Cut to the Chase: What to Know About Headley

Through two games, we’ve learned a decent amount about new Yankees 3B Chase Headley. Here are some highlights, mixed in with some things he carried with him to New York.

Epidurals are good. Headley battled back issues earlier this year in San Diego, to the point he says he was “pretty banged up.” That said, he’s said twice that the epidural he had on his back has worked like a charm, and his back “continue[s] to feel much better than prior.” He’s called back surgery a “last-case scenario,” and noted it’s an unpleasant thing to think about. He said that he’s added a few core workouts, and that he warms up his back quite a bit before games. It seems like he has a firm hold on his back for now.

Newspapers are no good. Chase Headley won’t read the NY papers, not even after a walk-off hit. “I’ve been warned to stay out of those,” he said. “My parents, first of all when I started playing baseball, they told me that.…

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Game 100: A Real Third Baseman at the Century Mark

Welcome to New York, Chase.

Getty Images

Getty Images

Texas Rangers New York Yankees
Shin-Soo Choo, LF Brett Gardner, LF
Elvis Andrus, SS Derek Jeter, SS
Alex Rios, RF Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Adrian Beltre, 3B Carlos Beltran, DH
Jim Adduci, 1B Brian McCann, 1B
J.P. Arencibia, DH Chase Headley, 3B
Leonys Martin, CF Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Chris Gimenez, C Francisco Cervelli, C
Rougned Odor, 2B Brendan Ryan, 2B
Yu Darvish, SP David Phelps, SP
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What To Watch For: Darvish vs Yankees

The Yankees will try to make Yu Darvish look bad tonight. (Photo: USA TODAY Sports)

The Yankees will try to make Yu Darvish look bad tonight. (Photo: USA TODAY Sports)

The Yankees face the Rangers’ ace Yu Darvish tonight in the third game of this four-game series. Here are a few things to look for when watching and praying for some runs against one of the best pitchers in baseball.

Which Yu is it?
There is no doubt that Darvish is having an excellent season, with a 2.88 ERA over 18 starts and a league-leading strikeout rate of 11.4 per nine innings.

However, after starting the season strong with a 2.08 ERA and nine quality starts in his first 10 outings, he has been very inconsistent over his last eight turns.

His ERA is a shade under 4.00 since June 6 and he has given up at least four runs in five of his last eight games. He is coming off a 12-strikeout, one-run effort against the Blue Jays on Friday, but that followed a six-run, 10-hit disaster against the Astros in his final start prior to the break.…

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Quick Hit: Kelly Johnson To The 15-Day DL

Guess the groin injury that forced him to leave last night’s game was more severe than some simple tightness.  Via the Yankees’ PR team, Kelly Johnson has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left groin.  Chris Leroux has been called up from SWB to take his spot on the active roster, and Bruce Billings was designated for assignment to clear a 40-man spot for Leroux.

I have to imagine the Leroux move is a temporary one to add a fresh arm to the ‘pen after last night’s marathon game.  He should be sent down when the number of rested, available relievers normalizes and a position player will be called up to replace him.  In the meantime, the Yanks will go with B-Rob at second, Headley at third, and… somebody at first.

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A Final Word On The Solarte Era

Solarte vs PIT

Courtesy of Getty Images

When the Yankees announced that they had signed Yangervis Solarte to a MiL deal and extended him an invitation to spring camp, I’m sure a lot of us had the same reaction.  “Who??”  We quickly found out who when Solarte impressed in ST and earned himself a spot on the Opening Day roster, then watched in various levels of amazement as he proceeded to be the team’s best hitter through the first 2 months.  At one point in mid-May he was leading the AL in batting average and he finished the month with a .299/.369/.466 slash line.

