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Posted by: Patrick
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Peter Abraham reports that Justin Christian was optioned to make room for Brett Gardner, who is starting tonight in left and hitting leadoff.
Posted by: Patrick
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Peter Abraham has it:

Bobby Murcer continues to recover from the effects of cancer and shingles, which caused him to cut short his broadcasting work and his book tour earlier this month. He has been under medical care in Oklahoma City.

The cancer treatment over the last 18 months has been intensive and has, as a side effect, somewhat compromised his immune system and made the fight all the more challenging. While he has shown some measured improvement in recent days, this is clearly a major battle, as all who have been through it understand.

Bobby remains hopeful that he will be able to resume his broadcasting work down the road, but for now, is appreciative of the thoughts and prayers of his fans, and wants them to know that he is aware that he is in their hearts, as they are in his.
Posted by: James
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Baseball America with the report that Michel Inoa, the top Dominican Republic pitching prospect of the last decade has signed with the As for $4.25 million.

Here's an interesting, Yankee related portion:

The Yankees initially were the leader for Inoa, reportedly coming close to a deal with Inoa on a $2.7 million bonus. However, when other teams indicated they would go beyond that amount, the bidding re-opened, with the Yankees dropping out.
Posted by: James
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Anyone who expected Oliver Perez to throw a gem versus the Yankees, raise their hand. Yes, I have my hand raised. Having had the guy on my fantasy team for seemingly all his bad starts (and benched for his good ones), I just knew he would find a way to burn me again...and he did.

The Yankees were able to muster very little against Oliver Perez yesterday, cranking out only 3 hits and I can remember only one that got out of the infield. That one, a 420 ft BOMB off the bat of Wilson Betemit, accounted for the only run that the Yankees scored. After Perez left the game, Pedro Feliciano came in and pitched a hitless eighth before giving way to Billy Wagner. Wagner gave up a single to Derek Jeter but got A-Rod on a fly-out, Posada on a grounder and Kd Betemit looking to end the game and give the the Mets a Subway Series win for only the second time in the rivalry.

As for the Yankees pitching, Darrell Rasner was in trouble for most of his time out on the mound but somehow wriggled out of trouble and gave up only 2 runs in 5 innings. One on a infield single from Luis Castillo and the other on a LONG home run off the bat of Carlos Delgado. Still, if you are a Yankees fan, you have to be very concerned with how Rasner has been pitching. 8 hits, 3 walks in 5 innings? That's a 2.2 WHIP...and I don't care how lucky you are, that's going to hurt you badly at some point. Clearly, the first 4 starts with a 1.80 ERA weren't indicative of Rasner's talent level...but he's certainly better than what he has shown in his last 6 starts (1-5, 6.47 ERA, .341/.391/.522/.913 line against). It doesn't get better if you narrow that range down to his last 4 starts....1-3, 8.20 ERA and .345/.406/.529/.935 line against. That is some scary stuff...and if the Yankees or their fans expect to win with that kind of production from one of their starters, they will be definitely be disappointed.

The Mets scored their last (and very important insurance run) off of David Robertson who made his first major league appearance.
Posted by: Patrick
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The Times and Democrat reports that Yankees prospect center fielder Brett Gardner has been promoted to the Major League club.

“It really hasn’t set in yet,” Gardner said as his team traveled back from it’s game against Buffalo. “Absolutely, it’s a dream come true. Growing up as a little kid, you get older, and you realize how far away it is. It really hasn’t set in yet, but I think (Monday) when I get there it will definitely happen.”

Gardner is scheduled to drive from Scranton to New York Monday and be in uniform for the Yankees 7:05 p.m. series opener against the Texas Rangers. ...

Via Peter Abraham.
Posted by: Patrick
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Peter Abraham reports that Ian Kennedy was activated from the DL last Wednesday and promptly demoted to Single-A Tampa. He'll have to work his way back into the Yankees' rotation.

"Right now we’re not really thinking of him," Joe Girardi told Abraham. "We like the way our other [starters] are throwing the ball. I mean, you have to earn your call-up. ... You have to earn your spot back. You have to pitch well to earn your spot back. He has to pitch well. He was optioned out, this is him getting right. This is like the other 175 players in the minor leagues, or however many there are."

Sounds like a good idea to me.

06/30: Horne Update

Posted by: Patrick
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Chad Jennings (who else?) spoke with Alan Horne regarding yesterday's outing.

“It was almost like I couldn’t get the ball there," he said. "It didn’t matter what I tried to do. I’d try to add something to it and it seemed like the harder I tried to throw it, the less effective it would be. My breaking stuff was just as slow and loopy as I think I’ve ever thrown it, and I can’t tell you why. Physically I’m fine. They came out there and checked me out and I said, ‘Nothing hurts. I just feel dead. My arm especially. It’s like I have no life, no drive through anything.’ ”
Posted by: Patrick
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Chad Jennings reports:

Not sure exactly what or why, but Alan Horne is out after just two-thirds of an inning here in Buffalo. His control was horrible -- 32 pitches, 12 strikes -- and he was constantly shaking his right arm in between pitches. He walked three and allowed a two-out, two-run single before being pulled from the game.
Posted by: Seamus
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Saturday's game came as advertised, as an expected pitchers' duel between Andy Pettitte and Johan Santana was just that. The Yankees defeated the Mets by a score of 3-2 in a game that featured two rain delays to go along with the stellar pitching. The Sox and Rays both lost, pulling the Yankees to within 5 games of the division lead and 4.5 of the wild card.

The game started out a litle shaky for Pettitte, who walked two straight batters in the first, but he got out of it without any damage. Ironically, the first run of the game came via a home run by Ramon Castro off of Pettitte in an inning he otherwise rolled through.

The Yankees went ahead in the 4th with back-to-back RBI ground outs by Jason Giambi and Jorge Posada. The Yankees added an insurance run in the 6th with a base hit by Robinson Cano that scored Alex Rodriguez to put the Yanks up by a score of 3-1. That run would prove to be needed as the Mets scored one in the bottom of the inning to pull to within 3-2.

Both pitchers left the game after 6 with impressive lines. Pettitte allowed two runs on five hits, striking out four. Santana allowed just four hits, but he did labor a bit as it took him 113 pitches to get through the 6th.

The game was uneventful after that, as both bullpens threw 3 innings of scoreless ball. Mariano Rivera picked up his 22nd save in as many chances.

The visiting team has won every game between these teams this season, and the Yankees will try to keep that going this afternoon as they send Darrell Rasner to the mound to face Oliver Perez. Barring a matchup in October, this will be the last game the Yankees ever play at Shea Stadium. Game starts at 1:10 E.T.
Posted by: James
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With the win today, the Yankees hit the halfway point at 44-37 and soon to be 5 games back of the first place Red Sox (4 GB on the loss side). Now, most fans would rather be in first place but consider that this is a noticeable step up from where they were last year (40-41, 10.5 GB in the AL East, and 7 GB in the Wild Card). They made a heck of a run last year and even with all of the injuries, pitching woes, offensive woes, and all of the sturm und drang that accompanies the Yankees, they are in a position to do the same this year. I think that the bullpen is in a far stronger position than previous years and while the rotation has obviously been bitten by the injury bug this year, the second half promises the hopefully healthy returns of help there (I am waiting on Carl Pavano myself). Combine that with a (hopeful) return to form from Robbie Cano, continued hot hitting from the heart of the Yankee order and and a little luck (and minimal injuries of course) and it should be another entertaining run.

Of course, this year, they also have the Rays to contend with as they head down the home stretch. They're tied with the Pirates right now in the ninth but with a win, will hop over the Red Sox to take over first place in the AL East (though they will have played 3 less games). In addition, there are a few more teams to worry about in the AL as the Central looks like it will be hotly contested as Chicago, Detroit and Minnesota vie for first there. LAnaheim is leading the West right now but they still look vulnerable to the As as the summer goes on.

Should be a wild summer in the Bronx...let's hope it's an enjoyable ride.
Posted by: Patrick
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Peter Abraham reports that Yankees prospect David Robertson is now with the big league club. The move was made before today's game. Kei Igawa was sent back down and Oneli Perez was DFAed.
Posted by: Patrick
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Yes, the title of this post is a joke. That said, Sidney Ponson did the job - and then some - on Friday night at Shea, holding the Mets to exactly zero earned runs over six innings of work. Yes, he walked four guys, to go along with five hits and 4 strikeouts. But, what matters is that all of those guys were left on base.

If you asked Yankees fans to bet on the outcome Ponson's performance tonight, before the game, let's just say that "6 scoreless" would not be a popular choice. Heck, "Yankees win the game" might not have even been a popular choice. But, regardless of Ponson's past, he's "earned" a second start now. Right? I think. Yeah. I'm going with that.

The Yankees bats came to life, putting together a streak of four consecutive innings of 2 or more runs from the fourth through seventh innings, giving them a 9-0 lead.

A suddenly hot Bobby Abreu led the charge, collecting four hits in as many at bats, with one of those being a double. He also stole 3 bases, scored a run, drove in 3 and walked once. Robbie Cano was 1 for 4, but his at bats counted. Besides a solo home run, he hit a sac fly that scored Jeter and a ground out that scored Abreu. That's 3 RBIs for the second baseman. Jeter (hit streak extended to 15 games) was big as well, going 2 for 4 with a double, a walk, 2 runs and 2 RBIs. Jose Molina scored 2 runs of his own, as well as an RBI, finishing 2 for 3 with a walk.

Kyle Farnsworth, Jose Veras and Kei Igawa (promoted before the game) combined to pitch one scoreless inning a piece and shut out the Mets, holding them to eight hits for the game.

The Yankees and Mets will pick it up again tomorrow at 3:55 PM ET when Andy Pettitte (8-5, 4.04 ERA) will face Johan Santana (7-6, 2.93 ERA).

