About Brien Jackson

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

Cashman: Jeter will be ready on Opening Day

From bad news on the injury front to good news: Brian Cashman told ESPN New York that things are going well with Derek Jeter‘s rehabilitation from ankle surgery, and that the Yankees’ captain is on track to be back for Opening Day. “It’s all in the doctors’ hands right now,” said Cashman. “But he’ll be ready on Opening Day.” As far as I know, this is the first time anyone in the Yankees’ organization has issued such a definitive statement on Jeter’s schedule, which is a good sign.

Though Jeter hsan’t been cleared to resume baseball activities, he is out of a walking boot and has been running on an underwater treadmill and biking. Casey Close, his agent, says that this won’t be a big deal, as Jeter typically doesn’t begin preparing for Spring Training until late January anyway. “His timetable would have been relatively the same as it is now,” Close said.

Now the Yankees just have to hope there are no significant lingering effects on Jeter’s production as a result of the injury. Continue reading Cashman: Jeter will be ready on Opening Day

A-Rod’s doc blames hip for bad October

Joel Sherman has an exclusive in today’s Post with Dr. Bryan Kelly, the doctor who will be performing Alex Rodriguez‘s hip surgery (hopefully) this month. The main takeaway: A-Rod’s left hip is a total mess, and is absolutely the reason that he was so dreadful in the postseason this past season. “I was more surprised that he was able to play at all with a hip that looked like that,” Kelly told the Post. “Most people would not be able to play with a hip function like this and the imaging that looked like his.”

Alex has officially been diagnosed with a torn labrum in his left hip and an underlying impingement, and according to Kelly is still 2-4 weeks away from an operation. That’s because the doctors want to treat the inflammation around the injured hip and begin building strength in the leg in order to make the rehab process easier for A-Rod, making a successful comeback more likely. Kelly estimates that Alex should be able to return “just after the All-Star break,” but the story also notes that that’s a preliminary estimate that’s subject to change based on factors such as A-Rod’s age and the pace at which he rehabs, and that the doctors won’t even know the full extent of the damage in the hip until they open it up. Kelly says a full recovery and a return to productivity is possible but, well, we’ve heard that before.

The bad news is that Kelly believes that the injury has been there for some time, and that Alex has been compensating for it by using other muscles. Kelly says that, because Alex was not necessarily experiencing full on pain in past years and because hip injuries like this are a result of wear and tear, it’s not particularly unusual for something like this to go undiagnosed. There are also concerns that A-Rod’s surgically repaired right hip may have incurred damage as a result of compensating for this injury, which will slow the rehab process to a slower rate than Alex was able to maintain back in 2009.

Kelly did say that past steroid use would have had nothing to do with this injury though, so we at least shouldn’t have to deal with any more of that talk. Continue reading A-Rod’s doc blames hip for bad October

On the Money: 1/7/2013

For tonight’s edition of On the Money, John Sickels of Minor League Ball joined us to talk about his list of the Yankees’ top twenty prospects. Topics included why Mason Williams is just a smidge below Gary Sanchez and Tyler Austin in Sickels’ eyes, the state of the system’s pitching talent, whether there’s any hope remaining for Dellin Betances, and why you shouldn’t get too discouraged by Dante Bichette Jr.’s disappointing debut in full season ball. For the latter part of the show, our own Tamar Chalker joined us to talk about prospects, non-prospects, and idiosyncratic regional weather patterns. I won’t lie, we run a bit longer than originally planned, but it was great to catch up with Tamar as we prepare for a new season, and great to get a chance to talk about the guys who show up in The Farm Report far more often than they do on the top prospect lists. Enjoy

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Continue reading On the Money: 1/7/2013

Yankees not interested in Thome

The Yankees are looking for a DH to help round out their roster, but according to Mark Hale they aren’t interested in Jim Thome‘s services. Thome has always been a little bit of a white whale for me, as his pull-side power profiles beautifully for the short porch at Yankee Stadium, but that ship has probably sailed due to age. Injuries limited Thome to 58 games between Philadelphia and Baltimore last season, and Thome hit just .257/.348/.396 for the Orioles. He’ll be 42 this season, assuming he doesn’t retire, so I can’t say I blame the Yankees for passing on him, even if I am disappointed that he never got to play in pinstripes.
Continue reading Yankees not interested in Thome

