Results tagged ‘ Triple A ’
As to the question that has been floating around as the July 31 trade deadline nears of whether the Yankees will be buyers or sellers, it was answered by general manager Brian Cashman Tuesday with the acquisition of third baseman Chase Headley from the Padres for infielder Yangervis Solarte, Class A Tampa pitcher Rafael De Paula and cash.
Let’s not carried away. Headley is no savior. Two years ago, the switch hitter, 30, finished fifth in the voting for the National League Most Valuable Player Award after leading the league in RBI with 115 and batting .286 with 31 home runs. He slipped to .250 with 13 home runs and 50 RBI a year ago, and this season has been plagued by back problems while hitting .229 with seven homers and 32 RBI.
Headley can be a free agent at season’s end, so he is in essence a rental player and one who has plenty of incentive to have a big finish and put up the kind of offensive numbers that will make him attractive in the open market over the winter and perhaps give the Yankees a lift in their pursuit of a postseason berth, preferably as the American League East division winner.
The Yankees’ signing of Solarte to a minor-league deal figured into this trade. They took a flier on an eight-year minor leaguer, who worked hard to make the team as a utility player and had a delirious six-week run early on that made him a feel-good story at the time and a valuable bargaining chip in trade negotiations.
Solarte, 27, batted .254 with 26 runs, 14 doubles, six home runs and 31 RBI in 75 games and 252 at-bats with the Yankees. He also played in five games with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and hit .600 with three doubles, one triple and five RBI in 20 at-bats.
De Paula, 23, was 6-5 with a 4.15 ERA in 20 games (17 starts) covering 89 innings for Tampa. He was originally signed by the Yankees as a minor-league free agent Nov. 18, 2010.
Headley was en route to New York from Chicago but was not expected at Yankee Stadium by game time. Kelly Johnson, who has shared third base with Solarte and Zelous Wheeler this year, found himself in right field for the first time as a major leaguer. With Mark Teixeira unavailable because of a left lat strain, Brian McCann started at first base with Francisco Cervelli behind the plate.
Watching Shane Greene on the mound Monday night made one wonder how much PFP is done in the minor leagues. PFP stands for pitchers’ fielding practice, an exercise dreaded by hurlers, especially during the heat of spring training.
It is pretty boring stuff, too, but there are times when pitchers are reminded why fielding their position is important. Greene, who has done a terrific job since his recall from Triple A Scranton, had a rough time of it in the third and fourth innings and was charged with three errors. That’s three Es for a guy with three of them in his last name.
Two of the misplays came in the second inning, but he escaped without damage. Greene dropped a feed from first baseman Kelly Johnson that allowed Leonys Martin to reach first base. With two out, Greene fielding a pepper shot by Jim Adduci , but his under-handed toss sailed over Johnson’s head. That put runners on second and third, but Greene redeemed himself by striking out Geovanny Soto.
An error cost the Yankees a run in the third, but this one was by Brian Roberts. With runners on first and third with one out, the second baseman dropped shortstop Derek Jeter’s throw that might have started a double play but instead allowed the runner from third to score. Again, Greene got a strikeout to minimize the damage and end the inning.
With two out in the fourth, Greene was at it again throwing to first base as if 6-foot-8 Dellin Betances was the fielder there. Greene fielded a dribbler by Soto and threw another sailer well out of Johnson’s reach. When Rougned Odor hit a tapper to the mound, the crowd roared its approval when Greene ran toward first base and made an accurate toss to Johnson for the final out.
It took five innings for the Yankees’ hits to catch up with their errors. Jacoby Ellsbury’s eighth home run of the season, a solo shot leading off the fourth against Texas starter Miles Mikolas, was only the Yankees’ second hit. They got to four to match their errors with singles by Francisco Cervelli and Zelous Wheeler. A walk to Brett Gardner loaded the bases, but Jeter grounded into a double play.
If many of those Rangers names seem strange, well, that is because so many of their regulars are injured. Texas has already had 51 different players, including 30 pitchers, on its roster this year. Both figures are records for prior to the All-Star break. The Rangers have sunk to the bottom of the American League West by losing 24 of their previous 28 games.
