The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


Jeter not dwelling on injuries09.03.13

Rob Thomson, Conor Gillaspie, Derek JeterDerek Jeter has injured himself three times this year, fracturing his left ankle again and straining his right quad and calf. But he has been back for seven games since his third DL stay and he says he isn’t thinking about hurting those 39-year-old legs again.

“I don’t really have a choice,” Jeter said after the Yankees’ 9-1 win over the White Sox Monday at Yankee Stadium. “We only have 20-something games left. Our job is to try and go out there and win as many games as possible. It’s kind of hard to play the game when you’re thinking about not being injured.”

Joe Girardi was encouraged to see how Jeter ran in this game. In the first inning, he had an RBI single, moved to second on an error and tagged up and sped to third on a fly to right.

“That made me feel pretty good,” Girardi said.

Jeter said he feels fine. The Captain hadn’t been fine at the plate, coming in with no hits in his previous 14 at-bats. But he went 2 for 4. This was just his 12th major-league game in a season he called “kind of unique.”

Here’s a link to my Yankees notebook on Jeter and the debuts of J.R. Murphy and Cesar Cabral. And here’s a link to my story on Phil Hughes and David Huff and the happenings in Monday’s game.

Associated Press photo.

Posted by: Brian Heyman - Posted in Miscwith 187 Comments →

Yankees pregame: Huff up, Betances down08.15.13

Taboola Home/Section Front Player

 

 

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Lefty David Huff is back and righty Dellin Betances trades places with him, heading back to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Huff said he felt bad for Betances, who was charged with four runs, five hits and a walk in two-thirds of an inning in Tuesday night’s 14-7 win over the Angels, his lone outing.

“I was really looking forward to being in the bullpen with him,” Huff said. “We’ve been together for as long as I’ve been here. So it kind of sucks. But he’ll be back up here. I know he will. He’s got good stuff. But as far as me, everything I’ve been working on, we’ll see if it works. We’ll see if it pays off.”

The Yankees will need a starter for next Tuesday’s day/night doubleheader against the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. Huff, a 28-year-old former Indian, was 1-6 with a 3.84 ERA over 13 outings with the RailRiders, 12 of them starts.

“He’s a guy who can give us more distance, another lefty in the bullpen,” Joe Girardi said. “He’s a guy that’s been starting down there. Moving forward, we have a split doubleheader coming up. so there’s a lot of things (he can do). You’ve got a couple of lefties coming up, it’s a chance to use him, too.”

To make room on the 40-man roster, David Phelps (another forearm strain) was transferred to the 60-day DL.

“He’s not going to pick up a ball for a while again like he did before,” Phelps said. “I think the last day he pitched was July 4. September 4 is not probably realistic anyway for him to come back, so it was a pretty easy move. I think he can pitch in September.”

Phil Hughes is overdue for a decent start. He brings a 4-11 record and a 4.99 ERA into today’s series finale.

“Location,” Girardi said about the key. “It’s simple. Location. That’s what pitching is about, location and changing speeds.”

Derek Jeter worked out with the team today and is next bound for Tampa. He’s eligible to be activated from the DL Sunday in Boston. Will he?

“I wouldn’t think so,” Girardi said. “We’ll go day by day and see where he’s at. I’m not sure (about the following series). He really hasn’t run, running the bases. It’s just day by day and hopefully sooner than later.”

Posted by: Brian Heyman - Posted in Miscwith 90 Comments →

Jeter returning today07.11.13

Yankees Jeter BaseballThis morning brings word that Derek Jeter will return today and not tomorrow night.

The Captain went 1 for 9 with four walks in four rehab games with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Last night, he went 0 for 3 and made a throwing error against Rochester.

So a Yankees-Royals series finale will have a little more buzz than usual.

Here’s a link to my story on the Yankees’ power show and pitching show in last night’s 8-1 win as Jeter prepped for his return. Also, here’s a link to my Yankees notebook with items on David Phelps’ arm feeling better, A-Rod’s rehab game results and Brett Gardner’s injury. And here’s a link to my feature story on Travis Hafner’s struggles and his freak injury in this latest game.

The photo is by The Associated Press.

UPDATE, 8:24 a.m.: Hey everyone, Chad here. Not that you needed my confirmation, but I’ve also heard this morning that Jeter is coming back this afternoon. Amazing that just a few weeks ago it seemed that Jeter was behind Alex Rodriguez in terms of recovery and has now beaten him to the big leagues. I’ll have more from Yankee Stadium.

