Around the Horn: Montero, Aceves, Posada…

As the Yankees prepare to begin a road trip in Texas allow me to sum up some recent stories.

  • Alfredo Aceves, who has been recovering from a back injury, had a setback and will not be returning to the big league team this year. Surgery is not out of the question, and it would surprise me if he did not undergo surgery. Backs are a terribly tricky thing.
  • Yesterday, Joe Girardi said Damaso Marte probably won’t be back this year as well. As we learned earlier, he may need surgery.
  • While we are talking about surgery, Jesus Montero had an unexpected operation performed on his ankle yesterday. He was not in Scranton’s lineup yesterday which led people to believe he may be called up, but the truth was that he had an infection in his ankle. Montero underwent surgery yesterday to have the infection cleaned up. Don’t worry, the surgery seems to have been very minor, and while he will miss the rest of the minor league playoff season, he should be a candidate for a major league job next Spring.
  • Yesterday, we learned that Jorge Posada has been suffering from concussion like symptoms. Fortunately, he underwent some tests and the results were negative. Posada has been cleared to play, but I would expect him to take a few days off in Texas.
  • Coming off some recent struggles, Phil Hughes’ next start will be skipped, Dustin Moseley instead will be pitching this Sunday. Hughes will return to the rotation next Wednesday, and the Yankees say they only skipped him to deal with his innings limit. Still, it should be beneficial to give Phil Hughes a breather since he is not used to throwing this many innings.

Marte may go under the knife

"The Yankees could really use another lefty now like Marte." Photo Credit: Associated Press

Left-handed reliever Dámaso Marté has been out of action since this year’s All Star break, and unfortunately he may not return to action anytime this season. Buried within an article via the New York Post, we learn that a decision will be made in about two weeks on whether Marté will undergo on his shoulder. While the report is not very definitive, if I had to guess, I’d say Marté probably will need surgery, but what do I know. Hopefully, if he does indeed undergo surgery, it won’t be a major reconstruction, but rather a clean up.

Dámaso Marté is the second year of a three-year contract and his only major contribution to the team seems to be his stellar performance during the 2009 postseason. However, I wouldn’t call Marté a bust. He’s clearly a very good pitcher who has unfortunately been hampered by unpredictable injuries. We can only hope that he comes back strong in 2011 and remains healthy for a full season.

A-Rod and Thames save Yanks from loss

Last night the Yankees defeated the Red Sox in a very exhilarating game. While I don’t want to waste all my time analyzing the entire game, I’ll try to break it down a bit.

This graph really shows how the momentum of the game really changed last night. First it was all Yankees, then all Red Sox, and then obviously back to the Yankees favor.


If I had to sum the Yankees pitching last night up in three words, I’d say “not very good.” Fortunately, I’m not limited to three words.

Phil Hughes started last night’s game and only lasted 5 innings while giving up 5 runs and 2 home runs. He simply wasn’t very sharp. Although he threw a lot of strikes, they weren’t necessarily good strikes. In addition, it’s possible he didn’t have his best stuff. In the end, he didn’t pitch well, but he battled and that builds character and perhaps allows a pitcher to mature more than a dominating game does. I wouldn’t worry about Hughes yet, and remember young pitchers struggle.

Boone Logan followed Hughes and in one inning of work he allowed a home run to Victor Martinez. Logan may impress people with his velocity, but upon further look it’s clear his control is awful. There are tons of people who throw hard, but unless they can control the ball they aren’t very valuable. So far, Logan has fallen into that category. In addition, Logan (a lefty) has actually been worse against lefty batters this year than righties (not to say he has been good against righties). In my opinion the Yankees would be better off having Mark Melancon in the bullpen instead of Logan.

Chan Ho Park came in after Logan. Fresh off the DL Park looked good in his first inning of work. However, in the eight inning Park allowed 3 runs on 2 home runs. He looked very fatigued, and this was expected considering he hasn’t pitched multiple innings in over a month. I think in normal circumstances with the bullpen more deep, Girardi wouldn’t have turned to Park for two innings. I wouldn’t worry about this appearance at all, just remember his stamina is low coming of the DL and it certainly showed last night. Once he gets built back up he should return to form.

Damaso Marte took over for Park in the eight and got good results. In 1.2 innings of work Marte allowed no runs on 1 hit and 1 walk.

