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


Pregame notes: “I’ve got to get back inside the ball”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jun 20, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Vernon Wells

At Yankee Stadium, there is one particular pitching machine that Vernon Wells hit against pretty often earlier in the season. He throws extremely hard, and so Wells went back there today.

“I got dominated by the machine for a little bit, then I came through,” Wells said. “That machine that I hit off of here, it throws as hard as any machine that there is, and it allows you to kind of get your swing back to being short. So that’s the goal going into the day is just get back to being as short as possible, and just worry about that and not what comes after.”

Wells said he doesn’t need to know the exact numbers to know exactly how bad he’s been. But just in case you’d like to see them, he has nine hits in his past 86 at-bats. One of those hits went for extra-bases, and he’s walked only once in that span.

The fact he’s still hitting in the middle of the order is a testament to just how incredibly thin this roster is against lefties. The alternatives are a series of left-handed hitters (Travis Hafner batting cleanup today; Lyle Overbay starting at first) or a number of young hitters who haven’t shown much (David Adams and Thomas Neal are both on the bench hitting .200 and .182 respectively).

So Wells is back in there.

“Kevin (Long) and I talked today,” Wells said. “He looked at a lot of video — and we’ve been looking at a lot of video — but he went back and looked at pretty much every swing over the course of the season and said the only difference is my hands are getting a little bit away from my body. A little bit in a swing can throw you off completely. That’s the beauty of this game. If you’re a hair off, you can be pretty bad. … We were talking today about my hand path going to the ball, and it could be getting away from my body a little bit. Get back to keeping my hands close to my body and keeping the bat in the zone. Sometimes the more you try to go to the opposite side, your hands tend to travel sometimes, and I’ve got to get back inside the ball and really emphasize that and stick with that.”

So Wells went into the cage against that hard-throwing machine and tried to keep his hands close and his path short. Just another day to try to turn around a season that has, remarkably, become the worst of his career.

“I think it was a little different the last couple of years because I didn’t have a chance with the swing I had the last couple of years,” he said. “I’ve actually had a chance, hit some balls hard, but all that matters are results. I need to get back to getting the results. If I do that, then we’ll get back to winning our share of games.”

Reid Brignac• Kevin Youkilis had back surgery today. Here’s the statement from the office of Dr. Robert Watkins: “New York Yankees’ third baseman Kevin Youkilis underwent a microscopic lumbar discectomy surgery performed by Dr. Robert Watkins at the Marina Del Rey Hospital in Los Angeles. The surgery went well. The timing of his return to baseball will depend on his progression through the rehabilitation program.”

• Travis Hafner starting against a lefty is clearly an attempt to find someone to hit in the middle of the order, but why is Reid Brignac playing ahead of David Adams? “I look at who’s pitching for us,” Joe Girardi said. “You have a guy that gets a lot of ground balls to that side, and I’m putting our best defense – what I feel out best defense is – over there. Moore is a guy that, you look at his splits, they’re pretty even so I’m having Brignac play short and Nixy play third.”

• Are Adams and Brignac still considered a platoon situation? “For the most part, yeah,” Girardi said.

• Asked whether it’s been harder to give young players regular at-bats because of the widespread offensive struggles this season, Girardi didn’t grant the premise: “I think I have played them pretty consistently,” he said. “These guys have played against all left-handers really until today, so I’m not really changing. You can look at the one change, you can look at Brignac that I put in there, and a lot of that is because of the guy on the hill for us is the reason I’m doing that. But for the most part I’ve been giving them at-bats.”

• What specifically has Girardi seen out of Wells lately? “It’s timing for the most part,” he said. “It seems like he’s pulling off balls sometimes. Chasing pitches at times. It’s a number of things.”

• Girardi said he had not heard any update on the players rehabbing down in Tampa.

• Congratulations to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre manager Dave Miley who was named International League manager for the Triple-A All-Star Game. It will be Miley’s third time managing, tying the Triple-A all-star record.

