Stephen Drew gets off to a powerful start in 2015


When Stephen Drew hit a pinch-hit grand slam in the seventh inning which propelled the Yankees to a 6-5 win over the Baltimore Orioles, I tweeted my thoughts on Drew by comparing him to a simple analogy:

Stephen Drew is that puppy your kid asks for but at first you say no. Then he does an awesome trick and you say, “Okay, he can stay.”

Little would I know, many fans quickly agreed. In 2014, the Yankees acquired Drew from the Red Sox in exchange for Kelly Johnson, and many believed Drew would get out of the first-half slump he had while with Boston. Unfortunately, Drew never lived up to expectation and hit .150 in 46 games with the Bronx Bombers. While Drew’s batting average isn’t anything to write home about this season (it’s still pretty early), he seems to have found his power stroke, hitting two home runs with six RBI’s in his last six games.

During the course of those six games, Drew had been thinking about his approach against opposing pitchers and ultimately decided he wasn’t going to do too much or over analyze at the plate.

“It’s one of those things where I feel a little more comfortable trying not to do too much,” Drew said. “Trying not to put too much pressure on myself. I know what kind of player I am, and I’ve done it for a long time, so in regards to that, it definitely helped with the at-bats in spring training and taking it into the season.”

Not doing too much in his pinch-hit appearance earned Drew the respect of Yankees fans, at least for one night.

“(It) turns out Stephen Drew was the guy for that job.” more

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Brett Gardner day-to-day with wrist stiffness


During the first inning of tonight’s 6-5 win over the Baltimore Orioles, Brett Gardner was hit on the right wrist with a pitch, just a few days after being plunked on the left wrist. The last time he was plunked, Gardner was able to play the entire game. But this time, Gardner stayed in the game until the seventh inning and was eventually replaced by Stephen Drew–who later went on to hit the game-winning grand slam. Following the seventh inning, the Yankees wrapped Gardner’s right wrist in compression tape and sent him for X-Rays.

Just before the game ended, the Yankees announced Gardner’s x-rays were negative and diagnosed him with a ‘stiff right wrist’. He is currently day-to-day.

Gardner’s hitting .261 with a home run, a double and three RBI’s through six games.

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Drew’s grand slam lifts Yankees to 6-5 win over Orioles


After Adam Jones hit a two-run home run to give the Baltimore Orioles a 4-2 lead, it appeared as if the Yankees were going to lose their fifth game of the season. However, Stephen Drew, who pinch-hit for an ailing Brett Gardner, hit a grand slam, propelling the Yankees to a 6-5 win over the Orioles at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland.

The Yankees got on the board in the top of the second when Chris Young hit his second home run of the season. In the fourth inning, Mark Teixeira hit his third home run of the season and in the seventh inning, Drew cleared the bases with a grand slam, which was his second home run of the 2015 campaign.

Michael Pineda started the game for the Yankees, giving up five runs on nine hits and striking out nine in 6.1 innings. Dellin Betances pitched a scoreless–but rocky–inning and Andrew Miller got the final five outs, earning his second save of the season.

What’s Next?

— The Yankees hand the ball to CC Sabathia, who is slated to make his second start against Miguel Gonzalez of the Orioles. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. and the game will air on the YES more

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Quick Notes: Davies and Nova

Ivan Nova 5

Here’s a few quick notes before the Yankees take on the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards. Remember, the game isn’t on YES tonight, it’s on WPIX (or if you’re in the New York area, the channel’s called PIX 11). For those that can’t find WPIX, the game is also on ESPN as part of their Monday Night Baseball series:

— After pitching 2.1 brilliant innings in last night’s 14-4 win, the Yankees have designated RHP Kyle Davies for assignment. As a corresponding move, the Yankees have signed RHP Joel De La Cruz to a Major League contract and added him to the 25-man roster.

Ivan Nova has made progress as he continues traveling along “comeback road” from Tommy John Surgery. Nova will throw live batting practice in Tampa tomorrow, and this will be the first time Nova has faced live hitting since April 29, 2014, when he was diagnosed with a UCL tear in his elbow following a rough start against the Tampa Bay Rays.

— If you’re wondering why the Yankees haven’t been calling up players from the 40-man roster to fill spots in the bullpen, Chad Jennings of posted an explanation on Twitter:

@LohudYankees: Learned something new today: Barring injury, teams are not allowed to call up any 40-man player until 10 games into the season.

I’ll just say what we’re all thinking: What?

The temporary signings for bullpen depth is fine, but the biggest question is when is Chasen Shreve coming back? The kid pitched a 19-inning gem, and while I understand the situation–Yankees can’t be a man short for a few games–it just more

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Yankees @ Orioles pitching matchups


Monday, April 13 Yankees: Michael Pineda (0-0, 3.00 ERA) Orioles: Wei-Yin Chen (0-0, 6.23 ERA) Time: 7:05 p.m. T.V./Radio: WPIX & ESPN/WFAN

Who’s Hot vs. Chen: Carlos Beltran & Chase Headley (1-for-3, .333 AVG), Stephen Drew  (3-for-10, .300 AVG), Jacoby Ellsbury (6-for-13, .462 AVG), Brett Gardner (5-for-14, .357 AVG)

Who’s Not vs. Chen: Brian McCann (0-for-6, .000 AVG), Alex Rodriguez (2-for-10, .200 AVG), Mark Teixeira (1-for-6, .167 AVG), Chris Young (0-for-4, .000 AVG)

