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.
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.
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: