Dan Martin spoke to RHP Ty Hensley, who will be out another few months following hip surgery. He said the hip problem caused repeated abdominal strains and prevented him from rotating properly during his delivery. Will be interesting to see how things go for him following the procedure. Also make sure you check out this Jonathan Lehman piece on C J.R. Murphy, who spoke about his defensive improvement and learning experience since turning pro.
Triple-A Scranton Game One (5-3 win over Syracuse in seven innings) makeup of yesterday’s rainout
- 2B Corban Joseph: 2-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 SB, 1 E (fielding) — nine hits in his last 24 at-bats (.375) with two doubles and two homers
- CF Melky Mesa & LF Zoilo Almonte: both 0-3 — Mesa struck out thrice but also threw a runner out at second
- 1B Dan Johnson: 0-0, 2 R, 3 BB — 12 strikeouts and ten walks in 12 games for the former International League MVP
- C Bobby Wilson: 2-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI
- RHP Chien-Ming Wang: 5.1 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 9/2 GB/FB — 51 of 74 pitches were strikes (69%) … first start of the year and that’s pretty darn close to vintage CMW right there
Following Friday’s blowout win, the Yankees and Blue Jays played a rollercoaster game on Saturday. New York led for most of the game, Toronto tied it late, then the Bombers took the lead and finished off the win in extra innings. Don’t look now, but since the ugly 1-4 start, the Yankees have now won nine of their last 11 games. Let’s recap…
- #HIROK ‘n Roll: I’m running out of ways to praise Hiroki Kuroda, who allowed one run on three hits and a walk in seven innings in his latest gem. The run didn’t even score while he was on the mound, but more on that in a bit. Kuroda struck out seven, got nine ground ball outs, generated 14 swings and misses out of 108 total pitches, and was pretty awesome overall. The guy is amazing. I never want him to not be on the Yankees.
- Fear The Lefty: The Yankees have had some well-known trouble against lefties this year, but they were able to score three runs off Mark Buehrle in his seven innings of work. The first came on a Vernon Wells homer, the other two when Brett Lawrie whiffed on Kevin Youkilis‘ bases loaded line drive. The ball was hit hard and right at him, but he just came up empty. A big league third baseman has to make that play and it was a deserved error. Other than that, the Yankees blew a pair of bases loaded situations (Eduardo Nunez pop-up, Frankie Cervelli double play) and also stranded a runner at third with one out in the another inning. For a while it sure looked like that would come back to bite them.
- Bad David: David Robertson had his first of what will inevitably be several meltdowns this season, allowing three total runs — one he inherited from Kuroda and two of his own — in two-thirds of an inning. He walked two and allowed two hits in that eighth inning, including the game-tying two-run single by former Yankee Melky Cabrera. That one was especially frustration because Robertson had him in a two-strike count and threw nothing but fastballs in the six-pitch at-bat. The out-pitch curveball is only good if he use it, David.
- And The Yankees Take The Lead: It was not a good game for the Blue Jays defensively, and it really bit them in the 11th. Wells and Cervelli opened the inning with singles, but when Ichiro Suzuki tried to bunted them up a base, reliever Aaron Loup picked up the ball and threw towards a not-ready Lawrie at third. He was still moving back to third when Loup threw the ball, so the ball wound up down the line in left field. Both Wells and Cervelli scored and that was that. The Yankees were back on top by two a few innings after blowing a three-run lead.
- Leftovers: The trio of Boone Logan, Joba Chamberlain, and Shawn Kelley did a fine job navigating the ninth and tenth innings. Joba looked particularly filthy, hitting 98.9 (!) with the fastball and 90.5 (!!) with the slider according to PitchFX … Wells is wearing out his former team this weekend, with three more hits including the homer on Saturday … Ben Francisco and Nunez were the only Yankees to not record hits. Nunez is down to .184/.267/.211 during his audition as Derek Jeter‘s heir to the shortstop position … Kevin Youkilis left the game in the sixth inning with a tight lower back, but neither he nor Joe Girardi thought it was serious. He will not play on Sunday, however.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the nerd score, and ESPN the updated standings. Ivan Nova will be on the mound Sunday afternoon as the Yankees look to finish off the sweep against one of Toronto’s other new additions, Josh Johnson.
