The NY Spring Training Double Standard

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod) Lost in all the talk about Ivan Nova‘s command, Andy Pettitte‘s return, and Michael Pineda‘s velocity is the rather pedestrian spring being had by another Yankee starting pitcher.  This pitcher has made only 4 official starts this spring and in those 4 starts has thrown 14.0 total innings.  In those 14 innings, he has allowed 7 earned runs on 19 combined hits and walks while striking only 10.  As a back-of-the-rotation candidate, these numbers could be acceptable.  For a guy being paid top dollar who is expected to anchor the starting rotation of Continue reading The NY Spring Training Double Standard

The Importance Of Spring Training

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod) No one needs to be reminded of how unimportant Spring Training stats are (but if you did, there’s another reminder).  But what about the overall format of Spring Training itself?  It’s structured such that players are eased into full-scale baseball activities, but how much do they really need that structure?  Every player is different and needs to do different things to get themselves into full game shape.  Some guys need lots of time in the cage and on the field to get right and some like Mo seem to be Continue reading The Importance Of Spring Training

Spring Training Stock Market: Stock Down

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod) We covered the guys off to good starts on Tuesday.  Today it’s the other side of the coin.  Here are the guys who aren’t exactly lighting the world on fire in camp over the first 2+ weeks. Raul Ibanez– Ibanez was the Yankees’ lefty DH option of choice this offseason, and so far they are giving him a serious test drive to see what they can get out of him.  Ibanez has been in the lineup at DH, LF, and RF, and currently leads the team with 24 plate appearances.  Continue reading Spring Training Stock Market: Stock Down

Don’t Worry, A .650 is Just Fine

A 1-0 loss to the Red Sox? A pitchers duel between a pair of talented young starting pitchers, one on each side of the legendary rivalry? Under normal circumstances last night’s game in Tampa would have been a dagger to the heart of Yankees fans. But of the course the game was played in Tampa and had no bearing on American League Eastern division standings. The Yankees, 5-7 and near the bottom of the Grapefruit League, started Doug Bernier at shortstop. The Red Sox, a much better 7-2, played Alex Hassan in left. The game didn’t matter – or rather, Continue reading Don’t Worry, A .650 is Just Fine

Spring Training Stock Market: Stock Up

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod) We’re over two weeks into Spring Training now, and over a week into the game schedule.  Pitchers still aren’t stretched out long enough to throw a full outing, and position players are still only playing half a game at most, but there’s been just enough baseball activity to start noticing some trends in players’ performance.  While the majority of the media focus so far has been on the trends of the rotation candidates, and with good reason since that part of the team still has the most unanswered questions right Continue reading Spring Training Stock Market: Stock Up

Spring Training Storylines I’ll Be Following

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod) The wait is almost over, friends.  We’re just a handful of days away from finally being able to talk about real, actual, on-the-field baseball again.  Pitchers and catchers are expected to officially report this coming Sunday, but if you’re a daily follower of the Yankee blogopshere you already know that players have been trickling into the facility at Tampa since last week.  The team appears to be stoked that baseball is starting up again and ready to get back to work, and that makes me even more stoked for Spring Continue reading Spring Training Storylines I’ll Be Following

Breaking Down Manny Banuelos’ Latest Outing

Yesterday’s Spring Training game against the Boston Red Sox allowed me to get my first glimpse of Manny Banuelos in game action, and it was hard not to come away impressed.  Overall, Banuelos threw 2 scoreless innings, striking out 3 and allowing a double and a walk.  He faced a lineup that was mostly major leaguers, and did not look overmatched.   He threw 28 pitches, including 20 fastballs, 5 changeups, and 3 curveballs.  The fastball ranged in velocity from 92-96 mph, with the change consistently in the low 80’s, and the curve in the high 70’s.  He was able Continue reading Breaking Down Manny Banuelos’ Latest Outing

The 25th Man: Eric Chavez?

Joel Sherman checked in this morning with a blurb about the Yankees’ final roster spot: You have the 12-man staff. You have a set nine-man lineup (again assuming no injuries) comprised of Russell Martin, Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher and Jorge Posada. That gets you to 21 of the 25 players. Andruw Jones will be the main backup outfielder. That is 22. There will be a backup catcher, which almost certainly comes down to Francisco Cervelli vs. Jesus Montero. That is 23. One utility player must be able to play shortstop, Continue reading The 25th Man: Eric Chavez?

Thoughts from the Yankees' first 2011 game action

The Yankees kicked their 2011 Grapefruit League schedule off this afternoon against the 2011 World Series Champion (too soon?) Phillies, losing 5-4. Rather than author my regular comprehensive and authoritative game recap, given the whole exhibitioness of it all I wanted to share a few bullet point observations: – Bartolo Colon threw two innings of one-run ball, and looked OK save for a Ben Francisco triple. He started out the game throwing a troubling 89mph fastball, but dialed it all the way up to 94mph in his second inning of work. I still don’t expect much of anything out of Continue reading Thoughts from the Yankees' first 2011 game action