Spring Training Game 3 Quick Recap: NYY 2 PIT 1

It was a change of Pennsylvania opponent for the Yankees in their third game of the young Spring Training season this afternoon, and that change brought them their first win of 2015.  Not much to this one really.  Here are the important things:

– Starter Esmil Rogers threw 2 scoreless innings, giving up 1 hit and striking 1 out.  I know a lot of people aren’t high on him, but I could see the Yankees trying to use him in an Alfredo Aceves/Cory Wade-type of role as an emergency starter/low-leverage longman.  If they start the season with him in that spot and he doesn’t deliver in 10-15 innings, cut him.

Chase Whitley followed Rogers with 2 shutout innings of his own, but the standout pitching performance of the day belonged to righty relief prospect Nick Rumbelow.  He struck out the side in the 8th inning, showing off the stuff that brought him from A-ball to SWB last year.…

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Why Garrett Jones could become your favorite Yankee

That short right porch looks really enticing. (Photo: Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports)

That short right porch looks really enticing.(Photo: Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports)

One of the more under-the-radar moves by the Yankees this winter was the acquisition of Garrett Jones, who came over in the trade with the Marlins for Nathan Eovaldi. Jones is likely to be used as a platoon bat (81 percent of his career plate appearances have come against right-handed pitching), but he still could end up being one of the more valuable Yankees even in his role as backup first baseman/outfielder.

It’s no secret that the Yankees have been starved for power over the last two seasons. Since 2013, they rank 11th in the AL in homers and second-to-last in slugging percentage; only the Royals have hit fewer extra-base hits.

Garrett Jones has a chance to really help the Yankees reverse that trend in 2015.

In fact, there might not be a more perfect fit for Yankee Stadium than the left-handed Jones, who’s potential as an above-average power bat is largely untapped after spending his entire career in pitcher-friendly parks.…

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Imagining The Best Case Scenario With The Rotation

Tanaka ST 2015 BP

The key to any best case scenario… Courtesy of the AP

The big names in the projected starting rotation aren’t scheduled to make their 2015 spring debuts yet, but we got our first look at one of the members when Nathan Eovaldi made his first ST start yesterday.  He’s one of multiple best case/worst case unknowns in the rotation, and where he and the rest of his rotation mates fall on that case scale could determine whether the Yankees end up having one of the best or worst rotations in baseball this season.

I’ve been pondering how those best case/worst case scenarios might play out for a while now.  It feels like this season more than the last few is one in which the potential for the rotation leans mostly towards the extremes with not much room for a middle ground performance.  Without getting too detailed or statistically-supported in this exercise, I’d like to ramble for a bit on what I’ve been pondering and try to paint a picture of what the best case scenario for the rotation would look like this season.  …

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Thursday Morning News And Notes: 3/5/14

Quick round of ST news bits that we haven’t touched on yet:

– All continues to be well for Masahiro Tanaka this spring.  He threw another trouble-free bullpen session yesterday and the word on the street is that he will make his ST debut a week from today.  Nothing official from the team there yet, but keep your eyes and ears peeled.

– The team confirmed that Carlos Beltran will indeed make his 2015 debut tomorrow and he will do so in right field.  Guess that elbow is feeling OK.

Brendan Ryan is saying he feels good working his way back from a back strain, but the team had him take a day off yesterday after he told them he felt sore.  Something’s not adding up there.

– More early starter announcements, courtesy of Chad Jennings: Bryan Mitchell and Chris Capuano get the split-squad games tomorrow, Scott Baker will go Saturday.  Reminder that Esmil Rogers is the scheduled starter today.…

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Spring Training Game 2 Recap: PHI 3 NYY 1

Alex Rodriguez

Just one of the boys. Courtesy of the AP

Yesterday was the official opener, but today was the real big day thanks to the return of Alex Rodriguez to game action.  Joe had him in the starting lineup hitting second and DH’ing, and all in all the day went about as well as you could have hoped if you’re pro-A-Rod.  He got a hit, looked alright swinging the bat and running the bases, got noticeably more cheers than boos from the crowd, and didn’t hurt himself.  He was the clear and obvious focal point of the day, and also one of the few highlights in a mostly nothing game from the Yankee side.

