Joe Names First Three Spring Training Starters

This was supposed to be announced yesterday, but Joe wanted to wait a day and reconvene with his staff after the rainout before making the call.  The reconvening has been done, the decisions have been made, and the announcement is all but official.  Via Wally Matthews, the first 3 Spring Training starters will be Adam Warren, Nathan Eovaldi, and Esmil Rogers.  Warren gets the ST opener on Tuesday, Eovaldi will throw Wednesday, and Rogers Thursday.

The decision to start Warren and Rogers early is hardly a surprising one.  With both of them being told to stretch out and prepare as starters this offseason, they’re a step or 2 ahead of the rest of the rotation in terms of game readiness.  They also don’t have lingering injury concerns like most of the other projected starters.

Eovaldi got an early start on his spring activities as well, so it’s exciting to see him get one of the early game assignments.  …

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Saturday Morning News And Notes: 2/28/15

Have people been watching what Russell Westbrook has been doing?  Dude is out of control right now.  Must-watch TV.  Now here are some of the small Yankee-centric stories that I didn’t get to yesterday:

Brendan Ryan became the first player to suffer a ST injury when it was announced that he strained his back lifting weights.  He’s expected to miss less than a week, but you never know with back injuries.  Remember that Ryan missed all of camp and the start of the regular last year with back problems.

Via Ben Badler, the Yanks will have a spending pool of $2,262,800 for the 2015-2016 international free agent period.  Because they exceeded their spending limit this period, they will be unable to offer any contracts over 300k next year.  From what I’ve read, that means they won’t get a shot at 18-year-old Cuban pitching prospect Yadier Alvarez, who won’t be cleared in time to sign before the end of the 2014-2015 period.…

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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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Midweek morning roundup: 2/25/15

Mark Teixeira reported to camp two days after Alex Rodriguez but people aren’t badmouthing him because of it. They’re badmouthing him instead, because he claims he feels healthy this year. God forbid a dude claims to be healthy though I kind of see the naysayers’ point of view: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me a few times, I’m obviously a gullible moron.

Anyway, Tex had a lot to say this morning and thanks to the tireless efforts of the beat writers down in Tampa, we don’t have to wait for entire articles to be written. We have their tweets!

I singled out Bryan Hoch of MLB.com for today:

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Quick Hit: Nova Back On The Mound

While people continue to lament the loss of Moncada and Alex Rodriguez continues to be a miserable human being by working out, taking morning BP, and signing autographs for fans, there are some other legitimately important things happening in the early days of Yankee camp.  Like this little nugget of info.  Did you know that Ivan Nova is back to throwing regular bullpen sessions off a mound?  Me neither.  But he is.  Has been for a while.

A whole bunch of different beat reporters had the details earlier today, but the long and short of it is that Nova threw a 25-pitch session this morning of all fastballs.  It was the 3rd all-heater session he’s had, and he explained that the plan is to throw 1 more of these type of bullpens before mixing in changeups, and then another 4 fastball-changeup sessions before working breaking balls back in.

Nova told reporters he was “excited” to be back on the mound but added that he realizes he still has a long way to go and is staying focused on “just taking it day by day” right now, which is the right attitude to have.  …

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Moncada Updates: Decision By 2/23, The $100 Million Man?

Haven’t talked about Yoan Moncada lately, so let’s catch up on the newest news on that front.

The biggest news came about a day ago, when in a story by Jerry Crasnick of ESPN, Moncada’s representative said the plan is for Moncada to make his signing decision by Monday, February 23rd.  David Hastings, Moncada’s rep, said they have a more private workouts scheduled for next week, including a handful of “look backs” by teams who have already held a private workout, and that they want to make the decision after those workouts are completed.

This morning, Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the expected price tag for Moncada has risen to the $40-50 million range, making it a $100 million investment with the tax.  That’s a huge chunk of change for a 19-year-old player who won’t be playing at the MLB level for a few years, so that should tell you something about how good Moncada is and can be and how well baseball is doing financially when teams can take that kind of financial risk.…

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Report: Yankees Sign RHP Kyle Davies To A Minor League Deal

James Shields?  Who needs him when you’ve got Kyle Davies around, right?  Via Sweeny Murti, the Yanks have signed Davies to a MiL contract, one that presumably comes with an invitation to Spring Training.

You might remember Davies from his days in Kansas City.  If you don’t, that’s probably because he hasn’t pitched in the Majors since 2011.  He posted an ugly 6.75 ERA and less ugly 4.39 FIP in 13 starts for the Royals then, and he’s been toiling around in the Minors ever since.  In 2014 he pitched to a not terrible 4.11/3.98 split in 124.2 IP for the Cleveland Triple-A affiliate.

Davies was never much as a pitcher when he was in his prime.  He owns a measly 15.7% career K rate and poor 10.6% BB rate.  He also had troubles with the long ball and has a career GB rate under 40%, so even at his best he would be a terrible fit in Yankee Stadium.  …

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Monday Morning News And Notes: 2/9/15

It’s Monday morning, we’re almost into single digit territory on the pitchers and catchers report date countdown, here’s what’s going on:

– The big news of the morning is James Shields signing with the San Diego Padres.  Via Chris Cotillo, it’s a 4-year deal for somewhere between $72-78 million.  The Pads were the favorites to land him for most of last week, so good on them for following through.  I absolutely love what AJ Preller has done with that team this offseason.

I was a fan of the Yankees getting in on Shields when his asking price reportedly started coming down last week, and for the first day or 2 it seemed like they were doing that.  That quickly fell apart as teams like the Padres and Cubs came forward, so in the end it was probably nothing more than the Yanks checking up, seeing what kind of deal Shields was looking for, and cutting bait when it was still 4 years.  …

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Yankees Announce Full List Of Non-Roster ST Invites

Pitchers and catchers are a little more than 2 weeks away from reporting to Spring Training 2015.  Today the Yankees revealed a bunch more names that will be in attendance on that date as they officially announced their full list of non-roster invitations to spring camp.

The list is headlined by top prospects Luis Severino, Aaron Judge, Jacob Lindgren, Greg Bird, Rob Refsnyder, and Jake Cave.  I believe it’s the first ST invite for all of them.  A group of top MiL relief prospects also got the nod: Nick Rumbelow, Tyler Webb, Nick Goody, and James Pazos.

The 6 players who signed MiL deals all had those formally announced today, confirming their participation in spring camp.  Those 6, if you don’t remember all of them, include IFers Cole Figueroa, Jonathan Galvez, and Nick Noonan, catchers Juan Graterol and Eddy Rodriguez, and RHP Scott Baker.  I’d say Baker actually has the best chance to make the Opening Day roster from this group.…

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