Friday, July 19, 2013

Yankees drop series opener to Red Sox, 4-2

Andy Pettitte gave up 4 earned runs in 6.1 innings tonight as the Yankees fell to the Red Sox without much of a fight, 4-2. With the loss, Andy's record falls to a .500 7-7, much worse than usual. The Bombers only two runs in this one came on a throwing error in the fourth and an RBI Double from Chris Stewart in the fifth. After that, the Yanks trailed 3-2 and that was it for the good part of their night. This one goes in the books as just another loss, the Pinstripes 45th of the season in 96 games. But Yankees fans shouldn't get too down about this result. There's still two games left to play this weekend. 

Game Thread: Yankees @ Red Sox 7/19

The rivalry continues tonight on YES and MLB Network as the New York Yankees travel to Fenway Park to take on the first place Boston Red Sox. The Yankees are chasing the Red Sox so they can make up some serious ground with a sweep so hopefully the Yankees will take advantage of these head to head match ups. Andy Pettitte and Felix Doubront is the pitching match up and the game can be seen at 7:05 pm ET. Go Yankees!

Here is the Yankees lineup

Brett Gardner CF
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Vernon Wells DH
Zoilo Almonte LF
Lyle Overbay 1B
Brent Lillibridge 3B
Eduardo Nunez SS
Chris Stewart C

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Yankees Daily Injury Updates For 7/19

As we all know Derek Jeter was added to the 15 day disabled list today with a strained quad. This is retroactive to July 12th which makes him eligible to come off the DL next Saturday. Jeter rode on a bicycle today for the first time since the injury and has been doing treatment for the last week but 38 year old bones just do not heal the way that they used to. Derek feels like he could play today but the Yankees, and the MRI that showed minimal change in his quad, think and say different.

Robinson Cano's quad is fine after taking a 97 MPH fastball from Matt Harvey off of it in the All Star game. Cano admitted that it was a little stiff but once he got moving around it felt fine. Cano has played in every Yankees game this season and this latest bump in the road will not keep him out of any games any time soon.

David Phelps threw a bullpen session today and came through everything healthy and feeling good. David will start a rehab assignment on Tuesday and hopes to be back with the Yankees within a week or two at the most.

Jayson Nix has also been working at the Yankees minor league complex in Tampa and is expecting to begin a rehab assignment as early as next week. Jayson should not need long to get back to the Yankees so maybe we see him by mid August.

Speaking of August returns it still looks like, as optimistic as he is, Curtis Granderson will not be back with the Yankees until the first or second week of August. Time is running out on both the Yankees season and Curtis Granderson's contract season so the quicker that we can get him back the better for all parties involved.

Francisco Cervelli has been cleared to start throwing the baseball again two weeks after being diagnosed with a stress reaction in his throwing elbow. Great sign as we desperately need him and his bat back in the lineup and behind the dish.

Brennan Boesch Has Been Released

Earlier we reported that Brent Lillibridge has been called up to the majors to replace Derek Jeter who is being placed on the 15 day DL. Jeter being DL'd was the 25 man roster move but the 40 man roster move remained unannounced until now. In what I consider to be a shocking, for lack of a better word, turn of events the Yankees have released Brennan Boesch to clear room for Lillibridge. Corban Joseph could have been transferred to the 60 day DL to make room but the Yankees decided to go with the Boesch release. Boesch has been fighting a nagging shoulder injury and has been on the AAA disabled list for what seems like forever now and will now find himself without a job temporarily. There is always the possibility of Boesch signing another minor league deal and getting healthy but we will just have to wait and see what Brennan Boesch  decides to do.

Detroit Tigers Said To Be Interested In Joba Chamberlain

Dan Martin reported today that the Detroit Tigers and their faltering bullpen is said to be interested in Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain. I cannot see the Yankees getting much out of Joba unless he is part of a bigger trade but with the Tigers competing I cannot see a big deal getting done between these two teams. If we did trade Joba to Detroit I could not see more than a prospect or two coming back and none of them being considered blue chip or above High A Ball. That is just a hunch and not being reported anywhere mind you but I just cannot see Joba fetching much on his own unless he is included in a bigger deal as a second or third piece in a deal.

Yankees Call Up Brent Lillibridge

The Yankees have called up Brent Lillibridge to the majors to replace injured Derek Jeter in the infield. The move to the DL has cleared the 25 man roster spot for Lillibridge. The Yankees have yet to announce the corresponding 40 man roster move but moving Corban Joseph to the 60 day DL seems like the most logial choice to clear the spot. Lillibridge is in the lineup tonight for the Yankees as we face off with the Boston Red Sox.

