Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Soriano's huge game leads Yankees to comeback victory over Angels, 14-7

CC Sabathia have up just 2 earned runs over six innings tonight as the Yankees beat the Angels for the second night in a row, 14-7. Now those six innings by CC weren't exactly dominant, but at least they got him a win (now 10-10 on the year), and he really needed one of those. 

Believe it or not, the Yankees did trail 3-2 near the beginning of this one, but that was when Alfonso Soriano took over. In six at-bats tonight, Soriano had a two-run home run, a three-run home run, and an RBI Single, giving him a total of 6 RBIs on the night, by far the most on the team. Another guy who had a really nice game was Eduardo Nunez, who went 2-for-6 with two singles and 4 runs batted in. 

The Bombers other four runs tonight came on a two-run double from A-Rod (yeah, he's actually doing stuff now), a solo home run from Wells (his 11th of the year), and an RBI Groundout from Nix. For 2013 Yankee fans, it's very important that we enjoy games like tonight's, because we all know there hasn't been and won't be many. 

Alfonso Soriano Absolutely Went Off Tonight

Two home runs and 6 RBI night in a BIG Yankees victory. 

Game Thread: Angels @ Yankees 8/13

The New York Yankees will host the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim tonight at Yankees Stadium which can be seen locally on the YES Network and nationally on MLB TV. The pitching match up is CC Sabathia for the Yankees and Jason Vargas for the Angels. Vargas is being activated off the DL before the game so hopefully the Yankees can hit the right hander around and capitalize on some rust issues Vargas may have. CC Sabathia had a decent start last time out pitching into the 8th inning and only allowing three runs. It is not what we have come to expect from the big man, especially at this stage of the season, but the Yankees will take any progress from CC that they can get at this point.

Here is the Yankees lineup

Eduardo Nunez SS
Alfonso Soriano LF
Robinson Cano 2B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Vernon Wells RF
Curtis Granderson CF
Jayson Nix 3B
Lyle Overbay 1B
Austin Romine C

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New York Yankees Injury Update For 8/13

Derek Jeter took batting practice today for the first time since he went on the disabled list for the third time this season. His calf is being called a day to day decision but all indicators point towards him running any day now. Regardless of when he starts to run he will be heading down to Tampa over the weekend when the Yankees travel to Boston. By my unofficial count Jeter is eligible to come off the DL on Friday, August 16th.

AAA Scranton Wilkes Barre RailRiders closer Mark Montgomery is back on the DL for a third time this season as well with an unknown injury. David Herndon has been called up from AA Trenton to take his spot on the roster. This was supposed to be Montgomery's break out season and it has been a huge disappointment for us all with all these DL trips.

Pat Venditte Returns To Trenton Slade Heathcott Hits DL

The Trenton Thunder, Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, announced Tuesday that switch-handed pitcher Pat Venditte has been promoted to the team from Class A-Advanced Tampa.  

Outfielder Slade Heathcott has been placed on the team's disabled list with right knee tendinopathy.  RHP David Herndon has been promoted to Triple-A Scranton.

Venditte, 28, pitched in 51 games for the Thunder in 2011 and went 3-7 with a 3.40 ERA in 90 innings of work.  He has been working his way back from right shoulder surgery performed in 2012 after making only seven appearances with Scranton.  In 13 games pitched this season between the GCL and Tampa Yankees, Venditte is 0-2 with a 3.12 ERA.

Venditte is the only active ambidextrous pitcher in baseball.  Because of his recent shoulder operation, he will not always alternate pitching arms during his appearances but is still expected to switch-pitch on occasion.

Heathcott has played in 103 games this season and batted .261 with eight home runs and 49 RBI (each tied for second-most on the team). Rated preseason as the #2 prospect in the Yankees system by Baseball America, Heathcott has batted. 308 his last 37 games played with 18 RBI.


Being posted with permission from the Trenton Thunder organization. 

