Left-hander Matt Moore has some of the nastiest pure stuff in baseball, with the easiest mid-90s velocity you’ll ever see and a breaking ball that both bends and sweeps. So why has Joe Girardi included five left-handed hitters in the lineup against the Tampa southpaw today? Because of his reverse split:
|2013 vs. LHB||0.214||0.313||0.411||0.214||0.320||17.2%||10.9%||40.0%|
|2013 vs. RHB||0.155||0.261||0.304||0.190||0.257||26.7%||11.8%||34.0%|
|Career vs. LHB||0.232||0.336||0.359||0.232||0.313||17.3%||11.4%||43.4%|
|Career vs. RHB||0.219||0.307||0.372||0.219||0.299||26.0%||10.5%||35.1%|
So are pitcher platoon splits more important than hitter platoon splits? I don’t know. I guess that’s a case-by-case thing. The Yankees haven’t exactly fared well against left-handers this season — .231/.275/.328 (66 wRC+) — and it’s not like they have a bunch of big righty bats on the bench, so they might as well just run their best hitters out there regardless of handedness. Here’s the lineup that will face Mr. Moore…
- CF Brett Gardner
- 2B Robinson Cano
- LF Vernon Wells
- DH Travis Hafner
- 3B David Adams
- RF Ichiro Suzuki
- SS Jayson Nix
- 1B Lyle Overbay
- C Austin Romine
And on the mound is the former Baker University Wildcat, left-hander Vidal Nuno.
This afternoon’s game is scheduled to start at 4:10pm ET and can be seen on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy.
Injury Updates: David Phelps (forearm) is bruised and sore after being hit by a line drive last night, but he expects to make his next start … Andy Pettitte (trap) came through today’s bullpen session fine, yet there’s still no word on when he’ll pitch in a simulated game … Hiroki Kuroda (calf) threw a bullpen session and felt a little tightness, but he’s still expected to make his next start.
The Yankees have claimed left-hander David Huff off waivers from the Indians, the team announced. Fellow southpaw Francisco Rondon has been designated for assignment to clear room on the 40-man roster. A 25-man roster move will be made when Huff joins the team at some point in the next 72 hours. You might remember when he took an Alex Rodriguez line drive to the head in 2010.
Huff, 28, owns a 5.40 ERA and 4.88 FIP in 288.1 career innings spread across 52 starts and six relief appearances. His days as a starter are pretty much over and I assume the Yankees will try him out in relief. According to PitchFX, Huff sat right around 90 mph with a four-seamer as a starter, but that jumped into the 92-94 mph range in relief this year. His best secondary pitches are a low-90s cutter and a low-to-mid-80s changeup, which usually isn’t a lefty specialist mix. A low-80s curveball is a distant fourth pitch. Lefty batters have tagged him for a .391 wOBA in his career.
Because he is out of minor league options, the Yankees can not send Huff to Triple-A without exposing him to waivers. Considering he made it all way to New York on waivers this time, he might go unclaimed if they decide to slide him through again a la Sam Demel a few weeks ago. If they decide to keep him around with the big league team for the time being, I guess Ivan Nova is the top send-down candidate. Shawn Kelley and Preston Claiborne have been too effective to send down in favor of a second southpaw.
Rondon, 25, was added to the 40-man roster after last season to prevent him from being exposed in the Rule 5 Draft. He had success out of the bullpen in 2012, but the Yankees moved him back into the rotation this year for whatever reason and the results were terrible: 7.46 ERA and 5.83 FIP in 35 innings while repeating the Double-A level. Rondon broke off some nasty sliders in Spring Training, and I suppose there’s a chance he will get claimed off waivers since he’s left-handed and has all three minor league options remaining.
As Joel Sherman notes, the Yankees were considering Huff in the first round of the 2006 draft. When the Indians grabbed him with the 39th overall pick, New York was left to take Joba Chamberlain with the 41st selection. Their interest in the southpaw was long-standing.
3:10pm: I’m an idiot. Manaea will not pitch again because Indiana State’s season is over, not necessarily due to the injuries. Teams still will not get another chance to evaluate him before the draft, however.
