Game 87: Flirting with 3,000

(Photo Credit: Flickr user Mr. Mystery via Creative Commons license)

Two hits away, that’s it. I was supposed to be in the stands last night but Mother Nature really screwed me over on that one. For shame. Here’s the lineup…

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

A.J. Burnett, SP

First pitch is scheduled for a little after 1pm ET, and you’ll be able to watch on YES. Enjoy.

Two losses and a lot of rain

D.J. Mitchell makes an appearance in the In The Team Photo section of this week’s Prospect Hot Sheet. They say he “doesn’t get as much attention as some of his teammates, but his feel for pitching and changeup mean he’ll probably be a useful middle reliever someday.”

Double-A Trenton (6-1 loss to Reading)
Ray Kruml, LF 3 for 4, 1 R, 2 2B – threw a runner out at second … 16 for his last 40 (.400)
Corban Joseph, 2B: 2 for 4, 1 2B, 1 K – 11 for his last 36 (.306) with three doubles and a homer
Austin Romine, C, Cody Johnson, DH & Rob Lyerly, 1B: all 1 for 4 – Romine and Johnson struck out once, Lyerly twice … Romine also allowed a passed ball
Bradley Suttle, 3B, Jose Pirela, SS & Melky Mesa, CF: all 0 for 4 – Pirela struck out once, Suttle twice … Suttle committed a fielding error, Pirela a throwing error
Damon Sublett, LF: 0 for 3, 1 K
Manny Banuelos, LHP: 5 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 2 HB, 5-3 GB/FB – control Manny! control! work on that control!
Cory Arbiso, RHP: 0.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
Josh Romanski, LHP: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0-3 GB/FB
Brad Halsey, LHP: 1 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 3-0 GB/FB

Low-A Charleston (6-5 loss to Delmarva)
Jose Toussen, CF: 3 for 5, 1 R – four walks and just three strikeouts in his last nine games
Anderson Feliz, 2B: 2 for 5, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K – just over the Mendoza line at .201
Kevin Mahoney, 3B: 0 for 5, 3 K
Gary Sanchez, C: 2 for 3, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 PB – second straight day with a homer and his third in ten games
Ramon Flores, LF: 2 for 5, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI – 16 for his last 43 (.372) with three doubles and the homer
Kelvin DeLeon, DH: 0 for 5
Jeff Farnham, 1B: 1 for 4, 1 R
Mike Ferraro, RF: 3 for 4, 1 2B – threw a runner out at first
Jose Mojica, SS: 0 for 4
Jose Ramirez, RHP: 4 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 2 WP, 1 HB, 4-4 GB/FB, 1 E (missed catch) – disappointing
Nathan Forer, RHP: 1 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1-0 GB/FB
Tommy Kahnle, RHP: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 4 K – 68 strikeouts and 34 walks in 52 IP
Yobanny Reyes, LHP: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP, 3-2 GB/FB

Triple-A Scranton, High-A Tampa, and Short Season Staten Island were all rained out. The Rookie GCL Yankees had their game suspended due to rain in the third inning. Here’s that box score. All of these games will be made up a later date, some tomorrow, some at another point in the future.

Jeter, Grandy rake in All-Star Game bonuses

The All-Star Game is just a glorified exhibition for us fans, but to the players it’s quite a bit more. For some, it can be a cash cow. Take Derek Jeter for example. Despite having more money that he’ll ever be able to spend, the Cap’n received a $500,000 bonus from the Yankees for being named to the Midsummer Classic. He was the biggest breadwinner this year, but Curtis Granderson could end up making the most from his All-Star nomination. Grandy not only gets a $25,000 bonus, but his 2013 option increases from $13M to $13.5M as well. A total of 15 players received bonuses for their All-Star nods, and Maury Brown has the full list right here.

Open Thread: How the Yanks use their money

As the Yankees sign big-name free agents or their own players to seemingly larger-than-life contracts, we often bemoan the expenses. We shudder at the idea of paying 41-year-old A-Rod $21 million, 36-year-old Mark Teixeira $22.5 million or CC whatever exorbitant amount he will make after leveraging his opt-out clause this winter. We worry that the dollars will reward players for past performances and that the spending will handcuff the Yankees, but perhaps we shouldn’t.