Javier Vazquez came in to get the last out in the ninth as it appeared Marte was tiring. Javy did the job, and actually picked up the win. Considering he only threw 4 pitches, Javy is still in line for his Friday start.


The Yankees scored 5 runs of Daisuke Matsuzaka in the first inning of last night’s ballgame, but they cooled down after that. Through the second to eight inning the Yankees only picked up 2 more runs. Going into the ninth inning the Yankees trailed 9-7. Would there be any late inning heroics like there were in 2009? Yes. With a man on and facing Jonathan Papelbon, Alex Rodriguez crushed one to left field to tie up the game. Then with Francisco Cervelli on base, Marcus Thames came up to the plate looking dead red. And he got red and took it deep to left for a walkoff home run. Ballgame over, time for pie! I don’t know about you but I never get tired of these unreal endings.

"A-Rod watches his home run leave the park." Photo Credit: Getty Images via Yahoo Sports.

"The look of pure happiness on Marcus Thames' face last night has to make you smile." Photo Credit: Getty Images via Yahoo Sports.

“Catching up with the blogging world”

Check out Matt Vereb’s exclusive interview with Nick Swisher. You can really see how nice a person Swisher is, plus Matt asks some good questions like “Who’s your best friend on the team?” I won’t spoil the answer, go check it out!

P.S. If there is a game tonight, you’re welcome to use this post to discuss it.

A-Rod leads Yankees to 8-4 Victory

After losing four out of their last five games, The Yankees defeated The Minnesota Twins tonight with the help of Alex Rodriguez. Let’s break it down…


Allan James Burnett started tonight for the Yankees and he went 6.2 innings while only allowing 3 runs (2 earned). He wasn’t great as he walked 4 batters and only struck out 4 batters, but he held the damage to a minimum. Damaso Marte followed Burnett with two outs in the 7th inning, and with the Yankees leading 3-2 Marte gave up an RBI single to Joe Mauer and an RBI double to Justin Morneau. Marte did manage to escape the 7th inning, however. Joba Chamberlain came in to pitch the eight with the Yankees leading 7-4 and he struck out the side. PitchFX clocked Joba’s fastball in at an average of 95 MPH tonight with the high at 96, for those of you wondering. Chamberlain was awarded the winning pitcher for his effort. In the ninth, some guy named Mariano Rivera pitched a 1-2-3 inning and that was the end of the story.


The Yankees offense had been kind of stagnant lately, but it seemed to awaken tonight. In the bottom of the 4th, with the Yankees down 1-0, Brett Gardner hit a solo home run. Later in the inning Robinson Cano doubled to score Mark Teixeira. In the bottom of the fifth Mark Teixeira doubled to score Brett Gardner. Then the big blow came in the bottom of the seventh when Alex Rodriguez came up to the plate with the bases loaded and The Twins leading 4-3. On the second pitch of the at bat Matt Guerrier gave Alex a pitch to hit and A-Rod took advantage of it depositing it into left field for a grand slam. The Yankees then led 7-4 and would never look back, but Francisco Cervelli tripled in the eight to score Juan Miranda just for fun.

Here's one of those cool Win Probability graphs for you.

Swisher ailing

Nick Swisher left today’s game with a strain in his left biceps which has been bothering him lately. fortunately, according to Chad Jennings the MRI came back negative.

New Look

So, as you can see 161st Street looks a little different, haha! This design obviously isn’t set in stone, I just didn’t feel like working on it anymore today, so please any suggestions to make it better would be great. By the way, I’ve noticed that depending on the size of your computer screen you may or may not see the full background image. Larger screens will display the blue background with pinstripes running down it, smaller screens will only display the blue background (because the pinstripes are cut off). Either way, let me know what you think about it.

Game 1: Yankees at Red Sox

Opening Night is finally here. It will be great to see the Yankees play a meaningful game after a long offseason. The Yankees will be in Boston tonight as they take on their biggest rival in a game that will surely be overblown by the media. Anyway, here is the projected starting lineup for the Yankees…

SS Derek Jeter

DH Nick Johnson

1B Mark Teixeira

3B Alex Rodriguez

2B Robinson Cano

C Jorge Posada

CF Curtis Granderson

RF Nick Swisher

LF Brett Gardner

SP CC Sabathia

Time/TV: 8:05 p.m., YES/ESPN2

Weather: Mostly sunny, 65º F via The Weather Channel.

Injury Updates: Alfredo Aceves and Nick Johnson should be good to go for tonight, there haven’t been many updates regarding Damaso Marte so he is questionable.

