Tag:Ivan Nova
Posted on: August 13, 2011 9:38 pm
 

'Kitchen accident' sidelines Yankees' Garcia

Freddy GarciaBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Yankees starter Freddy Garcia won't start on Sunday against the Rays after cutting his finger in a "kitchen accident" last week. 

A.J. Burnett will be moved up to start in his place and the rest of the team's starters will also move up a day. The Yankees had been using a six-man rotation, so with Garcia out, all the starters will be on their regular rest.

The Yankees had been hoping to go back to a five-man rotation and Garcia's injury made the decision easy.

"I told everyone I was going to tell them I was going to have a decision tomorrow as far as what we were going to do and sometimes decisions have a way of working their way out," manager Joe Girardi told reporters, including Mike Vorkunov of the Star-Ledger.

The cut on Garcia's finger doesn't allow him from throwing his splitter.

Ivan Nova will start Monday's opener in Kansas City, followed by Bartolo Colon and CC Sabathia.

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Posted on: August 5, 2011 1:16 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: AL East, Central dominate and fail

Santana
By Evan Brunell

UpCarlos Santana, Indians: A day after wearing the golden sombrero, Santana ripped a 3-for-4 night with three runs batted in and adding a home run for extra measure. The outing brought his overall batting average up to .232, a far cry from where he can be. The catching phenom has been drawing walks and hitting for power just fine, but that average has been strange to see. His splits don't really point to a clear delineation, either, as his batting average since June 17 (excluding Thursday night) is .248, which is much closer to his 2010 line of .260. Given his career batting average in the minors was .290, there's more there we have yet to see in the majors.

Ivan Nova, Yankees: How are the Yankees supposed to decide between Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova now? The two are battling for a rotation spot as the Yankees take a brief turn through a six-man rotation. Hughes came through with a dazzling start and Nova has backed that up with an eye-popping outing in punching out 10 White Sox batters. That's easily a career high, as Nova's topped out at seven previously. He went 7 2/3 innings, giving up just one earned run and walk to drop his ERA to 3.81. Good luck figuring things out, skipper.

Alex Gordon, Royals: Gordon matched a career high with four hits in five trips to the plate, chipping in two runs and a double. Gordon has flourished -- years later than people thought, but he's flourished. The leadoff man is hitting .311/.382/.505 and thriving in left field. Maybe he needed to get away from third or maybe it's a happy coincidence, but having Gordon under the fold  means one less spot for the Royals to worry about in their rebuild. He's not a free agent until after 2013.



DownJon Rauch and Shawn Camp, Blue Jays: Rarely does a team throw away a victory like Toronto did on Thursday, losing 7-6 in 12 innings to the Rays. Toronto scored a run in the top eighth to even things up at 3-3 headed into extras. A Colby Rasmus double scored Yunel Escobar for a run in the top 10th, but Jon Rauch's first batter, Desmond Jennings, launched a home run to tie things up. But no worries, Jose Molina somehow ripped a triple (it would be unsurprising if it took him longer to reach third than it takes some to circle the bases on a homer) to score two. End ballgame, right? Nope. Rauch stayed in to try to close things out, but quickly gave up a double, single and RBI groundout. Enter Shawn Camp, who induced an out before coughing up the tying run in the form of a single by Robinson Chirinos. He got out of the inning, but Chirinos struck again in the bottom of the 12th with a bases-loaded single.

Zach Britton, Orioles: Britton didn't exactly excel in his second start since a brief demotion to the minor leagues sandwiched around the All-Star break to rest his arm and, no doubt, drop his service time down so he doesn't become a free agent until 2017. Britton gave up six earned runs to the Yankees in just 1/3 of an inning last time out. He gave up the same number of runs Thursday to the Royals, albeit in 5 1/3 innings. Four were earned, and no batters were fooled by his offerings, which were slapped around the diamond for 12 hits.

Carlos Guillen, Tigers: Guillen played in his 16th game after finally coming off the disabled list to make his season debut. The 35-year-old has been looked at to help save production at second base, but he hasn't quite done that with a .246/.274/.404 line after goign 0 for 4 with three strikeouts. That's not awful -- in fact, going into the game, he posted zero wins above replacement, so he's not harming Detroit, and no one expects him to live up to his $13 million deal; he's in "whatever we can get" territory. But he's still going to have plenty of 0-for-4 nights, like he did tonight.

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Posted on: August 2, 2011 11:50 am
 

Hughes could lose rotation spot with Yankees

Hughes

By Evan Brunell

On Tuesday night, Phil Hughes (pictured) will draw the ball for the Yankees against the White Sox. He'll do so as a member of a six-man rotation, as manager Joe Girardi wants to keep Ivan Nova in the rotation.

