In his third minor league rehab appearance with the Rookie Level GCL Yankees, left-hander Pedro Feliciano allowed a double and struck out a batter looking in a scoreless inning. He has yet to allow a run during his rehab stint, but more importantly he remains healthy. There’s a chance Feliciano could be bumped up to a higher level for his next appearance, with High-A Tampa making the most sense. An early-to-mid-September return to the big league bullpen remains the target.
12:02pm: Via Josh Norris, the Yankees will indeed send Heathcott to the AzFL. He says they’re also likely to send RHP Dan Burawa (oblique, rib) if he gets healthy in time, and other players in consideration for a trip to Arizona include RHP Zach Nuding, RHP Tommy Kahnle, LHP Matt Tracy, RHP Mark Montgomery, RHP Branden Pinder, and RHP Preston Claiborne.
10:00am: Via Joel Sherman, the Yankees are planning to send C Austin Romine and 2B David Adams to the Arizona Fall League after the season. Both players have missed time with injuries not just this year, but last year as well. Romine (back) only has 70 plate appearances this season while Adams (ankle, neck) has 328 plate appearances. He’s been working out at third base lately and could get more time there in the desert.
The rosters have not been officially announced as of yet but that could happen as soon as next week. OF Slade Heathcott would make sense for an AzFL trip as well after missing the first half of the season due to shoulder surgery, though he would count as their one Single-A player. Neither LHP Manny Banuelos or RHP Jose Campos will be eligible because they were not on an active roster within 45 days of the end of the season. The rules are weird, I know. Each teams sends seven players, usually three position players and four pitchers.
This one didn’t really have the feel of a typical Yankees-Red Sox game, mostly because it didn’t take four hours to complete. The two sides traded leads in the middle innings, but ultimately the Bombers came out on top. It’s their ninth win in their last eleven games. Let’s recap…
- Bombs Away: Three of the first seven Yankees who stepped to the plate hit a solo homer off left-hander Franklin Morales, who own eight of the eleven homers he’s surrendered this season. Nick Swisher did the honors in the first, then Curtis Granderson and Russell Martin went back-to-back in the second to give New York a three-zip lead. Derek Jeter tagged Morales for a fourth solo homer in the fifth to tie the game.
- PFPhil: Obviously a lot happened in between the second and the fifth, specifically a four-run third inning for the Sox. Phil Hughes shot himself in the foot by throwing away a double play ball with one out and a man on first, and it snowballed into a disaster inning capped off by a three-run homer by Dustin Pedroia. Outside of that one inning, Phil allowed just two of 20 batters he faced to reach base. He threw a ton of changeups, I’m talking 29 out of 106 total pitches (27.4%). That has to be a career-high. None of those four runs were earned (laughable, but whatever), and otherwise Hughes threw a surprisingly solid game.
- NY Nix: Jayson Nix has done a lot of very nice things for the Yankees this season, including a number of big hits. His latest was a piece of beauty, a two-out, two-strike single on a slider away that he reached out and just poked to right with men on the corners. Clayton Mortensen had come in and thrown nothing but sliders to the first two men he faced, so nice job by Nix to make the adjustment and put the ball in play. The single gave the Yankees a 5-4 lead in the sixth.
- Leftovers: Swisher tacked on an insurance run with a solo homer in the seventh, the 12th time in his career he’s gone deep from both sides of the plate in the same game. That’s the second most in baseball history behind Mark Teixeira (13), and has a lot to do with starting pitchers staying in the game until their arms fell off back in Mickey Mantle’s day … outside of a Carl Crawford double off David Robertson (literally), the bullpen was flawless in their two innings. Fourteen of the final 15 Red Sox to bat made outs … every starter had a hit except for Robinson Cano and Ichiro Suzuki while Swisher and Grandy were the only ones with two hits … Jeter’s homer was his tenth of the season, giving the Yankees ten players with double digit homers, tying a franchise record. Nix is the next closest at four so don’t expect an eleventh guy with 10+ homers … ready for this? In their 12 head-to-head games this season, the Yankees have out-homered the Red Sox 28-9. 28-9!
