Yanks sending Burawa, Whitley, and Claiborne to the Arizona Fall League

The Yankees announced (well, I guess the league announced) today that right-handed relievers Dan Burawa, Chase Whitley, and Preston Claiborne have been assigned to the Phoenix Desert Dogs of the Arizona Fall League. Corban Joseph, David Phelps, Rob Segedin, and Ronnie Mustelier were already set to go to the desert. All three righties had fine seasons in 201 and will look to build on that success in the fall.

Friday Open Thread

From the picture archives...

The only think worse than a night game on the west coast is a Friday night game on the west coast. The regular game thread will be along shortly, but for now here’s a thread to use in the meantime. The Mets are playing and MLB Network is showing a game as well, but talk about whatever you want here. Go bananas.

Brooklyn forces Game Three with blowout win

Short Season Staten Island (12-5 loss to Brooklyn) the best-of-three series is tied at one, and the deciding game will be played in Staten Island on Saturday night (7pm) … winner advances to the Championship Series
Mason Williams, CF: 3 for 5, 2 R, 1 SB – got picked off first after reaching base in the first inning
Cito Culver, SS: 1 for 4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 E (fielding)
Ben Gamel, RF: 2 for 4, 1 BB
Tyler Austin, 3B: 1 for 5, 2 RBI, 1 E (fielding) – I guess we’re not going to see Dante Bichette Jr. at all in the postseason
Reymond Nunez, 1B: 1 for 5, 1 R, 1 K
Casey Stevenson, 2B-LF: 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K
Zach Wilson, DH: 2 for 4, 1 2B, 2 RBI – continues to rake despite the long rain-induced layoff
Cody Grice, LF: 1 for 3, 1 2B
Angelo Gumbs, PH-2B: 0 for 1 – pinch-hit late, but to no avail
Nick McCoy, C: 0 for 4
Bryan Mitchell, RHP: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 WP, 1 HB, 5-4 GB/FB – less than ideal
Zach Varce, RHP: 2.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 0-2 GB/FB – couldn’t stop the bleeding
Jon Brebbia, RHP: 1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 0-1 GB/FB – he couldn’t either
Mariel Checo, RHP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 2-1 GB/FB

Triple-A Scranton, Double-A Trenton, High-A Tampa, and Low-A Charleston all failed to qualify to the postseason. The Rookie GCL Yankees have already won their league title.

Astros claim Lance Pendleton

Via MLBTR, the Astros have claimed Lance Pendleton off waivers. The Yankees designated him for assignment earlier this week to make room on the 40-man roster for George Kontos. Remember, the Astros have the righty a look in Spring Training as a Rule 5 Draft pick, but they eventually send him back. Pendleton is from Houston and went to Rice (also in Houston), so he’s right at home. Good luck, I’ll miss you Pants Lendleton.

The RAB Radio Show: September 9, 2011

We’re creeping up on playoff time, and the Yankees are in the driver’s seat right now. They’re up three on Boston in the loss column with 20 games (19 for Boston) to go. Mike and I spend the bulk of the show talking about how things can play out.

  • Of the 20 games left, 11 are against the Rays and the Sox. Mike and I talk about how this alters the outlook.
  • Pitching, pitching, pitching. Who’s going for the Yanks, how they’ll pare down the rotation, and how everything will line up.
  • Plus: Might offense dictate postseason success this year?
  • The AL playoff picture: Who’s in, who’s out, who’s hot, who’s fading. Also, why the Yankees opponent shouldn’t scare the Yankees as much as the Yankees scare their opponent.

Podcast run time 55:33

Here’s how you can listen to podcast:

  • Download the RAB Radio Show by right clicking on that link and choosing Save As.
  • Listen in your browser by left clicking the above link or using the embedded player below.
  • Subscribe in iTunes. If you want to rate us that would be great. If you leave a nice review I’ll buy you a beer at a meet-up.
[audio:http://riveraveblues.com/podcasts/TheRABRadioShow090911.mp3]

Intro music: “Die Hard” courtesy of reader Alex Kresovich. Thanks to Tyler Wilkinson for the graphic.

RAB Live Chat

Series Preview: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

(Photo Credit: Flickr user redheaded_pirate via Creative Commons license)

These September west coast trips are always the worst. It sucks having to stay up late for games, it sucks that the Yankees have to make two cross country flights so late in the season, and it really sucks having to stay up late for games. I think I said that already. The Yankees are in the Pacific time zone for the next six games, starting with three in SoCal against the Angels.

What Have The Angels Done Lately?

Life in the AL West means the Halos have played seven of their last ten games against the Mariners. In between the four-gamer and a three-gamer with Seattle was a three-game set with the Twins, and Angels went 6-4 during that ten game stretch. They have won four of their last five though, and remain 2.5 games back of the Rangers in the division. They’re seven games back for the wildcard, so that’s not really an option.

