Quick Hit: Alfonso Soriano Released

This news isn’t that much of a surprise but Alfonso Soriano has been released by the Yankees. After being designated for assignment, none of the other 29 teams in the league picked up Soriano so now he’s available for the league minimum, if someone is so inclined to scoop him up as a bat off the bench down the stretch. At the time he was designated for assignment, Soriano also hinted that retirement is a possibility.

After making a splash last season, hitting 17 home runs after coming back to the Yankees, the 38-year-old struggled mightily in 2014 batting .221/.244/.367/.611 with six home runs and 23 RBI in 67 games. Soriano has batted .270/.319/.500/.819 with 412 home runs in his 16-year career.

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The Chase Whitley Experiment Has To End In The Second Half

Whitley vs BAL

Courtesy of Getty Images

I can’t imagine there was a scenario where Joe envisioned things being so bad in his rotation this year that he had to use Chase Whitley as a regular member of it.  Even the worst of your average worst-case scenarios don’t get that bad.  When CC Sabathia joined Michael Pineda and Ivan Nova on the DL in mid-May, that worst-case scenario came about in real life and the Yankees were forced to go to the Whitley well.  The move proved to be a good one for a while.  Whitley allowed 2 ER or less in 6 of his first 7 starts, 3 in the other, and gave the battered rotation a needed boost by eliminating walks and keeping the ball in the ballpark.

Right around the time that he got stretched out to a comfortable starter’s pitch count, however, the performance started to sour and sour in a hurry.  Whitley gave up 8 ER in only 3.1 innings against the Blue Jays on June 23rd, his first time facing a team for a second time, and followed that up by allowing 5 in 4+ innings against the Red Sox on June 29th.  …

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The 2014 Home Run Derby Open Thread

Greetings!

If you were planning on watching the Home Run Derby, why not comment about it here?

Here are the new rules per Baseball Tonight:

The thinking behind these changes is to make it so the guys participating in the derby aren’t so tired by the final round. As we famously watched in 2008, Josh Hamilton expended all of his energy in the first round by hitting about 1,000 monster home runs and then lost to Justin Morneau in the finals. This way, the guys who win the first round will be rewarded with a bye for the second round. Plus, instead of getting 10 outs, each hitter gets seven.

Here are the participants:

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Jose Bautista, Blue Jays (Team captain)
Adam Jones, Orioles
Brian Dozier, Twins
Yoenis Cespedes, A’s
Josh Donaldson, A’s

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies (Team captain)
Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins
Yasiel Puig, Dodgers
Todd Frazier, Reds
Justin Morneau, Rockies

So who do you have winning this thing?…

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Quick hit: Jeter’s last All-Star game

It was just announced that Derek Jeter will be starting at shortstop (of course) and leading off for the American League tomorrow night. This will set up a nice moment for Derek as he steps up to the plate for his last first time at the All-Star game and for his last last time. (Get it?)

Manager John Farrell told reporters gathered in Minnesota for the festivities that Jeter “sets the bar for what all players should aspire to,” and added that, “all fans will remember Jeter’s last All-Star game.”

Here’s the rest of the AL lineup:
Derek Jeter SS
Mike Trout LF
Robinson Cano 2B
Miguel Cabrera 1B
Jose Bautista RF
Nelson Cruz DH
Adam Jones CF
Josh Donaldson 3B
Salvador Perez C

That 3-4-5 is pretty scary in a good way.

Also, the starting pitchers have been announced for the game: Felix Hernandez will be starting for the American League and Adam Wainwright for the National League which is causing some controversy because a lot of folks believe Clayton Kershaw should be starting the game over Wainwright.…

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Monday Morning Musings After A Week Off

I got to watch the Germany-Brazil World Cup semifinal match on Tuesday in Germany at an outdoor hotel bar surrounded by German people.  Say what you want about the sport itself, but soccer fans are easily the most passionate, energetic sports fans in the world.  The amount of celebrating that was going on in the streets of Hannover after the game was similar to what we see in the US when major colleges win their football or basketball national championships.  And this game wasn’t even for a championship.  Soccer people just LOVE them some soccer.  I can’t think of a time in the last 5 years when a Yankee Stadium environment was even close to half as crazy as that scene.

Not that the Yankees have given the fans much reason to cheer this season.  Or last.  They’ve been just as bad and almost as boring as last year’s team, and they figure to get more boring in the second half now that Masahiro Tanaka is on the DL.  …

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Game 94: Whitley v. Gausman

In a scant few hours, the first half of the season will be over, and we will have a respite of four full days. Praise be to [insert deity/deities/nature/science/alien/spirits here].

New York Yankees Baltimore Orioles
Brett Gardner, CF Nick Markakis, RF
Derek Jeter, SS Steve Pearce, LF
Jacoby Ellsbury, DH Adam Jones, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B Nelson Cruz, DH
Brian McCann, C Chris Davis, 1B
Brian Roberts, 2B J.J. Hardy, SS
Ichiro Suzuki, RF Manny Machado, 3B
Kelly Johnson, LF Caleb Joseph, C
Yangervis Solarte, 3B Jonathan Schoop, 2B
Chase Whitley, SP Kevin Gausman, SP
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