Notes and links on a slow, slow day • 01.09.11
I think we have an early leader for the slowest baseball news day of 2011. I used the complete inactivity to finalize the schedule for the Pinch Hitter series. I started the process by picking the submitted ideas that I felt positive would be included, but I ultimately had to trim even from that group. There were a lot of overlapping ideas, so I tried to eliminate any sort of repetition. All told, I was surprised at the number of really great suggestions.
I sent out the first wave of confirmation emails tonight, and I’ll be emailing more people in the next couple of days. Thanks again to everyone who submitted an idea. I picked some guest posts that I absolutely disagree with, but that’s kind of the point of this series: A new voice and new perspective never hurts.
As for some notes and links from today…
• Terribly sad story: The little girl killed by that crazed gunman in Arizona was the granddaughter of former Yankees manager Dallas Green.
• Very briefly a member of the Yankees organization, pitcher Shane Lindsay has signed a minor league deal with the White Sox. Brian Bruney previously signed a minor league deal with the White Sox.
• Interesting take in the Times about the Hall of Fame candidacy of Kevin Brown, who didn’t even get enough votes to stay on the ballot for a second year. The conclusion from Dan Rosenheck: “Kevin Brown isn’t an easy guy to feel sorry for. But he deserved much better than this.”
• Looking for a big time trade, the place to look might be the NBA where the Nets are apparently on the verge of a three-team trade that will land them Carmello Anthony, Rip Hamilton and Chauncey Billups.
Postgame notes: That’s what he does • 05.15.10
The Twins played it by the book tonight, but the numbers weren’t in their favor.
Alex Rodriguez is 4-for-4 with one walk, one sacrifice fly, two home runs and 14 RBI in six plate appearances when Mark Teixeira has been intentionally walked to load the bases in front of him.
He was already 4-for-6 with three home runs in his career against Twins reliever Matt Guerrier, and that was before tonight’s game-winning grand slam. Joe Girardi, of course, knew those matchup numbers.
“I just kind of kept my mouth shut and watched the game unfold,” Girardi said.
Actually, Girardi thought Rodriguez had only one home run, not three, against Guerrier. Even so, he understood what the Twins were trying to do. They wanted to setup a double play, then use the sinkerballer to get a ground ball. That’s obviously not what happened.
“That’s why I hit fourth,” Rodriguez said. “My team is expecting me to get big hits in those situations.”
The grand slam was the 19th of Rodriguez’s career, the third most all-time. The home run was No. 587, moving him past Frank Robinson for sole possession of seventh on baseball’s career home runs list. Only four of those home runs have come this season, but Rodriguez was one of the few Yankees who actually hit on the recent road trip, and ht was 2-for-3 with a walk on Friday.
“Through all this, the one thing Alex has done is he’s hit with runners in scoring position,” Girardi said. “Alex is an RBI guy. That’s what he does.”
Here’s Rodriguez talking after the game.
• A.J. Burnett on the comeback double play that helped him get out of trouble in the second inning: “If it doesn’t get caught in my uniform for a second I don’t think I make the play. It might go through my arms.”
• Burnett pitched pretty well tonight, especially considering he wasn’t happy with his fastball command. He said he was up in the zone all night, but after wiggling out of that potentially devastating second, he pitched his way almost through the seventh. “We battled the best we could to keep (the offense) in it,” he said.
• If you didn’t see it in the game post, Damaso Marte was not given the win. He was deemed ineffective by the official scorer and so the win went to Joba Chamberlain, who struck out the side in the eighth. The old Chamberlain really seems to be coming back.
• When Chamberlain was asked about that eighth inning he said, “You don’t want to sleep a waking dog.” Pretty sure he meant, wake a sleeping dog. Like I said, the old Joba is back.
• The Yankees are struggling lately? They’ve won eight of their past 12 games, outscoring their opponents 74-42 in that span. They have the best home record in baseball at 11-2.
• Brett Gardner went 2-for-5 with his second home run of the season. He has now reached base safely in 16 straight games and is batting .367 with a .433 on-base percentage in that stretch.
• Chan Ho Park pitched a scoreless inning in his rehab start tonight with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He struck out two and allowed one hit.
• Great stuff from my friend Donnie Collins, who talked to Brian Cashman about today’s decision to claim Shane Lindsay and release Christian Garcia. “When (Garcia) declared himself as having Tommy John surgery a month ago, I knew that at some point, if I got in a roster crunch, he’d be released,” Cashman said. “It’s too bad, too. Tool-wise, he was one of our better-ability players. But physically, he couldn’t hold it together.”
Associated Press photos.
Pregame notes: Posada plays two, sits one • 05.14.10
After catching the past two days, Jorge Posada has a precautionary day off tonight. Posada said he feels fine and Joe Girardi indicated no physical problem with his regular catcher, but the Yankees are moving with caution after Posada missed a few games last week because of a calf injury.
“Last time we played him three days he had the calf issue,” Girardi said. “I just thought, until we get completely by this and I know we’re completely by this, with the travel day, I thought I’d go with Cervi.”
Cervelli has played well in Posada’s place, but Girardi gave no indication that Cervelli’s hot bat factored into the decision. Instead, he’s simply making sure his catcher doesn’t fall back onto the growing list of injured Yankees.
Some good injury news comes from Nick Swisher, who’s back in the lineup after missing yesterday’s game because of some tightness in his left biceps. Swisher saw the doctor this morning and everything checked out fine. He’ll be in the lineup against the right-handed Twins starter Scott Baker.
“Obviously we’ve had our share of injuries the last couple of weeks,” Girardi said. But we think we’re getting through them.”
Here’s the Girardi audio, which starts with media relations director Jason Zillo announcing the Shane Lindsay waiver claim.
• Chan Ho Park will start tonight’s rehab game with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Romulo Sanchez will come into the game in the second inning. Girardi has indicated Park could be back with the big league club on Sunday.
• Sergio Mitre is officially the Yankees scheduled starter for Sunday, but Girardi said he’s still not ready to announce his rotation beyond that game. The Yankees still have to decide how to use Phil Hughes and Javier Vazquez after Wednesday’s doubleheader.
• Curtis Granderson is scheduled to do some stretching and exercises tonight, and then he’ll hit off a tee for the first time since his groin injury. “Possibly some light jogging tomorrow,” Girardi said.
• Because I’m sure the question has been asked already, here’s Girardi on why he’s putting Thames back in left field: “We look at matchups. We look at the type of pitcher that is pitching that day. Thames has had some success against Baker. Those are the type of things that we’re going to look at. He’s not the defensive player that Winn is, but offensively he offers a lot. You can look at certain guys all the time and say defensively let’s throw him out there, but you have to look at the whole package.”
• As mentioned earlier, the Yankees have claimed hard-throwing right-handed reliever Shane Lindsay off waivers from the Rockies. Lindsay will go to the minor league complex before being assigned to a minor league affiliate. Lindsay has 14 walks in 9.1 innings this season, but Baseball America’s scouting report says he can get his fastball up to 98 mph with a quality curveball. “That’s a big tool there, that arm,” Brian Cashman said.
• To make room for Lindsay on the 40-man roster, the Yankees have given Christian Garcia his unconditional release. Loaded with talent, Garcia is out with his second Tommy John surgery. He’s a great, great guy with a lot of talent, but his body has let him down time and time again.
• For what it’s worth, this is the first line about Lindsay in the Baseball American Prospect Handbook: “The biggest question about Lindsay is if he will ever stay healthy enough to capitalize on his raw ability.” Since 2006, Lindsay has had a broken hand and a torn labrum.