For your Sunday morning viewing pleasure, may I present to you Keith Olbermann? The MSNBC pundit took a break from politics to discuss baseball this week. In particular, he got a super-secret tour of the new stadium construction site, and as you’ll see, he’s very excited about the new Yankee Stadium. Enjoy the video, and the hat tip on this one goes out to Bugs and Cranks.
The big league team isn’t the only one being ransacked by injuries, the Low-A Charleston River Dogs are also fighting the injury bug, with Abe Almonte and Wady Rufino being the latest to hit the DL. The Yankees are extremely insecure about releasing injury info about their prospects, but I’ll wrap up the Charleston DL crew for you anyway:
As you can see, the Charleston trainers need to alter their conditioning routines so that they do a better job of targeting the upper and lower body. Why can’t they just say, “hey, this guy pulled his hammy,” or “hey, so-and-so’s shoulder is barking.” Is that so difficult? Keeping the injury a secret won’t make it go away.
Triple-A Scranton (5-1 loss to Indianapolis)
Brett Gardner & Bernie Castro: both 0 for 2 – Gardner scored a run, walked twice, was caught stealing & threw a runner out at first from CF … Castro walked once & swiped a bag
Jason Lane: 1 for 3, 1 RBI, 1 CS, 1 HBP
Eric Duncan & Cody Ransom: Both 0 for 4 – Ransom K’ed twice
Greg Porter & Justin Christian: all 1 for 4 – Porter K’ed twice
JD Closser: 2 for 3, 1 PB, 1 E (throwing)
Dan Giese: 7 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 9-4 GB/FB – 66 of 94 pitches were strikes (70.2%) … in 36.1 IP as a starter, he’s allowed 26 hits, 4 earned runs, 8 walks and struck out 30
David Robertson: 1 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 0-2 GB/FB – only 13 of his 26 pitches were strikes … pitching against guys with big league experience for the first time can be a bit of a rude awakening, he’ll get over the shell shock soon enough
So that was a good one to win, eh? Darrell Rasner continues to impress; the offense continues to plate runs — although Robinson Cano should have taken a strike with the bases loaded and one out in the first before hacking away; Mariano continues to just get outs. He’s a machine. The only damper on the game was Wilson Betemit’s injury. The Former Attorney General will be back in the Bronx in no time.
Meanwhile, while the Yanks need to call up Alberto Gonzalez so they have a backup infielder, the Yanks once again find themselves in a situation where they could call up Ian Kennedy early and juggle the rotation to have him start against Tampa. They could dispatch Kei Igawa to AAA and call up Bernie Castro or Nick Green to backup the infield until A-Rod comes off the DL this week. I know the Yanks want Kennedy to get more work in at AAA, but they can’t really have Igawa make another start, can they? · (31) ·
I heard Paul O’Neill say this, I think, back in 2005. The Yanks were getting blown out by the Sox in Fenway. They scored a few runs in the ninth, though, including an A-Rod bomb, and the score ended up 9-4 or something like that. O’Neill noted that it was a good sign for the next day when a team scored late in a blowout. Something about them showing signs of life.
Not being one for weak anecdotal evidence, I wrote off Paul pretty quickly. But sure enough, they won the next day. So I started taking note of such situations. Every time the Yanks scored in the 9th inning when they were down big, they won the next day. Of course, this is only in the times that I actually made the observation. Clearly, I might have missed a few instances. But in any case, it gives me high hopes for today.
Darrell Rasner takes the mound again. The Tigers are no Mariners, though, so he’ll need to be a bit more on his game to get through this lineup. Jeremy Bonderman is on the other side. He shut us down last time out, even though we had him on the ropes early on, but let him off the hook.
And on the mound, Darrell Rasner.
