Tanaka takes the hill in series finale vs. Jays


Earlier this morning, I voiced my concerns on the Yankees using Masahiro Tanaka for today and if all goes well at Fenway Park in Boston. While everyone is concerned about Tanaka, Joe Girardi insists that this is the only way the team could get a look at him and make sure he’s ready for next year.

“I think it’s important for us as an organization and for him to see what we have moving forward, so I’ve been looking forward to this day,” Joe Girardi said.

There’s a lot of uncertainty in the rotation for the Yankees in 2015; Hiroki Kuroda is a free agent (and will probably retire), CC Sabathia‘s yet to bounce back to his ‘ace’ self and Ivan Nova is recovering from Tommy John Surgery. If the Yankees can get Masahiro Tanaka back to his true self, then that will be one less problem for next season. (But if there’s one person that should be in the rotation next year, it’s Brandon McCarthy. He’s perfect for Yankee Stadium, and that would be one less question mark).

Some Notes

— Joe Girardi said Derek Jeter is going to play the final eight games of the season and he’ll start some of the games as the designated hitter. He’s the DH in today’s contest

— The Yankees team doctor advised Carlos Beltran to wait until the end of the season to have the elbow surgery. The recovery time would be 12 weeks so if Beltran waited a week, he’d still be ready for Spring Training.

..read more

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It’s Tanaka Day! (but there are risks)


For the first time since July, I am happy to announce that today is Masahiro Tanaka Day, but I can’t say it with much confidence like I have done in the past. If I could summarize Tanaka’s first start since coming off the disabled list, it would be this; with the reward, there are risks, and the Yankees will risk Tanaka’s arm to see if he’ll be a contender for their rotation next season.

I know Joe Girardi wants to have Tanaka start this afternoon to see if he could be a player for them next year and while Tanaka said he’s felt ‘fine’, how much longer can he realistically pitch with the small UCL tear in his elbow before he gets a serious injury that involves him being out for more than a season? While I like the Yankees approach of having Tanaka rehab before rushing him into Tommy John Surgery, isn’t having him pitch in a game with Major League action a little risky?

Maybe I’m just being overly cautious and maybe nothing will go wrong with Tanaka pitching today, but there’s nothing wrong with being worried about the Yankees biggest investment of the offseason last year. He came over here to be a star and he has been stellar for the Yankees when healthy. You just hope he can pitch without the situation getting out of hand where he’ll have to miss parts of two seasons.

In Other News

— Here’s some injury updates on the Yankees from yesterday. The injuries involve potentially shutting down two of their ‘Walking Wounded’.

Carlos BeltranCarlos Beltran missed yesterday’s game due to the bone spur in his elbow. At this point, he’s been told that ..read more

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Yankees fall to Blue Jays 6-3


I apologize in advance if the blog seemed a little dry today. I was at the Yankees game getting my final live glimpse at Derek Jeter and while the Yankees lost the game, the plus side was me getting video of Derek Jeter’s final at-bat of the evening. With that said, here’s the recap for this afternoon’s 6-3 loss.

The Yankees were attempting to make their win-streak four games, but three runs in the sixth inning by the Blue Jays handed the Yankees a 6-3 loss at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York.

The Yankees got on the board in the third inning on a RBI single by Brian McCann. In the fourth, Francisco Cervelli singled on a ground ball, scoring Chase Headley. The Yankees added one more run in the 9th on a Derek Jeter double, scoring Brett Gardner.

Chris Capuano had a rocky start, giving up four runs on 5.2 innings, striking out two in the process. Chase Whitley gave up a run while only retiring a batter, Esmil Rogers pitched a scoreless inning, David Huff pitched a scoreless inning and David Phelps gave up a run in his inning of work.

What’s Next?

— It’s TANAKA TIME! (Boy that feels good to say). Masahiro Tanaka will take the mound as the Yankees attempt to take the series from the Toronto Blue Jays. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m. and the game will air on the YES ..read more

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Video: Derek Jeter greets fans in new Gatorade commercial

In Derek Jeter‘s final season in pinstripes, commercials honoring the Yankees captain have been sprawled all over television and if you turn on a sports channel, there’s a good chance you’ll see a commercial featuring the future Hall of Fame. In the latest commercial created by Gatorade, Derek Jeter is giving back to the fans, and thanking them for their support.

Seeing Jeter get out of his car blocks away from Yankee Stadium to greet the multiple fans on the way to the ballpark was a nice sight to see. However, watching the commercial really allows fans to sink in that this is Jeter’s final home stand, and after he plays the final six games at home, he will never put on the Yankees pinstripes again.

So if you haven’t seen the commercial, view it above, try not to cry and enjoy. As for me, I’ll be at the ballpark saying my final goodbye to Derek Jeter.

