The LoHud Yankees Blog

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

Game 19: Yankees at Rays

Vidal NunoYANKEES (10-8)
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Derek Jeter SS
Carlos Beltran RF
Alfonso Soriano DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Yangervis Solarte 3B
Brett Gardner LF
Brian Roberts 2B
John Ryan Murphy C

LHP Vidal Nuno (0-0, 14.54)
Nuno vs. Rays

RAYS (9-9)
Sean Rodriguez LF
Ben Zobrist DH
Logan Forsythe 2B
Evan Longoria 3B
Wil Myers RF
James Loney 1B
Brandon Guyer CF
Yunel Escobar SS
Ryan Hanigan C

LHP Cesar Ramos (0-1, 7.50)
Ramos vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 1:40 p.m. ET, YES Network and MLB Network

WEATHER: One more game inside.

UMPIRES: HP Clint Fagan, 1B Rob Drake, 2B Joe West, 3B Marty Foster

CAPTAIN ON THE BASES: Derek Jeter has reached base safely in each of his 12 games this season. This matches his third-longest streak of reaching base safely to start a season (he also reached in his first 12 games of 1996). In 2007, Jeter reached base in each of his first 35 games. In 1999, he reached in his first 53 games.

STARTING AGAIN: Vidal Nuno is making his first major-league start since May 30, 2013 when the Yankees lost 3-1 against the Mets (Nuno went six inning, three hits, two runs). He is 1-1 with a 2.12 ERA in three career starts; 0-1 with a 9.82 ERA in five career relief appearances.

ON THIS DATE: Seems fitting with the Yankees about to head to Boston… On April 20, 1939 the Yankees beat Boston 2-0 on Opening Day at Fenway Park. Ailing Lou Gehrig went 0-for-4 in his final Fenway appearance. Ted Williams went 1-for-4 in his Major League debut. It was the only game to feature both players.

UPDATE, 2:24 p.m.: Check out Vidal Nuno. The guy has worked through the lineup once with absolutely no problem. He’s working fast and he’s pitching well. No Rays hits through the first three innings. Still a scoreless game.

UPDATE, 2:33 p.m.: Give credit to Brett Gardner, who didn’t stop running as he rounded second base. And give credit to Rob Thomson, who told Gardner to keep going and score on the play. The Yankees played it as if this thing could be overturned, now the question is whether the umpires are going to give Gardner the home run or the triple.

UPDATE, 2:34 p.m.: They’re only giving Gardner a double. I think that’s nonsense. Myers caught the ball off the wall and never threw it into the infield. Should be a home run, in my mind. Anyway, it’s officially an RBI double and a 1-0 Yankees lead in the fourth.

UPDATE, 2:51 p.m.: Getting the call on that Longoria swing was huge. Nuno gets a strikeout there, then a groundball out up the middle to escape trouble in the fourth inning and keep the 1-0 lead intact.

UPDATE, 3:18 p.m.: Nuno has made a pretty compelling case for another start next turn through the rotation. Meanwhile, Solarte has hit two balls awfully hard today with nothing to show for it.

UPDATE, 3:23 p.m.: Five scoreless innings on 69 pitches for Nuno. He was awfully good. Now it’s David Phelps out of the bullpen trying to keep a 1-0 lead intact.

UPDATE, 4:00 p.m.: Roberts error trying to hurry the play at second base has cost the Yankees here in the seventh. A sacrifice fly by pinch hitter Matt Joyce has tied the game at 1. Roberts was trying to turn two, but the umpire ruled that he never had control of the ball (and didn’t simply drop it on the transfer) meaning the runner at second was safe. That runner is the one who eventually scored.


Posted by:Chad Jenningson Sunday, April 20th, 2014 at 1:35 pm. InMisc with328 Comments → Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Pregame notes: “I’m so sad right now”

Ivan Nova

Although his numbers were bad, Ivan Nova said he felt any pain or discomfort until that final pitch last night. On that pitch, he felt “kind of a little pop” and began to shake his arm. He asked to stay in the game because he still believed he was perfectly fine.

