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Marlins Park no match for Yankees as Yanks defeat Marlins 10-8

This was the series that was the most talked about all Spring Training. It wasn’t the fact that the Yankees were going to face the new Miami Marlins in an exhibition game. It was the fact that the exhibition game took place at the brand new Marlins Park in Miami which included state of the art scoreboards, a retractable roof, a fish tank (with bulletproof glass) behind home plate, a night club and a swimming pool where fans could leisurely watch and enjoy the game. Still, there was baseball to be played, which the Yankees did in the beginning of the 2 game set vs. the Marlins.

CC Sabathia went 4 innings giving up 3 runs on 4 base hits, Mariano Rivera broke his 28 inning scoreless streak (which dated back to 2008) by giving up 1 run on 2 hits, Rafael Soriano gave up 1 run on 3 hits, Cory Wade gave up 3 runs on 2 hits, George Kontos had a scoreless inning and a third while giving up 1 hit and Juan Cedeno faced 2 batters in the 9th inning without giving up a run and securing the save.

THE GOOD: Aside from the Marlins Ballpark (which is gorgeous, but not as historic as Yankee Stadium) the Yankees came to play in Miami. Derek Jeter and Nick Swisher each had 2 hits apiece while Curtis Granderson, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Raul Ibanez, Russell Martin & Brett Gardner all had 1 hit apiece. Nick Swisher returned to the lineup after battling a sore groin and came back in style, hitting a HR in the 6th inning which extended the Yankees lead.

THE BAD: Mark Teixeira was 0 for 3 today and the Yankees pitchers (aside from George Kontos & Juan Cedeno) didn’t look sharp today. Maybe it was the fact that they were in a new ballpark. I’ll give Mariano Rivera the benefit of the doubt since this was the first time in a long time that he has traveled with the team during Spring Training.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Yankees stay in Miami for one more game and play against the Miami Marlins. The game (I’m sure of it this time) is at 7:05pm on MLB Network.

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Kuroda looks sharp as Yankees and Braves tie at 5

By the way that Hiroki Kuroda was pitching, it almost had the atmosphere that the Yankees were playing a regular season game rather than a Spring Training game. Kuroda’s slider was perfect, he had good fastball command and looked like a true #2 starter.

Hiroki Kuroda went 7 innings giving up 2 runs on 6 hits while striking out 6. He did give up 1 HR but he was able to compose himself  and didn’t let the homer faze him. Cory Wade pitched an inning but gave up a run while George Kontos pitched the 9th and gave up 2 runs.

THE GOOD: Eric Chavez was the star offensively for the Yankees as he whacked in 3 RBI’s during the game. Eduardo Nunez had 2 hits while Mark Teixeira, Raul Ibanez & Robinson Cano each had 1 hit apiece.

THE BAD: Francisco Cervelli was 0 for 4 with a strikeout, Chris Dickerson was 0 for 3, Dewayne Wise was 0 for 3 and Justin Maxwell was 0 for 2.

Swisher Injury Update: Nick Swisher didn’t feel anything in his groin today while getting at bats at the minor league complex. He was 4 for 8 with a double, two walks and a homer. If he comes out good from it tomorrow then we can expect to see him in a game on Friday. Now that news is positively Swishalicious.

Granderson Injury Update: Curtis Granderson had an MRI today and the results came back negative. Girardi has listed Granderson as “day-to-day.”

Signing Update: The New York Yankees announced two signings during the game today. Yankees sign DH Jack Cust to a minor league deal and C Craig Tatum. Yankees believe that Jack Cust will be good insurance for AAA while the Yankees claimed Tatum off of waivers from the Diamondbacks for catching depth.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Yankees head back to Tampa where they will play the Baltimore Orioles tomorrow. D.J Mitchell will get the start while Ivan Nova will pitch in a minor league game. Expect a decision about the Yankees rotation in the coming days.

Warren shuts down Red Sox but Sox climb back to tie Yankees game at 4

David Phelps was scheduled to make the start for the Yankees tonight, but Mother Nature had other plans. Phelp’s wife was giving birth which prompted Phelps to back out of his start. Adam Warren was squeezed in to make the emergency start and Warren did not disappoint whatsoever as he was able to shut down the Red Sox in his 4 innings of work.

