore and am actively rooting for the Yankees to finish below .500?

--Posted at 3:36 pm by SG / 37 Comments | - (0)



NY Post: Yankees eliminated from East, wild-card hopes all but over

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Standing in a solemn clubhouse that grows more quiet with each passing loss, Brett Gardner rolled back the clock to March.

“Coming into spring training the lineup we put together, it looked good on paper,’’ Gardner said.

Now, two weeks from the end of a second straight season in which there will be no games in October, the Yankees appear to be swinging wet newspapers instead of bats.

I love ya Brett, but this lineup never looked very good on paper.  They didn’t look this bad, but they didn’t look good.

And I don’t see a blueprint to make them appreciably better in the next few years, aside from “hope a bunch of players in their mid to late 30s play better a year further removed from the typical peak age for a baseball player.”

--Posted at 7:57 am by SG / 42 Comments | - (0)




Monday, September 15, 2014

Yankees (76-72) @ Rays (72-78), Monday, September 15, 2014, 7:10pm

NYY: Chris Capuano (#26, 35, LHP, 2-3, 4.90) vs. TBR: Alex Colome (#37, 25, RHP, 1-0, 2.79)

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

Rays
1. Ben Zobrist (S) CF
2. Brandon Guyer (R) LF
3. Evan Longoria (R) DH
4. Wil Myers (R) RF
5. Yunel Escobar (R) SS
6. Logan Forsythe (R) 2B
7. James Loney (L) 1B
8. Sean Rodriguez (R) 3B
9. Curt Casali (R) C

--Posted at 3:37 pm by SG / 34 Comments | - (0)



NY Times: Yankees Grab Lead in the Ninth, but Then It Slips Through Their Hands

BALTIMORE — For the past couple of weeks, the Yankees have suffered several seemingly devastating losses, only to remain mathematically alive in the race for the second American League wild-card spot. Sunday’s loss seemed devastating enough to finally do them in for good.

Hiroki Kuroda pitched very well, and Brian McCann hit a ninth-inning home run to give the Yankees a late lead. But David Robertson, pitching for the third straight day, blew the save chance in the bottom of the ninth, and the Yankees lost, 3-2, to the Baltimore Orioles, their third loss in four games here.

I haven’t really found any of the losses to be that devastating.  I haven’t seen them which may be part of the reason.

And really, this team was eliminated from the postseason before the season started.

--Posted at 7:09 am by SG / 10 Comments | - (0)




Sunday, September 14, 2014

Yankees (76-71) @ Orioles (88-60), Sunday, September 14, 2014, 8:00pm

NYY: Hiroki Kuroda (#18, 39, RHP, 10-9, 3.91) vs. BAL: Chris Tillman (#30, 26, RHP, 12-5, 3.36)

Lineups
Yankees
WOE

Orioles
1. Nick Markakis (L) RF
2. Alejandro De Aza (L) LF
3. Adam Jones (R) CF
4. Nelson Cruz (R) DH
5. Steve Pearce (R) 1B
6. J.J. Hardy (R) SS
7. Kelly Johnson (L) 3B
8. Nick Hundley (R) C
9. Jonathan Schoop (R) 2B

I was thinking about how a game this important really should have been in prime time.  I hope TGS gets a 0.0 rating for this crap.

--Posted at 3:09 pm by SG / 55 Comments | - (0)



NJ.com: Yankees’ Derek Jeter has bad stats, good at-bats, Joe Girardi says

BALTIMORE — Derek Jeter is hitless in 20 at-bats and is having a terrible second half to what will be his final season.

But manager Joe Girardi said he’s not looking so much at the numbers when it comes to Yankees hitters.

“You look at at-bats,” he said after Saturday’s 3-2 win over the Orioles. “We don’t get so caught up in what the numbers are. You look at the at-bats.

“Sometimes you could be swinging horrible and be getting hits, too. So I thought he hit a ball on the screws last time. He hit a couple the other day. He didn’t have much to show for it.”

I feel better now knowing that.

