DotF: Judge and Flores continue hot streaks with homers

Triple-A Scranton (7-5 win over Lehigh Valley)

  • CF Ben Gamel: 2-5
  • RF Jose Pirela: 1-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 2-4, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 SB — six walks and five strikeouts in his last 16 games
  • LF Ramon Flores: 2-3, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 SB — threw a runner out at second … second homer in his last five games
  • C Austin Romine: 1-4, 1 RBI, 1 BB
  • RHP Jaron Long: 5.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 5/2 GB/FB — 56 of 87 pitches were strikes (65%)
  • LHP James Pazos: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 2/4 GB/FB — 20 of 33 pitches were strikes (67%)
  • RHP Danny Burawa: 1 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 0/1 GB/FB — ten pitches, seven strikes
  • RHP Jose Ramirez: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GB/FB — 12 of 21 pitches were strikes (57%)

[Read more…]

Video: Yankees surprise Mel Stottlemyre with plaque in Monument Park

Hands down, the best moment of Old Timers’ Day this afternoon was the Yankees surprising Mel Stottlemyre with a plaque in Monument Park. Stottlemyre played with the Yankees from 1964-74 and served as the team’s pitching coach from 1996-2005.

Over the last few years Stottlemyre has been battling multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer, and the treatment has really taken its toll. Getting to Old Timers’ Day from his home in Washington was not a given. But Stottlemyre made it and the Yankees surprised him with a plaque. Check it out. This is truly fantastic.

Great job, Yankees. Keep fighting Mel.

Game 68: Old Timers’ Day

Willie's Day. (Presswire)
Willie’s Day. (Presswire)

Today is one of my favorite days of the season: Old Timers’ Day. It’s not just Old Timers’ Day either — the Yankees will also honor Willie Randolph with a plaque in Monument Park today, something that is long overdue. He’s arguably the best second baseman in franchise history, after all. One of the three best at the very least.

The full roster of Old Timers can be found right here. No Derek Jeter, no Jorge Posada, no Andy Pettitte, and no Mariano Rivera. Lame. No Hideki Matsui or Mike Mussina either. Even lamer. Still plenty of all-time greats though. I’m looking forward to seeing Bernie Williams, Wade Boggs, Charlie Hayes, and Johnny Damon the most for some reason. I mean, I want to see all of ’em, but those four in particular.

Here are the Old Timers’ Game lineups, via the Yankees on Twitter:

Old Timers' Day Lineups

Now, the bad news: the weather kinda stinks today. It was raining this morning into the early afternoon, though things cleared up not too long ago and the forecast says it will stay clear for Old Timers festivities. Then it’s supposed to start raining again later tonight. The baseball gods will clear things up and make sure they get the ceremonies in. I’m sure of it.

The Old Timers’ Day stuff starts at 4pm ET and will be shown on YES. No, it is not streamed online anywhere as far as I know. At least not legally. Tonight’s game against the Tigers will follow at 7pm ET and will also be shown on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. The lineups haven’t been announced yet. That’ll happen closer to game time. For now, enjoy the Old Timers’ Day fun.

Update (3:39pm): The lineups for tonight’s game are out already. Here is the Tigers’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Brett Gardner
  2. 3B Chase Headley
  3. DH Alex Rodriguez
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. RF Carlos Beltran
  7. SS Didi Gregorius
  8. 2B Stephen Drew
  9. LF Chris Young
    RHP Nathan Eovaldi

Enjoy the day, folks.

Injury Update: Mason Williams (shoulder) went for an MRI today, Joe Girardi told reporters. They don’t have the results yet. Williams jammed his shoulder diving back into first base on a pickoff throw last night.

Saturday Links: Miller, Bailey, Hall of Fame, Security

(Patrick Smith/Getty)
(Patrick Smith/Getty)

The Yankees and Tigers continue their series later today, after the 69th annual Old Timers’ Day. All the fun starts at 4pm ET. Here are some stray links to keep you busy until then.

Miller Still Shut Down

Ten days ago the Yankees placed Andrew Miller on the 15-day DL with a forearm muscle strain, and, as of Thursday, the left-hander still has not resumed throwing according to Dan Martin. “I’m still resting,” said Miller. The Yankees said Miller would be shut down 10-14 days after being placed on the DL and he’s still within the window, obviously. Miller’s not behind schedule or anything. He’s right on schedule, I guess. Hopefully he can resume throwing sometime in the next few days and get back to the team before the All-Star break. The bullpen without Miller has a totally different dynamic.

