Thursday, May 15, 2014

Yankees Place Carlos Beltran On The 15-Day DL

Well that sucks.  Despite saying today that he's "getting better", the Yankees have elected to put Carlos Beltran on the 15-day disabled list with a bone spur in his right elbow.  The plan is to use the DL stint to rest his elbow, see how it responds to that and the cortisone shot he received, and then make a decision on whether to proceed with surgery or not.  Expected recovery time from surgery would be 6-8 weeks.

I'm not one for delaying surgery when it seems like the eventual endgame, but I agree with what the Yanks are doing here.  I don't think they would have wasted time with the cortisone shot if the spur was obviously bad enough to need surgery.  If Beltran feels like he can play after a few weeks off and it looks better to the doctors, I guess it's worth a shot.

Chase Whitley takes Beltran's spot on the active roster.  Bruce Billings was DFA'd to clear a 40-man spot.

"Degenerative Changes" In CC's Knee? That Doesn't Sound Good

The small bit of good news that came from Dr. James Andrews confirming the initial diagnosis on CC Sabathia's knee of inflammation and fluid was dealt a blow later in the day yesterday when Cash elaborated on the situation to the media.  As I've said before, I'm not a doctor and have never worked a day in the medical field, but the phrase "degenerative changes" being used in relation to the twice surgically-repaired plant knee of a mid-30s MLB pitcher who's spent the entirety of his career pitching at or around 300 pounds cannot be a good thing.  At all.

Sabathia was set to get a cortisone/stem cell injection in his right knee today, and at some point in the next few days he'll have it drained, but this new description of the knee's condition does not give me a warm and fuzzy.  As of right now, I'm counting on him missing more than the minimum 15 days and most likely spending another 15-day stint on the DL for this knee later in the season.

P.S.- 2017 now seems like a reeeeeeally long way away, doesn't it?

A/Another Chance For A Couple Of Fringe Guys

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

If there's a silver lining to be had in this recent bout of injury problems, one might say it's the opportunity for the Yankees to call up more of their young players and get a look at what they might have in them.  Nothing makes the "play the kids" decision easier than a lack of healthy bodies, and the Yankees are short more than a couple at the moment.  To deal with that, they've called up outfielder Zoilo Almonte and right-hander Chase Whitley from Triple-A SWB, 2 older, fringe prospects who've spent plenty of time at the highest levels of the farm system.  We're definitely going to see one of them in action tonight and we may not see the other one at all, but each has a chance to carve out a role for himself and possibly earn a more long-term roster spot.

Too Much Tanaka

Masahiro Tanaka threw 114 pitches last night, 76 for strikes.  He mostly threw 4-seamers and splitters (57.9%), but mixed in plenty of sliders and sinkers as well.  By now, you know how well he managed throwing those 114 pitches, but look at the location of his offspeed stuff and understand why he was able to be so dominant last night:

That's the splitter plot, sweet MS Paint circle added by me for effect.  Of the 29 splits Tanaka threw last night, only those 3 in the middle of the zone were really good pitches to hit.  Over half of them weren't even in the strike zone and yet Tanaka got 15 swings and 6 whiffs.  That's nasty.

Game 39 Wrap-Up: NYY 4 NYM 0

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

Maybe it's just me, but it feels like Masahiro Tanaka has had to make a lot of important starts lately, as important as early regular season starts can be, that is.  He had another one on his hands last night as the Yankees headed over to Flushing for the first of 2 "road" games against the Mets as losers of 4 straight and falling apart at the seams thanks to a big rash of injuries.  The Yanks needed a big time effort from him to help get things going in the right direction again, and boy did he deliver.

Game Notes:

- The Mets got a single against Tanaka with 1 out in the bottom of the 1st.  It was the last baserunner they'd have until the 5th.  Tanaka was really dealing right from the start and the Met hitters had no answer.

- The Yankees slowly started to build their lead in the 2nd, mainly thanks to a terrible decision by Eric Young Jr. to dive for a ball that he missed and turned into a Brian Roberts RBI triple.

- Yangervis Solarte (best hitter on the team) made it 2-0 off Rafael Montero by punishing a 3-1 fastball, the fifth straight he'd seen in the at-bat, for a solo home run in the 4th.  Mark Teixeira led off the 6th with a solo shot of his own to make it 3-0.

- Tanaka only needed the 1.  A single in the 5th was eliminated by a caught stealing, he stranded a double in the 6th, and just for fun he struck out the side in the 7th on 3 different pitches to each batter.

- The last run came as a result of Brett Gardner's speed on the basepaths.  He singled, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on Derek Jeter IF single.

- Tanaka finished what he started with a scoreless 9th, ending his first career Major League complete game in style.  He even got his first career hit in the previous half-inning.  Splendid.