06/27: Matsui to DL

Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees made room on the roster for Sidney Ponson by placing Hideki Matsui on the 15-day DL, according to ESPN. The move was made after the first game of today's doubleheader with the Mets and is retroactive to June 23.

The Yanks also sent down Ross Ohlendorf after his rough outing this afternoon and called up Kei Igawa.
Posted by: Patrick
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The first four innings of the opener of today's double header went alright for the Yankees, who held a 4-3 lead up to that point. It's the other 5 innings that were a horrible, ugly mess. For that span, the Yankees were outscored 12 to 2 as the Mets knocked Dan Giese out of the game and proceeded to score off of every pitcher the Yankees threw at them.

Giese came out to start the fifth, but was taken out after a walk, walk and single that loaded the basis. Edwar came in and allowed 3 runs to score. Giese's line? 4 IP, 5 H, 6 ER, 4 BB, 3 K. Edwar would throw 1 and 2/3 innings, charged with 2 earned runs. With the Mets leading 6-4 and 2 outs in the 6th with runners on first and third, Girardi opted for Ross Ohlendorf.

Like Ramirez before him, Ohlendorf would throw his own special blend was gasoline on the fire - perhaps a little more potent batch. After allowing an RBI single and walking Carlos Beltran to load the bases, he gave up a grand slam to Carlos Beltram, effectively putting the game out of reach at 11-4.

Ohlendorf pitched a scoreless 7th and was relieved by LaTroy Hawkins, who managed to allow 1 run in two innings of work.

Carlos Delgado absolutely victimized our pitchers, going 3 for 5 with a double, 2 home runs and 9 RBIs.

Meanwhile, we ended up scoring 6 runs - half of them in the third inning. A-Rod led the attack with a 3 for 4 day, with a home run, 2 runs and 2 RBIs. Melky and Betemit each had 2 hits and Jeter extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a double.

The second game of the double header starts at 8:10 PM with a couple of old friends - Sidney Ponson (4-3, 3.88 ERA with the Rangers) goes against Pedro Martinez (2-1, 6.57).
Posted by: Patrick
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Programming note: I'm going to be appearing on the "Seven Train to Shea" online radio show tomorrow, Saturday, June 28. The show starts at 1:30 PM ET and I'm set to call in at 2. They have a call in number, as well, on the show site, if you'd like to ask a question or share some thoughts. Should be fun.
Posted by: Patrick
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From Peter Abraham:

Hideki Matsui was unavailable for the third straight game with an inflamed left knee last night and could be placed on the disabled list today.

"It's always a possibility," manager Joe Girardi said before the Yankees had their game against the Pittsburgh Pirates rained out in the third inning. "You don't want it to come to that. But if we feel it's in the best interest of him and the club, that's something we'll talk about.

It doesn't sound too serious, so hopefully if he does hit the DL, it'll be retroactive and for a short time.
Posted by: Patrick
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Chad Jennings spoke with Mark Newman, who told him that prospect reliever Mark Melancon will "probably" stay in Double-A for the rest of this season.

He also said that J.B. Cox and David Robertson could reach the Majors, however.

06/26: MLB Gameday

Posted by: James
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If you catch the play by play of tonight's game on MLB.com's Gameday, keep an eye out for some pretty neat looking features. It's 3D man!
Posted by: Patrick
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As expected, Dan Giese and Sidney Ponson will start during the Yankees double header with the Mets on Friday.
Posted by: Patrick
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The Roanoke Times reports that the Yankees have inked their ninth round pick, right-handed pitcher Mike O'Brien.

Via Peter Abraham.
Posted by: Seamus
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Wednesday night's Yankeee game was the antithesis of the previous night's, as the Yankees were able to push runners across and the pitching was nothing short of outstanding. Joba Chamberlain won his first game as a starter, pitching 6 and 2/3 scoreless innings, as the Yankees defeated the Pirates by a score of 10-0. The Red Sox and Rays also won, so the Yankees remain 5.5 and 4.5 games back, respectively.

Joba had his best starting outing to date, striking out 7. He got into a couple jams, most notably in the bottom of the 2nd, when Ryan Doumit attempted to score from second on a line drive single to right by Jack Wilson. Abreu made a perfect throw home, however, and Doumit wasn't even shown yet on the screen by the time Posada had the ball at home plate.

Every Yankee starter recorded a hit, with the exception of Joba Chamberlain, who walked in his first plate apperance. Derek Jeter went 3-3 and extended his hitting streak to 13 games. Bobby Abreu had three hits, including a three-run homer in the 6th, and seems to be over a long slump. Melky Cabrera had two hits, and Robinson Cano was 3-5, including a solo shot. Cano has quietly raised his average to .241.

Russ Ohlendorf and Jose Veras pitched 2 and 1/3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen to close the game out.

The Yankees and Pirates will play the rubber match of this series this evening as Mike Mussina will face Paul Maholm. Maholm, if you remember, is the guy who struck out Billy Crystal in that spring training game. Game starts at 7:05 E.T.
Posted by: Patrick
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The Pirates collected their first win against the Yankees since 1960, smoking them by the score of 12-5.

The Pirates spread the runs out, scoring between 1 and 3 runs in the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th innings. As the home team, they didn't hit in the 9th. Darrell Rasner threw five innings, allowing 7 earned runs on 10 hits, 4 strikeouts and no walks. The score was 7-3 when LaTroy Hawkins entered the game, but he went ahead and put it out of reach, allowing 4 earned runs over 2 and 2/3 innings pitched. For whatever reason, Edwar came in and threw 1/3 of an inning, allowing 2 hits and an unearned run, as well.

Justin Christian, in the first Major League game of his career, went 2 for 4 with a double and 2 RBIs. He did bobble a ball in the field, though, earning himself an error. Cano was 3 for 4 with a double, 1 run and 1 RBI. Jeter scored a run and Abreu had a home run and 2 RBIs. It was Cano's first 3 hit game since a month ago, exactly, on May 24. Besides that, a pretty forgettable game.

Tomorrow at 7:05 PM ET, Joba Chamberlain (1-2, 2.36 ERA) starts opposite Zach Duke (4-4, 3.91 ERA).
Posted by: Patrick
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Brian Cashman spoke at a Scranton Chamber of Commerce dinner on Monday night. He spoke about his time with the club and shared some interesting stories. Chad Jennings and Donnie Collins have the details.
Posted by: James
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No corresponding move yet as Johnny Damon (sore left arch) and Hideki Matsui (knee) are on the bench and can't play in the OF.

The lineup:

Cabrera cf,
Jeter ss,
Abreu rf,
Rodriguez 3b,
Giambi 1b,
Posada c,
Cano 2b,
Christian lf,
Rasner p.

Only 3 out of those 9 haven't spent time in the Yankees system.

Update: Billy Traber was optioned to make room for Christian.

Also, if you want to know more about Justin, who can run and is a pretty good defender from what I have heard, check out this piece from Chad Jennings. Obviously not a long term answer or anything of the sort, but you gotta feel for a kid who was undrafted, played independent ball and worked his way to the ML level, if only for a game or two.
Posted by: Patrick
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When asked if Pavano could return before Phil Hughes, Brian Cashman told the Post: "I haven't asked, but it's possible. Pavano should be ready by August and Hughes in August." If Pavano happens to get himself healthy (for the moment), do you bother to trot him out there and see what he's got? Or do you just tell him, "no chance."

06/24: Jeter's Slump

Posted by: Patrick
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Mark Feinsand discusses Jeter's slump:

Jeter won't even offer a guess at the reason for his declining numbers, but Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long has his own theory.

"I can tell you that he probably lost 30-35 points in his average due to his hand injury, but he'd never admit that," Long said. "His swing wasn't the same, he was favoring it and he got into some problems when it came to staying behind the baseball, which has always been his strength. He still contributed and helped us in other ways, but his hitting suffered." ...

Jeter began expanding his strike zone, swinging at pitches on the corners or off the plate. As Long watched those bad habits, he knew something wasn't right.

I'm not worried. Back in 2004, Jeter had a .256 average, .316 OBA and .414 SLG at this stage of the game, s compared to his .276/.336/.379 now. That year, he ended up at .292/.352/.471. Barring unforseen circumstances, I expect to see him above or around .300 by the end of the year.

Via Alex.

06/23: IPK Rehab

Posted by: James
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Anthony Rieber has a post up over at OTYB mentioning that Ian Kennedy did indeed make a rehab start, throwing 58 pitches over three innings for GCL Tampa.

06/23: Notable Links

Posted by: James
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I really encourage reading this State of Major League Baseball panel over at the Biz of Baseball. Yes, the article is pretty long but there is a lot of good stuff there...and a lot to think about.

And this is from a while ago but hey, you might be seeing a lot more of the kid very soon so take a look at Mike Ashmore having a fun interview with Mark Melancon.

Melancon: “Yeah, yeah. Let’s see. I’ve been skydiving before, bungee jumping, scubadiving.”

Ashmore: Now that’s some stuff that’s going to surprise some people. Tell me about skydiving, that must have been incredible…

Melancon: “What it’s like…it’s 40 seconds of freefall at 120 miles per hour. It’s pretty exhilirating.”

Finally, MLBTradeRumors has a great roundup of the players available for trade at each position. If you think the Yankees are in the market...you might as well know what's for sale, right?
Posted by: Patrick
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The Orlando Sentinel reports that the Yankees 15th round pick in the MLB Draft, RHP Matt Richardson, has signed with the club.

Via Peter Abraham.
Posted by: James
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Man, every time I watch a game, someone gets hurt. This time, it was Kyle Farnsworth who tried to snatch a Brandon Phillips grounder with his bare right hand. Farnsworth was taken out of the game and got three stitches in the webbing between his pinky and ring fingers for his trouble...but he doesn't anticipate going on the DL.