Not sure if you saw that play last night, but Jean Segura stole first base. As in he was standing on second, then he stole first. The rules allow runners to go backwards around the bases as long as it isn’t intended to make a mockery of the game, so … heads up play by Segura I guess? Definitely not something you see everyday. Or basically ever.
Anyway, here is tonight’s open thread. The Mets, Islanders, and Knicks are all playing as of right now (5pm ET). MLB Network is showing a game (who you see depends on where you live) plus the Nets are playing a little later on, otherwise you’re on your own in terms of entertainment. You folks know how this works, so have at it.
3:13pm: Youkilis left the game with tightness in his lower back, the team announced. Hopefully it’s nothing serious and he left the game as a precaution on the turf. The YES cameras did show him sitting in the dugout, so that’s good.
2:42pm: Kevin Youkilis left this afternoon’s game against the Blue Jays for an unknown reason in the sixth inning. He hit a line drive single an inning earlier and looked fine, but Lyle Overbay replaced him at first base to start the bottom of the sixth. Stay tuned for updates. · (17) ·
The Yankees put a good hurtin’ on the Blue Jays last night, but this is baseball and yesterday’s score doesn’t mean anything. The Jays are desperate to prove they are legit and aren’t going to simply roll over following one blowout loss. These two teams will play each other six times in the next nine days, so this is as good a time as any for Toronto to prove themselves as AL East threats.
As for the Yankees, they just have to continue to weather the injury storm. They’ve done a pretty good job of that lately, winning eight of their last ten games. Here’s the lineup that will face finesse lefty Mark Buehrle…
- CF Brett Gardner
- DH Ben Francisco
- 2B Robinson Cano
- 1B Kevin Youkilis
- LF Vernon Wells
- C Frankie Cervelli
- RF Ichiro Suzuki
- SS Eduardo Nunez
- 3B Jayson Nix
And on the mound following his complete-game shutout of the Orioles, Hiroki Kuroda.
Apparently it’s snowing in Toronto, so the Rogers Center roof will be closed. This afternoon’s game is scheduled for 1:07pm ET and can be seen on YES. Enjoy.
Via Chad Jennings: Curtis Granderson and his fractured right forearm have gotten the okay to start taking some light swings. “He started taking some light swings, I believe … I know he’s been underwater doing it. He’s probably doing some light fungos now, but no ball I don’t think yet,” said Joe Girardi yesterday. Dan Martin confirmed the outfielder has indeed started swinging with a fungo bat.
Granderson, 32, was cleared to throw a little more than a week ago, but swinging is the big milestone. He missed all but five pitches of Spring Training, so his rehab stint is going to be longer than usual. Granderson has to start swinging a bat fully before he can hit in the cages and take batting practice, and he needs to do all of that before he can get into rehab games. It seems like he’s at least two and probably more like three or four weeks away from returning to the team. · (5) ·
This weekend’s three-game set in Toronto is a statement series for the Blue Jays, but instead it was the Yankees who made a statement on Friday night. That statement: AL East titles aren’t won in the offseason. You’ve gotten earn that sucker during the dog days. New York pounded their division rivals to the north and won the series opener 9-4. Let’s recap…
- Back Problems? What Back Problems?: Andy Pettitte returned to the mound after essentially having a start skipped due to back spasms, but he didn’t miss a beat. Three runs — including two on this mammoth Jose Bautista homer … I mean seriously, look at that thing — in 7.1 innings on just 90 pitches, including a healthy ten swings and misses. After the first inning, Andy allowed just two runners to make it as far as second base, and both came on the homer. Typical Andy. Not flashy, just supremely reliable.
- All The Extra-Base Hits: The Yankees picked up a total of 13 hits in the game, but only three (!) were singles. Robinson Cano, Travis Hafner, Frankie Cervelli (two), and Ichiro Suzuki (two) all had doubles while Hafner and former Blue Jays Vernon Wells and Lyle Overbay hit homers. Brett Gardner chipped in a triple. They were all over starter Brandon Morrow, who was giving up rockets left and right. Even the outs were hit hard.
