Monthly Archives: April 2012

Game 22 Lineup: Orioles vs. Yankees

Lineup vs. Orioles:

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Alex Rodriguez DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Raul Ibanez RF
Eric Chavez 3B
Russell Martin C
Eduardo Nunez LF

Hiroki Kuroda RHP

Start Time: 7:05pm
Field: Yankee Stadium
T.V: YES Network
Radio: WCBS 880

Pregame Notes:

– Nick Swisher will miss about a week after straining his hamstring yesterday, but Joe Girardi still doesn’t feel that this is a DL situation.

– Eduardo Nunez gets his first start in LF today sending Raul Ibanez to RF. Girardi said Nunez was the choice because Nunez has been hitting the ball very well as of late.

– Andy Pettitte reached 95 pitches but was shelled for 6 runs. I wouldn’t read into the 6 runs at all because most of the runs were wind-aided.

– Brett Gardner took BP in the indoor cage today. He’ll take live BP tomorrow and right now is on track of being in the lineup on Thursday.

 Enjoy the game everyone!

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Travel Day

April flew by quicker than a Justin Verlander fastball. It’s hard to believe that the first 1/8th of the season is already in the books. Triple Crown threats, preseason favorites already in trouble, surprise teams still surprising, and big money contract players bombing were at the forefront this week.

The Triple Crown

Yes, the Kentucky Derby is going to be run on Saturday, horse racing’s first leg of the Triple Crown. The last horse to win the Triple Crown, which consists of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes was Affirmed in 1978 but it isn’t that Triple Crown which is in my mind right now.

The last baseball player to win the Triple Crown was Carl Yastremski, who in 1967 batted .326 and hit 44 home runs and drove in 121 runs.  I was asked a few years ago by a fan of both baseball and horse racing whether we’d see a Triple Crown winner in our lifetimes in either horse racing or baseball and if so, which sport would we witness it in? I responded that we would never see a Triple Crown winner in either sport in our lifetimes. I think that Matt Kemp, Josh Hamilton, or BOTH are going to make a liar out of me this year.

Matt Kemp’s April performance has been an incredible thing to witness. Kemp is batting .425 and currently leading the NL in batting average by 28 points over New York Met David Wright. Kemp narrowly lost the batting average category last year but with this incredible start is a solid favorite to win the batting title this year. Kemp has already hit 11 home runs, 4 more than Jay Bruce of the Reds who has 7 home runs. Kemp has 24 RBI’s, which have him in a tie for the NL lead with teammate Andre Ethier. Kemp’s biggest hurdle this season in his pursuit of the Triple Crown will probably be RBI’s, which are dependent on your teammates giving you the chance to drive those runs in by getting on base ahead of you. Kemp is challenged in the RBI category as he bats third behind two players with light OBP’s and obviously the pitcher in the 9th spot after the first inning. Most of the reason Kemp’s teammate Ethier has 24 RBI’s so far this year is that he follows Kemp and his .425 AVG, .495 OBP, and mind-boggling 1.382 OPS. If Kemp can win the RBI title, I do believe he will take the Triple Crown in the NL.

Josh Hamilton currently leads the AL in home runs and RBI’s with 9 and 25 respectively. Hamilton trails his elder Derek Jeter by 1 point in the batting average column right now. The only thing that can keep Hamilton from the Triple Crown in the AL is his health. The Ballpark at Arlington is a launching pad when the heat rises in the summer months and for Hamilton to already have 9 home runs bodes well for his chances at the home run title. As great as Derek Jeter is and nice as the David Ortiz stories is, it is very unlikely that either can keep pace with the younger column in the average department for an entire season. Hamilton bats third in a lineup that is the best in MLB by a mile in my opinion, and his RBI opportunities are amazingly high because of this. Hamilton did leave the game last night against Tampa Bay with a stiff back, but it doesn’t appear to be a serious injury. If Hamilton can play 135 games this season, he will be very likely to win the Triple Crown.

REMAIN CALM!! ALL IS WELL!!

Those famous words spoken by Kevin Bacon’s character in the final scene of comedy classic Animal House are now being heard spoken by Phillies and Angels fans, and they don’t sound any more convincing than Kevin’s character did. There are legitimate concerns for the two teams favored by many to meet in the World Series.

