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

Why Sabathia’s First Spring Start Tonight Matters

It’s St. Patrick’s Day today, which for us regular people means a day of drinking green beer and pretending it doesn’t suck and eating corned beef for dinner even though that’s not an actual Irish tradition.  For the Yankees, it means Opening Day is less than 3 weeks away and Spring Training is getting to the point where it’s less about shaking off the rust and getting a feel back and more about getting physically and mentally ready for the start of the regular season and the 6-month grind that follows.

With that in mind, it only seems fitting that CC Sabathia makes his first ST start tonight.  He’s the last of the projected rotation members to do so, and coming off another disappointing and injury-shortened season in 2014.  In a rotation filled with injury concerns, his is arguably the most concerning based simply on the fact that it’s related to 15 years of irreversible wear and tear on a major body joint.  …

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Quick Hit: Greg Bird, So Hot Right Now. Greg Bird

Greg Bird Eyes

Staring right through your soul. Not into it, through it.

The fun sub-plot of many top prospects performing well in their limited ST opportunities was touched on last week.  A handful of those top prospects, including top top prospects Luis Severino and Aaron Judge, were sent down yesterday as part of the first round of roster cuts, but not included in that handful was Greg Bird.  Bird has been the best and most eye-opening of all the Yankee prospects this spring, and for him the plot is rapidly shifting from “fun ST sneak peek” to “legitimate part of the Yankees’ future plans.”

Here’s what Bird has done in the last couple weeks.  He’s hit .385/.467/.846 in 13 ST plate appearances, the SLG rate best on the team.  He’s made a few nice plays with the glove to go with his stellar offensive production.  He’s drawn rave reviews from high-ranking people inside and outside the Yankee system, including Cash and new hitting coach Jeff Pentland.  …

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Monday Morning Food For Thought: A Trade Opportunity Across Town

All in all, I’d say it’s been a pretty smooth start to the 2015 season for the Yankees.  All the important players are healthy, A-Rod has been a positive in every way, and the farm system has showed why it’s considered on the upswing.  The Chris Capuano injury is unfortunate, but not a mortal blow.

Things haven’t been going quite so well in Mets camp.  Their ownership continues to embarrass the organization at every turn, they still don’t have a shortstop, they have early injuries barking in their rotation, most notably Zack Wheeler’s elbow problem, and they’ve had even bigger injury problems in their bullpen.  The most recent one there is to lefty reliever Josh Edgin, who will have season-ending elbow surgery this week.  The Mets, who were already real thin at lefty before Edgin’s injury, are now dangerously thin there with 3 weeks to go until Opening Day.

You know who’s not thin in the left-handed relief department?  The Yankees.  …

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The IIATMS Top 20 Countdown Recap: Moments 20-14

If you’re any kind of regular reader of this site, I assume you’re a Yankee fan.  If you do consider yourself a Yankee fan, there’s absolutely no reason you shouldn’t be reading and following our ongoing IIATMS Top 20 Moments countdown.  The era covered is the most recent one, the Jeter years of 1996-2014, so the memories are fresher for all of us than they might be for moments from further back.  That said, I’ve picked up on some different things that I didn’t notice at the time in reading and writing these posts, because I was in my adolescent and early-to-mid teen years for most of the moments.  In that respect, the countdown has been a way for me to refresh and update my memories and that’s pretty cool.

Before we get back into the countdown tomorrow, I’d like to give everybody a chance to catch up on any and all of the first 7 moments that we’ve covered.  Here, in order, are moments 20-14:

20) Roger Clemens Throws a Bat at Mike Piazza in Game 2 of the 2000 World Series – Stacey

19) Jason Giambi’s Walk-Off Grand Slam vs.

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Sunday Morning News And Notes: 3/15/15

Good Sunday morning to you, Yankee fans.  Hope your weekends have been enjoyable so far, and I hope many will be sharing my Sunday plan of sitting around in sweatpants watching sports all day.  Here’s what you missed if you were productive yesterday:

– The Yanks split their split-squad games yesterday, beating the Tigers 4-1 behind Michael Pineda and losing to the Blue Jays 1-0 behind Esmil Rogers.  Pineda tossed 3 hitless, scoreless innings in his outing while Rogers gave up 3 hits in his 3 scoreless.  They combined to strike out 7.

