Quick hit: Welcome back, Chase Whitley!

Whitley vs SEA

Chase Whitley is back and getting his first start of the 2015 season tonight thanks to the Yankees pushing back their rotation a day. Whitley was 4-3 with a 5.23 ERA in 12 starts last season.

The last time Whitley faced Tampa was last September 10. He was forced to come into the game after that day’s starter, Chris Capuano, coughed up four runs in just a 1/3 of an inning of work. Whitley kept Tampa at bay for 2 2/3 innings and gave up one hit, struck out two and walked one. He threw 41 pitches, 24 for strikes. The day before, in another game when the starter was roughed up a bit – this time it was Hiroki Kuroda – Whitley pitched 1 1/3 innings with one walk, two strike outs and he didn’t give up a hit. He threw 15 pitches, nine for strikes. The only hit he gave up in those appearances was a two-out double by Yunel Escobar.…

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About Last Night: The offense exploded again!

So last night was pretty fun.

I mean, sure, after the Yankees went up 6-0 in the first inning, it was fun. It wasn’t that enjoyable to watch Detroit immediately answer with four runs of their own right away, but seeing the Yankees continue to get on base and score throughout the game and to see Adam Warren hang in there after a rough first inning was pretty great.

You know what else is pretty great? Watching the Yankees hitters work counts and not rush things when they’re at the plate. It seemed like Alex Rodriguez was the only guy in the lineup who exhibited any patience at the plate to start the season and now, it feels like the whole lineup is much better at pitch selection and waiting for a good pitch to hammer.

Case in point:

Carlos Beltran had two hits last night! Both were on changeups – in the second inning, it was an 83 mph change up from David Price that he laced for a triple and in the fourth inning, he hit an 87 mph change up from Aaron Nesbitt for a single.…

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Chris Young Needs to Play

Young vs BAL

Courtesy of Getty Images

The season is young and the sample sizes are small and many reactions to the action thus far on the field are emotional and knee-jerk. So keep those thoughts in mind when certain beat writers bury Jacoby Ellsbury while certain writers (waving hand) of your favorite Yankee site (this one, of course) do the same to Carlos Beltran. My emotional and knee-jerk reaction is that Chris Young needs to be playing every day.

Despite playing only 41 of his 1,055 Major League games as a right-fielder, I think we can all agree that Young is going to be the better defender between him and Beltran. Carlos Beltran, in my mind, has had a Hall of Fame career. He is going to in the top ten of the greatest center fielders to ever play the game. JAWS currently has him eighth. But he isn’t that guy anymore and while his instincts may still be good in right, his body just isn’t.…

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What to look for: Nathan Eovaldi

Tonight Nathan Eovaldi will be making his third start this season. Eovaldi is 2-1 with a 2.96 ERA in eight career starts in April but he is 0-5 with a 6.23 ERA over his last six road starts which is the longest road losing streak of his career.

In his last outing this past Wednesday night, on the road in Baltimore, Eovaldi only lasted five innings. And while his nine strikeouts were a good sign, he surrendered eight hits, three walks and two runs. He also threw a season-high (and so far, team high) 101 pitches in those five innings which caused the bullpen to be called in early and they ultimately, and almost immediately, gave up the lead and the Yankees lost.

Let’s see how Eovaldi is doing so far.

16 hits – 14 singles, one double and one home run:

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

  • Against lefties, Eovaldi’s given up eight hits, has struck out eight and walked one.
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The Potential Barry Bonds Effect On A-Rod’s Hot Start

A-Rod HR vs TB

Gone. Courtesy of Getty Images

When it came out in late January that Alex Rodriguez had been working out with Barry Bonds in California in preparation for his return, the report was met with a reaction of mostly bad steroid jokes and indifference from writers and fans alike.  When Bonds piped up recently in support of A-Rod, saying that MLB and its fans should celebrate him reaching and passing Willie Mays‘ mark of 660 home runs, that story was met with a similar reaction.  Today, coming off a red hot week that has earned him a boatload of mostly begrudging praise and may earn him AL Player of the Week honors, it may be time to stop ignoring the A-Rod-Bonds offseason connection.