As for the game itself, it looked like a pretty good pitcher's duel as both pitchers were doing well going into the 4th. Of course, at that point, Andy Pettitte decided to make it interesting. Strictly in the interest of entertainment, of course. With one out, he walked Ken Griffey, gave up a single to Brandon Phillips and walked Paul Janish to load the bases. Pettitte then proceeded to strike out the Reds' young guns. he took out Votto on 4 pitches and worked the count to 3-2 before getting the Bruce to swing through a cutter.

The Yanks scored their first run in the bottom of the fifth when Jason Giambi and Jorge Posada singled and doubled to lead off the inning. Cano brought in Giambi with a sac fly...but that's all they would get as Melky K'd (this is not helping to stave off the masses calling for a switch with Brett Gardner) and Damon popped out.

The Yankees would put the game away in the 6th when Jason Giambi roped a two-out double that plated Derek Jeter and Hideki Matsui. Jorge Posada followed with a double of his own to make the score 4-0.

Junior would hit his 601st HR to make it 4-1 but Mo would come on and close out the game...though he did make it interesting as the Reds had 3 shots with the tying run at the plate. Still, the Yankees break the losing streak and keep pace with the Red Sox, who also lost 2 of 3. Pirates and Mets, here we come.
Posted by: Patrick
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Peter Abraham reports that it seems likely that we'll see Sidney Ponson pitching against the Mets on Friday. This will be Sidney's second tour of duty with the Major League club. Back in 2006, he pitched in 5 games (starting 3) and was 0-1 in 16 and 1/3 innings with a 10.47 ERA. Hopefully, he'll do better this time around.
Posted by: Patrick
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Steve Serby has a nice Q&A with Mike Mussina.

Q: Your Yankee legacy?

A: A lot of guys never get a chance to play for the YankeesNew York Yankees . They're the most well known sports franchise in the world - and I got to wear the uniform.

Via Steve.
Posted by: Seamus
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Dan Giese was nothing short of brilliant in his first major league start, but things fell apart after he made a bad throw to second in the 7th, and the Yankees lost their second straight to the Reds by a score of 6-0. The Yankees failed to gain ground on the Red Sox, who also lost their second straight, and lost ground on Tampa Bay, who won over Houston.

The game was a good pitchers' duel for the first 6 innings. Daryl Thompson (MLB debut) pitched 5 scoreless innings and Giese got the Yankees into the 7th inning with the game scoreless. The 7th was where it all fell apart, however. With nobody out and a runner on first, Brandon Phillips hit what should have been a double play ball back to Giese, who made an errant throw to second, and everybody was safe. Giese still almost got out of it, as he was one strike away from getting through the inning unscathed, but Edwin Encarnacion lined an 0-2 pitch to left field for a two run single. Jose Veras then relieved Giese and gave up a two-run homer to Corey Patterson, and the Reds would add two more insurance runs in the 8th.

While Giese's start was solid, you can't win a game when you score zero. It was kind of sickening to watch as the Yankees reverted back to some of their habits from earlier in the season. The Bombers left more runners on base (12) than the Reds even had runners (9). Meanwhile, the Reds put nine runners on base and six of them came around to score. Not really a recipe for success, but I guess you can't dwell on two games and Daryl Thompson was pretty good...I guess.

The Yankees will try to salvage a game from this series this afternoon at 1:05 E.T. before heading to Pittsburgh for a three-game set with the Pirates. Andy Pettitte will be taking the mound today and will face Johnny Cueto.
Posted by: Patrick
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During the crucial fifth inning in last night's game, Joe Girardi had Mike Mussina walk Reds rookie Jay Bruce, so that he could face Jolbert Cabrera with runners on the corners and two outs. This move backfired as Colbert doubled home what would be the deciding runs.

After the game, Mussina didn't appear to be pleased with the IBB decision.

"I didn't get to choose. It was the path they chose. That was it," Mussina said. "You saw what I saw. Held up four fingers; I throw four balls." ...

Mussina was terse after the game and said his anger stemmed from the fifth inning. "A couple of things, but I'm not going to elaborate on it," he said. "I'm not talking about it."

I don't think it really matters, but I'd probably prefer he not tell the media these sorts of things. At least, not in this fashion. Oh well, it's Moose's personality, I guess, as the wily old vet.
Posted by: James
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Really really interesting article on Phil Hughes on THT today. Josh Kalk goes through and talks about the pitches Hughes throws, the release points, arm angle and consistency. He even has graphs! Seriously though, it's a pretty neat article to read. Here's Josh's conclusions though you should check out the full article to see how he arrives at it.

Phil Hughes has a huge amount of upside, but there still are concerns. If he continues to not use his slider and change-up, he effectively becomes a two pitch pitcher. Now despite what you might have heard, starters can make it in this league with only two pitches as long as they are both quality pitches and if he can control them well. Hughes' control doesn't seem to be an issue despite his spate of walks this year. Everything that I read makes me think his control will be between good and great. The quality, though, might be an issue.

The fastball that Hughes has shown so far is average at best. He might be able to spice up the movement with a lowered arm angle or make some mechanical adjustments to get back some lost velocity, but if it continues as it is right now, major league batters will hit it hard. His curve has extraordinary movement but maybe too much movement for his own good. If hitters don't have to worry about the slider and the change, identifying the curve will be that much easier because I don't see a good solution to how he can disguise the pitch any better than he already is.

I feel like it is paramount that he throws his slider or change-up more often (preferably both) to keep hitters honest. Even if neither of these pitches are plus pitches right now, the slider at least has that potential. Most of Phil Hughes' future is ahead of him and he should turn into a great pitcher, but he isn't there yet. Time will tell if he makes it or not.
Posted by: Patrick
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The Yankees got a taste of the extremely hot Edinson Volquez on Friday night and he did to them what he's been doing to the rest of baseball, allowing just 2 earned runs over 7 innings. This actually brought his ERA up, from 1.64 to 1.71. He was followed by the Reds relief duo of Jared Burton and Francisco Cordero, both having great seasons of their own. Neither would allow a run.

To his credit, Mike Mussina turned in another very solid outing, throwing 8 innings, allowing 4 runs and giving the pen a rest. It took him 110 pitches to get there, with 76 being strikes. It was the second time in three starts that Moose has thrown 8 innings. When was the last time that Moose threw 8 or more innings in two out of three starts? You'd have to go back to September 9 and September 14 of 2004, where he threw 8 innings each in back to back starts.

The Reds score first with a solo home run in the second, but the Yankees came back with a Johnny Damon RBI single, scoring Melky Cabrera, in the third. Moose hung tough with Volquez until the top of the fifth inning with two outs. After Edwin Encarnacion doubled and Corey Patterson sacrificed him to third, Moose drew a huge ground out from Paul Bako that kept the runner at third with two outs.

The Yankees elected to walk Jay Bruce and face Jolbert Cabrera. But, Cabrera (who was 2 for 2 coming into the at bat and ended up 4 for 4 on the day) doubled, scoring both Encarnacion and Bruce. Ken Griffey, Jr. followed with a single that scored Colbert. Brandon Phillips was retired, but the damage was done and the Reds had a lead that the Yankees would not be able to threaten. 4-2, Reds.

Outside of that three run fifth, Mussina's other seven innings would yield only that one run in the second. In relief, Billy Traber put together a 1-2-3 ninth to keep the Reds at bay, but the Yankees offense just couldn't get anything going, outside of an RBI single in the 7th, where Cano drove in A-Rod. Cano, who was 2 for 3, now finds his batting average at .232. This is the highest that it's been since almost a month ago (May 24).

The Yankees and Reds will pick it up again today at 1:05 PM ET. The pitching match up, to the general baseball fan, can probably be summed up as: "Who are these guys?" Daryl Thompson will make the first start (and appearance) of his major league career. Meanwhile, Dan Giese (1-1, 1.23) fills in for our wounded ace, Chien-Ming Wang.
Posted by: Patrick
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Watch below for video from Pat Venditte's appearance last night. He faced a pinch hitter who didn't quite like Venditte switching from one hand to the other on him. The hitter tried to switch sides of the plate multiple times, but Venditte didn't back down and won out. Oh, and he struck the hitter out, as well.


Via Joseph via steve via Bugs & Cranks.
Posted by: James
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The Yankees go for the sweep of the Friars in a matinee game...and on paper, it looks good for the Yankees. They throw Joba up against the Padres while SD counters with Josh Banks. Now Banks has a 1.29 ERA coming into this game...but looking at his stat history doesn't exactly inspire confidence if I'm a Padres fan.

- Well, after the Yanks wasted an opportunity in the bottom of the first (first and second, none out and then second and third, one out and no runs in), the Padres look to create their own opportunity. A single, ground rule double and a walk have loaded the bases with none out. Time to bear down, Joba.

- Holy cow. He came out of the inning unscathed. He struck out Scott Hairston and got the second out when Adrian Gonzalez tried to come home on a passed ball and Jose Molina got the ball in time to Joba who was covering the plate. Joba then pumped a slider past a swinging Khalil Greene, did a little 1/2 twirl mini-fist-pump on the mound and that was the inning. Nice job.

- While Banks seems to be handling the Yankees offense, Joba is working himself into trouble here in the 4th with a single and a walk to start off the inning. He ends up getting Chase Headley with a K for the first out before giving up a ground rule double to Tony Clark (! - Man, he loves hitting against NY teams, huh?) that plates a run. He gets Scott Hairston to ground out for the second out (getting the lead runner at home) and Khalil Greene to line out to right field. 71 pitches through 4.

- Look at Melky trying to manufacture a run here in the bottom of the fifth. After working out a walk, he has stolen second and third with Jose Molina up. A productive out here from Jose, who is just having a horrendous year with the bat so far, would be huge...and he comes through on the 8th pitch of the AB. Tie game...and a tip of the hat to Melky for that run.

