|Photo Credit: Associated Press (Winslow Townson)
Ty, Ty, Tyler Again…
On a wing and a prayer. Unfortunately, that’s life with Greg Bird as your first baseman.
The Yankees Universe collectively groaned a sigh of disappointment when Bird was pulled before the start of an exhibition game with the Atlanta Braves in Lake Buena Vista, FL at the Walt Disney Resort yesterday with an apparent foot injury. He underwent an MRI and a CT scan yesterday afternoon and it was determined that he had right foot inflammation. It is in the same general area where he had ankle surgery last summer to remove excessive bone growth. The reason for the inflammation is not currently known.
Bird will see noted New York Orthopaedic Surgeon Martin J. O’Malley in the Upper East Side on Monday to determine the cause of the inflammation.
Every year, it seems like it is something with the talented but fragile first baseman. He missed the entire 2016 season following shoulder surgery. Then last year, the foot injury at the end of training camp led to the eventual ankle surgery in July which limited him to 48 games although he did have a memorable post-season.
If Bird is forced to the disabled list, Tyler Austin appears to be the beneficiary. GM Brian Cashman has indicated that the Yankees will use in-house options. Neil Walker has been mentioned as a possibility, but it’s hard to envision the second baseman as the regular first baseman. Backup or platoon maybe. Brandon Drury played first base in the minors but he is firmly planted as the third baseman. The Yankees always seem to be looking for alternatives to Austin (for whatever reason), so it is not a given that Austin will make the roster if Bird cannot.
When Austin was forced to move from DH to first base to replace Bird for the game against the Braves, the Yankees pulled first baseman Ryan McBroom out of the minor league camp for DH duties. McBroom, the return when the Yankees traded Rob Refsnyder last year, responded with a home run and a run-scoring single (the latter hit produced two runs but the second one was courtesy of a throwing error). McBroom will be 26 in a couple of weeks but he has never played above Double A. Another option surfaced on Saturday when the Seattle Mariners returned Rule 5 draftee Mike Ford to the Yankees. He was assigned to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. Ford batted .259 with two homers and 10 RBIs in 54 at-bats for the Mariners this Spring, but regular first baseman Ryon Healy returned from hand surgery sooner than expected and Daniel Vogelbach won the backup job as the team’s hottest hitter in camp. So Ford didn’t do a bad job for the M’s…it was just a numbers game. Between Trenton and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last year, Ford batted .270/.404/.471 with .875 OPS to go with 20 home runs and 86 RBIs. The guess is that Austin gets the job if Bird is not ready, but Ford looms as a potential option.
|Photo Credit: Associated Press (Chris Carlson)|
I really like Greg Bird as a player and his swing is a thing of beauty. But the succession of injuries is taxing to say the least. I will continue to hope for the best and I am trying to be optimistic that the latest inflammation is not a sign of much deeper problems. Let’s hope that Bird receives positive news from Dr O’Malley tomorrow and the foot inflammation is solved with treatment and rest.
With Ford’s return, the Yankees have recaptured two of the four players taken in last December’s Rule 5 Draft. Anyelo Gomez was previously returned to the Yankees by the Braves. The Baltimore Orioles designated Jose Mesa, Jr for assignment on March 21st when they signed free agent Alex Cobb. If Joe Table, Jr clears waivers, he’ll be offered back to the Yankees. Nestor Cortes, Jr remains in Orioles camp and is the scheduled starter in today’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies.
|Photo Credit: Baltimore Sun|
I’ve seen a lot of negative reaction from the Yankees fan base over the decision to give RHP Jonathan Holder the final spot on the Opening Day roster over Domingo German. I don’t get it. With the RailRiders, German can continue to start and will be stretched out if/when the Yankees need an emergency or extra starter. I’d prefer that to German sitting in the bullpen waiting for opportunities. Some fans seem to think the Opening Day roster is etched in stone. If we’ve learned anything, the final spots on the roster are very fluid with movement aboard the Scranton Shuttle.
Baseball is tough. It’s hard to believe that closer Greg Holland has been unable to find a job. He had 41 saves in 2017 for the Colorado Rockies. He turned down an off-season offer from the Rockies and their money went to new closer Wade Davis. I keep hearing that teams continue to stay away from Holland due to his asking price. At what point does Holland say ‘uncle’ and accept an offer simply to play? Same with Mark Reynolds who hit 30 home runs last season for the Rockies. I feel bad for the guys who can still play the game at its highest level but can’t find a job. The next few days will be even tougher as teams make the necessary cuts to reach their 25-man rosters. You wonder if it is the end of the line for older players like Jayson Werth, Jose Bautista and Matt Holliday. Scott Kazmir, part of the salary dump that sent outfielder Matt Kemp to the Los Angeles Dodgers, was released by the Braves yesterday. He had exited the game against the Yankees with left arm fatigue (after reportedly having thrown 90-100 pitches in a bullpen session last Wednesday). Despite on the hook for $16 million, the Braves opted to part ways with the left-hander who missed the 2017 season with injuries. Now, Kazmir is one of many on the unemployment line (although I am fairly confident the $16 million will help him pay bills while he looks for a new job).
