Yankees Daily Briefing 08/17/11

After taking the first two in Kansas City, the Yankees will look to complete the sweep of the Royals on Wednesday evening. Bartolo Colon (8-6, 3.31) will be on the mound for the Yankees while the Royals will have Bruce Chen take the ball. Chen lost to the Yankees twice last season.

Discussion of the Day: Do you think Derek Jeter's recent resurgence (see #2 below) is sustainable over the rest of the season? Why or why not?

Behind Enemy Lines: Clark Fosler at Royals Authority wonders if the Royals should look for an ace to bolster their likely 2012 and 2013 lineups. While a pitcher of Zack Greinke's caliber can undoubtedly help a team, they won't come cheap or with guarantees, and the Royals are not known for a prodigious payroll.

1) Jay Jaffe writes that A.J. Burnett has been the sixth-best starter for the Yankees, while Wallace Matthews notes that it was three years in between Burnett's August wins.

By ERA+, Burnett has been the fifth-best starter for the Yankees this season, but one must consider that Phil Hughes' numbers are skewed by his awful April. Though Ivan Nova had a poor start on Tuesday, he's had a recent run of success, while Burnett's quality start on Monday was his first since mid-June. No doubt the Yankees still hope that he can harness his "stuff" and at least be more like the pitcher he was in 2009, but recent trends and statistics do not augur well.

2) Mike Axisa and David Waldstein both consider Jeter's marked improvement since returning from the disabled list (Axisa; Waldstein.

Since coming off of the DL on July 4th, Jeter has hit .326/.382/.457 with eight doubles, two triples and two home runs. These numbers would be respectable for almost anyone; they are certainly much more appropriate for a leadoff hitter than the .260/.324/.324/.649 he hit before injuring his calf. Jeter's .377 BABIP since coming off the DL is likely to regress (thus, so will his other numbers), but it's something the Yankees will hope can be staved off for as long as possible.

3) Alex Rodriguez continued his rehab in a mostly down night for the farm system.

Triple-A Scranton lost to Durham, 2-0.

Greg Smith was released so Scott Proctor could be added to the Scranton roster.

Rodriguez had one hit -- a hard hit single -- in three at bats, and had a little trouble catching a pop up, and the Yankees want him to play at least two full nine inning games before returning to the Bronx.

Jesus Montero had one hit in four at bats and struck out once.

Andrew Brackman pitched one inning, allowed no hits, walks or runs, and struck out one batter.

Double-A Trenton got swept in a doubleheader with Erie, losing the first game 6-0, and the second game 8-2.

Austin Romine was activated off of the disabled list; he had one hit in two at bats and a walk in the first game, and did not play in the second.

High-A Tampa lost to Lakeland, 12-5, while Low-A Charleston lost to Hickory, 5-4.

Short Season Staten Island is off for the NY-Penn League All Star game; in that game Mason Williams struck out in one at bat, Casey Stevenson was hitless in two at bats, and Ben Gamel was hitless in one at bat.

Evan DeLuca pitched an inning, allowing just one hit. He walked two and did not record a strikeout. Branden Pinder allowed three runs on three hits in one inning. He walked one and struck out one.

The Rookie GCL Yankees lost to the GCL Pirates, 6-5.