More musings on Upton

Yesterday morning, Steve posted about trading for Justin Upton. I’m all for this idea; Upton’s a great talent who’s still under 25 (for about a month or so more) and he’s under team control through 2015. He’d make the Yankees better just like he’d make every other team in the league better if he were traded to them. If the Yankees can get a reasonable deal done in July, they should do it. However, I wonder if they’d be better served waiting for the offseason.

Last night while in the car, I heard Jon Heyman on WFAN, and he seemed to think that the Diamondbacks are seemingly just gauging interest now and will look to move Upton after the season rather than at the trade-deadline. If this comes to pass, I’d like the Yankees to travel down that path. The general thought around the Internet is that any trade the Yankees make for Justin Upton will have to include Ivan Nova.… Click here to read the rest

D.J. Mitchell For Long Reliever

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

The injuries to Michael Pineda and Cesar Cabral this past weekend added a little spice to what was going to be a rather boring final decision on the 25-man roster this week.  The only real question was whether Cabral or Clay Rapada was going to get the final bullpen spot, and no offense to those guys but a “Rapada vs. Cabral” battle doesn’t exactly get the media all stirred up.  A second opening in the bullpen was created when Freddy Garcia was moved into Pineda’s spot in the rotation, and the leading candidates for his long relief role are the trio of D.J. Mitchell, David Phelps, and Adam Warren.  Those names doesn’t exactly sell papers either, but they are the best options to fill what could become an important role in the bullpen once the season starts.  The Yankees could throw a curveball and add another position player or send down Cory Wade, but I’m banking on Joe’s familiarity with Wade being enough to give Wade a spot. … Click here to read the rest

Possible roster permutations without Pineda and Cabral

With the injuries to Michael Pineda and Cesar Cabral, the Yankee roster is definitely going to take a new shape. Clay Rapada‘s spot is all but locked up now and Freddy Garcia will join the starting rotation (for the time being). That leaves the roster looking like this:

C: Russell Martin, Francisco Cervelli
IF: Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Eduardo Nunez, Eric Chavez
OF: Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher, Andruw Jones, Raul Ibanez (DH)
SP: CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes, Freddy Garcia
RP: Mariano Rivera, David Robertson, Rafael Soriano, Boone Logan, Clay Rapada, Cory Wade

That leaves one spot open and there are two ways the team can go with it. They can take someone else to be the long reliever–perhaps D.J. Mitchell or David Phelps–or they could lengthen the bench and give Justin Maxwell a shot before trading him or losing him on the waiver wire.… Click here to read the rest

Nightly Links: Phelps, Mitchell, YES Network

  • The Yankee bats came back to life today in their 8-5 win over the nationals. Michael Pineda got the start today and through 3.2 innings he gave up 4 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, and 4 strikeouts. Though the rabble after the game was about his lack of velocity, the young righty impressed himself with his changeup. Bill Hall had a big game going 2 for 3 with a double and two RBIs. (Box Score)
Click here to read the rest

Nightly Links: Nova, Garcia, Replay

  • We have two games to catch up on tonight. Yesterday the Yankees faced their rival Red Sox in a pitching duel ended by an embarrassing Zoilo Almonte error. The good news is that Ivan Nova looked very good, pitching 4.0 innings and giving up only two hits and earning three strikeouts. Both Mariano Rivera and Boone Logan pitched hitless innings with one strikeout, Rivera earned four outs thanks to a Bill Hall error. David Phelps looked very good in 2.2 innings, giving up two hits, one run on the Almonte error, and drawing five strikeouts. (Box Score)
Click here to read the rest

Poll: Prospect Most Likely To Breakout This Spring

At the moment, any vacancy on the 25 man roster appears to be open for a reliever. Regardless, a strong enough spring could force management to consider one of the organizational prospects. Zoilo Almonte has impressed the most so far, going 5 for 6 with a double and a triple. Top prospects, Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos were scoreless in their debuts. Last year’s Scranton starters David Phelps and D.J. Mitchell were also scoreless, with teammate Adam Warren giving up one run through his first two innings. There’s also David Adams going one for four so far, a strong bat as a middle infielder who was only held back due to injury.

My pick is Zoilo Almonte, who has shown some very impressive numbers at his age, but has struggled when advancing to different levels. An impressive spring from the outfielder could put him in line to replace Nick Swisher after next offseason. The pitchers, Phelps, Mitchell, and Adams, could break camp with the team as a reliever or even as a starter assuming injuries.… Click here to read the rest

Getting To Know Your Bullpen Candidates

Watching the new prospects is my favorite part of spring training. Unless you’re a Trenton or Scranton local, very few of us watch the actual players throw, field, or hit the ball. For me, prospects personify all the statistics and splits I’ve studied, but with a grinning thumbnail. March is when our favorite statistics become real baseball players and it’s exciting to imagine them in a Yankee uniform.

Cesar Cabral knows his bullpen candidates. Do you? Courtesy of Elsa/Getty Images

Outside of Montero, a new position player earning a promotion to the big leagues is a long shot. Barring injury or a gruesome performance, the five starting pitchers have been penciled in. This leads us to the bullpen, and assuming the 25-man roster carries Cervelli as a third catcher, only two slots are vacant. The Yankees have to decide between adding a second LOOGY, long man, or one of the ever so deserving relief pitchers from Scranton.

Brad Meyers and Cesar Cabral, this year’s two Rule 5 draftees, are the first pieces to target.… Click here to read the rest

A look at the Yankees’ in-house pitching depth

The Yankee rotation being in flux going into the season is a story we have heard before, and it resolved itself quite nicely in 2011 with the emergence of Ivan Nova and surprising seasons from Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon.  Going into 2012, the back of the rotation will be in a similar situation.

CC Sabathia will once again head the rotation, and Ivan Nova has also locked up a spot following an impressive rookie season.  Phil Hughes and AJ Burnett don’t have guaranteed rotation spots, but Phil’s potential and AJ’s salary make it very likely that they will be starting for the Yankees in 2012 barring a trade.  Rumors have circulated suggesting that there is mutual interest in a Freddy Garcia reunion, so Garcia could very well be back in pinstripes.

Those 5 could very well be in the starting rotation when the beginning of the season rolls around, but history suggests that most teams will need at least 6-7 starters over the course of a season due to injury and volatility.  … Click here to read the rest

Romine Gushes about System’s Pitching

An on going theme of 2010 for the Yankees has been the vast improvement of the minor league system. What was once barren has now been replenished. There may be some kinks to work out–a few more potential impact position players would be nice–but behind Jesus Montero, there are definitely some high quality arms we could see either this season or in the next one or two.

Adding to the praise of the revamped Yankee farm system is catching prospect Austin Romine. In a recent blog post by the Daily News’s Anthony McCarron, Romine spoke of the talent in the Yankees farm system.

“There are so many good pitchers in our organization and it’s being overlooked. DJ Mitchell, (David) Phelps, (Dellin) Betances, (Andrew) Brackman. They’re all really good. I had the good fortune to catch a few of them in Double A and see them go up and I’m really proud of that.

We’ve, rightly, heard a lot about Betances and Brackman this season.… Click here to read the rest