- LHP Fred Lewis and LHP Cesar Cabral were both demoted from Triple-A Scranton to Double-A Trenton while SwP Pat Venditte goes the other way.
- RHP Brett Gerritse went from Double-A Trenton to High-A Tampa. C Radley Haddad joins Tampa as well. He’s up from Extended Spring Training.
- C Jackson Valera, OF Dustin Fowler, and RHP Angel Rincon all went from ExST to Low-A Charleston. LHP Omar Luis went the other way.
Triple-A Scranton (6-3 loss to Pawtucket)
- SS Dean Anna: 1-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 CS
- RF Adonis Garcia & LF Ramon Flores: both 1-4 — Garcia struck out twice, Flores once
- 2B Scott Sizemore: 0-3, 1 BB, 2 K
- 1B Kyle Roller: 0-4, 2 K
- RHP Brian Gordon: 6.1 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 6/5 GB/FB — 66 of 96 pitches were strikes (69%)
- RHP Branden Pinder: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1/3 GB/FB — 21 of 38 pitches were strikes (55%)
Now that’s more like it. The Bronx Bombers lived up to the nickname on Saturday afternoon, swatting five homeruns en route to a 7-1 win over the Pirates. They should do that more often. Let’s recap the win:
- Five Scoreless: David Phelps threw some of the ugliest five scoreless innings you’ll ever see. He was in trouble all afternoon, allowing five hits, three walks, and a hit batsman, yet he did not allow a single run because Alfonso Soriano threw a runner out at the plate and some hard hit balls were hit right at people. Phelps navigated the 2-3-4 hitters with two on and no outs in the fifth thanks to a gift called strike three and two balls smashed right defenders. It was very ugly but it was effective. Phelps and the Yankees got away with one.
- Dingers: The Yankees had six hits against Edinson Volquez in 6.1 innings, and four left the yard. Mark Teixeira hit a two-run Yankee Stadium cheapie in the first inning, then Zoilo Almonte, Brett Gardner, and Soriano clubbed legit blasts later in the game. Zoilo’s a moonshot into the right field bleachers. Pretty good chance it was the team’s longest homer of the year to date. Volquez was good in the middle innings (retired nine in a row at one point), but the Bombers got to him early and late in his outing. Brian McCann tacked on a two-run shot in the eighth against the bullpen. It was the Yankees’ second five-homer game of 2014 after doing it once all of last year.
- Bullpen on Parade: Phelps struggled for five innings and did not allow a run, so, naturally, Dellin Betances gave up a solo homer on his first pitch of the game. Baseball is weird. Betances allowed just the homer in two innings, striking out only three. He’s slacking. Adam Warren threw an uneventful eighth against the middle of the lineup, then Matt Daley finished it up in the ninth. Nice and easy.
- Leftovers: I don’t know why, but four of the first eight hitters the Yankees sent to the plate showed bunt. I know Pedro Alvarez stinks at third base, but it’s Edinson Volquez. Swing the bats … Soriano went 2-for-4 with a homer and a double. Including his double in the last game against the Mets, it looks like he’s about to go on one of his tears. He’s always been streaky … Derek Jeter had two singles and Brian Roberts had one. Every other hit was a homer or Soriano’s double … Yangervis Solarte went 0-for-4 and now has back-to-back 0-for-4s for only the second time in his brief MLB career … the Yankees have allowed one or less in three straight games for the first time since June 2012.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs has some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Yankees and Pirates will wrap up this three-game series with two games on Sunday as part of a rare single admission doubleheader. Hiroki Kuroda will start the first game, Vidal Nuno the second. Charlie Morton and Gerrit Cole will be on the bump for Pittsburgh, though I’m not sure who is pitching which game. Check out RAB Tickets if you want to catch two games for the price of one on the final day of the homestand.
On this date in 1998, David Wells threw the 15th perfect game in baseball history. To this day he says he was hungover and half-drunk (his words) during that start. I don’t doubt him at all. Wells went into the game with a 5.23 ERA and then he pitched to a 2.93 ERA the rest of the way.
Anyway, this is your open thread for this lovely evening in New York. MLB Network will air a game tonight (who you see depends on where you live) and that’s it. No NBA or NHL playoffs. Good night to go out and forget about sports. Talk about whatever you like here.
