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Posts Tagged ‘Boone Logan’

Ubaldo Jimenez

Some things are a given in life. The sun rises in the east. Commuter trains in New York are overstuffed and never run on time. The Yankees always make a trade in July.

Only, this year that last one might not happen.

It’s not for lack of need. The starting line-up is solid and the bench features guys who could start for better than half the teams in baseball. But the pitching staff, both in the rotation and the bullpen, is loaded with question marks. CC Sabathia is an unqualified ace; Mariano Rivera remains the king of closers and David Robertson has turned into one of the game’s most reliable set-up men. But the rest of the staff doesn’t inspire confidence on a daily basis.

The Yankees are plagued by the fact that among the presumed LCS teams, they’re the only team without a bona-fide number 2 starter. The Red Sox feature Jon Lester and Josh Beckett. The Phillies send Roy Halladay
and Cliff Lee. The Giants have Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain. The Yankees keep hoping that AJ Burnett will be that number two guy – but after 2 ½ seasons of watching him implode at the most inopportune times, I can’t think of anyone who truly thinks he is. Bartolo Colon, based on his performance this year (7-6, 3.29 ERA, 8K/9) is probably the current #2, but he’s already thrown more innings than over the past 4 seasons combined and you have to worry about how much longer he can continue. Freddy Garcia keeps pulling magic acts on the mound, but his xFIP is nearly a half-run higher than his ERA; you get the feeling that sooner or later his luck is going to run out. Phil Hughes exploded on the scene in the first half of 2010, but since then he’s been less than a pedestrian pitcher (7-7, 5.76 ERA). Ivan Nova was sent back the minors earlier and despite showing signs of improvement when he was with the big club, he is nowhere near being a number two starter.

Likewise, the bullpen has a few holes. Rafael Soriano was brought in to be the primary set-up man, but he’s spent most of the season on the DL and was largely ineffective before getting hurt. Boone Logan is the supposed lefty specialist, but left handers are tuning him up to a 138 OPS+. While Cory Wade and Luis Ayala have been reasonably pleasant surprises, neither has experienced this level of success before. And heaven help us all if the abysmal Sergio Mitre is reactivated and added to the post-season roster.

So, like I said, the Yankees certainly have needs. The problem is there doesn’t seem to be anyone available in the trade market that can fill those needs. There’s been a lot of discussion regarding Ubaldo Jimenez, but the Rockies
asking price (3 or 4 of the Yanks blue chip prospects) is insane. Jimenez had a terrific first half of 2010. Otherwise, he’s a sub-.500 pitcher with a career ERA of 3.87 – while pitching in the offensively challenged NL West. If Brian Cashman adds him at tomorrow’s deadline, I’ll be underwhelmed. The other starters rumored to be on the market also aren’t overly impressive. They range from the oft-injured Erik Bedard to the recalcitrant Hiroki Kuroda
to baseball’s version of a spoiled two-year old, Carlos Zambrano. In short, barring some sort of unexpected blockbuster, there simply isn’t anyone available who provides an upgrade over what the Yanks currently have on hand.

In terms of bullpen help, the Yanks are certainly looking for a left hander – but good luck finding anyone. The Orioles probably want to rid themselves of Mike Gonzales and his bloated contract, but he has had zero success in the AL. The A’s might be willing to part with Brian Fuentes, but I can’t imagine the Yankees assuming around $8.5 million in contract for a guy who has actually been worse against lefties than Logan. The only other name I’ve seen available is the Cubs John Grabow. Like Fuentes and Gonzales, he’s been more piñata than pitcher.

So, there you have it. Unlike past deadlines, this one is looking pretty quiet for the Yankee front office.

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With the recent acquisition of Rafael Soriano, the seemingly ageless question of whether Joba Chamberlain should be moved back into the starting rotation has resurfaced. It’s a question that has plagued the Yankees ever since Joba exploded on the scene as Mariano’s set-up man in the second half of the 2007 season.

