Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Grandy Man Returneth

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

After the Yankees made a roster move to add a pitcher for yesterday's second doubleheader game, speculation started almost immediately about what it meant.  Brett Marshall was added as extra bullpen insurance, insurance that wasn't needed, but Brennan Boesch getting sent down to clear a spot was the real story because it could mean only one thing.  Curtis Granderson was ready to come back.

Joe hinted at it in his postgame presser, Donnie Collins added fuel to the fire with his report, and Granderson himself all but confirmed it last night on Twitter.  He's on his way to New York to meet up with the team today, and with Corban Joseph having to go back down to Triple-A immediately after yesterday's game the expectation is that C-Grand will be activated off the DL to fill that roster spot and will be in the starting lineup for tonight's game.

Give A Call To Adam Warren

(Might need to work on that high five form a bit.  Courtesy of the AP)

It's only 7 appearances, and there's some slight suggestion of BABIP and SSS luck working in his favor, but it would be wrong to not point out the great job Adam Warren has done so far this season.  After having a relatively stagnant year in 2012 in his second Triple-A season, Warren has blossomed and carved out a nice role for himself in the Major League bullpen this season.  His early career path has been very similar to the one David Phelps used to break into the show last year.

Like Phelps, Warren has shown an ability to be flexible in his relief roles and effective in multiple types of scenarios.  He's been good in short appearances and he's been very good in long appearances, like his first of the year coming in for Hiroki or his 4-inning save last night.  Like Phelps, his stuff has also played up a bit coming out of the 'pen, particularly his fastball velocity.  That has bumped his K rate up (7.23 K/9, 20.3% overall), and Warren's willingness to use all his pitches gives him options with 2 strikes.  He's basically the #1 long man with Phelps in the rotation right now, and he's pitched well enough to keep his spot on the roster when a pitcher gets sent down for C-Grand later today.

He's not the young, top-of-the-rotation arm that the Yankees need and that they've been widely criticized for failing to develop over the last 10-15 years, but Warren has proven to be another useful homegrown pitcher capable of filling multiple roles on the pitching staff as needed.  Like Phelps, if he can continue to perform well, he could put himself in the mix for a rotation spot next year.

Game 38 Wrap-Up: NYY 7 CLE 0

(Dude, I want that.  Courtesy of the AP)

The Yankees were blanked in the early afternoon opener yesterday, not surprisingly succumbing to the weak lineup Joe was forced to put out there.  They still had a chance to salvage a split of the doubleheader and finish off a 6-2 road trip in the mid-afternooncap.  Vidal Nuno was getting the start and Brett Marshall was called up to add bullpen depth behind him at the expense of Brennan Boesch, whose demotion to Triple-A may signal another exciting roster move coming today.  It would have been hard for Nuno to make a better first impression in his first Major League start, and this time the offense gave him some support to earn the split.

Game Notes:

- The offense wasted no time getting on the board in this one, plating a run on a pair of singles, a Carlos Santana throwing error, and a Vernon Wells groundout in the top of the 1st.

- Nuno retired the first 8 batters he faced into the 3rd inning, doing what he always does and pounding the strike zone with his 4-seam and 2-seam fastballs.  Hopefully David Phelps was paying attention.

- That 1st inning run was looking pretty lonely on the scoreboard for the Bombers.  They failed to capitalize on 2 walks in the 3rd inning and a leadoff single in the 4th.  Once again, the game was too close and the margin for error was zero.

- It didn't matter because Nuno worked brilliantly within his non-existent margin for error.  He worked around 2 walks in the 4th and 2 2-out singles in the 5th to finish his outing in style with a strikeout of Asdrubal Cabrera.  5 innings, no runs, 89 pitches.  Not bad for having not pitched since last month.

- It took 15 innings, but the offense finally broke out to support Nuno in the top of the 7th.  A pair of doubles by CoJo and Romine got it started, a pair of singles by Nix and Wells gave the cushion, and a 2-run double by Lyle Overbay broke the game open.  By the time the dust settled, it was 7-0 Yanks.

- Adam Warren, who's been sneaky disgusting in his limited appearances, relieved Nuno and pitched 4 shutout innings of his own, with 0 walks and 4strikeouts, to earn a save and finish off the shutout.