The LoHud Yankees Blog

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

Former Yankees selected for next week’s Japan All-Star Series11.07.14

Robinson Cano

Major League Baseball and the Players Association today announced the full roster that will travel for next week’s Japan All-Star Series against Japan’s national team. There are no current Yankees on the squad — the one listed as a Yankees player is Chris Capuano, who’s currently a free agent — but the team is filled with former Yankees including Robinson Cano, Mark Melancon, Eduardo Nunez, Randy Choate and Jose Veras.

Here’s the roster that’s going to Japan:

Chris CapuanoPITCHERS
Jeff Beliveau (TB)
Jerry Blevins (WSH)
Chris Capuano (NYY)
Randy Choate (STL)
Jeremy Guthrie (KC)
Tommy Hunter (BAL)
Hisashi Iwakuma (SEA)
Mark Melancon (PIT)
Franklin Morales (COL)
Hector Santiago (LAA)
Matt Shoemaker (LAA)
Jose Veras (HOU)
Tsuyoshi Wada (CHI)
Rob Wooten (MIL)

Drew Butera (LAD)
Erik Kratz (KC)
Salvador Perez (KC)

Jose Altuve (HOU)
Robinson Cano (SEA)
Alcides Escobar (KC)
Evan Longoria (TB)
Justin Morneau (COL)
Eduardo Nunez (MIN)
Carlos Santana (CLE)

Chris Carter (HOU)
Lucas Duda (NYM)
Dexter Fowler (HOU)
Yasiel Puig (LAD)
Ben Zobrist (TB)

Here’s the schedule



*All times ET


Tue., November 11th

4 a.m. / 9 p.m.

Exhibition vs. Hanshin Tigers / Yomiuri Giants at Koshien

Wed., November 12th

4 a.m. / 9 p.m.

Game #1 at Kyocera Dome, Osaka

Fri., November 14th

4 a.m. / 9 p.m.

Game #2 at Tokyo Dome, Tokyo

Sat., November 15th

4 a.m. / 9 p.m.

Game #3 at Tokyo Dome, Tokyo

Sun., November 16th

4 a.m. / 9 p.m.

Game #4 at Tokyo Dome, Tokyo

Tue., November 18th

5 a.m. / 9 p.m.

Game #5 at Sapporo Dome, Sapporo

Thu., November 20th

4 a.m. / 9 p.m.

Exhibition Game vs. Team Japan, Okinawa

Associated Press photo

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Off day notes and links: Cashman speaks, doesn’t say much05.09.11

While I was flying all across the country today, Brian Cashman was in New Jersey for a Pinstripe Bowl charity golf tournament. He told reporters that Derek Jeter’s offensive saga, “has given other aspects of the offense some cover.”

As Joe Girardi said roughly 700 times last week, Jeter actually has one of the highest batting averages in the Yankees lineup.

A few other small notes to take from Cashman today:

On Luis Ayala: The GM said the Yankees are “ready to do something” with Ayala after a strong two-inning relief appearance for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last night. Cashman indicated the Yankees have to decide whether to activate Ayala in New York or option him to Triple-A.

On Boone Logan: Obviously the Yankees lone left-handed reliever is struggling, but Cashman has said many times that he doesn’t expect to be able to acquire anything significant before the June draft. “There’s no aspect of the club I’m worried about making changes on,” he said. “We’re still trying to decipher what is real, what isn’t real.”

On the lineup: Cashman indicated the Yankees are at least considering changes to the batting order. “I think we’re currently trying to determine and decipher where one through nine we need to be offensively,” he said.

Some other notes and links from today.

• While I was writing my previous post about the minor leagues, Jorge Vazquez ended his home run drought by hitting one in Buffalo. And just a few minutes after the post was finished, Vazquez hit another one.

• Good story from a good man: Pete Caldera wrote this weekend about Yankees traveling secretary Ben Tuliebitz and all that his job requires: Everything from player ticket requests to making sure a truck is ready to haul equipment.

• George Steinbrenner’s FBI file reveals that he cooperated with two investigations and blamed his illegal campaign contribution on bad legal advice. The Associated Press has the story.

• Heading to a Tampa Yankees game this season, or planning a trip to major league spring training next year? Check out this review of George M. Steinbrenner Field.

