Results tagged ‘ Twins ’
Pitching, pitching, pitching…
The Yankees were very fortunate in the first half to get the mileage they did out of Bartolo Colon (even with his stay on the DL) and Freddy Garcia. But two games into the second half, their performances have been very dismal as the Yanks have been crushed by the Toronto Blue Jays on successive days.
I think that both Colon and Garcia are capable to having respectable finishes to the season but all things considered, I’d rather go in a different direction. I am sure that there is a good reason for why 8-game winner Ivan Nova is pitching for Scranton/Wilkes Barre. I’d never claim to the talent evaluator that Joe Girardi and Larry Rothschild are, but it would make more sense to me to let the younger pitcher grow and develop in the major league rotation.
Yankee scouts are out in full force scouring other major league ballparks. I am sure that Brian Cashman has a short list of guys that he’d like to acquire even if he’d never publicly admit it. I fully recognize that the trading deadline is not going to result in Felix Hernandez wearing pinstripes, but I am sure that there are a few arms out there capable of being major upgrades over Colon and Garcia.
The losses by Colon and Garcia aren’t just their faults. This is a team game and the other guys simply did not pick up the veteran pitchers when they got hit hard. For whatever reason, the Blue Jays seem to have the Yankees number or at least they have for the last few years. If the Yankees intend to win the division, they need to figure out how to beat Toronto and Boston since they haven’t really shown they are capable of beating either team.
I was surprised to see Derek Jeter crucified for not attending the All-Star Game in Phoenix. While I think that he should have made an appearance at the game, I can understand and appreciate his reasons for not playing. He had just finished a stint on the DL and he is vital to his team’s chances in the second half. The ASG break was a good opportunity for DJ to ensure that he got good rest before resuming the rigors of every day play. It’s not just Derek, I think any of the players who were voted as starters but withdrew for whatever reason should have made the trip to Phoenix to at least acknowledge the fans.
Still, nobody received criticism for pulling out of the game like DJ did. I know, that’s just life with the New York Yankees.
Give the young guy a shot…
I’d like to see the Yankees bring up Brandon Laird to give him a taste of third base at the major league level while Alex Rodriguez is on the DL. It would be interesting to see what he could do in a platoon situation with Eduardo Nunez. I would rather go that route than pursue an aging and high priced vet like Aramis Ramirez or someone like that. Laird’s batting average leaves a little to be desired (.266) but he is driving in runs (47 RBI’s).
One if by land, two if by sea…
I was watching the Minnesota Twins play the Kansas City Royals on TV last night and I have to say that I am impressed with Minnesota’s Ben Revere. The speedster lined a shot to right, and after he rounded second base, he started to fall and went into a somersault. Yet, with his speed, he was still able to arrive at third ahead of the ball. It was one of the most interesting triples that I’ve seen.
Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune
The night didn’t fare very well for the Twins as their closer, Matt Capps, gave up a two-run homer to Eric Hosmer in the top of the 9th in the 2-1 loss to the Royals. Hosmer, by the way, is another young player that I am very impressed with. As for Matt Capps, I wonder how much longer until Joe Nathan takes back his old job. I know it all depends upon Nathan’s health, but Capps has been brutal.
Oh yeah, this is a pinstripe blog…
Back to the Yankees, they definitely need to find a way to salvage the series in Toronto today and tomorrow. They have a tough four-game set against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg next week and they need to build some momentum going into the series. There isn’t anyone better to have on the mound today than the great CC Sabathia. Hopefully he’ll get his 14th win today…
Have a great weekend!
So far, the Yankees have started like last season…winning their series as they’ve taken the first two from the Detroit Tigers and the Minnesota Twins. As the saying goes, ‘Two outta three ain’t bad!’. Keep it all season and it would equate to a divisional championship.
