Postgame notes: “He’s our 3 hitter” • 06.05.10
Fifty-five games into the season, Mark Teixeira is hitting .215 with 34 RBI. He had three hits in the previous two games, but seemed to hit a new sort of low with five strikeouts tonight.
“I had a bad day,” he said. “The last couple of days felt really good. I just didn’t see the ball today.”
Hardly any of the Yankees seemed to see the ball today. The heart of the order — Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano — went 1-for-18 with seven strikeouts. They played 14 innings and scored only on Derek Jeter’s two-run homer in the fifth. Aside from Jeter (2-for-6), Nick Swisher (double and two walks) and Brett Gardner (reached base four times) it’s hard to say any of the Yankees had a good day at the plate, but the numbers are worst for Teixeira.
“He’s our 3 hitter,” Girardi said. “We haven’t talked about changing anything. And when he was on fire in the month of May, no one was saying anything. He’ll get hot again.”
Why the faith in Teixeira? “His track record and I have seen some good things,” Girardi said.
How much longer would the struggles have to continue to lose faith? “We have to go a lot longer than this,” Girardi said.
Here’s Teixeira talking after the game.
And here’s Girardi.
• Because this was a road game, Girardi said he never considered using Mariano Rivera with the game tied. “It’s not something we like to do,” he said. “If you’re going to go two innings with him, it’s something you might do, but I wasn’t going to use Mo for two innings today.” To win the game, the Yankees were going to have to use someone other than Rivera anyway.
• Andy Pettitte said he had some trouble keeping his ball down in the early innings. “I had a big wind in my face and the first couple innings,” he said. “Some of my four-seamers were running like two-seamers, and that never ever happens to me. Me and Cervi were trying to figure out what we needed to do out there, and I settled into a pretty good rhythm for sure.”
• The home run by Vernon Wells was up and away, not a bad pitch Pettitte said. The home run to Alex Gonzalez was the one that bothered Pettitte. “It was actually exactly where I wanted to go with it,” Pettitte said. “But anytime you’ve got a one-run game and you’re leading and you get hurt on a ball inside, that’s not what you want to do. I felt like I was staying away an awful lot through the middle innings. I felt like I had to run some balls in, but he was one up on me on that.”
• Great night for the bullpen, with Joba Chamberlain, Damaso Marte, Dave Robertson and Chan Ho Park getting the Yankees into the 14th. That’s when Chad Gaudin walked the lead-off man and hung a slider. “You’ve got guys battling out there for 14 innings,” Gaudin said. “To let the team down like that, it hurts.”
• It was a cutter that Derek Jeter lined to second base in the seventh inning. There were runners at second and third with one out, and Jeter did exactly what he was supposed to do — hit a ball hard up the middle — but he lined into a bad-luck double play. “I would like to direct it somewhere else,” Jeter said. “But unfortunately you can’t do that.”
• Like Girardi said a few times after the game, you can’t blame the pitching for this one. Obviously Guadin took the loss, but this game was on the offense. “They’ve done a pretty good job, moving fastball in and out, throwing offspeed pitches, keeping us off balance,” Jeter said. “It’s not like they were pitching us all one particular way. They pitched better than us.”
• A friendly reminder: Online voting is underway for the Triple-A all-star game. Follow the link to vote.
Associated Press photos of Teixeira and of Pettitte during a meeting on the mound.
Today in The Journal News • 05.27.10
Playing in a hard-to-homer ballpark, the Yankees hit two big home runs on Wednesday and won a pair of games against the Twins. The home runs were huge, but the Yankees couldn’t have won without masterful performances from their pitchers who ultimately allowing two runs in 18 innings, with Mariana Rivera getting the save in each game.
That very same pitching staff got some help on Wednesday when Chad Gaudin signed a major league deal and rejoined the bullpen as a long reliever, bumping Sergio Mitre into more of a middle relief role. The notebook also has items on Alfredo Aceves, Boone Logan, Curtis Granderson and Kevin Russo.
Postgame notes: Winning the close ones • 05.26.10
One week ago, the Yankees were winless in one-run games. After tonight’s wins, their past three victory have been one-run wins.
“If you’re going to win the division,” Mark Teixeira said. “You have to win the close ones.”
There were a lot of stars today, and that includes A.J. Burnett, who didn’t throw a single pitch and still picked up a win.
Target Field has been a tough park for home runs. The Twins have hit 38 homer this season, only 10 of them in their new stadium. The Yankees, though, won today on solo home runs from Derek Jeter and Nick Swisher. Then Mariano Rivera closed out both games for only his second and third saves of the month. All three of those saves, of course, have come in the Yankees three one-run wins.
