Spring Training: 3/18/12 Lineup

Lineup vs. Orioles

Brett Gardner CF
Eduardo Nunez SS
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Raul Ibanez DH
Bill Hall 3B
Justin Maxwell RF
Dewayne Wise LF
Gustavo Molina C

RHP Ivan Nova

Pregame Notes:

Derek Jeter had his calf tended to today. He anticipates that he will play on Tuesday.

Nick Swisher says that his groin feels great and he also anticipates to play on Tuesday.

Curtis Granderson was scratched from making the trip. He was slated to go instead of Russell Martin.

— center field prospect Mason Williams reported to the Major League camp for the day. He will come in for Brett Gardner towards the end of the game when all the starters are taken out.

— The game is on MLB Network & MLB.TV at 7:05pm.

Enjoy the game everyone!

About Delia E.

Delia Enriquez is the managing editor of Yankees Fans Unite. She enjoys analyzing the New York Yankees whether it be their pitching, roster or their manager. You can follow her on twitter @dfiregirl4 for more tweets, analysis and opinion on the Yankees.

Posted on March 18, 2012, in Game Threads and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 58 Comments.

  1. Oh man I’m EXCITED now! Can’t wait to get a glimpse of Mason Williams. He’s said to have put on a lot of weight over the summer – good weight. Hope he gets in the game early enough to get a few ABs

  2. It’s always good to see new young players in spring training. Williams was rated #98 in Fangraphs top 100. I was impressed this spring with Almonte, Baneulos, Phelps, Sanchez, Murphy, Betances, Whitley, Marshall, Mitchell, Joseph, and Warren. Hope to see other players move up the ladder like Williams, Bichette, Montgomery, Heathcott, and Campos. Like to see the Yanks draft a SS in one of the first 2 rounds of the June draft, someone like Carlos Correa.

    • Doug …..keep your eye on a kid named Jose Rosario this year. Right now he’s not on many people’s radar but he could be the SS of the future for the Yanks.

      He hit just as well as Dante Bichette in the Gulf Coast Lg last yr (.331 BA & .531 SLG%) and can run and throw as well. Athough he was a level below Culver he may leap-frog him this yr.

      • Darn it Fishjam…
        You keep making my list longer and longer…if a can, I am on my way around 4th of july time frame. Last year, I didn’t go…this year is a must. 🙂

  3. Did anyone see the Os 2nd baseman make the tag on Nunez? Someone better tell him he is going to have a very short career. Someone is going to take him out with broken legs or worse.
    You can’t step across the bag into the sliding runner, (well maybe now days) a lot of us older 2nd basemen have scares on our arms from runners coming in spikes high.
    The throw was on the 2nd base side but he should have stepped to the ball (putting himself in front of the bag) then slap the tag.
    Just a thought…I wish him luck…!

    • old yankee, right on the money again, I remember Bobby Richardson. There are 11 different ways to turn a double play and some of these young players are moved to second and don’t know one. Murphy on the Mets is the worst I’ve seen.

  4. Well so much for Nova in this game 2 HRs and four runs…4-0 Os.

  5. What a throw by Gardner to turn two!!! WOW!!! Gardner should have won the GG last year!!!

  6. Nova’s FB and slider look terrible tonight. His FB has litte pop (mostly 89-90) but more importantly he’s leaving it up and over the plate. He hung a slider on 0-2 to Adam Jones he hit for a 3R-HR.

    However, his Change and Curvebal look pretty good. Has gotten a few Ks on the Curve

    • Gotta give Nova some credit for finishing strong after getting ripped in the 1st inning. He realized his Fastball & Slider weren’t there so he used the Change and CB to retire 7 of last 8 with 3 Ks.

      Buck really hates the Yankees. He’s got mostly his entire regular lineup in there to see Nova and he’s pitching relievers and journeymen against the Yanks because he doesn’t want them to see his regular pitchers.

  7. Biggest bright spot to me so far was Tex driving a double to left-center hitting LH.
    Last yr he had exacty 1 extra base hit to opposite field hitting Lefty.

