When the Yanks completed their series to forget against the Mets last night, I knew someone would write it, and of course, Ian O’Connor drew the short straw. Keep in mind that George Steinbrenner had not been well for some time and passed away at the age of 80 in 2010. Allow me then to present a non-inclusive list of things the Boss would have done if he were still alive.
If the Boss were alive…
- …he would not have suffered this week’s sweep silently. (Ian O’Connor, ESPN NY)
- …he would have fired Joe Girardi had the Yanks started the season off 0-3. (John Harper, Daily News)
- …he would have re-signed Rafael Soriano. (Lloyd Carroll, Queens Chronicle)
- …he would have signed Josh Hamilton, Russell Martin and Eric Chavez to multi-year deals. (SB Nation)
- …he would have fired A-Rod after the ALCS. (Mike Mazzeo, ESPN NY)
- …he would have fired everyone after the ALCS. (Filip Bondy, Daily News)
- …news of the Blue Jays’ off-season moves would have sent shockwaves from Tampa to the River Avenue El. (Wallace Matthews, ESPN NY)
- …he would care only about one side of the Pineda/Montero deal working out. (Wallace Matthews, ESPN NY)
- …he would issue an edict to sweep the Red Sox. (Kevin Kernan, New York Post)
- …he would have been impressed with how improved the Orioles were in April of 2011. (Hal Bodley, MLB.com)
- …he would have made Brian Cashman eat major crow over Cliff Lee’s signing with the Phillies. (Jeff Jacobs, Hartford Courant)
- …he would have won the AL East in 2010. (Dan Shaghnessy, SI)
Perhaps it’s time to put this tired trope to bed.
Got seven questions and six answers this week, so the answers aren’t crazy long. Remember to use the Submit A Tip box in the sidebar to send us whatever, whenever.
Oh hell no on Youkilis. Aside from what will very likely be awful defense — as you can see above, he has played left field in Yankee Stadium before, rather lolingly at that – I’m not sure I want a 34-year-old with a history of back problems running around the outfield day after day. Stick him at third base and be done with it, no need to needlessly complicate things.
Adams has zero outfield experience as a pro and from what I can tell, he never played it in college either. I’m guessing he didn’t play it in high school as well because of the unspoken “best player plays shortstop unless he throws left-handed” rule. I haven’t seen any reports of him shagging fly balls lately — he has taken ground balls at shortstop, but that’s not unusual — so I’m guessing the Yankees don’t consider him much of an option out there. I don’t see any outfield help coming until Curtis Granderson‘s pinky heals up.
Jeb asks: As unlikely as this is to happen, suppose that draft day is rather chaotic and there is a top-15 talent available for each of the Yankees’ first round picks (e.g. Ryan Stanek, Austin Meadows, etc.). Would you select each of these high-caliber guys and not worry about how to sign them, or would you perhaps take two and then go for some guys who likely would have lower demands to ensure that you can sign your top two picks?
This is very unlikely as you said, but this is where the new draft pool system would really screw a team over. The top 15 picks are all slotted at over $2.2M apiece, so those guys were expecting large bonuses. The Yankees have a touch less than $7.96M to spend this year, which probably isn’t enough to sign three top-15 guys even going super cheap with $10k senior seniors in rounds two through ten.
Given the team’s need to add impact talent to the system, I’d hope they would just blow through the draft pool number and get the three players signed. It’s an extreme circumstance and you can’t pass up a haul like that. The Yankees can spend up to $8,753,140 before forfeiting a future first round pick (that would come with a $596,805 tax) and up to $9,151,010 before forfeiting a future first and second round pick ($1,193,610 tax). If they could add three legit top-15 guys, they’d have to grab them and get them signed. It it costs a pick next year, so be it. They never have access to those guys.
Ryan asks: With Teixeira going on a rehab assignment and very close, what teams may have a need/interest in Overbay? They will likely keep him for a little bit to make sure Tex is healthy, but what might a trade look like, what kind of a return might they get?
Might as well lump these two together. I do think the Yankees will hold onto Overbay for at least a few weeks while they make sure Teixeira’s wrist is healthy and he’s in the clear. He’d be a bench bat/part-time starter at first and DH, basically.
As good as he’s been, Overbay is still just a 98 wRC+ first baseman who can’t hit lefties. There usually isn’t a huge market for those guys, but I could see clubs like the Marlins, Mets, Brewers, and Rockies having some interest. Obviously injuries could create more openings, and that includes the Yankees. If they could get one of those competitive balance picks — #34-39 and #69-73, and they are tradeable between now and the draft — I’d take it and run. Otherwise I think the Yankees would be lucky to get a C-prospect out of Overbay in a trade. He’s been better than expected but still below-average overall. The demand just isn’t that great.
