Jakson Reetz | C
Reetz is from tiny little Firth, Nebraska, a town with less than 1,000 people. It’s about 30 miles outside Lincoln. Reetz is committed to Nebraska and is the best high school prospect the state has produced since former Yankee Buddy Carlyle was drafted in the second round of the 1996 draft.
Listed at 6-foot-1 and 195 lbs., Reetz is a very good pure hitter, with quick hands and the innate ability to get the fat part of the bat on the ball. He also has a good approach and has shown a willingness to use the entire field. The power is not there yet but figures to develop as he fills out and gets stronger. Reetz’s best defensive tool is his strong arm — he pitched in the past and showed a low-90s fastball. His overall footwork and received need work, especially catching high-end stuff. Reetz has above-average speed, so the outfield could be an option if catching doesn’t work out. He is also said to be a very intense competitor who plays all out, all the time.
MLB.com, Keith Law (subs. req’d), and Baseball America ranked Reetz as the 40th, 42nd, and 62nd best prospect in the draft class, respectively. Just last week Law said the Yankees are once again targeting high school catchers and mentioned Reetz as a target by name. Their first pick is in the second round (55th overall), so he fits right into that range. Catchers do have a tendency to get drafted higher than expected due to position scarcity, however.
Masahiro Tanaka was named the AL Pitcher of the Month for May, MLB announced. He had a 1.88 ERA (2.21 FIP) with a 42/6 K/BB in 43 innings across six starts last month, so it was very clearly deserved. Tanaka’s the first Yankee to be named Pitcher of the Month since … Ivan Nova last August. Two in the last four months. Neato. · (6) ·
The Yankees have called up infielder Scott Sizemore from Triple-A Scranton, the team announced. Zoilo Almonte was sent down in a corresponding move. Sizemore, 29, has hit .265/.333/.361 (96 wRC+) with the RailRiders this year. The Yankees will face four lefty starters in the next seven games and six lefties in the next dozen games. I’m guessing that’s why the righty hitting Sizemore is up.
In other news, the Yankees also claimed left-hander Wade LeBlanc off waivers from the Angels. That’s French for David Huff. Michael Pineda was transferred to the 60-day DL to clear a 40-man roster spot. He’s already been on the disabled list for a month and just suffered a setback, so yeah. The 29-year-old LeBlanc made a spot start for the Halos the other day (four runs in 6.1 innings) and has a 3.69 ERA (4.46 FIP) in 53.2 Triple-A innings this year. His best attribute is that he’s not Alfredo Aceves. I’m guessing Aceves will get the axe when LeBlanc joins the team in a day or two. · (45) ·
The soft part of the schedule is over. The Yankees had their fun with the Mets and Pirates and Cubs and White Sox and Twins of the world (8-8 in 16 games, great job!) these last few weeks, and now it’s time to deal with the elite. The Athletics are in the Bronx for the final three games of the homestand and they bring the best record in the league with them.
What Have They Done Lately?
Like I said, Oakland has the best record in the AL at 35-22. Their +115 run differential is just about double the next best in baseball. Seriously. That’s what happens when you score the most runs (296) and allow the fewest runs in baseball (181). Some combination, huh? The A’s just swept a three-game series from the Angels, but before that they actually lost six of eight.
Again, the Athletics have scored the most runs in baseball (5.19 per game), and their team 115 wRC+ is obviously sky high. Manager Bob Melvin’s lineup is mostly healthy, though 1B/OF Brandon Moss (160 wRC+) and OF Josh Reddick (75 wRC+) are a little banged up with nagging calf and knee injuries, respectively. They sat a few games this weekend and are expected to return to the lineup soon.
OF Yoenis Cespedes (116 wRC+) is Oakland’s big name on offense, but 3B Josh Donaldson (161 wRC+) is their best all-around player by a rather large margin. The catching platoon of C John Jaso and C Derek Norris (both 149 wRC+) is unfairly productive, and SS Jed Lowrie (110 wRC+) hits enough to make up for his occasionally sketchy defense. Oh, and OF Coco Crisp (115 wRC+) is one of the best leadoff hitters in baseball.
