Service Time: A Greg Bird Story

A scant few hours ago, we learned that the man they (read: we) call #GREGBIRD would miss the entirety of the 2016 season due to shoulder surgery. Some have already begun looking for silver linings, generally revolving around the likelihood of Bird spending the majority of 2016 in Triple-A due to the presence of Messrs Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, and Carlos Beltran – but that is little more than scraping the bottom of the barrel for a silver lining. Shoulder surgeries tend to sap power (at least for a year or so), and Bird’s offensive game largely revolves around depositing the ball deep within the right field bleachers. And, of course, this ignores the full season of lost development for a 23-year old.

Oh, and it gets worse.

Due to Major League Baseball’s service time rules, Bird is all but guaranteed to garner a full year of service time in 2016. He is currently on the team’s active roster, which would put him on the Major League disabled list.… Click here to read the rest

Saturday Morning News And Notes: 10/3/15

Just a few quick notes before we get into today’s doubleheader.  Most of this stuff is courtesy of Chad Jennings.

Ivan Nova will start the first game today and Luis Severino is scheduled to start the second one, but that may not be set in stone depending on whether or not the Yankees clinch home field for the WC game before the nightcap.  Joe has said he wants to have more than one starter on the roster for Tuesday, and it sounds like Severino is in consideration for that role.

– Also sounds like we won’t be seeing a lot of the starters in today’s doubleheader.  I imagine the lineups will look similar to ST split-squad games and the older veterans won’t be in for the full game.  Maybe Rico Noel and Gary Sanchez will finally get ABs!

Stephen Drew has been diagnosed with a “vestibular concussion” and has been ruled out for the rest of the regular season and most likely the playoffs.  … Click here to read the rest

Sunday Morning News And Notes: 9/6/15

Hope everyone’s enjoying the middle portion of their 3-day Labor Day weekend.  I’m still coming to terms with Wisconsin’s loss last night and the fact that I’m sitting in my company’s office while I write this, and I thought a quick notes post might be therapeutic.

– It sounds like it’s all but a done deal that CC Sabathia will rejoin the rotation on Wednesday.  He’s been throwing bullpens without issue since getting another injection in his knee, and he threw a 4-inning, 60-pitch sim game before Friday night’s series opener against the Rays.  Sabathia’s return will give the team the 6-man rotation it was hoping to use this month to give guys an extra day of rest, and hopefully the time off and new knee brace will help him pitch more like he was before his last start.  The Yankees can’t afford to have more bad CC starts at this stage of the season.

Mark Teixeira told every reporter within earshot that he was “100%” confident he would play again this season the other day.  … Click here to read the rest

Thursday Morning News And Notes (And Bad Offensive Numbers): 8/27/15

This was supposed to be a post about how bad the Yankee offense has been over the last few weeks and me finally giving in and accepting that they’ve regressed and are really this bad now.  But I knew the minute I stepped into the shower this morning that I wasn’t emotionally ready to do that, so instead we’re going to recap some of the smaller stories from the last 2 days and I’ll mix in some bad offensive stats to at least acknowledge that reality.  Fair?

– The official diagnosis is in on CC Sabathia‘s right knee and it’s about as positive as it could have been.  There is no new damage in the knee, no tears or anything like that.  It’s simply the continuation of the degenerative condition that’s existed there for a while and there’s nothing that will require surgery.  That leaves the possibility open for Sabathia to return this season, and he did say he would be open to working out of the bullpen if/when he came back.  … Click here to read the rest

Looking At The Short And Long-Term Implications Of CC’s Latest Knee Injury

While we’ve all been calling for CC Sabathia‘s removal from the starting rotation for some time now, I don’t think any of us were rooting for an injury to be the reason he got removed.  Unfortunately that’s exactly what happened yesterday and now the Yankees are left to scramble again to keep their pitching staff whole while Sabathia is likely to hit the DL and ponder where he goes from here.

