2010 Draft: KLaw’s Mock Draft v2.0

Keith Law posted his second mock draft today, and has the Yankees taking California high school first baseman/leftfielder Christian Yelich. I usually cringe when I see a high school kid already relegated to first or left for obvious reasons, but apparently Yelich has the athleticism to play elsewhere and is being held back by a girly man arm. If he improves his arm through a pro throwing program and an improved motion, he’ll be able to handle centerfield. At the plate, he’s got a nice and smooth lefty swing that’s geared more towards high contact than power. Here’s the MLB.com scouting report with video.

Last time around he had the Yankees taking prep righty Tyrell Jenkins, though today he mentions that they remain interested in him, “as well as any high-ticket player who should fall to them for money reasons.”

(Don’t forget to subscribe to our draft only RSS feed!)

Posada ahead of schedule, able to run the bases

For the first time since suffering a hairline fracture on the bottom of his foot a few weeks ago, Jorge Posada ran the bases and did sprints in the outfield today. He’s been hitting in the cage the last few days and declared himself ready to go, but Joe Girardi wasn’t as gung-ho about it, mentioning that a minor league rehab stint was a possibility. Posada is eligible to come off the disabled list tomorrow, but I suspect he won’t be activated right away just to give him more time to get up to speed.

As Will Carroll mentioned in today’s UTK column, running and hitting won’t be the problem, squatting behind the plate will. The last thing the Yanks need is to lose Posada and his (SSS) .441 wOBA to go down with a setback.

Jeter leaves game for unknown reason

Update (3:18pm): Jeter left the game with tightness in his left hamstring, which is where he got hit earlier. He’s still in the dugout, so this is just precautionary. No biggie.

3:15pm: Derek Jeter left this afternoon’s game for an unknown reason after singling back up the middle. He was hit by a pitch in the hamstring earlier in the game, and he limped slightly as he ran to first on the single. Ramiro Pena came on as a pinch runner. It didn’t look too serious, might have just tightened up on him. We’ll update this post with more info as it comes in.

Game 51: Going for a series win on Memorial Day

Photo Credit: Kathy Willens, AP

Winning a four game series is never easy, just because taking three out of four games in this league is a tough thing to do, regardless of opponent. The Yankees already beat the Indians on Friday and Sunday, and held a commanding lead on Saturday before the bullpen let things get out of hand, so they’ve really been in control of this series. They’re sending Andy Pettitte and his 2.62 ERA to the mound against rookie Mitch Talbot, who’s been quite a surprise in Cleveland’s rotation.

The bullpen, however shaky, is rested following A.J. Burnett‘s sterling effort. Here’s the starting nine…

Jeter, SS
Granderson, CF
Teixeira, 1B
A-Rod, 3B
Cano, 2B
Swisher, RF
Miranda, DH
Cervelli, C
Gardner, CF

And on the mound, Andrew Pettitte.

The Memorial Day matinee begins at 1:05pm ET and can be seen on YES. Enjoy the game and Happy Memorial Day to everyone.

2010 Draft: Baseball America’s Mock Draft v2.0

The draft is now just a week away, so Jim Callis at Baseball America posted the second version of his mock draft. Last time around he had the Yankees grabbing Clemson outfielder Kyle Parker, but this time he has them selecting Texas high school righty Tyrell Jenkins. This certainly isn’t the first time we’ve heard his name connected to the Yanks, and you can read all you need to know about him here. The Yanks were pretty hot on Slade Heathcott at this time last year, so it’s looking more and more like Jenkins is the guy.

Fan Confidence Poll: May 31st, 2010

Record Last Week: 4-2 (32 RS, 28 RA)
Season Record: 30-20 (278 RS, 209 RA, 32-18 Pythag. record), 3.5 games back
Schedule This Week: vs. Indians (one game, Mon.), vs. Orioles (three games, Tues. to Thurs.), @ Blue Jays (three games, Fri. to Sun.)

Top stories from last week:

Please take a second to answer the poll below and give us an idea of how confident you are in the team. You can view the Fan Confidence Graph anytime via the nav bar above, or by clicking here. Thanks in advance for voting.

Given the team's current roster construction, farm system, management, etc., how confident are you in the Yankees' overall future?
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Yanks rally in seventh for comeback win

After letting the Indians back into the game yesterday, the Yanks had to exact revenge today. A.J. Burnett did his job and then some, working through eight innings. He allowed a run early on, but it was just one. The Indians put together two more following an error in the seventh, but the Yanks immediately responded. That win felt nearly as good as yesterday’s loss feels bad, though the distance from yesterday certainly helps that.

Biggest Hit: Tex brings them all the way back

Photo credit: Kathy Willens/AP

A wave of offensive futility swept the Yankees for the first six innings of this game. They had a few chances early on, but, in the same way we saw them falter during the past week or so, they could not bring any of their baserunners home. The sense of defeat heightened when the Indians scored two in the top of the seventh after a none on, two-out situation. But the players are not fans. They know how it feels to lose a game, and want to avoid that feeling whenever possible. When the Yankees came to bat in the bottom of the seventh, they did not feel defeated.

