Hughes rides new approach to success

Remember when I was ready to exile Phil Hughes to the minor leagues to work on his stuff and remake himself as a starting pitcher? Fun times. Turns out a trip to the hug-tent really was all he needed. Okay, maybe that’s over-simplifying a bit, but whatever Hughes meant when he talked about returning to a “reliever mentality,” his approach on the mound has been noticeably different in his starts since, and the result has been a Hughes that legitimately looks like a young starter with a lot of potential.

(click “view full post” to continue reading) Continue reading Hughes rides new approach to success

Breaking down Kuroda’s stinker

Yesterday I noted how Hiroki Kuroda has had a bit of a problem with giving up the long ball so far in 2012 and, wouldn’t you know it, he went out last night and surrendered three home runs over five innings to the Blue Jays. He also allowed two doubles and eight hits in total in those five innings to round out a night of getting smacked around by our friends to the north. It’s usually pretty tough to find silver linings in outings like this, and last night is no exception, as Kuroda just consistently failed to execute his pitches and was made to pay for it by the powerful Toronto lineup.

(click “view full post” to continue reading) Continue reading Breaking down Kuroda’s stinker

Robbie’s fastball problem

Earlier in the month, Brad took a look at the struggles of Robinson Cano. Cano’s definitely rebounded since then; for the month, he’s hitting .357/.379/.554/.993. Still, there’s something that seems not quite right with Robinson, and like Hiroki Kuroda (though for different reasons, obviously), it’s old number one. I took a look at Robbie’s pitch f/x data for this year and last year and there were some odd rends regarding the four seamer. Cano’s seeing fewer of them this year and putting more in play, yet he’s whiffing at more fastballs than he did last year. The numbers from 2011 Continue reading Robbie’s fastball problem

Morning stroll down memory lane

Whenever someone mentions Jason Giabmi’s tenure with the Yankees, I get pretty peeved. He wasn’t exactly the player he was in Oakland and his glove was, well, let’s just not talk about that. However, he was still productive with the bat, posting a .404 OBP and a .525 SLG (.925 OPS) in his time with the Yankees; his wOBA with the Bombers from ’02-’08 was a robust .397, good for a 145 wRC+. I still don’t get why people say he was a disappointment on offense. Anyway, today marks a special anniversary for Giabmi and the Yanks. Today is the Continue reading Morning stroll down memory lane

Yanks tattooed by Toronto, 8-1

In his short Yankee career, Hiroki Kuroda has frequently had trouble in the 1st inning, putting his team in a hole early in the game.  The good news about today’s outing was that Kuroda managed to avoid 1st-inning trouble, sending down Toronto’s first 3 batters in order.  The bad news, however, is that Kuroda got into trouble in the 2nd. After a up a leadoff single by Edwin Encarnacion, Brett Lawrie grounded to short.  Jayson Nix made the throw to second to record an out, but Robinson Cano bobbled the ball as he was trying to get it out of Continue reading Yanks tattooed by Toronto, 8-1

Kuroda spanked. Offense tanked. A Yankees loss in the dome

Kyle Drabek shut down the New York Yankees for seven innings and Hiroki Kuroda gave up three bombs to Blue Jays’ hitters as Toronto won easily, 8-1. The Yankees could muster only three hits and still managed to leave nine men on base as Drabek walked four batters and hit another. Curtis Granderson batted in the lead-off spot and went without a hit in five at-bats with two strikeouts. Nick Swisher batted in the second spot and went without a hit in four at-bats and struck out once. All others in the Yankees got on base via a hit, walk or HBP. But they could only push one run to the plate.

(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading Kuroda spanked. Offense tanked. A Yankees loss in the dome

The Farm Report: 5/16/12

It was another exciting day on the farm for the Yankee hopefuls.  Gary Sanchez had a career day, snapping an 0-11 drought in the process.  Charleston showed just why their bats should be feared, while Trenton and Tampa each lost tough games in the ninth. Oh, and Eduardo Nunez had two errors in Empire State’s win – so some things never change.

