Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Recap: Rangers 10, Yankees 1

There are nights when everything goes well, and then there are nights when nothing goes well.

Tuesday's Yankees game fit neatly into the latter category.

Luis Severino got hammered for six earned runs in three innings, and the Yankees fell 10-1 to the Rangers without much of a fight.

The Rangers took a 1-0 lead in the first on a Prince Fielder RBI single, but it was in the third when the home team really pulled away.

After Severino logged the first two outs with ease, Texas put two on with back-to-back hits -- prompting Severino to load the bases with an intentional walk of Fielder. The strategy failed, however; the next man up, Ian Desmond, drew a walk of his own, and from there the floodgates were opened.

Mitch Moreland ripped a two-run single to center, Severino let another run cross on a wild pitch, and Elvis Andrus plated one more with line-drive to left.

Before you knew it, the Yankees were down 6-0 and Severino was on his way to a third straight loss.

In relief of the youngster, Ivan Nova was solid, working four innings and allowing three earned runs. His outing saved the rest of the bullpen -- with the exception of Chasen Shreve -- from similar mop-up duty, keeping the club's late-inning duo of Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller available for Wednesday's finale.

But that's about the only positive the Yankees can salvage from this blowout.

The Yanks' bats managed just four hits in eight innings against right-hander A.J. Griffin, who walked one and struck out five. Their lone run came in the seventh, when Mark Teixeira cracked a single with runners on the corners.

Needless to say, the Yankees will be hoping for a better result in the rubber game.

WHAT IT MEANS: The Yankees suffered their worst defeat of the season, dropping their record to 8-11. They are 0-4 this year with Severino on the mound.

NEXT UP: The Yankees and Rangers wrap up this series on Wednesday. CC Sabathia (1-1, 5.28 ERA) and Martin Perez (0-2, 4.50 ERA) are slated to be your starters, with first pitch set for 8:05 p.m. ET.

Live Game Updates: Yankees at Rangers - 4/26

8:25 p.m., End First: Rangers jump ahead on an RBI single by Prince Fielder. They're up 1-0 after an inning of play. 

8:38 p.m., End 2nd: Yankees still looking for their first base runner with the bottom of the order due up. 

9:06 p.m., End 3rd: Severino gets knocked around for five runs in an ugly bottom of the third. It's now 6-0 Texas. 

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Texas Rangers 4/26

The New York Yankees are heading up to the plate and the Texas Rangers have taken the field. AJ Griffin has taken the mound for the Rangers and the Yankees starter Luis Severino has thrown his final pitches in the bullpen. It's game time ladies and gentleman for the second time in this three-game set this week in Arlington. The Yankees need these wins in the worst way right now after their sluggish start to the 2016 season and a win tonight and a win tomorrow would go a long way because it's never too late, or early for that matter, to turn things around. That could start tonight with the game that will be start at 8:05 pm ET inside Globe Life Park in Arlington. The game can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

Click the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog to have your Yankees Tickets in hand for when the team returns home to the Bronx and Yankee Stadium later on this season. If you can't make it live either on the road or at home in New York then that's not an issue thanks to Twitter. We live tweet each and every Yankees game every season so you can follow long and/or interact with us every game this season. Follow us, you know you want to.

Go Yankees!

Help Wanted: Scranton Shuttle Members

So I was walking down the street in front of Yankee Stadium this week when I saw a help wanted poster outside reading "Help Wanted." Me needing a job like I do I immediately checked it out hoping I could snag a job that got me into Yankee Stadium on a nightly basis and I was disappointed to read that the help wanted sign was for new members of the Scranton Shuttle.

Now this is obviously a fictitious story as I have moved to Atlanta, Georgia from the Bronx and I am very much employed but aside from that the rest is pretty accurate. I'm sure the Yankees haven't resorted to posting a sign outside of the stadium for their poor, their tired and their hungry just yet but the Scranton Shuttle is getting awfully thin nowadays.

New York has already lost Branden Pinder, Nick Rumbelow, Bryan Mitchell and Jacob Lindgren to various injuries including a pair of ulnar collateral ligament tears, a serious toe injury and yet another elbow injury for a former 2nd round pick. What's left at the Yankees disposal as far as the Scranton Shuttle goes? More than you would think actually.

The list of available relievers for New York still includes Luis Cessa, Chad Green, Tyler Olson,  and James Pazos on the 40 man roster while Richard Bleier, Tyler Cloyd, Kyle Haynes, Diego Moreno, Vinnie Pestano, Anthony Swarzak and Tyler Webb make up just a few of the options down in Triple-A with the Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders.

