Tag Archives: Mauer

Yanks retain infield depth. Re-sign minor leaguer Urshela. Twins’ Mauer retires. Catching up with the AFL.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks have apparently re-signed Gio Urshela, 3B, to a minor league contract to provide minor league depth.

Urshela, 27, finished last year at SWB. In 167 MLB games, with Cleveland and Toronto, he has hit .225-8-39, OPS+ 57. He is known more for his defense.

In 2018, he only played in 19 MLB games, all with Toronto, and hit .233-1-3 in 43 at bats.

Twins C/1B Joe Mauer, 35, has announced his retirement. Mauer was a 6x All-Star, won 3 batting titles, the 2009 MVP (he finished in the top 10 three other years), 5x Silver Slugger winner. He also won 3 Gold Gloves. His 162 g. average was. .306-12-80, OPS+ 124. He hit .275-0-1 in 10 postseason games.

On baseball-reference.com, Mauer is listed as the 7th best catcher of all-time, between Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey.

Catching up with the Arizona Fall League,  the Glendale Desert Dogs, who have some Yankees’ prospects on the team, are 10-15. The season ends next Thursday, Nov. 15 and the Desert Dogs have been eliminated from the playoffs. Not too good numbers by these guys:

SS Thairo Estrada .250-0-7
1B Steven Sensley .179-0-7
CF Estevan Florial .169-0-8

SP Jordan Foley 0-2, 10.34
RP Hobie Harris 1-0, 4.50
RP Matt Wivinis 1-0, 1.59
RP Kyle Zurak 0-1, 16.20



Morneau to miss first round.

If the Yanks face the Twins in the first round, they will not have to face Justin Morneau. Morneau is still recovering from a concussion. In only half a season of play (80 games), Morneau was on an MVP-type pace, .345-18-56.

The Seattle Times also reports that catcher Joe Mauer returned to the Twins’ lineup for the first time since hurting his left knee 11 days ago. And shortstop J.J. Hardy also played after missing seven of the last eight games with a sore knee and migraine headaches.

I know what Yankees’ fans are thinking…but be careful what you wish for.

LoHud reports that the Red Sox were interested in Kerry Wood but were outbid by the Yankees.

Josh Hamilton will play for the Rangers, but it won’t be easy. He broke two ribs on September 4th, and Evan Longoria of the Rays has missed seven consecutive games with a strained quad.

Survival of the fittest, anyone?    

And among the non-contenders, Miggy Cabrera and Felix Hernandez have been shut down…


Random thoughts.

Clint Hartung passed on a few weeks ago at the age of 87. He was supposed to be a “phenom” back in the late 40s/early 50s. He switched between the mound and the OF and never panned out.

Hartung was the man on third when Bobby Thomson hit his pennant-winning HR for the Giants in 1951. Hartung went in to pinch-run for Don Mueller, who had broken his ankle sliding into third on Whitey Lockman’s double.

Hartung pitched from 1947-1950 for the NY Giants, going 29-29 with a 5.02 ERA (ERA+ 80). He spent 112 games as a pitcher, and another 45 in the OF. In 1951 and 1952, he was strictly an OF. As a hitter, Hartung hit .238 with 14 HR and 43 RBI in 378 AB. (OPS+ 84). He went 0 for 4 in the 1951 WS.

He was, to many in the 1950’s, an unfortunate symbol—that of a highly touted phenom who didn’t pan out.

While we think about those who didn’t pan out, a tip of my cap to my cousin Sean for pointing out the frustrating success that Carl Pavano is having post-Yankees. The American Idle was just 9-8, 5.00 (ERA+ 87) in four seasons (yes, four—not one) for the Yankees, in which he “earned” almost $40 million.

So he leaves New York after 2008 and proves that you don’t have to “make it there” to make it anywhere. You can make it anywhere and FLOP “there” (as many have, right Eddie Whitson?). The MRI tube’s best friend went 14-12, 5.10 combined in 2009 (Cle/Minny) ERA + just 84. It was frustrating enough to Yankees fans to see him win more games in 2009 that he won from 2005-2008 combined.     Even more frustrating was the good (although losing) performance Pavano put up against the Yanks in Game 3 of the 2009 ALDS—7 IP, 2 R, 5 hits, 0 walks and 9 K. Where was that when he wore the pinstripes?