The Angels  trail the Texas Rangers by 9 games in the AL West, which is the largest gap in any division in baseball from the first place team to the last place team. The Angels have two very serious problems beyond Albert Pujols’ slump in April. The Angels just can’t hit and their bullpen is lousy in the 8th and 9th innings. It’s one thing to need a few bats to wake up, it is another to need an entire team to wake up. Yes, the Angels have a great starting pitching rotation, but baseball games are not won with starting pitching alone despite the recent koolaid being pushed by the mainstream baseball media. Baseball is about equal parts offense, defense, starting pitching, and in this day and age the bullpen means as much as anything else. The Angels’ bullpen has blown an incredible 6 saves already and managed to complete only 2 saves. When your bullpen has only completed 25% of save situations you have a serious problem.

Pujols’ stunning April slump may be grabbing the headlines, but the Angels have far bigger issues than Pujols and look fully invested and unlikely to make any major moves before the deadline. Rarely is pressure an issue at the start of May, but with the lofty expectations that so many had for the Angels and  with the money spent on free agents Pujols and CJ Wilson pressure is on this team to dig out of the hole they are in. That kind of pressure is the last thing that a team with a stagnant lineup and faltering bullpen needs. Already the Angels’ brass has hit the panic button, this week releasing Bobby Abreu and calling up Mike Trumbo from the minors. Trumbo was immediately put into the leadoff spot, a further sign that desperate measures are already being taken.

I went to check my phone for text messages yesterday, and the first one I saw was a message from my friend Michael, a diehard Phillies fan already at a level of high anxiety about the Phillies and their 2012 start. The message said “we made Garza look like Walter Johnson today”.  The Phillies are making a lot of starters look like Walter Johnson these days.

Cliff Lee is on the DL for the Phillies, but his absence isn’t the cause of the Phillies’ woes and inconsistency.  The Phillies’ team batting average is .244 and the Phillies’ team OBP is a pathetic .288. Only the Pirates have a lower team OBP in the NL.    Obviously the absence of Ryan Howard and Chase Utley have had a negative impact on the Phillies’ offense but counting on them to provide the boost they need offensively isn’t a sure thing.  Howard and Utley both have serious conditions that they are attempting to work back from, and what level of help they can offer upon their returns is questionable.  With the NL East obviously the toughest division from top to bottom in the NL, the Phillies are not going to have an easy time making the playoffs without a serious increase in their offensive production.

Orioles and Indians

That sounds like the answer to a trivia question like “name two hopeless AL teams with long-suffering fans who haven’t won a title in at least 25 years”.  Instead, it’s the answer to “name two teams currently in first place in their divisions.”

The Baltimore Orioles are perhaps the most unlikely division leader as April draws to a close.  The perennial doormat in the AL East since Tampa Bay emerged from the cellar in 2008, the Orioles have parlayed great pitching, good hitting and solid defense into the lead in the powerhouse AL East.  A key stat to the Orioles’ great start?  Their pitching staff has an ERA of 3.06, which is 2nd only to the Texas Rangers in the AL.  While the feeling of inevitability that the Orioles will be passed by most of the other teams in the AL East is strong, the Orioles really appear to have emerged from doormat status. It’s not just the Orioles’ record, but a sense you get from watching them play, that they are once again a real ball club with a very realistic chance at a .500 season.

The Cleveland Indians aren’t far behind the Orioles in terms of shock value as division leaders. It isn’t shocking that the Indians are in front from a talent standpoint.  The Indians appeared to have a good young nucleus of position players and pitchers as well as a very good manager when the season began. What is shocking about the Indians being in first place in the AL Central is that they have a team batting average of .244(8th in the AL) and a team ERA of 4.10(7th in the AL).   Key stat in the Indians’ early success?  The Indians have been walk masters, and those walks have propelled the Indians to a team OBP of .342, which trails only the Yankees and Rangers in the AL in that statistical category.  Baserunners win games.

47.9 Million Dollars Doesn’t Buy What It Used To

Albert Pujols signed a 10 year, 254 million dollar contract in the offseason. Pujols will make 25.4 million dollars this year to play first base for the Angels. Thus far Pujols’ time with the Angels can best be described as a nightmare.  Pujols is hitting .216 with only a microscopic OBP of .266.  Pujols has yet to hit a single home run for his new club and has driven in only 4 runs.

Pujols appears to be having trouble making an adjustment to being shifted on, seeing faster AL fastballs, and pressing to justify his big money deal which has altered his mechanics to the point where his swings are hard to believe.  You’d have to think that at some point he’ll bottom out and start hitting but something that the great broadcaster Ken Singleton has said on Yankee broadcasts about slow starts has always stood out in my mind.

