I am a journalism student at William Paterson University in New Jersey. I am an aspiring sports journalist who has had a huge passion for the Yankees since birth. Contact or follow me on Twitter at @RAYROBERT9.

Author Archives: Matt Bove

The Importance of Shawn Kelley

nypost.com

nypost.com

Shawn Kelley might not be the highest profile player among the Yankees’ walking wounded with Carlos Beltran, CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda and Ivan Nova also on the disabled list, but that does not mean he isn’t missed. Joe Girardi said yesterday that Kelley played catch at 75 feet, so hopefully that means he is progressing well.

Brad wrote here earlier today about how Vidal Nuno, David Phelps and Chase Whitley need to pitch further into games and he is right: The Yankees are tied with the Rays for 26th in MLB in innings from their starters with 289.1 innings. This is causing Girardi to go completely out of his normal routine and rely heavily on Dellin Betances and Adam Warren. Those two and David Robertson are Girardi’s only reliable relievers right now and if he had Kelley at his disposal, he would be able to lighten their workload.

Kelley has been a steal since he came over in a trade from the Seattle Mariners last season.…

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Why Kendrys Morales Makes Sense

Kendrys-Morales-Seattle-Mariners1

The Yankees need reinforcements right now both offensively and in their starting rotation. There is probably nothing they can do about their pitching this far in advance of the trade deadline with nobody ready to sell yet. However, Kendrys Morales is sitting out there and will not cost prospects or a draft pick after the MLB Draft is done on June 7th.

The Yankees should hold off on signing Morales until after the draft so it does not cost them a pick. Afterwards, all it will cost them is money, and Hal Steinbrenner recently said that he is willing to spend to upgrade the team.

“Always willing to look at options come July, come the trade deadline,” Steinbrenner told ESPN New York’s Andrew Marchand. “And I think we’ve shown that. Some years we’ve done stuff like last year with [Alfonso] Soriano. Some years we haven’t. But we’re not going to ever lay down and die. We’re going to do what we need to do to stay in.”

The Yankees offense has been pretty good so far this season.…

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Are The Yankees Too Old Again?

Remember when the Yankees were completely healthy at the conclusion of spring training? It was only about a month and a half ago, but it seems like it was a million year ago.

This seems like a yearly occasion for the Yankees. Obviously, a big reason for that is their advanced age. In a new MLB without amphetamines and steroids older players have a tougher time remaining healthy and productive.

There is always going to be randomness and luck when it comes to injures. The two players on the Yankees roster who you would have considered the biggest health risks at the beginning of the season were Brian Roberts and Derek Jeter. Both of them have been completely healthy other than a minor injury for each.

Even though luck plays a big role, common sense dictates your chances of getting injured usually increase as you get older. This mostly seems to be the case with position players, as MLB currently has an epidemic with young pitcher blowing out their elbows.…

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Masahiro Tanaka’s Home Run Issue

Masahiro Tanaka has been everything that the Yankees could have dreamed of since coming over from Japan. He has been the unquestioned ace of the staff so far, and is currently the only reliable starting pitcher the Yankees have.

Even without his best stuff in his last two starts, Tanaka kept the Yankees in the game and allowed them to win it. He has made hitters look foolish once they have gotten to two strikes with his nasty splitter. Tanaka is 4-0 with a 2.53 ERA and 10.76 strikeouts per nine innings.

However, Tanaka has given up far too many home runs this season, which is something that could get him in trouble if he does not correct it. Tanaka has allowed seven home runs in his six starts this season and has an incredibly high 21.9 percent HR/FB ratio.

Since Tanaka has walked so few batters, the home runs have not hurt him too much. Six out of the seven home runs have been solo shots.…

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Teixeira Criticism Often Unfair

Mark  Teixeira

With Alex Rodriguez probably sipping champagne poolside for the time being, Mark Teixeira has taken over his role as the most vilified player by Yankees fans. It is something that I haven’t really understood much.