• Houston’s closer of the present is none other than the Yankees former closer of the future. Mark Melancon stepped into the closer role after Brandon Lyon went on the disabled list, and he’s converted his first big league save.

• I don’t have an account with the Sports Business Journal, but it’s reporting that Alex Rodriguez has signed with agent Dan Lozano, according to MLBTradeRumers.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Noteswith 342 Comments →

A year of trades for the Yankees12.23.10

One year and one day after last winter’s trade for a Javier Vazquez, a look back at the Yankees trades from December to December.

PH2009120703823December 7, 2009
RHP Brian Bruney to the Nationals for OF Jamie Hoffmann
Why? Because Bruney was due for an arbitration raise and the Yankees outfield depth was woefully low.
Good move? Didn’t really matter. Bruney probably would have been non-tendered anyway, and the Yankees at least got to take a look at a guy who’s now on the Dodgers 40-man roster. No harm done. Hoffmann was a Rule 5 pick who didn’t stick. Bruney was a reliever on his way out.

December 8, 2010
RHP Ian Kennedy to the Diamondbacks, LHP Phil Coke and CF Austin Jackson to the Tigers for CF Curtis Granderson
Why? Because the Yankees were worried about Jackson’s holes and didn’t have a spot for Kennedy. In Granderson, they seemed to be getting a proven player who basically represented Jackson’s best-case scenario.
Good move? Little too early to say. Jackson, Coke and Kennedy each had good years, but Jackson showed the holes that the Yankees expected — a ton of strikeouts, not much power — and Kennedy might have benefited from the change of scenery. If Granderson continues the strides he made in the second half of last season, he’ll be better than any of the three players the Yankees sacrificed to get him.

Rangers Yankees BaseballDecember 22, 2009
CF Melky Cabrera, LHP Mike Dunn and RHP Arodys Vizcaino to the Braves for RHP Javier Vazquez and LHP Boone Logan
Because the Yankees needed consistency and durability at the back of the rotation, and those had been trademarks of Vazquez for 10 years.
Good move? No. Vazquez was a complete disappointment, but Cabrera wasn’t very good either, and Logan for Dunn was basically a wash. This seemed to be a big trade, but in the end, the left-handed relievers were the best pieces. Even Vizcaino took a step back, making only 17 starts because of a torn ligament. The Yankees got a compensation pick when Vazquez signed the Florida, so that helps make up for the loss of a very young prospect.

January 26, 2010
INF Mitch Hilligoss to the Rangers for OF Greg Golson
Why? Because the Yankees needed outfield depth much more than infield depth.
Good move? Sure. Hilligoss had a nice year — .296/.365/.370 between High-A and Double-A — but Golson played a role in New York, and he should be around to do the same next season whenever the Yankees need him. Hilligoss would still be no higher than fourth or fifth on the utility depth chart. Golson is probably at the top of the outfield call-up list.

March 9, 2010
RHP Edwar Ramirez to the Rangers for cash considerations
Why? Because Ramirez had been designated for assignment to make room for Chan Ho Park.
Good move? At least they got something for him. Ramirez actually didn’t do much more than Park. He was ultimately traded to the A’s, pitched 11 innings in the big leagues and he’s now floating through free agency, probably destined for a minor league deal somewhere.

ALCS Yankees Rangers BaseballJuly 30, 2010
RHP Zach McAllister to the Indians for OF Austin Kearns
Why? Because McAllister was quickly becoming overshadowed in Triple-A, Kearns was hitting pretty well in Cleveland and the Yankees needed a right-handed fourth outfielder.
Good move?
Looked good for a little while, but ultimately no. Through his first 17 games with the Yankees, Kearns hit .275/.373/.451 and was especially helpful during that August road trip through Texas and Kansas City, but he was dreadful in September. McAllister didn’t pitch any better for Triple-A Columbus than he had for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and he was passed by a ton of talent coming through the Yankees system, but it wasn’t worth losing him for three good weeks from Kearns.

