Yanks top O's 4-2; take three of four to complete 7-3 homestand | Also, some trade deadline thoughts

(AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

The Yankees took care of business Sunday afternoon, topping the Orioles 4-2 to win this weekend’s four-game set, and also go a season-high 22 games over .500. Freddy Garcia turned in yet another strong performance, throwing 6 innings of six-strikeout, two-run ball.

O’s starter Jake Arrieta managed to wiggle out of two bases-loaded situation in the first three innings, but wouldn’t be so fortunate after loading the bases for a third time in the fourth, this time with no outs. Brett Gardner came through with a huge bases-clearing triple, and was knocked in on an RBI groundout by Curtis Granderson two batters later. That was all the offense the Yankees would end up needing, and considering Arrieta walked six men in five innings, the Orioles are lucky they didn’t yield even more runs.

Hector Noesi threw 2/3 of a scoreless inning, David Robertson an inning and a third — including striking out the side in the 8th — and Mariano Rivera pitched a perfect ninth.

As an aside, Derek Jeter had to leave the game after taking an Arrieta pitch to the hand, and given the Yankees’ current roster construction, Francisco Cervelli wound up having to play second base for the first time in his career, managing to do so without incident.

I’m sure we’ll have plenty more thoughts and analysis on the trade deadline, but as you likely know the Yankees declined to make any moves, which in my opinion is just fine. Barring a total collapse they’re essentially guaranteed to make the playoffs, and while some people will make the argument that they’re not a championship-caliber team, I submit to you that as long as you make the dance, anything can happen.

Sure, the Yankees have four relative question marks in the rotation, but there’s no denying that Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia and even Ivan Nova have performed quite a bit better than many would have expected, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable at this point to expect any of that trio to deliver a representative start in a postseason game. Sure, any one of them could just as easily get bombed — or even injured or experience a rapid decline into mediocrity prior to October — but you could say the same thing about anyone.

Bottom line, Brian Cashman and company didn’t like any of the hypothetical deals they were mulling enough to pull the trigger, and that’s OK. The Rockies were asking for a Cliff Lee-type package for Ubaldo Jimenez, and Ubaldo is not Cliff Lee. NL Central lifer Wandy Rodriguez wasn’t exciting anyone enough to surrender anything worthwhile, and Hiroki Kuroda decided he likes being on a losing team too much to leave Los Angeles. I personally wouldn’t have minded seeing Erik Bedard come to the Bronx instead of Boston, but he’s not exactly a sure thing either.

One thing seems almost certain now — Jesus Montero will be making his Major League debut for the Yankees soon; it’s really just a matter of when. And with the news that Manny Banuelos was promoted to AAA today, it’s not out of the question that we could see the Yankees’ prize pitching prospect pitching important innings in another month as well.

Oh, and Alex Rodriguez comes back in roughly two weeks. So for those upset that the team didn’t make a trade, it’s probably best to keep in mind that help is still on the way, only this time it isn’t costing the Yankees anything except time.

12 thoughts on “Yanks top O's 4-2; take three of four to complete 7-3 homestand | Also, some trade deadline thoughts

  1. I’m fine not making any moves. You summed it up pretty well, a Wandy type pitcher isn’t really an upgrade, and they were asking too much and not willing to pay anything.

    I really hope the Yankees aren’t rushing Manny Banuelos. I’m not thrilled he is being pushed to AAA, when he hasn’t even showed he has handled AA yet, but I think it’s a huge mistake if he get called up to the pen. Banuelos isn’t the most physically mature kid, and at 20 he doesn’t need to be rushed in a worse way than Joba was. Especially when he would be a LOOGY out of the pen (Double A righties hit .277 with 7 HRs off him), and not even a setup man like Joba was.

    If you are going to regard a guy as “untouchable” then you should develop him with what’s in his best interest only. What’s in his best interest isn’t being pushed past his skill level, and physical maturity.

