Thursday, July 31, 2014

Shortly after completing a pair of moves just before the final bell of the non-waiver trading deadline had rung, in which the Yankees were able to complete for both Red Sox infielder Stephen Drew and Diamondbacks infielder/outfielder Martin Prado, Brian Cashman spoke the media on a few different topics.

The most important thing that he mentioned: second baseman Brian Roberts will be designated for assignment to make room for Prado on the roster.

The big question with Roberts coming into the year was whether or not he would be able to stay healthy after miss a large chunk of the last four seasons. While he did stay healthy, we hasn't very good at the plate outside of a couple hot streaks, and his play as second base was sub-par, too. He hit just .237 with a .659 OPS in 91 games. The 36-year-old will likely clear waivers and try to catch on elsewhere for the remainder of the season.

In the mean time, Drew will take over as the everyday second baseman for the Yankees since Derek Jeter is still alive and well as the Bombers' shortstop. With Mark Teixeira, Chase Headley, Jeter and Drew as the starting infield core, Cashman told reporters that the newly acquired Prado will be tried out in right field, where the Yankees have finally found a better option to Ichiro Suzuki, who is struggling pretty badly at the plate right now.

Cashman also mentioned the RHP Esmil Rogers, who was claimed off of waivers from the Blue Jays today, will be added to the 25-man roster before Friday night's game on Boston. The Yankees will need to make a move to add him to the roster.

Just when you thought that Stephen Drew was the only deadline deal that Brian Cashman managed to pull off, Jake Curry comes at you with this:

According to Steve Gillbert, the Yankees will be sending C/1B Peter O'Brien out to Arizona, bringing back Pardo in return. The Yankees are also giving the D-Backs cash or a player to be named later, according to a team release.

 Prado was having a bit of a down year for the Diamondbacks, hitting .270 with five homeruns and 42 RBIs this season. Over his last 162 games, the  batting .285/.332/.403 with 72 R, 34 2B, 5 3B, 10 HR, 83 RBI, & 2 SB.

But while he can hit, the real value is with his glove, where he can play all around the diamond, spending most of his time at third base this season. He can also play the outfield, and I'm thinking that he'll play mostly right field as an upgrade for the struggling Ichiro Suzuki.

Prado still has two years and $22 million left on his current contract, so he'll give the Yankees good third base option next season in case the team does not want to re-sign Chase Headley, and even in the even that Alex Rodriguez has played his last game in pinstripes.

As for O'Brien, the Yankees clearly sold high on the right-handed hitter with 33 homeruns between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton this season. Originally a catcher, the Yankees were working him at first base with the hopes of getting him to the big leagues a little quicker. Seems like a bad deal at first, but O'Brien is not a super talented prospect, and the Yankees found the right deal to move him.

I feel like I'm always saying this, but again, Brian Cashman made yet another move in which he didn't have to part ways with one of the biggest prospects in the system.

File this one under "trades that I didn't think would happen today."

The Yankees have acquired shortstop Stephen Drew from the Boston Red Sox, reports ESPN Boston's Goron Edes. According to Alex Spieder, third baseman Kelly Johnson, who is currently on the disabled list with a strained left groin, will be heading to the Red Sox in he first trade between Boston and New York since 1997.

With the team's biggest needs being in the starting rotation as well as right field, this is certainly a move that nobody saw coming.

This is, however, both a good and bad thing for the Yankees. While they finally get an upgrade for Brian Roberts at second base, -- I'm assuming he'll be playing there because, if you didn't know, Derek Jeter has not retired yet -- Drew now blocks Rob Refsnyder from a potential call-up this season.

Drew was re-signed by the Red Sox to a one-year deal back in May, and hasn't been that great in 39 games he's played with Boston this season. To this point, he's hitting .176 with four homeruns and 11 RBIs in 131 at-bats.

Drew was the fourth member of the Red Sox to be dealt ahead of today's non-waiver trade deadline, joining Jon Lester, John Lackey and Andrew Miller, who were all moved during Boston's very quick fire sale.

And when you really look at it, this was another potentially move by Brian Cashman, who just upgraded his infield by trading away a guy on the DL.

With trade rumors and fake Twitter accounts taking over the internet today, the Yankees have made a move -- not a trade, however -- just two hours away from the 4 pm deadline.

The Yankees have claimed right-hander Esmil Rogers off waivers from the Blue Jays, according to the YES Network's Jack Curry.

Rogers has been designated for assignment by the Toronto Blue Jays for the second time this season earlier in the week. He only appeared in 16 games for the big league squad, posting a 6.97 ERA with a 59 ERA+ and 1.65 WHIP in 20.2 innings this season.

