Better Know a Division: The 2013 AL Central

To be honest, I was a little intimidated by the prospect of writing this preview. I really just wanted to be lazy and post, “THE DETROIT TIGERS ARE GOING TO WIN THE AL CENTRAL,” but since my colleague Domenic did such an extensive and fantastic job with his AL West and NL West previews, I figured I owed it to all of you to attempt to do the same.

In 2012, those same Tigers emerged as the American League Central Division winners which was a little surprising considering they only spent a total of 33 days in first place all season. Of course, they were the most important days of the season, the ones at the end. The Chicago White Sox, who came up short and in second place, were in that position for 117 days. Luckily for Detroit, Chicago went cold in September and they made the playoffs with only 88 wins. But as we found out, 88 wins in the regular season don’t mean much in the playoffs, everyone starts at zero and in the case of the Yankees, they stayed at that number in the ALCS.… Click here to read the rest

Minor League Preview: Trenton Thunder



Trenton put together a surprisingly strong 2012, going 79-63 and winning the Division, eventually falling to the Akron Aeros in the Eastern League Finals. Stellar play by Brett Marshall, Zoilo Almonte, Vidal Nuno and David Adams all came up big for the Thunder. Luckily, this year should see more of the same for the Thunder, who should see some of the Yankees’ hottest prospects don their uniform.

A lot of eyes will fix on the Trenton outfield this season, with Tyler Austin, Slade Heathcott, Ramon Flores and Mason Williams all likely to spend some time there this season. According to Josh Norris, Flores and Austin are looking outstanding in the Minors Spring Training right now. Unfortunately, Austin seems to have tweaked his ankle and missed yesterday’s game, however, it sounds like he should be fine by Opening Day. Flores celebrated his 21st birthday yesterday and has been swinging a hot bat in Spring Training.

While it is clear that the outfield will get a lot of attention, the Thunder has strong players all over the field.… Click here to read the rest

David Adams Release Reaction

Adams AZFL

The Irrational Fan’s Take:

‘”What are the Yankees doing??  Why would they get rid of Adams?  He’s only 25 years old and he’s coming off the best year of his career.  He hit .306/.385/.450 and he can play second base and third base.  The Yankees are going to need infield depth this season and possibly next depending on what happens with A-Rod and Cano and they just gave away one of their top young players at those positions to clear a roster spot for Vernon Wells!  That guy Brad V. from IIATMS/TYA ranked Adams 14th in his Top 30 Prospects this year, so he’s gotta be good.

Not to mention the fact that Adams and Corban Joseph could have made a nice lefty/righty platoon DH on the bench if Hafner got hurt this season and then transitioned to second in 2014 if Cano doesn’t get re-signed.  I don’t get it.  How can they start playing Adams at third base last season and then just dump him for a player they didn’t even need?  … Click here to read the rest

Game Thread: Yankees vs. Astros 3/26/13

Greetings everyone!

I know it’s still only Spring Training but I figured since the game is a night game, we’d do a game thread. The game is on YES for the tri-staters and it’s on MLB Network for people in Houston.

Here’s the Yankees lineup:

Brett Gardner CF
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Kevin Youkilis 3B
Travis Hafner DH
Vernon Wells LF
Juan Rivera 1B
Eduardo Nunez SS
Chris Stewart C

LHP CC Sabathia

This lineup is so strange, isn’t it?

Notes from the Lohud Yankees blog:

Click here to read the rest

Any Interest In The Reliever Market?

The Yankees have set themselves up with a strong bullpen featuring Mariano Rivera as the closer, David Robertson setting up, and Joba Chamberlain and David Aardsma for the 7th inning. Boone Logan looks like he’s ready to start the season healthy, and Vidal Nuno may take Clay Rapada‘s role at this rate. The Yankees could use Nuno as a long man as well, or the loser of the Ivan Nova v. David Phelps starter battle could be moved to a relief role. Waiting in the minor leagues, the Yankees have a number of pitchers, Shawn Kelley and Mark Montgomery who could step up later on in the season. Pitching is a strength for this team, but with the offensive woes, the Yankees have explored dealing relievers for hitters.

Earlier this month, the Rangers scouted Chamberlain, and we know Cashman is still looking for a left-handed corner infielder. If the team decides to deal from the bullpen, the free agent market still has some rather big names available to replenish the system.… Click here to read the rest

UPDATED: Yanks sign Lyle Overbay

No, this is not a drill nor is it a joke:

From MLB Trade Rumors:

The Yankees signed first baseman Lyle Overbay to a minor league deal, tweets Erik Boland of Newsday. Overbay was released this morning by the rival Red Sox, who avoided a $100K retention bonus in the process.

Overbay, 36, hit .259/.331/.397 in 131 plate appearances for the Diamondbacks and Braves last year. He was squeezed out in Boston due to their Mike Carp acquisition, but has found a potential opportunity with the Yankees due to a wrist injury that will sideline first baseman Mark Teixeira into May in the best case.

It’s only a Minor League deal but it’s actually not surprising. As soon as they were rumblings that Overbay was on his way out of Boston people were saying how the Yankees would scoop him up.

Have at it in the comments!

Quick hit: Vernon Wells is officially a Yankee

Of course, his being on the BP schedule, being issued a number and being penciled into the lineup was an indication that the deal had been finalized but the Yankees decided to make it official with a statement anyway:

“The New York Yankees today announced they acquired three-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove Award-winning outfielder Vernon Wells along with cash considerations from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for minor league outfielder Exicardo Cayones and minor league left-handed pitcher Kramer Sneed.”

Farewell, Exicardo and Kramer! And welcome to the Bronx, well Tampa for now, Vernon!… Click here to read the rest

Better Know a Division: The 2013 NL West

Whereas its sister division went down to the wire, the 2012 National League West wrapped up with fairly little drama. The Giants won the division comfortably, holding onto first place from August 20 through the end of the season and wrapping things up with an eight game lead on the second place Dodgers. At times, the Dodgers did seem poised to strike, as folks swore up and down that things would eventually click for new acquisitions Beckett and Gonzalez … but that time never really came. To wit, it seems as if much of what little drama existed was a product of renewed expectations for the Dodgers, as opposed to what was actually happening on the field for the last five or six weeks of the season.

Entering the 2012 season, the NL West had the look of a division that was readily up for grabs, with the Diamondbacks, Dodgers, and Giants all having very real shots at the crown. Slow and steady won the race, and yet the story remains more focused on the bad luck of the Diamondbacks and the newly minted West Coast branch of the Evil Empire than the Giants consistency and balance.… Click here to read the rest

Lunchtime links: Burying the Yanks, Stubhub nonsense & so much more

If it’s Tuesday, it must be bury the Yankees before they play a second of meaningful baseball day!

Brandon Tierney, formerly of The Wheelhouse on SNY and who is now a radio host out in San Francisco wrote a eulogy for the Yankees this morning. He called “Decaying With Dignity.” He goes on and on about the Yankees and how awful they’ll probably be this year. He talks about how lucky we are as a fan base to have experienced the past 20 years or so, and he’s right, we are but what really gets me is this passage:

Truthfully, the easy thing to do is pile on, to kick dirt on the Yankees grave before the first meaningful pitch of the season, to attempt to be ahead of the curve on the inevitable demise of the Yanks.

That’s the easy way out.

Exactly. And that’s what he ultimately ended up doing.

The Yankees could be absolutely awful this year. They could be mediocre this year.… Click here to read the rest