Results tagged ‘ Tony Pena ’
The Yankees made another roster change Saturday with the acquisition of infielder Reid Brignac from the Rockies in exchange for cash considerations. To make room on the 25-man roster for Brignac, the Yankees designated infielder Alberto Gonzalez for assignment. Brignac, 27, had been designated for assignment by Colorado last week. He was not expected to report until Sunday at the earliest.
Although Brignac is known more for his defense than offense, the fact that he bats left-handed made him more attractive to the Yankees than Gonzalez at this point, general manager Brian Cashman asserted. “He’s a left-handed fly ball hitter that is beneficial at Yankee Stadium” Cash said.
The others on the left side of the infield, Jayson Nix and David Adams, bat right-handed.
Brignac, who is in his sixth season in the major leagues, batted .250 with one home run and six RBI for the Rockies this season. He was traded to Colorado in February from Tampa Bay where he had played for five years. Brignac, a .228 career hitter, has played 187 games at shortstop, 75 games at second base and 12 games at third base as well as four games in the outfield.
Gonzalez hit .333 in limited action (nine at-bats) in three games for the Yankees and also pitched one third of an inning earlier this week against the Mariners. He had been working recently with bench coach Tony Pena at the catcher position in an emergency capacity behind Austin Romine while Chris Stewart is nursing a left groin injury.
Robinson Cano certainly made a big comeback in the 2013 World Baseball Classic from his disappointing 2012 postseason for the Yankees. The All-Star second baseman earned Most Valuable Player honors for his pivotal role in the Dominican Republic’s capturing the event.
“Well, this is something that you never are going to get done by yourself, so I want to thank the guys, my teammates, the manager, also the Dominican team for giving me that opportunity to be here with all these guys, all this great talent,” Cano said. “Without my teammates, I would have never won an MVP, so I would say it’s not only me, it’s about the whole team.”
Such an attitude is what the Yankees have always seen in Cano, a team-first guy. It was also a major accomplishment for another member of the Yankees family, bench coach Tony Pena, who served as the manager of his home country’s entry in the WBC, an event that has yet to connect as strongly with fans in the United States as fervently as with those in places beyond our borders.
“Now, Robinson Cano is starting to see himself like a leader,” Pena said. “He’s starting to see himself like giving direction to all the players and talking to the young players.”
Watching the DR beat Puerto Rico for the WBC title was akin to a World Cup soccer match, and throughout the tournament Cano was something to watch. He led all tournament players in hits with a record total of 15 while batting .469 with 4 doubles, 2 home runs, 6 RBI and 6 runs in 32 at-bats. Robinson became the first position player to be named MVP. Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka was the MVP of the first two WBC events.
Cano’s performance soothed some of the bitter taste he felt after last year’s two playoff rounds in which he was a combined 3-for-40 (.075) with 2 doubles and 4 RBI. He went into a slump at the absolutely wrong time of the year. It is hoped his WBC play will be a catalyst for Cano to get the Yankees off to a hot start to the 2013 season that is right around the corner.
Here is some more cool stuff about Raul Ibanez, the slugging hero of the Yankees’ 3-2, 12-inning victory over the Orioles Wednesday night in Game 3 of the American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium:
• Ibanez became the first player in major league history to hit two home runs in a postseason game with both coming in the ninth inning or later (includes, pinch-hit, game-tying, game-winning, etc.)
• His ninth-inning, game-tying pinch-hit homer was the first pinch homer of his postseason career. It was the 12th all-time pinch-hit postseason HR by a Yankees player and the first since Hideki Matsui Oct. 31, 2009 in Game 3 of the World Series at Philadelphia.
• He became the first player in franchise history to hit a pinch-hit home run in the ninth inning or later to tie the game or give the Yankees the lead. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Ibanez was sixth player in postseason history to hit a pinch homer in that situation. The others were Pat Sheridan (1985 Royals), Kirk Gibson (1988 Dodgers), Ed Sprague Jr. (1992 Blue Jays), Jim Leyritz (1998 Padres) and J.T. Snow (2000 Giants).
• Ibanez’s first postseason walk-off home run of his career was the 12th postseason walk-off homer in Yankees history (third in a Division Series game) and the first since Mark Teixeira Oct. 9, 2009 in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Twins at the Stadium. It came in the second latest inning of the 12 Yankees postseason “walk-off” HRs with only Leyritz’s 15th-inning homer Oct. 4, 1995 in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Mariners at the Stadium occurring later.