The A’s have an incredibly deep bench loaded with platoon options, including OF Craig Gentry (93 wRC+), 1B Kyle Blanks (144 wRC+ in limited time), IF Alberto Callaspo (96 wRC+), and IF Nick Punto (93 wRC+). IF Eric Sogard (52 wRC+) is the weak link. He’s been losing playing time at second to Callaspo and Punto. C Stephen Vogt was just called up and allows Melvin to pinch-hit liberally for Jaso and Norris to get the platoon matchup. They hit homers, they steal bases, and they draw walks. It’s brutally effective.
Tuesday: RHP Hiroki Kuroda (vs. OAK) vs. LHP Scott Kazmir (vs. NYY)
Kazmir, 30, turned his successful comeback attempt with the Indians into a two-year, $22M contract with the Athletics over the winter. He has a 2.36 ERA (3.02 FIP) in eleven starts and 68.2 innings this year, though his strikeout rate (6.85 K/9 and 19.9 K%) is way down compared to even last season. His walk (1.70 BB/9 and 4.9 BB%) and homerun (0.52 HR/9 and 5.6 HR/FB%) rates are way down and his ground ball (49.2%) rate is way up. Kazmir has a reverse split so far — righties have a .248 wOBA while lefties are at .290 — and he’s been much better in the spacious O.co Coliseum (.237 wOBA) than on the road (.275 wOBA). No longer the mid-to-high-90s flamethrower he was with the (Devil) Rays, Kazmir now operates right around 90 mph with his sinking two-seam fastball, and he still throws that nasty low-80s slider. He is still throwing his upper-70s dead fish changeup and has added a mid-70s curveball to his repertoire this season. It’s hard to believe that after all those arm injuries, Kazmir is not only back in the show, but he’s back and is damn good too.
Wednesday: LHP Vidal Nuno (No vs. OAK) vs. RHP Jesse Chavez (vs. NYY)
When the A’s lost Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin to Tommy John surgery in Spring Training, the pulled the 30-year-old Chavez out of the bullpen and stuck him in the rotation. The result? A 2.78 ERA (3.55 FIP) in eleven starts and 68 innings. Only the A’s, man. Chavez gives up some more homers than his teammates (1.06 HR/9 and 12.9 HR/FB%), but otherwise his strikeout (8.47 K/9 and 22.7 K%), walk (2.38 BB/9 and 6.4 BB%), and ground ball (47.0%) numbers are all very good. Lefties (.327 wOBA) have hit him much, much harder than righties (.246 wOBA). As a starter, Chavez sits in the low-90s with his two and four-seam fastballs, and a tick below that with his cutter. A low-80s changeup and mid-70s curveball are his two secondary pitches. Chavez bounced around the league for a few years — he was the guy the Rays traded to the Braves for Rafael Soriano back in the day — but after joining the Athletics he dropped a ton of weight and took his career more seriously. Now he’s in a contender’s rotation. Baseball, man.
Thursday: RHP Masahiro Tanaka (No vs. OAK) vs. LHP Drew Pomeranz (vs. NYY)
Pomeranz, 25, was the fifth overall pick in the 2010 draft, and he has since been traded for Ubaldo Jimenez and Brett Anderson. He opened the season as a long reliever, but moved into the rotation a few weeks ago because Dan Straily was really, really bad. Pomeranz has a 2.37 ERA (4.28 FIP) in 38 innings spread across five starts and nine relief appearances so far this season. His strikeout (8.29 K/9 and 22.7 K%) and ground ball (49.0%) rates are very good, his walk (4.03 BB/9 and 11.0 BB%) and homer (1.18 HR/9 and 13.5 HR/FB%) rates a little too high. He has absolutely crushed lefty batters (.236 wOBA) while righties have been a bit more successful (.292 wOBA). Pomeranz also has a massive home (.219 wOBA)/road (.340 wOBA) split. As a starter, he’ll sit right around 90 with four and two-seam fastballs, which he throws almost 80% of the time combined. An upper-70s/low-80s curveball is his top secondary pitch, and he’ll mix in a few show-me mid-80s changeups per start. Pomeranz went from Coors Field to the O.co Coliseum, which is like a hitter going from Citi Field to Yankee Stadium. Just a much friendlier environment.