July 31, 2010
RHP Mark Melancon and INF Jimmy Paredes to the Astros for DH Lance Berkman
Because the Yankees needed to created a platoon at designated hitter, and Berkman gave them someone who could legitimately hit lefties. Melancon’s time and come and gone, and Paredes was an afterthought in the Yankees system.
Good move? Yes. Berkman got off to a slow start, but when he came off the disabled list he hit .299/.405/.388 through the month of September, and he was better than most of the Yankees hitters in the playoffs. I’m one of the few Melancon believer still out there, but he had his chances to prove himself in New York and never did. Unless Paredes significantly exceeds expectations, this will have been a worthwhile trade.

July 31, 2010
INF Matt Cusick and RHP Andrew Shive to the Indians for RHP Kerry Wood
Why? Because the Yankees had a chance to solidify the bullpen without losing any key pieces of the farm system.
Good move? You bet. No offense to Cusick and Shive, but they were pretty far off the prospect radar in the Yankees system. Wood, meanwhile, seemed to magically bring the bullpen together to make it one of the Yankees absolute strengths down the stretch. If the Yankees had continued their playoff run, the Wood trade would have been considered one of the great turning points of the season.

November 18, 2010
1B Juan Miranda to the Diamondbacks for RHP Scottie Allen
Because Miranda is out of options and had no spot on the big league roster.
Good move? Sure. It’s too early to know whether Allen will turn into anything of value — he’s not even 20 years old yet — but Miranda was completely expendable. With Jorge Posada ready to get most of the DH at-bats and Mark Teixeira entrenched at first base, Miranda had no place in the organization and it was best for everyone involved to send him elsewhere and get something in return.

Associated Press photos of Bruney, Cabrera and Kearns

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Looking back at last year’s Top 30 Yankees prospects11.05.10

Let’s go heavy on prospects today, shall we? This is Baseball America’s Top 30 Yankees prospects heading into this season, listed with each player’s rank at the beginning of the season and the level where he finished the season.

ph_524968No. 1 Jesus Montero
Triple-A catcher
After a rocky start to the season, Montero turned things around in the second half and could fight for a big league job in spring training. He remains one of the elite prospects in baseball, with the only significant questions being where he’ll play in the field.

No. 2 Austin Romine
Double-A catcher
Romine dropped to sixth in this year’s rankings, but I’m not sure his ceiling or expectations have fallen. He had a kind of Derek Jeter-type season, starting strong and finishing strong, with three rough months in the middle. He’s in the Arizona Fall League now, and it’s easy to forget that he hasn’t turned 22 yet. Still very highly regarded, but he was passed on Baseball America’s list by young players and injured players whose stock soared after strong seasons.

ph_527055No. 3 Arodys Vizcaino
Traded to the Braves
The big prospect in The Boone Logan Trade had a 2.74 ERA between two Class-A levels this season, but he was shutdown with an elbow injury.

No. 4 Slade Heathcott
Low-A center fielder
Got to Charleston at the start of June, and he might have lost a little ground in the prospect standings — he hit .258 with 101 strikeouts — but it’s hard to read too much into a 19-year-old’s first season of pro ball. He still in Baseball America’s Top 10 for the orgnization.

No. 5  Zach McAllister
Traded to Cleveland
This was the cost for two months of Austin Kearns. Had he stuck around, McAllister probably would have fallen out of the Top 10 after a 5.09 ERA in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He was certainly overshadowed by several other upper-level pitchers.

ph_544365No. 6 Manny Banuelos
Double-A left-handed starter
After a healthy second half that took him from High-A to Double-A, Banuelos is living up to expectations. Building up his workload seems to be the next step in his development. He’s in the Arizona Fall League right now and could pitch himself to the cusp of the big leagues next season. At 19 years old, he’s the youngest of the Yankees Killer B pitching prospects.

No. 7 Gary Sanchez
Short-season catcher
He’s been compared to Montero, except with more defensive tools. That’s why he moved all the way to No. 2 on this year’s Baseball America list. There is a ton of talent, but also a long way to go.

ph_571974No. 8 J.R. Murphy
Low-A catcher
In so many ways, Murphy is “the other” catching prospect in the Yankees system. He’s only 19 years old — one year older than Sanchez — and he already held his own in Charleston. The power started to show in the second half.

No. 9 Jeremy Bleich
Injured Double-A left-handed starter
Stock took a hit because of shoulder surgery. He made only eight starts for Trenton. Hard to learn much about him from this season.

ph_457581No. 10 Andrew Brackman
Double-A right-handed starter
This season might have been the best-case scenario for Brackman, the towering right-hander who had Tommy John surgery before throwing a single professional pitch. Brackman has always been a high-end talent, but he lived up to those expectations with a healthy and much-improved second season.