• It was the 23rd multi-homer postseason game in Yankees franchise history (by the 17th player) and first since Hideki Matsui Oct. 16, 2004 in Game 3 of the AL Championship Series at Boston. It was the third multi-homer ALDS game by a Yankees player (also Bernie Williams twice Oct. 6, 1995 in Game 3 at Seattle and Oct. 5, 1996 in Game 4 at Texas).
• It marked the seventh time (sixth player) that a Yankee hit a game-tying home run in the ninth inning or later in the postseason, and first since Alex Rodriguez did it twice in 2009 (Game 2 of the ALCS against the Angels and Game 2 of the ALDS against the Twins, all at the Stadium.
• Dating to Sept. 22, Ibanez has 18-for-42 (.429) with nine runs, three doubles, six home runs and 11 RBI in 13 games, including 4-for-9 (.444) against left-handed pitching.
• The walk-off homer off Brian Matusz was Ibanez’s first home run of any kind off a left-handed pitcher this season.
• Of Ibanez’s 21 home runs this year (19 in the regular season and two in the postseason), 11 have come in the seventh-inning or later and 12 have tied the score or given the Yanks the lead, including nine of his past 13 homers.
• Ibanez is the first player in baseball history to homer twice in a postseason game that he did not start.
• At 40, Ibanez became the oldest player in postseason history to hit a walk-off home run, surpassing current Yankees bench coach Tony Pena who did it in Game 1 of the ALDS in 1995 for the Indians against the Red Sox at Cleveland when he was 38.
Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira and new pitcher Derek Lowe were named to the Arizona Fall league Hall of Fame Tuesday, along with Rangers manager Ron Washington. All three men were at Yankee Stadium Tuesday night for the second portion of the four-game series between the clubs with the top two records in the American League.
Arizona Fall League director Steve Cobb said of the election, “Mark and Derek have been remarkably consistent professionals throughout their standout careers, and Ron has become one of the most respected managers in baseball.”
The Arizona Fall League, which was founded in 1992, formed its Hall of Fame in 2001 to honor the top major-league players and managers who honed their skills in the AFL. The selection committee, chaired by lone-time baseball executive Roland Hemond, based its appointments on individual achievement at the major-league level since participating in the Arizona Fall League.
Teixeira, who played for the Peoria Javelinas in 2002, is the fastest switch hitter to 300 career home runs and is also the first switch hitter to reach 30 home runs and 100 RBI in each of the past eight seasons (2004-11). Teixeira holds the major-league record of homering from each side of the plate in a game 13 times. Defensively, Tex is the AL career fielding percentage leader among first basemen with a minimum of 1,000 games. He is a two-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glove winner and three-time Silver Slugger recipient.
Lowe, who pitched for the Sun Cities Solar Sox in 1993 and Peoria Javelinas in 1995, is one of three pitchers with more than 160 victories and 80 saves, along with Dennis Eckersley and John Smoltz. Lowe is one of five Arizona Fall League pitchers to hurl a no-hitter, along with Jered Weaver, Clay Buchholz, Roy Halladay and Phil Humber. Lowe’s no-hitter in 2002 was the first at Fenway Park since 1965. He was the winning pitcher in all three clinching postseason games in 2004 when Boston went on to its first World Series championship since 1918.
Washington, who was a hitting coach for the Sun Cities Solar Sox in 1992 and the Tucson Javelinas in 1993, is the first manager in Rangers history to increase the team’s victory total in four consecutive seasons. He guided Texas to back-to-back World Series appearances in 2010 and ’11 and is the only manager in the history of the Rangers/Senators franchise (1961-2011) to win a postseason series.
The Arizona Fall League Hall of Fame increased its membership to 31 with the elections of Teixeira, Lowe and Washington. Other AFL Hall of Famers connected now or formerly with the Yankees are Derek Jeter, Jason Giambi, Alfonso Soriano and bench coach Tony Pena.
The Yankees continued HOPE Week Wednesday by treating a group of Haitian refugees aged 7 to 13 to the game against the Mariners at Yankee Stadium followed by a special tour of the city.
Pitchers CC Sabathia, Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon; catcher Jorge Posada; bench coach Tony Pena and bullpen coach Mike Harkey will join the Haitian children from a Queens school for a tour of Manhattan on a Gray Line double-decker bus leaving directly from the Stadium.
Stops will include the United Nations, where representatives of the body will greet the children, followed by the Empire State Building, where the children will participate in a ceremonial lighting of the building followed by a photo opportunity with the Yankees from the observation deck.
The children and Yankees will then re-board the bus to visit Times Square. The final stop will be at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where Archbishop Timothy Dolan will give a tour of the building and have dessert with the children in his private residence.
