Solarte continues to impress

Bill Gaffney

The highlight of the Yankees’ 10-2 win on Thursday was of course the 5-4-3 triple play started by, as radio play-by-play man John Sterling calls him, “Never Nervous” Yangervis Solarte. The 26-year-old rookie later popped his first big league homer in the top of the ninth, turning a 2-1 curveball into a two-run no-doubter, and is now hitting .373/.448/.569 in 58 plate appearances.

With Mark Teixeira due back Sunday, Joe Girardi has a decision ahead of him – but really, it shouldn’t be a difficult one. Solarte needs to remain in the everyday lineup as the second baseman, and Brian Roberts needs to head to the bench. Against lefties, Roberts can replace Kelly Johnson in the batting order and Solarte can slide over to third.

Sure, the sample is small, and Solarte’s minor league career numbers (.286/.336/.397) suggest he’s vastly overachieving, but it’d be crazy not to ride this out and see how long Solarte can produce like a legitimate Major League regular – especially because he’s proven to be sure-handed in the field.

This isn’t Eduardo Nunez we’re dealing with…

Cesar Cabral designated for assignment, Matt Daley called up

After Friday night’s loss to Tampa Bay, the Yankees designated reliever Cesar Cabral for assignment.

During his appearance Friday night, Cabral hit three Rays batters during the eighth inning and was ejected by home plate umpire Joe West. Aside from the hit batsmen, Cabral allowed three runs on three hits while failing to record an out.

In his three other 2014 appearances before Friday night, Cabral allowed one hit, walked two, and struck out two in one combined inning of work.

RHP Matt Daley was called up to take Cabral’s spot on the roster. He’ll be added to both the 40-man and 25-man roster prior to Saturday’s game (Feinsand, April 18).

Game Recap: Rays 11 – Yankees 5

The Yankees (10-7) lost to the Rays (8-9) by the score of 11-5 in Tampa Bay on Friday night >> Read the full recap and boxscore at

Need to Know: Hiroki Kuroda  got the start for the Yankees and allowed three runs on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings pitched. He walked two and struck out two.

The Yankees erupted for four runs in the second inning against Tampa Bay starter Erik Bedard to take a 4-0 lead. The big blow came on a three-run double off the bat of Scott Sizemore.

In the fourth, the Rays cut the lead to 4-2 when James Loney delivered a two-run double.

The Rays drew to within 4-3 in the sixth, courtesy of an RBI single off the bat of Evan Longoria.

The Yankees got that run back in the seventh, when Alfonso Soriano hit an RBI single to make it 5-3.

In the seventh, the Rays struck for three runs, taking a 6-5 lead on James Loney‘s two-out, two-run single.

After a string of 17 scoreless innings from the bullpen, four Yankees relievers combined to allow eight runs.

Cesar Cabral was ejected from the game by home plate umpire Joe West after hitting three Rays batters in the eighth inning.

David Phelps was removed from the game in the seventh inning after getting hit by a line drive.

What’s Next: The Yankees play the third game of their four-game set in Tampa Bay on Saturday. Ivan Nova gets the start for the Yankees, opposed by Chris Archer for the Rays.

Sabathia still the ace of the staff… for now

Bill Gaffney

Entering Thursday night’s start against the Rays, CC Sabathia’s hold on the role of staff ace was tenuous. The left-hander took the mound at Tropicana Field as the American League leader in home runs allowed and earned runs allowed, and with Tuesday’s rainout and an off-day Monday, the Yankees are due to have three starters – Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda – on normal or extended rest when their upcoming midweek series at Fenway Park commences.

The Red Sox’s probable starters, in order, are Jon Lester, John Lackey and Felix Doubront, so a fourth-straight subpar start from Sabathia might have tempted Joe Girardi to push him back a day and counter Lester with Tanaka (and his 14-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio) in the Tuesday opener.

