7/31 to 8/2 Series Preview: Chicago White Sox

... what the hell is that? (Presswire)
… what the hell is that? (Presswire)

The Yankees are on Chicago’s south side for the final three games of this ten-game, three-city road trip. It’s almost August and yet this is the first meeting of the season between the Yankees and White Sox. The only other AL team the Yankees have yet to face this season is the Indians. They’ll see them in a week and a half.

What Have The White Sox Done Lately?

The ChiSox got off to a miserable start to the season, one that had them looking like a seller at the trade deadline, but they’ve been hot of late, winning seven of their last eight and 17 of their last 26 games. Suddenly they’re being talked about as buyers, or at least not sellers. Chicago is 49-51 with a -52 run differential overall, and somehow they’re only 3.5 games out of the second wildcard spot. Welcome to MLB in the year 2015.

Offense & Defense

Despite their strong recent play, the White Sox are still one of the worst offensive teams in baseball, averaging only 3.66 runs per game with a team 84 wRC+. They are managed by ex-Yankee Robin Ventura and, aside from UTIL Emilio Bonifacio, they are healthy on the position player side. Bonifacio was placed on the DL with an oblique strain earlier this week.

Abreu. (Presswire)
Abreu. (Presswire)

Ventura’s lineup has exactly two above-average everyday hitters: 1B Jose Abreu (129 wRC+) and OF Adam Eaton (109 wRC+). Abreu is having a fine season that is a notch below his Rookie of the Year winning campaign of a year ago. That won’t make me any less terrified whenever he is at the plate this weekend. Former Yankees OF Melky Cabrera (94 wRC+) has been hitting much better of late but DH Adam LaRoche (80 wRC+) has not. Stalwart SS Alexei Ramirez (55 wRC+) is having the worst season of his career.

3B Tyler Saladino (99 wRC+ in very limited time) was just called up and 2B Carlos Sanchez (59 wRC+) is now playing second everyday. C Tyler Flowers (63 wRC+) and C Geovany Soto (125 wRC+) are the catching tandem and OF Avisail Garcia (87 wRC+) plays right. IF Gordon Beckham (49 wRC+), OF J.B. Shuck (85 wRC+), and UTIL Leury Garcia (two plate appearances) round out the bench. The ChiSox have a strong defense up the middle but not so much on the corners. Melky and Avisail sure do make it interesting in left and right, respectively.

Pitching Matchups

Friday (8pm ET): RHP Nathan Eovaldi (vs. CWS) vs. LHP Carlos Rodon (No vs. NYY)
Rodon, 22, was the third overall pick in last year’s draft. The White Sox wasted no time calling him up. He has a 4.09 ERA (3.63 FIP) in 77 innings spread across 13 starts and three relief appearances this year, and he has the kind of peripherals you’d expect from such a young kid: 24.1 K%, 12.8 BB%, 47.1 GB%, and 0.58 HR/9. You don’t get to the big leagues this quickly without good stuff (strikeouts and grounders!), but, you know, young pitchers are rough around the edges (walks). Rodon has a big platoon split — righties have a .363 wOBA and lefties a .267 wOBA — which isn’t unexpected. His mid-80s changeup lags behind his mid-90s two and four-seamer and wipeout upper-80s slider. Rodon’s slider is filthy. It’s Andrew Miller-esque. That’s the pitch that got him drafted third overall.

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Saturday (7pm ET): TBA vs. LHP John Danks (vs. NYY)
Boy, last year around this time there were a lot of trade rumors connecting the Yankees to Danks, but thankfully that didn’t happen. The 30-year-old has a 4.97 ERA (4.37 FIP) in 108.2 innings this year and a 4.80 ERA (4.76 FIP) in 440.2 innings since coming back from shoulder capsule surgery in 2013. He’s simply no longer the guy he was before surgery. That’s not uncommon for pitchers with a torn capsule. Anyway, the only thing Danks does well is limit walks (6.3%). His strikeout (15.7%), grounder (36.4%), and homer (1.24 HR/9) rates are not good and righties have crushed him (.380 wOBA). Danks has held his own against lefties though (.271 wOBA). Post-shoulder surgery Danks sits in the upper-80s with his two and four-seamer and a tick below that with his cutter. A low-80s changeup is his go-to secondary pitch and he’ll also throw a few mid-70s curveballs per start. But mostly Danks mixes the changeup in with the fastballs and that’s it.

