Daily Archives: March 27, 2012

Gardner has multi-hit game as Yankees fall to Blue Jays 4-3

With Opening Day rapidly approaching, CC Sabathia was slated to have one last long stretch start before his next outing was a quick one. Sabathia gave up 3 run in 6 innings pitched vs. Kyle Drabek & the Blue Jays in a 4-3 loss in Tampa.

In Spring Training, Sabathia takes the time to build pitch count and go longer in games so of course giving up 3 runs means nothing for the ace who has a locked spot in the rotation. David Robertson came in the game and after giving up a lead-off walk, he got the next 3 hitters; striking out one of them. Cesar Cabral easily got the first two batters but had issues getting the third out when Justin Maxwell‘s error & Chris Dickerson‘s blunder allowed the insurance run to score. Clay Rapada came in the 9th inning and had another scoreless inning.

Brett Gardner had his first multi-hit game of the Spring, going 2 for 3 with 1 RBI and a stolen base. Gardner was the only Yankees regular with 2 hits and was also the only Yankees regular who had an RBI. Gardner was also able to raise his average from .185 to .220 which probably means that Gardner is warming up for the 2012 season.

The big story of the game however was Curtis Granderson as he was scratched from the lineup with soreness in his elbow. Girardi said that Granderson will get a precautionary MRI  since Cashman says it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Andy Pettitte threw a live batting practice to Nick Swisher today and Swisher said that the way Andy was throwing, it felt as if he never left. That’s a good sign for Andy Pettitte. Also some good news for Nick Swisher is that he will spend 2 days at the Minor League complex just to get some at-bats in. If his right groin feels better by Friday then he will be in the lineup.

ROSTER NOTE: Yankees IF Jorge Vazquez won’t get that part-time DH role if he was looking for it. Yankees just re-assigned him to minor league camp shortly after the game.

WHAT’S NEXT: Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano & Russell Martin will make the trip to Orlando to play against the Atlanta Braves. The game tomorrow is a televised game on ESPN so if you are in front of the television, make sure to watch. First pitch is at 1:05pm.

Spanning the Yankee Blogs: Hughes, Pineda, Hayden Sharp, Joba, Cabral

Good afternoon all.  I spanned the Yankee Blogs and report back with an article from each.  Enjoy them.

* An A-blog for A-Rod has a great article about Phil Hughes and the perils of pitching well during a surplus.

* Bleeding Yankee Blue asks who your favorite Yankee pitcher of all time is.

* Bomber Boulevard recaps the roller coaster of the past week.

* Bronx Baseball Daily has the video of Bernie Williams playing with the Allman Brothers Band that I tweeted about last week.

* It’s about the Money Stupid mentions that Michael Pineda is not Phil Hughes.

* Lady Loves Pinstripes has the preview of the 2012 Twins.

* New York Baseball Digest writes why taking Cabral on the roster makes the most sense.

* Pinstripe Alley asks who are your favorite 2012 Yankee prospects.

* River Ave Blues has the 2012 season preview of the closer.

* Road to Yankee Stadium is looking under the radar at Branden Pinder.

* Sliding into Home asks you to not underestimate the value of a relief prospect.

* The Captain’s Blog wonders if Joba can bounce back from the latest injury.

* The Greedy Pinstripes has a twitterview with Yankee prospect Hayden Sharp

* The Yankee Analysts ponders Michael Pineda starting the year in AAA.

* Yanks Go Yard has an article about the the irreplaceable David Robertson.

* Zell’s Pinstriped Blog wonders if the Ibanez deal was a mistake.

Spring Training: 3/27/12 Lineup

Lineup vs. Blue Jays

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Russell Martin C
Raul Ibanez DH
Andruw Jones RF
Brett Gardner LF

LHP CC Sabathia

Start Time: 7:05pm
Stadium: G.M.S Field
T.V: YES Network
Radio: WCBS

Pregame Notes

Nick Swisher is not in the starting lineup. He is still resting a sore calf.

