Thursday, September 25th, 2008
Yankees Rumors & News

Now that the stadium is closed it seems like some of the Yankees are finding it hard to get motivated to play baseball. First Hideki Matsui and now Andy Pettitte have shut their seasons down along with “The House That Ruth Built.”
Pettitte, who is normally a very strong second half pitcher, has struggled lately and has been complaining about a sore shoulder in recent weeks. Unlike Matsui he will not need surgery to repair anything, but he and the Yankees both thought that with the team eliminated from the playoffs there was no need to further tax his ailing shoulder.
“(The shoulder) has given me a little trouble,” Pettitte said. “I just wanted to go out and pitch, to do what it takes to get out there and pitch. Now that it’s over, now that we’re not going to the playoffs, there’s no sense in trying to do what it takes to go out there.”
Now that he’s shutdown for the season the …

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008
Yankees Rumors & News

While Mike Mussina is preparing to go after his twentieth win of the season Phil Hughes is just trying to get his first.

Injuries are what mostly has stood in Hughes’ way and I’m not just talking about this year. He has had three major injuries over the past two years and that has cost him a significant amount of time he should have spent developing.

He didn’t pitch must last season so he was not fully prepared to pitch in the majors this season. That may have led him to overexert himself and possibly could have led to the stress fracture in his ribs. So he sat on the DL for most of this season as well and when he was healthy enough to return the Yankees kept him in the minors for another month so he missed more time.

Here we are today, and he’s set to make just his second start since April tonight and he has yet to …

Mussina Could Miss Chance At 20

Yankees Rumors & News

Here at Hot Stove we have been paying much attention to Mike Mussina these past few weeks as the aging starter gets closer to winning 20 games for the first time in his career.

He picked up win number 19 in his last start against the Blue Jays and should have a chance to get number 20 against the Red Sox on the final day of the season. The only problem is that Mussina might not be able to make the final start of the season.

Mussina was hit on the elbow by a ball off the bat of Travis Snider with one out in the third inning. Manager Joe Girardi and trainer Gene Monahan came out to check on the pitcher. He took a couple of warm up tosses and stayed in the game. He finished the inning and even managed to pitch two more, but he had to leave the game after five innings and just 73 pitches.

Mussina said …

Yankees Rumors & News

Last night the Yankees kept up their recent winning ways and beat the Toronto Blue Jays to keep from being eliminated from the playoffs. Unfortunately for them the Red Sox were beating the Indians at the very same time to eliminate the Yankees.
Thing is I’m not really that upset. I mean obviously I’m sad that I won’t be watching playoff games this year and that my Mets fan friends are probably going to be more annoying than ever, but the Yankees couldn’t keep winning forever and I knew that.
Also coming into this season I was ready for a let down. Using a young pitching staff has advantages, but they are mostly long term. Hardly does a team which is relying on guys under 25 to make up about 60 percent of its rotation win many games no matter how good the rookies are.
But the gamble the Yankees took was a good one because they needed to get out of the rut they …

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

With Stadium Gone Matsui’s Season Over

Yankees Rumors & News

Yankee Stadium is gone after last night’s final game and celebration and going with it is Hideki Matsui whose season will be ending prematurely as he has season ending knee surgery.

Matsui has been hobbled by his left knee for a while now and probably didn’t get surgery earlier just so he could take part in the final game at the stadium. He missed part of June and all of July as he tried to rest the knee instead of opting for surgery.

After he returned in August it was clear that he was not fully healed, but he tried to play through it anyways. Early in September it was clear he wasn’t pulling his weight and he was taken out of the lineup.

His numbers were pretty ugly after his mid-summer break to rest the knee. In 24 games he had a .209 average, a .594 OPS, 2 homers, 11 RBI’s, 7 walks, and 17 strike outs.

Matsui had a …

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

Jeter Will Play In Stadium Finale

Yankees Rumors & News

When Brett Gardner plated the winning run in today’s game Yankee fans rejoiced because they are getting a last chance to cheer for their team in their stadium’s final week.
It could have been an entirely different tone today if the guy Gardner replaced hadn’t been able to go tomorrow. See Gardner pinch ran for Derek Jeter in the bottom of the ninth after he was hit on the left hand. The same hand he took a hit on back in May right before he went into a terrible slump.
Jeter was sent to the hospital after the game, but fortunately for the Yankees and their final day they came back negative and the captain should be good enough to play tomorrow.
When I say he should be good enough to play I mean there are no broken bones so he will play. It takes a lot to get Jeter out of a game. Back in May when he did take the …

Saturday, September 20th, 2008
Yankees Rumors & News

A big reason for the downfall of the Yankees this season has been their shaky rotation. They counted on rookies who failed early on and lost starters to injuries which kept them from mounting a late season come back.