--Posted at 9:55 am by SG / 9 Comments | - (0)




Saturday, September 13, 2014

Yankees (75-71) @ Orioles (88-59), Saturday, September 13, 2014, 1:05pm

NYY: Shane Greene (#61, 25, RHP, 4-3, 3.57) vs. BAL: Miguel Gonzalez (#50, 30, RHP, 9-7, 3.22)

--Posted at 8:07 am by SG / 16 Comments | - (0)




Friday, September 12, 2014

Yankees (75-69) @ Orioles (86-59), Friday, September 12, 2014, Doubleheader

What’s worse than a Yankee game?  Two of them.

Game 1: NYY: Brandon McCarthy (#38, 30, RHP, 9-14, 4.13) vs. BAL: Kevin Gausman (#39, 23, RHP, 7-7, 3.83)

Lineups
Yankees
1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
2. Martin Prado (R) 3B
3. Brian McCann (L) DH
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B
5. Chris Young (R) LF
6. Stephen Drew (L) 2B
7. John Ryan Murphy (R) C
8. Brendan Ryan (R) SS
9. Antoan Richardson (S) RF

Orioles
1. Nick Markakis (L) RF
2. Alejandro De Aza (L) LF
3. Adam Jones (R) CF
4. Nelson Cruz (R) DH
5. Steve Pearce (R) 1B
6. J.J. Hardy (R) SS
7. Kelly Johnson (L) 3B
8. Nick Hundley (R) C
9. Jonathan Schoop (R) 2B

Game 2: NYY: Bryan Mitchell (#65, 23, RHP, 0-0, 0.00) vs. BAL: Bud Norris (#25, 29, RHP, 12-8, 3.92)
Lineups
Yankees
TBA

Orioles
TBA

--Posted at 12:41 pm by SG / 79 Comments | - (0)



NY Post: Yankees’ VP of baseball operations Mark Newman retiring: sources

After a disappointing 2013 season, owner Hal Steinbrenner said he was going to look at all aspects of the system, including player development and amateur scouting.

Damon Oppenheimer’s recent amateur drafts have been solid, and he is believed to be safe.

There is some belief that if Newman didn’t retire, the Yankees wouldn’t renew his contract. The contract expires this year.

Asked Thursday afternoon if he had heard anything about his future, Newman said he hadn’t.

A message left early Thursday night pertaining to possible retirement wasn’t immediately returned.

Actual movement instead of inertia?  What’s next?

--Posted at 10:39 am by SG / 3 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, September 11, 2014

Yankees.com: Young’s late heroics rescue Yankees

Chris Young broke up Alex Cobb’s no-hit bid in the eighth and then hit a walk-off three-run homer in the ninth to pull N.Y. within 4 games of the WC.

WTH did that come from?  Too bad it was meaningless, but it was still awesome.

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



Rays (70-76) @ Yankees (74-69), Thursday, September 11, 2014, 7:05pm

TBR: Alex Cobb (#53, 26, RHP, 9-7, 2.83) vs. NYY: Michael Pineda (#35, 25, RHP, 3-4, 1.80)

Lineups
Rays
1. Ben Zobrist (S) 2B
2. David DeJesus (L) DH
3. Evan Longoria (R) 3B
4. James Loney (L) 1B
5. Wil Myers (R) RF
6. Matt Joyce (L) LF
7. Yunel Escobar (R) SS
8. Kevin Kiermaier (L) CF
9. Curt Casali (R) C

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

I am convinced at some point before the year is out, Pineda will lose a game where he allows zero runs.  You really can’t ask him to pitch better than he’s pitched in 2014, but unfortunately for him he’s surrounded by a wretched hive of an offense.

Anyway, for all intents and purposes, the Yankees’ season is over.  So I’ll mainly be watching to see if Derek Jeter can keep his OBP above .300 and his OPS above .600 by season’s end.

Today’s “fun” stat. 

