The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


Archive for the ‘Misc’

Postgame notes: “We’re going to get all the way through this”08.21.14

Carlos Beltran, Brandon McCarthy

Having gone nearly two weeks without scoring more than four runs in a game, a group of Yankees hitters gathered this morning for an “enough is enough” meeting. Brett Gardner said they “cleared the air” a little bit. Chase Headley said a few players talked about playing with more energy and emotion.

“Play the way that we’re capable of playing,” Headley said. “We understand that we’re a lot better offensively than we’ve shown. That was kind of the point, to come out with a little bit of fire and hopefully put some runs on the board.”

Brandon McCarthyThe Yankees showed exactly that kind of fire during a three-run spurt in the second inning, but the reason they won this game and avoided a sweep rested almost entirely on Brandon McCarthy. Maybe the offense is ready to do something big and turn itself around, but for at least one more day, the pitching did the bulk of the heavy lifting.

This was McCarthy’s ninth career complete game and fourth career shutout. He hadn’t thrown one in more than a year, and he wasn’t sure he’d be able to throw one today. Even though it doesn’t show in the scorebook, McCarthy said he started to fatigue in the fifth inning and felt “wobbly” through the middle of the game.

Whatever McCarthy was feeling, apparently Francisco Cervelli would have none of it.

“He was angry with me,” McCarthy said. “He was like, ‘Your stuff’s so good, let’s go. We’re going to get all the way through this.’ From early on in the game, he was on me. He was just making sure I knew what we were doing, what the plan was, making sure that I continue to execute it. And then when I was lulling a little bit, he made sure to stay on top of me. He was yelling at me more than anything, which was that nice little kick in the a** that I needed.”

A three-run game when the Yankees again had just one hit with runners in scoring position wasn’t exactly the offensive explosion they wanted, but this was absolutely the win they needed. An early lead, a quick and dominant performance by McCarthy, and the team’s third victory since August 8.

In the clubhouse afterward, Ice Cube’s early-90s anthem “It Was a Good Day” blared from the speaker that sits between Cervelli’s and David Huff’s lockers. Maybe it wasn’t a perfect day — not a big offensive day — but McCarthy made sure it was still a good day.

“What we’ve been doing hasn’t been working,” Brett Gardner said. “So hopefully we can take this momentum, carry it over into the weekend and play some better baseball. … It was a good talk (during the pregame meeting) and hopefully we continue to do what we did today – and that’s win.”

Martin Prado, Jose Altuve• Headley and Gardner each indicated that the pregame meeting wasn’t necessarily called by anyone in particular — at least, not that they were willing to identify — but Gardner said there “might have been” some coaches involved in the conversation. “Just some of the position players got together and said enough is enough, and let’s go,” Headley said. “… It was just, let’s get on the same page and let’s go. I know everybody wants to win, everybody’s working, everybody’s doing the right things. You need that little extra sometimes and I think sometimes those little discussions – I don’t know if you’d really call it a meeting – but getting those guys together and getting guys on the same page can go a long ways.”

• Pretty funny quote from Gardner when asked what he meant when he said the team “cleared the air” during the meeting. “I just told Derek how much I didn’t like him,” Gardner said. Pretty good line.

• But seriously, did the offense need a meeting like that? “I don’t think it ever hurts,” Gardner said. “At this point, we’re trying to mix things up a little bit. … A lot of guys talked. It was good. Hopefully a game like today kind of gets us going a little bit and we can carry that momentum over into the weekend.”

• It was Headley who first mentioned the meeting, and while he didn’t really seem embarrassed to have spilled the beans, he seemed intent on creating the proper impression of what it meant and what it was about. “It was just guys getting together and kind of talking about how things have been going and what we can get better at,” Headley said. “It’s not a matter of trying harder. I promise you, there’s not a lack of effort in here.”

• Speaking of Headley, he had the only RISP hit of the game to drive in two of the Yankees three runs with a second-inning double. Two RBI were his most in a game since July 18 with San Diego.

