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


Up next: Uncertainty

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Aug 30, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

The lead is three and a half games. We know that much. We know that Baltimore and Tampa Bay are very much in the race, that the Yankees play all but six of their remaining games against the American League East, and that the first-place team in the division hasn’t changed since June 12. We know that 130 games have passed, and no team should be a mystery that deep into a season.

But also know this: The Yankees are dealing with a lot of uncertainty as they head down the stretch.

“Obviously if we could script it any different, we wouldn’t have any of our guys banged up,” Nick Swisher said. “But that’s kind of the way the season goes. It’s a long season. There are a lot of injuries. I feel like we’ve dealt with that extremely well this year. No excuses, we’ve just got to go out there and get it done.”

Trying to hold off two teams and finish off a division title, the Yankees are using lineups they’ve never tried before, leaning on rotation that’s missing three pieces, and falling back on a bullpen that could do no wrong two months ago but now seems overworked and occasionally overexposed.

It’s hard to know what comes next.

“I know what I’ve got every day,” Joe Girardi said. “It’s not like I walk in there and there are three different people I’ve never seen before every day. I know what I have.”

That’s true, but Raul Ibanez and Eric Chavez were never supposed to play in the field this much, and Steve Pearce was never supposed to be a middle-of-the-order hitter, and there are nights the lineup seems three deep, with nothing reliable beyond Derek Jeter, Nick Swisher and Robinson Cano. The rotation’s overwhelming spring training depth has been stretched to its limit, so much so that the last man to make the team out of camp is now a key starter who the Yankees can only wish they could slide back into the bullpen to alleviate some of that middle-inning uncertainty.

But as bad as things seem after losing two of three against the Blue Jays, the Yankees are still a first-place team with a chance to get big-time reinforcements in the next few weeks. Andy Pettitte and Alex Rodriguez are making legitimate progress from their broken bones, Mark Teixeira seems to think he’ll miss only a week or so with his strained calf, and Ivan Nova is supposed to throw a baseball again in the next day or two. That’s to say nothing of the bench and bullpen depth coming when rosters expand this weekend.

Yes, there’s reason for concern. And, yes, there’s reason for optimism.

But there’s no reason to think anyone knows exactly what to expect as the Yankees come down the stretch.

Associated Press photo

 
 

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66 Responses to “Up next: Uncertainty”

  1. Villa Nova-Ya August 30th, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Chad, pretty good summary of the current situation.

    yankee Trader -

    Dickerson also, has done some positive stuff up here already. And definitely would be an improvement over Jones, especially in the field. He may not be able to hit ‘em out, but Jones hasn’t done enough of that anyway.

    Do Dickerson and Montgomery have to be put on the 40-man, though, before they could be called up?

    And who gets tossed?

  2. Pauldanand August 30th, 2012 at 9:08 am

    yep…
    another climatic season ending chase for the flag.
    Argh!!!
    How come it’s never easy?

  3. Yankee Trader August 30th, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Villa-
    Attached is the current 40 man Yankee roster:

    http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com.....p?c_id=nyy

    Take your pick after adding Dickerson and Montgomery.

    Justin Thomas, Carlos Pena, Casey McGehee, Andruw Jones

  4. Yankee Trader August 30th, 2012 at 9:11 am

    *Ramiro Pena* OOps :)

  5. Villa Nova-Ya August 30th, 2012 at 9:14 am

    They won’t drop Jones.

    Unless he’s injured.

    My fear is that if they make the playoffs, Jones makes the team…

  6. Shame Spencer August 30th, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Pauldanand August 30th, 2012 at 9:08 am

    How come it’s never easy?

    ————————————

    It’s supposed to be hard! If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great!

    - Jimmy Dugan

  7. Yankee Trader August 30th, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Chad-

    Perfect summary of the Yankees season so far. Hopefully September will be a good month and the Yankees get healthy and working on all 25 cylinders.

    Have to go. As always enjoyed the morning posts. Most of us share all the same concerns as Yankee fans.

    Until later. Have a great day.

  8. blake August 30th, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Get Adams up
    get Montgomery up
    Get cervelli up
    get nunez up
    Get dickerson up
    Sit Jones on the bench

  9. Hassey August 30th, 2012 at 9:29 am

    maybe call up some of the kids form the Ugandan team?

