Saturday, April 19, 2014

Remodeled Bullpen Coming Soon

They haven't been bad often, but when they have the Yankee bullpen has been really bad this season.  The prime example of that is Cesar Cabral, who gave up 3 runs on 3 hits and 3 hit batsmen last night without recording an out.  That was enough of a nothing in his all-or-nothing performance trend to earn him a demotion, which came by way of DFA after the game.  Matt Daley was called up from Triple-A to take his place and could see action as early as tonight.

Because of the rainout earlier in the week, the Yankees will need a 6th starter for tomorrow's game.  All indications are that Vidal Nuno will get that start and when he does it will likely be his last appearance for the Major League club for a while.  David Robertson is scheduled to pitch in an ExST game today and if he does so without any problems, he'll likely be activated off the DL on Tuesday.  With Nuno needing a few days off after making a start, he's a shoo-in to get sent down to Triple-A to clear a 25-man spot for D-Rob.

Aaron Judge Says Hello

His was easily the most anticipated debut of the 2014 MiL season after a hamstring injury kept him off the field post-signing in 2013.  Aaron Judge finally showed why the other night with that massive home run over the scoreboard in left.  He's off to a solid start average (.298) and on-base-wise (.441, 20.3% BB rate).  All that was missing was the power.  Well not anymore.  Hopefully that was the start of some more moonshots for Judge and hopefully we see him get bumped up to High-A Tampa soon.  When you're built like an NBA power forward and you're walking in over 20% of your plate appearances, there's probably not much to be learned at the Low-A level.

Game 17 Wrap-Up: TB 11 NYY 5

(That's the look of a man who knows he's getting DFA'd if I've ever seen one.  Courtesy of the AP)

I guess the Yanks were due for another bullpen meltdown.  After getting out to an early lead behind Hiroki Kuroda, they slowly let the Rays back into the game in the middle innings.  Despite holding a 2-run lead heading into the bottom of the 7th, they couldn't hold on for a 6th straight win and instead ended up taking a near blowout loss thanks to some truly atrocious relief work.

Game Notes:

- They grabbed that early lead in the top of the 2nd against Tampa starter Erik Bedard.  2 singles and a botched fielder's choice loaded the bases with nobody out and Scott Sizemore unloaded them with a 3-run double.  A Brett Gardner RBI groundout plated Sizemore and made it 4-0.

- Kuroda looked pretty good through 3, working around putting the leadoff runner on 2 innings in a row thanks to a pair of timely double plays.  He cracked in the 4th though, giving up a walk, a single, and a 2-run double to James Loney, all with 2 outs.

- Command inconsistencies plagued Hirok through the next few innings.  His day ended before he could get out of the 6th when he couldn't finish off another 2-out situation and allowed another RBI hit to cut the lead to 4-3.

- The dormant offense woke up in the top of the 7th when Jacoby Ellsbury created a run by singling, stealing second base, and coming around on an Alfonso Soriano base knock.  That extra run should have been insurance for the 'pen.  It ended up being not nearly enough.

- Once again, it was a failure to finish off an inning that doomed the Yankees.  Matt Thornton gave up a single and handed the ball to Adam Warren with runners on the corners in the bottom of the 7th.  Warren let 3 runs score on 2 singles and a walk before ending the frame.

- It got even uglier in the 8th when Warren and Cesar Cabral combined for 5 more runs allowed.  Cabral didn't even retire a batter and hit 3.  You guessed it, all 5 runs came with 2 outs.  Tough to win with pitching like that.