Results tagged ‘ Brian McCann ’

Shake it up, shave it off: Goodbye, “Stache Squad”

New York Yankees' Brett Gardner shakes hands with on-deck batter Carlos Beltran after scoring on a single by Brian McCann off Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Nathan Karns during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 13, 2015, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

The fun of the Yankees’ so-called “Stache Squad” evaporated somewhere on the charter flight between Kansas City and Washington, with five losses in six games suggesting that someone should break out the razors.

Most of the Yankees were clean-shaven as they reported to Nationals Park on Tuesday, with Brett Gardner, Mark Teixeira, Brian McCann, Stephen Drew and Dellin Betances among those saying goodbye to their once-lucky soup-strainers.

“It wasn’t going to last forever,” Gardner said. “Just a couple of guys talked about, maybe it was time. Maybe we’ll start another one back at some point.”

Gardner was the ringleader of the Yanks’ mustache craze, which found its roots in a three-game sweep of the Rays at Tropicana Field from April 17-19.

Since 1973, the Yankees have had a well-known facial hair policy that only permits hair above the lip. Pushing it to the limit, the Yankees won 18 of their next 24 games, grabbing possession of first place in the American League East.

“We had fun with it while it lasted,” Teixeira said.

There could be a few more players grabbing the after-shave. Andrew Miller, Jacoby Ellsbury and Masahiro Tanaka were among those clinging to the mustaches on Tuesday afternoon, but the clock seemed to be nearing midnight for those too.

“I’m not going to be the only one,” Miller said.


Tanaka will begin his Minor League rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Thursday, an outing in which the Yankees right-hander is expected to throw three innings or 45 pitches.

Tanaka threw 29 pitches in a bullpen session on Monday at Nationals Park and reported no issues. He has been on the disabled list since April 29 with right wrist tendinitis and a right forearm strain, and will face Durham at 6:35 p.m. ET.

“Very much looking forward to it,” Tanaka said through an interpreter. “Good progress. Should be OK.”

Because Tanaka is throwing only 45 pitches on Thursday, it appears likely that he will need more than one rehab start. Girardi has said the Yankees would like Tanaka to be ready to throw at least 90 pitches in a big league game, and pitchers typically add about 15 pitches per outing.

“Let’s just go a start at a time,” Girardi said. “We know that we have to build him back up some. He has not been out that long, so he’ll go three and 45 and then we’ll decide what’s next.”


Should there be an opportunity for Chasen Shreve to face Bryce Harper this week, you might see a couple of smiles exchanged. That would be a rare reaction for the Nationals slugger to get from an opposing pitcher, considering his recent offensive tear.

The Yankees left-hander said that he has known Harper back to their high school years, when Harper was already smearing on eye black and wowing scouts, then earning national attention as he landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated at age 16.

“The first time I met him, it was in a scout tournament and we were playing on the same team,” Shreve said. “He came from football practice to one of our practices. He had the cutoff sleeves and the big face paint. I met him, he was a really nice guy. I thought he was more of a football player than a baseball player. When he played, he was just unreal. He played hard; he’s always played hard.”

Shreve and Harper teamed as a battery for one season with the College of Southern Nevada — “He was a good catcher; great arm,” Shreve said — and watching from afar, Shreve said that he believes Harper has been able to handle the hype that surrounded him from a young age.

“Everything you see bad about him just gets magnified that much more,” Shreve said. “I remember we were playing at CSN and they kept picking over (to first base) and just smacking the crap out of his helmet, just hitting him in the helmet like three times in a row.

“Then he ended up hitting a home run and points in their dugout, and it got blown up that he did it for no reason. It always happened like that. Everything got magnified, no matter what he did. I think he has handled it well. You can’t be perfect.”


Teixeira was in the lineup after being hit on the right big toe by a pitch Sunday. He joked, “I might have the red light a little more than usual at first base.”