I'd have to guess that he'll go down to Triple-A Scranton and just be some extra pitching depth in case the Yankees ever need it. Wouldn't rule out him joining the Bombers in Boston this weekend, though, after the bullpen put in a lot of work in Texas this week.

Triple-A Scranton: 3-1 loss vs Gwinnett Braves

RF Jose Pirela: 0-for-5, K
CF Antoan Richardson: 2-for-2, BB
2B Rob Refsnyder: 0-for-2, BB
DH Kyle Roller: 0-for-3, BB, K
C Austin Romine: 2-for-3, R, 2B, BB

Matt Tracy: 6 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER 2, BB 4 K, 1 HR
Tyler Webb: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
Jim Miller: 1.2, IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K

Double-A Trenton: 3-2 loss vs New Britain Rock Cats

CF Jake Cave: 2-for-5, 2 K -- hitting .346 in Double-A
LF Mason Williams: 0-for-5, K
DH Gary Sanchez: 0-for-5, K
C Peter O'Brien: 3-for-4, 2 R, 2B, 2 HR, 2 RBI -- two solo homeruns, now up to 33 on the season
RF Tyler Austin: 0-for-4, K
1B Francisco Arcia: 2-for-4, 2B, 2 K -- .363 in 16 games this season in Trenton

Dan Camarena: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K

High-A Tampa: 9-4 loss vs Charlotte Stone Crabs

CF Danny Oh: 2-for-5, R, 2B, RBI, K
RF Aaron Judge: 1-for-4, 2B, K -- hitting .289 in High-A
1B Gregory Bird: 1-for-4, 3B, RBI
DH Dante Bichette Jr: 0-for-4, 2 K
2B Angelo Gumbs: 2-for-4, R, K
SS Cito Culver: 1-for-4, R, 3 K

Brett Gerritse: 3 IP, 12 H, 7 R, 6 R, 0 BB, 2 K
Jacob Lindgren: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K

Low-A Charleston: Off-day

Short Season Staten Island: 5-4 win vs Lowell Spinners

C Luis Torrens: 1-for-4, R, 2B, RBI, K -- hitting .343 in Staten Island
2B Ty McFarland: 2-for-4, R, RBI
1B Chris Breen: 1-for-2, 2 BB
SS Vicente Conde: 1-for-4, RBI, 3 K

Ty Hensley: 2.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K -- his Short Season debut
Andrew Chin: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
Sam Agnew-Wieland: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

As it turns out, Brett Gardner is not the only hitter in the Yankees' lineup that knows how to drive in runs.

After falling behind by three runs in the 3rd, the Bombers exploded for a season-high seven runs in the 6th inning, adding more to that later in the game, as they would go on to beat the Texas Rangers, barely clinging on for 12-11 on Tuesday night in Arlington.

Following a two-homerun performance on Monday night -- both solo homeruns and the only runs scored by the Yankees in the game -- Gardner led off Tuesday night's matchup with a solo homerun to center field off of Rangers starter Nick Martinez, his 12th homerun of the season and third leadoff dinger this season.

Right-hander Brandon McCarthy was on the mound for the Yankees to start the game, and he was working well through the first 2 2/3 inning before the Rangers -- not surprisingly -- glued together a two-out rally that put them ahead.

Alex Rios and Adrian Beltre hit back-to-back two-out singles ahead of Jim Adduci, who hit a single to center field that scored Rios to tie the game. A batter later, after McCarthy threw a wild pitch that moved both runners up 90 feet, JP Arencibia doubled to deep right field, bringing in both runners to give the Rangers a 3-1 lead.

Two innings later, in the 5th, Arencibia, who had a monster night at the plate as the seems to love hitting against the Yankees, hit a solo homerun to right field off of McCarthy, making it a 4-1 game.

McCarthy, throwing 108 pitches, was able to make it through six innings, giving up the four runs on nine hits, while walking just one and striking out three. He picked up his third win with the Yankees, and has been quite a nice pickup by Brian Cashman.

The Yankees had runners on first and second base with one out in the 1st inning, but Martinez was very tough to score off of after that, going on a stretch of retiring 13 of 14 hitters before the Yankees' lineup finally woke up in the 6th.

Gardner, who has been on fire lately with four more hits in five at-bats in this game, opened the 6th with a double, then Jeter, who had two hits of his own, reached on an infield single to put runners on first and second with nobody out. After Jacoby Ellsbury popped out to the third base side, Mark Teixeira walked to load the bases. Carlos Beltran made it a one-run game with a two-run single into right field, then McCann brought in the tying run on a sac-fly to center field.