- Joba comes out for the 6th, having thrown 88 pitches so far. His target today was probably around 105 so one more inning sounds about right. Well, I guess they didn't want a full inning out of him as Joba leaves in high style, striking out the first two batters of the inning. 5 and two-thirds, 4 hits, 1 ER, 3 BBs and 9Ks on exactly 100 pitches. He worked his way out of a few jams...and better teams might make him pay...but still, he did very well today and now he turns over a tie game to the Yankee bullpen, starting with Jose Veras.

- Looks like the Yankees are at it again. DJ gets on with a single and promptly steals second with no one out. Man in scoring position with no outs in a tie game - come on Yankees, you know how this works. Awesome, it works. Abreu with the groundout to the right side to move the runner over and A-Rod went one better with a single that score Jeter. 2-1 Yankees. I love it when a plan comes together.

- Jose Molina doubles with one out in the 7th but the Yankees leave him stranded. Nuts. An insurance run would have been nice...because here's comes Kyle Farnsworth pitching on consecutive days, something he hasn't done well this year...and naturally, Kyle breezes through the inning with 2 Ks.

- The Yanks go meekly in the 8th so here comes Mo, who hasn't blown a save all year and actually hasn't given up a run in a save situation this year (man, I hope I haven't jinxed him). Nah...jinxes don't work on the Sandman and he strikes out the side (that's 15 total for the Yankees staff today). 20 for 20, 0.00 ERA in save situations and the Yankees win again. They go to 40-33 and gain a half game on the idle Red Sox (5 GB, 4 on the loss side).
Posted by: Patrick
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Peter Abraham reports that the following Yankee draft picks have inked deals with the club:

5. Chris Smith, OF
8. Dan Brewer, OF
14. David Phelps, RHP
19. Mitch Abieta, C
21. Mitch Delaney, 1B
33. Tommy Baldridge, OF

24 of the Yankees 51 picks have now been signed.
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees haven't lost a game since the last time Darrell Rasner pitched, and Wednesday night was determined not to be responsible for two straight Yankee losses. It wasn't the best we've seen of Rasner, but it was good enough to leave the rest to the Yankees scorching hot offense as the Yankees picked up their sixth straight "W" with an 8-5 victory over San Diego.

Rasner was solid through the first two innings, but really labored in the 3rd as he threw 41 pitches, walked two batters and allowed two runs before getting Chase Headley to fly out with the bases loaded. He was lucky to get through that mess and to get through five innings and pick up the win, but considering how many times he's recorded a loss after only allowing a run or two, I think we can let this one slide.

The offense came up huge again, as the Yankees scored 8 runs or more for the fourth straight game. Alex Rodriguez homered in his fourth straight and went 3-4. Wilson Betemit went 3-4 and Johnny Damon picked up three hits, as well. The lineup was resilient this one, as they would answer back every time the Padres pulled closer. Edwar Ramirez gives up back to back homers in the top of the 7th, an the Yankees answer back with two of their own in the bottom of the inning. Kyle Farnsworth gives up a home run to Chase Headley in the 8th, and Johnny Damon singles in a run in the bottom of the 8th.

All of that was more than enough for Mariano Rivera, who pitched a scoreless 9th for his 19th save in as many chances.

The Yankees will go for their second straight sweep, which would be the first time they did that since June 8-14 of 2007. It will be a matinee affair as the game starts at 1:05 E.T. Joba Chamberlain will take the mound and will face rookie Josh Banks.
Posted by: James
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Senor Action only went 2 for 5 to extend his hitting streak to 9 games. However, his games with a HR streak came to an end at 4.

However, the Trenton OF didn't go homerless for the night. Jose Tabata, the younger (by a year and a half, mind you) and seemingly more bratty outfielder connected for his second HR of the season...and pulled his average up over .240 and his OPS over .600. He's now hitting .241/.319/.298/.617 for the season. Not pretty...but slowly getting better from the horrendous .200/.308/.233/.542 line he put up in April.

Also, speaking of recovering after a bad start, how about Chris Malec? Man, all this guy does is hit. He started out the season .226/.294/.355/.649 in April and has proceeded to lift his stats up to .307/.391/.449/.840 for the season. I hope he can keep it up and get to AAA before the end of the season. Malec, if you don't recall, was diagnosed with testicular cancer during his senior season at UC Santa Barbara and underwent surgery. You check out his profile over at IGWT aka Mike A. classic as well as an article over at ESPN from when he was drafted. Seems like a good guy with a good head on his shoulders...can't help but root for a kid like that.
Posted by: Patrick
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In addition to Mr. Ponson, the Yankees added another pitcher today, claiming Oneli Perez off waivers from the Indians today, as reported by Peter Abraham. Abraham passed along the Yankees press release:

The Yankees claimed RHP claimed right-handed pitcher Oneli Perez off waivers from the Cleveland Indians and optioned him to Double-A Trenton. Perez, 24, has appeared in 21 games combined this season at Triple-A Charlotte (White Sox) and Triple-A Buffalo (Indians) to go 0-1 with two saves and an 8.49 ERA (29.2IP, 48H, 28ER, 17BB, 34K) in his first action at the Triple-A level.

He was originally signed as a non-drafted free agent by the San Diego Padres in 2001 as a first baseman. Since converting to pitcher in 2003, Perez has gone 24-12 with 37 saves and a 2.65 ERA. In order to make room on the 40-man roster, the Yankees transferred right-handed pitcher Jonathan Albaladejo (right elbow stress fracture) to the 60-day disabled list.

Chad Jennings has a little more.

06/18: Noooooo!!!!

Posted by: Seamus
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Say it ain't so! It appears that the Yankees have brought back the one and only Sidney Ponson, according to the team's official website. Ponson is probably the one guy in baseball who I'd pay NOT to play for my team. I understand his numbers are somewhat of an improvement over previous years (4-1, 3.88 which isn't bad, but he's allowed 71 hits in 55 innings), but he has a reputation for being a headcase and he's been here before, and it didn't work. According to the website:

Ponson was reportedly put on notice after creating a serious disturbance at the hotel bar in St. Petersburg, Fla. during the team's recent road trip and told that further problems would not be tolerated.

He also reacted furiously after being taken out of a June 4 game against the Indians and with being pushed back from the start that was to follow that outing, prompting Rangers general manager Jon Daniels to say, "We don't feel Sidney deserves to be here or wants to be here."

So he's been booted out of Texas because of "off-the-field" issues, and was previously booted out of New York because of on-the-field issues (aka he was terrible). Makes me wonder...if he doesn't deserve or want to be in Texas then why does he deserve to be or want to be in New York?

Ah...it must be the the ice cream.
Posted by: Patrick
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Tyler Kepner reports that ice cream has returned to the Yankees clubhouse, thanks to Mussina's 10th win.

“It took me till September last year,” Mussina said. “They must have thought this was a lock-solid bet.”
Posted by: Patrick
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The Yankees opened a three game set with the Padres in San Diego New York on Tuesday night with an 8-0 victory. It was the fifth shutout for the Yankees staff this season and the second in as many games.

Andy Pettitte threw 103 pitches over seven innings, allowing just five hits and one walk while striking out nine. The Yankees gave him two runs in the second, thanks to solo home runs from A-Rod and Jason Giambi.

But, they broke it wide open with a five spot in the fourth. The team was four batters in before making an out. Matsui walked to start it off and he was prompty brought home on a Jason Giambi two run homer. Following that, Posada singled and Cano doubled, sending him to third.

Melky made the first out, thanks to a fly to right. But, Damon walked and Jeter reached on a fielder's choice that scored Posada. Damon made it to second thanks to an error. Bobby Abreu grounded into a fielder's choice, as well, that forced Jeter, but scored Cano. A wild pitch allow Damon to score and A-Rod flied out to send the inning with the Yankees leading, 7-0.

Pettitte kept crusing, finishing out the seventh. He was relieved by Jose Veras, who struck out two batters, but also allowed two singles. With those two runners on and the Padres clean up hitter, the left handed Adrian Gonzalez due up, Girardi brought in Billy Traber, making his first appearance since April. Traber got Gonzalez to ground out to end the threat.

Derek Jeter added an RBI single in the 8th, scoring Cano to make it, 8-0.

Though not needed, Mariano hadn't pitched since Thursday, so he came him and threw a 1-2-3 ninth inning. All three outs were strike outs.

Damon was 1 for 4 with 1 run and 1 walk, Jeter was 1 for 5 with 2 RBIs, Abreu was 1 for 4 wit h1 double and 1 RBI, A-Rod was 2 for 5 with 1 double and 1 home run, Matsui was 0 for 3 with 1 run and 1 walk, Giambi was 2 for 4 with 2 runs and 3 RBIs, Posada was 2 for 4 with 1 run, Cano was 2 for 3 with 2 runs and Melky was 0 for 4.

Tomorrow, the Yankees will see one of the best pitchers in the game in Jake Peavy (5-3, 2.64 ERA). Darrell Rasner (3-4, 3.64) will face him.

06/17: A-JAX!

Posted by: James
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That's 4 games in a row with a HR for Senor Action who went 4 for 5 with the aforementioned HR and 4 RBI. He's currently in the midst of a 8 game hitting streak and his line is now .283/.360/.449/.809 for the year at AA Trenton.

Also, after a horrendous start to the season, Seth Fortenberry is hitting like he did last year and has brought his line to .244/.348/.421/.769 for the year. Yes, he's soon to be 25 in Hi-A and he strikes out a ton...but for some reason, I like the kid and am really rooting for him. Okay, I lied. I know the reason. He can solve a Rubix Cube in less than three minutes...and that's what I look for in prospects.

And finally, here's to a healthy rest of the season for Francisco Cervelli who made his way off the DL last night for Hi-A Tampa.
Posted by: James
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AA - The Trenton Thunder activated pitcher Kevin Whelan from the disabled list yesterday. Whelan was one of the chips that the Yankees received in the Gary Sheffield deal...and with a good performance, he'll probably end up in AAA before the end of the year.
Posted by: Patrick
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Peter Abraham reports that, with Wang being placed on the DL, Billy Traber is up and that Dan Giese will start on Saturday.
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The Post has thoughts from Jeter on Willie Randolph's firing. He feels bad for Randolph, of course, but this was the best quote:

"I just found out about an hour ago," Jeter said. "I'm not awake at 3 o'clock in the morning."

