Old-look Yankees make first visit to Coors Field since 2007

Mike Stobe

Led by key contributions from Vernon Wells, Lyle Overbay and Travis Hafner, these aren't your older brother's Yankees. Rather, they're your mid-2000's Blue Jays and Indians and Diamondbacks and stuff.

The New York Yankees' injury report reads like an All-Star ballot, yet the Bronx Bombers enter their series this week against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field in Denver, Colo., with an 18-12 record, good for second place in the perennially-tough AL East.

The mid-2000's have been very kind to this year's Yankees, which is weird because we're now in 2013. Travis Hafner, Lyle Overbay and Vernon Wells are not just key contributors to the club; they're among the team's leaders in multiple offensive categories. Hafner and Wells have each homered six times, good for second on the club behind Robinson Cano, who has eight. Overbay isn't far behind with five dingers, and boasts a respectable .484 slugging percentage. Hafner actually leads the club in OPS+ at 168, eight points better than Cano.

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On the pitching front, Hiroki Kuroda is at it again. The 38-year-old native of Japan is followed up his best MLB campaign with a terrific April, going 4-1 with a 2.25 ERA, tossing a complete game shutout along the way while striking out 30 batters in 36 innings. For more on Kuroda and the rest of the Yankees, we bring in Tanya Bondurant from Pinstriped Bible. Don't forget to check out their corresponding Q&A session with yours truly.

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Bryan Kilpatrick: Old is young as far as the Yankees are concerned, as Travis Hafner, Vernon Wells, Lyle Overbay and Hiroki Kuroda are among the elder statesmen performing well for the team. How much longer can they keep it up, and perhaps more importantly, how much longer will they HAVE to?

Tanya Bondurant: Hiroki Kuroda was basically the Yankees' best pitcher for long stretches in 2012, so his success in the AL East has certainly proven to be sustainable to this point. The other three all come with question marks - can Travis Hafner stay healthy? Will Vernon Wells and Lyle Overbay suddenly remember they are Vernon Wells and Lyle Overbay? I think that a healthy Hafner could keep up a high level of production for longer than Wells or Overbay can, but reinforcements in the form of Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira should be back within a month, so they just need to be able to keep their heads above water until then.

BK: New York also appears to be the home for former first-round draft picks of the Colorado Rockies who never quite made it in the thin air of Denver. How would you rate the play of Jayson Nix -- and to a lesser degree since he's only had seven plate appearances, Chris Nelson -- thus far?

TB: Jayson Nix is a versatile infielder, which the Yankees have definitely needed with A-Rod and Jeter out until at least the All-Star break. Unfortunately, he seems to come up in the middle of a rally so often that you can almost bank on it and be right. Two outs and runners in scoring position? Here comes Nix. More unfortunately, he seems to rarely succeed in those situations. Chris Nelson hasn't done much of anything in limited time, so it's difficult to judge him. Picking him up was a classic Yankees move, but a lot of us would just as soon they give someone from the farm a chance to impress at this point.

BK: David Phelps was serviceable in his 2013 starting debut, allowing four runs in 5.2 innings while punching out five batters and walking one. How long will he stick in the rotation?

TB: I have been on the David Phelps bandwagon since last season, but he doesn't always make it easy to stay there. His numbers in the first inning of games are rather concerning, though he manages to settle in as the game goes on for the most part. Ivan Nova was struggling when he hit the DL, so Phelps could theoretically stick in the rotation even upon Nova's return if he seizes the opportunity. He hasn't managed to be impressive enough to do that just yet.

BK: There have only been about three games this season in which Robinson Cano has not reached base. So, basically he's doing what he does all the time. How high up the list does he belong in the discussion of the best players in baseball?


Robinson Cano

#24 / Second Base / New York Yankees

6-0

205

L

R

Oct 22, 1982


AVG OBP SLG
2013 - Robinson Cano .325 .376 .602



TB: Robinson Cano is fantastic, and definitely has an argument for being considered the best second baseman in baseball right now. He's durable and has really been a cornerstone of the Yankee offense the past couple years, with the exception of the 2012 playoffs when every single one of them seemed to forget they were professional hitters. He's my favorite player, so I freely admit that I'm probably answering with a heavy dose of bias, but I definitely think he's probably top 5 in baseball among hitters right now. Adding pitchers to the pool may push him back into the top 10, but he plays every day at a premium position, and I think that counts for something.

BK: Last time the Yankees played in Denver, the Rockies swept them en route to a surprising season that ended in a World Series berth. Of course, that's when Roger Clemens still pitched for the Yankees and their star hitter was some guy named Alex Rodriguez. What are your expectations and/or predictions for this series?

TB: I'm hoping for some thin air home runs! The Yankees weren't supposed to be able to score as much via the long ball as they did last year after losing so much of their home run power to injury or free agency, but they have done surprisingly well in that department so far. Both teams have kind of been surprising in their own way to this point in the season, so I could easily see three competitive games that go either way. The Yankees will lose a bit of their offensive production by having to sit Travis Hafner in favor of letting the pitcher bat, but luckily they won't have to overcome the nightmare that would be Phil Hughes pitching at Coors.

