Updated: MLBAM Has iTunes Remove Fan Podcasts from Directory, Including the IIATMS Podcast

I did not notice it until Stacey sent an email around, but I received this email this morning:

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 11.06.01 AM

Presumably, any podcast with team names in it were put on some ridiculous hit list by some incredibly stupid MLBAM employee, and given to iTunes. However, it’s unclear exactly what the criteria was, because Aaron Gleeman’s Gleeman and the Geek podcast was also taken down.

Rest assured, the podcast is still available on our publishing service, and embedded here on the blog. You can grab our RSS feed here.

We will absolutely speak more about this on the podcast tonight, but I’d like to add one quick thought right now: This is an incredibly stupid move by Major League Baseball. Someone over there just does not understand what makes their game a multi-billion dollar industry. Our podcast (and blog) is a passion project that makes no real money, provides free advertising for the New York Yankees and Major League Baseball, and (we hope) helps keep thousands of passionate Yankee fans engaged in the game they love.…

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Derek Jeter And The Fastball

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Even when Derek Jeter used to struggle, he was hardly ever challenged with fastballs. Even if the shortstop’s bat speed slowed down, being late on a fastball with his type of swing was usually good enough to send the ball to right-field. Now that Jeter is approaching 40-years-old, pitchers are challenging him more than ever. But despite his opposite field swing, Jeter is getting beat by the velocity.

According to BrooksBaseball, Jeter has seen 178 four-seam fastballs and 108 sinkers out of 431 pitches (66% fastballs) so far. That number has gone up as teams have seen Jeter struggle against the pitch, and in the last series against the Rays, Jeter saw 31 four-seamers, sinkers, and cutters out of 38 pitches. 8 of these pitches were fouled off and another 8 were put in play, 5 of which were ground ball outs and 3 were fly ball outs. The good news is that Jeter swung and missed at just 2 of these fastballs.…

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The Maturation Of Dellin Betances

Betances vs LAA

Courtesy of Getty Images

He toiled away in the Minors for so long that I didn’t even consider him a prospect anymore coming into this season.  If anything, Dellin Betances was still a project at 25 years old and turning 26 before Opening Day.  Despite being in the Yankee system since 2006 and making his Major League debut in 2011, Betances only had 7.2 innings pitched in 8 games in his Major League career.  Once thought of as a potential ace starting pitching prospect, the Yankees finally gave up on that dream early last season and converted Betances to a full-time relief role.

While he did flourish in the role, Betances’ lack of experience in it combined with his wildly inconsistent command and tendency to fall apart when things started going wrong made him far from a sure thing as a reliable Major League reliever.  Joe took him out of camp mostly because he did earn it with a strong performance but partially because this year was the final year for Betances to show something.  …

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Game 32: Kuroda vs Wilson

Welcome to tonight’s game thread.

Here are the lineups:

YANKEES
Ellsbury CF
Jeter SS
Beltran RF
Teixeira 1B
Soriano DH
McCann C
Solarte 3B
Gardner LF
Roberts 2B

ANGELS
Aybar SS
Trout CF
Pujols 1B
Kendrick 2B
Stewart 3B
Ibanez DH
Green LF
Conger C
Cowgill RF

Pitching matchup: Kuroda vs. Wilson

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Masahiro Tanaka’s Home Run Issue

Masahiro Tanaka has been everything that the Yankees could have dreamed of since coming over from Japan. He has been the unquestioned ace of the staff so far, and is currently the only reliable starting pitcher the Yankees have.

Even without his best stuff in his last two starts, Tanaka kept the Yankees in the game and allowed them to win it. He has made hitters look foolish once they have gotten to two strikes with his nasty splitter. Tanaka is 4-0 with a 2.53 ERA and 10.76 strikeouts per nine innings.

However, Tanaka has given up far too many home runs this season, which is something that could get him in trouble if he does not correct it. Tanaka has allowed seven home runs in his six starts this season and has an incredibly high 21.9 percent HR/FB ratio.

Since Tanaka has walked so few batters, the home runs have not hurt him too much. Six out of the seven home runs have been solo shots.…

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Has Velocity Improvement Helped Phelps In 2014?

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images North America

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images North America

David Phelps remains one of the most overlooked pieces of the Yankees’ pitching staff. In 2012, Phelps put together a solid rookie season where he pitched to a 3.34 ERA in 99.2 innings. His 8.7 K/9 that year surprised most fans, as he was hardly a strikeout pitcher in the minor leagues. In 2013, Phelps struggled in the beginning of the season, but once he moved to the rotation, the right-hander only had two truly poor starts out of twelve games. Phelps again opened up the 2014 season with some rough appearances out of the bullpen, but he’s since been extremely efficient as a reliever, and showed last night that he can still remain efficient as a starter.

What’s made Phelps a bigger success than we expected were the strikeouts. Despite the unusual uptick in his rookie season, Phelps has continued to put together above-average strikeout numbers. The pitcher earns these strikeouts in a number of ways, as he sports a good changeup and a strong curveball, but Phelps does not have much of a swing and miss pitch.…

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Is Carlos Beltran Slumping Or Not?

(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod.  Stats have not been updated to include last night’s game, but it’s all good because Beltran didn’t play last night)

The recent dearth of offense from the revamped lineup has been driven primarily by the lack of production from the middle of the lineup.  Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann, and Alfonso Soriano have been swinging cold bats for the better part of the last 2 weeks, and there simply hasn’t been enough production from the other 6 spots in the batting order to make up for that.  McCann and Soriano have never really found their stride since Opening Day, even with a few big power days mixed in, but Beltran was arguably the best hitter in the lineup for the first few weeks.  He’s cooled down to the point of being frigid at the plate, and with him being older and having a history of leg problems, I thought it was worth investigating the legitimacy of his downtrend in production similar to how I looked at Derek Jeter over the weekend.…

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