Nova was demoted to the minors after his July 1st start despite posting a 4.12 ERA. He returned to the majors to help out with a pitching crunch on Saturday, allowing just two runs in seven innings against the Orioles. That was enough for Girardi, who decided to go with a six-man rotation... albeit not for long, as the New York Daily News says.

After this upcoming Monday's off day after the pivotal weekend series in Boston, the Yankees are expected to revert back to a five-man rotation, and Hughes might be the odd man out in favor of Nova.

"Competition is a good thing," Girardi said. "I think it brings out the best in people so, I think they’re both working hard, going about their business, approaching the games the way they need to approach it.”

Hughes' struggles this year have been well-documented; he turned from an elite setup man in 2009 to a solid starter last season with a 4.31 ERA in 176 1/3 innings. This year, however, the 25-year-old was beyond bombed in his first three starts with decreased velocity on his fastball, running up a 13.94 ERA before he was stuck on the disabled list with a phantom injury to figure things out.

Hughes' velocity recovered and he has made four starts since. While one was a whitewashing, the other three have been solid enough, giving him an overall 5.48 mark since his return. That's not near enough to justify holding onto his spot, not when Hughes could become a big part of the bullpen moving forward. The Tuesday start should have a major influence on the decision, but Girardi noted Hughes' experience in the bullpen when discussing the issue.

“Let’s see how it goes through doing what we’re doing here," Girardi said. "See how the guys are throwing, and let’s see what our needs are. I don’t think one thing’s going to determine, but you’ve got to look at what your needs are, who’s throwing the ball well and what we need to do. ... If they both throw the ball the way we want them to, then decisions will have to be difficult on what we do."

Nova is expected to draw the ball on Thursday and put forth his own bid for remaining in the rotation.

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Posted on: July 27, 2011 3:39 pm
 

Yankees have best chance at Ubaldo

By Danny Kobler

Of all the teams that showed interest in Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez -- and there were a lot -- the Yankees have the best chance of actually landing him, according to major-league sources.

The Rockies are still telling teams that they don't need to trade Jimenez, who is 27 years old and is signed to a team-friendly contract that could run through 2014. But it's clearer than ever that the Rockies are willing to make a deal, with the Reds and possibly the Red Sox as other teams that match up well enough to get a deal done.

The Rangers showed signficant interest in Jimenez early on, but sources said Wednesday that they were all but out now, in large part because the teams just don't match up on the value placed on prospects. Another impediment to a Rockies-Rangers deal is the lingering frustration over last year's failed talks for Michael Young, but it appears the bigger problem was a lack of a match on prospects.

Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd said earlier this month that he would require "a Herschel Walker-type deal" to trade Jimenez, but it appears that O'Dowd would be willing to accept something less than that, perhaps along the lines of deals that were made in recent months for Matt GarzaZack Greinke and Cliff Lee.

The Yankees have basically declared top prospect Manuel Banuelos off-limits in talks, but they have enough depth that they could put together an attractive package without him. O'Dowd is said to want three or four players in return for Jimenez, and it's thought that some combination of Jesus Montero, Austin Romine, Dellin Betances, Ivan Nova or Phil Hughes could convince the Rockies to make a deal.

The Reds also have enough prospects to make a trade work, but they have indicated a strong reluctance to deal catcher Devin Mesoraco, the prospect who most interests the Rockies.

Talks with the Red Sox apparently haven't advanced as far, but it's believed that they would need to build a package around pitcher Kyle Weiland.

Other teams that showed early interest in Jimenez include the Tigers and Blue Jays, but the chances of a deal with either of those teams appear far more remote at this point.

The Yankees' pieced-together starting rotation has performed well, but they still don't have a clear No. 2 starter behind ace CC Sabathia. The Yankees have looked at many available starting pitchers, including Hiroki Kuroda of the Dodgers and Wandy Rodriguez of the Astros, but Jimenez is the one guy who could slot in behind Sabathia in their rotation and make them more dangerous in October.

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Posted on: July 17, 2011 3:02 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2011 8:50 am
 

Rockies need 'Herschel Walker' deal for Jimenez

Ubaldo Jimenez

By C. Trent Rosecrans

It seems Ubaldo Jimenez is this season's hot name that could go nowhere.

Last week it was the Reds who popped up as a possible landing spot for Jimenez, but now it seems more are involved. Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated reports the Rockies have been in contact with the Yankees about Jimenez. Heyman said later on MLB Network that 12 teams have contacted the Rockies about JImenez, adding the Red Sox and Rays as possible bidders. Troy Renck of the Denver Post adds the Tigers, Rangers and Phillies as teams with interest in Jimenez.