I'm sure he didn't mean it as a shot, but... zing.

Hal Steinbrenner also spoke up, saying he was "shocked". On honoring Willie, he said:

"Willie's been a Yankee for a lot of years and he's a great man. We need to let all the dust settle and see what happens here and go from there."
Posted by: Patrick
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Yesterday, ESPN published a feature on A-Rod's relationship with Pete Rose. It makes for an interesting read. As part of their conversations, Rose gave him five good reasons to leave the Yankees for Boston this offseason.

06/17: Cox Throws

Posted by: Patrick
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Chad Jennings reports that J.B. Cox, recently sidelined by a sore shoulder, began throwing yesterday.
Posted by: James
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Ha, see what I did there? Anyway, take a look at Steven White's line tonight in relief; 0.2 innings, 1 hit, 7 ER and 4 BBs. Remember, this is a kid that put up a 3.34 ERA last year in AAA so he can pitch...but over his last 10 appearances, he's sporting a 13.31 ERA...and a 27 ERA in June. Yeesh. I sure hope he's not injured and trying to pitch through pain...if not, I'd love to figure out the reason for his getting LIT up.
Posted by: James
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Yeah. It's bad.

Imaging studies revealed a mid-foot sprain of the Lisfranc ligament of the right foot and a partial tear of the peroneal longus tendon of the right foot.

Wang will be on crutches and wear a protective boot for a minimum of six weeks.

He will be only be off crutches in 6 weeks...how long after that will he be able to rehab? This is a major ouch...oh, those baseball gods have a wicked sense of humor.
Posted by: James
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It figures. The Yankees seem to start their roll and something bad happens...and not just kinda bad either; potentially SUPERBAD.

Regarding the game. Well, it was a blowout. The Yanks scored 3 in the 3rd when with 2 out (this would be a recurring theme), they loaded the bases for Jorge Posada who worked a walk to bring in a run. Robbie Cano then blooped a broken bat single over the defense to score two more.

The Yankees then scored 8 more in the sixth (again, all with 2 out) but that's when Chien-Ming Wang pulled up lame as he made his way around the bases. Watching it as it happened...well, it didn't look very good. There's been a lot of speculation about the extent of the injury but until the MRI comes back, we just don't know. It could be anywhere from a couple starts to a couple months to the rest of the season. Who knows at this point?

What we do know is that the Yankees are in a tough spot. They now have to really rely on Joba, Pettitte and Mussina to keep doing what they are doing and pray that Rasner keeps the pace that he's been on. The question of whether Ian Kennedy would have a spot in the rotation might have just been answered and you gotta hope that he is up to the task.

Naturally, this type of injury will cause the rumor mill to explode. You name a pitcher and I bet you that the Yankees will be thrown into the mix. Clearly C.C. Sabathia will be the main topic but the Indians are just 6 games back of the division leader (just one more than the Yanks) in mid-June. Are they really ready to give up on the season, especially with Fausto Carmona expected to begin a minor league rehab assignment next week? I doubt it.

And finally, how will this affect the Yankees morale? The team is finally playing well and have started to make a run. Hopefully, they can bounce back from this disappointment...however bad it might end up being.

In any case, the Yankees scored another 2 in the 8th and swept the series and maybe got some revenge for the 6 pitcher no-hitter the Astros handed them back in 2003.
Posted by: Patrick
Posted by: Seamus
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Mike Mussina has now won 10 games or more in 17 straight seasons, as his victory over the Astros Saturday night gave him win #10 two or three months before most people thought he'd have a chance to do it this season. It was the third straight victory for the Yankees, who moved three games above the .500 mark for the first time this season (let's just pretend it's April 15 and not June). The Bombers also kept pace with the Red Sox and Rays, who both won yesterday.

At first it looked like it might be a rough night for Mussina and the Yankees, as Carlos Lee put one into the seats in the 1st inning to give the Astros a 3-0 lead. Moose was excellent after that, however, allowing only three more hits and keeping the Astros scoreless over the next 5 and 1/3.

The Yankees ate away at Houston's lead in the 2nd when A-Rod led off the inning with a home run, and Giambi hit a double off the wall and would later score on a double by Melky Cabrera. The Yankees jumped ahead in the 3rd with a two-run, bases loaded single by Jose Molina after Cabrera had walked to tie the game.

The Astros would pull to within 5-4 in the 7th, but a pinch-hit, RBI single by Robinson Cano gave the Yankees some insurance in the 8th, and a two-run double by Wilson Betemit following an intentional walk to A-rod opened the gap further. 8-4 would prove to be the final as Edwar Ramirez pitched a scoreless 9th.

The Yankees will go for the sweep later this afternoon at 2:05 E.T. as Chien-Ming Wang will face Roy Oswalt in a battle of "aces." I never thought I could be so ecstatic about the idea of the Yankees being four games over .500.
Posted by: Patrick
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Jim Baumbach profiles Yankees draftee, and switch pitcher, Pat Venditte.

If switch hitters are so prevalent, why is the idea of a switch pitcher so absurd? That's what the Yankees have to be wondering after drafting, yes, a switch pitcher in the 20th round of the amateur draft this month.

Pat Venditte is his name. He eats with his right hand. Writes with his right hand. Brushes his teeth with his right hand. But don't call him a natural righthander, at least not in baseball terms. The 22-year-old looks just as smooth throwing with his left arm as he does with his right.

Via Anthony Rieber.
Posted by: Patrick
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Friday night's game featured a pitcher's duel between Yankees starter Joba Chamberlain and one-time Yankee Shawn Chacon. Chacon had the better game statistically (he pitched one additional out and allowed three less hits), but Joba was right there with him and threw 6 innings of 1 run ball, allowing 6 hits while striking out 2 and walking 4.

The Yankees scored first thanks to an A-Rod RBI single in the first inning that scored Bobby Abreu. It would be all zeros from there until the Astros finally answered with an RBI single of their own.

Jose Veras relieved Joba to start the seventh and was awesome, retiring all six batters that he faced. The final run of the game was scored in the eighth when Derek Jeter led off the inning with a go ahead home run. Yankees 2, Astros 1.

Mo has been worked pretty hard lately, so Girardi opted to go to Kyle Farnsworth. The first batter Farnsworth faced, he hit. You can imagine the collective sound throughout the nation, loosely translated to "here we go again". But, then, something happened. Farnsworth retired the speedy Michael Bourn. Jose Molina caught Ty Wiggington stealing to clear the bases. And Geoff Blum struck out swinging to end it. Farnsworth collected the save, his first of the year.

Hideki Matsui continued his hot bat, as the only Yankee to collect 2 hits, going 2 for 4. Posada had the other hit, along with a walk. Cano, A-Rod and Giambi had walks, as well, and Abreu stole his sixth base of the year.

With the win, the Yankees moved into third place in the division, 6 games behind the Red Sox. Tonight, at 7:05 PM ET, Mike Mussina (9-4, 3.82) will take the hill against Wandy Rodriguez (2-2, 1.99).
Posted by: Patrick
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Ed Price reports that Shelley Duncan has been demoted to Triple-A and Alberto Gonzalez has been brought up to provide depth in the infield.
Posted by: James
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Right before Father's day, Harlan Chamberlain sets a great example for his kids. Man, does he seems like a good guy.

Hat tip to Steve L. for the link.
Posted by: James
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Happy Birthday Hideki Matsui...and what a grand way to celebrate.

Not much to say about this game. Andy Pettitte was fantastic, going 8 strong while allowing 6 baserunners (5 hits, 1 walk) and striking out 6. He was on the wrong end of a 1-0 score for much of the night after giving up a run in the second on a double, a groundout that moved the runner over and a single that scored him.

For much of the game, Joe Blanton was just as good in opposition...until the 6th. Derek Jeter led off the inning with a single, Bobby Abreu worked out a nine-pitch walk and A-Rod followed with another walk. That loaded them up for the birthday boy...and boy, did he deliver. 4-1 Yankees.

Mo came in and struck out 2 to and lowered his ERA to 0.87 to garnder his 18th save. So here were are again, one game over .500. Will the Astro's series be the one where the team finally hits the 2 over mark again? Let's hope so...because this treading water is just annoying.
Posted by: Patrick
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From Peter Abraham:

Remember Jonathan Albaladejo? Turns out he has a stress fracture in his elbow in addition to his other issues. He’s done for the season.
Posted by: Patrick
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Peter Abraham reports that J.B. Box is expected to miss three weeks due to tendinitis in his right shoulder.
Posted by: Seamus
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There's not much analyzing to do here. Darrell Rasner simply stunk up the joint last night, in what was his first bad start of the season, and the Yankees lost in Oakland by a score of 8-4. The Yanks are now in a three-way tie for third in the East, 5 games behind Tampa Bay for the wild card and 7 games behind Boston for the division lead.

The Yankees went ahead 1-0 in the second on Jason Giambi's 15th home run of the season, but a disaster third inning blew the game open for the A's. A throwing error by Jason Giambi allowed the leadoff hitter to reach base, and that would open the flood gates as Rasner got knocked around to the tune of of six runs (five earned) in that inning. Rasner would leave the game in the 4th inning, finishing with a line of 7 runs (6 earned) off 9 hits in only 3 and 2/3.

The bullpen did a solid job the rest of the way, allowing only a run in the final 5 and 1/3 innings, but the damage had already been done. The Yankees made things a little bit interesting in the top of the 9th, scoring 3 runs, but it was too little too late.

