Do the Yankees really need youth for the sake of it?

Steve Goldman is not particularly happy about the Yankees’ recent decision to re-assign former pitching coach and organization man Billy Connors:

I interviewed Connors on MLB Network Radio earlier this year, and he said at that time he wished the Yankees would more aggressively promote their pitching prospects rather than sign more aging veterans. I didn’t think he would agree so readily when I asked the question that prompted that answer, but give the coach credit for not being a yes-man (or a YES man). I guess that’s one voice for change the Yankees won’t be hearing anymore.

I can’t say that I have much of an opinion on the team’s decision to do whatever they’ve done with Connors, although equating it to Stalinist purges is quite clearly a bit much. After all, it’s not like you can make a strong case that the Yankees’ approach to developing young pitchers is working splendidly, so as far as I’m concerned absolutely no one involved with that aspect of the team should be safe in their positions. Be that as it may, the bigger problem here is that Goldman’s complaint really just doesn’t make any sense on the merits.

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Yankees Bench Coming Up Empty in the Pinch

(The following was originally published at The Captain’s Blog; follow me on Twitter at@williamnyy23). There’s probably nothing more satisfying to a manager than saving his best bat off the bench for just the right moment, and then having him come through according to plan. On Friday night, Athletics’ manager Bob Melvin got to experience that thrill when Brandon Moss’ game-tying home run off Rafael Soriano became only the sixth long ball by a pinch hitter to erase a deficit in the ninth inning or later. Clutch Pinch Hit Home Runs in 2012 Note: Defined as pinch hit home runs that erased a deficit in Continue reading Yankees Bench Coming Up Empty in the Pinch

Andy is still dandy after DL trip

It’s really not supposed to look this easy. You aren’t supposed to be able to return from a year away from the game at 40 years old, only to pitch about as well as you’ve ever pitched in your career. You aren’t supposed to return from a broken ankle in mid-September of that same season and deliver 11 shutout innings, despite being limited to a strict pitch count due to not being fully stretched out. Yet, after six innings of shutout ball in Minnesota last night, that’s exactly what Andy Pettitte has done in his first two starts since returning from a two and a half month absence last week.

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Late Reinforcements

As a Yankee fan, September is the month where you watch your team rest players after clinching a playoff spot, or exhaust starters to wear down their magic number. Not often do we receive beneficial reinforcements with just a little over a week left in the regular season. The Yankees have been no stranger to injuries this year, and it would appear that many of their own starters are playing through discomfort, so any sort of playable relief is appreciated. It looks like the team will be reunited with Brett Gardner, and introduced to David Aardsma by the time this Continue reading Late Reinforcements

No runs in six, Pettitte wins, 6-3

Andy Pettitte has made two starts since coming off the DL. He did not give up a run in either of them. With Pettitte pitching to form and the Yankees bashing out four homers off of Twins’ starter, Liam Hendriks, the Yankees built a comfortable lead of 6-0 before some secondary Yankee relievers gave three of the runs back to make the game appear closer than it was. With the win and a split in an Orioles double-header, the Yankees have increased their lead in the AL East to a game and a half, two games in the all important loss column.

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Yanks Beat Twins 6-3, Finally Extend AL East Lead To More Than One Game

How’s this for interesting? Earlier this year, J.P. Arencibia of the Toronto Blue Jays said that the Yankees hit cheap homers. I know, it’s so shocking that an opposing player would complain about Yankee Stadium’s dimensions. That never happens. Anyway, tonight both the Yankees and Arencibia hit important home runs that may have had playoff implications. The Blue Jays had a doubleheader against the Orioles today and dropped the first game which put Baltimore only a half game behind the Yankees in the standings. If the Yankees were to lose tonight’s game they would fall out of the first place Continue reading Yanks Beat Twins 6-3, Finally Extend AL East Lead To More Than One Game

