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Pregame notes: Location vs. velocity for Vazquez

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes on Aug 21, 2010 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Yankees Rangers BaseballJavier Vazquez has not thrown the ball hard all season. His fastball velocity has been steadily dropping the past four years, and on his best days Vazquez now throws his fastball at 89-90 mph. He might — might — touch 91.

“I think it’s back to where it was when he was winning a lot of games,” Joe Girardi said. “This has only become an issue because he stopped winning games. He won like eight out of ten starts (actually eight of 11 decisions) and his velocity was 88 to 89. At times it was 85 to 86. Then when he lost a couple, people started talking about his velocity. You can make something out of nothing, but his velocity had not been 91 to 93 all year long. To me, to get caught up in that is kind of silly. The bottom line is you have to make your pitches. You have to locate. If you do that at 82 (mph) you’re going to get people out.”

Yesterday, Vazquez was saying the same thing. He’s had some games when his velocity dipped into the mid-80s — his start in Texas for example — and those numbers bothered him, but he was back up to 88-90 in his most recent start. Vazquez has learned to work with the diminished velocity. What’s bothered him lately has been command.

“I was pitching well,” he said. “I was locating well. That’s why I say that the important thing is to locate. Obviously it would be great to be throwing harder, but the bottom line is I was locating well back then. That’s what I was doing… Those couple of games I was really low, that was my main concern was it not going lower, but it came back. I was 88 to 90 last time out, and the arm felt good. If I’m locating, I’ve got the other pitches to work with.”

• Girardi said every indication was that Alex Rodriguez would be ready to play yesterday. “His batting practice sessions, he went at it pretty hard those two days in the cage and said he felt tremendous,” Girardi said. “He felt explosion and everything. It’s just hard to say (what caused the setback), and it’s something we’re going to have to monitor and continue to go day-by-day.”

• Girard said it’s possible Rodriguez will not play in the upcoming series against Toronto, but he didn’t rule it out completely. “The turf is hard on him anyway,” Girardi said. “Maybe we get him as a DH one day or something.”

• Hard not to notice that the Yankees suddenly seem better equipped to handle left-handed starters. Austin Kearns and Marcus Thames loom large in these games. “I think our lineup is a little bit different with the people we’ve added,” Girardi said. “Getting a healthy Marcus back has helped as well. We were without him for about four weeks. He was a guy that we brought here to play against lefties. It definitely has increased our options.”

• Brett Gardner just has a regular day off. No injury or anything like that.

• Eduardo Nunez opened some eyes in spring training and will make his first major league start this afternoon. We saw a kid that was very talented,” Girardi said. “Liked his hands. Loved his arm, his range. He can run. He finds a way to put the bat on the ball. We believe that he can be an exciting player.”

• I’m not the only one who had a hard time getting here today. A lot of players were talking about the construction around the stadium that made getting to the park tough this morning. It was optional batting practice today, so guys were just kind of filtering in and out.

UPDATE, 12:31 p.m.: Mariners lineup
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Chone Figgins 2B
Russell Branyan DH
Jose Lopez 3B
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Casey Kotchman 1B
Josh Bard C
Michael Saunders LF
Josh Wilson SS

Associated Press photo of Vazquez

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28 Responses to “Pregame notes: Location vs. velocity for Vazquez”

  1. Betsy August 21st, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Given that that Alex apparently looked great yesterday and then reaggravated the injury, it’s hard to tell when he’ll be healthy. By that I mean if he’s rested for a week and all signs are a go, they’ll play him – but it doesn’t mean the injury has healed because of what happened this time around. There’s no way of telling if he’s ok or not except just to play him.

  2. Betsy August 21st, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Not sure what to make of Javy, but I’m not looking forward to his outing today

  3. SJ44 August 21st, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    People talk about the Red Sox injuries and inconsistent performances all year and about how they have remained “competitive”.

    As if being in third place, 7 games out of first, and actually are closer to fourth than first is “competitive”.

    What about the Yankees?

    Posada has been hurt all year. Arod has been hurt all year.

    Granderson missed a month.

    Swisher has been dealing with injuries the past 6 weeks.

    Pettitte is going to miss at least 2 months.

    Aceves has been out since May.

    Marte has been out for months.

