Monday Afternoon Open Thread: 4/21/14

It’s an off day so here is an open thread for the afternoon.

Discuss anything you’d like: Other baseball games, basketball, hockey, the weather, etc.

Oh and just in case you forgot, this happened two years ago today:

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How Will The Yankees Replace Ivan Nova?

 Mike Carlson/AP

Mike Carlson/AP

The Yankee rotation began the 2014 season as their strongest asset. All five of their starting pitchers had the ability to end the year with top-of-the-rotation numbers. After suffering a tear to his UCL, Ivan Nova is likely out of the picture for this season, and not only does this put a strain on the Yankees’ starting pitchers, but also their bullpen.

After the Spring Training competition for the fifth starter spot, the Yankees rightfully settled on Michael Pineda and sent David Phelps, Adam Warren, and Vidal Nuno into the bullpen. The three ex-starters haven’t been without their faults, but they’ve also shown value in the right situation. With Nova likely to undergo Tommy John surgery, the Yankees will need at least one of these three bullpen arms to convert back to the rotation.

Warren has been the most effective of this group. He’s pitched just 9.2 innings in relief thus far, but his velocity increased in these short outings.…

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History by the fours

Since today was a day off in the current 2014 New York Yankees season, I thought I might take a look at the past versions of the Yankees during all of their “4″ seasons. This entry will look at every Yankee season that ended with a four and present the best pitcher and batter of that particular season. We begin with the 1904 New York Highlanders.

1904. The New York Highlanders were managed by the 34-year-old Clark Griffith who also pitched ches100+ innings that season and went 7-5 with a 2.86 ERA. The team won 92 games and finished a game and a half behind Boston. The best player on the team was pitcher, Happy Jack Chesbro. Chesbro had his best season and led the league in games pitched, starts, complete games, wins, innings pitched and had the lowest hits per nine allowed in the league. He went 41-12 with a 1.82 ERA (2.19 FIP) and completed 48 of his 51 starts.…

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A Dean Anna Split: Yankees 5, Rays 1 F/12

Raccoon_(Procyon_lotor)_2

Dean Anna’s Nickname is “Raccoon”

Okay, I have to confess, I missed the 9th-11th innings of this game because I was eating Easter dinner with my mom and Aunt but I did leave the table a couple of times to see what was happening and I finished my plate just as the 12th inning was getting interesting.

In case you missed it, that was when the good stuff happened for the Yankees.

And it went a little something like this:

  • Heath Bell walks Yangervis Solarte.
  • Joe Maddon walks out to the mound to replace Bell with C. J. Riefenhauser while wearing his three quarter sleeved Rays hoodie and hipster glasses. He’s so cool and so hip! Yawn.
  • Brett Gardner grounds into a force out and Solarte is out at second.
  • Brian Roberts lines out to short for the second out.
  • Brian McCann singles to center and Gardner advances to 3rd.
  • After a visit to the mound, the Rays decide to intentionally walk Jacoby Ellsbury to load the bases because surely the better matchup in this situation would be Dean Anna, right?

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Game 19: The Good, the Bad, and the Yankees

The last two nights have been an exercise in adding insult to injury, and vice versa. The first bullpen implosion of the young season was piggybacked by a potentially season-ending injury to Ivan Nova, and said injury was bookended by a 16 to 1 drubbing at the hands of the Rays. We remain a scant three weeks into the season, so it seems premature to truly panic – yet I readily admit that I am a bit more pessimistic this afternoon than I was twenty-four hours ago. Though, to be fair, that is due more so to the injury to Nova than the disheartening blowouts.

New York Yankees Tampa Bay Rays
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF Sean Rodriguez, LF
Derek Jeter, SS Ben Zobrist, DH
Carlos Beltran, RF Logan Forsythe, 2B
Alfonso Soriano, DH Evan Longoria, 3B
Mark Teixeira, 1B Wil Myers, RF
Yangervis Solarte, 3B James Loney, 1B
Brett Gardner, LF Brandon Guyer, CF
Brian Roberts, 2B Yunel Escobar, SS
John Ryan Murphy, C Ryan Hanigan, C
Vidal Nuno, SP Cesar Ramos, SP
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Doomed: Rays 16 Yankees 1

Joe_Girardi_400

Well, that didn’t go as expected. Coming into tonight’s game it looked as if there would be a good pitching duel going down in St. Pete but of course, that all depended on whether or not “super” Ivan Nova showed up. It turned out Nova was not so super. Nova went only four innings due to injury, giving up eight runs on eight hits – four of them were home runs. He was shaking his elbow in displeasure on the mound.

The bullpen didn’t pitch any better. The call up, Matt Daley, went an inning and a third giving up four earned on five hits. However, he only gave up one home run. Positivity, right?

Oh, and Dean Anna pitched. If that doesn’t make you realize this game was a dumpster fire, I don’t know what will. Anna surprising only gave up two runs in his appearance. His windup resembled that of a slow pitch beer softball league. His fastball was sitting in the mid 50′s.…

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Game 18: Doom and Gloom

With the Yankees fresh off of their first true ‘Death by Bullpen’ game of the season, there seems to be a pervasive sense of worriment. The previously stellar performances of Matt Thornton and Adam Warren are already being treated as if they occurred in the distant past, or some faraway universe in which the Yankees are allowed to have nice things. And even if David Robertson comes back strong and transitions into the closer’s mentality with gusto, the bullpen as a whole remains in need of a dramatic overhaul. How else could this have happened, after all?

In reality, last night just sucked. Every bullpen is going to implode once in awhile. It feels a bit worse than usual, as it came against the Rays in Tampa … but it is indicative of nothing other than a bit of bad luck.

Although, to be fair, Cesar Cabral stinks.

New York Yankees Tampa Bay Rays
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF David DeJesus, CF
Brett Gardner, LF Ben Zobrist, 2B
Carlos Beltran, DH Matt Joyce, DH
Brian McCann, C Evan Longoria, 3B
Alfonso Soriano, LF James Loney, 1B
Yangervis Solarte, 3B Wil Myers, RF
Kelly Johnson, 1B Sean Rodriguez, LF
Brian Roberts, 2B Yunel Escobar, SS
Dean Anna, SS Ryan Hanigan, C
Ivan Nova, SP Chris Archer, SP
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