The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


Pregame notes: Yankees expect Teixiera decision tomorrow07.24.14

Mark Teixeira

Joe Girardi said the Yankees will to make a decision tomorrow regarding Mark Teixiera. He’s either healthy enough to rejoin the lineup in a few days, or he’s hurt enough to go on the disabled list.

“It’s just seeing how he feels after three or four days (of rest),” Girardi said. “And then we’ll decide if we think it’s going to be in the near future that he would play, or if we’re going to need the 15 days. If it’s going to be 12, 13, 14 days, it probably make sense to get a player.”

This is Teixeira’s fourth day off after getting that injection for his strained lat. Without him, the Yankees really don’t have a first baseman. Kelly Johnson was the backup, but now he’s on the disabled list, and Brian McCann has become the first base regular, but at some point Francisco Cervelli’s going to need a day off behind the plate.

“I’ve got like 11 other guys I can run out there,” Girardi said, either joking or making a fair statement about the fact one inexperienced guy is just as good as another. “I talked to Chase (Headley) about it. Chase said he would feel comfortable going over there. I would not be afraid to put Brendan Ryan there. I would not be afraid to put (Zelous) Wheeler there.”

But if Teixeira is going to be out much longer, the Yankees might as well add someone who gives more flexibility at first base. That could be bringing up a first baseman — I assume either Kyle Roller or Jose Pirela — or bringing up a catcher so that McCann can play first base full time for the time being.

“We’ll get through today,” Girardi said. “And we’ll probably have something tomorrow and we’ll make a decision.”

Derek Jeter• Michael Pineda’s scheduled simulated game was rained out, so he pitched inside and threw the equivalent of two innings. Not ideal, but the Yankees will move forward with his rehab schedule. In five days he’ll go three innings or 45-50 pitches. Girardi said he wasn’t sure whether that would be a sim game or an actual rehab assignment.

• Regular day off for Derek Jeter, and Girardi said it has nothing to do with ground ball pitcher Brandon McCarthy being on the mound. “It’s just kind of the way it goes,” Girardi said. “Day game (after a night game). If it was a night game, he probably would’ve played.”

• Would Girardi consider swapping roles by putting Cervelli at first base and using McCann behind the plate? “I could do that, (but) I’m not sure I would,” Girardi said. “Cervy’s next thing might be a day off. But right now he’s extremely energetic still and he has that in him.”

• Girardi wouldn’t go into detail about why he preferred Jacoby Ellsbury leading off and Brett Gardner batting second today, but he was also asked if he’s ever considered — given Ellsbury’s steals and Gardner’s surprising power — batting Ellsbury leadoff and Gardner third when the Yankees have a full lineup. “That I wouldn’t do,” Girardi said. “It’s just that Gardy’s really never hit in that spot. Jake is a guy that I feel I can move around because he has moved around, in a sense. I’ve toyed with different ideas. I won’t say the other day that I didn’t think about hitting Gardy (third). I thought that Jake might not be available to me that one day, maybe I do hit Gardy third, but I probably wouldn’t do it. But I said probably.”

• Just to be clear, the Yankees don’t expect Teixeira to play tomorrow, only that they’ll have a better idea about his health tomorrow. “I don’t think tomorrow’s the day,” Girardi said. “But obviously you want to feel that there’s progress and that he feels better and that he can start doing some stuff. We felt that we’d give him three days not doing much with treatment and we’d see where we’re at.”

• The Yankees are keeping their extra pitcher for today. Could lose a pitcher tomorrow to add a position player. Likely want to know what’s going on with Teixeira before making that decision.

• McCarthy has pitched well since coming to the Yankees, and he’s given some credit to the fact the Yankees are having him throw his cutter again. “I think guys want to feel like they have all their weapons,” Girardi said. “That was a big pitch for him. I know that when we faced him that was a huge pitch for him, and for him to get that back and feel comfortable with it would be really important.”

Associated Press photos

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith Comments Off

Yankees postgame: Team finally does its home work well07.20.14

Zack Cozart, Skip Schumaker

The Yankees know they need to be more rude to their guests in the second half. They have an AL-high 37 home games left. In the first half, they were just an 18-23 home team.

“We’re going to have to win at home,” Brian McCann said. “Our team is built for this ballpark. When we start to swing the bats better, we’re going to win more games.”

