Results tagged ‘ Double A ’
Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis began their injury-rehabilitation assignments Wednesday at Double A Trenton and should be back with the Yankees soon. This has resulted in speculation on the radio talk shows that their return might upset the chemistry the club has developed in the first six weeks of the season.
I have heard some people say that maybe the Yankees should keep things the way they are with Lyle Overbay at first base and David Adams at third. This type of thinking is nothing short of preposterous.
There is no question that Overbay has been a godsend in the season-long absence of Teixeira, who never gets off to good starts anyway. Adams has also shown that he can hit major-league pitching and has displayed better defensive skills than had been expected. That said; let us not forget that Teixeira and Youkilis are former All-Star players with an abundance of postseason experience that includes World Series championships.
Following a two-game series at Citi Field in which the Yankees scored only two runs in 18 innings, who can say the quality of bats swung by Teixeira and Youkilis aren’t needed? The Yankees have gotten from their replacements more than they could have dreamed when they left training camp.
The Yankees took a 30-21 record into Wednesday night’s shift of the Subway Series to Yankee Stadium, and there is not one person in the organization who is not at least somewhat surprised at the developments.
But as manager Joe Girardi acknowledged before Wednesday night’s game, the Yankees’ lineup remains overly left-handed (seven of the nine hitters in the order bat from the left side), so the prospect of Teixeira and Youkilis returning is welcomed. Girardi intends to be careful with both and will gradually work them into the framework as he did earlier this month when outfielder Curtis Granderson came off the disabled list (only to bounce back on with a broken little finger).
For that reason, Overbay is likely to be retained despite the fact that Tex and Youk both can play that position. There is still a fear among the Yankees that Teixeira might not be completely out of the woods as the Jose Bautista situation last year in Toronto attests. If Adams is sent back to Triple A Scranton, the Yankees would be wise to see that he plays primarily on the infield corners rather than his normal second base spot.
The point is, the Yankees need a healthy Teixeira and Youkilis to give the team a boost as it moves into the second third of the season.
The Yankees were still recovering from the two-game sweep at Citi Field and the unexpected bullpen breakdown. The series marked the first time David Robertson and Mariano Rivera each took the loss in the same series.
Rivera’s blown save Tuesday night was his first of the season and ended a streak of 23 converted save opportunities dating to last season. It was the first time Mo blew a save without recording an out and only the third appearance of any kind in his career when he did not get an out. It was his second straight blown save against the Mets, following that of July 3, 2011 at Citi Field and the third time in his career he squandered consecutive save chances at an opposing park. It also occurred July 12 and 14, 2002 at Cleveland and three in a row Sept. 9, 2010, April 24, 2011 and May 18, 2011 at Baltimore.
The Yankees have been held to one run in consecutive games for the first time since May 16-17, 2012 at Toronto (8-1 and 4-1 losses) and lost consecutive one-run games for the first time since July 29-30, 2012, 3-2, to the Red Sox and 5-4 to the Orioles. It marks the second time the Yanks lost consecutive one-run games to the Mets. It also happened July 3-4, 2004 by scores of 10-9 and 6-5. The Yankees started the season with a 5-0 record in one-run games but have lost four of the past five such games and are 9-6 overall.
Yankees starters Phil Hughes and Hiroki Kuroda in the two-game sweep each pitched seven innings and allowed four hits. It was the first time that Yankees starters put up those stats in consecutive starts and the Yankees losing both games since Aug. 9-10 against the White Sox at Yankee Stadium by Shawn Chacon (7 innings, 3 hits) and Aaron Small (7 innings, 4 hits).
Kuroda’s start Tuesday night was his fourth of the season in which he pitched at least seven innings without allowing a run, tying the Indians’ Justin Masterson and the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw for the most in the majors. It was his 10th such start since joining the Yankees, the most in the majors over the past two years.
The Yankees were swept by the Mets in a series of any length for the first time since 2008 and went winless in a series in Queens for only the second time. They sustained a three-game sweep July 2-4, 20004. The Yankees have lost consecutive games to the Mets for the first time since losing three in a row May 22 to June 18, 2010.
Alex Rodriguez will get his first taste of live pitching in five weeks Friday night when he serves as the designated hitter for Class A Tampa at Lakeland in a Florida State League game while on an injury-rehabilitation assignment. Rodriguez has been on the disabled list since July 25 due to a broken bone in his left hand.