Singleton was a very good ballplayer(and even better in the booth, he’s the best Yankee TV broadcaster of my lifetime, and most Yankee fans wish he’d work every single game) for the Expos and the Orioles. Singleton on several occasions has spoken of his 1976 season, in which he got off to a terrible start in April that was then followed by an equally terrible May in which he pressed to make things happen.  He said that a bad start will often make a good player press and make bad swings because the feeling is that a walk won’t do anything to increase their batting average and the instinct is to try to make something happen rather than letting good at bats come to you.    It is indeed stunning that Pujols has only been walked 6 times so far this season and could be indicative of what I’ve come to call the Singleton Syndrome.

Mark Teixeira will make 22.5 million dollars this year, not quite as much as Pujols, but still a nice chunk of change to play a kid’s game.

Teixeira’s 2009 regular season was a phenomenal one, helping to propel the Yankees to the AL East crown and a one seed in the playoffs.  His home run total and RBI totals remained high in 2010 and 2011 but everyone knows that RBI’s are a function of who hits ahead of you and following guys named Gardner, Jeter, Granderson, Cano, and Arod means that if you don’t have at LEAST 100 RBI’s that you are probably in a coma.

Teixeira’s lifetime .300 plus batting average was a huge reason the Yankees gave him an 8 year, 180 million dollar contract.  Teixeira’s batting average/OBP have gone from .292/.383 in 2009 to .256/.365 in 2010 to .248/.341 in 2011 and he’s gotten off to a .229/.278 start in 2012.

In addition to his tiny AVG/OBP  in April this year, Teixeira only has three home runs and an OPS of only .663

Teixeira’s postseason performance as a Yankee has been miserable, going 18-106 with only 3 home runs.

As a matter of fact, including the playoffs, since the end of the 2009 regular season Teixeira has gone 337-1379(.244)

Teixeira’s glove remains the best in the game at first base day in and day out and his home runs have been very valuable the last two years as his AVG/OBP took over 40 point plunges.  He has had slow starts before but this start is very alarming because of all the preseason talk that Teixeira had gotten into better shape, vowed to work on beating the shift, was working on getting his level swing back, etc.

Many Yankee fans are largely in denial about Teixeira but the bottom line is that his contract is one of the worst in MLB and he’s been a huge disappointment.  Teixeira was given that monster contract in large part because he was supposed to be the .300 plus, switch hitting, three man in the order for years. He’s now the .229 hitting 5 man in the order and it just feels like whether it’s the shift or changing his swing to chase the short porch in right field in Yankee Stadium, that the “old” Mark Teixeira isn’t ever coming back.

Tweet Of The Week

“I try to be lenient because some people act like it’s a crime to criticize your team” @NYYankeesFan92

Series Preview: Yankees vs. Orioles | 4/27/12-4/29/12

Pitching Matchups

Monday, 4/30/12, 7:05pm ET

Pitching for the Yankees: Hiroki Kuroda, RHP
Last Start: 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 5 K, 2 BB, 1 HR
On the Season: 1-3, 4.38 ERA / 4.65 FIP / 3.87 xFIP, 6.20 K/9, 2.92 BB/9 in 24.2 IP

Pitching for the Orioles: Jason Hammel, RHP
Last Start: 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 7 K, 1 BB, 0 HR
On the Season: 3-0, 1.73 ERA / 2.45 FIP / 2.79 xFIP, 8.65 K/9, 2.77 BB/9 in 26.0 IP

Tuesday, 5/1/12, 7:05pm ET

Pitching for the Yankees: Phil Hughes, RHP
Last Start: 2.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, 2 K, 0 BB, 1 HR
On the Season: 1-3, 7.88 ERA / 6.39 FIP / 4.71 xFIP, 9.56 K/9, 3.38 BB/9 in 16.0 IP

Pitching for the Orioles: Brian Matusz, LHP
Last Start: 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 3 K, 2 BB, 0 HR
On the Season: 0-3, 5.66 ERA / 4.74 FIP / 5.53 xFIP, 6.10 K/9, 5.66 BB/9 in 20.2 IP

Wednesday, 5/2/12, 7:05pm ET

Pitching for the Yankees: Ivan Nova, RHP
Last Start: 5.1 IP, 6 ER, 11 H, 5 K, 3 BB, 0 HR
On the Season: 3-0, 5.18 ERA / 3.77 FIP / 3.15 xFIP, 9.25 K/9, 1.85 BB/9 in 24.1 IP

