No Cause For Concern: Tanaka Continues To Be A-OK In Early Spring

Masahiro Tanaka

Courtesy of the AP

The early morning headline from yesterday’s full-squad workout was Masahiro Tanaka throwing his latest bullpen session.  It was a step up in intensity for him, 40 pitches of harder throwing than he had been doing, and both Tanaka and Larry Rothschild felt good about how the session went:

Tanaka- “I think I was throwing with more force than the last bullpen.  As far as hitting the spots, the location goes, I think it was better than the last bullpen as well. … I feel that I’m on the right track. Going through the workouts and going through the bullpen today also, it does give me confidence that I’m moving in the right direction.”

Roth- “He threw great.  Everything is progressing the way we like, so we’ll just keep going. … No (restrictions). We’re just bringing him along at a pace that he’s more accustomed to. A little different schedule as far as not trying to put a lot of pitches on him in a three- or four-day period, but still get him built up and get the stamina built up.

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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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Dear Writers, This is not the Bronx Zoo

Dear Bob Nightengale (and others),

The statement above is not true in any way. The infamous “Bronx Zoo” era of Yankee baseball was a lot more chaotic, there was a lot more infighting and it was nothing like the current state of Yankee baseball.

Are things perfect for the Yankees right now? Not by a long shot but things are not out of control in any way.

As far as you and I know, Alex Rodriguez showed up to camp a couple of days early, hit some balls out of the park, practiced in the field and then signed autographs for fans as he was leaving the complex. At least that’s what every writer’s tweets, pictures and videos showed us this afternoon and evening.

Oh do you mean that the coverage is crazy? Well, this is New York and this is how things happen around here.…

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Spring Training has officially started!

Alex Rodriguez has arrived.

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Why I’m Only Pretty Sure I’m Ticked They Let Moncada Go

Wow, my timing remains great: I write an ode to Frankie Cervelli one day before he’s unexpectedly traded, then a brief supporting a Moncada signing one day before he becomes a Red Sock. Feel free to hit me up for stock or pony tips, because I’m clearly clairvoyant. Anyhow, I’m ticked they didn’t get him, but it’s very possible I’m wrong:

(1) To start with, he seems worth it even if you’re not a cockeyed optimist. Even if he’s not at the level of a #1-2 overall draftee, and instead is only the 8th-15th best draftee, that’s good for an expected 11.5 WAR in his six team-controlled years, and $60m is well-below-market for that. And if he’s really a #1-2, his expected production is then easily double his pricetag, given that (as the same linked article shows) you can expect 24-28 WAR in the first six years of a #1-2 overall draftee.

(2) But the Yankees and all other teams declined to bid $70-80m after seeing him repeatedly, and we non-insiders saw him zero times.…

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Quick hit: Going, going, Yoan.

The Red Sox are in the midst of signing Yoan Moncada. The deal is said to be in the $30M range and the Sox have until July 15 to pay the overage tax and will then have up to three years to pay Moncada’s bonus.

I guess the Yankees just weren’t into Moncada after those three workouts. Or maybe they’re just being really cheap. Who knows.

UPDATE:

ANOTHER UPDATE:

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One Last Moncada Analysis: Why He’s Worth the First Nine-Figure Prospect Signing

A Yoan Moncada signing may be imminent, with Hank Steinbrenner attending Moncada’s notable third private workout with the Yankees just days ago, so I’ll take this last chance to weigh in on whether he’s worth the small fortune he’ll cost. My first thought was: No way is a 19 year-old amateur worth the $80-$100m we hear he may get. My second thought was: Come to think of it, I have no idea what a top draft pick is really worth to a team. Team owners prevent American amateurs from earning their true value by agreeing to sign them only in a “draft” — i.e., a cartel agreement that each player will get an offer from only one employer, not from multiple employers bidding for his services. I’ll leave for another day my tirade about how badly baseball owners violate free-market economics and morality by being tied with OPEC as the top billionaires-for-cartelization club. But the point is that the several million it takes to sign a top draft pick is his cartel-depressed price, not his value to his team.…

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Quick hit: Spring Training game schedules

Here are links to the Spring Training game schedules for the YES Network, MLB Network and MLB.TV:

YES Network
MLB Network
MLB.TV

The first game is a week from Tuesday (3/3) and will be shown, delayed, on MLB Network.

We’re getting there. Just a few more days.

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Sunday morning roundup: 2/22/15

Here are some tweets and articles about Spring Training for you to look at:

EL DUQUE!!

Nathan Eovaldi throwing some heat

Happy Sunday!

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