Cashman Talks Red Sox, Pineda

Cashman fully expects the Boston Red Sox to rebound from last year’s September collapse. From Brian MacPherson:

What happened with the Red Sox last year did not represent what the Red Sox are whatsoever,” Cashman told reporters at the Yankees’ facility in Tampa. “Adversity and that type of ending automatically presses a reset button for that franchise. Their players are going to come in and have a completely different culture now. They have a brand-new spring training facility opening up this year. They have a new manager, new general manager, players that had to self-evaluate last year all winter long.

“I guarantee every one of those players comes into camp in the best shape they’ve ever been in. Not that they weren’t in the past, but if there was any question, I guarantee that’s not going to be a question now. They’ll be geared up.”

You can’t argue with Cashman’s logic here. Anyone who thinks the Red Sox cannot recover from what happened last year is delusional. Although, we totally dig the BSOML reference, just for kicks.

There was somewhat of a cheeky response to questions concerning Mariano Rivera. Rivera is not yet in camp. And as reported by Brian Hoch, the quote was, “What am I going to do? He’s Mariano Rivera.” Cashman went on to say that Rivera will get his eight innings in and knows how to get himself ready. Rivera’s tardiness is a non-story.

The general manager seemed to want to dampen some early enthusiasm concerning Michael Pineda, the Yankees’ acquisition in the biggest trade of the off season. According to Erik Boland, Cashman said that Pineda isn’t a Number Two starter yet and needed to work on his change up. Again, there is nothing earth-shattering here. Pineda will certainly be in the Yankees’ rotation. It doesn’t really matter where he starts out in that mix.

More interesting is Cashman’s insight on how he spoke to C.C. Sabathia after the Yankees’ ace signed his extension about Sabathia’s weight. Cashman mentioned that manager, Joe Girardi, and head trainer, Steve Donohue, were a part of the conversation. Cashman said Sabathia has lost weight and the goal was to keep it off throughout the season (tweets from Erik Boland, Marc Carig and David Waldstein). This is good news for those of us who fret that Sabathia’s girth is a threat toward his long-term health.

Speaking of health, Brian Cashman also stated that Alex Rodriguez is “good to go.” and that Andruw Jones had surgery on his knee and will report to camp earlier than other position players to get himself extra work and rehabilitation. According to Cashman, Jones played through the injury last season (Carig and Boland). The GM is also pleased with the progress of Joba Chamberlain and predicted the pitcher would be available in June (Carig).

We learned nothing new about the left-handed Designated Hitter position. Cashman simply said that any of the candidates could help the Yankees and did not mention who the front-runner was (assumed to be Raul Ibanez). He also said that Eric Chavez‘s return to the Yankees wasn’t a lock (Hoch).

Brian Cashman did say something that will probably haunt him for a while which  Twitter is already starting to buzz about. While praising the extra wild card, Cashman admitted that the Yankees conceded the 2010 division title to the Tampa Bay Rays to get themselves healthy for the playoffs (Hoch). Joe Girardi has long denied the Yankees doing so. The admission confirms what many of us have long suspected. The Yankees simply took advantage of the system in place. While the admission doesn’t matter much in the grand scheme of things, Cashman would have been better off keeping those thoughts to himself.

About William Tasker

William Tasker grew up in Bergenfield, New Jersey but has lived in New England since 1975 and in the far reaches of northern Maine since 1990. Tasker is the author of nine (non-baseball related) books and, besides writing here for three years, has written for his own site at since 2003.

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