New York Yankees: Raul Ibanez

Reaction: Santa, can I have an outfielder?

December, 23, 2012
12/23/12
12:20
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What happened: Nick Swisher, as expected, is now officially an ex-Yankee, having reportedly agreed to a four-year, $56 million deal -- you read that right -- with the Cleveland Indians. So is Raul Ibanez, who signed up for his third go-round with the Seattle Mariners.

What it means: Other than fewer quasi-military salutes -- didn't anyone ever tell Swisher a soldier salutes with the right hand? -- to the Bleacher Creatures, not a whole heck of a lot. Swisher was not in the team's plans, and if the Yankees had re-signed Ibanez, which they didn't seem all that eager to do, he was penciled in as a left-handed DH.

[+] EnlargeNick Swisher and Raul Ibanez
Mike Stobe/Getty ImagesLosing Nick Swisher and Raul Ibanez wasn't unexpected. You know what was? Being left with three southpaw outfielders and no depth.
Still, the Yankees lose 24 home runs and a lot of patient (read: l-o-o-o-n-g) at-bats from Swisher last year, as well as the only player to provide them with any offensive highlights in the 2012 postseason in Ibanez.

Fixing a hole: Even though neither Swisher nor Ibanez was intended to see any time in the Yankees' outfield in 2013, the fact remains that right now, it looks like Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson and Ichiro Suzuki are going to have to play all 162 games. To make things worse, one of them is 39 years old and all of them are left-handed hitters. So the Yankees need an outfielder, and fast.

What are the options?: Well, they still retain Chris Dickerson, who is no more than a backup, and their decision to shed Justin Maxwell last April doesn't look too good right now. There are still a bunch of free-agent oufielders on the shelf, but considering the Yankees' (non-) spending habits this holiday season, I wouldn't expect any shiny new toy under Brian Cashman's tree come Christmas morning.

Just for argument's sake: According to ESPN.com's Free Agent Tracker, here are the outfielders who are still available for purchase: Bobby Abreu, Jeff Baker, Michael Bourn, Endy Chavez, Mark De Rosa, Matt Diaz, Scott Hairston, Bill Hall, Austin Kearns, Xavier Nady, Scott Podsednik and Grady Sizemore.

Who won't be coming: Abreu (been there, done that), Bourn (too expensive and too left-handed), Hall or Kearns (see Abreu). Sizemore's injury history makes him unlikely, too.

Who they would like: Hairston, but the word is he would prefer to return to the Mets, where he will play every day.

Who would you like? I know, I know, Giancarlo Stanton. Maybe the Easter Bunny will bring him. In the meantime, there are two more shopping days 'til Christmas and the Yankees' wish list is getting shorter and shorter. Help them, and me, out in the comments section below. And happy holidays to all.

Rumor Roundup: Boras, Cano, Ibanez

December, 5, 2012
12/05/12
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Let's go to the rumor mill, as we wait for the Yankees to do something, anything.

1. In a media scrum, I just asked Scott Boras what he thinks of what the Yankees are doing or aren't doing.

"Well, I think it would be more the latter," Boras said. "I just had a meeting with [Brian Cashman] and he just said he is not in on a lot of players that he liked. He would like to be in on more, but right now he is working with ownership to see where he can go. I don't think any final decisions have been made, but at this point in time he is working through it."

2. It never seemed possible the Yankees and Boras client, Robinson Cano, could reach a deal before the season. They won't: Cano is headed for free agency after 2013.

"I think the Yankee policy is very clear, they always walk through the contracts and then address them," Boras said. "As they did with (Derek) Jeter and other players."

Plus, this close to free agency, with the Dodgers flush with money, Boras has the baseball world right where he wants them.

3. Raul Ibanez could be returning home. Joel Sherman of The New York Post tweeted that the Mariners are making a heavy push for Ibanez. Ibanez wants to return to the Yankees, but -- apologies for mentioning this again -- the Yankees are watching their nickels. Stay tuned.