So the Yankees will play the rubber game of this series in familiar territory, at .500. Andy Pettitte will face Joe Blanton, who surprisingly is 3-8 but has pitched better than that. Game starts at 10:05 E.T.
Posted by: Patrick
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Peter Abraham has a list of new draft pick signings, according to Damon Oppenheimer. He lists:

11. CF Ray Kruml (South Alabama)
12. RHP Luke Greinke (Auburn)
17. SS Addison Maruszak (South Florida)
18. RHP Brandon Braboy (Indianapolis)
20. RHP Patrick Venditte (Creighton)
22. RHP Corey Arbiso (Cal State Fullerton)
23. 2B Ryan Wilkes (Kentucky)
24. 3B Michael Lyon (Northeastern)
25. C Jeff Nutt (Arkansas-Fayetteville)
28. RF Chad Gross (Cuesta JC)
31. INF Spence Lucian (Princeton)
34. RHP Brad Rulon (Georgia Tech)
35. RHP Andy Shive (Azusa Pacific)
39. 1B Erik Lovett (Mt. Olive College)
42. LHP Clint Preisendorfer (San Diego Christian)
47. RHP Ryan Flannery (Fairleigh Dickinson)

Plus a pair of undrafted free agents: RHP Mike Obradovich from Florida Atlantic and C Ryan Baker from Cincinnati.

So, if those earlier reports are correct, the Yankees have signed a total of 18 draft picks.
Posted by: Patrick
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Chad Jennings reports that Yankees relief prospect J.B. Cox is on the DL with a sore right shoulder (not related to his Tommy John surgery or his elbow). There is no word on how much time he'll miss.
Posted by: Patrick
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From Bryan Hoch:

Right-hander Phil Hughes is expected to be examined this week and his timetable for a big league return has been pushed back to early August.

Via Bronx Liaison.
Posted by: Patrick
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From Ken Rosenthal:

The Yankees are aggressively shopping right-hander LaTroy Hawkins, two rival executives say, intending to clear a spot for a reliever who currently is at Class AAA. Righty J.B. Cox, who missed all of last season after undergoing elbow-ligament transplant surgery, is one candidate; he began the season at Class A, but has since moved to AAA, where he has allowed one run in 12 1/3 innings. Righty David Robertson, who began the season at AA, also has been impressive at AAA. Hawkins, signed to a one-year, $3.75 million free-agent contract, has a 6.08 ERA in 22 appearances...

Via Steve.
Posted by: Patrick
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Neil Best reports that Hank Steinbrenner will be writing a column on a monthly (or there arounds) basis, starting in September.

Via Eric Haskell.
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After being signed toward the end of last month, Ben Broussard has been released, according to Chad Jennings.
Posted by: Patrick
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Chien-Ming Wang threw 7 and 1/3 innings in Tuesday night's 2-1 win over the Athletics in Oakland. He allowed 1 earned run on 7 hits, 2 walks and 2 strike outs and threw 83 pitches in all; 46 for strikes. The ground balls were flowing for Wang as the Yankees turned four double plays during his time on the mound.

It was Wang's first good in almost a month, dating back to May 13 when he threw 7 innings against the Devil Rays, allowing just 1 earned run, but losing. In those last four starts, his ERA was 8.75 and his season ERA had ballooned from 2.90 to 4.57. Somehow, the Yankees managed to win all but one of those games, so his record remained a very good 6-2; 7-2 after last night's win.

The Yankees scored all the offense they needed in the very first inning of the game when A-Rod singled home Derek Jeter. Bobby Abreu was called out at third on the play, but A-Rod advanced to second. The very next batter, Jason Giambi, drove him in. 2-0, Yankees, after 1.

Oakland's lone run was scored in the fourth when a Mark Ellis double scored Jack Cust.

After a long fly out by Jack Hannahan to start the eight, Girardi went to the pen and brought in Jose Veras. After getting Bobby Crosby to ground out, he walked Cust. Rajai Davis pinch ran for him and proceeded to steal second. Veras walked Eric Chavez next, making it first and second for Mark Ellis, who had been 3 for 3 on the day. But, Ellis grounded out to end the threat.

Melky Cabrera gave the team a nice insurance run in the top of the 9th when he hit his seventh home run of the season. Mariano was called upon for the fourth consecutive night and he nailed down the save without much difficulty, bringing his ERA down a notch, to 0.90.

The Yankees offense managed 7 hits and 6 walks along with a hit batsmen. Leading the team was Bobby Abreu (2 for 2, 2 walks) and Alex Rodriguez (2 for 4, 1 run, 1 RBI). Damon had a hit and a walk, Jeter had a run and a walk, Giambi had a hit, RI and a walk, Posada had a walk and Melky had that homer. Wilson Betemit and Robinson Cano combined for an ugly 0 for 8 with no walks.

With the win, the Yankees are back above .500 at 33-32. We're in a three way tie for third in the AL east, 6 games back from the division leading Red Sox. Tonight we'll have another 10:05 PM ET game when Darrell Rasner (3-3, 2.58) goes against Justin Duchscherer (5-4, 2.32) in what could be another pitcher's duel. That said, Mo needs a night or two off, so it'd be nice if the offense came out and ran up the score.
Posted by: Patrick
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The Charlottesville Daily Progress reports that Yankees third round pick David Adams has signed with the team.

Peter Abraham reports that fourth rounder Corban Joseph, a shortstop from Tennessee (high school), has signed.

The St. Petersburg Times reports that 17th rounder Addison Maruszak, the shortstop for the University of South Florida, has also signed.

Finally, MLB.com hosted a Q&A with Damon Oppenheimer, the Yankees' vice president of amateur scouting.

Via Mike via NYYFans.com.
Posted by: Patrick
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Ken Davidoff shares some excerpts from "Living on the Black", a book by John Feinstein chronicling the 2007 campaign of both Mike Mussina and Tom Glavine. He talks about Mussina's contempt for Carl Pavano as well as Wang's apparent lack of desire to pitch game 4 of the ALDS last year.

"Were you quoted accurately in the papers today?" Pavano asked Mussina.

"Absolutely," Mussina responded.

That was my biggest LOL moment of the entire, 526-page book.
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Phil Hughes says that he's pain free. Peter Abraham reports that he won't be throwing until a bone scan confirms that his rib is completely healed.
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Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees will walk away with only a split in their four-game series with Kansas City, and Mariano Rivera found a new nemesis in the Royals, as the Bombers lost Monday's matinee affair by a score of 3-2. The loss puts the Yankees seven games behind the Red Sox and six behind the Rays for the wild card.

Mike Mussina gave the Yankees what was probably his best start of the season, and sure enough, the one game where he pitches 8 innings and allows only two runs is the only game so far this season in which Moose did not record a decision. The offense did not really back him up, as the Yankees were still being held scoreless when Miguel Olivo put a ball into the seats in the 7th off of Mussina to give the Royals a 2-0 lead. The Yankees did tie the game, however, with a two-run homer by Alex Rodriguez in the bottom of the inning.

Mariano Rivera was brought into the game in the top of the 9th to relieve Mussina. Surely that leadoff homer he allowed on Saturday was just a fluke...right? Well, it happened again, and this time it was off the bat of Jose Guillen, who torched the Yankees all weekend. The ball just barely cleared the wall, out of the reach of Johnny Damon and the Royals went ahead 3-2. The Yankees loaded the bases in the bottom of the 9th, but Melky Cabrera grounded out to end the game.

Not a very good series for the Yankees, as they had a chance to really gain some momentum against a weak, struggling team before having to head out on the west coast. Heading into two tough series in Oakland and Houston in the middle of June with your record still at .500 does not win you any brownie points.

The Yankees will be in Oakland tonight to face the surprisingly somewhat decent A's. Chien-Ming Wang will start for the Yankees and will face Dana Eveland. Game starts at 10:05 E.T.
Posted by: James
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Johnny Damon deserves more votes than this. Batting .330 (just overtook Hideki) with a OPS of .911 and 11 SBs only gets you a few more votes than Melky? Come on Yankees fans! Vote For Johnny! (and Hideki...and show the Big Mustache some love too!).

Also, vote for Ian Kinsler - he's having a much better year Pedroia, who is somehow in the lead while having a pretty bad season (not Cano bad in total but getting there as a .213/.257/.293/.550 line over the last 42 games will do that for you).
Posted by: James
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Obviously the big story was start #2 for Joba. Suffice it to say that it went better than the first, regardless of what Mark Teahen and David DeJesus think.

The Yankees started the game off well, scoring two quick runs in the first when after a Jeter single, Bobby Abreu crushed a pitch into the upper-deck. Joba gave up a run in the second and then gave up the lead in the third when after a leadoff double to David DeJesus, he was able to get two quick outs before giving up a HR to Jose Guillen. 3-2 Royals.

The Yankees tied the game in the 5th when after a 10 pitch AB, Johnny Damon tripled and then came home on an Abreu RBI groundout. They took the lead the next inning when the Big Mustache drilled one over the right-centerfield wall. The Yanks scored their last two runs in the seventh when Jeter and Abreu singled to put men on first and third with one out. A-Rod strolled to the plate and drilled a double (he was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple) to plate both runners. 6-3 Yankees and that's how the score would remain as Dan Geise, Jose Veras and Mo combined to pitch 4 and 2/3 innings of one-hit, no run ball.

Funny how Farnsworth didn't pitch in a close game...maybe Girardi has learned that lesson? Also, Joey Gathright made some fantastic plays in the field to rob the Yankees of extra bases and runs. Without him, this game is probably a laugher. If you get a chance, you can check out some of them here, under the video tab.

06/09: Horne Returns

Posted by: Patrick
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Chad Jennings reports on Alan Horne's first game back from the injury he sustained in April. He didn't have command, but he still struck out seven and allowed just one run on three hits.
Posted by: Seamus
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Wow...where do I start? The Yankees beat the Royals 12-11 in a game that had more twists and turns than a murder mystery film. Johnny Damon went 6-6, including a walk-off single in the bottom of the 9th, and pretty much every Yankee was good with the exception of Andy Pettitte, who allowed 10 runs.