Brian Roberts: .237/.300/.360, OPS+ 86
Jeter: .256/.303/.306, OPS+ 74

--Posted at 3:24 pm by SG / 47 Comments | - (0)



NJ.com: Yankees’ Carlos Beltran: Elbow surgery decision could happen soon

NEW YORK — If the pain from the bone spur in Carlos Beltran’s elbow doesn’t subside within the next few days, the Yankees’ slugger will end his season and have surgery to remove it, he said Wednesday.

“It’s been frustrating, but it is what it is,” he said after the Yankees’ 8-4 win over the Rays at Yankee Stadium. “Nothing I could do about it.

Beltran sat out the victory. He felt pain in the elbow during batting practice before it started and manager Joe Girardi immediately pulled him out of the DH spot in the lineup.

Beltran has followed a similar routine each time the elbow pain has flared up since he discovered the injury May 13. He would get a cortisone shot, rest a few days and return to the Yankees’ lineup.

But the 37-year-old has already had three of the shots and won’t have another.

Just think.  Beltran’s only signed for two more seasons after this.

Assuming he’s done for the year, the Yankees will have paid Beltran $15M for -0.1 bWAR and -0.4 fWAR. 

Is that good or bad?

--Posted at 8:26 am by SG / 12 Comments | - (0)




Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Yankees.com: Yanks erase four-run deficit in comeback win

Mark Teixeira legged out a rare go-ahead triple, Brian McCann and Chris Young homered and the Yankees rallied to keep their postseason hopes alive with their biggest comeback win of the year, an 8-5 victory over the Rays on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.

Down by four runs after Chris Capuano managed to record only one out in the first inning, the Yankees struck back for six unanswered runs against Tampa Bay starter Jake Odorizzi, chasing the right-hander in the fifth.

McCann started the surge with his 18th homer of the season, 16 of which have come in the Bronx, then delivered a two-run single to trim the deficit in the third. Young tied the game in the fourth with his first homer as a Yankee, a solo shot to left field.

New York grabbed the lead in the fifth as McCann was hit by a pitch, then chugged around the bases to score as Teixeira’s triple—his first since July 6, 2012—was kicked around in the right-field corner, knocking Odorizzi from the game. Chase Headley tacked on by greeting reliever Jeff Beliveau with an RBI single.

Here’s an interesting note about the playoffs - right now there is no guarantee at all that the Athletics make the playoffs. They’re only 1.5 games up on Detroit/Seattle for the first wild card. Can you imagine how many fully erect U.S. sportwriters there will be if Billy Beane’s team doesn’t make the playoffs after Beane wrote that Brad Pitt movie about how awesome he was?

--Posted at 11:33 pm by Brian Cronin / 4 Comments | - (0)



WSJ: Yankees Want Tanaka Back Soon, but Not to Save the Season

If and when he returns to the mound, injured Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka will not do so as a savior of the 2014 season. Even if the Yankees were closer to contending, the two starts he’d likely make wouldn’t be enough to turn the tide.

Tanaka’s return, which could come at the end of next week after a promising throwing session on Tuesday, has little to do with this year and everything to do with 2015.

I’m not sure seeing Tanaka back for two starts at the end of the season will make any difference in prognosticating him remaining healthy next year, but I guess it’s better that he does make it back than not.

--Posted at 7:21 am by SG / 45 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Rays (69-75) @ Yankees (73-68), Tuesday, September 9, 2014, 7:05pm

TBR: Chris Archer (#22, 25, RHP, 8-8, 3.60) vs. NYY: Hiroki Kuroda (#18, 39, RHP, 10-8, 3.78)

Lineups
Tampa Bay
1. Ben Zobrist (S) 2B
2. David DeJesus (L) DH
3. Evan Longoria (R) 3B
4. James Loney (L) 1B
5. Wil Myers (R) RF
6. Matt Joyce (L) LF
7. Yunel Escobar (R) SS
8. Kevin Kiermaier (L) CF
9. Ryan Hanigan (R) C

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

I’m not sure why they are even playing these games at this point.

