• Yanks acquire breathing human for Eduardo Nunez

    Brian Cashman has turned the recently-DFA’d Eduardo Nunez into a minor league pitcher. As the Yankees announced a few minutes ago, the team has acquired Miguel Sulbaran from the Twins in exchange for Nunez. Sulbaran is a 20-year-old lefty pitcher who has put up decent numbers with both the Twins and Dodgers since arriving in the U.S. in 2012, and he has yet to pitch above Single A.

    Sulbaran was the player to be named later in the Dodgers’ deal for Drew Butera last year, and at the time, Dodgers’ bloggers seemed to rue the trade. That said, Sulbaran is a 5’10″ lefty who sits in the 89-90 mph range with breaking pitches described as “average.” Maybe he could one day be a bullpen arm, but for now, he’s org filler in acquired exchange for a bench player who was opportunities with the Yankees.
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(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty)

(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty)

The Yankees have placed David Robertson on the 15-day DL with a Grade I groin strain, Joe Girardi announced. He hurt himself at some point during Sunday’s outing. Grade I is the least severe strain, but that doesn’t mean he will automatically be ready to go once the 15 days are up. Girardi declined to give a timetable for his return.

I assumed Robertson did not pitch Monday because he had a long-ish outing on Sunday and had pitched in three of the last four days, but unfortunately not. Shawn Kelley picked up an easy save in the home opener on Monday afternoon, but Girardi stopped short of declaring him the interim closer. He did acknowledge Kelley will see most save chances, however. Adam Warren is also in the late-inning mix.

There is no word on who will be called up to fill Robertson’s roster spot. Preston Claiborne and Cesar Cabral are both on the 40-man roster and seem like obvious candidates, and others like Matt Daley, David Herndon, Fred Lewis, and Danny Burawa impressed in Spring Training and could get the call. None of those guys are on the 40-man roster, though.

Robertson, 28, allowed one hit and one walk in three innings before getting hurt, going 2-for-2 in save chances. Girardi is very good at getting the most out of his bullpen, and he’ll have to continue to do just that with his best reliever on the shelf for the foreseeable future.

Categories : Injuries
Comments (87)
  • Report: Yankees one of several teams with interest in Brian Omogrosso

    According to his representatives at the MCA Agency, the Yankees are one of several teams with interest in free agent right-hander Brian Omogrosso. He recently elected free agency after being outrighted off the 40-man roster by the White Sox, and has been throwing for teams in Phoenix. The Rangers and Blue Jays are among the other clubs with interest.

    Omogrosso, 29, has a 5.54 ERA (4.52 FIP) with a 8.2 K/9 (19.5 K%) in 37.1 career big league innings, all with the ChiSox from 2012-13. His career Triple-A numbers aren’t anything to write home about (5.20 ERA and ~3.26 FIP), but his strikeout (9.8 K/9 and 25.0 K%) and walk numbers (2.7 BB/9 and 6.9 BB%) are strong. Baseball America ranked Omogrosso as the 17th best prospect in Chicago’s system before the 2012 season, saying he throws in the mid-90s with a hard slider, but his “peak value is probably as a seventh- or eighth-inning reliever.” Here’s video. Sounds like the Yankees are looking at him as a power depth arm for Triple-A.
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(REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine)

(REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine)

After six games on the road, the Yankees are finally back in the Bronx. The team kicks off a nine-game homestand with their home opener this afternoon, assuming the weather cooperates. The forecast calls for showers later today, but it appears they will hold off long enough to get the game in. It will be cloudy and smell like smoke, however.

Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera will throw out the ceremonial first pitches to Jorge Posada and Derek Jeter before the game. The Core Four, you see. I guess Bernie Williams drew the short straw. Jeter should get a massive standing ovation before his first at-bat since this is his final home opener. He’ll get cheered all season long, no doubt about it, but I think today’s ovation will be the biggest until his final home game. Should be fun.

Modest goal for today: get the leadoff guy out. The first batter of the first inning is 6-for-6 with two singles, a double, and three homers against the Yankees this season. Seriously. After giving up three leadoff homers in 2012 and 2013 combined, they’ve allowed three in their first six games of 2014. I’m not asking too much, am I? Here is the Orioles lineup and here is Joe Girardi‘s starting lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. SS Derek Jeter
  3. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  4. RF Carlos Beltran
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. DH Alfonso Soriano
  7. 2B Brian Roberts
  8. 1B Kelly Johnson
  9. 3B Yangervis Solarte
    RHP Hiroki Kuroda

Like I said before, it’s cloudy but the rain is supposed to hold off until later this afternoon. Not the best baseball weather, but they’ll live. The Yankees say pre-game ceremonies will begin at 12:44pm ET, and first pitch is scheduled for 1:08pm ET. You can watch today’s game live on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy.