The last time the Yankees and Red Sox met up with one another, the Red Sox defeated the Yankees 1-0. This time, the ending was completely different. The Yankees & Red Sox ended up in a tie after Joe Girardi called it off after 9 innings. For comedic relief, Bobby Valentine wanted to keep going and tire out the Yankees. Oh Bobby…it’s Spring Training. Let it go.

Warren only allowed 2 hits and no runs in his 4 innings of work while looking effectively sharp against the Red Sox everyday hitters. Dellin Betances pitched 3 innings without giving up any runs, but his Achilles heel tonight was walk. Betances gave up 4 walks in 3 innings. Cory Wade struggled in the 8th inning. ending the shutout by allowing 3 runs to the Red Sox. Juan Cedeno came in after Wade was only able to go 0.2 of an inning, getting the final batter in the 8th. George Kontos came in during the 9th but allowed the tying run for the Red Sox to score which resulted in the Yankees tie.

THE GOOD: Curtis Granderson, Brett Gardner & Andruw Jones all had a hit in tonight’s game (Granderson a RBI triple, Gardner a hard clean single & Jones had a single). CC Sabathia started today vs. Double-A in an attempt to hide his pitches from the Red Sox. Sabathia allowed 1 run on 5 hits, gave up a walk and had 4 strikeouts. Girardi didn’t see Sabathia’s outing and joined Gardner & Granderson in Ft. Meyers but he jokingly said that this Sabathia kid has a shot of making the rotation. You know what Joe? I’ll go a step further. I say this Sabathia kid will be an ace.

THE BAD: Raul Ibanez went hit-less again, his average in the Spring being a dismal .054. Is it too late to try to persuade Jorge Posada to come out of retirement? Cory Wade also did not look sharp, allowing 3 runs in the Red Sox 8th inning and not being able to finish the inning. There were also some base blunders today as both Eric Chavez & Andruw Jones were picked off by Red Sox starter Aaron Cook. Guys, leave the stolen base attempts to Gardner & Granderson, okay?

WHAT’S NEXT: Tomorrow is a Split Squad game which means 2 games at once. Here is also some exciting news. Mason Williams will play in Tampa vs. the Twins while Yankees first round 2011 prospect Dante Bichette Jr. will head to Clearwater and join the other half of the Yankees for the game vs. the Phillies. The game vs. the Twins will broadcast on YES & MLB.TV while the game @ the Phillies will be only on MLB.TV.

Offense comes to life as Yankees beat the Pirates 10-3

For the first three innings the story revolved around Michael Pineda. He was scheduled to have a 75-80 pitch count which should have lasted about 5 innings. He needed 30+ to get out of the 1st inning. Pineda had fastball control issues, getting into multiple full counts before allowing a 2 run HR to Andrew McCutchen. The Yankees were able to back Pineda up and prevented him from getting the loss.

Justin Maxwell (who went in for an injured Nick Swisher) got 2 RBI’s while Alex Rodriguez recieved 3. Mark Teixeira, Andruw Jones, Robinson Cano & Colin Curtis each had an RBI as well.

Mariano Rivera (2-0) came in and pitched for the Yankees in the 4th with another dazzling inning, Boone Logan was able to get out of a small jam by getting the double play (and ended the 5th Inning with Joe Girardi segment), Cory Wade allowed 1 run, Juan Cedeno had a scoreless inning, George Kontos had a scoreless inning & Branden Pinder had a scoreless 9th to seal the Yankees 9th Spring Training win of the season.

THE GOOD: Curtis Granderson made it on base all 4 times (2 hits, 2 walks), Russell Martin showed that a groin injury wasn’t going to stop him & Brett Gardner had a bunt base hit today, and if you didn’t see it boy it was a beauty. Also today, Andy Pettitte threw a 50 pitch bullpen session today and impressed everyone who was there, including pitching coach Larry Rotschild. Pettitte set his return to the Major Leagues to May 1, so pitchers in the rotation…beware.

