Steinbrenner: A-Rod has ‘been a great asset’

Now that Alex Rodriguez has more home runs than lawsuits, the New York Yankees are happy with him.

The 39-year-old began Wednesday with a .248 batting average following his return from a season-long drug suspension, and his 10 homers and 22 RBIs were both second on the team behind Mark Teixeira.

“If he was healthy, I’ve always said he’d be a good asset, and he’s been a great asset,” Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said Wednesday before the Major League Baseball executive council meeting. “He’s been playing well, and he’s been producing.”

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In case you missed it on Wednesday

The Yankees didn’t score after putting up two runs in the first inning and let their early lead slip away, as New York lost to the Nationals, 3-2, Wednesday at Nationals Park.

Chase Headley’s ninth error of the season proved to be the Nationals’ winning run. (May 20, 11:23 p.m.)

After being placed on the 15-day DL late Tuesday night, Jacoby Ellsbury said he hopes to return to the Yankees lineup as soon as possible. (May 20, 5:30 p.m.)

Ivan Nova, recovering from Tommy John surgery last year, will pitch in extended spring training Saturday before starting a minor league rehab assignment. (May 21, 12:11 a.m.)

What’s on tap for Thursday, May 21

The Yankees are off on Thursday and return home Friday, where they will begin a three-game series with the Texas Rangers.

Michael Pineda (5-1) will face Colby Lewis (3-2) in the opener.


Yankees let early lead slip away, lose to Nationals

The Yankees (22-19) squandered an early 2-0 lead as they lost to the Nationals (24-17) by the score of 3-2 on Wednesday night at Nationals Park.

Adam Warren was solid, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits in 6 1/3 innings of work. Warren walked four and struck out four.

The Yankees took a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Carlos Beltran delivered an RBI double and Brian McCann added a sacrifice fly.

Washington got a run back in the bottom of the first, courtesy of a solo homer off the bat of Ian Desmond. In the fourth, Tyler Moore’s solo home run tied things, 2-2.

Chase Headley committed an error to open the seventh, and the Nationals loaded the bases after drawing a pair of walks. After Warren was relieved by Justin Wilson, Denard Span chopped a single past Didi Gregorius to give Washington a 3-2 advantage.

The Yankees had runners on first and second with two outs in the eighth, but couldn’t capitalize.

Didi Gregorius singled with two outs in the ninth and Alex Rodriguez pinch hit representing the go-ahead run, but he struck out looking to end the game.

Slade Heathcott made his major league debut, pinch running for Mark Teixeira in the eighth inning.

Nationals OF Bryce Harper was ejected in the third inning for arguing balls and strikes, and manager Matt Williams was ejected right after for defending Harper.

The Yankees are off on Thursday.

They open a three-game series against the Rangers at Yankee Stadium on Friday at 7:05 p.m. Michael Pineda (5-1, 3.31 ERA) starts for the Yankees opposite Colby Lewis (3-2, 3.06 ERA).


Which Yankee steps up to fill Jacoby Ellsbury’s void?

Christopher Carelli

Jacoby Ellsbury was thriving at the top of the New York Yankees batting order this season until he twisted his knee during an at-bat in Tuesday night’s 8-6 loss to the Washington Nationals. Shortly after the game, Ellsbury was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right knee sprain. The club is awaiting results of an MRI which should better pinpoint the length of time he’ll be off the field.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at New York YankeesFor now, the Yankees will be without arguably their best offensive player this season for a minimum of 15 days (14 games). It’s the first injury blow to the Yankees’ offense and it comes at a time when they are struggling as a unit to produce runs. Ellsbury was hitting .324/.412/.372 with a team-leading 29 runs through Tuesday’s game. Ellsbury also leads the league in stolen bases with 14. He has been the Yankees’ catalyst, and without him the club will be searching for someone to plug a big hole.

Filling in the leadoff spot will not be much of an issue for the Yankees with Brett Gardner a natural fit for the role. Gardner hit .262/.337/.459 in 491 plate appearances (PA) last season as the club’s primary leadoff hitter and owns a career .264/.341/.412 line (1,586 PA) at the top of the order, according to Baseball-Reference.

Gardner is currently hitting a robust .291/.366/.433 (146 PA), but will need to ramp up an already successful running game. Gardner is 10-for-13 in stealing bases and he’ll have to utilize his speed to get into scoring position so that the middle of the order can drive him in. Gardner will also slide over from left field to center, which again is a natural fit. To read more of this story, click here

Mark Teixeira

Enter to win a MLB All-Star Game VIP Experience!

Want a shot at winning a VIP experience to the 2015 All-Star Game in Cincinnati? Enter the DraftKings MLB All-Star Game VIP Experience fantasy baseball contest for a chance to win airfare, hotel and two tickets to the Home Run Derby, All-Star Game, All-Star Sunday and MLB Fan Fest!

Best part is, if you sign up today and deposit money into your DraftKings account, you’ll get a free entry into the game. The top 43 players win money, with the overall winner taking home the VIP experience to the All-Star Game.

If you are playing, here are a few Yankees fantasy picks to help you out, from SNY’s Andrew Vazzano:

Mark Teixeira: There are concerns about his toe, but he just hit his 12th home run of the season on Tuesday night. His OPS is hovering around .950. He’s been worth 8.9 Fantasy Points Per Game (FPPG) and will cost you $4,200.

Adam Warren: The starter on Wednesday night turned in his best performance of the season last time on the mound: seven innings, seven hits, three earned runs, one walk and seven strikeouts. He’s a risky pick, but is worth 9.9 FPPG and will cost you just $4,700.

Carlos Beltran: Now riding a ten-game hitting streak, Beltran has a .321 batting average in May. He came in for the injured Jacoby Ellsbury on Tuesday and picked up another hit and scored a run. He’s hit three doubles, two home runs, driven in seven RBI and scored five times over the last ten games. If he’s in the lineup, he’s been worth 5.9 FPPG over the whole season due to a poor start and will cost just $3,900.

So, take your $50,000 salary cap and draft your 10 players (two pitchers, a catcher, first baseman, second baseman, third baseman and shortstop and three outfielders) for your shot at winning the MLB All-Star Game VIP Experience on DraftKings!

draft kings asg vip tickets

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In case you missed it on Tuesday

The Yankees (22-18) blew a four-run lead and lost to the Nationals (23-17), 8-6, on Ryan Zimmerman’s 10th-inning walk-off home run.

Jacoby Ellsbury left the game with a sprained knee and was placed on the 15-day disabled list. He is scheduled for an MRI on Wednesday. The Yankees will call up OF Slade Heathcott from Triple-A. (May 20, 12:05 a.m.)

After leaving Sunday’s game with a right big toe contusion, Mark Teixeira didn’t miss any time, playing first base Tuesday and hitting his 12th home run of the season.

Masahiro Tanaka will pitch for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Thursday in a rehab outing. (The Times-Tribune, May 20)

INF Brendan Ryan will play in a rehab game on Wednesday. (May 20, 4:06 a.m.)

What’s on tap for Wednesday, May 20

Adam Warren (2-2, 4.50 ERA) looks to salvage a series split when the Yankees play the Nationals at 7:05 p.m. Warren will face Jordan Zimmerman (3-2, 3.66 ERA).