NEW YORK – Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte was forced to leave his start against the Mariners on Thursday after 79 pitches with an apparent undisclosed injury.
Pettitte appeared to stiffen and wince after throwing his final pitch, a swinging strikeout of Kyle Seager for the second out of the fifth inning.
UPDATE: Pettitte has a tight left trapezius muscle in his upper back, according to the Yankees.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi dashed to the mound and held a fairly lengthy conversation with Pettitte, who shielded his mouth with his glove. Pettitte jogged off the field and was relieved by Shawn Kelley.
Pettitte allowed two runs and four hits in his outing against Seattle, with three walks and five strikeouts. He entered play on Thursday with a 4-2 record and 3.83 ERA in seven starts.
Dellin Betances was born in Washington Heights, grew up on the Lower East Side, pitched high school ball in Brooklyn and – on one glorious afternoon – clutched a seven-dollar ticket in the Yankee Stadium bleachers while David Wells pitched a perfect game against the Minnesota Twins.
Betances’ story brought him back to the Bronx on Thursday, as he was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to help provide some distance to the Yanks’ bullpen. Betances replaces Brett Marshall, who threw 5 2/3 innings of long relief on Wednesday after Phil Hughes was knocked out in the first inning of a 12-2 loss to the Mariners.
As he returned to Yankee Stadium, Betances did so as a full-time reliever. It has been just 11 days since Yankees Minor League pitching guru Gil Patterson told Betances he was moving to the bullpen, and Betances said that he is still adjusting to the role.
“I’ve only came out twice from the bullpen so far. It’s different,” Betances said. “You get an adrenaline rush.It’s fun, you know, coming out of the bullpen and trying to attack guys and throw first-pitch strikes. I enjoy the role. Whatever I’m needed to be, I’m here for.”
The timing of the Yanks’ decision seemed somewhat curious to Betances, who was once tphad just thrown five no-hit innings against the Braves’ top farm club in Gwinnett, but he won’t argue if it helps him stick around in The Show.
“I’m happy to be here and get the opportunity,” Betances said. “I feel confident, I feel like my last five or six appearances have been really good formyself. I feel confidence and I feel like I’m going in the right direction. For myself, I always think I can get back to where I need to be. I feel like I’m real close.”
David Adams will celebrate his 26th birthday by playing third base for the New York Yankees.
The Yankees purchased Adams’ contract from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday, designating infielder Chris Nelson for assignment to make room on the active roster.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he hasn’t seen much of Adams in person, as injuries have kept him from doing much with the big league club in Spring Training, but his reports refer to Adams as “a baseball player” in the mold of Jayson Nix. Adams can play third base, second base and first base for the Yankees, though Adams deadpanned and said that his favorite position is hitting.
You may remember that Adams was, at one point, a piece that kept the Yankees from acquiring Cliff Lee near the Trade Deadline in 2010. The Mariners spotted a red flag in Adams’ medical report, initially thought to be a high ankle sprain and later confirmed to be a fracture, that prompted them to pull a pending deal off the table. Lee went to the Rangers instead when the Yankees balked at including Eduardo Nunez or Ivan Nova in a revised version of the deal.
The Yankees are in Colorado for a three-game series against the Rockies, marking the first game of an eight-game road trip which includes a three-game weekend series at Kansas City and a traditional doubleheader at Cleveland on May 13 (the makeup games for those April 10 and 11 rainouts).
New York just completed a 10-game homestand, going 7-3 against Toronto (4-0), Houston (2-1) and Oakland (1-2). They are 17-8 since 4/7 (the second-best record in the Majors over the stretch behind St. Louis, 18-8) after starting the season 1-4, and have lost just two of their last eight series after dropping their first two series of the season.
Beginning with the Rockies series, the Yankees will play 26 of their next 40 games on the road.
With tonight’s game already underway, here are the pitching matchups for the Rockies series:
Tonight: RHP Hiroki Kuroda (4-1, 2.25) vs. LHP Jorge De La Rosa (2-3, 4.18)
Wednesday: RHP David Phelps (1-1, 5.56) vs. RHP Juan Nicasio (3-0, 4.91)
Thursday: LHP CC Sabathia (4-3, 3.31) vs. LHP Jeff Francis (1-2, 7.27)
The Yankees are 31-17 all-time in Interleague play against the NL West. They’ve lost just three of their 16 series (6/18-20/04 at Los Angeles-NL, 6/19-21/07 at Colorado and 6/22-24/07 at San Francisco).
NEW YORK – The Yankees announced on Wednesday that they have acquired infielder Chris Nelson from the Rockies in exchange for cash considerations or a player to be named later.
Nelson, 27, hit .301 in 111 games for the Rockies last season, and he was hitting .242 (16-for-66) this season before the Rockies designated him for assignment on Sunday to bring up prospect Nolan Arenado.