Pitching for the Orioles: Jake Arrieta, RHP
Last Start: 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 H, 3 K, 2 BB, 2 HR
On the Season: 1-2, 4.45 ERA / 4.07 FIP / 3.80 xFIP, 7.12 K/9, 2.67 BB/9 in 30.1 IP

NYY Offense

Who’s Hot

— Derek Jeter – 10 for 23 with 2 doubles, 1 RBI, and 4 BB in the last 7 days

— Robinson Cano – 8 for 25 with 1 double and 1 RBI in the last 7 days

— Alex Rodriguez – 6 for 21 with 2 HR, 7 RBI, and 4 BB in the last 7 days

Who’s Not

— Mark Teixeira – 2 for 24 with 1 RBI and 3 K in the last 7 days

— Russell Martin – 2 for 12 with 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, and 2 K in the last 7 days

BAL Offense

Who’s Hot

— Adam Jones – 9 for 22 with 1 double, 1 HR, 4 RBI, and 1 BB in the last 7 days

— Chris Davis – 7 for 18 with 1 double, 3 HR, 7 RBI, and 4 BB in the last 7 days

— Wilson Betemit – 5 for 13 with 1 double, 2 HR, 5 RBI, and 1 BB in the last 7 days

Who’s Not

— J.J. Hardy – 4 for 22 with 3 doubles, 1 RBI, 1 BB, and 4 K in the last 7 days

— Ryan Flaherty – 3 for 15 with 1 RBI, 1 BB, and 3 K in the last 7 days

Enjoy the series!

Morning Bits: Pettitte, Cashman, Bleacher Creatures, Abreu

Good morning everyone! It’s time for another work/school week but it’s not all bad cause Yankees have brand new series tonight! Here are your morning links! 

– The Roger Clemens trial will not slow down Andy Pettitte‘s road back to the major leagues. If that doesn’t stop Andy, I don’t think anything will.

– Brian Cashman was at the ballpark yesterday, but he wasn’t sitting in his office watching the game in the 1st inning. He was in the bleachers with the Bleacher Creatures! I wonder how Cashman would have fared if he sat with the creatures during Garcia’s start…hmm…

– Bleacher Report writes why the Yankees should reunite with former Yankee Bobby Abreu.

CC tames Tigers; Yankees win series with 6-2 win

NEW YORK- You would think that this day couldn’t have gotten anymore crazier. D.J Mitchell was called up from Scranton, Freddy Garcia was sent to the bullpen & Cody Eppley was sent back to Scranton. With the rubber match of the series, you would be afraid of Max Scherzer except for the fact that most of his pitches were outside of the plate. This gave the Yankees the chance to take the rubber game of the series with a dramatic 6-2 victory.

CC PITCHES LIKE AN ACE: CC Sabathia gave Joe Girardi exactly what he wanted; a long outing that rested the bullpen. Sabathia went 8 innings giving up 2 runs on 4 hits and 8 K’s. This was what Girardi said after CC’s start:

GIRARDI: “It was really important for what CC did today, for the bullpen to get rested for the new series ahead.”

ROBBIE CANO HAS 2 HITS, DON’T YA KNOW: Robinson Cano has struggled quietly in April (it was so quiet, I almost never noticed until today). Cano only had 1 HR & 3 RBI’s, but Robbie just wanted to get going and start hitting. Well today, Robinson Cano had 2 base hits which raised his average to .264. You need hits? Come to Robbie Cano, Don’t Ya Know.

STEWART ISN’T SABATHIA’S CATCHER–OR IS HE?: Before the game today, Joe Girardi made it clear that Chris Stewart was not CC Sabathia’s personal catcher but yet Stewart was in the lineup with Sabathia on the mound. Well, we can all agree that Chris Stewart does a great job catching behind CC. This was what Girardi had to say about Stewart:

 GIRARDI: “Stewart is tremendous behind the plate. I tell catchers this all the time, ‘your job is to save runs.”

NICK SWISHER HAS HAMSTRING STRAIN: Nick Swisher was taken out of the game after gripping his hamstring today and it turns out he has a “low grade A hamstring strain.” The plan is that Swisher is not going to go on the DL yet since the main reason is that Brett Gardner comes off the DL on Thursday. If Swisher still isn’t ready for the Kansas City series, then Girardi could give Gardner Swish’s spot on the roster and then put Swisher on the DL.

GIRARDI: “We’ll see how he feels during the Kansas City series.”

