Archive for Asides
Keith Law posted his first mock draft today (subs. req’d), and he has the Astros taking Oklahoma RHP Jonathan Gray with the first overall pick. He says they figure to try to work out a pre-draft deal with the former Yankees draft pick for less than what it would take to sign Stanford RHP Mark Appel, then spread the savings around on later picks. Law expects the Cubs to take Appel second overall. I doubt he gets beyond that pick.
The Yankees have three first round picks, and Law has them selecting Stanford OF Austin Wilson (26th overall), Oklahoma HS C Jon Denney (32nd), and Arizona HS SS Dustin Peterson (33rd). Wilson was a big name a few years ago, but he wound up on campus and was expected to be a top ten pick before suffering a stress reaction in his elbow. He’s a tool shed who needs some work. Denney, who has been connected to New York before, is an offense-first catcher while Peterson a solid athlete who is likely to remain on the middle infield.
Law says the Yankees have been heavily connected to high school players with these top three picks, and that’s not surprising. Scouting director Damon Oppenheimer loves toolsy prep players. He does mention the team would love to see a top college arm fall into their laps with one of these picks, however.
Via Shannon Drayer: The Mariners have scratched Aaron Harang from tonight’s start with a stiff lower back. The Yankees will instead face their former teammate, right-hander Hector Noesi. The 25-year-old was awful last season (5.82 ERA and 5.53 FIP in 106.2 IP), but he’s been better out of the bullpen so far this year (3.86 ERA and 2.70 FIP in 9.1 IP).
May 15th: Done deal, both the NHL and the Yankees have officially announced it. The first game (Rangers-Devils) is scheduled for 12:30pm ET on Jan. 26th (Sunday), the second (Rangers-Islanders) for 7:30pm ET on Jan. 29th (Wednesday).
April 16th: Katie Strang has confirmed the NHL is planning on two outdoor games at Yankee Stadium next season, with the three locals participating: Rangers-Devils (Jan. 26th) then Rangers-Islanders (Jan. 29th). The deal is expected to be finalized soon.
April 10th: Via Helen Elliot: Yankee Stadium is the “preferred venue” for an outdoor NHL game on January 26th of next year. The NHL is hoping to play three outdoor games next winter — the scheduled Winter Classic in Michigan plus two others. Dodger Stadium is the favorite to land the third game.
The Yankees have been trying to lure the Winter Classic — the NHL’s annual marquee/cash cow event — to the Bronx since the new Yankee Stadium opened in 2009, but scheduling conflicts with the Pinstripe Bowl have prevented it from happening. The Pinstripe Bowl contract doesn’t expire until 2015, but the Winter Classic is usually played right around New Year’s. The tentative late-January schedule of this game could make it possible. Either way, I’m totally there if it happens. (h/t Ryan Dadoun)
3:59pm: Yep, Nelson has been designated for assignment. He had a nice little two weeks in pinstripes, specifically going 8-for-26 (.308) at the plate in the last seven games. Nelson was always just a stopgap until Adams could be called up.
3:45pm: The Yankees have officially called up infielder David Adams, the team announced. No word on the corresponding roster move just yet — they need to make both a 25-man and 40-man move — but I’m guessing it’ll involve Chris Nelson. They’re completely redundant.
Adams, who turns 26 today, hit .316/.407/.490 (155 wRC+) with three homers in 26 games for Triple-A Scranton this year. They Yankees couldn’t call him up any sooner because of some silly roster rules, but he is expected to get a chance to play everyday with Kevin Youkilis on the DL. Adams started his career as a second baseman but shifted over to third in the second half last year, exactly when Alex Rodriguez had his hand broken by a pitch.
By all accounts, Joe Girardi is having an excellent year leading the Yanks’ rag-tag band of misfits to an AL-best 25-14 record, and to note the team’s and skipper’s progress so far, our partners at TiqIQ are giving away $100 in credit and the chance to purchase tickets for one game at 50 percent off to one lucky winner. Click through for the entry form and contest page, but here’s the fine print: Submit your name and email to TiqIQ and leave a comment on the company’s Facebook page responding to the following question: “Is Joe Girardi The Manager Of The Year (so far) And Why?” For my money, no other manager can come close over the first quarter of the season, but I’ll leave the why up to you. The contest ends tonight at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time, and don’t forget to check out RAB Tickets for your Yankee Stadium needs. [TiqIQ]
10:42pm: Hafner has tendinitis in the shoulder and is day-to-day. He received a cortisone shot. Joe Girardi said he could return to the lineup as soon as tomorrow, but I’m guessing he’ll get at least one more day to rest. Wouldn’t be the worst idea.
3:59pm: Travis Hafner will miss at least the next few days with a sore right shoulder. He is heading for a precautionary MRI, but given his injury history, every bump and bruise is a red flag. The 35-year-old is hitting .260/.383/.510 (140 wRC+) overall this year despite slumping hard in May (23 wRC+). Hafner had debridement surgery on his right shoulder back in 2008 and missed time with soreness and inflammation in both 2009 and 2010.
Left-hander Cesar Cabral, the forgotten injured Yankee, officially started his minor league rehab assignment with a scoreless inning for High-A Tampa tonight. He walked a batter and got two fly ball outs, plus another on the ground. His 30-day rehab window is now ticking and will expire on June 13th.
Cabral, 24, missed all of last season with a fracture in his pitching elbow. He must spend at least 90 days on the 25-man active roster this year as a Rule 5 Draft pick, otherwise he must be placed on waivers and offered back to his original team (Red Sox). Cabral nearly beat out Clay Rapada for the second southpaw spot in the bullpen before the injury last spring, and the Yankees definitely like him based on the way they’ve talked about him over the last 18 months or so. If Cabral stays healthy during the rehab assignment, they’ll have a decision to make one month from today.
In his first rehab game with Triple-A Scranton, Joba Chamberlain allowed two ground ball singles in a scoreless inning of work. He got a ground ball to second, a fly out to left, and a fly out to right while throwing nine of 12 pitches for strikes. Depending how Joba and his strained right oblique feel tomorrow, he could be activated off the DL as soon as Thursday.
The Yankees have officially activated Curtis Granderson off the 15-day DL, the team announced. In a corresponding move, Vidal Nuno to optioned down to Triple-A. That’s no surprise after yesterday’s start rendered him unavailable for at least the next three days. The fresh Brett Marshall remains with the team as the long man for the time being.
Via Ben Badler (subs. req’d): The Yankees are the “most likely landing spot” for Dominican outfield prospect Leonardo Molina once this year’s international signing period opens on July 2nd. They have $1.18-1.88M to spend internationally this summer, depending on whether there is free agency or an international draft.
Molina, who has no relation to the Puerto Rican-born catching trio, is the top prospect in the Dominican Prospect League and one of the best athletes available this year. He is listed at 6-foot-2 and 170 lbs., and Badler says he’s a “plus-plus runner with a strong arm, giving him the tools to be an excellent defender in center field once he refines his routes.” Molina offers good bat speed from the right side but he needs to refine his swing a bit to tap into his offensive potential. He can’t sign until he turns 16 on August 1st, but is likely to land a seven-figure bonus once eligible.