IIATMS Episode 31: World Series, Yankee Coaching and Front Office, 2015 Infield

Guess who’s back?

That’s right, Domenic, EJ, and yours truly actually recorded a podcast last night! We discussed the improbable World Series matchup and revealed who we were rooting for to win said matchup. (And we’ll never be… you know the rest) We also talked about the changes that have happened this past week or so within the Yankees organization, whether those changes were warranted or not and EJ and Domenic talked about what the Yankees infield could look like in 2015 and beyond while I listened intently.

And here is a diagram we mention during the World Series discussion. Don’t click on it until we get to it in the podcast. We want your mind to be blown like ours were while we were recording. Think of it as listener participation.

As usual, you can tweet all three of us (@domeniclanza, @ejfagan, @stacegots) with questions and/or suggestions or leave them in the comments below.

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Report: Yanks Will Name Gary Denbo New VP Of Baseball Ops

While we wait patiently for the new hitting coach to be named, the Yankees are reportedly set to fill an important front office hole with this move.  Denbo was considered a front runner for this position based on his longstanding history as a scout and MiL hitting coordinator.  He’s been around the organization for a long time, so take that as a good or bad thing depending on how much you wanted to see an outside voice take over for Newman.

Also via Feinsand, the Yankees have let Pat Roessler go as VP of player development.  Expect to see a replacement announced for that job soon.

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Quick hit: Yankees release their Spring Training schedule

The World Series still hasn’t started – and won’t until tomorrow night – and already, the Yankees have released their first post-Derek Jeter Spring Training schedule.

Pitcher and catchers will report to camp on February 20, position players will report on Feb. 25 and the first full-squad workout will be held on Feb. 26. They play their first game in Clearwater against the Phillies on March 3 and their home opener will be the next day, also against the Phillies. The Yankees are also going to Port St. Lucie to play the Mets on March 22 and playing them in Tampa on the March 25.

Some matchups of note (AL East edition):
Orioles – March 28 at 1:05 p.m.
Rays – March 9 at 1:05 p.m. and April 1 at 1:05 p.m.
Red Sox – March 11 at 1:05 p.m.
Blue Jays – March 17 at 7:05 p.m.

They Yankees will also be hosting four other night games (Blue Jays 3/17) at Steinbrenner Field:
March 6 vs.…

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To Re-Sign Or Not To Re-Sign: Chase Headley

Headley vs TEX

Courtesy of Getty Images

In addition to their 2 qualifying offer candidates, the Yankees have a handful of free agents to be who are either not eligible for or not worthy of QO consideration.  Some of these players could be and probably should be high priorities for the Yankees this coming offseason, and they’ll warrant serious consideration for being re-signed, especially since they don’t come with draft pick compensation attached.

Since the format for the QO case posts stimulated a lot of good debate, I think we’ll stick with that to break down the rest of these free agent cases.  First up from this list of non-QO guys is Chase Headley.  He shined in 58 games after being acquired before the trade deadline and was the first consistent above-average producer at the position for the Yanks since 2011-2012.

Case For:

  • Major Defensive Upgrade- Headley was an elite-level defensive player in 2014.  His 13 defensive runs saved was 3rd best among qualified third basemen and his 28.0 UZR/150 was tops.  
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Could Marcus Thames Be The Sleeper Hitting Coach Candidate?

Thames Trenton

He definitely passes the “early season hat style” part of the interview. Courtesy of Martin Griff/The Times of Trenton

We’re less than 2 days from the reported team-set deadline for hiring a new hitting coach.  We know the Yankees interviewed Dave Magadan last Wednesday, we know they interviewed Chili Davis on Thursday, and via Rob Bradford and Alex Speier, we know that Davis was hired by the Red Sox to be their new hitting coach last night.

The Yankees were scheduled to meet with a few other candidates on Friday and this past weekend, but as of yet we have not found out the names of those other interviewees.  One of the names that was connected to the job was Marcus Thames, most recently the hitting coach at Double-A Trenton and former Yankee player.  While Magadan appears to be the front runner for the job based on the reports that are out, I can’t help but think that Thames could be the surprise sleeper candidate from the rest of the pool.…

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Report: Yanks Could Have New Hitting Coach By Tuesday

George King continues to dominate the new hitting coach coverage.  He had an update on the search on Friday afternoon in which he talked to Dave Magadan and got word from Magadan that a decision could be made on Tuesday.

“I interviewed Wednesday in New York with the Yankees. They told me they were going to interview a couple of other candidates. I don’t know if that was going to happen Thursday or Friday. They said they would make a decision shortly thereafter.’’

The belief is that the Yanks want their new hitting coach in place before the start of the World Series.  We already know they were interested in a few other candidates, although it has not been confirmed if any of them were part of the late-week interview schedule.  According to King’s report, Chili Davis was interviewed on Thursday.

Seems like Magadan is the front runner based on these reports.  We’ll find out if that’s enough to get him the job soon.…

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Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 10/17/14

The guy who cuts my hair is from New York.  I’ve been going to him for a while, mainly because I was still a snotty tri-stater when I moved out to Wisconsin and felt much more comfortable letting a fellow tri-state member handle my hair than a mouth-breathing midwesterner.  It really doesn’t make a difference because I get my head buzzed, but that’s neither here nor there.  The point is I’ve been a regular customer of his for years now, and because of this he usually hooks me up with a beer or 2 or a free hair wash or whatever when I come in.  And I gotta tell you, there’s a certain power move feeling that comes with strolling across an entire salon full of women getting their hair and nails done with a beer in hand to get a hair wash they know you’re not paying for.  For that handful of seconds, I’m the belle of the ball.

I’m getting my hair cut after work this afternoon and I can guarantee you that feeling that feeling today will be the highlight of my week.  …

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Quick Hit: Greg Bird Off To A Hot Start In The AZFL

The Arizona Fall League is a little over a week underway and so far it’s been mostly uneventful for the Yankee reps.  Tyler Austin and Dante Bichette Jr. are both off to slow starts with the bat and Aaron Judge has only appeared in 3 games.  None of the 3 pitchers are doing anything special in their first few appearances.

The one player who is making headlines is Greg Bird.  He’s gotten the most burn out of the 4 position players, playing in 8 of the 9 games so far, and he’s been a fixture hitting in prime middle-of-the-order spots and playing first base.  In 36 plate appearances, Bird has a .394/.444/.758 batting line with 3 doubles, 3 home runs, 9 R scored, and 9 RBI.  His 25 total bases are almost double the next highest total on his team.

About the only thing Bird hasn’t done well is limit his strikeouts.  He’s K’d 10 times in his 36 plate appearances.  …

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Random baseball thoughts on a Friday

It has been a while since I’ve written one of these posts but if you’re a longtime reader, you know the drill and if you’re new to the blog, welcome and enjoy the journey into my brain: the thoughts are random and can be silly.

And away we go:

  • I missed Travis Ishikawa‘s walk off last night because I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth and wash my face before bed, though I did say to my brother that the Giants would walk off in that ninth inning.
  • And how about that walk off? Remember Ishikawa’s time with the Yankees? Probably not because it only lasted two at bats in a game against the Royals in 2013.
  • Mike Matheny really screwed up a lot during this NLCS: he made very questionable decisions and poor Michael Wacha didn’t deserve to be in the position he was in last night.
  • The Giants are unbelievable.
  • I’m also getting sick of seeing them in the World Series every other year.
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