Results tagged ‘ Kevin Youkilis ’
SEATTLE — Preston Claiborne has yet to issue a walk in his Major League career, a streak he kept alive in the eighth inning on Friday when he responded to a three-ball count by hitting the Mariners’ Kelly Shoppach with a pitch.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he was reminded of an old story about Stan Williams, a pitcher who admitted to hitting batters with three-ball counts because his contracts with the Dodgers in the late 1950s and early 1960s had walk-related incentives.
Claiborne, obviously, has no such clauses in his Yankees deal. The rookie laughed and said that there was no such trickery at play in keeping that 13-appearance, 18 1/3 inning string alive.
“A few people have asked me that,” Claiborne said, with a wide grin. “No, I was just trying to get a ground ball. I just threw a two-seamer and it sailed on me. I’m sticking to it.”
The hit batsman did little to dull the terrific start to Claiborne’s big league career. The 25-year-old is proving that he can handle the pressure situations of the late innings, compiling an 0.49 ERA with 14 strikeouts – and, of course, no walks – out of New York’s bullpen.
“As a bullpen guy, as a reliever, I’d always try to come out and blow it by guys,” Claiborne said. “Sometimes I’d get punished for it, leaving balls up or whatever. I realized, pitching at the knee – you always look at all the examples of guys over the years, Hall of Famers who actually pitch and don’t just try and blow gas. Those are the guys that have success.
“I think my coming along and pounding the strike zone as much as I have is just testament to my upbringing within the organization because guys who throw strikes, they get results and they move up. If you walk guys, you won’t have success.”
Since 1916, Claiborne is the only Yankees pitcher not to allow a walk over his first 13 career outings. Girardi said that he has been impressed by Claiborne’s consistency and courage in throwing 3-2 changeups and 3-2 sliders.
“I know people have talked about his walks, but he’s not worried about that little thing: ‘I haven’t walked anyone,’” Girardi said. “He’s trying to get hitters out. Back-to-back, he’s been good. He really hasn’t done anything wrong. He’s been really good.”
Girardi believes Wells will come out of slump
SEATTLE — The reality of Vernon Wells’ offensive production, as manager Joe Girardi sees it, is likely somewhere in the middle of his scorching April and his recent struggles at the plate.
Wells got off to a hot start with the Yankees but has gone ice-cold, owning just four hits in his last 53 at-bats (.075).
“I think his timing’s a little off,” Girardi said. “It seems when he does hit a ball hard, they catch it. He’s struggling right now. We believe he’s going to come out of it. There’s no doubt he’s going to come out of it, but I just think he’s out in front of balls a little bit and it’s causing some issues.”
Girardi said that he still considers Wells an everyday player in the Yankees’ lineup, though Lyle Overbay’s transition from first base to right field has given him more options with how to align his outfield.
“I still consider Vernon an everyday player,” Girardi said. “Might I spell him with a day off with Overbay? Yeah, but I still consider Vernon an everyday player.”
- Yankees left-hander Vidal Nuno was removed from his start on Friday at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre witha groin injury, according to manager Joe Girardi, who said that Nuno is expected to be placed on the Minor League disabled list.
- Kevin Youkilis entered play on Saturday having reached base safely in all 20 games that he has started in his career at Safeco Field. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that matches David Ortiz of the Red Sox for the longest streak of reaching base in consecutive starts at Safeco Field.
- Earlier this week, All-Star selections were made in the Class-A Florida State League and Class-A South Atlantic League. Catcher Gary Sanchez and right-hander Shane Greene were selected from Class-A Tampa, while Class-A Charleston is represented by four players: right-hander Rafael DePaula, right-hander Gabe Encinas, left-hander Dietrich Enns and catcher Peter O’Brien.
- On this date in 1969, Mickey Mantle Day was celebrated at Yankee Stadium as Mantle’s No. 7 jersey was retired and a plaque was unveiled in his honor. The Yanks then swept a doubleheader from the White Sox by scores of 3-1 and 11-2.
