Daily Archives: March 7, 2012

Spring Training Notes 3/7/12

Hiroki Kuroda pitching during today's 4-0 loss to the Rays

Good evening everyone! Today we saw the Yankees bat struggle for the third straight game offensively and we also saw Hiroki Kuroda take the mound today. Here are today’s notes:

— The Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees will change their name for the 2012 season since they are not in their ballpark due to construction: The Empire State Yankees.

— Some observations on Hiroki Kuroda from today: Kuroda was able to spot his pitches and had an effective splitter. The only bad pitch he made was a hanging curve ball which drove in 2 runs in a 3 run inning. He was also able to hit 95 MPH multiple times today which was impressive.

— There was something that Ken Singleton & David Cone said during today’s YES Network broadcast that made me understand what it means to be a pitcher. You can throw as hard as you want, but you can still get hit around because your pitches are in the middle of the plate. It’s better to be a pitcher that throws 89 MPH – 92 MPH and that has good location than a pitcher that throws 95 MPH – 96 MPH and having no location at all.

— Russell Martin and Hiroki Kuroda have a pitcher catcher bond already. Well, Martin & Kuroda were both on the Dodgers at one point, so there is the comfort zone.

— Mariano Rivera will throw another live batting practice tomorrow and will soon get in on the Spring Training action.

Note: Tomorrow’s Yankees Game will not be on television or radio but on Friday the Yankees return to YES. Saturday is a radio game and Sunday is a YES game, so there is your Yankees for the weekend.

Some Tweets:

https://twitter.com/#!/YESNetwork/status/177062159195439105

https://twitter.com/#!/BryanHoch/status/177502459353247744

Talk about whatever you like in the comment section.

Have a good night everyone!

Kuroda makes debut as Yankees lose 4-0 to Rays

We’ve seen stuff from Ivan Nova, CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda, Freddy Garcia & Phil Hughes. Today, it was Hiroki Kuroda’s start, and although it was Kuroda’s first time pitching in a Yankees uniform, Kuroda had some familiar faces from his past help to guide him; catcher Russell Martin & DH/OF Andruw Jones.

Martin & Jones both knew Kuroda during their time with the Dodgers and all they had to say was how they marveled at his pitches.Kuroda’s first inning of work was quick and painless, just needing nine pitches to get through it, but the second inning wasn’t so easy. Kuroda gave up 3 runs on 3 hits which panned the way for a Yankees 4-0 loss to the Rays. In Kuroda’s defense, he was doing well with spotting all of his pitches & had good velocity but even though he gave up a couple of ground ball base hits, the big blow was on a curve ball that he left hanging over the plate.

Derek Jeter fulfilled his quest and was able to play today even though the played yesterday along with Robinson Cano, but the main offense (it was 4 hits) from the everyday players came from Russell Martin & Nick Swisher. The Yankees have lost 3 straight (even though the games don’t really matter)

WHAT’S NEXT: The Yankees will head to take on the Blue Jays tomorrow for the first time since last season. I would imagine Derek Jeter won’t make the trip since he played today and yesterday. Does that mean Eduardo Nunez will play tomorrow?

Also the Yankees & Blue Jays game will not be televised or on the Radio so there will be no coverage until tomorrow night’s Spring Training report but Yankees will return on YES on Friday as they take on the Atlanta Braves! More news on tonight’s Spring Training report.

Yankees O/U: Granderson & Gardner

Curtis Granderson

Player: Curtis Granderson
Stat: Runs Batted In
The Number: 100

Report: In 2011,Curtis Granderson had exceeded the expectations and went on to have a monster campaign, hitting 41 HR’s & 119 RBI’s. Granderson led the major leagues in run scored (136)  & was able to coax out 85 walks from pitchers all while keeping his average at .262. He was even able to swipe 25 bases, being second on the team in the stolen base category.

But one of the things that Granderson was able to accomplish was hitting left handed pitching. He had a .272 AVG vs. left handed hitters in 2011 after not being able to hit left handers during his years in Detroit with the Tigers.

Yes, Granderson had a good year all around, All around except in 1 category: Strikeouts. He had 169 strikeouts during the 2011 campaign.

The Verdict: So will Granderson go over 100 RBI’s in 2012 or will he go under? I’m predicting that Granderson will have about 115 RBI’s this season if he can keep his strikeouts down in 2012.

Brett Gardner

Player: Brett Gardner
Stat: Stolen Base
The Number: 50

Report: Brett Gardner had a very streaky 2011, but despite hitting .259 with 7 HR’s & 36 RBI’s he was able to steal 49 bases throughout the year. Gardner may have not have been hitting to his full potential, but he was still able to coax out the walk pass from time to time.

In 2011, Gardner had 60 BB and something else that might have helped him; being hit by a pitch. Gardner had a career high 8 HBP (although I’m unsure why any pitcher would hit Gardner if he’s going to become a headache for you at 1st base). Yes, Gardner was streaky, but he was still very good at getting on base, something that has not only helped his stats, but has helped the Yankees.

The Verdict: Gardner has the speed and the discipline to steal bases but it all depends how he does at the plate. Something that could help him though is if he was a red hot hitter throughout the entire year and not just in the middle of the season. With that being said, I’m predicting Gardner steals 50-55 bags this year. 50 wasn’t completely out of his reach last year.

So what are your thoughts? Do you think that Granderson will go over/under 100 RBI’s? Do you think that Gardner will go over/under 50 SB in 2012? Put your thoughts in the comment section below.

Spring Training 3/7/12 Lineup

David Wells Pitching BP

I have family at the game who provided me with these pictures.  Enjoy.  The game is on YES.

Jeter SS
Granderson CF
Cano 2B
Swisher 1B
Ibanez DH
Chavez 3B
Jones RF
Martin C
Gardner LF

Pitching
Kuroda RHP

Morning Bits: Hughes, Garcia, Pineda, Sabathia, Teixeira

Good morning all.  Not the starts many wanted to see from C.C. and Hughes yesterday but it’s only spring training I’m not getting all bent out of shape about it.   Today’s game is on t.v. so that’s exciting.  Let’s get right to the links….

* The Star Ledger reports Hughes sees his velocity return in spring training debut.

* The Wall Street Journal has Garcia escort Pineda through the NY media circus.

* ESPN New York reports that Hughes sees last year as a failure for himself.

* Sabathia isn’t satisfied with his spring debut reports The Star Ledger.

* Tex say’s nothing to worry about his thumb reports mlb.com.