Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Tuesday Evening News And Notes

A couple of notes before tonight's game:

- The Yankees called up Scott Sizemore from Triple-A and put him in the starting lineup for tonight, when they play the first of 4 games in the next 7 against left-handed pitchers.  Zoilo Almonte was sent back down to clear a 25-man spot.

- The Yanks also claimed lefty reliever Wade LeBlanc off waivers from the Angels.  He's been working as a long man/spot starter, but could be used as extra insurance for Matt Thornton.

- In a corresponding 40-man roster move, Michael Pineda was transferred to the 60-day DL to open up a spot for LeBlanc.

- Masahiro Tanaka was named the AL Pitcher of the Month for May.  Now I don't have to feel bad for picking him over Betances in the AB4AR monthly awards.

AB4AR "Best of The Month" Awards: May 2014

In April, the Yankees went 15-11 and outperformed their negative run differential.  The reaction was mostly one of "let's wait and see" heading into May and now that month has been checked off the calendar.  The Yankees posted a 14-14 record in May with a -12 run differential, worse results on both fronts.  The rotation continued to lose key members to injuries, the lineup continued to stagger and sputter and not even come close to clicking as some of its older members saw a dip in production, and once again we're left waiting and seeing what this month will have in store in terms of recovery from injuries and team performance.  There was a lot of "blah" in May, but as always, there were the players,  plays, and games that stood out for the better.  My picks for the best of the best after the jump.

Tuesday Mid-Morning Injury News Roundup

- Carlos Beltran went 0-3 in an ExST game yesterday.  The plan, according to him, is to play in 2 more games and rejoin the Major League club on their next road trip.

- Francisco Cervelli has also been playing in ExST games.  Yesterday he went 1-2 at the plate and caught 3 innings.  He's a few weeks away from being eligible to come off the 60-day DL, so he'll continue to ramp up at a slow, deliberate pace.

- Shawn Kelley will throw a sim game tomorrow.  If that goes well, he'll start an official rehab assignment later in the week.

- Mark Teixeira should be back in the lineup tonight against a left-handed starter.  The decision on whether he played Wednesday will be made after he sees how he feels tonight.

- CC Sabathia had a follow-up on his knee with the team doctor earlier this week and he has begun walking on a "low impact" treadmill to test his knee.  He says he "feels great", but the only baseball-related plan is for him to play catch later in the week.  Nothing beyond that.

Alfonso Soriano Sucks

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

This worked pretty well to paint the picture of how bad Brian McCann has been last week.  I figured, why not keep that fun going and do it again for Alfonso Soriano, he of the team-worst -0.4 fWAR through 56 games.  He's been just as big a drain on the offensive production as McCann but hasn't gotten nearly the coverage.  Until now.
  • Soriano hit .220/.233/.378 in May with a 34.9% K rate and 2.3% BB rate
  • He hasn't hit a home run since 5/17 and only hit 2 in May
  • He has just 2 RBI since 5/17, only had 9 in May, and doesn't have a single multi-RBI game this year
  • Among the 20 players with 100+ plate appearances who qualify as DHs this season, Soriano ranks 19th in OBP (.256), 13th in SLG (.399), 16th in wOBA (.282), 16th in wRC+ (73), 15th in fWAR, 3rd in K rate (28.2%), and dead last in BB rate (3.1%)

Game 56 Wrap-Up: SEA 10 NYY 2

(Always good to run yourself out of a bases loaded situation.  Courtesy of Getty Images)

When you're the Yankees and you're not hitting worth a damn, the last person you want to see on the mound in Yankee Stadium is Felix Hernandez.  The Mariners were in town for their April rainout makeup game, and wouldn't you know it!  Who could have been the starting pitcher except for King Felix??  Love how baseball works like that sometime, don't you?  The Yankee lineup did about what you'd expect them to do against him and the resulting loss was quickly-executed and well-earned.

Game Notes:

- It didn't take long for David Phelps to put his offense in a hole.  He gave up a leadoff triple and an RBI single to start the top of the 2nd and allowed another (sorta) leadoff triple to come around to score in the 4th for a 2-0 Seattle lead.

- The Yanks actually singled in each of the first 3 innings against, and they finally broke through in the bottom of the 4th with 2 runs to tie the game.  Ichiro knocked home Brian McCann (single) and Yangervis Solarte (double) with a deflected base knock.

- To his credit, Phelps retired the 5th and 6th innings in order once his lineup scored for him, but he tired in the top of the 7th, gave up a double and a walk to the first 2 batters of the inning, and the back-breaking 2-run single to Brad Miller that ended his day and the Yankees' chance to win.

- King Felix did 1 inning better than Phelps, sitting down the next 9 Yankee hitters in order to complete 7.  His bullpen gave him 2 strong, scoreless innings and he had another win at The Stadium.

- Phelps' bullpen was atrocious behind him.  Matt Thornton gave up another 2-run single in the 7th to tack 6 runs onto Phelps' ledger and Alfredo Aceves gave up 4 runs on 2 home runs to turn it into a rout in the 9th.