Quick Hit: Yankees are scouting Wang in the WBC

From MLB Trade Rumors:

The Yankees are among the teams keeping an eye on Chien-Ming Wang, who threw six shutout innings against Australia in the World Baseball Classic, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.  The Aussies may not be the toughest team in the WBC, but Wang looked strong and probably helped his case for hooking on with the Bombers or another club as pitching depth.  Here’s more out of the AL and NL East.

I missed Sherman’s tweets, which appeared at 4 a.m.this morning because I was sleeping but this isn’t shocking news, the Yankees were said to be among the teams who were going to be watching the still-unsigned Wang.

And in case you missed the game last night, the former Yankee ace held Australia to four singles in six scoreless innings in Chinese Taipei’s 4-1 victory. Chinese Taipei will next host the Netherlands who defeated Korea 5-0 in their first game. Continue reading Quick Hit: Yankees are scouting Wang in the WBC

Saturday morning Yankees news and notes: 3/2/12

Happy Saturday, Yankee fans. Here’s some news and notes for you.

First up, today’s lineup against the Tigers:

Gardner CF
Ichiro RF
Cano 2B
Teixeira 1B
Youkilis 3B
Hafner DH
Diaz LF
Nix SS
Stewart C

Nova RHP

The pitchers also scheduled to pitch in today’s game are: Rapada, Aardsma, Kelley, Montgomery, Daley and Rondon. Out of that list I’m most interested in seeing Aardsma, Kelley and Montgomery. Aardsma because he’s coming back from his arm surgery, Kelley because he’s the new guy and Montgomery because I want to see what the fuss is about.

According to Chad Jennings of the Lohud Yankees Blog, Melky Mesa has pulled out of the WBC.

And here are some links about the Yankees for you to peruse this morning:

  • In this piece by Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, it seems some Yankee fans are still not ready to accept Kevin Youkilis into their Yankee fan arms. My advice to them is to get over it and stop acting like petulant children.
  • George King of the New York Post writes about Eduardo Nunez and his new arm motion. The Yankees realized something needed to change and that it wasn’t his range, it was his throwing arm. Well, yes.
  • More Nunez, he tweeted this message late last night: “God bless me on this new season so I can show people that talk bad about me that they are wrong!” Take that, haters.
  • Phil Hughes may throw as soon as tomorrow and may be back and pitching by March 14. Hooray!
  • Dave D’Alessandro of the Star-Ledger writes about Robinson Cano‘s 2013 and the expectations Cano will be facing as he inches toward his new contract.

Continue reading Saturday morning Yankees news and notes: 3/2/12

Former Yankee Scott Proctor opens up about alcoholic past

Scott Proctor has pitched with big name teams such as the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees but as he’s trying to make a comeback at age 36, he admits to still getting nervous, even in Spring Training.

“Once I’ve jogged from the bullpen and haven’t tripped, I’m fine,” Proctor said. “That’s the nervous part for me.”

In a piece that ran earlier today on SF Gate, Proctor opened up about his past struggles with alcohol and right now, he’s in camp with the defending champion San Francisco Giants, trying to work his way back to the Majors.

The popular narrative when Proctor was a member of the New York Yankees was that he was abused, or more that his pitching arm was abused by then-Manager Joe Torre. Proctor was a key member of the Yankees’ bullpen in 2006 and 2007. Proctor says that contrary to popular belief, Torre relying on him so much was not the reason for his downfall, alcohol was.

His binge drinking was so severe, he’d stop either when he ran out of booze or when he passed out. Proctor even said that teammate Mariano Rivera had tried for a long time to get him to admit that he had a drinking problem. Proctor finally decided to stop while he was rehabbing from Tommy John surgery and he has been clean for four years.

Proctor spent the last year in South Korea pitching for the Doosan Bears.

“I was put in a role where I was able to make an impact being a closer,” he said. “I just got with some good guys over there, some good coaches, and thank the Lord I had a good year.”

