Minor moves: O’Brien promoted to Trenton

Via Josh Norris, the Yankees have made a few noteworthy roster moves, most notably promoting right-handed pitcher Michael O’Brien from High-A Tampa to Double-A Trenton. O’Brien has made six starts for the Tampa Yankees so far this season, as well as one appearance in relief of Andy Pettitte, pitching to a 2.92 ERA (2.69 FIP) in 37 innings. His strikeout to walk ratio is 32:13. Trenton is placing Craig Heyer on the disabled list after leaving his start Sunday with stiffness in his arm, and Jose Toussen is being sent down to Tampa. In addition to O’Brien, Adam Miller will be joining the Trenton roster. Miller, a non-roster invitee to Yankees’ Spring Training this year, is being demoted from Triple-A. Continue reading Minor moves: O’Brien promoted to Trenton

Can A-Rod handle the heater?

TYA’s Michael Eder has a post about the increasingly common idea that Alex Rodriguez is too often being overpowered by high-heat fastballs that’s well worth your read. Eder examines the hits A-Rod has gotten against the fastball in 2012, and concludes that there’s little reason to suspect that A-Rod is having a problem with decreasing bat speed, so much as he seems to be seeing a lot more sinkers this year than in the recent past.

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Who is Cody Eppley anyway?

The news of the day yesterday was that Yankees interim closer David Robertson had been place on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique muscle. The 27-year-old had made four appearances in the ninth inning since Mariano Rivera went down on May 3rd, and with the exception of his May 9th implosion, Robertson has held opponent scoreless on the season. Interestingly enough, though, the man called up to replace Robertson was not DJ Mitchell or one of the Yankees more accomplished high minor league arms, but Cody Eppley. Eppley, 26, was largely an unknown heading into the 2012 Continue reading Who is Cody Eppley anyway?

What is Cory Wade’s magic?

Understanding the success of Mariano Rivera was never really difficult. Oh sure, the story line was always, “How does he do it with just one pitch?”  But, heck, there is even a YouTube video of how and why his cutter is so devastating. David Robertson‘s success is also scientifically related to the length of his stride, the RPMs of his fastball and slider and how hard it is for batters to pick up his pitches. Even Rafael Soriano has a proven track record of a good fastball, off speed combination. What, then, makes Cory Wade so good? And now that Wade has vaulted to the Number Two guy in the bullpen because of injuries to Mo and Robertson, asking that question might be relevant to the here and now more than before. After all, nobody is going to call Cory Wade a power arm. What is Cory Wade’s magic and can it last?

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Is Arod’s Bat Speed Really Declining?

It seems like just yesterday that we discussed how Derek Jeter was too old to hit fastballs, and I don’t think that premature assessment could have been any more inaccurate. While the Captain has gone about dismissing these rumors with some unthinkable numbers over the last year, the pessimists have turned their eye to the elderly Alex Rodriguez. According to more sources than I care to mention, the youthful velocity of today’s budding pitchers is too fast for Rodriguez’ hulking yet sluggish bat. Like Derek Jeter was too old for a young man’s game last year, the spotlight of ageism Continue reading Is Arod’s Bat Speed Really Declining?

On Kuroda’s funky peripherals

Based on the early returns from 2012, it would appear as though Hiroki Kuroda as replaced A.J. Burnett as the “good guy/bad guy” starter on the roster. When he’s been on his game, he’s been very effective, turning in three starts of at least seven innings pitched and no more tan two runs allowed in his first seven starts, and that doesn’t include his 6.2 IP, two runs allowed showing against Texas in which he pitched quite well, but Yu Darvish pitched better. On the other hand, his other three starts include the following lines: 5.2 IP 6 runs allowed against the Rays, 4.1 IP six runs allowed against the Twins, and 4.1 IP 3 runs allowed against the Royals in which manager Joe Girardi opted to lift Kuroda after 91 pitches in the fifth inning to begin playing match ups with his bullpen.

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Short Series Preview: Toronto Blue Jays

The Yanks are north of the border today and tomorrow, playing the Blue Jays in Toronto for the first time this year. The Blue Jays are a bit different than they’ve been the last few years, at least coming into this series. The last few years, we’ve seen the Blue Jays rake, but not necessarily match that on the pitching side. This year, they’re sort of all over the place on both sides of the ball (all numbers accurate as of Tuesday night). The Jays rank a respectable 8th in runs in the AL, with 165 despite being 11th/10th/7th respectively Continue reading Short Series Preview: Toronto Blue Jays

Robertson injury an opportunity for Soriano

If the Yankees’ 2012 season had a theme so far it would be this: Things change, especially pitching. It wasn’t so long ago that the team’s biggest dilemma was figuring out what they were going to do with having too many starting pitchers for just five rotation slots, especially once Andy Pettitte announced his intention to come out of retirement. That “problem” was quickly resolved however, thanks to Michael Pineda‘s shoulder and Freddy Garcia‘s, er, being Freddy Garcia.

The bullpen also seemed like another, even greater, area of strength for the team, who boasted arguably the best relief unit in all of baseball, headlined by three elite arms at the back end of the group in Mariano Rivera, David Robertson, and Rafael Soriano. Again, however, things changes, and six weeks into the season Mariano Rivera is out for the year with a torn ACL, and now David Robertson will be joining him on the disabled list for a while with an oblique issue. Make no mistake about it, this is a mini-catastrophe for an already banged up pitching staff, but it does present a great opportunity to the third leg of this triumvirate.

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Sabathia gets little support, suffers first loss of season

C.C. Sabathia wasn’t at his sharpest in his first two starts of the season, but in both of those games he managed to avoid being tagged with a loss before going on to rattle off five straight wins. That streak ended tonight in Baltimore, as the Orioles were able to scratch out four runs against the Yankees’ ace, who didn’t exactly get very much help from his friends carrying the bats, who had trouble figuring out Orioles’ starter Wei-Yin Chen.

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