THE BAD: Nick Swisher had to come out of the game after aggravating his right groin. Girardi said that Swisher will have 4-5 days off before coming into another game. Derek Jeter is not scheduled to play until Friday.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Yankees will take a trip to Pt. Charlotte where they will face the Tampa Bay Rays. The game is at 1:05pm on ESPN & MLB Network. Phil Hughes (who has been impressive all season) will make the start.

Nova struggles as Yanks lose 6-3 to Orioles

If Joe Girardi’s competition for the rotation spots started already, then Ivan Nova certainly didn’t make his case tonight as the Yanks were defeated 6-3 vs. the Baltimore Orioles in Sarasota. Nova went 4 innings but gave up 5 runs on 7 hits with 4 strikeouts.

David Phelps pitched 2/3 of a inning without giving up a run, Clay Rapada faced 1 batter and retired him, D.J Mitchell gave up 1 run on 2 base hits and George Kontos who was in his first outing since coming off an injury had a perfect scoreless inning.

Brett Gardner was the star defensively for the Yankees, getting a double play at 1st base from center field. He also went 1 for 3 and swiped his 4th bag of the spring, tying himself with Russell Martin for the most Yankees stolen bases in Spring Training. Eduardo Nunez went 1 for 3 as well as Mark Teixeira.

Robinson Cano left the game in the 6th inning after being hit by a pitch. He had x-rays done which came back negative. We’ll see how Cano’s hand is doing tomorrow.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Yankees have an off-day tomorrow, their first of 2 this Spring. Yankees will be back in action on Tuesday as they face the Pirates at GMS Field. The game will be televised on YES at 7:05pm.

Spring Training Notes: 2/21/12

David Robertson signing autographs

Day 3 of Spring Training has come and gone and the highlight of the day was David Robertson signing autographs for little kids! Okay, there was other news that happened today but David Robertson giving autographs to kids? That’s adorable! Okay, onto the other news of the day.

Speaking of David Robertson, he had a lot to say about the Mariano Rivera situation. He spoke to Jack Curry this morning but doesn’t think that Mariano will leave just like that. “I’ll believe it when I see it.  When you talk about replacing Mariano Rivera, I don’t think that can be done. Like I said, I’ll believe it when I see it. You never know. He could Brett Farve us.”

Raul Ibanez has officially joined the Yankees on a 1 year, $1.1 Million contract. He will wear the number Joe Girardi wore in 2009; #27.

– Andruw Jones showed up to camp today and took batting practice. Nice to see him show up.

– The Yankees did suffer a downfall today when George Kontos was the first Yankee to suffer an injury; an oblique strain. Girardi mentioned that he will be out for a couple of weeks.

– The Yankees are preparing for the return of Eric Chavez just in case he re-signs and just in case they left a locker empty next to Nick Swisher.

Kevin Long mentioned that Raul Ibanez is a perfect fit for the Yankees lineup.

Yankees Top 40 Prospects for 2012

Could Mason Williams be #1 on this list next year?

Based on their recent actions and remarks, it seems the Yankees are serious about sticking to a smaller payroll now and at least through the 2014 season in an attempt to get under the $189 Million Luxury Tax threshold.  In order to do so, the club will need to look  to fill important positions from within and develop both impact and role players.

The Yankees system became known in recent years as being deep in Pitchers and Catchers but lacking in strong position prospects.  This was definitely a weakness identified by Mark Newman & Damon Oppenheimer and they addressed it by adding several solid up the middle athletes and corner players who can rake in the last 2 years.  Now, the system is more well-rounded although there is definitely a lack of upper-echelon hitters in the higher levels of the organization.

The system is still strong in upper level pitching. Even with Nova & Noesi graduating to NY, they still have 5 potential MLB starters in AAA (Banuelos, Betances, Warren, Phelps, DJ Mitchell).  The next level of pitching is led by Brett Marshall and several guys that need to take a step forward in 2012.  Oppenheimer has a history of drafting good college relievers and there are many strong-armed righties in the pipeline who could advance quickly.

Today, I will list the Top 40 with a quick blurb, then will follow-up with more in-depth on the Top 20 or so players in the coming weeks.  Each player has their position, Opening Day 2012 Age & expected level to start season.

