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Pregame notes: “We had to make (a move) today”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jul 06, 2014 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Alfonso Soriano

There were essentially two sets of Yankees transactions today.

Trading Vidal Nuno for Brandon McCarthy was one, and it did not really impact today’s roster. Nuno wasn’t going to pitch today anyway, neither is McCarthy, so that was basically a swap of two guys who have no immediate impact on the Yankees. The Yankees believe they’re getting a better pitcher, and the Diamondbacks are getting a cheaper one.

The second move was Bruce Billings for Alfonso Soriano. Billings is not here to start in place of Nuno, he’s here because the Yankees bullpen desperately needed a fresh long man. And to add that kind of reliever, someone had to go, and the Yankees decided Soriano was the most expendable piece.

“The taxing of our bullpen kind of forced us to make this move today, in a sense,” Joe Girardi said. “I’m not saying it wouldn’t have happened, but we decided we had to make it today.”

Soriano’s rise and fall has been well documented at this point. He was a remarkable addition late last season when he returned to New York and became a true impact hitter for about two months. This season, he broke camp as the Yankees regular designated hitter, but he began losing playing time to Ichiro Suzuki. And the less Soriano played, the worse he played. Early in the season he struggled quite a bit against right-handers, but he was still hitting for good power against lefties. When he lost those at-bats against right-handers, his numbers against lefties went down.

Considering Soriano is the only Yankees outfielder who brings typical power potential — and considering how well he played last season — there always seemed to be some hope that might get going and provide some much-needed pop, but it just never happened.

“It’s difficult because you’re not sure,” Girardi said. “Obviously with him not getting everyday at-bats this year, it was difficult. We came to spring training in a sense with five outfielders, then Beltran got hurt and he was playing every day. He never really got it going, he struggled against right-handers so Ich started getting more playing time. It’s just been tough.”

Any consideration to just playing Soriano every day for 10 days or so to see if he could get things rolling?

“That was talked about too,” Girardi said. “But his struggles against right-handers have been pretty evident. Defensively Ichiro is better. So it’s kind of a catch-22.”

Vidal Nuno• McCarthy does not have good numbers with the Diamondbacks, but he’s still just 30 years old and he’s been better recently. “McCarthy is an experienced starter that we expect to pitch well for us and give us distance,” Girardi said. “I know he’s had his struggles, but he seems to have turned it around. He has a good arm and we need him to help us.”

• Nuno was scheduled to start Monday. Obviously that won’t happen, and Girardi would not announce a starter for Monday’s game. The best guess seems to be Shane Greene, who would be on normal rest and has pitched a little better lately. Whoever it is, this could be a one-time spot start before McCarthy takes his spot in the rotation later in the week.

• Eventually, it seems likely the Yankees will add another outfielder. Zoilo Almonte might be the best bet as a left-handed power bat to get platoon starts against righties. Ichiro (who has reverse splits) could basically take the platoon at-bats against lefties. But there are other options down in Triple-A. Jose Pirela has played well, Scott Sizemore has hit lefties and Adonis Garcia just came off the disabled list.

• Here’s Girardi on when the Yankees might add a position player: “A lot of it depends on what happens with our pitching the next few days because it’s just been so taxed. We get a day where maybe we don’t have to use the bullpen a ton yesterday, but we go extra innings. We’ve had that a couple times here. In this long stretch, maybe we’ll stay with an extra guy in the bullpen.”

• Brian McCann had an MRI that came back clean. After taking batting practice on the field, McCann was added to the lineup in place of Francisco Cervelli. McCann seemed optimistic pregame before the lineup change. New lineup:

Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Carlos Beltran DH
Brian Roberts 2B
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Kelly Johnson 3B

Associated Press photos

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38 Responses to “Pregame notes: “We had to make (a move) today””

  1. bigdan22 July 6th, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Re-post:

    What I’m looking forward to here is a Greene start. I doubt he’s ready for prime time but this guy has serious stuff. 95-96 sinker. An erratic slider but when it’s on it’s swing and miss. Throws a lot a of ground balls so this could be a challenge for the infield.

    Problem now is he’s been walking too many guys. That was always his problem in the minors until last year. But this year he’s back to his old self in a way. Rothschild has been pretty good at getting the staff to cut down their walks, isn’t that right?

  2. Shame Spencer July 6th, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Regardless of AAA performance I have no desire to see Sizemore. He’s 30 with no future here. Give me the youngins.

  3. Shame Spencer July 6th, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Greene doesn’t read as a MLB starter to me. Neither did Nuno. Maybe he can be successful in the pen, shortening up his repertoire.

  4. bigdan22 July 6th, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Ok, way ahead of myself here but if Greene pitches well Monday, maybe he doesn’t get sent down. He takes Nuno’s spot and McCarthy takes Whitley’s. Whitley goes to pen and he might be a real asset there.

    That would be a three way upgrade–two rotation spots and one bullpen.