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the nerd score, and ESPN the updated standings. The Tigers beat the Orioles, so Baltimore is now seven back in the loss column. Assuming the Rays beat the Angels, they’ll remain six back. Boston is a full 14 games back. The Yankees will look to further bury the Red Sox on Saturday afternoon, when David Phelps gets the ball against Jon Lester in the FOX broadcast matinee. Check out RAB Tickets for some last-minute ticket deals.
Minor League Report
I don’t have the time for a full blown DotF tonight, but I will provide you with links to the box scores: Triple-A, Double-A, High-A, Low-A, Short Season, Rookie GCL. 2B Corban Joseph, CF Melky Mesa, 1B Luke Murton (two), C Gary Sanchez, 3B Dante Bichette Jr., and DH Peter O’Brien all hit homers. RHP Dellin Betances got hammered for seven runs in four innings.
The Yankees are sitting pretty with a six-game lead in the division while their greatest rival toils in fourth place with a sub-.500 record. This series means little in the grand scheme of things, but the Bombers have a chance to absolutely bury the Red Sox and remove the tiny little bit of hope they have left in their season. No mercy. Here’s the starting nine…
DH Derek Jeter
1B Nick Swisher — Mark Teixeira’s wrist is acting up again
2B Robinson Cano — looks like the neck is fine
RF Andruw Jones
3B Casey McGehee
CF Curtis Granderson
C Russell Martin
SS Jayson Nix
LF Ichiro Suzuki
RHP Phil Hughes
Tonight’s game is scheduled to start a little after 7pm ET and can be seen on My9 locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy.
After coming through yesterday’s flat ground throwing session a-okay, left-hander CC Sabathia told Sweeny Murti that he will get back up on a mound and throw a bullpen session tomorrow. It’ll be his first time throwing off a mound since being placed on the DL with elbow stiffness last weekend. Sabathia remains on target to return to the rotation next Friday in Cleveland, the first day he is eligible to be activated off the DL.
4:30pm: Teixeira is indeed out of tonight’s lineup with a sore left wrist. Joe Girardi indicated that his first baseman could sit out tomorrow’s game as well. Nick Swisher is filling in at first base tonight.
8:00am: Via George King and Don Burke, first baseman Mark Teixeira is still being bothered by the left wrist inflammation that sidelined him for a handful of games late last month. “He might get a rest, but no tests are scheduled,” said Brian Cashman. “It’s definitely not as bad as before, but it’s still bothering him … He’s icing it for maintenance purposes.”
Teixeira received a cortisone shot in the wrist roughly two weeks ago and has gone 14-for-54 (.259) with two doubles and three homers since returning to the lineup. He initially hurt himself on a swing and aggravated the injury further diving for a ball on defense. Just rest him tonight … heck, rest him all weekend. Take advantage of the big division lead and get this right before it’s too late.
Baseball implemented a new playoff system this year, and now we might be closing in on a new instant replay system as well. Jeff Passan and Ken Rosenthal report that MLB will test out a new radar and camera-based replay system in Yankee Stadium and CitiField starting next week. It’s the same Hawk-Eye Innovations system used for boundary calls in tennis and would be used for fair-or-foul calls only.
“We continue to investigate it,” said Joe Torre, MLB’s VP of Baseball Ops. “I don’t think we’re at the point now where we want to do that, increase replay more than we have. Unless we’re confident that it’s going to be something that will work without any hiccups, we’re not planning to [officially implement] anything right now.”
The results of the test run this year will not be made public or anything, they’re just going to internally test the system. The new Collective Bargaining Agreement allows for expanded replay, and if this new system passes the test in the coming weeks, it could be officially implemented around the league next season. That, obviously, is a very good thing. The human element is the players, not the umpires.
There’s still a lot of opposition to expanding instant replay — especially for ball-and-strike calls as well as bang-bang plays on the bases — but this new testing system is a positive step forward. Even if the Hawk-Eye system flops and is impractical, at least we know that the league is making an attempt to move forward. Automated ball-and-strike calls are a long, long way off, but getting fair-or-foul calls right is progress.