Via Dan Barbarisi, Brian Cashman said the Yankees are not expected to make any kind of waiver trade this month. “What you see is what you’re gonna get,” said the GM. If the Yankees were to make a trade through the waiver process, they’d have to do so before September 1st for the new player(s) to be eligible for the postseason roster. It’s not often that what the Yankees’ need, a legitimate number two starter, hit the waiver trade market anyway.
We’ve grown accustomed to these second half series against the Rays meaning something. I mean really mean something. The two teams (along with the Red Sox) were always bunched together in the AL East and games this like this one tonight would play a big role in determining who would go to the postseason and who would go home in early-October.
But now, this is just another series. The Rays have fallen back to Earth a bit, and currently sit 8.5 games back of the Yankees for the AL wildcard. Baseball Prospectus puts the Yankees’ playoff odds at 99.2%, but Tampa’s at just 0.9%. Now don’t get me wrong, the Rays are obviously still a very good team. At 63-54 (with a +41 run differential, fourth best in the AL), they’d be in first place in the AL Central and in second place in the NL West and NL Central by just one and two games, respectively. But as far as the Yankees are concerned, this is just another game, just another series without any major ramiifications in their pursuit of a postseason berth. Here’s the lineup…
CC Sabathia, SP
The game will begin a little after 7pm ET and can be seen on YES. Enjoy.
Alex Rodriguez will officially begin his minor league rehab assignment with High-A Tampa tonight, but the team wants him to play two full, nine-inning games with Triple-A Scranton before they activate him off the disabled list. Alex will DH tonight, play five or six innings in the field tomorrow, then if all goes well, he’ll head north to join SWB early next week. It sounds like the target day for his return is, coincidentally enough, Thursday at Target Field against the Twins.
CC Sabathia has been a legitimate Cy Young contender in each of the last five seasons, mowing down hitters with power fastball, slider, changeup arsenal. Just imagine if he was using his dominant hand. As a trio of Daily News scribes found out, Sabathia is actually a righty. “I’m right-handed,” said the ace lefty. “I do everything with my right hand, including write. I played one year of T-ball righthanded and couldn’t catch, was uncoordinated. My dad changed me over, gave me a lefty glove and it just took. But my right hand is my dominant hand.”
I’m a righty, but I can kinda sorta throw left-handed. Not great, or good even, but I can get the ball to the intended target from maybe 30-40 feet. It wouldn’t be chest high or easily catchable, but I can get it there. I can’t fathom how a right-handed person can throw a baseball like Sabathia can. It just blows my mind.
Beyond The Box Score ran a great post today looking at the career leaders in Win Probability Added (WPA) in World Series play. The graphic up top (which you can click for a larger view) is the pitcher leaderboard, and you can click through the link to see the position players. At 2.40 WPA, Mariano Rivera has helped improved his team’s chances of winning in the Fall Classic more than any other player in the modern era (pitcher or hitter), dating back to Red Ruffing in the 30’s and 40’s. That 2.40 WPA came in only 36.1 career World Series innings too. For some perspective, Rivera had a 2.24 WPA in 60 IP last season. That’s how big he’s been in the postseason.
Mike Stanton (the lefty reliever, not the Marlins’ masher) is the only other recent pitcher to crack the top 12 leaderboard (1.59 WPA), Yankees or otherwise. He just barely made it too. Hideki Matsui (1.18 WPA) is the only recent player in the position players top 12, tied with Tim McCarver of all people. Godzilla only has 41 career plate appearances in the World Series, so he sure did a good job of making his contributions count. That list features the greatest Yankees of all-time basically, guys like Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson … all those guys make an appearance. Check out the post for more info, it’s pretty neat stuff.
Here’s what we have on tap for this week’s show:
- The difference-makers in the Boston series. It was close to being a sweep in either direction.
- Did you know that Mariano’s worst months are April and August? Yep. Makes sense. We talk about the semi-annual installment of WWWMW.
- Six man rotation no more. The Yanks will move one of the guys out of the rotation after this weekend, but not really. They do have that doubleheader coming up, so it’s really going to persist for another week.
- But after that week, it’s pretty clear who’s staying in the rotation.
Podcast run time 42:09
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Intro music: “Die Hard” courtesy of reader Alex Kresovich. Thanks to Tyler Wilkinson for the graphic.