Appreciating Robinson Canó

With the Yankees’ victory last night over Tampa (and losses by the Dodgers and the Red Sox), the Yankees are now tied for the best record in baseball (with LA), and sit 3.5 games ahead of Boston in the AL East.   While the additions of CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, and AJ Burnett have made a tremendous difference to the Yankees this season (Moshe already discussed the impact of Derek Jeter), another important reason for the Yankees possessing the best record in baseball is the resurgence of Robinson Canó.

At age 23 in 2006, Canó just missed out on winning the batting title, hitting .342/.365/.525 with 15 homers and 62 RBI’s in an injury-shortened 122-game season.  He looked like he could be a perennial all-star and regular contender for the batting title, and he was compared to a young Rod Carew.  In a full, healthy 2007, Canó was not quite as impressive, but still had a great season, going .306/.353/.488 with 19 homers and 97 RBI. … Click here to read the rest

Wait, he still IS Roy Halladay

Allow me summarize a few thoughts:

  • He’s Roy Halladay. Perennial Cy Young candidate. Horse. The guy who helped AJ grow up and mature as a person and a pitcher. AL East tested.
  • Adding Halladay keeps him out of Boston’s hands, too. Last time I checked, that team is still a darned good one and capable of getting hot and not cooling off. I don’t think Tampa can absorb Halladay’s contract but if they decide to deal from their bevy of prospects, they will continue to scare me.
  • I would be really, really bummed to lose either Joba or Hughes, along with Jesus Montero and at least two other prospects. I think home grown pitchers are so much more fun to root for and we haven’t had many in the last 2 decades (Pettitte, Wang?).
  • Like many Sox fans feel about possibly losing Buchholz, that’s how I feel about losing either Joba or Hughes. I’m afraid that they’ll haunt the Yanks for years if dealt.
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Irony alert: Joba's struggles

The results are a bit disappointing, but it is important to see if this is just random bad luck, or a slight regression of Chamberlain’s skills. One disturbing sign is that his line drive rate is up. Over 20% of the balls put in play off of Chamberlain are line drives, compared to 14.2% last season. Another warning flag is opponents contact. Opponents are chasing less pitches outside of the strike zone (a 3% drop from 2008,) and making more contact on pitches in the zone (a 6% increase.) A rise in line drive rate and better pitch recognition from the opposition are often traits of worsening stuff: either his off speed is flattening out, or his fastball is losing velocity. In Chamberlain’s case, it’s a little of both. His average fastball velocity is 92.5 MPH this season, down 2.5 MPH from 2008. Velocity on his slider is down almost an entire tick as well. His breaking pitches aren’t moving as much this season as opposed to last season either.… Click here to read the rest

Ortiz and Manny tested positive for PED’s in 2003

Michael Schmidt at the NY Times has the story. Apparently, both David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez were on the same list that A-Rod was on in 2003.

The information about Ramirez and Ortiz emerged through interviews with multiple lawyers and others connected to the pending litigation. The lawyers spoke anonymously because the testing information is under seal by a court order. The lawyers did not identify which drugs were detected.

Unlike Ramirez, who recently served a 50-game suspension for violating baseball’s drug policy, Ortiz had not previously been linked to performance-enhancing substances.

Scott Boras, the agent for Ramirez, did not respond to telephone and e-mail messages seeking comment.

Asked about the 2003 drug test on Thursday in Boston, Ortiz shrugged. “I’m not talking about that anymore,” he said. “I have no comment.”

Now, let’s all wait calmly while heads explode in Boston…… Click here to read the rest

Garza Admits Hitting Tex On Purpose

From the Yes Network:

“They can take whatever they want from it from it, but I just kind of got tired of people brushing him back. It’s about time someone made a statement,” Garza said, noting that Longoria was hit by a pitch in the opener of the three-game series on Monday night.

“I hate to be that guy, but someone had to take a stand and say we’re tired of it,” the right-hander added. “You can go after our best guy. Well, we’ll make some noise, too, and that’s what happened.”