Ultimately pulled from the game and sent for an MRI, the Yankees have now announced that Nova has a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. Nova will be evaluated further in New York on Monday, but obviously the initial thought is that Nova could be headed toward Tommy John surgery. No operation is set, though.

“I don’t even know what to tell you guys,” Nova said. “I’m so sad right now that I’m not going to be pitching. It hurts, but God is real big, and I know that he’s not going to forget me. I have to keep working hard and try to get back as soon as possible.”

Although the Yankees had already announced the nature of the injury, Nova said this morning that he had not yet talked to the Yankees coaching staff or medical staff about the MRI results, so he wasn’t sure about the severity. In fact, when told the Yankees announced a partial tear — Nova said he had not been told even that much — Nova seemed oddly encouraged.

“It’s not (torn) all the way?” Nova said. “So that’s not too bad, I guess. I know it’s not good, but if it’s not all the way, it’s not too bad. That’s what I think.”

That might be the optimistic way of looking at it, but a partially torn UCL actually is pretty bad news. There would seem to be some chance that Nova could rehab his way back from the injury, but after a series of Tommy John surgeries throughout baseball already this season, the immediate thought seems to be that Nova could be heading for the same fate.

“I don’t know how bad the strain is, the strain of the ligament is,” Joe Girardi said. “But usually, when you have that, eventually it leads to (surgery).”

Preston Claiborne· Girardi said he’s still not sure who will take Nova’s place in the rotation, but he did say that Vidal Nuno could show something today to put himself into consideration. Girardi didn’t rule out the idea of getting David Phelps stretched out again, and he didn’t dismiss questions about calling up a guy like Alfredo Aceves. Basically, more pitching staff changes could be coming in the next couple of days.

· For now, the Yankees made two short-term pitching moves just to get them through tonight’s game. Preston Claiborne and Bryan Mitchell have been called up. Claiborne has been pitching in relief in Triple-A, and Mitchell has been a Double-A starter. Mitchell is basically here to be an emergency mopup man. Girardi said Mitchell is not a candidate for the rotation opening.

· To make room on the roster for Claiborne and Mitchell, Nova was put on the 15-day disabled list and Matt Daley was designated for assignment. Daley said he actually has an option remaining, but he believes he’s in some sort of weird contract situation — based on service time and such — that the Yankees actually had to DFA him to send him to Triple-A. Weird stuff like that happens from time to time. Daley said he expects to end up staying with the Yankees and accepting an assignment to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. That’s what he’s hoping for, he said.

· Mark Teixeira has also been activated from the disabled list, and Scott Sizemore has been optioned to Triple-A. “We consider Dean Anna a shortstop more than the other two (Sizemore or Yangervis Solarte) and that’s why we stayed with the rotation that we have,” Girardi said. “… (Sizemore) did everything right. Obviously he has put himself back on the map.”

· Expectation for Teixeira: “Play every day and be productive,” Girardi said.

· Girardi said he’s not sure how he will handle Yangervis Solarte’s playing time now that Teixeira is activated, but he expects Solarte, Kelly Johnson and Brian Roberts to all get fairly regular playing time.

Associated Press photos


Posted by:Chad Jenningson Sunday, April 20th, 2014 at 12:44 pm. InMisc with29 Comments → Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Teixeira in lineup; Claiborne and Mitchell in pen

Looks like Ivan Nova, Matt Daley and Scott Sizemore are off the roster. Preston Claiborne, Bryan Mitchell and Mark Teixeira are added. Nova, by the way, said he felt a “pop” on his last pitch last night.

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Derek Jeter SS
Carlos Beltran RF
Alfonso Soriano DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Yangervis Solarte 3B
Brett Gardner LF
Brian Roberts 2B
John Ryan Murphy C

LHP Vidal Nuno



Posted by:Chad Jenningson Sunday, April 20th, 2014 at 10:36 am. InMisc with189 Comments → Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Nova has partially torn UCL

NovaLast night’s MRI revealed a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in Ivan Nova’s right elbow.

