Pettitte’s “Floating” Release Point

After Andy Pettitte’s start on 4/29, the left-hander complained about release point issues. He explained that problems in his release point and the inefficiency of his cutter were causing him to struggle. After Sunday’s start on 5/5, Pettitte ran into the same issues. He had this to say after the game.

“It’s a struggle,” Pettitte said. “The issue is everything. Everything I’ve got to do as a starting pitcher, I’m not able to do right now. … My release point is floating around a little bit. … It’s been a long, long time since I haven’t had a feeling for my pitches.”

Yesterday, Brad covered his cutter, and today I want to take a look at his release points.

Instead, I’d like to just present Pettitte’s release points from his six 2013 starts.

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A brief look back at May 8, 2009

While all of the nonsense surrounding Alex Rodriguez‘s impending return is swirling around i.e. silly articles being written and comparing him to Freddy Kruger, we here at It’s About the Money are choosing to remember a glorious night in Yankee lore instead.

The night: May 8, 2009
The event: Rodriguez’s first game back after hip surgery.
The result: A Yankee win and a triumphant return to the lineup by A-Rod.

Continue reading A brief look back at May 8, 2009

Who’s Hot: April Prospects


With one month in the books, it is time to look at who’s been hot for the Yankees minor league system in April. I know I will keeping an eye on these players to see if they can carry their strong Aprils through to September – and if they can we are all in for some fun.

Robert Refsnyder (2B, Charleston/Tampa):
In his first full year of professional baseball, Refsnyder has shown some of the talent that garnered him MVP honors in last year’s College World Series. He returned to Charleston, where he hit .370/.452/.481 over thirteen games, picking up seven stolen bases. This quickly earned him a promotion to Tampa, where he finished April with a ridiculous line of .404/.525/.574 over twelve games. He has ten RBIs, and took nine walks while striking out just four times. Refsnyder has shown himself to be a bit prone to errors, however, but he has also made the move back to second base – a position he played in high school.

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The Farm Report: 5/7/13

Have you ever woken up knowing you forgot to do something but not being able to figure it out until it’s almost too late? That happened to me this morning when I realized, “Hey, wasn’t I supposed to do the minors recap last night?” Oops.

I’ll blame it on my fever.

Anyway, here you go.

Scranton beat the Indianapolis Indians 3-1:
Brett Marshall went six strong innings giving up only one run on four hits, he struck out eight and walked four. The offense had a good night too. From Andrew Kappes’ recap:

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre wasted no time in scoring, as they plated one run in the first. Corban Joseph led off the game offensively for the RailRiders with a double to left field. One out later, Zoilo Almonte singled, which extended his hitting streak to 12 games and moved Joseph to third base. After a walk to Dan Johnson loaded the bases, Ronnier Mustelier legged out a fielder’s choice which allowed Joseph to score from third.

It was Marshall’s second win in a row and Jim Miller picked up his third save of the season after striking out two and sending the Indians down in order to end the game.

Trenton beat the Binghamton Mets 5-1:
The Thunder only had two baserunners in the first six innings of the game, but the offense exploded for four runs in the seventh inning to help lead them to victory over the Mets.

Slade Heathcott had a good night, going 2-4 and hitting a two-run single in that big inning. Trenton’s pitching was strong last night. Starter Jose Ramirez recovered nicely after surrendering a lead off home run. He lasted four innings and only gave up that one run. Trenton’s pitching (Ramirez, Josh Romanski and Danny Burawa) retired 22 of the final 23 batters they faced, only surrendering a one out walk in the 9th inning which turned out to be the Mets’ only baserunner after the 2nd inning.

Tampa lost 4-2 to the Fort Myers Miracle:
Rob Refsnyder had two out Tampa’s six hits and one of their two RBI’s. Saxon Butler hit a home run and Cody Grice and Ben Gamel both hit doubles in the losing effort.

Corey Black lost his fourth game of the year. He pitched four innings, gave up two earned runs on three hits, walked two and struck out five batters.

Charleston was rained out.
Continue reading The Farm Report: 5/7/13

Where Was Brett Gardner Last Night?