Today is the final day in Florida for the Yankees. After today’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays in Port Charlotte, the Yankees will head for Atlanta, GA to play the Braves at SunTrust Park on Monday. Then, MLB camp is done. The Gang of 25 will head to Toronto and the Aaron Boone Era will officially begin with Opening Day on Thursday against the AL East rival Blue Jays. It’s almost time.
To borrow words from the great John Sterling, let’s give the team a “Stanton ovation”! It’s going to be a very exciting season. Go Yankees!
He gave up two home runs and a total of four runs, and four walks over 5 1/3 innings…
…and got the win. Unfortunately, it was Scott Kazmir of the Los Angeles Angels and not Javier Vazquez of the New York Yankees. Javy had worse line (5 hits, 5 runs and 3 walks in 3 2/3 innings). This isn’t exactly what GM Brian Cashman was looking for when he traded for Vazquez in the off-season. Perhaps the Yankees should have stayed with a ‘been there, done that’ approach and left Vazquez in Atlanta. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know who’ll get the biggest boos when the team returns to Yankee Stadium. Javy is now 1-3 for the season, with an ERA of 9.00, after today’s 8-4 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.
Jacob de Golish/Getty Images
The loss also ended the Yankees streak of series wins to start the season. Tied with the 1926 Yankees for the best start to the season with series wins, the 2010 missed a chance to take the record for themselves. The Angels took two of three, also winning Friday night’s game. The only Yankees win was Saturday’s 7-1 win behind a terrific performance by Andy Pettitte.
If Vazquez has competition for boos at home, it will come from reliever Damaso Marte. The game was still close (5-4) with Marte on the mound today. With Yankee killer Kendry Morales at the plate, manager Joe Girardi thought about lifting Marte. He left the dugout but changed his mind on the way to the mound and turned around. Morales subsequently pounded a three-run homer to give the Angels their margin of victory.
If I can take away any positives from today’s game, it was that Angels DH Hideki Matsui did not collect his 1,000th career hit against his former team.
I am sure that somewhere far, far away, someone is enjoying the Yankees loss on her birthday…
Happy Birthday to my friend, Julia! By the way, how did the Celtics and Red Sox do for you today? 😉 Sports aside, I hope it was a great day for you!
I felt Friday night’s collision at home between Mark Teixeira and Angels catcher Bobby Wilson was clean albeit quite unfortunate. It left Wilson with an ankle injury and a concussion. Baseball can be a violent game and Teixeira was focused on scoring. I know that there is probably no one who feels worse about what happened than Teixeira. Well, perhaps Wilson himself. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery by Bobby Wilson!
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Monday the Yankees will head to Washington to meet with President Obama at the White House. Then, it’s off to Baltimore for a three-game set in Oriole Park at Camden Yards. At 12-6, the Yankees are in second place, 1 ½ games behind the Tampa Bay Rays….but 4 ½ games ahead of the fourth place Boston Red Sox.
The NFL Draft has finally concluded. I am not a fan of the new format (Round 1 Thursday night; Rounds 2-3 Friday night; and Rounds 4-7 Saturday). I definitely prefer the previous Saturday-Sunday format much better.
As a fan of the Minnesota Vikings, I was a bit underwhelmed with this year’s draft. With the 30th pick in the first round, I thought the Vikings were in great shape to draft Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen, but they opted to trade down with the Detroit Lions. With the pick, the Lions were able to grab RB Jahvid Best who will definitely help improve Detroit’s running game. In Detroit’s slot (second pick of the second round), the Vikings again passed on Clausen and went with Virginia cornerback Chris Cook. Later in the second round, the Vikings traded up with the Houston Texans and drafted Stanford RB Toby Gerhart. I can’t dispute the Vikings needed secondary help, and after losing RB Chester Taylor through free agency to the Chicago Bears, the Vikings needed a backup for Adrian Peterson. But…
I personally thought this would be a great year for the Vikings to draft a “Quarterback of the Future”. Assuming that Brett Favre returns for at least one more year, he would have been the perfect mentor for a young QB. The Vikings did draft a QB in the sixth round (Joe Webb from UAB), but he will most likely transition to Wide Receiver in the NFL (assuming he makes it, of course). The Vikings also signed undrafted free agent QB R.J. Archer of William & Mary but he’s nothing more than training camp fodder. I guess I have something to look forward to in next year’s NFL Draft…
Two out of three ain’t bad!…
The trend continues. The Yankees have played three series so far this young season, and have won two out of three in each. The schedule makers were very unkind to the Yankees as they pitted their top 3 foes to start the season. Fortunately, the results have been very favorable. I realize that there are many games to be played but given the Yankees are historically slow starters, at least in recent years; this season has gotten off to a great start.
