Phelps returns to mound in GCL loss

Some news and notes…

  • Austin Romine went for an MRI on his strained back, and last night Double-A Trenton manager Tony Franklin described the injury as “a situation where it might take some time.” The Yankees will obviously play it safe, and since the minor league season ends in about a month, there’s a non-zero chance this could end Romine’s season.
  • Ray Kruml (foot) has been placed on the disabled list. Austin Krum and DeAngelo Mack were demoted to Trenton and High-A Tampa, respectively. R.J. Baker was activated off the phantom DL.
  • Eric Wordekemper has been placed on the DL to make room on the roster for Chris Dickerson, who apparently took his sweet time getting to Scranton. I’m guessing this is a phantom DL stint for Wordy.
  • Mark Prior is scheduled to pitch for the Rookie Level GCL Yankees on Friday, so I guess that line drive off his forearm wasn’t too bad.

Triple-A Scranton (3-2 loss to Louisville)
Kevin Russo, 3B & Brandon Laird, 1B: both 1 for 4 – Laird struck out twice
Greg Golson, CF & Jordan Parraz, RF: both 0 for 4 – Golson struck out and threw a runner out at third … Parraz got picked off first
Jesus Montero, C: 1 for 3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 PB – he’s 13 for his last 38 (.342) with two doubles and three homers
Jorge Vazquez, DH: 2 for 3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI – fourth homer in his last ten games … the HBP got him in the leg
Dan Brewer, LF: 0 for 3, 2 K
Luis Nunez, 2B: 2 for 3, 1 K
Doug Bernier, SS: 0 for 2
Adam Warren, RHP: 7.1 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HB, 3-11 GB/FB – 70 of 102 pitches were strikes (68.6%) … he was right around 92 tonight
J.C. Romero, LHP: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 3-0 GB/FB – 13 of 23 pitches were strikes (56.5%) … I thought maybe they’d call him up for the Red Sox series, but I guess not
Buddy Carlyle, RHP: 0.1 IP, zeroes, 0-1 GB/FB – threw just two pitches, both strikes

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Game 110: For The Sweep

(AP/Charlie Neibergall)

The Yankees have outscored the White Sox 27-9 during the first three games of the series, and it sure would be nice to finish off the four-game sweep (on the road!) to extend the winning streak to seven. Get it done, fellas. Here’s the lineup, same as last night…

Brett Gardner, LF
Derek Jeter, SS
Curtis Granderson, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nick Swisher, RF
Eric Chavez, 3B
Jorge Posada, DH
Russell Martin, C

Ivan Nova, SP

Little known fact: MLB rules explicitly state that the Yankees are not allowed getaway days, which is why this game starts at 8:10pm ET. I know, totally not fair. Anyway, YES has the broadcast. Enjoy.

CC Sabathia: Packing on the pounds (again)

A whole lot was made of CC Sabathia‘s weight loss earlier this year, as the big left-hander shed 30 lbs. during the offseason and reported to camp at 290 lbs. for the first time in what I imagine is years. He’s gained some of weight back during the season though, something CC readily admitted to George King. “I gained ten back but I feel good, feel strong,” said Sabathia. “This [winter] I will get under 290. It’s easier to work out in the offseason than it is during the season. During the season I have to make sure I stay strong and feel good.” Given how well he’s pitching, I couldn’t care less how much the guy weighs. Whatever he’s doing, it’s working.

Heyman: MLB unlikely to suspend A-Rod

Via Jon Heyman, MLB is unlikely to suspend Alex Rodriguez for all this gambling nonsense, which should surprise no one. Keith Law did a good job of tearing this whole thing to shreds in his chat today, so allow me to copy and paste: “Absolute waste of everyone’s time. Shame on MLB for pandering to the lowest common denominator in both the media (a large segment of which has long had it in for A-Rod) and the fans. They have NO cause to suspend him, and if they try, they will lose the subsequent grievance in embarrassing fashion. And as you pointed out, the inherent message that MLB cares more about whether and with whom you play ‘illegal’ poker than it does about whether you drive drunk and endanger your life and the lives of others is even MORE embarrassing.”

