Like his team, CC Sabathia has not performed up to expectations recently, having allowed nine runs on 15 hits in his last 13 innings. On Saturday, he'll look to improve on his recent performance. He'll face Josh Beckett, who shut out the Yankees on April 10th.
1) It was an eventful day for the farm system; all four teams in action won their games.
Triple-A Scranton beat Pawtucket, 2-1.
Buddy Carlyle was sent to Scranton as the corresponding move for Hector Noesi's call up.
Jesus Montero was ejected after arguing a called strike three; he struck out once and walked once prior to the ejection.
Lance Pendleton made the spot start in place of Noesi and allowed three hits and no runs in three innings of work.
Double-A Trenton beat Binghamton, 5-3.
Trenton manager Tony Franklin was discharged from St. Francis Medical Center; he had experienced chest pains before the game on Friday.
Pitcher Carlos Silva was added to Trenton's roster.
Kei Igawa allowed three hits and two runs in six innings of work while striking out six; Austin Romine was hitless in four at bats.
High-A Tampa beat Bradenton 5-3.
Low-A Charleston beat Greenville, 6-2.
Gene Sapakoff wrote about 2009 first rounder Slade Heathcott's troubled past; Heathcott was ejected from Friday's game after punching the opposing team's catcher after being hit by a pitch and inciting a bench-clearing brawl. One would think a suspension is likely coming, and, given the recent press, the brawl seems to be especially ill-timed.
Gary Sanchez had a double and a home run in three at bats; J.R. Murphy was hitless in five at bats with three strikeouts.
2) Nick Swisher and Jorge Posada again came up short, writes Andrew Marchand.
Posada's struggles this season have been so prominent that they have led him to thank manager Joe Girardi for sticking with him. Swisher, far from looking like the All-Star Right Fielder he was last season, but so far this season, Swisher's on-base numbers are perhaps too similar to his 2008 numbers through mid-May for comfort.
3) Amy K. Nelson writes about Russell Martin's new beginning as a Yankee.
Perhaps the most intriguing part of Martin's resurgence as a Yankee is, as Nelson chronicles, his bond with teammate A.J. Burnett. After a historically bad 2010, Burnett has pitched much better this season. Yankees' general manager Brian Cashman has been largely successful with his low-cost offseason acquisitions; that they are not just helping themselves but their teammates, as the case with Martin, has to be especially rewarding.
4) Dave Cameron at Fangraphs argues that Bartolo Colon is unlikely to maintain his current pace. He notes the abnormally high rate of called -- as opposed to swing-and-miss -- strike threes, and that Colon's velocity increase has not been as dramatic as some might believe.
That said, as of Friday morning, Colon still had the best strikeout-to-walk ratio of any Yankees starter, and even if Colon does regress as the metrics seem to indicate, the Yankees will have still gotten considerable help from a pitcher who hadn't pitched in the major leagues since 2009.