Gosh, this was ugly – if you saw it on TV.
Every where you turn, folks are predicting the Yankees to be around an 86-win team this year. The whole world can’t be wrong, can they?
Via George King -
Multiple scouts pointed out a slight dip in David Robertson’s velocity in the final days of spring training.
“He was 88 to 90 mph the last time I saw him and he is usually 92 and a tick above,’’ a talent evaluator said of the Yankees’ closer. “His velocity was down a little bit. He can usually pop out a 93. I don’t know, he might have been working on something, but it was down.”
According to Brian Cashman, he hasn’t been made aware of a slip in Robertson’s velocity and therefore isn’t concerned.
“It hasn’t come up at all,’’ the general manager said.
A check of Robertson’s velocity numbers last season indicates he throws harder as the season progresses. In early April he was at 90.5 mph. At the end of May it was 93.2. In the final days of June it was 92.4. At the end of July he was at 92 and at the end of August, 91.5. On Sept. 29 Robertson’s fastball was 91.8.
So, while 88 to 90 might indicate a drop, its high side is only a half mph from what Robertson threw early last April.
Hey, it happens.
This is just about the age where Gregg Olson, another short-righty-curveballer, went south.
The Yankees Opening Day D.H. in 2013 was Ben Francisco.
The Yankees Opening Day 3B in 2009 was Cody Ransom.
The Yankees Opening Day 1B in 2007 was Josh Phelps.
The Yankees Opening Day 2B in 2005 was Tony Womack.
The Yankees Opening Day 2B in 2004 was Enrique Wilson.
Nope, that’s not someone talking about Masahiro Tanaka’s splitter this spring – although it sounds like what you hear everyday this spring about the new Yankees hurler’s signature pitch. More so, it’s what they were saying about (then) Yankees “stud” import starting pitcher Jose Contreras in 2003:
The knee buckled, the pitch knuckled and, in the stands at Yankee Stadium, Billy Connors might have chuckled. When José Contreras struck out the Orioles’ Jay Gibbons on a forkball in the seventh inning yesterday, it delighted Connors, the Yankees’ organizational pitching sage. This is what the Yankees had been waiting for.
”When he can pitch ahead, he’s going to have great success, because he can wipe you out,” Connors said. ”He’s got a wipeout pitch with that split.”
Consider the Orioles wiped out. Making his first appearance for the Yankees in more than 11 weeks, Contreras dominated Baltimore for seven innings in a 7-0 victory. He allowed three singles and a walk, striking out five and showing the combination of power pitching and trickery that the Yankees found so irresistible last winter.
Contreras threw fastballs that reached 97 miles an hour, but all of his strikeouts came on splitters. Or, more precisely, they came on the pitch that is now called the splitter. ”It’s an old-fashioned forkball,” said Mel Stottlemyre, the Yankees’ pitching coach.
For the record, two years into his Yankees career, Contreras was traded for the immortal Esteban Loaiza.
I say “full” because you have to excluded the shortened seasons of 1994-95.
Well, the last time the Yankees had back-to-back seasons where they had 85 wins or less would be 1991-1992. And, that was the tail end of 1989-1992, when it was a terrible time to be a Yankees fan.
If it happens, will that be enough to get Brian Cashman fired?
Yangervis Solarte is on the Yankees roster, Joe Girardi confirms. Eduardo Nunez to AAA.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) March 29, 2014
Oh, solo mio Noonie!
For the record, it’s pronounced Yahn-HUR-veese Soh-LAHR-tay.
Greg Maddux is the worst. You would never know it’s him. And, I hate it when people change their autograph. Andruw Jones is guilty of that one.
Most notably, these three:
- Brian McCann’s BA/OBP/SLG line this spring is .209/.277/.349 (in 47 PA to date).
- Derek Jeter’s BA/OBP/SLG line this spring is .143/.208/.163 (in 53 PA to date).
- Mark Teixeira’s BA/OBP/SLG line this spring is .091/.286/.121 (in 42 PA to date).
Yeah, it’s only spring training…but…
…no cause for concern, Yankees fans?
Next up, Mike Trout?
Via ESPN -
Yasiel Puig is always going to be a story. The Los Angeles Dodgers just don’t want him to be the only story anyone ever talks about on a team with World Series aspirations.
So before the latest controversy with Puig had a chance to mushroom, manager Don Mattingly called a team meeting Tuesday to clear the air, sources with knowledge of the situation told ESPN.com.
