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Postgame notes: Yankees optimistic about Kuroda

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jul 03, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Hiroki Kuroda

Hiroki Kuroda felt some tightness in his left hip flexor before Sunday’s start in Baltimore. The Yankees found out about it after the game and sent him back to New York for an MRI today. The MRI came back clean — there’s no tear — but the Yankees will have Kuroda skip Friday’s start as a precaution.

Joe Girardi said it’s possible he’ll start a few days later without necessarily missing a full turn through the rotation.

“We’ll just figure out when we see him Friday,” Girardi said. “If we can slot him in somewhere, we’ll slot him in.”

The Yankees have kept Ivan Nova on the roster and played with a short bench, and now it’s clear that they actually need him. Nova will start Friday in Kuroda’s place.

Ultimately, Girardi said, today’s MRI was good news. He said this is a low-concern situation.

“Because of the doctor’s report,” Girardi said. “If the MRI comes back and you see something, obviously you’re going to be concerned with a pitcher that it’s going to be a while because we worry about the arm, but the fact that it came back negative makes you feel good.”

Phil Hughes• The Yankees sound optimistic about Kuroda, and there’s was little negative to say about Phil Hughes. Through seven strong innings, Hughes looked sharp tonight. It was the ninth time this season that he’d allowed two runs or less. He’s made 16 starts, meaning he’s allowed two or less in well over half of them. “You talk about never having consecutive bad outings,” Hughes said. “So if you have a good one, you want to keep that ball going. Hopefully it’s the start of a bunch I can roll off here and we can get going.”

• Hughes has looked particularly good in these past two starts spanning 15 innings with three runs. “I feel a little bit better with my mechanics overall,” he said. “I feel like I have better direction toward home plate, attacking guys and the fastball is staying more true to both sides of the plate. That’s been the key over the last couple starts. It’s something I worked on when I had the extra days before the start against Texas. I feel like that sort of stuff is paying off.”

• The big moment for Hughes came in the fourth when he had runners at second and third with no outs. He got two strikeouts and then a ground ball to get out of trouble. “Just get outs,” Hughes said. “Strikeouts would have been nice, and I was able to get a couple consecutive there. Just to get out of that inning, I felt like it really kind of swung the momentum in our favor just to get out of that inning without letting any runs score, give our guys a chance to come back from that.”

• It’s interesting that Hughes seems to have gotten something going just when Michael Pineda was creeping closer to the end of a rehab assignment and Ivan Nova had returned as a possible rotation alternative. Hughes said there was no extra motivation because of his rotation spot possibly being in danger. “Not at all,” he said. “I want to pitch well every time I go out there, the circumstances, there’s always something going on, you know. It seems like every year there’s rumors swirling around or something’s gonna happen. I just try to ignore it as much as I can and try to go out and pitch as well as I possibly can. I feel a lot better with what I’m doing and it just so happens we have some guys coming up and stuff like that.”

Mariano Rivera, Ron Gardenhire, Justin Morneau• Ultimately, the Yankees had to go to Mariano Rivera when Preston Claiborne and Adam Warren had trouble closing out the game. Rivera got his 27th save of the season, and he did it with two pitches. “I don’t call it easy,” Rivera said. “Anything can happen. One pitch, home run. It’s not easy. Shorter one, that I’d say. We won, that’s good.”

• Also good, the Twins retirement gift of a rocking chair made with broken bats from former Twins players. Pretty awesome. Probably his best gift yet. “I can’t be picky,” Rivera said. “But these things, really thinking about it, you appreciate it. They really think. It’s great.” Rivera said he’ll put the chair in his trophy room.

• Player of the Game might have been shortstop Alberto Gonzalez who got a rare start, put the Yankees in front with a two-run double. His three RBI tied a career-high and more than doubled his RBI total for the season. He also made a terrific catch for Hughes. “Everyone knows very well what my role on this team is,” Gonzalez said. “Joe knows it. I know it. I’m always ready. I work very, very hard at every practice, at every position, and I’m always ready when the team needs me and when the manager needs me.”