Alex Rodriguez is on the bench for the first of two games against the Nats, which will be played with National League rules. Girardi said that he’d like to get A-Rod at least one at-bat per game, but he isn’t strongly considering playing him in the field.

“I’m sure he’d much rather be in there than having all this time off, but he understands the situation,” Girardi said. “It is what it is. We’ll go day by day. That’s what happens when you become a DH. It becomes harder to get in games when you’re in a National League park.”


This might have been tough to believe just a few weeks ago, but Girardi said he had a difficult time taking Carlos Beltran out of the lineup to play Chris Young against left-hander Gio Gonzalez.

“He’s been playing well and he’s been swinging well,” Girardi said. “You get in a situation where you’re coming off an off day, your two guys at the top have done a great job against left-handers, Chris Young has done a great job against left-handers. But Carlos has been playing extremely well. In this long run, these two days might not hurt him, but it was hard to take him out today.”


Chase Whitley had Tommy John surgery today in New York. Dr. Chris Ahmad performed the surgery, with an expected recovery time of 12 to 18 months.

“It all went well,” Girardi said. “The way I understood it, there were only a few fibers left, so maybe he had a couple pitches left and it would have been completely gone. It was the right choice on his part.”

“Let’s just keep our fingers crossed and hope it’s not much.”

Masahiro TanakaThere was disappointment in Masahiro Tanaka‘s eyes on Wednesday morning, according to manager Joe Girardi, one day after the right-hander learned that he will miss at least a month with a strained right forearm and tendinitis in his right wrist.

For the moment, the Yankees believe that Tanaka’s current injury does not represent a precursor to Tommy John surgery, but they recognize that possibility. Tanaka will refrain from throwing for seven to 10 days and is not expected to travel with the team.

“Any time you have to shut a pitcher down, there’s concern,” Girardi said. “With what happened last year, I can’t tell you if they’re related or not, but you’re going to think about it. You’re going to think about a lot of different scenarios. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed and hope it’s not much, but we’ll deal with it either way.”

The Yankees plan to keep right-hander Chase Whitley in rotation, coming off a season debut in which he held the Rays to a run over five innings and picked up the win in a 4-2 victory. To replace Tanaka on the active roster, infielder Gregorio Petit was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

“It’s going to be tough,” Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia said. “It’s going to be up to us to pick up the slack. Hopefully he comes back healthy and ready to pitch.”

There could be additional help on the horizon. New York also has left-hander Chris Capuano and right-hander Ivan Nova rehabbing and aiming to rejoin the club in late May and early June, respectively. By that time, Tanaka could be back on the big league mound, but perhaps not.

“The one thing I’ve tried to stress to our starters is, don’t try to make up for someone else’s absence,” Girardi said. “Just do what you can do.”


Tanaka’s injury has prompted commentary that the Yankees should have dispatched the hurler to have Tommy John surgery after sustaining a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament last July 8 in Cleveland.

Following that injury, Tanaka was examined by Yankees team physician Christopher Ahmad, Los Angeles Dodgers team doctor Neal elAttrache and Mets team physician David Altchek. His results were also sent to noted specialist James Andrews for consultation, and all four doctors recommended the Yankees should rehabilitate Tanaka’s injury using platelet-rich plasma injections rather than rush into surgery.

“I am a manager. I am not a doctor, so I don’t understand the mechanics of all that,” Girardi said. “As I said yesterday, there’s going to be speculation. Are they related? I can’t tell you that. I don’t know; could be, it may not be. It could just be something came up from his bullpen. Who knows? The thing is, we’ve got to deal with it, and we will.”


Petit walked back into the Yankees’ clubhouse Wednesday morning, his equipment bag slung over his shoulder, and said that he never quite made it to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Petit said he spent most of Tuesday on his couch and would have packed up to meet the RailRiders on Wednesday before Tanaka’s injury put him back on the roster.