- Leftovers: The Yankees scored two runs on Eduardo Nunez‘s sacrifice fly because Colby Rasmus’ throw home wound up in the dugout … Ichiro appears to be on the verge of a hot streak, with the two doubles in this game and a couple of line drive in the finale against the Diamondbacks … Shawn Kelley, a.k.a the Phil Hughes of the bullpen, allowed his #obligatoryhomer but otherwise closed things out in relief of Pettitte … both Kevin Youkilis and Wells have started to come back to Earth a bit, but Hafner just continues to mash. He’s up to .349/.440/.767 on the season. The inevitable injury is really going to suck. Man can he hit.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the nerd score, and ESPN the updated standings. The Yankees will send Hiroki Kuroda to the mound against veteran finesseballer Mark Buehrle on Saturday afternoon, so it’ll be interesting/painful to see how the lineup handles the lefty.
RHP Graham Stoneburner has been sent down to Double-A Trenton, reports Josh Norris. That clears room on the Triple-A Scranton roster for RHP Chien-Ming Wang. LHP Josh Romanski was placed on the DL to clear a roster spot for Stoneburner. Meanwhile, Wang’s debut with Triple-A Scranton was rained out. They’re going to play a doubleheader tomorrow. I assume he’ll pitch in one of those games. Low-A Charleston was rained out as well. Their doubleheader is scheduled for Sunday.
Double-A Trenton (6-2 loss to Erie)
- LF Ramon Flores: 0-2, 1 R, 2 BB — five walks and two strikeouts in his last five games
- C J.R. Murphy: 1-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB — six of his last eleven hits have gone for extra bases (three doubles, three homers)
- CF Slade Heathcott: 1-4, 3 K — 15 strikeouts in eight games
- RHP Caleb Cotham: 4 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 5/2 GB/FB — 54 of 81 pitches were strikes (67%)
- RHP Branden Pinder: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 5/0 GB/FB — 19 of 32 pitches were strikes (59%)
High-A Tampa (8-3 win over Daytona)
- CF Mason Williams: 1-4, 2 R, 2 BB — 13 walks and 12 strikeouts in 13 games
- 2B Rob Refsnyder: 2-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 3 BB — new level? no problem … been hitting all season
- LF Ben Gamel: 0-3, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K
- C Gary Sanchez: 1-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K
- DH Francisco Arcia: 2-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB
- SS Jose Toussen: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 E (missed catch)
- RHP Scottie Allen: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 1 WP, 1HB, 8/4 GB/FB
- RHP Nick Goody: 1 IP, zeroes, 1/1 GB/FB — just off the DL
Over the last few years, the Blue Jays were a team that was annoying tough to play against but ultimately inconsequential in terms of the AL East race. Their busy offseason suddenly turned them into the division favorites though, and tonight the Yankees will get their first look at their new-look competitors.
Moreso than the actual game, the most important thing tonight is Andy Pettitte‘s health. The veteran southpaw is making his third start of the season and first in ten days due to back problems. He’s thrown a few bullpen sessions these last few days and says he’s fine, but we really won’t if his pitching will be impacted in any way until he gets on the mound. These two teams play each other seven times in the next ten days, and you know Toronto is looking to make a statement. Here’s the lineup that will face right-hander Brandon Morrow…
- CF Brett Gardner
- 2B Robinson Cano
- 3B Kevin Youkilis
- DH Travis Hafner
- LF Vernon Wells
- RF Ichiro Suzuki
- SS Eduardo Nunez
- 1B Lyle Overbay
- C Frankie Cervelli
And on the mound is the ol’ reliable lefty, Andy Pettitte.
Tonight’s game is scheduled to start at 7:07pm ET and can be seen on YES. Enjoy.
Here’s a link of interest: David Laurila of FanGraphs recently spoke to top outfield prospects Slade Heathcott and Tyler Austin during Double-A Trenton’s recently trip to Portland. Both players spoke about their offensive approach and swings, as did Thunder hitting coach Justin Turner. They talked about adjustments they’ve made, things they’re working on, stuff like that. It’s a very interesting and informative ready. Both guys seem to get it, so to speak. Check it out. · (1) ·