Coke For Long Relief?

When Tom mentioned Phil Coke as an option for the long relief spot in Joe Girardi’s bullpen, I disparaged the idea. Jerking a young pitcher from role to role can often stunt their development and hinder their performance in both roles, as Ross Ohlendorf showed us last season. However, the Yankees seem ready to use Coke much as they did Ohlendorf: I stopped Joe Girardi in the clubhouse today as I wanted to get some clarification on how they plan to use Phil Coke. The verdict is … reliever. “He’s a guy we see being able to pitch multiple innings Continue reading Coke For Long Relief?

Chone Power Rankings: AL East Is Stacked

Chone, widely considered one of the premier statistical projection systems, recently released their initial power rankings, and the results are terrifying for all of the teams in the AL East. The Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays occupy the top 3 positions, with the Jays and Orioles both being in the top 15 as well (12 and 15, respectively). The competition in the division will be fierce, which gets me to a point that was discussed in the comments last night. The Yankees cannot afford to go into April experimenting with players and positions. Although the argument can be made that Continue reading Chone Power Rankings: AL East Is Stacked

The battle begins

After Melky Cabera’s terrible 2008, the door is wide open in CF, creating quite an interesting position battle that will play out this spring. Based on Pete Caldera’s latest, it seems as though the two candidates — Melky and Brett Gardner — are already pushing each other as they both attempt to win the starting job. Cabrera admitted that the competition against Gardner forced him to drop out of the World Baseball Classic, where he was listed on the Dominican Republic’s roster. “I need to play [here],” Cabrera said. “I need to show the manager I’m here every day, and Continue reading The battle begins

Hacker's making some noise

Looks like FOTB (friend of the blog) Eric Hacker is quietly starting to make some noise. Aside from him and his family, no one would be more excited than me (and my family). We haven’t yet met Eric personally, but his interview here and subsequent openness about his goings on getting ready for Spring have us rooting like mad!

Meanwhile, here’s a little tidbit from [Posada]. As he was walking away from his locker, he turned around and called a few of us over. “Keep an eye on (Eric) Hacker,” he said. “it’s 95 and he does it easy. Very impressive.”

Thanks for posting that tidbit, Pete Abe!

Continue reading Hacker's making some noise

Melancon stating his case

From Bryan Hoch: Jorge Posada caught Melancon during his batting practice session Sunday at George M. Steinbrenner Field, offering rave reviews. Jeter may have crowed when Cano splintered his lumber, but Jeter also cut and missed at two pitches from Melancon, grinning widely after the second one made him look silly.”His ball cuts, it sinks, it’s got late life to it,” Girardi said. “That usually translates into swings and misses, and not solid contact.” Posada said that Melancon’s two-seamer was even more impressive than his 12-to-6 curveball, widely regarded as his strikeout pitch. Posada said that Melancon’s two-seamer cut to Continue reading Melancon stating his case

Kevin Goldstein: Top-11 Yankee Prospects

Kevin Goldstein today released his annual list of top Yankee prospects. The ranking is free, although the (very interesting) comments on individuals is for subscribers only. His ranking: Five-Star Prospects: 1. Jesus Montero 2. Austin Jackson Three-Star Prospects: 3. Dellin Betances 4. Austin Romine 5. Arodys Vizcaino 6. Andrew Brackman 7. Jeremy Bleich 8. Alfredo Aceves 9. Zach McAllister 10. Phil Coke 11. Mark Melancon We disagree on quite a bit. I feel that Goldstein is underrating Melancon (identifying him as at best a setup man) and McAllister (identifying him as simply a 4th starter), while overrating some of the Continue reading Kevin Goldstein: Top-11 Yankee Prospects

Swisher safe?

The Braves have reportedly signed Garret Anderson and although he will platoon in LF with Matt Diaz, this probably ends Atlanta’s pursuit of another OF bat. Therefore, Nick Swisher — who the Braves were thought to be interested in — seems like a safe bet to start the season with the Yankees (good).

Jeter and Edwar hurting

From the AP we hear that Derek Jeter’s got a sore hamstring that will hinder him from running today. He’ll resume running tomorrow and doesn’t expect to miss any significant time. Also, Edwar Ramirez apparently shut down his bullpen session due to “right shoulder tendinitis.” He’ll be examined by the team’s doctor on Monday. While the Jeter injury sounds like simple aches and pains, the Edwar injury is something that needs to be monitored.