In his first official rehab start with Triple-A Scranton, Michael Pineda struck out four in 3.1 scoreless innings. He allowed three hits (two doubles) and walked one. Thirty-seven of his 58 pitches were strikes (64%). Pineda, who has been out since late-April with a back/shoulder muscle problem, was scheduled for 60-65 pitches. Shane Hennigan says Big Mike hit 94 mph on the scoreboard radar gun, for what it’s worth.
“You get 60, 65 pitches tomorrow, and then you figure five days later you’re getting close to 80. You’re starting to get pretty close. The big thing is that he responds to going out there and physically feels good. And this is further than he was before, so it makes you feel that this injury is healed,” said Joe Girardi to Chad Jennings yesterday. Assuming Pineda feels fine in the coming days, my guess is he will make one more rehab start with the RailRiders before rejoining the rotation. · (164) ·
Prior to acquiring Martin Prado, the Yankees sought a deal for former second overall pick Dustin Ackley, according to George King. The Mariners asked for Bryan Mitchell in return and that essentially ended talks. King says the Yankees view the right-hander as a potential rotation option either later this season or next year. They had interest in Ackley during the offseason as well, after Robinson Cano bolted for Seattle.
Ackley, 26, is hitting .258/.305/.389 (95 wRC+) with six homers this year and he continues to be a massive disappointment after being taken one pick after Stephen Strasburg in the 2009 draft. He has experience at first base, second base, left field, and center field. Obviously there is talent in there somewhere, but Seattle has been unable to get it out of him. The Yankees bought low in every trade they made this summer and this would have continued the trend.
The 23-year-old Mitchell has a 4.27 ERA (~4.35 FIP) with 81 strikeouts and 39 walks in 86.1 innings split between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton this year. He was actually up with the Yankees on two occasions, though he did not appear in a game. I ranked Mitchell as the team’s 18th best prospect recently because of his mid-90s fastball/hammer curveball combination. His general lack of command holds him back. Part of me wonders if he’s the next Dellin Betances, meaning a great stuff/bad command guy who takes off in a relief role.
Anyway, I have no problem whatsoever swapping a prospect like Mitchell for Ackley. I’d take a chance on guys with that kind of talent all day, every day. The Yankees are not in position to give away any pitching depth at the moment though, so I think they made the right call holding onto Mitchell and grabbing Prado instead. This is a deal they can revisit in the offseason and I hope they do. Getting Ackley away from the Mariners could do him a world of good.
Two innings in, this game had a very “here we go again” vibe to it. Another frustrating and disappointing loss was in the cards. But that didn’t happen. The Yankees rallied early and tacked on runs late for a 6-4 win over the Red Sox on Saturday afternoon, getting a sorely needed win against a last place team. Those have been hard to come by this last week. Let’s recap:
- Early Hole: They could have saved a lot of time if they started every Red Sox at-bat with a 2-0 count in the first two innings. Shane Greene was behind everyone early on, and it came back to bite him in the second when Mike Napoli hit a monster two-run homer in a 2-0 count. It was one of the farthest balls I’ve ever seen hit in Fenway. No-doubter is an understatement. The Sox scored another run on a pair of singles (Xander Bogaerts and Christian Vazquez) and a ground out (Jackie Bradley Jr.) later in the inning. Greene settled down and retired seven of the next eight batters he faced, but his pitch count caught up to him and he was done after 4.2 innings. Not his best outing by any stretch, though he didn’t let things unravel after that second inning.
- Soft Rally: The Yankees answered Boston’s three-run bottom of the second with a four-run top of the third despite hitting zero balls hard. Allen Webster gift-wrapped the rally by walking the bases loaded with no outs, then Derek Jeter blooped a double to right to score the first two runs. I don’t know how that pitch didn’t break his bat. Jeter’s made a career out of pulling his hands in and fighting those pitches off the other way. Jacoby Ellsbury plated another run with a ground out and Carlos Beltran drove in the fourth run of the inning with a dinky little single to center. Webster walked the next two batters but Martin Prado grounded out with the bases loaded the end the inning. I’m pretty sure the hardest hit ball that inning was Prado’s grounder. Well-placed, not well-hit.
- Tack-Ons: Four runs was not going to cut it, so the Yankees did us all a favor and tacked on some insurance runs in the fifth (Mark Teixeira homer) and seventh (Stephen Drew double) innings. Teixeira’s was a bomb off lefty Craig Breslow while Beltran was on second for Drew’s double thanks to a ground-rule double over the short wall in right. Drew’s double was a rocket to right-center. He smoked another ball to the warning track in right later in the game that would have been a homer in Yankee Stadium. Stretching that 4-3 lead into a 6-3 lead turned out to be pretty damn important.
- Hang On: With Greene out so early, Joe Girardi turned to his four relief aces right away. Shawn Kelley entered with two outs in the fifth and retired all four men he faced, three on strikeouts. Adam Warren struggled again, allowing a walk (Brock Holt) and a single (Dustin Pedroia) with one out before being lifted in favor of Dellin Betances. David Ortiz hit a sac fly to score the run — Brett Gardner almost threw Holt out at the plate but Frankie Cervelli couldn’t handle the ball, the throw was there in plenty of time — but otherwise Betances retired all five men he faced. PitchFX says he averaged 99.2 mph and topped out at 101.1 mph (!) in the game. Hot damn. David Robertson pitched around a two-out single for his 28th save in 30 chances. Phew.
