Tanka out for at least 6 weeks, Yankees 2014 season over before All Star Break

Stick a fork in it, the Yankees 2014 season is over.

Although Masahiro Tanaka’s elbow injury does not require surgery, he is expected to miss six weeks, which really means at least six weeks, which I suspect will easily turn into eight weeks. Given the Yankees patch work starting pitching rotation and inept offense, the Yankees can’t afford to miss one of Tanaka’s starts, never mind 6 weeks worth. This essentially turns the Yankees from an 85ish win team to a 75ish win team, meaning no miracle can help them get the playoffs and the season is effectively over.

Unless the Yankees can pull off a trade for David Price or someone similar (which they probably should NOT do as it’s this sort of trade away the future thinking got them into this mess in the first place), their season is completely screwed.

I can’t stress that enough – the Yankees have effectively been eliminated from the playoffs and we’re not at the all star break yet. This is easily shaping up to be the worst Yankees season for me since the strike.

Let’s do a quick starting pitcher autopsy:
CC Sabathia (knee, knee again), Michael Pineda (shoulder again), Ivan Nova (elbow) and Masahiro Tanaka (elbow) – four of five opening day starters are gone. Somehow, 39-year-old Hiroki Kuroda is the only member of the rotation to avoid the starting pitcher injury bug. The oldest guy. The guy who ran out of gas last year is the last man standing. Bizarre.

If this team had the 2004 Yankees offense, maybe they could bludgeon their way into the playoffs against the mediocre AL East, but this team can barely hit with a high school squad, so that’s not gonna work.

Yeah, we’re pretty well boned all right.

"…our next huge embarrassing failure." (Or, the Yankees stink right now PT 2)

The Yankees actually have a better record on the road than they do at home. Maybe they’ll play better when they start their road trip…

The Yankees have not only lost another series, but they’ve now lost two series in a row to teams with records under .500. That is unbelievable… or, it makes perfect sense if you’ve been watching these guys.

Last night’s loss certainly wasn’t Hiroki Kuroda’s fault. Here’s his line: 8 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. You can’t ask for much better than that.

I know David Price is a good to great pitcher (depending on who you ask), but the Yankees offense is friggin horrible. Here is the offense’s line:

4-31, 1 XBH, 1 R, 5 BB, 11 K, 8 LOB, 1-9 w/ RISP.

Four hits. And Derek Jeter had 2 of them.

Let me just reiterate: the non-Derek Jeter Yankees went 2-29 last night. That’s it. Again, David Price is great and all, but it’s not like he’s Randy Johnson in his prime.

In other comedy news, Vidal Nuno will try to avoid the sweep this afternoon. Cue the end to Deer Hunter.

Roberts, Soriano & Whitley – OH MY! (Or, the Yankees stink right now)

The Yankees lost this past series to the Red Sox… the lowly, fourth place Red Sox. At home. This is their third series loss in a row. The worst part of this is this caliber of play from this club surprises no one. The best part is the Yankees are somehow only 2 games out of first place because everyone is terrible this season. When reached for comment, Derek Jeter was heard to shout, "Get off my lawn!" and other old man cliches.

So, what are the problems and how do they get fixed? Read the rest of this entry

A Starting Pitcher Acquisition Rumored, But Then What?

If you follow the Yankees rumor mill, then you’ve heard that the Yankees are trying to trade for a starting pitcher. You hear names like John Danks, Jason Hammel or Ian Kennedy as readily available arms the Yankees have the parts to trade for. (SIDE NOTE: If the Yankees give up a significant player for Ian Kennedy, just… just… I can’t.) But fine, let’s say the Yankees get someone and they’re effective to a 4.50 ERA (6 IP, 3 ER) – then what? Read the rest of this entry

The Yankees Need… Everything

Against All Odds, the Yankees are over .500 and are in second place in the AL East, but they need some major pickups and tings to break their way to keep this pace going. Here are 6 things the Yankees desperately need you to pray for, build a shrine to or whatever help you can give them.