There are plenty of more names that could be options as soon as July and by September as well. Names you may know and names you may not know. Names like James Kaprielian, Brady Lail, Daniel Camarena, Cale Coshow, Ronald Herrera, Mark Montgomery, Evan Rutckyj, Matt Tracy and Miguel Sulbaran to name a few.

Injuries suck but don't sleep on the Yankees, their bullpen and the whole Scranton Shuttle just yet.

ICYMI: James Kaprielian Added to Yankees MiLB DL

The New York Yankees have lost their top pitching prospect James Kaprielian for an undetermined amount of time this week after the team added him to the 15-day DL. Kaprielian, who was pitching for the Tampa Yankees at the time of the injury, was added to the disabled list for what the team is calling elbow inflammation.

The Yankees plan to treat this inflammation with rest, rehab and a throwing program after an MRI revealed no structural damage to the elbow, joint or ligament. Kaprielian has seen an uptick in his velocity as his fastball now sits around 94-95 MPH where it used to sit around 92-93 MPH. Kaprielian has even seen his fastball hit as high as 99 MPH so it shouldn't come as a surprise to many that he may be deal with elbow discomfort.

Kaprielian has dominated the minors this season and may have been one or two starts away from a call up to Double-A Trenton with the Thunder before the injury. At the time of the injury Kaprielian had posted a 1.50 ERA and 1.97 FIP in 18 innings while striking out 22 batters along the way.

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Texas Rangers 4/26

The New York Yankees and the Texas Rangers are ready to face off head-to-head for the second time in as many nights tonight in Globe Life Park in Arlington. Last night the Yankees dodged a bullet thanks in large part to a cranky left groin from Cole Hamels and they instead pulled Cesar Ramos out of the Rangers pen. Tonight they won't be so lucky as AJ Griffin takes the mound for the Rangers while Luis Severino takes the ball for the Yankees.

Severino heads into his first start ever against the Texas Rangers tonight after easily his best start of the young season last time out. Last time Severino took the ball it was against the Oakland Athletics where he pitched six innings allowing just two runs in an eventual Yankees loss. 

Griffin heads into his fourth career start against the Yankees tonight looking to improve on his impressive career stats against the team. Griffin owns a career 2-0 record with a 3.12 ERA in three career starts against the Yankees and will likely be a tough pull for the Yankees again tonight. Griffin is holding opposing batters to a .203 average this season including a .129 BAA against right-handed hitters so expect to see a load of lefties tonight from New York. 

The game will be played at 8:05 pm ET inside Globe Life Park in Arlington and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. The man with the most to prove tonight, if you believe that history is any indicator of the future, is Mr. Severino as he has not started the season as strongly as he would like. As you know the Yankees tend to have short leashes with prospects and young players and they especially do when said player has minor league options remaining like Severino. He had a strong start last time out but he needs another or his job may soon be in jeopardy in the Bronx. Especially with Ivan Nova pitching as well as he has out of the Yankees bullpen.

Go Yankees!

Report: Carlos Beltran Interested in Managing Following His Playing Career

Despite having just turned 39, Carlos Beltran has looked far from finished in 2016, slashing .265/.292/.485 with four home runs in his first 72 PAs. That hasn’t stopped him from considering what happens when his playing days are over. Beltran recently told Andrew Marchand of ESPN that he aspires to be a major league manager when he finally hangs up his cleats. Beltran is one of the most respected members of the Yankees clubhouse and has been enthusiastic when it comes to mentoring the younger members of the team.

 One story that stuck out this spring was Beltran requesting a locker next to top prospect Aaron Judge, the heir apparent in right field in 2017 with Carlos expected to depart following the season. Some players might feel threatened by a young player who is openly threatening their job security, but Beltran made the classy move of embracing it and attempting to impart his knowledge to the minor leaguer. 

 This is the first I’ve heard of Beltran wanting to manage, but it seems like he’d be a great fit. He told Marchand he’d be more of a “players’ manager,” stressing the importance of communication and the lessons he’s learned in his almost 20 years of MLB experience. He cited Terry Collins and Joe Girardi as potential influences for his managing style.

 With the season he’s having thus far, it’s likely that teams will have to wait a season or two before looking at him as an option at manager. Even in his age 40 and 41 seasons, Beltran seems like a good bet to find a job with an AL club at DH if he continues to hit like this.