Now this. A record of 12-6, 3.26 for the Twins right now. ERA+ 130. Are you kidding me, Yankees fans? 26 wins in two years (not even that…. in fact, just over a year and a half) after leaving the Yanks, who probably like most of us, were in the “don’t let the door hit you on the way out” mode by the time of his departure.

…and to think….right now the guy is actually tied for the AL lead in shutouts with two.


The new Target field must have Joe Mauer pining for the Metrodome. Mauer, had 28 HR last year and has just four this year—NONE at Target Field.

Lastly, a note from MSG:


with DAy of special programming


Day Kicks Off with MSG Original “The Game 365: Andre Dawson”

on Saturday, July 24 starting at 10:00AM


New York, NY – July 22, 2010 – MSG will commemorate the induction of Andre Dawson into the National Baseball Hall of Fame with a special showing of “The Game 365: Andre Dawson” on Saturday, July 24 at 10:00am. The half-hour MSG original will be followed by a daylong marathon of baseball programming beginning with “Halls of Fame Classics” at 10:30am and concluding with “The Game 365: George Steinbrenner” at 5:30pm. Hall of Famers on the programming lineup include Johnny Bench, Duke Snider, Al Kaline, Nolan Ryan, Carlton Fisk, Stan Musial, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Larry Doby, and Steve Carlton, who gave up Dawson’s first hit in 1976.


Below is the full schedule for Saturday, July 24:


10:00 a.m.                   The Game 365: Andre Dawson

                                    Montreal Expos, Center Fielder; HOF Class of 2010


10:30 a.m.                   Halls of Fame Classics: Tommy John


11:00 a.m.                   Halls of Fame Classics: Johnny Bench

                                    Cincinnati Reds, Catcher; HOF Class of 1989


11:30 a.m.                   Halls of Fame Classics: Duke Snider

                                    Brooklyn Dodgers, Center Fielder; HOF Class of 1980


12:00 p.m.                   Halls of Fame Classics: Steve Carlton
                                    Philadelphia Phillies, Pitcher; HOF Class of 1994


12:30 p.m.                   Halls of Fame Classics: Al Kaline

                                    Detroit Tigers, Right Fielder; HOF Class of 1980


1:00 p.m.                     Halls of Fame Classics: Nolan Ryan

                                    California Angels, Pitcher; HOF Class of 1999


1:30 p.m.                     Halls of Fame Classics: Carlton Fisk

                                    Chicago White Sox, Catcher; HOF Class of 2000


2:00 p.m.                     Halls of Fame Classics: Stan Musial

                                    St. Louis Cardinals, Left Fielder; HOF Class of 1969


2:30 p.m.                     Halls of Fame Classics: Hank Aaron

                                    Milwaukee Braves, Right Fielder; HOF Class of 1982


3:00 p.m.                     Halls of Fame Classics: Willie Mays

                                    San Francisco Giants, Center Fielder; HOF Class of 1979


3:30 p.m.                     Halls of Fame Classics: Larry Doby

                                    Cleveland Indians, Center Fielder; HOF Class of 1998


4:00 p.m.                     Halls of Fame Classics: Graig Nettles


4:30 p.m.                     The Game 365: Andre Dawson

                                    Montreal Expos, Center Fielder; HOF Class of 2010


5:00 p.m.                     The Game 365: Yogi Berra

                                    New York Yankees, Catcher; HOF Class of 1972


5:30 p.m.                     The Game 365: George Steinbrenner


Former New York Yankee and veteran television personality Fran Healy travels the country to visit with sports’ icons and legendary athletes for “Halls of Fame” and “The Game 365”.  During each half-hour episode Healy sits down with former athletes to discuss their careers and current endeavors; he has interviewed more than 250 sports legends for the program during its 15 year plus run.


Game 35. Alex passes Frank with Grand Slam that proves to be game winner in 8-4 Yankees win over Twins.

You figured Alex Rodriguez had had enough.

After all, on Facebook, I mentioned that the HR count (after the 4th tonight) was A-Rod 3 and Brett Gardner 2.

Hopefully (but I doubt it) he read that and it pissed him off.

For A-Rod’s grand slam, #587* of his career, was the difference in an 8-4 Yankees win tonight.

