1. Damon, LF
2. Jeter, SS
3. A-Rod, 3B
4. Posada, 1B
5. Betemit, 2B
6. Melky, CF
7. Molina, C
8. Christian, RF
9. Rasner, SP

Okay, so where’s the real lineup Joe?

So wait, that’s really it? Let me get this straight: you’re sitting three very good lefty batters in Abreu, Giambi and a surging Robbie Cano against a mediocre southpaw in Oliver Perez, but you started them against a premium lefty in Johan Santana yesterday after they played 3 games in 3 different stadiums in a span of 48 hours. Okay cool, that makes sense.

Wait, no it doesn’t. Whatever, let’s hope Perez has one of those games.

Categories : Game Threads
Comments (256)

Fox sports workhorse Ken Rosenthal has a nice piece up about Joe Girardi’s bullpen management skills, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about. Tucked away in the middle of the post is this gem:

Critics, pointing to the stalled developments of pitchers such as Ian Kennedy and Jeff Marquez, say the Yankees overrate their prospects, something to which practically every organization could plead guilty.

“I’ve seen a lot of guys who will play in the big leagues and pitch in the big leagues,” says one rival scout who is assigned to the Yankees’ system. “But I haven’t seen an impact player.”

You know what, Rosenthal’s scout friend is right. I do think there is a little wordplay going on here, though. How many true impact players, guys that could come up and make an immediate dent in the bigs, are sitting in the minors right now? Two, three, maybe four? What every team has is potential impact players. Every single team, even the Mets and ChiSox with their barren farm systems.

Austin Jackson, Jose Tabata and Jesus Montero clearly have the talent to be impact Major Leaguers, as do pitchers like Dellin Betances, Andrew Brackman and Mark Melancon. These guys are all a year or so away from the big leagues though (especially considering Brian Cashman’s latest words about Melancon), so you can’t consider them impact players yet. It’s a fine line.

Most prospects don’t work out, we all know that, and that’s exactly why it’s important to have depth. You want to know the best way to judge and compare farm systems? Look at the #10, #20 and #30 prospects, not just the top 10. Depth is paramount, and right now the Yanks have a nice amount of it.

Categories : Minors
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Posted by mobile phone:
Short write-up tonight because I don’t feel like typing much on the Blackberry right now…

Andy Pettitte and the Yanks outlasted the rain and the Mets tonight to emerge victorious in Shea Stadium for the second day in a row. Coupled with a Red Sox loss in Houston, the Yanks closed the AL East gap to five. Halfway through the season, the Yanks are seven games over .500 and in the thick of the playoff hunt.

The Yanks were held to just five hits – two of them by the hot-hitting Robinson Cano. While the team struck out 11 times, they drew five walks off Mets pitcher and the three runs proved to be plenty as Andy Pettitte (9-5, 3.98) and three one-hit innings by the pen made it work.

And now some bullets:

-How many of you died with Kyle Farnsworth pitching the eighth in a one-run game? That the Mets had up their middle-of-the-lineup guys just made it worse. While Farnsworth came through in a very high leverage situation, if ever there is a time to go to your best reliever for a two-inning save, that was it.

-Nice Golden Sombrero for Carlos Beltran today.

-Robinson Cano is now at .244. Melky is now at .249. We should have a pool predicting which day Cano passes Cabrera. Could it be today? Tomorrow? Inevitably, it will be soon.

-Another two K’s and a save for Mariano. That guy’s pretty damn good, eh?

Categories : Game Stories
Comments (27)

Baby-Bombers.com now has a magazine, which you can purchase here. It’s chock full o’ stats, reviews, player interviews (including an upcoming one with Pat Venditte), all sorts of cool stuff. Make sure you check it out.

Some quick injury news: Al Aceves was placed on the 7-day DL with a minor groin issue, and Kevin Whelan is out with an elbow issue. It sounds like Tommy John surgery is inevitable.

Triple-A Scranton
Game 1
(2-1 loss to Buffalo in 10 innings, walk-off style) this was the completion of yesterday’s game that was suspended in the 9th because of fog
Brett Gardner, Jason Lane & Chris Stewart: all 0 for 4 – Gardner walked & K’ed … Lane drew a walk & K’ed twice … Stewart K’ed once
Cody Ransom: 0 for 5, 2 K
Juan Miranda & Eric Duncan: both 2 for 5, 1 2B
Shelley: 0 for 2, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 1 SB – threw a runner out at first from RF as part of a double play
Matt Carson: 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K, 1 CS
Jeff Karstens: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 6-10 GB/FB – 65 of 93 pitches were strikes (69.9%)
Heath Phillips: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K – allowed a walk-off single after Morgan Ensberg bunted the winning run into scoring position … I’m not joking

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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Nine innings from now the Yanks season will be 50% complete, and at worst they’ll be 43-38, 7 GB of the division lead and 6.5 GB of the Wildcard. After their 81st game last year, the Yanks were 40-41 and 10.5 GB of first place Boston, 7 GB of Wildcard leading Detroit. It hasn’t been smooth sailing, but it’s improvement.

