Yanks Still Mining For Injured/Rehabbing Roster Gold

Johan Bullpen 2012


In the never-ending quest to add more pitching depth, the Yankees were among several teams on hand to watch Johan Santana throw in Florida yesterday.  He’s attempting to work his way back from a second shoulder capsule surgery in less than 3 years and the Yanks have been linked to him for months.  According to George King, Santana was sitting 77-78 MPH with his velocity and he maxed out at 81.  That is a far cry from the upper-80s he was throwing the last time he was on a Major League mound, and while King did say his changeup looked “impressive”, I question whether Major League hitters would feel the same when it’s coming at them at basically the same speed as his fastball.

The long and short of it is that Santana doesn’t look like a viable option to bring aboard as additional Triple-A rotation insurance, at least not until he builds up more arm strength and gets his velocity back into the mid-80s.  …

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Tanaka to debut on Saturday

Per Chad Jennings of Lohud:

Masahiro Tanaka will make his Yankees spring training debut on Saturday. But he won’t be starting.


CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda and Tanaka will all pitch in Saturday’s game against the Phillies. Sabathia will be the starter. All three will be expected to go two innings or 35 pitches.


After Saturday, those three will be separated, with Tanaka occasionally getting extra rest along the way.

Saturday’s game will be broadcast on YES and on MLB Network.

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No Drew. No Diaz. Now What?

AP Photo/Gail Burton

AP Photo/Gail Burton

It’s been a head scratching offseason of doubling back on commitments and pleasing the fanbase. After blowing past the $189 million budget, the Yankees surprised many by signing Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, and Masahiro Tanaka. After a season of watching platoon players forced into full time rolls, the spending spree is an exciting sign that the team is back to spending.

Though they’ve committed so much money this offseason, the Yankees’ are still far below their 2013 payroll and without a dynamic infield. Sometime around the Winter Meetings, Brian Cashman was quoted saying that he’d like to add 1 or 2 more weapons to his lineup, and return to a top 3 offense in baseball. Instead, the team signed Brian Roberts and Scott Sizemore, neither of which can be considered offensive weapons. Before signing Tanaka, rumors were that the Yankees had a standing offer to Drew, supposedly 2 years at $20 million, but after signing Tanaka, Hal Steinbrenner put a stop to spending.…

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Getting Stoked For Tanaka’s Spring Training Outings

Masahiro Tanaka

Later today, the Yankees will take the field for their Spring Training opener against Florida State.  Vidal Nuno will get the ball to start and he’ll be followed up by Ivan Nova, David Phelps, and Adam Warren over the next 3 games. The competition for the 5th starter spot will be the leading storyline for the early ST games, and that’s to be expected with that group of pitchers being further along than their veteran counterparts and with the other 4 rotation spots setting in stone.

While he hasn’t has his name penciled into a date for his ST debut yet, Masahiro Tanaka took another step towards that debut when he threw his second batting practice session yesterday morning.  As he did after the first session on Friday, Tanaka drew praise from the coaches who watched him and the batters who faced him.  His splitter is already creating a lot of buzz in camp for its sharp movement and how difficult it is to identify coming out of his hand, and each time he throws, more excitement builds for his first outing.  …

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Today’s lineup vs. Florida State: 2/25/14

It’s a lineup! Baseball is starting! (Sort of)

Gardner 8
Cervelli 2
Johnson 5
Canzler 3
Almonte 7
Ryan 6
Garcia 9
Solarte 4
Murphy DH

Nuno 1

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Late afternoon news and notes: 2/24/14

Good afternoon!

Here are some stories for you to peruse. Feel free to use this as tonight’s open thread as well.


And finally, caption this picture from Spring Training a few years back:



Enjoy your evening!

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Lots of Backup Catcher Options

Last season, the Yankees catchers position was among the worst in all of MLB. Collectively Yankee catchers hit .213/.287/.298/.585 with a 61 wRC+ and a .266 wOBA.

The Yankees solved that problem for this season by signing Brian McCann. McCann is one of the best all around catchers in MLB and should be able to take advantage of the short porch in right field. Also, he should be a good leader going forward in a time when the Yankees will be looking for new leaders.

McCann will be a huge upgrade over Chris Stewart and as long as he stays healthy he will be a key cog in the middle of the order. Austin Romine, J.R. Murphy and Francisco Cervelli are three intriguing options to backup McCann. This will be one of the key battles to watch in spring training.

Cervelli is the only one of the three without minor league options, so if he loses the job he becomes trade bait.…

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Projecting 2014: David Robertson

Associated Press

Associated Press

One of the biggest storylines entering the 2014 season will be the loss of Mariano Rivera. Since 1997, the Yankees have implemented the best closer in the history of the sport. Following his retirement, the organization didn’t have to look far to find his replacement. Since 2009, David Robertson was groomed to be Rivera’s replacement, and in 2011, Robertson took the most out of playing with Rivera by learning the cutter and copying the closer’s mechanics.

Robertson finished 2011 with a 1.08 ERA, a 13.5 K/9, and even a few MVP and Cy Young votes. Since then, Robertson’s strikeout numbers have remained high, and his command has improved drastically. Where he used to own a BB/9 in the upper-4′s, Robertson averaged a 2.6 BB/9 over the last two seasons. Robertson’s 2.34 ERA over the last two years, and improvements in strikeouts, ground balls, and command, have convinced the Yankees that their next great closer is David Robertson.

Robertson’s cutter has grown closer to Rivera’s yearly, but the pitch is still significantly different.…

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Ellsbury, Gardner, And The Change In Yankee Philosophy

Gardner New Deal Media

When the Yankees signed Jacoby Ellsbury, it looked like the writing was on the wall for Brett Gardner.  He was being replaced as the starting center fielder and leadoff hitter heading into his final arb-eligible year.  The Yankees had just committed $153 million to a player with an almost identical skill set as his, there was no way they were going to entertain the idea of re-signing Gardner and carrying 2 speedy, low-power outfielders for the next X number of years.  They’d make Gardner a qualifying offer after the 2014 season, he’d decline, they’d recoup a draft pick, and he’d sign a 4 or 5-year deal somewhere else to be that team’s starting center fielder and leadoff hitter.

Almost immediately the rumor mill fired up with potential trade partners for the Yankees to move Gardner.  The prevailing thought was that they could try to move him as part of a package to add starting pitching, a thought that I admittedly shared and was on board with earlier in the offseason.  …

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