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Posts Tagged ‘Minnesota Twins’

Yankees (76-47) vs. Twins (54-70)

Pitching Matchup:

RHP A.J. Burnett (9-9, 4.61) vs LHP Francisco Liriano (8-9, 5.12)

Yankees Lineup

Jeter SS
Granderson CF
Teixeira 1B
Cano 2B
Swisher RF
Jones DH
Martin C
Nunez 3B
Gardner LF

The game will take place at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It’s scheduled to start at 7:10p.m. ET. The game will be televised on the YES and MLB Network. The game can be heard on the WCBS 880 radio station. (more…)

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Yankees (75-47) vs. Twins (54-69)

Pitching Matchup:

RHP Phil Hughes (3-4, 6.55) vs RHP Kevin Slowey (0-0, 4.91)

Yankees Lineup

Gardner LF
Jeter SS
Granderson CF
Teixeira 1B
Cano 2B
Swisher RF
Chavez 3B
Posada DH
Martin C

The game will take place at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It’s scheduled to start at 8:10p.m. ET. The game will be televised on the YES Network. The game can be heard on the WCBS 880 radio station. (more…)

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Yankees (74-47) vs. Twins (54-68)

Pitching Matchup:

LHP CC Sabathia (16-7, 2.93) vs LHP Brian Duensing (8-11, 4.53)

Yankees Lineup

Jeter SS
Granderson CF
Teixeira 1B
Cano 2B
Swisher DH
Jones RF
Nunez 3B
Cervelli C
Gardner LF

The game will take place at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It’s scheduled to start at 8:10p.m. ET. The game will be televised on MY9. The game can be heard on the WCBS 880 radio station. (more…)

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The Yankees open up a four-game series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field tonight. Here are the pitching probables for the series:

Thurs: LHP CC Sabathia (16-7, 2.93) vs LHP Brian Duensing (8-11, 4.53)

Fri: RHP Phil Hughes (3-4, 6.55) vs RHP Kevin Slowey (0-0, 4.91)

Sat: TBA vs LHP Francisco Liriano (8-9, 5.12)

Sun: TBA vs RHP Nick Blackburn (7-10, 4.53)

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The season is now ten days old and Mr. Mailbag’s inbox is filling up. While Mr. Mailbag never pretends that the sky is falling when the season is less than two weeks old and the Yankees have a winning record, there sure are a lot of pessimistic Yankee fans out there. So here are the four most often asked questions I’ve received:

  1. Have Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada reached the end of the line? I hope not, but both players are aging and not necessarily gracefully. As of tonight’s game, Jeter is batting only .206 with one extra base hit in nine games. He’s abandoned the new stance and looks slow on fastballs. If you’ve watched the games, you can see Jeter is back where we left off last year – getting beat on fastballs inside, fishing for slow stuff outside and hitting weak grounders at the middle infielders. Were he playing stellar defense, you could overlook the slow start offensively. But in the field, he’s been caught cheating either in the hole or up the middle in an attempt to make up for his diminished range. That combination of range and cheating has resulted in 5 or 6 hits so far that most shortstops would have cut off. Unfortunately, DH isn’t a real possible position switch because Jorge Posada is sitting in that spot. Posada, other than a two-day power surge, has been even more atrocious than Jeter so far, hitting a mere .138. Take away those days and Jorge is hitting .048 with no extra base hits and 9 strike outs. (At least he’s been consistent). As much as we love these guys as fans and respect their past glories, the fact remains: both look old, slow and overmatched. For the Yankees to contend, both of these old warriors need to turn it up a few notches.
  2. What happened to Phil Hughesfastball? For all the questions about the starting rotation, Hughes wasn’t supposed to be one of them. Yet, over his first two starts, Hughes has thrown 6 innings, allowing 12 hits and 11 runs, while walking 4 and watching three of his pitches sail into orbit. What’s more, for a strike-out pitcher, he’s only managed to sit down 1 of 33 batters faced so far. The reason seems to be a general loss of velocity. Everyone in the Yankee brass insists that Hughes is physically fine, but the sudden case of Javier Vazquez-itis has to trouble everyone. If Hughes’ next start on Wednesday is as bad as his first two, it is officially time to swap spots with Bartolo Colonwhile Hughes gets himself straightened out.
  3. How will Freddy Garcia pitch this year? We’ll get our first glimpse on Friday,when Garcia finally gets his chance to shine. Unfortunately for Garcia and the Yankees, that start will come against the Rangers, a team that is scoring at will so far this year. But right now there can be little doubt that the team needs a strong start from Garcia. Otherwise, the bullpen and CC Sabathia will collapse from overwork before we get to May.
  4. When is the 8th inning not the 8th inning? The Yanks head into tonight’s tilt with the Orioles (weather permitting – it looks pretty nasty right now) with a 5-4 record and at least one of those losses can be hung directly on the shoulders of one Joe Girardi. That loss was the extra-innings tilt against the Twins, when Clueless Joe inserted Rafael Soriano into the game in the eighth inning with the Yanks leading 4-0. Never mind Soriano’s history of awful performances with both Tampa Bay and Atlanta when there isn’t a save situation, it was the eighth, so in went Soriano. 6 batters later, it was David Robertson being asked to bail out the team. He almost did, but a blooper tied the game and sealed the Yanks fate. After the game, Joe insisted on using some type of convoluted logic for using Soriano in the game. Here’s hoping he learned that just because you signed a guy to pitch the eighth inning doesn’t mean he always has to pitch the eighth inning.
  5. Where has Nick Swisher gone? For this, I have no answer. There’s certainly a guy in right field wearing #33 that looks like Nick Swisher. And some dude calling himself Nick Swisher has been showing up around town, handing out tickets. But I strongly suspect that a deranged Red Sox fan has kidnapped Swish and replaced him with a robot that can’t hit and can’t field. I am hereby calling for his immediate release.

