Trenton comes out on top after 16 innings

Update: The Low-A Charleston game is over and has been added to the post.

Triple-A Scranton was rained out. Apparently they made the announcement on Twitter and Facebook, but didn’t bother to tell the people in the stands or those waiting in line to get into the park until later. Brutal. Anyway, they’re going to make this up as part of a July 5th doubleheader.

Double-A Trenton (9-6 win over Erie in 16 freaking innings)
Austin Krum, LF: 3 for 7, 1 R, 2 2B, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 SB – 26 K, 25 BB in 39 games
Corban Joseph, 2B & Ray Kruml, RF: 1 for 6, 1 R, 1 K – CoJo walked and swiped a bag … Kruml doubled and drove in a run
Austin Romine, C: 2 for 7, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 K – 16 innings behind the plate is pretty rough
Bradley Suttle, 3B: 1 for 6, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 K – still just three for his last 39 (.077)
Cody Johnson, DH: 1 for 7, 1 R, 1 2B, 4 K – 56 K in 29 games
Melky Mesa, CF: 2 for 7, 2 R, 1 RBI, 3 K, 1 SB – 15 for his last 37 (.405) with five doubles, a triple, and a homer
Jose Pirela, SS: 2 for 6, 1 2B, 3 K
Addison Maruszak, 1B: 1 for 7, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 4 K
Shaeffer Hall, LHP: 5 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 5 BB, 2 K, 5-5 GB/FB – picked a runner off first … he’d walked four batters in 42 IP all year coming into this game
Pat Venditte, SHP: 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
Tim Norton, RHP: 2 IP, zeroes, 3 K, 1-0 GB/FB
Cory Arbiso, RHP: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 3-2 GB/FB
The Ghost of Kei Igawa, LHP: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 3-6 GB/FB – I think he was scheduled to start on Saturday, so we’ll have to see what happens now
Fernando Hernandez, RHP: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0-1 GB/FB

[Read more…]

2011 Draft: MLB.com’s Top 50 Prospects

MLB.com released their list of the top 50 draft prospects yesterday, and the list is free to see as always. You get detailed scouting reports for all players and video for most, which is why MLB.com’s list has always been my favorite. No offense to Baseball America or Keith Law or Perfect Game or whoever else, but free scouting reports and video won’t be topped at this time of year. Make sure you click on through, great way to lose an hour.

Game 42: Posada at 1B

Eye on the ball, Jorge. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

With Eric Chavez on the shelf and Mark Teixeira in need of some rest, Jorge Posada is starting at first base for the first time since 2008. He has 15 career starts at the position in his career, though eight of them came way back in 2000. Jorge worked out a bunch at first this spring, but it’s still going to be a big defensive step down for the Yankees. Such is life. Here’s the starting nine…

Derek Jeter, SS
Curtis Granderson, CF
Mark Teixeira, DH
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Russell Martin, C – surprised he’s back in there, he didn’t really get yesterday off
Jorge Posada, 1B
Nick Swisher, RF
Brett Gardner, LF

CC Sabathia, SP – I sure hope he’s ready to eat some serious innings

You can watch tonight’s game on YES locally or MLB Network nationally when it begins shortly after 7pm ET. Enjoy.

Update: We are officially in a delay. No word on a start time yet, but use this as an open thread in the meantime.

Update Part Deux: The game is expected to begin at 7:50pm ET.

Dickerson day-to-day after CT scan comes back normal

Update (6:04pm): Feinsand says Dickerson is day-to-day and Joe Girardi is unlikely to use him tonight. Good news.

Original Post (4:00pm): Via Mark Feinsand, Chris Dickerson’s CT scan came back normal, though the team has not yet confirmed what’s next for him. Dickerson left last night’s game after being hit by the head with a Mike Gonzalez pitch in the 15th inning. Hopefully he can avoid the new seven-day concussion disabled list, but they won’t screw around with a head injury. More details to come, at some point.

Sunday Trivia and more with RAB at the Delta Dugout

As the Yankees and Mets gear up for yet another installment of the Subway Series, River Ave. Blues is pleased to announce that we will be hosting a Fan Flair challenge and New York baseball trivia contest at the Delta Dugout in Madison Square Park this Sunday afternoon.

The Delta Dugout, sponsored as you might have guessed by Delta Airlines, is becoming an annual happening around the time of the Subway Series. Open from 11 a.m. on Friday through the end of Sunday afternoon’s game, events include a Saturday night pre-game concert by Bernie Williams, an appearance by Joba Chamberlain on Saturday at noon, and an auction to benefit Harlem RBI that will begin with a Mark Teixeira appearance. (In fact, he spilled the beans via Twitter earlier this week.)

Our role in the event comes on Sunday for the Fan Flair Challenge and a subsequent pre-game trivia contest. At 11 a.m., Chris Carlin from SNY and I will be judging fans’ outfits. The Mets fan and Yankee fan with the most team-spirited based outfit will win a giveaway package to one of their favorite’s teams upcoming games. At noon, I’ll then be hosting a special edition of dugout trivia for the Fan Flair runners up with a chance to win tickets to Yankees and Mets games.

