Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 11/14/14

It’s finally Friday! This isn’t quite a linkapalooza but here are some stories for you to look at on this lovely, cold November afternoon:

Enjoy your day!

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Early Offseason Big Picture: Optimism vs Pessimism re 2015 – a Group Chat

Scott:The Worst is Yet to Come,” happy sunshine guy Dan Szymborski reports in predicting late-stage-empire decay of the post-90s/2000s Yankees. Let’s discuss: Agree or disagree?

         Quick initial take: Agree with Dan that (a) declining oldsters are preventing improvement at many positions, (b) imminent help from the farm is modest, and (c) the free agent pool has gotten shallower now that teams extend young talent before free agency. On the other hand, (a) they’re already an above-average team, (b) some free-agent and rookie talent infusions are likely for 2015-16, and (c) they won’t lose literally a whole rotation (5 starters) to injury every year (like in 2014), right? Can the impending improvements exceed the impending declines enough to net the several extra wins they need to make the playoffs?

William: My take on it is this: Predicting gloom and doom sells papers and creates pageviews and makes off season people read ZiPS. Teams like the Orioles in 2014 and yes, the Royals and Giants show that a lot has to go right for a team to get the golden apple and a lot can go wrong too.…

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Thursday Afternoon Open Thread: A Search for a Shortstop

Well, this is the most obvious statement ever so let’s discuss possible shortstop candidates, shall we? Have fun with it and be respectful to your fellow readers.

Here’s the list of free agents to choose from.

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Quick hit: The Yankees are still looking for a hitting coach

When the Yankees fired Kevin Long last month, it seemed like the hunt for a new hitting coach could be quick and easy. There were candidates for the job, discussions with Raul Ibanez, interviews with guys like Dave Magadan and Chili Davis,now and then nothing. Ibanez is on the “short list” for the Tampa managerial job, Magadan didn’t get the job, Davis took the Red Sox job and even after interviewing internal candidates like Marcus Thames and minor league hitting instructor James Rowson, the Yankees are no closer to getting a hitting coach than they were a month ago. Long recovered quickly, accepting the Mets’ hitting coach job two weeks after being fired by the Yanks.

So what gives? It’s probably nothing monumental, the Yankees are more than likely just being picky about who they hire.

GM Brian Cashman told reporters in Phoenix that he doesn’t have a timetable for making a new hire and that he has also toyed with the idea of creating a position for an assistant hitting coach.…

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Wilson-Cervelli: Quick Takes + a Worry about Lost Depth

Wow, is my timing awesome: on Tuesday, I write a hosanna to Francisco Cervelli’s bright 2015 future of increased Yankee playing time, but apparently Brian Cashman disagrees or (gasp) doesn’t read me, because he traded Cervelli the next day for LHP Justin Wilson. I feel like Karl Rove on election night 2012 screaming about how Romney is still winning right as his fellow Fox Newsers gave up the ghost. So, a few quick takes on the trade:

(1) Don’t Cry for Me, Venezuela. I praised Cervelli as an above-par catcher who could free up Brian McCann both to rest and to spell Teixeria — but I can’t fault Cashman for trading him. In retrospect, I may have lowballed Cervelli’s injury history, especially his 2014 migraines, which don’t seem major, except that migraines are a known problem for folks who have had concussions. I still think the Yankees were a better team with than without him, but he’s not exactly indispensable or reliable.…

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Yankees trade Cervelli to the Pirates

Jon Heyman is reporting that the Yankees have traded catcher Francisco Cervelli to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Yankees are getting left hander Justin Wilson in return.

Cervelli, who had been with the Yankees since 2008, has 10 home runs, 92 RBI and 191 hits in his career. He played in a career high 93 games in 2010 but his time with the Yankees has been hampered by injuries.

Here’s video of his first home run with the Yankees in June 2009:

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Midweek Open Thread: 11/12/14

This is your open thread for the evening.

It’s Wednesday night so there’s a new Top Chef Boston episode on. You can also watch the Knicks lose to the Magic. Well, I’m assuming that’s what’s going to happen… I could be wrong.

Here’s a vine for you to watch. It has nothing to do with baseball or sports. I just think it’s funny.

Enjoy your evening!

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MLB announces new “Pitch Smart” initiative

This afternoon, Joe Torre and MLB announced a new initiative to help young pitchers avoid elbow injuries called pitchsmart.org. It is made up of “A series of practical, age-appropriate guidelines to help parents, players and coaches avoid overuse injuries and foster long, healthy careers for youth pitchers.”

Here’s Torre’s statement:

The website is basically one-stop shopping for everything you need to know about pitching and preventing injuries.

  • There are pitching guidelines for different age ranges: 8 & under, 9-12, 13-14, and 15-18.
  • A video about risk factors and a survey to figure out if your child is at risk for an elbow injury.
  • A Tommy John Surgery FAQ
  • The advisory committee is headed by Dr. James Andrews, a founding member of the Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center and the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, Alabama. He’s also the man you want to see if you have an elbow problem.
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Report: D-Rob wants all the money

A baseball official told ESPN New York that closer David Robertson is looking for “Papelbon money.”

In case you have forgotten what that is:

In 2011, the Philadelphia Phillies signed Jonathan Papelbon to the richest overall reliever contract, a four-year, $50 million deal. If Papelbon finishes 15 games in 2015, his contract vests for a fifth year at another $13 million, making it a total of five years and $63 million.

Robertson, in his first year as a closer, and while following in the giant footsteps of Mariano Rivera, finished 2014 with a 4-5 record, a 3.08 ERA, and he converted 39 saves in 44 opportunities.

He turned down a $15.3M qualifying offer (just like everyone else who was offered one) which would have made him the highest paid closer ever but it’s obvious he’s looking for a longer deal – probably 3-4 years.

If Robertson does go elsewhere, and so far, the only Tigers seem to be out on getting D-Rob, the Yankees have Dellin Betances waiting in the wings.…

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