Results tagged ‘ CC Sabathia ’
Here are the early notes as the Yankees (74-64) and White Sox (56-81) prepare to meet here at Yankee Stadium. Left-hander CC Sabathia (12-11, 4.91) has the ball for the Bombers, and right-hander Erik Johnson — Chicago’s No. 2 prospect according to MLB.com — is making his Major League debut for the Pale Hose.
There was a large group around Phil Hughes‘ locker this afternoon seeking reaction after Joe Girardi’s announcement that David Huff will start on Saturday against the Red Sox, bumping Hughes to the bullpen. Girardi wasn’t exactly clear about how he plans to use Hughes, saying that it could come in a long relief or short relief role, and Hughes said that he couldn’t be blindsided by the demotion considering how his season has gone.
“It’s always disappointing,” Hughes said. “I was looking forward to having a good September in the rotation, but obviously that’s not in the plans, so I’ll turn my attention to doing the best job out of the bullpen that I possibly can in whatever role that is. That’s it. That’s all I can do.”
Asked if he had given any thought to that – with free agency approaching – this may be his last month as a Yankee, Hughes replied, “I don’t really think about that. I’m just kind of more worried about the day to day and doing whatever I can to help this team. Hopefully, it’s a good September we have and we have some more baseball after that.”
The Yankees are going for the sweep of the White Sox tonight, and as Girardi said the last time they had a chance for a sweep, this is when you get greedy. They’re 16-7 in their last 23 games since Aug. 11, and enter tonight 10 games over .500 for the first time since June 11, when they were 37-27.
What gives Girardi confidence that Sabathia can turn around his slide?
“I’ve seen a lot of good innings,” he said. “It seems that at times it’s one inning that gets away from him a little bit, but I think his sinker has been better, his changeup has been better, his velocity has actually increased a little bit, and I’ve seen some really good innings out of him. We need to see that.”
This is a good note from the Elias Sports Bureau: with his game-winning, two-run, eighth-inning in double in Tuesday’s win, Eduardo Nunez became the first Yankees shortstop other than Derek Jeter to record a game-winning RBI in the eighth inning or later since Randy Velarde on 9/21/95 vs. Toronto (RBI-single).
My Beat The Streak pick tonight: Robinson Cano, though of course none of the Yankees have seen Johnson before. The streak is currently at four games after Jeter went 2-for-3 yesterday. (Yes, I made my picks even though there were no blog posts while I was off this weekend).
Here 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.
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.
The Orioles may have been surprised to see CC Sabathia listed instead of David Phelps on the lineup card for Friday’s game, but the Yankees said there was no switch made; just a clerical error.
Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild said that Sabathia had always been scheduled to pitch on Friday against Baltimore, but he mistakenly gave the incorrect rotation to director of media relations Jason Zillo before the series.
Manager Joe Girardi said that both Sabathia and Phelps, who is pitching on Saturday night, were aware of their correct days to pitch.
“We felt like there was a good chance that [Sabathia] would pitch one of the three days, so it doesn’t change anything about what we’re doing,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “I finally just called Joe and he said, ‘Yeah, there was a miscommunication.’ I said, ‘Fine, thanks.’ Short conversation.”
Sabathia is going for his 200th career victory tonight against Chris Davis and the potent Orioles lineup.
“I’m sure that thought has crossed his mind,” Girardi said. “Hopefully that won’t be his focus tonight. I think it will be the Baltimore Orioles. It’s a pretty big milestone, and I’m sure he’d like to get it out of the way.”
If Sabathia wins tonight, the milestone will come in his 400th career start. It will also be win No. 600 of Girardi’s managerial career.
Vernon Wells has enjoyed some success in his career against Orioles starter Freddy Garcia, going 7-for-16 (.438) with a homer and three RBIs, but manager Joe Girardi said he was willing to table those numbers because he believes Wells could use back-to-back days off after last night’s rainout.
“It just allows me to get Vernon a couple days off,” Girardi said. “I’m going to have to do some rotating a little bit with these guys. Anytime you can get an older guy two days off in a sense, it’s helpful. He played every day in that last long stretch that we had. He’s played a lot over the last 30 days. I figured it might just help him.”
