CoJo reaches base five times in AAA win

Both OF/DH Cody Johnson (hamstring) and UTIL Damon Sublett (hip) are officially done for the season. The minor league season ends in a little more than two weeks anyway.

Triple-A Empire State (6-0 win over Rochester)
LF Darnell McDonald: 0-3, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 K
2B Corban Joseph: 3-3, 4 RBI, 2 BB — eight hits in his last 13 at-bats (62%) … 60/61 K/BB in 95 games
SS Eduardo Nunez & DH Frankie Cervelli: both 0-4 — Nunez drove in a run and struck out … Frankie walked, scored a run, and struck out twice
1B Brandon Laird, C Austin Romine & CF Melky Mesa: both 1-5 — Laird and Romine struck out twice … Mesa doubled, walked, scored a run, and whiffed three times
RF Kosuke Fukudome: 1-2, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 K — 3/9 K/BB in his last seven games
3B Ramiro Pena: 1-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
RHP John Maine: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HB, 11/1 GB/FB — 61 of 99 pitches were strikes … very nice job by the veteran, they needed a solid start like this as they push towards the playoffs after being on the road all season
LHP Lee Hyde: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 1/2 GB/FB — 13 of 23 pitches were strikes (57%)
RHP Chase Whitley: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 4/2 GB/FB — 17 of 24 pitches were strikes (71%)

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Game 121: Protect This House

The Cap’n counters with a stomach chop. (Jason Szenes/Getty Images)

Did you know that the Red Sox have won 13 of the last 18 games they’ve played at the new Yankee Stadium dating back to the second half of 2010? Granted, the Yankees are 15-8 at Fenway Park during that time, but still. Gotta protect the home turf, you know? The two clubs split the first two games of this weekend set and the Bombers have a chance to celebrate just their second (!) series win over the BoSox in the Bronx since last winning the World Series. Here’s the starting nine…

SS Derek Jeter
1B Nick Swisher
2B Robinson Cano
CF Curtis Granderson
3B Eric Chavez
LF Raul Ibanez
C Russell Martin
RF Ichiro Suzuki
DH Casey McGehee

RHP Hiroki Kuroda

It’s a nice cool, autumnal evening in New York. The game is scheduled to start a little after 8pm ET and can be seen on ESPN. Enjoy.

Poll: Hughes, Joba, 2014 and beyond

(Photos via Getty)

Most of our time discussing the 2014 payroll plan has been spent focused on the big position player free agents, specifically Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, and Nick Swisher. On a case-by-case basis, the Yankees are either going to have to re-sign those players and skimp elsewhere, or replace them with someone who is more budget-friendly and likely less-productive.

On the pitching side of things, the staff seems a little more set. We know CC Sabathia will still be around and Ivan Nova — assuming he settles down and becomes a stable rotation piece — will just be entering his first arbitration year come 2014. Michael Pineda is a wildcard and the bullpen is always fluid, plus Hiroki Kuroda and Andy Pettitte are one-year deal guys going forward given their age. They won’t be signing a multi-year pact this offseason. The only other notable free agents-to-be on the staff are Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain, who will hit the open market after next season. Joel Sherman wrote about the Hughes and Joba duo today, and I’m going to excerpt the interesting stuff…

Interestingly, Brian Cashman said, “I believe I know who they are.”

And when pressed on that, the Yankees general manager added: “They have been around long enough. They are not guys I am dreaming on anymore.”

Translation: In the eyes of the Yankees front office, Hughes and Chamberlain no longer have a higher ceiling to reach; they are no longer projectable to something considerably better than what they are now. They are — in the Yankees’ thoughts — who we think they are: Talented, but maddeningly inconsistent performers. And what does an organization do long term about those types of entities as they enter their prime — and also their prime earning years?

“They are here for a reason, — they are important pieces for us,” Cashman said. “I have made trades and done things and I haven’t moved them. That should say something.”

But when asked if that meant wanting either or both long term, Cashman said, “That is stuff I can’t answer at this stage. It is a two-way street. It is a negotiation for two sides. So it is all for another day.”

Assuming these two are what the are — not the safest of assumptions since both guys are still just 26 — meaning Hughes is a homer-prone mid-rotation guy and Joba and setup-type reliever, they’d both be looking at multi-year deals after 2013. The former could probably land a three-year deal worth $8-10M annually, the latter something like two or three years at $3-4M+. Reliever contracts are the toughest thing to pin down. Again, those are assuming these two don’t take any significant steps forward (or back) other than Joba return to his 2010-2011 form as he gets further away from his injuries.

We really have no idea how things will play out with these two just like we don’t know how things will play out with Cano, Swisher, and Granderson. There are a lot of factors in play and things will change considerably between now and next offseason. I could see the Yankees keeping all five players or keeping none of them, really. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. So, anyway, I feel like this is begging for a poll question, so…

Will Hughes and Joba remain with the Yankees after 2013?
View Results

Mailbag: Trading Curtis Granderson

(AP Photo/John Dunn)

Biggie asks: I love the Grandy Man, but with the 2014 budget in mind do you think it would be wise to re-sign Nick Swisher, pick up Curtis Granderson‘s option and then trade him (similar to Gary Sheffield)? Granderson’s defense, strikeouts, and relying on two things that age saps (homers and speed) makes a long-term deal scary for me. Thoughts?