For 15 child refugees who endured the devastating earthquake in Haiti Jan. 12, 2010 were taken in by Sts. Joachim and Anne’s School in Queens Village. The children arrived in New York with nothing, having lost loved ones and been witness to unspeakable horrors.
All have taken to their new home and cherish their opportunity at an education. One child walks 45 minutes each way to school. Another, who lost both of his parents, dreams of becoming president of his homeland so he can rebuild his nation.
Even the school’s parochial vicar, Rev. Jean-Moise Delva, 34, was not spared tragedy as his Haitian elementary school collapsed, killing the parish priest who was his mentor.
The end to Joba Chamberlain’s 2011 season became official Friday with the announcement that the relief pitcher will undergo Tommy John surgery next week. Dr. James Andrews will perform the operation Thursday to repair a torn medial collateral ligament in Chamberlain’s right elbow.
Chamberlain’s youth (25) may work to his advantage, but the recovery period for Tommy John surgery is still around a year. The Yankees won’t project Joba’s return before the 2010 All-Star break.
On a less serious physical note, catcher Russell Martin was not in the starting lineup Friday night for the third consecutive game because of continued back spasms. Manager Joe Girardi said that there are no plans to consider placing Martin on the disabled list and bringing up another catcher at this time, or to consider using Jorge Posada behind the plate, except in dire emergency situations.
Backup catcher Francisco Cervelli was working with Girardi and bench coach Tony Pena, both former major-league catchers, on his throwing before the game. Cervelli has committed five errors in 13 games, compared to four errors in 49 games by Martin. Three of Cervelli’s errors came on bad throws in the last two games of the Red Sox series.
“It’s a mechanical issue,” Girardi said. “It’s a situation like with a pitcher that if your front shoulder flies out a little early, that ball is going to take off. It could even be just a second off and a catcher will have trouble controlling his throw. It’s a mechanical flaw that we have to correct.”
In a move designed to shore up the bullpen, the Yankees called up pitcher Kevin Whelan from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and optioned outfielder Chris Dickerson to the Triple A affiliate. Whelan, 27, was 1-1 with a 1.67 ERA and 18 saves for SWB. Dickerson batted .357 with two doubles and three RBI in 15 games and 14 at-bats for the Yankees. Whelan, a righthander, was acquired by the Yankees from the Tigers in the Gary Sheffield trade after the 2006 season.
Who would have thought that Mark Teixeira would be one of the healthiest guys in the Yankees clubhouse Wednesday night?
It looked mighty grim for Tex Tuesday night when he had to be assisted off the field by manager Joe Girardi and bench coach Tony Pena after being struck in the right knee by a pitch from Jon Lester in the first inning of Monday night’s 6-4 loss to the Red Sox. X-rays turned out negative, and just about everything else with Teixeira was positive.
Girardi got a text from Teixeira at 10 a.m. Wednesday that read, “I’m ready to go.”
In the clubhouse just before the start of batting practice, Teixeira, who wasn’t even limping, said, “I’m surprised at how good I feel.”
Normally, the pain of such an injury is worse the day after it happens; obviously, not this time.
The other medical news with the Yankees was not good. Reliever Joba Chamberlain was placed on the disabled list because of a strained right flexor muscle. The righthander had pitched with some tenderness in the right forearm for the past 10 days and felt Tuesday it was time to see the doctor. An MRI Wednesday revealed the ailment.
“I didn’t feel it when I pitched but after my arm would get tight,” Chamberlain said. “I had some treatment, ice and massage, but I just felt it was time to get something done.”
Chamberlain, who has a 2-0 record with a 2.83 ERA in 27 appearances totaling 28 2/3 innings, will do no throwing for 10 to 14 days, so this will not be the usual 15-day DL assignment. The Yankees are looking at being without him for three or four weeks.
Girardi was already dealing with the loss of Rafael Soriano (right elbow inflammation) with Chamberlain part of the restructured bullpen for the late innings. More of the load will now fall on David Robertson. Girardi also said that he needs lefthander Boone Logan and righthander Luis Ayala to help the Yankees get through this period.
The Yankees also optioned Hector Noesi to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, recalled Amauri Sanit from the Triple A affiliate and claimed Jeff Marquez off waivers from the White Sox. Sanit was with the Yankees for three games in May. Marquez was 3-4 with a 3.97 ERA for Triple A Charlotte. The righthander was originally in the Yankees organization and was part of the Nick Swisher trade with the White Sox after the 2008 season.
This was not really a demotion for Noesi, who pitched well (1-0, 1.76 ERA in 15 1/3 innings) but after having thrown six innings Tuesday night would not have been eligible to pitch again for four days. There is a good chance Noesi will be back with the Yankees sometime this season.
