In his latest minor league rehab game with Double-A Trenton this afternoon, Curtis Granderson went 1-for-3 with two walks and a strikeout. He singled to left on a jam shot and flew out to center. Granderson played the entire game at DH, and there’s a good chance he will join the Yankees when they open their series against the Padres in San Diego. That is not yet official, however. · (6) ·
The Yankees currently reside in fourth place in the A.L. East at 55-51 (52-54 Pythag. record), and are 3.5 games back in the Wild Card hunt. A postseason berth is absolutely doable, but in order to get there, the team will have to address a number of hot topics — notably, the overall offensive ineptitude, the starting rotation concerns (CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, and Phil Hughes have all been pretty unreliable) and the huge elephant in the room that is the team’s high-priced third baseman being banned for the foreseeable future. This will be challenging given that the trade deadline is basically here.
Schedule wise, the team has some noticeable hurdles as well. It began last night in L.A. as the team faced off against the Dodgers and lost a winnable game. I’m guessing the Yankees will likely be dominated tonight by Clayton Kershaw, and will probably also surrender a whole bevy of runs to guys like Adrian Gonzalez, Yasiel Puig, and Hanley Ramirez. Who knows though; maybe they can pull a win out of the bag. Either way, I’ll be one of those folks on the East Coast struggling to keep their eyes open during tonight’s late night game.
This brings us into the month of August. The team will face some weaker opponents such as the White Sox and Padres (in Chicago and San Diego respectively) right off the bat, followed by an off day on August 8th. Who knows, the roster could look more formidable by this point if guys like Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson, and David Phelps all rejoin the roster. I don’t know if Francisco Cervelli is still on his original recovery time table or not (or whether he too will ultimately accept a plea deal for his involvement with Biogenesis), but maybe he’ll make an appearance around this time too.
From there, they’ll enter a seven-game homestand against the defending AL champs, the Tigers, followed by a four-game series against the Angels. I don’t expect sweeps of any teams, but I’ll be disappointed if they don’t take the series against everyone not based out of Detroit through this point. Of course, it’d be nice if they could at least split with the Tigers too. After the off day, the Yanks will trek north to Boston for a critical three games against the Sox followed immediately by the second off day of the month on August 19th.
The following nine days include four games (in three days) against the Blue Jays in New York, three games against the Rays in Tampa, and then three more back in Toronto. August 29th is the final off day of the month, at which point they’ll begin a three game set against the Orioles at home which will take us into September. The team has a chance to capitalize here on some (theoretically) winnable series. They could also gain a few important games in the standings within their division. On the other hand, if the team struggles in August, that probably seals the deal on the season.
September, unfortunately, looks equally (if not more) daunting and will likely be a lot more nerve racking if the Wild Card race comes down to the wire. After Baltimore, the Yanks have a quick three-game set against what will hopefully be a depleted White Sox squad. Then it’s three games against the Red Sox (at home), four more games against the Orioles (this time in Baltimore), and three more games against the Red Sox (this time in Boston). They’ll get one day off on September 16th, followed by a quick trip to Canada for their final series against Toronto.
After that, the team will have a three-game set against the Giants back in New York followed by their final off day on September 23rd. The Bombers will get another crack at the Rays (at home) before concluding their season in Houston with a three-game bout against the Astros. Overall, 18 of their final 27 games will be played against A.L. East teams. They better make them count.
Assuming the team doesn’t raise the white flag and punt the rest of the season by the deadline, they’re going to have a hard road ahead of them in the second half. It’s definitely doable, but in order for a postseason berth to remain plausible, the team is going to have to sort out a bunch of lingering issues in a hurry and then make the most of the games remaining.
Via Joel Sherman & Ken Davidoff: Frankie Cervelli is among the nine players who are “leaning strongly” towards taking a plea deal from MLB following the Biogenesis investigation. MLB has told the union which players will be suspended, and Ronald Blum says the announcements could be pushed back to Friday as the various parties work out the deals. That would allow first time offenders like Cervelli to serve their 50-game suspensions this year before starting 2014 with a proverbial clean slate.