The Yankees do not have a starter for tomorrow right now because Michael Pineda landed on the DL yesterday with an elbow injury. Adam Warren, Bryan Mitchell, and Diego Moreno are all candidates to start — I suppose Warren and Moreno could tag team the start similar to earlier this week — though Joe Girardi said all those guys are available in the bullpen tonight if necessary. Esmil Rogers is scheduled to start for Triple-A Scranton tomorrow and I suppose that makes him a candidate too. And, you know, they could also always trade for a starter before the trade deadline today. That’d be neat.

Sunday (2pm ET): RHP Ivan Nova (vs. CWS) vs. RHP Jeff Samardzija (vs. NYY)
Thanks to their recent surge, the ChiSox are leaning towards keeping the 30-year-old Samardzija at today’s trade deadline. That’s a shame. He’d look great in pinstripes. Samardzija has a 3.94 ERA (3.58 FIP) in 148.1 innings this year with a tiny walk rate (4.4%) and slightly lower than league average strikeout (18.2%), grounder (41.3%), and homer (0.91 HR/9) numbers. Left-handed hitters (.322 wOBA) have had a little more success against him than righties (.289 wOBA). Samardzija sits in the mid-90s with his four-seam fastball and low-90s with his cutter, and in the mid-80s with his splitter. He also throws a mid-80s slider. Samardzija’s a no nonsense guy. He goes right at hitters with power stuff.

Robertson. (Presswire)
Robertson. (Presswire)

Bullpen Status
Overall, the White Sox have a middle of the pack bullpen (3.50 ERA/3.77 FIP) that is top heavy. Former Yankee RHP David Robertson (2.63/2.00) is the closer and former Yankees draft pick RHP Jake Petricka (3.06/3.36) joins LHP Zach Duke (3.32/4.77) as his primary setup men. Robertson is having another fantastic season with a career-best walk rate (6.1%), a career-best swing-and-miss rate (15.7%), and his typically awesome strikeout rate (35.6%). Nothing but love for D-Rob.

RHP Matt Albers (1.38/4.31 in limited time), LHP Dan Jennings (5.97/4.08), RHP Zach Putnam (3.21/3.64), and RHP Daniel Webb (1.47/4.06) round out the rest of the bullpen. Albers and Jennings both pitched yesterday. The middle relief is a little shaky. You can get to them in the sixth and seventh. The eighth and ninth? Not so much. Our Bullpen Workload page has everything you need to know about Girardi’s bullpen and South Side Sox has everything you need to know about the White Sox.

Yankeemetrics: Deep in the heat of Texas (July 27-30)

Over the hill but still raking. (Getty Images)
Over the hill but still raking. (Getty Images)

Al’s birthday bash
Alex Rodriguez certainly has a flair for the dramatic, eh? A-Rod celebrated his 40th birthday in style with a homer in the sixth inning of Monday’s 6-2 win over the Rangers, etching his name in the record books once again.

It was the sixth homer he’s hit on his birthday, the most birthday dingers by any player in MLB history. The solo shot also gave him 16 career RBI on his birthday, tied for the third-most all-time, behind only Lou Gehrig (17) and Al Simmons (19).

He is just the sixth player in baseball history to homer on his 40th birthday, joining the quintet of Chipper Jones, Tony Phillips, Wade Boggs, Joe Morgan and Bob Thurman, and is the oldest Yankee to go deep on his birthday.

A-Rod is also now a member of an even more exclusive group of major-league players to hit homers in their teens, 20s, 30s and 40s — Rusty Staub, Gary Sheffield and Ty Cobb are the only others to do that. Will he become the first to also do it in his 50s? LOL.

