Good morning, Pinstripe Alley readers. Hopefully, you are all over the second straight sweep at the hands of the Red Sox. There are 102 games left on the schedule, and the Yankees are only two games back in the AL East. There is a lot of baseball left, and certainly no need to panic. Now, on to your usual morning news.
At the beginning of the Spring Training, the Yankees' perceived strength was their collection of quality arms in the bullpen. Mariano Rivera, Rafael Soriano, Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson, and Pedro Feliciano would make up one of the deepest bullpens in recent memory. Now, only Rivera and Robertson are left, as Soriano will be out for at least another month and Joba and Feliciano are out for the season.
Despite this, Phil Hughes will, thankfully, remain a starting pitcher when he is eligible to return from the disabled list. When discussing this, Cashman said Hughes will remain a starting pitcher now and in the future. Its nice to know that the organization realizes Hughes is much more valuable throwing 200 innings than 70.
Also encouraging were Hughes' two innings in a simulated game down in Tampa, and the Yankees are hopeful that he will begin a rehab assignment on Tuesday. Girardi had this to say about Hughes:
Hughes threw 30 pitches ... and they said he looked good. Velocity was 90 to 92 [mph], a lot of 92s they said. He will make a start next Tuesday for the Gulf Coast League.
Hopefully, there will be no setbacks, and Hughes will be back on the big club after about five rehab starts.
Dellin Betances threw an absolute gem against the Reading Phillies last night, tossing six shutout innings, while striking out eight. His outing lowered his league leading ERA to a minuscule 1.75. Reading was unable to advance a runner past second base until after he left the game. Despite his great start to the 2011 season, Brian Cashman maintained his stance that none of the B's will be getting a call-up anytime soon.
Though the B's won't be getting called up, that does not mean no one will get a call. Says Cashman:
We’re talking about some guys. But unless and until we do it doesn’t make sense to talk too much about it. Let those guys keep throwing and we'll continue to talk internally, and if we promote somebody we’ll talk about who they are and why we did it.
Jeff Zimmerman of Beyond the Box Score took a look at Curtis Granderson. He concluded that he is following Jose Bautista's path to increased power: pulling the ball more. Granderson's previous career high home run total was 30 back in 2009, and he already has 18 through just 60 games in 2011.
All Star voting is still going on, and six Yankees currently leading their respective positions. Mark Teixeira holds a slim lead over Adrian Gonzalez, and Robinson Cano began challenging Jose Bautista for the title of top vote-getter. Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Russell Martin, and Curtis Granderson also currently hold starting spots.
- Derek Jeter is 10 hits away from 3,000. He needs 10 hits over the next 7 games to reach the 3,000 hit plateau at Yankee Stadium.
- Mark Simon takes a terrific look at Jeter's career BABIP.
- Jorge Posada says his son is hanging in after surgery. By the way, Jorge has three straight multi-hit games, and his batting average has finally crept back over .200 for the first time since April 5th.
- Jesus Montero has been cleared to play. He had been dealing with an eye infection.
- Jorge Vazquez hit his 20th homer last night, good for the top spot in the International League.
- Ian Begley takes a look at the recent beanball in the Bronx.
- Eric Chavez still isn't close to returning from the disabled list.
- Finally, this has to be the worst call of the year. How did the umpires not get together after that play?