Right-hander Michael Pineda threw a 25-pitch bullpen in Tampa on Friday and reported no issues with his injured back/shoulder muscle, Joe Girardi told reporters yesterday. He also threw some breaking balls off flat ground. “No news is good news,” said Girardi to Chad Jennings. “I didn’t get any bad news today, so that’s good news.”
Pineda, 25, started a new throwing program about two weeks ago. He’s been out since late-April and at one point advanced far enough in his rehab that he was pitching in Extended Spring Training games, but he suffered a setback and has been sidelined since. Because he is essentially starting from scratch like the beginning of camp, Pineda is still a few weeks away from minor league rehab games. The best case scenario is a return to the rotation in mid-to-late August. Given his history, I’ll be happy if he comes back at all this year. · (58) ·
Both RHP Luis Severino and C/1B/RF Peter O’Brien have been placed on the temporarily inactive list … because they are in Minnesota for the Futures Game. The game is tomorrow afternoon.
Triple-A Scranton (5-2 loss to Rochester)
- LF Jose Pirela: 0-3, 1 BB
- 2B Rob Refsnyder: 2-3, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 CS, 1 E (missed catch)
- RF Adonis Garcia & 1B Kyle Roller: both 0-4 — Roller struck out twice
- C Austin Romine: 1-3, 1 R, 1 BB — 14-for-38 (.368) in his last ten games
- DH John Ryan Murphy: 1-4, 2 K
- CF Taylor Dugas: 2-4, 1 R, 1 K – 11-for-29 (.379) in his last ten games
- LHP Nik Turley: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, 8/2 GB/FB — 50 of 94 pitches were strikes (53%)
- RHP Danny Burawa: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 2/0 GB/FB — 23 of 47 pitches were strikes (49%) … 18/11 K/BB in his last 11.2 innings
In the Yankees’ most important game of the season (to date!), they received their best starting pitching performance of 2014 by someone not named Masahiro Tanaka. Rookie right-hander Shane Greene used his turbosinker to lead his team to a much-needed 3-0 win over the Orioles on Saturday afternoon. Let’s recap:
- Chien-Ming Greene: For at least one start, the Yankees found themselves another Chien-Ming Wang. Greene, in his second big league start, held the high-powered Orioles scoreless for 7.1 innings thanks to ten ground ball outs and nine strikeouts. Only three of the 27 batters he faced hit the ball out of the infield in the air. Greene took a no-hitter into the fifth and allowed just four singles plus two walks. When it looked like things might unravel following two singles to leadoff the sixth, he got a quick double play and a strikeout. That sinker (sat 94.1 according to PitchFX) is legit, man. As Joe Girardi said following the game, Greene is “earning starts, that’s what he’s doing.” Bravo, young man.
- Two Rallies, Three Runs: This game had a very familiar feel to it, especially after the Yankees wasted a leadoff walk and single in the second inning. Mark Teixeira doubled in a run in the third inning but the rally was cut short when Derek Jeter was thrown out at the plate. Nine of the next dozen Yankees made outs before a single (Kelly Johnson), a wild pitch, another single (Jeter), a double (Jacoby Ellsbury), an intentional walk (Teixeira), and a single (Brian McCann) created two more runs in the seventh. Again, the rally was cut short when Ellsbury was thrown out at the plate by a mile. Three runs was enough with the way Greene was pitching, but it maybe coulda been more.
- Bullpen on Parade: Greene retired the leadoff man in the eight before being lifted with his pitch count at 106. David Huff came in to face Nick Markakis, allowed a leadoff single, and was pulled. Shawn Kelley got a broken bat fly out (Steve Pearce) and a strikeout (Adam Jones) to end the threat before David Robertson threw a flawless ninth for his 23rd save. He struck out two (Chris Davis and J.J. Hardy). Remember when people were worried how Robertson would handle the ninth inning? I could count how many closers I would take over him on one hand.
- Thrown Out: Like I said, the Yankees had two runners thrown out at the plate in the game. The first one I kinda get — Teixeira doubled into the corner and it took a perfect throw and relay to cut Jeter down. The second one I don’t understand. The single was hit directly to Adam Jones, who has a very strong arm. He was ready to release the ball as Ellsbury was just rounding third. I mean, the two plays didn’t come back to hurt, but geez. The Yankees have had 15 runners thrown out the plate this year, the most in
baseballthe AL and two more than last year (h/t @ktsharp).