1) Jesus Montero - C/DH, 22 – MLB

Has an elite bat that will make him a middle of the order MLB hitter for the next decade+. Rare blend of natural power to all fields with ability to make adjustments and take what pitcher gives him.   Only question is whether he will be anything more than a DH but a .300 hitter with 30 HR power will always find a spot even if he’s eventually a full-time DH.

2) Manny Banuelos- LHSP, 21 – AAA

Manny Banuelos

Had control issues in AA/AAA but most believe it’s just a matter of trying to be too fine as he has solid mechanics and repeats his delivery well.  Threw a career-high 130 innings so will be in line for 150-160 this year and could be ready to pitch for NY in 2nd half.

3) Gary Sanchez - C, 19 – HiA

Has big-time raw power and still growing into his 6’2″ frame.  His defense has been poor but I think he has the athleticism to convert to corner OF or 1B down the line and his bat is definitely strong enough to support such a switch.

4) Dellin Betances - RHSP, 24 - AAA

This is a big year for Betances. At 24, he needs to have a good year in AAA to prove he can pitch in a MLB rotation. Has plus, swing-and-miss stuff but most improve his control to cut down his pitch counts.

5) Mason Williams – CF, 20 – LoA

Dynamic player with plus-plus MLB speed and defense already. He put on a show in rookie ball and if he shows his offensive skills are for real this year in full-season ball, he may vault to #1 on this list next year.

6)  Dante Bichette, Jr. - 3B, 19 – LoA

Drafted for his plus power, he’s shown better defense than was thought. He’s really impressed the organization with his intangibles & makeup - namely his work ethic, advanced approach, knowledge of the game & leadership. Baseball America named him top prospect in Gulf Coast League and VP of baseball operations Mark Newman calls him “a special player and person.”

7) Austin Romine- C, 23 – AAA

His defense behind the plate is MLB-ready now.  His bat isn’t special but will be good enough for him to have a long career as a starting catcher in the bigs.

Phelps is a winner.

8) David Phelps - RHSP, 25 – AAA

Phelps is a winner who knows how to pitch. He’s 38-15 with a 2.61 ERA in his 4 years in the organization. He’s maintained the same solid numbers at every level including a 7.4 K/9 & 2.0 BB/9. Reminds me a little of Ian Kennedy. Missed time with shoulder issue but came back strong in August and was solid in AFL also.

9) Ravel Santana – OF, 19 – LoA

Tremendous physical skill set with power & speed. BA rated the wiry 6’2″ 160 pounder  right behind Bichette as best in the Gulf Coast League after he put up a .425 wOBA. Will have to overcome the broken ankle & torn ligaments he suffered last season so will likely start in extended ST this year.

10) Tyler Austin- 3B, 20 – LoA

Tyler Austin can hit for average and power.

I seem to be in the minority but I  really like this guy. He made his debut in the Gulf Coast and smashed to a .517 wOBA in 20 games, then followed up with .448 wOBA  in Staten Island. Has power to all fields and an advanced approach that helps him drive off-speed pitches. How many 20-year olds can you say that about? BA ranked him 8th best prospect in NY Penn League. Only question mark is his defense at 3B but he’s athletic enough to play the OF if need be. He even stole 18 of 18 bases in just 47 games which tells me he has good instincts and a feel for the game.

11) J.R. Murphy - C/3B, 20 – HiA

Improved his game offensively & defensively before ending season early with leg injury. Rips line drives to all fields and scouts now believe he has the ability to remain as a catcher while also showing the athleticism to play 3B and OF. Could become a very versatile asset in the Majors.

12) Slade Heathcott - CF, 21 – HiA

He’s Gardner-like in the OF right now and has more offensive potential. However, I’m a little concerned with his constant injuries and questionable makeup. To have his speed and get thrown out stealing 17 times in 38 attempts is baffling. But, if he matures and stays healthy, he could be special.

13) Brett Marshall- RHSP, 22 – AA

Brett Marshall

Now fully recovered from his 2009 Tommy John Surgery, he threw career high 140 IP with 3.24 FIP. Has good low 90s sinker and makings of a plus slider. Has flashed mid 90s velocity at times and will be interesting how he does in AA this year.

