As planned, Michael Pineda started a new throwing program yesterday. He was scheduled to start throwing last weekend, but it was pushed back after a precautionary MRI showed a lingering “trace” of inflammation. Pineda told Marly Rivera he felt “very good” after throwing while Joe Girardi told Chad Jennings the throwing session was “probably 25 throws at 60 feet, so probably not a lot to get excited about.”
Pineda, 25, has been out with a muscle problem in his back/shoulder since late-April. He made it as far as pitching in Extended Spring Training games a few weeks ago before suffering a setback. Given his history and the nature of the injury, I think the Yankees have to forget about Pineda and move forward under the assumption that he isn’t coming back. If he does, great. But there’s no way they can count on him to bolster the rotation in the second half. · (57) ·
Well that was an annoying loss. Saturday night’s aces duel went to the Red Sox thanks to a late-inning solo homer, giving Boston the 2-1 win. It was the third time in the last seven games the Yankees scored zero or one run. Let’s recap the loss:
- Third Best Pitch: Mike Napoli’s two-strike, game-winning homer came on Masahiro Tanaka‘s third best pitch. Tanaka confirmed to Bryan Hoch that Brian McCann initially called for a splitter and then a slider, but he shook him off to get to a fastball away. He missed his spot, Napoli hit a cheap Yankee Stadium homer with two outs in the top of the ninth, and that was that. Tanaka was otherwise outstanding all night, allowing two runs (two solo homers) in nine innings while striking out eight. Not sure what more he could have done other than throw Napoli a splitter in the ninth inning.
- One Run Ain’t Enough: The Yankees played for one run in the third inning and that’s exactly what they got. Brian Roberts (Stephen Drew error) and Yangervis Solarte (hit-by-pitch) reached base to leadoff the inning, and, for the second straight night, Brett Gardner sacrifice bunted. He’s only the team’s best and hottest hitter at the moment. Derek Jeter drove in Roberts with a ground out and that was it. The Yankees had one batter make it as far as second base the rest of the night.
- Best Chances: Gardner reached base to lead off the sixth (single) and eighth (walk) innings, but was caught stealing the first time (David Ross got him with a great throw) and erased on Jeter’s double play ball the second. I’m not sure why you would sac bunt down a run in the third inning but not with the game tied in the eighth, when one run would have made a huge difference. Those were their best opportunities to scratch out another run against Jon Lester.
- Leftovers: The top three hitters in the lineup went a combined 4-for-9 with two walks and no strikeouts while everyone else went 1-for-21 with eight strikeouts and the hit-by-pitch. Anytime the Yankees want to add a bat or three is cool with me … Tanaka is the first Yankees pitcher to take a nine-inning complete-game loss since CC Sabathia last July. The last time before that was Randy Johnson in 2005.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated the standings. Both the Blue Jays and Orioles lost, so the AL East race is unchanged — the Yankees are two games back of Toronto and a half-game back of Baltimore. Chase Whitley will be on the mound looking for the series win Sunday night. Yes, it’s a Sunday night game. John Lackey is getting the ball for Boston. RAB Tickets can get you in the door if you want to catch that or any of the other three games on this final homestand before the All-Star break.
Triple-A Scranton (4-3 sin over Lehigh Valley)
- RF Jose Pirela: 2-4, 1 BB – first career game in right and I don’t think it’s a coincidence … Alfonso Soriano‘s been awful all season and they can’t keep running him out there anymore
- C John Ryan Murphy: 1-5, 1 R, 1 K
- LF Zoilo Almonte: 1-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 3 K
- 3B Scott Sizemore: 1-5, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 2 K
- DH Kyle Roller: 2-2, 1 R, 2 BB — 9-for-20 (.450) in his last six games
- 2B Rob Refsnyder: 1-2, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K — second straight game with a homer and third in his last seven games
- RHP Chris Leroux: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 5/6 GB/FB — 48 of 75 pitches were strikes (64%) … missed the last month and a half with some kind of arm problem
- SwP Pat Venditte: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1/1 GB/FB — 29 of 44 pitches were strikes (66%)
- RHP Danny Burawa: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1/0 GB/FB — 12 pitches, seven strikes
- RHP Matt Daley: 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K — 16 of 21 pitches were strikes (76%)
In his first minor league rehab start with High-A Tampa, CC Sabathia allowed two runs on three hits and a walk in 2.1 innings. He struck out two. Adam Berry says he threw 24 of 36 pitches for strikes. A scout told Erik Boland that Sabathia sat 87-89 with a few 90s. “Couldn’t be happier with the way I felt physically out there,” he said to Berry, which is the most important thing.
