Here is your open thread for this very pleasant evening in New York. If you’re not in the Tri-State Area, I hope the weather is just as great wherever you are. The ESPN Sunday Night Game is decent — the Braves at the Phillies (Wood vs. Lee) — plus the Dolphins and Cowboys are playing the first NFL preseason game of the year (8pm ET on NBC). Preseason football already, huh? Talk about either of those games or anything else here. Have at it.
7:00pm: Joel Sherman reports the Yankees have been informed by the league that A-Rod will be suspended tomorrow, but Bud Selig will not invoke the “integrity of the game” power and ban him from playing during the appeals process. Barring a new injury, he’s going to be in the lineup tomorrow night against the White Sox.
10:00am: Via T.J. Quinn & Andrew Marchand: MLB will indeed suspend Alex Rodriguez on Monday for his ties to Biogenesis, and it’s likely to be a 212-game ban that keeps him out through 2014. The commissioner’s office is expected to prevent Alex from playing during the appeals process by invoking its power to protect the integrity of the game. A grievance will follow and “it could get very, very ugly,” according to the ESPN scribes.
A-Rod played in his second and final minor league rehab game with Double-A Trenton yesterday, and afterwards he said he was flying to Chicago to meet the Yankees for their series opener against the White Sox on Monday. Obviously he won’t actually rejoin the team if the report is correct. Rodriguez will lose roughly $34.2M in salary as a result of the suspension, but more importantly, his career will be over. Players in their late 30s don’t miss two full seasons and come back strong.
Eleven other players are expected to be suspended Monday as well, including Frankie Cervelli. He’ll likely receive a regular ol’ 50-game first-time ban, which he could serve this year and return to the team on Opening Day next year. Suspended players don’t count against the luxury tax, which would be huge for the Yankees given their plan to get under the $189M luxury tax threshold next year. Obviously A-Rod is more significant in that regard than Cervelli. · (202) ·
Six years ago, the Yankees had arguably the best trio of young right-handed pitching prospects in baseball in Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, and Ian Kennedy. Not a single one of them turned into a legitimate above-average starter. Kennedy had an excellent year with the Diamondbacks in 2011, sure, but he’s trending downward and comes into this afternoon’s start with a 5.23 ERA (4.59 FIP). Hughes is consistently mediocre and Joba is a (bad) reliever. Something about the best-laid plans grumble grumble.
Anyway, the Yankees have a chance to win this three-game series against the Padres today after winning last night’s game, and a win would give them a winning record on a five-game West Coast swing before heading to Chicago to play the awful White Sox. Kennedy will be making his first start for the Padres following last week’s trade, the second of his career after the Bombers shipped him to Arizona as part of the Curtis Granderson three-team deal. He has never faced the team he originally broke into the big leagues with. Here’s the lineup that will face IPK:
- RF Ichiro Suzuki
- 2B Robinson Cano
- LF Alfonso Soriano
- CF Curtis Granderson
- 1B Lyle Overbay
- SS Eduardo Nunez
- 3B Jayson Nix
- C Austin Romine
- RHP Phil Hughes
It’s another perfect baseball weather day in San Diego. You can’t not get jealous even watching on television, but then again the weather in New York is damn near perfect today as well. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10pm ET and can be seen on YES. Enjoy.
Injury Updates: Derek Jeter (quad) had an MRI last night, nut the results are not available yet … David Phelps (elbow) will see the doctor on Monday … in case you missed it earlier, Michael Pineda is headed for tests on his stiff shoulder.
Right-hander Michael Pineda is heading to New York for tests after leaving Friday’s start with stiffness in his surgically repaired right shoulder. He exited after only two innings and 29 pitches. The Yankees have been limiting Pineda to three or so innings per start recently in an effort to control his workload. He’s thrown about 40 innings since having surgery last May. · (45) ·
Well that sure was a fun game. Great pitching, a real live homer, Mariano Rivera … what more could you want? The Yankees walked off the Saturday with a 3-0 win over the Padres. Let’s recap:
- The Grandyman: It’s so nice having a corner outfielder who hits like a corner outfielder, isn’t it? Curtis Granderson‘s second game off the DL featured his second homer of the year, a two-run shot in the seventh inning against Tyson Ross. Ross was completely dominant up to that point. Granderson tacked on a single (and a stolen base) and scored the team’s third run in the ninth– with help from a blown call, of course — so he accounted for nearly all the offense. The Yankees had just five hits, and he had two of ‘em. Missed you, Curtis. Stick around this time.
- Ivan The Not Terrible: Once again, Ivan Nova was outstanding. He held the Padres to four hits and one walk in seven shutout innings, striking out eight and getting 18 of his 21 outs on the infield. Nova did it all with just two pitches too — PitchFX says he threw 48 fastballs and 37 curveballs. No sliders, no changeups. It was weird that he came out of the game with his pitch count sitting at 85, but no big deal. Nova has turned his season — and his career, really — around of late.
