Missed games in April could help the Yankees down the road, plus notes

yankees-rain-out

Spahn, Sain and pray for rain.

The 1948 Braves had two good pitchers, Warren Spahn, and Johnny Sain, who were honored in a poem called “Pray for rain” because, well, that was the only way it was thought they could win.

For the second day in a row the Yankees were rained out which hurts because the bats were so hot on Monday and Tuesday and make up games and possible doubleheaders down the line are going to wreck havoc to the pitching staff later on.

However, getting a chance to skip some of the Yankees weaker starters couldn’t hurt them as they try to tread water in April. It also, as Mark Teixeira pointed out on his Twitter account last night, is two fewer games they will have to play without Teixeira, Derek Jeter, and Curtis Granderson. So if Joe Girardi can figure out a way to get through makeup games without killing the bullpen this could be a good thing in the long run.

The first makeup game is likely going to be May 13. That’s right about the time when the three aforementioned players will be coming off the DL, but will they make it in time?

Granderson finally got his cast taken off and began throwing yesterday. He said it went well and it seems like he’s on track for a mid-May return, but it’s hard to say exactly when he’ll be back for sure. Spring Training is typically six weeks long and Granderson essentially had no spring at all after getting beaned during his first at bat. If we consider yesterday his first day of spring then six weeks from now is May 16.

Teixeira will have his wrist reevaluated today. He hopes the begin batting practice by next weekend and to play in extended spring training games next week. The scary thing about his injury is that it came from overuse and players with similar injuries have made theirs much worse rushing back. He claims that he’ll be ready by May 1st, but he’s not actually swinging yet and that seems rushing it. May 16 or later seems more realistic at this point.

Then there is Jeter, who was never realistic about his return throughout the entire offseason and through most of spring. Jeter had an off day yesterday, but began running and took some batting practice this week. He might be further ahead than the other two at this point, but I still worry he’s going to rush back and cause another setback. Look at David Adams, who took two years to recover from his ankle injury, and we know there are no guarantees for Jeter.

So maybe the trio might not be back in time for the first makeup game. But they’ll be back shortly after, hopefully in time for a second makeup game if it isn’t a doubleheader on May 13. Of course, if there are any other rainouts between now and then, like today since it’s downpouring in New York, then they’ll be around for those games.

So let’s hope we keep getting bizzaro performances from the players who are replacing Jeter, Teixeira, and Granderson and lots of rain because the fewer games we play now the more it could help the team down the road as long as the bullpen isn’t blown out when they do get around to making these games up.

• With back-to-back rainouts both Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes could be available for an inning out of the bullpen this weekend.

• Speaking of Hughes, he adjusted his arm slot late last year to a more 3/4-motion and as a result he is getting less upward movement on his fastball and more side to side action. This might result in fewer swing and misses, but should also help to cut down on his fly balls and home runs allowed.

• Vernon Wells said he’s willing to platoon when Granderson comes back. Unless Ichiro Suzuki picks up his hitting he might not have to though.

• Hughes wasn’t the only one who was sick this week. David Robertson also came down with a cold, but Girardi told reporters he was feeling better yesterday. So he should be available out of the bullpen tonight.

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4 Responses to Missed games in April could help the Yankees down the road, plus notes

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    One of the ironies of the 1948 Braves (as Bill James discovered when he was researching #3 pitchers after the 1987 season) was that their additional starters (Vern Bickford and Bill Voiselle) actually had better records that year than the Sain-Spahn duo (Spahn was 15-12.

  2. You are correct. As it turned out Warren Spahn actually had the worst season out of any of the four pitchers with a 3.71 ERA and a 105 ERA+ while Voiselle had a 3.63 ERA and 107 ERA+ and Bickford had a 3.27 ERA and 119 ERA+. Although Bickford did not nearly pitch as much as Spahn. So perhaps Spahn was actually the better pitcher, but it was a sample size issue.

    While we're on the subject, Johnny Sain was a Yankee from 1951 until 1955. He had a 3.31 ERA and a 107 ERA+ (kinda crazy that a 3.31 ERA is only good enough for a 107 ERA+). He was also the Yankees pitching coach later on and was considered a great one as well.

  3. Masini distrugatoare says:

    interesting strategy..

  4. to pray for raining to win a game:))