Via Brian McTaggart, the Astros have claimed Justin Maxwell off waivers. The Yankees designated him for assignment last week when they had no room for him on the Opening Day roster. Maxwell had a nice spring, so it’s not a surprise that he was claimed. At least the Yanks got to keep Chris Dickerson for outfield depth. Both guys were out of minor league options and I figured they’d lose both.
It’s been a frustrating two games, but a win today will make everything all better. Phil Hughes gets the ball for the first time after a dazzling Spring Training, which we all hope carries over into the regular season. I don’t like that Raul Ibanez will be patrolling right field — fly ball pitcher and a bunch of pull lefties in Tampa’s lineup — but what can you do. I guess they’re just going to have to pitch those guys away. Here’s the lineup…
SS Derek Jeter
CF Curtis Granderson
2B Robinson Cano
3B Al from Miami
1B Mark Teixeira
DH Nick Swisher
RF Raul Ibanez
LF Brett Gardner
C Chris Stewart
RHP Phil Hughes
Today’s game starts at 1:40pm ET and can be seen on YES locally and TBS nationally. Enjoy.
Via George King, right-hander Michael Pineda will remain in Tampa and not travel with the team to Baltimore as he works his way back from shoulder tendinitis. He will throw long-toss today, tomorrow, and Tuesday after playing catch on Thursday and Friday. If that goes well, there’s a chance he could get back on the mound and throw a bullpen session reasonable soon. He’ll need a few of those before throwing in a minor league game, I imagine.
I suppose the good news is that the last two times the Yankees dropped their first two games of the season, it was 1998 and 2009. Those years were pretty cool. This is also the first time both the Yankees and Red Sox have both been 0-2 since 1980. Anyway, here’s a quick recap…
- Eduardo Scissorhands: Sheesh, it really didn’t take long for Eduardo Nunez to make his presence felt, eh? That ball was as routine as it gets, the play has to be made no questions asked.
- Hi-rocked: Not a good Yankees debut for Hiroki Kuroda, who was up in the zone all night and gave up a lot of hard-hit balls. The error didn’t help in the first, but at some point the pitcher has to pick his fielder up. Just forget about it and get ready for the home opener.
- Shift Happens: You really have to hand it to the Rays, they employ the shift better than anyone. It’s one thing to align the fielders in certain spots, but the pitchers also have to get in on the act. How many times have to you seen the Yankees shift on David Ortiz only to pitch him away, away, away? Too many to count.
- LNOGY: Clay Rapada was fantastic in camp and earned his roster spot. Someone should now tell him he has to continue to pitching well to keep that roster spot. Not going to blame him for the Evan Longoria double or the Ben Zobrist walk, but he can’t walk Carlos Pena and/or give up a hit to Matt Joyce (even if it was a bloop). The Pena walk was inexcusable.
- The O’Neill Theory: The Yankees did put together a late rally — thanks to Nick Swisher’s monster three-run homer — but they didn’t complete the comeback. According to Paul O’Neill, they’ll carry that momentum into tomorrow’s game and put some runs on the board early. I sure hope so.
- Leftovers: I totally thought Andruw Jones’ fly ball in the sixth was long gone … Cory Wade had a terrible spring, so naturally he retired all five batters he faced in his season debut, including three strikeouts … Derek Jeter is wearing out the middle of the diamond; everything’s been hit back up the box these last two days, and that’s good … three walks by Russell Martin and two by Swisher, giving the Yankees 14 walks and just 12 strikeouts as a team in these two games … Curtis Granderson is still awesome, two knocks tonight including a triple.
MLB.com has the box score and video, FanGraphs the nerdy stuff, and ESPN the standings. The Yankees will try to salvage the series behind Phil Hughes tomorrow. He gets the ball against reigning Rookie of the Year Jeremy Hellickson at 1:40pm ET.
Make sure you check out Mike Ashmore’s feature on Brett Marshall, it’s a must read.
Triple-A Empire State (4-0 loss to Syracuse)
CF Chris Dickerson & LF Cole Garner: both 1-3 — Dickerson walked and whiffed … Garner struck out twice
C Frankie Cervelli, DH Jack Cust & 3B Brandon Laird: all 0-4 — Cervelli & Laird each struck out once, Cust twice
1B Steve Pearce & RF Colin Curtis: both 1-4
SS Ramiro Pena: 0-3, 1 K
2B Doug Bernier: 2-3
LHP Manny Banuelos: 3.1 IP, 11 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 7/0 GB/FB — 46 of 81 pitches were strikes (56.8%) … right-handed batters went eight hits in 14 at-bats against him (.571) … can’t imagine this is how he wanted to start the season
LHP Mike O’Connor: 2.2, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 3/2 GB/FB – 23 of 36 pitches were strikes (63.9%)
RHP Cody Eppley: 1.1 IP, zeroes, 2 K, 0/1 GB/FB — a dozen of his 16 pitches were strikes
LHP Juan Cedeno: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 1/0 GB/FB — only four his ten pitches were strikes
Opening Day didn’t go according to plan, but the best thing about baseball is that they play everyday. The Yankees will get their first regular season look at Hiroki Kuroda this evening, their brand new veteran number two starter. Kuroda looked sharp all throughout Spring Training and was probably the club’s most effective starter in March, but it was March and no one cares. Now he’s gotta go it against a lineup of big leaguers multiple times. I expect him to be more than fine. Here’s the starting nine…
DH Derek Jeter
RF Nick Swisher
2B Robinson Cano
3B Alex Rodriguez
1B Mark Teixeira
CF Curtis Granderson
LF Andruw Jones
C Russell Martin
SS Eduardo Nunez
RHP Hiroki Kuroda
Tonight’s game starts at 7:10pm ET and can be seen on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy.
We added a new feature to the site today, the Bullpen Workload page. It’s available at all times via the Resources tab, right under the “AVE BLUES” in the street sign. The idea is simple, we’re going to keep track of the Yankees’ relievers recent workloads – in terms of pitches thrown — to help give us an idea of who’s available on a given night, who’s not available, who’s been overworked, who’s been buried, stuff like that. I added some select Triple-A pitchers who have a reasonable chance of being called up the big leagues to the table as well. Hope you find it useful.
Full Disclosure: The idea came from Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness, a fantastic Dodgers blog that gets RAB’s highest level of recommendation. It’s run by a fellow handsome guy named Mike, so check it out.