The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Archive for August, 2010

Three called up from Triple-A08.31.10

Nothing official from the Yankees, but I’m hearing Greg Golson, Chad Moeller and Jonathan Albaladejo are the first wave of September call-ups. No word on a 40-man move for Moeller.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 290 Comments →

Yankees win fourth straight08.31.10

At this point, the game to watch is the one in Tampa, where the Rays are losing on a day the Yankees have already won, 9-3, against the A’s. Phil Hughes was effective but not efficient, and it was his pitch count more than his innings limit that forced him out of the game after the fifth. Even so, Hughes picked up his 16th win. The Yankees offense did more than enough damage with home runs from Mark Teixeira, Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson. They’ve scored at least nine runs in three of the past four games.

Athletics Yankees Baseball

Associated Press photo

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 73 Comments →

Game 132: Yankees vs. Athletics08.31.10

YANKEES (81-50)
Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Jorge Posada C
Marcus Thames DH
Curtis Granderson CF
Ramiro Pena 3B

RHP Phil Hughes (15-6, 4.12)
Hughes vs. Athletics

ATHLETICS (65-65)
Coco Crisp CF
Daric Barton 1B
Kurt Suzuki C
Jack Cust DH
Kevin Kouzmanoff 3B
Mark Ellis 2B
Jeff Larish LF
Rajai Davis RF
Cliff Pennington SS

RHP Vin Mazzaro (6-6, 3.61)
Mazzaro vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 7:05 p.m. / YES Network

UMPIRES: HP Doug Eddings, 1B Dana DeMuth, 2B CB Bucknor, 3B Kerwin Danley

WEATHER: Upper 80s through most of the game. Perfect blue sky overhead. Very light breeze.

MINOR LEAGUE NEWS: Eduardo Nunez, Jesus Montero and Jonathan Albaladejo were named to the International League postseason all-star teamMelky Mesa was named the Florida State League Player of the YearYankees going to the Arizona Fall League: George Kontos, Austin Romine, Craig Heyer, Corban Joseph and Brandon Laird. That’s a very good group.

GOOD TO GO: Brett Gardner is fifth in the majors with 37 stolen bases this season. He’s been caught once in his past 13 attempts. It’s the highest single-season total for a Yankee since Alfonso Soriano stole 41 in 2002. In his career, Gardner has an 85.5 percent success rate, fifth-highest among active players with at least 85 stolen base attempts.

ONE AWAY: With one more home run, Mark Teixeira will be the sixth Yankee to hit at least 30 home runs in each of his first two years with the team. The others: Ruth, Maris, Giambi, Rodriguez and Sheffield.

BERKMAN READY TO RETURN: Lance Berkman expects this to be his last rehab start. He told Mike Ashmore: “I’m going to play the game tonight, and if nothing unforeseen happens, I’ll head back tomorrow.”

UPDATE, 7:26 p.m.: Double steal for Gardner and Jeter, and Suzuki chose to go after Jeter at second rather than Gardner at third.

UPDATE, 7:33 p.m.: Bases-loaded GIDP for Cano. At least it’s a run. That’s a 1-0 Yankees lead.

UPDATE, 7:37 p.m.: Triple by Jorge Posada. I’ll say that again. Triple by Jorge Posada. It’s now 3-0 Yankees.

UPDATE, 8:06 p.m.: Facing bases-loaded with one out in the third, Hughes allowed a sac fly but ultimately limited the damage to just the one run. It’s still a Yankees lead, 3-1.

UPDATE, 8:15 p.m.: Right in front of the press box, a guy just boxed out a girl to catch a foul ball. The girl then punched him right in the gut.

UPDATE, 8:18 p.m.: Second deck for Nick Swisher. His 25th of the season, a two-run shot, a 5-1 Yankees lead.

UPDATE, 8:32 p.m.: Sac fly in the third inning, now an RBI ground out in the fourth. Hughes hasn’t been great, but he’s still leading 5-2 and needs one more inning to be eligible for the win. He’s at 84 pitches.

UPDATE, 8:35 p.m.: More high than far, Granderson just went deep on a 3-1 pitch to give the Yankees a 6-2 lead.