After Martinez walked Chase Headley, Ron Washington went to his bullpen, but that didn't help much. Zoilo Almonte greeted the reliever, Shawn Tolleson, with an RBI single, then Brendan Ryan followed with a two-run double that made it a 7-4. Back to the top of the order, Gardner hit a fly ball into the right-center field gap that was dropped after the center fielder and right fielder collided into each other, as Gardy reached third base on the play.

The Yankees added two more runs in the 7th inning -- which, both top and bottom halves, seemed to last forever. After loading the bases with nobody out, Headley hit a one-out single into right that extended the lead to 9-4, then Almonte scored Teixeira on a fielder's choice for the Yankees' 10th run of the game.

Texas, though, climbed back into the game in the bottom half of the 7th inning when Adam Warren loaded the bases with just one out. Joe Girardi brought in Dellin Betances, who is usually lights out as you know. However, the first batter Betances had to face was Arencibia, who made it a two-run game with a grand slam to left field.

Teixeira, in the 8th, came through with the hit that would end up saving the night for the Yankees. Making his first start in over a week because of a lat strain, Teixeira hit a two-run homerun -- his 18th of the year -- to push the Yankees' lead to 12-8, putting them back up by four.

Chase Whitley gave up a run in the 8th on a Beltre groundout, the David Robertson entered in the 9th to close out the game with a three-run lead. Robertson struck out the first batter of the inning before putting the next two batters on. He walked the bases loaded a couple of batters later with two outs, then gave up a two-run single to Elvis Andrus that made it a one-run game. After walking Rios to, again, load the bases, be got Beltre to fly out on a fly ball to the warning track in left to end the game.

That was wayyyyyyyy too close.

The Yankees and Rangers will finish up this three-game series on Wednesday night at 8:05 p.m. ET, when the pitching matchup will be Hiroki Kuroda against Colby Lewis at.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Yankees let a win slip out of their hands last night when they fell to the Texas Rangers, 4-2, in the opener of a three game series down in Arlington. If it wasn't for Brett Gardner and his two solo homeruns off of Yu Darvish, the Bombers might not have scored at all with their offense continuing to struggle.

New York has now dropped three straight games since getting off to a 7-1 start following the All-Star break. Again, while their pitching staff has been great lately -- Over the team's last 16 games since July 9, Yankees starters have posted a 2.83 ERA (95.1 IP, 30 ER, 22 BB, 77 K), having allowed more than two earned runs just five times -- the offense has been a no-show too often. A pitcher can be lights out, but it means nothing if he doesn't get any run support.

Tonight's lineup vs Texas: 

LF Brett Gardner
SS Derek Jeter
CF Jacoby Ellsbury
1B Mark Teixeira
DH Carlos Beltran
C Brian McCann
3B Chase Headley
RF Zoilo Almonte
2B Brendan Ryan

Pitching matchup preview:

Brandon McCarthy will be the man on the mound tonight for the Bombers, making his fourth start with the club. The right-hander is looking to continue the good run that he's been on since joining the Bombers, going 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in his first three starts.

McCarthy earned his second consecutive win on July 24 against the Rangers at Yankee Stadium, allowing only one earned run in six innings during a 4-2 Yankees victory.

In his career against the Rangers, McCarthy is 3-5 with a 4.41 ERA (65.1 IP, 32 ER) in 13 career appearances (11 starts).

Starting for the Rangers tonight is right-hander Nick Martinez, who came off the disabled list on July 22 and allowed one run in 5 1/3 innings against the Yankees.

One team at a time, Brian Cashman is looking around the league at possible upgrades for his team with the trade deadline coming up on Thursday afternoon.

According to reports, the Yankees recently asked about Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta, as well as outfielder Justin Ruggiano. The Cubs told Cashman that it would take a large offer to pry Arriet away from Chicago, and regarding Ruggiano, it was a simple no and that he's not on the market.

Ruggiano would have been a nice upgrade in right field for the Yankees, who simply can afford to have Ichiro Suzuki running out there anymore. The 32-year-old is hitting .293/.358/.449 with the Cubs this season after coming over from the Miami Marlins during the winter. He only has four homeruns this season, as he's showing far less power than he did a year ago when he hit 18 with Miami.

Ruggiano can play all three outfield spots, and is great against lefties. It's a shame that he's not on the market, because he would be a good upgrade in the lineup over Ichiro any day of the week.

