Archive for July, 2013
Game 107: Yankees at Dodgers • 07.31.13
Brett Gardner CF
Derek Jeter SS
Robinson Cano 2B
Alfonso Soriano LF
Vernon Wells RF
Brent Lillibridge 1B
Jayson Nix 3B
Chris Stewart C
Hiroki Kuroda P
RHP Hiroki Kuroda (10-6, 2.51)
Kuroda vs. Dodgers
Carl Crawford LF
Yasil Puig RF
Adrian Gonzalez 1B
Hanley Ramirez SS
Andre Ethier CF
A.J. Ellis C
Skip Schumaker 2B
Juan Uribe 3B
Clayton Kershaw P
LHP Clayton Kershaw (10-6, 1.96)
Kershaw vs. Yankees
TIME/TV: 10:10 p.m. ET, YES Network
WEATHER: It’s a really nice day here in L.A. A perfect day to do nothing.
UMPIRES: HP CB Bucknor, 1B Quinn Wolcott, 2B Dale Scott, 3B Bill Miller
HIRO WORSHIP (TAKE ONE): Hiroki Kuroda is undefeated in July, going 3-0 in four starts with a 0.69 ERA. With tonight’s start he will look to improve to 6-0 in 10 July starts in two seasons with the Yankees (went 2-0 in five July starts in 2012). He has allowed more than two runs just once over his last eight starts.
HIRO WORSHIP (TAKE TWO): Kuroda has made seven scoreless starts this season, tied for most in the Majors with Pittsburgh’s Jeff Locke.
HIRO WORSHIP (TAKE THREE): Kuroda has made 100 consecutive starts without making a fielding error. He last made an error on July 7, 2010 with the Dodgers against Florida.
UPDATE, 10:32 p.m.: Back-to-back singles off Clayton Kershaw by Vernon Wells and Brent Lillibridge. Yes, really.
UPDATE, 11:09 p.m.: Through three innings, Kuroda is matching Kershaw.
UPDATE, 11:32 p.m.: The Dodgers second hit of the game prompts Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It” to play here at Dodger Stadium. Andy McCullough is now singing it right next to me while Bryan Hoch begs him to stop. Seriously. That’s what I’m dealing with right now.
UPDATE, 11:59 p.m.: Kershaw and Kuroda are both just terrific. Amazing how good Kuroda’s been for two years now. And this is an awfully dangerous lineup. His challenge is certainly greater than Kershaw’s tonight.
UPDATE, 12:01 a.m.: Well that was a bad move by Gonzalez.
UPDATE, 12:21 a.m.: Kuroda was getting hit a little bit in the seventh, and the Yankees pinch hit for him here in the eighth. Melky Mesa, of all people, singled off Kershaw to put two on with two outs for the top of the order. Up to Brett Gardner now to give the Yankees a lead. Kuroda was outstanding.
According to ESPN’s T.J. Quinn, Alex Rodriguez’s representatives have entered negotiations with Major League Baseball about a possible settlement rather than face the possibility of a lifetime suspension. Quinn is not reporting that a settlement has been reached, only that the two sides are discussing the possibility.
Pregame notes: “It will happen soon enough” • 07.31.13
Alex Rodriguez is supposed to play a simulated game tomorrow. After that, he’s supposed to begin some sort of minor league rehab assignment. After that, he’s supposed to be back in the Yankees lineup, playing third base and trying to provide some right-handed power for a team that badly needs it.
Of course, USA Today is citing two different sources saying commissioner Bud Selig really is prepared to hand down a lifetime suspension within the next day or two.
“I think you have to (move forward as if he’s coming back) at this point,” Joe Girardi said. “Nothing’s been handed down, so I think you have to. We expected to have him back at this point. We don’t have him yet, but I know he’s playing in a simulated game tomorrow, and that’s a step in the right direction.”
Brian Cashman said more or less the same thing this afternoon, claiming that Rodriguez’s situation had no impact on the way he approached the trade deadline.
“We’re shooting for Friday for activation on Granderson, and hopefully Alex will be back shortly thereafter,” Cashman said.
How much the Yankees actually believe these things is hard to say. In fairness to Rodriguez — and to themselves, I suppose — they have to go through the necessary steps to get Rodriguez ready. If he does appeal a Biogenesis suspension, and the league doesn’t invoke the collective bargaining agreement, it would be legitimately possible for Rodriguez to be on the field this season.