Although A-Rod stole the headlines with his birthday blast, Didi Gregorius was the real offensive star of the night, breaking out for a career-high four RBI and his first home run against a left-handed pitcher as a major-leaguer. Before the home run, his 264 career plate appearances vs. lefties without a homer were the third-most among active players.

”It didn’t suck”
Yeah, I think that quote from Chris Young pretty much sums up Tuesday’s 21-5 shellacking of the Rangers. There’s so much statistical awesomeness from this game, let’s just get right to the Yankeemetrics.

The game obviously did not start well for the Yankees, who were down 5-0 early as spot starter (and thankfully DFA’d) Chris Capuano allowed five runs on three hits and five walks before being removed with two outs in the first inning. With that performance, Capuano became the only Yankee starter in last 100 years to allow at least five runs and five walks in less than one inning pitched.

Remember when the Yankees couldn’t score on the road and couldn’t put together big comebacks? Ha! Of course, the Yankees then exploded for 11 runs (and somehow no home runs) in the second inning, their highest-scoring frame since putting up a 12-spot on the Orioles in the bottom of the first on July 30, 2011.

The Yankees knocked Rangers starter Martin Perez out of the game before he could record an out in the second inning, which somehow made Capuano not even the worst starting pitcher in this game. It was the first time that both starters pitched one inning or fewer and allowed at least five runs in a Yankee game since April 23, 1932 against the Philadelphia A’s. The starters that day were Gordon Rhodes for the Yankees and Rube Walberg for the A’s.

The Rangers then turned to Wandy Rodriguez to stop the bleeding, but the Yankees showed no mercy and tagged him for another seven runs. Like Perez, he got just three outs, making this first time in the last 100 years that two pitchers have lasted an inning or fewer and allowed at least seven runs in the same game against the Yankees. In fact, the only other team to do that since 1914 was the Blue Jays on Sept. 28, 2000 against the Orioles.

Sure, the offensive highlights were fun and all. But the MVP of this game was Diego Moreno, who cleaned up Capuano’s mess in the first inning and tossed 5 1/3 innings without allowing a run or a hit. He’s the first Yankee reliever to pitch at least five hitless innings since Bob Shirley on Sept. 21, 1986 against the Tigers, and the first to do that and get the win since Tom Morgan in 1956 against the Indians.

So, in the end, the Yankees scored 21 runs after being down 5-0, the most unanswered runs they’ve scored in any game since August 12, 1953 against the Senators.

Finally, because many of you have asked, let’s cap it off with this gem from the Elias Sports Bureau: the Yankees are the first team in MLB history to allow the first five (or more) runs of game and then score 21 or more unanswered runs.

Back to reality
The Yankee bats were humbled by the Rangers in the third game of their four-game series, scoring just two runs on eight hits in the 5-2 loss.

Tuesday’s outburst was the 17th time in franchise history they scored 21-or-more runs, but Wednesday was just the second time that they failed to score more than two runs in their next game. It also happened July 25, 1999 when they beat the Indians 2-1, one day after they crushed them 21-1.

If there was anything positive that came out of the game, it was probably the debut of pitcher Caleb Cotham. The former fifth-round pick struck out four and walked none in 1 2/3 scoreless innings. The only other Yankee in the last 100 years to not allow a run or a walk and strike out at least four guys in his first career major-league game was Stan Bahnsen in 1966. Bahnsen would go on to win the Rookie of the Year award in 1968.

Tex hot, CC not
For the first time since the first week of July, the Yankees have an official losing streak. They lost again on Thursday night on a game-ending single by Josh Hamilton in the bottom of the ninth inning, their first walk-off loss against the Rangers since Sept. 11, 2010.

CC Sabathia’s decline is really hard to watch. He turned in yet another poor outing in this game, one that included three homers over five innings pitched. Two of those longballs were by left-handed batters, the first time he allowed multiple homers to lefties in a single game since Aug. 12, 2011.

Mark Teixeira gave the Yankees an early 2-0 lead with his 25th homer of the season in the first inning, the 10th time in his career he’s reached that milestone. The only other switch hitters in MLB history with 10-or-more seasons of at least 25 home runs are Eddie Murray (12), Chipper Jones (10) and Mickey Mantle (10).

