About Brad Vietrogoski

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.

Quick Hit: Why Not Try A-Rod At First Base Again?

I don’t want to make this a longer post than it needs to be, because I do already know the situation and know it’s not going to change.  But since the news of the Greg Bird labrum tear came out and we started going over the various backup plans that the Yankees have at their disposal, I can’t help but think this is the perfect opportunity to revisit the idea of Alex Rodriguez at first base.

You’ll remember this was something the Yankees experimented with last year.  A-Rod worked out at first and got a little action in Spring Training, and Joe didn’t hesitate to give it the old college try, starting Alex at first in the 5th game of the season against the Red Sox.  He didn’t look very good in that game or his other brief appearance at first in late May and the idea was scrapped, along with the idea of playing A-Rod at any position other than DH for the rest of the season.… Click here to read the rest

Torreyes Reacquisition Provides A Second Chance To Make A First Impression

Ronald Torreyes 2015

Good defensive position. Courtesy of Getty Images

The minor trade that brought Ronald Torreyes to the Yankees a few weeks ago didn’t make many waves, and the follow-up DFA’ing of Torreyes to clear a roster spot for Lane Adams made even fewer.  But in the wake of yesterday’s crushing news on Greg Bird’s season-ending labrum tear, the Yankees reacquired Torreyes from the Angels and sent Adams packing, shedding some light on their plan to cover for the loss of Bird as Mark Teixeira‘s primary backup at first base.

The primary part of that plan sounds like it’s going to be Dustin Ackley.  Cash was quick to tell reporters that the team would not seek to replace Bird through the MLB free agent or trade markets and that Ackley would be assuming primary backup first base duties.  Ackley has some recent experience there and he was picked up and retained primarily because of his positional flexibility, so the move makes sense for a team that has already established itself as one not looking to spend money on free agents.  … Click here to read the rest

Tuesday Morning Links: 2/2/16

Busy day yesterday around IIATMS.  You probably have some catching up to do on that stuff, so I’ll ease you into today with a linkaround.  You’re welcome.

– Last Thursday, Nick Ashbourne of BP Bronx dissected the scenarios in which Didi Gregorius can hit left-handed pitching.

– On Friday, David Schoenfield of ESPN’s SweetSpot looked at NL players who would make great DHs if MLB ever decided to wake up and expand the DH rule.

– Jason Cohen of Pinstripe Alley broke down how shifting the strike zone up would negatively impact CC Sabathia.

– On Saturday, Chad Jennings pointed out Sabathia’s still very active role as a clubhouse leader despite his personal struggles and injury problems.

– Chris Carelli of Yankees Unscripted discussed the bullpen situation and the importance of getting something out of the middle relief corps ahead of the big three.

– On Sunday, friend of the blog and IIATMS alum Matt Imbrogno looked at Ivan Nova’s strengths and how they could be maximized as a reliever.Click here to read the rest

Prospect News And Notes: 2/1/16

Couple of quick updates on the MLB.com prospect lists that came out late last week.

Aaron Judge was the final Yankee prospect to crack a positional top 10 list, coming in as the #8 outfielder.  The brief write-up on him praised him for being a better all-around hitter than originally advertised while acknowledging his struggles upon jumping to Triple-A, saying “… even though he profiles as a potential slugging run producer, he’s also shown an ability in the past to make adjustments. Once Judge does that, he should be ready for his New York debut.”

Judge is going to have a lot of eyes on him during ST this year and I feel like Joe could give him a lot of burn to get a firsthand look at how he’s changed his approach against upper-level hitting.  If Judge is able to learn from last year and improve his Triple-A production while cutting down on strikeouts, he could skip guys like Williams and Heathcott in line when it comes to being the first outfielder called up.… Click here to read the rest

Worrying About Chase Headley

Headley vs SEA 2015

Courtesy of Getty Images

Less than three weeks from pitchers and catchers reporting and I continue to feel good about the 2016 Yankees.  Despite avoiding the MLB free agent pool like the plague, Cash managed to improve major areas of need on the roster and added youth and depth of talent to supplement the aging core.  There’s still one player left for him to snag to complete the roster, but I don’t actually expect that signing to happen.  The Yankees appear to be set with what they’ve got to open the year and once again they are going to face a ton of questions.

