Friday, June 14, 2013

New York Yankees @ Los Angeles Angels 6/14

The Yankees are reeling after being swept at the hands of the Oakland Athletics the last three games. The good news about not scoring for 17 consecutive innings is we only got one loss during the stretch so there is always a bit of optimism in even the darkest of times. The Yankees will send Andy Pettitte to the mound looking for win 251 in his career against CJ Wilson. With Kevin Youkilis on the DL and a tough veteran lefty on the mound I cannot say I expect much offense tonight. Check out the game tonight on YES.

Here is the Yankees lineup

Brett Gardner CF
Jayson Nix 3B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano DH
Vernon Wells LF
Thomas Neal RF
David Adams 2B
Reid Brignac SS
Austin Romine C

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Vernon Wells Returns To Anaheim Tonight Vs. LAA

Vernon Wells returns home to the team that traded him to us this off season, the Los Angeles Angels of Disney World in Orange County outside of the greater Los Angeles Area which is kind of in Anaheim. This picture says a million words and sums up his career in an Angels uniform and his Yankees uniform as well except for a good April. Did anyone in Anaheim say no take backs?

New York Yankees @ LA Angels 6/14

The New York Yankees are coming off of a sweep at the hands of the Oakland A's and look to salvage the west coast road trip starting tonight against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. A pair of veteran left handers will take the mound tonight as Andy Pettitte takes on CJ Wilson at Angels Stadium of Anaheim. The game will be televised at 10:05 pm ET on YES and on MLB TV.

Corey Black Promoted To AA Trenton Thunder

Corey Black was drafted in last years ML First Year Players Draft and has been bumped up to AA Trenton to play for the Thunder today. Corey has a 4.08 ERA this season in 57.1 IP while striking out over ten guys per nine innings. Corey will be inserted into a Trenton rotation that is already log jammed with Nik Turley, Jose Ramirez, Zach Nuding, Mikey O'Brien, and Matt Tracy so I do not believe this will be the end of the Yankees minor league roster shake up for the week.

Yankees Sign 8th Round Pick Brandon Thomas

The Yankees 8th round pick in the 2013 MLB First Year Players Draft Brandon Thomas from Georgia Tech has officially signed with the club today. Thomas' slot recommendation was a little over $150,000 and he signed for less than half that when he signed for $75,000. I fully expect that other $75,000 to end up in Ian Clarkin's pocket before this time next week. The Pirates drafted Thomas last year but he decided to go back to GT for his senior year and spent most of the season injured or not at 100% after battling mono. Thomas had little leverage with him being a senior and the Yankees knew that but still got a great steal with the 254th pick overall. As a Yankees fan who has recently moved to Atlanta Georgia and a professed Georgia Tech college baseball, basketball, and football fan I have to say I think I found my latest prospect crush.

Cesar Cabral Outrighted To AA Trenton

Cesar Cabral was placed on waivers and cleared and was sent down to the Yankees AA team the Trenton Thunder. Now that Cabral has cleared waivers the Rule 5 draft rules no longer apply and he is now the Yankees property and they can do with him what they wish. Cabral's 30 day rehab window was due to end any day now so this is great news for the Yankees as they keep the depth and give Cabral just a little more time to work things out.

Thomas Neal & Chris Bootcheck Called Up To Majors

The Yankees have announced that outfielder Thomas Neal and relief pitcher Chris Bootcheck have been called up to the major leagues. The Yankees optioned Adam Warren to the minor to make room for Bootcheck after throwing 85 pitches yesterday and likely being unavailable for the weekend. The Yankees also transferred Eduardo Nunez to the 60 Day DL to make room for Neal. Bootcheck probably will not stay long and is mainly here to give the Yankees a fresh arm and a long reliever for the Angels series.

Yankees Place Kevin Youkilis On 15 Day DL Again

The Yankees have announced that for the second time this season they have placed Kevin Youkilis on the 15 day disabled list. The first trip to the DL last months because of a lumbar strain and he has the same exact injury again this time around. David Adams was set to be sent down but will now stay with the team after Youk woke up with numbness in his right foot. Kevin Youkilis cannot catch a break this season along with a bunch of his teammates.

Game 67 Lineup: Yankees @ Angels

It's the first game of a three game set and the Yankees are sending Andy Pettitte out there to stop the Yanks three game skid. Here's the starting lineup!

Brett Gardner CF
Jayson Nix 3B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano DH
Vernon Wells LF
Thomas Neal RF
David Adams 2B
Reid Brignac SS
Austin Romine C

Andy Pettitte LHP

Some Notes:

-- There are quite a few notes going around today, most of the buzz coming from Kevin Youkilis. Youkilis was placed on the DL today with a lumbar strain (back strain). He also said that he felt numbness in his foot when he woke up this morning.

-- Eduardo Nunez was moved from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL. He is eligible to come off the DL on July 5.

-- The Yankees sent down Adam Warren to Scranton-Triple AAA for the next couple of days, mostly since he can't start and won't be much use to the Yankees this series after throwing 85 pitches last night.

-- The Yankees purchased the contracts of RHP Chris Bootcheck and OF Thomas Neal, sending them to the majors.

-- To add Bootcheck to the 40-man roster, Cesar Cabral was outrighted to Double-AA Trenton.