 

Posted by: Brian Heyman - Posted in Miscwith 173 Comments →

Yankees postgame: Nova super again07.11.13

Ivan NovaIvan Nova was brilliant in this 8-1 win over the Royals, one run and five hits allowed over eight, his third straight strong spot start.

“I don’t remember the last time I feel the way I feel,” Nova said. “I’m throwing strikes with all my pitches.”

David Phelps feels good again after his slight forearm strain and should be ready to come off the DL after the All-Star break. Michael Pineda is waiting in Triple-A for his shot. The Yankees are reportedly shopping Phil Hughes. Something will have to give soon.

“Having extra starters is a good problem to have,” Joe Girardi said.

Nova made an impression on Ned Yost.

“Nova was excellent,” the Kansas City manager said. “He had an outstanding fastball that he kept down and his curveball was probably the best we’ve seen all year.”

Girardi said the start “should build his confidence. Getting him back on track was really important to us.”

Girardi wouldn’t confirm Derek Jeter will be back playing for the Yankees Friday night barring any setback as YES’ Jack Curry reported.

“We’ll see where he’s at,” Girardi said.

Jeter may be a little rusty. The word from Moosic was that he looked shaky in the field Wednesday night. He was charged with a throwing error, leaving him at 1 for 9 with four walks over his four rehab games.

The Yankees who were actually in the Bronx were happy to score so many runs after those three straight home losses, all with only one run scored.

“I’ve said all along that we have to win a lot of close games,” Girardi said. “We’ve been pretty good at it. But it’s nice to win a game 8-1.”

The scheduled starters for Thursday afternoon’s series finale are Andy Pettitte and Ervin Santana.
 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: Brian Heyman - Posted in Miscwith 28 Comments →

Yankees pregame: Phelps feeling better; Hughes/Joba on the trade block?07.10.13

David PhelpsDavid Phelps was a little concerned heading into his MRI. After winning his last start in Minnesota July 4, he went up to trainer Steve Donohue to ask for anti-inflammatory medication because he had been feeling a little stiffness in his right forearm near the elbow. Donohue told him a doctor visit was in order.

“There’s a lot less concern now after the MRI than there was,” Phelps said about the diagnosis of a slight straight. “Any time it’s your arm, there’s some concern. When (the doctor) came and said the ligament looked great, that was obviously reassuring. It’s just something minor. We can take care of that and go from there.”

The arm had been bothering him for a few days, but he said he didn’t feel it throwing.

“It was like weird times, like if I was laying in bed and I’d roll over,” Phelps said. “It would feel stiff.”

After ice and rest, he feels good to go again.

“My arm feels great now,” Phelps said. “It’s back to the way it felt before. I don’t expect it to bother me at all.”

Phelps spent some time with his family the last few days. He won’t be off during the All-Star break. He said he’s probably going to go to Tampa. He plans to throw on Monday. So barring any setbacks, he should be ready when he’s eligible to return from the DL next Saturday.

Alex Rodriguez had a single and an RBI in three at-bats today as a DH in Tampa’s 5-2 loss to Dunedin. So he’s 2 for 15 after six rehab games. There has been no lobbying campaign for a quick return like Derek Jeter has staged.

“I think Alex feels that he’s not to that level, that he’s not ready to go,” Joe Girardi said.

Jeter is scheduled to play tonight in Moosic for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre against Rochester. The Yankees have left open the possibility he will return for the weekend series here against the Twins. Girardi said he didn’t think it wasn’t an issue to bring back Jeter for that series if he’s ready even though there would be four off days afterward with the All-Star break.

Girardi also said he’d like to see Jeter go seven or eight innings at short in the minors first.

“We have to make sure he’s ready,” Girardi said.

The Yankees scored one run Tuesday night for the third straight game, but the lineup is the same. Any thought to doing some juggling?

“What would you suggest?” Girardi asked.

I’d suggest a trade for more help beyond just Jeter. Actually, there are reports circulating today that the Yankees are shopping free agents-to-be Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain in their search for hitting help.  Anyone in favor?

Photo by The Associated Press.

