The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


Just a few notes and links01.29.11

Is it time for spring training yet? Here are a few notes and links on this Saturday night.

• Jorge Posada spoke a little bit at an event with Bernie Williams tonight, saying he’s accepted the fact he’ll be a designated hitter this year, but he’s still planning to do at least a little bit of catching.

• Kevin Millwood is generating some interest from the Indians, but Jon Heyman reports that Millwood could still be a fallback plan for the Yankees if Andy Pettitte doesn’t change his mind.

• Kevin Towers is out of the Yankees organization, but his short tenure with the team left Towers with new respect for Brian Cashman. “I don’t care how smart and how good you are, if you take somebody from the outside to run the New York Yankees, I think he’ll be in for a big surprise,” Towers said.

• MLB.com has a video of Cashman’s night as a bartender.

• The Royals have decided to move their top catching prospect to the outfield to speed his path to the big leagues. To be fair, this is not a shocking move, there has previously been speculation about Wil Myers ending up in the outfield. The Royals have simply decided to make that move sooner rather than later.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Noteswith 96 Comments →

The pieces that don’t necessarily fit01.10.11

This free agent market doesn’t match the Yankees needs. We know that. It’s been discussed time after time, day after day, but this morning the good people at MLBTradeRumors listed the 11 players remaining from their initial list of the top 50 free agents. It paints a pretty convincing picture of just how little is out there. Here’s their list.

1. Rafael Soriano — Significant cost, in dollars and draft picks, for a setup man.

2. Carl Pavano — There was never a real chance of the Yankees bringing him back.

3. Jim Thome – Hasn’t played the field in three years. DH spot isn’t available.

4. Vladimir Guerrero — Another designated hitter, best kept out of the outfield at this point.

5. Manny Ramirez — Probably a better defensive option than Guerrero, but still questionable. Plus, Manny in pinstripes?

6. Andy Pettitte — This one’s not up to the Yankees. It’s all up to Pettitte.

7. Brian Fuentes – If he wants to close, he won’t come to the Yankees.

8. Kevin Millwood — Amazing how quickly the starting pitching market falls into the questionable zone. At least Millwood has been fairly durable.

9. Grant Balfour – Another setup man who would cost a draft pick.

10. Scott Podsednik – Left-handed, speed-oriented left fielder. The Yankees already have one of those.

11. Johnny Damon — Probably a better defensive option than some of the other guys who are primarily DHs. Might prefer an everyday role. A right-handed hitter would be a better fit.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 145 Comments →

Healthy Prior ready to earn his keep01.05.11

Coming into spring training on a minor league deal, Mark Prior says he doesn’t expect a big league job to be handed to him. But if he’s healthy, Prior believes he can earn a spot in the Yankees bullpen.

“I still have late life (on the fastball),” Prior told MLB.com. “I still have a good breaking ball — when it’s sharp, it’s got good tilt.”

Prior hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2006, but he said a stint in independent ball let him know he still wanted to play.

“One of the things that happened a long time ago is I stopped asking the question, ‘Why?’” Prior said. “The answer doesn’t really matter. I don’t need to know why I’m getting hurt; I just need to know how to get healthy, and that was the answer I was searching for.”

Some other links and notes from the day.

• Jon Heyman adds Kevin Millwood to the list of pitchers the Yankees might consider for the rotation. He goes on a list with Jeremy Bonderman, Jeff Francis and Freddy Garcia, who we’ve previously heard connected to the Yankees to some extent.

• Does this sound familiar? The Reds are going to keep Aroldis Chapman in the bullpen for now, but they still see him as a starter long term. And so it begins.

• Rebecca Glass makes the case that Bernie Williams’ first year on the Hall of Fame ballot might actually be his best chance for induction.

• Nice story from Tyler Kepner, who asks Hall of Fame voters not to speculate about steroid use, especially in the case of Jeff Bagwell.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 89 Comments →

Game 147: Yankees at Orioles09.17.10

YANKEES (88-58)
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Lance Berkman DH
Austin Kearns RF
Brett Gardner LF
Francisco Cervelli C

RHP A.J. Burnett (10-13, 5.13)
Burnett vs. Orioles

ORIOLES (58-88)
Brian Roberts 2B
Nick Markakis RF
Ty Wigginton 1B
Luke Scott DH
Felix Pie LF
Adam Jones CF
Matt Weiters C
Robert Andino 3B
Cesar Izturis SS

RHP Kevin Millwood (3-15, 5.30)
Millwood vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 7:05 p.m. / YES Network

UMPIRES: HP Ted Barrett, 1B Tony Randazzo, 2B Paul Nauert, 3B Brian Gorman

WEATHER: I feel like we’ve been lucky in Baltimore this year. A lot of really nice nights like this one. Temperatures in the low 70s. A few clouds but almost no chance of rain. It’s just a nice night.