UPDATE, 8:43 p.m.: There goes Mark Teixeira, home run No. 30. Sixth Yankee all time to hit at least 30 in his first two seasons with the team. By the way, it’s 9-2.

UPDATE, 9:26 p.m.: Solo home run by Daric Barton off Chad Gaudin. Still a 9-3 Yankees lead with Hughes in line for his 16th win.

UPDATE, 9:55 p.m.: Brett Gardner and Austin Kearns hitting back-to-back. Is this the first time two Yankees have batted back-to-back with country music as their at-bat music?

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Gameday Threadwith 846 Comments →

Pregame notes: Waiting for September08.31.10

Diamondbacks Yankees BaseballSeptember 1 is less than seven hours away, but Joe Girardi said this afternoon that he and Brian Cashman have yet to discuss September call-ups.

“We could possibly add a few, (but) we haven’t etched anything in stone right now,” Girardi said. “We could also add zero. It’s something we need to talk about tonight.”

The Yankees are already carrying an extra pitcher, two versatile utility-type infielder, a pretty good defensive fourth outfielder and a designated hitter who can play the field in an absolute pinch. There’s no one spot the Yankees absolutely need for the final month.

“I think we’ll look at an extra outfielder, maybe an extra infielder,” Girardi said. “The situation last night, maybe you can get another infielder off the field for a few innings if you get a bigger lead. We’ll look at those things.”

An extra infielder would seem to indicate Kevin Russo. An extra outfielder could mean lefty Colin Curtis, righty Chad Huffman or speedy Greg Golson (of course, Russo can play the outfield corners as well). One thing the Yankees don’t have on the 40-man is a third catcher. Bringing up Chad Moeller or Jesus Montero would mean booting someone from the 40-man, but a third catcher seems to make sense given Jorge Posada’s nagging injuries and Francisco Cervelli’s lagging offense. Just speculating, but given Reegie Corona’s injury, he could be a candidate for DFA.

“That’s something I’ll have to talk to Cash about,” Girardi said. “If there’s room, what can we do if we possibly want to bring up another catcher.”

Athletics Yankees Baseball• So far, now plans to put Javier Vazquez back in the rotation. “We haven’t made any changes,” Girardi said. “Right now we’re on schedule.”

• Alex Rodriguez will throw today. Otherwise, he’ll do more or less the same stuff he did yesterday. “Probably a little bit more intense tee and toss work in the cage,” Girardi said.

• Andy Pettitte’s bullpen tomorrow might be a little different than Sunday’s. “Geno discussed something with me maybe a little bit different,” Girardi said. “But until he gets a chance to discuss it with everyone, I won’t give it. It will be a bullpen, though.” Maybe he’ll throw 20 pitches, rest, then throw 20 more? Maybe he’ll throw off a mound and a half? I really don’t know.

• Damaso Marte isn’t getting much closer to returning from the DL. “He’s still doing a lot of strengthening work,” Girardi said. “He’s actually in the training room doing it as I walked in. I don’t have a time table for when he’ll throw again.”

• Alfredo Aceves wouldn’t be able to pitch tomorrow anyway. Sounds like he’s not likely to be activated right away. “We’ll have to decide if he’s ready,” Girardi said.

• All signs point to Lance Berkman being activated tomorrow, but Girardi didn’t come right out and say it. “We’ll just have to see how he’s doing,” Girardi said. “(Check on) how he feels and how he’s doing, then we’ll make that decision.”

• Girardi’s hopes for Hughes tonight: “You’d like to see him throw the ball well. He struggled a little bit in Toronto the other day. I thought he got in long counts and they fouled pitches off and he eventually made some mistakes. Get some quick outs (and) use all his pitches tonight. Compete at a high level.”

UPDATE, 6:08 p.m.: Pettitte just said he’s hoping to pitch, sit and pitch again tomorrow. Basically, he’ll simulate an inning without actually facing hitters. “I feel like I ought to progress every time,” he said.

