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Reactions from Alex Rodriguez PED report (Plus other Yankees notes)

While the baseball world is not at all shocked that Alex Rodriguez has been linked to PED’s (again), there are more statements and news surrounding the latest chapter that is the Alex Rodriguez-saga. Earlier today both Joel Sherman and the Yankees issued statements about the Alex Rodriguez Miami report. Here’s what the Yankees had to say:

“We fully support the Commissioner’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The matter is now in the hands of the Commissioner’s office. We will have no further comment until the investigation has concluded.”

Here’s the statement A-Rod’s camp gave to Joel Sherman.

” The news report about a purported relationship between Alex Rodriguez and Anthony Bosch are not true. Alex Rodriguez was not Mr. Bosch patient, he was never treated by him and he was never advised by him. The purported documents referenced in this story –at least as they relate to Alex Rodriguez– are not legitimate.”

As soon as the PED story broke from the Miami New Times, ESPN reported that Rodriguez hired a lawyer, Roy Black, who has represented several celebrities. Along with Alex Rodriguez being linked to the PED report, Nelson Cruz and Gio Gonzalez were also linked. Gonzalez gave his own statement to the press.

“I’ve never used performance enhancing drugs of any kind and I never will. I’ve never met with Bosch or used any substance provided by him. Anything said to the contrary is a lie.”

As we get more information on the A-Rod saga, we will post it here so stay tuned.

Pettitte won’t pitch in the WBC

Andy Pettitte had an extended invitation to pitch in the World Baseball Classic, especially after Kris Medlen of the Atlanta Braves pulled out but now, Pettitte won’t pitch for Team USA and will instead be with the Yankees at camp during Spring Training. With Pettitte now out of the mix, the Medlen roster spot could now go to Justin Verlander. As much as I love the World Baseball Classic, Andy Pettitte and the Yankees made the right decision. This could possibly be the last year for Pettitte (provided he doesn’t make another comeback in 2015 after taking a one year break in 2014) so to preserve him for the 2013 season was a good idea.

Chris Dickerson signs a deal with Baltimore

Chris Dickerson easily became a fan favorite for the Yankees, but it became apparent that he wasn’t going to have a spot on the roster and in return the Yankees granted Dickerson his release. As of today, Dickerson has a ball club. He signed a minor league deal with the Baltimore Orioles with an invitation to Spring Training. Although I’ll be sad that I can’t see Dickerson play for the Yankees anymore, I am glad that he will finally get a chance to show the talent that he has.

Freddy Garcia finds a job. Yes, really

After I was almost a thousand percent positive that Freddy Garcia was going to hang it up after a bad year with the Yankees, he eventually found a new job with the San Diego Padres organization. He has a minor league deal worth $1.3 Million and another $1.25 Million in incentives. Good luck to him.

Yankees Offseason Notes: Yankees release Chris Dickerson; Jeter out of his boot

After being designated for assignment for the second time in his short career with the Yankees, today it had been announced that Chris Dickerson had been released. Dickerson quickly became a fan favorite, but the issue that the Yankees see with him is that he hits left-handed. It’s an issue because Curtis Granderson, Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki are all left-handed–and there’s no more room for another left-hander on the roster. Since this was his second designation, the Yankees placed him on release waivers instead of out righting him to Triple-A. Every other team had been watching the Yankees closely with the Chris Dickerson saga, so it’s only a matter of time before another team signs him.

In Other News:

— Brian Cashman confirmed today that Derek Jeter is out of his walking boot and is down in Tampa working out. Jeter is expected to be ready by Opening Day but the beginning of Spring Training is extremely questionable.

Yogi Berra is still contemplating whether to join Twitter, but he did tweet from @Yogi_Museum–which has caused a fan frenzy.

— Mark your calendars  Spring Training begins in exactly one month from today. The first official workout for pitchers and catchers will take place on February 13.

Yankees Offseason Notes: Yankees claim Russ Canzler off waivers, DFA Chris Dickerson

The New York Yankees have a new player on their team, although it’s not the way that everyone prefers. Instead of signing a free agent, the Yankees claimed Russ Canzler off waivers from the Cleveland Indians. He’s speculated to compete for the 4th OF spot with Matt Diaz. In the minors Canzler hit .289/.365/.508 with about 1,000 AB in the International league.

To make room for Canzler on the 40-man roster, the Yankees have designated OF Chris Dickerson for assignment. Honestly Yankees, everyone’s getting tired of the ‘Lets DFA Chris Dickerson‘ game. He’s a great RF and for a moment, I considered him a great bench/Swisher replacement–before you DFA’d him…today.

