Yankees Trade Nunez To Twins For Miguel Sulbaran

The Yankees designated Eduardo Nunez for assignment just before their first game of the year, and today they’ve finally traded him to the Twins for left-handed pitcher Miguel Sulbaran. The pitcher is just 20 years old and was assigned to the Single-A Cedar Rapids Kernels by the Twins this season. Chances are that he’ll end up in Charleston with the River Dogs once the deal goes through.

Sulbaran joined the Twins in 2013 as part of a trade that sent Drew Butera to the Dodgers. A starter his whole career, the southpaw started this season in the bullpen. He throws a low-90′s fastball and two breaking pitches. It’s not too late to keep him as a starter, so we’ll see what the Yankees do over the coming days.

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Happy Home Opener: Yankees 4, Baltimore 2

The Yankees home opener was special day for fans. The Core Four reunited for Derek Jeter’s last home opener, having Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera throw out the ceremonial first pitches to Jeter and Jorge Posada, respectively. However, there was still a game to be played.

Hiroki Kuroda mixed up his pitches, throwing sliders, splitters and curve balls. He threw six good innings, but had a shaky seventh before the bullpen came in to finish the game. Kuroda gave up eight hits, two runs, struck out four and walked none.

Yangervis Solarte broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth on a single, continuing his hot start. Yankees managed to put together a couple of runs in the fifth on a single by Jacoby Ellsbury and a bases loaded walk to Kelly Johnson to make it 4-1.

Shawn Kelley earned his first save of the season in a 4-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles.

The Good Stuff

- Solarte continues to get on base.…

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Quick Hit: David Robertson To The DL With A Groin Injury

According to the YES Network announcers, David Robertson is headed to the DL with a groin injury. No word yet on the extent of it, but it’s odd to hear about this considering he was throwing 94-95 mph yesterday afternoon. Shawn Kelley will take over the closing duty, and he notched his first save today. The Yankees will probably call up another reliever, and my bet is Preston Claiborne. Long term, the Yankees already had little depth with high leverage relievers, and although they could get something big out of Dellin Betances or Adam Warren, the team may want to target another reliever in an Eduardo Nunez trade.

Update: (4:32 PM) In unrelated news, the Yankees announced that Mark Teixeira‘s injury was a grade 1 hamstring strain. This is the most minor strain, so Teixeira may only need the minimum 15 days on the DL.

Update: (4:37 PM) Robertson’s injury is also a grade 1 strain, but to the groin.…

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Comparing Pineda’s Return To His 2011 Season

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

On Saturday, Michael Pineda finally took to a Major League mound in a Yankees’ uniform. After two years of recovering from a labral tear in his shoulder, expectations for Pineda dropped from a top of the rotation pitcher to the fifth spot in the rotation. Pineda beat out great performances by David Phelps, Adam Warren, and Vidal Nuno this March, and on Saturday, against a tough Blue Jays lineup, Pineda gave the Yankees’ their best pitching performance of this short season.

Pineda threw just 83 pitches and gave the Yankees 6.0 innings, with 5 hits, 0 walks, 1 run, and striking out 5 batters. He ultimately took the loss thanks to his poor run support and a controversial call at home plate by umpire Dana DeMuth.

Although Saturday ended in a disappointing loss, it was hard to be negative following the brilliant performance of Pineda. Shoulder injuries often end careers, as very few pitchers return with the same velocity and movement they once had.…

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Game 7: Opening Day

The Yankees got their first home run out of the way yesterday against the Blue Jays. Now that they’re heading back home, the home runs should come a little easier, and the Yankees have put their best lineup together to hit some of those home runs for Opening Day.

Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Carlos Beltran RF
Brian McCann C
Alfonso Soriano DH
Brian Roberts 2B
Kelly Johnson 1B
Yangervis Solarte 3B

On the mound, Hiroki Kuroda looks for his first win of the year after a lack of run support in his first start against the Astros. The Yankees will have to do that against Ubaldo Jimenez, who the front office was linked to this offseason. Jimenez struggled in his first start after allowing home runs to David Ortiz and Mike Napoli.

And here’s the Orioles’ lineup for this afternoon.

David Lough LF
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Matt Wieters C
Nelson Cruz DH
Steve Lombardozzi 2B
Ryan Flaherty SS
Jonathan Schoop 3B

The game starts at 1:05 PM EST, but the Opening Day festivities are going on right now.…

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What Is Up With David Phelps?

Phelps vs TOR 2014

When Joe made his selections for the Opening Day roster, I expected nothing but good things for David Phelps.  Even though he didn’t beat out Michael Pineda for the final rotation spot, he entered the season as one of the more experienced pitchers in the bullpen.  With all the changes in that group and the middle relief hierarchy in front of D-Rob unsettled, I thought this was going to be the year that Phelps established himself as a key part of the bullpen going forward.

We’re only 6 games in, so that may very well be the case when all is said and done, but the start to Phelps’ season has been bad, bad enough to wonder if there’s something wrong with him.  In 2 appearances, Phelps has allowed 4 ER on 4 hits and 2 walks.  Of the 4 hits, 3 of them have been home runs, leaving Phelps with a brutal 10.80 ERA and 13.60 FIP.  As he’s gotten knocked around, fellow young righty reliever Adam Warren has shined in his 2 appearances and Dellin Betances was outstanding in his first.  …

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Yankees finally hit a homer, beat Blue Jays, 6-4

The New York Yankees scored six runs before the fourth inning was over, all off Blue Jays’ starter, Drew Hutchison. The last two runs were the result of a Brett Gardner line drive homer, the Yankees’ first of the season. Hutchison took the loss and is now 1-1. David Robertson put two base runners on in the ninth for a little tension, but got Colby Rasmus to pop out to third and Melky Cabrera on a line drive to right for his second save. CC Sabathia picked up the win to even his record to 1-1.

CC Sabathia’s outing was mostly encouraging. He gave up a home run to Melky Cabrera, the first batter he faced, but then shut down the Blue Jays for the next five innings. At one point, he had thrown first-pitch strikes to nineteen straight batters. He then got the first two outs in the sixth inning and ran into trouble.

Jose Bautista hit a pop up off the end of his bat that had all kinds of English on it.…

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