Cito Culver & Ben Paullus Promoted to Tampa Yankees

Cito Culver & Ben Paullus Promoted to Tampa
Bichette, Jr. also activated from DL 

CHARLESTON, SC – The New York Yankees have announced that shortstop Cito Culver and All-Star closer Ben Paullus have been promoted to High-A Tampa.  Both were in their second season with the Charleston RiverDogs.
In a corresponding roster move, third baseman Dante Bichette, Jr. was activated from the disabled list.

Culver, who hails from Rochester, NY, was batting .232 with eight home runs and 29 RBI in his 104 games as a RiverDog this season.  Last year with Charleston, he led all South Atlantic League shortstops with 194 putouts and was part of a league-leading 80 double-plays.  He was selected by the Yankees in the first round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft (32nd overall pick) out of Irondequoit High School in Rochester, N.Y.

Paullus, a right-hander who earned SAL All-Star honors as a reliever, recorded nine saves and had a 6-3 record and 2.54 ERA in his 32 appearances. Surrendering only a pair of homers, Paullus walked 26 while striking out 60.  A native of Olive Branch, Miss., he was selected by the Yankees in the 19th round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Memphis.

Being posted with permission from the Charleston Riverdogs organization. 

Los Angeles Angels @ New York Yankees 8/13

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim take on the New York Yankees tonight in the second game of a four game set at Yankees Stadium. The Yankees will send CC Sabathia to the mound to face off with Jason Vargas for the Angels. The game will be televised at 7:05 pm ET on the YES Network and MLB TV.

The 2014 CC Sabathia

According to Fangraphs, through 24 starts, Sabathia has only been worth $9.3 million. A rate of $387,500 per start. If you extrapolate that, and assume CC starts 34 games, then he would only be worth $13.175 million in 2013, far less than his $23 million salary.

Sort of like this.

The fact that he hasn't been worth his very large salary, which is the second highest in all of baseball (Johan Santana is first at $23,145,011), is not what bothers me. Well, it kind of does, but I'm not one to cry over spilled milk. The issue is that Sabathia has 4 years and $96 million remaining on his contract. That is, if you're including the vesting option for 2017, which depends on the health of his left/throwing shoulder in 2016.

As of today, CC's ERA is higher than it's ever been, his WHIP is at it's highest point since 2004, his hits per 9 innings is at a career high, as is his home run rate. Furthermore, opposing batters have hit .273 off of Sabathia, which is the highest he's ever given up. Want another? Okay... his walk rate is higher than it's been in the last 9 years.

Sorry to be a Debbie Downer.

It's safe to say that the Yankees' ace is having a pretty bad year. As much as that stinks, I'm more concerned about the next four years, when the team is hopefully in a position to make the postseason... and then some.

So what is going on that's turned Sabathia from a top of the rotation starter, to a bottom of the rotation starter?

One theory is that he's hiding an injury. Well, I've watched him all season, and I have yet to see him wince or do anything indicative of that. Not only has CC denied any injury, but pitching coach Larry Rothchild has said that "there are no signs of that [injury]."

Although CC's surgically repaired left elbow could still be bothering him, I wonder if his throwing motion has changed. Wallace Matthews reported in late February that CC said his throwing motion was different. I haven't seen anybody report on that motion not going back to normal, but even the smallest change could mess things up.

Like how going back in time and killing a mosquito could change everything. Although, why let the jerk live?

First of all, I want to say that I would never want to see somebody gain unhealthy weight. With that said, CC Sabathia came into this season having lost, according to the man himself, "20 pounds". The team was hoping that such weight loss would be better for their #1 pitcher, as being leaner and stronger more often than not is a good thing. However, this is what one talent evaluator had to say about it...
“The weight loss has created a balance problem for him. He’s all over the place. He’s learning how to pitch in that body, a body he’s really never had. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with him other than that. Sometimes you pitch at a certain weight all your life and then someone has the brilliant idea that you should lose weight because it’s putting stress on your knees, you do it, and then you’re dealing with something else.”-courtesy of Nick Cafardo, at the Boston Globe
That tells me that even though we can't see it, Sabathia's throwing motion has indeed changed.

