What To Make Of Spring Training

David Manning/USA Today Sports

David Manning/USA Today Sports

Baseball can’t come soon enough, but for those desperate fans, Spring Training is already underway. We’ve seen some prospects, some multi-millionaires, and some under-the-radar players earn a spotlight in just the first week. Over the rest of March, we’ll see some exciting stats, some disappointing ones, and a good mix of optimism and pessimism over what to expect in the Bronx in 2014.

So what can we make of Spring Training? Not very much is the quick answer. One month of numbers is rarely enough to carry over for the rest of the season. Competition in March is always at its weakest, with some players testing out new approaches, and others completely unprepared for the professional game. As we watch players like Yangervis Solarte bat .857 with 2 home runs, it’s obvious just how different the game is from March to April.

Masahiro Tanaka pitched on Saturday to a huge media fanfare. What Tanaka really gave Yankee fans was a false sense of importance for two innings on March 1st.…

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Musing On D-Rob And Nova’s Contract Extension Chances

Nova ST 2014

(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod.  Figured the timing was right after Nova’s dominant ST start yesterday)

It’s been a little over a week since the Yankees came out of left field (figuratively) with their 4-year contract extension for Brett Gardner.  While the extension drew universally positive reviews for its value relative to Gardner and questions relative to the much steeper price paid to Jacoby Ellsbury, the most important thing to come out of the deal was the new precedent it set for pre-free agency contract extensions for homegrown players.  The Yankees have been notoriously bad at locking up their quality young players, a problem created mainly by the lack of impact young players developed over the last 5 years and partially by their adherence to the outdated team policy of not doing extensions.

Cash’s declaration that that policy is now dead is welcome news to any Yankee fan hoping to see the team get back to the top of the MLB heap.  …

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Sabathia’s Velocity Will Be Watched Again


CC Sabathia’s fastball velocity was one the biggest–and most annoying– stories of the Yankees season last year. Unfortunately, after his first spring training start on Saturday it is a story yet again.

Masahiro Tanaka’s dazzling debut took a little of the spotlight off of Sabathia,...

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Projecting 2014: Brian Roberts

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

The Yankees are coming off an injury plagued season where the one consistency was their superstar second baseman, Robinson Cano. In 2014, they replace Cano with a 36 year old Brian Roberts, who hasn’t played even close to a full season since 2009. Over the last four years, Roberts has dealt with significant back problems, an abdominal strain, multiple concussions, and surgery on his hip, hernia, and hamstring. During this time, he’s played in a total of 192 games, or 809 plate appearances.

Roberts finished 2013 on a promising note. After recovering from some significantly horrible concussion issues, Roberts returned to the Orioles after hamstring surgery on June 30th, and played 74 games while hitting .241/.307/.387. Roberts looked to improve throughout the second half of 2013, batting .250/.306/.450 in September, hitting 5 home runs in his last 108 plate appearances.

The switch hitter will look to build on his late-season success with the Yankees in 2014.…

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Game thread: Yanks vs. Nationals 3/3/14

Here’s the lineup:

Gardner CF
Jeter SS
McCann C
Roberts 2B
Cervelli DH
Johnson 3B
Ichiro RF
Almonte LF
Joseph 1B

Nova P

David Robertson is scheduled to make his first appearance of the Spring out of the bullpen this afternoon.

The game is on YES and on MLB Network at 1:05 p.m.


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The IIATMS Podcast Episode 8: TANAK, Sabathia, Trades, AL Central Preview and More!

Please note: The podcast was recorded early this week due to E.J.’s travel schedule.

On last night’s episode, Matt Imbrogno joined Domenic, E.J. and Stacey to discuss Masahiro Tanaka‘s debut, CC Sabathia‘s velocity, possible middle infielder trades, the AL Central – here’s a clue, the Twins and White Sox will still be terrible and they played a game of over/under!

As always, please leave your comments below, rate us on iTunes, tweet us topic suggestions at @IIATMS or email us at stupidyankeespodcast@gmail.com

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It’s Way Too Early To Worry About CC’s Velocity

CC Sabathia

It was quite the weekend for the Bronx Bombers in the Grapefruit League.  The beat the Phillies on Saturday and the Blue Jays on Sunday by a combined score of 12-2, showcasing solid pitching from the top of their ST staff to the bottom and plenty of power from both sides of the plate.  Of course wins and losses in ST games are the least important things to come out of said games, but winning still beats losing and the Yanks looked good as a team over the last 48 hours.

The highlight of the weekend was the triple-headed 2014 pitching debut of the top of the starting rotation.  CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, and Masahiro Tanaka all threw 2 scoreless innings on Saturday, with Kuroda looking very sharp and efficient in his outing (he only threw 17 pitches) and Tanaka giving everybody a peak at his impressive array of offspeed pitches and plus fastball command on the corners.  The only pitcher who wasn’t generating positive buzz after the game, despite almost identical results, was Sabathia.  …

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Swift Recap: Yankees 8, Blue Jays 2

Eduardo Nunez, Carlos Beltran and John Ryan Murphy all went deep in today’s 8-2 win over the Blue Jays.

Dean Anna got the Yankees on the board with an RBI single in the second to tie the score.

Here’s Nunez’s shot that made it 3-1 Yankees:

Here’s Beltran’s shot which followed Nunez’s (back-to-back!):

And here’s Murphy’s shot:

Bryan Mitchell picked up the win with two innings of scoreless, three hit ball. He struck out three and didn’t up a walk. Matt Daley also had a nice outing. He pitched one inning and struck out two batters.

Vidal Nuno started and gave up one run on two hits – the one run was a solo shot by Jose Bautista – and struck out three in two innings.

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Game Thread: Yankees at Jays 3/2/14

(Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press)

(Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press)

Today’s game between the Yankees and Blue Jays in Dunedin isn’t being shown live but will be shown later on MLB Network at 8 p.m. and you can watch it on mlb.tv (subscription needed). So if you’re keeping track via mlb.tv feel free to let us know what’s going on in the comments.

Vidal Nuno is starting and if you missed the lineup, click here! Ellsbury, Beltran and Ryan are making the trip.


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