Game 56: Morgan Ensberg, we hardly knew ye


So the Yanks ended May on a strong note and begin June with a slew of roster moves, both rumored and confirmed. We’ll start with the confirmed.

Morgan Ensberg has been DFA’d to make way for none other than Scott Patterson. After the Yanks’ last few games, the team decided they’d had enough of the ineffective Ensberg and needed some bullpen relief. In 80 plate appearances, Ensberg hit .203/.263/.243, and his term on the Yanks is over.

Meanwhile, as Mark Feinsand notes, Patterson may be up for only a few days. The plan seems to be to move Dan Giese into the long relief role to shadow Joba Chamberlain‘s first few starts. The Yanks were going to opt for Jeff Karstens, but the oft-injured pitcher hurt his groin last night.

Finally, Jorge Posada will be back on the active roster on Wednesday it seems, and the Yanks plan to keep both Jose Molina and Chad Moeller around for a little while. The bench therefore is going to look a little weak for a few days with Molina, Moeller, Wilson Betemit and Shelley Duncan, increasingly looking overmatched in the Majors, filling out the final sports. The Yanks will have to do something soon to beef up that bench, and I don’t think replacing anyone with Alberto Gonzalez is the answer.

Darrell Rasner faces Nick Blackburn this afternoon in a 2 p.m. game. Let’s start June on a winning note.

Damon LF
Jeter SS
Abreu RF
Rodriguez 3B
Matsui DH
Betemit 1B
Cano 2B
Moeller C
Cabrera CF

Rasner P

Categories : Game Threads


  1. Scott Brosius Would make a Good Neighbor says:

    Have you seen this? Really intersting article, linked from Olney’s Blog:

    So far this year, Jeter has an RZR of .848, which is a massive improvement and ranks fourth among AL shortstops. Through Thursday, he’d also made 14 OOZ plays, which ranked him seventh and put him on pace for 43, which would be a big number for him.

    The translation: Jeter’s making more of the plays he’s expected to make and a few more of the ones he’s not. Last year, he was a liability on defense. So far this year, he’s not. It’s worth watching, as the season goes on, to see how this holds up.

    • Scott Brosius Would make a Good Neighbor says:

      Do you think this a classic small sample issue, or have you guys noticed improved range and positioning on Jeter’s part this year?

      • Mike A. says:

        I’ve noticed some improvement, especially going to his left. I’m sure some of it has to do with sample size too.

        • maybe Girardi’s conditioning worked after all

          • Link says:

            or he could have had an injured knee most of last year kept on the hush?

            • that doesn’t explain the previous years of defensive suckiness, though.

              • Link says:

                but he sucked last year more than ever before…i think being the proud person he seems tobe and tired of hearing the knocks on his d he has done something to help him improve..hopefully he keeps it up

                • Eric Solomon says:

                  (first time/long time)

                  I’ve actually noticed Jeter make a number of plays to his left/up the middle this year, after realizing that I couldn’t recall a single one from the last several years. I do think he’s doing a better job positioning himself, more up the middle, and letting ARod have more of the balls to his (Jeter’s) right.

  2. Sam says:

    Betemit 6th?

  3. Matt says:

    I feel a win today!!

  4. steve (different one) says:

    RZR is not a great stat.

    i’ll wait until MGL puts out UZR, where i expect to see Jeter near the bottom as usual.

    • steve (different one) says:

      actually, let me clarify. i HAVE noticed some improvement with Jeter going to his left this year.

      but RZR doesn’t tell you anything about the plays made out of zone (how many chances is that out of?).

      i would guess that most of Jeter’s balls OOZ are pop ups he catches in the OF.

      but yes, he is MUCH better than last year.

      i am just skeptical about the RZR numbers.

    • Rich says:

      Jeter’s ZR is .793. I’m not sure that RZR is a better stat.

  5. Rich says:

    As I’ve said before, at some point Gardner should be promoted to lengthen bench or perhaps earn more PT than that.

  6. where is Rasner’s command?

    • whozat says:

      The ump took it. He’s not calling a LOT of stuff. Yanks aren’t taking advantage of the tight zone at ALL.

  7. mike says:

    great so Jeter is getting to a few more grounders than usual – i guess thats a trade off for him hitting like a girl?
    I know the economy stinks, but its amazing that 20-odd million gets you these days

    • Jon says:

      Have you gotten to the point where you root for the team to fail for the ego boost yet? You seem pretty close.