In a very out of character move, the Athletics traded for a big money closer in RHP Jim Johnson (3.66 FIP), and he has been a total bust (6.55 ERA). LHP Sean Doolittle (1.26 FIP) has taken over as closer with RHP Luke Gregerson (2.63 FIP) as the primary setup man. RHP Dan Otero (3.54 FIP), who was Yankees’ property for about three days between waiver claims last spring , also gets some high leverage work.
Believe it or not, the A’s are only carrying eleven pitchers right now, so the only guys in the bullpen are LHP Fernando Abad (2.23 FIP) and LHP Jeff Francis (4.06 FIP in limited time). RHP Ryan Cook (3.88 FIP) is expected to come off the disabled list very soon, and I assume that will put an end to the five-man bench/six-man bullpen experiment. Vogt seems most likely to go down. Oakland was off yesterday, so their bullpen is rested. Check out our Bullpen Workload page for the status of the Yankees’ bullpen, then check out Athletics Nation and Beaneball for everything you need to know about New York’s opponent for the next three days.
Update: The A’s activated Cook and placed Reddick on the 15-day DL with a hyper-extended knee this afternoon.
Via Zach Braziller: Derek Jeter said he wants to own a Major League team when his playing days are over, and he intends to start gauging interest after the season. “That’s the next goal, buddy. Calling the shots, not answering to someone, that’s what interests me,” said the Cap’n. “I’d like to think I would be good one. I’d probably be a little bit more behind the scenes than the Boss, but I learned a lot of things from the Boss.”
I could totally see the Steinbrenners letting Jeter buy into the Yankees. Can’t you? He could be for the team what Magic Johnson is for the Dodgers, that local megastar who is the face of the ownership group despite having a relatively small stake in the team. At least that’s what he could be at first. Jeter’s star power is unmatched in baseball, but he’s a smart guy, he knows staying in New York is best for him. The Yankees and Derek Jeter were made for each other. Him owning a piece of the team makes too much sense. · (94) ·
The old saying is that you need five years to evaluate a draft class, but I’m not sure how true that is. On one hand, the prospects and non-prospects usual separate themselves within three or sometimes even two years. On the other hand, most players don’t get much of an opportunity to have a big league impact within five years of being drafted, so it’s not a enough time to truly know what you have. Five is a convenient number though (hooray round and half numbers!), so with the 2014 draft two days away, let’s review the Yankees’ 2009 draft haul, five years after the fact.
Because of their massive free agent spending spree during the 2008-09 offseason, the Yankees forfeited their first (for Mark Teixeira), second (for CC Sabathia), and third (for A.J. Burnett) round picks in the 2009 draft. They did still have first and second round compensation picks after failing to sign Gerrit Cole and Scott Bittle the previous year though, so it’s not like they were stuck waiting until the fourth round to call a name. As Ken Rosenthal reported, New York was ready to draft Mike Trout with their first selection (29th overall), but the Angels grabbed him 25th overall. That was the Teixeira pick. The Yankees would have had to not sign Teixeira, Sabathia, and Burnett to keep that pick, and even then the Angels still would have had the 24th pick. They weren’t getting Trout, so let’s move on already. The Bombers did land two players currently on their active 25-man roster, however.
With the pick for Cole, that 29th overall selection, the Yankees drafted a toolsy, athletic, and somewhat troubled high school outfielder from Texas named Slade Heathcott. According to Gene Sapakoff, Heathcott’s stepfather was in prison, he battled alcohol addiction and lived in his truck as a high school senior, and was nearly shot when he broke into a stranger’s home in a drunken rage. That’s … pretty scary stuff.
The Yankees did their homework though, and they believed in Heathcott’s talent enough to give him a $2.2M bonus right before the signing deadline, which is exactly double slot money. It is still the largest bonus the team has ever given a draft hitter or high school player. Heathcott barely played after signing late and he never made it to Instructional League in the Dominican Republic after the season.
