Shields Dominant, Rays Win 2-1

 

Courtesy AP

Entering this game, it probably wasn’t very hard for anyone to imagine we would be treated to a pitching duel. We got exactly that on Thursday night, where James Shields was just a bit better than Sabathia and the Rays came away with a 2-1 victory. James Shields went 7.2 innings, striking out 6 with 3 walks and 1 earned run. Sabathia pitched 8 innings, struck out 7 while walking 4 and surrendering 2 earned runs. Both pitchers worked around some trouble at times and certainly were not as dominate as we’ve seen them at times so far, but this game lived up to the billing.

The Rays got on the board in the 1st after an Evan Longoria solo blast gave them a 1-0 lead. It was only the 2nd home run Sabathia has allowed since June began. They struck again in the 5th when Sam Fuld tripled to right and drove in Elliot Johnson to make it 2-0.… Click here to read the rest

My own two cents on prospect-hugging

With the news that the Rockies would consider moving Ubaldo Jimenez and that their opening asking price for the Yankees were the team’s top three prospects — Jesus Montero, Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances, along with young starter Ivan Nova — I’ve had many a discussion with fellow Yankee fans about what they’d be willing to give up for a player of Ubaldo’s caliber, but more importantly, it got me thinking about some of my own long-held beliefs about trading prospects.

For as long as I’ve been an ardent follower of Yankee blogs — beginning sometime either in late 2003 or 2004 — I’ve more often than not found myself stridently opposed to the idea of the Yankees trading any of their top prospects for, well, just about anyone. With the rise of information available on the web, it became easier than ever to read about and subsequently get caught up in the hype of the team’s prospects, and nowhere was this more evident than with Phil Hughes, who immediately became the most important name in all of Yankeeland shortly after being drafted in 2004.… Click here to read the rest

Freddy Garcia appreciation post

The incredible resurgence of Bartolo Colon in 2011 has been one of the great stories of the Yankee season (as well as his all-too-quick demise, if you believe this idiotic Grantland post).  However, Freddy Garcia’s strong season has been just as important to the Yankees’ success in 2011, as he has gone above and beyond anything that could have been expected from a veteran on a minor league deal.  While Colon has done it with surprising fastball velocity and movement, Garcia has succeeded by using his full repertoire of pitches to make up for his diminished fastball velocity.  I thought it would be interesting to take a look at our good friend Fangraphs to see what Garcia has done well this season.

Despite declining fastball velocity (averaging 87.4 mph, down 0.4 from 2010), Garcia has successfully been able to mix five pitches to the tune of a 3.21 ERA (4.13 xFIP) season thus far, with 5.99 k/9 and 2.69 bb/9.  … Click here to read the rest

The eventual return of MFIKY

(c/o AP)

Prior to the season’s start, both EJ and Ben Kabak (of RAB) discussed ways in which the addition and utilization of Soriano might be most helpful to the Yankees organization. The concensus was that he should become the team’s proverbial “fireman.” The premise of each post was fairly straightforward. Given how the roster was constructed at the time, Joe Girardi had four outstanding bullpen arms at his disposal — Mariano Rivera, David Robertson, Joba Chamberlain, and of course, the newly acquired Rafael Soriano.

Obviously, Rivera would remain the Yankees closer come hell or high water (and rightfully so). Rather than simply assigning the other three guys to the 6-7-8th inning roles respectively though, the pitchers would be used more according to circumstance. More specifically, situational leverage would be the dictating factor in a pitcher’s useage, with the idea that Soriano would be accountable for the bulk of  critical high leverage, non-ninth-inning pitching opportunities.

Even though Soriano wouldn’t have the official Eighth Inning GuyTM label next to his name, he’d still absolutely be maximized in terms of importance as he’d be thrust into action during some of the game’s most impacting moments (thusly justifying some portion of the monstrousity that is his contract).… Click here to read the rest

If Posada completely tanks…

Alright that’s a bit of an extreme statement, and we really don’t have much time left before the trade deadline, so he would have to be really awful over the next two weeks for this course of action to play out. But, on the chance that Jorge Posada does continue to have a poor July, here are some routes the Yankees could go to fill in the DH spot.

1. A straight platoon of Eric Chavez and Andruw Jones when the former comes back from the disabled list. This would be the most cost-efficient option and probably the most desirable one. It requires no forfeit of assets on the Yankees’ part (except for a roster move; I’m assuming Brandon Laird goes back to AAA), which is what makes it attractive in the first place. The problem is that Chavez is still pretty damn injury prone. If he gets hurt, the Yankees could be stuck with moving Posada back to the vs.… Click here to read the rest