Results tagged ‘ Yankees ’

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 placed on disabled list with sore elbow

Masahiro Tanaka has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with soreness in his right elbow, Yankees manager Joe Girardi confirmed. Tanaka flew back to New York on Wednesday for an MRI, and the team is waiting for club physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad to evaluate the results.

Tanaka had his worst start of the season last night against the Indians at Progressive Field, allowing five runs and 10 hits in 6 2/3 innings in a 5-3 loss.

In the first question of his press conference following last night’s outing, Tanaka was evasive when asked what the problem was with his start, which might have been an indication of a problem.

“I do understand the reason why I was struggling today, but it’s really difficult for me to tell you why that was,” Tanaka said through an interpreter. 

Tanaka’s next start was scheduled to come on Sunday against the Orioles in Baltimore; Girardi suggested that he could use Chase Whitley for that outing.

Catcher Brian McCann said that he thought the ball was coming out fine last night, it was just up in the zone.

“The only thing from yesterday is that his pitches didn’t have the same action that they did in the past. I didn’t notice anything,” McCann said.

“You just hope and pray that we get good news and it’s something minor,” said Brett Gardner, who was out of Wednesday’s lineup with a lower abdominal strain. “You worry about anybody, but he’s pretty special, what he’s been able to do the first half of the season.

“I don’t think anybody could tell by watching him last night, I don’t know how long his arm was bothering him or anything like that. He obviously wasn’t himself. Hopefully we get good news.”

 

Kevin Long: “I’m doing everything in my power to try to correct it”

Kevin Long emerged from the coaches’ room after Wednesday’s 6-3 loss to the Rays, prepared to face the music after the Yankees’ season-high fifth straight loss and their ninth in the last 11 games.

The Yankees were just 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position on Wednesday, and though situational hitting has been one of their major concerns of the summer, it has been more difficult than anticipated to make progress in that department.

“You’re always focused on trying to do the little things, trying to score runs and trying to move runners and trying to get guys in,” Long said. “So that’s always a focus.”

Here is a rundown of the group interview that Long conducted in the Yankees’ clubhouse:

On the current issues with the Yankees’ hitters: “You’re obviously not scoring runs and you’re going to put some pressure on yourself. You’re going to try to do a little bit more. The guys are certainly well aware of what’s going on and they’re putting forth as much effort as they can. Just sometimes things don’t go the way you want them or you planned them.”

On being surprised by this, given the names in the lineup: “Yeah, it’s a little surprising. Certainly. You expect some of these guys in this lineup to perform, and at the end of the day and at the end of the year, you hope that those numbers are going to be where they should. I can tell you that they’re doing everything in their power to try to correct it. I’m doing everything in my power to try to correct it, and we’re just going to stay at it. There’s no simple formula. The work is positive and we’re working in the right directions. It’s just been tough.

What can a hitting coach do in this situation?: “You certainly can’t yell, scream or do any of that. It’s more about just staying the course and keep looking at video or maybe working on their swing or tee work, or doing flips or doing extra BP, all those things that you would normally do. Certainly that is something that we’ve really focused on and even you get away from that sometimes and you just see the ball. That’s all Beltran’s doing these last four games, and he’s been really good the last four games, so if he can continue to swing the way he has the last four. It looks like Brian McCann made a positive move today. You have to look at those things and you have to try to move forward on those, because we can’t get anything back that has already happened.”

On Yangervis Solarte needing to make adjustments: “When Solarte was swinging the bat well, he was very aggressive and he was swinging with authority. He’s just a little bit inbetween and a little bit unsure. We looked at his video and he’s a little hard to his front side and he’s just a little tentative. We’ll just stay at that.”

“I don’t think they’re pitching him any differently. He has taken some walks and for the most part swung at good pitches, but I’m sure he’s feeling it, just like a veteran would. He’s a rookie so someone like that will probably put a little more pressure on himself than maybe a veteran would.”

Encouraging signs from the rest of the lineup?: “Obviously, the top three have been pretty good all year, Jeet, Gardner and Ellsbury have swung the bat well. Ichiro has been pretty consistent all year. Teixeira has hit some home runs, driven in some runs. I think the biggest two we’re talking about is if McCann can do what he did today and Beltran — that’s four good games in a row where he’s really had good quality at-bats.