“I actually thought his stuff was better the second game than in the first game,” Joe Girardi said. “But I won’t make a habit of that.”
Here’s Rivera talking about his day, especially his day compared to his struggles last week. “Everything,” he said. “The ball coming out of my hand. The movement. The location. Everything was better.”
• Andy Pettitte was awesome. Plain and simple. No pitch today was bigger than his eighth-inning cutter to Joe Mauer, getting the MVP to ground into a double play that stranded the go-ahead run at third base. Awesome quote from Pettitte: “It’s a tough situation because he’s such a great hitter. I threw him a ball in the first inning that I didn’t think he could hit and he drives in a run, hit it the other way. You don’t know how he does it. He’s just amazing to watch. He’s like Derek. He can take balls that other hitters can’t handle and hit them the other way.”
• Speaking of Pettitte, he said his changeup was the best it’s been in a long, long time. He was especially happy with his command of the fastball, cutter and change.
• Good line from Swisher about the difficulty of getting a ball out of Target Field: “In this ballpark with the height of the fence, you really have to hit it up in the air. I was talking to a couple of guys on the Twins and they were talking about how balls travel down the line pretty well, but once you get into the gaps, 403 with a 30-foot wall, I’m not going deep over there. It’s not possible for me. I understand that.”
• As early as the seventh inning of the second game, Girardi called down to the bullpen to make sure Rivera knew to be ready. He was going to use him if the Yankees got a lead.
• Finally free to acknowledge the signing of Chad Gaudin, Girardi said he expects Gaudin to move into the long relief role while Sergio Mitre will move into that middle-inning role that Alfredo Aceves filled before he was hurt. Basically, Mitre replaces Aceves, Gaudin replaces Mitre.
• Remember when the Yankees were winning so many games early in the season? A lot of that was due to production at the bottom of the order. Tonight No. 7 hitter Francisco Cervelli walked twice and scored a run, No. 8 hitter Kevin Russo had two hits, an RBI and a run and No. 9 hitter Brett Gardner had a game-tying triple.
• Dave Robertson was hit in the lower back by that first-game line drive. “I probably wouldn’t use him anyway tomorrow because of pitches, but he’s OK,” Girardi said.
• Derek Jeter seems to have found his stroke again, and that includes a home run and a double today. “It’s good to see him get back in his legs,” Girardi said. “I think that’s important when you see him drive the ball like that. That’s a good sign.”
• Juan Miranda pinch hit for Marcus Thames in the second game and positively crushed a ball to center field. “That ball is way out in most stadiums,” Teixeira said.
Associated Press photos of Swisher and Robertson.
Feinsand: Gaudin rejoining Yankees • 05.26.10
Good job by our good friend Mark Feinsand who’s reporting that the Yankees have agreed to bring back Chad Gaudin to pitch out of the Yankees bullpen. Gaudin is reportedly already in Minneapolis to be activated before tonight’s game and a half.
Gaudin would give the team an additional long man, and could essentially take the place of Alfredo Aceves who suffered a setback on Tuesday when he once again felt pain in his lower back.
Of course, the Yankees had Gaudin this spring, but he became the odd man out when Sergio Mitre pitched extremely well. He signed with Oakland, was designated for assignment and now he appears to be coming back to where his season started. Last year he went 2-0 with a 3.43 ERA as a late-season addition in New York.
Tough day for past and present relievers • 05.16.10
My day was mostly about finally buying groceries and finally cleaning my apartment, but I did manage to catch several innings of today’s game, including every pitch from the bullpen.
Sergio Mitre gave the Yankees a quality start and David Robertston went a long way toward redeeming himself — that was a big pitch to Morneau — but Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera proved to be human afterall.
The past 24 hours haven’t been much better for former Yankees relievers.
• Edwar Ramirez was designated for assignment by the Athletics.
• Chad Gaudin was also designated by Oakland.
• Brian Bruney was designated for assignment by the Nationals.
Hard to see any of those three fitting for the Yankees.
Some good news from within the organization, Josh Norris is reporting that Hector Noesi has been promoted to Double-A. Noesi was added to the 40-man roster this winter. He had 53 three strikeouts and only six walks with High-A Tampa.
No other card to play • 03.25.10
Brian Cashman said this morning that explored trade opportunities before releasing Chad Gaudin, but he found no match. Gaudin had clearly fallen out of the roster picture, and so the Yankees had little choice but to let him and his $2.95 million deal go.
