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. Headley has always been a good hitter, but his home/away platoon splits showed that Petco Park had a major negative influence on him up until 2012. Headley is primarily a third baseman, but he can also play the outfield, and his switch hitting approach fits perfectly in Yankee Stadium. Unfortunately,  the Padres know of his platoon splits, and their asking price has not been low in the past.

The second one is Giancarlo Stanton. In the same article, Madden explains that a Marlins operative is firmly pushing the team to trade Stanton while his value is high. He believes that the organization’s reluctance to trade has been brought on by the negative response to this offseason’s Blue Jays trade. If Stanton were to become available, he would be a player to clear the farm system for, and the Yankees might just do so to get the young right-handed outfielder.

Finally, Phil Hughes threw 15 pitches today. It was his regular pitching motion, but on flat ground. It sounds like he’s still a couple of weeks from making a start, but that would give him a couple of Spring Training starts where he could work up his pitch count. Keep your fingers crossed that his velocity is normal with the the big innings increase that he saw last season.

Continue reading Late Night Links: Headley, Stanton, Hughes

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. Continue reading Quick Hit: An update on Mark Teixeira

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

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.

To give you an idea of the reliability of today’s defensive statistics, Curtis Granderson’s 2012 -18.2 UZR/150 was the worst in all of baseball, while his RZR ranked well above average at 10th overall, placing him between BJ Upton and Andres Torres. You can also trace this yearly, and see that his UZR/150 has fluctuated from 7.9 in 2010 (the fourth best center fielder), to -5.3 in 2011 (12th ranked center fielder), to finally the worst ranked center fielder last season. This isn’t the first time UZR/150 has had mixed feelings, in 2006 and 2007, Granderson put up a 13.6 and 14.6 UZR/150, followed by a 2008 that dropped to -11.9.

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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.

I posted tonight’s Yankees lineup earlier but here’s the Braves lineup that will be facing David Phelps:

Schafer CF
Heyward RF
JUpton LF
Freeman 1B
BUpton DH
Uggla 2B
Johnson 3B
Pastornicky SS
Pagonizzi C

Maholm LHP

The Yankee pitchers scheduled to follow Phelps on the mound are David Robertson, Joba Chamberlain, David Aardsma, Mark Montgomery and Shawn Kelley.

Tonight’s game will be shown on YES and will also be broadcasted on WCBS 880 AM. Continue reading Some late afternoon Yankees news: 3/5/12

Tonight’s Yankee lineup: 3/5/12

The Yankees are taking on the Atlanta Braves tonight in Steinbrenner Field.

Here’s the lineup:

Gardner CF
Ichiro LF
Nix 2B
Hafner DH
Nunez SS
Stewart C
Johnson 1B
Almonte RF
Joseph 3B

Phelps P

I’m excited to see ZOILO. And yes, I capitalized his name because I love it so much. As you can see, Gardner is back in CF and Ichiro is in LF. With Cano and Tex gone for the WBC, we get Nix and Johnson in their place.

The game is on YES tonight at 7:05 p.m. Continue reading Tonight’s Yankee lineup: 3/5/12

To WBC or not to WBC?

What I’m about to say may be a little controversial but I’m going to say it anyway.

I’m just not that into the World Baseball Classic.

I know, I probably should be. I read Twitter and I notice how other people are staying up late and/or waking up early to watch the games taking place across the world in Asia and I think, “I wish I can be that excited too.” But I’m not.

To be honest, I wasn’t that into the WBC in 2009 either. Back then, things were different, I had just been laid off from my long-time job at a once major television network and I wasn’t in the frame of mind to enjoy baseball.

But what gives this time?

Four years ago, I wasn’t even blogging about baseball and now I am. You’d think I’d want to witness all of this fanfare, especially since we don’t get to watch baseball in the Olympics anymore and that I’d want to asborb every bit of information I can about the WBC but I just don’t want to.

