After taking the opener in Kansas City, the Yankees will attempt to go for the series win against the Royals by winning on Tuesday. To that end they will send Ivan Nova, who is 3-0 with a 2.61 ERA in his last three starts, to the mound. Daniel Duffy (3-6, 4.97) will start for the Royals; he has never faced the Yankees.
Discussion of the Day: Would you feel comfortable with the Yankees handing A.J. Burnett the ball in game four of the ALCS, assuming the Yankees make it that far? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Behind Enemy Lines: Jeff at Royally Speaking considers the best of the Royals' infields. The current Royals infield includes much heralded prospects Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer; whether or not the two end up having careers as successful as some of their predecessors remains to be seen.
1) Steven Goldman considers Curtis Granderson's MVP candidacy and wonders why advanced metrics punish him so much for defense while Wayne Coffey writes that Granderson remains on an even keel even while he is in a race for the 2011 home run champion.
Sabermetrics have come a long way, but defense remains one of the areas where objective measurement is almost impossible -- while one can chart plays made on balls a fielder gets to, rating a player's efficiency in terms of expected range often becomes a subjective experience. Granderson's defensive runs saved put him at the bottom of the pack, but this might simply be an instance where Granderson's offense has been so overwhelmingly good as to outweigh his drawbacks on defense. That Granderson has been able to remain consistent all year while putting together a season as good as he has is an added bonus.
2) Matt Imbrogno at The Yankee Analysts writes that Jorge Posada should not be brought back to be the designated hitter for the Yankees in 2011.
Posada is easily having his worst full season, but while his numbers alone might be an argument not to re-sign him, there are perhaps more compelling ones. Unless he is traded in the offseason, Jesus Montero will likely spend at least some time as the DH for the Yankees in 2012 (and, depending on his defensive prowess, this could be quite some time), and Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter could likely use their share of DH days as well. Posada's career as a Yankee has made him a potential Hall of Fame candidate, but even for Hall of Famers there's a time to call it quits, and the Yankees and Posada might both best be served by parting ways at the end of this season.
3) Mike Vorkunov writes that Rodriguez's return will bolster an already powerful lineup.
Since Rodriguez hit the disabled list due to knee surgery, the Yankees have hit .289/.361/.445/.806 as a team, not counting Monday's game. Rodriguez had been having a fairly productive season, but many of his power numbers weren't there -- he remains at just 13 home runs and his slugging is the lowest it's been since 1995. It's possible that the knee injury played a significant part in Rodriguez's relative lack of power, and a healthy Rodriguez may be all that more potent. If so, he won't be the first Yankee this season to experience a resurgence after coming off of the DL.
4) It was an abbreviated schedule for the minor league affiliates.
Triple-A Scranton had a doubleheader rained out while Double-A Trenton and High-A Tampa had scheduled off days.
Low-A Charleston lost to Hickory, 4-1, while the Rookie GCL Yankees lost to the GCL Pirates, 4-3.
Ravel Santana's (GCL) injury is a broken ankle in two places, along with ligament damage.
Short Season Staten Island is off for the NY-Penn League All Star Break.