      • mike says:

        Don’t need the ego boost – but the cannonization of Saint Jeter makes me nuts, and while i watch virtually every inning of every game and have done so for about 20 years – and appreciate what Jeter has done – he has slipped at the plate and the field, and his captaincy is a joke.

        I guess since we have a below average defensive shortstop with declining offensive value as well – a value which takes into account hitting in a monster lineup – and he is the 3rd or 4th highest paid player in baseball history, my ego gets off on watching him for maybe 400 hours this year.

  8. Giselle says:

    dammit. stupid twins got the 2 out hit we needed from matsui.

  9. Jamal G. says:

    Ken Griffey Jr. is up right now, he’s 2-for-2 thus far with a 1B and a 2B. Free, live look-in on MLB.com.

  10. mike says:

    Got to think there is a better option than Bettemit across the board – he screwed up the bunt..swinging at first pitch….

  11. mike says:

    maybe we can trade Bettemit back to the Dodgers for Bowa, so he can bitch-slap Cano for us?

    • Jamal G. says:

      I actually like WIlson betemit, he was hitting a lot of balls hard right before he hit the DL and has had some good swings recently. Can’t ask for much more from a bench player. Just want that him to keep that swing intact, his hits will come.

      • mike says:

        But he is a tweener – cannot really field and cannot really hit – I’d personally like to see a re-appearance of AG and put a glove on Damon again to play 1st in place of Bettemit, as I like having Damon in the lineup over both he and Shelly against a lefty, and the D of AG is no-joke, and perhaps he could pinch-run and give Giamino/Posada/Molina a breather late, especially with 3 catchers on the roster

        • whozat says:

          He’s a bench guy. He doesn’t hit well from the right. But, he’s got legit pop from the left side, and he’ll take some walks if you look at his whole career. And his D won’t KILL you in part-time duty.

  12. RustyJohn says:

    I miss Jorge

  13. Jamal G. says:

    Is something up with Jason Giambi? He has not been replaced defensively this entire season (I believe) and he’s not in the lineup today. It could be to rest him because of his aged legs after an extra-inning game last night but it is something to keep an eye on.

  14. RustyJohn says:

    They don’t want to play him on turf every day.

  15. Mike A. says:

    Looks very much like Dan Giese is coming up. He was yanked from Scranton’s game after 1 IP, and Chad Jennings said Steven White was warming up in the bullpen 2 pitches into the game.

  16. RustyJohn says:

    I love Rasner’s ability to hunker down whenever he get knocked around a bit- something I wish Hughes and IPK would learn how to do- their spine turns to Jell-o whenever they get in trouble and all hell breaks loose.

  17. Jamal G. says:

    You people complain about YES having too many analysts but I have to say, are any of them actually bad? Michael Kay can be a condescending douche more often than not and Paul O’Neill isn’t exactly the brightest person in the room and he really pissed me off (and others) with the way he handled the whole jersey fiasco with LaTroy Hawkins. Outside of those two guys, do you really have any complaints against the others?

  18. I don’t understand why everyone is complaining about the bench players. They’re BENCH players, aka not starting, and they have specific roles on their respective teams due to their talents. Betemit’s talent is hitting, but he has never been given the opportunity to show it, be it in Atlanta, LA, or here. Thus, it’s grown stale. But the raw skills are still there. There’s stuff to like about him, we just have to know his limitations and his role.

    • Jamal G. says:

      These are the New York Yankees, with a $200+ Million payroll people are a bit too unforgiving. In other words every person on this 25-Man roster is held to a higher standard like they all make $15-$25 Million a year which is unfair and ignorant but it’s the truth.

    • Rich says:

      The other thing is that the injuries have caused too many bench players to be regulars.

      • whozat says:

        Yeah, but how many teams are two-three quality MLB players deep at every position in the infield, like the Yankees have sort of needed to be this year?

        • Rich says:

          If there is one thing that would make the bench appear to be better it’s a semi-productive RH hitter. Other than that, it’s fine.

      • not the bench players’ fault. it happens when you’re average roster age is 29.5 (almost 30!!).

    • mike says:

      I dont think of it as a complaint – and its very hard to get quality bench guys ( almost starters) because most of the Yankees play every day, and other players/agents know that the Yanks are hard-pressed to keep a “name AllStar” making beaucoup money on the bench. Therefore, to get a quality sub you need to overpay a veteran ( Molina making 2million for 2 years) or develop / trade for them.