Pettitte struggled early on, as he gave up five runs in the first three innings, and the Royals entered the 4th inning with a 5-1 lead. The Yankees tied the game, however, with a 4-spot in the bottom of the 4th, and Jason Giambi put the Yankees ahead 6-5 in the 5th with a moonshot to right that is still probably waiting to land somewhere.

Andy Pettitte did settle down, and he rolled through the 4th, 5th, and 6th innings, pitching three straight scoreless innings and keeping his pitch count down. It was enough for him to go back out there again in the 7th, even after allowing five runs. The 7th inning, if not for anything else, should prove to fans what a game of inches baseball really is. The Royals had tied the game at 6 with a Joey Gathwright single, and Pettitte labored through the next few batters, loading the bases. He was one strike away from getting out of it with the game tied 6-6, but Jose Guillen drove Pettitte's 2-2 pitch just over the left field wall for a grand slam to put Kansas City up by a score of 10-6.

The Yankees would answer back. Alex Rodriguez brought the Yanks to within 10-8 with a two-run homer in the 7th. Johnny Damon tied it at 10 in the 8th with his 5th hit of the game, a two-run single that brought in Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera.

The Yankees seemed destined to win this game at that point, as they were bringing Mariano Rivera into a tied ballgame in the 9th, and the Royals had only one pitcher left available in the pen after their closer, Jeff Soria. Much to everyone's surprise, however, David DeJesus took Rivera's first pitch of the inning into the stands to put the Royals up by a score of 11-10. It was only the second run Rivera allowed all season, and his E.R.A. is now up to a whopping 0.67.

The Yanks would get one more crack at it in the bottom of the 9th. Jason Giambi, the hero of just two nights prior, led off the inning by flying out to right field. Jorge Posada then came up and took the first pitch into the stands in right field for a solo home run, tying the game at 11. After a Wilson Betemit walk and a single by Cabrera, Johnny Damon would get up with a chance for his 6th hit of the game and a walk-off win, and he delivered. Damon drove a ball down the right field line that landed fair and rolled over to the wall, and that was all she wrote. The Yankees had won the game 12-11, avoiding what could have been a devastating loss after losing the opener to the Royals on Friday.

Joba Chamberlain will get his second start today, as he will go up against Zack Greinke in a battle of young, promising arms. Let's hope the final score today is not 12-11. Game starts at 1:05 E.T.
Posted by: Patrick
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Peter Botte has an interview with Hank Steinbrenner, talking about Joba's transition (including Damon's comments about it not being such a good idea) and the Yankees draft philosophy.

"I love Johnny Damon as a player and a person, and he's really doing the job right now. But let's be honest here, he's not Branch Rickey," Steinbrenner told the Daily News in a telephone interview before Friday night's game against the Royals, referring to the legendary baseball executive. "Johnny is a player, and as players, they all need to let the brain trust do the thinking and do the talking.

Via Moshe Mandel.

06/08: The Clubbies

Posted by: Patrick
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Ed Price profiles the Yankees visiting clubhouse attendants and everything that goes into their work.

Barely three hours earlier, the Yankees had defeated the Baltimore Orioles, 2-1. In the time since Robinson Cano's game-winning single, Lou Cucuzza Jr. -- who manages the visiting clubhouse at Yankee Stadium -- and his crew of six clubhouse attendants, including Ryan, had packed up and moved out the Orioles, cleaned the 1,700-square-foot clubhouse and its various side rooms and moved in the Mariners' uniforms and gear.

"Brutal," said Cesar Caceres, 24, another clubhouse attendant known universally by the nickname "Heat."
Posted by: Patrick
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Day 2 of the 2008 MLB Draft concluded yesterday. You can view a full list of the Yankees selections at the MLB.com Draft Tracker.

As Ed Price notes, the Yankees again selected pitcher Patrick Venditte. They selected him in the 20th round after picking him in the 45th last time around. Venditte is notable because he can pitch with both his left and right arms (watch the video below). It's the second coolest thing about him, following his first name.


Finally, check out this picture of Yankees' first round pick Gerrit Cole at the 2001 World Series. He's holding a sign that says, "Yankee Fan: Today, Tomorrow, Forever." Boras couldn't script that one any better, eh? Just kidding. I think it's great when the Yankees draft Yankees fans. It's something that many of us dreamed of as a kid and I bet Cole did the same. So, it's cool to see a dream likely realized.
Posted by: Patrick
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Willie Bans reports that the Brian Bruney is aiming for a return to the team around the All-Star break. Bruney was 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA in 11.1 IP this season before injuring his right foot.
Posted by: Patrick
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Samantha Newman reports that LaTroy Hawkins' appeal of his three game suspension was heard and that the suspension was upheld. He began serving it on Friday.
Posted by: Patrick
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Darrell Rasner rebounded from his first bad start of the year, tossing 118 pitches (75 for strikes) over 8 innings, allowing just 2 earned runs on 9 hits, no walks and 4 strikeouts. Unfortunately, the Yankees scored a grand total of 1 run off of Kyle Davies, Ron Mahay and Joakim Soria.

The Yankees collected 10 hits and a walk, ending up with a Team LOB of 9. The one run was scored in the seventh when Melky singled Cano home. Melky and Cano each collected 2 hits; both of Cano's were doubles. A-Rod and Abreu added 2 hits of their own, each. Jeter and Matsui aso had singles.

Edwar Ramirez pitched a scoreless ninth. And that's pretty much it.

Rasner has been wonderful so far. Despite his 3-3 record, he has a 2.58 ERA. In the other two games he lost, he allowed 4 earned over 5 and a 1/3 and 1 earned over 6. In all 3 of his losses, the Yankees have scored - you guessed it - one run.

And we are, once again, below .500. Tomorrow at 1:00 PM ET, Andy Pettitte (5-5, 4.21) will start against Brian Bannister (5-6, 4.60).
Posted by: James
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Chris Britton was placed on on the 15-day disabled list with a pulled ribcage muscle and was replaced with right-hander Dan Giese from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Britton suffered the injury -- between his ninth and tenth rib on the left side -- while warming up on Thursday afternoon. Britton is expected to have an MRI performed in New York.

"We shut him down when he was warming up last night," Girardi said. "He called and we had to shut him down."

Well, at least now I don't get to complain that he's never used!
Posted by: Patrick
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Tyler Kepner spoke with Yankees relief prospect Mark Melancon (as well as members of the Yankees organization about Melancon), profiling a prospect that could see some Major League time soon.

“I think I could be ready as soon as they want me,” Melancon said. Later, he added there was no reason to think a call-up was far away.

“If I pitch well and continue to do what I’m capable of doing, I don’t see why not,” Melancon said. “Why not? Why isn’t it close? I really do believe I am capable of doing what they’re doing, all those guys out there. So, yeah, I think it’s close.” ...

Because Chamberlain and others jumped from Trenton to the majors last summer, General Manager Brian Cashman has not ruled out a contribution this season by Melancon or J. B. Cox, a right-hander for Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Posted by: Patrick
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The 2008 MLB Draft began yesterday and, in day 1, the Yankees made a total of 7 selections. Here they are with accompanying analysis links:

28. RHP Gerrit Cole, Orange Lutheran HS (CA) (MLB.com Video - River Ave. Blues Profile - Pending Pinstripes Profile)
44. RHP Jeremy Bleich, Stanford (Video - RAB - PP)
75. RHP Scott Bittle, Mississippi (Video - RAB - PP)
106. 2B David Adams, Virginia (Video - RAB - PP)
140. SS Corban Joseph, Franklin HS (TN) (Video - RAB - PP)
170. LF Christopher Smith, Centennial HS (CA) (Video - RAB - PP)
200. RHP Brett Marshall, Ross S Sterling HS (TX) (Video - RAB - PP)
Posted by: James
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MMmmm...sandwich...

The Yankees get another pitcher with their pick. A lefty this time, Jeremy Bleich from Stanford, who I can't seem to find any information on.

Update: Here's his Stanford bio.
Posted by: James
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What a ending to this game. I'll have a full recap later but suffice it to say that the fans went home happy...though it sure looked like they wouldn't. Still, WITH TWO OUT in the BOTTOM OF THE 9TH, A-Rod singles, swipes 2nd (DI actually), comes home on a Matsui single. Jose Molina steps up...nah, let's pinch hit with Jason Giambi...who promptly nailed an 0-2 pitch for a 2-run HR to win the game. 9-8 Yankees.

30-30; welcome back to .500. Let's see if they FINALLY keep some momentum going this time.

Update: You can find the video here.

Update 2: Here's a little more of a recap of the game. The game started out well for the Yankees as they scored two quick runs off of McGowan in the first (walk, double, Abreu RBI groundout and A-Rod sac fly).

Chien-Ming was doing all right until the 4th when he gave up 2 runs to tie the game on a walk and a Matt Stairs HR. It all came tumbling down in the fifth though...mostly due to a very costly Melky error. Joe Inglett walked and took second on a groundout. With one out, he took off running (why? who knows) on an easy fly ball. If all had gone to plan, Melky would have caught that and doubled him off of second and Wang would have been out of the inning. No such luck. Melky took his eyes off the ball and Inglett scored and there were men on second and third with one out. A HBP would load the bases for Matt Stairs who would plate 2 with a single. Lyle Overbay was up next and plated two more with an RBI double before Ross O came in and got the next two outs. 7-2 Blue Jays.

The Yankees got two back in the bottom of the inning with they loaded the bases with no out...but only scored two with a groundout, sac fly and groundout from the heart of the order. 7-4 Jays.

They got another two in the next inning when Wilson Betemit (who I am ecstatic to have back) followed a Cano single with a HR to left center. 7-6 Jays.

