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


Archive for the ‘Misc’

A-Rod and Tex sit for series finale04.23.15

Jacoby Ellsbury CF

Brett Gardner LF

Carlos Beltran DH

Brian McCann C

Chase Headley 3B

Chris Young RF

Garrett Jones 1B

Stephen Drew 2B

Didi Gregorius SS

RHP Masahiro Tanaka

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Yankees climb above .500 by beating up on David Price04.22.15

Chase Headley

One week ago, the Yankees left Baltimore looking like a bumbling bunch of overpaid and overhyped has-beens who couldn’t field, couldn’t hit, and couldn’t build any sort of momentum coming out of spring training.

Tonight they pummeled what had been the best team in baseball and did it by beating up on one of the game’s best starting pitchers. With eight runs off David Price, the Yankees slugged their way to a winning record with a 13-4 win in Detroit. The Yankees lost six of their first nine games, but have now won five of their past six. Back-to-back wins have pushed their record above .500 for the first time this season. The Tigers entered this series with baseball’s best record, but the Yankees have a chance to win three of four if they can take the series finale on Thursday.

With snow falling, the first inning lasted 51 minutes. There were 87 pitches thrown, 20 batters took a turn at the plate, and 10 runs scored. Price threw 51 of those pitches, allowing six runs on five hits, two walks and a hit batter. It was an inning reminiscent of his eight-run, nine-hit third inning against the Yankees last season at Comerica Park. Up next was Yankees No. 5 starter Adam Warren, who waited 31 minutes to finally get on the mound, then walked four of the first five batters he faced. Two singles and two questionable defensive decisions by shortstop Didi Gregorius left the Tigers with four runs in their half of the inning.

From there, Warren settled in and Price did not. Warren pitched into the sixth inning without allowing another run. He actually got his first win of the year. Price allowed two more runs in the second — an inning that included back-to-back triples by Carlos Beltran and Chase Headley, plus an intentional walk to Gregorio Petit — before being pulled in the third. Didi Gregorius added a two-run double off the Tigers bullpen (his first extra-base hit of the year) and Mark Teixeira hit a three-run homer in the seventh (his fifth of the year).

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Game 15: Yankees at Tigers04.22.15

Adam WarrenYANKEES (7-7)
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Chris Young LF
Alex Rodriguez DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Carlos Beltran RF
Chase Headley 3B
Gregorio Petit 2B
Didi Gregorius SS

RHP Adam Warren (0-1, 4.82)
Warren vs. Tigers

TIGERS (11-3)
Anthony Gose CF
Ian Kinsler 2B
Miguel Cabrera 1B
Victor Martinez DH
J.D. Martinez RF
Yoenis Cespedes LF
Nick Castellanos 3B
Alex Avila C
Jose Iglesias SS

LHP David Price (1-0, 0.40)
Price vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 7:08 p.m., YES Network

WEATHER: It’s legitimately cold here in Detroit. A few flurries during the day. Not great.

UMPIRES: HP Gerry Davis, 1B Phil Cuzzi, 2B Tony Randazzo, 3B Will Little

GLOVE STORY: The Yankees have not made an error in their past six games since April 15 at Baltimore. They’ve gone 4-2 in those games. In their first eight games of the season, the Yankees made 11 errors and went 3-5.

ONE SUCCESS STORY: As you might expect, the Yankees do not collectively have good numbers against David Price. One significant exception, though, is Jacoby Ellsbury who’s a career .327 .353 .551 hitter in 49 at-bats against the Tigers’ ace. Brian McCann has also hit Price in his career. He has just 14 at-bats against him, but he has seven hits including three homers.

GOING DEEP: The Yankees entered today leading the Majors with 20 home runs this season. They have averaged five runs per game, fifth in the A.L. and tied for sixth in the Majors. They are third in the Majors with a .182 ISO (measuring the average number of extra bases a player gets per at bat), trailing only the Dodgers and Blue Jays.