• But the Player of the Road Trip is clearly Robinson Cano. Another two-hit game. Another home run. He now has 20 for the season and his batting average is back up to .295.

• This is the first time Cano’s ever had four home runs in a three-game span. He’s the first Yankees to hit four home runs in three games since Andruw Jones hit four in two games July 7-8, 2012.

• David Adams tied his career-high with two hits, getting two for the first time since June 1. It was the third time he’d ever scored two runs in a game.

• Seventeen runs is the most Yankees runs in back-to-back games since April 8-9 against Cleveland. “You want at least one guy that you can get on base for that guy,” Cano said. “But the last two games, it’s been everybody. So we scored 10 last night, seven tonight. That’s good.”

• Final word goes to Girardi: “It’s great to see because as we’ve talked about, it has to come from everybody to be successful and put together good streaks. Gonzo had a big game for us tonight. Adams had a couple of hits, got some rallies going. It was nice to see.”

Associated Press photos



31 Responses to “Postgame notes: Yankees optimistic about Kuroda”

  1. G. Love July 3rd, 2013 at 12:34 am


    By the time Cano could be in his big decline, CC, Tex and Arod should be off the payroll in theory.

    That said, more than 7 years is nuts, but the Yankees put themselves in the position to have to go where the market bears.

    I don’t want to see this team without him next year. It will be in tatters.

    I also don’t trust Cashman to get the right talent in that kind of franchise altering deal.

    Just keep him at this point. We need to have one true star player on this roster going forward. I don’t see where else they’re coming from unless we get Stanton somehow.

  2. Rich in NJ July 3rd, 2013 at 12:41 am

    G. Love

    IMO, they have to break the pattern of overspending on decline years, but yes, if they want to save money, they have to develop, and Cashman, despite his passionate defenders, hasn’t been able to do that.

    Being mediocre is the worst thing that can happen to a franchise because you don” get top picks that can lay the foundation for a big turnaround. so I would rather the team be in tatters than be that.

    Hal is insulting the fans with his fatuous comments, and bs plan.

    We can only hope that the declining attendance and ratings will be produce a rude awakening of his smugness.

    This should be the best run franchise in MLB, if not pro-sports. Right now, they are a declining shell of that.

  3. G. Love July 3rd, 2013 at 12:48 am


    No argument there. But I still have to watch the team and I want to watch players who are great.

    4 years of Nixy, Stewie & “insert Girardi’s new pet here” doesn’t interest me and won’t interest the majority of this fanbase.

    With the way young players are getting locked up, I don’t see which one’s will make it to free agency other than guys like Stanton sitting on teams they would never sign long term with.

    They have to keep Cano to keep competitive. Although it’s less of a cosmetic “keep” than the Mets giving Wright a long term extension in my opinion.

    Cano could launch 30-40 HR’s a year in our park with a high average for awhile.

    Finding that bat on the market or in the current system will prove mighty difficult.

    What’s frustrating for me is that I know Cano can put this team on his back and get us the division. He shouldn’t disappear and struggle like he has. He should be a .330 hitter with power. I think he’s on his way back there. Let’s just hope the HR derby nonsense doesn’t set him back.

  4. Rich in NJ July 3rd, 2013 at 12:53 am

    G. Love

    Don’t worry, no matter what think, they will keep him.

    And Stew. :D


  5. Rich in NJ July 3rd, 2013 at 12:53 am

    *no matter what I think*

  6. Pat M. July 3rd, 2013 at 12:55 am

    G. Love… In closing, Hughes averages 13 wins over the next 10 years ( he’d be 37 ) that puts him at 190 wins or so. It’s the lost time in 07-08 and half of 2012 that has cost him 25 wins if not more, then there’s the 2009 bullpen duty. Hughes will end up in LA or San Francisco and will become a very relaxed 15-17 game winning pitcher, with the Bronx far in his rear mirror. Which I find sad and so did he until las spring ( 2011 ) when the club couldn’t figure out that all he had was a dead arm from the jump in innings from the season before. Which was a monster jump from 2009, .I wonder who’s running the ship when it comes to pitchers in the rotation in the Bronx anymore

  7. G. Love July 3rd, 2013 at 1:09 am

    Pat M.,

    Larry is supposed to be some pitching guru, but I’m not seeing it. Guys have regressed under him and I don’t think he’s made anyone particularly better per se.