    Jeter, Burnett and Chamberlain, three important players on the team, are having their career worst seasons.

    My point is, the Yankees have dealt with their injuries and inconsistently better than anybody since they still have the best record in baseball.

    No season goes smoothly.

    However, the Yankees have held up better than anybody so far this year and get little credit for it.

  4. m August 21st, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Betsy,

    I’m the opposite. I’m not sure what to make of Javy, but I’m looking forward to his outing today.

    Every day is a new day for a baseball player.

    Seriously, though. Javy is uninspiring. Is he like the most boring personality in baseball? ;)

    I just can’t warm up to him. Is he aloof?

  5. 108 stitches August 21st, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Teams get 20% of the road gate. The Yankees are the highest drawing road team in baseball. Factor that in for extra people that were seen in Cleveland and St. Pete looking for Alex to hit his 600th HR or boo him in Texas or K.C.
    The fact remains he puts asses in seats and Jeter’s new contract will be a similar business decision as he draws closer to 3,000 hits.

  6. CR9 August 21st, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    If you’re talking about injuries/absences, Grandy was “injured” all year until he and Kevin Long made his 180 degree turnaround.

    Ya see, Alex is going to be out until next weekend. Probably should have been kept out til then anyways, without playing yesterday.

    I believe all my honesty about Sox/Boston injuries brings good karma! ALEX!

  7. jesusmonterofordh August 21st, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    ‘You were probably among the crowd that wanted Joe Crede to replace Arod because he was a better “clutch player” and we had folks quoting Crede’s post-season numbers to “prove” their point.”

    you fail

    i guess you like your clean up hitter to make lots of outs and slg under 500.

    30 million for a 333 obp, 485 slg and 818 ops.

    your one of those people who believe runs and rbi are a way to judge a player.

    btw statsheads, don’t believe in clutch hitting. genius

  8. Betsy August 21st, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    SJ, that’s all true …………..

    I can’t believe Andy is close to missing 2 months……Moselely has done a fine job, but we need this guy back – for now and the post-season.

    I’d actually kind of forgotten about Marte – but that speaks to how well Logan has done.

  9. mick August 21st, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    However, the Yankees have held up better than anybody so far this year and get little credit for it.
    ============
    This is true and those who doubted will be the first to say the Yanks were a gritty, gutty squad that won their 28th championship.

  10. G. Love August 21st, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    SJ,

    They’ll never get credit for it because they don’t have a lap dog like Gammons to spin heroic epic poems about how they persevered.

    I keep seeing people say Francona and Theo should win manager and GM of the year for what they dealt with.

    That infuriates me. Theo made some of the worst signings in baseball this off season outside of Beltre. Just because a few journey man AAA filler players have provided some offense should not be a cause for awards.

    Just think about what Girardi is dealing with. Jeter is not having a good season. Arod is not the same player he was this year and is injured. Posada is struggling and often injured. His CF didn’t hit for 3/4ths of the season. His 1b didn’t hit for the 1st 2 months of the season. His #2 starter in AJ has been really bad this year. His #3 starter in Pettitte is on the DL. His #4 starter in Javy has been inconsistent and mostly bad. His 8th inning guy in Joba failed in the role. He lost Aceves early on. Cervelli and Pena don’t hit a lick and play often.

    And we have the best record in baseball.

  11. Betsy August 21st, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    M ,I like the guy personally – he seems like a good guy and I know he was well-liked when he was here the first time. I get no pleasure in criticizing him, especially since he’s doing his best……. It’s just that I guess the innings he’s pitched caught up to him, right away. What awful luck Cash has sometimes – Pavano (who he was right on) and now Javy. They can’t offer him arb because there’s a chance he takes it. Is he going to get a big deal from another, NL team? Even in the NL, you still have to have some semblance of stuff. Even if he doesn’t accept arb, would he be a type A so that the Yanks would get the picks? I don’t know how that works………….. but it seems doubtful.

  12. Joe from Long Island August 21st, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Hi from The Stadium.

    Scanning posts while sipping beer. Surprised the discussion is Alex and his contract.

    One thing George understood was that in NY it’s not just about winning, it’s also about the glamor. Players like Reggie and Arod bring glamor and not only put fannies in the seats but put people in those gift shops selling $75 polos and buying high end time on YES.