In Other News:

— There has been no date set for Alex Rodriguez‘s surgery. No one is sure if it’s a set-back but it could be a problem if Rodriguez’s return is postponed by a week or two. Brian Cashman already believes that the 2013 Yankees aren’t going to hit as many HR’s as the 2012 Yankees since the departure of Nick Swisher and Russell Martin along with the injury to A-Rod. Well, maybe if you went to the Winter Meetings and got some big pieces like you were supposed to, then hitting HR’s wouldn’t be a problem.

Yankees Off-Day Notes: Who does NOT make the roster, Pettitte for Game 2

Good evening everyone! It’s day 3 of the 3-day day off for the Yankees as they prepare to play the Baltimore Orioles. Today is the ALDS for the Tigers and the A’s while it’s the NLDS for the Reds and the Giants. Here are some off-day notes about the Yankees:

— The Yankees 25 man roster will be released tomorrow morning but for now, Joe Girardi has told us who will not make the roster. Here are some of players that haven’t made the roster.

Of course we will find out the rest tomorrow as the Yankees will look to defeat the Orioles and attempt to send them into the off-season.

Andy Pettitte will pitch Game 2 behind CC Sabathia, most likely because  Hiroki Kuroda has better numbers at home than on the road.

Now it’s time to vote on what will be the outcome for the 2012 ALDS series!!

Yankees Postseason Notes: Who makes the roster, Rangers or Orioles and Bobby Valentine?

Good evening everyone. There’s no baseball at all tonight so we’re going to post some tidbits and notes that have been stirring around from Yankee Land. Here are some evening notes.

— The Yankees have yet to make the postseason roster but there are 3 definite players aside from the other starters for the roster: David Phelps, Eduardo Nunez and Brett Gardner (Brian Cashman confirmed Gardner today).

— The Yankees might either face the Orioles or Rangers on Sunday so the question is–who would you rather face?

Andruw Jones might get a roster spot for the postseason. I don’t think he should be on the roster considering he had a pretty bad 2012 regular season and there are hitters that could be of assistance on the bench. Players such as Chris Dickerson perhaps?

— A lot of writers believe that Andy Pettitte should start Game 2 of the play-offs instead of Hiroki Kuroda. Here I would have to agree. Kuroda has a better home record than an away record and since the Yankees are on the road to begin the play-offs, it would make the most sense to have  CC Sabathia and Pettitte for Games 1 & 2 and Kuroda and Hughes for Game 3 & 4. Sabathia would pitch Game 5 if it came down to that.

— In other news that has nothing to do with the Yankees but the Red Sox fired Bobby Valentine after 1 year with the Red Sox. Honestly, the Red Sox never should have fired Terry Francona to bring in Bobby Valentine. Francona won 2 championships and had one bad year. Bobby Valentine came in and made everything worse.

How should the 2012 postseason roster look?

Right around the corner is the most exciting time of the year for any team—the postseason. While there are teams that have clinched their spot in the postseason, there are teams like the Yankees that are so close to clinching that they could taste it. However, they still have to battle to stay in 1st place in the American League East. While it is almost certain that the Yankees will be in another postseason, the Yankees have other things on their minds as in after they clinch a spot. What will they be doing? They will be preparing their 2012 ALDS roster (if they are in first place by the end of the season). After observing the Yankees for a while, I decided to compile a list of who would make the 25-man roster for the ALDS series against what looks to be the Detroit Tigers. (Statistics are as of the morning of September 28, 2012).


Derek Jeter (2012 Season: .318 AVG, 15 HR, 57 RBI): Of course, you cannot be in the postseason without the Captain Derek Jeter. Jeter has had a phenomenal year and will end the year with an average over .300. The last time Jeter finished with an average over .300 was in 2009. How did that end out for the Yankees? Jeter had silenced the critics and had done his thing, but can he continue into the postseason and lead the Yankees to another championship?

Robinson Cano (2012 Season: .300 AVG, 30 HR, 82 RBI): Robinson Cano is one of the best second baseman in the game and he knows how to hit. While Cano has been up and down this year, he has been consistent defensively and can help Yankees pitching by preserving runs and getting double plays with a flick of a wrist. He makes that pivot to first base better than any second baseman than I have seen. Cano was one of the very few Yankees who had a hot bat during last year’s ALDS (along with Jorge Posada and Brett Gardner respectively), so it would be nice to see Cano get on a tear.