- Leftovers: McCann had three hits and is 12-for-35 (.343) on the road trip. He fouled a pitch off his foot in the seventh, but x-rays came back negative and he expected to play Sunday … Jeter had two hits, Ellsbury a hit and a walk, Teixeira a hit and two walks … Kelley threw seven pitches and got three swings and misses. He’s looked much better his last three or four outings … by Game Score (77), Greene’s start was the team’s best by a) a non-Tanaka starter this year, and b) a non-Tanaka rookie since Ivan Nova held the Reds to one run in eight innings in June 2011. Pretty, pretty good.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Yankees are now four games back of the Orioles for the top spot in the AL East, and depending on the outcome of the late game, they will be either 2.5 (Mariners lose) or 3.5 (Mariners win) games back of the second wildcard spot. Girardi confirmed after the game that Chase Whitley will start the series and first half finale on Sunday night after not being needed in relief these last two days. Kevin Gausman will be on the bump for Baltimore.
Happy Saturday everyone. The weather is gorgeous in New York tonight, so hopefully you aren’t stuck spending it inside for whatever reason. If you are, use this as your open thread. FOX is carrying a series of games tonight and I assume Tri-Staters will see the Phillies and Nationals. Talk about anything you like right here.
(Video h/t @NYMoot)
This important three-game series against the Orioles did not get off to a good start last night. Not at all. The Yankees dropped a(nother) winnable game, mostly because their offense shuts down after the fifth or sixth inning. I’m not making that up either. They average only 1.29 runs per game from the sixth through ninth innings, which is the lowest in baseball according to Team Rankings. This team goes down too easily in the late innings. Here is the Orioles lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:
- LF Brett Gardner
- SS Derek Jeter
- CF Jacoby Ellsbury
- 1B Mark Teixeira
- DH Brian McCann
- RF Ichiro Suzuki
- 2B Brian Roberts
- 3B Kelly Johnson
- C Frankie Cervelli
RHP Shane Greene
It is hot and humid in Baltimore, per usual, and there are scattered thunderstorms in the forecast for later this evening. Not sure if they will be an issue for the game or what. We’ll find out eventually. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy the game.
Roster Updates: Jeff Francis has reported to the team and is available today. He is wearing No. 53. Matt Daley was optioned down to clear a roster spot … Masahiro Tanaka (elbow) will not attend the All-Star Game festivities next week. He’s receiving his platelet rich-plasma injection on Monday.
Our friends at TiqIQ are giving away a pair of tickets to your choice of six 2014 Yankees games included in the flex plan package. The list of available games is right here. All you have to do to enter the giveaway contest is either login through Facebook or enter your email address in the widget below and follow the steps. That’s it. It only takes a few seconds and requires minimal brainpower. Good luck.
Via Jim Callis: The Yankees have signed ninth round pick Vanderbilt SS Vince Conde for $155,000. Slot money for the 272nd overall pick is $146,500. Conde actually played for Short Season Staten Island last night, going 2-for-4 with a walk in his pro debut. He signed so late because Vanderbilt was playing in the College World Series.
Conde, 21, hit .284/.397/.379 with four homers, 15 steals, 41 walks, and 42 strikeouts in 72 games for the Commodores this spring. He’s a no-doubt shortstop long-term with a very good glove, but he doesn’t project to be much of a hitter in pro ball. As you can see at our 2014 Draft Pool Tracker, Conde’s over-slot bonus pushes the Yankees over their spending pool by roughly $120,000. They’ll have to pay approximately $90,000 in tax, assuming no more over-slot signings. The signing deadline is this coming Friday and it doesn’t appear the team will sign Florida HS RHP Garrett Cave (17th round) or Connecticut HS 3B Will Toffey (23rd round), their two late round signability fliers. · (9) ·
That was not the best way to start the most important series of the season (to date!). The Yankees and Orioles needed extra innings to determine Friday’s series opener, which ended with New York’s sixth walk-off loss of the season. They had seven such losses last year. The O’s won 3-2 in ten innings. Let’s recap the loss:
- Two Homers: In what was a pretty cool moment, Brian Roberts hit a solo homer on the very first pitch he saw as a visiting player in Camden Yards. The home crowd was mostly indifferent. Just a few cheers and not what I expected for a guy like Roberts. Anyway, that was New York’s first run. Kelly Johnson plated the second one inning later with a solo homer of his own. It was his sixth of the year and first away from Yankee Stadium. Thus concludes the run-scoring portion of the recap.