New York Yankees Tickets & The Boston Series

New York Yankees Tickets Sales & The Boston Red Sox Series Will Tell The Story Of The 2013 Trade Deadline

The New York Yankees come into today a mere six games behind the first place Boston Red Sox in the American League East. This New York Yankees team was not expected to compete by anybody in the media and have far exceeded expectations with a 50-42 record and a -2 run differential but the question I think everybody has is whether the Yankees are contenders or pretenders and whether they should be buyers or sellers at this years trading deadline. The good news is for the Yankees is that they will get a chance to go head to head with the team their chasing, the Boston Red Sox, the first series after the All Star Game on the road in Fenway Park. This series is going to make or break the Yankees blueprints and plans on how they will navigate this years trading deadline both in the win and loss columns and also with the New York Yankees ticket sales. 

The Yankees announced earlier in the season that the ratings for YES, the Yankees Entertainment and Sports station, were down 38% from last season after last season which saw our worst ratings on YES since the 2003 season. The reason for this presumably has to be the lack of Yankees stars being in the lineup. Whether the Yankees stars were injured prior to the 2013 season or scooped up by other teams in free agency the Yankees roster has seriously lacked the draw that usually makes the Yankees great both on the field and fiscally. This series with the Boston Red Sox I think will have a lot to do with Yankees tickets sales, the ratings on the YES network, and what we do before the July 31st trade deadline. If we lose two out of the three games or even get swept I can see the Yankees reacting by doing one of two things. The first thing is the Yankees will sell the farm and go all out and acquire a Giancarlo Stanton type player to bring a buzz back to the Bronx or they will go into sell mode and sell off stars like Brett Gardner. Obviously I cannot see the latter happening no matter how far we fall out of the standings but weirder things have happened in Yankees land. 

The Yankees have an average ticket sale price for road games with the Boston Red Sox of $123 per ticket which is 69% more expensive than every other Yankees road ticket sold. In comparison the Red Sox average sale ticket price for games hosting the Yankees is $207 which is a whopping 92% higher than your average Boston Red Sox home games. The Yankees have generally, especially while operating under the late George Steinbrenner, operated in the red as a baseball organization but have always made up the difference with the revenue created from their YES network. With YES ratings down how long can the Yankees survive selling tickets, getting people to subscribe to YES, and survive in the standings throwing out their mash squad of the tired, the poor, and the huddled masses? I think we will find out some of the answers to those questions and more after this crucial head to head series with Boston Red Sox July 19th - July 21st. After the Yankees tickets are sold and the games are watched on YES and the tallies are placed in the win and loss columns the Yankees second season will begin with Brian Cashman taking center stage. Will we blow up the team or will we make one last ditch effort on the backs of our returning stars and veterans? Tune in to find out. 

New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox 7/19

Everything is right in the world again because baseball is going to be played tonight between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. This is a very important series with the Yankees chasing the first place Boston Red Sox in the AL East division. The Yankees will send Andy Pettitte to the mound to face off with Felix Doubront for the Boston Red Sox. The game will be televised at 7:05 pm ET on YES, MLB Network, and MLB TV.

Derek Jeter To DL With Quad Strain

Derek Jeter has been placed on the 15 day disabled list with a quad strain. this will be Jeter's second time on the DL officially and third injury overall after only playing in one game this season. Obviously this is going to be retroactive to last Thursday when the injury occurred. The hits just keep on coming don't they? 

Charleston Riverdogs Present Christmas In July

RiverDogs Team With The Salvation Army for “Christmas in July”

‘Tis the Season to Enjoy RiverDogs Baseball


CHARLESTON, SC – For years now, the Charleston RiverDogs have created a plethora of wacky and successful promotions. 

But Christmas in July?

Ho, ho, ho … yep, they’re at it again.

The Class A affiliate of the 27-time World Series Champions New York Yankees will have a snow machine to help turn beautiful Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park into a Christmas wonderland.   The players will wear special Yuletide-themed jerseys for the Saturday, July 27 game against the Greensboro Grasshoppers (6:05 pm first pitch) that will be auctioned off during game.

A special "Summer Santa” will be on hand and enter the park during a special pregame parade of motorcycles coordinated by the ABATE.  Santa will then be available to take pictures on the concourse in a giant Adirondack chair.

“Everyone loves the Christmas season,” said RiverDogs General Manager Dave Echols.  “We simply are moving it up several months.”

“All of us are just kids at heart.” said Maj. Thomas Richmond of the Salvation Army. ”Celebrating Christmas in July with The RiverDogs is a win in my book any day!”

