Game 51: Memorial Day Matinée

After taking 2 out of 3 from the Indians at home, the Yankees look to make it 3 out 4 today against Mitch Talbot. Anyway, today is Memorial Day. Most people think of Memorial Day as a day when people get together and barbeque, and that’s great. But, let’s not forget what this holiday is really about. Memorial Day is about honoring and remembering all the people who have served the United States. I digress, here is the starting lineup via Chad Jennings

SS Derek Jeter

CF Curtis Granderson

1B Mark Teixeira

3B Alex Rodriguez

2B Robinson Cano

RF Nick Swisher

DH Juan Miranda

C Francisco Cervelli

LF Brett Gardner

LHP Andy Pettitte

"Go get them Andy!" Photo Credit: Getty Images via Yahoo Sports.

Miranda’s long journey

Chad Jennings had a great feature with Juan Miranda and how he got to where he is today. Originally from Cuba, he escaped to the Dominican Republic on his seventh attempt. Check out the article, it is just a great story.

Posada recovering

Jorge Posada seems to be quickly recovering from a hariline fracture in his foot. Everyday the Yankees seem more and more optimistic about Posada’s return. Here’s what Girardi had to say yesterday:

“If he feels good tomorrow you might even see him run on the field. If he’s OK to do that, we could have a player fairly soon.”

Has Teixeira really been that bad?

Obviously Teixeira had a poor April, but we just chalked that up to early season struggles. But now as we near the end of May, Teixeira’s average still sits at  .221 and the general feeling is that he has been pretty bad in May as well. However, that may not be the case. Take a minute to guess what his numbers are this month. Do you have something in your head? Okay.

In the month of May this year Teixeira has put up the following line:

AVG: .281 OBP: .364 HR: 6 RBI: 25

While those numbers are quite his normal numbers, they certainly aren’t bad. In addition, Teixeira has a .233 BABIP this season compared to his career .305 BABIP. If you are familiar with batting average on balls in play (BABIP) you know that when a player hits way under his career BABIP, he is usually experiencing bad luck.

Alex Rodriguez: “One class act.”

Because I know the media and many people will quickly forget this, I wanted to bring it up. After the game in which A-Rod lined a ball up the middle that hit Indians pitcher David Huff on the head causing him to go the hospital, A-Rod went to go visit Huff in the hospital but since he was already released A-Rod called Huff to check up on him. Huff really appreciated A-Rod kindness and had this to say:

“I’d like to thank the Yankees team doctors and our training for making sure i was ok. I’d also like to thank the NY Yankees security staff for taking care of my family, they were amazing. finally, to A Rod for contacting me on his way to the hospital, one class act. Everything is good. It was a little scary but I’m out of the hospital now and with my family. Thank you all for you concern and support.”

But we all know most people will forget this in a few days but if A-Rod steps on a bug it will be talked about for months.

Off Day Musings (2010 1st Edition)

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the White House”

Earlier today, the remaining Yankees from the 2009 World Series Champions team visited the White House. President Obama and the Yankees celebrated last year’s championship, but focused on Yankee tradition rather than wins and losses. I feel President had an excellent speech today discussing the Yankee’s tradition and service, while throwing in some humor occasionally. Here is an excerpt of a few of my favorite things he said, but to read the whole speech head on over to www.whitehouse.gov

Now, it’s been nine years since your last title -– which must have felt like an eternity for Yankees fans.  I think other teams would be just fine with a spell like that.  (Laughter.)  The Cubs, for example.  (Laughter.)  But this is a team that goes down to spring training every year expecting to win it all — and more often than not, you guys get pretty close.  Of course, if I had Rivera, I’d get pretty close, too.  (Laughter.)  My White Sox would get close every year.  That attitude, that success, has always made the Yankees easy to love — and, let’s face it, easy to hate as well.  (Laughter.)  For a White Sox fan like me, it’s painful to watch Mariano’s cutter when it’s against my team, or to see the Yankees wrap up the pennant while the Sox are struggling on the South Side.  Although I do remember 2005, people -– (laughter) — so don’t get too comfortable.  (Laughter.)

