Monday, February 11, 2013

Pitchers and Catchers

Pitchers and Catchers officially report tomorrow, but the Yankees Spring Training facility in Tampa has already been bustling with activity for a while now.

There shouldn't be any surprises here. The Yankee roster is all but set. This is more about some the veterans getting healthy for the season. CC, Jeter, Rivera all coming off of surgeries, all should have slow spring trainings, but be ready for opening day.

I'm more interested in seeing the Yankee top prospects. Mason Williams is not in Major League camp because he's coming off of shoulder surgery (non-throwing shoulder) and will most likely be starting the season in Tampa. But guys like Tyler Austin, Gary Sanchez and Slade Heathcott need to impress now, if they want a shot at making the big club later in the season. None of these guys have legitimate shot at breaking camp in the Bronx but make the good impression now and it will pay off later. I also want to see David Adams. If this guy has an impressive spring training, it may lead to Nunez being traded.

Other Spring Training interests:

Starting Catcher: Girardi and Cashman have all but said the starting job is Cervelli's to lose. If Romine has a real good spring can he make the club? Does Cervelli's PED connection play a part in this, if he gets suspended for 50 it sure does...we may not see Cervelli ever again in pinstripes.

Starting OF: A lot of talk has been going on about Gardner moving full time to CF. This was the hot topic 3 years ago when the Yankees made the trade for Granderson, but with the injury to Gardner last year we didn't hear it. Now Cashman and Girardi are seriously considering switching Gardner to CF and Granderson to LF. This is the best move defensively for the team and should have been that way from day 1.

Bullpen: I have no doubt Rivera will be back to the normal Rivera. He will be one of the elite closers this year. The Yankees did lose Soriano, and while I think that is a good thing, you can't argue it was a big time arm in the pen. Can Aardsma bounce back and have a big impact on the bullpen? He was once a big time closer, if he can fill the 7th or 8th inning the Yankees can have the best bullpen in the AL when you have Logan, Joba, Robertson, Aardsma, and Rivera.

Rotation: There isn't a real question here. I would be shocked if it isn't CC, Kuroda, Pettitte, Hughes, and Nova. The only question is can Phelps challenge Nova for the #5 spot. I'm guessing no. Phelps would have to be unbelievable...which could happen...and Nova would have to be terrible...which I guess could happen. But short of injury, I think Girardi will put Nova in the #5 spot to start the season. If Nova struggles in April then Phelps gets the call.


Anonymous said...

Regarding the rotation, I think you are correct for 1-4. I am not sure Nova will even break camp with the major league team. He was not consistent tended to be hurt by the long ball, etc. Phelps seemed to be consistent in his performances even out of the pen. The question that has to be asked is whether Phelps can progress and whether Nova can stop stepping backwards.

Crash said...

Fair point on Nova...keep in mind Phelps season wasn't all roses...he did take 2 key losses in the postseason last year. And struggled in first couple of starts when they moved him from the bullpen to rotation. His first 3 starts he couldn't get out of the 5th inning. In 11 starts last year he only made it longer than 5IP 5x.

Michael Bourn signs a 4 year $48MM deal with the Indians. There is a vesting option for a 5th year. The Mets also offered 4 years $48M. Bourn decides Cleveland is better than NY. I think that says a lot about the perception of the Mets right, seeing how the Mets actually won more games than the Indians last year.

Crash said...

The NY Post had a couple articles on Russel Martin. One wasn't much of surprise when he confirmed that the Yankees didn't make an offer to him. The other wasn't a surprise either but it reaffirms the reason Jeter will always be a Yankee and I don't care if his range at SS is deteriorating. Here is a quote from Martin on Jeter from the NY Post:
"He is a class act and definitely an inspiration by the way he handles things, his professionalism and his dedication. That guy does everything the right way. He is one of my favorites, no question."

To hear that from a current player and former teammate is something unique in this day. The same kind of sentiment was shared by Terry Francona when he was interviewed by Bob Costas on MLB Network. He said Jeter was his favorite player who didn't play for him. He just does everything the right way.

And by the way if you haven't seen the Francona interview, see if you can catch it on MLB Network it's pretty good.

old professor said...

So when Jeter is 50 and using a walker to play shortstop it will still be okay for you.

Crash said...

I think a walker would be consider performance not that would not be okay.

Crash said...

CC is in camp...said to be looking fit, at 290!!!

News flash 290lbs is never fit.

Crash said...

A-Rod not in camp, he is rehabbing in NY. better than Miami I guess.

Crash said...