  2. I thought i read that the hang-up with a Wandy trade was the fact that the ‘Stros were refusing to pick up any of the guaranteed money. Implication being that Cashman was willing to surrender a decent-ceiling prospect had the clubs been able to divide the guaranteed money.

    Regardless, Wandy isn’t even a waiver pickup threat if Cashman sticks to his refusal to pick up 30MM guaranteed money.

    The rotation is set for better or worse. Whether Phil Hughes makes the rotation or not is up to him, but right now my guess is he’s the odd man OUT.

    • Astros said they would pay a small piece, but the Yankees wanted them to pick up half of the 36-39 million owed. I’m not sure what to believe on how high he was willing to go with prospects though. I read one tweet that said they wouldn’t do it “unless Wandy falls into their laps”, so I don’t know what kind of prospect they would consider a fall in the lap kind of deal guy.

      We’re better off staying put on Wandy. We already have a log jam of average guys, we only needed to add a starter if he was big time. I wouldn’t want to trade a Nova for him, and I know the Dodgers were wanting Nova+ for Kuroda before he said no trades.

  3. I’m indifferent on our quiet trade deadline. No decision could be immediately labeled right or wrong. Cash definitely took the safer route and I’m perfectly content with that. As a fan it is disappointing though to get hyped up for a trade that never happens. On a side note- why is it so certain that Montero will be called up soon?

    • Montero seems to be heating up sum, and if he starts to hit there is no real reason not to call him up. Martin should stay the catcher, but we need a right handed bat anyway, and Posada has proven he’s pretty much just the one good month.

      Plus, he’d be called up in September no matter what. So either way he’ll be called up before the end of the year.

      It’s going to be interesting to see what kind of lineup Joe puts out when Alex comes back, and when Montero gets the call. Gardner should stay at the top no matter what, and Granderson needs to stay 2-3. Other than that though, nothing seems really set in stone. Teixeira, Cano, Rodriguez, and Swisher can pretty much hit anywhere in the heart of the order depending on what you want.

  4. One thing I haven’t thought much about which could serve the Yanks well in October is how calm Sabathia, Garcia, Colon, and Nova are.

    Sabathia is ice cold, Garcia is a guy who got his ring and is chill because of it, Colon is just kid-like happy to be in an MLB uniform again, and Nova is a total quiet as a mouse I’m here and not getting my hopes up too much kid. Hopefully this calm could help make up for the lack of a true #2 or #3 starter as I still envision Garcia, Colon, and Nova as overachieving #4s and Burnett as an overpaid #4 until he finally shows he’s not.

    Which brings me to Burnett. He should be put on notice although I wouldn’t tell him he is. If Nova pitches better than him down the stretch, Nova gets the Game 4 start in the ALDS, ALCS if the Yanks sweep the ALDS or Nova pitches well in the ALDS, too bad if Burnett doesn’t like it. Burnett lacks inner calm. I don’t want him anywhere near a Game 2 or 3 of the ALDS esp. if the Yanks are down 0-1 or 0-2 or tied 1-1. He’s a Game 4 starter in every series if he’s good enough to get the job. No more free ride for this guy. I could care less that he’s making $16.5M a year through 2013, he is an overpaid #4 and a #2 in salary only. This reads like I dislike or hate the guy. On the contrary, I like him. I love his fire but he needs to harness it like the other starters do. If he can harness his fire, he’s as good as anyone out there. I think he needs to look back at his Game 2 World Series performance and just chill like Garcia does. You got a ring with the Yanks after getting one with Florida against the Yanks (albeit as a minor player who I don’t think was on the World Series roster), you’re making $16.5M per, RELAX.

    As for Phil Hughes, this sounds like heresy coming from me, but I say lay off the guy and I will practice what I preach. I think the best thing for him is to be removed from the rotation, look towards next year, and see himself as a fifth starter first. Just start over with a clean slate.

