The expandables: Who will the Yankees call up for September?

We are two days away from that wacky time of year when team active rosters can expand from 25 to any amount from 26 to forty. If your team is out of the chase, you can call up a bunch of prospects you want to look at, but as Joe Girardi has said in the past, September is not the time for auditions when in a race to make the playoffs. While the Yankees are currently racing like Jeff Gordon trying to make the last four laps on bald tires, they are still giving it their best shot. That said, don’t expect any fun prospect porn from the Yankees.

First of all, you can only bring up players from your 40-man roster (I’ve read the actual MLB rules here and they are a bit ambiguous). So those of you hoping for a fun glimpse of Rob Refsnyder or even Pat Venditte will be disappointed unless the Yankees clear room on the 40-man roster.…

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Game 134 Quick Recap: TOR 2 NYY 0

That about sums it up today.  Nothing more needs to be said.  Personally, I’m glad I spent my day getting my oil changed and making moving runs to the new place.  Watching this play out on Gamecast would have been a million times more aggravating than trying to take apart sturdy kitchen table legs without the allen wrench that I needed.

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Game 134: Pineda v. Hutchison

Last night, Martin Prado, Stephen Drew, and Chase Headley combined to go 4-for-9 with a double and a home run, raising their combined line with the Yankees to .240/.306/.398 with 9 HR and 25 BB in 307 PA. That equates to a 98ish OPS+, or roughly average offensive production – which is, suffice it to say, a reasonable improvement from the Brian Roberts, Kelly Johnson, Yangervis Solarte, and Alfonso Soriano group that the new trifecta replaced. More importantly, however, by all measures (eye test included) they have also provided for significantly better defense at 2B and 3B.

It is also worth noting that Drew is skewing their offensive performance significantly, as both Headley (102 OPS+) and Prado (120 OPS+) have been, at the very least, steady with the bat.

New York Yankees Toronto Blue Jays
Brett Gardner, CF Jose Reyes, SS
Derek Jeter, SS Munenori Kawasaki, 2B
Carlos Beltran, DH Melky Cabrera, LF
Mark Teixeira, 1B Jose Bautista, RF
Brian McCann, C Adam Lind, 1B
Martin Prado, LF Edwin Encarnacion, DH
Stephen Drew, 2B Dioner Navarro, C
Chase Headley, 3B Danny Valencia, 3B
Ichiro Suzuki, RF Kevin Pillar, CF
Michael Pineda, SP Drew Hutchison, SP
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Game 133 Quick Recap: Yanks 6 Jays 3

Ellsbury HR vs TOR

Courtesy of the AP

Sorry this didn’t get posted last night.  I was out and about.  If you spent your Friday night the same way, here’s what you missed.

Chris Capuano has quietly turned into the left-handed Hiroki Kuroda since the Yankees traded for him, and he turned in another “good not great” start last night.  6.1 IP, 8 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 4 K.  He gave up his first run in the bottom of the 4th on a Jose Bautista home run (not the first pitcher to do that), and got burned by some bad defense when he was tiring in the 7th.  With 1 out, 1 run in, and a runner on second, Derek Jeter threw a routine ground ball into the ground for an error.  A Brett Gardner throwing error in the next at-bat, after Capuano had left the game, allowed that third run to score.  Still, 3 runs in 6+ from your 5th starter is plenty good.…

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Game 133: Capuano v. Buehrle

Josh Outman has been added to the active roster, and will be available for action tonight. And, as expected, Rich Hill was designated for assignment.

New York Yankees Toronto Blue Jays
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF Jose Reyes, SS
Derek Jeter, SS Melky Cabrera, LF
Martin Prado, 3B Jose Bautista, RF
Mark Teixeira, 1B Edwin Encarnacion, 1B
Brian McCann, C Dioner Navarro, C
Carlos Beltran, DH Danny Valencia, 3B
Brett Gardner, LF Steven Tolleson, 2B
Ichiro Suzuki, RF Colby Rasmus, DH
Stephen Drew, 2B Kevin Pillar, CF
Chris Capuano, C Mark Buehrle, SP
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Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 8/29/14

No time for pleasantries this week.  Gotta keep the move going if I’m going to spend all day on the couch tomorrow.

