Thanks for nothing, Mother Nature. The Yankees and Dodgers were rained out on Tuesday and will instead play a day-night doubleheader on Wednesday. Hiroki Kuroda will start the first game at 1pm ET while Phil Hughes gets the ball at 7pm ET. Because the doubleheader was not announced 48 hours in advance, the two teams will not be able to add a 26th man to the roster. Yeah, it’s a dumb rule, but that’s the rule. They will need to dig up a starter for Sunday, but Ivan Nova lines up nicely.
Use this thread as an open thread for the night. Zack Wheeler is making his debut for the Mets against the Braves, plus you’ve got a game on MLB Network and the College World Series on ESPN2. Game Six of the NBA Finals is on as well. Talk about any of that stuff and more. Have at it.
Yesterday we learned the Yankees agreed to sign California HS LHP Ian Clarkin (1s) to a straight slot $1.65M bonus. Here are some more updates on various draft picks (draft round in parenthesis):
- Fresno State OF Aaron Judge (1s) has already been offered slot money, reports Jon Heyman. He has yet to accept, however. As the 32nd overall pick, Judge is slotted for a bit less than $1.68M. I’m hopeful this will get done soon, as in this week.
- Auburn LHP Conner Kendrick (9) has signed, or at least agreed to sign according to his Twitter feed. No word on the bonus, but he’s slotted for a bit more than $140k. Doubt he got any more than that.
- South Carolina LHP Tyler Webb (10) has signed, which you probably realized when he pitched in last night’s Short Season Staten Island game. Webb was slotted for just over $135k, but he signed for only $30k as a college senior with little leverage. Nice chunk of change saved there.
- San Diego State RHP Phil Walby (12) and Sam Houston State LHP Caleb Smith (14) both signed for $100k, report K. Levine-Flandrup and Jim Callis. The team announced both signings last week. Slot money for every pick after the tenth round is $100k, with any excess spending counting towards the pool.
- Oklahoma LHP Ethan Carnes (21) has signed for $75k, reports KL-F. It’s below-slot but there are no draft pool savings here. That stuff only applies to the first ten rounds.
- Texas HS RHP Shane McCarley (33) will talk to the team about possibly signing this weekend, reports KL-F. He’s a good but not elite quarterback prospect with a scholarship to Old Dominion in his back pocket.
- Washington State SS Ty Afenir (39) has signed, the team announced. No word on the bonus, but again, anything over $100k counts over the pool. I highly doubt he got that much.
- The Yankees have signed USF OF/RHP Chad Taylor as an undrafted free agent, reports Nicholas Flammia. No word on his bonus, but anything over $100k counts against the draft pool. UDFA’s almost never get six figures though. Most don’t even get five figures. I don’t know if the Yankees intend to use Taylor as an outfielder or pitcher — he did both in college and spent most of 2013 on the mound — but I guess we’ll find out eventually.
All of the team’s draft selections can be seen at Baseball America, and you can keep track of the draft pool situation with our 2013 Draft Pool page. It looks like the Yankees might wind up with enough leftover pool money to make a run at one or two of their late-round gambles — Missouri HS 3B Drew Bridges (20) and Florida HS LHP Nestor Cortes (36) seem most likely — though, we have to see what happens with Judge and California HS 2B Gosuke Katoh first.
Kevin Youkilis will miss 10-12 weeks following surgery to correct a herniated disc in his back, the team announced. He will have the procedure on Thursday. There’s a decent chance we won’t see him again this year or in pinstripes ever again.
Youkilis, 34, hit .219/.305/.343 (77 wRC+) with two homers in 118 plate appearances for New York this year. He has missed a bunch of time back trouble this year (one month), last year (two months total), and the year before that (three weeks). This isn’t surprising at all. Backs rarely get better. The three-headed replacement level monster of David Adams, Jayson Nix, and Reid Brignac will continue to rotate around the left side of the infield for the time being. · (109) ·
3:24pm: Both Warren and Almonte have indeed been called up. Teixeira has been placed on the DL and Bootcheck has been designated for assignment.
2:16pm: Via Sweeny Murti: The Yankees will indeed place Mark Teixeira on the 15-day DL with wrist inflammation today. They will use the injury to bring long-reliever Adam Warren back from Triple-A before the ten-day waiting period expires. Murti also hears outfielder Zoilo Almonte could be called up as well, though the team has yet to announce anything. Removing Chris Bootcheck from the roster would be the obvious corresponding move there. · (103) ·
It has been more than 30 years since the Dodgers last played in the Bronx, not since the deciding Game Six of the 1981 World Series. They have never come to the Yankee Stadium as part of interleague play, at least not until today. The Yankees and Dodgers will play a quick little two-game series that features two highest-priced rosters in baseball. There’s also a neat nostalgic element that, like many of you, I am too young to fully appreciate.