In exchange, I’ll return the real Carl Crawford. :)

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Yankees (3-2) vs. Twins (2-3)

Pitching Matchup: 

RHP Freddy Garcia (0-0-, 0.00) vs RHP Carl Pavano (0-1, 15.75)

Yankees Lineup

Gardner LF
Granderson CF
Teixeira 1B
Rodriguez DH
Cano 2B
Swisher RF
Chavez 3B
Nunez SS
Molina C

The game will take place at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, NY. It is scheduled to start at 7:05p.m. ET. The game will be televised on the YES Network. The game can be heard on the radio on WCBS 880. (more…)

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Yankees (3-1) vs. Twins (1-3)

Pitching Matchup: 

LHP CC Sabathia (0-0, 3.00) vs LHP Brian Duensing (0-0, 0.00)

Yankees Lineup

Jeter SS
Swisher RF
Teixeira 1B
Rodriguez 3B
Cano 2B
Posada DH
Martin C
Jones LF
Granderson CF

The game will take place at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, NY. It is scheduled to start at 7:05p.m. ET. The game will be televised on the YES Network. The game can be heard on the radio on WCBS 880. (more…)

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Yankees (2-1) vs. Twins (1-2)

Pitching Matchup: 

RHP Ivan Nova (0-0, 0.00) vs RHP Scott Baker (0-0, 0.00) 

Yankees Lineup

Gardner LF
Jeter SS
Teixeira 1b
Rodriguez 3b
Cano 2b
Swisher RF
Posada DH
Granderson CF
Martin C

The game will take place at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, NY. It is scheduled to start at 7:05p.m. ET. The game will be televised on ESPN and the YES Network. The game can be heard on the radio on WCBS 880. (more…)

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The Yankees open up a four-game series against the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium. Here are the pitching probables for the series:

Mon: RHP Ivan Nova (0-0, 0.00) vs RHP Scott Baker (0-0, 0.00) 

Tue: LHP CC Sabathia (0-0, 3.00) vs LHP Brian Duensing (0-0, 0.00)

Wed: RHP Freddy Garcia (0-0-, 0.00) vs RHP Carl Pavano (0-1, 15.75)

Thurs: RHP A.J. Burnett (1-0, 5.40) vs LHP Francisco Liriano (0-1, 8.31)

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As good as the AL East is, the opposite may be true of the AL Central. I don’t project any of the five teams to win 90 games – and two could lose more than 100. This is a division that is loaded with teams filled with mediocre talent. In fact, the most interesting team to watch may be the Royals, if only because they may actually have days where they start 9 rookies.

The best of the worst is, once again, the Minnesota Twins. Projected to win the Central by three games, they’ll win based on sound fundamental play, two star players (Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer) and because they’ll be able to bottom feed on 36 games with two of the worst teams since the St. Louis Browns. The starting rotation is suspect, featuring the injury prone tandem of Francisco Liriano and Carl “Strained Buttocks” Pavano. The strongest element of last year’s division winning team, the bullpen, was wracked by free-agent defections – meaning this year’s pen relies on the much-traveled Matt Capps and a not-quite-healthy Joe Nathan. In fact, injury carry-overs from last year could get the Twins out of the gate slowly, as nobody is quite sure if Morneau is sufficiently recovered from last season’s concussion to play first full time yet. If they do start slowly, the crown my well fall to Chicago.

The White Sox made quite a splash this off-season, re-signing Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski and landing Adam Dunn as their new DH. Unfortunately, they would have been better off looking for a starting 3rd baseman and a couple of outfielders, because the current line-up may be one of baseball’s worst group of defenders we’ve seen in a while. Which is a shame, because the Pale Hose have the makings of an outstanding pitching staff – perhaps the best in baseball. If Jake Peavy returns to form after his pectoral tear, they’ll have 6 quality starters and a bullpen that features a bevy of quality (if not nationally known) arms. But the offense will once again be a classic three-outcome type, as typified by Dunn: walk, strike-out or homer. Don’t expect much in the way of sustained rallies or guys flying around the bases at US Cellular Field.

