Daily Archives: March 11, 2012

Spring Training Notes: 3/11/12

Today was a CRAZY day for baseball! Yankees played 2 games at the same time which was pretty confusing to follow both games at once, but somehow I managed to get it done! Yankees won vs. the Phillies but lost to the Twins, so that makes their record for the Spring 5-5. Onto today’s notes.

CC Sabathia & Phil Hughes both had GREAT starts today. Here are CC & Phil’s lines for today.

CC Sabathia: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

Phil Hughes: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

Here was what CC Sabathia had to say about his start.

 “Felt good. The fastball command was pretty good, the secondary pitches were working. I still got a little ways to go, you know. I still want to work on my two-seamer. But I feel good today… Fastball command (improved). Getting it in on righties, and Russ did a good job making sure we got a lot of those. He called a lot of two-seamers which is something that we’ve been working on all spring. He did a good job of working in things we were trying to do.”

Here was what Phil Hughes & Joe Girardi said about Hughes’s start:

Hughes: “The cutter wasn’t as good as it was last time, but the curveball was much better. Fastball location was much better, as well. Command-wise, it was a lot better, especially in the second and third innings… It seemed like my fastball was good. It was jumping on hitters a little bit based on the swings I was getting. That was a positive thing. Being able to work out of some trouble with guys on, they put together some good at-bats in the first and I was able to get around those.”

Girardi: “I thought he had everything today. Fastball location was much better, he threw some good changeups, curveballs and cutters. I was very pleased. I thought it was a nice step in a positive direction for him. A lot of times at this point in the first couple starts, I’m focusing on the good things. Knowing that they are rusty, you don’t expect them to have their A stuff a lot of times. You want to see what they’ve got the first couple starts. I was pleased.”

— Joe Girardi revealed that Hughes & Sabathia will split their next start, each pitcher to go 4 innings.

— If you think that there is a race to see who can get the most stolen bases this Spring, you might be right. When reporters asked Russell Martin what he thought about that, he said “I’m putting a little pressure on Gardy. That’s all I’m doing.” Well Russell, it seems that Brett got the message because he swiped a bag as well today. Martin has 4. Gardner has 2. Stay tuned for ‘The Stolen Base Race” all Spring long.

David Robertson ditched the crutches today and is walking with the boot. Robertson himself will determine if the boot will come off tomorrow, according to Girardi.

Eduardo Nunez is expected to see some game action on Tuesday vs. the Red Sox. Nunez was shut down yesterday after feeling discomfort in his wrist from a hit by pitch.

— David Robertson has someone to join him on the Yankees injured list: Dan Burawa. Girardi says that Burawa hurt his ribcage and has been shut down for a bit. Burawa wasn’t slated to make the Major League team this year anyway.

— A.J Burnett has returned to Pirates camp after having surgery on his eye following a fracture of his orbital bone while bunting. He’s still slated to miss 2-3 months.

Mariano Rivera makes his own schedule. When asked when Mariano will pitch again, Girardi sounded a bit clueless when he said, “He’ll probably have some days where he has a couple days off. He might throw an inning, do a bullpen the next time, then throw an inning again. He usually gets his seven or eight appearances in, so he’s got plenty of time to do that. There’s no rush.”

Tomorrow’s Yankees game is vs. the Braves and as I mentioned it is on the radio. The next YES game will be on Tuesday night at 7:05pm which is one you don’t want to miss. Michael Kay, Paul O’Neil & Lou Pinella (by the way, my new favorite announcer on YES) will call the Red Sox vs. Yankees game! But we have to get through Monday first…

Not sure if everyone saw this video, but this was during Yankees Baseball Daily a couple of weeks ago with Jack Curry interviewing Brett Gardner. Thanks Alyssa (@TeamDRob) for sending in the video!


Have a good night everyone!

Sherman says extensions could help with 2014 budget

Joel Sherman wrote an article today offering up some ways to lower the Yanks Luxury Tax bill in 2014.  He thinks they could restructure and/or extend the contracts of ARod, Cano & Granderson right now to help out the Annual Average Value of their deals.

He writes:

“Creativity has not really been a Yankees strong suit when it has come to contracts.Their financial caveman ethos has been: See what like, buy it.In recent years they have tried to employ some financial discipline. Now creativity also will be a requirement if they are to honor a vow to drop under the $189 million luxury tax threshold in 2014.”

