Optimism For Betances

What ever happened to the Killer B’s? Just two years ago, Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, and Andrew Brackman were three of the top 5 or 6 prospects in the Yankee system. Obviously Brackman was cut loose because of control issues, and Banuelos is now in the process of recovering from Tommy John surgery. (Though he’s already in Tampa for some reason) Betances has faced his own set of issues. His fastball and breaking pitches are as strong as ever, but control has eluded the 24 year old.  I’ve seen a few top Yankee prospect rankings that still kept Banuelos in the top 10, but good luck finding Betances on any of them.

The tall right-handed pitcher was awful last year, pitching to a 6.44 ERA between Scranton and Trenton. He maintained a decent 19.6 K% through that time, but his walk rates skyrocketed. In Scranton, Betances was nearly striking out as many hitters as he was walking (19.0%), but did fair better in the demotion to Trenton.…

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Your daily Derek Jeter injury update

Derek Jeter is done with Grapefruit League play.

Yankees’ General Manager Cashman said that Jeter won’t play in another big league spring game and that he’ll only play minor league games so he can be back-dated on disabled list, if needed. So they don’t even know if a DL stint is even in the cards, so to speak. Cashman added, “I think we need to preserve the ability to back-date him in the event that he’s not going to make it.”

If Jeter starts season on DL, the stint would be back dated to March 22 which means he’d be eligible to play April 6 and would only miss the first four games of the season.

[Cashman quotes courtesy of nearly every Yankee beat writer on Twitter]

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Thursday Ramblings

As we wind down Spring Training and approach Opening Day, we’re really just going through motions. At this point, we’re just hoping that no one else gets hurt. And, of course, there is a chance that Derek Jeter will miss Opening Day. Great. Let’s officially start the rambling there.

If Jeter is out for Opening Day, that is going to be one hell of a lineup in a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad way. What could it look like? Let’s assume they’re facing Boston’s lefty, Jon Lester.

1. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
2. Eduardo Nunez, SS
3. Melky Mesa, CF/LF (justification here)
4. Robinson Cano, 2B
5. Juan Rivera, 1B
6. Ben Francisco, DH
7. Ichiro Suzuki, RF
8. Francisco Cervelli
9. Brett Gardner, LF/CF

Um….yikes? That is…not desirable. It could shake out differently and we could end up with Ronnier Mustelier in the fold, likely at third. If that happens, the lineup could be:

1.…

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Throwing it back on a Thursday: The 1969 New York Yankees

So what were you doing in 1969?

If you were like me, you weren’t even born yet. Heck, my parents weren’t even married yet – they eloped in 1970. John Lennon of the Beatles – who were still a group in 1969 – and his wife Yoko Ono were having “bed ins” – a take on the popular ‘sit in’ protests that were made famous in the late 1960′s, the Public Broadcasting System was formed, Neil Armstrong was walking on the moon and in August of that year, an audience of approximately 500,000 attended the four day-long Woodstock Festival.

The city of New York had a big year in 1969. Three of its professional teams won championships in the NBA, the NFL and MLB. But the team that won the World Series in 1969 was not the New York Yankees. What’s worse? It was their lone cross-town “rival”, the upstart New York Mets, who won the World Series in only their eighth season of existence.…

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Why A Wang Return Would Be Helpful

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The biggest non-Jeter’s ankle story of yesterday was the return of Chien-Ming Wang to the Yankees.  It wasn’t as an official team member, as Wang is still searching for a job offer after a brutal 2012 with the Nationals, but he was there to pitch for team scouts and coaches and hopefully do enough to get himself a contract offer.  The Yankees were connected to Wang recently and scouted him at the WBC, where he was reportedly throwing his sinker high 80s-low 90s and didn’t allow a run in 12 IP.  After the dreaded baserunning foot injury of ’08 and the awful follow-up performance in ’09, a return to the Yankee organization would be a nice little deal for Wang.

It also wouldn’t be bad for the Yankees, who are always in the market for pitching depth.  While Wang is certainly not a contender for a Major League rotation spot at this point in his career, or even a 40-man roster spot for that matter, he does represent the type of veteran arm the Yankees have liked to keep stashed in their Triple-A rotation for the last few years.  …

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Thursday morning news and notes: 3/21/13

We’re past the halfway mark of the month of March and for some odd reason, I’m still tempted to type in ’12 as the year. I’ve nearly done it every morning this week. Maybe that will teach me to start writing after I have my coffee.

So what happened yesterday? Well, there was this story from Bob Nightengale about MLB’s pursuit of everyone involved in the Biogenesis brouhaha but specifically Ryan Braun. Now, according to Tom Hardicourt, MLB is denying that. MLB VP Rob Manfred said in a statement to Hardicourt’s Milwaukee Sentinel, “Everyone whose name has surfaced surrounding the Miami New Times story and Biogenesis is being investigated with equal vigor.”

Yeah, sure.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports published a piece late last night that basically backs up Nightengale’s piece by stating that indeed, Braun, along with Alex Rodriguez remain the main targets of MLB’s probe. It makes sense since Braun, circumvented the system and was able to successfully appeal a positive drug test because of a botched chain of command.…

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Rangers Not Trading Andrus

Despite Jon Heyman’s report that the Rangers were planning to trade their short stop Elvis Andrus, GM Jon Daniels says otherwise.

Last week, we found out that the Rangers were scouting Joba Chamberlain. We know that a Yankee scout attended last Thursday’s Rangers game, which narrows down a  trade to a few possible players. David Murphy, Mitch Moreland, Craig Gentry, Elvis Andrus, and Mike Olt all played. Since then, we’ve learned that the Yankees have no interest in Gentry, and that Andrus is not available. The Rangers probably can’t afford trading away Murphy, and at this point it looks like discussions were likely around either Moreland or Olt.

On Monday, in an interview with Mike Francesa, Brian Cashman said that he does not have any trades brewing at the moment, but is looking thoroughly into options in other camps.…

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Jeter may not be ready for Opening Day

And here we go. From Bryan Hoch of MLB.com:

TAMPA, Fla. — Yankees captain Derek Jeter missed his second consecutive game and received a cortisone shot in his surgically repaired left ankle Wednesday, general manager Brian Cashman said.

Although Cashman doesn’t believe the setback is serious, he can’t rule out Jeter beginning the season on the disabled list since Opening Day is rapidly approaching.

“I don’t know yet,” said Cashman. “The season is starting to approach. I know if you asked him, Opening Day would be a certainty. In fairness, I don’t know yet. He’s got to be in position where he could play a full nine innings of defense, be able to do back-to-back [games] and other stuff. There’s some time left. We’ll see how he responds, but I can’t give you certainty.”

Jeter was scratched from New York’s lineup for Tuesday’s game against the Phillies in Clearwater, Fla., because of stiffness and soreness in the area of his surgically repaired left ankle.

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