An unscientific early look at April’s schedule

A year ago, I took a look at April’s schedule and thought about what a good outcome would be for that first month of the 2012 season. It was also a look based on the opponents and the location of the games without rose-colored glasses. The post was the least scientific “projection” you could possibly write. After considering last April’s schedule, I predicted the Yankees would go 14-9 in their opening month and such a record would be a good outcome and start to the season. There was one postponement during April of 2012 and the Yankees went 13-9. Rather than quitting when ahead or perhaps because such a close outcome gives me a false sense of security, I figured I would do the same thing this season.

The Yankees open the season with a three-game home series against the Red Sox. I happen to believe the Red Sox are going to be much tougher this season than they were last season.… Click here to read the rest

Gardner Makes A Change In His Batting Approach

As I watched Brett Gardner extend his hot start in Spring Training last night, I wondered how the slap hitting outfielder could be making such good contact. I watched a few of his 2013 at bats, and then went back to 2012, and then I realized that he’s made a key change. Take a look at the GIF below and see if you can spot it.

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Gardner is no longer keeping two hands on the bat, and is taking a one-handed follow-through immediately on point of contact with the pitch. In 2012, Gardner’s two-handed approach at the plate was more reminiscent of a power hitter, rather than the contact and speed he usually uses at the plate. Prior to 2012, Gardner used this same one-handed approach, and it’s a mystery as to why he ever changed.

At first I thought it had to do with injury, but he was keeping both hands on the bat prior to his injury in 2012.… Click here to read the rest

Wednesday morning Yankees news and notes: 3/6/12

It was the wrist pop heard around the world.

The biggest news yesterday was yet another injury to a key Yankee. This time the victim was Mark Teixeira who was practicing for the World Baseball Classic when he heard a pop in his right wrist while swinging off a tee.

Say it with me now, “Noooooooo!”

X-rays were taken and they were negative. Teixeira left Arizona yesterday, headed to New York to see the Yankees’ team physician Dr. Chris Ahmad along with Dr. Melvin Rosenwasser, to conduct more tests and is expected to miss at least two weeks.

Last night, another injured member of the Yankees organization, GM Brian Cashman, had this to say about Teixeira’s injury:

“I’m obviously worried about it,” Cashman said, “because wrists are very unpredictable. Even if you can get a positive diagnosis back, which of course we hope for, that still doesn’t mean you are out of the woods because wrists are tricky. They are hard to get a handle on.

Click here to read the rest

Jeter’s Replacement Nowhere To Be Found

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As much as everybody likes to talk about the Yankees’ failures when it comes to developing young pitching, a conversation that’s not as failure-filled as some people like to think, there’s another area on the roster where they haven’t exactly been churning out winners recently and that’s at shortstop.  They’ve had the benefit of Derek Jeter being a fixture at the position for the last 17 years, but Jeter’s time is winding down and the Yankees are nowhere closer to finding his replacement than they were when talks of Jeter retiring first started.

And it’s not like this is a new topic that just came up in the last few months after Jeter’s ankle surgery.  There have been on and off references to Jeter’s retirement/replacement since about 2008, the first year his offensive production started to decline from its usual standards.  That talk was hushed a bit by Jeter’s bounce back 2009, and then halted again last season after another bounce back year, but now it bears bringing up one more time.  … Click here to read the rest

Michael Weiner’s head still firmly buried in the sand

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It’s been a rough 15 months or so for the Major League Baseball Players Association. After hastily and enthusiastically agreeing to a new collective bargaining with the league amidst an unprecedented lack of rancor and with very little push back against Commissioner Selig’s top priorities, the players and union officials were quickly confronted with the realization that, no, the days of baseballs’ owners constantly trying to get one over on the players were not over, and that the unions desire to take a business partner like approach with the league was not going to be reciprocated.