JR Murphy Promoted To AAA Scranton

Yankees catcher JR Murphy has been promoted from AA Trenton Thunder to the AAA Scranton Wilkes Barre Team. JR is really having a coming out party this season and this promotion is well deserved and very overdue. Also this clears the Trenton Thunder catching job for Gary Sanchez to come up and grab as he is tearing it up down in Tampa. Congrats to JR Murphy as he takes the next step to the major leagues and to the Bronx.

The time is now to trade Joba and Hughes

image-6It still seems like yesterday when, in 2007, two Yankee mainstay pitchers of the past seven seasons made their first appearances in pinstripes.

First, there was 20-year old Phil Hughes, a hard throwing right-hander who drew comparisons to Roger Clemens as he advanced through the farm system. Drafted 23rd overall in the 2004 amateur draft, the Yankees had high hopes that finally, after a dry spell of All-Star caliber players emerging from the minors, that Hughes would become their ace for the next decade. Due to injuries to the pitching staff, he came up and made his debut on April 26th, 2007, finishing the year with 72.2 innings under his belt and a respectable 4.46 ERA for such a young starting pitcher in such a ferocious AL East division.

Then there was Joba Chamberlain, who was drafted 41st overall in 2006. Not even a full calendar year after signing his first contract, the then 21-year old Joba burst upon the scene when he pumped 100 mph fastballs past a dazed Blue Jays team in Toronto on August 7th. His pure dominance of each batter he faced allowed Joe Torre to entrust him with the eighth inning job, setting up Mariano Rivera. Like Mo had done years prior, it was the hope of the organization that Joba would start out as the bridge to a dominant closer, and then become one. Allowing one earned run in 24 innings surely reassured any of the doubters.

Since such promising starts to their careers in ’07, both Hughes and Chamberlain have endured injuries, moves into and out of the bullpen, and flat out inconsistent performances. There have certainly been bright spots along the way for both hurlers, however.

Hughes pitched to a 3.03 ERA in 2009, starting out as a starter and then filling the role of set-up man admirably. And after permanently being put back into the rotation in 2010, he won 18 games. Also, Joba was putting together a terrific 2011 season [2.83 ERA in 28.2 innings pitched] before he underwent Tommy John surgery.

Yet, to claim their Yankee careers to date have been successful ones would probably be a misguided belief. They are now in what are considered their “prime” years, and yet 2013 has been one of the ugliest for Joba and Phil. Of course, with the offense the pitching staff has to deal with or lack thereof, both are certainly under a lot of stress and any small mistakes they make are magnified like never before. But, there is no escaping the fact that both of them have underperformed, no matter the circumstances.

Yes, Hughes has had his share of good starts this season, but they are normally sandwiched in-between horrible outings. It is still fresh in this fan’s mind that he allowed 7 runs in the first inning to the Mariners, who in all respect have a better offense than last season, but certainly not good enough to put up rallies like that against even an average starter. But as I said, then he goes out the other night in Seattle against the very same team and throws seven shutout innings. It’s frustrating, bizarre, and as much potential as he has to be great every night, the times that he isn’t have really cost the Yankees so far this year.

At this point it really doesn’t matter what Joba Chamberlain does, because he is in the doghouse for eternity with Yankee fans. No matter how he “shushed” Mariano Rivera, all I care about is what happens on the field, and even still Joba has been disappointing. Granted, he did miss practically the whole month of May with a strained right oblique, but collectively in 2013 he has given up three more hits than innings pitched, a red flag right off the bat. Even when he has an “effective” outing, he still often gets into trouble  by nibbling at the corners and forgetting that he boasts a 95 mph fastball that still has some bite left in it. He too has been such a streaky pitcher, and ultimately you’d have to hope it wouldn’t last long in New York. Right?

Well, that is why I strongly consider that the Yankees trade not just one of them, but both Joba and Phil. Like I started the article saying, these two guys have been here for a long time, and it certainly would be odd not seeing them in the dugout or on the mound every other day. But it’s been shown that when they are “on”, Chamberlain and Hughes can be two of the most dominating pitchers in the American League, and that potential alone attracts pitching-deprived teams.

With the way the Yankees lineup has fallen into its worst slump since likely before I was born, I am shocked there aren’t many rumors going around about the team trading some of its pitchers. The pitching has been tremendous, Hughes and Joba aside, so what is holding back Cashman from dumping them off for a bat? I’m not talking players. A literal bat.

Maybe I’m being too harsh, but the fact remains that the Yankees are not a better team with Joba and Hughes on the roster than they are with them off it. Now I have no specific players I would target, which may be where my argument falls a bit flat, but there has to be a match somewhere. There always is, if the Yankees want one. It would be bittersweet to trade Joba, and especially Hughes, but giving up on these guys in a trade would be a signal to me that the Yanks are not by any means ready to surrender their AL East crown, which is still very much in reach with the right reinforcements.

Get to work Cash. You too Joba and Phil.

This Can't Happen If We Expect To Win Games

A picture is worth a thousand words, around $400,000 in salary for a day, and zero hits apparently.

This Day In Yankees History 6/14

On this day in 1998 the New York Yankees beat the Cleveland Indians 4-2. What made this victory so important was it was the teams 24th consecutive win or split of a series which tied the Boston Red Sox in the 1912 and the 1970 Cincinnati Reds team for the major league record.