NEW YORK – The Yankees have placed infielder Kevin Youkilis on the 15-day disabled list with a lumbar spine sprain, replacing him on the active roster with infielder Corban Joseph.
Youkilis had missed eight of the Yankees’ last nine games with the persistent back issue. Manager Joe Girardi said that an MRI taken on Youkilis was negative, but Youkilis was scheduled to receive an epidural injection on Tuesday to relieve discomfort.
Telling the Yankees he felt ready to play, Youkilis returned to action against the Blue Jays on Saturday but felt more discomfort in his back after waking up on Sunday.
“It was just one of those things waking up, and I didn’t feel right,” Youkilis said before Monday’s game. “Sometimes, after your adrenaline’s gone, things occur to you. We’ve just got to find out what’s going on.”
The 34-year-old Youkilis signed a one-year, $12 million contract with the Yankees and was expected to hold down third base in the absence of Alex Rodriguez, who is not expected to return until after the All-Star break. Youkilis was batting .266 with two homers and seven RBIs in 17 games.
Joseph, 24, was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he was batting .273 with four home runs and nine RBIs in 22 games. A fourth-round selection by the Yankees in the 2008 Draft, Joseph has played mostly second base in the Minors and will be making his Major League debut.
A few quick updates to share from the Yankees clubhouse as they prepare for tonight’s game against the Rays at Tropicana Field:
- Kevin Youkilis is still having treatment on his sore back and is not expected to play until Thursday at Yankee Stadium. Joe Girardi said they won’t ask Youkilis to come to the bench during tonight’s game so he can keep receiving treatment, but Youkilis’ back is supposedly getting better. He did not appear in the clubhouse this afternoon. The Yankees are again playing Jayson Nix at third base and Lyle Overbay at first base against left-hander David Price.
- Mark Teixeira is still taking only dry swings, and said that his right wrist hasn’t loosened up enough to permit him to move on to batting practice. Teixeira said he feels like the wrist is healed, but acknowledges he won’t make it back for May 1st. Teixeira’s initial time frame of the injury was eight to 10 weeks, so May 1st would’ve been about the earliest possible date, but Teixeira still believes he is on track to play in the big leagues during the month of May.
- Ben Francisco has struggled in his role as the DH against left-handed pitching, but Girardi said that he will stick with him, saying that he believes “Francisco has hit some balls pretty decent.” That said, Girardi acknowledges how much the lineup misses guys like Derek Jeter and Teixeira against lefties.
- Brennan Boesch is likely to be in tomorrow’s lineup as Girardi plans to give Vernon Wells a day off.
- Jeter is expected to rejoin the Yankees on Thursday in New York and will talk to the media at Yankee Stadium. Girardi said that he believes Jeter has been fitted for a walking boot on his left ankle again.
Hello from inside the dome at Tropicana Field, where the Yankees and Rays will open a three-game series tonight. We’ll have updates from the clubhouse later this evening, including a check on if Kevin Youkilis will be in New York’s lineup after taking Sunday off on the turf up in Toronto due to back stiffness.
Update – yep, Youkilis is in:
Yankees lineup at Rays: Gardner 8 Francisco DH Cano 4 Youkilis 3 Wells 7 Cervelli 2 Boesch 9 Nunez 6 Nix 5 Sabathia LHP
Here is a selection of the information from the Yankees’ official game notes:
AT A GLANCE: Today the Yankees will play the first game of a three-game series at Tampa Bay… is the fourth game of a six-game road trip which also included a three game series at Toronto (went 2-1)… went 4-2 on their recent homestand from 4/12-18 against Baltimore (2-1) and Arizona (2-1)… following this road trip, will return home for a 10-game homestand vs. Toronto (4/25-28), Houston (4/29-5/1) and Oakland (5/3-5).
>Are 9-3 since 4/7 after starting the year with a 1-4 record… are tied for the fourth-best record in the AL.