Simmons/NY Daily News
I was a bit surprised about Rafael Soriano‘s implosion that cost the Yankees the second game in the series with the Twins. His career high three walks in an inning proved fatal as the Twins rallied in a game CC Sabathia should have won. But the bigger problem was avoiding the media after the game. Being in New York is about being a stand up guy through thick and thin. Frustration is understandable, but unfortunately, there is more to baseball than just a game. I think Soriano will learn from the situation and of course being around Mariano Rivera is sure to have its positive impact. There’s not too many people that understand New York better than Mo and Derek Jeter.
I was really sorry to hear that Twins second baseman Tsuyoshi Nishioka broke his leg on a hard slide at second base by Nick Swisher. I thought it was very classy of Swisher to visit Niskioka after the game to express his apology. Swish likes to have fun but he’s certainly not a dirty player and it would be unfair to pin that tag on him because of the incident. I thought Nishioka has done an admirable job in his MLB debut season and wish him the very best for a full and speedy recovery.
For all the problems that A.J. Burnett has endured in New York, I am amazed about the stat that he is undefeated in April. Of course, with today’s win, the streak continues. I want to say that Burnett is pitching so much better than last year and I don’t have the fear I used to have when he took the mound. But still, I guess I had better wait until May before forming any opinions. Whatever it is, I hope that A.J. can keep it going.
Who would have thought the biggest pitching concern in the rotation would be Phil Hughes?…
Freddy Garcia did miss out on his start because of a rain postponement when Joe Girardi skipped his turn in the rotation for the next game. So the Yankees still don’t know what they have at the back end of the rotation. If Hughes implodes again, I’ll definitely be concerned since it will put a fair amount of pressure on Ivan Nova.
I am very surprised that both the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays are a combined 0-12. Despite the slow start, I still recognize that the Boston Red Sox have a very powerful and formidable team. With 156 games to go, I am sure the Red Sox will have a higher winning percentage than most teams over the same period of games and will be leading the way into October. Actually, I am not too excited about the Yankees facing their most bitter rival at a time when they’ve been backed into a corner. A win or two against the Yankees can definitely kick start the Red Sox Machine and give them the momentum to charge forward. I don’t think the series will be a sweep in either direction but it is going be a hard-fought battle, and the winner will have their share of bumps and bruises.
Of course, with the Yankees playing the Red Sox, it is time for yet another wager with my good friend, Julia, of Julia’s Rants. For the latest bet, the loser will write a critical analysis of what ails his/her team. The loser will also have to write about why the other team is better. Pride and ego will definitely have to be checked at the door for this one. The opening game of the series on Friday pits two huge question marks against each other…Phil Hughes versus John Lackey. The game will most likely set the tone for the rest of the series. May the best team win…which, of course, are the Yankees!
It should be a great weekend for baseball!
It was a nice win by the “kid”
of the pitching staff. With 24-year-old
Ivan Nova on the mound, the Yankees bolted to a 4-0 lead behind Alex Rodriguez
and Jorge Posada and then held off the Minnesota Twins for the 4-3
Antonelli/NY Daily News
I’ll admit that I had the
fears from last year when Nova had men on first and third and Jim Thome at the
plate after recording two outs with the bases empty. Thome sliced a double to score two runs, and
I was worried the floodgates were about to open. Fortunately, he escaped the inning without
further damage. Despite giving up a run
the next inning, Nova went six innings before turning the game over to the
bullpen combo of Chamberlain-Soriano-Rivera.
Nova is definitely the wild
card of the pitching staff. Stuff-wise,
I am not really expecting much from him.
It’s not like he has the talent of a David Price or a Jeremy Hellickson,
but he does have a chance of being a solid contributor on an outstanding club.
Okay, I know that I am a
die-hard Yankees fan, but I have to admit that I was a bit embarrassed listening
to MLB Radio this morning when a guy claiming to be a Yankees fan was gloating
about the Red Sox Opening Series loss. 3
games out of 162 mean nothing. The Red
Sox are a sleeping Giant and when they wake up, they are going to be very
powerful. I know when the Yankees travel
to Boston, records won’t mean anything.
