Results tagged ‘ Bartolo Colon ’

If Phil is right, do the Yankees need Ubaldo?

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — That’s the question I’m pondering from St. Pete, just a few hours before the start of a four-game series against the Rays and just a few hours removed from a very convincing start by Phil Hughes.

Hughes looked awfully close to that 18-game winner from 2010 against the Blue Jays on Sunday, when he notched his first win and first quality start, retired eight of his final nine hitters he faced and registered just 80 pitches through six innings. He could’ve gone longer, but Hughes (pictured left by The Associated Press) went deep enough to make a very important point — he looks like an effective starting pitcher again.

Over the All-Star break, the right-hander worked with pitching coach Larry Rothschild on better aligning his stride towards the plate and adjusting his curveball grip. That grip gave him a much sharper breaking ball he was able to use as a reliable No. 2 pitch to offset his four-seamer (one that consistently sat in the 92- to 93-mph range and got better as the game wore on).

Now, the question: If Hughes truly is back, and he’s the 2010 version again, do the Yankees need Ubaldo Jimenez?

Here’s the thing about Jimenez: Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd doesn’t really have to move him. It reminds me a lot of the situation with Padres closer Heath Bell in recent years. Jimenez is under club control for a while (signed through 2012 with two additional club options thereafter), he’s awfully affordable (making no more than $8 million through 2014) and his stock is rather low (Jimenez is 5-8 with a 4.08 ERA in 18 starts this year — though he does have a 2.56 ERA since the start of June).

Since the Rockies are 9 1/2 games out of first place and the starting-pitching market is weak, it’s not surprising they would shop him. But considering all the above-mentioned factors, it’s no wonder Colorado seeks the sun and the moon for the services of Ubaldo (pictured right by the AP).

MLB.com colleague Thomas Harding says the Rockies are at least listening to offers for Jimenez, but a deal remains unlikely. Peter Gammons, meanwhile, put the chances of a deal at 10 percent. We all know how quickly things can change as the non-waiver Trade Deadline draws closer, though.

With regards to the Yankees, the names that have surfaced as potential pieces to a deal are the likes of Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, Ivan Nova and Jesus Montero (though SI.com is reporting today that Montero wouldn’t be the centerpiece of the potential trade, since the Rockies don’t view him as a catcher).

Now, if Hughes is right, then the Yankees would have an in-house rotation of CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Hughes at the top, with the final spots going to any two between Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia and Nova.

Would they still need Jimenez to make a return trip to the playoffs? And would it be worth it to give up what the Rockies would want in return?

Curious to hear your thoughts.

Some links from the series finale in Toronto …

* Efficient Hughes looks strong in first win

* Yankees Notebook, on Gardner, Dickerson, Teixeira and A-Rod

* Yankees intend to push Rays down standings

Alden 

Game 90: Yankees vs. Blue Jays

TORONTO — Well, that answers that.

Joe Girardi got the expected response when he spoke to Bartolo Colon — that he’s perfectly healthy — and didn’t see any signs that the veteran righty was hurt or when he looked at and compared tape frame-by-frame. Girardi said Colon’s stuff was actually pretty good on Thursday night — though he admitted his velocity may have been down a tad — and said the 38-year-old will make his next scheduled start, which is Tuesday against the Rays.

Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista is out of the lineup today, likely won’t play tomorrow and could miss the rest of the series after twisting his ankle sliding into third base in the fourth inning on Thursday night.

Here are your lineups …

YANKEES (53-36)
Derek Jeter, SS
Curtis Granderson, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nick Swisher, RF
Jorge Posada, DH
Russell Martin, C
Brett Gardner, LF
Eduardo Nunez, 3B

Pitching: RH Freddy Garcia (7-6, 3.13 ERA)

BLUE JAYS (46-47)
Rajai Davis, CF
Eric Thames, DH
Yunel Escobar, SS
Adam Lind, 1B
Aaron Hill, 2B
Travis Snider, LF
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B
Corey Patterson, RF
Jose Molina, C

Pitching: RH Brandon Morrow (5-4, 4.60 ERA)

Alden

Does Colon deserve another start?

TORONTO — Today, Joe Girardi will call Bartolo Colon into his office to ask him if his strained left hamstring is healthy enough for him to pitch and, most importantly, be effective. And Colon, in typical Colon fashion, will likely tell him he’s perfectly healthy and it’s just a mental block he has to overcome.

But is that entirely true?