Two games in three days. That’s a lot of baseball but I’m not complaining. The Yankees are coming off back-to-back shutouts over the Mets and they need to get themselves on a little bit of a roll these next ten days or so. No offense to the Pirates, Cubs, and White Sox (the next three teams they’ll play), but the schedule won’t get any softer the rest of the season. Grab a win before going into the bullpen killing doubleheader tomorrow. Here is the Pirates lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:
- CF Brett Gardner
- SS Derek Jeter
- 1B Mark Teixeira
- C Brian McCann
- RF Alfonso Soriano
- 3B Yangervis Solarte
- DH Kelly Johnson
- 2B Brian Roberts
- LF Zoilo Almonte — Jacoby Ellsbury was a late scratch with flu-like symptoms
RHP David Phelps
It absolutely poured last night, but it is gorgeous in New York today. Lots of sun and few clouds. No threat of rain at all. Perfect day for baseball. This afternoon’s game is scheduled to start at 4:05pm ET and you can watch on YES locally or Fox Sports 1 nationally. Here’s the Fox Sports 1 channel finder. Enjoy the game.
Injury Updates: Girardi said he would be surprised if CC Sabathia (knee) returns when his 15-day DL stint expires. He will be on crutches until Monday … Carlos Beltran (elbow) feels a little better … Shawn Kelley (back) is scheduled to play catch on Monday … Ichiro Suzuki (back) is available off the bench today.
We are now less than three weeks away from the 2014 amateur draft, which will surely be fun even though the Yankees do not have a first round pick. There’s a ton of pitching in this draft and more than a few quality arms will be available for their first pick in the second round, the 55th overall selection. Here’s a collection of miscellaneous draft links:
- Keith Law’s Mock Draft v1.0 (subs. req’d): Law has the Astros taking California HS LHP Brady Aiken, the consensus top talent in the draft, with the first overall pick. He also has NC State LHP Carlos Rodon falling to the Cubs with the fourth overall pick. The mock draft is for the first round only, so the Yankees are not included, but there’s a ton of info in there about which way clubs are leaning.
- Baseball America’s Mock Draft v2.0 (no subs. req’d): Meanwhile, Baseball America has Rodon going to Houston. Interestingly enough, hard-throwing (like 100+ mph) Texas HS RHP Tyler Kolek is said to be sliding because he throws so hard and teams are worried about his mechanics and his 6-foot-5, 250+ lb. frame. Again, the mock draft only covers the first round, so no Yankees.
- MLB.com’s Mock Draft v1.0: And finally, MLB.com also has the Astros taking Aiken first overall in their latest mock draft. No Yankees again, unfortunately. First round only. Based on the information in these three mock drafts, it doesn’t seem like ECU RHP Jeff Hoffman or UNLV RHP Erick Fedde are expected to fall out of the first round despite recently having Tommy John surgery.
- Baseball America’s Top 100 Draft Prospects: The recently updated list is free but the individual scouting reports are subscriber-only. By my count, 62 of Baseball America’s top 100 prospects are pitchers, so yeah, lots of arms this year. The Yankees have a ton of position player prospects and could use some more pitchers. I’m not saying they should pass on quality position players in favor of pitchers this year to fill a need but there’s a good chance the best available player for their first few picks will do his work on the mound.
- Keith Law’s Top 100 Draft Prospects (subs. req’d): Sixty-one of Law’s most recent top 100 draft prospects are pitchers, including 15 of 20 prospects in the 45-65 range. Talent tends to come of the board linearly these days thanks to the spending restrictions (the best players go first, they rarely fall), so the players in that 45-65 range are as good a bet as any to wind up being selected by the Yankees with that 55th overall pick.
Via Ken Davidoff: Hal Steinbrenner indicated a willingness to take on salary and beef up payroll to add players during the season. “[We’re] always willing to look at options come July. Come the trade deadline,” he said. “And I think we’ve shown that. Some years we’ve done stuff, like last year with [Alfonso] Soriano. Some years we haven’t. But we’re not going to ever lay down and die. We’re going to do what we need to do to stay in.”
