Quick Hit: What’s Up With Ellsbury’s Oblique?

There hasn’t been a lot of new information on Jacoby Ellsbury‘s strained oblique since it was finally diagnosed as a strained oblique over a week ago.  The injury that we were initially told would only keep Ellsbury out for a few days was extended to a week after that diagnosis, and yesterday made it a full week without any baseball activities and no update on Ellsbury’s condition.

The one thing we have gotten in the last week has been Ellsbury’s statements downplaying the severity of the injury and reassuring everyone that he would be ready for Opening Day.  This would be good news if it were accompanied by some kind of update on his condition or a report that he had started swinging a bat again, but it hasn’t.  Via Chad Jennings, yesterday Ellsbury’s assurances were accompanied by this quote:

“I guess all I can tell is just how I feel each and every day.  But until I swing a bat, until I throw, until I do really explosive stuff, that will be the real test.

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Spring Training Game 22 Recap: WAS 7 NYY 6

Yankees Nationals Baseball

Courtesy of the AP

If Bryan Mitchell was going to make a move in the 5th starter race, today was the day for it to happen and the day it had to happen.  Adam Warren looked really good his last time out, so the job may be all but sewn up already.  But Esmil Rogers was pretty blah his last time out, so if there was a chance to jump him for the next in line if another injury were to occur (knock on wood) it was today.

Mitchell had 2/3 of a Major League outfield, the starting catcher catching, the backup catcher DH’ing, Garrett Jones at first, Aaron Judge in right, and a trio of non-starters at the other 3 infield spots, so it was quite the mish-mash in terms of a lineup.  That’ll happen when you’re playing on the other side of the state.  He turned in a pretty good performance in front of them, despite what the final numbers showed,  Whether it was enough to get him another turn in the rotation remains to be seen.…

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Stephen Drew, Brendan Ryan, Chris Young, And Learning A Lesson From Last Year

A few weeks ago, it seemed like there was a real chance for some change in the planned Opening Day roster construction for the Yankees.  Brendan Ryan was injured, Stephen Drew wasn’t playing all that well (obligatory SSS disclaimer), and both Jose Pirela and Rob Refsnyder were doing enough in the early going to make legitimate cases for consideration.

A few weeks later, that chance has evaporated completely.  Ryan has returned to game action, Drew has swung the bat a little better and basically been guaranteed the starting second base job by Joe, and Pirela will be out for an extended period of time after colliding with the outfield wall in yesterday’s game and being diagnosed with a concussion.  Barring any more unforeseen injuries, the Opening Day bench now looks as if it will be the rather bland group of Ryan, Chris Young, Garrett Jones, and John Ryan Murphy, with Drew at second.

There’s nothing wrong with any of that, and that’s coming from the guy who’s been openly campaigning for Ryan’s immediate dismissal from the team and for Drew to be penciled into his backup infielder spot to open up a job for Pirela or Refsnyder for a while.  …

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Spring Training Game 22: Yanks vs. Nats

Happy Monday. The Yankees will be facing off against the Washington Nationals today.

It seems the weather in Viera where the Nats play isn’t too nice at the moment and there’s a chance the game will be delayed or possibly canceled. – TARP’S COMING OFF (12:28 P.M.) – If it’s not delayed or postponed in any way, you can watch it on MLB Network with coverage beginning at 1 p.m.

Here’s the Yankees’ lineup:
Gardner LF
Young CF
McCann C
Jones 1B
Murphy DH
Ryan SS
Judge RF
Refsnyder 2B
Noonan 3B

Mitchell P

Here’s the Nats’ lineup:
Escobar 2B
Desmond SS
Harper RF
Zimmerman 1B
Ramos C
C.Robinson LF
Taylor CF
Ward 3B

Fister P

The Nats announced this morning that Max Scherzer, their latest and greatest free agent acquisition, will be starting on Opening Day. The Yankees still haven’t announced anything. We may not even have to tell you their decision because depending on the choice, it’s possible you will hear the collective groan from your house if it’s anyone other than Masahiro Tanaka.…

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IIATMS Top Moment #8: The Jeffrey Maier Home Run

Jeffrey Mair HR 1996

Screenshot courtesy of MLB.com

October 9, 1996.  Game 1 of the American League Championship Series.  New York Yankees versus Baltimore Orioles.  Every dynasty has to start somewhere.  The infamous play in the bottom of the 8th inning of this game may have been the moment that started the last great Yankee dynasty.

