Phil Hughes said that he had a few sleepless nights after the worst start of his professional career, a nightmarish outing last time out against the Mariners in which he surrendered seven runs and was not able to escape the first inning.
“You lay in bed and you think about things; what could have gone differently for you and what you could have done better,” Hughes said. “It’s tough. It’s tough any way you slice it. I’m looking forward to taking the ball [tonight] and hopefully getting back on a good streak.”
Hughes said that he found in his bullpen that he was on the side of the ball a little bit, which was causing his fastball to run back over the middle of the plate. Hughes tends to pitch up in the zone anyway – he’s a fly ball pitcher and that lends itself to home runs at times – so he really must hit the corners to be effective.
“It’s all fastball command, really,” Hughes said. “The days that I’ve had good command of my fastball, I’ve been able to work everything off that. Those have been the good ones. The bad ones, I’m falling behind and trying to figure something out.
“When the fastball is there and I’m locating it, I have a good chance to be good that day. If not, I think I need to do a better job of recognizing that earlier and throwing more off-speed pitches to try to counter-balance that.”
Miguel Gonzalez has the starting nod for the Orioles, and the action gets underway tonight at 7:05 p.m. ET from Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Vernon Wells has enjoyed some success in his career against Orioles starter Freddy Garcia, going 7-for-16 (.438) with a homer and three RBIs, but manager Joe Girardi said he was willing to table those numbers because he believes Wells could use back-to-back days off after last night’s rainout.
“It just allows me to get Vernon a couple days off,” Girardi said. “I’m going to have to do some rotating a little bit with these guys. Anytime you can get an older guy two days off in a sense, it’s helpful. He played every day in that last long stretch that we had. He’s played a lot over the last 30 days. I figured it might just help him.”
Girardi has no concerns about CC Sabathia being ready tonight after being pushed back a day by rain.
“If you get two or three extra days, you worry a little bit,” he said. “He’s had extra days before. Hopefully it makes him a little bit stronger. These guys have been going at it pretty hard and we’re going to have another long stretch after this. It’s not such a bad thing.”
Speaking of time off, Girardi wonders if sitting out for most of 2012 might have made Mariano Rivera more effective.
“The big difference is he’s had a lot of save opportunities,” Girardi said. “He’s on pace to be in 70 games which is not totally unusual for a reliever. You can say, and I’m a big believer, an arm only has so many bullets in it. Sometimes a year off is not the worst thing in the world.”
Injury updates from Tampa: Mark Teixeira went 1-for-2 with a double and walk in a simulated game … Kevin Youkilis is taking batting practice and ground balls and could be activated when the Yankees return to New York … Alex Rodriguez is taking ground balls but is still being talked about as returning after the All-Star break … Eduardo Nunez is taking dry swings and ground balls … Ivan Nova threw 3 2/3 innings in a simulated game. … Derek Jeter is out of his walking boot but isn’t doing much else.
Here in Baltimore, Chris Stewart hit off a tee and felt OK, but Girardi doesn’t think he’s ready to get in a game yet. He’s just an emergency catcher tonight behind Austin Romine, who is making his third straight start.
Fan favorite and current YES Network broadcaster David Cone will be “pitching” in to help a good cause on Sat., May 18, when he slides behind the bar at Foley’s NY Restaurant and Pub for “A Perfect Evening With David Cone.”
Cone will be pouring beverages and signing autographs to benefit the YAI Network (www.yai.org - an inaugural Yankees HOPE Week honoree) and their Manhattan Day Hab facility from 7-9 p.m. ET. There is no cover charge.
All money raised from autograph, auction and raffle sales, plus half of the proceeds from the bar, will be donated to YAI’s efforts in “seeing beyond disability”: to ensure that men, women and children with developmental and learning disabilities have access to the support and services that they need to live productive, independent, and healthy lives.
Foley’s NY is located at 18 West 33rd Street in New York, opposite the Empire State Building.
Autographs will be available for a charitable donation of $20 each. There will also be a limited number of 8×10 photographs available for sale at a price of $5, representing Cone’s July 18, 1999 Yankees perfect game as well as his years across town with the Mets.