• If you’re curious, there was a Heat jersey in Robinson Cano’s locker today and a Spurs j•ersey in Shawn Kelley’s locker. I don’t dislike the Heat, but I’d really like to see Tim Duncan win another one. Loved watching him play at Wake.

Associated Press photos

 
 

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76 Responses to “Pregame notes: “I’ve got to get back inside the ball””

  1. Rich in NJ June 20th, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    “Still I look to find a reason to believe…”

    - Rod Stewart

  2. Chip June 20th, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    blake June 20th, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Ethier for Hughes is interesting if the dodgers will eat lots of money….. It all depends in that . Ethier is better than he’s played this year
    ————–

    Why would the Dodgers sweeten the pot when all they’re getting back is a crummy pitcher who can walk at the end of the season?

  3. Chip June 20th, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Ah yes, the magic of Kevin Long….

  4. blake June 20th, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    blake says:
    June 20, 2013 at 5:22 pm
    DONNYBROOK says:
    June 20, 2013 at 5:18 pm
    The Yanks boned it when they dealt for Wells. Why repeat that mistake with Ethier?

    Well I couldn’t recommend it without knowing how much money LA will eat…..but Ethier had a .945 OPS vs RHP as recently as last year…..and that was in a division with good pitching and full of hitters parks. Wells hasn’t been good in years l…..

  5. blake June 20th, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Why would the Dodgers sweeten the pot when all they’re getting back is a crummy pitcher who can walk at the end of the season?”

    Because they don’t need Ethier….because they’d save some money…..and because Hughes is better than some of heir pitchers

  6. igotid88 June 20th, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    The other problem with Wells is he’s chasing pitches way out of the strikezone

  7. igotid88 June 20th, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    CC for Kershaw
    Wells for Ethier

  8. Jeff in Canada June 20th, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Back inside the ball? You shouldn’t be at the ball, Cinder-Wells-a. The shoe fell off and it’s almost midnight…

  9. Against All Odds June 20th, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Hassey June 20th, 2013 at 5:16 pm
    Odds- believe me I’m not wishing pain on the kid. I am just shocked that, in a year where we could use him out of the rotation, the DL dice haven’t come up on his number yet, especially since he’s usually good for a stint or two every year

    —————————-

    Well if did start the yr on the DL so I guess it evens out lol.

  10. DONNYBROOK June 20th, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    Long and Wells are over complicating the problem. If Wells would simply swing Only at strikes, his BA would rise at Least 50 pts. Of course we’re talking Mendoza here, but that Is an improvement.

  11. MTU June 20th, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Ever since Wells volunteered to play 3rd for us I vowed never to say anything bad about him after that.

    At that point he was hitting and doing it all. I thought that was pretty heroic.

    That’s how I’m gonna remember him.

    ;)

  12. Doreen June 20th, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Ys Guy -

    They were definitely buyers in 2008. They traded Kyle Farnsworth for Ivan Rodriguez because of Posada’s shoulder injury.

    Then shortly after that, Joba went down. That is when things started to go sour for good.

  13. Hassey June 20th, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Surgery now done so we should see the press release any day now about Youk’s extension

  14. pkyankfan69 June 20th, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Astros up to 4 runs today… It’s going to be tough to keep pace :(

  15. Giuseppe Franco June 20th, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    Ah, yes. Wells doesn’t need Long, he needs Donnybrook!

  16. DONNYBROOK June 20th, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    If I’m Wells, I ask Chad how much coin for the negative to that picture above. Horrible.

  17. bruceb June 20th, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    What Chad failed to report was that Vernon finished the afternoon 0 for 20 against the pitching machine, which has since been DFA’d :)

  18. Against All Odds June 20th, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    he not if

  19. Jeff in Canada June 20th, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    ..and I’ll always remember Posada for playing 2nd, and crow-hopping a bullet in the dirt to Swish.

  20. pkyankfan69 June 20th, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    Jeff in Canada June 20th, 2013 at 5:50 pm
    ..and I’ll always remember Posada for playing 2nd, and crow-hopping a bullet in the dirt to Swish.
    —————————–
    That was awesome.