I’m not a big fan of doing that. When the Yankees traded Sheffield after 2006, they did so because they already had a viable replacement in-house (Bobby Abreu). The internal replacement for Granderson is … Zoilo Almonte? Melky Mesa? Chris Dickerson? Nope, they aren’t cutting it. The free agent alternatives aren’t very appealing either, whether they keep Swisher or not.

Perhaps there’s a scenario in which the Yankees dish Granderson for prospects that they could then turn around and include in a package for Justin Upton — essentially a three-team trade — but that doesn’t seem very realistic. A lot of things had to fall into place to pull off the original three-team deal that brought him to New York in the first place. Doing it again isn’t impossible, just unlikely.

At the end of the day, I have a very hard time seeing a way the Yankees could trade Granderson this offseason while actually improving the team. The goal is still to win now, and Curtis helps them do that. Unless Swisher winds up getting Jayson Werth-type offers, I would prefer to see the Yankees bring him back and let Granderson walk after 2013. He’s a bit younger, I think he’s a better bet to remain productive going forward, and I think the contract will be more palatable. There are a lot of assumptions with that obviously, but that’s all we can do until we see what the market says the value of these two is after the season.

Yanks have no answer for Lester in loss to Sox

Source: FanGraphs

Losing a game is one thing, but losing a game because of Pedro Ciriaco and Nick Punto is another matter entirely. It doesn’t help that the Yankees put the leadoff man on-base in four of nine innings and failed to bring him in all four times. So it goes. Let’s recap…

  • 5-3: Jon Lester pitched very well for the Red Sox after skirting around some jams early, getting 14 outs on the ground compared to three in the air. Eight of those 14 were ground balls to Punto at third base, who made every play — routine, spectacular, or other. That got annoying in a hurry.
  • Phelpsie: David Phelps pitched well enough but not as well as his pitching line — 6.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 7 K — would lead you to believe. There were a number of hard-hit balls right at people, and frankly giving up extra-base hits to Punto is about as inexcusable as it gets. Don’t get me wrong, Phelps certainly did the job. Giving up a homer to Adrian Gonzalez is nothing to be ashamed of, but I thought he was more impressive in his start against the Rangers for sure.
  • NOffense: The Yankees went a cool 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position, the kind of RISPFAIL we haven’t experienced in a few weeks now. Nick Swisher (three singles) was a one-man army, but the 3-4-5 hitters went a combined 0-for-10 with three strikeouts. Robinson Cano is in a serious funk, a 1-for-23 kind of funk. At least Curtis Granderson — who doubled and accounted for the team’s only run with a solo jack — is showing some signs of life.
  • Leftovers: It seemed very odd that Joe Girardi went to great lengths to matchup in the eighth inning but left Cody Eppley in to face two lefties in the ninth. That led to an insurance run … Eric Chavez pinch-hit late and doubled, so at least these two days on the bench haven’t cooled him off … seriously, figure out how to get Ciriaco out. Dude has a .299 OBP in over 3,500 minor league plate appearances. Just for the sake of pride at the point, figure it out … the Yankees drew only two walks, the fifth time in their last seven games they drew two or fewer. That’s not Yankees baseball, get back to working those counts, fellas. has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some additional stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Orioles won and the Rays are getting pounded by the Angels, so it’s safe to assume both will be six back in the loss column when you wake up. and the lolworthy Angels blew an eight-run lead to the Rays, so they are now six and five games back, respectively. I hope they kept the receipt for Zack Greinke. Anyway, Hiroki Kuroda gets the ball against Josh Beckett in the rubber game on Sunday night, so make sure you check out RAB Tickets if you’d rather watch the game in person than listen to ESPN act like the Red Sox are still in contention.

O’Brien homers again in rare Staten Island win

UTIL Ronnie Mustelier was placed on the DL for an unknown reason.

Triple-A Empire State (10-3 win over Rochester)
LF Darnell McDonald, DH Austin Romine & CF Melky Mesa: all 2-5 — McDonald walked and scored … Romine homered, drove in two, and struck out … Melky stole a base, plated a run, and scored another
2B Corban Joseph & SS Eduardo Nunez: both 3-6 — CoJo homered and drove in three … Nunez scored two runs and struck out
1B Brandon Laird: 2-6, 1 R, 1 RBI
C Frankie Cervelli: 1-3, 2 RBI, 1 K
RF Kosuke Fukudome: 2-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB
3B Ramiro Pena: 3-5, 1 R
LHP Mike O’Connor: 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 3/4 GB/FB — 63 of 99 pitches were strikes
RHP Kelvin Perez: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 1/2 GB/FB — 22 of 39 pitches were strikes (56%)
LHP Juan Cedeno: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HB, 3/1 GB/FB — 12 of 23 pitches were strikes (52%)

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Saturday Night Open Thread

(REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine)

It’s far too nice out to be stuck inside tonight, at least if you’re in New York. However, if you’re stuck at work or have time to kill or live in another time zone, use this as your open thread for the night. The Mets are playing the Nationals (Niese vs. Jackson), plus MLB Network will air a game as well. Who you see depends on where you live. The Giants and Jets are also playing a preseason game, which you can watch on CBS. You folks know what to do by now, so have at it.