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
J.P.

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Headley acquisition (probably) not a game changer for Yanks

ChaseHeadley

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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Yankees in tough spot at deadline

Save us Cliff Lee...if you can

Save us Cliff Lee…if you can

I have to imagine that this is about the toughest spot a general manager can find himself in. With nine days left until the non-waiver trade deadline passes, his team is kind of a mess. Four of the starting pitchers he opened the season with are on the disabled list, two are already confirmed to be out for the season, and there’s still a pretty good chance Masahiro Tanaka is going to need Tommy John surgery. His offense is 12th in the American League (and last in the A.L. East) in wRC+, and the big free agents he brought in to turn things around after Plan 189 crashed and burned have been disappointments to this point.

And yet, they’re just four games out of first place.

The end result is a murky situation that makes the decision of whether to add pieces for the playoff run or concede that the roster may not be good enough to get that far anyway a very difficult one to make with any certainty, especially given a trade market that doesn’t have many potential impact upgrades available.…

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BREAKING: Yankees Trade For Chase Headley (UPDATED)

Well how do you like that?  Sounds like Chase Headley might be wearing pinstripes soon.  More on this as it develops…

** UPDATE 1:14 PM- Via Jon Heyman, the Yanks are sending Yangervis Solarte and High-A pitching prospect Rafael De Paula to San Diego for Headley, and the Padres are picking up $1 million of Headley’s remaining salary. **

** 1:28 PM- Headley himself is tweeting out thank yous and goodbyes to the San Diego fans.  Sounds like this is all but a done deal. **

** 1:38 PM- The team has tweeted out the deal, so that’s about as official as it gets.  There are some whispers about Headley possibly being in the lineup tonight.  He was in Chicago and is now on his way to New York.  We’ll see.  Hard not to like this trade from the Yankees’ side.  

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Why Not Target Marlon Byrd?

The Philadelphia Phillies might be the selling team with the most attractive movable pieces at the deadline, and conventional wisdom has been that the Yankees should target Cliff Lee or Cole Hamels.  The Yankees have lost four out of their five starting pitchers from the beginning of the season, so General Manager Brian Cashman has talked about targeting pitching. They have been in love with Lee for years and Hamels would give them an ace still in his prime.

However, the player that the Yankees should really go after hard from the Phillies is right fielder Marlon Byrd. Byrd is hitting .268/.319/.483/.802 with 19 home runs and 51 RBI for Philadelphia this season. His 122 wRC+ and .347 wOBA are also solid.

Yes, the Yankees still need pitching.  But if you haven’t noticed, their starting pitching has been stellar lately. Led by Hiroki Kuroda, Shane Greene, Brandon McCarthy and David Phelps, the Yankees had a 1.99 ERA from their starting pitchers over the last eight games prior to last night.  …

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Quick Hit: Mark Teixeira Is Mr. Glass

Via Chad Jennings, here was Teix yesterday on his season-long battle with the injury bug:

“I thought the year off last year would kind of give me a fountain of youth.  And it’s just made me rusty. I’ve used that word a few times this year; that’s the way it feels. It’s been something. Every game, it’s something. I was dealing with the hamstring early, the knee, back — it’s really frustrating — not to mention the wrist, which is obviously something I’ve been dealing with. That’s life. You have to grind through things. I’ve been grinding pretty well all season. I’m still happy with the way I’ve played when I’m healthy. I just need to get healthy again.”

Yeesh.  Be more depressing, Mark.  While I think we’d all agree with Teix’s statement about needing to get healthy, the chances of that happening this calendar year aren’t looking good.  Not with the way the Yankees have treated all the bumps and bruises he’s accumulated in the first 98 games.  …

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Appreciating the amazing David Robertson

Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees

Replacing a legend is never easy… just ask Tino Martinez or whoever plays shortstop for the Yankees next season. Heck, even Mickey Mantle was booed when he took over for Joe DiMaggio in center field in 1951.

During spring training, David Robertson admitted that he was not replacing Mariano Rivera: “You can’t replace legends. Somebody like Mo, you may never see again the game of baseball… But he’s gone now. Someone has got to take over that role… It’s just that I will never be Mo. I hope people can understand that.”

Robertson is correct in that he’ll never be Mo, but he is doing his best impersonation of him this season.

And yet the biggest storyline here might be that there is no story. Robertson is dominating the ninth inning and somehow has flown under the radar as one of best closers this season.

Let’s take a few minutes now to appreciate the underrated awesomeness of D-Rob in 2014.…

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This Just In: The Yankees Still Stink

Cervelli vs TEX

I feel ya, Frankie. I really do. Courtesy of the AP

Hey, remember that shine I tried to put on the team yesterday with the posts about Ellsbury and how well the backup rotation has been doing?  Yeah, forget about all that.  I mean, don’t completely forget about them because I think they were expertly written, but forget about the idea that any of that means anything because the Yankees are terrible.  They’re a terrible baseball team.  They reminded folks like me of that last night, putting on an all-around poor display of the most basic baseball skills and completely reversing all the good they did by sweeping the Reds with a retch-inducing 4-2 loss to the Texas Rangers.

Or should I say a collection of Quad-A organizational depth and guys I’ve legitimately never heard of wearing Rangers jerseys.  Be honest with me, who really knew who Miles Mikolas, Jake Smolinski, or Rougned Odor were before last night?  …

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