My take on Nunez and the future of the Yankee outfield

In the last few days, both Alex and Steve have touched on Eduardo Nunez making the transition to the outfield and how it could affect the outfield going forward. They’ve given some support to the idea, though I wouldn’t say either has given the it a glowing recommendation. Consider this my declaration of being firmly against the idea of moving Nunez to the outfield. As I mentioned in the comments of Alex’s article yesterday, this isn’t necessarily going to be an easy switch. While being athletic certainly buys you a lot in the outfield, there is still a decent amount Continue reading My take on Nunez and the future of the Yankee outfield

Yankees not skipping Garcia’s start

Because getting dominated by Yu Darvish wasn’t bad enough, Joe Girardi announced after Wednesday night’s game that the Yankees will remain on rotation after Thursday’s scheduled off day, meaning that Freddy Garcia will start Saturday’s game against the Tigers. I can’t really say that I understand the logic of the decision, but I guess Garcia was going to pitch again at some point, and it’s not like he dominated the Orioles when he faced them earlier this month anyway. Still, you’d think they’d at least want to bump C.C. Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda in front of him after their strong starts here in Texas, especially considering that they just got an extra day between starts after the rainout in Boston. Continue reading Yankees not skipping Garcia’s start

Darvish dominates as Yanks blanked

The Yankees got their first look at Yu Darvish tonight, and I have a feeling a few of their hitters might have found themselves wishing that their front office had shown a little more interest in signing the Japanese star over the winter, if only to spare them the challenge of trying to solve his filthy arsenal of pitches. He threw fastballs, curveballs, changeups, and maybe even a few kitchen sinks, commanding each one with movement and inducing countless hapless swings from the Bombers. The bottom line on this game; Darvish was spectacular, completely flummoxing the Yankees over 8+ innings. He would leave with one out and one on after 10 strikeouts to two walks and seven hits, and even that barely does justice to what at times seemed to be an effortless performance.

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Darvish dominates, Yanks get shut out

After besting the red-hot Rangers 7-4 behind solid pitching from CC Sabathia, the Yankees looked to continue their success in Arlington.  Game 2 of the series featured a pitching matchup that guaranteed interest across multiple continents, as Hiroki Kuroda took on his Japanese countryman, hyped import Yu Darvish.  Although the two never faced each other in Japan, it would be an opportunity for perhaps the most successful Japanese-born pitcher in MLB history to match up with the one looking to strip him of that mantle. Darvish gained the advantage in the early going, sending down the Yankees in the top Continue reading Darvish dominates, Yanks get shut out

The Farm Report: April 24, 2012

It was a mixed bag for the Yankees minor league affiliates today, as they split the day 2-2.  Slade Heathcott has declared himself done with his shoulder rehab, so he should be moving towards getting back on the field soon, which will be good news for Tampa.  Meanwhile, Trenton is bracing for Andy Pettitte’s start tomorrow.  If you are planning on going to see Dandy Andy in a Thunder uniform, check out the information Mike Ashmore posted.

Empire State came up short against Pawtucket, losing 4-3:
The Yankees jumped out to an early lead on a second inning two-run homer from Brandon Laird.  D.J. Mitchell was cruising through the first few innings, sitting down the first nine Pawtucket players.  Unfortunately, everything changed in the fourth.  Daniel Nava started the bottom of the inning with a homer to center.  A walk was followed by a homer from Mauro Gomez and Will Middlebrooks tripled.  A RBI double from Josh Kroeger finished out Pawtucket’s rally, as they took a 4-2 lead.  Back-to-back singles in the seventh gave the Yankees runners on the corners, and Laird scored on a sac fly from Doug Bernier.  It was all Empire State could muster, however, as they took a 4-3 loss.  Steve Pearce was 3-3 with a run scored.  Laird went 2-4 with a pair of RBIs, runs scored and a homer.  Mitchell went six innings, giving up four runs on five hits and two walks.  He struck out six, but his one bad inning cost the Yankees the game.  Interestingly, both teams had plenty of scoring opportunities, as they both went 1-7 with runners in scoring position.

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Game 18: Duel at Ranger’s Ballpark

The narrative in tonight’s game will surround two pitchers who could, at the end of their careers, be crowned the greatest Japanese pitchers in MLB history. After only 3 major league starts, that might be preemptive for the Texas starting pitcher Yu Darvish, but he’s certainly the most talented pitcher to come out of the NPB. You can read more about what Darvish throws and how he’s pitched thus far in my scouting report. Hiroki Kuroda will be pitching for the Yankees, and in his MLB career he’s been the most successful Japanese pitcher to switch leagues. That said, there Continue reading Game 18: Duel at Ranger’s Ballpark

Game 17: The eyes of a nation are upon you

The Yankees messed with Texas in a big way last night, tagging starter Derek Holland for 7 runs in 6 innings to take the opening contest of a three game series. Tonight they’ll look to make it two-for-two and pick up their fifth straight win in the process, but for most (I assume) people watching the game, the biggest storyline will be the starting pitching matchup. The Yankees’ Hiroki Kuroda will square off against the Rangers’ imported rookie phenom Yu Darvish in just the seventh contest pitting two Japanese starting pitchers against one another in MLB history. This one might be bigger than most as well, as Kuroda has had one of the better MLB careers among Japanese born pitchers while Darvish is maybe the most hyped player to make the international exchange ever. Should be a good contest, but with a couple of stacked offenses in a good hitter’s park, my money is on the hitters making the biggest difference in this one. Starting lineups are as followed:

Yankees (10-6):

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Alex Rodriguez DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Nick Swisher RF
Raul Ibanez LF
Eric Chavez 3B
Russell Martin C

Hiroki Kuroda RHP

Rangers (13-4):

Ian Kinsler 2B
Elvis Andrus SS
Josh Hamilton CF
Adrian Beltre 3B
Michael Young DH
Nelson Cruz RF
David Murphy LF
Mike Napoli C
Mitch Moreland 1B

Yu Darvish RHP

No complaints from me about Raul Ibanez playing left field, at least not with Alex Rodriguez DH’ing. Besides, the real lineup lulz are on the other side of the field, with Mike Napoli hitting at the bottom of the lineup while Elvis Andrus gets to bat in the most important spot in a lineup. As much as I complain about Joe Girardi, I’ll always be happy he’s not Ron Washington. First pitch is at 8:05, and the game can be seen on YES locally or MLB Network nationally. Enjoy! Continue reading Game 17: The eyes of a nation are upon you

Pineda getting second opinion after MRI

Michael Pineda had a dye contrast MRI performed today, but before the Yankees announce the results, Pineda is off to see Dr. David Altcheck for a second opinion on his right shoulder. That doesn’t sound good at first blush, but Pineda’s agent asked for the second opinion before the first test was even done. No idea what that was about, perhaps a vote of no-confidence of sorts in the Yankees’ medical team?
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Gary Sanchez’s defensive progress

Gary Sanchez is one of the top prospects in the Yankee system, almost entirely because of his hitting prowess.  Sanchez’s profile as a prospect is very comparable to that of Jesus Montero: an offense-first catcher with the potential to hit for power and average in the long-term, but major question marks about their ability to remain at the position. Unlike Montero, who many believed was simply too big for the position, it is a little easier to project the 6’2″ 220 Sanchez as physically being able to handle the position.  Montero’s slow windup and release made catching attempted basestealers a difficult feat Continue reading Gary Sanchez’s defensive progress