Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Game Thread NYY @ OAK 6/11

The Yankees start a three game series tonight with the Oakland Athletics with CC Sabathia taking the mound against former Yankee Bartolo Colon. The Yankees went 6-1 last week and are looking to keep their winning ways going on the west coast in Oakland. 

Here is the Yankees lineup

Brett Gardner CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Travis Hafner DH
Kevin Youkilis 3B
Lyle Overbay RF
Ichiro Suzuki LF
Jayson Nix SS
Chris Stewart C

Follow us on Twitter all season long @GreedyStripes

2013 Draft Signings For June 11th

The Yankees signed two more of their drafted players from the 2013 draft today as 5th rounder David Palladino and 31st rounder Kevin Cornelius have both agreed to sign with the Yankees pending physicals. Palladino is a 6'9" 255 lb right handed pitcher from New Jersey and his slot recommendation is right at $278 K. Cornelius, this being the second time he was drafted by the Yankees as he was drafted late in the 2011 draft, with a slot recommendation of $100 K. Both players should officially be part of the Yankees organization by this time tomorrow so congrats to both of them.

Robinson Cano Named AL HR Derby Captain Again

For the second straight year Robinson Cano has been named the American League Home Run Derby captain for this years event. Cano won the event in 2011 with his father pitching to him and was named the captain last year in Kansas City. After last years fiasco let's just hope that this year goes smoother, although it should with the home team being the Mets in the National League, than last year when he got boo'd off the field in Kansas City. David Wright will be the candidate for the National League team in his own park. Surely with the game being in New York this year is why both captains were from the New York baseball teams so good job MLB with their choices.

Former Yankees Update Chien Ming Wang

Chien Ming Wang was released from his minor league deal with the Yankees last week so he could sign a one year major league deal with our division rival the Toronto Blue Jays. Tonight Wang will make his first start for the Jays against the Chicago White Sox. Wang was 4-4 with a 2.33 ERA in nine starts for the Yankees AAA team before leaving for north of the border. Good luck to Wang tonight and hopefully he gets back on his feet and sticks in the majors.

New York Yankees @ Oakland Athletics 6/11

First of all I just want to get it out of the way that I absolutely hate west coast games and never EVER want to play another one, call me biased if you have to. With that said the New York Yankees begin a three game series tonight with the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Coliseum. In what should be a huge match up, pun very much intended, the Yankees will send CC Sabathia to the mound to face off with former Yankee Bartolo Colon. The game will be televised way past my bed time at 10:05 pm ET on YES and on MLB TV.

Mark Montgomery Placed On AAA DL

Mark Montgomery is easily the best Yankees bullpen prospect and was placed on the AAA DL today. I am mobile so I will update the cause and the length later but this definitely is a blow to the Yankees depth as well as the Scranton Wilkes Barre Railriders bullpen. 

Michael Pineda To Start In Trenton On Friday

Michael Pineda's second rehab start in his 30 day rehab assignment will be this Friday for the Trenton Thunder. Manager Joe Girardi said that Pineda's pitch count will climb around eight pitches per start so after throwing 68 pitches last start Pineda seems good to throw around 75-80 pitches in his start. The good news is that our good buddy Mike Ashmore will be covering the game along with Josh Norris so we should have tons of coverage on the game. Friday cannot come fast enough...

Game 64 Lineup: Yankees @ Athletics

It's a brand new series...with two 1o p.m. games. Boo. Anyway, here is your lineup!

Brett Gardner CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Travis Hafner DH
Kevin Youkilis 3B
Lyle Overbay RF
Ichiro Suzuki LF
Jayson Nix SS
Chris Stewart C

CC Sabathia LHP

Some Notes:

-- Yesterday, Brett Gardner won the AL Player of the Week award. He was batting .520/.556/.840 throughout the week.

-- Today, Robinson Cano was crowned the Captain of the AL HR Derby Team. He can't get booed mercifully at Citi Field this year since the Mets are a National Team, so that's a good thing.