Through all of this, the Yankees bullpen had performed well with Hawkins and Veras putting up 3 innings of zeros (though not without some agitation...). Kyle Farnsworth came in for the ninth and changed all of that. He was immediately in trouble and clearly, he just doesn't have his stuff on back to back days (we've hammered this to death). In any case, Single, single, double plated a run (8-6 Jays) and put men on second and third with no one out. Surprisingly, Farnsworth worked out of further trouble by getting two strikeouts that sandwiched a IBB and then getting a line out to center to end the inning.

And the bottom of the ninth...well, you can just scroll to the top. It was glorious...even in spite of the several negatives of this game.
Posted by: James
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With the 28th pick of the 2008 MLB First Player Draft, the New York Yankees pick...

Gerrit Cole.

Here's his MLB.com scouting report...and there's video on that page, if it works for you as well as this clip from ESPN.


Summary: A projectable high school right-hander with the capability already to throw a fastball up into the upper 90s is bound to garner interest. Throw in a future plus slider and a changeup, all for which he can throw for strikes, and it's no wonder Cole is considered one of the top prep pitchers in the class. He's going to have to work out some kinks in his delivery and he's got Scott Boras as an advisor, but neither of those issues should keep him from being drafted early.
Posted by: James
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The MLB First-Year Player Draft will be getting underway shortly. The Negro Leagues draft is at 1 ET, then the first round comes on at 2 and will be shown on MLB.com and ESPN2 (wow, cable coverage for the MLB draft...and it's not on The Ocho!).

I always get excited when it comes to drafts, regardless of sport. I mean, come on, you are seeing the potential future cornerstones of your franchises at the very beginning of their pro careers! In any case, the Rays have already announced they will take high school shortstop Tim Beckham with the first overall selection. The rest is seemingly up for grabs but Keith Law has a projected first round up (and has Gerrit Cole going to the Yanks).

Cole could land in Detroit, or here or out of the first round. The Yankees have also been rumored to be on Casey Kelly, as well as some college bats like Davis and Cooper.

I am knee-deep in work or else I'd be following every Yankee pick myself but I'm pretty sure that Mike A. over at RAB will have a ton of draft-day goodness for all on top of what Mlb.com will be offering. Go check them out.
Posted by: Patrick
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Bryan Hoch reports that Jorge Posada will probably need surgery after the season.

After the season, Posada believes, he will need a procedure on the shoulder, which was cut open by Dr. James Andrews in November 2001 to repair a small tear in the labrum.

Andrews was one of the doctors whom Posada consulted when he resignedly admitted in late April that he would need to go on the disabled list for the first time in his Major League career.

"There's no discomfort, but, obviously, something is messed up in there," Posada said. "We're going to have to get that fixed after the season. ... From now on, at this point, I'm good enough to do the job."

Meanwhile, Posada is back today with Dan Giese optioned to make room.
Posted by: Patrick
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Peter Abraham reports that Jason Lane has decided not to opt-out and has entered into a new deal with the Yanks to stay in Scranton.
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From Mike Puma:

"He's back up to 130 or 135 [pounds] and the doctor said he can come back when he hits 140," [Yankees COO Lonn] Trost said. "We want him to finish off this year. We want him for the All-Star Game and, of course, we want him to open up the brand new stadium."
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees ended a three-game slide last night with a 5-1 victory over the Blue Jays, thanks in large part to another solid outing by Mike Mussina. Moose threw 103 pitches, allowing only a run and five hits in 6 innings of work. His 9th victory ties him with Joe Saunders for the American League lead.

The game was scoreless until the bottom of the 3rd, when Derek Jeter brought Jose Molina home with a base-hit to right. Wilson Betemit added to the lead with a solo shot in the 3rd, and Melky Cabrera put the Yanks up 3-0 with a base hit later in the inning. The only run for Toronto came via an RBI double by Scott Rolen in the 6th, but the Yankees answered back in the bottom frame with an RBI single by Johnny Damon. Hideki Mastui brought in Bobby Abreu with a base hit in the 7th to put the Yankees up 5-1, and that would turn out to be the final score.

The bullpen was a big improvement over the previous night, as Ross Ohlendorf, Kyle Farnsworth and Mariano Rivera combined for three scoreless innings.

The Yankees will play a matinee game this afternoon at 1 E.T., as the Blue Jays are heading home for the weekend. Chien-Ming Wang will be looking for his first victory since May 2 and will face Dustin McGowan. Hopefully the Yanks pull this one out. Two out of three against this Blue Jays team is certainly not something to hang your head over.
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees lost their third straight game, and this time it was not even close as the Yankees were shelled by the Blue Jays by the score of 9-3.

Joba Chamberlain labored quite a bit in his debut as a Major League starter, but he wasn't as bad as you'd think after reading some other news stories. Joba threw 62 pitches and lasted only 2 and 1/3 innings, allowing a hit and four walks, leaving the game with a 2-1 lead (the second Blue Jays' run was charged to him, as well). His struggles seemed to be a result of bad pitch selection more than anything else. On two occassions in the 1st, he through a 3-2 curveball for ball four, and the first inning could have been a lot quicker and easier than it was, had a foul tip with two strikes by Shannon Stewart did not pop right out of the webbing of Jose Molina's glove.

That's not to say that Joba's command was completely there. It wasn't. He missed with quite a few fastballs, missing high more than not. But jeez, ESPN.com has it as their main headline (as of about 10 this morning) as if he got completely shelled. The only hit he allowed was an "excuse me" ground ball that found a hole between Giambi and Cano.

The real problem in last night's game was the bullpen. Dan Giese did a respectable job in his Yankees' debut (he pitched 8 games for the Giants last year), allowing five hits in 3 and 2/3 but only one run. Jose Veras and Edwar Ramirez were not so good, however. Despite being two of the Yankees more reliable pitchers in the pen this season, neither of them brought their "A" game to the stadium as they gave up a combined six runs, which were the difference in the game.

Not a ton of offense to talk about. Cano went 0-4 but I don't even know if that's noteworthy anymore. Johnny Damon had three hits and raised his average over .300 (I could've sworn he was under .260 just over a week ago), and Derek Jeter tied Mickey Mantle on the Yankees' all-time hit list (2,415).

The Yankees will resume their series with Toronto tonight as Mike Mussina takes on Jesse Leitsch. Leitsch has been a rock this season, as he is 7-1 with an E.R.A. of 3.18. Mussina has also been surprisingly good for the most part, as he'll be looking for his 9th win. Game starts at 7:05 E.T.
Posted by: James
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Nice long article from Stark on Joba and tips from several players (Tom Gordon, Curt Schilling, etc.) for "the newest member of the Ex-Relievers Club". Some good stuff in there so definitely worth the time it'll take to peruse.

Posted by: James
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This can be categorized as a game where timely hitting was once again a foreign art for the Yankees. Darrell Rasner clearly didn't have his best stuff yesterday but let's be honest, he kept the Yankees in the game as best as he could and the Yankees offense really looked like they left their fire in the 12th inning of the other night. Rasner gave up two quick runs in the first but looked to have settled down and didn't give up another run until the fourth though he did keep working his way into and out of trouble (he should give IPK some lessons on the latter).

The Twins scored their 4th run off of Rasner on a fluke play when Justin Morneau ripped what looked to be a double to the gap in right center. Melky chased the ball down...but then slipped on the track and ended up throwing the ball over Abreu's head when he tried to get the ball over to him. While that was going on, Morneau cleared the bases. Yeah, it was one of those days.

There was a scary play in the fifth when Bobby Abreu lined a shot right up the middle and it connected with Twins starter Nick Blackburn. Originally, it looked pretty bad as Blackburn went down like a heap...but thankfully he hopped back up after a few seconds and was able to walk off the field under his own power. On the replays, it showed that the ball didn't catch him flush but glanced off his glove and then nailed him in the nose. Still, memories of Bryce Florie certainly abounded and you could tell that Abreu was pretty shaken up about it.

In any case, the only Yankee run was a Derek Jeter homer in the fifth, which is amazing since they did pound out 7 other hits and 3 walks. They also bounced into 2 double plays so that didn't help matters and still managed to leave 8 men on base for the game. All in all, a disappointing loss but hey, you gotta lose sometime right. Let's hope the Yanks offense shows a little more fire in today's game to get back over .500 for the year.
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees will enter June with a winning record, as Saturday night's extra inning victory over the Twins put the Yankees above .500 for the first time since May 5. The Yankees won the 12-inning game by a score of 7-6 in a back and forth affair that saw four lead changes and the game tied up twice.

The Yankees got behind early after an RBI single by Justin Morneau in the 1st and a sac fly by Nick Punto in the 2nd. The Yankees came back to take a 3-2 lead in the 3rd after a big two-out, two-run single by Alex Rodriguez, but the Twins tied it back up in the bottom of the inning with a base hit by Michael Cuddyer.

Chien-Ming Wang did not have his best stuff, as he allowed a run in each of the first three innings, and finished with a line of five runs off 9 hits in just 5 and 1/3. After a scorching hot start in which he started the season 6-0, Wang has yet to win a game since May 2.

Wang did leave the game with a chance to pick up the victory, as he left the game with a 6-4 lead. Edward Ramirez, however, allowed his first earned run in the bottom of the 7th, as Cuddyer launched a solo shot to tie the game at 6 (the 5th run scored by the Twins was on an RBI groundout off of Ramirez, but the run was charged to Wang).

That was where the score would stay, as both teams went scoreless for the next four innings before the Yankees finally went ahead for good with an RBI single by Bobby Abreu in the top of the 12th. Mariano Rivera closed the game out and recorded his 15th save, and lowered his E.R.A. to a miniscule 0.36.

These two teams will go at it again this afternoon at 2:10 E.T. The game should feature a good pitching contest, even without a big name on the mound today, as Darrell Rasner and Nick Blackburn both have given impressive starts to this season.