Open Thread: CC gets the KKKKKKKKKKKKK’s

(Photo Credit: Flickr user Geoff Livingston via Creative Commons license)

I don’t want to spoil the game recap too much, but all you need to know is that CC Sabathia was the man today. He struck out 13 Brewers, tying a career high and setting a new high as a Yankees. All 13 of those whiffs were swinging. Milwaukee had no chance, the big man was on his game this afternoon.

Anyways, here is tonight’s open thread. The MLB Network will carry a game (teams depend on where you live), plus you could always watch a replay of the Yanks’ game on YES. Talk about whatever you want here, go nuts.

Jeter on pace to rejoin team on Monday

Via Brian Costello, Derek Jeter ramped up his rehab work in Tampa today and is expected to begin a two game rehab assignment with Double-A Trenton this weekend. He would then rejoin the team on Monday in Cleveland. “I feel good now,” said the Cap’n. “I feel a lot better. I’m ready to get out of here.” Jeter has been running the bases and taking batting practice all week. Trenton is home this weekend, so if you want to head to either or both games, you can get tickets here.

Colon to start Saturday

Joe Girardi announced after this afternoon’s game that Bartolo Colon will indeed start Saturday afternoon’s game against the Mets. Apparently he came through whatever drills they put him through well  enough to pitch. Brian Gordon will presumably shift into a long relief role, and hopefully this means Hector Noesi will go back to Triple-A to work as a starter. Hooray for having Bart back.

Link Dump: Robertson, Joba, All-Star Voting

The Yankees are still playing the Brewers, but here are some links for those of you that can’t watch the game…

(Photo Credit: Flickr user EDorf81 via Creative Commons license)

David Robertson, Life Saver (Not Literally)

The Yankees bullpen was supposed to be a strength coming into the season, and it has been for the most part. Just not the way we expected. Rafael Soriano and Joba Chamberlain went down long-term elbow injuries, forcing David Robertson to step up his game and bridge the gap between starter and Mariano Rivera. His performance (1.58 FIP and 1.4 fWAR, third highest among all relievers) earned him a spot on Jerry Crasnick’s list of life savers, which focuses on players who thrived after injuries forced them into more prominent roles. “He’s always had that great curveball,” said a scout that Crasnick spoke too. “And [Joe Girardi] really likes him and trusts him.” Well, duh.

Joba Documents Life After Tommy John Surgery

If you follow Joba on Twitter, then you’re already aware that he’s been posting near-daily updates of his status following his Tommy John surgery, and Marc Carig asked him why. “I’ll document good days and bad days when we really start getting after it,” said Joba yesterday. “It’s good. It obviously gives you a non-baseball outlet. A lot of people don’t know really what Tommy John is, and the process. They’re basically going through the process with me. I appreciate all the support that they have given me. I think it’s fun for them to see what’s happening.”

Joba posted some gnarly photos of his scars after the surgery, and continues to write about how he’s feeling and how the latest doctor appointment went. I’ve been following along and I think it’s a pretty cool way for him to not only keep everyone updated about how he’s doing, but also interact with readers. Rehab from TJS is no joke, but now we’ll get a closer look at it then every before.

All-Star Game Voting Ends Tonight

Fan voting for the 2011 All-Star Game ends at midnight, so make sure you head over and stuff the ballots while you still can. Five Yankees are in line to start the game at the moment: Russell Martin, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and Curtis Granderson. Mark Teixeira is about a million voted behind Adrian Gonzalez at first base, and both Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner are about a million and a half votes out of an outfield spot. I haven’t voted yet myself, but if I do, here’s my ballot…

AL: Alex Avila, Adrian, Howie Kendrick, Asdrubal Cabrera, A-Rod, Granderson, Bautista, Carlos Quentin, David Ortiz

NL: Brian McCann, Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, Jose Reyes, Placido Polanco, Matt Kemp, Andrew McCutchen, Ryan Braun

Game 79: CC for the sweep

(Photo Credit: Flickr user Jay?? via Creative Commons license)

The Yankees have yet to win five games in a row this season, which is pretty remarkable when you consider their overall record (AL best 47-31, +110 run differential). They’ve got several things going for them today after winning the last four, starting with CC Sabathia on the mound. The Yankees are also 22-4 (!!!) in day games, so that’s another thing they have going for them. There’s no Alex Rodriguez or Curtis Granderson in the lineup though, those two guys are just getting routine days off before playing three DH-less games in CitiField. Here’s the starting nine…

Brett Gardner, CF
Nick Swisher, RF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Jorge Posada, DH
Andruw Jones, LF
Eduardo Nunez, SS
Ramiro Pena, 3B
Frankie Cervelli, C

CC Sabathia, SP

Today’s game starts at 1:05pm ET and can be seen on YES locally or MLB Network nationally. If you’re stuck at work, you can listen on WCBS 880. Enjoy.

