Open Thread: Max Ashton

We’ve been focusing on the Yankees and their ALDS matchup against the Tigers over the last week, but there’s some other really cool stuff going on elsewhere around the league. Take Arizona for example, they invited a kid named Max Ashton to throw out the first pitch before Game Four of NLDS on behalf of The Foundation for Blind Children. Max is completely blind, so how do you think he did? Just watch.

Once you’re done looking at that awesomeness, use this as your open thread. The Brewers and Diamondbacks are still wrapping up Game Five of their NLDS matchup on TBS, then the Cardinals and Phillies will play their Game Five a little later on (8:37pm ET on TBS). The NHL season started yesterday, so there’s probably a free preview of the NHL package or whatever it is on your local cable network. Talk about whatever you want here, go nuts.

(h/t Amazin’ Avenue)

Eric Chavez “leaning heavily” towards retirement

Via Joel Sherman, Eric Chavez is “leaning heavily” towards retirement. Nothing is official though, Sherman is just passing along what he heard, and his sources are usually rock solid.

Chavez, 34 in December, played surprisingly well as the Yankees backup corner infielder/sometimes DH this season (1.3 fWAR), though he did miss more than two months with a foot injury. That’s the story of the guy’s career, he just hasn’t been able to stay healthy. We have no idea if the Yankees had (or have, really) any interest in bringing him back next year, but either way I wish him luck and thank him for his work in 2011.

NLDS Game Thread: Diamondbacks @ Brewers

Now that the Yankees have been eliminated, I’m adopting the Brewers as my team for the remainder of the playoffs. Nothing serious, this is just a fall fling. Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, Yovani Gallardo, Zack Greinke … it’s fun to watch those guys play. Anyway, it’s Game Five between these two teams. Former Yankee Ian Kennedy is on the bump against Gallardo. Game starts at 5:07pm ET and can be seen on TBS. Enjoy.

Nova has Grade I flexor strain in right forearm

Via Marc Carig and Bryan Hoch, Ivan Nova has a Grade I flexor strain in his right forearm. The right-hander left last night’s game with soreness and went for an MRI today. The injury is expected to heal on its own without complications this winter and allow him to be ready for Spring Training, but obviously this is something that would have kept Nova off the mound had the Yankees advanced to the ALDS.

If you want to freak out, remember that Joba Chamberlain was diagnosed with a strained flexor before needing Tommy John surgery.

Montero ranks fifth among top International League prospects

Baseball America posted their final Yankees-relevant minor league top 20 today, placing Jesus Montero fifth among all Triple-A International League prospects. Matt Moore, Julio Teheran, Devin Mesoraco, and Desmond Jennings were the four players ahead of Montero. No other Yankees farmhands made the list.

In the subscriber-only scouting report, James Bailey says Montero “doesn’t have the prettiest swing but compensates with exceptional strength and hand-eye coordination,” and he “crushes balls to all fields and projects as a .300 hitter with 30 homers per year.” As always, the question is his defense behind the plate. “He has arm strength but has a slow release and lacks accuracy on his throws,” said Bailey. “He lacks athleticism and still has a ways to go with his receiving and game-calling, and he loses focus too often.” Montero’s bat is big league ready, we saw that in September, but the Yankees will have to come up with a way to get him in the lineup for 600+ at-bats next year.

The RAB Radio Show: October 7, 2011

This one was tough, for obvious reasons. But we still forged ahead.

  • A look back at the series, but not for long. It seems pretty straight forward what happened.
  • We reflect on the season as well. It’s the success of the season that made this loss hit harder.
  • Lots and lots on Jorge Posada.
  • Towards the end we talk about the first orders of business this off-season, and outline a few priorities.

Podcast run time 36:41

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.

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

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