AJ started, and got a ND. 6 2/3, 3R, 2 Er, 4 walks and 4 K. ERA 3.31.

He got into trouble in the 2nd. Single and a walk to open the inning. A sac bunt but Alex makes an error. Bases loaded and none out. AJ walks in a run. But….important! He gets a DP and a K. Damage limited. Just one run.

In the 4th, Brett Gardner (of all people) homers. Tie game. On another blog, some idiot wrote in saying that the Yankees didn’t have a spark plug. EXCUSE ME? Gardner after the HR was around .337 with 16 SB in 35 games. If that isn’t a spark plug, what is?  The person said that you can’t be a spark plug hitting 9th. But you only hit 9th once in the order. Gardner hit 2nd tonight. Big difference between 9th and 2nd? At 2nd, you have to spot when you can run. You don’t want to take the bats out of the hands of Teix or Alex. More freedom at #9. HR here, and more to come from the Road Runner. …

Ground rule double by Cano later in the 4th puts the Yanks up 2-1 with runners on 2nd and 3rd with no out. Baker gets three straight Ks to get out of it. Kudos to him.

Swisher started the game but apparently that biceps injury wasn’t healed after all. He is pulled after 3 innings. LoHud after the game reported a negative MRI (thank goodness) but he is day to day.

Is Mauer great or what? The only catcher with 3 batting titles and the defending league MVP homers–to left–off AJ to tie it up in the 5th.

Gardner singles and scores on a Teixeira double to put the Yanks up 3-1 in the bottom of the 5th. Not a sparkplug? What games has that blogger been watching?

The 7th. More greatness from Mauer. Two out, man on 2nd. Marte in for basically one out. Mauer or Morneau. The modern day M&M boys. Marte doesn’t get the out he wants. The great Mauer ties the game with a single and goes to 2nd when Gardner tries for the out at the plate.  Morneau doubles, and the Twins are up 4-3. An intentional walk to Cuddyer. A fly out to end the inning.

Bottom 7th. Cervelli singles. (More to come). Has there been a game this year where he doesn’t impress you?  Who would have thought…after 35 games this year, my 3 MVPs of the Yankees are: Cervelli, Gardner and Hughes. At the beginning of the season, would you have picked those 3 to be the 3 most valuable Yankees after 35 games?

Jeter doubles the Great Gazoo to 3rd. Gardner doesn’t get it done. His fly ball to left isn’t far enough to advance the runners. Checking the internet, I wonder if a squeeze could have been called for. Granted it would get one while a single swinging away gets two, but…

Teix gets an INT walk.

BOOM! Ballgame! Alex with the grand slam that passes Frank Robinson. HR #587 on the all-time list. The grand slam makes it 7-4 Yankees.

Thanks to my cousin Sean, who tweets: Memo to ML Managers: According to STATS, Inc., A-Rod is 4-4 w 2 HRS  and 14 RBI in six plate apps after Teixeira was intent walked b4 him.

Top of the 8th. Joba in. The official scorer has ruled that since Marte was ineffective, being that he did not do his job against Mauer and Morneau, that he would NOT get the potential win.

And Joba picks up that potential win in impressive style. 1-2-3. All via strikeout. ERA 2.16. I was all for seeing if Joba could be a stud starter. 9-6, 4.75 wasn’t too bad, but it is becoming clear that his niche is where it is. Reliever and possibly Mo’s replacement.

In the 8th, Golson singles but is picked off. Miranda doubles. The Great Gazoo triples. 2 for 4 tonight. BA .415 and 14 RBI. 8-4 Yankees.

Think about this. I mentioned to Josh “The Yankee Truth” that Hughes (5-0, 1.38), Gardner (.333-2-12 with 16 SB) and Cervelli (.415 with 13 RBI) could be the Yankees three MVPs so far this year. Combined, they must make what, $3M?

Mo for the 9th. 1-2-3. ERA still 0.00 for the year. No save, but win to Joba.

At the Bronx tomorrow. Thus, no blog, just a recap, and no minor league report.

Well, maybe a little… had friends in SWB tonight. Triple? (He doesn’t run well) for Montero. 2 RBI, .234 in SWB 6-1 win. Park pitched the 1st. 1 H, 2 K. Just-sent down Sanchez, 7 IP, 1 R, 3 hits, 2 W and 9 K. Eduardo Nunez 3 hits, .333   

Trenton wins 3-0 on just 3 hits, because they threw a combined one-hit shutout. Pendleton 6 ip, hit, De La Rosa 2, Duff 1. A bit ugly (7 walks).  