    As for the Yanks rotation as a whole for next year, if Garcia has an overall solid year, say 15 wins, sub 4 ERA or a little over that, the Yanks should re-sign him, go with a Sabathia/Burnett/Garcia/Nova/Hughes rotation to start 2012, and bring back Colon as rotation insurance if he wants to remain a Yankee. Ditto if the Yanks win it all this year.

  5. Garcia has been great considering his age, cost, and most of all the expecctations most if not all of us had of him coming into this year, but there is one thing that concerns me about him.

    If he starts every fifth day (game) from hereonin, he will make ten more starts. Here’s my concern: SEVEN of them are on the road like this:

    8/5 @ Boston
    8/11 Los Angeles
    8/16 @ Kansas City
    8/21 @ Minnesota
    8/27 @ Baltimore
    9/1 @ Boston
    9/6 Toronto
    9/12 @ Seattle
    9/18 @ Toronto
    9/25 Boston

    Pretty light outside of the three games vs. Boston and one vs. the Angels as Toronto doesn’t scare me (although they’re no pushovers), but he faces Boston three times (too many looks for them for a potential Yanks-Red Sox ALCS showdown), he’s barely at Yankee Stadium, and he has a stretch of six away starts out of seven, and five out of seven away twice. Two of his home starts will be tough (Angels 8/11 and Red Sox 9/25) and one will be against no pushover (Toronto 9/6.)

    I hope he can respond to the lack of a home crowd behind him and all the away parks don’t become his enemy besides the opposing teams.

    • I doubt the “Chief” needs to worry about road crowds, but Boston? That is interesting. I believe that’s a team he hasn’t beat, recently, so the first will be a test for him, at least for me to see. I think if he beats ’em that time, he’ll be tough for them the rest of the season. If they figure him out then, it would similarly be (kindly) a continuous challenge.

      I think he is the ultimate trickster, putting them by timing, spin and location, off their timing, plus spin and location.

      Which batters? Gonzalez, I think he must be a god of a mexican tribe, and represents a risk to anyone, with the spray ability, and natural stroke. Haven’t seen him much, but I heard him explain how he figured a pitch (with another difficult pitcher)to wait for, all game, and eventually got it), and I look forward to it. Peedy’ssmokin’, and a smart hitter, tho a long swing. Drew has great wrists or flickability, but isn’t he disabled? I think I saw him in HOPE week, and Boston wanted an outfielder at the early stages of the deadline, to my memory. Ortiz might be trouble, but maybe not.

      I don’t know. It’ll be interesting.

  6. So Manny isn’t even going to be a starter in Scranton? I just read he is being transitioned to the bullpen, in order to quicken his rise to the majors this year. This is a huge mistake! I honestly can’t believe the Yankees are doing this yet again, to make Banuelos essentially a LOOGY is beyond dumb in my opinion. This is probably the biggest way to ruin his development into a future starter.

    Banuelos biggest two obstacles right now to being a starter are shaky control, and the fact that his curve hasn’t developed enough yet. Moving to the pen is only going to make those two things worse. He will now be more concerned with just throwing heat since he will be working in 1-3 batter segments, and he will be limiting his pitches needed down to the fastball and change. Not to mention that it lowers his innings total to this season even more, making a smaller innings total he’s allowed to pitch next season.

    • I’ve read reports that Banuelos will immediately be in Scranton’s pen, and I’ve read one article saying he is starting tomorrow. Does anyone have the real story on what Banuelos will be doing in Scranton?

  7. Wanted to say thanks again for the batters eye seats, it was really hot but those seats are cool, very close to center field. Even got Adam Jones to toss a ball up to us, though he overthrew it by a ton and it crashed into an unsuspecting crowd by the bleachers cafe. And I got to meat Sean, so a good time on the whole.

    I read today that AJ has only given up more than 4 runs in a start twice this year? He seems more frustrating than this, but maybe it’s just poor run support.