Tag Archives: Martin

Torre, Cox, LaRussa make the HOF

Joe Torre, who guided the Yankees to four WS Championships from 1996-2000, was unanimously selected to the Hall of Fame today by the Veterans’ Committee. Also selected were ex-managers Bobby Cox and Tony LaRussa, both of them unanimously as well.

I have to get to work soon, so I can’t elaborate further right now.

On the ballot, but not getting in were Billy Martin, Marvin Miller, George Steinbrenner, Tommy John, among others.

Later….

Martin’s 2 HR help Bucs win NL WC

He didn’t have a good 2012 for the Yanks, .211-21-53, OPS+ 91, (.199 as late as 9/3/2012) and his 2013 for the Pirates wasn’t much, .226-15-55, OPS+ 100, but when you compare Russell Martin’s production to that of Chris Stewart’s (.211-4-25, OPS+ 57) or Austin Romine’s (.207-1-10, OPS+ 10) or both Stewart and Romine combined, you wonder …. Even with pedestrian numbers this year he still would have been better than what the Yanks did have.

Martin hit 2 HR last night for the Pirates, who in playing their first postseason game in 21 years, beat the Reds 6-2 to win the one-game wild card showdown.

Letting Martin go. Mistake?

Since May 22, the Yanks have just two HR from righty hitters—Jayson Nix (who has just 2 HR all year, amazingly off of Verlander and Darvish) and Mark Teixeira. Teix is done for the year.

It goes to show how weak they are from the right side and also how much Vernon Wells has tanked.

They miss Jeter and A-Rod. Well, A-Rod’s bat and not the B.S. that comes with A-Rod. 

But when you think about it, they also miss Russell Martin. You can say they miss Cervelli, who was doing well before his injury, but with him and A-Rod, you don’t know about the Biogenesis thing. (I read a report where Nolan Ryan stated that Biogenesis would be a long drawn out affair).

Anyway, back to Martin. Ok, he isn’t lighting it up with the first-place Pirates (I had to write that since it’s been so long—-1992 since they had a winning season—first-place Pirates). .250-8-28. But besides Wells who has tanked, name me another righty power threat on this team? Not Nix, not Stewart (3) nor Adams or Romine both of whom are under .200. Others either are injured (Youk–out for year, Nunez) or tanked and got released (Francisco, Chris Nelson). Thomas Neal didn’t get too many at bats, and neither has Alberto Gonzalez—not that you’d expect much from them anyway.

But with no righty threat in the lineup, days like yesterday, where Holland, a lefty, threw a two-hit shutout at them, will be normal days.

They miss a righty power threat, and the more you watch, the more you wonder if letting Martin go was a mistake.

Granted they have young catchers on the horizon. It’s too soon to give up on Romine, but he hasn’t hit a lick. They have J.R. Murphy, Gary Sanchez and Pete O’Brien on the horizon.

But maybe they should have kept Martin for a year or two more.     

Yes, I haven’t forgotten that Martin hit .237 in 2011 and .211 last year. Not only that, but he spent most of last year under .200.

But his OPS+ right now is 119. Right now that’d place him second on the Yanks behind only Cano.

Who’s second right now? Gardner.

No offense to Brett the Jet, but maybe that’s all you need to know.

Yanks sign Mo, but now need a catcher

The Yanks and Mariano Rivera reached agreement on a one-year contract worth $10 MM + incentives on Mo’s 43rd birthday yesterday.

It’s expected that the 2013 season will be Mo’s swan song.

But the Yanks now need a catcher. Russell Martin, who hit .211-21-53, OPS+ 92, has signed a two-year contract with Pittsburgh, leaving the Yanks with Francisco Cervelli (who spent almost all of last year in AAA), untested Austin Romine, who missed most of last year with a back injury, and Chris Stewart, Martin’s backup last year.

Stewart hit .241-1-13, OPS+ 67 in 55 games last year. Romine, 24, was 3 for 19 in 2011 in a brief callup with the Yanks, but got into just 31 minor league games last year due to his back injury, hitting .243-4-15. It’d be a stretch to suggest he is ready.

Cervelli, who’ll be 27 next year, hit .246-2-39 at AAA last year. In 490 MLB at bats, Cervelli is .271-5-71, OPS+ 84.