UPDATE, 7:23 p.m.: Bases loaded in the first, McCann just floated an RBI single that landed barely in fair territory along the right-field line. It was enough to score a run — guy weren’t running because it looked like it would be caught — and so the Yankees are up 1-0 still with just one out against Price.

UPDATE, 7:33 p.m.: Price has already thrown over 40 pitches, Gregorio Petit — yes, Gregorio Petit — has just doubled in three runs, and it’s a 5-0 Yankees lead in the first inning.

UPDATE, 7:38 p.m.: Another run off Price. By the way, Rob Thomson is coaching third base today. Espada is at home because his wife just had a baby.

UPDATE, 7:44 p.m.: Top of the first lasted 31 minutes, 51 pitches and six Yankees runs.

UPDATE, 7:50 p.m.: Kind of odd to see Warren have no feel for the strike zone, but he’s walked three of four to start this game. Have to assume the cold has something to do with it (and the fact he had to sit so long after his pregame warmup). Bases loaded with one out for the Tigers.

UPDATE, 7:54 p.m.: Oof. Warren makes it four of the first five to walk in a run. Brutal.

UPDATE, 7:56 p.m.: Nice diving stop by Gregorius, but he seemed to have an easier out at third than second. He went to second, runner safe and that’s another run.

UPDATE, 7:57 p.m.: Another grounder to short, this time Gregorius throws to second underhand for some reason. The play develops too slow for a double play and another run scores. It’s now 6-3.

UPDATE, 8:00 p.m.: Esmil Rogers getting loose in the Yankees bullpen. The Tigers also had a guy getting loose in their half of the first inning.

UPDATE, 8:09 p.m.: Beltran given a triple on that ball to left. So he joins McCann and Jones as the only Yankees to have tripled this season. It’s now 7-4.

UPDATE, 8:12 p.m.: And now Headley has tripled. And now Petit is being intentionally walked. It’s been a weird night.

UPDATE, 8:34 p.m.: Price is finished with one out in the third. He allowed two more hits this inning. It’s an 8-4 game.

UPDATE, 8:46 p.m.: Ball might have taken a little bit of a bad hop, but that’s still a pretty ugly error for Gregorius who botched a relatively routine grounder in the third.

UPDATE, 8:58 p.m.: Didi! Two-run double in the fourth pushes the lead to 10-4.

UPDATE, 9:11 p.m.: Warren is through the fourth inning without allowing another run. He’s at 83 pitches, so he might actually stay in this thing long enough to get a win.

UPDATE, 9:45 p.m.: What a weirdly good start for Warren. That first inning was a total disaster, but he wound up pitching 5.2 innings without allowing another run and without even allowing another runner into scoring position. Looked like the Yankees were going to have to go to their bullpen after one inning, and instead they get to use their pen basically just as they intended coming into this game.

UPDATE, 9:58 p.m.: Long home run by Teixeira, a three-run shot to make it 13-4 in the seventh. Yes, it’s only the seventh.

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Gardner sits; Young batting second04.22.15

Jacoby Ellsbury CF

Chris Young LF

Alex Rodriguez DH

Mark Teixeira 1B

Brian McCann C

Carlos Beltran RF

Chase Headley 3B 

Gregorio Petit 2B

Didi Gregorius SS 

RHP Adam Warren 

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Yankees claim LHP Matt Tracy; send him back to Scranton/WB04.22.15

TracyThe Yankees have claimed left-handed pitcher Matt Tracy off waivers from the Marlins and optioned him to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

That’s the same Matt Tracy who was called up to the Yankees earlier this season, pitched one game, got designated for assignment, hung in limbo for a while, wound up claimed by the Marlins, was very quickly DFA again, and is now back where he started except with a 40-man spot.

So, yeah, it’s been a weird week and a half for Matt Tracy.

By the way, that one big league game is still the only game he’s actually pitched in this season.

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Bernie Williams will officially retire on Friday04.22.15

Bernie Williams is nearing retirement. Here’s the announcement from the Yankees:

Bernie WilliamsThe New York Yankees announced today that Bernie Williams will formally sign his retirement papers at a press conference on Friday, April 24, at 5:45 p.m., in the Yankee Stadium press conference room. He will be joined by Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman and Assistant General Manager Jean Afterman.