No. 11 Bryan Mitchell
Short-season right-handed starter
Opened in extended spring training, then pitched in the Gulf Coast League and got up to Staten Island in September.  Still young, and Rookie Ball opponents hit .190 against him. Obvious potential. Obviously young.

No. 12 Mike Dunn
Traded to Atlanta
Another part of The Boone Logan Trade, he pitched his way to Atlanta but the Yankees might have gotten the better of the two young lefties in that trade.

ph_543377No. 13 Corban Joseph
Double-A second baseman
Terrific numbers in Tampa sparked a second-half call-up to Trenton, where Joseph struggled with his first taste of upper-level pitching. Could play second or third base. Nothing especially flashy, but he lived up to expectation and might have exceeded it with his promotion.

No. 14 Eduardo Nunez
Major League shortstop
Nunez had to prove that 2009 was not a fluke, and he did just that with a terrific Triple-A season that ended with a call-up to New York and a late spot on the postseason roster.  He hit .289 in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but also showed an improved glove. That combination pushed him into the Yankees Top 10.

No. 15 Mark Melancon
Traded to Houston
Sent to the Astros in the Lance Berkman deal, Melancon simply never made that final step with the Yankees. He pitched pretty well in 20 appearances for the Astros.

ph_467100No. 16 Ivan Nova
Major League right-handed starter
The Yankees always liked Nova’s potential, but he developed slowly until a strong 2009 season that landed him a spot on the 40-man. Now he’s a candidate for a spot in the back of the big league rotation. He’s the most advanced of the Yankees many upper-level pitching prospects.

No. 17 D.J. Mitchell
Triple-A right-handed starter
Moved into the Yankees Top 20 prospects, then got an invitation to big league camp, then pitched his way from Double-A to Triple-A. He generated better than a 2-to-1 ground out to fly out ratio in Double-A, then had a 3.57 ERA in three Triple-A starts. Overshadowed by some teammates, but he had a very nice season.

No. 18 Melky Mesa
High-A center fielder
He obviously did something right because now he’s on the 40-man roster. The MVP of the Florida State League has legitimate power and speed, but he also strikes out a ton and this year’s .260 average was actually his career-high. A complete wild card in this system.

ph_527037No. 19 Kelvin DeLeon
Short-season right fielder
Stock might have slipped through a .236 average with six home runs and 80 strikeouts. Just turned 20, so there’s plenty of room to grow, but also a long way to go.

No. 20 Jose Ramirez
Low-A right-handed starter
A good arm lurking in the lower-levels of the Yankees minor league system, he had a  3.60 ERA with 105 strikeouts in Charleston this season. For now, he exists in the shadows of the pitchers ahead of him, but he’s certainly not an unknown. He’s a legitimate prospect in his own right.

ph_572170No. 21 Graham Stoneburner
High-A right-handed starter
Leading into this season, Stoneburner was a favorite among writers and bloggers who closely follow the Yankees minor league system. He proved those believers right with a 2.41 ERA between Charleston and Tampa. He could be one of the fastest-rising stars in the organization, and there is considerable speculation that he could eventually end up in the bullpen, making ascent even faster.

No. 22 David Adams
Injured Double-A second baseman
Off to a .309 start in Trenton, Adams’ season was cut short by an ankle injury that cost him the bulk of the year and might have cost the Yankees a shot at Cliff Lee. I tend to lump Adams and Joseph together as Double-A guys able to play second or third. He seemed to be showing a lot this season, but it’s hard to make much of 39 games.

No. 23 Caleb Cotham
Cotham should have been in Charleston, but a pair of surgeries left him unable to pitch in an actual game this season. He has only eight professional innings to his name.

ph_456051No. 24. Hector Noesi
Triple-A right-handed starter
Noesi had pitched only nine games above Low A when the Yankees put him on the 40-man roster this season. That said a lot about their expectations, and Noesi lived up them with a season that catapulted him into Baseball America’s Top 10. From High-A to Double-A to Triple-A, he could be next year’s Ivan Nova.