Here’s the A’s lineup
Coco Crisp CF
Daric Barton 1B
Kurt Suzuki C
Jack Cust DH
Kevin Kouzmanoff 3B
Mark Ellis 2B
Jeff Larish LF
Rajai Davis RF
Cliff Pennington SS

Associated Press photos of Curtis and Vazquez

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 149 Comments →

Gardner leading off again08.31.10

Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Jorge Posada C
Marcus Thames DH
Curtis Granderson CF
Ramiro Pena 3B

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 269 Comments →

Video chat tomorrow at 1 p.m.08.31.10

On the first day of September — the end of August got here quickly — Sam and I are going to be video chatting here on the LoHud Yankees Blog. The chat begins tomorrow at 1 p.m. Just guessing, but some of the topics we’ll probably discuss…

The state of the Yankees rotation. We’ll be talking just a few hours before A.J. Burnett takes the mound. I’m sure his name will come up. We’ll probably talk about Phil Hughes’ innings limit, Ivan Nova’s hot start, CC Sabathia’s pursuit of 20 wins and Javier Vazquez’s chances of being a starter again this season.

Robinson Cano as AL MVP. Without a doubt the best and most consistent hitter in the Yankees lineup this season, he might not be the MVP favorite, but he’s certainly in that conversation. Joe Girardi has already said Alex Rodriguez will return to the clean-up spot when he’s healthy. Is that the right choice?

September call-ups. I’ll stick with my original guess of Lance Berkman, Jonathan Albaladejo, Juan Miranda and a catcher being added on the 1st. I’ll update that to guess that Chad Moeller will be the catcher. Mark Newman confirmed for me over the weekend that Jesus Montero is not Rule 5 eligible this winter. I don’t see any sense putting him on the 40-man just to play a bit part down the stretch.

The pending free agency of The Captain and The Closer. One’s had a bad year, the other’s had a great one. Both have had Hall of Fame careers that you can bet will end in New York.

Brian Cashman’s trade deadline vs. Brian Cashman’s winter. Granted, it was a bad market this winter, but the bulk of the Yankees offseason moves have no paid off. Cashman’s deadline dealing, on the other hand, has been a real help down the stretch.

Postseason expectations. Who’s most dangerous for the Yankees? What’s the best-case scenario? Is this roster built for a long run through the playoffs?

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 208 Comments →

Brian Cashman’s best offseason signing08.31.10

Athletics Yankees Baseball

In my mind, Andy Pettitte doesn’t factor into this discussion. There’s an obvious difference between the decision to bring back a familiar player and the decision to bring in a new player. Brian Cashman decided this offseason to bring in Nick Johnson, Randy Winn and Chan Ho Park. All three were more or less guaranteed big league jobs in spring training, and all three are well out of the mix down the stretch.

Instead, Cashman’s best signing has been Marcus Thames, one guy who had to settle for a minor league contract and fight for a job in spring training.

“I’m not going out trying to prove somebody wrong,” Thames said. “I just go out and be myself. I’ve known from years past what I’ve done… I haven’t hit for a high average like I am now, but I’ve had productive numbers off the bench. I take pride in it. Any time I’m in there, I’m ready to go.”

At this point, Thames is not a platoon player. He’s the Yankees everyday designated hitter, a job he’s earned since Alex Rodriguez and Lance Berkman went on the disabled list. “He’s one of those guys that really stepped up for us when Alex went down,” Mark Teixeira said. Now that Berkman is a day away, you have to wonder whether Joe Girardi will stick with the hot hand or give Berkman his job back.

“He’s been big for us, there’s no doubt about it,” Girardi said. “The key thing for us is getting people back healthy. That’s really important. I have some decisions to make, but the best thing would be for me to have to make some hard decisions.”

Associated Press photo

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 230 Comments →

Postgame notes: Vazquez making his pitch for the rotation08.31.10

Athletics Yankees Baseball

It’s been just seven days since Javier Vazquez was knocked out of the Yankees rotation. He’s already making a case that he should be back in it. This was a two-run slugfest when Vazquez came into tonight’s game. He shutdown the Oakland lineup while the Yankees lineup kept hitting. That’s why this thing became a lopsided blowout.

In two relief appearances since being banished, Vazquez has pitched nine innings, allowing two runs on four hits. He’s struck out eight.

“When the decision was made I was disappointed,” Vazquez said. “I’ve always been a starter. I would love to be in the rotation, but if they feel like I can help the team in the bullpen, that’s fine by me.”

