Today: RHP Phil Hughes (4-13, 4.91) vs. LHP Jose Quintana (7-4, 3.66). 1:05pm, YES/MLB Network
Tuesday: RHP Hiroki Kuroda (11-10, 2.89) vs LHP Chris Sale (10-12, 2.99). 7:05pm, YES
Wednesday: LHP CC Sabathia (12-11, 4 .91) vs LHP Hector Santiago (4-8, 3.43). 7:05pm, YES
The Yankees have the results of Robinson Cano’s X-ray, and now they can breathe a sigh of relief. Cano’s left hand shows no fracture, and he’s considered day-to-day with a contusion (bruise).
You would imagine that Cano might sit out tomorrow’s game with an off-day coming up on Thursday, but considering what might have been, that’s very welcome news for the Yanks. We’ll have more from the clubhouse later tonight.
TORONTO — Alfonso Soriano officially joined the 400 home run club on Tuesday, connecting for the milestone blast off Blue Jays’ left-hander J.A. Happ during the Yankees’ game at Rogers Centre.
Soriano homered in his first two plate appearances of the evening to become the seventh player to hit his 400th homer as a Yankee, belting a three-run blast to left field in the first inning off Happ before following up with a solo shot in the third inning.
The homers were Soriano’s 10th and 11th since joining the Yankees from the Cubs in a July 26 trade, marking his sixth multi-homer game of the season and the 36th of his Major League career. He has 28 overall for the year.
“His numbers have been pretty good,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said before Tuesday’s game. “What he’s done here in the month of August, I’m sure people are talking about it. There’s baseball left in this guy, and he can have a really good year.”
Soriano started his big league career with the Yankees in 1999 and hit 98 homers for New York before being traded to the Rangers in the Feb. 2004 deal that brought Alex Rodriguez to the Bronx.
He hit 64 home runs in his two seasons with Texas, then enjoyed a 46-homer campaign with the Nationals in 2006 before signing as a free agent with the Cubs, where Soriano slugged 181 of his career home runs.
Soriano can claim some select company in slugging his 400th homer in a Yankees uniform. The other six players to have done so are Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, Reggie Jackson, Gary Sheffield and A-Rod.
TORONTO — The Yankees have managed to stay in the postseason chase despite numerous injuries to star players this season, with one of their constants being the presence of second baseman Robinson Cano.
That is now officially in jeopardy, as Cano was hit on the left hand by a 90 mph J.A. Happ fastball in the first inning of New York’s game on Tuesday at Rogers Centre. He was diagnosed with a left hand contusion, but was sent for precautionary X-rays.
Cano doubled over in pain and smashed his helmet several times into the turf after the plunking, attended to on the field by manager Joe Girardi and head athletic trainer Steve Donohue.
After a lengthy discussion, Cano stayed in the game and was on base when Alfonso Soriano crushed a three-run homer to left field on Happ’s next pitch. Cano then gathered his bats and headed for the clubhouse, where X-rays will surely be taken.
An American League All-Star this year, Cano is hitting .305 with 24 home runs and 85 RBIs in 131 games. He was replaced by Eduardo Nunez at second base for the bottom of the first inning.
It could be the Yankees’ second costly hit-by-pitch this season from the left-hander Happ, who also fractured Curtis Granderson’s right forearm with a pitch during the Yankees’ first exhibition game of Spring Training on Feb. 24.
I’ve been meaning to pass this along for a bit: the ‘Yankees On Demand’ crew has compiled a very well-done documentary going inside the Yankees’ war room as the Trade Deadline approached, which resulted in the acquisition of Alfonso Soriano from the Cubs.
You’ll get a look at the analysis and research that goes on behind the scenes at Yankee Stadium, with general manager Brian Cashman, assistant general manager Billy Eppler and others leading the way. Here’s the video:
Derek Jeter is scheduled to participate in another simulated game this afternoon in Tampa, Fla., and will run the bases in what manager Joe Girardi said “is a positive sign for me.”
After that? We’ll wait and see. Girardi said he was “not sure” if Jeter would be ready to play this weekend when the Yankees travel to play the Rays at Tropicana Field, though obviously the timing would be simple for Jeter to make the quick drive to St. Petersburg.
“There’s a plan in place. It’s not just that they wing it,” Girardi said. “I’m not going to reveal the plan until we get there.”
Jeter first noticed tightness in his right calf during a July 29 off-day between series against the Rays and Dodgers. He played in two games in Los Angeles before a Grade 1 strain was diagnosed. He’s had some experience with this before – a similar injury shelved him for three weeks in 2011, stalling his chase for 3,000 hits.
NEW YORK — Alex Rodriguez connected for his first home run of the season on Sunday, slugging a solo second-inning blast to left field off the Tigers’ Justin Verlander.
For Rodriguez, it was his 648th career home run and also accounted for his 1,951st career RBI. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that moves Rodriguez past Stan Musial for sole possession of fifth place on baseball’s all-time list.
The 38-year-old third baseman is playing in his fifth game of the season, having appealed a 211-game suspension from Major League Baseball or for violations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program and the Basic Agreement.
Rodriguez has been receiving mixed reactions from the Yankee Stadium crowd after his name is announced. He heard loud cheers while rounding the bases after the home run.
Rodriguez entered play on Sunday with three hits in his first 15 at-bats. Rodriguez missed most of this season while rehabbing from left hip surgery performed during the offseason.
Last night was really a surreal scene here at Yankee Stadium. It almost seemed like there were two games going on at once — one had the Yankees playing the Tigers, and then Alex Rodriguez faced the world in the other.
