Cashman “not surprised” by Colon, Cabrera tests

Brian Cashman went on ESPN Radio yesterday, where he was asked about the recent failed drug tests of former Yankees Melky Cabrera and Bartolo Colon. Cashman said that he was not surprised by the developments, and went on to elaborate a little bit more on both players:

“You see some spike in performance,” Cashman said. “You hope it’s not the case, but you scratch your head and you wonder at the same time. But then you sit there and get a comfort level: Tests are taking place, so if people are passing their tests …

“In Bartolo’s case, as well as he has done last year as well through this year, at his age, after coming back from that surgery, makes you scratch your head.”

[…]

“When we traded [Melky] to Atlanta we had him as a low-end, everyday regular or an excellent fourth outfielder,” Cashman said of Cabrera. “And that’s how we shows where we thought his ceiling was. As you know, he was starting for us in the World Series, but we had him as a low-end, everyday guy, not a National League MVP candidate. So I wasn’t surprised.”

I suppose these comments are pretty pedestrian, especially by the standard Cashman has previously set for himself when he talks to reporters, but as is usually the case when Cashman opines on players, I really don’t understand what has been accomplished by the frankness he exhibits here. Neither Colon nor Cabrera are Yankees anymore, obviously, and neither likely will be again, but I would imagine they still have friends in the clubhouse, and people tend to not like it when you slag on their friends. Melky, in particular, is close to both Robinson Cano, Cashman’s best player, and Alex Rodriguez, whom Melky trained with after the Braves released him and recommended that the Yankees re-sign their former fourth outfielder before the 2011 season. I wonder what A-Rod thinks about Cashman saying that what we saw in 2009 was Melky’s ceiling. As for Colon, Cashman didn’t seem to mind Big Bart’s resurgence last season after having that revolutionary stem cell procedure, and he may be begging the question a little bit here. Is the Yankees’ general manager scratching his head over Eric Chavez‘s sudden run of productivity and good health as well?

So yeah, once again I come away thinking Cashman would do well to stop going on the radio altogether, or at least to take some media relations advice from Derek Jeter or something. Continue reading Cashman “not surprised” by Colon, Cabrera tests

Phil Hughes (Finally) Adds The Slider

It wasn’t long ago that Derek Lowe called himself a tinker, but if this is a competition, Tinker of the Year goes to Phil Hughes. First he lost his cutter, then he added an 11-5 curveball, and then he dropped his arm slot. All these changes have amounted to a Phil Hughes who’s given up just 3 earned runs over the last 21.0 innings. I believe a lot of the recent poor contact is due to the lower arm slot slightly reducing vertical movement in his fastball, in favor of a tremendous increase in horizontal movement. Two weeks ago, I Continue reading Phil Hughes (Finally) Adds The Slider

Pettitte could pitch off of mound this week

Via the Daily News, Andy Pettitte threw off of flat ground before last night’s game, and could progress to throwing off of a mound by week’s end. Pettitte threw three sets of 20 pitches, and worked out of his regular windup with a more forceful push off in the final set. Pettitte’s next session will come either Friday or Saturday, and Joe Girardi expressed hope that Pettitte would be able to work off of a mound in that session. If all goes well then, Pettitte should be off for at least one minor league rehab start soon. Barring a setback, he should make an appearance or two in the minor league playoffs for either Trenton or Empire State. Continue reading Pettitte could pitch off of mound this week

The Farm Report: 8/28/12

Empire State had the day off.

Trenton beat New Britain 7-4:
David Adams got the Thunder started with a solo homer in the bottom of the first, but it was the second inning that put Trenton comfortably in front. Addison Maruszak hit a homer to left and Kevin Mahoney followed with a double. He moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a double by Rob Segedin. A wild pitch moved Segedin to third and Adonis Garcia knocked a two-run homer to left. JR Murphy kept the inning going with a single and Adams drew a free pass. Zoilo Almonte lined a single to left, plating Murphy for the 6-0 Thunder advantage. Deibinson Romeo hit a homer for New Britain in the top of the fifth, giving the Rock Cats their first run of the day. Garcia started the bottom of the sixth with a longball to center. Graham Stoneburner pitched a good seventh inning, but struggled right away in the eighth. He gave up a walk to James Beresford and Aaron Hicks singled. A double by Josmil Pinto plated Beresford and the Thunder called on Pedro Feliciano to take over on the mound.  He got Oswaldo Arcia to ground out, though it allowed Hicks to score. A passed ball plated Pinto and Feliciano walked Chris Colabello, as Trenton called Ryan Pope out of the bullpen, who got the next two batters to go down in order, ending the threat and propelling the Thunder to a 7-4 win.

Garcia went 2-5 with a pair of homers and three RBIs. Adams went 2-3 with a run scored, a double, a homer and a pair of walks. Mahoney went 2-4 with a pair of doubles and a run scored. Vidal Nuno pitched six strong innings, giving up just one run on six hits, no walks and three Ks. Graham Stoneburner gave up three runs in over an inning of work. Two runs were earned and he allowed three hits and a walk. Feliciano went 0.1 innings and gave up a walk.  Mike Ashmore posted some video of Feliciano’s post-game press conference.