Mark Teixeira (2012 Season: .255 AVG, 23 HR, 81 RBI): Comparing Teixeira’s numbers from 2011 and from this year, this year has not been Teixeira’s best. But can you blame the guy? He has been sidelined with a Grade 1 strained calf. While he will make the roster for the play-offs, I doubt he will be 100 percent healthy. Teixeira also is one of the few culprits that seem to mysteriously lose his hitting talents in the play-offs. He needs to have a hot and consistent bat in the play-offs or else it could be an early exit for the Yankees—again.

Alex Rodriguez (2012 Season: .276 AVG, 18 HR, 56 RBI): Now, if the stats were for another player say maybe Eduardo Nunez, Chris Dickerson or Brett Gardner that would be a hell of a year. Unfortunately, it is for the guy that the Yankees gave a lucrative contract that last for another 5 years and did not hit the way that the Yankees were expecting. A-Rod is going to make the roster…but all season he has looked terribly lost at the plate. He is also another culprit that has not hit in the postseason in recent years (no, I am not counting 2009). A-Rod needs to get his act together and very quickly or else…you know. A first round exit for the Yankees.

Russell Martin (2012 Season: .209 AVG, 19 HR, 49 RBI): So this hasn’t been Russell Martin’s best year offensively (the 19 HR’s make the .209 AVG look less hideous) but the reason he makes the postseason roster is because of his defense. He also has been heating up at the plate as of late which means he could be on a tear any day now. He also was the only one that did not look lost during the ugly 6-0 loss to the Blue Jays on Thursday night, cranking 2 hits off Morrow. Martin could add to the offense, which could be something that the Yankees need.

Is it time to move on from Jones & Ibanez?

I’ve seen enough of Andruw whiffing in the field and at the plate

When Brian  Cashman was assembling the 2012 Yankees in the offseason, Andruw Jones and Raul Ibanez were two of the last pieces to be added.  Their roles were to essentially serve as a DH platoon with occasional starts in the OF.   However, when Brett Gardner was injured in early April, they both became the recipients of added playing time.  At first it  seemed like Gardner’s injury was fairly minor so it was thought that Jones/Ibanez could fill-in for the short-term.  Gardner had 2 set-backs in his recovery but wasn’t deemed to be essentially done for the season until mid-July so the Yanks stayed with Ibanez as his primary replacement  until Cashman added Ichiro.  But Ichiro’s arrival also coincided with an injury to Nick Swisher and subsequent injuries to ARod, Granderson & Teixeira.  So playing time for the 2 veterans just kept popping up.

Ibanez and Jones did a yeoman’s job for much of the first half.  Ibanez cracked a Grand Slam on Opening Day and continued his hot hitting thru April and May with a .268/.318/.543/.861 line,  9 HRs and 28 RBI in the first 2 months.  Jones was also doing a solid job filling in for most of the year and his season was highlighted by his huge 4 HR outburst in a 3-game series at Fenway in early July.  When that series ended Jones’ season numbers stood at an impressive .244/.326/.535/.862 with 11 HRs in 144 PAs.  So, while neither of them supplied great average, they drew some walks, supplied a ton of power and held their own in the OF defensively.  Both players are to be commended for their early season contributions and their ability to handle expanded roles.  I admit I was not on board with the Ibanez signing as I thought the team needed a better bat.  But Ibanez surprised me with his strong start and despite his defensive shortcomings, he always tries hard and hustles on the field.

However, both players have fallen off a cliff in recent months.  Since June 1st, Ibanez has hit .191/.278/.330/.608 with just 6 HRs in 234 PAs.  That’s more than half a season of games with an OPS barely over .600.  Terrible numbers for a DH/LF who’s only asset is his bat.  Lately, he has been even worse with just 4 hits in his last 55 ABs (.071 BA & .330 OPS).  He is clearly not the same player he was the first couple of months.  The popular theory is that he is worn out from playing the OF so much.  That may be true but he has always been a streaky hitter and his overall season numbers are nearly identical to what he put up last year in Philly. Last yr he hit .245/.289/.419/.707 and this year he’s at .222/.294/.415/.708.

Jones’ decline has been even more pronounced.  It seems like he sold his soul to the devil to get that huge series in Boston because since then he’s hit .137/.250/.225/.475 with just 2 HRs in 120 PAs.  He’s misplayed fly balls in the OF and has had awful at bats.

