The Yankees have placed catcher Brian McCann on the seven-day concussion disabled list. McCann was struck in the face mask by a Mike Aviles foul tip in the third inning on Friday, and was replaced by a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that McCann seemed to be feeling “foggy” between innings. Austin Romine has been recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
With two Minor League rehab starts under his belt, Michael Pineda said that he is ready to rejoin the Yankees rotation, giving manager Joe Girardi a choice to make in advance of next week’s showdown with the division-leading Orioles.
Pineda fired 4 1/3 innings of one-run ball on Friday evening for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre against Columbus, showcasing a fastball that sat between 92 and 94 mph as well as a swing-and-miss slider.
“Everything is good,” Pineda said on Saturday. “My pitches are there, my velocity is there. I’m feeling good and I’m happy with that.”
Pineda threw 72 pitches in the outing, scattering six hits while walking none and striking out seven. He said that he has not been told where his next start will be, but feels prepared to face big league hitters.
“I’m feeling great. Everything is normal,” Pineda said.
The Yankees had said that they wanted Pineda to reach 90 pitches in a Minor League rehab start before activating him, but David Phelps’ injury has changed the landscape.
Esmil Rogers pitched well in a spot start on Friday, holding the Indians to a run over five innings. Girardi said that Pineda and Rogers will both have throw days on Sunday, providing the option of handing the ball to either pitcher on Wednesday in Baltimore.
“That’s something that we’ll have to talk about,” Girardi said. “(Pineda’s) next start, he could go to 90, but we’ll sit down and we’ll talk about it.”
Mark Teixeira said that it was “very painful” to attempt hitting off a tee and that he is not able to correctly grip the bat, but the Yankees first baseman is hopeful that he will be able to avoid the disabled list.
Teixeira sustained a laceration to his left pinky finger in Wednesday’s 5-1 Yankees victory over the Orioles, requiring three stitches. He said the cut is healing, but he is still only swinging at about 50 percent.
“The joint is really, really sore, and so whether it was sprained or bruised, we’re not sure exactly,” Teixeira said. “But the joint is really sore. The cut, you just wrap it up and you play. The joint, I can’t grip the bat.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Teixeira took some light batting practice in the underground cages on Saturday and reported some improvement.
“He felt better today; he took swings and felt better, so hopefully it’s not much longer with him and we’ll just take it day by day,” Girardi said.
Teixeira said that swinging would affect him more from the right side of the plate. Girardi said that if it appears that Teixeira would be out for six to seven days, the Yankees would give thought to placing him on the disabled list.
“Right now it’s working, what we’re doing,” Girardi said. “But we’ll just wait and see.”
The Yankees announced Saturday that they have unconditionally released infielder Brian Roberts, who was designated for assignment on Aug. 1. Roberts batted .237 with five homers and 21 RBIs in 91 games for the Yankees this season.
A little double duty for some of the Yanks’ players tonight. This alert from the Yankees:
Yankees players will be interacting with fans tonight at Yankee Stadium at the following times and locations:
· At 5:00 p.m., Yankees pitchers Masahiro Tanaka and David Phelps will be stationed behind the counters at Yankee Stadium Advance Ticket Windows, selling tickets and greeting fans (on E. 161st St. in between Gates 4 and 6).
· At approximately 5:30 p.m., several other Yankees pitchers will be working the registers at the Yankees Team Store behind home plate inside the Stadium.
· Also at approximately 5:30 p.m., Brendan Ryan will be selling programs, yearbooks and media guides in the Great Hall.
One of the best compliments that you could give to David Robertson’s season is that Mariano Rivera’s name has not come up very often, but just as much, the new closer has enjoyed watching Dellin Betances’ explosion into a premier setup man.
Even Robertson, having a fine year in his own right, was wowed by Betances’ appearance on Saturday at Fenway Park. The stadium scoreboard clocked two of Betances’ eighth-inning fastballs at 101 mph.
“How could you not have fun watching that?” Robertson said. “He threw 101. Wow! I’m lucky if I hit 93 and he’s pumping it in at 101.”
Betances’ 13.22 strikeouts per nine innings in 48 relief appearances (spanning 65 1/3 innings) are the highest mark in the Majors this season, as the right-hander has learned how to harness his two-pitch repertoire into terrific results.
“I definitely think he’s exceeded [expectations],” manager Joe Girardi said. “We knew he had great stuff. We knew this would be a year he had never really experienced before, in a sense, if he got on a roll. And that’s what he’s done.”
Robertson said that Betances’ electric stuff stands out, but there is still learning on the job. Betances was developed as a starting pitcher before being transitioned to the bullpen in the Minors back in 2012.
“You do have to get used to that workload,” Robertson said. “It takes a little bit of time. Obviously you need to figure out your body first; that was my biggest key. When I’m throwing 70 or 65 appearances a year, some of them come on back-to-back-to-back days, you have to be ready to say when we play catch, just play a little bit.
“You just know that your arm feels good and you can go out there and do the job you’re supposed to do.”
