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
2. Nick Markakis, RF
3. Adam Jones, CF
4. Vladimir Guerrero, DH
5. Matt Wieters, C
6. Mark Reynolds, 1B
7. Ryan Adams, 2B
8. Nolan Reimold, LF
9. Robert Andino, 3B

The Yankees will face Alfredo Simon with this lineup:

1. Brett Gardner, LF
2. Curtis Granderson, CF
3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
4. Robinson Cano, 2B
5. Nick Swisher, RF
6.… Click here to read the rest

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 or 5 spots considerably over the next few weeks.

Locks

Everyday Players

C Russell Martin
1B Mark Teixeira
2B Robinson Cano
3B Alex Rodriguez
SS Derek Jeter
RF Nick Swisher
CF Curtis Granderson
LF Brett Gardner
DH v. LHP: Andruw Jones

Bench

Utility: Eduardo Nunez
BUC: Francisco Cervelli

Pitchers

CC Sabathia
Ivan Nova
Freddy Garcia
Bartolo Colon
Mariano Rivera
David Robertson
Rafael Soriano
Boone Logan
Corey Wade

These 20 players are almost certain to make the team, provided they do not get injured, or for some of them (Colon and Wade, for example), do not entirely tank over the last month of the season.… Click here to read the rest

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 Rookie of the Year race.

Will Ivan Nova be tipping his cap when the ROY award is announced? (Photo: NY Daily News)

It shouldn’t be a surprise that Nova’s 14-4 season has gone relatively unnoticed. After all, back in July, he was demoted to the minors in favor of two struggling pitchers (AJ Burnett and Phil Hughes), so if the Yankees’ brass was slow to realize his contribution, it’s easy to why everyelse has been.… Click here to read the rest

Andruw Jones’ quietly strong season

I never expected to see this so many times in 2011.

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 Marcus Thames for $900K (or, what the Yankees spent last week on coffee). Thames hit .288/.350/.491 (with help from a .345 BABIP) producing a .365 wOBA and a 126 wRC+ in limited duty. If Thames’ performance was seen as a success last year, then it is time to recognize what a tremendous pick up Andruw Jones has been this season.… Click here to read the rest

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 year by 8 points (.214). On May 27, Cano bottomed out in terms of slugging at .481 (let’s just think about this for a second. How awesome is it that the LOW point for the Yankees’ second baseman has been .481). At that point, his IsoP was “only” .208. From May 28 on, his IsoP has been .230 and his line has been .322/.369/.552.… Click here to read the rest

Bombers blast Orioles in nightcap

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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 — and Curtis would add his Major League-leading 38th homer an inning later, as the Yankees took Sunday’s second game 8-3.

Ivan Nova settled down after letting in a run in each of the first three innings, ultimately going seven-plus innings and striking out seven. Nova departed with two men on and no outs in the eighth, at which point David Robertson was summoned so he could promptly put his contractually mandated runner on to create the highest Leverage Index of the game, and subsequently strike out the side.… Click here to read the rest