RECENT RUN: The Yankees have gone 9-3 over their last 12 games dating to 4/7… over the stretch, Yankees batters are hitting .293 (128-for-437) with 26 doubles and 21HR (tied for MLB HR lead), outscoring their opposition 71-40… Yankees starters have posted a 2.85 ERA (79.0IP, 25ER) — fourth best in the Majors and second-best in the AL over the stretch — with 21BB, 63K and an 8-1 record.
GARDY PARTY: OF Brett Gardner has hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games since 4/7… over his last 10 games since 4/9, is batting .341 (15-for-44) with 7R, 4 doubles, 1 triple, 1HR, 8RBI and 4BB… has also hit safely in each of his last eight games and with a hit tonight at Tampa Bay, would tie Kevin Youkilis for the longest hitting streak by a Yankee this season (9G, 4/1-12).
COMFY CONFINES: OF Vernon Wells went 7-for-15 with 4R, 2HR and 3RBI over the three-game series at Toronto this weekend (4/19-21)… pplayed in 1,393G with Toronto from 1999-2010, batting .280 (1,529-for-5,470) with 789R, 223HR and 813RBI.
BECAUSE THE NIGHT: Yankees pitchers are 7-2 with a 2.68 ERA (84.0IP, 25ER) in nine night games this season… are 3-5 with a 5.58 ERA (71.0IP, 44ER) in eight day games in 2013.
Kevin Youkilis has been scratched from today’s Yankees lineup against the Phillies in Clearwater, Fla. with what the team has called a sore left oblique.
Manager Joe Girardi said that he does not believe the injury is anything serious, and expects Youkilis to be re-evaluated in a couple of days. Youkilis said that he is not concerned and would be playing if it were the regular season; he called it more of a cramp above his left hip and not a strain.
“Basically, yesterday I had a little cramp,” Youkilis said. “That just turned into, we’re going to be precautionary. I’m fine. I could play today and I’m perfectly fine, but they were just like, ‘No, we’re going to sit you out.’”
Youkilis said that he was moving around fine this morning.
“It’s one of those things where, I think after I swung yesterday and running and all that, it was hot and I got a little dehydrated,” Youkilis said. “When I got water in me, I was fine. Being a month away from games and all that, they just wanted to take it precautionary. I wanted to play today and was perfectly fine to play, and didn’t feel like there was any risk.”
Jorge Posada hasn’t yet arrived in camp for his duties as one of the Yankees’ guest instructors, but we must be getting close, because the five-time World Series champion is starting to talk a little ball.
Posada was a guest on Sirius/XM MLB Network Radio this morning with hosts Jim Memelo and Jeff Nelson. He shared his thoughts on several topics around the 2013 Yankees, including Posada’s prediction that Mariano Rivera will be able to return to the same dominant level for this team.
On Mariano Rivera: “Mariano is going to be 100 percent. Mariano is a freak of nature. One of those things about Mariano, he has great control, that cutter will not go away. I expect Mariano to be the old Mariano.”
On Derek Jeter: “He said it perfectly the other day, he’s going to be sore all over because he hasn’t been able to train like he wanted to, but he’s going to push himself to be ready for Opening Day. I know him, he’s going to probably be doing two-a-days and working really hard off the field to get back to 100 percent when it comes to Opening Day.”
On the Yankees’ catching competition: ”Obviously whoever has the best spring is going to start. That probably changes throughout the year. We’ve got three young catchers and we’re going to hopefully look forward to seeing them compete. This is what baseball is all about. You don’t get the job, you earn the job. I think it’s going to be good.”
On scouting reports for Cervelli and Romine: “Cervelli, very energetic, very athletic, very quick behind the plate. He has a good arm. He’s a lot more mature now so I think it’s perfect timing for him right now. Romine, obviously a little younger, smart kid behind the plate. We like him very much but they don’t want to rush him, so we’ll see. He’s got a shot too. We’ll see what happens in the spring.”