Due to injuries and Girardi’s dual-love of veterans and platoon splits, both have still been trotted out there to get regular playing time.  Yesterday, however, Joe finally left Jones on the bench vs a LHP and it payed off big as Ichiro won them the game.  Did Joe play Ichiro because he had a .360 career BA vs Romero and Jones had a career .154 BA against him?  Or has Joe finally realized that Jones & Ibanez are shot and he needs to go in another direction?  Unfortunately, I think it was more a case of the former but with Ichiro’s success maybe he’ll make it a permanent change.

With players coming back from injury, Girardi finally has other options.  Eduardo Nunez is clearly a better option right now than Ibanez/Jones and should be a factor the rest of the season including the playoffs.  Against a LHP, Nunez & Jeter MUST continue to split SS & DH.  There is NO excuse to play Jones over Nunez right now.  If you figure McGehee at 1B until Tex returns, it leaves you the choice of Ichiro, Jones or Steve Pearce in LF.  The Yankees have not used Pearce in the OF although he played 20 games there with Baltimore this year and 3 with Houston.   Pearce isn’t really hitting anyway so I think the clear choice is to go with Ichiro over Jones.  He’s swinging a hot bat over the last month at .351/.365/.468/.833 with 2 HRs and 7 SBs in 99 PAs.  He brings speed and defense to the table every day in addition to a hot bat.  He & Nunez need to play over Jones the rest of the way.

The Ibanez situation is a bit more cut and dry.  When Tex comes back, it becomes academic with Chavez  and ARod sharing 3B & DH vs RHP and Swisher and Ichiro as the Corner Outfielders.  It basically comes down to Chavez vs Ibanez and that’s a no-brainer.  Chavez  has hit .296/.353/.522/.876 with 13 HRs vs RHP in 249 PAs.   But until Tex returns or IF Tex returns, there’s no clear alternative to Ibanez.  Swish will play 1B so there is need for another corner OF.  The alternative is to go with Chris Dickerson.  Dickerson started the first 3 games after his September call-up and went 2 for 7 with a HR.  Since then he’s been only a defensive replacement with 2 scattered PAs – a Walk & a SO.  The only other possibility is rookie Melky Mesa or to go with McGehee or Pearce at 1B and Swish in the OF.  For now, I’d give the playing time to Dickerson.  He plays a great OF, has a little speed and has hitting ability.  He had a great year in AAA with a .316/.417/.515/.932 line with 7 HRs and 17 SBs in 321 PAs.  Give Dickerson the chance.

What do you all think?  Should the Yanks be giving time to Nunez, Dickerson & Ichiro the rest of the way or keep trotting out Ibanez & Jones despite their pathetic recent numbers?  The Yanks swept a DH yesterday without hitting a HR thanks to good fundamental baseball, productive outs,  some key hits and stealing some bases.  Nunez, Dickerson & Ichiro can definitely help in those categories.  The upside with Jones/Ibanez is the potential to hit a HR which have been few and far between lately.  So which way do you go for the last 2 weeks of the season and into the Playoffs?

Who should be on the Yankees 2013 roster?

Some of the Yankees that most likely will make the 2013 roster are Brett Gardner, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson. But who are the others?

Looking ahead is not a bad thing. The Yankees looked ahead when it came to releasing the 2013 schedule, so why not look ahead to see who could be on the field when you go to a game in 2013. Here is how I picture the Yankees having their alignment of players in 2013.

Let us start in the outfield, shall we? In left field, we have none other than the Yankees speedster Brett Gardner (2012:  .321 AVG, 0 HR, 3 RBI). Now keep in mind that Gardner has only played in nine games and was shut down for the duration of the season due to elbow surgery. Gardner is a catalyst for the Yankees and plays the game Joe Girardi hates to play–small ball. He gets on base, he steals, he bunts and he is one of the best defensive players in baseball. Gardner is arbitration eligible so do not expect there to be much of a fight since Gardner has not played most of the year.

In center field, we have another speedster but he is known for his power bat, Curtis Granderson (2012: .233 AVG, 37 HR, 89 RBI). 2013 is Granderson’s free agent year and after the Kevin Long tutorial in 2010; Granderson has become a home run hitter. Now, Granderson does not hit for singles or doubles (note the .233 average) but he is a power bat, which is something the Yankees could use in the heart of the lineup. What happens after 2013, we do not know but—at least the Yanks could see Granderson’s bat in the lineup in 2013.

In right field, you may be a bit surprised by my choice but I believe Nick Swisher (2012: .258 AVG, 20 HR, 78 RBI) will be in Yankees pinstripes in 2013. Now, why do I think Swisher will be a Yankee? Because along with Swisher’s good bat in the lineup, he has a charming and bubbly personality that would be sorely missed if he ever left the team. The Yankees were a serious bunch before Swisher came along and now the team seems livelier. Swisher has left an imprint on the team—but if Swisher signs with the Yanks, he cannot expect a $100 Million contract. We are still recovering from 3 of those.

