Quick hit: Tanaka to start Wednesday, Heathcott to 15-day DL

From Bryan Hoch:

Masahiro Tanaka will be activated from the disabled list to start on Wednesday against the Mariners in Seattle, manager Joe Girardi said.

 

Slade Heathcott has been diagnosed with a Grade 2 strain of his right quadriceps and will be placed on the disabled list. Ramon Flores will join the Yankees Saturday from Triple-A.

Girardi told reporters that Tanaka’s pitch limit is around 80. He also said that Heathcott may be out a while, maybe for as long as a month. His injury is similar to the one Chris Capuano suffered earlier this season. Continue reading Quick hit: Tanaka to start Wednesday, Heathcott to 15-day DL

Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 5/29/15

Rangers Game 7 tonight, flying home to see the family this weekend, so I’ll be mostly out of commish until early next week.  Now onto the links.

– On Tuesday, Mike Axisa of RAB commented on the need for the Yankees’ bullpen and defense to improve.  Never good when your anticipated strengths become your biggest weaknesses.

– Chad Jennings of LoHud got some thoughts from Slade Heathcott, his teammates, and his manager on Heathcott’s strong early showing.

– Matt Provenzano of Pinstripe Alley mused on the potential need for a rotation rental at some point and some ideal targets if the Yankees decide to go shopping on the trade market.

– On Wednesday, Andrew Marchand discussed Alex Rodriguez’s sustained hot start and above-average production.

– On Thursday, el duque of It Is High… wondered if Carlos Beltran could continue to stay healthy and productive or if he’s doomed to eventual injury/regression.

– William Juliano of The Captain’s Blog looked deeper into the “bad contract” perception that’s crept over A-Rod and Teix over the years, and showed how well they’re living up to those contracts. Continue reading Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 5/29/15

How Soon Should We Expect Luis Severino?

I’m not a big minor league guy, so I’m not here to tell you whether or not Luis Severino will be the next Pedro Martinez or another busted prospect. However, the way the Yankees have handled Severino has certainly peaked my interest.

Severino was promoted to Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre a little faster than expected. He only pitched 67.2 innings at Single-A Charleston before getting promoted, 20.2 innings at Single-A + Tampa and 63 innings at Double-A Trenton before this promotion.

Severino is only 21 years old and moving through the system at a very rapid pace. Meanwhile, another top prospect Aaron Judge has almost 200 very productive at-bats at Trenton and is already 23, but has not been promoted yet. Is it because the Yankees have a logjam in the outfield and see no way Judge makes MLB this season? On the other side of the coin, the Yankees have very little pitching depth and maybe they see Severino making a contribution in the Bronx this season?

Severino seems to be the exception for the Yankees in how quickly they move prospects. I already mentioned Judge, and Rob Refsynder still can’t get a chance even with Stephen Drew looking like he is swinging at wiffle balls four at-bats a game. Also, even though Jacob Lindgren got promoted he hasn’t seen any significant innings. To me, it says a whole lot about how the Yankees feel about Severino and that they think he’s truly legit.

The weird thing is every time I check out Severino’s stats it seems like the Yankees never let him surpass the 80 pitch mark. I suppose they’re doing it for health reasons, although who knows if that actually helps anything. If the Yankees wanted him starting in the big leagues this season they would have to let him pitch deep into games.

Maybe they want Severino to help out a struggling middle relief? For what it’s worth, ESPN’s Keith Law has always seen him as a reliever, but the Yankees have always maintained that he will be a starter. The Yankees certainly don’t really need another Joba Chamberlain situation. However, if the middle relief is still bad, and the Yankees are in the race in September, it might not be the worst idea.

Perhaps, they do see Severino as a starting pitcher injury away from joining the MLB rotation. Masahiro Tanaka is joining the rotation next week and hopefully Chris Capuano is designated for assignment. Although, with the Yankees paying him $5 million this season I have my doubts. That’s probably the same reason Drew is still employed. Wasting $10 million on those two players for a cost-cutting team is a travesty.

