Daily Archives: March 3, 2012

Spring Training Notes: 3/3/12

Ivan Nova pitching today for the Yankees

The Yankees are fresh off their 8-5 win over the Philadelphia Phillies at Clearwater today, but there was a lot that happened today. So let’s get to the notes of today!

— When Raul Ibanez was greeted at the plate, it sounded as if it was a lot of boos going around. As a matter of fact, it was just the Phillies fans saying “Rauuuul!” his old chant when he was a Philadelphia Philly. “I’d like to think those are Rauuul’s.” Ibanez joked. “I think that those were good ones.”

— During today’s game David Phelps was extremely sharp while Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances looked a bit shaky during their starts today. Banuelos left a bases loaded jam while Betances issued 2 walks in the inning and only used fastballs. Although Banuelos had struggles, Girardi says that he looks better this season than last season.

— Joe Girardi met the father of Steven Smith, a minor league broadcaster who was tragically killed in December of 2010 today in Clearwater. He was on the field with Girardi before the game and even had the whole Yankees team sign the sign that Matthew Smith was holding before the game. It was Matthew Smith’s first game since his son died. “I just didn’t want Steven to be forgotten.”

Just a reminder that tomorrow’s game is a televised game. The game will be televised on the YES Network. Freddy Garcia is slated to get the start.

Use the comment section below to talk about whatever you like. Have a good night everyone!

Yanks defeat Phillies 8-5 in Spring Training Opener

Fresh from their predictable win against the University of South Florida, the starting outfield, Raul Ibanez & Russell Martin made the trip to Clearwater where they were going to get a taste of Major League action from Cole Hamels & the Philadelphia Phillies.

After Raul Ibanez’s bloop double that scored Curtis Granderson in the top of the 1st, Hunter Pence of the Phillies quickly made the score 2-1 with a towering HR to right field (thanks to the wind).

Raul Ibanez looks up at his bloop RBI single as Yanks win 8-5 vs. Phillies

Granderson answered back in the third inning with an opposite field HR to left off of Dave Bush which gave the Yankees a 3-2 lead. After scoring 1 run in the 6th, 3 in the 7th (a 2 run shot by Cole Garner) & 2 in the 9th, the Yankees looked set and stone to secure the win, but the Phillies attempted to bounce back in the ninth all starting with a Juan Pierre single. Although he gave up 3 runs in the inning, Michael O’Connor was able to regroup and got Cesar Hernandez swinging for the final out of the ball game.

One thing that made the Yankees look a little sloppy on the field today was errors. Eduardo Nunez had an E-6, Ivan Nova had an E-1 & Jayson Nix had an E-3, all in the first inning.

Ivan Nova pitched 2 innings giving up 1 earned run, David Phelps pitched 2 innings giving up no runs, Manny Banuelos (1-0, 0.00 ERA) pitched 2 innings, gave up no runs and secured the win, Dellin Betances pitched 1 inning with 2 walks, Cesar Cabral pitched 1 inning giving up no runs and Michael O’Connor pitched 1 innings giving up 3 runs.

WHAT’S NEXT: The starting infield and Andruw Jones will take on the Phillies tomorrow as the Phillies make the trip to George M. Steinbrenner Field. Freddy Garcia is slated to start tomorrow.

(Photos Courtesy of Yahoo! Sports)

Why Russell Martin Should Get An Extension

When the Yankees opened up spring training, it was revealed that they were in talks with Russell Martin about a possible three-year extension. Talks ultimately went nowhere, and Martin and the Yanks decided to hold off on negotiations until after this season. But as we New Yorkers do, I already had my thoughts on the topic, and I am one of the people who strongly support Martin to stay in the Bronx for a few more seasons.

Before I dish out my opinions, I have to admit it’s very weird discussing a Russell Martin extension. The injury-plagued Dodger was coming in last season just to bridge the gap between Jorge Posada hanging up the tools of ignorance, and Jesus Montero donning them for the first time.

On the contrary, Martin had a great year in 2011, hitting 18 home runs and driving in 65 RBI. However, his production at the plate wasn’t the great part, it’s what he did behind it. He managed a very shaky and thin pitching staff to the 4th-best ERA in the A.L., and we simply saw that he is a terrific catcher who knows how to call a game, which is what I want the most out of a catcher.