One of the dangers of a player being sent down to the minor leagues during a season is that he may pout and fall into a funk after he leaves the major league club. A manager always tells a player not to let that happen and that whatever he does down in the minors is watched closely so that he always has the chance of coming back.
Yangvervis Solarte obviously took that message from Yankees manager Joe Girardi to heart last week when he was farmed out to Triple A Scranton. Solarte is no stranger to the minor leagues, of course. He spent eight years there before making it with the Yankees out of spring training camp back in April.
In five games at Scranton, Solarte batted .600 with three doubles, a triple and five RBI in 20 at-bats. That’s right; he went 12-for-20 and had a 1.469 OPS in his brief time with the RailRiders. That earned him a recall Thursday and a return to the lineup at third base for the series finale at Cleveland.
Solarte was added to the roster because outfielder-designated hitter Carlos Beltran was placed on the seven-day concussion list after he suffered a broken nose during batting practice before Wednesday night’s game when a batted ball ricocheted off the side of the cage and struck him in the face.
“You don’t expect that to happen when you’re practicing,” Beltran said on. “I had a headache for the whole day. Now it’s getting better. Hopefully tomorrow it will get better and I could be back soon.”
Girardi said Beltran will not return until the Friday after the All-Star break, July 18, when the Yankees open an inter-league, weekend series against the Reds.
There was no update on the condition of pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, who is on the 15-day disabled list because of right elbow inflammation. Tanaka underwent an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and traveled to Seattle where Dr. Chris Ahmad, the Yankees’ team physician, is attending an orthopedist convention.
What a difference a venue makes. Well, that and pitching. The Yankees and the Mets combined to score 35 runs in the first two games of the Subway Series at Yankee Stadium but totaled only five runs in the next two games at Citi Field. After watching the Mets score 21 runs in the Bronx, the Yankees held them scoreless over the full 18 innings in Queens.
The Yanks won both games started by a pair of rookies, although Wednesday night’s winner, Masahiro Tanaka, is a first-year player only in terms of the major leagues. He pitched a gem for his first big-league complete game shutout to stop the Yankees’ four-game losing streak and six-game slide to the Mets over two seasons. That was followed by the major-league debut of Triple A call-up Chase Whitley, who also pitched scoreless ball for 4 2/3 innings and picked up his first major-league hit as well. He did not figure in the decision on his personal record but was a major part of the 1-0 victory.
The winning decision went to Dellin Betances, who put on one helluva show. After getting the final out of the fifth inning to bail out Whitley, Betances faced six more batters over the next two innings and struck out all of them. David Robertson was called on later to get a four-out save. He did not disappoint in retiring the four batters he faced, two on strikeouts.
The Mets also had a starting pitcher make his big-league debut in righthander Jacob deGrom, who earned a spot in the rotation with seven innings of one-run, four-hit, two-walk, six-strikeout pitching. He, too, also got his first hit and the first by any Mets pitcher this year in 65 at-bats. The only run might have been avoided except for a curse that comes with the in-vogue strategy of today’s game, the infield over-shift.
Brian McCann appeared to have grounded into a double play in the seventh inning when he hit a grounder to the right side with one out and one on. With the Mets over-shifting, third baseman David Wright had to make the pivot to first base from second. Not used to making that throw, Wright made a side-armed toss to first that had little muscle and went into the dirt as well. First baseman Lucas Duda could not make the scoop, and McCann was safe at first base. In defense of Duda and Wright, they teamed on a tremendous double play that ended Monday night’s game at the Stadium. They did not strike lightning twice.
That kept the inning alive for Alfonso Soriano, who got the hardest hit ball off deGrom, a double to left-center that sent the heavy-legged McCann huffing and puffing around the bases for a run that proved very precious.
Thursday night’s finale of the 2014 Subway Series at Citi Field featured the unusual pairing of pitchers making their major-league debuts against each other, the Yankees’ Chase Whitley, who was called up from Triple A Scranton, and the Mets’ Jacob deGrom, a Triple A Las Vegas call-up.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the previous time that both pitchers made their big-league debuts was Sept. 7, 2010 when the Mets’ Dillon Gee opposed the Nationals’ Yunesky Maya at Washington. deGrom followed the major-league debut of teammate Rafael Montero, Thursday night’s losing pitcher. The previous major-league team that had starting pitchers make their debuts in consecutive games was the Brewers in 2002 (Ben Diggins Sept. 2 in the second game of a doubleheader and Dave Pember Sept. 3). The last time it happened before rosters expand in September was in 2001 by the Cubs’ Carlos Zambrano Aug. 20 in the second game of a twin bill and Juan Cruz Aug. 21.