Bailey returns to the mound

Remember Andrew Bailey? The magic of Spring Training had us all thinking Bailey could actually help the Yankees this season, but instead he suffered a setback a few weeks into the season as he worked his way back from shoulder capsule surgery. Bailey was shut down in April with a shoulder strain and was scheduled to start a throwing program in May, though I guess that was delayed.

Earlier this week, Brian Cashman told Brendan Kuty that Bailey has indeed returned to the mound, throwing an inning in an Extended Spring Training game on Wednesday. I’m not sure what the plan is now — ExST is over (or will be very soon) now that the short season leagues are starting — but it sounds like Bailey is on the mend. The Yankees are going to want to see him pitch in minor league games, including back-to-back days before bringing him up. If Bailey can help at some point, great, the Yankees can use another reliever, but obviously the odds are quite long right now.

A-Rod‘s bat going to the Hall of Fame

(Al Bello/Getty)
(Al Bello/Getty)

There’s no word on what will happen with his 3,000th hit bat, but Alex Rodriguez has already donated his 2,000th RBI bat to the Hall of Fame, writes Ryan Hatch. “We extend our gratitude to Alex for donating the bat he used to record his 2,000th RBI to the Museum,” said Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson. The bat will be displayed as part of the “Today’s Game” exhibit at the museum. A-Rod has some other stuff in the Hall of Fame, including the helmet from his 500th homer and his spikes from Game Six of the 2009 World Series.

Alex became the second player in history with 2,000 RBI officially, joining Hank Aaron (2,297). It’s a weird situation though. RBI did not become an official stat until 1920, and MLB ignores everything that happened before then. Baseball Reference has retroactively calculated RBI totals and both Babe Ruth (2,214) and Cap Anson (2,075) have 2,000+ RBI, but MLB does not recognized their pre-1920 totals. It’s like they don’t exist. It’s so silly. Either way, A-Rod is in the 2,000 RBI club. Whether he’s the second member or the fourth member is immaterial. It’s an extremely exclusive club.

Yankees beef up security after Astros hack

Earlier this week word got out the FBI and Justice Department are investigating the Cardinals for hacking into the Astros’ proprietary database, which is a crime. Like an actual crime with legal implications. Last June some trade information was leaked from Houston’s system, at which point the Yankees beefed up their security system. Here’s what Brian Cashman told Christian De Nicola:

“We certainly added some more measures, spent more money to protect what’s privileged,” Cashman said. “It’s more inconvenient now for us to access our stuff, but we did it — again — to look for where those vulnerabilities were and made some adjustments and spent some more money to upgrade the process.”

“There were some extra steps. Were they necessary? We’ll never know, but we’re more secure by doing so. We felt secure before, but we made it more difficult now. It’s a little more inconvenience when we’re accessing our system ourselves, but we spent some more money to add some further measures, regardless. There were grumblings by employees at the front end of it, because to access our system it’s more difficult now for all of us to do so, but we’re better protected by the way we went about it.”

Every team has their own internal information system these days and, of course, all their scouting reports and statistical data are different. They all use stats differently and they all have different scouting reports, so the need to protect that information is obvious. I’m guessing the Yankees were not the only team to improve their security after the Astros’ leaks last year. Twenty-nine other clubs probably improved their security as well.

AROD3K by the numbers

(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Did you actually think he’d do it any other way? Of course not. He’s A-Rod, so he had to do it in style, with an A-Bomb, a home run for hit No. 3,000 on the first pitch he saw in the first inning on Friday night. The only other players to get their 3,000th hit with a homer are Derek Jeter and Wade Boggs.

Whether you love him or hate him, cheer him or boo him, think he deserves a second chance or should be banned forever, the numbers are the numbers. 3,000 hits is 3,000 hits — and that is what it says on his page (or the back of his baseball card, for you traditionalists). Regardless of how you view A-Rod, it’s still history and a (not)milestone worth putting into perspective. So here we go, from the basics to the obscure …

A-Rod is the 29th player to reach 3,000 hits and the first since Jeter did it nearly four years ago. Jeter is also the only other member of the 3K hit club to celebrate the big 3-0-0-0 in a Yankee uniform. In fact no other player has done it in a uniform of any New York-based major-league baseball team — not the Mets, the Brooklyn Dodgers or the New York Giants. Four other guys in the 3,000-hit club did play for the Yankees at some point in their careers: Paul Waner, Boggs, Rickey Henderson and Dave Winfield.

