Results tagged ‘ Michael Pineda ’

Brian McCann feeling “more comfortable” at first base

It probably wasn’t the two games spent scooping throws in a long-ago high school tournament, but for whatever reason, playing a little bit of first base seems to be agreeing with Brian McCann.

With Mark Teixeira nursing a strained lat, McCann started his second consecutive game at first base on Wednesday. It marked McCann’s fourth career start and ninth appearance at the position, all of which have come with the Yankees this year.

“I feel a lot more comfortable than I thought I would, to be honest with you,” McCann said. “I don’t know why I feel more comfortable over there than I thought, but it’s a good thing.”

Yankees manager Joe Girardi noted that McCann played some first base in high school, but that’s a little bit of a stretch; McCann clarified that he spent most of his time catching, and only played a pair of games at first base. Most of what he is doing now is learning on the fly.

“It’s just going to be pure reaction for me,” McCann said. “But I feel comfortable fielding, picking, whatever I need to do.”

McCann said that he has been borrowing a glove from Kelly Johnson, but he is in the process of breaking in his own model. He said that the physical break is a welcome benefit, compared to the average day of bumps and bruises from catching.

“Absolutely, it might be a way you can keep his bat in the lineup a little bit more, and he doesn’t get as beat up,” Girardi said.

McCann said that the most challenging part of the position so far have been slight nuances which may not necessarily be noticed by the average observer.

“It’s just knowing where to be, knowing little things about the game,” McCann said. “Doing cutoffs, I may forget to do that. Last night I forgot to follow the trail runner at second. Just doing those little parts of the game over there is different.”

McCann signed a five-year, $85 million deal with the Yankees this past offseason, and when he did, the team said that they envisioned him as a catcher deep into the deal. They still do, but McCann said that he’s fine with pitching in at first base, especially given the injuries to Teixeira and Johnson.

“Like I said, whatever’s best for this team,” McCann said. “Obviously with Tex being out, it’s tough, so someone’s got to fill in. I’ll be that guy.”


CC Sabathia had arthroscopic debridement surgery performed on his right knee on Wednesday, and the Yankees left-hander is expected to be ready for Spring Training.

Dr. Neal ElAttrache, the Dodgers’ team physician, performed the procedure. Sabathia was limited to just eight starts this season, going 3-4 with a 5.28 ERA, and has not pitched in a big league game since May 10.

Sabathia has struggled the past two years, going a combined 17-17 with a 4.87 ERA. He attempted to rehab with the aid of a stem cell injection, but experienced more knee issues after making a Minor League start for Double-A Trenton on July 2.

While Sabathia was disappointed to learn that his season was ending early, the 34-year-old said that he was relieved to avoid microfracture surgery, a procedure which could have potentially been career-threatening.

“It’s something that I’m going to have to deal with probably for the rest of my life and eventually have a big surgery,” Sabathia said last week. “Right now the goal is to keep playing and this is the easiest way to do it.”


Michael Pineda is continuing to move along the comeback trail. The Yankees right-hander has been scheduled to throw a simulated game on Wednesday, a notable step as he attempts to return to a big league mound.

Pineda threw batting practice on Sunday at the Yankees’ complex in Tampa, Fla. After a promising start to his season, he has not appeared in a big league game since April 23 because of an upper back strain behind his pitching shoulder.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Pineda is scheduled to throw two innings or 30 pitches. Pineda initially sustained the injury while throwing during his 10-game suspension for pine tar use, then had a setback while on rehab in May.


Masahiro Tanaka has reported some improvement, according to Yankees manager Joe Girardi, but it will still be another two weeks before Tanaka can resume throwing. Tanaka is in the early stages of a six-week rehab program intended to heal the partial tear of his right ulnar collateral ligament.

“He did say he feels better, but I don’t think you really know how he’s doing until you get him on a mound and you start going forward,” Girardi said.

Masahiro Tanaka opts not to attend All-Star Game

Masahiro Tanaka has decided not to attend the July 15 All-Star Game at Target Field, the Yankees announced on Saturday.

Tanaka is currently on the 15-day disabled list with a small tear in his right ulnar collateral ligament, and is scheduled to begin a rehab program that the Yankees hope can get him back on a Major League mound in six weeks.

Manager Joe Girardi said that Tanaka, who issued a statement on Friday apologizing to the Yankees and their fans for the injury, would prefer to skip the trip to Minneapolis and focus on his rehabilitation.

