Results tagged ‘ Brett Gardner ’

Digging in for the new year

I need to pack up the ornaments and stow the Christmas tree away for another year; space is, as always, at a premium when you live in New York City. This is a long way of saying that I know we’ve got some catching up to do, closing the book on the holidays and trying my best to stop writing 2013 on all of my checks.

Here’s what’s cooking:

Hall Calls

We’ll have new Hall of Famers to celebrate this afternoon at 2 p.m. ET, but I wouldn’t expect any of them to be wearing Yankees caps in Cooperstown. Mike Mussina has a strong case and I think that he’ll eventually get in, as voters consider the fact that he won 270 games while pitching in the American League East in a performance-enhanced era of slugging. All that time, his strongest supplements seemed to be either Mountain Dew or something covered in chewy nougat.

There’s plenty of analysis of his pitching career in the link I posted, so let me just share an anecdote here. Remember when Joe Girardi tried to ban sweets from the clubhouse in 2008? No one howled louder, or more often, than the Moose. I remember him sneaking in a few Krispy Kreme doughnuts and devouring them at his Yankee Stadium locker with satisfaction, something that still makes me laugh to this day. I believe the voters will eventually come around on Mussina, but not on the first ballot.

Don Mattingly got a contract extension with the Dodgers, but isn’t expecting a call this afternoon. Roger Clemens has said, quite accurately, that everything from here on is out of his control.

Who’s on third? I don’t know.

No, really. I don’t know. If we time-warped to April right now, I suppose the Yankees would have to go with Kelly Johnson at third base, but that’s a depth chart that still looks very much incomplete. They’d like to find someone to platoon with Johnson, and Mark Reynolds would make a lot of sense for that (Michael Young, I suppose, but less so). That market seems to have been slow-moving. I don’t expect Alex Rodriguez’s suspension to be completely thrown out by independent arbitrator Fredric Horowitz, not with the fireworks of last month, but I also wouldn’t be surprised to see it be knocked down from 211 games to a lower number. That announcement could come any day now.

Gardner scores a Thurman

Brett Gardner is among those who will be receiving Thurman Munson Awards on Feb. 4 in New York; former Yankees David Cone and Jim Kaat are also on the list. In this awards and dinner season, you’ll also want to consider attending the New York BBWAA dinner on Jan. 25.

Talkin’ Tanaka

In case you missed it, former Yankees pitcher Darrell Rasner spoke to WFAN’s Sweeny Murti this week about his experiences pitching with Masahiro Tanaka. The Q&A is definitely worth your time. You can expect the Tanaka sweepstakes to heat up very soon, though I suspect the bidding might go all the way down to the Jan. 24 deadline.

I never knew I needed to have an 1989 Topps Jake Taylor card, but I do.

And a friendly reminder, as I stare out the window and consider if it’s worth upgrading to a North Face jacket: Yankees pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training on Feb. 14.

Quick hits: Gardner’s season may be over

BostonHere are the early notes as the Yankees (79-68) and Red Sox (89-59) get set to kick off a three-game weekend series here at Fenway Park.

Hiroki Kuroda (11-10, 2.99) has the ball for the Yankees, and John Lackey (9-12, 3.48) goes for Boston. It was raining here this afternoon, but the tarp is off the field and we should start on time. Temperatures are right around 70 degrees, dropping as the night goes on.

  • Bad news, if not completely unexpected, for Brett Gardner. Gardner has been diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain of his left oblique, and as you know, obliques are a tricky injury to figure out. Joe Girardi acknowledged that it is possible Gardner has played his last regular season game. There is some hope that Gardner could return as a pinch-runner before he can be a full player, but that depends on how this all heals. Girardi said that he wouldn’t expect to have Gardner back for the upcoming Blue Jays series, but he could be back for the playoffs if the Yankees get that far.
  • Curtis Granderson is taking over for Gardner in center field, and he’s hitting leadoff tonight. Girardi said that he can move that around as the weekend goes on, but Granderson has had the flexibility to hit in seven different lineup spots this season so it’s not really anything new. Granderson has homered in two straight games, sending rockets out to Eutaw Street in Baltimore the last two nights.
  • Austin Romine took some swings today and felt OK, but they’ll be very cautious bringing him back from a concussion. It’s possible Romine won’t be available to play all weekend.
  • Boone Logan may have turned a corner in his rehab of a left elbow injury, as Girardi said that Logan felt better and wants to try playing catch again. It didn’t go well yesterday, as Logan said he shut down the session after about five tosses.
  • Alex Rodriguez is scheduled to play third base tomorrow. He’s DHing tonight. Girardi said that once he gets A-Rod back to third base, he could go either way with Eduardo Nunez or Brendan Ryan at shortstop.
  • Who’s closing tonight? That’s a “great question,” Girardi said. It won’t be Mariano Rivera or David Robertson, apparently, though I guess you can never say that for sure. Rivera has pitched in four of the Yanks’ last five games but didn’t rule out campaigning to pitch if needed. 
  • Girardi on the Baltimore scorer’s decision to credit Rivera with a win instead of a save last night: “I’d like to see him get a save, but when I woke up this morning, it didn’t change my life.”

My Beat The Streak picks today: Doubling down with Ichiro Suzuki (33-for-110 vs. Lackey) and Lyle Overbay (11-for-30 vs. Lackey). The streak is at zero, and you know what? I’m beginning to think that a run at Joe D. isn’t happening. There’s always 2014.

Quick hits: Gardner’s hand OK, Jeter on tap for Monday

Oh, I get it. Sand Man.

Oh, I get it. Because he’s the “Sand Man.”