1:00pm: Via Jon Heyman: Indiana State LHP Sean Manaea will not pitch again this season. He was scratched from Thursday’s start due to shoulder soreness and nagging hip trouble, which first popped up when he rolled his ankle earlier this spring and pitched through it. Here’s my profile.
Manaea, 21, came into the spring as a potential top three pick after a dominant showing on the Cape Cod League last summer. His stuff was not as lively this spring though, and his stock had been steadily dropping prior to be scratched a few days ago. The Yankees are one of the few teams with extra picks and draft pool money, meaning they’re in a position to gamble on a player like Manaea if they choose. I’m guessing he won’t get drafted high enough/offered enough money and returns to school for his senior season.
Baseball America had the Yankees selected Manaea with one of their three first round picks in their latest mock draft, but that was before the news that he will not pitch again this spring. · (8) ·
Eleven days after he returned from the fractured forearm, the Yankees lost Curtis Granderson to a fractured lefty pinky finger on Friday night. Cesar Ramos did the honors with an errant pitch in the fifth inning. The team won’t have a firm timetable for his return until a specialist takes a look at him on Monday, but it’s safe to say Curtis will miss several weeks. Maybe four, maybe six, who knows? If he can return before the All-Star break, I’ll be thrilled. For what it’s worth, Granderson was pretty upbeat following the game:
“I bounced back from [the forearm injury], I’ll bounce back from this,” he said (via Mark Feinsand). “The hand is still on, it didn’t fall off. You can take a look at all the positives from everything. It’s a better break than the previous one, that’s a good thing, it should be back sooner than the last time so that’s a good thing. The team is playing well. Hopefully we come back and the team is right where we need it to be and continue to help this team move forward until the end.”
The Yankees have been struggling to score runs this month (last night’s outburst aside), so losing Granderson is a pretty big loss when you consider that his replacement has stunk this year. It doesn’t matter if it’s Ichiro Suzuki, Brennan Boesch, or Ben Francisco. They’ve all stunk. Oh well, what can you do. We’ll all look back and laugh at this when the Yankees win the World Series. Here are some miscellaneous thoughts following the injury.
1. With Mark Teixeira due to start an official minor league rehab assignment on Wednesday, I think the Yankees should start working Lyle Overbay out in right field. Send him out to shag fly balls during batting practice and have him put in some extra work early in the afternoon, stuff like that, just to see if he can actually do it. He might be a Bobby Abreu disaster-level defender out there considering he hasn’t played the outfield since 2001 (25 games in Double-A), but it will keep him in the lineup against right-handers. Overbay could come out for a defensive replacement after six innings and ride the bench whenever the fly ball-prone Phil Hughes is on the mound, but they’d get to keep his bat around even after Teixeira returns. Given how little offense the current outfield options are expected to provide, spending the next week or so seeing in Lyle can handle right (the smallest part of Yankee Stadium) seems worthwhile.
2. I don’t think the Yankees will explore any trades to replace Granderson, not unless the specialist looks at his hand Monday and says he’ll miss the rest of the season or something like that. I’m sure they will monitor the waiver wire and stuff for small Alberto Gonzalez/Reid Brignac-esque moves that could provide a marginal upgrade, but I have a hard time thinking they’ll find someone better. Given how cooked Ichiro has looked, it might be best to start Boesch in right field and hope the bat clicks with regular playing time. Being a pinch-hitter and part-timer is hard, especially if you’ve never done it before. He could always come out for defense in the late innings, and his lack of a platoon split — career 109 wRC+ against lefties, 91 against righties — gives the team an excuse to run him out there every day. It’ll never happen, but I feel like Boesch deserves a shot given how terrible Ichiro (and Francisco) has looked.
3. Between the forearm and the finger, Granderson is going to miss what amounts to half his contract year. Does that make it more likely the Yankees will be able to retain him on a one-year “pillow contract?” He could come back to New York for a year, feast on the short porch and hopefully put up some more big power numbers before going back out on the free agent market after the season. I’d bring Granderson back on one-year, $10M contract no questions asked … hell, give him $15M for all I care. It ain’t my money. I don’t like the idea of re-signing him to a multi-year pact, and as much as these injuries suck and hurt the team right now, they might make it easier to retain him on favorable terms this coming winter. I’m guessing there will be multi-year offers on the table if he stays healthy in the second half and hits like he last these last three years. These were the definition of fluke injuries.