De facto ace Andy Pettitte toes the rubber today, taking on Johan “WE SHOULD HAVE TRADED KENNEDY AND TEH MELKY FOR HIM!!11one!!” Santana. Andy’s been dandy of late (I hate myself for typing that), allowing only 18 baserunners and 1 run against 19 strikeouts in 21 IP since Jose Guillen owned him in that forgettable beatdown at the hands of the Royals. Johan’s allowed 19 baserunners and 10 runs in his 2 starts (13 IP), both against AL opponents. There’s only five guaranteed years and $128M (minimum) remaining on his contract.

You probably have already heard that David Robertson has been summoned from Triple-A Scranton. Check this out: Robertson was Yarmouth-Dennis’ closer during the 2006 Cape Cod League season, and in the title clinching game he threw 3 perfect innings to close out the win. He struck out the final batter of the game, some kid from Texas named Bradley Suttle. The opposing starter that day? Jeremy Bleich. See, the world does revolve around the Yanks.

The lineup:

1. Damon, LF
2. Jeter, SS
3. Abreu, RF
4. A-Rod, 3B
5. Giambi, 1B
6. Posada, C
7. Cano, 2B
8. Cabrera, CF
9. Pettitte, SP

Notes: LaTroy Hawkins has been designated for assigning that pink backpack the rookies take out to the bullpen to Robertson … Hah! See what I did there? But seriously, Igawa was sent back to Scranton, Oneli Perez and his six-fingered hands were DFA’ed to clear up spots on the 25-man & 40-man roster, respectively for D-Rob … Ross Ohlendorf will work out of Scranton’s rotation for the time being, but the Yanks still view him as a reliever long term … Matsui had his knee drained again, Cashman said surgery was a possibility … Cash also said that Phil Hughes is 2-3 weeks away from pitching in games, and that he might not necessarily return to the big league team this season … Brian Bruney is a week away from pitching in games

Update: The start of the game is being delayed by the threat of rain. Pete Abe says they’ve just begun to take the tarp off. I live about two miles geographically from the Stadium, and the sun’s out here.

Categories : Game Threads
Comments (209)
  • Yanks promote Robertson
    By

    This should make everyone happy: the Yanks have called up reliever David Robertson from Triple-A Scranton. The righty has certainly earned his chance, allowing just 48 baserunners in 51.2 IP this season. He’s struck out 187 men against just 54 in 136 career IP. Robertson last pitched on Thursday, throwing 24 pitches in 2 shutdown innings, so he should be good to go today. No word yet on a who’s going down. · (51) ·

With the trade deadline a month away, talk will inevitably heat up over which Yankee prospects should go for what type of players. As Joe noted, anything we say is pretty meaningless, but we do have some insight into how Brian Cashman will approach the trade deadline.

In a nutshell, don’t expect anything major.

Early this week, Brian Cashman spoke a dinner in Scranton, and Chad Jenning was on hand to cover this event. He relates to us an anecdote about Cashman’s grabbing the reins of the Yankee organization from those who had turned it away from player development. I’m going to quote at length:

Cashman said that he was angry in 2005. “We got away from building from within,” he said. “There were a lot of players who wound up on our roster who I wasn’t in favor of. A lot of fighting between the cities (Tampa and New York).” The Yankees got off to a bad start that season, and Cashman told Steinbrenner he’d fix it, but he wanted to do it his way — “I needed to listen to one person, not 10 at once.”

That was the year he promoted Wang and Cano at the same time, claimed Al Leiter, brought up Aaron Small, etc., and they made the playoffs. “At the end of the year,” Cashman said. “I told the Boss I was done.”

He said the draft picks were gone, they were 24th of 30 clubs in quality of the minor league system and that “this all-veteran thing was not going to work. We were headed back to where we were in the ’80s.”

“I honestly didn’t think he was going to listen to me. Why would he? He hadn’t the last few years.”

