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Posts Tagged ‘Zack Greinke’

Yankees (55-50) vs. Dodgers (56-48)

Pitching Matchup:

LHP Andy Pettitte (7-8, 4.39) vs RHP Zack Greinke (8-3, 3.49)

Yankees Lineup

Gardner CF
Jeter SS
Cano 2B
Soriano LF
Overbay 1B
Suzuki RF
Nix 3B
Stewart C
Pettitte P

Game Information:

The game will take place at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. It is scheduled to start at 10:10PM ET. The game will be televised on the YES and MLB Network. The game can be heard on the radio on WCBS 880.

Alfonso Soriano

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The Yankees open up a two-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight. Here are the pitching probables for the series:

Tue: LHP Andy Pettitte (7-8, 4.39) vs RHP Zack Greinke (8-3, 3.49)

Wed: RHP Hiroki Kuroda (10-6, 2.51) vs LHP Clayton Kershaw (10-6, 1.96)

Andy Pettitte

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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 One that Got Away

For those of you haven’t heard, Cliff Lee surprised just about everyone by deciding to sign with the Phillies. The move is an unqualified disaster for the Yankees and Brian Cashman, who had bet the farm (and the team’s immediate future) on signing the ace lefty. Combined with Boston’s wheeling and dealing, and Andy Pettitte’s possible (and likely) retirement, the Yanks may not be in serious contention for a playoff spot: Boston hasn’t only improved themselves, but so have the Tigers, Twins and White Sox. The Yankees look like they’re headed into the season with a two man rotation. (CC Sabathia and Phil Hughes),  a depleted bench and shaky bullpen. Ouch.

So, what to do now?

1. Trade for for a starter: use some of the Yankees minor-league depth to acquire a proven, front-end starter. Unfortunately, two best rumored to be available, Zack Greinke and Carlos Zambrano, are both head cases. Greinke is a former Cy Young winner. He’s rumored to want out of Kansas City. He’s young. He’s also had problems handling stress – and suddenly being cast as the “savior” of the 2011 season for the New York Yankees has a good chance of stopping his 2011 season before it starts. Not too mention that KC would want half of the Yankees farm sytem in return. Zambrano has top of the rotation stuff and the “Big Z” certainly has delivered both wins and quality starts in the past. But he’s also the poster child for petulance – and does anyone really think Larry Rothschild wants to be reunited with the Cubs ace?
2. Promote Ivan Nova and Hector Noesi: the last time the team slotted two rookies into the rotation was in 2008. Enough said on that idea. Although it may be the only option left.
3. Sign Carl Pavano: stopped laughing yet? Remember, this is the same front office that sent a popular outfielder and LH relief prospect to bring in a past failure who would eat innings, coming off a good season. That didn’t work out so well, but Cashman may well be considering the idea. After all, none of us thought he’d bring back Javier Vazquez, either.
4. Put Joba Chamberlain back in the rotation: no matter how much they say otherwise, this team loves jerking the kid around. He’s been everything from Mo’s heir to doghouse sitter so far. As much as they’ve been saying that Joba is in the pen for 2011, no doubt the brass has to be seriously reconsidering that idea at the moment.
5. Ride it out and wait for 2012: there are some big time prospects headed this way in 2012. Players like Dellin Betances, Andrew Brackman, Austin Romine and Brandon Laird. It smacks of the late 80s Yankees, who kept buying stop-gap major leaguers while waiting for the farm to deliver. (Anyone remember how Roberto Kelly was going to save the franchise?)

6. Stockpile relievers, realizing that half of the team’s innings need to come from the ‘pen: great idea, except free-agent relievers rarely work out as intended. The only high-upside reliever left on the market is Rafael Soriano and it’s hard to see the Yankees singing another closer.

Then, there’s my personal favorite…

7. Bring in a player personnel guy. Cashman has proven astute on the business side of baseball and made the Steinbrenner family a ton of money, so its no wonder they love the guy. But his personnel moves leave a lot to be desired. Its simply insane that the team with the highest payroll has holes, and this one now needs a 4th and 5th starter, a set-up reliever, a 4th outfielder and utility infielder. When you look at the players he’s brought in versus who he’s let go, well… that’s a whole other post.

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To start off a short work week, for some people, here are some Yankees News and Notes to take in…

  • The Yankees avoid arbitration with Chad Gaudin and Boone Logan. Gaudin will make $2.95 million and if he reaches an undisclosed innings mark, he will make $175k more. Logan will make $590k.
  • Yankees will wear this hat for batting practice at home and this one on the road. Personally, I still like this one.
  • According to Buster Olney, the Yankees never made an offer to Jerry Hairston, Jr.
  • The Cardinals have done their ‘due diligence‘ and checked in on the condition of Chien-Ming Wang. If picked up by the Cardinals, he should do well under Dave Duncan.
  • If you want to go the Baseball Writers Association of America’s annual dinner on Saturday, tickets are still available for $225. On the guest list is Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, Zack Greinke, Andre Dawson and many more.
  • Seats from Yankees Stadium II are selling at a higher price than seats from Shea Stadium ($1,499 to $869) and have out sold Shea seats 15,000 to 10,311 as well.
  • Take a look at your calenders and take solace in the fact that pitchers and catchers report in 31 days.

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As a part of ESPN’s end of decade ‘Best of Series’ they have been having, they have named Mariano Rivera as the most valuable pitcher of the 2000’s (Cy Young of the Decade, if you will). Mariano had some stiff competition in being named this award (See: Johan Santana, Roy Halladay, Greg Maddux, etc al), but all his competition had various reasons for not being named for this award (Injuries, Off Years, Not Playing all of the 2000s, etc al).

For Mariano, this is yet another accolade he is deservant of. While it is hard to quantify what Mariano has meant to the Yankees, Rebecca at Purist Bleeds Pinstripes tries to quantify how many wins Mariano has meant to the Yankees and does a damn good job and ESPN’s article does a damn good job as well. Enjoy ESPN’s article after the jump.

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