During Friday’s press conference, the Yankees will unveil a logo related to his number retirement and Monument Park plaque dedication, which will take place on Sunday, May 24, prior to the Yankees’ 8:05 p.m. game vs. Texas.

Additionally on Friday ? in an on-field ceremony at approximately 6:45 p.m. ? the Hard Rock Cafe will debut a souvenir pin that honors Williams. Fifteen percent of net sales from the pins will go to Hillside Food Outreach (www.hillsidefoodoutreach.org).

Williams will also throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Friday’s 7:05 p.m. game vs. the Mets.

Williams played his entire 16-year Major League career with the Yankees (1991-2006), batting .297 (2,336-for-7,869) in 2,076 games with the club. In franchise history, the former centerfielder ranks third in doubles (449), fifth in hits, sixth in games played and runs scored (1,366) and seventh in home runs (287) and RBI (1,257). The five-time American League All-Star (1997-2001), four-time Gold Glove winner (1997-2000) and Silver Slugger Award recipient (2002) won the American League batting title in 1998, leading the league with a .339 batting average.

A four-time World Series champion in pinstripes (1996, ’98, ’99, 2000), Williams is the Yankees’ all-time postseason leader in home runs (22) and RBI (80), ranks second in playoff runs scored (83), hits (128) and doubles (29) and is third in games played (121). He was named the 1996 ALCS MVP after batting .474 (9-for-19) with 6R, 2HR and 6RBI in the Yankees’ five-game series win vs. the Orioles. In Game 1 of the 1999 ALCS vs. Boston, he hit a 10th-inning, “walk-off” home run to win the game for the Yankees.

Associated Press photo

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With experience, Girardi understands his relationship with media04.22.15

Joe Girardi

Sitting on a dugout bench with two television cameras and more than a dozen voice recorders in front of him, Yankees manager Joe Girardi went through his daily ritual with no hiccups on Tuesday. His pregame media session was a typical 13 minutes long with questions ranging from injury updates to strategic analysis to — because the team’s on the road — yet another inquiry about who will lead the team now that Derek Jeter is retired.

Girardi isn’t always happy during those pregame scrums. Plenty of questions have upset him over the years, and he’s had to discuss topics that he’d prefer stay under wraps, but Girardi’s never launched into an expletive-filled rant like Reds manager Bryan Price did on Monday. During that particular pregame session in Milwaukee, Price vented his frustration at the media for five and a half minutes and used the F-word 77 times to express his anger at a pair of accurate reports from the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Joe GirardiSay this much for Girardi: at least he understands the role of media in his day-to-day job.

“Being a broadcaster, managing, being a coach, watching Joe (Torre), I got a better understanding of what it was like,” Girardi said. “I think one thing you don’t really understand as a player about the media is how competitive the media is. How important it is for that person to break a story. As a player you don’t really think about that. But as a manager you understand that that’s how it is, and you have to deal with it.”

Price was upset that a Cincinnati beat writer would report about a minor league call-up and a missing player — two bits of relevant breaking news — without considering whether such reports might hurt the Reds. Price didn’t like the story about the call-up because the Reds had not yet told another player he was being sent down. He didn’t like the story about Devin Mesoraco being absent from a game because it gave the opposing team a heads up that Mesoraco was unavailable to pinch hit.

“I just want to know how we benefit from these (expletive) people know we don’t have a player here,” Price said. “Can you answer that? How is that good for the Reds?”

It’s not good for the Reds, but that’s not the reporter’s concern. How would it have been good for the Enquirer or its readers for either of those stories to go unwritten and unreported?

At this point, it’s probably worth mentioning that Price is a second-year manager who never played above Triple-A. That’s not to knock him as a player or a leader — he was a pitching coach for a long time — it’s only to point out that he doesn’t have nearly the big-market, in-the-hot-seat experience that Girardi has gained over his years as a catcher, coach and manager in major media markets like New York and Chicago.