  5. bigdan22 July 6th, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    “Greene doesn’t read as a MLB starter to me. Neither did Nuno.”

    —–

    They couldn’t be more different pitchers. Nuno, to me, was never a bullpen option. Greene might be down the road but he still would need to improve his control. With him, I don’t think it’s a question of having too many pitches to control. I’m pretty sure he needs to control his FB. Without FB control, he’s not solution as a starter or a reliever.

    But in terms of pure stuff, Greene and Nuno are from different planets.

  6. exiledintampa July 6th, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    Wish Joe would just play Zelous. Johnson hasn’t done enough to get more at bats than Wheeler.

  7. Shame Spencer July 6th, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    But in terms of pure stuff, Greene and Nuno are from different planets.

    ———-

    I mean, sure, that’s true. Nuno was all finesse/smoke and mirrors. But Greene is more of a ‘failed starter’ than Betances. His stuff isn’t translating in the minors – that WHIP is ugly.

  8. rm July 6th, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Hopefully Kelly Johnson or Brian Roberts is next. The subtraction part is going OK but we still need to see some sort of addition. A power hitter or a power pitcher would be nice

  9. Hankflorida July 6th, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Shades of last year as the shuttle began with the farm players. The shuttle got us into September still fighting for the 2nd Wildcard plus Soriano helped with his bat. I still think we need a dominant pitcher to go with Tanaka to close the deal for that spot in October. McCarthy and Phelps are still number five starters on a low scoring offensive team.

  10. Shame Spencer July 6th, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    I’d probably call up Pirela and Refs right now and see what they can do at 3B and 2B. Wheeler, I suppose, stays in the OF until he cools, though I wouldn’t mind seeing Almonte get another shot.

  11. exiledintampa July 6th, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Even if we got a Hamels or Lee, unless they add a bat, it’s still a .500 team.

    AROD. Evan a diminshed AROD, woulda been a difference maker.

  12. rm July 6th, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    I hope Nuno has a good career. He could grow up to be a decent number 4/5 starter or a solid long reliever. He gave as more than we reasonably could have expected from him and I wish him well.

  13. Giuseppe Franco July 6th, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    I don’t think even Price would be enough for this team to get to the postseason unless the offense really turns things around.

    All the pitching in the world isn’t going to turn a mediocre team into a good one if they still can’t score.

  14. wanzies222 July 6th, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Greetings everyone. Hope you’re enjoying the long weekend. Find a vet and thank them for their contribution to our continued blessings in this great country of ours.

    I’ll be back in a bit.

    Steve

  15. Shame Spencer July 6th, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    I meant OF for Pirela and 3B for Wheeler lol…I’m all off after this weekend!

  16. 86w183 July 6th, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    Yanks bench is a body short today. I guess they didn’t have time to get someone up from Scranton — OR they are on the verge of acquiring someone and don’t need to complicate matters.

    Maybe Chase Whitley for Josh Willingham and they can swap uniforms during the national anthem??

  17. rm July 6th, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    Giuseppe, I agree they need to find a big hitter if they are going to the post season

  18. jlyanks85 July 6th, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    exiledintampa says:
    July 6, 2014 at 1:41 pm
    Even if we got a Hamels or Lee, unless they add a bat, it’s still a .500 team.

    AROD. Evan a diminshed AROD, woulda been a difference maker.

    The AL East is average at best this year. It’s not going to take that much more than mid-high 80s to win this division.

    If the Yankees can somehow win a few more than expected the rest of the way, they have a chance.

  19. Madrugador July 6th, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    exiledintampa July 6th, 2014 at 12:40 pm
    T-minus how long until blake comes in bemoaning the loss of Corey Black for Soriano?

    Or Dan Telling how he predicted this in his post seven weeks ago. lol

    bigdan22 July 6th, 2014 at 12:46 pm
    Well I guess better late than never.

    Of course I declared Soriano done in late May when somebody posted that he had 50 SOs and 5 BBs. I stated at the time nobody recovers from that. I believe since then, Soriano has 19 SOs and zero unintentional walks. Sometimes people just refuse to read the signs.

  20. SweetSpot July 6th, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Giuseppe Franco July 6th, 2014 at 1:45 pm
    I don’t think even Price would be enough for this team to get to the postseason unless the offense really turns things around. All the pitching in the world isn’t going to turn a mediocre team into a good one if they still can’t score.
    ____________

    Sure it can. Tanaka is 12-3 with this team that cannot score. The Yankees average 4.0 runs per game. St. Louis averages 3.6, Atlanta 3.7 . . . first and second place teams.

  21. Shame Spencer July 6th, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Marc Craig is all cranky on Twitter today lol..It’s weird how so many writers misrepresent statistical analysis.

  22. EliasInNH July 6th, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Watching Banuelos pitch for Trenton this afternoon vs. NH…he looks like a shell of his former self.

  23. Madrugador July 6th, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Hal is eating some (all?) of McCarthy’s contract and now how much of Soriano’s $19M?