He will be placed on the disabled list today and further evaluated tomorrow in New York by Dr. Chris Ahmad.

Obviously not great news for Nova.


Posted by:Chad Jenningson Sunday, April 20th, 2014 at 10:10 am. InMisc with44 Comments → Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Postgame notes: “Obviously you’re really concerned”

Ivan Nova

Ivan Nova shook his right arm, and the Yankees said that was their first indication that something was physically wrong. It was Tony Pena who pointed it out from the bench — “I said, ‘Joe, check him out,’” Pena said. “I saw him right away. Just one pitch.” — and when Girardi went to the mound, Nova said his elbow hurt, but he wanted to stay in the game. There was no chance of that.

“Obviously you’re really concerned,” Girardi said. “Whenever a guy leaves a game because he feels something, you’re always concerned.”

Nova had his first really good start of the year last time out. Tonight start ended with Nova heading for an MRI machine, and the Yankees seemed to be bracing themselves for the worst. Nova’s had arm trouble in the past, including forearm and triceps issues that very easily could have been connected to the elbow. Girardi, though, said he was never worried about an injury until he saw Nova shake his arm on that final pitch.

“I just saw it on that last pitch,” Brian McCann said. “I saw him wince. That’s the only time I saw it.”

Said Girardi: “I think it was the one pitch.”

Girardi said Nova had not complained about anything physical this year, and the Yankees felt that tonight’s velocity was an indication that Nova was simply bad, not hurt.

“He had never complained; he had made every one of his starts,” Girardi said. “There was nothing that was telling me (he was hurt). You didn’t see like he was throwing 85, his fastball 85. His fastball was pretty consistent the whole night, the same speed, so it wasn’t really anything that told me. Tony saw it, and we ran out.”

Now the Yankees could be faced with the very real possibility of having to replace a starter less than three weeks into the season.

“Any time you lose a starter, it’s a big blow,” Girardi said. “Starters aren’t easy to replace. Obviously there’s concern, and we’ll know a lot more by tomorrow morning I’m sure. It’s tough to replace starters.”

Dean Anna· Girardi said the Yankees will make “more than one” move tomorrow. Activating Mark Teixeira will be one move. The other moves will surely involve the pitching staff. Josh Norris has reported that Double-A starter Bryan Mitchell will be one of the call-ups. Dan Barbarisi hears that Triple-A reliever Preston Claiborne will be another.

· Mitchell and Claiborne are on the 40-man roster, which might be the best way to explain those two as the call-up choices. Mitchell last pitched on Monday, so I assume he was simply the best suited for a potential long relief need. Claiborne has allowed a ton of baserunners in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but this really does seem to be primarily a short-term fix while the Yankees figure out what exactly they need and what exactly they have going forward.

· Either Matt Daley or Dellin Betances — Daley would be my guess — could be sent to Triple-A tomorrow after both were used for 41 pitches tonight. After the rest of the bullpen was used last night, those two were really the only fresh arms in the pen, and so the Yankees tried to get long relief work out of both of them. With two pitchers expected to be called up, it’s entirely possible one of those two will pay for tonight’s effort by giving up his roster spot.

· Dean Anna said he hadn’t pitched in a game since he was 11. “I talked to him and I said, look, I don’t want to come out and yell at you if you’re throwing too hard,” Girardi said. “I want you to lob it in there. That’s all I want you to do. Just do not hurt your arm. Just play catch. And he did a really good job of doing that.”

· Anna was actually one hit away from a scoreless eighth, but he instead has an 18.00 ERA after a two-out, two-run single. “When I do a lot of lessons back home, that’s actually how I throw,” Anna said. “Just a nice little flick in there. That kind of reminded me, when I was pitching, that’s exactly how I do it back home. It was pretty easy throwing strikes and stuff like that, but it’s not fun when I’m out there.”

