Results tagged ‘ Rays ’
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)
ST. PETERSBURG — It’s possible (though not likely) that two Yankees could make their Major League debut at Tropicana Field tonight.
Brandon Laird, called up yesterday after Ramiro Pena‘s appendectomy, is finally active after a flight delay forced him to arrive late yesterday. On Tuesday, it was lefty Steve Garrison who was called up from Double-A Trenton to take the place of righty Sergio Mitre, who’s battling a bacterial infection but was placed on the DL because of shoulder tendinitis.
More on all that soon, but here are the lineups prior to what most will agree is a very important start for Bartolo Colon …
Pitching: RH Colon (6-5, 3.47 ERA)
Pitching: RH Jeremy Hellickson (8-7, 3.21 ERA)
Some links from last night …
* Patience a virtue as Yanks edge Rays
* Jeter passes Kaline on career hits list
* Hurt corner: Pena to DL thins Yanks at 3B
* Yankees Notebook on Chavez and the Trade Deadline
* Yanks hope Colon has tossed aside concerns
(Sorry there was no blog yesterday — technical difficulties.)
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — That’s the question I’m pondering from St. Pete, just a few hours before the start of a four-game series against the Rays and just a few hours removed from a very convincing start by Phil Hughes.
Hughes looked awfully close to that 18-game winner from 2010 against the Blue Jays on Sunday, when he notched his first win and first quality start, retired eight of his final nine hitters he faced and registered just 80 pitches through six innings. He could’ve gone longer, but Hughes (pictured left by The Associated Press) went deep enough to make a very important point — he looks like an effective starting pitcher again.
Over the All-Star break, the right-hander worked with pitching coach Larry Rothschild on better aligning his stride towards the plate and adjusting his curveball grip. That grip gave him a much sharper breaking ball he was able to use as a reliable No. 2 pitch to offset his four-seamer (one that consistently sat in the 92- to 93-mph range and got better as the game wore on).
Now, the question: If Hughes truly is back, and he’s the 2010 version again, do the Yankees need Ubaldo Jimenez?
Here’s the thing about Jimenez: Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd doesn’t really have to move him. It reminds me a lot of the situation with Padres closer Heath Bell in recent years. Jimenez is under club control for a while (signed through 2012 with two additional club options thereafter), he’s awfully affordable (making no more than $8 million through 2014) and his stock is rather low (Jimenez is 5-8 with a 4.08 ERA in 18 starts this year — though he does have a 2.56 ERA since the start of June).
Since the Rockies are 9 1/2 games out of first place and the starting-pitching market is weak, it’s not surprising they would shop him. But considering all the above-mentioned factors, it’s no wonder Colorado seeks the sun and the moon for the services of Ubaldo (pictured right by the AP).
MLB.com colleague Thomas Harding says the Rockies are at least listening to offers for Jimenez, but a deal remains unlikely. Peter Gammons, meanwhile, put the chances of a deal at 10 percent. We all know how quickly things can change as the non-waiver Trade Deadline draws closer, though.
With regards to the Yankees, the names that have surfaced as potential pieces to a deal are the likes of Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, Ivan Nova and Jesus Montero (though SI.com is reporting today that Montero wouldn’t be the centerpiece of the potential trade, since the Rockies don’t view him as a catcher).
Now, if Hughes is right, then the Yankees would have an in-house rotation of CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Hughes at the top, with the final spots going to any two between Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia and Nova.
Would they still need Jimenez to make a return trip to the playoffs? And would it be worth it to give up what the Rockies would want in return?
Curious to hear your thoughts.
Some links from the series finale in Toronto …
* Efficient Hughes looks strong in first win
* Yankees Notebook, on Gardner, Dickerson, Teixeira and A-Rod
* Yankees intend to push Rays down standings
Joe Girardi has been a busy guy during the first couple of days here. As I write this, he’s squatting out in the bullpen catching Andrew Brackman, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery and — from what I can see — has a ways to go. Humberto Sanchez is next, limbering up near the left field foul line. Girardi still has some of the moves back there, even if the reflexes might not be trigger sharp.
Yesterday afternoon, Girardi wandered out to the Ray tank they keep out in right-center field. There’s an assortment of real live creatures out there, and the fans can feed them. You can even stick your hand in the tank, I suppose, but Girardi didn’t need that to make the experience any more enjoyable.
“I didn’t see too many rays growing up in Peoria,” he said.
Alex Rodriguez worked out again today over at the Himes Ave. complex. He’s targeting next Tuesday vs. Baltimore for his return. … Johan Santana vs. the Yankees, eh? I smell Hank Steinbrenner commentary. … Heard about Dan McCutchen yet? If not, the Newark Star-Ledger will help you brush up. …