Thursday, May 8, 2014

Murphy Adapting Well To Backup Role

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

There was a lot of talk about the Yankees possibly trading one of their surplus catchers in Spring Training, and it was widely known that multiple teams were scouting those catchers in March.  But after wallowing through last season with Chris Stewart and Austin Romine, I think the front office learned its lesson and they wisely chose to hold onto all of them.  When Francisco Cervelli went down with his annual April injury, the Yanks had a decision to make on who to call up to take his spot.  Rather than go with the more experienced Romine, they chose last year's breakout prospect John Ryan Murphy, signifying a passing of the prospect torch from Romine to Murphy and the team valuing talent over experience.

Musing On The Interleague Outfield Rotation

The Yankees have an off-day today as they make the trip from Los Angeles to good old Milwaukee.  They start a 3-game series against the Brewers tomorrow night, their 2nd interleague series of the young season and the first in which they'll be the road team.  Including these 3 upcoming games, the Yankees will play 7 of their next 12 games as the interleague road team, which means 7 of the next 12 without the benefit of the DH.

The Yanks have had a pretty solid outfield rotation working so far this year.  Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, and Carlos Beltran are the clear top 3, but Alfonso Soriano has gotten some time in place of Beltran and Ichiro Suzuki has been a surprisingly consistent offensive and defensive contributor as the 5th outfielder.  Without the benefit of the DH spot in the lineup, that rotation will have to shorten and Joe's going to have some work to do when it comes to giving everybody the proper amount of playing time and rest.  Piggybacking on an idea that Mike Axisa touched on earlier this morning, I'm curious to see how Joe handles juggling those top 4 guys.

Game 33 Wrap-Up: NYY 9 LAA 2

(Courtesy of the AP)

The Yankees have found some interesting ways to lose in the last week.  They almost added a new way to the list on Tuesday when they coughed up an 8th inning lead, but managed to eek out a win.  Last night, they got back to more traditional winning formulas: good pitching AAAAND good hitting.  Whatever they learned from facing Hector Santiago last time they definitely carried over to this game and they head into their travel day with 2 straight Ws and a much needed series win on the road.

Game Notes:

- The offense didn't waste any time, loading 'em up in the top of the 1st on a pair of walks and an error.  Mark Teixeira doubled in 2, Yangervis Solarte sac flied in 1, and Brett Gardner and Brian Roberts each singled in a run to make it 5-0 Yanks.

- A lot has been made of Derek Jeter's lack of power early on, and he silenced the critics on this night by hitting his first home run of the season to make it 6-0 in the 2nd.  Yeah, Jeets.

- Very strong start for Vidal Nuno, who needed one badly.  He gave up a run in a shaky 2nd inning, then retired the next 12 in order through the 6th.

- He was pulled with 1 out in the 7th and had he been at The Stadium, he would have left to a nice ovation.  Dellin Betances replaced him to finish the 7th and gave up a garbage run in the 8th.

- That run wouldn't be nearly enough to make a comeback, as the Yanks tacked on 3 more in the top half of the 8th.  John Ryan Murphy had the big blow with a 2-run single and that was more than enough cushion for Preston Claiborne in the 9th.