14) Adam Warren- RHSP,  24 – AAA

Warren is next in a succession of Yankee right handers, behind Nova and Noesi, ready to advance to the majors. He threw 152 IP in AAA with a 3.60 ERA and on a lesser team without depth, he’d have a great chance to make the rotation.

15) Corban Joseph - 2B, 23 – AAA

Has patient approach and nice lefty stroke that generates hard line drives but there are concerns about his defense at 2B and 3B. He had .346 wOBA in Trenton with 38 doubles and 8 triples but doesn’t get the lift and backspin to hit HRs.

16) Zoilo Almonte – OF, 22 – AA

Solid all-around skills. Good defense, speed and power that has improved the last 2 years. Yanks added the switch-hitter to their 40-man to protect him from Rule 5 draft and he could be a candidate to make the team in 2013.

17) Graham Stoneburner - RHSP, 24 – AA

Season was marred by a neck injury that kept him out 2 months and he was never quite effective as excellent debut in 2010. But he still has a great sinking fastball that gets tons of grounders.

18) David Adams - 2B, 24 – AA

The ankle injury he suffered in 2010 lingered all season and the Yankees were very careful with Adams. He played sparingly in only 29 games.  If he’s finally healthy this season he could progress quickly as he has an excellent bat that rips line drives to all fields.

19) Angelo Gumbs- 2B, 19 – LoA

Great up the middle athlete shows lightning quick bat speed and raw power to go with strong arm and nice speed. BA rated him 14th best prospect in NY Penn League where he had .341 wOBA, 4 triples & 11 SB in 220 PAs.

Nik Turley has that Andy Pettitte look down pat.

20) Nik Turley - LHSP. 22 – HiA

6’7″ lefty reminds me a litle of Andy Pettitte.  Took a step forward with 2.51 ERA and 8.9 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 82 IP in Charleston til a broken hand ended his season after being promoted to Tampa.

21) DJ Mitchell - RHSP, 24 – AAA

Similar to David Phelps, Mitchell is someone who just keeps pitching well and winning. Sinker/slider pitcher with solid change-up could be another back end starter/long-relief candidate.

22) Mark Montgomery - RHRP, 21 – HiA

Overwhelmed hitters with low-mid 90s Fastball and an unhittable slider leading to a 16.4 K/9 and 1.91 ERA as closer in Charleston.  His slider is just unfair to young hitters and he needs to be tested against more advanced hitters to see how quick he can advance.

23) Brandon Laird - 3B, 24 – AAA

Strong defensive 3B with good power but he doesn’t take many walks or hit for much average.  Has also played some 1B & LF so could be a backup candidate in NY.

24) Cito Culver- SS, 19 – LoA

Showed strong arm with smoothness in the field and compact swing from both sides of the plate. BA rated him 6th best prospect in NYPenn League where he hit .250/.323/.337.  He’s a project that will take time to develop his offensive game.

25) Ramon Flores - OF, 20 – HiA

Sweet lefty stroke and patient approach at plate, had .350 wOBA in Charleston. Good OF with strong arm and solid all-around tools. Only 5’10″ 160 so should get stronger and develop some pop.

26) George Kontos - RHRP, 26 – MLB

Standard FB/Slider reliever, held RH hitters to a .182 BAA in AAA.  Averages about a strikeout per inning but is a fly-ball pitcher who is prone to HRs.

27) Claudio Custodio - 2B, 21 – LoA

Talented 2B/SS with very good speed.  Hit ball well in GCL and  showed willingness to take a walk.  Hit .325 with .433 OBP and 26 SB in 28 attempts.

28) Tommy Kahnle - RHRP, 22 – HiA

Power reliever had 2.45 FIP in 81 IP with 12.4 K/9 but also 5.4 BB/9. Sits around 93-95 and can dial it up to 96-97 with a developing slider.  Needs to improve his command and secondary pitches.

29) Isias Tejada – C, 20 – LoA

Next in line of promising Yankee catcher prospects, Tejada showed his ability to make good, hard contact with a .971 OPS in the GCL with only a 12% strike out rate.

