Daily Archives: August 23, 2012

Yankees Off Day Notes: Nova, Gardner, Rays

Not a lot happened in Yankees Universe today but there are some worthy notes before the Yankees series in Cleveland.

— The Yankees put Ivan Nova on the 15 day disabled list after Nova’s MRI revealed he had rotator cuff inflammation. The good news is that Nova won’t need surgery and all he will need is rest. He won’t pick up a ball for 5 days.

— Brett Gardner’s Staten Island Yankees jersey number was retired today which means no other SI Yanks player can ever wear the #6 again. The first 2,500 fans at the stadium received a Gardner jersey for the final time and the night will end with fireworks.

— If you are watching baseball tonight, I suggest you watch the Oakland A’s and the Tampa Bay Rays. But please, root for the A’s. Rooting for the Rays means a 3 game lead cut to 2.5 games.

Failure of young pitchers to effect plans for 2014 budget

Phelps has had the best season of all the Yankees young arms

When the Yankees announced they would be lowering payroll in 2014 to get under the $189 Million Luxury tax threshold, it was apparent they would have to change the way they build their team.  Filling holes with expensive Free Agents and re-signing all of their own veteran FAs would not be possible.  Tough decisions will have to be made and it seemed Brian Cashman had come up with his strategy.   Seeing the extreme costs to acquire even mediocre veteran pitching on the FA market, Cash devised the plan to build an inexpensive pitching staff of promising young arms behind Ace, CC Sabathia.  This would allow the team to spend the big money required to re-up with at least 2 of their 4 upcoming veteran position players, Cano, Granderson, Swisher and Martin.

Cashman dealt his #1 offensive prospect for Michael Pineda who was supposed to grow into the #2 starter this team has long been searching for.  Pineda was to be backed up by Ivan Nova and others from the list of highly touted Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, Jose Campos, Adam Warren, David Phelps & DJ Mitchell.  The plan certainly had merits on paper, but this year, all of the pitchers on that list (except Phelps) have taken significant steps backwards.  Back in February, most envisioned Pineda, Nova & Banuelos forming the nucleus of a rotation behind CC in 2014 but with the events that have unfolded over the last 6 months, it would now be extremely irresponsible to hang our hopes on that trio.

Pineda’s problems have been well-documented and besides the DUI and reporting to camp grossly overweight, there is no way to count on a pitcher coming off significant shoulder surgery. Nova was very effective in 2011 as a ground-ball pitcher who pitched to contact and limited HRs and extra-base hits.  But he has tried to re-invent himself as a Strikeout pitcher and has had huge issues with his command leading to more XB Hits than any pitcher in MLB and a bloated 4.92 ERA.  To make matters worse, he also is complaining of Shoulder soreness and will miss his next start or 2 at minimum.  Both Banuelos & Campos were shut down early this season due to elbow injuries that the team has tried to treat with rest rather than surgery.  Whether this approach works or not, both young pitchers lost a complete season of development and can’t be expected to play a major role in 2014 at the MLB level. Betances has totally lost command of his pitches to the point he was demoted to AA.  Overall he has a 6.44 ERA and has walked 99 in 131 IP.  Mitchell has been traded while Warren has had a solid year in AAA.  We know how well Phelps has pitched so I think he’s definitely in the picture to start in 2014. Read the rest of this entry

Morning Bits: Girardi yells at a fan & Is Jeter an MVP candidate?

Good morning all.  Yankees were swept and Tampa won yesterday.   Not a good mix at all.  The Yankees have an off day today and will begin a new series Friday in Cleveland.

Enjoy the day now for some links..

Wallace Matthews reports that Girardi had some words with a fan after the game last night.

Andrew Marchand asks if Jeter is an MVP candidate.

Zack Meisel has the latest on Ivan Nova.