Whither the 2015 Rotation

When it was initially reported that David Phelps complained of elbow soreness, a sense of surreal panic pervaded Yankees fans. It seemed a certainty that Phelps would join Ivan Nova and CC Sabathia on the “see you in 2015″ portion of the disabled list, with standing invites to Messrs Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda merely awaiting a signature. That pessimism has abated for at least a couple of weeks, however, as Phelps instead heads to the 15-day disabled list with elbow tendinitis – which may well be the best-case scenario for any reports of elbow pain. Despite the team’s solid play of late and mere one game deficit in the Wild Card race, this news forced me to think of the future; or, more specifically, the future of the Yankees rotation.

The 2015 Yankees have the aforementioned Nova, Sabathia, Tanaka, Pineda, and Phelps under team control for next season – a full starting five, at face value. Of course, face value is ultimately meaningless, as Nova is likely out until next summer, Sabathia’s balky knee may be career-threatening, and Tanaka and Pineda should be filed under “TBD.” I say this not with the intent of being a downer; rather, I say this as someone with a healthy amount of curiosity.…

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Game 112 Quick Recap: DET 4 NYY 3

Brian McCann, Hiroki Kuroda

Courtesy of the AP

The need for extra relief help is obvious when you look at the kind of length the Yankees have been getting from their rotation and got last night from Hiroki Kuroda.  But when it gets to extra innings and your last available option is Matt Daley, the writing’s kinda on the wall.  Daley gave up the game-losing dinger in the 12th to spoil a very winnable game.

I’m not sure how fair it is to reference the Yankees’ history against David Price when half their starting lineup was playing in the NL last year, but those new guys seemed to do just fine against him.  Brian McCann popped a solo HR off him in the 2nd and Martin Prado did the same in the 5th for 2 of the 3 New York runs.  Jacoby Ellsbury doubled in the third in the 3rd.

Hirok gave up a run in the 1st on a pair of singles and a sac fly, but was otherwise cruising early.  …

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Game 112: Price v. Kuroda

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Pregame Notes 8/5: “It’ll Never Be the Same”

When Dr. Neal ElAttrache went in to clean up CC Sabathia’s right knee last week, he made a discovery that led to more optimism for the Yankees’ lefthander: a bone spur.

How is that a good thing?

“[The doctor] got in there and saw it, and was able to shave that out of there,” Sabathia said. “I think that was good – having him go in there and at least get a scope in there and see what is going on, try and put a plan together going forward.”

The removed bone spur wasn’t initially found in Sabathia’s MRI, but represents a sense of optimism in the future, that his knee is completely clean. More so, he was able to avoid microfracture surgery, saying the procedure “isn’t an option” considering it would likely mark the end of his career.

That doesn’t mean all Sabathia’s problems will dissipate, though.

“I’m always going to need something,” Sabathia said. “Whether it’s getting it drained, or PRP shots, or something, going forward there’s always something I’m going to need to do.…

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Can Jeter reach another milestone vs David Price?

Derek Jeter hits a home run off David Price for his 3,000th career hit on July 9, 2011. (Photo: MLB)

Derek Jeter hits a home run off David Price for his 3,000th career hit on July 9, 2011. (Photo: MLB)

How fitting is it that as Derek Jeter approaches yet another milestone – he is three hits away from tying Honus Wagner for sixth place on the all-time list – the pitcher on the mound tonight in the Bronx will be David Price?

Whether by ironic fate or mere coincidence, Jeter has had his share of memorable at-bats against the former Cy Young Award winner.

Most fans remember that Jeter’s epic 3,000th hit – a home run on July 9, 2011 – came at the expense of the lefty ace, but that is not the only time Price has been at the center of a Jeter highlight reel. Here are some of the other milestone hits by Jeter during their matchups:

•  Jeter tied Lou Gehrig for the most career hits at the old Yankee Stadium on September 14, 2008 when he hit a solo homer in the fifth inning off the rookie Price (who was making his major-league debut).…

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Report: Nationals Claim Matt Thornton Off Waivers (UPDATED)

Well that’s a helluva thing.  I didn’t even know Thornton was put on waivers.  But he was, the Nationals put a claim on him, and the Yankees didn’t pull him back, so now he and the rest of his contract are off to the nation’s capital.

I admittedly was much less of a fan of Thornton than others, but his removal from the bullpen mix does leave Joe without the matchup lefty option he loves to have.  Short-term solution: BRING ME PAT VENDITTE!!!  Slightly longer-term solution: BRING ME JACOB LINDGREN!!!

** UPDATE 2:24 PM- Via Dan Barbarisi, lefty Rich Hill will be coming up to take Thornton’s roster spot.  Needless to say, he is not Venditte or Lindgren. **

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Ichiro’s roster spot

Ichiro Suzuki is not a player that is easy to categorize or capture in words of objectivity. He carries himself like a proud Japanese warrior from a different time. And despite the sometimes one-dimensional side of his hitting, he has had a great career. He is nearly the same age as Derek Jeter and should be venerated for the career he has compiled. Instead, he has become the last man on the New York Yankees’ 25-man roster and it is up for debate if he should even be in the pecking order at all.

Ichiro has not been a good player since 2010. He still shows flashes of his old self like when he joined the Yankees in 2012 and the first month of his 2014 season. The rest is a whole bunch of mediocrity that rests more on his reputation than on his play.

His 2014 is playing out very similarly to his 2013–except that it might be worse. He started both seasons being fairly productive and then tanked right about the same time.…

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Quick Hit: Kelley Coming Back Around

The Yankees were working with a short bullpen last night, as they always seem to be these days when they routinely get 4-6 innings from their starters.  Dellin Betances was unavailable after pitching in the last 2 games and Joe had to find a new way to build his bridge to David Robertson.  That task was given to Shawn Kelley, who retired the side in order in the 8th, successfully making the handoff to D-Rob in a tight 1-run game.

It may not have seemed like much at the time, but Kelley’s outing last night was the latest in a long line of strong performances.  He’s pitched to a 9.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 14 K line over his last 10 appearances, and has allowed only 2 runs with 22 strikeouts over 13.1 IP since the start of July.  This comes on the heels of a very rough June that found him more often than not fighting to command his fastball.  …

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Memo To Teix: Keep Those Glucose Levels Up

Come on, Mark.  Lightheaded before the game?  You’re a professional athlete.  Your body is your temple, your moneymaker.  You can’t be letting those blood sugar levels get low that close to game time. Not when you’re the honey guy.

Teix-bees

Let’s not let this happen again.  Have your wife pack you a PB&J or something before you head to the park today.  Sore wrists and tight hamstrings I can deal with.  Lightheadedness not so much.  Be better, Mark.  Be better.

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