--Posted at 3:16 pm by SG / 33 Comments | - (0)



NYDN: Yankees remain hopeful on reaching postseason, but weak offense says otherwise

The narrative would practically write itself.

Who didn’t think the Yankees would make the postseason and give Derek Jeter one last October, so we’d have one more Flip Play, one more clutch hit, one more highlight clip for his Yankeeography?

Raises hand.

--Posted at 8:32 am by SG / 16 Comments | - (0)




Monday, September 8, 2014

CBS Sports: Yankees, Fans Pay Tribute To Derek Jeter

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Derek Jeter remained as cool and collected as his play at shortstop when the New York Yankees honored their retiringcaptain with a 45-minute ceremony that included appearances by NBA great Michael Jordan and baseball ironman Cal Ripken Jr.

Jeter spoke to fans for about three minutes before Sunday’s game against Kansas City. The Yankees didn’t retire his No. 2 or unveil a plaque in Monument Park, no doubt setting up a Derek Jeter Day 2 at some future time. New York took a similar approach a half-century ago, holding a Mickey Mantle Day in September 1965 before his 2,000th game, then retiring his No. 7 in June 1969 after his playing days.

I ended up enjoying the ceremony a lot more than I thought I would.  It’s hard to believe that It’s been 20 seasons since Jeter debuted in 1995.  Whether the mainstream media has overrated Jeter is not really that important to me. 

What is important to me is that I can’t think of Jeter’s Yankee tenure as anything but an absolutely fantastic time to have been a Yankee fan.

We were spoiled by what the Yankees did from 1995 through 2012.  We almost certainly won’t see a run like that again in our lifetimes.  Jeter’s retirement will effectively close the book on that era.

The Yankees aren’t making the postseason this year, so I guess the rest of the season will be an extended Jeter send-off.  It’s kind of disappointing, but it was the same situation with Mariano Rivera last year and honestly I enjoyed it a lot more than I likely would have enjoyed a flawed Yankee team squeaking into a wild card and getting eliminated in either the play-in game or the LDS.

Hopefully I’ll enjoy the rest of 2014 in a similar way, even though I loved Mo and I hate Jeter*.

I do not really hate Jeter.  I hate the fact that his defensive limitations got ignored by large swaths of the media and that he was overrated because of that.

Update: I was wondering why Andy Pettitte wasn’t there yesterday, and apparently it was because he was on a long-planned hunting trip with his family.  I’m sure Pettitte will make an appearance at some point before the end of the season.

--Posted at 8:21 am by SG / 43 Comments | - (0)




Sunday, September 7, 2014

Yankees.com: Yanks fall to Royals on Jeter’s special day

NEW YORK—After all the pageantry, nostalgia and ballyhoo that surrounded “Derek Jeter Day” at Yankee Stadium, the captain punctuated his speech during a pregame ceremony by reminding the sold-out crowd of 48,110: “Now we’ve got a game to play.”

The Yankees want to extend Jeter’s career for as long as possible and make this final month much more than an extended goodbye to the face of their franchise for two decades. To do so, they must win games in a hurry, so losses like Sunday’s 2-0 defeat to the Royals are especially damaging.

It pushed New York five games back of Seattle’s hold on the second American League Wild Card spot with just 21 games remaining on the Yankees’ schedule.

Jeter probably wishes he retired before this season.  It’s unfortunate his legacy will be sullied by being associated with this sorry team.

--Posted at 4:09 pm by SG / 21 Comments | - (0)



Royals (78-63) @ Yankees (73-67), Sunday, September 7, 2014, 1:05pm

KCR: Yordano Ventura (#30, 23, RHP, 11-9, 3.38) vs. NYY: Shane Greene (#61, 25, RHP, 4-2, 3.88)

Lineups
Royals
1. Nori Aoki (L) RF
2. Omar Infante (R) 2B
3. Alex Gordon (L) LF
4. Salvador Perez (R) C
5. Eric Hosmer (L) 1B
6. Josh Willingham (R) DH
7. Mike Moustakas (L) 3B
8. Alcides Escobar (R) SS
9. Jarrod Dyson (L) CF

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

The Yankees are just playing out the string now, but at least it’s Derek Jeter Day, which means the first 20,000 fans get a gift basket.