Greetings From St PetersburgHere are the early notes as the Yankees (68-60) and Rays (73-53) prepare to meet under the roof here at Tropicana Field, with CC Sabathia and David Price matching up for the 7:10 p.m. ET start:

Brett Gardner is not in the Yankees’ lineup, but it has nothing to do with his right hand, which was hit last night by a 95 mph Chris Archer fastball. Gardner had X-rays this morning on the hand and they showed no break. Gardner said the hand is a little swollen, but manager Joe Girardi said he wasn’t planning on playing Gardner against the left-hander Price anyway.

Girardi also said he thought Ichiro Suzuki‘s at-bats were good against Price the last time the Yankees saw him.

Derek Jeter is scheduled to play tonight for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre against Pawtucket and then would be in the Yankees’ lineup on Monday at Toronto if everything goes well. The captain went 0-for-3 with a walk and run scored on Friday for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

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Tonight’s lineup at the Trop

Girardi’s scouting report on Price: “You look at him three or four years ago and you see he threw 80-85 percent fastballs. But now he’s developed his repertoire. He’s got a curveball, slider a very good backdoor slider to righties. He’s got a very good changeup. He’s just evolved as a pitcher is what he’s done. He’s always had the great fastball but his secondary stuff is now pretty good.”

And what Girardi is looking for from Sabathia tonight: “This is a lineup that if you make mistakes, they’re going to hit the ball out of the ballpark and you got to stay away from the mistakes. Your sinker has to be effective, your changeup has to be effective, and you go from there.”

Girardi was asked if Sabathia’s weight loss might have anything to do with his struggles this season: “I don’t think so. It’s not like he’s 210 pounds. He’s not Mr. [Edwar] Ramirez that we used to have here. He’s still a big man. He’s still strong. I think he’s in tremendous shape.”

Yes, that’s right, there was an Edwar Ramirez reference today. Bet you weren’t counting on hearing anything about the man they called “Flacco.” I do miss watching Mariano Rivera stuff Ramirez into the lockers at the old Stadium.

Two other random thoughts about Ramirez, since my memory has been jogged — Mark Feinsand of the Daily News once made Ramirez cry, asking him about a grand slam that he gave up to Mark Teixeira, who was then with the Angels. Watching Edwar mop his tears with his uniform was just about the saddest thing you can see in a clubhouse. And then there’s the great quote from Kevin Millar about Ramirez: “Cute little fella. That’s good hittin’.”

Other notes — Adam Warren should be available in long relief out of the Yankees’ bullpen. … Lyle Overbay isn’t having a fun trip; he’s still having some flu-like symptoms, and it’s uncertain if he would be available to play tonight. Hey, at least he’s doing better than Chan Ho Park was in Boston. … The Yankees were watching the California/Connecticut Little League World Series game on the clubhouse TVs.

My Beat The Streak pick tonight: Alfonso Soriano. Streak is at zero after Alex Rodriguez went hitless last night.

And we’ll wrap today’s pre-game notes with a Debbie Downer not-so-fun fact for the Yankees: they’re 5-15 in their last 20 games at Tropicana Field dating back to July 21, 2011.

Girardi: Gardner should be an All-Star

BALTIMORE — Brett Gardner’s name has not yet appeared on any of the All-Star balloting updates for the American League roster, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi is hoping that oversight will be corrected.

“I think he’s worthy of being on the All-Star team,” Girardi said. “I think he’s had a great first half defensively, offensively. He’s played every day. I believe he’s an All-Star.”

Gardner, 29, entered play on Saturday batting .288 with seven home runs, 29 RBIs and 11 stolen bases in 79 games for New York, coming back from a season in which he was limited to just 16 games due to a right elbow injury.

He has hit safely in 26 of 32 games since May 24, batting .331 (41-for-124) over that span. Gardner has posted a .347 on-base percentage and a .450 slugging percentage entering play on Saturday.

The only Yankees outfielder to rank near the top of any previous All-Star balloting update this season was Ichiro Suzuki, who clocked in at 15th among outfielders in each checkpoint. Robinson Cano has led AL second basemen at each checkpoint.

Brett Gardner leads the Yankees into Oakland

Everything’s coming up Brett Gardner right now, which isn’t a bad thing for the Yankees. He enters play tonight coming off his first-ever selection as the American League Player of the Week, and said that it has been huge for him to feel no discomfort in his right elbow after missing most of last season due to injury.

“I don’t really worry about the results  as much as just being able to stay healthy and stay on the field,” Gardner said. “My elbow has felt great the whole year. I was a little concerned about that just because at the end of the season last year I didn’t get many at-bats with it.

“I always wondered in the off-season how it was going to feel, but it’s felt great. I’ve been healthy so I  can’t complain. The team’s playing well and we’re having fun.”

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that it has been a treat to be able to write Gardner’s name in the lineup as the leadoff hitter each night.

“He’s just been locked in. He’s really swinging the bat,” Girardi said. “He’s been a force at the top of our order, he’s playing very good defense and running the bases. He’s been locked in; what you don’t want is that off-day to get in the way of that.”

CC Sabathia is on the mound tonight for the Yanks (37-26) as they face the A’s (38-27) and former teammate Bartolo Colon. First pitch is scheduled for 10:05 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on YES.

The Yankees are 6-0 vs. past Cy Young Award winners this season (including a win on May 4 over Colon). Sabathia will make his third such start tonight against a former Cy Young Award winner, having defeated Justin Verlander on April 7 at Comerica Park and earning a no-decision in a Yankees win on May 14 vs. Felix Hernandez.

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