What Have They Done Lately?
The Dodgers are not very good despite their recent spending spree. They lost two of three to the Pirates this weekend and have lost six of their last eight games overall. At 29-39 with a -49 run differential, Los Angeles sits in last place in the NL West with seventh worst record in baseball.
With a team 94 wRC+ and an average of 3.5 runs per game, the Dodgers are a below-average offensive club. It doesn’t help that CF Matt Kemp (78 wRC+) is a shell of his former self following offseason left (front) shoulder surgery. He’s currently on the DL with a hamstring problem. LF Carl Crawford (133 wRC+) was having a big bounceback year before hitting the DL with a hamstring issue. OF Scott Van Slyke (132 wRC+ in limited time) is out with a shoulder injury and IF Juan Uribe (118 wRC+) is day-to-day with a back problem. He could return to the lineup as soon as tonight.
As for the healthy guys, it obviously all starts with OF Yasiel Puig (260 wRC+ in limited time). He’s been the talk of baseball since coming up three weeks ago thanks to his dramatic homers and brilliant defensive plays. It’ll be fun to watch these next two days. 1B Adrian Gonzalez (130 wRC+) remains a force at the plate, and C A.J. Ellis (107 wRC+) has been one of baseball’s most underrated backstops for two seasons now. IF Hanley Ramirez (104 wRC+ in limited time) has been banged up all year and OF Andre Ethier (95 wRC+) has been disappointing.
Aside from those guys, manager Don Mattingly really doesn’t have much at his disposal. IF Nick Punto (94 wRC+) has been surprisingly not awful, but both UTIL Skip Schumaker (87 wRC+) and UTIL Jerry Hairston Jr. (85 wRC+) haven’t done much of anything. Ditto IF Mark Ellis (89 wRC+) and IF Luis Cruz (-4 wRC+). Cruz has gotten 124 plate appearances, believe it or not. Recent call-ups OF Alex Castellanos (97 wRC+ in very, very limited time) and backup C Tim Federowicz (61 wRC+) have played like rookies. Really not much to see here. Keep Puig and Gonzalez contained and you’ll be in good shape.
Starting Pitching Matchups
Tuesday: RHP Phil Hughes vs. LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu
I liked the idea of the Yankees pursuing Ryu this winter, but, as I tend to do, I grossly underestimated the cost. The Dodgers paid over $60M — $25.7M posting fee plus a $36M contract — to bring him over from Korea, and so far he’s been worth the investment. The 26-year-old left-baller has pitched to a 2.85 ERA (3.10 FIP) in 13 starts this year, and he’s been especially tough since settling into a groove in late-April: 2.37 ERA (3.08 FIP) in his last nine starts. Ryu has posted very good peripherals in his debut MLB season, with a solid strikeout rate (7.91 K/9 and 21.7 K%) to go along with above-average walk (2.64 BB/9 and 7.3 BB), homer (0.63 HR/9 and 7.8% HR/FB), and ground ball (48.1%) numbers. He’s a true five-pitch pitcher, using 88-92 mph two- and four-seamers to set up a low-80s slider, an upper-70s changeup, and a low-70s curveball. The changeup is his top secondary pitch and a big reason why he has a reverse split — lefties have a .266 wOBA against him while lefties are at .321. The Yankees have never seen Ryu before, obviously.
Wednesday: RHP Hiroki Kuroda vs. LHP Chris Capuano
Technically, the Dodgers starter for this game is still TBA. It is widely expected that Capuano will be activated off the DL and rejoin the rotation, however. He’s been out for two weeks with a lat strain, though he threw four scoreless innings during a rehab start on Friday. Capuano, 34, has pitched to a 3.45 ERA (5.15 FIP) in 33 innings across six starts and two relief appearances while battling various nagging injuries this season. His peripherals are not great — 6.55 K/9 (16.1 K%), 3.55 BB/9 (8.7 BB%), 1.64 HR/9 (16.2% HR/FB), and 45.9% grounders — but they figure to improve as he heals up and accumulates more innings. Capuano has consistently been a low-4.00s FIP guy for the last six or seven years now. An upper-80s sinker is his top fastball, though he will mix in the occasional four-seamer at the same velocity. His upper-70s changeup is his top offspeed pitch, though he’ll also throw low-80s sliders and mid-80s curveballs. It’s worth noting Capuano typically handles left-handed hitters well, holding them to a .273 wOBA since coming back from his second Tommy John surgery in 2010. Righties have tagged him for a .343 wOBA during that time. The Yankees roughed Capuano up in 2011 when they saw him during the Subway Series with the Mets.
