George Kontos has been promoted to Triple-A Scranton, but it’s still unclear when he’ll make his first start. Chad Jennings also spoke to Nardi Contreras about some of the Yanks’ injured minor league pitchers. Check it out.
Oh, and here’s your chance to own Mark Melancon’s first professional jersey.
Triple-A Scranton (11-7 win over Norfolk)
Doug Bernier: 2 for 4, 3 R, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 1 K, 1 HBP – had been in a 3 for 28 (.107) skid coming into the game
John Rodriguez & Shelley Duncan: both 1 for 5, 1 K – J-Rod doubled & drove in a pair of runs … Shelley swiped a bag and scored a run
Todd Linden: 4 for 5, 2 2B, 4 RBI, 1 SB – broke the game open with a 3 run double in the bottom of the 8th … he also threw a runner out at the plate from RF … hit streak is up to 18 games
Juan Miranda: 0 for 4, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K
Austin Jackson: 3 for 4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 SB – gave the team the lead in the bottom of the 7th with an RBI double … he also threw a runner out at third from CF
Chris Malec: 1 for 4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K
Chris Stewart: 0 for 1, 3 R, 2 BB, 1 HBP – one my favorite lines of the year
Luis Nunez: 2 for 4, 2 R, 1 K
Eric Hacker: 6 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HB, 9-5 GB/FB – 58 of 101 pitches were strikes (57.4%)
Eric Wordekemper: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1-2 GB/FB – 18 of 26 pitches were strikes (69.2%) … blew the lead in the top of the 7th when he served up a 2 run jimmy jack
Brett Tomko: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 0-2 GB/FB – 20 of 32 pitches were strikes (62.5%)
Via PeteAbe, Xavier Nady will have an experimental procedure performed on his elbow in an effort to hasten his return from injury. It’s the same procedure Takashi Saito underwent last year, and is designed to repair the partial torn ligament by injecting platelet-rich plasma directly into the elbow. Ben pondered the validity of the procedure last month, pointing out that it’s not too far removed from injecting human growth hormone. Whatever you think, hopefully it helps Nady come back soon, Mo knows they could use the extra depth.
Feel free to use this as your open thread. The ChiSox and Rangers play later on tonight. · (229) ·
While Chien-Ming Wang is on the disabled list with a hip injury, the Yankees and their erstwhile sinker-ball specialist are blaming Wang’s foot injury for his early-season woes. Yesterday, Wang threw 52 pitches — 33 for strikes — over four scoreless innings. He reached 93 on the gun, according to reports, and seemed sharp.
After the game, Wang and Billy Connors talked with reporters about his injury. The two blamed “stiffness” in Wang’s right foot for his mechanical problems.
To me, that explanation makes perfect sense. Wang has to generate a lot of power through his legs by anchoring himself with his right foot and then driving forward on it as well. By laying off his leg, Wang had been rushing his delivery and putting more pressure on his torso and hips.
For now, Wang has been undergoing an intensive training regime for his foot. He’s running barefoot and doing a lot of pool work to strengthen his legs and core. He’s also working on his confidence after his three disastrous starts in April. “You have to work the head, too,” Connors said to reporters.
Right now, I wouldn’t expect Wang back any time soon. The Yankees are comfortable using Phil Hughes in the rotation. He will be pitching the game tomorrow night against the Red Sox, weather permitting, and the Yankees would prefer to have Wang healthy and effective. I still don’t know though why the Yankees didn’t notice this problem in Spring Training. Wang had an ERA just a shade over 4.10 in the Grapefruit League and seemed on track. Maybe the residual soreness caught up with him, but no matter the cause, he’s working his way back slowly.
It’s no secret that the Yankees’ bullpen has been downright awful in the early going, and part of that was due to the state of flux caused by Chien-Ming Wang‘s suckiness. Phil Coke, speaking to Marc Carig of The Star Ledger, says that the lack of defined roles have hurt the bullpen’s ineffectiveness. Here’s some telling quotes:
“Even though [the bullpen atmosphere is] loose, you can see it in people’s eyes,” lefty Phil Coke said. “As soon as that phone rings, it goes dead silent.”
