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Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Youkilis’

Kevin Youkilis was removed from the game at the start of the sixth inning, and was replaced by Lyle Overbay at first base. According to Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News, Youk left the game with tightness in his lower back. It doesn’t seem too serious, as he’s watching the game from the dugout in the bottom of the 8th inning. Stay tuned for updates.

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There can be no doubt that the American League East is easily the best division in baseball. In fact, this year could wind up being historic in terms of division play, as my projections show 4 of the 5 teams capable of winning 90+ games this season – a feat that’s never been accomplished before. Is the talent level in the East really that much better than the rest of the AL? In a word, YES.

Both the Boston Red Sox and Yankees look to be the class of baseball this year. I project both teams to win 105 games this year and finish tied for the division crown. How evenly matched are the two juggernauts? The projections also have them splitting the season series, 9-9. Many prognosticators are giving the edge to the Red Sox this year, based on their starting rotation of Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, John Lackey, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Clay Buchholz. While the Yankees rotation is known to be unsettled, relying on a return to form by AJ Burnett, Phil Hughes avoiding regression from his 18-8 2010 season, and a collection of rookies and reclamation projects to fill the 4 & 5 spots, the Sox rotation also has question marks. Can Lackey reclaim his form? Can Beckett come back from an injury plagued season? Will Buchholz ever deliver on his promise? Can Matsuzaka come back from injuries and inconsistency? In short, both teams could have excellent rotations – or horrible ones, once you get past the aces. But offensively, both squads are loaded 1 – 9. The Yankees projected line-up of Derek Jeter, Nick SwisherMark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Jorge Posada, Curtis Granderson, Russell Martin and Brett Gardner may actually be better than the team that led the league in runs scored last season. Boston counters with Carl Crawford, Dustin Pedroia, Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz, JD Drew, Marco Scutaro, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jacoby Ellsbury. Both line-ups are capable of scoring 1,000 runs. The real differentiators between the teams are in the bullpens and on the bench. The Yanks have a slight edge in the bullpen, with the 1 – 1a tandem of Mariano Rivera and Rafael Soriano. The Sox have a slight edge on the bench.

As for the rest of the division, Tampa Bay suffered some tremendous free-agent losses. Despite that, they come into the season with their only real question being the strength of the bullpen, where the oft-traveled Kyle Farnsworth heads a makeshift relief corps. The additions of Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon, along with new shortstop Reid Brignac and rookie Desmond Jennings, should actually make the offense better. And Tampa’s rotation remains one of the game’s best, led by David Price. But while good enough to win pretty much any other division in the game, this year’s Rays aren’t in the same class as either New York or Boston.

The same goes for the Orioles, although Baltimore may have the most improved team in the league. The infield was completely remade, as Mark Reynolds, Derek Lee and JJ Hardy join Brian Roberts. The O’s also brought in veteran slugger Vladimir Guerrero and closer Kevin Gregg. Add in what looks to be the league’s best young rotation and proven winner (and old friend) Buck Showalter as manager, and Baltimore is poised to shock people the same way Toronto did last year.

As for the Blue Jays, this team lost too much – and replaced those parts with questionable signings – from last year’s overachieving squad to compete this year. They’ve brought in pitching guru John Farrell to lead the team, but this team will suffer from losing Cito Gastons “let-’em-fly” attitude on offense. Include a rookie catcher, changes at 1st, 3rd and all three OF spots and it will prove to be too much turnover to overcome. One bright spot for the Jays this year could be rookie starter Kyle Drabek, one of the game’s more hyped young pitchers.

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This just in from Jack Curry (Via Twitter):

“Nick Swisher has won the last man All Star vote over Youkilis. it was closest vote ever”

Congrats to Swish! This is his first All-Star Game selection of his career.

Update: 6:27PM ET: From Mark Newman of MLB.com

Swisher, the Yankees’ right-fielder and social-media titan, held off Kevin Youkilis of the rival Red Sox in the closest race in the nine-year history of the Final Vote to claim the 34th and final spot on the All-Star roster with a final tally of 9.8 million votes. Swisher and Youkilis were followed by Paul Konerko of the White Sox, Michael Young of the Rangers and Delmon Young of the Twins.

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Swisher had the all-time campaigning day in Final Vote history on Wednesday, par none. Using baseball’s most-followed Twitter account (1,220,890 followers) to his advantage, he sought out and got endorsements from New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, actress Jessica Alba and “The Apprentice” co-star Ivanka Trump (among others). Then that night he was a triple shy of the cycle in leading the Yankees to a 6-2 victory over the Athletics.

On Thursday morning, it was announced that he held a narrow lead in a “virtual tie” with Youkilis. It didn’t take Swisher long to tweet another kick in the rear to voters. He typed: “We’re in the final stretch. Can’t thank yall enough for your support. Let’s finish strong!” And naturally he used the #SENDSWISH hashtag so that as many fans as possible could find his tweet, along with a link to the ballot.

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Nick Swisher took the lead over Kevin Youkilis yesterday in the balloting, and he hopes it stays that way. This is just a slim lead, so it’s not over just yet. The Yankees are requesting that all fans vote 33 times at 3:30PM for Nick Swisher to be the All-Star Game Final Vote. It’s called “Mission #33”. It seems like a plan to me. Of course, that’s not saying you can’t vote 333 times before then, too (it’s an unlimited ballot). Voting ends in just a few hours, so be sure to cast your votes before it’s too late!

Vote Here! –> Send Swish

Voting Ends today at 4PM ET 

Everybody’s Doing It! (Photos Via Yankees PR & Andrew Donovan of NBC News)

20100707_BRIAN_CASHMAN_VOTE_SWISHER_5

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In part one of our three part Yankees vs Red Sox series we examine the infield between both teams. We will be judging each infield starter on their expected defensive and offensive contributions to their respective teams this year.

Jorge Posada vs Victor Martinez

Offensive Edge: Negligible. Most teams (except for the Twins) would love to have either of these catchers offensive numbers for them as they both are some of the better offensive catchers in the game.

Defensive Edge: Slight edge to Victor Martinez. While Jorge has thrown out a better percentage of runners as compared to Martinez, Posada’s defense has degraded slightly over the last few years. With shoulder surgery a few years ago, it is unlikely Jorge will make any giant leaps forward defensively. Martinez is in his prime and has room to improve. (more…)

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     According to the New York Post, Derek Jeter has made the 1st cut for team USA.The provisional roster also includes Dustin Pedroia & Kevin Youkilis, who could join him in the starting infield. That makes it pretty interesting. There are forty-three players on the current provisional roster. The roster will be cut to 28 players by the end of February, and it must include 13 pitchers and two catchers.

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Major League Baseball does not need a cap  /  Few mentions of Pudge this winter

Arbitration absurdity  /  Tony Pena’s ’03 KC Royals Manager of the Year award auctioned off on ebay

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