Dickerson leaves game after getting hit in the head by pitch

Chris Dickerson left tonight’s game after being hit in the head by a Mike Gonzalez fastball in the 15th inning. Bryan Hoch says he’s on his way to the hospital for a CT scan, and we’re all hoping for the best. Dickerson was down on the ground for a few minutes, but ultimately walked off the field under his own power, so hopefully that’s a good sign. Scary scary scary.

No homers for Charleston in loss

Jordan Parraz is out with a hamstring injury, and it might be a while. The Triple-A Scranton outfield is short as it is with Greg Golson on the disabled list (also a hammy) and Chris Dickerson in the big leagues, but they still have Justin Maxwell and Dan Brewer out there, plus Kevin Russo and Brandon Laird can handle left in a pinch.

Meanwhile, Mark Prior (remember him?) threw from 60 and 90 feet in the outfield today for at least 20 minutes. He’s been on the shelf for about four weeks with a groin injury, and his June opt out date isn’t all that far away. If Rafael Soriano‘s elbow keeps him out for a while, there’s a very real chance that Prior could get a shot in the big leagues within a month.

Triple-A Scranton (5-4 loss to Lehigh Valley in 11 innings)
Kevin Russo, LF: 1 for 6, 1 R, 3 K
Dan Brewer, RF: 1 for 6, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 K
Jesus Montero, DH: 0 for 5, 1 K – stuck in a little 8-for-40 (.200) slump, though he just missed a homer today
Jorge Vazquez, 1B: 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K
Justin Maxwell, CF: 2 for 5, 1 R, 1 K, 1 SB – up to 61 K in 37 games
Brandon Laird, 3B: 2 for 2, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 3 BB – 13 for his last 39 (.333)
Ramiro Pena, 2B: 0 for 5
Gus Molina, C: 0 for 4, 1 BB, 3 K – threw out three of five potential base stealers
Doug Bernier, SS: 1 for 3, 1 BB
Adam Warren, RHP: 4 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 6 BB, 5 K, 0-3 GB/FB – just 48 of 93 pitches were strike (51.6%) … 24 BB in 45 IP this year after 33 BB in 135.1 IP last year … maybe the jump after just 54.1 IP in Double-A was too soon
Buddy Carlyle, RHP: 2.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 2-2 GB/FB – 25 of 35 pitches were strikes (71.4%)
Randy Flores, LHP: 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K – eight pitches, three strikes
Lance Pendleton RHP: 3.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 3-1 GB/FB – 31 of 50 pitches were strikes (62%)
Kevin Whelan, RHP: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 0-1 GB/FB – half of his ten pitches were strikes … allowed an inherited runner to score the go-ahead run

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Yankees have had “zero discussion” about releasing Posada

Via Andrew Marchand, the Yankees had “zero discussion” internally about releasing Jorge Posada following last weekend’s falling out. Posada told the team he wanted out at one point, remember. That said, Marchand hears from a source that the team will “reconsider” Jorge’s future with the club if his performance does not improve by the All-Star break. The elephant in the room is Derek Jeter, because the Yankees will want Posada around when his friend and long-time teammate picks up his 3,000th hit.

Jorge hasn’t hit much all year (.179/.287/.366), his age 39 season, but he has reached base in eight of his last 13 plate appearances and is hitting .275/.383/.350 in May. Maybe he’s showing signs of turning it around, maybe it’s dumb luck, but either way it seems like his great career in pinstripes will be coming to an ugly end before long.

Game 41: Rain in B’more

(AP Photo/Gail Burton)

The weather in Charm City isn’t great right now, but it looks like there will be enough of a window for them to get tonight’s game in. The Yankees and Orioles are already slated to play two doubleheaders this summer, no need to add a third. But then again it’s the weather, so who knows. They’ve had a pretty quick trigger when it comes to calling games this year, hell, the Mets-Marlins game was postponed last night even though it barely rained in the city. Anyway, here’s the lineup…

Derek Jeter, DH
Curtis Granderson, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nick Swisher, RF
Andruw Jones, LF
Eduardo Nunez, SS
Frankie Cervelli, C

Bartolo Colon, SS SP – heh, boy would that have been interesting

If the game is played, it can be seen on YES at 7:05pm ET. No more of that 6:40pm nonsense we dealt with last series. Enjoy.

MLBTR’s 2012 Contract Issues

MLBTR guru Tim Dierkes covered the Yankees today in his 2012 Contract Issues series, looking at the team’s upcoming free agents and arbitration-eligible players. Give it a read because it’s a great preview of what the team will have to deal with after the season, but there’s one line I want to discuss: “[Nick Swisher]’s option seemed like an easy choice to exercise, but his bat has yet to come alive in 160 plate appearances this year.  He’s got time to bounce back, but the option is not a lock.”

Swish is in the final guaranteed year of a contract he signed during his time in Oakland, and the option is worth $10.25MM with a $1MM buyout. The net value is $9.25M since they’re giving him a million bucks no matter what. Here’s the list of players due to become free agents after the season, do you see any worthwhile replacements for Swish among that group of outfielders? I know he’s had a poor season (.293 wOBA), but I don’t see anyone on that list that I’d rather have over Nick on a one-year, $9.25MM deal. He’s not old (turns 31 in the offseason), so even if he slumps all year I’ll take my chances with him rebounded next season instead of rolling the dice on David DeJesus or Ryan Ludwick or someone like that.

