Via Erik Boland, outfielder Brett Gardner will begin a minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A Empire State tomorrow. He’s been on the DL for nearly three weeks with a bone bruise and a strain in his right elbow after landing awkwardly during a sliding catch. Depending on how he feels and stuff, Gardner could be back as soon as Tuesday I suppose. A two or three game rehab assignment is more likely, however.
Nice win today, I think we all really needed that. The Yankees hadn’t had a real blow-out win yet this season and given their recent struggles, it was nice to see them get out and punish some baseballs in the early going. Plus it didn’t rain even though it was totally supposed to. Hooray for not having to give up a future day off.
Anyway, here is tonight’s open thread. The ESPN Sunday Night Game is the Phillies at the Nationals (Hamels vs. Zimmermann), and the Devils are playing as well. There’s also some NBA playoff action going on. Talk about whatever you like here, go nuts.
Andy Pettitte allowed five runs (three earned) in five innings for Triple-A Empire State today, his latest minor league tune-up start. There was a little defensive funny business going on in the first and second innings — Steve Pearce dropped a pop-up and Brandon Laird booted a grounder — but five runs is five runs. Andy walked two (including the certifiably awful Jose Iglesias) and struck out five, throwing 62 of his 95 pitches for strikes. The stadium gun had him at 85-87 with the cutter, which is normal.
The Yankees said they wanted Pettitte to throw ~100 pitches in two minor league starts before considering him for a call-up, and he’s now done that. Whether or not his command is big league ready is another matter. With Phil Hughes pitching not terribly this afternoon, the Yankees could have Andy throw one more minor league start just to fine tune things some things if they want.
It’s a dark and stormy afternoon in Kansas City, bad enough that they might not be able to play the game. The Yankees don’t return to KC this season, so they’ll have to give up a scheduled off day to make this one up. Both clubs are off on May 31st, which could work. The Yankees will be traveling from Anaheim to Detroit that day, at least in theory. Anyway, here’s the lineup…
RHP Phil Hughes
Today’s game is supposed to start a little after 2pm ET, but I’m not sure if that will actually happen. If and when they do play, you can watch on YES locally and TBS nationally. Enjoy.
After a full week on the shelf with a low-grade left hamstring strain, Nick Swisher is in this afternoon’s lineup at DH. He’s been hitting in the cage/batting practice for a few days and tested his leg running the bases yesterday. The Yankees can certainly use the lineup boost, so Swisher’s return is very welcome.
The bad news: there are severe thunderstorms in the forecast today and the Yankees don’t play in Kansas City again this season. They’d have to sacrifice a scheduled day off and travel to make this one up if the rain forces a postponement.
Well, so much for building off Friday night’s win. The Yankees lost to the Royals on Saturday because their starting pitcher didn’t provide a quality effort (again) and the offense did nothing in particular (again). They’ve lost four of their last five games, all to the Orioles and Royals. Yuck. To the bullet points…
- Hirok-a-nope: Hiroki Kuroda labored in the first inning (1-7 hitters), had an easy time in the second (8-1 hitters), labored in the third (2-7 hitters), and then had an easy time in the fourth (8-1 hitters again). You see the pattern? Kuroda didn’t make it out of the fifth, though I suppose he deserves a tiny sliver of credit for only allowing three runs (two earned) and not ten or something.
- Bright Spots: The Yankees didn’t do much on offense, but the two bright spots were Curtis Granderson (2-for-4 with two doubles) and Russell Martin (3-for-4 and a triple shy of the cycle). The Russ Bus has five hits in his last two games plus another one hit taken away on a great running catch at the warning track, so maybe he’s coming around. Other than that, the Yankees had no answer for Felipe Paulino — who was behind in the count to everyone in the first two of three innings — and various relievers.
- The Bad Pen: We got our first real look at how the Mariano Rivera injury impacts the bullpen, and it’s not in the late innings. Cody Eppley was pitching in what is usually a Cory Wade spot, and he ended up allowing two tack-on runs in the sixth after walking Chris Getz (on four pitches!) to start the inning. Boone Logan had a hand in that, giving up a booming double to lefty Alex Gordon. Freddy Garcia threw two nice innings late, but Yankees relievers walked three and struck out just two.
- Leftovers: Apparently the Yankees don’t have a scouting report on Jeff Francoeur’s arm yet, because Granderson got thrown out trying to go from scoring position to slightly better scoring position in the sixth … with just two walks and nine strikeouts on the night, the lineup has a 44/9 K/BB ratio in the last six games; that’s not Yankees baseball, get back to working the count fellas … MLB.com has the box score and video, FanGraphs the nerd score, and ESPN the updated standings.
The Yankees really need Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner to get healthy just to inject some life into the offense. I’m not asking for a miracle, just a placebo effect. Unfortunately, it appears as though we’re going to have to wait until at least Tuesday for those two. The series finale will be played on Sunday afternoon, when Phil Hughes gets the ball against Luke Hochevar. It feels like it’ll take a minor miracle to keep them from their fifth loss in six games and eighth loss in 12 games.
The MRI on Jose Campos‘ elbow showed inflammation, but the timetable for his return is unknown at the moment. I’m glad it’s not a tear, but don’t worry, there’s still plenty of time for that #trolltrolltroll. Probably going to miss a few weeks.
Triple-A Scranton (9-3 loss to Pawtucket)
2B Kevin Russo: 1-5, 2 K
CF Colin Curtis: 1-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K
1B Steve Pearce: 1-3, 2 BB, 1 K — .355/.445/.570 on the year
DH Jack Cust: 1-4, 1 2B, 3 K — Ray Kruml pinch-hit for him late and struck out
LF Brandon Laird: 2-4, 1 BB, 1 K
3B Ronnie Mustelier: 2-4, 1 R — first game at Triple-A
C Frankie Cervelli: 2-3, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 PB — ten for his last 29 (.345)
RF Cole Garner: 1-4, 3 K
SS Yadil Mujica: 0-4, 1 R, 1 K
RHP Nelson Figueroa: 3.2 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1 HB, 6/3 GB/FB — 46 of 82 pitches were strikes (56.1%)
LHP Mike O’Connor: 4.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 2/3 GB/FB — 49 of 82 pitches were strikes (59.8%)
RHP Jason Bulger: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 2 WP, 0/1 GB/FB — 13 of 20 pitches were strikes