ONE AWAY: Derek Jeter’s next run will be his 100th of the season, giving him 13 seasons with at least 100 runs scored. That would tie Lou Gehrig for the most such seasons with the Yankees. Among active players, only Alex Rodriguez has as many 100-run seasons. That’s all from Elias.

NEW ADDITION: Single-A Charleston hitting coach Greg Colbrunn has ben added to the major league staff and will be with the team through Thursday.

THE ONES THAT COUNT: Of the Yankees 178 home runs this season, 73 have either tied a game or put the Yankees in the lead. That’s 41 percent.

THE BEGINNING OF THE ARM: Greg Golson is celebrating his 25th birthday today.

UPDATE, 7:24 p.m.: Alex Rodriguez just opened the second inning with a towering home run to left-center. It’s a 1-0 Yankees lead on No. 24 for A-Rod.

UPDATE, 7:41 p.m.: The Yankees went on to load the bases in the second, but Derek Jeter lined out to end it. That’s tough luck. The more frustrating at-bats had to be the Austin Kearns and Francisco Cervelli strikeouts. Still 1-0.

UPDATE, 7:56 p.m.: Good second inning for A.J. Burnett. He put the first two batters on base, then retired the next three to get out of it without a run. Seems like those are the kind of innings he never has on a bad night. He’ll have a bad night with some 1-2-3 innings, but his problem often seems to be limiting damage and getting out of trouble.

UPDATE, 8:29 p.m.: I remember seeing Adam Jones in spring training and thinking he might win the MVP award while playing for a sub-.500 team. He just looked unstoppable. His numbers are bad this season, but he’s still a dangerous hitter who’s solo home run in the fourth has given the Orioles a 2-1 lead.

UPDATE, 9:05 p.m.: Sorry, I’ve been writing a lot during this game. Not that very much has happened. Burnett has been solid. I think you’ll take six innings, two runs, but the Yankees offense is still scuffling. With one out in the seventh, Jorge Posada is pinch hitting for Cervelli.

UPDATE, 9:24 p.m.: That’s the first home run of the season for Robert Andino.

UPDATE, 10:05 p.m.: Well that changes things. Down to his last strike, Alex Rodriguez just hit a three-run home run that’s given the Yankees a 4-3 lead in the ninth. This game was over until Rodriguez crushed his second home run of the night.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Gameday Threadwith 1,017 Comments →

Game 54: Yankees vs. Orioles06.03.10

YANKEES (33-20)
Derek Jeter SS
Nick Swisher RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Jorge Posada DH
Curtis Granderson CF
Francisco Cervelli C
Brett Gardner LF

LHP CC Sabathia (4-3, 4.16)
Career vs. Orioles

ORIOLES (15-37)
Julio Lugo 2B
Miguel Tejada 3B
Nick Markakis RF
Ty Wigginton DH
Luke Scott LF
Garrett Atkins 1B
Adam Jones CF
Craig Tatum C
Cesar Izturis SS

RHP Kevin Millwood (0-5, 3.89)
Career vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 1:05 p.m. / YES Network

UMPIRES: HP Mike DiMuro, 1B Tim Welke, 2B Jim Reynolds, 3B Bill Welke

WEATHER: There are a few clouds, but the temperature is into the mid-80s with a very slight chance of rain. At times the flags are still, other times they’re blowing out to left field. Right now it doesn’t seem like enough wind to affect the game.

GOOD MATCHUP: Collectively, the current Yankees have a .290 career batting average against Orioles starter Kevin Millwood. Robinson Cano and Alex Rodriguez have hit him well, but it’s Nick Swisher who has a career .710 slugging percentage with three home runs against Millwood.

TOUGH YEAR: Speaking of Millwood, he’s allowed more than four earned runs only once this year, and he’s never allowed more than five. He hasn’t allowed more than two earned in either of his past two starts, yet he remains winless. Hard to win in Baltimore these days.

REMEMBER THIS NAME: If you don’t know his name already, Slade Heathcott is one worth remembering. The Yankees first-round draft pick last season made his Single-A debut last night and hit a walk-off single in the 10th inning.

