Yankees Daily Briefing 06/24/11

This time last season, Ubaldo Jimenez was 14-1 with an ERA of 1.60. This season, however, he's had no such luck: a 2-7 record, ERA of 4.68 and an ERA+ of just 96. He'll have to pitch more like the 2010 version of himself for the Rockies to have their best chance to beat the Yankees on Friday. The Yankees will have A.J. Burnett (7-5, 4.05) on the mound.

Discussion of the Day: So, what would you do with Jesus Montero? Call him up, leave him in Triple-A or try to trade him? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

1) Most of the off day discussion centered around Jesus Montero. Andrew Marchand writes that Montero needs to focus more at Triple-A before warranting a call up to the Bronx, while Mike Axisa writes that the time to bring Montero up is now.

As the Yankees try to walk the line between doing what's best for the team and what's best for their prospects, the question of what to do with Montero becomes increasingly difficult. Russell Martin started the season so hot that questions of bringing Montero up were, for the most part, muted, but Martin has since cooled down considerably, and it's hard to believe that Montero and his .291/.337/.410 batting line would not be able to do better. If his ability to focus is in question, as it seems to be, promoting Montero would be a gamble -- but if Martin continues to struggle, it may be a gamble the Yankees have to make.

2) Mark Simon considers Brett Gardner's defense as a "game changer". As he illustrates, the Yankees' left fielder covers more ground than a typical left fielder, and is at the top of the league in defensive runs saved.

When Gardner first came up, he was considered a potential fourth outfielder, one who's main asset was his speed. Now, Gardner's batting stats are good enough to argue that he should lead off even after Derek Jeter returns from the disabled list, but it's in left field that Gardner's value shines. He's had no shortage of highlight clips, and leads in both UZR and UZR/150. After years with poor defensive players in left field, Gardner's defense is a breath of fresh air.

3) It was a promotion-filled day for the Yankees system.

Triple-A Scranton beat Norfolk, 10-5.

Gustavo Molina has a toe injury, but it's not considered serious. Mark Prior threw in the outfield, but it's still too soon for any indication of when he'll come off the disabled list.

Andrew Brackman struggled again, lasting two-thirds of an inning while surrendering three runs on four hits. He walked just one, but just 18 of his 32 pitches were strikes.

Double-A Trenton beat Portland, 6-2.

Manny Banuelos allowed two runs on three hits in five innings of work; he walked only one while striking out six.

High-A Tampa beat Dunedin, 8-1.

J.R. Murphy, Kyle Roller and Slade Heathcott were promoted to Tampa from High-A Charleston, while Kyle Higashioka and Kevin Mahoney were sent to Charleston.

Murphy had two doubles in three at bats in his High-A debut.

Charleston was rained out; Kramer Sneed is scheduled to start in place of Nik Turley, which could indicate a possible promotion.

Short Season Staten Island beat Aberdeen 3-2 in 10 innings while the Rookie GCL Yankees lost 3-2 to the GCL Blue Jays.