Results tagged ‘ Ron Davis ’

Beltran scratched with swollen left knee

With no designated hitter allowed in Denver, a National League city, it was no surprise that Alex Rodriguez was not in the Yankees’ starting lineup Tuesday night. But no Carlos Beltran? Now that was a surprise.

Beltran was scratched because of a swollen left knee, which raised some caution flags for the Yankees. Beltran has a long history of problems with his right knee, but this was the first time his left knee was an issue. The Yankees spent their open date Monday in Denver after flying there Sunday night. Beltran said he had dinner five blocks away from the hotel that night and did not experience any difficulty until he awoke Tuesday morning and felt stiffness due to swelling.

Aaron Hicks started in right field in place of Beltran, and second baseman Starlin Castro was moved into the third spot in the batting order. The loss of Beltran, no pun intended, hurts. He has been the Yanks’ most productive hitter with club-high totals in home runs (16) and RBI (44) that has put him in place as a possible choice for the American League All-Star team.

In addition, Denver’s Coors Field has been one of Beltran’s favorite stops dating back to his NL days with the Astros, Mets, Giants and Cardinals. He has a .526 career slugging percentage there and had his only career three-homer game at Coors Field May 12, 2011 with the Mets when he was 3-for-5 with three runs and six RBI. Beltran held out the possibility that he might be able to come off the bench as a pinch hitter and perhaps return to the lineup for Wednesday’s afternoon game.

With Mark Teixeira on the 15-day disabled list because of torn cartilage in his right knee, the Yankees signed former Mets first baseman Ike Davis, who was released from the Rangers’ Triple A affiliate and will be in a platoon with Rob Refsnyder, who started Tuesday night against lefthander Jorge De La Rosa. Davis is a second-generation Yankee. His father, relief pitcher Ron Davis, spent the first four of his 11 seasons in the major leagues with the Yankees from 1978-81.

Nunez still hurting, is DL next?

Eduardo Nunez’s nagging left ribcage injury that kept him out of Saturday night’s lineup for the fifth straight game could force the Yankees to place him on the 15-day disabled list. A decision will likely to be made sometime Sunday because the Yankees have a makeup doubleheader at Cleveland Monday and do not want to be short on the roster with at least 18 innings to cover.

New rules allow the Yanks and Indians to add a 26th player each for the twin bill. The Yankees are expected to bring up another pitcher under that rule, but they may need an infielder as well. David Adams, the third baseman who has done well at Triple A Scranton, is ineligible to be called up to the majors until May 15, which is Wednesday, so another player will have to be added instead.

Shawn Kelley struck out a career-high six batters of the seven he faced in 2 1/3 innings Friday night in the Yankees’ 11-6 victory over the Royals. The righthander became the first Yankees reliever to strike out at least six batters without allowing a base runner since May 4, 1981 when Ron Davis punched out a franchise record eight consecutive batters at Anaheim.

Kelley is part of an amazing run by the Yankees bullpen that has not allowed a run over the past four games totaling 12 1/3 innings. The relief corps has pitched to a 1.14 ERA in May over 23 2/3 innings and have held opposing hitters to a .171 batting average in 82 at-bats with six walks and 24 strikeouts.

Curtis Granderson played his second injury-rehabilitation game for Scranton Friday night against Gwinett (Braves) as the starting left fielder and had 1-for-5 with a game-winning two-run home run in the eighth inning. Granderson has 2-for-8 (.250) in two games in which he has played both left field and right field.

Nova improves Jackie Robinson Award credentials

Ivan Nova just might be running away with the American League Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award if he had not had to spend most of the month of July in the minor leagues because of the Yankees’ pitching logjam. Nova ran his winless streak to 10 starts with Sunday’s 3-0 victory over the Twins that completed a 5-2 trip for the Yanks, who are proving to be true road warriors.

The righthander’s 13 victories in 17 decisions are the most for rookie pitchers, and seven shutout innings brought his ERA below 4.00 at 3.97. This was a scoreless game for five innings. Nova was most impressive in working out of tight situations.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Twins had runners on second and third with none out as the result of a single by Jim Thome and a double by Danny Valencia on a ball that fell between center fielder Curtis Granderson and right fielder Nick Swisher on a mix-up of coverage. Nova met the challenge by striking out Rene Tusoni and Matt Tolbert and getting Drew Butera on a grounder to first base. Minnesota had runners on first and second with two out in the sixth, but Nova stranded them with a strikeout of Thome on a nasty slider.

