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.  …

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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.…

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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.  …

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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.  …

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Monday Afternoon News And Notes: 8/10/15

Rough weekend of games and an off-day today.  Let’s catch up on some other stories.

– If you hadn’t already heard, Greg Bird was named International League Batter of the Week earlier today.  He hit .348 with 5 XBH and 10 RBI last week, and his Triple-A slash line is up to .295/.353/.516.  Would be fun to see him get a September call up.

Via Andy Martino, the Yankees are one of a few teams following Chase Utley as he plays in MiL rehab games.  Martino named the Cubs, Dodgers, and Yankees are the teams “most likely to pursue” Utley if Philly decides to shop him.  Utley has been terrible this year and is clearly in a steep decline.  Not sure he’s the answer at second, even if he comes at a minimal cost.

– Missed this when it was first announced last week, but Mason Williams had his rehab work shut down and had season-ending shoulder surgery on Friday.  …

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Yanks Re-Sign Garrett Jones, Activate Him Onto The 25-Man Roster (UPDATED)

Well that didn’t take long.  The Yankees have solved the temporary short bench problem I described earlier by re-signing Garrett Jones.  According to Jack Curry, he was re-signed to his original contract terms, so he’s owed about $1.8 mil for the remainder of the season.

The Yankees will have to make a roster move to clear a spot, and Curry suspects it will be either Branden Pinder or Caleb Cotham.  Pinder has the edge in experience this season, but I might give the spot to Cotham.  Pinder’s contact rates and low strikeout totals are a little scary.

** UPDATE 2:06 PM ** – Cotham was sent down to Triple-A and Danny Burawa was DFA’d to clear a 40-man spot.

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Trade Deadline News And Notes: 7/31/15 (UPDATED)

We’re down to mere hours now.  We’ll follow the latest developments here as the day progresses and break in with any actual trade news if and when it happens.

– The Yankees are in heavy on relievers today, with both Craig Kimbrel and Aroldis Chapman‘s names coming up multiple times.  They were reportedly working on a deal for Kimbrel last night, but talks continue to stall based on the Yankees’ willingness to include Jorge Mateo in a deal.

Via Jon Heyman, the Yanks are “not likely” to get Chapman.

Also via Heyman, they may be shifting their focus to Miami’s Carter Capps if they can’t get anything done for the other 2.  He’s the dude with the jump delivery.

– Precious little out there right now connecting the Yankees to any starters.  They lost another target last night when the Giants acquired Mike Leake from Cincy.

Dustin Ackley will join the team today in Chicago and there’s still the matter of clearing a roster spot for him.  …

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Trade Deadline News And Notes: 7/30/15

2 big stories today related to the Yankees.  Neither involves them making any trades.

– The first was the Blue Jays acquiring David Price from the Tigers for a package of prospects.  It sounds like the haul was a good one, better than what the Rays got for him last year, and this was a move the Jays had to make if they want to make a serious playoff run.  Yanks get to hold onto all their top prospects (for now) and still get a shot to sign Price when he hits the FA market.

– The second, and more important, was the announcement that Michael Pineda has been scratched from his scheduled start tonight.  He has since been diagnosed with a Grade I forearm strain and put on the DL, and CC will start tonight’s game on regular rest.  This type of injury could put Pineda out until mid-September, so the need for the Yanks to add a starter has increased as far as I’m concerned, Severino or no Severino.…

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Trade Deadline News And Notes: 7/29/15

It’s been mostly quiet on the Yankee trade deadline front for the last few days.  They’re connected to almost everybody in some capacity, but don’t seem to be seriously involved with anybody.  Hopefully there’s another behind-the-scenes deal being worked on.  It would be puzzling and disappointing to see the deadline pass without them making at least 1 move.  Here’s the latest:

As first reported by Jack Curry, the Yanks designated Chris Capuano earlier today.  That decision was almost surely driven by his abysmal performance last night and the fact that the Yanks have a ton of Triple-A depth arms.  The newest one getting called up tonight is righty Caleb Cotham, and Diego Moreno will get to keep his roster spot after his splendid relief outing.

– The big story from yesterday was the Royals trading for Ben Zobrist.  Zobrist was a known target and would have been a perfect fit for the Yankees’ needs, but it doesn’t sound like they were ever seriously in contention for him.…

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