Looking Ahead to the Yankees’ First Week Back

The last time I wrote a weekly forecast for the Yankees, maybe a month or so ago, the feel was optimistic. They had a week full of unspectacular pitchers to look forward to, and they took advantage of each one of them. This next week will be a bit different.

On tap the Yankees will face Seattle then Baltimore, before heading to Minnesota – all while clinging to a 3.5-game lead on the Tampa Bay Rays and a 4-game difference over the Baltimore Orioles. They’ll all be coming out with guns blazing, showcasing their best pitching talent.

Friday, July 17th vs Seattle – Masahiro Tanaka (5-3, 3.63 ERA) vs Mike Montgomery (4-3, 2.29 ERA)

Montgomery has been solid since the Yankees last saw him make his Major League debut June 2nd. A 2.62 K:BB ratio is nothing to shake fist at, and his HR/FB rate (5.4%) is encouraging – especially as he enters Yankee Stadium. Limited walks combined with a low tendency to allow home runs makes this a difficult matchup for the Yankees on paper, especially since they’ve hit lefties worse this season (.242 BA vs.… Click here to read the rest

2015 Yankee Schedule Released

Today’s a scheduled off-day and this season is basically over anyway, so why not get all psyched up about next year?  MLB released the full 2015 schedule today and here, in no particular order, are the Yankee-related highlights.

– The Yankees open on Monday, April 6th at The Stadium against the Blue Jays.  They play their first 6 at home against the Jays and Red Sox before heading off on a 10-game road trip in the second week of the season.

– The NL East is the interleague divisional opponent this year and that means more Subway Series.  The Mets will come to town for 3 from April 24th-26th and the Yanks go to Citi Field for 3 more on September 18th-20th.

– The All-Star Game takes place on Tuesday, July 14th in Cincinnati.

– The Yanks get 2 10-game homestands within a 4-week stretch from August 17th-September 13th.  That’s pretty sweet.

– The longest road trip of the year is a 9-game/10-day one in mid-May.  … Click here to read the rest

Rival Roundup – The Boston Red Sox


The last of a four-part series, Rival Roundup has been an overview of the Yankees’ American League East rivals. As stated throughout the series, almost half of the Yankees’ games will be against these four rivals. This last installment looks at the Boston Red Sox. Like the first three in the series, we have enlisted the thoughts of member sites of The ESPN SweetSpot Network. For this installment, my good friend, Jeff Polman, of Fire Brand of the American League will provide some insight throughout the piece.

Of course the last installment had to be the Boston Red Sox. Cue the bad-guy organ music! Actually, a lot of steam has gone out of the antipathy between the two teams. They spend too much time respecting each other these days. Even so, the bottom line for both teams and the teams’ fans is that both ends of the “rivalry” are shooting for the same prize. Only one can win the division.… Click here to read the rest

Rival Roundup – The Toronto Blue Jays


Part three of a four part series, Rival Roundup takes a look at the American League East rivals the New York Yankees will have to navigate for almost half of the team’s games in 2014. After visiting the Orioles on Friday and the Rays on Monday, our next stop is the Toronto Blue Jays. To offer insight and perspective of someone who covers the Jays closely, we turned to one of our fellow members of the ESPN SweetSpot Network, Matthias Koster of Mop Up Duty. Koster’s thoughts will pop up throughout.

Imagine being told by someone close to you that you were going to get a shiny new car for a present, but when the day finally arrives, you find out the car was a Matchbox car and it wasn’t even one that was made in England. That’s what it felt like to be a fan of the Toronto Blue Jays last season when a series of moves were made after the 2012 season and everyone predicted a renaissance of Canada baseball.… Click here to read the rest

Rival Roundup – Tampa Bay Rays


The second of a four part series, Rival Roundup takes a look at each team of the American League East. The Yankees will play almost half of their games against these four clubs so it is really important to get to know their strengths and weaknesses. We have reached out to our ESPN SweetSpot Network partner sites to contribute their thoughts to the series. Today we look at the Tampa Bay Rays and Tommy Rancel of The Process Report has been kind enough to provide his thoughts that will be sprinkled throughout.