Steinbrenner asked him to stay, and he would give him full authority to do what was right. He had job offers that were “easier jobs” for more money, but he stayed with the Yankees. “It was the opportunity of a lifetime. I’d be nothing without George Steinbrenner. There was a loyalty factor here. I couldn’t leave him when he asked me to stay.”

He told Steinbrenner his plan was to do two things: Rebuild the farm system and remain a contender while doing it.

Now, why is this relevant with July nearly upon us? Well, Brian Cashman’s plan is still a work in progress. He’s watching many of his draft picks and international signings make their ways through the farm system to great acclaim. He’s not about to move some of the Yanks’ top prospects for a rent-a-player, and he won’t land that impact player — think C.C. Sabathia or the oft-injured Rich Harden — without giving up those prospects.

Think of this as you will. I know many fans are dismayed at this approach, and they would rather win now with no regard for the future. Many others are fully on board, and still others are eying this plan skeptically while subscribing to it. The media won’t like it if the Yanks don’t make a push for C.C. Sabathia in July but tough.

What Brian Cashman is doing now has a chance to benefit the Yankees as an organization for the next five to ten years. Whether the Yankee brass and their fans have the patience to see it through will determine whether or not we get to enjoy the fruits of a rich farm system in the end. It’s a risk, but it should work better than the trade-now, sign-late approach we witnessed earlier this decade.

Categories : Front Office
Comments (44)

Posted by mobile phone:
Today, in what amounted to an endless day of baseball, both Dan Giese and Sidney Ponson had something in common. Both pitchers allowed nine baserunners over four innings. In fact, Dan Giese actually pitched into the fifth before his ninth baserunner reached.
But as we know full well, the outcomes of their two efforts today were wildly divergent.

Giese probably pitched himself back to AAA – or at least the bullpen – as he emerged the loser of the 15-6 drubbing the Yanks suffered at home yesterday afternoon. Ponson, meanwhile, earned himself the win – and a largely undeserved second start – as the Yanks blanked the Mets in Shea last evening 9-0.

These two games clearly highlight the vagaries of baseball. Neither pitcher threw exceptionally well, and each were under fire for the duration of their respective starts. But when the dust settled, the breaks fell for Ponson and not for Giese. Such is the way luck in baseball works.

On a more detailed level, I have a few observations about the day’s events:

-Edwar Ramirez throws a high-pressure inning in a tight game and blows it while Jose Veras throws a scoreless frame in a blow out. Why? Joe Girardi‘s bullpen use in game one today was fairly inexplicable. He managed as though the Yanks were down by five when the game was well within reach. When the Yanks were up by nine runs, he used the better relievers. Until Edwar can get hitters out with that change up, he shouldn’t be pitching important innings.

-Ponson’s line is better than expected, and the 11-2 ground ball-to-fly ball ratio is a positive. But he threw just 56 of 96 pitches for strikes and was flirting with disaster all night. I don’t think that can last.

-Ain’t nothing like giving up two hits in the ninth inning of a 9-0 game. Way to go, Kei Igawa. Hopefully, he’ll be back in Scranton in exchange for David Robertson.

-Will anyone miss LaTroy Hawkins when he’s finally dismissed? I have to believe that move is on the horizon.

-With Jeter, Abreu and Cano emerging from their slumps at the same time, this team is on the verge of becoming an insane offensive force.

All right, folks. That’s it from me tonight. Thanks for all the comments today, and we’ll do it again tomorrow.

Categories : Game Stories
Comments (33)

Triple-A Scranton had their game suspended with the batter facing an 0-2 count with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th. I know that sounds crazy, but the scored was tied at one. Chad Jennings says they’ll wrap it up tomorrow, so I’ll update the stats then.

Double-A Trenton (5-3 loss to Portland)
Ramiro Pena & Cody Ehlers: both 0 for 4, 1 K
Colin Curtis & Austin Jackson: both 1 for 5 – Curtis doubled in a run, K’ed & threw a runner out at third from LF … Ajax hit a triple
PJ Pilittere: 1 for 4
Jose Tabata: 2 for 3, 1 R, 1 BB – still just 9 for his last 39 (.231)
Chris Malec & Edwar Gonzalez: both 2 for 4, 1 R - Malec K’ed twice … Edwar doubled, drove in 2 & K’ed
Reegie Corona: 1 for 3, 1 BB
Eric Wordekemper: 3.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 3-6 GB/FB – made his first start since 2006 … gave up 2 solo jacks, giving him 5 HR allowed this season, 5 more than last year
Mark Melancon: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1-4 GB/FB – second worst outing of the year (the first was his second appearance of the season)
Zack Kroenke: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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