Game 106: Oh yeah, the game

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Given all the hoopla surrounding the trade deadline, it’s easy to forget that the Yankees are playing an actual game this afternoon. A win today would turn a good homestand into a great homestand, so get it done boys. Here’s the lineup…

Brett Gardner, LF
Derek Jeter, SS
Curtis Granderson, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Robinson Cano, DH
Nick Swisher, RF
Eric Chavez, 3B
Russell Martin, C
Eduardo Nunez, 2B

Freddy Garcia, SP

The game starts at 1:05pm ET and can be seen on YES. Enjoy.

Banuelos promoted to Triple-A

Via Jack Curry, the Yankees are promoting Manny Banuelos to Triple-A Scranton for his next start. Curry says this will help the Yankees determine if he’s a viable big league option later in the season, so it doesn’t sound like a one-time spot start. Banuelos’ season stats are in the sidebar, an he’s struck out 38 in his last seven starts (35 IP). There aren’t many 20-year-olds in Triple-A, Manny’s way ahead of the curve.

Ubaldo to the Yankees Indians; Oh S&%#!, what now?

Ubaldo to the Indians? Really?

Well, hey, more power to the Tribe, I suppose. The cost ultimately paid for Jimenez was right in line with what the Rockies had been requesting over the past several days now – that is to say, two elite prospects plus a couple of others. Or, simply put, a haul that would “wow.” And so, Colorado’s farm system instantly became that much stronger with the addition of right-handers Alex White and Joe Gardner, first baseman/outfielder, Matt McBride, and a player to be named later. The mystery player to be named later is largely expected to be Drew Pomeranz (once he becomes trade eligible later this August). Simultaneously, Cleveland’s newest rotation member could wind up being the final piece that allows the Indians to surpass their fellow AL Central rivals in the standings and achieve the much desired playoff birth.

Interestingly, Pomeranz may eventually be viewed as the most valuable component of the deal down the road. The 22 year old lefty is ranked 14th in Baseball America’s top 20, and has looked mighty impressive with Cleveland’s High-A squad. Alex White was the 15th overall draft pick in 2009 and was ranked in Baseball America’s top 50 list heading into the season.

Although he’s currently on the disabled list with a strained finger ligament, White was pitching well prior to the injury at the big league level. Overall, I think the trade represents a pretty solid haul for the Rockies (and a curious departure from typical organizational practice for the Indians). It also leaves me somewhat aghast at what the Yankees would have had to trade in order to make this happen for themselves; I’m thinking Banuelos, Betances, and Ivan Nova along with a possible complimentary player like Laird.

So, where does this turn of events leave the Yankees? I guess that depends on where your priorities lie. For an organization such as New York, the emphasis is always on the present tense rather than that of the future. Judging how much of the future can acceptably be mortgaged away is really a matter of opinion. As it turns out, Brian Cashman‘s opinion was one of reluctance and faith.  Time will tell whether this was the prudent move or not.  Admittedly, there’s still the possibility of a big trade with another organization, but given the short time frame remaining today, the chances have to be smaller.

Obviously, the Yankees rotation would have been deeper with Ubaldo in the mix than it is without him. There’s no arguing what he accomplished the past few seasons, just as there is no denying what he’s capable of doing going forward. Still, I maintain that Yankees fans *should not* jump off the ledge just yet.  Time will tell whether the Yankees would have experienced buyers remorse with Ubaldo, and with every transaction, we’ll have plenty of time to scrutinize the move retrospectively.

It’s looking more and more likely that the Yankees will make the postseason again this year, and as cliché as it is, anything can happen once you get there. As the rosters are currently constructed, I do believe the Yanks are a better team still than either the Rangers or whatever team emerges from the AL Central. Boston is beastly, no doubt about it.  Still, their rotation like everyone else, is far from perfect. There’s a legitimate reason the Sox made a strong bid for Rich Harden — who Joe expertly discussed last week — just as there are plenty of reasons why we, as fans, should be thankful the talks fell through thanks to a failed physical examination.  Overall, the Red Sox may be the better team, but if they are, it’s not by a substantial amount.

Also, regardless of whether one agrees or not with Cashman not pulling the trigger on some of the club’s more notable prospects, it’s always a good thing when the farm system has an abundance of talent. I know this brings very little solace to some — I am all for trading prospects under the right circumstance too — but in today’s baseball climate, valuable cost-controlled young players are more important than ever.  At least for now, the Yankees have flexibility in that regard.

New York may “pay the price” in the immediate future (i.e.- the postseason) by not having another very good arm in the rotation, but with a little luck, perhaps the return on prospect patience will be worth its weight in gold down the road.  Sure some of the prospects will undoubtedly not pan out, but given the potential of some of their young players, don’t be surprised if some of them do contribute in a big way in the future.  The obvious question remains the same; does cost controlled talent outweigh the salivating-inducing thought of another successful World Series run?

