Monday, March 27, 2017
TAMPA, Fla. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi has the top of his starting rotation lined up with Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda.
After that, the situation remains muddled.
The Yankees started spring training looking to fill two spots in the rotation, and it’s still not clear what they’ll end up doing. Bryan Mitchell, Luis Severino, Chad Green, Adam Warren and late entry Jordan Montgomery are in the mix.
“We’re narrowing it down,” Girardi said. “We haven’t made any final decisions yet. We’re going to let these guys go through their last turn before we make the decision.”
Mitchell, set to be the fifth starter last year before breaking a bone on his left foot in his final spring training start, went 1-2 with a 3.24 ERA in five late-season starts. He allowed three runs over three-plus innings in the Yankees’ 7-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday.
I’m fairly certain Aaron Judge has secured the primary RF job. As far as the rotation, my guess is that the Yankee will go with Warren and someone. Who the someone is, I have no idea.
Regardless, I’d expect them to keep moving pieces up and down based on performance in the majors and minors so it doesn’t really matter what rotation they break camp with, does it?
Friday, March 24, 2017
Montgomery has been turning heads all spring and he definitely helped his case in his first start Thursday, striking out eight and walking one over 4 1/3 innings. He gave up two runs and three hits, including a triple. Montgomery’s numbers won’t blow you away: 3.68 ERA over 14 2/3 innings. But that’s not the point anyway.
The point: The Yankees, especially manager Joe Girardi, love Montgomery total package. He’s 6-foot-6 and Girardi often talks about the “downward plane” with which he pitches. His fastball works mostly in the low-90s, but he can get it higher and he controls it well. Montgomery’s an uncomfortable at-bat and he’s seasoned.
So, does he make it? I’m going to say no, for now. That could change. The rest of the rotation candidates could bomb — they haven’t been good as it is. But the Yankees don’t need a fifth starter until the 12th game of the season, and it’s more likely either Bryan Mitchell or Luis Severino get the fourth starter job. Montgomery could be an early-season option, though.
I haven’t had a chance to see much spring training and haven’t seen any Montgomery. CAIRO thinks he could put up a 4.36 ERA right now, so even if he doesn’t break camp with the team I think as long as he stays healthy and pitches well in AAA he’ll be making his MLB debut at some point early this season.
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius will begin the season on the disabled list with a shoulder injury that is expected to sideline him until May, General Manager Brian Cashman said Tuesday.
Gregorius was found to have a strained right shoulder, his throwing shoulder, which he injured Saturday while playing in an exhibition game for the Netherlands as it prepared for a semifinal of the World Baseball Classic. He will not participate in any baseball activities for two weeks and then will be examined further. He is expected to be out for about six weeks, said Cashman, speaking to reporters in Tampa, Fla.
Cashman said his staff had had a long meeting about how to replace Gregorius. The options are likely to come from within the organization, but they will not include Gleyber Torres, the Yankees’ top prospect, who is having a torrid spring but is only 20 and has not played above Class A. He was assigned to Class AA on Tuesday.
I don’t think this is a major problem, honestly. Even if you think Didi is a 3 win player, a month is only one half of a win. I assume we’ll mostly see Ronald Torreyes at short, with maybe some Starlin Castro.
Monday, March 20, 2017
TAMPA, Fla. — In 2012, virtually all Latin American baseball scouts and their major league employers knew about Gleyber Torres, an athletic 15-year-old born in Caracas, Venezuela, who had supple hands and a potent, well-honed swing. All the big clubs with money to burn envisioned Torres in their own uniforms, and that included the Yankees.
Their international scouting department had targeted Torres as the top free-agent player outside the United States, and the Yankees were prepared to spend lavishly to sign him in July 2013, by which time he would be 16. But before that could happen, the Yankees, by the autumn of 2012, began to pick up some worrisome signals. Torres and his family were not talking to all the scouts the way they once were, and he wasn’t showcasing his talents for public consumption.
