After months of Wil Nieves’ painful play, the Yanks finally bolstered their backup catcher slot today. They acquired Jose Molina from the Angels in exchange for Jeff Kennard. I’d call that a win for the Yanks. More later on this and the DH sweep against the Devil Rays.

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Courtesy of loyal reader Alan Hirsch, may I present Down on the Farm for Friday…

Joba got lit up, with Brian Cashman in attendance. He pitched 4.2 innings and gave up 9 hits (3 homers) and 7 earned runs. In the 2nd half of the doubleheader, Alan Horne did the same, lasting 2.2 innings and giving up 3 earned runs. Maybe the erratic schedule, with the rehabbing Hughes & Krastens did in the Trenton pitchers? We’ll see what happens to Joba next outing.

Thoughts of Austin Jackson cooling off are premature, as he went 3-4 with a homer and a double. Just when we’re ready to write off Eric Duncan, he’s starting to hit. Duncan hit a home run in his second consecutive night.

Justin Christian 2-5, R, 2 K Batting .345 since his call up
Angel Chavez 2-4, R
Kevin Reese 2-3, R, RBI, BB
Durazo (DH) 1-3. R. BB
Eric Duncan 1-3, HR, 3 RBI.
Chris Basak 2-4, R, 2 RBI
Colter Bean 2 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K Why’s he starting, with the logjam of pitchers at Trenton?
Sean Henn 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
TJ Beam 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB 3 K

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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  • Listen to the great Nietzsche

    Hello from sunny cloudy San Diego. I’ll spare you the jabber of being inside a whale’s vagina. Anyway, I ran across this quote this morning, and thought it should apply to the Yanks today, who face J.P. Howell and Jason Hammell. “All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.” Is drawing walks an existential concept? I’m not sure, but when you’re facing two pitchers the caliber of these guys, we should have freakin’ 15 guys on base each game. Update: Five walks and a Shelley Duncan home run later, and we’ve won the game 7-3. Many thanks to Kei Igawa for throwing 95 pitches through five innings. In typical fashion, Torre emptied the bullpen, throwing Luis Vizcaino, Kyle Farnsworth (scoreless 7th with 2 strikeouts), Scott Proctor, and Mariano Rivera. Why was Rivera in for a four-run game with another one scheduled in a mere few hours? Thank Proctor for that. After surrendering a homer in the eighth, Torre was kind enough to put him out there for the ninth. He gave up a hit to lead off, which prompted Torre to break glass in case of emergency. Crazy part is, these are probably the same relievers Torre will use in the nightcap. · (3) ·

Oh, wait. Nevermind.

Say what you will about Edwar Ramirez‘s pitching (or his subsequent teared-eyed performance in the clubhouse), tonight’s goat is Mike Mussina. Facing the Devil Rays, Mussina made it all the way through 4.2 innings of work. He gave up 7 hits and 6 runs as the Yanks fell to the Devil Rays 14-4.

For Moose, this sets him up at 4-7 with an ERA a shade under 5.00. And, ladies and gentleman, this is just year one of this two-year contract. Ugh. I have nothing else left to say about this game.

Meanwhile, down on the farm, Joba Chamberlain, the RAB poster boy, had a bad start. He was tagged for 9 hits and 7 earned runs in 4.2 innings. He walked 3 and struck out 7 while giving up 3 home runs. While Mussina’s bad start is just another in a trend of crappy outings, Chamberlain’s is his first. He had a longer-than-usual layoff due to some rehab starts and the weather, and bad starts happen. He still managed to K 7 in fewer than five innings. We’ll just have to see how he bounces back.

My money’s on Chamberlain having a better start next week than Mike Mussina does. Anyway, Saturday is a long day of baseball. Here’s to hoping disaster does not strike.

Categories : Game Stories
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What to do

By in Front Office. Tags: · Comments (33) ·

Sorry for the lack of posts recently, but the 3 of us have been busy and all that junk.

I’ve managed to secure a smidgen of time for myself amidst the chaos in my life, so I wanted to get something up on the site that could spark a decent conversation/debate and keep the site semi-interesting for more than 2 minutes. So here’s how it works:

You are Brian Cashman, and your team is in very real danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since Bill Clinton’s first term as Prez. The trade deadline is 11 days away and you have a pretty deep farm system (as well as a wealth of the most precious commodity in baseball, young cheap pitching) but few open spots on the ML roster. What do you do?


Categories : Front Office
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  • Klapisch: Are the Yanks deadline buyers or sellers?

    As the trade deadline fast approaches, speculation over the Yanks’ approach to the deadline this year mounts. Over at, Bob Klapisch kicked things off with an interesting, if obvious, take on the Yankees. With the team’s flaws out in the open and the team itself underachieving, Klapisch notes that the Yanks’ play over the next few weeks will determine whether or not the Yanks are buyers or sellers. He runs through the usual topics — Kyle Farnsworth’s consistently terrible pitching, Bobby Abreu’s hot and cold hitting and A-Rod’s opt-out clause — while offering no concrete conclusions. My take: Farnsworth is gone, but the Yanks are buyers as they try to stage a great comeback. What do you think? Will the Yanks be buyers or sellers come July 31st? · (3) ·

So the Yanks have started the second half going 6-2, and I would be lying if I said I was okay with Thursday’s lost. Up 2-0 after the first inning and facing a crappy pitcher, the Yanks’ bats were silenced for 8 innings. Chien-Ming Wang had one stretch of ineffectiveness, and that was all.

