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Spring Training Notes: 2/29/12

Andy pettite throwing batting practice

It’s the final day of Spring Training practice before the Yankees gear up for their first game on Friday (which unfortunately will not be televised). The Yankees will have an abbreviated workout since tomorrow they will go on a “field trip” that only Joe Girardi knows the location of. So let’s get to the links for today!

– Bobby Valentine had a lot to say about the Yankees commenting about A-Rod’s fight with Jason Varitek to Derek Jeter’s play in the 2001 ALDS. Derek Jeter responded the way he knows how; he practiced the flip play and then told reporters, “See, we do practice it.”

– I’m not sure if he was lost or something, but Terry Francona found his way to the Yankees clubhouse. He hugged Mariano Rivera and told Derek Jeter, “Great to see you…and I mean it this time.” We’ll were glad that your one of the announcers of ESPN…and we mean it this time.

– Mark Feinsand took some more videos of Yankees Batting practice and even caught a sight that no one thought would happen…Andy Pettite throwing pitches to Russell Martin during batting practice! Here are some of the videos:

Alex Rodriguez taking batting practice

Mark Teixeira takes batting practice

Yankees taking batting practice

Andy Pettite throwing batting practice to Russell Martin

– One Yankee that was missing from the team workouts was Robinson Cano. Cano is still in DR for his grandmother’s funeral. She passed away earlier this week.

– Russell Branyan (who was a long shot to make the team) experienced back spasms today.

– If you all watch YES Network, then the Yankees show that everyone loves ‘Yankees On Deck’ will return with new episodes on May 6, 2012. Some players such as David Robertson, Brett Gardner, Mark Teixeira, Joba Chamberlain & Russell Martin filmed segments for the show. Mark your calendars.

– Brett Gardner has been getting scrutiny from people on Twitter & Facebook for his comments last night on ‘Yankees Baseball Daily’ saying how the Yankees will win 100+ games and will get a parade in November. They compared Gardner to New York Jets coach Rex Ryan. Let me explain this: Gardner was asked if he thinks his team will go all the way. Rex Ryan just predicts it and fails at his predictions. Huge difference.

Use the comment section below to talk about whatever you’d like. Have a good night everyone! Hopefully we find out where the Yankees are going tomorrow for their field trip…tomorrow.

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Spring Training Notes: 2/19/12

The Yankees have reported for Spring Training this morning and with the start of the season comes news.

– According to Mark Carig of The Star-Ledger some of the Yankees have been assigned numbers. New numbers are as follows:

#18 – Hiroki Kuroda
#22 – Andruw Jones
#35 – Michael Pineda
#38 – Dewayne Wise
#40 – Bill Hall
#43 – Manny Delcarmen
#45 – Russell Branyan 

Andruw Jones originally wore #18 in 2011. We were told the split was amicable. Pedro Feliciano is still slated to wear #31 but we doubt we will see Feliciano this season, thus eating all the money of his 2 year contract doing nothing. #20 (which was previously worn by Jorge Posada) has not been assigned and in my opinion should not be assigned.

– Joe Girardi was scheduled to have  a press conference this morning but unfortunately the press will have to wait until Girardi actually gets to Florida. Girardi’s 6am flight at Newark Airport was delayed.

– Only one pitcher didn’t show up for Pitchers and Catchers; Mariano Rivera. But don’t worry Yankee fans, Mo isn’t in trouble. He spoke with Cashman and Cashman gave him the thumbs up. “He said ‘Cash I wanted to give you a heads up, I might be a little late.’ Just tell me when you are coming. What am I going to do? It’s Mariano Rivera.”

– Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain had made progress and he can soon throw off the mound, but Brian Cashman said that they aren’t going to rush Chamberlain back. Cashman isn’t going to listen if Chamberlain says he can come back in April, May or possibly next week. At the earliest the Yankees can have Chamberlain back in June.

– Even though everyone is anticipating Michael Pineda to be #2 in the rotation, Brian Cashman said that Michael Pineda will not be the No #2 pitcher behind CC Sabathia. The reason? Pineda only knows 2 pitches & his change-up is under developed. With that, it means that most likely either Ivan Nova or Hiroki Kuroda will pitch before Pineda in the rotation.

– Brian Cashman addressed the issue about the vacant DH spot. Yankees fans know that Johnny Damon won’t be in the DH mix which leaves Raul Ibanez, Hideki Matsui, Vladmir Gurerro and possibly Eric Chavez.