Tonight, despite an inability to get Hideki Matsui out, the Yankees prevailed against the Los Angeles Angels, 6-2. The game saw the return of Angels starter Scott Kazmir (fresh off the DL) and starter-turned 8th inning setup guy-turned starter Phil Hughes. The Yankees made it a short night for Kazmir (4 innings, 6 runs) but Hughes did struggle somewhat with his control as he gave up 5 walks and was gone in the 6th with no outs. He did strike out 6 and only gave up 3 hits and 2 runs in picking up the win.
Robinson Cano was the star of the game with 2 tremendous home runs. Derek Jeter also contributed with a homer and 2 RBI’s. I don’t think Curtis Granderson will need an adjustment period. He has already shown that he likes being a Yankee and his two triples tonight were fantastic. Meanwhile, I am getting a bit tired of seeing goose eggs next to Mark Teixeira’s name but fortunately April will soon be over. Mariano Rivera, as efficient as ever, came on to pick up his 4th save in relief of Joba Chamberlain. I have to admit, there was some satisfaction that it was Bobby Abreu who grounded out to end the game. A good win and a good series…
Tim Farrell/The Star Ledger
Now, the Yankees await the arrival of the Texas Rangers for a weekend series in the Bronx. What can CC Sabathia do to follow up on the one-hit performance in his previous start? All is well at 161st and River…
I will admit that Javier Vazquez has had a rough start in his reunion with the Yankees. He is 0-2 with a 9.82 ERA. However, I am not so sure he deserved to be booed as he walked off the mound during Wednesday’s 5-3 loss to the Angels. I’d really like to see a few more starts before fans rush to judgment. If you want a player to be the best that he can be, boos and cat calls are probably not the answer. Save those for Fenway Park or Tropicana Field. In Yankee Stadium, the fans should be united in their support of the players. If a player is bad or ill-suited for New York so be it, but 2 games does not a season make! Back off and give Javy some room. He’ll be fine…
Today was Jackie Robinson Day around Major League Baseball as players honored the late Dodgers great by wearing his jersey number (42) which was previously retired throughout baseball except for those players who wore the number at the time.
Barton Silverman/The New York Times
The last player to wear 42 in either league is, of course, the great Mariano Rivera. As Mo so eloquently put it, “It’s a privilege, an honor to be the last one to wear 42; it’s a blessing for me. I definitely have a job to do to represent him well.” Mo, I think you’ve succeeded. Here’s to Jackie Robinson and how he changed baseball for the better.
Somehow I knew that tonight spelled disaster with Chien-Ming Wang on the mound against the Tampa Bay Rays’ Scott Kazmir. Wang hasn’t been right for some time, and I was fearful that he’d crater in tonight’s performance…and he did…and then some…
This might be the worst Yankees performance that I’ve ever seen…well, Game 6 of the 2001 World Series was pretty bad, but still… Wang gave up a total of eight runs in one inning plus, and has a lofty ERA of 28.93.
I wonder if Brett Tomko would have given up that grand slam to Carlos Pena? Hey, it’s easy to second guess when you’re a fan!
The final score was Rays 15, Yankees 5. The 9th inning included a pitching stint by Nick Swisher, who had one of the better pitching lines of the night.
The Yankees played like little leaguers…
So, how much longer until A-Rod is ready to return? They really need to do something about third base. Cody Ransom is not the answer. Try Ramiro Pena, try Justin Leone, try Eric Duncan, try the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, but Ransom’s got to go…
What can you say with a game like this? It is miserable to watch, and of course, you want to say that hopefully they’ll learn something from this impending defeat. But what? It’s a loss, and there is nothing they can do about it. The Yanks fell to 3-4, but at least Boston lost too. I don’t get mad with these types of games. The Yanks are notorious for throwing up a few clunkers each year, and this is just one of those times. You just turn around and walk away…
On the bright side, tomorrow is a new day…and A.J. Burnett will be on the mound!
DISASTERS HAPPEN IN 3’S
They always say that disasters happen in 3’s…
First, we lost promising Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart.
