Matsui joins the Yankees front office

This is pretty cool.

According to the Associated Press, Matsui will work with Cashman and player development vice president Gary Denbo. His job will require him to spend most of the season traveling in the team’s minor league system where he will discuss hitting with managers, batting coaches and players.

The Yankees will formally announce this move during a press conference tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m.

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Spring Training Game 9: Yanks at Orioles

The Yankees are traveling to Sarasota to take on the Orioles. Today’s game is at 1:05 p.m. but will not be shown live on TV. It will be tape delayed and shown on MLB Network later tonight.

Here are your lineups:

YANKEES
Gregorius SS
Young CF
Headley 3B
Teixeira 1B
Murphy C
Pirela DH
Drew 2B
Judge RF
Flores LF

Whitley RHP

Esmil Rogers, Chasen Shreve, and Jose Ramirez are scheduled to pitch in relief.

ORIOLES
Machado 3B
Hardy SS
Davis 1B
Jones CF
Wieters DH
Young RF
Snyder LF
Lavarnway C
Schoop 2B

Chen LHP

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IIATMS Top Moment #17: Rauuuuuuuuuul!

Source: Fangraphs.com

Source: Fangraphs.com

Raul Ibanez was never supposed to be the hero for the Yankees in Game 3 of the 2012 ALDS against the Orioles.

But thanks to a gutsy move by Joe Girardi — pinch-hitting Ibanez for the slumping Alex Rodriguez with one out in the ninth inning and Yankees trailing by a run –- the 40-year-old etched his name among the pinstriped immortals with a couple swings of the bat.

The Yankees and Orioles had split the first two games of the best-of-five series, giving added significance to this critical Game 3 at Yankee Stadium. The loser would be on the brink of elimination, the winner would be one step away from advancing to the ALCS.

The Orioles struck first with a solo homer by rookie second baseman Ryan Flaherty in the top of the third inning, but the Yankees quickly answered back in the bottom of the frame when Derek Jeter tripled home Russell Martin to tie the score at 1-1.…

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Spring Training Game 8 Recap: NYY 4 TB 3

Alex Rodriguez

In a word, luscious. Courtesy of the AP

This afternoon’s contest between the Yankees and the Rays brought the opening week of Spring Training game action to a close, and I think it’s fair to say it was a pretty positive first week for the Yanks.  All the guys that matter came through healthy, the starting pitching was pretty good, a lot of young players got to contribute in limited action, and Alex Rodriguez made headlines for his play on the field and his good health, not for corrupting the youth of America or doing/saying things that unnamed sources said unnamed front office members didn’t like.

Today’s game was the 2015 debut for Michael Pineda, and expectations are high for Big Mike this year.  He showed everybody what he’s capable of in his few starts, now the Yankees need him to put together a full, healthy season of that or something like it.  He looked pretty damn good in his first outing today, with following fellow rotation member Nathan Eovaldi looking even better in relief of him.  …

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Battle of the Unspectacular Middle Infielders! The Latest…

* Jose Pirela is “the best hitter in the entire organization,” former non-middle-infielder Reggie Jackson declared. Reggie hasn’t been a full-time coach since before some of my co-bloggers were born (last with the A’s in 1991, I believe), so he’s not one of the world’s leading authorities on hitting. But I think this report is something more than nothing. For example, it’s a hint that Pirela doesn’t have the sort of too-long/too-ugly a swing to limit his ceiling to “quad-A guy.”

* Brendan Ryan wins the gallows humor award for noting that he’s experiencing “Groundhog Spring,” injuring his back in March for the second straight year. But last year, it wasn’t crazy to have some hope he might (A) return to hitting at least baseline-competently and (B) retain his elite defense. This year, neither: (A) his last three years of OPS have been not only atrocious, but declining, to bad-hitting-pitcher level — .555, .528, .413; and (B) both the stats and the eye test show that at age 32 (about to be 33 in 2 weeks, happy birthday buddy), he’s no longer an elite defender.…

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Spring Training Game 8: The Yanks welcome the Rays

The Yankees are welcoming the Rays into Steinbrenner Field this afternoon and today marks the Spring debut of Michael Pineda. The game will be shown live on the YES Network at 1:05 p.m.

Rays lineup:
Nick Franklin SS
Desmond Jennings LF
James Loney 1B
Evan Longoria 3B
Steven Souza Jr. RF
Kevin Kiermaier DH
Alexi Casilla 2B
Bobby Wilson C
Mikie Mahtook CF

Nathan Karns RHP

Yankees lineup:
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Brett Gardner LF
Carlos Beltran RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Chase Headley 3B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Stephen Drew 2B
Didi Gregorius SS

Michael Pineda RHP

Nathan Eovaldi, David Carpenter, and Justin Wilson are scheduled to pitch in relief.

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IIATMS Top Moment #18: “Get your tokens ready!”

A lot of Yankee fans are guilty of looking back at the most recent dynasty years with pinstriped glasses on which means they tend to forget the bad and only remember the good. And I’ll admit, I’m guilty of this as well at times.

For instance, the 2000 Yankees, the final championship group of the aforementioned dynasty, actually lost 14 out of the last 18 games of the regular season and that stupor included an ugly seven-game losing streak to end the season. To say that some weren’t confident in their ability to snap out of it in time for the playoffs was an understatement. It was actually kind of scary to watch unfold in real time and during one particularly awful three game stretch – two against Tampa Bay and one against Baltimore – the Yankees lost 11-1, 11-3 and 13-2. And who started two of those games? Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens.

Why do I bring this up?…

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Discussion: What Would You Trade for Cole Hamels?

At some point between now and July, the Phillies will trade Cole Hamels. A so-far-so-good Spring Training aside, the Yankees clearly have a need for pitching. Hamels is signed to a reasonable long term contract and coming off his best season. All of this makes yesterday’s new rumor predictable:

Many teams have called on ace Cole Hamels, but so far one club has enticed the Phillies more than the others.  Of the teams that have expressed interest in Hamels, the Yankees have come closer than anyone, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes.  The Bombers have offered a package of prospects for the 31-year-old that at least has given the Phillies a baseline for future talks.

Who knows how far along the Yankees got with trade talks. The Yankee front office is one of the least gossipy in the majors, so the rumor may not even be credible. Still, the news begs the question: What would you trade for Cole Hamels?…

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Monday Morning News And Notes: 3/9/15

I don’t know about y’all, but I didn’t do a damn thing this weekend.  Didn’t even shower until 2-3 PM yesterday.  I was barely following what was going on in the ST games yesterday and Saturday, so this is kind of a catch-up exercise for me more than anything.

Masahiro Tanaka threw a 29-pitch, 2-inning sim game on Saturday and once again all reports came back positive.  Joe announced during yesterday’s broadcast that Tanaka will make his ST debut on Thursday.  Sweet.

– As for the rest of that upcoming rotation, here’s what it looks like: Today- Michael Pineda, Tomorrow- Chase Whitley, Wednesday- Chris Capuano, Thursday- Tanaka, Friday- Adam Warren.

– Warren threw 3 innings of 1-run ball in his second ST start yesterday, the 1 run coming on a solo HR on the first pitch of the game.  No walks, 1 K.  Luis Severino also struck out 3 in 1.1 innings, and Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances each threw scoreless frames.…

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