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Why Tanaka needs Tommy John surgery — April 29, 2015

Why Tanaka needs Tommy John surgery

By Kevin Kernan

Masahiro Tanaka

The other shoe dropped on Masahiro Tanaka Bobblehead Night.

Fitting, in a marketing kind of way.

This is all just a matter of time.

Tommy John surgery has yet to be scheduled for Tanaka, but that is just a matter of time, too. It always is just a matter of time when it comes to these types of elbow injuries.

Tanaka clearly was in a state of denial Tuesday night outside the Yankees’ clubhouse when he was talking about the latest arm issue that will put him on the disabled list for at least 15 days.

Get ready for another round of Groundhog Day reports about the condition of Tanaka’s right arm. Now he has wrist tendinitis and a forearm strain.

When general manager Brian Cashman was asked if this all could be a precursor to Tommy John surgery, he answered, “Could be. I couldn’t tell you. No one can answer that question.’’

One thing is certain: The Yankees, despite all their brave talk about someone stepping up to fill the Tanaka void, are in a world of hurt in their rotation because of Tanaka’s fragile condition.

From the moment Tanaka suffered a small tear in his elbow ligament last season, the Yankees and Tanaka have taken the conservative route, the route recommended by team doctors, the route Tanaka wanted to take.

The no-surgery route.

It’s time to change game plans. This is not working. He needs to have Tommy John surgery to have any chance of getting back to being the kind of pitcher the Yankees thought they were getting when they shelled out $175 million.

Even on Tuesday night, Tanaka was saying this latest problem is not related to the small ligament tear in his elbow.

“Personally, I don’t think this has anything to do with my elbow,’’ he said through a translator.

He needs to talk to more pitchers. On Twitter, Pedro Martinez wrote: “Sorry for Tanaka but I saw this coming.’’

Mark Mulder said: “If you played Little League you could see this coming.’’

The Post’s George A. King III first reported this latest setback Tuesday, and Cashman, in a press conference during the fifth inning of the 4-2 win over the Rays at Yankee Stadium, gave the details.

Cashman said having a press conference like that in the middle of a game is never good.

The Yankees made Tanaka their $175 million man before last season and have gotten 24 starts out of him and a 15-6 record. Over the past year he has gone from ace to question mark.

At some point, Tanaka and the Yankees have to accept that there is no way out. Have the surgery and move on with your splitter.

You can expect this to be another month before Tanaka is ready to go again — if all goes right, though no one knows for sure.

When pressed on the issue, manager Joe Girardi admitted Tuesday night, “You know what, I don’t have a time frame. We get him back when we get him back.’’

It hurts to lose an ace.

That is the approach to take at this moment.

Unfortunately for the Yankees, they cannot count on Tanaka in any way. Michael Pineda will start Wednesday and he has shown signs of being the new ace.

“The bullpen session was fine, which was two days ago,’’ Tanaka said. “I woke up the next morning and I felt it a little bit in the wrist, but I thought it would be fine. I woke up [Tuesday] morning and felt it a little bit more than the day before.’’

Said Girardi, “I had no idea, I expected him to pitch [Wednesday],’’ the manager said.

“I was shocked because he said it was his wrist and we had heard nothing in the five days that had led up to this. He was ready to go.

“I’m not inside his arm knowing what’s going on there. It is what it is and you have to deal with it.’’

There is only one way to deal with this going forward. Have Tommy John surgery and start the real comeback.

Postgame notes: “Make sure that this doesn’t lead to the more horrific problems” —

Postgame notes: “Make sure that this doesn’t lead to the more horrific problems”

By Chad Jennings

Masahiro Tanaka

First, the basics of what’s going on with Masahiro Tanaka:

He’s going on the disabled list tomorrow, and the Yankees will keep Chase Whitley in the rotation. Michael Pineda will start tomorrow’s game on regular rest, and it sounds likely Gregorio Petit will be activated just one day after being optioned (the Yankees can do that since it’s a reaction to a player going on the disabled list). Now, onto the bigger questions.

