Born in Dover, Delaware and raised in Danbury, Connecticut, Brad now resides in Wisconsin, where he regularly goes out of his way to remind Brewers fans that their team will never be as good as the Yankees. When he’s not writing for IIATMS, he likes to spend his time incorporating “Seinfeld” quotes into everyday conversation, critiquing WWE storylines, and drinking enough beer to be good at darts.

Author Archives: Brad Vietrogoski

Wednesday Morning Food For Thought: Don’t Forget About Andrew Bailey

Bailey ST 2015

Joe’s already got his eye on him. Courtesy of the Yanks’ PR handle

I name dropped him in the ST roster battles post yesterday morning, but I think Andrew Bailey deserves a little more digital ink based on the news that came out yesterday.  Via Chad Jennings, Bailey threw a bullpen yesterday afternoon.  Like Ivan Nova, he’s been back throwing bullpens for a while now and he spoke like a player who felt he was almost back to normal game shape:

“I came in and spent the offseason training, working as I would if I played last year. The doctor gave me 18, 24 months (to be healthy after surgery), and we’re in that 18th, 19th month. Everyone around here, training staff, coaches and strength and conditioning have all kind of (treated it as if) I’m a normal guy with some needs. Hopefully we get rid of those needs. Everything feels great. I’m with the team and doing everything as I would normally, and if I need a little extra work here or there, that’s fine too.

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Quick Hit: Nova Back On The Mound

While people continue to lament the loss of Moncada and Alex Rodriguez continues to be a miserable human being by working out, taking morning BP, and signing autographs for fans, there are some other legitimately important things happening in the early days of Yankee camp.  Like this little nugget of info.  Did you know that Ivan Nova is back to throwing regular bullpen sessions off a mound?  Me neither.  But he is.  Has been for a while.

A whole bunch of different beat reporters had the details earlier today, but the long and short of it is that Nova threw a 25-pitch session this morning of all fastballs.  It was the 3rd all-heater session he’s had, and he explained that the plan is to throw 1 more of these type of bullpens before mixing in changeups, and then another 4 fastball-changeup sessions before working breaking balls back in.

Nova told reporters he was “excited” to be back on the mound but added that he realizes he still has a long way to go and is staying focused on “just taking it day by day” right now, which is the right attitude to have.  …

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The Real Problem With Not Signing Yoan Moncada

It’s been over 24 hours since the news of the Red Sox signing prized Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada broke, and as I mentioned earlier I’m still struggling to make sense of it from a Yankee perspective.  This felt like it should have been a slam dunk.  This was going to be the big cherry on top of the international spending sundae, the big signing that got the Yankees back in the game of landing top-tier Cuban talent.  That’s a game the team has been hesitant to play since signing Jose Contreras, and the call for them to re-engage has grown incredibly loud as we’ve watched good player after good player sign with other teams over the past few years.

Once again the player in question did not sign with the Yankees, and this instance more than any other has generated a ton of negative reaction from the Yankee fanbase.  How could they lose out to the Red Sox?  How could they fail to make the biggest offer?  …

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Previewing The Spring Training Roster Battles

Miller ST 2015

The new closer? Maybe, maybe not… Courtesy of the AP

The dust is still settling from yesterday’s Yoan Moncada decision, and to be perfectly honest I can’t figure out how I feel about it or how I should respond to it.  The Yankees’ entire process leading up to the decision and their explanation after the fact aren’t adding up to me, they have me in a mental pretzel, so I’m just going to back burner that for a second and move forward with normal Spring Training activity.

Roster battles are always one of the more fun ST storylines.  Something about the spirit of competition and the possibility of an unsung player performing well enough to earn himself a shot at the big time, it’s classic sports storytelling.  The Yankees don’t have a ton of really exciting roster battles on tap this spring, but there are a few that are worth following.  Here’s a quick roundup of the key ones to watch.…

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Monday Morning Rapid-Fire Reactions To What I Missed Over The Last Week

hank-steinbrenner-smoking

There was a Hank sighting and I missed it?? Damn

Good morning, dear IIATMS readers.  How’s everybody feeling this morning?  It feels good to be back after a week off, and it feels even better to have had nothing go majorly wrong in Yankeeland while I was away.  It was a bummer to miss pitchers and catchers report day last Friday, but that disappointment is overwhelmed by the excitement that comes with the start of Spring Training and the return of baseball to our lives.