Brett Gardner and Brian McCann got the day off Wednesday against left-hander Drew Smyly. Girardi said the only pitcher in his bullpen that he’d probably stay away from is Esmil Rogers, who pitched 2 2/3 innings last night.


Girardi said that he wouldn’t mind if Alex Rodriguez hit homer No. 660 this afternoon rather than bringing some extra drama to the weekend series at Fenway Park.

“It just might crowd our clubhouse a little bit more if he doesn’t, but it doesn’t matter either way,” Girardi said. “I’d prefer that he does it with two or three guys on today and gets it over with.”

Game 3: Yankees vs. Blue Jays

Larry Rothschild, CC SabathiaHello from Yankee Stadium, where coats and hats are a must to see the Yankees wrap up this three-game series with the Blue Jays. The Yankees won last night, 4-3, thanks to a fluky eighth-inning rally that started with Chris Young’s pinch-hit, wind-blown double and featured two hit-by-pitches and a Chase Headley grounder that ricocheted off a Toronto glove to push home the go-ahead run.

Tonight will be meaningful for CC Sabathia, who will make his first start since May 10. Sabathia is opposed by left-hander Daniel Norris – he of the ‘I live in a van down by the river‘ fame. With Brett Gardner getting the night off against the southpaw, Alex Rodriguez has been promoted to the No. 2 spot in the Yanks’ batting order.

Someone told Rodriguez of the move as he was making his way to the batting cage, and Rodriguez’s reaction appeared to be one of legitimate surprise: “You’re kidding me!” he exclaimed, rushing to the lineup posted on a clubhouse door to check it out.

“I’ve never been one to care, whether that was Seattle, Texas or even my early days here with Skip (Joe) Torre,” Rodriguez said. “I want to be in the lineup, want to be able to help the team win. I remember Lou (Piniella) led me off one day at the Kingdome and I was like, ‘Wow, that’s the first time I think I ever led off.’ I just love to play baseball. As long as I’m in the lineup, that’s cool.”

Before we get to the quick hits of what you need to know, we launched my public Facebook page this morning at http://www.facebook.com/bryanhochmlb. Check it out!

  • Stephen Drew got the day off as Gregorio Petit drew the start at second base. Didi Gregorius is expected to rest tomorrow vs. Boston, with the Red Sox starting Wade Miley. Brian McCann got tonight off but is expected to play tomorrow.
  • Girardi mentioned that the Yankees have liked what right-hander Chris Martin has been able to do, particularly with the improvement of his slider.
  • The throw down to first base that McCann made in the eighth inning of last night’s game was a “good play,” according to Girardi. It just wasn’t a good throw. The ball scooted into right field and allowed Jose Bautista to trot home with the third Toronto run. “You expect him to throw it 90 feet and hit the guy somewhere in the chest or the knees. I’ve been there. Sometimes it doesn’t happen that way,” Girardi said.
  • As of now, there are no plans to link John Ryan Murphy as Sabathia’s personal catcher.

Here are the lineups:

BLUE JAYS (1-1)
Jose Reyes ss
Russell Martin c
Jose Bautista rf
Edwin Encarnacion dh
Josh Donaldson 3b
Danny Valencia 1b
Kevin Pillar cf
Steve Tolleson lf
Devon Travis 2b

Daniel Norris lhp

YANKEES (1-1)
Jacoby Ellsbury cf
Alex Rodriguez dh
Carlos Beltran rf
Mark Teixeira 1b
Chase Headley 3b
Chris Young lf
John Ryan Murphy c
Gregorio Petit 2b
Didi Gregorius ss

CC Sabathia lhp

Carlos Beltran returns to the outfield: “I just feel like it’s time”

Carlos BeltranCarlos Beltran said that he was given no better than a 50-50 chance of playing the outfield again this season, but that coin flip has worked out in the Yankees’ favor. The veteran will play right field on Saturday, his first appearance there since May 11.

