Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thursday Afternoon News And Notes

Been a little slow around the blog the last day or so with my 9-5 cutting into my time, but thankfully it's been relatively slow around Yankeeland as well.  Here are some of the smaller stories I've missed from the past 2 days:

- CC Sabathia threw his second rehab bullpen session yesterday.  It was another 25-pitch sesh, not sure if he mixed in any of this offspeed pitches this time.  Next one is set for Sunday and his pitch count should be bumped up.

- Michael Pineda is scheduled to play catch for the first time since his last setback on Saturday.

- 2 more top draft picks signed yesterday, 4th rounder Jordan Montgomery and 6th rounder Jonathan Holder.  Montgomery signed for full slot value, Holder about 60-70k below.

- Via Chad Jennings, outfielder Taylor Dugas was promoted from Double-A to Triple-A today.  He's way under the radar as a prospect, but he was hitting .294/.403/.424 for the Thunder this season and has a .293/.422/.368 career slash across 4 levels of the Minors.  Got a little Brett Gardner-ness to him.

Homegrown Hoedown

Big Mac was the king of the night last night and justifiably so.  Dude was swatting home runs over the short porch in right, speeding around the bases for 3-run triples to seal the game, and navigating a relatively young pitching staff through 9 innings of solid work to secure another win.  In looking at the box score this morning, I noticed another cool trend from last night, one deserving of its own post.  All 5 Yankee pitchers who pitched last night were under 30 years old and all 5 were homegrown players.

Chase Whitley, Adam Warren, Jose Ramirez, Dellin Betances, and David Robertson.  All drafted or signed by the Yankees, all developed through the team's farm system, all graduated to the Majors within the organization, and almost all contributing in very meaningful ways.  That's pretty cool.  When you can get 9 innings of 3-run ball with 2 BB and 8 K from a crop of your own pitchers against the best offensive team in the AL, that's gotta make your scouts and MiL people feel good.

For the season, that 5-some has combined to throw 149.1 innings.  They have a 2.41 ERA, 183 K/37 BB, and 4.6 total fWAR.  That's pretty damn good when you consider that Warren was working as a low-leverage middle relief guy at this time last year while Betances, Whitley, and Ramirez were all either working in different roles or just starting new ones in Triple-A.  Their overall track record when it comes to pitcher development doesn't look that great, but based on last night's game it would be unfair to say the Yankees completely suck at it.  There's at least a few things they have to be doing right.

Game 70 Wrap-Up: NYY 7 TOR 3

(Job well done.  Courtesy of the AP)

I know I said this series was going to be a big test for the Yankees, but in all honesty, can they just play the Blue Jays at home all the time?  They own them there.  Totally have them twisted into pretzels.  Case in point, last night's game.  Yanks had Chase Whitley up against Toronto ace Mark Buehrle, a matchup that should heavily favor the Jays.  Not in The Stadium though, and not when Buehrle was sporting a career ERA over 6 against the Bombers.  They tuned him up for a few early last night before tacking on against the bullpen late to secure their 15th (!!!!) straight win over the Jays at home.

Game Notes:

- The usual suspects at the top of the order gave Whitley a tad of run support in the bottom of the 1st.  Brett Gardner led off with a single, moved to second on an error, third on a flyout, and scored on a 2-out ribbie single by Alfonso Soriano.  For real.

- Whitley made it stand up through 3 innings.  He was mixing pitches again, working both sides of the plate to hitters hitting from both sides of the plate, and keeping the Blue Jay lineup off the basepaths.  Not electric at all in comparison to Tanaka, but effective.

- A 1-out HBP seemed to rattle him in the 4th and he surrendered a couple of RBI singles to give the Jays a brief lead.  But a Carlos Beltran leadoff single and a Brian McCann home run in the bottom half put the Yanks back in front.

- Joe got Whitley through 5, then got out of that game while he was ahead and went to his bullpen.  Adam Warren tossed 2 perfect innings with 3 Ks, Dellin Betances cleaned up Jose Ramirez's mess in the 8th, and D-Rob breezed through the 9th.

- The offense tacked on 4 insurance runs in the bottom of the 7th again to make life a lot easier down the stretch.  Gardner was at the forefront of the rally with his 4th hit of the night, Ichiro drew a pinch hit, bases loaded walk, and Big Mac cleared the bases with a triple to right-center.