Today’s news is powered by a couple of classic promos for Yankees telecasts on WPIX:
- Tyler Kepner wonders who will fill out the back of the rotation down the stretch:
So here’s my question as the trade deadline approaches: who starts Game 4 of a playoff series? The Philadelphia Phillies used four starters in all three playoff rounds in winning the World Series last year. If the Yankees want to win it all, they have to know who starts Game 4. And right now, they have no idea.
It won’t be Chien-Ming Wang, who may need shoulder surgery. I doubt it will be Joba Chamberlain, because he will have reached his innings limit by then (making him a tremendous bullpen weapon). Phil Hughes is too valuable in short relief to switch him now. That leaves Mitre.
The wild card in this is Alfredo Aceves, who still has time to transition back to the rotation. But to remove Aceves from the bullpen, the Yankees probably need to trade for a reliever. That’s why I think there’s no chance they’ll stand pat before Friday’s 4 p.m. nonwaiver deadline.
- Bullpen depth more important than a replacement for Gardner?:
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that the feeling is that the club needs to carry a 13-man pitching staff — right-hander Jonathan Albaladejo was recalled on Sunday from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre — because of a tired bullpen.
“Right now, we need the pitching,” Girardi said. “But it’d be nice to have another outfielder that could help out there.”
Even though Phil Hughes is considered unavailable after throwing 39 pitches in the Yanks’ 7-5 win over the A’s on Sunday, there will almost certainly be a move for an outfielder made soon. The Yankees are coming off of a 9-1 homestand at Yankee Stadium and begin their road swing to play the Rays, White Sox and Blue Jays.
Though Cabrera was productive on the homestand, batting .308 (8-for-26), with three runs scored, two doubles and one RBI, one major concern is that five of the nine road contests will be played on the artificial turf at Tropicana Field and Rogers Centre.
That is less of a threat to Cabrera than to Johnny Damon, whom Girardi acknowledged that the Yankees will need to find a way to rest. Should Cabrera need to be spelled in an emergency, Girardi said he would look to either Damon or Nick Swisher to take over in center field. It is a scenario they want to avoid.
- A progress report on Austin Jackson:
So far this season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre, Jackson is hitting .311 with four homers, 38 RBIs and is 17-for-19 in stolen base attempts.
Jackson still needs to improve on his plate discipline — through 92 games, he has already struck out 89 times.
“You have some guys up there now who made it based on natural talent and for the rest of us, it takes a little bit more work,” Jackson said. “You can be going good for a long time, then all of a sudden you meet people in the sport you play who are just as good, if not better. You have to keep working hard to try and better your game.”
- Mr. October participated in an on-line chat at MLB.com.
- On this date in 1983, American League president Lee MacPhail decides George Brett’s ‘Pine Tar’ home run should count. The remainder of the game will played on August 18 with the Royals beating the Yankees, 5-4.
- On this date in 1995, the Yankees get P David Cone from the Blue Jays in a trade for minor league pitchers Marty Janzen, Jason Jarvis and Mike Gordon. The team also trades OF-DH Danny Tartabull to the Athletics for OF-DH Ruben Sierra and minor league P Jason Beverlin.
- On this date in 2000, David Cone is sent to the team’s minor league camp in Tampa by Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. The struggling veteran will be under supervision of Billy Connors, the Yankees vice president of player personnel.
OK folks . . . I’m off for the next week or so. I’ll be in Washington, D.C. attending my first SABR convention, then I’m off to Dayton, Ohio to help out at the annual National Scrabble Championships. I hope to get a post up on the Banter while I’m in D.C.