Spring Training Game 10: The Red Sox are here

This afternoon the Yankees will be hosting the Red Sox at Steinbrenner Field in their first matchup of the Spring. The game is at 1:05 p.m. and will be shown on YES locally and on MLB Network nationally.

Here are your lineups:

Ellsbury CF
Gardner LF
Beltran RF
McCann DH
Rodriguez 3B
Jones 1B
Pirela 2B
Romine C
Culver SS

Capuano LHP

Betts CF
Holt SS
Craig DH
Brentz LF
Nava RF
Vazquez C
Cecchini 3B
Shaw 1B
Bianchi 2B

Kelly RHP

Bryan Mitchell, Andrew Miller, and Dellin Betances will be pitching in relief.

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IIATMS Top Moment #16: Joe Girardi’s Triple

Many who lived through and experienced the “Dynasty” and the “Core Four” consider 1996 the sweetest memory of them all. After all, it was the first World Series title after a long drought and it did not even seem possible after the first two games of the 1996 World Series. There were so many heroes of that World Series and during the course of these “Top Moments” posts, many of them will be recounted. This “moment” concerns the deciding Game Six of that Series and a dagger placed in the hearts of Atlanta Braves fans by catcher, Joe Girardi.

We hear a lot of the Core Four. To me, at least, it should have been a Core Five or Core Six to include Bernie Williams and Paul O’Neill. But the term does include catcher, Jorge Posada. And the one misnomer about his inclusion (not to belittle his accomplishments) is that he was not really a part of the 1996 and 1997 story.…

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Evaluating A-Rod’s Early Spring Training Performance

There’s no denying that Alex Rodriguez was, is, and will continue to be the focal point of this Yankee Spring Training.  We all knew that was going to happen whether we wanted it to or not, and we all knew that we were going to pick a side on the “for A-Rod” and “against A-Rod” line.  The situation with the MSM crew and the newspaper back pages is what it is when it comes to those sides.  What really matters is whether or not the guy can still play and stay healthy enough to play.  That’s the logical, rational, intelligent stance to take as a fan or writer, and that’s the stance we try to take here at IIATMS in every A-Rod post we write.

With that in mind, and keeping in mind the previous point about A-Rod being the undeniable focal point, I’d like to spend some time analyzing his early spring performance.  It’s a very small sample size, but when you’re talking about a guy attempting a comeback in the context that A-Rod is I think there’s a little more value than usual in those small samples.  …

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Spring Training Game 9 Recap: BAL 3 NYY 1

Aaron Judge

This dive started on the warning track. True story. Courtesy of the AP

In the first of what is hopefully not many starts for the Major League club this year, Chase Whitley took the ball to start this afternoon’s Spring Training square-off with the Baltimore Orioles.  Whitley’s one of the guys who is stretched out to work multiple innings early while guys like Tanaka and CC work at a slower pace, and that’s why he got the nod.  He turned in a perfectly Whitley-esque 3-inning outing and got a lot of strong relief innings from a pretty solid group of scheduled bullpen guys.  But the offense didn’t generate much and the Yanks racked up another meaningless L in the ST W-L column.

Game Notes:

– Whitley’s 3 innings came with 2 hits and 3 walks, but ultimately no runs.  He successfully worked out of the trouble he created for himself and there’s something to be said for that.  Definitely needs to sharpen up the command though.  …

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Matsui joins the Yankees front office

This is pretty cool.

According to the Associated Press, Matsui will work with Cashman and player development vice president Gary Denbo. His job will require him to spend most of the season traveling in the team’s minor league system where he will discuss hitting with managers, batting coaches and players.

The Yankees will formally announce this move during a press conference tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m.

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Spring Training Game 9: Yanks at Orioles

The Yankees are traveling to Sarasota to take on the Orioles. Today’s game is at 1:05 p.m. but will not be shown live on TV. It will be tape delayed and shown on MLB Network later tonight.

Here are your lineups:

Gregorius SS
Young CF
Headley 3B
Teixeira 1B
Murphy C
Pirela DH
Drew 2B
Judge RF
Flores LF

Whitley RHP

Esmil Rogers, Chasen Shreve, and Jose Ramirez are scheduled to pitch in relief.

Machado 3B
Hardy SS
Davis 1B
Jones CF
Wieters DH
Young RF
Snyder LF
Lavarnway C
Schoop 2B

Chen LHP

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IIATMS Top Moment #17: Rauuuuuuuuuul!

Source: Fangraphs.com

Source: Fangraphs.com

Raul Ibanez was never supposed to be the hero for the Yankees in Game 3 of the 2012 ALDS against the Orioles.

But thanks to a gutsy move by Joe Girardi — pinch-hitting Ibanez for the slumping Alex Rodriguez with one out in the ninth inning and Yankees trailing by a run –- the 40-year-old etched his name among the pinstriped immortals with a couple swings of the bat.

The Yankees and Orioles had split the first two games of the best-of-five series, giving added significance to this critical Game 3 at Yankee Stadium. The loser would be on the brink of elimination, the winner would be one step away from advancing to the ALCS.

The Orioles struck first with a solo homer by rookie second baseman Ryan Flaherty in the top of the third inning, but the Yankees quickly answered back in the bottom of the frame when Derek Jeter tripled home Russell Martin to tie the score at 1-1.…

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Spring Training Game 8 Recap: NYY 4 TB 3

Alex Rodriguez

In a word, luscious. Courtesy of the AP

This afternoon’s contest between the Yankees and the Rays brought the opening week of Spring Training game action to a close, and I think it’s fair to say it was a pretty positive first week for the Yanks.  All the guys that matter came through healthy, the starting pitching was pretty good, a lot of young players got to contribute in limited action, and Alex Rodriguez made headlines for his play on the field and his good health, not for corrupting the youth of America or doing/saying things that unnamed sources said unnamed front office members didn’t like.

Today’s game was the 2015 debut for Michael Pineda, and expectations are high for Big Mike this year.  He showed everybody what he’s capable of in his few starts, now the Yankees need him to put together a full, healthy season of that or something like it.  He looked pretty damn good in his first outing today, with following fellow rotation member Nathan Eovaldi looking even better in relief of him.  …

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Battle of the Unspectacular Middle Infielders! The Latest…

* Jose Pirela is “the best hitter in the entire organization,” former non-middle-infielder Reggie Jackson declared. Reggie hasn’t been a full-time coach since before some of my co-bloggers were born (last with the A’s in 1991, I believe), so he’s not one of the world’s leading authorities on hitting. But I think this report is something more than nothing. For example, it’s a hint that Pirela doesn’t have the sort of too-long/too-ugly a swing to limit his ceiling to “quad-A guy.”

* Brendan Ryan wins the gallows humor award for noting that he’s experiencing “Groundhog Spring,” injuring his back in March for the second straight year. But last year, it wasn’t crazy to have some hope he might (A) return to hitting at least baseline-competently and (B) retain his elite defense. This year, neither: (A) his last three years of OPS have been not only atrocious, but declining, to bad-hitting-pitcher level — .555, .528, .413; and (B) both the stats and the eye test show that at age 32 (about to be 33 in 2 weeks, happy birthday buddy), he’s no longer an elite defender.…

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