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

Quick Hit: Ellsbury Swings A Bat

Well there’s some good news!  I said earlier in the week it would be nice to know something about Ellsbury’s condition and when he was going to return to baseball activities, and lo and behold we’ve gotten a lot of information in that department over the last few days.

A return to game action next week would be more good news and provide further reassurance that Ellsbury will actually be ready for Opening Day.  We’ll see how things progress for the rest of this week, but it seems like the worry meter can be turned down on Jake.

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Thursday Morning Velo News And Notes: 3/26/15

- Dellin Betances’ velo!!!!! AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

“But Betances’ heater hasn’t warmed up this spring. And that’s led to results not exactly befitting of a man who appeared on the fast track to become Mariano Rivera‘s longterm replacement as Yankees closer…

His fastball only reached 94 mph, according to the notoriously generous YES Network radar gun.”

- Masahiro Tanaka’s velo!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

“What was worrisome was the admission by Tanaka that he did not have full confidence in his fastball, and the nagging suspicion that the real reason why Tanaka has not cut loose is fear. The fear that to really let fly with a fastball will cause pain in his torn UCL, which the Yankees chose to rehabilitate without surgery last year — or pain, which Tanaka, manager Joe Girardi and pitching coach Larry Rothschild all insist is not there.”

Also from those articles:

– Betances had pitched almost twice as many innings at this time last year (10.1) as he has this year (5.1), and he was pitching low-mid 90s then just like he is now.…

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Spring Training Game 23 Recap: NYY 9 DET 8

Bye, Esmil. Courtesy of the AP

Joe said he wanted to make a decision on his 5th starter by the end of this week, so last night was a very important start for Esmil Rogers.  He looked shaky at best his last time out, and same as Bryan Mitchell he was going up against a really good start by Adam Warren the last time Warren took the mound.

He was facing the regular Detroit Tiger lineup that was full of tough and dangerous hitters and he didn’t fair very well against them.  He got hit early and hit often in the 1st inning and escaped with only 1 run against him.  He got hit again in the top of the 2nd, exacerbated that problem by committing a fielding error, couldn’t finish off the inning with 2 outs, and got tagged for 4 more runs.  It was not a good outing.

The Yankee lineup chipped in a bunch of small contributions that were enough to keep them within striking distance in the bottom of the 9th, and once again it was the young guys coming up with the big hits to get the W.  …

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Tuesday Afternoon Food For Thought: Taking A Flier On Jhoulys Chacin

In a somewhat surprising turn of events, the Colorado Rockies released right-hander Jhoulys Chacin over the weekend.  I say somewhat surprising because the Rockies are always starved for starting pitching, Chacin is only 27 and has a modest track record of success with them when healthy, and he came at a reasonable price of $5.5 mil for this season, his final one of team control.

What makes the move understandable from the Rockies’ standpoint is the miserable and injury-plagued season that Chacin had in 2014.  He threw 63.1 innings over 11 starts with a 5.40 ERA and 4.82 FIP, and battled shoulder problems all year.  Unless I’m mistaken, and I very well could be, I don’t think last year was the first time he’s had shoulder injuries either.  For the Rockies to just completely cut bait on him, they must know something the rest of MLB doesn’t about the condition of that shoulder.

Which brings me to the obvious question of whether or not the Yankees should be interested in pursuing Chacin as some added depth for their corps of injury backups.  …

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Quick Hit: What’s Up With Ellsbury’s Oblique?

There hasn’t been a lot of new information on Jacoby Ellsbury‘s strained oblique since it was finally diagnosed as a strained oblique over a week ago.  The injury that we were initially told would only keep Ellsbury out for a few days was extended to a week after that diagnosis, and yesterday made it a full week without any baseball activities and no update on Ellsbury’s condition.

The one thing we have gotten in the last week has been Ellsbury’s statements downplaying the severity of the injury and reassuring everyone that he would be ready for Opening Day.  This would be good news if it were accompanied by some kind of update on his condition or a report that he had started swinging a bat again, but it hasn’t.  Via Chad Jennings, yesterday Ellsbury’s assurances were accompanied by this quote:

“I guess all I can tell is just how I feel each and every day.  But until I swing a bat, until I throw, until I do really explosive stuff, that will be the real test.