• McCarthy was 3-10 with a 5.01 ERA in Arizona. With the Yankees, he’s 5-2 with a 1.90, the lowest ERA of any Yankees pitcher who’s made at least one start this season. “I think my pitch mix is better now,” McCarthy said. “The cutter and the four-seam have become pitches I can use as weapons again. In turn, that just starts to build confidence. Kind of becomes a self-fulfilling thing. In Arizona, I’m not getting out of jams and not performing well. That starts to roll (the wrong way). Here I feel confident again. I feel like I’m able to get through situations I wasn’t there. Then you start to believe you can. It’s just kind of the story of the season, riding those ups and downs. In the future I’d like to mitigate that a little better, make sure you don’t get too high, too low.”

Francisco Cervelli, Brandon McCarthy• Biggest jam of the game was the seventh inning when McCarthy allowed a one-out ground-rule double that put runners at second and third. That was one of the moments when Cervelli got on McCarthy and made sure he was on top of his game. “I didn’t want to give any runs,” Cervelli said. “So I kind of feel like we can strike the next guy out and work with the next one, and that’s what he did. Just tried to give him a little push and that’s it. But he was so great.”

• McCarthy described Cervelli’s between-inning conversations as “yelling.” How often does Cervelli have that sort of interaction with a pitcher? “It depends on the situation,” Cervelli said. “Just trying to make him believe that he was so good today, and I wanted it for the whole game, just to let the bullpen breathe a little bit too.”

• More from McCarthy on the role of Cervelli in getting him through nine innings. “In the dugout it’s just a stern, ‘Hey lets go. You stay with me. Let’s go we’re going to get through this.’ Even after the seventh where I’m fighting through that inning and getting out of a jam, you feel like you’ve left everything there, he’s like ‘C’mon, we’re going to go back out for the eighth. We’ve got more in us. We’re going to keep going.’ And that’s a great thing to have when you feel like you’re fatiguing, and it’s someone else who says, ‘Let’s go, you’re going to come with me.’”

• Girardi had Dave Robertson up in the ninth inning and said he was going batter to batter with McCarthy. If a runner got on, Robertson was coming in to finish it off, but McCarthy retired the last eight batters he faced.

• Funny how, as he’s continued to play so well, Gardner has become a go-to source for big picture comments in the clubhouse. With that in mind, we’ll give the final word to Gardner: “It was nice to have a quick game and a win. Obviously we would have liked to score more than three runs, but at this point we’ll take a win any way we can get it. It’s good to get back on the right track and hopefully have a good weekend against the White Sox.”

Associated Press photos

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McCarthy’s gem lifts Yankees to much-needed win08.21.14

Brandon McCarthy

Brandon McCarthy made 17 starts for the Diamondbacks this season and won just three of them. He’s made eight starts for the Yankees, and this afternoon was his fifth win. Easily the Yankees most significant trade acquisition, McCarthy has been terrific, and today’s masterpiece was his finest hour so far. McCarthy struck out eight, scattered four hits and pitched his first complete game of the year in a 3-0 Yankees win that let the team avoid an embarrassing sweep against the Astros. All of the Yankees offense came in a three-hit burst in the second inning. Mark Teixeira, Martin Prado and Chase Headley started the inning with a single and a pair of doubles, and when Ichiro Suzuki added a sacrifice fly to left field, the Yankees were in front 3-0. That was plenty for McCarthy, who had two runners on in the fourth inning and again in the seventh inning, but got out of each jam. Every other inning, the side went down in order.

Associated Press photo

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Game 125: Yankees vs. Astros08.21.14

Brandon McCarthy, Joe GirardiYANKEES (63-61)
Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Martin Prado 2B
Chase Headley 3B
Francisco Cervelli C
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Zelous Wheeler DH

RHP Brandon McCarthy (4-2, 2.30)
McCarthy vs. Astros

ASTROS (54-73)
Robbie Grossman LF
Jose Altuve 2B
Chris Carter DH
Dexter Fowler CF
Marc Krauss RF
Jon Singleton 1B
Carlos Corporan C
Matt Dominguez 3B
Marwin Gonzalez SS

LHP Dallas Keuchel (10-8, 3.11)
Keuchel vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 1:05 p.m., YES Network and MLB Network

WEATHER: Clouds have pretty much scattered.