The last time the Yankees were involved in a game in which both starters made their big league debuts was all the way back to Oct. 6, 1908 at Boston when the Highlanders’ Andy O’Connor was paired with the Red Sox’s Doc McMahon at the Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds.
Elias also uncovered some gems concerning Masahiro Tanaka’s first complete-game shutout Thursday night, a 4-0 four-hitter. The Japanese righthander joined Andy Pettitte as the second Yankees starter with a complete-game shutout over the Mets, joining Andy Pettitte in an 8-0 victory June 30, 2002. Tanaka has a 6-0 record and 66 strikeouts in his first eight career games with the Yankees. No other pitcher to debut since 1900 has had at least 60 strikeouts while earning at least six victories in his first eight appearances in the majors.
Tanaka is also the first pitcher since 1900 to strike out at least 60 hitters while allowing fewer than 10 walks in his first eight career games. He is the second Yankees pitcher to be undefeated with at least six victories through eight games in the majors. The other was Vic Raschi, who started 7-0 for the Yanks over the 1946 and ’47 seasons. The only other active pitcher who was 6-0 or better through his first eight career games is the Angels’ Jered Weaver (7-0 in 2006). Tanaka is also the first pitcher to win his first six decisions as a starter with the Yankees since Aaron Small went 8-0 in his first nine starts with the club in 2005. Small played for five teams before joining the Yankees.
Both clubs placed key players on the disabled list before the game. The Yankees disabled right fielder Carlos Beltran, who has bone spurs in his right elbow. Mets catcher Travis d’Arnau, who was struck in the helmet by Alfonso Soriano’s backswing earlier in the week, was placed on the 7-day concussion DL.
Thursday also marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of former Yankees publicist Bob Fishel, who led the department from 1954-73, a tenure that spanned three different ownership groups (Dan Topping/Del Webb, CBS and George M. Steinbrenner). He worked with managers Casey Stengel, Ralph Houk, Yogi Berra and Johnny Keane. Fishel left the Yankees after the 1973 season to become the PR director of the American League. The annual award presented by Major League Baseball to the PR director of the year is named in Bob’s honor.
There were some new faces in the Yankees clubhouse Sunday plus some familiar faces that had been in the minors recently. On the day active rosters are allowed to expand from 25 to up to 40 players, the Yankees recalled pitchers Dellin Betances and Brett Marshall and infielder David Adams from Triple A Scranton.
Also brought up were pitcher Cesar Cabral, whose contract was purchased from Scranton, and catcher J.R. Murphy, who signed a major league contract and was selected off the Scranton roster. To create roster space for Cabral and Murphy, the Yankees transferred infielder Jayson Nix (fractured left hand) to the 60-day disabled list and released outfielder Melky Mesa. Pitcher Preston Claiborne is expected to join the team Monday when the Yankees open a three-game series against the White Sox.
About the added personnel, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said, “Just contribute any way they can is the bottom line. It can be one hitter, it can be one at-bat; could play one inning. Any way you could help us out is all we’re asking you to do.”
That said, Girardi reiterated his dislike of the expanded-roster period and belief that each game managers should have to designate which 25 players are eligible to play that day. It is an idea worth pursuing by Major League Baseball which to this point it has not.
More reinforcements are coming for the Yankees. Barring injury, Derek Jeter will return to the Yankees Monday night when they open a three-game series at Toronto’s Rogers Centre. The Captain is on an injury-rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Scranton and was to play seven innings at shortstop Saturday night. He is expected to go through a light workout Sunday and then fly to Toronto to rejoin the Yankees.
Jeter was 0-for-3 with a walk Friday night and showed that his legs are back in shape by scoring on a wild pitch. He was out the entire first half while recovering from two bone fractures in his left ankle and was disabled again after coming back due to a right quadriceps strain.