30) Brandon Pinder - RHRP, 23 – LoA

Dominated mostly younger hitters as closer in Staten Island with 11.0 K/9, 1.4 BB/9 and 1.16 ERA.  Has great command of 94-95 mph Fastball but has no quality secondary pitch yet.

31) Bryan MitchellRHSP, 20 – LoA

Plus stuff but still very raw. Put things together by end of year and shows strikeout (8.6 K/9) and ground-ball stuff (2.19 GO/AO rate)

32) Jose Rosario- SS/2B, 20 – LoA

Hit just as well as teammate Bichette with .331 average and .529 SLG%.  He’s a hacker with a 3.2% Walk rate but he’s caught the attention of the organization and earned a late season promotion to Charleston. Mark Newman stated, “He can run (11 SB in 43 games) and throw. He hit 6 HRs, so he has some ability to impact the ball.  By diligence, he’s turning himself into a quality prospect.”

33) Taylor Morton - RHSP, 20 – LoA

Made impressive debut in GCL. The 6’3″ righty should get stronger and he already possesses a plus change, low 90′s FB and good command.

34) Rob Segedin - 3B, 23 – HiA

Big 3B/OF with strong hitting skills. Earned promotion with .395wOBA at Charleston but struggled some in Tampa. Yanks put him in AFL this Fall where he went .250/.367/.407.

35) Daniel Lopez – CF, 20 – LoA

Another emerging all-around athlete with good speed. Showed power potential this year hitting .327/.413/.490 with 27 SB in 61 games across 3 levels.

36) Jose Ramirez - RHSP, 22 – HiA

Promising arm took a step back this year but still notched strong K rates so stuff is still there.

37) Evan Rutckyj- LHSP, 20 – LoA

Big strong 6’5″ lefty got stronger as the season progressed and generates a lot of ground-balls.

38) Cesar Cabral - LHRP, 23 – MLB

Rule 5 pick from Red Sox system, he’ll have chance to make team in ST as second lefty in pen. Gets a lot of Ks with good Fastball and plus Changeup.

39) Pat Venditte SWRP, 26 – AAA

Doesn’t have dominating stuff but continues to post good overall numbers and solid K rates at every level.  Biggest drawback is he’s a heavy flyball pitcher.

40) Abe Almonte – OF, 22 – AA

Plus defender and baserunner but wildly inconsistent at the plate. Switch-hitter had huge 2nd half, riding a 30-game hitting streak and showing off good extra base hit power.  Needs to prove 2nd half surge was real at AA this year.

Other NotablesWalter Ibarra, Kyle Roller, Zach Nuding, Dan Burawa, Chase Whitley, Ronnie Mustlier, Yeicock Calderon, Robert Lyerly, Melky Mesa, Dan Brewer, Brad Suttle, Jorge Vazquez, Ben Gamel, Gabe  Encinas, Matt Tracy, Zach Wilson, Evan DeLuca, Mikey O’Brien

New Additions to Watch in 2012: Greg Bird, Jake Cave, Matt Duran, Jordan Cote, Justin James, Dan Camarena, Hayden Sharp, Rookie Davis, Miquel Andujar

Grading 2011 and Looking Ahead: Bullpen

Mariano - The Greatest just keeps on going

The last part of the team we’ll look at is the bullpen. This was the strongest unit on the team as the pen led the American League with a 3.12 ERA, and was 2nd in OPS against (.677) and K/9 (8.46).

Mariano Rivera

He just keeps rolling along. Another year with a sub-2.00 ERA, his 4th in a row and 8th time in last 9 years.  Mo was consistent all season and finished with 44 saves in 49 chances to break the All-Time record for most career saves with 603.  The Sandman had a 1.91 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 8.8 K/9, 1.2 BB/9 and a ridiculous 7.5 strikeout to walk ratio.  While he doesn’t throw as hard as he did when he was 27, his velocity was actually his highest since 2008 averaging 92.3 on his FB and 91.6 on his Cutter.   Grade:  A

2012 Outlook:  He is signed for one more yr @ $15M and will turn 42 in a month.  We all know he has to fade at some point but until he does he’s welcome as my closer for as long as he wants to pitch.

