Next stop … Trenton

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Joba’s heading North:

The second time around proved to be twice as nice for Ian Kennedy, the latest ad dition to a powerhouse Thunder pitching staff that will roll out the welcome mat for yet another top Yankees prospect, right-hander Joba Chamberlain, this week.

The 21-year-old Chamberlain, chosen 20 spots (41st overall) after Kennedy in the supplemental phase of last year’s draft, is 4-0 with a 2.03 ERA in seven starts at Class-A Tampa. He is scheduled to arrive in Trenton today.

Okay, so this is how I see it playing out: Alan Horne, Brett Smith, Jeff Marquez, Ian Kennedy and Joba man the Double-A rotation. Jason Jones gets promoted to Scranton (he spent all of last year with Trenton), where he joins Mighty Matt, Run-Elvis, Chase Wright and The Ghost of Kei Igawa in the rotation, with Steven Jackson working out of the bullpen.

It’s frickin’ amazing that the Yanks could have so many injuries and call-up so many guys, yet still have this kind of pitching depth in the UPPER minors.

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We’re still waiting on the winner of the Michigan-Oregon State Super Regional, which was delayed due to rain (rain in Oregon? You don’t say…), but otherwise 7 of the field of 8 is set for Omaha: Arizona State, Cal State Fullerton, Louisville, Mississippi State, Rice, UC Irvine and UNC. Oregon State leads their best-of-3 series 1-0 after the toughest of tough luck losses for Wolverine ace Zach Putnam, and will resume action with Game 2 today (Game 3 is tomorrow if needed).

I’m just not sure who to pick here. Rice seems like a good bet to make a run, but their pitching isn’t all that great right now, and “moment of truth” guy Cole St. Clair has been merely good, not lights out like before his shoulder injury. Louisville’s got some serious momentum (they obliterated Oklahoma State 20-2 in the Super Regional finale) and the underdog tag working in their favor, but I can’t see this team going the distance; there’s just not enough experience, especially with a first year coach. Miss. State will probably go 2-and-out in the double elimination tourney, and I’d say the same for Fullerton, but I think they’ll squeeze out a win in whatever game Wes Roemer pitches.

I’m not sleeping on UC Irvine, they’ve got some fantastic pitching, but no experience in Omaha, which is a great separator of pretenders and contenders. Arizona State could make a deep run, but if they run into a couple of good arms they’ll be toast; that team wins 95% of the time by bludgeoning sub-par pitching. UNC is probably best suited to make a run, it’s essentially the same team as last year, with Alex White and Luke Putkonen more than just filling in for the departed Andrew Miller and Dan Bard. Plus de facto ace Rob Woodard just does not lose, dude’s 33-5 in his college career. 

Okay, so my official pick is UNC sweeping UC Irvine in the Championship series. Here’s the updated brackets, and for the record, only 3 of my picks for the field of 8 made it.

Categories : College Ball
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I haven’t felt this good about the Yankees since we swept Cleveland. Finally, the Yankees have exploited a weak spot in their schedule and have rattled off six straight wins, and nine of their last 11. We’re finally back in second place, a half game ahead of the Blue Jays, and just a game below .500. And we have the second most runs scored in the majors, behind only Detroit (who are hugely benefiting from Gary Sheffield).

It’s a commonly held belief that you never want to ruin the momentum of a winning streak. If you’re hot you’re hot, and you want to keep rolling until the streak ends. However, I must disagree and say that today’s off-day comes at an opportune time. This is the team’s first day off in June, a month in which they have scored 74 runs. A day off to get collected is going to be a blessing. There’s simply no way the team can keep up with that torrid pace, so an interruption may be just long enough to recharge the batteries — especially since there’s no travel involved.

(Or maybe I’m just throwing darts because I’m so damn happy that we’re winning.)

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In which I apologize to Bob

By in Rants. Tags: · Comments (5) ·

Dear Mr. Abreu,

I owe you one big apology, and this afternoon, you made me feel even worse. I sat in the Tier Reserve this afternoon as you went 4 for 4 with a triple, double, two singles, a walk, four runs scored, three RBIs and a stolen base. While A-Rod hitting behind you may have belted two monstrous home runs, you were my vote for YES Network’s Player of the Game.

You’re also showing me the lesson of sample size. In May, you were terrible. In fact, it was the worst month of your excellent Major League career. You hit .208 with a .267 and a .274 slugging. We thought that maybe you, with your career .300/.400/.500 line, may be on the decline. Your bad fielding in Boston capped things off.

At the end of May, you were hitting .228/.313/.289 at were benched in Toronto because you clearly needed a day off. Well, let me just needed a new slate, a day off, a new calendar month. Because, wow, have you delivered.

