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

Opening Day Thoughts And Afterthoughts

A-Rod vs TOR 2015

Good grief, what a stud. Courtesy of the AP

For those who didn’t know and were wondering where I’ve been the last few days (probably nobody), I was out in Denver for a long weekend with the girlfriend.  My personal desire was to watch the entirety of yesterday’s game, simply because Opening Day and the idea of baseball really being back is awesome.  But there was no way I was going to get away with that on our last day of vacation, so I went the strategy of “I just want to see A-Rod hit and then we can go” and parlayed that into a little more than half the game.  Not a bad compromise.  That said, keep in mind that this post is being written from the perspective of a guy who only watched the first 5 innings yesterday, although I suppose that was really all anybody needed to see to know how the game turned out.

– It wasn’t a good start for Masahiro Tanaka yesterday, certainly not the performance he or Yankee fans were hoping for on his first Opening Day start.  …

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Spring Training Game 30 Quick Recap: Rays 3 Yanks 0

Sorry, kids.  I’m packing for Colorado so you’re just getting bullet points for this game.

Game Notes:

– It was a good day today for Chase Whitley, who got another start and turned it into an extended audition for the bullpen long man role.  He pitched 4 innings of 1-run ball and struck out 6 without walking a batter. It would be a major upset if he didn’t make the Opening Day roster.

– It was a bad day for 8/9 of the projected starting lineup, as they combined to go 3-20 with 2 walks and 5 K against Tampa Bay pitching.  Not really a big deal, but some runs are always better than no runs.

– It was a really bad day for Brendan Ryan, who suffered a calf strain trying to field a grounder and had to be carried into the dugout.  After the game, Joe said he expected Ryan to start the season on the DL, so there’s that open roster spot again.…

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Does Andrew Bailey Have Time To Steal The Last Bullpen Spot?

(Editor’s note- I wrote this post before the game today and didn’t check to see if Bailey pitched in it.)

With less than a week until the end of Spring Training and the beginning of another 162-game marathon, we’re getting down to the wire on the few remaining roster competitions.  The hottest one in Yankee camp is the battle for the last 2 bullpen spots, and that battle is down to 4 guys: Chase Whitley, Chasen Shreve, Chris Martin, and Andrew Bailey.

Whitley appears to have a spot all but locked up, and he should nail down the David Phelps Memorial long man/emergency 6th starter job with a good outing today.  Shreve has been up and down results-wise but has gotten a lot of work against right-handed hitters and has pitched 2 straight scoreless appearances, and Martin is… tall, I guess?

The wild card of the group is Bailey.  Despite his late start to game action this spring, he’s been pretty impressive.  …

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Spring Training Game 30: Yankees Vs. Rays

The closeness of Opening Day got real this morning with the calendar flipping over to April.  Baseball has been back for a while now, but meaningful baseball being back is even better and we’re oh so close to that happening.

That being the case, it makes sense that the Yankees are rolling out another almost Opening Day lineup.  That “almost” part is Brendan Ryan in at shortstop for Didi Gregorius, who was supposed to return to game action today but is still feeling some pain and swelling in his injured wrist.  That isn’t good news, but Jacoby Ellsbury returning to the regular lineup is.  Here’s the full starting lineup for today:

1) Jacoby Ellsbury- CF
2) Brett Gardner- LF
3) Carlos Beltran- RF
4) Mark Teixeira- 1B
5) Brian McCann- C
6) Chase Headley- 3B
7) Alex Rodriguez- DH
8) Stephen Drew- 2B
9) Brendan Ryan- SS

SP) Chase Whitley

First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM local time.  Here’s your game thread for those watching/following on Gamecast.  …

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Spring Training Game 29 Recap: MIN 3 NYY 1

Masahiro Tanaka

That’s a regular season glare. Courtesy of the AP

Today was Masahiro Tanaka’s final spring start before he pitches his first Yankee Opening Day next Monday, and to be fair to all those who’ve been creating and buying into the injury/velo hype this spring I’ll say that today was a more important start than his previous ones.  With the games counting starting next week, today was the day you wanted to see good everything.  Good mechanics, good velocity, good movement, good command, and good results.  It’s always better to go into the season on a high note, and so to see Tanaka come out and dominate the Twins this afternoon would have been great.

