Sunday, April 20, 2014

Weekend News Recap

So how'd everyone's weekend go?  Mine started off fine with a trip to Madison with the girlfriend to celebrate our 1-year anniversary and it ended with me catching a nasty stomach virus, like a "no food or drink staying down, run to the bathroom every 20-30 minutes" kind of stomach virus (TMI).  That being the case, I wasn't able to fire the comp up to cover the happenings of the last day or so, but here's my way of making up for it.

- The Yanks got shellacked by the Rays on Saturday, 16-1 in another ugly outing for Ivan Nova and the bullpen.  Nova actually left the game early with an elbow problem and today it was reported that he has a partially torn UCL in his right elbow.

- That injury all but guarantees Tommy John Surgery for him and the end of his 2014 season.  The Yanks will have to replace him in the rotation and with Vidal Nuno pitching in a spot start today, he makes the most sense.

- Between the injury and the bullpen taking it on the chin again, the Yanks had to make some roster moves.  Preston Claiborne and Bryan Mitchell were called up to fortify the bullpen and replace Nova on the active roster.  Matt Daley was DFA'd.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Remodeled Bullpen Coming Soon

They haven't been bad often, but when they have the Yankee bullpen has been really bad this season.  The prime example of that is Cesar Cabral, who gave up 3 runs on 3 hits and 3 hit batsmen last night without recording an out.  That was enough of a nothing in his all-or-nothing performance trend to earn him a demotion, which came by way of DFA after the game.  Matt Daley was called up from Triple-A to take his place and could see action as early as tonight.

Because of the rainout earlier in the week, the Yankees will need a 6th starter for tomorrow's game.  All indications are that Vidal Nuno will get that start and when he does it will likely be his last appearance for the Major League club for a while.  David Robertson is scheduled to pitch in an ExST game today and if he does so without any problems, he'll likely be activated off the DL on Tuesday.  With Nuno needing a few days off after making a start, he's a shoo-in to get sent down to Triple-A to clear a 25-man spot for D-Rob.

Aaron Judge Says Hello

His was easily the most anticipated debut of the 2014 MiL season after a hamstring injury kept him off the field post-signing in 2013.  Aaron Judge finally showed why the other night with that massive home run over the scoreboard in left.  He's off to a solid start average (.298) and on-base-wise (.441, 20.3% BB rate).  All that was missing was the power.  Well not anymore.  Hopefully that was the start of some more moonshots for Judge and hopefully we see him get bumped up to High-A Tampa soon.  When you're built like an NBA power forward and you're walking in over 20% of your plate appearances, there's probably not much to be learned at the Low-A level.

Game 17 Wrap-Up: TB 11 NYY 5

(That's the look of a man who knows he's getting DFA'd if I've ever seen one.  Courtesy of the AP)

I guess the Yanks were due for another bullpen meltdown.  After getting out to an early lead behind Hiroki Kuroda, they slowly let the Rays back into the game in the middle innings.  Despite holding a 2-run lead heading into the bottom of the 7th, they couldn't hold on for a 6th straight win and instead ended up taking a near blowout loss thanks to some truly atrocious relief work.

Game Notes:

- They grabbed that early lead in the top of the 2nd against Tampa starter Erik Bedard.  2 singles and a botched fielder's choice loaded the bases with nobody out and Scott Sizemore unloaded them with a 3-run double.  A Brett Gardner RBI groundout plated Sizemore and made it 4-0.

- Kuroda looked pretty good through 3, working around putting the leadoff runner on 2 innings in a row thanks to a pair of timely double plays.  He cracked in the 4th though, giving up a walk, a single, and a 2-run double to James Loney, all with 2 outs.

- Command inconsistencies plagued Hirok through the next few innings.  His day ended before he could get out of the 6th when he couldn't finish off another 2-out situation and allowed another RBI hit to cut the lead to 4-3.

- The dormant offense woke up in the top of the 7th when Jacoby Ellsbury created a run by singling, stealing second base, and coming around on an Alfonso Soriano base knock.  That extra run should have been insurance for the 'pen.  It ended up being not nearly enough.

- Once again, it was a failure to finish off an inning that doomed the Yankees.  Matt Thornton gave up a single and handed the ball to Adam Warren with runners on the corners in the bottom of the 7th.  Warren let 3 runs score on 2 singles and a walk before ending the frame.

