Thursday, August 21, 2014

Yankees Plan to Put Phelps in Bullpen When He Returns

When David Phelps was in the Yankees' rotation this season, it goes without saying that he was one of the team's more reliable guys.

After coming into the always-changing group in late April, Phelps put together a solid 4.28 ERA and threw gems against the A's, Blue Jays, and Twins, although that somewhat-high ERA would probably have been a lot better had his four-game skid in May and June never happened.

Nonetheless, when the currently-injured right-hander comes back from his shoulder wound in the next week he'll be in New York's worn out bullpen instead, a fact team Manager Joe Girardi revealed to The Star Ledger's Brendan Kuty prior to today's win.

"It obviously won't happen over night," Girardi said. "But we'll try to get him ready for the bullpen."

In the Yanks' usually-reliable clan of relievers, interestingly, Phelps will take the duties of the ineffective Chase Whitley, who was sent down to Triple-A earlier this afternoon after being on the roster for four months. 

No, that plan doesn't necessarily sound exciting, but according to the aforementioned Kuty it will fortunetaly only be temporary, as Phelps will simply be using the role as a way to rebuild his arm strength.

Yankees Sign Wilking Rodriguez

The New York Yankees have signed Wilking Rodriguez to a minor league deal and have stashed him in Triple-A with the Scranton RailRiders. Rodriguez was designated for assignment by the Kansas City Royals after the Royals acquired Josh Willingham from the Minnesota Twins. Rodriguez is 24 years old and has posted a 2.36 ERA this season between Double-A and Triple-A in 26.2 innings pitched.

Catching Up: Injuries & News Galore

I've been away for what feels like forever and rather than flood the site with posts I figured one good post would catch us all up.

David Phelps will return as a relief pitcher when he is done rehabbing his right elbow. I guess the Yankees would rather his arm out of the bullpen now rather than wait another week or so to get him back as a starter. If you're making a playoff run I agree with this.

Masahiro Tanaka has thrown two bullpen sessions, including splitters and curveballs, and will face live competition this Saturday. That's the next step in the rehab process so things are moving along quite nicely for the Yankees and Tanaka.

Carlos Beltran wants to be in the lineup tomorrow night after missing the last couple of games with elbow pain.

The Yankees offense held a closed door "clear the air" meeting that Chase Headley suggested. No players were mentioned specifically but coaches were, death stare to Kevin Long.

The Yankees and the Cubs are the most likely to land Jon Lester this winter as of right now according to Jon Heyman. A lot can change between then and now and that's a lot of coupons to be clipped by the Steinbrenner brothers.

McCarthy Goes The Distance to Help Yankees Avoid Sweep

Brandon McCarthy tossed a four-hit shutout and Chase Headley drove home a pair with a double (followed shortly by an Ichiro Suzuki Sac Fly to make it 3-0) in the bottom of the second today as the Yankees avoided being swept by the Astros, 3-0, in the series finale at Yankee Stadium.

In his likable 8-K outing this afternoon, interestingly, McCarthy actually let men get to second and third twice, happenings that appeared at the time to indicate that him going the distance just wasn't possible. 

Fortunetaly, though, McCarthy would bare down and get out of both of those situations spotless, with the first one ending with Houston Right Fielder Marc Krauss grounding out sharply right back to him.

No, McCarthy didn't necessarily collect a web gem on that play, but yes, he did accidentally deflect the ball off his ankle, an act soon followed by him finding it on the grass to retire Krauss by a step.

Then in the seventh, with a duo in scoring position and one out, McCarthy also struck out Jon Singleton and induced a Carlos Corporon pop-up, essentially killing the Astros' offensive momentum, as they never again reached base in their last two at-bats.

Yankees Call Up Zelous Wheeler, Demote Chase Whitley

The New York Yankees have called up Zelous Wheeler for an extra player on the bench and have sent Chase Whitley down to Triple-A. The Yankees have been going with a short bench in recent weeks and Whitley has been struggling coming out of the bullpen so the move makes some sense. Considering that Beltran’s elbow is barking again it also makes sense to have a guy that can play both in the infield and the outfield like Wheeler can.

I am somewhat surprised that the Yankees didn’t call up the other “Z man” Zoilo Almonte to help replace Beltran but Wheeler is more versatile and flexible than Almonte is. 

