Tag Archives: Austin Jackson

Schedule, Home, Granderson…Cures?

After a mediocre month of May, (13-12 so far), the Yanks come home to what they hope will be some cures.

Granderson should be back in the lineup. Russo did nice work while there, but an OF upgrade. I wonder who goes for Granderson. Probably Russo, but to be honest, I’d kind of like to keep Russo and DFA the so-far mostly unproductive Winn. It’s one thing that Winn isn’t hitting, (.213), but when he does get on, he isn’t even stealing (1 for 1; this from a guy with 210 in his career, 16 last year).

But then, Gardner has 17 SB. The team has 31. I know A-Jax and Damon aren’t here, but I wonder. Jeter had 30 last year. Just 4 for 5 this year. This from a guy with 309. Derek’s numbers have been erratic the last few years. Since 2004, 23-14-34-15-11-30 and on pace for 14. Alex has just 2 SB. He is on pace for 7. This from a guy with 299. Who once was a 40-40 guy. Alex’s Yankee numbers are (since 2004, same timeframe as Jeter) 28-21-15-24-18-14 and a pace for 7). Age? Injuries? Why aren’t they running?

Yes, no Damon. Matsui we know couldn’t run and Nick Johnson can’t (that is, when he is healthy). Other guys cannot run. If guys who can steal aren’t stealing (Winn, Jeter, Alex), then Gardner is left alone. Pena doesn’t play enough, same for Golson (when up). As for Damon in Detroit, he is just 3 for 4 this year. Last year with the Yanks? 12 for 12. But more indication of some guys not running.

In case you are wondering, Austin Jackson is 7 for 8 for the Tigers in SB (and has a whopping 53 K’s despite his .335 BA) and Melky is at 1 for 2 in SB (and hitting .235).

So Damon / Melky haven’t been turning on the jets either, just in case you were wondering what they’d have done had they stayed in the Bronx. Matsui, who can’t run, is struggling at .238. Just so you know.

Granderson hopefully improves the defense (no more Thames in LF, for example). More speed out there with he and Gardner (moving back to LF). Granderson was 4 for 4 in SB before he went down. Granted only .225, but those 4 SB mean that even though he was out, that he is STILL tied with Jeter for second on the team right now.

Hopefully home cooking and a more favorable schedule will heat up the Yanks. Some bats have to wake up, notably Alex and Teixeira. We’ve been saying that for a while, now.

Between now and June 14, there are sixteen games. Ten at home. Those games are against the Indians, Orioles, Blue Jays and Astros. The Yanks goal should be at least 12-4. They are 4 1/2 back of the Rays. Time to make up ground. We will see on June 14 if the Yanks have accomplished anything over the next 16 games.

Now is the time to make a move.

After 47 games, some paces:

Jeter. On pace for .283 (which would be the lowest of his career)-18-97. He has only had one 100 RBI season in his career because of where he usually hits. Interesting pace of RBI considering that he bats leadoff. The 14 steals. 37 walks.

Teixeira. On pace for just 26 HR, but 103 RBI. Only .216.

Alex. On pace for just 21 HR but 110 RBI. Not bad, but where are the HR? .284. Just those 7 steals.

Cano. On pace for .342, 103 RBI and 31 HR.

Swisher. interesting with the .295 BA right now. 28-86. On target.

Gardner has been slumping, but if he finishes at .293 with 59 SB…I’ll take that.

Hopefully the return of Granderson and the schedule wakes up the lineup, and injects some speed back into it.

It is sorely needed. As Waldman pointed out, the last three wins have been by scores of 3-2, 1-0 and 2-1. 

Game 8. Fans unforgiving of 2004 as Vazquez struggles again in 5-3 loss. Don’t tell them the #3 hitter is hitting .097.

Fans are fickle, and unforgiving. Sometimes though, they need to see more numbers.

Yes, Javy Vazquez disappointed again today, giving up 4 runs in 5 1/3 in falling to 0-2 for the season. ERA 9.82. When he was removed, fans who haven’t forgiven him for giving up JD’s grand slam in Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS booed him.

