Yankees Daily Briefing 06/07/11

Freddy Garcia has been more than adequate for the Yankees in 2011, but that said, he struggled in his last start against the Red Sox, allowing five runs (four earned) in 5.1 innings pitched. He'll attempt to have a better outing on Tuesday, and will face Jon Lester on the mound. Lester had just two starts in May allowing fewer than four runs; on the year he is 7-2 with a 3.94 ERA.

1) It was not a great day for the Yankees' farm system.

Triple-A Scranton lost to Toledo 4-1.

Chad Jennings writes that Kevin Whelan is setting himself apart at Scranton.

Carlos Silva was placed on the disabled list with shoulder stiffness and Jesus Montero is out with an eye infection. P.J. Pilitterre has been activated for the roster spot.

Jorge Vazquez hit his 19th home run of the season; it's his first home run and RBI since May 27th.

Double-A Trenton lost to Reading 8-7 in 12 innings.

Austin Romine was placed on the disabled list with the back and neck injuries following a home plate collision a few days ago. Jason Place will take his spot on the roster.

Manny Banuelos struggled, allowing nine hits and five runs -- including two home runs -- in four innings, while walking three and striking out three. The nine hits allowed by Banuelos is a career high.

High-A Tampa beat Lakeland 3-1, while Low-A Charleston lost to Augusta 2-1.

In Charleston, Slade Heathcott had a hit in three at bats and both walked and struck out once; J.R. Murphy was hitless in four at bats while Gary Sanchez was hitless in three at bats and walked once.

2) Andrew Marchand considers five questions to ask as the Yankees head into their series with the Red Sox.

Of the questions Marchand asks, the most pertinent one may very well be about Robinson Cano; the Yankees' second baseman finished third in MVP voting last season, but last year's .319/.381/.534 batting line has dropped to .277/.316/.514. While he is still slugging at a fairly similar rate, his average and on-base percentage are the worst they've been sine 2008, a season that had fans wondering if the Yankees should have traded him. While to a certain extent the struggles of Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada were expected, as Marchand notes, Cano is expected to provide the protection in the lineup for Alex Rodriguez, and while the Yankees offense has been perhaps, the best in the league, it should arguably be even better.

3) Jay Jaffe writes that Mark Teixeira is hitting for more power despite a BABIP well below his career norm.

Largely used as a measure of luck, BABIP does get hampered by home runs -- and Teixeira's 18 are good enough for second most in the league at the moment. The low batting average (.258) is offset by the high OBP (.365, and exactly the same as last season) and improved slugging (.549). Teixeira, as Jaffe says, has been quietly productive for the Yankees (if 18 home runs can be considered quiet), and in a year when a few of his teammates are struggling at the plate, is now even more important to the team's success.