2011 Draft: Yanks “heavily linked” to Tyler Goeddel & Jake Cave

Via Frankie Piliere, the Yankees have been “heavily linked” to high schoolers Tyler Goeddel and Jake Cave in the upcoming draft. Baseball America ranked Goeddel as the 89th best prospect and Cave as the 182nd best prospect in their recently released top 200 list while Keith Law had them 35th and unranked in his lasted offering, respectively. A few days ago we heard the Yanks were in on two more high schoolers, Dillon Howard and Brandon Martin.

I actually have Goeddel, a third baseman/outfielder, on my list of players to write up before the draft. He’s a lanky kid at 6-foot-4 and 170 lbs., and his game is highlighted by athleticism and bat speed. He’s an above-average runner and thrower with a swing geared for contact, though the power isn’t there yet. Goeddel missed some time with mono this spring, but it’s a high-end skill set. He’s committed to UCLA. Cave, an outfielder and left-handed pitcher, is a better prospect on the mound is more of a fourth or fifth round guy. He sits anywhere from 86-94 with his fastball and also throws a changeup and a slider. Committed to LSU, Cave is the kind of guy that could come out of college in three years as a first or second round arm.

Open Thread: The Paul O’Neill (Almost) Comeback Story

(AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

For those of you who didn’t get a chance to watch this afternoon’s game on YES, Paul O’Neill told a rather interesting story in the top of the fourth inning. The Yankees, remember, went with a Shane Spencer-John Vander Wal platoon in right field to start the 2002 season after O’Neill retired, but in early-June they called up a then 23-year-old Juan Rivera (.324/.359/.500 in Triple-A) to take over the position full-time. Unfortunately Rivera crashed into a golf cart and tore up his knee a few days later, sidelining him for the next three months.

O’Neill said during today’s broadcast that after Rivera’s injury, he got a call from Joe Torre asking him about possibly coming back. So O’Neill, who was on vacation with his family at the time, starting working out and throwing and what not with his goal to join the team at midseason. Before he was ready and committed to the return though, the Yankees went out and traded for Raul Mondesi, putting an end to the comeback. Could you imagine that? That sure would have been neat.

Anyway, here is tonight’s open thread. The Mets are playing the Cubs (Gee vs. Coleman) and the Reds and Phillies (Wood vs. Halladay) will be on ESPN2, plus you’ve also got the NHL playoffs on Versus and the NBA playoffs on regular old ESPN. Talk about whatever you want here, so go nuts.

Rosenthal: Yankees pursued Franklin Morales

Via Ken Rosenthal, the Yankees pursued a trade for lefty reliever Franklin Morales before he was dealt to the Red Sox last week. Boston got him for peanuts, just a player to be named later or cash. Morales, 25, was considered the eighth best prospect in the game by Baseball America just three years ago, one spot behind Clayton Kershaw and two spots ahead of David Price. He’s got a big fastball and a knockout curve, but he’s battled extreme control issues (6.0 BB/9 since 2008) and is a big time fly ball guy (just 33.6% grounders since 2009), so I’m not sure he was a good fit for Yankee Stadium. That said, you take chances on arms like this, but missing out on Morales isn’t the end of the world.

Soriano out at least six weeks with inflamed elbow ligament

Update (4:36pm): They just showed Cashman speaking on YES, and he clarified that Soriano would begin throwing to hitters in four-to-six weeks following the two weeks of rest, so two months sounds like a decent estimate of how long he’ll be out. Dr. James Andrews diagnosed an inflamed elbow ligament and is optimistic that the rest and rehab approach will knock this out. Andrews did Soriano’s Tommy John surgery back in the day, by the way.

Original Post (4:16pm): Via Conor Orr, Rafael Soriano will be out at least four-to-six weeks with an elbow issue. No word if it’s a ligament, tendon, muscle, or something else entirely. Brian Cashman confirmed that the right-hander will rest for two weeks before he can begin a “conservative” throwing program, which will lead to a four-to-six week rehab program. Sounds like he’ll be out for two months, essentially.

Yankees bring back Kanekoa Texeira

The Yankees have claimed Kanekoa Texeira off waivers according to the Royals, but credit Mike Ashmore for first having it. Conor Orr says Phil Hughes has been placed on the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster. Texeira came to the Yankees in the Nick Swisher trade three winters ago, but he went to Seattle in the 2009 Rule 5 Draft before bouncing to Kansas City. I wrote about him in last week’s mailbag, and the short version is that it’s a fine depth move but one that will hardly have much impact. Welcome back, Kanekoa.

2011 Draft: Baseball America’s Top 200 Prospects

At this time in two weeks, the 2011 draft will be coming to an end. Hard to believe it’s so close. Baseball America posted their list of the top 200 prospects today, and it’s free for all to see. You do need a subscription to see the scouting reports, however (1-50, 51-100, 101-150, 151-200). Rice 3B Anthony Rendon still ranks number one, but high school RHP Dylan Bundy has jumped everyone and claimed the number two spot. UCLA RHP Gerrit Cole, Virginia LHP Danny Hultzen, and UCLA RHP Trevor Bauer round out the top five. The free list gives you each player’s statistics, so that’s cool.

Game 48: Gettin’ Away

(AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

This 16 games in 16 days stretch has been interesting, to say the least. Six straight losses early on, six wins in eight games with some cameback fun mixed in at the end, it certainly hasn’t been the easiest two weeks on the old blood pressure. A win this afternoon, heading into the off day and west coast trip, would be a fine finish to a decidedly un-Yankees-like stretch of baseball. Here’s the starting nine…

Derek Jeter, SS
Curtis Granderson, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Alex Rodriguez, DH
Robinson Cano, 2B
Russell Martin, C
Nick Swisher, RF
Andruw Jones, LF
Eduardo Nunez, 3B

Freddy Garcia, SP

The game starts a little after 1pm ET, and you can watch on YES or listen on WCBS 880 if you’re stuck at the office. Enjoy.