    I know a lot of it goes on the player and in Hughes case he wasn’t forthright about some injuries, but I agree that the Yankees coaches throughout the system all look a bit suspect.

    We’re far removed from the days of Stottlemeyer, Bowa and Zimmer.

    As for what’s going on in the minors, that’s on Cashman.

    As for Hughes, I agree he’ll relax in the NL or in a bigger park. I just have this weird feeling he’s going to end up on the Red Sox, Orioles, Rangers or Tigers and if he does that, the expectations from the Bronx won’t be relieved.

    I think an AL team will pay him more than an NL team. Dodgers are big game hunters all the time it seems. There might be bigger game out there for them to chase than Hughes.

  8. Pat M. July 3rd, 2013 at 1:17 am

    G.Love…..Dodgers are liking Lee and or Utley, but not both at full contract. Ethier along with some near ready higher level prospects could make this a blockbuster ,,,,Beckett is out until March, Ted Lilly is not completely healthy and the Dodgers want another Ace to back up Grenke and Kershaw… Cliff Lee

  9. Pat M. July 3rd, 2013 at 1:47 am

    Goodnight Lohudders and Good Morning to Doreen and the Breakfast Club

  10. igotid88 July 3rd, 2013 at 2:16 am

    I think the Yankees should try to keep Hughes and have him with CC as our top paid pitchers. Then have Nova, Phelps, Pineda, Nuno, and Warren fight for the last 3 spots.

  11. Nick in SF July 3rd, 2013 at 3:20 am

    Homer Bailey’s no-hitter being rebroadcast on the Giants Replay on KNBR.

    Through one inning tbe Giants have failed to record a hit.

    I think Buster Posey has a good shot to get one, though.

  12. PacoDooley July 3rd, 2013 at 6:53 am

    Regardless of what happens with Hughes, I think his performance this year warrants a qualifying offer to at least net a draft pick or a return of Hughes on a 1 year deal.

    As for Cano – the team never adapted to the changing landscape – they insisted that their policy of waiting until a player was a FA to re-sign them was viable, but the rise of revenues in other markets makes that a stupid approach. They could have signed Cano to a new deal years ago. The same can be said of Martin.

    They also need to know when to say ‘no’ – like when Alex opted out of his last deal after they insisted that that would spell an end to his time in NY

  13. LGY July 3rd, 2013 at 8:04 am

    There are only 3 active pitchers (soon to be 4) with 200 wins. There are maybe 10-12 starting pitchers in MLB over 35.

    Phil Hughes, with a career ERA of 4.66 as a starter joining that kind of short list?

    That’s easy money or Ritter bars for G Love.

  14. Shame Spencer July 3rd, 2013 at 8:08 am


    Column #Yankees thought Gardner was at least as good as Span/Bourn and may be right

  15. blake July 3rd, 2013 at 8:22 am

    We were saying that too this winter….when Gardner is Hecht he’s probably better than span and just as good as Bourn

    I think the decision on Cano largely depends on the owner and whether he will eat his decline or not. If he won’t sign an extension then Id still trade him because I don’t see this as a WS team just because they beat the awful twins twice and if he reaches free agency then he could leave any way

  16. 86w183 July 3rd, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Morning all —-

    As long as post-season play seems realistic I’m opposed to selling off talent for future benefit. Once you get to post-season anything can happen. I never view the season in context of winning it all. I think the Yanks and their fans make a mistake buying into the all or nothing mentality.

    Hughes is mystifying at times isn’t he? sometimes he looks like a 20-game winner and other times he looks lost. He’s basically AJ Burnett without the tattoos.

  17. PacoDooley July 3rd, 2013 at 8:42 am

    86w183 July 3rd, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Hughes is mystifying at times isn’t he? sometimes he looks like a 20-game winner and other times he looks lost. He’s basically AJ Burnett without the tattoos.

