Results tagged ‘ Alfredo Aceves ’
Sunday is Cinco de Mayo. The Yankees have had 12 Mexican-born players in franchise history – six position player and six pitchers – but none on the current active roster. The only Mexican-born player on the current 40-man Yankees roster is pitcher Manny Banuelos, who was born in Durango.
The most recent Mexican-born player with the Yankees was utility infielder Ramiro Pena, who played in 180 games for the Yanks from 2009-12. Pena is now with the Braves and is hitting .300, no less. The Yankees’ first Mexican-born player was also an infielder, shortstop Ruben Amaro, who was with the club from 1966-68. He is the father of current Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.
Other position players with the Yankees have been infielders Celerino Sanchez (1972-73), Aurelio Rodriguez (1980-81) and Carlos Rodriguez (1991) and outfielder Karim Garcia (2002-03). Garcia leads the Yankees with a .301 career batting average and six home runs in 156 at-bats. Among Mexican-born pitchers, righthander Alfredo Aceves is the franchise’s all-time leader in victories with a 14-1 (.933) career record with the Yanks from 2008-10. Other Mexican-born Yankees pitchers were lefthander Alfonso Pulido (1986), and righthanders Juan Acevedo (2003), Antonio Osuna (2003), Esteban Loaiza (2004) and Luis Ayala (2011).
Hiroki Kuroda continued his success at Yankee Stadium Sunday night, although he was not involved in the decision. Kuroda ended up with a no-decision thanks to his catcher, Russell Martin, who homered leading off the seventh inning and singled with two out in the eighth to drive in Andruw Jones from second base to tie the score.
The Red Sox had taken a 2-0 lead in the second inning on a two-run double by Ryan Sweeney. After that, Kuroda shut down Boston on five hits through the eighth and was supported by four double plays.
With the no-decision, Kuroda’s record at the Stadium this season remained 7-3. He lowered his ERA in home games to 2.63 and has held opponents to a .222 batting average with seven home runs and 23 RBI in 82 innings. Over his past 12 starts, Kuroda is 7-1 with a 2.46 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 84 innings.
Martin has had a miserable time of it this season at the plate, but before a national television audience on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball he had one of his best offensive games with two walks, the home run and the RBI single.
Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine should have done some homework before bringing in his closer, Alfredo Aceves, to pitch to Martin. The catcher had 3-for-5 (.600) with a home run off Aceves in his career before that at-bat. So make it 4-for-6 (.667) now.
In honor of Cinco de Mayo Saturday, let’s take a look at Mexican-born players in Yankees history. There have been an even dozen – six position players and six pitchers – over the years, beginning with shortstop Ruben Amaro (1966-68) through to another infielder, Ramiro Pena (2009-11), the only Mexican player currently on the Yanks’ 40-man roster and playing shortstop at Triple A Empire State.
Other position players were third basemen Celerino Sanchez (1972-73) and Aurelio Rodriguez (1980-81), infielder Carlos Rodriguez (1991) and outfielder Karim Garcia (2002-03), who is the leading hitter among Mexican-born Yankees with a .301 average and 6 home runs in 156 at-bats.
Alfredo Aceves, now with the Red Sox, compiled a 14-1 record from 2008-10 with the Yankees, the biggest winner among Mexican-born pitchers, a list that also features Alfonso Pulido (1986), Juan Acevedo (2003), Antonio Osuna (2003), Esteban Loaiza (2004) and Luis Ayala (2011).
On this holiday for Mexicans and Mexican-Americans, it is fitting to point out that the Yankees have had 12 Mexican-born players in franchise history – six position players and six pitchers. The group includes reliever Luis Ayala, who is currently on the disabled list and pitching on an injury-rehabilitation assignment at Triple A Scranton/Wilkes Barre.
