Let’s be real: Friday night’s loss was annoying as hell because of the offensive no-show against Jeremy freakin’ Bonderman. The Yankees shook off the loss and rebounded with a 3-1 win on Saturday afternoon, getting a very encouraging outing from the starting pitcher and two well-timed hits from the utility infielder. Let’s recap…
- 85 & Fly: Andy Pettitte ran out of gas once his pitch count reached 70 or so last time out, so Joe Girardi made sure to have the quick hook ready and got his 40-year-old starter out of there after 85 effective pitches on Saturday. Pettitte was outstanding, allowing just three singles and one run in 7.1 innings of work. He struck out six and had six 1-2-3 innings in his seven full frames. It was vintage Andy, better than that really, and he got his well-earned 250th career win. Congrats to him.
- New York Nix: The Yankees have scored a whole bunch of runs early in games recently, but they hadn’t scored a run after the third inning since Monday until Jayson Nix singled in Ichiro Suzuki in the fifth inning. Two innings later, Nix singled in Brett Gardner for an insurance run. There’s no real reason to ever bat Jayson second, but the beauty of baseball is that anything can happen on a given day. On this day he went 2-for-4 with a walk and drove in both the go-ahead and insurance runs.
- Shaky But Effective: David Robertson and Mariano Rivera pitched in relief of Pettitte and were a bit shaky, but ultimately they nailed down the win. Robertson walked Brendan Ryan (!) while Rivera surrendered a jam-shot single to Kyle Seager and a four-pitch walk to former teammate Raul Ibanez. Mo struck out the side for his 22nd save. Girardi would have had hell to pay if they blew the game after taking Pettitte out so early, but I don’t have a problem with it. Again, 40-year-old coming off back injuries in each of the last two months. Better safe than sorry so soon after coming off the DL.
- Leftovers: Gardner went 3-for-5 with two doubles and is hitting very well right now … Nix and Vernon Wells (!) were the only other players with multiple hits … the top five hitters went 9-for-22 while the bottom four went 1-for-14 … Kevin Youkilis jammed his back sliding into first base on a defensive play (exactly how he re-injured it last time) and was icing it after the game, but apparently it’s nothing serious and he’ll be fine for tomorrow’s game. Considering his offensive performance of late, a day off wouldn’t be the end of the world.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Rays beat the Orioles while the Red Sox split their doubleheader with the Angels, so the Yankees are one back of Boston, one up on Tampa, and two up on Baltimore in the loss column. David Phelps and Felix Hernandez is your pitching matchup for this final game of this four-game set on Sunday afternoon.
Triple-A Scranton (10-4 loss to Buffalo)
- LF Zoilo Almonte: 1-4, 1 R
- CF Melky Mesa: 0-3, 1 BB, 2 K
- 3B Ronnie Mustelier: 0-4, 2 K
- RF Thomas Neal: 1-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K
- RHP Brett Marshall: 5 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 8/2 GB/FB — 58 of 100 pitches were strikes … it’s June 8th, and he’s sitting on a 7.45 ERA and 6.2 BB/9
Here is your open thread for this fine evening. The Mets and Marlins are still playing, believe it or not. They’re in the 18th inning (!) as I write this. The Red Sox and Angels are the FOX game in the Tri-State Area (Buchholz vs. Wilson), though those of you scattered elsewhere will see a different game depending on where you live. There’s also some NHL playoff action. You folks know how this stuff works, so have at it.
… because High-A Tampa’s game in Lakeland was rained out. What, were you worried it was something else? Sorry.
The weather isn’t looking too promising for tomorrow either, so I don’t know what the plan is for his rehab going forward. The 30-day rehab window doesn’t officially begin until he actually appears in a game, so that’s not an issue. I’m sure we’ll find out the plan eventually. · (24) ·
The Yankees’ offense has disappeared since hanging six runs on Aaron Harang some 15 innings ago, scoring just one run off the combination of Blake Beavan, Jeremy Bonderman, and various relievers. That’s kind of annoying. Knock it off. Here’s the lineup that will face southpaw Joe Saunders…
- CF Brett Gardner
- SS Jayson Nix
- DH Mark Teixeira
- 2B Robinson Cano
- LF Vernon Wells
- 1B Kevin Youkilis
- RF Ichiro Suzuki
- 3B David Adams
- C Chris Stewart
And on the mound is the 594th overall pick in the 1990 draft, left-hander Andy Pettitte. This afternoon’s game is scheduled to begin a little after 4pm ET and can be seen on YES. Enjoy.
Left-hander Vidal Nuno left last night’s start with Triple-A Scranton due to a groin injury, Joe Girardi confirmed. He is likely headed to the DL and there is no word on the severity of the injury.