    He shares inconsistency with Burnett, but little else. AJ always had devastating stuff, especially his curve. He simply was too wild (and perhaps mentally soft) to have sustained success for the most part. Hughes has great control, a nice mix of pitches, but not the nasty stuff that Burnett brings. I have no idea why he becomes so hittable at times, and his flyball tendencies can lead to big innings, especially in the Bronx.

  18. pat July 3rd, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Live interview with Tex on WFAN at 9am

  19. MTU July 3rd, 2013 at 8:48 am


    Hughes is hittable at times because he doesn’t always command his FB and falls in love w it.

    His 2ndary stuff, though it has improved, still is a work in progress.

    More often than not when he gets lit up is because he is missing locations.

    When his FB deserts him his 2ndary stuff is still not good enough to carry him.

    That’s my take FWIW.

  20. 86w183 July 3rd, 2013 at 8:49 am

    He did throw a great 3-2 change up last night for a strike out. That was pretty cool to see.

  21. Yankee Trader July 3rd, 2013 at 8:49 am

    “Life [Hughes] is like a box of chocolates.” You never know what you’re going to get!

    Yankees still need a bat/bats. If these three became available and the cost was lesser prospects, which one, if any, would you want?

    Switch hitting 30 yo, basically DH with some 1B, Kendrys Morales?
    25 yo lefty 1B/ corner OF’er, Logan Morrison?
    31 yo righty 1B/corner OF’er, currently injured, Michael Morse?

    Any others rumored to be possibly available?

  22. MTU July 3rd, 2013 at 8:53 am


    Crawford is scheduled to activated in a matter of days.

    That leaves an expensive OF of kemp, cc, Ethier, and Puig.

    I’d bet they’d be willing to let one of them go.

    Most likely ethier. Kemp is having a sub-par season.

    I wonder if he could be pried away ?

  23. Yankee Trader July 3rd, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Hughes toughened up in the bottom 4th after he walked Plouffe, gave up a double to Arcia, then got the bottom of the order, Parmalee and Hicks on strikeouts and Florimon on a groundout. But then again, those three have a collctive BA around .220.

    Cashman-Do you listen to offers while he’s riding a two game winning streak?

  24. mick July 3rd, 2013 at 8:57 am

    The panic has seemed to die down with these 2 wins, even just the 1st one was a panacea.
    The “reserves” are coming and we will get a RH hitting 1B for the 2nd half.
    Not to worry…

  25. 86w183 July 3rd, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Alex Rios of the Chisox is available and Paul Kornerko can be if he wants to be.

    I think the Yanks feel they need a 14th pitcher, however and that will be their focus.

    Attn: Adam Warren — Hope you enjoyed facing a batter. SeeYa after the All-Star break.

  26. MTU July 3rd, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Got another chance to watch Puig last night.

    The Dodgers were playing the Rox, and I get the Rox feed out here.

    Puig went 3/4 for I believe w another jack.

    He made a running catch in foul territory that everyone was shaking their heads on.

    He covered and amazing amount of distance in a hurry and made it look easy.

    This is a guy who is 6′ 4″ and 245 lbs.

    I’m sure they are trying to find a batting weakness but so far he does not appear to have any holes.

    What an amazing young player he appears to be. Exciting to watch.

  27. Yankee Trader July 3rd, 2013 at 9:02 am


    I was looking at those 3, to share some 1B time, and 2 are FA’s-Morales[5.25M] and Morse[6.75M].

  28. MTU July 3rd, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Gotcha YT.

    They can use a platoon partner for Overbay.

    Just not sure who.

  29. MTU July 3rd, 2013 at 9:07 am

    New post——>

  30. 4TrainNorth July 3rd, 2013 at 9:12 am

    How many times have the Twins given the Yanks a confidence boost over the last decade or so? It’s the reason I root for them whenever they’re playing someone else. Actually, I’ve rooted for them even when they are playing the Yanks–because, heck, they deserve it.

  31. Yankee Trader July 3rd, 2013 at 9:13 am

    New Post—->

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