Whether it was opposing pitchers figuring him out and adjusting to him, him changing his approach in a way that negatively impacted his effectiveness, a natural regression back to his true talent level, or a combination of all 3, Solarte’s production fell off big time in June.  He was slowly being phased out of the everyday lineup before being included as part of the trade package for Chase Headley yesterday.  …

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Mid-Morning Linkaround: 7/23/14

This was a weekly feature at AB4AR and I think I’m going to split it up and make it 2 mini-features during the week here.  A quick trip around the Yankosphere to see what’s hot and what other people are talking about.  Here we go.

- On Monday, Andrew Mearns of Pinstripe Alley broke down Jacoby Ellsbury’s terrific at-bat against Aroldis Chapman from Sunday.

- Yesterday, SJK of NoMaas made a depressing comparison to last season to illustrate how serious the offensive futility has been in 2014.  Power and patience, baby!

- Earlier today, Greg Corcoran of Bronx Baseball Daily released his midseason top 50 prospects list.  He always has a different take on some guys I’m usually lower on, so definitely check this out.

- And in case anybody missed them yesterday, here are 2 posts from our own Katie Sharp and Matt Bove, Katie’s on D-Rob’s nastiness and Matt’s on trading for Marlon Byrd.  With the Headley story breaking, they got shuffled down the page pretty quickly.…

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Wednesday Morning Food For Thought: Is It Worth Calling Up Kyle Roller?

As far as grabbing headlines goes, last night’s extra-inning affair provided plenty of drama and a perfect opportunity for Chase Headley‘s “welcome to New York” moment.  As far as baseball goes, it once again showcased how pitiful this lineup is without Mark Teixeira in the middle of it.  The Yankees managed a mere 2 runs in 14 innings of play last night.  They’ve managed 4 over 23 innings in the last 2 games, and only 2 of those 4 were scored in 12.2 combined innings against no-name starters Miles Mikolas and Nick Martinez.

Another baseball-centric storyline that got swallowed up by the Headley walk-off was Kelly Johnson leaving the game in the 11th inning with a groin injury.  Regardless of how you feel about his play, Johnson has been useful to the Yanks as a guy who can play multiple infield spots, bring some pop to the bottom third of the lineup, and act as Teix’s unofficially official backup at first base.  …

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Game 99: Martinez v. Whitley, or Game 1: After Solarte

The team that the Rangers are currently fielding makes me feel quite ashamed for lamenting the injury issues of the Yankees. Tonight’s Rangers lineup includes a 29-year-old rookie batting third, a 28-year-old rookie DH’ing, and J.P. Arencibia (and his 14 wRC+) playing first base. Their actual first baseman (Prince Fielder), should-have-been second baseman (Jurickson Profar), second starter (Martin Perez), third starter (Matt Harrison), and fourth starter (Derek Holland) are all done for the season, and their top set-up men (Tanner Scheppers and Alexi Ogando) may be out for the rest of the year, as well.

So knock on wood and cross your fingers, and then thank whatever God(s) you believe in that the Yankees have a very real shot at the playoffs.

Texas Rangers New York Yankees
Shin-Soo Choo, RF Brett Gardner, LF
Elvis Andrus, SS Derek Jeter, SS
Jim Adduci, LF Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Adrian Beltre, 3B Carlos Beltran, DH
Leonys Martin, CF Brian McCann, 1B

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Headley acquisition (probably) not a game changer for Yanks


Well, that escalated quickly. Before my return post examining the Yankees’ trade deadline choices could be published, Brian Cashman finalized a deal to send Yangervis Solarte and Rafael DePaula to San Diego for third baseman Chase Headley and cash considerations (seriously). In case you feel like skipping over that post now, here’s the conclusion I came to:

I’m not gonna lie, I really don’t know what the best answer is here. Probably a combination of buying and standing pat, holding out as long as they can to see where they’re going to be in a week, then making a move if they still have a shot. I definitely think they should go for it if possible this year though, if only because the near future doesn’t look much brighter than this season. None of their veterans are getting any younger, and Tanaka may spend 2015 rehabbing from surgery. If they stay within striking distance, their best bet may be to put the chips in this year’s pot and hope the baseball gods want to send The Captain into the sunset in grand fashion.

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