The Yankees may want to move Adam Warren to the bullpen when Ivan Nova is ready to come back. If they do that and another starting pitcher goes down maybe Severino gets promoted over Bryan Mitchell. It does not add up that the Yankees are moving him this quickly without any possible plans of him reaching the Bronx this season. How this plays out the rest of the season will be very interesting. Continue reading How Soon Should We Expect Luis Severino?

About Last Night: One bad pitch

Last night’s game against Oakland was frustrating for a few reasons.

1) The A’s aren’t good (And I can already hear people saying, “Well, the Yankees aren’t good either!!” Just save it. The A’s are 18-32. That’s really bad.)
2) They were 2-15 in one run games going into last night’s game and now they’re 3-15. Thanks a lot, CC Sabathia and David Carpenter!
3) We had to stay up late to watch the sixth and seventh innings unfold. At least when it’s an east coast game or a home game, we’re not up past midnight.

In my opinion, and we can argue about this in the comment’s section if you’d like, nothing is more annoying than watching a pitcher throw a meatball to a hitter that results in a two-run, game-tying home run. Especially when that home run comes after a big strikeout and there’s a possiblity of getting out of the inning unscathed.

Here’s the 83 m.p.h. changeup CC Sabathia threw to Brett Lawrie.

trumedia_baseball_heatmap (54)

Sigh.

And CC was doing okay up to that point. Sure, he had some scary moments, but he was able to get out of them and it looked like he’d come away with a chance to win the game, and then that pitch happened.

He also gave up a wallscraper home run to Billy Burns earlier in the game to cut the Yankees’ lead to 3-1. That one was on a 78 mph slider.

trumedia_baseball_heatmap (55)

Sabathia is now 2-7 on the year. Continue reading About Last Night: One bad pitch

Game 48 Recap: Athletics 5 Yankees 4

[caption id="attachment_75316" align="aligncenter" width="525"]CC vs OAK II The moment the game was lost. Courtesy of the AP[/caption]

Well that was a crappy loss.  The Yankees were in a good position to get a series-opening win in Oakland last night, up multiple runs heading into the game’s later innings.  But a few bad pitches and a really horrible bullpen decision fueled an A’s comeback and got the Bombers’ West Coast trip off to a tough start.

It wasn’t the 1st inning, but Brian McCann got the scoring off to an early start with a 1-out solo home run in the top of the 2nd.  He drove in the Yankees’ second run in the top of the 4th too.  Alex Rodriguez started the inning off with a single, moved to second on Mark Teixeira‘s walk, and came around to score on Mccann’s base hit up the middle.  Close play at the plate, but A-Rod’s blazing speed around third was enough to get him in.  There was still 2 on and nobody out after the replay, but the Yanks would not get any more runs in the inning.

They didn’t need more early on with the way CC Sabathia was pitching.  The A’s hitters came out swinging and the big fella came out locating his fastball well.  He retired the first 6 batters he faced, 5 of those outs coming on the ground.  He worked into some bases loaded trouble in the 3rd and dialed the heater up a bit to get 2 big strikeouts.  He kept things scoreless until 2 outs in the bottom of the 5th, when he hung an offspeed pitch to Billy Burns.  That put Oakland on the board, but thanks to an A-Rod sac fly in the top half the lead remained 2.

Then things really started getting troublesome in the 6th.  Sabathia gave up a leadoff double to Ben Zobrist, got 2 outs to set up the escape, and Brett Lawrie stepped in against him for the third time.  CC started him off with a changeup for ball 1, then doubled up on the changeup and left it in the meaty part of the strike zone.  Lawrie didn’t miss it and hit it for a game-tying 2-run home run.  It was the first real blemish on what was an otherwise solid start for Sabathia.

The next one came in the 7th when Joe went to the ‘pen after a leadoff single and a walk ended CC’s night.  He was short on available arms and so it was David Carpenter who got the call.  Things went about as predictably as they could have with Carpenter this year.  He got 1 out, then gave up a single to load the bases and a walk to score the go-ahead run.  Needing a groundball to try to get out of the inning, Billy Butler hit a deep sac fly for an insurance run.  What can you say at this point?  Carpenter blows.