Hughes turn today rained out. Big Twins news.

I don’t feel 100% but I already missed three days of work sick last week, so I’ll try to get through today.

Burnett, Rivera and Hughes today vs. the Tigers. Damon is supposed to be in Tampa for the game, but weather is a concern.

I’m 5-3 as far as the Sweet 16 goes. I had Kansas in the title game. Ouch.   

Anyway, if they get it in, a chance for Hughes to distance himself from the rest for that #5 starter gig.  

Update: The Yanks game today was rained out, and rainouts aren’t good for spring training. Pitchers do need to get their work in. Tomorrow (Monday) will see AJ and Hughes in action vs. the Phillies in Clearwater. Meanwhile, in order for other pitchers to get in the work that they need, the Yanks will have an intrasquad game in Tampa.

The Twins got good and bad news today. The good news is that hometown hero Joe Mauer signed an 8-year, $184M contract to stay home. I remember hearing all these people say that Mauer would be going to the Yanks. I responded, no way. He will stay in Minnesota, and besides, if he does become a free agent (which he didn’t and I never believed he would), why pay that money for him? I believe that the Yanks didn’t have the money for him, especially since they will need to take care of Girardi, Rivera and Jeter. I also believe that whatever money that they do have to spend after the 2010 season could best be spent elsewhere. The Yanks have some good catchers in Montero and Romine that are under the Yankees’ financial control for a number of years. Why not let them develop and get good results cheaply? Montero and Romine were both sent down today. No surprise. Montero will open in AAA and Romine in AA, and rest assured that yours truly will be checking the boxscores on each throughout the season.

Two weeks until opening night!  

The bad news for the Twins is that Joe Nathan will miss the entire year. He will undergo TJ surgery.

I pat myself on the back. I correctly had Cornell in the Sweet 16. Of course, I did have Kansas in the title game. Ugh.

I got 11 of the Sweet 16. Two of my elite 8 are out, and well, you know about Kansas.          

Around the majors as Yanks rained out again.

Not liking what I see out of the Mets. Beltran being out for a while, now Reyes’ thyroid condition. I don’t think (outside of Bay) they really had a good offseason either. Not impressed.

I see Stephen Strasburg’s spring training debut was televised back to D.C. They are hoping he’s the biggest thing there since Walter Johnson.

Heard a bit (and with the washout, it was only a bit) of Sterling and Waldman yesterday. Waldman was saying how Ivan Nova is impressing in Yankees’ camp, but said that Nova is 21. I know of the problem with Latino players, but baseball-reference.com does report that he is 23. Either Suzyn’s math is off or she has another source.

Brian Giles retired. Remember when he was in Yankees’ free agent talk a few years ago? He retires with a .291 career BA and excellent 136 OPS+. 162 g. average of .291-25-95 with 10 SB, 104 walks. The 2x All Star finished 9th in MVP (his only top 10) in 2005. The former Indian, Pirate and Padre had 1897 hits, 287 HR. No HOF, but a solid, good player. He had four monster years in Pittsburgh, 1999-2002.

Arizona’s Brandon Webb isn’t coming back from his shoulder surgery as quickly as hoped.

I see talk regarding Mauer, with some thinking he’d be traded. Of course the Yanks come into the talk. I can’t see it, although I rule nothing out. Why don’t I see it? Because after 2010, the Yanks have to come to agreements with Jeter, Rivera and Girardi (no, I don’t see Girardi being fired…). They have two young catchers in their system who are under the team’s control, salary-wise, for quite some time. It could be a Robbie Cano situation. Here is what I mean:

2005 .297-14-62, OPS+ 106, 2nd in ROY, Salary n/a
2006 .342-15-78, OPS+ 126, All Star, Silver Slugger, 22nd in MVP $381,000
2007 .306-19-97, OPS+ 119 $490,800 (salary from baseball-reference.com)
2008 .271-14-72 OPS+ 86 $3M
2009 .320-25-85 OPS+ 129, 17th in MVP Voting, $6M

For a couple of years, pretty decent bang for the buck, no? Can the Yanks get the same out of Montero or Romine? Ok, maybe the two youngsters don’t put up Mauer’s 162 g. average of .327-17-92; Montero might (although not with the defense). Say Montero could. He would certainly not cost the $20M or so a year Mauer is expected to get. If Romine does .270-8-60, it won’t be Mauer-like but would certainly be decent for a catcher in his early 20s (thinking 2012 here) who will be making probably what Cano did in 2006-2007.