· McCann said he never thought there was something physically wrong with Nova until that one pitch in the fifth inning. Obviously Nova was being knocked around, but McCann thought it was a matter of command, not a matter of diminished stuff. “It’s location,” McCann said. “He was up in the zone. His pitches were up.”

Kelly Johnson· The Yankees felt no need to wait until Nova got back to New York to do their tests. “Since we’re here so much, we have so many doctors here too,” Girardi said.

· This was the first time since September 6, 2012 against Baltimore that the Yankees allowed as many as five home runs in a game (they allowed six home runs in that Orioles game). Last time they allowed five home runs against the Rays was August 12, 2011 at Yankee Stadium. Since the start of 2011, the Rays have outhomered the Yankees head-to-head 77-48.

· Four home runs allowed was a career-high for Nova. He’d allowed three home runs in a game three times, most recently against the Angels in 2012. This snapped a streak of 26 consecutive starts in which he’d allowed no more than one home run, which was the second-longest such active streak in the American League because Anibal Sanchez’s 36 straight.

· After beating David Price on Thursday, there was actually some hope that the Yankees might get through this weekend on a good note. Now they need a win tomorrow, with a spot starter, just to salvage a series split. “You’d love to, especially going into a day off,” Girardi said. “And then you’re going into Boston for another series. You’re playing within your division. You’d love to right the ship. The good thing is tonight’s game only counts as one. Even though it was pretty lopsided and it was ugly, but it only counts as one.”

· Final word might as well go to Anna: “I wasn’t surprised (about being picked to pitch). He was like, ‘Just don’t throw too hard. Try to get it down the plate.’ So I went in there and let them hit it. It’s kind of tough. When you see me in there, it’s not a good day. We’ve got to regroup tomorrow and get back at it.”

Associated Press photos


Posted by:Chad Jenningson Sunday, April 20th, 2014 at 12:05 am. InMisc with140 Comments → Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Nova hurt as pitching staff lets another one get out of hand

Ivan Nova, Joe Girardi

Has Ivan Nova simply been bad this season, or has he been hurt? Tonight’s most recent disappointment ended with an elbow injury and the promise of further tests for Nova, who had another complete letdown in a 16-1 loss to the Rays. Nova allowed a career-high four home runs and left before getting a single out in the fifth inning. He was hit hard and hit often, ultimately charged with eight runs in four-plus innings. It was the second time this season that he allowed at least seven runs in a start. After back-to-back hits to start the fifth inning, Nova seemed to shake his pitching hand and pitching arm, and manager Joe Girardi pulled him despite having no one loose in the bullpen. The Yankees later announced that Nova was experiencing elbow soreness. Three batters after the pitching change, Wil Myers hit the Rays fifth home run of the night, which tied a Rays franchise record for the most home runs ever hit in a game at Tropicana Field. Both Myers and Ryan Hanigan went deep twice; Evan Longoria homered once. The Yankees wound up burning through both Matt Daley and Dellin Betances in long relief — just one day before the team plans to have Vidal Nuno make a spot start out of the bullpen — and finished the game with backup shortstop Dean Anna on the mound.

Associated Press photo



Posted by:Chad Jenningson Saturday, April 19th, 2014 at 10:26 pm. InMisc with181 Comments → Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Game 18: Yankees at Rays

Ivan NovaYANKEES (10-7)
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Brett Gardner LF
Carlos Beltran DH
Brian McCann C
Alfonso Soriano RF
Yangervis Solarte 3B
Kelly Johnson 1B
Brian Roberts 2B
Dean Anna 2B

RHP Ivan Nova (2-1, 5.94)
Nova vs. Rays

RAYS (8-9)
David DeJesus CF
Ben Zobrist 2B
Matt Joyce DH
Evan Longoria 3B
James Loney 1B
Wil Myers RF
Sean Rodriguez LF
Yunel Escobar SS
Ryan Hanigan C

RHP Chris Archer (1-1, 4.50)
Archer vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, YES Network

WEATHER: Been raining off and on, but there’s a roof.