Girardi probably should go that route, as it would mean Sabathia and Tanaka would each pitch on five days’ rest, rather than four and six, respectively, but I suspect that Sabathia’s strong outing (seven innings, one earned run, six strikeouts, two walks) against Tampa Bay’s ace lefty, David Price, did enough to secure his place in the matchup with Boston’s.

It will be interesting to see, however, how long Girardi sticks with Sabathia as his nominal No. 1 if he continues to underwhelm and Tanaka continues to shine.

Game Recap: Yankees 10 – Rays 2

The Yankees (10-6) defeated the Rays (7-9) by the score of 10-2 in Tampa Bay on Thursday night >> Read the full recap and boxscore at

Need to Know: CC Sabathia  got the start for the Yankees and gave up two runs (one earned) in seven innings of work. He allowed seven hits, walked two, and struck out six.

The Yankees got to David Price early and often, taking a 1-0 lead when Brian McCann delivered an RBI single in the first. In the second inning, Brian Roberts and Jacoby Ellsbury hit run-scoring triples, and Derek Jeter contributed an RBI single to put the Yankees up 4-0.

The Yankees turned a 5-4-3 triple play to escape a jam in the second inning.

A passed ball on Brian McCann allowed the Rays to cut the lead to 4-1 in the fourth.

The Yankees increased their lead to 6-1 in the fifth when Alfonso Soriano and Brian McCann hit back-to-back solo homers.

Yangervis Solarte hit his first Major League home run, a two-run shot in the ninth.

Dellin Betances pitched the final two innings to seal the victory.

What’s Next: The Yankees play the second game of their four-game set in Tampa Bay on Friday. Hiroki Kuroda gets the start for the Yankees, opposed by Erik Bedard for the Rays.

GEICO SportsNite: Doubleheader shutout sweep

GEICO SportsNite has post game reaction from Joe Girardi and Michael Pineda after the Yankees shut out the Cubs in a doubleheader sweep.

Game Recap: Yankees 2 – Cubs 0

The Yankees (8-6) swept a day-night doubleheader from the Cubs (4-9) Wednesday evening as they defeated Chicago 2-0 thanks to a strong outing from Michael Pineda. >> Read the full recap and box score at

Need to Know: Pineda gave up four hits with three strikeouts and one walk over six scoreless innings.

Brett Gardner put the Yankees on the board in the fourth on a sharply hit single to right.

The Yankees added onto that lead during the fifth when Scott Sizemore hit a soft line drive to left to score Alfonso Soriano.

David Phelps came in to relieve Pineda in the seventh and promptly put the first two runners on base. He got the next three out to hold it at 2-0.

Adam Warren earned his first save of the season and the second of his career after he came in during the ninth with a runner on first.

What’s Next: The Yankees will  start a four-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday as they send CC Sabathia (1-2, 6.63 ERA ) to the mound against David Price (2-0, 2.91 ERA).

Yankees recall Shane Greene as 26th man

The Yankees will recall Shane Greene as their 26th man before Wednesday night’s second half of the doubleheader.

He will be optioned back to Triple-A after the game.

Game Recap: Yankees 3 – Cubs 0

Masahiro Tanaka allowed two bunt hits in eight dominant innings on a frigid Monday, Carlos Beltran homered for the third straight game and New York welcomed the Chicago Cubs to the current Yankee Stadium with a 3-0 victory in the opener of Monday’s day-night doubleheader.

Need to Know: The 25-year-old Japanese right-hander struck out 10 for his second straight start, this time while wearing three-quarter sleeves on a 43-degree day that felt much colder because of a brisk wind. Tanaka (2-0) gave up a replay-aided hit to Junior Lake in the second inning and Anthony Rizzo pushed a bunt toward a vacated third base with a shifted infield leading off the seventh.

Jacoby Ellsbury and Dean Anna added an RBI each.

Tanaka threw 107 pitches, and Shawn Kelley allowed a single to Rizzo as he finished the three-hitter for his fourth save.

What’s Next: The Yankees and Cubs play again on Tuesday night in the second part of a day-night doubleheader.