- It got even uglier in the 8th when Warren and Cesar Cabral combined for 5 more runs allowed.  Cabral didn't even retire a batter and hit 3.  You guessed it, all 5 runs came with 2 outs.  Tough to win with pitching like that.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 4/18/14

Doing Easter Sunday with the girlfriend's family this weekend.  It'll gives me the chance to meet her aunt who hooked me up with all my presale tickets for the Yanks-Brewers series next month (and pay her for said tickets), but it also poses a possible playoff hockey dilemma.  Rangers-Flyers Game 2 is Sunday at 11 AM Central, so I'm trying to figure out how to balance the necessary social interaction with the fam while still getting my Rangers fix in.  Now that Time Warner has eliminated CNBC from their basic cable package, I wasn't able to watch Game 1.  It's all terrible vexing.  Now onto the links!

- On Monday, Chad Jennings of LoHud pondered the second base situation in light of Brian Roberts' back injury and slow start.

- On Tuesday, el duque of It Is High... looked at the organizational depth at first base to see what the Yankees next move would be if both Teix and Kelly Johnson got hurt.

- Matt Bove of IIATMS/TYA broke down Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury's solid starts and how they're both living up to their new contracts early on.

- On Wednesday, Chris Mitchell of Pinstripe Pundits examined the downside to Kelly Johnson having to sub at first base.

- Joe Vitulli of Yanks Go Yard commented on Ichiro's hot start and how well he seems to be handling his new limited bench role.

- On Thursday, Vizzini of NoMaas provided plenty of valid reasons for why people should not freak out about CC Sabathia's start to the season.

- Mike Axisa of RAB analyzed the the Yankees' new shift strategy and how it's impacted their defensive effectiveness and their opponents' hitting performance against them.

- On Friday, Daniel Burch wondered what the Yankees will do with their infield when Brendan Ryan returns from the DL.  He's tagged Dean Anna as the odd man out.

It came to my attention that there has been a glaring lack of female artists on the Friday Jam mix.  In fact, I haven't had a chick on for the Friday Jam since June of 2012.  Let's rectify that, shall we?  Boom!  Little "Magic Man" right in your grillmix.  2 chicks at the same time.

Enjoy your Easter weekends, everybody.

The Talented Mr. Solarte

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

So Yangervis Solarte is really getting it done, huh?

- .373 batting average (2nd in AL)
- .444 wOBA (3rd in AL)
- 193 wRC+ (4th in AL)
- 19 hits (6th in AL)
- 7 doubles (2nd in AL)

The .429 BABIP is still unsustainably high, but there's reason to believe this is more than just Solarte getting lucky in a small sample size.  He's got a 10.3% BB rate and a 13.8% K rate, so he's displaying an understanding of the strike zone and some good contact skills.  He popped his first career home run last night too, and his .196 ISO is more than good enough to get it done in an everyday or bench role.  Eventually the BIP luck is going to turn and his numbers will go down.  For now though, he's fun to watch and he's giving the Yankees way more than they hoped for.  Strange to say, but he might be the most popular Yankee in town right now.

Bing, Bang, Boom

(Courtesy of Deadspin)

Poetry in motion right there.  Solarte (who's not a natural third baseman) with no hesitation going to the third base bag, Roberts with a quick turn at second, and Sizemore (who was playing his first career game at first base) with a nifty scoop at first.  It would have been ludicrous to suggest it at the time, but looking back on it now, that was probably the game.  Once Tampa came out of that inning with no runs, they didn't have a chance to keep up with the Yankee offense.

P.S.- I'd call this "amazing" but this is kinda CC's thing.  3rd triple play he's had turned behind him since joining the Yankees.  Wild stuff.

Game 16 Wrap-Up: NYY 10 TB 2

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

Everything was groovy for the Yankees heading into Tampa for a 4-game series against the Rays.  They were winners of 4 straight and 8 of 12 since the season-opening 1-2 series in Houston, their pitching staff was clicking on all cylinders, they had Derek Jeter back at shortstop, they got Brian Roberts back at second base, and they were planning to have Mark Teixeira back on Sunday.  Last night's series opener featured each team's big lefty, CC Sabathia for the Yanks and David Price for the Rays.  It was all Sabathia on this night.

Game Notes:

- Price wasn't close to anything resembling his best and the Yanks jumped on him early.  2 singles and a walk netted them a run in the top of the 1st, and a double, 2 triples (Roberts and Ellsbury), and another single got them 3 in the 2nd.

