Tag Archives: Drew

What to do when, if, healthy?

We await word on some banged-up players and moves while the Yanks have off today.

But here is one thought. Once Mark Teixeira comes off the DL (he expects it to be Easter Sunday, next Sunday), what then?

Here is one thought: keep Solarte in the lineup and bench Roberts. You can put Johnson at 2B and keep Solarte at 3B (preferred) or vice-versa.

Roberts, who hasn’t played more than 77 games in a season since 2009, has back troubles right now. I don’t know if he is DL-bound or not, but his injury history since 2009 isn’t good. Besides, he is just 4 for 31 right now, all singles. He is 2 for 2 in SB.

Who knows how long Solarte will stay hot or when he cools off, how much and how long he will fizzle. Solarte is 15 for 42 (.357) and leads the AL with 6 doubles. Solarte is also 10 years younger than Roberts.

Meanwhile, you wonder about the fragility of the infield. Could Stephen Drew or Kendrys Morales be signed mid-season if they are still available?

Game 5. Yanks offense still missing in 4-0 loss.

Michael Pineda pitched well, David Phelps didn’t and the Yanks’ offense was non-existent again in a 4-0 loss to Toronto today.

Pineda went 6, 1 R, 5 H, 0 walks and 5 k. Except for CC’s first two innings in the opener, the starters have done well the first time through.

Vidal Nuno faced one batter and walked him. Phelps came in and got through the seventh, but gave up two HR (3 for the season already) and let the game get away. Phelps 2 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 0 walks and 3 K.

Ellsbury had 3 hits, Cervelli 2 and Solarte 2, but the Yanks were 1 for 11 with RISP.

The Yanks are still looking for their first HR of the season. Soriano is now 0 for 16.

Heard some Nunez (who has been DFA’d) for Ike Davis (who the Mets want to trade) talk. I’m still surprised that Stephen Drew is out there. Shouldn’t the Mets go for him over Nunez? …. and as for the Yanks, if Teix is out long-term, wouldn’t Kendrys Morales (free agent and still out there) be a better option than Ike Davis?

Who should the Yanks target?

Now that the Yanks brought back Kuroda, and know that Mo is coming back, who should they target?

We don’t know about Andy Pettitte yet, and rumors are that they are interested in bringing back Ibanez.

There’s one problem with all that, and I’ve mentioned it a lot. Kuroda is 38 next year, Mo 43, Pettitte and Ibanez turn 41 next June.

I won’t go into Chavez (35), Andruw Jones (35), Russell Martin, Rafael Soriano or Nick Swisher here. Chavez may be back, I don’t want Jones. Martin could be back, and I hope so. Despite the poor .211 batting average, he did have 21 HR, handled the staff well, was good defensively, and let’s face it, Romine isn’t ready. Cervelli isn’t a starting catcher. Sanchez is a few years away. Stewart is a nice backup who can’t hit. Martin is still the best option for catcher for the Yanks next year.

I expect Soriano and Swisher to be gone.

We know that Jeter (39 in June) and A-Rod (38 in July) are coming back. There is an age issue.

We also know that the Yanks are watching their pennies much more than when the Boss was alive.

So who among the top free agents out there would fit the Yanks’ needs?

Here’s who I would target. You can offer your own opinions, and I’d be glad to hear them.

1) Shane Victorino.  Victorino will be 32, seven years younger than Ichiro (39). I like Ichiro, but see the age issue I mentioned above. I don’t want to see the Yanks with 1/3 of the 25 man roster 35 years old or older. Ichiro has 10 Gold Gloves in his career, Victorino three. You could move Granderson and his bad routes to the short RF at the Stadium, move Gardner to CF and play Victorino in LF. The switch-hitting Victorino could bat second and along with Gardner’s comeback, give the Yanks the speed they lacked last year. He had an off-year in 2012 (.255-11-55, 39 SB, OPS+ 91) but has a 162 g. average of .275-14-62, 30 sb, OPS+ 102. He also has postseason experience, a plus in NY.  You’d have a speedy OF. Of course, you’d have to get Granderson stealing bases again and not just hitting HR (you’d also have to get Curtis to get the batting average up and cut down on the strikeouts).

2) Joakim Soria. He missed all of 2012 with Tommy John surgery. The Yanks are taking a flyer with David Aardsma, who’ll be 31 next year, why not Soria? Aardsma missed all of 2011, and only pitched in one game for the Yanks in 2012 (1 IP, walk, K, solo HR). Soria will be just 29 next spring and has expressed the desire to set up for Mo. He could come cheaply, loaded with incentives. His 162 g. average is 3-3, 2.40, 37 saves, ERA+ 181. If he can come back to a semblance of his old self, the Yanks won’t miss Soriano. Not only that, if he is back to his old self and Mo falters, he is a fallback. Him, Robertson, Mo and Joba could be formidable.

