• Hughes down, Rasner up

    I’m not sure if Mike or Ben has anything planned for an overnight. But Rasner will jump in the rotation for the disabled Phil Hughes on Sunday. As I said in the game thread, this is the second time in a year — almost to the day — that I’ve been set to see Hughes pitch on a Sunday, only to have him get injured. And yes, Rasner was his replacement last time, too.

    So I guess that solves the whole “does he get sent down” question. You have to figure he’ll make at least two rehab starts before returning.
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So tonight we find out if the Yankees finish April above or below .500. Not that it matters a ton in the grand scheme of things. While every game counts as 1/162 of the season, we know that ground can be made up later. This is especially true this year, as no dominant team has emerged in the division yet, as the Red Sox were last year. Baltimore currently sits atop the standings, and that doesn’t figure to last much longer.

The Yankees once again turn to Andy Pettitte to go deep into the game. Though despite Hughes’s short start last night, the bullpen should be relatively fresh. Only three relievers were used last night — Ohlendorf, Hawkins, and Edwar — and the Yankees are stocking 13 pitchers for the time being.

I guess that could use some explanation. So Chris Britton is staying, as he replaces A-Rod on the roster. Chad Moeller is back as well, as he cleared waivers. Dan Graziano of the Star Ledger thinks that the other AL East teams did a poor job by “not claiming him just to mess with the Yankees.” Sorry, Dan, but I’m fairly certain that those teams don’t want to spend a 40-man roster spot just to keep a 33-year-old journeyman catcher out of the Yankees hands.

Chris Stewart was mercifully sent down to AAA. To make room for Moeller on the 40-man, Sean Henn was activated from the DL and then designated for assignment. You’d think they could have just activated Henn, thrown him on the 25-man in A-Rod’s spot, and designated Stewart. But I suppose the Yanks want to keep Stewart around in case of emergency. A team like the Giants has no reason not to claim Henn — other than the fact that he sucks, I suppose.

Your lineup:

1. Johnny Damon, LF
2. Derek Jeter, SS
3. Bobby Abreu, RF
4. Hideki Matsui, DH
5. Jason Giambi, 1B
6. Melky Cabrera, CF
7. Robinson Cano, 2B
8. Jose Molina, C
9. Alberto Gonzalez, 3B

And on the mound, number forty-six, Andy Pettitte

Categories : Game Threads
Comments (69)

Despite the struggles of Phil Hughes last night, the Yankees were able to bring the tying and go-ahead runs to the plate on more than one occasion during the game’s late innings. Why? Because the bullpen was utterly lights out.

Three pitchers combined to pitch 5.1 three-hit innings. They combined for one walk and six strikes outs while doing everything they could to keep the Yankees’ dormant offense within spitting distance of the Tigers.

For the Yanks, this newfound bullpen success is a welcome surprise. Over the last five games, the Yanks’ pen has been stellar. The pen has thrown 18 innings, and the pitchers have given up two earned runs on nine hits while walking 10 and striking out 18. While the walk totals area bit high, the strike out totals are excellent.

On the season, the pen’s numbers are pretty good. Yankee relievers have an ERA of 3.72, good for seventh in the AL. They’ve given up 42 runs on 89 hits while walking 39 and striking out 92. Opponents are hitting .237/.314/.349, and the team has blown just one save this season.

But there is a problem: The Yankee bullpen has thrown an AL-leading 101.2 innings this year. They’ve thrown 0.1 innings less than the Major League leaders, and at this rate, the Yanks are going to burn out their bullpen. While they have the fresh arms in the minors and the pen promises to be something of a revolving door this season, the Yanks need more length for their starters. But we knew that already.

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It’s the All Star Game ticketing information we’ve all been waiting for. Too bad few — if any of us — will get or even afford the tickets for the game.

