Yankees top A’s 6-3 behind solid outing from Nova

The Yankees began their West Coast trip in Oakland against the Athletics, with Ivan Nova squaring off against Tyson Ross.  Nova has apparently been bothered by a minor hamstring issue of late, but apparently it was not serious enough for him to miss a start. Ross and Nova traded zeroes for the first two innings, and then the Yankees got on the board in the 3rd.  After a strikeout by Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson singled to left to put a runner on with 1 out.  Alex Rodriguez also went down on strikes, bringing up Robinson Cano.  Cano reached on an Continue reading Yankees top A’s 6-3 behind solid outing from Nova

The Farm Report: 5/25/12


Empire State took a tenth inning 8-7 win over Buffalo:
Buffalo took a quick lead, as Corey Wimberly was hit by a pitch and Fred Lewis followed with a single.  Both advanced on a walk and Wimberly scored on Josh Satin’s single.  Three straight walks plated two more runs for the Bison, who had a three-run lead before Empire State even picked up their bats.  Kevin Russo was hit by a pitch and Matt Antonelli singled.  A groundout moved both runners over and they scored on a single from Jack Cust, as the Yankees trailed 3-2.  Buffalo added another run in the second, but the Yankees tied the score.  Francisco Cervelli singled and Cole Garner doubled.  Cervelli scored on a sac fly from Ramiro Pena and Garner scored on a single from Russo, making the score 4-4.  The Bison took the lead with a run in the fourth and in the fifth.  Empire State used singles from Cervelli and Garner to add another run in the sixth, but Lewis homered in the seventh, giving the Bison a 7-5 lead.  Antonelli started the bottom of the inning with a walk and Ronnier Mustelier hit a two-run homer to tie the game at 7-7.  The game went into extra innings, but Cust ended the night quickly as he started the bottom of the tenth with a solo homer to right center for an 8-7 Yankee win.

Cust went 3-5 with the game winning homer and three RBIs.  Cervelli went 2-4 with two runs scored.  Garner was also 2-4 with a run scored, a double and a RBI.  Dellin Betances,who apparently has a cracked nail that is causing him more control problems than usual, went just two innings, with four runs (three earned) on two hits, four walks and two Ks.

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Continue reading The Farm Report: 5/25/12

May 25 Game Thread: West Coast games are the worst

The Yankees are out on the West Coast tonight to begin a 3-game series against the Oakland A’s, the start of a long road trip.  Ivan Nova takes the hill for the Bombers tonight, looking to avoid the home run problems that have plagued him this season.  The combination of a pitcher-friendly Oakland Coliseum and a weaker Oakland lineup should hopefully contribute on that front.  He’ll face off against Tyson Ross (2-4 5.73), who is primarily a fastball-slider guy. Mark Teixeira is back in the #5 spot in the lineup, which according to Girardi is to help break up the Continue reading May 25 Game Thread: West Coast games are the worst

Game 45: California, uber alles

California is one of my least favorite places on Earth, and 10:00 baseball games account for approximately 17.4% of the reason why. Unfortunately, the Yankees will play their next six games in the state though, thankfully, only three of those games will be red-eye affairs. The first of both, obviously, is tonight, as the Yankees go at it well after dark with the Oakland A’s. The Yankees enter the game having won back to back games before the off day yesterday and after the embarrassment they suffered at the hands of the Royals on Monday, so they’ll be looking to continue trying to climb back up the A.L. East leader board against the A’s. Lineups are as follows:

Yankees (23-21):

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

Ivan Nova RHP

Athletics (22-23):

Jemile Weeks 2B
Coco Crisp CF
Josh Reddick CF
Seth Smith LF
Kila Ka’aihue DH
Josh Donaldson 3B
Daric Barton 1B
Kurt Suzuki C
Cliff Pennington SS

Tyson Ross RHP

Yes, that’s Mark Teixeira back in the fifth spot. Joe Girardi’s explanation for that is that he wanted to split his left handed and right handed batters as much as possible due to the fact that Oakland has more southpaws than most teams in their bullpen, which makes enough sense to me. I’m more interested in the fact that Raul Ibanez is playing left field. Yeah, Girardi’s options are limited with the lack of a bench and injuries and so on, but O.Co Coliseum has a pretty big outfield with a ton of foul territory. Is getting Eric Chavez’s bat in the lineup really worth trusting Ibanez to handle that assignment? Here’s hoping for the best.

First pitch is scheduled for 10:05, and the game can be seen on YES. Enjoy! Continue reading Game 45: California, uber alles

Tyler Austin shows no signs of slowing down

Tyler Austin has put up impressive offensive numbers at pretty much every stop in his minor league career, and prospect watchers are beginning to take notice.  I certainly include myself among people who have underrated Austin throughout his short career, probably unfairly, because he didn’t have an elite draft pedigree or play a premium position.  As a guy who is likely limited to a corner outfield positions, the Austin’s offensive production needs to be very strong for him to be taken seriously as a legitimate prospect. Evaluating players in the lower minors solely on the basis of numbers is problematic, Continue reading Tyler Austin shows no signs of slowing down

Series preview: Yankees at A’s May 25-27

No one likes West Coast games, and this particular trip feels like it couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Yankees. They finally broke out offensively Wednesday night against Kansas City, on the strength of two home runs by Alex Rodriguez, then promptly had that momentum interrupted by an off day Thursday before heading out for a nine game road trip, the first six of which will be played in California. On the bright side, it was a Memorial Day weekend series in Oakland that really seemed to get the 2011 Yankees rolling, so maybe the good vibes are still floating around O.co Coliseum.

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Yankees sign Maine to minor league deal

Via MLBTR, the Yankees will sign former Mets starter John Maine to a minor league contract. Just released by the Red Sox, Maine won 15 games with a 3.91 ERA, 22,2% strikeout rate, and 4.18 FIP for the Mets in 2007 before shoulder injuries, including damage to the rotator cuff, ended his 2008 season and limited his ability since. It probably didn’t help that he was a “habitual liar” about his health, according to his own former pitching coach. He’ll presumably be used to add depth to the minor league system and not much else.
Continue reading Yankees sign Maine to minor league deal

Athletics The Perfect Matchup For A Struggling Nova

Ivan Nova‘s numbers this year are far from flattering, and we’ve covered some theories behind why he might have a 5.69 ERA this season. A changeup issue appears to be responsible for some of his homeruns, but his slider has improved his strikeout rates. He’s currently looking at a 9.55 K/9, a 1.89 HR/9, and a .393 BABIP. It’s unlikely that Nova’s BABIP could legitimately jump .100 points in one season, and if you’ve watched his starts, bloop hits and groundball singles have become a common occurrence. As his BABIP regresses, I expect him to figure out his homerun issues, Continue reading Athletics The Perfect Matchup For A Struggling Nova

Why is Nova giving up so many homers?

As I detailed last Sunday, the 2012 version of Ivan Nova is radically different than the Nova we saw in 2011. Gone is the ground ball pitcher with the 13.9% strikeout rate and 0.71 HR/9, and in his place is a swing-and-miss machine who is striking out nearly one out of every four batters he faces (23.5%). The trade off for that, however, has been fewer ground balls, and a lot more home runs. More specifically, Nova’s ratio of home runs per fly ball allowed has shot up from a very nice 8.4% last year to a flat out ridiculous 19.2% in 2012. A pitcher’s HR/FB rate is notoriously volatile, which is why xFIP normalizes it to the league average in its calculation, but you have to think that such a drastic increase has to have something more than simple back luck behind it. So what, if anything, is leading to this increase in home runs against Nova?

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