Daily Archives: August 6, 2012

Game 108 Lineup: Yankees @ Tigers

Lineup vs. Tigers:

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

RHP Ivan Nova


Minor League Week in Review


Mason Williams had surgery on his left labrum and will be out for the season. He reported that his surgery went well and we can look forward to his return next year.

Saxon Butler was promoted to Charleston after putting up a 179wRC+ in the NYPL.

Both Caleb Cotham and Shaeffer Hall were placed on the DL with “injuries” to limit their innings pitched.

Melky Mesa promoted to the traveling circus AAA team.

Ronnier Mustelier (foot) and Tyler Austin (slammed the OF wall trying to save a HR) both made their return, while Abe Almonte is rehabbing with the GCL.

Breaking news as of today: RHP Corey Black is on his way to Charleston; Manny Banuelos has been shut down for the season. He may get some work in Winter Leagues.

SWB Yankees 3-3 for the week, 62-52 on the season and 1 game behind Pawtucket for first place

Eduardo Nunez got some hits in after returning from his seemingly endless DL stint for his thumb injury and went 7-23 on the week with a 2B, HR and a RBI. Dickerson went deep while going 6-20, a 2B and a pair of RBI’s. Utility man Ronnier Mustelier turned in a 6-21 performance with a pair of doubles and a lone RBI. On the pitching end the bright spots were relievers Claiborne who went 3.1IP, 1H 0ER 3K’s and Justin Thomas who tossed 3 shutout innings giving up zero walks, striking out three. Melky Mesa made his debut for SWB and got knocked around at the plate a bit. He managed a nice game on Saturday however, going 3-5 with a 2B, HR and 2 RBI’s while scoring twice. If he gets himself rolling in SWB we might see him in the BX come September.

Trenton Thunder 5-1 on the week, 69-45 with a 7 game lead in the Eastern League

The bats were alive in Trenton,this week as recently converted third baseman David Adams went 7-19 with two doubles, a HR and 3 RBI’s. Adonis Garcia who just arrived from Tampa went 6-14 with a pair of doubles, a HR and 2 RBI’s. Walter Ibarra joined in the fun with a 7-16 showing hitting three doubles, a HR and 4 RBI’ws. Not to be outdone by anyone on the squad, Zoilo Almonte had himself a 7-25 week with a pair of doubles while going deep three times and driving in eight. On the mound Brett Marshall made two starts and ended up with a line of 12IP, 8H, 2ER, 2BB, 9K. Vidal Nuno had a decent outing going 5IP, 5H, 2ER, 2BB, 9K. He doesn’t have overpowering stuff, but his control is outstanding; on the year his BB/K is 29/96. On the relief end Kelvin Perez tossed 4 innings of 1 run ball on 4 hits walking 3 and striking out 5. Mark Montgomery showed everyone he was human by giving up his first HR since April. He ended the week with 4IP, 2ER, 1BB, 8K’s. He’s been nothing short of outstanding this entire season so he’s certainly allowed a blip on the radar.

Tampa Yankees 4-3 on the week, 58-55 for the season, 8 games out of first place

Tyler Austin bounced back after a jarring collision with the OF wall to go 10-26, a pair of doubles and 4 RBI’s. Fellow OF’er Ramon Flores followed with a 9-26 performance and a triple. Slade Heathcott had a great week with six hits in 16 PA’s with a 2B, 3B and a HR while driving in five runners. After returning from shoulder surgery they’re taking it easy on him. This season is more or less a long rehab for him; if this kid can stay healthy he could be a major asset for the club. Moving on to the pitchers, lefty Nik Turley made on start this past week tossing 5 innings of 5 hit ball allowing zero runs on 4 BB’s and 5K’s. Branden Pinder went 3.1IP in relief, giving up just one hit and no runs, walking one and striking out 4. Jeremy Bleich is trying to make his way back up the ladder tossed 4 innings of perfect ball, walking none and striking out three.