The series will be the first intense test of the season and I’m sure
that we’ll see the real Red Sox in prime form.
I am not disappointed to see the Red Sox lose (naturally), but there’s
no way I’d gloat about the situation.
The Yankees will have their own bumps in the road along the way…
Like everyone else, I am
concerned about the drop in Phil Hughes‘ velocity, but we need a greater body of
work before deciding if this is a trend.
I think he’ll be okay after a few more starts.
I keep reading about how
Jorge Posada needs to fill the time between his at-bats as he adjusts to the DH
role, but with 3 home runs, he must be doing something right.
So Andruw Jones hasn’t
appeared in a single game yet? Geesh, I’d
like to collect his salary for doing nothing!
Congratulations to the New York Yankees for their
ALDS series win over the Minnesota Twins!
Neil Miller/New York Post
I don’t know why the Yankees have enjoyed success
against the Twins. Perhaps it is why the
Toronto Blue Jays love playing the Yankees.
Some teams have other teams number and the Yankees certainly hold a psychological
edge over the Twins.
I’ve been reading many articles about which team
the Yankees would prefer facing in the American League Championship
Series. While I am still not convinced
that the Yankees have “it” this year to see them through a World Series that
most likely will feature a frontline rotation of Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and
Cole Hamels, the two potential AL contenders (Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers)
certainly have their own issues.
As for a potential ALCS opponent, I’d have to say
that I’d prefer to see the Tampa Bay Rays.
I don’t really want to see the Texas Rangers advance to the World Series
(not that I want to see the Rays go there either), but a series with the
Rangers would result in very bitter confrontations with Rangers ace Cliff
Lee. Win or lose, it could potentially
impact Cliff’s decision this offseason regarding where to sign (or
re-sign). CC Sabathia neutralizes the
advantage of David Price, and with the other starters rested, I like the team’s
chances against the other Rays starters.
Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants for
their NLDS ouster of the Atlanta Braves and future Hall of Fame manager Bobby
Cox. It was a tough fought series, and I
give the Giants credit for much heart in this series. They thrived on stellar pitching and used
small ball to topple the Braves and send Cox away at the end of the long and
successful managerial career. It was odd
seeing the final out recorded by former Yankee Melky Cabrera, who had seemed to
thrive in walk-off situations in 2009.
With the tying and winning runs on base, Melky hit a grounder to third
to end the game. With the series win in
Game 4, the Giants saved scheduled Game 5 starter Tim Lincecum for a first
round NLCS match-up against Roy Halladay and the Philadelphia Phillies. It should be a terrific pitchers’ duel…
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Well, with just one division series left to go, I
guess I’ll end with saying, ‘Go Rays!’…
I am pleasantly surprised at the Yankees’ success,
so far, against the Minnesota Twins…
I had been so disappointed with the team’s pathetic
September performance that saw them lose any chance of winning the AL
East. Within a matter of days or even
hours, they went from the possibility of the AL East Championship with home
field advantage to a road-traveling Wild Card team. It was hard to be excited about the start of
the play-offs with the team playing so poorly.
For the first two games of the ALDS series against the Twins, the
Yankees have risen to the challenge.
Granted, the Yankees have a history of success against the Twins, but I’d
be the first to say that past domination does not guarantee future domination. 2004 wasn’t that many years ago…
Vincent Laforet/The New York Times
While the Yankees have the series advantage and are
now headed for the Bronx to resume the series on Saturday night, the Twins are
far from out of it. If they can get
solid pitching and timely hitting in New York, they have a chance to take the
series back to Minnesota for the deciding Game 5. Outside of perhaps CC Sabathia, the Yankees simply
do not have a pitcher that is capable of putting up a Roy Halladay or Cliff Lee
type of performance. Even CC has his bad
days. But going into the play-offs, I
knew that the lesser guys would need to stand up and so far, Lance Berkman and
Curtis Granderson certainly have.
