Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Plans Change For Pineda's Next Rehab Start

Ken Davidoff originally said that Michael Pineda was going to be moved up to AA Trenton and would get his second rehab start on Friday. Pineda's first rehab start was for high-A Tampa, but they are off this weekend for All Star break.

Well, plans have changed, and Michael will instead throw a 75-pitch simulated game in Tampa on Friday. The team says they want him to be under a more controlled environment. There's some speculation that it's because they don't think he's ready to move up a level. I don't know if I buy that he's not ready for AA, seeing as how he threw 4.1 scoreless innings, giving up 2 hits, while striking out 4 and walking just 1. Not to mention that Pineda touched 95 with his fastball. And it makes sense since the team doesn't have to worry about him throwing a long inning, nor having to travel.

New York Yankees @ Oakland Athletics 6/12

The Yankees offense went quiet again last night and the pitching let us down so the Yankees dropped the opener in Oakland last night but look to rebound tonight against the A's. Phil Hughes will be on the mound for the Yankees as he faces off with the A's Dan Straily. The game will be televised at 10:05 pm ET on YES.

Mark Montgomery Sent To The DL For... Rest?

In what is a pretty weird set of circumstances the Yankees placed Mark Montgomery on the AAA disabled list yesterday for what were unknown reasons. Today the Yankees announced that they put him on the DL simply to give him rest and that this was normal. Not normal where I come from but hey what do I know. Mark was added to the seven day DL and will be eligible to come back on Saturday, which he is full expected to. Hopefully the week off gives Mark's shoulder some time to rest up and solve that walk problem he has found himself facing lately.

Yankees 2013 Draft Signings 6/12

The Yankees, as we already reported. have signed 1st round pick Eric Jagielo and 4th round pick Tyler Wade today. The Yankees have also signed a bunch of their later round picks that I will lump together here.

John Murphy - 6th round
Philip Walby - 12th Round
Caleb Smith - 14th Round
Jordan Barnes - 15th Round
Sam Agnew-Wieland - 24th Round
Trent Garrison - 28th Round
Hector Crespo - 24th Round

That goes along with the guys that were reported here yesterday David Palladino, Cale Coshow, Derek Toadvine, and Kevin Cornelius.

Yankees Officially Sign 4th Rounder Tyler Wade

We reported early this week that the Yankees were set to sign Tyler Wade, their 4th round pick in this 2013 draft, and it is now official. Wade has signed for a slot deal at $371,300 and has reported to Tampa to work out at the Yankees minor league complex.

Yankees Sign 11th Round Pick Kendall Coleman

The Yankees have signed their 11th round pick Kendall Coleman after taking him in last weeks draft. No word on the money just yet but the slot recommendation is only $100 K and I cannot see him getting anymore than that. Coleman is an outfielder from Texas High School and is considered to be a bat first prospect with big time power from the left side of the plate. Welcome to the family Kendall.

This Day In Yankees History 6/12

On this day in 2009, with myself in attendance, Alex Rodriguez blasted his 23rd grand slam of his career tying the all time mark sharing the record with Lou Gehrig. The Yankees would beat the Atlanta Braves 6-4.

Game 65 Lineup: Yankees @ Athletics

Lineup vs. A's:

Brett Gardner CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Travis Hafner DH
Vernon Wells LF
Kevin Youkilis 3B
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Jayson Nix SS
Austin Romine C

RHP Phil Hughes

Some Notes:

-- The Yankees have agreed to a contract with their top prospect 3B Eric Jagielo. They also signed SS Tyler Wade (fourth rd), RHP David Palladino (fifth), SS John Murphy (sixth), RHP Philip Walby (12th), RHP Cale Coshow (13th), LHP Caleb Smith (14th), CF Jordan Barnes (15th), 2B Derek Toadvine (22nd), RHP Sam Agnew-Wieland (24th), C Trent Garrison (28th), SS Kevin Cornelius (31) and 2B Hector Crespo (34th).

Jagielo Signs With Yankees

That tweet from Callis pretty much says it all. Eric Jagielo is officially part of the Yankee family. I can't wait to see what Jagielo, who Baseball America ranked 16th in their Top 500 Draft Prospects list, can do in the pros. 

Pineda on the Rebound

Michael Pineda finally pitched in his first official game for the Yankees at Single-A Tampa on Saturday.

Pineda was very impressive, as he pitched 4 1/3 innings without allowing an earned run. He only allowed two hits: a bunt and a bloop to right. Also, his fastball touched 95 MPH, he struck out four batters and only walked one.

"His fastball had life," a scout told Anthony Rieber of Newsday. "His fastball had good life to it. Looks like the guy I saw in Tacoma a couple of years ago. . .Unfortunately for us."

"I expected to see some red flags," said the rival scout. "None that I saw. The arm action looked good. All the check marks you want to cross off for a guy's first outing in a long time, the checkmarks were all there. He threw strikes, competed, held his velocity. Looked good. Looked good."