Freddy Garcia told the press that he had no regrets signing with the Yankees last season and he claims how much he loves to play in New York. Well Freddy, we like having you here as well.

– via Jon Heyman, the A.J Burnett deal is DONE. A.J passed his physical and the MLB approved the trade which means that Burnett is a Pirate.

Ranking AL East Bullpens and Benches

Our week long series continues with ranking the AL East Bullpens and Benches.

Bullpens

1. Yankees

2. Blue Jays

3. Red Sox

4. Rays

5. Orioles

The Yankees have the best bullpen in the AL East by a good margin led by Mariano Rivera, David Robertson, Rafael Soriano, Boone Logan, and Cory Wade.  Rivera, even at age 42, is one of the best closers in MLB and the most trustworthy in a big spot. Robertson had a breakout season by posting a 1.08 ERA and striking out a staggering 13.5 batters per 9 innings. Soriano came on at the end of last season and is a tremendous talent to have as a 7th inning guy ,when on pretty much any other team he would be closing or be in the 8th inning. The Red Sox and Blue Jays both have completely revamped bullpens and it was a close race for 2nd. The Blue Jays picked up Sergio Santos and Francisco Cordero this offseason while the Red Sox picked up Andrew Bailey and Mark Melancon. Bailey is the best of the 4 when healthy, but he has rarely been able to stay healthy so I gave the edge to Toronto. Toronto also has better depth than the Red Sox behind their 2 new additions in Jason Frasor and Darren Oliver, whom they also signed this offseason. Cordero had 37 saves for the Reds last year, while pitching to a 2.43 ERA and Santos had 30 saves for the White Sox, while striking out an amazing 13.1 batters per 9 innings. That is almost as much as David Robertson. So that is a very good combo for the Blue Jays for the backend of their bullpen. The Red Sox lost Jonathan Papelbon and replaced him with Bailey. Bailey has been one of the best closers in MLB when healthy. He made the All- Star team his first 2 seasons and won rookie of the year. Ex Yankee farmhand Mark Melancon will replace Daniel Bard as the setup man. Melancon saved 20 games for the Houston Astros last season. The Rays bullpen had a surprisingly good season last year after loosing virtually everybody who contributed to it in 2010. Kyle Farnsowrth had a good year last year closing, but it is still Kyle Farnsworth and he is tough to trust. Jim Johnson, Matt Lindstrom, and Kevin Gregg will battle for the closers job in Baltimore.   Read the rest of this entry

Spanning the Yankee Blogs: Bullpen, Nova, AJ, DH, 5th spot

Welcome to Spanning the Yankee Blogs.  I take a look at all the blogs and then link an article from each.  We have linked a lot of great articles give them each a read.

* An A-Blog for A-Rod is breaking down the spring training invitees.

* Bleeding Yankee Blue has an article about the new Yankee Russell Branyan.

* Bomber Boulevard is saying no, no to Guerrero.

* Lady Loves Pinstripes is projecting the 2012 New York Yankees lineup.

* New York Yankees Universe is giving away five t-shirts.

* Pinstripe Alley has a good read on Ivan Nova.

* River Ave Blues is making sense of the Burnett trade rumors.

* The Captain’s Blog mentions that Burnett’s departure could give Hughes his last chance.

* The Greedy Pinstripes wonders who will get the 5th spot if AJ is traded.

* The Yankee Analysts breaks down the 2012 bullpen.

* Yanks Go yard thinks Raul Ibanez is not the answer for the DH spot.

Morning Bits: Branyan, Spring Training, Kuroda

Good morning all we are now 10 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training.

Let’s get right to the links….

* The Daily News mentions the Yankees powered up by adding Russell Branyan.

* Here is a list of a bunch of players the Yankees have invited to spring training.

* The New York Times says little mystery surrounding Kuroda.

Yankees Sign Russell Branyan

Yankees Sign Russell Branyan

By Delia E.

The New York Yankees & Russell Branyan agreed on a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training the New York Post reports. The move doesn’t impact the fact that the Yankees will sign another lefty bat and the Yankees are still interested in either Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui or Raul Ibanez.

With the Diamondbacks & Angels in 2011, Branyan hit .197 with 5 HR’s & 14 RBI’s. If the Yankees sign Eric Chavez then Branyan can give Chavez a run for his money, since Branyan played both 1st base & 3rd base in his career.

Branyan made the Arizona Diamondbacks Opening Day roster in 2011 but was let go. Angels then signed Branyan  who was used in a pinch hitting role.

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