P.S. The reason I used my projected lineup is because I won’t have a computer available to blog with later, but I wanted to do a game post.

Yankees move onto the ALCS


As you already know, the Yankees swept the Twins in the ALDS and now are preparing to play the Angels (who swept to Red Sox in the ALDS) in the ALCS. Game 1 doesn’t start until Friday so here are a few questions you can look at and discuss until Friday comes along:

  • Are the Yankees going to use 3 or 4 starters in the ALCS? Well it looks like they are strongly leaning to going with 3 starters, which would put CC Sabathia on short rest for game 4 and a possible game 7, but it would also allow the Yankees to keep Joba and Gaudin in the bullpen. More from Sam Borden
  • Will the Yankees make any roster adjustments? Well, there hasn’t been much said about the subject but if the decision was mine to make, I think I would take Damaso Marte off the roster in favor of Brian Bruney or Freddy Guzman.
  • Will the Yankees use Joba for the 8th and Hughes for the 7th? I personally don’t understand how this has been brought up. Joba has pitched in a grand total of 2.2 innings coming out of the bullpen in all of 2009. Should he really be considered higher up in the pecking order than someone who has been there for over half a season? I don’t think so. When asked about Hughes, Girardi responded, “I’m not concerned about Hughsie.”

Game 122: Yankees at Red Sox

2 weeks ago the Yankees began a 4 game series against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium with a small 2.5 game lead in the AL East, we all know how that ended. Tonight the Yankees begin a 3 game series against the Red Sox in Boston, but instead of a 2.5 game lead, the Yankees hold a 6.5 game lead.While no Yankee team has missed out on the playoffs with a lead this big, this late into the season, I don’t consider any lead safe in the monstrous AL East. Still, the Yankees are in a great position, and no matter what happens in this series, the Yankees will still walk away in first place. I think the best way to get my point across is through a famous Yogi-ism, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” I digress, here is tonight’s starting lineup via Peter Abraham:

SS Derek Jeter

LF Johnny Damon

1B Mark Teixeira

3B Alex Rodriguez

DH Hideki Matsui

C Jorge Posada

2B Robinson Cano

RF Nick Swisher

CF Melky Cabrera

And on the mound, Andy Pettitte

Damaso who?

Yep, that’s right Damaso Marte has been recalled. I don’t expect you to remember the last time he pitched in a major league uniform (which happened to be April 25th in Boston), but you might remember that he recently reached the rehab deadline of 30 days where the Yankees had to bring him back up, of think of something else. Well, they decided to keep him down for so called “personal reasons”, at this point who knows if there is anything to that. Anyway, if Marte is truly healthy he could really be a huge addition to the Yankee bullpen, remember he was actually a very good pitcher. In case you are wondering, Ramiro Pena was optioned down to make room for Marte, now before you scratch your head or complain, consider this:

  1. There is nobody in the bullpen who deserves a demotion, Robertson has been great lately, Coke is still valuable, and Mitre and Gaudin are necessary to rest the other starters, especially Joba.
  2. With Jerry Hairston Jr. around, Ramiro Pena becomes unnecessary.
  3. It’s already August 21st, on September 1st when rosters expand, Pena and many others will return.
No Damaso, it is not the glove's fault that you have been injured all year.

No Damaso, it is not the glove's fault that you have been injured all year.

See, Joba is not babied.

Many people think Joba Chamberlain is babied, and they point to Nolan Ryan who is trying to change the way pitchers are handled. However, even Nolan Ryan’s organization (the Rangers) are being extra careful with one of their young pitchers. Neftali Feliz is being handled with the same rules as the Joba rules of 2007. Some people just don’t realize that orginazations need to be extra careful with their young pitchers, and not only think about the present, but think about the future.

Billy Wagner claimed by the Red Sox

You may or may not know that the Mets placed Billy Wagner on waivers, but anyway the important news is that the Red Sox claimed him. While Wagner is not young anymore, and is coming off a big injury, he could help a contender like the Red Sox or the Yankees. In case you are wondering the Yankees may have claimed Wagner as well, but the Red Sox get first dibs because the waiver system goes by record, meaning the teams with worse records gets a shot at a player before a team with a better record. Oh well, let’s just hope that either a)The Mets pull Wagner back and are stuck with him and his big contract or b)The Red Sox get Wagner and he stinks.