Really, nobody thought the question would be a topic of discussion heading into this season. Joba was given a shot at the #5 spot last spring and lost to Phil Hughes. Going into this offseason, he seemed destined to be given a legitimate chance at earning the 8th inning role, despite his erratic pitching in 2010. After all, the Yankees were the consensus pick to land Cliff LeeAndy Pettitte wasn’t supposed to semi-retire. There wasn’t any room for Joba in the rotation and 8th inning duties looked to be a battle between him and David Robertson.

My, what a difference a few months and one type A free agent signing can bring. Now the 8th inning role is filled and the 7th inning features Joba, Robertson, Boone Logan and Pedro Feliciano, while the rotation features world-beaters Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre. Given the way the pitching staff has suddenly been reshuffled, it’s no wonder the question of Joba’s proper role has resurfaced.

There are plenty of statistical reasons for making Joba a starter again. Mike Axisa of RAB has the usual arguments listed here. There’s also another reason moving Joba to the rotation makes sense: as currently constucted, the ‘pen doesn’t have a long man – the guy you bring in when the starter blows up in the 3rd or 4th inning. Last year, that role was filled by Mitre and Chad Gaudin. The rotation as currently set, with three guys who have a history of falling apart early in starts (not only Nova and Mitre, but the volatile and erratic AJ Burnett), that role looks to be more important than ever this year. After all, the back end of the pen is solid. The middle looks solid – but all six of the guys the team is counting on will wilt in the second half if they’re logging 1/2 of the teams innings.

The argument against Joba starting boils down to two problems: first, how healthy is his shoulder? Second, will he ever display the consistency to be effective over 7+ innings every five days – or is he more of an AJ-lite?

As to the question of health, we’ll never know unless Joba is returned to the rotation, it seems. Last year, his average fastball clocked in around 94-95mph, ending a three year decline in velocity. But, Joba also threw fewer pitches than in any full-season – 30% fewer. Was the increased velocity the result of a lighter workload not taxing that injured shoulder? If returned to the rotation, how will tripling his pitch count affect his velocity and control? (Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs)

The maturity question is another one that’s hard to gauge at this point. If it’s true that being bounced around from one role to another makes a pitcher great, then Joba should be ready to become the next Bob Gibson. But all the evidence thus far points to pitcher who has difficulty controlling his emotions, which is the principle reason he was relegated to the pen in the first place.

Of course, the Yankees could sign a back-of-the-rotation type over the next 4 weeks (Justin Duchsherer, perhaps?), relegating Mitre back to the pen or Nova back to the minors and rendering the whole question moot.

For now.

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Third in a series

Ask anyone who knows the great game of baseball, and they’ll tell you the same thing: to win, you need pitching. To win it all, you need even better pitching. Any discussion of where things went wrong in 2010 has to begin with a serious discussion of the ultimate failure of the Yankee pitching staff. Injuries played a part, but the return of Javier Vazquez was underwhelming, AJ Burnett had his worst season ever and the bullpen never seemed to mesh until the Kerry Wood acquisition. The staff needs an overhaul, not a tweak, if the Yankees are to return to the World Series next year. So, who’s in and who’s out for 2011? (Highlighted players below don’t figure to return in 2011)

Under Contract (5):

CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Alfredo Aceves, David Robertson, Jonathon Albaladejo

Arbitration Eligible (6):

Boone Logan, Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, Chad Gaudin, Sergio Mitre, Dustin Moseley

Free Agents (5):

Andy Pettite, Mariano Rivera, Javier Vazquez, Royce Ring, Kerry Wood

Minor Leaguers on 40 man roster (5):

Andrew Brackman, Steve Garrison, Hector Noesi, Ivan Nova, Romulo Sanchez

As things stand now, only five players have contracts for next year, and Aceves hasn’t pitched since May because of a bothersome back. Counting on his return is iffy at best and although he was extremely effective in 2009, there is no guarantee he will be ready or effective in 2011. As we dig into the scenarios below, new players are noted by an (*).