The rude awakening really began with the overturning of Ryan Braun’s PED related suspension last winter. Despite the fact that MLBPA has been as agreeable as any sports union out there to drug testing, pushing well into the realm of vigorously supporting efforts to catch players taking banned substances, the league reacted to long time and well respected arbitrator Shyam Das’ decision not with respectful acceptance of the decision and the union’s pro-testing position, but by blasting the decision, making laughable threats to appeal the ruling in federal court, and taking the downright remarkable step of firing the jointly employed arbitrator for having the nerve to rule against their position in a high profile case.… Click here to read the rest

Late Night Links: Headley, Stanton, Hughes

Good morning Yankee fans. The last day in the Yankeesphere has been teeming with speculation about what Cashman will do to counter the Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira injuries. There’s been plenty of speculation about who the Yankees could sign and who they could trade for. Carlos Lee, Aubrey Huff, and even Jim Thome are free agents that have been mentioned, while Justin Morneau, Tyler Colvin, Michael Cuddyer, and Carlos Pena have shown up in trade speculation. I did my own musing about younger and cheaper options Matt LaPorta, Justin Smoak, and Daric Barton. Over the last 24 hours, some very big names have apparently become available, and they would fit the Yankees’ needs.

The first one is Chase Headley. According to Bill Madden of the New York Daily News, the Padres have given up on extension talks and are prepared to listen on offers for the third baseman. Last season, the switch hitter Headley had a breakout year batting .286/.376/.498 in San Diego.

Click here to read the rest

Quick Hit: An update on Mark Teixeira

Mark Teixeira has pulled out of the World Baseball Classic and is on his way back to New York.

The Yankees announced that Teixeira has a right wrist strain. He will be evaluated in New York tomorrow and will be seeing Yankees’ team physician Dr. Chris Ahmad along with Dr. Melvin Rosenwasser.

He suffered the injury while hitting a ball of a tee during earlier today during practice prior to Team U.S.A.’s scheduled exhibition game with the Chicago White Sox. X-Rays were taken right away and were negative. The Yankees said Teixeira will have more tests tomorrow.

Teixeira joins a growing list of Yankee players who are making their way back from injuries this Spring. CC Sabathia, Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter are all coming back from offseason surgeries, Phil Hughes is battling a bulging disc in his back and Curtis Granderson is out until at least May with a fractured forearm.… Click here to read the rest

Why It’s Hard To Question The Decision To Leave Granderson In Center Field

According to most defensive metrics, Curtis Granderson had an awful 2012. Even the eye test told a tale of a center fielder misplaced on a team filled with more adept outfielders. The collective online Yankee community is in agreement that sending Granderson to left field, and giving him less area to cover, will help stop his defensive regression. The Yankees don’t agree.

AP Photo/Duane Burleson

AP Photo/Duane Burleson

When a player is visually struggling, you usually go to the stats to see how long and how poorly they’ve played. When a player suddenly puts up awful numbers, you usually go to the video to see why the numbers are degrading. This generation of baseball enthusiasts is lucky enough to have the numbers, analysis, and video available instantaneously on the internet, and it allows us to judge team’s decisions in a more scientific and thorough way than ever before. But when it comes to defense, the amount of data and the way we analyze it is still in its infancy.… Click here to read the rest

Some late afternoon Yankees news: 3/5/12

Can someone please remind me not to complain about a lack of Yankees’ news? It seems like every time I do that, someone gets hurt.

This time, it’s Mark Teixeira.

Teixeira was removed from Team USA’s lineup after feeling discomfort in his forearm. He said he first felt the discomfort when swinging in the batting cages today. And now it looks like he may be done in Arizona because manager Joe Girardi said Tex would be looked at by the Yankees’ doctors. He had x-rays done and they were negative, thank goodness, but more tests will be taken.

The Yankees’ other star WBC participant, Robinson Cano, was hit by a foul ball in the Dominican Republic’s matchup with the Philadephia Phillies today but he was otherwise unscathed. The Dominican team pounded the Phillies to the tune of 15 runs on 28 hits. Yes, that says 28. Cano had three of those hits.

The Yankees made some cuts today: Greg Bird, Cito Culver, Rob Segedin, Tyler Austin, Francisco Arcia, Kyle Higashioka and Gary Sanchez.… Click here to read the rest