Triple-A Scranton (10-4 loss to Columbus)
- 2B Corban Joseph: 1-4, 1 BB
- RF Brennan Boesch: 1-2, 1 R, 3 BB – five walks and four strikeouts in four games here
- CF Zoilo Almonte: 0-5, 2 K — stuck in a 12-for-57 rut (.211)
- 3B Ronnie Mustelier: 1-5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 K, 1 SB, 1 E (fielding)
- RHP Caleb Cotham: 4.1 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 6/1 GB/FB — 62 of 94 pitches were strikes (66%) … allowed four homers, so he’s up to seven in 13 innings at this level
- RHP Mark Montgomery: 1.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 1/3 GB/FB — 25 of 39 pitches were strikes (64%) … seven walks and seven strikeouts in his last 8.1 innings
The Yankees didn’t get a chance to complete the three-game sweep over the Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon because of the weather, but the rainout did allow the team to juggle their Andy Pettitte-less rotation. Following the postponement, Joe Girardi announced the team will skip Vidal Nuno‘s upcoming start and instead throw CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes, and Hiroki Kuroda against the Orioles next week. Nuno will be available out of the bullpen.
Having a second left-handed reliever will be a big help next week against Baltimore, who has lefty-heavy lineup featuring Nate McLouth, Nick Markakis, Chris Davis, and former Yankee Chris Dickerson. Those middle two are the big concerns, so having a second southpaw won’t be insignificant for at least three games. There can be some serious mixing and matching later in the game if need be.
Girardi indicated they will slot Nuno back into the rotation following the series with the O’s. The Yankees are off on Thursday, so they can push the Nuno/Pettitte rotation spot all the way back to May 28th, nine days from today, when they’ll be across town playing the Mets. Pettitte is eligible to come off the DL on June 1st, so it’s possible he will only miss one start with his left trap strain. With all due respect to Nuno, that would be ideal.
It’s also worth noting Austin Romine will benefit from the rainout. He’s started the last two games and played in each of the last four, and there still isn’t a firm timetable for Chris Stewart’s return from a day-to-day left groin problem. Romine gets a little break and will be able to catch all three games in Baltimore without much of a problem. Without the rainout, he might have started six straight games behind the plate heading into the off-day. That could be a dangerous for a young catcher with a history of back problems.
The three game series in Camden Yards opens on Monday night, when Sabathia starts against former teammate Freddy Garcia. The Orioles lost to the Rays on Sunday afternoon and will enter the series four games back in the division.
The Yankees were rained out this afternoon, so I figured I would post the open thread a little earlier than usual. The Braves and Dodgers are on TBS and the Mets are playing the Cubs right now, plus you’ve got NHL (Rangers!) and NBA playoff action going on this afternoon. No sense in waiting when everyone wants to talk about those games now. Later tonight, the ESPN game will feature the Tigers at the Rangers (Fister vs. Holland). That should be fun. Talk about any of that stuff and more right here. Go nuts.
Right-hander Joba Chamberlain is heading to Tampa to continue rehabbing from the oblique strain that has sidelined him for more than three weeks now. He’ll throw a bullpen and make a minor league rehab appearance with High-A Tampa next week, and there’s a chance he could be activated when the Yankees are in town to play the Rays next weekend.
Joba, 27, pitched to a 3.86 ERA and 3.46 FIP in 9.1 innings before the injury. He walked (six) nearly as many men as he struck out (seven), though all six walks came in his first three appearances — he struck out three and allowed six hits in his first seven appearances, all scoreless. Preston Claiborne has been awesome and Shawn Kelley has the third highest strikeout rate in baseball at 41.7% (min. 10 IP), but there’s always room for another quality reliever. If nothing else, the Yankees don’t have to worry about rushing Joba back right now. · (2) ·
Mother Nature might have mercy on the Blue Jays today. After losing the first two games of this series and eight of their first nine games against the Yankees this year, Toronto might be able to weasel out of Sunday’s game thanks to a steady but not heavy rain. Here’s the lineup they’re sending out there against knuckleballing right-hander and reigning NL Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey…
- CF Curtis Granderson
- 2B Robinson Cano
- LF Vernon Wells
- DH Travis Hafner
- 1B Lyle Overbay
- 3B Jayson Nix
- RF Ichiro Suzuki
- SS Reid Brignac
- C Austin Romine
And on the mound is the 2009 ALCS MVP, left-hander CC Sabathia.
