Update: Gardner and Hafner day-to-day with contusions

10:10pm: In case you’re wondering, Hafner fouled a ball off his foot in the batting cage during his usual between at-bats routine.

9:39pm: Both Hafner (left foot) and Brett Gardner (right leg) are day-to-day with contusions. X-rays came back negative. Gardner was hit by a pitch before being removed in the blowout game, though I’m not sure what happened with Pronk. He could have fouled a ball off his foot at some point.

8:51pm: Travis Hafner was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning of tonight’s game for no apparent reason. Vernon Wells replaced him and faced the right-handed starter Wade Davis. Hafner hasn’t hit at all since missing a few days with shoulder tendinitis in mid-May, and given his injury history, a move like this definitely registers as more than a blip on the radar. We’ll presumably find out more after the game.

2013 Draft: Yankees sign 18th round pick Dustin Fowler

Via K. Levine-Flandrup: The Yankees have signed 18th round pick Dustin Fowler to an over-slot $278k bonus. Since he was drafted after the tenth round, any bonus money in excess of $100k counts against the draft pool, so his “pool hit” is $178k.

Fowler, 18, is a high school outfielder out of West Laurens High School in Georgia. The left-handed hitter and thrower is a raw, toolsy type who has some pop in his bat and plenty of speed. He is also a strong defender in center field. Fowler quit wrestling and playing football not too long ago and is still baseball raw. He also stands out for his very hard-nosed style of play. Dustin is not related to Dexter Fowler, in case you’re wondering.

Keep tabs on the team’s draft pool with our 2013 Draft Pool page.

Game 91: Just Win Score More Than One Run

(Jim McIsaac/Getty)
(Jim McIsaac/Getty)

The Yankees are an unwatchable lot of offensive incompetence these days, struggling to score more than one run in a game or actually hit a ball into the gap for extra bases. Seriously, the Red Sox had more extra-base hits in the third inning last night (four) than the Yankees have had since Thursday (three). That is just flat out embarrassing. Injuries aren’t an excuse either — the Marlins had three extra-base hits in the first four innings of their game this afternoon, and they’re terrible. Here’s the lineup that will hopefully score some damn runs against right-hander Wade Davis:

  1. CF Brett Gardner
  2. RF Ichiro Suzuki
  3. 2B Robinson Cano
  4. DH Travis Hafner
  5. LF Zoilo Almonte
  6. 1B Lyle Overbay
  7. SS Eduardo Nunez
  8. 3B Luis Cruz
  9. C Chris Stewart

And on the mound looking to build off his dynamite last start, right-hander Ivan Nova. Hopefully it won’t require a miracle blown save to get him a win this time.

It’s cloudy and grossly humid in New York today, and guess what? There’s some rain in the forecast again tonight. It’s expected to show up around the fourth or fifth inning, like the last two nights. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm ET and can be seen on YES. Try to enjoy.

Injury Updates: David Phelps (forearm) will head to Tampa on Monday to start a throwing program. He spent the last few days at home with his family since he’ll be stuck rehabbing during the All-Star break. The team says the minor, but you can never be too sure when it comes to arm injuries.

Ticket Market Says Jeter Will Return Sunday Versus Twins

For our friends at TiqIQ:

Since Derek Jeter was called up to Triple-A Scranton last week, speculation has been swirling about when he will return to the mothership in the Bronx. The latest news reports have Jeter pushing for a return before the All-Star break and GM Brian Cashman hedging. Amidst all the rumors and speculation, anyone who says they know the answer is just guessing and hoping. 

For a more dispassionate perspective, the ticket market may offer some insight. Prices for Yankees tickets over the next four home games suggest that the last game before the All Star Break is the most likely return date. As the below data shows, that Sunday afternoon game is the most expensive of the series, and also 48% higher than the last three Sunday afternoon games, which were against the Blue Jays, Rays and Orioles, all divisional rivals.

Date

Opponent

Average Price

Get-in Price

12-Jul

Vs. Minnesota

$65

$11

13-Jul

Vs. Minnesota

$70

$9

14-Jul

Vs. Minnesota

$95

$17

19-Jul

@ Boston

$247

$51

20-Jul

@ Boston

$269

$44

21-Jul

@ Boston

$200

$57

26-Jul

Vs. Tampa Bay

$91

$17

If Jeter doesn’t make it back before the All-Star game, his return would happen in Boston, and prices for that game on July 19th have the 2nd most expensive average price for Red Sox Tickets all year. His return in the Bronx would them come on July 26th vs. the Rays.

