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The roster begins to shape up for the Yankees

The Opening Day 25-man roster has to be set by Sunday, but the Yankees got a head start and started making some cuts and additions. Here’s what manager Joe Girardi and the Yankees did after the Yankees 4-2 win over the Nationals.

1. The Yankees optioned Melky Mesa to Triple-A Scranton along with newly acquired pitcher Sam Demel.

2. Lyle Overbay officially made the team today. Overbay’s defense impressed Joe Girardi enough that he will be the 1B against right handed pitchers while Kevin Youkilis plays third base.

3. Ben Francisco and Jayson Nix also made the team as the 4th OF and a utility guy off the bench.

4. David Aardsma was designated for assignment by the Yankees today. The reason behind it was that Girardi felt the Yankees already felt that they had enough one inning pitchers. Didn’t seem the need to carry another one.

5. Shawn Kelley made the team. Girardi liked his approach on the mound as well as the fact that he’s a strikeout pitcher.

6. Vidal Nuno along with a handful of other players were reassigned to minor league camp. I guess winning the Dawson Award didn’t mean much in the Yankees eyes.

7. Before the game today, Joe Girardi and Mark Teixeira were watching Brennan Boesch do first base drills while Teixeira was giving him pointers. It seems as if the Yankees plan on carrying Boesch as the emergency first baseman although the Yankees didn’t officially announce that as of yet.

8. After the Yankees released David Adams, he became a free agent today and the Yankees re-signed him. Seemed like a lengthy process to get him off the 40-man roster and back into the organization.

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Spring Training Notes 2/12/13: State Of The Yankees Address

Photo taken by Mark Feinsand of the Daily News

Photo taken by Mark Feinsand of the Daily News

Today may be the State Of the Union Address for the United States of America, but today was the State of the Yankees Address live from the minor league complex by none other than the Yankees manager Joe Girardi (who might I add is in the final year of his contract). Girardi covered a plethora of topics but one of the biggest topics that Girardi covered was Alex Rodriguez. Here’s some notes and news from today.

Girardi on Alex Rodriguez:

“There really isn’t a lot to talk about. My concern is for him to get healthy. This club is used to having what people might call distractions.”

Girardi hasn’t spoken to Alex Rodriguez about the PED topic and has confirmed that Alex Rodriguez will not be in camp this spring. Instead, Rodriguez will rehab in New York.

Girardi on the 2013 team:

“We’re going to have to find a different way to score runs. Our offense is going to be different but I believe [we're going to score runs].”

Girardi also believes that the Yankees are going to win 95 games and the World Series. “There’s a lot of talent in this room. If we play up to our capabilities, I believe we’re a very good team.”

Girardi’s biggest concern:

Girardi’s biggest concern is finding a right-handed DH bat before the actual season begins.

Girardi on Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson and Ichiro Suzuki:

As of today, Brett Gardner will be in LF, Curtis Granderson will be in CF and Ichiro Suzuki will be in RF. There’s no plans on moving Gardner and Granderson as of yet, but it could change as he discusses it with his coaches.

Girardi on concerns of Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera:

He doesn’t have any concerns on both Yankees who are coming off of injuries.

MORE AROUND YANKEES CAMP

Austin Romine came into camp thirteen pounds lighter and his back in very good shape. He believes he sees an opportunity.

CC Sabathia is also 100% after having elbow surgery over the winter. He says that the surgery was a relief and he now has complete mobility of his elbow. Sabathia also lost a lot of weight, now weighing in at 290. His first bullpen session will be on Thursday.

– We also have new locker arraignments and numbers in Yankees camp. Here they are:

-Travis Hafner takes Nick Swisher‘s old number and will now wear #33. Hafner’s locker is now next to Youkilis, formerly vacated by Eric Chavez.
-Francisco Cervelli will now wear #29, formerly worn by Rafael Soriano.
-David Phelps changed his number to #35. Mike Mussina used to wear #35 back in the day as did Michael Pineda last season (who we never saw during the season).
-Michael Pineda will now wear #43. His previous number was #35.
-Kevin Youkilis wears #36 and now has Nick Swisher’s old locker.
- David Aardsma will now wear #34.
- Matt Diaz will now wear #22.
- Dan Johnson will now wear #27.
- Juan Rivera will now wear #54.