“We’re getting used in such a different fashion every time we step on the field,” said Coke, who admits that in several instances this season, he and his colleagues may have been caught mentally unprepared. “We’ve got to be ready to go from the first inning.”
“I feel my role is in the seventh inning, and I’ve got to come in in the second because we have no one else, then I’ve done nothing for my team except hurt my team right out of the chute because of my mental preparation,” Coke said. “As a bullpen guy, you’ve got to be willing to do what you’ve got to do.”
Everyone likes to have defined roles at their job, and Major League pitchers are no different. However there comes a point when that isn’t an excuse anymore, and you have to be prepared to do whatever the team needs. Coke’s admission that he and some of the other relievers have been caught mentally unprepared is part one of the problem, part two is correcting that. None of the current non-Mo relief corps have earned a defined role at this point, and right now everyone is … wait for it … pitching for their job! What a novel idea.
Stop taking it for granted, just do what you’re asked and be ready for anything.
Update 2:10 p.m.: Today’s game between the Angels and the Yankees has been postponed due to rain. The teams have yet to announce a make-up date. We’ll have content all afternoon. So do stick around.
Right now, my parents are somewhere in the bowels of Yankee Stadium, waiting this one out. The rest of us are just sitting here watching
Law & Order the Tino Martinez Yankeeography on the YES Network. The two teams will wait this one out for a while though because the Angels don’t come back to New York this summer.
If this one ever gets started, Phil Hughes will take on Joe Saunders.
Hughes (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
Well that explains it. The Yanks have placed lefty reliever Damaso Marte on the DL with a bum shoulder, according to PeteAbe’s 10:23 & 10:59am updates. Marte came back from the WBC with a sore shoulder, but he says this latest ailment occurred when the team was in Boston. No word yet on how long he’ll be out; Anthony Claggett has been called up to take his spot on the roster. · (74) ·
A funny thing happened on the way to the Stadium this weekend: The secondary ticket market for Yankee tickets has crashed. According to the AP, Yankee fans scouring the Internet for tickets can find them at prices well below face value. In fact, some seats are selling for as little as 15 cents on the dollar. “We’re seeing an unprecedented number of season-ticket holders selling. The market has been flooded. It is a buyer’s market for baseball fans,” Mike Janes, CEO of FanSnap.com, a ticket-market search engine, said.
Right now, it’s tough to say why this turnabout has occurred. It may have something to do with the obscene ticket prices at the new Yankee Stadium, and it may have come about as a result of the Yanks’ plans to give free tickets away to folks in the Legends Suites. Season-ticket holders simply want a return on some part of their gaudy investments. Perhaps the bad weather and bad economy are contributing as well. No matter the cause, now is a great time to find cheap Yankee tickets on the secondary market. Once the dust settles around this ticket pricing issue, I hope someone writes the definitive economic account of the Yanks’ intriguing experiment in ticket pricing known as the new Yankee Stadium. · (22) ·
When it comes to Selena Roberts and Alex Rodriguez, baseball writers have largely taken two sides. On the one side are many traditional print journalists such as Peter Abraham, and, to a lesser extent, Joel Sherman who have taken everything Roberts has reported as true no matter how tenuous her sources or qualifying statements are. On the other hand are bloggers such as us and Shysterball’s Craig Calcaterra who are more skeptical of Roberts’ sources and see a lot of players on the record denying Roberts’ accusations.
That divide will only grow deeper today as the baseball world awakes to the news that Major League Baseball is investigating A-Rod’s drug use and that Selena Roberts, for what are admittedly very valid journalistic reasons, will not cooperate. “I said that as a journalist, I cover MLB, and cooperating with them on this would be a conflict of interest, and he said that he understood the position that I am in,” Roberts said to Times reporter Michael S. Schmidt this weekend.