- Leftovers: David Robertson and Mariano Rivera retired six of the seven men they faced to preserve the win … Lyle Overbay broke up Ross’ perfect game with a flare single to left with one out in the fifth … the 3-4-5 hitters with 4-for-11 with a walk while the other six hitters went 1-for-21 … Nova went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts at the plate, and in his career he’s now 1-for-14 with 13 strikeouts. The hit was a single off Randall Delgado last June. That 1.000 BABIP is probably unsustainable.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the nerd score, and ESPN the updated standings. Despite the win, the Yankees remain seven back in the division and three back in the wildcard race, both in the loss column. They did pickup a game on two of their three wildcard competitors (the Orioles and Rangers), however. Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy is your Save The Big Three! themed pitching matchup for the series finale on Sunday afternoon. IPK will be making his first start for San Diego.
As I mentioned earlier today, C Gary Sanchez was finally promoted to Double-A Trenton. There were plenty of other roster moves made though, so let’s round them up. It all comes courtesy of Donnie Collins, Josh Norris, and Nicholas Flammia:
- Triple-A Scranton: LHP Cesar Cabral was promoted up to the club and LHP Josh Spence was released.
- Double-A Trenton: LHP Matt Tracy was placed on the DL for an unknown reason. He made one start this week after missing more than a month with a hip problem C Jeff Farnham was sent down to High-A Tampa to clear a spot for Sanchez.
- High-A Tampa: SwP Pat Venditte joined the team after rehabbing his surgically repaired right shoulder with the GCL Yanks squads. RHP Diego Moreno was bumped up to the Thunder.
Triple-A Scranton (5-1 loss to Lehigh Valley)
- 2B David Adams: 1-4, 1 K
- 1B Dan Johnson: 3-3, 1 r, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB – 18th homer of the year ties Peter O’Brien for the farm system lead
- LF Ronnie Mustelier: 1-4, 1 2B
- RHP Sam Demel: 1.2 IP, zeroes, 4 K, 1/0 GB/FB — 13 of 17 pitches were strikes (76%)
- LHP Cesar Cabral: 1.1 IP, zeroes, 3 K, 0/1 GB/FB — ten of 15 pitches were strikes … pretty great Triple-A debut
In his latest rehab game with Double-A Trenton, Alex Rodriguez went 0-for-0 with four walks. That’s a rather interesting batting line. He played seven innings at third base as expected, fielding three ground balls and throwing one away when he tried to get the force out at second.
Under normal circumstances, A-Rod would join the Yankees in Chicago for the start of their series against the White Sox on Monday. These aren’t normal circumstances though. Alex is facing a lengthy (and potential lifetime) ban due to his ties to Biogenesis, and the suspensions are expected to be announced on Monday. There’s a decent chance this was the final game of A-Rod’s career. · (36) ·
Considering how poorly he pitched last season, particularly down the stretch in the second half, it’s hard to believe we’ve (again) reached the point where Ivan Nova is the Yankees’ second best starter. The trio of CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, and Phil Hughes have been decent at best and awful at worst, and the last few weeks have leaned towards the low-end of that scale. Nova is suddenly the guy that makes you say “we’re going to have a good chance to win today.” Baseball is weird sometimes. Here’s the lineup that will face funky right-hander Tyson Ross:
- CF Brett Gardner
- 2B Robinson Cano
- LF Alfonso Soriano
- RF Curtis Granderson
- 1B Lyle Overbay
- SS Eduardo Nunez
- 3B Brent Lillibridge
- C Chris Stewart
- SP Ivan Nova
More perfect weather in San Diego … I assume. There’s really no point in checked the weather report down there. It’s the same everyday. First pitch is scheduled for 8:40pm ET and can be seen on YES. Enjoy.
Injury Updates: In case you missed it earlier, Derek Jeter won’t play this weekend due to lingering quad and calf soreness … David Phelps has been scratched from tomorrow’s rehab start with a sore elbow.
Joe Girardi confirmed Derek Jeter will not play today or tomorrow due to lingering soreness in his quad as well as a calf issue that has bothered him recently. They expect to have him back on Monday for the series opener in Chicago and hope he will avoid the DL. You can’t do anything but laugh at this point. What a mess. · (47) ·
5:26pm: Stop speculating. Thunder manager Tony Franklin confirmed Phelps was scratched because of a sore elbow. I guess #obligatorysetback it is. He’s heading for more tests.
5:25pm: David Phelps has been scratched from tomorrow’s scheduled rehab start with Double-A Trenton, the team announced. No reason was given, so feel free to let your imagination run wild. Did he suffer the #obligatorysetback? Is he getting called up? Did someone (Phil Hughes? Joba Chamberlain?) get traded? Did he get traded? Speculate at your own risk. · (12) ·