Thursday, May 9, 2013

What Phelps Needs To Work On

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

Yesterday, in anticipation of Ivan Nova's likely return (temporary at least) to the rotation, I looked at what he needed to change and improve to stick in the rotation should he get his spot back.  I honestly just assumed that if he was healthy he would be given the spot back upon his return based on the "you shouldn't lose your job for getting hurt" rule, but yesterday's results may have muddied the waters a bit. Nova struggled mightily with his command in his ExST outing, walking 4 batters in 5 IP, while David Phelps looked very good tossing 6 innings of 2-run ball against the Rockies, both runs coming on one mistake pitch. Phelps has performed admirably in his 2 spot starts, better than Nova was, and if there are questions about Nova's command, that could be enough to keep the door open for Phelps.  If the 5th starter competition is unofficially back on, here's what Phelps needs to do to lock it down.

C-Grand To Officially Start His MiL Rehab Assignment Tonight

(The Grandy Man can ... return to the lineup soon?)

From some bad injury news to much better injury news.  Curtis Granderson's rehab work down in Tampa has been picking up steam in the last week and yesterday it got kicked into overdrive with the announcement that he'll start his rehab assignment tonight when he plays for Triple-A SWB.

Donnie Collins, Mr. Everything for the RailRiders, had the details yesterday, and they make it sound like Curtis won't be rehabbing for very long.  According to Collins, C-Grand is scheduled to be with the team "for the next three or four games" before presumably being activated off the DL to re-join the Major League roster.

As of tonight's game, C-Grand's 20-day rehab clock will start ticking, but if the team is only planning to play him in a handful of Triple-A games he could be back with the Yankees within a week or so.  He's not the right-handed bat they desperately need, but he's a significant upgrade to a lineup that could use a lot more length and power right now.  Here's hoping everything goes smooth in these rehab games.

More Injury News! Ty Hensley Done For The Year

It's been a a day or two since we've had any bad injury news.  Luckily VP of Baseball Ops Mark Newman, by way of Chad Jennings, was there to provide that much needed bad news to keep everything normal.

Remember Ty Hensley's recent hip surgery?  Remember how he was originally expected to miss 3 months?  Yeah, you can forget about that.  According to Newman, the team is now viewing "Spring Training" as his targeted comeback date.  As in, "next year."

That makes tons of big picture sense.  Hensley is still young, still very raw, and there's no need to push a comeback timetable for a player like him who wasn't going to to throw a lot of innings this season anyway.  Better to give him time to heal, give him another offseason to work out and prep, and see how he comes back in 2014.  At the same time, between Hensley and ManBan, the Yanks will have their top upper and lower level pitching prospects coming off major injuries and missed seasons next year.  That's not good.

Game 32 Wrap-Up: NYY 3 COL 2

(A well-earned high five.  Courtesy of Getty Images)

After going down quieter than could normally be on Tuesday, the Bombers were back after it last night in the Rocky Mountain air, and in a fashion that's become quite commonplace for this group they managed to squeak out another close win to knot up the series.  They jumped out to a very early lead, lost it almost immediately, then scratched for it back in the 9th on a combination of bold managerial calls, good luck, and hustle.  Scrappy doesn't even begin to define it.

Game Notes:

- That early lead came in the top of the 1st, when Vernon Wells deposited a 3-2 fastball into the left field seats for a 2-run homer.  He hit it like he knew it was coming.

- Yankee starter David Phelps didn't wait long to give that lead back, making a similar mistake to Todd Helton with 1 on and 1 out in the bottom of the 2nd.  3-1 fastball down Broadway, yard shot, 2-2 game.

- Phelps was very good after that hiccup, allowing just 1 more hit and no runs over the next 4 innings.  He gave up just the 2 in 6 IP with 1 walk and 4 Ks.  He mixed pitches well and had a decent curveball and good change.

- The Yankee lineup didn't do much after Wells' HR either.  2 singles and a walk over the next 7 innings, with no runs to show for it.  They headed into the late innings with that short bench working against them, and that's when Joe went to work.

- After an infield single and 2 walks to load the bases with 1 out in the 9th, Joe went to Travis Hafner for Chris Nelson knowing he didn't have any other infielders to use.  He played to win the game there and Hafner didn't come through.  But Joe stick with it, hitting Brennan Boesch for the pitcher and Boesch came through by beating out an infield single to score the go-ahead run.

- That left Wells to play third in the bottom of the 9th, which he actually did splendidly:

(Check the range!  Courtesy of RAB)

The combo of Preston Claiborne, D-Rob, and Mo worked 3 scoreless innings to secure the win.