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Spring Training Game 22 Recap: WAS 7 NYY 6

Yankees Nationals Baseball

Courtesy of the AP

If Bryan Mitchell was going to make a move in the 5th starter race, today was the day for it to happen and the day it had to happen.  Adam Warren looked really good his last time out, so the job may be all but sewn up already.  But Esmil Rogers was pretty blah his last time out, so if there was a chance to jump him for the next in line if another injury were to occur (knock on wood) it was today.

Mitchell had 2/3 of a Major League outfield, the starting catcher catching, the backup catcher DH’ing, Garrett Jones at first, Aaron Judge in right, and a trio of non-starters at the other 3 infield spots, so it was quite the mish-mash in terms of a lineup.  That’ll happen when you’re playing on the other side of the state.  He turned in a pretty good performance in front of them, despite what the final numbers showed,  Whether it was enough to get him another turn in the rotation remains to be seen.…

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Stephen Drew, Brendan Ryan, Chris Young, And Learning A Lesson From Last Year

A few weeks ago, it seemed like there was a real chance for some change in the planned Opening Day roster construction for the Yankees.  Brendan Ryan was injured, Stephen Drew wasn’t playing all that well (obligatory SSS disclaimer), and both Jose Pirela and Rob Refsnyder were doing enough in the early going to make legitimate cases for consideration.

A few weeks later, that chance has evaporated completely.  Ryan has returned to game action, Drew has swung the bat a little better and basically been guaranteed the starting second base job by Joe, and Pirela will be out for an extended period of time after colliding with the outfield wall in yesterday’s game and being diagnosed with a concussion.  Barring any more unforeseen injuries, the Opening Day bench now looks as if it will be the rather bland group of Ryan, Chris Young, Garrett Jones, and John Ryan Murphy, with Drew at second.

There’s nothing wrong with any of that, and that’s coming from the guy who’s been openly campaigning for Ryan’s immediate dismissal from the team and for Drew to be penciled into his backup infielder spot to open up a job for Pirela or Refsnyder for a while.  …

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IIATMS Top Moment #8: The Jeffrey Maier Home Run

Jeffrey Mair HR 1996

Screenshot courtesy of MLB.com

October 9, 1996.  Game 1 of the American League Championship Series.  New York Yankees versus Baltimore Orioles.  Every dynasty has to start somewhere.  The infamous play in the bottom of the 8th inning of this game may have been the moment that started the last great Yankee dynasty.

The game was a close one, with the Yankees trailing 4-3 heading into the bottom of the 8th.  They had gotten off to a quick lead with 1 run in each of the first 2 innings, but the Orioles scored runs in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 6th to take a 2-run lead into the final third of the game.  The Yankees chipped away with a run in the 7th and had baby-faced Rookie of the Year Derek Jeter leading off the bottom of the 8th against fireballer Armando Benitez.

Benitez, in what would become his calling card fashion, hurled a first-pitch fastball right down the middle of the plate to start the at-bat.  …

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Spring Training Game 21 Recap: NYM 6 NYY 0

CC vs NYM ST 2015

Courtesy of the AP

CC Sabathia was hitting the road for his second Spring Training start of 2015 this afternoon, and he was bringing his starting infield with him to Port St. Lucie to take on Matt Harvey and the Mets.  Harvey’s on a comeback trail of his own this spring, one that’s come with more positive fireworks thus far than Sabathia’s in terms of on-field results, but CC wasn’t buying into any local media-created storyline there.  He knows what really matters right now and that’s what he was keeping his focus on.

In terms of how successfully he achieved the goals he had for himself today, I’d say it was a mixed bag.  Sabathia once again showcased impressive velocity for this time of year, but his fastball command was a tick off and the Mets hitters made him pay for it on more than one occasion.  Their power display against the big guy was more than enough for them to cruise to victory behind Harvey and a missing Yankee offense.…

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