It’s also the free game on MLB.tv today if you are not in the Yankees’ TV market, which is pretty cool.

The Yankees have had like 50 “Days” this season in a fairly transparent attempt to drum up interest since the team they’ve put on the field this year doesn’t really do it.  To me that cheapens things like what will happen today for Jeter, or at least makes it seem less noteworthy.

While I have no problem with honoring players like Paul O’Neill and such, what will they do next year when the team is likely to be worse and they’ve run out of good players to honor?  Luis Sojo Day?  Enrique Wilson Day?  Dale Polley Day?

--Posted at 9:51 am by SG / 41 Comments | - (0)




Saturday, September 6, 2014

Yankees.com: Yanks jump on Royals to keep pace in Wild Card

The Royals lost their starting pitcher, Danny Duffy, to left shoulder soreness after he threw one pitch, and the Yankees capitalized for a 6-2 victory at Yankee Stadium on Saturday.

It may have been the break New York’s scuffling offense needed after being shut out by James Shields and Wade Davis on Friday night.

With the win, the Yankees pulled to within four games of Seattle for the second American League Wild Card spot. The Mariners play later tonight against the Rangers in Texas.

Duffy has been one of the Royals’ most reliable pitchers as they have made their run to the top of the American League Central. He owns a 2.42 ERA and had allowed more than two earned runs only once since July 6.

Liam Hendricks was thrown into the unenviable task of being asked to pitch with little notice. In four innings, he gave up seven hits and four runs (three earned). Then the Yankees tagged Casey Coleman for two runs in the fifth.

It remains to be seen if this game will help the Yankees burst out of their season-long offensive struggles, but they received contributions from various members of the lineup.

Last night’s pathetic loss was the nail in the coffin, but, well, better for them to win than to not, right? Especially since they’re not getting a top 10 pick.

Martin Prado returned, which was very helpful. How shitty is it that that guy had to get hurt after his hot streak? Even now he seems kind of hurt, but luckily he’s a good enough of a hitter to work through the injury.

In possibly cool news, Tanaka ‘getting stronger’ after latest bullpen session:

Masahiro Tanaka believes his arm fatigue is now behind him after completing his latest progression—a 34-pitch bullpen session featuring all his pitches on Saturday—toward rehabbing his injured right elbow.

Manager Joe Girardi was not sure what Tanaka’s next step would be, but it will likely be a simulated game or throwing live batting practice.
Tanaka is trying to avoid Tommy John surgery by rehabbing the partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He was sent back to New York from Toronto a week ago with arm fatigue that came about a couple of days after he threw a simulated game in Detroit. Still, Tanaka said he was not concerned about any lingering pain arising after his latest throwing session.
“I really do feel that I’m getting stronger, so I’m really not worried about it,” he said.

Yeah, I think I’m going to be worried about it…constantly.

--Posted at 6:26 pm by Brian Cronin / 6 Comments | - (0)




Friday, September 5, 2014

Royals (77-62) @ Yankees (71-66), Friday, September 5, 2014, 7:05pm

KCR: James Shields (#33, 32, RHP, 12-7, 3.38) vs. NYY: Michael Pineda (#35, 25, RHP, 3-3, 2.09)

Lineups
Royals
1. Nori Aoki (L) RF
2. Omar Infante (R) 2B
3. Alex Gordon (L) LF
4. Salvador Perez (R) C
5. Eric Hosmer (L) 1B
6. Billy Butler (R) DH
7. Mike Moustakas (L) 3B
8. Lorenzo Cain (R) CF
9. Alcides Escobar (R) SS

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

The Royals are so far ahead of the Yankees in a race for the postseason that this series is essentially meaningless.  The Royals are five games ahead of the Yankees, which makes them one of only six American League teams that can say that.

In other words…

Whatever.