On Kevin Youkilis: “It’s going to be fun. I think it’s going to be great. The guy plays hard, that’s another guy that wants to prove himself. He had a tough year last year and I bet he worked really hard during the offseason to be a Yankee and be a part of this team.”
Kevin Youkilis was clicking around the Internet on Thursday evening when he realized one of his comments was picking up steam. Youkilis raised some eyebrows by saying that he’d “always be a Red Sock” and thought he should seek out the media on Friday at George M. Steinbrenner Field to clarify exactly what he’d meant.
“It hit me hard. I was like, ‘Oh man, I’ve got to watch my mouth here.’” Youkilis said. “I look at what I was saying as more like a baseball card. When you look at it, there are going to be nine seasons (with Boston). That’s why I said that. In the context of what I said, if you read it as just ‘I’m always a Red Sock,’ it looks bad.
“But it’s not that way. I’m a Yankee today, I’m excited, I’m proud to be a Yankee and I’m proud for Opening Day to play against the team that I spent all those seasons with. Trust me, if you know my personality and you know who I am, it doesn’t matter what team it is along the way – I want to beat everyone. I want to beat the Red Sox because I want to start off with a win at Yankee Stadium.”
Youkilis said that the comment was “one of those things you have to take with a grain of salt,” and that he also considers himself a Cincinnati Bearcat and a Chicago White Sock. It’s all part of his history, he said.
“I read a quote in (the clubhouse) that says, ‘There’s no such thing as an ex-Yankee,’” Youkilis said. “I’ll be proud to be a Yankee for life after this year, too.”
- As long as Youkilis was clearing up controversies, he also wanted to issue a progress report on his relationship with Joba Chamberlain. The former rivals shook hands on Friday morning, discussing Chamberlain’s budding new mustache (which has garnered mixed reviews, to put it nicely). Both players said their previous incidents are in the past and Chamberlain said he didn’t feel a need to explain anything to Youkilis.
- On to some actual baseball updates, Michael Pineda threw a bullpen session of 25 fastballs and said he felt good. It’s a light day on the bullpen side here at Yankees camp: Cesar Cabral, Zach Nuding and Matt Tracy also threw sides and Vidal Nuno threw a live batting practice session, but there aren’t too many bold-faced names on the workout list. The catchers in camp will take batting practice and the pitchers will go through fielding drills, but other than that, it could be a quick one for the Yanks.
- Today won’t be the day we get Mariano Rivera’s decision, in case you were wondering.
It’s probably not the best way to endear yourself to a new fan base, but hey, let’s at least give Kevin Youkilis some points for honesty.
The new Yankee and former Red Sox third baseman briefly stopped by George M. Steinbrenner this afternoon to check out his locker assignment and drop off a few items, spotting his No. 36 jersey hanging alongside a few pairs of pinstriped pants.
This is the new reality for Youkilis, who is clean-shaven to satisfy team regulations and sounded like a Yankee when he said that he’s just here to “go out there every day and play hard and try to win a World Series.”
Oh, but nothing in the fine print of his one-year, $12 million deal with the Yankees mandated that he must put his Red Sox history through the shredder, and so Youkilis made it clear that part of him will always belong in Boston.
“To negate all the years I played for the Boston Red Sox and all the tradition, you look at all the stuff I have piled up at my house and to say I’d just throw it out the window — it’s not true,” Youkilis said. “I’ll always be a Red Sock.”
That quote won’t win Youkilis many friends among a fan base that, judging by early Internet reaction, seems to be unconvinced about his addition. But here’s what might win them over: if Youkilis is healthy and productive for New York, the same blue-collar qualities that made Youkilis such a frustrating opponent over the years are exactly what Yankees fans have been asking for.
Think about it — how many times have we heard the talk-radio rants that the Yankees need more players with Paul O’Neill’s brand of intensity, the unbridled fury it takes to assault a bat rack or water cooler without a second thought about the millions watching at home? Youkilis can be that guy. In other words…
“I’ll never be Alex Rodriguez,” Youkilis said. “I mean, Alex Rodriguez is one of the best hitters of all-time. I’m not going to be that same guy. But I can be a good Major League player who can help the team win, and that’s all you’ve got to do.”
