Yankees Daily Briefing 05/27/11

In his rookie season, Michael Pineda is making a name for himself with the Seattle Mariners, with an ERA of just 2.16 and a WHIP of 0.943. He'll be on the mound for the Mariners on Friday, while the Yankees will send A.J. Burnett to start. In his career against Seattle, Burnett is 2-2 with an ERA of 3.83.

1) Every affiliate except Low-A Charleston won Thursday.

Triple-A Scranton beat Louisville, 5-0.

Andy Sisco was released, likely to make room for Kanekoa Texeira.

Jesus Montero had one hit in five at bats but struck out four times.

Double-A Trenton beat Reading 3-1.

Steve Garrison and Graham Stoneburner are both still rehabbing in Tampa.

High-A Tampa beat Charlotte 12-2, while Charleston lost to Hickory 6-4 in a rain-shortened game.

Francisco Arcia was assigned to Charleston from extended spring training.

Slade Heathcott had one hit in five at bats, struck out once and committed a fielding error. Mike Axisa took a look at Heathcott's plate discipline, coming to the conclusion that he is improving just as one might expect.

J.R. Murphy had two hits in four at bats, including a double. He walked once, struck out twice, and stole a base.

2) Andrew Marchand looks at six questions facing the Yankees as the season reaches Memorial Day weekend.

Marchand touches on issues that have been much discussed, including Derek Jeter's lineup position, and whether the rotation can hold out, but the hardest question to answer may be that of Nick Swisher. Swisher is having a horrendous 2011, and he's at the point where he is slugging under .300 -- is ninth worst among qualified hitters. Swisher's struggles are unexpected after a very successful 2010, nor does Swisher have an injury that might explain the cause. Although 2011 is considered a depressed offensive environment, such a drastic fall off in production is still concerning.

3) Mark Simon writes about David Robertson's strikeouts. Simon notes that Robertson is second among active pitchers in strikeout rate; only Carlos Marmol has a higher K/9 -- by .01 of a point -- and as Simon and Katie Sharp note, Robertson's strikeouts seem to come at an even high rate when there are men on base -- of the eight batters he's faced with the bases loaded this season, he's struck out seven.

Robertson has, by some measures, been the Yankees' most successful reliever in 2011, but his success in the supposed "clutch" situations has turned him into something of a Houdini. If Robertson can figure out a way to reduce the 7.1 BB/9 rate, he might very well find himself a future as a closer.

4) David Schoenfield touches on Jorge Posada's case for the Hall of Fame, arguing that although Posada would rank as one of the greatest catchers ever, he'd come up just short.

That said, Posada's career numbers will likely receive added benefits from his longevity and his playing nearly all of his major league career at a premium position; the World Series wins shouldn't be discounted, either. Posada's injury-shortened 2008 will hurt him, but as Schoenfield notes, at his peak Posada was as valuable as many other Hall of Fame catchers, and it's hard to look past this.