Yankees free agents, club options

October, 18, 2012
10/18/12
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Here are the Yankee players who will either be free agents, or have club options on their serivices for next year:

FREE AGENTS

Nick Swisher
Russell Martin
Hiroki Kuroda
Andy Pettitte
Mariano Rivera
Ichiro Suzuki
Raul Ibanez
Derek Lowe
Eric Chavez
Andruw Jones
Freddy Garcia

CLUB OPTIONS

Robinson Cano ($14 million or $2 million buyout)
Curtis Granderson ($13 million, $2 million buyout)

PLAYER OPTION

Rafael Soriano (owed $14 million for 2013, or can take $1.5 million buyout and become a free agent).

How many of these guys would you bring back?

Inside Girardi's Game 3 decisions

October, 15, 2012
10/15/12
12:54
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Joe Girardi has some interesting decisions to make regarding his lineup for Tuesday night when his team faces Justin Verlander.

Let's take a stat-based look at five of them. What would you do in these cases? Share your thoughts in the comments sectrion.

Decision No. 1: Alex Rodriguez or Eric Chavez at 3B?
Would Joe Girardi bench Rodriguez in order to load up the lineup with lefties against Verlander?

Two reasons why A-Rod probably gets the nod:

1. He had good swings in his last two at-bats. Inside Edge, which tracks “hard-hit balls” credited Rodriguez with two hard-hit balls in Game 2, the first game in which he had two hard-hit balls since September 22 against the Athletics.

2. Though Chavez has an edge in terms of history against Justin Verlander (he’s 9-for-25 compared to A-Rod’s 8-for-30), Rodriguez has good recent history against the Tigers ace. He’s 4-for-6 with two home runs against Verlander this season.

Decision No. 2: Eric Chavez or Raul Ibanez at DH?
You would think it wouldn’t even be a consideration as to whether Raul Ibanez was in the Yankees lineup or not. But let’s compare his history against Verlander to Chavez’s.

Ibanez vs Verlander: 3-for-29, five strikeouts, one extra-base hit; hitless in last 18 at-bats vs Verlander His .103 batting average against Verlander is his worst against any pitcher (minimum 20 AB)

Chavez vs Verlander: 9-for-25, five strikeouts, three extra-base hits; 6-for-10 vs Verlander this season

Decision No. 3: Jayson Nix or Eduardo Nunez at SS?
Nix would seem to be the likely choice, but two things to keep in mind with picking him.

1. He’s 1-for-18 against right-handed pitching since September 5.
2. He’s 1-for-11 with five strikeouts against Justin Verlander.

Nunez is 1-for-3 career against Verlander with a double.

Decision No. 4: Granderson/Swisher or Gardner?
Curtis Granderson is 3-for-26 with 14 strikeouts this postseason and 0-for-7 with five strikeouts in this series against the Tigers. He’s 4-for-20 with eight strikeouts against Verlander, 2-for-10 with five strikeouts this season.

Swisher is 4-for-26 with eight strikeouts in this postseason, though he’s 2-for-8 in this series. He’s 11-for-61 (.180) with 23 strikeouts (and three homers) vs Verlander, but 3-for-9 with two doubles against him this season.

Gardner has totaled three at-bats since April 18 with one hit. But he’s 5-for-11 in his career against Verlander.

Decision No. 5: Where to hit Teixeira and Cano?
Mark Teixeira has hit well this postseason- a .320 batting average with seven walks in 25 at-bats, though with no home runs. His history against Verlander may be a concern. He’s 3-for-35 career against Verlander, including 0-for-his-last 15. His .086 batting average versus Verlander is his worst against any pitcher (minimum 20 at-bats)

Cano enters this game hitless in his last 26 at-bats, a record hitless streak for a single postseason. He’s 7-for-38 (.184) career against Verlander with no home runs, which includes 0-for-7 in previous postseason appearances.

