Thursday, August 9, 2012

Eric Chavez- Clubhouse Leader

There's no denying that Eric Chavez is nowhere near the player he used to be.  When your back has been through more wear and tear than Batman's after he got done getting his shit wrecked by Bane (spoiler alert), that's to be expected.  He looked about as washed up as a mid-30s player could in his first season with the Yankees in 2011, and I wasn't exactly jumping for joy at the idea of bringing him back again this season.

I'm very happy to say that I was dead wrong about Chavez and I'm even happier to eat any crow I deserve for my lack of faith.  Chavez has been both healthy (212 PA already, almost 40 more than last season) and incredibly productive (.284/.344/.511, .359) for the Yankees this season, and has been a key cog in helping overcome issues with injuries and underperformance around the corner infield spots.  And now he's added a new wrinkle to his resurgence in the form of being a clubhouse spokesperson.  Earlier in the week, Chavez spoke very candidly about the Yankees' recent struggles and his thoughts on the matter:

“There should be a high level of concern.  Anybody who says that there isn’t is lying. You’ve just got to win ballgames, and we’re not finding a way to do that, and it should be a concern. It’s that time of the year when, yeah, it’s a concern. We need to start playing good and winning games.”

And yesterday, after receiving a bit of backlash for his previous comment:

“We’ve been losing.  So if anybody’s comfortable with that — I know I wasn’t. We had a nine-game lead two weeks ago, and that’s gone. I just want to win. I just want to get back to the postseason, and I’d like to have the biggest lead we possibly can have to do it.”

While I don't necessarily agree with his comments about A-Rod's absence, I'm totally on board with everything Chavez said there and applaud him for speaking his mind.

C-Grand's Trends Are Packing His Bags For Him

(D'oh!  Courtesy of The AP)

I like Curtis Granderson.  I've written a lot of positive things about him since the great Kevin Long Swing Rebuild Project of 2010, and since then he's been arguably the Yankees' best position player not named Robinson Cano.  I think he was a great pickup for the Yankees given their needs at the time, and even as the value scales have started to tip away from his and the Yankees' favors as it relates to that trade this season, I still think it was the right move to make.  Granderson has been a very valuable and productive piece of the Yankee lineup over the last 2+ seasons, and barring serious injury he will likely continue to be valuable and productive through the remainder of his current contract.  That being said, I don't think it would be a wise move for the Yankees to re-sign C-Grand after the 2013 season, and I think the trends in his performance this season should be starting to open people's eyes as to why.

Game 110 Wrap-Up: NYY 12 DET 8

(CC didn't look too enthused about coming out either.  Courtesy of Getty Images)

I really don't want to be a downer about this, because the Yankees did win the game and that's all that matters at the end of the day.  But even when they win it seems like it's a struggle.  Up 7-0 in the 4th inning, with your ace on the mound cruising, and they manage to turn it into a 1-run game just 3 innings later.  The offense came back to life last night and absolutely pounded Anibal Sanchez with another new-look batting order, but the pitching on the Yankees' side was still suspect and the defense was sloppy so they're clearly not out of the woods yet.

Game Notes:

- The rearranged lineup didn't waste any time going to work.  With 2 outs and 2 on, Eric Chavez and Curtis Granderson singled back-to-back to give the Yankees an immediate 2-0 lead in the top of the 1st.

- Granderson kept the good vibes going from the 6-hole with a 3-run homer, his 30th of the season, in the top of the 3rd.  And yes, it was with 2 outs.

- The teams engaged in a little early-inning beanball war in the first 3 innings, which the Yankees lost 2-1 (Teix & Cano-Fielder) thanks to the bullshit umpire warning after the Cano shot, so that was fun.

- CC was money through the first 3 innings, giving up 0 runs and 1 hit, and recording 6 of his 9 outs either on the infield or in the catcher's glove, but he got a little shaky after getting a 7-0 lead in the middle innings, allowing 6 hits and 3 ER in the next 3 innings.

- Little surprising to see Joe yank CC after he just got Prince Fielder for the 2nd out of the 7th inning and was only at 94 pitches, but in fairness to him CC had given up 5 R in a little over 3 innings, bad defense or not.  I can understand a quick hook with the way the Yankee starters have given back runs lately.

- Of course D-Rob got dinked and dunked to death after coming in to relieve CC to make it an 8-7 game after 7 innings.  I wish I was making this shit up but that's been SOP for the Yankees over the past couple weeks.

- The teams traded runs in the final 2 innings, but the Yankees got the better of that with 4 to the Tigers 1, the dagger being Robinson Cano's RBI single in the 9th, and Rafael Soriano closed out the victory.