Tex wasn’t finished after that blast, though, giving the Yankees a 6-5 lead with another solo homer in the seventh. This was his 40th career multi-homer game, tied with Jones for the second-most all-time among switch-hitters; the only guy with more is Mantle (46).

2015 Trade Deadline Open Thread: Friday

Kimbrel. (Presswire)
Kimbrel. (Presswire)

Today’s the day. Specifically, 4pm ET is the time. Teams have until 4pm ET today to make non-waiver trades, which means there figures to be a flurry of activity in the next few hours even though big names like Johnny Cueto, David Price, and Troy Tulowitzki have already been moved. The Yankees made a relatively minor trade yesterday, sending Ramon Flores and Jose Ramirez to the Mariners for Dustin Ackley.

On Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week we learned the Yankees are in the market for pitching help, both starters and relievers, but they’re not willing to give up their top prospects. They’ve been connected to all sorts of pitchers the last few days but those pitchers keep getting traded elsewhere. Hopefully they reel one or two in today, preferably a starter. They really need rotation help. We’ll keep tabs on all of the day’s Yankees-related rumors right here, as usual.

  • 4:37pm ET: The Yankees were not only willing to include Jorge Mateo in a Craig Kimbrel trade, they also offered to take back Jedd Gyorko and his disaster contract. They never got an answer from the Padres, apparently. [Heyman]
  • 3:53pm ET: The Yankees are expected to stand pat at the deadline. Weak, if true. [Nightengale]
  • 3:28pm ET: The Yankees told the Padres they were willing to trade Jorge Mateo for Craig Kimbrel, but San Diego hasn’t responded. The assumption is Kimbrel is going elsewhere. [Rosenthal, Sherman]
  • 3:22pm ET: Once again, the Yankees and Padres have “no traction” for a Craig Kimbrel trade. They have had “no talks” recently. [Rosenthal, Sherman]
  • 3:02pm ET: Should the Craig Kimbrel deal not happen, the Yankees won’t work out a smaller trade involving Joaquin Benoit and Ian Kennedy. [Sherman]
  • 2:05pm ET: In addition to Jorge Mateo, the Padres would also want a pitcher back from the Yankees for Craig Kimbrel. [Sweeny Murti]
  • 1:56pm ET: The Yankees believe the Padres are working on a bigger trade involving Craig Kimbrel. Apparently San Diego will not trade Kimbrel to New York unless Jorge Mateo is in the deal. [Sherman]
  • 12:33pm ET: Apparently talks with the Padres for Craig Kimbrel broke down yesterday and have not been revived. They haven’t talked today. That’s why the Yankees are looking at guys like Carter Capps. [Rosenthal, Olney]
  • 12:21pm ET: The Yankees are the team in the “hottest” pursuit of Craig Kimbrel. It sure seems like the plan is to add another elite reliever. [Rosenthal]
  • 11:00am ET: The Marlins have coveted Greg Bird and would probably ask for him in a potential Carter Capps trade. I can’t see that happening given the Yankees’ reluctance to trade their close to MLB top prospects. [Joe Frisaro]
  • 10:56am ET: Although the Yankees did indeed check in, a trade for Aroldis Chapman is “not likely” to happen. Womp womp. That would have been fun. [Heyman]
  • 10:36am ET: The Yankees don’t like the idea of trading Jorge Mateo for a reliever, even one as good as Craig Kimbrel. If they do trade Mateo, they’re more likely to do so for a starting pitcher or everyday position player. [Sherman]
  • 10:12am ET: The Yankees continue to look for rotation help but feel “doubtful.” They believe Severino, Adam Warren, and Bryan Mitchell could hold down the fort in the second half if necessary. [Sherman]
  • 9:53am ET: The Yankees would consider trading Jorge Mateo but not top prospects closer to MLB like Aaron Judge and Luis Severino. That makes sense, I guess. Also, if they are willing to trade Mateo, they could seek more in return from the Padres than just Craig Kimbrel. It would also open doors to other deals. [Sherman]
  • 9:51am ET: The Yankees are talking to the Marlins about setup man Carter Capps, the guy with the jumpy delivery. That would be fun to watch, if nothing else. [Stark, Heyman]
  • 9:44am ET: The Yankees are one of five teams “aggressively” pursuing Aroldis Chapman, who would take over as closer. This all sounds like posturing — the price is too high for Kimbrel so we’ll say we’re in on Chapman, the Yankees aren’t offering enough for Kimbrel so we’ll get the Astros involved, etc. [Bob Nightengale]
  • 9:31am ET: The Yankees and Padres worked overnight on a Craig Kimbrel trade that would send a “good” prospect to San Diego with New York taking on all of the $28M or so left on Kimbrel’s contract. The Padres are looking for a young shortstop and have sought Jorge Mateo, who is supposedly off limits. Other clubs, specifically the Astros, are talking to the Padres about Kimbrel as well. [Rosenthal, Stark, Heyman, Buster Olney]
  • 9:30am ET: The Yankees remain interested in both Craig Kimbrel and Aroldis Chapman, but the prices are high. They want to add an impact pitcher however they can, and adding a reliever would allow them to more easily put Adam Warren in the rotation. [Joel Sherman, Ken Rosenthal, Jayson Stark]
  • The Yankees are one of several teams in pursuit of Yovani Gallardo, who they faced last night. Gallardo didn’t pitch too well last night but he’s had a strong season overall. The Cubs, Blue Jays, Dodgers, and Giants are also in on Gallardo, though San Francisco may be out of the picture after acquiring Mike Leake late last night. [Jon Heyman]