Martin only hit .211 last year (and spent most of the year in the .180′s), but it’s still a dropoff.

Gary Sanchez, who’ll be 20 soon, is far from ready. He hit .290-18-85, and could be the catcher of the future, but he hasn’t played any games at all above High-A.

So do the Yanks trade for a catcher?

The two free agent catchers out there are Mike Napoli, 31, who is more of a hitter than a catcher. Napoli hit .227-24-56 last year for Texas, OPS+ 110 (but wags (like me?) would say his low average/high HR would fit in with the Yanks’ lineup). He had 30 HR for Texas in 2011, has postseason experience (10 RBI in the 2011 WS). But his defense isn’t good. He is a .259 career hitter with a very good OPS+ of 126. However he doesn’t seem to fit defensively, as Girardi, a former catcher known for his defense, would want someone in the same defensive mold as himself.

The other free agent catcher is A.J. Pierzynski. Pierzynski hit a career high 27 HR his past season, .278-27-77. OPS+ 118. His average year is more like .284-13-60, OPS+ 96. He, like Napoli, has postseason experience (and, in his case, a WS ring from 2005), but I don’t see his personality (he can be grating) fitting in with the Yanks.

The Yanks said that they didn’t have the money to compete with Pittsburgh on Martin’s deal. Like one friend stated on his blog, read that again.

It’s too bad Brian Schneider isn’t five years younger. Schneider comes from my hometown, and is a lefty bat. But he hasn’t played regularly since 2008. Since then he hasn’t played in more than 59 games in a season, and has hit just .214. Schneider, a fine defensive catcher, if he were 31 instead of 36, could have platooned with Cervelli until Romine is ready. But even if he were in his prime, and gave you 100 games, the best you would expect from Schneider would be .247-8-40 or so.

Maybe the Yanks force-feed Romine now into the starting role, but I doubt it. But instead of getting the year in AAA he needs, Romine could be force-fed into the backup role. But as of now, I see Cervelli #1 and Stewart #2.

That could change over the next few months. It most likely will, but who would be the new catcher? In any case, it appears that that new catcher would just be a stopgap. But you never know.

No, I don’t see Posada (41) coming out of retirement. Remember that Jorge hasn’t caught regularly since 2010, and his defense in the last few years of his career was highly suspect.

But considering the age of this team, with Jeter, Mo, Pettitte, A-Rod, Kuroda, and possibly Chavez and Ichiro, Jorge would fit right in, wouldn’t he?

Slow time.

Well, there hasn’t been many posts lately for a number of reasons.

1) the season is over and we see what happens with trades/free agents.

2) Hurricane Sandy knocked my power off for 22 hours. I’m lucky. Many didn’t get power for many more days.

3) I’ve been busy. 48 hours of work this past week and 48 next. 40 Thanksgiving week and I’m not working on the holiday. 50 hour weeks the two weeks after T-Giving.

So we await on the major awards from MLB. So far, Cano and Teix got the GG, Cano and Jeter SS awards.

I don’t know what the Yanks will do yet with their free agents. They did give some qualifying offers (rejected) to Kuroda, Swish and Soriano. I expect Swish and Soriano to be gone. Kuroda is a question mark.

Martin is a free agent. I wouldn’t mind a 2-yr. deal for him, but remember, he only hit .211 last year (with 21 HR). Romine needs a full year at AAA, something his back injury prevented him from last year. So 2013 AAA, maybe 2014 back up Martin. If so, who is the backup? If Stewart, then best to trade Cervelli and see what you can get for him. Sanchez is on the come, so you don’t even know if Romine is the future. Sanchez is a few years away.

SS/3B is a problem. Jeter is 39 next June, and coming off a broken ankle. He had just 9 sb this year, his range is in question and now a broken ankle. I’d love to see Nunez figure more in the lineup for the 35-40 SB potential he brings, but where to put his horrendous defense? And A-Rod looks like a fading star. 38 next July. Do you really want a left side of the infield that has a 39 year old SS and 38 year old 3B? Guess what. You are stuck with it.

Do you bring back Kuroda and Pettitte? One will be 38 next year, the other 41 next June. Then there is Mo. He threw 25 pitches off a mound for a commercial. Good sign, but he will be 43 in a few weeks. Ibanez is on the block. 41 next year. Jones 35. Chavez 35. Who comes back?

