Yankees Co-Closers A Possibility?

A few days ago, Joe Girardi discussed the possibility of using Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller interchangeably as closer this season with MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch.

“I’m sure we’ll have a lot of meetings about that,” Girardi said. “We’ll decide what’s best. We want to see how they’re both throwing the baseball at the end of Spring Training. There will be just a lot of discussion of how we feel our team is built. Could they be interchangeable? Yeah.”

Even as more and more MLB teams have moved towards using analytics greatly in their decision making, every team still uses the closer traditionally in the ninth inning. The notion in anlaytics is that it is smarter to use your closer –who is your best relief pitcher– whenever the biggest spot is in the game. That could be in the sixth inning with two runners on base in a tie game. They should not be saved for the ninth inning just because. No manager has had the guts to do this yet, because if it didn’t work out the backlash would probably be huge.…

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Who’s on first? Not Sabathia

Sabathia vs TB 2014

Courtesy of Getty Images

I fully understand that CC Sabathia gets paid to pitch. And him having a bounce-back season or even a somewhat decent full season is what is important for the Yankees in their quest for a playoff spot. I get all that. I also fully appreciate what Brad wrote yesterday about the big man’s weight. He was a great pitcher as a big guy and can be a good pitcher as a big guy. The one irritant for me during Sabathia’s tenure with the Yankees is that he pitches with only eight fielders because he is not one of them.

During Sabthia’s abbreviated season in 2014, the Yankees’ pitcher recorded only one putout. That would be an unfair statement if 2014 wasn’t the fifth time in his career that he recorded only one putout for a season. He has a string of three of those seasons in a row. Sabathia does not cover first base very well.

The only putout Sabathia recorded in 2014 was on a Robinson Cano dribbler to first.…

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McCann And Teix Talk About Dealing With The Shift (And I Rant About What Teix Said)

With more and more players getting into camp, there have been some more stories trickling out among the A-Rod nonsense; meaningful, baseball-related stories.  Like Brian McCann and Mark Teixeira being asked about their thoughts on facing the shift this season and the approaches they want to take to beat it.  Quotes via Chad Jennings.

McCann:

“I want to hit the ball where it’s pitched. It’s not necessarily that I’m going to try to go up there and hit the ball to left field. If it’s away from me, it needs to go to left field. If they come in on me, I need to be able to pull it, but pull correctly. If you pull correctly, you create back spin which is going to help you hit home runs. … If I hit two or three singles in a row to left field, they’re going to continue to play the shift because that’s where my power is. That’s just the way it is and whether that takes a couple of points off my batting average, if I take the approach I have day in and day out for 500 at-bats, at the end of the year things will be there.”

Pretty reasonable if you ask me.  …

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On CC Sabathia’s Weight

This was a story over the weekend, but I wanted to touch on it briefly before it got completely washed away under the tidal wave of A-Rod coverage and early ST reports on other players.  CC Sabathia drew some attention when he showed up at camp heavier than he was the last few springs.  Some estimates had him at 305, and while it wasn’t nearly as blatant as the negative spin that everybody puts on their A-Rod tweets, I got the feeling that some people were trying to paint that as a negative and a reason for added concern with CC.

Here’s the thing.  His weight doesn’t matter anymore.  It doesn’t matter if he’s 305, 295, 275, or any other 5.  At this point, the difference in pounds isn’t going to make a difference as far as his knee health is concerned.  The damage is already done there, and if it does turn out that his knee is going to be problematic again then you can bet it’s going to be problematic no matter what he weighs.  …

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Quick hit: Step right up, folks!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, welcome to the “it’s not-a-media-circus” media circus starring Alex Rodriguez!

Are we even sure that’s actually Alex? And what’s more, can we be sure he isn’t being assaulted by an angry teammate?

Oh, okay, thanks Brendan!

Check out ESPN NY’s Wally Matthews and his red kicks. Mike Vaccaro is being pretty lazy by looking through the mesh fence. Tsk, Tsk. Oh wait, he’s balancing the table so Wally and Buster don’t fall down. My bad.

Hey, it’s the Miami pullover again!…

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Caption Contest: A Boy And His Hero…

A-Rod High Five

Courtesy of USA Today Sports

This picture made the rounds yesterday afternoon and this morning.  Figured it was only right to get everybody here in the IIATMS extended family involved in the fun.

Do your worst, gang.  Best comment gets a free non-existent AB4AR t-shirt.

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Midweek morning roundup: 2/25/15

Mark Teixeira reported to camp two days after Alex Rodriguez but people aren’t badmouthing him because of it. They’re badmouthing him instead, because he claims he feels healthy this year. God forbid a dude claims to be healthy though I kind of see the naysayers’ point of view: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me a few times, I’m obviously a gullible moron.

Anyway, Tex had a lot to say this morning and thanks to the tireless efforts of the beat writers down in Tampa, we don’t have to wait for entire articles to be written. We have their tweets!

I singled out Bryan Hoch of MLB.com for today:

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Wednesday Morning Food For Thought: Don’t Forget About Andrew Bailey

Bailey ST 2015

Joe’s already got his eye on him. Courtesy of the Yanks’ PR handle

I name dropped him in the ST roster battles post yesterday morning, but I think Andrew Bailey deserves a little more digital ink based on the news that came out yesterday.  Via Chad Jennings, Bailey threw a bullpen yesterday afternoon.  Like Ivan Nova, he’s been back throwing bullpens for a while now and he spoke like a player who felt he was almost back to normal game shape:

“I came in and spent the offseason training, working as I would if I played last year. The doctor gave me 18, 24 months (to be healthy after surgery), and we’re in that 18th, 19th month. Everyone around here, training staff, coaches and strength and conditioning have all kind of (treated it as if) I’m a normal guy with some needs. Hopefully we get rid of those needs. Everything feels great. I’m with the team and doing everything as I would normally, and if I need a little extra work here or there, that’s fine too.

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Quick Hit: Nova Back On The Mound

While people continue to lament the loss of Moncada and Alex Rodriguez continues to be a miserable human being by working out, taking morning BP, and signing autographs for fans, there are some other legitimately important things happening in the early days of Yankee camp.  Like this little nugget of info.  Did you know that Ivan Nova is back to throwing regular bullpen sessions off a mound?  Me neither.  But he is.  Has been for a while.

A whole bunch of different beat reporters had the details earlier today, but the long and short of it is that Nova threw a 25-pitch session this morning of all fastballs.  It was the 3rd all-heater session he’s had, and he explained that the plan is to throw 1 more of these type of bullpens before mixing in changeups, and then another 4 fastball-changeup sessions before working breaking balls back in.

Nova told reporters he was “excited” to be back on the mound but added that he realizes he still has a long way to go and is staying focused on “just taking it day by day” right now, which is the right attitude to have.  …

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