  8. Well guys, I have no idea if Nova was working on a pitch or 2, but he has turned things around in the 4th.
    He looks like a guy we had pitching last year, his name was Nova…maybe this guy can be Nova this year?
    What do you think, was he working on some things or was he just bad?

    • Like I’ve said previously. I don’t know much about a pitchers mechanics but I do know he has only had 1 decent outing out of 3.or 4 I believe.

      The competition is going to be rough for the rotation and if Cashman is to be believed on CC and Kuroda are guaranteed spots. BTW, Phepls looked good again. He hasn’t given up a run in what about 8 or so innings.

      • Girardi has said in the past that he doesn’t really start evaluating pitchers in ST until their 3rd or 4th outing so I think the “competition” basically started about a week ago.

        But I put competition in quotes because I really think unless someone is terrible, they have their mind pretty much made up. Nova was excellent last yr and their #2 starter in the 2nd half and playoffs so I’d be surprised if they took Garcia in the rotation over him based on ST performance I thought his veocity was down today b/c of the radar readings but I haven’t seen any pitcher on either side lighting it up so it seems its a slow gun.

        • Nova kind of mirrors Hughe’s 2010 season, and he was on the Verducci list. I would be a little worried if I’m the Yanks, he hasn’t pitched well this spring. Right now it looks to me that it’s between Nova and Garcia for the 5th spot with Nova trailing. I do think the Yanks want Nova starting over Garcia because of his age and last years performance, but he will have to pitch better.

      • old yankee and uyf, like I said Nova has a few things working agains’t him. His K/9 was low 5.33 and BB/9 3.10 are the worst of the 5 starters. This leaves him little margin for error in my book. Nova had a BABIP of .283. The way he has pitched this spring I would think he is the odd man out at this point, if Garcia is healthy. Nova will have to show better in his next 3 outings. Nova is also a ground ball pitcher, which could hurt him with an aging infield. Cano just got hit in the hand by a pitch, hope he’s ok.

        • Doug, I look at it a bit different than you do, obviously or I would agree with you.
          All your number are great except for a few things you may have over looked…maybe!
          1-Only one infielder had a below avg, fielding %
          2-We had a pitcher that everyone of the experts said couldn’t pitch in the bids without a higher Strike for inning record…CMW, he won 19 games two years in a row before getting hurt.
          3- If a very good GB pitcher can get the ball on the ground at the right clip, he will do as well as a strike out pitcher will do.
          Some of the experts think the stats you brought up are the bible to go by…not true at all.
          There have been many many more GB pitchers as winners than one may realize. The game is the first to get 27 outs without giving up more runs is the winner, however one gets there is beside the point.

          • old yankee, as an old coach I will tell you the K/9 ratio is big, that means less play have to be made in the game. On the fielding percentage, range is not taken into account. I know people like to say veterans like Jeter and A-Rod can position themselves better, but their range has been deminished. As a coach, I used to tell my teams to hit ground balls and line drives, more of them go for hits. A ground ball has to be caught and thrown to get an out. A fly ball only needs to be caught. The problem with the fly ball is when it becomes a homerun like AJ last year. Wang was also pitching to a younger infield. Most of the great ground ball pitchers are pitching to a great infield, not just by % but also range and double plays.

            • old yankee, Texas has won the last few years because they have the best infield defense at the key positions. Kinsler, Andrus, and Beltre rate very high on anyones chart. Add Young to that defense. All these guys can hit leftys and rightys, this makes their great for a ground ball pitcher. Webb, Lowe, and Wang average in the 60% ground balls which is exceptional. Nova was 52.9 last year. The Rays and Sox also have good defensive players in their infields, with Gonzo, Pedroia, Zorbrist, and Longoria. All are better than the Yankee fielders. The Rangers may have made a mistake letting Wilson go he was their best ground ball pitcher.