“I drank so much the night before, I blacked out. I hurried to the airport with my bag but my passport fell out. Having to explain that is how the Yankees found out about all my drinking,” said Heathcott to Sapakoff. The Yankees sent him to Alcoholics Anonymous and gave him a mentor (ex-Yankee up and down reliever Sam Marsonek), after which Heathcott quite drinking. As far as I know, he has not had a relapse.
The Yankees held Slade back in Extended Spring Training before sending him to Low-A Charleston in the middle of the 2010 season. His full season debut was cut short by a shoulder injury that required surgery. Heathcott was bumped up to High-A Tampa the next year, but again his season ended abruptly due to another shoulder injury that again required surgery. It kept him out for half of 2012 as well. The shoulder has been fine since, but this past offseason he needed knee surgery. (He torn his ACL in high school as well.)
Since signing, Heathcott has played only 309 regular season games in parts of six seasons. His best season was 2012, when he hit .302/.380/.461 with five homers and 19 steals in 65 games, almost all for High-A Tampa. Heathcott’s career highs are 103 games played and 444 plate appearances, both set last year. He missed the start of this season due to the knee surgery, played nine games with Double-A Trenton, then landed back on the disabled list with more knee problems.
The Bombers drafted Heathcott because he has high-end athleticism and exciting tools in his speed, raw power, and defense, but he has been hurt so much these last few years that he has not been able to develop those tools into baseball skills. Part of the problem is that he plays all out, all the time, and is prone to hurting himself with slides and dives and all that. Heathcott remains one of the team’s better prospects — the Yankees added him to the 40-man roster last winter to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft — but the injuries have really hurt his development.
That’s John Ryan To You
The best prospect the Yankees landed in the 2009 draft was their second rounder, the compensation pick for Bittle. They used that pick plus a $1.25M bonus for a Florida high school infielder/catcher named John Ryan Murphy, who they immediately moved behind the plate full-time. Apparently someone called him J.R. after the draft and he never bothered the correct them, so the nickname stuck until he spoke up last winter. Go figure.
Murphy steadily climbed the minor league ladder and made tremendous improvement behind the plate — “It’s been a long process. I was not very good when I was drafted. I’ve come a long way … I’m completely different from when I signed. Slowly, but surely, there’s been a total evolution,” he said to David Laurila last year — then last year his bat caught up to his defense. Murphy hit .269/.347/.426 between Double-A and Triple-A last season, then earned a September call-up as the team’s third catcher.
When Frankie Cervelli blew out his hamstring back in April, the Yankees called up Murphy and he has been pleasantly productive as Brian McCann‘s backup. He doesn’t have star potential behind the plate, but he looks very much like someone who will be a solid all-around starting catcher that might crack and All-Star Game roster once or twice during his peak. At worst, Murphy spend a bunch of years in the show as a backup. Now five years later, he is clearly the best player the club drafted in 2009.
Long Man, Then Setup Man
The Yankees did not have a third rounder, and they used their fourth rounder on one of those cliched “safe” college arms. They selected senior right-hander Adam Warren out of UNC, where he spent four years being overshadowed by higher profile prospects like Daniel Bard, Andrew Miller, and Matt Harvey. The Yankees gave Warren a $195k signing bonus and three years later he was in the big leagues.
As you know, Warren’s big league debut was a total disaster. The White Sox clobbered him for six runs in 2.1 innings in a spot start in June 2012. It was ugly. Warren did not pitch in the big leagues again until April 2013, when the made the team as the long man out of Spring Training because Phil Hughes hurt his back at the end of camp. He pitched to a 3.39 ERA (4.32 FIP) in 77 innings as a swingman, and this season Warren has emerged as a late-inning force as a mostly one-inning setup man (1.71 ERA and 2.34 FIP). Turning a fourth rounder into at worst a serviceable big league arm and at best a high-leverage reliever is a great get for New York.
