Results tagged ‘ Stephen Drew ’

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.

Jacoby Ellsbury out of lineup; Chase Whitley preparing to start Tuesday

Jacoby Ellsbury spent Sunday afternoon receiving treatment on his tight right hip and will watch the final game of the Subway Series from the bench, as manager Joe Girardi hopes to have the centerfielder’s services on Monday against the Rays.

“He was better. He was going to try today, he went through treatment and he was getting loose, and I just said, ‘You know what? I was going to give you a day off one of these next few days anyway, the next four,'” Girardi said. “I think it’s kind of silly if he would have to leave in the middle of the game so shut him down.”

Ellsbury went 0-for-3 with a strikeout in Saturday’s 8-2 loss to the Mets and made a highlight reel catch in the fourth inning, charging to the gap in left-center field for a sliding grab near the warning track that robbed Eric Campbell of an extra-base hit.

“His hip got a little tight yesterday,” Girardi said. “I don’t know if it’s from one of his sliding catches that he irritated it on, but I just decided, let’s give him today and I’ll give him about 48 hours to see if he could play tomorrow.”


Chase WhitleyChase Whitley is expected to be recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to start on Tuesday as the Yankees will incorporate a sixth starter to their rotation, part of a strategy in navigating a stretch that sees them play 30 games in 31 days.

Girardi said that the team is planning on having Adam Warren start on Monday against the Rays and then will summon the 25-year-old Whitley for Tuesday’s game, giving Masahiro Tanaka an extra day before he takes the ball on Wednesday.

“Now, could something happen to change that? Yes,” Girardi said. “I don’t know what it would be, but those are our intentions.”

Whitley had a strong spring but was sent to the Minors so he could continue starting, allowing him to be stretched out for this opportunity. In three starts for the RailRiders, Whitley is 2-0 with a 2.12 ERA, allowing 13 hits, six walks and 13 strikeouts in 17 innings.



Girardi’s take on Stephen Drew‘s season so far: “From the plate, he’s been productive and he’s had some really big hits for us during the course of the season. I look up and I’m shocked when I see what he’s hitting (.176), because I think he has swung the bat a lot better than that. I think those numbers will continue to go up as time goes on because I think his at-bats have been pretty good.”


Could Alex Rodriguez be pressing as he sits two homers shy of tying Willie Mays on the all-time home run list?

“I haven’t sensed it. I thought he hit some balls really well in Detroit,” Girardi said. “It’s not the easiest park to hit balls out in. Trying to pick left-center and center is probably not a good idea there. I haven’t sensed it yet, but if it was, I’d sit down and talk to him.”


Some numbers from the Yankees’ media relations crew: Mark Teixeira leads the Majors in Isolated Power (.475), is second with eight homers and tied for second with 18 RBIs.… with 12 extra-base hits, holds the AL lead and is third in the Majors… with a .729 SLG, is fourth in the AL and fifth in the Majors… with a 1.085 OPS, is fifth in the AL and eighth in the Majors.

Of his 15 hits this season, 12 have gone for extra bases (4 doubles, 8 homers) … 11 of his first 12 hits this season were extra-base hits, joining Adam Dunn (6 doubles, 1 triple, 4 homers for the Reds in 2005) as the only Major Leaguers since 1900 to have at least 11 of their first 12 hits go for extra bases, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.


Brendan Ryan (calf strain) is scheduled to begin playing Extended Spring Training games next week, Girardi said.

Game 3: Yankees vs. Blue Jays

Larry Rothschild, CC SabathiaHello from Yankee Stadium, where coats and hats are a must to see the Yankees wrap up this three-game series with the Blue Jays. The Yankees won last night, 4-3, thanks to a fluky eighth-inning rally that started with Chris Young’s pinch-hit, wind-blown double and featured two hit-by-pitches and a Chase Headley grounder that ricocheted off a Toronto glove to push home the go-ahead run.