UMPIRES: HP Jordan Baker, 1B Jerry Meals, 2B Paul Emmel, 3B Chris Conroy

FIVE RUNS: Derek Jeter has 1,914 career runs scored. With five more, he’ll tie Alex Rodriguez for the ninth-most runs in baseball history. Of course, to do that today, the Yankees would have to as a team score at least five runs. That hasn’t happened in nearly two weeks!

KEEP IT CLOSE: Hasn’t meant much lately, but the Yankees still have the Majors’ best record in games decided by two runs or less. They’re 40-27 in such games. They have the third-best record in the American League in one-run games.

ON THIS DATE: On August 21 of last year, Ichiro Suzuki collected his 4,000th career hit (1,278 in Japan, 2,722 in Major League Baseball) with a first-inning single off R.A. Dickey at Yankee Stadium. … It was one August 21, 1988 that the Yankees dedicated plaques to Billy Dickey and Yogi Berra.

UPDATE, 1:26 p.m.: Well, Brandon McCarthy isn’t messing around so far. Six up. Six down. Three strikeouts.

UPDATE, 1:29 p.m.: Yankees in business with runners at second and third and no outs.

UPDATE, 1:30 p.m.: And Chase Headley cashes in with a two-run double. Yankees up 2-0.

UPDATE, 2:25 p.m.: That burst of second-inning offense — three straight hits and a sac fly — is so far all of the scoring for the Yankees, but right now that’s just fine because McCarthy is dealing through five innings. He’s into the sixth inning having still thrown fewer than 65 pitches.

UPDATE, 2:29 p.m.: McCarthy through six scoreless on 70 pitches.

UPDATE, 2:39 p.m.: First two Yankees reach in the sixth, and of course they’re left stranded.

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Pregame notes: “Obviously we’re judged on the results”08.21.14

Joe Girardi

Just an observation: Joe Girardi no longer seems upset or disappointed when he hears questions about whether the Yankees offense is ever going to get any better this season. Girardi still strongly backs his team, shows nothing but confidence in them, but it’s as if every answer comes with an unspoken line: “But I can understand why you’re asking.”

Most of today’s pregame press conference was all about whether the Yankees really are good enough to make a playoff run in these final five weeks or so.

Does Girardi ever think that his team just might not be good enough?

“No, I don’t, because I know how hard it is to play this game,” he said. “Obviously we’re judged on the results. I look at the effort. And I know the results are very important because, if the effort is not there, there is no chance of having results. The effort is there everyday. I talked about it yesterday. We (had) seven or eight guys hitting early trying to figure this out and get going, so I will be optimistic as long as they continue to prepare correctly and they work hard.”

To which Michael Kay made this point: If they’re prepared, and they’re focused, and they’re approaching everything the right way, is there a chance they just aren’t good enough?

“I don’t believe that,” Girardi said.

So what do you do?

“You keep running guys out there and believe it’s going to change,” Girardi said. “Eventually it’s going to be right and it’s going to be consistent over a long period.”

At this point, the Yankees are far enough behind teams that they’re going to need some help along the way. They can’t simply sweep three games against Detroit next week and climb into the wild card lead. It’s not a comfortable position, but the Yankees — Girardi included — seem well aware that they put themselves in this spot.

“It becomes a concern when you get down to the last three, four weeks of the season,” Girardi said. “But it’s a concern now. But my bigger concern is us, not the other teams. Because if we don’t win, it doesn’t matter what the other teams do in front of us. My focus is still our club, and if we play really good baseball down the stretch, we have a shot.”

Zelous Wheeler• Zelous Wheeler is up and Chase Whitley has been optioned to Triple-A. Without Carlos Beltran for a few days, the Yankees were going to be down to a two-man bench, so they added Whitley who can play some infield and outfield. The Yankees also face a left-handed pitcher today, and lefties on Friday and Sunday. So a right-handed bat is a solid fit. “With Carlos being an uncertainty for a day or two, we felt that we could use the extra bat,” Girardi said.