    If the Yankees are eliminated from the postseason with a few games left does Mariano get an inning or 2 in CF?

    That would also make for quite the special moment.

  21. tbone1570 June 20th, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    igotid88 says:
    June 20, 2013 at 5:29 pm
    CC for Kershaw
    Wells for Ethier

    ———————————

    The Dodgers would go for that, if they were smoking the same $h!t you are! ;)

  22. Jeff in Canada June 20th, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    I want to see Ichiro on the bump. I’m not sure what would be more entertaining: the look on his face, his windup, or the hundred mph chin music.

  23. pkyankfan69 June 20th, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    I’d let Mariano play a whole game in CF on the last day of the season if the Yanks were out of it and Rivera wanted to… Ticket prices would surely rise if they announced this prior to the game, I’d pay a pretty penny to be at the stadium for that.

  24. Rich in NJ June 20th, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    “Surgery now done so we should see the press release any day now about Youk’s extension”

    The subtext is that his agent works for the Yankees. Which would explain a lot.

  25. Nick in SF June 20th, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    8 innings of CF and then he closes out the game, regardless of score.

  26. tbone1570 June 20th, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    I would love to se Mariano swing the bat again!

  27. Niblick June 20th, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    Is there any other team in the majors (or anywhere in pro baseball) whose cleanup hitter has on OPS of .638 and who has done nothing for 100 AB?

    I think David Wells would be a better choice than Vernon.

  28. Nick in SF June 20th, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Wake me up when someone makes an Orson Welles joke.

  29. Rich in NJ June 20th, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Mike F.: “You didn’t know Youkilis wasn’t going to get hurt.”

    Because back injuries usually don’t recur…

    Who needs public relations when you have media who rationalize your dumb moves?

  30. Against All Odds June 20th, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    We didn’t know Youkilis would get hurt – Francesa.

  31. Rich in NJ June 20th, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Cashman’s expense account must include unlimited pizza and fries for selected media.

  32. mick June 20th, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    We didn’t know Youkilis would get hurt
    =================
    you don’t like francesa?

  33. raymagnetic June 20th, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Since he’s hitting against “the machine” maybe Mr. Reese or Harold can help him out?? :?

  34. Rich in NJ June 20th, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    I like Francesa, when he talks about anything other than baseball.

  35. Against All Odds June 20th, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    I like his show and have watched it for yrs but there are times when he says things that don’t make sense at all. I’ll never forget when he wanted to trade Cano and Hughes for McLouth.

  36. mick June 20th, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    But baseball is his favorite sport-next to football.
    But he talks baseball more.

  37. mick June 20th, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    There are times he gets sloppy but he talks so damn much , can you blame him?
    His sports IQ is much higher than the average person at LoHud.

  38. mick June 20th, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Sarah Kustock and Meredith going at each other…

  39. Rich in NJ June 20th, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    He is too biased about baseball and it clouds his objectivity.

  40. mick June 20th, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    I’ll never forget when he wanted to trade Cano and Hughes for McLouth.
    ================
    Right now he couldn’t get McClouth for Hughes.

  41. mick June 20th, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    How is he biased?

  42. trisha - true pinstriped blue June 20th, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Okay, this is the way it is. As long as Wells is in the lineup, someone’s gotta be there to believe in him.

    C’est moi.

  43. comnsnse June 20th, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Fat Mike has game when he speaks about hoops, football and horses!

    And with apologies to Nicky boy ,culinary delights. He does know food! ;)

  44. mick June 20th, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    In fact, Mclouth would help right now.

  45. mick June 20th, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    He does know food!
    =============
    He eats food.

  46. butterball June 20th, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    Chad, a Wake fan? Well, I guess you can post all the videos you want.

  47. Rich in NJ June 20th, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    He is too close to Yankee management, accepting their BS as fact rather than for the butt covering that it is, and he overrates the value of pitching, particularly relievers, just like Yankee management.