Masahiro TanakaWhat exactly happened to Tanaka’s forearm?
The short answer is, it seems no one is entirely sure. Tanaka said he felt fine after Thursday’s start in Detroit, and Brian Cashman said there were actually rave reviews about Tanaka’s bullpen on Sunday. Cashman said there was some early speculation — before the MRI results came in — that maybe some of the torque from that bullpen caused Tanaka to aggravate something in his wrist, but the tests actually came back negative in the wrist. The forearm issue that was discovered is incredibly mild and Tanaka never complained about it.

“He has the wrist complaint, but that led us to run into something else,” Cashman said. “So when you package it all together, we’re taking the safe conservative route. He has no complaint of his elbow, none, and he physically tests out fine with the elbow. I think he was surprised about the very small (strain) — and I stress small, I can’t even call it a Grade 1 — the very small signal in the forearm muscles. The combination of the tendinitis in the wrist — he throws that split finger — with the signal on the forearm muscle, Dr. Ahmad recommended the disabled list.”

Tanaka dismissed the idea that pitching on normal rest caused the issue, and Cashman repeatedly stressed that there’s been no physical change in the elbow, though it’s impossible for anyone to rule out the idea that this issue might be somehow related to the lingering elbow issue in one way or another.

Masahiro TanakaWhat does this mean for Tanaka’s elbow?
In the short term, nothing. I guess it means the elbow is going to get some unexpected rest, but ultimately the Yankees don’t seem to be approaching this as an elbow issue, and certainly not as an issue that changes their approach to Tanaka. They’re shutting him down to make sure this issue doesn’t spread to the elbow ligament.

“We want to make sure that we protect, obviously, the elbow because obviously the forearm protects the elbow,” Cashman said. “We want to make sure that this doesn’t lead to the more horrific problems that we’re trying to avoid.”

Tanaka said he doesn’t consider this to be an elbow issue. His wrist hurt, and he found out his forearm was slightly injured. That’s the immediate medical reality. The bigger medical reality is that the elbow is an issue that will linger over everything. The Yankees have treated Tanaka differently because of the elbow, and now they’re taking a typically cautious approach in an effort to further protect the elbow. This is nothing new, and Cashman said he still has no regrets about the way the Yankees have handled Tanaka’s health.

“Absolutely no regret because we’re following the medical directives,” Cashman said. “I can’t remember any time we’ve ever gone against doctors’ orders. Why would we? They’re the experts. We follow what they prescribe.”

Masahiro TanakaWhat will the Yankees change going forward?
It seems, not much. Cashman said the team would have reacted the same way should any pitcher get this diagnosis at this point in the season. They’re typically conservative, and they follow their doctors’ advice, and so Tanaka is being shut down for seven to 10 days before beginning the slow return.

“Nothing really big came out from the MRI or anything,” Tanaka said. “So I feel that I can come back strong.”

Joe Girardi has said since spring training, and he said again today, that the Yankees won’t ask Tanaka to stop throwing his split-finger because the split-finger is a big part of what makes Tanaka effective. It’s just a cost of doing business. He’d been throwing splits since early spring, and there was no issue until today, and even today’s issue seems relatively minor and so far seems to come with no additional damage to the elbow. Pitchers get hurt, and so far, this pitcher’s been hurt quite a bit in his year-plus with the Yankees. There’s surely some relief that this isn’t an elbow issue, but it’s still an issue.

“The fact that I’m talking to you right now, I don’t feel like is a good thing,” Cashman said. “It’s good that the elbow is fine as of right now, and there’s no change there. Listen, I wanted him to make his next start (before discovering the injury), but we’re going to do the right course of action to make sure when he’s on that mound he’s able to be the best he can possibly be. Could he pitch? He can take the ball. Should he pitch? We’ll have to wait until he’s 100 percent.”

Chase Whitley• After Chase Whitley pitched a 1-2-3 first inning, I tweeted that there was basically no circumstance in which Whitley would not be optioned tomorrow morning. Even if he pitched a complete game, I joked, he would still be sent down. Then this happened. “Right now he’s in our rotation,” Girardi said. “He will be here tomorrow.”

• Whitley nearly made the Yankees out of spring training, and tonight he finally got here and allowed one run through five innings. He pitched out of jams, struck out five, walked one and seems to made the most of this opportunity. “It feels good to be able to go out tonight and do my job,” Whitley said. “I’m not trying to look ahead to anything else, just pitch when and where they tell me to pitch.”

