Showing posts with label 2009 Spring Training. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2009 Spring Training. Show all posts

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A-Rod Really Injured

Now it looks like A-Rod will not only miss the WBC, he will also miss April and possibly more. Obviously, having Cody Ransom or Angel Berroa replacing Alex Rodriguez is not a viable option. Berroa has been very consistently awful in recent years and I have very little faith in Ransom. An long-shot for the job could be Eric Duncan and right now I bet the Yanks wish they invited him to Spring Training. Still, I`d be shocked if he won the job.

The only free agent out there is Mark Grudzielanek. He's decent and I couldn't complain if they signed him but I`d aim a little higher. Personally, I`d still like to see them trade for Martin Prado. A while back I suggested trading Nady for a package involving him and it still makes sense. The Braves still would like another outfield bat and Nady, coming off a career year, can supply it. Prado is young, a solid hitter, and a good defender. When Alex comes back, Prado can play a few different positions and can act as the super-utility man.

Or we could get really crazy and stick Teixeira at third and Swisher at first but I doubt that happens.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Odds and Ends

  • A-Rod met with the MLB on monday; they described A-Rod as "co-operative".
  • The Yankees tied today 5-5. The Greek wonder, George Kontos gave up 3 runs.
  • Wang pitched today for two innings; Molina described his sinker as: "Just like last year before he got hurt”.
  • Gardner Versus Melky

    Its bizarre to look at how much money the Yankees are spending at each position, only to come to center field where nothing is set. The Yanks have struggled to replace Bernie Williams at this position ever since he hit his sharp decline. We thought we had something with Johnny Damon but then we discovered his arm was worse than Williams'. We thought we had something with Melky as well but he's declined steadily every year. Hopefully, these two will just be keeping the seat warm for Austin Jackson but in the super-competitive AL East, they can't have a black hole in center field for even one year. So, we`re relying on either Melky Cabrera or Brett Gardner.

    Melky's been in the big leagues for three years now. Intially, he displayed a ton of promise and earned himself some comparisons to perennial all-stars like Carlos Beltran from crazy people like myself. However, his offensive stats have declined across the board every year. Why? I don't know, but for some reason he lost all semblance of strike-zone judgement. After displaying some impressive plate discipline in 2006, that virtually vanished the next year and slipped even further in 2008. The dirty little secret that nobody realizes about Melky, though, is that he's not really such a great fielder after all. He's not really any better than average. His arm is great but his range, not so much. Melky is still young and he could still end up as a serviceable center fielder but probably not for the Yankees.

    Gardner made his relatively unimpressive debut last year. A sub .300 SLG% won't cut it for the Yankees. However, 42 games is way to small a sample size to draw any conclusions from and he traditionally has started slow at new levels. In the minors Gardner profiled as the perfect leadoff hitter. He hit for a fairly high average and managed to walk a ton. The combination gave him an excellent OBP and when you combine that with the fact that he's the fastest white guy Nick Swisher has ever seen you`re going to get a really annoying and really good player. The problem is he has zero power. The theory that some fans, like nomaas.org, have been preaching is that with no home run threat, ML pitchers won't have to pitch around him. Then all those walks, and a huge chunk of his value, disappear. I can't really argue to much with that logic. Still, I`d give the job to Gardner. Simply because of his vastly superior fielding. Any of the stats we saw were of to small a sample size to use but just by watching the games we could tell that this guy is genuinely one of the best center fielders in baseball. I doubt either of them will hang onto the position past this year but for a one year fix, Gardner seems like the better option.

    Wednesday, February 25, 2009

    Wrapping Up the First Spring Training Game

    2/25/09

    Yankees: 6
    Blue Jays: 1

  • A-Rod and Gardener both hit homers.
  • Veras gave up the one run but he got the win.
  • Brett Tomko started and pitched two shut-out innings
  • Yankees added new BP away Jerseys (pictured above and below)
  • Tomorrow's game will be on YES and will be shown at 1:15PM; Phil Hughes is starting















  • Sunday, February 22, 2009

    Red Sox Spring Training

    Friday, February 20, 2009

    Crazy Idea: Frank Thomas

    Around this time of year theirs usually a few veterans who are well past their great years who are stubbornly searching for a contract. In that pool of free agents their are usually still a few guys who have something left. Frank Thomas might be one of those guys. I`m certainly not suggesting giving him a starting job. However, wouldn't he be a great bat off the bench to have?