“I’m happy, of course,” Beltran said. “We have been looking forward for this, trying to put my arm in condition to be back in the outfield. It really took a while … right now, I just feel like it’s time.”

Beltran has a bone spur in his right elbow that will require surgery after the season, but the 37-year-old said that he has been throwing without discomfort.

The Yankees have been playing Martin Prado in right field since his July 31 acquisition from the D-backs, with Beltran limited to designated hitter duties. Beltran’s return to outfield play will increase manager Joe Girardi’s flexibility in putting together lineups.

“You can get more right-handed hitters in there today [against left-hander Drew Smyly],” Girardi said. “You get in long stretches and you can give other guys a DH day. We’ve got some long stretches coming up.”

Though his season stats are not up to expectations, Beltran has seen a jump in his numbers recently, which coincides with the improvement in his elbow. In 26 games since the All-Star break, Beltran posted a split line of .299/.355/.495, with five homers and 17 RBIs.

“I guess in the back of my mind sometimes I get caught up a little bit protecting it,” Beltran said. “At the end of the day, I just have to come and prepare myself and try to do the best I can. Once the game starts, I try not to think about it, but during batting practice and cage work and things like that I try to be smart and try not to do much.”

Beltran said that since his elbow issue is not a secret, he would expect the aggressive Rays to test his arm on Saturday.

“I’ve been playing catch and I’ve been throwing to the bases – second base, for the most part,” Beltran said. “I’ve been making throws where I feel like if that happened in the game, I could do that. It feels fine.”


Larry Rothschild, Masahiro TanakaMasahiro Tanaka threw 25 fastballs off a bullpen mound on Saturday morning at Tropicana Field, reporting no discomfort, and the Yankees right-hander is eager to begin snapping off breaking pitches in his next session.

“I think we’re heading in the right direction, so I feel good about that,” Tanaka said through an interpreter.

Tanaka is trying to avoid surgery to repair a partial tear in his right ulnar collateral ligament. Tanaka said that regardless of the Yankees’ position in the standings, he would want to come back and make a handful of September starts to gauge his progress.

“I think it’s important for the team to fight until the end of the season, so for me, if it would be possible, I’d like to contribute until the end of the season,” Tanaka said.

The Yankees are on board with that idea. Looking ahead to 2015, there is a great deal of uncertainty in their starting rotation, and it would be useful to know if Tanaka can realistically be counted upon.

“I think it’s important that we know that he’s healthy, and I think the only way you’re going to find out is if you get him in games,” manager Joe Girardi said.

Tanaka will travel with the team after Sunday’s series finale, continuing his rehab in New York. He has been an observer for the Yankees’ recent skid.

“Everybody’s doing their best to try to get a W, obviously,” Tanaka said. “So if I get a chance to come back, I’ll be on the same page with everybody else.”


The morale level has fallen in the Yankees’ dugout during their recent slide, according to hitting coach Kevin Long, who believes that several of the team’s players are pressing for results that aren’t coming.

“We need to get back to where we’re feeling good,” Long said. “That was only five or six days ago. These guys are going through a tough time. We’re going through a tough time. I only know one way to get out of this, and that’s to keep fighting, keep working, keep grinding, and I know the guys in this room will do that.”

New York has managed seven runs during the five-game skid, hitting .173 (28-for-161) overall and .064 (2-for-31) with runners in scoring position. They’ve struck out 46 times against eight walks.

“You’re always going to look down when you don’t score runs,” manager Joe Girardi said. “That’s the nature of the game. Guys are frustrated. I’ve said that guys are frustrated because they know that they’re capable of doing more. We want to play in October, and when you lose, you should be frustrated. You shouldn’t just blow it off.”

Long said that the Yankees’ goal is to be scoring five or six runs a game, which obviously they have not come close to achieving.


”Sometimes the pitching doesn’t allow you do that,” Long said. “Sometimes there’s days when I feel like we really should and we don’t do it. Against a Corey Kluber or [Alex Cobb], it’s understandable that the runs are going to be down.