ROLLING SEVENS: Phil Hughes and Andy Pettitte are each 7-1. According to Elias, they are the first pair of Yankees teammates to win seven of their first 10 starts since 1984 when Joe Cowley and Phil Niekro went 8-0 and 7-2. Cowley, however, did not make his first start until July of that season.

UPDATE, 1:22 p.m.: Derek Jeter must have seen something in Millwood’s delivery. Stealing third base with no outs and the 3, 4, 5 hitters due up, that’s not exactly a usual play, and it clearly didn’t come from the bench or else Swisher would have taken second. Just a good, veteran move from the Captain.

UPDATE, 1:24 p.m.: Well that was weird. Millwood stumbles on the mound, a balk is called and the Yankees get a 1-0 lead.

UPDATE, 1:28 p.m.: There’s Robinson Cano’s daily double. Swisher scored and the Yankees are up 2-0.

UPDATE, 1:50 p.m.: Adam Jones is not having a good season, but he’s still a heckuva hitter. His solo homer off Sabathia has pulled the Orioles within 2-1.

UPDATE, 2:01 p.m.: It’s true, this Orioles team is pretty bad, but Millwood is a pretty solid pitcher who’s not having a bad season. Still, the Yankees have already scored four runs off him, getting their fourth on Alex Rodriguez’s two-run homer here in the third inning. It’s a 4-1 Yankees lead.

UPDATE, 2:10 p.m.: RBI single by Granderson makes it 5-1. For a guy who said he didn’t have his legs quite under him when he came off the disabled list, Granderson’s been hitting pretty well for the past week.

UPDATE, 2:40 p.m.: Spend pregame talking about a disputed call at first base, you are inevitably going to have a borderline call at first base during the game. That’s just the way baseball works. It’s one of Dallas Braden’s unwritten rules.

UPDATE, 2:50 p.m.: Bud Selig’s statement regarding last night’s Tigers game.

First, on behalf of Major League Baseball, I congratulate Armando Galarraga on a remarkable pitching performance. All of us who love the game appreciate the historic nature of his effort last night.

The dignity and class of the entire Detroit Tigers organization under such circumstances were truly admirable and embodied good sportsmanship of the highest order. Armando and Detroit manager Jim Leyland are to be commended for their handling of a very difficult situation. I also applaud the courage of umpire Jim Joyce to address this unfortunate situation honestly and directly. Jim’s candor illustrates why he has earned the respect of on-field personnel throughout his accomplished career in the Major Leagues since 1989.

As Jim Joyce said in his postgame comments, there is no dispute that last night’s game should have ended differently. While the human element has always been an integral part of baseball, it is vital that mistakes on the field be addressed. Given last night’s call and other recent events, I will examine our umpiring system, the expanded use of instant replay and all other related features. Before I announce any decisions, I will consult with all appropriate parties, including our two unions and the Special Committee for On-Field Matters, which consists of field managers, general managers, club owners and presidents.

UPDATE, 3:05 p.m.: There’s Brett Gardner’s third home run of the season. He’s hit exactly three in each of the past two years — one big league season, one Triple-A season — and had a total of one home run the two years before that.

UPDATE, 3:25 p.m.: Sabathia was cruising until that two-run home run by Luke Scott. Dave Robertson is getting loose in the bullpen.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Gameday Threadwith 589 Comments →

Game 19: Yankees at Orioles04.27.10

YANKEES (12-6)
Derek Jeter SS
Brett Gardner LF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Jorge Posada DH
Curtis Granderson CF
Nick Swisher DH
Randy Winn RF

RHP Phil Hughes (2-0, 2.19)
Career vs. Orioles

ORIOLES (3-16)
Adam Jones CF
Nick Markakis RF
Matt Wieters C
Miguel Tejeda 3B
Luke Scott DH
Ty Wigginton 2B
Rhyne Hughes 1B
Nolan Reimold LF
Cesar Izturis SS

RHP Kevin Millwood (0-3, 3.38)
Career vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 7:05 p.m./MY9

UMPIRES: HP Wally Bell, 1B Laz Diaz, 2B John Hirschbeck, 3B James Hoye

WEATHER: Light breeze that’s enough to make it feel much colder than 57 degrees. Temperatures are supposed to stay in the 50s through the game, with a very slight chance of rain (20 percent).