Reminder: Your trade proposal sucks.

Sabathia roughed up again, bullpen lets game slip away in 7-6 walk-off loss to Rangers

That was an annoying loss. Annoying because the Yankees had plenty of chances offensively, annoying because they got yet another weak starting pitching performance, annoying because the usually reliable bullpen let a lead slip away. The Rangers took the series finale from New York with a 7-6 win Thursday.

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

A Quick Lead
Three pitches into the game, the Yankees had the lead. Jacoby Ellsbury dropped a bloop into left field that Ryan Rua misplayed, allowing it to get by him and Ellsbury to advance all the way to third base. It was ruled a double and an error on Rua. Brett Gardner hit a sacrifice fly to center and boom, a quick 1-0 lead. You can’t start a road game much better than that.

The Yankees didn’t stop there though. Baseball’s best first inning offense added two more runs, including one on a Mark Teixeira solo homer to dead center. Two singles (Brian McCann and Chase Headley) sandwiched around a walk (Carlos Beltran) created the third run after the homer. So the inning had a little of everything. A run fueled by an error, another on a homer, and another by stringing together a few singles. The three first inning runs pushed New York’s league leading total to 89, 17 more than any other team.

Sunk Cost
The 3-0 lead was gone five batters into the bottom of the first inning. Two infield singles and a three-run home run by Josh Hamilton did the trick. CC Sabathia almost got out of the jam. Almost. He got Prince Fielder to fly out harmlessly to center and lucked out when Adrian Beltre smashed a line drive right at Headley, and he was able to jump ahead in the count with a first pitch strike to Hamilton. Two balls and a hanging slider followed. Three-run homer. Lead gone.

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Sabathia allowed two more home runs in the game though only one was really his fault. Shin-Soo Choo clobbered a 2-0 nothingball for a leadoff home run in the second inning — Sabathia had allowed one homer and three extra-base hits total to left-handed batters this season coming into this game, then allowed two homers to lefties in the span of three batters — and Rua hit an inside-the-park home run in the fourth inning. I’m not sure there is anything more facepalmy in baseball than giving up an inside-the-parker.

The inside-the-park homer was on Ellsbury more than anyone. Rua hit a solid line drive single to center, Ellsbury came in and tried to make a sliding catch, but whiffed and let the ball get by him. It rolled all the way to the wall. Beltran did the exact opposite of hustle after the ball, but I don’t think it mattered anyway. Ellsbury got to the ball, fired in to the infield, and Rua beat the throw home. So dumb. Ellsbury’s got to keep that ball in front of him.

