Category Archives: Notes & Links

Morning Bits; Afternoon Notes; Evening Notes; Late-Night Notes

Final Spring Notes: Rivera, Boesch, Overbay, Mustelier, Francisco, Teixeira, Jeter, Granderson

Spring Training has come to close and GMS Field is done with Yankees games until next March, but the Yankees still have a job to do before Opening Day on Monday. That includes making cuts, adding people and setting their roster for Opening Day. Here’s what happened after today’s game.

Juan Rivera Juan Rivera was released by the Yankees following today’s game, so it’s apparent that he won’t make the Yankees. The Yankees had to pay $100,000 in order to keep him on Tuesday and cut him today. Hopefully he’ll attach to another team. Unfortunatley, that team won’t be the Yankees.

Ronnier MustelierRonnier Mustelier had a slim chance of making the roster but he was very impressive this Spring. Brian Cashman made it clear that Mustelier didn’t make the team after suffering a knee bruise. He was supposed to play last night in Sarasota but was scratched. Mustelier will stay in Tampa instead.

Brennan Boesch, Ben Francisco & Lyle OverbayThe Yankees seem keen on having Brennan Boesch, Ben Francisco and Lyle Overbay on the Yankees, and Cashman coy-fully suggested that the three of them would be at Yankee Stadium on Monday. I know we only saw Overbay for two days, but his defense was impressive and I wouldn’t mind having him on the team. Francisco and Boesch since coming to Yankees camp impressed, so it’s not surprising that they’re being considered for a role with the ball club.

Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson & Derek JeterThe Yankees are breaking camp today and only one of these three players will actually go north with the team. Mark Teixeira will go with the Yankees and will get checked on Monday by the doctor for his wrist. If all goes well, Teixeira can take off the brace and will start strengthening his wrist. Curtis Granderson and Derek Jeter are staying in Tampa because they are closer to baseball activities than Teixeira. For example, Granderson can shag fly balls, pick up a bat and grip it without the arm hurting. Derek Jeter will get into a baseball game next week. Teixeira is a little far off from doing those quite yet.

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Morning Bits: Wang excited to be back with Yanks, Mariano, AL East Rivals

mug3Good Morning all….. Not many spring training games left.   Let’s get right to the links….

David Waldstein of The New York Times writes that Wang hopes to get back to where he started.

Andrew Marchand of ESPN NY asks over/under 36 saves this season for Mariano Rivera.

Danny Knobler of CBS Sports writes that the Yankees have looked bad, but not to their AL East rivals.

Morning Bits: Vernon Wells, lack of depth, Pettitte

mug3Good morning all.   Let’s get going with the some links.

–  Bryan Hoch of MLB.com has some quotes about the Vernon Wells trade.

Andy McCullough of The Star Ledger writes that the Yankees lineup lacks depth, talent of years past.

David Waldstein of The New York Times mentions that Pettitte still likes the Yankees chances.

Morning Bits: Pettitte, Cano, Lineup

mug3Good Morning all.  Let’s get started with the links….

Andy McCullough of The Star Ledger writes about Hughes,  Mariano and Pettitte.

Kevin Kernan of The New York Post writes that Cano is growing as leader.

Wallace Matthews of ESPN NY asks what is your opening day lineup?

Morning Bits: Cervelli, Nova, Opening Day

mug3Good morning all.   Away we go….

– The Yankees consider The Great Gazoo I mean Francisco Cervelli a fair bet to start Opening Day writes Andy McCullough of The Star Ledger.

– After his start yesterday Ivan Nova continue to fight for the 5th spot in the rotation.  Article is also from McCullough.

Anthony Reiber of Newsday writes that for the first time ever the Mets and Yankees will open the season at the same time, same day and in the same city.

Morning Bits: Calling all retired players, Romine to start season in AAA, Nova on mound today

mug3Who is happy about the new addition of Francisco?  Not me at all!!!!  Let’s get going with the links….

Daniel Barbarisi of The Wall Street Journal writes that if you are old and retired the Yankees are interested.

– If you thought Austin Romine would start in the Bronx this year than you were wrong.  D.J. Short of NBC Sports reports that he has been assigned to the AAA Roster.

