Yankees Daily Briefing 05/03/11

In the second game of their season, the Yankees mashed Brad Penny for eight runs in less than five innings. They'll try to repeat their earlier performance on Tuesday, and they'll have CC Sabathia on the mound. Sabathia is off to a stellar start, with an ERA of 2.25 and 36 strikeouts in 40 innings.

1) In the minors, Triple-A Scranton and Double-A Trenton won, while High-A Tampa and Low-A Charleston lost.

In Scranton (3-1 win versus Gwinnett), Luis Ayala made a rehab appearance, allowing two hits and no runs while striking out two in an inning of work. Jesus Montero had three hits in five at bats, and Greg Golson and Ramiro Pena left the game with injuries.

Trenton won 5-3 over Portland. Josh Norris talked to Dellin Betances about the death of Osama Bin Laden. Betances was only 13 years old on September 11, and both lived and went to school in Manhattan.

Tampa was shut out by Clearwarter (3-0), but pitcher Brett Marshall struck out nine in five innings.

Charleston lost 8-0 to Delmarva. Slade Heathcott had a hit in four at bats while Gary Sanchez went hitless. Sanchez also allowed his eighth and ninth passed balls of the season. Sanchez is now hitting .200 on the season. Sanchez is only 18, so it's far from time to panic, but his stock has cooled off a bit in the early goings of 2011.

2) Ian O'Connor writes about advanced ticket seller Hank Grazioso, who lost two sons at the World Trade Center, and his reaction to the news of Bin Laden's death. The reactions to Bin Laden's death have ranged from jubilant celebration to more sober anxiety about the future, but one hopes that for some, especially those affected directly by September 11, there is some sense of closure.

3) Bill Madden discusses Ivan Nova's early success in the rotation. The scouting report on Nova has often been his inability get through a lineup a third time through the order, which is more or less the difference between a good long reliever and a starter. Thus, the longer Nova has been able to stay in games, the better his chances of remaining a starter in the majors. For a team with major rotation questions heading into the season, the Yankees have to be happy with the progress Nova -- still just 24 years old--is making.

On the same subject, Joel Sherman wrote about the help Nova has been receiving from teammate Freddy Garcia and cites this as one of the reasons for Nova's improvement. There are multiple benefits to having veterans on a team; being able to tutor the younger players is certainly one of them.

4) Bob Klapisch compares the decline of Derek Jeter to that of Joe DiMaggio. The not insignificant difference, as Klapisch notes, between the two eras is that DiMaggio was not owed $51 million, and that there's almost no chance of Jeter retiring before his contract is up. The advanced metrics do not bode well, and at some point the Yankees will have to address that having Jeter continue to hit leadoff will do more harm than good.