MLB is still trying to get Alex Rodriguez to accept a similar plea agreement, though his suspension is expected to be much longer than 50 games because the league claims he tried to impede the investigation. The two sides have been playing what amounts to a game of chicken in recent days —
MLB officials have leakedreports indicate MLB will seek a lifetime ban for A-Rod if he doesn’t settle, and supposedly Bud Selig is prepared to bypass the Joint Drug Agreement and use the power of the commissioner’s office to ban him from baseball citing the integrity of the game. Alex’s camp has remained defiant and insists no settlement will be made. This will all end at some point, right? · (37) ·
The non-waiver trade deadline is 4pm ET this afternoon, so between now and then there will be a plethora of rumors, speculation, moves, and more. Some of it might even involve the Yankees. I would hope so at least, given their laundry list of needs and spot on the fringes of contention.
Yesterday we learned … not a whole lot. Depending on who you ask, the Yankees may or may not be in the race for Alex Rios, Michael Young, Hunter Pence, and Mike Morse. We do know they are prioritizing a right-handed first baseman to platoon with Lyle Overbay, but that’s really it. They could really use a third baseman, plus the catching position and starting rotation could stand to be upgraded as well. Those are lower priority needs right now. A righty first base bat and third baseman are the top two items on the shopping list.
We’re going to keep track of all the Yankees-related rumors leading up to the deadline right here in this post, so make sure you check back often between now and 4pm. You should come back after that as well; some deals aren’t announced until later in the afternoon. All of the timestamps below are ET.
- 3:56pm: The Yankees have “nothing of consequence in works.” [Rosenthal]
- 3:41pm: The Yankees are “not getting traction” in talks with the Phillies about Young. They also spoke to the Braves about Hughes, but they’re unlikely to make a deal. [Buster Olney & Sherman]
- 2:59pm: New York is optimistic they will have a deal done before the deadline. Deal for who or what? No idea. [Sherman]
- 2:49pm: The Yankees have received two offers for Phil Hughes and are considering them. No word on the teams or other players involved. [Bob Nightengale]
- 2:02pm: The team has indeed been told Young is willing to accept a trade to New York, apparently. Back and forth we go. [Mark Feinsand]
- 1:57pm: The Yankees aren’t getting very far in their search for a third baseman. They don’t have much interest in Placido Polanco, who is very available. [Ken Rosenthal]
- 1:49pm: Young has still not changed his mind about waiving his no-trade clause to come to the Yankees, but the team remains hopeful about acquiring him. [Andy McCullough & Jon Heyman]
- 1:31pm: A team official said everything is “all quiet” as of right now. That’s bad. [Sherman]
- 9:30am: The expectation is that the Yankees will do something today, even if they only flip Joba Chamberlain for a prospect. The team expects Curtis Granderson and possibly Alex Rodriguez to return soon, and they don’t want overlapping parts. [Joel Sherman]
- The Yankees had their eyes on Alberto Callaspo before he was traded to the Athletics last night. They liked that the switch-hitting infielder was signed through next year ($4.875M) given the uncertainty surrounding A-Rod and the general need for an improved bench. [Sherman]
- Once the deadline passes, New York will be in great shape to make waiver trades given their spot in the standings. They’ll have a higher waiver priority than the other serious wildcard contenders, giving them a better opportunity to acquire (or block) pieces in August. Some consolation prize. [Buster Olney]
As far as walk-off losses go, that one was slightly less soul-crushing than the average. You could see it coming a mile away, especially after Joe Girardi declined to use David Robertson for a second inning (nine pitches!). Shawn Kelley ominously had trouble putting Juan Uribe (!) away before surrendering the
winning losing hit to Mark Ellis in the ninth for the 3-2 defeat. The season isn’t young anymore; the Yankees really can’t afford to lose winnable games without their best pitchers on the mound.
New York didn’t do much offensively, wrote the blogger to no one’s surprise. Lyle Overbay drove in the team’s two runs with a solo homer (second inning) and a ground out (fourth). Eighteen of their final 19 batters made outs, which is something I feel like happens every other game. It’s like, once the pitcher gets through the lineup the first time and reads each swing, the Yankees don’t get anyone on base. Five hits, no walks, that’s it. Hopefully Wednesday’s trade deadline brings a new catcher and a new third baseman because the last 106 games tell me they might need some help there. Chris Stewart looks completely out of gas.
