Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Series Awards - @ Baltimore, May 14-15

I'm cutting the Series Wrap, and just doing the Series Awards. This is due to two reasons...

1. You guys don't need another write-up about the individual games. You can get those elsewhere, and some of them are a lot more in-depth than mine are.

2. Due to a new job, and not having a whole lot of free time anyway, it's really hard for me to get them up as soon as I'd like.

The second reason is also the reason I haven't posted much lately. Thankfully Burch has been posting some great things regarding sabermetrics and prospects.

Series Awards

Jake Taylor Award
Mark Teixeira - He was only 3/8 in the series, but he did record hits in both games, including a bomb in Game 1. Honestly, nobody really stuck out to me. Robbie Cano was pretty good, as he had a couple hits in Game 1 (1 double), and his 1 hit in Game 2 was also a double. ARod had a great Game 1, going 3-5, but was 0-3 with a walk in Game 2. And Curtis Granderson had 2 homers in the series, but those 2 were his only hits as well.

Gentry Award
Nick Swisher - This one was kind of tough, as Swisher had 2 RBI and walked twice in the first game of the series. But Nick did have only 1 hit in the series, and did nothing for the team with his bat Tuesday night.

Rick Vaughn Award
Boone Logan - This is the first time a reliever has gotten this award, but neither Nova nor Sabathia pitched well in their starts. Freddy Garcia was the only Yankee reliever that threw more than 1 inning in the series, but he did give up a run. The fact that Logan has struck out 11 batters, while walking none, over his last 4 innings of relief work made me look his way.

Kelner Award
Ivan Nova - Ugh. 5.1 innings, 7 hits, 5 runs (all earned), and 3 walks to 4 Ks. Ivan hasn't been the bastion of consistency this season, as his 7 starts this season have gone good-meh-good-bad-bad-good-bad. This is not the guy Yankee fans expected before the season.


*The awards are named after one of the best baseball movies of all time... Major League.

Jake Taylor Award - Awarded to the most valuable position player. Named after the hard-nose veteran catcher that, despite making the league minimum, was the heart and soul of the 1989 American League East winning Cleveland Indians.

Gentry Award - Awarded to the least valuable position player. Named after the very first man cut from the 1989 Cleveland Indians, #47 Gentry. A man so insignificant he wasn't even given a first name.

Rick Vaughn - Awarded to the best pitcher in the series. This one is, of course, named after the "Wild Thing". The man that made Clu Haywood look silly in the division deciding game.

Kelner Award - Awarded to the worst pitcher in the series. Named after the Opening Day starter for the '89 Indians. Not a good game for Mr. Kelner, as Indians' announcer Harry Doyle famously quipped "thank God" after Kelner left the game. And yet another bad player without a first name.

5/16 - @ Toronto Blue Jays


Kuroda allows a two run home run to put the Yankees down 2-0 to the Jays

Another home run allowed by Kuroda... 5-0 Jays

Scratch that... 6-0 Jays with a great slide at home plate on a decent throw by Ibanez.

Mark Teixeira hits an RBI single, probably too late, to make it 7-1 Jays. 

Blue Jays Win 8-1
Win It For Japan

This is Bryan, filling in for Burch, who usually posts this stuff.

Hiroki Kuroda is taking the hill for the Yankees tonight, hoping to get the team back on the winning track. Here is the lineup...

Curtis Granderson CF
Nick Swisher RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Raul Ibanez LF
Eric Chavez DH
Russell Martin C
Jayson Nix SS

Here are some other pregame notes, courtesy of the LoHud Yankees Blog...

In the middle of 16 games in a row, Joe Girardi has decided it’s time to give guys a rest. Derek Jeter is off tonight, and Girardi said another of his regulars will almost certainly sit another regular tomorrow.

“I think I’ve always been concerned with players’ health,” Girardi said. “You see that a lot of times injuries are caused by fatigue, and that’s a concern for me. And I think as you know your players better, you know how many days they can go before you think it physically starts to wear on them. … I think you can wear them down and then they don’t start to swing the bat as well, they don’t move as well defensively and they get frustrated, and you can get into bad habits.”

When the lineup was posted, most of you probably expected something along these lines from Girardi. For better and for worse, he’s been committed to giving players — particularly his older players — regular rest. Today it was Jeter’s turn to sit for the first time this season. Jeter laughed when asked whether he was physically healthy.