“There isn’t another card for me to play,” Cashman said.
Because Gaudin’s contract wasn’t guaranteed, the Yankees will only pay fraction of his salary — one-fourth, I believe — but they could have sent him to Triple-A if they were willing to pay the full amount.
“I’d like to have insurance like that,” Cashman said. “But it’s not realistic.”
Here’s Gaudin talking about being released. This session came literally minutes after he found out.
• Another sign that Phil Hughes appears to be the Yankees fifth starter: He will start Friday’s game against the Phillies on short rest. Considering Joe Girardi has said he wants to transition his starters-turned-relievers into their bullpen roles, it would seem odd that Hughes would make another start if he hadn’t won the job.
• That said, Hughes said he still hasn’t been told that he’s the fifth starter. “I’m the wrong guy to be asking,” he said.
• Cashman said the Yankees would have to “make some real tough choices” in order to carry a second lefty this season. He also said the Yankees aren’t setup to carry two situational lefties, and he considers Damaso Marte a situational lefty on this team.
• A lot of the guys who were cut yesterday were brought back to big league camp today to play off the bench.
• Pitchers making today’s trip to Sarasota: Alfredo Aceves, Sergio Mitre, Chan Ho Park, Dave Robertson, Boone Logan, Jonathan Albaladejo, Amaury Sanit and Zack Segovia.
• Scheduled to play off the bench: C P.J. Pilittere, 1B Jose Gil, 2B Justin Snyder, SS Kevin Russo, 3B Ramiro Pena, LF Jon Weber, CF Greg Golson, RF David Winfree.
• C Neall French, INF Walter Ibarra and OF Edwar Gonzalez were also brought up from minor league camp to serve as just-in-case bench players.
Looking for a surprise • 03.23.10
Aside from the 25 players who seem to be favorites for the Opening Day roster, there are still 14 others in big league camp with the Yankees. Could any of these play their way onto the roster?
Two straight seasons on the opening day roster, but that trend will probably come to an end this spring. He’s really struggled with a sinker that hasn’t sunk. On the roster? On his way to Scranton to get things worked out. He was pitching very well at the end of last season.
Might be on waivers, but he’s still in camp. Pitched well for the Yankees last season, but he seems to have been passed by Sergio Mitre. On the roster? It obviously doesn’t look good.
He’s on the 40-man and he’s had a nice spring — .300/.364/.550 with plus speed and defense — but he has yet to prove himself as a consistent hitter in the minor leagues. On the roster? More likely in Scranton trying to prove himself with the bat.
Joe Girardi seems to view a second lefty as a luxury, not a necessity. Logan has an option remaining, so he can be sent to Triple-A. That’s probably not good news for him. He has pitched well, though. On the roster? Not if the Yankees plan to keep the four remaining fifth-starter candidates.
One rocky outing, but otherwise he’s been solid this spring. The Chan Ho Park signing probably crowded out any chances he had of breaking camp with the big league club. On the roster? Not now. Check back in June.
Remember when the Yankees signed Nick Johnson? That was the day Miranda was bumped out of the big league mix. He’s insurance at this point. On the roster? Not as long as Johnson is healthy.
In camp to help handle the extra pitchers but has almost no chance of breaking camp with the team. Needs a chance to play regularly at Triple-A, but obviously Jesus Montero stands in the way. On the roster? A simple, no.
Veteran depth behind the plate, Rivera is around as insurance. He’s clearly behind Francisco Cervelli, and his .125 spring average probably hasn’t helped. On the roster? Not unless someone gets hurt.
Another pitcher who has done well this spring but seems crowded out of the bullpen. Even if the Yankees were to carry a second left, Logan might be the better bet. On the roster? Probably battling Logan for a call-up from Scranton.
He’s a polished hitter, and he’s proven that this spring, but his limited experience at shortstop and in the outfield leaves him as a tough fit for the Yankees. On the roster? Probably not on Opening Day, but keep an eye on his Scranton numbers.
I’ll be perfectly honest: I was surprised Sanit even got a big league invite, but the Yankees clearly saw some things and he’s proven worth the spot with a terrific spring. He won’t break camp with New York, but if he keeps this up he could push for a call-up. On the roster? No, but made a more compelling case than expected.
Minor league veteran was signed to a minor league deal this winter. He’s been solid this spring, but he’s pretty far down on the depth chart. On the roster? It’s a bit difficult to even find a spot for him in Scranton.