Angels On Offense

First Tim Salmon, now Mike Trout. Something fishy is going on in the Angels outfield. (Photo Credit: Flickr user Keith Allison via Creative Commons license)

Despite having some pretty big names in the lineup, the Angels are a slightly below-average offense with a .313 wOBA. Bobby Abreu has essentially been reduced to platoon status of late, even though he’s the team’s top OBP (.356) threat. His power (.110 ISO) is gone, though. Torii Hunter (.330 wOBA) still plays everyday, and Vernon Wells (.282 wOBA) is out there most days as well. Mark Trumbo is the Angels’ top power threat (26 homers and a .225 ISO), but that .295 OBP is atrocious. Howie Kendrick (.353 wOBA) has probably been their best hitter all year.

The rest of the lineup is subject to change by the day. Maicer Izturis (.322 wOBA) and Erick Aybar (.315 wOBA) have been tag teaming the leadoff spot, though the speedy Peter Bourjos (.339 wOBA) has seen time atop the order as well. Megaprospect Mike Trout (.328 wOBA in limited time) has been forcing his way into the lineup more and more each day, and if you think Brett Gardner is fast, wait until you see this kid run. Alberto Callaspo (.322 wOBA) and Russell Branyan (.328 wOBA) might show their faces as well. The catching trio of Jeff Mathis (.211 wOBA), Bobby Wilson (.239 wOBA), and Hank Conger (.277 wOBA) is just awful.

Overall, the Angels can do a little bit of everything but nothing outstandingly well. They’re top ten in steals (116 with Aybar, Bourjos, Abreu and Trout being the biggest threats) and middle of the road in power (.146), but they’re not very patient (just 7.4% walks) and aren’t great at avoiding strike three (17.8%). Not a scary offense, but not a total pushover either.

Angels On The Mound

Friday, RHP Jered Weaver (vs. Bartolo Colon): The Yankees missed Weaver the last time these two clubs faced because the right-hander was serving a suspension for throwing at Carlos Guillen. He’s having a great season (2.49 ERA and 3.02 FIP), but he’s also got a 6.67 ERA over his last five starts, including three absolute disasters. The recent death of his grandfather surely has to be considered a factor. Weaver legitimately throws five pitches, including two high-80’s fastballs (both two and four-seamers), a high-70’s slider, a high-80’s changeup, and low-70’s curveball. He excels at limiting walks (2.22 BB/9) and gets plenty of strikeouts (7.68 K/9), but he is an extreme fly ball pitcher (just 32.6% ground balls). The Yankees have seen Weaver once before this year, when he held them to two runs in seven innings back in early-June.

Saturday, RHP Dan Haren (vs. CC Sabathia): As good as Jeff’s kid brother has been this year, Haren has been even better. He doesn’t walk anyone (1.21 BB/9) and gets a decent amount of grounders (42.1%), and his strikeout rate (7.20 K/9) is tolerable. The 2.93 FIP and 3.20 ERA are pretty good representations of his true talent level. Haren features four different fastballs: a four-seamer, a two-seamer, a cutter, and a split-finger. All of them reside in the mid-to-high-80’s. A high-70’s curve and a mid-80’s change will also make an appearance. In his only start against the Yankees this year, Haren gave up four runs in six innings.

"I'll give you the ball as soon as you tell me why skip keeps putting you in the lineup." (Photo Credit: Flickr user Keith Allison via Creative Commons license)

Sunday, RHP Ervin Santana (vs. Freddy Garcia): Another low walk (2.58 BB/9) starter, Santana lags behind Weaver and Haren in the strikeout (6.95 HR/9) department. A 3.18 ERA and 3.72 FIP certainly indicate quality though. Amazingly enough, Santana’s basically a two-pitch pitcher, relying on his low-to-mid-90’s heat and low-80’s slider while throwing a mid-80’s changeup about once every 33 pitches. You’d expect a big platoon split with that repertoire, but Santana doesn’t have one this year. He does have one over the course of his career, however. The Yankees scored three runs in seven innings off him earlier this year.

Bullpen: Every team’s bullpen is packed to the gills with call-ups this time of year, but Mike Scioscia’s three primary bullpen guys are closer Jordan Walden (2.34 FIP), righty setup guy Fernando Rodney (4.55 FIP), and lefty setup guy Scott Downs (3.39 FIP). The versatile Hisanori Takahashi (4.06 FIP) and underrated Rich Thompson (3.28 FIP) are the next tier of relievers. A bunch of call-ups like Trevor Bell (3.48 FIP), Bobby Cassevah (3.61 FIP), and Horacio Ramirez (5.31 FIP) fill out the rest of the relief corps. Oh, and there’s Joel Pineiro (4.64 FIP). Here’s their long reliever after pitching his way out of the rotation.

Recommended Angels Reading: True Grich.