Yankees sign tenth rounder Ben Gamel

Via Kendall Rogers, the Yankees have signed tenth round pick Ben Gamel for $500,000, though the deal has not yet been officially announced. His bonus exceeds MLB’s recommended slot by $350,000. A pure hitter like his brother (and Brewers’ prospect) Mat, Gamel has a sweet lefty swing that produces line drives from gap-to-gap. He’s not much of a power threat right now, but he has a chance to grow into some as he puts some weight on his 5-foot-11, 170 lb. frame. A corner outfielder in the long-term, his non-hit tools are nothing special, but he’s got a rep of being a big time grinder. Here’s video.

Once Gamel’s signing is made official, the Yanks will have 12 of their first 13 picks under contract.

Yankees sign ninth rounder Taylor Morton

Via Jim Callis, the Yankees have signed ninth round pick Taylor Morton for $450,000, exactly three times over slot. Coming out of a Tennessee high school, the 6-foot-3, 200 lb. righthander was inconsistent with his velocity this spring, though he did top out around 94-95 mph. Morton also throws a really good changeup and a curve, and is arguably the best pitching prospect the Yanks drafted this year based on the total package – present stuff, future projection, and command. Here’s video.

It doesn’t look like the Yanks will hand out a seven-figure bonus this year, but they’ve still gone over slot more than a half-dozen times. That’s good news though, because I’ve been pretty amazed that the Yanks managed to sign a player at the price they did on several occasions, including Morton. They’re getting some serious bargains this year.

After the rain, Yanks drop a close one to KC

Lightning streaked over the Big K during a rain delay of over two hours. Credit: AP Photo, Orlin Wagner

For the second time this season, the Yankees and Royals sat through a lengthy rain delay, but for the Bombers, the payoff wasn’t worth the two hour and ten minute wait. Despite a ninth inning threat against Joakim Soria, the Yanks couldn’t get a big hit, and Billy Butler’s 5th inning home run stood as the winning run in a 4-3 game. The Yanks played their fifth one-run game in a row, and as Tampa Bay and Boston both lost, the AL East playoff picture stays static for another day.

The Bad: Dustin Moseley and the Curse of the RISP

Billy Butler's fifth inning home run amidst the rain drops held up. Credit: AP Photo, Orlin Wagner

After three solid starts and a one-hit relief appearance against the Royals last month, Dustin Moseley couldn’t command his stuff. It took him nearly 60 pitches to get through the first six outs of the game, and the Royals plated three runs on a double and a bunch of seeing-eye singles in the bottom of the second. Moseley settled down a bit after that, but a Billy Butler home run with one out and rain falling in the fifth doomed the Yanks.

Moseley ended up with the loss after a 4.1-inning outing cut short by the weather. He allowed eight hits and three walks while striking out just one, and some nifty defensive work behind him prevented the Royals from breaking the game wide open. The bloom has come off his rose a bit, but the Yankees, meanwhile, had their chances. They went just 3 for 15 with runners in scoring position with all three of those hits coming in the third inning. From the fourt inning on, they were 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position. After the rain delay, it seemed as though the teams were just going through the motions when play resumed at 11:30 p.m. central time.

After returning from the rain delay, the Bombers made a late go of it against Joakim Soria. The young Royals relief stud allowed a single by Derek Jeter. Then, Curtis Granderson laid into two pitches. The first was pulled foul, and the second was a shot to the warning track in left field. After Mark Teixeira struck out, A-Rod singled up the middle, but Jeter could make it only to third.

That Jeter was still only on first when A-Rod was up remained a mystery to me. Soria isn’t particularly fast to the plate, and Jason Kendall, with a league average caught stealing rate, isn’t a particularly adept thrower behind the plate. The Yanks had to put themselves in a position to tie the game on a single, but Jeter never stole. With runers on first and third, Robinson Cano bounced out to second to end a long game.

The Good: Brett Gardner‘s Arm and the bullpen

Brett Gardner nailed Gregor Blanco with a strong throw to the plate in the first inning. Credit: AP Photo, Orlin Wagner

Despite the outcome, Brett Gardner and the bullpen deserve some praise. In the first inning, Gregor Blanco singled and later stole second. Billy Butler bounced a base hit between short and third, and as Blanco rounded third, Gardner came up throwing. He mailed a perfect one-bounce throw to Jorge Posada to nail Blanco. As Posada held onto the ball — but not his glove — Gardner earned his ninth assist of the season.

Also of note was the relief work today. After Dustin Moseley’s start was cut short by the rain, Chad Gaudin, Kerry Wood, Boone Logan and Joba Chamberlain combined for 3.2 innings of scoreless, hitless baseball. The only base runner the Royals managed after the rain delay came on a walk issued by Gaudin to restart action in the 5th. Logan hasn’t allowed a lefty to reach base since the end of June when he hit Ichiro with a pitch, and Wood has been impressive since arriving from the Indians.

Box Scores Galore

ESPN, Fangraphs.

After Jeter’s ninth inning single, the Yanks’ win expectancy was still around 30 percent, but it just went down from there.