            • As a great pitcher of the 50s in college…well, maybe not a great pitcher… until recently, I will say GB were my friend for many years. The only ones fanned by me were those that tried to hit the ball out of the park.
              Strike out pitchers get all the head lines but what about these guys;
              Whitey Ford–avg. 5.6 SO/9
              Andy Pettitte–avg. 6.9 SO/9
              Warren Spahn–avg. 4.5 SO/9
              Eddie Lopat–avg. 3.5 SO/9
              Two of these guys are HOF pitchers, I picked the names off the top of my head while in the basement sitting on a three leg chair on top of the table and listening to some progressive Jazz by “The Duke”.
              Now, from that vantage point I could see what you are saying but, to me it is more about the pitcher and his style/talent than it is about strike outs. 🙂

              • I’ll still take Koufax in 63 he was my favorite, Gibson, and Seaver. Maddux was my favorite of the last 20 years. I was a lefty pitcher so I like all those leftys. I was most amazed by Spahn. Tom Glavine would be another one of those crafty leftys. Koufax to me was just total domination.

                • Doug…
                  You picked some good names, Sandy was dominate for only 4 years. Steve Carlton played 24 years with 329 wins. My favorite pitcher was Bob Gibson (of those you named). Warren Spahn was something else in his day 21 years with 363 wins 12 years of 20+ wins. He was one heck of a pitcher…saw him SO 7 players in a row.
                  Of course my favorite pitcher was Eddie Lopat, Mr. slow and slower…he had many ways to throw the same pitch.

          • Good points Ken. Would aso add to it the fact that GB pitchers are much more valuable in Yankee Stadium due to the short porch.

            AJ Burnett was one of the top strike out pitchers last yr fanning 8.2 per 9ip but he gave up the second most HRs in the league leading to a 5.15 ERA.

            • Andrus turned 102 DPs last year Jeter 60. High K/9 pitchers with low GB ratio, Kershaw 43%, Lee 46%, Lincecum 47%, Verlander 40%, Sabathia 46% . The Yanks feel with the ageing infield and low UZR of all fielders except Gardner and Tex it is better to sign pitchers who strike people out and don’t walk people. Nova does neither, his ground balls help him, we’ll see how much.

              • Doug…..Strikeouts are important but they aren’t the only important stats for a pitcher. A pitcher’s job is to get outs and limit runs. K/9 is just one stat to measure a pitcher’s effectiveness,

                Bottom line is we’d all like to have Strikeout pitchers but more than that I want pitcher’s who get outs and limit runs no matter how they do it. Consider the stats of 5 Yankee starters last yr (listed below). Going strictly on Ks & BBs, Colon would be the most effective with AJ probably the 2nd most attractive yet neither of them were brought back. Just shows you there is much more to evaluating pitchers besides Ks and Walks.

                Pitcher – K/9 – BB/9 – ERA
                Burnett 8.2 – 3.9 – 5.15
                Garcia 5.9 – 2.8 – 3.62
                I.Nova 5.3 – 3.1 – 3.70
                Hughes 5.7 – 3.3 – 5.79
                Colon 7.4 – 2.2 – 4.00

                • The top pitchers the last 3 years were Halliday, CC, Verlander, Lee, and Hernandez. All these guys are high K, low walk guys. AJ is hardly a good example of anything when it comes to pitching, I believe he was ADHD. He has one of the best fastballs and curves in baseball and is so inconsistent.. To his credit he has pitched 12 years in the majors with a lifetime ERA 4.01 and 121-111 record, better than Don Larsen.

              • Lee, Lincecum & CC with GB% of 46-47% are not low. They’re not among the best but they’re better than about 60% of the qualified starters in MLB so technically they all have above average GB%.

                Not sure how the DP #s of Jeter and Andrus are relevant to this discussion but they aren’t fair comparisons since it doesn’t take into account how many DP chances each had or the fact that Andrus played 214 more Innings at SS than Jeter last yr. Andrus also made 25 Errors to Jeter’s 12.

            • AJ had a better GB% than Lincecum, Lee, CC, and Shields last year 49.2 last year.

              • Doug, what is your point?
                AJ also had a better K/9 at 8.2 than Cole Hamels, Josh Beckett, Jered Weaver, Matt Cain, James Shields, Ian Kennedy and much of the rest of the league.

                Once again, just proves my point that cherry-picking 1 or 2 stats doesn’t show you a pitcher’s value. Have to look at all the #s.