Two other players from the 2009 draft have reached the big leagues with the Yankees, but only as emergency call-ups due to injury. The first is 15th rounder Shane Greene, who did not pitch at all during the spring of 2009 because he was rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. One of the team’s scouts saw him throwing a bullpen while rehabbing and invited him to Tampa for a private workout. They like what they saw enough to draft him and give him a $100k bonus. Greene pitched in one MLB game earlier this year and is currently in Triple-A.
The other player is right-hander Bryan Mitchell, who was called up for a day in April, but did not pitch. He was the team’s 16th round pick in 2009, and the Yankees gave him $800k to skip out on his commitment to UNC. Mitchell is a classic “big stuff, needs to learn how to harness it” pitching prospect currently in Double-A. Like Greene, he was placed on the 40-man roster over the winter. Righties Caleb Cotham (fifth round), Brett Gerritse (12th round), and Graham Stoneburner (14th round) remain in the system as organizational arms.
Big Arms, Small Busts
In addition to Stoneburner, Greene, and Mitchell, the Yankees rolled the dice on several other pitchers with big arms in the mid-to-late rounds. Righty Sean Black (seventh round) was the highest unsigned pick in the 2006 draft (59th overall by the Nationals), but he took a step back in college and never regained the stuff he showed in high school. Lefty Sam Elam (eighth round) had a huge arm and extreme control problems, walking 64 in 76.1 innings in Notre Dame before walking 51 in 30 pro innings. Lefty Gavin Brooks (ninth round) blew out his shoulder a year after signing. Lefty Evan DeLuca (44th round) received a $500k bonus to skip out on his commitment to San Diego. He posted a 98-95 K/BB in 109 pro inning before being released. The Yankees took shots in the dark with all four of these guys and none worked out. Only DeLuca required a substantial bonus.
Unlike the 2007 (Drew Storen) and 2008 (Cole) draft classes, New York did not fail to sign a player in 2009 who has since gone on to be even a very good prospect. The biggest name among the unsigned players is outfielder Pat White (48th), who was more notable for his football exploits as a quarterback at West Virginia. In fact, he never even played baseball in college. White played in 13 games for the Dolphins in 2009 and has since bounced around to the UFL and CFL.
Two of the Yankees’ unsigned 2009 draftees have reached the big leagues with other teams. Lefty Tyler Lyons (tenth round) returned to Oklahoma State for his senior year, was drafted in the ninth round by the Cardinals in 2010, and has gone up and down as a replacement level spot starter the last two years. Righty Jake Petricka (34th round) was the White Sox’s second round pick in 2010 following his senior year at Indiana State. He’s a hard-thrower with control problems who has seen some time as a setup man for Chicago this year.
The Yankees also failed to sign local outfielder Jeremy Baltz (45th round), who had a decorated career at St. John’s. The Padres drafted Baltz in the second round of the 2012 draft and he current plays in their farm system. Baseball America did not rank him among the team’s top 30 prospects in their 2014 Prospect Handbook. Infielder Stephen Bruno (26th round) was a seventh rounder of the Cubs in 2012 and was not among their top 30 prospects before the season, according to Baseball America. Outfielder Andrew Aplin (33rd round) was ranked as Houston’s 19th best prospect by Baseball America before this season. They selected him in the fifth round of the 2012 draft.
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The Yankees have already gotten value out of this draft class thanks to Warren, and it certainly looks like Murphy has a big league future ahead of him. Greene and Mitchell are interesting arms who might most help the team as trade bait. The Yankees are still waiting on Heathcott and he will be the biggest factor in determining if this was a good draft or a great draft.
Guest: Former RAB weekend writer Hannah Ehrlich. She’s out in the bay area and makes it to her share of A’s games. It’s very nice to catch up with an old friend.
After lamenting the weekend series against the Twins, Mike and I launch into what became a state of the Yankees segment. From what I remember of the conversation, it all made sense. It also led to the poll question below.
Remember to email in your questions before Friday’s show (recorded Thursday night), podcast at riveraveblues.com.
You can also give us a call us at 716-393-5330 and leave a voicemail. We’ll play it on air and answer it. It’ll feel more radio-like that way.
Will the Yankees DFA Alfonso Soriano and sign Kendrys Morales?