There will be a significant checkpoint in Masahiro Tanaka’s recovery on Monday, when the right-hander is scheduled to report to Yankee Stadium and could play catch for the first time since his right elbow injury.
Monday marks the three-week point from the date that Tanaka received a platelet-rich plasma injection, which the team hoped would promote healing of his partially torn ulnar collateral ligament.
“We’ll see tomorrow what everyone wants to do with him, but as we said, three weeks is the mark,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “He feels good, so we’ll see what we do.”
Tanaka, 25, saw team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad on Friday in New York and no issues were reported.
The injury interrupted a terrific debut season for Tanaka, who was 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA in his first 18 big league starts, earning selection as an American League All-Star. He was hurt in a July 8 start against the Indians in Cleveland, and is hoping to avoid season-ending Tommy John surgery.
When the injury was diagnosed last month, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that the best-case scenario of the prescribed rehab program would get Tanaka back on a Major League mound in six weeks.
It seems more likely, though, that Tanaka would return in September if he does make it back to the Majors in 2014. There is a long road ahead; essentially, what would be a second Spring Training for Tanaka.
“It’s not starting all over, because he’s been built up (stamina-wise),” Girardi said. “But it’ll be probably 60 feet, and then 60 and 90, and 90 and 120, then flat ground and bullpen and probably a rehab game.”
Michael Pineda could be two starts away from re-joining the Yankees’ big league rotation.
Pineda worked 3 1/3 scoreless innings in a Minor League rehab start for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre against Syracuse on Sunday, scattering three hits with a walk and four strikeouts.
“He threw the ball pretty well,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “We’re pleased with the progress that he’s making and we’ll take another step.”
The right-hander, who has not pitched in the big leagues since April 23 because of a strained teres major muscle behind his pitching shoulder, tossed 58 pitches (37 for strikes).
Pineda’s next rehab start will come on Friday for a team yet to be determined, and he will throw about 75 pitches. Girardi said that Pineda would likely make one rehab start after that, increasing to 90 pitches, and then would be considered big league ready.
“At that point, you would feel from a pitch count he’s ready to join us,” Girardi said.
The Yankees were briefly concerned when Betances slipped on the mound in the eighth inning of Saturday’s 6-4 Yankees win over the Red Sox. He was fine, but it probably won’t be the last time you see the 6-foot-8 hurler overstride; Betances said that it can be difficult for him to keep his mechanics intact, but he’s working on it.
“I think I told you guys, it’s going to happen more than once and I’m sure it will happen again,” Betances said. “I slipped a little bit, and I tried to hold myself with the glove and I wasn’t able to do that. I just tried to make it look as good as possible, but it was not good.”
Carlos Beltran entered play on Sunday hitting .375 (21-for-56) with four homers and 12 RBIs in his last 15 games since July 18, a sign that the discomfort in his right elbow has been manageable.
“I think he’s just being the player that we thought he would be,” Girardi said. “It was just a matter of time, but I’m sure (the elbow) has something to do with that, and maybe getting used to the brace as well.”
On this date in 1959, Yogi Berra connected for his first and only All-Star Game home run. The third-inning blast off the Dodgers’ Don Drysdale helped to lead the American League to a 5-3 victory at Los Angeles’ Memorial Coliseum.
Martin Prado is on his way to Boston’s Fenway Park, where the Yankees plan to use him as their starting right fielder beginning on Friday. Arizona dealt the veteran to New York in exchange for Minor League slugger Peter O’Brien and either a player to be named later or future cash considerations.
Thanks to MLB.com’s Adam Lichtenstein and Steve Gilbert, who are with the D-backs in Arizona and passed along Prado’s reaction to the trade.
Reaction: “I was getting a haircut, and I saw a missed call, and I called back, and it was [Arizona GM Kevin Towers] just letting me know I got traded to the Yankees. I wasn’t surprised. There’s a lot of trade rumors and stuff, but i wasn’t paying attention to that. And it finally happened, and I think it’s just hard to believe how quick I got traded from the Braves and now I got traded again, but that happens. This is a sport where it’s a business, and you never know where you’re going to be next year or the next day.”
“There’s way harder things out there in life than being traded to another team.”
Memorable moments in Arizona: “The support of the fans and how they were willing to let me know how, even in the struggles and bad times or good times, they were there every day. … I felt like in the short period of time, I was part of this family. Unfortunately, I’m heading a different way.”
Hearing from any Yankees: “The only call I had was Brian McCann. I played with him in Atlanta. We chatted for a little bit.”
Being in a pennant race: “I’m just looking forward to trying to find myself in a good position to play baseball. I felt like I’ve been up and down all this year, so now in a new place, we’ll see how things are going to go.”
On the Yankees: “I think everybody dreams to play for the Yankees. And I never expected that in my career.”
On playing outfield: “It happened to me in the past. I played outfield. … I don’t think there’s something that surprised me. Whatever they got me to play, whatever they want me to play, I have to be there, and I’m going to be there for my teammates.”
It takes a specific set of circumstances for the Yankees and Red Sox to pursue a trade together, something that the American League East blood rivals haven’t dared to do since 1997.
