UPDATED Quick Hit: Hughes out with bulging disc

The big news yesterday was Phil Hughes being shut down because of upper back stiffness, well, he saw a local specialist and according to both George King and Joel Sherman, he was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his back, he will be shut down for at least five days and will be put on anti-inflammatory medication.

Hughes is no stranger to back injuries – his stiff back cut his ALCS Game Three start short in 2012, he had back issues in 2011 and way back in 2004, he had a bulging disc. Speaking as someone who hurt her back in college, back injuries are annoying, and once you mess up your back, you never go back.

But let’s look at the bright side, shall we? At least this is happening now and not in August or September.

UPDATED: Looks like Hughes will be shut down longer. This is according to GM Brian Cashman who says Hughes is taking a ‘two-week timeout.’… Click here to read the rest

And now the boredom sets in

This morning, as I was looking around the internet for things to read in order to write something substantial about the Yankees, I noticed that Chad Jennings of the Lohud Yankees Blog is feeling the same way I am right now. In his post titled, “We need some games around here,” Mr. Jennings says everything I wanted to say about Spring Training.

Derek Jeter is still in rehab mode. Michael Pineda is throwing a few fastballs every now and then. Alex Rodriguez is nowhere to be found. Joba Chamberlain’s ankle and elbow both seem to be working just fine. Robinson Cano isn’t a free agent yet. Ichiro Suzuki isn’t a new guy anymore, and honestly, neither is Kevin Youkilis at this point. There’s really only so much Joe Girardi can say on a day to day basis that we don’t already know.

I agree with him completely. While it’s great that teams have reported to camp and that guys are working out, we really do need some games to be played.… Click here to read the rest

An introduction to your new lead writer

As I was falling asleep last night, it occurred to me that I hadn’t properly introduced myself to you yet so here it goes. My name is Stacey Gotsulias and I am the new lead writer here at It’s About the Money, Stupid.

My introduction to blogging came 14 years ago before I even had a website. I would send funny emails to my friends in which I would complain about various things like smelly people on the subway, tourists who blocked sidewalks as I was trying to get my lunch or I’d write a collection of quotes and stories I recalled from college. In 2000, yes, it was that long ago, I acquired a Yahoo! Geocities website that I turned into a blog of sorts.

I wrote about anything that came to mind: my daily commute, my job at NBC, the leaky pipes in my NYC apartment, the TV shows I loved and sometimes hated, and I’d occasionally write about the Yankees.… Click here to read the rest

Improvement In 2013: Phil Hughes

(Matt Slocum)

It’s been six long and tedious major league seasons where we’ve had our hopes built up and our hearts torn out by Phil Hughes. Be it injuries, role changes, velocity declines, or just typical growing pains, Hughes has always found a way to disappoint. After 9 years with the Yankees’ system, the right-hander is still figuring out how to become a pitcher.There’s a number of reasons to like Hughes’ chances in 2013, and most of them stem from how he finished his 2012 season.

Hughes started 2012 with a much improved changeup. The pitch helped him against left-handed hitters immediately, but he still posted a 7.48 ERA and a .298/.365/.617 slash against hitters in the first five starts of the season. Hughes stopped throwing his cut fastball to right-handers, and saw immediate improvement. Then in June, the pitcher slightly dropped his arm angle, changing his curveball from 12-6 movement to 11-5. It also put more horizontal movement on his four-seam fastball, which was growing far too home run prone.Click here to read the rest

Why The Yankees Should Not Extend Robinson Cano

The Yankees seem to be quietly negotiating with Robinson Cano for a long term contract extension. This is a mistake. I’m not against a Cano extension per se, but I am against a Cano extension, which let’s say will cost something like 8 years / $200 million, before the end of the 2013 season.

I don’t doubt that Cano will hit very well this season, be an MVP candidate, and project to be a strong player for at least the medium term. However, the Yankees do not have sufficient information yet to determine whether or not they can afford to sign him to that kind of mega deal. They need two very key sets of information: First, how do Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia, and Alex Rodriguez play in 2013? And second, how does the Yankee farm system collectively perform?

The former is important because it will reveal a lot about how the Yankees can expect their assets to perform over the next few years.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees have four players on Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects List

Baseball America released its 100 Top Prospects list and four Yankees make an appearance on the list. None of the names are surprising but their postions in the list might be. None of them are in the Top 30 – the highest prospect appears at #32. The number one prospect on BA’s list is Jurickson Profar, a highly touted SS/2B in the Texas Rangers organization.

The Yankees on the list are:

OF Mason Williams at #32
C Gary Sanchez at #57
OF Slade Heathcott at #63
OF Tyler Austin at #77

Last year, the Yankees had four players on the list as well, with Manny Banuelos named the highest ranked Yankee prospect, appearing at #29 on the list. Banuelos is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery. Another player not appearing on this year’s list is Dellin Betances who was slotted into #63 on 2012’s list.

Betances was also the victim of a very disappointing 2012. His problems were not injury-related like Banuelos, they were mainly were performance related.… Click here to read the rest

Quick Hit: Hughes out for a few days with a back injury

Thanks to a flurry of tweets from the writers down in Tampa, we now know that Phil Hughes hurt his back while fielding a grounder in PFP. The diagnosis, so far, is a stiff upper back and manager Joe Girardi said Hughes was seen by a doctor but wasn’t sure if any tests were taken. He will be out a few days barring any setbacks.

In other camp news, David Phelps will be starting the Yankees’ first Spring Training game on Saturday with Adam Warren starting Sunday’s game which is the first televised Spring Training game.… Click here to read the rest

Jorge Posada on Cervelli, Romine and the starting catching competition

Jorge Posada, who was invited to be a guest instructor at Yankees’ camp this Spring, hasn’t appeared in Tampa yet but he talked some baseball this morning with Jim Memelo and Jeff Nelson of Sirius/XM MLB Network Radio.

Among the topics discussed: Mariano Rivera‘s comeback, Kevin Youkilis as a Yankee, Derek Jeter‘s return from ankle surgery and most importantly, at least in my opinion, the Yankees’ current catching situation.

Posada knows a lot about catching for the New York Yankees so his perspective is certainly more welcomed than someone who never played the position. On the competition itself, Posada said, “Obviously whoever has the best spring is going to start. That probably changes throughout the year. We’ve got three young catchers and we’re going to hopefully look forward to seeing them compete. This is what baseball is all about. You don’t get the job, you earn the job. I think it’s going to be good.”

He also had something to say about Francisco Cervelli and Austin Romine – two of the contestants in the Yankees’ version of “So You Want To Be A Starting Catcher”: “Cervelli, very energetic, very athletic, very quick behind the plate.… Click here to read the rest

The Jeter/Nunez/Shortstop Conundrum

Brace yourselves, folks. I may say something nice about Eduardo Nunez in this post.

Derek Jeter has a plate and screws in his ankle. Derek Jeter is turning 39 in June. Derek Jeter is a Major League shortstop. The first two things listed do not bode well for the third. Regardless of what you think of Derek Jeter’s defense at the game’s most important position, we can all probably agree that this year will be a trying one for the Captain in the field. Most normal 39 year olds aren’t so hot at short, let alone dudes with a plate and screws in their ankles. We would expect to-be-26 year olds (Eddie and I are birthday twins, sharing June 15, 1987) to be better fielders. However, when that to-be-26 year old is Eduardo Nunez, the certainty isn’t there. Regardless, though, we’re sure to see Nunez at short plenty in 2013.

Joe Girardi has never been shy about resting players and I don’t think he’ll start doing it, even with Derek “I’m fine” Jeter.… Click here to read the rest