How About Hank?

Let’s face it, the Yankees’ lineup is a bit short right now.  Without Johnson and Granderson, the Yankees are a  short on lefty power.  Yes, Juan Miranda could provide some pop, but a better fit might be Hank Blalock. 

Blalock is in the minors with Tampa right now and he is tearing the cover off the ball (.362/.419/.524 at AAA).  He is a lefty who has always punished RHP (almost a .500 slugging % for his career) and he belted 25 HR’s in the bigs last year.  His agent is Scott Boras and Boras has said he will opt out of his Tampa contract unless he gets promoted this week.  

He wouldn’t cost much and he can play third and first, which offers more positional flexibility than Miranda.  Plus unlike Miranda, he has hit in the majors and at 29, he shouldn’t be washed up.  If I were Brian Cashman, I would keep a close eye on what happens with him.  If he opts out, the Yankees should get Mr. Boras on the phone and see if they can strike a deal.  

Round And Round We Go

The Yankees are making their 7th roster move in 11 days today with the callup of Juan Miranda and the demotion of Kevin Russo. Miranda will probably be part of a weird rotation with the Yankees using Winn in left against RHP with Miranda DH’ing and Thames DH or in left against LHP. 

It’s really a shame that Jon Weber got off to such a bad start because I bet the Yankees would have recalled him if he didn’t currently have a a .551 OPS in Scranton.  As a lefty and an outfielder, he would be a better fit for this team than Miranda since Miranda only plays first, but you can’t justify bringing him up right now. 

One player that should not be brought up now under any circumstances is Jesus Montero.  Besides the fact that he isn’t hitting right now, the Yankees need to keep him in the minors and let him catch as much as possible.  It’s still a mystery if he will be able to catch in the bigs and the Yankees need to solve that question this year.  If he can, the Yankees will have a wealth of talent behind the plate in 2011.  If he can’t they need to figure out if he can play the outfield because 1B is occupied for the next seven years.

The reports out of Detroit are that the tarp is off the field, but major rain is on the way.  Considering the fact that the Yankees need another starter for Sunday right now and this game could get rained out what about letting Nova make his debut and holding back Sabathia for tomorrow?  Or Girardi could do the backwards thing again. Point is, don’t let Sabathia start pitching if you think the game is going to be called or delayed. 

 

Has It Come To This?

Apparently the Yankees have signed Tim Redding. (Again)

Is Darrell May next?

Or Shawn Chacon?

(pick any 2005 re-tread and insert their name here)

I’m Just Saying

Ramiro Pena is a good kid and a great glove, but his bat is not so good. He also left a small village on base in Game 1. 

So why is he in the lineup for Game 2?   Russo is still on the roster, so why not give him a shot at short? 

Ah well, on the plus side Vazquez delivered the start the Yankees needed.  It’s a shame they wasted it, but it is definitely something to build on.  Now they need to get back to winning again.  

Golson Back

In a mild surprise, the Yankees have recalled Greg Golson from Scranton and DL’ed Aceves.  Golson’s elevation gives the Yankees five outfielders and some depth.  I would imagine they might get creative with the lineups today.  A-Rod is DH’ing the first game and I could see the Yankees resting or DH’ing either Teixeira or Jeter or both in the night game.  Assuming it’s Teixeira, then I would assume you see Swisher at first in the nightcap and Golson or Winn in right.

Apart from the lineup shuffles, Game 1 is all about Javier Vazquez.  Vazquez’s struggles during the first month of the season weren’t as big a deal because they coincided with the Yankees playing good and injury-free baseball.  Now that the bumps and bruises are cropping up, the Yankees need Vazquez to step up.  The question it, can he?

Rain Out

Tonight’s game is rained out with a day/night doubleheader scheduled for tomorrow.

In the short term, it’s a good thing because the Yankees heard that Alfredo Aceves is going to the DL with a bulging disk and the Yankees were already short in the bullpen today.  Now, they will have a chance to rest the bullpen today and decide about their DL move over night. 