The Yankees were also without catcher Russell Martin and designated hitter Jorge Posada, which left Girardi with a two-man bench of outfielders Andruw Jones and Curtis Dickerson.
Martin required treatment for a sore back, but Girardi said he could play in an emergency. Posada, who took over for Teixeira Tuesday night and had three hits and an RBI, was with his son, Jorge III, who underwent another surgery for craniosynotosis, a birth defect in which the bones in the skull do not fuse correctly.
Backup infielder Eduardo Nunez was in the starting lineup at third base as Alex Rodriguez was the designated hitter.
It is certainly rare to see Jorge Posada enter a game as a pinch runner, and his appearance in that role in the first inning Tuesday night was not a good sign for the Yankees. Jorgie was called on in that unusual role for him because Mark Teixeira had to be replaced after he was struck on the right knee by a pitch from Jon Lester.
It was already a painful inning for the Yankees to that point because the Red Sox came out of the gate zooming and scored three runs in the top half against Freddy Garcia. Jacoby Ellsbury led off the game with a home run. After Dustin Pedroia walked, Adrian Gonzalez tripled to right-center. He scored on a fly ball by Kevin Youkilis.
Just like that, the Yankees were in a hole against their rival, one that grew deeper as Teixeira, their leading home run hitter and RBI man, had to be helped off the field by manager Joe Girardi and bench coach Tony Pena. The Yanks got a run back on a two-out single by Robinson Cano. Lester filled the bases by hitting another batter, Russell Martin, but a nice play at third base by Youkilis ruined Nick Swisher’s bid for a game-tying hit.
The Yankees’ streak of games in which their pitchers held the opposition to three runs or fewer ended in the second inning when Garcia allowed a fourth run on a double by Pedroia. It led to a move to the bullpen for Luis Ayala as Garcia’s 1 2/3-inning outing was the second briefest of his career.
Posada took over at first base for Teixeira, who is currently locked in a battle with Gonzalez for the starting assignment for the American League in the All-Star Game balloting. The Yankees still lead in all four infield positions, although Tex’s advantage over Gonzalez is the slimmest of the four.
The latest results show that Teixeira has around 65,000 more votes than Gonzalez. At the other positions, the Yanks are stronger, particularly at second base where Cano leads Pedroia by nearly one million votes. Cano is second overall in the AL balloting, only to Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista.
Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez each have leads of around 290,000 at shortstop and third base, respectively, over the Indians’ Asdrubal Cabrera and the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre. The Yankees have two other leaders in Martin behind the plate and Curtis Granderson in the outfield.
Martin is helped by the Twins’ Joe Mauer being on the 60-day disabled list. Mauer has played in nine games this year and still has 829,000 votes, almost 500,000 fewer than Martin. Granderson is second among the outfielders, behind Bautista and almost 500,000 votes ahead of the Rangers’ Josh Hamilton, who also missed a large chunk of time to injury.
Swisher ranks eighth and Brett Gardner 10th among outfielders. Posada is a distant third in the DH voting behind the Red Sox’ David Ortiz and the Rangers’ Michael Young.
Fans may cast their votes for starters up to 25 times exclusively at MLB.com and Yankees.com online or via their mobile devices with the 2011 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Sprint, which offers English and Spanish-language versions of the online ballot as well as audio CAPTCHA for visually-impaired fans. When the in-stadium phase of balloting concludes June 24, fans will have the opportunity to cast their ballots exclusively online at MLB.com and the 30 Club Web sites, including Yankees.com, until 11:59 p.m. Thursday, June 30.
The Yankees’ lineup seemed awfully short Thursday night without Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter in it. Manager Joe Girardi had no second thoughts about giving Jeter a blow even after knowing that Teixeira would be better served with a day off to give his jammed right shoulder time to heal.
Girardi is committed to making sure that Jeter and Alex Rodriguez not wear themselves out with overuse. They are getting to an age (DJ is 36, A-Rod 35) where a day away from the grind is a necessity to keep them fresh for the latter part of the season. As for Teixeira, he is responding well to treatment, but the shoulder is still sore. He said after Wednesday night’s game that it is very uncomfortable to swing a bat, so Girardi did the right thing to play it safe.
Moving into Jeter’s leadoff spot was Curtis Granderson. Brett Gardner had begun the season as the leadoff hitter against right-handed pitching, but the left fielder was fighting a 4-for-41 (.098) slump, so Girardi kept him lower in the order, in the 8-hole ahead of Eduardo Nunez, who got a start at shortstop.
