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.

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

Quick Hit: Refsnyder Ranks 9th On MLB.com’s Top 10 2B Prospects List

More MLB.com top positional prospects lists, more Yankee representation.  We probably would have seen it at first base too had Greg Bird not exceeded the rookie eligibility PT level last year, but the second base list came out yesterday and Rob Refsnyder made the cut, coming in at number 9.  The scouting report praised him for his pitch recognition skills and line drive hitting approach while acknowledging his defensive deficiencies at second base and low future ceiling as a defender.  Nothing we haven’t read about Refs before.

2015 was an up and down year for Refsnyder.  He hit .271/.359/.402 in his return trip to Triple-A SWB, a big step down from his 2014 production level.  That regression along with the defensive concerns surely influenced the Yankees’ decision to not call him up and give him a shot at the everyday second base job despite how poorly Stephen Drew played in the first half of the year.  Refsnyder did get more time in September and he did finish with a .302/.348/.512 slash line with 5 XBH in 47 MLB plate appearances.… Click here to read the rest

John Sickels Releases His 2016 Top 20 Yankees Prospects List

We haven’t had a good prospect ranking list in a while.  Luckily for us John Sickels came through and dropped his top 20 Yankees prospects for 2016 late on Sunday night.  I always appreciate Sickels’ rankings because he does the extra 10 and he always has a few selections that are off the beaten path, so it’s a good read.  This year is no exception.

For starters, Sickels doesn’t have Aaron Judge as his number one.  That spot went to Gary Sanchez, with Jorge Mateo coming in at 2 and Judge at 3.  I can’t argue with the decision to put Sanchez over Judge, especially with the way each of them performed upon their promotions to Triple-A.  But I’m not willing to say Mateo is a better prospect than Judge right now even with Judge’s struggles in Triple-A.  That’s just me.

Other highlights include Wilkerman Garcia at 7, Kyle Holder at 9, Ben Gamel at 15, and Hoy Jun Park at 17.  … Click here to read the rest

Saturday Morning News And Notes: 1/23/16

I had internet issues at the office yesterday, so I couldn’t get on and write what I had planned to write about.  I’ll make it up in an abridged version now along with some other news nuggets and happenings around Yankeeland.

– On Thursday, local authorities announced that they would not be filing charges against Aroldis Chapman in connection with the alleged events that took place at his home last year.  Police were called to the house in response to a domestic dispute and Chapman was accused of choking and pushing his girlfriend during an argument as well as firing a gun in his garage.  Chapman admitted to firing the gun out of frustration, but denied assaulting his girlfriend and he was not arrested at the time.  There was a fair amount of internet outrage earlier in the week when Hal spoke about the signing and dropped the “innocent until proven otherwise” line, but with the timing of this announcement you have to think that he and the team knew the situation when he made those comments.… Click here to read the rest

Thursday Morning Links: 1/21/16

Tired, neck hurts this morning, and the coffee and cough drop flavors are not mixing well in my mouth.  Let’s do some linking.

– On Monday, Chad Jennings pondered just how good the Yankee team defense could be in 2016.

– On Tuesday, our own Stacey Gotsulias posted a very personal piece at The Hardball Times about the bond that she and her father shared over baseball and the Yankees.  Definitely read this if you haven’t already.

– On Wednesday, Mike Axisa profiled Aroldis Chapman as a complete pitcher, showing that he’s more than just than just the high, stinky cheddar.

– Ken Davidoff of The Post had Hal Steinbrenner’s thoughts on the Chapman signing and potential suspension.  I didn’t have as big a problem with this as the rest of baseball twitter seemed to, but I also hate it anytime Hal says anything so I could be desensitized to him in general.

From the IIATMS team:

– On Tuesday, Scott dove into the details of Brian McCann’s decline and touched on what it means for the remainder of his contract.… Click here to read the rest

Thoughts And Afterthoughts A Month Away From Pitchers And Catchers

Technically it’s less than a month away from pitchers and catchers reporting, but I’m rounding up.  Creative license.  The important thing is that the light at the end of the football tunnel is getting pretty bright and that means baseball isn’t far off.  We’ll have to slog through that week-and-change dead zone after the Super Bowl and that’s always a bummer, but it won’t be long after that when it will officially be baseball season again.  With that in mind, here are some quick thoughts on a variety of Yankee topics I’ve had rattling around in my head over the last few weeks:

– I’m already looking forward to this season more than I have the last few and I’m taking that as a sign that I’m pleased with what the team did this offseason.  I definitely would have preferred they get more involved in the free agent pitching market, at least the shallow end of it, but the moves to add extra Triple-A depth were fine, they retained all their top MLB-ready or near MLB-ready prospects, and they got better at multiple other spots on their 25-man roster.  … Click here to read the rest