Yankees Off-Day Notes: Who does NOT make the roster, Pettitte for Game 2

Good evening everyone! It’s day 3 of the 3-day day off for the Yankees as they prepare to play the Baltimore Orioles. Today is the ALDS for the Tigers and the A’s while it’s the NLDS for the Reds and the Giants. Here are some off-day notes about the Yankees:

– The Yankees 25 man roster will be released tomorrow morning but for now, Joe Girardi has told us who will not make the roster. Here are some of players that haven’t made the roster.

Of course we will find out the rest tomorrow as the Yankees will look to defeat the Orioles and attempt to send them into the off-season.

Andy Pettitte will pitch Game 2 behind CC Sabathia, most likely because  Hiroki Kuroda has better numbers at home than on the road.

Now it’s time to vote on what will be the outcome for the 2012 ALDS series!!

How should the 2012 postseason roster look?

Right around the corner is the most exciting time of the year for any team—the postseason. While there are teams that have clinched their spot in the postseason, there are teams like the Yankees that are so close to clinching that they could taste it. However, they still have to battle to stay in 1st place in the American League East. While it is almost certain that the Yankees will be in another postseason, the Yankees have other things on their minds as in after they clinch a spot. What will they be doing? They will be preparing their 2012 ALDS roster (if they are in first place by the end of the season). After observing the Yankees for a while, I decided to compile a list of who would make the 25-man roster for the ALDS series against what looks to be the Detroit Tigers. (Statistics are as of the morning of September 28, 2012).

Infield

Derek Jeter (2012 Season: .318 AVG, 15 HR, 57 RBI): Of course, you cannot be in the postseason without the Captain Derek Jeter. Jeter has had a phenomenal year and will end the year with an average over .300. The last time Jeter finished with an average over .300 was in 2009. How did that end out for the Yankees? Jeter had silenced the critics and had done his thing, but can he continue into the postseason and lead the Yankees to another championship?

Robinson Cano (2012 Season: .300 AVG, 30 HR, 82 RBI): Robinson Cano is one of the best second baseman in the game and he knows how to hit. While Cano has been up and down this year, he has been consistent defensively and can help Yankees pitching by preserving runs and getting double plays with a flick of a wrist. He makes that pivot to first base better than any second baseman than I have seen. Cano was one of the very few Yankees who had a hot bat during last year’s ALDS (along with Jorge Posada and Brett Gardner respectively), so it would be nice to see Cano get on a tear.

Mark Teixeira (2012 Season: .255 AVG, 23 HR, 81 RBI): Comparing Teixeira’s numbers from 2011 and from this year, this year has not been Teixeira’s best. But can you blame the guy? He has been sidelined with a Grade 1 strained calf. While he will make the roster for the play-offs, I doubt he will be 100 percent healthy. Teixeira also is one of the few culprits that seem to mysteriously lose his hitting talents in the play-offs. He needs to have a hot and consistent bat in the play-offs or else it could be an early exit for the Yankees—again.

Alex Rodriguez (2012 Season: .276 AVG, 18 HR, 56 RBI): Now, if the stats were for another player say maybe Eduardo Nunez, Chris Dickerson or Brett Gardner that would be a hell of a year. Unfortunately, it is for the guy that the Yankees gave a lucrative contract that last for another 5 years and did not hit the way that the Yankees were expecting. A-Rod is going to make the roster…but all season he has looked terribly lost at the plate. He is also another culprit that has not hit in the postseason in recent years (no, I am not counting 2009). A-Rod needs to get his act together and very quickly or else…you know. A first round exit for the Yankees.