Now they’re 21-23 after this three-game sweep over the Reds to start a 10-game homestand out of the break.

“To be able to start off this way against a team that’s been playing well, that’s fighting for their division as well, I think it was real important,” Joe Girardi said.

Cincinnati put a bow on the sweep by giving the Yankees a gift run in the last of the ninth — McCann’s popup to shallow right that fell between three Reds and went for a single, scoring Jacoby Ellsbury from third to make it a 3-2 win.

“But I’ll take it, for sure,” McCann said.

“I thought I was under it and I was not,” first baseman Todd Frazier said.

Manager Bryan Price was looking at second baseman Skip Schumaker and right fielder Jay Bruce.

“Certainly I think it was a miscommunication in the sense that I’m sure Jay and Schumaker both thought the other was going to catch it,” Price said.

For all their rotation injuries, the Yankees’ starters are doing OK. They have given up three earned runs or less in each of their last eight games. They are 3-1 with a 1.99 ERA in this stretch.

“Right now, these guys are getting it done for us,” Girardi said.

The only original starter left, Hiroki Kuroda, sure did in this start, allowing one unearned run and three hits in 6 2/3.

“He was awesome — again,” McCann said.

Dellin Betances wasn’t awesome for a change, surrendering the tying homer to Frazier in the eighth.

“I think we were all a little bit shocked when it happened,” Girardi said.

Betances said: “It was definitely frustrating, but I had faith that our team would come back.”

Ellsbury went 4 for 4, stole two bases and made a great catch in center.

“He showed all his tools today,” McCann said.

The Yankees finished interleague play at 13-7. Now injury-ravaged Texas comes in for four.

Photo by The Associated Press

Posted by: Brian Heyman - Posted in Miscwith Comments Off

Yankees pregame: Teixeira, Ellsbury hurting07.02.14

Mark Teixeira and Jacoby Ellsbury aren’t in the lineup, and it isn’t just a typical day of rest.

Teixeira had his left knee drained after last night’s game. Joe Girardi said he expects him back for tomorrow night’s game in Minnesota.

“He’s been playing with a little fluid on it for a few days,” Girardi said.

Ellsbury isn’t feeling great in general, according to Girardi.

“Ells is just kind of beat up and needs a day off,” Girardi said. “He should be back in there tomorrow, too. He’s a little bit sore all over. So he needs a day. And a guy needs a day, he needs a day.”

The struggling offense loses the .288 bat and the speed of Ellsbury and its leading homer (15) and RBI (41) producer in Teixeira, but the Yankees still have to try to avoid a sweep by the Rays.

“It is what it is and someone else has got to come up with some big hits today,” Girardi said.

Girardi added this about the offense: “There’s no magic formula. Can I go, I don’t know, walk on my hands through the clubhouse? No, I can’t do that. It’s just continue to work and you keep throwing them out there. You try to give the guys that you believe are the most productive consistent at-bats and eventually it’s going to change.”

 

Posted by: Brian Heyman - Posted in Miscwith 125 Comments →

Yankees pregame: “He’s a better player than even what I thought.”05.04.14

Jacoby EllsburyLet’s just say Jacoby Ellsbury has made a good first impression with the Yankees.

Besides the defense in center, the import from Boston is batting . 346 with 10 doubles, two triples, a homer, 14 RBI and 10 steals in 12 tries. He leads the AL with at least three hits in six games and has 11 multihit games. He’s 7 for 10 with two walks and two steals in this series.

Joe Girardi is enjoying the view every day as opposed to the occasional view from playing against the Red Sox.

“I think you see everything that he does on a daily basis as opposed to maybe seeing a great catch or a great jump on a ball in the outfield maybe once in a three-game series,” Girardi said. “But you get a chance to see him every day and what he’s capable of doing. He’s a better player than even what I thought.”

John Ryan Murphy is starting behind the plate to give Brian McCann a breather. Murphy is batting .313 with a homer and three RBI through his first seven games played after taking over the backup job for the injured Francesco Cervelli. Murphy has earned trust defensively as well.

“It really started last year when he came up in September, the job that he did for us behind home plate,” Girardi said. “Never seeing a young catcher get rattled is fairly unusual in a sense. … When I watch him back there, he’s calm. He knows exactly what he wants to do. He does the things that he needs to do. He frames pitches. He blocks pitches. He throws well. I think he calls a good game. He’s a real student of the game. And he puts up good at-bats. So it gave us a lot of confidence moving forward.