Categories : Game Threads
Comments (437)
(Rob Carr/Getty)

(Rob Carr/Getty)

After opening the season with six straight games on the road (in parks with roofs, no less), the Yankees are finally back home in the Bronx. Their first homestand of the year opens this afternoon with the AL East rival Orioles in town for a three-game set. Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera will throw out the ceremonial first pitches to Jorge Posada and Derek Jeter in the home opener this afternoon. Neato.

What Have They Done Lately?
The Orioles beat the Tigers yesterday, but they lost four straight games before that. Baltimore is 2-4 with a -9 run differential, which … doesn’t really mean much of anything these days. It’s too early to worry about win-loss records.

Few teams boast as much power as the Orioles. They led baseball with 212 homeruns last season, but because they don’t have many high on base players, they only had a team 100 wRC+ and averaged 4.60 runs per game. This year, they’ve swatted only three homers, so they’re sitting on a team 68 wRC+ with 20 runs in six games (3.33 per). They are currently without 3B Manny Machado (101 wRC+ in 2013), who is recovering from offseason knee surgery. OF Nolan Reimold (52) is out with a neck problem as well.

Cruz. (Presswire)

Cruz. (Presswire)

Manager and former Yankees skipper Buck Showalter has three legitimate 30+ homer bats in the middle of his lineup. 1B Chris Davis (167 wRC+ in 2013/95 wRC+ in 2014) led the world with 53 homers last season. Adam Jones (118/88) hit 33 of his own, his second straight year over 30 and third year over 25. OF Nelson Cruz (122/143) has hit two of their three homers this season, and last year he slugged 27 dingers before his 50-game Biogenesis suspension. SS J.J. Hardy (99/101) can hit some balls over the fence as well. He is day-to-day with back spasms.

The other notables in the lineup are OF Nick Markakis (87/59) and C Matt Wieters (86/165), who embody the team’s development problems. Both guys had big seasons earlier in the career but then plateaued and never improved. (Wieters has the team’s other homer.) IF Steve Lombardozzi (67/84), IF Ryan Flaherty (83/-64), and IF Jonathan Schoop (128/-53) are splitting time at second and third. OF David Lough (96/9) is the primary left fielder with Cruz at DH, plus both OF Delmon Young (98/35) and OF/1B Steve Pearce (115/-100) serve as righty bats off the bench. They haven’t hit this year, but the Orioles can change the complexion of a game with one swing of the bat.

Pitching Matchups

Monday: RHP Hiroki Kuroda vs. RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (Career vs. NYY) (Pitcher GIFs)
The Orioles were patient and played the market well this winter — whether that was by design is another matter entirely — landing the 30-year-old Jimenez on a favorable contract right as Spring Training opened. He had his best season in years in 2013, pitching to a 3.30 ERA (3.43 FIP) in 182.2 innings for the Indians. His strikeout rate (9.56 K/9 and 25.0 K%) was excellent, his walk (3.94 BB/9 and 10.3 BB%) and ground ball (43.9%) numbers less so. Jimenez actually had a reverse split last summer, holding lefties to a .296 wOBA while righties got him for .318 wOBA. Ubaldo is a true five-pitch pitcher, meaning he uses all five pitches fairly regularly. His low-90s fastball sets up his mid-80s splitter, low-80s slider, low-80s changeup, and upper-70s curveball. Jimenez allowed four runs in six innings to the Red Sox in his first start. He can be dominant, but he also might be the most unpredictable pitcher in the game.

Don't call me Bruce. (Leon Halip/Getty)

Don’t call me Bruce. (Leon Halip/Getty)

Tuesday: RHP Ivan Nova vs. LHP Wei-Yin Chen (Career vs. NYY) (Pitcher GIFs)
Chen, 28, is now in his third MLB season. He had a 4.07 ERA (4.04 FIP) in 137 innings around an oblique injury last summer, with poor strikeout (6.82 K/9 and 18.2 K%) and ground ball (34.4%) rates. He did limit walks though (2.56 BB/9 and 6.8 BB%). Chen has the standard issue four-pitch mix, so a low-90s fastball, mid-80s changeup, low-80s slider, and low-70s curveball. The changeup is his top secondary pitch, though righties (.330 wOBA) still give him a harder time than lefties (.306 wOBA). Chen got knocked around in his first start of the year, allowing four runs on 12 hits to the Red Sox.