Russell Martin (2012 Season: .209 AVG, 19 HR, 49 RBI): So this hasn’t been Russell Martin’s best year offensively (the 19 HR’s make the .209 AVG look less hideous) but the reason he makes the postseason roster is because of his defense. He also has been heating up at the plate as of late which means he could be on a tear any day now. He also was the only one that did not look lost during the ugly 6-0 loss to the Blue Jays on Thursday night, cranking 2 hits off Morrow. Martin could add to the offense, which could be something that the Yankees need.

Morning Bits: Post Season, Aardsma & more…

Sticking with the old mug for good luck

Good Morning.  What a nice performance from Pettitte last night and the bats were alive as well.  Baltimore split a double-header so now the Yankees are 1.5 games up. The Yankees magic number is now down to 8.   Hughes takes the mound tonight.  Game time is set for 8:10PM EST.

Enjoy the day.  Now for some links…

Wallace Matthews of ESPN NY has the rapid reaction from last night’s game.

Jordan Garretson from mlb.com has a bunch of tidbits about the Yankees.

Garretson also has the updated path to the post-season for the Bombers.

Mark Feinsand of The Daily News has the story on David Aardsma who is close to returning.

 

Yankees Off-Day Notes: Gardner, A-Rod, Aardsma, WCBS

Since the Yankees aren’t playing tonight, let’s get to some off-day notes, shall we?

– Brian Cashman made it perfectly clear that Brett Gardner is not a pinch-running candidate for a September call-up. Sorry Gardner fans. That means we have to wait until February before we see our favorite left fielder back on the base-paths.

– Alex Rodriguez might be back in the Yankees lineup on Monday vs. the Tampa Bay Rays but Cashman isn’t promising anything. He will begin an assignment with Class-A Tampa. David Aardsma will join him and he might also be a September call-up.

– And if you didn’t hear the news today, WCBS 880 renewed it’s contract with the Yankees for another year! Along with the radio signing a deal with the Yankees, John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman will be behind the microphone next season.

 

Morning Bits: Concerns over A-Rod, Aardsma resting, Trades, 1st Round pick Hensley signs

Good morning all baseball is back today as the Yankees are home to face the LA Angels.  On the mound tonight is C.J. Wilson vs Kuroda.  The second half grind is a tough one.   Will the injuries continue for the Yankees?   Will they hold onto this lead?  Will Boston, Tampa, or Baltimore go on a streak to put pressure on the Bombers?  All will be decided in the months ahead.

let’s get right to the links….

Andrew Marchand of ESPN NY has an interesting article about the biggest concern for the Yankees is Alex Rodriguez. Who is not elite or great anymore he is just good.

Marchand also has the report on David Aardsma who needs two more weeks of rest.

Bryan Hoch of mlb.com writes that the Yankees figure to be interested in pitching at the trade deadline.

– A great article about the highs and the lows of the first half from Marc Carig of The Star Ledger.

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All-Star Game Lineups

Lineup vs. National League:

Derek Jeter SS
Robinson Cano 2B
Josh Hamilton LF
Jose Bautista RF
Prince Fielder 1B
Adrian Beltre 3B
David Ortiz DH
Mike Napoli C
Curtis Granderson CF

RHP Justin Verlander

Lineup vs. American League:

Carlos Gonzalez DH
Melky Cabrera CF
Ryan Braun LF
Joey Votto 1B
Carlos Beltran RF
Buster Posey C
Pedro Sandoval 3B
Dan Uggla 2B
Rafael Furcal SS

RHP Matt Cain

And now onto today’s top stories in Yankees Universe:

Joba Chamberlain pitched early this morning for the Gulf Coast Yankees and looked impressive. He went a hit-less inning giving up 1 unearned run and 2 strikeouts. This was the first time Chamberlain got into game action since having Tommy John Surgery last season. He believes he could be back to the Yankees by August 1st.

David Aardsma got the results from his tests from his doctor and according to him all is well. Aardsma is just waiting for the doctor to give him the green light on when he can throw again.

– It didn’t seem like it was a possibility but today Mariano Rivera‘s rehab doctor Dr. Pyne revealed that Mariano Rivera might be able to pitch in 2012 after all. He says that since Rivera had did some pre-rehabilitation work before the surgery, he is in an advanced recovery state where he could possibly get on a mound by the end of the year.