Like Price, Girardi dislikes when news leaks earlier than expected. He gets upset when he feels his players are being unfairly criticized or when there’s an opinion piece he perceives as mean-spirited. Girardi is occasionally frustrated when he’s asked for information about which relievers are not available for a certain game, or about the team’s approach against a specific hitter.

Joe GirardiBut he doesn’t claim that reporters shouldn’t be digging for information, and I’ve never heard him suggest writers focus on what’s best for the Yankees.

“I don’t mind finding stuff out from (the opponent’s) side,” Girardi said, laughing. “It’s my side I’m worried about. I always say, take care of your own backyard.”

It was surely Price’s language that helped his rant gain steam as something of an internet phenomenon Monday night, but we’ve all heard a grown man curse from time to time. In reality, the far more interesting part of Price’s tirade was his blatant misunderstanding of his relationship with the reporters around him.

There are many reasons I can’t imagine Girardi going on a rant like that, but his understanding of the situation is one of them. Girardi’s relationship with the media gets contentious plenty of times in the course of a season — he doesn’t always particularly like us in a given moment — but there’s always an understanding that he has a job to do, and so do we.

“As managers sometimes we get a little upset,” Girardi said. “We live in a day that strategy is very important to us, and people (in the media) are so good at what they do now that it’s hard to keep something like (not having a player) under wraps. For me, I try to understand that. And I understand that the media business is very competitive, but we don’t like to give out our strategy. That’s part of it. I’m sure if he had a chance to do it over again, he might have (done) it a little different.”

Associated Press photos

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Eovaldi delivers in impressive Yankees win vs. Tigers04.21.15

Gregorio Petit

Nathan Eovaldi’s first truly impressive start with the Yankees was perhaps their most impressive win of the year. Behind four double plays, two home runs and seven strong innings from Eovaldi, the Yankees got a 5-2 win on the road against the Tigers, who have baseball’s best record. The Yankees became the major’s first team to reach 20 homers, and Chris Young continued his hot start with three hits including a solo home run, but it was Eovaldi who dazzled by throwing strikes and getting ground balls when he needed them. Eovaldi got four double plays in the first six innings, stranded two runners in the third, and didn’t allow a run until a sacrifice fly in the seventh. He faced one hitter in the eighth before Dellin Betances, Chris Martin and Andrew Miller got the final six outs. Miller walked in a run but got his fifth save in as many chances. Unlike last night when the Yankees couldn’t build on an early 1-0 lead, the Yankees added on tonight with three runs in the seventh, two of them on solo homers by Young and Stephen Drew.

Associated Press photo

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Pregame notes: “He’s pushed himself into that position”04.21.15

John Ryan Murphy, Jacoby Ellsbury, Chris Young, Stephen Drew, Carlos Beltran

Just a few days ago, Joe Girardi was talking about not making too much of a few at-bats. He was determined to give his veteran hitters time to right the ship. There would be no significant changes based on strong starts or slow starts.

In the past two days, though, we’ve seen some lineup tweaks involving Carlos Beltran. Last night, Beltran returned from illness to find himself dropped to fifth in the order so that Alex Rodriguez could remain in the No. 3 spot. Today, Beltran is on the bench so that red-hot Chris Young can get another start against a lefty (and so that two left-handed hitting outfielders can stay in the lineup).

Girardi made it clear that Beltran will play again tomorrow, but today he basically had a choice of playing Young ahead of Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury or Brett Gardner, and he chose to sit the switch-hitter Beltran.

“Just the way Chris has been playing and Gardy and Ells, too,” Girardi said. “Carlos will be back in there tomorrow. Just the way I went with it today.”

Two things at play here: Rodriguez and Young have basically been must-play guys, especially against left-handed pitchers, and Beltran has struggled to a .171/.222/.268 start to the season. Girardi has expressed confidence that Beltran will turn it around — and sitting him today is certainly not an indication that Beltran’s going to be a regular bench player going forward — but at this point, Ellsbury, Gardner and Young have been the Yankees three best outfielders.