The 38 at-bats are his third-most without a homer against a pitcher (he has none in 57 at-bats vs Jon Lester, 54 at-bats vs John Lackey).

But he’s 3-for-10 with a triple against Verlander this season. Inside Edge has credited him with six "hard-hit balls" of the nine he's hit against Verlander this season.

Teammates react to Jeter's injury

October, 14, 2012
10/14/12
3:03
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video

For as much as Derek Jeter's teammates all feel for the shortstop, who fractured his ankle Saturday and will miss the remainder of the season, they realize they can't feel sorry for themselves at this point.

Game 2 of the ALCS is on tap Sunday and it's next man up for the Bronx Bombers.

"We have to have guys step up. That's kind of been the theme all year. If one team is used to having guys step in to take somebody's place it's us," Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira said. "We've had to deal with it all year so it's really disappointing to have Derek out of the lineup, we know how much this game means to him -- especially the playoffs mean so much to him. We probably feel more for him than anyone else who would go out."

All the Yankees that spoke after the 6-4 loss in 12 innings to the Tigers expressed sympathy for their captain, who suffered the injury while going for a routine ground ball in the 12th inning. Jeter went 1-for-5 on Saturday night but has been one of the team's best hitters this postseason and had been battling a bone bruise in his left foot that had him hobbling around during Game 3 of the ALDS.

"Obviously it's a very difficult moment for all of us and obviously what he means to the team. The way he's been fighting and grinding through what he's been going through," outfielder Raul Ibanez said. "The guy is a warrior, he's a gamer. It's obvious why he's been a tremendous part of so many world championships."

Jeter's teammates all realized he was hurt when he didn't get off the ground, as the shortstop is always quick to get up and get on his feet after making a diving play. This time, he just tossed the ball to Robinson Cano and writhed in pain on the ground before being helped off the field.

"Obviously you know he's hurt. You don't know what's up but for him to stay down it's a pretty safe bet he's pretty hurt," Yankees starter Andy Pettitte said. "It's terrible but we've got a series we got to play. We got to win this series and somebody has to step in and fill that spot."

This is the second time the Yankees had one of their core players go down, as closer Mariano Rivera tore his ACL earlier this year in Kansas City. They were able to still win the AL East despite not having their closer, and will now have to try to win the American League pennant without their shortstop.

"Unfortunately in sports guys go down all the time. Mo had a freak injury early in the season, that's the greatest pitcher of all-time. He went down and we moved past it," Teixeira said. "You feel more sorry for the guys that get hurt, not yourselves. You don't feel sorry for the team, for yourself. You feel sorry for Derek and Mo when they go down and cant contribute."

The Yankees are still confident they can accomplish their goals without Jeter. Jayson Nix, and likely Eduardo Nunez, will man shortstop for the remainder of the year.

"No matter who's out there, we always feel we can get the job done," Teixeira said.

Start ‘em or bench ‘em?

October, 14, 2012
10/14/12
2:10
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Alex Rodriguez Al Bello/Getty ImagesAlex Rodriguez isn't the only Yankee struggling this postseason.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi did the unthinkable recently, pinch-hitting for Alex Rodriguez twice, then benching him for pivotal Game 5 of the ALDS.

But A-Rod, who had another horrific performance in his team’s 6-4, 12-inning loss to the Detroit Tigers in Game 1 of the ALCS, isn’t the only Yankee who deserves to sit right now.

He’s just one of many.

Let’s take a look at some of the team’s worst postseason performers. Then it’s up to you to play manager and determine whether you’d start ‘em or bench ‘em in Game 2.

1. Alex Rodriguez: A-Rod’s making $30 million this season. He’s owed $114 million over the next five years. Right now, he can’t buy a clutch hit. Rodriguez, who was dropped down to sixth in the order, went 0-for-3, left six runners on base and was booed mercilessly by the crowd before being pinch-hit for a third time in the eighth. He’s hitting .105 in the postseason (2-for-19).

