Results tagged ‘ Stephen Drew ’

CC Sabathia trying to get the Yankees back on track

New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia (52) delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins at Yankee Stadium in New York, Thursday, June 18, 2015.  (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Hello once again on what promises to be a stormy evening here at Yankee Stadium. We should have a thunder and lightning show at some point tonight, but so far everything is on schedule. CC Sabathia and Sean O’Sullivan comprise the pitching matchup as the Yankees try to bounce back from a couple of rough ones against the Tigers and Phillies.

Here are the quick hits you need to know:

Manager Joe Girardi spoke a bit during his press conference about Sabathia’s ongoing adjustments:

“I think he’s adjusted better than he did maybe at the beginning of last year. I still think that every day going out there, it’s a learning process for him in learning how to pitch different. He’s incorporated his two-seamer to right-handers, something he did this year and something he never had to do. It’s picking the right times go use it. I still think he’s adjusting, but I think he understands who he is better than he did a year ago.”

Sabathia is unbeaten in his last four starts, going 1-0 with a 4.37 ERA (22.2 IP, 11 ER).  He has 23 strikeouts and only three walks in that stretch.

Mitchell gives the Yankees an extra long reliever in case they need one, since Ivan Nova is starting tomorrow and Chris Capuano had to be summoned in relief yesterday due to Michael Pineda’s clunker.

Mark Teixeira (stiff neck) is “not quite ready” to play, according to Girardi, though the Yankees hope to have him back in the lineup tomorrow. Girardi said that he is not sure if Teixeira could be used as a pinch-hitter tonight. Teixeira said that he senses some improvement after yesterday’s cortisone injection:

“It’s been an issue for two weeks now. That’s too long, That’s why we got an MRI. Usually if you have a stiff neck, some spasms, they go away after a couple days. After two weeks, you want to get an MRI. It showed some irritation in the joint, so we got it fixed.”

Andrew Miller (left forearm flexor muscle strain) is scheduled to play catch tomorrow.

Brett Gardner is batting .565 (13-23 AB) with three homers over his last five games.

Brian McCann has homered in back-to-back games and is batting .360 (18-50 AB) with 12 RBIs over his last 13 games.

Girardi’s thoughts on Cole Hamels, who starts Wednesday for the Phillies:

“Obviously the challenge is great in facing Cole Hamels. He’s an outstanding pitcher and he’s been an outstanding pitcher for a long time. There’s been a lot of talk about him since the offseason; ‘How many more starts does he have in a Philadelphia uniform?’ Nobody knows. I don’t really get too caught up in it. Could he end up in our division? I guess. There are six divisions he could end up in, so I guess the chances are he could end up in ours. But I’m curious to see him pitch tomorrow.”

Stephen Drew: “Eventually it’s going to turn around for me”

Here are the quick hits as the Yankees conclude their four-game series against the Athletics here at o.Co Coliseum. Right-hander Jesse Chavez (1-5, 2.44) has the ball for Oakland, facing right-hander Adam Warren (3-3, 3.91), who remains on the bubble as a starter with Masahiro Tanaka set to return on Wednesday.


New York Yankees second baseman Stephen Drew runs to the dugout during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, Monday, April 20, 2015, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Stephen Drew was out of the starting lineup for a second straight game on Sunday, as the veteran infielder searches for ways to escape his season-long slump.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi again opted to start Jose Pirela at second base over Drew, who is hitless in his last 20 at-bats and is batting just .157 with four homers and 19 RBIs in 46 games this season.

“I told Stephen, continue to work,” Girardi said. “He’s trying to work on some things offensively. I’ve always said, whenever you play it’s an opportunity to open someone’s eyes. [Pirela], I thought swung the bat pretty good last night. I’m going to run him back out there.”

Girardi said that the 32-year-old Drew has been “pretty banged up” at times, but that the benching was not injury-related.

“This game sometimes, it’s a humbling game. I know that,” Drew said. “It’s not getting too high or too low, it’s just going out and playing every day. This year has definitely been frustrating at times. Besides these last couple of games, I’ve had some some productive at-bats, just no luck, so eventually it’s going to turn around for me.”