Last week was not an inactive one, and naturally I have my own opinions on the comings and goings of that last week.  Before proceeding with what’s going on in the present and getting back to business as usual around here, I wanted to circle back and give my quick takes on the major stories I missed last week.  I promise this won’t take long.

A-Rod’s Apology Letter

Loved it.  Loved everything about it.  He was obviously in a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation when it came to the public apology, and I think he made the right decision to handle it the way he did.  …

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Issues With The Incumbents: Elbows, And Shoulders, And Knees, Oh My!

Beltran Over Wall Tampa

Look out, Carlos!!

I know I said nobody wanted or needed to read about all the injury risks with this year’s team again, but it wouldn’t be right to do a series of posts on the biggest issues with the returning players and not mention it.  As it stands right now, almost every returning key player comes with some kind of significant injury risk and that’s a storyline that is never going to go away this year, even if nobody suffers a major injury.

So let’s review the list quickly, shall we?  The rotation is rife with injury risks, specifically the unholy trinity of Masahiro Tanaka‘s elbow, Michael Pineda‘s shoulder, and CC Sabathia‘s knee.  Tanaka has been on a modified throwing program this offseason, not throwing as hard and as much as he used to before the season, and all reports on his conditioning and elbow have been positive.  Sabathia’s offseason program has been even more modified and watered down as he attempts to come back from knee surgery.  …

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Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 2/13/15

So I’m heading off to Germany again this Sunday for another fun week of work training.  That means I won’t be around for pitchers and catchers report day, which sucks, but hopefully I’ll be back in time for Moncada’s decision to sign with the Yankees (knock on wood).  Y’all will be left in the capable hands of Stacey and the rest of the crack IIATMS staff, and we’re hoping to roll out the final voting list for our Top Jeter-Era moments countdown next week.  I hope you all have a wonderful next week in your personal, professional, and Yankee-centric lives, and I would consider it an honor if you’d do me the pleasure of shooting me a Twitter follow while I’m gone.  Seeing those follower numbers go up would be a huge boost to my preciously fragile ego.  Now onto the links!

– On Tuesday, Derek Albin of Pinstripe Pundits reviewed the Yankees’ organizational depth at shortstop.  It’s still pretty thin at the top, but the crop of talented prospects in A-ball and below is growing.…

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Moncada Updates: Decision By 2/23, The $100 Million Man?

Haven’t talked about Yoan Moncada lately, so let’s catch up on the newest news on that front.

The biggest news came about a day ago, when in a story by Jerry Crasnick of ESPN, Moncada’s representative said the plan is for Moncada to make his signing decision by Monday, February 23rd.  David Hastings, Moncada’s rep, said they have a more private workouts scheduled for next week, including a handful of “look backs” by teams who have already held a private workout, and that they want to make the decision after those workouts are completed.

This morning, Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the expected price tag for Moncada has risen to the $40-50 million range, making it a $100 million investment with the tax.  That’s a huge chunk of change for a 19-year-old player who won’t be playing at the MLB level for a few years, so that should tell you something about how good Moncada is and can be and how well baseball is doing financially when teams can take that kind of financial risk.…

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Another Look At The Yankee Rotation Depth

Right before the end of 2014 I took a quick look at the projected starting rotation depth for the Yanks, and it wasn’t a pretty picture.  If you were someone who didn’t have faith in Tanaka, Pineda, and Sabathia staying healthy this season, that list couldn’t have made you feel good.  A week away from pitchers and catchers reporting to camp, I wanted to take another look at the projected depth to see if the Yankees improved it the way they needed to.  Here’s how it stands currently:

1) Masahiro Tanaka
2) Michael Pineda
3) CC Sabathia
4) Nathan Eovaldi
5) Chris Capuano

6) Adam Warren
7) Ivan Nova (now scheduled to return in June)
8) Bryan Mitchell
9) Esmil Rogers
T-10) Chase Whitley
T-10) Jose De Paula
12) Scott Baker
13) Kyle Davies

That’s a little better, right?  I admittedly took creative liberties in making it look better by including Warren and Rogers this time when I didn’t last time, but I think that’s justified based on what we know about the Yankees’ plans for them in camp and the additional moves they’ve made to beef up the bullpen.  …

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