  10. DONNYBROOK August 30th, 2012 at 9:38 am

    - NOTES ON GIRARDI’S ‘FRIDGE, FOLLOWING YESTERDAY’S GAME -

    (1) NEVER, PLAY JONES DEFENSIVELY AGAIN. – This guy is an over-the-hill Showboat. He makes a diving attempt at a blooper, and then sits on the OF grass for 45 seconds for all-to-see. He did this before in LF, on the ball he lost in the Sun. 2 strikes and your Out, in Very late August.

    (2) RE-ARRANGE THE BATTING ORDER – When was the last time you saw an opposing team Intentionally Walk your leadoff hitter, to get to the 2 and 3 hitters in your order, IN THE 4TH INNING? And it worked like a charm.

    (3) HAVE ICHIRO WORK ON HIS BUNTING. He came up 2 times with a runner on 2B and No Outs, and Failed to advance the runner both times. This can Not happen to a contact hitter with speed. In fact, this is the kinda hitter a Mgr wants at the plate in that situation inna tight game.

    (4) BURY OR FLAT-OUT CUT LOWE – He can Not pitch, OR field his position, OR throw over to 1B.

  11. blake August 30th, 2012 at 9:41 am

    (1) NEVER, PLAY JONES DEFENSIVELY AGAIN. – T

    fixed.

  12. Tackelberry August 30th, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Was it ever revealed which team claimed Scott Hairston? Guess it doesn’t matter as the Mets pulled him back anyway.

  13. blake August 30th, 2012 at 9:43 am

    http://m.nypost.com/p/sports/y.....JGW2Z40iIO

    Sherman

  14. Tackelberry August 30th, 2012 at 9:44 am

    blake August 30th, 2012 at 9:41 am
    (1) NEVER, PLAY JONES DEFENSIVELY AGAIN. – T

    fixed.

    ____________________________

    Couldn’t agree more Blake. I’ve been wondering all season why they even brought him back this year. Funny, I’ve said that on riveraveenueblues.com a few times, and strangely, they keep defending him over there.

  15. fantasygame101 August 30th, 2012 at 9:44 am

    how can you expect something from an inconsistent team?

  16. blake August 30th, 2012 at 9:46 am

    I actually agree with Sherman….yesterdays loss was primarily on CC….but that doesnt wipe aeay the other problems…..we have to believe CC eill be fine and be better next time out….and I think he will…..the other problems need to be addressed because they are much less likely to go away on their own

  17. blake August 30th, 2012 at 9:48 am

    I see why they brought Jones back…..he had a .900+ OPS vs LHP last year……but hes OPSing. 700 against them this year and is killing them defensively when he plays out there.

    You cant wait forever…..

  18. DONNYBROOK August 30th, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Yanks need to pull off a trade Before Sept 1. As for Sherman, he has been stating the obvious for a couple months now. Stale.

  19. Doc Iac August 30th, 2012 at 9:54 am

    cano needs to step up, leavin 6 runners on base is not cuttin it

  20. Uncle Ellsworth August 30th, 2012 at 9:56 am

    It don’t come easy…you know it don’t come easy…

  21. Tackelberry August 30th, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Its gut check time.. big time! Next 10 games against O’s and Rays.

  22. austinmac August 30th, 2012 at 10:04 am

    I see no reason not to call up Cervelli or Nunez, but take a look at their seasons. Not good. Nunez can run so he has value there. Cervelli can hit better than Stewart, but so can virtually anyone in organized baseball. He has thrown out(citing Randy’s stats)14% of basestealers in 20110 and 2011.

    I just don’t see any substantive improvement. Is Nunez a better option than Jones as DH? Perhaps, marginally.

    With Adams and Montgomery at least we can hope for help since they are performing and have some upside to their games.

  23. DONNYBROOK August 30th, 2012 at 10:05 am

    I just get the feeling that Cashman will pull something off to jump-start this team. Nothing on the scale of what the Dodgers have done, but something along the lines of acquiring Ichiro. More style than substance, but effective in putting some wind in the Yankee sails.

  24. blake August 30th, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Adams is 25 years old….hes OPSing near 1 against LHP…..he can play 3B…..why not?

  25. austinmac August 30th, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Cano does get a pass from most fans as he can look wonderful at times. Yet, he hasn’t hit left handers this year and his RBI total(unimportant as some think to actually produce runs) isn’t good. Now, in critical spots the other teams have been bringing in a LOOGY and he flails at everything thrown.