In the infield, we have of course the third baseman Alex Rodriguez (2012: .276 AVG, 17 HR, 50 RBI). A-Rod this season is not A-Rod but he has come back a hot hitter since getting off the DL. In addition, A-Rod is stuck with the Yankees until his contract expires in 2018 (Yikes).

At shortstop, we have the Captain Derek Jeter (2012: .323 AVG, 15 HR, 53 RBI) who becomes a free agent in 2014. There is not much to explain about Jeter except for the fact he is having his best year average wise since 2009.

At second base, there is the young Robinson Cano (2012: .299 AVG, 30 HR, 77 RBI) who is by far the Yankees best player. He plays second base so smoothly and has a great pop to his bat. For a person who does not think he has home run power—he is mistaken. He is a home run hitter. That is all.

Finally, to round out the infield, we have Mark Teixeira (2012: .255 AVG, 23 HR, 81 RBI). Teixeira is stuck with us until 2017 and even if the Yankees wanted to trade Teixeira (they do not), they cannot because of Teixeira’s no trade clause. We might as well make the best of it so Tex…we are going to need lots of game winning and World Series winning HR’s until then.

It’s September 1st: Which call-up can help us?

Eduardo Nunez is one of the September call-ups. Along with him, who else could help the Yankees?

It’s September 1st. The day where call-ups happen and where minor leaguers get a taste of what it is like to be in Yankees pinstripes. It is where it is the home stretch towards the play-offs for most teams. However, for the Yankees, they need a good September or they could kiss their play-off hopes and dreams good-bye. The Yankees have struggled mightily since losing Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira as their power players in the lineup. Players like Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson started slumping all at the same time while Nick Swisher has had a hot and cold year. When he is cold, he does not hit a lick. When he is hot, he is on fire. Derek Jeter is the only one that is carrying this Yankees team and right now, it does not seem like it is enough. Players like Raul Ibanez and Eric Chavez are not everyday players anymore and players like Andruw Jones—just plain stink.

The Yankees have been playing like the walking wounded the whole season, losing players such as Brett Gardner, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, Michael Pineda, and Ivan Nova and for a time David Robertson, Nick Swisher, CC Sabathia and Eric Chavez. With the rosters expanding and with players that are familiar to the Yankees (Eduardo Nunez, Chris Dickerson, and Francisco Cervelli etc.) here are some of the lineup moves the Yankees could do to freshen it up in September.

Eduardo Nunez: SS, 3B, DH

Eduardo Nunez was sent down in the beginning of the season since he had issues with fielding, but the Yankees could use Nunez to give Jeter and Chavez a half-day off here and there. Nunez has Gardner type speed, meaning that he could give the Yankees what they were missing with speed. Nunez is not the best fielder, but he is a one up plus from Gardner for the time being. In addition, Nunez is young which is something the Yankees could use.

Francisco Cervelli: C

Russell Martin and Chris Stewart have played nonstop this year (and Russell Martin had struggled all year) so it would be great for the Yankees to have another catcher. Cervelli performed well during Spring Training so it was a shock that on the final day of Spring Training he was sent to Triple-A instead of heading north with the team. Cervelli is a great backup catcher and he is a good singles hitter. A lot of power, no. However, he is known for hitting in the clutch.

Chris Dickerson: OF

When Chris Dickerson was sent down during the year, it was a bit of a shock since he is a great outfielder and hitter. Dickerson is one of the players you would want in the outfield since the Yankees are in the middle of the pennant race. Think about it, could the Yankees win a pennant race with 40-year-old Raul Ibanez patrolling LF (no offense Raul)? They need someone more versatile and even though Brett Gardner is out for the year, Dickerson is the closes thing we have.

It’s September 1st. The season ends October 3rd. Yankees have a month and 2 days to get it together…and we may not see it now, but these 3 could help us in the long run.

Gardner has multi-hit game as Yankees fall to Blue Jays 4-3

With Opening Day rapidly approaching, CC Sabathia was slated to have one last long stretch start before his next outing was a quick one. Sabathia gave up 3 run in 6 innings pitched vs. Kyle Drabek & the Blue Jays in a 4-3 loss in Tampa.

