Jeter Departure Marks End of An Era and Tradition

This week’s new cycle as far as the Yankees are concerned will be entirely Jeter-centric as we collectively reminisce ad-nauseum over the great career of the iconic Yankee Captain. Jeter’s impending retirement marks the end of an era, an era defined by unprecedented success built around a foundation of homegrown talent commonly referred to as the “Core Four,” of which Jeter is the last remaining member. With all of the attempts to recount the best Jeter moments currently circulating the media and the interwebs, I figured I would seek some perspective from someone who had the good fortune of seeing basically all of them.

If you’re a Yankee fan that goes to game or watches them on TV, you’ve probably heard the pinstriped faithful chanting the names of players until they acknowledge them, in what has come to be known as “Roll Call.” However, what you may not know is that there is a man behind the chant, a man who whips the unwashed masses that refer to themselves as the “Bleacher Creatures” and who can be aptly described as the de facto leader of this group of die hards.…

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Game 158 Recap: Orioles 9 Yanks 5

Greene vs BAL

Pitched more like Browne today. Courtesy of Getty Images

It’s official.  The Yankees will not be participating in the postseason for the second straight year.  In the lone afternoon game of this final home series, they inched ahead early only to have their starting pitching blow up soon after and give away the lead in quick fashion.

It was a misleading start for Shane Greene if you were following on Gameday like I was.  He retired the first 2 innings in order and struck out 2 in the 2nd, but he really didn’t have great command and he was missing some spots.  That started to show through in the 3rd when he loaded the bases with 2 2-out walks before escaping.  It came bursting through in the 4th when the Orioles’ first 2 hitters got on with singles, a Ryan Flaherty bases loaded double gave them 3 runs, and 3 straight 2-out hits (single, triple, bunt single) made it a 6-run inning and ended Greene’s day.  …

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Game 158: Norris v. Greene

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Quick Hit: Yanks Set New Team Strikeout Record

From the “Small Morale Victories” department, the Yankees did set a new team record in last night’s game as their playoff chances were whittled down to the smallest possible speck of existence.  The 11 combined strikeouts by the pitching staff gave them 1,319 on the year, breaking the previous team record that was set 2 seasons ago.

That 1,319 total is good for 4th most in MLB this season, and the 551 that have come from the bullpen is the most in MLB by over 30.  The Yanks have 3 relief pitchers in the top 20 in K rate this year: Dellin Betances at 4 (39.6%), David Robertson at 10 (37.0%), and Shawn Kelley at 20 (30.7%).  That’s really impressive.  But it’s not just the relievers.  They’ve gotten plenty of punchouts from their starters as well.  Masahiro Tanaka still boasts a 26.3% K rate, Shane Greene has struck out over 1 batter per inning, CC Sabathia was doing the same before he got hurt, and Brandon McCarthy, David Phelps, and Michael Pineda have all turned in some very good strikeout nights.…

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Game 157 Recap: Orioles 5 Yankees 4

McCarthy vs BAL

Courtesy of the AP

Brandon McCarthy has been so good since joining the Yankees that you almost forget he had plenty of starts like last night’s before coming here.  He had them with such regularity for the D’backs that they traded him for 60 cents on the dollar.  That’s why he’s here in the first place.  It’s a tough way to end the year for him and it was a tough near-comeback loss for the Yankees to put them on the brink of official postseason elimination.

McCarthy’s problems came early and often.  He gave up a home run to Kelly Johnson to lead off the 2nd and surrendered another run in that inning on 3 singles.  Nick Markakis took him deep for a 2-run homer on a hanging curveball in the 4th, and Nelson Cruz completed the yardjob trifecta with a leadoff solo shot to left in the 5th.  McCarthy got tagged for 5 runs on 11 hits in 5.1 innings of work.  …

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Game 157: The Return Of Teix (Again, For The Umpteenth Time)

Give Mark Teixeira credit.  He isn’t taking the easy way out and shutting himself and his now officially fragile body down for the year.  He got a third cortisone injection and he’s back in the starting lineup tonight as the first baseman.  Here’s the full lineup:

1) Brett Gardner- CF
2) Derek Jeter- SS
3) Brian McCann- C
4) Chase Headley- 3B
5) Mark Teixeira- 1B
6) Chris Young- LF
7) Stephen Drew- 2B
8) Ichiro Suzuki- RF
9) Jose Pirela- DH

Brandon McCarthy gets the start for the Bombers as he continues his quest to get paaaaaiiiiiiiid this offseason.  This one’s to make 2 separate 3-game win streaks in 7 games.  Let’s go Yankees!

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Tuesday Afternoon Food For Thought: Looking Way Ahead To The 2015 Roster

This season is all but over and everybody’s attention is justifiably shifting to the upcoming offseason and the resulting 2015 season.  I’ve noticed an uptick in the comment sections recently on 2015 roster ideas, and I thought it would be a good idea to construct a logical starting point for any offseason strategy discussions.  Here’s what the 2015 Opening Day roster would look like if it was comprised only of players who would be definitely be on the 40-man roster or still with the organization next year.

C- Brian McCann
1B- Mark Teixeira
2B- Martin Prado
SS- Brendan Ryan
3B- Alex Rodriguez
LF- Brett Gardner
CF- Jacoby Ellsbury
RF- Ramon Flores
DH- Carlos Beltran

SP- Masahiro Tanaka
SP- Michael Pineda
SP- CC Sabathia
SP- David Phelps
SP- Shane Greene

BP- Dellin Betances, Shawn Kelley, Adam Warren, Preston Claiborne, Bryan MitchellJose Ramirez, Manny Banuelos

Bench- John Ryan Murphy, Jose Pirela, Zelous Wheeler, Zoilo Almonte (or Slade Heathcott)

Based on that, you can see how much work Cash has to do this offseason.  …

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Yanks Add Eury Perez, Possibly As More Than A Late-Season Stopgap

The Yankee outfield has gotten a little thin in the last few days with the loss of Jacoby Ellsbury and the apparent shutdown of Carlos Beltran due to injuries.  Brett Gardner appears to be playing in some substantial pain, at least that’s what it looked like to me on Saturday, and Chris Young has cooled down.  It was probably with those things in mind that the Yanks made a small move yesterday, claiming outfielder Eury Perez off waivers from Washington and jettisoning Josh Outman to clear a 40-man roster spot.

With only 13 Major League plate appearances to his name, Perez looks like the type of cheap, late-season addition designed only to ensure that the Yanks have enough warm bodies capable of playing the outfield over the next week.  He could actually be more than that and could have been claimed with more than only the next 6 games in mind.

For starters, Perez isn’t a late-20s Minor League lifer.  He’s 24 years old and has been a staple on recent top organizational prospect lists for the Nationals.  …

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Injury Updates: Tanaka, Teixeira, Beltran, Sabathia, Ellsbury

I’m really looking forward to the end of the season so I don’t have to do these posts anymore, but the season rolls on and so must the injury reports.

Masahiro Tanaka felt no pain or discomfort in his elbow yesterday after his return outing on Sunday.  He went through his normal next-day routine and all signs point to him being A-OK for his final start on Saturday.

Mark Teixeira received another cortisone injection in his right wrist on Sunday and said he could be back in the lineup as soon as tonight.  Apparently the first 2 injections were in a different part of his tendon sheath and this 3rd one was in a different spot, making it OK to do.

Carlos Beltran continues to sit out due to pain in his elbow, but said he’s not going to proceed with the surgery until after the end of the season.  Not sure I follow the logic there.

CC Sabathia played catch yesterday, the first time he’s had any kind of throwing activity since having the latest surgery on his knee.  …

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