The New York Yankees signed third baseman/outfielder Burt Reynolds after watching him play for the independent Newark Bears & Can-Am Baseball Association in 2011. Reynolds has some family members in the game; his cousin happens to play 2nd base for the New York Yankees whose name happens to be Robinson Cano. Last season Reynolds hit .232 with 13 HR’s, 36 RBI’s & 11 SB. He was a 30th round draft pick for the Washington Nationals and spent time in Tampa Bay’s minor league system before joining the Can-Am league.
Day 4 of Spring Training has come and gone and the Yankees have had an eventful day. Let’s sum up today’s Spring Training news shall we?
— Derek Jeter (pictured above) mentioned that Mariano Rivera has told him about his plans, but don’t expect Jeter to spill any details. Jeter’s staying mum on Rivera’s decision. Jeter did say, “It’s really hard to talk about someone being gone when they’re still here. I think we’ll just appreciate him while he’s here.”
— Brett Gardner showed up to Spring Training camp yesterday and spent his time at the minor league complex doing batting practice.
— The Yankees signed former Seattle Mariners closer David Aardsma as he recovers from Tommy John surgery which includes the 2013 option. Brian Cashman said the move had more to do with 2013 since we don’t expect to see Aardsma until the summer of 2012.
— Joba Chamberlain threw off of a mound today for the first time since having Tommy John Surgery. He said it went “really, really good.” His next mound session will be on Friday.
The New York Yankees re-signed former OF Andruw Jones to a contract this past winter to fill the vacant DH role and although there hasn’t been talks of platooning him with current LF Brett Gardner, Jones was 10-12 pounds lighter, said he was healthier & rehabbed his knee which might have some people rooting for having the platoon in 2012.
While I was reading Wallace Matthew’s article on ESPN New York, I couldn’t help but feel skeptical about having Gardner & Jones platoon. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
And as great as Gardner is in certain aspects of the game — he’s the epitome of a leadoff hitter, speedy, selective and a superior defensive player — Jones brings two things to the table that make him worth considering: power (420 home runs) and leather (10 Gold Gloves as a center fielder). Plus, he crushes left-handed pitching.
Now I understand the reasons the Yankees might want Jones to platoon with Gardner in 2012, but the issue here is that Jones is not the same fielder he was 10 years ago. It’s hard not to think of Jones as the guy that hurt the Yankees in the World Series about a decade ago, but the issue is that Jones has gotten older. Gardner is young, versatile and a much better outfielder than Jones is now.
It’s a major league deal worth 500,000 reported by Feinsand. He will start the season on the DL as he is coming back from Tommy John surgery. The deal includes a club option for 2013. I think this is a great add on for the Yankees.
Seems like a good guy. He recognized us right away on twitter.
The bullpen is a very important piece to any team. It helps you win games and it helps hold games to a tie when it’s one of those, “must win” games that you need to get into the playoffs. The bullpen is also good for the “mop up” games whether your team is in the lead, or whether the team is poorly behind.
Now, the Yankees have I believe the best bullpen in the Major Leagues right now, also with the greatest closer of all time named Mariano Rivera, but before Rivera can come in there needs to be a pitcher that can set him up in one of those must win games. The 8th inning role has come down to 2 men who will probably be fighting for the setup role this Spring Training; David Robertson & Rafael Soriano. They both are excellent pitchers, but who is more qualified to take the coveted position to warm up the ball for Mo?
Yankees relief pitcher David Robertson
After having a mediocre 2010 season, David Robertson started the season in the bullpen as the 6th inning guy. David Robertson would soon get his chance however to star in the 8th inning position after Rafael Soriano went down with a shoulder injury. Let’s just say at the end of the year Robertson’s numbers did not disappoint. In 2011, Robertson was 4-0, had a 1.08 ERA, a 1.125 WHIP, managed to notch 100 K’s in the season all while pitching 66.2 innings. Everyone that knows Robertson understands that even he gets himself into some situations every now and again, but David Robertson is able to end an inning in dramatic fashion(3 strikeouts after loading the bases is one instance). Because of such theatrical pitching, he is known as Houdini. If Robertson continues his stellar pitching, not only will he get the 8th inning role this year but he might get the coveted position of closer once our beloved Mariano Rivera retires.
Yankees relief pitcher Rafael Soriano
Rafael Soriano was signed in the 2010 offseason to become the 8th inning man to Mariano Rivera. He was originally the closer with the Tampa Bay Rays but couldn’t continue the closing duties because of…well…Mariano Rivera. Soriano didn’t get to keep the 8th inning role for long after he obtained a shoulder injury and he didn’t get the role back even after he came back from the DL. Instead his role was the 7th inning since Joba Chamberlain was out for the rest of the season due to Tommy John Surgery and let’s just say that Soriano was…mediocre. In 39.1 IP he was 2-3, had a 4.12 ERA, a 1.297 WHIP and racked up 36 K’s. It’s not bad but would you really want someone with a 4.12 ERA attempting to pass on the ball to Mo in a tight game?
While I enjoy watching Robertson & Soriano, I would have to give the 8th inning role to David Robertson. Robertson came out like a full fledged All-Star while Soriano was either hurt or inconsistent in his appearances. Soriano could do the 7th inning role while Joba Chamberlain recuperates and nurses his arm back to pitching form but when he comes back he could be the 6th inning man.