In Spring Training, Sabathia takes the time to build pitch count and go longer in games so of course giving up 3 runs means nothing for the ace who has a locked spot in the rotation. David Robertson came in the game and after giving up a lead-off walk, he got the next 3 hitters; striking out one of them. Cesar Cabral easily got the first two batters but had issues getting the third out when Justin Maxwell‘s error & Chris Dickerson‘s blunder allowed the insurance run to score. Clay Rapada came in the 9th inning and had another scoreless inning.

Brett Gardner had his first multi-hit game of the Spring, going 2 for 3 with 1 RBI and a stolen base. Gardner was the only Yankees regular with 2 hits and was also the only Yankees regular who had an RBI. Gardner was also able to raise his average from .185 to .220 which probably means that Gardner is warming up for the 2012 season.

The big story of the game however was Curtis Granderson as he was scratched from the lineup with soreness in his elbow. Girardi said that Granderson will get a precautionary MRI  since Cashman says it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Andy Pettitte threw a live batting practice to Nick Swisher today and Swisher said that the way Andy was throwing, it felt as if he never left. That’s a good sign for Andy Pettitte. Also some good news for Nick Swisher is that he will spend 2 days at the Minor League complex just to get some at-bats in. If his right groin feels better by Friday then he will be in the lineup.

ROSTER NOTE: Yankees IF Jorge Vazquez won’t get that part-time DH role if he was looking for it. Yankees just re-assigned him to minor league camp shortly after the game.

WHAT’S NEXT: Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano & Russell Martin will make the trip to Orlando to play against the Atlanta Braves. The game tomorrow is a televised game on ESPN so if you are in front of the television, make sure to watch. First pitch is at 1:05pm.

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.

Spanning the Yankee Blogs: Dickerson, Top Prospects, Martin, Jeter

Another look at all the Yankee Blogs and linking an article from each.  Enjoy give them all read.

* An A-blog for A-Rod asks how does nobody claim Chris Dickerson.

* Bleeding Yankee Blue is worried by the innings load of Pineda and Nova.

* It’s about the Money Stupid has ranked the top 30 Yankee prospects check it out.

* New York Baseball Digest wonders if it was wise to table the negotiations for Martin till the end of the season.

* Pinstripe Alley mentions that Jeter will turn 38 in June and is that a cause for concern?

* River Ave Blues has the 2012 Yankees preview.  Mike Axisa does a great job with this it’s worth a read.

* The Captain’s Blog asks if it’s time for the Yankees to extended Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson?

* The Yankee Analysts got together to rank the top 20 prospects.


Spring Training Notes: 2/26/12

Brett Gardner during batting practice

Today was a rainy day in Tampa Florida so there’s not a lot that happened today, but before we get into the Spring Training notes:

— Matthew B. of Yankees Fans Unite will be hosting a live chat Tomorrow night at 7pm. Bring questions and your thoughts on the Yankees.

Now, let’s get to the links!

Mariano Rivera was one of the few outside this morning (in the rain) as he threw his first Spring Bullpen session. Mariano said that his bullpen session, “was very good.”

Chris Dickerson was outrighted to Triple-A Scranton which means there is a spot on the 40 man roster.

— Nick Swisher says that he anticipates filing for free agency after the 2012 season ends. Swisher realized that the Yankees don’t usually negotiate extensions while under contract.

— Courtesy of Mark Feinsand of the Daily News, Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson & Nick Swisher took batting practice today, so here are some quick videos!

Note: To view the video, click the links below.

Brett Gardner taking Batting practice

Curtis Granderson takes Batting Practice

Nick Swisher taking Batting Practice

— And courtesy of Bryan Hoch of, here are some pictures from today’s Spring Training! Enjoy!

Ranking AL East Bullpens and Benches

Our week long series continues with ranking the AL East Bullpens and Benches.