Girardi said that Drew’s average on batted balls in play (BABIP) of .164 indicates that he has not been rewarded when hitting the ball hard. Drew’s overall batting average is the lowest of any qualified Major Leaguer; the second-lowest player, the Angels’ Matt Joyce, is 29 points higher at .186.

“I still think this guy’s too good of a player not to hit,” Girardi said. “We’ve seen him hit a grand slam. We’ve seen him hit three-run homers. We’ve seen him hit the ball out of the ballpark. We’ve seen him impact the baseball. To me, eventually it’s got to even out.”


Brendan RyanBrendan Ryan, who has been sidelined since Spring Training with a right calf strain and subsequent setbacks, started a Minor League rehabilitation assignment on Sunday with Class-A Tampa.

Ryan lined a double in his first at-bat for the Yankees’ Florida State League affiliate. Ryan sustained a Grade 2 strain of his calf while fielding a ball in an April 1 exhibition game at George M. Steinbrenner Field, and is currently on the 60-day disabled list.

“Obviously he’s got to get some at-bats, because he really hasn’t had a Spring Training,” Girardi said. “He’s going to need some at-bats, be able to play a couple days in row, lengthy games, because you never know when you’ll be pressed into action for three or four days.”

Coming into the season, the 33-year-old Ryan was envisioned as the primary backup for shortstop Didi Gregorius. A slick fielder, Ryan batted .167 (19-for-114) with no homers and eight RBIs in 49 games for New York last season.


Brian McCann, Chris MartinThe Yankees returned right-hander Chris Martin from his Minor League rehab assignment on Sunday, reinstating him from the 15-day disabled list before optioning him to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Girardi said that the club decided to keep the four left-handers in its bullpen – Jacob Lindgren, Andrew Miller, Chasen Shreve and Justin Wilson – to prepare for a three-game series against the Mariners this week.

“He just has to pitch well and get on a roll. As we get some guys back, sometimes it gets a little bit crowded,” Girardi said. “What I would tell him is to be ready. When the phone rings, you want to be the guy.”

Martin, 28, pitched a perfect inning for the RailRiders in Saturday’s 6-1 loss to Norfolk, inducing three ground ball outs. He was 0-1 with a 3.55 ERA in 15 appearances before being placed on the disabled list May 9 with right elbow tendinitis.


Just a day off for Brian McCann, but it’s tough to take his bat out of the lineup. McCann has a .385 AVG (10-26 AB) with four homers, 12 RBI and seven runs scored during an eight-game hitting streak. John Ryan Murphy is behind the plate. … Girardi waited until he checked with Carlos Beltran to fill out his lineup card. Beltran literally gave Girardi the thumbs-up to play him. … Alex Rodriguez has hit safely in nine straight games, batting .394 (13-33 AB) with five RBI and seven runs scored. His last ten-game hit streak was back in 2012. … The Yankees have lost 11 of their last 13 games in Oakland dating back to July of 2012. … The Yankees are currently the only team in the AL East with a record above .500. … Fun pitching matchup tomorrow in Seattle: Michael Pineda against his former club and King Felix Hernandez for the Mariners.

Searching for answers, Drew heads to the bench

New York Yankees' Stephen Drew reacts after the final out of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers on Friday, May 22, 2015, in New York. The Rangers won the game 10-9. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The Yankees have shown patience with Stephen Drew, searching for deeper numbers to show that his stat line doesn’t agree with his ability. As he was sent to the bench on Saturday, he continues to be puzzled by the trouble in hitting his weight.

Drew yielded second base to Jose Pirela on Saturday against the A’s, offered a day to clear his head in the midst of an 0-for-19 and 1-for-26 skid that has dropped the 32-year-old’s season average to .158.

“I’d like to be doing better up there at the plate,” Drew said. “I’ve got to also just trust my talent and know it’s a matter of time. I’ve had some good at-bats, and the past three days have been frustrating.”

Yankees manager Joe Girardi defended Drew after his hitless performance in Friday’s 6-2 loss to the Athletics, saying, “It just doesn’t seem that he gets the rewards that he should when he hits the ball hard.”

One day later, Girardi said that Drew will continue to get opportunities to turn his season around, unwilling to announce any decisions about future playing time at second base. He did allow that there is a possibility that Pirela could earn more reps.

