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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

The full squad starts to assemble

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Feb 19, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

The position players showed up, took their physicals and left. The first full-squad workout will be tomorrow. Everybody is here according to Joe Girardi.

I spent most of the day following Andy Pettitte around. He seemed genuinely pleased to be doing PFP (pitchers fielding practice) and running sprints. He will get on the mound tomorrow with the rest of the Group 2 pitchers.

Girardi said he hoped to get Johnny Damon 600 plate appearances and is committed to him as the every day left fielder. Damon will play center when Melky Cabrera needs a rest. He’ll also get some time as the DH and maybe even at first base.

Girardi said that Jason Giambi “looks great.” But clearly Giambi needs to earn his ABs. Giambi told us he wants to play in 2009 and beyond, so he’ll need some kind of decent year to get a new contract.

Girardi also had praise for Mike Mussina, who threw 55 pitches in the bullpen today. According to Girardi, catcher Jason Brown told him that Mussina missed his spot only four times.

Back in a bit with some audio.





25 Responses to “The full squad starts to assemble”

  1. EB February 19th, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    Thanks for the updates Peter!

    Keep up the great work

  2. Matt (In Toronto) February 19th, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    I hope Moose still has enough to get quality hitters.

  3. Yankee Fan in Boston February 19th, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    So Damon in left, Melky in Center, Abreu in Right, and Matsui DHing with Giambi riding pine/1B?

  4. gayle February 19th, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    who the heck is Jason Brown is he the newbullpen catcher replacing Borzillo

  5. John in Ohio February 19th, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    If Moose can get the fastball back, the Yanks’ outlook improves immensely.

    I’m pulling for Giambi. His teammates love him. I do think, though, that he should start shooting some drives to left to loosen up that shift.

  6. murphydog February 19th, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    Oooh… careful with those bullpen catchers. McNamee started out as a bullpen catcher.

  7. Tomer February 19th, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    Thanks for the update Pete.

    It is very good to here that Mussina is doing well. Lets not forget that mussina was solid at one point last season and if he did not have that streak of bad outings we would still be considering him as a good starter. I do not think Moose will win the job of the 5th starter over Kennedy but he should still be a good innings eater in the bullpen unless Joba starts the season in the bullpen in which case Moose will be in the rotation.

  8. swo February 19th, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    Jason Brown = the equivalent of Crash Davis for the Yankees. He’s an organizational player, but he apparently did a great job of mentoring guys like Hughes, Joba, Kennedy, and Tyler Clippard.

    It could just be a coincidence that he was in Trenton when those pitching prospects breezed through AA batters, but the Yankees preferred not to take a possible factor out of the equation and just held onto him.

  9. TurnTwo February 19th, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    its already been reported Moose is in the rotation to start the season.

  10. Christopher February 19th, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    Has Girardi been asked about his thoughts on Brett Gardner? I would really like to see this guy get a chance to compete for a spot on the roster, especially if Damon shows up to camp out of shape.

  11. swo February 19th, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    Oh, I forgot to mention, Jason Brown is a backup catcher for the Trenton Thunder and will likely be one again this season.

  12. KB February 19th, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    Barring injury or some kind of epic disappointment from IPK, I think its safe to say that Joba will be starting in the pen. I agree with all who have said that he has too much talent to not start, but for the time being, I think this makes sense. That means 3 bullpen spots are open (Mo, Joba, Kyle, Hawkins should be locks).

    As for Giambi, I think he could play 1B once a week and DH 2-3 times. Matsui could play the OF once a week and DH 3-4 times.

  13. ummfada February 19th, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    Giambi is my favorite Yankee, I hope Hal/Hank/Cashman Share Girardi’s optimism *sadface*

  14. Greg Cohen February 19th, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    $20 says Giambi is on HGH.

  15. swo February 19th, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    Christopher, I think it’s asking a bit much of Girardi to expect him to share his thoughts about someone he’s seeing for the first time in person.