Up Next

It’s a Saturday night special, as Phil Hughes (13-5, 3.92) faces off against Sean O’Sullivan (1-3, 5.05) at 7 p.m. Eastern time. If that match-up seems familiar, that’s because these two pitchers have already faced each other twice this season. Rain is thankfully not in the forecast.

Murphy makes DotF history with big night

Aceves during tonight's rehab outing. (Photo Credit: Robert Pimpsner)

The hottest prospect in the minors last week? That would be Jesus Montero according to Prospect Hot Sheet. Right behind him is Manny Banuelos, who was third. Meanwhile, Kevin Goldstein drops some knowledge on ManBan today (sub. req’d), saying he’s been up to 94-95 with the fastball. That would be a rather exciting development if true.

Triple-A Scranton (3-2 win over Toledo)
Kevin Russo, 2B: 0 for 5, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 SB
Eduardo Nunez, SS & Reid Gorecki, LF: both 2 for 4, 1 R – Nunez drove in a run, stole two bags & walked … Gorecki doubled twice, swiped a bag & K’ed
Jesus Montero, C: 1 for 5, 1 2B, 1 K – 14 for his last 30 (.467) with four doubled & three homers
Jorge Vazquez, 1B: 1 for 4, 1 RBI, 1 K
Brandon Laird, 3B: 1 for 3, 1 B, 1 K – four game hit streak, but he’s only four for 18 (.222) during that stretch
Colin Curtis, RF & Chad Huffman, DH: both 0 for 4, 1 K
Greg Golson, CF: 0 for 2, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 2 SB – ten for his last 30 with two doubles, a triple & three homers
Ivan Nova: 7 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 7-6 GB/FB – 61 of 98 pitches were strikes … I’m tell you, it’s no accident that he and Dustin Moseley are lined up and pitching on the same schedule
Royce Ring: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 0-2 GB/FB – eight of 15 pitches were strikes
Jon Albaladejo: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0-2 GB/FB – 12 of his 20 pitches were strikes

[Read more…]

Game 115: Keep it going

(AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

Considering the general mood around the interweb about the Yankees in the last few days, you’d be hard pressed to believe that they’re actually 4-2 in their last six games. I know, crazy, right?

The goal of tonight’s game is to simply keep the good times going. Dustin Moseley will take his Aaron Small act on the road to Kansas City to face the imminently beatable Kyle Davies, and tonight Joe Girardi will have Mariano Rivera at his disposal. It would be nice to give Mo another day off though, he has worked in four of the last six games after all, so a sizable lead and some Chad Gaudin action in the late innings would be welcome. We fans need an easy win, August has been stressful as hell.

Here’s the starting nine…

Jeter, SS
Granderson, CF
Teixeira, 1B
A-Rod, 3B
Cano, 2B
Posada, C
Berkman, DH
Kearns, RF
Gardner, LF

And on the mound, it’s Dustin Moseley.

First pitch is scheduled for a little after 8pm ET on what I’m sure is another sweltering hot night in Kansas City. YES has the broadcast, as they almost always do. Enjoy.

Update (11:45 p.m.): After a lengthy rain delay, the Yankees and the Royals will resume play at approximately midnight eastern time. The Royals are leading 4-3 with a runner out and one out in the bottom of the 5th. Chad Gaudin is currently warming for the Yankees in the bullpen.

Update (11:57 p.m.): Just kidding about that midnight start time. With lightning nearby, Joe Girardi pulled the team off the field, and the grounds crew has put the tarp back on. We wait.

Update (12:30 a.m.): Game on.

Pettitte suffers rehab setback

While we thought that news of Pettitte’s trip to Kansas City was cause for celebration, the reality is a bit more sobering. According to Yankees manager Joe Girardi, Pettitte’s leg is not feeling up to par. The Yanks’ skipper said Pettitte threw 50 pitches today but could push off at only around 75 percent. “It didn’t go as well as we wanted,” Girardi said. Girardi later added that Pettitte “thinks it’s a setback.”

Pettitte will rejoin the team this weekend in Kansas City to get additional treatment on his groin and leg, and the Yanks will delay his rehab start until the injured area is feeling stronger. He won’t throw another sim game until at least Wednesday which pushes his return to August 28th at the earliest. For now, Dustin Moseley will keep his spot in the rotation, and Pettitte, who hasn’t pitched since July 18, will remain on the disabled list.

Yankees sign second rounder Angelo Gumbs

Via Jim Callis, the Yankees have signed second round pick Angelo Gumbs for a $750,000 bonus, more than $300,000 over slot. The outfielder from a California high school is extremely raw, but all of his tools grade out as average or better according to Callis. Most importantly, dude’s got some serious bat speed, which you can’t teach. Gumbs is a bit of a long-term project, but the skill set and potential are very exciting. Here’s some video.

You can find a list of all the Yanks’ signed picks here, and by my count at least seven have received an over slot bonus. The signing deadline is midnight Monday, so a little more than three days until this is all resolved.