As Joe Girardi said during his postgame press conference, he had “just walked in the door” when he was asked whether Vazquez had put himself into contention to rejoin the rotation. Girardi couldn’t have decided anything in those few minutes, but he seemed to know the question was coming.

“This is a continued evaluation process,” he siad. “But right now we’re on rotation.”

There is a slight mechanical adjustment that seems to be helping Vazquez’s fastball. When he lifts his left leg in his delivery, Vazquez is bringing the leg farther back. It’s not more of a twist, he said, and the leg’s not coming up any higher, it’s just coming a little farther back toward second base.

“The arm angle also has to play a part of it, but (pitching coach Dave Eiland) feels like that’s going to give me better momentum, and it has,” Vazquez said. “The ball was true to where I wanted it to be.”

The ball has been true ever since the Yankees pushed Vazquez out of the rotation, and given the uncertain nature of every Yankees starter except CC Sabathia, it’s hard to rule out another Vazquez move before the end of the season.

Here’s Javy talking after the game.

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APTOPIX Athletics Yankees Baseball• Alex Rodriguez came through his pregame workout just fine. “We’ll just continue to try to increase it a little bit every day,” Girardi said. “I’m not sure if he’ll do anything on the field tomorrow as far as hitting, but he came through today ok.”

• Same for Mark Teixeira and his bruised right hand. “Bone bruises just get slowly better,” Teixeira said. “It’s a little sore now and maybe in the next couple of days it will get a little bit better. We play with a little soreness all the time… I woke up this morning feeling really good and called Kevin Long right away.”

• Jorge Posada’s take on Vazquez: “He belongs in the rotation. He understands that, and today was another step.”

• Girardi’s take on Dustin Moseley: “Mose was just kind of struggling a little bit today. I didn’t think his stuff was quite as sharp. He was in long counts all night and so I decided to make the change.”

• Teixeira and Robinson Cano tonight: 6-for-7 with six runs, one double, two home runs and four RBI. Cano’s 26th homer of the season gave him a career-high this year. Cano has homered in five of his past seven home games. He’s seven RBI shy of a career high.

• Not much more to say about Marcus Thames. The guy has been a beast with a home run in each of his past five starts. Tonight’s was a real blast into the second deck. “I saw a little bit of it,” he said. “I got it good. I’m just trying not to miss my pitch.”

• Ramiro Pena has a hit in seven of his past 10 starts. He also has five RBI in those 10 starts.

• Vazquez has 11 straight 10-win seasons.

• Lance Berkman was 2-for-5 with a run scored in his first rehab game with Double-A Trenton. He was the designated hitter.

• Alfredo Aceves allowed one run on two hits through an inning and a third for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He threw 33 pitches, 21 for strikes. That’s a better outing than his previous two.

• Joba Chamberlain was not available tonight, and the Yankees were trying to avoid using Boone Logan and Kerry Wood.

• The championship belt was in Vazquez’s locker.

Associated Press photos of Vazquez and Swisher

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes, Podcastwith 137 Comments →

Yankees offense helps carry the day08.30.10

Facing an unlikely Cy Young contender, the Yankees offense went to work early and often tonight, beating the Athletics 11-5 to kick start a home stand that could provide an opportunity to finally break a tie atop the American League East. Trevor Cahill, second in the AL in ERA, allowed eight earned runs in four innings. Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano each had three hits off him — including back-to-back home runs — and it was Marcus Thames who went deep off the A’s bullpen for his sixth home run in as many games.

Athletics Yankees Baseball

Associated Press photo of Thames

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 126 Comments →

Game 131: Yankees vs. Athletics08.30.10

YANKEES (80-50)
Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Jorge Posada C
Marcus Thames DH
Curtis Granderson CF
Ramiro Pena 3B

RHP Dustin Moseley (4-2, 4.53)
Moseley vs. Athletics

ATHLETICS (65-64)
Coco Crisp CF
Daric Barton 1B
Kurt Suzuki C
Jack Cust DH
Kevin Kouzmanoff 3B
Mark Ellis 2B
Jeff Larish LF
Rajai Davis RF
Cliff Pennington SS

RHP Trevor Cahill (14-5, 2.43)
Cahill vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 7:05 p.m. / YES Network

UMPIRES: HP Kerwin Danley, 1B Doug Eddings, 2B Dana DeMuth, 3B CB Bucknor

WEATHER: It’s close to 90 degrees right now, but it should dip into the low 80s and maybe into the 70s as the game goes on. Pretty much no chance of rain.