Sosa is a marginal Hall candidate

When we devoted an entire episode of On the Money to talking about the Hall of Fame, I mentioned late in the show that I regarded Sammy Sosa as a borderline candidate, and that I’d be unlikely to support him over Kenny Lofton or Larry Walker if only allowed to vote for 10 candidates. That got a little bit of push back, both from Mike Bates at the time and others since, so allow me to expound upon my case against Sosa.

(click “view full post” to continue reading) Continue reading Sosa is a marginal Hall candidate

Sickels’ top Yankees’ prospects

It doesn’t get the same amount of attention that the lists put out by Baseball America or Baseball Prospectus do, but John Sickels’ annual prospect rankings may well be the most unique of all of the prospect rankings that come out annually. That’s because, in addition to his own unique perspective and preferences on prospects, Sickels assigns a traditional letter grade to prospects, adding an additional level of depth and context above a simple stacked list of players. He put his list of the Yankees’ top twenty prospects out back before Christmas and, as always, it’s worth a once-over if you’re into the prospecting thing. The top of his list is fairly un-controversial, but there’s some interesting selections in the 8-15 range.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot: Sickels will be joining Stacey and I on On the Money tonight to talk about his rankings, as will our own minor league editor Tamar Chalker. The show goes liver at 9:00 P.M. EST, and can be listened to here. As usual, I’m sure a good time will be had by all. Continue reading Sickels’ top Yankees’ prospects

Steroid hysteria is really not good for Cooperstown

While, as always, I respect his opinion and the amount of thought and genuine care he puts into these things, I think Ken Rosenthal badly misses the mark in his latest column on the Hall of Fame. Rosenthal’s main premise is that it won’t be a big deal if no one gets elected to the Hall of Fame this year, that above all else, the “debate” is good for the Hall, and that no major changes to the voting process are needed. I’ll take each in turn.

(click “view full post” to continue reading) Continue reading Steroid hysteria is really not good for Cooperstown

Yankees unlikely to re-sign Soriano

With Rafael Soriano languishing on the free agent market as teams blanch at the prospect of giving up a draft pick (or, more accurate, the signing pool money associated with that pick), there’s been an undertone in the rumor mill that his most likely landing spot for the 2013 would be back in the Bronx. I’m a little bit skeptical of that, both because I think the Yankees will be happy to wait out the market and see what pick they’ll get as compensation when Soriano inevitably signs a deal somewhere, and (more notably) because the Yankees don’t really have an opening in the bullpen with Mariano Rivera and Joba Chamberlain both healthy. That’s a sentiment apparently shared by Brian Cashman as well. “I cannot talk about players on the free-agent market,” Cashman said. “But I am not looking for bullpen help, I can tell you that.”

And before you throw out the surprise signing of Soriano back in 2011, remember that the Yankees didn’t have an elite set up man like David Robertson at the time, and at the beginning of the season Robertson was merely a nondescript middle reliever who got most of his action warming up in the bullpen. This year, they already have three solid end-of-game relievers, and spending the sort of money it would take to get Soriano to sign a one year deal just to push Joba and Robertson down the ladder again would be a colossal waste of resources. Continue reading Yankees unlikely to re-sign Soriano

Mo to start throwing next week

Via Bryan Hoch, Mariano Rivera says his surgically repaired knee isn’t yet 100%, but it’s close. “It’s not 100 percent. It would be, I would say, 95 percent,” Rivera said at a clinic for children yesterday. “By the time Spring Training starts, it’ll feel 100 percent.” Rivera tore the ACL back in early May, and had the surgery delayed by susbsequent blood clot, so the schedule here isn’t much of a concern with six weeks left until pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report (and perhaps a bit more time until Mo is expected to arrive in Tampa).Rivera also said that he expects to begin throwing next week, and anticipates having a “normal” Spring Training schedule. Continue reading Mo to start throwing next week