The Tigers look destined for a distant third place finish. The best thing going for this team is that they’re managed by future Hall-of-Famer Jim Leyland. But the star player, Miguel Cabrera, is turning into baseball’s version of Charlie Sheen. Actually, Detroit’s middle of the order could feature some good players, with the addition of Victor Martinez joining Magglio Ordonez. The rest of the supporting cast, though, is supect, featuring such luminaries as Brandon Inge. The back of the bullpen could be solid, if Joaquin Benoit can prove last year wasn’t a fluke, Joel Zumaya can stay healthy and Jose Valverde can stop his decline. But both the starting rotation and middle relief corps are a mess. Aside from Justin Verlander, the Tigers are relying on converted relievers, reclamation projects and prayers.

The youth movement is in full swing in Kansas City. After their farm system was ranked #1 by Baseball America, they might as well give the kids a shot – nothing else has worked for the past 20 years. Yes, they traded away Zack Greinke and made a couple of curious signings in old friend Melky Cabrera and Jeff Francouer. But KC’s real aim this year is to see if youngsters Billy Butler, Alex Gordon, Kila Ka’aihue and Eric Hosmer are ready for prime time.

Bringing up the rear is the Cleveland Indians. Once again, the Tribe is looking more like “The Mistake by the Lake” instead of a major-league team. They do have a bona-fide star in Shin-Soo Choo and a star in the making in catcher Carlos Santana. But otherwise, Cleveland is hoping Grady Sizemore shows enough that he can become a viable trade chip. I’m pretty sure Cleveland fans have to be wondering what they’ve done to deserve the Cavaliers, Browns, and this abomination of a baseball team.

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The 2011 Yankees work out during Spring Training

It’s that time of year. Spring training games are underway and baseball fans everywhere are having heated discussions about who will finish where. It’s kind of silly, really. As any Yankee fan can tell you, “You can’t predict baseball.” Still, we make the effort – never mind that mid-season injuries, trades and call-ups always alter the picture. Add in the players who have break-out years (seriously, who thought Jose Bautista would slug 54 homers in 2010?) or unexpectedly terrible ones (think Carlos Lee), and predicting anything this time of year becomes an exercise in futility. But it is a fun exercise, so here I go.

I’ll start by posting the expected finish of team, including record. How did I come to this? I ran 100 season simulations, based on a program I originally wrote for picking football games. Of course, this assumes I’ve correctly guessed every team’s roster on Opening Day and that nobody suffers a significant injury. It’s worked well for me in picking the NFL (as those of you who followed my picks on Twitter last year probably know), but this is the first time I’ve ever tried it in baseball. By the way, the division names double as links, you can hit them to get to a more in-depth prognostication.

AL East

  1. New York Yankees,     105-57    0 GB
  2. Boston Red Sox,     105-57    0 GB
  3. Tampa Bay Rays    95-67    10 GB
  4. Baltimore Orioles    94-68    11 GB
  5. Toronto Blue Jays    67-95    38 GB

AL Central

  1. Minnesota Twins    87-75    0 GB
  2. Chicago White Sox    84-78     3 GB
  3. Detroit Tigers        71-91    16 GB
  4. Kansas City Royals    55-97    32 GB
  5. Cleveland Indians    45-107    42 GB

AL West

  1. Oakland A’s        97-95     0 GB
  2. Texas Rangers        85-77    12 GB
  3. Anaheim Angels    83-79    14 GB
  4. Seattle Mariners    64-98    33 GB

Yes, the AL East is that good. And yes, Cleveland is that bad.

Season’s biggest surprise: The Oriole starting rotation. I know, you probably think I lost my mind. But the O’s may have the best stable of young arms in the league, with Jake Arrieta (25), Brian Matusz (24), Brad Bergesen (25) and Chris Tillman(23). Add in a resurgent Justin Duchscherer and the steady Jeremy Guthrie, and that’s a lot of promise.

Season’s biggest bust: Texas. They’re really going to miss not re-signing Cliff Lee. Not to mention the whole Michael Young saga is a great case study in how to blow up team chemistry.

MVP candidate: Robinson Cano. If you thought last year was special, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

CY Young Candidate: Since this award seems given to somebody from a losing team lately, I’ll stay with the trend. Here’s a vote for Joakim Soria.

As always, I look forward to your feedback. And…PLAY BALL!!!

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Kevin Dame over at Visual Baseball has come up with some great visual inforgraphs on the New York Yankees. If you’re interested in this type of stuff, I suggest you take a look at archives. 

(Click on the Graphics to Enlarge)

(more…)

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