As for Arrieta, he was traded to the Cubs last July in the trade that sent Scott Feldman to the Baltimore Orioles. A prospect with a high upside, Arrieta was a big disappointment for the O's, and the Cubs hoped that he was turn things around in their system.

The 28-year-old right-hander has a 2.18 ERA with a career-high 9.8 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 with the Cubs this season. Maybe it's that he's no longer pitching in the AL East, but Arriet has looked a lot better. It's because of those struggles that I wouldn't risk giving up a ton of talent for him, and think Cashman will be better off staying away from that deal.

Triple-A Scranton: 6-4 win vs Pawtucket Red Sox

2B Jose Pirela: 3-for-4, 2 R
RF Rob Refsnyder: 2-for-4, 2 R, 2B
CF Adonis Garcia: 1-for-3, R, 2 RBI, K
DH Kyle Roller: 2-for-3, R, 2B, RBI, BB, K
1B Austin Romine: 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI
C John Ryan Murphy: 1-for-4, RBI

Chris Leroux: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR
Matt Daley: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

Double-A Trenton: 6-1 win vs New Britain Rock Cats

DH Jake Cave: 1-for-3, 2 R, 2 BB
LF Ben Gamel: 2-for-5, 2 R, 2B, RBI
C Gary Sanchez: 2-for-5, R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, K -- 11th homerun of the year
1B Peter O'Brien: 1-for-2, BB, K
RF Tyler Austin: 1-for-3, R, BB
CF Mason Williams: 1-for-4, RBI, K

Zach Nuding: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Mark Montgomery: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

High-A Tampa: 3-1 loss vs Charlotte Stone Crabs

LF Jose Rosario: 0-for-5, 2 K
RF Aaron Judge: 0-for-1, 4 BB
1B Gregory Bird: 0-for-3, BB, 2 K
3B Dante Bichette Jr: 0-for-4
DH Eric Jagielo: 1-for-2, BB
2B Angelo Gumbs: 1-for-4
SS Cito Culver: 1-for-3, R, 3B, BB, 2 K

Jhon Morban: 4 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
Kyle Haynes: 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

Low-A Charleston: 6-5 win vs Asheville Tourists

CF Mark Payton: 2-for-4, R, HR, 3 RBI -- hitting .352 in Low-A since being drafted
RF Michael O'Neill: 0-for-4, 2 K
SS Tyler Wade: 1-for-4
3B Miguel Andujar: 1-for-4, K

Rookie Davis: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 3 K

Short Season Staten Island: 5-4 loss vs Connecticut Tigers

SS Vicente Conde: 0-for-4, R, BB, K
2B Ty McFarland: 0-for-4, R, BB, K
1B Conner Spencer: 3-for-4, R, RBI
RF Austin Aune: 1-for-3, BB, 2 K
3B Renzo Martini: 2-for-4, 2B, RBI

Jordan Foley: 3 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
Jonathan Holder: 3.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

Monday, July 28, 2014

Entering an important week for the New York Yankees, playing six games against last place ball clubs with the trading deadline mixed in, the Bombers' road trip did not get off to a great start. After taking an early 2-0 lead against starter Yu Darvish, the Rangers came back to score four runs in the 5th, which was all they needed in a 4-2 win over the Yanks on Monday night in Arlington.

Let's get the positive note out of the way: with three hits tonight, Derek Jeter reached 3,420 career hits, which put him ahead of Carl Yastrzemski for 7th on the all-time hits list. So congrats to Jeter.

The Yankees collected 11 hits in the game, but only managed to score two runs, and they might not have done that if Brett Gardner wasn't in the lineup for them to face Darvish, who in case you haven't heard is owned by Gardner, who has four career hits against the Japanese ace -- all four homerun, including two on Monday.

Both solo homeruns, the first put the Yankees up 1-0  in the 3rd inning on a shot to right field. The second, which came in the 5th, was a blast to center field, putting the Bombers up 2-0, giving David Phelps a decent, but not great lead to work with.

Phelps was cruising along nicely through the first four inning, throwing just 55 pitches. Phelps had only given up three hits before reaching the 5th, where things got ugly.

Chris Gimenez opened the inning with a single before Phelps retired the next two hitters, making it seem like it would be another short inning. However, Gimenez had moved to second on a grounded, then scored on a Elvis Andrus double to put the Rangers on the board. Alex Rios, who the Yankees have looked at, singled a batter later to put runners on the corners, then Adrian Beltre doubled to score Andrus as the tying run. Phelps walked Jim Adduci to load the bases, then JP Arencibia drove in Beltran and Rios on a singles to put the Rangers up 4-2. All of that with two outs.