Sipken/NY Daily News
I am very surprised to see the AL East Champion
Tampa Bay Rays trailing their ALDS series to the Texas Rangers (down two games
to none). I realize that the Rays
struggled in September like the Yankees but I felt they were probably the best
team in the American League based primarily on their pitching staff. Like the Twins, the Rays can still get back
in the series but the Rangers have to like their chances.
There have been great pitching performances in the
National League with the no-hitter thrown by the Philadelphia Phillies’ Roy
Halladay and last night’s 14-strikeout, complete game shut-out thrown by San
Francisco’s Tim Lincecum in the Giants’ 1-0 victory over the Atlanta
Michael Macor/San Francisco Chronicle
Regardless of what happens, the League Championship
Series in both leagues should be very exciting this year. I still think the Phillies will win it all,
but the Yankees certainly have as much talent as anyone to get on a roll.
Going off-topic but staying with the ‘Minnesota to New York’ theme, I was very pleasantly surprised to
see the return of Randy Moss to the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings play the Jets in the Meadowlands on Monday night. I have retained my purple #84 jersey all
these years but never thought that I’d get a chance to wear it again. I knew that Randy had become quite vocal in
recent weeks about the lack of a contract extension and of course there was
last weekend’s blow-up with a coordinator.
Still, I did not expect the New England Patriots to trade Moss. The Vikings have clearly been missing Sidney
Rice who will be out until at least mid-season due to hip surgery. It will be interesting to see if chemistry
develops between Moss and QB Brett Favre.
It is going to be weird watching Moss catching passes from Favre after
all those years of playing against each other in the Packers-Vikings series.
At 1-2, the Vikings face a very challenging
October. After the game against the Jets, they will face the Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers and
New England Patriots to close out the month.
The team should definitely know where they stand by Halloween.
The going gets tough, the Yankees decide to bail…
The Yankees should be able to clinch the Wild Card
slot at some point, but I’ve given up hope of taking the AL East unless things
change very quickly. The Tampa Bay Rays
have great momentum right now, and the Yankees don’t. So far this month (going into Saturday’s
game), the Yankees are 10-12. When you’re
racing for the pennant, that kind of record is not going to get it done
(obviously). The Yankees’ magic number
remains at 3. With a single win against
the Red Sox, they could reduce the number to 1 but at this point, the Red Sox
are playing like the superior team and they certainly have not given up
hope. After the end of the home stand
against Boston, the Yankees take to the road to play the Blue Jays and the Red
Sox (both challenging places to play).
This month, the Philadelphia Phillies have definitely
shown they are ‘in it to win it’. They’ve
clearly distanced themselves from the Atlanta Braves and they’ll head into the
play-offs as the hottest team in the National League. It’s been a great season for the Cincinnati
Reds, but I think the Phillies, even with their injuries, are the better
team. The trading deadline pick-up of
Roy Oswalt was huge and it gave the Phillies pitching superiority (even against
the likes of the San Francisco Giants who boast a very strong rotation). Speaking of the Giants, they’ve also been
playing good baseball and currently lead the NL West by a slim margin. I like the Giants as an underdog if they can
stay on top against the San Diego Padres, but I don’t think anyone is going to
beat the Phillies and they’ll head to the World Series for the third straight
Michael Bryant, Philly.com, Staff Photographer
Back to the American League, the Tampa Bay Rays and
the Minnesota Twins are playing the best baseball. As much as I would like to say “Rays suck!”
or “Twins suck!” or “Yankees are going to win it again!”, the truth is that the
AL Championship Series will most likely feature the Rays and the Twins. The Rangers are fading and of course so are
the Yankees. If the Yankees’ freefall
results in a miraculous achievement of the play-offs by the Boston Red Sox, it
will definitely rank as one of the greatest September flops in recent
In the NL, the Atlanta Braves and the Colorado
Rockies are fading, and the Padres aren’t far behind. For a time this season, I thought the Padres
were the team to beat, but now they’re fighting to make the play-offs.