Today’s outing officially starts the 30-day minor league rehab clock, so Sabathia has to be activated by July 27th. That’s enough time for four more rehab starts, if need be. There is no word on where Sabathia will pitch next, but it’s worth noting Double-A Trenton send out an email pushing tickets for next Thursday’s game, which would line up perfectly for his next outing. Makes sense to me, but there is no official word yet. · (7) ·
The Blue Jays lost to the White Sox earlier today, so the Yankees have a chance to climb to within one game of the AL East lead with a win tonight. They are technically ahead of Toronto in the loss column. It’ll be tough with Jon Lester getting the ball for the Red Sox, but the Yankees are running Masahiro Tanaka out there tonight, and when the Yankees need a win, he’s the guy you want on the mound. 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
- RF Alfonso Soriano
- C Brian McCann
- 2B Brian Roberts
- 3B Yangervis Solarte
RHP Masahiro Tanaka
It’s gorgeous outside. Warm and sunny with very few clouds. Pretty awesome weather for baseball. Tonight’s game is scheduled to begin at 7:15pm ET and you’ll be able to watch on FOX. Enjoy the game.
According to multiple reports, the Reds have signed Cuban right-hander Rasiel Iglesias to a seven-year contract worth a guaranteed $27M. The team also confirmed his name is spelled Rasiel, not Raciel. There was some confusion about that. The deal will not become official until he secures a work visa, which doesn’t figure to be a problem.
Iglesias, 24, is a skinny little guy (5-foot-11 and 165 lbs.) who has been a reliever his entire career, though apparently the Reds are going to give the opportunity to start. Reports indicated that teams felt he could step right in to help a big league bullpen in the second half. Iglesias had been working out and holding showcases in Haiti, though there were no reports the Yankees (or any other team, for that matter) had interest in signing him. The deal with Cincinnati came out of nowhere.
With Iglesias off the board, the best available Cuban free agent is power-hitting outfielder Yasmani Tomas, who defected earlier this month. Here’s more on him from Ben Badler. Tomas will not be eligible to sign for another few months — he has to establish residency and be unblocked by the Office of Foreign Assets Control before being declared a free agent by MLB — and from what I understand, he will be the last potential impact bat to come out of Cuba for a while. · (34) ·
That was as close to perfect as a Yankees-Red Sox game can get. Yankees win? Check. Quality pitching performance from an unexpected source? Check. Flawless bullpen work? Check. Dingers? Check. Game under three hours? Check! I’ll take a weekend full of games just like this. Let’s recap the 6-0 shutout:
- Reverse Lock: Just as we all expected, Vidal Nuno held the Red Sox to two hits and two walks in 5.2 scoreless innings. He seemed to be amped up too — he sat 91.2 mph with his fastball after averaging 90.1 mph as a starter all year. Nuno walked the last man he faced — Brett Gardner failed to catch a David Ortiz foul pop-up in that last at-bat because he thought he was closer to the wall than he actually was, it seemed — but retired ten straight and 14 of 15 before that. Fourteen of his 17 outs were recorded on the infield and only once (Brock Holt’s third inning double) did Nuno allow a runner to reach second base. Joe Girardi yanked him before he could face Mike Napoli a third time, which was the right move in my opinion. Helluva job, Vidal.
- Back to Basics: The Yankees played for one run in the third inning by having Gardner bunt, and that eventually led to blowing a bases loaded, one out situation. After that, they went back to their Bronx Bomber roots. Kelly Johnson hit a two-run homer in the fourth and Gardner followed with a solo shot to go back-to-back. I think that’s the first time the team has hit back-to-back homers this year, but don’t quote me on that. Brian McCann tacked on some insurance with a two-run shot (off a lefty!) in the eighth. It’s the first time the Yankees have hit at least three homers in a game since May 17th (Pirates series) and only the fifth time all year.
- Bullpen Bullies: A four-run lead isn’t technically a save situation, but Girardi used his ace relievers anyway before McCann broke things open. Dellin Betances allowed a hit and a walk in 1.1 innings, striking out two. Adam Warren followed with a perfect eighth (one strikeout) and Matt Thornton with a perfect ninth (one strikeout). I’m pretty sure that if the score was still 4-0 in the ninth, we would have seen David Robertson. The Red Sox did not have a runner reach third base all night and the staff retired ten of the last eleven and 24 of the last 28 batters they faced. That’s how you close it out after grabbing an early lead.
- Leftovers: Scary moment in the seventh inning, when Betances slipped on the mound while delivering a pitch. Girardi came out to talk to him, but Betances stayed in the game and looked fine afterwards. Caught a spike or something. Exhale … Brian Roberts had what looked like a homer robbed by Holt in the second inning. It was close. It was going to hit off the very top of the wall … the Yankees took a quick 1-0 lead in the first when Mark Teixeira plated Derek Jeter with a sacrifice fly … Jeter, Teixeira, and McCann all had two hits. The top four hitters in the lineup went 6-for-13 (.462) with a walk, a sac bunt, and the sac fly.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The White Sox beat the Blue Jays and the Orioles split their doubleheader with the Rays, so the Yankees are two games back of first place and 1.5 games back of second. There’s still more than half a season to go. I think I’m getting ahead of myself with the standings updates. Anyway, Masahiro Tanaka and Jon Lester will be on the mound in a matchup of aces on Saturday night (argh). Make sure you check out RAB Tickets if you want to catch that game or any other game on the homestand in person.