(snip)

But what people tend to forget -– especially after watching their teams lose -– is that being a Yankee is as much about character as it is about performance; as much about who you are as what you do.  Being successful in New York doesn’t come easy, and it’s not for everybody.  It takes a certain kind of player to thrive in the pressure cooker of Yankee Stadium -– somebody who is poised and professional, and knows what it takes to wear the pinstripes.  It takes somebody who appreciates how lucky he is, and who feels a responsibility for those who are less fortunate.

President Obama went on to talk about Mark Teixeira, Jorge Posada, and Derek Jeter in particular. Make you check out everything he said.

Chris Garcia undergoes Tommy John surgery

Via Josh Norris we find out that Yankee prospect, Chris Garcia, underwent Tommy John surgery on April 20th. This is Garcia’s second Tommy John surgery in a four year period. This guy has sort of been forgotten the past few years because of his inability to stay healthy, but he was considered one of the best arms in the Yankee system and if he can stay healthy after this last surgery, he could easily retake his spot as one of the top Yankee prospects.

“Take your time”

David Biderman of the Wall Street Journal recently took a look at how long it took current Yankees to round the bases when they hit a home run. Out of all the current Yankees, A-Rod took the longest to round the bases last year, and Curtis Granderson was the fastest. As Biderman points out, most of A-Rod’s home runs are no doubters so he usually knows he doesn’t have to run hard. On the other hand, someone like Derek Jeter or Curtis Granderson may not always hit no doubters so they have to run fast just in case the ball doesn’t clear the fence.

Spring Training Game 27: Twins at Yankees

I felt I needed to warm up a bit for the regular season, so here is my first game post of 2010. The Yankees will be taking on the Twins at George M. Steinbrenner Field today. Here is the the lineup via Chad Jennings:

SS Derek Sanderson Jeter

DH Marcus Markley Thames

C Jorge Rafael Posada Villeta

3B Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez

RF Nicholas Thompson Swisher

CF Curtis Granderson

LF Brett M. Gardner

2B Ramiro Peña Gauna

1B Juan Miguel Miranda

SP Phillip J. Hughes


First start as a member of the rotation

This will be Hughes’ first start since being named the 5th starter. Hopefully he still will throw his newly developed changeup a lot.

Teixeira recovering

The other day Mark Teixeira got hit on the elbow by a pitch, he immediately left the game, but tests showed he just had a elbow contusion, a fancy term for a bruise. Chad Jennings reports that Teixeira is scheduled to take batting practice today, which seems like a sign that he is feeling okay.

Aceves ailing

Alfredo Aceves has been hampered by back issues lately. If you recall he missed time last season will back issues as well. For now he is considered day-to-day, but a trip to the DL has not been ruled out. If Aceves is placed on the DL, Boone Logan would be the likely pitcher to replace Aceves in the bullpen.

Switch pitcher steals the show

Yesterday the Yankees called up pitcher Pat Venditte, who is known for his ability to pitch with both arms. Venditte got to face the Braves yesterday, and apparently he “stole the show“.

Opening Day is just 4 days away!

Teixeira and Jeter take home gold gloves

After winning the World Championship just last week, Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter won the 2009 Gold Glove award for their respective positions. This is Jeter’s 4th time winning the award, and Teixeira’s 3rd time. We all know that Derek Jeter is often criticized for his defense, but he did improve this year. I’m not sure he completely earned the award, but there really wasn’t any other shortstop who you could argue was a much better fielder than Jeter. So, I believe Jeter was worthy of this award. I also believe Teixeira was definitely worthy of the award, but there were other first baseman who may have been better than Teix. In the end, these days gold gloves don’t mean much, but it is still nice to see a pair of Yankees win the award since the Yankees are always criticized for their defense.

