The Yankees Should Be Realistic, Put Team on Short Leash in 2013

A week ago, the 2013 Yankees were walking on a tight rope. Their roster, while a significant downgrade from the 2012 squad, looked strong enough to contend for a wild card spot in the American League. The team’s rapidly aging core was still effective last year, and should a few things go right should have been good for 90 wins this year.

And then Curtis Granderson suffered a freak broken arm. Spring training has barely started, and probably the third or fourth most valuable hitter on the Yankee roster will miss around 1/4 of the season, without an able-bodied replacement in sight. The Yankee outfield/DH group was already razor-thin, and just lost its most valuable contributor for awhile.

By no means should the Yankees throw in the towel on the season, but at some point they need to decide whether they want to bet  on this team to make the playoffs. I don’t know what the cut off point is, but  it can’t be, “never.” This roster is not a vintage Yankee, sure-fire playoff team.… Click here to read the rest

Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson

With Curtis Granderson down and out for ten weeks or so, the Yankees have a hole in left field. No injury can have an upside though there can be silver linings. “Luckily,” a lot of Granderson’s rehab time will be taken up by Spring Training and he’ll be back in early May. But on that not-so-lucky side, since it’s Spring Training, the market for outfielders is pretty thin and obviously, the timing isn’t great. There are, however, some internal options.

Though it should be obvious, let’s just cross of Slade Heathcott and Mason Williams. Ramon Flores, who’s on the 40-man roster and whose star seems to be rising, should be discounted because of the fact that he’s so young (he’ll turn 21 next month). That leaves us with Zoilo Almonte and Melky Mesa. For brief rundowns of those two, check out this post from Yanks Go Yard.

To add to it, the Yankees have expressed excitement about Almonte.… Click here to read the rest

Quick hit: Today’s Yankees-Phillies game may be up in the air

According to Eric Boland of Newsday:

A pounding rain here in the Tampa area. Yankees buses aren’t scheduled to leave for Clearwater until 11:15. Game still up in the air.

Damn that iffy Florida weather.

If the game does go on as scheduled, here are the backups and relievers:

And one of the best things I read this morning also comes from the Lohud Yankee blog. When Joe Girardi was asked why he didn’t insert Ichiro into the leadoff spot, he said, “I don’t know. I just put him second.”

Well, okay then.

UPDATE at 11:11a:Joba Chamberlain just posted a link to a video which shows just how lovely it is in Florida this morning.… Click here to read the rest

Time To Trade For An Outfielder

There’s a lot to say about this year’s offseason, but most of it is far from positive. The Yankee front office typically aims for a 95 to 100 win team, but this year it looks like they may barely get to 90. Will it be enough? We won’t know until the season is over, but no AL East team looks exceptionally good. Even with the current roster, most reports have the Blue Jays or the Yankees as favorites.

Reuters

The Yankees usually go above and beyond to put together a team that’ll leave the rest of the division far behind them, but they’ll lose $20+ million in payroll in 2014, and they have filled a lineup with one year deals and minor league gambles in preparation.  To replace Russell Martin, Nick Swisher, Rafael Soriano, and Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees brought in Kevin Youkilis, Bobby Wilson, Shawn Kelley, Juan Rivera, and Matt Diaz.… Click here to read the rest

Tuesday morning Yankees notes: 2/26/12

Good morning. It’s Tuesday, Februrary 26, 2012 and the Yankees already have their first oblique injury of 2013. This year’s lucky player is Kevin Youkilis who was scratched from today’s lineup. He will be evaluated in a few days. Hopefully it’s not a serious injury and that it won’t linger.

From Bryan Hoch of MLB.comYoukilis says the “injury” was just a cramp yesterday. Could play today with no problem, but Yankees being cautious. “No concerns,” he said.

I mentioned this last night but Johnny Damon is really lobbying to help the Yankees. So much so that I even saw the headline on the WABC 7 ticker during Good Morning America. He appeared on Michael Kay’s ESPN radio show yesterday:

“You guys know that I would have tons of interest to go to New York,” Damon told Kay and co-host Don LaGreca. “But I just don’t think they would be interested. I’m not exactly sure what happened over the years or something.

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Replacing Granderson

Before Spring Training started, I had made a joke to a friend that the Yankees were going to have to begin shooting a reality show called, “So You Wanna Be A Catcher?” so the three main players competing for the starting catcher position – Francisco Cervelli, Chris Stewart and Austin Romine – could show off their skills. What I didn’t realize is that SYWBAC would have a sister show called “Project Left Fielder,” and that instead of it turning into a showcase for Curtis Granderson to be groomed into an everyday, starting left fielder, it would become a competition for someone else replace him.

Since Granderson suffered a broken forearm during yesterday’s game against Toronto, much has been written about what the Yankees are going to do. Many people have pointed out the lack of depth the team had before Granderson went down and how this injury exposes their weaknesses.

The past 24 hours have also seen a flurry of articles written about how the Yankees should go about replacing Granderson while he recovers from his injury.… Click here to read the rest

Happy 50th Birthday, Paul O’Neill!

Today is Paul O’Neill’s 50th birthday, I know, I can’t believe it either and to honor him, I thought I’d post the video that would make anyone cry: It’s the infamous “Paul O’Neill” chant that erupted during the top of the ninth inning of Game Five of the 2001 World Series.

Yankee fans knew that game would be the last time they’d see O’Neill in a home uniform, in Yankee Stadium and the result is truly amazing. Even Joe Buck was astonished by what the New York fans did that night.

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Spring Training Game Three: Orioles 5, Yankees 1

The Yankees fell to 1-2 in Grapefruit League play thanks to a 5-1 loss to the Orioles.

I don’t think anyone was expecting the Yankees to win this one. It was a road game early in Spring Training and the only regular to make the trip was Brett Gardner. Speaking of Gardner, he was 3-3 on the day. Jayson Nix was the only other Yankee with more than one hit – he finished 2-3. The team had eight hits on the day.

Their lone run was scored in the top of the ninth inning when shortstop Walter Ibarra hit a single that scored Corban Joseph. It was the Yankees’ first run since Saturday afternoon’s win against the Braves.

The Orioles played most of their regulars and a few of them contributed to the win. Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and Nate McLouth all had RBI and Russ Canzler, who was designated for assignment by the Yankees earlier this winter drove in Baltimore’s last run in the bottom of the 6th inning.… Click here to read the rest

An outfield made of glass?

Yankee spring training has gotten off to a rough start. By now everyone knows that Curtis Granderson will be out until early May with a fractured forearm. That’s a huge loss for the Yankees. Granderson’s 2012 may have paled in comparison to his 2011, but he’s still a critical bat in the Yankee lineup. His absence will be felt immediately.

The most glaring weakness that comes from Curtis’ injury is the loss of power. Granderson’s OBP may be inconsistent, but he’s managed 40+ homers each of the past few seasons. That’s production I’d rather have on the team than on the bench. The Yankees don’t have any substitute on a lineup that was already missing a lot of pop due to injury or players leaving.

But this also means that the Yankees are that much more dependent upon Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki to stay healthy. That’s no small order. Gardner has been injury prone his entire career. Suzuki is 39 years old.… Click here to read the rest