Spring Training Game Five: Orioles 10, Yankees 7

This game was an unmitigated disaster from the onset.

Poor Nik Turley gave up five runs – four earned – in 0.1 inning. Yes, he was only able to get one out and he gave up three hits, struck out one, walked one and before the Yankees finally brought in Cody Eppley to clean up the mess. Not that Eppley was much better. He lasted 1.1 innings and he gave up two more runs – both earned – on two hits. He did get two strikeouts.

Adding to the Yankees’ bad pitching were the errors. The team made five of them this afternoon. It wasn’t pretty, it was like watching a little league team at times and because of the sloppy play and bad pitching the game, which started at 1:05, ended at 4:34.

But you do have to give the kids credit, they made the game exciting at the end, scoring three runs in the ninth and actually bringing the winning run to the plate.… Click here to read the rest

The Problem With Brett Gardner

He does deserve props for the bunt. Courtesy of the AP

(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

Getting Brett Gardner back is going to be a huge boost for the Yankees this year.  His count-working ability and speed on the basepaths brings back a key missing element to the team’s offense and gives Joe another lead-off option, and that same speed makes him arguably the team’s best and most important defensive player wherever he is in the outfield.  When Gardner went down last season, the team’s speed went down with him, and getting that speed back is a huge blessing for a team that’s lost a big chunk of its power.  But Gardner’s speed can also be a curse, something that can and has gotten him into trouble before.  Nowhere was that more apparent than in his first at-bat of yesterday’s Monday’s game.

Top of the 1st inning, Gardner is leading off the game.  He slapped a grounder to the right side of the infield that Chris Davis had to range to his right to field.  … Click here to read the rest

Jay Bruce on choosing his agent

Longtime readers of IIATMS know my equally long-standing appreciation and friendship that I have for agent Matt Sosnick and his agency. It’s with no shame that I can say that if there is one person who helped (unwittingly, mind you) launch my site from a bitty blogspot destination, it’s Matt.

To refresh: I was bored on June 2, 2008, desperately searching for something to write about. So I quickly threw this on the screen. So thanks to a random posting about Josh Hamilton, a fortuitious coincidence with a John Heyman news and notes story an hour later, and a Google alert, I connected with Matt. That lead to interviews with him, his players and other sorts of things that I remain eternally grateful for, things he never needed to do but did anyway because that’s exactly the kind of guy he is. I’ve been very fortunate that this little writing outlet of mine has put me in contact with some truly great people.… Click here to read the rest

The Yankees are the 10th grittiest team in baseball

In a feature that has both amused and confounded me, Max Weinstein of Beyond the Boxscore has determined who the grittiest players and teams are in the Majors.

I think you’ll be shocked by some of the results.

Weinstein’s summary is as follows:

1) A player steals his share of bases.(SB)

2) A player that can field his position. (Fld+Pos)

3) A player that makes a lot of contact. (Contact %)

4) A player who has a high walk to strikeout ratio. (BB-K)

5) A player who has a good amount of sacrifice hits and flies. (SH+SF)

6) A player that shows best effort by accumulating infield hits. (IFH)

7) A player that sacrifice bunts + bunts for hits. (BU+BUH)

Then Weinstein revealed his formula:

“GRIT” = (0.309)*((SB-lgAVG(SB))+(0.389)*((Fld+Pos)-lgAVG(Fld+Pos))+(0.0319)*((Contact%-lgAVG (Contact%))+(0.5123)*((BB – lgAVG(BB))-(0.2117)*((K -lgAVG(K))+(0.0466)*((SF+SH)-lgAVG(SF+SH))+(0.104)*((IFH+BUH+BU)-lgAVG(IFH+BUH+BU))+(0.283)*((BsR-lgAVG(BsR))+(0.363))

(I’m not much of a stathead so this formula actually scares the bejeezus out of me. I, unfortunately, lost any mathematical prowess I had over the last two decades that I have been out of high school and I purposely picked majors in college that didn’t require a lot of math.… Click here to read the rest

Wednesday morning Yankees news and notes: 2/27/12

In news that wouldn’t shock anyone, Brian Cashman started shaking his head and saying, “No. No. No. No,” before reporters even started asking any questions regarding the possibility of placing Eduardo Nunez in left field while Curtis Granderson works his way back from his broken forearm.

Cashman talked about a few things yesterday but it wasn’t in person, it was via text message and phone calls. The topics included why Johnny Damon won’t be getting any calls from the Yankees’ front office about playing LF and the Nunez situation. Cashman said about, “I don’t think he profiles as an outfielder with the bat.” He also said that the Yankees would be looking from within even though a few free agents had gotten in touch with them.

Some more notes:

  • Phil Hughes expects to be reevaulated today.
  • Kevin Youkilis will sit out again today just for precautionary measures.
  • And here’s some funny Yankees news, well, not really news but Nunez joined Twitter recently – he’s verified and everything!
Click here to read the rest

A Look At Relief Prospect Branden Pinder

Over the last few years, the Yankees organization has emerged as one of the best system for producing relievers. David Robertson, Joba Chamberlain, John Axford, Tyler Clippard, Mark Melancon, Alfredo Aceves, and a number of others have all been products of Yankee scouting and development. The big relief prospect at the moment is Mark Montgomery, who will probably see the Major Leagues by the end of 2013. There are a number of other relievers, such as Tom Kahnle and Nick Goody who could be fast movers, but Branden Pinder is one of the biggest names to watch this Spring Training.

The Yankees drafted the right-hander in the 16th round of the 2011 draft as a starting pitcher. In the move to the bullpen, Pinder’s velocity increased from low-90’s to mid-90’s, and he’s currently topping out at 97 mph. His slider also vastly improved during the 2011 season, and some scouts called it a major league ready pitch.… Click here to read the rest

Spring Training Game Four: Phillies 4, Yankees 3

The Yankees dropped another game in Grapefruit League action, this time in Clearwater against the Philadelphia Phillies but regardless of the “L” there were a few bright spots for the team.

Ichiro Suzuki finished his day 3-3, J.R. Murphy who came in for Bobby Wilson finished 2-2 with a double and a two-run home run that had given the Yankees a 3-1 lead in the top of the seventh inning.

Jose Ramirez, who started for the Yankees, pitched two scoreless innings and didn’t give up a hit, Joba Chamberlain pitched a scoreless inning and struck out two batters and David Robertson also pitched a scoreless inning.

The Phillies scored their runs in the sixth and seventh innings – the runs in the seventh came thanks to two home runs off Yankees’ reliever Zach Nuding. Domonic Brown hit his solo shot to center field and Tommy Joseph hit his – a two-run shot – into the tiki bar in left field of Bright House Field.… Click here to read the rest

Joba Chamberlain doesn’t think this Spring is exciting enough

After his appearance in today’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies, which is currently in the top of the eighth inning, Joba Chamberlain decided to “ignite” the whole starter vs. reliever debate, you know, because we don’t have enough to talk about in regards to the 2013 Yankees.

Here are his quotes in full, courtesy of Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News:

“This is probably going to spark a bunch of stuff and (Yankees PR director Jason) Zillo is going to be mad at me, but it’s one of those things where it’s like, do you think you have the capability to start? Yes. Do I have four pitches that I can throw for a strike? Yes. Do I have two plus pitches in the bullpen that I can throw at any time? Yes.

“I guess I’m trying to have my cake and eat it, too. I feel like I’m good enough to do both. I’ve proven that I can do both.

Click here to read the rest