John R. McCutchen/San Diego Union-Tribune
At this point, it is hard to visualize the 2010
World Series involving any teams other than the Tampa Bay Rays and the
Philadelphia Phillies (a repeat of the Phillies’ championship year in
2008). More than likely, the outcome
will be the same.
Congratulations to my friend, Julia (of Julia’s
Rants), for winning the latest wager between she and I. With today’s 7-2 victory, the Boston Red Sox
have ensured that they will take at least two of the three games in the Bronx
and they’ll go for a sweep on Sunday. I
guess the Yanks could have used those 6 home runs today instead of yesterday. The Yankees, now 10-13 for September,
continue to give the Red Sox hope that they can reach high enough to eclipse
the Yanks for the Wild Card slot. The
Sox are now just 5 ½ games behind the Yankees.
I guess there’s a Red Sox cap on its way to my home in CA… L
Noah K. Murray/The Star-Ledger
Maybe I think a motivational pep talk by Tony
Dungy. Then again, it didn’t seem to
help the Yankees. Let’s hope that next
weekend is more exciting than this weekend is turning out to be…
Who knew that all it would take to put me in a good mood is a little rain, a couple of homers and great pitching?…
The Yankees picked up two wins today against the Minnesota Twins. The first game was the continuation of Tuesday’s game which had been suspended after five innings due to rain. At the time, the game was scoreless, and the game was stopped after the conclusion of the bottom half of the inning. So, for the game before the game today, it was essentially a short four inning game.
In an interesting stat, Derek Jeter’s home run in the 6th inning (or first inning of the continued game today) made a winner of Tuesday’s starter, A.J. Burnett. It’s not often you can pitch on one day and receive the win on a different day. Jeter backed up the homer with a great defensive play in the bottom of the 6th to preserve the Yankees’ 1-0 lead which was subsequently the final score. If this game had been in New York, Derek’s play would have been worth a pie!
Mariano Rivera gave fantasy baseball owners a great thrill when he saved both games today. Andy Pettitte went 8 innings in the regularly scheduled game to pick up his sixth win of the season. The Twins had taken an early 1-0 lead, but the score was tied at 2 in the top of the 9th inning when Nick Swisher homered to give the Yankees a 3-2 advantage. Once again, Mo trotted out and retired three batters in order to earn the second save of the day. While Swisher’s homer was huge, the hitting star was once again rookie Kevin Russo. He hit a game-tying double in the fourth, and his two-out single in the sixth led to another run. Despite limited opportunity, Russo’s bat has been more effective than Alex Rodriguez in recent days.
The wins against the Twins are definitely a great start to putting last week behind us. The Tampa Bay Rays, who had appeared invincible, have lost three straight games (a sweep) to the Boston Red Sox. So, while the Yankees haven’t lost ground to the Rays, the Red Sox have been climbing. Before the season, if you had said Josh Beckett would be on the DL, John Lackey struggling, and Jacoby Ellsbury ailing, I would not have given the Sox a chance. Instead, they’ve stolen the “invincible” title from the Rays…at least for now.
Boston Globe staff
He’s back! With two ex-Yankee relievers on the street following their respective releases (Chad Gaudin by the Oakland A’s and Brian Bruney by the Washington Nationals), the Yankees added one to their roster today (Gaudin). To make room for Gaudin, lefty reliever Boone Logan was optioned to AAA Scranton/Wilkes Barre and recent minor league free agent pickup Shane Lindsay was released from the 40-man roster. Hopefully, Gaudin didn’t throw away his razor when he left the A’s…
Robert Frost once said he could sum up everything he has learned about life in three words. “It goes on”…
It was one of those days for the great Mariano Rivera and the Yankees on Sunday. The Yankees had controlled the majority of the game after a Randy Winn triple in the bottom of the 2nd inning had given them an early 2-1 lead.