My Apologies for the Lack of Content Today

Just wanted to give everyone a quick update on what was going on with the blog today. As you have come to expect we usually have a plethora of content daily here on the blog including game threads, the “This Day In Yankees History” posts, entertaining meme’s, etc. and today we saw none of that. We had some major, major storms here last night that knocked out power to nearly 30% of our county. I had 30% on my cell phone, which I use for an alarm clock, and had to preserve that and had no access to the internet.

They have everything at work that is not work related blocked, it’s like they expect us to actually work eight hours a day and it kills me, so working on the blog at work was not an option either. So basically we sat around, had family time, ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and Doritos for dinner, and all caught up on our sleep.

Obviously as you can see the power is back on finally and we’re back to business as usual here. I promise I will make it up to you guys today and over the weekend and we attempt to get caught back up. It may not have been the worst thing in the world to miss another loss or two to the Houston Astros though, truth be told.

Anyway you have my apologies again and get ready, the content is coming. We’re back. 

The Daily Dozen - August 20, 2014

The Daily Dozen - August 20th, 2014 - WHITE FLAG EDITION
(Twelve Takeaways for Last Night's Game vs. the Red-Hot Houston Astros)

1. Michael Pineda was dealing again.  He was perfect the first time through the lineup and only allowed 1 run prior to the 7th inning when he was pulled from the game by the Master himself.  Another quality start wasted.

2. The hits just keep coming people.  Derek Jeter went 2 for 4 with a walk and a stolen base last night.  Is there any way he can be convinced to stay one more year??  He now sits at 3,437 hits total for his career.

3. Houston struck first in the 4th inning.  The Yankees showed resilience by scoring in the bottom of the 4th with Stephen Drew's solo shot.

4. Ichiro had a quality game.  He also went 2 for 4 with a stolen base.  In fact, the Yankees as a whole batted well accumulating 10 hits and 4 stolen bases on top of that.  One would expect a win with those stats.  For the record, Mr. Suzuki has 2,815 career MLB hits under his belt.

5. Ellsbury came up with a bunt single plating Ichiro in the 5th.  Some good small ball by Ichiro, Jeter, and Ellsbury that inning.

6. Mark Teixeira comes up empty...again.  Another game, another 0-fer.  It's getting a bit tired.

7. This team strikes out waaaaaaay too much.  Add an additional 8 Ks tonight.  The strikeouts combined with a team .249 average explains why the team is 63-61 and can't beat a crappy team like Houston.  The worst part is they often strikeout back-to-back after guys are in scoring position.  Awful.

8. Up 2-1 going into the 7th.  This is when the season basically ended for the Yankees.  After a lead-off walk issued by Pineda the Binder went to his oft-used bullpen installing Huff into the game.  My nickname for him is White Flag in case you have missed it.  It seems that every time he enters the game, bad things happen.  Playoff teams should not be losing a game 5-2 after being up 2-1 in the 7th...and this is NOT a playoff team.  Thanks Mr. Huff for your "service."

9. Esmil Rogers is terrible.  He is so bad that even the Toronto Blue Jays didn't want him...

10. With men on 2nd and 3rd and 2-0 count, Jacoby swings at 3 straight pitches to strikeout.  This made no sense whatsoever to me.  Don't swing at a pitch until you get a strike in that situation as the man behind you is Teixeira who isn't striking fear into anyone at this point.  If the count is 3-0, Ellsbury likely would have been walked loading the bases for Mark giving him a "shot" at winning the game.

11. How about Gardner's circus catch in the 9th inning going into the stands?  I didn't see it but I heard it was Jeter-esque.  At least the Yankees have that going for them.  Wait...did he injure himself?

12. The Yankees collective record against the 5 worst teams in the AL (22-22) is ridiculous.  They are 1-4 versus Houston, 4-3 vs. Minnesota, 5-8 vs. Tampa Bay, 4-3 vs. Texas, and 8-5 vs. Boston.  Obviously the 1-4 against the Astros hurts the worst, but even a .667 (29-15) winning percentage vs. these teams would put the Yankees at 70-54 and deep into the playoff hunt.  As it is, the Yankees are really one of the worst 5 if you look at their run differential.  They are the only team in baseball with a winning record and a negative run differential, which is only thanks to their starting pitching keeping them in most games.