Rotation Issues Creating An Extra Need For Middle Relief, An Opportunity For Young Pitchers

Phelps vs BAL

Last Tuesday, in light of the middle relief corps’ poor start, I questioned the decision making in letting pitchers like David Aardsma and the still injured at the time Clay Rapada go in favor of guys like Shawn Kelley and Cody Eppley.  I also quickly questioned the logic in keeping the team’s top two spot starters, David Phelps and Adam Warren, together in the bullpen as long relievers rather than sending one of them down to stay stretched out in case the Yankees needed a spot start or two.  The middle relief issue has faded to the background a bit as the Yankees have gone on a nice little 6-1 run since their rough start, and Eppley has been banished to Triple-A thanks to the return of Phil Hughes to the rotation.  But as that rotation has come together and everybody has gone through at least twice, the need for strong middle relief, particularly long relief, has continued to be put on display.… Click here to read the rest

Quick recap: Yankees 4, Diamondbacks 2

It’s only fitting that the Yankees won tonight’s game by a score of 4-2 while every player was wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson, the man Robinson Cano, who hit the go ahead home run was named after. Oh, and of course, future Hall of Famer and the man who will be the last player to ever wear #42, Mariano Rivera, was the one who came in to get the 611th save of his career.

Ivan Nova managed to pitch five innings. He wasn’t great, he wasn’t terrible but he was serviceable and he earned his first win of 2013. Like I said in the game thread, instead of hoping for Super Nova, I wanted him to be “Good Enough To Win Nova,” and he was. He pitched five innings, gave up two runs on seven hits, walked two and struck out six.

Cano, who hit what would be the game winning home run in the fourth off Diamondbacks’ starter Brandon McCarthy, has been on fire in his last six games.… Click here to read the rest

Game 12: Interleague in April? Sure! Why not!

supernova2

 

It’s a supernova! Get it?! Actually, wait, a supernova is a dying star. I should probably try something else. Are there goodenoughtowinnovas?

Anyway…

Here’s the Yankees lineup that will be facing Brandon McCarthy of the Diamondbacks:

Brett Gardner CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Kevin Youkilis 3B
Travis Hafner DH
Vernon Wells LF
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Eduardo Nunez SS
Lyle Overbay 1B
Chris Stewart C

Ivan Nova will be starting for the Yankees and looks to bounce back from a not-so-stellar start on April 5 in Detroit. He surrendered four runs on five hits in 4.2 innings. He walked two and struck out five. In other words, it was what’s become a typical Nova start, completely maddening.

Here’s the Diamondbacks lineup he’ll be facing:

Gerardo Parra CF
Martin Prado 2B
Paul Goldschmidt 1B
Miguel Montero C
Cody Ross RF
Eric Chavez 3B
Eric Hinske DH
A.J. Pollock LF
Cliff Pennington SS

There are some familiar faces in that lineup, namely Chavez who was with the Yankees in 2011 and 2012 and Hinske who was part of the 2009 World Series Championship team.… Click here to read the rest

Yanks vs. Stubhub, Wang’s return and celebrating Jackie Robinson

Good evening, everyone.

We have some news items to share with you before we post tonight’s game thread.

First up, the the Yankees and Stubhub have reached an agreement. Eric Fisher of the Sports Business Journal reported that the Yankees and Stubhub were in a closed door meeting that lasted seven hours today. The details of the settlement will not be revealed the Yankees’ lawyer said you will be able to see them physically.

More from Fisher via his Twitter account:

I’m glad that’s settled.

And for some more good news, Chien-Ming Wang will joining the SWB Railriders this week:

Hafner Showing Better Plate Coverage In 2013

“I was working on a bunch of things mechanically (in spring training),” Hafner said. “And then basically scrapped everything and really tried to simplify my swing to the point where there’s nothing going on. And I’ve had a lot of success with that. It feels really good and really simple. Hopefully I’ve found something that can be really good and consistent.”

Travis Hafner has been one of the hottest the Yankees thus far, and has carried the team to wins with a few early season home runs. We only have two weeks of data at this point, but Hafner has already been accused of being “rejuvenated” by pinstripes. I like to think this “rejuvenation” is the work of his hitting coach and months of preparation, rather than the symbol on his hat. The quote above tells us that the left-hander has done some work to his swing, and I was interested in seeing the difference between this year and last year.… Click here to read the rest

Quick hit: Sweet Caroline at Yankee Stadium

The Yankees announced, via their PR Twitter account, that they will have a moment of silence before tonight’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, for the victims of yesterday’s bombing at the Boston Marathon. They also announced that between the third and fourth innings, “Sweet Caroline”, one of signature Fenway Park anthems, will be played over the loudspeakers as a tribute to the city of Boston.

This reminds me of how they played “New York, New York” in Fenway following the 9/11 attacks.

Some people will criticize the song choice and with good reason. The lyrics are pretty creepy now that we know it was written about a young Caroline Kennedy but I think in this particular situation, it’s the thought that counts.

Lots of people like to give the Yankees grief over everything they do but in this case, they’re doing the right thing by honoring those who were lost and by showing Boston’s citizens that we, the city of New York, are thinking of them in their time of grief and sadness.… Click here to read the rest

Expanding on the vs. Lefties Lineup Issue

Baseball is hardly the first thing on my mind as I write this, and I doubt it’s the first thing on your mind as you read it. But, hopefully, this post can serve as a little bit of distraction from the horrific news coming out of Boston. If you’re reading from Boston, we sincerely hope that you and your loved ones are safe. Please know that our thoughts, prayers, hearts, and minds are with you and your city.

Yesterday morning, Brad posted an article about the lineup against left-handed pitching in light of the Yankees so-so offensive performance against Baltimore’s Wei-Yin Chen. To expand on his point, overall, the Yankees have hit very weakly against lefty pitchers in the early going; their line sits at just .214/.296/.274/.570 (!). As Brad pointed out, the injury to Eduardo Nunez has made things against lefties less-than-ideal, and that’s without mentioning the missing bats of Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, and Alex Rodriguez who all eat lefties for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.… Click here to read the rest

Hughes’ Inability To Pitch Inside Isn’t Doing Him Any Favors

Hughes 4-13

(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

For a season that’s only two weeks and eleven games old, it’s already been an incredibly trying one for Phil Hughes.  After losing a lot of ST time due to another back issue, Hughes returned to the rotation a week ago Saturday and got touched up pretty good by the Tigers.  He made his second start this past Saturday, in place of Andy Pettitte after being skipped over for the top of the rotation after the rain-outs in Cleveland, and turned in an even worse performance, one of the worst outings of his career.

After picking out the flaws in Hughes’ approach in 2012, I thought he would be able to turn things around this season if he improved his fastball command and cut down on his early-count fastball usage in favor of his offspeed stuff to keep hitters off balance.  Not only has he failed to do that through his first two starts of this season, he added another frustrating wrinkle to his game on Saturday when he failed to pitch inside effectively to either right or left-handed hitters.… Click here to read the rest

Celebrity fans are just like us!

Since it’s an off day and I’m bored, here’s something for you to stare at for a while.

Believe me, it’s mesmerizing.

bradygif

Celebrities, in this case, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, are just like us! They go to Yankee games and yell “Oh no!” when Phil Hughes gives up a home run to an Oriole.

Well, not exactly like us because he’s sitting in the Legends Seats. I went to last night’s game and was freezing my rear end off in Section 413 of the Upper Deck.

Anyway, Happy Monday!… Click here to read the rest