WINN’S IN: Randy Winn is a career .611 hitter with two home runs in 18 career at-bats against Orioles starter Kevin Millwood. He’s still looking for his first hit of the season, though he’s had only 10 at-bats. It took Mark Teixeira 18 at-bats to get his first hit, and that came more than two weeks ago.

MILESTONE WATCH: Derek Jeter needs one double to tie Don Mattingly for third place on the Yankees all-time list… Jorge Posada needs three home runs to reach 250 for his career… Mariano Rivera needs two strikeouts to tie Roger Clemens for 10th place on the Yankees all-time strikeouts list… Alex Rodriguez needs two stolen bases to reach 300 and he needs one home run to tie Frank Robinson for seventh place on baseball’s all-time list.

LOOKING TO CHANGE: Only three Orioles have more than five big league at-bats against Phil Hughes, and none has more than 14, so the sample size is small. But Nick Markakis, Adam Jones and Luke Scott — the three Orioles with the most ABs against Hughes — have hit .429, .500 and .571 against him. Markakis has 14 at-bats, Jones has eight and Scott has seven.

UPDATE, 7:44 p.m.: The Orioles haven’t been winning, but they’ve been getting pretty solid starting pitching, and Kevin Millwood looks pretty solid through two innings.

UPDATE, 7:52 p.m.: Bases loaded with one out here in the second. Big test for Hughes.

UPDATE, 7:54 p.m.: Hughes might have been squeezed on one of those pitches, but there’s really no reason to even come close to walking the No. 9 hitter in that situation. Hughes walks in a run and Mitre is now getting loose in the bullpen.

UPDATE, 7:56 p.m.: Hughes defense picks him up with a big double play to end the inning. Down 1-0 after two innings, Hughes has plenty of time to get this thing turned around.

UPDATE, 8:00 p.m.: There ya go. Randy Winn has a hit. Now everyone can go back to hating Javier Vazquez.

UPDATE, 8:08 p.m.: Gardner reaches first on an error and drives in the tying run in the process. Now the bases are loaded for Rodriguez with a chance to make this a big inning for the Yankees.

UPDATE, 8:10 p.m.: Well, Rodriguez crushed the ball, right into the glove of Miguel Tejeda.

UPDATE, 8:13 p.m.: Robinson Cano flies out of a ball that was clearly knocked down by the moon. The Yankees will settle for a 1-1 tie after two and a half.

UPDATE, 8:27 p.m.: I’ll admit it. I was among those who wondering if we might start to see a real age-related decline in Jorge Posada’s production. So far, that hasn’t been the case at all. The guy’s been crushing the ball, and his solo home run has just put the Yankees in front 2-1 here in the fourth.

UPDATE, 9:17 p.m.: Had some internet connection issues for a while, but I seem to be back online. Just when the Yankees seemed to get a break on that Nick Swisher infield single, Jorge Posada rounded too far around second — he seemed to be thinking about third if no one went to cover the bag — and the play ended the inning. Still a 2-1 lead with Hughes going back to the mound for the sixth. Boone Logan getting loose in the pen.

Yankees Orioles Baseball

UPDATE, 9:19 p.m.: Some wounded soldiers were guests of the Yankees for tonight’s game. Here’s an AP shot of Alex Rodriguez signing for Zach O’Brien.

UPDATE, 9:21 p.m.: Hughes exits after 5.2 innings to the sound of “Hugghhhhesss” from the Yankees fans behind the visiting dugout. It just feels like the start of a huge season for him. Even on a night like this, he got through 5.2 with only one run. Logan is in with Dave Robertson getting loose.

UPDATE, 9:31 p.m.: Well, Logan walked a guy and Robertson hit a guy, so things have gotten dicey. Then again, Robertson seems to be at his best when there’s a runner or two in scoring position.

UPDATE, 9:32 p.m.: Something clearly went wrong there. Not sure what happened to Winn, but that throw was just… weird. We’re now tied at 2.

UPDATE, 9:38 p.m.: Man, not a good night for Robertson. The Orioles have already taken a 4-2 lead, and they still have two on with two out. Plus the top of the order is up. Not good at all.

UPDATE, 10:01 p.m.: Another three-hit game for Cano.

UPDATE, 10:16 p.m.: Jorge Posada’s kicking the dirt after that single scored another Baltimore run. If not for his throwing error, the runner might not have been in a position to score. It’s 5-2.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Gameday Threadwith 1,059 Comments →

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