In order to compete next season they are either going to need to make some changes. Yes those rookies may eventually come around, but now the Yankees know they cannot count on them. One surprise rookie which may be part of the changes next year is Alfredo Aceves.

Aceves came out of nowhere, Mexico actually, and has been a very pleasant surprise for the Bombers. So far in 26 innings he has allowed just four run, good enough for a 1.38 ERA. While a number that low isn’t likely to last he has turned himself into a viable option next season because he has helped to steady the Yankees rotation late in the season.

Today’s performance of six innings, five hits, no runs, …

Details for Final Day At Yankee Stadium

Yankees Rumors & News

After 85 years Yankee Stadium is finally closing tomorrow. Seems weird to type that, but nonetheless it should be an emotional game to watch and it would be an understatement to say that there will be plenty of pre-game ceremonies.

If you are planning on soaking up as much as Yankee Stadium as possible on the last day then you’re probably going to want to start at noon. Yes the game is scheduled to start at 8:15, but that hasn’t stopped ESPN Classic from beginning their programming at noon. At that time they will kick off 20 consecutive hours of old classic Yankee games starting with game five of the 1976 ALCS where Chris Chambliss hit a walk-off homer to send the Yankees to the world series.

At one o’clock you can switch over to ESPN as they begin their SportCenter specials which should help you fall asleep …

Friday, September 19th, 2008

Humberto Sanchez Has Finally Arrived

Yankees Rumors & News

A couple of years ago when the Yankees acquired Bobby Abreu to play right field they had to figure out what to do with Gary Sheffield and they decided it was best to try to trade him.

It was no easy task as Sheffield was a surly aging ball player with a hefty contract to boot. Just finding a team who was interested in taking on that amount of salary was tough enough and on top of that they had find a team who wasn’t worried about his attitude. Because of those two issues getting something valuable back would be tough.

What the Yankees did was they traded him to Detroit for Humberto Sanchez along with two other lower level minor league prospects. Sanchez represented a pitcher with a high ceiling who was also a significant injury risk. The risk proved to be true as he needed Tommy John surgery almost immediately.

The surgery cost him the entire season of 2007 and …

Mussina Now 2 Wins Away From 20

Yankees Rumors & News

There is still hope.

I don’t mean that there is still hope for the Yankees, nope, this team washed their chances down the drain a couple of weeks ago. Instead there is still hope for Mike Mussina to be able to grab that elusive twentieth victory.

Thanks in big part to the Yankees of last night playing like the Yankees of old. They came out and hit right away which was crucial to turning around a game where Moose gave up a run in the first inning. They came back thanks to a two-run homer by Bobby Abreu in the top of the first.

The biggest thing though was that the offense kept the pressure on which helped to take the pressure off Mussina. Abreu again played a big role in this thanks to his second homer of the night that came in the third inning. But they weren’t done there and they really took the pressure off the man with a …

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Mussina Needs A Win Tonight

Yankees Rumors & News

Since he came up in 1991 Mike Mussina has been one of the premier pitchers in baseball. He won 18 games his sophomore year and has won at least 12 every season since.

His resume is nearly hall of fame worthy as he is consistently been one of the most dominating pitchers in the nineties and has found success even today. He is fourth among active pitchers with 267 wins, 23 shutouts, and 57 complete games and he sixth in strike outs with 2800. He is also climbing some all-timey lists as well.

Despite all of that he may never sniff the hall of fame because the biggest knock against him is that he never won 20 games. Even though the stat is more of a team stat, it is a legitimate gripe. After all, is that guy really hall of fame worthy if he can’t string together one 20 win season?

Regardless he takes the mound tonight with a 17-9 record …

Mixed Results in Hughes’ First Start Back

Yankees Rumors & News

Phil Hughes stepped on a major league mound last night, wearing glasses, for the first time since April 29 and got a no decision in the Yankees 5-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox last night.

The Yankees were looking for big things from the 22-year-old this season and going into last nights game he still had zero wins for the year. He would not pick up his first win last night despite pitching decently.

The trouble was that he did not go deep enough into the game to get credit for the victory. After he threw 33 pitches in a scoreless first inning he threw 50 more for a total of 89 over four innings in which he allowed just four hits, one run, two walks, and four strike outs.

Hughes struggled at times causing his pitch count to get so high so early in the game. He was getting ahead of hitters for the most part, but could not put …

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