Monday, April 21, 2014

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Matt Daley Outrighted To AAA Scranton

Matt Daley was designated for assignment over the weekend and has cleared waivers and will accept an outright to the minor leagues. Daley pitched in one game in the majors, throwing 41 pitches, and will now spend time back with the Scranton RailRiders. It's great to keep a guy like this in the system just in case we need him a little later in the season.

Mitchell Optioned To AA, Robertson To Be Activated

Bryan Mitchell has been optioned to AA Trenton with the Thunder to clear a 25 man roster spot for David Robertson. Robertson is expected to be activated off the 15 day DL tomorrow just in time for the Red Sox series after a groin injury has kept him out the last two weeks. Mitchell was up for one day and did not make an appearance before heading back down to the minor leagues.

Tommy John Surgery Running Rampant In MLB

By my unofficial count a whopping twenty pitchers have had Tommy John surgery since the beginning of the 2014 season, an absolute staggering number when you think about it. If every team, in a perfect world, used 12 pitchers a season multiplied by 30 Major League teams that is 360 pitchers. If 20 of those 360 pitchers have had the surgery then that is an alarming almost 6% of pitchers getting the surgery, and it's only getting worse.

The ulnar collateral ligament is no thicker than an aspirin tablet wide and apparently very fragile. The UCL absorbs the force of the pitchers throwing 90+ MPH day in and day out and begins to fray and break down over time until it pops, the same pop Yankees pitcher Ivan Nova said he felt in what is probably his final pitch of the season.

When you think about it if 20 pitchers have already went down this season already, just three weeks in, how many more million dollar arms are throwing with partially torn UCL's and don't know it yet? It's hard to fathom all these surgeries when pitchers are so closely watched and managed from how many pitches they can throw, how often they throw, etc. While the technology and the knowledge in the game and with the surgery grows it seems like things are only getting worse when they should be getting better and nobody has an explanation as to why.

Ivan Nova seems like he will be the 21st pitcher to go under the knife this season and we're not even a month in. I think it's time for Major League Baseball to worry less about what guys like Alex Rodriguez is doing and more about protecting their players, but maybe it's me.

Off Day Baseball Movie Recommendation

Having that 2:00 feeling? Good thing it's a Yankees off day and you can spend it watching Major League, the full movie classic, right here on the blog. God I love off days, enjoy!

Ivan Nova Has Tear In His UCL, Now What?

Ivan Nova left Saturday nights game with elbow soreness and an MRI showed a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament. This is terrible news for the Yankees and for Nova as even if Nova was able to avoid Tommy John surgery and rehabbed the injury, something that Adam Wainwright did for years before having the surgery, he will still be out for a long time. Now what?

The problem, besides the obvious 40 man roster ramifications, is that any obvious addition to the starting rotation takes away from the bullpen that is starting to show holes. Adam Warren and David Phelps have shown the ability to pitch as long relievers and late inning relief pitchers so moving one of them hurts the bridge to David Robertson, something that New York does not need. Vidal Nuno could become the 5th starter and may be the best option for the job but that leaves the Yankees bullpen with one left handed relief pitcher, a LOOGY at that. No worries, I have the solution.

Alfredo "The Mexican Gangster" Aceves. Aceves has done it before in New York and has a ton of innings left on that arm. Ace is only 31 years old and could be the perfect stereotypical fifth starter in the Yankees rotation. You 60 day DL Ivan Nova and send down Preston Claiborne, who has struggled in spring training and put a TON of guys on base in AAA this season, and plug Aceves into the fifth spot. Season saved, at least until June and July when we could make a trade if necessary.

Brian Cashman, you're welcome.

Off Day Baseball Music Recommendation

John Fogerty's "Centerfield" may be the best baseball song of all time and that includes Mr. Sinatra spreading the news... Enjoy the off day Yankees family.

Quick Hit: The David Robertson Decision

David Robertson is expected to be activated from the disabled list tomorrow for the series with the Boston Red Sox, who goes back down to AAA to make room for D Rob on the roster? It was originally thought that Vidal Nuno, who made the spot start yesterday, would be the one to go down but that was before Cesar Cabral was designated for assignment to make room for Matt Daley. Do the Yankees leave Matt Thornton as the only left handed relief pitcher in the bullpen for David Ortiz and the Red Sox?

I think unfortunately they have to. Matt Daley doesn't have a minor league option left and Shawn Kelley, Dellin Betances, David Phelps, Adam Warren, and Matt Thornton seem like absolute locks for the bullpen. It seems more and more likely that Nuno, who will probably not be available until Thursday, will be sent down for David Robertson. After that what move gets made to make room to bring back Nuno, if any, will get very interesting.

This Day In New York Yankees History 4/21

Not really New York Yankees news but on this day in 1994 Eddie Murray knocked a home run from both sides of the plate in an Indians 10-6 victory over the Twins at the Metrodome. The Yankees significance in this is that this is the 11th time Murray has hit a home run from both sides of the plate in the same game breaking the previous record held by Mickey Mantle in 1964.