Results tagged ‘ Joe Girardi ’
ST. PETERSBURG — Interesting read on the front page of the St. Petersburg Times this morning, on the criticism of Tropicana Field and how it affects attendance.
With CC Sabathia starting on his 31st birthday today, I filed a column on his recent stretch, his chances of winning 300 and the possibility that he’s only reaching his prime right now.
CC (pictured right by The Associated Press) said he hasn’t made a decision yet on whether or not to exercise the opt-out clause in his contract (though the popular belief is that there’s no way he wouldn’t, considering how well he’s pitching, how important he is to the Yankees and how slim the free-agent crop of starters will be this offseason).
Asked if he can see himself finishing his career in New York, he said: “Of course. This is definitely one of the storied franchises in baseball, and to be able to be a part of it and win a championship two years ago was great. Hopefully I can continue to be here.”
Asked if he feels the Yankees need to make a rotation addition before the non-waiver Trade Deadline, CC said: “We’re good. Of course, you can always try to do something, but with the way we pitched this year, I think we can be good enough to make the playoffs.”
Interesting lineup prior to the rematch of CC and James Shields. Curtis Granderson is out, as expected, after getting banged up on Wednesday. And Brett Gardner is leading off, with Derek Jeter batting second, as Joe Girardi hinted at prior to Wednesday’s game. The fact Granderson and Alex Rodriguez are both out made that a pretty easy decision.
Only time will tell if Gardner continues to lead off on a consistent basis moving forward, but Girardi did say he has no problem leading him off against a lefty starter now …
Pitching: LH Sabathia (14-4, 2.64 ERA)
Pitching: RH Shields (8-8, 2.60 ERA)
Some other links from last night …
* Yanks-Rays game story on redemption
* Yankees Notebook, on Granderson, Nova, lineups and roofs
* Preview for Shields and CC
ST. PETERSBURG — So, on Sunday, Sean Rodriguez shattered a light bulb. On Monday, there was a power outage. And on Tuesday, Curtis Granderson lost a ball in the roof. What’s the next strange occurrence at this quirky Tropicana Field?
We’ll find out soon.
Joe Girardi called an audible with his lineup just before batting practice, opting to put Nick Swisher in as the designated hitter and start Andruw Jones in right field. Girardi said it wasn’t physical — “Just changed my mind.” — so he probably just wanted to give Swisher a break from the turf, since he hasn’t had one yet in this second half.
Derek Jeter is back leading off, which is no surprise but is interesting considering how much he has struggled (5-for-26 since that magical 3,000th-hit day) and how well Wednesday’s No. 9 hitter, Brett Gardner (.591 batting average in the second half), is hitting. Girardi talked pregame about the possibility of a top three of Gardner, Jeter and Granderson while Alex Rodriguez is out. As for Jeter dropping to the bottom third of the lineup? I’d think something really drastic would have to take place for that to happen.
The lineup’s below, but I’m curious as to how y’all would order things while A-Rod is out …
Pitching: RH Freddy Garcia (7-7, 3.43 ERA)
Pitching: LH David Price (9-7, 3.73 ERA)
Some goodies from the game notes …
* The Yankees have had 17 players on the disabled list, the most of any Major League team in 2011 . Their current total of 11 players on the DL matches their total from all of last season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
* The Yanks are 19-9 with a Major League-high 39 homers vs. lefty starters this season.
* New York has gone seven straight games without allowing a homer, which marks its longest stretch since ’08.
* With one more stolen base, Gardner will become the first Yankees player with back-to-back 30-stolen-base seasons since Alfonso Soriano did it in three straight years from 2001-03.
* Opposing batters have hit just .182 with runners in scoring position off Garcia this year.
Some links from last night …
* Yanks lose, but Colon looks good
* Yankees Notebook, on Soriano, Nova, Mo and Garrison
* Yanks expect bounceback effort from Garcia
* HBO special on Jeter to air July 28
(picture above courtesy of The Associated Press)
TORONTO — This should be interesting.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi chose Sunday as the day he’d shake up his lineup and give a few more guys a break from the field surface here at Rogers Centre. So, what we have is quite the afternoon delight — Eduardo Nunez fielding grounders at shortstop, Jorge Posada catching his throws at first base, and an all-turf field surrounding them.
Derek Jeter has the day off, Mark Teixeira is in as the designated hitter and Ramiro Pena gets his fifth start of the season at third base. But all our eyes will be on Phil Hughes, who makes his second start since returning from the disabled list.
Pregame, the Yankees switched outfielders, with lefty hitter Chris Dickerson returning and right-handed hitter Greg Golson being sent down to the Minor Leagues with the Yankees facing more righties in the coming days.
Still no Jose Bautista (ankle) for the Jays.
