Yankees Daily Briefing 05/19/11

On Thursday, the Yankees will send CC Sabathia to the mound; Sabathia has already faced the Orioles twice in 2011, and has allowed a total of six runs (five earned) in fourteen innings. The Orioles were originally slated to have Jeremy Guthrie start, but given his relief appearance in Wednesday's 15-inning marathon, it's possible Brad Bergesen will get the ball. Bergesen is 1-4 with a 4.35 ERA in 2011.

1) High-A Tampa was the only Yankees' affiliate to win on Wednesday.

Triple-A Scranton lost to Lehigh Valley 5-4 in 11 innings.

With the injury to Chris Dickerson, it's possible that Scranton will be down to one healthy outfielder on their roster.

Jesus Montero was hitless in five at bats and struck out once.

Double-A Trenton was postponed due to rain; the game will be made up in August.

High-A Tampa beat St. Lucie 5-4 while Low-A Charleston lost to Savannah 8-4.

In Charleston, Gary Sanchez had two hits in four at bats; he struck out once and allowed a passed ball. J.R. Murphy had one hit in four at bats.

2) Stephen A. Smith writes that the Yankees' issues go deeper than just the players themselves.

While no one -- neither the Yankees nor the players -- came away looking good after the Jorge Posada flap, the front office is still faced with the unenviable task of balancing the egos of some of the team's most veteran players -- such as Posada and Derek Jeter -- with the realities of lackluster performances in 2011 so far.

3) Jared Diamond writes about David Robertson's ability to perform as an escape artist. Diamond notes that since 1974, among pitchers who have pitched with the bases loaded to a minimum of 30 batters, only Jonathan Papelbon has a higher strikeout rate.

Robertson's quickly gaining a reputation for being able to escape jams, with his best performance being in the second game of the 2009 ALDS against the Twins, when he escaped a bases loaded, no one out jam in extra innings without surrendering a run. Via gmLI, which examines how 'clutch' a game situation is when a pitcher enters, Robertson's gmLI of 1.73 indicates he's been pitching in highly crucial moments in 2011; most game situations maintain a gmLI of under 1.00. Thus, it would appear that Robertson's reputation as a fireman, is, at least in 2011, well deserved.

4) Tyler Kepner writes that CC Sabathia is a crucial part of whether the Yankees will succeed. Kepner includes Sabathia in a group of Yankees currently in their prime, a group that also includes Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano, and that far from his rookie days of just trying to survive games, Sabathia is now trying to dominate them.

Sabathia has already been incredibly valuable as a Yankee, whether one looks at his value via wins above replacement or Sabathia's finishing in the top five in Cy Young voting in both 2009 and 2010. Although some of his peripheral statistics in 2011 aren't as good as his career numbers would indicate, it should be remembered that he historically pitches better in the second half of the season, and, given that he has remained mostly healthy, there's little reason to believe that Sabathia won't continue to anchor the Yankees rotation -- until the end of this season, anyway.