3) Jeff Keppinger. The Yanks have been interested in him in the past. If there are concerns over Jeter being ready on opening day or Nunez playing SS (with his shaky defense) while Jeter gets ready, Keppinger could be a fill-in. He can play 2B, SS, and 3B, and (no offense to Nix), would be an upgrade over Jayson Nix. Keppinger hit .325 last year, (.325-9-40, 127 OPS+) and is a .288 career hitter, (162 g. average .288-9-59, OPS+ 97).

4) Stephen Drew. A lefty hitting SS who had a rough year. .223-7-28, OPS+ 79 this year. Once again an option if Jeter isn’t ready. But despite a lefty bat that the Stadium may help, he doesn’t offer the versatility of Keppinger. 30 next year, his 162 g. average is .265-15-70, OPS+ 96. I rate Keppinger higher because of his versatility, esp. with the age issues of Jeter and A-Rod.

I don’t see the Yanks making a big splash. So forget B.J. Upton, Josh Hamilton, Dan Haren, etc.

I was looking for guys still in their prime. I also wasn’t looking at guys like Chavez, Ibanez, Pettitte and Martin who could be returning who were with the team last year.

One person I’ve heard that the Yanks should trade for is Shin-Soo Choo of Cleveland. I’m on board with that. He’s 30 (another in their prime player), who could replace the (probably) departing Swisher. Choo, a lefty hitter, hit .283-16-67, 21 SB, OPS+ 131 this past season. He provides some much needed speed. His 162 g. average is .289-19-86, 20 SB and an OPS+ of 132.

If they could sign Victorino and trade for Choo, it means Jones and Ibanez are gone, and they get younger and faster. I am all for that.

As mentioned, I’m looking for guys affordable (which guys like Soria, coming off injury and probably amenable to an incentive-laden contract are), who would fit needs, and who are IN THEIR PRIME.

The team needs to get younger.         

You gotta be kidding me. Red Sox stay alive with unbelievable comeback, 8-7.

Boston is alive
It’s alive. It’s ALIVE!

You are kidding me. It’s too bad Jack Buck isn’t alive to tell us he can’t believe what he just saw.

9 outs away from their first pennant, and holding a 7-0 lead, Tampa blows it. The Red Sox pull one of the greatest postseason comebacks ever to save their season. 8-7 on J. D. Drew’s hit in the bottom of the 9th.

Things looked great for the Rays. Iwamura led off the game with a hit, then Upton HR’d. Later, as in Game 4, back to back HRs by Pena and Longoria. Upton drove in two later for a 4 RBI night. 3 ALCS HRs for Upton. 4 for Longoria (4th straight game). As for Pena, he was released by the Tigers in March of 2006, signed with the Yankees in April, spent the year at AAA Columbus, was released in August and finished 2006 with Boston before becoming a free agent and finding himself in Tampa. Before 2006, Pena was ok, having seasons of 18, 18, 19 and 27 HR and an 82 RBI season mixed in. But in Tampa? 77 HR, 223 RBI in the past two seasons. OPS+ of 172 (!) and 132. 9th in MVP voting last year. Who knew?

Nine outs to go. Kazmir had thrown six innings of two-hit shutout ball. He is pulled. A seven-run lead. A double, then two outs. Seven outs to go. Seven run lead. But then Tampa gave up four runs, three on a David Ortiz HR. In the 8th, Boston gets a 2-run HR by J. D. Drew, and a great AB by the Cereal Boy, Coco Crisp, who ties the game with a two-out hit. Tampa, after being stopped by Papelbon for two innings (as in desperation, he entered in the 7th) goes down against Masterson in the 9th.

Then with two out in the bottom of the 9th, Evan Longoria makes a nice pick. His throw however, is wild for a two-base error. After Jason Bay is walked to set up a force at any base, Drew wins it. Unreal.

The question is, can Tampa recover? Games 6 and 7 are in Tampa. But…

1986. One out away from the Series, and Donnie Moore gave up that HR to Dave Henderson. The Angels go on to blow their 3-1 lead.

2004. We know what happened. Up 3-0, the Yanks lost four in a row. Twice they were an inning away from the Series.

2007. The Indians blew a 3-1 lead vs. Boston.

2008??? Up 3 games to 1, we see Tampa blow a SEVEN-RUN LEAD in Game 5 with just seven outs to go. How will this one turn out?

Unreal.

Yankee fans can hate them, but you have to admire the heart of the champion.

And then there were four. Boston advances to ALCS.

Rally Monkey commits suicide
For 2008, the Rally Monkey is dead.

Fundamentals. The failure to lay down a bunt.

In the top of the 9th, tie game, man on 3rd and one out, a failure to get a squeeze down leaves the runner left for dead. The Angels don’t score.

In the bottom of the 9th, Jason Bay (who killed the Angels in this series) doubles with one out. For only a minute or two, it appeared that Mark Teixeira saved the Angels season with a superb diving grab of a line drive off the bat of Mark Kotsay. It didn’t last long, as Jed Lowrie singled in the series-ending run.

From blowing a 3-1 lead in 1986, through 2004, 2007 and 2008, the Red Sox have had the Angels’ number in the postseason.