As far as the questions about the lineup go, I feel good about most of the answers.  I don’t expect Jacoby Ellsbury to be as bad as he was in 2015, and the addition of Aaron Hicks should help keep both Ellsbury and Brett Gardner fresher for the later months of the season.  Despite the obvious and measurable signs of permanent decline, I still expect Brian McCann to pop 20+ homers and drive in runs this season.  … Click here to read the rest

Prospect News And Notes: 1/29/16

All prospects all the time.  Couple of things to touch on from yesterday:

– One, the MLB.com top 10 positional prospects release party continued yesterday with the shortstops.  It’s a deep position, so Jorge Mateo did not crack the top 10.  He did, however, get a shout out in the honorable mentions, with the write-up comparing him to Jose Reyes and calling him the Yankees’ shortstop of the future.  I thought Mateo might sneak into the bottom third of the list, but it’s understandable that he didn’t after what was his first year of full-season ball.

– Two, Baseball Prospectus put out their Top 101 prospects list and the consensus top 3 Yankee prospects all made the cut.  Aaron Judge came in at number 18, Mateo at 65, and Gary Sanchez was 92.  Personally I think Sanchez should be at least 25 spots higher, but I’m also a Yankee fan.  The complete list and the capsules on each player are completely free.  … Click here to read the rest

Yanks And Ivan Nova Avoid Arbitration, Agree To 1-Year Deal

As first reported by Jack Curry, the Yankees and Ivan Nova agreed to a 1-year deal today, avoiding arbitration in the process.  The deal is for $4.1 million with some unknown performance incentives and it has been confirmed by the team.  Dollar amount is right smack dab in the middle of the figures that both sides submitted previously.

Nova is coming off a tough year in his first season back on the hill after TJS.  The Yankees were shopping him as aggressively as they could earlier in the offseason and he’s effectively lost his rotation spot based on his injuries and uneven performance, but with nobody biting on the trade front Nova obviously holds a lot more value to the team as part of the pitching staff.  He’s expected to work as a starter in spring camp but will likely settle into a long relief/swingman role as long as nobody gets hurt.  Nova has always had command problems, but he has the stuff to be an effective starter and possibly even a very effective reliever if he can establish some form of consistency.… Click here to read the rest

Quick Hit: “Shifting Into Non-Roster Invitee Mode”

I came across a recent Bryan Hoch article about the lineup options with Starlin Castro last night and it got me thinking.  No, not about the lineup because I don’t think there’s really that much to think about if we’re talking regular starting lineup against a righty.  That’s going to look like this:

1) Ellsbury
2) Gardner
3) Beltran
4) Teix
5) A-Rod
6) Big Mac
7) Headley
8) Castro
9) Didi

No, there was something else in the article that caught my eye.  Something about the Yankees not being able to make any more moves on the MLB level:

“The Yankees — the only team not to sign a Major League free agent this offseason — are saying that they have shifted into non-roster invitee mode, believing that they have exhausted their available options on the free agent and trade markets.”

Exhausted their available options?  What??

/checks MLBTR free agent tracker

/sees Juan Uribe’s name still included in the “unsigned” group

Guess they haven’t exhausted ALL their options.  … Click here to read the rest

Wednesday Morning Links: 1/27/16

I fell down in the shower this morning.  Ass over tea kettle, right down into the tub.  I managed to not knock anything over, tear down the curtain, or hurt myself in the process, but I still laid there for a good 10-15 seconds basking in my stupidity and clumsiness.  I don’t even know how it happened.  I haven’t even slipped in the shower in years.  My early 30s continue to be a hoot.  Now onto the links.

– Last Thursday, SG of RLYW released his first round of CAIRO projections for 2016.  They’re encouraging for the pitching staff, less so for the lineup.

– On Monday, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN had a Q&A with Commissioner Manfred after his first year on the job.  Topics of conversation included Pete Rose, the DH in the National League, international draft, shortening of the season, and the new domestic violence policy.

– On Tuesday, Chad Jennings previewed the Yankees’ non-roster ST invites position by position.… Click here to read the rest