1. Yankees

2. Blue Jays

3. Red Sox

4. Rays

5. Orioles

The Yankees have the best bullpen in the AL East by a good margin led by Mariano Rivera, David Robertson, Rafael Soriano, Boone Logan, and Cory Wade.  Rivera, even at age 42, is one of the best closers in MLB and the most trustworthy in a big spot. Robertson had a breakout season by posting a 1.08 ERA and striking out a staggering 13.5 batters per 9 innings. Soriano came on at the end of last season and is a tremendous talent to have as a 7th inning guy ,when on pretty much any other team he would be closing or be in the 8th inning. The Red Sox and Blue Jays both have completely revamped bullpens and it was a close race for 2nd. The Blue Jays picked up Sergio Santos and Francisco Cordero this offseason while the Red Sox picked up Andrew Bailey and Mark Melancon. Bailey is the best of the 4 when healthy, but he has rarely been able to stay healthy so I gave the edge to Toronto. Toronto also has better depth than the Red Sox behind their 2 new additions in Jason Frasor and Darren Oliver, whom they also signed this offseason. Cordero had 37 saves for the Reds last year, while pitching to a 2.43 ERA and Santos had 30 saves for the White Sox, while striking out an amazing 13.1 batters per 9 innings. That is almost as much as David Robertson. So that is a very good combo for the Blue Jays for the backend of their bullpen. The Red Sox lost Jonathan Papelbon and replaced him with Bailey. Bailey has been one of the best closers in MLB when healthy. He made the All- Star team his first 2 seasons and won rookie of the year. Ex Yankee farmhand Mark Melancon will replace Daniel Bard as the setup man. Melancon saved 20 games for the Houston Astros last season. The Rays bullpen had a surprisingly good season last year after loosing virtually everybody who contributed to it in 2010. Kyle Farnsowrth had a good year last year closing, but it is still Kyle Farnsworth and he is tough to trust. Jim Johnson, Matt Lindstrom, and Kevin Gregg will battle for the closers job in Baltimore.   Read the rest of this entry

Chris Dickerson News…

Chris Dickerson News…

by Matt S.

Chris Dickerson will not qualify for Super Two status despite being on the active roster for 91 games in 2011.

It’s a veiled blessing for Dickerson who will earn close to the league minimum in 2012 before three years of arbitration. Had he qualified as a Super Two the Yankees would have non-tendered him rather than pay him a low-seven figures salary. The 29-year-old journeyman batted .321/.367/.393 in 41 games this season.

Source: YES Network

Yanks split day-night doubleheader with BoSox

Posada was a big contributor in the Game 1 victory.

Game 1

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 6 2
2 0 2 0 1 1 0 0 x 6 8 0

W: Burnett (11-11)

L: Wakefield (7-8)

Gardner, CF 5 1 1 0 0 1 3 .260
Jeter, SS 4 2 3 1 0 1 0 .300
Rodriguez, Al, 3B 3 1 1 1 1 0 2 .278
Posada, DH 3 1 2 2 1 0 1 .242
1-Nunez, E, PR-DH 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .266
Jones, An, LF 3 0 0 0 1 2 2 .247
Golson, LF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .143
Martin, C 2 0 0 0 2 1 3 .236
Dickerson, RF 4 0 0 0 0 2 4 .277
Laird, 1B 3 1 1 0 1 0 0 .188
Pena, R, 2B 2 0 0 0 1 1 1 .111
Totals 29 6 8 4 7 8 16 .265
Burnett, AJ(W, 11-11) 7.2 5 2 2 2 6 2 5.16
Robertson 1.1 1 0 0 0 3 0 1.09
Totals 9.0 6 2 2 2 9 2 3.68
Game 2
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 R H E
BOS 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 7 15 1
NYY 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 6 0

W: Morales (1-2)

L: Proctor (2-5)

SV: Doubront (1)

Nunez, E, SS 6 0 0 0 0 1 3 .261
Granderson, CF 5 1 0 0 1 2 2 .266
Cano, 2B 5 1 1 0 1 1 0 .304
Teixeira, 1B 2 1 1 2 2 0 0 .244
2-Golson, PR-RF 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 .125
Swisher, RF-1B 6 0 0 0 0 2 4 .260
Chavez, Er, 3B 3 0 1 0 0 1 0 .265
1-Gardner, PR-LF 3 1 0 0 0 1 3 .258
Montero, DH 4 0 2 0 2 0 1 .357
Dickerson, LF 2 0 0 1 0 0 2 .265
Laird, 3B 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .188
a-Posada, PH 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .242
3-Pena, R, PR-3B 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 .105
Romine, C 6 0 1 0 0 2 4 .176
Totals 45 4 6 3 8 12 20 .264
Nova 6.1 8 4 4 0 3 0 3.70
Logan 0.2 0 0 0 0 1 0 2.83
Soriano, R 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3.52
Rivera, Ma 1.0 1 0 0 1 1 0 1.92
Valdes 0.1 1 0 0 0 0 0 3.00
Wade 2.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1.88
Laffey 2.0 2 0 0 0 1 0 3.98
Proctor(L, 2-5) 0.2 2 3 3 1 1 1 7.41
Totals 14.0 15 7 7 2 9 1 3.69
Here is the Game 1 recap from’s Bryan Hoch:

NEW YORK — Nearly three years have passed, but A.J. Burnett has finally done what the Yankees envisioned when they chased him so passionately as a free agent: Beat the Boston Red Sox.

