Yankees Daily Briefing 07/18/11

Since joining the Yankees, A.J. Burnett’s numbers have deteriorated in the second half (2009, 2010), a trend that the Yankees hope he can reverse this season. Burnett will make his second consecutive start against the Rays on Monday. He and the Yankees will face rookie starter Alex Cobb (2-0, 3.41), who has not started a game since June 18th.

Discussion of the Day: What historic accomplishment by a Yankees' player do you think is the most unlikely to be repeated (or which record do you think is the most unbreakable)? Share your answers in the comments.

1) Andrew Marchand writes that Phil Hughes could be the boon to their rotation the Yankees need, without having to make a major trade.

Indeed, Sunday's start was easily Hughes' best start of the season, a start that if not quite a shut down appearance, was certainly much closer to what the Yankees need to see from Hughes. While Hughes performing as the Yankees expected him to perform at the beginning of the season won't solve the questions about Freddy Garcia or Bartolo Colon, it will make rotation decisions a bit easier for the Yankees. The Yankees will need to see more from Hughes, but Saturday's outing was, if nothing else, the most encouraging sign they have seen from Hughes all season.

2) Steve Goldman argues that parting with Jesus Montero is a no-brainer if it means acquiring Ubaldo Jimenez.

When it's a question of a prospect or a proven player, even one who may be having a down year, the decision is almost always for the sure thing. Prospects, even ones as highly touted as Montero, are just that -- and no matter how much experience one has at Triple-A, the minors are not the majors. Jimenez has been struggling this season, but he is still just 27 and after the success he has in previous seasons, the Rockies are apparently not willing to sell low. Whether or not the Yankees should be willing to part with the entire top tier of their farm system is another question, entirely.

3) Pete Caldera writes that Joe DiMaggio's 56 game hitting streak is still magical, 70 years later. Sunday was the 70th anniversary of the end of the streak.

DiMaggio's hitting streak is often considered one of the most unbreakable records in baseball; the list of players to have even a 30 game hitting streak is a short one, and includes a number of Hall of Famers and potential Hall of Famers. Much of the Yankee identity, of course, is centered around the history of the team, and DiMaggio's streak is one of the most well-known in Yankees' history.

4) It was not a great day for the top prospects in the system.

Triple-A Scranton lost to Toledo, 7-6 in 11 innings.

Montero was hitless in five at bats and struck out three times.

Double-A Trenton lost to Reading, 4-3.

Manny Banuelos pitched five innings, allowing three runs on five hits. He walked five and struck out six, while sitting 92. The blister injury he had at the beginning of the season is also apparently flaring up.

High-A Tampa beat Jupiter, 14-5.

J.R. Murphy had four hits in five at bats, all singles.

Low-A Charleston beat West Virginia, 9-5 in 11 innings.

Gary Sanchez did not play.

Short Season Staten Island lost to Tri-City, 8-2, while the Rookie GCL Yankees had a scheduled off day.