Around the Horn: Jeter, Lee, Vazquez

Although the offseason has not been very exciting yet, I would expect that to change within the next few weeks so let’s try to sum up what’s happened so far, regarding the Yankees.

  • The negotiations with Derek Jeter have apparantly soured. The Yankees have likely made a contract offer of 3 years worth $45 million, an acceptable overpay in my opinion, and are even willing to up the offer to somewhere within the range of 3 years worth $50 million according to Jon Heyman. The latest news is that Jeter desires a contract for 4 to 5 years worth $23-24 million a year. I have no doubt that any team would offer him such a contract, and perhaps no team would even offer him the 3/45 contract. If Jeter’s agent Casey Close, a horrible lawyer in name, does not make his asking price a little more reasonable, I could easily see these negotiations stretching in January.
  • Cliff Lee has been reportedly shopping around to several teams this winter, but nothing has yet to come of it. But according to Buster Olney, the Lee talks are expected to heat up next week with the winter meetings coming up. Buckle up!
  • Javier Vazquez has agreed to a one year deal worth $7 million with the Florida Marlins. I would not be surprised to see him have a good season, I don’t know why he couldn’t keep it together with the Yankees, and I still don’t buy the ‘he can’t handle New York’ storyline. Oh well, I guess some things are not meant to be.
  • Jonathan Albaladejo will be playing next season with the Yomiuri Giants, Hideki Matsui’s old team, after requesting to be released by the Yankees. I, for one, was looking forward to the chance that he would finally get the opportunity to impact the Yankees next season, but fortunately the Yankees have been compensated with $1.2 million by the Giants.

Around the Horn: Call-ups, Javy, Jeter, Ted Lilly…

A few interesting items to cover during this edition of Around the Horn.

  • As reported last night, Jonathan Albaladejo, Chad Moeller, and Greg Golson have been called up as “September call-ups”. Furthermore, Lance Berkman has been activated. That’s gives Joe Girardi four new players to manage with, and more should be on their way, especially after the minor league playoffs are finished. Despite the hate he gets from many Yankee fans, Berkman should be a nice addition to this team, and when/if Marcus Thames cools down, “The Big Puma” should be able to get regular at bats at the DH position. I look for Jon Albaladejo to possibly have a huge impact with this team. I would say more about Albie, but Mike Axisa of RAB already has it covered with a post about the righty reliever.
  • After two very good relief appearances following his removal from the starting rotation, Javier Vazquez will be returning to the rotation. Earlier today Joe Girardi told reporters that Javy would be taking Dustin Moseley’s spot in the rotation and will be starting on Saturday. This seems like the perfect time to do this because Javy has been pitching well lately, and unfortunately it looks like the real Dustin Moseley has shown up.
  • We all know Derek Jeter has struggled immensely this year. It hasn’t become a huge issue yet for several reasons, a couple of them being that Derek Jeter is well, Derek Jeter, and the Yankees are winning without his contributions. The issue was, however, brought up during a pregame session with Joe Girardi today. Via Chad Jennings, we learn if Joe has considered moving Jeter down in the lineup, a move I would fully advocate for and support. Unfortunately, Girardi’s answer was, “I don’t see that happening.” Sure, it’s not a huge deal now to have Jeter at the top of the lineup, but when the postseason rolls around will the Yankees still be set to having Jeter at the top of the lineup if his struggles continue? I’m not so sure I would be comfortable with him up there. I love Jeter as much as the next guy, but I really would like to something done. If his name wasn’t “Derek Jeter” he’d be batting eight or ninth for the Yankees now. If the Yankees don’t have the guts to move him down in the lineup, will they have the guts to offer him a reasonable contract this offseason? Or will they overpay him for his past performances? I can only imagine.
  • Last night we got news that the Yankees won the waiver claim for Dodgers pitcher, and former Yankee, Ted Lilly, but the Dodgers pulled Lilly off waivers. Oh well, end of story. But wait, there’s more! The rules state that in order for a player to be eligible for the playoffs they have to be in the organization before September 1st, so while the Yankees could technically still acquire Ted Lilly, he wouldn’t be able to pitch in the playoffs. Here’s where it gets interesting. According to a Daily News report, the Yankees believe that because they had a waiver claim in for Lilly before September 1st, there is a loophole which would allow Lilly to pitch in the playoffs if they were to acquire him. Interesting. I don’t know what to make of it, so let’s just wait and see.
  • Alfredo Aceves has been on a rehab assignment in the minors for a while now, but has yet to be called up. Joe Girardi said, “he’s just not up to where we believe he can be yet [performance-wise].” Back problems are a tricky thing to recover from.
  • The Arizona Fall League rosters were recently announced, and Frankie Piliere says the Yankees will be sending Austin Romine, Brandon Laird, Corban Joseph, Craig Heyer, and George Kontos to Arizona this year. He also says there are a couple of open roster spots, so the Yankees could opt to send more players.