Charleston RiverDogs 3-4 for the week, 49-52 on the season 10.5 games out of first

It’s safe to say the Dogs really miss the three headed monster of Austin, Sanchez and Williams, not to mention losing one of the best arms in Jose Campos. Saxon Butler debuted this week, going 3-9 with a RBI. He absolutely crushed it in SI, and as a first baseman he;s going to have to keep it up if he wants to keep moving. Nice start to low A; we’ll have to keep an eye on him. Ben Gamel turned in an 8-30 weel with a pair of triples while driving in 4. Refsnyder put some numbers on the board going 9-26 with a double, a HR and drove in 7. Cito Culver is doing his Ichiro! impression by building a picket fence; he’s had exactly one hit in nine straight games. He had a two-bagger and drove in three this week. Reymond Nunez went 7-19 with two doubles, 2 RBI’s and scored a run. Bryan Mitchell made 2 starts this past week and ended with a line of 10IP, 9H, 4ER, 8BB and 9K’s. Phil Wetherell made one start tossing 5 innings of one run ball while walking zero and striking out 6. Brett Gerritse went 6IP, 4H, 0ER, 1BB, 4K’s.  Nick Goody was perfect in relief throwing 2 innings of zeroes.

SI Yankees 0-6 on the week (yuck) 15-31 on the year, 15 games out of first place

Matt Snyder really came around this week going 11-24, sending one over the wall and driving in 5. He’d been looking up at the Mendoza line so hopefully this will be a turning point. Claudio Custodia had himself a nice week with 7 hits in 25 PA’s; that included a double, two triples, a HR and 6 RBI’s. Daniel Lopez rounded out the bats going 7-15, all singles. Pitcher Gabe Encinas had an up and down week, starting off with 7 innings of one run ball and then getting shellacked his next time out yielding 5 runs over 2.1 innings. Corey Black took the hill this week and gave the SI Yanks 6 innings of 1 run ball, walking one and striking out 5. He was reportedly hitting the high 90’s. On the relief side, Stefan Lopez threw 2.2 innings of shutout ball on 2 hits. He walked none and struck out four.

GCL Yankees 3-2 on the week, 25-16 on the season, trailing the GCL Tigers by two games.

Kicking off the bats this past week was Austin Aune; he went 3-9 with a pair of doubles and 3 RBI’s. The big question here is, wether he’ll be able to stick at shortstop. Miguel Andujar went 3-10 on the week while Yeicok Calderon had 5 hits in 17PA’s including a triple, 3 HR’s and 5 RBI’s. He’s holding an OPS of 1.037 the last ten days. Walter Ibarra put up some numbers of his own, going 7-16 with three doubles and a HR while driving in 4. Zach Nuding headed up the pitching staff, giving the club 6.2 innings of two run ball. He walked one and struck out 5. 2012 first round pick Ty Henseley made his second appearance since inking his deal. He settled in for this one and pitched 2 innings of one hit ball. He walked 2 and struck out 5. He was in the mid nineties, so the shoulder seems fine. Rookie Davis got back on the hill for 2.2 innings, giving up just one hit, walking zero and striking out 2.

Travel Day

With a little over 8 weeks remaining in the 2012 season, exactly half of the teams in MLB are in serious playoff contention.  Of those fifteen teams,ten will advance to the postseason and five will go home.  This week we’ll examine those fifteen contending teams and make some predictions about who will be playing playoff baseball in October.

If The Playoffs Began Today

In the AL:

The Oakland A’s would host the Detroit Tigers in a one game playoff to determine who would face the Texas Rangers in the next round.

The New York Yankees would have home field advantage against the Chicago White Sox in the other series.

In the NL:

The Atlanta Braves would host the Pittsburgh Pirates in a one game playoff to determine would would face the Cincinnati Reds in the next round.

The Washington Nationals would have home field advantage against the San Francisco Giants in the other series.

 AL East

The Yankees currently lead the AL East by 6 1/2 games over the Orioles and by 7 1/2 games over the Tampa Rays.  The Red Sox and Blue Jays are quality clubs but simply don’t appear to have the makeup to get back in the playoff picture.

The Yankees have been dealt severe blows with injuries to Alex Rodriguez, Andy Pettitte, and Brett Gardner and are 11-11 since the All-Star break.  Playing .500 baseball the rest of the way will not win the AL East for the Yankees, nor will it gather them a playoff spot.  The Yankees begin a brutal seventeen game stretch this evening in Detroit that will probably go a long way towards deciding their playoff fate.  Four games in Detroit are followed by 3 games in Toronto.  Upon returning home the Yankees face the Rangers in a four game series that is followed by a 3 game series with the Red Sox and 3 games on the road with the White Sox.  If the Yankees can post a winning record in this stretch they will be in a strong position to win the AL East.