• Whitley was spot starting, and both Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller were unavailable after pitching the past two nights, and the pitching staff still allowed just two runs with 12 strikeouts. “To do what they did tonight, they’re pitching in roles that they’re not accustomed to, and they’re all thriving,” Brian McCann said.

• Chris Martin got the first save of his big league career. He’s been a really nice find early in the season. “I’d be lying to you if I said it didn’t (feel different in the ninth),” Martin said. “It was a little nerve racking, but I settled down there for the first hitter.”

• Interesting that Girardi went with Martin instead of David Carpenter in the ninth. Girardi said he was saving Carpenter for just in case the Rays came back to tie the game and force extra innings. With Miller, Betances and Justin Miller having each pitched back-to-back games, Carpenter would have been the last line of defense.

Brian McCann, Chris Martin• Esmil Rogers went 2.2 scoreless innings with five strikeouts and one hit. He struck out half the batters he faced. He’s really been terrific in that long relief role. “A tremendous outing out of Esmil Rogers,” Giradi said. “Comes in with a runner on third and one out and gets two outs; strikes out the first guy, Beckham, then gets a ground out and gets us to the ninth inning. And then Martin does a really good job as well.”

• Three consecutive 10-strikeout games for the Yankees pitching staff. They have 11 games of 10 or more strikeouts this season, the most in the big leagues.

• Another big night at the plate for McCann who had two doubles and three RBI. Last night he had the big home run. “I feel good,” he said. “I’ve been feeling good all season long, to be honest with you. Hits are starting to fall and I’m finding the barrel.”

• Jacoby Ellsbury had his team-high eighth multi-hit game of the season. Since April 22 he’s hitting .429 with six runs and four stolen bases in six games.

• Ellsbury stole two bases tonight. Brett Gardner stole one. Those two are each hitting over .300 at the top of the order.

• Jose Pirela continued his Double-A rehab assignment and went 0-for-3 as Trenton’s starting second baseman. He was pulled for a defensive replacement in the bottom of the sixth, which I would assume is because the original plan was to have Pirela activated for tomorrow’s game in New York. Instead, Cashman said he’s expecting to bring back Petit.

• Final word goes to Girardi on Tanaka: “I was shocked because he said it was his wrist, and we had heard nothing in the five days that had led up to this. He threw his bullpen as scheduled he was ready to go tomorrow, so I was like, wow, it’s not what I expected. … We’re hoping that he gets the time off and he’s completely healthy. That’s what we’re hoping. It’s different than what he dealt with last year. He didn’t say nothing until today and he said that it was sore, he didn’t say it was bad. I was shocked when I heard it. It is what it is and you’ve got to deal with it.”

Yankees fans clamoring for shortstop change: Don’t hold your breath — April 26, 2015

Yankees fans clamoring for shortstop change: Don’t hold your breath

dd the bum

New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius (18) can’t sang a grounder in the 9th inning against the New York Mets during game two of the Subway Series at Yankee Stadium. Mets won 8-2. Bronx, NY 4/25/15

By Brendan Kuty

NEW YORK — Already Dejected fans mustered a few more boos after Didi Gregorius made yet another mistake in the Yankees’ 8-2 loss to the Mets at Yankee Stadium Saturday.

The flub was something that Gregorius should almost never let happen considering his sterling defensive reputation.

A charging Gregorius let Michael Cuddyer’s easy groundball bounce right under his glove in the ninth inning, just innings after Gregorius made an incredible catch, robbing John Mayberry Jr. of a line-drive hit.

Gregorius didn’t hide behind excuses for the error.

“I just took my eye off that ball right there,” Gregorius said. “That’s what happened. I was trying to be too quick right there. I had more time than I thought.”

While it was his third error this year — putting him in a four-way tie for sixth most in the league among shortstops — Gregorius’ play on the field and in the basepaths has occasionally resembled a blooper reel, too.

The lowlight? Take your pick. When he was thrown out trying to steal third base with two outs and Mark Teixeira at the plate on Opening Day? Maybe the back-to-back thawing miscues he made in the same inning in Detroit last week? Or was it when he was thrown out while rounding too far around first base and falling against the Blue Jays?

Also not helping his case: He’s hitting just .212 with two extra-base hits.

Still, the Yankees fans clamoring on social media for a change at shortstop will have to wait. The club will continue to stick with Gregorius in the hopes he can shake out of his mental fog, at least for the time being. Why?

