I am a journalism student at William Paterson University in New Jersey. I am an aspiring sports journalist who has had a huge passion for the Yankees since birth. Contact or follow me on Twitter at @RAYROBERT9.

Author Archives: Matt Bove

Yankees Co-Closers A Possibility?

A few days ago, Joe Girardi discussed the possibility of using Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller interchangeably as closer this season with MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch.

“I’m sure we’ll have a lot of meetings about that,” Girardi said. “We’ll decide what’s best. We want to see how they’re both throwing the baseball at the end of Spring Training. There will be just a lot of discussion of how we feel our team is built. Could they be interchangeable? Yeah.”

Even as more and more MLB teams have moved towards using analytics greatly in their decision making, every team still uses the closer traditionally in the ninth inning. The notion in anlaytics is that it is smarter to use your closer –who is your best relief pitcher– whenever the biggest spot is in the game. That could be in the sixth inning with two runners on base in a tie game. They should not be saved for the ninth inning just because. No manager has had the guts to do this yet, because if it didn’t work out the backlash would probably be huge.…

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Can Adam Warren Return To Being a Starter?

Courtesy MLBPressBox.com

Adam Warren was one of the biggest surprises for the Yankees in 2014 pitching out of the bullpen. He had a 2.97 ERA and a 3.28 xFIP and stabilized the middle innings before the Yankees got to Dellin Betances and David Robertson later in the game.

The biggest surprise with Warren was his added strikeouts and velocity coming out of the bullpen. Even though that will generally happen with most pitchers who go from starting to relieving, it was especially noticeable with Warren because he also relieved in 2013 and never showed this kind of stuff. According to Brooks Baseball, Warren averaged 95.28 MPH on his fastball after averaging 93.97 MPH in 2013 and his K/9 jumped to 8.69 last year from 7.48 the previous season.

Even after Warren’s great season in the bullpen last year, returning him to the rotation must be considered this year due to the Yankees’ lack of depth in their rotation. Top pitchers Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda and CC Sabathia are all health risks, and Chris Capuano is a performance risk at the fifth spot.…

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Can CC Sabathia Have a Renaissance?

CC

The 2015 New York Yankees rotation is mostly a giant question mark right now, with CC Sabathia being the perhaps the biggest one.

Nobody is expecting much from Sabathia in 2015 because he hasn’t given anybody a reason to expect much since 2012. Sabathia went 3-4 with a 5.28 ERA after eight starts last season before missing the rest of the year with a knee injury. His struggles began in 2013 when he had a notable loss of velocity on his fastball and finished with a 4.78 ERA.

Obviously, he is never getting his 95 MPH fastball back, but plenty of pitchers have been successful with fastballs that average around 90 MPH. Despite all the negativity surrounding Sabathia, there are some signs that he can be one of those pitchers.

A scout told ESPN New York’s Andrew Marchand that he believes Sabathia’s pitching smarts can help him reinvent himself as he turns 35 next season.

“When a guy gets into their 30s, they have to have a second career,” the scout said.…

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Yankees Complete Lineup With Headley

After signing Chase Headley to a four-year, $52 million contract, the Yankees have all of their position players set for the 2015 season. Brian Cashman announced that Alex Rodriguez will be the full-time designated hitter. Martin Prado will be able to give new shortstop Didi Gregorius an experienced double play partner to play next to. Jose Pirela should be able to fill the utility role and Rob Refsynder should be able to go back to Triple-A for more seasoning.

The best thing about this Yankees lineup is its depth. You could argue that their is no throw away spot in the order unless Gregorius or Brendan Ryan is in against a lefty. That certainly has not been the case in recent seasons with guys like Brian Roberts, Kelly Johnson, Jayson Nix, Chris Stewart and Vernon Wells in the lineup on a pretty consistent basis. Unfortunately, I could go on and on with that list.

What the Yankees really lack is a true middle of the order hitter, a real power threat who is one of the best hitters in MLB.…

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Yankees Not Valuing Their Own Free Agents

According to Jon Heyman, the Yankees may be willing to go to four years for free agent reliever Andrew Miller since it will surely take that to sign him. Meanwhile, they are still resistant to make that same commitment to their own free agent reliever David Robertson.

There are some legitimate reasons for this. Miller will cost less because he has less of a track record and the Yankees would gain a draft pick for losing Robertson to another team. However, should a few bucks and a pick really stop them from choosing a guy with a one-year track record over a guy who has been one of the best players on their team over the last six years?

Starting with Robinson Cano last year, this would be the second straight season in which the Yankees let a great homegrown player go, instead choosing outside guys to fill positions of need. These are the Yankees, they’re not supposed to be letting their best guys leave via free agency with their money.…

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Yankees Shortstop Options

It’s no secret that the No.1 thing on Brian Cashman’s winter to do list is to find a replacement for Derek Jeter. Whether that is a short term or long term replacement remains to be seen. The good news is that it will be easy to improve on Jeter’s 2014 season.

The bad news is that the free agency crop of shortstops isn’t very good and full of players who may have to move off the position. The good news is that there are a good number of trade candidates available, but that would of course mean giving up prospects when the Yankees are trying to rebuild their farm system. Lets take a look at the candidates:

Free Agents

Hanley Ramirez- Ramirez represents what might be the greatest risk of any free agent on the market let alone the shortstop market. His bat is still extremely productive and that is huge in this day and age of baseball when offense is limited.…

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McCann and Beltran Rebounding Essential

As the 2014 MLB season closes and we look forward to the hot stove season nobody really knows what the plans for the Yankees are.

My guess would be don’t expect for the Yankees to sign any of the biggest names like Max Scherzer, Jon Lester or Nelson Cruz, but they are still the Yankees and you never know. Hal Steinbrenner has been resistant to having the payroll more than what it was last year. They haven’t traded a big time prospect since Jesus Montero, so it’s hard to see them acquiring a big name via the trade route with their new commitment to building up their farm system.

Other than shortstop, the Yankees have players under contract for big money at all the other positions. That’s likely to hurt them on the market. Why would Pablo Sandoval or Melky Cabrera want to come here with Alex Rodriguez and Carlos Beltran here?

It’s hurts even more when trying to recruit part time players, which the Yankees desperately need with their injury risks.…

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Sandoval and Headley Solid 3B Options

Nick Carfardo of the Boston Globe reported a few days ago that the Yankees, along with the Red Sox and Dodgers, might be willing to offer Pablo Sandoval a five-year, $100 million contract.

Brian Cashman had a more honest quote about Alex Rodriguez during his media tour yesterday after receiving a new three-year contract.

“I don’t think you can assume he can play third base,” Cashman said. “With his age and missing a full year and how it affected Derek [Jeter] and Mark Teixeira. … In the chair I sit in, it’s safer to assume this is something he might not be able to do the whole year.”

This leaves Sandoval and Chase Headley as the best free agent options. Sandoval has been one of the free agents that I have been an advocate of.  Headley’s WAR was 4.4 last year compared to 3.0 for Sandoval. However, much of that is tied to Headley’s defense. FanGraphs had him at 21.6 runs above average on defense and a 20.9 UZR.…

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Health Not All That Ails Yankees

All signs point to Brian Cashman returning as New York Yankees general manager. My feelings about that are mixed. You cannot deny Cashman’s overall success over a long period of time, and he did make several key pickups this season to keep the Yankees in contention.

On the other hand, his farm system has been not been good enough for awhile and it’s clear that the Yankees have to change the way they do things in order to compete in MLB’s new world. Cashman has been GM since 1998, which may be too long for anybody. Sometimes you just need a new voice and new ideas.

If the Yankees did try to replace Cashman there’s no guarantee they would find someone better. However, a recent Cashman quote is concerning to me.

“I honestly believe if you repeated this season 100 times you would not get this result,” Cashman said to John Harper of the New York Daily News

“You’ll see the real Carlos Beltran next year,” he said.

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