Yes, he was lousy. I do wonder how many fans remember who STARTED that Game 7, 2004 ALCS game?

Wasn’t Javy.

It was Kevin Brown. Who ranks with Pavano and Ed Whitson in Yankee pitcherdom.

Not to exonerate Javy. But let’s see where he is say, June 1 to 15 or so?

BTW, Boos for Javy. I’m not saying to go boo this next fellow I mention, but the #3 hitter happens to be sitting at .097 right now. But in Mark Teixeira’s case, timing is everything. 3 for 31 in early April, ok. But imagine if that 3 for 31 was in late October?

He’d be getting the “choker” label Winfield got. Or A-Rod. Now, no.

…and for the people mad at Vazquez who want Melky back? Where would he play? Do they know Melky has started 3 for 29?

Taking a look around, Matsui off to a good start (before coming back to NY), but Damon and Ian Kennedy are struggling along with the Melkman.

5-3 loss today for the Yanks. After Vazquez, Aceves went 1 2/3, 1 R, Joba 1 IP, scoreless, Marte 1 scoreless.

Jeter had two hits (2759). A-Rod 0 for 3, 3 strikeouts.

It’s early. If a hitter is under the Mendoza Line on June 1st, boo. If Vazquez is 1-6, 7.50 then, boo.

But Lordy, give the guy a chance. Get over 2004 already. You can’t change the past.     

Hot commodity

Taking a school with 4800 to one three-point shot of the national championship—against a Goliath (I know, it’s been overused this week, but…) like Duke and Coach K. Think Brad Stevens stock isn’t sky high right now? And to think, only 33.

Just checking. A-Jax 1 for 5 yesterday, RBI, double. JD 2 for 5, double and 2 RBI. Godzilla 2 hits, including a HR.

Golson’s HR wins today’s S.T. game 9-8; Joba struggles, but an interesting take on the #5 slot.

Greg Golson’s 2-run HR in the 9th won today’s S.T. game vs. the Tigers 9-8. JD didn’t play, but got to schmooze with some old buddies.

Curtis Granderson also got to schmooze, as he went back to his old spring training grounds in Lakeland. Granderson flashed what Yankees fans hope to see, 2 hits and a superb over-the-shoulder catch.

Mark Teixeira had a HR— off of Phil Coke.

For the Tigers, A-Jax went 1-4 and scored a run. Zach Miner gave up 2 runs. Dan Schlereth (son of ESPN’s Mark, the ex-NFLer) gave up 2 R, 1 ER.

Pitching-wise, Joba had two scoreless innings but lost it in the third when he was hammered. 2 1/3 IP, 6 R, 5 H, 3 walks and 1 K. A grand slam given up. Not good, but Sam Borden at LoHud gives his take on it.  I worry about the “Run out of gas” part. Starters shouldn’t do that in the third. Maybe it is better that Joba be the snorting bull coming out of the pen when the gates open.

Phil Hughes came in after Joba and gave up a HR. He was also saved by the Granderson catch. 2 2/3, 1 R, 3 H, 0 walks and 2 K. Borden’s take is interesting in that both pitchers were working on various things, whether it be working inside to righties (Joba) or working on the change (Hughes). Yes, there are things normal fans don’t know about in looking at the boxscores. Borden seems to think Hughes has the lead in the #5 derby.  I do wonder however, if the 2010 Yanks would be better with Aceves (18 up, 18 down) as the #5 with both Joba AND Phil in the bullpen. There are some in the Yankee front office that feel so. Then again, there is another faction that feels that with Pettitte 38, that one or the other has to be broken in as a starter. Lastly, is Aceves more valuable in long relief or as a starter? Ace was 10-1 out of the bullpen last year—leading the majors in relief wins.