Proctor, who had been tinkering with his sinker when he was with Atlanta, perfected it last year and it helped him save 35 games for the Bears.

I’m very happy for Scott Proctor. Stories of redemption are always great to see. I’m glad he was able to turn his life around, to get healthy and I hope that he pitches well enough to earn a job with the Giants. Continue reading Former Yankee Scott Proctor opens up about alcoholic past

Spring Training Game Eight: Phillies 10, Yankees 5

So the Yankees lost again.

They had 12 hits, 12 strike outs, walked three times and hit two home runs. Oh and they made four more errors – none were credited to Eduardo Nunez.

Hiroki Kuroda was victimized by that shoddy defense. He gave up four runs in two innings but only one was earned. He gave three hits, one walk and struck out two batters.

Ronnier Mustelier and Melky Mesa each hit a home run for the Yankees and Francisco Cervelli and Juan Rivera each hit a double.

For the Phillies, they scored their 10 runs – only four of them were earned – without the aid of the long ball. They were helped out by the Yankees’ defense.

Sorry I don’t have more to write about. This game wasn’t that entertaining.

The Yankees take on the Tigers tomorrow at 1:00 p.m at Steinbrenner Field. Continue reading Spring Training Game Eight: Phillies 10, Yankees 5

Some baseball links from around the web: Dogs, the WBC and other assorted goodies

While there is a lull in the action i.e. it’s March, it’s Spring Training and there are only so many things you can say about Robinson Cano‘s upcoming contract negotiations, I thought I’d share some goodies from around the baseball blogosphere.

First up, my friend Michael Clair, who writes for a bunch of places including The Platoon Advantage, has his own blog called Old Time Family Baseball where he posts some of the funniest stuff you’ll ever see and today’s post is no exception. He takes us back to 1993 when baseball Milk Bone got together for a collection of baseball cards featuring baseball players and their dogs. Some of my favorites are Todd Zeile‘s, Rob Dibble‘s – mostly for his sweater – and current Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi‘s cards.

Take a look, I promise it’s worth it.

Another friend, Tara Franey, a colleague of mine at Aerys Sports who is the head Cincinnati Reds writer, wrote two previews for the WBC. She wrote about both Pool A and Pool B so far. The previews are detailed and you will find everything you ever needed to know about the WBC.

***I interrupt this post to give you the following news bulletin: It has been reported by a flurry of tweets from the Yankee beat writers that General Manager Brian Cashman will be jumping out of a plane with the Army Golden Knights Monday in Miami. I don’t even know what to say about that.

Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk is in Arizona for Spring Training and he reported that the first song played during Angels’ practice was “The Look Of Love” by ABC. If you’re an 80’s music lover like me, you’ll appreciate that. If you’re not, you’re probably wondering what I’m even taking about.

Speaking of Hardball Talk, in case you didn’t hear the news, Bill Baer, otherwise known as @CrashburnAlley on Twitter is the newest addition to the site’s impressive list of authors.

And finally, I thought this was amusing: It’s video of a Korean baseball brawl.

Happy Friday! Continue reading Some baseball links from around the web: Dogs, the WBC and other assorted goodies

Teix Now Front And Center On The “Needs To Produce” Radar

(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod) 2013 was already going to be an important year for Mark Teixeira.  After a stellar Yankee debut season in 2009, the last three have been a downhill trend of offensive regression and 2013 was shaping up to be the tipping point for the rest of Teix’s Yankee career.  He could either bounce back and prove that he still had enough in the tank to be a consistent middle-of-the-order threat, or continue his decline, officially enter the downside of his career, and become the latest contract anchor on the payroll. Teix’s comments to Dan Barbarisi Continue reading Teix Now Front And Center On The “Needs To Produce” Radar

Cashman to Yankee fans: Calm down about Eduardo Nunez

Hey Yankee fans, Brian Cashman wants to let everybody know that Eduardo Nunez is ‘not a great offensive player,’ and that while he’d be a suitable shortstop, Cashman believes Nunez could not be an everyday third baseman, left fielder or center fielder.