Teixeira has always been a classy and solid citizen off the field, so it is hard to see why people have turned on him so quickly. He is not out there breaking the law or getting into trouble and has done wonderful things with his Harlem RBI program.

His pessimistic comments about his wrist to the media turned some the wrong way, but at least he was honest about it. Teixeira has always been a more open and honest interview than most Yankees, which you think fans would appreciate. We do not get many open and honest interviews anymore.

The reason for the criticism is that people think that he hasn’t lived up to his eight year, $180 million deal that he signed. They’re correct to an extent.…

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Solarte and Johnson Falling Back To Earth

The Yankees infield was seen as a huge weakness going into the season, but a shocking start to the season by Yangervis Solarte, and solid beginnings for Kelly Johnson and Derek Jeter helped the infield perform above its expectation level.

Brian Roberts has gotten off to a horrible start, and Mark Teixeira has not had enough at-bats to conclude anything about his results yet.

It was inevitable that Solarte and Johnson would cool off. Solarte was performing like an MVP candidate, and Johnson was off to a very nice start too. The problem is that they have nobody else in the infield to give them that production while they’re struggling since Teixeira has started off slowly.

Solarte and Johnson still have solid numbers overall. Solarte is hitting .303/.387/.455 with a .374 wOBA and a 136 wRC+, and Johnson is hitting .232/.296/.500 with a .345 w/OBA and a 116 wRC+. However, Solarte is 1-for-17 over his last four games and Johnson is 3-for-23 over his last seven games.…

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Gardner and Ellsbury Living Up To New Contracts

When the Yankees signed Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury to contracts this winter it represented a pretty big change for them and it has paid huge dividends so far.

The Yankees invested big money in two outfielders who are known for their speed, defense and contact hitting. Brian Cashman has never been one to hide his love for “big hairy monsters” who hit home runs, so the fact that he signed two non-power outfielders in one offseason was pretty surprising.

Also, when the Yankees gave Gardner a new four-year, $52 million contract it represented another change in philosophy. The Yankees never gave out contract extensions to players before their current deals expired, and it might have cost them Robinson Cano. Most other MLB teams have been locking up their young players early for years now, while the Yankees were lagging behind, so it was big of them to see what they were doing wrong and adjust.

The Gardner signing was an easy call, and the Yankees got a great value.…

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Sixth Inning of Doom: Red Sox 4, Yankees 2

It was setting up to be a fantastic night for CC Sabathia, and it was all undone in a split second.

The Yankees dropped the second game of their four game set against the Red Sox by a 4-2 score after Sabathia had an implosion in the sixth inning, and the Yankee bats didn’t show up.

The pitchers dominated through the first five innings, as the only run came on a solo home run by Alfonso Soriano in the second inning. The Yankees only had three hits in the first five innings, and Boston only had one.

Sabathia was dominating and had all three pitches working. He was really working the inside of the plate very well, thus was able to get many strikeouts on his changeup away. Sabathia mixed his pitches and his speeds very well. Many Red Sox hitters were late on his 90 mph fastballs.

However, Sabathia completely fell apart in the sixth inning for the second consecutive start.…

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Pineda Tar Gate: Yankees 4, Red Sox 1

Michael Pineda delivered the type of performance that fans have dreamed of since he was traded to New York in January of 2012, and he led the Yankees to a big 4-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox.

Pineda held the Red Sox without a hit through the first four innings before Xander Bogaerts broke up the no-hitter leading off the fifth inning. He had command of all three of his pitches and was making the Boston hitters look silly.

Pineda was blowing his fastball by hitters and locating early in the count, as he threw first pitch strikes to the first nine hitters he faced. Pineda finished going six innings, allowed one run and struck out seven.

Pictures from the Internet and T.V. cameras showed a brown substance on Pineda’s hand that was gone by the fifth inning, but the Red Sox never questioned it.

Both teams were scoreless through the first three innings before the Yankees put two runs on the board in the bottom of the fourth.…

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