Is This Wrong?

Let me preface this by saying I am 95% kidding, but I want Derek Jeter to go hitless on Friday.  Why you ask?  Because I have tickets to Saturday’s game of course!

Now, I will change my wish if say Jeter comes up in the late innings with the tying/winning runs on and needs a hit to get them home (team comes first) but if he doesn’t, an 0-4 night would be great.  Actually, an 0-0 night and four walks would be even better, just no hits.  And then rake away on Saturday.  Get the hit in the first inning please, just in case the game turns into a blowout or it is cold, or rainy, or if the sun is in my eyes, or if the guy I am going to the game with gets boring.  Thanks so much Derek.

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Forgive a little whimsy.  It’s hard to do anything but enjoy watching the Yankees right now.  Yes, Joba needs some fixing (but maybe Jeter’s "talk" did that he was very good after the first)  And yes, Robertson’s elbow is concerning, but then again he might not have even made the playoff roster.  

You can quibble with some things here or there, but the bottom line is this team has won 91 games, leads the AL East by 9 games and is heading for October.  Once we get there, there will be some serious things to talk about, but for now just enjoy the ride.   

Who Is Next?

The Yankees have done a smart thing and called up Josh Towers from Scranton.  To do so they had to release Kevin Cash, but clearly they need the bullpen help right now. 

That leaves eight players on the 40-man roster who are currently not with the big club. One of those is Ian Kennedy who we won’t see this year and one is Andrew Brackman who is currently impersonating Nuke LaLoosh down in A ball.  Christian Garcia is hurt and so is Wilkin De La Rosa.

Of the final four, Brett Gardner is reahbbing and should be back Monday.  Shelley Duncan, Juan Miranda and Anthony Claggett are part of a playoff-bound Scranton club and therefore we probably won’t see them until after the IL playoffs.   

What remains to be seen is if the Yankees will use September to add Austin Jackson to the 40-man roster.  In the past they have done that with top prospects, but the 40-man roster is pretty full.  Would they release a player just to get Jackson in the bigs?  We shall see.

 

It’s Not About Homefield

The papers and radio keep droning on about how the Yankees have to secure homefield advantage in order to be able to have any chance against the Angels.  I guess with a 7-1/2 game division lead that’s what they need to do to fill column inches, but it misses the real reason the Yankees want to clinch the best record in the AL- the chance to determine when their ALDS series will begin.

Yes, homefield is important, but chances are very good that the ALDS matchups will be Yankees vs. Detroit and Boston vs. Angels.  If that holds up, I am willing to bet that Boston will crush the Angels.  Just like the Angels always seem to beat the Yankees, Boston always seems to beat the Angels.  And if that happened and the Yankees beat the Tigers, they would have homefield anyway.

But determining when the ALDS will begin is a much bigger advantage because the Yankees could choose to make the ALDS about only three starting pitchers.  If a team selects the eight-day ALDS it would start and end on Wednesday.  The way the games are scheduled, you could start the same pitcher in Game 1 and Game 4 and the same pitcher in Game 2 and Game 5, leaving you with the need for a third starter in only Game 3.  When you consider that the Yankees have only two starters who are pitching well right now, the abaility to make the potential ALDS rotation Sabathia, Pettitte, A.J., Sabathia, Pettitte is an advantage worth playing for.   

Just What This Country Needs…

Ah yes, shameless self-promotion is alive and well.  Citizens of Massachusetts, I implore you, do not inflict this on the rest of the country.  I know he pitched for your beloved Sox, but this is a serious time and we need serious people in Washington D.C..  Not this clown. 

And The Winners Are….

Jon Heyman is reporting the Yankees will call up Pena, Cervelli, Melancon and Dunn later today.  So that’s a backup catcher, a utility guy, a future short guy in the pen and WHO?

Mike Dunn is a guy who may have escaped your notice, but he has been on the 40-man roster since last November.  Basically, he is a lefty who moved to the bullpen this season and has 76 K’s in 50 or so innings between AA and AAA.

Obviously, he is on the roster right now to see if he can take Phil Coke’s job.  If you haven’t noticed, Coke has been terrible the past two months.   The reason for this is that he no longer can get righties out.  They are killing him and while his overall numbers against lefties are good (.205/.231/.393) he has given up six homers to lefty batters.  With a playoff game on the line and a lefty up would you trust Coke?  I don’t think so.

I imagine trust issues are also the reason Mark Melancon is back in New York.  David Robertson has amazing stuff, but he can’t seem to control it.  Looking at a playoff staff with probably 11 pitchers you have to figure that the four starters, Mo, Hughes and Aceves are locks.  Pick either Mitre or Gaudin for long relief and that leaves you with three spots.  I imagine the Yankees want to take two lefties, so take two of the following three: Coke, Marte, Dunn.  That leaves one spot for Bruney, Robertson and Melancon to fight over. Whoever can pitch an inning without creating drama gets the nod.