Game 118: Yankees at Mariners

This afternoon the Yankees look for the sweep of the Mariners as they send out the following lineup via Pete Abe:

SS Derek Jeter

LF Johnny Damon

DH Mark Teixeira

3B Alex Rodriguez

C Jorge Posada

1B Nick Swisher

RF Eric Hinske

CF Jerry Hairston Jr.

2B Ramiro Pena

And on the mound, Joba Chamberlain

Matsui’s knee acting up (again)

Hideki Matsui had fluid drained from his left knee and is day to day. What else is knew?

What’s going on here?

Damaso Marte’s (yeah he used to be a pitcher) 30 day rehab stint ended two days ago, and the Yankees either had to put him on the 25 man roster, or come up with some other excuse such as an injury to keep him in rehab. Well according to Pete Abe, the Yankees announced that he has been indefinitely excused from the team for “personal reasons.” This is very strange to me, I have to wonder if these personal reasons are real, or if the Yankees are just making random excuses. But, I wouldn’t be surprised if he does have some personal issues…hey…who knows?

Flashes of 1998

This current Yankee team is really reminding people of 1998, back when the Yankees won 114 games and went on to win the World Series. Anyway, according to Baseball Prospectus, the Yankees have a 99.1% chance of making the playoffs. That’s pretty damn good, but it ain’t over till it’s over.

Game 56: Rays at Yankees

Yesterday, the Yankees suffered a tough loss. Going into the 9th inning the game was tied 5-5. In the top of the 9th, Girardi brought Mo in to hold the score down. However, he could not. He gave up a triple to Ben Zobrist to start the inning, and everything went downhill from there. Eventually Mo had to leave in the middle of the inning, giving way to Phil Coke. In the end 4 runs ended up scoring, making the score 9-5 Rays. In the bottom of the 9th the Yankees did not go down without a fight, scoring 2 runs, but they could not manage to tie the game. 9-7 Rays, the final. The great thing about baseball though is that today, less than 24 hours after that tough loss, the Yankees get to go out a play a completely new ballgame. And here’s the lineup via PeteAbe they send out against Matt Garza in hope to take the 2nd game of the series:

SS Derek Sanderson Jeter

LF Johnny David Damon

1B Mark Charles Teixeira

3B Alex Emmanuel Rodriguez

2B Robinson Jose Cano

C Jorge Rafael Posada

DH Hideki Matsui

RF Nick Thompson Swisher

CF Melky Astacio Cabrera

Andon the mound, Joba Chamberlain (born Justin Louis Heath according to Wikipedia)

That's really him, he did a promotion last year for Dunkin Doughnuts

That's really him (not that impersonator), he did a promotion last year for Dunkin Doughnuts

Closer than they appear

According to Marc Craig, Brian Bruney, Damaso Marte and Xavier Nady are closer to returning. On Friday, Bruney threw 20 pitches (all fastballs) in a bullpen session. He said he felt no pain, hopefully he is not covering anything up. When asked about a possible return date, Bruney said, “If I was to guess, I’d say a week and a half, maybe less.” Marte threw 25 pitches off a bullpen mound and “spun some sliders from a shorter distance.” He and Bruney would really give the Yankees bullpen a boost. Xavier Nady played in an extended spring training game a couple days ago, and played catch from 90 feet yesterday. This is great news that he is back to throwing, if the Yankees can get Nady back it would be like they just made a huge trade.

I found this great website all about the bleacher creatures, andthey have one section with a bunch of videos and pictures of the bleacher creatures and Yankee Stadium. They have everything from the roll calls, to the YMCA bleacher creauture style, to having fun with a player (you guesses it, Nick Swisher). You should definitely check it out.

Yankees games streamed online

If you live in the New York area and have or considered purchasing MLB.TV, you probably know that Yankees games are blacked out because you live in New York and YES has the deal for Yankees games in New York. Well, that is going to change soon. The Yankees are going to become to first MLB team to have its games streamed live online within its home market. They have not announced many details, but here’s the article from the Sports Buisness Journal, in case you are interested.

Live Game Blog

I may do a live game blog if enough people are willing to participate in it. I would probably make it start at 1:05 and end around 1:30 or maybe longer. If you are interested and think you could participate just leave a comment or vote yes in the poll below. If you think I should make the live game blog at another time, just leave a comment stating what time I should make it.

Here is the Live Blog just in case I do actually run one today

Click Here

Maybe I’ll start the live blog after the game.