Remember the days when the Yankees only had to worry about the Red Sox and the rest of the division was fairly incompetent? For the past several years, the Tampa Bay Rays have also been tough to beat. In fact, the entire division is strong if you were to look at one set of projections. The Rays won 92 games last year, seven more than the Yankees. Not only did the team finish ahead of the Yankees, they pretty well thrashed the Bronx team in the season series, winning 12 of the 19 games and outscoring the Yankees by 32 runs.… Click here to read the rest

The Offseason Schedule

We have four months until pitchers and catchers report in February, and of course that means four months of Yankee speculation. With the re-signing of Joe Girardi yesterday, the team kicked off their offseason in the right way, by acquiring the manager essential to their future plans. Now the organization has to figure out the Robinson Cano dilemma, hand out qualifying offers, clean up their 40-man roster, and find replacement starting pitchers, a third baseman, a backup shortstop, an outfielder, perhaps a catcher, and a closer. The 2013-2014 offseason is shaping up to be one of the busiest in recent years, and it’ll be interesting to see how they shore up so many position while staying under a $189 million payroll.

Here are the dates to look forward to this winter.

October 23rd: World Series Begins

October 28th – October 31st: World Series ends, immediately followed by free agency. Former teams may discuss contracts with free agents, and qualifying offers can be announced, but other teams cannot negotiate with free agents, either privately or publicly.… Click here to read the rest

How’s That Early Second Half Schedule Looking?

(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

The Yankees resume their regular season tomorrow night tonight and they’ll start it deep in enemy territory with a 3-game weekend series in Boston.  At 51-44, they currently sit 4th in the AL East , 6 games behind the Sawx (5 in the loss column) and 3 games behind both the Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays for the Wild Card.  As luck would have it, the Yanks play their first 10 games of the second half against those 3 teams in what could be the make-or-break stretch for their postseason hopes.

After Boston, the Yanks will travel to Texas for 4 before heading right back east for a 3-game home set against Tampa.  Then it’s travel off day to the West Coast, 2 games against the Dodgers, travel off day, 3 at San Diego, 3 at the White Sox, travel off day, and 3 back at home against the Tigers.  21 games, 15 on the road, the first 10 against the 3 teams they’re chasing in the playoff race, and the final 3 against the reigning AL champs.  … Click here to read the rest

The Next Four Weeks

West Coast trips are rarely fun for players or the East Coast fans, and this last road trip was no exception. The Yankees went 4-6 against the Mariners, Athletics, and Angels, while displaying an awful offensive deficiency and picking up a number of injuries on the way. As the Yankees head to Yankee Stadium to play the Dodgers tomorrow, it’ll be their first home game in nearly two weeks, and the team yet again finds itself without Kevin Youkilis and Mark Teixeira. Even with home field advantage in three of the last four series in June, the Yankees have a very difficult schedule to deal with.

Despite their recent slump, the team has remained 7 games over .500, somehow right in the middle of the ongoing pennant race, and just 3.0 games behind the 1st place Red Sox. Though they don’t face the Red Sox until after the All Star break, the Yankees now have to deal with the second place Orioles, the Rays, who are just 2 games behind them, and the Rangers, who are currently tied with them for a wild card spot.… Click here to read the rest

This week in Yankees baseball – Heading into Week 4


The New York Yankees have won four straight series and that is what Joe Girardi likes. C.C. Sabathia picked up another win. Andy Pettitte won another start. Heck, even Ivan Nova won one of his two starts. Hiroki Kuroda pitched well enough to win his start but that game became a bullpen win after the bullpen blew Kuroda’s. And perhaps we are a greedy and spoiled bunch, but it certainly seemed like the last two series should have been sweeps. The team went ahead, 4-2 on Sunday just to see the bullpen cough up four runs to give the Blue Jays the last game of the series. Back on Thursday, the Yankees were down a run heading into the ninth and Francisco Cervelli smacked a homer to tie the game. But David Phelps–who figured prominently in both losses this week–got roughed up in the twelfth inning. The week could have been better…should have been better. But it could have been worse too.… Click here to read the rest