I should be happy that I get to watch international players I normally wouldn’t get to see play baseball, that I get to see how crazy fans from other countries are at games and that I get to see players from different MLB teams join forces to play on the same squad. But I’m not.

I should be rooting for guys like Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano to do well and to more importantly, stay healthy.

This morning I even attempted to watch “WBC Today” on MLB Network to get caught up on everything that’s happened in the WBC so far and I found myself completely confused by the round robin rules. I sort of get them but I think it was too early for my brain to function properly.

Who knows? Maybe things will change tomorrow when the Yankees play against Cano and his Dominican Republic teammates at Steinbrenner Field. At least we’ll get to see Hiroki Kuroda start for the Yanks and that’s something to be excited about. Or maybe, I’ll watch the game tomorrow and still not care about the WBC.

Am I the only one? How do you all feel about it? Is the WBC grabbing your attention or do you feel like it’s an unneeded distraction? Continue reading To WBC or not to WBC?

The Shallow Depths

Though the season hasn’t even started, the Yankees have already had their depth tested in two positions. Curtis Granderson‘s injury has opened up a spot in the outfield, and the catching situation has been much maligned since the Yankees declined to re-sign Russell Martin and passed on signing A.J. Pierzynski. And with Derek Jeter‘s ankle injury, we’ll see the infield depth tested as Eduardo Nunez and/or Jayson Nix get some time at short to spell the Captain.  On the other hand, the pitching seems to be fairly deep.

The bullpen is well-stocked and some pitchers (think Clay Rapada and Cody Eppley) will not last the year on the 25-man roster. Likewise, though not quite as widely, the starting rotation is considered to be an area of strength. It’s certainly a talented rotation featuring CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, and Hiroki Kuroda. But is it as deep as we think?

Phil Hughes has already suffered an injury. Andy Pettitte is coming off an injury (granted it was a freak, batted ball thing). Kuroda, though he showed few (if any) signs of injury last year, is coming off a career high in innings pitched. Sabathia, godly though he may be is coming off of (relatively minor) elbow surgery. It’s easy to imagine one or more of them missing time over the course of the season. If (when) that happens, where can the Yankees turn? Continue reading The Shallow Depths

Tuesday morning Yankees news and notes: 3/5/12

There’s really not a lot going on today. Yesterday’s big news was Brian Cashman breaking his leg and dislocating his ankle. And today’s big news? All of the jokes about the Yankees being so old that even their GM is on the DL. Or the stuff written about how Cashman crashing to ground is a symbol of what’s to come for the club itself in 2013.

Anyway, here are some links for you to read:

The Yankees aren’t scheduled to play until 7:05 p.m. tonight which after an off-day seems pretty obnoxious. They’re playing the Atlanta Braves in Steinbrenner Field.

In case you missed it, both Brien Jackson and Brad Vietrogoski had pieces that ran this morning on IIATMS. Be sure to read them and make sure you come back and read the stuff we have lined up for the rest of the day. I promise, you won’t regret it. Continue reading Tuesday morning Yankees news and notes: 3/5/12

Slowed Down Spring For CC Continues, And It’s Downright Brilliant


(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod.  And no, that’s not CC reacting to pain in his left elbow.  And that’s a good thing)

I jumped on the “reducing CC Sabathia‘s workload” bandwagon early, like as soon as the Yankees announced plans to do that this season.  I became a card-carrying member of the “I Support Reducing CC’s Workload Club” two weeks ago when he threw his first bullpen of the spring, a signal that the Yankees were taking the efforts to reduce his workload seriously.  And I’m putting down money for the official club t-shirt after finding out last Thursday that the Yankees have pushed CC’s first spring start back to March 15th.  Chad Jennings had the details last week, which included Joe’s desire to not have CC face the Blue Jays as scheduled on March 10th.  As a result, Sabathia will throw another simulated game on the 10th, make his first official ST start on the 15th, and end up with only three total ST outings under his belt before taking the hill on Opening Day.

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