The Yankees’ first Mexican-born player was shortstop Ruben Amaro (1966-68), the father of current Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. Other position players were third basemen Celerino Sanchez (1972-73) and Aurelio Rodriguez (1980-81), infielders Carlos Rodriguez (1991) and Ramiro Pena (2009-10) and outfielder Karim Garcia (2002-03), who leads all Mexican-born Yankees with a .301 career batting average and six home runs in 156 at-bats.
Among Mexican-born pitchers, Alfredo Aceves (2008-10) is the franchise’s all-time leader in victories with a 14-1 career record as a Yankee. Other Mexican-born Yankees pitchers were Alfonso Pulido (1986), Juan Acevedo (2003), Antonio Osuna (2003) and Esteban Loaiza (2004).
Concern continues to grow around Phil Hughes as well it should. The pitcher who won 10 of his first 11 decisions in 2010 is winless after two starts in 2011 and continues to perplex the Yankees for the curious falloff in the speed of his fastball.
Hughes lasted merely two innings Friday at Fenway Park in the Red Sox’ home opener and blew leads of 2-0 and 3-1. The Yankees were able to take him off the hook by coming back to tie the score off equally erratic John Lackey, but Hughes’ ineffectiveness remained the most negative aspect of the 9-6 loss.
Hughes faced 14 batters, nine of whom reached base, six of whom scored and none of whom struck out. His ERA is an unsightly 16.50. Perhaps the dip in velocity is the result of Hughes falling in love with the cut fastball. Two-thirds of his offerings Friday were cutters. A couple of Yankees pitchers in the past I can remember who lost muscle in their fastball through overuse of the cutter were Jim Abbott and Andy Pettitte.
As Pettitte proved when velocity falls off, a pitcher can remain a winner by mixing pitches and locating. Yankee manager Joe Girardi is convinced that location is Hughes’ main problem.
Right from the beginning, Hughes was in trouble. He hung a slider to the second hitter, Dustin Pedroia, who hit his first home run of the season. A Boston lineup that entered the game batting .181 was able to bat around in the order against Hughes in the second inning and put up a five-spot on six hits with two of the outs made on the bases.
Girardi had seen enough at that point and brought in Bartolo Colon, who provided 4 1/3 decent innings but was stuck with the loss because of an unearned run. A rare error by first baseman Mark Teixeira gave the Red Sox runners on first and third with one out in the fifth, and catcher Jarrod Saltalamaccchia doubled off the Green Monster to drive in the go-ahead run.
Boone Logan was right up there with Hughes as a disappointment. He came into the game in the seventh with one out and a runner on first base to face left-handed hitters David Ortiz and J.D. Drew. Ortiz doubled, and Drew followed with a two-run single. With Jose Feliciano, the free agent pickup, on the disabled list, Logan is the only lefty in the Yanks’ bullpen. His job is to get out left-handed hitters, which he has not done yet. Logan has faced five of them and given up three hits and two walks.
On the plus side for the Yankees, there was a lot of activity at the top of the lineup with Brett Gardner reaching base four times (triple, double, two walks, stolen base) and Derek Jeter driving in a run with his 2,932nd career hit. Alex Rodriguez tied Junior Griffey for 13th place on the all-time RBI list with his 1,836th on his 616th home run. Robinson Cano doubled twice and drove in two runs.
On the negative side for the Yankees, they managed only one hit combined in four innings off Red Sox relievers Alfredo Aceves, Bobby Jenks, Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon.
It is never a good sign for a club when a pre-game press conference begins with a report about players who are not here. That’s how Saturday’s session with manager Joe Girardi got underway with a progress report on Yankees who are on the disabled list.
The most encouraging news is that outfielder-designated hitter Marcus Thames could be back with the club as early as Sunday. Thames was to play at Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Saturday for the third consecutive day and if he comes out of it with no scrapes could be celebrating the Fourth of July at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees could use his bat off the bench in a big way these days.