David Robertson

Maximum extension & follow through is how a 5'11, 180 pounder can blow Fastballs by MLB's best hiters

Robertson began the yr as the man Girardi used in the middle innings to get out of jams.  He did so well in that role he was the natural guy to take the 8th inning role after injuries to Joba & Soriano.  DRob flourished in that role the way he did in every situation Girardi used him in.  He led A.L. relievers in ERA (1.08) & K/9 (13.5) as he used his sneaky Fastball and knee-buckling Curveball to get big outs whenever he needed them.  His only blemish is he still walks a lot of hitters (4.7 BB/9) but makes up for it by getting strikeouts whenever he needs them and inducing a lot of groundballs.  He saw a big 7% increase in his GB rate and his velocity was up 1.2 mph to an average FB of 93.1 MPH.  Robertson showed a filthy Changeup and Cutter at times but his FB/Curve combo is so dominant he rarely needs his 3rd and 4th pitches.  Grade: A+

2012 Outlook: Robertson was one of the best bargains in baseball at $462,450 in 2011.  He’ll see a raise to around $1.5-2M in his first yr of arbitration in 2012.  He’ll have to be in the 8th inning role again and heir to the closers role if Mo ever retires.  With his 4 nasty pitches one can’t help to imagine DRob throwing 200+ IP as a starter but with his max effort delivery and small frame he may be best suited as a 1-2 inning guy.

Rafael Soriano

Didn’t look right in beginning of yr and soon went down with arm injury.  After nearly 3 months on the DL was much better when he returned in August. Finished with 4.12 ERA in just 39.1 ip.  His K rate (8.2) was the same as his dominating 2010 yr in Tampa but his Walk rate more than doubled to 4.1.  Grade: C-

2012 Outlook:  He has an opt-out he won’t exercise so will be back for $11M to pitch the 7th Inning.  Hopefully he will get comfortable in the role as the highest paid middle reliever in MLB. He has the stuff and track record to give the Yanks a shutdown 7th thru 9th inning unit.

Boone Logan

Logan was off to a lousy start through April & May then he lowered his arm angle a little and things turned around for him. After striking out just 7 in his first 13 innings he K’d 39 in his final 28 innings to finish the yr 5-3, 3.46 ERA, 9.9 K/9, 2.8 BB/9.  He was fairly good against lefties but was prone to HRs vs them with a 1.32 HR/9 vs them and 0 HRs vs Righties.  Grade: B

2012 Outlook:  In his 3nd yr of Arbitration he’ll get a small raise on his $1.2M salary and be back in his lefty relief role.

Luis Ayala

Ayala was  a nice find and had a surprising season although he pitched to a lot of luck.  He had a tidy 2.09 ERA but a 4.19 FiP.  He’s not a strikeout pitcher (6.2 k/9) but induced a lot of grounders (50% GB rate) and gave the team 56 quality IP.  for $650,00.  Grade:  B

2012 Outlook:  He was solid but I doubt he’ll be back as the Yanks are loaded with bullpen arms and could insert a younger guy with a higher upside.

Cory Wade

Wade is a feather in the cap of Billy Eppler’s pro scouting department as he was plucked off of Tampa’s Triple A team in late June and was brilliant in New York.  He finished 6-1 with a 2.02 ERA & 1.03 WHIP. While he dominated righties (.541 OPS against) his ChangeUp & Curve were also effective vs Lefties as he held them to a .730 OPS.  Grade:  A-

2012 Outlook:  Wade will definitely be back in the bullpen mix in 2012

Others:  Joba Chamberlain was pitching well with a 2.83 ERA/1.04 WHIP til he blew his elbow out.  His surgery will likely keep him from being effective until around June or later.  Hector Noesi showed some promise while riding the Scranton to NY shuttle and being moved back and forth from starter to reliever.  He may be in the mix as a #5 starter or long man in 2012.  Late inning call-ups George Kontos and Andrew Brackman will be candidates to make the pen in ST as both showed good stuff in Sept.  Cashman will look to bring in a second lefty in the Winter but other than that the bullpen appears set with almost everyone coming back and a lot of young guys looking to make the team.