Starting Rotation:Projected

1. CC Sabathia

2. Cliff Lee*

3. Phil Hughes

4. Andy Pettite

5. AJ Burnett

Right now, the Yankees return two starters from the 2010 team; Sabathia and Burnett. Hughes is entering his first year of arbitration eligibility, but also figures to return. The key to the 2011 rotation is Pettite, who is contemplating retirement. If he returns for another campaign, the Yankees are reasonably set, only needing one more piece – which figures to come from the free agent market. The obvious target is Cliff Lee, who would team with Sabathia to give the Yanks an awesome 1-2 punch atop the rotation. In that scenario, Burnett slides into the 5 spot (based on his erratic performance, where would you put him?), with Hughes 3 and Pettite 4. If Pettite retires, then the team is in a bind. Jorge de la Rosa (8-7, 4.22 for the Rockies) is an interesting option, in that he’s always been a high strike out guy, with decent peripherals and is left handed. Oh, and he figures to be fairly inexpensive. Another option is the well-traveled Ted Lilly. There are also minor league players who might do, led by Ivan Nova and Hector Noesi. Nova had an extended cup of coffee during Pettite’s injury time in 2010. While he impressed in spurts, he tended to get hit hard his second time through a line-up and at this point might project to fill more of a swingman role, taking the place of Sergio Mitre and Chad Guadin. As far as Javier Vazquez is concerned, I’m sure the Yankees will wish him well as the door is slamming behind him.

Bullpen:Projected

CL Mariano Rivera

RH Joba Chamberlain

RH David Robertson

LH Boone Logan

LH Scott Downs*

SW Ivan Nova

Like the starting rotation, the bullpen hinges on a Core Four member’s off-season free agency decision. Unlike Pettite, who is a 50/50 shot to retire, pretty much everyone expects Mariano Rivera to come back and anchor the pen. Expect Joba Chamberlain, coming into his first year of arbitration eligibility to be back and once again vie for the 8th inning job. If he doesn’t secure it, Joba becomes trade-bait for 2011. Robertson and Logan were wild at times, but both pitched well enough to be invited back this year. The intriguing questions come in the last two spots. Joe Girardi is known to covet left-handed relievers (why else take a chance on Royce Ring?!?), and one of the best in baseball hits the free agent market this year. He’ll be expensive, but expect the Yankees to make a major push for Scott Downs (5-5, 2.64). Finally, the Yankees have a cheaper option for the swingman role in Nova, who can fill the role. Expect Mitre to get a spring training invite if nobody else signs him, but not at his 2010 salary. And only because Girardi has some kind of love affair with the guy, going back to their days in Florida, not based on ability. Wood would be a great addition, were he to return in the 8th inning spot, but the reality is he still wants to close – and he will want closer type money this offseason. There is also the question of what to do with Jonathon Albaladejo, who looks like a classic AAAA pitcher: unhittable at AAA, but eminently more so in the majors.

On a final note, there’s been a lot of talk recently about a Joba & <insert Minor League Prospect> for Zach Greinke trade. I really hope the Yankees aren’t tempted by the idea. Greinke is a nice kid with excellent stuff. But he has emotional and confidence issues pitching for the Royals. New York would tear the kid up within a month, and the Yanks would be stuck with another Ed Whitson for the next two years – and $27 million.

