Daily Archives: March 28, 2012

Kuroda looks sharp as Yankees and Braves tie at 5

By the way that Hiroki Kuroda was pitching, it almost had the atmosphere that the Yankees were playing a regular season game rather than a Spring Training game. Kuroda’s slider was perfect, he had good fastball command and looked like a true #2 starter.

Hiroki Kuroda went 7 innings giving up 2 runs on 6 hits while striking out 6. He did give up 1 HR but he was able to compose himself  and didn’t let the homer faze him. Cory Wade pitched an inning but gave up a run while George Kontos pitched the 9th and gave up 2 runs.

THE GOOD: Eric Chavez was the star offensively for the Yankees as he whacked in 3 RBI’s during the game. Eduardo Nunez had 2 hits while Mark Teixeira, Raul Ibanez & Robinson Cano each had 1 hit apiece.

THE BAD: Francisco Cervelli was 0 for 4 with a strikeout, Chris Dickerson was 0 for 3, Dewayne Wise was 0 for 3 and Justin Maxwell was 0 for 2.

Swisher Injury Update: Nick Swisher didn’t feel anything in his groin today while getting at bats at the minor league complex. He was 4 for 8 with a double, two walks and a homer. If he comes out good from it tomorrow then we can expect to see him in a game on Friday. Now that news is positively Swishalicious.

Granderson Injury Update: Curtis Granderson had an MRI today and the results came back negative. Girardi has listed Granderson as “day-to-day.”

Signing Update: The New York Yankees announced two signings during the game today. Yankees sign DH Jack Cust to a minor league deal and C Craig Tatum. Yankees believe that Jack Cust will be good insurance for AAA while the Yankees claimed Tatum off of waivers from the Diamondbacks for catching depth.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Yankees head back to Tampa where they will play the Baltimore Orioles tomorrow. D.J Mitchell will get the start while Ivan Nova will pitch in a minor league game. Expect a decision about the Yankees rotation in the coming days.

Is It Hard To Manage Big-Market Teams?

I’ve always been fascinated with the managing side of Major League Baseball. Whether it was Torre of Girardi at the helm, I imagined myself in their shoes, and how difficult a job it would be. Or, would it be?

Something I’ve come to think of over the past few years, is that I don’t know if it really is a difficult job to manage a big-market team like the Yankees or Phillies. Perennial contenders and annual spenders in free agency, who restock and retool their roster to the best of their ability year after year. The manager doesn’t need to lift a finger in building the team, and when it does come together, it seems he doesn’t need to say or do much for the team to perform.

We’ve all talked about Joe Torre’s incredible-turned-ugly tenure with the Yankees, and how he went down as one of the best skippers of the 20th Century. But in reality – and I am a Torre fan – his success was because of what was given to him, not for what he did. Buck Showalter and Gene Michael had already set the Yanks up for glory before Torre even got a phone call from George Steinbrenner. The Core Four, which at the time was much larger including guys like Bernie, O’Neill, and David Cone, were already on the team. Tino Martinez would be signed to a big contract to replace Don Mattingly, and New York was already coming off a playoff appearance in 1995.

And what do you know, Torre led the Yankees to the World Series championship in ’96, ending an 18-year title drought. “Clueless Joe” was now the talk of the town, and a well-respected skipper. Add three more titles to his resume, and some, maybe most people now think of him as a sure-bet Hall of Famer.

The thing that I am really stumped about, is was it really hard for Torre to manage one of the best dynasties in sports history? Think about how great the Yankees were in the 90’s. Who really built the team? Showalter, Michael, and eventually Cashman who re-tooled for the 98, 99, and 2000 championships. Is it a stretch to say regardless of the skipper, the Yanks would have had similar success? I don’t think so.

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Spring Training: 3/28/12 Lineup

Lineup vs. Braves:
Eduardo Nunez SS
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Raul Ibanez DH
Eric Chavez 3B
Francisco Cervelli C
Dewayne Wise CF
Chris Dickerson LF
Justin Maxwell RF

Hiroki Kuroda RHP

Start Time: 1:05pm
Field: Champion Stadium (Disney Field)

Pregame Notes

— Joe Girardi said that he might make a final decision about the rotation in the next “three to four days”. Some of the things that Girardi has been paying attention to was Ivan Nova‘s fastball, Michael Pineda‘s changeup, Phil Hughes‘s cutter and Freddy Garcia‘s workload.

CC Sabathia will get the ball on Sunday when the Yankees travel to Miami (that includes Mariano Rivera) to play against the Marlins in their new ballpark. After CC, everyone will get one more chance to pitch before the regular season begins.

Curtis Granderson will go and get an MRI this morning  and the results should be in by the end of the game.

— Girardi believes that it’s likely that the Yankees will carry another lefty when they break camp next Thursday. The competition comes down to Cesar Cabral & Clay Rapada. To be honest, I’d like Rapada. Never seen him pitch this good before.

— The Yankees will  carry 12 pitchers when they head to Tampa to play the Rays next Friday.

— Two players from the minor league camp will join the Yankees as they head to Disney World: Tyler Austin & Cito Culver. Only difference is that Austin is scheduled to play while Culver is not.

— D.J Mitchell will start the game vs. the Baltimore Orioles tomorrow while David Phelps will pitch after him. Ivan Nova will pitch in a minor league game.

— Here are today’s available pitchers: Hiroki Kuroda, Cory Wade, Adam Warren, George Kontos, Cesar Cabral, Juan Cedeno, Cory Arbiso, Ryan Flannery and Pat Venditte.

MLB Note: The 2012 Season has already been underway for the Seattle Mariners & the Oakland Athletics in Japan. Mariners won the home opener at around 9 in the morning by the  score 3-1 in 11 innings. Tomorrow’s game is on MLB.TV and first pitch is at 6:04 am.

Enjoy the game everyone!

Morning Bits: Pettitte, Joba, Granderson, Sabathia

Good morning all.  No small talk this morning let’s get right to the links….

* Andy Pettitte battles through rust and fatigue in bullpen session.

* Joba announced yesterday that he plans to pitch this season.

* Granderson is to have an MRI on his elbow today.

* Sabathia’s command was very sharp yesterday over six innings.