Technically, the Yankees were swept by Robinson Cano and the Mariners at home. Seattle won the first two games in New York back in April, then won the make up of the rained out game on Monday night. The final score was 10-2. The Yankees are now 11-13 against the Mariners, Cubs, White Sox, Pirates, Astros, Twins, and Mets this year. Cream of the crop.
Bad Pitching, Bad Defense, Bad Team
The infield defense was terrible yet again, but the Mariners scored enough legitimate runs that it would not have mattered if the Yankees played flawless defense anyway. Kyle Seager scored on a ground ball after whacking a leadoff triple off the wall in the second, then Brad Miller drove in two runs with a single back up the middle in the seventh. The bases were loaded on a double, a walk, and a bunt hit. That’s three runs right there, all without the aid of bad defense.
But, of course, the infield defense led directly to three other runs. Derek Jeter played a definite single and probable double into a leadoff triple in the fourth inning (more on that in a second), a runner that eventually came around to score. Then, with men on second and third in the seventh, Michael Saunders pulled a two-run single under Kelly Johnson‘s glove. The ball went right under his glove, very make-able play. There was only one out and one run probably would have scored anyway, but instead two came across and no out was recorded. Three legit runs, three Yankees-aided runs.
Because official scoring is weird, David Phelps was charged with six earned runs in six innings of work. The Yankees were not charged with a single error for … reasons. I’m sure there were reasons. Phelps retired seven in a row at one point but ran into trouble early in the game and towards the end of his outing. Again, a real Major League defense would have helped limit the damage. I don’t even mean a Gold Glover at every position. A below-average defense would be an upgrade over this abomination.
Token Two Runs
If Felix Hernandez had not stuck out his foot in the fourth inning, the Yankees would have been shut out. They had men on the corners with two outs, and Miller was all set to field Ichiro Suzuki‘s ground ball back up the middle for the final out. Instead, Felix kicked it away and both runs scored. That’s what it takes for the Yankees to score a run these days. The pitcher needs to kick would-be routine outs away from defenders.
The Yankees had eight hits in seven innings against Hernandez and five of them came in that fourth inning. Three were infield singles. Yangervis Solarte had two hits, including a double down the right field line. Brian McCann singled to center, Johnson blooped a single to left, and Jacoby Ellsbury yanked a ground ball between the first and second basemen. That’s all. A legit double, two legit singles, a bloop, a grounder with eyes, and three infield singles, including one the pitcher kicked away. Ellsbury singled off reliever Charlie Furbush, but otherwise 15 of the final 16 Yankees to bat made outs.
Mistakes, Because We Love Mistakes
Things are going so poorly for the Yankees right now that even Jeter is making mental errors. Say what you want about his defense and double play prowess, but the Cap’n very rarely makes a flat out dumb mistake on the field. And yet, a few days ago he got caught in that rally killing rundown against the Twins, and on Monday he assumed a ball was foul and took his time throwing it back into the infield. Brett Gardner slid to make the catch, but the ball bounced off his glove in fair territory and right to Jeter. He picked it up and jogged down the line with his back to the infield, all while Seager was rounding the bases. What a weird play.
Then, an inning or two later, Johnson slapped a weak little ground ball through the shortstop hole while the Mariners had the shift on, though Ichiro over-ran third base and was thrown out. That mistake wasn’t really on Ichiro though, third base coach Robbie Thomson was waving him around. Miller got to the ball pretty quickly, so he deserves some credit. Either way, someone on the Yankees screwed up and they ran themselves out of bases loaded situation with the top of the order coming to the plate. Can’t blow those opportunities against Felix, especially not by gifting him outs.
Joe Girardi challenged the call at third base on Endy Chavez’s bunt to load the bases in that seventh inning, and although the call was not overturned, I thought it was the right time to challenge. Tie game in the late innings, the play was very close, and it was the difference between bases loaded with no outs and runners on first and second with one out. Gotta take a shot there.