Whether that will actually happen remains remarkably uncertain, if not unlikely, but the Yankees are preparing themselves for the possibility — however remote — that Rodriguez could be back in the lineup in a matter of days.
“I think everyone wants things to be finalized,” Girardi said. “But even when they’re finalized, they’re not really final. So, it’s a waiting game for a lot of clubs and baseball players, but it will happen soon enough.”
• In case you missed it earlier, the Yankees plan to have Curtis Granderson in the lineup on Friday. Granderson had a hit and two walks in a Double-A rehab game this afternoon. He’ll take tomorrow off to fly to San Diego.
• The plan is less clear for David Phelps, who made his second Double-A rehab start last night. He could be activated soon, or he could make one more rehab appearance. Cashman said he’s not sure what role Phelps will play — starter or reliever — when he comes back. “I would think maximum one more (minor league) outing, but I’m not saying one more outing,” Cashman said.
• Lyle Overbay is out of the lineup simply to avoid a tough left-on-left matchup. With Granderson coming back, the Yankees will have five outfielders. Is it possible either Alfonso Soriano or Vernon Wells could see some time at first as a right-handed platoon option? “I have not thought about that yet,” Girardi said. “I guess it’s something we can think about. We’ve had Vernon take some ground balls there early in the year and it’s something that I’ll think about.”
• Cashman said there’s still a chance of Kevin Youkilis rejoining the Yankees in late September. “I think that hasn’t declared itself yet, but I know he’s hopeful that’s going to happen,” Cashman said. “And I know the time frame, there’s an outside chance of it happening. I told him, ‘Hopefully we’re in a position to take advantage of welcoming you back.’ If he does get back, hopefully we’re in a position to use him.”
• During this afternoon’s post-deadline conference call, Cashman would not go into specifics about the team’s talks about Michael Young, Phil Hughes or anyone else. “I can tell you we talked to a lot of teams about a lot of players that were available, and certainly the ones that we had an interest in, that were available, we tried to match up and cut a deal, and clearly that didn’t happen,” Cashman said. “I’ll give you that general answer. It takes two teams to match up and feel comfortable with what they’re giving and getting, and we certainly threw a lot of different ideas at a lot of different teams in the national league as well as the American league on a number of concepts, but sometimes you get to show something for that effort and other times you don’t.”
• Not that it’s any sort of surprise, but Cashman said he’s more focused on the wild card than the division at this point. “You have to walk before you can run,” Cashman said. “Right now, obviously we’re closer to the wild card than the division. I didn’t say we can’t win the division, but right now if somebody says 8 1/2, I’ll say 3 1/2.”
Associated Press photos
Lillibridge at first base • 07.31.13
Brett Gardner CF
Derek Jeter SS
Robinson Cano 2B
Alfonso Soriano LF
Vernon Wells RF
Brent Lillibridge 1B
Jayson Nix 3B
Chris Stewart C
Hiroki Kuroda RHP
Cervelli going to see Dr. Andrews • 07.31.13
Francisco Cervelli is going to see Dr. James Andrews regarding lingering soreness in his throwing elbow. That appointment is set for August 5. He’s also still experiencing pain in his finger that was broken earlier this season.
“It’s looking more and more like it’s going to be unrealistic to see Cervelli (this season),” Cashman said.
Cervelli recently saw a specialist in Cleveland about the finger, and that doctor said there’s been no setback, he simply needs to continue that rehab process. But there’s still pain there, and there’s still pain in the elbow that suffered a “stress reaction” earlier this month.
“He has two complaints that aren’t resolving very well,” Cashman said.
Of course, Cervelli still has the Biogenesis situation that might make all of this a moot point.
Cashman: “It wasn’t a deep market” • 07.31.13
No real surprise here, but Brian Cashman said he had “a lot” of conversations with different teams. Some ideas gained traction, others were shot down immediately.
“It wasn’t a deep market at all, is one (reason for not making a deal),” Cashman said. “Two, what I was offering, obviously wasn’t good enough for the opposing teams. What the teams were suggesting to me, wasn’t good enough from my perspective.”
Cashman also said that Alex Rodriguez is still on schedule to play in a simulated game in Tampa tomorrow, but he wouldn’t give details of the rehab plan beyond that. He also said the Biogenesis situation had no impact on his trade deadline approach.
Curtis Granderson is expected to be activated on Friday.