So while the Red Sox lost again, the Yanks couldn’t quite close the gap to six. Heading into another four-game weekend series against the Devil Rays, the Yanks still sit seven out in the division.

Looking back at today’s game, it’s tough to really blame anyone for the loss. The Yanks, with Wil Nieves in the lineup (a prospect akin to pitchers hitting in the NL), simply could not muster much offense. They hit into some bad double plays. I do however wonder about the 9th inning strategy.

Alex Rodriguez singles to lead off the inning, and two days after the Yanks tied the game in the 9th on aggressive baserunning, A-Rod stayed put at first. Maybe a steal was in order. Maybe Torre should have managed for the tie instead of a win. But no matter. If the Yanks play .750 ball for a few more weeks, we’ll have a pennant race yet.

More alarming to me is the black hole of suck coming out of the DH space in the Yanks’ lineup. Johnny Damon, no longer the team’s center fielder, is hitting .158/.338/.175 in July after hitting .226/.286/.333 in June. He’s managed three extra-base hits since June 6th, his last coming on July 1st. He’s also 0 for his last 17.

Down on the farm, Shelley Duncan went 2-for-3 with his 25th home run. His total is second highest only to A-Rod in the Yankee organization, and I have to wonder how much longer the Yanks can stick with Damon in the lineup. He’s just not a viable lead-off hitter right now and has lost his outfield job. The Yanks need production from the DH spot if they’re going to make a run for October. With Giambi out indefinitely, Damon has to step up or sit down.

For the rest of your Yankee farm system needs, check out the Yankees Prospect daily report. It’ll have Thursday’s numbers up for a bit, and again, feel free to produce your own version of DotF in the comments. (In fact, if any of you would be interested in taking on this feature on a daily basis while Mike is away, e-mail me at ben at riveraveblues dot com.)

Update by Mike: Hola all – just wanted to mention that with that homer, Shelley is now the single season homerun record holder for the SWB franchise, and that includes all those years they were affiliated with the Phils. Shelley has 44 games left in the season to add to that total. Redonkulous.

Categories : Game Stories
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While the Yanks won another game in the late innings due to Alex Rodriguez and Andy Phillips heroics, the Yankees’ farm system provided plenty of fodder for us today. Joe did a fantastic job covering the Phil Hughes Rehab Extravaganza, but the other big story of the day for the Yankees came out of Tampa.

Tonight, Kevin Whelan, David Robertson and Joshua Schmidt combined for a no-hitter against the Jupiter Hammerheads. Whelan, in Tampa working to become a starting pitcher, threw 5 innings of near-perfect baseball. He surrendered 1 walk and struck out 4 to start the no-hit bid. Robertson threw 2 innings, giving up 2 walks and striking out 3. Schmidt closed out the last two innings, also giving up 2 walks and striking out 3.

Offensively, Jose Tabata went 2-for-4 with an RBI, and Francisco Cervelli‘s double drove in the other two runs.

In other Yankees Minor League news, Jairo Heredia went 5 innings for the GCL Yanks. He gave up 2 hits and 1 run while walking a pair and striking out 8. Sounds like a good day overall for the Yanks’ farm system.

Meanwhile, in Mike’s absence, you all should feel free to add any other stand-out performances to the comments. I didn’t have time to do a full DotF post tonight.

Categories : Down on the Farm
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Cashman just spoke to the media on hand. He basically said what we expected: they have a strict plan for Phil, and they’re not going to deviate from it.

He didn’t say it specifically, but this is definitely what he meant: Phil will have two starts in Scranton. He said they’re going to get him to 100 pitches before they even consider sending him up, so the 75 he’ll throw Monday won’t be enough.

He also seemed quite elated at a Juan Miranda question. Don’t rule him out being the starting first baseman next year.

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Update: How could I forget this? During the mini press conference with Billy Connors, Reggie Jackson dropped in. He came in, changed his shorts, checked out his junk, and left. Crazy.

We’re in an 8th inning rain delay with the Thunder up 5-1, so I figured I’d throw this together real quick while we wait.

Okay, so we all know Phil’s final line: 4 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K. He ran into some trouble in the first and fourth innings, where he had his walks, but in the end he pitched well. He tossed 49 pitches — I think — (I was wrong, it was 59) and another 15 in the bullpen afterwards, so 75 total.

Afterwards, Phil mentioned that his fastball command isn’t quite there yet. While that’s certainly true, don’t take it as his command being way off at this point. He was definitely hitting his corners, especially in the middle two innings. He even hit a low and outside spot to get Wilson Batista in the bottom of the fourth on a 3-2 count. So while the command might not be all there, it’s not like he has miles to go.

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