Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Waiting For The Other (Horse)Shoe To Drop

(Courtesy of Steve Nesius)

I've made a point to keep the Alex Rodriguez steroid talk to an absolute minimum on AB4AR.  I think it's boring and I don't think it serves any purpose other than to give the irrational A-Rod haters reason to blab, but in light of what went down yesterday with Ryan Braun and what the implications now are for A-Rod, I think it's appropriate to talk about it now.

Yanks Closing In On Soriano

It's not a blockbuster move by any means, but it's more than the small, replacement-level moves the Yankees have been making all year, so that's something.  According to George King of The Post, the Yankees are close to finalizing a deal with the Chicago Cubs for outfielder and former Yankee Alfonso Soriano.  The Cubs are reported to be paying almost all of Soriano's remaining salary through next season so as not to affect the Yankees' 2014 payroll plans and New York is expected to send back a mid-level prospect in return.

I wrote about Soriano way back in December and touched on him again in February and nothing has really changed since then.  He's hitting .256/.286/.471 (.323 wOBA) with 17 HR this season and has been really hot in the month of July.  He still registers as an above-average corner outfielder and he hits left-handed pitching (.346 wOBA/116 wRC+ in 118 PA against LHP this season).  With the Yankees still starving for righty power, this is a move that makes sense.  It's also one that does little to elicit any real emotion.

On the one hand, the Yankees sound like they're close to addressing a major need and I look like I'm going to be right with at least one of my predictions from last week.  On the other, they'll be adding another 30-something guy on a multi-year deal who's basically a glorified platoon player.  That sheds a little light on what their strategy might be heading towards the deadline and it's not exactly an inspiring move.

Game 99: TEX 3 NYY 0

(Courtesy of the AP)

If you were too distracted by the Ryan Braun stuff and the conspiracy theory wheels turning about what it means for A-Rod, you didn't miss much.  The Yankees pretty much no-showed against a returning Yu Darvish and the Texas Rangers in the opening game of this 4-game series.  The fade is really starting to set in with this crew.  If no serious moves are made in the next 9 days, you can put a bow on the season.

Game Notes:

- Tough start for Ivan Nova.  In more ways than 1.  He gave up an RBI single in the bottom of the 1st after a clearly blown safe call on an Ian Kinsler stolen base.  It would be the only run Texas needed.

- Darvish didn't look to be missing anything after his DL trip, or maybe the Yankee lineup just sucks that bad.  The only baserunner he allowed through the first 4 innings was Brett Gardner on a leadoff HBP.

- Actually not a bad outing for Nova.  He was in and out of trouble all night but managed to keep the deficit at just 1 through 5 innings.  If he could have thrown a few more early strikes it could have been a different night for him.

- Nova seemed to tire in the 6th, giving up a second run on a walk and a double, and then came out and surrendered the insurance in the bottom of the 7th when he left a fastball up to Nelson Cruz that Cruz creamed for a HR to center.

- The Yanks put 2 on in the 5th against Darvish, but that was all.  He was out after 6 and they didn't generate anything against the Texas bullpen.  9 innings, 28 at-bats, 3 hits.  All of them were singles.   Pathetic.