Deadline passes with no trade • 07.31.13
The trade deadline has passed and the Yankees have not agreed to any deal. A Yankees sources says there is “nothing happening.” Could have been an agreement not announced or leaked by now, but that seems to be not the case. No Michael Young. No Phil Hughes deal.
Michael Young could be back in play • 07.31.13
This one has gone back and forth a few times in the past 48 hours or so.
Mark Feinsand is reporting that Michael Young would waive his no-trade clause for a trade to the Yankees. Of course, that’s after previous reports that he would agree to a trade only to the Rangers, then maybe to the Red Sox, then maybe not to the Red Sox, and even a report that he might not waive his no-trade clause for anyone.
A source just told me that the Phillies have “nothing” imminent on Young, but with the trade deadline a little more than an hour and a half away, I’d guess that situation could change in a hurry.
Oh, and by the way, former Yankees prospect Ian Kennedy is on the move again. He’s been reportedly traded to the Padres. Kennedy still has two years of arbitration remaining, which likely made him a more valuable trade commodity than Phil Hughes.
UPDATE, 3:22 p.m.: USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports that the Phillies are “skeptical” they’ll move Young. Could be a message to gain leverage and set expectation that they’re willing to hold onto Young, but I was told not long ago that there was nothing legitimately close.
Also, another former Yankee is on the move: Outfielder Justin Maxwell — who I don’t think ever actually played in the big leagues with the Yankees — is heading to the Royals from Houston.
UPDATE, 3:39 p.m.: The Orioles have reportedly improved their rotation by trading for Astros starter Bud Norris.
Shoppach available (again) • 07.31.13
It’s not a possible trade target, but Jerry Crasnick reports that catcher Kelly Choppach has opted out of his minor league deal with the Nationals and has become a free agent. Could be a veteran alternative behind the plate, but it’s worth noting two things – 1. Shoppach was released by the Mariners earlier this season and the Yankees didn’t get him then, and 2. Austin Romine has shown something with the bat lately, so the desire to upgrade might not be so desperate.
Given the Francisco Cervelli situation — setback with the hand, now facing a possible suspension — the Yankees desire for catching depth might be a little higher, but Shoppach really hasn’t hit this year, even in the minor leagues, and it’s hard to say he’d be a definite upgrade.
Is it worth trading Phil Hughes? • 07.31.13
One opposing executive’s evaluation of the Yankees at the trade deadline: “They’re in a bad spot.”
They’re in the playoff hunt, but hardly a favorite. They have young talent, but most of it’s too far from the big leagues to have maximum trade value. They have contracts they’d like to unload, but most are basically untradeable. Getting rid of their truly valuable pieces would mean punting on the season, which they aren’t going to do.
With the deadline now less than six hours away, the Yankees likely won’t be aggressive one way or the other. They won’t be blockbuster buyers or overhaul sellers. Two names that fit that sort of in between mode: Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes.
Once seen as key pieces of the future, Chamberlain and Hughes could be expendable if the Yankees could actually get something in return. Both are heading toward free agency, neither has been consistent this season, and both could be replaced by in-house options.
“Hughes (has more value) than Joba but both (are) fairly limited,” another opposing executive said. “Hughes fits as rental for clubs that don’t get a better starter.”
Chamberlain has basically become the last man in the Yankees bullpen, so it’s little surprise he’s seen as having little value. One scout called him “emotionally immature” enough to make any contending team hesitant to trade for him and put him in a significant role.
“You don’t trust the impact,” the first executive said. “(With right-handed relievers), if you don’t have the best guy, it’s not a give-away market, but it’s certainly not a good market.”
Hughes, on the other hand, is seen as having some value for the right team. But even then, the return might not be significant.
“I think there’s value in Hughes because of his age and he does have some upside,” a scout said. “If he gets out of New York and everything that goes with that, he should pitch better. … Maybe he goes somewhere, pitches well like Ian Kennedy, finds a home and decides to sign there. Could be more than a two month rental for them.”
An A.L. executive pointed out that the Yankees can get value out of Hughes without trading him. The executive said he still thinks Hughes is worth a qualifying offer this offseason. At worst, it’s a one-year overpay, but Hughes would have legitimate reason to think he might get a multi-year deal, which would net a Yankees draft pick. Hughes’ age, experience and stuff would generate legitimate free agent interest, the executive said, but maybe not as much trade interest.
“Impact in a race is hard to predict,” the executive said. “He’s hard to rely on.”
Associated Press photo