Young, in particular, has been a potent source of power, kind of building on his strong September of a year ago.

“It’s been great,” Young said. “I love it here. This team received me well. The clubhouse is amazing. The coaching staff is amazing. I’ve gotten an opportunity here, so I’m really grateful for that.”

Girardi made a point of saying this isn’t a right-field platoon in which Beltran will always sit against lefties, but at this point, Young’s made it awfully hard to keep him out of the lineup.

“I think that’s what he’s done,” Girardi said. “He’s pushed himself into that position, and that’s why I chose to go the way I did today.”

A few quick updates from extended spring training:

NovaPirelaJose Pirela went 1-for-3 while playing third base in an extended spring game yesterday. He was hit by a pitch in his first at-bat but stayed in the game. He will play seven innings at second base tomorrow.

Ivan Nova threw two innings, 35 pitches, of live batting practice.

Chris Capuano will throw two innings in an extended spring game tomorrow.

Brendan Ryan took ground balls and went through batting practice.

Yankees Rays Baseball• The Yankees defense was awful when the season started, but lately it’s been a definite strength. “I just think they were too good not to turn around,” Girardi said. “I just think what we saw is not something we ever expected and just kind of got off to a slow start defensively. It was hard to put your finger on it.”

• Meanwhile, the Yankees offense has been extremely home run heavy. They’ve hit a lot of homers, but they don’t have a single player batting .300 and only three everyday guys have an on-base percentage higher than .317. “It is kind of strange,” Girardi said. “We’ve produced a lot of our runs by the home run, and we knew we had power in our lineup. I don’t think it will always be like that. We scored five in Tampa the other day without hitting a home run. I’m not so sure we’ve done that too often this year. That’s the kind of club we are. We have some speed at the top obviously, but you look at 3 through 7, 3 through 8, they have the ability to hit a lot of home runs.”

• The Yankees face another lefty tomorrow (not just any lefty, David Price). Girardi said he expects Didi Gregorius to play that game (presumably with Stephen Drew on the bench), and he expects Beltran back in the lineup with either Gardner or Ellsbury on the bench.

• Chasen Shreve is back, but he’s back against a lineup that has a bunch of right-handed hitters. Essentially, it sounds like he’ll be the long man these next three days, leaving Esmil Rogers available for shorter outings in right-on-right situations. “The one thing about Chasen is he gives you multiple innings more than a Branden (Pinder) does,” Girardi said. “Against a lineup that has a lot of right-handers, it allows you to use Esmil a little bit differently.”

• Talked to Shreve for a little bit this afternoon. He said that the morning after the 19-inning game — when Shreve pitched 3.1 scoreless innings — Andrew Miller actually said something to him about the Yankees definitely needing to call up a fresh reliever for the next game. Shreve said he completely agreed, but it never once occurred to him that he’d be the one sent down. After he was told, Shreve said, he instantly realized that he was the most logical option. Funny, it takes most players a little bit of time before they’re able to put those sort of pieces together. Shreve was smiling about it today. Totally gets why it happened, but he’s obviously happy to be back.

• Girardi on last night’s anti-media rant by Reds manager Bryan Price: “We live in a day that strategy is very important to us, and people (in the media) are so good at what they do now that it’s hard to keep something like (not having a player) under wraps. For me, I try to understand that. And I understand that the media business is very competitive, but we don’t like to give out our strategy. That’s part of it. I’m sure if he had a chance to do it over again, he might have did it a little different. Sometimes we get upset and we say things that we wish we had said a little bit differently.”

Associated Press photos

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Against lefty starter, Young plays and Beltran sits04.21.15

Jacoby Ellsbury CF

Brett Gardner LF

Alex Rodriguez DH 

Mark Teixeira 1B 

Brian McCann C

Chris Young RF

Chase Headley 3B

Stephen Drew SS

Gregorio Petit 2B

RHP Nathan Eovaldi

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