Name Age 2010 Salary 2011 Contract
Alfredo Aceves

28

$ 435,650.00 $ 436,000.00
A.J. Burnett

34

$ 16,500,000.00 $ 16,500,000.00
CC Sabathia

30

$ 24,285,714.00 $ 23,000,000.00
Jonathan Albaladejo

28

$ 403,075.00 Under team control
David Robertson

26

$ 426,650.00 Under team control
Dustin Moseley

29

$ 235,000.00 Arbitration Eligible
Boone Logan

26

$ 405,000.00 Arbitration Eligible
Phil Hughes

24

$ 447,000.00 Arbitration Eligible
Joba Chamberlain

25

$ 487,975.00 Arbitration Eligible
Chad Gaudin

28

$ 737,500.00 Arbitration Eligible
Sergio Mitre

30

$ 850,000.00 Arbitration Eligible
Kerry Wood

33

$ 10,500,000.00 Free Agent
Javier Vazquez

34

$ 11,500,000.00 Free Agent
Andy Pettitte

38

$ 11,750,000.00 Free Agent
Mariano Rivera

41

$ 15,000,000.00 Free Agent
Royce Ring

30

Unknown Free Agent
Potential Free Agent Signings
Jason Frasor

32

$ 2,650,000.00 Free Agent
Scott Downs

34

$ 4,000,000.00 Free Agent
Jorge de la Rosa

29

$ 5,600,000.00 Free Agent
Cliff Lee

32

$ 9,000,000.00 Free Agent
Ted Lilly

34

$ 13,000,000.00 Free Agent
Potential Trade Targets
Zack Greinke (KC)

26

$ 7,250,000.00 $ 13,500,000.00

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As we prepare for tonight’s tilt with the Rays, there are numerous questions surrounding the Yankees. Will Andy Pettites groin be fully healed before the playoffs? Will Phil Hughesinnings limit result in him being ineffective? Who will be the fourth starter? Will the offense ever remember how to hit? Can Derek Jeter regain the form that made him a Yankee icon?

But the biggest question of all has to be this: Why is Joe Girardi still the manager?

Yes, I realize Girardi was the manager last year for #27. But many observers, myself included, felt the team won despite his managerial hijinx, not because of them. And the job he’s done this year – well, this current road trip pretty much sums up his season.

A manager’s job is two-fold: one, to put his players in the best position to do their job; and two, to motivate and inspire his squad to shine. Girardi consistently fails to do either. He insists on putting in line-ups where there are as many reserves as regulars. (How else do you explain bench players accounting for 21% of the teams plate appearances this season?). Quite frankly, I’m getting tired of seeing a bottom of the order consisting of Ramiro Pena and Francisco Cervelli. (That particular duo has started together an incredible 15 times this season – better than 10% of the season). It’s nothing against either of those guys, but this is supposed to be the Yankees, not the Orioles. Or the Cubs.

Girardi over-relies on the bullpen; the Yankees only have 3 complete games as a staff – 11th best in the AL. Don’t forget; this is the same guy who was run out of the Marlins clubhouse largely because he burned his bullpen so badly in 2006, they fell out of contention. It makes you wonder if Alfredo Aceves‘ workload contributed to his (possibly career-threatening) injury.

He also rubbed that clubhouse the wrong way, as the players simply got tired of his act. I doubt we’ll ever hear anyone on this team complain about the skipper – they’re all too professional for it – but I defy anyone to tell me this team actually wants to win for Girardi. To be blunt, lately the Yankees look as though they would rather be taking a nap than playing baseball. That type of lethargy is direct reflection on Girardi’s leadership -or lack thereof.

Last night’s game – with the odd bullpen choices (Kerry Wood and Boone Logan combined to throw fewer pitches in 1 1/3 innings than Chad Gaudin and Sergio Mitre did in 2/3 of an inning), lackadaisical hitting, base running blunders – was a microcosm of the season thus far. Lost in all the noise about the bullpen maneuvering and Brett Gardner’s inexplicable attempted steal of third were two other moves that make absolutely no sense. In the 5th, Jorge Posada was caught stealing. On a straight steal. With two out. Later, in the 11th, after Austin Kearns led off with a sharp single, Girardi had Curtis Granderson bunt. If you have the heart of the order coming up, that makes sense. But not when the next hitter is Colin Curtis.

I’m sure the infamous binder had all kinds of percentages for each of the weird moves we saw. But games aren’t won in a computer model; they’re won by players on the field. Speaking of computer models, the Pythagorean prediction says the Yankees should be 89-55 or two games better than they’ve played. Why do you suppose that is?