This team MUST get younger.

Meanwhile, Toronto mgr. Farrell goes to Boston. Toronto is looking. One-time A’s SS Walt Weiss is now the Rockies’ mgr. Mark McGwire leaves St. Louis to become the Dodgers’ new hitting coach.

The Mets and Jason Bay reach an amicable divorce. That didn’t work out.

College Football: Darrell Royal died at age 88. He won 3 national titles for Texas in the 1960′s (although, as a PSU grad, I’ll dispute that 1969 one).

Lee MacPhail, who was the Yanks’ GM in the late 1960′s/early 1970′s, died at the age of 95. His dad (Larry) owned the Yanks for a brief time (1945-1947). Lee later became the A.L. President and it was he who made the Pine tar ruling.

The Yanks are thinking of flip-flopping Granderson and Gardner, moving the Grandy Man to LF. If they bring Ichiro (39) back for RF, they’ll have a speedy and good defensive OF, but having Ichiro AND Gardner cuts into your power.

If Torii Hunter really wants $20 mil over 2 years, count the Yanks out. He is 37 so it wouldn’t fit the “getting younger” plan.

I worry about next year. Too much age.

As for 6-4 PSU, I’m happy with the job Bill O’Brien has done. It’ll get much harder after this year. I see an offense that has come out of the stone age. Under very difficult circumstances, he has done a good job.

A strange year. My faves are Rivera and Polamalu (Steelers fan) and between the two, I don’t get to see them on the field what with injuries. I’m happy the Steelers are 5-3. They should beat KC tomorrow night, they should reach the playoffs.

But anyone doubting the Texans needs to be aware of them. Houston is for real.

5 in 9th + CC = Game 1 Yanks ALDS win

The Yankees broke open a close game by scoring 5 in the 9th as CC Sabathia went 8 2/3 as the Yanks won Game 1 of their ALDS 7-2.

The game was delayed 2 1/2 hours by rain.

The Yanks jumped off right away to a 1-0 lead. Jeter led off the game with a single, and Ichiro doubled him in.

Two singles, a sac and a single gave the Orioles a 2-1 lead in the third.

The Yanks got it right back in the fourth. A-Rod walked, and after Cano grounded out, Swish walked. Teix just missed a 3-run HR on a drive that hit the scoreboard. A-Rod scored and Swish went to third on a long single by Teix, who was thrown out trying for a double.

CC got out of a 1st & 3rd, one out jam in the fifth.

The Yanks put two on in the 6th, but nada. The O’s put two on as Jeter made an error, but CC got out of it.

Frustration in the 7th. Walks to Martin and Ibanez and a sac by Jeter. 2nd and 3rd, one out. Ichiro hit into a force at home. A-Rod struck out.

Alex was 0 for 4 tonight, 3 K. I really hoped (but knew it wouldn’t happen) that A-Rod would be benched tonight for Chavez.

CC gave up a leadoff double in the 8th but left him there.

The Yanks then erupted for 5 in the 9th for the win. Russell Martin led off the inning with a HR. 3-2.

Ibanez singled. Jeter singled him to third and Nunez PR. Nunez scored on a swinging bunt single by Ichiro (4-2). After (cough, cough) A-Rod struck out, Cano doubled in two (6-2) and went to third on an error. Swisher’s SF made it 7-2.

CC went 8 2/3, 2 R, 8 H, 1 walk and 7 K.

Robertson faced 1 batter. K. Ballgame.

Sorry for the delay. Games 159-161.

Sorry for the delay. I had computer issues.

The Yanks won three in a row and enter tonight’s final regular season game with a one-game lead. They clinched a playoff spot on Sunday night but going into today’s game 162, the final game of the regular season, they still don’t know if they are the division champ or the wild card. They don’t know if they have to play a game 163 in Baltimore tomorrow to determine the division champ or a wild card game on Friday. It is possible that should the Yanks lose tonight and the Orioles win, that the Yanks would have to go to Baltimore, play for the division Thursday, and if they lose that game, have to fly to Oakland to play the A’s in the sudden-death wild card game on Friday. What a mess.

Sunday in Game 159 the Yanks were down 5-1 after five and it appeared that they would fall one game behind the Orioles, but they came back to win 9-6. Jeter and Cano each had three hits and an RBI. Chavez hit HR #16. Hughes gave up 5 in 4 2/3, his ERA going to 4.23. Lowe kept the Yanks in it, 1 2/3 scoreless. Logan got the win to go to 7-2.