Of the two pitchers on the DL, righthanders Sergio Mitre and Alfredo Aceves, Mitre is the closest to returning, and that may still be another week to 10 days, which means probably not before the All-Star break. Mitre is scheduled to pitch two innings for Class A Tampa in an injury-rehabilitation assignment Monday. That same day, Aceves will throw 40 to 45 pitches off a mound. His injury has been the costliest as evidenced Friday by the bullpen breakdown of the three righthanders who couldn’t handle his role – Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson and Chan Ho Park.
Designated hitter Nick Johnson took dry swings Saturday with a light fungo bat and will report to Tampa early in the week. Asked about his timetable, Girardi said, “Weeks.” In other words, don’t hold your breath.
Girardi was amused to hear of the news that former Yankees pitcher Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez had signed a minor-league contract with the Nationals. Livan Hernandez, El Duque’s half-brother, pitches for Washington.
“If El Duque has anything left in his tank, he’ll find a way to compete,” Girardi said of the righthander, who is closer in age to 45 than 40 and has not pitched since 2007. “I loved catching the guy. He was a fierce competitor.”
The easy thing to do would be to blame the Yankees’ 6-1 loss to the Blue Jays Friday on the three right-handed relievers who couldn’t get the job done and continue to make manager Joe Girardi long for the hopeful return of Alfredo Aceves, who is on the disabled list because of a back ailment.
Joba Chamberlain, who suffered his second blown save of the season in the eighth, and David Robertson and Chan Ho Park, who were torched for five runs in the 11th, certainly had a hand in letting Toronto end a five-game losing streak, but this game would have gotten nowhere near extra innings if the Yankees hit the ball just a little.
They managed only five hits, all singles, in 11 innings, and none of them had anything to do with the run they scored. A return to form by A.J. Burnett had that run hold up for seven innings before Chamberlain opened the gates for the Blue Jays to come back.
Toronto starter Brett Cecil had been almost as bad as Burnett lately with three straight losses and a 9.19 ERA in 15 2/3 innings. Yet the lefthander spun off the ropes repeatedly despite six walks in six innings. The Yankees’ first two batters of the game walked, and an infield out and a fly ball by Thursday’s hero, Alex Rodriguez, made it 1-0.
The third inning proved the killer for the Yanks. After a leadoff single by Derek Jeter, Cecil walked Nick Swisher on four pitches and Mark Teixeira on five. A-Rod and Robinson Cano awaited and a huge inning could have been expected. Instead, Cecil came up huge by striking both of them out and then getting Jorge Posada on a ground ball.
“We had a great opportunity in the third but didn’t cash in,” Girardi said. “That was the difference in the game.”
Toronto was doing a pretty good imitation by stranding 11 base runners in regulation, but this is a lineup whose 5- and 6-hole hitters, Adam Lind and Aaron Hill, are toeing the Mendoza line. Yet their hits off Chamberlain with two out in the eighth manufactured the tying run.
Joba, whose ERA is 5.40, caught a big break when left fielder Brett Gardner banged into the left field wall to rob Alex Gonzalez of an extra-base hit. Chamberlain celebrated that by walking Juan Bautista after having been ahead 0-2 in the count. Joba got Vernon Wells on a fly to right, then surrendering a ground single to center by Lind and a well-struck single to left by Hill.
Chamberlain heard plenty of boos as he came off the field at the end of the inning, and the crowd had more in store for Robertson and Park when matters got gross in the 11th. Robertson allowed three hits and an intentional walk, and all four runners scored. Park walked Wells with the bags full forcing in a run and gave up a bases-clearing triple to DeWayne Wise, batting average .211.
“I don’t think I am struggling,” Park told reporters after the game as if a 6.66 ERA isn’t a pretty good indication. He is not alone above 6.00 in ERA. Robertson’s went to 6.15.
As unsightly as those figures are, it bears repeating that there would not have been so tender a margin for error if the Yankees didn’t display such an offensive offense. And it is not a one-game thing. They are hitless in their past 19 at-bats with runners in scoring position and are 2-for-25 (.080) in those situations on the homestand. They went down in order the last four innings and after a one-out single in the eighth by Nick Swisher made 14 consecutive outs.