• The Yankees had been carrying eight relievers since the trade deadline, so this basically puts their roster back to the typical alignment. Whitley will likely go down until September, and then return when rosters expand. I don’t think he’ll even burn an option. Pretty sure a player has to stay down for 20 days to burn one.

• Beltran said yesterday that he hopes to play on Friday. Girardi made that sound like a real long shot. “I think you’ll start to have a pretty good idea by Saturday where we’re headed with this, if we can get him back fairly quickly,” Girardi said.

• Masahiro Tanaka is scheduled to face hitters on Saturday. Should be a live batting practice session (or perhaps a sim game, which is more or less the same thing). “Our plan is that it will probably be here, but we’ve got figure out who to face,” Girardi said.

• The plan for David Phelps? “Until he starts throwing bullpens, I’m not ready to put a timetable out,” Girardi said. “Obviously we felt we could get him back much quicker (making him a reliever). You don’t need to build him up nearly as much. Right now I believe he’s going to play catch again today. I’ve got to talk to Stevie to see when the first time he has him off a mound and then you’ll have a better idea.”

Associated Press photos

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Wheeler at DH; Prado batting fifth08.21.14

Zelous Wheeler has been called up. Chase Whitley optioned to Triple-A to make room.

Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Martin Prado 2B
Chase Headley 3B
Francisco Cervelli C
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Zelous Wheeler DH

RHP Brandon McCarthy

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Postgame notes: “If we don’t play better, we can’t get there”08.21.14

Jacoby Ellsbury

For the second night in a row, the Yankees bullpen let a perfectly winable game slip away. And for the second night in a row, Joe Girardi made it clear that he’s not blaming the bullpen for his team’s fading playoff chances.

“We’ve got to find a way to score more than two runs,” Girardi said. “It’s hard to win when you only score two runs. Our pitching has been pretty good, but that’s a tall task. … If we don’t play better, we can’t get there.”

At this point, it seems foolish to even discuss the division. Maybe the Yankees can reel off a bunch of wins in a row and make it worth discussing again, but right now the Yankees are 9.5 games behind the Orioles. That’s way too much ground to even think about for a team that’s lost seven of its past nine games. Even the second wild card is awfully far away at this point, with the Yankees a full five games out, having to pass four teams to get there.

“We’re not where we want to be at, but we’ve still got 38 games,” Brett Gardner said. “You can make up five games in a week, and we still got five weeks left, five and a half weeks left. We’ve got time to make it up, we’ve just got to play better. That’s it.”

That’s it. Sure. That’s it. But that’s been “it” for several months now, and it just hasn’t changed. The Yankees lineup is basically set. These are the guys they’ve brought in to do the job — and aside from Carlos Beltran, and occasionally Mark Teixeira — the lineup has actually been pretty healthy. It just hasn’t been able to score with any sort of consistency.

Shuffle the lineup, maybe?

“Gardner’s been pretty good in the 1-slot,” Girardi said. “Ellsbury’s done a pretty good job in the 3slot — we’ve been forced to (hit him there) because of some of the things that have happened physically here. And you can think about putting him 1, but then where do you put Gardner? Then where do you put Jeter? Those three guys have been our most consistent hitters all year, and you definitely don’t want to lefties back to back.

“… These guys, they work at it every day. They work at getting better every day, and it’s just not happening.”

BeltranCarlos Beltran got his third cortisone shot of the year in his right elbow. I honestly didn’t think guys were allowed to get more than two in a year, but apparently I was wrong. He said the soreness yesterday wasn’t nearly as bad as when he initially felt the bone spur, but it was worse than it had been since he came off the disabled list.

“I’ve been feeling pain once in a while,” Beltran said. “But what I was feeling yesterday was very sharp. I just felt that, talking to the doctor, it probably could be that the previous cortisone (shots) probably are wearing out. It is what it is.”

Beltran said he knows he won’t play tomorrow, but he does want to swing a bat tomorrow. He believes, and hopes, that he could be back in the lineup on Friday. Girardi called him day-to-day. Beltran said it never bothered him in the field, only when he was hitting.

