Joe Names First Three Spring Training Starters

This was supposed to be announced yesterday, but Joe wanted to wait a day and reconvene with his staff after the rainout before making the call.  The reconvening has been done, the decisions have been made, and the announcement is all but official.  Via Wally Matthews, the first 3 Spring Training starters will be Adam Warren, Nathan Eovaldi, and Esmil Rogers.  Warren gets the ST opener on Tuesday, Eovaldi will throw Wednesday, and Rogers Thursday.

The decision to start Warren and Rogers early is hardly a surprising one.  With both of them being told to stretch out and prepare as starters this offseason, they’re a step or 2 ahead of the rest of the rotation in terms of game readiness.  They also don’t have lingering injury concerns like most of the other projected starters.

Eovaldi got an early start on his spring activities as well, so it’s exciting to see him get one of the early game assignments.  …

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Quick Hit: Ryan’s Roster Chances Take Some Early Body Blows

The weather wiped out most of yesterday’s planned spring camp activities.  For Brendan Ryan, that was probably a good thing.  It hasn’t been a promising start to what is a critically important ST for him if he wants to stay in pinstripes.  He was the first official injury casualty of the spring, straining his back earlier in the week while doing biceps curls.  The Yankees have said he’s only expected to be out for 5 days, but backs can be tricky and they’ve been known to try to sell more serious injuries as minor ones.

Ryan has become a redundant piece on the roster with the signing of Stephen Drew and others, and I’ve been advocating for the Yanks to let Ryan go and use Drew in his role of utility infield backup for a while.  In addition to the early back problems, it appears as though that could be something that hurts Ryan’s roster-making chances as well.  Brendan Kuty reported yesterday that Joe is planning to get Drew some work at shortstop this spring, and why not?  …

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Weekend open thread: Wash out

Today was a wash out down in Tampa which means everything that was supposed to happen today will happen tomorrow. That includes Michael Pineda throwing live batting practice, among others. Manager Joe Girardi had planned an intrasquad game for tomorrow but that will be pushed back to Monday.

Other than that it was a quiet day because media is not allowed in the indoor batting cages which is where guys were because of the rain. Maybe that was a good thing? No more questions about Al from Miami.

Anyway, here is your open thread. Feel free to discuss whatever you like. Oh, and since Brad likes these so much, here’s another picture for you to caption.

(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

I’ll start it off, “You put your left foot in and you shake it all about.”

Enjoy!

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Saturday Morning News And Notes: 2/28/15

Have people been watching what Russell Westbrook has been doing?  Dude is out of control right now.  Must-watch TV.  Now here are some of the small Yankee-centric stories that I didn’t get to yesterday:

Brendan Ryan became the first player to suffer a ST injury when it was announced that he strained his back lifting weights.  He’s expected to miss less than a week, but you never know with back injuries.  Remember that Ryan missed all of camp and the start of the regular last year with back problems.

Via Ben Badler, the Yanks will have a spending pool of $2,262,800 for the 2015-2016 international free agent period.  Because they exceeded their spending limit this period, they will be unable to offer any contracts over 300k next year.  From what I’ve read, that means they won’t get a shot at 18-year-old Cuban pitching prospect Yadier Alvarez, who won’t be cleared in time to sign before the end of the 2014-2015 period.…

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Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 2/27/15

Sorry for the late post.  It’s been a busy day at the office and a busy week in general, so I didn’t get to do nearly the amount of reading around the Yankosphere that I usually do.  Now onto the links.

– On Tuesday, Chad Jennings of LoHud got Andrew Miller’s thoughts on how he’s handled big situations before and what his goals are for this season.

– Chris Mitchell of Pinstripe Alley profiled right-handed relief prospect Nick Rumbelow.  The skills need some polish, but his last name is an A+ reliever name.

– El duque of It Is High… mused on the idea of the Yankees needing to fall apart to begin a true rebuild.  I don’t think it will get that bad this year, but a bottoming out actually wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

– On Thursday, Derek Albin of Pinstripe Pundits analyzed Jacoby Ellsbury’s sluggish September to see if it could offer anything in the way of predictions for this season.…

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Caption Contest: Big Al And Marky Mark

Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez

Courtesy of the AP

What could these 2 fellas be talking about during their time in the batting cage yesterday?  Give me your best guess.

P.S.- IIATMS overlord Jason took the prize the other day, both in terms of quality and quantity.  Don’t let him win again.

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No Cause For Concern: Tanaka Continues To Be A-OK In Early Spring

Masahiro Tanaka

Courtesy of the AP

The early morning headline from yesterday’s full-squad workout was Masahiro Tanaka throwing his latest bullpen session.  It was a step up in intensity for him, 40 pitches of harder throwing than he had been doing, and both Tanaka and Larry Rothschild felt good about how the session went:

Tanaka- “I think I was throwing with more force than the last bullpen.  As far as hitting the spots, the location goes, I think it was better than the last bullpen as well. … I feel that I’m on the right track. Going through the workouts and going through the bullpen today also, it does give me confidence that I’m moving in the right direction.”

Roth- “He threw great.  Everything is progressing the way we like, so we’ll just keep going. … No (restrictions). We’re just bringing him along at a pace that he’s more accustomed to. A little different schedule as far as not trying to put a lot of pitches on him in a three- or four-day period, but still get him built up and get the stamina built up.

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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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