While Nuno is clearly the team’s sixth starter at the moment, they still have Ivan Nova in Triple-A and Michael Pineda due to start his rehab assignment today. The Yankees still have enough rotation depth despite cutting Chien-Ming Wang loose yesterday. Hopefully Nuno makes it back soon, but groins can be tricky. · (3) ·
Welcome to Day Three, the last gasp of the 2013 draft. Rounds 11-40 will be chosen today, and none of those picks are directly tied to the draft pool. No pool money will be lost if these guys do not sign. Expect to see some/all of the last remaining high-end high school players chosen at some point this afternoon as super deep backup plans. None are expected to sign but it’s worth a shot.
The Yankees landed three true first round talents with their free first round picks on Day One, and Day Two brought a mix of interesting prospects and draft pool-saving selections. Day Three will be a smorgasbord — interesting prospects, nepotism picks, organization filler, pretty much the works. Here are some quick links before we proceed:
- Our 2013 Draft Order Tracker is now up and running. It’s available at all times under the Resources tab, right under the street sign in the banner. We’ll keep track of the Yankees’ draft pool situation between now and signing deadline there, so check back often.
- In other draft pool news, scouting director Damon Oppenheimer told K. Levine-Flandrup he does not expect to have any trouble signing the team’s Day One selections. Sandwich rounder LHP Ian Clarkin told reporters he wants “life-changing money” to turn pro, and I’m guessing he’ll find something a bit over the $1.65M slot value to be pretty damn life-changing.
- “The Yankees nailed their first three picks,” wrote Keith Law in his AL breakdown (subs. req’d). He also notes they took some interesting bullpen options on Day Two and Clarkin “was inconsistent this spring in command, but his velocity was strong at year end and he would have gone in the teens had he performed better.”
- Here are the best remaining players heading into Day Three, according to Baseball America. The first seven are essentially unsignable high schoolers.
The draft resumes this afternoon at 1pm ET with a rapid fire conference call that will be broadcast on MLB.com. You can also follow all the picks live with the Draft Tracker. There won’t be a liveblog today, so use this thread to talk about any and all picks.
Thanks to the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, Day Two is the least exciting day of the draft. It covers rounds three through ten, and like many teams, the Yankees use those rounds to stock up on college seniors — who have no leverage and sign for far-below-slot bonuses — to save draft pool money. The savings then go towards over-slot bonuses in the really early and really late rounds. It’s one of the few ways to game the system.
That is precisely the strategy the Yankees employed on Friday, at least to a certain extent — three of their eight Day Two selections were college seniors. Their Day Two haul started with a very familiar surname.
More Than Bloodlines
Three years ago, the Yankees selected OF Mike O’Neill out of an Ohio high school in the 42nd round. He didn’t sign and instead followed through on his commitment to Michigan. Yesterday afternoon, they drafted him again with their third round pick.
O’Neill, of course, is the nephew of former Yankee Paul O’Neill. He is much more than a nepotism pick though, in fact he was expected to come off the board late in the second round. The Yankees nabbed him in the third following a strong year with the Wolverines. “Michael is an athletic outfielder with some hand and wrist strength at the plate … (he’s) a plus runner with a fringy arm who at least should get a year or so in center in the minors to see if he can be an above-average defender or better there,” wrote Keith Law (subs. req’d).
Uncle O’Neill and nephew O’Neill have very different styles of play despite a similar hard-on-themselves attitude. Michael’s plate discipline is a big concern — 106/33 K/BB in 148 college games — and if he can’t play center he’ll be a ‘tweener without enough power for a corner. Then again, we are talking about a third round pick here. There are going to be warts. While the bloodlines grab the most attention, O’Neill can hit and run a bit. He wasn’t drafted as a favor.
The Pirates drafted OF Brandon Thomas in the fourth round last year, but he returned to Georgia Tech for his senior season. Rather than improve his stock, he missed a whole bunch of time with mono and was very rarely at 100% for the Yellow Jackets. The Yankees nabbed him in the eighth round yesterday.
When healthy, Thomas has a contact-oriented line drive swing with enough pop to hit mistakes out of the park. He also runs well and is a capable center field defender. Thomas was considered the second best college senior in the draft class behind only first overall pick Mark Appel when the spring opened, but teams never really got to see him at full strength. New York pounced late on Day Two and walked away with a cheap college senior who is way more than the typical draft pool-saving pick.
Size & Stuff
Supplemental first rounder Aaron Judge is listed at 6-foot-7, but he is only the second tallest player the Yankees have draft this year. Howard College RHP David Palladino (5th round) is listed at 6-foot-9 and 230 lbs., and the four-pitch pitcher uses his size to pitch downhill with a low-90s fastball. His command is fine and he has enough pitches to start.
With their final pick of Day Two, the Yankees nabbed South Carolina LHP Tyler Webb (10) and his 6-foot-6, 225 lb. frame. He had Tommy John surgery in high school but spent four years as a workhorse reliever for the Gamecocks. Webb will sit in the low-90s with his fastball and throw three offspeed pitches, and he draws rave reviews his bulldog mentality and incredibly aggressive approach. It’s a lefty specialist profile at best, but like Palladino he offers both size and decent stuff as a later round selection.