Andrew Marchand of ESPN NY writes that it’s Nova’s turn today to stay on par with Phelps in the showdown for the 5th spot in the rotation.

Morning Bits: Ronnier Mustelier, C.C., Phelps vs Nova for the 5th spot.

mug3We are now less than 3 weeks till the regular season begins for major league baseball!!!! Let’s get going with some Yankee links….

– We have been talking about Ronnier Mustelier on this blog since last year saying he needed to be on team.   Well he is finally getting some Dap when The Daily News is writing an article about him.  John Harper wrote the article.

– From The Star Ledger writer Andy McCullough mentions that C.C. will be making his first start of the spring this week.

Adam Berry of MLB.COM writes that Phelps and Nova are pushing each other for the 5th spot in the rotation.

Morning Bits: Mariano, Tex injury update, Cashman quotes and more…

mug3Good morning all.   Let’s get you going with the some articles.  Enjoy the weekend.

Tyler Kepner of The New York Times looks into Mariano closing out his career.

– Daily News writer Mark Feinsand mentions that doctors told Teixeira that the wrist injury shouldn’t linger all season.

Bill Madden of The Daily News writes that Cashman is going to sit and wait out the injuries.

From the YES NETWORK here is a quick cut of Joba.

Observations from a Disastorous ST

Tex's wrist injury leaves the offense punchless

Tex’s wrist injury leaves the offense punchless

Spring Training is supposed to be an uneventful month of games where veterans get their work in, pitchers build up their arms and young players show off their skills. But for the Yankees, this ST has been a war of attrition. Injuries have now knocked out their two biggest power hitters for at least the first 5 weeks of the regular season and the team has little in the way of depth to help.

You can’t blame Brian Cashman for the injuries to Granderson & Teixeira but he does bear some responsibility for the predicament they are in now.  Consider the following:

  1. By failing to acquire a MLB-caliber  hitting Catcher or a legitimate RH hitting OF, the lineup was lean to begin with and could ill-afford any losses.  I’d feel a lot better with a lefty power hitting Catcher like Pyrzynski and/or a strong RH hitting OF like Gomes or Soriano.
  2. By letting Eric Chavez leave via FA and not bringing in a solid replacement, the team has no legitimate hitter (or fielder) to step in at 3B or 1B much less one that hit .281 with 16 HRs in 313 ABs last yr with a 126 OPS+
  3. By bringing in a DH who doesn’t even own a Glove, he further crippled the team’s depth and eliminated a number of options.  Last year when starting LF Brett Gardner was lost for the season after 2 weeks, DH Raul Ibanez was able to step in and play a lot of LF enabling Girardi to use his best available hitter as DH or to use that slot to rest his aging veteran position players. This year, Travis Hafner will be clogging up that DH spot so he had better be a very productive hitter

I didn’t intend to make this a bash Cashman article but I had to point out the poor construction of this roster. The injuries have allowed us to see what the team has in terms of veteran options and minor-lg depth.  So far, the young OFs have shown some promise while the vets have looked brutal.  In the infield, it seems there is no depth at the corner spots.  Here are some random observations on certain players and positions:

  • Melky Mesa & Zoilo Almonte have shown some skills.  Mesa is a very good OF who can play all 3 spots and Zoilo looks like a solid defender in RF.  Offensively, both have power but have the same problems with strikeouts.  I like Zoilo better as a hitter but they may make a decent platoon.  Juan Rivera is an absolute disaster in the OF and brings back memories of Marcus Thames.  I really hope he doesn’t make the team because he isn’t a good hitter and is a zero in the field. I haven’t seen a lot of Diaz in the OF but I think I’d take him over Rivera.
  • Slade is the WildCard. I love his game but I don’t know if it’s right to bring him up for just 5 weeks. I like to see him stay healthy and hit the ball in AA before bringing him up
  • Ronny Mustelier can hit and looks serviceable in the OF.  He’s played the IF before, i wonder if they could try him at 1B.  At this point they need to get guys who can hit on the team.  if Musty can play LF, RF and 1B and/or 3B he’d be a valuable asset with his bat.  I’d rather see him hit than Juan Rivera.
  • Dan Johnson & Corban Joseph have gotten a lot of time at 3B and both are butchers there. It’s a shame that David Adams is hurt again because he’d have a legit chance to make the team if he proved he could play 3B.
  • Eduardo Nunez has looked good at SS.  He’s gotten a lot of innings there and looks much more confident.  The work on his throwing motion seems to have helped and I think he has to get a lot of playing time this yr at SS and DH.
  • Jayson Nix is a solid utility-man and I’d rather play him at 3B than Johnson
  • The bullpen arms look great. They are deep there as usual. Joba looks strong and some young arms like Chase Whitley and Francisco Rondon have been impressive.  I was a little concerned with Mark Montgomery‘s last outing.  He had bad body language and his stuff lacked crispness. I thought they should have taken him out right away and I’m concerned he may be injured.  I hope I’m wrong.
  • Vidal Nuno has been a pleasant surprise. He’s had several good outings and threw 4 no-hit innings against us yesterday with 4 Ks. He is aggressive and throws 4 pitches for strikes in any count. He’ll be good depth in AAA this year and I wouldn’t be scared to give him a start in an emergency.  With Warren and Brett Marshall, they have 3 solid starters at AAA and they are still looking for a veteran like CM Wang to stash in Scranton.