The Yankees will travel to Tampa following Sunday’s series finale against the Orioles at Yankee Stadium and are hopeful that A-Rod may be activated for the three-game series against the Rays.
Andy Pettitte, disabled since June 28 because of a fractured left fibula, is expected to throw a bullpen session sometime over the weekend in his rehabilitation toward a possible return to the mound in September.
Pedro Feliciano, who is recovering from left rotator cuff surgery, was scheduled to have his rehab assignment transferred to Class A Staten Island Friday night. The lefthander has pitched 6 1/3 combined innings in seven outings – four with the Gulf Coast League Yankees, one with Class A Tampa and two with Double A Trenton. He has allowed two earned runs, six hits and three walks with eight strikeouts for an ERA of 2.84.
With little more than a week to play in the minor-league season, the Yankees’ top two affiliates have secured postseason berths. Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre clinched the North Division of the International League Thursday night. Double A Trenton has clinched a playoff berth and has a magic number of two to clinch the Eastern Division title of the Eastern League. Class A Tampa is one game out of first place in the North Division of the Florida State League with three games to play.
Trenton’s Tony Franklin was named 2012 Eastern League Manager of the Year for the first time in his career. His victory came a few days after SWB’s Dave Miley was named 2012 Manager of the Year in the International League.
The Yankees will be in first place in the American League East Saturday when the calendar turns to September. They have made postseason in each of the past 15 times they were first at the start of play Sept. 1 since divisional play began in 1969. According to Stats LLC, the Yanks finished first in 39 of the 43 seasons when they led the division Labor Day.
Still in need of right-handed hitting while Alex Rodriguez is on the disabled list, the Yankees acquired outfielder-first baseman Steve Pearce from the Astros Monday in exchange for cash considerations. Pearce, 29, was not due to report to the Yankees until Tuesday at the earliest so he was not available for Monday night’s opener of the homestand against the Blue Jays.
The transaction was actually a re-acquisition by the Yanks. Pearce had been in the organization from March 29 until June 2 when his contract was sold to the Orioles. Pearce opened the 2012 season with the Twins as a non-roster invitee and was released March 27. He signed with the Yankees two days later and was assigned to Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre where he hit .318 with 11 home runs and 30 RBI. He was leading the International League in batting at the time of his move to Baltimore.
Pearce appeared in 28 games with the Orioles and reached safely in 18 of 26 games with a plate appearance. He batted .254 with four doubles, three home runs and 14 RBI in 71 at-bats before he was designated for assignment July 21 and claimed off waivers by Houston July 28. With the Astros, Pearce hit .254 with four doubles, one triple and eight RBI in 63 at-bats.
Originally selected by the Pirates in the eighth round of 2005 First-Year Player Draft, Pearce has spent parts of the past six seasons in the majors with Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Houston and is a .237 career hitter with 60 runs, 37 doubles, 12 home runs and 74 RBI in 234 big-league games.
To clear space on the 40-man roster for Pearce, the Yankees designated infielder Brandon Laird for assignment. A corresponding 25-man roster move will be made when Pearce reports to the Yankees.
The Yankees also elevated relief pitcher Pedro Feliciano from Class A Tampa to Double A Trenton. The lefthander missed all of last season and most of this year because of left rotator cuff surgery. With rosters expanding beyond 25 players Sept. 1, there is a chance that Feliciano might be called up by the Yankees before the season is over.
Jill and Marc Fass came to Yankee Stadium Wednesday with their 5-year-old son, Andy, to watch another Andy pitch. Andy Pettitte first met Andy Fass at a Double A game while the lefthander was pitching for the Trenton Thunder to prepare for a return to the Yankees.
When the Fasses entered Suite 4 at the Stadium, they were greeted by pitchers CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and Clay Rapada as part of the HOPE Week celebration that was just the beginning of a fruitful afternoon for the family from Hamilton, N.J.
After Wednesday’s Yankees-Indians game, those three pitchers, shortstop Derek Jeter, catchers Russell Martin and Chris Stewart and coaches Rob Thompson and Mick Kelleher joined Andy Fass for a private tee-ball lesson and other games with kids who also have Andy’s condition of albinism at the MLB Fan Cave in Chelsea.
