Warren, Joseph, And Almonte Optioned Down To Triple-A

According to Joel Sherman, the Yankees have optioned Adam Warren, Corban Joseph, and Zoilo Almonte to Triple-A.

There was some belief that Almonte had a chance to win the outfield spot, but the switch hitter has hit just .190/.227/.333 in 22 plate appearances. Almonte has never played above Double-A, so he’ll have a chance to compete out of Scranton now. The third outfield spot is looking more and more like Melky Mesa‘s spot to lose.

Corban Joseph was also an option at third base, but his defense this Spring was proven awful. Joseph also put up an unimpressive .200/.286/.200 in his 28 plate appearances, but showed off a much stronger bat in last year’s season in Scranton.

Finally, Warren will now enter his third year in Triple-A. He wasn’t spectacular in his 3 starts (5.00 ERA but a 1.000 WHIP), but he’d have a chance at a starting job on most other teams. At 25 years old, Warren still has some value, and could be a trade chip with the Yankees’ starting depth.…

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Who Could The Yankees Want From The Rangers?

Earlier today, George A King of the NY Post reported that the Rangers have been following and scouting Joba Chamberlain. With the type of relief depth the Yankees have, and the offensive needs, it’s no surprise that they’d make Chamberlain available. The question here is what the Yankees want back.

The team has some obvious needs offensively. The Yankees are down an outfielder until May and a corner infielder for even longer. If the organization is looking to find an outfielder, they’d likely target a right-hander to compliment the three lefties. They also may be looking younger, as Curtis Granderson will become a free agent in 2014, and Ichiro Suzuki the year after. The problem with acquiring an outfielder from the Rangers is their own needs in replacing Josh Hamilton.

If a corner infielder is what they want, the team is best suited to go with a younger player that can provide depth at third base while Alex Rodriguez‘ hips continue to be minced into pulp.…

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Afternoon News And Notes: Jeter, Boesch, Cooper, Joba

A number of interesting notes on the Yankees today, mostly to do with shoring up their offense.

Brennan Boesch, who the Tigers released earlier today, is said to be one possibility for the team. Boesch is a corner outfielder with a career .259/.315/.372 slash line and a 96 wRC+. As a 28 year old lefty-hander, he would be more of a project than a replacement, and the Yankees have plenty of those.

Joel Sherman also believes that the Yankees are looking at first baseman David Cooper, formerly of the Blue Jays. The former first round pick has struggled to stay on the field with back problems, but when he has, he’s posted a career 103 wRC+ in 226 plate appearances. His minor league numbers are more impressive, but over the last two years, Cooper has spent his time in a hitter friendly park in the PCL.

According to George A King, the Rangers have been scouting Joba Chamberlain, which opens up some interesting speculation.…

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Nova Discusses His New Arm Motion


Following Nova’s start yesterday, Chad Jennings of LoHud grabbed some quotes from Ivan Nova and Joe Girardi on the pitcher’s shorter delivery.

“In the beginning, it was hard,” Nova said. “But now I feel more comfortable. … I’m better down (in the zone), throwing more strikes.”

“I think he’s commanded his fastball better and I think he’s had a better downhill plane because of the little adjustment he made with his hands,” Joe Girardi said. “To me that (was) his inconsistency a lot of times last year was his command would get a little bit off. He didn’t walk people, but he didn’t hit his spots. And I’ve seen an improvement in that.”

This isn’t exactly a new delivery for the right-hander, as he specified yesterday that he uses this shorter arm motion when throwing the curveball. This isn’t all too uncommon, as most pitchers attempt to get a slightly higher arm slot on curveballs to increase the sinking action. Here is what the release points of both Nova’s fastball and curveball looked like in 2012.…

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The Right and Wrong Ways to Think About Prospect Hugging

I’m a prospect guy. I’ve always been most passionate about baseball when I’m reading about or watching some guy in High-A who might make the major leagues some day. Last week, I advocated trading four young Yankee players, including top outfield prospects Mason Williams or Slade Heathcott, in a package for Padres star Chase Headley

Reacting to my post, several readers dug in their heels against the idea of trading prospects in general. Their reaction is probably best summarized by OldYankeeFan’s comment:

I would NOT give up any prime meat for a 2 year rental.
You never know who is going to make it large.
We dangled Mo, Cano and others in the past. Fortunately, they weren’t taken. AJax was!