The Yankees stomped the Rays by the score of 9-4 on Friday night — the score makes it seem a lot closer than it felt — but more importantly, they lost Curtis Granderson for an extended period of time after a pitch broke his left pinky in the fifth inning. It’s a win in the standings and a loss in the big picture. Let’s recap…
- Three-Run Second: It started with (another) blown call at first base. David Adams was incorrectly ruled safe on an infield single, putting two men on-base for Lyle Overbay. He took a big hack at a 3-0 fastball and doubled in the first two runs of the game, then Jayson Nix singled him in for a three-zip lead. The call at first would have only been the second out of the inning, but it changed everything. The Yankees took advantage of the gift call.
- Blown Open: It’s been a while since the Bombers put a crocked number on the board, so it was nice to see them so some serious damage in the middle innings. Brett Gardner sabotaged a first pitch fastball for a two-run homer in the fourth, which is exactly what he’s done for three of his four homers this year. Nix (bases loaded walk), Chris Stewart (single), and Robinson Cano (bases loaded hit-by-pitch) each drove in a run in the fifth to make it eight-zip.
- Job Security: Ivan Nova is going to have to get comfortable in the bullpen. David Phelps retired the first 13 men he faced on Friday and finished the night with four runs allowed in a career-high 7.2 innings, a line that looks a lot worse than he actually pitched. He threw 63 of 98 pitches for strikes and was very efficient, never once throwing more than 15 pitches in an inning. Phelps’ night came to an unfortunate end when a line drive hit him in the right forearm — there’s a chance he was going to be removed at time anyway — but x-rays came back negative and it’s just a bruise. Once again, the right-hander was rock solid. Nova ain’t taking this rotation spot back anytime soon.
- Leftovers: The bottom four spots in the lineup went a combined 8-for-18 (.444) and scored six of the nine runs … replays showed Cano was not hit by the pitch in the fifth, it hit the bat and he was awarded first base anyway … Nix had a very strong game, with a single and a triple to go along with the bases loaded walk … Boone Logan struck out the only man he faced while Shawn Kelley worked a scoreless, strikeout-less ninth … the Yankees went 5-for-9 with runners in scoring position and remain undefeated (22-0) when leading after seven innings … the Rays had to get 15 outs from their bullpen, which could impact the rest of the series.
Check out MLB.com for the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs for some more stats, and ESPN for the updated standings. Both the Red Sox and Orioles won, so they remain two and four back of the Yankees in the loss column. The Rays dropped to five back. These same two teams will play game two of this three-game set on Saturday afternoon, and the pitching matchup features a pair of very different southpaws: Vidal Nuno and Matt Moore.
Triple-A Scranton (9-4 loss to Durham)
- 2B Corban Joseph: 3-5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 E (fielding) — had been in a 5-for-35 (.143) slump
- RF Brennan Boesch: 0-4, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K — he was called into the manager’s office after the game, so he’ll almost certainly be coming up to replace the injured Curtis Granderson
- LF Zoilo Almonte: 1-4, 1 3B, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
- 3B Ronnie Mustelier: 1-5
- DH Thomas Neal: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 K — 11 hits in his last 25 at-bats (.440)
- CF Melky Mesa: 2-4, 1 R, 1 K — 70 strikeouts (!) and four walks in 45 games
- RHP Chase Whitley: 1.2 IP, zeroes, 3 K, 2/0 GB/FB — 15 of 22 pitches were strikes (68%) … first scoreless outing of the year
- RHP Mark Montgomery: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 2/0 GB/FB — 25 of 48 pitches were strikes (52%), and he was sitting mostly 89-90 mph with the fastball … 15 strikeouts and 15 walks in his last 15.1 innings
- RHP Sam Demel: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GB/FB — 12 pitches, eight strikes … he’s been their only reliable reliever this year
10:29pm: The x-rays came back negative, so officially it is just a right forearm contusion. No word on whether Phelps will make his next start yet. Here’s video of the injury.
