The David Purcey Band-Aid

The Yankees were dealt a double bullpen whammy yesterday, as Pedro Feliciano suffered a setback with his strained rotator cuff and Luis Ayala hit the disabled list with a strained lat. It appears as though Hector Noesi will get the call for now primarily because the Yankees aren’t exactly brimming with call-up candidates at the moment. Both Andrew Brackman and Steve Garrison made minor league starts last night, and so they’ll be unavailable for a few days. Ryan Pope is on the minor league disabled list himself. That leaves Andy Sisco and George Kontos along with the rehabbing Mark Prior. This is where David Purcey comes into play.

(AP Photo/The Canadian Press,Nathan Denette)

Purcey, an out-of-options lefty reliever, was designated for assignment by the Blue Jays yesterday, effectively ending a six-plus year relationship. They selected him in the first round of the 2004 draft out of Oklahoma (a year after the Yankees took him as a draft-eligible sophomore in the 17th round), but Purcey climbed the ladder slowly because of various minor injuries. He made his big league debut as a starter in 2008, but has since moved to the bullpen full-time. Toronto expects to trade Purcey, and they should be able to find a taker since he’s left-handed and on the right side of 30 (he turns 29 in about a week). Given the Yankees’ bullpen situation at the moment, he does make sense for them.

Purcey passes the eye test; he’s a 6-foot-4, 240 lb. left-hander that sits around 93 mph with his fastball and occasionally touches 95. Just about three out of every four pitches he throws is a fastball, and he’s since scrapped the curveball he used as a starter and replaced it with a sweepy slider. That pitch has helped him rack up just about eight strikeouts for every nine innings pitches as a big leaguer. He’s done well against lefties since moving to the bullpen, striking out more than one out of every five batters with a ground ball rate close to 50%, limiting them to a .287 wOBA. That’s not great, but we’re talking about the 25th man on the roster remember, the low-leverage lefty specialist.

The problem with Purcey has been and always will be throwing strikes. He’s unintentionally walked 4.58 batters per nine innings his career, 4.46 as a reliever, and 5.61 against lefties. If he was perfect, the Jays wouldn’t have cut him. The Yankees would obviously be banking on Larry Rothschild and Mike Harkey ironing enough things out so that Purcey becomes usable in a game that’s remotely close, something Ayala really isn’t. The Yankees and Blue Jays haven’t made a trade in a long time (last one was Raul Mondesi), but we’re not exactly talking about a Roy Halladay here. Trade talks for a spare part between division opponents shouldn’t be that difficult, especially since Toronto has no leverage because they have to move Purcey within the next week or lose him on waivers for nothing. Whatever they get is a bonus, and that bonus will likely be some Single-A prospect no one will miss.

Remember, not everyone on the roster has to be here for the long haul. I’m looking at Purcey as a short-term solution that will eventually be displaced by Feliciano or whoever comes back next, just a guy to fill a spot and eat some unimportant inning from time to time. Think Billy Traber or Jim Brower or Brett Tomko. He’s just a band-aid in my eyes, a big, hard-throwing, left-handed band-aid that could even surprise us and prove useful in one of the most insignificant roles imaginable.

Report: Noesi up to replace Ayala

The Yankees will add Hector Noesi to the 25-man roster to replace the injured Luis Ayala, ESPN Deportes’ Enrique Rojas reported this morning. Noesi, 24, had been slated to start for AAA Scranton tomorrow night, but with Ayala out for a week or two, the Yanks had to go with, as our own Mike Axisa said, the best of a few limited options. Andrew Brackman and Steve Garrison both had started last night, and few other viable arms on the 40-man roster right now. Noesi will serve as the club’s de facto 25th man right now, pitching in mop-up or emergency long relief, but the Yanks could see him as a potential rotation option depending upon how Phil Hughes and Freddy Garcia look over the new few outings.

Fun With ESPN Player Headshots

The Yankees were rained out tonight, and I don’t think anyone is the mood for in-depth analysis and what not at this hour of the night/early in the morning, so instead I give you this: The 25 Most Terribly Awesome ESPN Head Shots. That one of Henry Blanco is called the “your wife just filed for divorce and wants half your sh!t.” Fitting, ain’t it?

It’s not exactly the most politically correct or safe for work link, so click at your own risk. All 25 are equally hilarious though, just in case you need a laugh on this Yankees baseball-less night.