In an interesting piece on the Baseball Reference blog yesterday, Neil Paine looked at the 100 players making the highest percentage of team payroll, and the Yankees are surprisingly not well represented. A-Rod’s $32 million salary is only 15.8 percent of the Yanks’ payroll this year, good for 19th in baseball. Carlos Lee, who makes 26.9 percent of the Astros’ total payroll leads the pack.

Behind A-Rod, only two other Yankees make the top 100: CC Sabathia‘s salary puts him at 49th overall. He makes 12 percent of the team payroll. Mark Teixeira’s salary represents 11.4 percent $202 million total, good for 62nd overall. For what it’s worth, the Red Sox have just two players on that list while the Mets have six.

For well-leveraged big-market teams like the Yankees and Red Sox, the object would be to limit the number of players on the list. With many high-paid players, clubs become top-heavy, and that’s what has happened to the Mets. They’re paying Johan Santana, Carlos Beltran, Jason Bay, David Wright, Francisco Rodriguez and Jose Reyes a combined 81 percent of their payroll which leads to little wiggle room for the rest of the 25-man roster. The Yankees have better maximized their economic might and can cover for so the more ungainly contracts.

Anyway, food for thought for the night. As we know, tonight’s game has been rained out, and no doubleheader is scheduled for tomorrow. The teams will instead make up tonight’s game on Thursday, Sept. 22 because Tampa Bay refused to play two on Saturday. Them’s the breaks.

Meanwhile, the Yankees have said they will skip Freddy Garcia’s spot in the rotation. A.J. Burnett will face David Price tomorrow, and CC Sabathia will close out the first half against James Shields on Sunday. In local action, the Mets and Giants play at 10:15 p.m. In New York, the MLB Network will carry the Seattle/Los Angeles game at the same time.

Rays sink Saturday DH as DJ3K on hold with rainout

Updated (6:18 p.m.): With rain blanketing the New York area, Mother Nature has put Derek Jeter‘s quest for 3000 hits on hold. The Yankees announced a few minutes ago that tonight’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays has been postponed due to the weather. The game will be made up on Thursday, Sept. 22, an off-day following a two-game set against Tampa Bay.

The Yankees initially wanted to play a double header tomorrow to accommodate fans who paid a premium in the hopes of seeing Jeter’s hit, but according to Jerome Preisler of the YES Network, the Rays were prepared to wait out a lengthy rain delay tonight if the Yanks did not drop the doubleheader request.

Frankly, I’m surprised by the Rays’ resistance to the doubleheader. The Yanks would have thrown Freddy Garcia and A.J. Burnett, and as A-Rod and Nick Swisher, who were out of today’s lineup, are day-to-day, the Yanks’ offense might have been at a weak point. Plus, with Mariano Rivera‘s arm bothering, he would have thrown in only one game at most, and then pen should be stronger when Tampa Bay next comes to town. Furthermore, Francisco Cervelli would have played one of the two games, and Eduardo Nuñez and Ramiro Peña likely would have as well to avoid aggravating Jeter’s calf or A-Rod’s knee. Ultimately, it sounds as though Tampa Bay is simply trying to avoid giving up Jeter’s 3000th hit. Anyway, neither team has yet announced its pitching plans for the rest of the weekend, and Derek Jeter will have just two home games to knock out two hits before the All Star Break

New design added to the RAB Shop

I think this one is pretty self-explanatory. Head on over the RAB Shop to get your own 3K themed RAB swag, and keep in mind that there are two different versions of the design. One worst better for light colors, the other for darker. You can customize it all, from size to style, and you don’t even need to get a shirt. There’s coffee mugs, onesies (no adult onesies, sorry), license plate frames, and much more. Thanks to Tyler Wilkinson for the design, as always.

Notes: Jeter, A-Rod, Swisher, Gordon

Lots of stuff to round up this afternoon…

  • Derek Jeter will not play in the All-Star Game next week. He wants to rest and play it safe after coming back from the calf injury.
  • Alex Rodriguez is being sent for a precautionary MRI on his right knee. The knee’s been bothering him for a while, and Alex has already withdrawn from the All-Star Game.
  • Nick Swisher is out of the lineup tonight with a sore left quad. Thank goodness the break is coming up, sounds like everyone could use a few days off.
  • So long, Brian Gordon. The right-hander is heading to Korea after a team over there purchased his contract. The Yankees reportedly received $25,000 for their troubles. Thanks for the two starts, man.