About Brien Jackson

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

Yankees set ALDS roster

The Yankees just announced the roster they’ll be using for the ALDS, and there were pretty much no surprises whatsoever. We already knew that Casey McGehee and Andruw Jones wouldn’t be making it, and with Brett Gardner something of a no-brainer the only two open spots were for the last guy on the bench and in the bullpen. Those positions went to utility man Jayson Nix and long-reliever Derek Lowe, respectively, which is what we had all pretty much assumed would be the case since yesterday afternoon. Continue reading Yankees set ALDS roster

Orioles starting Hammel in Game One

It had been assumed all week that, if the Orioles made it to the ALDS over the weekend, injured starter Jason Hammel would return to pitch sometime this weekend, and yesterday manager Buck Showalter made it official by naming Hammel the starter for Game 1 this afternoon. Acquired along with Matt Lindstrom from Colorado in a controversial trade that sent fan favorite Jeremy Guthrie to the Rockies, Hammel went on to be the O’s best pitcher when healthy, posting a 3.43 ERA and 3.29 FIP in his 20 starts.

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Jones not on ALDS roster

The Yankees don’t have to turn their official ALDS roster in until 10:00 this morning, and odds are they won’t make any official announcements until then, but they have apparently told some of the players who aren’t going to be on it at least. Friday night Casey McGehee told Andrew Marchand he had been informed he won’t be on the roster, and yesterday Andruw Jones told reporters the same. Jones really has no role he can play well at the moment, as he didn’t even manage to effectively hit lefties this season, and he at least seems to understand he played himself out of it. “It’s disappointing,” Jones said. “I’m more frustrated with myself than anything. I just didn’t finish as strong (as) I wanted to finish, so I don’t think I deserved to be on it.” Don’t think many Yankee fans would disagree with you there, Andruw.

If Jones and McGehee both know they aren’t going, it sounds like Jayson Nix might be healthy enough to play after all. Failing that, I guess the Yankees could take Chris Dickerson as a runner/defensive replacement, but that would leave them without a right-handed pinch hitter off of the bench, given that Chris Stewart and Eduardo Nunez would have to be the backup catcher/middle infielder, respectively.

Continue reading Jones not on ALDS roster

Pettitte to start Game 2

Joe Girardi met with reporters earlier this evening in Baltimore, and while the team won’t announce their ALDS roster until they have to turn it in tomorrow, he did announce that Andy Pettitte will start Game 2 of the series Monday night in Baltimore, with Hiroki Kuroda starting Game 3 in New York. In a normal 2-2-1 ALDS format this would be a much bigger deal, as Pettitte would be lined up to make two starts if C.C. Sabathia were to pitch Game 4 on short rest, but thanks to the 2-3 layout of this year’s series that’s irrelevant. The Yankees will start Game 4 if it makes it that far, and Pettitte and Kuroda will both make just one start, regardless of who goes first. I would imagine that this decision is about giving Kuroda a little bit more rest as much as anything.
Continue reading Pettitte to start Game 2

ALDS preview: Yankees vs. Orioles

Today feels a lot like the calm before the storm. Sure, there was no baseball on Thursday, but there was a lot of excitement left over from Wednesday night’s division clinching finale, and a lot of fresh angles from which to look at both the Yankees’ regular season and the upcoming postseason. And, of course, yesterday was the day of the brand new wild card games, including the American League version that would determine the Yankees’ ALDS opponent. Today, however, is almost eerily quiet on the baseball front, with everyone en route to Baltimore for the opening of the series, and no fresh news about the playoff roster, rotation, injuries, etc. as of yet.

But after watching the Orioles grind out a 5-1 victory over Yu Darvish and the Rangers last night, we at least know who the two teams in the series will be, so what do you say we break up the monotony of this snoozy Saturday by breaking down the matchup in broad strokes?

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Yankees will face Orioles in ALDS

Orioles magic, feel it happen! The Baltimore Orioles’ magical season will continue for at least another week or so, as Buck Showalter’s team went on the road and knocked off the two time defending American League champion Texas Rangers by a score of 5-1. Joe Saunders allowed just one run, when Josh Hamilton tapped into a double play with runners on first and third in the first inning, and the Orioles’ bullpen pitched 4.2 scoreless innings to close out the game. The Rangers made it interesting for a minute or so by loading the bases with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, by pinch hitter David Murphy hit a soft fly ball to left field to end the game and the Rangers’ season.

The Yankees will now make the trip down to Baltimore to open the ALDS Sunday evening at 6:15 P.M. and, ironically, Baltimore will have their rotation lined up just how they want it to be, thanks to Saunders’ quality outing tonight. The Yankees will certainly be favored in the series, and will probably be favored head-to-head in every single game, but it’s safe to say that none of that matters where the Orioles are concerned this year. Welcome to October everyone! Continue reading Yankees will face Orioles in ALDS

Nix hits in simulated game

Jayson Nix was supposed to be out 10-14 days with a strained hip flexor, but via Joel Sherman, he participated in a simulated game today. Nix took at bats against David Aardsma and Adam Warren, and you’d have to figure this was a test to see if he was healthy enough for the ALDS roster. We heard earlier that Casey McGehee wouldn’t be participating in the first round, which seemed to indicate Andruw Jones would be, but if Nix, who can play the infield or outfield, is healthy and able to play, you’d have to figure he’d get the nod over both for the postseason bench. Continue reading Nix hits in simulated game

McGehee will not be on ALDS roster

Well this settles that question. ESPN New York’s Andrew Marchand just tweeted that Casey McGehee passed along that he will not be on the Yankees’ postseason roster. That pretty much guarantees that Andruw Jones will be on the roster as the last player off of the bench and potential pinch hitter against left-handed pitchers. Marchand reports that McGehee took the news “very hard,” which is pretty understandable given that Jones didn’t hit southpaws very well, but it’s not exactly unexpected. The Yankees haven’t let McGehee play much at all since acquiring, sent him down to Charleston when they claimed Steve Pearce from Houston, and then used Pearce ahead of him when Mark Teixeira was injured. Personally I would have taken McGehee, but it’s not really a big deal either way. Continue reading McGehee will not be on ALDS roster