No. 25 David Phelps
Triple-A right-handed starter
There’s a common theme among most of these back-end starting pitchers: Except the injured Cotham, they were all outstanding. This was Phelps’ second full season, and he finished it with a 3.07 ERA in 12 Triple-A outings.

ph_476589No. 26 Adam Warren
Double-A right-handed starter
Kind of like a one-year-younger version of Phelps, Warren had a 3.15 ERA in 10 Double-A starts after opening the year with a 2.22 in Tampa. The upper-level pitching depth in this system is incredible, as evidenced by the fact neither Phelps nor Warren deserved a spot among the Yankees Top 10 prospects.

No. 27 Kevin Russo
Major League utility
Russo’s value is in his ability to do a lot of things well. He served that role perfectly  as a call-up who shifted to left-field when the Yankees were searching for outfield help. Nothing flashy, but when he was getting regular at-bats, he was contributing. He could easily play that same role next season.

ph_476454No. 28 Dellin Betances
Double-A right-handed starter
This is the biggest leap of the bunch, and his jump into the Top 10 had as much to do with his health as his performance. Betances has always been a premier talent, but this year he got healthy and stayed healthy through a dominant second half. Expectations are sky
high again. He just has to stay off the disabled list this time.

No. 29 Jairo Heredia
High-A right-handed starter
Kind of like Nova in 2008 and Noesi in 2009, the Yankees have to decide whether to protect Heredia from the Rule 5 or take their chances that an unproven but talented young pitcher will sneak through. Heredia just turned 21, but he pitched just six times above Low A this season. Opponents there hit .359 against him.

No. 30 Jamie Hoffmann
Rule 5 pick sent back to Dodgers
The Yankees were clearly never planning to bring back Brian Bruney this offseason, so they traded him away for the right to draft Hoffmann. He hung around spring training for a while, but was ultimately sent back to the Dodgers. He hit .310 with eight home runs, 17 steals and 36 doubles in Triple-A.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 545 Comments →

Not such a good fit10.31.10

If there’s going to be a list of the year’s best Yankees costumes, there has to be a list of the worst.

White Sox Yankees BaseballNick Johnson
as Johnny Damon
The Yankees tried to bring Damon back, but Damon turned them down. Ultimately, the Yankees settled for Johnson, trusting that his uncanny knack for getting on base would fit well ahead of their powerful three and four hitters. It made sense – even in an awful partial season he had a .388 OBP – but Johnson does one other thing uncannily well: He gets hurt. Ultimately, he was absolutely no help.

Chan Ho Park
as Alfredo Aceves
Aceves is a hybrid reliever, the kind who can fit into a crucial late-inning spot when needed, or can give multiple innings of dependable relief, seeting the stage for a potential comeback. The Yankees never had that kind of reliever this season. They thought they found a similar guy in Park, who they picked of the scrap heap at the beginning of spring training. After 27 appearances and 22 earned run, Park was sent packing.

Javier Vazquez
as Javier Vazquez
The Yankees were counting on one thing about Vazquez: Consistency. This time around, they weren’t asking him to lead a rotation, or even to pitch in the top half of the rotation. He was supposed to be a stabilizing force at the back end, something he had proven capable of doing time and time again in his career. Nothing flashy, just reliable starts every fifth day. Vazquez couldn’t do it, and the Yankees were once again left searching for spot starters.

Mark Melancon
as Dave Robertson
I realize there’s very little evidence that this is true, but I honestly believe Melancon is going to be a good Major League pitcher. I saw too many good things from him in Triple-A to believe he’s always going to struggle this much at this level. But the fact is, he never took that next step – the one Robertson made last year – in New York. I think it will happen in Houston, but it never happened here.

Associated Press photo of Johnson with Derek Jeter

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Postgame notes: You can’t take away that pitch07.30.10

Yankees Rays Baseball

Phil Hughes pitched really well tonight. Except for one pitch in the sixth inning, he gave the Yankees everything they could have asked for in a game like this.

“I felt like my fastball was good,” he said. “My curveball was probably the best its been this year. It’s a positive note to build on going forward, but you can’t take away that pitch. You can’t take away that game.”