Matt Thornton allowed a single in his inning of work, but it was the single under Johnson’s glove and should have been an error. Both runners he inherited scored because of that non-error. Alfredo Aceves allowed five hits, including two homers in two garbage time innings to put the game out of reach. I have no idea what’s going on with him and McCann. McCann isn’t putting down signs but they’re on the same page and he knows what’s coming. Very weird. Obviously it isn’t working. Aceves has been terrible.
Still can’t believe the Yankees were not charged with an error. What was that about?
The Mariners were only in town for this one makeup game. The Yankees and Athletics open a three-game series on Tuesday night, when veterans Hiroki Kuroda and Scott Kazmir get the ball. If you want to catch any of the final three games on the homestand, RAB Tickets can help get you in the door.
The video above is OF Mason Williams making a ridiculous catch after slipping in the outfield during yesterday’s game. He might not be hitting much this year, but Williams is an outstanding defender and one of the very best in the all the minors. Here are some notes:
- OF Ramon Flores, IF Dean Anna, and RHP Diego Moreno were all placed on the Triple-A Scranton DL, according to Donnie Collins. Flores has an ankle injury and will miss a month or so. Not sure what’s wrong with the other two. C Jose Gil, IF Carmen Angelini, and LHP Francisco Rondon were bumped up to replace them.
- According to his Twitter feed, RHP Gabe Encinas pitched in an Extended Spring Training game today. He made seven starts for Low-A Charleston last year before blowing out his elbow and needing Tommy John surgery. Encinas is one of the hardest throwers and best sleeper prospects in the organization.
- IF Jose Pirela and 2B Rob Refsnyder were named the Triple-A International League and Double-A Eastern League Offensive Players of the Week, respectively. Meanwhile, RHP Jaron Long was named the Low-A South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week. Congrats to all.
Triple-A Scranton‘s box score and game log seem to be broken after a lengthy rain delay. I’m not going to wait around any longer. Here is the link if you want to check it out yourself.
The Mariners are back in town for one night and one night only, as these two teams have to make up a rained out game from late-April. That means Robinson Cano is back in the Bronx for the second time, and of course he’s in the lineup tonight. He missed the last four games with a bruised hand after being jammed by a pitch. Robbie hadn’t missed four games in a full season with the Yankees since 2006. You didn’t think he was not going to play, did you?
Anyway, Cano or no Cano, the Yankees need their offense to wake up tonight. That won’t be easy because Felix Hernandez is on the mound, but still. It has to happen sometime. They scored six runs total in the three games against the Twins over the weekend and Minnesota started two guys who went into the series with literally the two worst ERAs in baseball. The Yankees have hit .230/.298/.304 with an average of 3.5 runs scored in their last 14 games, which is awful. That’s NL team in a big ballpark production. Yuck. Here is the Mariners lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:
- LF Brett Gardner
- SS Derek Jeter
- CF Jacoby Ellsbury
- C Brian McCann
- 3B Yangervis Solarte
- DH Alfonso Soriano
- RF Ichiro Suzuki
- 2B Brian Roberts
- 1B Kelly Johnson
RHP David Phelps
It is nice and sunny in New York today. Kinda hot too. No clouds and no chance of rain during the game, so it’s a lovely night for baseball. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm ET and can be seen on YES. Enjoy the game.
Injury Updates: CC Sabathia (knee) has been running on a special treadmill that reduces impact and hopes to begin playing catch later this week. He spoke to Amare Stoudemire about rehabbing from the stem cell treatment, which I guess is good … Shawn Kelley (back) is likely to throw a simulated game on Wednesday and pitch in a minor league game on Friday before rejoining the team either over the weekend or early next week … in case you missed it earlier, both Carlos Beltran (elbow) and Frankie Cervelli (hamstring) played in Extended Spring Training games today. Beltran said he plans to rejoin the team for their road trip at the end of the week.
All-Star Voting Update: MLB released another All-Star Game fan voting update this afternoon, and Jeter remains the leading vote-getter at shortstop by a mile. Melky Cabrera jumped over Ellsbury for the final outfield spot, however. Mark Teixeira (fifth), Soriano (fifth), McCann (second), Beltran (fifth), and Gardner (13th) are among those getting votes at their respective positions. Here is the full update.