Friday Night Open Thread: 2/28/14

It’s the last day in February and that means that real baseball is getting closer and closer.

New_Yankee_Stadium

Pretty soon, fans will be filing into the House that the Steinbrenners built to get their first look at the 2014 Yankees.

I, for one, am very excited about the prospect of real baseball because it will mean that this miserable winter has finally ended. I’m really sick of cold and snow and while I realize that it’s expected from December to March here in the Northeast, I’ve had enough of it this year. This winter has just been brutal.

Bring me sunshine, warm temperatures and baseball, damn it.

Enjoy the open thread, be nice to your fellow readers and have a good night.

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Swift recap: Yankees 7, Tigers 4

The Yankees teed off on Tigers pitching (starter Max Scherzer included) hitting four home runs in a 7-4 victory at Joker Marchant Field in Lakeland, FL.

Brian McCann, Gary Sanchez, Jose Pirela and Yangervis Solarte all went deep which was good because once again, the Yankee bullpen imploded (all four runs were charged to Brian Gordon) in the seventh inning, giving up four runs to the Tigers.

Adam Warren picked up the win, Preston Claiborne got the save and Scherzer was the loser for Detroit.

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Game thread: Yankees at Tigers 2/28/14

Here is your game thread. The game isn’t being televised but you can hear it on Tigers’ radio on mlb.com.

And here’s the lineup in case you missed it earlier this morning:

Ellsbury CF
Nunez 3B
Beltran RF
McCann C
Almonte LF
Canzler 1B
Ryan SS
Anna 2B
Sanchez DH

Warren P

Enjoy!

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Projecting 2014: Shawn Kelley

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees have a ton of players to help contribute to the bullpen this season, but losing Mariano Rivera has made the entire system seem much less appealing. No one can replace the closer, but David Robertson projects to be a strong one. The 8th inning is an even bigger downgrade, as the organization has no idea who will take over Robertson’s setup role. Shawn Kelley, Adam Warren, Preston Claiborne, David Phelps, and Dellin Betances are all candidates for that setup job.

Going off of last year’s performances, Kelley probably has the best chance of becoming the 8th inning guy. In 2013, Kelley put up an incredible 11.98 K/9 with a 3.88 BB/9. Unfortunately, the fly ball heavy pitcher gave up a ton of home runs, 2 at home and 6 on the road.  Kelley finished the year with just a 4.39 ERA, but the numbers look a lot different when you consider he pitched through the last month of the season with a tricep strain.…

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How Well Will Joe Manage The New Replay Challenge System?

Joe Fair-Foul

On the second of his 2 groundouts in yesterday’s game, Derek Jeter ran hard down the first base line and turned a relatively routine play into a very close play at first base.  To those who saw it, the image of Jeter running hard and without any noticeable hitch in his stride was the highlight of Spring Training thus far and the only storyline that mattered after the game.  But another part of that play that didn’t get talked about much may prove to be a more important talking point long-term.

Speaking to reporters post-game, Joe said that when he watched the play at first base and saw how close the play was, he immediately thought about how he would have handled challenging the call under MLB’s new instant replay rules.  He couldn’t actually do it in the game because yesterday’s game was not using the new replay system, but the addition of these replay rules gives managers another wrinkle to consider in their in-game strategy and Joe is going through the mental motions, just like his players are on the field, to prepare himself for the situation when the games start to count.…

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Yanks drop their game 8-2, Jeter survives and some links

jeterpicture

(Credit: Kim Klement of USA Today Sports)

Does anyone really care about the final score of a Spring Training game? What’s important is that everyone who played in said Spring Training game made it out unscathed and so far, so good for Derek Jeter who made his debut this afternoon at George M. Steinbrenner field.

The Yankees dropped the game 8-2 to the Pirates thanks to another bullpen implosion but the most important news is that while Jeter went 0-2 for in the five innings he played, he ran to first base hard in the fourth inning and was fine.

David Phelps had a pretty good outing giving up one run and striking out four.

Here’s the box score.

In case you missed it earlier on IIATMS:

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Game thread: Yankees vs Pirates 2/27/14

You guys (and gals), we’re going to be able to see a Yankee game and while I realize it’s only Spring Training, it’s still actual baseball with bats, balls, bases, the whole nine!

Not only that, we get to see Derek Jeter in his first in-game action since early September.

Here are the lineups:

PIRATES
Decker LF
Polanco CF
Dickerson RF
Lambo 1B
Sanchez DH
Stewart C
Harrison 3B
Barmes SS
Martinez 2B

Morton RHP

YANKEES
Gardner LF
Jeter SS (!!!)
Suzuki RF
Roberts 2B
Cervelli C
Johnson 3B
Romine DH
Canzler 1B
Williams CF

Phelps RHP

The game will be on YES, you can listen on WFAN and you can access it via mlb.com.

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Diamondbacks Emerge As Perfect Trade Partners For Yanks’ Infield Needs

Ross D. Franklin/AP

Ross D. Franklin/AP

On Tuesday, I wrote about how the Yankees need to add depth to the infield to prevent the same problems we saw in 2013. The team is already out on Stephen Drew and Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz, but now Brian Cashman is hinting that he recognizes the team’s weaknesses.

“I am more focused on the bullpen, the rotation and how that will shake out and the infield that is not Mark Teixeira or Derek Jeter. I have said it’s a developing story that the Yankees have to keep focused on,” Cashman said of second and third. “Do we have the answer, the exclamation point right here in camp? If the answer is no, we have to look outside. If we need to do improvements it has to be cheap, we spent our money.”

In this report by George King, he brings up names like the White Sox’ Jeff Keppinger and Gordon Beckham, as well as the Brewers’ Rickie Weeks.…

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