1) No other choices: Backup shortstop Brendan Ryan is still on the disabled list and isn’t expected to return until May.

2) It hasn’t been that long: Sure, Gregorius has had it rough in 16 games, but it’s been just 16 games. Hard to imagine the Yankees moving on from the guy they acquired for Shane Greene that quickly.

3) Defense: The Yankees could shift Drew to shortstop and bench Gregorius, but they still feel the everyday Drew-Gregorius combo is superior to one of Gregorio Petit at second base and Drew at short.

4) Upside: Gregorius displayed it in droves at times in the spring, dazzling with his glove while appearing to make strides at the plate, even ripping a few balls off lefties against whom he typically struggles. The Yankees haven’t forgotten about that yet.

Pitching Matchups: Mets at Yankees — April 24, 2015
Shane Greene: “I felt like I got dumped” — April 21, 2015

Shane Greene: “I felt like I got dumped”

By Chad Jennings

Shane Greene

Shane Greene knew he’d made it. He’d pitched his way onto the prospect map, pitched his way into the big league rotation, and surely he’d pitched his way into the Yankees’ future plans.

“I proved to myself that I was good enough,” Greene said. “I guess I didn’t prove it to everybody else.”

Even after last year’s impressive 14-start major league debut, the Yankees shipped Greene to Detroit in a three-team deal to acquire Didi Gregorius. To say the deal looks regrettable two weeks into the season would be an understatement.

Greene has been one of the best pitchers in baseball. Gregorius has struggled in every facet.

“I felt like I got dumped,” Greene said. “I looked at myself in the mirror, put a chip on my shoulder and went from there.”

Didi Gregorius, Adam WarrenTruth is, before the offseason, there was almost certainly no other time when Greene would have been enough to get Gregorius, but the Yankees sold high and bought low. Gregorius basically lost his starting job in Arizona last season, while Greene emerged as a second-half standout in New York. Gregorius spent much of his minor league career as a highly touted young shortstop, while Greene fought command issues in the low minors before beginning to make a name for himself in 2013.

As Greene finally improved his command of the strike zone, he was able to take full advantage of his power sinker, and his stock climbed. As Gregorius struggled against lefties and failed to carry his Triple-A numbers into the majors, his stock tumbled.

“Any time you let a young starting pitcher go, I think it’s difficult,” manager Joe Girardi said. “But to get an everyday shortstop, those don’t just fall out of trees. To get something, you have to give up something.”

Gregorius is younger than Greene, but Greene has more years of team control. The Yankees actually have a fairly young rotation, but they desperately needed a shortstop. It certainly seems clear that the Yankees gave up something. Whether they got something in return remains to be seen.

“I knew at that point in time my trade value was probably at its peak,” Greene said. “If they were going to make a move, I was probably going to be one of the pieces. … I know it’s a business. I’m not a complete idiot, so I knew if something was going to happen, my name would be at least talked about with the situation over there. I’m excited to be here, and that’s all that really matters.”

Pitching matchups in Detroit — April 20, 2015

Pitching matchups in Detroit

By Chad Jennings

CC Sabathia

LHP CC Sabathia (0-2, 5.68)
RHP Alfredo Simon (2-0, 2.03)
7:08 p.m., YES Network and ESPN

RHP Nathan Eovaldi (0-0, 4.35)
LHP Kyle Lobstein (1-0, 5.40)
7:08 p.m., YES Network and MLB Network

RHP Adam Warren (0-1, 4.82)
LHP David Price (1-0, 0.40)
7:08 p.m., YES Network

TBD / RHP Masahiro Tanaka (2-1, 3.94)
RHP Anibal Sanchez (1-2, 7.71)
1:08 p.m., YES Network and MLB Network

Yankees considering a sixth starter this week in Detroit —

Yankees considering a sixth starter this week in Detroit

By Chad Jennings

Masahiro Tanaka

This weekend, the Yankees finally saw Masahiro Tanaka deliver a dominant start reminiscent of last season. Now the question is, when should they send him back to the mound to try it again.

In a stretch of 13 consecutive games without an off day, the Yankees are considering a sixth starter to give their rotation an extra day of rest this turn. So far this season, scheduled off days have let Tanaka make each of his first three starts with five days of rest instead of four. By inserting a sixth starter, Tanaka could stay on that schedule for his fourth start as well.