According to Cot’s, the Yankees opened the season with a $197M payroll this year after spending between $207M and $213M from 2010-12. (The $228M payroll last year was a bit of an anomaly because of the injuries.) If ownership is willing to spend as much as they did from 2010-12, the Yankees can add roughly $10-16M in payroll during the season, which is a ton. The team clearly needs another starting pitcher, maybe even two, and another infielder wouldn’t hurt either. The money seems to be there, so the question now is whether they have the prospects to swing any deals. · (36) ·
RHP Ty Hensley faced hitters today and didn’t have any problems, according to his Twitter feed. He’s working his way back from both hip and hernia surgery. Meanwhile, both 1B Greg Bird and OF Jake Cave made the “In The Team Photo” Section of this week’s Prospect Hot Sheet. 3B Eric Jagielo was featured in today’s Minor League Roundup after swatting two homers last night.
Triple-A Scranton (5-3 win over Lehigh Valley)
- SS Dean Anna: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 E (throwing) — already his sixth error in only 17 Triple-A games
- RF Adonis Garcia: 2-5, 1 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 E (fielding) — 23-for-53 (.434) during his 13-game hitting streak
- LF Ramon Flores: 1-5, 1 2B, 1 K
- 3B Scott Sizemore: 1-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 E (throwing)
- DH Kyle Roller: 1-3, 1 2B, 2 BB
- LHP Matt Tracy: 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 7/1 GB/FB – 47 of 77 pitches were strikes (61%) … Triple-A debut after a mediocre showing in Double-A
The series opener between the Yankees and Pirates was rained out, which means no game tonight but two on Sunday. Single admission doubleheader too. When was the last time the Yankees had one of those at home? Been a while, I assume.
Anyway, here is tonight’s open thread. The Mets are playing plus MLB Network will air a game as well. Who you see depends on where you live. There’s also an NHL playoff game (Game Seven!) on later as well. Talk about those games or anything else right here.
Brandon Finnegan | LHP
Finnegan is from Fort Worth and he passed on signing with the Rangers as their 45th round pick out of high school in 2011. He had a 3.03 ERA and 142/65 K/BB in 141.2 combined innings as a freshman and sophomore at TCU before taking off this spring: 1.66 ERA and 100/20 K/BB in 76 innings. Finnegan missed time in recent weeks with a sore shoulder but returned to the mound last night.
Despite a tiny frame (listed at 5-foot-11 and 184 lbs.), Finnegan sits in the 91-95 mph range with his fastball and has run it up as high as 98. He learned a new slider grip from fellow 2014 draft prospect NC State LHP Carlos Rodon when they played for Team USA last summer, which gave Finnegan a much needed out pitch. It’s a hard slider, usually in the mid-to-high-80s, but he still needs more experience with it. Finnegan has an okay changeup that shows potential. There is quite a bit of effort in his delivery, though his control is fine.
In their latest rankings, Baseball America, MLB.com, and Keith Law (subs. req’d) had Finnegan as the ninth, 11th, and 19th best prospect in the draft class, respectively. TCU has a history of working their pitchers hard — Andrew Cashner, Jake Arrieta, and Matt Purke all had arm problems after leaving TCU in recent years — and the shoulder soreness is a red flag, enough that Finnegan is sliding down draft boards. He was terrible last night (six runs in 6.1 innings) and that surely didn’t help things. This draft is deep in arms and there is talk Finnegan might fall out of the first round entirely after looking like a top ten pick a few weeks ago. The Yankees don’t pick until the second round (55th overall), and while shoulder problems are scary, they never get a chance to land this kind of talent.
4:37pm: David Phelps will start tomorrow’s game with Hiroki Kuroda and Vidal Nuno starting Sunday’s game, the Yankees announced. The order for Kuroda and Nuno has not been determined. I’m guessing Kuroda will get to pick which game he starts. The veterans usually makes the call.
12:57pm: Tonight’s game has been postponed due to rain, the Yankees announced. They will play a rare single admission doubleheader on Sunday. No word on what this does to the pitching staffs, but I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough. Thanks to Monday’s off-day, the Yankees will not need to dig up a spot starter. They can keep everyone on turn.
The Yankees say tickets for tonight’s game are NOT valid for Sunday’s doubleheader. Only tickets for Sunday’s game will get you into the doubleheader. Tickets for today’s game can be exchanged for tickets to any regular season game within the next 12 months. The first game on Sunday will begin at 1pm ET. The second game will begin roughly 30 minutes after the first one ends. · (21) ·