In his place: Start Eric Chavez

2. Nick Swisher: Swisher, a free agent to be, reportedly wants “Jayson Werth money” this offseason -- or somewhere in the neighborhood of seven years, $126 million. Good luck with that. He’s currently in a 1-for-16 slide (3-for-23, .130 overall). Consistently bad in October.

In his place: Start Raul Ibanez

3. Robinson Cano: We know. We know. Cano isn’t going to be benched. Still, for someone who is considered one of the best hitters in baseball, the All-Star second baseman could do a lot better than a .071 batting average (2-for-28 including 0 for his last 22). Two extra-base hits just aren’t going to cut it.

In his place: ... Can you actually consider demoting him in the lineup?

4. Curtis Granderson: Yes, his solo homer in Game 5 was huge. But what else has he done? Well, he’s struck out -- a lot (11 times in 23 postseason at-bats, 3-for-23, .130 overall).

In his place: Start Ibanez in left and move Ichiro to center

Stat of the night: Rodriguez, Swisher ($10.25 million), Cano ($14 million) and Granderson ($10 million) are a combined 10-for-93 in the postseason (.108). Together, their salaries total $64.25 million.
Maybe CC Sabathia (.238 career with three homers and 14 RBIs in 105 at-bats) should get a DH day.

Ibanez does it again!

October, 13, 2012
10/13/12
11:42
PM ET
Raul Ibanez AP Photo/Charlie RiedelRaul Ibanez's dramatic homer Saturday capped a 4-run Yankees rally to tie the game.

He did it again!

Forty-year-old Raul Ibanez blasted another game-tying home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning -- this one a two-run shot in the right-field seats off Tigers closer Jose Valverde in Game 1 of the ALCS on Saturday night, making him the first player ever with three home runs in the ninth inning or later in a single postseason, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

Ibanez accomplished the same feat in Game 3 in the ALDS, granted that one was a solo bomb. Oh, and he was pinch-hitting for Alex Rodriguez. He then won that game with a walk-off homer.

Ichiro Suzuki had brought the Yankees within 4-2 earlier in the frame with a two-run homer of his own.

What will Ibanez do next? Stay tuned.

Game 5 lineup: No A-Rod

October, 12, 2012
10/12/12
1:50
PM ET


Alex Rodriguez is out of the Yankees' lineup for Game 5.

Just let that sink in for a second. ... A-Rod isn't in the Yankees' lineup in a do-or-die game.

There had been speculation for most of the series that Rodriguez would be left out of the lineup at some point.

He was lifted for pinch-hitters in the ninth inning of Game 3 and the 13th inning of Game 4. Raul Ibañez came through with two homers in place of Rodriguez in Game 3. Eric Chavez lined out in place of Rodriguez in Game 4.

On the series, A-Rod is 2-for-16 with nine strikeouts.

It's worth noting that Rodriguez is 8-for-22 with four homers and nine RBI against Orioles starter Jason Hammel over his career in the regular season.

Here's the full Yankees lineup for Game 5, with Chavez at third and Ibañez at DH:

Derek Jeter SS
Ichiro Suzuki LF
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Raul Ibañez DH
Nick Swisher RF
Curtis Granderson CF
Russell Martin C
Eric Chavez 3B

CC Sabathia LHP

Back Page: Create your own headline

October, 11, 2012
10/11/12
11:45
AM ET
Raul Ibanez
Alex Trautwig/Getty Images

The Yankees defeated the Orioles in Game 3 of the ALDS. Which mock back page tells the story best?

Pick your favorite or create your own headline for our Back Page.

Five things from the clubhouse

October, 11, 2012
10/11/12
1:42
AM ET
Here are five things (other than our Raul Ibanez coverage) that you need to know from the Yankees clubhouse.

1. For the record, Mariano Rivera predicted that Ibanez was going to tie the game with a pinch-hit homer in the ninth. The injured closer said he told Alex Rodriguez (of all people) that Ibanez was going to go deep.

