Craziness out in Arizona and quiet up in the Bronx.
We could wait all week for a Torre decision.
Meanwhile, your AFL Javelinas trailed all game and lost (they tied it in the top of the sixth and gave it away in the bottom half of the inning).
This game seems to have revolved around the success and failure of some Yankee prospects:
On the bright side, Brett Gardner batted leadoff and played center field today. But the team couldn't do much with his three singles, walk and stolen base (5 ABs) as he only scored once.
Juan Miranda went 0-3 with a walk, a HBP and a run scored, while playing first. I wish I could tell you more about Miranda's ABs, but the Gameday for the AFL is pretty weak: no pitch information (speed, break, type) and Gameday location is often questionable. Miranda impressed me with a little patience today, seeing 5, 2, 2 (HBP), 5 and 5 pitches in his 5 ABs. If he can take pitches and still get hits it'll help his chances of a 2008 cup of coffee.
He is, of course, a Matsuiian 0-6.
Reegie Corona provided today's Yankee power: 2-5, including a clutch (ie. luckily timed) 2-out 3 run homer off Royals "prospect" Greg Atencio (26 years old, 2002 draftee). In case you couldn't guess, I'm not impressed, but any hitting is good hitting from our 21-year old shortstop because he struck out in his other three ABs.
So after good and bad results on the hitting side, let's talk about the ugly:
Steven Jackson- the 25 year-old pitched the 5th and 6th innings. In the 5th he walked the second batter (Rangers' outfielder John Mayberry of the .311 OBP) on 5 pitches after falling behind 3-0.
Jackson got a second out before allowing a single to catcher Taylor Teagarden, who batted 8th despite putting up a .310/.428/.586 line in 110 games. (Interestingly, milb.com and baseball cube have their A/AA affiliations inversed, so I'm not sure if he was promoted or demoted during the season- I'll assume promotion).
Jackson recovered by striking out 19 year-old shortstop Elvis Andrus (A/AA Texas) on 3 pitches. 17 pitches total.
The 6th inning should have gone better. Jackson got 3 outs (1K)on 9 pitches, but one of those pitches was a first pitch homer to stud secondbaseman German Duran (.300/.352/.525, 130 games AA Texas).
That homer was the final go-ahead run for the Rafters, and Jackson wound up saddled with the loss (mainly because the next Javelinas pitcher gave up 6 ERs in 0.1IP to make the lead insurmountable).
At this point I'm wondering about Jackson's usage. Only one AFLer pitched a third inning today, so we have to assume that they're working the pitch counts back up just like spring training.
But Chad Jennings (who followed the AAA team for the SWB Times Tribune) writes as though Jackson's move to pen following his struggles and demotion from AAA to AA is a permanent move.
I think if the Yankees still consider him a player with MLB potential he'll stay in the pen and so Horne, Sanchez, Clippard, Wright, McCutchen, White and Betanances to battle for the single future rotation spot behind Wang and the Trinity. If they think Jackson has touched his ceiling then they'll leave him in the rotation where he can be an innings eater in the minors or start the occassional double header.