The Orioles have been outscored by their opponents this season by 57 runs yet have managed to hang around in playoff contention due to their incredible record in both one-run and extra inning games.  The Orioles are 21-6 in one-run games and 11-2 in extra inning games, both MLB bests.   The Orioles have a more favorable home vs. road schedule remaining than both the Yankees and Rays do with 30 home games remaining vs. only 24 road games.    It is time to accept the Orioles as a legitimate contender for not only a playoff slot but also to win the AL East.  While the Yankees play seven difficult road games this week, the Orioles will play seven home games vs the Mariners(where they don’t have to face King Felix) and the Royals.

The Rays are eagerly anticipating the return of Evan Longoria to their lineup and that return may come as early as tomorrow night.  The Rays have had a frustrating season up to this point but Longoria’s return should give a a big boost to the Rays struggling offense. Rookie pitcher Matt Moore is rounding into serious form after a slow start and David Price continues his impressive 2012 season.  The Rays should be able to make yet another late season run this year.

Prediction: This division is likely to wind up very tight when it is all said and done. Despite a 6 1/2 game lead, the Yankees failure to take advantage of an easy schedule run after the All-Star break could really come back to haunt them.  The AL East’s depth could make it difficult for a wildcard team to come out of the division.  The Yankees still have 35 games left with AL East opponents, the Orioles have 31, and the Rays have 28.  I expect this division to come to the final week and give the Yankees the slimmest of edges over the Rays, who get the last wildcard narrowly over the Orioles.

AL Central

While the White Sox have managed to hang on to a slim lead in the Central so far, it really looks like it is just a matter of time until the Tigers put the division away.  The additions of Infante and Sanchez from the Marlins have made the Tigers even more talented than they were already, which was plenty talented.

The Tigers have underachieved very badly so far in 2012, but at some point figure to go on a good run that should blow the Central wide open.

Prediction: The Tigers draw away to win the Central easily and get the 3 seed.  The White Sox hang around in wildcard contention until the final week, but fall short of the playoffs.

AL West

The Texas Rangers have the best lineup in baseball, plain and simple. While losing pitchers Neftali Feliz and Colby Lewis were big blows, the additions of Roy Oswalt and Ryan Dempster may offset those injuries to some extent.  The Rangers have also had to deal with a severe slump from Josh Hamilton as well as the most vicious schedule run they will deal with all year long.  Since the All-Star break, 18 of the 21 games that the Rangers have played have either been a road game, a game vs. a playoff contending team, or both.    The Rangers have gone 11-10 in that span.  The Rangers aren’t out of the woods yet, as their next 16 games will also be vs. playoff contending teams, road games, or both.  The six weeks of schedule hell that the Rangers are enduring probably have them waking up tired and are testing their grit.  Easier days await them and they have the makeup to endure what they are going through now.

The Oakland A’s started July with a 16-2 record that launched them into playoff contention before cooling off with a 5-5 record in their last ten games.  A vicious September schedule awaits them, one that will make the playoffs an unlikely event for the A’s.

The Angels continue to underachieve, despite yet another high profile addition of pitcher Zack Greinke before the deadline. A favorable schedule with 29 home games remaining as compared to only 24 road games is also working in their favor.

Prediction:  The Rangers survive the vicious schedule run they are in the midst of right now and win the AL West comfortably and garner the 1 seed in the AL.  The brutal September schedule the A’s face knocks them out of playoff contention.  The Angels nail down the first wildcard slot with a solid September.

Morning Bits: Jeter continues to hit, Pettitte’s x-ray and more

Good morning all.  Hope you all had a nice weekend.  Yankees are now on the road and will be up against the Tigers tonight.  Game time is set for 7PM EST.  The Yankees will have Nova on the mound going against the Tigers Ace pitcher Justin Verlander.
Enjoy the day and the game.  Now onto some links….

— I posted this article in the comments sections but figured it should get featured here as well.  Andrew Marchand of ESPN NY has a nice write about Jeter and how he continues to defy age.

Ethan Asofsky of MLB.com has some Yankee tidbits including Pettitte’s x-rays and Gardner maybe coming back in a limited role.

Doug Rush of The Bleach Report ponders if Ichiro Suzuki could be the Yankees right fielder in 2013.