To help with the festivities, volunteers from the local Salvation Army will serve as “bell ringers,” while a group of neighboring choir singers will be performing Christmas-time carols as fans enter Riley Park’s front gate.  And although children in South Carolina rarely experience a White Christmas, there will be a snow machine near the Kids Zone for attendees to frolic in throughout the evening.

In the Souvenir Shop, Charlie and Chelsea ornaments are one-half off the regular $10 price and  RiverDogs “Elves’ (or gnomes) that usually sell for $15 are $10 for this date only.

The game will also mark the South Carolina debut of “Those Funny Little People” who will perform throughout the game in Elves-themed costumes.  The Little people have appeared at national sporting events as well as on the television show “America’s Got Talent”.  They will perform on the field during the game and mingle with fans in the crowd as well.

For ticket information, please contact the RiverDogs at 843/577-DOGS (3647) or online at



Game 96 Lineup: Yankees @ Red Sox

Did everyone enjoy the All-Star Break? I did...and now I'm wishing for it back. Anyway, here's the lineup

Brett Gardner CF
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Vernon Wells DH
Zoilo Almonte LF
Lyle Overbay 1B
Brent Lillibridge 3B
Eduardo Nunez SS
Chris Stewart C

LHP Andy Pettitte


-- Apparently one week wasn't enough. The Yankees put Derek Jeter back on the DL with a Grade 1 quad strain. To make room on the roster, Yankees purchased the Major League contract of Brent Lillibridge and brought him up. A 40-man roster move is pending.

-- Alex Rodriguez went 1-for-4 last night with Scranton. The one hit as a 2-run HR. A-Rod is expected to return to the Yankees on Monday, when the Yanks play the Texas Rangers in--Texas.

-- Yesterday, Brett Gardner was the recipient of the 2013 Yankees 'Heart and Hustle Award'. In other words, the award was practically given to him because no one else on the team hustles like him.

Lars Anderson Was Just Released By Chicago

Remember when Lars Anderson was the next big thing for the Boston Red Sox only to be traded away and never to be heard from again? Well he has resurfaced after the Chicago White Sox released him from their AAA team yesterday making him a free agent. I know the Yankees have Dan Johnson in Scranton but he is yet another old left handed first basemen that we have plenty of in stock. Lars Anderson, even with his .194/.302/.251 triple slash this season, is still only 25 years old and probably still too young to give up on in my opinion. Lars showed some flashes of talent from 2010 to 2012 with the Boston Red Sox in limited time in the majors and if I had to choose between an old left handed first basemen in Dan Johnson or a 25 year old left handed first basemen in Lars Anderson I may be inclined to go with Lars. What say you?

Five Yankees Questions For the Second Half

We will find out a lot about the Yankees very quickly as they begin the second half of the season tonight in Boston.

They currently sit six games back of Boston in the AL East and three back in the AL wild card race. The first 10 games for the Yankees after the All-Star break have the potential to be a disaster. They play three at the first place Red Sox, four in Arlington against a very talented Texas team and three at home against red hot Tampa Bay.

If I were Brian Cashman I would have desperately been working the phones trying to get an impact bat over the All-Star break because if he waits until after this 10 game stretch it might be too late.

Here are five things to watch over the Yankees second half of the season:

1. What happens at the trade deadline?

The Yankees have recently been linked to Chase Headley and Asrdubal Cabrera and both would be huge gets for the Yankees. Unfortunately, Jon Heyman of wrote that Padres have little interest in dealing Headley despite his down year.

Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain will be continued to be shopped by the Yankees, and it will be interesting to see what happens with them. I do believe that Hughes will be moved because the starting pitching market is very thin, and the Yankees can sell teams on his home/road splits this year. Although, Joel Sherman of the New York Post, wrote that the Yankees would be o.k. with keeping Hughes and offering him a qualifying offer this winter.

As I mentioned earlier, I believe that the time for Cashman to try to strike is right now with this brutal 10 game stretch upcoming. I would be looking for players who are under team control for a few years. I would not be giving up big prospects for rentals this year, since I believe that the Yankees are more than one bat away from being championship contenders this season.

2. Will Ivan Nova’s progression continue?

Nova’s development will probably be the number one thing I will be watching for over the second half. He has looked terrific over his last two starts, as he has 17 strikeouts to only three walks. Nova has always had the talent and if he can finally put it together it will be huge for the future for the Yankees, who have had a tough time developing their own starting pitchers.