No matter what the problem is, though, one thing is for sure... CC has to figure it out before the 2014 season begins. Otherwise, if he throws to a 4.00+ ERA in the first half of next year, like he did this one, then people are going to go after him like they go after Alex Rodriguez now. And I don't want to think about what fans will do if his second half ERA is 8.61 in mid-August, like it is at the moment.

One thing's for sure, 2014 is going to go a long way into whether or not Carsten Charles earns all the money he's made and will make.

Game 118 Lineup: Angels vs. Yankees

Eduardo Nunez SS
Alfonso Soriano LF
Robinson Cano 2B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Vernon Wells RF
Curtis Granderson CF
Jayson Nix 3B
Lyle Overbay 1B
Austin Romine C

LHP CC Sabathia

Cano May Leave The "Total Mess"

According to a report by SI.com, those close to Robinson Cano believe the Yankees only have a 50-50 chance of re-signing their star second baseman. It's said that the "total mess" in the Bronx could contribute to Robbie jumping ship.

In that same report, it's said that the Dodgers are believed to be front-runners for Cano. LA's payroll going into this season was a little below $217 million, and the team has over $50 million coming off of the books after this season. On top of having the money freed up, Skip Shumacher's and Nick Punto's contracts will be up, leaving them needing help at second. The Dodgers do have a club option on Mark Ellis that they may pick up, but he could very well be a utility infielder thanks to experience at shortstop and third base as well.

I want Cano to return to the Yankees, and expect him to be back in pinstripes next season, but I'm not going to kid myself into believing there are no other strong suitors for Robbie out there.

Mark Reynolds Released But Is He A Target?

Mark Reynolds released by the Cleveland Indians but is it too late for the Yankees to care?

The Yankees have been looking for a right handed platoon power bat all season long to match with Lyle Overbay at first base and one has finally become available, but is it too late? I think for the first time in history a team released their team leading home run hitter when Reynolds was designated for assignment last week but now the fact that he has cleared waivers leaves me even more perplexed.

Reynolds is in his age 30 season and would only require the team that signs him to pay his pro-rated league minimum salary which would be somewhere around $200,000. I understand that since May 1st Reynolds has a triple slash of .187/.287/.282 with seven home runs but has 15 home runs overall and would be a nice compliment to Overbay at first. His defense at both first and third base is pretty horrible but if the Yankees were still competing I think they could bypass that in search for offense.

With Texas winning their last 200 games out of 201, please sense the extreme exaggeration, I think it may be too little too late but you never know. What do you think? Should we make a run at Mark Reynolds for the rest of the 2013 season? Drop a comment in the comment box and let me know your thoughts.

The Interim Captain Steers The Yankees Ship

[caption id="attachment_16420" align="aligncenter" width="594"]Derek Jeter has always been a leader for the Yankees, but when he went down with an injury, someone had to step up Derek Jeter has always been a leader for the Yankees, but when he went down with an injury, someone had to step up[/caption]

It's not a secret that Derek Jeter is the Captain of the New York Yankees. His presence in the clubhouse, how he keeps his composure after tough losses and how he has that mentality that if it's not broken, he can play is what makes him one of the greatest Yankees alive. When reporters go to the clubhouse, they anticipate going to see what wisdom Derek Jeter has for them today. What knowledge he's going to instill in their brain, what sarcastic humor he has up his sleeve. The Yankees are a gigantic ship and Derek Jeter is their Captain.

But when Derek Jeter was constantly out of the lineup this season, the team started to look lost and confused, losing games constantly and feeling as if there was no hope for their play-off dreams. I remember discussing Derek Jeter's injuries and the Yankees troubles with my mother one day, and the words that came out of her mouth had me thinking long and hard for the next couple of months:

"The Yankees ship can't go anywhere if it doesn't have a captain to steer them."

The Yankees looked as if they were giving up, as if all was hopeless for the team. They still weren't doing their best on the field and they became defeated--until the media decided to speak to the normally quiet Brett Gardner. For the last couple of seasons, Gardner was just one of the guys in the clubhouse. He was quiet, he never had much to say and he continued to try to keep his starting job in left field. But after a tough loss, something sparked Gardner to talk to the media, about what Derek Jeter had taught him.

