Monday 8/29 Game Thread: Beat the O’s!

Freddy Garcia makes his return to the Yankees tonight after a “kitchen accident” sidelined him with a cut finger for the last two weeks. To make room on the roster, Hector Noesi was optioned down to the minors. Noesi has pitched to a 3.42/3.60/3.78 E/F/xF split while showing good control (2.85 BB/9) and the ability to keep the ball in the park (0.76 HR/9). He’s pitched pretty well considering his infrequent usage and I hope when he returns that he’ll be rewarded with a start or two. Anyway, Garcia will try to beat this Oriole lineup: 1. J.J. Hardy, SS Continue reading Monday 8/29 Game Thread: Beat the O’s!

Freddy Garcia up; Hector Noesi down

As expected, Freddy Garcia came off the DL today and will face the Orioles tonight, his first start since August 7 against Boston. Hector Noesi was sent down to Triple-A Scranton to make room for him on the 25-man roster. September call-ups are eligible to start coming up on Thursday, though Noesi must wait the ten days to come back up to the big league club. Continue reading Freddy Garcia up; Hector Noesi down

First Look At The Potential Postseason Roster

With September rapidly approaching and the Yankees having a large lead in the wild card chase, a major theme over the next few weeks will be the construction of the postseason roster. While many of the spots are taken by players who are obvious choices to make the team, there are a few roster slots that the Yankees could utilize in a variety of ways and are still up for grabs. Furthermore, while it is unlikely, extreme performances by either those in the lead for the final spots or by September call-ups could alter the race for the last 4 Continue reading First Look At The Potential Postseason Roster

Nova Continues to Shine Among Rookie Class; Emerges as Award Contender

(The following is being syndicated from The Captain’s Blog). Correction: Although listed as a rookie by several sources, including fangraphs.com, Alexi Ogando is not eligible for the award because the service time he accrued in 2010. As a result, all references to him as a contender for the award are invalid, which makes Nova’s candidacy all the more stronger. For much of the season, most of the award-related speculation surrounding the Yankees has centered upon CC Sabathia’s pursuit of a second Cy Young and Curtis Granderson’s candidacy for MVP. However, without much fanfare, Ivan Nova has emerged as a dark horse candidate in the Continue reading Nova Continues to Shine Among Rookie Class; Emerges as Award Contender

Andruw Jones’ quietly strong season

Had you asked me a few years ago to rate Brian Cashman as a General Manager, I would have said he was better than average. If you ask me today I’ll say he’s one of the best, for the simple reason that the man can see a reclamation project better than any other GM. Whether it was buying low on Nick Swisher or giving chances to Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia, over the past few seasons Cashman has done an incredible job of spotting talent in baseball’s scrap heap. In 2010 one of Cashman’s most highly praised moves was signing Continue reading Andruw Jones’ quietly strong season

A simple solution to scheduling issues

Amidst all of the hullabaloo between the Orioles and the Yankes about this weekend’s scheduling mess, here’s a simple solution to prevent something like this from happening again: Don’t let the home team make these decisions. Frankly, I don’t understand why the rules are what they are now, where the home team has authority over weather postponements and so on (except when they don’t, as we found out when Tampa Bay was allowed to veto a proposed doubleheader in New York during the DJ3K chase). We’ve certainly seen teams accused of using the weather to their advantage (Tony LaRussa just this season in a game with Cincinnati) and for the life of me I don’t see why the league doesn’t control this. They’re supposed to be the neutral arbiters in the game, let them get input from the teams and then make a decision based on the best interest of baseball. And then we won’t see more situations like this one, or have to worry about the home team engaging in weather related funny business. Continue reading A simple solution to scheduling issues

Cano flashing even more power in 2011

(All numbers current as of before game one yesterday) News flash: Robinson Cano is good at hitting. While this year (.376 wOBA/136 wRC+) may not be as good as last year (.389 wOBA/142 wRC+/), there are, as usual, some great signs for Cano. His triple slash line (.304/.358/.526) is also down from last year (.319/.381/.534), but he’s certainly smacking the ball around in his normal fashion. I pointed this out to Larry via G-Chat the other day because it was something I hadn’t noticed until that point. Right now, Robinson Cano has a career high IsoP (.222), beating out last Continue reading Cano flashing even more power in 2011

The return of Big Bad Bartolo?

Recently, much has been made of the idea that Bartolo Colon might be wearing out, succumbing to the fatigue of pitching deeper into the season than he has in years while not exactly being in peak physical condition. In the first game of yesterday’s doubleheader, however, Colon seemed to assuage some of those fears with a terrific performance against the Orioles. Colon logged 7.2 innings of efficient ball, giving up just 2 runs on 7 hits and no walks while striking out 4. And the line might have looked even better if Joe Girardi hadn’t tried to stretch him through the 8th inning, but with another game the next day and a set in Boston looming it’s understandable why Girardi would want to keep his bullpen usage to a minimum.

So everything is back to what we’d come to expect from Bartolo then? Well, maybe. According to Pitch F/X data via Brooks, this wasn’t quite “vintage Bartolo.” He threw just 10 two-seam fastballs out of 103 total pitches, compared to a whopping 78 four-seamers (though that number seems rather low, so I wonder if maybe there’s some classification error going on?). And he continues to not miss many bats, getting just four swing-and-misses all afternoon (though of course his bread and butter this season has been freezing batters with that two-seamer). Still, the results were there, Colon was efficient with his pitches, and certainly proved that there’s still something left in that ample tank.

All of which bodes well for the big guy as the Yankees prepare to trim the starting rotation to five starters. It’s probably still too early to guarantee anything for the postseason, but given the way A.J. Burnett has continued to pitch in each successive outing, there’s very little question that Colon is still one of the Yankees’ best options as September nears. Raise your hand if you predicted that back in March. Continue reading The return of Big Bad Bartolo?

Bombers blast Orioles in nightcap

After scoring zero runs in the opener of Sunday’s doubleheader, things didn’t start out promisingly in the night game, as the Orioles jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead against Ivan Nova. However, Curtis Granderson had other ideas, blasting his Major League lead-tying 37th home run int top of the third innings to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead. Robinson Cano would break a 3-3 tie in the sixth with a solo shot — the first of back-to-back-to-back home runs with Nick Swisher and Andruw Jones, the first time the Yankees pulled that feat off since May 20, 2009 — Continue reading Bombers blast Orioles in nightcap