    Can’t imagine he has much of an appetite to take on even more big contracts.

  24. EliasInNH July 6th, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Soriano’ s pay from the yankees is very low. The Cubs are paying him most of it I thought. Could be wrong

  25. RMS July 6th, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    Get rid of more dead weight & bring up some young guys. This team has no spark.

  26. Madrugador July 6th, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Elias
    Thanks for the first hand look at Banuelos.

    A lot of pitchers take two years to get back to form after TJ surgery. There is something about them having to learn how to pitch again after the repair has healed. I wouldn’t expect too much from Banuelos this year. Hopefully he will be a big boost after the ASB next year.

  27. Giuseppe Franco July 6th, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    SweetSpot July 6th, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Giuseppe Franco July 6th, 2014 at 1:45 pm
    I don’t think even Price would be enough for this team to get to the postseason unless the offense really turns things around. All the pitching in the world isn’t going to turn a mediocre team into a good one if they still can’t score.
    ____________

    Sure it can. Tanaka is 12-3 with this team that cannot score. The Yankees average 4.0 runs per game. St. Louis averages 3.6, Atlanta 3.7 . . . first and second place teams.

    —–

    Baloney. That strategy didn’t work last season and it hasn’t worked this season.

    The warts in the entire pitching staff are starting to get exposed because they’ve had to be almost perfect because the offense can’t score and the pen is now really showing signs of warts because they’ve been overused.

  28. Shame Spencer July 6th, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    The only reason to trade for Price is so you extend him and have your #2 in place going forward. But we need bats. And we’ll never get Price.

  29. exiledintampa July 6th, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    jlyanks85 – I understand marginal improvements and adding a #2 or #3 guy can be difference makers but, c’mon, we’ve scored one run in 18 innings off pitchers named Deduno, Thielbar, Fien, Perkins, Pino, Guerrier, Burton and Dunsing. Not a name among them. What are they gonna hit against upper tier staffs? This lineup is lost. Play guys like Wheeler who haven’t been around long enough to realize they’re lost and get a bat somewhere.

  30. 86w183 July 6th, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Yanks paying $ 5 M to Soriano, so he gets another $ 2.35 from them.

    time to go… good luck scoring some runz

    have a day

  31. jlyanks85 July 6th, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    exiledintampa says:
    July 6, 2014 at 2:01 pm
    jlyanks85 – I understand marginal improvements and adding a #2 or #3 guy can be difference makers but, c’mon, we’ve scored one run in 18 innings off pitchers named Deduno, Thielbar, Fien, Perkins, Pino, Guerrier, Burton and Dunsing. Not a name among them. What are they gonna hit against upper tier staffs? This lineup is lost. Play guys like Wheeler who haven’t been around long enough to realize they’re lost and get a bat somewhere.

    I’m not saying this team is going to become the 98 yankees overnight. Just said, it’s not going to take that much to win this division, because the blue jays and orioles are not great teams either.

    This isn’t last year where you had a legit great team in the division. Just ask the 2006 cards about barely being above .500 and winning the World Series.

  32. Yankeeclipper July 6th, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    McCarthy did not cost us much. He can fill #4 role in rotation. We still need a real #2. I see Kuroda as a #3 and Phelps is a #5. Not sure we have ability to find a #2 via trade market. Of course if Pineda can come back and stay healthy he has #2 potential. Getting McCarthy takes some pressure off of Cashman on trade front. He might be able to swing deal to pick up another decent arm. In off season I was one of the guys who felt that we should have taken look at Ervin Santana, Matt Garza and even Jimenez. Jimenez has regressed but Sanatana and Garza are solid arms. We needed to have another solid arm in the wings given questions on CC, Kuroda, Pineda and at the time Nova’s inconsistency.

    The DFA of Soriano was overdue. He was a complete liability at the plate and in the Outfield. I would be a fan of bringing up Pirela and Refsnyder to see what they can do. I think this team needs an injection of fresh blood to put life in this team. We are not going to outpower teams and the game seems to be moving back to guys who can make contact and run. Almonte does not fit since he has better stats from left side than right side. We need a RH batter. Almonte makes sense if we also jettison Ichiro and go with a platoon of Almonte in RF with another RH bat.

    As for pitching, we are set with Warren, Betances and DRob at back end of pen. We need to get Kelley untracked so he can be a 4th option at back end of pen. Thornton has looked better as of late. Huff us more or less a long man – middle man guy. We could do worse. We need to get one more arm for pen. Not sold on Miller, Whitely or Greene. We may be able to find arm in minors.

  33. Hankflorida July 6th, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    As someone who has been preaching power since last year, I can adjust my sights and see how the Bronx Banjo’s can win with pitching. Having two dominant pitchers isn’t “Spahn and Sain and two days of rain,” as this team averaging four runs a game with the playoff system of having a one out of five chance changes the whole picture of what it was before divisional playoffs and wildcards. The question is where are the Bronx Banjos going to get another dominant pitcher?

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