Yankees Daily Briefing 05/29/11

C.C. Sabathia has pitched well against the Seattle Mariners in his career, with a 9-4 record and 2.58 ERA in 115 innings pitched. He'll be on the mound on Sunday, as the Yankees attempt to salvage the final game of a three game set. The Yankees will face Jason Vargas, who has never faced the Yankees.

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

Triple-A Scranton lost to Louisville, 4-3.

Jesus Montero had a hit in four at bats.

Andrew Brackman pitched 4.1 innings, allowing one hit and two runs. He struck out eight, but also walked six; the strikeouts and walks are both season highs.

Double-A Trenton split a doubleheader with Portland, winning game one 8-7 and losing game two 7-5.

Melky Mesa was placed on the disabled list, and DeAngelo Mack will take his place on the roster.

In the second game, switch-pitcher Pat Venditte pitched 4.2 innings of shutout baseball; the appearance is the longest outing of his career.

High-A Tampa beat Charlotte 4-3, while Low-A Charleston beat Hickory 6-3.

In Charleston, Slade Heathcott was hitless in four at bats; he walked once and was caught stealing.

2) Bob Klapisch writes that the Yankees are relying on Robinson Cano, even though Cano's numbers this year have not been as impressive as last year.

Hitting just .273/.312/.481 heading into Saturday's game in 2011, Cano's numbers this season are the worst they've been since 2008. Cano is walking significantly less than average this season, and it's even more noticeable when one considers how good his plate discipline was in 2010. That said, Cano is not having a horrible season -- not even the worst drop-off in production from 2010 on the Yankees.

3) Ben Shpigel writes that 2011 has often been a painful learning experience for Eduardo Nunez. He cites how Nunez got picked off at second base with two outs on Friday night as a microcosm of Nunez's season.

Indeed, even if the baserunning gaffe was a rarity, Nunez's poor performances on defense has detracted from his ability to help the team on offense, and give Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez the occasional nights off. That said, Nunez is still the youngest player on the Yankees (he's younger than Hector Noesi by months), so hope that his errors in the field and on the basepaths will diminish is not unwarranted.

4) Daniel Barbarisi takes a look at how the Yankees manage to land some of this season's most important contributors, such as Russell Martin and Bartolo Colon.

General manager Brian Cashman has received a lot of praise for his so-called bargain basement signings in 2011, but none of the signings -- Martin, Colon, Freddy Garcia or Eric Chavez -- would have been possible without the growth of the Yankees' scouting department. As Barbarisi explains, the expansion of technology means that scouts can now access data, such as pitch f/x, that might have been previously unavailable, and utilize it to exploit undervalued players. While signing players with past injuries, such as Martin and Colon, will always be a gamble, the data and collaboration now available means that signing such players does not necessarily have to be a high-risk action.