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In addition to Cone’s appearance, there is a terrific raffle and several exciting surprises on deck for the event. Raffle tickets will be sold for $10 each (with a special deal of three for $20), and we can now reveal some of the great prizes that people will be bringing home from Foley’s NY on Saturday night:
- Autographed Joe Girardi Major League Baseball (donated by the New York Yankees)
- Autographed Matt Harvey Major League Baseball (donated by the New York Mets)
- “The Ultimate Bleacher Creature Experience” – two tickets to a Yankees home game, two t-shirts and the chance to lead ‘Roll Call’ (donated by “Bald Vinny” Milano and the Bleacher Creatures)
- Two tickets for a Hornblower Manhattan cruise (donated by Hornblower Cruises & Events)
- Two tickets to a New York Mets home game (donated by MLB.com)
- Michael Kay “CenterStage” Package: Four tickets to an episode taping, officially licensed show mugs and a Michael Kay autograph (donated by the YES Network)
- One-year subscription to Yankees Magazine and a 2013 Yankees yearbook (donated by Yankees Publications)
- Waterford Crystal New York Yankees cap
- “It Ain’t Over” Gift Package - Includes family membership to the Yogi Berra Museum, free admission to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, Brian Doyle and Don Mattingly autographed baseballs and more!
(donated by the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center)
Plus, two lucky patrons will have the opportunity to bring home these great big-ticket items:
- Legendary New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera autographed Louisville Slugger bat (How rare is this? Usually he’s seen breaking these)
- Four tickets to a New York Mets home game, including passes to watch batting practice on the field (generously donated by the New York Mets)
We’ll be able to reveal more great items later in the week, and I want to thank Shaun Clancy at Foley’s NY and all of the wonderful people who have helped make this event a reality over the last several months.
It has been a pleasure and an honor to assist in bringing Cone and the YAI group together with Foley’s for this great event, and I’m looking forward to having some fun for a great cause. I hope we’ll see you there on Saturday night!
David Phelps will pitch the first game of Monday’s doubleheader against the Indians at Progressive Field, with Vidal Nuno working the nightcap, Yankees manager Joe Girardi announced after Sunday’s 4-2 win over the Royals. It’ll be the first Major League start for Nuno, who made his big league debut with three scoreless innings against the Astros back on April 29.
The Yankees are also planning to have some assistance in town for what figures to be a long afternoon at the ballpark. Infielder Corban Joseph is expected to be added to the roster on Monday as the 26th man for the doubleheader and would return to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after the game, while right-hander Brett Marshall is also believed to be heading to Cleveland as insurance just in case the Yankees need to add a pitcher to the roster between games.
New York’s bullpen could be a little short for both contests. Mariano Rivera and David Robertson have each pitched in four of the last five games, and Girardi said he couldn’t be sure if he’d have either available.
KANSAS CITY – Mariano Rivera and Joba Chamberlain said that all was forgiven on Sunday, one day after the Yankees pitchers had an intense exchange during batting practice in the visiting dugout at Kauffman Stadium.
Rivera was conducting an interview with reporters in the dugout and instructed Chamberlain, who was yelling to family members in the seating area, to be quiet. Chamberlain took exception to Rivera’s comment, barking, “Don’t ever shush me again.”
When Rivera chuckled dismissively, Chamberlain continued, “No, seriously. Don’t ever shush me again. I don’t get to see my family very often.”
Chamberlain said on Sunday that he did not feel the need to apologize for the incident, but Rivera said that Chamberlain did indeed offer an apology before Sunday’s game.
Rivera also said that he personally wanted to apologize because the exchange was in view of reporters and fans.
“Sometimes you have little things that we say that we don’t mean,” Rivera said. “It’s good. We’re a family here. That’s what it is all about. It’s something that we take care of in house. It’s something that is in house. Unfortunately it happened in front of you guys, but again, it shouldn’t happen. We apologize and we move on.”
Rivera had been discussing an emotional visit with local families and seemed to be distracted at times by Chamberlain’s loud running commentary. Chamberlain said that he spoke to Rivera outside the clubhouse on Saturday and actually asked for an autograph on behalf of a family member, which Rivera granted.