The Yankees need A backup first baseman
Look, Kelly Johnson is a decent player, and I think his play at 2nd base is fine, but he looks lost at 1st base. Given Mark Teixeira’s injury history, the Yankees need a real backup 1st baseman… at least someone who can catch. Maybe Tony Clark can come out of retirement!

The Yankees need to Pray Michael Pineda comes back and is effective
The Yankees starters of the non-Tanaka variety are not good. Sure, I think Kuroda will come around, but it’s a miracle the other three guys don’t get destroyed every time out. Nuno, Phelps and the not quite stretched out Whitely are not up to the task. The Yankees can stand to have one of these guys as their fifth starter, but having these three as the back end of their rotation is a nightmare. Getting Pineda back would go a long way toward upgrading the rotation and taking some pressure off the bullpen.

The Yankees need to pray Carlos Beltran comes back and is effective
The Yankees offense has not looked good of late; during the current road trip, they’ve had three games during which they haven’t managed a single extra base hit! I know they’re missing Beltran and he’s a big part of their power plan, but jeez, guys. Let’s pray Beltran can come back and help out.

The Yankees need to pray Shawn Kelley comes back and is effective
If Pineda comes back and is effective, that’ll help the bullpen because Pineda is generally good for more than five innings, but if Kelley can come back and be effective, that’s another reliable bullpen arm to soak up late innings, too. Remember, Kelley is supposed to be the team’s set up man. We all know Betances is better, but the point is, Kelley was a big part of the Yankee’s bullpen plan, so an effective Kelley is a big boost for the pen.

The Yankees need to Pray for a better long man than Al Aceves
I have fond memories of Aceves Past, but let’s face it, this guy gets hit hard every time out. His velocity seems higher than I remember, but it sure seems like he stinks now. I’m not a great understander of stats, but his WHIP is 1.3, and that’s just too high. Maybe he gets bumped out when Kelley returns and everyone moves down a peg. It’ll be nice when the Yankees can get Phelps or one of the other Three Starting Pitcher Amigos back in that role.

The Yankees need to Hope Brian Roberts gets less playing time as a result of magic.
I dunno what to do here, but Brian Roberts stinks. His offense stinks (he does put together nice at bats, but let’s face it, he can’t hit), his defense is on the stinky side… he makes Old Derek Jeter look like Young Derek Jeter. At least Jeter is hitting a little bit. Roberts is just balls. Maybe it’d be better to have Brendan Ryan play 2nd every day and hope he makes up with his glove what the Yankees lose with his swiss cheese bat.

The Yankees need More offense, please!
Again, I appreciate that the Yankees are missing Beltran, but these guys need to hit more. This team’s defense is too crappy to hit this little, and vice versa. Hell, even Jason Giambi could catch! The Yankees have no range at short stop or second base and no experience at first or third… the infield is a nightmare. Thank God for speedy outfields, I guess…

Pictured: Ichiro trying to crap out more offense

Yankees April 2014 Wrap Up

Now that April is about over, let’s take a look at the Yankees first month of 2014. For some reason, I’ve decided to not count the series against the Seattle Mariners.

Obviously, starting off the year by losing a series to the hapless Houston Astros is now how you draw it up in the off season, but that’s how life goes sometimes. The best thing we can say about this series is at least they didn’t get swept and thank the heavens that the Astros aren’t in the Yankees division as out of division losses are slightly less painful. The Yankees moved on to Toronto where they won their first season against the Toronto Blue Jays who are, in my eyes, a pesky team, but that’s all. I’m sure we all imagine that the Blue Jays and the Baltimore Orioles will compete for fourth place in the division this year… Read the rest of this entry

Jacoby Ellsbury works on Wall Street

You may have already seen the “Jacoby Elsbury is a Trader” photo that has been circulating around the web. Personally, I prefer the Johnny Damon defection signs that read, “Looks like Jesus, throws like Mary, acts like Judas,” but hey, to each his own… until you bring grammar and spelling into it. Now, you’re on my turf and I gotta come after ya.