"I did, I did, yeah I did," Rivera said. "It's part of the game. I told Alex. (But) we won and that's the most important part."

Rivera also threw out the first pitch before Game 3 and said he will be attending all Yankee home playoff games.

2. Rodriguez said he never expected to get moved down in the lineup before Game 3. Joe Girardi had contemplated it before the game because Rodriguez had struggled so mightily in the first two games. He went 0-for-3 in Game 3 with two strikeouts in Game 3 and is 1-for-12 with seven strikeouts in the series.

Girardi said after the Yankees' 12-inning win that he would have to get a night's sleep before deciding on a Game 4 lineup.

Said A-Rod: "Tomorrow's another day and I'm coming right back at it and I'm going to be swinging out of my a--."

3. Both Girardi and A-Rod said that the manager's decision to pinch-hit for Rodriguez in the ninth would not affect their player-manager relationship.

"I'm Joe's biggest fan. Joe's always respected me to the utmost and I give it right back to him," Rodriguez said.

Added Girardi: "Sometimes you've got to do what your gut tells you, and my gut told me to make the move. I still have the utmost respect for Al and I still think he's a great player, he's just going through a little tough time right now."

4. Derek Jeter admitted that he was in pain after the Yanks' win on Wednesday. "Have you ever fouled a ball off of your foot?" he asked a reporter.

But, in the surprise of the century (we kid, we kid), Jeter said that he plans to be in the lineup on Thursday. He was taken out in the ninth inning after playing through pain in his foot.

"I will play (in Game 4)," the shortstop said.

Girardi, however, wasn't so sure.

"I'll have to make a decision on what I try to do with him," the manager said. "You know, is the DH maybe for me? Does his foot feel good enough to play shortstop? Does his foot feel good enough to play at all? I'm going to have to wait until (Thursday)."

5. Lost amid the A-Rod/Raul Ibanez drama on Wednesday night was another strong outing from a Yankee starter.

Actually, that's an understatement.

Hiroki Kuroda was masterful in Game 3, tossing 8 1/3 innings of five-hit, two-run ball against the O's.

Kuroda made just two mistakes all night -- surrendering solo homers to Manny Machado and Ryan Flaherty.

Said Girardi: "He was outstanding, and the extra rest must have helped him (Kuroda was pitching on seven days' rest). The one slider that was up to Machado, really that was the only mistake he made all night. That's pretty amazing to see that he threw over 100 pitches (105)."

First pitch: Replacing Teixeira

August, 28, 2012
8/28/12
6:00
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That Steve Pearce move couldn't have been made at a better time for the Yankees.

Before they knew that Mark Teixeira would be out with a Grade 1 left calf strain, the Yanks acquired Pearce from the Astros for cash considerations.

Pearce, a journeyman first baseman/outfielder, will now be a part of the platoon called upon to replace Teixeira at first base.

You can expect to see Nick Swisher at first in place of Teixeira in the coming days. Swisher filled in for Teixeira at times earlier in the season when Tex was sidelined with a wrist ailment. Eric Chavez, Casey McGehee and Pearce could also spend some time at first in place of Tex.

No matter who replaces Teixeira (.256, 23 HR, 81 RBIs), his absence leaves a gaping hole in the offense.

"He's been such a backbone to our lineup," Swisher said. "I didn't hear anything on how long he's going to be out for, but for a guy like that to be out of our lineup, man, that's a big deal."

It sure is. But if Swisher can continue to hit as he has of late (.363, 6 HR, 20 RBIs in his last 20 games), the impact of Teixeira's absence may be lessened.

Don't forget, though, that you're also losing Tex's glove.

Putting Swisher at first means using Andruw Jones or Raul Ibanez in the outfield. If that's the case, the Yankees' defense may suffer.

"We're going to have to step it up, man. We've been dealing with stuff like this all year," Swisher said. "As bad as it is to say, I guess the show goes on, you know?"