Rodriguez is now a member of two of the most exclusive milestone stat groups in major-league history — the aforementioned 29-member 3,0000-hit club and the 26-member 500-homer club. But only five of them, including A-Rod, are members of both fraternities: Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Eddie Murray and Rafael Palmeiro. If you up the homer total to 600, only Mays and Aaron match him there.

He joins an even more rare set of players if you want to include another underrated part of A-Rod’s five-tool skill set, his speed. Along with A-Rod, the only other guy with at least 300 stolen bases, 300 homers and 3,000 hits is Mr. Willie Mays. But Mays can’t match the 2,000-plus RBIs that A-Rod has, making Al from Miami the only major-leaguer to reach all four of those statistical marks in a career.

Of course, with all that power also comes a whole lot of whiffs. A-Rod is now the only player in major-league history with at least 2,000 strikeouts and 3,000 hits. Before him, the most career Ks by a member of the 3,000-hit club was Jeter, with 1,840.

A-Rod didn’t just get hit No. 3,000 against any typical pitcher, though, it was former MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander. He joins Winfield — who got his 3,000th hit off Dennis Eckersley in 1993 — as the only players to get their milestone hit against a former Cy Young winner. Jeter and Rod Carew got hit No. 3,000 off pitchers that would later win the Cy Young award — David Price and Frank Viola.

It was hardly surprising that A-Rod’s 3,000th hit was a homer against Justin Verlander. He entered the game with an .821 slugging percentage vs. Verlander during the regular season, the highest mark by any player with at least 20 plate appearances against the Tigers’ righty.

I bet you didn’t know that one other Tigers pitcher gave up a 3,000th hit. That would be Pug Cavet, who welcomed the Indians’ infielder Nap Lajoie into the 3K hit club in 1914. Or how about the fact that one other player actually got hit No. 3,000 on June 19, just like A-Rod. Paul Waner did it in 1942 against the Pirates.

And I’m sure you also really wanted to know that the only one other player with at least 3,000 hits has a first name that begins with the letter A (Al Kaline), and just two others have a last name that begins with the letter R (Cal Ripken Jr. and Pete Rose).

That’s history, folks. Enjoy it.

DotF: Nova roughed up in rehab start; Staten Island starts season with a loss

Some notes:

  • RHP Drew Finley, this year’s third round pick, will start his career with the Yankees’ new Rookie Pulaski affiliate according to his Twitter feed. 2B Gosuke Katoh will be there too — Finley says they’re driving from Tampa to Pulaski together. They were high school teammates a few years ago.
  • Good news: 2B Rob Refsnyder and OF Aaron Judge rank 5th and 16th in this week’s Prospect Hot Sheet, respectively. Bad news: 3B Miguel Andujar made the Not So Hot Sheet. Two outta three ain’t bad!

Triple-A Scranton (5-2 loss to Lehigh Valley)

  • CF Ben Gamel: 1-4 — threw a runner out at second
  • LF Jose Pirela & 2B Rob Refsnyder: both 0-4 — Pirela struck out twice
  • RF Ramon Flores: 0-3, 1 BB — Mason Williamsshoulder injury doesn’t sound serious, though I assume Flores is first in line to get called up
  • DH Gregorio Petit: 1-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB
  • C Austin Romine: 2-3
  • RHP Ivan Nova: 5 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HB, 5/2 GB/FB, 1 E (missed catcher) — 49 of 84 pitches were strikes (58%) … wonder what happens now, another rehab start or back to MLB?
  • RHP Nick Rumbelow: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 1 WP, 2/0 GB/FB — 31 of 48 pitches were strikes (65%) … 41/7 K/BB in 37.1 innings

[Read more…]

A-Rod homers for 3,000th hit; Yankees beat up on Tigers in 7-2 win

So yeah, this was my favorite game of the season. It started with history in the first inning and ended with the Yankees’ third straight win, this one a 7-2 win over the Tigers. Pretty great.

History With An Exclamation Point
It took one pitch. With two outs and the bases empty in the first inning, Alex Rodriguez deposited Justin Verlander’s first pitch fastball into the right field seats for a quick 1-0 lead and his 3,000th career hit. The Yankee Stadium crowd went crazy and the Yankees came out of the dugout to congratulate Alex. It wasn’t a Derek Jeter celebration — we’re never going to see that again, A-Rod or otherwise — but it was a pretty great moment overall.