“We’ve kind of changed his routine and changed what he’s done as a DH to try to help that process become really active with him inbetween innings. Walking around, talking about things instead of just sitting in the video room and maybe thinking about an at-bat. So that’s been one adjustment that I think has moved in a positive way for us. So again I just hope that he continues on what he’s doing and McCann today was very positive.”

On Brett Gardner hitting for more power: “Gardy’s made adjustments every year he’s been in this league. He’s basically picked up where he left off last year. He’s an extremely confident individual who continues to get better and better, he’s a very aggressive hitter in the zone. He’s not late. He attacks fastballs and he doesn’t miss them. I think the consistencies of his mechanics in his swing have enabled him to this little power surge that we’ve seen.”

Ever think that maybe this is just what you have?: “It’s about winning games, and we need to do whatever we can to win games. Obviously offense has been an issue all season. These guys understand it, I understand it. We’ve got to turn it around somehow and you’ve got to believe the guys that are in the room, they’re the only guys that can turn it around. Again it’s not from lack of effort, it’s not from not wanting to do it, it’s just one of those things where we need these extra 80 games for guys to prove themselves. McCann is on a mission, Beltran is on a mission. Everybody needs to pick it up a little bit, including the Gardners, including the Ellsburys, and then these guys that have underperformed — they need to pick it up as well.”

On his early expectations for this offense: “I don’t know — obviously more than what we’ve done. Are we capable of scoring 4-5 runs a game? I would say so. Even when we had the powerful offenses, I would think four runs a game was kind of that mark that you shoot for. Jeet said it a bunch of times: let’s win innings, try to score every inning. You start there instead of trying to maybe put up a four spot or five spot all in one inning.”

On drastic changes: “Oh, we’ve done all kinds of stuff. You always make adjustments and always make changes. Nobody here probably even saw what Brian McCann did today. If you just look at his stance, look for a toe tap today and see if you see one. That’s one of those things where if you look at video, you can say see, ‘Whoa, he did make an adjustment.’ You’ll see those adjustments from guys as they go along. They’ll continue to make those adjustments to try to help themselves be more consistent.”

Yankees have officially agreed with nine Draft picks

Here’s a quick update on the players that the Yankees have officially signed from the 2014 First-Year Player Draft:

2B Ty McFarland, James Madison University (10th round, #302), RHP Matthew Borens, Eastern Illinois University (11th round, #332), 1B Bo Thompson, The Citadel (13th round, #392), RHP Joe Harvey, University of Pittsburgh (19th round, #572), C Collin Slaybaugh, Washington State University (26th round, #782), OF Griffin Gordon, Jacksonville State University (27th round, #812), RHP Matt Wotherspoon, University of Pittsburgh (34th round, #1022), 2B Ryan Lindemuth, The College of William & Mary (37th round, #1112), RHP Andre Del Bosque, University of Houston-Victoria (38th round, #1142).

As Lou DiPietro runs down over at YESNetwork.com, the Yankees are making progress with several of their top picks. That group includes second-round left-hander Jacob Lindgren, who has indicated that he intends to sign and is traveling to Tampa for his physical.

“Everybody dreams of playing for the New York Yankees, wear the pinstripes, and it’s just kind of a dream come true,” Lindgren said on a conference call last week. “I never really thought I’d have this opportunity, especially with the Yankees.”

General manager Brian Cashman has indicated that Lindgren would begin his professional career at Class-A Charleston once his deal is complete.

Various reports also have indicated that the Yankees will sign third round right-hander Austin DeCarr, fourth round left-hander Jordan Montgomery and fifth round right-hander Jordan Foley.

The Yankees have also made the following post-draft free agent signings: C Jake Hernandez (University of Southern California), RHP Travis Hissong (Wright State University), and RHP Matt Marsh (Liberty University).

Shawn Kelley returns to Yankees bullpen

Shawn Kelley will return to the Yankees bullpen tonight. Kelley has not pitched in a big league game since May 6 due to a lumbar spine strain, but has re-joined the Yankees in Seattle and has been activated from the disabled list.

In a corresponding roster move, the Yankees optioned right-hander Matt Daley to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Also prior to tonight’s game, the Yankees acquired left-hander David Huff from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for cash considerations. Huff, a familiar face who was with the Yanks last year, will be used as a multi-inning reliever. Left-hander Wade LeBlanc was designated for assignment.

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