If you’re looking to get the best deal to Sunday’s game, check out the Yankees.com. In particular, section 206 has tickets available for $66.20, which is about $30 less than anything on the secondary market. Click here to get those or any other seats to the Sunday 1:05pm game.

If you’re looking for a good last-minute deal to tonight’s game, you can get a day-of deal from the Yanks in the 3rd row of section 136 for $91.

 

Matt’s thoughts on a random Wednesday

(Mike Stobe/Getty)
(Mike Stobe/Getty)

1. Last night, when the Royals took a 2-1 lead in the top of the seventh off a Billy Butler no-doubter, I sarcastically tweeted that the game was over.  Well, as it turns out, my cynical sentiments weren’t far from the truth.  The Yankees are averaging a measly 3.89 runs per game and have now managed to score only one (!) run in each of the last three matches.  This has resulted in a negative-six run differential, and according to their Pythagorean record, the team should officially be two games under .500 at this point.  Collectively, the team has garnered a 83 wRC+ which is third worst in the majors.  It’s painful to watch.  It’s also really unfair to the pitching.  You could march a rotation of Felix Hernandez, Clayton Kershaw, and Matt Harvey out there every night and it wouldn’t be enough to win if the team only scores a single run.  Ugly, really ugly.

2. Call it selective memory, but I feel like Mike has claimed that each series is very important for the Yankees over the past few weeks. Unfortunately, I kind of agree.  It’s beginning to feel as though each game is a “must win.”  The team sits six games out of first place in the AL East, which is by no means insurmountable at this point in the season.  It’s not that these games are weighted differently from other season games.  It’s just that the team needs to capitalize on its opportunities – particularly against some of the weaker opponents, like the Royals, if they hope to make the playoffs despite a failing offense.  Yesterday, James Shields looked as shaky as I’ve ever seen him early on.  The team simply needs to do better if they hope to remain in contention.  On the plus side, the Yankees are only a game or so back from the Rays and Orioles in the standings, so a Wild Card berth is still very plausible even if a division title is looking less likely.  Also, the Yankees have a bunch of games against Texas, Tampa Bay, Boston and Baltimore remaining which helps (or hurts) their cause depending on how you look at it.

(Kevin C. Cox/Getty)
(Kevin C. Cox/Getty)

3. Doug Mittler wrote a quick blurb about Brian McCann on ESPN yesterday (Insider required).  It noted how McCann will likely be one of the top free agents available in the offseason and could demand a contract comparable to Yadier Molina – that is to say, a five year, $75M agreement.  I don’t know if the Yankees have the goods to acquire McCann from the Braves before the trade deadline, nor do I know if the Braves have any interest in trading him, let alone to the Yankees.  I also don’t know if the Yankees would be interested in him in the offseason given some of his prior injuries (including his most recent shoulder surgery) and their pending austerity budget concerns.  I’ll tell you what though, right about now he’d look awfully good in pinstripes.  Then again, so would Russell Martin (but that’s another point for another day).

4. So it looks like Robinson Cano has finally locked in his roster for the Home Run Derby.  To be honest, I generally don’t spend much time watching the All-Star break activities.  I’ll generally watch the first couple innings of the game itself (along with the last inning if I can to see Mariano Rivera pitch), and occasionally I’ll watch the first round of the Derby.  Still, I have to hand it to Cano for picking a really solid group.  Fielder, Davis, and Cespedes can all hit the long ball with the best of them.  It’ll also be nice not having the Kansas locals bitch and moan about Billy Butler getting snubbed this year.  I have to assume Robbie will have his father pitch to him again.  Hopefully he can knock a couple into the stands this go around.  On the other hand, I don’t quite get David Wright’s decision to invite Michael Cuddyer even though they’re apparently good friends.  I’m guessing Carlos Gonzalez and Bryce Harper will be shouldering most of the load for the National League squad.  It should also be interesting to see how many home runs get swallowed up by the vast dimensions of CitiField.

A-Rod singles in latest minor league rehab game

In his latest minor league rehab game with High-A Tampa, Alex Rodriguez went 1-for-3 with a run-scoring ground ball single through the left side. He played eight innings at DH, grounding out to short and lining out to second in his other two at-bats. This is the second of three consecutive days Alex will play, so I assume he’ll be back at the hot corner tomorrow after playing their yesterday. Overall, A-Rod is 2-for-15 with three strikeouts in six rehab games so far.