 Source: Al Bello/Getty Images North America

Meet a Prospect: Phil Coke

The New York Yankees are feeling pretty nostalgic recently as they try to recreate the magic that was the 2009 World Series championship team. New York has already brought back their right fielder from that season in Nick Swisher after the Atlanta Braves released him and now they have brought back a pretty integral left-handed reliever to the team and stashed him in Triple-A in Phil Coke. Let's meet him, some for the first time while some are meeting the nasty southpaw again. This is Meet a Prospect: The Phil Coke Edition.

Phillip Douglas Coke was born on July 19, 1982 and is a MLB veteran of four teams and one Atlantic League of Professional Baseball team. Coke has played professionally for the New York Yankees, the Detroit Tigers, the Chicago Cubs and the Toronto Blue Jays while also spending time in the minor leagues with the Atlanta Braves and Oakland Athletics while most recently spending time with the Lancaster Barnstormers. Coke wasn't always a MLB pitcher though as his amateur career began at San Joaquin Delta College. The Miami Marlins drafted him out of college in the 49th round of the 2001 MLB First Year Players Draft but he did not sign.

The next year the New York Yankees came calling in the 26th round of the 2002 MLB Draft with the 786th pick overall and Coke signed almost immediately with the club. Coke began his professional career with the GCL Yankees and was all the way in Triple-A by the end of the 2008 season. Coke made his MLB debut with the club in September of 2008 with a scoreless inning against the Detroit Tigers that included a strikeout of Curtis Granderson and Miguel Cabrera. Coke became a staple in the Yankees bullpen in 2009 and helped the team win their 27th World Series championship in the franchise's history which opened a lot of eyes not only in the Yankees organization but in organization's across the league as well.

After the 2009 season the Yankees sent Coke to the Detroit Tigers in a three-team trade that saw Curtis Granderson return to the Yankees. Coke had an impressive first season with the Tigers which earned him a new contract with the club before the 2011 season. Coke worked some as a starter for Detroit in 2011 but after posting a 1-8 record he was delegated back to the bullpen in what may have been the best decision for all parties involved. Coke stepped up as the team's closer in 2012 and helped his new team beat his old team in the ALCS to earn his second trip to the World Series in his young playing career. The Tigers would fall to the San Francisco Giants in the 2012 World Series but it was no fault of Coke's as he finished with a 0.84 ERA and 13 K's in just 10.2 innings pitched.

Coke took a step back in 2013 logging just 38.1 innings with a career-high 5.40 ERA which earned him a demotion back to Triple-A. Coke toiled around with the Tigers in 2014 until the winter before 2015 when Coke tested the free agent market. Coke was not able to find a MLB deal that winter and ultimately settled on a minor league pact with the Chicago Cubs to continue his career. Coke made the team out of spring training earning $2.25 million but only last a month and two weeks before being designated for assignment once again. This time Coke latched on with the Toronto Blue Jays who sent the lefty to Triple-A to begin his tenure with the franchise. Coke made his debut with Toronto on June 14th of that season before becoming a free agent once again a week later after declining a minor league assignment.

Coke signed a minor league deal with the Oakland A's and Atlanta Braves before finally leaving the Major Leagues for the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.Coke did enough to catch the attention of Brian Cashman and the Yankees as he showcased his four-seam and two-seam fastballs out of the bullpen. Coke may be up in New York very soon after riding the Scranton Shuttle, stay tuned just to see when.

Welcome back to the family Phil!

Injury Update: Pinder Opts for Tommy John Surgery

After an MRI Saturday revealed a torn UCL in RHP Branden Pinder's right elbow, Yankees' manager told the media that the 27-year-old reliever would have to decide between rehabbing the injury and surgery. It was announced Monday night that Pinder has decided to undergo TJ surgery to repair the tear, effectively ending his season. Although Masahiro Tanaka had success rehabbing a partial UCL tear in 2015, surgery is the more common approach, so this isn't much of a surprise. Pinder's surgery is scheduled for today, so at least he can begin recuperating as soon as possible.

The loss of Pinder and fellow Triple-A reliever Nick Rumbelow for the season is a serious blow to the organization's bullpen depth. The team made a move to address this by signing former Yankee Phil Coke to a minor league contract yesterday. The imminent return of Aroldis Chapman from suspension should also provide some relief.

