Yankees 14, Indians 1: Bombs away!!

Okay, so that was fun, funny and there were some fireworks. (We’ll get to those later.)

First up, the offense which was fun to watch. Over the past two games, the Yankees have scored a combined 25 runs against Cleveland pitching. Brett Gardner finished 4-5 with two RBI to raise his average nearly 100 points to .257 (don’t you love April?). Robinson Cano‘s bat continued where it left off yesterday with Cano going 4 for 6 with a home run, two doubles and 5 RBI.

The other two guys with multi-hit games are part of the funny portion of this recap: Francisco Cervelli and Lyle Overbay. In all fairness, I shouldn’t laugh at Cervelli because he’s been great so far in this young season and is batting .353 at the moment. Will he sustain that? Probably not but it’s fun to watch right now. Cervelli finished 2-4 with an RBI. As for Overbay, he was also part of the home run derby portion of the game and finished 3-5 with an RBI.…

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Quick hit: Welcome back, Clay Rapada!

It’s been an interesting last couple of weeks for Clay Rapada.

First he’s DFA, then he’s released outright and now he’s been signed to a Minor League deal with the Yankees. But according to Dan Barbarisi, Rapada cannot return to the big league club until May 3 at the earliest.

Rapada, who was battling some bursitis in his shoulder was going to start the year on the DL anyway before all of this stuff began. Looks like he’ll probably be heading to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre but the Yankees would have to do some maneuvering to fit him onto their 40-man.

Hmm, who could go? Cody Eppley? Boone Logan?

Stay tuned.

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Early Success For Bichette Comes With A Simpler Swing

Just a year ago, the future was bright for top prospect Dante Bichette Jr. One down season, and much of the Yankee blogosphere has taken him out of their top prospect rankings. Personally, I’m not a fan of ranking prospects, and see it as an exercise of entertainment over actual analysis. Aside from the fact that we know very little about these minor leaguers, compared to the major leaguers, it’s not fair to compare them to each other, or grade them, when we know so little about ballpark factors, match ups, or their advanced stats.

Before I begin ranting, I’d like to point to an article I wrote in the beginning of February about one of the  most esteemed voices on prospects, Keith Law. While I agree with a lot of Law’s criticism on players, I believe he falls into an unfortunate circumstance of being a national minor league writer. There are so many players in the minor leagues, it’s an impossible task to know and analyze every prospect from every level of every organization, and then don’t forget about the amateur players.…

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Quick Hits: Boesch, Cabral, Granderson, Swisher, Lineup

Brennan Boesch had a few looks at playing first base during Spring Training, despite not having played there in the major leagues, and the Yankees tried him out again this afternoon. Lyle Overbay has had some big hits, but overall he’s been pretty bland at the plate, posting 4 hits, 5 strikeouts, and 1 walk in 24 plate appearances. He’s also cost the team some runs in the field, where the Yankees expected him to save them. Boesch apparently played first base in college, and supposedly looked good there in April, so perhaps the Yankees are toying with the idea of playing him instead of Overbay.

Left-handed reliever Cesar Cabral pitched in a simulated game yesterday, and will make an extended spring training start on Friday. Cabral hasn’t pitched for the Yankees major league team, despite being a 2011 Rule 5 pick. With the struggles of Boone Logan, and the absence of Clay Rapada, the Yankees could use some left-handed relief help.…

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On Phil’s start a few days later

To be fair to him, Phil Hughes probably wasn’t 100% healthy when he suited up and took the mound for the Yankees on Saturday in Detroit. And to be honest, it wasn’t that awful of a start. One of his four runs allowed was unearned and he didn’t walk anyone; he also managed four strikeouts in as many innings, and that’s always encouraging. But on the flip side, Phil gave up eight hits in those four innings, and threw 87 pitches in the process.

On a general note, the more things change with Hughes, the more they stay the same. Despite being a veteran pitcher now, his first start of 2013 showed something we’ve seen from Hughes for his entire career: inefficiency and an inability to put hitters away once he gets the batter to two strikes. And despite relatively strong stuff, Hughes still isn’t getting a lot of swings-and-misses. He had only seven on Saturday and Detroit batters fouled off 18 of Hughes’s pitches.…

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Early Bullpen Struggles Bring Questionable Roster Decisions To Light

The bullpen was supposed to be a strength again this year.  The Yankees came into Spring Training with the core seven guys all but guaranteed roster spots, or so we thought.  As injuries in other parts of the roster mounted, and the resulting personnel moves to cover them created a 40-man roster crunch, some of those spots became less of a guarantee, and at the end of camp there was more than a bit of surprise when David Aardsma and Clay Rapada were DFA’d.  Their back end bullpen spots were given to Shawn Kelley and Cody Eppley, with Adam Warren making the cut as well as long man coverage for Phil Hughes.  With just seven games in the books, it’s hardly an “end of the world” problem, but the poor performance of those late additions and the slightly surprising struggles of Joba Chamberlain and Boone Logan has me once again questioning some of those “in/out” roster decisions.

The rationale for choosing Kelley over Aardsma was that his ability to pitch multiple innings was more valuable.  …

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The Farm Report: 4/8/13 The RailRiders get their first win!

Overall, it was a good day for the Yankees minor league teams – unless you were a pitcher for Trenton. Scranton picked up their first victory since becoming the RailRiders and Charleston put together a late inning rally for an exciting comeback victory.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre defeated Rochester 4-2:
The RailRiders squandered a couple chances early on, but they drew first blood in the bottom of the fifth. Addison Maruszak drew a walk and Gil Velazquez lined a two-out single to right. A throwing error moved Maruszak to third and a single by Melky Mesa put the RailRiders ahead 1-0. The Red Wings got the run back in the top of the sixth. Oswaldo Arcia started it off with a single and stole second, scoring on a single by Clete Thomas. The tie score did not last long, as Scranton’s bats got back to work in the bottom of the sixth. Austin Romine grounded a single to left and Corban Joseph grounded one to right.…

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First Winning Streak Of The Year! Yankees Crush Indians 11-6

The Yankees played in their third home opener of the year this afternoon, a duel between Hiroki Kuroda and Ubaldo Jimenez. Both pitchers came into the game with their own concerns. Last week, Kuroda took a linedrive to his middle finger and was pronounced day-to-day. Meanwhile, Jimenez was coming off a strong outing in Toronto after an awful 2012 season.

The pitching worries were a big part of the first half of today’s game. Jimenez opened up the first inning with an 84 mph fastball, after averaging 96 mph just a few years ago in Colorado. After walking Robinson Cano and allowing a single to Kevin Youkilis, hometown hero Travis Hafner launched a 3-run home run to dead center.

Kuroda lacked control in the first inning, and immediately walked Michael Bourn. What followed was a series of unfortunate events for the right-handed pitcher. There were three ground balls that could have easily been double play balls, but they just happened to bounce off bags and gloves for infield singles.…

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