- Wild Kuroda: On the surface, two runs on three singles and no walks in seven innings seems pretty damn awesome. Hiroki Kuroda was very wild though — the lack of walks had more to do with Baltimore’s general impatience than his strike-throwing — hitting two batters and uncorking three (very) wild pitches. The Orioles scored those two runs on one hit in fourth inning. Two wild pitches and two hit batters contributed to the rally. Kuroda really had to battle himself but ultimately gave the team a quality outing.
- Offense Asleep: Ichiro Suzuki hit a ground-run double with one out in the fourth inning, putting men at second and third with one out. Yangervis Solarte popped out and Johnson flew out to end the threat, and the Yankees did not pick up another hit until Brian McCann singled leading off the ninth. A botched bunt contributed to that failed rally. Twenty of the final 23 batters the Yankees sent to the plate made outs. Orioles pitchers threw 14 total pitches in the eighth and tenth innings. Click this.
- Leftovers: The top four hitters in the lineup went a combined 1-for-19 (.053) with five strikeouts while the bottom five hitters went 6-for-18 (.333) … Ichiro went 2-for-4 with two doubles, his sixth and seventh extra-base hits of the season … Dellin Betances struck out three and hit a batter in two scoreless innings … Adam Warren served up the walk-off loss on a Manny Machado double/Nick Hundley single combination … the Yankees drew one walk in ten innings and have a measly 5.5% walk rate in the last 15 games … with the loss, the Yankees are 17-19 against the AL East and 46-46 overall this season.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs has some other stats, and ESPN has the updated standings. The Yankees are now five games back of the Orioles for first place in the AL East and, depending on the outcome of the late game, they will be either 2.5 (Mariners lose) or 3.5 (Mariners win) games back of the second wildcard spot. Shane Greene will be asked to stop the bleeding on Saturday afternoon, when he’ll be opposed by Chris Tillman. A win would be cool.
Some notes, starting with injury updates from Josh Norris:
- LHP Ian Clarkin is on the Low-A Charleston DL with a sprained ankle and SS Jorge Mateo is out with a sore hand. He is not on the disabled list, however. As long as Clarkin’s arm is fine, whatever. SS Abi Avelino (quad) will return to game action tomorrow and 3B Eric Jagielo (oblique) could return next week. I guess he had a setback.
- C Luis Torrens was sixth on this week’s Prospect Hot Sheet. The 18-year-old came in Friday hitting .409/.447/.659 (217 wRC+) with four doubles, two triples, and one homer in eleven games with Short Season Staten Island.
Triple-A Scranton (5-1 win over Rochester)
- RF Jose Pirela: 3-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI — so what do you think, he gets the All-Star break to get comfortable in right then gets the call?
- 2B Rob Refsnyder: 1-4, 1 RBI
- DH Kyle Roller: 1-3, 1 BB, 1 K
- 1B Austin Romine: 3-4, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K — 11-for-23 (.478) in his last six games
- C John Ryan Murphy: 0-3, 1 BB, 2 K
- RHP Jairo Heredia: 5 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 5 K, 3/7 GB/FB — 52 of 79 pitches were strikes (66%)
- SwP Pat Venditte: 2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1/1 GB/FB — 26 of 42 pitches were strikes (62%)
Considering all the injuries and their extended stretch of mediocre play — 42-42 in their last 84 games! — this could be a season-defining series for the Yankees. I don’t think that’s hyperbole either. If the Yankees sweep, they’ll be a game back of the Orioles and right in the thick of the AL East race. If the Yankees get swept, forget it. They’ll be seven games back and buried. They would have to seriously consider selling at the trade deadline.
This is the epitome of a one game at a time weekend. The All-Star break is coming up, so Joe Girardi can lean a heavily on his late-inning relievers if necessary. In fact, I encourage it. This is the most important series of the season (to date), after all. Win at all costs, then enjoy the four-day mini-vacation next week. Here is the Orioles lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:
- LF Brett Gardner
- SS Derek Jeter
- CF Jacoby Ellsbury
- 1B Mark Teixeira
- C Brian McCann
- 2B Brian Roberts
- RF Ichiro Suzuki
- 3B Yangervis Solarte
- DH Kelly Johnson
RHP Hiroki Kuroda
It’s a little cloudy but hot and uncomfortably humid in Baltimore, which is pretty standard down there. Tonight’s game will begin a little after 7pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy the game.
Updates: CC Sabathia (knee) has postponed his appointment with Dr. Andrews on Monday. He will first get opinions from Dr. ElAttrache and Dr. Maister … in case you missed it earlier, the Yankees acquired lefty Jeff Francis in a minor trade with the Athletics. Jim Miller was designated for assignment and Matt Daley was called up.