– Well that didn’t last long. After telling Reggie Jackson to stay away from the Yankees indefinitely, Brian Cashman is now saying that Reggie Jackson could be back with the team on Friday.

– And last but not least, Brett Gardner will most likely be back in the next 2 weeks. Cashman and Gardner both gave the target date of July 27  in which he could return to the majors. Gardner had already been shut down twice during his rehab.Maybe third times a charm?

What would help this team at trading deadline?

What will Cashman look to add?

Baseball officials often say they like to break the season down into one- thirds. The first third is to evaluate your team’s strengths and weaknesses. The middle third is to look for solutions to your problems and to make changes – and the final third is to make a push with the new/improved team you’ve assembled. The Yankees are in that middle phase now and have gone through a lot in the season so far. They struggled for the first 42 games and had a .500 record on May 21st. They then went on an amazing 20-4 run that just ended with back to back losses to Atlanta. Now that we’ve seen their worst and their best baseball, I think it’s a good time to evaluate what this team needs to make a push for their 28th Championship.

Bullpen

The pen has been their strong point all season. Even after surviving the loss of 2 All-Stars in Mariano Rivera and David Robertson they still have kept it together. They are 3rd in MLB in bullpen ERA with a 2.73 mark and have blown a league-low 4 saves in 24 opportunities. With Rafael Soriano looking comfortable in the Closer’s role and Robertson returning healthy, the Yankee bullpen is set. Boone Logan & Clay Rapada have been absolutely excellent vs LH hitters and Cody Eppley and Cory Wade are serviceable in their roles. There may even be a chance that Joba and/or David Aardsma come back at some point this year so there is no need for them to look outside of the organization for relief help.

Rotation

The starters have been pitching tremendously in June and on the season they are 5th in the A.L. with a 4.14 ERA. The one disturbing trend is that they lead all of baseball in HRs allowed with 65 and are 27th overall in opposing hitters OPS at .780.  However, all the starters are pitching better as of late and right now the top 3 of C.C., Andy Pettitte & Ivan Nova look pretty strong.  Kuroda is solid as a #4 and Hughes is OK as the #5 man. So the question is, can anyone out there help them? Read the rest of this entry

Morning Bits/Minor Notes: Cashman talking trades, RISP, Pineda, Aardsma

Good morning all.  Yankees got a loss last night but doesn’t look so bad after 10 wins in a row.  They did have several chances to win the game last night which did make it hard but oh well.   Today is a day game starting at 1:05.  Hanson vs. Hughes.

Enjoy the game and the day.   Now let’s get to the links…..

– Cashman had a lot of interesting things to say in a radio interview yesterday about Soriano and the trade deadline.  Johnette Howard from ESPNNY has all the details.

Wallace Matthews of ESPNNY reports that Swisher was 2-2 with RISP while the rest of the Yankees were a dreadful 0-9.

– Hughes looks to stay hot in the rubber game match today reports Teddy Cahill of MLB.com.

Steven Miller of MLB.com reports that Pineda visited with the Yankees and is progressing with his rehab.

– The other day Aardsma tossed a scoreless inning in his first rehab start. I said it before and I will say it again that that signing could be huge for the Yankees.

Bob Raissman of The New York Daily News writes that Yankees broadcaster Suzyn Waldman is standing by Roger Clemens.

– Staten Island Yankees took the loss last night 4-1.

– Gulf Coast Yankees lost as well 5-4.  Slade Heathcott (who you can read our interview with him from earlier this year right here)  went 2-2 with 2 doubles and an RBI.   I really hope he can finish strong with a healthy rest of the year.

– Tampa Yankees won 4-2. JR Murphy had 2 hits (double, 2-Run homer).  Rob Segedin and Kyle Roller each had a pair of hits as well.

– Trenton won 3-2. Luke Murton had 3 hits one which was a solo homer.  Mikey O’Brien went 6 strong innings only giving up one run.