Now, two more legendary figures in Major League Baseball have passed away.
Shortly after lunch, word came that long-time Philadelphia Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas had died. He was in Washington preparing for the Phillies game against the Nationals and he collapsed in the broadcast booth. He taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Harry the K was also well known for his voiceover work with NFL Films. The name may be unfamiliar to some, but the voice was known by all. Sadly and much too soon, he’s “outta here!”…
Courtesy YouTube by Lahawk
For those who can remember 1976, who can forget the legendary antics of Detroit Tigers pitcher Mark “The Bird” Fidrych. With the curly blonde hair poking out of the Tigers hat, it became a familiar scene to see Fidrych talking to the baseball and the various other antics that he performed leading up to his pitches. None of it was contrived, and it was completely his free spirit.
Unfortunately, an accident at his Northborough, Massachusetts farm prematurely ended Fidrych’s life today. Shoulder and knee injuries prevented what could have been a great career, but for 1976, there were not many better players than Fidrych. He went 19-9 with 2.34 ERA, and had 24 complete games. That was a special season and he was so fun to watch. You didn’t have to be a fan of the Tigers to appreciate Fidrych.
The past week has been difficult, and we’ve lost three outstanding men that can never be replaced. They will all be missed…
A-ROD’S BACK ON THE FIELD
Alex Rodriguez reported to the Yankees minor league complex and participated in a 48 minute workout. He is looking to begin minor league rehab games in 7 to 10 days, and is taking one day at a time.
Courtesy The Star-Ledger
If I had hip surgery five weeks ago, I’d probably be in a little worse shape than A-Rod.
I am sure that his superior physical conditioning has aided his recovery. Hopefully, there will be no setbacks as Alex’s continues his march for the Bronx.
Mark Teixeira was also at the minor league complex receiving treatment for his sore left wrist. He had a MRI which revealed no major issues. He thinks it would be a disappointment if he’s not back on the field Tuesday night.
- The Associated Press is reporting that former Yankees pitcher David Wells has signed a multi-year deal to be an analyst for TBS. C’mon, David, tell us what’s really on your mind!
- Manny Ramirez is saying that he wants to play for the Cleveland Indians once more before he calls it a career? I bet that really endears him to the Dodger fans that have so fully embraced him despite his history in Boston. Nope, I’m not going to say it but I guess you could say that it is expected behavior.
- The speculation of Pedro Martinez to the Los Angeles Angels makes sense. When I heard earlier that he was going to sign with Baltimore, it seemed very foolish if true. Fortunately, it was not. Pedro has the luxury of picking his spot (to a degree) and he still has what it takes to help a contender. No, the years as an ace are long gone, but he’s still a competitor who knows how to win.
- Regardless of what he said about his hometown of Woodland, CA, Dustin Pedroia is not a jerk. Of course, I may feel differently after the Yankees play the Red Sox later this month. But for now, Pedroia doesn’t deserve death threats or the criticism that he’s received.
- Julia, to answer your question, Wally has been wondering what the odor is above his head! Hmmm, he had better get used to it!
You win some, you lose some…
Okay, so maybe I was expecting an early April ten-game winning streak. Hey, a guy can dream right?
It’s nice to see the team do well despite the absence of Alex Rodriguez. I’d hate for him to come back and be the “savior”. Of course, as long as Joe Girardi keeps penciling in Cody Ransom’s name at third, anyone except Cody would look like a savior…
Jay Grabiec/The Daily Eastern News
Joba Chamberlain pitched well enough to win. He went six innings, and gave up four hits. He allowed three runs, but only one was earned. He struck out five. The Yankees had a 4-3 lead in the 8th inning, but the Royals scored three runs against relievers Jose Veras and Phil Coke.
Nick Swisher started again at first base in place of Mark Teixeira, who has missed two games with tendonitis in his left wrist. Teixeira says that he can field without any problems, and bat lefthanded. The wrist only hurts when he tries to bat righthanded. With lefty Scott Kazmir on the mound Monday in Tampa, Teixeira will again take a seat on the bench. But Joe Girardi hopes that he will be available to pinch hit if necessary.
Monday will be a tough matchup for the Yanks. Kazmir is pitching great right now, and Chien-Ming Wang has continued to struggle. The Yanks hope is to keep it close until they can wear down Kazmir and get to the Tampa bullpen. Of course, that’s still not an easy task, so I am not too confident about Monday’s game. If Wang doesn’t bring his “A” game, I can see disastrous results when he faces Rays third baseman Evan Longoria.