    It’s entertainment. That’s why this place is packed to see a game with one of the worst teams in baseball.

    Let’s go Yankees.

  13. mick August 21st, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    They’ll never get credit for it because they don’t have a lap dog like Gammons to spin heroic epic poems about how they persevered.
    ==========================
    Who needs or wants one?
    We are the NEW YORK YANKEES, dammit!

  14. SJ44 August 21st, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    BTW,

    No Arod, no WS last year.

    No Arod, no post-season in 2007.

    No Arod, the team is a weaker team.

    He’s been playing hurt this year and is still helping hold the best record in baseball.

    If you think his presence on the team hurts them, or he can be easily replaced, you are the functional equivelent of a baseball fool.

  15. Betsy August 21st, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Th e Red Sox are the Cubs of the AL – looked upon as an adorably underdog franchise. LOL The Sox are no underdogs; they are a very good franchise and a very good team – with lots of $$$. They are a lot more similar to the Yankees than they are different……..but it’s true. Yanks get killed for signing AJ or whomever, but Lackey has been bad and I’ve heard nothing. When Phil struggled couple of years ago, it was a HUGE deal among baseball pundits and scouting experts, but when Buchholz did? Not a peep.

  16. pat August 21st, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Rich

    I answered you in the last thread to keep it seperate from the game.

  17. mick August 21st, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Joe from Long Island August 21st, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Hi from The Stadium.
    ===================
    Hey good Doctor! Tap the RF foul pole for luck for me, if youre near it of course. :)

  18. GreenBeret7 August 21st, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    I don’t think that Rodriguez reaggrevated the calf muscle as much as he just annoyed it. The continuing silly whining about Rodriguez’ contract is beyond boring. Like Jeter and Rivera, and regardless of what you think about him, he continues to pay his own way in production and in merchandise sold….not to mention, he generates interest, whether it’s to cheer or boo him, he draws crowds. As far as “the clean home run record” goes, when he reaches 800, and he will, it will be clean. The steroids weren’t giving him 50-60 extra homers over a 3 year period. Remember, they only had him for one year and he copped to 3 years.

  19. Betsy August 21st, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    When my father and I went to the game on Tuesday, he was very disappointed that Alex wasn’t playing. For me, I didn’t mind him not in the lineup because I knew it was the best thing, but for more casual fans like my father, Alex is the guy they want to see. He’s THE guy, period.

  20. mick August 21st, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Who gives a rats ass what anybody says about the RS?
    Really, why listen if you get aggravated by it?
    It’s all entertainment and their perception of what the masses think of the “underdog” of the widely ‘Hated” Yankees.

  21. CR9 August 21st, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    I love this G. Love poster! Lap Dog!

    G. Love

    Gammons is the real Red Sox Lackey; not John. His name should be Peter Lackey!

  22. mick August 21st, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    . The steroids weren’t giving him 50-60 extra homers over a 3 year period. Remember, they only had him for one year and he copped to 3 years.
    ================================
    Who cares about steroids. Why bring the game down over it?
    Everyone was using, only the great ones reached enormous heights.
    Think about it. If they all were using and you didn’t, you fall behind.
    What player in their right mind, esp a HR hitter would put himself in a position to fail?

  23. GreenBeret7 August 21st, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    your one of those people who believe runs and rbi are a way to judge a player.

    ———————————————————————————————————————-

    Try winning a game without runs and RBI, genius.

  24. jesusmonterofordh August 21st, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    “No Arod, no WS last year.”

    agreed

    No Arod, no post-season in 2007.”

    whats that got to do with this year?

    “No Arod, the team is a weaker team.”

    depends who you replace him with.

    which arod you talking about the who hits to his career stats or the 2010 arod whose having a below average season

  25. jesusmonterofordh August 21st, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    “Try winning a game without runs and RBI, genius.”

    those are team stats.

    think 2010 arod has 97 rbi on the royals?

  26. GreenBeret7 August 21st, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    All stats are “team stats”

  27. jesusmonterofordh August 21st, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    here a question, whose been the yankees best player this year.

    hint he doesn’t lead the team in runs or rbi

  28. jesusmonterofordh August 21st, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    yea and rbi and runs are dependant on your team.

    does arod have 97 rbi in in kc

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