Game 50: Indians 3, Yankees 7

Burnett and Indians’ pitcher Justin Masterson both kept hitters guessing until the seventh inning.   With two outs, Burnett hit Luis Valbuena with a pitch.  Valbuena stole second and scored when Marson reached first base safely due to a throwing error by Derek Jeter.  Donald followed with a triple to center and the Tribe leapt out to a 3-0 lead.

Nick Swisher got the rally started for the Yankees in the bottom of the seventh, singling to center.  Swisher moved to second on a ground out by Juan Miranda.  Brett Gardner hit an infield single to put runners on first and third.  With two outs and two on, Jeter made up for his error by lining a RBI single to center, scoring Swisher and Gardner.  Curtis Granderson followed with a double and Mark Teixeira came through with a monster homer into the stands in left field, giving the Yankees a 5-3 lead.

Burnett held the Indians through the eighth inning, but the Yankee offense wasn’t done.  … Click here to read the rest

Players to Watch in the Dominican Summer League

For most prospect watchers, there is virtually no point in following the Dominican Summer League, but for some reason, I enjoy keeping track of it anyway.  The DSL is a short season rookie-level league with a level of competition traditionally below that of the Gulf Coast League, where most American high school draftees make their professional debuts.   The DSL is traditionally the first professional stop for Latin American teenagers signed on or after July 2 who are not considered advanced enough to make their stateside debuts, because of some combination of a lack of professional coaching, lack of English skills, or youth.  Advanced Latin American free agents have been known to skip the DSL, with Jesus Montero and Arodys Vizcaino serving as two primary examples.  In the Yankee system currently, prominent alums of the DSL include Jose Ramirez, Ivan Nova, and Francisco Cervelli.  DSL play has just begun, so I think it is worth taking a closer look at some of the names you may be hearing about years down the road.… Click here to read the rest

Cano enters his prime

Very quietly at age 27, Robinson Cano is starting to fulfill his promise as a big league player. Across most (prominent) offensive stats he is among the league leaders in category after category. He currently sits at #2 in MLB for Batting Average at .362 (behind Justin Morneau @ .368) #3 in the AL for Slugging at .607, 4th in OPS at 1.012, 6th in RBIs, #1 in Hits, #3 in Doubles and 5th in Runs Scored. He leads the Yankees in every major offensive category with Hits, Runs, 2B, HRs, RBIs, Total Bases, BA, OBP and SLG. For those who prefer advanced stats, he is 4th in the AL in wOBA. His stellar ability to make contact has shined again this year, sitting at 11th in Z-Contact% (#1 is …wait for it…Brett Gardner). He is 3rd overall in WAR at 2.6, and first among all 2B (Hudson 2.0). Through the first two months of the 2010 season, the best hitter on the Yanks hasn’t been named Jeter, Teixeira or Rodriguez, it’s been Robbie Cano.… Click here to read the rest

A-Rod Is "One Class Act"

Because I know that this story will soon disappear into the ether and A-Rod will quickly go back to being a villain for daring to trod near a pitcher, I wanted to highlight it here. First, we hear from Chad Jennings:

When today’s game ended, Alex Rodriguez left Yankee Stadium and began making his way to New York-Presbyterian Hospital to check on David Huff. Before Rodriguez could get there, Huff was released from the hospital and was back with his teammates in time to catch the bus to the Indians hotel.

Rodriguez asked for Huff’s phone number so that he could call him this evening.

And then, from Huff’s Facebook page:

I’d like to thank the Yankees team doctors and our training for making sure i was ok. I’d also like to thank the NY Yankees security staff for taking care of my family, they were amazing. finally, to A Rod for contacting me on his way to the hospital, one class act.

Click here to read the rest

Sherman: Yankees To Pursue Lee In Offseason

From Joel Sherman:

One AL executive went so far as to say last week, “I have no doubt that the Yankees will sign Cliff Lee.”

The assumption is logical. Javier Vazquez ($11.5 million) will come off the payroll, and Andy Pettitte ($11.75 million) contemplates retirement annually. Their combined salaries are roughly what it is going to take on an annual basis to secure Lee.