Like the Yankees, the Dodgers were off on Monday. Their pen is relatively well-rested. Mattingly recently replaced RHP Brandon League (5.10 FIP) with RHP Kenley Jansen (2.89 FIP) at closer. The move was a long time coming. LHP Paco Rodriguez (2.81 FIP) and RHP Ronald Belisario (4.03 FIP) see plenty of late-inning work, as does LHP J.P. Howell (3.00 FIP). RHP Matt Guerrier (4.14 FIP) and RHP Peter Moylan (3.23 FIP) round out the bullpen, assuming RHP Chris Withrow (3.06 FIP in very limited time) is sent down to make room for Capuano.
Joe Girardi‘s bullpen is in pretty good shape thanks to the off-day and CC Sabathia‘s eight-inning start on Sunday. As I mentioned this morning, I suspect Adam Warren will rejoin the team today in his usual long man role if Mark Teixeira is indeed placed on the DL. Otherwise everyone is pretty fresh. Check out our Bullpen Workload page for exact recent reliever usage. For the best Dodgers coverage, I recommend True Blue LA and Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness. They’re two of the very best team-specific blogs you’ll find.
Via Bryan Hoch: Brian Cashman said the Yankees are “open for business” regarding potential trades on Monday. “I’m always open for business, if it feels like they’re incremental upgrades or significant ones … Activities in terms of conversations have definitely increased where clubs have turned their attention to, ‘All right, what are you guys looking to do, who do you need, who’s available?’” said the GM.
New York’s needs are both obvious and plentiful at this point. They need a corner outfield bat, a shortstop, a catcher, and maybe a third baseman. That’s the bare minimum really, and the offense isn’t good enough for them to just sit around and wait for all the injured guys to return. The Yankees have pitching to spare, both starters and relievers, and they could always dip into their prospect pool as well. As long as they remain close enough to contention, I fully expect them to add pieces at the trade deadline. Not sell. · (80) ·
Yesterday was the second of three consecutive Monday off-days for the Yankees, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. The West Coast road trip was a nightmare and everyone needed a day away from baseball, fans included. At least I did, I don’t know about you. Here are some random thoughts:
1. It seems likely that Mark Teixeira will be placed on the DL today — Brian Cashman strongly hinted at it yesterday — but I have no idea what the corresponding roster move will be. Zoilo Almonte is only player in Triple-A who is both a) on the 40-man roster, and b) healthy. He’s been good this year but not great, and replacing an infielder with an outfielder doesn’t make a ton of sense given the current roster. I wonder if they’ll use Teixeira’s injury to recall Adam Warren before his ten-day waiting period is up, then designate Chris Bootcheck for assignment in favor of Josh Bell or Dan Johnson. Both have some big league experience and can play the corner infield spots (play as in stand there and hope the ball doesn’t get hit to them), which might be enough to land them on the roster. It’s a really bad time for Ronnie Mustelier, Corban Joseph, and Brennan Boesch to be on the Triple-A DL.
2. Unless he looks completely overwhelming over the next few weeks, I’m pretty sure the Yankees will send Michael Pineda to Triple-A once his rehab assignment is up on July 8th. That could obviously change if the big league rotation goes in the dump via injury or ineffectiveness. Sending him down for two or three weeks to “buy back” the year of team control they lost last year due to the injury makes too much sense not to happen. Remember, Pineda is an big time fly ball pitcher (36.3% grounders in 2011) and there were questions about how he’d fit in Yankee Stadium even before the injury. As bad as Phil Hughes has been at times — he’s really got a Good Phil/Bad Phil thing going on this year, he’s either dynamite or a disaster — I don’t think the two-pitch, fly ball guy coming off major shoulder surgery is a lock to pitch any better down the stretch.
3. Now that I’ve had some time to sit back and digest everything, I really like what the Yankees did with their three first round draft picks two weeks ago. That’s assuming Fresno State OF Aaron Judge is willing to let the team make him a millionaire at some point soon. Eric Jagielo is, by far, the most polished potential impact hitter the team has added to the farm system in years. This isn’t a project hitter with a big loop in his swing or someone who can’t recognize breaking balls, all he lacks is overall experience. Judge offers that big upside while Ian Clarkin gives them a much-needed top left-handed pitching prospect. I am big on high school pitchers and tend to overrate them, but lefties who sit in the low-90s with an out pitch curveball usually don’t make to the 33rd pick of the draft. The Yankees added a nice mix of polish and upside with those three picks, and that’s exactly what they needed. I’m looking forward to seeing all three start their careers in the coming weeks.