The nightmare inning for Phelps finally ended a batter later, and he followed up with scoreless 6th inning to finish off his night, in which he was charged with four runs on eight hits, walking one and striking out three on 96 pitches (66 strikes).

His counterpart, Darvish, was not overly phased by the two Gardner homeruns. He still managed to get through seven innings, giving up just the two runs on seven hits, with a walk and eight strikeouts.

After Phelps, Shawn Kelley came out of the bullpen for Joe Girardi, tossing 1 2/3 scoreless innings, giving up just two hits. And then Matt Thornton was called upon to get the final out of the 8th, which he did by striking out Rougned Odor.

Some game notes: Brian McCann was at first base yet again with Mark Teixeira out, and all I can say is that the Yankees are far better defensively with Teixeira at first ..... speaking of Teixeira, he came off of the bench to pinch-hit in the 8th inning for Brian Roberts and singled to left field in the at-bat; I'd have to guess that Tex will be in the lineup on Tuesday ..... Gardner and Jeter at the top of the lineup tonight: 6-for-9 with three extra-base hits and no strikeouts, while the rest of the lineup:  5-for-28 with no extra-base hits and eight strikeouts.

The Yankees and Rangers continue this three game series on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET. Brandon McCarthy will be on the mound for the Bombers, while the Rangers will counter with right-hander Nick Martinez.

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The Yankees have a big week coming up with a pair of series against last place ball clubs, with the July 31 trading deadline in the middle of that on Thursday, and it beings tonight with the first of three games against the Texas Rangers down in Arlington.

The Rangers, as you know, were just in the Bronx last week, where they lost three of their four games against the Yankees. Texas followed that up by losing two of three to the Oakland Athletics over the weekend, and come into tonight's game having last seven of ten since the All-Stare break.

New York, meanwhile, won seven of their first eight games following the break before dropping the final two games to the Toronto Blue Jays over the weekend. After a good series against Cincinnati, the Yankees' offense suddenly stopped hitting against both the Rangers and Blue Jays. Maybe that'll change this week, because it really needs to.

Short preview tonight, so I'm just going to let you know that David Phelps and Yu Darvish are the starting pitchers tonight. You know the story with them. Those two faced off last week in New York, the Yankees won that game, 2-1, in just five innings thanks to Mother Nature.

Tonight's lineup vs Texas: 

Brett Gardner CF
Derek Jeter SS
Brian McCann 1B
Carlos Beltran DH
Chase Headley 3B
Francisco Cervelli C
Brian Roberts 2B
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Zoilo Almonte LF

* The Yankees recalled Almonte from Triple-A Scranton before tonight's game, while designating LHP Jeff Francis for assignment.

* The Yankees are hoping that Mark Teixeira will play tomorrow night.

“If I wake up tomorrow and have back spasms (then it won’t happen),” Teixeira said. “But I don’t expect that to happen. I feel very good right now. I expect to have a very good BP today and be in there tomorrow. … The back spasms are gone, which I’ve been dealing with for a long time, so that’s really good. Good to see that the treatments worked, and the time off helped, so hopefully they won’t come back.”

* Just an off-day for Jacoby Ellsbury tonight because Joe Girardi doesn't want to overwork him. It's likely that Gardner will also get a day off this week.

“I’ve got to check with Gardy and see how he’s doing tomorrow,” Girardi said. “This long stretch — the heat, the day games, the 14-inning game — I don’t want one of these guys to get hurt. They’re really important to our lineup. So maybe Gardy will get a day off. Maybe he won’t, but maybe he will.”

Triple-A Scranton: 3-1 win vs Pawtucket Red Sox

2B Jose Pirela: 1-for-4, RBI, 2 K
RF Zoilo Almonte: 0-for-2, R, RBI, 2 BB
3B Adonis Garcia: 2-for-4, 2B
1B Kyle Roller: 0-for-4, K
C Austin Romine: 0-for-4, 2 K

Bryan Mitchell: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
Tyler Webb: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

Double-A Trenton: 7-3 win vs Binghamton Mets

CF Jake Cave: 3-for-4, R, 3B, HR, 3 RBI -- 13-for-39 (.333) in his last 10 games
LF Ben Gamel: 1-for-3, 2B, RBI
1B Tyler Austin: 0-for-4
DH Peter O'Brien: 0-for-4, 2 K
RF Mason Williams: 2-for-4, R
3B Jose Toussen: 2-for-4, R, 2B, RBI