A chance encounter gave Andy Fass a new goal and hope. As someone who has a condition called oculocutaneous albinism, which affects approximately 40,000 people around the world, Andy is legally blind and without pigment in his skin, forcing him to avoid long exposure to the sun. Though Andy has always gravitated to people and many individual activities, he was told baseball would never be an option due to the contact and the chance of injury due to moving objects.
All that changed, however, April 25, 2012, when Pettitte, who was making a start at Trenton, gave little Andy the baseball he was using to warm up. Encouraged by the gesture, little Andy – who was attending his first-ever professional baseball game – was immediately inspired to sign up for tee-ball and take on the challenge.
“Andy is legally blind, but he can make out some shapes and forms,” Jill Fass said. “He will be playing tee-ball with an orange ball to see it better. We didn’t find out about this until we got to the parking lot. What the players are doing is really fantastic.”
Starting pitchers normally do not communicate with anyone before the game the day they start, but Pettitte chatted briefly with young Andy next to the dugout before his new fan threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
“Andy Pettitte is my favorite player because he is the best player in the world,” Andy said.
The Yankees’ five minor-league affiliates will present their own community events throughout the season as an extension of the franchise’s HOPE Week in 2012. HOPE (Helping Others Persevere & Excel) Week is in its fourth season and will take place on the major-league level June 25-29.
In following the model established in 2009, the Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, the Double A Trenton Thunder and the Class A Tampa Yankees, Charleston RiverDogs and Staten Island Yankees will reach out to individuals, families and organizations worthy of recognition and support, recognizing honorees with a day celebrating their accomplishments. With outreach often taking place away from the ballpark, Yankees minor league players, coaches and staff will be able to connect personally with participants.
“As an organization, we have seen firsthand the positive impact HOPE Week has made in our community,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. “We have found that giving back is contagious. One of the goals of the initiative has been to inspire others to follow in our footsteps, and I’m proud that our affiliates are expanding this tradition by joining our efforts.”
The Tampa Yankees will be the first club to host HOPE Week in 2012, as they will highlight their five stories from June 4-8. Events are scheduled for Trenton June 19-22 and June 25 and for Charleston June 25-29. Dates for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Staten Island are to be determined.
Picture Day finally came to Yankee Stadium late Tuesday afternoon about 4 ½ hours before the game between the Yankees and the Rays. It is a busy assignment for the Yankees Magazine staff because they need to collect as many photos as they can for off-season issues when most of the players are not available.
There was very little of the normal clowning that often takes place when team photos are taken. The ones during spring training are especially goofy. With the regular season winding down and postseason looming, the Yankees have their games faces on for the most part.
As usual, there are always some no-shows, although the only Yankees regular not in the photo is Ivan Nova, who as Tuesday night’s starting pitcher was not required to come to the park early. He will no doubt put up with some grief from his teammates and likely a fine from the Kangaroo Court supervised by Mariano Rivera.
The other players who did not get into the picture were all injured. Relievers Joba Chamberlain, Pedro Feliciano and Damaso Marte were among the missing. So, too, was backup catcher Francisco Cervelli, who is home recovering from post-concussion syndrome and may not make the postseason roster.
The postponement of the team picture from Sept. 6 to Tuesday was a break for Austin Romine, one of two rookie catchers, along with Jesus Montero, who may replace Cervelli on the postseason roster. The team photo session had to be postponed Sept. 6 because of wet grounds. That was the night that the start of the game was delayed for more than four hours and did not begin until 11:08 p.m., by orders of Major League Baseball.
While Montero was called up from Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre by the Yankees Aug. 31 and was at the Stadium for the original photo session Sept. 6, Romine was still in the minors and had just been transferred from the Double A Trenton roster to SWB. After Cervelli’s injury Sept. 8 at Baltimore, the Yankees brought up Romine, who joined the team in Anaheim and made his big-league debut Sept. 11 against the Angels. That put Austin in position to make his first appearance in a Yankees team photo.
The Angels sure must have a lot of faith in Garrett Richards to have him make his major-league debut Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium. What a place for a young pitcher up from Double A to make his first big-league appearance.
Richards became the first pitcher to make his debut at the new Stadium. The righthander, 23, had a fastball clocked regularly in the mid-90s but had problems with command in a very shaky first inning against the Yankees. Before he could keep his heart from pounding, Richards was in a 3-0 hole after walking Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter and yielding Curtis Granderson’s 30th home run of the season on a 1-0 heater.
