Elvis ain’t dead

The last couple of seasons have certainly tested Lance Berkman‘s resiliency. The 34-year-old produced career low batting and slugging percentages in 2009 (.274/.399/.509) as he battled through ongoing injuries. Unfortunately, the offseason provided little reprieve. As the 2010 season progressed Berkman’s frustrations were exasperated by stats that were even worse than the year before. After prematurely returning from injury back into the every day lineup, Big Puma continued to struggle behind the plate. The Astros finally decided to cut ties with his services (and his contract) by the trade deadline. Berkman acquiesced and vetoed his no trade clause thus allowing for a trade to New York to become possible.

The Yankees were hoping to give their offense a jolt (not to mention their 2010 potential acquisition success rate after failed attempts of acquiring Cliff Lee and Dan Haren), and after the departure of Mark Melancon, Jimmy Paredes, and approximately $3MM owed for the remainder of Berkman’s contract, Fat Elvis had officially joined the Bronx.… Click here to read the rest

But can they hit in October?

Nick Swisher, Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira have been the Yankees’ primary offensive weapons this season. Their respective OPS+’s were 139, 151 and 140 entering Wednesday’s game, the highest marks on the team. When October comes around, could this be a problem?

Here’s how these three fared last October:

Robinson Cano had a decent ALCS. That is all.

Alex Rodriguez‘s 2009 October is now the stuff of Yankee legend. Lost amid the flurry of late inning, high-pressure home runs A-Rod hit into the stands were the excellent Octobers that Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada had. Jorge had an OPS of 1.000 in the ALDS. He went downhill from there, but still never had an OBP less than .316. Derek, meanwhile, was phenomenal. His worst series was against the Angels, when his OPS was .875. It was .947 in the World Series and a ridiculous 1.438 in the ALDS.

Of all three of those guys, A-Rod is the only one likely to give us a repeat performance.… Click here to read the rest

Minor Leagues: Playoff Edition #1

Bronx Cheers: Amaury Sanit didn’t even get an out as he took the loss in the bottom of the tenth.  Juan Miranda and Brandon Laird, two of Scranton’s biggest players this year, both went 0-4.

Curtain Calls: Justin Christian was the only Yankee player to pick up more than one hit.  He went 2-4 with a homer, a run scored and two RBIs.  He did also have an error that lead to a run.  Relief pitchers Zack Segovia and Eric Wordekemper both did a good job of keeping Scranton in it, each pitching two innings of one hit, scoreless baseball.

Columbus leads series 1-0.

Trenton Thunder (AA)
The Thunder and the New Hampshire Fisher Cats kicked off an exciting series in New Jersey Wednesday night.  While there is lots of talk about Andy Pettitte’s rehab start in Trenton on Thursday, it was Dellin Betances who took the mound for the Thunder on Wednesday.  The Thunder faced the Eastern League Pitcher of the Year, Kyle Drabek. … Click here to read the rest

The Four Horsemen of the Apoca-pen

4 horsemen

Much has been made recently of the relative struggles of the Yankee pitching staff.  Sure, it’s nothing in comparison to what Texas is going through, but the Yankees are still waiting on Andy Pettitte to return from injury, for one of AJ Burnett or Javier Vazquez to find some semblance of form and earn the fourth spot in the rotation in the playoffs, and for Phil Hughes to right himself after recent struggles.  Additionally, both Damaso Marte and Alfredo Aceves are out for the year.  On the offensive side, the club is also battling through injuries.  Nick Swisher has a noticeable limp and a deep bone bruise in his knee, Austin Kearns has a bruised hand, Jorge Posada has concussion symptoms (but has been cleared to play, thankfully), and Francisco Cervelli has been diagnosed with an awful case of not being a very good baseball player and deserving to be demoted or at least rarely get playing time.

Yet perhaps lost in the shuffle is the excellence of the Yankee bullpen, a bullpen which is shaping up to be a formidable weapon in October.  … Click here to read the rest

Exercising Patience

Yesterday’s game showed us one thing that we should always remember about baseball: we should remain patient.

The Yankees looked pretty damn bad for most of the game–and we really shouldn’t ignore that–but at the end, they did pull it out.

There was a point in the game during which Jorge Posada should’ve pinch hit for Frankie Cervelli. Later, we learned that Jorge was possibly concussed and was not available. That’s a sidebar, though–I’d like to go back to the game itself.

We must remember that the game is not over until the 27th out is recorded. And the Yankees, because of the way they’re constructed, always have the ability to be in a game. This is because the Yankees employ the greatest run scoring technique available to a baseball team: the home run. Because of their frequent home run hitting, the Yankees can possibly sway every game they play into their favor.

This post, though, is only half about the game today and half about the guy who started the game: Ivan Nova.… Click here to read the rest

The Yankeeist Interview with Alex Langsam of the Pittsburgh Pirates' Front Office

I’m incredibly pleased to present one of the most exciting interviews in Yankeeist history, as I recently had the opportunity to talk with Alex Langsam, who currently works in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ front office as a Baseball Operations Assistant, reporting directly to General Manager Neal Huntington. Though Alex works for the Pirates, he grew up in New York as a Yankee fan.

I’d like to give Alex a huge, huge thank-you for taking the time to sit down with me, especially given that my blog isn’t about the Pirates. A man in his position does not have much free time at his disposal — I know this for a fact, given that many of these answers were sent to me after midnight.

Yankeeist: The first question that came to my mind was “How on earth does one get hired by a Major League Baseball front office?” I can only imagine there are tens of thousands of baseball maniacs who would kill for the opportunity to work for a Major League Baseball team, and given how few positions there actually are, how would you recommend breaking into an organization for those interested?… Click here to read the rest

Game 140: Orioles 2, Yankees 3

The Orioles stayed scoreless until the top of the fifth, when Nova finally seemed to struggle.  Adam Jones beat out an infield single to lead off the inning.  Matt Wieters followed with a monster two-run homer, giving the Orioles a 2-1 advantage over New York.  Nova got the next two batters, but gave up a double to Brian Roberts and intentionally walked Nick Markakis before striking out Ty Wigginton to end the inning.

The Yankees had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh.  Robinson Cano lead off with a single to left and Marcus Thames connected with a pinch hit single to put runners on first and third with two outs.  In a move that most questioned until news of Jorge Posada’s concussion-like symptoms emerged, Cervelli stayed in the game and hit a weak first pitch grounder to third to end the innings, with Baltimore still leading 2-1.

David Robertson, Boone Logan and Joba Chamberlain continued to keep the Yankees in the game through the late innings. … Click here to read the rest