Solarte and Johnson Falling Back To Earth

The Yankees infield was seen as a huge weakness going into the season, but a shocking start to the season by Yangervis Solarte, and solid beginnings for Kelly Johnson and Derek Jeter helped the infield perform above its expectation level.

Brian Roberts has gotten off to a horrible start, and Mark Teixeira has not had enough at-bats to conclude anything about his results yet.

It was inevitable that Solarte and Johnson would cool off. Solarte was performing like an MVP candidate, and Johnson was off to a very nice start too. The problem is that they have nobody else in the infield to give them that production while they’re struggling since Teixeira has started off slowly.

Solarte and Johnson still have solid numbers overall. Solarte is hitting .303/.387/.455 with a .374 wOBA and a 136 wRC+, and Johnson is hitting .232/.296/.500 with a .345 w/OBA and a 116 wRC+. However, Solarte is 1-for-17 over his last four games and Johnson is 3-for-23 over his last seven games.…

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MLB Should Be Embarrassed About The Pine Tar Incident

I can’t explain what was going through Michael Pineda‘s head on Wednesday night in Fenway, and I can’t explain what was going on in his teammates’ head while they watched the 25-year-old take the mound with a streak of pine tar on his neck, but it was Brian Cashman who called this incident an embarrassment for the Yankees. To some extent, yes, the Yankees clearly didn’t communicate the severity of using pine tar to Pineda. Perhaps the language barrier confused Pineda, maybe the pitcher was trying to conceal it in his glove or belt and had an itch on his neck while applying it, or maybe he really is as stubborn as the media now assumes. Either way, Pineda cheated again.

Yet even the group of writers that have proven the most prudish about cheating refuse to call Pineda a cheater. During last night’s YES broadcast, not only did David Cone and Al Leiter talk about the rampant use of pine tar by pitchers, but they even detailed their own use and how they chose to conceal it.…

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The Farm Report: 4/23/14

While the Yankees had a rough day in Boston, their minor league counterparts had a pretty good day from top to bottom. The minor leaguers showed off some great offensive and pitching performances, also combining for eleven stolen bases.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre blanked Buffalo 5-0:
Ramon Flores started the RailRiders’ offense with a single to center in...

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On Pineda, Pine Tar, And General Human Stupidity

Pineda Pine Tar Check

Nobody likes a cheater.  We’re all raised to follow the rules and play fair.  But in the sports world, especially the baseball world, the blurring of the line of right and wrong is an unspoken understanding between all players and coaches and there are plenty of familiar phrases that speak to that mindset.  ”If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying”.  ”It ain’t cheating if you don’t get caught”.  And so on.

Michael Pineda was trying last night.  He was very obviously struggling with his grip and command of the baseball in the bottom of the 1st inning due to the colder temperatures and wind blowing through Fenway Park.  The guys on the ESPN broadcast pointed it out no more than 10-12 pitches into the inning.  He labored through it, went to the dugout, and came back out for the 2nd with a little substance aid to help solve his grip problem.  His method of using this substance was so blatant and flagrant that it forced John Farrell to point it out to home plate umpire Gerry Davis, who very easily identified the pine tar smudge on Pineda’s neck and ejected him from the game.  …

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IIATMS Podcast Episode 15: Pineda Ejection, Starter Pipeline, Prospect Profiles, and More!

Last night, while we were getting ready to record our 15th episode of the ‘It’s About The Yankees, Stupid’ podcast, the Michael Pineda incident occurred which altered our plans slightly because of course we’d have to talk about it. The Yankees’ starting pitcher being ejected for using a foreign substance is, as Vice President Joe Biden would say, a big ^&*$ing deal. After that Domenic, EJ and yours truly soldiered on and talked about what the loss of Pineda (for a couple of starts due to suspension) and Ivan Nova for the rest of the year means to the Yankees and how they will plug the holes in the rotation; Domenic and EJ talked about two more Yankee prospects while I listened intently (I swear, I was); Domenic ranted about a certain trade that happened a few days ago, I ranted about an incident on Twitter and we answered listener email.

As always you can leave a comment below, tweet us at @IIATMS or email us at

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A Sticky Situation: Red Sox 5, Yankees 1

So, heard any good jokes lately?

This game was a disaster from the start. Michael Pineda was struggling to get through the first inning and was lucky to escape down only two runs. Then the brazen young pitcher decided to go out to the mound with some pine tar on his neck of all places, the Red Sox bench noticed, notified the umps and he was thrown out of the game.


And according to MLB rule 8.02(a)(4) (there are a lot of parts to the rule), a pitcher may not use a “foreign substance” on the baseball and violation of that rule is a mandatory 10-game suspension.

Oh good, this is just what the Yankees’ rotation needs, another missing starter. It’s bad enough the Yankees have to figure how they’re going deal with the loss of Ivan Nova for the season but now they have to worry about Pineda missing two starts on top of that?

After Pineda was ejected, an unmanned camera for the ESPN broadcast was positioned to film the tunnel from the Yankees dugout to the clubhouse.…

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Game 21: Big Mike vs. Lackey

Welcome to tonight’s game thread.

Here are your lineups:

Ellsbury, CF
Jeter, SS
Beltran, DH
McCann, C
Soriano, LF
Teixeira, 1B
Gardner, RF
Roberts, 2B
Johnson, 3B

Sizemore, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Napoli, 1B
Carp, LF
Pierzynski, C
Bogaerts, SS
Holt, 3B
Bradley Jr., CF

Pitching matchup: Pineda (2-1, 1.00 ERA) vs. Lackey (2-2, 5.25 ERA)

As always, behave, be respectful of your fellow IIATMS readers and have fun!

Go Yankees.

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Predictably, Jeter Continues to Defy Age

AP Photo/Elise Amendola

AP Photo/Elise Amendola

It’s hard to imagine that a 39-year-old shortstop entering the season with tremendous leg issues and a poor history of defense could be anything more than a liability on the Yankees. As Derek Jeter plays the last season of his career, not many expected more from him than to draw in fans hoping to see him play one last time. Projection systems like ZiPS had Jeter hitting just .263/.329/.356 on the season, which would be his worst full-season of his career. Considering his age, extent of injuries, and missed playing time, that wasn’t entirely out of the question.

Thus far, Jeter is batting .298/.385/.351 with eleven strikeouts and seven walks. It’s early in the season, but Jeter’s offense looks to be in line with his career numbers. While his .370 BABIP remains high, his career BABIP is .353, which is due to a high number of line drives and ground balls. Jeter also hits to all fields, which helps him avoid shifts and place the ball.…

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