--Posted at 2:53 pm by SG / 40 Comments | - (0)



FoxSports: Reports: Cashman expected to get extension from Yankees

The New York Yankees have had an up-and-down year, but it appears as though it won’t cost general manager Brian Cashman his job.

The Yankees are expected to offer Cashman, whose three-year, $9 million deal expires in October, an extension at the end of the season, according to multiple reports.

“There hasn’t been any discussions yet,’’ a source told New York Newsday. “But he’s done a good job.’‘

Cashman has served as the team’s GM since 1998, helping the team win four World Series titles. But the Yankees have struggled the past couple of seasons and are in danger of missing the playoffs in back-to-back years for the first time since 1992-93.

Eh.  It’s hard to judge how good of a GM Cashman is given the meddling he gets from the people he reports to.  Here’s what I do think.  The Yankees have a bunch of crappy contracts.  The Yankees have a crappy minor league system.  The Yankees will have missed the postseason two years in a row despite the addition of a second wild card which sets the bar for qualifying for the postseason at a markedly mediocre level.  It’s getting harder and harder to get franchise-changing players via free agency.

And the Yankees appear to have little interest in making changes to address any of those things.

--Posted at 9:49 am by SG / 23 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, September 4, 2014

Yankees.com: Thrill of the Chase: Headley delivers walk-off blast

NEW YORK—The Yankees have no plans of going away quietly. Mark Teixeira hit a game-tying homer and Chase Headley followed with the winning blast, a solo shot to right field, as the Bombers celebrated a 5-4 walk-off victory over the Red Sox on Thursday at Yankee Stadium.

After slogging through the first eight frames, the Yanks came alive in the ninth against Koji Uehara. Mired in a slump for most of the last month-plus, Teixeira slammed his first homer since Aug. 17, and Headley came up one out later with the game-winning shot.

Headley raised his right hand immediately as he trotted down the first-base line and was doused with an ice bucket shower by his teammates as he reached home plate, helping the Yankees take two of three games in the series from Boston.

A rare bit of excitement in a season that’s been the polar opposite of exciting.  We can ignore the fact that the Yankees probably had to sweep this series, and not have gone 3-4 in the road trip prior to it, and that you need a magnifying glass to see their postseason odds and just enjoy a fun win.

--Posted at 9:31 pm by SG / 14 Comments | - (0)



Red Sox (61-78) @ Yankees (71-66), Thursday, September 4, 2014, 7:05pm

BOS: Brandon Workman (#67, 25, RHP, 1-8, 4.93) vs. NYY: Chris Capuano (#26, 35, LHP, 2-3, 4.24)

Lineups
Red Sox
1. Brock Holt (L) 2B
2. Mookie Betts (R) CF
3. David Ortiz (L) DH
4. Yoenis Cespedes (R) LF
5. Mike Napoli (R) 1B
6. Allen Craig (R) RF
7. Xander Bogaerts (R) SS
8. Will Middlebrooks (R) 3B
9. Christian Vazquez (R) C

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

Whatever.

--Posted at 2:36 pm by SG / 48 Comments | - (0)



NY Times: Searching for Ways to Improve Yankees’ Anemic Lineup

Some of the Yankees wear T-shirts under their jerseys with a three-word slogan — more like an exhortation — on the back: DO YOUR JOB! Carlos Beltran wore his on Wednesday. Like most of the hitters, though, he has not answered the demand.

Things were different on Wednesday, when the Yankees scored five runs off the junior varsity of the Boston Red Sox while rapping 11 hits in a 5-1 victory in the Bronx. Brian McCann had four hits, including a homer, but his on-base percentage is still below .300.

“There’s a month left, and we’re fighting for a playoff spot,” McCann said. “Stats are out the window at this point.”

True enough, and if the Yankees continue to outplay their run differential and somehow reach the playoffs, it may soothe the sting of their offensive troubles. Still, the final numbers will probably be the team’s sickliest in years, and Kevin Long, the hitting coach, bares the daily burden of trying to improve them.

Chris Young should be the answer.