Here is my conspiracy theory for the day...LA Dodgers miss the playoffs and Mattingly is fired, given talent, money spent, and high expectations. Yankees don't win Series or miss playoffs completely, Girardi is not brought back...Donnie Baseball manages the Yankees in 2014.

old professor said...

As for A-Rod staying in NY to rehab, that will mean less distraction at camp. Like Romine's attitude about wanting to stay with the club. As for CC at 290. He is a big man if he is comfortable at that weight and his arm feels strong let it be (personally, I pitched better after consuming scotch).

Girardi has to be out of his skull. He believes the team "could" win 95 games - yeah only if Toronto has a complete meltdown of the rotation and David Price blows his arm out for Tampa.

Crash said...

I don't think 95 wins for the Yankees is out of the question. I think they are a lot better than what everyone is saying. Until someone actually steps up and knocks them out they are the beast of the east. Remember Boston a couple of years ago were the odds on favorite following a huge winter...same now for the Blue Jays. They have a decent team on paper, let's see how they gel and perform on the field. I see the Yankees in 1st, Rays & Jays battle for 2nd and 3rd (probably in the race until the last week) Red Sox in 4th, O's in 5th. O's played above their head last year and will crash back to earth big time this season.

Cervelli says he never took PEDs...what a surprise. He did change his story a little bit. His initial statement he only took legal supps from the anti-aging place, now he says he only left with advice and recommendations. Never left with anything in hand. I don't buy it at all. My thought is he took HGH for his foot, A-Rod probably told him about it. He and A-Rod are close friends apparently. I don't think Cervelli was using during a season, probably just to come back from his injury. I think he will be suspended.

Romine needs to impress big time to make the club. I hope he odes.

Crash said...

Manny Banuelos threw today and is on target for spring training...2014. Banuelos is just turning 22, so even though he is still a year away from seeing action and most likely 2 years from the bigs, he will still be young. He'll be turning 24 in 2015. Nice young pitcher to add to your MLB club then.

Crash said...

There is a poll on RAB about Cano and his future Free Agent contract: 7 years $142, 8/$160, 8/$180, 9/$214, Give him what he wants, or Let him walk.

The number one response was "let him walk". Yankee fans are seemingly embracing the new Yankee frugalness and are tired of Cano's lazy efforts (appearance of laziness, I guess). Here is a guy in the prime of his career, he came up through the system, he is a "true Yankee" and the fans don't think he's worth it and let him go somewhere else.

I'm surprised...I agree though I did say let him walk. I just don't think the Yankees need another 38 year old under performing making $20+ a year. 5 years $125 is where I would go. If he turns it down, see ya.

Crash said...

Pineda throws off a mound, lost 20 pounds, and Cashman says can be ready for the Bronx by June.

Crash said...

Charles Woodson is released by the Packers. Wonder if there is a possible fit with the Giants. Giants have the worst secondary in the league (my opinion, not supported by anything). Anything would be an upgrade. Though I think Woodson played more safety than corner last year. Still a decent option. Also talk (still) of Reevis being traded or released from the Jets. He is the best corner cover guy in the league, when healthy. Giants should at least check in on that situation...and can anyone tell me why Corey Webster is still a NY Giant???

old professor said...

The big question regarding Penieda is not his ability to throw, but throw with the mid to upper 90's velocity that he had before the surgery. There are a lot of questions regarding the type of surgery he had and whether he will be able to come back 100%. There are a number of pitchers that have (Shilling is one) and there are others that could not (Prior).

As for Woodson - wayyyyyy to old to be considered for the Giants.

Crash said...

First day of full squad workouts. To my knowledge everyone, except A-Rod, is in camp and ready to go.

In Red Sox camp Buster Olney says the Red Sox are their last straw with Alfredo Aceves. Pitchers have been in camp for less than a week and he's already ticking off people. I know he was unhappy last year with Valentine but this is a little ridiculous. I don't remember him having issues while with the Yankees. I'm sure something would have leaked out. Maybe the back injury was just an excuse to cut him.

Crash said...

Phelps gets the first start of the spring on Saturday against the Braves...Warren gets the start on Sunday against Toronto (spring home opener at GMS Field).

Hughes hurts his back doing PFPs. Auspicious start for the guy needing to have a big year.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about not responding but the sun in Mexico takes precedents. Too bad about Hughes indciates he did not work very hard during the off season. Not sold on Warren as a rotation guy. Phelps maybe. Next year will spend a week in tampa at spring training.

Crash said...

