The return of Masahiro Tanaka to the Yankees rotation has given the team new life, writes John Harper of the New York Daily News. Tanaka showed good velocity in his return to action, topping out at 96 mph. Beyond Michael Pineda’s strong season, New York has received inconsistent performances from the rotation. If Tanaka returns to his 2014 form, the club will be in a better position to buy at the trade deadline. Here’s more on the Bronx Bombers:
- Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury remains sidelined with a knee injury. He has a heavy-duty brace that won’t be removed for at least another week, reports Wallace Matthews of ESPN. He is currently expected to return to the club in early July. The team has survived his absence by moving Brett Gardner to center field while using Chris Young, Garrett Jones, Carlos Beltran, and Ramon Flores in the outfield corners. A trade appears unlikely since the team has survived Ellbury’s absence for a couple weeks with eight wins and seven losses.
- Reliever Esmil Rogers may be on a short leash, writes Ken Davidoff of the New York Post. The bullpen nearly blew a seven run lead in the ninth inning yesterday. Five of the runs were charged to Rogers who failed to record an out. The Yankees pen currently has five left-handed relievers, but manager Joe Girardi says it isn’t a problem, per Ryan Hatch of NJ.com. Southpaws like Andrew Miller, Justin Wilson, Chasen Shreve, and Jacob Lindgren can be used against both righties and lefties. However, Girardi would like another reliable right-handed weapon – something Rogers may not be able to provide.
- As we prepare for the Rule 4 draft, Charles Curtis of NJ.com details just how close the Yankees came to selecting MVP Mike Trout. The club viewed Trout as the second best player in the draft and held the 29th overall pick. An area scout for the club provided coaching for Trout and had firsthand knowledge of his work ethic. Unfortunately for New York, the Angels swooped in with the 25th pick.
- The Yankees will pick 16th this year, their highest selection since 1993, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Decades of success and big free agent purchases have left the Yankees with few early draft picks. Sherman notes that the club didn’t have the opportunity to select 18 percent of current major leaguers. For those interested, Sherman breaks down the results of recent drafts.