Nova’s victory total is the most for a Yankees rookie pitcher since reliever Ron Davis was 14-2 in 1979 and most for a Yankees rookie starter since Doc Medich was 14-9 in 1973. Neither was a Rookie of the Year winner, but Nova is a firm candidate this year. His competition comes from fellow starting pitchers Jeremy Hellickson of the Rays and Michael Pineda of the Mariners, reliever Jordan Walden and first baseman Mark Trumbo, both of the Angels. Nova has not lost since June 3 at Anaheim. In 10 starts since, he is 9-0 with a 3.59 ERA.

On a day when the Yankees were hitless in eight at-bats with runners in scoring position, they used their legs to get Nova some runs. After leading off the sixth inning with a double, Robinson Cano sped to third after a flyout to left by Swisher and was able to score on Russell Martin’s fly ball to center.

The next inning, Granderson ran out every base of his 35th home run, the third inside-the-parker of his career and the first in the two-year-old Target Field. Granderson showed what can happen when a player runs hard. He could have cruised into third with a triple but he never let up so that when the Twins botched the relay he saw third base coach Rob Thompson’s green light and beat the play to the plate.

Mark Teixeira followed with a more conventional home run on a liner into the left field stands. His 34th kept Tex one behind the team leader, Granderson, who tied the Blue Jays’ Jose Bautista for the league lead.

The Yankees are doing an excellent job of navigating their way through an August schedule that has them on the road nearly three-quarters of the time. They are 10-4 away from Yankee Stadium this month and 37-24 for the year.

Another Stadium, another Davis

There was a decided lack of buzz at Yankee Stadium before the opener of Subway Series II. Perhaps it was due to the late-arriving crowd dealing with the usual Friday in the summer rush-hour traffic. At any rate, it was so quiet you would have thought you were at Dodger Stadium, where entering the park in the third inning and leaving in the seventh has been a ritual in L.A.

Then the game started, and it didn’t take long for the folks to get into it. Mets third baseman David Wright, who entered the game leading the National League in runs batted in, got Yankees fans booing when he doubled to left with two out in the first. Ike Davis, in his first Yankee Stadium at-bat, dropped a single in front of Nick Swisher in right field.

A play at the plate followed, with Wright sliding hands first and slapping the bottom of the plate while eluding catcher Francisco Cervelli’s swipe tag. Yankees fans bellowed, but replays from several angles indicated that Cervelli never touched Wright.

Davis was looking forward to playing at the Stadium. “It would have been nice to have played at the old one where my dad pitched, but this is just as cool,” Ike said before the game.

Ike’s father was Ron Davis, a hard-throwing, right-handed pitcher who is often considered the first set-up reliever. He may not have been the first, but in his four seasons with the Yankees (1979-82) setting up for Goose Gossage Davis was one of the best.

The 6-4, 200-pounder was 27-10 with a 2.93 ERA in 144 appearances for the Yankees, including a spectacular 1979 season when he was 14-2 with nine saves and a 2.85 ERA. Davis was that rarity, a non-closer who made the All-Star team, in 1981. However, he did get roughed up by the Dodgers that year in the World Series (23.14 ERA) after he had pitched 9 1/3 scoreless innings of one-hit relief in the playoffs.

The Yankees found themselves in need of a veteran shortstop early in the 1982 season and that April they traded Davis and two minor-leaguers, pitcher Paul Boris and infielder Greg Gagne, to the Twins for Roy Smalley. The Twins made Davis their closer, and while he had 108 saves in five years in Minnesota his record was 19-40 with a 4.51 ERA. It was a bad trade all around because Gagne turned out to be a much better shortstop than Smalley, who if nothing else was sartorially splendid and earned the nickname “Tootsie,” after the popular Dustin Hoffman movie.

Ron Davis lives in Arizona, but he and his family are in town for the weekend and will be at the Stadium to see their boy play.

Speaking of newcomers, the Yankees signed their first-round draft choice, shortstop Cito Culver of Rochester, N.Y. He had committed to attend the University of Maryland, but that was before he was drafted by the Yankees. College will have to wait.