“What do you think?” he said.

“Just a day off,” Girardi said. “We’re in the midst of 16 in a row. You give him today and maybe he can play the rest of the way out here. I’ll try to get him a DH maybe somewhere against Kansas City.”

Although he’s dealing with a cough, Mark Teixeira has played all but one game this season, and he’s played all of them at first base. Girardi said he told Teixeira that he wanted to DH him in Baltimore, but Teixeira convinced him that he was fine.

Although he plays a position that requires a ton of running, Curtis Granderson has started every single game in center field, but Girardi said he’s not particularly worried about Granderson’s health or durability.

“Curtis is a guy that’s used to playing every day,” Girardi said. “You look at what he’s done in the past, will I possibly give him a DH day here in these next eight days? Probably. But a lot of times last year I thought he might need a day and he’d play and get three hits that day, so he’s a tough one to take out of the lineup because he seems to do well when he plays every day.”

• Ivan Nova said he feels even better today than he felt yesterday, and there’s a good chance he’ll throw a bullpen tomorrow in preparation for a start on Saturday. “He came through the running fine,” Girardi said. “He feels better, and even if he didn’t throw a bullpen I wouldn’t rule out a start. I wouldn’t rule it out. I’ve said before that guys have skipped bullpen sessions before just because sometimes it’s that time of the year. He does feel better. He’s going in the right direction. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

• Girardi said he won’t avoid any of his relievers just because Nova’s next start isn’t a sure thing. D.J. Mitchell pitched today, so I’m not sure you could consider him an emergency option should the Yankees need to promote someone to make that start. Basically, it seems that Girardi is expecting either David Phelps or Freddy Garcia to be available that day, and if one of them isn’t, then the Yankees will adjust.

• Even though he leads the team in homers, Girardi said there was no consideration of anyone other than Granderson hitting leadoff today. “That’s the next guy if Jeet’s not going to be in the lineup,” Girardi said. “Jeet’s done such a good job for us, and Grandy’s done it before, so I’m comfortable putting him in.”

• Eduardo Nunez made two errors in a Triple-A game today.

• Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie got a four-game suspension for hitting an umpire with a thrown helmet last night, but he appealed and will play tonight.

• By the way, I honestly didn’t realize Jose Bautista was hitting .195 until I looked at today’s lineup card. I knew he wasn’t off to a strong start — he does have eight homers — but I didn’t realize he’d been that bad.

• This will be Hiroki Kuroda’s first career start against the Blue Jays.

Meet A Prospect : Manny Banuelos

I know this is probably silly to do, mainly because everyone already knows who Manny Banuelos is, but after coming off the DL Manny has been absolutely filthy again. His control is back, his velocity is back, and his dominance is back. Manny Banuelos was born on March 13th, 1991 in Monterrey, Mexico and was one of four international free agents the Yankees signed out of Mexico in 2008, including Afredo Aceves. Manny Banuelos gives the Yankees the best prospect they have may have ever developed.... a scary thought. Meet Mr. Manuel Banuelos. 

Manny Banuelos, or Man Ban as more commonly known as on the interwebs, is a young and small framed left hander that easily touches 92 MPH with his fastball. His changeup already looks like a plus pitch and possibly the strike out pitch. He has also been adding a curve and/or slider to his repertoire which would make him one scary individual on the mound.  He, in my prospect humping opinion, reminds me a lot of Johan Santana. 

Manny B was named the #1 prospect overall for the Yankees in The Greedy Pinstripes Top 20 prospect list, among others, after being 4th and 6th best in the two seasons prior to 2012 respectively according to Baseball America. Even after struggling with command in parts of his last two seasons he still looks like a potential Ace at the top of a rotation and is still far and away the best Yankees prospect, let alone best pitching prospect in a rich system.

The great Mariano Rivera even , seen here, said that Manny Banuelos is the "best pitching prospect he has ever seen". That is saying a lot considering how many young arms he has seen coming through the Yankees system in his 16 seasons, although we should take a step back because the last pitcher he donned as the "best" was Brien Taylor... and we all know how well that worked out.  Either way this is very high praise from the greatest closer of all time.