The Yanks got 9 in the 2nd on Monday night and beat Boston 10-2 in Game 160. Cano (31), Granderson (41), Martin (21) and Teixeira (24) all homered in that inning. Teix was just coming off the DL. CC went 8 and improved to 15-6, 3.38. Meanwhile the Orioles lost so the Yanks went up by one game in the A.L. East. Melky Mesa got an RBI single in his first MLB at bat.

If I told you back in March that in Game 161 of the season, with the Yanks nursing a one-game divisional lead, that the starting pitcher would be David Phelps, you would have said “Who’s Phelps?” followed by “you’re nuts!” But that is exactly what happened and the rookie did a good job. 2 R in 5 1/3 (ERA 3.34). But Teix killed the Yanks. His first two times up, GIDP with 1st and 3rd, one out. His third time up saw him hit into a force with 1st and 2nd, two out. The Yanks entered the bottom of the ninth down 3-1. The Orioles had won 1-0 in a game that featured just four hits from both Baltimore and Tampa Bay. It looked like the Yanks would fall into a tie for first again.

But Raul Ibanez hit a game-tying two-run HR (19). The Yanks then loaded the bases, but Teix flied out and it wasn’t deep enough to bring in a run. Cano grounded out.

Derek Lowe (combined 9-11, 5.11) pitched two scoreless and got the win when Ibanez hit a walk-off single in the 12th. Yanks win 4-3 and stay one game up.

They can win the division with a win tonight (Kuroda pitching) or an Orioles loss. If the Yanks lose and Baltimore wins, there is a game tomorrow in Baltimore with most likely Andy Pettitte starting. The Yanks enter tonight 94-67.

Jeter is now at 3003 hits heading into the last game of the season. A-Rod needs 101 hits for 3000 (next year) and also needs 14 HR to pass Willie Mays and 50 RBI for 2000.

Game 157. Yanks trounce Toronto 11-4, stay 1 up.

Hiroki Kuroda struggled, but bad Toronto baserunning and some key Yankees hits enabled him to pick up his 15th win as the Yanks trounced Toronto 11-4.

Coupled with Baltimore’s 9-1 win over Boston, the Yanks remain one game up on the Orioles for the A.L. East title with five games to go. The Yanks’ magic # for clinching the division is 5. The Yanks’ magic # for getting at least the 2nd wildcard spot is 2. They are one game behind Texas for the best record in the league.

Nick Swisher started things off with a two-run double in the first. He then made a fine defensive play as Brett Lawrie, who opened Toronto’s half of the first with a double, strayed too far off the bag on a grounder to Swish. He threw to Jeter and nailed Lawrie. Two outs later, a hit by Arencibia went for naught. It cost the Blue Jays a run.

A single by Ibanez and walks to Martin and Chavez loaded the bases with no out in the second. The Yankees only got one run out of it as Jeter GIDP and Ichiro grounded out. 3-0 Yanks.

Another baserunning blunder for Toronto in the second. Escobar doubled and went to third on a WP by Kuroda. Man on third, no out. Kuroda struck out Kelly Johnson and on the strikeout, C Russell Martin picked Escobar off of third. This really cost Toronto as a single double and walk later, the Blue Jays had the bases loaded. The struggling Kuroda got a strikeout to get out of it. But two baserunning errors had cost Toronto two runs.

In the fifth, Colby Rasmus hit HR #23 to cut the lead to 3-1 Yanks. But it should have been tied. Thanks, Toronto.

Kuroda went just 5 1/3, 2 R, 10 H, 2 walks and 4 K. You can see by the linescore that he was lucky to give up just 2 runs. He improves to 15-11, 3.34.

The Yanks got four in the sixth. Russell Martin hit a 3-run HR, his 20th HR of the season, and after a walk to Chavez and single by Jeter, Ichiro singled in Chavez to make it 7-1 Yanks. For Jeter, hit #3297.

Phelps replaced Kuroda with men on 1st and 3rd, one out in the sixth and got out of the inning. One run scored on a forceout. 7-2.

The Yanks got the run back in the seventh on a walk to Swisher, Granderson double, and forceout by Ibanez.