  26. DONNYBROOK August 30th, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Stewart continues to spiral downward. His defense is absolutely Terrible back there, which is supposedly why he was brought aboard.

  27. blake August 30th, 2012 at 10:08 am

    I just get the feeling that Cashman will pull something off to jump-start this team. Nothing on the scale of what the Dodgers have done, but something along the lines of acquiring Ichiro. More style than substance, but effective in putting some wind in the Yankee sails.”

    Only thing I can think of realistically is Soriano and while hes better than Jonesy Im not sure how much he actually helps……I cant see then doing anything big like Joe Mauer….they just wont take on the money.

  28. blake August 30th, 2012 at 10:11 am

    I dont know whats up with Cano vs LHP because hes always hit them very well…..that combined with Jones sucking and Alex and Tex out of the lineup just makes them toothless vs Lefties.

  29. Villa Nova-Ya August 30th, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Cano is definitely key.

    It is head-scratching how he’s disappeared against lefties this season. He usually hits well from both sides. (Maybe not equally well, but well.)

    He has gone back to being ineffective with RISP, which was a complaint against him a couple of seasons ago.

    And isn’t he usually better second half? Now would be a good time to really heat up!

  30. bruceb August 30th, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Yes, there’s reason for concern. And, yes, there’s reason for optimism.

    Okay, so I have to be honest, I’m a pessimist by nature, I see the cause for concern but I don’t see any real reasons for optimism.

    Yanks couldn’t sweep Cleveland but everyone else can. Yanks lost a series IN THE BRONX to a team that hadn’t won a series for over a month – and this with our ace going in the rubber game.

    The team is missing three of its regulars – ARod, Tex and Gardner. The magic has worn off with the guys who have replaced them, Ibanez, Chavez, Jones, Nix, Pearce et al. Our bullpen consists of an 8th inning man and a closer. Our starting rotation has one, maybe two question marks.

    The cavalry looks like it’s going to be late in arriving. Andy P has yet to pitch off a mound and even if ARod does make it back by mid-September, how long is it going to take him to find his swing?

    After this weekend’s series, we face a 10-game road trip to play our two main rivals and a team that would like nothing more than to see us miss the playoffs. And we all know how bad we have been on the road recently.

    These are the hard facts. Right now, I can find no cause for optimism.

    But as a fan, I always have one thing left – HOPE!

  31. DONNYBROOK August 30th, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Soriano is signed thru 2014. Unless Theo eats a Huge amt of that contract, I just don’t see him in pinstripes this week.

  32. blake August 30th, 2012 at 10:15 am

    “Soriano is signed thru 2014. Unless Theo eats a Huge amt of that contract, I just don’t see him in pinstripes this week”

    Well yea…hed have to eat almost all of it

  33. DONNYBROOK August 30th, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Pearce magic??? He had that “deer in the headlights” look outta the cleanup slot, which aint good. He may have done OK in Balt, but he is Now on the biggest stage there is, and he lost his lunch.

  34. Villa Nova-Ya August 30th, 2012 at 10:18 am

    bruceb -

    Hope springs eternal!

    :)

  35. Doc Iac August 30th, 2012 at 10:18 am

    i think the yanks will take at least 2 of 3 vs balt, they always play well at camdien yards,

    in tropicana tho, uhg…hope for 2 out 3

  36. Niblick August 30th, 2012 at 10:21 am

    The good news is that the Yankees they can’t lose today!

    However, the grim reality is that if they can’t beat Baltimore and Tampa Bay, they won’t even be in the playoffs.

  37. Villa Nova-Ya August 30th, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Ugh. Tampa Bay is going to Toronto.

    Let’s hope the Yankees gave Toronto enough of a boost so that they can get something done against the Rays….

  38. DONNYBROOK August 30th, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Cashman made a run at El Caballo just a few weeks ago. I’m sure he’s trying to convince him to OK a deal at this 11th hour.

  39. DONNYBROOK August 30th, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Cashman has been MIA for a while now. Hopefully, working the phones and not tied up legally with The Stalker.

  40. mick August 30th, 2012 at 10:30 am

    I have a feeling Cervelli will inject some life starting 9/1 and a 3rd catcher will help us.
    I think Alex will be back in TB and Tex in Balt.
    I can see Andy getting a start against TB @ home in mid-Sept. 3-4 innings as part of his rehab.
    Those last 16 games against Tor, Oak,Min and Bost at full strength could be the start of a run.

