Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 5/10/13

No time for jibber jabber today.  Onto the links!

- On Monday, Alphonso of It Is High... asked if Austin Romine had already been banished to the bench full time after his poor debut.  I certainly hope not.  I don't want 60 days of Stewart while Cervelli is on the mend.

- Mike Axisa of RAB started identifying potential need areas and trade deadline targets to fill them.  Never too early to start thinking about that when your team is as banged up as the Yankees are.

- On Tuesday, Martin Riggs of NoMaas pointed out some negative trends in the Yankees' BB and Swing rates this season.  Not a fun connection to the last year those rates were this low/high.

- Chad Jennings of LoHud commented on the varying levels of replacement-level production the Yanks have gotten for all their injured players.

- On Wednesday, Derek Albin of Pinstripe Pundits compared the Yankees' early production to the preseason projections to see who's been hauling the mail and who's lagging behind.

- Alex Pugliese of Yanks Go Yard traced the up-and-down career of Phil Hughes to present day to see if we are finally witnessing Hughes become the pitcher we all hoped he'd be.

- Jason Cohen of Pinstriped Bible offered up some sobering analysis on hot prospect Rob Refsynder.  Yes he's hitting the daylights out of the ball, but it's always good to stay grounded with college hitters in A-ball.

- Mike Eder of IIATMS/TYA plotted Andy Pettitte's release points by start to show how big a difference there's been and what the cause(s) might be.

- On Thursday, William Juliano of The Captain's Blog, on the heels of Joe's decision to bat David Phelps 8th the other night, looked back at some past instances of similar lineup moves.

Josh Norris of Minor Matters released a series of scouting report posts on various levels of the Yankee MiL system.  We've got Trenton here, Tampa here, and Charleston here.  Little surprised to read the report on Tyler Austin.

- Steve Lombardi of Was Watching put together a list of other Yankees you probably never thought you'd see at third base.  Bet none of 'em made a play as slick as Vernon Wells the other night.

- On Friday, fishjam25 of Yankees Fans Unite wondered if this year's Yankees are the 2013 version of last year's Orioles.  The team's penchant for winning close games certainly makes it a fair question to ask.

- Bryan Van Dusen of The Greedy Pinstripes approached the Stewart/Romine situation from a different angle, arguing that Romine shouldn't get more PT if Stewart gives the team a better chance to win.

This week's Friday Jam is "Stranglehold" by The Nuge.  Perfect tune to unwind to after work before a big old night of playoff basketball and hockey.

Enjoy your weekends, everybody.

Just Mo Being Mo

Mariano Rivera will return to the scene of last year's shocking season-ending injury tonight when the Yankees play their series opener in Kansas City.  After some initial uncertainty about his future, Mo declared he would be back this season and six weeks into this season it's like he was never injured.  It's pretty much a broken record at this point talking about how great Mo is, but once again this season he has silenced the critics and gone right on doing his thing.

Rivera has appeared in 15 games this season and has pitched 14.1 innings in those games.  He's allowed 15 total baserunners and 3 earned runs, good for a 1.88/2.83 ERA/FIP split.  He's saved 13 of the team's 20 wins in the 13 chances he's had for a save, and the numbers indicate that he hasn't lost anything off his cutter.

Mo is 43 years old, coming off a surgery that would have probably forced most players his age to retire, and he hasn't missed a beat.  The guy is simply incredible and he's been just as big a contributing factor to the team's early success as anybody else, even if he hasn't gotten mentioned nearly as much as others.  It almost makes you want to bring up the question of whether he really should retire again...

Yanks Trade For A Little More Infield Depth

In their efforts to patch up the leaky infield situation, the Yankees made another small trade yesterday, adding Alberto Gonzalez from the Cubs for another PTBNL or cash.  You might remember Gonzalez from his days in the Yankee system from 2007-2008 and not much has changed since then.  He's still a good field/bad hit right-handed utility type who can play all four infield positions if needed.

Gonzalez won't be added to the 40-man roster.  Instead he'll be assigned to Triple-A SWB where he'll serve that utility bench role for the RailRiders and be available for call up if the injury problems continue.  Not a major move by any stretch of the imagination, but with Youkilis and Nunez still hurt, Jayson Nix still being Jayson Nix, and Chris Nelson not providing much in his playing time since being acquired, more depth isn't a bad thing.

Game 33 Wrap-Up: NYY 3 COL 1

("Way to be, Nixey."  Courtesy of Getty Images)

The forecast didn't  look promising for yesterday afternoon's series finale, which didn't help the Yankees' plans to travel to Kansas City for their 3-game weekend set.  They were in good shape for the game with CC Sabathia on the mound, and couldn't afford another rain-out and future make-up game scheduled with Monday's doubleheader already on the horizon.  The weather didn't cooperate enough to allow CC to finish up as strongly as he started, but they did get the game in and the Yanks squeaked out another close win to take the series and rise to the top of the division.

Game Notes:

- As he did the day before, Vernon Wells got the scoring started in the top of the 1st with a 2-out RBI single.  It was a well-manufactured run- Jayson Nix walked, moved to second on a Cano groundout, came around to score on the single.

- CC struggled out of the gate, giving that run back on a leadoff walk, single, and sac fly in the bottom of the 1st.  He then proceeded to sit down the next 10 batters he faced through the 4th inning.

- The offense manufactured another run for him in the top of the 4th on a Chris Nelson double, sac to third, and sac fly by Chris Stewart, and then the rains came.  2 hours and 7 minutes of delay, too much to bring CC back despite how well he was pitching, and the game went to the bullpens.

- Rockies reliever Adam Ottavino was rudely welcomed into the game in the 5th by Robinson Cano, who crushed a hanging 2-0 slider into right for a solo HR and big insurance run.

- It was all hands on deck behind CC and everybody pitched in to hold the lead.  1.2 innings from Adam Warren, a batter from Boone Logan, another scoreless appearance from Preston Claiborne, and the D-Rob and Mo show for the final 2.  Just enough offense, good starting pitching, lockdown bullpen.  That's the Yankee Way right now.