The one pitch was a 2-2 fastball to Matt Joyce. Hughes setup the pitch with back-to-back curveballs and thought he had “slowed him down enough” to get a fastball inside. He wasn’t upset with the location up and down — he didn’t want it too low to the lefty — but the fact it got out over the plate made the difference.

“It’s one of those games where whoever makes the bigger mistake is going to lose, and that was us,” he said.

APTOPIX Yankees Berkman BaseballThe Rays pulled within a game in the American League East tonight, but the game was clearly a background event. It was hard look past all of the trade rumors swirling.

The Austin Kearns deal is official, and the Lance Berkman deal seems like a matter of time, with Joel Sherman reporting that Mark Melancon and Jimmy Paredes will go to Houston. I heard from Kevin Russo who said his being out of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre lineup was a regular day off. As far as he knows, he hasn’t been traded.

Buster Olney says the Yankees aren’t stopping at two trades. He’s heard they’re working on a third, possibly for an infielder.

APTOPIX Yankees Rays Baseball• Nick Swisher said he never wants to not go after a ball, only to find out he could have caught it if he’d tried. But even he admitted that after seeing a replay, he never had a remote chance of robbing Matt Joyce’s home run. “Unless I was having a Coke and a popcorn up there, I wasn’t going to catch that,” he said.

• For a while, it looked like Swisher’s first-pitch-swinging home run was going to make the difference. “Everybody wants to be the hero,” Swisher said. “But that game for us tonight was lost on one pitch. Hughesy threw an amazing game. No doubt. Just one pitch was the difference. You don’t want to look at it in a negative way because of everything else he did, but it was just one pitch. That’s it.”

• Good outing for Joba Chamberlain, who said he did a better job staying up over the rubber and finishing out front with his delivery. “There’s a difference between going out and throwing and the times you go out and pitch,” Chamberlain said. “Tonight I made some pitches in that second inning to give us a chance to win the ballgame. I just went out and tried to locate my fastball and threw my slider pretty well. I would probably say it’s the best I’ve thrown (the slider) all year.”

• Everyone seemed to agree that Wade Davis found his curveball after the first inning, and that seemed to make all the difference.

• The Rays sold out every game this series, their first sellouts since Opening Day. “I didn’t hear as many cowbells,” Hughes said. “I guess the crowd was louder, and then after that homer, that place really got loud. That was probably the loudest I’ve ever heard it.” This is the first time the Rays have ever sold out three straight regular-season games.

• Girardi said Chamberlain threw so few pitches — only 24 — in his two innings that he could probably be used again tomorrow.

• One game is the closest the Rays have been to the Yankees since June 21, when they were a half game back.

• The Joyce home run was the first Hughes had allowed on the road this season.

• Alex Rodriguez has gone 34 at-bats without a home run since hitting No. 599.

Associated Press photos of Hughes, Berkman and Swisher

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Do the Yankees need a reliever?06.17.10

Wondering outloud is rarely a good idea in the morning, but here we go…

Boone Logan gave the Yankees all they could have asked for last night. He faced a Phillies lineup that spent the first three-plus innings teeing off on A.J. Burnett, and Logan held them hitless through two and two-thirds. He walked one, struck out three and at the very least gave the Yankees a chance to come back.

But I can’t help wondering if Logan might be on his way back to Triple-A.

No one has told me that a move is coming, but 33 pitches means Logan won’t be available for at least a day. After tonight’s game, the Mets will come to the Bronx with only one significant left-handed threat (Ike Davis). Chad Gaudin was also burned out last night — three hitless innings — so it might make sense to swap Logan for a long man.

Romulo Sanchez hasn’t pitched for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre since Monday, and both Mark Melancon and Jonathan Albaladejo would be available if the Yankees wanted a guy for an inning or two.

Just a thought.

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Right and wrong: The bullpen05.24.10

What’s gone right and what’s gone wrong in the bullpen has really been a matter of when you’re asking the question. Right now, Mariano Rivera fits the wrong category, but 10 days ago he was as good as any pitcher in baseball. Joba Chamberlain was great two weeks ago, bad last week, then great again on Friday.

Twins Yankees Baseball

What’s gone right?

More than you might think
During the most recent home stand, the Yankees bullpen seemed to be a complete mess, and the problems centered on Chamberlain and Rivera. But heading into the home stand, the relievers seemed to be  a strong point for the Yankees, and they remain 23-0 when leading after eight innings.