10:15pm: Phelps has a bruised forearm and will head for precautionary x-rays. Joe Girardi didn’t seem too concerned during his post-game chat.
9:49pm: David Phelps was taken out of tonight’s game after being by a line drive in the right arm. It looked like it got him somewhere near the elbow. I couldn’t tell if he was in pain or just angry after getting hit, but it was clear something wasn’t right. Stay tuned for updates. Sigh. · (29) ·
The Yankees just can’t get ahead of all these injuries. Less than two weeks after he returned from a fractured right forearm, Curtis Granderson suffered a fractured fifth metacarpal (pinky) in his left hand when Cesar Ramos hit him with a pitch in the fifth inning on Friday’s game. Joe Girardi indicated he will miss a minimum of four weeks, but they won’t have a firm timetable until he sees a specialist on Monday. There’s a chance Curtis will need surgery.
Granderson, 32, actually stayed in the game to run the bases before being removed after the inning. The trainer did come out to look at him while he was on the bases, but not until he reached third base because they were originally waved off. In eight games since coming off the DL, Granderson went 7-for-28 (.250) with a double, a homer, and a stolen base. He also moved to the corner outfield in deference to Brett Gardner, playing primarily right field with a smattering of innings in left.
Ichiro Suzuki will presumably return to the lineup on an everyday basis even though he came into Friday’s game hitting .241/.279/.331 (56 wRC+) in 156 plate appearances on the season. Brennan Boesch is the obvious candidate to be called up from Triple-A Scranton to fill the roster spot; he’s gone 5-for-28 (.179) with a double in seven games since being sent down. The Yankees have hard enough time generating offense as it is, so losing Granderson is pretty devastating.
The Yankees and the Rangers are the only teams in baseball that have yet to lose three consecutive games this season, but the Bombers have lost two straight coming into tonight’s contest against the Rays. This series could create some headaches for New York with Vidal Nuno starting tomorrow and Alex Cobb starting on Sunday, so winning the opener tonight would be a pretty nice regardless of how many games they’ve lost in a row. Here’s the lineup that will face the pitcher former known as Fausto Carmona:
- CF Brett Gardner
- 2B Robinson Cano
- LF Vernon Wells
- DH Travis Hafner
- RF Curtis Granderson
- 3B David Adams
- 1B Lyle Overbay
- SS Jayson Nix
- C Chris Stewart — I guess the groin is okay
And on the mound is the former Falmouth Commodore (Cape Cod League), right-hander David Phelps.
The sky is clear and it’s sweltering in St. Petersburg, but that doesn’t matter because the Yankees and Rays are playing indoors. Tonight’s game is scheduled to start at 7:10pm ET and can be seen on My9 locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy.
Injury News: Andy Pettitte (trap) will throw a bullpen session tomorrow after playing catch the last two days … Kevin Youkilis (back) could join Mark Teixeira (wrist) on a minor league rehab assignment next week … Joba Chamberlain (oblique) will throw two innings in an Extended Spring Training game tomorrow … Eduardo Nunez (ribcage) will play in a minor league rehab game soon … in case you missed it earlier, Ivan Nova (triceps) was activated off the DL while Dellin Betances was sent to Triple-A to clear a roster spot.
Friday: Teixeira will indeed join Double-A Trenton for a rehab assignment next week according to George King. He will play with the Thunder on Wednesday and Thursday, and it’s unclear what happens after that since Trenton is heading out on a road trip. I have to think he’ll need more than two rehab games, however.
Thursday: Via Erik Boland: Mark Teixeira could join Double-A Trenton for an official rehab assignment as soon as next Tuesday. He’s been hitting in the cage and in simulated games down in Tampa, and I assume he’ll squeeze in a few Extended Spring Training at-bats before joining the Thunder.
Teixeira, 33, has been out with an injury to the tendon sheath in his right wrist since early March, so his rehab assignment is probably going to last longer than two or three days. He might be there for a week considering he missed a big chunk of Spring Training and needs to iron out two swings. Lyle Overbay has started to cool off recently and if nothing else, getting Teixeira in the lineup will be a huge help against left-handed pitchers. · (16) ·