WHAT’S NEXT: Hiroki Kuroda will take the mound vs. the Baltimore Orioles (the first place Orioles. Pinch me…I think I’m having a nightmare.) as the Yankees will begin another series. The rotation vs. the Orioles would be Kuroda, Hughes & Nova.  First pitch tomorrow night is at 7:05pm on YES Network.

Minor Night Cap: Empire Yanks win, Brett Marshall with a good line, Tyler Austin hits another homerun

Empire State Yankees W 8-2

PTF Romine (DL)

Kevin Russo – 2R, 3BB, .313

Doug Bernier – 1R, 1H, 1BB, 2K, .245

Dewayne Wise – 2R, 1H, 2BB, .369

Jayson Nix – 1R, 1H, 2RBI, 1K, .208

Brandon Laird – 1R, 3H, 1K, .263

Pitching
PTF Dellin Betances (DNP)

Michael O’Connor (W, 1-0) – 5.0IP, 4H, 2R, 2Er, 4K, 1HR, 2.87era

Pat Venditte – 3.0IP, 3H, 3K, 2.77era

Juan Cedeno – 1.oIP, 2H, 1K, 1.54era

Trenton Thunder L 4-3

PTF Zoilo Almonte (DNP)

Abraham Almonte – 2R, 1H, (solo homerun), 1RBI, 1BB, .279

Cody Johnson – 1H, 1RBI, 1K, .254

Yadil Mujica – 1R, 3H, .556

Pitching
PTF Brett Marshall – 7.2IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 6K, 2HR, 3.81era

Francisco Rondon – 0.0IP, 1BB, 6.43era

Ryan Flannery – (BS, 1) (L, 0-1) 0.1IP, 3H, 2R, 1ER, 1BB, 1.54era

Tampa Yankees L 3-0

PTF J.R. Murphy -1H, 2K, .250

Ramon Flores – 1H, .185

Jose Mojica – 1H, .232

Pitching
PTF Nik Turley (DNP)

Jose A. Ramirez (L, 1-4) 6.0IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, 1BB, 4K, 2HR, 6.23era

Rigoberto Arrebato – 2.0IP, 3K, 5.40era

Charleston River Dogs L 12-3

PTF Dante Bichette Jr. 1R, 1H, 1BB, .243

Tyler Austin – 1R, 1H, (3-Run Homer), 3RBI, 2K, .358

Gary Sanchez, 2H (Double), .346

Pitching
PTF Bryan Mitchell (DNP)

Caleb Cotham (L, 2-1) 4.oIP, 8H, 4R, 3Er, 4K, .286era

Brett Gerritse – 3.0IP, 5H, 4R, 4Er, 2BB, 3K, 2HR, 6.00era

Zachary Varce -1.0IP, 5H, 4R, 4ER, 1BB, 1K, 4.91era

Yankees Player of the Week | Week 3

This week was a tough one for the Yankees. They finished 2-3 against perhaps the 2 best teams in the AL in Texas and Detroit. If they can win today and take 2 out of 3 against Detroit going .500 against these tough teams is not to bad especially when you consider the horrendous starting pitching the Yankees have had. This is the weakest group of candidates for player of the week so far but I was able to come up with 4 candidates.  They are Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Nick Swisher, and CC Sabathia.

The case for Jeter – This is the 3rd consecutive Jeter has been nominated for Yankees Player of the Week but he has yet to win as Hiroki Kuroda and Mark Teixeira won the first 2 weeks. This is odd as he has been by far the best player on the Yankees so far this year. Jeter was outstanding against Texas but has been held hitless against Detroit so far. For the week Jeter batted .400 with 1 RBI. His signature game was on Monday when he went 4-5, scored 2 runs, and knocked in a run.

The case for Rodriguez – Rodriguez played a huge role in both of the Yankee wins this week. On Monday against Texas Rodriguez hit a 3 run home run in the 5th inning that blew the game open. In Friday’s win against Detroit Rodriguez went 3-4, with a HR, and 2 RBI. Overall for the week Rodriguez hit .294, with 2 HRs, and 5 RBI.

The case for Swisher - Swisher best game came yesterday as he tried to lead a Yankees comeback by hitting 2 HR’s. He had a pretty consistent week hitting .300 with 2 HR’s and 3 RBI.  Most weeks Swisher would not be candidate, but this week was not a strong week for candidates.