There is no doubt the Yankees front office is enamored of Lee. The Yankees can imagine going forward with Lee and his former Indians teammate, Sabathia, heading the rotation followed by A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes, and if he wanted to come back again, Pettitte. If not Pettitte, then the presence of horses such as Lee and Sabathia would more comfortably allow the Yankees to break in someone such as Ivan Nova as a low-cost No. 5 starter.

It has long been the contention of the writers here at TYU that the Yankees will focus their available money and resources for the 2010 offseason on Cliff Lee.… Click here to read the rest

What’s the next move with Joba?

Photo courtesy of the NY Daily News

The level of disgust in Yanklee land directed at Joba Chamberlain is palpable these days. Bill Madden referred to yesterday’s outing as “Comic relief”. The NY Post has a new nickname for Joba, calling him ‘Chamber-Lame’. Even his (always measured with the media) manager Joe Girardi effectively laid down the gauntlet in yesterday’s post game, and the frustration in his voice was evident. He said this:

“We had the game where we wanted, we had our eighth-inning guy in, we needed four outs from him … and he left pitches in the middle of the plate. He just didn’t make the pitches when he had to. Players aren’t going to be bulletproof, but he’s had some bad outings. He’s our eighth-inning guy and he’s got to get it done for us.”

Yesterday may have been the nadir of Joba’s 2010 campaign, but it wasn’t just one bad outing in isolation. He’s given up a whopping 10 ER in his last 5 IP.… Click here to read the rest

What's the next move with Joba?

Photo courtesy of the NY Daily News

The level of disgust in Yanklee land directed at Joba Chamberlain is palpable these days. Bill Madden referred to yesterday’s outing as “Comic relief”. The NY Post has a new nickname for Joba, calling him ‘Chamber-Lame’. Even his (always measured with the media) manager Joe Girardi effectively laid down the gauntlet in yesterday’s post game, and the frustration in his voice was evident. He said this:

“We had the game where we wanted, we had our eighth-inning guy in, we needed four outs from him … and he left pitches in the middle of the plate. He just didn’t make the pitches when he had to. Players aren’t going to be bulletproof, but he’s had some bad outings. He’s our eighth-inning guy and he’s got to get it done for us.”

Yesterday may have been the nadir of Joba’s 2010 campaign, but it wasn’t just one bad outing in isolation. He’s given up a whopping 10 ER in his last 5 IP.… Click here to read the rest

I have no answers*

I missed this game, due to a matinee of “American Idiot” — which marked the first time in history I knew the words to every single song in a Broadway musical — and a second consecutive Saturday dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Given my lifelong love of Green Day I unsurprisingly thought “Idiot” was fantastic. I was also predictably excited that upon exiting the theater I saw that the Yankees were beating Cleveland 10-5 after six innings, and all seemed right with the world. I turned my BlackBerry off as I was trying to conserve my battery and figured the Yanks had the game in the bag.

Apparently I was horrendously wrong. The bullpen coughed up a five-run lead for the third time in the last two weeks (!) and the Yankees somehow lost a game they absolutely should have won by a final score of 13-11.

This is the fourth straight start by CC Sabathia the Yankees have lost.… Click here to read the rest

Is Vazquez Hurt?

Is this what it looks like when a pitcher tries to pitch hurt? There are five things about Javier Vazquez that make me nervous.

1.  Loss of command

Courtesy of Fangraphs, we see the following:

Vazquez BB/9 rate

In his 13 year career, Javier Vazquez has averaged 2.38 walks per nine innings.  Prior to this year, his high was in 1998, his rookie season, when he walked 3.55 batters per nine innings.  The following year, he cut the walks down to 3.03 per nine innings.  Since then he has not walked more than 3 batters per nine innings, and last year he walked 1.81 per nine.  This year Javier Vazquez is walking 4.7 batters per nine innings.

2.  Loss of velocity

jv velo

Everything has moved in the wrong direction.  The fastball has decreased by 2.6 mph off the average and the changeup and curveball have both increased.  Maintaining the velocity differential between the changeup and the fastball is crucial; instead of an average 11 mph difference between the two, he now has a 7 mph difference. … Click here to read the rest