Tuesday, April 14 Yankees: CC Sabathia (0-1, 6.35 ERA) Orioles: Miguel Gonzalez (0-1, 1.59 ERA) Time: 7:05 p.m. T.V./Radio: YES Network/WFAN

Who’s Hot vs. Gonzalez: Carlos Beltran (3-for-3, 1.000 AVG)

Who’s Not vs. Gonzalez: Stephen Drew (1-for-5, .200 AVG), Brett Gardner (5-for-22, .227 AVG)

Wednesday, April 15 Yankees: Nathan Eovaldi (0-0, 5.08 ERA) Orioles: Bud Norris (0-1, 24.00 ERA) Time: 7:05 p.m. T.V./Radio: YES Network/WFAN

Who’s Hot vs. Norris: Carlos Beltran (9-for-27, .333 AVG), Stephen Drew (7-for-19, .368 AVG), Chase Headley (7-for-17, .412 AVG), Brian McCann (2-for-6, .333 AVG)

Who’s Not vs. Norris: Jacoby Ellsbury (2-for-13, .154 AVG), Brett Gardner (2-for-10, .200 AVG), Chris Young (2-for-14, .143 more

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Who’s off to a hot start? Yankees prospects edition


Starting with Triple-A players, Kyle Roller is off to a decent start although he hasn’t shown much power. He’s 4/12 with a walk and a .333/.385/.333/.718 stat line. He has struck out four times in four games. He’s looking to duplicate last year’s success and make a case that he should be playing for a major league team somewhere before his playing time gets cut into by the fast rising Greg Bird.

Tyler Austin is picking up right where he left off. He is hitting .333/.313/.600/.913 on the season. The OBP being less than the average is a small sample size anomaly but he is lacing the ball so far. He already has a homerun and a double on the season.

Ramon Flores is also looking to finally make a name for himself. He boasts the same average as Austin with both a better slugging percentage and on-base-percentage. He already has a double, a triple, and a homerun on the season with a quad slash of .333/.412/.733/1.145, and has only struck out once on the year so far.

Pitching wise, Chase Whitley has been the best starter so far in Scranton, tossing five innings, striking out five and letting up four hits and two walks. From the relief corps the most impressive has been Diego Moreno, who threw three innings and struck out six while letting up just one hit.

The hottest hitter in the system has been Jake Cave for the Trenton Thunder. He has started off the season destroying Double-A pitching, with a .533/.650/.800/1.450 slash, and just two strike outs. He has a double and two homeruns over four more

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Yankees prepare to arbitrate Alex Rodriguez’s milestones bonus


Over the last week, Alex Rodriguez has been the most consistent player offensively and even notched his first home run on Thursday night. Which means, Alex Rodriguez has 655 home runs in his career and is only five homers behind Willie Mays on the all-time home runs list. If Rodriguez ties Mays–which is almost a given–he’d get a $6 Million bonus, which is outlined in his contract. Tying Willie Mays on the all-time home runs list would be a big milestone for anyone, right?

Well…not to the Yankees.

According to a report in the New York Daily News, the Yankees are expected to refuse to pay Rodriguez the milestone bonuses in his contract, which is separated from the guaranteed player contract, and are prepared to battle Rodriguez in arbitration to void the deal.

“They say the records are tainted,” a source told the New York Daily News, “and therefore they’re not milestones that can be marketed.”

Rodriguez has the option of filing a grievance against the Yankees if they choose not to pay him and the Yankees can argue that they acted with good intentons in declining to pay his bonuses. If this scenario plays out, it will be up to the arbitrator to decide. The hearing would happen on Rodriguez’s time, which most likely wouldn’t happen until the end of the season as Rodriguez doesn’t want to cause a distraction to the team.

Now, this is the latest battle in the Yankees vs. Rodriguez saga and at some point, this really has to stop. It’s obvious Rodriguez is trying to work things out with the Yankees, and he proved that by showing up to camp, not being a distraction and providing offense. If the Yankees are trying to more

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Yankees flex muscles in 14-4 victory over Red Sox


After a week of anemic offensive production, the Yankees exploded with seven runs in the first inning and never looked back, crushing the Red Sox 14-4 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York.

In the first inning, the Yankees scored on a Carlos Beltran force out, a three-run RBI triple by Alex Rodriguez, a two-run home run by Chase Headley and a solo home run by Stephen Drew. In the fourth inning, Brett Gardner hit a two-run RBI single and Mark Teixeira followed with a SAC Fly. In the sixth inning, Rodriguez walked with the bases loaded forcing in a run, Headley hit a two-run RBI single and Drew hit a SAC Fly. The Yankees added one more run in the bottom of the eighth on a Brian McCann solo-shot, his first of the season.

Masahiro Tanaka wasn’t lights out, but he wasn’t horrible. He gave up four runs (three earned) on four hits and struck out four in five innings. David Carpenter pitched 1.2 scoreless innings and Kyle Davies, who was just called up today, pitched 2.1 scoreless innings.

What’s Next?

— The Yankees pack their bags and head to Camden Yards where they’ll take on the Baltimore Orioles in a Monday night showdown. Michael Pineda is slated to start for the Yankees and Wei-Yin Chen will pitch for the Orioles. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. and the game will air on WPIX and more

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