Managers can rarely win a game. But when they insist on managing like the league idiot, they can certainly lose them. For that reason, Joe Must Go.

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The Pitching:

Phil Hughes wasn’t the same pitcher we saw in previous starts this year. He was striking to strike every hitter out, wasn’t able to finish off hitters and ran up his pitch count pretty quickly. Phil’s pitching line was: 5.0IP 6H 5R 5ER 1BB 3K (104 Pitches, 74 for Strikes). Boone Logan came on in relief, allowing a run on two hits. Chan Ho Park was handed the ball in the 7th inning, and made a diarrhea all over the mound. He might as well have done that, because he was horrible. Park gave up three runs on four hits (two home runs). His ERA now stands at 8.10. Damaso Marte entered the game in the 8th inning, and wound up tossing 1.2 innings of scoreless ball. Vazquez came out of the bullpen and recorded the last out of the 9th. Javy picked up the win, improving his record to (W, 2-4).

The Offense:

Brett Gardner went 2-for-4 on the game, and picked up three runs. Mark Teixeira went 1-for-4, and collected a run and an RBI. Cervelli had another big night, going 2-for-4, collecting 3 runs and an RBI. A-Rod went 2-for-5 tonight, picking up 2 runs and 4RBI’s. He smoked a home run in the bottom of the 9th inning to tie the game up. Marcus Thames went 2-for-4 on the game, with a run and 4RBI’s (Home Run, Double). He hit a two-run walk off home run to win the game.

Final Score: Yankees 11, Red Sox 9

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 Sergio Mitre #45 And Jorge Posada #20 Of The New York Yankees Talk On The Mound

The Pitching:

Sergio Mitre toed the rubber last night instead of Andy Pettitte, who was out for precautionary measures. I kind of felt that they were just giving this game away with Mitre on the mound, especially since Andy said he was ready to get back out there.

Mitre wasn’t very effective, giving up 3 runs on five hits over 4 1/3 innings. His pitching line was: (L, 0-1) 4.1IP 5H 4R 3ER 2BB 4K (69 Pitches, 37 for Strikes). Joe Girardi turned to David Robertson to offer some relief, and he did just that. D-Rob tossed 1.2 innings of scoreless ball, giving up only two hits and struck out two in the process. His ERA moves down to 10.61.

Boone Logan pitched the 7th inning, giving up one run, on a hit and two walks. In the 8th inning, Joba Chamberlain lit up the radar gun (throwing 96-97 mph) and struck out the side. He gave us that flash of greatness we saw back in 2007.

The Offense:

Mark Teixeira hit a 2-run homer off of Brad Thomas in the top of the 3rd inning, to put the team within one run of tying up the ballgame. A-Rod went 2-for-4 on the game, picked up a run and lifted his batting average up to .286. Marcus Thames went 1-for-4 on the game, and delivered an RBI single in the top of the 8th inning to cut the lead to 5-3. Brett Gardner than ground out, allowing Robbie Cano to score and they were only trailing by one run. Randy Winn and Derek Jeter came up to the plate that same inning and failed to get a hit.

Final Score: Tigers 5, Yankees 4

The Yankees have now hit a two-game losing streak, and they turn to Javier Vazquez to end it. If they lose tonight, the Bombers will hit their first 3-game losing streak of the season. The Tampa Bay Rays lost another game last night, so the Yanks still stand a half game back. 

Scoreboard

Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
N.Y. Yankees (21-10) 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 4 8 1
Detroit (18-14) « 2 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 x 5 8 0
W: E. Bonine (3-0)L: S. Mitre (0-1)
S: J. Valverde (9)
HR: NYY – M. Teixeira (6)   DET – J. Damon (2)

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C.C. Sabathia wasn’t very sharp yesterday, but he pitched well enough to get the win. Unfortunately, he was one pitch away from putting himself in line for the win, when the umpires decided to stop the game due to the heavy rain. His pitching line was: 4.2IP 4H 3R 3ER 2BB 4K (89 Pitches, 52 for Strikes). Alfredo Aceves wound up with the win, improving his record to (W, 3-0) on the season.