He did hurl six shutout innings against the Mets in his first start back from the disabled list. But he was hit around against the Rays after that, then couldn’t get through a nightmarish first inning against the Blue Jays last night. Girardi says the Yankees simply didn’t play good defense behind Colon (which is true, considering Brett Gardner‘s bad read on an eventual double and Eduardo Nunez‘s error on an inning-ending chopper). Russell Martin says the Blue Jays were stealing signs from the get-go (which, if true, would definitely give opposing hitters a big advantage). And Colon (pictured left by The Associated Press) says he’s pitching scared with his left leg; meaning he’s not landing firm enough in order to get enough life on his pitches.

That’s a whole lot of explanations (some would call them excuses), but the reality is quite simple: Colon hasn’t been as good lately as he was throughout the year. And when you consider he’s 38, only made 19 big league starts from 2008-10 and (let’s face it) isn’t in top-tier physical condition, it’s concerning, even if the sample size is quite small.

The Yankees at least know they have options if they decide Colon can’t start for them, with Ivan Nova in Triple-A and having the experience of pitching in the big leagues this year. (Nova gave up three runs in seven innings for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last night, by the way.)

The question is: Should the Yankees give Colon another shot and allow him to make his next turn in the rotation? Or do you recall up Nova and put Colon in the ‘pen?

We may know more about Colon’s situation pregame, and we’ll definitely have some lineups then.

For now, here are some links from last night you might’ve missed …

* Colon, Yankees endure tough night in Toronto

* Martin accuses Blue Jays of sign stealing

* Yanks ink lefty Romero to Minors deal

* Yankees Notebook, on Jeter’s reaction to All-Star Game criticism, Colon’s surgery documents, Golson’s call-up, Soriano’s future and the record Jeter and Posada now share

Alden 

Postgame notes: Colon didn’t skip a beat

That was pretty much what the Yankees expected out of Bartolo Colon, all right — six innings and 80 pitches, keeping the Mets off the scoreboard in a five-hit effort.

By the time Colon’s work was done, his strained left hamstring and any concern the Yankees might have had about it were far off in the rear-view mirror.

“In the beginning when I was warming up in the bullpen I was thinking about it a little bit,” Colon said. “But when the game started I forgot about it.”

Alex Rodriguez gushed praise, saying that Colon is “a dream to have for our staff. He eats up innings, he strikes people out, he gets a lot of ground ball double plays. Any guy that’s 0-2 all the time and throws with that kind of pace is great.”

The Mets lost Jose Reyes to a left hamstring injury, but it’s been a terrific weekend for the other New York shortstop (not Derek Jeter): Eduardo Nunez would be 8-for-8 if not for Justin Turner’s leaping grab in the sixth inning, adding on a Citi Field home run off Tim Byrdak in the ninth inning.

“I feel better when I play every day, because when you play every day, you can say OK tomorrow is a new day,” Nunez said. “It’s my job right now, when Jeter comes back I’ll have to make adjustments.”

As for Jeter, who is currently on the field for the Trenton Thunder and has already made one sharp play in the field, the starting shortstop’s job will be his as soon as Monday. Girardi confirmed as much, sidestepping a reporter’s question if the Yankees were better with Jeter or Nunez at shortstop.

“Nuney has played well, but Derek is our shortstop,” Girardi said. “He’s been our shortstop for a long time, and has been a great player, and he’s still a great player. We’re looking forward to getting him back. My hope is these next two days go well and we get him back and get him going like he can. Derek is the guy that has always been there for us and he’ll continue to be there for us.”

THIS AND THAT: Tonight’s attendance of 42,042 was the largest ever at Citi Field. That’s 22 more than last night … The Yankees are 4-1 vs. the Mets this year … Colon has won four straight starts, pitching to a 1.00 ERA (3 ER/27 IP) since May 30 at Oakland … The Yankees are a MLB-best 24-4 in day games this year … Nick Swisher’s eight-game hitting streak ended today. … Sergio Mitre made his 2011 Yankees debut, allowing two earned runs in the ninth inning.

Nova, Garcia in rotation; Colon to bullpen

The Yankees have announced their pitching plans to start the season, naming Ivan Nova as the fourth starter and Freddy Garcia as the fifth. Bartolo Colon will work out of the bullpen in a long relief role.

Joe Girardi said that Garcia had been the favorite for a rotation spot all along over Colon, who had better numbers this spring but hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2009.

“We’d seen what [Garcia] had done last year,” Girardi said. “We actually thought he had a chance to get better.”

Colon has only pitched in relief three times in 328 big league games, but Girardi said he warms up quickly and should adapt well to the role previously filled by Sergio Mitre.

“We’ll make sure that we use him properly and don’t abuse him,” Girardi said. “We understand that this is something he really hasn’t done a lot of.”

The Yankees also figure to make at least one other call today. Eric Chavez can contractually demand to be released today if he’s not told he’s on the roster, but he’s had a great spring and seems to be a lock as a reserve corner infielder.

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