This afternoon’s game is scheduled to start a little at 1pm ET, but that seems unlikely based on what’s going on outside my window. If/when they do play, you can watch on YES. Enjoy.
Update (12:33pm): The game has been postponed with no makeup date announced. The Jays come back to the Bronx just one more time this year, from August 20-22. Both teams are off on the 19th, so that might work for a makeup date.
Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com posted his first mock draft late last week, and he has the Astros taking Oklahoma RHP Jonathan Gray with the first overall pick. The Yankees drafted but failed to sign him in the tenth round of the 2011 draft. The Cubs are projected to take Stanford RHP Mark Appel second overall. San Diego 3B Kris Bryant going third to the Rockies is the consensus right now.
With their three first round picks, Mayo has the Yankees taking Oklahoma HS C Jon Denney (26th overall), New Jersey LHP Rob Kaminsky (32nd), and Mississippi JuCo SS Tim Anderson (33rd). I’ve already written posts on Kaminsky and Anderson, and Denney is a bat-first catcher who can really hit but may or may not remain behind the plate long-term. The Yankees have been connected to all three players in recent weeks, especially Denney and Kaminsky. High schoolers and up-the-middle athletes. Pretty typical for the Bombers.
Other Mock Drafts: Baseball America (v1.0) and Keith Law (v1.0). · (13) ·
The Blue Jays scored 21 total runs against the Giants on Wednesday and Thursday, so they came into this weekend series swinging the bat well. Instead, they’ve been dominated by a Yankees’ pitching staff that has held them to two total runs in two games. New York won Saturday’s game by the score of 7-2, their eighth win over Toronto in nine meetings this year. Let’s recap…
- Cano Once, Cano Twice: Robinson Cano came into Saturday’s game riding a 10-for-49 slump, but he broke out against Brandon Morrow with a pair of two-run homers. The first was a total Yankee Stadium cheapie in the third inning while the second was a legit blast over the bullpen and into the right field bleachers in the fifth. Robbie had a chance for a third homer, but he struck out in the eighth. Both dingers were hit with two outs, so Joe Girardi‘s decision to bat Cano second instead of third paid some very real dividends. He might not have batting in those innings had he batted third, the spot traditional reserved for the team’s best hitter.
- Season-High: For the first time in his big league career, David Phelps completed seven innings of work. Things got a little hairy in the first thanks to two walks — only nine of his 24 pitches in the inning were strikes — but Jose Bautista wandered too far off second and Phelps picked him off to end the threat. The right-hander struck out eight and got seven ground ball outs, allowing the only run when Curtis Granderson got turned around on a line drive in his first career start in right field. It’s only been four starts, but I don’t see how Ivan Nova gets his rotation spot back when he’s ready to come off the DL. Barring injury, of course. Phelps has been so much better.
- Leftovers: Travis Hafner played for the first time in about a week, hitting a two-run homer in the eighth to break things open … Granderson and David Adams were the only Yankees without hits, but only Cano had multiple knocks … Austin Romine singled in three at-bats and looks way, way more comfortable at the plate now that he’s playing everyday due to Chris Stewart‘s injury … David Robertson allowed a solo homer in the eighth before Boone Logan struck out a pair in a perfect ninth … Jayson Nix singled and struck out twice in four at-bats while seeing eight total pitches … the Yankees are 18-0 when scoring first, the first team in AL history to win its first 18 games when scoring first.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights while FanGraphs has the nerd score. ESPN has the updated standings, which show the Yankees remaining atop the AL East by one game in the loss column over the Red Sox. The Orioles are now three back thanks to another Jim Johnson blown save. The Yankees will look to complete their second sweep of the Blue Jays this season on Sunday, when former Cy Young Award winners CC Sabathia and R.A. Dickey square off in a matinee. RAB Tickets has last minute ticket deals.