--Posted at 8:27 am by SG / 16 Comments | - (0)




Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Red Sox (61-77) @ Yankees (70-66), Wednesday, September 3, 2014, 7:05pm

BOS: Anthony Ranaudo (#63, 24, RHP, 3-0, 4.50) vs. NYY: Hiroki Kuroda (#18, 39, RHP, 9-8, 3.88)

Lineups
Red Sox
1. Brock Holt (L) 3B
2. Mookie Betts (R) CF
3. David Ortiz (L) DH
4. Yoenis Cespedes (R) LF
5. Daniel Nava (S) RF
6. Allen Craig (R) 1B
7. Xander Bogaerts (R) SS
8. Christian Vazquez (R) C
9. Jemile Weeks (S) 2B

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

Zzz.

--Posted at 2:50 pm by SG / 71 Comments | - (0)



NJ.com: Dropping Derek Jeter in Yankees’ lineup pointless now

What Jeter has become is clear. He’s 40-year-old doing something almost no 40-year-olds do in baseball: holding on to a starting job, in only by the tips of his fingers.

That’s impressive. But it’s not enough to warrant a top-of-the-order spot for a team who’s mantra has been championship or bust since the start of the Steinbrenner era.

The problem: We’re past that point. It’s too late. The buzzards are circling, eying the meat beneath the pinstripes.

Nothing Girardi does from today through Sept. 28, the Yankees’ last regular season game, is going to turn their offense into a playoff-caliber force. Especially not moving Jeter and putting someone else in his No. 2 spot.

I agree that moving Jeter down in the lineup at this point is like putting lipstick on a pig.  With 26 games left in the season, you could put Jose Abreu’s league-leading OPS (slash line of .320/.381/.602) in Jeter’s #2 spot in the lineup replacing his .261/.308/.311 line and it would only be worth 12 runs.  And you aren’t going to get a Jose Abreu line that can play shortstop even as poorly as Jeter does.

Nope.  This team’s problems are much larger than Jeter.  They needed Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran and Mark Teixeira to hit like middle-of-the-order bats.  Instead, they’ve hit for a collective line of .233/.305/.408 in 1299 PA.  Luckily, the Yankees aren’t on the hook for any of them through at least the end of 2016…

So how do you make this a better offense in 2015?  The return of Alex Rodriguez?

--Posted at 8:11 am by SG / 29 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Yankees.com: Yankees Stink

NEW YORK—The Yankees have not yet arrived at the do-or-die stage of their season, at least in the eyes of manager Joe Girardi, who nevertheless acknowledged on Tuesday afternoon that his club “obviously” needs to win most of the games on this homestand. They are one loss closer to the win-or-else portion of the schedule.

Shane Greene was thumped for six runs, including two homers, in his shortest start of the year and Brett Gardner was ejected at the conclusion of a promising rally as the Red Sox posted a 9-4 victory at Yankee Stadium.

Daniel Nava connected for the big blow off Greene, a three-run homer in the third inning that gave the Red Sox a five-run lead at the time. Xander Bogaerts also homered in that inning for Boston, which entered the evening ranked dead last among the 15 American League clubs in runs scored.

The Red Sox pounced on Greene quickly in the first, as Yoenis Cespedes logged a run-scoring double—his 24th RBI in 29 games—and Mike Napoli lifted a sacrifice fly to center field, chasing home David Ortiz with the second Boston run.

The Yankees stink.

--Posted at 9:38 pm by SG / 8 Comments | - (0)



Red Sox (60-77) @ Yankees (70-65), Tuesday, September 2, 2014, 7:05pm

BOS: Joe Kelly (#56, 26, RHP, 2-3, 4.14) vs. NYY: Shane Greene (#61, 25, RHP, 4-1, 3.09)

Lineups
Boston
1. Brock Holt (L) 2B
2. Mookie Betts (R) CF
3. David Ortiz (L) DH
4. Yoenis Cespedes (R) LF
5. Mike Napoli (R) 1B
6. Daniel Nava (S) RF
7. Will Middlebrooks (R) 3B
8. Xander Bogaerts (R) SS
9. David Ross (R) C

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


What’s worse than a Boston/Yankees game? 