As for the offense…

Mark Teixeira had a career day, by hitting three home runs off Red Sox pitching. Tex already has more hits than he had in all of April, so he’s really heating up now. He was 4-for-6 on the game, picking up 3 runs and 5RBI’s. Francisco Cervelli went 3-for-5, and knocked in 5RBI’s. Nick Swisher went 2-for-4, picking up 2 runs and 3RBI’s.

New York Yankees
Hitters AB R H RBI BB SO #P AVG OBP SLG
D Jeter SS 5 2 2 0 1 0 22 .304 .343 .464
B Gardner CF 5 1 2 0 0 1 24 .348 .431 .427
M Teixeira 1B 6 3 4 5 0 0 12 .207 .343 .396
A Rodriguez 3B 2 3 2 1 3 0 27 .276 .373 .438
K Russo 2B
1 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000 .000 .000
R Cano DH 5 2 1 0 1 1 16 .348 .400 .661
N Swisher RF 4 2 2 3 1 1 19 .298 .381 .558
R Winn LF 3 0 0 0 2 1 27 .192 .250 .308
F Cervelli C 4 0 3 5 1 0 15 .429 .500 .500
R Pena 2B-3B 4 1 1 0 1 0 22 .136 .167 .182
Totals 39 14 17 14 10 4 186      
BATTING
2B: R Pena (1, C Buchholz); D Jeter (6, J Van Every)
HR: M Teixeira 3 (5, 5th inning off C Buchholz 0 on, 1 Out; 7th inning off R Ramirez 0 on, 0 Out; 9th inning off J Van Every 1 on, 1 Out)
RBI: M Teixeira 5 (20), A Rodriguez (19), F Cervelli 5 (12), N Swisher 3 (23)
S: B Gardner
2-out RBI: F Cervelli 4, N Swisher 2
GIDP: M Teixeira, R Cano, D Jeter
Yankees RISP: 8-18 (M Teixeira 2-3, D Jeter 0-1, F Cervelli 3-3, R Pena 0-3, B Gardner 0-1, A Rodriguez 1-1, R Cano 0-3, N Swisher 2-3)
Team LOB: 9
BASERUNNING
SB: A Rodriguez (2, 2nd base off S Schoeneweis/V Martinez); B Gardner (14, 2nd base off S Schoeneweis/V Martinez)
FIELDING
DP: 1 (D Jeter-R Pena-M Teixeira).
 New York Yankees
Pitchers IP  H  R ER BB SO HR PC-ST ERA
C Sabathia 4.2 4 3 3 2 4 2 89-52 3.04
A Aceves
(W, 3-0)
1.0 2 0 0 0 1 0 19-15 3.00
B Logan
(H, 3)
0.1 0 0 0 0 1 0 2-2 2.08
D Robertson 0.1 2 0 0 0 1 0 14-8 12.91
J Chamberlain 1.1 0 0 0 1 1 0 21-10 2.63
D Marte 1.1 0 0 0 1 1 0 12-6 3.86
Totals 9.0 8 3 3 4 9 2 157-93  
PITCHING
HBP: D Pedroia (By C Sabathia)
First-pitch strikes/Batters faced: C Sabathia 13/20; A Aceves 5/5; B Logan 0/1; D Robertson 2/3; J Chamberlain 3/5; D Marte 2/5
Called strikes-Swinging strikes-Foul balls-In Play strikes: C Sabathia 21-6-13-12; A Aceves 5-1-6-3; B Logan 0-1-1-0; D Robertson 3-2-1-2; J Chamberlain 5-1-1-3; D Marte 2-1-0-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls: C Sabathia 3-7; A Aceves 1-1; B Logan 0-0; D Robertson 0-0; J Chamberlain 0-3; D Marte 2-1
Game Scores: C Sabathia 46

 

 

Final Score: Yankees 14, Red Sox 3

(Box Scores Courtesy of ESPN.com)

   The Boston Red Sox Grounds

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  (L To R) Boone Logan #48, Francisco Cervelli #29, Derek Jeter #2, And Ramiro Pena #19 Of The New York Yankees High

The Pitching:

Phil Hughes continued his great start to season this year, improving to 4-0 with another solid performance. His pitching line was: (W, 4-0) 7.0IP 7H 2R 2ER 1BB 7K (101 Pitches, 70 for Strikes).

