A Refresher Course On Zelous Wheeler, Newest Yankee Call-Up

Zelous Wheeler

Courtesy of the AP

It took 5 straight losses, 9 of 11, and dropping below .500, but the Yankees finally decided to make a move to attempt to help their floundering offense.  As first reported by Donnie Collins and later confirmed and elaborated on by Chad Jennings, last night Zelous Wheeler was called up from Triple-A to join the team in Minnesota.  He will be available for, and possibly playing in, tonight’s game.  No corresponding move has been announced yet, so we still don’t know who’s gone.  That may be something the team is still figuring out.  Because Wheeler needs a 25 and 40-man roster spot, there could be a couple of moving pieces here.

For those unfamiliar, Wheeler is a 27-year-old utility man who’s spent the entire season thus far in Triple-A after receiving a MiL invite to spring camp.  Drafted by the Brewers in the 19th round of the 2007 draft, Wheeler, like Yangervis Solarte before this season, has spent all of his 8-year pro career in the Minors.  …

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Quick Hit: Today’s Lineup

It isn’t pretty.  Here’s the lineup the Yankees will go to battle with today:

1) Gardner- LF
2) Jeter- SS
3) McCann- C
4) Beltran- DH
5) Johnson- 1B
6) Soriano- RF
7) Ichiro- CF
8) Roberts- 2B
9) Solarte- 3B

SP) Nuno

Via the beat reporters, Teix had his left knee drained after last night’s game and so Joe wanted to give him a day off, and Jacoby Ellsbury is out today with what’s being called “general soreness”.  Joe described him as “pretty beat up” when he talked to reporters earlier.

The betting line for runs scored today is 1.5.  Who wants that action?

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Reviewing The Yankees’ Fake Options To Improve The Offense

Jose Molina, Brett Gardner

If you had a ghost runner, you could try again. Courtesy of the AP

I tried to be level-headed and calm about dissecting the real options the Yankees have in front of them to get something going offensively and look where that got us.  With 4 hits in the next 9 innings and only 1 run scored, that run scoring not because somebody came up with a big hit with runners in scoring position, but because the defender who caught a pop up accidentally hit the baserunner trying to advance to second with his throw.  The Yankees had 1 run scored and 0 runs batted in last night, and if I’m being honest, I’m afraid they won’t have the stones to do any of the 3 options I covered yesterday.  So screw it, let’s investigate some “other” ways they can try to jump start the offense.

Cork All The Bats

Do hitters still cork bats?  Is that a thing?  Or is there so much time being spent trying to figure out how to stay ahead of the drug tests that guys don’t have the time to cork a bat anymore?  …

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International Free Agency Primer: Spend, Spend, Spend!

Today might be one of the most significant days for the future of the Yankees franchise… but we likely won’t know if that is true for another 7-10 years.

July 2 marks the start of the international free agent signing period. Beginning today and through June 15, 2015, amateur players from outside the U.S. and Canada are eligible to sign contracts with a major-league club. Players must be at least 16 years old or turn 16 by September 1 in order to sign a contract.

Under the current collective bargaining agreement, teams have an international spending budget that is based on the reverse order of the previous season’s standings. Teams can exceed their spending pool but incur penalties if they do so.

The Yankees have been assigned $2,193,100 to spend on international bonuses this year, but according to multiple reports, are expected to far exceed that number.

Most sources indicate the Yankees are willing to spend roughly $15 million in the international free agent market, which would result in $10-15 million in tax penalties and the inability to sign any players for more than $300,000 over the next two signing periods.…

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Game 82 – Bolster our Kuroding hopes

The New York Yankees are doing a great job of bolstering the hopes of the teams beneath them in the standings, allowing the Red Sox and Rays to beat them at home, the place that to paraphrase Madonna, “Used to be their playground.” And with the Blue Jays and Orioles politely waiting for the aging Yankees to keep up, the old team bends with hands on its knees and waves them on with a gasp for air..

Ah, there was a lot of pathos in that first paragraph, eh? The, “Eh,” is for our Canadian friends on their big holiday today. The Blue Jays already won on Canada Day, so enjoy a frosty beverage and enjoy the fireworks. Yankee fans, meanwhile, will watch the long, lanky, lefty pitcher (alliteration!) on the other team today and wonder how Brian Cashman can somehow pry him away without much to offer in trade value.

Heck, maybe the team will win tonight and blow some thrills the fans’ way.…

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Yankees’ First Half By The Numbers: Pitching

In the beginning of April, the future looked bright for the Yankees’ pitching staff: Michael Pineda was back and doing well, Ivan Nova was holding his own, newcomer Masahiro Tanaka was impressing everyone and even the old guard of CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda, while not exactly doing great, we’re at least staying healthy.

Then it all went to hell in a handbasket. Pineda was suspended later in the month for being caught with pine tar on his person twice, Nova tore his UCL and had Tommy John surgery, it was discovered that Sabathia had a degenerative knee injury, oh, and just for good measure, Pineda injured himself while he was suspended and has been missing ever since.

Now it’s July 1 and the starting rotation has David Phelps, Chase Whitley and Vidal Nuno in it; Pineda is still a long way from coming back and Sabathia will be making a minor league start this week.

So how have the Yankees’ patchwork rotation and relievers done so far?…

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Yankees’ First Half By The Numbers: Offense

It’s July 1 and your 2014 New York Yankees are a mediocre 41-40. Luckily for them, the rest of the AL East isn’t exactly setting the world on fire so they’re still very much in the thick of things. So far this season the Yankees have scored 326 runs, have allowed 359 runs and according to their Pythagorean W-L (37-44), they should be doing worse than 41-40.

It’s been a very streaky first half for both the team as a whole and for some of the batters so let’s take a look at the offense after their first 81 games.

In Pictures

Here is how they’re hitting as a whole:

hit-chart (40)

Here’s how the lefties are doing:

hit-chart (41)

Here’s how the righties are doing:

hit-chart (42)

How the team is doing against lefty pitchers:

hit-chart (43)

How they’re doing against righty pitchers:

hit-chart (44)

Here’s their best hitter’s heat map for the first half (regulars with over 250 AB):
strike-zone (35)

Here’s their worst hitter’s heat map for the first half (regulars with over 250 AB):
strike-zone (33)

Here’s where their first half home run leader likes his pitches:

strike-zone (34)

By The Numbers

Lefty batters (with CC Sabathia‘s 2 PA’s included) are batting .256/.327/.403/.730 with a .290 BABIP, .321 wOBA and .147 ISO.…

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