The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


Yankees lineup: No Jeter for Game 1 of doubleheader

Guess who’s back? Vin Mercogliano back in the Bronx for what will be my third and fourth games in a row. The Yankees will play two with the Chicago Cubs today, but it appears that Derek Jeter will play no more than one. The Captain is not in the lineup for Game 1, and when Joe Girardi speaks to the media around 11 a.m., we’ll find out if he’s going to play at all. Follow me on Twitter @vzmercogliano to find out what he says.

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

RHP Masahiro Tanaka

 

 
 

Posted by:vmercoglianoon Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 at 10:20 am. InMisc with107 Comments → Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Rivera’s son to pitch in New England Collegiate Baseball League

Mariano Rivera

We’ll wrap up this unexpected off day with a quick story the Associated Press sent about Mariano Rivera’s son, who’s going to pitch in New Hampshire this winter. Mariano Rivera Jr. is the tallest of Rivera’s sons in the picture above.

LACONIA, N.H. (AP) — The son of retired New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera is going to pitch for a collegiate summer program in New Hampshire.

Mariano Rivera Jr. will join the Laconia Muskrats this summer, part of the 12-team New England Collegiate Baseball League.

He’s a right-hander, like his dad.

Noah Crane, the Muskrats’ general manager, tells New Hampshire Public Radio the 20-year-old Rivera Jr. is coming to the state because of the Muskrats’ close relationship with Pat Carey, Rivera’s coach at Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y. He says each year, the team has one or two of the school’s players.

Rivera’s dad retired at the end of last season after winning five World Series championships with the Yankees. He is Major League Baseball’s career saves leader with 652.

Associated Press photo

 
 

Posted by:Chad Jenningson Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 at 9:25 pm. InMisc with189 Comments → Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Cashman notes: Murphy, Jeter, Roberts, Solarte, infield shifts

Brian Cashman, Joe Girardi

Quick phone call with Yankees general manager Brian Cashman today. A few of the talking points:

MurphyWhy John Ryan Murphy this time?
When the Yankees called up a catcher in Toronto, it was Austin Romine who got the call. This time, it was John Ryan Murphy. The difference is that this call-up is for a role with actual playing time. Romine was a third catcher. Murphy will be the No. 2, getting regular starts when Brian McCann sits.

“He’s the No. 1 catcher in Triple-A,” Cashman said. “And we had a real need where, when McCan isn’t playing, he’s going to play. … Now that we’re in a situation where when the No. 1 catcher isn’t there, the backup is obviously the starter, we’re going to take the best player.”

Is Derek Jeter’s hamstring healthy?
Cashman said he expects Jeter to play tomorrow.

“As of right now, we’re hopeful that’s a resolved issue,” Cashman said.

RobertsWhat about Brian Roberts’ back?
“We’ll see how he responds daily to treatment,” Cashman said. “Backs are tricky. Could be a couple of days. Could be slower. Could be quicker. … He may be a player for us as early as tomorrow, or it could be a week. I don’t know yet.”

By the way, Cashman said he’s not overly bothered by Roberts’ slow start at the plate.

“It’s a small sample,” Cashman said. “He had a good spring. He had a good Opening Day (actually a good second game of the year) and then he has struggled here in the games there after. It’s a small sample. He’s a pro. … When he’s healthy, I think you have a track record of what he is.”

Has Yangervis Solarte earned continued playing time?
Mark Teixeira is eligible to come off the disabled list on Sunday, and there seems to be at least some chance that he’ll return on that date (or at least soon after). What does that mean for the playing time of early rookie standout Yangervis Solarte?

“We’ll see,” Cashman said. “Those are decisions Joe (Girardi) will make on a daily basis. Tex isn’t back, so it’s not something I’m really focused on. … Like the anything else, the better you perform, the higher consideration you get.”

JeterHave the Yankees been happy with their infield defense?
Asked about the infield defense, Cashman immediately pointed to the work of David Grabiner and Mike Fishman from the Yankees baseball analysis department. Cashman said it’s those two who have spearheaded the research that’s pushed the Yankees toward shifting their infield so often this season.

Cashman did not say that infield defense has been a problem or a concern, but he said that he believes the shifts being employed this year would be helpful for any infield. He stressed that the players and the coaching staff have been fully on board with the decision.