The case for Sabathia - CC pitched a very good game Monday against Texas. Sabathia let up 2 soft runs in the 7th that did not make his line look as good as it was. CC did not allow a run from the 2nd through the 5th. Sabathia pitched 8 strong innings, allowing 7 hits, 4 runs, and striking out 8. Sabathia did all this against a potentTexas lineup in their hitter friendly ballpark. CC gave the Yankees a great chance to win the series, but the Yankees did not take advantage. The Yankees can use another start like this today against Detroit.

The winner this week goes to Alex Rodriguez as he was a key player in both of the Yankee wins this week. Hopefully Rodriguez can keep it going because Robinson Cano is still struggling and Mark Teixeira has been up and down. It was very close between Rodriguez, CC Sabathia, and Derek Jeter so cast your vote in the poll. Hopefully next week the candidates are a little bit stronger.

Game 21 Lineup: Tigers vs. Yankees

Lineup vs. Tigers:

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Nick Swisher RF
Raul Ibanez LF
Eric Chavez DH
Chris Stewart C

CC Sabathia LHP

Start Time: 1:05pm
Field: Yankee Stadium
T.V: YES Network
Radio: WCBS 880

Pregame Notes:

– Girardi said that he either views Mitchell as a starter or as a long-man. There won’t be a decision until Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi talk it over.

Tweets:

Enjoy the game everyone.

Freddy Garcia goes to bullpen

Freddy Garcia goes to bullpen

By Delia E.

Freddy Garcia’s tenure in the Yankees rotation is officially over as of today. No, he wasn’t released from the team but he was added to the Yankees bullpen. Yankees called up D.J. Mitchell earlier today to add depth to the Yankees bullpen and though not official, it looks as if David Phelps will get to keep the rotation spot warm–until Andy Pettitte comes back.

There is still one issue though; the Yankees still have 26 men on the roster meaning someone has to be sent down to make room for Mitchell. This also isn’t official but it could be Cody Eppley that gets sent down.

Update: Cody Eppley was just optioned to Scranton to make room for Mitchell.

Yankees call up D.J. Mitchell

Yankees call up D.J. Mitchell

By Delia E.

Update #1: According to Andrew Marchand, this could potentially mean that David Phelps is now in the rotation.

Original Post:

David Phelps’s old friend from Triple-AAA will join the Yankees. D.J Mitchell was called up today just a day after Freddy Garcia blew his last start. There was no counter move at the moment but it looks like Girardi really did sleep on his decision. Mitchell is to make his Major League Baseball debut in today’s game. More on who’s off the roster as this story develops.

Tweet:

Morning Bits: Garcia, Gardner, Phelps

Good morning everyone and a Happy Sunday to you all. Yankees are going to try to win the rubber match of a three game set with CC Sabathia on the mound. Here are your morning links.

Freddy Garcia‘s struggles are a mystery to Joe Girardi and when asked if Garcia will make his next start, Girardi said, “I’ll sleep on it.” Stop sleeping on it. Garcia needs to go.

Brett Gardner admits after taking 10 dry swings & 15 off the tee, he was nervous to take  batting practice. Well, didn’t it work out well where there was no pain Gardy? Gardy will be just fine. I bet on it.

– I bet when David Phelps found out he made the team coming out of Spring Training, he had no idea that he was going to be used so much coming out of the bullpen. The Daily News believes that David Phelps has earned the right to start a game since Freddy Garcia continues to be ineffective.  In my honest opinion, I think Phelps should have been the 5th starter 2 weeks ago. Did you see how he tamed those Tigers?

Ay Garcia! Garcia implodes as Yanks fall 7-5 to Tigers

NEW YORK – The story tonight wasn’t about the Yankees (11-9) bats falling silent. The story wasn’t even about Nick Swisher hitting 2 HR’s in the game. The story was more about Freddy Garcia imploding once again, as the Yankees fell to the Detroit Tigers (11-10) 7-5 after the Yankees tried to cap a rally in the 9th.

GARCIA IMPLODES–AGAIN: This is not the first time that Freddy Garcia imploded. It’s not the second time that Garcia imploded. It’s not even the third time that Garcia imploded. This is the fourth start in a row that Freddy Garcia imploded. Garcia gave up 6 runs in 1 2/3 innings making it the second time that Garcia was pulled in the 2nd inning. Garcia has struggled mightily and this may be the time to talk about taking Freddy Garcia from the rotation in favor of someone who has been pitching well–maybe–David Phelps. Anyway, Girardi said that he wasn’t going to judge until after 4 starts. I think it’s time to pull the plug Girardi.