In June, Bobby, you’re hitting the cover off of the ball. In 10 games, you have 38 at bats and 19 hits. You have walked in every game but one and have 10 base-on-balls for the month. Eight of your 19 hits are extra bases. So you’re offensive line for the mont is .500/.604/.789.

You’ve raised your total line this season to .272/.364/.370. That’s quite a raise in 10 games.

So I’m sorry, Bobby. I’m sorry I doubted you. Welcome back. This team, once left for dead but now 9.5 games behind Boston and in fourth place in the Wild Card, needs you. Go, Bobby.

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Down on the Farm

By in Down on the Farm. · Comments (6) ·

Triple-A Scranton (2-1 win over Durham, walk-off style) 
Kevin Thompson: 0 for 1, 3 BB, 1 CS
Andy Phillips: 2 for 3, 1 2B, 1 BB
Shelley Duncan: 1 for 3, 1 BB, 2 K – 6 for his last 28…
Angel Chavez: 0 for 4 – 3 for last 17 after 12 for previous 25…
Bronson Sardinha: 2 for 4, 2 R, 2 2B, 2 K
Juan Francia: 1 for 4, 1 RBI, 1 K – subbing for the injured Alberto Gonzalez…walk-off single…
Mighty Matt DeSalvo: 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 7 K
Charlie Manning: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HB
Edwar the Awesome: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K – 59 K in 33 IP…
Jim Brower: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB,  K – I’m late on this, but he had a streak of 6 straight perfect outings (covering 6.2 IP) snapped Wednesday…

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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First ’07 draftee signs

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Second baseman Justin Snyder, the Yanks 21st round pick out of San Diego, has signed. The Yanks gave him close to $100,000 in bonus money AND will pay for his last year of school. That’s a HUGE bonus for a 21st round pick.

There’s some rumblings that prep RHP Manny Barreda (12th round) and college OF Dave Williams (15th round, from what school Joe?) have also signed, but I have yet to see confimation. When I do, I’ll let you know (some NYYFans.com forum commentor doesn’t count as confirmation).

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Dude goes into Corvallis and no-hits the defending National Champs for 8+ innings before a walk, sac bunt and single gives Oregon State a 1-0 lead in the top of the 9th.

Michigan is considered the home team because of record, but the matchup is taking place in Oregon State’s turf because the Wolverine’s Athletic Director didn’t submit a bid to host a Regional. Let’s see if Putnam’s teammates can bail him out in the bottom of the 9th against Joe Paterson, the Beaver’s #2 starter who came out of the ‘pen in the 8th…

Update: After getting a quick GB out and giving up a single, Paterson is relieved by Eddie Kunz, one of the nation’s top closers. Because he was also serving as Michigan’s DH, Putnam came up representing the winning run … and promptly grounded out to short on the first pitch. Kunz gets another grounder from the next guy to end the game, and gives OSU a 1-0 lead in the best of 3 series. Talk about a tough loss for Putnam.

This is what baseball is about, not all that soap opera WWF bullshit that the media has made it.

Categories : College Ball
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Down on the Farm

By in Down on the Farm. · Comments (5) ·

Triple-A Scranton (8-1 loss to Durham)
Kevin Thompson: 1 for 3, 1 R, 1 K
Andy Phillips: 0 for 4, 3 K
Shelley Duncan: 1 for 4, 1 RBI, 2 K – 13 of his last 39 AB have ended with strike 3
Bronson Sardinha: 1 for 3, 1 2B, 1 BB
Alberto Gonzalez: 0 for 2, 1 HBP - left with an injury after being plunked
Steven White: 4 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 5 K, 1 WP
Colter Bean: 1.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HB – the Beaners are having a real hard time proving their case this year…
Ben Kozlowski: 3.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 4-1 GB/FB

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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Taken from the street and at various points along the left field rotunda, you can check out the slide show here.

Categories : Yankee Stadium
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On May 6, the Stadium erupted when Roger Clemens announced his return. Today, on a hot, muggy day in New York, Clemens is just a minute or two away from his debut. He’s facing the Pittsburgh Pirates, and I’ll be here live-blogging. So let’s get to work.

Seventh Inning: The Yanks score three runs in the top of the sixth, and Brian Bruney is on the hill in relief of Clemens. Cairo is at first, and Melky makes up for last night’s error with a great play to lead off the inning. That’s it for the live blog. We’ll have some Clemens analysis later on. Let’s hope the Yankee bullpen can nail down another win.

For the rest of the live blog, continue reading below.

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Categories : Game Stories
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