“(Grabiner and Fishman) really found a way to allow the players and the coaching staff to gravitate to this data that will benefit our defense even more,” Cashman said. “I think it’s important whether you have an exceptional defensive team or a team that might not compare as well as others. You’re always interested in getting players in the best place as possible.”

Associated Press photo

 
 

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Posted by:Chad Jenningson Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 at 6:25 pm. InMisc with90 Comments → Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Steinbrenner: “I’m pretty content with where we’re sitting”

Just in case you hadn’t heard this enough, here’s The Associated Press…

Yankees Jeter Retirement BaseballNEW YORK (AP) — Despite a string of infield injuries, Yankees fans shouldn’t expect New York to add free-agent Stephen Drew.

“I will consider anything, but right now I think I’m pretty content with where we’re sitting,” managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said before Tuesday night’s game against the Chicago Cubs was postponed by rainy weather. The teams will make up the game Wednesday as part of a day-night doubleheader.

First baseman Mark Teixeira has been on the disabled list since April 5, a day after he strained his right hamstring. Shortstop Derek Jeter sat out games against Boston on Saturday and Sunday because of tightness in his right quadriceps.

For Sunday night’s game against the Red Sox, first baseman Francisco Cervelli, second baseman Yangervis Solarte, shortstop Dean Anna and third baseman Kelly Johnson totaled 19 career starts at their positions. Since 1915, the previous low for Yankees starting infield had been 26 for the quartet of Mike Hegan, Horace Clarke, Bobby Murcer and Mike Ferraro on Sept. 10, 1966, according to STATS.

And Cervelli strained his right hamstring running to first in the fourth inning of Sunday’s 3-2 win, an injury that will sideline him for at least two months and led to Carlos Beltran’s first big league appearances at first base.

In addition, second baseman Brian Roberts missed Sunday’s game due to a sore back, and backup shortstop Brendan Ryan has been on the disabled list since the start of the season because of a cervical spine nerve injury.

Steinbrenner was pleased with the play of the rookies Anna and Solarte.

“I’m not liking the injuries we’ve had so far, but nothing like last year,” Steinbrenner said. “And a lot of teams have had worse, so I can’t complain. I think starting rotation looks great. The hitting is coming around and it will come around because the ability is there.”

Drew remains unsigned after rejecting a $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Red Sox in November. A team signing him before the amateur draft in June would lose a high selection.

“I’m pretty content with our infield right now,” Steinbrenner said. “I think guys like Anna and Solarte have been pleasant surprises. Kelly Johnson has been good. Derek’s healthy. So far, so good, but it’s early.”

Associated Press photo

 
 

Posted by:Chad Jenningson Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 at 4:20 pm. InMisc with87 Comments → Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Tanaka to start Game 1 vs. Cubs

Masahiro Tanaka

The Yankees have announced their starting assignments for tomorrow’s doubleheader, and the Cubs’ website indicates that Chicago will keep its starters on their planned rotation. Looks like these will be the matchups tomorrow. Also, YES Network announced that it will air the first game while MY9 will carry the second game.

Game 1
RHP Masahiro Tanaka (1-0, 3.21)
vs.
RHP Jason Hammel (2-0, 2.63)
1:05 p.m., YES Network

Game 2
RHP Michael Pineda (1-1, 1.50)
vs.
LHP Travis Wood (0-1, 2.92)
7:05 p.m., MY9 and MLB Network

The two teams will wear No. 42 for the second game of the doubleheader in recognition of Jackie Robinson Day.

Associated Press photo

 
 

Posted by:Chad Jenningson Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 at 3:43 pm. InMisc with30 Comments → Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Murphy and Sizemore called up; Cervelli placed on 60-day

SizemoreMurphyThe Yankees have announced their anticipated roster moves.

1. Francisco Cervelli was placed on the disabled list with a strained hamstring. The injury is serious enough that he’s going directly to the 60-day DL.

2. John Ryan Murphy was called up to replace Cervelli as the backup catcher. The Yankees have already had four different catchers on their roster this year.

3. Infielder Scott Sizemore was called up to give the Yankees a full bench. He’ll take the roster spot opened when Shane Greene was optioned to Triple-A. Sizemore gives the Yankees a second reserve infielder, which they haven’t had since Mark Teixeira landed on the disabled list. Sizemore has major-league experience at second and third.

