I wonder how much longer they’ll let this one go.
If the Yanks aren’t going to give Melky Cabrera playing time, why carry him on the roster? He’s not the pinch running type, he can’t lay down a bunt, and there aren’t many scenarios, thankfully, where he’ll be the best bat off the bench. His purpose right now is Gardner insurance, but if Gritt proves he’s dependable Melky could find his ticket out of town. There are just other guys in the system who can provide more value in the 25th roster spot — Miranda for a big-bat lefty, John Rodriguez for an outfielder with some power…something along those lines.
For the time being he’ll stick around, so it’s good that Girardi has found time to start him. We’ve never been high on Melky here at RAB, but there’s a difference between not liking what you see from a player and not wanting him to succeed. We want Melky to hit and prove he’s capable of being a 4th outfielder/fringe starter. Here’s to hoping he makes his case today.
Bad news on Teixeira. He was originally posted in the lineup playing first base, but was scratched pretty shortly afterward. PeteAbe reports that he’s in a brace, and that the Yanks will go heavy on treatment today and have him checked out tomorrow in Tampa. This is not good news for the Yanks lineup.
Hideki Matsui, who was supposed to get the day off, slides in at DH, Swisher moves to first base, and Nady, who was the DH, heads out to right. Even with Tex, this was not an ideal lineup against an opposing team’s ace. It looks like the Yanks are content with winning the series.
In happier news, happy Joba day. Hopefully this turns into as big an event for Yanks fans as Felix day is for Mariners fans. There’s nothing quite as exciting as having a young, flame-throwing potential ace on the mound every five days.
Important Note: We’ve added a new policy to our commenting guidelines:
9. Don’t tell us that you were “first” to post in a thread. We don’t care. This is a one-strike offense. You do this, you get banned.
There will be none of that tomfoolery in the comments.
1. Gritt Girtner, CF
2. Cap’n Jetes, SS
3. Swisher for MVP, 1B
4. Godzilla, DH
5. Xavier Nady VI, RF
6. Rod Carew, 2B
7. Hacky McHeadfirstslide, LF
8. Handsome Cody Ransom, 3B
9. Hava Molina, C
And on the mound, number sixty-two, Joba Chamberlain.
Update by Ben (1:27 p.m.): Bryan Hoch asked Teixeira about the injury last night. The Yanks’ first baseman says he may have hurt it diving in Baltimore on Wednesday. If so, that’s more indicative of a jammed or sprained wrist than tendinitis. I’m trying not to get too concerned about this, but wrist injuries can linger and sap power hitters of their strength. We’ll keep an eye on this.
During last week’s Radio Show Joe and I answered a question about why Phil Hughes wasn’t the Opening Day Starter for Triple-A Scranton. I said there was nothing to it, and it’s just how he lined up after starting some split squad games for a big league club late in Spring Training. But as I was enjoying the last few hours of the Extra Innings free preview last night, I remembered that Hughes had a start pushed back late in camp for reasons that were unclear to even him. Then it dawned on me: they lined him up Joba (both start today). Let the conspiracy theories begin, but I don’t take it as a sign that the Yanks are going to move Joba to pen or are afraid he’ll break down or anything like that. They’re just covering all their bases while expecting Joba to make all of his starts. · (35) ·
As Nick Swisher is, in five games, taking the Yankees by storm, Times beat writer Tyler Kepner played a fun little game with Nick. While we know Swisher arrived on the Yanks through a trade with the White Sox that saw Wilson Betemit, Jeff Marquez and Jhonny Nunez end up in Chicago, Swisher’s path to the Yanks actually started nearly twenty years ago. As Kepner details in The Evolution of a Trade, when the Yanks signed Ruben Rivera out of Panama in 1990, they set the wheels in motion that would eventually land them Swisher. It’s baseball’s own version of the Kevin Bacon game. · (9) ·
Five days ago, some unreasonable Yankee fans were ready to jump off of the Macombs Dam Bridge. CC Sabathia, earning $23 million a year, had just thrown a clunker against the Orioles, and doubts about his ability to pitch for the Yanks were infesting the minds of those irrational Yankee fans.
Tonight, Sabathia answered those critics and more. He threw 7.2 strong innings, scattering just six hits. While he hit two batters, he walked no one and struck out six. His 2009 ERA dropped from 12.46 to 4.50, and he looked every bit the ace as the Yanks downed the Royals 6-1.
For the evening, Sabathia was just dominant. He averaged 94 miles per hour with his fastball and nearly hit 97, according to Gameday. He mixed in a bunch of change ups and some excellent sliders to keep the Royals’ hitters off balance all night. Exhale, Yankee fans. CC Sabathia has arrived. His next start, of course, will be heavily scrutinized as it will be the first regular season game at the new Yankee Stadium, but with tonight’s outing, he earned the honors, heating pad and all.
Offensively, the night — and season — belonged to Nick Swisher. We love Nick around here. We advocated for him to earn the start job over Xavier Nady during Spring Training, and while Joe Girardi wouldn’t grant him that honor, he’s done nothing but hit his way into the lineup since Opening Day.