”Not to throw Chris Tillman under the bus, but he didn’t have his best stuff [on Aug. 13]. That’s a guy where you want to capitalize and take advantage of it…. Some of those other guys we should be able to get to.”


Catcher Brian McCann (concussion) was eligible to be activated from the seven-day disabled list on Saturday, but the Yankees have decided to give him at least one more day to continue workouts.

Manager Joe Girardi said that he thought McCann looked “kind of lethargic” going through catching drills and batting practice on Friday, which was likely related to resting for several days after sustaining the concussion in an Aug. 8 game against the Indians.


Right-hander David Phelps (inflammation in right elbow) is scheduled to resume throwing during the Yankees’ upcoming homestand. Phelps has been on the disabled list since Aug. 4.


Right-hander Andrew Bailey (recovery from right shoulder surgery) has had setbacks while rehabbing in Tampa, Fla. and is not expected to be able to help at the big league level this year, Girardi said. Bailey signed a Minor League deal with the Yanks in February.


On this date in 1948, Babe Ruth passed away at the age of 53. Ruth’s body was laid in state at the entrance of Yankee Stadium for the next two days. On this date in 2006, the Yankees broke ground on the construction of the new Yankee Stadium, which opened in 2009.

Carlos Beltran nearing return to outfield play

Carlos Beltran has not played the outfield since May 11, but the veteran’s throwing program has advanced to the point where he could be an option for Yankees manager Joe Girardi.

“I think I could probably do it in the real near future,” Girardi said.

Beltran has been limited to designated hitter duties because of a bone spur in his right elbow, but the 37-year-old has said that he would prefer to be able to help out on defense.

The Yankees said that there was less urgency to rush Beltran back into the outfield because of their July 31 acquisition of Martin Prado from the D-backs, but Girardi is concerned about making sure that Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury are not fatigued.

“He’s definitely feeling a lot better. It’s something that we’ll talk about pretty soon here,” Girardi said.


Masahiro Tanaka has taken his rehab on the road, making 50 tosses at a distance of 90 feet on Monday at Camden Yards, and the Yankees right-hander is said to be pain-free.

“So far, so good,” Girardi said. “He’s not throwing pitches, but he’s at 90 feet and he let it go a little bit today.”

Tanaka’s next step would be to increase his throwing distance to make some tosses at 120 feet, something that Girardi said could happen as soon as Tuesday.

After that, Girardi said, “I think you start thinking about flat ground and after that flat ground you start thinking about a mound. I don’t have a date for that.”

Tanaka is aiming for a September return to the Yankees’ rotation and hopes to avoid surgery to repair a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament.


The Yankees selected right-hander Chris Leroux to the 25-man roster from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Monday. Following Sunday’s game vs. Cleveland, the Yankees optioned right-hander Bryan Mitchell to Triple-A.


Yankees catcher Brian McCann (concussion) “felt better” on Sunday, according to Girardi. Currently on the seven-day concussion disabled list, McCann could have another concussion test on Tuesday, and may be cleared to resume baseball activity after that.


Monday marks Derek Jeter’s 2,707th game with the Yankees, which ties the Royals’ George Brett for ninth place on the all-time list of players who have played all of their games with one team. Next on the list is the Giants’ Mel Ott (2,730).


The Eastern League announced Monday that Double-A Trenton infielder Greg Bird was been selected as the Eastern League Player of the Week for the period of Aug. 4 – Aug. 10. Bird hit .421 (8-for-19) with two doubles, three home runs, eight runs scored, three RBI, four walks and a 1.000 slugging percentage in six games for the Thunder last week.


On this date in 1929, Babe Ruth hit his 500th career home run off the Indians’ Willis Hudlin at Cleveland’s League Park. Also on this date in 1980, Reggie Jackson hit career homer No. 400 off Britt Burns of the White Sox.

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