Game rained out as Carlyle replaces Noesi

Tonight’s game between the Yankees and the Orioles has been postponed by rain in the Baltimore area, but no make-up date has been announced yet. It will not, however, be made up this weekend. The Yanks have a two-game set in Baltimore in mid-May and four-game series scheduled for late August. My guess is that this one will be made up in May. We’ll have our open thread up in a little while, but this rain-out certainly makes watching the Knicks game easier.

Prior to the decision to cancel the game, the Yanks made a roster move. Via Andrew Marchand, the club has sent Hector Noesi back to Triple-A Scranton so that he could actually pitch, and Buddy Carlyle, a veteran right-hander with little history of success was called up to take his place. To clear a space on the 40-man roster, Jose Ortegano, a pitcher the Yanks had claimed from the Braves last month, was designated for assignment. Additional reporting by Benjamin Kabak.

Is Curtis Granderson’s power sustainable?

If you go to the ESPN.com statistics page, you’ll see a smiling picture of Mark Teixeira next to AL home run leaders. But it could just as easily be Curtis Granderson. The two teammates, along with Howie Kendrick, are tied atop the AL leader board with six home runs. We know Granderson has power, but league-leading power? It just doesn’t seem likely. Still, as Dan Barbarisi of The Wall Street Journal notes, there is an additional factor to consider in Granderson’s case. Not only did he realize a late-season power surge in 2010 — similar to the one Jose Bautista experienced in 2009 — but he has also hit half of his homers this year against lefties. This has been a major weakness for him in the past, so if he can continue handling lefties well this year, he could definitely see an uptick in homers, even as his current pace slows a bit.

Series Preview: Baltimore Orioles

The last week hasn't gone so well for the O's. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

For the first time in 2011, the Yankees will be playing a team for the second time when they visit Camden Yards this weekend. CC Sabathia gets the ball in the Friday night opener, then will be followed by Freddy Garcia in a rare Saturday night game and Ivan Nova in the third and final game on Sunday afternoon. We know there’s always a nice turnout by Yankees fans when they visit Baltimore, so it’s like home away from home.

What Have The Orioles Done Lately?

Oh boy, what a tailspin for the O’s. Since their 6-1 start they’ve lost nine of their last 11 games (including two to the Yankees last week) and have been outscored 61-37 in a perfect storm of poor pitching and poor hitting. The Yankees roll into town for the weekend series without having to worry about Jeremy Guthrie or Zach Britton; neither of Baltimore’s two best pitchers is scheduled to start any of the three games.

Orioles on Offense

(AP Photo/Gail Burton)

When we last checked in on the Orioles, they were a bottom five team in all of baseball in terms of wOBA and OBP. They’ve managed to up their team wOBA from .281 to .298 since last facing the Yankees, which is no longer bottom five but is still bottom nine. The team OBP climbed a bit from .282 and now sits at .291, but that’s the second worst mark in the game, ahead of only the uber-slumping Twins.

Matt Wieters is coming into the series like a man possessed, picking up seven hits in his last five games, including two doubles and two homers. Brian Roberts is in the middle of a nine-game hitting streak, a stretch that started in the first game against the Yankees last week. He’s hitting .368/.415/.500 during that time. Robert Andino is filling in for the injured J.J. Hardy, and he has eight hits (all singles) in his last five games. Mark Reynolds (two for his last 26), Nick Markakis (three for his last 30), Luke Scott (four for his last 24), and Derrek Lee (six for his last 30) are all slumping. Adam Jones and Vlad Guerrero are neither slumping nor on fire, they’re just kinda going through the motions right now.

Orioles on the Mound

Friday: Brad Bergesen: A high school teammate of Phil Hughes, Bergesen has made two starts and one relief appearance this season, throwing two garbage time innings against the Yankees last week. He’s allowed three homers in just 10.2 IP this year, and he’s never been one to miss bats: just a 4.53 K/9 and 5.8% swing-and-miss rate in his career. Bergesen will make the Yankees put the ball in play with 88-91 mph two- and four-seamers, and every so often he’ll bust out a changeup or slider. The Bombers have put a hurtin’ on him in the past, scoring 11 runs in 17 innings against him. Pitch-to-contact pitchers usually don’t fare well against the Yankees lineup, so expect good things.

The Yankees had their way with Tillman a week ago. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Saturday: Chris Tillman: The Yankees faced Tillman in the series last week, tagging him for six runs and nine hits in just an inning-and-a-third. He held the utterly punchless Twins to three runs in 6.2 IP on Monday, but he was still missing some velocity and the results had more to do with Minnesota’s faults than his strengths. The game plan hasn’t changed one bit, just work the count and let it fly whenever Tillman makes a mistake.

Sunday: Jake Arrieta: After beating the Yankees twice in 2010, Arrieta pitched well against them last week but it was clear the Yankees made adjustments the second and third time through the order. They tagged him for five hits and three runs in the fifth and sixth innings after the young right-hander held New York to just one baserunner (a walk) over the first four innings. The Yankees should be better prepared for his two-seamer and slider heavy approach, hopefully jumping on the board a little earlier than they did last week.

Bullpen: Buck Showalter’s bullpen comes into the series pretty well rested, with only closer Kevin Gregg making as many as two appearances over the last four days. The only new face added to the ‘pen since last week is lefty specialist Clay Rapada, who replaced injured long-man Chris Jakubauskas. The middle relief/setup crew is rock solid with Jason Berken, Jim Johnson, and Koji Uehara from the right side while Mike Gonzalez takes care of business from the left. If the Yankees do what they’re supposed to do against the starters, the relievers should be nothing more than footnotes in the series.

Recommended Orioles Reading: Camden Crazies

Business hits: Peanuts and copyright complaints

For all of you non-chatters out there, we have a pair of small stories relating to the business of baseball on tap. Let’s get started.

Peanut-maker Bazzini heads to Pennsylvania

Nothing goes together quite like peanuts and baseball, but the Yanks’ official peanut company is heading out of the Bronx. As Crain’s Small Business reported earlier in the week, A.L. Bazzini Co. is going to close its Hunts Point plant and move its operations to Allentown, Pennsylvania. The Bronx will lose 57 jobs as this plant becomes the third to close in recent years, but the company will continue to serve as the official peanut of Yankee Stadium.

Woman alleges copyright infringement over Yankee logo

From the Litigation Over Anything Department, a Yonkers woman is suing the Yanks alleging a case of 75-year-old copyright infringement. After spending 15 years researching the issue, Tanit Buday claims that the Yanks stole their famous Top Hat logo from her uncle in the mid-1930s. She alleges that the team, then run by Jacob Ruppert, promised to pay Kenneth Timur for the logo then and when it was redesigned in the early 1950s.

While the history of the Top Hat logo has been in doubt, Buday’s filing alleging unjust enrichment, copyright infringement and breach of contract, among other charges. She says her uncle did not know the Yanks were even using the logo until he arrived in the States in the late 1940s and that the Yanks rebuffed his attempts at getting paid. He did however agree to update the logo in 1952 for the team’s 50th anniversary in New York.

The Yankees haven’t commented, but it’s hard to see how they would lose the case. First, the underlying complaint is based on a cause of action at least 60 years old, and the Yanks can probably get the case dismissed on either a laches-based argument or by appealing to the statute of limitations. Even if this complaint somehow survives a motion to dismiss, the club has every reason to fight for its highly valued intellectual property rights. The full complaint –which seems like a frivolous one to me — is embedded after the jump.

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