David Robertson came on in the 8th, and gave up a run on two walks and a base hit. His ERA now stands at 13.50. Even with Mariano Rivera available, the Yanks didn’t need him with a 7-run lead. Instead, Boone Logan closed out the game in the 9th inning, throwing up a scoreless frame.

The Offense:

Nick Swisher is the hottest player on the team now, and he didn’t stop last night. He only got one hit, but it was a big one. He jacked a 3-run home run in the 4th inning to put the Yankees up 3-0. Marcus Thames went 1-for-2, and drove in two runs. A-Rod went 2-for-4 on the game, collecting two runs and knocked in an RBI. Randy Winn went 2-for-4, picking up two runs and an RBI. Francisco Cervelli went 2-for-3, collecting a run and an RBI.

In the process, two Yankees were lost due to injury. Cano was drilled with a 92-mph fastball off his left knee, and Johnson left the game with a wrist injury.

Final Score: Yankees 10, Red Sox 3 (more…)

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The Pitching:

Andy Pettitte didn’t have his best stuff today, but he worked out of trouble and earned his fourth win of the season. He was pulled from the game after five innings and 77 pitches, and made many fans concerned about what happened to him. We later found out that he is day-to-day with an inflamed elbow. His pitching line was: (W, 4-0) 5.0IP 6H 1R 1ER 2BB 2K (77 Pitches, 46 for Strikes). Sergio Mitre tossed 2.1 innings in relief, allowing 2 earned runs on 3 hits.

Damaso Marte entered the game with one out in the 8th inning, recorded an out and left the game. He was replaced by David Robertson, who has struggled mightily this season. D-Rob recorded the last out of the inning without any problems. Girardi sent him back out to the mound to close out the game, and that’s when it got ugly. Robertson continued his early season struggles as he served up back-to-back home runs to Wieter and Reimold, allowing the Orioles to pull within two runs. Boone Logan replaced him. Logan got one out, walked two batters and the ball was than handed to Aceves. Alfredo nailed down the victory with ease, picking up his first save of the season (S,1). This is what A World Without Mo looks like. Not pretty. 

The Offense:

Nick Johnson went 3-for-3 today. It was a huge game for him. He hit a solo blast in the bottom of the 1st inning off David Hernandez, and picked up a double and a single later in the game. His batting average is now up to .171 on the season. Nick Swisher hit a solo home run off Hernandez in the bottom of the 2nd inning. Mark Teixeira his a two-run double off of Mark Hendrickson. It was his only hit of the game. 

Brett Gardner went 1-for-3, picked up a run, a walk and another stolen base on the season (SB, 13). Randy Winn went 1-for-3, with a run and a stolen base. A-Rod went 1-for-4 and knocked in an RBI. Derek Jeter went 1-for-5, picking up two runs and an RBI.

Final Score: Yankees 7, Orioles 5

The Yankees will have the day off tomorrow, and will resume play on Friday night against the Red Sox. The team will ship up to Boston and open up a three-game series at Fenway Park. (more…)

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 Manager Joe Girardi Of The New York Yankees Presents Former Teammates Edwar Ramirez #59 And Chad Gaudin #57 Of The

The Yankees were reunited with some of their former teammates prior to yesterday’s game. Joe Girardi gathered his troops on the ball field, as they hand delivered 2009 World Series championships rings to Edwar Ramirez and Chad Gaudin. I’m sure those guys are going to miss New York. Oakland doesn’t cut it when you played in the Big Apple. Now onto the game….