Trick question. There is nothing worse.

I guess you could say a Boston/Yankees game in September that for all intents and purposes is meaningless would be worse.

Sort of like this game. 

Go Shane Greene I guess.  Also, the Yankees’ best hitter is hitting third.  Granted, that just means he’ll come up with two outs and the bases empty in each of his three PA, and you’d rather have your best hitter getting more PAs than fewer, but in the conventional wisdom of baseball, there is no better spot for your best hitter.

I think this is probably the first time Gardner has batted third in his career.  A quick check of Baseball Reference shows he does have one PA batting third, which I assume came after a pinch-running appearance.

What is amazing to me is that despite how bad the Red Sox offense has been this year (last in the AL in runs scored per game despite playing in a farce of a ballpark, and last in the AL in OPS+)  I count at least eight players in their lineup who would be better than 88.888888888889% of the Yankees’ lineup.

--Posted at 2:31 pm by SG / 83 Comments | - (0)



Newsday: Yankees are running out of time

The Yankees didn’t bury themselves with their 3-4 road trip, but they didn’t do anything to improve their position, either.

And with the calendar flipping to September on Monday, it’s no longer about “winning series,” as Joe Girardi likes to say.

They have to do better than that—meaning a sweep or two or three—to avoid a second straight dark October.

“You know what’s in front of you and you need to win games,” said Girardi, whose team starts a nine-game homestand Tuesday night at the Stadium against the Red Sox. “The trip started off well, it didn’t end up well and we have to make up for it on our homestand.”

The Yankees (70-65), off Monday, picked up a half-game on the AL East-leading Orioles but still trail Baltimore by 8 1/2 games. In the battle for the second wild-card spot, the Yankees and Indians are four games behind the Tigers and 21/2 games behind the Mariners.

“It’s tough,” Derek Jeter said of the Yankees’ situation with 27 games left. “We only have so many series left, we only have so many games left. I don’t necessarily look at it as [winning] series because we’re not going into series saying we need to win series. We need to win games. We need to win every day that we go out there; that’s the approach we need to have.”

Jeter, coming off a rough August—.207 with a .226 on-base percentage—said the Yankees still control their destiny. That’s why he said he doesn’t look at the standings.

I don’t look at the standings either, because they are depressing as hell.

I don’t think the Yankees are running out of time.  I think they’re out of time.

As of this morning, Baseball Prospectus puts their odds of winning the AL East at 0.9% and their odds of qualifying as a wild card at 5.3%.

Fangraphs is slightly more sanguine, at a whopping 2.0% to win the East, and 4.9% for a wild card.

The Yankees really need an insane run to get to the postseason.  It’s probably going to take 90 wins to get the second wild card, and at 70-65 that means they’d have to go 20-7 to get there.  Can this team play better than the 1998 Yankees over their last 27 games?  I’m not sure stranger things have ever happened.

But who knows?

--Posted at 9:04 am by SG / 32 Comments | - (0)




Sunday, August 31, 2014

Yankees.com: Yankees Stink

TORONTO—Brandon McCarthy gave up a trio of homers and the Yankees saw a three-run lead evaporate in a 4-3 loss to the Blue Jays in Sunday’s series finale at Rogers Centre.

New York dropped two of three in the series and finished its seven-game road trip with a 3-4 mark, after losing its final two contests in Toronto.

I thought the Yankees probably needed a 5-2 road trip to keep their already meager postseason hopes alive. Instead we got 3-4 and a Masahiro Tanaka setback.

At least we can watch Derek Jeter closing out his career as shell of what he once was.

--Posted at 6:40 pm by SG / 30 Comments | - (0)



Yankees vs Blue Jays, Sunday August 31, 2014

They are probably already losing but I cannot be bothered to check.

--Posted at 12:27 pm by SG / 19 Comments | - (0)




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 / 51 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)



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