– The other major highlight was Nathan Eovaldi‘s first start as a New York Yankee.  Like Adam Warren, he was on a 2-inning/30-pitch limit and he finished the full 2 innings.  Unlike Warren, he got hit a little bit and gave up 1 earned run.  Eovaldi also showed his trademark plus fastball velocity and a nice split-change that got him his only strikeout of the day on a swing and miss.…

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Spring Training Game 2: He’s baaaack!

pitching-machines

It’s finally here. The moment we’ve all been waiting for. It’s our first chance to see Nathan Eovaldi pitch for the Yankees!

Today is the Spring home opener at Steinbrenner Field and it will be shown live on the YES Network with pregame coverage starting right now! (12:30pm)

Aside from seeing Eovaldi in action for the first time, there’s another person, who will be experiencing his first live baseball game since 2013. You know who I’m referring to. But just in case you can’t watch the game, Mike Francesa is going to have Sweeny Murti on his show this afternoon and he will be breaking down this person’s at bats. Because it’s not a media circus.

I digress.

You guys, I’m just really excited to see baseball again. And I don’t care that it’s only Spring Training and that the game results don’t count. Watching baseball means that warm weather is that much closer. I honestly didn’t realize how much I missed the Yankees until I saw them arrive in Tampa last week.…

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Top Moment #20: Roger Clemens, Mike Piazza and a bat

Courtesy of MettaChronicles.com

Courtesy of MettaChronicles.com

I know it may be hard to believe but it has been nearly 15 years since Roger Clemens threw at Mike Piazza‘s head. The pitch, which knocked Piazza to the ground where he laid motionless for a few moments, not only gave the Mets catcher a concussion but it caused a new rivalry to be born. And that night, July 8, 2000, set the tone for our #20 Top Moment of the Derek Jeter Era.

After that incident, Roger Clemens was persona non grata in Queens. People were accusing him of being a headhunter and Mets manager Bobby Valentine said that he believed Clemens purposely threw at Piazza’s head because he (Piazza) had been successful against Clemens in the past. Clemens claimed that he just wanted to pitch Piazza inside, waist-high and that the ball got away from him. The incident caused quite a stir that summer and wouldn’t you know it? Three months later, the two teams from New York both made it to the World Series to face off in the first Subway Series (playoff edition) since 1956.…

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The IIATMS Top 20 Yankee Moments Countdown Starts Today

So you guys remember that vote we held for the top 20 moments of the Derek Jeter era (’96-’14) a few weeks ago?  Good news, we didn’t forget about that.  The votes have been tallied, the final top 20 has been ranked, the writing assignments for each individual moment have been divvied up, and we are kicking off the countdown with moment #20 today!  Like in a few hours today.

Hopefully you remembered what moments you voted for.  If not, well then this whole countdown is going to be an extra fun experience for you, because I’m not listing all 20 moments here.  There has to be some drama to this, as much drama as possible when the topic is things that have already happened.  What I will do is link back to the original list of 56 nominees, because I am a kind and fair man.

Our plan is to count down from 20 to 1 with a new post on the next moment every other day or so leading up to Opening Day.  …

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Spring Training Game 1 Recap: NYY 5 PHI 5

Adam Warren

Courtesy of the AP

The Yankees opened their Spring Training 2015 game schedule this afternoon, giving us our first look at live Yankee baseball in over 5 months.  Obviously expectations were low given the situation, but there was a little extra excitement on the Yankee side thanks to the high number of top current and former organizational prospects playing in today’s game.  A couple of those top prospects had big moments in the game too, so that was pretty sweet from a fan perspective.

It’s still very early, the players are still more focused on getting in game shape than actually performing, and so I think it’s only fair that those same rules apply to ST game recaps.  I’m just trying to get back in the right game recap timing again, you know?  Still getting the feel for my game recap stuff back.  To make sure I don’t over-exert and strain anything, I’m gonna cover the rest of this bad boy in bullet points.…

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