 
 

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Posted by:Chad Jenningson Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 at 12:45 pm. InMisc with142 Comments → Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Tonight’s game rained out; double header tomorrow

Here’s the announcement from the Yankees…

Joe Girardi, Rob ThomsonThe New York Yankees announced that tonight’s game between the Yankees and Chicago Cubs at Yankee Stadium has been postponed due to inclement weather. The game has been rescheduled as the first game of a separate-admission, day-night doubleheader for tomorrow, Wednesday, April 16, at 1:05 p.m. Gates for the 1:05 p.m. game will open at 11:30 a.m.

Additionally, today’s press conference honoring the legacies of Nelson Mandela and Jackie Robinson will be rescheduled for tomorrow, April 16 at 4:30 p.m. Pregame ceremonies originally scheduled for tonight will take place prior to tomorrow’s 7:05 p.m. game.

***TICKETS FOR THE ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED 7:05 P.M. GAME ON WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, WILL NOT BE VALID FOR THE 1:05 P.M. GAME.***

The game originally scheduled for April 16 remains scheduled for a 7:05 p.m. start.

The YES Network will broadcast the 1:05 p.m. game and MY9 will broadcast the 7:05 p.m. game.

Fans holding paid tickets for tonight’s game (April 15) may use them for the rescheduled game or exchange their paid tickets for any regular season game at Yankee Stadium within 12 months of tonight’s postponed game (subject to availability).

Fans holding Complimentary tickets (COMP) for tonight’s game must use them for the rescheduled game. Complimentary tickets (COMP) or equivalent tickets bear no cash value and do not have any additional benefits that may be offered to ticket(s) with a dollar value.

For complete information about the Yankees’ rainout policy, please visit www.yankees.com/rainout.

With respect to tickets purchased through Yankees Ticket Exchange, please visit www.yankees.com/ticketexchange or call 1-800-355-2396 for complete information about its rainout policy.

Associated Press photo

 
 

Posted by:Chad Jenningson Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 at 11:45 am. InMisc with104 Comments → Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Yankees to honor Mandela, Robinson before tonight’s game

All of Major League Baseball will be celebrating Jackie Robinson today.

At Yankee Stadium, the celebration will include the unveiling of a Monument Park plaque recognizing Nelson Mandela. Rachel and Sharon Robinson, Bud Selig, Harry Belafonte and Mandela’s grandson Zondwa Mandela are among several notables scheduled to attend.

The Yankees announced in December that they would honor Mandela with a plaque celebrating his life and commemorating his June 21, 1990 visit to Yankee Stadium.

Here’s the announcement from Major League Baseball explaining some of the details of Jackie Robinson Day throughout the league.

usp-mlb_-arizona-diamondbacks-at-new-york-yankees_001-4_3Major League Baseball will celebrate Jackie Robinson Day on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 to honor the legacy of the legendary Hall of Famer, and for the sixth consecutive year, all players and on-field personnel will wear Number 42. The annual celebration to commemorate the 67th anniversary of Robinson breaking Baseball’s color barrier in 1947 will feature on-field, pre-game ceremonies in ballparks throughout the League, including a special celebration featuring the families of Jackie Robinson and Nelson Mandela at Yankee Stadium.

“Jackie Robinson is an American icon whose accomplishments and leadership continue to inspire us in Baseball and our society at large,” Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig said. “Major League Baseball proudly celebrates his enduring legacy, which is reflected by extraordinary on-field diversity of players from all backgrounds, enthusiastic participation in youth baseball and softball, and proven results in diverse business efforts.”

“I am quite proud that when Jack stepped onto the field on April 15, 1947, and broke the color barrier in baseball, he helped to further social change in America,” said Rachel Robinson. “On behalf of our family and the Jackie Robinson Foundation, we are thrilled that Major League Baseball continues to honor him and works to ensure that what he stood for will not be forgotten by future generations.”

The annual MLB Diversity Business Summit, which is co-hosted by the New York Yankees, will be held in New York City on Monday, April 14th and on Jackie Robinson Day on Tuesday, April 15th. The Summit is the premier sports employment conference and supplier diversity trade fair, and uniquely and directly connects attendees with decision-makers for employment and business opportunities from all 30 MLB Clubs, MLB Network, MLB Advanced Media, Minor League Baseball Clubs and MLB’s Central Office in New York City. Various elements of the third annual MLB Diversity Business Summit include a keynote speech by Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig, league-wide networking, matchmaking sessions for entrepreneurs, interviews for job seekers, panel discussions, workshops and more.