Blame could not be confined to the bullpen.
Think a general manager’s job is easy? Okay, work on this one, and you’ll see how you compare with the Yankees’ Brian Cashman. Like most GMs, Cash has to spare his emotions when making decisions that are based on what it is in the best interest of the club from the baseball and business ends of the equation.
The Yankees will probably activate outfielder Curtis Granderson Friday night before they open a four-game series against the Indians at Yankee Stadium. A groin injury has kept him on the disabled list since May 2. To make room on the 25-man roster, obviously another player has to be moved. Who would you choose?
All right, let’s look at the options.
Forget about farming out a pitcher. The Yankees have a 12-man staff, which is pretty much standard these days and to the liking of both Cashman and manager Joe Girardi because they are committed to avoiding overworking their arms. Besides, Alfredo Aceves being on the DL is a major setback, and he could be there for some time. If a second epidural administered this week doesn’t do the trick, back surgery is a strong possibility.
Most likely, the Yankees will option a position player. Since Granderson is an outfielder, then another outfielder may be the choice. The Yankees have been using an infielder, Kevin Russo, to play left field recently. Thursday night was his fifth start there in the past six games. So it is easy, Russo for Granderson.
But wait a minute. In his four starts in left field, Russo has batted .333 with two doubles and four RBI in 15 at-bats. He has made several excellent catches and some strong throws. In addition, as a rookie he comes cheaply, at a pro-rated portion of the $400,000 minimum salary. The Yankees’ other utilityman, Ramiro Pena, who has been with the team all year and is superior to Russo defensively, makes slightly more than the minimum, a $412,000 salary.
Juan Miranda, who was signed to a four-year, $2.07-million deal, has options, but sending him down would leave the Yankees without a backup first baseman for Mark Teixeira other than Nick Swisher since Nick Johnson and Jorge Posada are on the DL. Swisher played some first base last year (20 games) but is more comfortable in the outfield.
What does money have to do with it? What does money have to do with anything in baseball? Everything, that’s what. Here is where the decision gets dicey. If the Yankees want to keep Russo in pinstripes – and his start against a right-hander Thursday night at Minnesota could be a clue – then they have to send Pena or Miranda to Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre or consider doing something with Randy Winn or Marcus Thames, two veterans with guaranteed contracts.
Before Russo came along, Winn and Thames had played left field in Granderson’s absence. Winn was hitting only .077 (1-for-13) when Granderson got hurt, so anything was an improvement. He hit .250 with one triple, one home run and eight RBI in 48 at-bats, and the Yankees were 5-7 in the 12 games he started in left field. Thames hit .231 with one double, one home run (a big one, a game-winner off Jonathan Paperboy) and eight RBI in 31 at-bats while Granderson was on the DL. In his five starts in left field, Thames was 2-for-17 (.118), but the Yankees were 4-1 in those games. The Yankees were 3-1 in the four games Russo started in left field.
Thames, who has severe limitations defensively, was not supposed to play in the field that much. He was to be an occasional designated hitter, a right-handed bat off the bench in late-inning situations and an emergency outfielder. Winn, a regular the past eight seasons for the Rays, Mariners and Giants, was signed by the Yankees to be the fourth outfielder, a role he filled for two weeks but seemingly lost his grip of it along the way as Thames and Russo found their way into lineups.
As a veteran of five or more major-league seasons, Winn has the right to refuse an assignment to Triple A, which he almost surely would do. If the Yankees were inclined to move him, they would have to do a lot of telephoning to get another team interested in him. A flat-out release would leave them responsible for his $1.1 million contract.
How easy does that general manager job look now?
