Yankees Daily Briefing 05/24/11

Jose Baustista is putting up near historic numbers in 2011, with three of his 19 home runs this season having come against the Yankees. Bautista, however, has never homered off of CC Sabathia (4-3, 3.06) in his career, and the Yankees will send Sabathia to the mound on Tuesday as they try to even their series. They'll face Ricky Romero, who is 4-4 with a 3.10 ERA in 2011.

1) Minor league results were mixed for the Yankees' affiliates.

Triple-A Scranton beat Indianapolis 2-0.

Jesus Montero had one hit in four at bats and struck out once, but his most impressive feat may have been hitting a foul ball into a garbage bag held by an usher who had his back turned. Jorge Vazquez was hitless in four at bats and struck out three times; it was his first game after missing the last two due to a hand injury.

Double-A Trenton had an off day.

High-A Tampa beat Fort Myers 4-1 while Low-A Charleston lost to Augusta 11-6.

In Charleston, Slade Heathcott had three hits in five at bats, including a triple, and struck out once. J.R. Murphy had two hits in three at bats, including a double, and walked twice; he also committed an error on a pickoff play.

2) Kieran Darcy writes that Monday's game was emblematic of the larger question surrounding Bartolo Colon: you never quite know when it all might fall apart.

Colon's loss on Monday was only his second non-quality start of the season, an accomplishment for someone who didn't pitch in the majors in 2010, but as with anyone with a significant injury history, there is no way of knowing how long Colon can keep up his production. That said, Colon's already been far more valuable than the Yankees could have expected, and a poor start should be a concern only if it becomes a pattern.

3) Joel Sherman writes that Ivan Nova is quietly becoming a key piece to the Yankees rotation. The Yankees are 6-3 when Nova starts, as Sherman notes, their best record under any starter.

Nova's peripheral statistics do not inspire a ton of confidence, but he has pitched into the sixth inning in all but one start this month, and has a 3.14 ERA in that time, even including his disastrous start against Kansas City. The improving numbers and the fact that Nova doesn't turn 25 until next January suggest that there is plenty of room for optimism where Nova is concerned.

4) Matt Imbrogno writes that releasing Jorge Posada is a bad idea and explains that Posada's statistics are trending upwards after a disastrous April.

Indeed, as Posada is in the last season of his contract, releasing him would only hurt the Yankees in 2011, as they would likely have to call Jesus Montero up to the majors while some believe he is not ready or otherwise have to rotate at the designated hitter spot. Given that the Yankees don't have Posada under contract beyond this season, and that, as Imbrogno states, Posada's numbers are improving, there seems to be little good that could come from such a decision.