DotF: Jagielo, Bichette pick up two hits apiece in Tampa win

RHP Luis Severino was included in today’s Prospect Watch at FanGraphs, so head on over for a few paragraphs on the 20-year-old right-hander. HE has a 1.89 ERA (2.39 FIP) with a 22/6 K/BB in 19 innings for Low-A Charleston this season. Baseball Reference says Severino is 1.8 years younger than the average player in the league.

Triple-A Scranton had a scheduled off-day.

Double-A Trenton was rained out. They’ll play a doubleheader tomorrow.

High-A Tampa (6-0 win over Dunedin)

  • CF Jake Cave: 0-4, 1 K
  • SS Brendan Ryan: 1-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K — 4-for-14 (.286) in his four rehab games
  • DH Eric Jagielo: 2-4, 1 R — had been in a 5-for-27 slump (.185)
  • 3B Dante Bichette Jr.: 2-4, 1 R, 1 RBI — second straight two-hit game
  • C Peter O’Brien: 1-4, 3 K
  • 2B Angelo Gumbs: 1-3, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB
  • RHP Brett Gerritse: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 1 HB, 10/3 GB/FB
  • LHP Tyler Webb: 2 IP, zeroes, 4/1 GB/FB — last year’s tenth rounder has a 65/9 K/BB in 48.1 pro innings

Low-A Charleston‘s game as suspended due to rain with two outs in the bottom of the first inning. Probably not the wisest decision to start the game, in hindsight. Anyway, they’ll complete the game as part of a doubleheader tomorrow. Here’s the box score if you can’t wait until then for the stats.

Marchand: Yankees can’t place Pineda on DL until end of suspension

Via Andrew Marchand: The Yankees are not allowed to place Michael Pineda on the disabled list until his ten-game pine tar related suspension ends. Thanks to today’s rainout, the team is now stuck playing with a 24-man roster until Tuesday instead of Monday.

Pineda, 25, will miss at least 3-4 weeks with a Grade I teres major strain, so they’ll stick him on the DL as soon as the suspension ends. Brendan Ryan is currently on a minor league rehab assignment and it seems likely he will be activated to fill the extra roster spot next week. The Yankees are currently carrying seven relievers and only a three-man bench.

Wednesday Night Open Thread

The Yankees and Mariners were rained out tonight and, looking out my window, it was a wise decision to call the game so early. It’s been raining all day and it’s supposed to rain all through tomorrow afternoon. Even if they wanted to play a doubleheader on Thursday, I don’t know that they would be able to get the first game in. The weather is supposed to clear up in time for the regularly scheduled night game, however.

Anyway, here is the open thread. There were a lot of rainouts today, so it doesn’t look like there is any baseball on national television. There are three NBA and three NHL playoff games though. All three hockey games are Game Sevens too (including the Rangers!), and those are always a blast. Talk about whatever you like here.

Yankees will skip David Phelps, miss Felix Hernandez due to rainout

Thanks to today’s rainout, the Yankees will skill David Phelps‘ scheduled start and instead keep the rotation on turn, the team announced. That means Hiroki Kuroda will start tomorrow night’s game as originally planned. Phelps will have to start sometime in the next five days, obviously.

More importantly, the Mariners announced they are using the rainout to push their starters back a day and give everyone extra rest, which means lefty Roenis Elias will start Thursday’s series finale rather than Felix Hernandez. Oh happy day. That’s a really nice break for the Yankees.

2014 Draft: Foster Griffin

Foster Griffin | LHP

Background
Griffin, 18, attends the First Academy in Orlando, which has only had two players drafted (zero big leaguers) in its history. Not exactly a baseball hotbed. Griffin is a lock to be the highest drafted player in school history. He is committed to Ole Miss.

Scouting Report
Griffin is a classic big, projectable, high school left-hander. He is listed at 6-foot-5 and 190 lbs., and his fastball currently sits in the 88-90 mph range. Obviously whoever drafts him will be banking on a few extra miles an hour showing up as he fills out. Griffin also throws a big-breaking mid-70s curveball that has the look of a potential out pitch, but it’s inconsistent right now. He also throws a changeup, which is probably his best secondary pitch. Griffin’s delivery is pretty simply but it can fall out of whack from time to time, so his command comes and goes. Classic project pitcher.

Miscellany
In their latest rankings, Keith Law (subs. req’d) and Baseball America (no subs. req’d) ranked Griffin as the 35th and 44th best player in the draft, respectively. That will change in the coming weeks and so far he has only moved up the rankings, not down. The Yankees’ first pick is in the second round (55th overall), so Griffin would have to slip through the cracks a bit to be available to them. The Bombers sure do love their big, tall, projectable high school pitchers though. Griffin is right up their alley.

Update: Wednesday’s game rained out, makeup scheduled for June 2nd

5:04pm: It’s official, the game will be made up at 7pm ET on June 2nd, the Yankees announced.