It's easy to understand why teams would want Jimenez -- he's one of the top talents in the game, even if he's not putting up the dominant numbers he did a year ago when he was 15-1 with a  2.20 ERA in the first half. This season he's 5-8 with a 4.08 ERA, but most of his struggles have been at Coors Field, where his ERA more than three-and-a-half runs higher than it is on the road -- .5.89 at home and 2.28 on the road. His strikeout rate (8.1 per nine innings) is down slightly (8.7 last season), but so are his walks (3.5 walks per nine innings in 2011 and 3.7 in 2010).

And it's not just Jimenez's presence on the mound that makes him attractive, he's a relative bargain, signed through next season and he makes just $4.2 million in 2012 and has team options for both 2013 ($5.75 million) and 2014 ($8 million), but the 2014 option is voided if he's traded. Evan at $8 million, Jimenez is a bargain -- for comparison, Colorado's Aaron Cook is making $9.25 million this season and enters today's start with an 0-4 record and 5.82 ERA. Another team won't benefit from the 2014 option, but any team trading for him would get Jimenez for the next two seasons for less than $10 million.

As a comparison, perhaps one of the other top names on the trade market is Houston left-hander Wandy Rodriguez, who is in the first year of a three-year, $34 million contract.

Jesus MonteroThe Rockies have spent their entire existence searching for an ace pitcher that's not bothered pitching at Coors Field, in Jimenez, they've finally got him. So, why would the Rockies trade him? That's a pretty good question. The short answer is that it doesn't cost anything to listen.

"We would have to be absolutely overwhelmed," Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd told the Denver Post. "It would have to be a Herschel Walker deal."

In 1989 the Dallas Cowboys sent Herschel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings along with four draft picks in return for five players and eight draft picks. The Cowboys turned those draft picks into Emmitt Smith, Alvin Harper, Darren Woodson, Dixon Edwards and more draft picks, including the one that led to the first overall pick in 1991 (Russell Maryland). That trade laid the foundation for the Cowboys' three Super Bowl titles in the mid-90s.

In a baseball equivalent, you could call it a Mark Teixeira trade. In baseball, you can't trade draft picks, but prospects are the equivalent of NFL draft picks. In 2007, the Rangers sent Teixeira and Ron Mahay to Atlanta for Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. That's a pretty good haul -- and that's for a player that was scheduled to be a free agent. Jimenez could cost more because of the extra years of team control with a very team-friendly contract.

The market has changed in reaction to that trade, with fewer teams giving up that much for rentals, but Jimenez won't be a rental, so he could command a king's ransom.

What are the Rockies looking for? Mainly they want young pitching talent that can be under team control for a long time, but that's major league ready. They'd also want a top-notch position prospect, as well. The Yankees would likely need to give up catcher Jesus Montero (right) and a top pitching prospect such as Manny Banuelos or Dellin Betances in addition to other prospects. Heyman said on MLB Network that the Rockies have asked for not just Montero, Banuelos and Betances, but also Ivan Nova. The Reds could spare first baseman Yonder Alonso, but would have to send some pitching such as Mike Leake and/or Travis Wood to the Rockies in addition to other players.

There have been reports that Jimenez is unhappy with being on the trading block, but he denies that's the case.

"I won't be bothered by trade rumors. I am mentally strong," Jimenez told Renck. "Don't forget that about me."

It would be foolish for someone like O'Dowd not to listen, but in the end, if the Rockies do trade him, it will have to be for a massive collection of talent.

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Posted on: July 14, 2011 8:34 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2011 12:59 am
 

Colon rocked by Jays

Bartolo Colon

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Has Bartolo Colon's magic worn off?

In his first start of the second half, the Yankee right-hander turned in a stinker, his second in a row. Colon gave up six hits and eight runs -- three earned -- in just 2/3 of an inning against the Blue Jays on Thursday before being replaced by Luis Ayala, who didn't help matters when he balked in a run to give Toronto a 9-0 lead after just one inning.

Colon walked two -- he was averaging just 2.2 per nine innings before Thursday --   and didn't strike out any, throwing 42 pitches to get two outs. Well, actually, he used fewer to get two outs, as seven straight Blue Jays reached with two outs before Colon was lifted.

Several Yankee beat writers speculated on Twitter that Colon could still be dealing with a hamstring injury, something that's not out of the realm of possibility. Colon went on the disabled list last month with a strained left hamstring and didn't look good coming off the mound to try to field two balls hit back at him by Rajai Davis and Yunel Escobar -- not that the 38-year old, 265-pounder (that's his listed weight) ever looks too good coming off the mound.

After the game, Colon told reporters he had no pain, but was tentative on his hamstring.

"I feel good, but sometime I feel a little bit nervous," Colon told reporters through an interpreter, according to the New York Times. "I'm afraid to push."

