Daily Archives: March 24, 2012

Garcia shuts down Tigers as Yankees beat Tigers 4-2 in 10 innings

In game 1 of this 2 game set, the Yankees traveled to visit the Detroit Tigers in a 2011 ALDS rematch. Freddy Garcia & Max Scherzer turned the game into a pitchers duel with the Yankees & Tigers getting to the 7th inning in an hour and 35 minutes since the first pitch until the game got interesting.

Freddy Garcia made it through 4.1 IP with 0 runs, 1 hit, 2 BB & 4 K’s,Kevin Whelan took over for Garcia and pitched a perfect inning, Boone Logan went through 0.2 IP with 1 K , D.J Mitchell went 3 innings giving up 2 runs on 3 hits with 3 BB & 1 K. Cesar Cabral came in the 10th and pitched a perfect inning to get the save.

Raul Ibanez who did not have a good Spring, had a 2 run homer in the 7th inning off Max Scherzer who had a no hitter going until Colin Curtis broke it with a single. Mark Teixeira singled before the homer. The Tigers were able to tie the game in the 9th but the Yankees rallied and won the game on a RBI double by Dewayne Wise that scored Justin Maxwell & Bill Hall.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Yankees will play Game 2 vs. the Tigers but this time at Steinbrenner Field. Derek Jeter, Brett Gardner, Alex Rodriguez, Russell Martin & Curtis Granderson are slated to be in the lineup. Michael Pineda will get the start.

What if Ibanez is Done?

The Raul Ibanez signing was questioned by a lot of Yankees fans. He has done nothing this spring to prove those people wrong. Ibanez is batting an egregious .054 with only 1 extra base hit in 37 spring training AB’s.  As you may have heard me say before I do not take spring training stats very seriously. However, with a player of Ibanez’s age thoughts that he could be in for a long year have to creep into your mind when you see him performing this badly. Now I am certainly not giving up on him or anything, but he will have to be watched very carefully as the season progresses to see if he improves. If he does not he can end up like Randy Winn, whom the Yankees cut in May of 2010 due to his awful play.

The Yankees two main reasons for Ibanez’s poor play is that he is facing lefties in spring training when he will only be facing righties in the regular season. They have also pointed to Ibanez being a particularly slow starter. I have not seen much of Ibanez this spring so it is hard for me to pinpoint the reason for his struggles. Historically, Ibanez’s numbers have been worse in April and May than in the other months so the Yankees do have a point there.

If Ibanez struggles gets to the point where the Yankees have to consider other options they do have some in house options. Andruw Jones is widely known for his ability to hit lefties, but he did hit 5 out of his 13 HR’s last year against righties and had a halfway decent .709 OPS against righties. Eric Chavez would likely be the number one in house option, but he has struggled this spring as well and is often injured. Eduardo Nunez could be another option but he was significantly better vs. lefties last season. As you can see the in house options leave a lot to be desired. There are no outfielders in the minors who are considered major league ready although Justin Maxwell has shined this spring. Also, if you have to use one of the in house options your bench is shortened.  Nick Swisher also must stay healthy or this could turn into an even bigger issue. Swisher has been hurt twice now this spring and it better not be worse than the Yankees are letting on with Ibanez looking the way he is looking.

The Yankees will have to look for a DH to hit righties in a trade if Ibanez fails. It is to early to really speculate on who that could be.  The Yankees have the minor leaguers to get a deal done if necessary. If the RH platoon DH is the Yankees biggest weakness this year it is going to be a successful one. They survived it last year with limited production form Jorge Posada at times. However, the Yankees are always looking to make the team the best it can be and if Ibanez continues to hit like this a change may be in order.

Spring Training: 3/24/12 Lineup

Lineup vs. Tigers

Eduardo Nunez 3B
Francisco Cervelli C
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Raul Ibanez DH
Chris Dickerson CF
Cole Garner LF
Colin Curtis RF
Ramiro Pena SS

RHP Freddy Garcia

Pregame Notes

— The Yankees have made more roster cuts today sending Dellin Betances to Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre. Mike O’Connor & Juan Cedeno were reassigned to Minor League camp today as well.

— Joe Girardi has slotted David Robertson to pitch tomorrow. This will be Robertson’s first appearance  since bruising his foot and only his second appearance this Spring.

— Here is the upcoming rotation for the Yankees this week:

Sunday: Michael Pineda
Monday: Phil Hughes (minor league complex. Major league has off-day)
Tuesday: CC Sabathia
Wednesday: Hiroki Kuroda
Thursday: Ivan Nova (minor league complex) Freddy Garcia (major leagues)

— Girardi would like to see Garcia reach 60-65 pitches today.

— D.J Mitchell, David Phelps, George Kontos & Brandon Laird are still at the big league camp despite being optioned to Triple-A.

— Sabathia threw a side today. Betances, Nova, Kuroda, Adam Warren & Andy Pettitte are all slated to throw a side tomorrow.

— The game is unfortunately not on television or on the radio so no coverage until after the game has been completed.

Have a good day everyone!

Morning Bits: Robertson, Chamberlain, Pettitte

Good morning everyone and happy Saturday! Yankees play the Tigers today but unfortunately there’s no coverage of the game, so we’d have to wait to see the boys in pinstripes tomorrow. Let’s get right to the morning links:

— David Robertson threw a simulated inning yesterday. He is slated to be in a Grapefruit League game early next week.

— There’s a very good chance that Yankees fans won’t see Joba Chamberlain in 2012.

— Not only is Andy Pettitte back from the Yankees but he is also scheduled to testify in the trial of former teammate Roger Clemens.