Off Day Musings (7/19/10)

State of the Yankees

  • Through their first 91 games the Yankees are 58-33, which is the best record in baseball, and it puts them on pace for about 103 wins.
  • The Yankees are atop the AL East with a 3 game lead on the Tampa Rays after taking 2 out of 3 games from the Rays this past series.

Andy Pettitte’s injury

"Pettitte leans over in pain." Photo Credit: Getty Images via Yahoo Sports

Andy Pettitte had to leave his start prematurely yesterday with what has now been diagnosed as a Grade I left groin strain. Via Erik Boland, GM Brian Cashman expects Pettitte to be out four to five weeks. I’m hoping Brian Cashman is just being conservative considering Pettitte is 38 years old, however, if he is out four to five weeks (in addition to rehab time), the Yankees will have a good number of starts to fill. Cashman told Boland that Sergio Mitre will take Pettitte’s next start on Saturday, but that doesn’t mean they won’t look at further options for following starts. My suggestion would be to give Ivan Nova a shot and if he doesn’t work out, I believe Mitre is a solid option. There is no sense in making a trade unless the Yankees could get someone, without giving up any top prospects, who represents a true upgrade over Mitre . And that probably won’t happen so in my opinion the Yankees should stay internal in replacing Pettitte. Pettitte’s injury is obviously debilitating to the Yankees, but on the bright side his elbow will be kept fresh during the time off and that may prove beneficial come October. In the end, I see no reason to panic. Pettitte will be missed, but Mitre, Nova, or another internal option could be quite valuable. Remember, the 2009 Yankees won the World Series last year and Sergio Mitre made nine starts for that team. Every team, even the best teams, have to deal with injuries to the starting rotation.

Upcoming Angels series


RHP Phil Hughes vs. TBA

  • Scott Kazmir was scratched from the start with shoulder fatigue.
  • Phil Hughes has not pitched since July 9th not counting the All Star Game.
  • The game will be on My9 with a 7:05 p.m. start time. I will be at the game and I’m excited to see Hughes pitch!


RHP Javier Vazquez vs. RHP Joel Pineiro

  • In his two starts against the Yankees this year, Pineiro has had mixed results. On April 14th he dominated the Yankees allowing only one run in seven innings. However, on April 24 he allowed six runs in six innings to the Yankees.
  • Javier Vazquez’s last start came on July 10th when he carried a no-hitter into the sixth against the Mariners. He would go on to throw seven shutout innings while only allowing three hits, but Joba Chamberlain and the Yankees could not get Javy the win.
  • The game will be on YES with a 1:05 p.m. start time.

"Hopefully Hughes mixes in some more changeups and curveballs in his start tomorrow." Photo Credit: Getty Images via Yahoo Sports

Game 43: Yankees at Mets

After winning game 1 of the Subway Series last night, the Yankees will take on the Mets once again tonight. Here is the starting lineup the Yankees will send out to face Mike Pelfrey via Rick Carpiniello

SS Derek Jeter

CF Brett Gardner

1B Mark Teixeira

3B Alex Rodriguez

2B Robinson Cano

RF Nick Swisher

C Francisco Cervelli

LF Randy Winn

P Phil Hughes

I am excited yet apprehensive to see Hughes hit tonight. Photo Credit: Getty Images via Yahoo Sports.

Fate of the Empire State Building

According to Sam Borden, the winner of this series will determine what color lights the Empire State Building will display (blue and white for the Yankees, blue and orange for the Mets). As of now the north and south side of the building are Yankee themed while the east and west are Mets themed. I really hope the Yankees win, not only because I’m a Yankee fan, but because the Empire State Building with blue and orange lights would be quite the eyesore.

The state of Javy

Last night Javier Vazquez was one hitting the Mets through six innings. Unfortunately in the top of the seventh Javy got nicked on his right index finger as he fouled a bunt off. Vazquez did lay down a beautiful sacrifice bunt on the next pitch, but he would not go out to pitch another inning. Javy wasn’t in much pain and he didn’t even realize his finger was bleeding until he took off his batting gloves. The Yankees expect to know more tomorrow on whether he can make his next start. Here are some of the things Vazquez had to say after the game.

“I feel so embarrassed because I’ve been doing this so many years in the National League and this has never happened to me.” [When asked about getting hit by the pitch on a bunt].

“I’m pretty sure I’m going to make my next start.”

Jeremy Bleich to undergo surgery

According to Tim Bontemps, Jeremy Bleich is probably going to need shoulder surgery. Bleich is a left-handed pitcher and one of the Yankees top prospects. Let’s just hope the surgery is successful and he comes back true to form because shoulder surgery is a scary thing.

Granderson progressing

Last night Curtis Granderson who is currently on the 15-day DL left the team to join the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees for a rehab assignment. Granderson is expected to play 5-6 games with Scranton and if all goes well he could be back with New York at the end of next week. Great news!

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.