Jason Hirsh had a scoreless inning with two Ks. They say not to believe what you see in March or October, but so far he’s had a nice spring. He may be SWB-bound with a chance to be a midseason callup in case of injury. Hirsh, 28, is 8-11, 5.32 for his career, but that was as a starter for Houston and Colorado. Joba and Hughes seemed to work better from the bullpen thus far. Could Hirsh be similar in that regard?

        

Quiet…for now.

We never know when a story will develop, but all is quiet for now. There is rumors of possible A’s interest in Damon, although as Chad Jennings (for one from a Buster Olney tweet) writes at LoHud, it seems like Ben Sheets is more on their radar. Meanwhile, Damon is still in Clarence “Frogman” Henry mode—Ain’t Got No Home.

Nice point by Jennings on A-Jax:

Austin Jackson will go into spring training as a favorite for the Tigers lead-off spot. By comparison, the Yankees had Jackson open last season batting sixth because they didn’t want to put too much pressure on him… in Triple-A

There are rumors that the Yanks inquired about Nelson Cruz of Texas. It’d take a little. Cruz did, after all, hit 33 HR and steal 20 bases for the Rangers last year. It was a breakout year for someone 29. Was it a fluke?

Jim Thome is still looking for a home for his 564 HR after being rejected by the Chisox.

    

Hairston to SD becomes reality

Since the WS, OF’s (and OF/DHs) Hideki Matsui, Johnny Damon (it appears), Melky Cabrera and Eric Hinske have departed the Yankees. Not to mention minor leaguer Austin Jackson and Shelley Duncan.

Add Jerry Hairston to that list today, as he signed with the Padres.

As of now, it’s Gardner, Granderson, Swisher…and…who else? Jamie Hoffmann? 

Who else will there be?

Odds and ends. Who else this offseason? LF?

Interesting in that A-Jax and the Melkman are gone but nothing on LF. (Remember that Hairston and Hinske are free agents and we don’t know where they may be headed). So as of now you have Granderson, Gardner and Swisher, and despite everything, Cashman insists that Granderson is the CF.

So who plays LF? Damon has basically said that he knows that he doesn’t fit the Yanks’ payroll. To which I would like to add this to all the Holliday dreamers (nice pun this time of year, but unintended): If JD doesn’t fit the Yanks’ payroll, what makes you think Bay or Holliday will? Wouldn’t it just be easier to bring JD back? After all, he’s a proven entity in NY, unlike the others. Probably cheaper, too. But if he doesn’t fit, then Bay or Holliday won’t either.

As Mike Puma writes in the Post, Damon says that his price is too high for them right now. he doesn’t think he is their solution.

Cashman calls LF “an evolving situation.” I had my pick of Byrd. Who knows about DeRosa at $6M. It appears that JD won’t lower his demands to that range. Cashman states that he won’t be adding a major player to the OF.

What Cashman said I do agree with. It’s easier to find someone for LF than find a pitcher for the #4 spot—especially one who won 15 games last year, consistently gives 200 IP and 200K and was 4th in CYA voting.

No offense to MLBTR, but on 11/11 I pulled off their list of 2010 Top 50 Free Agents and their picks on where people would wind up. They have been consistently wrong. About the only ones they had correct were Pettitte back to the Yanks and Scutaro to Boston. That’s about it.

So who are the OF remaining on the list? Holliday, Bay, Damon (and if you believe Cashman, scratch all of them), Byrd, Vlad (if you think he can play the OF anymore; as with Matsui, I think not); Russell Branyan (yeah, I know, but I’m just listing him here because he has played LF in 150 games; no, I am not interested; great lefty power, .234 BA; 113 OPS+; tons of K’s; 162 game average .234-30-73 with 174 Ks. Last year for Seattle “all or nothing” Branyan hit .251-31-76 with 149 Ks, OPS+ 128). Jermaine Dye is also out there (mostly RF and I don’t think he would be good at switching to LF in Yankee Stadium; also 36 and if the Yanks don’t want to pay for a 36 year old JD, then Dye is off the radar, too).

