Daily Archives: June 2, 2012

Game 52 Lineup: Yankees @ Tigers

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Raul Ibanez LF
Nick Swisher RF
Eric Chavez DH
Russell Martin C

RHP Hiroki Kuroda

Should the Yankees go after Jorge Soler?

Jorge Soler is finally a Free Agent

For anyone that hasn’t seen, Ken Rosenthall tweeted this morning that Cuban OF Jorge Soler has finally gained Free Agency status.  Soler was talked about extensively this winter along with fellow Cuban OF Yoenis Cespedes, who eventually signed with Oakland.  The Yanks passed on Cespedes but were said to have had interest in the younger Soler.  Matt S profiled Soler in January so click here for some background info.

So should the Yankees make a serious run at Soler?  I say ABSOLUTELY!  The Yankees seriously need an injection of young talented players.  Due to their success, they never pick higher than the back-end of the 1st round and often lose their #1 pick due to signing veteran Free Agents.  In addition, under the new CBA, the Yanks will also be handcuffed in the International Free Agent Market starting in July.  Their financial advantages will be nullified with the new salary cap in both the Draft & Int’l market.  This is the last big-time Int’l prospect that can sign with no limitations.  The Yankees passed on Yu Darvish, Aroldis Chapman & Cespedes recently and this is their last opportunity to use their deep pockets on the amateur market.

I’m not in favor of throwing money at every int’l prospect that shows potential but in this case it seems like a no-brainer.  It has been said that Soler would be a top 5 pick in this week’s draft if he was eligible.  So I ask you, when will the Yankees ever have the chance to get a top 5 amateur talent?  The Yanks haven’t drafted better than 17th since 1993 and the last time they were close to a top 5 pick was 1992 when they drafted a kid from Kalamazoo, Michigan named Derek Jeter #6.

Soler is already 6-3″, 205 pounds and is said to profile as a classic RF – strong-arm, athletic, fast & with explosive power & bat speed.  He’s still just 20 and will obviously take some time to develop but the Yanks cannot let this opportunity to get an elite caliber young player pass them by.  So, it just comes down to what is the price?

Well let’s look at the last 2 Cuban OF’s to sign for comparison.  Cespedes, 26, signed for $36M over 4 yrs and  is hitting .236 with 5 HRs and 21 rbi in 29 games for Oakland.  23-yr old Leonys Martin signed with Texas last yr for $15.3M and is currently hitting .347/.423/.540/.944 in AAA.  Soler is obviously younger than both players but his potential could make him better than both.  Most believe he will sign somewhere in between the two so figure likely in the $20m-$30m range.  In my opinion, that is a reasonable price to pay for a team like the Yanks that has money to burn.  Heck they paid $20M just to get rid of AJ Burnett!

So what does everyone think? Should the Yanks go after Soler and how high would you go?

Time To Make A Change?

As May draws to a close and June rolls around the corner, the New York Yankees are not off to an auspicious start. The Yankees have struggled, they lost key players in their run to the playoffs (David Robertson, Brett Gardner, Mariano Rivera), pitching has looked a bit weak and the offense had been on an up and down roller-coaster. With the Yankees struggling, is it time to make a change?

I brought this question to the attention to my followers on Twitter and on the blog: “After a sluggish start, what would you change about the team?” Some of the answers that I received were interesting, and I was surprised by some. Here are some answers that I received:

@RayRobert9 Not much they can do at this point in May.

@ItsAdotFalcon A better pitching lineup. CC seems to be the only one I can count on nowadays.

@MarianosCuttah I wouldn’t change a thing about the team. It all comes down to situational hitting, we live and die by that.

@DBergz13 There’s nothing we can do. All there is to do is to get healthy and weather the storm until Robertson and Gardner return.

@mbrax10 Fire Brian Cashman & Joe Girardi

@KevTweets Cotton uniforms

@VamosYankees First off if a player is hurt or severely ill, he needs to be placed on the DL. We have guys in Triple AAA who can play. Lineups need to be based on recent performance over speculation

@elprieto80 First, it’s still very early…however I wasn’t in favor of the lineup change from last year. Tex needs A-Rod behind him.

Matt S.: Bring up Musteiler and Nunez when he’s healthy. That is what I would do to change the team.

As the answers started pouring in, my mind was racing over what changes the Yankees could do. For starters, the Yankees never should have sent Eduardo Nunez down to Scranton. I know his defense wasn’t exactly Brett Gardner status, but Nunez was hitting a hot bat. Let’s use Raul Ibanez as an example, shall we? We know that Ibanez can’t play defense like he used to, but we value Ibanez’s bat which is why he’s in the lineup everyday. It’s the same thing with Eduardo Nunez. The only difference with Ibanez & Nunez is age. Nunez is in his late 20’s and Ibanez is turning 40.

Another thing that the Yankees could do is the rotation, like @ItsAdotFalcon said. At this point, we don’t only have to count on CC Sabathia, but we can also count on Andy Pettitte since Pettitte has had great start after start after start. Phil Hughes has been up and down, sort of like A.J Burnett last season. We all know that Hughes has the potential to be a star, but there’s issues with the fact that he doesn’t know exactly how to use his stuff. When he was in the bullpen, he was absolutely flawless, but when he’s in the rotation it’s like he forgets how to put hitters away. He was to keep the bullpen mentality but if he keeps forgetting how to pitch in the rotation, he might find himself on a different team.

As the season progresses, the Yankees will have to make some changes if they plan to be on the road to the play-offs. I don’t mean to sound cold, but if players aren’t performing up to par then the Yankees are going to have to ship them out for players that are capable of not only handling the New York media but also pitch under the spotlights in Yankee Stadium. It’s only a matter of time before the Yankees make a change.

Grander-Slam lifts Yankees over Tigers with 9-4 victory

On a cold wet day in Comerica Park, the Yankees were in a similar spot that they have been in multiple times this season; the bases were loaded and there was 1 out. Chris Stewart flied out for the second out but the run didn’t score. Derek Jeter walked in one of the runs but it was the next batter that had made all the difference. Curtis Granderson hit a grand slam for his 17th HR of the season as the Yankees defeated the Tigers 9-4 to get one inch closer to the top of the AL East.

The Yankees were .165 before tonight when it came to runners in scoring position, but the Yankees were able to hit with RISP which is a good start. Of course, the Yankees relied on the HR ball but anyway you get wins, you take it.

CC Sabathia (7-2) wasn’t his sharpest tonight, but he was able to get through 7 innings and only allow 3 runs, 2 of them coming from a 36 pitch 3rd inning. It was after that point that the Yankees wondered if Sabathia was going to make it to at least 6. Of course, Sabathia made it to 7.

INJURY UPDATE: The Yankees might get Brett Gardner back sooner than they thought. Gardner took full on batting practice in the cage and revealed no problems with his elbow. Gardner said if all goes well then he could be back by the Subway Series next week, which is a best case scenario. If not by the Subway Series then he could be back the series after. David Robertson was unable to get work in since it rained in Tampa. Robertson will throw again on Sunday but he won’t join his buddy Gardner back to the Yankees anytime soon. The Yankees still want Robertson to throw off a mound, throw a bullpen and get into a couple of Minor League games before coming back to the team.

NON-YANKEES NEWS: Johan Santana of the New York Mets threw a n0-hitter vs. the St. Louis Cardinals in an 8-0 victory in Citi Field. Santana’s no-hitter is the first no-hitter in franchise history, so congratulations to him.

The Yankees will play Game 2 of the 3 game set in Comerica Park. Hiroki Kuroda gets the start for the Yankees. Max Scherzer gets the start for the Tigers. Game time is at 1:05pm.