Monday Night Open Thread: 3/24/14

Looks like Michael Pineda will be number 5.


No, not that number 5, Pitcher #5 in the rotation!

On ESPN New York, Wally Matthews deduced from what Joe Girardi said (and didn’t say) that Pineda will be the fifth starter and David Phelps will work out of the bullpen.

More from Matthews: Jacoby Ellsbury will return to game action tomorrow as DH in a Minor League game. Ellsbury has been bothered by a tight right calf and hasn’t played in 10 days.

A scout told CBS Sports’s Jon Heyman that the Yankees’ infield range, “has got to be the worst in baseball.” Congratulations, everyone!

Some news from around baseball:

  • Another Tampa Bay Rays pitcher has been suspended for PEDs. This time it’s Alex Colome who is currently on their 40-man roster – he made three starts for them last season. It seems like there’s at least one or two Rays players being suspended for something drug related every season. Just what in the world is happening down there anyway?

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Spring Training Musing & Updates: Rotation, Trades, Quintana

  • With real official Yankee baseball here in just 8 days, the organization is beginning to put the finishing touches on their 25-man roster. Tomorrow, Joe Girardi will announce the five-man rotation. Everyone expects Michael Pineda to make the team as the fifth starter, but Girardi says he won’t announce his decision until he’s told the players. We do know that he’s ordered the rotation a little differently than first expected, as CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, and Ivan Nova are now lined up to pitch the first three games of the season. Masahiro Tanaka will pitch the fourth game of the year, in an effort to separate the two Japanese starters, who own similar pitch repertoires.
  • As we assume Pineda wins the fifth rotation spot, keep in mind that Adam Warren and David Phelps were promised spots on the major league team, and both pitchers have played well enough for Girardi to keep that promise. I assume that they’ll both end up as relievers, with Warren getting a shot at more high-leverage situations and Phelps as the long-man.

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Quick hit: Looks like the first three slots in the rotation are set

This was just tweeted by Dan Barbarisi:

“Girardi says CC, Kuroda, Nova are pitching thurs-fri-sat this week, lining them up as 1-2-3 starters. Tanaka will start game 4 vs toronto.”

So now wait to find out who will be the fifth starter. Both David Phelps and Michael Pineda have pitched well and it has been reported that the decision has been made but Girardi hasn’t revealed his choice yet.

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Late Spring Training Injury Roundup

With 8 days until Opening Day, the Yankees enter their final week of ST game action with a few more potential roster holes to plug than they were hoping for.  It’s not competition that’s causing the uncertainty.  The starting lineup and rotation are mostly set, as is the bench, and the bullpen is starting to take shape.  A few late spring injuries have popped up and for now the Yankee training and coaching staffs are addressing them in a very slow and cautious manner.  None of the injuries appear to be too serious and none involve important ligaments or joints, continuing the refreshing string of good luck that Mike E. pointed out last Thursday, but there are a few that are serious enough to possibly affect the look of the Opening Day rosters.

Brendan Ryan- Already out for most of ST, Ryan suffered what I’m calling a setback with his back last week on the day the Yankees tried to get him back into a game.  …

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Game Thread: Yanks vs. Blue Jays 3/23/14

We get another televised look at Michael Pineda today, who’s been devastating opposing hitters all March. So far he’s accumulated 14 strikeouts and given up just 1 walk and 8 hits in 9.0 innings of work.

The Yankees lineup:

Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Carlos Beltran RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Alfonso Soriano DH
Brian Roberts 2B
Eduardo Nunez 3B
Ichiro Suzuki CF

On the mound: Michael Pineda

In his last outing, Pineda went 4.1 innings with 60 pitches. Assuming everything goes right, I assume the team will push him to somewhere around 75-80 pitches today. Keep an eye on his velocity and command as Pineda continues to gain strength and up his effort.

Some other guys to watch today are Nunez, Scott Sizemore, and Yangervis Solarte who are each competing for a 25-man roster spot. Preston Claiborne, Cesar Cabral, and Dellin Betances should also get a shot out of the bullpen, and they’re in a similar situation.…

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Game Thread: Yanks at Twins 3/22/14

The Yankees are taking a trip down to Fort Myers to taken on the Minnesota Twins. Masahiro Tanaka chose to make the trip rather than stay behind with the other regulars. He wanted to face MLB hitters and with Spring Training winding down and with the Twins being the home team, Tanaka will more than likely face their everyday lineup so this will game be a nice test for him. His pitch count will also be increased to 90 pitches so it will feel more like a regular season outing than previous games.

The Yankees lineup:

Gardner DH
Nunez SS
Johnson 1B
Cervelli C
Sizemore 3B
Anna 2B
Almonte RF
Wheeler LF
Richardson CF

Tanaka P

And here’s the Twins lineup. (It’s a picture, we’re all being lazy today.)

Some notes from camp:

  • Jacoby Ellsbury will be working out again today and will be doing the same things he did yesterday: hitting, fielding and some running. He’s not dead. Hooray!

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Finding Cervelli More At Bats

Francisco Cervelli has always been a decent hitter, and for a catcher, decent hitters can go a long way. His injury history hasn’t been as kind to him as his offensive stats, and collisions at the plate have been a culprit in his inconsistency since he was a prospect in the minor leagues. When the catcher performed well in 2013, many thought it was a fluke after hitting .269/.377/.500 in 61 plate appearances. Yet another injury shortened his season, and then even more suspicion surrounded his stats when he was caught up in the Biogenesis investigation.

Cervelli’s little breakout performance was regarded as a product of whatever drugs Anthony Bosch provided to him, but now he’s given us a reason to rethink that. While I’m not a fan of assuming great power performances are necessarily a product of some sort of PED, I can understand the suspicion with Cervelli, as he’s just half a year removed from a drug violation. But after a 50 game suspension and nearly a year off from baseball, it would be hard to imagine that Cervelli is willing to risk a second suspension by staying on banned drugs.…

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Mariano Rivera in Panama

From MLB productions: The “Legend Series” marked the return of Major League Baseball to Panama for the first time since 1947 and honored the legacy of newly retired Yankees great Mariano Rivera, the game’s all-time saves leader.

Making appearances in the video are Rivera’s former teammates David Robertson and Derek Jeter, and Ricardo Martinelli, the current President of Panama.


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