Results tagged ‘ Phil Hughes ’

Quick hits: A-Rod batting second for Yanks

greetings-from-baltimore-marylandHere are the early notes as the Yankees (76-67) and Orioles (76-66) get set to kick off a four-game series here at Camden Yards. CC Sabathia (13-11) has the ball for New York, while the Orioles counter with Chris Tillman (15-5, 3.71). It’s a nice September night here in the Inner Harbor, temperatures in the 70s and – somehow – low humidity. That won’t last all week, so let’s enjoy it while we can.

Curtis Granderson, Alex RodriguezAlex Rodriguez is hitting second tonight, the first time he has done so since Aug. 26, 2006, when Joe Torre tried him there in a 12-7 loss to the Angels.  Joe Girardi said that since Alfonso Soriano has been productive hitting behind Robinson Cano, he wanted to keep that alignment intact.

“[Rodriguez has] done a really good job of getting on base against right-handers and swinging the bat well against right-handers,” Girardi said. “I’m trying to break up our left-handed hitters.”

Hey, was that Derek Jeter? It was — briefly. Jeter stepped out of the trainer’s room for only a moment, and did not return the rest of the time that reporters were allowed in the clubhouse. Jeter hasn’t spoken publicly since he left Saturday’s game to have a CT scan performed.

Girardi said that he wanted to keep Jeter from doing any baseball activity on Monday, but added that Jeter could be pressed into duty on his sore ankle if anything happened to shortstop Eduardo Nunez.

“I might use him in an emergency if I had to use him tonight,” Girardi said. “That’s kind of the situation we’re in. It’s not like I have a number of shortstops lying around.”

Where have you gone, Reid Brignac? Oh, right.

The team forwarded Jeter’s CT scan results to Dr. Robert Anderson – who performed Jeter’s ankle surgery last October – but Brian Cashman said that Anderson has not yet responded with his diagnosis. Cashman added that there has been no consideration given to the idea of shutting Jeter down for the rest of the 2013 season.

“No, no, no, no,” Cashman said.

David Robertson was scheduled to play catch on Monday, testing his right arm after he was diagnosed with shoulder inflammation last week. He’s considered ahead of Boone Logan, who had a a cortisone injection administered over the weekend. Girardi seemed to be doubtful that Logan would be available until Friday against the Red Sox, but they’re hopeful Robertson could pitch in the Orioles series.

Chris Stewart is “probably not” available to play, according to Girardi. Stewart sustained a left foot contusion when he was hit by a pitch in the third inning of Sunday’s 4-3 win over the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.

Left-hander David Huff continues to be listed as the Yankees’ probable starter on Thursday against the Orioles, though that seems less than a certainty after Huff allowed nine runs in 3 1/3 innings to the Red Sox on Saturday.

“We’re going to get through these three days and see where we’re at,” Girardi said. “I’m not saying I’m changing anything, but if we need Huff [in relief], we need Huff.”

Phil Hughes, who lost his rotation slot to Huff, could be reinstated to starting duty under that scenario.

Cashman’s state of the Yankees: “Well, I certainly don’t like where we’re sitting because you want to be in the driver’s seat and we’re not in the driver’s seat, But I know we’re going to fight and give it everything we’ve got, as simple as that.

“We’ve been fighting for this thing all year long and they’ve put themselves in a position to kind of see a line that crossable. But we’re all bunched together here, so this is a big series. It’s the obvious thing to say but it’s true.

“We’ve caught enough breaks this year. Like anything else, every time someone has a problem it gives an opportunity to either take advantage or not. It’s hard to find anything at this time of year now.”

My Beat The Streak pick today: I’d better start doubling down if we’re going to make this streak respectable — forget matching Joe D., I can’t even get to Wee Willie Keeler with just 19 games left. So let’s make two picks tonight: A-Rod (4-for-7 lifetime vs. Tillman) and Cano (11-for-22 lifetime vs. Tillman). The streak is at one after Ichiro Suzuki had two hits in yesterday’s win.

Quick hits: Hughes disappointed but not surprised

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.”

Look who’s the AL Pitcher of the Month — it’s Ivan Nova.

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).