Here are your lineups …
Pitching: RH Hughes (0-2, 10.57 ERA)
Pitching: RH Carlos Villanueva (5-1, 2.99 ERA)
From the Game Notes …
* The Yankees are 34-18 (a .654 winning percentage) since May 17, marking the second-best record in the Majors over that stretch. Only the Red Sox (35-16) have a better mark since then.
* New York is a Major League-best 27-5 in day games this season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only team to win at least 27 of their first 32 day games in a season was the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1955.
* Nunez has driven in 16 runs this season, eight of which have tied the game or given the Yankees the lead.
And here are some links from yesterday …
* CC stifles Blue Jays for 14th win
* Yankees Notebook, with stuff on Soriano, defense, Jeter and (of course) signs
* Hughes out to build on modest return
* Yankees reportedly one of many teams interested in Ubaldo
* Alfonso Soriano to the Yankees?
TORONTO — Joe Girardi didn’t expect his bullpen to log so many innings so quickly into the second half. But two games removed from the All-Star break, the Yankees’ skipper already finds himself needing a long, bullpen-saving start from ace CC Sabathia. The Yankees’ relief corps logged 7 1/3 innings on Thursday, then three more on Friday. In that span, five different relievers were used, with Sergio Mitre going twice. Because of that, Mitre won’t be available today, and there’s a good chance neither will Hector Noesi, who’s two days removed from pitching 3 1/3 frames.
“It happens during the course of the season and you just have to prepare for it,” Girardi said. “You need some distance out of your ace today, and that’s the bottom line. And I think we’re covered. But if something were to happen to CC in the first inning, then it’d be a little tough today.”
Lucky for Joe, Sabathia is one of the best second-half pitchers in baseball.
Or perhaps the best.
In terms of second-half performance from 2006-10, Sabathia leads all Major League starters who qualify in ERA (2.64), wins (41) and strikeouts (490). For his career, the burly left-hander has a 3.67 first-half ERA and a 3.31 second-half ERA. Now, he’ll be looking to get the Yankees back on track after they dropped back-to-back games, and look to snap the Blue Jays’ five-game winning streak.
A lot of the talk pregame, once again, centered on signs. Russell Martin claimed the Blue Jays were picking up his signs on Thursday. Then last night, Girardi opted to go with multiple signs even with nobody on base, which led to a lot of mound trips and some confusion that may have taken Freddy Garcia out of rhythm (though nobody really used that as an excuse). Pregame today, Girardi vaguely addressed the issue of teams taking other measures besides their own baserunners to pick up signs, saying: “Sometimes we have inclinations that things might be happening in certain ballparks. We’re aware of it, and we try to protect our signs.” Blue Jays skipper John Farrell then denied that any of that is going on at Rogers Centre.
More on that soon.
For now, here are the lineups, with Jose Bautista still out for the Blue Jays and day-to-day with a sore ankle. It’s looking like he won’t play on Sunday, either. Curtis Granderson has the day off from the turf, and Martin gets a blow behind the plate with the quick turnaround …
Pitching: LH Sabathia (13-4, 2.72 ERA)
Pitching: LH Ricky Romero (7-8, 3.09 ERA)
Some links from last night …
* Garcia bested on night to forget for Yanks
* Yankees Notebook, with stuff on Nunez’s learning curve, Jeter’s popularity and Colon’s health
* Martin blames himself if Blue Jays knew signs
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 …
Pitching: RH Freddy Garcia (7-6, 3.13 ERA)
Pitching: RH Brandon Morrow (5-4, 4.60 ERA)
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
TORONTO – Welcome, one and all, to the fake grass of Rogers Centre, where the Yankees begin the season’s second half. I, Alden Gonzalez, will be with the club for this eight-game road trip while Bryan Hoch gets some time off.
Today, I was greeted with the signing of lefty reliever J.C. Romero, the call-up of outfielder Greg Golson, the decision to have setup man Rafael Soriano throw one more BP session before going on a rehab assignment, and the confusion of Derek Jeter over criticism for skipping the All-Star Game.
You can find that all on Yankees.com soon, if not now. But here are your lineups, with Nick Swisher making his return (remember, the Yankees play eight straight games on artificial turf, so it’ll be interesting to see how Joe Girardi juggles the off days) …
Pitching: RH Bartolo Colon (6-4, 3.20 ERA)
Pitching: LH Jo-Jo Reyes (4-7, 4.57 ERA)
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said last night that he has no plans to alter anything with his late-inning relief situation, which will continue to have Soriano manning the eighth innings more times than not.
“You’ve got to fight your way out of it,” Girardi said. “You keep using the guys. You get them on track. I haven’t lost any confidence in Rafael Soriano. This is a very good pitcher that just happened to give up a two-run homer.”
Soriano missed time recently with a sore lower back, though he said that wasn’t an issue on Tuesday, when he served up a go-ahead blast to the White Sox’s Paul Konerko. But he did say that it has been difficult moving into a setup role after saving an American League-leading 45 games for the Rays last season.