In the long term, this creates two problems.  The two games tomorrow will tax the bullpen.  The second problem is that with no breaks in the schedule until May 24th, the Yankees will have to pitch Sergio Mitre as a starter again.   Tomorrow they will throw Hughes and Vazquez with Sabathia, AJ and Pettitte scheduled to follow.  Now, they will need to get Mitre back in there.  I wonder if Girardi will take advantage of the rain and move Pettitte back to Sunday with Mitre starting on Saturday?

There were conflicting reports that Juan Miranda had been called up today, but most media outlets are reporting that no roster moves were made.  I think Miranda will definitely be called up for tomorrow, but the question is will the Yankees just bring him up for Aceves or demote Russo and go back to the thin bench?  I hope they opt to bring up Miranda to replace Aceves and go with "only" 12 pitchers.  With Nova stretched out and every other reliever rested, they should be able to cover two games.  They could always fly an extra reliever to Detroit and have him on standby if the pen gets roughed up in the first game. 

We will learn more in the morning.

 

Nova On The Way

Ivan Nova is headed up to New York to back up the bullpen. 

It’s kind of a curious decision because Nova would have made his regular start today and he has pitched very well in Scranton this year with a 2.43ERA in 37 innings.  Since he is already stretched out, wouldn’t it have made more sense to just let him start and keep Mitre in his role?  

There’s a pretty solid chance we see Nova pitch in the next two days which would be fun.  He’s 23 and should be one of the top in-house candidates to join the rotation next year. 

We’ll Be Back (In 129 Games)

Not a pretty night at all, but a great job by Romulo Sanchez cleaning things up and letting the rest of the bullpen have a night off.  I imagine his "reward" will be a trip back to the minors as another arm is called up, but all Joe Girardi said is that the Yankees are going to talk about it.  It really makes sense to either call up another arm or another bat because I don’t think Sanchez will be of much use until Wednesday at best. 

It’s too bad they couldn’t finish things off, but all things considered it was another good weekend.  They won their second series this year in Fenway and now they won’t head back to Boston until October 1st. 

A Big Start For AJ

The Yankees need a lot of innings tonight from Burnett.  They need him to protect a bullpen that is going to probably get a lot of use Monday and Tuesday.

We are probably going to see a ton of roster juggling by the Yankees over the next couple of days.  I would imagine Kevin Russo will get sent down and Juan Miranda promoted to provide more of a DH-type bat tomorrow.  With Mitre on the mound tomorrow and limited to 60-75 pitches, I would expect you will see Romulo Sanchez pitch a bunch of relief innings on Monday and get optioned down afterwards for another arm.  The Yankees will then cross their fingers and hope Javier Vazquez can pitch more than 5-2/3 innings (his season high) on Tuesday.  And as long as Aceves is on the shelf, expect the Yankees to carry 13 pitchers.  

It’s going to be a messy few days, but it will be a lot neater if AJ can give them some length tonight.  

Game 2

You really can’t say enough about the job Francisco Cervelli is doing right now.  He is a very good defensive catcher who is also putting up some amazing offensive numbers in a small sample size.  Here is my favorite stat from today’s game.  The last Yankees catcher to have 5 RBI’s against the Sox at Fenway was Yogi Berra in 1957. (h/t Joel Sherman) 

You would have to expect that John Henry won’t have any tweets about Mark Teixeira anytime again.  It’s May and Teixiera obviously knows it because he is hitting the stuffing out of the ball.  Ditto that for Jeter, Swisher and Gardner and while he hasn’t hit for a ton of power, A-Rod had a very encouraging day.  2-2, three walks and a stolen base that tells you his legs must feel pretty good. 

The dark cloud is of course David Robertson and Alfredo Aceves’ back.  Robertson just seems lost and I really think the Yankees should send him down for a bit and see if he can figure it out in Scranton.  He just can’t seem to get big leaguers out right now.  It’s also not a good sign that Aceves’ back has locked up again after doing so towards the end of camp.   I don’t know what the prognosis is going to be, but the Yankees really need him for Monday with Mitre only able to go 75 pitches max and probably less.  One move they could make is to flip-flop Mitre and Vazquez again to get Aceves another day of rest. 

We’ll learn more tomorrow before things get started at 8:05pm.