One out later, Robinson Cano lined a double to right-center, but the rookie settled down and got Nick Swisher and Eric Chavez out on ground balls. The Yankees don’t normally do this well in a pitcher’s first game. They had lost each of their past six games in which they faced a starting pitcher making his major-league debut. Their past victory in such a situation was May 1, 2004 against the Royals’ Eduardo Villacis, 12-4, at the Stadium.
Richards, whose contract was purchased from Double A Arkansas, was filling the place in this turn of the rotation of staff ace Jered Weaver, who is serving a six-day suspension for throwing at the head of a Tigers batter in a game last week. The Angels will get Weaver back early next week to pitch against their American League West rival Texas Rangers at Anaheim.
The Angels drafted Richards, who pitched for three seasons at the University of Oklahoma, in the first round of the 2009 first-year player draft as a compensation pick for their having lost relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez to free agency and the Mets. Richards had been lights out at Arkansas with a 12-2 record, three complete games and a 3.06 ERA in 21 starts. In one inning, however, he discovered how wide the gap is between Double A and the majors.
The Angels pulled the same maneuver 15 years ago when a pitcher named Jason Dickson made his major-league debut at the old Stadium Aug. 21, 1996. Dickson, a righthander from Canada, pitched 6 1/3 innings and allowed 10 hits but only one run in a 7-1 Angels victory. The lone run Dickson gave up was on a home run by another rookie, a kid named Jeter.
That was Dickson’s only victory that year as he finished ’96 with a 1-4 record and 4.57 ERA. He pitched in parts of four seasons for the Angels and had a career mark of 26-25 with a 4.99 ERA.
The Yankees finally have another lefthander in the bullpen. After going all season with Boone Logan as the only lefty out of the pen, the Yankees called up Steve Garrison from Double A Trenton Tuesday and placed righthander Sergio Mitre on the disabled list.
Mitre, who has struggled since rejoining the Yankees (11.81 ERA in four appearances), has right shoulder tendinitis and is also beset by a bacterial infection. Garrison, a native of Trenton, made 11 appearances, all but one as a starter, for his hometown team this season and had a 3-6 record with a 6.26 ERA.
Across the Howard Frankland Bridge from St. Petersburg, Fla., where the Yankees were playing the Rays, reliever Rafael Soriano and infielder Eric Chavez were playing for Class A Tampa on injury rehabilitation. Soriano, who hopes to rejoin the Yankees this month, got roughed up a bit (1 1/3 innings, 2 hits, 2 earned runs, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 1 home run).
There was also disturbing news from another Yankees minor-league affiliate as Ivan Nova had to come out of his start for Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre against Columbus after 1 1/3 innings because of a leg injury while fielding a ground ball.
The absence of Derek Jeter finally showed in the Subway Series. The Captain seemed like an afterthought for most of the weekend as attention centered on Eduardo Nunez and deservedly so. Nunez had 7-for-8 (.875) with 3 doubles, 1 home run and 2 RBI for the Yankees in their victories Friday night and Saturday.
Nunez did a solid job, especially offensively, while DL was on the DL. In 17 games and 59 at-bats since June 14, Nunez hit .339 with a .381 on-base percentage, a .525 slugging percentage, 5 runs, 5 doubles, 2 homers, 7 RBI, 4 walks and 4 stolen bases. He also committed four errors and had a few adventures on the bases, but for the most part earned his teammates’ praise and a vow from manager Joe Girardi to work him into more games over the second half.
As impressive as Nunez was, there was still a sense that the Yankees missed the qualities Jeter brings to the table, chiefly reliability. I know I sound like a broken record about this, but when it comes to defense I have heard managers and coaches over the years talk about how important it is for an infielder to make the routine play consistently.
Jeter has been criticized in recent years for a decline in range at shortstop, but boys and girls, he makes all the plays an infielder is supposed to make, is always in the proper position on cutoffs and makes runners think twice about challenging his strong arm.
This all came to mind as I watched the Yankees lose Sunday’s Subway Series finale due in large part to an error by a shortstop not named Jeter. It wasn’t Nunez, who was scratched because of a tight hamstring. There was a lot of that going around this series. Mets shortstop Jose Reyes came out of Saturday’s game with a hamstring injury, too.
Ramiro Pena played shortstop for the Yankees Sunday and made two errors. Left fielder Brett Gardner came to his rescue in the ninth inning by charging the ball that got through Pena for his first error and making a strong throw to the plate to prevent what would have been the winning run from scoring.