Who’s on First?, Couple of Tex articles, Robertson to rest stiff shoulder

mug3How’s everyone feeling about the upcoming season now?   Let’s get right into the links….

– New York Times writer David Waldstein has the latest on the Tex injury.

Sports Illustrated has a nice article about the injury.

–Another injury to note is that David Robertson is skipping the trip to rest his stiff shoulder article provided by Andy McCullogh of The Star Ledger.

Morning Bits: Lack of power in 2013, David Phelps, Switch Pitching Prospect Venditte

mug3Good morning all.   Away with the links….

– The Star Ledger writer Dave D’Alessandro believes that a lack of power will doom the 2013 Yankees.

Andrew Marchand of ESPN NY writes that it is now judgement days during spring training to evaluate talent such as David Phelps who pitches tonight.

– MLB.COM writer William Boor has an article about Yankees switch pitching prospect Pat Venditte who is proud to pitch for team Italy in the World Baseball Classic.

Yankees Off-Day Notes: Cashman breaks his ankle

Well, we all knew Brian Cashman was a dare-devil and this time, it looks like his dare-devils way got him injured. Brian Cashman has been known to rappel buildings and jump out of planes for a good cause, but due to him helping a good cause, he ended up breaking his ankle.

Cashman was unscathed sky-diving the first time, but he decided to jump a second time and landed badly on his ankle, thus resulting him going to the hospital. Cashman went to get x-rays, which confirmed his break. However, Cashman was in good spirits. How did he respond to him jumping out of the plane and landing, despite getting injured?

“It was awesome.”

Well…at least Cashman’s off-day ended with a bang. Literally.

Morning Bits: Pettitte, Mariano, Jeter

mug3Good morning all.  I hope you had a nice weekend.   Let’s get right to the links….

– From The Star Ledger Dave D’Alessandro writes that Pettitte who hasn’t pitched a full season since 2009 is primed for a big year at age 40.

– From The Daily News Peter Botte has an article about Pettitte and Mariano who are feeling confident after coming back from injuries.

George King from The New York Post has an article about Jeter who says he will be ready for opening day.

From the YesNetwork here is a video of Dellin Betances

 

Morning Bits: Cano, Kuroda, Pettitte

mug3Good morning all.  It’s Friday.   Let’s get going with the links…

David Waldstein of the New York Times has the write up about Cashamn who says the Yankees have made a significant offer to Cano.

– The Yankees number two starter Kuroda will be the oldest number two starter in the league this year which is concerning when the 3 starter Pettitte will be 41 in June writes Dave D’Alessandro of The Star Ledger.  This article is about how Kuroda wants to be better in 2013.

From the Yes Network here is the interview with Francesa and Youk.

Morning Bits: PED’s, Players Union, Cano

mug3Good morning all.  One day closer to Friday.   Let’s get going with the links….

– From The Star Ledger first baseman Mark Teixeira wants tougher testing for PED’s.

Erik Boland of Newsday writes that the union is not concerned if the Yankees cut payroll.

Wallace Matthews takes a look at Robbie Cano and how he rarely misses a game.