Manny Banuelos: 4 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K -- threw five shutout innings in his last start, and is looking really good lately
Danny Burawa: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K -- was just sent down to Double-A
Cesar Cabral: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K

High-A Tampa: 6-4 win vs Fort Myers Miracle

1B Danny Oh: 2-for-5, 2 R, RBI
RF Aaron Judge: 1-for-4, R, BB, K
DH Eric Jagielo: 1-for-3, R, BB
3B Dante Bichette Jr: 2-for-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI, K
CF-2B Jose Rosario: 2-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI, BB -- 20 for his last 40 (.500)
2B Angelo Gumbs: 1-for-4, R

Conner Kendrick: 5 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 2 HR
Jacob Lindgren: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K

Low-A Charleston: 9-6 loss vs Asheville Tourists

RF Mark Payton: 1-for-5, R, K
SS Tyler Wad: 0-for-4, R, K
LF Michael O'Neill: 1-for-4, R, 3B, RBI
3B Miguel Andujar: 2-for-4, 2 R, 2B, RBI, K
1B Reymond Nunez: 3-for-4, 2 2B, RBI
DH Gosuke Katoh: 0-for-4, K

Ian Clarkin: 3.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR
Chad Taylor: 1.2 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 0 K

Short Season Staten Island: 7-1 win vs Connecticut Tigers

DH Luis Torrens: 0-for-3, R, 2 K -- snapped his 20-game hitting streak
2B Ty McFarland: 1-for-3, 2 R, K
1B Conner Spencer: 3-for-4, R
SS Vicente Conde: 1-for-3, RBI, 2 K

Justin Kamplain: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K
Matt Wotherspoon: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

Sunday, July 27, 2014

After first reporting their interest earlier in the week, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman says that the Yankees are are still looking at the possibility of trading for Chicago White Sox left-hander John Danks.

Danks' numbers (9-6 with a 4.40 ERA) on the season aren't that great, not to mention he has about $34 million to go on his contract through 2016, including the $14.25 million he's due this year. So it would seem that the Sox would have to kick in some cash before the Yankees could ever agree to a deal for the lefty.

Heyman once noted that the White Sox are looking for young players and prospects as they continue their rebuild, and if the Yankees could give up minimal talent for him, then it would be a little more OK, but not very much.

Also this past week, ESPN's Jim Bowden reported that the Yankees had talked to the San Diego Padres about right-hander Ian Kennedy, but Heyman now says that there's no evidence they're even talking to the Padres about Kennedy.

Here is some more of what Heyman had to say about the Yankees and their search for another starting pitcher:
The rival Red Sox are said to listening on ace Jon Lester and others now, but he's more likely a winter free-agent consideration for them than a trade possibility for New York. 
While Cliff Lee could become an option later if he pitches some better games in his return after a two-month absence with an elbow issue, the Yankees aren't focused on him now since he's all but sure to clear waivers in August and remain a trade candidate. 
Lee's teammate Cole Hamels seems barely available, and even if he is, the Yankees probably don't have the upper-level prospects to do such a deal. 
As for the third Philly starter, A.J. Burnett, the Yankees seem less than enthused about a reunion. 
Meantime, the Diamondbacks, a sometime trading partner of the Yankees, don't seem interested in trading Wade Miley, a young, cost-efficient starter. Bartolo Colon, Kevin Correia and Edwin Jackson are some other available starters. The Mets and Yankees don't often trade, so Colon seems improbable, while the Yankees don't seem interested in Jackson, despite some speculation tying him to them.
We've already seen in recent weeks that Brian Cashman has no plans to sit around at the deadline this season, with the Yankees still very much in the playoff race thanks to a very weak AL East. It's tough to say who, but I think he'll manage to get one more starter before it's all said and done.

Coming off of a tough loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday, in which the Jays ended a 17-game losing streak in the Bronx, the Yankees sent rookie right-hander Shane Greene to the mound in the final game of a 10-game homestand.

The Yankees fell behind early, tied it up, fell behind again, tied it up again, then fell behind again, as they couldn't come back one more time, falling to the Blue Jays, 5-4, on a sunny Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.

Toronto never scored more than one run in an inning, and wasted no time getting on the board in the 1st. Jose Reyes reached on an infield single to open the game, then Melky Cabrera doubled off of Greene to put runners on first and second base for Jose Bautista, who grounded out to the first baseman, Brian McCann, to give the Jays a 1-0 lead.

Greene was a little more calm on the mound after the first inning, and didn't concede another run until Juan Francisco blasted a solo homerun in the 5th inning, extending the Jays' lead to 2-0.

