Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 6/20/14

Supposed to be going to the Milwaukee Zoo for the first time since moving out here tomorrow.  I'm pretty stoked.  I'm a big zoo guy, and I think it's a disgrace to myself and my own existence that I haven't made it to a zoo that I live 15 minutes away from in 6+ years.  If I had serious money, I would build and open my own zoo where all the animals had generic people names.  You can't try and tell me you wouldn't want to go see a hippo named Steve and a kangaroo named Walter.  Now onto the links!

- On Monday, Daniel Burch of The Greedy Pinstripes recapped all of the Derek Jeter farewell ceremonies and gifts to date.  Gotta say the Cubs' gift was the best.

- Mike Axisa of RAB identified Yangervis Solarte's expansion of the strike zone as the primary cause for this latest slump.

- Chad Jennings of LoHud had a lot of updates on every level of the farm system.

- On Tuesday, Derek Albin of Pinstripe Pundits discussed some of the biggest unexpected stories of the Yankee season thus far.

- On Wednesday, Andrew Mearns of Pinstripe Alley commented on the all-around disappointing season that Gary Sanchez is having.

- Katie Sharp of IIATMS/TYA used what we know and the numbers we have on Chase Whitley to try to predict what we'd see from him moving forward.

Delia Enriquez of Bronx Baseball Daily had Adam Warren's thoughts on his role in the bullpen and how open he would be to changing back to a starter.

- On Thursday, el duque of It Is High... wondered if Big Mac's big Wednesday night can be the start of his offensive breakout.

- SJK of NoMaas had a suggestion for Cash on where he should look to find the source of the team's average performance this season.

Going back to a familiar and favorite well this week with some Deftones.  Hadn't heard this song for a few years until it came up on the iPod shuffle earlier this week.

Enjoy your weekends, everybody.

Analyzing The Early Trade Rumors

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

The trade deadline is now less than 6 weeks away, and the engines on the rumor mill have started churning.  On Wednesday, Brian Cashman discussed the Yankees' plans for the deadline with Ken Davidoff, saying "we usually make moves every year, so I expect to make moves" when asked what he expected.  As for how aggressive the Yankees will be, I guess this statement from Cash sums it up best:

“I feel that we do have the ability to make trades if that’s a route we so choose.  How we line up with other clubs, I don’t know … but I definitely have people that are wanted within the industry. But we want those guys, too. We’ll see.”

Cash is no fool when it comes to playing the media game.  He isn't going to tip his hand.  But we all know what the Yankees' biggest needs are (starting pitcher, infielder/backup first baseman, right fielder) and we know they're going to look to fill some of those needs.  It's far too early to make any rational predictions, but there are already a couple rumors that popped up this week involving the Yanks.  Here's a quick trip around the early deadline rumor mill.

Kelly Johnson Day-To-Day With Bruised Fingers

The jinx strikes again!  I write about how Kelly Johnson is coming on and deserves to be in the lineup every day and pow!  He takes a pitch off the right hand trying to bunt in the 6th last night, leaves the game, and might miss a few more with bruised fingers.

Why Johnson was even being asked to bunt in that situation is beyond me, but the good news is that X-rays were negative and the injury is bruises instead of breaks.  Joe seemed like he had been coming around to the idea of going with Johnson more and Solarte less, evidenced by his decision to start KJ last night.  A quick recovery to get Johnson's bat back in there would be the best possible outcome here.

Game 71 Wrap-Up: NYY 6 TOR 4

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

Thanks, Toronto!  See you again next time!  Enjoy the flight!  You kids get home safe!

Game Notes:

- The scoring was early and often against Blue Jay starter Drew Hutchison.  Brett Gardner doubled to lead off the game for the Yanks and scored on an Ellsbury sac fly in the 1st, Carlos Beltran worked his way around and scored on a Kelly Johnson sac fly in the 2nd, then sac flied Ellsbury home himself in the 3rd.

- In between all the saccing (sacking? sacing?), David Phelps gave up a 2-run home run to Melky Cabrera in the top of the 3rd to keep the Jays close.  Those were the only runs he'd allow in 7 very good innings.

- Not that he didn't have to work for them.  Toronto put a runner on base in all but 2 innings and put a runner in scoring position with no outs in the 5th.  Phelps handled the trouble well every time and he punctuated the outing by K'ing the final 2 batters of the 7th.

- The Yanks tacked on for him with a Beltran RBI double in the 5th, a Derek Jeter RBI groundout in the 6th, and a Yangervis Solarte bases loaded walk in the 7th.  Toronto just couldn't keep them off the basepaths.  Story of the game.

- Shawn Kelley took over in the 8th and very quickly gave up a 2-run home run to Edwin Encarnacion to pull the Jays back within 2.  Joe had to use Matt Thornton to get out of that inning and Adam Warren for the save with a short bullpen, but they did the job.