                • fishjam, I agree, for me stats are just a part of the picture. I just like the K/9 and BB/9 stat better than you. You seem to like the GB% stat. The part of a pitcher that makes hiim real good is his deception, and reading the hitters swing. Some pitchers never improve in those areas, and fall by the wayside. When I used to teach the young pitchers at summer camps, (10 year olds ) I would always try to teach them the OK change. It would be their first lesson in deception. The good pitchers today can throw their secondary pitches for strikes when they are behind in the count. Pitchers like Halliday and Maduxx throw all their pitches within 2 inches of were they want them. Most pitchers can’t do that consistently. Learnin how to move the ball in different directions is also important, I like my pitchers to have 2 pitches that move in opposite directions. My first year in winter ball, I had a catcher who was in the big leagues. He said to me, up hear everyone can hit a fastball or they wouldn’t be hear, sometimes it’s better to throw a change in a fastball count. He taught me how to read hitters swings. CC and Kuroda can do that and thats why Girardi has given them starting spots. The other young pitchers are a work in progress, and haven’t mastered those skills yet, the ones that do will become solid major league starters. I’m not an expert on stats as you can see, but they are food for thought and give us something to do. I just started looking at stats this year.

                  • Doug….It sounds like we are VERY much alike. I form most of my view of baseball from what I see from watching the game and from what I learned playing it. I like stats and the new sabermetrics definitely have their value. I like to combine both approaches to give me a full look at the game. When the stats reinforce what you are seeing on the field – that is when you can come to a full conclusion.

                    I agree with you that K/9 and BB/9 are very important but I think all #s need to be looked at as a whole, rather than in a vacuum. I’m really not a fan of GB% alone b/c I think that all types of pitchers can have success and not all GBs are the same (hard hit, slow hit, etc). If a pitcher doesn’t have high K rates, he better keep the ball on the ground and limit HRS with a low HR/9 or he won’t be successful. That is how Nova went 16-4 with a 3.70 ERA last yr.

            • AJs GB% was 49.2 last year, better than alot of good pitchers.

            • AJ also had a good GB% of 49.2.

  9. What was Wise doing getting picked off like that?

  10. This Ump is squeezing Phelps!

  11. Interesting that Pheps threw less than an inning tonight. Looks like they may be seriously looking at him for the last Bullpen spot.

  12. Mason W with a Gardner-esque base hit to left.

  13. Guys can I make a comment about Nova’s performance that I hope no one will take offense to. Everyone can argue about ground ball rates or K’s to BB ratio’s etc… The simple truth is Nova did NOT pitch well yesterday, and has not pitched well with just one exception this spring training. Another simple truth is if last nights game was during the regular season Nova probably would not have made it out of the 1st inning. Girardi most likely would have pulled him for sure in the 2nd inning.

    If I may. Nova is not doing himself any good with these outings. And I don’t think that Nova has enough history if you will as a starter that continued poor performances this spring will spare him from being sent to the the minors when the “real” season starts to get it together. The Yankees have 6 ML starters right now in camp and a couple of “prospects” that have shown the poise to be starters (in my opinion). So it would appear that the Yankees have opinions if they deem Nova isn’t ready to start the season in NY.

    One final comment about K’s to BB stat. It’s one of the few pitcher stats that the pitcher has the majority of control over to evaluate his performance. Ground ball rates, etc..in most cases and their effect on other pitcher stats like his ERA can and are all to often effected by “other” things like the range of the players behind the pitcher.

    • uyf1950…
      No, you may not! You said something bad about Nova…shame on you! 🙂
      Just funning with you, go for it anytime, I mean…just because you are an old old man that is not any reason for us younger folks not reading your post. By the way, I do agree with most of your post! I was wondering if he has been told to work on this or that pitch…no matter what
      Have fun buddy, that’s what it is all about! 🙂

    • Nova notes;
      1-He’s in great shape.
      2-FB has reached 96 in early action.
      3-9 to 1 strikeout to walk.
      4-Pitched well after a rough start last night.
      The thing that I think most people are missing on Nova is he’s not throwing his slider,he is throwing CU and CB obviously working on things he should be doing.These games are for getting ready for the long grueling season.
      Last season Nova went to his new found slider way too much ,and imo caused his elbow problem in the playoffs.I want to see him limiting the slider this year only using it when needed.So his work on his secondary pitches is good in my opinion .

