• Jim Callis on Bleich

    Baseball America’s Jim Callis took a question about Yanks’ sandwich rounder Jeremy Bleich in this week’s Ask BA. When asked if Bleich would have been considered a first rounder if not for the elbow strain, Callis replied “he could have been regarded as a consensus sandwich-rounder. He’s a lefty who knows how to pitch with an 88-91 mph fastball, a curveball and changeup, and his changeup grades as his best pitch. I wouldn’t call him a steal in the supplemental first round, but he wasn’t a reach either.” I’ll take it, but the real question is this: can he hold down Wang’s rotation spot? Pretty please? · (13) ·

Take a deep breath, and then read this from the Yankees:

Imaging studies revealed a mid-foot sprain of the Lisfranc ligament of the right foot and a partial tear of the peroneal longus tendon of the right foot.

Wang will be on crutches and wear a protective boot for a minimum of six weeks.

With a rehab period of three to four weeks, Wang won’t be back in a Major League game until late August at the earliest. Considering that Wang hurt his foot while rounding third base yesterday — just the second time ever the Yanks’ ace has ran the bases — this is just terrible, terrible luck for the Yankees.

But they can win without him. Let’s not lose sight of that fact.

What they do in the meantime however with regards to pitching will be speak volumes of the philosophy the Yankees are opting to pursue. Brian Cashman knows as well as anyone else that one of the greatest benefits of a strong farm system is being in a position to acquire Major League talent via a trade, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Yanks make a move for some pitcher whether it’s C.C. Sabathia, Derek Lowe or someone completely off our radar.

Meanwhile, the timing of Joba’s move to the rotation could not have been better. Just know that the Yanks have the pieces to weather this storm. Have some faith.

Categories : Injuries
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So Chien-Ming Wang is down for what could be a while, a gigantic blow to the Yankees’ playoff aspirations. When discussing replacements, the first name to pop up is CC Sabathia and rightfully so. He’s young, durable, a Cy Young Award winner, a lefty, and a strikeout machine. The problem is that Cleveland GM Mark Shapiro is going to expect a hefty bounty for his hefty ace, again rightfully so. The initial reaction is one of desperation, the “give them whatever it takes” mentality, but Brian Cashman can’t operate like that for obvious reasons.

So what do the Yankees do? Do they mortgage the farm for CC? Do they go with a patchwork rotation until Ian Kennedy and/or Phil Hughes are back, and hope they pitch up to expectations? Do they hope a kid like Alan Horne or Dan McCutchen step up (neither has been particularly impressive in Triple-A)? Has Dan Giese shown enough to be trusted every 5th day? Whatever solution Cash goes with, he’ll be heavily scrutinized. It’s part of being the Yanks’ GM.

While CC is the most desirable option, the price might not be right. Bill Gates didn’t get rich by bending over backwards for IBM, and the Yankees won’t make the playoffs by overpaying for established players, no matter how great they are. Here’s a handful of players that could be had on the cheap, or at least cheaper than Carsten Charles. Fun starts after the jump.

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Categories : Pitching
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  • Tickets for sale — Tuesday vs. San Diego

    I’ve got two spare Tier Reserve tickets for Tuesday’s game against the San Diego Padres. Game time is 7:05 p.m., and the tickets are $16 a pop. They’re in section four, and the seats are fantastic. You pay via Pay Pal; I’ll send you the PDF file. First come, first serve. E-mail me at the address at left.

    Update: The tickets have been claimed.
    · (15) ·

I’ll get right to the point, and let Tyler Kepner ruin your Monday morning relate the bad news:

The Yankees’ season changed irreversibly on Sunday. Chien-Ming Wang’s season is in jeopardy with a serious injury to his right foot, and C. C. Sabathia instantly became a very important name in the Yankees’ universe.

Wang … did not speak to reporters, but he told others that he felt a pop in his foot while rounding third base, a strong sign of ligament damage that could sideline him for months, if not the rest of the season…

The Yankees called the injury a sprained right foot, and they will hope for the best until Wang has a magnetic resonance imaging test in New York on Monday. But the early signs are grim.

The injury is to the top of Wang’s foot, the same general area that reliever Brian Bruney injured when he tripped while covering first base in April. Bruney was found to have a Lisfranc injury and is expected to miss a minimum of three months.

Wang has symptoms of the same injury, including swelling and the inability to bear weight on the foot; he left Minute Maid Park on crutches, in a soft cast. Bruney’s injury was in the middle of the foot, and Wang’s is believed to be in the webbing of his toes, between his big toe and second toe.

Let’s get this part out of the way: This had absolutely nothing to do with Wang’s running, and everything today with seemingly landing on third base the wrong way. Would this have been avoided without Interleague Play as I had originally proposed in my instant analysis? Probably. But we have to remember that this was still a freak accident. Hate Interleague Play as much as you want — as I do right now — but bad luck is bad luck.

Now, if this is another Lisfranc injury, the Yanks are in for a world of pain. The diagnosis on Lisfranc injuries is generally not good. While Brian Bruney will attempt a rehab, surgery is almost always the case, and Wang’s season could very well be over.

Now, before you go jump off the nearest bridge, keep in mind that this is early speculation on the part of the Yankees and Kepner. We won’t know anything until later on today, and at that point, the Yankees will begin to evaluate their options.

Yes, the Yankees need Chien-Ming Wang, but if Joba’s development continues, Andy Pettitte finds some consistency and Mike Mussina continues doing what he’s doing, the Yanks are not as in bad a shape as they could have been. The offense is clicking; the team is beginning to win. Wang’s loss is a blow, but the Yankees can weather this storm.

