Jays embarrass Yankees in second half opener

It seems like a lot of teams have set season highs in runs scored and/or hits against the Yankees this year, no? The Blue Jays did both on Thursday, blowing the Yankees out of the water with 20 hits and a 16-7 win in the first game after the All-Star break.

And that was the end of Bart's day.

Bartolo Colonope

It looked looked like he was still hurt, no? He has to be. Bartolo Colon was moving around pretty gingerly when he had to cover first or make a defensive play (sure enough, he admitted to being tentative with the hamstring after the game), plus his velocity was down a touch (possibly because he wasn’t pushing off fully), he threw way more sliders than usual, and his location was pretty bad (the home plate ump didn’t help). Colon allowed eight runs and recorded just two outs, though he could have gotten away with just three runs if Eduardo Nunez converts a pretty routine grounder into an inning-ending out like he should have. Either way, Colon threw 42 pitches in the first inning and got just one swing and miss. He just didn’t look right, and I would not at all be surprised if he lands back on the disabled list.

The good news? Ivan Nova pitched on Thursday as well, so he could take Colon’s spot in the rotation nice and easy if needed. No finagling of the schedule needed.

That swing has now produced 413 career homeruns, plus another ten in the playoffs.

Hey, A Comeback!

Jo-Jo Reyes was pitching for Toronto, and he wasn’t fooling anybody. Just one of the first eight Yankees reached base (an Andruw Jones solo homer), but then ten of the next 19 men he faced got on. There were lots of hard-hit balls, lots of deep counts, basically lots of Yankees offense. Andruw hit another homer (a three-run shot) to bring the Yankees to within two after they were down nine-zip, so all of a sudden we had ourselves a ball game. Reyes brought the tying run to the plate with no outs in the sixth inning, but that’s where the comeback ended. The Yankees got nothing against Toronto’s relievers.

LOLpen

Hector Noesi was pretty good yet again, marching out of the pen to strike out four in 3.1 IP. He allowed four hits and one walk, and the two runs charged to him came courtesy of Boone Logan, who inherited a first and second situation with one out in the sixth. Logan retired lefty Adam Lind (yay!) but was left in to face two righties (boo!). Sure enough, both righties picked up hits, scoring the two inherited runners. The only reason Boone escaped the inning was because Aaron Hill got thrown out try to take third base on the throw to the plate.

Logan started the seventh and immediately gave up a leadoff single to Travis Snider. Sergio Mitre came in to crush any thoughts of a comeback, allowing five runs (including Logan’s inherited runner) to come across in the final two innings. The Yankees were down by nine, rallied to make it a two-run deficit, and still managed to lose by nine. I really hope Mitre is gone before Friday’s game, he should be designated for assignment before he gets back to the hotel tonight. He’s just awful, completely useless. It’s too bad Brian Gordon left for Korea, he would have been a a fine mop-up alternative.

Eduardo Scissorhands

Alex Rodriguez is going to be out for the next month or so, which means the Yankees are stuck with Eduardo Nunez as their everyday third baseman for the time being. He contributed to that eight-run first inning by booting that grounder, and he also got twisted around on a shallow pop fly the next inning. It wasn’t an easy play, but it clanked in and out of his glove. Nunez also bobbled a ground ball in the seventh, but rebounded in time to throw to second for the inning ending force out.

How unfortunate.

Leftovers

Jones was the star for the Yankees offensively, and he now has six homers this year. Four have come against Toronto, three against Jo-Jo. Curtis Granderson had two hits, Derek Jeter had a hit and a walk, Robinson Cano had three hits, and Brett Gardner had three hits. If the Yankees pound out seven runs and 14 hits, they usually win. Just not this time.

Russell Martin said after the game that the Blue Jays were stealing signs in the first inning, but he doesn’t have a problem with it and took the blame for not realizing it sooner. “That’s what it was,” he said. “They were on every pitch. They knew what was coming. It’s up to us to catch it and change the signs. I’m not blaming them for anything.” That’s a pretty serious accusation and there’s a decent chance he gets a pitch in the ribs tomorrow, but keep in mind the Yankees aren’t the only team to make this observation.

Jose Bautista left the game after rolling his ankle on a slide into third base in the fourth. His spike just got caught. The team says he’s day-to-day with a “twisted ankle,” and although I hate to see players get hurt, please oh please let him miss the next three games.

When Jorge Posada pinch-hit in the eighth, he and Jeter combined to set a franchise record for the most games played by two teammates (1,660). That’s pretty cool. The Yankees had won the first game after the All-Star break in each of the last nine seasons, so that streak came to an end. Of their final 73 games, 40 are on the road, the most in baseball.

WPA Graph & Box Score

Depressing. MLB.com has the box score and video, FanGraphs the other stuff.