“I think it’s really unfortunate, because he had a great first half and he’s not able to be a part of it,” Girardi said. “But for some reason, I think he’s going to get a chance to be a part of another one.”

Tanaka, 25, was selected as an American League All-Star after going 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA in 18 starts. Following the injury, Red Sox manager John Farrell replaced Tanaka on the AL squad with Boston reliever Koji Uehara.


Jeff Francis has appeared in 238 Major League games with four different clubs, but the left-hander has never had an opportunity to pitch in Yankee Stadium, something that the 10-year big league vet is looking forward to.

“It’s probably been said a hundred times over, but that’s a building with a lot of history, even though it’s new,” Francis said. “The team has a lot of history, so it’s something that I’m looking forward to.”

The present, and not the organization’s history, was on the Yankees’ mind when they acquired Francis along with cash considerations from the Athletics on Friday in exchange for a player to be named later.

The Yankees could use help soaking up innings out of the bullpen, where Adam Warren described the squad as “not fresh, obviously, but I wouldn’t say we’re going out there pitching injured.”

Francis had been working as a long reliever with Oakland, where he was 0-1 with a 6.08 ERA in nine appearances. He started the year with the Reds, where he made one start.

“Right now he’s probably a two-inning guy and another left-hander,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “Maybe he gets stretched out during some games for us. That’s not really what you want, but maybe it happens. It’s just another guy that can give you multiple innings.”

To create room for Francis on the active roster, the Yankees designated right-hander Matt Daley for assignment. Daley was called up on Friday when the Yankees designated right-hander Jim Miller for assignment.


Yankees right-hander Michael Pineda is inching back toward game action. Pineda threw a 25-pitch bullpen on Friday at the club’s complex in Tampa, Fla., and reported no issues. His best-case scenario is a big league return in mid-August.

Carlos Beltran, Brett Gardner out of Yankees’ lineup

Carlos Beltran sustained two small facial fractures in a batting practice mishap on Wednesday afternoon, but the Yankees are hopeful that the veteran switch-hitter will be able to avoid landing on the disabled list.

Beltran was scratched from the starting lineup for New York’s 5-4, 14-inning victory over the Indians after a batted ball ricocheted off a protective ‘L’ screen in an indoor batting cage, striking him in the face.

“You don’t expect that to happen when you’re practicing,” Beltran said. “I had a headache for the whole day. Now it’s getting better. Hopefully tomorrow it will get better and I could be back soon.”

Beltran had some bruising on the bridge of his nose, but relatively little swelling. He said that the Yankees want to make sure that he feels fine on Thursday, and added that there is some concern about a possible concussion.

“I don’t know what the team’s going to do,” Beltran said. “With the concussion things, teams take that serious. Honestly, I don’t feel like I have that. But at the end of the day it’s not my decision.”

Derek Jeter replaced Beltran in the lineup and went 2-for-6 with a run scored. Beltran missed the first two games of New York’s series against the Indians with swelling behind his right knee.

“You can only change the lineup so many times and then you run out of people. It’s difficult,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “He felt really good until he did that and then we had to send him for X-Rays and a CT-scan. I have to figure out what we’re going to do.”


Brett Gardner was held out of the Yankees’ lineup on Wednesday with what the speedster is calling a lower abdominal strain, an injury that bothered him during New York’s 5-3 loss to the Indians on Tuesday.

Gardner said that he was examined after the game, fearing a hernia. A doctor confirmed that was not the case, and Gardner said that he should be able to be in the lineup for Thursday’s series finale in Cleveland.

“It was bothering me during the game,” Gardner said. “I just really felt it yesterday. I actually had a bad stomach bug three or four days ago, so I didn’t know if maybe it had something to do with that. The more the game went on, the more I felt that it wasn’t necessarily my stomach.”

Girardi said that Gardner was dealing with dehydration over the weekend against the Twins. Gardner said that head athletic trainer Steve Donohue advised him to take a full day off without swinging or running.

“It’s a little strain or aggravation,” Gardner said. “I actually feel a lot better today than I did last night after the game, so that’s a very good thing.”


With Masahiro Tanaka on the 15-day disabled list, the Yankees’ starter for Sunday at Baltimore is now listed as TBA. Girardi suggested that Chase Whitley would be an option to draw the start, and that he could use his bullpen liberally in the game.

