Dipping into the depth

Remember that time in February and March when it looked like the Yankees had too many starting pitchers? There were CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda who were obviously guaranteed rotation positions. Then, there was the return of Andy Pettitte. Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova, and Freddy Garcia were all in play, as was (for at least a short period of time) trade acquisition Michael Pineda. David Phelps and D.J. Mitchell, already on the 40-man roster, were knocking on the door to the Majors and Adam Warren was just behind them. Our prospect-loving hearts were, of course all a flutter, thinking that Manny Banuelos, or even the electric-if-hair-pulling-inducing Dellin Betances could get a start. Then, like it always does, the “problem” began to work itself out.

Starting from the bottom, Betances and Banuelos have been some combination of unhealthy and/or ineffective for most of the AAA season. Freddy Garcia was just awful for the first month of the season and needed to be replaced by Phelps until Pettitte came back.… Click here to read the rest

Freddy Garcia could surprise us

Unlike Rapada and Eppley before him, Freddy Garcia looked like a professional pitcher the moment he stepped on the mound. Suddenly, the game had possibilities. It was those thoughts that led to another thought: Perhaps having to fill one of the gaps in the rotation with Freddy Garcia is not a bad thing. Maybe it is a good thing. Could that be possible?

Garcia has been the butt of so many Yankee jokes this season that such a thought seems inconceivable. This is the same guy that threw five wild pitches in one game. This is the same guy who might have had the worst April as a Yankee pitcher since Chien-Ming Wang‘s disastrous 2009 version.  Garcia’s ERA at the end of April was 12.51. His game scores in his four starts in April were 42, 36, 21 and 22. In 14.2 innings of work, Garcia gave up 31 base runners. You cannot get much worse than that.

But June has been an entirely different story.… Click here to read the rest

The Farm Report: 6/27/12

Trenton beat New Britain 9-4:
The Thunder got off to a good start, as Jose Pirela singled and David Adams followed with his first homer of the year.  They rallied again in the second, as Luke Murton started with a single and Jose Gil doubled.  Yadil Mujica loaded the bases with a walk and a grounder from Damon Sublett scored Murton.  Pirela singled in Gil and Zoilo Almonte singled in Sublett and Pirela for a 6-0 lead.  Murton homered in the third, but New Britain finally got on the board in the bottom of the inning.  Nathan Hanson doubled and scored on a single from Aaron Hicks.  They added runs in the fourth and the sixth, but the Yankees added some more insurance in the ninth, as Adams hit his second homer of the day, once again with Pirela on base.  The Rock Cats managed one run in the bottom of the inning, but the Thunder held on for a 9-4 win.… Click here to read the rest

Yanks win game, lose Pettitte

After finding out that they were to lose CC Sabathia for two starts, the Yankees definitely needed a win, if for no other reason that spirit lifting. They got that, thanks to some timely hitting by Eric Chavez and Robinson Cano, but there’s no way this win lifted the team spirits.

In the fifth inning, the Yankees were up 2-1 and Casey Kotchman was batting. He ripped a ball that bounced once on its way through the infield and unfortunately, it found Andy Pettitte’s leg. He fell to the ground, not even attempting to go for the ball. Manager Joe Girardi and staff came out to check on Pettitte and he apparently convinced them to let him stay in the game, though he didn’t last long. After throwing one pitch, a strike, he was lifted from the game. Later on, we found out that Andy has a fractured left ankle and he will miss at least six weeks. Cody Eppley and Clay Rapada came in to attempt to finish out the fifth, but couldn’t.… Click here to read the rest

Dellin Betances takes a big step backwards, headed down to Trenton

Betances had an ugly April, but looked like he was making some progress in May.  He had an ERA of 3.86 over six games and was allowing only a .220 batting average from opposing hitters.  June, however, has made Betances’ April look nice.  Over five games, Betances has a 9.00 ERA and is getting smacked around for a .284 average.  On the season, he is giving up 8.32 walks per nine innings, just slightly under his 8.56 strikeouts per nine.

Consistency has long been the problem for the hard throwing, big righty.  He has plenty of potential, but allowing free passes has dogged him throughout the upper levels of the minors.  It is widely assumed that Betances destiny is as a reliever, yet the Yankees have yet to move him out of the starting rotation (perhaps trying to use him as trade bait?).  While I am sure that Betances is disappointed to be heading back to Trenton, it may be for the best.  … Click here to read the rest

Sweep of Tribe a bright spot on a gloomy day

To add insult to the injury, Pettitte was pitching very well when before the injury. Through four innings, Pettitte had seven strikeous to one walk, and had allowed just three hits. The one run he allowed was of the unearned variety, and came when Shelley Duncan doubled in Carlos Santana after the latter reach on a throwing error by Ale Rodriguez in the second inning. Meanwhile the Yankees new found clutch hitting abilities struck again, as the Yankees were able to make hay in the fourth thanks to a two out, two RBI double off the bat of Eric Chavez gave them the lead, 2-1. Even better? Raul Ibanez had drawn a two out walk in the proceeding at bat. Clutchitude!

That’s when disaster struck, as Casey Kotchman led the fifth inning offf with a line drive that hit Pettitte hard in the right ankle, bring Pettitte to his knees and leaving him incapable of even going after the ball. Pettitte was immediately checked on, but he was obviously unable to put his weight onto the ankle and limped off the mound, at which point Joe Girardi went to the bullpen.… Click here to read the rest

Are Power Hungry Yankees Better Off as Bronx Bunters?

(The following is being syndicated from The Captain’s Blog; follow me on Twitter at@williamnyy23).

The Yankees homer today, they win today.

Although not as elegant and universal as Mariano Duncan’s rallying cry during the 1996 season, this year’s version of the Bronx Bombers have done just fine relying on their powerful lineup. Not only are the Yankees on pace to surpass the single season home run mark of 264 established by the Seattle Mariners in 1997, but they are also in line to establish a new record for most games with at least one home run.

Most Home Runs and Games with a Home Run, by Team

Source: Baseball-reference.com

Even though the Yankees are on course to shatter numerous records in the power department, not everyone is applauding their effort. Instead of marveling at team’s prolific ability to hit the longball, some pundits have chosen instead to focus on the Yankees’ poor showing when they fail to go deep. … Click here to read the rest