Born in Dover, Delaware and raised in Danbury, Connecticut, Brad now resides in Wisconsin, where he regularly goes out of his way to remind Brewers fans that their team will never be as good as the Yankees. When he’s not writing for IIATMS, he likes to spend his time incorporating “Seinfeld” quotes into everyday conversation, critiquing WWE storylines, and drinking enough beer to be good at darts.

Author Archives: Brad Vietrogoski

A Refresher Course On Michael Pineda

Pineda vs CHC

Courtesy of Getty Images

It’s been almost 4 months since Michael Pineda pitched for the Yankees.  16 weeks exactly.  111 days.  That’s a pretty long time, and with his Yankee career up to this point consisting of only the 4 starts he made this earlier season, it raises or re-raises a lot of questions about what we can expect from him tonight and for the remainder of the season.  What kind of velocity will he have on his fastball?  Will he be able to sustain it?  How sharp will his slider be?  How will his command be?  How many pitches/innings will Joe let him throw?  How many will he be able to throw?  Will he get hurt again?  It’s not a short list.

In an attempt to answer or bare minimum be better prepared to answer those questions, let’s take a look back at Pineda’s 4 games in April and revisit what he did in his only meaningful time as a member of the New York Yankees.…

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Wednesday Morning Food For Thought: Hirok Skip A Cause For Concern?

The big story to come out of last night’s rain-related postponement was Michael Pineda‘s return staying on schedule.  Rather than push everybody back in the rotation a day, the Yankees elected to keep Pineda slated for tonight’s start and moved Shane Greene back a few days to Saturday.  That sets up Brandon McCarthy, Greene, and Chris Capuano for the weekend series against Tampa Bay.

The smaller, but not insignificant, part of that story is Greene taking Hiroki Kuroda‘s spot in the rotation while Kuroda gets bumped back to Tuesday against the Astros.  Cash was quick to let it be known that the decision is not due to injury, but did tell Mark Feinsand that the team feels “he would benefit from the rest.”

Well what does that mean?  Is Hirok tired?  Did he say something to somebody after his last start?  Is there some kind of smaller injury that the team doesn’t want to disclose?  Those 2 declarations made back-to-back makes the situation seem sketchier than it needs to be.  …

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Tonight’s Game Rained Out, No Makeup Date Announced (UPDATED)

The Orioles made it official about a half hour ago.  Tonight’s second game of this early-week series has been postponed due to rain.  The weather in Baltimore is horrible right now, like flash flood warning bad, and is not expected to let up until much later tonight, so chances of getting the game in this evening were already slim to none.

No makeup date has been officially announced yet by either team or MLB, but word around the Twittersphere is that September 12th looks like the most likely date as part of a doubleheader.  The Yankees have also not announced how this postponement will affect their rotation plans for the rest of the week.  Shane Greene was scheduled to start tonight with Michael Pineda expected to be activated off the DL and follow him tomorrow.  More on these parts of the story to come…

** UPDATE 5:26 PM- Via Meredith Marakovits, The Yanks have announced that they will keep Pineda scheduled to pitch tomorrow.  

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Just A Friendly Reminder, Boys…

It’s simple physics.  Don’t think too much, don’t swing too hard, don’t even try to really do too much.  Just calculate the velocity, V, in relation to the trajectory, T, in which G, gravity, of course remains a constant, and you’ll be out of this slump in no time.

P.S.- I couldn’t go back and find it, but I’ve definitely used that clip before on AB4AR and I’m pretty sure the Yanks turned it around after that.  So when the offense breaks out for 8 runs tonight and they win the next 2 games, you’re welcome.

P.P.S.- Look at Jeter’s hair there.  Now look at it today.  How are we not talking about that more?