Image Source: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America

No Roster Moves Imminent for the Short-handed Yankees

With fourth outfielder Aaron Hicks and DH Alex Rodriguez day to day with nagging injuries, the Yankees played Monday’s series opener against the Rangers with a 23 man roster. Manager Joe Girardi’s bench options are currently limited to two, backup catcher Austin Romine and utility man Ronald Torreyes. Not exactly a ton of flexibility there. Still, the team managed just fine in yesterday’s 3-1 victory. Girardi took the opportunity to give Carlos Beltran a partial day off at DH, with Dustin Ackley taking over right field duties, a position where he had played two professional innings coming into Monday’s contest.

 Following the game, Girardi expressed confidence that no moves would be necessary to accommodate the injuries, telling reporters, "I don't think either one will be on (the DL). I'd be surprised, unless something happens in the next couple of days. I think they're both making really good strides." He also mentioned that A-Rod could be available as a pinch hitter as soon as this series.

 Neither injury has been given a firm timeline, but the team obviously hopes both will improve given a few days rest. Only time will tell if this is the right call. If one or both players eventually is forced to take a DL stint, all of this scratching by with an undermanned squad will have been for nothing. With Nick Swisher and Aaron Judge both raking for Triple-A Scranton, it’s kind of a risky move.

Image Source: Rich Schultz/Getty Images North America

James Kaprielian placed on MiLB DL with elbow inflammation

Yankees' top pitching prospect James Kaprielian landed on the minor league disabled list Monday with inflammation in his right elbow. Kaprielian, who had been pitching for High-A Tampa, was the team's first round pick (16th overall) in last year's amateur draft. The team announced that the injury will be "treated conservatively," and rightly so, considering this type of issue if often the precursor to the dreaded TJ surgery. The plan is to have Kap rest and eventually begin a throwing program, but at the moment the organization declined to offer a timetable for his return.

This is a crushing blow not just because of Kaprielian's prominence as a prospect, but because he had a legitimate chance to step into the rotation in the second half if everything went smoothly. One of the most attractive aspects of Kaprielian as a draft choice was that he's basically a finished product. He was expected by many to receive a brief tuneup at each level on his way up the ladder and reach the big leagues by August assuming there were no obstacles. This injury completely throws that possibility out the window. Even if the inflammation subsides with rest, the best case scenario, he will be treated with kid gloves and likely have a fairly cautious workload.

Even worse, Kaprielian had been far exceeding expectations in his early work as a professional. He's reportedly been sitting in the 97-99 range with his fastball, an insane jump from the 88-92 offering he had in college. In his first three starts, he's struck out 22 and walked just three in 18 innings of work, allowing just three earned runs.

Elbow issues have become something of an epidemic among Yankees' farmhands in the early going, with Jacob Lindgren, Nick Rumbelow, Branden Pinder, Domingo German, and Ty Hensley among those dealing with one.

Image Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America

Weekly Check In: Nick Swisher

The New York Yankees offense has sputtered at the beginning of the 2016 season with all hands on deck. Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran are all in the middle of the Yankees lineup and yet the team seems like a shell of the team that finished second in runs scored in 2015. Now with Aaron Hicks injured for a few days as he battles a shoulder injury and while Alex Rodriguez battles an oblique injury the New York Yankees may find themselves even more shorthanded in the lineup. Well unless they call up Nick Swisher.

Keep in mind that I am well aware of the fact that Nick Swisher's best days are behind him and I also do not have any inclinations to believe that he can produce anywhere near the level he is at right now in Triple-A but I like to see the positive side of every situation. Swisher could hit .250 right now and he would be around where Hicks and Rodriguez would hit combined. Combined.

I'm not saying call up Swisher but I am saying I think the Yankees will. There is plenty of room on the 40 man roster and I can see Swisher being this season's version of Chris Capuano. Up and down and up and down and up and down and up and down.

2016 35 AAA 9 38 4 13 1 2 5 0 3 6 .382 .421 .588 1.009

This Day In Yankees History 4/26: An A-Bomb, From A-Rod, Again & Again & Again

On this day in 2005 Alex Rodriguez hit home runs in his first three at bats becoming only the 11th player in Major League history to knock in 10 or more RBI's in a single game. A Rod would come up one RBI short of the American League record of 11 by fellow Yankee Tony Lazzeri in 1936. A Rod would come up two RBI's short of the Major League record of 12 set by Jim Bottomley in 1924 and Mark Whiten in 1993.

Also on this day in 1961 Roger Maris would hit his first of his record breaking 61 home runs in that magical season. It took Roger eleven Yankees games before he hit his first home run against the Detroit Tigers in old Tiger Stadium.