Despite his recent outings, Rivera remains 8-for-9 in save situations with a 2.03 ERA that’s lower than his career ERA of 2.25. Opponents are hitting .170 against him, which would be the third lowest opponents batting average of his career.

Other bright spots: Chamberlain’s velocity has improved; Dave Robertson in the previous week; Sergio Mitre as a long man; Yankee debuts from Ivan Nova and Romulo Sanchez.

What’s gone wrong?

Frankly, this is true of almost every bullpen in baseball. Relievers as a whole are a hit-or-miss group, and the Yankees have been no different. Even Rivera has proven that he’s human.

The low point of the bullpen might be Chan Ho Park. He has the highest ERA on the team — other than Mark Melancon — and he’s allowed five home runs in six appearances. What seemed to be a good, low-cost pickup in spring training has become an unreliable middle reliever (although six games is hardly enough to pass a final judgment).

Other problem areas: Can’t ignore Rivera’s recent outings; Robertson has been knocked around more than once; Hard to know how often Aceves might go down with that sore back; Melancon and Boone Logan were clearly the top Triple-A relievers when the season started, but neither has done much to prove himself out of the New York bullpen.

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Pregame notes: One-more-day kind of thing05.19.10

Yankees Red Sox BaseballNick Swisher said he feels better today than he did yesterday, and he felt better yesterday than he did the day before. He acknowledged this afternoon that the initial problem was a little worse than he indicated back in Detroit.

“Just a one-more-day kind of thing,” he said. “It feels good but there’s still something there.”

When Swisher tried to take some dry swings in the late innings last night — he was anticipating a possible pinch hit appearance — he didn’t feel pain in his biceps, but he could tell it wasn’t quite right.

“This biggest scare for everybody is the swing and miss,” he said. “I have a tendency of swinging a little harder than I should, so they just want to make sure everything is cool.”

Swisher remains day-to-day, and he seems to believe he can be available tomorrow, but we’ve seen Joe Girardi move with precaution when it comes to these sort of injuries.

• Joe Girardi clarified a previous statement to say he wasn’t sure whether Jorge Posada went for an MRI or a bone scan. Whatever it is, it’s a precautionary thing because the foot is taking longer than expected to heal. “We expected him to be sore, and we expected him to be a lot better at this point,” Girardi said. “Because he wasn’t last night, we thought an MRI would be a good thing.”

• Posada “has to be” available as the team’s emergency catcher. If something happens to Francisco Cervelli, Girardi said he would go to Posada before Ramiro Pena behind the plate.

• Nick Johnson is here with his arm in a sling.

• Four names listed for batting practice Group 3: Pena, Posada, Swisher and Granderson. That’s either good news for Granderson or bad news for Pena. I think the Yankees utility man probably wants to stay far, far away from those three. There’s been nothing but bad luck there.

• Sergio Mitre won’t be available until tomorrow, so the Yankees will stick with 13 relievers. As for why he sent down Greg Golson to add Mark Melancon, Girardi said, “We felt we needed the pitching more in case we got into some crazy games, which, it was kind of a crazy game last night.”

• Someone asked if Girardi was worried about Mariano Rivera after two shaky outings in three days. “I haven’t been concerned with Mo since 1996,” he said.

Shelley Duncan is back in the big leagues, called up by Cleveland to take the place of injured Grady Sizemore.

UPDATE, 5:24 p.m.: The Rays lineup.

Jason Bartlett SS
Carl Crawford LF
Ben Zobrist RF
Evan Longoria 3B
Carlos Pena 1B
B.J. Upton CF
Hank Blalock DH
John Jaso C
Reid Brignac 2B

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Noteswith 157 Comments →

Possible move in the works05.18.10

ph_453343The Yankees are prepared to add a releiver before tonight’s game, but they’re watching the weather to make sure the game is going to be played before they commit to a call-up.

A source has indicated that Mark Melancon is the most likely addition. Melancon was with the Yankees briefly this season, and he hasn’t allowed a run in his past 5.2 innings with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. In that time he’s struck out 13, walked two and allowed four hits.

Boone Logan could be optioned to make room on the roster, but I’ve heard the Yankees might send Greg Golson down in order to keep the extra reliever.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 317 Comments →

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