“He’s played third. He’s played second,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Nelson. “I believe he was a first-round pick for the Rockies [in 2004]. We feel that a right-handed bat will help us. We’re pretty left-handed right now and we’ll see. He’s going to get a chance to play at some points.”
To make room for Nelson on the 40-man roster, the Yankees placed catcher Francisco Cervelli (fractured right hand) on the 60-day disabled list.
New York will make a corresponding roster move to add Nelson to the 25-man roster before Friday’s game, likely to option infielder Corban Joseph to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Here are the highlights from today’s Yankees official game notes:
AT A GLANCE: Today the Yankees will play the final game of a four-game series vs. Toronto at Yankee Stadium… is the fourth game of a 10-game homestand, which also includes games vs. Houston (Mon.-Wed.) and Oakland (Fri.-Sun.)… matches the Yankees’ longest homestand of the season… went 3-3 on their recent six-game road trip at Toronto (4/19-21, went 2-1) and Tampa Bay (4/22-24, went 1-2)… following this homestand, will begin an eight-game road trip at Colorado (5/7-9), Kansas City (5/10-12) and Cleveland (5/13 single-admission doubleheader – makeups for 4/10-11 rainouts).
>Have won three straight games and can match their season-high four-game winning streak (4/7-12) with a victory today.
>The Yankees’ three-game home winning streak is tied for their season-high (also 4/14-17).
RECENT RUN: The Yankees are 13-5 (.722) since 4/7 after starting the year with a 1-4 record… is the second-best winning percentage in the Majors over the stretch, trailing only Boston’s .737 (14-5)… over the span Yankees batters have the fifth-best batting average in the Majors (.270, 168-for-623) with 28 doubles and an MLB-best 27HR, outscoring their opposition 92-62… Yankees pitchers have posted a 3.18 ERA (164.0IP, 58ER) in the 18 games, the third-best mark in the AL (trailing only Texas’ 2.83 and Kansas City’s 3.09) and the fifth-best mark in the Majors.
PASSPORT CONTROL: The Yankees have won six consecutive home games vs. Toronto…additionally are 15-2 at home vs. Toronto, since 5/24/11, 17-4 since the start of 2011, and 28-11 all-time at the current Yankee Stadium (since 2009)… according to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Blue Jays’ record at the current Yankee Stadium (11-28, .282) is the worst mark for any Major League team that has played at least 30 games any current Major League venue.
>With a win today, the Yankees’ would have their first four-game sweep of Toronto since 9/18-21/95 at the original Yankee Stadium.
>Have come from behind to win each of the first three games of this series.
BORDER WAR: LF Vernon Wells is batting .440 (11-for-25) with 8R, 3HR and 6RBI in six games against Toronto this season… in his last 13 games against his former team (dating to 9/19/11) is batting .358 (19-for-53) with 12R, 4 doubles, 5HR, 12RBI and 3BB.… is batting .433 (13-for-30) with 3HR, 4RBI and 6BB in eight day games this season.
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: The Yankees are 8-1 (.889) in games decided by two or fewer runs, marking the best such winning percentage in the Majors… are 3-0 in one-run games, and are the last team in the Majors not to lose a one-run game.
FOURSIGHT: The Yankees are a Major League-best 13-1 (.929) this season when holding their opponents to four-or-fewer runs… their one loss in such a game this season occurred on Wednesday at Tampa Bay (3-0)… are 13-3 this season when scoring four-or-more runs.
CC Sabathia was very frank after his last outing, in which he essentially said that if this is where his velocity is going to be for the rest of the season, he will find a way to win with it.
“I’m hoping some more velocity comes back. If not, we’ll work with this,” Sabathia said. “I don’t know how many starts or innings, but it’s something everybody is going to go through. We’ll see if this is my time.”
The big left-hander is going for his fourth victory in as many starts tonight against the Rays here at Tropicana Field, and he has done it without the mid-90′s fastball that was firmly in his toolbelt when he came to the Yankees in ’09. Sabathia’s velocity then averaged about 94 mph, but these days he’s working more in the 89-90 range.
“One thing we’ve always said about CC is he knows how to pitch, and he has to continue to do that,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said today. “His changeup becomes very important,his slider and his curveball and his location with his sinker becomes very important. When you don’t have velocity that maybe you once had, sometimes you don’t get away with some of your mistakes. But he has very good command.”
- Update: Ooh. That didn’t go so well. Ryan Roberts homered, Sean Rodriguez legged out an RBI triple and Yunel Escobar hit a two-run shot as Sabathia allowed four runs in a very shaky first inning. Roberts’ homer was on a hanging 0-2 slider. CC’s top speed in the first inning was 90 mph.