Schmidt had a few details about the MLB investigation into A-Rod. So far, the Commissioner’s Office is looking only into the allegations of drug use beyond the 2001-2003 period. The pitch-tipping inquiries will have to wait, but more on that in a few paragraphs. Schmidt reports on the investigations:
Major League Baseball is investigating the accuracy of statements by Alex Rodriguez about his use of performance-enhancing drugs, according to people within baseball who were briefed on the matter.
Investigators have contacted several of Rodriguez’s associates to determine whether he used performance-enhancing drugs for a longer time than he has admitted, the people said. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to be identified discussing a continuing investigation.
They said that the investigation began shortly after Rodriguez met with investigators March 1 in Tampa, Fla., because they had questions about the consistency of his statements at the meeting…Questions about the truthfulness of Rodriguez’s statements were heightened among baseball officials last week after details of a new book about Rodriguez were reported by several news media outlets. The book…asserts that Rodriguez used several different steroids under the supervision of Presinal and had human growth hormone in his possession when he played for the Yankees in 2004. In 2005, the book also says, Rodriguez was mocked by teammates who suspected that he was using drugs.
Schmidt goes more in detail on what Bud Selig can and cannot do as Commissioner. The Times scribe notes that Selig, lacking subpoena power, cannot compel testimony from anyone, and if Roberts won’t give up her anonymous sources, baseball is going to have a tough time uncovering concrete evidence.
Now, it will be really easy for the public to demonize Roberts yet again over this decision. In fact, her reliance on anonymous sources is exactly why reporters tend to believe her and others don’t. In today’s media, reporters depend upon their anonymous sources, and reporters are loathe to believe that others’ anonymous sources would be lying.
Yet, as more and more players step forward on the record, it sounds as though Roberts’ sources were less than reliable. As Shysterball detailed on Friday and as I discussed then as well, more players have been coming out vehemently denying the Roberts’ allegations.
In the end, baseball has to investigate to look good for Congress, and Roberts shouldn’t give up her sources any time soon. But for the rest of us, this scandal is just another story in the long line of blows to Bud Selig’s reputation and Roberts’ credibility. The tide has turned on the steroid issue, and while A-Rod will hear boos, the sport should be looking forward to a drug-free era instead of looking back while relying on a book with seemingly less evidence than some J.F.K. conspiracy theorists.
Triple-A Scranton (5-1 win over Norfolk) congrats to the pitchers for keeping Matt Wieters off base today
Doug Bernier & Luis Nunez: both 1 for 4, 1 R, 1 RBI – Bernier drew a walk … Nunez doubled
John Rodriguez: 2 for 5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 K
Todd Linden: 3 for 4, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K – hitting exactly .400 during his 17 game hit streak
Shelley Duncan: 0 for 3, 2 K
Chris Malec & PJ Pilittere: both 1 for 3 – Malec drove in a run & drew a walk … PJ scored a run
Austin Jackson: 1 for 2, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP – hitting .368 in his first 18 AAA games
Casey Fossum: 3.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 4-4 GB/FB – 46 of 75 pitches were strikes (61.3%) … Yanks signed him yesterday just because they needed a warm body in SWB’s rotation, and he was on a 75 pitch limit
Jose Valdez: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 3-3 GB/FB – 15 of 24 pitches were strikes (62.5%)
Steven Jackson: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 3-3 GB/FB – 30 of 46 pitches were strikes (65.2%)
This isn’t your typical politics post. We’re taking sides here, but it the side of the Yanks. In a rather amusing look at the world of New York politics, Times reporter Fernanda Santos canvassed the New York City Council this week. She found that Mets fans out-poll Yankee fans by an 18-13 margin. Seven members of the Council took the politically prudent path of endorsing both, or more pessimistically, neither of the two teams, and Brooklyn’s Bill de Balsio professed his love of the Red Sox. What a traitor.
On another note, feel free to use this thread as the Open Thread. Oliver Perez and the Mets lost to the Phillies on a walk-off walk in the 10th inning, and the Bulls and Celtics are slugging it out in Game 7 of their epic playoff series. · (22) ·