Anthony Rieber has all the details:

A ticket to the 79th Midsummer Classic on July 15 will set you back at least $150 and as much as $725 – up from the $75-$285 charged for last season’s game in San Francisco. And you have to buy two. Tickets were $10-$15 for box and reserved seats the last time the All-Star Game was at Yankee Stadium, in 1977…

Tickets for the general public will be on sale only through an online drawing. Fans can register now for the chance to buy two tickets at MLB.com or Yankees.com until 10 p.m. on June 15. The online drawing will take place the next day. Tickets will be sold on June 23.

Yankees’ full and partial season-ticket holders will be given an opportunity to buy tickets, subject to availability, on Yankees.com.

MLB president Bob DuPuy said “70 percent” of tickets would be available to “existing Yankees fans.”…

The game itself is not the only event that will cost fans big money. Tickets for the Home Run Derby, always a fan favorite, and workout day on July 14 are $100-$650, an increase from $50-$225 last year. Tickets for the Futures game on July 13 are $50-$225, up from $22.50-$125 last year.

Fifty bucks for the bleachers for the Futures Game?! Yikes.

I really want to go to the All Star Game. I’m practically willing to give up an extraneous appendage for it, and it seems like that’s going to be the going rate.

While DuPuy can promise the world to 70 percent of Yankee tickets, you can bet that scalpers will drive up the prices of these tickets to astronomical levels. The All Star Game should really be about the fans enjoying that spectacle. Instead, it’s going to be all about the money and ticket prices as Yankee Stadium goes out with a bang. What a shame. What a shame.

Categories : All Star Game
Comments (7)

No, Phil Hughes is not pitching well. I had big hopes for last night, after seeing how sharp he was last time out, before the rain delay. He did not fulfill those hopes, though, and naturally it raised questions about his belonging on a major league roster. Those questions should be asked. Hughes has been frustratingly inconsistent, and further has put a taxing on our bullpen. He’s the youngest pitcher in the majors, so the simple solution would be to let him work out his issues at AAA.

The only problem is, I’m not sure that’s the remedy.

At some point, there will be no harm in trying. But right now, as in today, I’m not convinced that a demotion is in order. Some readers might thing I’m trying to spin this with, as one commenter said, Hughes-colored glasses. But it’s not quite that. Hear me out.

First, let’s look at the immediate. Hughes’s next scheduled start is Sunday against Seattle. It’s not like they’ve got a super-charged offense, so you might as well let the kid go out there and see if he can start May better than he left off April. Plus, it’s still relatively early, so we can afford a hint of patience.

Monday is a day off. So if Hughes throws another poor game on Sunday, you can skip his next start, sending him down for a spare bullpen arm or bench bat, until a fifth starter is needed again. If he pitches well, you can proceed with caution.

Now let’s get to the long-term.

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Categories : Pitching
Comments (120)

Triple-A Scranton (8-5 win over Buffalo)
Brett Gardner: 1 for 4, 2 R, 2 BB
Bernie Castro: 2 for 5, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 HBP
Nick Green: 0 for 6, 2 K, 1 E (throwing) – 0 for 9 since moving to the 3-hole
Juan Miranda & Chris Kunda: both 1 for 2, 1 2B – Miranda drove in 3, Kunda drove in 2 .. Miranda left the game in the 4th, so it looks like you can add another to the walking wounded
Jason Lane: 2 for 4, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 SB – threw a runner out at home from LF
Eric Duncan: 2 for 5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI – .279-.426-.508 this year … don’t write him off yet
Eladio Rodriguez: 1 for 3, 1 2B, 2 BB, 1 K - fresh off his MVP season in the Israeli Baseball League
Dan Giese: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
Billy Traber: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K – faced 3 lefties … walked one, K’ed one, one reached on an error
Scott Patterson: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
Heath Phillips: 0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 WP
Steven Jackson: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Jose Veras: 1.1 IP, zeroes, 2 K

Update: Chad Jennings reports that Miranda hurt his shoulder swinging the bat one pitch before he ripped a three run double. If only Posada’s bum shoulder worked like that.

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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