“(The doctor) didn’t recommend any tests,” Beltran said. “He said that the issue is there, so at the end of the year, I have to address it and get the surgery to get it over with. Right now, I’m just trying to finish the season.”

Ichiro Suzuki• One more quick injury update: Girardi announced postgame that David Phelps will come back as a starter. The team apparently prefers to get him back quicker rather than waiting for him to be stretched out as a starter.

• Speaking of the bullpen: Dellin Betances was not available tonight, but Girardi felt like he could use Shawn Kelley for one inning and Dave Robertson for one inning if it was a save situation. He was saving those two for the eighth and the ninth. Esmil Rogers came into the game when he did, basically, because Girardi chose Rogers over Adam Warren.

• Why Rogers? I would say mostly because Warren has struggled lately, but also… “Rogers has thrown the ball really well for us so I was going to go for him,” Girardi said.

• It’s worth noting that David Huff actually retired the one lefty he faced. He stayed in to face a right-hander, and that that guy who got a hit off him. After that, Rogers let the Astros take the lead by allowing four straight singles on just six pitches. It happened very quickly.

• Immediately before the Stephen Drew home run in the fourth, Chase Headley was caught stealing. It wasn’t a hit-and-run, just a green light gone wrong. “I gave him the green light in that situation,” Girardi said. “And we have an understanding, ‘If you feel (like you can make it), take a pitch (and run).’ He’s not going to run crazy, he’s not going to run all the time. He picked the right pitch to go and got thrown out.”

• The other Yankees run came on a two-out bunt by Jacoby Ellsbury, who was bunting on his own in that situation. Girardi did not call for a squeeze. Ichiro Suzuki was at third and took off as soon as the bunt was laid down the third-base line. It really was an awfully good bunt.

• The Yankees stole four bases tonight, tying their season-high. They’d done it twice before this season, each time against Toronto.

Michael Pineda• One bright spot: Michael Pineda. In his second game off the disabled list, Pineda allowed just one run through six innings, but he was ultimately charged with two runs after he put the leadoff man on in the seventh. “He was pretty good,” Girardi said. “I thought he got a little tired at the end. But that’s to be expected. We pushed him a little bit but I thought he gave us a really good performance.”

• Pineda said he felt strong and still had energy at the end, but acknowledged it’s never his call whether to stay in or come out of a game. He’d thrown 89 pitches. Last time out, he threw 67. “Being off for so long, it’s one of those things,” Brian McCann said. “He was cruising. So I thought it looked great.”

• Might have noticed Pineda moving around a bunch on the mound, including some motions that looked as if he was stretching out his arm. Pineda said those movements were just his normal quirks during a game, and we have seen a lot of that from him. He said his shoulder felt fine.

• McCann on Pineda: “Fastball in and out. When he’s got his slider down for strikes, mixing a changeup in there every once in while, he creates such a tough angle to square things up. … (His changeup) almost acts like a split to be honest with you. He throws it 88 to 90, and it’s got good tilt on it. It’s got really good action, and if he’s on the bump for a little bit, it can be a really really good pitch.”

• Final word to Gardner: “We gave Jacoby a chance to tie it up, he’s one of our best hitters, and Jeter and I were able to get on with two outs and give him a chance. It’s obviously tough down three runs in the ninth inning, but we did make it interesting. It’s good to see that we kept fighting, and obviously every lost is a tough loss. This is tough we had a lead and gave it up. Got to move past it and come out and win tomorrow.”

Associated Press photos

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Yankees one away from being swept by Astros08.20.14