    All is not lost…

  41. Niblick August 30th, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Cashman has been too busy scaling tall buildings, tending bar while wearing clown wigs, and having multiple extra-marital affairs to actually think about his day job.

  42. mick August 30th, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Actually, we are lined up for Hughes, CC and Kuroda vs TB @ home.
    If Andy gets Freddy’s start on 9/18, he can go 3 more times after that with the home finale vs Bost on 10/3.

  43. austinmac August 30th, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Donnybrook,

    I also hope Cashman isn’t illegally tied up with the stalker.

    It seems evident he is not allowed to spend much money. I don’t see anyone who is inexpensive and truly helpful making it through waivers.

    Mauer would turn the team around. That said, it is more likely I will join the team.

  44. blake August 30th, 2012 at 10:51 am

    If Mauer could catch more Id say they should go after him….he doesnt have much power but hed be essentially like adding a prime aged Jeter to the lineup…..high average….high OBP….no significant platoon split…..etc….and hed probably hit 15 or so homers in YS……

    he just cant or doesnt catch enough to warrant that salary…..

    hed make them a lot better though……but yea there is virtually no way Hal would let Cashman add that contract.

  45. Against All Odds August 30th, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Cashman has been too busy scaling tall buildings, tending bar while wearing clown wigs,

    ————-

    Yes how dare Cashman do those things for charity….shame on him.

  46. blake August 30th, 2012 at 10:59 am

    http://riveraveblues.com/2012/.....ays-75022/

    Axisa wonders if the Angels would trade us Hunter…..Id definitely be down with that but I think the Angels will stick it out and try to grab that WC and also I bet the Giants would claim him if he were placed on waivers.

  47. DONNYBROOK August 30th, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Depends how much of Mauer’s contract Minn would eat. Absolutely NO WAY he is a $20 MILL+ player. Plus, he catches little now. To me, he is overrated And over paid. Minn is usually credited for being small market and can’t make mistakes due to that, but the Mauer contract is Horrible.

  48. DONNYBROOK August 30th, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Rumors flying around that IF the Angels miss the playoffs, Scioscia is Out and Francona In. Lotta $$$ spent this offseason by Moreno to possibly miss the Playoffs.

  49. blake August 30th, 2012 at 11:02 am

    The Yanks just have to maintain over these next 10 days….they play 7 games with Baltimore and they have to win at least 3 of them…..and they need to do the same with the Rays……they are still in first place and those teams have to catch them.

    The final 10 days or so of the Yanks schedule are pretty favorable so just weather the storm……

  50. blake August 30th, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Mauer is over paid…….hes also a lot better than Russ Martin.

  51. BrucePa August 30th, 2012 at 11:04 am

    You can expect Cashman to bring in Mauer from the Twins. He cleared waivers and needs to waive his no-trade, but the Twinkies would love to have Gary Sanchez and Manny Banuelos….

  52. trisha - true pinstriped blue August 30th, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Does anyone think that CC isn’t totally healed? He came back and had one good game and one not-so-good game. He now has gone down twice. Makes me wonder.

  53. longtimefan August 30th, 2012 at 11:13 am

    bruceb August 30th, 2012 at 10:12 am
    Yes, there’s reason for concern. And, yes, there’s reason for optimism.

    Okay, so I have to be honest, I’m a pessimist by nature, I see the cause for concern but I don’t see any real reasons for optimism.

    Yanks couldn’t sweep Cleveland but everyone else can. Yanks lost a series IN THE BRONX to a team that hadn’t won a series for over a month – and this with our ace going in the rubber game.

    The team is missing three of its regulars – ARod, Tex and Gardner. The magic has worn off with the guys who have replaced them, Ibanez, Chavez, Jones, Nix, Pearce et al. Our bullpen consists of an 8th inning man and a closer. Our starting rotation has one, maybe two question marks.

    The cavalry looks like it’s going to be late in arriving. Andy P has yet to pitch off a mound and even if ARod does make it back by mid-September, how long is it going to take him to find his swing?

    After this weekend’s series, we face a 10-game road trip to play our two main rivals and a team that would like nothing more than to see us miss the playoffs. And we all know how bad we have been on the road recently.

