Miranda & Montero, the new M&M Boys

First of all, make sure you scroll down for tonight’s game thread.

Jim Callis provided a little info on some of the Yankees’ top minor league arms in this week’s Ask BA, including guys like David Phelps, Hector Noesi, Adam Warren, and Schaeffer Hall. So yeah, check it out. Meanwhile, Paul Bush has been released after a whole lotta injury trouble and Rene Rivera was demoted to Double-A Trenton just because the team needs another catcher while Austin Romine is away at the Futures Game.

Triple-A Scranton (9-5 win over Rochester)
Justin Christian, DH: 1 for 6, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K
Reid Gorecki, CF & Reegie Corona, 2B: both 2 for 5 – Gorecki doubled … Corona tripled, scored twice & K’ed
Chad Huffman, LF: 1 for 5, 1 RBI, 1 K
Juan Miranda, 1B: 4 for 5, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 E (throwing) – nine for 15 (.600) with a double & three homers since coming off the DL … seriously, get this man on a plane to Oakland
Jesus Montero, C: 1 for 3, 1 R, 2 BB – nine walks & four strikeouts in his last eight games
Jorge Vazquez, 3B: 2 for 4, 3 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI – second straight day with a bomb … his third in the last nine days
Eric Bruntlett, SS & Greg Golson, RF: both 1 for 4 – Bruntlett drove in a run … Golson doubled, walked, drove in two, K’ed twice & committed a fielding erro
Jason Hirsh: 4 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 4-2 GB/FB – 44 of 68 pitches were strikes (64.7%) … that’s about all he could give after working in relief for a few weeks
Romulo Sanchez: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1-1 GB/FB – 15 of 26 pitches were strikes (57.7%) … shifted to relief in advance of a big league job … the thing with him will be strikes, if he’s throwing them, he’ll be very tough to hit
Eric Wordekemper: 1 IP, zeroes, 2-0 GB/FB – seven of his ten pitches were strikes
Boone Logan: 1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1-0 GB/FB – 17 of his 24 pitches were strikes (68%)
Jon Albaladejo: 1 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 0-1 GB/FB – all six pitches were strikes

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Game 82: Three Sheets to the wind

Photo Credit: Ben Margot, AP

Ben Sheets, a personal fave, has not been good for the A’s this year, let my fantasy team tell you. His 4.98 ERA is backed by a 4.95 FIP, 4.53 xFIP, and 4.58 tRA. The strikeouts are down, the walks are up, and the fastball velocity is down, which is not a good mix at all. Safe to say that Oakland isn’t getting what they thought they would when they signed him to that $10M deal before the season. But hey, at least he’s stayed healthy.

Here’s the lineup…

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

And on the mound, Vazquez. Javy Vazquez.

The 1-2 of Gardner and Jeter isn’t permanent. Joe Girardi is just using Swisher to break up the lefties at the bottom of the order while Jorge Posada is out with his bum ring finger. Anyway, game starts at 10:05pm ET and can be seen on YES. Enjoy it, if you’re staying up.

Pettitte replaces Buchholz on All Star Game roster

Via Bryan Hoch, Andy Pettitte has replaced Clay Buchholz on the AL All Star Game roster because the latter has been placed on the disabled list with a hamstring issue. Joe Girardi had no say on this move since Buchholz was elected to the game by the player’s vote. The next highest vote getter simply took his spot, and it happened to be Pettitte. Girardi will have to name a replacement for CC Sabathia, who is scheduled to pitch on Sunday and is therefor ineligible to play in the game.

Pettitte makes seven Yankee All Stars, the most of any team. This will be his third trip to the mid-summer classic, and his first since 2001. Hard to believe that Pettitte has more top five finishes in the Cy Young voting than All Star Game appearances.

Aceves suffers another setback, Sanchez shifted to bullpen

Via Bryan Hoch, sorely missed reliever Al Aceves had a setback while throwing his bullpen session in Tampa today. He’s heading back to New York for even more tests. The epidurals are obviously not doing the trick, so it’s looking more and more likely that Ace will need to have surgery to fix that bulging disc in his back. Shame, getting him back and healthy was the best bullpen help the Yankees could have hoped for in the second half.

In what I am sure is completely related news, Romulo Sanchez was scratched from his start for Triple-A Scranton tonight, and has been moved to the bullpen to prepare him for his future as a big league reliever. Jason Hirsh takes his spot in SWB’s rotation. If it’s just a coincidence that the Romulo news broke right after the Aceves news, then that’s one hell of a coincidence.

Open Thread: Out west, yet again

Don't worry Alex, they still love you in Oakland. (Photo Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez, AP)

The season is 81 games old, and the Yankees are making their third trip to the West Coast already. It’s nice to get it out of the way early, because the last thing tired bodies and a team in a division race needs in September is six hour flights and jet lag. It’s just these damn 10pm ET starts. Do you realize that between those four day games over the weekend and this road trip and the All Star break, the Yankees are going to go 14 days between 7pm ET starts? That’s nuts. Eh, so be it. Like I said, good to get these trips out of the way now.

Until tonight’s game thread rolls along, use this sucker as your open thread. The Mets are home against the Reds (Harang Travis Wood vs. Pelfrey), and the Braves and Phillies are on ESPN (Lowe vs. Halladay). Anything goes, have fun.

Yankee scouts watching Lee, but so what?

Over the next several weeks (including today), you’re going to hear a lot talk of about who has scouts watching who and what not, leading to trade speculation. Let me tell you right now that it doesn’t mean anything. The Yankees have their scouts watching Cliff Lee because a) they have to face him again in a few days, and b) because they’re going to have interest in him as a free agent after the season. They had people at basically every single one of CC Sabathia‘s starts in 2008 not because they were going to trade for him in the middle of the summer, but because they knew they were going to be major players for his services that winter and wanted to see what they were getting themselves into.

So yes, it’s a great narrative and it’s exciting to hear, but don’t read much into who the Yankees have scouts watching, at least not when it’s a guy like Cliff Lee. Chances are it’s just routine coverage.

Link Dump: Send Swish!, Brackman, Mariano

Apparently everyone in America has the day off except me, so here’s some links…

Send Swish!

One day into the Final Vote balloting, Nick Swisher is in the lead for the AL’s final All Star roster spot. Kevin Youkilis isn’t far behind him though, so we all have to make sure we go out and support Swish. The ballot can be found here, and you can vote as much as you want, there’s no limit. The polls close at 4pm ET this Thursday, and you can always click our little Send Swish! button on the sidebar to go to the ballot.

Mike Ashmore Chats With Andrew Brackman

Friend of RAB Mike Ashmore chatted with 2007 first round pick Andrew Brackman recently, and posted the results for all to see. The entire Q&A is worth the read, but I found the info about adjusting his mechanics and trying to add a changeup the most interesting. Brackman’s comments about basketball were interesting as well; he’s aware that he probably didn’t have a shot at the NBA, but going overseas was a very real possibility for him. Never considered that, though I’m not much of a basketball guy.

Getting Dominated By Mariano Rivera, Interactively

We’re probably the last site on the internet to link to this, but better late than never. The New York Times ran a great little video over the weekend about Mariano Rivera and what makes his cutter so effective. You’ve probably seen it already, but it’s definitely worth another watch or two. The accompanying article is worth the read as well.

The RAB Mailbag

Don’t forget to send in your mailbag questions throughout the week. Things seemed to go well and we got a lot of positive feedback to last week’s post, so it’s definitely something we’ll do again. Just email us via the links, or use the Submit A Tip box under The Montero Watch.