      However, in my opinion its the GM’s job to put together a good bench and pen – most everything else is a relatively easy call or his hands are tied due to financial consiuderations.

      This is where I think Cash has done poorly (considering)

      • Mike A. says:

        How many AL teams have good benches though? All the good part-time players tend to gravitate towards NL teams because they’ll actually get some playing time.

        If the Yankees don’t make the playoffs, it won’t be because of the bench or the 12th man in the bullpen.

  19. Nefarious jackson says:

    Christian Garcia getting rocked today in tampa :(

  20. joba says:

    what ever happened to marcos vechionacci?

  21. pete says:

    abreu’s growin a stache

  22. wow. just wow. just what the fuck wow.

  23. Mike A. says:

    Boy, Michael Kay is really taking this whole “clutch” thing to a whole other level. Even ESPN has moved on from it.

  24. A.D. says:

    At least they’re getting hits 2nd time around

  25. Jamal G. says:

    Nice job by Darrell Rasner to put up a zero after the Yankees had that letdown offensively in the previous half-inning.

  26. wasn’t Ranser a highly regarded prospect until an injury?

    • Mike A. says:

      Yes. Not super-highly regarded, but highly regarded. Alan Horne type of prospect status.

    • Jamal G. says:

      2nd Round pick in 2002 draft and I heard he topped out at 95-MPH before the injury, don’t know what said injury was though.

      Cano and Cabrera just pissed me off with their respective ABs.

      • Mike A. says:

        He had some kind of tear in his shoulder, not sure if it was the labrum or rotator cuff, but he didn’t have surgery, just rehabbed it.

  27. Mike A. says:

    Oh come on, they aren’t even making the trivia questions hard anymore. Kirby Puckett is the answer.

  28. Jamal G. says:

    Has a HR Cycle ever been achieved? I believe A-Rod was a to-run shot shy of that feat in that April game of 2005 versus Bartolo Colon and the Angels.

    • Mike A. says:

      Someone in the minors did it a few years back, like 2000 or 2001. Forgot who.

      • Mike A. says:

        I think that player actually had 5 homers in the game, if you google that, you might find it.

        • Jamal G. says:

          Tyrone Horne on July 27, 1998. He was playing for the Double-A Arkansas Travelers, affiliate of the Los Angeles Angeles of Anaheim.

          Wiki says multiple have been recorded at the collegiate level.

          • Mike A. says:

            Eh, so I was off by a few years. I can understand there being some at the college level, obviously they use metal bats, but some of those parks are tiny, and there’s a whole lotta crappy pichers out there.

  29. A.D. says:

    Classic Yanks against a pitcher they haven’t seen

  30. Mike A. says:

    D-Ras was due for a clunker.

  31. Mike A. says:

    Man, Delmon Young looks like crap. I’m pretty sure he’s out of options, so they can’t even send him to the minors to work on it.

    • Jamal G. says:

      How can he be out of options, he’s never been sent down from the Major Leagues to the Minor Leagues and this is only his second full Major League season.

      • Mike A. says:

        He signed a 4 year ML deal when he was drafted in 2003, but didn’t play that season. That means he optioned in 2004, 2005 and 2006. So I’m wrong then, he does have an option left.

  32. Jamal G. says:

    I love how Mike Lamb transfers that power from his back leg throughout his swing, sure is pretty.

  33. Jamal G. says:

    Good shit by Darrell Rasner but it sure seemed that the HP ump expanded that strike-zone just a bit on a couple of those pitches to Brendan Harris.

  34. Jamal G. says:

    I knew that was gone from the swing, Delmon Young can’t fool me!

  35. Jamal G. says:

    Damn, I thought that got glove, not a pretty sound.

  36. Jamal G. says:

    Blackburn is a fucking pimp, he gets up after that and spits like it ain’t shit.

  37. Joey says:

    If ya can’t beat ‘em, beat ‘em (literally)

  38. Joey says:

    If Bobby is trying to pull a Pujols, I guess he will be taking out the catcher next…

  39. Mike A. says:

    Bradley Suttle is back for Charleston. Woo hoo.

  40. Casper says:


  41. Mike A. says:

    Boy they really played that one into a run.

  42. Jamal G. says:

    Why is Darrell Rasner charged with an Earned Run there?

  43. pete says:

    that may have been the worst defensive play of all time

  44. pete says:

    and yeah, how the hell is that an earned run?