Sergio Mitre did everything asked of him as he went 5 innings and only gave up 4 hits and 1 run. David Robertson, who has been struggling, came on in relief of Mitre and was effective for two innings.
Antonelli/New York Daily News
So, the Yankees had the perfect formula for victory (Chamberlain + Rivera), right? Wrong. Joba allowed the first batter to reach base during the top of the 8th inning when Denard Span singled. Following a fielder’s choice which left Orlando Hudson at first, Joe Mauer walked. Joba struck out the next batter (Justin Morneau), and it looked as though he might escape the inning without any further damage. Unfortunately, an infield single by Michael Cuddyer loaded the bases and ended Joba’s afternoon. Manager Joe Girardi called on Mariano Rivera for a four-out save. Mo quickly fell behind the first batter he faced (Jim Thome) and eventually walked him to bring in a run (closing the Yankees lead to 3-2). Mo was unable to shut the door as the next hitter, Jason Kubel, smashed a grand slam to right to give the Twins the lead, 6-3.
Antonelli/New York Daily News
William Perlman/The Star Ledger
The Yankees tried to rally in the bottom of the 9th and had the first two men on base. But Twins closer Jon Rauch struck out Derek Jeter, Brett Gardner and Mark Teixeira to end the game.
This was a very disappointing loss. The Yankees have had great success against the Twins at Yankee Stadium and had won the first two games of this series. A win today would have put a psychological knife into the Twins or the very least would have given them doubts about their ability to win at the Stadium in October. For the Twins, it was a huge win and it lifted the monkey off their backs. Prior to the game, former Twins great Bert Blyleven labeled it as a “must win”
So, the weekend ends on a down note for the Yankees as they await the arrival of their fiercest rival, the Boston Red Sox, for a two-game series in the Bronx starting on Monday.
Of course, Yankees-Red Sox can only mean one thing. It’s time for another wager between me and my friend Julia of Julia’s Rants. For the latest wager, the loser must write a blog about the opposing team’s first World Series victory. If the teams split the series, the winner will be the team with the highest run total. The Red Sox did lose today to Johnny Damon and the Detroit Tigers so neither the Yanks or Sox carry any momentum into the latest series.
The Yankees received some bad news when it was announced that DH Nick Johnson may need wrist surgery. They’ll first try a cortisone shot, but if it doesn’t work, surgery will be the next option which would most likely shelf Johnson until August. This is exactly what Yankee fans had feared when Johnson signed with the Yanks during the off-season as Johnny Damon’s replacement. GM Brian Cashman says that Johnson’s injury potential was taken into consideration, however, it doesn’t appear that there is a solid Plan B in place. I like the lineup with Posada at DH and Francisco Cervelli at catcher, however, that may or may not be a good long term solution. I’d prefer more of a sure thing (trade for Johnny Damon?), but unfortunately, the trade market will not be open until July (or June at the earliest).
It was a particularly tough sports day for me today as the San Jose Sharks lost 2-1 to the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 of the NHL Western Conference Finals. I am sure that if I need to hear some positive sports news, Julia will be more than happy to tell me all about the Boston Celtics’ Game 1 win over the Orlando Magic in Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals… L
San Jose Mercury News
The day did have a great start for me before the games began. I participated in the 99th Annual Bay to Breakers 12K Run in San Francisco. The run started near the Bay by Embarcadero and headed west (up the Hayes Street Hill and through Golden Gate Park) to the Pacific Ocean.
San Francisco Chronicle
In San Francisco, you have to be prepared to see just about anything…and I did! Many runners (and walkers) chose to wear costumes while some opted for nothing at all. I took the more conservative and traditional route myself. I do not know the total headcount but the run was very slow at the beginning and going up the Hayes Street Hill due to the sheer volume of people.