- CC was better than Price, but he needed some help to stay scoreless.  He got it in the 2nd when Yangervis Solarte started a triple play to end the inning.  He helped himself out by K'ing Desmond Jennings to strand 2 in the 3rd.

- Sabathia got another big help with a double play ball in the 4th, but with 2 outs Brian McCann let a ball get by him and the Rays got on the board.

- No matter.  McCann got the run back and then some when he and Alfonso Soriano hit back-to-back HR in the top of the 5th to make it a 6-1 Yankee lead.  Price wasn't beating guys with his fastball and he could not get his changeup down in the zone.

- The Yanks added 1 in the 6th and 1 in the 7th to put the game out of reach.  CC gave up another HR for his only ER of the night and exited after 7.  Dellin Betances was a little shaky behind him in the 8th, but a Solarte 2-run shot in the 9th sealed the deal.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Injury Updates: Teix, D-Rob, Ryan

Got a trio of updates on the injured Major Leaguers who are close to returning, courtesy of Chad Jennings:

Mark Teixeira- Played 3 innings in an ExST game this afternoon at the team complex and came through with no hamstring issues.  He's scheduled to play 5 innings tomorrow, a few on Saturday, and then rejoin the team Sunday.

David Robertson- Threw a 25-pitch bullpen session this afternoon and felt good.  He'll pitch in an ExST game on Saturday and if he comes through that fine he'll be activated on Tuesday.

Brendan Ryan- Apparently he's farther along than I released.  Joe said he's been taking swings and he could get into an ExST game on Saturday as well.  Because he missed so much time in ST, the Yanks will let him get more MiL ABs to get his timing back.  No exact timetable for his return, but it could be by early May.

Basking In The Good Pitching Afterglow

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

Quality of opponent being what it was, yesterday's doubleheader shutout was still a splendid performance by the Yankee pitching staff.  They got very good to outstanding outings from 2 25-year-old starters and some solid bullpen work from a bunch of mostly young and unheralded pitchers all working in higher-leverage roles thanks to the closer being on the DL.  It was a continuation of what has quickly been established as the norm for this group since the opening week of the season.  These guys can pitch, all of them, and they've been the driving force behind the Yankees' early success.

The Yanks open a weekend series tonight in Tampa with the 2nd best record in the American League, a place atop the AL East, and they've done it mainly on the back of their pitching staff while the new lineup continues to work out the kinks and find its way.  It's a very refreshing change of pace from where the rotation was early in the year last season, and I'd like to take a few moments to enjoy it.

Report: Teix Slated For 3 Rehab Innings Today

 The next best bit of good news after the 2-0, double shutout, doubleheader sweep yesterday was the news above on Mark Teixeira.  He went to Tampa earlier in the week to ramp up his rehab work on his strained hamstring and based on this report, it sounds like he's going to be golden to come off the DL on Sunday as he originally planned.  Teix will play 3 innings in a MiL game today, most likely for the Tampa Yankees.  I'm not sure if it will be at first base or DH, but considering he participated in full batting practice and ran the bases yesterday, I'd say first is more likely.

Barring any setbacks after today's game, I expect the Yanks to play him in a few more rehab games through Saturday and then activate him for the series finale in Tampa on Sunday.  The wins yesterday were great, but don't forget that the offense only scored 5 runs in those 2 games.  They could definitely use Teix's presence and bat back in the lineup ASAP.

Game 15 Wrap-Up: NYY 2 CHC 0

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

Tanaka put the Cubs lineup in a body bag in game 1 of yesterday's doubleheader, carving them up with a sick mix of 4-seamers, sinkers, slide pieces, and splitsvilles.  He passed the baton to Michael Pineda for the second game, and Pineda picked up right where Tanaka left off.  There were 18 innings of baseball played by the Yankees and Cubs yesterday.  The Cubs didn't score a run in any of them.

Game Notes:

- The story early was missed opportunities for the lineup.  They couldn't capitalize on a 2 on/2 out situation in the 1st, they wasted a leadoff single in the 2nd, and they couldn't push a run across with runners on the corners and 1 out in the 3rd.

- Luckily for them, Big Mike was on his game again.  He cruised through the first 3 innings by retiring the first 7 batters he faced, then squashed a potential 2-out rally with a strike 'em out-throw 'em out double play to end the 4th.  His cutter looked good and he was using the changeup well against lefties.

- The Yanks finally broke through for a run in the bottom of the 4th when John Ryan Murphy and Brett Gardner strung together a pair of 2-out base hits.  Scott Sizemore, hitless in the first game, scored the run after a base knock of his own.