3:04pm: Joel Sherman says they are likely to make the game up on June 2nd. That is right smack in the middle of a homestand for the Yankees, though it will force them to play 17 games in 17 days. No biggie. Sherman says the Mariners didn’t want a doubleheader tomorrow because they already have one scheduled for next week.

2:47pm: Bryan Hoch says there will be no doubleheader tomorrow. The two teams will lose an off-day and the Mariners will have to make a trip back to New York.

2:25pm: Tonight’s game against the Mariners has been postponed due to rain, the Yankees announced. A makeup date has not yet been determined. I guess that means no doubleheader tomorrow? We’ll find out soon enough. The Mariners are not scheduled to return to Yankee Stadium this season.

If they don’t play a doubleheader tomorrow, the Yankees could either skip David Phelps (tonight’s scheduled starter) or simply push their rotation back a day. I’d bet on the the latter. If they play a doubleheader, the Yankees will need to dig up a spot starter at some point. The real question is whether Mariners push their rotation back a day in the event of no doubleheader, which would mean no Felix Hernandez tomorrow night. Fingers crossed.

The Yankees and Mariners only have four mutual off-days remaining this year: May 19th, June 2nd, June 26th, and August 14th. June 2nd and 14th are the most likely makeup dates because the Mariners will be on the East Coast at the time. Losing an off-day stinks, but the silver lining is that the Mariners have to come to the Bronx to make this game up. The Yankees don’t have to travel all the way out to Seattle.

Top half of the lineup behind recent offense problems (which won’t last forever)

(Elsa/Getty)
(Elsa/Getty)

Just last week, the Yankees scored 45 runs on a seven-game road trip through Tampa and Boston, scoring at least five runs in five of the seven games. The rebuilt lineup started the season slowly but that wasn’t going to last forever. The Yankees were getting on base, smacking homers, stealing bases, coming up with timely walks, hitting good pitching (14 runs in 9.2 innings against Jon Lester and David Price), and hitting bad pitching (11 runs in 6.1 innings against Erik Bedard and Felix Doubront). It was great.

The first four games of this homestand have not gone as well. The Bombers scored eight total runs in three games against the Angels over the weekend (still won two of three!) and last night they were shut down by whatever’s left of Chris Young‘s career. Two of their last four runs have scored because of defensive miscues — Nick Maronde wild pitch, Mike Zunino throwing error — so they’ve needed some help getting on the board these last two games. It’s annoying but every team goes through (multiple) stretches like this each year.

The Yankees haven’t been scoring lately simply because the top half of the lineup is in a collective funk. Here is what they’ve done over the last seven days, which includes that 14-5 beatdown of the Red Sox:

The fivesome has combined for seven extra-base hits during that time, all doubles. Obviously some parts have been mixed in the last few days (Brett Gardner leading off yesterday, for example), but that has been the team’s most used one through five lineup combination so far this season according to Baseball Reference. You’re not going to score many runs when your top five hitters do that. Guys like Brian Roberts, Mark Teixeira, and Yangervis Solarte are not going to carry a lineup all by themselves.

McCann had a good 6-7 game stretch a few weeks ago but otherwise he has not hit this year and it’s starting to get annoying. He isn’t striking out much — his 13.3% strikeout rate is well below the league average and his lowest rate in seven years — but he also isn’t walking much either (4.4%). Considering he walked in 9.7% of his plate appearances last year and in 9.4% for his career, I don’t think this will last. McCann is being victimized by the fourth highest infield pop-up rate (9.6%) among baseball’s 193 qualified hitters, which is by far a career high. Pop-ups are basically automatic outs. It seems like McCann is juuust missing and popping up some pitches he should be creaming. Since he isn’t struggling to make contact and his ground ball rate hasn’t spiked like it does for most players when they start to lose bat speed (his grounder rate has actually dropped this year), it seems like it’s only a matter of time before he breaks out.

Ellsbury and Beltran were hitting earlier this season, quite a bit too. They just hit the skids recently. It happens. Perhaps Ellsbury’s sore hand explains his slump, who knows. Soriano has long been one of the streakiest hitters in baseball, we all know this from his first stint in pinstripes, and right now he’s not hitting. A few weeks ago he was, also quite a bit. Jeter … I don’t really know what to expect from him going forward. He isn’t hitting for any power whatsoever but his overall .352 OBP is more than respectable. I’d be happy if he maintains that all season at his age and after all those injuries. Baseball is hard enough as it is. It’s extra hard for a soon-to-be 40-year-old coming off some serious leg problems.

When the Yankees struggled to score at the start of the season, I said it was way too early to worry and it was. They started hitting a day or two later. The same is true now. The top half of the lineup has stunk for a week now and the team has struggled to score runs on the homestand, but it is only a handful of games. McCann is the only one of these guys who hasn’t hit much all season but it’s not like the Yankees will bench him. That’s be pretty silly. They just need to work through it. Otherwise Ellsbury, Jeter, Beltran, and Soriano have just stopped hitting at the same time. It stinks but it won’t last forever. It’s just baseball.