Sunday, MLB held a clinic for Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) youth from the greater New York City area at Macombs Dam Park, which is across the street from Yankee Stadium, featuring Sharon Robinson, Jackie’s daughter, MLB Educational Programming Consultant and author, MLB Network Analysts Harold Reynolds and Cliff Floyd as well as Jackie Bradley, Jr. of the Boston Red Sox and Dellin Betances of the New York Yankees. The RBI program is the MLB youth initiative designed to give young people from underserved communities, ages 5 to 18, the opportunity to play baseball and softball, encourage academic success and teach the value of teamwork and other important life lessons.

Photo from USA Today

 
 

Posted by:Chad Jenningson Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 at 8:59 am. InMisc with246 Comments → Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Early minor league notes: Sizemore off to a strong start

A quick run through some of the early performances worth knowing in the minor league system.

Scott Sizemore· Why does Scott Sizemore standout as a call-up possibility for tomorrow? To start with, he’s a versatile infielder who’s hitting .344/.436/.500 in Triple-A (granted, with 16 strikeouts). But it’s also worth noting that the alternatives are limited. Ramon Flores is hitting pretty well after his strong big league camp, but as a left-handed outfielder, he would be redundant in New York. Another spring standout, Zelous Wheeler, is hitting .421/.476/.684, but he also just landed on the disabled list with a back injury. Either Sizemore or Triple-A first baseman Russ Canzler (.276/.303/.448) would seem to make the most sense given the Yankees current needs. Sizemore said during spring training that he has a May 1 opt out if he’s not added to the big league roster.

· The big league bullpen has been pretty good so far, but a few spring standout relievers have continued to pitch well for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre just in case. Most notable might be hard-throwing Danny Burawa, who has nine strikeouts, one walk and two hits allowed through five innings. Matt Daley, despite his 4.91 ERA, actually has 10 strikeouts and only one walk through 3.2 innings. Preston Claiborne has yet to allow a run, but he’s allowed four hits and three walks through four innings. Lefty Fred Lewis, who really made a name for himself this spring, has stumbled early in the year. He has a 2.40 WHIP and lefties are hitting .667 against him.

· Shane Greene has been optioned to Triple-A, which means he might finally get in a real game. Greene was kept in extended spring training to get stretched out as a starter, and he was called up to the big leagues before he could actually join the Triple-A rotation. Now it seems he’ll finally go to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to work as a starter. That Triple-A rotation could change quite a bit in the next few days and weeks. Alfredo Aceves and Chris Leroux also opened in extended spring training to get stretched out, and Manny Banuelos could jump to Triple-A when the weather gets a little warmer and more predictable. The Yankees are also waiting for Nik Turley to get healthy — he had that arm injury in spring training — and he would presumably go to Triple-A after making 26 starts in Double-A last year.

Manny Banuelos· Speaking of Banuelos, he’s been awfully good. Pitching for High-A Tampa — his first regular-season work since early 2012 — Banuelos has made three starts, each one lasting three innings. He’s allowed no runs, one walks and four hits. He’s struck out 11. On Sunday he went three hitless with six strikeouts and no walks.

· Arguably the top prospect in the system, Gary Sanchez is off to a fantastic start in Trenton. Through 34 at-bats, he was hitting .353/.450/.588 heading into tonight’s game. He’s also thrown out six of 12 attempted base stealers.

· Kind of a mixed bag from the other big names on that Double-A roster. … Tyler Austin is hitting just .240/.259/.240, but that’s after only 25 at-bats (including, as expected, some time back at third base). … Mason Williams is hitting .262/.326/.476 with as many walks as strikeouts. … Converted second baseman Rob Refsnyder has just one error so far, but he’s also hitting .143/.189/.314 through nine games. He’s struck out a team-high 15 times with just two walks. He had more walks than strikeouts last year. … After a year lost to injury, third baseman Rob Segedin has been pretty good as Trenton’s regular No. 3 hitter. He’s batting .320/.400/.440 with seven RBI in seven games.

Jagielo· This day started with two Yankees minor leaguers having 10 RBI already. One was Sanchez. The other was Eric Jagielo, the team’s top pick in last year’s draft. Pushed to High-A Tampa to start his first full season — not unheard of for a college bat, but fairly aggressive for the Yankees — Jagielo is hitting just .220 but he’s slugging .488 with three home runs, all of which came in three straight games. The downside is, he’s struck out 13 times in 10 games.