“It’s the last four days before the break and you’ve got a lot of days off,” Girardi said. “There’s a lot of different things. It’ll really depend on the next four days.”


Michael Pineda, one of the four members of the Yankees’ Opening Day rotation currently on the disabled list, is still just playing catch in Tampa, Fla. and is not expected to be big league ready until mid-August at the earliest. Girardi said that Pineda is scheduled to throw a bullpen near the end of this week.


On this date in 2011, Derek Jeter became the 28th player all-time to record 3,000 hits, accomplishing the feat with a third-inning solo home run off Rays left-hander David Price at Yankee Stadium.

Carlos Beltran out of lineup with swollen knee

Hello from Cleveland’s Progressive Field, where the Yankees and Indians are set to open a four-game series this evening. Here are the quick hits from this evening’s notebook:

Brian McCann, Carlos BeltranCarlos Beltran was held out of the Yankees’ lineup on Monday after the switch-hitter reported mild swelling in the back of his right knee, according to manager Joe Girardi.

Beltran is scheduled to be seen by the Indians’ team doctor at Progressive Field on Monday, but Girardi said that the Yankees have not planned any other tests.

“We’re going to give him a day off. I’ll find out later on if he’s available to pinch-hit,” Girardi said. “He’ll see their doctor today and see what they think. Not a lot, but just a little bit.”

Beltran has eight hits in his last 30 at-bats, raising his average to .216 with nine home runs and 28 RBIs in 61 games.

“He’s been swinging the bat better,” Girardi said. “Obviously, he’s a switch-hitter that we put between our lefties and has power. He’s a run producer. It is something that we’ll miss tonight. Hopefully we get him back in there tomorrow.”


For Derek Jeter, return visits to the facility now known as Progressive Field will always produce memories of Opening Day 1996, which teammate David Cone would later refer to as Jeter’s “coming-out party.”

Jeter hit his first Major League home run, a fifth-inning solo homer off the Indians’ Dennis Martinez, and contributed a sharp catch on an Omar Vizquel pop-up in the Yankees’ 7-1 victory that afternoon.

“Your first Opening Day is pretty memorable, pretty special,” Jeter said. “I was excited for that day. We got snowed out the day before, so we had to wait a while; it seemed like we had to wait forever to get that first one underway.”

Earlier this year, Jeter said that he ranks that April 2, 1996 contest as one of his two favorite Opening Days; the other was the Yankees’ 1996 home opener, better remembered as the Andy Pettitte snow game against the Royals.

“I like playing here. I like this stadium,” Jeter said. “I’ve always liked coming here and playing. We’ve had some great battles with some really, really good Cleveland teams. They beat us in ’97, we came back and beat them in ’98. I enjoy coming here. It’s a nice stadium and the fans have always been great.”


Dellin BetancesWhen Dellin Betances reported to Spring Training, the Yankees had hoped that the hard-throwing right-hander would be able to put it all together, but it was a late March outing against the Blue Jays that made Joe Girardi really believe it was happening.

As Girardi recalled on Monday, a March 23 outing at George M. Steinbrenner Field made the Yanks’ coaches take notice. Betances entered with the bases loaded in the seventh inning, leaving them that way by striking out Jose Bautista looking and getting Edwin Encarnacion to fly out to left field.

“He came in the bases loaded and was dominant,” Girardi said. “I thought, ‘You know what, maybe it’s clicking.’ … You could see that there was deception there and they didn’t see the ball real well off of him.”

Betances was named as one of the Yankees’ three All-Stars on Sunday, joining Derek Jeter and Masahiro Tanaka. He has a 1.61 ERA and 78 strikeouts in 37 appearances, and was selected to the squad by the player vote.

“It’s crazy, man,” Betances said. “I worked hard this offseason, had a lot of guys that helped me. I just felt ready coming into the spring. My job was to make the team, but now to be here on this day, to be an All-Star this year, I’m honored.”


Right-hander Brandon McCarthy, who was acquired in a trade from the D-backs on Sunday in exchange for left-hander Vidal Nuno, is expected to join the Yankees on Tuesday. McCarthy is scheduled to make his Yankees debut against the Indians on Wednesday.


Girardi said that he believes closer David Robertson (2.93 ERA in 26 appearances, 21-for-23 in save opportunities) deserved to be selected as an All-Star, and Girardi hopes that there is still time for that to happen.