Sabathia finished the night with five runs allowed in five innings — Joe Girardi sent him back out for the sixth, then yanked him after a first pitch single, so what’s the point of even sending him out against a bunch of righties if that’s his leash? — and half of the 16 right-handed batters he faced reached base. That’s nothing new though. Righties have crushed him all year. This was the 12th time in 20 starts this year Sabathia has allowed four or more runs.

Broken record time: Sabathia should not start in five days, but you and I both know he will. He is now up to a 5.54 ERA on the season — fifth worst among 92 qualified starters — and is one of the worst pitchers in baseball. He has a 5.08 ERA in his last 374 innings dating back to 2012. The Yankees continue to preach the “World Series or bust” mantra yet run Sabathia out there every fifth day. He is actively hurting the team and should not be in the rotation. The sooner the brain trust accepts Sabathia is a sunk cost and a detriment to club, the sooner their postseason odds improve. This is untenable.

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

The Late Innings
The late innings of the game were a total mess. Rua’s inside-the-parker tied the game 5-5 and Teixeira untied it with a seventh inning solo homer, his second of the game. The Rangers then managed to tie the game with New York’s best reliever on the mound and win with their second best reliever on the mound. The Yankees are built to protect those one-run leads in the late innings and it didn’t happen.

Wildness helped the Rangers tie the game. Justin Wilson walked the leadoff man in the seventh — Texas had the leadoff man on base in seven of nine innings — and he moved to second on a wild pitch. After a single to put runners on the corners, Dellin Betances coaxed a ground ball to second that Stephen Drew threw wildly over Didi Gregorius‘ head at second. He wasn’t going to get a double play, so the run was going to score to tie the game anyway, but Drew didn’t even get one out. That extended the inning and Dellin’s pitch count.

Following a clean eighth — Betances struck out two and Nick Goody struck out one in his MLB debut (Girardi lifted Dellin because of his pitch count) — Goody was sent back out to start the ninth, then yanked after allowing the first man to reach base. Why? Why why why? Why send him out there if the leash is one base-runner? It’s easily my least favorite Girardi move. Andrew Miller hadn’t pitched in five days and Bryan Mitchell was just called up for long relief. They weren’t short on arms.

Anyway, Miller replaced Goody, faced four batters, allowed three rockets, and walked the other batter. Ellsbury made a great catch to run down one of those rockets at the wall in center and the other rocket hit the runner at first. Lucky. The strike zone was a little tight in the ninth inning (via Brooks Baseball) …

Andrew Miller strike zone

… but when you give up balls hit that hard, the strike zone isn’t an excuse. The Rangers won when Hamilton ripped a walk-off single to right, scoring the runner from second. Hamilton drove in four of the Rangers’ six runs because the Yankees’ lefties couldn’t get him out. Miller was fooling no one — again, three rockets and a walk — and he has now allowed six runs in 8.2 innings since coming off the DL. He was not sharp at all on Thursday.

Leftovers
Sabathia was sent to the hospital with “symptoms of dehydration” following the game, the Yankees announced. They said it did not affect him during his start, only after he left the game. Sabathia will not fly with the team tonight and will travel on his own tomorrow. “Symptoms of dehydration” is a 60-day DL injury, right?

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Gardner had arguably his worst at-bat of the season with the bases loaded in the eighth. He took two fastballs on the outer half for called strikes then swung through an elevated fastball for strike three to end the inning. It was brutal. Gardner went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and the sac fly.

The Yankees also had runners on first and second with no outs in the top of the ninth, but Teixeira (strikeout), McCann (fly out to the warning track), and Beltran (pop-up) made outs to kill the threat. McCann hit a two-run home run in the third inning. Forgot to mention that. The Yankees had eleven hits and four walks but went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

Thanks to Drew’s errant throw in the seventh, Gregorius took an Elvis Andrus fist to the biscuits. He jumped to try to catch the throw and Andrus had his hand up while sliding in. I think Elvis was just jealous Didi was the superior shortstop all series. Also, Ellsbury picked up his annual outfield assist, throwing Andrus out at second trying to tag up on a fly ball. Replays showed he might have been safe, but the Texas didn’t challenge.