BULLPEN WAS FANTASTIC: Clay Rapada, David Phelps & Cody Eppley came out of the bullpen after Garcia was lifted and all 3 of them pitched a terrific job. The bullpen pitched 7 1/3 innings and only allowed 1 run. The most impressive? David Phelps. He pitched 3 scoreless innings, walked no one and gave up no hits. I think it’s time for the David Phelps experiment. Just saying.

GARDNER CLOSE TO COMEBACK: Brett Gardner took batting practice for the first time since injuring his elbow. He had 10 dry swings and 15 swings on the tee. Gardner felt no pain at all in his elbow which is fantastic news for Yankees fans. Gardner thinks that he could do full on batting practice on Monday.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Yankees turn to their ace CC Sabathia in hopes that he could be his regular self and bear down the Tigers. The first pitch is at 1:05pm on YES Network.

Game 20 Lineup: Tiger vs. Yankees

Lineup vs. Tigers:

Derek Jeter DH
Nick Swisher RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Curtis Granderson CF
Andruw Jones LF
Russell Martin C
Eduardo Nunez SS

RHP Freddy Garcia (0-1, 9.75 ERA)

Start Time: 4:05pm
Stadium: Yankee Stadium

T.V: YES Network
Radio: WCBS 880

Tweets:

Enjoy the game everyone!

The Pineda trade: the trade isn’t a bust–yet

When the Jesus Montero for Michael Pineda trade came to light on January 13, 2012  fans were excited to see the young right hander pitch for the New York Yankees. But starting in Spring Training, there were concerns about Pineda which made fans a little wary if this was a good trade. First of all, Pineda’s velocity wasn’t what it used to be when he was with the Seattle Mariners. In Seattle he would hit 95-97 mph on the radar gun while in Spring Training with the Yankees, his fastball would top at 90-93 mph. When Pineda was placed on the 15 day disabled list with shoulder tendonitis, it seemed that the Yankees had found the problem to Pineda’s low velocity. But fast-forward to late April, last week in fact, when Michael Pineda was shutdown after feeling soreness in his right shoulder. He made a trip to New York to get an MRI and soon his agent requested a second opinion to see Dr. Altchek, the Mets team doctor.

Michael Pineda is on the DL which makes fans wonder, was the trade a bust?

In the end it was revealed that Michael Pineda had an anterior labral tear in his right shoulder that would require season ending arthroscopic surgery. After it was revealed that Pineda needed surgery, fans took to Twitter and Facebook and wrote how the Mariners got the better part of the trade which was a young 21 year old that was the #1 prospect in the Yankees farm system. I don’t think the Pineda trade was a bust–just yet. There are certain factors that come into play that make it almost impossible to assess the Michael Pineda trade at this point.

1. It’s too early to tell: As we all know, the trade happened in January. We can’t determine that it was a good or bad trade in 4 months; it’s not possible. The Yankees viewed Michael Pineda as a plan for more of the future, kind of like how they signed David Aardsma more for 2013 than for 2012. Michael Pineda is under team control for the next 5 seasons, so we might want to hold off on jumping to conclusions saying that the trade was ” the worst trade Brian Cashman ever made.”

2. Age: We aren’t talking about guys that are in their 30′s and their baseball careers are almost over. We are talking about Michael Pineda who is 23 and Jesus Montero who is 21; both just beginning their Major League careers. They are both young so they have a while to prove themselves. It’s not like their Major League careers end tomorrow.

Michael Pineda might be able to make a full recovery, although it's not guarenteed

3. Pineda might come back strong: I know that arthroscopic surgery isn’t the best bet for a pitcher and it’s also a risk, but Michael Pineda might come back and be a better pitcher that he was before. A lot of pitchers have had surgery and they have never been the same, but there are some pitchers (2 that come to my mind) that have had arthroscopic surgery and have succeeded in their Major League careers: Chris Carpenter & Curt Schilling. Carpenter had surgery in 2002 and won the Cy Young award in 2005. Curt Schilling had a slight labral tear in 1995 and returned posting the best numbers of his career (especially with the Red Sox from 2004-2008). The odds seem to be against Pineda in this category, since many pitchers that were successful in the beginning had labrum surgery, which hurt the rest of their careers. Examples: Jason Schmidt (he spent a lot of time on the DL after the surgery) & Erik Bedard (he had multiple set-backs while rehabbing his shoulder but he’s now a pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates). But Curt Schilling himself believes that Michael Pineda will make a big bounce back when he returns next season. Let’s hope Schilling is right.