    These are the hard facts. Right now, I can find no cause for optimism.

    But as a fan, I always have one thing left – HOPE!

    Well said, the best assessment I’ve seen on this blog

  54. bruceb August 30th, 2012 at 11:13 am

    I thought Joe Mauer was a living legend in Minnesota? Least he was when he signed that ridiculous contract extension in 2010. Now they’re prepared to let him go? Just goes to show how quickly things change in baseball.

  55. DONNYBROOK August 30th, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Mauer has started 60 games at C. Martin = 90 games. Replacing Martin with Mauer means Stewart catching more games. NIX

  56. Captain Clutch August 30th, 2012 at 11:17 am

    The 1st order of business is to get Jones out of the outfield. Girardi is the only person on the planet who thinks it’s ok to keep playing him in the field. If the DH spot isn’t open that day then he can’t be in the lineup. It’s as simple as that.

    I would like to see Nunez DH a couple of games after the rosters expand. Everyone knows that he can’t field but he can hit. But the lineup is probably going to struggle until Tex comes back. I don’t really expect anything from Arod when he returns because I don’t think he will have enough time to get his timing back. Unfortunately the lineup is what it is. I really hope that Cashman addresses it in the off season.

  57. austinmac August 30th, 2012 at 11:24 am

    It would seem to me that Adams playing in the AFL tells us he isn’t going to be called up.

    I too thought Nunez could hit, but he sure hasn’t this year.

  58. austinmac August 30th, 2012 at 11:28 am

    If I was in charge, I would take on Mauer, pay $15 million per year and have him play right field and catch. I would give up a couple good prospects for him.

    I am not in charge. It won’t happen.

    Consider the opportunities to spend money to improve in which they haven’t shown any interest due to finances–Chapman, Cespedes, Hanley, Darvish etc. The hardest thing for we fans is going to be understanding the big, exciting additions won’t happen due to cost. Cashman has said this. No one seems to be listending in fandom.

  59. blake August 30th, 2012 at 11:31 am

    “Mauer has started 60 games at C. Martin = 90 games. Replacing Martin with Mauer means Stewart catching more games. NIX”

    nah…you’d dump stewart and make Martin the BUC

  60. blake August 30th, 2012 at 11:33 am

    “If I was in charge, I would take on Mauer, pay $15 million per year and have him play right field and catch. I would give up a couple good prospects for him.”

    problem is though that the AAV on his deal is 23 million…..if the Twins would make it 15 by kicking in some cash then yea I’d have a lot more interest. I’d catch him half the games, play him at 1B some and DH him some. You’d still probably be over paying for him but he’s a really good hitter that would get a boost from getting out of Target Field most likely……but it aint happening.

  61. blake August 30th, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Mauer is owed 138 million over 6 years after this season. If the Twins kicked him 50 million then that makes the AAV for the Yanks around 15 million and the Twins save 88 million dollars…..if they’d do that then I’d consider it depending on the prospects they demanded.

  62. DONNYBROOK August 30th, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Some of you guys wanted to trade TEX a couple months ago. Obviously, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”.

  63. Mike Ri August 30th, 2012 at 11:39 am

    I can see Mauer raking with a nice change of scenery…. Its something Cash money should look into. ! Can’t stand Martin

  64. DONNYBROOK August 30th, 2012 at 11:42 am

    You talking Swisher $$$ for Mauer. I would stick with Swish if I was gonna spend $15 Mill per. Mauer is No longer a full-time backstop, which diminishes his value appreciably. Plus, your plugging 1 more guy into the DH Slot, and Jeet and A-Rod already got dibbs on that.

  65. Bret The Hitman August 30th, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    I would rather have Mauer over Swisher. It’s not close for me because Mauer can catch 80 games per year so he has a positional advantage over Swisher and his contact rates suit this lineup. If you gave me 15 million budgeted for Swish vs. Mauer, I’d spend it on Mauer 10 x out of 10. Mauer has leadership abilities as well and Swish is a hot dog. I think Mauer’s value increases in Yankees Stadium. Picking up him would be better than Hanley Ramirez because there is actually a place to put Mauer, whereas Hanley was blocked. I really hope the Yankees can get Mauer.

  66. Don August 30th, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Jones is an embarrassment in the field. We would have been better off having Justin Maxwell or Dewayne Wise on the team instead of Jones. It was horrible watching him yesterday.


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