The Yankees start a three game set against the Angels, who right now are the closest in the wild card standings, and taking the series against the Angels will go a long way to shoring up the Yankees' position. to that end they'll have to hope that A.J. Burnett (8-9, 4.54) can notch his first August win as a Yankee; the Angels will send Dan Haren (12-6, 2.81) to the mound.
Discussion of the Day: Do you believe either Jesus Montero or Manny Banuelos will make the postseason roster for the Yankees? Why or why not?
1) Andrew Marchand takes a look at questions facing the Yankees, including whether Montero and Banuelos can help the Yankees down the stretch.
It is certainly easier to argue for Montero's call up than Banuelos; Montero is playing well in Triple-A Scranton and could fill the Yankees' need at designated hitter over an underperforming Jorge Posada. On the other hand, Banuelos is just 20 years old and has only two Triple-A games under his belt. It's certainly a mark of how high he is on the Yankees' radar to be pitching at such a high level so young, but there's no need to rush him just to pitch in a bullpen that is already arguably the best in the American League.
2) Wallace Matthews writes that the aging of the remaining members "Core Fore" was apparent on Sunday night.
The struggles of Derek Jeter have been well documented, though it should be noted that Jeter has hit much better, over .300 and with an OPS over .800, since returning from the disabled list on July 4th and has a .972 OPS against lefties. On the other hand, Posada's season has been so bad that he's lost his starting job as designated hitter. Mariano Rivera's season numbers are astoundingly good for a 41 year-old closer, and perfectly in line with his career numbers (if not his historic 2008 season), so there isn't as much concern, though he has struggled on the road this season (the high BABIP on the road would indicate that this shouldn't be a long term source of concern). That aging players decline and struggle is not anything new, and fortunately the Yankees have enough players who are performing up to their normal standards (CC Sabathia, Robinson Cano) or exceptionally well (Curtis Granderson, Brett Gardner) to overcome the issue.
3) Steve S. at The Yankee Analysts writes that Alex Rodriguez's return to the lineup will force a roster decision, one that could potentially be uncomfortable for Posada. Rodriguez's return is perhaps poorly timed; a couple more weeks and September roster expansion would negate the issue. As it is, it's perhaps more likely that one of the team's pitchers will be sent down, at least until roster expansion. It's hard to imagine the Yankees would cut Posada this close to roster expansion, and it would be an ignominious end to Posada's Yankee career.
Scranton lost to Gwinnett, 3-1.
Jesus Montero was hitless in five at bats but hit two balls to the warning track.
Double-A Trenton had a scheduled off day.
Mark Newman indicated that Austin Romine may return in a week.
High-A Tampa lost to Dunedin, 4-3, while Low-A Charleston beat Savannah, 5-1.
Gary Sanchez (Charleston) was named Offensive Player of the Week for the South Atlantic League. He was hitless in four at bats with one strikeout.
Short Season Staten Island lost to Brooklyn, 7-5.
Mason Williams took the Offensive Player of the Week honors for the NY-Penn League.
The Rookie GCL Yankees were rained out.