What is fascinating about Nova is how he has completely transformed himself as a pitcher from his solid rookie season in which he went 16-4. He only averaged 92.6 MPH and he only was not a strikeout pitcher (5.33 K/9) in that rookie season. He had success because he was able to keep the ball on the ground with his sinker (52.7 GB%), but most thought that he would not have long term success unless he was able to get more strikeouts.

Nova added a slider to his repertoire in 2012 to try to remedy this issue. He threw it 14% of the time and he raised his K/9 to 8.08, but he also allowed a lot of hard contact (16.6% HR/FB%) because he missed location to often with his fastball and that new slider. Also, Nova’s GB% went down to 45.2%.

This year, Nova has mostly scrapped the slider, as he has only thrown it 3.4% of the time compared to 33.5% for his curve ball. Over his last two starts, Nova has thrown 66 curves, 43 of them have been for strikes and 17 of them have induced whiffs. When you combine that dominant curve with a fastball that has been in the 94-97 MPH range, you have a pitcher that has the potential for greatness. His  GB% is back up to 51.4% this year, so hitters are really having a hard time getting good contact on his hard sinker.

3. How much will Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez contribute?

The first question with them is how much will they play? Rodriguez hit a home run for Triple-A Scranton last night and appears set to rejoin the Yankees in Texas on Monday. We should find out more about Jeter’s status today. If Jeter and Rodriguez can stay on the field it will be pretty much impossible for them to not be upgrades, as Yankee shortstops have a slash line of .214/.271/.268/.539 with a 46 wRC+ and Yankee third basemen have a slash line of .218/.281/.293/.574 with a 57 wRC+. They should also add some much needed excitement and buzz to the team as well.

4. What is the plan for Michael Pineda?

At Triple-A Scranton last night, Pineda threw 4.2 scoreless innings and struck out eight. He was dominant in the first three innings before throwing a lot of pitches over the fourth and fifth innings. Right now, with Nova pitching well and Hughes still in New York, the Yankees do not have room for Pineda in their rotation. If there is an injury, or Hughes is traded, than Pineda can slide right in. The Yankees should try to get Pineda to New York as quickly as possible to get more information on what they can expect out of him next year.

If the Yankees continue with their $189 million plan they will need cheap starting pitchers, and Pineda can be one of them. It would be good for him to get as much experience as he can this year and it will be very interesting to see what he looks like if he does come up to the big league club.

5. Can CC Sabathia turn it around?

Sabathia had an uncharacteristically average first half, as he was only 9-8 with a 4.07 ERA. His average fastball velocity has only been 90.6 MPH, although it has been better later in the season. Sabathia has not fully adjusted to pitching with his loss of velocity yet and when he has missed location with his fastball he has gotten hit hard. Sabathia has also had a bit of hard luck this season, as his 3.53 xFIP is very solid. His slider and changeup are still great pitches, and Sabathia has still been an innings eating machine, which is still an under appreciated aspect of his game. I still believe that he is capable of pitching like the Sabathia of old and hopefully we see that in the second half of the season.




Trenton Thunder Game For Recap 7/18

Press Release - July 18, 2013
Sanchez's Early HR Enough in Trenton's 9-2 Win

TRENTON, NJ – In his first home game at ARM & HAMMER Park, Yeral Sanchez blasted a three-run HR to give Trenton the 3-1 lead in the bottom of the 1st inning, and that would stand as the difference in Thursday’s 9-2 Thunder win.

Sanchez, a Cuban defector who currently resides in Miami, followed his 3-for-4 debut on Wednesday with a 2-for-3 performance against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. He was also hit by a pitch and has reached base in 6-of-8 plate appearances since being promoted from High-A Tampa.

Slade Heathcott finished with three hits including a pair of singles and a two-run home run in the bottom of the 7th inning to give the Thunder a pair of insurance runs. With the Thunder leading 3-2 as he took to bat with Ramon Flores aboard, Heathcott yanked a ball to right field for his fifth homer of the season.

The Thunder pitching staff worked around 18 baserunners for the Fisher Cats who used seven hits and 11 walks to mount rallies in nearly every inning off Thunder pitchers. Zach Nuding (4-10) earned the victory with five innings of two-run ball as he worked around 13 baserunners himself over those five frames.

Danny Burawa, Tommy Kahnle and Rigoberto Arrebato combined for four scoreless innings out of the pen to keep the Fisher Cats bats silenced long enough for Heathcott’s homer and the four-run 8thinning.

The Thunder and Fisher Cats continue their four-game series and seven-game homestand Friday night against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at 7:05 p.m. The ballgame features RHP Shane Greene (3-2, 3.33) for the Thunder facing New Hampshire’s RHP Marcus Stroman (5-2, 3.23). Limited tickets are still available by going or by calling the Thunder Ticket Office at (609) 394-3300. Radio coverage on 91.3 FM (WTSR) and streaming online begins at 6:45 p.m.