*****

Probable pitchers

Game 1: Tuesday, May 7 at 6:40 p.m. MT (ROOT Sports)

Hiroki Kuroda (4-1, 2.25 ERA) vs. Jorge De La Rosa (2-3, 4.18 ERA)

Game 2: Wednesday, May 8 at 6:40 p.m. MT (ROOT Sports)

David Phelps (1-1, 5.56) vs. Juan Nicasio (3-0, 4.91)

Game 3: Thursday, May 9 at 1:10 p.m. MT (ROOT Sports)

CC Sabathia (4-3, 3.31) vs. Jeff Francis (1-2, 7.27)

*****


Batting

G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
Robinson Cano 30 123 20 40 10 0 8 19 10 17 1 0 .325 .376 .602
Travis Hafner 26 79 15 23 3 1 6 18 15 22 1 0 .291 .417 .582
Vernon Wells 28 107 15 30 4 0 6 13 10 18 3 0 .280 .339 .486
Ichiro Suzuki 27 97 9 27 3 1 1 6 8 11 2 1 .278 .330 .361
Brett Gardner 30 118 15 32 5 1 3 13 11 26 4 2 .271 .336 .407
Francisco Cervelli 17 52 12 14 3 0 3 8 8 9 0 0 .269 .377 .500
Kevin Youkilis 17 64 10 17 4 0 2 7 4 18 0 0 .266 .347 .422
Chris Stewart 15 43 6 11 0 0 2 4 3 8 1 0 .256 .298 .395
Lyle Overbay 28 95 9 24 5 1 5 15 5 16 0 0 .253 .290 .484
Jayson Nix 25 75 5 17 1 0 1 6 5 21 0 0 .227 .272 .280
Eduardo Nunez 27 80 9 16 4 1 0 4 8 16 2 1 .200 .290 .275
Brennan Boesch 17 37 4 7 1 1 2 4 2 6 0 0 .189 .231 .432
Ben Francisco 15 30 4 4 0 0 1 1 4 8 0 0 .133 .257 .233
Chris Nelson 2 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Austin Romine 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .000 .250 .000
Phil Hughes 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Cody Eppley 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Andy Pettitte 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Joba Chamberlain 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Shawn Kelley 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Boone Logan 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
David Phelps 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
CC Sabathia 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Vidal Nuno 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Mariano Rivera 13 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
David Robertson 12 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Ivan Nova 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Adam Warren 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Preston Claiborne 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Hiroki Kuroda 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000

Pitching

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
Preston Claiborne 0-0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 .00
Vidal Nuno 0-0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3.0 4 0 0 0 0 2 0.00 1.33
Adam Warren 0-0 5 0 0 0 0 0 13.0 12 3 3 1 4 11 2.08 1.23
Mariano Rivera 0-0 13 0 0 0 11 0 12.1 11 3 3 1 2 12 2.19 1.05
Hiroki Kuroda 4-1 6 6 1 1 0 0 36.0 27 9 9 2 11 30 2.25 1.06
Boone Logan 2-2 11 0 0 0 0 0 8.2 12 4 3 2 2 9 3.12 1.62
CC Sabathia 4-3 7 7 0 0 0 0 49.0 50 20 18 7 12 42 3.31 1.27
Phil Hughes 1-2 6 6 0 0 0 0 35.0 40 15 14 5 7 34 3.60 1.34
Joba Chamberlain 0-0 10 0 0 0 1 0 9.1 10 4 4 0 6 7 3.86 1.71
David Robertson 1-0 12 0 0 0 0 1 11.2 9 5 5 2 2 13 3.86 .94
Andy Pettitte 3-2 6 6 0 0 0 0 37.2 40 19 17 5 11 27 4.06 1.35
David Phelps 1-1 7 1 0 0 0 1 22.2 25 15 14 2 9 27 5.56 1.50
Ivan Nova 1-1 4 4 0 0 0 0 16.2 23 12 12 1 8 18 6.48 1.86
Shawn Kelley 1-0 10 0 0 0 0 0 11.1 13 10 10 4 4 17 7.94 1.50
Cody Eppley 0-0 2 0 0 0 0 0 1.2 4 4 4 0 0 1 21.60 2.40


New York Yankees Injuries

Questionable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
David Robertson hamstring 05/07/2013
Eduardo Nunez ribs 05/07/2013

15-Day

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Curtis Granderson forearm 02/22/2013
Mark Teixeira wrist 03/22/2013
Kevin Youkilis back 04/28/2013
Joba Chamberlain oblique 04/28/2013

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Michael Pineda shoulder 03/15/2013
Alex Rodriguez hip 02/13/2013
Cesar Cabral elbow 03/26/2013
Derek Jeter ankle 03/22/2013
Francisco Cervelli hand 04/27/2013

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