Quick hits: A-Rod embraces the silence

greetings-from-torontoHere are the early notes as the Yankees (69-62) and Blue Jays (59-73) prepare to meet here at Rogers Centre. Andy Pettitte and J.A. Happ are matching up for the 7:07 p.m. ET start:

I think we can all come up with a few reasons why there didn’t seem to be much celebration for Alex Rodriguez‘s 650th career home run last night. Yes, we’re in Toronto, and this place hasn’t exactly been a welcoming place for A-Rod in years past to begin with. Obviously Rodriguez’s appeal of a 211-game suspension and continued allegations of performance-enhancing drug use are also taking the luster away from his pursuit of Willie Mays.

But you know what? Considering the way A-Rod’s eventful month has gone, he really didn’t seem to mind slipping out the side door of the ballpark last night and shying away from the cameras. As he put it today, “Quiet is good.” Rodriguez said that he can’t spend time focusing on personal milestones at this moment because the Yankees “need wins like oxygen right now.” That’s a pretty good line; it’s true, and he’s also right in a lot of ways.

Alex Rodriguez, Andy PettitteCertainly, the relative silence coming from A-Rod’s camp seems preferable to the nuttiness of that weekend when Joe Tacopina went on a media tour while the Yankees tried to focus on a series at Fenway Park. Since Rodriguez’s appeal looks like it’s going to stretch into November or December, keeping the attention on the field for August and September is a solid plan. We’ll have plenty of time for the rest of it.

Girardi’s scouting report on Pettitte tonight: “He’s pitched better lately, which is important down the stretch here. I mean, it’s extremely important for us. I think his sinker has been better, his changeup has been better, and those are two pitches he relies on, and he’s going to need those, there’s no doubt about it. When you lose the feel for it, it becomes more difficult, but he’s been good.”

There has been speculation about Phil Hughes being skipped or losing his spot in the Yankees’ rotation, but Joe Girardi had no decisions to speak about on that front. Girardi only issued Hughes a lukewarm endorsement after last night’s loss, but there’s really no reason to believe they would announce a move so soon. I’m guessing they’ll use Thursday’s off-day to make sure Hughes doesn’t face the Orioles this weekend.

I should’ve mentioned this last night, but Girardi went to Vernon Wells as a pinch-hitter in place of Brett Gardner because he was looking for Wells to hit a home run. Wells struck out.

The Yankees will be represented by three position players in the Arizona Fall League: Tyler Austin, Peter O’Brien and Mason Williams.

My Beat The Streak pick tonight: Derek Jeter, in a last minute switch to the Captain. My original pick was Ichiro Suzuki, who is 4-for-7 lifetime vs. Happ, but he’s not in the lineup. Jeter is 4-for-8 lifetime vs. Happ. Streak is at zero after Robinson Cano went hitless last night.

Girardi: Right now, Hughes is in our rotation

"I have to find a way to turn this around." - Phil Hughed

“I have to find a way to turn this around.” – Phil Hughes

IN TWO PARAGRAPHS: How much length is left in Phil Hughes’ leash? That’s the big question tonight, and Joe Girardi only gave Hughes a lukewarm endorsement. No, Hughes wasn’t terrible, and an Ichiro Suzuki error surely dented his line a bit, but the Yankees seem to be running out of patience. Hughes allowed five runs (three earned) and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings to a Blue Jays team that is very clearly playing spoiler, and Toronto posted a 5-2 victory over New York on Monday at Rogers Centre.

Hughes’ record fell to a nightmarish 4-13 with the loss, but the Yankees have been reluctant to make a change in their rotation because they haven’t been sure there are better options in the system. David Phelps, Michael Pineda and Vidal Nuno all could’ve been in that mix, but injuries have taken them out of the running. Maybe David Huff (3 1/3 hitless innings with five strikeouts) has vaulted into play. Just because they haven’t talked about it doesn’t mean they won’t.

MANAGER’S TAKE: “Right now [Hughes is] in our rotation. We haven’t talked about taking him out of our rotation. I think he had a walk that scored; a couple walks hurt him today. We didn’t make the play behind him and it looks a lot different if it’s three runs in five innings.” – Joe Girardi

QUOTES…

Ichiro: “If I could’ve just gone straight home from right field, I would have. I was that embarrassed.”

Hughes: “It’s been very difficult. Every time I feel like I make some progress the last couple times out, it seems like you have these hiccups and it’s the way the whole season has gone. It’s been difficult, it’s been a struggle. I guess every time you have one of these outings I try and look at the positive. I still have the opportunity to pitch in big games where it really matters and that’s all I can do. I can’t get down on myself or negative all the time. I just have to stay confident and aggressive every time they give me the ball.”