  14. I agree that spring training or at least the first half of spring training is for working on things. What I think may be being overlooked in that generalization is:
    1) Cashman/Girardi have both said that the only 2 pitchers guaranteed spot in the rotation are CC and Kuroda.
    2) With that being the case. Prior to Pettitte re-signing the Yankees had 4 pitchers (Nova, Pineda, Hughes and Garcia) for 3 spots. So there was already competition for the starting rotation. Add in Pettitte now there will be 5 pitchers for 3 spots.
    3) Girardi said just a few days ago he is going to start to evaluate pitchers/players performances, then.

    I’m not saying that he’s the odd man out YET. All I’m saying is he’s not guaranteed a spot and if he doesn’t turn his performances around in the next 2 weeks or so. He could very well be the one on the “outside looking in” as far as being a starter for the beginning of the season. Now whether his poor showing in spring training so far is because he’s working on some pitches or some other reason I think he will have to show the powers that be at least 1 good performance before Girardi has to make the final decision on who his starters to begin the season will be.

    • I think Girardi and co know who they want and Freddy is the odd man out unless there’s an injury.Colon looked great last spring and hughes couldn’t break out of the upper 80’s and he still started.Saying there’s competition sounds good but the Yanks aren’t going to use such a small sample to decide something as important as starting pitchers.Plus we don’t see there side work.Only Rothchild and Girardi know whats realy going on,and they don’t tell us much.
      Nova will start,unless injured.
      CC,KURODA,NOVA,PINEDA,HUGHES, to start the season.
      When Andy is ready he will replace the weakest link.
      The weakest link could then be traded.

  15. Good points by all.

    I agree with Ballpark that Girardi, Cash & Rotchild have pretty much already decided that Garcia is the odd man out. They have to call it a competition to keep all of their young pitcher’s motivated. They have talked about competition in previous yrs only to take the guy who underperforms in several instances.

    Which brings us to point that they are evaluating on different things in ST. They don’t look at ERAs in ST. They are looking at a pitcher’s stuff, his health and his ability to improve on the areas he needs to work on. Nova’s stuff has looked fine to me and his Change up is improved. He’s gotten into trouble because he’s gotten the ball up in the zone way too much – something that will be rectified with more work.

    Yanks won’t demote Nova based on a 7 ERA in 12 ST innings after he performed as basically their #2 starter most of last yr and won a playoff game as a rookie. The 170 IP he threw last yr in “real” action will weigh much more heavily than the 12 IP he has thrown this ST and over the next 2 wks.

  16. fishjam, I tend to disagree with you on Nova, his location of his pitches is critical to his success in the majors. He doesn’t throw hard enough to have bad location. I agree ST is not all about performance, but their is alot of competition on this team. Nova showed he is feeling the pressure today, by blaming his catcher for calling the wrong pitches. This shows major immaturity and is a no no as far as the coaches are concerned. Girardi and the Yankee top brass could be making a mistake putting so much pressure on the pitchers, it is showing with Nova. First their were 6 starters and now 7, it could be overkill.

  17. fishjam, top five GB% pitchers last year, Westbook, Lowe, Morton, Chacin, and Hudson. Top five K/9 pitchers, Grienke, Kershaw, Morrow, Sanchez, and Lee. Best BB/9 Tomlin, Halliday, Fister, Haren, and McCarthy. Which rotations would you want pitching for you.

    • Doug – You help make my point.
      In all 3 of those groups there are good pitchers and bad pitchers. Goes to show you, you can’t look at 1 or 2 stats to judge a pitcher. And if you want 1 stat to best measure a pitcher, that measurement IMO is FIP or xFIP. But I prefer to look at ALL the stats before I make a determination on pitchers.

      It would be nice to have all strikeout pitchers but the fact is I’ll take a SUCCESSFUL pitcher with a low strikeout rate over a strikeout pitcher who gets rocked everyday of the week. There are many different types of pitchers who can be successful.

      Doug, I think we may have similar views on pitching but just so we are on the same page – what is the point you are trying to convey in 1 sentence? For me, it is:
      You have to look at all stats to determine a pitcher’s worth.

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