That will NEVER happen again if we keep trading our better/best prospect for ONE shiney object.

I share some of this instinct, but I think it is misguided.…

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2013 Storylines: Shoring Up The 2014 Rotation


(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

To say the starting rotation is critically important for the Yankees in 2013 is an understatement.  The front office willingly took a step back offensively to make filling out the 2013 rotation the priority this past offseason, and so far in camp things are coming together nicely.  Ivan Nova has had two strong starts, Hiroki Kuroda looked outstanding yesterday striking out 6 over 4 scoreless IP, David Phelps has been steady and consistent as the 6th starter, and the rest of the projected starting five are scheduled to make their 2013 debuts in the very near future.

The rotation should be the biggest strength of this year’s team, but on a parallel path of importance this season will be how this year’s results influence the plans for next year’s rotation.  The Yankees will have a lot more work to do building next year’s rotation under the payroll crunch and will be using this season’s performances to gauge how and if their current collection of young starters factor into next year’s plans.…

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How Young Yankee Pitchers Have Altered Their Mechanics (GIF’s Included)

Ivan Nova

There’s been a lot of talk about the slider that Nova added in the middle of the 2011 season, but few talk about his changed mechanics. His hand position is the biggest difference.

In 2011, Nova brought his hands above his head during the windup. Sometime in 2012, he changed this by keeping his hands level to his chest. This does a number of things, but most importantly it allows him to keep his head steady and maintain eye contact with the catcher. When he had his hands over his head, Nova was forced to drop his head, thus causing him to lose focus of home plate and slouch prior to his stride.

Since 2010, Nova’s BB% has dropped from 9.2%, to 8.1%, to 7.5%. Keeping his hands to his chest may be one factor in his improved walk rates.

David Phelps

David Phelps made the same adjustment as Nova. Although he does keep his hands slightly higher, Phelps drastically improved his posture at the beginning of his windup, and his head stays remarkably level.…

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Yankee Stadium parking operator hires bankruptcy counsel

After building a Metro North stop and jacking regular season parking fees to $35 a game ($50 in playoffs), not to mention weakening attendance,  Bronx Parking Development Corp. has retained bankruptcy counsel:

Bronx Parking is in discussions with creditors and isn’t planning a bankruptcy filing, Edward Moran, the firm’s chief restructuring officer, said in a telephone interview.


The garages and lots, which have about 9,300 spaces, have suffered as more fans take public transportation to Major League Baseball games and drivers balk at paying $35 to park. The facilities averaged about 4,000 cars on event days and had an occupancy rate of 43 percent, according to filings. The Yankees have exclusive use of 600 spaces.

In other words, the bond holders are getting nervous.

I can use MNR for free (already have a monthly pass) so it costs me about $10 to take the train to the game. With a family of four, it’s worlds easier than fighting traffic (and far more civil) and having my wallet further vacuumed clean.…

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More lineup tinkering

You’ll remember a few weeks back that I delved into what the Yankee lineup could look like with Alex Rodriguez out of it for a long time. Since then the Yankees have lost both Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira, two players who would feature heavily in the middle of the lineup. Which loss hurts the lineup more?

Both players have something that the lineup lacks. Granderson was one of the three remaining power threats–Teixeira was one as well–and Tex was the team’s only switch hitter. What’s more, Tex hits lefties better than he hits righties and this iteration of the Yankee lineup may struggle against lefties, unlike years past in which Tex and Nick Swisher–another better-vs-LHP switch hitter–were paired with lefty mashers Derek Jeter, A-Rod, and Russell Martin. Kevin Youkilis will help pick up some of the slack, and so might Eduardo Nunez, but missing Tex, even for a short period of time, doesn’t bode well for the Yankees’ chances against lefties.…

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