“When the season started, our plan was for him to go play every day and continue to get more at-bats and more reps under his belt. But with the injury to Cervi, that plan changed. It wasn’t that we didn’t think he was a big-league catcher when spring training broke. But we didn’t want him necessarily catching once every five or six days. We wanted to continue in his development. But that has to take place here now.”

Girardi said it’s “possible” Brendan Ryan could join the team Monday in Anaheim from his rehab assignment.

“I don’t think he needs much more,” Girardi said.

Photo by The Associated Press.

 

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

Ellsbury steps into Yankees-Red Sox from the other side04.10.14

Jacoby EllsburyJacoby Ellsbury will get a whole new view of Yankees-Red Sox Thursday night at Yankee Stadium, the view that comes with playing in The Rivalry while wearing pinstriped clothing.

The Yankees center fielder will face his former team for the first time in the opener of a four-game series after being given 153 million reasons to switch sides in the offseason.

“You can think about it,” Ellsbury said before Wednesday night’s 5-4 loss to the Orioles, “but until it happens, you don’t know how it’s going to feel.”

Boston made Ellsbury a first-round pick in 2005 and brought him up two years later, and he won two rings with that team, including one last October. He went 0 for 4 in this last game, but he’s off to a nice start overall with his new team, batting .364 with four steals in five tries.

“I’m looking forward to it, but it’s just really another game,” Ellsbury said. “But I’m definitely looking forward to it. I try not to get into an emotional roller coaster. That’s just each and every game.”

Yet he added: “A good amount of time, a good portion of my life I spent with that organization. I gave them everything I had. I left it all on the field.”

Joe Girardi said: “I think it’ll be interesting for him. My thought process is, it’ll be a little bit more interesting when we go there.”

The Yankees gave Masahiro Tanaka 155 million reasons to sign here. He has been impressive with 18 Ks and one walk in 14 innings over his two starts so far. Here’s a link to my story about his start and the Yankees’ loss in the Baltimore series finale. And here’s my feature story on the rise of Yangervis Solarte and it’s complete with how he got his name.

Photo by The Associated Press.

Posted by: Brian Heyman - Posted in Miscwith 186 Comments →

Nova off to shaky start04.08.14

Ivan NovaSo what’s up with Ivan Nova?

He allowed seven earned runs and 10 hits over 3 2/3 innings in losing to the Orioles after walking five in 5 2/3 in his first start in Houston. Nova only gave up two runs in that game and was the winner, but in this game, he couldn’t minimize the damage and the Yankees ended up losing 14-5.

“I don’t feel good when you pitch that way with the good spring training that I had,” Nova said.  “It’s only the second time. I have plenty of time to fix it and get back to where I want to be.”

He had a problem with his curve, and his sinker was up. Nova said he needs to get his pitches down.

“I wouldn’t make too much out of two starts,” Joe Girardi said. “I know it’s glaring in the beginning. I know he’s more than capable of turning this around and being a big-time pitcher for us.”

There was a chance for Nova to get out of the first with no runs scored instead of three. But Derek Jeter couldn’t reach Delmon Young’s bouncing single for a double-play try.

“I know he tried the best to get the double play,” Nova said. “That’s the game.”

Despite struggling, Nova didn’t walk anyone. So Yankees starting pitchers haven’t walked a batter now in five straight games.

Francisco Cervelli got his first shot at first base. He admitted he missed one foul ball that he probably should have caught. But Girardi said he was OK with his work over there.

“He passed for me,” Girardi said.

So Cervelli could be another option vs. lefties with Mark Teixeira out.

Yangervis Solarte doubled twice, making the rookie third baseman the first player since 1900 with at least six doubles in the first seven games of his career.

Jacoby Ellsbury went 3 for 4 and is 12 for his last 22 after starting 0 for 7.

Alfonso Soriano hit homer No. 1 on the season and No. 407 for his career, tying Duke Snider for 50th on the all-time list.

I’ll have more on Masahiro Tanaka’s Wednesday night Bronx debut in the morning.

Photo by The Associated Press.

Posted by: Brian Heyman - Posted in Miscwith 196 Comments →

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