Wednesday: RHP Masahiro Tanaka vs. RHP Miguel Gonzalez (Career vs. NYY) (Pitcher GIFs)
Man, Gonzalez dominated the Yankees back in 2012. He started three games against New York that year (postseason included), allowing only five runs on 15 hits and one walk in 20.2 innings. He struck out 25. Domination. Thankfully, that changed last season, when the 29-year-old allowed 16 runs with a 19/13 K/BB in 29 innings against New York. Gonzalez had a 3.78 ERA (4.45 FIP) in 171.1 innings overall last summer, though his peripherals were mediocre: 6.30 K/9 (16.9 K%), 2.78 BB/9 (7.4 BB%), and 38.9% grounders. He has a reverse platoon split — lefties have a .305 wOBA, righties a .325 wOBA — in parts of three big league seasons. Gonzalez’s break and butter is a nasty split-changeup hybrid that sits in the low-80s. He sets it up with a low-90s fastball and also throws a low-80s slider and mid-70s curveball. That split-change keeps him in MLB. Gonzalez got creamed in his first start of 2014, allowing seven runs on nine hits (including two homers) in 3.1 innings.

Hunter. (David Banks/Getty Images)

Hunter. (Getty)

Bullpen Status
With Jim Johnson currently blowing games for the Athletics, RHP Tommy Hunter (3.68 FIP in 2013/1.68 FIP in 2014) has taken over ninth inning duties for Baltimore. Considering how the Yankees always seemed to get to Johnson, that’s probably bad news for New York. Hunter threw 14 pitches yesterday.

RHP Ryan Webb (3.60/8.33), RHP Darren O’Day (3.5/2.18), and RHP Evan Meek (4.59/4.18) are all part of the setup crew, as is LHP Brian Matusz (2.91/5.58). LHP Zach Britton (4.80/2.93) and RHP Josh Stinson (5.40/4.00) are long relievers. Everyone in Baltimore’s bullpen is well rested. It’s too early in the season for guys to have big workloads, even over just the last few days. Check out our Bullpen Workload page for the status of the Yankees’ relievers, then check out Camden Chat for the latest and greatest on the O’s.

Categories : Series Preview
Comments (21)

Record Last Week: 3-3 (20 RS, 22 RA)
Season Record: 3-3 (20 RS, 22 RA, 3-3 pythag. record)
Opponents This Week: vs. Orioles (three games, Mon. to Weds.), vs. Red Sox (four games, Thurs. to Sun.)

Top stories from last week:

Please take a second to answer the poll below and give us an idea of how confident you are in the team. You can view the interactive Fan Confidence Graph anytime via the nav bar above, or by clicking here. Thanks in advance for voting.

Given the team's current roster construction, farm system, management, etc., how confident are you in the Yankees' overall future?

Categories : Polls
Comments (81)

Source: FanGraphs

What started out as a laugher turned into a bit of a nail-biter. The Yankees had a five-run lead at one point on Sunday afternoon, but by the time the 27th out was recorded, the Blue Jays had the tying run on base. Let’s recap the 6-4 win, bullet points style (it’s Sunday, give me a break):