In short, if you can get the production from Montero/Romine like Cano gave in 2006-2007, for the cost of what you paid Cano in those years, why spend $20m on Mauer?

It’s not that I don’t like Mauer. Who wouldn’t? But (to get Bunning-like here), where would the money come from? When the Yanks signed Teix, CC and AJ, they had money coming off the books. Mussina, Pavano, Abreu, Giambi. They don’t in this instance. They have Jeter and Rivera to worry about. They have Posada for another year. They have years left on CC, A-Rod, Teix, AJ. If Cano (27) keeps putting up .320-25-85 numbers for a 2B, more money will be needed for him unless the Yanks decided to deal him and go with a cheaper alternative like Pena or Russo. Do you want that?

Maybe a trade for Mauer happens. I’d certainly welcome Mauer to the team. I don’t feel it necessary though.

Torre and the Dodgers in Asia for a few games. Mattingly in charge back in the USA. Donnie confirms talks about replacing Torre in 2012.

Cervelli got the new batting helmet. David Wright wore it last year. Supposed to have extra padding as concern mounts after Cervelli’s concussion. Posada has given Cervelli a new nickname: Gazoo.

Cervelli modelling his new helmet?


David Wright with what I believe is the “Gazoo” model.

Just checked the LoHud blog, and any work the Yanks get today will be indoors or under the stands. Another rainout.

As for tomorrow, I’m hoping to catch the game on My9.






Looking ahead. What’s the 2011 priority?

We just saw the news…or lack of…regarding Derek Jeter. It’s pretty much a given that Derek and Mo aren’t going anywhere but will retire as Yankees and even though Rivera is 40, that time doesn’t seem to be soon.

So after 2010, what happens? Jeter and Rivera get locked up to new contracts. At what rates? The current rates, or will there be any kind of raise or cut? Mo, it appears, would be year-to-year at 41. Jeter would have a multi-year pact, but how much and how long for a 36 year old SS?  

Which leads us into who would the Yanks target in the 2010 free agent market, if anyone?

First off, I don’t think Mauer is going anywhere, despite the wishes of some on various blogs that he become a Yankee. I expect him to stay with his hometown Twins.

Besides, if you have two talents in Montero and Romine whose contracts are extremely reasonable for the next several years, why would you offer the farm for Mauer? Is the win-now-at-any-price attitude that pervasive? I know that you don’t yet have any idea what Montero/Romine would bring vs. that of a Mauer, but with those two I don’t think you need to shell out $15-20 M or whatever it would take for Mauer. So even though Mauer is superb, cross Mauer off the list for me.

Which brings me to the OF. Want to upgrade by going after Carl Crawford? Fine. I am not as down on Brett Gardner as some are, but I do realize that Crawford has the speed Gardner does, more power, is more likely to hit .300, etc. A better player. I do wonder where the Yanks will get the money for Crawford from.

Now after 2010, the Yanks will have to address pitching issues. Will Pettitte retire? That frees up money for Crawford or another pitcher. Javy Vazquez can become a free agent.

So would the Yanks have to replace two starting pitchers after 2010? Would this impact whether they go for Crawford or not, since their first priority (after signing Jeter and Mo) might have to be replenishing the rotation?

I don’t see Josh Beckett leaving Boston. But if Pettitte packs it in, I could see CC sweet-talking Cliff Lee to try to get his ex-teammate to come to the Bronx.

Now would Vazquez go? Would you need to get another pitcher to replace him, or would some combination of Joba, Hughes or Zach McAllister all be ready to step in?

I don’t know if Crawford would be on the radar or how big a priority he may be. But after signing Jeter and Mo, I think that if the Yanks lose both Andy and Javy that the priority next offseason will be on starters to replace them—and not a Crawford and/or Mauer.

What do you think? And where would the $ come from (remember Jeter and Mo come first).  