…and one more name. I wonder if he fits the Yanks plans. I obviously don’t have the medical records and don’t know how that throwing arm is recovering…

but could the 2010 LF be the X-man? Xavier Nady? Nady is a free agent who has no leverage, missing most of the 2009 season (8 for 28, 4 doubles, 2 RBI). Nady is a .280 career hitter. 162 game average .280-21-78. I’d like him to walk a bit more, as his bb/k ratio is 34/107. The career OPS+ is 108.

This offseason, we look at all kinds of various lineups with possible pickups/trades. Let’s say (and I’ll use the Johnson 2nd scenario rather than the Johnson 5th, which is what I’d prefer).

Jeter SS
Johnson DH (with the OBP)
Teixeira 1b
Alex 3b
Granderson CF
Nady LF
Posada C
Cano 2B
Swisher RF

I put it that way for R/L/S/R/L/R/S/L/S.  … and batting 9th is a guy who had 29 HR and 82 RBI last year. Let me say it again… insane.

I am wondering if Nady may be the rabbit up Cashman’s sleeve. He made $6.55 M in 2009 but $3.35M in 2008 and $2.15M in 2007. Unlike JD, who is coming off a great year and great postseason, Nady has no leverage, coming off a wasted year.

You wonder about his health. Maybe Cashman sees the medical records. Maybe the X-man is the answer at $2M with incentives?

Today I heard talk about that other team in NY. Are they still alive? Good point on Colin Cowherd’s show. Bay turned down Boston, and apparently the only other offer is from the Mets? Shows how badly he wants the Mets, right? The same goes with Benjie Molina, whom the Mets also offered a contract to. Neither exactly rushed to sign it. Not only that, Jason Marquis, a NY lad, didn’t sign with the Mets but went to…the Nationals.

Nice piece by Joel Sherman today. Apparently the Yanks were aware that Holliday would require too much (and Toronto would prefer keeping him out of the division), the Phils wouldn’t like dealing Lee to the team that just beat them in the Series, and despite looking at Harang, Zambrano and a free-agent crop including Piniero, Washburn (looking at him yet again) and Garland, they weren’t bowled over by any of them.

Also interesting in Sherman’s take that Vazquez may have better stuff than Lackey but the fortitude question comes up.

I see Sherman (as I read his column now) raised the point I discussed yesterday: about Vazquez being a 4, and not the projected ace of 2004. Sherman also points out what I pointed out above: Nady on a low-base, high incentive contract could be an option. Lastly he points out something else I mentioned yesterday: either Hughes or Joba gets #5 with the “loser” setting up Mo. Some loss. Other teams would like “losers” like that, right? So it may appear that those who wanted Joba in the bullpen all along (and then take over for Mo) may be getting their wish.

Sad news today for one like me who was a child in the 1960’s (that is age-wise; child IN the 60s not OF the 60’s!): Connie Hines, who played Mrs. Wilbur Post on Mr. Ed, died.

I know he is doing well with the Vikings but I can’t take the Brett Favre drama anymore. The wanting to go back with the Pack after announcing his “retirement.” The going to the Jets. More wishy-washiness. Now the incident(s) with Childress. It seems like Favre thinks he is bigger than the NFL sometimes. I respect his accomplishments… as for the man himself, not so much.

Lastly, let’s hope that Vazquez has a bit of “Ralph Terry” in him. Vazquez, of course, gave up the grand slam to JD in Game 7 of the ALCS that ensured Boston’s 2004 comeback. Let’s hope for redemption, ala Terry. After all, it was Terry who gave up Mazeroski’s WS-winning HR in 1960, only to win two games in the 1962 WS, becoming the MVP of that Series. A 1-0 shutout in Game 7. Granted he got a little lucky when McCovey’s liner went straight to Richardson, but after Maz, Ralph could use the luck.

For those bashing the trade because of what happened in 2004, they best remember their Yankee history and hope the redemption Terry received in 1962 is experienced by Vazquez.