And finally, Goody was the 13th player to make his MLB debut for the Yankees this season. It’s not even August! He struck out the first batter he faced to end the eighth and walked the second leading off the ninth. Goody was charged with the loss. Also, he’s is the first player to wear No. 74 in Yankees history. How about that?

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
Here are the box score, video highlights, updated standings, and postseason odds. Also make sure you check out our Announcer Standings and Bullpen Workload pages. Now here’s the LPA graph:


Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
The series in Texas is finally over and the Yankees are heading north to Chicago, where they will rendezvous with new teammate Dustin Ackley for a three-game series against the White Sox. Nathan Eovaldi and rookie Carlos Rodon will be the pitching matchup. But, before the game … the trade deadline! That’ll be fun, I’m sure. This team sure needs some pitching help.

DotF: Sanchez homers, leads Scranton to a win with big day at the plate

Got some roster moves to pass along:

  • RHP Andrew Bailey was bumped up to Triple-A Scranton, according to Sweeny Murti. He has a a 0.51 ERA (2.66 FIP) with 22 strikeouts and seven walks in 17.2 innings at various levels of the minors in his latest attempt to rehab from shoulder surgery. If Bailey becomes an option at some point, great! Can’t expect him to contribute anything though.
  • RHP Joel De La Cruz was sent down to Double-A Trenton to clear a spot for Bailey, the team announced. Also, LHP Eric Wooten and LHP Chaz Hebert were temporarily bumped from High-A Tampa to Triple-A Scranton, the club announced. They’re replacing RHP Bryan Mitchell and RHP Nick Goody, who were called up to the big leagues today.

Triple-A Scranton (3-2 win over Lehigh Valley)

  • LF Slade Heathcott: 0-4, 1 BB, 1 K — moved up and played a full nine innings for the first time as part of his rehab
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 1-5, 1 R, 3 K, 1 E (fielding)
  • 1B Greg Bird: 2-4
  • CF Aaron Judge: 0-2, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 SB
  • C Gary Sanchez: 2-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 E (throwing) — so is he still in the organization at this time tomorrow?
  • DH Austin Romine: 0-4, 2 K
  • RF Tyler Austin: 2-4, 1 K, 1 SB
  • SS Gregorio Petit: 0-4, 2 K, 1 E (throwing) — apparently he has accepted his outright assignment rather than elect free agency
  • LHP Chaz Hebert: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 6/3 GB/FB — 45 of 68 pitches were strikes (66%) … very nice spot start for the kid who’d never pitched above High-A before tonight
  • RHP Nick Rumbelow: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 4/0 GB/FB — 26 of 38 pitches were strikes (68%)
  • LHP James Pazos: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GB/FB — 17 of 30 pitches were strikes (57%)
  • RHP Johnny Barbato: 1 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 1/0 GB/FB — all six pitches were strikes

[Read more…]

Game 101: So Long, Texas

"Yo, I heard they picked up this Ackley guy who used to be a second baseman." (Presswire)
“Yo, I heard they picked up this Ackley guy who used to be a second baseman.” (Presswire)

Some series go by quickly, some go by slowly, and for some reason this four-game set with the Rangers feels like it has been going on for two weeks. Maybe it’s just me. That crazy game two nights ago, the 21-5 game, took forever. Maybe that’s what it is. I feel like the Yankees are been in Texas for a month.

Anyway, the Yankees and Rangers finally wrap up this four-game series tonight and the Yankees have a streak on the line. They’ve won each of their last six series — the last series loss was in Anaheim last month — and tonight they have a chance to stretch it to seven. Winning a four-game series is tough, but they can do it tonight. Here is the Rangers’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. DH Alex Rodriguez
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. RF Carlos Beltran
  7. 3B Chase Headley
  8. SS Didi Gregorius
  9. 2B Stephen Drew
    LHP CC Sabathia

Last day in the heat. Temperatures have again been over 100 degrees all day in Arlington and they’ll be in the 90s when the game begins. First pitch is scheduled for 8:05pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy the game.