A source described Puig as “very open” during the meeting and receptive to what was said.
“I asked them to please keep helping me,” Puig told ESPN.com. “Specifically with baserunning and hitting my cutoff man. I want them to help me with everything they can.”
The meeting previously was described as being between the second-year outfielder and the manager, but Mattingly wanted the entire team to have a forum to address the subject in-house, rather than have frustrations boil over or leak out through the media. Veterans Hanley Ramirez and Juan Uribe were the most vocal players during the meeting, sources said.
“It was good for everybody. Donnie just wanted to squash this, and it did,” one veteran, who asked not to be named, told ESPN.com.
Puig said he understood his teammates “wanted to help me get better” and encouraged them to approach him directly anytime they had something to say to him.
“Puig’s a good kid. He just didn’t come up through the system like we all did,” a veteran teammate said.
Afterward, Mattingly addressed the media and said of Puig, “We’re good. I’ve got no issues with Yasiel.”
There’s still time for Yasiel to get himself under control. It’s never too late – even Ruben Sierra, albeit near the end of his career and costly on the delay, got it into his head. For Puig’s sake, I hope it doesn’t take a monster humbling experience. His talent really is off the charts. If I were the Dodgers, I would get him a mentor – either a player or a coach – to be his Jiminy Cricket, and fast. It won’t be easy – since Yasiel already has the money, fame, is in Hollywood, and potentially running with the wrong crowd. In the meantime, the under/over line on the number of Puig benchings this year sits at sixteen.
At best, third place in the A.L. East – but missing the playoffs.
At worst? I don’t think they will finish last. But, I think it’s possible that they could be closer to last place than they are to first place, in terms of games in standings…again, at the worst.
Why? The pitching staff – both the rotation and the bullpen – is far from a proven thing. Their infield is a wreck. And, their outfield is flawed…given Gardner’s lack of power, Ellsbury’s injury risk, and Beltran’s wheels and lack of defense. (He makes Bobby Abreu look good in right.) Plus, at DH, Soriano gets eaten up by right-handed pitching.
There’s no stud batter on this team. There’s no proven set-up man in the bullpen. There’s age and uncertainty in the rotation. And, who knows that Johnson, Jeter, Roberts and Tex are going to produce…or if any of them will be there for the whole season?
Anyone who thinks this team is a playoff contender is dreaming.
Via the AP –
Baseball players and management hope to reach a new drug agreement this week that would increase initial penalties for muscle-building steroids and allow a decrease of suspensions for some positive tests caused by unintentional use, people familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.
For future suspensions, the deal also would eliminate the loophole allowing Alex Rodriguez to earn almost $3 million during his season-long ban, the people said. They spoke on condition of anonymity in recent days because talks are ongoing.
The sides hope to reach an agreement by Sunday, when the Los Angeles Dodgers open the U.S. portion of the major league schedule at the San Diego Padres.
While the lengths have not been finalized, a person involved with the talks said Wednesday the most likely penalties would be about 80 games for an initial testing violation and a season-long ban for a second.
“It will be a significant deterrent because players will know they’re not going to just easily walk back into a lineup,” Travis Tygart, chief executive officer of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, said in a telephone interview. “It probably is the best policy in professional sports.”
For use of a limited group of substances, the sides were discussing giving the arbitration panel that hears appeals grievances the authority to reduce suspensions by as much as 50 percent if the player proves the positive test was caused by unintentional use, the person said.
“What we’re all here for it to rid sports of the intentional cheats, those who are intending to defraud both the fans and their fellow teammates, the integrity of competition,” Tygart said. “You want to have provisions in place that allow for whether there’s an inadvertent or a truly non-intentional situation which may arise.”
Since the 2006 season, the Major League Baseball’s drug agreement has called for a 50-game suspension for a first positive steroids test, a 100-game ban for a second and a lifetime penalty for a third.
Seems fair. But, still, it’s a uphill fight as long as the developers are still a step ahead of the testers…
To this day, I still amazed that Mickey Mantle was ever able to hit a homerun without the aid of intro music!
In current edition of Baseball America, they list the “Top Organizations With 25-And-Under Talent.”
And, of the 30 teams in Major League Baseball, who ranks DEAD LAST at #30?
Why, it’s the New York Yankees.
And, next to their name, here’s “the skinny” (or reason why) provided by BBA: Yankees have no 25U established regular big leaguers and only one entrant on this year’s Top 100 Prospects.