It’s no secret the Yankees have an affinity for physically large players, but they grabbed the wiry high school 2B Gosuke Katoh in the second round and doubled up with California HS SS Tyler Wade (4) on Day Two. He’s listed at 6-foot-2 and 170 lbs. with a game that fits the frame: speed, contact, and defense. Wade is a pro-level defender and a rare lefty hitting shortstop, but he has zero present power. It’s unclear if he’ll ever grow into any either. Legit shortstops are hard to find though, and the Yankees found one in the fourth round.
Aside from anything thrown by supplemental first rounder LHP Ian Clarkin, the best individual pitch the Yankees have drafted so far this year belongs to LSU RHP Nick Rumbelow (7). His hard curveball is a true swing-and-miss pitch, which is a pretty great starting point for a short reliever. Rumbelow’s low-90s fastball is pretty straight and his rough delivery makes some think he’ll spend a decent amount of time on the DL, but digging up a true out-pitch more than 220 picks into the draft is not easy to accomplish.
Impacting The Draft Pool
Sacred Heart SS John Murphy (6) and Auburn LHP Kendrick Conner (9) are the fringiest of fringe prospects who were likely selected as part of the team’s draft pool-saving strategy more than anything. Murphy, a senior, has a good swing but is a utility man at best according to Nathan Rode. Conner, a junior, is a finesse college swing-man and the kind of arm New York can bounce around from role to role and level to level to fill any roster holes for a year or three. Neither will have much on-field impact, but they serve a purpose by allowing the team to manipulate its league-regulated budget.
* * *
The current draft setup doesn’t really enable a team picking late in each round to land impact talent in the middle rounds — even though the Yankees had extra picks and draft pool money this year, it’s not a huge amount they can legitimately spread around — so the Bombers can only do so much on Day Two of the draft. They got two nice players in O’Neill and Thomas and two interesting prospects in Wade and Rumbelow, but otherwise their Day Two selections were gearing towards optimizing the draft pool.
Well that wasn’t fun. The amazing disappearing offense was a no-show against a pitcher who’s been out of the league for more than two years while Hiroki Kuroda was done in by one bad inning on Friday night. Let’s recap the 4-1 loss…
- Two Outs: After pitching around two-out doubles in the second and third, the wheels came off the Kuroda train in the fourth. Another two-out double spiraled into a four-run inning that featured a walk to Nick Franklin (#7 hitter), a walk to Kelly Shoppach (#8 hitter), and a two-run single by Brendan Ryan (#9 hitter). A two-run single by Jason Bay (#2) accounted for the other two runs. Kuroda was one strike away from ending the inning scoreless on two occasions. Four runs on eight hits and three walks in 6.1 innings is a decidedly un-Kuroda-like effort. Shake it off, Hiroki.
- LMAOffense: One run on four singles and one walk in 12.2 innings against Blake Beaven and Jeremy Bonderman. I wish I would say I was surprised, but I’m not. After forcing Bonderman to throw 51 pitches in the first two innings, the Yankees coaxed just 46 pitches out of him in the next four innings. You can file this one under “well-earned losses.”
- Death by Bunting: I know Reid Brignac is terrible, but I don’t get bunting on Bonderman (!) in the second inning (!!!) after the first two batters of the inning reach base. What’s the plan, set up Chris Stewart for the RBI opportunity? It’s super early in the game and Bonderman has been out of the big leagues since 2010. Swing the damn bats that early in the game. Strategy fail.
- Leftovers: The two through six hitters went a combined 1-for-19 (.053) with one walk, and the one hit was Kevin Youkilis‘ two-out double in the ninth … Preston Claiborne threw 1.2 scoreless innings in relief of Kuroda and almost walked the first batter of his big league career, but the would-be ball four pitch hit Shoppach in the arm. Claiborne still has yet to issue a walk in 18.1 innings.
Go to MLB.com for the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs for some other stats, and ESPN for the updated standings. The Red Sox were rained out while the Rays beat the Orioles, so the Yankees are two back of Boston and one up on Baltimore and Tampa (in the loss column). Andy Pettitte will get the ball against Joe Saunders in game three of this four-game series on Saturday afternoon.
Triple-A Scranton (4-2 loss to Syracuse)
- DH Thomas Neal: 0-2, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K
- LF Zoilo Almonte & CF Melky Mesa: both 0-4 — Almonte struck out once, Mesa twice
- RF Ronnie Mustelier: 1-3, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K — threw a runner out at the plate … ten hits in his last 20 at-bats with three doubles and a homer
- LHP Vidal Nuno: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 0/1 GB/FB — 18 of 26 pitches were strikes (69%) … apparently he called the trainer out and left the game due to injury, so that really sucks
- RHP Chase Whitley: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 2/0 GB/FB — 26 of 37 pitches were strikes (70%)
- RHP Mark Montgomery: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GB/FB — 12 of 23 pitches were strikes (52%)
- RHP Dellin Betances: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GB/FB — 14 of 26 pitches were strikes (54%) … allowed just one run in his last three appearances (6.1 innings)