It was a good pitchers’ duel between Lester (16-2 career at home) and Lackey (not a good record in Boston but who took a no-hitter into the 9th the last time he faced them). Execution.

Now Boston faces Tampa in the ALCS. It’ll be interesting. Tampa won 10 of the 18 between the two teams this year.

Tampa OPS+ 103, ERA+ 114.
Boston OPS+ 108, ERA+ 114.

Pitching, pitching, pitching.

A big question will be Boston’s health. They are banged up, what with Drew, Lowell and Beckett, not to mention a subpar Big Papi. But they are a resilient bunch, as anyone knows from 2004. As Beckett seemed untouchable last year, so Lester looks now. Granted a lot of 2004 isn’t there anymore, but you know what they say about the heart of a champion and also the saying about title fights. You don’t outpoint the champ, you must knock him out. Words for the Rays to consider.

Rays, Red Sox each go 2-up, and look at K-Rod vs. Mo and Papelbon.

I didn’t see much yesterday, as I had somewhere to go yesterday afternoon and caught a film (rare for me, I’d love to see more) last evening. I needed that.

One thing I hate about going out to a film. The movie time was 7:35, which we know is bogus. I deliberately got there at 7:40, figuring that it wouldn’t be sold out, I’ll get a ticket, and miss the previews. Nope. Do you know what time the feature actually started? 8 p.m. Twenty-five stinking minutes of sitting through “previews of coming attractions.” Ridiculous.

After a shaky 1st, Scott Kazmir settled down. Akinori Iwamura hit a 2-run HR to give the Yanks the lead, and Dioner Navarro chipped in with 2 RBI as Tampa beat the Chisox 6-2 to go up 2-0 in their series.

The Red Sox got a 3-run HR from Jason Bay in the 1st and took a 4-0 lead, but the Angels battled back to tie it in the 8th. J. D. Drew hit a 2-run HR in the 9th for Boston to beat the Angels 7-5. Typical Angels, 11th straight postseason loss to Boston. Even in a year when they won 100 and went 8-1 vs. Boston, they still can’t do it come postseason time. The past several years are funny. The Angels can beat the Yanks in the postseason but not Boston. Drew and Bay each had 3 hits and 3 RBI. Why the difference vs. the Yanks and Red Sox? For one reason, Francisco “K-Rod” Rodriguez.

K-Rod can have that 62 save record forever. The “excitable boy” will be pursued heavily in the offseason, and I’d expect the Mets (what with Billy Wagner out for 2009 and possibly finished) to do everything they can to get him. I’ll take Mo (or Papelbon) over K-Rod. Papelbon is 2-0, 5 saves, ERA 0.00 in 11 postseason games. A 1.84 ERA for his short career. ERA+ 253. Mo’s postseason numbers are unreal. 76 games. 8-1, 0.77. 34 saves. A 2.29 ERA for his career. ERA+ 199. His adjusted ERA (ERA+) for this year was 308, the highest of his career, just edging out the 307 of 2005. How so? In 2005 his ERA was 1.38, the league ERA 4.23. This past season he had a 1.40, but the League had a 4.31. Ratio. Oh yeah, 482 saves in the regular season for Mo too.

As for K-Rod, 208 saves and he is only 26. Helped the Angels to their 2002 title. 2.35 ERA, ERA+ 189. But his postseason stats pale to Papelbon’s and Mo’s. 5-4, 3 saves, 3.23 in 20 games. Those four losses stick out like a sore thumb compared to Mo and Papelbon. He lost Game 4 of the 2002 WS. In Game 6, he gave up a WP to allow an inherited runner to score, then later a HR to Bonds (not a crime…what Bonds was doing then was more of the crime). Then another run before the Angels remarkable comeback. Game 2 of the 2004 ALDS vs. Boston, he took the loss, giving up a run in 2 IP. 2 wild pitches. Forced to pitch a 3rd inning in a do-or-die Game 3 of that ALDS, he took the loss when Jarod Washburn replaced him with two out in the tenth, runner on 1st and Ortiz coming up. Not K-Rod’s fault, but Washburn promptly gave up a HR to Ortiz and K-Rod took the loss, giving him an 0-2 record for that series. Last year, K-Rod pitched in just one postseason game. He came into a tie game, man on 2nd, one out in the bottom of the 9th at Fenway. He got Youkulis to strike out, then intentionally walked Ortiz. Manny ended the game with a 3-run HR.

Now this year. 1 1/3. Gives up the game-winning HR to Drew.

Unfortunately for Yanks fans, K-Rod has been great against them in the postseason. 2-0, 2 saves, 9 IP, 3.00, 10 K.

For Boston fans, a different story altogether. 0-3. NO Saves. 6 1/3 IP. 8.53 ERA.

He’s good, no question about it. But those four losses (3 vs. Boston) stick out like a sore thumb when compared to Mo and Papelbon (and Papelbon went 2 and won last night’s game). He can have the 62 saves. I’m sure Angels fans would want to trade a few of those for saves vs. the Red Sox.