Yankees Daily Briefing 06/18/11

A.J. Burnett, who, at one point, pitched in the National League owns a career 3-0 record against the Cubs, but with an ERA of 4.21, he hasn't been unhittable, either. He'll take the mound for the Yankees at Wrigley Field on Saturday, while Ryan Dempster (5-5, 5.48) will get the ball for the Cubs.

1) It was Opening Day for the Short Season Staten Island Yankees on Friday.

Triple-A Scranton lost 6-5 to Columbus.

Jesus Montero had one hit in three at bats and walked once.

Double-A Trenton lost to Binghamton, 10-4.

Manny Banuelos struggled, lasting just three innings, and surrendering five runs (all earned) on five hits and three walks. He struck out three, but all five runs came in a six batter stretch in the fourth.

High-A Tampa is off for the Florida State League All-Star break. Rob Lyerly is the sole Tampa Yankee headed to the All-Star game.

Low-A Charleston lost 10-2 to Hickory.

Via Mike Axisa (link above), Slade Heathcott, Jose Ramirez, Eduardo Sosa and Kyle Roller have all been placed on the disabled list within the last few days.

J.R. Murphy and Gary Sanchez both had one hit in four at bats; Murphy struck out once while Sanchez struck out twice.

2) Katie Sharp takes a look at statistical oddities for the Yankees over the past week. Of note: Curtis Granderson joining Mickey Mantle as the only Yankees center fielder to hit 20 home runs in his team's first 62 games, perhaps even more notable given that this is the fiftieth anniversary of the 1961 season, and Wednesday's game, which saw the entire Yankees infield -- including Eduardo Nunez and Ramiro Pena, but not Alex Rodriguez -- homer.

3) Bill Madden writes that Yankees' general manager Brian Cashman is still using the bargain bin to find pitching, and, for the most part, it's been working.

After missing out on Cliff Lee in the offseason, the Yankees signed both Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon for relatively little money and low risk. The two have combined for a 10-8 record, which is a bit misleading as Colon was pitching better than his 5-3 record prior to injuring his hamstring last week. More recently, Cory Wade and Brian Gordon have been useful for the Yankees. As with any bargain basement shopping, there is no telling how long they'll continue to produce for the Yankees, but at ten games over .500 and with the best run differential in baseball, it's hard to argue that the low-cost, low-risk signings aren't paying off.

4) Moshe Mandel at The Yankee Analysts takes a look at intentional walks given by the Yankees this season, and comes to the conclusion that while many of the free passes were strategically debatable, the Yankees have vastly outperformed their run expectancy for those situations. As Moshe concludes, the Yankees have either been getting extraordinarily lucky, or manager Joe Girardi has a very good understanding of the context of the situation. While there are debates as to how much a manager can affect a game, given that Girardi's three years as the skipper have seen the Yankees win one World Series, come within two games of going to another and win 89 games in an injury-depleted season, it's tempting to argue that the latter is the case.