QUESTION: Who would you like to see replace Teixeira? How much will this injury impact the Yankees?

Up Now: Johnette Howard looks at the Yanks' 22-game stretch against AL East foes and gives credit to manager Joe Girardi for the way he's handled things in 2012. I have items on Rafael Soriano's meltdown, injury updates on Alex Rodriguez and Andy Pettitte, and notes on Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano and Swisher.

Coming soon: The clubhouse will open around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday for the second game of this three-game set. RHP Phil Hughes (12-11, 4.15 ERA) takes on LHP Ricky Romero (8-11, 5.63).

Girardi goes nuts

August, 9, 2012
8/09/12
3:27
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DETROIT -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who came close to getting tossed from Monday night's game, accomplished his mission this afternoon in Detroit, throwing a tantrum at third-base umpire Tim Welke that got him ejected in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Girardi's contention appeared to be that Welke had misled Yankees left-fielder Raul Ibanez by seemingly calling foul a bloop by Andy Dirks that dropped near the left-field line. Welke then signaled the ball was fair, and Girardi presumably was arguing that the confusing call slowed down Ibanez's pursuit of the play, on which Quintin Berry scored from first to give the Tigers a 3-2 lead.

Replays showed the ball was clearly fair -- it kicked up chalk from the foul line -- but Welke raised both his arms in a gesture that could be interpreted as calling the ball foul.

Girardi laid out his point in animated fashion, gesticulating and screaming at Welke for several minutes, before Welke tossed him, after which Girardi really got angry. As second-base ump Bob Davidson came over, Girardi got more furious and may have initiated contact with one of the umpires. He then threw his cap to the field and raised his arms to the raucous crowd as he left the field, a rare show of emotion -- and humor -- from the normally stoic Yankees manager.

The Yankees had led 2-0 before the inning, but a two-run homer by Alex Avila, the first allowed by Hiroki Kuroda since July 13, tied the game before Dirks' controversial double gave Detroit the lead.

Rapid Reaction: Yankees 6, Mariners 2

August, 5, 2012
8/05/12
4:25
PM ET
WHAT IT MEANS: Once again on Sunday afternoon, we learned that Raul Ibanez is an RBI machine for the Yankees this year.

Ibanez accounted for half of the Yankees' runs in their 6-2 win on Sunday.

He went deep in the fifth to put the Yankees up, 4-2, and then added a two-run single in the sixth off of former Met Oliver Perez to essentially put the game away.

In all, Ibanez has driven in 49 runs on 68 hits in 2012.

On Sunday, those RBIs helped New York to its third win in four games.

THE GOOD: Ichiro Suzuki's hit streak continued with a sun-aided double on Sunday.

Leading off the seventh, Suzuki hit a fly ball that Seattle center fielder Michael Saunders lost in the sun.

Saunders attempted to shield his eyes from the sun couldn't get a glove on the ball and it fell in for a double.

With the hit, Suzuki tied the Yankees' record for the longest hitting streak to start a Yankee career. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Don Slaught also had a 12-game streak to start his tenure in pinstripes in 1988.

HITS KEEP COMING FOR JETER Derek Jeter had an RBI single in the fourth and an infield single in the eighth, bringing his AL-leading total to 140 hits. ... Righty Freddy Garcia allowed two runs in five innings. Boone Logan, David Robertson and Rafael Soriano combined for four scoreless innings.

THE BAD: Jesus Montero went 2-for-4 with two RBI, hurting his old club on Sunday. The Yankees traded Montero in a deal to obtain Michael Pineda, who has been sidelined with a shoulder injury.

OLLIE SIGHTING: The former Mets starter -- and flameout -- struggled on Sunday, giving up two hits, a walk and a run in 2/3 of an inning.

WHAT'S NEXT: The Yankees head to Detroit for a four-game set, beginning Monday. Ivan Nova (10-5, 4.53 ERA) takes on Justin Verlander (11-7. 2.63 ERA).