Not at all flashy, but the guy knows how to hit and he’s shown it time and again this spring. Being left-handed takes his slim chances and makes them almost nil. On the roster? No. But he might have opened some eyes.
One of the more interesting minor league free agent signings, Winfree is still just 24 and has shown good power. The Yankees say he’s competing for a bench role, but it’s hard to see that happening with Thames in the mix. On the roster? Might be the only guy who could give Thames a challenge, but it still seems unlikely. Mid-season replacement? Very possible.
Price: Gaudin placed on waivers • 03.23.10
According to Ed Price, the Yankees have placed Chad Gaudin on waivers.
The Yankees clearly don’t have room for all five of their fifth-starter candidates. This spring, Gaudin has been the least reliable of the bunch. Plus he’s out of options and is owed $2.95 million, which is more than three times what Sergio Mitre is owed. The other candidates will make a little more than the league minimum.
If Gaudin clears, the Yankees could send him to Triple-A, or they could release him and pay him only a fraction of his salary.
Today in The Journal News • 03.20.10
Alfredo Aceves is making another start this afternoon. After a six-year career in Mexico, he has been the best and the least likely of all the Yankees fifth starter candidates. His ultimate destination might be the bullpen, but Aceves has already been a terrific find for the Yankees scouting department.
Sergio Mitre took his turn on Friday and tossed a gem against the Rays. While Mitre shined, Chad Guadin struggled. The notebook also has items on CC Sabathia, Alex Rodriguez, Damaso Marte and the latest spring training cuts.
Aceves scheduled to start Saturday • 03.18.10
It’s is a remarkably slow day here in Yankees camp. The BYU-Florida game was the center of attention in the clubhouse as players filtered in for the past hour or so.
If there is any news today, I guess it’s the fact Alfredo Aceves will start Saturday’s game against Houston. Yesterday, Joe Girardi said he wasn’t sure whether Aceves would start on Saturday or pitch in relief on Friday.
Friday’s split squad has CC Sabathia starting at home against Rick Porcello. Sergio Mitre will start on the road against Dan Wheeler, with Chad Gaudin pitching in relief.
• Nick Swisher has a five-game hitting streak, Jorge Posada has gone 8-for-11 in his past four games and Robinson Cano has a hit in six of eight games, with multiple hits in four of them.
• Available to pitch today: Javier Vazquez, Chan Ho Park, Dave Robertson, Dustin Moseley, Mark Melancon, Romulo Sanchez and Boone Logan.
• Scheduled to play off the bench: C Austin Romine, 1B Jon Weber, 2B Reegie Corona, SS Kevin Russo, 3B Eduardo Nunez, LF Colin Curtis, CF Greg Golson, RF Reid Gorecki, DH P.J. Pilittere.
• Tomorrow’s split squad at home: Francisco Cervelli, P.J. Pilittere, Mike Rivera, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Nick Johnson, Alex Rodriguez, Kevin Russo, Mark Teixeira, Jorge Vazquez, Greg Golson, Jamie Hoffmann, Marcus Thames, Jon Weber and David Winfree.
• Tomorrow’s split squad on the road: Jesus Montero, Jorge Posada, Austin Romine, Reegie Corona, Brandon Laird, Juan Miranda, Eduardo Nunez, Ramiro Pena, Colin Curtis, Brett Gardner, Reid Gorecki, Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher and Randy Winn.
• The Yankees will almost certainly add some position players from minor league camp for tomorrow’s games. Basically, the starting outfield is going on the road and the starting infield is staying here.
• Pitchers going on the road tomorrow: Sergio Mitre, Chad Gaudin, Jason Hirsh, Amaury Sanit and Zack Segovia.
• Tampa Bay’s lineup tonight:
Jason Bartlett SS
Carl Crawford LF
Ben Zobrist RF
Carlos Pena 1B
Willy Aybar 3B
B.J. Upton CF
Pat Burrell DH
Sean Rodriguez 2B
Dioner Navarro C
LHP Carlos Hernandez
UPDATE, 3:21 p.m.: Pitchers who traveled with Tampa Bay: RHP Jeff Bennett, RHP Joe Bateman, RHP Richard De Los Santos, RHP Mike Eckstrom, LHP Heath Phillips, RHP Heath Rollins and RHP Dale Thayer.
Also, according to the Rays media notes, the team has already optioned Desmond Jennings, Jeremy Hellickson and Jake McGee to minor league camp. Tim Beckham has also been reassigned there. They’ve named James Shields as their Opening Day starter.