“It’s (being considered) for all of our pitchers,” manager Joe Girardi said. “I don’t want all the focus to be on Tanaka. We have CC (Sabathia), who’s put in a lot of innings, and Michael (Pineda), who’s had a serious arm injury. It’s kind of just to see how the guys are going and how they get through their starts. You have to measure it as a group.”

WhitleySince spring training, the Yankees have limited Tanaka’s workload as a precaution in the wake of last year’s slightly torn elbow ligament, and they have Triple-A starter Chase Whitley – who last pitched on Friday – lined up as a candidate to start sometime this week. In theory, Whitley could start in Adam Warren’s place on Wednesday or in Tanaka’s place on Thursday.

The other obvious spot start candidate would be Bryan Mitchell, but he pitched yesterday, taking him out of the mix for this Detroit series.

Of course, the Yankees could simply let Tanaka pitch on his fifth day like most major league starters do. Girardi has said Tanaka will pitch on a every-fifth-day schedule at some point, and this might be a good time to do it considering he threw just 85 pitches last time out. Pineda, who would also be pitching on five-days rest, threw only 92 pitches yesterday.

For now, there’s not rush to make a decision because there’s heavy rain the forecast for today’s Tigers series opener, and a rainout could change things significantly.

“I want to kind of see what happens,” Girardi said. “I think (Monday) looks like the tricky day for us. … You don’t want a rainout because there you’re looking at a split doubleheader, and that’s rough on your players, especially when you still have a lot of days in a row.”

The troubling signs Tigers have fleeced Yankees again — April 17, 2015

The troubling signs Tigers have fleeced Yankees again

By Joel Sherman

Shane Greene

The replacement for Derek Jeter is playing horribly and the main guy traded for Didi Gregorius is performing like a Cy Young candidate, thus the Yankees’ most important move of the offseason — and arguably one of their most vital in years — is a Di-minus one week into the schedule.

The key words in the previous sentence were “one week,” and Shane Greene is unlikely to remain the best pitcher in his own rotation, much less the league.

But there is a little more than an early read to this. Historically, when Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and Detroit counterpart Dave Dombrowski have traded with each other, the results have greatly favored Dombrowski.

Dombrowski, as the Marlins’ GM, stole Mike Lowell from the Yankees for three arms that became nothing.

In the first of three high-profile three-way trades that would involve the Yankees and Tigers, the Yanks ended up with Jeff Weaver while giving up Ted Lilly to the A’s with Jeremy Bonderman going to Detroit. Weaver bombed as a Yankee.

The Yankees salary/personality dumped Gary Sheffield on Detroit and got three more arms that they liked, but turned into nothing.

In the second of the big three-way deals, the Yanks did get Curtis Granderson, who was mostly productive for them, but the Tigers won the deal by getting Max Scherzer from the Diamondbacks and Austin Jackson from the Yankees.

The third big three-way deal involved the same teams as the second. Last December, the Yanks sent Greene to Detroit, which sent Robbie Ray and a prospect to Arizona, which sent Gregorius to New York.

After an encouraging spring – particularly on defense – Gregorius has not fielded as well in the regular season, his hitting has been atrocious, his baserunning worse and his overall baseball intellect has come into question.

“He hasn’t played well here in his first week,” Cashman acknowledged by phone. “Whether that is because he is putting pressure on himself or not, I don’t know. In spring, he was loose and played well on both sides of the ball. … We didn’t hide the fact that he would be a work in progress and a developing player. We just might be seeing someone getting used to a new environment and growing pains.”

Indeed, there is a significant leap from playing in Arizona to playing in New York – particularly as Jeter’s successor. That Greene displayed poise in games that mattered for the Yankees in the second half last season was a key selling point. If you can make it here …

And five weeks into spring, I got a call that he could make it anywhere. A scout who was covering the Tigers told me Greene was the best pitcher he had seen in March, and that did not change after seeing the righty in the regular season. Of the 81 pitchers who had started two games going into Wednesday, Greene was the only one to go at least eight innings in both and was at 16 shutout innings for the season.