The Yankees had more good news regarding Brett Gardner, who was hit in the right hand by a pitch from the Rays’ Chris Archer in Friday night’s 7-2 loss. X-rays were negative. Gardner was not in the lineup Saturday night, but it had nothing to do with his hand and everything to do with David Price being the opposing pitcher.
Manager Joe Girardi said that whenever a lefthander opposes the Yankees at least one of the three left-handed hitting outfielders has to be on the bench. Girardi chose to go with Curtis Granderson, who has four career home runs against Price, and Ichiro Suzuki, who entered the game with a 1-for-3 history against Price. Gardner, who is 2-for-14 (.143) in his career against Price, was essentially bitten by the computer.
Girardi was also forced to use Mark Reynolds at first base against Price because Lyle Overbay was still down with the flu. Reynolds had only four hits in 24 at-bats (.167) in his career against Price, but three of the hits were home runs. Overbay is 4-for-12 (.333) off Price.
The Yankees got some good news Wednesday. Derek Jeter will begin an injury-rehabilitation assignment Thursday night at Triple A Scranton. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that the captain will play five innings at shortstop Thursday night and that there is no timetable for his return to the Yankees.
There has been speculation that Jeter might join the team in St. Petersburg, Fla., for the coming weekend series against the Rays, but Girardi shot that down. “We’ll just see how he responds day to day,” the skipper said.
That makes sense. Jeter has been forced back on the disabled twice this season trying to come back from two fractures in his left ankle. In each case, his legs did not prove strong enough to play on a regular basis.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman issued a statement Wednesday regarding reports that Alex Rodriguez had Dr. Michael Gross, an orthopedic surgeon from Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, review the MRI on the third baseman’s left quadriceps muscle.
“I heard via a text message this afternoon from Alex Rodriguez that he had retained a doctor to review his medical situation. In media reports, we have since learned that the doctor in question has acknowledged that he did not examine Mr. Rodriguez and that he was not retained to do a comprehensive medical examination of Mr. Rodriguez. Contrary to the Basic Agreement, Mr. Rodriguez did not notify us at any time that he was seeking a second opinion from any doctor with regard to his quad strain.
“As you know, it is the Yankees’ desire to have Alex return to the lineup as soon as possible. And we have done everything to try and accomplish this.
“As early as Friday, July 12, when I suggested to Alex that we move his rehab from Tampa to Triple-A Scranton [at Buffalo], Alex complained for the first time of ‘tightness’ in his quad and therefore refused to consent to the transfer of his assignment. Again, last Sunday, Alex advised that he had stiffness in his quad and should not play Sunday or Monday. We sent Alex to New York-Presbyterian Hospital for an MRI which evidenced a Grade 1 strain.
“As always, we will follow the rules and regulations set forth in the Basic Agreement, and will again re-evaluate Alex in Tampa [Thursday] as our goal is to return him to the lineup as soon as he is medically capable of doing so.”
The anticipated return to the Yankees this week of third baseman Alex Rodriguez ran into a detour Sunday when an MRI performed by Dr. Chris Ahmad, the team physician, at New York-Presbyterian Hospital revealed a Grade 1 strain of his left quadriceps. That is the same condition that landed shortstop Derek Jeter on the 15-day disabled list last week.
Rodriguez, who was on an injury-rehabilitation assignment at Triple A Scranton, did not play Saturday night after reporting tightness in the quad. The three-time American League Most Valuable Player had been scheduled to rejoin the Yankees Monday in Arlington, Texas, where they open a four-game series against the Rangers. A-Rod had to go to New York instead and now will return to the Yankees’ minor-league facility at Tampa for rest and treatment.
He issued a statement through his personal publicist that read, “I am extremely disappointed with the results of the MRI and hoping to be back as soon as possible and continue with my goal of coming back and helping the Yankees win a championship.”
Since Sunday was the last day of Rodriguez’s 20-day rehab, he must remain on the DL and is no longer eligible to play in minor-league games because the 20-day window has expired but he will not be reinstated to the 25-man roster. The Yankees may petition Major League Baseball for an additional rehab assignment for Rodriguez due to this new injury.
In 13 minor-league games for four Yankees farm clubs, Rodriguez batted a combined .200 with one double, two home runs, eight RBI, one walk and 12 strikeouts in 40 at-bats.