Honest Post-Offseason Roster Evaluation: The Rotation

Tanaka-Sabathia ST Bullpen

Last year was a strange combination of opposites for the Yankee rotation.  CC Sabathia went from no-doubt ace to one of the worst pitchers on the staff by year’s end while Ivan Nova went from almost getting pulled from the rotation in April to the best pitcher on the staff by year’s end.  Hiroki Kuroda was excellent again, save for the final month or 2 of the season, while Phil Hughes was pretty much horrible again, save for a month or 2′s worth of good starts.  The steadying force in the middle of the rotation was grizzled vet Andy Pettitte, who battled through early back problems to turn in a final few masterful performances in September and join his buddy Mo in going out at the top of his game.  In the end, that wasn’t enough to put the rotation over the top and the group as a whole didn’t pitch well enough to overcome the team’s offensive deficiencies.

Pettitte is gone now, as is Hughes, and a new era of Yankee starting pitching could be dawning in 2014.  …

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The IIATMS Podcast Episode Six: Pitchers, Previews and Underrated Players

Tonight, Domenic, E.J. and Stacey discuss Michael Pineda expectations, Homer Bailey‘s new ginormous contract, they preview the AL West, they teach Stacey another stat, and finally all three name their most underrated players they’ve seen play (Yankee and non-Yankee players).

Feel free to comment below, tweet us at @IIATMS or send us an email with any questions for the show or suggestions at stupidyankeespodcast@gmail.com

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Projecting 2014: Michael Pineda

Corey Sipkin/New York Daily News

Corey Sipkin/New York Daily News

The Yankees traded for Michael Pineda two years ago, and since then he’s thrown 0 major league pitches. After a breakout rookie season in Seattle, the Mariners felt that they had enough pitching to deal for the Yankees’ Jesus Montero, so they bid farewell to their young starter. In that rookie season, Pineda looked like one of the brightest young pitchers in baseball, owning a 9.11 K/9 a 2.89 BB/9, and a 3.42 FIP in 171.0 innings pitched. He was a great young pitcher, similar to the reputations now given to Jose Fernandez, Shelby Miller, or Chris Archer.

Two years later, Pineda is one of the forgotten players in this Yankees’ pitching staff. He’s spent this time recovering from a minor labrum tear, and the recovery has been slow and methodical. When the injury first happened, Jay Jaffe took a look at how other pitchers fared after labrum tears, and the majority of the results were not good.…

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Jeter Press Conference Recap 2/19/14

Jeter vs CHW

“Being a Yankee is good enough for me.”

From the moment he stepped up to the podium, Derek Jeter looked uncomfortable. He said he didn’t want a press conference because he didn’t want to be a distraction today – especially because it’s the first day that position players were reporting to camp. He wanted to get his message out the way he chose to do it via Facebook.

He didn’t have a prepared speech and said he just wanted a Q&A.

The first question was the most obvious and the one that’s on everyone’s mind: Why now?

Jeter said he took a lot of time to think about it and that the difficulty of last year made the decision easier. He said that he felt it was the right time. He added that he’s done it for long enough and that he can’t wait to start doing other things.

He reiterated that his decision has nothing to do with how he feels physically.…

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Honest Post-Offseason Roster Evaluation: The Bench

Cervelli-Pineda ST

Obviously the Yankees had major problems with injuries last season.  That’s how you end up with 943 combined plate appearances from Vernon Wells and Lyle Overbay and another 639 from Jayson Nix and Eduardo Nunez.  Part of what made last year’s injury plague so detrimental was the failure on the Yankees’ part to build a solid bench behind their older starting lineup.  During the glory years of the late 90s dynasty, a powerful, flexible, well-rounded bench was a staple of Yankee rosters.  Over the last 12-15 years, that standard has fallen by the wayside and it came to a head last season when the Yankees were forced to give another 427 PA tothe likes of Thomas Neal, Alberto Gonzalez, Brent Lillibridge, Chris Nelson, Reid Brignac, Ben Francisco, Luis Cruz, and David Adams.

For all the work the front office putting in addressing the rest of the roster this offseason, the bench once again seems to be the neglected child.  …

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Tuesday Night Open Thread: 2/18/14

Good evening!

I’m starting off the open thread with the most important news of the day: Cano and Long are fine. Okay? Now can everyone shut up about it and never mention the word hustle again? Thanks so much.

Here are some links for you to peruse and discuss (if you feel like it):

  • Joel Sherman says the Yankees made an offer to Drew early in the offseason and are making a mistake by not going after him now.
  • Derek Jeter‘s retirement press conference is scheduled for tomorrow morning at 11:30 a.m. and will be shown on the YES Network (and probably MLB Network and possibly ESPN as well because this is a pretty big deal – Sorry fans of other teams who are already complaining about the coverage.)
  • Speaking of Jeter, Brendan Ryan understands that he will probably be booed if he’s playing and Jeter isn’t. He knows this because he went to see the LA Clippers and Chris Paul wasn’t playing.
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Prepare For Aledmys Diaz

WP_000127

According to Joel Sherman, the Yankees don’t plan on issuing anymore major league contracts this offseason. This is typical for mid-February, but with Stephen Drew still on the board, there is no doubt that many Yankee fans are scratching their heads at their reluctance to pick up another free agent infielder. In fact, last week I wrote about how how the team ought to just spend the money, as Drew’s contract will look like a drop in the bucket compared to the half a billion they’ve already spent. Despite some major issues with their 2014 infield, and the middle infield depth in their entire system, the Yankees refuse to deal with a desperate Drew. But Brian Cashman isn’t exactly ignorant of their infield, he acknowledges the team’s weaknesses in Sherman’s article.

“In some cases we are still looking for positions if we can. The second and third wave is a developing storyline. I don’t have obvious answers for this.

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Mariners Manager Lloyd McClendon Jumps To Cano’s Defense

New Seattle Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon made it be known that he did not appreciate Yankees’ hitting coach Kevin Long’s comments about Seattle’s shiniest new acquisition Robinson Cano.

In case you’ve been out in space for the past two days, Long said about Cano’s habit of not running hard to first on a routine ground out, “We all talked to him. I’m pretty sure Jeter talked to him a number of times. Even if you run at 80%, no one’s going to say anything. But when you jog down the line, even if it doesn’t come into play 98% of the time, it creates a perception.”

Well, that comment, along with others made in the Daily News story didn’t sit well with McClendon who was quoted in a story on ESPN.com, “Last time I checked, I didn’t know that Kevin Long was the spokesman for the New York Yankees.” He added that he was surprised by the comments and said, “I was a little pissed off, and I’m sure Joe [Girardi] feels the same way.…

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