    That said, I would really like to know his opinion on Gardner as well, lol

  16. Eric February 19th, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    Why is it that Melky doesn’t have to earn a spot. He’s the least proven of any player on the entire team, and he’s already the CF.

  17. swo February 19th, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    He had to earn his spot in 2006 and again in 2007. I think he’s already proven that he’s up to the challenge.

  18. S.o.S.27(opposed to f-3) February 19th, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    My concern with Moose is not his location. Its his 83 mile an hour fastball. Its his bitchin to the umps. Its his staredown of his teammates after an error has been made. Which then turns to a big inning. Unless his fastball is back up to around 91. I have no confidense in him and rather have Ian take his spot.

  19. SJ44 February 19th, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    Kennedy isn’t taking Moose’s spot. Kennedy will be in the rotation with Moose.

    Its a better team right now with a starting five of Wang, Pettitte, Moose, Hughes and Kennedy, with Joba pitching the 8th inning.

    Think about it. They can stretch out Joba gradually during the season, while reaping the benefits of his dominant outings.

    You may even see Joba pitch 2 or 3 innings in some outings this year, as they stretch him out.

    Having Joba and Mo at the back end, with that starting five, gives the Yankees the best chance to win at this time.

    As the season progresses, that may change. But, right now, I think that’s the best way to utilize the talent they have.

  20. Yanks Fan Stuck in Queens February 19th, 2008 at 3:36 pm


    Can you post the broadcasted ST games on YES?

    Can’t find it on the YESNETWORK website.


  21. BBB February 19th, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    I would love to see Gardner come up as the 4th OF sometime this year. I think he has a lot of promise but needs to get on base at a healthy clip in order to succeed. Looking at his 07 minor league stats he did a much better job of that in Trenton (.392) than in Scranton (.343) Is there anyone more familiar with him than me who can offer a general perception of his plate patience?

  22. S.o.S.27(opposed to f-3) February 19th, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    Sorry. I would prefer Karstens than Mussina of 07. He just looked like he was throwing batting practice out there.

    Can you see a situation where Joba stays in the pen the whole year and Horne comes in midseason into the rotation?

  23. SJ44 February 19th, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    I think you have to see what Moose brings to the table this year.

    If he gets back to what he was in 2006, he’s better than Karstans or Horne.

    Until we see what Moose has left in the tank, its too early to discount him.

    Mainly because, if healthy, he can eat innings. Three innings eaters at the top of the rotation will go a long way toward the Yankees being successful this year.

    I’m hoping Moose can get back to his previous form. We need his innings this year.

    The plan is for Joba to start the second half of the year. Something crazy has to happen for them to abort that plan, IMO, because Joba will eventually be a starter.

    I don’t think you will see Alan Horne in the rotation this year. Perhaps a spot start if somebody gets hurt. Absent that, he won’t be in the rotation this year. The bullpen? Perhaps, although I think Melancon is going to be this years “Joba”.

  24. Christopher February 19th, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    Gardner had a phenomenal AFL, and people that play with him have started to say he’s ready to be an everyday MLB player (guys like Austin Jackson). I’m not the biggest Melky fan, so I’d like Gardner to have a shot at the CF spot. I figure if we’re going to have a weak hitting CF hitting 9th, it might as well be someone that can steal 70 bases and catch balls in the gaps. Plus, with Jackson and Tabata coming along, Gardner’s window with the Yankees will begin closing next season, so I want him to get an opportunity now.

    I know its early for Girardi to have an opinion on the guy, but I had heard Girardi took a pretty active interest in the farm system once he was hired. I’m sure the CF job is Melky’s to lose, but I just want to know if Girardi is open to the idea of starting the season with Gardner on the roster and giving him a chance.

  25. catjya February 20th, 2008 at 1:47 am

    I pray to GOD that the Yankees DON’T resign giambi after this year. The Yankees haven’t won a WS since he joined the team!!!

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