Game 101: Maintain

The Yankees haven’t lost a series to the Boston Red Sox since last August. This is a fact. Tonight, Felix Dubront, Pedro Ciriaco and Adrian Gonzalez will try to change all that–and they’ll probably have to do it single handedly. Well, not exactly, but you get the idea. Ciriaco will start at short for the first time in a few weeks, while Nick Swisher will make his starting-lineup return for the Yankees at DH.

Hiroki Kuroda, who has been nothing short of spectacular over his last few starts, will get the nod for the bombers, who are looking to maintain there double-digit lead over the Sox at the top of the AL East.

First pitch is at 8:00 PM EST on ESPN.

Red Sox (50-51)
x1. J. Ellsbury, CF
2. C. Crawford, LF
3. D. Pedroia, 2B
4. A. Gonzalez, 1B
5. C. Ross, DH
6. J. Saltalamacchia, C
7. W. Middlebrooks, 3B
8. R. Sweeney, RF
9. P. Ciriaco, SS

P: Felix Dubront (10-5, 4.54 ERA)
Yankees (60-40)
D. Jeter, SS
C. Granderson, CF
M. Teixeira, 1B
R. Cano, 2B
N. Swisher, DH
A. Jones, LF
R. Martin, C
I. Suzuki, RF
J. Nix, 3B

P: Hiroki Kuroda (10-7, 3.34 ERA) Continue reading Game 101: Maintain

Rosenthal: Yankees still in mix for Headley

On Twitter, Ken Rosenthal passes along that the Yankeees are not out of the mix for San Diego third baseman Chase Headley just yet, and that he could fit as a long term plan for the team. The basic outline of this would go something like this: Headley fills in at third base until Alex Rodriguez returns from a broken wrist, Joe Girardi mixes and matches the OF/3B/DH options once A-Rod returns from the DL, and then Headley becomes Nick Swisher‘s replacement in right field next season.

It certainly works in theory, but there are a few practical holes in the plan as well. The first is that, like 99% of scenarios that involve top trade targets changing positions, it’s not totally clear that the new acquisition’s versatility isn’t being overstated. Headley has never played any outfield position other than left field in the major leagues, and the last time he did that was back in 2009. More worrisome, if you believe in UZR, he wasn’t a particularly good defensive outfielder, and that’s something of a problem for a player who gets a healthy chunk of his value from his defensive prowess at third base. Secondly, as someone who doesn’t hit for much power, Headley wouldn’t exactly be a prototypical Yankee corner outfielder. He’s a solid on base guy who draws a lot of walks, so he wouldn’t be totally out of place, but he just doesn’t have very much power at all, and it’s easier to see the Yankees going after a cheap bat with power than giving up a lot of assets to move Headley to right field.

None of this is to say that Headley wouldn’t be a solid addition for the Yankees, but he makes the most sense by far if the plan is to acquire him now and then turn him around in an offseason trade (packaging Headley and Eduardo Nunez would be a good start to prying Justin Upton out of Arizona), or keeping him at third base and moving Alex Rodriguez to a designated hitter role once and for all. But planning on using Headley as a long term option in right field would be out of character with the way Brian Cashman has gone about building his rosters over the past few seasons.

Continue reading Rosenthal: Yankees still in mix for Headley

Nick Swisher could start tonight against the Red Sox

Yankee right fielder Nick Swisher could return from his strained left hip flexor injury Sunday night against the Red Sox. The normally-exuberant Swisher seemed confident in his post-game press conference, after entering in the bottom of the ninth against Boston closer Alfredo Aceves on Saturday: “I feel good,” he said. “It was nice to get back out there. It was kind of a long day. Just to be able to get one at-bat, I feel good.”

Of course, the at-bat itself did not prove confidence-inducing, as Swisher flailed at a few pitches out of the zone to strike out, but that seemed to be far from the point. Manager Joe Girardi remained adamant that the Yankees were not allowing themselves more time than was necessary for Swisher because of their big lead in the AL East, but rather that they were simply taking care to make sure Swisher was 100% before they brought him back.

If Swisher is in the lineup this evening, it will probably be as the designated hitter, putting off, for one day at least, the inevitable switching of Ichiro Suzuki to left field.