· With Jagielo getting the bulk of the playing time at third base, Dante Bichette Jr. has been getting almost all of his playing time at designated hitter (he’s drawn a bunch of walks, but has yet to hit a homer: .267/.450/.400). … More interesting might be what the Yankees are doing with Pete O’Brien. He’s Tampa’s primary catcher, but after spending some time at third base last year, O’Brien is now adding flexibility by getting some time in right field. He’s played two games out there and has one outfield assist. Oh, and he’s also hitting .333/.366/.692 with four home runs already. … Middle infield duo of Cito Culver and Angelo Gumbs each have something to prove this year. Second baseman Gumbs is hitting .308/.325/.308. Shortstop Culver is hitting .256/.267/.349 with four errors in 10 games.

DePaula· Getting a second shot against High-A hitters, Rafael De Paula went five innings, two hits, no walks, six strikeouts in his most recent start on Friday. He has 12 strikeouts and a 3.24 ERA through two starts. … Also getting another turn in Tampa is Dietrich Enns, a lefty who’s gotten the win in each of his two appearances this season (one start, one long relief appearance piggybacking Banuelos). He’s gone nine innings with five hits, one run, four walks and seven strikeouts. … I don’t know much about Tampa starter Eric Wooten — the Yankees got him mid-season last year — but he pitched pretty well last year, and through two starts this season he has a 0.82 ERA with 11 strikeouts and one walk.

· Low-A Charleston was the only Yankees affiliate to begin this week with a losing record. That pitching staff has a 3.38 ERA, but the lineup has a team batting average of just .210 with a .302 slugging percentage. First baseman Mike Ford is hitting .351/.429/.568 with two home runs, which is half of the team total. Gosuke Katoh (.136/.286/.182), Luis Torrens (.095/.321/.095), Miguel Andujar (.200/.243/.314), and Tyler Wade (.129/.289/.129) are all off to pretty slow starts.

· Not an altogether bad start for much-hyped outfielder Aaron Judge. He’s still looking for his first extra-base hit, and his .250 batting average won’t catch much attention, but he’s drawn eight walks and has a .386 on-base percentage through his first 10 professional games. He’s getting all of his outfield time in right field.

· Emerging pitching prospect Luis Severino will make his third start of the season tomorrow. In his first start, he went two innings with three runs. In his second, he went 2.2 innings with no runs, no walks and five strikeouts. The pitching line that’s harder to ignore belongs to Cesar Vargas, who’s made four relief appearances for Charleston. He’s gone 9.1 innings with one unearned run, two walks and 15 strikeouts. He did have two inherited runners, each of whom scored.

* I started working on this in the afternoon, so the stats don’t include tonight’s games.

Associated Press photos of Sizemore and Banuelos; headshots of Jagielo and De Paula

 
 

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Posted by:Chad Jenningson Monday, April 14th, 2014 at 9:18 pm. InMisc with141 Comments → Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Early question: Can CC avoid big innings?

CC Sabathia

Now that Ivan Nova has made his first truly impressive start of the year, the highest ERA in the Yankees rotation belongs to the team’s No. 1 starter. Through three starts, CC Sabathia is 1-2 — the only Yankees starter with two losses — and he has a 6.63 ERA.

But here’s how that ERA breaks down.

Eliminate the worst inning from each of his starts, and Sabathia has pitched 16 innings with three earned runs. That’s a 1.69 ERA.

In those three bad innings: 11 earned runs for a 33.00 ERA.

All spring, the Yankees insisted that Sabathia could pitch and be successful with his current stuff. Sabathia was adamant about it, consistently dismissing questions about his velocity and responding with terrific spring numbers.

This season, he’s essentially shown that he can pitch with his current stuff — the vast, vast majority of his innings have been very good — but the margin for error is remarkably small.

What the Yankees have to find out is whether Sabathia can walk that fine line without falling apart. Clearly he’s able to string together outs, but that’s only going to matter if he can keep strong starts from unraveling because of one brutally bad inning.

Associated Press photo

 
 

Posted by:Chad Jenningson Monday, April 14th, 2014 at 7:14 pm. InMisc with86 Comments → Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post


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