Daily Archives: February 20, 2012

Spring Training Notes: 2/20/12

Photo courtesy of Andrew Marchand of ESPN

Today was the day that the Yankees Pitchers and Catchers started their workouts! Here were some of the highlights of today’s Spring Training.

Mariano Rivera arrived to Spring Training after telling Cashman he was going to be late. Mariano, you weren’t late. You can come whenever you want. You’re Mariano after all.

— The Yankees and Raul Ibanez had agreed on a 1 year, $1.1 Million deal pending a physical.

— The chances that Eric Chavez returns to the Yankees are “50-50” according to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com. Chavez says that he will also speak with his agent about the matter.

— Joe Girardi spoke to the media for the first time this season and he mainly focused on the rotation and on former Yankee pitcher A.J Burnett.

  • On A.J Burnett: “I feel like A.J did everything we asked him to do. Without A.J, we may not have won the World Series.”
  • On Michael Pineda: “I’m always amazed at how big players are today. They’re large humans.”
  • On Starting Rotation: Sabathia will be pitch opening day but for the rest “You go with an open mind.”
  • David Robertson will continue to be the 8th inning man while Soriano is the 7th inning guy.
  • Girardi is leaning towards having the lineup Cano-Rodriguez-Teixeira but he isn’t exactly “married to the idea.”
  • Girardi says that he anticipates Francisco Cervelli to be the back-up catcher but others such as Austin Romine will get a shot.
  • Girardi mentions that he believe that it is important for CC’s weight to “stay there or close to it.” He also said the most crucial thing is that Sabathia “stays strong.”
  • A-Rod will be scrutinzed once he shows up for Spring Training. Girardi isn’t expecting A-Rod to hit 45 HR’s but he says he expects a big season.

Michael Pineda was working on his slider with Russell Martin earlier this morning which slightly surprised Girardi since it was still very early. However after nailing the pitch, Martin pumped his fist towards Pineda with praise.

— Mariano Rivera says he already knows if he is going to retire after this season. “I know now, but I don’t have to tell you.” Thanks Mo. That really answers our question.

Are The 2012 Yankees Really Better Than The 2011 Yankees?

A lot has happened for the Yankees since the ALDS loss to the Detroit Tigers last fall. The Yankees acquired Michael Pineda while sending away Jesus Montero & Hector Noesi to Seattle. The Yankees signed former Dodger Hiroki Kuroda who luckily remembers one teammate very well; Russell Martin. Veteran pitcher A.J Burnett ended his tenure with the Yankees as he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for 2 minor leaguers. Jorge Posada retired, ending his tenure with the Yankees & the Yankees re-signed Andruw Jones (who had to change his uniform number). But when you think about it, are the 2012 Yankees better than the 2011 Yankees? After reading an article on ESPN New York by Wallace Matthews, it had me wondering if we are really all that much better. Here is an excerpt from the article:

As we head into Spring Training 2012, there is really only one question that needs to be asked and answered of the New York Yankees: Are they better than they were in 2011?

It is a question we can ask today but can’t really answer for another nine months, when the story of the upcoming season is completed.

And the answer might seem to be an easy one: Sure, they’re better, because with one fell swoop on Friday the 13th of January, GM Brian Cashman settled all remaining family business by adding not one, but two formidable starting pitchers to the Yankees rotation.

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Yankees Unveil Opening Day Lineup

Yankees Unveil Opening Day Lineup

By Delia E.

According to Wallace Matthews of ESPN from what Joe Girardi said from his news conference this morning, this would be your 2012 Opening Day lineup:

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Nick Swisher RF
Andruw Jones DH
Russell Martin C
Brett Gardner LF

Now this lineup would be if David Price was pitching. If James Shields pitches on Opening Day then this wold be your 2012 Opening Day lineup:

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Nick Swisher RF
Raul Ibanez DH
Russell Martin C
Brett Gardner LF

The lineups will stay this way  unless one of these players outshines during Spring Training. Let’s look forward to a competitive and fun Spring Training!

Who Cleans Up in 2012?

Most of the debates that take place before a new season regarding the New York Yankees are as predictable as pitchers and catchers arriving in late February.  I’ve come to expect most of these debates and just assume that the rotation, batting order, and relief pitching roles will be scrutinized until the very first lineup card is made on opening day.

Debates are really what this time of the year is all about. They’re a way to pass the time and expel the nervous energy that many baseball fans feel as a new season approaches. As fans or media, that is what we do. We debate and postulate endless theories and possibilities of the season to come. It’s not often I’m caught off guard by a possible topic of debate, so when more than one Yankee fan asked me who I thought should be the cleanup hitter in 2012 I have to admit I was surprised.

It’s my opinion that Yankee fans are as well-educated and informed about their team as any fans in existence. They’ve always had every Yankee game available on cable TV and a treasure trove of solid media covering the Yankees on radio,  in print, and now more than ever on the internet.  You can wander into Twitter at any time of the day on any day of the year and find thousands of Yankee related tweets just waiting to be read.  The upside of this never-ending barrage of Yankee conversation and coverage is the awareness that Yankee fans have about their team.  One of the downsides is that the intensity with which the Yankees are covered can make a sub par season seem far more dramatic than it actually is.

No Yankee in my lifetime has been the lightning rod of controversy that A-Rod has been.  From his admitted PED use to his postseason failures to his high-profile women to his massive contract there has never been a shortage of controversy surrounding him.  Through it all, the one constant associated with A-Rod has been his regular season performance as the Yankee cleanup hitter. I see no reason why removing A-Rod from that role should even be considered and think the naysayers are really jumping the gun on A-Rod’s “demise”.

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Yankees and Ibanez agree on a deal

Yankees and Ibanez agree on a deal

by Matt S.

Looks like the DH is in check.

Here is the latest.

https://twitter.com/#!/Joelsherman1/status/171586347813969920

Ibanez still has some pop against right-handers, with 16 HR and a .256 / .307 / .440 line against them in 2011.

 

Morning Bits: Sabathia, Spring Training, Burnett, Ibanez

Good morning all I assume many of you are off on this holiday.   So enjoy the day and keep checking back with us for all the latest.  Let’s get right to the morning links…..

* The Washington Post says the Yankees are looking for slimmer Sabathia to revert to dominate form.

* Chad Jennings of Lohud writes that the Yanks take unique road as spring training opens.

* ESPN has the full report of the done deal for AJ Burnett.

* From MLB.com: Ibanez remains at the top of the Yankees wish list.

* Sports Illustrated reports on the lighter side of Sabathia.

* From The Daily News Cashman admits the Yankees didn’t try to win the AL East in 2010.

Here is a youtube video sent it to us from Paul who is one of our readers.  Hope you enjoy it as it’s pretty good.