  W L ERA SV IP WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
                       
Mariano Rivera 1 2 1.91 44 61.1 0.897 6.9 0.4 1.2 8.8 7.50
David Robertson 4 0 1.08 1 66.2 1.125 5.4 0.1 4.7 13.5 2.86
Luis Ayala 2 2 2.09 0 56.0 1.268 8.2 0.8 3.2 6.3 1.95
Boone Logan* 5 3 3.46 0 41.2 1.344 9.3 0.9 2.8 9.9 3.54
Rafael Soriano 2 3 4.12 2 39.1 1.297 7.6 0.9 4.1 8.2 2.00
Hector Noesi 2 2 4.47 0 56.1 1.509 10.1 1.0 3.5 7.2 2.05
Cory Wade 6 1 2.04 0 39.2 1.034 7.5 1.1 1.8 6.8 3.75
Joba Chamberlain 2 0 2.83 0 28.2 1.047 7.2 0.9 2.2 7.5 3.43
Scott Proctor 0 3 9.00 0 11.0 2.818 15.5 4.9 9.8 9.0 0.92
George Kontos 0 0 3.00 0 6.0 1.167 6.0 1.5 4.5 9.0 2.00
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com

Offense disappears in 4th straight game; Yanks lose 6-0

Posada caught in last night's game for the first time since last year.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
NYY
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
LAA
0 1 0 0 0 0 4 1 x 6 13 0
W: Haren (15-8)
L: Sabathia (19-8)
NY Yankees AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Jeter, SS 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 .296
Granderson, CF 4 0 0 0 0 3 1 .266
Teixeira, 1B 3 0 0 0 0 2 1 .248
Cano, 2B 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 .300
Montero, DH 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 .348
Chavez, Er, 3B 3 0 1 0 0 1 1 .276
Martin, C 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .240
Posada, C 2 0 1 0 0 1 0 .241
Nunez, E, RF 3 0 0 0 0 0 2 .259
Gardner, LF 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 .261
Totals 29 0 4 0 0 7 6 .265
NY Yankees IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Sabathia(L, 19-8) 6.0 8 1 1 4 5 0 2.93
Noesi 0.2 3 4 4 1 1 1 4.09
Kontos 1.1 2 1 1 0 2 1 6.75
Totals 8.0 13 6 6 5 8 2 3.71
And here is the game review from MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch:

ANAHEIM — If the Yankees could have filed a script the way they seem to up in Hollywood, Jorge Posada carrying his mask out of the dugout for the first time all year would have set the scene for a memorable evening.

But this is Anaheim, not Tinseltown, and those endings seem more difficult to come by. Dan Haren was too much for the Yankees’ slumbering lumber, as New York fell to the Angels, 6-0, on Saturday for its fourth straight defeat.

“We’re just not swinging the bats,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “When we do hit it hard, we hit it at somebody or hit it foul. Things just aren’t going our way right now, but that will change.”

CC Sabathia turned in a gutsy six innings, shrugging off a climbing pitch count to evade jams. Yet he couldn’t keep pace with Haren, who retired 18 straight through one stretch and fired his third shutout of the year.

Read the rest of this entry

Game 140 | Yankees vs. Orioles

UPDATE 6:04PM: see updates under Pregame Notes

Lineups:

Gardner LF
Jeter SS
Granderson CF
Teixeira 1B
Cano 2B
Swisher RF
Chavez 3B
Posada DH
Cervelli C

Pitchers:

Phil Hughes (4-5, 6.75) vs. Tommy Hunter (2-1, 6.75)

Pregame Notes:

— The Yankees have promoted right handers Hector Noesi, George Kontos, and Andrew Brackman, along with outfielder Greg Golson to the majors from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. In addition, says Mark Feinsand, Ramiro Pena has been called up. (update: 6:11pm)

— Among the multiple transactions, Lance Pendleton has been designated for assignment. (update: 6:11pm)

— With the addition of those 3 pitchers, the bullpen stands at 9 right-handers (Rivera, Soriano, Robertson, Wade, Ayala, Noesi, Proctor, Brackman, Kontos) and 3 lefties (Logan, Valdes, and Laffey). (update: 6:11pm)

Enjoy the game.

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