Daily Archives: February 19, 2012

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.

Burnett To Pirates Deal Official

Burnett To Pirates Deal Official

By Delia E.

The tweet via Jon Heyman down below explains it all:

Let’s not cry all at once now, okay?

Why Not Manny Ramirez?

Manny is low-risk, high reward

I have made it clear since the departure of Jesus Montero that the Yankees need to add a legitimate hitter, advocating for  Chase Headley, Seth Smith, Clint Robinson, Billy Butler & Daniel Murphy among others.  However, since Cashman seems intent on signing an over-the-hill DH from the Free Agent trash heap that still remains, I have a recommendation for him.  Give Manny Ramirez a look.

This article from MLB.com explains Manny’s situation as it seems Oakland is zeroing in on him:

Baseball sources confirmed to MLB.com that A’s officials recently traveled to Florida to observe Ramirez’s workouts. If the two sides reach an agreement, Ramirez would earn slightly more than the league minimum of $480,000, according to the Associated Press.

We already know all of the reasons not to sign Manny, but under the circumstances, almost all risk is mitigated.  He will make absolutely nothing – available for the league minimum.  And although he will face a 50 game suspension, he is permitted to play in Spring Training games and Extended Spring Training Games.  So the team that signs him will get a long look at him to evaluate what he has left in the tank.  If it’s nothing, he can be dropped at anytime for no cost since I don’t believe he can even collect his salary while suspended.  Billy Beane may be making a wise move even though he already has plenty of options at OF and DH.  Manny will be eligible around June and if he shows promise, Beane will trade him to a contender.

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Previewing the 2012 Rangers | Interview Series

Over the course of the next month or two, we will be previewing the Yankees’ competition in the American League. To do this, I will interview one blog for each team in the league.

So far in the AL West we have taken a look at the Oakland Athletics. Now we head southeast all the way to the Texas Rangers. I had the pleasure of interviewing Jean-Luc Tilly of Nolan Writin’….

1) For the second year in a row, the Rangers made it to the World Series, but lost. How degrading is such a turn of events for the Rangers?

I would argue that this turn of events is, if anything, demoralizing rather than degrading. The Rangers still won a championship both years, just not THE championship. There is still a fair amount of pride there, although mixed with a certain feeling of frustration, especially for those involved in some of the more crucial plays. The Rangers have attempted to address that by basically overhauling the less successful portion of their postseason bullpen, by moving Feliz to the rotation, not resigning Darren Oliver, acquiring Darvish to add Ogando or possibly Harrison to the bullpen which moves Mark Lowe out of high-leverage situations, and trading Koji Uehara to the Athletics or some other interested party. I think the fact that they failed to reach the ultimate goal will serve as a source of motivation rather than despondency, especially for some of the younger players who are eager to make their mark on a championship team.

2) What are your thoughts of the Rangers’ offseason, which has mainly included the signing of Yu Darvish? Have the team’s needs appropriately been addressed?

Going into the offseason, I identified 3 areas of need for the Rangers: frontline SP and revamped bullpen, and, where fiscally responsible, a 1B or CF upgrade. I’ve discussed the revamped bullpen in question 1, so I won’t go into that much, save to say that I think acquiring Joe Nathan (2 yr/$14 mil) was a terrific move when you look at the preposterous Heath Bell (3/30) and Papelbon (4/50) contracts, and an underwhelming move when compared to the Madson (1/8.5) contract. The problem there was that the Rangers had identified Nathan early on as “their guy” and went ahead and got him rather than risk losing him (he was receiving several other offers, some reported to be higher). Unfortunately, that prevented them from playing the waiting game with Madson and his agent Scott Boras. A “proven closer” (Nathan has several seasons of closing experience, Madson has half a season) is something manager Ron Washington has consistently identified as crucial to a team’s success, so I understand the impulse to secure your candidate of choice, but a better deal could probably have been had.

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Morning Bits: Are the Yanks really better in 2012?, SWB Yankees, Kuroda, Rivera

Good morning everyone and what a fantastic Sunday it is! Today is FINALLY the day where Pitchers and Catchers report for Spring Training although a lot of the players are already at the complex. Here are your morning links for today.

Fishjam was up early today so I added a bunch of links. Some good ones in here. Enjoy!

— Very interesting piece by Wallace Matthews & Andrew Marchand stating that pitching wasn’t the Yankees problem last year, clutch hitting was and asks the question, Is the team really better in 2012? I’d like to hear everyone’s comments after reading this.

— The Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees don’t have their stadium this year, so their home stadium will be in Rochester for the season.

— The NY Post says pitching is still the team’s biggest question mark.  The Daily News also has their 5 biggest questions in their ST Preview.

— The Post also has a story on Kuroda.  Interesting quote from a NL scout who says Kuroda “isn’t afraid to knock somebody down.  I think he will be very good for the Yankees.”

— Newsday has Cashman and Larry Rotschild discussing having 6 starters and the team’s pitching depth.

–Wallace Matthews of ESPN wrote that A.J Burnett deserved his pay on one fateful night; October 29, 2009

— Wallace Matthews also wrote an article asking if we are expecting too much from veteran closer Mariano Rivera.