Up Next

Game two of this four-game set will be played Friday night, when Freddy Garcia makes his first start in 12 days. Remember his scheduled start against the Rays last week got rained out. Brandon Morrow will give it a go for Toronto.

Romero debuts in SWB loss

Lots of moves, so let’s recap…

  • It’s the end of an era, Alan Horne has been released. He walked 13 and struck out just three in 6.1 IP with Double-A Trenton this year, allowing 13 runs. It was his first game action since 2009 due to continued shoulder trouble. It’s a shame, poor guy was thisclose to the big leagues once upon a time.
  • Kevin Whelan and Kevin Russo were both activated off the disabled list. To make room for them on the roster, both Josh Schmidt and Addison Maruszak were sent from Triple-A Scranton to Trenton.
  • Shane Greene has been placed on the disabled list for whatever reason. DeAngelo Mack has also been placed on the disabled list with a hand injury.
  • The Yankees have signed righty reliever Francisco Cruceta (org. arm) and 1B/DH Jamie Mallard. Mallard is still just 20 years old and hit .291/.357/.457 in 143 rookie ball plate appearances after the Angels made him their 17th rounder in 2008, but they released him earlier this year. He can hit a bit, but the kid is listed at 6-foot-0 and 265 lbs. That might be generous. Here’s a photo. Yikes.
  • That previous link says Logan Kensing has been up to 93-94 with Triple-A Scranton, which is pretty cool.
  • UPDATE: Zoilo Almonte has been promoted to Trenton, Cody Johnson is going down to High-A Tampa.

Josh Norris has video from the Double-A Eastern League All-Star Game, so that includes Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, Corban Joseph, and Austin Romine. Check it out.

Triple-A Scranton (4-2 loss to Toledo)
Kevin Russo, 3B, Jorge Vazquez, 1B, Brandon Laird, LF, Gus Molina, C & Luis Nunez, 2B: all 1 for 4 – Russo drove in a run and struck out twice … JoVa whiffed twice … Gus doubled, struck out, and allowed a passed ball … Nunez drove in a run and struck out
Chris Dickerson, CF: 0 for 4, 2 K
Jordan Parraz, RF: 0 for 3, 1 BB, 1 K
Terry Tiffee, DH: 2 for 4, 1 R
Doug Bernier, SS: 0 for 3, 1 BB, 2 K
Ivan Nova, RHP: 7 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 WP, 8-2 GB/FB – 66 of 103 pitches were strikes (64.1%) … at least he lines up perfectly with Bartolo Colon
J.C. Romero, LHP: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1 HB – 13 of 17 pitches were strikes (76.5%)

[Read more…]

Keith Law’s Midseason Top 50 Prospects

Keith Law posted a midseason ranking of the top 50 prospects in baseball (Insider req’d), and he has Manny Banuelos as the Yankees top prospect at number 18 overall. “He struggled with his command early after looking so good in the fall and spring,” said KLaw. “He has four walks against 24 strikeouts in his last four outings (19 2/3 IP), and that’s a positive sign.”

Jesus Montero dropped from number four in the preseason rankings to number 21, mostly because “[for] a guy who projects as a first baseman or DH … .289/.346/.418 isn’t an inspiring offensive performance given his history.” Law does mention that “I have to believe the power and patience are all still in there.” Dellin Betances jumped all the way from number 73 to 34 because he’s “a physical monster who doesn’t repeat his delivery well because he’s not that athletic but is missing bats this year on raw stuff.” Three top 34 prospects is pretty damn good even if Montero dropped, the Rays (three top eight guys, yikes) and Twins are the only other teams that can make that claim.

Game 89: Back at it

(Photo Credit: Flickr user udo.d via Creative Commons license)

Did you enjoy the All-Star break? Three days off from meaningful baseball isn’t a bad thing, I kinda enjoy the downtime after 80-something games. That said, I’m ready for the second half, which is going to be a combination of awesome, awful, frustrating, exciting, boring … the usual array of emotions. Seventy-four games left, the rest of the season starts tonight. Here’s the lineup…

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

Bartolo Colon, SP

Tonight’s game starts a little after 7pm ET and can be seen on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy.

Doc: Stems cell treatment would have had A-Rod back in a few days

Alex Rodriguez will miss 4-6 weeks after having surgery to repair a slightly torn meniscus in his right knee earlier this week, but one of the doctors that treated Bartolo Colon says that a stem cell procedure would have had Alex back much sooner. Pedro Briceno of Listin Diario has the report (here’s the translated version). Dr. Sergio Guzman said the entire procedure, which would involve extracting live stem cells and fatty tissue from A-Rod‘s body and injecting them into the knee, would have taken about three hours and had him back on the field in two days. Two days!

Stem cells aren’t illegal and they’re used every day all around the world. I’m all in favor of anything that can help get people (not just athletes) healthy as soon as possibly. Either way, I think we’ve just seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to stem cell treatment in sports.