A-Rod will have hip checked out during homestand

Via Brian Costello, Alex Rodriguez will have his surgically repaired hip examined during the Yankees’ next homestand, beginning Friday. “That was something that came from Kevin [Long],” said A-Rod. “Kevin’s been working with me a long time. He just felt that we want to make sure that we dot our I’s and cross our T’s and are diligent about it and think big picture.”

Alex made it clear that the hip is nothing bothering him, and that he’ll have the joint checked out regularly for the rest of his career. “It’s not an excuse for poor performance,” said the third baseman. “It has nothing to do with a bad feeling or aching or anything. I’ve been actually working my tail off with Kevin and feeling better each and every day. Finally yesterday I got a little result.”

Series Preview: Baltimore Orioles

Don't squish Brian Roberts' head like that, that's not nice. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)

The six-game losing streak is in the rear-view mirror, but not far enough that we can forget about it. Five games against the Red Sox and Rays are always tough, but things get a little easier for the Yankees tonight when they kick off a two-game set against the Orioles in Yankee Stadium South, a.k.a. Camden Yards.

What Have The Orioles Done Lately?

Believe it or not, the O’s come into this series having won five of their last seven games, sweeping the Mariners and taking two of three from the Rays over the last week. They blew a big early league against the Sox on Monday before getting rained out last night, so they’re rested. Baltimore is still 13-20 since their 6-1 start, and their -21 run differential is the worst in the division and the fourth worst in the AL

Orioles On Offense

Yes, lots of this. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

When we last saw the Orioles, they were a bottom five offense in terms of OBP and wOBA. They’ve improved somewhat, but still only sport a .314 OBP and .312 wOBA as a team. No longer bottom five, but still bottom half in the game. Derrek Lee will be placed on the disabled list before tonight’s game with a strained oblique, but that might be a good thing for the O’s since he was hitting just .174/.273/.370 over the last two weeks and has a .295 wOBA on the season.

Baltimore’s offense is being carried by four players at the moment. Adam Jones (.422 wOBA in May) and Vlad Guerrero (.398) have been monsters this month while Mark Reynolds (.364) and Nick Markakis (.363) have contributed at an above-average rate as well. Brian Roberts (.167) and Matt Wieters (.295) have cooled off this month, and Luke Scott is kind of moseying along with a .329 wOBA this month. Good, not great. J.J. Hardy came off the disabled list about a week ago and already has two homers in seven games since. That means no more Robert Andino or Cesar Izturis, for shame.

Orioles’ hitters have the highest walk rate (10.3%) and fifth lowest strikeout rate (19.0%) in the AL, which makes it hard to believe they rank so low on the team OBP leaderboard. They won’t get themselves out on pitches out of the zone as much as you might expect, but there are some definite holes that allow pitchers to work around guys and pick their spots in the lineup.

Orioles On The Mound

Just a kid. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

Wednesday, LHP Zach Britton: Oh no, a rookie starter the Yankees haven’t seen before, and Britton’s no slouch either; Baseball America ranked him as the 28th best prospect in the game before the season. The 23-year-old southpaw has made eight starts since being called up, and he’s getting away with striking out just over five batters per nine (5.02 K/9, to be exact) thanks to a 2.77 BB/9 and a 54.4% ground ball rate. Britton is the rare true sinker-changeup pitcher, with the fastball coming in around 91-93 and the changeup in the mid-80’s. He’ll also break off a few sliders, but we’re talking one out of 20 pitches or so. He’s very good, trust me. The Yankees are going to have their hands full with this one.

Thursday, RHP Jeremy Guthrie: The Yankees got lucky and missed Baltimore’s two best starting pitchers the other two times these clubs have played, but they won’t be so fortunate this time. We’ve seen so much of Guthrie over the last few years that I don’t need to tell you too much about him, though I want to mention that he constantly outperforms his peripherals and is doing so again this year (3.98 ERA, 4.64 FIP). He’s like Matt Cain in that sense, it’s been so long that I don’t think we can call a mid-to-upper 4.00’s FIP his true talent level. The ERA is closer to what he really is. Anyway, wooo Jeremy Guthrie. Hopefully he doesn’t hit anyone tomorrow.

Bullpen: Kevin Gregg is perpetually shaky in the ninth and blew Monday’s game against the Red Sox, his second blown in his last three chances. Koji Uehara (3.87 FIP) and Jim Johnson (3.56) have been very good in setup roles while Mike Gonzalez has been questionable (5.29 FIP) from the left side. Jason Berken (5.08) crashed back to Earth after the great start, and then you have Jeremy Accardo (5.57) and lefty specialist Clay Rapada (6.93) doing forgettable work in low-leverage spots.

The Orioles bullpen is pretty well rested, they had last night (rain), Saturday (Brad Bergesen complete game), and Friday (Guthrie complete game) off. Hopefully we’ll see lots of them over the next two days because Mo knows the Yankees could use some games in which they score a ton of runs and force the starter out of the game early. Some blowout wins sure would be nice right about now.

Recommended Orioles Reading: Camden Crazies