Matt asks: Which Yankees FA from last offseason (Russell Martin, Nick Swisher, Eric Chavez) would you most like to have back, given their current performances and the injuries/general awfulness of their replacements?
All of the above? If I had to pick one, I’d go Swisher over Martin even though he plays the less important position because the Yankees really need offense and he’s the better offensive player. I think the difference between Swisher and Ichiro Suzuki is greater than the difference between Martin and Chris Stewart. Chavez has quietly been awesome by the way (153 wRC+) — he did leave yesterday’s game hurt — and I didn’t think he’d do it again. Good for him.
Michael asks: Could you write a post where you explain exactly how a simulated game “plays?” For instance, are there nine fielders? Are they playing at 100% or is it simply a way for the pitcher and hitter to do their work? Are there two discrete sides playing and changing between batting and fielding? Is the pitching coach calling balls and strikes? And so on … Thanks.
It’s glorified batting practice, basically. There’s a pitcher (with no L-screen) and usually two batters (one lefty and one righty) alternating at-bats in simulated “innings.” No fielders, and a coach will call balls and strikes and declare balls in play hits or outs or whatever. The pitcher will sit down for 15 minutes after getting three “outs” before going out for the next inning. The players are supposed to play at 100%, but you can’t truly simulate the adrenaline levels of a big league game. It’s just a way to get work in.
Bernie asks: How many wins do the Yankees have when trailing in the 7th or later and how many did they have all of last year? Has to be close?
I’ve spent more time on Baseball-Reference than I care to admit over the years, yet I always seem to be finding stats and info I didn’t know they had. Win-loss records when leading after a specific inning are one of those things I discovered within the last few weeks, so I can actually this question.
The Yankees are just 3-19 (.136) when trailing after seven innings this year, which is better than the league average winning percentage (.104). Small sample size, yadda yadda yadda. Last season they went 9-58 (.134) when trailing after seven, so a negligible difference. It’s basically the same pace. This year’s team does, however, already have more wins when trailing after eight innings (two) than last year’s team (one).
Triple-A Scranton (5-1 win over Norfolk)
- CF Melky Mesa: 1-5, 1 R, 3 K, 1 SB — 79 strikeouts and five walks in 50 games
- RF Thomas Neal: 1-4, 3 E (fielding)
- LF Zoilo Almonte: 0-3, 1 R, 1 K, 1 HBP
- 3B Ronnie Mustelier: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 K — second homer in his last six games
- RHP Caleb Cotham: 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 9/4 GB/FB — 64 of 100 pitches were strikes … by far his best start at this level
The free-falling Yankees dropped their fifth consecutive game on Thursday night, falling to the Mets by the score of 3-1. All the magic of April’s lovable overachievers is long gone, as the Bombers have now lost seven of their last nine games. They’ve scored a whopping ten runs in their last five games. I didn’t see a single pitch of the game and I’m very happy that was the case. I got home just after ten and figured I’d get to see an inning or two, but nope.
Robinson Cano hit a solo homer in the third inning and that was it — Mets pitchers retired the next 20 batters (!) to finish off the win. Twenty in a row sat down, eleven by strikeout. Keep in mind that Dillon Gee entered this game with a 6.34 ERA (4.93 FIP) in 49.2 innings. He allowed four hits (three singles and Cano’s homer) and walked no one in 7.1 innings. Oh, speaking of walks, the Yankees haven’t drawn one since Monday, 106 plate appearances ago. The last time the Bombers went three straight games without a walk was way back in 1991, which, coincidentally, is the last time they had an offense as anemic as this one.
The only mistake Vidal Nuno made was giving up a two-run homer to the corpse of Marlon Byrd, a deficit that was far too big to overcome. Two runs in six innings is plenty good enough from the seventh starter. Shawn Kelley and Joba Chamberlain combined to strike out six of ten batters faced, which is pretty great. Joba allowed a run (charged to Kelley) on an infield single. It happens. Austin Romine‘s passed ball didn’t help. Yes, I know it was scored a wild pitch, but the damn thing hit him right in the chest. He has to keep that in front of him.
I guess the good news is the schedule gets a whole lot easier now. The first place Red Sox come to town for three games this weekend, the second place Indians come for three games next week, then the Bombers go out on a ten-game West Coast trip. Piece of cake. Check out MLB.com for the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs for some more stats, and ESPN for the updated standings. The Yankees are one game in the loss column away from both first and fourth places. CC Sabathia and Jon Lester is your Friday night pitching matchup.