San Francisco Chronicle
Personally. I accomplished my modest goal of running the race inside of an hour. It was a fun and very enjoyable day…well, at least until the 8th inning at Yankee Stadium!
The string comes unwound…
The Yankees had been successful in every season series this year except for their trip to Anaheim, CA, but the string of success came to a resounding thud in Detroit. The Tigers were victorious in winning 3 of 4 games against the Yankees.
The Tigers took a close game on Monday, 5-4, when a late Yankees rally fell short. Tuesday was rained out, so the team played two the next day. Despite a strong performance by Javier Vazquez (his best of the season, by far), the Yanks fell 2-0 in the first game. They rebounded in the nightcap behind a very strong performance by Phil Hughes, which is rapidly becoming “the norm” for #65. The game was close most of the way until the Yankees scored 6 runs in the 9th to win, 8-0.
In the getaway game, the Yanks were shut out for the second time in three games, 6-0. The game was highlighted by a disappointing outing by CC Sabathia.
Tonight, the Yankees are back in the Bronx for a weekend series against the Minnesota Twins.
As it stands right now, I am concerned about the team. Andy Pettitte pitches on Saturday and there is uncertainty regarding his health. He has missed a start due to elbow stiffness and it would not be realistic to expect his high level of performance in April to continue.
The rainout in Detroit, forcing Javier Vazquez to pitch on Wednesday, has pushed Javy’s next start back a day so Sergio Mitre will start Sunday against the Twins.
My biggest concern is the ongoing health challenges the team has faced. For awhile, it seemed as though every win was accompanied by an injury. I know the Yankees spare no expense, but at times, I do wonder about the team’s strength and conditioning program. It is a completely unsubstantiated remark, but the constant little injuries do make you wonder what the cause might be.
Curtis Granderson is eligible to come off the DL on Monday, but he has yet to begin running again. He is scheduled to do some light running this weekend, and has been vigorously working out. However, if he hasn’t started running, it does not appear he’ll be back immediately. Nothing against Marcus Thames, Randy Winn or Greg Golson, but I’d prefer to see those guys coming off the bench…not starting in the outfield.
Other Yankees have been dinged up…Jorge Posada, Nick Swisher, Robinson Cano, Mariano Rivera, et al. Chan Ho Park and Alfredo Aceves are on the DL with Granderson, although Park is expected back soon.
A trip to October always includes a bit of luck so hopefully the Yanks will be able to overcome these string of injuries without losing too much ground to the Tampa Bay Rays…or let the dreaded Boston Red Sox catch up.
On the bright side (for me), the San Jose Sharks will soon begin the Western Conference Finals against the Chicago Blackhawks for the right to advance to the Stanley Cup. I had hoped for a Stanley Cup collision against my friend, Julia, but unfortunately, her Boston Bruins let a 3 games to none lead slip away. That also included a 3-0 lead in Game 7. So close Julia, “but so far away”. Sorry, my friend. At least we still have hope in the NBA play-offs as the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics are in their respective conference finals. So, we’ll have to hope for Lakers-Celtics in the finals, with a Sharks-Bruins match-up just a dream for future years.
The Yankees starting center fielder is…
TBA on Thursday. Seriously? The word is that manager Joe Girardi will announce his starting center fielder on Thursday. He had been toying with playing Granderson in left and Brett Gardner in center, but c’mon, there is really no choice but to start Granderson in center. The higher risk player is Gardner, and if he fails in center, it would be tougher to move Granderson from left to center than it would be to just find a replacement left fielder assuming that Gardner is named to start in left as expected. I suspect that Randy Winn will see a fair amount of playing time, as will Marcus Thames if he makes the roster…and starts to hit (something that he has been unable to do this spring).