– Empire State Yankees lost 4-2.  Only 4 hits for the team.  One of which was by Ronnier Mustelier who is batting .316.

Morning Bits: Injuries, Gardner, Granderson

Good morning and happy Sunday to all! Today the Yankees go for the series sweep vs. the Mets before heading off to Atlanta to play the Braves. Here are your morning links!

An injury update on Hiroki Kuroda, David Robertson, Joba Chamberlain & David Aardsma: Kuroda plans to make his next start, Robertson will do a rehab game today, Chamberlain threw off a mound and Aardsma could soon be in rehab games at the rate he’s going.

– As we all know, Brett Gardner most likely will not be back until after the All-Star Break (that is if Dr. Andrews doesn’t see anything different with Gardner’s arm than the other doctors) and in that period, Brian Cashman might make a trade for another LF for the time being. Just keep in mind; if they do make a trade…the LF is not going to be stellar defensively like Gardner is.

– After hitting just .161 in the month of June so far, Curtis Granderson made a ‘Grand’ statement that he would like to higher his average. How? With a HR of course.

Yankees Fans Unite Exclusive Interview with David Aardsma

Fishjam and I had the privilege of interviewing newly acquired Yankee David Aardsma. Aardsma went to Rice University where he set the school record in single-season and career saves in 2002-2003. He was also on the team that won the College World Series in 2003 where he notched two wins and a save.

Aardsma was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 1st round (22nd overall) in 2003. He made the team with them in 2004 skipping Double-A and Triple-A.  He then bounced from several teams in trades landing with the Cubs, White Sox, Red Sox and then finally the Mariners. In 2009, he earned the closer role and had 2 great seasons with Seattle.  He saved 69 games with a 2.90 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 9.6 k/9 rate over the 2009 and 2010 seasons before suffering an injury that led to Tommy John surgery.   Aardsma was not offered arbitration by the Mariners and became a free agent.  On February 22nd he singed a one year deal with the Yankees with a club option for 2013.  Below is our interview with him.  Our questions are in BLUE.  Enjoy.

You struggled a bit in your early career, playing with 4 different teams from 2004-08. What finally clicked that led to your 2 great seasons in Seattle?

Things started clicking with the red sox in 08. I started to throw more strikes and attack hitters better, but with a mid-season groin pull it killed my second half attempting to pitch through it. In 09 I really worked with John Wettland and slowed myself down and focused on what I wanted to accomplish with every pitch. Learning how to slow myself down turned into much greater control of my self.

All Yankee fans know you are coming back from Tommy John Surgery, but you also had labral surgery on your hip last January – how is your hip now?

Hip has been good, really did a great job of strengthening it and since it hasn’t been an issue.

You had Tommy John surgery in July 2011 – where are you in your rehab? Have you begun throwing?

I’m throwing at 90 ft right now for about 5 min. I’ll increase length/duration every week or so.

Were you disappointed that Seattle didn’t offer a Major league contract after saving 69 games in 2009 & 2010?

I expected to get released (too much money if I had arbitration). I mean, in the back of my mind I would have liked them to be a little more aggressive with wanting me back but believe me, I’m excited and happy about being a Yankee. This is a special place to be.

You’ve always been a hard thrower in the 93-96 range. Explain what type of pitcher you are and what other pitches you throw.

I come right after you, make you hit the ball. I have had my fair share of walks but I don’t give them up easy. I also throw a split and slider.

You’ve enjoyed success vs. Left handed Hitters & Right Handers. Is your split-finger the pitch most effective vs. LH hitters?

I use it mainly as a strike out pitch or when I know they are sitting fastball.

When you injured your elbow, was it a gradual break-down or was there one specific pitch you threw where you just felt it pop?

After a game it was tight then got worst every game. It wasn’t one pitch like most guys.

Do you have any reservations or concerns with pitching in NY?

Not really. I’m more focused on getting healthy than anything after that. I also look forward to new challenges.

Do you expect to pitch in the Majors this year or are you realistically just trying to get yourself in 100% condition for 2013?