The Yankees have been hard with injuries early on this season. Outfielder Curtis Granderson, designated hitter Nick Johnson and relief pitcher Alfredo Aceves are on the disabled list and soon to join them is catcher Jorge Posada. After Wednesday night’s 10-6 loss to the Rays at the Stadium, the Yankees announced that Posada has a hairline fracture on the bottom of his right foot and will be sidelined for at least a month.
Ouch. This one really hurts. For all the good things Francisco Cervelli has done in his place, Posada is as close to indispensable as anyone on the Yankees not only for his catching and hitting but also for his leadership. While he was recovering from a strained right calf a couple of weeks ago, Posada could at least see some duty at designated hitter or off the bench. He took a foul ball off his foot last Sunday against the Twins, and the situation did not get better. If anything, it got worse.
The Yankees were also without Nick Swisher, still nursing a tight left bicep, and during Wednesday night’s game lost another outfielder. In the sixth inning, Marcus Thames while running out a single stepped on his bat that he tossed indifferently in the baseline and had to leave the game because of a sprained left ankle. Manager Joe Girardi said that Thames is day-to-day, so it does not appear to be a DL situation. Yet it is still one more player not at full strength.
About the only positive for the Yankees Wednesday night was a two-out, four-run rally in the ninth that forced Rays manager Joe Maddon to use two relievers and get another up in the pen. Nevertheless, it was small compensation.
The bad weather in Detroit has played havoc with some Yankees roster moves. But how about this: they actually replaced a pitcher on the roster with a position player. Righthander Alfredo Aceves, who has a bulging disk in his back, was placed on the 15-day disabled list. Yankees manager Joe Girardi felt the need for outfield depth rather than a 13th pitcher, so the Yankees recalled outfielder Greg Golson from Triple A Scranton/Wilkes Barre.
However, pitcher Jonathan Albaladejo was back at the team’s suburban Detroit hotel just in case the bullpen got overworked in the first game Wednesday at Comerica Park. Plans to bring up left-handed hitting first baseman Juan Miranda are on hold for now.
Johnny Damon was in left field for the Tigers in the day game. It was the 13th time in 33 games that Damon has played in the field, but the first time in eight games since April 23.
Girardi and the coaching staff passed the cell phone around and personally wished Hall of Famer Yogi Berra back home in Montclair, N.J., a happy 85th birthday.
If you happen to be on vacation in southern California during the last weekend in June, forget about catching one of the Yankees-Dodgers games at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers announced Wednesday that due to the velocity of sales of mini plans and season tickets, the inter-league games against the Yankees June 25-27 will not be available on an individual game basis. With an overwhelming volume of requests from current season ticket holders, the Dodgers will offer a limited number of tickets for the series against the Yankees to those existing season ticket holders, as is customary with Opening Day and the post-season. Fans would need to buy seven- or 21-game plans to have any chance at tickets for the Yankees series.
The saga of Athletics pitcher Dallas Braden continued Tuesday night with his appearance on CBS’ “Late Night With David Letterman” to read the Top 10 list. Braden, who pitched a perfect game against the Rays Sunday at Oakland, told Letterman that his beef with Alex Rodriguez running on the mound in the Yankees-A’s game April 22 was “on the back burner” and “has been taken care of,” whatever that means.
Appearing on a remote hookup from Rangers Ballpark at Arlington in Texas, Braden read the following Top 10 list of what he was thinking during his perfect game:
No. 10: Grandma’s right. Stick it, A-Rod.
No. 9: I did it! Oh crap, it’s only the 4th inning.
No. 8: Seriously, how cool a name is Dallas Braden?
No. 7: Now maybe Justin Bieber will notice me.
No. 6: I must not tell the world I’m Iron Man.
No. 5: This is something they can never take away from me. But for $50,000, you can have my glove.
No. 4: This next pitch, eyes closed.
No. 3: Even I’ve never heard of me.
No. 2: I should at least give up one hit so I don’t have to do Letterman.
No. 1: Maybe I can give Kate Hudson a call.