The condition of Sabathia’s right knee has been a red flag all year, with 2 drainings having already taken place and a cortisone shot administered recently.  In Andrew Marchand’s article on the injury yesterday afternoon, Sabathia himself basically admitted that he’s been protecting the knee all season and that his decision to say “screw it” and pitch as hard as he could without focusing on protecting it was the reason for his recent uptick in velocity.  There’s a lot of moving parts to this latest setback, so let’s break it down in terms of short and long-term effects to make it more manageable.… Click here to read the rest

BREAKING: CC Sabathia Leaves Start With Right Knee Injury (UPDATED)

CC Sabathia has exited his start this afternoon after apparently injuring himself on a pitch in the top of the 3rd inning.  He struck out the batter on a fastball with the pitch and looked uncomfortable as he completed his delivery and came off the mound.  Joe and the trainer came out to check on him immediately and he left the game with little discussion.

It was hard to tell what the injury was watching replays of the pitch.  Sabathia didn’t appear to land funny on his bad right knee and he didn’t grab at anything or strain his body in any way.  Whatever it was, it had to be pretty serious, as CC has pitched through knee and hamstring injuries before.  As poorly as he’s pitched this year, he has been better lately working on extra rest and the Yankee rotation is already a man down without Pineda.  Further injuries to the rotation do not help, even if they happen to the weakest link of that rotation.… Click here to read the rest

Pineda Update: Throws 4.2 Innings For Triple-A SWB

Michael Pineda made his second MiL rehab start last night, pitching for Triple-A SWB and pitching much more like the guy we’re used to seeing.  On a pitch count of 65, Pineda threw 62 in 4.2 innings of 1-run ball.  He gave up 3 hits, struck out 3, and didn’t walk a batter, working low 90s with his fastball again and throwing much sharper offspeed stuff than he did in his previous start.

Via Chad Jennings, Pineda threw 10 more pitches in the bullpen after coming out of the game, so he did reach 72 total pitches on his count.  Joe wouldn’t commit to a next step when speaking with the media after the Yankees’ loss, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that next start came with the big league club.  If Pineda’s good for 90-ish pitches, that could get him through 6 innings and that would be good enough working in a 6-man rotation turn with roster expansions around the corner.… Click here to read the rest

Pineda Update: Throws Three Innings In First Rehab Start

While the rotation continues to get by just fine without him, Michael Pineda took another step towards rejoining that rotation last ngith by making a rehab start with the Double-A Trenton Thunder.  He worked 3 innings, allowing 2 earned runs on 4 hits while walking none and striking out none.  He threw 42 pitches, 30 of which were strikes.

Pineda was scheduled for either 3 innings or 45 pitches, whichever came first, so he reached his desired work level last night.  According to the reports I saw on Twitter, he was mostly low 90s with his fastball and he touched the mid-90s on a few pitches.  Talking to Nicolas Stellini after the game, Pineda expressed confidence in the fastball but added “I need to work on my slider and my changeup.”  That’s not uncommon for a pitcher who’s had his normal throwing routine interrupted and nothing that can’t be worked out with another rehab start or 2.

As for that next rehab start, I imagine it will come sometimes later this week.  … Click here to read the rest

Pineda Update: First Time Back On A Mound Goes Well

Here’s some good news.  Michael Pineda threw from the mound for the first time since hitting the DL yesterday as scheduled, and reportedly came through his 25-pitch session feeling good.

Via Chad Jennings, Pineda said he threw at about 75-80% yesterday, but clarified that it was not because of any issues with his forearm.  “I never throw 100 percent in the bullpen.  But I can tell when the arm feels good, and when the arm feels something’s wrong, you know?”

The next step for Pineda is a 35-pitch bullpen session scheduled for Thursday.  Joe said he would likely throw all his pitches in that session, and it sounds like a rehab assignment could come after that provided Pineda makes it through this next bullpen without issue.

Things are definitely progressing ahead of schedule for Pineda right now, and I think that has to be taken as a good sign.  He only missed about a week of throwing activity and he’s back on a mound less than 2 weeks after going on the DL.  … Click here to read the rest