Game 18: Doom and Gloom

With the Yankees fresh off of their first true ‘Death by Bullpen’ game of the season, there seems to be a pervasive sense of worriment. The previously stellar performances of Matt Thornton and Adam Warren are already being treated as if they occurred in the distant past, or some faraway universe in which the Yankees are allowed to have nice things. And even if David Robertson comes back strong and transitions into the closer’s mentality with gusto, the bullpen as a whole remains in need of a dramatic overhaul. How else could this have happened, after all?

In reality, last night just sucked. Every bullpen is going to implode once in awhile. It feels a bit worse than usual, as it came against the Rays in Tampa … but it is indicative of nothing other than a bit of bad luck.

Although, to be fair, Cesar Cabral stinks.

New York Yankees Tampa Bay Rays
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF David DeJesus, CF
Brett Gardner, LF Ben Zobrist, 2B
Carlos Beltran, DH Matt Joyce, DH
Brian McCann, C Evan Longoria, 3B
Alfonso Soriano, LF James Loney, 1B
Yangervis Solarte, 3B Wil Myers, RF
Kelly Johnson, 1B Sean Rodriguez, LF
Brian Roberts, 2B Yunel Escobar, SS
Dean Anna, SS Ryan Hanigan, C
Ivan Nova, SP Chris Archer, SP
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Ground Balls: Sabathia’s 2014 Adjustment

There’s no denying that CC Sabathia has lost a significant amount of velocity over the last few years. While we’ll likely see him sitting in the low-90′s by June or July, those hoping that he ever regains his mid-90′s fastball are headed for disappointment over the next three seasons. After a rough 2013 season, Sabathia needs to regain the confidence of his fanbase despite velocity.

Indeed, it looks like Sabathia’s biggest weakness in 2013 was his command and lack of whiffs, both of which just slightly declined for the left-hander. His pitching coach attributed this to his new body weight and poor balance and timing on the mound. But these problems have so far been settled in 2014, as his K/9 sits at an excellent 9.35, and his BB/9 at 1.73. His ERA might be 5.19, but taken into account his absurdly high home run rate, his xFIP has him at 2.56.

Home runs will make or break Sabathia this year, as the AL East and Yankee Stadium are notoriously friendly to the long ball.…

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Cabral Designated For Assignment, Daley Called Up

After the bullpen implosion tonight, the Yankees were a little low on relievers, but I didn’t expect them to DFA Cesar Cabral. The poor lefty just had nothing tonight, and he hit 3 batters before umpire Joe West threw him out of the game for the safety of Rays. After his poor outing and getting tossed, Cabral was almost immediately designated for assignment, which means he’ll need to be traded or put on waivers in the next 10 days. This clears up a spot on the 40-man roster for Matt Daley, who the Yankees are calling up after posting 13 strikeouts in 5.0 innings in Scranton.

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Game 17: Happy #HIROK Day!

Happy HIROK Day and welcome to tonight’s game thread!

Last night, CC Sabathia and the bullpen held the Tampa lineup to two runs while the Yankees lineup battered David Price and Tampa’s bullpen to the tune of 10 runs. Will tonight be more of the same or will it be a complete reversal?

We’ll see.

Here are your lineups:

Tampa Bay Rays New York Yankees
DeJesus, CF Gardner LF
Zobrist, 2B Jeter, SS
Joyce, LF Ellsbury, CF
Longoria, 3B Soriano, DH
Loney, 1B McCann, C
Myers, RF Solarte, 2B
Forsythe, DH Johnson, 1B
Escobar, SS Sizemore, 3B
Hangian, C Ichiro, RF
Bedard, SP #HIROK, SP

According to Bryan Hoch of, Joe Girardi told reporters that Carlos Beltran had an MRI on his left shoulder and right wrist. In case you missed it, Beltran took a pretty nasty tumble over the short wall in right field of the Trop last night. He basically forgot it was there and flipped over it.…

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Tonight’s Lineup at Rays: 4/18/14

Gardner 7
Jeter 6
Ellsbury 8
Soriano DH
McCann 2
Solarte 4
Johnson 3
Sizemore 5
Ichiro 9

Kuroda RHP

No Carlos Beltran a day after forgot about the wall at the Trop and nearly killed himself.

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Surprising Hot Starts For A Handful Of Tampa Yankees

The ruling on the Yankees’ farm system wasn’t too encouraging this offseason. The Yankees have a ton of low-level depth, but no impact players at the higher levels. Though the system is ranked below average, most evaluators see the organization as a fast mover in the rankings, as the lower levels are loaded with possible breakout talent. Bigger names like Aaron Judge, Eric Jagielo, Mason Williams, and Gary Sanchez are all hitting well at the moment, but the Yankees also need to see contributions from players that lacked top prospect status last season.

Dante Bichette Jr- For most rankers, Bichette fell out of prospect status following his down 2012 season. He wasn’t much better in 2013, where he showed some fundamental changes to his swing. Though Bichette finally reached double digit home runs, his .214/.292/.331 slash was uninspiring for a former first round pick. Now at 21 years old, the Yankees bumped the third baseman out of Charleston and into High-A Tampa.…

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The Farm Report: 4/17/14 – Lots of wins!

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre beat Buffalo 2-1 in Game 1 (9 innings):
The RailRiders got a runner on base in each of the first two innings, but it wasn’t until the top of the third that they managed to score the first run of the game. Antoan Richardson drew a walk, moving to second on a sac bunt by Carmen Angelini. Richardson stole third and scored on a single by Jose Pirela for the 1-0 lead. Scranton held onto the slim advantage through the top of the seventh, but Buffalo managed to score their first run of the day on a RBI single by Chris Getz, tying the game and sending it into “extra” innings (MiLB doubleheader games go seven innings). Both teams took a pair of walks in the eighth inning, but were unable to capitalize on them. Ronnier Mustelier drew a walk in the top of the ninth, moving to second on a sac bunt. Angelini lined a single to center, plating Mustelier for the 2-1 lead.…

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Basking In The Good Pitching Afterglow

Phelps vs BOS 2014

(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod.  Stats have not been updated to reflect last night’s game)

Quality of opponent being what it was, yesterday’s Wednesday’s doubleheader shutout was still a splendid performance by the Yankee pitching staff.  They got very good to outstanding outings from 2 25-year-old starters and some solid bullpen work from a bunch of mostly young and unheralded pitchers all working in higher-leverage roles thanks to the closer being on the DL.  It was a continuation of what has quickly been established as the norm for this group since the opening week of the season.  These guys can pitch, all of them, and they’ve been the driving force behind the Yankees’ early success.

The Yanks opened a weekend series tonight last night in Tampa with the 2nd best record in the American League, a place atop the AL East, and they’ve done it mainly on the back of their pitching staff while the new lineup continues to work out the kinks and find its way.  …

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