Projecting The 25-Man Roster At The Trade Deadline

By now, almost everybody has had a chance to catch up on the big story to come out of last night, that being the Yankees’ decision to send Adam Warren back to the bullpen.  They announced that Nathan Eovaldi would make the start tomorrow, effectively removing Warren from the rotation and sending him back to where he was originally supposed to be.

The argument for why Warren deserved to go when he’s outperformed former fellow starters CC Sabathia and Nathan Eovaldi is both a valid and unnecessary one, as this was always the move the Yankees were going to make.  Further beating that dead horse case into the ground won’t change the decision, so rather than dwell on it let’s move forward from it and use it as a launch pad to look ahead over the next month.

The return of Ivan Nova is what really led to the Warren decision, and depending on how you want to look at it, that return can act as the Yankees’ version of adding a starter at the trade deadline.  …

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Bad Defense Continues To Hamper The Yankees

Gardner-Jones Drop vs HOU

The look of surprise on Jones’ face is actually pretty funny. Courtesy of Getty Images

The Yankees dropped the series finale in Houston yesterday, and while there’s nothing wrong with splitting a 4-game road series against a division leader, yesterday’s game was another one of those frustrating “coulda, shoulda, woulda” losses that the Yanks seem to have a little too often.

They wasted a very good start by Michael Pineda (2 runs in 8 innings), didn’t muster but 2 hits against what has been a very hittable Colin McHugh this season, and they even committed a defensive error that was worse than anything you could see in the Little League World Series.  In the bottom of the 4th, Carlos Correa lofted a lazy fly ball to left-center field.  Brett Gardner had a bead on it, called for it, and then at the last second pulled back as Garrett Jones did the exact same thing coming for the other direction.  The ball dropped between them for what was scored a double, but then Gardner made things worse by kicking the ball to the wall in his attempt to pick it up.  …

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Thursday Morning Thoughts And Afterthoughts

I haven’t written much lately and I really didn’t follow the last few days very closely save for the box scores, but as usual there’s been a lot going on in Yankeeland during that time.  This post serves as my short form, hot take catch-up on a lot of those happenings.

– Yesterday’s win was a welcome change of pace from the preceding 3 games.  Those were really ugly.  You never get too worked up about 1 start when you’re talking about guys like Tanaka and Pineda, unless you want to look like a fool in front of your reading audience, but they were both pretty bad in their games and 34 runs in 3 is waaaaaayyyy too many runs.  There’s practically zero chance to win when that’s what your pitching staff gives you.

– As little concern as I have about those 2 guys going forward, CC Sabathia is another matter entirely.  He was responsible for a chunk of those 34 runs himself, and once again they came in what has become the all-too-common fashion for CC.  …

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Quick Hit: Are The Yanks Going To Use A Sixth Starter Or Not?

With another “20 games in 20 days” stretch underway and a pitching staff that’s a coin flip at best right now, the Yankees have reportedly been kicking around the idea of going with a 6-man rotation for a turn or 2 as a way to manage workloads and give everybody enough rest.  It’s really not a bad idea and something Matt discussed on this very site last week.  All things considered, I could live with a 6-man rotation plan for the short term.

What I can’t live with, and what doesn’t make me feel good about the possibility, is how the Yankees are going about it.  Or rather, how they’re not going about it since there’s no real plan in place.  Chad Jennings had a quote from Joe in his pregame notes yesterday, and what Joe had to say really didn’t give me a warm, fuzzy feeling:

“We’re playing with some ideas, so I don’t have anything for you yet.

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How Much Longer Should The Yankees Wait To Make More Roster Changes?

A little over a month ago I wrote a post on the importance of the Yankees using some off-days to prepare for how they could go about improving the weakest parts of their roster.  At the time they had a healthy bullpen, a good enough rotation, and a few position players (Drew & Jones) that stood out as obvious replacement candidates based on their weak production.