Gardner nor any other Yankees outfielder could do anything about Pena’s second error. It came in the 10th on a bobbled grounder that should have been the third out but extending the inning and loaded the bases. Jason Bay’s single to right field prevented the Yankees from a sweep and ended their seven-game winning streak.
Such an inning is a reminder of how differently a game can be without Jeter’s presence. He was to play Sunday night for Double A Trenton on injury rehabilitation and is expected to rejoin the Yankees Monday at Cleveland and resume his quest for 3,000 career hits.
This was a tough loss for the Yankees, considering the cross-town rivalry and how close they came to pulling off the sweep. They were one strike away with Mariano Rivera on the hill, but Ronny Paulino punched a single to right to tie the score. Rivera’s first blown save against the Mets in 12 years started with a two-out walk to Bay, very uncharacteristic for Mo.
The Yankees will also have Phil Hughes back in the rotation at Cleveland. He is scheduled to start Wednesday night in place of Ivan Nova, who was optioned to Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. It was not an easy call for the Yankees. Nova pitched well (8-4, 4.12 ERA), but so have Bartolo Colon, who had six shutout innings in his return start off the DL Saturday, and Freddy Garcia, who got a hard-luck no-decision Sunday.
The Yankees want to keep Nova on a starter’s regimen at Triple A rather than have him pitch out of the bullpen for them. Optioning a young player to the minors while he is performing well in the majors can be tricky. The key is for Nova not to take it as a demotion and keep pitching with the same determination and effectiveness.
The mumbo jumbo you hear in press boxes can be mind-numbing at times. In the third inning, the Mets removed Jose Reyes from the game and inserted Ruben Tejada at shortstop. Reyes has been the most exciting player in the National League, maybe even its Most Valuable Player, for three months, so when he comes out of the game it is big news.
An announcement came soon after that Reyes felt tightness in his left hamstring while running to first base to beat out a single in the bottom of the first inning. He was taken out of the game, the announcement continued, as a precaution.
Huh? As a precaution against what? Why not just say that Reyes came out of the game because he was hurt? If he is not playing because they don’t want him to injure the hamstring more, that is an admission that Reyes is already hurt. A player doesn’t come out of a game if he is not hurt unless a manager starts emptying his bench in the late innings of a lopsided game. This was in the third inning of a scoreless game. Reyes is a hurt player, the degree of which is all that is in question.
So with Reyes out of the game and Derek Jeter on an injury rehabilitation assignment at Double A Trenton Saturday night, the shortstop focus in Subway Series II at Citi Field has fallen on the Yankees’ Eduardo Nunez, who is having an impressive series.
Nunez had four hits and an RBI in the Yankees’ 5-1 victory Friday night and doubled in each of his first two at-bats in Saturday’s late-afternoon game. Nunez has had shaky moments in the field as Jeter’s caddy during the past fortnight, but overall he has done a decent job.
“I’m not trying to replace Jeter because he’s Derek Jeter; he’s Hall of Fame,” Nunez said. “I’m a young guy, and I have to learn a lot and do my best. I don’t think about going back to the bench, I just think about the moment and enjoy my game. Any part of the game they need me: bunt, stolen base, anything that they need from me, I’ll be ready. I know he’s going to come back, but I just want to play hard and in time my moment is going to come to be an everyday player.”
While the Mets may be dealing with another possible injury, the Yankees are getting healthier. Jeter is on the mend and due to rejoin the team Monday at Cleveland and to resume his pursuit of 3,000 career hits. Barolo Colon was back on the mound after missing three weeks with a strained left hamstring of his own. Space for Colon was cleared on the Yankees’ 25-man roster with the option of pitcher Brian Gordon to Scranton/Wilkes Barre where he will go into the Triple A affiliate’s rotation.
It looked as if Colon had never gone away. The infield single by Reyes was the only hit off the veteran righthander through the first four innings in which he struck out six batters, all but one on a called third strike.
Colon also tried to help himself with the bat in the third inning when he bunted Nunez to third base. The Mets brought the infield in against Brett Gardner, who hit a grounder to first baseman Lucas Duda, who threw home to nail Nunez trying to score. Nunez was at second base again in the fifth when Colon came to bat, but there were two out this time and the pitcher was swinging away – into the sixth strikeouts by the Mets’ impressive rookie Dillon Gee.