Both the Yankees and Mets were off last night. The Mets begin a series tonight in Atlanta. The Yankees begin the final series of this homestand against Oakland.
The Yankees made a roster move today, adding relief pitcher Preston Claiborne. Joba Chamberlain landed on the DL yesterday with an oblique strain. Yesterday, I figured the Yankees would call up Cody Eppley, but he was designated for assignment to make room for Claiborne on the 40-man roster.
Claiborne, a 25-year-old right-hander from Tulane, was a 17th round pick of the Yankees in the 2010 draft. He has advanced quickly through the minor leagues as a reliever. In 120 career appearances over the last four seasons, he’s 10-12 with a 3.00 ERA in 204 1/3 innings. He also had 16 saves.
It’s a little bit tough to read Claiborne’s numbers. He’s allowed just about one hit per inning at the Triple-A level and had walked only one and struck out 10 in 10 1/3 innings in Scranton this season. He did have a .438 BABIP in Triple-A this year, so his numbers would likely be much better given a larger sample size.
Claiborne is Chamberlain-esque in stature (6-foot-2, 225 pounds) and throws in the low 90s with a slider and a changeup to boot. The Yankees have some other bullpen prospects on the way up in Mark Montgomery and Sam Demel, but Claiborne could certainly make a name for himself for the future with a good two-week audition here.
It’ll be a battle of the initials tonight as CC Sabathia takes on A.J. Griffin and Sabathia’s hometown A’s tonight. Other than Bartolo Colon, and maybe Tom Millone, Griffin has been Oakland’s best pitcher this year, going 2-2 with a 4.65 ERA.
The Mets send Shaun Marcum to the hill against the Braves’ Mike Minor. Marcum last pitched in extra innings in the Mets’ 4-3 15-inning loss at Miami. It’ll be Marcum’s third appearance in the last six days, as he also started on April 27. He threw 99 pitches in those two appearances, so it will be interesting to see what kind of leash Terry Collins keeps him on tonight.
Elsewhere in baseball…
- Chris Tillman pitched eight scoreless innings, holding the Angels to three hits, in Baltimore’s 5-1 win in Anaheim. Albert Pujols hit a ninth inning homer off closer Jim Johnson. Joe Blanton gave up eight hits over eight innings to drop to 0-5 for the Angels.
- Detroit out-hit Houston 15-6, but the Tigers needed 14 innings to beat the Astros, 7-3.
- Hector Santiago only pitched 5 1/3 innings, but the White Sox held the Rangers to three hits in a 3-1 win in Arlington.
- J.A. Happ walked seven over 3 2/3 innings as the Red Sox beat the Blue Jays, 3-1. Blue Jays broadcaster Jack Morris also accused Red Sox starter Clay Buccholz of throwing a spitball or otherwise doctoring the ball. The Red Sox have denied any allegations. The AP story on the fiasco is here: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/farrell-upset-allegations-against-buchholz
- The Nationals won a second straight against Atlanta as Dan Haren allowed four hits and struck out four over eight innings in a 3-1 win. Kris Medlen, 10-1 with a 1.57 ERA last year, dropped to 1-4 in his first season as a full-time starting pitcher.
- Wily Peralta was tagged for 11 hits and six runs over 4 1/3 innings as the Cardinals beat the Brewers, 6-5. Yadier Molina is hitting .327 and has nine extra base hits and 16 RBI for the Cards.
- Rickey Romero makes his season debut tonight against King Felix and the Mariners. The Blue Jays left one-time ace Romero off the big league roster out of spring training after a dreadful spring and poor second half in 2012. Romero was recalled when Josh Johnson landed on the DL earlier this week.
- It’ll be a matchup of under-appreciated lefties when Boston’s Felix Doubront and Texas’ Derek Holland meet in Arlington. Should be a good game between two of the AL’s top teams.
- Detroit’s Doug Fister (4-0, 2.38 ERA) could pile up some strikeouts tonight in Houston.
- A.J. Burnett pitches at home against Washington and Ross Detwiler. Bryce Harper leads the NL with a 1.094 OPS.
- Shelby Miller and the Cards face Kyle Lohse and the Brewers tonight in Milwaukee. Lohse was 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA for St. Louis last year, but the Cards didn’t want to sign him to a multiple-year contract in the offseason.
- If you’re up late, Clayton Kershaw and Barry Zito square off as the Dodgers and Giants play in San Francisco.