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Everyone was amazed with the switch-pitching of prospect Pat Venditte this week. The 24-year-old has no hope of making the final roster, and I’ve always heard that he is not a legitimate major league prospect, but it was still an interesting story. I enjoyed reading the rules about ambidextrous pitchers. I am sure that they had to blow off the dust to find these:
MLB Rule 8.01 (f), regarding ambidextrous pitchers
A pitcher must indicate visually to the umpire-in-chief, the batter and any runners the hand with which he intends to pitch, which may be done by wearing his glove on the other hand while touching the pitcher’s plate. The pitcher is not permitted to pitch with the other hand until the batter is retired, the batter becomes a runner, the inning ends, the batter is substituted for by a pinch-hitter or the pitcher incurs an injury. In the event a pitcher switches pitching hands during an at-bat because he has suffered an injury, the pitcher may not, for the remainder of the game, pitch with the hand from which he has switched. The pitcher shall not be given the opportunity to throw any preparatory pitches after switching pitching hands. Any change of pitching hands must be indicated clearly to the umpire-in-chief.
I am still very skeptical if Venditte will ever make the major leagues, but I wish him much luck and success in his journey. It would be tremendous to have a weapon that could turn around hitters without a pitching change.
Noah Addis/The Star Ledger
Phil Hughes found out that he’ll be staying in Tampa for an extended spring training, with a first start not scheduled until April 15th. The Yankees do not need a fifth starter during the first couple of weeks of the season, and there had been talk that Hughes would be sent down to AAA until he was needed. This is probably a better and palatable solution for Hughes. Once you’ve made it to the Show, it’s kind of hard to step back a level regardless of the circumstances.
What are the odds of hitting your mother in the stands with a foul ball? That’s exactly what happened to the Minnesota Twins’ Denard Span today in the Twins’ 4-2 victory over the Yankees. He hit a foul ball that struck his mother in the collarbone. The hardest part for Span was watching his mother cry, but fortunately, she’s okay. That was definitely a very scary and ironic story…
The Toronto Blue Jays pinned the first loss as a Phillie on former ace Roy Halladay today in the Jays’ 5-2 win over Philadelphia. Okay, it wasn’t an official loss, but still, there was a bit of irony that the first “loss” would come against the Jays.
Gene J. Puskar/AP
The Phillies decision to go with Doc over Cliff Lee looks much stronger given the recent health challenges Lee has experienced. I still think they should have tried to find a way to keep both, but admittedly, I do not know enough about the team’s finances or infrastructure to know if that was even a possibility. Speaking of the Phils, nothing against Jamie Moyer, but I am a bit surprised that the team would go for a 47-year-old as their fifth starter over a solid 25-year-old Kyle Kendrick. Maybe Kendrick is not quite ready, but I would think his upside is much stronger. I guess there’s a reason they call the NL the “senior circuit”….
It sounds like trade talks between the Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers are heating up again involving Mike Lowell. Lowell is a favorite of my good friend Julia, but he is a man without a position thanks to the Sox free agent acquisition of third baseman Adrian Beltre. If Boston is going to pay a significant portion of his salary anyway, you’d think they would just keep him to strengthen their bench. Nevertheless, it would seem this is a trade rumor that will happen. So, Julia, I dedicate this song to you…
In the eyes of a ranger,
The unsuspected stranger
Had better know the truth of right from wrong,
Cuz the eyes of a ranger are upon you,
Any wrong you do he’s gonna see,
When you’re in Texas look behind you,
Cuz that’s where the rangers are gonna be
Good luck to Mike wherever he lands. He is the consummate team professional and he’ll be a valuable cog on any roster. Admittedly, I’d prefer to see him on anyone’s roster other than Boston’s…
Jim Davis/Boston Globe
It’s hard to believe that the 2010 season is almost upon us. This is a great time. Every team is equal, and every fan is hopeful that this will be the year. Best of luck to everyone for what I hope will be a truly fantastic baseball season regardless of the outcome. Well, for me, a 28th Yankees World Championship would be good! J