Despite that fact, the Yankees still could have won the game if their offense could have done a little more.  Not scoring more runs in the 4th was bad.  Wasting a leadoff single and 2 men on in the 6th was bad.  Garrett Jones and Brett Gardner tried to get something going with a 2-out walk (Jones) and double (Gardner) to bring the Yankees back within 1, but Chase Headley hit one to the warning track for the game’s final out.  Pretty symbolic of the whole game for the offense. Continue reading Game 48 Recap: Athletics 5 Yankees 4

Game 48: Sabathia vs. Graveman

Welcome to tonight’s game thread. Here are the lineups:

New York Yankees Oakland A’s
Brett Gardner, LF Billy Burns, CF
Chase Headley, 3B Marcus Semien, SS
Alex Rodriguez, DH Ben Zobrist, 2B
Mark Teixeira, 1B Billy Butler, DH
Brian McCann, C Stephen Vogt, 1B
Carlos Beltran, RF Brett Lawrie, 3B
Stephen Drew, 2B Josh Reddick, RF
Chris Young, CF Josh Phegley, C
Didi Gregorius, SS Mark Canha, LF
CC Sabathia, SP Kendall Graveman, SP

Enjoy the game! Continue reading Game 48: Sabathia vs. Graveman

Thursday Afternoon News and Notes: 5/28/15

Sabathia vs DET

Things are kind of slow around here so we’re doing a news and notes post to hold us over until the game thread later on tonight. Stupid west coast games.

  • Nice! I had suggested this on Twitter last week and I also think I did earlier in the season or possibly during Spring Training: Andy Pettitte is in contact with CC Sabathia and helping him with his confidence. Can Andy hang out with the team during the summer and talk CC’s ear off?
  • The AL East is putrid and Bill Madden thinks the Yankees have plenty of time to be the best of the worst which is funny because in July 2009, when the Yankees were only 2 or 3 games out of the division lead, he declared they didn’t have a chance to win the East.
  • Alex Rodriguez is amazing and he’s a leader. How hard was this to write? Poor Andrew Marchand. Kidding!
  • A-Rod and Mark Teixeira are leading the Yankees right now. Who would have guessed it?!
  • The Yankees aren’t sure when Masahiro Tanaka will pitch next. Hmmm, maybe figure that out at some point soon?
  • I can’t believe this happened but an article by Bob Klapisch didn’t make me want to bash my head into a wall. It’s a miracle in late May!
  • And just in case you missed this insanity yesterday, Buster Olney thinks A-Rod should be the Marlins’ next manager. Obviously there are a lot of problems and roadblocks that would prevent it from happening anytime soon BUT he is right about one thing, Alex would probably make a great addition to a coaching staff somewhere after he’s done as a player.
  • In non-Yankee related news, Rick Porcello is not making Red Sox Nation very happy right now.
  • The Oakland A’s are 2-15 in one run games. Baseball Nation’s Grant Brisbee takes us through their struggles.
  • Hopefully the Yankees won’t help them out this weekend.
  • One final note: Player A is hitting: .276/.374/566 11 HR 26 RBI and Player B: .216/.303/.377 6 HR 18 RBI. Who are they? Leave your answers below.

Continue reading Thursday Afternoon News and Notes: 5/28/15

Quick hit: Severino promoted to Triple A

So this happened:

And within two seconds of this tweet going up, I saw it retweeted four times and nearly everyone who retweeted said, “Woo!”