Aside: I present to you this article. Feel free to ridicule, point and laugh, etc.

Granderson getting it done without the homer, too

Can Curtis Granderson hit 40 homers in a season? It was a question that many asked when the Yankees acquired him in the winter of 2009, and rightfully so. He had mashed 30 in 2009, and that came while playing half his games at Comerica Park in Detroit, hardly a lefty’s paradise. Most of his home run production came on the road, which led Yankees fans to wonder if the short porch could increase his home production and perhaps turn him into a true power threat. We didn’t get many good answers in 2010, but in 2011 he has surged, knocking 28 homers through his first 107 games. Getting to 40 is certainly within the realm of possibility.

Lately, though, Granderson has slipped a bit with the power. His two homers against Cleveland on July 5th gave him 25 on the year, or one every 14.68 PA. If he kept up that pace while getting roughly 675 PA on the season, he’d be on pace for about 46 homers. Lately, though, he’s slowed down a bit, hitting just three homers in his last 107 PA. But that hasn’t stopped him from being productive, as he’s hit .278/.358/.500 in that span. That includes seven doubles and two triples, to go along with 10 walks.

Doubles and triples, in fact, have played a big role in Granderson’s 2011 season. He’s not going to reach the 23 triples he hit in the 2007 season, but he could conceivably reach the 13 he hit in 2008. Even if he doesn’t, he’s already hit more than in 2009 and 2010. He’s also going to top both of those years’ doubles totals. In 54 fewer PA he has already topped last year’s doubles total, and is just five away from his 2009 total. At the same time, he’s already topped 2010’s walk total, and if he keeps up this pace he’ll set his single-season record before he gets to 700 PA.

At the start of the season, Granderson provided a welcome surprise with a power outburst. It has mostly held up, but as with most power hitters he goes through plenty of stretches where he’s not hitting the ball over the fence. But for Granderson that hasn’t meant prolonged slumps. When he’s not socking homers he’s still producing by hitting doubles and triples, and taking walks. The combination has vaulted him ahead of all other AL center fielders’ offensive production — his 32.9 runs above average leads No. 2 Jacoby Ellsbury by almost three runs. It’s hard to find a major flaw in Granderson’s game these days. He’s a big part of the reason why the Yankees find themselves in such a comfortable position currently.

A-Rod resumes baseball activities in Tampa

Three weeks after having surgery to repair a slightly torn meniscus in his right knee, Alex Rodriguez resumed baseball activities in Tampa today. Sean Kernan reports that A-Rod did some running, made 25 throws from 125 feet, took some ground balls (27 from his knees, 14 regular), then took 66 swings (32 one-handed off a tee, 34 off soft-toss). There is still no set date for him to begin a minor league rehab assignment, but I figure that’s at least a week away, maybe more.

2011 Draft: Yankees sign third rounder Jordan Cote

The Yankees announced that they have signed third round pick Jordan Cote, though terms of the deal were undisclosed. I’m sure we’ll find out the size of his signing bonus soon enough, but there’s a pretty good chance it’ll be seven figures.

Cote, a 6-foot-5, 205 lb. high school right-hander from New Hampshire, was the highest ceilinged prospect the Yankees selected this year. Baseball America (subs. req’d) says his “fastball sits at 88-90 mph and touches 92, [but] adding strength and pitching in warmer weather should help bump his velocity, especially because he has great hand speed.” He also throws a curveball, slider, and changeup, but each needs work. “Cote has drawn comparisons to Chris Carpenter,” added BA, and “one scout said Cote has the highest ceiling of any pitcher in the Northeast.”

Update: Cote signed for $725k according to Keith Law, a very fair price. Honestly thought it might be double that.