  48. comnsnse June 20th, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    Trish, you should be wearing chaplain’s crosses, or at least a “candy striper” outfit! ;)

  49. mick June 20th, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    our relievers have done a great job, how are they overrated?

  50. Rich in NJ June 20th, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    No, the value of a reliever v. a starter.

  51. mick June 20th, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    in this blimpie commersh , what doe s the guy dumping his saaandwich mean when he says his new sandwich has experience?

  52. comnsnse June 20th, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    Mick, anybody would help right now who are better than what we have.

    Meanwhile back at the ranch, this ragtag bunch is only 3 games out!

    Go figure!

  53. mick June 20th, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    some guy calls in dumping on lebron for turning the ball over at the end and mike was all over him.

  54. comnsnse June 20th, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    Rich, if the chubby one is shilling for the Yanks, how about the “Shill Squads” in the booths?

    The team feeds no pun intended) Slim the goods and he is able to tell his bosses how inside he is!

  55. yankeefeminista June 20th, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    Tampa Yankees ?@TampaYankees 7m
    Tonight’s starting line-ups!! http://instagram.com/p/azClCrnByJ/

    Pineda pitches in a half hour. (Feliz playing 3B, Pruf.)

  56. mick June 20th, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    meredith showing a lot of arm tonite.

  57. trisha - true pinstriped blue June 20th, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    :D

    I think I was put on earth to minister to the cold, the tired, the hurting, and the baseball pariah du jour, semaine, mois, ou annee.

  58. mick June 20th, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    Mike was commenting on how bad the lineup is. the worst he has ever seen.

  59. Against All Odds June 20th, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    mick June 20th, 2013 at 6:32 pm
    meredith showing a lot of arm tonite.

    —————

    Do you have a thing for her?

  60. mick June 20th, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    trish on the peyote again?

  61. mick June 20th, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    do you?

  62. mick June 20th, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    Nova getting a start this Sunday should be a good wakeup call for Hughes.

  63. Against All Odds June 20th, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    Rich in NJ June 20th, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    —————-

    To be fair in 09 when they had a bad stretch against the Sox, Mets, Fla, Nats, and lost the first game to the Braves he was killing the FO that day. He wanted Cash fired before the day was over.

  64. Against All Odds June 20th, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    mick June 20th, 2013 at 6:35 pm
    do you?

    ————–

    I don’t mention her every time she’s on tv or question her tweet activity.

  65. mick June 20th, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Mike is not a shill.
    Now K is another story….tho he says he’s not muzzled.

  66. mick June 20th, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    I don’t mention her every time she’s on tv or question her tweet activity.
    =====================
    neither do I.

  67. mick June 20th, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    aao
    =======
    are you phil noto?

  68. Against All Odds June 20th, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    neither do I.

    —————–

    http://25.media.tumblr.com/17b.....o1_400.gif

  69. mick June 20th, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    is that how you picture me?

  70. mick June 20th, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    phil?

  71. Against All Odds June 20th, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    No

  72. pkyankfan69 June 20th, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    Best picture of MM:

    http://coedbc.files.wordpress......hoto-1.jpg

  73. trisha - true pinstriped blue June 20th, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    “trish on the peyote again?”

    My post at 6:32 was a response to comnsnse’s post at 6:27, which was a response to my post at 6:25.

    However there are likely people here who would suggest either I’ve never been off it, or that I have to be on it to have posted what I did at 6:25.

    :)

  74. trisha - true pinstriped blue June 20th, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Pre-emptory ’til I can make the game.

    GO YANKS!!! GO ANDY!!! GO TIGRES!!!

  75. Niblick June 20th, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    Go where?

  76. 4 NYY June 20th, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    Let’s face it folks, we got a bad offense. Old, hurt, running out of gas.

    Pitching is also showing signs of not doing as well as earlier.

    Without major changes, we go nowhere in the 2nd. half.

    I still don’t think they’ll sign Cano and hope they at least will trade him with several others.

    Long road ahead, new team in 2-3 yrs. IMO

    My pick of 89 wins are gonna be hard to come by.


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