Quick Hit: Tanaka Returns To The Mound

Masahiro Tanaka took another important step towards coming back from his UCL tear today when he threw a 25-pitch bullpen session.  It was the first time he stepped back on a mound since his last start.  He had spent the last week or so throwing on flat ground.

The 25 pitches were all fastballs and Tanaka said he wasn’t throwing at 100% effort, but he said he felt good after and “I think we’re heading in the right direction.”  No word yet on when his next session will be, but the plan is for him to throw some offspeed pitches then.  While the timetable for his return is still yet to be determined, both he and the team have said they want him to come back and pitch this season if he can.  So far so good on this rest and rehab plan.

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Just A Friendly Reminder, Boys…

It’s simple physics.  Don’t think too much, don’t swing too hard, don’t even try to really do too much.  Just calculate the velocity, V, in relation to the trajectory, T, in which G, gravity, of course remains a constant, and you’ll be out of this slump in no time.

P.S.- I couldn’t go back and find it, but I’ve definitely used that clip before on AB4AR and I’m pretty sure the Yanks turned it around after that.  So when the offense breaks out for 8 runs tonight and they win the next 2 games, you’re welcome.

P.P.S.- Look at Jeter’s hair there.  Now look at it today.  How are we not talking about that more?

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Quick Hit: Big Mike To Make His Return On Wednesday

It had been a source of speculation since his latest MiL rehab start on Friday, but today the Yankees ended that speculation by announcing that Michael Pineda will be activated from the disabled list to start in Wednesday night’s series finale against the Orioles.  Pineda has been rehabbing for the last few weeks and has been on the DL since May 6th.  He has not pitched in a Major League game since April 23rd, the night of his now infamous pine tar start.

Pitch count fully stretched or not, Pineda is an obvious upgrade over Esmil Rogers in the rotation.  At this point in the season, every game is critical and the Yankees need their best pitchers out there on the mound.  If Pineda can be as good as he was in his 4 April starts, he would be a really big help.  Just remember, Big Mike.  Belt buckle, hat brim, glove.  Belt buckle, hat brim, glove.  Keep the head and neck area clean.…

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McCann Diagnosed With Mild Concussion, Could Head To The DL (UPDATED)

Other than the Carlos Beltran grand slam, the biggest thing to happen in last night’s game was Brian McCann‘s early exit with what the team has called a mild concussion.  He took a foul tip off his mask in the 3rd inning, and according to Chad Jennings, was removed from the game in the 6th after telling Joe he didn’t feel “quite right.”

No decision has been made on whether or not McCann will go on the 7-day concussion DL.  The plan was to have him undergo some tests this morning at The Stadium and then decide.  He’s obviously not in today’s lineup and I’m sure we’ll find out more either before or after the game.  With Teix still feeling the effects of his finger injury, the middle of the lineup will be without 2 of its big bats.

** UPDATE 12:09 PM- Via Bryan Hoch, McCann has been placed on the 7-day concussion DL and the team has called up Austin Romine.  

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Quick Hit: David Ortiz Sees Your Lightheadedness And Raises You…

… “Wet playing surface.”  That’s a new one.  Blows Teix right out of the water.  Because someone who’s not exactly in possession of cat-like quickness at first base, hardly ever runs hard on any ball hit to anywhere, and has one of the slowest, if not the slowest, home run trots in all of baseball is a prime candidate to be affected by wet ground conditions.  You could be playing baseball on an ice rink and chances are good that Big Sloppi wouldn’t stumble once.  That’s the benefit of moving that slowly.

Far be it for me to question the strategy, but that probably doesn’t help your cause in getting those last 2 team option years picked up in 2016 and 2017, big guy.  And we all know how much you love your money.  That’s why we at IIATMS came up with a helpful solution to make sure wet playing surfaces aren’t an issues again.  …

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Quick Hit: Today’s Lineup, and the Almost Best Defense

Derek Jeter, Brian McCann, and Mark Teixeira have the day off, so today’s lineup will be:

Brett Gardner, LF
Martin Prado, 3B
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Carlos Beltran, DH
Chase Headley, 1B
Stephen Drew, SS
Francisco Cervelli, C
Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Brendan Ryan, 2B

Shane Greene, SP

The defensive alignment of this team is almost perfect, with Drew and Ryan playing up the middle, strong defenders throughout the outfield, and Headley and Prado at first and third, respectively. However, Headley is the superior defender at third, and Prado has played 56 games at first base, as compared to four for Headley. While moving from third to first is a move down on the defensive spectrum, it is not necessarily a transition that can be made easily at the drop of the hat, so it seems curious that Joe Girardi would downgrade at both positions this afternoon.

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Report: Nationals Claim Matt Thornton Off Waivers (UPDATED)

Well that’s a helluva thing.  I didn’t even know Thornton was put on waivers.  But he was, the Nationals put a claim on him, and the Yankees didn’t pull him back, so now he and the rest of his contract are off to the nation’s capital.

I admittedly was much less of a fan of Thornton than others, but his removal from the bullpen mix does leave Joe without the matchup lefty option he loves to have.  Short-term solution: BRING ME PAT VENDITTE!!!  Slightly longer-term solution: BRING ME JACOB LINDGREN!!!

** UPDATE 2:24 PM- Via Dan Barbarisi, lefty Rich Hill will be coming up to take Thornton’s roster spot.  Needless to say, he is not Venditte or Lindgren. **

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Quick Hit: Kelley Coming Back Around

The Yankees were working with a short bullpen last night, as they always seem to be these days when they routinely get 4-6 innings from their starters.  Dellin Betances was unavailable after pitching in the last 2 games and Joe had to find a new way to build his bridge to David Robertson.  That task was given to Shawn Kelley, who retired the side in order in the 8th, successfully making the handoff to D-Rob in a tight 1-run game.

It may not have seemed like much at the time, but Kelley’s outing last night was the latest in a long line of strong performances.  He’s pitched to a 9.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 14 K line over his last 10 appearances, and has allowed only 2 runs with 22 strikeouts over 13.1 IP since the start of July.  This comes on the heels of a very rough June that found him more often than not fighting to command his fastball.  …

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Memo To Teix: Keep Those Glucose Levels Up

Come on, Mark.  Lightheaded before the game?  You’re a professional athlete.  Your body is your temple, your moneymaker.  You can’t be letting those blood sugar levels get low that close to game time. Not when you’re the honey guy.

Teix-bees

Let’s not let this happen again.  Have your wife pack you a PB&J or something before you head to the park today.  Sore wrists and tight hamstrings I can deal with.  Lightheadedness not so much.  Be better, Mark.  Be better.

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