Since ARod will make less money starting in 2014, the final 4 yrs on his deal will only pay him $86 Million. However he also has $24M in milestone incentives he may hit.  He recommends guaranteeing $14M of that $24M and adding another yr to ARod’s contract, essentially signing a new 5yr – $100M deal starting in 2014 that would lower ARod’s potential Luxury Tax number from $33.5M in 2014 to $20M.  Interesting thoughts but then you have ARod for even another year in 2018 when he’s 43 years old. I like the idea but I wouldn’t add the extra yr, keep it 4 years and his cap number would be $25M instead of $33.5M – still a big savings and you don’t add another year of a 43 yr old player.

For Cano & Granderson, he recommends extending them right now.  I supported this for Cano a week or so ago although not quite the same as Sherman wants.  I definitely would not tie up Granderson with an extension now.  He’ll be 33 in 2014 so I would not sign him til he’s 36-37 right now.

But give it a read….contains some interesting thoughts though I don’t know how well it would go over with the MLBPA, Bud Selig or the players involved, but it’s food for thought.

Yankees split squad games with 3-0 win vs. Phillies & 5-1 loss vs. Twins

The Yankees had a split squad today with the Yankees playing in Tampa & in Fort Meyers vs. the Phillies & Twins. The Yankees were able to come away with the victory vs. the Phillies winning 3-0 while falling to the Twins 5-1.

Let’s start with the Tampa game. Coming into the game, CC Sabathia knew that he didn’t have a great start last time, but this time he came through, pitching 3 scoreless innings while making lefty hitters look foolish. Chris Dickerson had a 2 run single, Russell Martin swiped a base & Justin Maxwell scored on an error. To add to the excitement of the game, Mariano Rivera made his first Spring start of the season and of course Mariano pitched like Mariano.

Moving onto Fort Meyers, the Yankees hitters were quiet during the 5-1 loss to the Twins but the story was Phil Hughes. Hughes also had 3 scoreless innings and his fastball hit 94 MPH on the radar gun. Girardi joined the players to Fort Meyers to see Hughes, and he wasn’t disappointed. Brett Gardner got on base 2 out of 3 times (HBP & walk) and swiped second (watch out Russell Martin), Curtis Granderson hit a booming double (Gardner was cut down at the plate by Joe Mauer after a HBP to the leg), Nick Swisher hit a double & Francisco Cervelli was impressive, hitting a single, double and scoring the lone Yankees run. All and all, it was a successful day for the Yankees despite the loss in Fort Meyers.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Yankees will play the Braves once again. The Braves game is not televised but it is on Braves radio.

Yankee Prospect Watch 2012 (David Phelps)

Over the next couples weeks I am going to do a series called “Prospect Watch 2012” these players I feel are some that you may want to keep tabs on during the season in the minors.   Some will be names you know already some you may have heard of but don’t know much about.  I plan on giving you any and all rankings they have been apart of along with stats and tidbits of information.

David Phelps

Throws: Right

Height: 6’2″

Weight: 185

DOB: 10/9/86

Drafted by the Yankees in the 14th round of 2008 Draft.

Our very own Jamie Fisher ranked him 8th in his Top 40 Prospects of 2012. Here is what he said of him “Phelps is a winner who knows how to pitch. He’s 38-15 with a 2.61 ERA in his 4 years in the organization. He’s maintained the same solid numbers at every level including a 7.4 K/9 & 2.0 BB/9. Reminds me a little of Ian Kennedy. Missed time with shoulder issue but came back strong in August and was solid in AFL also.”

The Yankee Analysts are in agreement with Jamie as they have him ranked 8th as well. To check those rankings please click here.

John Sickels of Minor League Ball ranked him 7th and said this, “I like him more than most people do. Has developed the secondary pitches needed to off-set the fastball, and was one of the few pitchers who didn’t get killed in the Arizona Fall League. Could be a fourth starter if given a chance.”

Fangraphs has him much lower at 12th here is what they say, “Phelps gets the nod over Adam Warren because the former is more likely to stick in the starting rotation than the latter even if his fastball is not quite as powerful. Phelps has a four-pitch mix that includes a low-90s fastball, curveball, slider and changeup. He’ll probably never be more than a fill-in starter or long reliever for the Yankees so he really needs a trade, as he’s already 25 years old and will be returning to triple-A in 2012 for the third time. He suffered some shoulder problems in ’11 but he pitched in the Arizona Fall League and made eight starts.”