Game 153: Helping the Twins Earn a Top-5 Draft Pick

David Aardsma is likely to be activated quite soon, per Chad Jennings. While he will likely be fairly limited, any pitches he can save from the arms of Robertson, Chamberlain, Soriano, and Logan would be a godsend – and, of course, set him on the path towards contributing from Opening Day next year. Onto the lineups: New York Yankees Minnesota Twins Derek Jeter, SS Denard Span, CF Ichiro Suzuki, RF Ben Revere, RF Alex Rodriguez, DH Joe Mauer, 1B Robinson Cano, 2B Josh Willingham, LF Nick Swisher, 1B Justin Morneau, DH Curtis Granderson, CF Ryan Doumit, C Raul Ibanez, LF Continue reading Game 153: Helping the Twins Earn a Top-5 Draft Pick

Game 153 – Andy on Target…Field

The New York Yankees open a three game series with the Minnesota Twins tonight at Target Field. Andy Pettitte will make his second start since returning from the disabled list and will face Liam Hendriks. Hendriks is a right-handed pitcher so the Yankees will have their premier left-handed bats in the lineup (minus Mark Teixeira, of course) while the Twins have not altered their lineup very much to face the left-handed Pettitte. Pettitte will be on a somewhat higher pitch count than the 75 he was limited to his first start. His new limit is 85 to 90 pitches for tonight’s game with the possibility of going longer if his innings are not too stressful.

An earlier post today gave you a bit of a preview of Liam Hendriks.  But here is a bit more information. His line drive percentage is high at 24.5%. He is not really a ground ball pitcher though he throws a two-seam fastball about 28% of the time. He does not walk a lot of batters but does not strike out many either. He has been too loose giving up the long ball. And so far, he has given up 11.6 hits per nine innings and has a WHIP of 1.611. If those statistics hold form for tonight, the Yankees should have a good offensive night. But anything, of course, can happen. Just to round out the information, Hendriks throws a curve, a slider and a change along with his two and four-seam fastballs. He is not a hard thrower and hits about 89-90 on the radar gun.

As for Pettitte, the top two guys in the Twins’ lineup can run so it would be good to keep them off the bases. Josh Willingham is a bat that Pettitte will need to be careful with. Four of the other top hitters for the Twins are left-handed batters, giving Pettitte a slight edge in their match ups.

The Lineups:

New York Yankees:

  1.  Derek Jeter – SS
  2. Ichiro Suzuki – RF
  3. Alex Rodriguez – DH
  4. Robinson Cano – 2B
  5. Nick Swisher – 1B
  6. Curtis Granderson – CF
  7. Raul Ibanez – LF
  8. Russell Martin – C
  9. Eric Chavez – 3B

Andy Pettitte – SP

Minnesota Twins:

  1. Denard Span – CF
  2. Ben Revere – RF
  3. Joe Mauer – 1B
  4. Josh Willingham – LF
  5. Justin Morneau – DH
  6. Ryan Doumit – C
  7. Trevor Plouffe – 3B
  8. Jimmy Carroll – 2B
  9. Pedro Florimon – SS

Liam Hendriks – SP

The game starts at 8:10 ET and can be seen locally on the YES Network. Continue reading Game 153 – Andy on Target…Field

David Aardsma to be activated tomorrow

It’s possible that Brett Gardner, once thought to be done for the season after elbow surgery, could be activated in the next few days depending on how his latest round of batting practice goes, but whether Gardner is able to join the active roster or not, the Yankees will be making one addition from the 60 day disabled list during this series in Minnesota. David Aardsma just told reporters that he would be activated tomorrow. Aardsma had previously had to be shut down after a setback during his first rehab stint in the minors, and with the limited amount of time left on the schedule and the fact that he’s coming back fro Tommy John surgery, it’s probably best not to expect Aardsma to be anything more than an additional arm here in the last couple of weeks of the season. That he’s able to get healthy enough to be activated, however, does say positive things about his likelihood of contributing to the Yankees in 2013. Continue reading David Aardsma to be activated tomorrow