Phelps gave up a two-run HR to Adam Lind in the 7th (#11) as Toronto cut the Yanks’ lead to 8-4.

Phelps went 1 2/3, 2 R, 1 H, 1 walk and 1 K. 3.34.

The Yanks got a run in the eighth on a double by Ichiro and single by Cano. 9-4.

Robertson the 8th. 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 1 K. 2.79.

Chavez hit a 2-run HR in the 9th to close out the scoring. His 15th HR of the year made it 11-4.

Eppley 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 3.40.

Soriano hadn’t pitched in a while, so he came in to get some work and get the last out. 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk, 0 K. 2.09.

Pettitte goes for career win #246 this afternoon. If he can get the win, he would tie Iron Man Joe McGinnity and Amos Rusie on the all-time list.

The Orioles host Boston tonight.

Game 156. Yanks lay egg in 6-0 loss. Lead 1 game.

The Yankees were shut out by Toronto Thursday night 6-0 and their lead over idle Baltimore shrunk to one game.

The Yanks have six games left in the regular season.

The Yanks got only five hits in the game, three by Cano and two by Martin.

Ivan Nova went 4 2/3, 4 R, 6 H, 2 walks and 4 K in dropping to 12-8, 5.02. I see no way he makes the postseason rotation.

Clay Rapada 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 2.84.

Derek Lowe 2 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 walks and 0 K. Combined ERA (Cle/NYY), 5.24. Why Girardi is using him so much I have no idea.

David Aardsma made his season debut after recovering from TJ surgery. 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 walk and 1 K. 9.00.

 

Game 154. Logan can’t hold lead, Yanks lose 5-4.

When a pitcher enters a game and inherits runners, and those runners score, those runs are charged to the pitcher who put those runners on base.

Still, the reliever’s job is to strand those runners. Last night Boone Logan didn’t do that and the Yanks blew a 3-1 seventh-inning lead and lost 5-4.

With the loss, the Yanks missed out on a golden opportunity to increase their A.L. East lead to 2 1/2 over the Orioles. Baltimore lost 4-0 to Toronto. The Yanks’ lead remains 1 1/2 and the magic # was reduced to 7. Eight games remain.

In the first, Nick Swisher popped up with two on and two out. He made up for it in the fourth by hitting a 2-run HR. It was his 24th HR of the season.

Starter and losing pitcher Phil Hughes gave a run back in the bottom of the fourth.

Suzuki and Martin each were caught stealing in the game.

Martin hit a HR, #19, in the top of the seventh to put the Yanks up 3-1.

Hughes was pitching well at that point, having given up just one run, but he started off the seventh giving up a single and a walk.

That walk hurt. Hughes couldn’t put Chris Parmalee away, and it was a ten-pitch at bat.

A pop-up and single loaded the bases with one out. Hughes then got a huge K before turning the ball over to Logan.

You hoped Logan would get that one out, strand the runners and then the Yanks could go to Robertson and Soriano.

One stinking out.

Logan failed.

A WP made it 3-2. One strike away from getting out of it with the lead, Logan gave up a two-run double to Denard Span. 4-3 Twins. Then a walk and a Joe Mauer single made it 5-3 Twins.

Hughes deserved better. Instead he falls to 16-13, 4.10.

6 2/3, 4 R, 6 H, 1 walk and 4 K.

Logan went 1/3, 1 R, 2 H, 1 walk, 1 WP, 0 K. 3.83. You would like to charge those runs to him instead of Hughes but that’s baseball.

Derek Lowe 1 IP, 0 R, 0H, 0 walks and 0 K. Combined ERA (Cle/NYY) 5.26.

The Yanks got one in the 9th to cut it to 5-4. Long dormant Andruw Jones (.130 since July 18th) hit #14. Career HR #434 tied Juan Gonzalez on the all-time list.

Derek Jeter got hit #3296 and now has a 19-game hitting streak.

Despite his 40 HR, Curtis Granderson’s batting average dropped to .229. He doesn’t run anymore. He has over 180 strikeouts. As I have stated before, when has he morphed into Adam Dunn?

Before the game, the Yanks activated long DL’d Brett Gardner and David Aardsma and DFA’d Justin Thomas and Steve Pearce.

The Yanks have an afternoon game today with CC on the hill.