Things will be a little bit more normal this afternoon, as A-Rod is out of the Yankees’ lineup. Jayson Nix will play third base, and Joe Girardi explained it as a nod to the day game after the night game, as well as A-Rod needing to continue building up his stamina.
“It’s a day-by-day [plan],” Girardi said. “When you think about the real late night last night, if we don’t have that late night, maybe I play him today. It would have been his first day game after a night game. I’m just trying to be proactive in this, and make sure we don’t run him into the ground where he ends up hurting something else.”
A-Rod spoke to reporters before the lineup was posted in the clubhouse, but he said that he hadn’t been surprised by Nix replacing him in the ninth inning of Friday’s game.
“No, I think [Girardi] has a plan,” Rodriguez said. “Again, remember, for me, it’s somewhere for me in the middle of March. we play these games in the minor leagues and even if you play seven or eight innings in the minor leagues they’re quick games. You’re done by 9:00, 9:15. That’s like the bottom of the fourth for us here. He has a plan. I trust Joe, and he’s going to do the best for me and for the team.”
Also worth noting – A-Rod’s reaction to Miguel Cabrera’s ninth-inning homer off Mariano Rivera last night:
“That guy, he’s amazing. That was a joke. Everyone thought he was dead. It was like the movies, you’ve got to shoot him to make sure he’s dead. I knew he wasn’t coming out of the game. I said, don’t fall for that bait of limping around. He’s a dangerous guy.”
It’s almost game time here at Yankee Stadium and we will soon know how Yankees fans receive Alex Rodriguez when he takes the field in pinstripes for the first time in 2013.
Rodriguez is playing in his fourth big league game, and the first at home, since returning from the disabled list. I don’t need to recap all of the details here in this blog post, as you’re probably well aware of the cloud Rodriguez is under, currently waiting on the appeal of a 211-game suspension levied by Major League Baseball earlier this week.
A-Rod didn’t have a word to offer to reporters today, strolling through the clubhouse with his eyes fixed upon the ceiling after a brief appearance at his locker. He signed some autographs during batting practice behind home plate, then abruptly jogged away into the first-base dugout and back to the clubhouse without saying anything.
Rodriguez said in Chicago that he had not given much thought to how Yankees fans would welcome him back, and Girardi said today that he would not offer a recommendation to the fan base.
“I don’t really have a way they should receive him. That’s not my job,” Girardi said. “My job is these guys in that room, so I’m not so sure how it’s going to go out there.
“The only thing that you hope is that, whether it’s a home or visiting ballpark, that it’s not personal. That’s the only thing that you hope. But the fans are going to react the way they’re going to react. They buy the tickets, and that’s part of it.”
Girardi also said that he spoke with his son, Dante, in loose terms about Rodriguez’s situation. Girardi has often been seen pitching to his son on the field after Yankees home games, and Dante’s swing and on-field mannerisms appear to be closely modeled upon Rodriguez’s.
“I talked about this with my son, how things have went in baseball and some of the things,” Girardi said. “And how in this day and age, with camera phones and everything that goes on, the chances of you ever getting away with anything aren’t very good.
”There are consequences for your actions, and you’re usually going to have to pay for them. I’ve talked to my son about the value of hard work and doing things the right way. As far as my son as a fan, I would tell him not to get wrapped up in what goes on in the stands. Be respectful and go from there.”
On what will be remembered as both a historic and unfortunate day in Major League Baseball history, Alex Rodriguez was hit with the most substantial penalty levied by Commissioner Allan H. “Bud” Selig as a result of the game’s lengthy investigation into the Biogenesis clinic, suspended for 211 games through the end of the 2014 season.
Rodriguez immediately appealed the suspension and was able to play in Monday’s game against the White Sox, going 1-for-4 with a bloop single as the Yankees lost, 8-1.
“I felt OK, for the first game,” Rodriguez said. “It was hard today, that’s for sure. [A] long day. I felt pretty good. From this moment on I want to focus on baseball like it’s do or die. Every game’s very important for us.”
As for his performance at the plate?
“Not bad, not bad,” he said. “I’ve been swinging the bat pretty well the last 10, 12 days. I know it was against some young kids at Double-A and Triple-A, but I felt good.”
After numerous reports indicating that Rodriguez might be hit with a lifetime ban or never appear in a Yankees uniform again, we can now accept this reality and move into a new stage. It’s important to note that the process is just beginning; Rodriguez’s appeal may not be heard until late September and coverage of the situation almost certainly will spill into the offseason.
What’s the end game here? It seems that Rodriguez’s best hope in the appeal process is to convince an arbitrator that his suspension should not be for 211 games. Despite his previous admission of steroid use from 2001-03 with thr Rangers, Rodriguez is considered a first-time offender under MLB’s Drug Policy. Thus, Rodriguez is expected to counter that his ban should be only for 50 games (as was the one accepted by Francisco Cervelli).
Either way, it appears that Rodriguez will be able to continue playing this season. Clearly, if his bat has anything left in it, the Yankees are willing to accept the help. They sat 9 1/2 back of the Red Sox in the American League East and 4 1/2 games out of the second Wild Card spot at the conclusion of play on Tuesday.
According to coolstandings.com, they have just a 3.4 percent chance of making the postseason and an 0.3 percent chance of winning the division. Those numbers speak volumes. Can Rodriguez’s reappearance (even with the accompanying sideshow) have much impact on the Yankees’ postseason hopes? The odds are against it.