"One thing I've really learned from Jeet over the years. He's not here right now, but he's been so good at turning the page. Doesn't matter if you are 0-for-5 or 5-or-5, or if we win or lose, we've got a game tomorrow. As soon as we walk out here tonight, we've got to focus on getting ready to play tomorrow."

[caption id="attachment_16421" align="alignright" width="241"]Mark+Teixeira+Brett+Gardner+New+York+Yankees+q8RvrbKr4gbl Brett Gardner has become more vocal about the Yankees on and off the field and he's slowly transforming into a leader[/caption]

Ever since Brett Gardner uttered those words, I never looked at him the same again. Before that night, he was one of the guys just trying to get on base like he normally does in order to help the team win. But that night, he became someone--a leader. The times that he was quiet, he would spend it observing Derek Jeter, what Derek Jeter would do, what Derek Jeter would say, how Derek Jeter would handle a situation. Gardner would observe everything and in the end, it seemed like he was the one to learn the most from the Captain. From that moment on, Gardner became a huge catalyst on the team, driving in runs, getting on base, giving up his body for the game of baseball, playing hard and gritty as he always does, all to make sure that his team would reach victory.

He took it upon himself to create a new walk-off tradition after A.J Burnett took his pies to Pittsburgh. He thought of Gatorade. He would pour Gatorade on players that hit a walk-off. It became a hit with the crowd and soon, he was the one being doused in his own walk-off creation after saving the Yankees from two extra losses this past weekend. Joe Girardi would quip that Gardner enjoyed the walk-off tradition more than anyone on the team, and that when the time came, he should be a football coach just to take baths in Gatorade after a victory.

Gardner was even talking to the media more, the media wanting insight on what happened each night,  his thoughts on a particular player. Typical Gardner would nod politely, give his opinion as professionally as possible and still find some ways to bring the win around the team, even if he was the one that hit a game winning base-hit or saved a play in the outfield. With Gardner it was all about the team, something he learned from Derek Jeter. He would sign things for kids, he was more active around the team, he showed he was the heart and hustle, hence winning the 2013 Heart and Hustle Award. He proved he had love for the game and it wasn't about the money. He enjoys being out there and it's evident every time that he goes to the plate.

When he messes up and gets tossed from a game, he goes back the next day to apologize to the umpire for what he believes was his irrational behavior. When he doesn't make a catch that he thought he could make, he vows to his teammates and to himself that he'll get the next one. When the chips are down and things look impossible for the Yankees, Gardner steps up.

Joe Girardi took a notice to Brett Gardner's leadership behavior and frankly, he has been impressed by the young spunky outfielder.

"Gardy is fiery, and I think his personality comes out. It’s been great having him all year. As I said, we really missed him last year – what he’s capable of doing. His personality has definitely come out this year. It’s good."

When Jeter returns from the disabled list, the job of Captain will once again be his, but us Yankees fans can never forget to thank Brett Gardner for being the one to step up and keeping other teams from sinking our battleship.

Youtube Proof Of Jose Abreu's Greatness

Yesterday we spoke about Jose Abreu defecting from Cuba and trying to establish residency elsewhere in South America in an effort to get signed by a major league club. The guy is nearly a .400 hitter with a ton of power in Cuba which got me intrigued enough to look him up on Youtube. Check out these videos on what the Yankees will have a shot at signing this off season.

This Day In New York Yankees History 8/13

On this day in 1995 Mickey Mantle died in a hospital in Dallas, Texas with his wife Merlyn at his side. The Indians were playing the Yankees as Yankees Stadium on this day and ironically the Indians lead off hitter was Kenny Lofton, who ironically wore the #7, and the screen at Yankees Stadium showed "now at bat #7, before the game.

On this day in 1998 Orlando Hernandez broke a 30 year Yankees rookie record when he struck out 13 Texas Rangers. Stan Bahnsen had the original mark for the Yankees as a rookie in 1968.