Derek Jeter: “All the games are important, but Toronto’s got a good team. They’re not just going to lay down and let us walk all over them. They have a lot of pride over there, they have a great team. Remember, coming into this season, they were supposed to run away with the division, so they have a good team. Unfortunately for us, we couldn’t figure out the knuckleball today.”

NOTES…

Two milestones – Alex Rodriguez hit his 650th homer and Brett Gardner picked up his 500th career hit in the loss … Derek Jeter went 0-for-3 with a walk and double play. … A-Rod has 35 homers at Rogers Centre, the most by any Blue Jays opponent. … The Blue Jays snapped a streak of 10 straight losses to the Yankees.

ON DECK

The Yankees give the ball to Andy Pettitte (9-9, 4.26) on Tuesday opposite the Blue Jays’ J.A. Happ (3-3, 5.10) in a matchup of lefties. First pitch is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. ET on YES. The Yankees have lost three of their last four games after carrying a five-game winning streak into this road trip.

Yanks split twinbill with Dodgers, look ahead to showdown with Rays

The Yankees split their doubleheader with the Dodgers on Wednesday, winning the first game 6-4 behind strong performances from Ichiro Suzuki and Hiroki Kuroda.

They then flopped in the nightcap, as Phil Hughes allowed five runs in six innings and the Yankees mustered just three singles against Chris Capuano and two relievers in a 6-0 loss.

We’ve recapped all of the day’s action in story form on MLB.com and Yankees.com, of course, but here is a quick rundown of  what you might have missed in the deluge:

  • It was exciting to get an in-person look at Yasiel Puig. He’s just as fun to watch as advertised, and I wish he played in the American League East so we could see it more regularly. The Yankees and the Dodgers both disagree with me on that point, I’m sure.
  • Mariano Rivera bested the intriguing rookie in a ninth-inning battle to end the first game.
  • Lyle Spencer compared Puig to Ichiro Suzuki very nicely: “Ichiro improvises cool jazz. Puig is hard rock, charged by electricity.” When Puig stepped in against Adam Warren in the seventh inning, I wasn’t even able to manage to say, “I don’t like this matchup for Adam Wa…” before Puig flicked his wrists and hit an opposite-field homer. He’s special.
  • Joe Girardi said that he has not given any thought to removing Hughes from the rotation, but acknowledged the struggles we’re all seeing. “I think it’s location for him, location of his fastball, and staying out of long counts,” Girardi said.
  • Zoilo Almonte made his big league debut, grounding out as a pinch-hitter for Austin Romine in the ninth inning of the second game. Joe Girardi had said that he planned to give Almonte a start in the second game, as well as against one of the Rays right-handers, but obviously changed his mind between games. Almonte is the Yankees’ No. 10 prospect, according to MLB.com.
  • Robinson Cano was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double in the second game, and Girardi was a bit mystified why that happened. “He took too wide of a turn, and I’m not really sure why he took such a wide turn, but he did,” Girardi said.
  • Austin Romine’s troubles at the plate continue, but with Francisco Cervelli not expected back until the middle of July, Girardi said that he can keep trotting Romine out as his backup catcher. “I think he’s done a pretty good job behind the plate,” Girardi said. “He’s struggled offensively, there’s no doubt about it. Early on he was hitting some balls hard and he wasn’t having a whole lot of luck. But he’s done a pretty good job for me behind the plate.”
  •  Jason Kidd threw the ceremonial first pitch for the nightcap.
  • The Bleacher Creatures twice serenaded Dodgers manager Don Mattingly with chants of “Don-nie Base-ball,” and Mattingly doffed his cap both times.

The Yankees have lost six of their last eight games as they head into a four-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays tonight. Here are the pitching probables, game times and local television information:

Thur., 6/20 vs. Tampa Bay: LHP Andy Pettitte (5-4, 3.95) vs. LHP Matt Moore (8-3, 4.12), 7:05 p.m. YES

Fri., 6/21 vs. Tampa Bay: RHP David Phelps (4-4, 4.08) vs. RHP Roberto Hernandez (4-7, 5.02), 7:05 p.m. MY9

Sat., 6/22 vs. Tampa Bay: LHP CC Sabathia (7-5, 3.93) vs. TBD, 1:05 p.m. YES/MLB Net.

Sun., 6/23 vs. Tampa Bay: TBD (Ivan Nova?) vs. RHP Chris Archer (1-3, 5.03), 2:05 p.m. YES/TBS

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