Matt Wieters, Brett Gardner

To not see Brett Gardner‘s name included in last night’s lineup was more than a bit surprising.  There hadn’t been any reports of him being sick or injured, the team was coming off a scheduled off-day for travel and had actually had 2 scheduled off-days in the last 5 calendar days, they were playing in the notoriously offense-friendly Coors Field, and Gardner has been the best defensive player and one of the best all-around players on the team so far this season.  Yet there he was, plopped on the bench while Joe elected to send arguably the weakest lineup of the season out there to play, not score, and lose.

Joe’s explanation for this decision was, as you’d expect, matchups.  The Yankees were facing another left-handed starter last night in Jorge De La Rosa, and Joe wanted to put another righty bat in the lineup.  Unfortunately, the only available righty bat on the bench is Ben Francisco and that’s where the decision making train starts to come off the tracks of logic.

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Rocky mountain low: Rockies 2, Yankees 0

Well, that wasn’t a fun game.

The Yankees had four hits, didn’t score a run and were the first team to be shutout in Coors Field this season.

Hiroki Kuroda pitched well enough to win. He only gave up two runs on seven hits in seven innings of work. He unfortunately gave up those two runs on one big hit by Carlos Gonzalez. A two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Colorado starter Jorge De La Rosa held the Yankees to three hits in six innings and earned his third win of the season.

We all knew the Yankees probably weren’t going to do much with the lineup they trotted out tonight. When Jayson Nix is your #2 hitter, you know you’re in for a disappointing night. Actually, I shouldn’t bust on Nix, he had two of the Yankees’ four hits.

The Yankees are now 18-13 on the year but guess what? Last year at this time, they were 17-14. Think about everyone who is missing from last year’s team. Amazing, right?

They’ll be back at it tomorrow with David Phelps taking on Juan Nicasio at 8:40 p.m. ET.
Continue reading Rocky mountain low: Rockies 2, Yankees 0

Game 31: An NL Ballpark


The last time the Yankees played in an NL ballpark was June 24th, 2012 in Citi Field. CC Sabathia faced off against R.A. Dickey that day, the Yankees getting the best of the Mets 6-5. We had a good 10.5 months off from seeing Yankee pitchers swing the bat, but now it all changes. Tonight, the Yankees will play their first interleague game on the road of the season, and with the new 15 team format in both leagues, interleague games will continue throughout the entire season. In fact, the Yankees will play the Astros on the road in their last series of the season, so get used to seeing pitchers hit.

Hiroki Kuroda, who has a career .105/.160/.110 slash in 245 plate appearances, will pitch and hit against the Rockies’ Jorge De La Rosa, who has hit .142/.150/.163. Here’s tonight’s complete lineup.

Ichiro Suzuki CF
Jayson Nix SS
Robinson Cano 2B
Vernon Wells LF
Ben Francisco RF
Lyle Overbay 1B
Chris Nelson 3B
Chris Stewart C
Hiroki Kuroda P

The game starts at 8:40 PM EST on YES. Go Yankees! Continue reading Game 31: An NL Ballpark

Watch Out Ben Francisco, Ronnier Mustelier Wants Your Job


After the Mark Teixeira injury, the Yankees gave prospect Ronnier Mustelier every chance in the world to win a job with the major league team. Between the first day of Spring Training and an unfortunate play on a foul ball on March 15th, Mustelier only missed 4 games. Despite being a 28 year old without a plus glove, the organization wanted to see his bat everyday. Before the Yankees showed so much interest in him, it was hard to know what to make of Mustelier’s 2011 .925 OPS, and his 2012 .859 OPS. While he was far older than the competition, Mustelier has continued to hit through increasing competition inside pitcher’s ballparks. Projecting his bat in the major leagues would be a difficult task, but he was certainly the Yankees’ most competent  and mature right-handed batter this spring.

It wasn’t through a lack of hitting or effort that he missed the Major League roster in April. After hitting .314/.368/.571 this Spring, Mustelier overran a foul ball against the Marlins one afternoon, and planted his knee right into a fence. It bothered him enough to hold him back over the next few weeks, and landed him in extended Spring Training. Ben Francisco and Jayson Nix ended up getting the call as the team’s right-handed DH and utility player, each of which have hit a wRC+ of 39 and 48. Meanwhile, the Yankees have gone on to trade for Chris Nelson to try and pick up some of the slack that these players couldn’t.

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