Later on today — around 12:30 p.m. — we’ll have our look at potential trade replacements. The Yankees also have internal options, including Ian Kennedy, Alan Horne, Dan Giese and Dan McCutchen as well as Phil Hughes a month or two down the road. For now, we just have to keep our chins up and hope for the best. It sounds bleak, and it may be bleak. But we just have to keep on trucking. Wang throws just once every five days, and the Yankees can win without him even if they’d rather be winning with him.

And, hey, perhaps now would be a good time for Carl Pavano to pick up his rehab pace. Imagine that one riding in on a white horse to save the Yankees.

Categories : Injuries
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Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there. Make sure you tell yours you love him, there’s lots of us that can’t do the same.

Triple-A Scranton (4-2 win over Norfolk)
Justin Christian & Luis Nunez: both 1 for 4, 1 K – Christian drove in a run
Matt Carson: 1 for 3, 1 BB, 1 K
Cody Ransom, Nick Green, Greg Porter & Chris Stewart: all 1 for 4, 1 R – Ransom hit a solo homer & committed a fielding error … Green K’ed … Stewart drove in a run & K’ed twice
Shelley Duncan: 0 for 4, 3 K – first plate appearances since June 3rd
Jason Lane: 2 for 3, 1 BB – picked off first
Jeff Marquez: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 12-4 GB/FB – 54 of 83 pitches were strikes (65.1%) … 18 baserunners, 4 earned runs & a 38-13 GB/FB ratio in his last 19 IP … the problem? only 3 K’s during that span
Billy Traber: 0.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K – 4.07 ERA & 1.37 WHIP in AAA
David Robertson: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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  • Girardi: ‘I’d be shocked’ if Wang makes his next start

    The early word out of the Yankee clubhouse is that Chien-Ming Wang has a sprained foot. He’s wearing a soft cast and is on cruches. Joe Girardi said that the Yankee ace, 8-2 on the year, will go for tests — including an MRI — tomorrow in New York, and the team said that Wang’s injury is not an achilles tendon rupture. When asked if Wang would make his next start, he replied, “I wouldn’t think so. I’d be shocked.” With the Yanks just 3.5 games behind the Rays for that final AL playoff spot, Yankee fans across the world are holding their breaths right now. · (15) ·

As the Yankees and the Astros finish up this formality of a baseball game, the score is 11-0 in the 7th inning. While, barring an epic collapse, the Yankees will go a season-high four games over .500, the big story is Chien-Ming Wang.

Through five innings, Wang was rolling. He had allowed no runs on six hits and three strike outs. He hadn’t issued a base on balls and thrown 51 of 71 pitches for strikes. In the top of the sixth, he had to run the bases, and while attempting to score with two outs — a dicey move with the Yanks’ moving up 4-0 on the play — he pulled up lame and had to be helped off the field. The Yankees have yet to announce the injury and are saying it’s a right foot problem.

The Yanks could go on to win this game 30-0, and it wouldn’t matter because losing Chien-Ming Wang would be a huge blow to this team. He’s been nearly untouchable over his last two outings and seemed to be reestablishing himself as the Yankee ace after a tough month of May.

This type of injury is exactly why Interleague Play as an attendance gimmick can harm a team just bad luck. Wang — and the rest of the AL pitchers — are not always used to run the bases. They don’t need to spend as much time as NL pitchers worrying about hitter and running; they can instead focus on pitching. So when an AL pitcher has to run the bases, everyone holds their collective breath, and accidents — freak ones, in this case — happen.

The Yanks now in a bit of bind; they’ll have to rely on Joba, Pettitte and Mussina with Rasner’s holding up the back end and an Ian Kennedy, shaky early on, on the horizon but still a week or two away. You can bet the C.C. Sabathia talks will heat up, and if the injury to Wang is serious, the Yanks will have to explore that option. They’re finally rounding into form; they’re narrowing the Wild Card gap; hopefully, this won’t knock the Yanks — now looking like a good team — down.

Categories : Injuries
Comments (65)

After Mike Mussina’s victory last night, the Yanks find themselves at 36-33, three games over .500 for the first time since last September. They’re also once again ahead of their 2007 pace when they were 35-34 through 69 games, 10 games out of first and six out of the Wild Card.

Today, they’ll go for their fifth win in six road games, and an another solid outing from Chien-Ming Wang would do wonders for this team. Last week in Oakland, Wang won for the first time since the start of May and looked much better than he had recently. Check out his front shoulder and the movement on his sinker early on. If that all looks good, the Yanks should be set.

The Astros are countering with Roy Oswalt, their ace in name only. For years, Oswalt has been one of the premier pitchers in the National League, but he has struggled mightily this year. He’s 5-6 with a 5.06 ERA, a mark nearly two runs higher than his career ERA. He’s allowed 15 more hits than innings pitched this year and has already surrendered 17 long balls.

On the offensive side of things, Melky Cabrera is making his 2008 right field debut. He’s played 13 games there throughout his big league career. The slumping Bobby Abreu — 4 for his last 18 — gets the day off.

Game time is 2:05 p.m.

Damon CF
Jeter SS
Matsui LF
Rodriguez 3B
Giambi 1B
Posada C
Cano 2B
Cabrera RF
Wang P

Game Notes: PeteAbe notes that the last six Yankee games have all been under the three-hour mark. This is the first time in recent memory I can recall that happening.

Categories : Game Threads
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