Yankees Daily Briefing 07/13/11

The National League secured home field advantage for the World Series with their 5-1 All-Star game win; the Yankees will enjoy one more off day on Wednesday before starting the second half of the season in Toronto on Thursday.

Discussion of the Day: Which players do you see as being the most important for the Yankees' success second half?

1) Andrew Marchand writes that David Robertson could be key for the Yankees in the second half while Mark Simon takes a look at how Robertson went from an average middle reliever to an All-Star.

Simon notes that Robertson is improving in throwing first pitch strikes, and that with a one strike count, fewer than one out of every four swings is putting the ball in play. With the injuries to Rafael Soriano and Joba Chamberlain, Robertson has already had to step up (and done so), and although Mariano Rivera is not seriously hurt, the ability for Robertson to perform so well certainly helps take some of the weight off of the Yankees' 41-year-old closer's shoulders.

2) Daniel Barbarisi polled the Yankees to get their take on such matters as who is the loudest on the team plane and who would be the toughest to take on in a fight.

Some of the answers -- such as Boone Logan's being the most likely to have a deer mounted above his fireplace -- are expected, while others, such as Sergio Mitre's being the one they'd least like to take on in a fight, may surprise some fans. Ultimately, the on-field results matter more for Yankees' fans than off-field personality, and you will likely find many Yankees fans who'd be willing to trade Mitre's reported street skills for a more impressive pitcher. Still, any tidbits about a player's personality seldom go unappreciated.

3) There was limited minor league action for the Yankees on Tuesday night.

Mike Axisa took a look at the farm system through the first half, noting which prospects have exceeded, met or fell short of expectations. Axisa notes that compared to last season, this year feels like a disappointment -- but that has more to do with how well the system performed last year, and the regression was expected.

Triple-A Scranton and Double-A Trenton are both off for their All-Star breaks. Adam Warren will represent the Scranton Yankees while Austin Romine, Corban Joseph, Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos will represent Trenton.

High-A Tampa had a scheduled off day.

Low-A Charleston lost to Greensboro, 9-3.

Gary Sanchez had two hits in four at bats and walked once.

Short Season Staten Island had a scheduled off day; the Rookie GCL Yankees lost 10-9 to the GCL Pirates.