- Leftovers: Chase Headley went 1-for-4 with a walk and he’s been playing the hell outta third base lately. One standout defensive play after another … Gardner (two walks), Jeter (single, double), Teixeira (single, homer), Beltran (single, double), Headley (single, walk), Drew (double, two walks), Prado (single, walk), and Cervelli (single, walk) all reached base twice … Drew lost track of the count and got picked off second in the seventh because he started walking back to the dugout following strike two to Cervelli … the Yankees had more walks (seven) than strikeouts (five) for the 12th time this year, the second most in baseball … the Yankees have now played 13 straight games decided by no more than two runs, a franchise record.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some nerdier stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Mariners won while the Orioles and Blue Jays lost, so the Yankees are five games back in the AL East and 2.5 games back of the second wildcard spot. FanGraphs puts their postseason odds at 16.6% with 53 games to go. David Phelps and Clay Buchholz will be the pitching matchup in Sunday night’s series finale.
With C/1B Peter O’Brien having been traded away, 1B Greg Bird was promoted from High-A Tampa to Double-A Trenton, the team announced.
Triple-A Scranton (13-0 win over Gwinnett)
- LF Jose Pirela: 2-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 CS
- 2B Rob Refsnyder: 2-5, 2 R, 1 RBI — 12-for-40 (.300) in his last ten games
- DH Zoilo Almonte: 2-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 3 K – four homers in his last five Triple-A games
- RF Adonis Garcia: 3-5, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K — 25-for-64 (.390) during his 15-game hitting streak
- 1B Kyle Roller: 3-4, 2 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI –
- 3B Zelous Wheeler: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB — four homers in his last 20 total games
- C John Ryan Murphy: 1-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K – second homer in his last three games
- RHP Chris Leroux: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HB, 3/7 GB/FB — 55 of 92 pitches were strikes (60%)
- LHP Tyler Webb: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GB/FB – nine of 15 pitches were strikes (60%)
- RHP Matt Daley: 1 IP, zeroes, 0 K, 0/2 GB/FB – seven of nine pitches were strikes
Thirty-five years ago today, Yankees captain Thurman Munson was killed when a small plane he was piloting crashed during take-off and landing exercises near his home in Ohio during a team off-day. That was a few years before I was born so I can’t even pretend to know what that whole experience was like as a fan. I do understand what Munson meant to the franchise and who he was as a player though. I can’t imagine what that day was like 35 years ago.
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Here is your open thread for the night. The Mets are playing and MLB Network is airing a game as well. Who you see depends on where you live. Talk about those games, this afternoon’s win, or anything else right here.
The season is officially two-thirds of the way complete following last night’s game and the Yankees have to start winning if they want to climb back into the postseason race. It’s not early anymore. The offense isn’t in a little slump. None of those excuses apply anymore. The Yankees are playing poorly, particularly the offense, and they’re headed for their second straight postseason-less season in more than two decades if they don’t improve. It’s pretty simple. Here is the Red Sox lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:
- LF Brett Gardner
- SS Derek Jeter
- CF Jacoby Ellsbury
- 1B Mark Teixeira
- DH Carlos Beltran
- 3B Chase Headley
- 2B Stephen Drew
- RF Martin Prado
- C Frankie Cervelli
RHP Shane Greene
It’s cloudy and humid as hell in Boston, plus there is rain in the forecast later this evening. Nothing that should impact the game unless they go to extra innings or something. This afternoon’s game is scheduled to start just after 4pm ET, and you can watch live on YES locally and Fox Sports 1 nationally. Here is the FOX Sports channel finder. Enjoy the game. Appreciate the runs.
Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka is apparently progressing well after receiving platelet-rich plasma treatment for his partially torn elbow ligament. He is scheduled to be re-examined on Monday, three weeks out from the injection. “When we get home we’ll see what the doctors say and what the next plan is for him, but I know he feels much, much better,” said Joe Girardi to Chad Jennings yesterday.
Tanaka has been out for a month now, and, at the time of his initial diagnosis, the hope was that he could resume pitching in six weeks. That’s only two weeks away now. From what I understand, Monday’s exam is a critical point in his rehab. If the tests show his ligament is healing, then the treatment is working. If not, then in all likelihood he will have to undergo Tommy John surgery. It’s great that Tanaka is feeling better, but how he feels and what the tests show on Monday are two separate things. · (172) ·
Once again, the Yankees played just well enough to fall short of a much-needed win. Friday night’s 4-3 loss to the Red Sox was their fifth loss in the last six games, with the last three of those losses coming against last place teams. After starting the second half with seven wins in eight games, the Yankees are now 8-6 since the All-Star break. Let’s recap the latest loss:
- Cap’d Off: I feel like every out Chris Capuano records is a gift from the baseball gods. He was left in just long enough to set up the game-losing run on Friday night, holding the Red Sox to four runs on eight hits in 6.1 innings. Boston was all over Capuano in the third (two runs) and fourth (one) innings, I mean even the outs were hard hit, but he did set down nine in a row at one point after that. He allowed a single to the number nine hitter leading off the seventh inning, a batter he probably shouldn’t even have faced, which led to that fourth and final run for the Red Sox. Capuano was fine, but these Yankees don’t win when the starter is only fine.