Chicago+Cubs+v+New+York+Yankees+GzeloMKW3v2lKnight_Gunner_AWARD-Gold_Glove_AwardNew York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox

Yankees even the series backed by Burnett

Last night the Yankees took game 2 of the World Series by the score of 3-1. The Yankees were opposed by Pedro Martinez, and while he pitched well, he did not pitch as well as Burnett did for the Yankees. A.J. went 7 strong innings allowing only 1 run, while striking out 9 and only walking 2 batters. A.J. really showed his worth last night, and depending on the situations the Yankees may consider starting him on short rest for game 5. On the offensive side Mark Teixeira got the Yankees on the board by hitting a solo homer in the 4th inning, then in the 6th Hideki Matsui hit another solo homer to give the Yankees 2 runs, and that’s all they would need. However, the Yankees picked up an insurance run in the 7th when Jorge Posada (pinch hitting for Jose Molina) singled to score Brett Gardner (pinch running for Jerry Hairston Jr.). Mariano Rivera came in for the 8th and 9th, and shut the down, albeit with some difficulty. Still, the Yankees won, and evened out the series 1-1 going into Philadelphia for 2 games.

Side Note

As you already know, Joe Girardi opted to put Jerry Hairston Jr. in right field last night in place for the slumping Nick Swisher (4-35 this postseason, a .114 average). I don’t disagree with the move to sit Swisher, but I’m not sure I think Hairston was the best replacement. I understand Jerry had good numbers against Pedro (1o-27), but Eric Hinske is 8-30 against Pedro, and Hinske is generally considered the better hitter out of the duo of Hairston and Hinkse. And if Girardi didn’t want to play Hinske, Gardner was an option as well, but I too probably would have chose Hairston over Gardner. What’s your take?

Game 121: Yankees at Athletics

Here’s tonight’s starting lineup via Pete Abe:

SS Derek Jeter

LF Johnny Damon

1B Mark Teixeira

3B Alex Rodriguez

DH Hideki Matsui

RF Nick Swisher

2B Robinson Cano

CF Melky Cabrera

C Jose Molina

And on the mound (making his first start as a Yankee), Chad Gaudin

Ian Kennedy progressing

As you know Ian Kennedy had surgery to remove an an aneurysm in his arm, now Kennedy is back to throwing off a mound, albeit restricted to only fastballs and change ups. Kennedy will not return to pitching in the minors this year, but he will pitch in the Instructional League and the Arizona Fall League according to the AP. Good luck to him, he could be a valuable piece of the 2010 Yankees.

You didn't forget this face, did you?

You didn't forget this face, did you?

2009 draft a success

This past Tuesday (August 18th) was the deadline for signing draft picks, and when it was all said and done the Yankees were able to sign 13 out of their top 14 picks, including the two top picks Slade Heathcott  and JR Murphy. Slade Heathcott received a 2.2 million bonus, which double the recommended amount for his slot (29th overall) by the Commissioners office, good for him. JR Murphy received a 1.25 million bonus, his slot money is about $478,000, Bud Selig can’t be happy with this. Anyway, now that Heathcott and Murphy have officially joined the Yankees, I’m sure you are wondering when they will play. Well, according to Lane Meyer Slade Heathcott is currently in the Gulf Coast League with the Yankees affiliate and he hopes to play in a game tomorrow. And according to a blog from JR Murphy’s high school will also be playing immediately in the GCL. You can learn more about Slade Heathcott here.

Johnny Damon wants to stay, Yankees to comply?

We all know that Johnny Damon ,who is a free agent after the year, wants to remain a Yankee. And according to Tyler Kepner, the Yankees are willing to resign him.

Before the season, there was a sense that the Yankees would allow Damon to move on and turn over his left-field spot to a prospect like Austin Jackson or a younger free agent like Matt Holliday. But Yankees officials seem to understand Damon’s value on the field and in the clubhouse, and now they would like him to return. When the Yankees want to keep a player and the player wants to stay, that is usually what happens.

“I don’t know where else I would want to go to,” Damon said. “Obviously, that’s not the right thing to say when you’re about ready to approach free agency, but I’m very happy with playing in New York, and my family’s happy I play for New York. There’s no bigger place to go. If you play well here, you’re going to get paid. New York has the resources.

“But we also have the chance to win every year. I don’t want to attempt to go make more money elsewhere, for more years, with a chance to be out of the race by the first of June.”

If Damon will sign a cheaper contract than the one he currently has, I think he might be the best option for the Yankees going into next year. While his defense has deteriorated, his offense and his clubhouse influence remain strong, and he would much cheaper than other options such as Matt Holliday (who I think is probably overrated), Jason Bay (who the Red Sox will want to resign), and Carl Crawford (who the Rays have an option to keep him).