Game 38: Red Sox at Yankees

Tonight, the Boston Red Sox come to town. After making to trips to Boston, the Yankees will now take on Boston at home. However, this is only a two game series. Anyway, here is the starting lineup the Yankees will send out to face Daisuke Matsuzaka via Chad Jennings

SS Derek Jeter

CF Brett Gardner

1B Mark Teixeira

DH Alex Rodriguez

2B Robinson Cano

C Francisco Cervelli

RF Marcus Thames

LF Randy Winn

3B Ramiro Pena

RHP Philip Joseph Hughes

Photo Credit: Getty Images via Yahoo Sports

Johnson to undergo surgery

As I mentioned the other day, there was a chance that Nick Johnson would have to undergo surgery to repair his right wrist. Unfortunately, that chance has become reality. Johnson will most likely have the surgery tomorrow and miss 4-6 weeks. While this is certainly not good news, it is better that the Yankees decided quickly that surgery is necessary rather than waiting it out and further delaying the inevitable. With Johnson out for the foreseeable future the Yankees may look for a more permanent DH while Johnson is out. In my opinion, I’d stick with Juan Miranda in the DH spot and Jorge Posada when he’s not catching or sitting out. If that really seems to not work out, I might look into pursuing Jermaine Dye. Once again, just my opinion.

Why was Javy skipped again?

As you may know, the Yankees have opted to skip Javier Vazquez’s start and push him back to Friday. At first I really questioned the move. He is coming off a very good start and he needs to build on that, so why skip him? Well, Benjamin Kabak of RAB analyzed the situation well. Among his many points, one was that by skipping Vazquez the rotation is lined up well. I recommend reading Ben’s write-up for a good take on the situation.

Curtis is feeling better

As you know Curtis Granderson is on the 15-day DL. Fortunately, it looks like he is making good progress. Yesterday he performed eight 60 yard runs and said he was at about 75%. He also hit balls off a tee. Today he took some fly balls in center field during the Yankees batting practice and in Chad Jennings’ opinion Granderson looked “pretty comfortable” and he moved “better than expected.” Hopefully Granderson can get in some rehab games not far from now, although he went on the DL just 17 days ago it feels like a lot longer.

CHoP Returns

Earlier today the Yankees activated reliever Chan Ho Park off the DL and sent starting pitcher Ivan Nova down to Scranton. I’m really glad that Park is back as he has the ability to create some stability in a somewhat unstable bullpen. As far as Ivan Nova goes, I’m sure there is a less valuable bullpen arm that could have been sent down instead (*cough*cough*Boone Logan*), but in the end this was the smart decision. Why? Simply because Ivan Nova is a starter and he needs to be racking up as many innings as possible, not being used sparingly in the major league bullpen. Sorry Boone, I know my dislike is a bit uncredited.

Game 4: Yankees at Rays

After taking the first series of the year 2-3 against the Red Sox, the Yankees had an off day yesterday, but they are back in action today. The Yankees will be taking on lefty David Price of the Rays so we are going to see the same lineup that faced Jon Lester a few days ago. Here it is via Chad Jennings

SS Derek Jeter

DH Nick Johnson

1B Mark Teixeira

3B Alex Rodriguez

2B Robinson Cano

C Jorge Posada

RF Nick Swisher

LF Marcus Thames

CF Curtis Granderson

RHP Javier Vazquez

Javy is ready to make his second stint as a Yankees much more impressive.

Joe West should keep his mouth shut

If you haven’t already seen what umpire Joe West said, you can read this. My opinion: What bothers me is not that he made a comment, but he had to use inflammatory language by calling the Red Sox and the Yankees “embarrassing” and “pathetic.” Whatever message he was trying to get across got lost in his unprofessional name-calling. Mariano Rivera seemed upset over what West said too. Mo told reporters, “It’s incredible. If he has places to go, let him do something else. What does he want us to do, swing at balls?” When you get Mariano to say something like that, you know you are wrong.

Yankees set out plans for home opener

Bernie Williams will throw out the first pitch, there will be a giant flag unrolled in the outfield, and of the course the ring ceremony will take place. It sounds like it will be fun to watch.

Minor League season starts up

Yesterday all minor league Yankee affiliates won, but unfortunately Christian Garcia got injured again. He is on my players “I’m watching list” and I’m hoping his injury isn’t serious but I have my doubts. Anyway, make sure you check out the “Minor League Affiliates” page at the top of 161st Street for links to rosters and things and also to see who I’m watching this season.

Javy again?

Last night we heard tons of rumors about the Yankees making a trade for a pitcher. Today, we found out that those rumors were indeed true and the unknown pitcher is who else but Javier Vazquez. In exchange for Javy the Yankees sent Melky Cabrera, Mike Dunn, and Arodys Vizcaino over to Atlanta. The Braves also sent Boone Logan, a left-handed specialist, to the Bronx. I haven’t really thought it out yet, but I have to say I’m not really liking this trade. Once it really hits me, I will go into further detail on the trade, for now let’s just hope it works out for the best. Maybe we need to pretend this Vazquez is a brand new pitcher who we’ve never seen before…