Here’s some more of Thursday’s notes and quotes from Tampa:
- Newly acquired right-hander Shawn Kelley is expected to join the team shortly after being traded by the Mariners on Wednesday evening. Kelley is a power arm with a plus slider and figures to compete with Cody Eppley for a bullpen role. He has a Minor League option remaining, so he could also start the year at Triple-A.
- Don’t leave the lights on for Alex Rodriguez here in Tampa; Brian Cashman said that A-Rod will not join the Yankees at any time this spring. He’s supposed to arrive in New York tomorrow from Miami to continue his rehab, so it sounds like the earliest anyone might see him around the ballpark is April 1 against the Red Sox.
- As we discussed earlier on the blog, Michael Pineda has progressed to throwing full mound sessions and the Yankees are optimistic that he could be helping at the big league level in late May or June. A lot can happen between now and then, and setbacks are an expected part of the process, but he’s on track so far. Pineda will start throwing to hitters in March, but isn’t expected to pitch in any Spring Training games.
- Dellin Betances took a step backward last season, but the Yankees haven’t given up hope on the hulking right-hander, hoping that a good showing in the Arizona Fall League can right his ship. Cashman said that the power, physicality and stuff are all there for Betances. One glaring problem has been fastball command, which is why Betances found himself demoted to Double-A Trenton last year.
- Ivan Nova said he doesn’t know why his strikeout rate jumped to 8.1 per nine innings last season after he posted 5.3 strikeouts per nine innings in 2011. He said he was just trying to pitch his game, not worrying about strikeouts. The number that still bothered Nova was his 5.02 ERA; the Yankees have scored him plenty of runs, but that’s too many to ask.
- Funny note from Girardi, who was recounting the uncomfortable moment he had to tell Nova that they were leaving him off the playoff rosters last year: “It’s not like he flipped my desk over or I felt threatened, but I could see the disappointment. I have a pretty big desk.”
Joba said he's heard back from Youkilis via text. Hopes that puts story of bad blood between them to bed—
Erik Boland (@eboland11) February 05, 2013
There was never much doubt that Chamberlain and Youkilis were going to put aside their differences and try to play nice as teammates, but at least there’s some confirmation that things are moving in the right direction.
Chamberlain had said that he reached out to Youkilis shortly after the third baseman signed in December, leaving a voice mail that went unreturned for a while.
Other notes passed along on Twitter by Boland and the New York Daily News’ Anthony McCarron as they guard the sidewalk outside the Yankees’ minor league complex (the media is not being allowed on the grounds yet – check out McCarron’s sweet photo):
Michael Pineda threw approximately 25 pitches from a half-mound. It’s his third such session of the spring. … Phil Hughes and Clay Rapada have arrived. David Robertson is also on site. … Derek Jeter worked out again. … Ivan Nova stopped briefly and told reporters he has no doubt he’ll be in the Yankees rotation.
Among the chief changes implemented since we last saw him — Youkilis has lowered his hands, he’s crouching a little more, has more balance, a shortened delivery, and less of a leg kick.
For a demonstration, you’ll have to tune in tonight to Yankees Access on YES. Youkilis will explain the how and why behind the mechanics, among a variety of topics, tonight at 10:30 p.m. ET after the Nets postgame show.
Youkilis also told Jack Curry of YES that he has already heard from some members of the Yankees’ celebrity fan base, including actor and comedian Adam Sandler.
“I talked to Adam and he always says it was the hardest thing for him every time I came up to bat,” Youkilis told Curry. “Because being Jewish, he’s like, ‘Gosh, I gotta root for him its sacrilegious not to root for a Jewish ball player,’ but he plays for the Red Sox so I can’t root for him.’ He said, ‘I always cheered for you, but man, you always killed us and I always hated that part.’”
Updated — here’s the video, via YES.