More medals for the USA, and I can’t keep up—especially with the X games type of sports. The women did win a silver in hockey. The men have a semifinal game vs. Finland now (USA up 4-0, mid-1st period as of this writing). Wow. Goalie meltdown on ice. 4-0 only 10 1/2 minutes into the match. The Finnish starting goalie faced 7 shots and stopped just 3.

Um…make it 6-0 now and the game is just 15 minutes old. The Finnish goalies are like sieves today.

USA medal count: 32 medals, 8G, 12S, 12B going into today’s action.  A silver in ice dancing.

Nice to see the Canadian figure skater get a bronze. Now to bury her mom and deal with her grief. God bless her and her family.

Update: 6-1 win for USA men’s hockey; on to the final vs. the Canada-Slovakia winner.

Good thing LIndsey Vonn got that gold early (and a bronze later). Her battered body (broken pinkie the other day, the shin…) missed a gate and she DNF today. Good first two races, but not the last three. Now she hopefully has time to heal.



AL MVP announced today…It’s Mauer, with Teix 2nd, Jeter 3rd.

Expect it to be Joe Mauer. Mauer set a new record for catchers this year by hitting .365 while winning his third batting title.

Update: Mauer did win the MVP today, and it was almost unanimous. Only one writer (from Seattle) didn’t put Mauer first on his ballot. That writer had Miguel Cabrera first. Nice point by Sam Borden at LoHud about how valuable Cabrera was during that last fateful week which saw the Tigers blow the AL Central.

Mark Teixeira finished as the runnerup. I’d like to know who only placed Teix 8th on his ballot. Say what? Derek Jeter finished 3rd, and I’d like to know the three writers who had him less than 7th. Goodness gracious the airheadedness of the sportswriters who did that.

A-Rod finished in a tie for 10th.

For Teixeira, it’s his 2nd top-10 finish for MVP voting. He finished 7th in 2005.

For Jeter, top-10 finish # 7. He finished 2nd in 2006, 3rd in 1998 and this year, 6th in 1999 and 10th in 2000, 2001 and 2005.

For A-Rod, Top-10 finish # 9. He won 3 times, 2003*, 2005 and 2007. Runnerup in 1996 and 2002* (asterisks for those you-know-what Texas years). Third in 2000.

Also getting consideration were Mo (14th), Cano (T-17th) and CC (20th). Mo finished 9th in 2004 and 2005. It’s funny. Mo got more MVP points than CYA winner Zach Greinke. When you look at MVP points, no pitcher had more than Mo.

CC finished 6th in MVP voting last year.



MVPs to be announced.

The AL MVP will be announced tomorrow (Monday) and the NL on Tuesday.

Expect Joe Mauer to win the AL MVP and Albert Pujols the NL.

Just wondering how high up Teixeira and Jeter wind up (guess? 2nd for Teix, top 6 for Derek).

Things to check out.

MLB Trade rumors has a list of the top 50 Free Agents…and predictions of where they think the guys will go. Interesting. Can you picture a rotation of CC, AJ, Andy and Lackey? Hey, no 3 days rest in next year’s postseason if they all stay healthy. Heck, if you had that, you could have Gaudin as your #5 and have Hughes, Joba and Mo as your 7-8-9 guys. Other teams shudder at the thought.

Although MLBTR thinks Matsui will be gone (Damon DH/LF, break in Austin Jackson and on days when Damon plays LF, DH Posada/Alex/Jeter…?) Joel Sherman writes that the Yanks are going to work at bring back all three of Matsui, Damon and Pettitte.

As for catcher, I think the Yanks will cut costs and get rid of Molina and have Cervelli as the backup. Remember that Jesus Montero and Austin Romine are only a few years away, and Gary Sanchez is a project for further down the road.

It’s amazing how many people automatically think that Lackey will go to the Yankees. I don’t see it unless one of the three (Andy, Matsui, JD) doesn’t return. I read where someone wrote that Mauer will be a Yankee soon. Mauer is a Minnesota boy. Not only that, I really doubt that the person who wrote that knows anything about the talent at catcher (Montero, Romine) that the Yanks have in the minors. Mauer is great and it would be nice, but… you wonder if they stay within…or deal Montero or Romine. Given the payroll and the supposed talent in Montero and Romine (whose contracts you control for a while), developing Montero and Romine seems more likely.