“He stopped doing tryouts and everything,” said Brian Cashman, the Yankees’ general manager. “But he was our No. 1 guy. I kept talking to our guys.”
To no avail, however. The Chicago Cubs had managed to gain an inside track with Torres and his family. Everyone else, including the Yankees, was on the outside looking in.
Better late than never. I’m still amazed that the Yankees were able to get Torres and more for a few months of Aroldis Chapman.
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
TAMPA, Fla.—New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi has noticed the young talent this spring has jumped from low tide to high tide. And he has put everyone on notice.
“In a sense, everyone’s job in here is in jeopardy in a year, two years,” he said. “That is the quality of player that we have in camp. People are starting to pass people up.”
Who is most likely to swipe jobs, and who is most likely to lose them? It might not happen this season or at all, but Girardi doesn’t make a statement like that unless he means it. If young players continue to perform and old ones don’t, there could be changes.
For now, we’re not including youngsters Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird and Aaron Judge. Sanchez, barring an injury, will be the starting catcher, and Bird and Judge have the inside track to break camp as starters as well, at first base and right field, respectively. In our minds, they’re already in.
Here are five potential Yankees stars of the future, and whom they could replace.
Jorge Mateo in CF is my favorite on the list.
Monday, March 13, 2017
TAMPA, Fla.—CC Sabathia found a big positive during a rocky spring training outing—no issues with his troublesome right knee.
The New York Yankees left-hander lasted just two-thirds of an inning Sunday, allowing six runs and six hits in a 10-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves.
“The body feels good,” Sabathia said. “I was letting some (pitches) go, and I had no problems. As far as the knee, you want to get that out of the way. Make sure you can push off as hard as you can, land and be good. I wanted to accomplish that in the game and I did.”
Sabathia was making his second exhibition start after having arthroscopic surgery in October on his knee. His ailing knee caused him to go on the disabled list in 2014 and 2015.
On Sunday, he was pulled after 10 batters and 33 pitches.
“I’ve got to do a better job of not letting it unravel,” Sabathia said. “I didn’t make pitches.”
The 36-year-old Sabathia is in the last year of his contract and hasn’t had a winning season since 2013. He made 30 starts in 2016, going 9-12 with a 3.91 ERA. He is 223-141 overall in his 16-year career.
We shouldn’t really care about a spring training shellacking, but I’m not particularly optimistic CC can put up another sub 4 ERA this season even if he was lights-out this spring. CAIRO’s baseline forecast for him is a 4.32 ERA in 155 innings, and that would be worth about 2.0 WAR. I’d take that in a heartbeat.
Thursday, March 9, 2017
Nothing counts under the palm trees, but Sanchez’s performances at the plate and behind it are impossible to ignore. He has quickly morphed into a “Can’t Miss At-Bat’’ the way Darryl Strawberry, Alex Rodriguez and Reggie Jackson once were.
Wednesday, Sanchez drove a pitch from Team Canada’s Shane Dawson for one of the four Yankees homers in a 10-4 win.
While Sanchez’s power is real, it isn’t limited to hitting. Scouts are still buzzing about him throwing Tigers speedster Anthony Gose out at second from his knees on a steal attempt Saturday.
“He was [clocked at] 1.9 [seconds] from his knees, are you kidding me?’’ said a scout sitting behind the plate that day. “Gose got a good jump. I looked at another scout and said, ‘What the hell is going on?’ ”
To put the stopwatch times on Sanchez’s throwing prowess, anything under 2.0 is considered good. This spring he has been timed at 1.82. Hall of Famer Pudge Rodriguez was in the 1.7s.
Sanchez caught 13 of 32 runners (41 percent) attempting to steal last year. The Royals’ Salvador Perez led the 13 catchers in the big leagues who qualified by nabbing 48 percent. Sanchez didn’t qualify.
Is Sanchez the best catcher in baseball today?
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