Really? A team with resources such as the Yankees…and this is the best they can do?
Someone should be held accountable for this, no?
For the record, the Braves were #1, the Cardinals were #3, the Red Sox were #8, and, the Mets – yes, the Mets! – were #10 on the list.
If Big Stein were alive, think he would be happy with seeing Boston at eight and the Mets at ten…with his team dead last at thirty? No…
And, someone would have been held accountable for it…unlike today.
Via Jon Heyman –
The Yankees are said willing to offset a part of Ichiro Suzuki’s $6.5-million salary in the right deal, sources said.
The Yankees would seek to receive a good prospect back but are said by rival executives amendable to paying down a portion of his $6.5 million salary under those circumstances.
Ichiro, 40, only fits as a backup outfielder with the Yankees, as their starting outfield is stacked with younger stars Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran and Brett Gardner. The Yankees also have Alfonso Soriano, who’s looked very good this spring — “better than before,” one scout said — so Ichiro, the international icon, will be an unusually limited role.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman declined comment about any possible trades talks, though there is no evidence anything’s hot at the moment. That could change depending on team needs. the Tigers are one team that suffered a loss in the outfield when the lefty-hitting Andy Dirks was lost for a few months after having back surgery.
Cashman, however, said he had “no concern” about Ichiro taking to a role as a fourth outfielder after being such a worldwide star throughout his illustrious career. Cashman actually said Ichiro would make a fine fourth outfielder.
“He’s a great defender and he can steal a base,” Cashman said. “He provides us with options.”
Ichiro hit .262 with seven home runs and a .639 OPS last year, and he’s hitting .225 so far this spring.
Ownership gave Ichiro a two-year deal two winters ago likely in part because of his popularity and maketability.
How come whenever the Yankees have a bad deal on their hand, it’s “ownership” that did it (and not credited to Brian Cashman)? It’s black magic…I suppose?
In any event, this one is just the appetizer. Mark your calendars. The Yankees will be eating some of Beltran’s, Sabathia’s and Teixeira’s money in 2016, some of McCann’s money in 2017. And, don’t forget that they will be eating a ton of A-Rod’s money some time in the very near future. (And, most likely, they will be eating some money on Ellsbury in 2018 or sooner.)
They Yankees will be leading the league in eating money. The only question when it happens will be: Will it be pinned to ownership or Cashman?
Help me…I’m tilted…
Yes, that’s Derek Jeter’s BA/OBP/SLG line this spring, so far (in 44 PA).
And, the numbers have been going down as the spring has moved forward.
Cause for concern…yet?
Via Jon Heyman -
When Alex Rodriguez was lambasting baseball’s powers and his own bosses with the Yankees –suing his Yankees doctor, criticizing beloved late union chief Michael Weiner in court papers and at one point reportedly even leaking damaging information about Ryan Braun and teammate Francisco Cervelli –folks around baseball were speculating that A-Rod’s only remaining friends may be his own lawyers.
Now even some of them presumably don’t like him much.
A-Rod has refused to pay a large part of his legal bill, sources said, confirming a report in the New York Daily News.
Those sources estimate that he has refused to pay about $3 million out of an estimated $5 million or more in legal fees. Those sources further say he has refused to even return phone calls on the matter, making it clear he has no interest in paying.
Beyond the fact that $3 million is a pittance to him — he is said to have a lot of money left, plus $61 million more to come from the Yankees — if he tries claiming malpractice, his lawyer-client privilege will be waived, with the possibility of damaging testimony becoming public. Perhaps at this point A-Rod believes his rep is so bad that he can’t be harmed, and he only has his money left.
This conjures up a sorry image, a once great Miami man cuddled up with only cash in a beautiful seaside abode.
Whatever you think of A-Rod’s case, or even the outcome that saw him suspended for the 2014 season by the MLB arbitrator, his lawyers did get his original suspension reduced from 211 games, meaning they saved him about $6 million.
Unfortunately for him, most of that money should have gone to the lawyers. But sources suggest A-Rod has tried to keep most of it for himself.
At this point, Alex should just marry a Kardashian or go shoplifting with a Lohan and just get it over with…
I have said this before, and, I still believe it. There is no doubt in my mind that he is a major league caliber pitcher. And, he should be in a big league starting rotation, now, somewhere. I think he’s got the stuff to be a 15-game winner, on the right team.