Finding the hidden gems

The Yankees hit the scrap heap jackpot this season with the likes of Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia, and Eric Chavez, not to mention all the production that Russell Martin has given them after signing as a free agent. Dan Barbarisi wrote about the process that goes into signings like that, and how the Yankees rely on their pro scouting department to unearth such gems. “It’s easy to recommend a guy when the numbers are there,” said scout Tim Naehring. “The most difficult thing is feeling confident and putting in a report when the production isn’t there. The biggest challenge is sticking your neck out and saying, ‘I know there’s more in there. I know there’s better performance coming.'” Give a read, very interesting stuff.

Yankees lose battle of free baserunners, game

"Hey, Luis, let's not walk the guy with 149 walks in 2,210 career plate appearances on four pitches, mmmkay?" (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

It’s late and I’m grouchy, you’re getting bullet points and you’re going to like it!

  • The Mariners came into the game with a .302 OBP and yet Yankees’ pitchers managed to walk six and hit another. Michael Pineda tried to return the favor with five walks in five innings of his own, but as usual the Yankees couldn’t do a damn thing against the bullpen. Just three of their final 14 batters reached base, when some guys named David Pauley and Jamey Wright were on the mound. Gross.
  • A.J. Burnett was pulled after five rocky innings and 97 pitches, and I thought that was the right move. Of course it would be nice if Boone Logan actually got a lefty out one of these days, and Luis Ayala got beat on walks and wild pitches against crappy hitters. Burnett was a grenade with the pin pulled at that point and we know how quickly he can melt down, but Logan and Ayala just didn’t get it done. Would be nice if Joe Girardi wasn’t so stubborn about marrying relievers to innings, that sixth inning was a spot for the David Robertson.
  • Two blown opportunities: Curtis Granderson getting stranded on second after leading off the third with a walk and a stolen base (Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez didn’t even put the ball in play), and Eduardo Nunez getting picked off second with two outs in the eighth. That’s just awful, the Mariners straight up caught him napping there.
  • As for the actual offense, Tex hit a first inning solo homer, Grandy scored on a wild pitch, and A-Rod singled home Tex on a ball that Franklin Gutierrez nearly caught. Gutierrez did rob Nick Swisher of a homer earlier in the game, which sucked. All four Mariners’ runs came on RBI ground outs because the Yankees were so generously putting men on base. Just one of the six walks drawn by New York batters came around to score. I say again, gross.
  • Here’s the box score and video, and here’s the WPA graph.

Anyway, the good news is that we got our 1,000,000th (non-spam) comment on Friday night, so that’s pretty cool. Thanks to everyone for reading and commenting over the years. Hopefully you’ll be back tomorrow night when Ivan Nova takes on Felix Hernandez in what will surely be a good ol’ time.

JoVa & Maxwell homer in SWB win

First of all, make sure you scroll down for tonight’s game thread. Secondly, Dellin Betances was in the team photo of this week’s Prospect Hot Sheet. In case you missed it, we had a bunch of miscellaneous minor league notes earlier today.

Triple-A Scranton (6-2 win over Louisville)
Austin Krum, LF, Ramiro Pena, DH & Luis Nunez, SS: all 0 for 4 – Krum walked and struck out twice … Pena was really the DH, and he drew a walk and got caught stealing … Nunez struck out once
Jesus Montero, C: 1 for 4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 2 K
Jorge Vazquez, 1B: 2 for 4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K – that’s hit 18th homer in 43 games … he had 18 homers in 86 games all of last year
Justin Maxwell, CF: 2 for 4, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 SB – that’s homer number 14 for him
Brandon Laird, 3B: 1 for 4
Kevin Russo, 2B: 2 for 3, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB – eight for his last 19
Dan Brewer, RF: 1 for 4, 1 2B, 2 K
D.J. Mitchell, RHP: 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 7-6 GB/FB – 57 of 97 pitches were strikes (58.8%)
Buddy Carlyle, RHP: 2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 1-0 GB/FB – 28 of 39 pitches were strikes (71.8%)
Kevin Whelan, RHP: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 0-1 GB/FB – a dozen of his 18 pitches were strikes … 24-6 K/BB in 23 IP

[Read more…]

Game 49: The Great Northwest

Yep. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Boo the west coast. Well, I shouldn’t say that. I have no problem with the Pacific Time Zone, I just hate it when the Yankees are out there and don’t start playing until late at night. I’m getting old and don’t late staying up exorbitantly late, so sue me. Anyway, here’s the lineup that will face rookie right-hander Michael Pineda

Derek Jeter, SS
Curtis Granderson, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Russell Martin, C
Jorge Posada, DH
Nick Swisher, RF
Brett Gardner, LF

A.J. Burnett, SP

Tonight’s game starts a little after 10pm ET and can be seen on YES. Enjoy, if you’re awake.

Phil Hughes throws off mound

Via Sweeny Murti, Phil Hughes threw 20 fastballs off a mound today, his first time throwing off something other than flat ground since being shut down and going for a battery of tests earlier this month. Hughes felt fine and said he’ll probably throw off a mound again in two or three days, but there’s nothing is set in stone beyond that. Good news all around, though this is going to be a long process.

Open Thread: Building Narratives

I’m sure most of you a) read xkcd, and/or b) have already seen that today, but I figured I’d post it here for those of you that haven’t. There’s really nothing to add, it’s the history of sports analysis in a one pane comic.

Anyway, here is tonight’s open thread. The Yankees and Mariners start their game a little after 10pm ET, at which point we’ll have a regular game thread. This is to just hold you over. The Mets are playing the Phillies (Capuano vs. Oswalt), and MLB Network will also carry a game. The teams depend on where you live though. The Lightning and Bruins will play Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Finals as well (8pm ET on Versus), winner moves on to face the Canucks in the Stanley Cup Finals. Nothing better than a Game Seven, I say. Talk about anything here as you wait for the game.

Minors Notes: Anderson, Sanchez, Injuries, More

Got a bunch of minor league notes today, so let’s round them all up in one post. Everything comes from Mike Ashmore or Chad Jennings

  • Right-hander Brian Anderson has been released. He had been on the Double-A Trenton disabled list with a biceps issue, though his performance when he did pitch was pretty good: nine strikeouts and just one walk in 7.1 IP.
  • Mark Newman again said that Gary Sanchez is out with a “stiff lower back,” though he’s playing in Extended Spring Training. He is on the Low-A Charleston disabled list at the moment, and he’ll return there when healthy.
  • Both Slade Heathcott (.376 wOBA) and J.R. Murphy (.385) will “probably” move up to High-A Tampa this summer. That’s a yes, though I was wondering if Heathcott’s brawl would slow down his schedule somewhat.
  • Mark Prior is not throwing off a mound and is dealing with some kind of oblique/hip issue. Alan Horne (remember him?) is throwing in ExST, as is Brad Halsey. Graham Stoneburner, Jeremy Bleich, and Steve Garrison aren’t close to returning yet.
  • David Adams is still having leg issues. It might be related to last year’s broken ankle, but the leg started bothering him after his one game played this year.
  • When asked about who’s impressed in ExST, Newman responded with personal fave Bryan Mitchell. “He’s got electric stuff,” said Newman. “He’s got the stuff to be the next Banuelos, Betances. The high-end guy. That’s Mitchell.”
  • Carlos Silva can opt out of his minor league deal in mid-June, so he could probably make another two or three or maybe even four starts for Triple-A Scranton before the Yankees have to make a decision about whether or not to call him up.