The Yankees take on the Red Sox at 8:00 PM EST in the Bronx. Continue reading Nick Swisher could start tonight against the Red Sox

Sunday Links: Cano $, Liriano, Joba, Montero, IPK

-You might have missed it since the trade came down late last night, but Francisco Liriano was traded in division to the Chicago White Sox. According to BPs Kevin Goldstien, the two players the Twins received in return are an MLB ready utility infielder and a lefty who may or may not stick at the back of a MLB rotation. At that price I would have given the Twins Ramiro Pena+Warren and stuck him in the Yankee bullpen as insurance, but that’s just me. -Kenny Williams may not be done dealing (is he ever?) There are reports the ChiSox want Continue reading Sunday Links: Cano $, Liriano, Joba, Montero, IPK

Centerfielder Factor

What is the best rivalry in all of baseball? Without hesitation, 99% of baseball fans across the country would immediately say Yankees/Red Sox regardless of their fan allegiance. After Friday’s merciless massacre, fans were reminded of how fun this matchup can be with a thriller yesterday. Despite the very unusual current predicament in the AL East (Yankees in first, Red Sox in last), it is still the best rivalry in the game, and arguably in all of sports. Sure there are many reasons why one team finds themselves sitting atop the division, while the other rests in the cellar at this time, but one that comes to mind revolves around the 8 spot (centerfield).

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The Farm Report: 7/28/12

Been a long day/week, so this is going to be the quick version.  Empire State and Charleston were both postponed.

Trenton beat Harrisburg 4-3 in Game 1:
The Thunder took an early lead on a Melky Mesa solo homer in the first.   Harrisburg took the lead with a two-run homer by Tim Pahuta in the second.  Rob Segeding tied the game with a solo shot in the fifth, but Harrisburg plated another run in the top of the sixth.  Back-to-back doubles by Zoilo Almonte and Luke Murton tied the game, and a RBI double by JR Murphy gave the Thunder a 4-3 victory.  Mesa went 2-3 with a homer.  Almonte went 2-3 with a run scored and a double.  Walter Ibarra went 1-2 and Rob Segedin went 1-3 with a homer.  Former Yankee hurler Chien-Ming Wang was making a rehab start for the Senators.  He went six and gave up four runs on nine hits, no walks and two Ks.  Vidal Nuno threw for the Thunder and went six innings and allowed three runs on six hits, three walks and six Ks.  Kelvin Perez pitched a perfect seventh for the save.

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Yanks Eighth Inning Comeback Not Enough, Red Sox win 8-6

It’s amazing how the game of baseball can make you feel euphoric one inning and make you feel like you’re in despair the next. That’s exactly what happened to Yankee fans tonight in the eighth and ninth innings. With the Yanks down 6-4  in the bottom of the eighth – after both CC Sabathia and John Lester had iffy outings – the Yankees were threatening to tie the score. And thanks to some disparaging remarks earlier in the season in which Vicente Padilla accused Mark Teixeira of racism against Latino players , the stage was set for some dramatics in that Continue reading Yanks Eighth Inning Comeback Not Enough, Red Sox win 8-6

“It’s not over…”: Red Sox jump on Sabathia early, rally late to beat Yanks 8-6

“…’till it’s over.” That was pretty much the refrain Saturday afternoon, as the Red Sox beat the Yankees 8-6 on a muggy, rainy night in the Bronx. The Sawx jumped out to an early 3-0 lead thanks to a pair of doubles from Adrian Gonzalez and Will Middlebrooks in the first inning. They kept pounding Sabathia throughout the game, as the big lefty looked rattled by the late start: the game was delayed for two hours and four minutes due to heavy rain (more on this later).

After the Yankees got one back on a Chris Stewart homer (yes, really), the Sox hammered Sabathia again, when Gonzalez stroked a home run just over the fence in right scoring Pedro Ciriaco (remember him?) and Dustin Pedroia. The “bomb” (if you can call it that–Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe), the Sox beat writer for the Boston Globe tweeted “Do home runs to RF count as a full run? That’s crazy”–left the Sox with a 6-1 lead in the top of the fifth. It wasn’t an insurmountable lead, but it certainly didn’t bode well for the Yanks.

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