The rest of the weekend should be pretty fun too. The games will be shown on a big screen in the park with numerous food vendors. Some other famous New York baseball folk will be making some guest appearances, and batting cages and the like will be set up in the park. Stop by if you’re jonesing for some baseball before the games this weekend. For a full schedule, check out the event’s Facebook page or find out more on Delta’s website.

2011 Draft: Tyler Beede

The draft is just 17 days away, so between now and then I’m going to highlight some players individually rather than lump a few together in one post.

Tyler Beede | RHP

Background
Tucked away in the northeast, Beede attends Lawrence Academy in Groton, Massachusetts, which is north of Boston and not far from the North Hampshire border. He originally attended Auburn High School in Auburn, Mass., but transferred to Lawrence after his junior year to face better competition. Beede threw a perfect game last week and is committed to Vanderbilt.

Scouting Report
A big bodied righty (6-foot-4, 200 lbs.), Beede stands out for his command of four-pitches. He throws two fastballs (both a four- and two-seamers) anywhere from 89-92 with the occasional 93 right now, but there’s some projection left and reason to believe he could add a tick or two. A changeup is probably Beede’s best offspeed offering, and he also throws a low-70’s breaking ball that sometimes looks like a slider and other times a curveball. The command stems from a sound delivery with a big stride that Beede repeats well. Here’s some video from last summer’s AFLAC All-American Game, and there’s plenty more on YouTube.

Miscellany
Beede is one of those rare prospects that offers the command and polish of a college pitcher with the projection of a high schooler. I think he’s flown a little under-the-radar in this deep draft class in part because he doesn’t get much exposure in a cold weather state. High school guys that have shown command of four pitches are definitely a rare breed. Vanderbilt commitments are always tough to break, but the Yankees have had some success doing so (namely Dellin Betances) and he has expressed interest in turning pro.

Beede was ranked the 30th and 35th best draft prospect by Keith Law and Baseball America in the latest version of their rankings, respectively, but the Vandy commitment and desire for an above-slot bonus could cause him to slide.

Screen cap from the linked NESN article about the perfect game.

Jorge’s puzzling struggles against lefties

Keep working on that righty swing, Jorge. It'll come back to ya. (Kathy Willens/AP)

Three times in the past four games the Yankees have faced a left-handed starter. In each of those games Jorge Posada sat on the bench, watching as Andruw Jones, or, in last night’s case, Derek Jeter, got the start at DH. In a way it didn’t come as a surprise. The Yankees need to find at-bats for Jones, and using him in the DH role against LHP is one way of doing that. The bigger issue, though, has been Posada’s performance against left-handers. When flipped around to the right side of the plate this year he’s 0 for 24 with six walks. That’s quite out of line with his career numbers.

Throughout his career Posada has hit lefties just as well as he has righties. While his walk rate and power are slightly better against righties, he has dunked in more hits against lefties. It all adds up to a very similar line, .376 wOBA vs. righties and .366 vs. lefties. This skill did not seem to deteriorate with age. In fact, Posada hit lefties a bit better than righties as recently as last season. Here’s how his splits line up in the past nine years (as far back as FanGraphs goes).

There is no noticeable trend here. Some years he hit lefties better, other years he hit righties. It seems like normal statistical fluctuation to me, especially since it pretty much balances out during the course of his career. That’s why it seems so odd that his skill from one side of the plate would so abruptly disappear. Then again, it seems odd that his ability to hit in general has deteriorated so much during the course of a single winter.

Still, it’s not as though his struggles against lefties are just a drop in the bucket. It might be only 30 PA, but he has struck out in a third of them. That could suggest that something deeper is wrong. When he has put the ball on the play it hasn’t been hit particularly well — just one line drive out of the 14 times he has put the ball in play. That’s equal to the number of infield pop-ups he has against lefties.

Things have gotten better lately. Posada is 11 for 40 with three doubles and seven walks in May, good for a .275/.383/.350 line. That might not be a turnaround, but it’s certainly better than his .125/.232/.375 April. Part of the reason might be that of his 47 PA this month, only eight have come against lefties (3 K, 3 BB). That makes his line against righties a much more impressive .314/.385/.400. If he can pick up that power a bit, he’ll again turn into the heavy hitting force that Yankees fans have known for years.

As for his performances against lefties, it’s easy to see the justification in sitting him at this point. But there is nothing in his career track record that suggests that he’s deficient against them. As he recovers against righties, so should he recover against lefties. Batting from the right side is, of course, natural for Jorge, a right-hander who taught himself to switch hit. The problem is finding a spot for him. While the Yankees would benefit from his resurgence from both sides, they can’t afford to have him striking out every other at-bat. It’s why we’ve seen Jones taking those reps at DH, especially lately, when the Yanks need to rattle off a few wins.

To be sure, the team is better with a normal Jorge Posada. The only question is of how much patience they have for his recovery. If he can hit righties, he should be able to hit lefties. I’m just not sure the Yankees are willing to take that gamble right now.