Tonight will be meaningful for CC Sabathia, who will make his first start since May 10. Sabathia is opposed by left-hander Daniel Norris – he of the ‘I live in a van down by the river‘ fame. With Brett Gardner getting the night off against the southpaw, Alex Rodriguez has been promoted to the No. 2 spot in the Yanks’ batting order.

Someone told Rodriguez of the move as he was making his way to the batting cage, and Rodriguez’s reaction appeared to be one of legitimate surprise: “You’re kidding me!” he exclaimed, rushing to the lineup posted on a clubhouse door to check it out.

“I’ve never been one to care, whether that was Seattle, Texas or even my early days here with Skip (Joe) Torre,” Rodriguez said. “I want to be in the lineup, want to be able to help the team win. I remember Lou (Piniella) led me off one day at the Kingdome and I was like, ‘Wow, that’s the first time I think I ever led off.’ I just love to play baseball. As long as I’m in the lineup, that’s cool.”

Before we get to the quick hits of what you need to know, we launched my public Facebook page this morning at http://www.facebook.com/bryanhochmlb. Check it out!

  • Stephen Drew got the day off as Gregorio Petit drew the start at second base. Didi Gregorius is expected to rest tomorrow vs. Boston, with the Red Sox starting Wade Miley. Brian McCann got tonight off but is expected to play tomorrow.
  • Girardi mentioned that the Yankees have liked what right-hander Chris Martin has been able to do, particularly with the improvement of his slider.
  • The throw down to first base that McCann made in the eighth inning of last night’s game was a “good play,” according to Girardi. It just wasn’t a good throw. The ball scooted into right field and allowed Jose Bautista to trot home with the third Toronto run. “You expect him to throw it 90 feet and hit the guy somewhere in the chest or the knees. I’ve been there. Sometimes it doesn’t happen that way,” Girardi said.
  • As of now, there are no plans to link John Ryan Murphy as Sabathia’s personal catcher.

Here are the lineups:

BLUE JAYS (1-1)
Jose Reyes ss
Russell Martin c
Jose Bautista rf
Edwin Encarnacion dh
Josh Donaldson 3b
Danny Valencia 1b
Kevin Pillar cf
Steve Tolleson lf
Devon Travis 2b

Daniel Norris lhp

YANKEES (1-1)
Jacoby Ellsbury cf
Alex Rodriguez dh
Carlos Beltran rf
Mark Teixeira 1b
Chase Headley 3b
Chris Young lf
John Ryan Murphy c
Gregorio Petit 2b
Didi Gregorius ss

CC Sabathia lhp

Winter reset: Projecting the Yankees’ Opening Day roster

The countdown to the Feb. 20 official report date for pitchers and catchers is on, and this is as good as time as any to hit the reset button and look ahead. Over the last several weeks, the Yankees have been busy assembling a roster that promises to be younger and more versatile than last year’s 84-win club.

Beginning with the relatively minor Nov. 12 deal with the Pirates, which swapped left-hander Justin Wilson for catcher Francisco Cervelli, general manager Brian Cashman has triggered six trades and pulled two major free agents off the board in Andrew Miller (four years, $36 million) and Chase Headley (four years, $52 million). It seems like just yesterday that Cashman was standing on the curb of a San Diego hotel, explaining why the Yanks were leaving the Winter Meetings empty-handed.

This week, they’ve also moved close to an agreement with infielder Stephen Drew; that deal is done, pending a physical, and will be worth $5 million plus incentives for the 2015 season.

Drew slots as the Yanks’ starting second baseman, forming a combination up the middle with Didi Gregorius. So much for that spring battle between youngsters Rob Refsnyder and Jose Pirela, though it would serve them both well to come into Spring Training and play well. Depth could be important at both infield positions.