BEATING CAHILL: Trevor Cahill has become a legitimate Cy Young candidate. The Yankees beat him earlier this season in Oakland, but they did that with just four hits and one walk against him. Most of the damage was done by Alex Rodriguez, who had two home runs and — obviously — is not in the lineup tonight. “He gets a ton of ground balls,” Joe Girardi said. “You have to make this guy get the ball up.”

IN THE DAYLIGHT: The Yankees will play five straight day games this home stand. According to Elias, it will be the first time the Yankees have played five straight day games at home since April 8 through April 14 of 2004. Right now, the Yankees have the second-best daytime record in the majors behind — of course — Oakland. The Yankees lead the majors with a .283 batting average in day games.

SAME RECORD, NEW RECORD: The Yankees and Rays have now been tied for first place for seven straight days. According to Elias, that matches the most consecutive days two teams have been tied for first place this late in the season in Major League history. It also happened with the Dodgers and Astros in mid-Sepember, 1980.

UPDATE, 7:28 p.m.: Things could be going better for Dustin Moseley. After the first three batters reached, he’s now allowed a sacrifice fly and a two-out, two-run single. It’s 3-0 A’s, and Moseley isn’t out of the first.

UPDATE, 7:42 p.m.: Robinson Cano sneaks a hard hit ball past Mark Ellis, scoring Derek Jeter to cut the lead to 3-1, still in the first inning. Might want to get comfortable. This one alright looks like it might take a while.

UPDATE, 7:50 p.m.: Nick Swisher just tied the game on a two-run double, then ran himself into an inning-ending double play when he misread the ball of Posada’s bat.

UPDATE, 7:56 p.m.: Nice rebound inning from Moseley. Two ground balls and a strikeout.

UPDATE, 8:07 p.m.: After a lead-off single, there is action in the Yankees bullpen — Javier Vazquez getting loose — but Moseley just got a strikeout, throw out double play and now a fly ball to right to end the inning. Still 3-3.

UPDATE, 8:15 p.m.: First two at-bats after the bruised right hand, Mark Teixeira is 2-for-2 with a single and now a solo home run that’s put the Yankees in front 4-3 in the bottom of the third.

UPDATE, 8:17 p.m.: Make that back-to-back homers as Cano goes deep with his 26th of the season, setting a career high. That’s the seventh time the Yankees have gone back-to-back this year.

UPDATE, 8:23 p.m.: Wow. Jeff Larish just clobbered a ball to deep right field to cut the lead to 5-4. Swisher kind of went after it, but that thing was way gone off the bat.

UPDATE, 8:32 p.m.: Two-out RBI single by Ramiro Pena. I don’t know what it is, but the guy really has had a knack for big hits. He doesn’t have many of them, but every single one seems to have done some damage this season. It’s a 6-4 Yankees lead.

UPDATE, 8:46 p.m.: After back-to-back one-out walks, Moseley is finished. His command was off all night, and now it’s Vazquez in to face Jack Cust with two on and one out in the fifth.

UPDATE, 8:54 p.m.: Grounder to second gets on out, Derek Jeter jump throw gets the second. Vazquez is out of the fifth with the lead still 6-4.

UPDATE, 9:06 p.m.: Three straight hits to start the fifth inning — Teixeira double, Cano single, Swisher double — have scored two more runs and given the Yankees an 8-4 lead.

UPDATE, 9:11 p.m.: Second deck for Marcus Thames, a three-run home run to make this an 11-4 game, still with no outs in the fifth inning. A position player is going to pitch in this game. I’m convinced of it.

By the way, Thames is unreal right now. Five straight starts with a home run, with two homers in one of those games. Lefty. Righty. Home. Away. Doesn’t matter. He’s locked in.

UPDATE, 9:30 p.m.: Former Yankees minor leaguer Matt Carson is now in right field for the A’s. I got to say hello to him this afternoon. He’s in that Dan Giese Hall of Fame for all-time nice guys who came through Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Gameday Threadwith 911 Comments →

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