    Throughout last year he delt with a nagging quad injury that sapped his power. Now that he`s recovered he could return to his form of the two years before. All four projections at fangraphs.com have him bouncing back well next year. As a pinch-hitter off the bench does Frank Thomas make any sense for the Yankees? He just might.

    Thursday, February 19, 2009

    The Yankee Years

    Remember way back before A-Rod's steroid test came out and Joe Torre's book was expected to be the big story? Well, I`ve had a nasty virus since Monday so I finished the book while laying in bed recovering. It was a good read but lacked the bombshells I was expecting. The Torre input seemed to be very limited. The quotes from him were sparse and not really all that insightful. Honestly, the former bullpen catcher, Mike Borzello, seemed to be a bigger part of the book than Torre.

    Its a decent book about the years Torre was with the Yankees. However, its has little to separate it from the dozens of other books that will surely follow.

    Larry, Shut Up

    Finally, some non-steroid news. Its equally annoying though. Yet again, the Boston Red Sox are whining about the Yankees spending.

    Can somebody please explain to Larry Luchinno that he is not the sole defender of small market baseball? You are not the same Red Sox who have been dominated by New York for over eight decades. You are one of the best teams in baseball and the second highest spending team in the league. While a salary cap makes a lot of sense, we don't need you to tell us that. The Steinbrenners beat you out for Teixeira by about ten million dollars over eight years. That's slightly over one million dollars each year. That's virtually nothing to either team. So please, spare us the sad story Larry and shut up.

    A-Rod's Cousin Found

    You know, its a little scary how little time that took. Apparently though, ESPN felt it was necesary to send people to the Dominican Republic to hunt down Yuri Sucart.

    The article portrays him as a good, loyal friend to Alex who was a willing accomplice in this but nothing more. That's essentially what Alex said in his press conference, "I'd rather not get into who my cousin is. I'm here to stand front and center and take the blame, because I am responsible for this. He basically took an instruction from me and felt he was doing something that was going to be helpful, not hurtful." This backs up one part of the story that the radio guys doubted. Its a pretty irrevelant part though and is it really worth the invasion of Sucart's privacy?

    Wednesday, February 18, 2009

    A-Rod

    I`ve been putting this off as long as I could but I guess yesterday's press conference can't be ignored forever. Again, we`re seeing typical reactions from typical sources. ESPN and WFAN have been flaming the guy while certain blogs are heaping praise on him. All in all, I think he did alright but some parts didn't quite satisfy me and I don't think we`ve heard the last of this story.

    I respect him for admitting he used steroids rather than fruitlessly trying to fight it and turning into a distraction the rest of the year. I`m buying the fact that he only cheated from 2001-2003. However, some of the details bothered me.

    Two of the things that were disappointing were the opening statement, which came across as insincere, and the lack of follow up questions. Follow up questions were a key to this thing and they blew it on that one. His excuse for his claim that Selena Roberts had broken into his house was weak and I doubt that he truly didn't know the effects of the drugs he was using. The contradictions with the Gammons interview were to common for me to trust his word anymore.

    Alex has lied a lot and as a former fan of him I can't really defend him anymore. The Yankees need him to hit if they`re going to make the playoffs and I have very little doubt that he will. I also think that one of these years he`s going to have a big "clutch" postseason that people can't ignore. By the end of his career, when he has all the records people will look back at this as a speed bump in a long, historic career. However, again, like many of his former fans, I feel betrayed and disappointed by his actions. Clearly, he`s been lying to himself about what he did and the apology was welcome, it just wasn't a full apology.

    Tuesday, February 17, 2009

    Release the names

    I`ve got the flu so I`m laying on the couch lsitening to Max Kellerman right now. He had a decent idea for the other 103 guys who failed tests in 2003. The names will inevitably come out so why don't the players step forward and admit it all at once. It would endear the players to the public if they came out and admitted it and it would get the story out of the way immediately rather than having the names drip out over a few years. A lot of guys would be hidden by the other 103 positive tests. Thoughts?

    In case you haven't heard.....

    A-Rod is having a press conference today to discuss his steroid use. Hopefully, we won't hear any of the spin/lies we heard in the Gammons interview. If he answers the questions honestly and simply then maybe we can start to put this behind us. I`m not desperate to hear the gory details and I think the majority of Yankees fans feel the same way. He does need to clarify how long he was using and what he was using. I don't know about you guys but that's all I need.