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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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Yanks edge Red Sox 5-2 with three run outburst in 6th

The Yankees hadn’t exactly played their best baseball to start off Spring Training, but they racked up another win against the Boston Red Sox, giving fans a small preview of their Opening Day match-up. The Yankees remained silent until the 6th inning where all nine hitters batted around, pushing three runs across with the aid of a Corban Joseph single, an error that allowed Bobby Wilson to reach first, a Brett Gardner walk, an RBI single for Eduardo Nunez, a fielder’s choice from Jayson Nix and an error that allowed Juan Rivera to reach first.

The Yankees pushed two more runs across in the eighth inning after an RBI double by JR Murphy plated Jose Pirella and in the ninth inning on a homer by Thomas Neal. Before the three run outburst in the 6th inning, the only hit going into the 6th was the lead-off single by Brett Gardner in the 1st. Gardner has now hit  safely in every game he’s played in Spring Training thus far.

Notes:

– After the game, Joe Girardi confirmed that once Curtis Granderson comes back, Granderson will be the CF and Gardner will move to LF.

What’s Next:

The Yankees have an off-day tomorrow, meaning that there will be no news at all. No one will be at the ballpark except for a few players to get treatment but other than that, no one will be there. On Tuesday, the Yankees will host the Atlanta Braves in the first night game of the Spring Training season. That game will be on YES Network and coverage will start at 7:00 p.m with play-by-play at 7:05 p.m.

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 Offseason Notes: Yankees sign Juan Rivera; The Captain is back on the field!

Yankees sign Juan Rivera

So while I was at the doctor’s office earlier today, I was skimming through my Yankees twitter feed when I saw that the Yankees had signed none other than Juan Rivera to a minor league deal which includes an invitation to Spring Training. Rivera (no relation to Mariano Rivera), will compete with Russ Canzler, Matt Diaz, Thomas Neal, Ronnie Mustelier and other options to be the fourth outfielders. Rivera if he can stay healthy, is a good signing since he has a career .285/.332/.488 against left handed pitching and could be the bat that the Yankees were looking for this offseason.

Who do you think will ultimately win the fourth outfielder position?

Derek Jeter is back on the field!

Derek Jeter is one inch closer to getting on the field for Opening Day after taking drills at the Yankees minor league complex today. The captain of the Yankees fielded 55 grounders in front of the dirt at shortstop today and also hit in the batting cage.

Jeter was also joined by teammates David Robertson, Francisco Cervelli and Michael Pineda at the complex. Robertson recently signed a deal with the Yankees, Cervelli is competing for the catcher spot (oy vey), and Pineda is working on making his comeback by June of this season.

Mark Teixeira to join Rock of Ages cast for one night only!

It’s no secret Mark Teixeira loves Broadway Musicals and tomorrow he is going to see the Rock of Ages cast for tomorrow’s show. Hmm, I figured that he would have been asked to join the cast of Les Miserables since that is his favorite musical.

Want to sing the National Anthem for the Staten Island Yankees?

The Staten Island Yankees are looking for singers to perform the National Anthem or God Bless America for the upcoming 2013 season. Fill out the form here if you are interested. Tryouts are on February 23 from 12-3pm.

Freddy and his Mysterious Splitter

Freddy Garcia’s splitter in the above photo had extremely unusual movement, causing Juan Rivera to strike out.

Yesterday the New York Times published an extremely interesting article written by Zach Schonbrun about the uniqueness of Freddy Garcia’s splitter and how it has posed a large challenge to batters as well as physics experts. The author took specific note in the article of a splitter Garcia threw to Juan Rivera on April 29 last year. The unique pitch, instead of barreling straight down like a normal splitter, moved sharply down and to the right against the right-handed Rivera.

The game continued without any mention of the pitch. But Mike Fast, then a writer for Baseball Prospectus who happened to be watching on television, noticed the bizarre movement and reached out to a friend, Alan Nathan, a physics professor at the University of Illinois.

Nathan had published numerous papers on the physics of baseball and pitching. But he, too, had never seen anything like what Garcia had done. This was not simply the Magnus effect — the principle responsible for the curve in a curveball.

“There was something else going on,” Nathan said. “The left-right movement wasn’t determined primarily by the spin; it was determined by something else.”

Over the next months, Nathan analyzed frame-by-frame replays of the pitch to record its spin and looked at PitchF/X data to gather any clues about its movement.

I won’t recap the science behind this unusual instance (you can click on the link at the top of this article to read about what was found in the study) as Schonbrun did but I will say this- Garcia still has the tools to pitch effectively against good American League lineups. Other fans I have listened to seem to think it is simple as: Garcia will pitch well with his mixing up of pitches against the weaker lineups and not fare nearly as well against the good lineups. However, I don’t think this is necessarily the case. The movement he possesses on his pitches, such as the unique splitter investigated in the article, is very good and what it comes down to is whether or not Freddy has his command.

When he’s in control of his pitches, you’ll see that devastating splitter tailing down and away from a lefty. Even the best lefties in the league- Hamilton, Gonzalez, Dunn, etc. will struggle to hit that pitch if he locates it well. Now I don’t know what sort of role Garcia will have on the team in the postseason (probably in the bullpen), but if he can keep good command of that splitter, he should be a very useful piece on that pitching staff, in my opinion. Anyway, I just thought I would share the article with you, as it presents some pretty interesting stuff.

What do you all think about Freddy Garcia: what kind of role, if any, should he have on the Yankees postseason pitching staff? Any thoughts on the article regarding the science behind Freddy’s splitter?

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I’d like to take this opportunity to say that I have genuinely enjoyed my time here at YFU as an editor and writer. You guys, our supportive readership and commenters, have been fundamental in making this a fantastic, unforgettable experience for me. Now, I am leaving my position at the helm of YFU for personal reasons, but I do so knowing that the site will be in excellent hands and the quality you guys have come here for will be ever present. I look forward to seeing/talking to you all in the comments section as the Yankees make their pursuit of WS #28.
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