“It’s not easy for me,” Soriano said. “I’m trying to figure it out, how that I can do the same that I did last year. I’m struggling right now. I’ll take it and forget about it, and come back tomorrow.”
Alex Rodriguez said after the game that he believes Soriano is feeling out an adjustment process to New York, and Girardi said that he believes Soriano is equipped to get through it.
“It’s a different animal here,” Girardi said. “Some guys come in and the transition is easy. Other guys, it can be difficult. I haven’t found the transition to be really difficult for him, I just think at times he hasn’t thrown great this year. I haven’t seen anything to tell me he can’t handle it.”
Girardi also rejected the suggestion that Soriano might not adapt to the pressure of pitching in pinstripes.
“Let’s not forget that he closed 45 games in this division last year,” Girardi said. “It was a tight race. There was pressure in our division the whole year.”
Soriano’s likely not available for the Yankees tonight, having pitched on back-to-back nights.
It was a busy Wednesday morning in the Bronx, as the Yankees introduced Rafael Soriano to the New York media, a signing that Brian Cashman acknowledged makes the team better but one that he had still vocally opposed because of the contract value and a lost first-round Draft pick.
Then, just for good measure, Cashman acknowledged that he indeed had several discussions about bringing Carl Pavano back to the Yankees, looking for someone to upgrade a rotation that still figures to include both Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre if the season started today.
Pavano signed a two-year deal with the Twins later in the day, but like we said, it was a busy morning. Here are some of the other tidbits that might have been overlooked:
Cashman: “Joba’s in the bullpen, for the 200th time” – a.k.a., The Debate is Over
Joba Chamberlain will be in the bullpen and there is no chance of him starting for the Yankees in 2011, both Cashman and Girardi said.
Here’s Girardi’s explanation: “I think Joba is going to be an important part of our bullpen. For me, I like to shorten the game as much as I can. He has a chance to be an outstanding reliever for us and I think his second half was better than his first half. I think we could really have a close down bullpen where the game gets really short. When you’re called upon to pitch, your inning is just as important. If you give up runs in the sixth, you never get to the eighth. Sometimes in the seventh you might face a tougher part of the order than the eighth.”
Asked if there was some physical reason the Yankees wouldn’t consider starting Chamberlain, Girardi answered, “No, not necessarily. It’s probably hard to bounce back and forth all the time. Then you end up with an innings limitation again. I think it’s really important that you have an awesome bullpen and I think he can be a big part of that. … We just decided at this point that’s where he fits the best and that’s where we’re going to put him.”
Responding to a similar question, Cashman said, “I think we’ve seen over time now that his stuff plays so much better as a reliever than as a starter … As a result of everything leading up to and including last spring.”
A reporter then tried to float the case that Chamberlain’s numbers as a starter compared favorably to what Ivan Nova or Sergio Mitre might provide.
“He’s in the bullpen,” Cashman said.
Did Boston’s big winter push the Soriano deal?
Cashman said he never heard that the Yankees needed to react to Boston’s moves specifically, but Hal Steinbrenner felt that there needed to be an upgrade of some kind for the fan base. The decision went beyond just the baseball operations department, he added.
“I think [Steinbrenner] just felt we needed to do something, regardless,” Cashman said. “That’s how it was conveyed; ‘We’re not going to go into Spring Training without us doing something big.’ And this is big.”
Will Soriano fit in the clubhouse? Sure, Girardi says
There have been whispers that Soriano has had trouble with previous managers, including being upset with coming into non-save situations and being asked to pitch more than one inning. You would think that will be different with Mariano Rivera in New York.
Girardi said that reputation won’t be a problem, as he wants to “give everyone a clean slate” and tries to get to know each of his players as much as possible.
Are the Yankees a better team today?
Girardi figures the ’11 team is better than the one that walked off the field after Game 6 of the 2010 ALCS. “I think we’ve added to our bullpen, added another left-hander (in Pedro Feliciano), and I think we’re a better club because we’ve been through it,” he said.
More pitching on the way?
There has been buzz on the Hot Stove about the Yankees potentially showing interest in the Tigers’ Armando Galarraga – he of the imperfect Jim Joyce game – who was designated for assignment. He’s easily one of the more appealing options out there, given the marketplace.
Regarding another possible upgrade to the rotation, Cashman said: “I hope so. The starter might have to come from within. Hopefully we have some of these young kids answer the bell for us. In the meantime, we’ll still keep our eyes and ears open to the remaining market, which is very limited.”
He added: “It’s a difficult market to choose from. Listen, if you’re still on the board, there’s a reason for it.”
Captain leading off
As of this moment, Girardi says he has Derek Jeter penciled in to be the Yankees’ leadoff hitter. Hitting coach Kevin Long has said that he’d like to use Spring Training to experiment with different combinations.