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Slump City, USA, Population Yankee Bats

The Yankee offense was pitiful again last night.  They scored 3 runs in the first 2 innings, but really only 1 run when you consider the other 2 came as the result of comically poor Baltimore defense.  They’ve scored 15 runs in their last 5 games, 10 of them coming in 1 game, and 25 in their last 8.  The cause of this offensive blackout is, as usual, the majority of the lineup going cold at the same time.  Almost everybody is currently in the middle of some kind of SSS slump:

The only guy swinging a good bat right now is Jacoby Ellsbury, who’s 10-27 with 4 XBH, 4 R, 3 RBI, 5 BB, 5 K, and 2 SB in his last 8 games.  …

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Game 118 Quick Recap: Orioles 11 Yankees 3

Yankee Loss vs BAL

Courtesy of the AP

Well that sucked.

What started out as a promising night slowly turned into a very ugly loss for the Yankees last night.  They had a run on the board within the first 2 batters of the game thanks to a Brett Gardner leadoff triple and a Derek Jeter RBI groundout, and they had 2 more in the 2nd after the Orioles botched what looked like a failed double steal about as badly as one team can and both Carlos Beltran and Chase Headley scampered around to score.  Then no more runs.  None.  Only 1 more hit after the 2nd inning.

The O’s did what you expect them to do against Chris Capuano.  4 runs in 6 innings, the go-ahead ones on a monster Chris Davis home run in the 5th.  From there they continued to make the long ball work for them as Nelson Cruz swatted a 2-run homer off Adam Warren in the 7th and Jonathan Schoop smacked a 3-run shot off Chase Whitley in the 8th to put the nail in the coffin.  …

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Quick Hit: Big Mike To Make His Return On Wednesday

It had been a source of speculation since his latest MiL rehab start on Friday, but today the Yankees ended that speculation by announcing that Michael Pineda will be activated from the disabled list to start in Wednesday night’s series finale against the Orioles.  Pineda has been rehabbing for the last few weeks and has been on the DL since May 6th.  He has not pitched in a Major League game since April 23rd, the night of his now infamous pine tar start.

Pitch count fully stretched or not, Pineda is an obvious upgrade over Esmil Rogers in the rotation.  At this point in the season, every game is critical and the Yankees need their best pitchers out there on the mound.  If Pineda can be as good as he was in his 4 April starts, he would be a really big help.  Just remember, Big Mike.  Belt buckle, hat brim, glove.  Belt buckle, hat brim, glove.  Keep the head and neck area clean.…

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Prospect Profile: Tyler Webb

Tyler Webb Trenton

Courtesy of the Trenton Thunder Facebook page

When Matt Thornton was claimed and subsequently sent to the Washington Nationals last week, the conversation almost immediately turned from why the Yankees let Thornton go to what young player from the Minors would be his replacement.  The Yanks have a decent stash of lefty relievers, the latest and most high-profile one being this year’s top draft pick Jacob Lindgren.  Lindgren getting moved up to Trenton on the same day Thornton was let go added fuel to the speculative fire that the team was essentially clearing the spot and the lefty specialist role for Lindgren.

In addition to Lindgren and other guys like James Pazos, Pat Venditte, and the recently called up RIch Hill, the name that came up as a potential replacement most often last week was Tyler Webb.  Cashman mentioned him specifically as the closest to earning a call up, and that may have come as a surprise to people who aren’t familiar with Webb’s name or body of work.  …

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Is The Annual Hiroki Kuroda Late-Season Fade Underway?

Hirok vs CLE

Courtesy of Getty Images

Hiroki Kuroda did not look good yesterday.  His command was off, hitters were squaring him up, and he seemed to tire very quickly around the 80-90 pitch mark in the 5th inning, an inning he was unable to complete.  Paired with a similar failure to close an inning in the 7th on Tuesday night against the Tigers, the talk of Hirok slowing down in August as he did last year is quickly picking up.  Is it warranted?  2 starts is hardly enough to say definitively, but there are some SSS numbers worth considering for either side of the argument.

Case For:

The Contact Rates- The split in Hirok’s 2 August starts is 30.6% LD/38.9% GB/30.6% FB.  That’s by far the worst monthly split he’s had all year.  It’s the first time his LD % against has been over 22.0% and the first time his GB rate has dipped below 44.0%.  This isn’t guys sneaking seeing-eye singles through holes in the infield.  …

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