According to Ben Badler, LHP Omar Rodriguez is listed on the Short Season Staten Island roster. That in an of itself means list — he could be assigned to any affiliate at any time — but it’s an indication the southpaw has secured a visa after getting stuck in Haiti for a few months. The Yankees gave Rodriguez $4M last summer, their last big signing before the international spending restrictions were implemented.
In other news, RHP Chase Whitely has finally been activated off the DL. He missed the start of the season with an oblique problem and has rejoined Triple-A Scranton.
Triple-A Scranton (4-3 loss to Columbus, walk-off style)
- 2B Corban Joseph: 2-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K — has been just 2-for-17 (.118) since being send down following the doubleheader against the Indians
- DH Brennan Boesch: 0-4, 1 BB, 1 K
- LF Ronnie Mustelier: 0-5
- 3B Josh Bell: 1-3, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K
- RF Thomas Neal: 1-2, 2 BB
- CF Melky Mesa: 0-4, 2 K — 66 strikeouts and four walks in 159 plate appearances (41.5 K% and 2.5 BB%)
- RHP Chase Whitley: 2.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1 HB, 3/1 GB/FB — 19 of 32 pitches were strikes (59%)
Nine games against the Blue Jays, eight wins. That’s pretty awesome considering how Toronto was crowned the offseason champs while the Yankees were widely picked to finish last following their slews of injury. If they finish off the sweep behind CC Sabathia tomorrow, they will have won their first seven home games from their division rivals to the north. Dominance.
Here is your open thread for the night. MLB Network will air a game later tonight, plus you’ve got NHL and NBA (Knicks!) playoff action. Talk about any of that and more here. Have at it.
The 2013 amateur draft will be held from June 6-8 this year, and between now and then I’m going to highlight some prospects individually rather than lump them together into larger posts.
Marco Gonzales | LHP
A Colorado kid from Fort Collins, Gonzales’ father pitched in the minor leagues for eight years and is a pitching instructor in the Rockies’ system. Marco won four state championships in high school and will leave Gonzaga as one of the best players in school history. He came into the weekend with a 2.57 ERA and a 91/22 K/BB in 98 innings this year.
Listed at a modest 6-foot-1 and 185 lbs., Gonzales stands out for his pitching acumen and two above-average offspeed pitches. His fastball mostly sits in the 88-92 mph range and it might dip below that starting every five days rather than once a week. A fading upper-70s changeup is his put-away offering and one of the best individual pitches in the entire draft. His mid-70s curveball is an average pitch at worst and a second out pitch on most days.
Gonzales is a very good athlete who repeats a simple delivery and commands his entire arsenal to both sides of the plate. He’s very polished, arguably the most polished pitcher in the draft, and he knows how to set hitters up. He also holds runners and fields his position well. Gonzales can hit — he bats cleanup for the Bulldogs and plays first base when he doesn’t pitch — and would get drafted in the top ten rounds as a position player, but that doesn’t matter much in the grand scheme of things. His future lies on the mound and he draws rave reviews for his work ethic and makeup. There are tons of videos on YouTube.
Keith Law (subs. req’d) and Baseball America ranked Gonzales as the 23rd and 28th best prospect in the draft in their latest rankings, respectively. For what it’s worth, Troy Renck said he’s heard the Yankees are among the clubs interested in the left-hander, who doesn’t offer a ton of upside but is as safe as college pitchers come. Guys like Gonzales are popular first round targets for risk-averse teams, so the Bombers might not even get a chance to draft him when their top three picks (26th, 32nd, and 33rd overall) roll around.