“We joked and laughed after the game,” Chamberlain said. “It’s one of those things. I’m around him more than I am my family. He’s a brother to me. I’m pretty sure everybody has ha an argument with their sibling at one time or another. It was good. I saw him, we laughed and joked this morning. It’s just another day.”
Chamberlain hinted that there may have been more on his mind than Rivera’s comment, saying, “There’s a lot of things. It was my fault, personally. My family is here and my son [Karter] wasn’t here, which kind of bothered me. But that’s another story for another day.”
Manager Joe Girardi said that his understanding is that everything is fine between Rivera and Chamberlain. Rivera added that he is not angry or insulted by the comments from Chamberlain, who has been his teammate with the Yankees since 2007.
“No, I’m better than that,” Rivera said. “When you’re in the team or you’re in the family for so long, you know the members of your family, you know what I mean? He’s a good kid, man. He’s a good kid.
“Sometimes we all say things that we don’t mean to say. It’s the way it is and I keep it like that. … There’s a lot of other things that I have to worry about. I’m better than that, guys.”
Photo credit: Kent Klooster, MLB.com
Mariano Rivera jogged out to the spot where his career nearly ended 12 months ago, looked down, and smiled.
A prankster from the Yankees’ clubhouse had painted a white chalk outline of Rivera’s body on the warning track, while a banner adorned with stop signs and yellow caution tape fluttered from the outfield wall reading: “No Mo Zone.”
Rivera posed in front of the wall for a photo, grabbing his right knee in mock pain. He said that he expected to hear some good-natured ribbing from his teammates as he returned to Kauffman Stadium, the Yanks’ first trip back since Rivera tore his right ACL before a May 3, 2012 game against the Royals.
“The only thing that will come back to me is just knowing that I got hurt there,” Rivera said. “But I mean, I will enjoy it definitely because that moment and seeing where I am right now, that’s what is gratifying. I’m thanking the Lord for me being here.”
Yankees bullpen coach Mike Harkey, who was one of the first on the scene when Rivera crumpled in pursuit of a Jayson Nix fly ball on that afternoon last May, is believed to have been one of the leading pranksters to dress up the left-center field area on Friday.
The adornments were removed by the time the Yankees’ batting practice session concluded, and manager Joe Girardi said that he didn’t expect his thoughts would drift to Rivera’s injury much during the course of Friday’s game.
“Not really,” Girardi said. “You see guys get injured all the time in different ballparks and I know Mo is not just your everyday guy, I understand that. I’m sure the guys will have a little fun with it today and then try to put it behind us.”
The Yankees placed right-hander Joba Chamberlain on the 15-day disabled list yesterday with a strained right oblique, making Chamberlain the 10th player currently on the DL and the 11th overall this season (Phil Hughes started the year on the shelf before being activated).
Brian Cashman said on a conference call that the Yankees were still discussing who to promote, but according to Dan Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal, they’ve decided on right-hander Preston Claiborne, a power right-hander who had a 3.48 ERA and three saves in eight appearances at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
The Yanks haven’t officially announced the move, but hey, we’re living in a Twitter world. Here’s what Claiborne tweeted last night:
Thank you for all the love everybody. Words can’t describe it.
— preston claiborne (@olroy57) May 3, 2013
And fellow Yanks Minor Leaguer Rob Segedin tweeted this:
— Rob Segedin (@RobSegedin) May 3, 2013
The Yankees should have Claiborne in uniform tonight against the Athletics, and they’ll also be finding a locker for infielder Chris Nelson, who was acquired from the Rockies late on Wednesday and replaces Corban Joseph on the active roster. Cashman said that he expects Nelson to be a useful piece for manager Joe Girardi.
“Ultimately, we’ve been running Jayson Nix out there every day, [Robinson] Cano out there every day,” Cashman said. “So he’s going to give us a chance to make sure we take the pedal off the metal on Nixy a little bit and maybe Cano a little bit.”
There was a lot of ground covered on the conference call, and here is a quick rundown of some of the other news and notes to get you up to speed:
- David Robertson had an MRI on his left knee and has “a little bit of crankiness” in the hamstring area. He was seen by team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad but Cashman said this is not considered a DL situation.