(h/t BtB)

It’s the Jesus & Jorge show in Scranton

Triple-A Scranton (5-3 win over Rochester)
Greg Golson, RF: 0 for 3, 2 BB – on base 13 times in five games
Chris Dickerson, CF: 1 for 5, 1 R
Jesus Montero, C: 3 for 5, 2 R, 2 2B –11 for his last 21 (.529)
Jorge Vazquez, 1B: 4 for 5, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K – couldn’t make it three straight games with a homer, but this will do
Brandon Laird, 3B: 0 for 5, 1 K – just 3 for 22 (.136) on the season
Jordan Parraz, DH: 1 for 4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K – can you quietly hit .455?
Justin Maxwell, LF: 1 for 4, 1 3B, , 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K – threw a runner out at the plate
Kevin Russo, 2B: 1 for 5, 1 K
Ramiro Pena, SS: 1 for 5, 1 E (fielding) – dude’s hitting .348
Andrew Brackman, RHP: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 6-2 GB/FB – 46 of 80 pitches were strikes (57.5%) … another underwhelming start from one of the Triple-A guys … George King reported in Baseball America that Brackman is making $1M this season as part of his ML deal (subs. req’d) … with Kei Igawa in AA, does this make Brackman the highest paid pitcher in Triple-A?
Lance Pendleton, RHP: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 1 HB, 1-2 GB/FB – 26 of 41 pitches were strikes (63.4%) … sadly, this was the best pitching performance of the night
Kevin Whelan, RHP: 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 1-1 GB/FB – 15 of 18 pitches were strikes (83.3%)

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Feliciano has setback, Ayala to disabled list

Via Jon Heyman and Marc Carig, Pedro Feliciano suffered a setback to his strained rotator cuff during today’s throwing session and will have an MRI tomorrow. I wouldn’t wait around for him, there’s a decent chance he won’t be pitching for the Yankees anytime soon. For shame. In other news, Luis Ayala is hurt as well, and he’s headed to the disabled list with a strained lat. Not sure who will be replacing him on the roster, but it’s unlikely to be Andrew Brackman, Steve Garrison, or Ryan Pope. The first two are making minor league starts tonight, and Pope’s on the minor league DL himself. Could it be … Mark Prior time?

Game Ten: Through the rain (Update: Game postponed)

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

It’s raining in New York, on and off like it has been pretty much all day, and already the Yankee game has been delayed. It’s expected to stay that way well into the night as well. Whether or not they’re able to get this game in remains to be seen, but it’ll be interesting to see how quickly they call it (if they do). They had a quick hook against the Twins last week (maybe 45 minutes), which was odd since they don’t come back to New York again this season. The Orioles will be back numerous times, so there will be plenty of chances to make this game up if it does get called.

Here’s the lineup, Joe Girardi‘s standard arrangement…

Brett Gardner, LF
Derek Jeter, SS
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nick Swisher, RF
Jorge Posada, DH
Curtis Granderson, CF
Russell Martin, C

A.J. Burnett, SP

It’s the first My9 game of the season, and first pitch had been scheduled for 7:07pm ET. The Yankees, though, have already announced a delay. We’ll update this post as we receive more information. Enjoy the game, if and when it happens.

Pedro Feliciano Update: For the first time since being shut down with a strained rotator cuff, Feliciano played catch today, an obvious step forward in his rehab. Hopefully he’s no more than two weeks away from rejoining the big league team.

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UPDATE: The game has been called. That was quick. No word on a makeup date just yet, but I’m sure we’ll find out eventually. Go ahead and use this sucker as your open thread instead.

The Rafael Soriano edition of ‘Stalking The Yankees’

The beginning of the season is always a fun time for New York City real estate watchers. The Yanks and Mets bring in a brand new crop of transient millionaires who need places to live, and The Post’s Page 6 and the city’s real estate gossip blogs work overtime to find the latest and greatest pads for baseball players. We know that Derek Jeter recently took out a new apartment in his Trump building so that he could get a better night’s sleep, and this week we learn where Rafael Soriano is dropping his new-found millions.

The Yanks’ 8th Inning-only pitcher set-up man has set up shop at the RiversEdge in Weehawken, New Jersey. The luxury building is a 25-minute drive away from Yankee Stadium, and Soriano is dropping $15,000 a month on not one but four apartments. One of them is for him; another for his assistant; the third is for his trainer and chef; and the fourth is for his sister, who according to The Real Deal, often travels from the Dominican to see Soriano pitch.

Soriano, whose RiversEdge neighbors include one Boone Logan, has taken up shop in a 1500-square foot two-bedroom unit with views of the Manhattan skyline. My favorite part of the report though is the quote from Gershon Adjaye, Soriano’s broker. “Rafael was looking for a place with proximity to the stadium without being in the city,” Adjaye said, “and he wanted to be able to have enough space where his chef and assistant were nearby, but not living with him.” It must be nice to be paid that well, eh?