Tonight, Swisher went 2 for 3 with 3 RBI and 2 walks. He launched a triple early on and homered in the fifth to plate the final two Yankee runs of the night. On the young season, Swisher is 7 for 13 with a team-leading two home runs and nine RBI. Six of his seven hits have been for extra bases, and Girardi will keep finding a way to get Swisher those ABs. He’s more than earned it, and the Yanks are undefeated with Swisher in the lineup.
For the Yanks, that was about it. Jorge Posada drove in two more runs. Xavier Nady, feeling the heat from Swisher, knocked out two hits, and the Yanks played a crisp, clean game against a team they should beat. With Gil Meche on top for Sunday, the Yanks have won the series, and all is right with in Yankee Universe.
Mark Teixeira Injury Update
Word out of the Yankee clubhouse this evening is that Mark Teixeira is suffering from tendinitis in his right wrist. He will play on Sunday as the Yanks face Meche, a righthander. Hopefully, this injury will not linger, and he’ll be in to face lefties soon enough. The Star-Ledger had a little more about the injury. It doesn’t sound too serious.
Finally found a Tampa Yanks blog for you … okay fine, actually long time RABer MrJigginz found it and sent me the link, and I’m assuming he found it on Mike Ashmore’s site. Anyway, it’s called 1 Steinbrenner Drive, and make sure you at it to your bookmarks. Now we just have to find someone down in Charleston.
Four balks is definitely a DotF record.
Triple-A Scranton (12-5 win over Lehigh Valley)
Kevin Russo, Eric Duncan & Angel Berroa: all 1 for 5 – Russo drew a walk, stole a base, scored a run & K’ed … E-Dunc K’ed
John Rodriguez: 4 for 5, 3 R, 1 RBI
Todd Linden: 2 for 4, 3 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB
Justin Leone & Kevin Cash: both 2 for 5 – Leone drove in a run & K’ed … Cash drove in a pair
Juan Miranda: 2 for 3, 3 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB – hit his second three run homer of the year
Austin Jackson: 3 for 4, 1 R, 1 3B, 3 RBI – hitting .462 on the young season
Al Aceves: 4 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 6-3 GB/FB – 51 of 80 pitches were strikes (63.8%)
Zack Kroenke: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 5-1 GB/FB – 21 of 35 pitches were strikes (60%)
Anthony Claggett: 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 WP, 1 Balk, 3-1 GB/FB – 32 of 47 pitches were strikes (68.1% … picked up the save with a seven run lead
In Spring Training, Joe Girardi said that he’d find enough at bats for Nick Swisher, who lost the right field competition — though it wasn’t really a competition — to Xavier Nady. Swish sat on the bench for the opener and Game 2, but came on strong in Games 3 and 4. To make sure that Swish continues to get at bats, especially while he’s hot, Girardi has slotted him in left field for Johnny Damon tonight.
This is the kind of balance Girardi will have to find all season. Sometimes he’ll have to go with the hot hand, but if everyone’s hitting it’s going to be a tough balance. The early indication, though, is that he knows what he’s going to do. That’s all we can ask for at this point.
Here’s the big question: if Hideki puts up another 0-for today, does he get another day off tomorrow? He has just one hit and no walks in 10 plate appearances, and that he’s hitting in the middle of the order doesn’t help his case. HIs at bats haven’t looked particularly good either, as he’s trying to pull a lot of outside pitches and has been stepping in the bucket with a frequency you’d like not to see in a major leaguer. It’s early, and I have complete faith that Hideki will come around and help the lineup. For the time being, though, it might be better to stick with the guys who are hitting, which includes Nick Swisher.
Brett Gardner gets the start again tonight, which is slightly surprising at first glance. Girardi stressed that Melky Cabrera didn’t lose the center field battle, and with a lefty on the mound it would seem a prime opportunity to get him at bats. Yet Melky is demonstrably worse as a righty hitter — .648 OPS over his career vs .725 as lefty. One has to wonder, then, how Girardi will work him into the lineup…if he does at all.
1. Derek Jeter, SS
2. Nick Swisher, LF Johnny Damon, LF
3. Mark Teixeira, 1B Nick Swisher, 1B
4. Hideki Matsui, DH
5. Jorge Posada, C
6. Robinson Cano, 2B
7. Xavier Nady, RF
8. Cody Ransom, 3B
9. Brett Gardner, CF
And on the mound, No. 52, Carsten Charles Sabathia
Late Update by Mike: Kat O’Brien is reported that Mark Teixeira is out of the lineup with a sore left wrist. Swisher slides in at first and Damon will man left after all. It’s probably just a precaution, he’s been driving the ball pretty well the last few days.
Want some cool baseball gadgets? Check out the best baseball tech of 2009 and see Switched’s picks. You’re going to want to check out all of the bells and whistles, but just for a preview:
No. 1 is redundant if you have a cell phone with Internet access; No. 2 is awesome when you’re drunk with your friends; No. 3 is awesome if you have seats behind home plate; No. 4 I have and it pisses me off; No. 5 is something TSJC talked about the other day; I’m debating whether to pony up $5 per month for No. 6; No. 7 is a neat novelty; No. 8….I WANT I WANT I WANT; No. 9 is meh; No. 10 is pretty damn cool for home or the office; if you don’t have No. 11, perhaps you don’t belong here; if you can afford No. 12, I’d like to set up a meeting with you. · (16) ·