Noesi shows no mercy to Dunedin

Colin Curtis was placed on the disabled list with a high ankle injury, but it doesn’t sound too serious. Matt Cusick was activated off the phantom DL to take his spot. Abe Almonte is also on the DL, hence Francisco Santana’s arrival. Not sure what’s up with him.

Triple-A Scranton (3-2 win over Louisville, walk-off style)
Kevin Russo, 3B: 3 for 4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI – 15 for his last 36 (.417)
Greg Golson, CF: 1 for 4, 1 2B, 1 RBI
Eduardo Nunez, SS, Juan Miranda, 1B, Jesus Montero, C & Jon Weber, RF: all 1 for 4 – Nunez stole a bag … Weber K’ed
Chad Huffman, LF: 1 for 3, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K – hit a walk-off jack as the first batter in the bottom of the 9th
Chad Moeller, C: 1 for 3
Reegie Corona, 2B: 0 for 2
Zach McAllister: 6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 WP, 2-9 GB/FB – 66 of 96 pitches were strikes (68.8%) … the grounders just aren’t there this year, he’s got a 0.56 GB/FB this year after being closer to 1.5 the last few years
Amaury Sanit: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1-3 GB/FB – 18 of 29 pitches were strikes (62.1%)
Mark Melancon: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1-1 GB/FB – 10 of his 11 pitches were strikes … 14-5 K/BB ratio in 14.1 IP with a 1.55 GB/FB

[Read more…]

Game 21: Almost home

"You know Alex, it's an unwritten rule that you're only allowed to have one elbow up on the bench, not two." (Photo Credit: Gail Burton, AP)

It’s hard to believe that the Yankees are 21 games into their season and the month of April is basically over, but they’ve only played in front of their home fans six times. Considering that they’re 63-19 at home dating back to last May (including playoffs), it’ll be nice to for the Yanks to come home for six games before going back out on the road yet again.

Before they can do that though, the have to deal with Brian Matusz and the Orioles tonight. Matusz, the 4th overall pick in the 2008 draft, has been Baltimore’s best starter this year, pushing a 2.79 FIP with a 9.85 K/9 in his previous four starts. He touches 95 with the fastball, and backs it up with a slider, a curve, and a changeup, all of which can be legitimately used to put batters away. Oh, and he’s lefthanded. It’s like the quadruple whammy. I know Matusz is just 23-years-old, but the Yankees are going to have their hands full in this one.

Here’s the lineup…

Jeter, SS
Swisher, RF
Teixeira, 1B
A-Rod, 3B
Cano, 2B
Thames, DH – thank goodness he won’t be playing the field
Granderson, CF
Cervelli, C – Jorge Posada‘s knee is still bothering him, but he’s available in an emergency
Gardner, LF

And on the mound, Allen James Burnett.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm ET, and the game can be seen locally on YES or nationally on MLB Network. Enjoy.

Social Media Update: For those of you on Facebook, be sure to check out the updated River Ave. Blues Facebook page. We’ve recently overhauled the page with a new RSS feed of the blog, frequent status updates relating to the Yankees and baseball and some new graphics and photos. We’ll be posting some exclusive and non-exclusive content to Facebook, and those of you on the social networking site should be sure to become a fan of our page.

Take your swim trunks and flippy-floppies

Exciting news, Yankee fans: It’s once again possible to take a boat to Yankee Stadium. If the 4 train is too crowded for you, just hop on the Water Taxi — brought to you by Delta Airlines — at Pier 11 near Wall St., 90 minutes before game time. According to the Water Taxi’s website, these boat rides take an hour, and those on the boat can buy cocktails, beer and food while floating up the East River. It’s first come, first serve, and the boats are limited to just 147 passengers. Unfortunately, the Water Taxi isn’t offering rides back to Wall St. after the game, but for Will Leitch, that doesn’t matter. He’s very excited to travel to his baseball games this summer on a boat.

Hard to believe, but Cano even hotter than last year

In 2007 and in 2008, Robinson Cano got off to a slow start. After nearly winning the batting title with a late surge in 2006, Cano stumbled a bit in August, posting a .270/.320/.337 April. Things got worse in May, and he hit rock bottom on May 16 when he was hitting .234/.276/.312. He took off after that, though, and in his final 522 PA he hit .326/.374/.536, which more resemble the Cano we had gotten to know in 2006.

Photo credit: Chris Carlson/AP

In 2008 his start was even worse. He hit under .200 for almost the entire month of April, finishing the month at .151/.211/.236. While he hit rock bottom on May 3 that year, his recovery didn’t go as well as in 2007. His .300/.327/.452 line from May 4 through the end of the season wasn’t terrible, but it was far below what we had come to expect from Cano. It got so bad that Joe Girardi ended up benching him in September.

The narrative, then, entering the 2009 season was that Robbie had to get off to a hot start in order to fend off his critics. As we saw, he responded. Through 20 games he hit .381/.418/.619, and while he didn’t keep that up for the rest of the season he still kept up a respectable line of .311/.341/.505 from Game 21 through Game 162. His final line, .320/.352/.520, represented his best production since that superb 2006 season.

In 2010, we’ve seen more of the same. Cano’s hot start is a big reason why the Yankees have gotten off to such a hot start. In the first 20 games he’s hitting .390/.430/.701, which closely resembles his 2009 start. The good news, though, is that he has shown improvement in every category. His BA is clearly higher. In his first 20 games last year he walked 6.6 percent of the time and had a .238 ISO. This year he has walked 7 percent of the time and has a .312 ISO.

There’s just no way Cano will keep up this production throughout 2010. Yet even if he drops off a bit he’ll finish strong this season. It’s tough to ignore such a massive increase in power. It comes at the cost of strikeouts — Cano’s 13 percent strikeout rate is his highest since 2007 — but he’s also shown a bit more willingness to take some pitches and even draw a walk. I’m being cautious, given Cano’s similar start last year, but it seems like this year could be his best yet.

RAB on The Shore Sports Report

Just a reminder, my weekly appearance on The Shore Sports Report with Mike Krenek and Joe Giglio is coming up at 4:05pm ET today. You can listen in on either FOX Sports 1030 AM or WOBM 1160 AM, and I’m willing to bet that you’ll be able to stream it online via one of those links as well.

2010 Draft: MLB Bonus Baby Mock Draft

I’m not sure if you’ve stumbled across it yet, but SBN Nation launched a new draft-centric site not too long ago called MLB Bonus Baby. They recently posted a first round mock draft (their fifth, actually), and have the Yankees taking Texas A&M righty Barret Loux, who I admittedly don’t know very much about. He’s a big boy at 6-foot-5, 220 lbs, and’s draft report says he’s 91-94 with good command and a changeup that serves as his best pitch. As you can see from the video, that little hesitation gives his delivery hella deception (/Carig‘d). Not for nothing, Loux signs like the ideal Damon Oppenheimer pick; college pitcher with command, size, and stuff.

Anyway, don’t take the mock draft to heart, it’s far too early to know who’s going where. However, it does serve as a nice snapshot look at how players are being valued at the moment, and where their stock sits. Check it out.

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