A capital-T Tool named Zach Hample caught the ball and was unwilling to discuss a trade with the Yankees, so says Bryan Hoch. “I think that someone like Derek Jeter or Alex Rodriguez, who has made half a billion dollars in his career, doesn’t really need a favor from a normal civilian and a fan like me,” he said to Brendan Kuty. Hample literally wrote a book on catching baseballs and he goes around to various parks to get balls, pushing people out of the way and tricking players into thinking he’s a fan of their team. And he hates the Yankees. So weak. Pretty much the last guy who deserves the ball.

Anyway, hopefully Alex gets the ball back at some point. A-Rod’s made a lot of history in his career but I’m sure his 3,000th hit ball is one piece of memorabilia he wants to keep. I know I would. A-Rod is the 29th member of the 3,000-hit club and one of three to go deep for the milestone hit, joining Jeter and Wade Boggs. Three World Champion Yankees.


Starting Pitchah
There was still a game to be played after A-Rod got his 3,000th hit out of the way nice and early. Adam Warren ran into trouble in the second inning and allowed two runs when four of the first five batters reached base. Victor Martinez blooped a single, Yoenis Cespedes doubled into the left field corner, Nick Castellanos took a pitch to the hand (barely), and Bryan Holaday singled in two runs. Warren was able to limit the damage to just the two runs that inning.

Following Holaday’s single, Warren went on to retire eleven straight Tigers before Ian Kinsler opened the sixth with an infield single. Miguel Cabrera followed that with a single to right and Chase Headley whiffed on Carlos Beltran‘s throw from right field when Kinsler went first-to-third, but, thankfully, Headley chased the ball down, fired to the plate, and John Ryan Murphy was able to jump to catch the throw and apply the tag to get Kinsler. Headley failed to catch the throw but recovered to get the out at home. Let’s pretend he did it on purpose.

The bullpen was a little short because of recent workloads, so Joe Girardi sent Warren back out not only for the seventh inning, but the eighth as well. He got through those last two innings on 18 total pitches. Just perfect. Two runs, seven hits, no walks, seven strikeouts, 110 pitches. Just three of the last 21 batters he faced reached base. What a stud. Warren’s a starting pitcher. Find someone else to send to the bullpen.


Return Of The Dingers
Prior to Thursday’s game, the Yankees had scored a total of 21 runs in their previous seven games. Not coincidentally, they hit only three home runs during that time. The offense broke out with two homers on Thursday and it carried over into Friday — A-Rod hit his homer, Didi Gregorius swatted a solo shot to tie the game 2-2 in the second, then Brett Gardner ripped the two-run go-ahead homer in the fifth. Dingers! They’re back.

Just to show off their diverse attack, the Yankees tacked on two more runs in the seventh inning while hitting one ball out of the infield. Gardner laid down a perfect bunt single to start the rally, Headley ripped a single literally off Verlander — it hit him in the foot and bounced away from the infielders — and then Gardner scored on a wild pitch. The ball didn’t get too far away from the plate, Gardner was aggressive and it paid off. Mark Teixeira singled in Headley to cap the rally. That was the one ball to leave the infield. Chris Young doubled and Gardner singled to create another run in the eighth. Dingers and manufactured runs. Everyone’s happy.

I WANT A HUG TOO! (Presswire)
Dammit I love this photo. (Presswire)

Gardner, who not that long ago was in a bit of a slump, went 4-for-5 with the homer and the bunt single. When he goes the offense goes. Great game for him. Everyone in the starting lineup except Beltran had at least one hit and Young even picked up a hit off the bench. (Young was in the game because Mason Williams exited with a jammed shoulder.) Thirteen hits and two strikeouts for the offense. That’ll do.

Warren’s eight innings and the late tack-on runs meant the usual relievers got the night off. The just called up Branden Pinder was the only reliever to not just get in the game, but the only reliever to warm up. He allowed a single to Cabrera in the ninth (whatever, it happens) then retired the next three batters to close things out. The bullpen needed that.

And finally, there was some really fine shortstop play in this game. Both Gregorius and Jose Iglesias made some tremendous plays ranging both to their left and their right. It was a shortstop clinic. Lots of fun to watch.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Also check out our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. Now here’s the win probability graph:

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
The Yankees and Tigers continue this three-game series on Saturday night, but, before that, it’s the 69th annual Old Timers’ Day. The Yankees are also honoring Willie Randolph with a plaque in Monument Park. The ceremony starts at 4pm ET and the game at 7pm ET. Nathan Eovaldi and Alfredo Simon will be the pitching matchup. Head over to RAB Tickets should you make a last minute decision to attend Old Timers’ Day. It’s always fun.