Michael Pineda

With their top relievers overworked, the Yankees leaned on secondary pitchers tonight, and that cost them in a 5-2 loss to the Astros. The Yankees are now five games out of the second wild card, they’ve lost seven of their past nine games, and they’re a loss away from being swept at home by the team with the second-worst record in the American League. Starter Michael Pineda retired the first nine batters he faced and allowed just one run through the first six innings. But he was pulled after a leadoff walk in the seventh, having reached 89 pitches — he threw 67 last time — and that put a one-run lead in the hands of a depleted Yankees bullpen was depleted. Go-to relievers David Robertson, Dellin Betances and Shawn Kelley had each pitched three of the past four days, and Adam Warren has struggled lately, so manager Joe Girardi went to his B-team relievers. David Huff retired the one lefty he faced, then gave up a hit to a right-hander. Esmil Rogers was next in the game, and the trade deadline acquisition promptly allowed four straight singles on just six pitches. The Astros climbed ahead 5-2 and a chorus of boos filled Yankee Stadium. A two-out double had given the Astros a brief lead in the fourth inning, but the Yankees responded immediately with Stephen Drew’s first Yankees home run in the bottom of the inning. It was his fourth hit in his past eight games. The Yankees then took their initial lead on a two-out squeeze bunt by Jacoby Ellsbury in the fifth.

Associated Press photo

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Game 124: Yankees vs. Astros08.20.14

Michael PinedaYANKEES (63-60)
Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter DH
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Chase Headley 3B
Stephen Drew SS
Martin Prado 2B
Ichiro Suzuki RF

RHP Michael Pineda (2-2, 1.82)
Pineda vs. Astros

ASTROS (53-73)
Robbie Grossman RF
Jose Altuve 2B
Chris Carter DH
Dexter Fowler CF
Jason Castro C
Jon Singleton 1B
Marwin Gonzalez SS
Matt Dominguez 3B
Jake Marisnick LF

RHP Scott Feldman (6-9, 4.45)
Feldman vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 7:05 p.m., YES Network

WEATHER: Not a cloud in the sky.

UMPIRES: HP Chris Conroy, 1B Jordan Baker, 2B Jerry Meals, 3B Paul Emmel

CATCHING UP: Brian McCann has 14 home runs this season. He?is the 13th catcher in Yankees franchise history (minimum 50 percent of games in a season at catcher) to hit as many home runs in a single season.?Yogi Berra is the all-time franchise leader with 13 such seasons.

GOING DEEP: The Yankees have hit 30 home runs since the All-Star break, third-most in the American League and sixth-most in the Majors in that span.

ON THIS DATE: On August 20, 1938, Lou Gehrig his his 23rd and final career grand slam off Buck Ross in the first inning of an 11-3 Yankees win in Philadelphia. Gehrig held the career grand slams record for nearly 74 years.

UPDATE, 7:25 p.m.: Couple of singles and a double steal, but Mark Teixeira struck out and Brian McCann flied out to leave the runners stranded. Scoreless after one inning.

UPDATE, 7:44 p.m.: Second inning in a row that the Yankees have had runners at second and third. It’s still a scoreless game.

UPDATE, 8:10 p.m.: Pineda was perfect through three. Now he’s allowed two hits in the second and suddenly the Yankees are down 1-0.

UPDATE, 8:22 p.m.: Botched hit-and-run on the Headley caught stealing? Came immediately before Stephen Drew’s first home run as a Yankee, a solo shot that has tied the game at 1 in the bottom of the fourth.

UPDATE, 8:35 p.m.: Little fist pump from Pineda as Drew makes a nice play at short to end the fifth.

UPDATE, 8:47 p.m.: The old two-out bunt single RBI trick. Well played, Jacoby. Yankees up 2-1 in the fifth.

UPDATE, 9:13 p.m.: Leadoff walk in the seventh, and that’s it from Pineda. He threw 89 pitches after throwing just 67 last time out. Another strong start in just his second game off the disabled list.

UPDATE, 9:22 p.m.: One-run game in the seventh, and so far Girardi has gone to David Huff — who got the lefty, but not the righty — and now Esmil Rogers. The bullpen looks a lot thinner when guys have been used a lot.

UPDATE, 9:29 p.m.: The boos are pretty loud here at Yankee Stadium. Shawn Kelley, Dellin Betances and Dave Robertson have each pitched three out of four days.

UPDATE, 9:53 p.m.: Ellsbury strikes out to leave runners at second and third. He just missed a double down the line twice — both went just foul — before he struck out swinging.