(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading The Farm Report: 8/28/12

Pitching comes through for Bombers in 2-1 victory

The Yankees had their closer in the game and the Blue Jays down to their last strike at one point in last night’s game, but a single and a home run later they were staring at a 7-6 deficit and went on to lose the game. That’s a rough way to lose a game and you always want to see a quick turnaround from a defeat like that, and the Yankees got just that tonight. Phil Hughes and the bullpen were excellent while a lineup that had Steve Pearce batting clean up and Russell Martin hitting fifth did just enough to help the Bombers to a 2-1 bounce back win over Toronto.

  • I wrote about how Phil Hughes has been a surprisingly solid starter for the Yankees since April came to an end earlier today, and he thankfully didn’t make me look like a fool with yet another solid outing tonight. Hughes didn’t necessarily appear dominant at any point in the game, but he ended the night after completing seven full innings, and limiting the Blue Jays to four hits and three walks while striking out five. He did give up his obligatory home run, a solo shot by Adeiny Hechavarria in the fifth inning, but that was the only run Hughes allowed all night. Seven innings of one run ball from the starter in the box score? You can sign me up for that every single day.
  • The only other place where Hughes really seemed to be in danger was in the sixth inning, when he issued back to back walks to lead off the inning and put the go ahead run on first base. A sacrifice fly moved the tying run up to third base with one out, but a tremendous leaping snare of a line drive by Robinson Cano and a heads up throw to third base preserved the lead for the Yankees. I have no idea why Colby Rasmus didn’t go back to the bag on the line drive, given that he would have scored easily if the ball had gone over Cano’s head, but whatever, it got the Yankees out of the inning with the lead.
  • The Yankees’ offense wasn’t great, but then what do you expect when a guy who couldn’t make your team less than three months ago is forced into the clean up spot by injuries and your platoon heavy roster? The Yankees got five hits in total in the game, none of which went for extra bases, and also drew two walks, but they scratched their way to two runs and let their pitching carry them tonight. Hey, a win’s a win, but I’ll feel a lot better when that lineup looks a little more Yankee like, if you know what I mean.
  • After Hughes left after seven innings, the bullpen was just great. David Robertson worked the eighth and Rafael Soriano was right back on the bump after his rough Monday at the office, and you couldn’t have asked for much more from them. Two perfect innings and two strikeouts from Soriano, who needed just 11 pitches to get through the ninth, to nail down a one run victory is the stuff tough wins are made of.
  • It wasn’t a perfect night by any means, but it certainly felt good to watch the pitching staff all but dominate the opposition after the way Monday night’s game ended. The Yankees have now evened the mark after that opening game loss, and can take the series by winning tomorrow afternoon’s rubber game.

Continue reading Pitching comes through for Bombers in 2-1 victory

Yankees Bounce Back With A 2-1 Win Over The Blue Jays

There’s nothing like a good bounce-back victory to help get rid of the rancid taste of last night’s loss from everyone’s mouth. Phil Hughes, who struggled in his last outing against the Blue Jays, went seven innings for the Yankees, only giving up one earned run on four hits and out-dueled Ricky Romero who also went seven innings tonight, giving up two earned runs on five hits for Toronto. Romero, who started the year 8-1 is now 8-12 for the Blue Jays. Hughes struck out five and the lone run was a solo shot by Adeiny Hechavarria. Nick Swisher started Continue reading Yankees Bounce Back With A 2-1 Win Over The Blue Jays

Game 129: The Split Squad Lineup

I could take a somewhat optimistic approach to analyzing this lineup and point out that it’s a righty-heavy group against a southpaw that has been battered by most every opponent – gaining the platoon advantage against such a pitcher may well be icing on the cake. A more pragmatic mindset may note that Romero has historically been better when faced with the platoon disadvantage, holding righties to a .672 OPS … as opposed to a .844 OPS against left-handed batters. Though, I suppose that has been narrowed a bit this year (.741 OPS v. .892), and many of the Yankees Continue reading Game 129: The Split Squad Lineup

Game 129: Reboot

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: The best thing about baseball is that they play every day. That means that you don’t have to wait any longer than 24 hours for a chance to get over last night’s debacle, and if all goes well tomorrow night you could walk away having won the series. Silver linings and all that. Here are the lineups for tonight’s game:

Blue Jays (57-70):

Rajai Davis LF
Colby Rasmus CF
Edwin Encarnacion 1B
Adam Lind DH
Yunel Escobar SS
Yorvit Torrealba C
Mike McCoy 2B
Moises Sierra RF
Adeiny Hechavarria 3B

Ricky Romero LHP

Yankees (74-54):

Derek Jeter SS
Nick Swisher 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Steve Pearce DH
Russell Martin C
Curtis Granderson CF
Andruw Jones RF
Jayson Nix 3B
Ichiro Suzuki LF

Phil Hughes RHP

First pitch is at 7:05. Enjoy! Continue reading Game 129: Reboot