The Yankees finally got to Blue Jays starter JA Happ in the bottom half of the 5th, using back-to-back one-out homeruns from Chase Headley -- his first since joining the Bombers -- and Francisco Cervelli to tie the game at 2-2.

The Blue Jays added one more run against Greene in the 6th on an RBI double by Colby Rasmus, bringing in Dan Johnson, who singled to left a batter earlier, putting the Jays back up by a run. Rasmus was the final hitter that Greene would face, as Joe Girardi brought in David Huff to get out of the 6th, which he did by retiring the next two hitters. Greene was charged with three runs on eight hits, with two walks and two strikeouts.

After falling behind in the top half of the inning, the Yankees answered back with a run to tie the game again in the bottom of the 6th. Derek Jeter collected a one-out single ahead of Jacoby Ellsbury, who walked to force Happ out of the game. Brett Cecil came on for the Jays to face Carlos Beltran, who grounded into a fielder's choice at third base for the second out of the inning. A batter later, McCann hit a groundball over to second base, but the low throw to first got away from the first baseman, letting Ellsbury to score with everybody safe.

After Dellin Betances worked out of a bases loaded jam unharmed in the 7th inning, he walked Rasmus to open the 8th inning. Rasmus moved over to third base when Betances' attempted pickoff throw went wild, running down the first base side. And sure enough, Munenori Kawasaki hit a sac-fly to left to score Rasmus, putting the Jays up 4-3.

Beltran, for the time being, saved the day to put even the score once more on a two-out RBI single into center field, scoring Brett Gardner, who singled to open the inning before moving over to second on a sac-bunt by Jeter.

However, David Robertson, who hadn't given up a run since his ugly blown save against the Minnesota Twins on June 1, let in the go-ahead run for the Jays in the 9th. Bautista grounded into a fielder's choice, stole second base, then scored on an RBI double by Dioner Navarro.

After a 7-1 start to the homestand, losing the last two games to the Blue Jays makes things seem a lot worse than they really were. The Yankees will now hit the road for a week, and begin a three-game series in Texas tomorrow with David Phelps and Yu Darvish on the mound for their respective teams.

We all know about Brian Cashman's goal of upgrading the starting rotation before the upcoming trade deadline on Thursday, but it's pretty clear that the Yankees will also need to add another bat in the lineup in order to truly compete for a playoff spot. The addition of Chase Headley was a start, but now Cashman needs to add at least one more hitter.

There aren't a ton of options out there on the market, but a few that could draw some interest. According to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, the Yankees are showing interest in Minnesota Twins outfielder John Willingham.

Heyman says that the Yankees prefer Willingham, 35, over some other power outfielders, like Marlon Byrd and Alex Rios, mainly because of his contract situation. The right-handed hitter makes just $7 million this season, and is a free-agent after the year, while  makes $12 million, with a $2 million buyout of a $14 million team option, and Byrd has an $8 million salary next year.

With Carlos Beltran still unable to play the outfield, and Ichiro Suzuki continuing to struggle in the everyday-outfielder role, Willingham would provide the Yankees would a much needed boost of power in both right field and the right side of the plate, which they've lacked since Alfonso Soriano struggled and was eventually released.

Willingham is batting just .215 with 10 homers in only 56 games -- he missed 41 games earlier in the year with a wrist injury, but appears fully healthy now -- while playing most of his games in the spacious Target Field. Power has always been one of his strenghts, hitting 35 homeruns back in 2012, a year after hitting 29 with the Oakland Athletics. Playing in big ball parks has not stopped him, and playing in Yankee Stadium could only help, you'd have to think.

The Toronto Blue Jays finally ended their miserable run at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, defeating the Yankees in the Bronx for the first time since August, 2012, ending the Yankees' 17-game home winning streak over the Jays.

So now the Yankees -- 7-2 since the All-Star break -- will be looking to start a new streak against the Jays, who now have some more confidence that they can, in fact, beat the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.

This is the final game of the 10-game homestand to open up the second half of the season. After today, the Yankees will hit the road and make a stop on Texas on Monday to meet the Rangers for three games down in Arlington, then head back north for a three-game set at Fenway Park.

Today's lineup against Toronto:

LF Brett Gardner
SS Derek Jeter
CF Jacoby Ellsbury
DH Carlos Beltran
1B Brian McCann
3B Chase Headley
C Francisco Cervelli
RF Zelous Wheeler
2B Brendan Ryan

Pitching matchup preview:

Shane Greene gets the ball for the Yankees today in the finale of this three-game series. Greene enters the day 2-1 with 2.79 ERA through his first three big league starts.

