Hey, actual baseball news!
Back when I wanted to write a spring training preview story, I talked to Brian Cashman. He revealed a few things that are at least somewhat interesting.
· The Yankees will use Joba Chamberlain as their No. 5 starter from the start of the season. There are no plans to pitch him out of the bullpen. “That is why bringing Andy (Pettitte) back was so important,” Cashman said.
Having Chamberlain as the No. 5 will allow the Yankees to easily skip his turn on occasion, thus controlling his innings.
· Cashman said he “absolutely” likes the idea of keeping Xavier Nady and Nick Swisher on the roster. While a trade is possible, there is value in roster flexibility. “Nady can cover us in left and right. Swisher can play first, left, right and center in an emergency. It gives our manager a lot of choices,” Cashman said.
In theory, Joe Girardi can rotate Nady, Swisher, Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui in left, right and DH. One guy sits, everybody stays fresh.
· There are high hopes for Melky Cabera to reclaim center field. “Melky played well in winter ball and he has to show the competitiveness to put last season behind him,” Cashman said. “The good ones always find a way.”
Cashman also stressed it was a competition and that Brett Gardner will get a long look. They want Austin Jackson to stay in the minors.
· Cashman is “wide open” to the idea of having veteran free agents come to camp on minor-league deals to try and make the team. No word yet as to who those might be.
We return you now to “Alex Rodriguez: Huge Cheater or Innocent Victim?”