Posted by: Brian Heyman - Posted in Miscwith 84 Comments →

In search of offense; A-Rod suspension reportedly coming07.10.13

Yankees Jeter BaseballThe Yankees’ games seem to go fast, so much faster than they used to than in previous years when this team could hit. There were just six hits, all singles, Tuesday night in the 3-1 loss to Kansas City, the Yankees’ third straight setback, all at home. They had just one hit after the second inning. The game lasted just two hours, 29 minutes.

“We’re going to have to score more runs,” Joe Girardi said. “I believe they can do it.”

He praised the effort of his hitters and refused to make a plea for outside help as the nonwaiver deal deadline gets closer.

“As I’m asked that question on a yearly basis, what you’re asking me to do is kind of put down the guys in that room and I’ll never do that,” Girardi said.

He will have to hope the injured guys can get up and running in a hurry when they return, although outside help would sure be helpful, too. He will settle first for Derek Jeter’s help very soon.

“I think his presence is going to help us,” Girardi said. “He’s used to so many things that happen in New York and understands the landscape here. I think his attitude will help us.”

How much Alex Rodriguez will help in the second half is questionable. Besides the issue of performance after the second hip operation in four years, the latest ESPN report has a suspension by MLB over the Biogenensis scandal expected at some point after the All-Star Game, which will have a large cloud over it with about 20 players in this boat. You would think A-Rod would be able to play during the appeal process. Here’s a link to my Yankees notebook with items on A-Rod, Jeter and Travis Hafner.

Plus, here’s my article on the team’s latest offensive struggle and the waste of CC Sabathia’s complete game. And I have a look back at the Pine Tar Game with the 30th anniversary coming later this month and George Brett in town with the Royals.

Hey everyone, Chad here, just jumping in on Brian’s post to say I’m going to host a quick chat today at noon. The offense hasn’t been much to talk about, so why don’t we talk about that?

Photo by The Associated Press

Posted by: Brian Heyman - Posted in Miscwith 135 Comments →

Yankees postgame: Starved for runs07.09.13

CC SabathiaIt looks like that 29-run eruption in Minnesota was just a mirage, accomplished against bad pitching. The Yankees have just 11 runs to show for their last five games and only three in their three straight home losses. They became the final AL team to drop three in a row at home after this 3-1 loss to the Royals.

“We have not scored a ton of runs all year long,” Joe Girardi said. “As I said when we left spring training, we were going to have to win a lot of close games … That’s what we’re going through.”

The Yankees wasted a complete game from CC Sabathia, who allowed three runs and seven hits. The Yankees managed just six hits. Sabathia is looking forward to the injured hitters coming back. Derek Jeter is the closest right now.

“The guys in here that have been called up to step up have done a good job, but it’s hard to replace those guys,” Sabathia said.

Travis Hafner struck out three times and walked in his four plate appearances. He’s 13 for his last 58 and down to .217 overall.

“Getting some of the guys who have been hurt back will be a big help, but I think the guys that are here can swing the bat better — obviously myself,” Hafner said.

Sabathia obviously would’ve had to pitch a shutout to win. He rued the inside fastballs that David Lough and Billy Butler hit for solo homers.

“Two big mistakes,” Sabathia said.

There is practically no margin for error with this offense in the state it’s in right now.

Ivan Nova gets the ball Wednesday night. Wade Davis, who’s 4-7 with a 5.42 ERA, will start for Kansas City.

Photo by The Associated Press.

 

 

Posted by: Brian Heyman - Posted in Miscwith 71 Comments →

Yankees pregame: Waiting on the Captain07.09.13

Derek Jeter isn’t scheduled to play today in Triple-A, but Joe Girardi still won’t rule him out for the weekend series against the Twins.

“Anything’s possible at this point,” Girardi said.
What day would be the latest he would rule him out?
“Sunday,” Girardi said with a smile.
It does seem like Jeter will be with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre for at least two more rehab games after playing just three so far and not going the full way at short yet.
“He’s got to play in the field a little bit longer and back-to-back possibly,” Girardi said. “I know (he thinks) he’s ready to be here. He was ready last week. That’s just Derek.”
The Yankees could sure use Jeter’s bat in the lineup.
“I think the real thing is to make sure he’s ready because you don’t want him to end up pulling something,” Girardi said. “We want to make sure his legs are in shape.”

Travis Hafner is 13 for his last 55, but Girardi is sticking with him at DH.

“It’s hard to put your finger on exactly why he’s struggling, but he is and we need him to hit and that’s the bottom line,” Girardi said. “We need this guy to hit so we’re doing everything we can to get him going.”