- Alex Rodriguez will report to Tampa on May 6 to begin baseball activities. The Yankees are still keeping his timeline for return vague: “We’re just going to stick to sometime after the All-Star break,” Cashman said. Mark Teixeira is also heading to Tampa at the end of this homestand, and Curtis Granderson had a second day of at-bats in Extended Spring Training games yesterday.
- Cashman said that the Yankees weren’t considering promoting left-hander Clay Rapada to replace Chamberlain because he is thought of as more of a left-on-left specialist. Other names mentioned by Cashman in consideration were Mark Montgomery and Sam Demel.
- Chien-Ming Wang has posted some nice numbers thus far at Triple-A, but the Yankees aren’t convinced that they would translate in the big leagues. Cashman was candid on that, saying that Wang isn’t the same power sinker guy who won 19 games in back-to-back seasons in 2006 and ’07.”He’s becoming a different type of pitcher now because he can’t come up here and just sink that sinker every pitch,” Cashman said. “He needs to incorporate some of his pitches in there and mix and match because he’s that reduced in velocity. His lines have been very nice and good, but he’s working on all his weapons because what he’s doing down there wouldn’t represent necessarily what we think he could do up here right now.”
- Michael Pineda had “a good physical day” down at the Yankees’ complex. Cashman said he was sitting 93 mph on the radar gun and touched 95 mph. That velocity has to be encouraging, considering the nature of labrum injuries.
- Derek Jeter is in a removable boot and has been able to use a stationary bicycle and swim. The Yankees are also using laser therapy, hydro therapy and a bone stimulator on Jeter, who will be in the boot for four to eight weeks until his fractured left ankle heals.
NEW YORK – Joba Chamberlain is the latest Yankees player to hit the team’s crowded disabled list.
The right-handed reliever has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right oblique strain, the team announced on Thursday.
Chamberlain, 27, had no record and a 3.86 ERA in 10 appearances for New York this season, spanning 9 1/3 innings.
He had permitted four earned runs and 10 hits, walking six and striking out seven. Chamberlain last pitched on Saturday, when he recorded a save in a scoreless ninth inning against the Blue Jays.
The Yankees did not immediately announce a corresponding roster move to replace Chamberlain on the active roster.
New York now has 10 players on their star-studded disabled list, as Chamberlain joins Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda, Cesar Cabral, Francisco Cervelli and Kevin Youkilis.
NEW YORK – The Yankees have placed infielder Kevin Youkilis on the 15-day disabled list with a lumbar spine sprain, replacing him on the active roster with infielder Corban Joseph.
Youkilis had missed eight of the Yankees’ last nine games with the persistent back issue. Manager Joe Girardi said that an MRI taken on Youkilis was negative, but Youkilis was scheduled to receive an epidural injection on Tuesday to relieve discomfort.
Telling the Yankees he felt ready to play, Youkilis returned to action against the Blue Jays on Saturday but felt more discomfort in his back after waking up on Sunday.
“It was just one of those things waking up, and I didn’t feel right,” Youkilis said before Monday’s game. “Sometimes, after your adrenaline’s gone, things occur to you. We’ve just got to find out what’s going on.”
The 34-year-old Youkilis signed a one-year, $12 million contract with the Yankees and was expected to hold down third base in the absence of Alex Rodriguez, who is not expected to return until after the All-Star break. Youkilis was batting .266 with two homers and seven RBIs in 17 games.
Joseph, 24, was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he was batting .273 with four home runs and nine RBIs in 22 games. A fourth-round selection by the Yankees in the 2008 Draft, Joseph has played mostly second base in the Minors and will be making his Major League debut.
A double whammy for the Yankees here tonight in the Bronx:
- Francisco Cervelli has a fractured right hand and will require surgery. He will miss a minimum of six weeks, the Yankees said. Cervelli suffered the injury when he was hit by a foul top off the bat of Toronto’s Rajai Davis in the top of the first inning.
- Ivan Nova left tonight’s game in the third inning with right elbow pain. He has been scheduled for a MRI tonight.
As always, more updates as soon as we have them.