Taking over the 3-hole for Teixeira was Robinson Cano, whom many consider a classic 3-hitter. Girardi was asked throughout spring training about whether he would move Cano, who usually bats fifth, into the 3-spot, but the manager has resisted and for what I think is good reason.
For one thing, what ain’t broke don’t need fixin’. Cano proved a reliable RBI man in the 5-hole last year, and there are worst places to put a switch hitter with power like Teixeira than third in the lineup. Cano has also been effective in the cleanup spot when A-Rod is out of the lineup. The second baseman’s versatility is a great strength for the Yankees.
They have struggled offensively in the series against the White Sox, who have gotten some solid pitching. The Yankees managed to take a 2-0 lead in the finale of the four-game set before they had a hit. Chicago starter Edwin Jackson experienced a bout of wildness in the third inning and walked four batters in a row, the last (Nick Swisher) driving in a run. Cano got the second run in with a fly ball.
The Yankees ended the hitless spell when Gardner opened the fifth with a home run to right. Nunez followed with a double off the left-field wall. Suddenly, the batting order had gained some length. Granderson tripled and Swisher singled as the Yankees hit for the cycle in four successive at-bats. You don’t see that every day.
And that was just the beginning. Cano and Rodriguez made it six hits in a row with a single and a double, respectively, off reliever Tony Pena. The Yankees didn’t make an out that inning until the 10th at-bat, a strikeout of Gardner, after a run-scoring single by Russell Martin and a bases-loaded walk to Jorge Posada had pushed the lead to 8-0.
Did CC Sabathia ever love this? The big guy has been pitching with very little wiggle room all year and enjoyed his first real cushion. Long innings can often work against a pitcher as he waits to get back on the mound. Sabathia started the sixth after a 32-minute bottom of the fifth with a walk to Carlos Quentin but recovered quickly with strikeouts of Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn.
Things got a bit sloppy in the seventh. Nunez’s second error and a balk by Sabathia fueled a three-run White Sox rally, but the Yankees got the runs back in the bottom half on a sacrifice fly by Gardner and a two-run homer by Swisher, his first ending a drought of 89 plate appearances.
That may settle Swish down. He admitted recently that he was trying to hit home runs because he was conscious of not having one yet. That is a dangerous mistake for a hitter. Now he can get back to focusing in on quality at-bats, of which he and his teammates had an abundance to earn a split in the series.
The runs off Sabathia were not earned, so the latest turn through the Yankees rotation was a manager’s delight – three earned runs in 35 1/3 innings (0.76 ERA) and an average of seven innings per start – a combination of quality and depth.
Ivan Nova has no beef this time.
Back on Sept. 3, the rookie righthander was not pleased about coming out of a game against the Blue Jays with two outs in the fifth inning, one out shy of what is required for a starting pitcher to qualify for a winning decision. Nova found himself in the same boat Tuesday night, but this time he was responsible for a huge leak and left manager Joe Girardi no choice but to take him out in a similar spot again.
Girardi’s hook of Nova two starts ago may have seemed swift, but not this time. Nova entered the fifth the beneficiary of a 6-0 lead as the Yankees knocked Rays starter Matt Garza out of the game in the top half. TV cameras showed Girardi pacing in the dugout as Tampa Bay worked itself back into the game that inning, starting with Carlos Pena’s 27th home run and continuing with a double, three singles and a walk.
At one point, it appeared that bench coach Tony Pena was pleading Nova’s case to Girardi, who waited one more batter, but when Matt Joyce singled to cut the deficit to 6-4 the Yankees skipper had no recourse. The move did not pay off, however, as lefthander Boone Logan surrendered a three-run home run to Willie Aybar that wiped out all of the Yankees’ advantage and put the Rays ahead, 7-6. It was the first time in 25 appearances since June 21 that Logan was scored on.
This was a whole different game from Monday night, a 1-0, 11-inning Rays victory that featured an eight-inning, scoreless duel between American League Cy Young Award candidates CC Sabathia and David Price. The second game of this three-game set between AL East contenders turned into a bullpen game.
Still playing without Brett Gardner (sore right wrist) and Nick Swisher (bruised left knee), the Yankees’ offense came alive. Robinson Cano reached base in each of his first four plate appearances, including his 27th home run and a double that tied the score at 7 in the sixth. Alex Rodriguez drove in two runs with a single and his 23rd home run (career No. 606). Curtis Granderson whacked a pair of doubles.
That seemed enough support for Nova, who allowed one hit and one walk in the first four innings and seemed to be pitching himself into consideration for possibly breaking into the post-season rotation. But that was before he had to be rescued by his manager.