Injury Updates: In case you missed it earlier, Michael Pineda was placed on the 15-day DL with a Grade I flexor muscle strain in his forearm. It’s the same thing Andrew Miller had earlier this year. Pineda told reporters the MRI showed only inflammation and he’s not worried. He will be shut down 7-10 days before he can resume throwing … Ivan Nova (arm fatigue) threw a bullpen session today and is on track to make his next start.

Roster Moves: Pineda was placed on the DL and Caleb Cotham was optioned to Triple-A Scranton, the Yankees announced. Nick Goody and Bryan Mitchell were both called up in corresponding moves. Pineda’s DL stint allows them to bring Goody back before his ten-day window expires … Also, in case you missed it, the Yankees acquired Dustin Ackley in a three-player trade today. He won’t be in uniform tonight though. Joe Girardi said he’ll be a utility guy, not the starting second baseman.

Rotation Update: Nathan Eovaldi will start tomorrow and Nova will start Sunday, but Saturday’s starter is TBA, the Yankees say. I have to think Mitchell is an option. Esmil Rogers is scheduled to start that day for Triple-A Scranton, if you’re curious.

TiqIQ: Looking To Further Solidify Division Lead, Yankees Embark On August Full Of Intriguing Promotional Days At Yankee Stadium

What was once a really tight, jumbled-up division race has suddenly become almost a laugher as the calendar gets ready to flip to August. The team that has emerged from the rubble, the New York Yankees, has been the only club in the AL East to play consistent baseball, and after a hot month, they’ve managed to seemingly pull away from the rest of the pack, comfortably residing at the top for division supremacy.

As a result, August is shaping up to be an exciting month for Yankee fans, but not just because the Bronx Bombers appear playoff-bound for the first time in three years. In addition to impending success on the way to October, the Yankees have a plethora of awesome promotional giveaway days at Yankee Stadium throughout the month, including a variety of giveaways during the upcoming three-game set with the arch nemesis Boston Red Sox.

While fans might believe they can score better ticket deals for these games from the secondary market, that’s not the case with this series and other games throughout August, as Yankees.com actually boasts most of the superior ticket offers that you’ll find. For instance, in game one of this series, the Yankees feature tickets in section 107, row 14 for $110, which easily tops the price of section 107, row 14 tickets on the secondary market, where those same seats are being sold for $168. Furthermore, section 128, row 22 is $155, yet on the secondary market, those seats are going for a whopping $234! This trend is prevalent all throughout the series, like in the middle affair against the Red Sox on August 5, where tickets in section 417, row 11 cost just $32 on the Yankees website, besting the secondary market once again, which has those same seats for $50. Meanwhile, in the finale on August 6, section 406, row 5 seats on Yankees.com can be had for $22, as opposed to the $34 price-tag they’re going for from other sellers.

It doesn’t stop there, of course, as the Yankees sport a few other notable promotional days at the stadium in the latter portion of August that fans will definitely want to take part in. The two most significant will actually be occurring on back-to-back days on the same weekend, when the Yankees host the Cleveland Indians for a weekend series. On Saturday, August 22, it will be Jorge Posada Day at The Stadium, in which there will be a ceremony honoring one of the best catchers in franchise history, with his number being retired. In addition, a special Jorge Posada Collector Card will be distributed to fans. Former longtime Yankees starting pitcher Andy Pettitte will also receive the same treatment the following day on Sunday, August 23, when the Yanks retire Pettitte’s number as well with a ceremony in his honor, while also giving out Andy Pettitte Collector Cards, too. Undoubtedly, this will be one of the most special weekends for the franchise all year.

Towards the end of August, the Yankees will be giving away arguably the most anticipated item on the promotional calendar this month, that being a Jacoby Ellsbury bobblehead on Monday, August 24, when New York starts a series with a fellow AL contender, the Houston Astros. In a way, this could also serve as a potential playoff preview, if the two clubs meet one another at some point in October.

Regardless of the outcome of any one particular game, August is shaping up to be a great month to be at Yankee Stadium.