The right-hander said he got goosebumps from a standing ovation, having hurled 7 2/3 strong innings on Sunday to defeating the skidding Red Sox, 6-2, in the first game of a day-night doubleheader at Yankee Stadium.

“It means a lot, you know,” Burnett said. “They’ve been rough, but I’ve given them reason to be rough. That makes up for everything. Walking off that mound to that ovation is incredible.”

Burnett’s effort ended a string of 10 overall starts against the Red Sox — including nine as a Yankee — dating back to Sept. 19, 2008, dealing another blow to a Boston club that has good reason to fret about their postseason chances.

The Yankees have no such worries, now acting as spoilers, but there are several key decisions waiting ahead — and, as Burnett said, he hopes to be giving manager Joe Girardi a tough decision with his playoff rotation.

“I’ve been giving him headaches all year; why not give him a good headache, you know?” Burnett said.

Burnett is not guaranteed a place in the first-round postseason rotation, where Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia could follow CC Sabathia in the AL Division Series, but now Girardi has new ammunition to consider.

“We’re going to continue to look at it and talk about it,” Girardi said. “Our opponent has something to do with who we’re going to pitch and how we go about this, but we still don’t know that opponent.”

Winning for the second time in three starts, Burnett was touched for a pair of solo homers by Jacoby Ellsbury but little else. The right-hander scattered five hits with two walks and six strikeouts.

“You go [chasing] out of the zone, it’s hard,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “He’s throwing 95 and has a breaking ball. We chased a lot of pitches out of the zone. I understand that’s when he’s successful, and he got us today.”

That outing was enough to win him at least one fan in the clubhouse — Jorge Posada, who had his own big day and supported the idea of Burnett starting next month.

“I think you go with the hot hand,” Posada said. “A.J. pitched a [heck] of a game today and Freddy pitched a [heck] of a game the other day. Then you’ve got CC and Nova.”

Boston’s freefall continued in the defeat, dropping the Red Sox to 5-18 this month and providing the Rays with an expanding glimmer of hope in the AL Wild Card chase.

Behind Tim Wakefield, the tone for the afternoon was set in a sloppy first inning as the Yankees took advantage of an error, a passed ball and a wild pitch to score their first pair of runs.

Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter led off with bunt singles and steals of second, leading to Gardner scoring on an error by catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

A passed ball and a wild pitch on Wakefield’s darting knuckler sent Jeter home, slumping the Red Sox’s shoulders a few inches more.

“They put pressure on them right away,” Girardi said. “I’m very thankful that I never had to catch a knuckleballer in my career. I’m not sure I would have slept the night before that night.”

Batting cleanup for the first time since 2009 as Girardi looks to offer his regulars some rest, Posada belted his 14th home run of the season in the third inning, a two-run laser to right field.

Summoned for a curtain call, Posada patted his heart. Posada is essentially guaranteed a spot on the playoff roster, and though his role is uncertain, his standing among the fans is strong.

“The fans have been amazing all through my career, but especially this year,” Posada said. “They’ve been very supportive. … It’s very meaningful for me that the fans are behind me 100 percent.”

In the fifth, Jeter reached on a single and a Carl Crawford error, scoring on Alex Rodriguez’s hit to knock Wakefield out after four-plus innings.

Wakefield allowed five runs (three earned) on five hits, walking five and striking out four.

“That’s a tough one,” Posada said. “He is tough to face and to try to slow yourself down that much. I’ve really got a lot of respect for Wakefield, he’s done a lot for the game and he’s a perfect gentleman.”

Jeter doubled home Brandon Laird in the sixth facing Matt Albers to open up a four-run lead for New York, the captain’s third hit of the afternoon.

And here is the Game 2 Recap from’s Evan Drellich:

NEW YORK — The Yankees had a chance on Sunday, in the nightcap of a doubleheader with Boston, to take away quite a bragging-rights victory — some Schadenfreude that would be permissible for at least the fans to take part in, if not the players.

A win, and the Yankees would have put their rival Red Sox on the brink of a complete collapse. New York had taken the first two games of the series at Yankee Stadium and held an early lead in the third over a reeling Sox team that was one loss away from falling into a tie for the American League Wild Card.

Ruining Boston’s season, however, falls to the back burner as the Yankees tune up for their own guaranteed postseason appearance, and a 7-4 win for Boston worthy of an actual playoff contest was decided by Jacoby Ellsbury’s three-run homer in the 14th inning.

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