Pettitte not playing in WBC

Need a quick interlude in the latest episode of “As A-Rod Tuns?” Well here you go: via Ken Rosenthal, Andy Pettitte will not participate in the World Baseball Classic this spring. Pettitte was originally slated to play for Team USA and former manager Joe Torre, but was not on the provisional roster that was recently released. That coincided with reports that the Yankees didn’t approve of the idea, though they couldn’t bar Pettitte from participating. Now, however, it seems to be officia.l.… Click here to read the rest

A-Rod denies new PED accusations

Alex Rodriguez has released a statement denying reports from today’s Miami New Times that he used banned substances as recently as 2012. From Joel Sherman’s Twitter feed, here’s the statement:

“The news report about a purported relationship between Alex Rodriguez and Anthony Bosch are not true. Alex Rodriguez was not Mr. Bosch’s patient, he was never treated by him and he was never advised by him. The purported documents referenced in the story — at least as they relate to Alex Rodriguez — are not legitimate.”

With the language here, Alex is actually denying not only that he used illegal drugs, but the other stories that he was even connected to Bosch. Meanwhile, the paper has published every mention of A-Rod from the files they reviewed.

Something tells me A-Rod is going to regret this statement.… Click here to read the rest

Sickels ranks farm system 14th in MLB

Yesterday, John Sickels of Minor League Ball ranked the Yankees’ farm system 14th in Major League Baseball, up two spots from last year’s ranking of 16. Sickels comment on the Yankees was as follows:

14) New York Yankees (16): Strengths: quartet of young hitters at the top, with Gary Sanchez, Tyler Austin, Mason Williams, and Slade Heathcott all potential impact prospects, though all have some questions. Good depth in C+ types behind them. Weaknesses: impact pitching. I don’t count Manny Banuelos as an automatic Tommy John recovery. Wildcard: Rafael DePaula, who could vault up lists quickly once he pitches against people his own age.

So they’re not blowing the world away, but they’re not falling behind, either. The construction of the farm system–at least the top thereof–shows us how quickly things can change in a farm system. Just a few years ago, we were excited about the “Killer B’s,” pitchers Manny Banuelos, Andrew Brackman, and Dellin Betances.… Click here to read the rest

What Juan Rivera Brings To The Yankees

Yesterday, the Yankees signed 34 year old Juan Rivera to a minor league contract. He will try out for the fourth outfield spot come Spring Training, along fellow right-handed hitters Matt Diaz, Russ Canzler, and Thomas Neal.

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Rivera came up as an outfielder in the Yankees’ farm system, and made his short debut in pinstripes in 2001. By 2003, he earned a more permanent gig with the team, and finished his season with 185 plate appearances, and a .266/.304/.468 triple slash. After being traded for Javier Vasquez, Rivera went on to hit .275/.325/.444 over the next 9 seasons with the Expos, Angels, Blue Jays, and Dodgers.

The outfielder owns a career 115 wRC+ against left-handed pitchers, which is good for a .286/.333/.489 triple slash. Despite a sluggish bat last season, Rivera maintained a 106 wRC+ against lefties with the Dodgers, and a strong .173 ISO. Though his .245 BABIP is well below his career .279 average, his batted ball rates and results are at career norms, showing that he has more likely undergone regression than bad luck.… Click here to read the rest

A-Rod, others, accused of illegal doping

After the Daily News reported over the weekend that a Miami anti-aging clinic was under federal investigation for supplying HGH and other banned substances to professional athletes, the Miami New Times has an explosive story out this morning that connects at least half a dozen MLB players, including Alex Rodriguez, to banned substances through Anthony Bosch and his clinic, Biogenesis. The Times reports that the personal records kept by Bosch detail illegal doping by A-Rod, Melky Cabrera, Yasmani Grandal, Barolo Colon (the last three, of course, having all failed drug tests in the past year), Nelson Cruz, and Gio Gonzalez (though it’s a little unclear that Gonzalez is actually being accused of doping).

Here’s what the paper claims about A-Rod’s doping, which they claim includes HGH use as recently as 2012:

Take, for instance, one patient list from Bosch’s 2009 personal notebook. It charts more than 50 clients and notes whether they received their drugs by delivery or in the office, how much they paid, and what they were taking.

Click here to read the rest

Countdown to Spring Training: 14

There are so many great players in Yankee history and so many great seasons by Yankee players that we sometimes overlook the player and/or the season. Maybe it’s because he was more well known with other teams, maybe it’s because he was on the Yankees before I was sentient, but sometimes I forget that Rickey Henderson was a Yankee. While his entire career was brilliant–and his time with the Yankees equally brilliant–1985 was the finest of those seasons. What does that have to do with 14? In 1985, Rickey Henderson racked up 9.8 bWAR, good for 14th all time on the Yankees’ single season list (he’s tied with Babe Ruth).

That year, Henderson led the league (shocking, I know) with 80 steals (he was caught just ten times). He also led the league in runs with 146. He led the AL in bWAR (9.8); was fourth in BA (.314); fourth in OBP (.419); seventh in SLG (.516); third in OPS (.934); fourth in walks (99); and second in OPS+ (157).… Click here to read the rest

On the Money: 1/28/2012

If you like it when I get into delivering long, not always on point thoughts on sports, well then this is the show you’ve been waiting for my friend. I start the festivities by reflecting on what may have been the most awesome experience of my sports loving life this morning in Baltimore, before proceeding to deliver a rant about Luke Scott (and the Rays’ “bad apples” in general) two years in the making. In between, Kevin Gengler of DRays Bay joins us to talk about the 2013 Rays. We end the show with a little bit of everything. Nick Johnson, Carl Pavano Michael Kay, Javier Vazquez, Juan Rivera, and Randy Choate all make rhetorical appearances. Oh, and A-Rod. Go figure, huh? Enjoy!

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Pineda taking positive steps toward his return

Via Eric Boland of Newsday:

Michael Pineda is ready for his next step of rehab. Threw last flat ground session today, progressing to half-mound tomorrow

This is good news and it pleases me greatly. I am hoping for the best for Michael Pineda. I hope his rehab is setback free and if it is, I still think he can be a major contributor when he returns to the team.

I also hope that there aren’t obsessive reports about Pineda’s velocity like last season. I really think that had an effect on him and could have possibly played a part in his injury. Of course, I’m not a doctor, I don’t play one on TV and this is my own wild speculation but it just seemed awfully fishy to me that so many reports came out about his “low” velocity and then suddenly, after he starts trying to throw hard, he injures his shoulder.

 … Click here to read the rest