- Things got a little sticky for Pineda in the 5th when he put the first 2 runners on, but he worked out of the jam with a strikeout and a flyout and finished his night with 6 scoreless innings.  Another great outing.

- Sizemore scored the first run and he drove in the second in the bottom of the 5th.  It was another 2-out RBI single, all the offense the bullpen would need.

- The rested 'pen was solid in relief of Pineda.  David Phelps worked 1.1 scoreless, Matt Thornton got the 2 lefties he was brought in to face out, and Adam Warren picked up the save in the 9th.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Game 14 Wrap-Up: NYY 3 CHC 0

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

The bad weather yesterday threw a wrench into the Yankees' plans for this weekend.  But as far as this short 2-game series against the Cubs was concerned, all it did was serve to delay the inevitable.  Masahiro Tanaka made his 3rd start today, a half-day later than he was scheduled to, and he didn't show any ill effects of the delay.  In fact, he was downright supreme in his mastery of the Cub lineup.  Hmmmmm, who predicted that was going to happen?  Oh that's right!

Game Notes:

- He didn't have to wait long for run support.  Carlos Beltran, hitting in the 2-spot again with Jeter sitting for the day game, popped a solo HR in the bottom of the 1st to give the Yanks a quick 1-0 lead.

- Tanaka immediately made that lead stand up by retiring 15 of the 16 batters he faced after the 1st.  The lone baserunner came on a bunt single in the 2nd that required a replay overturn to count.  Outside of that, he shut the Cubs down with a sick mix of sinkers, 4-seamers, and splitters.

- The lineup didn't generate much more offense against Chicago starter Jason Hammel, but they did enough.  They loaded the bases in the 4th on a pair of singles and a Solarte walk and plated a run on a Dean Anna sac fly, then scored another in the 5th on a Brett Gardner leadoff double and a pair of groundouts.

- The 1 would have been fine for Tanaka.  He allowed a leadoff single in the 7th but then finished strong with 6 straight outs through the end of the 8th, including 3 consecutive strikeouts to give him 10 on the day.

- Shawn Kelley came on in the 9th for the save and once again handled it with relative ease.  1 hit, 1 strikeout on a slider to end things, and the Yankees had the first game of the day.

Hal Is Drinking The Small Sample Size Kool-Aid

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

Yesterday's rainout gave everybody an extra day to process the first 13 games and form some more opinions on what this team needs right now.  Obviously the infield is the biggest area of concern, but not according to Hal Steinbrenner.  Speaking to reporters for what I believe is the first time since the regular season started, Hal shared his thoughts on the Yankees' current infield situation.  They were unanimously positive:

"I'm pretty content with our infield right now.  I think guys like Anna and Solarte have been pleasant surprises. Kelly Johnson has been good. Derek is healthy. So so far, so good. But it's early."

Nothing to really argue with there.  If I wanted to pick nits, I could say that calling Derek Jeter "healthy" when he just had to miss a few games due to a sore quad is a bit of a stretch, but I won't go there.  Hal's basically right about everybody he mentioned in that statement.  Anna and Solarte have been unexpected surprises, Johnson has been very good at the plate and better than anticipated at the corner infield spots, and Jeter has been relatively healthy and productive through 2 weeks.  But Teix is out, Cervelli is out, Brendan Ryan is out, and Brian Roberts will be out for a yet to be determined amount of time.  That should be enough injuries to put the Yankees in the market for some more infield help, right?  Wrong.

Cash Explains The Murphy Decision

Via Chad Jennings:

“He’s the No. 1 catcher in Triple-A.  And we had a real need where, when McCan isn’t playing, he’s going to play. … Now that we’re in a situation where when the No. 1 catcher isn’t there, the backup is obviously the starter, we’re going to take the best player.”

Pretty cut and dry, and logically 100% right.  Murphy is the guy in Triple-A now, not Romine, and so he should get called up when the Major League club needs a backup catcher.  As much as playing every day in Triple-A might help him sharpen his skills, it's not like Murphy is not going to be playing at all as McCann's backup and it's not like he's not going to learn a ton and have the same opportunity to improve his skills working with and against better players and more experienced coaches.  Bring him up, let him get regular backup reps, and start to get an idea of what kind of Major League ceiling he has.  Makes perfect sense to me.