If there is good news, I guess it’s that Andy Pettitte actually pitched well. He’d been struggling big time since coming off the DL two months ago. The Dodgers scored runs in the first (two-out single by Hanley Ramirez) and the second (monster homer by Uribe (!)) before Andy fired off five zeroes and gave the team seven strong innings. He struck out three and got some scary fly ball outs to the warning track. It was only Pettitte’s second start of at least seven innings and no more than two runs in May 11th. Yikes.
For the box score and video highlights, head to MLB.com. FanGraphs has some other stats and ESPN has the updated standings. The Yankees are now eight back in the loss column in the division and three back of the second wildcard spot. There are four teams within three losses of that spot, not including the team who currently holds it. Anyway, it’ll be a matchup of aces on Wednesday night, when Hiroki Kuroda and Clayton Kershaw will wrap up this quick two-game series. That should be a blast.
If you’re looking for tonight’s Yankees-Dodgers game thread, then either scroll down or click here. Otherwise, here are some minor league notes:
- The Yankees have signed RHP Jaron Long for just under $100k as an undrafted free agent, reports Mark Feinsand. He is hitting coach Kevin Long’s son. Jaron, a 21-year-old junior from Ohio State, dominated the Cape Cod League this season (0.30 ERA, 25/6 K/BB in 30 innings). He’s headed to Short Season Staten Island.
- New York also signed IF Brady Steiger as an undrafted free agent, according to an announcement from Lewis-Clark State. The 22-year-old junior hit .430/.543/.618 with five homers, 36 walks, 21 hit-by-pitches (!), and and 23. Steiger is headed to one of the two GCL Yanks teams.
- Yankees farmhands will suit up for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League this year, reports Adam Rubin. They’ll be on a team with Mets, Braves, Pirates, and Giants prospects.
Triple-A Scranton (3-2 loss to Indianapolis)
- CF Adonis Garcia: 2-4, 1 R
- LF Ronnie Mustelier: 0-4, 2 K
- 1B David Adams: 0-3, 1 BB
- RHP Brett Marshall: 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 7/3 GB/FB — 70 of 100 pitches were strikes … one earned run allowed in three straight starts
- RHP Mark Montgomery: 1 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1/0 GB/FB — 11 of 18 pitches were strikes (61%)
Since being purchased by the Magic Johnson led Guggenheim Partners group early last year, the Dodgers have turned into the West Coast version of the Yankees. Or at least what the Yankees were in the mid-2000s. They’ve spent a ton of cash and hoarded stars, and that has them sitting in first place in the NL West. They’ve won nine of ten games since the All-Star break and have a $147M pitcher on the mound tonight. Quite the pickle for the East Coast Yankees. Here’s the lineup that will face Zack Greinke:
- CF Brett Gardner
- SS Derek Jeter
- 2B Robinson Cano
- LF Alfonso Soriano
- 1B Lyle Overbay
- RF Ichiro Suzuki
- 3B Jayson Nix
- C Chris Stewart
- LHP Andy Pettitte
Oh yeah, NL park so there’s no DH. Get ready for some strategy!
I didn’t even need to check the weather to know it’s perfect baseball weather in Los Angeles. They haven’t had a rain delay at Dodger Stadium in something like 12 years or whatever. Anyway, first pitch is scheduled for a little after 10pm ET and can be seen on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy.
Injury Update: Alex Rodriguez (hip, quad) is scheduled to start another minor league rehab assignment on Thursday. It’s unclear where that will happen or if he’ll be suspended before that. Either way, that’s still the plan.
In his latest minor league rehab game with Double-A Trenton, Curtis Granderson went 1-for-3 with a walk and a triple to right field. He popped out to third and flew out to center in his other two at-bats. Granderson played six innings in left field as well, though his bat is more of a concern at this point given the nature of his injury (hand). Mike Ashmore says Curtis will play with the Thunder again tomorrow, and rumor has it he could rejoin the team for the Padres series this weekend.
