McCann’s Slow Start Could Be Due To Lack Of Selectivity

McCann vs TOR

(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod.  Stats have not been updated to include last night’s game)

Despite spending more than a few bucks to upgrade the offense this past offseason, the Yankees have been slow to see any fruit from their free agent labor.  They’ve scored 29 runs in their first 8 games, good for 18th in MLB, and their 3 HR are still just enough to keep them out of the basement in that category and tied for 29th.  The biggest reason for this sputtering offensive start is the lack of production from the middle of the order.  Mark Teixeira hit the DL before he even got going, Alfonso Soriano is just now starting to find his stroke after a rusty start, and both Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann are sporting sub-.500 OPS values in 60 combined plate appearances.

Obviously there’s going to be improvement from all 4 of these guys as the season progresses, everybody gets settled in, and Teix gets healthy again.  …

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Teases: Orioles 5, Yankees 4

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Okay, so tonight’s outcome wasn’t good and Masahiro Tanaka ran into some trouble in the form of Jonathan Schoop (pronounced Scoop which is disappointing) who hit a three-run home run in the second inning to put the Orioles up 3-0 but the Yankees did fight back to tie it before ultimately falling 5-4 thanks to a bullpen failure and some offensive ineptitude.

It happens.

The good thing about Tanaka was he settled in after that three-run home run and while he let some guys on base, he got himself out of trouble. He struck out 10 Orioles in seven innings of work and only gave up those three runs.

The Yankees scored two runs in the bottom of the second thanks to a home run by Carlos Beltran on an 84 mph changeup from Miguel Gonzalez and a home run by Kelly Johnson who hit a 91 mph fastball to right center. I only heard Johnson’s home run from John Sterling and it was “Kelly Kills It.” Really, John?…

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Game 9: Tanaka’s home debut

Masahiro Tanaka makes his Yankee Stadium debut tonight for the New York Yankees as the team plays the third game of its series against the Baltimore Orioles. The new pitcher for the Yankees has a tough test against a very good lineup.

Here are the lineups:

Baltimore Orioles:

  1. Nick Markakis – RF
  2. Delmon Young – DH
  3. Chris Davis – 1B
  4. Adam Jones – CF
  5. Matt Wieters – C
  6. Nelson Cruz – LF
  7. Steve Lombardozzi – 2B
  8. Ryan Flaherty – SS
  9. Jonathan Schoop – 3B

SP – Miguel Gonzalez

New York Yankees:

  1. Brett Gardner – CF
  2. Derek Jeter – SS
  3. Jacoby Ellsbury – DH
  4. Carlos Beltran – RF
  5. Brian McCann – C
  6. Alfonso Soriano – LF
  7. Kelly Johnson – 1B
  8. Brian Roberts – 2B
  9. Yangervis Solarte – 3B

SP – Masahiro Tanaka

Some things to look for:

  • Matt Wieters has an eight game hitting streak and loves hitting at Yankee Stadium.
  • Leading off the game or an inning, Brett Gardner is 0-11 with three walks and five strikeouts.
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Corners Cut By Ownership Already Hurting The Yankees

Baseball is a business, and the goal of a team is to make money. The Yankees are in a unique position where their revenue is so high that they can both maintain one of the biggest payrolls in the game, as well as make a ton of money. When the organization went on their spending spree this season, in spite of rumors of a $189 million budget, the message was the clear that the Steinbrenners wanted to put winning ahead of profit. The problem is, the Yankees are starting with a payroll in 2014 that’s nearly $30 million less than 2013, and for the first time in 15 years, the organization no longer has the largest payroll in baseball.

It’s hard to write this without sounding like a spoiled Yankee fan, but I truly believe the Steinbrenners don’t owe fans anything, and I’ve already talked about the brilliant business strategy of the fake budget. The Steinbrenners were able to revitalize the Yankee brand of spending and winning without increasing either, yet the media and fans are caught up in the $500 million investment they made this offseason.…

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Rivera, Hoffman Have New Reliever Awards Named After Them

From ESPN News Services:

Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman both put their names in the baseball record books, now Major League Baseball is putting their names on a new pair of awards.

Top relievers in each league will now be given either the “Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year Award” or the “Trevor Hoffman National League Reliever of the Year Award.”

Both retired closers spent their entire careers in just one league — Rivera pitched 19 seasons with the New York Yankees and Hoffman saved games for the San Diego Padres and Milwaukee Brewers over an 18-year career.

“Both Mariano and Trevor represented our sport magnificently on and off the mound and earned the universal respect of our fans in their legendary careers,” MLB commissioner Bud Selig said Wednesday. “I believe it is appropriate to redefine an existing award in honor of their contributions to baseball, and I am delighted that many of the most decorated relievers in history will select the winners.”

The new pair of awards will be voted on by a nine-man panel that consists of the four living Hall of Fame relievers (Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Rich “Goose” Gossage and Bruce Sutter) as well as Lee Smith, John Franco and Billy Wagner, who are each in the top five for career saves.…

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Yangervis Solarte At The Plate

(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

With all the Yankees’ major acquisitions this winter, it’s odd to be talking about a 26-year-old who has bounced around the minor leagues since 2006 and yet, here we are because journeyman Yangervis Solarte has been on a tear since spring training began. He batted .429 and had an OBP of .489. during camp and he has not slowed down yet. Since the start of the regular season, Solarte has produced a triple slash of .458/.519/.708 in 27 plate appearances.

Obviously, 27 plate appearances is an extremely small sample size but it got me thinking about whether Solarte could maintain somewhat respectable numbers because as we all know, players don’t usually maintain a .458 BA. So for this piece, I decided to take a look at his mechanics at the plate and to also look at how opposing pitchers are pitching to him so far and to see how well he’s making contact.

His Mechanics

Solarte has some solid mechanics that have helped him be successful thus far.…

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Quick hit: Austin Romine to AAA, Shane Green called up

With the injury and subsequent DL stint for David Robertson, the Yankee bullpen has had to work a little harder the past few days so the Yankees have optioned back-up catcher Austin Romine to Triple A Scranton and called up reliever Shane Greene.

Green and Preston Claiborne were the only guys on the 40-man roster and since this will hopefully only be a short term stint, the Yankees went with Greene. His Spring ERA was a lofty 4.70 in 7 2/3 innings of work but he struck out 10 and walked one batter.

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The Death of the Dynasty

Rivera4

For most of us, it’s easy to remember the magic and the dominance of the late 90′s Yankees, the teams that won four World Series in five years including three straight from 1998-2000. If you remember that then you definitely remember the day the Yankee Dynasty died on a November night in Arizona with the greatest closer of all-time doing the inexplicable and literally throwing the game away.

13 or so years later no team in Major League Baseball has been able to recapture the dominance those late 90′s Yankees teams including the Yankees themselves and unfortunately it doesn’t appear that they ever will again. The Yankees are a victim of their own past success and the way in which they have decided to do business ever since that fateful night in Phoenix. Due to the success of the past two decades, the standard has been set so high that the Yankees are incapable of accepting the notion of a few down years in order to rebuild.…

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