– On Monday, el duque of It Is High… lamented the decision to trade for Martin Prado rather than sign Rusney Castillo.  That’s actually a pretty good point.  I’d much rather have Castillo.

– On Tuesday, William Juliano of The Captain’s Blog investigated whether spending big was still the smart organizational strategy in today’s parity-based MLB landscape.

– On Wednesday, Mike Axisa of RAB explained how and why the Yankees are at their best with Derek Jeter at DH instead of shortstop.

– Chris Mitchell of PInstripe Pundits wondered if Francisco Cervelli had a future with the Yankees beyond the rest of this season.

– On Thursday, Chad Jennings had some video of Masahiro Tanaka’s latest sim game.

– Today, Jason Cohen of Pinstripe Alley astutely pointed out that Francisco Cervelli is often at fault for the injuries he’s suffered.

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Yanks Acquire LHP Josh Outman

Didn’t want to let this one slip by since it came out last night.  The Yankees made a small trade with the Cleveland Indians to acquire lefty reliever Josh Outman for either cash or a PTBNL.  Outman is expected to report to the big league club, possibly for tonight’s game, and the smart money is on Rich Hill being DFA’d to clear spots on the 25 and 40-man rosters.

Outman is a few weeks from his 30th birthday and this is his 6th MLB season.  He spent time in Oakland and Colorado in the past, and this was his first season in Cleveland.  He was pretty terrible in his time as an Indian (3.28/5.24/4.35, 16 BB, 4 HR, 24 K in 24.2 IP), although left-handed hitters have hit .180/.293/.380 against him.  For his career, the lefty batting line against him is .185/.257/.287.

He’s not Tyler Webb or Jacob Lindgren, but it doesn’t sound like it will cost the Yankees anything to get him and he should be better than Hill.  …

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Instant replay a winner for Yankees

What is Joe Girardi thinking? (Photo: MLB.com)

What is Joe Girardi thinking? (Photo: MLB.com)

There are very few things that a manager and his coaching staff has total control of during a game.

He can set the lineups, but can’t make a player hit a home run on a curveball off the plate.

He can position the fielders in an optimal arrangement to maximize coverage of the diamond, but can’t make the fielder dive to his left or right to get a groundball in the hole.

He can bring in his best middle reliever in the seventh inning to escape a bases-loaded jam, but can’t make that pitcher execute the perfect sequence of pitches to get the batter out.

However, there is one area where a manager and his coaching staff can make a decision that directly affects the game: the new instant replay/challenge rule.

Notes on the Yankees instant replay challenges
The Yankees don’t have the league’s most productive offense or pitching staff or defense, but they seem to have mastered this new ability to challenge umpire calls via replay.…

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On Yesterday’s 9th Inning Pitching Decision

I’ll try to make this quick.  Regardless of how any of us feel about relief pitchers and relief roles and how managers go about using their bullpen, I think we can all agree on these facts:

  • Yesterday’s game was critically important
  • David Robertson is the best or 2nd best reliever in the Yankee ‘pen
  • David Robertson was well rested yesterday (hadn’t pitched since Sunday)
  • David Robertson is better than Shawn Kelley
  • The Yankees needed to prevent the Tigers from scoring in the 9th to keep the game going

So then why was it that Kelley got the call to pitch the bottom of the 9th over D-Rob?  It made no sense.  Having your closer available to close the game only matters when you have the lead.  If you don’t, the most important thing is to keep the other team from scoring so that your offense can have another opportunity (or opportunities) to score to take the lead.

This wasn’t the first time that Joe has taken that approach with D-Rob this season and watched as his choice gave up the game-losing run while his best reliever sat on the bench.  …

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