Betances And Nuno Are The Final Additions To The 2014 Bullpen

The Yankees had quite a few options left in camp to fill the final two bullpen spots on the 25-man roster. Matt Daley, Shane Greene, and Cesar Cabral each pitched well enough to remain with the big league club in March. The Yankees have decided to go with the left-handed Vidal Nuno and hard throwing Dellin Betances, each of which pitched well enough to earn their respective spots.

According to Joel Sherman, the Yankees are still worried about how well Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda will respond to the rotation. Tanaka now has to deal with shorter rest between starters, while Pineda is coming off his shoulder injury, so the risk is undoubtedly there. For that reason, the team will bring all three starters in David Phelps, Adam Warren, and Nuno with them as long men. It’ll also allow them to keep start pitcher’s pitch counts down. In the case of Pineda or Tanaka, the Yankees may want to limit him to 80-90 pitches in the first month of the season, and then bring in one of their long men to prevent injury risk and keep his innings down.…

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Quick hit: The Return of Aceves

According to Ken Davidoff:

Alfredo Aceves has signed a minor-league deal with the Yankees.”

and

“Aceves will be In the Scranton starting rotation. He can opt out of his deal on July 1.”

Interesting.

He was signed as a free agent by Baltimore in January and opted out of his contract after being told he wasn’t making the Opening Day roster.

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MLB, MLBPA Introduce More Testing And Harsher Drug Penalties

After the Biogenesis fiasco of 2013 and Alex Rodriguez’s 162-game suspension for 2014, MLB and its players wanted stronger drug testing and longer suspensions for player’s caught in violation of the JDA.

Well, it’s happened.

Both entities announced today that they’ve agreed on changes to MLB’s drug testing program.

Here are the revised testing procedures:

  • The number of in-season random urine collections will more than double beginning in the 2014 season (from 1,400 to 3,200), which are in addition to the mandatory urine collections that every player is subjected to both during Spring Training and the Championship Season. This represents the largest increase in testing frequency in the Program’s history.
  • Blood collections for hGH detection – which remains the most significant hGH blood testing program of its kind in American professional sports – will increase to 400 random collections per year, in addition to the 1,200 mandatory collections conducted during Spring Training.
  • Carbon Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (IRMS) will be randomly performed on at least one specimen from every player in addition to any IRMS test that the laboratory conducts as a result of the parties’ longitudinal profiling program (which was implemented prior to the 2013 season) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) guidelines for conducting IRMS.
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Tonight’s Lineup vs. Marlins: 3/28/14

Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Carlos Beltran RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Alfonso Soriano DH
Kelly Johnson 3B
Brian Roberts 2B
Ichiro Suzuki CF

RHP Hiroki Kuroda

Hey, Ichiro is playing CF again! Jacoby Ellsbury is still out but don’t worry, he’s not getting his leg amputated. Yet.

Also of note: Masahiro Tanaka will be the first guy out of the bullpen.

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Has Pineda Added A New Fastball?

pineda2

The above GIF came together from last Sunday’s performance against the Blue Jays. In that game, Michael Pineda induced 12 ground balls and 2 fly balls, a stark difference between the batted ball rates he put up with the Mariners in 2011.

Throughout the broadcast, and other broadcasts during Pineda’s starts, David Cone and the rest of the booth talked about how the pitcher was still having trouble locating his fastball. Cone called it cutting the fastball, meaning he was holding on to it a little too long, and thus the ball was flying in toward left-hand hitters. The movement on his fastballs did look to change at times, and his command was likewise spotty when it would show the cutter action.

We know that in 2011, Pineda threw primarily a four-seam fastball and a slider. Occasionally, PITCHf/x picked up on movement that looked like a two-seam fastball/sinker and a cutter. Pineda used the four-seam fastball and slider combination 90.2% of the time, and this resulted in a 44.8% fly ball rate, and a 36.3% ground ball rate.…

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Some Things To Look Forward To In 2014

We are just mere days away from the Yankees’ first game of the season and what better way to celebrate the start of the 2014 campaign than to highlight some of the players, milestones and events we have to look forward to during the next seven months.

Jeter’s Farewell
After a long and storied Yankee career, Derek Jeter is calling it quits after 2014 which means this will be your last chance to see the Captain up close and personal. The last home game of the regular season, September 25, is a very hot ticket, with some clowns attempting to sell their Delta Suite tickets for $244,202.00. That is not a typo. But don’t worry, you can get some standing room only seats in the outfield upper deck for $175-180!

If you don’t want to wait until that day to see Jeter, you should have plenty of time to do it.

Jeter is starting the season with 3,316 hits. Some names he could possibly pass on the all-time hits list include: Paul Molitor, Carl Yastrzemski, Honus Wagner and Cap Anson.…

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Does Pitch Framing Make Brian McCann the Yankee MVP?

Baseball defense is hard to measure. Catcher defense is even harder. There are a lot of different aspects of catcher defense, including:

  1. Controlling the running game
  2. Actually fielding the ball
  3. Preventing passed balls and wild pitches
  4. Pitch framing and umpire psychology
  5. Game-calling and pitcher psychology

For the longest time, #1 was all we looked in stats like WAR. #2 a comparatively small part of the game while also being difficult to measure. #5 is anyone’s guess. Some work has been on #3, but I’m not sold on it yet. That leaves us with #4: getting umpires to call balls as strikes, and strikes as strikes.

Measuring pitch framing is actually pretty easy. We have Pitch/Fx data about where a ball ended up. We have a good idea of where the strike zone should be. Therefore, we can count up pretty large sample sizes of called strikes that should be balls, and called balls that should be strikes. Do the math, and you know how many more strikes a catcher was able to call versus the average.…

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Breaking Down April’s Schedule

The wait is almost over, as the New York Yankees open their season this coming Tuesday.

The MLB season is so long that when the schedule comes out during the winter it is not really a big deal like it is in the NFL since they only have 16 games. However, the April schedule is always...

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With 4 Open Spots, Roster Decisions Are Coming

With 5 days until opening day, the Yankees are making their final Spring Training cuts, and the roster is beginning to take shape. In recent days, we’ve learned that Michael Pineda will be the fifth starter, sending Adam Warren and David Phelps to the bullpen. We’ve also learned that Francisco Cervelli will be the backup catcher over John Ryan Murphy and Austin Romine. Here’s what the current 25-man roster looks like.

1. C Brian McCann
2. 1B Mark Teixeira
3. 2B Brian Roberts
4. SS Derek Jeter
5. 3B Kelly Johnson
6. LF Brett Gardner
7. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
8. RF Carlos Beltran
9. DH Alfonso Soriano
10. OF Ichiro Suzuki
11. C Francisco Cervelli
12. IF
13. IF
14. SP1 CC Sabathia
15. SP2 Hiroki Kuroda
16. SP3 Ivan Nova
17. SP4 Masahiro Tanaka
18. SP5 Michael Pineda
19. CL David Robertson
20. RHRP Shawn Kelley
21. RHRP David Phelps
22. RHRP Adam Warren
23. LHRP Matt Thornton
24.…

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