Rapid Reaction: Orioles 5, Yankees 4

July, 30, 2012
7/30/12
10:12
PM ET


Another loss for the Yankees, but that might be the least of their concerns.

While the Yanks fell for the eighth time 11 games, 5-4 to the Orioles on Monday night at Yankee Stadium, slugging first baseman Mark Teixeira had to leave the game early. Teixeira leads the team with 71 RBIs and has 20 home runs as well.

TEX LEAVES: Teixeira left between the seventh and eighth innings. In the seventh, a hard-hit ball bounced off his glove while he tried to make a diving stop. The ball trickled into the outfield, allowing a run to score, and Teixeira was checked on before staying in to finish the frame. He finished the game 0-for-3 with three strikeouts. With Alex Rodriguez already out of the lineup, the Yankees would be really hurting if their RBI leader had to miss any games right now.

RISP FAIL: Nick Swisher led off the bottom of the ninth with a double, but the Yankees could not get the run home. It's been a common theme this year -- the Yankees struggling with men in scoring position -- and Monday's game was yet another example.

WHERE'S CANO? Robinson Cano is hitless in his last 14 at-bats, which marks his longest hitless stretch of the season. The second baseman is in the middle of a mini-slump, as he's 8-for-40 (.200) in the past nine games and has walked just once while failing to drive in a run during that stretch. It's no secret that Cano is the team's best hitter, and the team is at its best when he plays at the MVP level he's capable of. Right now, he's enduring a tough stretch.

FLOP AT THE TOP: Over the past two losses, it hasn't just been Cano that's been in a funk. He, Curtis Granderson and Teixeira -- the hitters who bat 2-3-4 in the lineup -- have combined to go 0-for-25. Not surprisingly, without production from the top, the Yankees' offense has had trouble getting things going.

CENTURY MARK: Ichiro Suzuki hit his first home run as a Yankee, and the 100th of his career, when he smashed a ball to right in the seventh to slice the Orioles' lead to 5-4. Suzuki has now hit safely in all seven of his games with the Yankees.

BOO(NE): It's been a rough month for lefty Boone Logan. He's yielded seven earned runs in just 5 1/3 innings of relief. A two-out walk came back to haunt him Monday, as a double and a single scored two runs to boost Baltimore's lead to 5-2. Logan has been very good for the Yankees this season, but lately he's had problems.

HOMER CITY: Raul Ibanez's fifth-inning homer marked the 18th straight game the Yankees have homered, which is tied for the fourth-longest streak in team history according to ESPN Stats & Info. The all-time streak belongs to the 1963 Yankees, who knocked the ball out of the park in 23 straight games.

ON DECK: Andrew Marchand and I will handle the news and fill up the blog. Johnette Howard will have a column.

WHAT'S NEXT: The Yankees will turn to Ivan Nova (10-4, 4.08 ERA) on Tuesday night, opposed by Chris Tillman (3-1, 1.66), first pitch at 7:05 p.m.

Notes: King Felix's change; Chavez's role

July, 25, 2012
7/25/12
2:24
AM ET
SEATTLE -- That’s some changeup: Raul Ibanez used to play with Felix Hernandez, and he’s seen what Hernandez’s changeup can do. He saw it again in the fourth inning. Ibanez came up with the bases loaded and one out, and it took just four pitches for Hernandez to strike him out. ``The last three pitches were all changeups,’’ Ibanez said. ``He’s got one of the best, and he got me tonight."

Ready for whatever: Eric Chavez, told that he would be in the starting lineup at third base with Alex Rodriguez heading for the disabled list, may not be an everyday player anymore. But if he has to play every day, he’ll do it. "Whatever he (manager Joe Girardi) asks me to do, I’ll do," he said. "I’ll give it my best shot, and we’ll figure it out from there."

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jacoby Ellsbury
BA HR RBI R
.271 16 70 71
OTHER LEADERS
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
WM. Tanaka 13
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146