Posted by: Brian Heyman - Posted in Miscwith 90 Comments →

Yankees postgame: Nova deserves old job back07.05.13

Ivan NovaThere’s no room at the moment for Ivan Nova, and yet doesn’t it seem like it’s time to make room again in the rotation? He has been excellent since he has been back from the minors, especially in this 3-2 win over the Orioles, his first career complete game. And it came with just three hits and one walk allowed, plus 11 strikeouts.

Nova would seem to have more of an upside than David Phelps, especially if the 26-year-old righty has indeed found his old consistency that abandoned him a year ago.

The Yankees could give him a start again with just nine games to go until the All-Star break. Eventually, though, they may have to make a decision. Plus, they have such a short bench with 13 pitchers here.

Joe Girardi said: “I’m not sure exactly how we’ll do it, but he’ll probably start again.”

Nova said he had everything working, including that mid-90s fastball, some changeups and again that great curveball.

“His curveball was about as good as I’ve seen a curveball from anyone,” Vernon Wells said.

Nova was told along the way by a couple of teammates that the Yankees were going to win this game, and he believed it, too.

“I never thought we were going to lose,” Nova said. “I was positive the whole night.”

It took Baltimore’s shaky closer to help shake out a couple of runs in the ninth. Jim Johnson blew his sixth save in 35 chances and dropped to 2-7. His ERA rose to 4.02. One of the two runs in the ninth was unearned thanks to Johnson’s error on Brett Gardner’s bunt. But David Adams helped as well, opening the ninth with a single. And Wells helped with his ground single to left to touch off the celebration.

The Yankees not only won their season-high-tying fifth straight despite struggling offensively again, but they snapped their five-game losing streak against the Orioles, improving to 4-6 against them.

“That team over there has had our number,” Wells said. “They’ve played well against us even in the games that we’ve won. … We were just able to come through late (tonight). But we need to win games like that. We haven’t done it enough. We were doing it early in the season. Hopefully we can get back to doing that.”

Hiroki Kuroda felt good after his bullpen session and will be slotted back into the rotation if his hip flexor feels the same Saturday.

Eduardo Nunez went 3 for 3 with a walk and an RBI in his rehab game with Trenton against Reading. Besides Derek Jeter and Michael Pineda being scheduled for rehab work Saturday night with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre against visiting Lehigh Valley, Alex Rodriguez is scheduled for a rehab game Saturday night with Single-A Tampa against the Brevard County Manatees at Space Coast Stadium in Viera, Fla.

Photo by The Associated Press.

Posted by: Brian Heyman - Posted in Miscwith 136 Comments →

Yankees pregame: The Captain returns in the minors07.05.13

Derek Jeter is scheduled to be back playing baseball tomorrow night at around 7:05. For now, he’s a RailRider. The  Captain was cleared today to begin his 20-day rehab assignment clock. So he will play at least five innings at shortstop for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre against visiting Lehigh Valley.

“That’s really good news,” Joe Girardi said. “That obviously means his ankle feels a lot better. He’s been dying to get out there since spring training and he’s had some setbacks. But this is a really good sign.

“I think he has to feel comfortable playing. He really hasn’t had a whole lot of at-bats. He hasn’t played a whole lot of infield. So (we need to see him) being able to go back-to-back days, back-to-back-to-back days that sort of thing.”

Asked if he would rule out Jeter returning on this final homestand before the break, Girardi said, “I don’t really have any expectations because I haven’t seen him play. If I can see him play in some games … I’d feel a lot better about making that decision.”

Right now, Girardi thinks Eduardo Nunez has a better chance of returning before the break than Jeter and Alex Rodriguez.

Robinson Cano has had five different double-play partners starting opposite him, the latest being Luis Cruz. Jeter would provide stability.

“Hopefully everything goes well with him and we will see him pretty soon,” Cano said.

Michael Pineda is supposed to make the final rehab start on his 30-day clock tomorrow with Double-A Trenton and then the Yankees will have to decide where he fits.

“We’ll see how he does tomorrow and make an evaluation,” Girardi said.

Girardi said Zoilo Almonte is just getting a rest today as this long stretch of games continues to the break. Vernon Wells is starting in left.

Hiroki Kuroda said his hip flexor feels OK now. He was cleared to throw a bullpen session today.

Posted by: Brian Heyman - Posted in Miscwith 82 Comments →

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