4 weeks later, the landscape has changed a bit.  The bullpen is now in tatters, both in terms of health and effectiveness, Jones has started to hit better, and Chris Young has slid into Jones’ spot as the painfully under-performing bench player.  Drew is still stinky and that’s a problem, but it might not be the most glaring one anymore based on his power output and above-average defensive value.  With the team in the midst of another bitter cold streak and its lack of overall depth being exposed by the National League rules, it’s time for the brain trust to get serious about what they can do to improve these areas of weakness and when.…

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Attempting To Talk Fairly About Joe And The Bullpen Situation

Girardi vs BAL

Courtesy of Getty Images

It’s been a rough few days for Joe Girardi and his bullpen.  He used his 2 best relievers in a 5-run game on Tuesday night, didn’t have the one healthy one left available yesterday as a result, went with one of his younger, inexperienced middle relievers for the 8th inning, and watched that reliever cough up the 2-run lead that the offense had provided in the previous half-inning.  This comes on the heels of Friday night’s 9th inning near-meltdown by an even lower-leverage reliever and a few questionable instances of using David Carpenter in close games with men on before he was future endeavored.

There’s been a lot to not like from the ‘pen over the past month or so, from the injuries to the inconsistency to the decision making to the performance at times.  The one part of the roster that was thought to be solid and the least cause for concern has become arguably the most inconsistent, and yesterday it seemed like that came to head for many fans and bloggers around the Yankosphere.  …

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About Last Night And Other Thoughts

Teix-McCann vs TB

The New York Yankees have now won seven games in a row and have built back their AL East leading margin to two and a half games. Life is feeling pretty good right now. Masahiro Tanaka has given the team two great starts and the Yankees are getting timely hits of the big fly variety and the one base at a time type too. Let’s look at a few things to bask in this little glow (before dark clouds roll in).

The impressive part of this win streak is that Yankee starting pitchers have won six of the seven games. In other words, they have all pitched well enough to stay in the game, have competed and have come out ahead. Tanaka, of course, has been VERY encouraging. But CC Sabathia, Adam Warren, Nathan Eovaldi and Michael Pineda have all won games in this streak. That is encouraging and impressive.

With Ivan Nova in the wings and the way these starters are pitching, does that buzz for Cole Hamels at the expense of prospects still sound like a good idea?…

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Unsystematic ramblings after a three-game sweep

First, I’d like to offer my apologies to our very own Kenny Ducey who was extremely positive leading into the previous five games – all Yankee victories – while I was convinced his overly positive post would jinx them and that they’d go into a tailspin.

I’m wacky that way. I can’t help myself.

So how about those previous five games, huh? Heck, let’s talk about the King Felix game again too! Six wins in a row is nice after losing three out of four to the A’s who were swept out of Fenway Park thanks to a total meltdown in the eighth inning of yesterday’s game. Can you imagine going into an inning with a 4-0 lead and coming out with a 7-4 deficit? Well, that happened to the poor A’s.

The Yankees know all about bullpen meltdowns. Friday night’s adventures in the ninth inning were fun, weren’t they? About as fun as sliding down a razor blade into a vat of rubbing alcohol.…

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Quick Hit: Another Audition For Murphy

I have to imagine I wasn’t the only one who breathed a huge sigh of relief when everything came back negative on Brian McCann’s foot yesterday.  Even though he hasn’t been what we hoped he would be offensively and his defense has slipped a bit this season, McCann has been swinging a better bat recently and is still a vital piece to the middle of the lineup.  Losing him for an extended period of time would have shortened the batting order even further and undoubtedly hurt the team.

Officially McCann is listed as day-to-day, and the smart money is on the Yankees giving him at least the next few games off.  It wouldn’t surprise me at all if they gave him the whole weekend series off and Joe started giving him more regular rest to keep the wear and tear on the foot down.  If and when that happens, it will be another chance for John Ryan Murphy to show what he can do as a Major League regular.  …

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