Veterans Need to Step Up Without Granderson

 

With Curtis Granderson out for the next 10 weeks, everybody has been wondering who will replace him. There are a wide range of candidates from veterans Juan Rivera and Matt Diaz to younger players like Ronnie Mustelier, Zolio Almonte, Melky Mesa and Thomas Neal. No matter who fills in for Granderson, they will not replace his power or productivity. They just need whoever the replacement is to be a serviceable player for about a month until Granderson gets back. The key to surviving without Granderson is more about the other players in the lineup stepping up, rather than who Granderson’s replacement will be or what that replacement does.

Robinson Cano, Mark Teixeira, Brett Gardner, Ichiro Suzuki, Kevin Youkilis and Travis Hafner have to be healthy and productive until Granderson returns around the beginning of May. You could throw Derek Jeter in there as well, but you don’t really know what to expect in April from him coming off his broken ankle.

Cano and Texeira have the ability to carry the Yankees when they are hot. If either one of them have a red hot April, the Yankees should not miss Granderson too much. Both players are playing for their respective countries in the WBC, so maybe that will help them get off to a fast start, as they will be having at-bats in a competitive situation early. This could particularly help Teixeira, as he has been a notoriously slow starter in April throughout his career.

Cano and Teixeira were keys for the Yankees season to begin with because of the losses of Nick Swisher, Russell Martin, Raul Ibanez and Eric Chavez. Now the pressure on them is ratcheted even more in April without Granderson. Cano just needs to repeat his season from last season, but Teixeira needs to improve on his,

The Yankees need Teixeira to get back to the elite version of himself, rather than the very good, but not elite player he has been since 2009. His batting average will probably never be around .300 again, but an average around .275 with his power and RBI production would be great. His walk % was a career low 10.3% last season, which is something Teixeira should also improve on. They need his OPS back around .900 and his wOBA back around .400. Those numbers are more important than the batting average.

While Cano or Teixeira getting hot in April could help carry the Yankees without Granderson, Hafner and Youkilis could help a great deal in a short period of time. They will never have the same production as Cano or Teixeira over the full season, but the point here is that they only need a few people to get hot for a month without Granderson. Hafner and Youkilis have those capabilities.

First of all, Hafner and Youkilis must be on the field, as those two have combined to take an astonishing nine trips to the DL over the last three seasons between the two of them. Youkilis already was scratched from yesterday’s game due to a sore oblique, although it does not appear to be serious.

When healthy, Hafner had four outstanding seasons for Cleveland from 2004-2007, but since then the highest number of games he has played in a season is 118. Hafner still has solid power and the short porch in right field should be very inviting for him. He could easily get on a power surge in April to help offset some of Granderson’s lost power.

Youkilis does not have the power that Hafner does, but he can certainly get hot and be a key player for the Yankees without Granderson. He had two warning track fly balls and a line out to third in Sunday’s spring training game, so it appears he might be seeing the ball well early. Youkilis made some swing changes with Kevin Long over the winter, so it will be interesting to see how they impact him early in the season. Youkilis already has the responsibility of replacing Alex Rodriguez, but he has to be apart of the puzzle that replaces Granderson in April as well. Youkilis had a terrible year for him last season, but he is not far removed from solid production in 2011 (.258/.373/.459/.833) and elite production in 2010 (.307/.411/.564/.975), so hopefully he can get back to something close to either of those years again.

Gardner and Ichiro will have to step up in April for the Yankees to field a competitive outfield. It’s obviously extremely early, but Gardner and Ichiro are hitting .667 in their two Spring Training games. Their speed will be counted on more than ever, as will their defense to help prevent runs because the Yankees will not score as many. They can create runs via stolen bases and hit-and-runs, which the Yankees will need to do without Granderson. As the probable leadoff hitter vs. righties, Gardner will also have to keep his OBP at a very good rate.

The Yankees have a small margin for error this season, so they will have to keep afloat without Granderson. Brian Cashman has shown patience in these situations in the past, so he is unlikely to go out and overpay somebody to replace Granderson for a month.  Granderson leads MLB in home runs the last two years, so nobody they replace him with will be capable of putting up his numbers. They will need the established players on their team to step up their performances in April to compensate for the loss of Granderson.

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