Nick Swisher, minutes after hitting the padded concrete wall in right shoulder first, ripped a single to center. Juan Miranda moved him up and Brett Gardner singled himself, which gave the Yankees two chances with the potential tying run at the plate. Francisco Cervelli, pinch-hitting for Chad Moeller, struck out on four pitches, the last one on a sinker down and inside. Then came to the plate a man hailed for his clutch abilities. Mr. Clutch himself, Derek Jeter, delivered the first runs of the game for the Yanks. Masterson pounded him down and in with sinkers, and on the fourth one Jeter pounced, lacing it up the middle to score Swisher and Gardner.

Manny Acta then went to the lefty Tony Sipp to face the lefty Curtis Granderson. Girardi left him in to hit, though there might have been a few advocates for Marcus Thames in that situation. Steve Goldman wrote on Friday that he’s, “not sure why they wouldn’t” platoon Granderson. He notes that, “to the point that he got hurt there was no evidence that he had made any progress whatsoever.” Progress is not always evident at first. Progress, by definition, takes time. I’m sure the Yankees knew that the work they did with Granderson in spring training would not make him a lefty-masher overnight. It takes time, and there’s no reason for the Yankees to employ a platoon and sacrifice the experiment just because it hasn’t yet produced results in the smallest of early-season samples.

Photo credit: Kathy Willens/AP

Granderson proved critics wrong, at least this once, by smashing a high fastball from Sipp over Shin Shoo-Choo’s head for a double. That put the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position for Mark Teixeira. Sipp got ahead early, slipping a slider by Teixeira for a called strike one and getting him to swing through a 91 mph outside fastball. Then Tex played the waiting game. He took an outside fastball, and then a slider diving low and in. The next pitch looked a bit outside, but Tex fouled it away anyway. Sipp then went back to the slider on another 2-2 pitch, trying to backdoor Teixeira. That was not happening. Tex turned the pitch around and put it way over the fence, giving the Yanks their first lead of the game.

The lingering feelings from yesterday’s ugly and painful loss hung around for the first six innings of this one. The Yanks changed that all with the glorious seventh. That should leave us with a more optimistic feeling heading into tomorrow’s matinee.

Burnett gives the Yanks just what they need

Photo credit: Kathy Willens/AP

Yesterday the Yanks just could not get pitching. It seemed like CC Sabathia had things under control in the early innings, but he couldn’t keep it going. Then the bullpen took over and completely melted down. After a game like that the bullpen could have used a day off. Burnett did his best to supply that kind of performance.

He kept up a brisk pace in the early going, one that would lend itself to a seven, and perhaps eight, inning performance. After a 23-pitch seventh there was some doubt about his taking the ball in the eighth, but Girardi let him have it. He needed just 11 pitches to record a ground out and two strikeouts, leaving the lead to Mariano Rivera. Burnett has delivered on that level a few times this season.

Burnett had everything working today, from his four-seamer to the two-seamer to the curveball. His two-seamer was his most effective pitch, resulting in five swinging strikes. It has turned into a true weapon this year, something he can pitch off of if he doesn’t have his best curveball. It crosses nearly as fast as the four-seamer, and it has a bit more horizontal break. He did have his curveball, too. He threw only 10 of 28 for strikes, but three of those came of the swinging variety.

Mark makes up for mistake

With Luis Valbuena standing on second with two outs in the seventh, A.J. Burnett got into a battle with Lou Marson. With the count full Burnett delivered a two-seamer at the knees. Marson grounded it to Jeter’s right, but he fielded it and threw a bit offline to first. Teixeira stretched, keeping his foot on the bag, but the ball bounced off his glove. That allowed Valbuena to score and kept the inning going. The Indians took advantage on the next batter, when Jason Donald tripled over Swisher’s head. Thankfully Trevor Crowe handed them the final out of the inning, but the previous sequence was harmful to the Yankees’ chances of winning.

The official scorer charged Jeter with the error, which comes as little surprise. On a stretch play like that the error almost always goes to the throw. However, a first baseman like Teixeira should certainly have that, and I’m sure he’d tell you the same himself. He more than made up for it with his home run. At the time it felt like a big play, and reflecting on the game I still think it was a big turning point. Thankfully, Teixeira’s homer stands out far more in my memory.

Mo making it look easy again

A couple of weeks ago, Mariano Rivera went through his annual hiccup. A lack of work and an injury hurt his command, the very tool which he requires to perform his miracles. He even had trouble last Friday against the Mets. But after his double-save day on Wednesday, it looked like he had rediscovered his dominant form. Today he showed it again, striking out the first two batters he faced before getting Valbuena to ground one right back to him.

The last out was the most visually impressive. Mo, displaying the athleticism we rarely see on display, hurdled the barrel of a shattered bat, knocked down the grounder, fielded, threw, and ended the game. Also encouraging: his velocity was up around 92, 93 for much of the inning. He had averaged a hair under 91 mph previously this season.

Congratulations, Joe

Today’s win was Joe Girardi‘s 300th as a manager.

WPA graph and box score

This type of graph was much more common last season. Let’s welcome it back.

Some crazy acronyms at FanGraphs. Traditional box score at the .com.

Up Next

They’ll play the finale tomorrow at 1, Mitch Talbot vs. Andy Pettitte.