The worst of those three outings was the most recent one, this past week against the Rangers. Greene exited with two outs in the 6th, and finished by giving up four runs on five hits in what would be his first loss of the season that day.

Greene, the rookie, will be going up against the veteran left-hander JA Happ, who's coming off one of his best outings of the year after throwing six scoreless innings in victory against the Red Sox.

"That might have been, in my opinion, his best outing of the year," said Blue jays manager John Gibbons told reporters. "He had a good curveball going that he established, he used quite a bit. He primarily relies on his fastball, because he has a good one, but he had a good curveball that he was throwing over the plate and a good changeup. That was big, that was a big part of the reason he held them in check."

Yankee Notes:

* The Yankees had four scouts on hand to watch Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo workout at the University of Miami on Saturday, according to the NY Post.

With almost the entire league there to watch him, some believe that the outfielder could land a contract in the range of what Yasiel Puig got from the Los Angeles Dodgers a couple years ago -- Puig signed for $42 million.

The 27-year-old is a very strong, fast player that could easily help the Yankees now and in the future, possibly filling up right field next to Ellsbury and Gardner. His power, along side the speed of Ellsbury and Gardner, that could be one of the most dangerous outfields in all of the Majors.

* It doesn't sound like Mark Teixeira will need to go on the DL. Joe Girardi told reporters that they're shooting for a Tuesday/Wednesday return for the switch-hitting first baseman.

* Carlos Beltran hasn't been missing any time lately, expect for the fact that he hasn't played in the outfield since May. Girardi also believes that Carlos Beltran isn't too far off from returning to the outfield, suggesting that he could be just a few weeks away.

Triple-A Scranton: 8-5 loss vs Pawtucket Red Sox

2B Jose Pirela: 1-for-4, R, BB, K
RF Rob Refsnyder: 0-for-4, R, RBI, BB, 2 RBI
LF Zoilo Almonte: 0-for-4, BB, 3 K
DH Adonis Garcia: 2-for-3, R, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB -- hitting .310 in Triple-A
1B Austin Romine: 1-for-4, BB
C John Ryan Murphy: 2-for-4, 2 RBI, K -- 11-for-35 (.314) in his last 10 games

Bruce Billings: 3 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 0 K
Jim Miller: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K

Double-A Trenton: 10-7 loss vs Binghamton Mets

RF Jake Cave: 4-for-5, 3 R, 2B, 2 3B, BB -- 6-for-12 (.500) in his last three games
LF Ben Gamel: 2-for-6, 2 R, 2 RBI, K
C Gary Sanchez: 3-for-6, R, RBI
1B Peter O'Brien: 2-for-5, R, HR, 2 RBI, K -- 31st homerun of the year (21st in AA)
DH Tyler Austin: 4-for-4, 2 RBI, BB

Jaron Long: 5 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HR -- 51 of 85 pitches for strikes

High-A Tampa: 8-6 loss (F/11) vs Fort Myers Miracle

LF-3B Jose Rosario: 1-for-5, R, BB -- 19-for-41 (.463) in his last 10 games
RF Aaron Judge: 2-for-6, R
1B Gregory Bird: 0-for-2, R, 3 BB
DH Dante Bichette Jr: 1-for-3, R, 2B, RBI, BB
3B Eric Jagielo: 2-for-4, R, 2 RBI, K
2B Angelo Gumbs: 1-for-5, 2B, RBI, K
SS Cito Culver: 0-for-5, 2 K

Miguel Sulbaran: 5 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HR

Low-A Charleston: 8-7 win vs Asheville Tourists

CF Mark Payton: 2-for-7, 2 RBI
SS Tyler Wade: 1-for-4, R, BB, K
3B Miguel Andujar: 1-for-6, R, HR, 2 RBI, K -- 9th homerun of the year
LF Michael O'Neill: 3-for-6, R, 2B, 2 K
Gosuke Katoh: 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 2B, RBI, BB

Gabe Encinas: 3 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K

Short Season Staten Island: 16-3 loss vs Tri-City ValleyCats

C Luis Torrens: 1-for-4, K -- the hitting streak is up to 21 games
2B Ty McFarland: 0-for-4, 2 K
LF Chris Breen: 0-for-4, 2 K
CF Austin Aune: 1-for-4, 2 K

Jordan Cote: 2 IP, 6 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 3 BB, 2 K
Sam Agnew-Wieland: 2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
Matt Borens: 2.2 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 2 K