I, for one, am okay with how things turned out.  Yes, I realize this may just be a Yankee blogger’s way of rationalizing.  I would have loved to have Jimenez on the Yankees roster, but honestly, I wasn’t nearly as disappointed when this trade didn’t work out as I was when Cliff Lee departed to the Rangers last season.

For what it’s worth, I do believe the Bombers have enough talent to contend in the postseason this year.  I’m also delighted the team still has guys like Jesus Montero waiting in the ranks, and bringing reason optimism for the future.  Who knows; perhaps, we have the best of both worlds at this point.

* * *

I’d also like to share some news on a more personal level. Yesterday afternoon, I went hiking with my wonderful girlfriend of six years, Kylee. We reached a secluded spot with an absolutely breathtaking view of the lake. I proposed and she said, “Yes!”  Ky is now officially my fiancée.

Kylee, you mean the world to me. I love you. I’m the luckiest man alive.

Yanks win big in second game of doubleheader

“That’s why I like whipping [the Yankees] butt. It’s great, knowing those guys with the $205 million payroll are saying, ‘How the hell are they beating us?” — Orioles’ manager Buck Showalter, March 2011

  • The twelve first inning runs are a new franchise record. Think about that. In the long and glorious history of the New York Yankees, they had never scored twelve runs in the first inning before this game. Insane.
  • The 24 hits are the Yankees’ most in almost exactly four years, when they hung 25 on the (Devil) Rays on July 22nd, 2007. It’s the first time they picked up 20 hits in a game since September 2009.
  • This was the 31st time since 1919 that the Yankees had eight players with two or more hits in a game. It’s the second time they’ve done it this season.
  • Zach Britton was the first starter the Yankees have knocked out of a game after just 0.1 IP since Tim Corcoran of the (Devil) Rays in September 2006. Here are Britton’s last two starts: 1 IP, 13 H, 17 R, 13 ER, 3 BB, 2 K. This kid was a top 10-15 prospect before the season. Fine example of what can happen when you rush young starters in the AL East.
  • Robinson Cano when the game started: .288/.333/.494. Cano when the final out was recorded: .297/.341/.505. Five-for-five with two doubles will do that for ya. Believe it or not, this was his first career five-hit game. That surprised me. Robbie has 17 career four-hit games.
  • I’m fairly certain that Andruw Jones has the most raw power on the Yankees. I’m talking brute strength, not hitting ability. When he gets a hold of one, they travel a frickin’ mile. He hit a homerun off the sign in the back of the visitor’s bullpen in this game, his 414th career homer. That’s the 45th most in history.
  • Ivan Nova‘s return was a smashing success; he allowed two garbage time runs in seven innings. He wiggled out of a bases loaded jam in the first, but was on cruise control the rest of the way with the big lead. Nova’s 97 pitches were broken down into 54 fastballs, 21 curveballs, 19 sliders, and three changeups. He got six swings and misses on the slide piece, the pitch they wanted him to work on in the minors.
  • I’m starting to think that Luis Ayala‘s 1.65 ERA is not really indicative of his true ability. [/sarcasm]
  • Rafael Soriano threw his first 1-2-3 since Opening Day. It’s a Trade Deadline Eve miracle.
  • There’s too much offense to recap, so ogle the box score. Everyone got in on the fun. Here’s the FanGraphs stats, and here’s the updated standings.

The final game of this makeshift four-game set will be played Sunday afternoon at 1pm ET. Freddy Garcia gets the start against Jake Arrieta. If you want to go, I hear RAB Tickets can get you into the Stadium on the cheap.

Bichette homers again in GCL win

Based on this Mark LoMoglio picture from last night’s walk-off win (h/t Rebecca), J.R. Murphy is out with some kind of leg issue. No idea what though, could be an ankle, a foot, hamstring, maybe he fouled a ball off his leg, who knows. Either way, he’s still on crutches, so he’s not coming back anytime soon.

Triple-A Scranton (6-2 loss Rochester)
Kevin Russo, 2B: 0 for 4, 1 R, 1 K
Greg Golson, CF & Doug Bernier, SS: both 1 for 3, 1 K
Jesus Montero, C: 1 for 4, 1 RBI - the RBI single came off a big leaguer, or at least a guy that would be in the bigs for almost every organization
Mike Lamb, 1B: 1 for 4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K – half of his 28 hits have gone for extra bases (eight doubles, two triples, four homers)
Jorge Vazquez, DH: 1 for 4, 1  R, 1 2B, 3 K – 133 strikeouts on the season … 133!
Brandon Laird, 3B: 2 for 4, 1 2B – exactly two hits and one double in every game since being sent down
Jordan Parraz, RF & Austin Krum, LF: both 0 for 3 – Krum whiffed
Adam Warren, RHP: 5 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 2 HB, 6-3 GB/FB – 64 of 105 pitches were strikes (61%)
Logan Kensing, RHP: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1-1 GB/FB – 21 of 32 pitches were strikes (65.6%)
Randy Flores, LHP: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1-1 GB/FB – 15 of 23 pitches were strikes (65.2%)

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