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Jacoby Ellsbury likely done for season with hamstring injury


Jacoby Ellsbury left the game after the fourth inning with a hamstring injury and if you’re a Jacoby Ellsbury fan, you might not like the news I’m about to give you.

During his post game press conference, Joe Girardi said there was a “distinct chance” Ellsbury would be done for the season after tests showed he had a hamstring strain. With a season full of injuries, this was something the Yankees didn’t want to happen, especially after they had finally found Ellsbury’s spot in the lineup.

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Ellsbury’s blast propels Yankees to 5-3 win over Blue Jays


The Yankees are realistically out of the Wild Card race, but they mathematically have been helping their odds. In order to keep the playoff hope alive, the Yankees rallied for a 5-3 victory at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York.

The Yankees got on the board in the bottom of the first on a Brian McCann RBI single, scoring Jacboy Ellsbury. In the third inning, Ellsbury hit his 16th home run of the year, giving the Yankees a 3-2 lead. In the fourth inning, Ellsbury grounded into a force out but due to a Blue Jays error, the Yankees scored two runs on the play. Ellsbury would later leave the game with a right hamstring strain.

In Hiroki Kuroda‘s second to last start of the season (and possibly his Yankees career), he kept the Blue Jays lineup at bay, giving up three runs on seven hits in 6.2 innings of work, striking out seven in the process. Josh Outman failed to retire a batter, Esmil Rogers retired two batters and Adam Warren pitched 1.2 scoreless innings, earning the save for the Yankees.

What’s Next?

— The Yankees will come out swinging tomorrow with hopes of taking the series from the Blue Jays and they’ll send Chris Capuano to the mound. First pitch is at 4:07 p.m. and the game will air on the YES ..read more

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Masahiro Tanaka prepares for start on Sunday, despite the risks


Masahiro Tanaka was spotted throwing in the outfield earlier this afternoon and his main goal is for him to be ready for his start on Sunday, his first start since being diagnosed with a UCL tear. There’s a chance the Yankees could postpone Tommy John Surgery or there’s a chance Tanaka’s elbow will blow out. However, if the injection and rehab worked, then Tanaka’s injury should be a thing of the past. That’s why Tanaka is starting on Sunday, despite the risks.

“Are you saying why not wait until next year?” manager Joe Girardi said. “Because we feel that if his arm is going to be OK, it’s going to be OK. And if it’s not, then we want to have (surgery) done so you don’t miss parts of two seasons, in a sense. Or it’d be three, possibly. If it was to (blow out) early next year, you miss part of this season, next and probably part of the following. So this way you know if it doesn’t work, you probably wouldn’t have him for next season. But if he would have had (surgery) in July or August, you probably wouldn’t have had him anyway. So it’s a risk worth taking.”

The Yankees might be postponing the inevitable, but they’re optimistic Tanaka could avoid going under the knife. Adam Wainwright is one story of pitching multiple seasons with a small tear in his elbow, and the Yankees can only hope the same situation would happen for Tanaka.

“I think any time somebody talks about that area, there’s a high level of concern,” Girardi said. “There’s always the fear that they’re going to have surgery fairly quickly like Nova did. But ..read more

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Brandon McCarthy and Brian McCann break down ‘immaculate inning’


There’s probably nothing more rare than a pitcher throwing a perfect game or a no-hitter. But Brandon McCarthy did something on Wednesday night in Tampa that was extremely rare, even for a pitcher: he pitched an immaculate inning. Nine pitches, nine strikes, three strikeouts.

Brandon McCarthy has been spectacular since being acquired by the Diamondbacks, and he’s probably earned himself a chance at a contract with the Yankees in the offseason (which I hope the Yankees really consider because he is basically made for Yankee Stadium).

I was reading the Wall Street Journal this morning and I found an interesting piece by Joe Lemire, discussing Brian McCann and Brandon McCarthy breaking down each pitch of the immaculate inning. It was actually quite refreshing to read a pitcher and a catcher break down each pitch of the inning and the thought process that went behind it. Here’s a snippet of the article, which includes the process behind the strikeout to Wil Myers:

Pitch 1: Strike 1 to Wil Myers (79 mph curveball)

McCarthy isn’t happy with his first offering of the inning, a curveball that barely caught the inside corner of the plate under Myers’s hands. “It wasn’t a great pitch because I thought he was going to ambush the first pitch,” he said. “That’s the time where you throw a curveball and try to take it out of the zone. That’s what I was hoping for, but then it actually was in, which is what I think stopped him from swinging.”

Pitch 2: Strike 2 to Myers (91 mph sinker)

McCarthy goes with a sinker, the pitch he relied on too heavily in Arizona before landing with the Yankees midseason. The only sinker he threw in the inning, it ..read more

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