“As far as stuff, he is the same kid as the Yankees had, but he is going east-west and north-south better, which says to me he is responding well to big league coaching and catching,” the scout said. “Remember, this is a late bloomer. But you saw the elements last year that made you feel he could be a guy who takes the next step – athletic so his delivery repeats, terrific pitcher’s frame, two plus pitches with his fastball and slider. You saw if he got bigger and stronger and had the aptitude to improve a third pitch (Greene is throwing his changeup considerably more) that there was untapped upside there.”

Again, it is early. Greene’s batting average on balls in play for two starts is absurdly low. But this is a place in which not having even a Wilmer Flores type to consider at shortstop hurt the Yanks. They had to find someone. Their scouts liked Gregorius and one of their newer scouts, Eric Chavez, actually played with Gregorius in Arizona and vouched for the player.

“We knew Shane Greene was a hell of an asset,” Cashman said. “We needed a shortstop for a full season.”

One week into that full season, it is once again advantage Dombrowski.

Familiar faces in new places: 10 former Yankees sent away this offseason —

Familiar faces in new places: 10 former Yankees sent away this offseason

By Chad Jennings

Shane Greene

With Shane Greene thriving in Detroit, and Didi Gregorius stumbling in New York, the Yankees’ most high-profile offseason trade isn’t looking so hot. It’s ridiculously early to judge such things, but it’s also hard to ignore when Greene’s been perhaps the best starting pitcher in baseball and Gregorius hasn’t been able to stay out of his own way on the bases, in the field or at the plate.

Here’s a quick look at the early season results of 10 former Yankees who were sent away this offseason:

FFrancisco Cervellirancisco Cervelli – Traded to Pittsburgh
Only one Pirates starter is hitting better than .300, and it’s this guy. Given a chance to be an everyday player, Cervelli is off to a strong start with Pittsburgh hitting .304/.360/.391 with an unrecorded number of fist pumps and hilarious postgame interview sessions. Even with only two doubles and no home runs, Cervelli has also been one of the better power hitters in the Pirates lineup (which says far more about how bad they’ve been out of the gate). Cervelli’s off to a good start with his new team, but it’s hard to imagine the Yankees regret losing him. It was time to move on, and John Ryan Murphy has been terrific.

Zoilo Almonte – Designated for assignment
Not a big name by any means, but an interesting one because the Yankees let him go without ever giving him much of a chance to carry his Triple-A success to the big leagues (he’d always hit minor league right-handers while really struggling against lefties). When he signed a big league deal with Atlanta, it seemed Almonte would finally get a real opportunity, but the Braves cut him at the end of spring training. He was outrighted to Triple-A and elected free agency instead. As far as I know, he has yet to sign elsewhere. He hit just .245/.283/.265 this spring.

Shane Greene – Traded to Detroit
Essentially, the Yankees sold high on Greene and bought low on Didi Gregorius. And the early returns on that trade are not good for Brian Cashman. While Gregorius has been an early disappointment in the field, at the plate and on the bases, Greene has been dominant through his first two starts with the Tigers. Building on last year’s breakout debut, Greene has yet to allow an earned run through 16 innings. He’s walked one, struck out eight and allowed just seven hits. He went eight innings with one unearned run against the Twins in his first start, then shut out the Pirates through eight innings in his second start on Tuesday.

David Phelps – Traded to Miami
Despite a terrific spring training, Phelps did not win a spot in the Marlins’ rotation. He wound up back in the bullpen, and in his second appearance of the year, Phelps got just one out while allowing two hits and two walks. He’s pitched a total of one inning this season, and opponents are hitting better than .500 against him. Not a great start, but Phelps went on paternity leave earlier this week — his wife just had their third child — and when he returns, he’ll be a starter. With Henderson Alvarez hurt, Phelps is stepping into the Marlins rotation on Friday.

Martin Prado – Traded to Miami
The key part of the Yankees’ package to acquire Nathan Eovaldi, Prado has stepped in as the Marlins’ everyday third baseman, regularly hitting either fourth or fifth in the order. And so far he actually has an OPS lower than Stephen Drew’s. Prado is hitting just .226/.265/.258 through nine games. He has one extra-base hit, one RBI and he’s scored twice. He just hasn’t been very productive in the early part of the season. If he’d stayed with the Yankees, it’s hard to say how they would have used him, mostly because it’s hard to say how the rest of the roster would have come together.

