An Open Letter To D-Rob

Courtesy of Getty Images

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

Dear Dave,

Can I call you Dave?  Is that cool?  First off, let me just say that I’m a huge fan.  I’ve been a fan of yours ever since you first came up.  Love the escape acts, love the high socks, love the strikeouts, love the whole deal.  But you haven’t really looked like yourself on the mound lately and I think I know what the problem is.  It’s the cutter.  Look, I get that Mo is a great pitcher and a great teammate, and has the reputation of passing on the secrets of his cutter to any pitcher who wants to try and learn it.  As a Major League Baseball player, I imagine getting advice from Mariano Rivera on throwing a cutter is equivalent to mere mortals sitting at the right hand of Zeus while he rules the cosmos and tosses lightning bolts down on people, and I certainly don’t blame you for trying to drink from that fountain of cutter knowledge. …

2012: A Freak Injury Odyssey

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

As they are in every other sport, injuries are a big part of baseball.  They affect the good teams and the bad, and a team’s ability to overcome its injuries and still produce and win is what separates the great teams from the good.  It would be completely unreasonable to expect your team to not get bitten by the injury bug at some point, and the unpredictable nature of injuries makes it almost impossible to plan for.  All of that being what it is, it’s fair to say that the 2012 season has been irregularly unpredictable and unkind to the Yankees in the injury department, to the point that it’s downright freaky.  It doesn’t just seem like it’s every week that we’re all scrambling to our computers or smart phones to write or read the latest “BREAKING NEWS!!!!!111!!!” story on a major injury to a key player; that’s almost literally the way it’s gone for the Yankees this season, and it goes all the way back to Spring Training.…

Triple-R: The Bullpen

Any discussion about the Yankee bullpen starts and ends with this man. Courtesy of UPI/John Angelillo.

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

Since I did such a bang up job predicting the rotation that will no longer include almost half of the analyzed members, I figured I might as well see this series all the way through to its conclusion.  With what happened last time, maybe there’s some Triple-R karma left over from the Pineda trade and a few days after this is posted the Yankees will somehow add Craig Kimbrel and Sean Marshall to the bullpen before the season starts.  But if not, here’s what we can expect from the current members of the Yankee ‘pen.

Mariano Rivera- Remain

At this point, history, logic, and conventional wisdom can basically go out the window with Mo.  He is doing things in his 40s and performing at a level that nobody else in sports, save for maybe Nicklas Lidstrom, is doing. …

Do The Yankees Really Need Another Lefty Reliever?

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

While this offseason has been mostly an inactive one for the Yankees, one thing they have gone after consistently is cheap pitching depth.  From re-signing Freddy Garcia to another team-friendly one-year deal to taking low-risk flyers on guys like Adam Miller, Brad Meyers, and Matt Daley, the Yankees have definitely given themselves plenty of options to choose from when it comes to filling out their Major League and Triple-A pitching staffs for 2012.  Among this smorgasbord of lower-level talent is a collection of left-handed relief pitchers (Cesar Cabral, Mike O’Conner, and Hideki Okajima) from which the Yankees will presumably look to fill the “2nd bullpen lefty” role that was left vacant in 2011 thanks to injuries suffered by the now departed Damaso Marte and the still being paid Pedro Feliciano.  But in looking at how the team, and the bullpen, will likely be constructed in 2012, is a 2nd lefty reliever something the Yankees should even be pursuing?…

Demoting Robertson?

Via Joel Sherman of the NY Post:

David Robertson has not thrown the ball well from late in spring training right through this early season. Now keep in mind that it is both early and that the Yankees like Robertson a lot. They not only love his stuff, but think that he is tough-minded and can handle big situations even in the AL East and The Bronx.

But he is young and he does have options, and the Yanks have alternatives they like. Both Boone Logan and Mark Melancon left positive impressions in spring training, and both have gotten off very well in small samples early this season at Triple A: Logan has allowed no runs in 4 1-3 innings with no walks and seven strikeouts while Melancon has permitted one run in six innings with one walk and seven strikeouts. In addition, after a horrible spring, Jonathan Albaladejo has righted at Triple-A with one run and seven strikeouts in five innings.

Ways To Improve The Yankees Now

Pete Abe comes through with a list of suggestions for improving the Yankees now:

More Brett Gardner: The Little G is 15 of his last 43 and has his batting average up to .284 with a .358 OBP. Melky Cabrera is 12 of 62 since his shoulder injury in Texas. He is down to .282 with a .340 OBP. Melky has more power and should play his share. But Gardner could add the energy the Yankees have lacked lately and is a superior defender.

Definitely agree with this. Brett Gardner at an OBP near .360 is a huge asset. I still like Melky and think that he should be given a shot to pull out of his slump, but Gardy should probably get 3-4 games a week subbing in for the three outfielders and Hideki Matsui.

More Dave Robertson: He has 23 strikeouts in 14.2 innings (59 in 45 career innings) and deserves more late-game, high-leverage opportunities. Joe Girardi is in love with Phil Coke and that is going to come back to bite him someday soon.