The neglected bullpen pitcher Chris Britton should rejoin the team today and actually, you know, pitch in some games due to another injury for the Yanks. Jonathan Albaladejo has what the team is calling an elbow strain or sprain and will land on the DL. He’s due for an MRI in New York on Monday, but this could spell the end of the season for Albaladejoa. · (16) ·
Remember when people used to say Mo was finished when he did something like that? · (13) ·
Triple-A Scranton (6-5 win over Indianapolis) check out which old friend batted third for Indians
Brett Gardner: 0 for 3, 2 R, 2 BB, 2 SB
Alberto Gonzalez & Eric Duncan: both 1 for 3, 1 R, 2 BB – Gonzalez drove in a run & swiped a bag
Jason Lane & Nick Green: both 2 for 4, 1 K – Lane doubled twice, drove in 3 run & walked … Green drove in a run, stole a base & was hit by a pitch
Greg Porter & Matt Carson: both 2 for 5 – Porter K’ed … Carson doubled & scored a run
Heath Phillips: 2.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 5 BB, 1 K – 21 of 50 pitches were strikes (42%), eek … he also picked a runner off first
Steven Jackson: 3.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HB, 3-4 GB/FB – the forgotten man in the RJ deal, Jackson’s a pretty good pitcher, don’t dismiss him
Billy Traber: 0.1 IP, zeroes
Scott Patterson: 1.1 IP, zeroes, 3 K – now there’s the Scott Patterson we all know and love
I don’t think Brian Cashman will ever be able to live down those words. Yes, tonight we see the return of Kei Igawa, or Kei Igawa’s ghost, or the ghost of Kei Igawa’s Ghost. Expectations are low, so i’d easily take six innings, four runs from him.
We’re up against The Gambler. Do I still harbor ill feelings from his failed stint in the Bronx? Eh, it’s been a while. Still, you gotta love it when he gets creamed.
The Padres claimed Sean Henn. You know he’s going to dominate out of the bullpen out there.
Chris Britton was optioned out for Kei Igawa, while Jose Veras remains. The Yankees made that move rather transparent, pitching Veras a couple of times against the Indians.
All right. Who’s ready for some Friday night baseball?
1. Melky Cabrera, CF
2. Derek Jeter, SSS
3. Bobby Abreu, RF
4. Hideki Matsui, LF
5. Shelley Duncan, 1B
6. Jason Giambi, DH
7. Wilson Betemit, 3B
8. Robinson Cano, 2B — seriously? Betemit ahead of Cano?
9. Chad Moeller, C
And on the mound…I’m not sure what number he’s wearing…Kei Igawa.
A sentence in a recent Tom Verducci mailbag set a few Yankees a-twitter this week. “Remember,” wrote Verducci, “the Yankees preferred Ross Ohlendorf over Owings in the Big Unit trade, otherwise he’d be their No. 3 starter and DH these days!”
Now while Ross Ohlendorf clearly has a bright future as a Major League reliever ahead of him — his stuff and his recent 6 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 7 K line are testaments to that — Micah Owings is a desirable starter with excellent stuff. Yankee fans would have every right to be a little dismayed if the team truly favored Ohlendorf over Owings. But the problem with Verducci’s claim is that it’s simply not true.
A few weeks earlier, Verducci’s Sports Illustrated colleague and fellow columnist Jon Heyman wrote about Micah Owings’ role in the Randy Johnson trade talk as well. His take, however, was completely different from that of Verducci’s: “The Yankees tried hard for Owings in Randy Johnson trade talks after the 2006 season, even offering to send Arizona a few million more if they’d include him. No go.”
What Heyman wrote jibes with press reports from the time of the trade in December 2006 and January 2007. At the time, New York reporters offered up differing takes. Some said that the Yankees maybe could have landed Owings if they were prepared to shell out more money for the D-Backs and accept fewer players in return. Others said that Owings was considered to be an “untouchable” in Arizona’s farm system.
While Verducci’s analysis seems off the mark, what Heyman offers seems most realistic. The Yanks wanted Owings as any team would, and the Diamondbacks opted to hold on to their prized prospect. With Ohlendorf on the team, a compensation pick from Vizcaino on the way and the Big Unit’s health issues lately, I’d say the Yankees did just fine for themselves in that trade.