“Anyone can earn playing time,” Girardi said. “That’s the bottom line in this game, and that’s the way it’s always been. Have we made a position swing? No, not necessarily.”

The Yanks gave Drew a one-year, $5 million contract this past offseason, gambling that his sub-Mendoza line performance of 2014 was a fluke tied to his missing Spring Training while sitting out in a contract dispute with the Red Sox.

Drew enjoyed a more normal spring this year, remaining injury-free while fine-tuning his work at second base and helping to tutor shortstop Didi Gregorius, but the offensive results have not appeared.

Not surprisingly, Drew’s batting average and on-base percentage (.226) are the worst among all qualified big league second basemen; only the Braves’ Jace Peterson (.300) and the Phillies’ Chase Utley (.295) have lower slugging percentages than Drew (.303).

“It’s not the end of the year for me,” Drew said. “People can boo or whatever, the 25 guys that are here are what matters, and winning games is what matters for me.”

Shake it up, shave it off: Goodbye, “Stache Squad”

New York Yankees' Brett Gardner shakes hands with on-deck batter Carlos Beltran after scoring on a single by Brian McCann off Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Nathan Karns during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 13, 2015, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

The fun of the Yankees’ so-called “Stache Squad” evaporated somewhere on the charter flight between Kansas City and Washington, with five losses in six games suggesting that someone should break out the razors.

Most of the Yankees were clean-shaven as they reported to Nationals Park on Tuesday, with Brett Gardner, Mark Teixeira, Brian McCann, Stephen Drew and Dellin Betances among those saying goodbye to their once-lucky soup-strainers.

“It wasn’t going to last forever,” Gardner said. “Just a couple of guys talked about, maybe it was time. Maybe we’ll start another one back at some point.”

Gardner was the ringleader of the Yanks’ mustache craze, which found its roots in a three-game sweep of the Rays at Tropicana Field from April 17-19.

Since 1973, the Yankees have had a well-known facial hair policy that only permits hair above the lip. Pushing it to the limit, the Yankees won 18 of their next 24 games, grabbing possession of first place in the American League East.

“We had fun with it while it lasted,” Teixeira said.

There could be a few more players grabbing the after-shave. Andrew Miller, Jacoby Ellsbury and Masahiro Tanaka were among those clinging to the mustaches on Tuesday afternoon, but the clock seemed to be nearing midnight for those too.

“I’m not going to be the only one,” Miller said.


Tanaka will begin his Minor League rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Thursday, an outing in which the Yankees right-hander is expected to throw three innings or 45 pitches.

Tanaka threw 29 pitches in a bullpen session on Monday at Nationals Park and reported no issues. He has been on the disabled list since April 29 with right wrist tendinitis and a right forearm strain, and will face Durham at 6:35 p.m. ET.

“Very much looking forward to it,” Tanaka said through an interpreter. “Good progress. Should be OK.”

Because Tanaka is throwing only 45 pitches on Thursday, it appears likely that he will need more than one rehab start. Girardi has said the Yankees would like Tanaka to be ready to throw at least 90 pitches in a big league game, and pitchers typically add about 15 pitches per outing.

“Let’s just go a start at a time,” Girardi said. “We know that we have to build him back up some. He has not been out that long, so he’ll go three and 45 and then we’ll decide what’s next.”


Should there be an opportunity for Chasen Shreve to face Bryce Harper this week, you might see a couple of smiles exchanged. That would be a rare reaction for the Nationals slugger to get from an opposing pitcher, considering his recent offensive tear.

The Yankees left-hander said that he has known Harper back to their high school years, when Harper was already smearing on eye black and wowing scouts, then earning national attention as he landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated at age 16.

“The first time I met him, it was in a scout tournament and we were playing on the same team,” Shreve said. “He came from football practice to one of our practices. He had the cutoff sleeves and the big face paint. I met him, he was a really nice guy. I thought he was more of a football player than a baseball player. When he played, he was just unreal. He played hard; he’s always played hard.”

Shreve and Harper teamed as a battery for one season with the College of Southern Nevada — “He was a good catcher; great arm,” Shreve said — and watching from afar, Shreve said that he believes Harper has been able to handle the hype that surrounded him from a young age.

“Everything you see bad about him just gets magnified that much more,” Shreve said. “I remember we were playing at CSN and they kept picking over (to first base) and just smacking the crap out of his helmet, just hitting him in the helmet like three times in a row.