Martin also showed devotion and determination to staying healthy, and we’ve heard many times of his MMA-style workouts he does in the winter. He’s in great shape and to me no longer a real injury risk. He loves playing for the Yankees, and wouldn’t want to lose his job or leave the team any time soon.

Now I know what you’re thinking – “what about the overload of catchers in the farm system?” Honestly, people don’t realize how none of them are even close to ready to becoming the starting catcher. All of them are incredibly young, and Austin Romine, the most realistic internal replacement, is just starting his first full year in Scranton. Anyone who wants him or one of the rookies to take over next year are out of their minds.

Also, the free agent class that looks so good now, will probably be very scarce with catchers once the Yanks make a decision on Martin. Guys like Brian McCann, Mike Napoli, and Miguel Montero are all scheduled to be FAs if they can’t get extensions done with their respective teams. However, they almost all certainly will. McCann is no doubt staying in Atlanta, Napoli will either stay in Texas or be pursued by a West Coast team, and Montero is the corner-piece of that young Diamondbacks team. Any dreams of them wearing pinstripes really should end now. It’s a great thought, but the chances of the Yanks looking at big-name, big-money catchers to come in for a year or two isn’t good.

So that really does leave us with Russell Martin. As I said, he wants to stay a Yankee, and the Yankees clearly want him to stay too. He is a great catcher with pop, defense, and an incredibly high understanding of the game and how to be a good catcher. Trust me, I’m all for Austin Romine or Gary Sanchez, but when their time comes. And sorry to say, it won’t, and shouldn’t be, in 2012, 2013, or 2014. Martin should get a three-year extension, and should live up to the contract, as he’s hard working, talented, and overall just an outstanding Major League catcher.

Spring Training: 3/3/12 Lineup

Spring Training: 3/3/12 Lineup

Lineup vs. Phillies:

Brett Gardner, LF
Curtis Granderson, CF
Nick Swisher, RF
Raul Ibanez, DH
Eric Chavez, 1B
Russell Martin, C
Eduardo Nunez, SS
Bill Hall, 2B
Jayson Nix, 3B 

Starting Pitching:

Ivan Nova (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Cole Hamels (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Pregame Notes:

— Andruw Jones who didn’t get a start yesterday or today will get the start in the OF tomorrow vs. a right hander (The Philly that has not been named).

— CC Sabathia & Michael Pineda are throwing in the bullpen today at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

— Some of the position players that stayed behind will get drills in. They will work in 2 groups.

Group 1: Robinson Cano, Francisco Cervelli, Derek Jeter, Andruw Jones

Group 2: Colin Curtis, Gustavo Molina, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira

— 6 pitchers are expected to pitch today: Ivan Nova, David Phelps, Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, Cesar Cabral & Michael O’Connor. The Yankees also brought in Chase Whitley, D.J Mitchell, Juan Cedeno & Clay Rapada just in case.

— Phil Hughes threw a simulated game today and Hiroki Kuroda is expected to throw a simulated game as well vs. Brandon Laird & Zoilo Almonte.

Enjoy the game guys!

Morning Bits: Steinbrenner, Cashman, Girardi, Yankees

Good morning everyone! First pitch for the Yankees/Phillies game is at 1:05pm with Ivan Nova on the mound. Watch it on MLB Network! Now, onto the morning links!

— Hal Steinbrenner says that the Yankees are not “slashing” the payroll. Okay, so cutting the budget to $189 Million by 2014 to avoid paying luxury tax isn’t slashing? Whatever works Steinbrenner.

— Brian Cashman says that although Hal Steinbrenner is altering the budget, that doesn’t mean he’s going to alter the way the Yankees handle business. Yes, because nothing stops Brian Cashman from handling business with money.

–. Even though we all know publicly that Mark Teixeira is not a fan of the new wild card changes, there might be someone in the clubhouse that disagrees with him; his boss Joe Girardi.

— Do you love the current New York Yankees? Well take a good look at them while you can. The New York Post writes that the market will dictate who stays a Yankee for the 2013 season.