I’m focused on mid July as a return date. Every doc and trainer has told me plan on 12 months. I’m planning on being ready in July.

Spring Training Notes: 2/28/12

Alex Rodriguez using the batting cage

The Yankees continued to work out in Tampa Florida as they prepare for their first game on March 2nd. And what better picture for today than to see Alex Rodriguez in the indoor cage, taking BP. Onto today’s Spring Training notes:

– David Aardsma (the new #34) was in camp today and Joba Chamberlain threw off a full mound. Chamberlain told Marc Carig of The Star Ledger that he felt good. He also said that he believed that Rafael Soriano threw off the mound as well.

– Mark Feinsand posted some videos from today’s Spring Training session, so let’s take a look at some videos!

Curtis Granderson takes hacks at Batting Practice

David Wells throws indoor BP

– As you all know, yesterday was Picture Day for the Yankees and courtesy of Yahoo! Sports, I was able to find some Pictures from yesterday’s Media Day session. I was able to find out some interesting fun facts about the pictures.

  1. This year’s Media Day pictures were taken in the bathroom of the George M. Steinbrenner Field clubhouse.
  2. These pictures were taken using an iPhone and used the application Instagram.

 

Spring Training Notes: 2/23/12

Russell Martin & Francisco Cervelli signing autographs

Another quiet day for the Yankees as they prepare for their first Spring Training game next week. Of course, Russell Martin & Francisco Cervelli just couldn’t say no to autographing for fans. How nice! Now onto today’s Spring Training notes:

– After signing with the Yankees, Eric Chavez has reported to camp!

– The Yankees aren’t going to retire #34 for A.J Burnett–they’ll just give the number to David Aardsma instead!

Austin Romine experienced soreness in his back while doing workouts today. The Yankees might hold Romine out of workouts tomorrow as a precaution.

– Russell Martin said that he was “baby-ing” Michael Pineda with his first few changeups. Once Pineda had thrown the changeup with the same arm speed as the fastball the there was big improvement. Russell Martin also believes that Pineda can win with the fastball-slider combination but believes that if Pineda trusts the changeup  & develops it then it would make him a much better pitcher.

There are a few reminders for Yankees fans:

  1. Tonight at 7pm we are hosting a live chat, so come with any questions that you may have about the Yankees.
  2. Also all position players are slated to report tomorrow (that includes Rodriguez & Teixeira) and workouts will begin on Saturday.
  3. Also, there are 43 days until Opening Day so mark your calendars.

Morning Bits: Aardsma, Girardi, Cashman, Martin, Piniella

First off I want to mention that our own Delia will be hosting a live chat tonight at 7pm.  It’s Thursday so one more day to the weekend.  Lot’s of things happened yesterday so plenty of articles covering it.

and away we go….Enjoy!

* ESPN has all the information of the signing of David Aardsma.

* The Wall Street Journal says the Yankees already look set.

* The Star Ledger reports that Girardi disagrees with Cashman’s comments about 2010.

* New York Daily News thinks Russell Martin may be the victim of number crunching after his one year deal runs out.

* The Washington Post mentions that Lou Piniella is hired to join the YES team.

Spring Training Notes: 2/22/12

Day 4 of Spring Training has come and gone and the Yankees have had an eventful day. Let’s sum up today’s Spring Training news shall we?

Derek Jeter (pictured above) mentioned that Mariano Rivera has told him about his plans, but don’t expect Jeter to spill any details. Jeter’s staying mum on Rivera’s decision. Jeter did say, “It’s really hard to talk about someone being gone when they’re still here. I think we’ll just appreciate him while he’s here.”

Brett Gardner showed up to Spring Training camp yesterday and spent his time at the minor league complex doing batting practice.

– The Yankees signed former Seattle Mariners closer David Aardsma as he recovers from Tommy John surgery which includes the 2013 option. Brian Cashman said the move had more to do with 2013 since we don’t expect to see Aardsma until the summer of 2012.

Joba Chamberlain threw off of a mound today for the first time since having Tommy John Surgery. He said it went “really, really good.” His next mound session will be on Friday.

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