The Pitching:

Javier Vazquez was trying to improve on his previous two starts, and he did exactly that. He was far from spectacular, but he’s taking a step in the right direction. Javy pitched pretty good in his first five innings, giving up only one run (a solo shot to Travis Buck in the bottom of the 5th). It took Vazquez over 20 pitches to get past the 90mph mark on his fastball, but it eventually came around. According to Javy, he felt that his off-speed pitches were more crisp this game.

Vazquez was approaching that 100-pitch mark, and even though I don’t believe in pitch counts..he wasn’t at his very best. I thought he was going to be done after 5 innings, but Girardi had different plans. I’m not going to get all over Girardi because it really wasn’t a crazy decision, but it didn’t work out so well. In the bottom of the 6th inning, a pop fly from Kevin Kouzmanoff’s bat fell in between Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano. That base hit didn’t help out Javy’s case. Vazquez wound up serving up a 2-run blast to the next batter, Kurt Suzuki. Girardi walked out to the mound and motioned to the bullpen for Boone Logan.

All in all, it was an improvement for Vazquez. He picked up his first win of the year, which hopefully puts Yankees fans minds at ease. His line was: (W, 1-2) 5.1IP 6H 3R 3ER 3BB 6K (107 Pitches-72 for Strikes). It would’ve been nice for him to end on a high note, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. He pitched better than what his pitching line displays…I’ll tell you that.

Boone Logan tossed 1 1/3 innings of scoreless ball. The ball was than handed off to Joba Chamberlain. He did the same thing, while striking out three batters. Damaso Marte came out for the 9th inning, walked Jake Fox, and was immediately pulled for Mo. Rivera tossed a perfect frame to close out the game and picked up a strikeout in the process. It wasn’t a save situation.

The Offense:

Alex Rodriguez hit a 3-run A-Bomb off of Craig Breslow in the top of the 5th inning. It was his 585th home run of his career, leaving him only 15 away from the 600HR mark. Alex picked up two runs on the game and walked three times. Jorge Posada went 1-for-5, and knocked in 2RBI’s.  Swisher went 1-f0r-4. and also picked up 2RBI’s. Derek Jeter went 0-for-5

(Interesting Info: Courtesy of ESPN.com)Yankees ace CC Sabathia, back home in his native Northern California, threw out the ceremonial first pitch Monday night at the North Vallejo Little League Spring Classic on a field his foundation helped rebuild.” (more…)

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To say Damaso Marte’s 2009 season was full of success would be stretching the truth a little bit. Marte unfortunately missed almost 4 whole months due to shoulder problems stemming from the World Baseball Classic. Outside of the time he spent hurt, his season was largely forgettable as he was 1-3 with a 9.45 ERA over 13.1 innings. However, in the postseason, Marte was money in the bank as he didn’t allow a run to cross the plate while yielding only 2 hits and striking out 5 in 4 innings.

Looking Ahead to 2010: As long as Marte is healthy, expect career norms for him as he will likely serve as a LOOGY or as a left handed setup for Mariano Rivera. Outside of that, there is not much Marte will be asked to do, as long as he pitches better down the stretch than Phil Coke and if not Boone Logan will be available to pick up the pieces.

2010 Projection: 62 games, 1-3, 3.84 ERA

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According to Joel Sherman, in a effort to get some value out of paying through the nose for Kei Igawa (See: Toilet in Cashman’s office filled with $46 million) the Yankees are likely to use Igawa as a reliever this year (H/T to TYU). Sherman also went on to say that Igawa would work out of the bullpen in Scranton as well.

I was starting to wonder how long the Yankees would allow him to toil in AAA before they either ate his contract (unlikely) or found something else for him to do, like being the bat boy.

While it is unlikely we’ll see the Yankees break camp with Igawa as a LOOGY, he could very well be in line with Boone Logan to fill that role if Marte falters in his role this year. However, looking at Igawa’s splits against lefties doesn’t give people the warm and fuzzies they would like to feel regarding Igawa. (more…)

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