The Future at Third

Alex Rodriguez is having a nice month of May. Though the 36-year-old slugger has just three home runs since May first, he has raised his batting average by 43 points and his OPS by another 63 points over the last month. Coming off the worst season of his career, A-Rod is off to a pretty nice start for the Yankees, hitting .287 on the season with a .372 OBP and .431 SLG. More importantly, he’s played in 48 of the Yankees 49 games after missing 63 games in 2011. Fangraphs even places Rodriguez second on the Yankees in WAR, ahead of such players as Curtis Granderson and Derek Jeter.

Yet two months into the season a trend is developing in Rodriguez’s stat line that suggests the Yankees may need to start thinking long term about a replacement for Rodriguez at the hot corner. In 14 games as a designated hitter, Rodriguez is hitting .327 with an .850 OPS. In 33 games as a third baseman, Rodriguez is hitting just .272 with a .788 OPS.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees season frustrating to say the least

And the list of frustrating events continues to mount. Phil Hughes throws this straight fastball and is either moderately successful or crashes and burns spectacularly. Derek Jeter, after an unbelievable start, has had the predictable regression and has a pedestrian .699 OPS for the month of May and has hit into six double plays this month. And yet he still second of the regulars in wOBA. While it is nice that all things considered, Jeter is having a fine season, if, with this offense, he is second on the team in wOBA, the team has a problem.

And yes, the Yankees can score runs in bunches. The team has scored six or more runs in 21 different contests. They have lost only one of those games. But they have also scored two runs or less in sixteen contests and have only won two of those. They are still without a win in games without hitting a homer. They are 0-11 in such contests.… Click here to read the rest

Could Ryota Igarashi Be the Next Cory Wade?

Yesterday, the Yankees made a seemingly small roster move by transferring Brad Meyers from the 40-man roster to the 60-day disabled list, replacing him with right handed relief pitcher Ryota Igarashi. The 33 year old former NPB reliever came to the MLB in 2010 with the Mets, who handed him a two year $3 million dollar contract. After a seemingly miserable debut season with the Mets, he was sent down, only to come back up in 2011 with some improved peripherals. His 2012 has thus far been a short fling with the Blue Jays, which has brought his major league career numbers up to a 6.17 ERA, 6.17 BB/9, .341 BABIP, but a very strong 8.87 K/9.

NEW YORK— The Associated Press

With the success of the Yankees organization in creating and molding seemingly innocent arms into top-notch bullpen threats, Igarashi fits the mold perfectly as the next Cory Wade, Boone Logan, or Clay Rapada type of acquisition.… Click here to read the rest

Will Russell Martin start hitting? Maybe not.

But hey, just like Teixeira, this is a back of the baseball card problem, and Martin will turn it around any day now, right? I wouldn’t be so sure. Remember this chart I made back when I was arguing against giving Martin a multi-year contract this past offseason?

Well here it is updated with his 2012 numbers to date:

Those are not reassuring numbers, given the clear downward trajectory of these numbers over the past five seasons now, to say nothing of Martin’s injury history. Martin’s job is safe for now thanks to his work behind the plate and the fact that the Yankees don’t have any obviously better alternative at the moment, but it should give everyone some concern about what Martin will due in the near future, and does, I think, serve as a useful reminder of why Martin is not a good candidate for a multi-year contract, especially with that $189 million anchor hanging off of the side of the boat.… Click here to read the rest

Homers, Haren baffle Yanks as Angels take series

A three run third and a typical Dan Haren performance were all the Angels needed last night to win game two of this three game set. Haren threw seven innings allowing eight hits and no walks while striking out seven in his second straight strong start. The Yankees got their run in the fourth inning on an RBI single by Nick Swisher (who was robbed of two hits by the absurdly fast outfield combo of Mike Trout and Peter Bourjous). The half inning prior to that, the Angels scored all the runs they’d need to win the game.

Peter Bourjos led the inning off with a single to left field and catcher Bobby Wilson bunted him over to second. Mike Trout then golfed a ball that was low and in and hooked it down the left field line for a run-scoring triple. After a Maicer Izturis grounder to third that ended with Trout being thrown out at home (the IF was in and the Angels STILL ran the contact play.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees can’t catch a break, lose to Angels 5-1

And sure enough, Haren was pretty good himself. On a night when the Angels needed some length from their starter after Jered Weaver had to exit in the first inning in the previous game, Haren gave them seven quality innings, holding the Yankees to the one run on eight hits with seven strikeouts to no walks. The Yankees looked like they might be ready to get to him after the fourth inning, when Raul Ibanez doubled down the right field line and then came around to score on a n RBI single from Nick Swisher but, other than that, just about every ball they hit hard found the glove of an Angels’ defender it seemed like.

On the other side of the pitching matchup, Andy Pettitte turned in another solid performance that won’t look nearly so good in the box score. After Trout’s single got the Scrappers on the board in the bottom of the third, Pettitte got Maicer Izturis to put the ball on the ground, and Eric Chavez was able to cut Trout down trying to score to keep that run from scoring and giving Pettitte two outs and a chance to really limit the damage.… Click here to read the rest

The Farm Report 5/29/2012

Empire State blew a lead and walked off on Toledo 8-7:

For eight innings, things were going very well indeed for the Yankees. Adam Warren allowed just three runs in 6+ innings, while Steve Pearce and Jack Cust paced the offense with three solo home runs between them (two from Cust). Francisco Cervelli, Ronnier Mustelier, and Ramiro Pena each added doubles, and the Yankees entered the ninth inning with a 5-3 lead. Unfortunately, Kevin Whelan had a complete meltdown trying to close out the game, and allowed four runs to score on a walk and three hits, including a two out, two run home run to put the Mud Hens on top. Thankfully the Yankees’ offense had a rally in their bones, helped by a fielding error on a Jack Cust fly ball to left field with one out, after which Mustelier’s double tied the game at seven. After Brandon Laird grounded into the second out of the inning, Toledo opted to intentionally walk Cervelli to pitch to Colin Curtis, but Curtis worked a walk off walk to win the game for Empire State.… Click here to read the rest