Girardi has no concerns about CC Sabathia being ready tonight after being pushed back a day by rain.
“If you get two or three extra days, you worry a little bit,” he said. “He’s had extra days before. Hopefully it makes him a little bit stronger. These guys have been going at it pretty hard and we’re going to have another long stretch after this. It’s not such a bad thing.”
Speaking of time off, Girardi wonders if sitting out for most of 2012 might have made Mariano Rivera more effective.
“The big difference is he’s had a lot of save opportunities,” Girardi said. “He’s on pace to be in 70 games which is not totally unusual for a reliever. You can say, and I’m a big believer, an arm only has so many bullets in it. Sometimes a year off is not the worst thing in the world.”
Injury updates from Tampa: Mark Teixeira went 1-for-2 with a double and walk in a simulated game … Kevin Youkilis is taking batting practice and ground balls and could be activated when the Yankees return to New York … Alex Rodriguez is taking ground balls but is still being talked about as returning after the All-Star break … Eduardo Nunez is taking dry swings and ground balls … Ivan Nova threw 3 2/3 innings in a simulated game. … Derek Jeter is out of his walking boot but isn’t doing much else.
Here in Baltimore, Chris Stewart hit off a tee and felt OK, but Girardi doesn’t think he’s ready to get in a game yet. He’s just an emergency catcher tonight behind Austin Romine, who is making his third straight start.
CC Sabathia admitted to experiencing some jitters as he entered the bullpen at George M. Steinbrenner Field this morning, with the ace preparing to pitch off a mound for the first time since having surgery on his pitching elbow in October.
Mariano Rivera – in what should be a surprise to no one – felt no such nerves as he worked off the hill, firing about 30 pitches as the Yankees closer continues to hit every checkpoint in his return from last year’s knee injury.
“There’s no peace of mind where I say, ‘OK, I feel good now,’” Rivera said. “No. I knew the [work] that I put in during the whole year. It’s been a hard job. I always tell you guys that I trust myself. I trust God first, then I trust myself. I’m capable to do this. I was expecting this. It feels good. Everything feels good.”
Sabathia joked that he “probably didn’t throw a strike” during his entire 29-pitch session, but a lack of command isn’t out of the ordinary for Sabathia at this point in the spring. He said that it usually takes two or three bullpens to hit spots correctly, but Sabathia came away most encouraged by how it felt to throw without discomfort.
“I got a little nervous when I first got up there, just because it’s the first time doing it,” Sabathia said. “I hadn’t been up there and didn’t know how I was going to feel. I immediately felt good and felt comfortable after the first couple of pitches.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi remains optimistic that both Rivera and Sabathia will be ready and active on the big league roster for Opening Day.
“I’m pretty confident they’re going to be OK, but I always say in the back of my head, I want to see them out there before I make that assumption,” Girardi said. “But I feel pretty good about it just because I know where they are in their rehabs.”
- Can’t make it up: If you had wandered into the Yankees’ clubhouse around 10:30 this morning, you would have seen a Joba Chamberlain cramming his 6-foot-2 frame into a tiny laundry cart and begging Boone Logan to push him around. Chamberlain isn’t a coffee drinker, but if he were, the appropriate advice might be to switch to decaf for a while.
- Here’s the full list of pitchers who threw live batting practice sessions this morning: David Phelps, Nik Turley, Nick Goody, Juan Cedeno, Jim Miller, Adam Warren and Brett Marshall. The list is particularly notable if you’re wondering who might be on the mound for the Yanks’ first few exhibition games, since they’re slightly ahead of the others right now.
- Breakdowns for bullpen work this morning included: Andy Pettitte, Rivera and Sabathia; Phil Hughes, Hiroki Kuroda and David Robertson; David Aardsma, Dellin Betances and Clay Rapada; Tom Kahnle, Ryan Pope and new acquisition Shawn Kelley.
- Francisco Cervelli confirmed that he is not participating in the World Baseball Classic. Cervelli was listed on Italy’s provisional roster but decided to stay in Yankees camp with hopes of winning the starting catching job.
- Yankees position players are due to report in camp tomorrow, with player physicals beginning at 7 a.m. Roster hopeful Juan Rivera stopped by the clubhouse this morning.