    • BigBlueAL says:

      Cause it goes down as a triple anyway, and the Twins got a hit later on, which wouldve brought the runner on 3rd in anyway.

  45. Mike A. says:

    Scotty Patterson is wearing number 30, first player since Lidle to actually wear it (Henn was assigned it, but obviously never wore it in a game for the Yanks).

  46. Mike A. says:

    Girardi either takes Rasner out too soon, or leaves him in too long. No middle ground.

    • steve (different one) says:

      they played 12 innings last night. he’s trying to get 6 from his starter.

      what is the “perfect” number? 107.3 pitches?

  47. Adam says:

    i bet $20 michael kay refers to patterson as “all knees and elbows”

  48. Mike A. says:

    “The sticktoitiveness of pitching 5 years in the independent leagues?” Ugh.

  49. BigBlueAL says:

    First time ive seen Patterson pitch, kinda weird looking delivery.

  50. Joe says:

    Even Patterson pitches ahead of Britton

  51. Manimal says:

    Good job Patterson! He finally made it to the bigs. Looked nervous at first but got out of it. That ump didnt help him much. Can’t wait to see Dan Giese. Can someone get a scouting report on him, I dont know much about him

  52. Joe says:

    If I was Chris Britton I would not show up for a game or two and see if anybody notices

    • Bruno says:

      Only the equipment manager

    • Manimal says:

      hes so big, trust me, they would notice

      • Joe says:

        Maybe it’s like “Weekend at Bernie’s” where he’s actually dead, but he’s got a really cool beach house and the other relievers like to use it so they pretend he’s alive, and each time Girardi calls down to the bullpen the other relievers offer to pitch and say that he’s not feeling well, or doesn’t have his best stuff today. Think about it.

  53. BigBlueAL says:

    God Damn, Tampa with another walk-off hr. This is gettin a bit annoying now with the Rays.

    • LiveFromNewYork says:

      The Tampa Rays brought to you by Yankee dollars. Oh wait just about everyone is brought to you by Yankee dollars.

  54. BigBlueAL says:

    Ha!! Anyone else watching the Twins broadcast and saw how they showed an overview of Patterson pitching and showed that he was pitching a few inches in front of the rubber. 1st base umpire while he was warming up told him something about it. Pretty funny stuff.

  55. BigBlueAL says:

    Britton is warming up!!!!

  56. Jamal G. says:

    “Chris Britton getting up in the bullpen” Jesus, Michael Kay sucks, not even speaking an Earthly language anymore.

  57. steve (different one) says:

    welcome to the big leagues Scott.

  58. RustyJohn says:

    My hunger strike is over- CHris Britton pitched.

  59. RustyJohn says:

    No if only CHris would go on a hunger strike…

  60. RustyJohn says:

    Where does the Joe Nathan, Boof Bonser, Liriano for A.J. Pierzynski trade rank on all time one-sided trades? It has to be up there with TIno, Jeff Nelson and Jim Mecir for Russ Davis and Sterling Hitchcock.

  61. Jamal G. says:

    50 Hours away from Joba’s start :D

  62. Mike A. says:

    Do you guys think there’s a rivalry between the Yanks and Jays? I’m going to be on a radio show/podcast tonight, and that’s one of the things were going to discuss.

    I say … no.

    • Batty says:


      I don’t think so, probably has died off by now.

    • Brian says:

      In a “rivalry meter” for the Yankees with the AL East, I think it goes
      1. R. sox
      2. Rays (just the Tampa connection alone making that mildly true, not their recent success)
      3. O’s/Jays tie

      You can’t have a “rivalry” with every team in your division, or can you?

    • LiveFromNewYork says:

      Nooo….unless you count Arod.

  63. LiveFromNewYork says:

    Yankees and eeryone.

  64. A.D. says:

    They give Britton a chance and he’s yet again effective, 1.50 ERA this year (obv limited sample)

  65. younguns says:

    Jeter’s defense is better this year due to his off-season conditioning to improve his lateral range & quickness.

  66. Eric Solomon says:

    (first time/long time)

    I’ve actually noticed Jeter make a number of plays to his left/up the middle this year, after realizing that I couldn’t recall a single one from the last several years. I do think he’s doing a better job positioning himself, more up the middle, and letting ARod have more of the balls to his (Jeter’s) right.

  67. Eric Solomon says:

    Sorry, wrong thread…

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