Being posted with permission from the Trenton Thunder organization. The original article can be seen HERE.

Charleston Riverdogs Game Recap For 7/19

Charleston Exterminates Grasshoppers

RiverDogs pitchers no-hit Greensboro through five innings

GREENSBORO, NC – The Charleston RiverDogs got off to an early 6-0 and held off a furious rally by the Greensboro Grasshoppers to pull out an 8-5 victory and even the series at a game apiece on Thursday evening at NewBridge Bank Park in South Atlantic League action.

With the win, the RiverDogs improve to 13-11 in the second half and 52-40 overall. With the loss, the Grasshoppers drop to 13-13 in the second half and 46-49 overall.

The Charleston RiverDogs offense struck for four runs in the third inning that was capped off by a two-run homer by Dante Bichette, Jr, hi eighth of the season.

RiverDogs starter Cesar Vargas was dealing Wednesday as he tossed three strong innings of no-hit ball while striking out one.

Unfortunately, then the rains came. After a 58-minute delay, the RiverDogs and Grasshoppers resumed play. Following the pause, it was a couple of uneventful fourth and fifth innings, but both offenses woke up in the sixth inning.

Reymond Nunez led off the sixth with a solo homer to give the ‘Dogs a 5-0 cushion. After Nunez, Jake Cave was able to draw a walk and then advanced to second base on a wild pitch. Following a groundout by Kelvin De Leon which advanced Cave to third, he would then come around to score on an RBI single by Aaron Gates.

Charleston’s final two runs came off the bat of Angelo Gumbs who hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth inning off Chipper Smith for his third round-tripper of the year.
Offensively the RiverDogs were led by Angelo Gumbs, Jake Cave and Aaron Gates who reached base three times each. Gumbs was 2-for-5 at the plate with a single, a two-run homer and three RBI’s. Cave finished 1-for-2 at the plate with a pair of walks and a run scored while Gates went 2-for-3 with two singles, a hit-by-pitch and an RBI.

RiverDogs starter Cesar Vargas combined with reliever James Pazos to toss five shutout no-hit innings. Pazos (3-1) picked up the win with his scoreless two frames of work. Tyler Webb relieved Pazos to start the sixth and struggled as he allowed five runs on four hits while striking out two and walking one. Ben Paullus was called upon to get the final six outs en route to his seventh save of the season.

The bottom of the sixth inning signified the Grasshoppers comeback. Greensboro sent seven men to the plate and scored four times on three hits with a hit by pitch. The fifth and final run came across in the bottom of the seventh on a Blake Barber solo home run. Barber finished his evening 2-for-3 with a double, homer, two runs scored and an RBI.

Greensboro starter Chad James (1-3) took the loss as he lasted 3.1 innings that saw him allow four runs on four hits while striking out three and walking three. Blake Logan relieved James and allowed two runs on three hits in his 2.2 innings of work. Matt Milroy tossed a scoreless two frames and allowed just one hit and struckout one. Chipper Smith pitched the ninth and allowed two runs with three strikeouts.

The rubber match of this three game series against the Grasshoppers is scheduled for 7pm Friday at NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro. Charleston sends LHP Evan Rutckyj (7-6, 4.79 ERA) to the mound as Greensboro counters with RHP Daniel Oliver (2-2, 4.42 ERA) in the finale. You can listen to the game live locally on ESPN 910 AM or online at

Box Score:


Being posted with permission from the Charleston Riverdogs organization. The original article can be seen HERE

Morning Bits

Good morning everyone!

The Yankees are back in action today as they will play the first of nine remaining games at Fenway Park this season.

Andy Pettitte(7-6, 4.39 ERA) will face Felix Doubront(6-3, 3.91 ERA) tonight in a game that starts at 7:10 PM ET that will be televised by YES.

Now on to today's news links:

John Harper of the New York Daily News says that the ten games coming up are vital for the Yankees.

Ted Berg of the USA Today thinks that A-Rod's return will greatly improve the Yankees.

Howie Kussoy of the New York Post writes about the trade that almost sent Mariano Rivera away from the Yankees in 1996.

Have a great day everyone!

This Day In New York Yankees History 7/19

On this day in 1977 the Yankees hosted the MLB All Star Game at the newly renovated Yankees Stadium. The American League would lose the game 7-5 for their sixth straight defeat at the hands of the National League. This would continue a streak of dominance by the NL that would include 14 of the last 15 All Star games going to the NL.