Is this possible?

If you haven’t realized the type of season Joe Mauer is having, you must live under a rock. He is hitting an astonishing .383 with 25 home runs and 77 RBI’s (all this on a not so great team!). The way he is hitting right now puts him up there statistic-wise with Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, and other world class hitters. Lately there has been a lot of talk about how Mauer and Teixeira are the top two candidates for MVP, if you ask me, I don’t even think it is close. With all respect to Mark Teixeira, I think if Joe Mauer doesn’t win the MVP something is seriously wrong, who cares that he is not on a great team, what control does he have over that? Just look at these two stats…Joe Mauer’s batting average is .383 as a mentioned before, that is higher than Mark Teixeira’s OBP! That means Mauer gets a hit (not a walk or anything, just a hit) more often than Teixeira gets on base (including hits, walks, and everything)! That is just amazing. The other stat I’d like to point out is WAR (wins above replacement, basically how many wins a player was able to add to his team). Mark Teixeira’s WAR for the season is 3.8, which is very good. Joe Mauer’s WAR is 6.5! Oh, and he is a catcher, and a pretty good one. Enough said.

Look at that beautiful swing.

Look at that beautiful swing.

The real deal?

You may or may not know that the Yankees have a ambidextrous pitcher named Pat Venditte down in the minors. It is not clear whether he should be considered a real time prospect or just a novelty, but anyway here is a great video about Venditte:

Melky

Sorry Melky, I had to show this.

No comment. I'll take the high road.

No comment. I'll take the high road.

Game 82: Blue Jays at Yankees

As the Yankees look for the sweep of this 4 game series against the Jays, they send out the following lineup via PeteAbe to face the rookie Ricky Romero:

SS Derek Jeter

1B Nick Swisher

DH Mark Teixeira

3B Alex Rodriguez

C Jorge Posada

2B Robinson Cano

LF Melky Cabrera

RF Eric Hinske - making his first appearance as a Yankee

Brett Gardner

And on the mound, Andy Pettitte


“Sorry, but you’re still a bad hitter”

Since going 5-6 against the Mets, Brett Gardner is 0-14. Those 5 hits were the worst thing that could happen to him, now he thinks he is a hitter. He needs to be bunting every time he gets up. He can’t consistently get on base without bunting. It makes no sense to me that he goes to the plate with the intention of driving the ball, he just can’t do it.

‘Further exploring the options for the 5th starter”

Check out my previous post about who should take Chien-Ming Wang’s spot in the rotation. In it I had an unorthodox plan to put Hughes into the rotation, and another idea that I won’t spoil right now. While the Yankees have not announced who will start on Thursday, they have announced that it won’t be Hughes, but that doesn’t mean Hughes won’t take the spot after the All Star Break.

Congratulations Mark, Derek, and Mariano!

If you haven’t heard the news, Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter are starting the All Star game at first and short, respectively. And the great Mariano Rivera also made the team. Oh, and Teixeira will not be participating in the home run derby, that’s a relief.

What’s up with Joba?

Mike Axisa over at River Ave Blues, suggests that Joba was rushed to the big leagues, and did not get to mature mentally as a result of that. He brings up the possibility of sending Joba to AAA to develop further instead of pitch in the spotlight. While I agree that Joba is a bit immature, I’m not sure now is the right time to send him down, maybe if the rotation wasn’t already missing it’s 5th starter I’d do it, but I’m not so sure right now. Anyway, go check out the full post by Mike Axisa, it’s very interesting.

Game 79: Blue Jays at Yankees

Today at 1:05 pm the Yankees kick off 4 game wraparound series against the Jays. All 4 games have a start time of 1:05 pm, I like it. Last night the Mariners snapped the Yankees winning streak defeating the Bombers 8-4. CC was not too sharp, he had the stuff but his location was off. Even the best struggle sometimes. However, as I have said many times in the past, the great thing about baseball is that teams play almost every single day. So, one loss is not that big of a deal if the team can come out and win the next day, less than 24 hours later. The Yankees look to do to just that as they send out the following lineup via PeteAbe to face Brian Tallett, the strange looking southpaw:

SS Derek Sanderson Jeter

LF Johnny David Damon

1B Mark Charles Teixeira

3B Alex Emmanuel Rodriguez

2B Robinson Jose Cano

RF Nick Thompson Swisher

DH Hideki Matsui (松井 秀喜)

C Francisco Cervelli

CF Brett M. Gardner

And on the mound, Allan James Burnett

Burnett Cervelli

In need off a day off

In my opinion, both Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira are in need of a day off. Rodriguez isn’t really showing any signs of fatigue, but we all know what those 2 days of did to him in Florida, and we all know how much he struggled when he didn’t get any days off. The Yankees need to play it safe with Alex Rodriguez, that means giving him days off. Mark Teixeira, on the other hand, seems to be showing signs of fatigue. He hasn’t hit a home run in 65 AB’s, has seemingly cooled down with the bat, and last night was far from stellar in the field (making his first error of the season). Obviously, you can’t rest Teixeira and Rodriguez both on the same day because that would severely weaken the lineup, but I think it’s time for one of them to rest. Why can’t Hinske take one of their spots for today?

Posada still on the bench

Jorge Posada is still out of the lineup with a bruised left thumb. Francisco Cervelli has been taking his spot on the field, and these appear to be Cervelli’s few last starts before going down to the minors…but that’s not a given.

Happy Birthday Brian!

Brian Cashman turns 42 today. Happy Birthday!

Game 78: Mariners at Yankees

Tonight the Yankees look for a sweep in the final game of this three game set against Seattle. The Bombers have won 7 games in a row both on good pitching and timely hitting. They look to continue that as they send the following lineup out via PeteAbe to face Jason Vargas:

SS Derek Sanderson Jeter

LF Johnny David Damon

1B Mark Charles Teixeira

3B Alex Emmanuel Rodriguez

2B Robinson Jose Cano

RF Nick Thompson Swisher

DH Hideki Matsui (松井 秀喜)

CF Melky Astacio Cabrera

C Fransisco Cervelli

And on the hill, Carsten Charles Sabathia

CC Sabathia

The big man looks to help stretch the Yankees winning streak to 8

The 2nd Coming

You may have already heard that Aroldis Chapman defected from Cuba. He is a 21 year old, left handed pitcher. According to many baseball scouts he is extremely talented, and will be probably spark a bidding war between many major league teams now that he is a free agent. Buster Olney of ESPN wrote an article on Chapman calling him the left handed Strasburg, below is an excerpt, for the full article click here.

To put his talent in perspective: Some evaluators view Chapman as a left-handed Stephen Strasburg. “He’s pretty special,” said one official. He has a fastball clocked at 101 or 102 MPH, and a plus curveball and plus slider, to use the scouts’ vernacular. But unlike Strasburg, his market will not be restricted to the one team that drafted him. It may be about six months before his situation is settled to the point where teams will be able to make bids. But when that can happen, you can expect a Daisuke Matsuzaka-like feeding frenzy to ensue. Jose Contreras signed a $32 million deal with the Yankees earlier this decade, but he was much older than Chapman. Matsuzaka was 25-years-old when the Boston Red Sox committed $103 million in a posting fee and contract to sign him. Chapman’s situation is incredibly unique, because he’s so young, so talented — all of his best years presumably in front of him — and so well known among evaluators.

I don’t really know much about Chapman so I can’t really offer much opinion on the subject, but I’ll tell you this: If the Yankees sign him and he turns into just another Jose Contreas all Yankees fans (myself included) will be extremely angry at the front office. If Chapman goes to the Red Sox and turns out to be all that his hype says he is, once again all Yankee fans will be upset at the front office. So Brian Cashman and Co. better do their homework on this guy.

Vote Teixeira

Voting for the All Star Game ends tonight at 11:59 pm, and you can make a difference in the race. Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis have been in a back and forth race for a while now, and the latest update is that Youkilis re-took the lead for starting first base man (over Teixeira) by about 40,000 votes. If enough people vote for Teixeira (you can vote a max of 25 times per e-mail address) Teixeira could easily overcome Youkillis to become the starting first base man in this year’s All Star Game. Also, when/if  you go to vote, may I suggest you also vote for Ian Kinsler who has a slim lead over Dustin Pedroia (you don’t want to see him right?). Vote here.