Replacing Gardner

One other thing that may have affected the choice, however, is the fact that the Yankees aren’t carrying many outfielders on their 40 man roster at the moment. Other than the major leaguers listed as outfielders, Zoilo Almonte and Melky Mesa are the only replacements that could be recalled at the moment. Dewayne Wise is on fire at the Triple-A level, yes, but he’d need to be added to the 40 man roster to come up now and then designated for assignment when Gardner is ready to return. If it’s going to be a short term issue for Gardner, it’s probably not worth the possibility of losing some of your roster depth now to get an extra below average big leaguer on your bench for two weeks.

Unfortunately, this puts the Yankees in a bit of a tough spot where their lineup is concerned, as they still need a starting leftfielder every day, and the only guys available to fill that roll are Andruw Joness and Raul Ibanez (or perhaps Eduardo Nunez, depending on how willing the Yankees are to give him playing time in the outfield), and there are obvious limitations to both.… Click here to read the rest

Musing on Hughes before his start

Here we go again. Another Phil Hughes start will come tonight, and once more, we’ll be crossing our fingers and hoping for something to click. As as I write this, I can’t help but feel bad, like I’m setting Hughes up for failure.

The first step in setting someone up for failure is setting low expectations, and that’s what I’m doing. After two inefficient and mostly ineffective starts, I’d be thankful to get five innings out of Hughes tonight. On a more micro level, I’d be happy just to see him throw some decent offspeed pitches and put hitters away. Even if he does these things, though, will it be enough? He is facing the Twins, not exactly offensive juggernauts and that will, even partially, temper any good that comes of tonight’s start.

A little more than a year later and we’re still in the same spot with Hughes. We’ve had two bad start after a year full of them. We’ve got the same lingering doubts, but now they’re more than lingering.… Click here to read the rest

PITCHF/x Scouting Report: Anthony Swarzak

AP Photo/Jim Mone

The Yankees will face Twins right handed pitcher Anthony Swarzak tonight in the final game of the four game series. The 26 year old pitcher came up with the Twins organization as a 2nd round draft pick in 2004. In the minors, he cracked Baseball America’s top 100 prospects once in 2006 at #100, but had a moderately successful minor league career. Although his rookie season was technically 2009, he finally broke the 100.00 inning barrier last year. In 2011 he posted a 4.32 ERA, a 4.04 FIP, a 4.85 K/9, and a 2.29 BB/9. Although he’s far from a strikeout pitcher, Swarzak prides himself in his control, and has found success as a flyball pitcher.

Pitch Repertoire
In his arsenal, his primary pitch is the four-seam fastball which came in at 91.1 mph last year. He also has a two-seam fastball with similar velocity, but throws the pitch less than 10% of the time. His curveball is his second most used pitch at 25% of the time, which has 80 mph velocity.… Click here to read the rest

Clunky Kuroda and blown chances sink Yankees

The Twins were all over Kuroda in the first inning. Denard Span started things with a single. Jamey Carroll doubled to left to score Span. Joe Mauer then hit an opposite field double to left that became a ground rule double and Carroll scored. After a Josh Willingham ground out, Justin Morneau then hit a bomb to right center that bounced off the back of the  to plate Mauer and himself and four runs had scored. Chris Parmelee singled and it seemed the inning would never end, but Kuroda managed to escape further damage.

The Yankees did not take long to welcome Jason Marquis to the American League in the bottom of the first. Derek Jeter started things off with a single. Curtis Granderson walked. Mark Teixeira just missed his first homer of the season as he flew out to deep center.  Robinson Cano doubled to drive in Jeter. Nick Swisher singled to center to score Granderson and Cano. Raul Ibanez then singled to send Swisher to third.… Click here to read the rest

Hiroki gets Hi-rocked, Yanks fall to Twins (plus Gardner to the DL)

After a dominant outing against the Angels, in which he came a few outs shy of pitching a complete game shutout, Hiroki Kuroda took the mound against the Twins looking to keep the momentum going.  Kuroda was in for a tough assignment because the Twins’ lineup featured a number of left-handed hitters.  This included healthy versions of Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer, who have been looking like the modern day M&M Boys in this series.  The Twins countered with soft tosser and longtime National Leaguer Jason Marquis, whose repertoire seemed tailor-made for a barrage of Bronx bombs.  Brett Gardner was scratched from the lineup due to his wrist and Alex Rodriguez was given a day off, which gave Andruw Jones a rare opportunity to face a righty starter.  Fortunately for the Yankees, Jones has quite a history with Marquis, as he went 9 for 12 with 5 home runs in their earlier meetings.

Kuroda got off to a rocky start in the top of the 1st, as the Twins jumped on him for 3 straight hits, a single and 2 doubles, plating 2 runs before an out was recorded.  … Click here to read the rest

Game 12: Yanks vs. Twins

Game Three of the Yankees vs. Twins series will feature a matchup of Jason Marquis (scroll down for a scouting report) and new fan favorite, Hiroki Kuroda. Lineups:

Minnesota:

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Jamey Carroll, SS
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Josh Willingham, LF
5. Justin Morneau, DH
6. Chris Parmalee, 1B
7. Sean Burroughs, 3B
8. Clete Thomas, RF
9. Alexi Casilla, 2B

New York:

1. Derek Jeter, SS
2. Curtis Granderson, CF
3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
4. Robison Cano, 2B
5. Nick Swisher, DH
6. Raul Ibanez, RF (ugh)
7. Andruw Jones, LF

8. Eric Chavez, 3B

9. Russell Martin, C

 … Click here to read the rest