I know that Canuck will be anxiously awaiting the conclusion of the game so that she can post another ‘That’s my Scotty!’ post regarding her favorite Rays pitcher. I hope that the Yanks can delay that post by five days…
I hope Tuesday morning, Canuck is talking about me, and not Kazmir!
On the bright side, the Boston Red Sox lost so the day wasn’t a complete disaster!
JULIA’S BOYS ARE FIGHTING AGAIN
In the first inning of Sunday’s game between the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Angeles, Bobby Abreu took issue with a pitch that sailed high above his head as time was being called by the plate umpire. The benches cleared, but no punches were thrown. Then, Josh Beckett had some heated words for Angels manager Mike Scioscia, and the benches cleared again which led to some pushing and shoving. Four Angels were ejected from the game (Manager Mike Scioscia, centerfielder Torii Hunter, reliever Justin Speier, and hitting coach Mickey Hatcher).
At first glance, it would appear to me that Bobby Abreu overreacted to Beckett’s pitch. I don’t know what words were exchanged, but it did appear to me that Beckett was only reacting to words said to him by the Angels.
Of course, this is just an average fighting-kind of week for Julia. Her “weakness”, i.e., Toby Keith was involved in a tiff with actor Ethan Hawke earlier in the week…
AP via Comcast.net
Does she really think that I am going to wear a pink hat? Them’s fightin’ words!
WHAT WAS SHE THINKING?
Okay, this is a little off topic. My apologies. But what was the 32-year-old woman at the Berlin Zoo thinking when she jumped into the Polar Bear Pen, and proceeded to get mauled by the bears before she was rescued. It was definitely one of the most bizarre things I’ve seen. Well, next to why someone would be a Red Sox fan! 😉
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I hope everyone had a very enjoyable Easter with friends and family! Have a great week!
The Yankees lost…
24 hours in a day, minute by minute life happens. There are so many events that define our day, and determine whether we are happy or sad. So many memories that are created…some we will forget within days, others will last a lifetime. But at this moment, I can only think of one thing, ‘we lost to Baltimore?’.
It seems that some teams have other team’s number, and in recent years, the O’s have owned the Yankees. I am not going to go into the stats of actual wins and losses, but I can tell you that the Yankees do not have a great record against the Orioles. I remember when it was always the Seattle Mariners. In the last couple of years, the Los Angeles Angels (of Anaheim) and the Orioles have been the Yankees’ Achilles heel.
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Every team seems to have its thorn that it cannot overcome. Julia of Julia’s Rants mentioned to me that the Toronto Blue Jays play the Red Sox very tough. Who is the thorn in your team’s side? It is a good question, and certainly one that will go a long way towards determining the outcome of your team’s season. In the end, pennants are often won by only a few games. A few more wins here and there can make all the difference in the world. An inability to beat a certain team can lead to post-season heartbreak.
Both my team and Jenn’s team need to rebound from the opening day losses, and look to even their records in their second games. Of course, I do feel a little better about having Chien-Ming Wang on the mound as opposed to 40-something Jamie Moyer. Sorry Jenn! But hopefully, we’ll both soon see W’s…
Again, I want to thank Julia for being such a gracious host. I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Boston, and I found it to be such an exciting and vibrant city. Before I left today, I went to the gym to get in my run for the day, and of course, there was a woman nearby in a pink Red Sox hat. I can never stray too far from Julia’s influence. Too funny!
Pat Greenhouse/Boston Globe
If any of you ever have the chance to go to Boston, I highly recommend it. My desire to see the Red Sox play at Fenway Park remains unfulfilled so I know that I’ll be back…
MLB EXTRA INNINGS
I purchased my subscription to MLB Extra Innings tonight, so I am all set for the 2009 season. I was so starved for some baseball that I listened to the New York Mets’ 2-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on the way home from Boston. The Mets? I hate the freakin’ Mets! But it’s baseball, so you gotta love it!
I almost succumbed to Mark’s message for MLB.tv and perhaps I still will, but for now, I am looking forward to baseball on the BIG screen…
I do want to wish good luck to my friend Erin’s Minnesota Twins. It is always a great story when the Twins win, and they certainly have done well bringing up promising young talent. I have Joe Mauer on one of my primary fantasy baseball teams, so I am hoping for a speedy recovery. Of course, in the meantime, his replacement is Hip-Hip-Hor-Hey, Jorge Posada, so I am cool with that…
And for Canuck, I am hopeful for a great Scott Kazmir season! The Rays! Not so much…
Tuesday, I will be a Red Sox fan for a day. I owe that much to Julia. So, I will suspend my ‘Tek Hatin’ Ways until Wednesday. In the meantime, I guess I need to buy a number 33 Red Sox jersey! LOL!