The game was a close one, with the Yankees trailing 4-3 heading into the bottom of the 8th.  They had gotten off to a quick lead with 1 run in each of the first 2 innings, but the Orioles scored runs in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 6th to take a 2-run lead into the final third of the game.  The Yankees chipped away with a run in the 7th and had baby-faced Rookie of the Year Derek Jeter leading off the bottom of the 8th against fireballer Armando Benitez.

Benitez, in what would become his calling card fashion, hurled a first-pitch fastball right down the middle of the plate to start the at-bat.  …

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Spring Training Game 21 Recap: NYM 6 NYY 0

CC vs NYM ST 2015

Courtesy of the AP

CC Sabathia was hitting the road for his second Spring Training start of 2015 this afternoon, and he was bringing his starting infield with him to Port St. Lucie to take on Matt Harvey and the Mets.  Harvey’s on a comeback trail of his own this spring, one that’s come with more positive fireworks thus far than Sabathia’s in terms of on-field results, but CC wasn’t buying into any local media-created storyline there.  He knows what really matters right now and that’s what he was keeping his focus on.

In terms of how successfully he achieved the goals he had for himself today, I’d say it was a mixed bag.  Sabathia once again showcased impressive velocity for this time of year, but his fastball command was a tick off and the Mets hitters made him pay for it on more than one occasion.  Their power display against the big guy was more than enough for them to cruise to victory behind Harvey and a missing Yankee offense.…

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Spring Training Game 21: CC vs. Harvey

CC

Get excited, everyone! We get to watch Matt Harvey pitch this afternoon! But not you, CC Sabathia. You don’t care about facing Harvey.

When asked yesterday if he had seen Harvey pitch, Sabathia apparently yawned according to the beat writers and then said, “Not really. I saw he started the All-Star Game and stuff, but no, sorry.” He was then asked if he was excited to see Harvey pitch, which seems like a silly question after he yawned in response to the previous one, and he said, “He’s not on my team. I’m curious to see how Tanaka looks. That’s my guy.”

You tell ‘em, CC. Although no offense to Sabathia, I am excited to see Matt Harvey pitch because the dude is really good.

As for our yawning, indifferent big man, his health is paramount in this start. Honestly, I feel like he can get lit up for six runs in two innings but if his knee feels fine in the morning, I will be okay with it.…

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Sunday Morning News And Notes: 3/22/15

Yesterday was a slow day around these parts.  Let’s play a little catch-up.

– The Yankees won their ST game yesterday afternoon, 3-2 over the Astros on a 3-run rally in the bottom of the 9th that was started by an Eddy Rodriguez 2-run double and capped by a Jake Cave walk-off sac fly.  Even in a game where the win doesn’t mean much, that’s pretty cool.

Michael Pineda was the starter yesterday and he struggled out of the gate, giving up 3 hits and 2 runs in the 1st inning before settling down and getting through 3.2 innings without further damage.  He struck out 6 and did not walk a batter, so I’ll chalk the runs up to a mistake pitch and not a real problem.  Big Mike is looking healthy and looking good this spring.

– Strong day from the bullpen behind Pineda.  Justin Wilson, Andrew Miller, Andrew Bailey, Nick Rumbelow, and Jacob Lindgren combined to throw 5.1 innings of scoreless, 1-hit ball with 8 strikeouts.  …

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Game Thread: Spring Training Game 20

There’s your starting lineup for this afternoon’s game against the Houston Astros.  It’s mostly regulars with the exception of Austin Romine getting the start at DH.  If that doesn’t scream “auditioning a guy for potential trade partners” then I don’t know what does.

Here’s your game thread for those who are watching.  I honestly have no idea what network the game is on, so if you do, feel free to educate the masses.

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