Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Alfonso Soriano Must Be Delusional

Jorge Castillo of The Star-Ledger had an interesting article earlier today about Alfonso Soriano and his struggle to adjust to life as a primarily bench/platoon player.  Within the article, Castillo gets a lot of good quotes from Soriano about the transition, how he feels about the demotion, and what he tries to do to stay ready, and for the most part it's all good stuff.  But Soriano's self-evaluation when it comes to his hitting leaves a bit to be desired:

"The most important thing is the ability with my hands is there. The most important things are health and the hands. I feel like my bat is there, too."

Al.  Buddy.  Dude.  I don't know what you think you're feeling in your hands when you're up to bat, but I'm telling you it's not ability.  You haven't drawn a walk all month.  You've been striking out in over 35% of your plate appearances since the start of May.  You've hit .212/.212/.273 this month and your season slash line would put you in the bottom 10% of hitters in MLB if you had enough PA to qualify for the batting title.  You're not showing any ability.  Your bat is not there.  I mean, it's literally there, in your ability-lacking hands, but not "there" in a sense that you're doing anything good with it.

I get that you'd like to be getting some more run, but you've got to do a little more to convince Joe that your bat is actually useful than just say it.  Trying using it to hit a ball into a gap or over an outfield wall every now and then.  That might help.  What won't help is saying that you think it's there when it's not.  That type of talk would have me walking you into the trainer's office to be concussion tested if I was the manager.

Mid-Week Minor League News And Notes

There were a handful of stories and updates on some well-known Minor League guys yesterday.  Here they are in case you missed any of them:

- The bad news first.  According to Mark Newman, Slade Heathcott is set for another surgery on his knee and will miss the rest of this season.  Considering it was the same knee he had surgery on last year and he only played 9 games after returning from it, I think we can start to turn on the light on Heathcott's prospect status.  Too bad.

- Now the good.  Luis Severino and Peter O'Brien were selected to represent the Yankees in this year's Futures Game.  O'Brien is 3rd in all of baseball in HR this season.  Kudos to both.

- A paper thin Triple-A rotation will get a boost this weekend when Nik Turley returns from the DL.  He's been out since suffering an arm strain in March.

- Via Nick Peruffo, lefty starter Daniel Camarena was promoted from High-A Tampa to Double-A Trenton.  He pitched to a 2.72 ERA in Tampa and is only 21 years old.  I profiled him early last year as someone to watch.

Sabathia Watch: 2-Inning Sim Game; GCL Start On Saturday

Next step in the CC Sabathia rehab plan has officially been taken.  The big guy threw a 2-inning simulated game at the team complex yesterday, 34 pitches in all, and came through the outing with no issues or pain in his knee.  The plan for the rest of this week is a bullpen session sometime in the next day or 2 and then a start for the GCL Yankees on Saturday.

This would be the official beginning of the CC's 30-day MiL rehab stint, an important milestone because it's one that allows us to start figuring out his eventual return date.  If the plan for him to pitch Saturday holds, we're looking at a late July return, Monday the 28th to be exact.  Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves just yet though.  There's a lot that can happen in that time and the whole thing goes out the window if Sabathia starts to feel something in his knee.  For now, let's worry about getting him to and through Saturday.

Game 76 Wrap-Up: TOR 7 NYY 6

(Way to have your head in the game, Captain.  Courtesy of the AP)

I was in attendance for all 16 innings of the Brewers-Nationals game, so I saw my fair share of baseball last night.  As agonizing as that game was (take a pitch for me one time, Carlos Gomez!!), I would have watched another 16 innings of that 2-2 baseball if it meant not having to watch the garbage ball the Yankees played on their way to a 4th straight loss.

Game Notes:

- Starter David Phelps wasn't terrible.  He worked the first 3 innings with only a walk and a single against him.  But he got into trouble after putting the leadoff runner on in the 4th and hanging a curveball to Dioner Navarro with 2 men on.  1 swing, all that good work undone.

- The next 3 runs in the 5th weren't exactly his fault.  With 2 on and 2 out, Derek Jeter fielded an easy groundball from Edwin Encarnacion and brain farted, looking at second and third before finally throwing to first.  Encarnacion beat it out to keep the inning alive and Colby Rasmus hit a bases-clearing single to make it 6-0.

- The Yankee offense valiantly chipped away (for real) to get back into the game.  Jeter homered to start the 6th, Brian Roberts hit a 2-run home run in the 7th, Jacoby Ellsbury singled 1 home, and a Jose Reyes throwing error plated the 2 tying runs.

Of course, more bad defense had to make all that effort for naught.  Jose Reyes doubled off Adam Warren to start the bottom of the 9th and came around to score when the infield couldn't handle a sac bunt properly.  Throwing error by Yangervis Solarte, Reyes trots around to score, game over.