It didn’t exactly happen that way, as Tanaka got hit a little bit in his 4.1 innings of work, mostly the last 2.1.  He gave up a run in the 3rd on a 2-out double and follow-up single, another in the 4th on 3 more hits, and left in the 5th after giving up a leadoff homer to somebody named Eduardo Escobar and a 1-out base hit.  …

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Quick Hit: Cash Explains The Plan For Brendan Ryan

Or does he?  I couldn’t really make any sense of his statement on the Didi Gregorius-Brendan Ryan platoon matter from yesterday (courtesy of Chad Jennings).  Here’s what he said:

“I’d just (say), it’s something we could consider, but Ryan’s also here for a reason. We have two left-handers in the middle infield in Drew and Didi, and we have Ryan as an alternative, so I trust that Joe — like he does all the time — he’ll dissect the matchups and try to put the best team on the field to win. If that means Ryan’s in there ahead of Didi on any given day, so be it.”

A reason?  What’s the reason?  It can’t be that Ryan is a good right-handed hitter because we all know that’s not true.  I’d like to think that’s why Cash was careful to call Drew and Didi “left-handers” and imply that they can actually hit a little bit and then call Ryan “an alternative,” which implies almost nothing other than being right-handed.…

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Musing On The Rotation A Week Away From Opening Day

Pineda ST 2015

Kill ‘em, Big Mike. Courtesy of the AP

Masahiro Tanaka: 3 G, 10.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 12 K
Michael Pineda: 4 G, 13.2 IP, 10 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 17 K
Nathan Eovaldi: 4 G, 13.2 IP, 10 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 14 K
CC Sabathia: 2 G, 4.2 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
Adam Warren: 5 G, 16.2 IP, 17 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 11 K

That’s the official Spring Training statistical breakdown for the projected Yankee rotation so far, and if you’re the type to put any stock in ST stats for any reason then there’s a lot to like there.  The Yankee rotation was expected to be the roster area of greatest concern this spring, in terms of performance for some but more importantly in terms of health for most.  It was almost written as a foregone conclusion that the Yanks were going to suffer multiple injuries to their rotation in camp.  …

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Spring Training Game 28 Recap: NYY 7 HOU 0

With the regular season a little more than a week away, it’s fair to start talking about games as if they matter a little more.  This afternoon’s game was a wire-to-wire victory for the Yankees in which a lot of good things happened on both sides of the scorecard.  The team hit, they fielded, and they got great pitching.  It was a solid all-around team win.

The biggest individual story to come from the game was another strong start by Nathan Eovaldi.  He continued to show improvements in his ability to finish off hitters, successfully navigate lefties, and work his way out of trouble when he did put runners on base.  He finished with 4.2 scoreless, walkless innings, only 3 hits against, and 5 strikeouts.  He threw 89 pitches and 60 strikes.

Offensively, it was Chase Headley‘s turn to carry the torch again.  His solo home run in the top of the 3rd, his third of the spring, got the scoring started for the Yanks and he finished with 3 hits and 3 RBI on the day.  …

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Spring Training Game 28: Yankees-Astros

It’s already been a busy day in Yankeeland and the game doesn’t start for another half hour.  The Yanks made some roster moves this morning, sending Kyle Davies and Bryan Mitchell to Triple-A and releasing Scott Baker, and they received another injury scare when Mark Teixeira took a pitch off the knee in his MiL game a little while ago.  It doesn’t sound serious, but reporters are all over it right now and Joe said he’d get back with the media when he knew more.

As for the game, it will feature Alex Rodriguez at first base for the first time this spring, as Joe continues to experiment with his $64 million man and see how much he can get out of him.  The rest of the starting lineup playing alongside A-Rod is as follows:

1) Brendan Ryan- SS
2) Chase Headley- 3B
3) John Ryan Murphy- C
4) A-Rod- 1B
5) Stephen Drew- 2B
6) Rob Refsnyder- DH
7) Ramon Flores- RF
8) Slade Heathcott- CF
9) Jonathan Galvez- LF

SP) Nathan Eovaldi

First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM local time.  …

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