4. The Yankees need more out of Robinson Cano than they’ve been getting. Based on Twitter, the comments, and my email, I’m not the only one who feels this way. Not by a long shot. Cano is hitting a very good .278/.350/.511 (129 wRC+) this year, but that’s down from .311/.370/.539 (142 wRC+) from 2010-2012. That’s the guy they need, the undisputed best second baseman in the world. I’m also rather concerned about his sudden inability to hit left-handed pitchers: .218/.283/.366 (71 wRC+) this year, .239/.309/.377 (78 wRC+) last year, .314/.354/.525 (134 wRC+) in 2011, and .300/.343/.475 (116 wRC+) from 2005-2011. I fully expect the Yankees to re-sign him to some massive contract at some point in the next five or six months, but that platoon split is terrifying. Impatient contact-oriented hitters like Cano tend to suddenly fall off a cliff as it is, so just imagine adding a big platoon split to that. I’ll worry about that when the time comes. For now I’m just going to be greedy and hope Robbie gets back to his 2010-2012 self and soon.
In case you missed it late last night, RHP Rafael DePaula has been promoted to High-A Tampa. Here are some other notes and roster moves:
- Triple-A Scranton: CF Melky Mesa (shoulder), UTIL Ronnie Mustelier (groin), and RHP Sam Demel (unknown) have all been placed on the DL, reports Mike Ashmore. 1B/DH Randy Ruiz was signed out of the Mexican League to give the club another warm body.
- Double-A Trenton: LHP Matt Tracy (hip) was placed on the DL and RHP Corey Black sent back down to High-A Tampa according to Ashmore. Black’s recent promotion was just a paper move, apparently.
- High-A Tampa: RHP Shane Greene and RHP Sean Black were both promoted to Double-A Trenton according to Josh Norris. Greene has been awesome.
- Low-A Charleston: LHP Dietrich Enns has been promoted to High-A Tampa based on his Twitter feed. He’s been outrageously good and the promotion is long overdue.
- Miscellaneous (via Matt Eddy): RHP Cory Arbiso has been re-signed. He spent parts of five years in the system as an organizational arm before being released at the end of Spring Training … RHP Dan Mahoney and 1B Luke Murton were released. He led the system with 25 homers last year but he didn’t hit a lick this year (22 wRC+ at Triple-A).
Triple-A Scranton Game One (10-1 loss to Rochester in seven innings) makeup of the April 10th rainout
- C J.R. Murphy: 0-3
- LF Zoilo Almonte: 2-3 — 15 hits in his last 33 at-bats (.455)
- 1B Dan Johnson: 2-3, 1 R — ten hits in his last 28 at-bats (.357) with three doubles and two homers
- RHP Caleb Cotham: 2.1 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 8 BB, 1 K, 1 HB, 4/0 GB/FB — only 34 of 83 pitches were strikes (41%) … I can’t ever remember an eight-walk outing in all the years I’d been DotFing
- RHP Mark Montgomery: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 2 WP, 1/1 GB/FB — 18 of 30 pitches were strikes
- RHP R.J. Baker: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 2/1 GB/FB — 14 of 30 pitches were strikes (47%) … he’s the backup catcher, by the way
Most off-days stink, but I think I will enjoy this one just as much as the players. The Yankees have been brutal for a few weeks now, but especially the last week in particular. Even yesterday’s win was exhausting. This is a good night to relax and forget all about baseball for a few hours.
Here is your open thread for the night. The Mets are playing the Braves (Gee vs. Hudson), the Cubs and Cardinals will be on ESPN (Wood vs. Miller), plus Game Three of the Stanley Cup Finals will be on as well. You folks know how these things work by now, so have at it.
During a conference call this afternoon, Brian Cashman provided a bunch of updates on the various injured Yankees. Here’s a recap:
- Derek Jeter (ankle) took his hacks in batting practice and also off a tee and soft toss. The Cap’n fielded ground balls with a little side-to-side movement for the first time (ever! zing!) as part of his rehab as well.
- Alex Rodriguez (hip) will face live pitchers on Tuesday for the first time as part of his rehab. Going from simulated games to minor league rehab games to the big leagues is probably a four-week process for a guy who didn’t have a Spring Training, so yeah, All-Star break if everything goes well.
- Mark Teixeira (wrist) will not be available for at least seven days, and Cashman said he is “leaning personally” towards placing him on the DL. Let’s hope they do that, playing short-handed and potentially bringing him back too soon would suck.
- Michael Pineda (shoulder) will make his next minor league rehab start with High-A Tampa on Thursday. He’s scheduled to throw 80 pitches. Cashman said Pineda has been sitting 92 and touching 94-95 during his rehab so far.
- Curtis Granderson (hand) will have the pin removed on Thursday. No word on how long it will be before he can resume baseball activities, but getting the pin taken out is a start.
- Frankie Cervelli (hand) is still a week or so away from swinging a bat. He has been playing catch and working on receiving drills behind the plate.
- Eduardo Nunez (ribcage) took some ground balls and did some light hitting off a tee and soft toss. It’s possible he could return before the All-Star break, but Cashman didn’t seem confident.