A lot can happen between now and April 6, something the Yankees know all too well, particularly in the starting rotation. Barring something wild like a push to bring in Max Scherzer, here is an early guess at how the Yankees’ 25-man roster could look on Opening Day:

Masahiro TanakaRotation (5): Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda, Nathan Eovaldi, Chris Capuano

No real surprises here, assuming they can all get through the spring without health issues. They’ll have to hold their breath on every Tanaka splitter for a while. Adam Warren is set to come into Spring Training as a starter and could also be considered here. Pitching coach Larry Rothschild floated the idea of a six-man rotation last year and it will be interesting to see if the Yanks kick that around, but for now, these are five solid choices they can go forward with. It’s important to note that Ivan Nova is expected to return from Tommy John surgery in May or June.

Bullpen (7): Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, David Carpenter, Adam Warren, Justin Wilson, Esmil Rogers, Chasen Shreve.

The Yanks believe their closer is already on this roster, so Joe Girardi can have some fun in the spring deciding between Betances and Miller. They could even go with co-closers based upon situations if they wanted, but my best guess right now is that Betances will close and Miller sticks in the setup role. Carpenter slides into Shawn Kelley’s old role and would handle the 6th or 7th innings. Rogers is a solid swingman option, while Wilson and Shreve would give the Yanks extra lefties in the pen.

Spring Training is a great time to evaluate bullpen arms, and the Yanks will have plenty of other names to look at. Shreve’s spot is probably the least secure of anyone on that list, and so a brief list of options who could fit here if they don’t begin the year in the Minors include (in no particular order) — Chase Whitley, Dan Burawa, Branden Pinder, Bryan Mitchell, Jose Ramirez, Jacob Lindgren, Nick Rumbelow and Gonzalez Germen. Andrew Bailey was also re-signed to a Minor League deal and is trying to regain his old form. 

Catchers (2): Brian McCann, John Ryan Murphy.

Murphy will have to hold off Austin Romine for the backup role; Romine is out of Minor League options and the Yanks would lose him if he doesn’t make the Opening Day roster, but Murphy has seemed to leapfrog Romine in the organization’s view over the last year or so. Top prospect Gary Sanchez is slated to begin the year at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and could make his big league debut this year.

Mark Teixeira, Tony RandazzoInfielders (7): Mark Teixeira, Stephen Drew, Didi Gregorius, Chase Headley, Brendan Ryan, Garrett Jones, Alex Rodriguez.

The starting infield seems set, with Teixeira, Drew, Gregorius and Headley going around the horn. In particular, the Yanks expect that Teixeira will be stronger and more productive as he is further removed from surgery. Drew should fit at second base but gives the Yanks an option at shortstop if Gregorius flounders.

Ryan would be the 25th man on the roster. He provides a backup pretty much everywhere, assuming the Yanks keep him and intend to have Refsnyder and Pirela start the year in Triple-A (their 40-man roster is full and Drew hasn’t yet been added). 

Jones would be Teixeira’s backup at first base, has played some right field and could serve as the DH against right-handed pitching. They love the idea of showcasing his big left-handed power in Yankee Stadium. It’s anyone’s guess what the Yankees will have in A-Rod; they’re going in thinking that any production would be a bonus. At the absolute minimum, you’d hope that Rodriguez can be an effective DH against left-handed pitching (the Yanks think his ’13 struggles vs. lefties were a small-sample size aberration), but it’s not impossible to envision Rodriguez being moderately productive as a full-time DH and even playing a little third base.

Jacoby EllsburyOutfielders (4): Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, Chris Young.

The outfield is pretty locked in from left to right, assuming that Beltran’s elbow is healed and he can be more like the player he was in 2013 with the Cardinals. If he’s unable to play right field regularly, it will create major headaches with the DH spot. Young is capable of playing all three outfield spots and, as Ichiro Suzuki discovered over the last two seasons, there can be plenty of at-bats to be found in a role like that — even if it doesn’t appear that way early in the spring.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 43,061 other followers

%d bloggers like this: