Quick Hit: Joe’s Early Decisions

I don’t want this to come off like I’m criticizing the manager or trying to play Monday morning quarterback with his decisions, because that’s not my intention.  Just like it’s far too early to make too much of the players’ performance, 8 games is hardly a sizable enough sample to start nitpicking the managerial decisions and blaming the manager for losses.  There have been a few moves that I’ve found particularly puzzling in these first 8 games, however, and I feel like I need to at least get them out of my head and onto the blog for the sake of discussion.

It all really started with the 19-inning game on Friday.  Since then, it seems like it’s been a nonstop rotation of rest days for multiple guys at a time and a very strict use of the platoon rule.  I understand Friday night was a whale of a game to play in this early in the season and I fully respect Joe’s desire to make sure his age 30 and up veteran core gets enough time to recover.  …

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Tanaka looks to rebound against the Red Sox

Tanaka vs TOR 2015

Courtesy of the AP

This early in the season, you want to find positives about the Yankees.

Yet this team has made it difficult with its blunders on defense, mistakes on the base paths and the poor hitting thus far. However, even after all that, one of the biggest topics that New York is going to face this year is the effectiveness of Masahiro Tanaka.

The Yankees signed Tanaka for $155 million for seven years. Last season, he suffered a partial tear of the UCL of his right elbow, and after his terrible first start of 2015 many have wondered why Tanaka didn’t just get Tommy John surgery since all the cool kids are doing it.

The Yankees have said that Tanaka is still working back and haven’t sounded the alarms just yet.

“This is not totally shocking,” Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild told reporters. “I think he’s still in the process of building arm strength and everything. His arm strength is not far off.…

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Sunday Morning Musings: 4/12/15

Before we get into the musings, I’d like to announce that I’ll be getting off the sidelines and doing my part to help the Yankees turn this season-opening slump around.  No, I won’t be attending the game tonight, but in a way I will be.  Those who remember my AB4AR days may remember some of my drunk Sunday Night Baseball live blogs.  They were a way for me to celebrate the Yankees being on national TV and I’m pretty positive the team has a .400 record or so when I do them, so I’m taking that tradition to Twitter tonight and drunk live tweeting the hell out of this game.

A stagnant offense, an inept defense, a chance to get swept at home by the Yankees’ biggest rivals, Masahiro Tanaka pitching with the ESPN crew there to diagnose his elbow problems, a fridge full of beer, and a fully-charged phone.  What could possibly go wrong?  For those interested in being a part of this most time-honored tradition, feel free to follow me.

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Transition and Tradition

Judge ST

How long until Judge-ment day? Courtesy of USA TODAY Sports

I have to admit that I am a bit lost. I don’t know how to love these Yankees. Oh boy…that doesn’t sound very journalistic. Well, heck. I’m not a journalist. I have always written from the point of view of a fan. My name on Twitter should give you a clue. On my site, I stay neutral and write as a fan of baseball as a whole. When I write for IIATMS, I am a Yankee fan. That’s what I am. And as such, I don’t know how to feel about this 2015 team.

Oh, there are plenty of writers that will tell me how I should feel. The team is old. Our writers have already blown up that notion. The starting pitching is a time bomb. Excuse me, but every rotation in baseball is a time bomb. Any rotation can blow up in the blink of an elbow. I should be dissatisfied because there were no big deals this off season.…

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Tales of media desperation: Overreacting after one game

panicbutton

My goodness. From the way some New York sports media columnists are reacting today you would have thought that the Yankees had never previously lost a game on opening day. How quickly people forget the 2009 debacle when the newly minted, high-priced ace CC Sabathia laid a big ‘ol egg against a pretty bad Baltimore Oriole squad in Camden Yards. Or even better that year’s home opener when Sabathia, again, had a disastrous start at the grand unveiling of the new stadium. Now, before you even ask, “How can you compare this team to 2009’s squad?” I am not doing that at all. I am just saying that the Yankees losing on opening day is not a new thing. Remember last year against the Astros?

Maybe it’s because Alex Rodriguez was cheered during the player intros, didn’t look lost at the plate and ultimately didn’t give them anything negative to write about so all of the doom and gloom transferred onto poor Masahiro Tanaka, who while not having a great Opening Day, didn’t exactly give up 11 runs in two innings.…

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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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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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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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