Could A-Rod Be a Factor This Season?

Alex Rodriguez is hated by the majority of Yankees fans, many of whom never want to see Rodriguez put on the pinstripes again. However, with Kevin Youkilis looking really old and fragile Rodrguez actually could be a positive for the Yankees if he gets healthy and avoids suspension.

Youkilis missed Sunday's game due to his back flaring up yet again after diving for a ground ball at first base on Saturday. The Yankees say he is just day-to-day and should play today, but we have seen this song and dance with Youkilis before this season. These back problems have limited Youkilis to just 25 games and they have severely limited his production.

Youkilis was batting .279/.353/.433 before missing his first game on April 21st. However, since his first back strain against Toronto, he has hit .239/.314/.380/.604 with a .305 wOBA and 88 wRC+. That is a very small sample size, but it is hard to see Youkilis staying on the field, much less being productive.

This is hardly a surprise as Youkilis only played in 122, 120 and 102 games in each of the last three seasons.  Since his return from the DL he looks slow and stiff in the field and his bat speed looks nothing like it did in his prime in Boston. He has only six walks on the season compared with 27 strikeouts. It really does not look promising that Youkilis will return to the player that we saw in Spring Training or at the beginning of the season. Back injuries just do not go away.

With a team that already has offensive black holes at catcher, shortstop, right field and left field the Yankees can not afford another one at third base. However, it really seems like the Yankees are heading in that direction with Youkilis looking close to finished and David Adams struggling (.217/.239/.348/.587). Rodriguez may have to be the one to save the day at third base.

If Rodriguez just came back as the player he was last year he would be an upgrade at third base. He hit .272/.353/.430/.783 with a .342 wOBA and 114 wRC+, His OPS, wOBA and wRC+ all ranked among the top 10 in MLB third basemen in 2012, so he was still an above average producer at the position. He was also excellent against lefties last season (.308/.410/.514/.924), against whom the Yankees have really had a tough time with this year.

Can Rodriguez return and give the Yankees that kind of production? I have no idea. It would seem unlikely, but not impossible. His second hip surgery could really end his days as a productive player like Youkilis' back has. However, with the state of the Yankee offense right now it could not hurt them to give him a shot.

Rodriguez has only just recently started baseball activities in Tampa, so this is still a long ways off. He also has a suspension looming over his head due to his involvement in the Biogenesis Clinic. I don't think the MLB has much of a case against him, as the only evidence they have is the word of a criminal in Tony Bosch. But, even if he does get suspended, it probably won't be until after this season, as Rodriguez will almost certainly fight his suspension.

You may not like Rodriguez, but right now the Yankees can use any offensive help they can get. A lot of people think that he will never put on the pinstripes again, but if he is ready to play this season and he isn't suspended the Yankees will not have much of a choice. With the way Youkilis and Adams look right now he could surprise everybody and turn into a positive. I'm not saying it will happen, but you never know because with Rodriguez anything is possible. His return is now more necessary than it has ever been.

Morning Bits

Good morning everyone!

The Yankees had a day off yesterday and sit two games  in back of the Red Sox in the AL East as they begin a three game series today in Oakland against the A's.

C.C. Sabathia(6-4, 3.74 ERA) will face Bartolo Colon(7-2, 3.14 ERA) tonight.  Start time is 10:05 ET and it will be televised on YES.

Now on to today's news and links:

Andrew Marchand breaks down Derek Jeter's progress as he works his way back on to the field after his injuries.

Zack Meisel of MLB.com has this article about Brett Gardner being named AL Offensive Player Of The Week.

NESN reports that the Yankees had a picture hanging in their war room on draft day to remind them of what type of mental makeup they were looking for in a player.

Have a great day everyone!

This Day In Yankees History 6/11

On this day in 2010 Andy Pettitte became only the second lefty to get 200 wins with the New York Yankees joining Whitey Ford. The Yankees beat his former team the Houston Astros 4-3 in this game that saw Andy also surpass the 3,000 inning mark.