This is great news for the Yankees, as they may finally see a return in their investment of Pineda when they traded Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi for him and Jose Campos on January 13th, 2012. After Pineda went down with a torn labrum in his right shoulder last season the Yankees were getting killed for the trade. However, Montero has been terrible for the Mariners (.208/.264/.327/.590 this season) and was sent down to Triple-A Tacoma on May 23rd. The Yankees still have a solid chance of winning the trade.

The Yankees were hoping that they acquired a top of the rotation starter in Pineda, and he still has the talent to be that guy. In 2011 in Seattle, Pineda was 9-10, with a 3.74 ERA, a 3.42 FIP and 9.11 K/9. Pineda wowed people with his blazing fastball (94.7 average MPH) and a devastating slider (19.27 Whiff %). The key in Pineda's development was developing his changeup to keep hitters off balance.

Pineda was dominant in the first half of the 2011 season, as he was was 5-4 with a 2.92 ERA and made the AL All-Star team. However, he struggled in the second half going 4-6 with a 4.40 ERA. What those numbers don't tell you is that Pineda was more unlucky in the second half than he was poor.

Opponents only hit .236/.298/.391/.688 against Pineda in the second half of the season and he struck out 9.3 batters per nine innings. His BABIP went from .247 in the first half to .286 in the second half. Also, his second half FIP was still a solid 3.78, so Pineda did not pitch as badly in the second half as his standard numbers would indicate.

Anything the Yankees get out of Pineda this year would have been considered a bonus at the beginning of the year, but they have to be pleased with his progress so far. Considering how much they gave up for Pineda, the Yankees are very likely to insert him into the rotation once he is ready to come up to the Bronx. Assuming there are no injuries- which is never a safe assumption with the Yankees- it will be very interesting to see who is the odd man out in the rotation. CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda and Andy Pettitte are all safe, which leaves Phil Hughes and David Phelps.

Phelps has continued to prove me wrong this season and has done a great job since he has been inserted into the rotation. Phelps' ERA as a starter this season is 3.38 and his overall FIP this season is 3.37. The most surprising thing about him is that he has averaged 9.10 K/9 this season without what you would call great stuff. His poise and confidence on the mound are also big for him.

While Phelps has gotten the most out of his talents this season, the opposite can be said for Hughes. Hughes has a 4.80 ERA this season and has been very inconsistent again. It has usually been either a very good game or a brutal game with no in between. Home runs have once again been an issue, as Hughes has allowed 12 long balls already this season. His fly ball percentage is 50.5%, which is a career high even for Hughes.

The Yankees should try and trade Hughes if Pineda comes back healthy, although he probably would not fetch much with him pitching poorly and being a free agent this upcoming winter. Hughes and Phelps both have bullpen experience so they can make the transition easily.

With Jayson Nix, Ichiro Suzuki, Vernon Wells and Chris Stewart as regulars in the Yankees lineup they need all the pitching help they can get. The Yankees already have one of the best starting pitching staffs in all of baseball, but a healthy Pineda would only make it better if he can perform like he did in Seattle.

The Yankees need to find out what they have for Pineda not only for this season, but for down the road since Sabathia is the only top of the line starting pitcher under contract for next season. With everybody talking about the offensive reinforcements Pineda has kind of been the forgotten man, but he can have a big impact and give the Yankees a great boost for the stretch run.

Morning Bits

Good morning everyone!

C.C. Sabathia had another bad outing and the Yankees lost to the A's by a score of 6-4 last night.

Bartolo Colon threw six shutout innings and despite some late-inning life from the Yankee offense they were unable to overcome a six run deficit.

Sabathia gave up six earned runs on eight hits, including two home runs, while striking out only three batters in six innings.  Sabathia's record fell to 6-5 and his ERA is now 4.07 with his BAA at .270 as concerns continue about the Yankee ace who signed a lucrative contract extension over the Winter.

Sabathia hasn't finished with an ERA over 4 since 2005 and his current BAA is 11 points higher than any BAA he has never finished a season with.

The Yankees squandered offensive chances all night long.  Kevin Youkilis, Lyle Overbay, Travis Hafner and Ichiro Suzuki stranded a small army of runners on base.

Mark Teixeira and Vernon Wells drove in all four of the Yankee runs that were scored in the eighth and ninth innings, when most Yankee fans on the East Coast were already asleep.

Phil Hughes(3-4, 4.80 ERA) does battle with Dan Straily(3-2, 4.67 ERA) tonight.  Game time is 10:05 ET and the game will be televised by YES.

Now on to today's news and links:

Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News has this article about Robinson Cano being chosen to be the captain for the AL squad in the home run derby along with his crosstown rival David Wright being chosen to head the NL squad.

David Waldstein of the New York Times has this piece about C.C. Sabathia getting shelled in his home region last night.

Have a great day everyone!