Jesus Montero, Gary Sanchez and Manny Banuelos in MLB.com's Top 50 prospects

Not quite sure how authoritative MLB.com is when it comes to prospects, but in their just-released Top 50 MLB Prospects list they rank Jesus Montero as the ninth-best in baseball, Gary Sanchez at #32 and Manny Banuelos at #35. This more or less lines up with what I think most of the Yankee faithful would consider the team’s top three prospects. Also, Dellin Betances just missed the top 50, ranking at #53.

It’s not only nice to see these kids get some mainstream attention, but also cool to see three products of the Yankee farm system make the top 50, especially since not every team has players that make the list — neither the Mets, Marlins, Brewers nor Athletics have a representative, and for all of Boston’s supposed vaunted farm system the Red Sox only had one — Jose Iglesias.

The Angels’ Mike Trout was ranked #1, followed by the Rays’ Jeremy Hellickson and the Nationals’ Bryce Harper.… Click here to read the rest

Cashman’s media tour continues

@NYYEric: Cashman on Andy “He has told us essentially he doesn’t want to pitch but will let us know if he changes his mind..we would love him to play”

@NYYEric: Cashman on Andy “He has been honest with us..everyone wants him to play…but it comes down to what he wants to do”

Like the Joba-hurt-in-Texas “news” before, this is the first I’ve heard someone on the Yanks come out and admit that Andy Pettitte doesn’t want to play. It’s disappointing, but there’s still very much a part of me that Pettitte will enjoy hopping on the proverbial white horse and ride in to “save” the Yanks. I still want to see him take a final lap. I’m selfish that way.

@NYYEric: More Cashman on Andy “I know Andy well…I spoke to him last night..if he says he is in he is all in…he has been honest”

@NYYEric: “Would he makes us better?

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YES Censors Affiliated Blogs Over Rafael Soriano Criticism?

When news of Rafael Soriano’s signing filtered onto Twitter on the evening of January 13th, many Yankees fans were aghast at the length of the deal and the fact that the club had sacrificed a draft pick to obtain an 8th inning man. A number of those fans used their platforms as bloggers to criticize the signing. In particular, Mike Axisa and Joe Pawlikowski expressed displeasure with the move over at River Avenue Blues (RAB), while Steve Goldman penned a critical column entitled, “What the Heck Are the Yankees Doing?” that ran at his Pinstriped Bible blog. What happened next reeks of censorship and raises questions about the degree of journalistic integrity required by a sports network that is owned by the team that it purports to cover.

Pinstriped Bible is directly affiliated with the YES Network, as the site is designed to look like the YES homepage and is frequently featured on the YES front page. A few hours after being posted, Steve Goldman’s post was suddenly pulled, only to reappear a number of hours later with a new title (Soriano Strengthens the Pen, But Do Dominoes Fall?) and a softened stance.… Click here to read the rest

CAIRO on the Bench

CAIRO is the projection system set up by SG, the man behind the curtain over at Replacement Level Yankee Weblog. Since it’s pretty dead out there right now, I figured we could take a look at some bench candidates and how they might project in 2011.

Now to be fair, projecting players who have yet to play in the majors is extremely difficult. In the past I have tried to take a “rolling average” concept to these projections and come up with a ballpark number for each prospect. It’s just too difficult to tell exactly how someone will transition to the major leagues. So keep that in mind as we look ahead.

NAME POS PA SB HR AVG OBP SLG wOBA BRAR
Montero C 508 1 18 .261 .326 .446 .337 24
Adams 2B 386 6 6 .240 .314 .373 .306 6
Nunez SS 528 19 7 .257 .296 .350 .286 6
Romine C 502 4 10 .238 .281 .362 .283 6
Pena SS/3B 324 7 3 .244 .290 .324 .274 1
Cervelli C 292 3 2 .255 .326 .347 .303 5
Russo 2B 419 9 4 .243 .305 .328 .286 0
Curtis OF 483 4 9 .242 .303 .361 .295 -1

BRAR- Position adjusted Batting Runs Above Replacement

Much to the chagrin of Yankee fans everywhere, we know Francisco Cervelli and Ramiro Pena will probably make the team out of spring training.… Click here to read the rest

Re-remembering the Joba-in-Texas injury

We’ve been around and around on the Joba thing for a while. Cliff’s conclusion is certainly right in line with our thinking:

That certainly makes a less compelling case than his career line (which I used here). That said, I’d still rather take my chances on a 25-year-old who has a 7.6 K/9, a low-to-mid-90s fastball, some bad luck on balls in play, and is another year removed from that supposedly career-altering injury than on the likes of Sergio Mitre or the slop throwing free agent alternatives, and I’d still be loathe to trade any significant prospects for a rotation solution without at least giving that 25-year-old a look first. Still, it’s nice to have a somewhat more substantial answer to why the Yankees won’t use Chamberlain that way, even if Cashman’s admission has likely diminished Chamberlain’s trade value in turn.

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Can A NY Manager Use Unconventional Tactics?

[image title=”joe-girardi3-540×359″ size=”full” id=”24586″ align=”center” linkto=”full” ]Last week, I wrote that the Yankees should use Rafael Soriano as a fireman, not as an 8th inning guy. Over at River Ave Blues, Ben Kabak wrote a post agreeing with me. Now, Stephen Rhoads, our former TYUer-turned-RABer offered a different reply. He argues that using Rafael Soriano that way makes tons of sense, but the NY media won’t let it happen:

It’s no secret that the New York media is unforgiving. While Brian Cashman seems to avoid a lot of the nastiness, plenty of reporters assume a sarcastic and critical approach towards Joe Girardi. Their Twitter accounts during games are rife with jokes about Girardi’s matchup binder, and they seem to enjoy playing “gotcha” with Girardi’s information about player injuries and explanations about decisions. Very simply, an unorthodox idea like using Soriano as the fireman would likely be met with criticism in print, in the airwaves and on the internet.

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Outtakes from the Cashman breakfast from @amandarykoff

@amandarykoff: Cashman: to be honest what can wear you out here in NY is the media coverage.

Cue the “Cashman’s outta here” rants, one more time.

@amandarykoff: Cashman: “The higher up the tree the monkey climbs, the more you see of his ass.”

Someone’s being brutally honest!

@amandarykoff: Cashman: Pettitte is still not in, he’s not retired, but he is working out. Discounts joining team mid-season.

The tea leaves are still cloudy. I’m looking for my Magic 8 Ball. Personally, my bet has been placed in the “he’s going to return” camp.

@amandarykoff: Cashman on A.J.: he knows he has a problem and he’s doing all he can to fix it. Yikes.

We can only hope. Another year of Bad AJ will be another really bad year. I’m cautiously optimistic that Rothschild will be able to help “fix AJ.”  #FIXAJ

@amandarykoff: Francesa: Any chance of Joba in the rotation?

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