Doubleheader Day News And Notes

Ernie Banks must be a happy man today.  His Cubs and the Yankees will play their 2-game series as a 1-day doubleheader after being rained out last night.  Here's what you need to know to be prepared:

- The rotation order will not change for New York.  Masahiro Tanaka will pitch the afternoon game and Michael Pineda will pitch the nightcap.

- Because this game is happening with less than 48 hours notice, neither team will be able to add a 26th man to their active rosters.

- Because of the rainout yesterday, the Yanks will need another starter on Sunday in place of Tanaka.  He'll get back on his regular rest schedule thanks to the off-day next Monday.

- Derek Jeter is still scheduled to play today, although probably not in both games.  Sounds like Brian Roberts will be held out.

- Because they missed out on honoring Jackie Robinson yesterday, both teams will wear number 42 in the night game tonight.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Report: Yanks Now Planning To Call Up Murphy And Sizemore (UPDATED)

Hey, so you know that post I wrote earlier this morning about what it meant for the Yankees to call up John Ryan Murphy and Russ Canzler?  Yeah forget all that.  Via Sweeny Murti and confirmed by Dan Barbarisi, the plan has changed to replace Canzler with Scott Sizemore.

Sizemore is hitting .344/.436/.500 in 39 Triple-A PA with 4 XBH, 5 RBI, and 16 Ks.  He's played 5 games at third base for the RailRiders, 2 at second, and been the DH for 3.  Originally expected by some (read: me) to be the Opening Day utility infielder, Sizemore ended up falling out of the competition due to some lingering leg stiffness and lack of ST reps.  He has an opt-out clause in his MiL deal that kicks in on May 1st, so it does make sense for the Yankees to see what they've got in him before then.

Not sure how this will change Joe's plans for the infield for the rest of the week.  I have to assume Kelly Johnson stays at first base now, Sizemore and Solarte will play second and third, and Jeter and Anna will handle short.  Murphy would have given them some more third base insurance, so I kinda would have preferred Canzler, but whatever.  It's hard to pick nits when we're talking about Quad-A guys.

** UPDATE 11:52 AM- Confirmed by the team.  Murphy and Sizemore up, Cervelli to the 60-day DL. **

The Implications Of The Murphy And Canzler Call-Ups

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

Bryan Hoch tweeted that out last night, after it was reported that John Ryan Murphy, and not Austin Romine, would get called up to replace Francisco Cervelli as the Major League backup catcher.  It has yet to be reported by any other beat guy or confirmed by the team itself, but I have to imagine this is the decision that will be made.  When the Yankees take the field tonight against the Cubs, they will be back to full strength.  Well, at least in terms of number of healthy bodies on the active roster.  That's better than where they were at on Sunday night.

While these moves provide the obvious benefit of getting the Yanks back to a standard 5-man bench/7-man 'pen roster breakdown and filling in the cracks on their injured infield, it's what's between the lines that is the real story here.  The decisions to call up Murphy and Canzler tell us a little bit about what else might be happening on the roster and in the front office.

What To Expect From Tanaka Tomorrow

(Courtesy of the AP)

Masahiro Tanaka returns to the hill tonight tomorrow for his 3rd Major League start.  His first 2 have been nothing short of impressive.  He's shown good velocity, next-level movement, plus command, competitiveness, and as evidenced by Mike Axisa's post on RAB yesterday, the mind for the game and balls to throw any pitch in any situation.

How he's gone about showing all those things off in 2 games has been fun to watch.  On 4/4 against the Blue Jays, Tanaka threw 97 pitches and managed to throw all 7 of the pitches he knows: 30 sinkers, 24 splitters, 18 sliders, 12 4-seam fastballs, 7 curveballs, 5 cutters, and 1 changeup.  He showed off the whole arsenal to a deep and powerful lineup, got 13 swinging strikes, 8 Ks, and a win.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday Evening Injury Update Roundup (UPDATED)

There was a swirling torrent of injuries yesterday.  Here's the latest on all of them from today:

- Via Dan Barbarisi, last night's MRI revealed a Grade II strain of Francisco Cervelli's right hamstring.  He's been put on the DL and is expected to miss at least 4-6 weeks.  Shane Greene was optioned to Triple-A and Austin Romine likely will be called back up to take Cervelli's spot.

- Brian McCann had an x-ray done on his right ring finger after having that HBP ball hit him late in last night's game, and luckily that one came back negative.  He'll be fine.

- Apparently Yangervis Solarte took an inadvertent shot to the man region on that play at first base last night, hence the limp and pained reaction.  Nothing wrong with his groin.  He's good to go.

