Internal Options To Replace Teixeira

Brian Cashman hasn’t decided on replacing Mark Teixeira from inside or outside the organization, but it seems that he’s leaning towards the former. The team has few young internal options at first base, but with Kevin Youkilis‘ versatility at the corners, the Yankees could opt for a third baseman. Guys like Corban Joseph, David Adams, and J.R. Murphy all have limited experience at third, and it’s hard to imagine that their range or glove at the position would suffice for an organization pushing forward a defensive minded team. The Yankees will probably go with an older and safer option.

Dan Johnson– Johnson finally landed his first Spring Training hit yesterday, and now would be a great time to start swinging the bat. Through 2700+ innings at first base, Johnson has shown average range. Offensively, he’s been slightly above average with his career 102 wRC+. The left-handed hitter might not had great contact numbers, but he draws a ton of walks and has no platoon split.… Click here to read the rest

Yanks end regular season swept on road for first time all year following Rays' dramatic late-inning comeback to clinch Wild Card

(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

The Yankees capped off the 2011 regular season by getting swept on the road for the first time all year — and swept for only the third time all season — as the Tampa Bay Rays came storming back from a 7-0 deficit to win 8-7 in extra innings. The loss was the Yankees’ fourth in a row, and dropped their record in extra-inning games to a fluky 4-12 on the season. Additionally, the sweep was Tampa’s second-ever sweep of the Yankees, both of which came at Tropicana Field, and it was the first time the Yanks had been swept on the road since last September following that miserable series in Texas when Ron Washington used 8,000 relievers.

Oh, and the Rays’ win combined with a stunning ninth-inning 4-3 Red Sox loss to the Orioles in which Jonathan Papelbon blew a 3-2 lead and Carl Crawford muffed a potential inning-ending catch ensured that Boston’s historical collapse actually came to fruition, and catapulted the Rays into a rather shocking playoff berth via the Wild Card.… Click here to read the rest

Rain, solo home runs and relievers who probably won't even be on playoff roster undo Yanks in 7-2 loss to Rays

Once the skies came crashing open last night in the bottom of the third inning the Yankees’ fate was pretty much sealed. Down 1-0 to the Rays, barring an unexpected 15- to 20-minute rain delay A.J. Burnett‘s night was going to be over, and Joe Girardi was going to have to milk 5 2/3 innings out of a tired and thin bullpen.

I’ve been as vocal as anyone about Girardi’s seemingly endless stretch of bizarre moves this month; however in this case I’m not sure what other choices he had. I’d love to win the division as much as anyone else, but with the rain coming when it did he had to rely on the seedy underbelly of his bullpen to at least try to get the team to the 7th without digging the Yankees too deep a hole. Burning David Robertson, Joba Chamberlain or Kerry Wood in the 4th, 5th or 6th innings of a game you’d like to have but wasn’t critical would’ve been pretty wasteful, and considering the Yankees were ultimately only able to muster up two measly runs, proved to be the right call.… Click here to read the rest

Dan Johnson beats Phil Hughes as Tampa leapfrogs the New York Stranded Baserunners and Compromised Lineup back into first

For the second time in his last two starts at Tropicana Field Phil Hughes was victimized by a two-out go-ahead home run while also surrendering all of his runs via the home run to the same batter. Last time around it was a Matt Joyce three-run bomb, this time a pair of go-ahead two-run home-runs by Dan Johnson that turned out to be the deciding factor in a 4-3 Rays win, the third straight 1-run game these teams have played.

This outing was essentially a microcosm of Phil Hughes‘ season. Hughes’ final line was probably about what one would’ve hoped for (6 2/3 IP, 4 ER), but the inability to keep the Rays — and specifically Dan Johnson — at bay was a killer. Hughes was incredible through the first four innings (April and May), retiring all 12 batters he faced including striking out the side in the third. Staked to a 1-0 lead — which really should have been greater, but more on that in a moment — Hughes gave up Dan Johnson‘s first go-ahead two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth (June/July), sending the Rays to a 2-1 lead.… Click here to read the rest