Empire State beat Toledo 3-1:
The Mud Hens drew first blood, as Matt Young and Omir Santos hit back-to-back singles to start the second.  Young moved to third on an error by Ramiro Pena and scored when Santos was caught stealing second.  Toledo held a 1-0 lead through the fifth, but the Yankees came to life in the sixth.  Kevin Russo drew a lead-off walk and Steve Pearce was hit by a pitch.  Brandon Laird singled, bringing Russo home.  Laird moved to second on the throw to the plate.  A single from Gustavo Molina brought in two more runs and the Yankees had a 3-1 lead.  Kevin Whelan struck out the side in the ninth inning as the Yankees took the victory.  Molina was the only Yankee with multiple hits, going 2-4 with two RBIs.  Russo went 1-2 with a run scored, a double and three walks.  D.J. Mitchell made the start, going seven innings and allowing one run (unearned) on just four hits and two walks, while striking out six.

(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading The Farm Report: 5/16/12

May 16 Game Thread: Yankees vs. Blue Jays

After a disappointing end to their 2-game series in Baltimore, the Yankees north to take on the Toronto Blue Jays.  Hiroki Kuroda (3-4 3.56) takes the hill for the Yankees, and will face Toronto’s young gun in Kyle Drabek (2-4 3.66).  Drabek had a disappointing start to 2011 that caused him to get demoted to the minors, but he has turned things around quite nicely this season. Drabek features a fastball that averages 93 mph (approximately 65 percent of the time), and mixes in a curveball, changeup, and cutter with equal regularity.  He has been fairly home-prone throughout his career Continue reading May 16 Game Thread: Yankees vs. Blue Jays

Game 37 – North of the border

The New York Yankees traveled to Toronto last night to start a two game series with the Blue Jays before the interleague silly season starts. The Yankees hope to avoid starting a losing streak after last night’s setback to the Orioles. The Blue Jays will be trying to avoid a third straight defeat to American League East rivals as they lost both games of a short series against the Tampa Bay Rays.  The Yankees are 9-8 on the road this season and the Blue Jays are 8-9 at home and 19-18 overall. Both teams are 7-7 in May and sort of spinning. If you like really obscure statistics, 37 is a prime number and the Yankees are 7-4 in prime number games.

On the mound for the Yankees will be Hiroki Kuroda. He has never faced the Blue Jays nor pitched in Canada. For the Blue Jays, it will be Kyle Drabek, who is 2-4 this season with a 3.66 ERA. Drabek has had trouble with his control and is walking more than five batters per nine innings. Drabek is 0-2 against the Yankees with an ERA of 6.89 and a WHIP of 1.79. Look for the Yankees to wait him out and run his pitch count up. With the exception of the ageless Darren Oliver and Luis Perez, the Blue Jays’ bullpen is struggling. If Drabek can throw strikes, he can be quite difficult for the Yankees to score upon. Derek Jeter is sitting tonight as Joe Girardi is giving the Captain his first day off since the season started.

For Kuroda, the key will be to keep the Blue Jays in the building. In this short season thus far, Kuroda has already allowed six homers for a 1.3 homers per nine inning rate. Jose Bautista is off to a slow start, but he isn’t the only one on this team that can hit the ball out of the park. Blue Jays’ designated hitter, Edwin Encanacion, already has twelve homers and second baseman, Kelly Johnson, has seven.

The Lineups:

New York Yankees:

Curtis Granderson – CF

Nick Swisher – RF

Robinson Cano – 2B

Alex Rodriguez – 3B

Mark Teixeira – 1B

Raul Ibanez – LF

Eric Chavez – DH

Jayson Nix – SS

Russell Martin – C

Toronto Blue Jays:

Kelly Johnson – 2B

Eric Thames – LF

Jose Bautista – RF

Edwin Encarnacion – 1B

Brett Lawrie – 3B

Colby Rasmus – CF

J. P. Arencibia – C

Adam Lind – DH

Omar Vizquel – SS

The game starts at 7:07 in Toronto and can be seen locally on the YES Network. Continue reading Game 37 – North of the border