Yankees Daily Briefing 06/23/11

After going 4-2 on a six game road trip to Chicago and Cincinnati, the Yankees will enjoy an off day Thursday before facing the Rockies and Brewers in New York. Despite having over $39 million in payroll currently on the disabled list, the Yankees at 43-30 are only a half-game out of first and their .589 winning percentage is better than every team except the Red Sox and Phillies.

Discussion of the Day: If you were the Yankees' GM, how much would you be willing to part with to acquire a top-flight starting pitcher? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

1) Wallace Matthews writes that Jorge Posada is beginning to turn things around. Things for Posada had gotten so bad earlier this season that Posada had asked off the team in a much-publicized brouhaha.

Since then, however, he has hit to a tune of .314/.388/.414 in 24 games prior to Wednesday's doubleheader. He's not hitting for much power -- his home run in the first game on Wednesday was his first since April -- but it's hard to ignore an on-base percentage that high. Posada's role may be limited, but he is certainly a better player than the one he was in April and early May.

2) Just like Posada, Nick Swisher has been improving, writes Jay Jaffe at Pinstriped Bible.

As Jaffe notes, Swisher's splits against lefties and righties are wildly divergent, much more so than his career norms -- he's mashing lefties while not hitting righties, while his career numbers indicate a much more even split. It's hard to believe that Swisher's 2011 splits will remain so extreme, but then he has posted odd splits before. Still, Swisher came to the Yankees cheap, so unless his numbers drop down to April Posada-like (lack of) production, it's hard to see them cutting him loose at the end of the season.

3) Brien Jackson at It's About the Money wonders if the Yankees need to trade for a starting pitcher while Larry Koestler at The Yankee Analysts notes that the Yankees may be on track for their best ERA in years.

On paper, it might not seem like a rotation that includes Ivan Nova, Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon and now Brian Gordon could compete with the Red Sox or Phillies, but as Jackson notes the Yankees rank first in the AL East in fWAR, FIP and xFIP, impressive for a team that's mostly known for the number of home runs they hit. While an additional arm wouldn't hurt the Yankees, the issue may not be as critical as one would otherwise believe.

4) Every affiliate that played lost.

Triple-A Scranton lost to Norfolk, 5-3.

David Phelps is on the disabled list with a shoulder issue. The Yankees signed Mike Lamb and Terry Tiffee to minor league contracts.

Jesus Montero had one hit in three at bats and was hit by a pitch; he also struck out once.

Double-A Trenton lost to Portland, 11-4.

Wilkins Arias was placed on the disabled list with an unknown injury.

Alan Horne made his first start since 2009, but did not record an out (one hit, four runs, five walks).

High-A Tampa was suspended due to lightning while Low-A Charleston remained off for their All-Star break.

Short Season Staten Island was rained out; the Rookie GCL Yankees lost 8-3 to the GCL Braves.