UMPIRES: HP Marty Foster, 1B Clint Fagan, 2B Rob Drake, 3B Joe West

FAMILIAR FEELING: The Yankees have now started three straight seasons with a 10-7 record after 17 games.

SECURE AFTER SIX (MOSTLY): Last night was the first time this season that the Yankees lost a game when leading after six innings. They’re 10-1 in such games. They’re 0-6 when tied or trailing after six innings.

OFF AND RUNNING: Jacoby Ellsbury has eight stolen bases, tied with Elvis Andrus for the most in the American League entering today. Ellsbury and Andrus trailed Dee Gordon (10) and Eric Young (9) for the major-league lead in stolen bases.

BETTER AT HOME: In his career, Ivan Nova is 4-3 with a 2.13 ERA in eight career starts against the Rays at Yankee Stadium. Facing the Rays at Tropicana Field, though, Nova is 2-1 with a 4.56 ERA in five appearances (four starts).

UPDATE, 7:39 p.m.: Pretty uneventful through the first inning and a half, so I can only assume the rest of this game will be absurd. Ellsbury’s single and caught stealing is the most action of the game so far.

UPDATE, 7:42 p.m.: Solo homer for Wil Myers, this first of the year. It came on a 1-1 curveball.

UPDATE, 8:00 p.m.: The Rays second homer of the game is a solo shot by Ryan Hanigan, and it’s now a 2-0 game.

UPDATE, 8:06 p.m.: The Rays third homer of the game is a long one and a big one, a two-run shot by Longoria to make it 4-0 in the third inning. Not a good way to start when the Yankees need to avoid using Vidal Nuno.

UPDATE, 8:18 p.m.: Archer has faced the minimum through four innings.

UPDATE, 8:30 p.m.: And there’s another Rays homer. This is Hanigan’s second of the game, another two-run shot, and it’s now 6-0 in the fourth. Ugly.

UPDATE, 8:37 p.m.: The Yankees have their first hit since Ellsbury started the game with a single (nevermind that this second hit didn’t even leave the infield).

UPDATE, 8:42 p.m.: Yankees are on the board with Kelly Johnson’s two-out RBI double here in the fifth inning. Still a 6-1 game.

UPDATE, 8:53 p.m.: Seems to be something wrong with Nova. Just reading lips on the television, Girardi said something about “feeling” something. He either asked Nova where he’s feeling it or what he’s feeling, but it definitely looked like Nova said something about feeling something and the Yankees pulled him. Matt Daley is in now. Nova looked pretty bad (obviously).

UPDATE, 9:02 p.m.: Now Myers has his second home run of the night. It’s a three-run shot of Daley for a 10-1 Rays lead. Wonder if Daley might wear it for a while tonight and pay the price with a demotion tomorrow.

UPDATE, 9:34 p.m.: Daley just threw 41 pitches and got four outs. Here’s Betances in a game that’s well out of hand at 12-1 in the sixth.

UPDATE, 9:47 p.m.: Error by Solarte opened the door, and now Betances has walked in a run. The Yankees still have two more innings to fill, and after David Phelps and Adam Warren each pitched last night, my guess is that Betances is the last guy who can give multiple innings tonight. Daley was going to have to be the mopup man, but his 41 pitches were good for only four outs.


Posted by:Chad Jenningson Saturday, April 19th, 2014 at 7:05 pm. InMisc with588 Comments → Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Pregame notes: “There’s really nothing else for me to do”

Mark Teixeira

Joe Girardi said he wants to talk to Mark Teixeira face-to-face before making any sort of official move, but it seems clear that the Yankees plan to have their first baseman back in the lineup tomorrow. Teixeira went 2-for-4 in this morning’s extended spring training game, and that should be his final step back from a strained hamstring.

“I’ve had a lot of good work in New York and here, so there’s really nothing else for me to do,” Teixeira said.

Teixeira said he would be at Tropicana Field for tonight’s game, if only so he could talk to Girardi get an official plan for tomorrow. As far as he knows, he should be activated, and Girardi has basically said as much.

