Posts Tagged ‘Aaron Laffey’

Yankees notebook, 8/21

August 21, 2011 Comments off

Girardi reiterates there’s no rift with Burnett 

By Jordan Schelling /

MINNEAPOLIS — If you ask Yankees manager Joe Girardi and right-hander A.J. Burnett, nothing happened Saturday night, and they have no issue with one another.But that did not stop Burnett’s apparent comments toward Girardi as he walked off the mound after he was removed in the second inning from dominating the manager’s pregame meeting with reporters.

Girardi was asked during the session what he hypothetically would do if a player did have the type of reaction that Burnett appeared to have toward Girardi taking him out of the game.

“If a pitcher says that in reference to you taking him out, yeah, I think that’s out of line,” Girardi said. “But, a) I didn’t hear it, the only reason I heard it was people saw it on the broadcast, and, b) I didn’t think it was directed at me. I mean, I specifically asked out there, ‘Was that a good pitch to Mauer?'”

Adding to the situation was the fact that Burnett went directly into the clubhouse after being taken out of the game, and Girardi went in shortly thereafter. Burnett said he went in just to put his stuff in his locker and came straight back out, while Girardi went in to take another look at Burnett’s pitch to Mauer.

According to Burnett, the two never crossed paths. But they did talk later after Girardi was told what Burnett appeared to have said to him.

“Yeah, because I never heard him say a word when I was on the mound,” Girardi said. “I was told about it because it was aired on the TV a few times, and I asked him, and I wanted to know what was up. He said he was talking about the pitch, he thought he threw strike three to Joe Mauer.”

Girardi said he is still confident in Burnett’s ability on the mound, but he also said that they need Burnett to have a “bounce-back start” on Friday against the Orioles.

As for where Burnett stands among the six starters, Girardi will address that when the time comes for the Yankees to go back to a five-man rotation.

One thing Girardi made clear, though, was that he does not want to talk about this Burnett situation any longer.

“If everyone knew and believed in their heart that he was talking about the pitch, would we be talking about this?” Girardi asked. “So your belief is that he wasn’t talking about it, and that’s why we’re talking about it. So you’re not taking his word, and to me, that’s dangerous.”

Laffey odd man out on A-Rod’s return

MINNEAPOLIS — With the Yankees activating Alex Rodriguez from the disabled list on Sunday, recently acquired lefty Aaron Laffey was the odd man out, as he was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Laffey made his debut for the Yankees on Saturday night, tossing three innings and allowing two runs on five hits.

“He’s a guy that we believe can help us against left-handers as we move forward here,” Girardi said. “He’s not going to be able to throw for a couple days anyway.”

Laffey will likely return to the Yankees when the rosters expand on Sept. 1. Until then, they would like him to work on a few things in Triple-A.

“I think left-handers are important for him to be consistent [against],” Girardi said. “He was consistent in getting left-handers out until the last month or so, or month and a half. So, get back to doing that.”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yankees notebook, 8/20

August 20, 2011 Comments off

Teixeira reflects on reaching milestone RBI

MINNEAPOLIS — After his two-run double in the ninth inning Friday night gave him three RBIs for the game, Mark Teixeira asked if it got him to the 1,000-RBI mark for his career. Teixeira knew he was close, but said he was not sure of the exact number.

The runs scored by Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson were the 999th and 1,000th driven in by Teixeira in his career, making him the 27th active player to reach the mark.

“That’s a nice number,” Teixeira said. “My whole career, I’ve always just thought of myself as someone who drives in runs. That’s probably the stat I’m most proud of more than anything every year, is being able to drive in 100 runs every year.”

Currently in his ninth Major League season, Teixeira has eclipsed the 100-RBI mark seven times, and he sits just six away from doing it again this year.

Teixeira drove in a career-high 144 runs in 2005 while with the Rangers.

Of the 27 active players to collect 1,000 career RBIs, the Yankees have five on their roster with Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Andruw Jones.

“You almost can’t believe it,” Teixeira said of reaching the mark so quickly. “I’ve always been someone that’s just kind of played every game every year. It’s a grind, it’s never easy, but when you reach something like 1,000 RBIs in only nine years, you look at yourself and say, ‘I’m doing all right. Just keep doing what you’re doing.'”

With 1,306 career RBIs to his credit, Albert Pujols is the only other active player under 32 years old with 1,000 RBIs.

Teixeira also is the fifth active switch-hitter to reach the mark, joining Posada, Chipper Jones, Lance Berkman and Carlos Beltran.

“Hopefully, there’s a lot more to come,” Teixeira said.

Asked if he still remembered the first RBI of his career, Teixeira said he did, while noting the irony of how he got it.

“It was left-handed, I had just gotten my first hit the at-bat before,” Teixeira said. “I rolled over a ball in the [hole between first and second]. So now [with the shift most teams employ against him], it would be an out. As funny and sad at the same time it is, I would’ve been out and I wouldn’t have gotten that RBI.”

Laffey excited about joining Yankees

MINNEAPOLIS — A day after the Yankees claimed him off waivers from the Mariners, left-hander Aaron Laffey joined the club Saturday afternoon at Target Field.

Laffey said it has been a busy week for him since being designated for assignment on Wednesday by Seattle and claimed just days later by New York.

“‘Crazy’ I think is the best word to describe it,” Laffey said. “Really, since it happened, I haven’t been able to stop and think about anything. I’ve been helping my wife get the house packed and get everything in order for that, so this is the first time — the plane ride — I’ve actually got to sit back and relax. Just excited to have the opportunity to play with a contender for the first time I came up in ’07.”