“Obviously there’s always people that have to bow out,” he said. “I’ve said it all along; if you like people that strike people out in key situations, he’s pretty good at it. You take away his one outing against Minnesota, his numbers are as good as anyone’s in baseball. And from a strikeout ratio, even better.”


Right-hander Michael Pineda has progressed to playing catch at 90 feet. The Yankees hope to have him throw from a mound by the end of this week, with a mid-August return to the big leagues standing as his best-case scenario.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman: “I think we’re all embarrassed”

Gerry David, Michael Pineda, Derek JeterThere’s plenty to go over from last night’s 5-1 Yankees loss to the Red Sox, which will be remembered as the game that Michael Pineda was ejected in the second inning for having pine tar on the right side of his neck.

As we’ve covered in several other stories on MLB.com, Pineda felt that he was having trouble controlling the ball after allowing two first-inning runs on a cold night. He said that he applied the pine tar before the second inning, even though the Yankees had several conversations with him about the issue following the April 10 incident against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.

Several members of the Red Sox said that the issue really wasn’t that Pineda used pine tar to help his control – it’s in violation of Rule 8.02, but it’s something that happens widely in the game, and hitters would prefer that the pitcher knows where the ball is going. The problem was that he was so blatant about it, essentially forcing John Farrell’s hand. There was no way the Red Sox could ignore it; Farrell even said before the game that if Pineda used pine tar, he just hoped it would be a little more discreet.

Pineda was apologetic after the game, manager Joe Girardi was mostly supportive of what he called “bad judgment” on Pineda’s part, and pitching coach Larry Rothschild seemed to be a bit mystified how it had all happened. General manager Brian Cashman offered the most unvarnished take, which we’ll provide a deeper look into right here:

Your reaction to the ejection? “We certainly are responsible, and there’s certainly failure on our part as an organization as a whole that he took the field in the second inning with that on his neck. He’s responsible for his actions, but we failed as an organization for somehow him being in that position. I don’t know how — none of us right now, we’re scratching our head right now, how that took place.”

Was there a conversation with him? “I think it’s probably best to not comment on that, but clearly what took place in the second inning should not be taking place.”

Are you angry with Pineda? “I think we’re all embarrassed. We as a group are embarrassed that this has taken place. I think Michael’s embarrassed. I think we’re embarrassed that somehow he took the field with that in the position like that. It’s just obviously a bad situation, and it clearly forced the opponents’ hand to do something that I’m sure they didn’t want to do, but they had no choice but to do. Obviously we’ll deal with the ramifications of that now.”

Are you more likely to check Red Sox pitchers now? “It’s not anything that’s on our mind. Listen, I would want our manager to do what John Farrell did. I would want, on behalf of our fan base and our team, to do the same thing that they did. Obviously this is a terrible situation that we all witnessed and we’re all a part of and we all have ownership to because there was clearly a failure and a breakdown that he wound up walking out of that dugout with something like that. It’s just not a good situation.”

Why didn’t you know? “I think with television. With television I think the Red Sox probably saw it just like we saw it, but he was already on the field. He didn’t have it in the first inning. He had it in the second inning. There wasn’t anything there in the first inning. He walked out of the dugout in the second inning with it on, and I think by the time everybody saw what was going on, it was too late.”

Did you see it before the umpires? “I personally got a phone call from people watching the game on TV like, ‘Hey, I don’t know what’s going on, but something looks (off).’ So I got out of the stands, walked in, but by the time I made it from the stands in here it was too late.”

Is the problem that he used it or that it was so obvious? “It’s against the rules, let’s leave it at that.”

How could it be so blatant? “We are all responsible. He did what he did, but we are all responsible that he got out of our dugout and was on the field in that manner. We’re all responsible for that situation. Don’t misunderstand that we are a part of putting something on him and stuff like that, but clearly we all have ownership of the fact that that never should have happened.”

Was he told not to do it? “There have been enough conversations. And obviously there will be more now, or there have already been more now, even in-game when he was ejected from the game. I think after the last go-around with the same team, clearly there were a lot of conversations about this. There are no secrets there.”

Should the rule be changed? “That’s for another day. Those are what the rules are that are currently in play. Bottom line is that it’s against the rules, and now we will deal with the consequences.”

Do you expect a suspension? “Yes.”

Your message to Yankees fans? “This is not something that we’re proud to be sitting in, and we’re certainly embarrassed. When he took the field in the second inning, that should never have taken place.”

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