Okay, no offense to Mr. Cashman because I like him but were people actually clamoring for Nunez to play center field or did he just happen to mention it because of everything that’s happened so far in camp?

I know Yogi Berra said last month that Nunez should get at least 500 at bats and that when Curtis Granderson had his forearm by a pitch, some people, not a majority by any means, suggested Nunez as a left field fill-in but centerfield? Really?

Cashman, speaking with Mark Hale and Mike Vaccaro on yesterday’s PostCast, also said there are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to players like Nunez and that people tend to exaggerate what they can actually do.

Well, to be fair to the people doing that sort of thing, Nunez was one of the only guys to actually hit the ball in the playoffs – even in limited at bats – and when one of your last memories of a guy is of him hitting a home run off Justin Verlander in a series in which none of the other guys could get anything going, your vision of him will be of that performance since it’s the freshest one.

Not that I feel that way but you know that some people tend to veer in that direction.

Cashman said the Yankees “have no problem” grooming him as a potential shortstop of the future after Derek Jeter retires. He’s athletically able to effectively play different positions defensively, the GM said, but would not be enough of a threat offensively to warrant that. Nunez hit .292 with one home run and 11 RBIs in 89 at bats last season.

I do agree with Cashman and think that Nunez is better suited to be an everday shortstop than to be placed in any other position regularly. What remains to be seen is how Nunez is actually used this season. If we see more of him in the field, it’s because Derek Jeter isn’t feeling right and that’s not a good thing. Continue reading Cashman to Yankee fans: Calm down about Eduardo Nunez

Cashman: Heathcott A Dark Horse Candidate

Lost in yesterday’s interview with Mike Francesa, Brian Cashman spoke meticulously about the the situation in left field. Unlike “accidentally” blurting out that the team offered Robinson Cano an extension, Cashman gave us a good long rundown of the outfield options. Melky Mesa, Zoilo Almonte, Matt Diaz, Juan Rivera, and a number of other young guys are in consideration before the team looks outside of the organization. But towards the end of the interview, Cashman could not stop raving about Slade Heathcott. He called Heathcott a dark horse candidate. After talking up his tools and the way he plays the game, Continue reading Cashman: Heathcott A Dark Horse Candidate

Friday morning Yankees news and notes: 3/1/12

I don’t know about the rest of you but I’ve never been so happy for a Friday to arrive. For one thing, this particular Friday is special because it marks the first day of a new month and since that new month is March it means that baseball, the kind that actually counts, is only a month away. So hooray for that. On a personal note, this week has been really up and down for me and I just want it to end.

The big news yesterday, thank goodness, was not any sort of significant injury, minor injury, injury recovery setback, etc. No, the big news was Robinson Cano‘s looming free agency and the word that the Yankees have made a significant offer to Cano and his agent Scott Boras. I mentioned it briefly last night but there’s been a whole lot written in the past 12-16 hours since then.

To his credit, Cano arrived today and told reporters, “I’m just going to focus on playing baseball…I don’t want to be a distraction to the team.” Unfortunately, Cano doesn’t get to decide whether or not he’ll be a distraction, the media will do that for him.

Yesterday, Matt Imbrogno of The Yankee Analysts wrote a piece about how he feels about the Joba Chamberlain situation. I think it’s worth the read and I won’t spoil it for you.

Speaking of Joba, things have been pretty quiet since that initial flood of overreactions to him declaring his wanting to be a starter. I don’t know,m maybe I’m naive but shouldn’t every pitcher want to compete at a higher level?

In case you missed it because you were in transit or hadn’t woken up yet, I posted today’s lineup. The Yankees are taking on the Phillies this afternoon in Steinbrenner Field. Hiroki Kuroda is starting and Robinson Cano and Kevin Youkilis are in the lineup.
Continue reading Friday morning Yankees news and notes: 3/1/12