Longoria, who was hit by Yankees reliever Jonathan Albaladejo on Monday, did not take issue with Chamberlain.

“That’s just the way the game goes. I don’t know if it was intentional, unintentional or if it was a way to kind of stir up our dugout,” Longoria said. “I don’t have any hatred or negative feelings. It’s just part of the game.”

I have no problem with Garza hitting Teixeira.… Click here to read the rest

In search of another OF

From Joel Sherman (NY Post):

Corey Patterson was recently put on outright waivers by the Nationals and the Yankees are considering signing him to fill in as the backup center fielder until Brett Gardner recuperates from his hand injury, the Post has learned.

Patterson is a notoriously frustrating player who never really delivered on his promise, though we’ve been treated to glimpses. He’ll always have offenisve “upside,” even at 30, but the Yankees don’t really care about that since his playing time would be limited. Instead, with Gardner on the DL, what they care about is defense and speed, which Corey Patterson offers in spades. The Yankees are interested in Josh Anderson for the same reason. Whether these moves occur or not, the rumblings regarding Patterson and Anderson signal Brett Gardner’s importance to the Yankees. He’s really been a key player for them in 2009.… Click here to read the rest

Game 101: Yankees 6, Rays 2

Bad News:
Bruney: It was evident right away that there is just something not right about Bruney these days. He faced off against Crawford to start the ninth and gave up a triple. Next, Bruney served up a 2-run bomb to Longoria, giving the Rays some life. His final line: .1 innings pitched, 3 hits, 2 earned runs, 1 homerun. His ERA is sitting at 6.16.

Damon: He went 0-4 and was the only Yankee who went without a hit tonight. He also stranded 3 runners in the process. Damon had some trouble seeing the ball against the Trop’s dome, but he still made the plays.

A-Rod: Alex went 1-5 and stranded 4 runners. He still scored a run and made some solid defensive plays, but in both the first and fifth he hit into inning ending plays when the Yankees were starting to rally.

Good News:
Joba: In the spirit of full disclosure, I’ve always been in the Joba should start camp.… Click here to read the rest

Minors Recap, 7/30

Scranton’s game against Durham was postponed

Trenton’s doubleheader against Harrisburg was postponed

Tampa shuts out Charlotte, 7-0

  • David Phelps started for the Yankees, giving up 2 hits and a walk in 6 scoreless innings, and striking out 6.  He has given up just 1 earned run in 2 starts since being promoted to Tampa.
  • Pat Venditte did his thing, striking out 4 in 2 perfect relief innings.
  • Dan Brewer was 2 for 4 with a walk and a steal.
  • Matt Cusick was 2 for 5 with a stolen base.
  • Damon Sublett was 3 for 4 with a triple and a steal.
  • David Adams was 0 for 2 with 2 walks.
  • Brandon Laird was 0 for 4.
  • Seth Fortenberry was 2 for 5 with a triple.
  • Luis Nunez was 3 for 4.
  • Jose Gil was 2 for 4.

Charleston defeats West Virgninia, 8-7

  • Brandon Braboy started, giving up 2 runs on 4 hits and a walk in 4 innings.  He also struck out 6.
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Yanks looking at Josh Anderson

From Steve Kornacki (Mlive.com):

Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland confirmed today that the New York Yankees have interest in outfielder Josh Anderson, whom Detroit has 10 days since Friday to assign to another team via trade or have clear waivers before possibly sending him out-right to Triple-A Toledo.”It’s a possibility,” Leyland said. “They are interested. I think one other club is interested.”

Anderson is basically a fourth outfielder that can play center, right and left. He’s got good range and is a very capable defender. His biggest asset is his speed, though, as he has stolen 13 bases this year and has only been caught twice (his speed is also a big part of his defensive game). He’s like Brett Gardner except Gardner is a better player from both a defensive and offensive standpoint. I’m not sure what the Yankees would have to give up in order to get Anderson, nor do I think he is necessary. However, with Gardner out, this could indicate that the Yankees are worried about their outfield defense, especially late in games, as well as their lack of bench speed, which Girardi likes to have at his disposal.… Click here to read the rest