Laffey broke into the big leagues with the Indians in 2007, spending 1 1/2 seasons as CC Sabathia’s teammate before Sabathia was traded to the Brewers. Sabathia was one of a handful of veteran pitchers that Laffey has credited with helping him develop as a pitcher.

“Sabathia was one of the guys in Cleveland who, when I came up, took me under his wing,” Laffey said. “I was able to play with him and guys like [Carl] Pavano and Cliff Lee that were there, too, over the years that I was. They had a lot of great talent and seasoned veterans in Major League Baseball. So I think that’s really helped me.”

In his first year with Cleveland, Laffey was a part of the Indians club that won the Division Series in four games over the Yankees before losing to the Red Sox in seven games in the American League Championship Series.

Laffey said he was excited to be back in the middle of a playoff race.

He also said his father, Steve, was a “big-time fan” of the Yankees while growing up in Maryland.

“It’s just an honor to be in the same organization,” Laffey said.

“It’s definitely a storied tradition here. They’re in it every year. Every little kid wants to grow up and be a New York Yankee. Being a little kid, I dreamed of growing up and being a New York Yankee.”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yankees notebook, 8/19

August 19, 2011 Comments off

A-Rod more likely to return Sunday

By Jordan Schelling /

MINNEAPOLIS — Alex Rodriguez still hopes to be back in the Yankees’ lineup this weekend, but it is now likely that he will wait until Sunday, rather than returning Saturday.”I would probably lean against doing it [Saturday] because he’s going to have that workout,” said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. “[It could be] Sunday or Tuesday, or whenever he’s ready.”

Rodriguez worked out again Friday at Target Field, fielding grounders, running first to third, and going through a number of other drills.

With the workout being more intense than the one he went through Thursday, Rodriguez made significant progress toward a return.

“We’re definitely getting close. Today was very encouraging,” Rodriguez said. “I think everything was better. … The biggest thing today was going first to third. I thought I did much better today than yesterday, and just recovery, overall.”

While he understands the need to do what is best for his health and what is best for the team, Rodriguez admits that he is anxious to get back on the field again soon.

“I’m hungry, I want to get back out there,” Rodriguez said. “These guys, the way they’re playing, it’s inspiring. For me, the idea is to make sure that I’m ready to go, hit the ground running, and never look back and just have a great next two months.”

Yanks add Laffey, place Garcia on DL

MINNEAPOLIS — The Yankees claimed left-handed reliever Aaron Laffey off waivers from the Mariners on Friday, after Laffey had been designated for assignment earlier in the week.

Laffey will join the club Saturday, and will take the roster spot of Yankees starter Freddy Garcia, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list — retroactive to Aug. 8 — with a cut on the index finger of his right hand.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Laffey, the Yankees also designated catcher Gustavo Molina for assignment. Garcia, who threw well in a bullpen session before Friday’s game against the Twins, did not seem happy about the move when talking to reporters after the move was announced.

“Whatever’s better for the team and for me,” Garcia said. “That’s the choice they make, and that’s the way it is, man.”

Rather than pitch this weekend for the Yankees, Garcia will make a rehab start Monday for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and is expected to start one of the games of next Saturday’s doubleheader at Baltimore.

As for Laffey, he will fill a bullpen role for the Yankees. Laffey made 36 relief appearances this season for the Mariners, posting a 1-1 record with a 4.01 ERA. Laffey has made 49 starts in 115 career games with the Indians and Mariners, and could be a spot-starter candidate for the Yankees as well if needed.

“He’s a guy that can give you some multiple innings,” said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. “But he’s another left-hander for us, and that’s why we went and got him.”

CC focused on arm angle in latest win

MINNEAPOLIS — As he went through the Twins’ lineup the first time Thursday night, CC Sabathia struggled, getting hit hard and even giving up a long home run that was later ruled a foul ball.

His second time through the lineup, though, Sabathia was dominant. What was the difference between the first two innings and the next three for the Yankees’ ace?

“Just trying to make sure my arm angle was good,” Sabathia said. “I felt like I was kind of slinging the ball early, and a little bit late.”

In addition to his focusing on his arm angle, a key pitch helped Sabathia as he took control of the game in the middle innings.

“I thought his slider was a little bit better,” said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. “I thought that helped him a lot. He threw some down and in to righties, and away from lefties. But he started commanding his fastball a little better, too.”

Jones attributes turnaround to mom’s advice

MINNEAPOLIS — Since the All-Star break, Andruw Jones has looked nothing like the hitter that batted just .195 through the first half of the season.

Jones has hit .349 over 19 games (12 starts), collecting 15 hits in 43 at-bats while also walking nine times. Four of those hits have been home runs for Jones, who also has a pair of doubles and 13 RBIs over that stretch.

The change, Jones said, is the result of advice given to him by his mother.

“Right after the All-Star break, I went home and looked at some old tape,” Jones said. “My mom called me and said ‘Look at your old tapes. I’m not liking the way your legs hit.’ So I kind of opened up a little bit and made an adjustment trying to be more quiet and more on time. Everything’s working good since the All-Star break.”

One of Jones’ four home runs came Thursday night, a towering shot into the third deck in left field that impressed teammates, coaches, fans and media members alike.

Said manager Joe Girardi of Jones’ homer: “He’s got unbelievable power.”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.