Josh Norris & Mike Ashmore interview Mark Newman

A few days after answering questions for NoMaas, Yankees VP of Baseball Ops Mark Newman chatted with Double-A Trenton beat writing all-stars Josh Norris and Mike Ashmore. They talked about players coming back from injury (David Adams, Graham Stoneburner, Jeremy Bleich), Corban Joseph’s bat, disciplining Slade Heathcott for the brawl (spoiler: they didn’t), Andrew Brackman, developing pitchers, and lots more. Make sure you heck it out, it’s a must read.

Scouting The Trade Market: Mike Adams

Another day, another post about a potential trade target. A few days ago we broke down Heath Bell of the Padres, and now it’s time to look at his bullpen mate, Mike Adams. San Diego is on a nice little roll (won four straight), but they’re still ten games back of both the NL West crown and the NL Wildcard in the loss column. Given the demand for high-end relievers, the Padres have let it be known they’re willing to discuss anyone in their bullpen as long as they get the right pieces in return. Let’s take a look at what Adams can and can not do…

The Pros

  • You might not have heard of him, but Adams has been one of the very best relievers in all of baseball over the last few seasons. Since the start of the 2009 season (min. 120 IP), he leads all big league relievers with a 2.03 FIP, a quarter of a run better than the runner up (Bell). His 1.87 FIP this season is better than last year’s 2.31 mark, but lags behind 2009’s FIP of 1.66.
  • Adams has struck out 10.16 batters per nine innings over the last two-plus seasons while walking just 2.31 per nine. If we remove intentional walks, it’s 2.06 per nine. His strikeout rate remains sky high this season (9.91 K/9), though his walk rate is his best ever (0.99 uIBB/9).
  • A simple man, Adams works with two knockout pitches and a deceptive delivery that is all arms and legs and baggy jersey. His slider has such short and hard break that it looks like a cutter, and he’ll throw it anywhere from 80-90 mph. A two-seamer in the low-90’s is his other pitch, though I’ve seen him reach back and throw a straight four-seamer at 96 in the past.
  • Unlike Bell, Adams is under team control next season as an arbitration-eligible player, which is a fantastic and valuable little piece of flexibility.

The Cons

  • Adams is not that young (33 at the end of July) and he has a lengthy injury history. He had surgery to repair a partially torn labrum after the 2008 season, and it kept him on the shelf until early-June 2009. Some soreness in the shoulder cost him basically all of September that year as well. Adams pitched through a minor but nagging oblique strain for four weeks last summer, and his minor league career is littered with injuries.
  • Although he’s not an extreme fly ball guy, he doesn’t do a great job of keeping the ball on the ground. Since the start of 2009, Adams’ ground ball rate is just 43.8%. Since the start of last season it’s 41.6%. Of the five homers he’s given up since the start of 2009, three have come on the road away from Petco Park, included the two he’s allowed this season.
  • A $2.535M salary is nothing to the Yankees but it is rather expensive for a middle reliever. He’ll earn about $422,500 a month from here on out, and that base salary could put him in line for a $4M payout next season.
  • Adams has never pitched in the postseason, the closest he’s come is pitching in five consecutive days down the stretch last year, when the Padres were tying to fend off the Giants. He pitched in seven of San Diego’s final nine games last season.

As I said when we looked at Bell, adding another dominant, late-game reliever is more of a luxury than a requirement for the Yankees at the time. Both Jon Heyman and Joel Sherman have reported in recent days that the Yankees prefer Adams to Bell, which is good to hear because he’s no worse than Bell’s equal on the mound and is more than just a second half rental. I suspect the prospect cost would be similar, and if you’re going to go take the plunge and trade that much for a reliever, I’d rather do it for the guy you can keep beyond this season rather than pay a premium for the Proven Closer™, everything else being equal.