“Then he ended up hitting a home run and points in their dugout, and it got blown up that he did it for no reason. It always happened like that. Everything got magnified, no matter what he did. I think he has handled it well. You can’t be perfect.”


Teixeira was in the lineup after being hit on the right big toe by a pitch Sunday. He joked, “I might have the red light a little more than usual at first base.”


Alex Rodriguez is on the bench for the first of two games against the Nats, which will be played with National League rules. Girardi said that he’d like to get A-Rod at least one at-bat per game, but he isn’t strongly considering playing him in the field.

“I’m sure he’d much rather be in there than having all this time off, but he understands the situation,” Girardi said. “It is what it is. We’ll go day by day. That’s what happens when you become a DH. It becomes harder to get in games when you’re in a National League park.”


This might have been tough to believe just a few weeks ago, but Girardi said he had a difficult time taking Carlos Beltran out of the lineup to play Chris Young against left-hander Gio Gonzalez.

“He’s been playing well and he’s been swinging well,” Girardi said. “You get in a situation where you’re coming off an off day, your two guys at the top have done a great job against left-handers, Chris Young has done a great job against left-handers. But Carlos has been playing extremely well. In this long run, these two days might not hurt him, but it was hard to take him out today.”


Chase Whitley had Tommy John surgery today in New York. Dr. Chris Ahmad performed the surgery, with an expected recovery time of 12 to 18 months.

“It all went well,” Girardi said. “The way I understood it, there were only a few fibers left, so maybe he had a couple pitches left and it would have been completely gone. It was the right choice on his part.”

Masahiro Tanaka resumes throwing with 50 tosses

The Yankees will open a four-game series with the Orioles tonight at Yankee Stadium. Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is making his sixth start of the season, with right-hander Chris Tillman on the mound for Baltimore. This is a quick homestand for the Yanks, who will then hit the road to see the Rays, Royals and Nationals.

Here are the quick updates from the Yankees clubhouse:


Masahiro TanakaMasahiro Tanaka made 50 throws at 60 feet this afternoon, his first activity since being placed on the disabled list with a right forearm strain and right wrist tendinitis.

“He’ll throw again tomorrow and then we’ll just continue to progress to where we stretch it out, it becomes long toss, then it becomes flat ground and then it becomes a bullpen,” manager Joe Girardi said.

Tanaka did not speak to reporters today, but he is expected to do so tomorrow. Girardi said that he feels that the Yankees have enough pitching to get by until Tanaka’s expected return in June, noting that Ivan Nova and Chris Capuano are on the mend as well. Capuano is scheduled to throw five innings tonight for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

“It would be great to get Tanaka back in the timetable they talked about earlier,” Girardi said. “Then it just gives us a lot more depth, which I think is important over the course of a long season.”



New York Yankees' Stephen Drew fields a grounder from the Toronto Blue Jays during the eighth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 5, 2015, in Toronto. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)

Why keep running Stephen Drew (.167) out there? Girardi was asked that question and alluded that there is more than meets the eye with the second baseman, who is coming off a 2-for-18 road trip.

“We look at the at-bats. Obviously, we look really deep into it,” Girardi said. “It’s not just what the average is, and his hits have been productive. I know he’s had a little rough go of it the last 20 at-bats, but I mean, that happens to a lot of hitters. But I told you before that, I thought he hit the ball much harder than what he had, the luck that he had had. He lined out again last night. We’re going to keep running him out there.”


Anyone else like the chances for Alex Rodriguez‘s 661st home run tonight? Rodriguez is a .500 hitter and has a 1.400 slugging percentage against Tillman, homering three times in 10 at-bats.


The Yankees are not planning to use a sixth starter this turn through the rotation. Adam Warren, Chase Whitley and Michael Pineda are listed as the probable starters for the final three games of the Orioles series, so CC Sabathia is tentatively scheduled to take the ball Monday against the Rays at Tropicana Field.

Baltimore will start Miguel Gonzalez, Wei-Yin Chen and Bud Norris in the final three games of this series.


Brett Gardner (stiff neck) “felt much better today,” Girardi said. Gardner sat out last night’s series finale at Rogers Centre.

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