Who knows where the trade will be in 5 years or so. Maybe Michael Pineda might be the best thing that the New York Yankees ever had while Jesus Montero struggles mightily for the Seattle Mariners. Or maybe it’s Jesus Montero that goes onto play in All-Star games while Michael Pineda is struggling in the Yankees rotation, or he might be with another team. We can’t judge the trade right now because of all that’s happened so far. It’s only been 4 months. Once Montero & Pineda finish their tenures with the Yankees & Mariners then we can decide if the trade was worth it. But for now, all we can do is sit and wait.

 

Morning Bits: Walk-Off Pie, Garcia, Chamberlain, Nova

Good morning everyone and a Happy Saturday to you all. Last night’s game was wild, so let’s hope that Freddy Garcia can get it together and have a good outing for us. Onto the morning links!

– Now that A.J Burnett is gone–did the Yankees put an end to the pie celebration? If that’s the case, then Brett Gardner is lucky. He had the last pie to the face by A.J.

– Is Freddy Garcia ready to finally have a good outing? If not…”Paging Mr. Phelps.”

– There was a nice surprise for the Yankees last night as Joba Chamberlain was in the clubhouse. There’s good news for him. One is that he says his arm feels 100% and the second thing is that the boot on his foot will come back in a week.  He anticipates being back in 2012.

– Ivan Nova missed his chance to finally beat Justin Verlander. Don’t beat yourself up Nova. The only American League park that Justin Verlander has not won in is Yankee Stadium.

What a wild one! Yanks win 7-6 on wild pitch in 9th inning

NEW YORK– As if things couldn’t get any worse for the Detroit Tigers (10-10). After not having Delmon Young for tonight’s game (he was stuck in court after being arrested), Justin Verlander struggled, Yankees tied the game and the Detroit bullpen let them down as the Yankees (11-8) won 7-6 on a wild pitch.

BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE: Ivan Nova didn’t look very comfortable on the mound today but it might have something to do with the cold weather. Game time temperature during first pitch was 45 degrees and it didn’t get any warmer from there. Nova struggled a bit as he gave up 6 runs on 11 hits with 3 walks & 5 strikeouts. It shouldn’t be cold for long, but I bet the Yankees are wishing for 70 degree weather.

Not only did the cold affect Ivan Nova, but Nova felt that he was being squeezed by home plate umpire Joe West. When asked about the squeezed strike zone,  Nova said that he felt that he had balls for strikes but wasn’t getting the calls because of the zone. “At the end of the day it’s the us vs. Verlander. It’s not about me. You’ll see me in 5 days.”

Russell Martin somewhat blames himself for not adjusting his calls due to the squeezed zone. “If I had told him to throw more fastballs, then it could have been a lot different.”

A-ROD HITS 633: Alex Rodriguez had an insane day at the plate, going 3 for 4 with a HR. That homer was #633. A-Rod was also at the plate when the wild pitch went past him and scored Jeter.

JETER SNAPS HIT STREAK: Derek Jeter couldn’t get a hit today which snapped his 15 game hit streak. Jeter did get on base in the 9th inning and scored the winning run on a wild pitch. His average dropped from .420 to .400.

IT’S HOUDINI, THE MAGNIFICENT: David Robertson once again had a scoreless inning and even had a runner on base. Robertson is the only pitcher in the Yankees bullpen (aside from Cody Eppley) who has a 0.00 ERA. Robertson also has 24 scoreless innings, dating back to September of last year.

YOUR OUTTA HERE: This has been an interesting game for Joe Girardi. For the 13th time in his Yankees career, Girardi was ejected in the 7th inning. If you didn’t see Girardi’s ejection during the 7th inning then you missed an interesting intermission. Girardi jumped over the Yankees dugout fence to get to home plate umpire Joe West before commencing his argument.

GARDNER TAKES (BUNTING) BP: Brett Gardner was back on the field before the game today taking batting practice, but he wasn’t swinging for the fences. Gardner was cleared to do hitting drills and one of them was bunting. Gardner was only allowed to bunt and do running drills today. If everything goes well, then Gardner will come off the DL next Thursday vs. the Royals.

WHAT’S NEXT: Freddy Garcia will take the mound for the Yankees as the Yankees face a pitcher that they have never seen before; Drew Smyly and once you see his pitches when he’s on track, there is nothing to smile about. The game will start at 4:05pm.

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