Game Thread: Athletics vs. Yankees, 7/22/2011 (7:05PM EST on MY9)

Hurray for Fridays, the Yankees not being in Canada or Tampa any longer, non-artifical surfaces in general, upcoming weaker portions of the schedule, and non-divisional-rivalry matchups!  Now if only we could do something about this blistering heat other than find the closest/most powerful air conditioning unit, we’d really be in business.  Tonight’s game will mark Hughes’ third start since coming off of the Disabled List, and his second start since the “mechanical alteration” was evidently applied to his curveball.  Here’s to hoping for the best! Also, incase you hadn’t heard, George A. King of, reported that the Yankees have signed Marcus Thames (who had been recently DFA’d by the Dodgers) to a minor league contract.

Tonight’s Yankees lineup:
1. Derek Jeter (R) SS
2. Curtis Granderson (L) CF
3. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B
4. Robinson Cano (L) 2B
5. Nick Swisher (S) RF
6. Jorge Posada (S) DH
7. Russell Martin (R) C
8. Brett Gardner (L) LF
9.… Click here to read the rest

The lessons of Brett Gardner

Mike Jaggers-Radolf’s excellent post on Brett Gardner, and several of the comments it generated, got me thinking about how he was a player that virtually everyone who follows the minor league missed on (see Mike Axisa’s mea culpa here).  In particular, I wanted to address several points  raised in the comment section of the Gardner post, which formed the inspiration for this post.  Tom Swift got my brain going by asking:

We should consider how it was that Gardner was not more highly thought of as he came up in the minors. My recollection is that the hype was much more about AJax than about Gardner. Is there something wrong with how we evaluate prospects? By we, I mean fandom, not the Yankees.

That question got me thinking about how everybody missed on Brett Gardner.  Now, we didn’t miss on everything.  We knew he had at least 70 speed (on the 20-80 scouting scale), was a good contact hitter, had decent plate discipline, and could play a good centerfield.  … Click here to read the rest

A.L. East Foes Jockey for Position as Deadline Nears; Light Schedules Give Each Team Chance to Fatten Up

(The following is being syndicated from The Captain’s Blog).

With the trade deadline looming, the next 10 days could determine which teams will enter the stretch drive in the best position. For some clubs, however, the biggest impact could come from their upcoming schedule, not a potential acquisition.

After a disappointing 4-4 road trip following the All Star Break, the Yankees return to the Bronx looking to gain some ground on the division leading Red Sox. Luckily, the upcoming 10-game home stand, which includes three of the league’s worst teams, seems ideally suited for that purpose. Not only have the Yankees compiled a 10-2 record against the Athletics, Mariners, and Orioles, but those three teams have a combined winning percentage of .350 (49-91) on the road. Sometimes Yankees’ fans can be accused of being greedy, but in this case, expecting at least eight wins doesn’t seem that outlandish.

If the Yankees’ offense was firing on all cylinders, it wouldn’t be a stretch to envision them steamrolling through the next 10 games.… Click here to read the rest

Imagining Shields

Let’s get nuts.

Apparently the Rays are thinking about dealing right handed pitcher James Shields. Ken Rosenthal, however, says that an offseason deal is more likely. Let’s first assume that Shields will be available and that, even though we haven’t heard anything, the Yankees are interested. Honestly, why wouldn’t they be? Shields is a good pitcher and does have a fairly manageable contract. Yeah, he’s in division and that might complicate things, but that should never really hold a team back from at least inquiring on a good pitcher.

I’ll run Shields and his contract through the trade value calculator and see what he’s theoretically worth in a trade both now (like I did with Ubaldo Jimenez here; read that post for the relevant background info on the trade value calculator and the prospect values and what not) and projected through the rest of the season.

Going just on what he’s done this season and with his contract going forward (a bunch of club options that would almost be guaranteed to be picked up) and assuming Type-A free agent status, Shields has a value of $37.6M.… Click here to read the rest

Oh Cashman, my Cashman, bring me a bat

For those of you wondering whether the Yankees need to acquire a bat:

If the team finishes out July at its current monthly wOBA of .308, it would represent the Yankees’ worst monthly offensive output in nearly 10 years. The last time they posted a monthly wOBA this low was in September of 2001.

And for those who prefer a park- and league-adjusted comp:

The team’s current 90 wRC+for the month of July would be its lowest month since April 2004.

And I’m not interested in, “well the Yankees have faced good pitching and it’s a down year for offense.” How does that explain Boston’s .383 wOBA and 141 wRC+ and Texas’ .388 and 145 wRC+ in July? I know a lot of players are slumping at the same time right now and that they’re bound to come out of it eventually, and the team is clearly missing Alex Rodriguez‘s bat, but the Yankee offense is really performing at an unacceptable level right now.… Click here to read the rest

Series Preview | Yankees vs. A's II: Oakland? More like jokeland

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The A’s roll into town this weekend for the first of six games they’ll eventually have to play at Yankee Stadium this season. The Yankees already got the hard part out of the way, sweeping the A’s — who pitch to a 2.71 ERA/3.37 FIP at home and 3.61/3.77 marks on the road — on their home turf back at the end of May. Now Oakland and its Field-aided pitching staff get to come to the Bronx, where there will be no endless acres of foul territory and a rather unforgiving short porch in right field. That’s not to take away from what the A’s pitchers have done on the season, but as you can see by their splits, they are a decidedly different staff on the road.

Add in the fact that the Yankees are 24-4 against the A’s since the beginning of 2008 — and 12-1 at home during that same time period — along with the A’s being the second-most inept offensive team in the AL this season (83 wRC+) and this weekend has all the makings of another nice series for the Yankees.… Click here to read the rest

Game 96: Yankees 1, Rays 2

Both Shields and Sabathia kept the offenses guessing, never allowing more than one baserunner an inning for much of the game.  In the bottom of the fifth, however, Sabathia got in some trouble.  He allowed a walk to Eliot johnson who scored when Sam Fuld drove a triple to right, giving the Rays a 2-0 lead.

Jeter drove a one out double to center in the eighth, waking up the Yankees’ offense a bit.  Mark Teixeira popped out to third, but Cano knocked a double down the right field line, plating Jeter for the Yankees’ lone run of the game.  In the top of the ninth Russell Martin singled to left, but Eduardo Nunez and Curtis Granderson were unable to do anything, each striking out as the Rays took the 2-1 win.

Bronx Cheers:
Mark Teixeira: Teix went 0-4 with two runners left on base.

Nick Swisher: Swisher went 0-4 with a strikeout and four runners left on base.

Curtain Calls:
Robinson Cano: Robbie went 2-3 with a RBI and a walk.… Click here to read the rest

The Farm Report: 7/21/11 – A good day for everyone, except Trenton

Trenton lost 8-6 to Bowie:
Raymond Kruml doubled to start the game and scored on a single by Austin Romine.  Bowie came back and scored a run in the bottom of the inning to keep it tied 1-1.  Robert Lyerly doubled to center, plating two runs in the third, but Bowie answered.  Xavier Avery made it to second on an error by Lyerly and scored on a single by Greg Miclat.  Luke Scott followed with a two-run homer and Bowie had their first lead of the evening.  A solo homer by Zoilo Almonte tied the game again and Trenton went ahead in the fifth when they scored two runs.  The lead did not last long, as Scott hit a big double in the bottom of the inning and the Baysox scored three runs to put Bowie up 7-6.  Scott hit a solo homer in the bottom of the seventh to secure Bowie’s win.  Kruml went 2-5 with three runs scored and a double.  … Click here to read the rest