Look, I studied English in college, and while I don’t claim to be a master (and lucky for me, I have a copy editor that fixes my mistakes – Thanks, Dr. Girlfriend!), I do try to check my work before publishing it. Now, I’m going to let the fact that this young lady is at a Yankees/Astros game and is wearing a hat of a team that’s not playing go. Let’s concentrate on the two big problems with the sign:

1. ‘Ellsbury’ has two Ls in it. If you’re going to be pissed at the guy, at least bother to look up the proper spelling of his name.
2. A “trader” is someone who trades stuff. Like a trader on a wall street, a kid who trades baseball cards, people who trade vintage dictionaries… that’s what trading is. A “traitor,” on the other hand, is one who betrays trust – that sort of thing. Kinda like the way this lady betrays all of her former teachers with her atrocious grammar and spelling.

Anyway, if you’re going to display a sign at a sporting event that’s not especially relevant to the game at hand, at least bother to get the grammar and spelling right.

Brian Cashman is sad that the Yankees have lost their first series to the Astros

"Boy, I sure am glad the Yankees organization spent all that money this past off season just so we could lose a series to the Astros. The Astros. The team that prognosticators are picking to win 70 games this year – an improvement over last year’s 51 wins. The Astros. Seriously. Imagine if we miss the playoffs by one or two games this year? That would be AWESOME."

Opening Day shows some promise but little return for Yankees

It sure does suck to lose to the Houston Astros, huh? Well, that’s just what happened to the Yankees – a hell of a way to start the season.

The reasons the Yankees lost were obvious – CC Sabathia was awful in the first two innings and the infield didn’t play so well behind him. It seemed to me that he pitched pretty well in innings 3, 4, 5 and 6, but when he gives up 6 runs in the first two innings, it hardly matters. Meanwhile, the bullpen was lights out behind him, so that was nice, but too little, too late.  Sabathia is going to have to adjust his pregame so he starts the game with his A control.  Maybe Andy Pettitte can help with that while the Yankees are in Houston…

The offense was sputtering – there were a few hits and walks, but it’s easy to blame Alfonso Soriano for striking out and grounding into a double play to end potentially big innings.

Still, I like this team… at least, I like this team a hell of a lot better than the 2013 edition. Sabathia might end up being the worst starter in the rotation… who knows. If this team stays healthy, they might do great things. Might.

There are two games left with the Astros. I’m not a big believer in winning streaks (they sure do help, though), but if you’re a good team, you have to win series against bad teams, so the Yankees need to take these next two. If they start the season by losing a series to the Astros… whew. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

The Yankees have designated Edwardo Nunez for assignment. The grand experiment (which everyone should now readily admit was a huge, embarrassing failure) is finally over. Who knows where Nunez will head next, but I think it’s safe to say, his days in pinstripes are over. That’s probably a good thing. The fact that he couldn’t make this team even with the added help of the Brendan Ryan injury speaks volumes about what the Yankees think of Nunez.

The 2014 Yankees opening day lineup

Opening Day is almost here and now, we’ve got a good idea of what we’re going to see on a day to day basis from the Yankees. The only real question is whether or not Jacoby Ellsbury starts the season on a DL.

If Ellsbury does start the season on the DL, think we’ll get this:

LF Brett Gardner
SS Derek Jeter
DH Carlos Beltran/Alfonso Soriano
1B Mark Teixeira
C Brian McCann
RF Alfonso Soriano/Carlos Beltran
3B Kelly Johnson
2B Brian Roberts
CF Ichiro Suzuki

If Ellsbury is healthy, then we’ll get this:

CF Jacoby Ellsbury
SS Derek Jeter
DH Carlos Beltran/Alfonso Soriano
1B Mark Teixeira
C Brian McCann
RF Alfonso Soriano/Carlos Beltran
3B Kelly Johnson
2B Brian Roberts
LF Brett Gardner

I have Beltran and Soriano in the same spot because either could be DH or RF; I think Beltran will bat third and Soriano will bat sixth assuming they’re both in the lineup. Meanwhile, Jeter and Teixeira are both nicely insulated/protected in the lineup, so hopefully, this will get them both some fastballs to hit… who knows what to expect out of either of those guys this year.

On paper, this lineup looks like it can do damage, but in reality… who knows. The good news is, the waiting is almost over!


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