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Pregame notes: “Hopefully it’s just a day or two”08.20.14

Carlos Beltran

Here’s the way Joe Girardi explained the Carlos Beltran situation:

Apparently Beltran’s elbow bothers him from time to time when he swings. Nothing extreme, just enough to feel that there’s something not quite right — which everyone knows to be the case — and then it goes away. He’s felt it before and stayed in games without much concern. Last night it happened again, but this time Beltran was still feeling something the morning after.

“He said it grabbed a little bit last night on one of the swings,” Girardi said. “He went through the rest of the game, but today he woke up and he felt it. Obviously that’s a little worse than it’s been at any other point during when he’s been playing and playing pretty well. I’m not really sure what it means. Hopefully it’s just a day or two.”

Beltran was originally at designated hitter, Derek Jeter at shortstop, Stephen Drew at second base and Martin Prado in right field. When Beltran was scratched, the lineup shuffled to the one you’ve already seen.

Is there concern that Beltran playing the field is what caused this lingering discomfort?

“No, because he’s felt it on swings, not in the outfield,” Girardi said. “He didn’t really have a lot of action in the outfield, so he didn’t really have to make any throws or anything like that. It seems to be more from a swing than from throwing.”

Girardi said it’s too early to know what this means for the future of using Beltran in the outfield. It seems too early to say even what it means for the immediate future of using him in the lineup. Dr. Chris Ahmad will check the elbow tonight.

“He’ll see the doctor and we’ll find out what’s going on,” Girardi said. “I’m sure it’s much of the same of what he had going on before, but for whatever reason it was a little worse today in a sense that he still felt it whereas other times he didn’t.”

Masahiro Tanka• Masahiro Tanaka threw a 35-pitch bullpen today, and it included breaking balls. Using one-word English answers in the beginning of a group interview at his locker, Tanaka said that the bullpen was “good” and “better” than last time.

• This was the first time since the injury that Tanaka threw something other than fastballs off a mound. He threw his breaking balls, including five splitters. “I felt (the offspeed stuff) was a little bit rusty,” Tanaka said. “I’ll have to brush that up a little bit.”

• No official word on what’s next for Tanaka. The next step would be live batting practice, but Tanaka might throw another bullpen before he faces hitters. “I don’t really have a realistic timeframe because I don’t want to get too ahead of ourselves,” Girardi said. “But the next step would be throwing BP, then a simulated game, then obviously a rehab game. The fact that he felt good today was encouraging. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow; obviously that’s really important. But he was able to throw his curveball, his slider and his split; I watched it and he looked pretty good.”

• Tanaka said he was not worried about the elbow during the bullpen, and he feels pretty confident that the health problems are behind him. “Absolutely,” he said. “I feel that I’ve gotten the health; the elbow is fine now. I’m more looking towards playing in a game now. But that said, even that said, I think I do have to be cautious about the elbow.”

• Seems weird, but apparently there’s no plan to have Tanaka have another MRI. As long as he feels good, he will apparently keep pitching. “With this type of injury, it’s either going to work or it’s not going to work,” Girardi said. “It’s not something like you’re waiting for the inflammation to go away or something like that. It’s either going to work or it’s not going to work.”

• Still no exact plan for David Phelps. “No, we have not (made a decision),” Girardi said. “Cash, Stevie and myself are going to sit down with the doctor and figure out what is the best plan for him to get him back, or what needs to be done next.” Yankees are apparently still deciding whether it’s best to bring Phelps back as a starter (which will take more time) or as a reliever (which could happen quite a bit sooner).

• Any concern about Stephen Drew’s offensive numbers since the trade deadline? “He’s got, what, eight or nine RBIs since he’s been here in the games that he’s played?” Girardi said. “His average maybe is not (good), but he’s had some production for us.” Someone get this quote to Brian Kenny!

Associated Press photos

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith Comments Off

Jeter back at DH; Beltran sore08.20.14

Carlos Beltran has some soreness in his elbow, so he was scratched from the original lineup.

Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter DH
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Chase Headley 3B
Stephen Drew SS
Martin Prado 2B
Ichiro Suzuki RF

RHP Michael Pineda

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith Comments Off

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