Planned down time

I hope all of your RSS readers pick up this post. Starting momentarily, there will be a few hours of planned down time for River Ave. Blues. It may be a few minutes; it may be a few hours. But we will be back, and we’ll post when we’re back. Apologies for the downtime. Stick with us.

Yanks first pick, #30 overall

With the last pick of the first round, the Yanks grab Andrew Brackman, RHP, NC State.

Scouting Report: Big kid (6′-10″, 230 lbs) with a big fastball (94-95, touching 98-99) and a hammer knuckle-curve. Improving 2-seamer and attacks hitters. He’s raw for a college guy because he split time between basketball and baseball at NC State, but he committed to baseball full-time this year. He had some arm troubles at the end of the year, and missed time because an ex-girlfriend passed away. Tommy John surgery is a possiblity in the near future, but his talent is so much better than anyone else out there right now.

My Take: Great selection. If you are out there bashing this pick now, you’re probably one of the people who was bashing the Ian Kennedy pick last year.

Outlook: It all depends on the elbow. He could see time with Staten Island or the GCL Yanks later this summer.

Late edition: Yanks take second straight

Heh, it’s nearly 11 a.m., and there’s no recap of last night. D’oh. So, since it’s later in the morning and the draft is rapidly approaching, I’ll keep this short and sweet.

There are three men upon whom I’d like to heap some praise: Chien-Ming Wang, Alex Rodriguez, and Johnny Damon. While nearly everyone played a role in last night’s win, those guys are really stepping up when the Yanks needs wins the most.

How huge of a break was it to not use the bullpen at all last night? Of course, you have 13 guys in there because you plan on using some of them every game, but when you can give the corps the night off, you’ve just done them a great service. Now you can go Proctor-Bruney-Mo tonight if Moose holds up through six. Hell, you could go Britton-Proctor-Bruney-Mo if he only goes five.

Wang pitched the game in his traditional manner, recording 15 groundballs (for 16 outs counting a double play, of which he has had at least one in every game), four strikeouts, allowing five hits and walking just one. The dude is on right now. I know it’s been mentioned in just about every outlet imaginable, but his slider is really working for him this year. And it’s showing in his strikeout totals: 4.16 per nine. That may not be stellar, but it’s an improvement for Wang. He could probably whiff more, too, if he worked his four-seamer and change more often.

You’ll be lucky to see even a handful of balls hit as hard as Alex’s single last night. I’m surprised it didn’t put a baseball-sized hole in the left field wall. Even Alex looked surprised at his own strength, straggling behind a moment (probably because he thought he had jacked it for a salami) before being tagged at second. Officially, he was out. But it was pretty clear that the Yanks got hosed on yet another call at second base. It’s not just me, right? We have been getting hosed on an inordinate number of calls this year.

And then we have Johnny Damon, who doubled in each of his first two at bats. It sucks that Vazquez came back to strike out the next three hitters in the first. But his RBI double in the third started the rally that won it. Both he and the captain have been hitting over the past couple of days, so maybe they won’t be at the bottom of the “Last 7 Days” section yet again.

That’s a wrap, folks. It’s always so much easier to write a recap of a game like this, because it was just a solid win. I always try to pick the three most remarkable aspects of the game to focus on, and when those are pretty straightforward, well, it makes my job a little bit easier.

Moose vs. Contreras tonight. Let’s keep rollin’, boys!

Last 7 Days
Abreu: 476/607/810 — like a snap of the fingers, he’s turned it around
Melky: 409/440/727
Alex: 391/481/739
Posada: 360/370/680
Cano: 333/440/619
Matsui: 292/333/333
Phelps: 273/385/273
Damon: 261/346/391
Jeter: 207/207/379 — Okay, so they’re still at the bottom…

Random draft tidbits

Are ya ready for the draft? 2pm EST on ESPN2; Karl Ravech hosts, Peter Gammons and Steve Phillips (erg) will be in the house, RAB fav Keith Law will be on from Bristol via satelitte, as will BA’s Jim Callis from Chicago.

Just like every year, I feel like a kid on Christmas morning, except today the rich kid’s presents may fall due to signability.

  • The Yanks first pick comes at #30, the last pick of the first round. They didn’t pick up any sandwich picks as compensation for losing a free agent, so they don’t pick again until number #94, the last pick of the second round. The new CBA changed compensation for FA losses, so the sandwich round is a record 34 picks long this year. The Yanks are basically losing out on 2 rounds of action between their first and second selection.

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