In case you’re not familiar with the 21 year-old right hander, here’s how Severino’s been doing so far this season:

severinostats

More info on Severino:

  • He has three pitches. His two strongest are his fastball and his changeup. There’s also a nice gap in velocity between the fastball and change which flummoxes some hitters. His third, and weakest pitch, according to scouts, is his slider. It’s not as consistent as his fastball or his change and it tends to get him into trouble when it’s not working.
  • Another thing scouts seem to worry about with Severino is his size. 6’0″ and 195 is pretty big but Severino appears smaller (skinnier) than that and they often wonder if his body type would hold up after a full season of 200+ innings.
  • A lot of people have high hopes for him though and he’s enjoyed a fairly rapid ascend through the ranks.
  • Severino struck out a career-high nine batters in five innings in a 9-3 win over Akron on Tuesday. And even though it was Severino’s first win since April 19, he’s been pitching better than his 2-2 record.
  • It will be exciting to see what Severino does at AAA.

    Continue reading Quick hit: Severino promoted to Triple A

Musings after a sweep and before a West Coast trip

So that was series against the Royals was something, right?

After the way the Yankees were embarrassed by the Texas Rangers this past weekend, I was almost positive that the Royals would wipe the floor with them. I usually don’t like being wrong but I was so glad to be wrong this time.

What a fun three games to watch. There weren’t really any stressful or upsetting moments. The Yankees took the lead in the first two games and even in yesterday’s game, with Pineda on the mound, you felt that if he held the Royals to the one run, the Yankees could claw their way back into the game. Okay, that’s a bit hyperbolic. Overcoming a one-run lead isn’t that hard to do, usually. And who was the guy to give the Yankees the lead and ultimately the win? Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez who is now only 19 hits away from 3,000.

His performance so far this season must be driving certain New York area writers completely bonkers. They probably loathe having to write positive pieces on Alex. I, for one, am enjoying every minute of this. I really wish people would vote for him to be the starting DH at the All-Star game because that would make a lot of heads explode. I saw some results yesterday and even though Alex is not in the lead, he is ahead of David Ortiz. Yeah, suck it, Big Papi.

Sorry.

So the Yankees are embarking on their first west coast trip of the year. They’ll be in Oakland for four games and Seattle for three. Oakland is having a tough season so naturally, the Yankees will have a problem there. I’m thinking a split.

Seattle nearly blew a tough game on Tuesday against the Rays. Fernando Rodney coughed up a 6-3 lead and the game went into extra innings. The Mariners prevailed when Kyle Seager hit a home run to put them up 7-6. And then yesterday, there was a pitcher’s duel between King Felix and Chris Archer, but as soon as Archer came out of the game – he was up above 90 pitches I believe – Nelson Cruz hit a home run. Oops.

Speaking of Nelson Cruz. Isn’t it funny how people never mention steroids when they talk about him? Yeah. Amazing how that works.

Robinson Cano is batting .253/.296/.333/.630 and has one home run. That’s not a typo. He hit his only home run on April 14 on a 79 mph curveball from David Huff. He’s averaging a home run every 186 at bats at this rate.

I just totally jinxed the Yankee pitchers. Cano is now going to have a Prince Fielder-esque series against them. I’m so sorry.

Oh, my cousin went to yesterday’s game and Chase Headley hit her with a foul ball in the seventh inning. (You can fast forward to the :40 mark. Sorry for my big mouth.)

The funny thing about that is she wanted me to go to the game with her. If I had, I could have been the one who got hit with a Headley foul ball. I always miss the good stuff.

15 years ago tonight, I attended a Red Sox-Yankees game. It was a Sunday Night game (of course) and the starting pitchers were Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez. It was a pitcher’s duel and the Red Sox ended up winning because Trot Nixon hit a two-run home run in the top of the ninth off Clemens. That was an annoying game.

Fun fact: The Yankees had four hits off Pedro that night. Derek Jeter had three of them. Ricky Ledee was the other one. Pedro hit two batters – Jorge Posada and Chuck Knoblauch.

Another fun fact: The number one song 15 years ago today was “Maria Maria” by Santana featuring The Product G&B. It was number one for 10 weeks.

I went to the game the following afternoon. Andy Pettitte pitched a complete game and beat Oakland.

Those were the days.
Continue reading Musings after a sweep and before a West Coast trip