Matt Moore has the ball for Tampa Bay, taking on a lineup that will not include Kevin Youkilis, whose back tightened after taking batting practice.
“He has very good command of his fastball and a very good curveball,” Girardi said of Moore. “So when he leaves one of those fastballs out over the plate, you better not miss it.”
ST. PETERSBURG – Yankees first baseman Kevin Youkilis was a late scratch from the team’s lineup on Monday at Tropicana Field as the veteran’s sore lower back continues to be an issue.
Youkilis did not play on Sunday against the Blue Jays in Toronto because of the back, which he said tightened playing on the artificial turf at Rogers Centre on Saturday.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi had Youkilis in his original lineup for Monday, but a change was announced at approximately 6:15 p.m. ET.
Lyle Overbay replaced Youkilis at first base in New York’s lineup against Rays left-hander Matt Moore. Jayson Nix remained in at third base.
Phil Hughes will be on the mound tonight for his third start of the season as the Yankees look to complete a three-game Interleague sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and manager Joe Girardi has a checklist of what he will be looking for from the right-hander.
“I think first and foremost, fastball command,” Girardi said. “He needs to have his off-speed pitches. The last start, he didn’t really have those. It made it even more difficult when he didn’t have his command. He needs to be able to combine all his pitches and work efficiently.”
Hughes has allowed eight earned runs in seven innings to the Tigers and Orioles, a 10.29 ERA. He’ll be opposed by left-hander Patrick Corban, who is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA for Arizona, and Girardi said that having Hughes pitch on normal rest should help.
“I feel better about his start,” Girardi said. “It’s kind of getting normal for him; we’ve kind of had a weird schedule in the beginning. He had the back issue in spring training which halted his spring training, he had to restart, he had to come back early because our bullpen was a little messed up. For him, this has to feel more normal than any start that he’s had.”
Other notes and quotes as the Yankees look for their eighth win in nine games:
- You’ve probably heard plenty about Derek Jeter already, but we’ll go over it one more time here. A CT scan taken today in Charlotte, N.C. revealed a small, new fracture in Jeter’s surgically repaired left ankle, and GM Brian Cashman said that Jeter is now not expected to rejoin the Yankees until after the All-Star break. Jeter won’t need surgery but he needs approximately four to eight weeks for the bone to heal so they can try again.
- In the meantime, Cashman said the Yankees will stick with Eduardo Nunez and Jayson Nix at shortstop – in part because they’ve done a good job, and also because this isn’t the ideal time of year to go shopping.
- Who would have predicted we’d be debating if Jeter, Alex Rodriguez or Michael Pineda would appear in a game at the big league level first?
- Chien-Ming Wang is making his first Triple-A start of the year tomorrow for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
- The Yankees have outscored their opponents 51-19 over their last eight games. Yankees starters have posted a 2.57 ERA over that stretch.
- Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez is throwing out tonight’s ceremonial first pitch.
- On this date in 1923: First game at the original Yankee Stadium. Babe Ruth hits a three-run homer as the Yankees defeat the Red Sox, 4-1, which of course is where the whole “House that Ruth Built” phrase started.
A CT scan taken on Yankees captain Derek Jeter has revealed a small fracture in the area of his original left ankle injury, according to general manager Brian Cashman, and Jeter is now not expected to rejoin the Yankees until after the All-Star break.
Jeter traveled to Charlotte, N.C. on Thursday to be seen by Dr. Robert Anderson, who performed his left ankle surgery in October. Jeter is not expected to need a new surgical procedure, just time to allow the bone to heal. Cashman said that could take anywhere from four to eight weeks.
“Derek Jeter has been having obviously issues with the ankle,” Cashman said. “He saw Dr. Anderson today back in Charlotte who is the operating physician and the lead physician on this. They did a new CT scan which revealed a small crack in the area of the previous injury. We have to back off and let that heal. This is obviously a setback. In terms of speculating when we might see Derek back with us, you’d be looking at sometime after the All-Star break.”
Jeter has not played in a game since March 23 and has been mostly limited to taking ground balls and batting practice at the club’s Tampa complex.
Girardi said that Jeter’s visit to Anderson was not scheduled. Jeter worked out on Wednesday in Tampa; asked if there was an injury that prompted Thursday’s visit, Girardi said, “Put two and two together.”
“He is obviously the toughest one we’ve ever had,” Cashman said. “You know when Derek Jeter continues to have issues that don’t go away, you know that means more than just your typical something.”
Cashman said that Jeter will speak to the media next week in New York. He said that Jeter is handling the setback “like a pro.”
“He’s like, ‘I’ll see you in four to six weeks,’” Cashman said. “He’ll never let anyone see any area of weakness or problem. His attitude is, you’re going to see me sooner than later.”