- Haven't heard anything on Jeter or Roberts, so I'm assuming Jeter is still playing tomorrow.  My guess is that Roberts will not and the Greene send down was to clear another roster spot for his non-40 man replacement.

** UPDATE 8:26 PM- Via Barbarisi again, it's actually John Ryan Murphy getting the call up instead of Romine.  Guess the Yankees really want to see what this kid can do. **

Random Thoughts & Afterthoughts From The First Two Weeks

(Gotta be the early leader for play of the year, no?  Courtesy of Getty Images)

The opening 2 weeks of the 2014 regular season have come and gone, and there's already an abundance of things to talk about in Yankeeland.  The Bombers woke up this morning atop the AL East, albeit as part of a 3-way tie with the Blue Jays and Rays.  Considering all the injury problems they've had to deal with and the slow start the heart of their order got off to, I'm more than happy to see them where they are with a 7-6 record.  The starting pitching has been very good (1st in MLB in IP, 2nd in BB/9, 10th in K/9, tied for 9th in fWAR), the offense is starting to heat up and really hasn't been as horrible as their run total might indicate (.335 team wOBA is 6th best in MLB), and they've gotten just enough from their makeshift bullpen (specifically Kelley, Warren, and Betances) to not have the loss of D-Rob be a total disaster.

While the team rests up and ices down in preparation for their interleague series with the Cubs tomorrow, here are some of my thoughts on what we've seen in the first 2 weeks.

Yanks Limping (Literally) Into Their First Off-Day

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

Very often in sports, commentators or writers like to say that something "couldn't have come at a better time" to help a struggling team.  In the Yankees' case, this first scheduled off-day of the year really could not have come at a better time after last night's injury casualties.  If the Yankees had to play a game tonight, it's doubtful they'd have enough healthy bodies to fill out the starting infield.

Game 13 Wrap-Up: NYY 3 BOS 2

(Courtesy of the AP)

It didn't come without some stress and further infield injury problems, but I got the win I wanted last night.  The Yanks took the first series of the season with the Sawx last night, creeping back over .500 in the process and moving into a much needed first scheduled off day of the year.  The finer details of last night's affair can be found in the live blog from last night below.  After the jump, the notable players and their stat lines.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

BREAKING: Cervelli Leaves Game With Right Hamstring Injury (UPDATED)

It happened as he tried to beat out a double play at first base in the bottom of the 4th and it immediately didn't look good.  Francisco Cervelli grabbed at his right hamstring and collapsed to the ground after crossing the first base bag, and he just limped off the field and straight into the locker room.  At best, he tweaked the hamstring similarly to how Mark Teixeira did last week.  It looked a lot worse than that though, and the Yankees are really, really short on healthy infielders right now.

Kelly Johnson will probably have to move to 1st base for the rest of this game and Joe might have to play Jeter at short.  This situation gets worse and worse.  More on this story as it comes out.

** UPDATE 8:38 PM- Joe confirmed on the ESPN broadcast that it was a right hamstring injury for Cervelli.  Carlos Beltran has come in to play first base for the first time in his career and Ichiro will go to right field.  Check the live blog below for any more updates. **

Game 13 Yanks-Sawx Live Blog

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

There's been a lot to like from this first Yankees-Red Sox series of the 2014 season.  The Yanks have gotten generally good starting pitching in all 3 games, with only a few bad pitches making CC and Hirok's lines look worse than they actually pitched.  The D-Rob-less bullpen has looked very good, with Dellin Betances and Adam Warren looking more and more like legitimate middle relief weapons.  And the middle of the order is starting to come around now that Carlos Beltran and Alfonso Soriano are hitting consistently and Brian McCann broke out of his early slump with 2 jacks on Saturday.

The perfect capper to this positive series would be a victory tonight to secure the series victory, and that's a perfect situation for the first AB4AR live blog of 2014.  By now you know there won't be any Jeter in tonight's lineup.  Here's how the Yankee will look without him:

1) Brett Gardner- LF
2) Carlos Beltran- RF
3) Jacoby Ellsbury- CF
4) Alfonso Soriano- DH
5) Brian McCann- C
6) Yangervis Solarte- 2B
7) Kelly Johnson- 3B
8) Francisco Cervelli- 1B
9) Dean Anna- SS

SP) Ivan Nova

First pitch is a little over a half hour away.  Live blog goes live after the jump.