- Chip Away: The Yankees scored one run in three different innings. Carlos Beltran clubbed a solo homer in the fourth, then he singled in another run in the sixth. Jacoby Ellsbury walked and stole second to set that one up. Derek Jeter homered over the Green Monster for the team’s third and final run in the eighth. It was a bomb. It was also Jeter’s first homer off a right-handed pitcher (Junichi Tazawa served it up) since September 9th of 2012, when he took Kevin Gregg deep. His last three dingers had come against southpaws.
- Blown Chances: Anthony Ranaudo was okay in his MLB debut, allowing two runs on four hits and four walks in six innings. He only struck out two and seemed to miss up all night. Ranaudo walked the leadoff man in the first and second innings, but the next three batters made outs both times. The Yankees had runners on the corners with two outs in the eighth following a Mark Teixeira bloop double and a Brian McCann walk, but Chase Headley grounded out to end the inning. That was by far their best chance to tie the game. Close but no cigar.
- Leftovers: Headley went 0-for-4 but was awesome in the field, making three outstanding stops to save Capuano hits … Stephen Drew (0-for-4) and Martin Prado (0-for-2 off the bench) had forgettable Yankees debuts … Shawn Kelley allowed the inherited runner to score in the seventh, accounting for Boston’s fourth run. Adam Warren and Matt Thornton combined for a scoreless eighth on five total pitches (with a base-runner!) … Brett Gardner (two walks) and Ellsbury (single, walk) each reached twice, and Ellsbury was robbed of extra bases on Mookie Betts’ outstanding lunging catch in the eighth … the Yankees have hit multiple homers in seven straight games now, the first time they’ve done that since 2009. They’re 2-5 in those games.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs has some other stats, and ESPN has the updated standings. The Orioles won while the Blue Jays and Mariners lost, so he Yankees are six games back of the top spot in the AL East and 3.5 games back of the second wildcard spot. You can pretty much forget about the division at this point. FanGraphs gives them a 13.1% of making the postseason right now. Shane Greene and Allen Webster will be the pitching matchup on Saturday afternoon.
OF Jake Cave claimed the third spot on this week’s Prospect Hot Sheet. SS Abi Avelino and RHP Sean Carley made the Not So Hot Section, however. Tough love for Avelino. He had 19 at-bats and was just off the disabled list.
Triple-A Scranton (7-2 win over Gwinnett)
- SS-RF Jose Pirela: 1-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 E (fielding)
- 2B Rob Refsnyder: 1-5, 1 2B, 3 K
- RF-3B Adonis Garcia: 3-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K — threw a runner out at the plate … 22-for-59 (.373) during his 14-game hitting streak
- DH Kyle Roller: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB – his 20th homer now leads the organization with C Peter O’Brien having been traded
- 1B Austin Romine: 1-4, 1 BB, 1 K
- C John Ryan Murphy: 1-5, 1 RBI, 1 K
- RHP Bryan Mitchell: 5 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 WP, 9/0 GB/FB – 62 of 96 pitches were strikes (65%) … is he the number six starter right now?
The trade deadline has passed and tonight marks the two-thirds point of the season for the Yankees. The old saying is that the first third of the season is for evaluation, the middle third is for making changes, and the final third is for riding those changes out. The changes have been made and all that’s left in front of the Yankees is a big chunk of schedule and the opportunity to climb back into the race.
Both Martin Prado and Yoenis Cespedes are getting to Boston late in the afternoon, so they are not in the starting lineups for tonight’s series opener against the Red Sox. Stephen Drew is playing because all he had to do was change dugouts. Allen Craig managed to get to town in time for the game and is in the starting lineup for the Red Sox. This rivalry will have a lot of new faces this weekend, that’s for sure. Here is the Red Sox lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:
- LF Brett Gardner
- SS Derek Jeter
- CF Jacoby Ellsbury
- 1B Mark Teixeira
- DH Carlos Beltran
- C Brian McCann
- 3B Chase Headley
- 2B Stephen Drew
- RF Ichiro Suzuki
LHP Chris Capuano
It’s cloudy and humid in Boston and there is some rain in the forecast that is expected to hit right around game time. This one might start in a delay or with players dodging rain drops. The good news is that there isn’t much rain coming at all, so if there is a delay, it’ll only be a short one. First pitch is scheduled for a little after 7pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy the game.
Roster Update: In case you missed it earlier, Zelous Wheeler and Zoilo Almonte were sent to Triple-A to clear roster spots for Drew and Prado … for those wondering, Drew is wearing No. 33, Prado is wearing No. 14, and Esmil Rogers is wearing No. 53.