David RobertsonDave Robertson – Left via free agency
The Yankees decided they’d rather have Andrew Miller plus a draft pick than re-sign their homegrown closer, and that’s how Robertson wound up pitching the ninth inning for the White Sox this season. Through nine games, the only thing holding him back is opportunity. Robertson’s pitched four times, but only two of those appearances have come in save situations. He’s 2-for-2 with the saves, and much like Miller, he has yet to allow a run. Robertson’s pitching line includes one hit, one walk and eight strikeouts through four innings. Remember how good he was with the Yankees? That’s basically how good he’s been with the White Sox.

Brandon McCarthy – Left via free agency
The Yankees made it clear they were interested in bringing McCarthy back after he pitched well after coming to New York last season, but the Yankees wouldn’t beat the Dodgers’ four-year offer to a pitcher with a history of injuries. McCarthy landed in Los Angeles, and through two starts he leads the National League in two categories: Strikeouts (19) and home runs allowed (6). He has a 6.75 ERA, and gave up four of those homers and racked up 10 of those strikeouts against Seattle on Monday.

Shawn Kelley – Traded to San Diego
It seemed the Yankees did two things by trading Kelley to the Padres: They acquired a young pitching prospect in Johnny Barbato, and they opened a bullpen spot for one of the pitchers they were about to acquire from the Braves. Assigned a late-inning role with the Padres, Kelley’s gotten off to a slow start with five hits and five earned runs through three innings. He’s struck out two and walked four. Barbato, meanwhile, struck out four of the five batters he faced in his Yankees debut with Double-A Trenton.

Manny Banuelos – Traded to Atlanta
Shipped to the Braves for a couple of relievers who made the Yankees’ Opening Day roster — David Carpenter and Chasen Shreve — Banuelos wound up breaking camp in Triple-A with a bunch of other former Yankees (Chien-Ming Wang, Kanekoa Texeira, Adonis Garcia, Eury Perez and Arodys Vizcaino, who was ultimately suspended, are also on the Gwinnett roster). Banuelos has made two starts with a 2.08 ERA so far. His first start wasn’t very good (3.2 innings, four walks) but his second start on Wednesday was much better (5 innings, 1 run, 7 strikeouts). Another former Yankee, by the way, Corban Joseph was crowded out of the Braves Triple-A roster and wound up assigned to their Double-A affiliate.

Ichiro Suzuki — Left via free agency
Even though he played far more than expected last season, there was never any realistic chance of Ichiro landing back with the Yankees this offseason. Instead, Ichiro spent much of the winter looking around for a good opportunity, and he finally settled in Miami as the Marlins’ fourth outfielder. Given the young talent ahead of him, it’s little surprise that Ichiro has started just three games this season. He’s come off the bench six times and has gone 3-for-16 at the plate. All of his hits, of course, have been singles.

Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez hasn’t paid one law firm in Biogenesis case, report says — April 16, 2015

Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez hasn’t paid one law firm in Biogenesis case, report says

a douche

Alex Rodriguez hits a single in the fifth inning as the New York Yankees host the Toronto Blue Jays on Opening Day at Yankee Stadium. 4/6/15 Bronx, NY

By Charles Curtis

Just when you thought Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez left the Biogenesis mess behind him, there’s more.

The Daily News reported one of the firms Rodriguez who worked with him on his legal woes is suing him for nearly $400,000 in legal fees. And yes, when it comes to the money Rodriguez makes, that’s a drop in the bucket.

Here’s more from the report:

“The new filings in the case suggest that the amount Gordon & Rees billed A-Rod was lower than the costs that were projected in a budget provided to A-Rod before the work was done. The papers also ask Rodriguez to admit that at the end of Rodriguez’s arbitration battle, his initial suspension for 211 games was reduced to 162 games. Gordon & Rees suggests that reduction saved the slugger upwards of $6 million in Yankees salary.”

Former Rodriguez lawyer David Cornwell was at Gordon & Rees until recently, so the papers ask “Rodriguez to admit that at no point did Rodriguez communicate to Cornwell’s firm any dissatisfaction with the work the firm did — at least 17 lawyers from Gordon & Rees assisted Cornwell, Rodriguez said in an answer to the lawsuit last month.”