After yesterday afternoon’s series finale in Tampa, A-Rod is hitting a robust .316/.447/.711 in 47 plate appearances.  He ranks inside the top 10 in MLB in R (10), HR (4), RBI (11), and SLG, and inside the top 5 in BB rate (19.1%) and ISO (.395).  …

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About Last Night: The Alex Rodriguez Show

We’re 10 games into the 2015 season and Alex Rodriguez is batting .344/.432/.781 /1.214 with four home runs, 11 RBI, a .514 wOBA and a 238 wRC+. Hmmm, not bad for the guy most people were writing off before the season even started.

  • “His bat speed is gone.”
  • “He’s too old.”
  • “He’s been gone from the game too long.”

Obviously, these numbers are not sustainable, but for now, it is very fun to watch Rodriguez silence the loudmouths who were waiting to dance on his grave and make the people who were marching with torches and pitchforks have to give him some credit for his performance so far. Oh hi, there Mike Lupica!

So what did Rodriguez do last night? Not much, he just won the game for the Yankees by being responsible for four of their five runs and driving in the game-winning run.

His first home run came off Rays’ starter Nathan Karns in the second inning. Karns threw a 92 m.p.h.…

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Breaking Down Mark Teixeira’s Hot Start In 2015

Courtesy: USA TODAY

Courtesy: USA TODAY

Mark Teixeira has had a terrific start to his season and it is absolutely necessary for him to come close sustaining it if the Yankees are going to be contending for the playoffs this season. The question is whether his start is truly sustainable, as he has had some strange quirks so far.

Teixeira has a slash line of .241/.361/.655/1.016 with a .406 wOBA and a 160 wRC+, which would be an MVP caliber stat line if carried out over a full season. Obviously, nobody is expecting for Teixeira to be an MVP candidate, so there will be regression.

The good news is Teixeira’s BABIP is a very low at .200, so he has not gotten lucky at all. His BABIP will probably never be very high anymore because of the shift, but you would still expect to be around .250 at least, which isn’t very good but still 50 points higher than where he is now.

Teixiera has been doing this with extra-base hits and walks, which has to be his formula at this point in his career.…

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Who is Jose Peraza?

Yesterday, George King wrote that the Yankees had expressed interest in Atlanta Braves’ Triple-A second baseman, Jose Peraza. With the future of the Yankees’ infield very much influx, it is not surprising that they are looking for young middle infielders. While Robert Refsnyder has moved quickly through the system and garnered a lot of attention, he continues to struggle defensively at second base. I find it hard to believe that the Yankees are writing off Refsnyder, as King and others have surmised, but there is no question that the future of the Yankees’ infield is a major concern. Didi Gregorious, Gregorio Petit and Stephen Drew have provided the Yankees with very little offense this year, and while there is plenty of time for these guys to turn their seasons around, the  Yankees need to do their due diligence.

Granted, the Braves have shown no interest in parting with one of their top prospects, but we all know how quickly things can change.…

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Beltran’s First Nine Games In Nine Pictures

It seems like every night, Joe Girardi pencils Carlos Beltran into the third spot of the lineup and every night, Yankee fans are left to wonder why. Sure, we’re only nine games into the season, but Beltran hasn’t showed us much of anything yet and maybe, he’d be better served batting somewhere else. Like Siberia. Kidding!

So this on this much-needed off day, I thought it would be fun, or, quite possibly, painful to look at Beltran’s first nine games in a series of nine pictures (mostly heat maps) just so we can see just how badly he’s performing so far.

His strikeouts (K rate 21.1%):

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

His walks (BB rate 5.3%):

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

His six hits:

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

Two singles (one from each side):

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

Four doubles:

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

Beltran’s outs (26.7 K%):

Courtesy of ESPN Stats in Info

Courtesy of ESPN Stats in Info

Beltran against lefties:

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

Against Righties:

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

What does this all add up to?…

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