The Yankees aren't alone atop the AL East anymore. Tampa came back to win last night's game against the Rangers, and both teams now own a 72-46 record, the best in baseball. Ironically, one of the Yankees weakest hitters had the best game last night: Curtis Granderson went 3-3 with a walk and double -
On last week's trip, Granderson worked with the hitting coach Kevin Long to retool his swing. The aim, Granderson said, is to start with his hands back and steady.
"The good thing is it's felt comfortable at the plate," Granderson said. "In terms of the results, I'm not really worried about it one way or the other if I go 0 for 5 or 5 for 5."
They could really use some 5-5's from him considering how the lineup is hitting (or not hitting).
- Ever wanted to know the life of a minor leaguer? If so, you need to read this fantastic article by the Trenton Thunder's beat writer, Mike Ashmore. A sample quote from former Scranton Yankee Richie Robnett -
What was cool about the Yankees is that they would pay for pretty much 50 percent of my bats, and I've never seen that. Never heard of it, never seen it. Then, you go up to Triple-A, they buy the first 12 of your bats that you want. After that, they'll pay half. That's just awesome, that's stuff you just don't hear about from other teams...
Other teams, like the Cubs, if you're in Double-A, you're a Tennessee Smokie, that's what you are. If you're in Double-A with the A's, you're a Midland Rockhound, that's what you are. When you're in Double-A with the Yankees, you're a Yankee. You're not a Trenton Thunder, you're a Yankee. If you're in Triple-A, you're a Yankee. If you're in A-Ball, you're a Yankee. That's what I like. You're a part of the organization, and they always want to make it known to you that you represent us.
Unless you're a super high draft pick, just making a living in the minors is tough.
- Last night at midnight was the deadline for signing 2010 draft picks. The Yanks fourth-round pick Mason Williams agreed to a deal for $1.45M at the 11th hour. Here's a quick scouting report on the speedy centerfielder -
A big time athlete with speed and agility, Williams is a tremendous defender in center with enough offensive upside to remain interesting. His swing is sound and he's not a total hacker, but he still has to refine his approach and add strength to hit for even average power. Like many of the toolsy high schoolers the Yanks selected this year, Williams is a bit of a project.
First overall pick Bryce Harper (and Scott Boras client) also agreed to an 11th-hour deal for around $10M.
- Phil Hughes will only pitch about 35 more innings this year (170 total). He should get roughly eight more starts. That's only 4.1 ip/start, so look for him to be skipped a few times as the season winds down.
- And finally, this little tidbit at the end of last night's NYT recap made me laugh -
Manager Joe Girardi said designated hitter Nick Johnson hurt his wrist again while taking batting practice. "It doesn't sound too good," Girardi said.