In their second minor league rehab game with Double-A Trenton, Mark Teixeira (wrist) and Kevin Youkilis (back) both went for 1-for-3 in seven innings of work. Teixeira grounded into a double play while Youkilis plated a run. Brian Cashman confirmed yesterday both players will rejoin the big league team on Friday if this game went well, and it appears it has. Obviously nothing will be official until tomorrow either way. · (6) ·
The Yankees have lost four straight — including the last three to the Mets — and six of their last eight games, easily their worst stretch of the season. They aren’t hitting, and of late they aren’t pitching either. When one goes bad, it’s manageable. When both go bad, you can’t win. The Yankees need Vidal Nuno (Vidal Nuno!) to step up and be a stopper today heading into the important weekend series against the Red Sox. Here’s the lineup the Bombers will send out there against righty Dillon Gee…
- CF Brett Gardner
- 2B Robinson Cano
- LF Vernon Wells
- DH Travis Hafner
- 1B Lyle Overbay
- RF Brennan Boesch
- 3B David Adams
- SS Reid Brignac
- C Austin Romine
And on the mound is Mr. Nuno, a left-hander. A southpaw. A scoundrel.
It’s straight up hot in New York, plenty warm enough for baseball. The game is scheduled to begin at 7:05pm ET and can be seen on both YES and WPIX locally as well as MLB Network nationally. Try to enjoy.
Mark Teixeira & Kevin Youkilis Update: Teixeira (wrist) and Youkilis (back) are playing in their second (and final, if all goes according to plan) rehab game for Double-A Trenton tonight, and both YES and MLBN will have live look-ins at their at-bats. That seems excessive for a rehab assignment, but whatever.
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.
Ryan Eades | RHP
A Louisiana kid from the New Orleans suburb of Slidell, Eades’ late father Ned spend two years as a catcher in the Reds organization during the late-1960s. Ryan missed his junior year at Northshore High School and was limited to first base duties as a senior after having surgery to repair a partially torn labrum, leading him to pass on signing with the Rockies — they took him as a pitcher in the 19th round of the 2010 draft — and instead follow through on his commitment to LSU. He has a 3.55 ERA in three years on campus, but did put up a 2.69 ERA with a 75/27 K/BB in 93.2 innings this spring.
Listed at 6-foot-3 and 198 lbs., Eades earns much higher grades for his skills than his college performance. He runs his four-seam fastball anywhere from 91-95 mph and will sit a touch below that with the two-seamer. On any given day his upper-70s downer curveball or low-80s changeup will look like his top secondary offering. The changeup is more refined and Eades seems to trust it more, throwing it in any count and to both righties and lefties. His delivery features a high leg kick and very good extension, meaning he releases the ball well out in front of his body like a taller pitcher. Eades throws strikes and draws rave reviews for his work ethic, which helped him come back from the labrum surgery. He’s been perfectly healthy since then, but did get fatigued and fade down the stretch in each of the last two seasons. There are some more videos on YouTube.
Keith Law (subs. req’d) and Baseball America ranked Eades as the 30th and 37th best prospect in the draft class, respectively. For what it’s worth, Law recently said said he gets the sense the Yankees are hoping a top college arm falls into their laps with one of their three first round picks (26th, 32nd, 33rd). Damon Oppenheimer & Co. love players who have had success in the Cape Cod League — Eades won the circuit’s Pitcher of the Year award in the summer of 2011 — and have preferred polish over raw stuff when it comes to college pitchers in recently years, basically since Andrew Brackman busted. Eades could be on their radar as a “safer” play if they shoot for the moon with the other two first rounders.
Joe Girardi announced this afternoon that Andy Pettitte will rejoin the rotation on Monday against the Indians. He’s been on the DL with a trap strain for about two weeks now, and he threw a 75-pitch simulated game earlier this week. I’m guessing Vidal Nuno, tonight’s starter, will be sent down tomorrow to clear one spot for Mark Teixeira/Kevin Youkilis, with Pettitte then stepping into the rotation spot next time around. · (4) ·
May 30th: The Yankees will indeed honor Matsui on July 28th, his bobblehead day. It’s also the 55th home game of the season. Godzilla will sign the one-day contract that day, then they’ll have an on-field ceremony before the game.
April 29th: … to a one-day contract so he can retire in pinstripes, reports George King. Matsui officially announced the end of his career over the winter, but King says “plans are in the works” for the one-day contract so he can have a ceremonious retirement. The Yankees are giving away Matsui bobbleheads on July 28th, so that seems like as good a day as any for all of this go down. I have no doubt it will awesome. · (80) ·