In the same game, David Phelps (forearm) allowed one run on three hits and two walks in four innings. He struck out six and got four ground ball outs compared to one in the air (popup). The other out came on a pickoff by the catcher. Phelps threw 50 of his 76 pitches for strikes (66%). I don’t know what the plan is now, but I assume he’ll make one more rehab start before joining the team unless the big league club suddenly needs a pitcher. · (2) ·
The Yankees are on the West Coast to play the Dodgers, so the game won’t start for another few hours. Until the regular game thread goes up, use this as your open thread to pass the time. The Mets are playing the Marlins (Wheeler vs. Eovaldi) and MLB Network will air a game as well. Who you see depends on where you live. For the latest on the Bombers leading up to the trade deadline, check out today’s post. Otherwise, talk about whatever you like here. · (39) ·
The annual non-waiver trade deadline is 4pm ET on Wednesday, so pretty much one day away. The Yankees have already pulled off one pre-deadline deal by acquiring Alfonso Soriano and a bunch of cash from the Cubs for minor league righty Corey Black. They were desperate for a right-handed power bat and the trade has already paid dividends, as Soriano hit a two-run homer and a walk-off single on Sunday.
That move was a good first step, but the Yankees need much more help than that. They need an everyday third baseman — seven different players have combined to hit .217/.276/.288 (55 OPS+) at the hot corner this year — especially since it looks increasingly unlikely Alex Rodriguez will return to the team at some point. A righty platoon bat for Lyle Overbay, a catcher, and maybe even a starting pitcher should be on the trade deadline shopping list as well.
The Yankees haven’t made a notable trade at the deadline since way back in 2006, when they brought in Bobby Abreu. By notable trade, a mean a legitimate above-average player. Someone who didn’t require you to squint your eyes and say “maybe he has something left in the tank.” I don’t know if the team will buck that trend in the next 24 hours or so, but if they were ever going to do it, this would be the perfect time.
We’re going to keep track of the day’s Yankees-related rumors right here in this post, so check back often. All times are ET, obviously. Talk about anything trade deadline related — rumors, crazy hypotheticals, etc. — here as well.
- 10:33pm: Forget about Callaspo, he has reportedly been traded to the Athletics. [Rosenthal]
- 7:16pm: Young has ruled out a trade to the Yankees and the team no longer has interest in Rios. [Andrew Marchand & Buster Olney]
- 6:40pm: The Yankees have interest in Alberto Callaspo and have spoken to the Angels about him. Unclear if talks are serious at all. [Danny Knobler]
- 5:49pm: Mike Morse is very available, but the Yankees and Mariners have not yet had any serious talks. When the Nationals made Morse available over the winter, they wanted Ramon Flores and Jose Ramirez in return. [Sherman & Josh Norris]
- 4:41pm: The Yankees have renewed their interest in Alex Rios. He recently said he would agree to waive his no-trade clause to come to New York after reports to the contrary. [Scott Merkin]
- 3:59pm: With 24 hours to go before the deadline, the Yankees are focused on finding a righty platoon partner for Overbay and perhaps a trade to rid themselves of Joba Chamberlain. I suppose they could accomplish both at once. [Sherman]
- 3:01pm: The Yankees are not completely out on Young at this point, but their chances of landing him are “very limited.” [Heyman]
- 1:50pm: Young will only waive his no-trade clause to return to the Rangers. So much for that idea. [Ken Rosenthal]
- 1:05pm: If Young is indeed being traded soon, the Yankees say it won’t be to them. [Joel Sherman]
- 12:19pm: The Phillies are planning to call up third base prospect Cody Asche, which is a pretty strong indication Young will be traded soon. Not necessarily to the Yankees, mind you. Several other clubs (Red Sox, Rangers, etc.) are said to be interested. [Jeff Passan]
- 12:00pm: The Yankees are still bugging the Giants about Hunter Pence, but there doesn’t appear to be a match at this point. San Francisco plans to make the outfielder a qualifying offer after the season, so any trade return would have to be greater than the value of a supplemental first round pick. [Jon Heyman]
- The team continues to monitor Michael Young, which they’ve been doing for quite some time now. The Phillies recently indicated they are willing to move their third baseman as well as some other players. [Andy Martino]
- Ownership has a “strong desire to reinforce this team and find a way to get in the playoffs,” said Brian Cashman. The Soriano trade is a prime example of that. [Bryan Hoch]