Yeah I hear the weather in Mexico is tough right now...while here it is a delightful 20 degrees, almost beach weather.

So looks like the Yankees will make an exception for Cano and attempt to extend him prior to the contract expiring and him hitting the free agent market. Cano is a little older,he's already 30. No doubt right now he is the top 2B in the game, and probably top 5 in the game. The AAV of this contract will be between $22-$25MM. He is on a HOF path right now, but 2B's tend to go down hill fast (which I can't explain, but they do), especially after 35.

Boras is probably seeking a 10 year deal. No way the Yankees sign him into his 40's. If I'm the Yankees I start with 6...add a 7th, go to 8 and 9 as vesting options. Cano said it's not about the $$, but it's always about the money. In the end I kind of hope the Yankees let him walk...but I don't think it will happen.

Crash said...

Hughes stiffness is due to the bulging disc problem he has. Cashman is expecting him to rest for 2 weeks and be fine. Hughes to extra work this offseason to try and help the problem. Apparently it didn't work.

Crash said...

Chris Dickerson is in Orioles camp. Not sure why the Yankees wouldn't give him a solid know since they had him...and they need a right handed OF-DH bat. Average, power, speed, athletic, yeah let's DFA him.
Cashman you're an idiot.

old professor said...

Dickerson was let go because he was left-handed. With three lefthanded bats, Dickerson became expendable. He did show some pop when hitting, had good speed and range defensively, just no where for him to fit on the team.

Hughes will eventually need surgery this is not the first back problem he has had and the two week estimate is just that an estimate. If he starts throwing again and the back acts up he will undergo disk removal which will put him on the self into late May early June at best.

Crash said...

You're right, my mistake, Dickerson is left handed.

Recently, more names were linked to the Biogenesis lab. One player was "a little surprised" and "disappointed"...not sure why on either front. You went to steroid dealer...notice how the story of Gio Gonzalez has also changed. Before it was I don't know anything about it never went there, now it's when I was there it was only legal stuff, nothing from the banned list. This Bosch guy was dirty, every player that saw him knew it, they knew what they were getting into, and now the players try to lie and act surprised and disappointed. These guys are pathetic.

With Osi out the door after 10 years with the Giants. There may be a good fit with another player recently released...Colts DE Dwight Freeney. JPP, Tuck, and Freeney would be a nasty front. But that means somebody would need to move from DE to DT. Both JPP and Tuck frequently move across the line as is, it may not be a tough transition for either of them. That would definitely get a lot of pressure on the QB, which is what the Giants need to be successful on the defensive side of the ball.

I think Henry Melton is a free agent (not sure if he's restricted or unrestricted). He is a great pass rushing DT with the Bears. That would be the signing the Giants should look at. He's going to be more expensive than Freeney, but he's only 26 and in the natural position the Giants need.

Crash said...

The disc problem Hughes has may be touch more serious than being let on by Yankee brass. Yankees are quietly concerned, so much so they will be scouting Chien-Ming Wang in the WBC in the next couple of weeks for pitching depth.

Cashman has no interest in FE pitcher Kyle Loshe...that may be the best thing I heard all winter from the Cashman.

Crash said...

Granderson is shagging fly balls in LF today. Looks like the Gardner-Granderson switch is going official.

Crash said...

Joel Sherman had an interesting take on Brett Gardner. The story starts off how much the Yankees LOVE Brett Gardner and how he's an impact player...when I read that my thought was yet the Yankees continue to put him in a diminished role. The bat him at the bottom of the order, the move him from CF to LF for a defensively inferior player. How can the Yankees say that...then Shreman goes on to say exactly that.

Yet with Ichiro and Jeter probably at the top of lineup where else can you bat him? So that leads us to what will the lineup look like this year....


I think that alternates LH/RH. I guess you could have Gardner in the 9th spot but that means a manager can bring in a lefty late in the game to get 2 outs. Rather than forcing the opposing team to burn 2 relievers. Youkilis and Hafner will need to adjust to hitting lower in the lineup. I also wouldn't mind batting Jeter in the leadoff spot because it means he grounds into fewer DPs.

Mid said...

That is a line up that I do not see posting a lot of runs -- which means pitching and D is going to have to be the priority. Which I'm OK with -- the teams in the 90s never had monster offensive numbers.

old professor said...

The giants need to rid themselves of Osi, he was a crybaby that cared more about his check than the team and honoring a contract. In addition after 10 years his best years are now in the rear view mirror. Nice to see that Mid could chime im for a brief statement considering originallyt this was his blog.

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