After coming off the disabled list, Colon pitched six scoreless innings against the Mets on July 2 and then picked up the loss in 5 2/3 innings against the Rays that lifted his ERA from 2.88 to 3.20. Thursday's outing put his ERA at 3.47, with thanks to third baseman Eduardo Nunez's error on J.P. Arencibia's grounder that loaded the bases with two outs.

Now, two bad outings happen -- it's not exactly unheard of for a pitcher to struggle at this point of the season. But Colon wasn't in baseball last season and was 14-21 with a 5.18 ERA over his last four seasons before missing 2010, so it's natural to wonder if he will regress to the mean. The Yankees are covered; Phil Hughes has returned to the rotation (with his rediscovered fastball) and Ivan Nova is in the minors just in case someone else in the rotation goes down.

Even if all Colon does is give the Yankees a great first half (6-4, 3.20 ERA), he will have been one of the best signings of the season. (He signed a minor league contract in January that pays him just $900,000 this season.) For the Yankees, $150,000 a win is like ordering off of the dollar menu. Last year the team paid $1,095,238.10 for each of CC Sabathia's 21 wins and $1,650,00 for each of A.J. Burnett's 10 victories. Between Colon and Freddy Garcia's $1.5 million contract, the Yankees could have appeared on Extreme Couponing with their bargain hunting -- even if they were stocking up on boxed macaroni and cheese to put in the pantry at their beach house.

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Posted on: June 30, 2011 5:28 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2011 6:35 pm
 

Yankees considering 6-man rotation?

Phil Hughes

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Since when have the Yankees looked to the White Sox and Royals for inspiration?

While Chicago and Kansas City have toyed with a six-man pitching rotation, the Yankees are considering the same when Phil Hughes and Bartolo Colon return.

"We haven't figured that completely out," Yankees manager Joe Girardi told reporters, including Conor Orr of the Star-Ledger.

Hey Joe, count it out.

Ivan Nova is pitching well, but at 24, a quick trip to the Scranton branch of the Yankees wouldn't hurt him. He'll be back soon, because Colon and Garcia aren't going to last. Remember spring training when you weren't sure how you were going to fill out five spots of the rotation? You're not that far away from that.

The most important reason, though, is CC Sabathia. Why have your best pitcher, a workhorse who has shown no signs of tiring at the end of a season, pitch every six days instead of every fifth day? That robs you of several Sabathia starts. I'd understand it if he had an injury history or any other kind of history that might suggest he'd be better prepared for the playoffs with rest. But this is Sabathia, one of the biggest, baddest pitchers on the block. You want more CC, not less.

A six-man rotation may be a good idea when you have six mediocre pitchers with very little separating them or a bunch of fragile arms you want to save. You don't do it when you have a stud No. 1 starter. So while it's fine for the Royals or White Sox, you are the Yankees. You're different. Check out where those two teams are in the standings and look where you are. The only one to benefit from this move would be your opponents.

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Posted on: May 17, 2011 5:40 pm
Edited on: May 17, 2011 6:02 pm
 

On Deck: Oswalt faces Garcia in 'rehab start'



By C. Trent Rosecrans
 

Roy OswaltROY RETURNS: Roy Oswalt's start is being labeled a "rehab start" even though it's in the big leagues and he'll be limited to 60-65 pitches, but the Phillies have to be glad he's back, even in a limited engagement. That said, Roy could've gotten a better draw in his return, facing St. Louis' Jaime Garcia, who may be pitching better than anyone else in the National League. Garcia is 5-0 with a 1.89 ERA. Oswalt left the team after April 26 after tornadoes hit his homes in Mississippi, but when he returned his lower back was still bothering him, so he went on the DL. Phillies at Cardinals, 8:15 p.m. ET (Watch live)

WIN NEEDED: The Yankees have lost six games in a row and have created more off-the-field  headlines than on-field headlines of late. Jorge Posada, apparently, is sorry both on and off the field for his first month of the season. If you're the Yankees and you've lost six games in a row and are wrapping up a series against the division leaders, who else would you want on the mound other than Ivan Nova (3-3, 4.70 ERA)? Nova gave up eight runs and 10 hits against the Royals in his last start, so he should have no trouble against "Big Game" James Shields (4-1, 2.08) and the Rays, right? Well, Shields is 3-8 with a 4.91 ERA in his career against the Yankees, so there's that. Yankees at Rays, 6:40 p.m. ET (Watch live)

TwinsWIN NEEDED II: You think losing six games is bad? Try nine. That's where the Twins' are, losing their last nine games. Oh, and Felix Hernandez is on the mound with an extra day's rest. King Felix hasn't exactly been royal of late, but even at his worst, he's still an imposing figure on the mound. Meanwhile, Francisco Liriano left his last start after just three innings with flu-like symptoms which included trouble breathing and allowing four runs. But he's won his last three games against the Mariners, so there's that. Twins at Mariners, 10:10 p.m. ET (Watch live)

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