Mike Axisa at River Ave Blues has Phelps at 12th as well he said this, “The Yankees were leaning towards letting Phelps make his big league debut against the Rangers on June 16th, but they instead signed Brian Gordon after he’d opted out of his minor league contract with the Phillies. Phelps hit the DL a week later with shoulder tendinitis, which kept him on the shelf for a month and a half. He returned without a problem in early-August and had a successful stint in the Arizona Fall League (meaning he didn’t get his brains beat in like most pitchers), but the injury likely cost him the opportunity to pitch for the Yankees in 2011. The right-hander came close to repeating his 2010 performance (8.2 K/9 and 22.1 K% , 2.0 BB/9 and 5.6 BB%, 47% grounders) in Triple-A last year (7.5 K/9 and 20.0 K%, 2.2 BB/9 and 5.8 BB%, 40% grounders) if you give him a little wiggle room because of the shoulder. Phelps can sit in the 92-95 mph range with his fastball, backing it up with an array of solid but unspectacular secondary pitches: curveball, slider, changeup. He does a fine job of pounding the bottom of the zone and limiting walks, which he’ll need to keep doing to avoid a future in the bullpen. The Yankees added Phelps to the 40-man roster after the season to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft, and he’ll be one of the very first called up whenever the big league team inevitably needs a starter.”


Year Lg W L ERA IP H R SO WHIP H/9 HR/9 SO/9
2008 NYPL 8 2 2.72 72.2 67 28 52 1.170 8.3 0.5 6.4
2009 SALL 10 3 2.80 112.2 117 48 90 1.260 9.3 0.7 7.2
2009 FLOR 3 1 1.17 38.1 34 9 32 1.043 8.0 0.2 7.5
2010 EL 6 0 2.04 88.1 63 21 84 0.974 6.4 0.2 8.6
2010 IL 4 2 3.07 70.1 76 31 57 1.265 9.7 0.5 7.3
2011 GULF 1 1 0.00 7.0 4 2 5 0.714 5.1 0.0 6.4
2011 IL 6 6 3.19 107.1 115 42 90 1.314 9.6 0.9 7.5
4 Seasons 38 15 2.61 496.2 476 181 410 1.184 8.6 0.6 7.4
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 3/10/2012.

Video – Phelps striking out Nationals Prospect Bryce Harper

Spring Training: 3/11/12 Lineups

Lineup vs. Phillies

Derek Jeter, SS
Robinson Cano, 2B

Alex Rodriguez, DH
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Eric Chavez, 1B
Russell Martin, C
Andruw Jones, RF
Bill Hall, LF
Chris Dickerson, CF

LHP CC Sabathia

Lineup vs. Twins

Brett Gardner, LF
Curtis Granderson, CF

Nick Swisher, RF
Raul Ibanez, DH
Francisco Cervelli, C
Jorge Vasquez, 1B
Jayson Nix, 2B
Brandon Laird, 3B
Ramiro Pena, SS

RHP Phil Hughes

Pregame Notes:

— Joe Girardi will travel to Fort Meyers to watch Phil Hughes today. It sounds as if we all know what kind of start we are going to get from CC.

— Mariano Rivera will make his Spring debut today vs. the Phillies. Both Rafael Soriano & David Robertson made their Spring debuts last week.

I’ll have both game recaps (Thank you picture to picture in MLB.TV) up as soon as the games are finished.

Enjoy the games everyone!

Morning Bits: Teixeira, Rodriguez, Gardner, Cano, Granderson, Hughes

Good morning everyone! Don’t forget to move your clocks ahead one hour. Wouldn’t want you to miss the Yankees games today now would we? Yankees play a split squad today so the catch Yankees & Phillies at 1pm on YES Network & Yankees vs. Twins on MLB Network & MLB.TV. Onto the morning links!

— ESPN New York highlights Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira & Brett Gardner’s good performances yesterday during an 8-3 Braves win.

— Randy Levine (President of the Yankees) has a plan on how he can keep both Robinson Cano & Curtis Granderson in 2014.

—  Instead of staying with half the team in Tampa, Joe Girardi will get on the bus to Fort Meyers to view Phil Hughes’s start.