  • Three Runs, One Hit: The first inning three-run rally was not an inning the 2013 team could have put together. The Yankees took advantage of Drew Hutchison’s wildness, turning two walks and a hit batsman into three runs with only one base hit. Jacoby Ellsbury drove in Brett Gardner with a ground ball, then Kelly Johnson clubbed a two-run double off the wall. Last year’s offense would have hacked at everything. This team will take the walks.
  • All With Two Outs: For the first 5.2 innings of this game, CC Sabathia was excellent. Sure, he allowed the leadoff homer to Melky Cabrera, but he retired 16 of the next 17 batters after that. In the sixth, the Blue Jays pushed across three runs — all with two outs too, yuck — on a bloop single and three ground ball hits. That uglified Sabathia’s line, but I thought his start was very encouraging. He looked like he did from innings three through six against the Astros. That two-out rally was a killer. Brooks Baseball has his pitch breakdown.
  • A Homer!: The Yankees finally hit their first home run of the season on Sunday, in their 49th offensive inning. Brett Gardner did the honors, naturally. It looked like some meaningless tack-on runs at the time, but it ended up being a huge homer after Toronto scored those three runs in the sixth.
  • Bullpen: For the first time this year, David Robertson made things interesting in the ninth. He put two runners on base (single and a walk) with one out, but otherwise escaped the jam with a pop-up and a fly ball. Shawn Kelley allowed a hit in the eighth and Adam Warren retired all three men he faced in the seventh. He’s looked very good in his two outings.
  • Leftovers: Derek Jeter went 2-for-5, moving him ahead of Paul Molitor and into eighth place on the all-time hits list (ninth if you count pre-1900s Cap Anson) … in his 19th plate appearance of the season, Alfonso Soriano blooped a single for his first hit of 2014 … every starter had a hit except for Brian Roberts, who drew a walk … Ichiro Suzuki went 1-for-4 with three strikeouts, only the 18th three-strikeout game of his career … Sabathia threw a first pitch strike to 22 of 25 batters faced, including 20 in a row to close out his day (!).

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs has some other stats, and ESPN has the updated standings. The Yankees are done with their six-game road trip and will head home for the first time this season. Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, and Jorge Posada will all be involved in the ceremonial first pitch ceremony in the home opener matinee on Monday afternoon.

Categories : Game Stories
Comments (62)

The season-opening six-game road trip did not go great, but it wasn’t a disaster either. I would have loved to see the Yankees come home with four or five wins in the bank, but three will do. Considering how Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda looked, it’s tough to complain about the results. I’m exciting to see what this club can do whenever Carlos Beltran and Alfonso Soriano start hitting.

Here is your open thread for the night. Dodgers-Giants is the ESPN Sunday Night Game (Greinke vs. Cain), plus the Islanders are playing. Talk about those games, this afternoon’s win, or anything else right here.

Categories : Open Thread
Comments (50)

Triple-A Scranton Game One (3-0 loss to Syracuse in seven innings) make up of Friday’s rainout

  • RF Ramon Flores, LF Zoilo Almonte & DH Russ Canzler: all 0-3, 1 K
  • 3B Scott Sizemore: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 K — three weeks and four days until he can opt-out
  • 1B Corban Joseph & C John Ryan Murphy: both 0-3
  • RHP Chase Whitley: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 0/1 GB/FB — 31 of 47 pitches were strikes (66%)
  • RHP David Herndon: 1.1 IP, zeroes, 2/1 GB/FB – nine of 12 pitches were strikes … I guess he didn’t opt out of his contract last Sunday
  • RHP Graham Stoneburner: 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 4/1 GB/FB – 25 of 37 pitches were strikes (68%)

Read More→

Categories : Down on the Farm
Comments (39)
Honestly can't remember the last time some idiot didn't run on the field during a series in Toronto. (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty)

Can’t remember the last time some idiot didn’t run on the field during a series in Toronto. (Getty)

For the fourth time in the last six years, the Yankees opened the season on the road. Their season-opening six-game road trip comes to end this afternoon, in the rubber game against the Blue Jays. Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda were both impressive these last two days, but now the rotation turns back over to CC Sabathia. His first start was awful early and great late. Hopefully he continues that roll he was on from innings three through six against the Astros.

I was hoping the Yankees would walk away from this trip with four or even five wins in the bank. It is the Astros and Blue Jays, not for nothing. Instead, they need to win today just to split the six games and go home with minor league signee Yangervis Solarte as arguably their hottest hitter. Grab a win this afternoon, fly home on the heels of a series win, then enjoy the home opener tomorrow afternoon. Maybe even hit a homer. Sounds like a plan. Here is the Blue Jays lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. SS Derek Jeter
  3. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  4. C Brian McCann
  5. DH Alfonso Soriano
  6. 1B Kelly Johnson
  7. 2B Brian Roberts
  8. RF Ichiro Suzuki
  9. 3B Yangervis Solarte
    LHP CC Sabathia

It’s sunny and warm in Toronto today, so the Rogers Centre roof might actually be open for the game. Either way, the Yankees will definitely play outdoors tomorrow, when they return to Yankee Stadium for the first time since saying goodbye to Mariano Rivera last season. I can’t wait. Anyway, you can watch this game live on YES and, depending on where you live, MLB Network. Enjoy.

Categories : Game Threads
Comments (420)
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