Alex Rodriguez was back at third base in the Rogers game, and he went 1-3 with a well-hit single off the wall in right field, a 3-pitch strikeout, and a flyout.  He keeps putting good at-bats together, he looks as good as you’d expect a soon-to-be 40-year-old with his injury history to look physically, and it seems like the NY papers are starting to lose some of their anti-A-Rod steam.  …

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Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 3/13/15

Another busy week this week, although at least I had more time to do my regular reading rounds.  Good batch of links this week.  Let’s get right to them.

– On Monday, Derek Albin of Pinstripe Pundits took a fun look back at the history of starting pitchers who have failed to record an out in a game.  Well, fun for us.  Probably wasn’t for them.

– Tanya Bondurant of Pinstripe Alley rated the roster-making chances of the position players in camp after the first week of ST.

– On Tuesday, Chad Jennings of LoHud had the deets on Chase Whitley working a curveball back into his pitch mix this spring.  Wouldn’t be bad to see him add another offspeed offering.

– On Wednesday, Daniel Burch of The Greedy Pinstripes mused on the possibility of Stephen Drew returning to his average levels of production this year.

– Andrew Marchand of ESPN NY had the list of takeaways from the presser introducing Hideki Matsui as one of Cash’s new special advisors.…

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Early Spring Training Winners And Losers

Pirela ST 2015

This year’s Solarte in the making? Courtesy of Getty Images

I wanted to write this post Wednesday, wanted to write it again yesterday, didn’t get to it either day, and now I’m going to rush it to try to get it in before roster cuts start.

We’re over a week into the Spring Training game schedule now, and while that still isn’t enough time to make concrete determinations on who will end up where and what the Opening Day roster will be, it is enough time to start making some informed comments on whose stock is rising and falling in those key roster battles.  Real quickly, here are some of the early winners and losers from the first 11 St games.

Winner- Jose Pirela

He’s swinging the bat well (8-15, 3 XBH, 2 BB) and drawing a lot of positive chatter from coaches, players, scouts, and fans alike.  His defensive value as a guy who can play multiple positions has been on display and right now he looks like the best option for one of the 4 bench spots.…

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Spring Training Game 11 Recap: NYY 3 ATL 2

Tanaka ST 2015 Debut

Courtesy of the AP

With all due respect to my main man A-Rod, last night’s game was the infinitely more important ST debut in terms of impact on the team’s success.  Masahiro Tanaka was the man making his debut, and unlike a greater-than-zero percentage of the Yankee fanbase I was not worried about him at all.  I was looking forward to seeing him pitch again.  Just the thought of him pitching was giving me goosebumps when I was following the game online last night.  And he did not disappoint.  Tanaka looked very good in his 2 innings of work, highlighting another 1-run Yankee victory.

Game Notes:

– Tanaka’s line: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 4 GB outs.  He retired the 6 batters he faced in order and did it on 19 pitches (15 strikes).  He was so efficient that he didn’t even reach his pitch count in game action and finished his scheduled work in the bullpen.  …

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IIATMS Top Moment #15: Luis Sojo’s Base Hit (And The Rest of The 9th Inning In Game 5 Of The Subway Series)

Sojo Hit Game 5

I can’t believe this is the best photo that exists of that play. Couresy of The Star-Ledger

What made moment #16 so great was how it was a major contribution by an unexpected source.  Moments like that in the World Series always stand the test of time, and William did a brilliant job rehashing everything that went into making that moment happen yesterday.  The next moment on the IIATMS Top 20 countdown is built on a similar framework- World Series, huge hit, unexpected player getting the hit, Yankees win in large part thanks to said hit.  But what makes moment #15 so great, for me at least, is how it’s not necessarily the one hit that stands out but the collection of little things that happened in the 9th inning of Game 5 of the 2000 World Series and how they happened.

Quick resetting of the stage.  It was a 2-2 game heading to the top of the 9th.  The Mets had scored 2 unearned runs off Andy Pettitte in the bottom of the 2nd to take a slim lead through most of the first two-thirds of the game.  …

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