 If you haven’t already, Individual tickets for the Yankees are on sale now to the general public. Go to Yankees.com or call Ticketmaster for tickets.

 The Yankees released Preston Mattingly (Don Mattingly’s son) along with Reegie Corona & Grant Duff.

— The Yankees home opener pitcher will most likely be Hiroki Kuroda.

— Girardi wouldn’t commit to an exact date of Andy Pettitte pitching in a game, but he would like to set the game vs. the Mets at GMS Field as a target date.

Enjoy the game everyone!  

UPDATE 7:05pm: Curtis Granderson has been scratched from the lineup due to elbow stiffness. Mark Teixeira will bat 2nd, Brett Gardner moves up and bats 8th while Justin Maxwell will bat 9th.

7:07pm: CC Sabathia starts the game giving up a stand-up triple to Kelly Johnson.

7:17pm: Blue Jays pull to a 1-0 lead on a Kelly Johnson triple and RBI groundout by Yunel Escobar.

8:23pm: Yankees trail 3-0 after 4 innings. Yankees have had scoring opportunities but have failed to capitalize.

9:15pm: Yankees get their first run of the ball game on a Brett Gardner RBI. Yankees now trail 3-1.

Time For Teixeira To Produce

As the Yankees move closer to opening day, there are more concerns and questions now than there were when spring training began. Joba Chamberlain‘s ankle fracture has made his future in baseball uncertain. Michael Pineda‘s lack of velocity and control in spring training has vastly scaled back his expectations for this upcoming season. Raul Ibanez‘ bat has looked about as quick as David Ortiz heading from first base to third base.

In reality, those situations will probably work themselves out.  While Joba’s return this season was highly anticipated, the Yankees still have one of the best bullpens in baseball.  If Pineda doesn’t turn out to be the shutdown number two starter that so many claimed he’d be after the trade? Well that’s ok also.  With Andy Petitte’s impending return to pinstripes sometime in May as well as how good Phil Hughes has looked this spring, the Yankees rotation will be fine.  Ibanez is only on a one year, one million dollar deal. If he doesn’t produce he can be released with very little lost in the gamble on him, and the DH slot filled with players like Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter getting rest from playing the field.

One of the most pressing concerns for the 2012 season that doesn’t grab the headlines it should is Mark Teixeira and his declining batting average, on base percentage, and  struggles against the shift.

I’ll never forget where I was the day that I heard the Yankees had signed Mark Teixeira.  It was a couple of days before Christmas in 2008. I had just completed some last-minute Christmas shopping and it was snowing lightly. I had started driving home when an update came across the ESPN radio affiliate that I was listening to that said Texeira was going to be a Yankee. I almost ran into the car in front of me in shock.  After the signings of C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett earlier that month, it appeared the Yankees would be unstoppable in 2009 with the addition of a player of Teixeira’s caliber.

We all know how that worked out. C.C. and A.J. did their jobs that season and after a slow start in April, Mark Teixeira rebounded with a near MVP regular season. The Yankees won the World Series and all three signings appeared to have been good ones.

2010 and 2011 rolled around and the perspective on those signings changed.  A.J. Burnett absorbed almost all of the headlines and rage from the mainstream media and fans during those two seasons. His inconsistency and failure to pitch to his contract value made him the ultimate scapegoat in New York.  By the time he was traded earlier this year, Burnett had been accused of everything but the Kennedy assassination.  Lost in the headlines and hype about Burnett’s performance the last two seasons was the serious decline in his fellow free agent classmate Mark Teixeira.

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Morning Bits: Hughes, Pettitte, Pineda

Good morning all.  Not much news with no game yesterday.  Today’s game is at 7:05PM and can be seen on the YES Network.   Let’s get right to the links.

* The Daily News writer Mark Feinsand has a source that mentions that Hughes has locked up a rotation spot.

* The Star Ledger says Jamie Moyer knows the challenges Andy Pettitte will face.

* The Daily News is reporting that Pettitte will throw his next bullpen on Tuesday.

* Pineda is focusing on maturing not the radar gun reports mlb.com.