As the most marketable pieces of the Red Sox were shipped away on Thursday, their clock rolling ahead to 2015 with Jon Lester, John Lackey and Andrew Miller leaving town, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman wondered if he could get in on the action.
Swapping text messages on Thursday afternoon with Red Sox counterpart Ben Cherington, the clubs quickly hammered out the terms of a deal: infielder Stephen Drew and $500,000 would go to the Yankees in exchange for infielder Kelly Johnson. New York will be responsible for the remainder of Drew’s salary, approximately $5 million.
“The Drew stuff happened today,” Cashman said. “I threw an idea Boston’s way when they started moving and shaking as much as they were. Once they declared themselves the way they did, I floated a text Ben Cherington’s way and we worked really quickly off of that.”
Cherington said that the Yankees were not the first team to inquire about Drew, but the timing was right.
“We had talked to a handful of teams about Drew — teams we thought that might be in need of a shortstop — and it just so happened the Yankees were the team that fit and it fit for them,” Cherington said. “It sounds like he might play a little bit more second base there than short, but we just worked it out today. That one happened obviously late and was the last thing we did.”
The Yankees and the Red Sox had not completed a trade since Aug. 13, 1997, when New York re-acquired catcher Mike Stanley and infielder Randy Brown in exchange for pitcher Tony Armas Jr. and a player to be named later (pitcher Jim Mecir). The Red Sox later flipped Armas to the Expos as part of the Pedro Martinez deal.
Because the Red Sox are looking ahead to next season, the history between the clubs did not raise any red flags for Cherington, who said that he hopes Drew will play well in pinstripes.
“No, given the circumstances –look, we hope it helps them,” Cherington said. “I like Stephen, we all like Stephen. He’s a good player. It hasn’t worked out the way any of us wanted it to, certainly the way I wanted it to. Hope it works out for him there. The Yankee thing wasn’t an issue in that particular conversation.”
The clubs, partners in the legendary Dec. 1919 sale of Babe Ruth, have made just two other deals since George M. Steinbrenner’s 1973 purchase of the team. In March 1986, the Yankees traded outfielder Don Baylor to Boston for outfielder Mike Easler, and in Sept. 1994 the Yankees purchased reliever Scott Bankhead from the Sox.
“One of our two teams has to be in a playoff mode, and the other – in my opinion – has to be rebuilding to some degree. That’s obviously what happened on the last one that our franchises did,” Cashman said. “There’s a great deal of respect between the Red Sox and Yankees, both of our sides. It’s an amazing rivalry, but [we're] certainly very careful when we do business with each other. That’s an obvious statement.”
Brian Roberts played 91 games for the Yankees this year, marking his highest total since 2009, but had produced just two hits in his last 17 at-bats and was held out of the lineup for the team’s last two games going into the Trade Deadline.
The Yankees plan to designate Roberts for assignment to create room for Stephen Drew on the active roster. With 348 plate appearances this season, Roberts’ Yankees tenure will end two plate appearances shy of a $250,000 bonus, but Cashman said the incentive was not a factor in the decision.
“No. Bottom line, it’s all just based on evaluations,” Cashman said. “We’re taking on money [in Drew and Martin Prado]. I had to go to ownership to ask to take on money. Somebody’s performance bonuses — by doing deals where you’re adding to your roster and taking on payroll in a significant way, it has nothing to do with somebody’s roster bonuses.”
Roberts, 36, posted a split line of .237/.300/.360 with five homers and 21 RBIs after signing a $2 million contract in January. Roberts already collected $350,000 in incentives, tied to reaching 250 and 300 plate appearances.
Cashman said that he was appreciative for the contributions from Roberts and Johnson, who was swapped to Boston for Drew.
“These guys, I thank them for their effort and what they brought, and I’m sorry to see them go,” Cashman said. “But at the same time, we’re trying to improve our club. In Drew’s case and Prado’s case, they’re going to assist us as we move forward, and reinforce and improve our chances. It’s just the nature of the beast.”
The Yankees had already expressed reluctance to rush infield prospect Rob Refsnyder to the big leagues, and Thursday’s Trade Deadline deals will help keep the 23-year-old with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
“I’ve been pretty consistent about Refsnyder, that my intention is to have him play his year out at second base,” Cashman said. “I have played a little bit with him in the outfield just in case we had to pull that rip-cord, but now I’ll have him focus solely on second base the rest of the way.”
Refsnyder has posted a split line of .298/.404/.494 in 46 games at Triple-A, with seven homers and 20 RBIs, after starting the year with Double-A Trenton. A fifth-round selection in the June 2012 First-Year Player Draft, Cashman has suggested that Refsnyder could be the Yankees’ starting second baseman in 2015.
“I’ve been pretty consistent and reluctant to bring him up,” Cashman said. “I’d rather him play the whole year out and prepare potentially to take a shot at the roster next year.”
Michael Pineda’s first Minor League rehab start is scheduled to come on Sunday for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre against Syracuse. Pineda is scheduled to throw four innings and 60-65 pitches, and could need three rehab starts before being big league ready.