“Obviously we feel that he’s ready to go,” Girardi said. “We’ll talk about it tonight. I want to talk to him when he gets here, see how he’s feeling and then we’ll go from there.”

Teixeira hurt himself in just the fourth game of the season, but if he’s back tomorrow, he will have missed the minimum 15 days while on the disabled list. Dave Robertson is also on track to miss just 15 days. And Carlos Beltran is back in the lineup just two days after a nasty spill over the short wall here in foul territory. Could be better, obviously, but could be much worse.

“I think it’s been good for the wrist, I do,” Teixeira said. “Spring training was long and grueling and I definitely didn’t want to take 15 days off, but I take a positive in everything that happens. And that’s the positive that I’ll take from this is that my wrist got stronger.”

Matt Daley· Matt Daley got here around 2 p.m. and will be available tonight. He last pitched on Thursday, but had four days off before that. He said he actually was pushing the Triple-A team to let him go back-to-back games, which would have meant pitching last night and possibly not getting today’s call-up. “He competes really well,” Girardi said. “He has good command. He throws strikes. He attacks hitters. He threw well for us last September. He had a pretty good spring training for us, so that’s why we went and got him.”

· On the decision to DFA Cesar Cabral: “We knew we needed a pitcher today,” Girardi said. “And we’re going to need some pitching help tomorrow as well. We decided to make the move. It’s tough. You feel for the kid. He’s given you everything he’s got, and he had some command issues last night. We just got put in kind of a tough situation, so we made a move.”

· Vidal Nuno is still scheduled to start tomorrow’s game.

· Girardi said the only reliever he doesn’t expect to have available tonight is Adam Warren because of last night’s workload. Everyone else should be available, including David Phelps, who only has a bruise after last night’s comebacker.

· Brendan Ryan did not play in today’s extended spring training game because of some mild tightness in his hamstring. He instead took six simulated at-bats so that he wouldn’t have to run. Girardi said he considers it a very, very minor setback. “His hamstring was a little tight I think, but that’s probably normal,” Girardi said. “I think all guys probably go through it in spring training. We thought we’d be cautious and say, just take your at-bats and don’t run.”

· Regular day off for Derek Jeter. He wasn’t going to play tomorrow’s day game after a night game, so the Yankees decided to give him tonight off because they’re facing a right-handed starter. It’s easier to use Dean Anna in this game and save Jeter for tomorrow against a lefty.

· Relevant leading into tomorrow’s roster decision when Teixeira is activated: Scott Sizemore confirmed that he has an option remaining, meaning he could be sent down to Triple-A. Anna also has an option.

Associated Press photos


Posted by:Chad Jenningson Saturday, April 19th, 2014 at 5:59 pm. InMisc with36 Comments → Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Jeter sits vs. RHP

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Brett Gardner LF
Carlos Beltran DH
Brian McCann C
Alfonso Soriano RF
Yangervis Solarte 3B
Kelly Johnson 1B
Brian Roberts 2B
Dean Anna SS

RHP Ivan Nova



Posted by:Chad Jenningson Saturday, April 19th, 2014 at 3:43 pm. InMisc with43 Comments → Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Video: Robertson makes rehab appearance in extended spring training

Taboola Home/Section Front Player

Dave Robertson faced five batters in today’s extended spring training game. He allowed one hit, struck out one and got three groundball outs. Afterward, he declared his left groin healthy and said he fully expects to be ready on Tuesday.

Mark Teixeira went 2-for-4 with a double, a single, a walk, a strikeout and a groundball to first. As scheduled, he played seven innings in the field and also said he feels fine. His hamstring is now a non-issue and he hopes to be in the big league lineup tomorrow.

According to Joe Girardi, Brendan Ryan was also supposed to play today, but he was nowhere to be found.

The video above is Robertson talking about his outing and his expectation going forward.


Posted by:Chad Jenningson Saturday, April 19th, 2014 at 2:25 pm. InMisc with9 Comments → Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

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