Triple-A Scranton (6-0 win over Syracuse)
- LF Jose Pirela: 0-5, 1 K
- C John Ryan Murphy: 1-5, 1 RBI
- RF Zoilo Almonte: 0-5, 2 K
- 1B Kyle Roller: 2-3, 2 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K – 7-for-18 (.389) with the triple and a homer in his last five games
- DH Scott Sizemore: 1-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K
- 2B Rob Refsnyder: 2-3, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB — dude does nothing but hit
- SS Dean Anna: 1-2, 1 RBI, 1 BB
- RHP Shane Greene: 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 8/3 GB/FB — 64 of 95 pitches were strikes (67%) … lost the no-hitter with a leadoff single in the seventh … best start of the season for him by far
The Yankees and Red Sox open their three-game series in the Bronx tonight, and, looking at the pitching matchups, this feels like it should be an easy win for Boston. With all due respect to Brandon Workman, that feeling has more to do with Vidal Nuno than anything. He’s been pretty terrible since moving into the rotation, especially at home: 35 runs and 63 base-runners in 39.1 innings. Thirteen homers too.
That’s really, really bad! If a pitcher like that was getting ready to face the Yankees, I’d be pretty thrilled. At least until I realized it was a reverse trap. The pitching matchup looks so favorable that things play out exactly the opposite of what you expect. You know what I’m talking about, right? Hopefully this is a reverse trap game for the Yankees and Nuno, and he pitches admirably to open this six-game homestand. 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
- 2B Brian Roberts
- RF Ichiro Suzuki
- 3B Kelly Johnson
LHP Vidal Nuno
It’s been warm and sunny in New York all day. Pretty great night for baseball. First pitch is scheduled for a bit after 7pm ET and you’ll be able to watch on YES locally and, depending on where you live, MLB Network nationally. Enjoy the game.
By Mike Shackil, Tiq IQ
The AL East standings are pretty much the reverse of what everyone thought they’d be before the season started. The Tampa Bay Rays are safely in the basement as the Toronto Blue Jays lead the division. Even the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees are currently out of a playoff spot, with the Red Sox a far ways away just a season after winning the World Series.
But some things turn out as expected, and the latest installment of the famed Red Sox and Yankees rivalry is looking like a pretty expensive series. Currently the average price of the series is 20 percent over the average ticket price for the remaining home games at Yankee Stadium. That average was already the highest in the league at $144.65, and Yankees tickets for the series are averaging $173.98. For fans who have purchased the Yankees Six-Game Flex Pack, you can add one of these three games to your package.
6/27 BOS Brandon Workman at NYY Vidal Nuno | Avg. Price: $241.09 | Get-in Price: $73
Brandon Workman is making his first start since serving a suspension for throwing at Rays’ third baseman Evan Longoria. Workman has been a solid addition the Red Sox pitching staff since making his major league debut in the bullpen last July, and has likely earned a spot in the rotation after filling in due to injuries. In five starts he has a 3.21 ERA and has gotten better and better as he’s been stretched out. But despite his improvement it’s still shocking to see this as the most expensive game of the series by far, especially with Vidal Nuno starting for the Yankees. In 12 starts Nuno ranks at replacement level with a 5.29 ERA and 1-4 record. The average for the game is $241.09 and the get-in price is $73. To put that get-in price in perspective, half the league has an average season price around $73.
6/28 BOS Jon Lester at NYY Masahiro Tanaka | Avg. Price: $178.77 | Get-in Price: $50
The following game is the true marquee matchup of the series, with aces Jon Lester and Masahiro Tanaka taking the mound for the Red Sox and Yankees, respectively. Both have WARs above 3.0 this season and rank near the top of the league in most statistical categories, and Tanaka is the likely runaway winner with AL Rookie of the Year after coming over from Japan. The game is averaging $178.77 a ticket and has a get-in price of $50.
6/29 BOS John Lackey at NYY Chase Whitley | Avg. Price: $102.08 | Get-in Price: $26
The final game of the series is easily the cheapest. With an average of $102.08 it is the only game below the Yankees season average in the series. Even the get-in price of $26 is pretty reasonable. The pitching isn’t bad either. John Lackey gets the start for the Red Sox, and he has been their best pitcher outside of Lester. For the Yankees, rookie Chase Whitley gets his ninth start, and he has been surprisingly solid for the Yankees. He’s got a great K/BB ratio, and despite a 4.07 ERA, he has a FIP that only trails Tanaka on the team.