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Russo: “I’ll try to do whatever it takes”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Nov 20, 2009 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Today was a pretty good day for Kevin Russo. Then I called him and nearly screwed up the whole thing. Three minutes into our conversation, there was a very brief pause. ”Sorry,” Russo finally said. “Another car almost hit me.”

Danger averted, the conversation continued.

“I just found out five minutes ago, actually,” Russo said. “I was trying not to think about it. I knew it was coming up but I didn’t know exactly the date until yesterday. It wasn’t in my control. It’s the Yankees, and they put me on there, which is great.”

Russo was one of three infielders added to the 40-man roster this afternoon. Along with Ramiro Pena, that group will give the Yankees four legitimate utility infield candidates. The knock on Russo will be that he hasn’t spent much time at shortstop. He might have the most advanced bat of the bunch, but most of Russo’s time has been spent at second base and third base, with a little bit in the outfield and a handful of games at short.

“I’ll try to do whatever it takes,” Russo said. “If I have a chance to make the team that way, that would be great. I’m going to try to do everything I can in the offseason to work on it. I guess it would be a good thing for them to see me at short. I feel like I can play it.”

 
 

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77 Responses to “Russo: “I’ll try to do whatever it takes””

  1. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Montero Fanaticus Primus November 20th, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Russo know there are laws against driving and phoning in this state?

  2. Nick in SF in Larkspur November 20th, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    In which state was he driving?

  3. Phil November 20th, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    I think he may end up in a trade.

  4. jennifer November 20th, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    Maybe he was walking?

  5. jonathan November 20th, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    that heartfelt exhuberance is touching, but is he truly considered a prospect?

  6. Joe from Long Island November 20th, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    It’s neat, having Chad and his knowledge of the Yanks’ minor league system, blog about things during the Hot Stove. Especially with Cash’s stated emphasis on looking in-house first for answsers. (Just look at the results with Cisco, Coke, and Pena.)

  7. RalphieD (OPPC) November 20th, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    most definitly a prosepct…but doesnt have a high ceiling.

  8. Rich in NJ November 20th, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    I think Russo/Pena could do what Hairston does at less money.

  9. Uncle Ellsworth (much adieu about nothing) November 20th, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    Chad is buds with these guys – that’s cool.

  10. Betsy November 20th, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    I would much rather have Hairston return as the utility infielder instead of Pena…….and I’m not thrilled with Cervelli at this point being the backup. Pilitiere as backup if Jorge or Cervelli get hurt? No thanks…..and trading for a catcher would be ridiculous – it would cost the Yankees an arm and a leg.

  11. Betsy November 20th, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    Interesting that the Jays contacted the Cubs, but not the Sox or Yanks. I don’t know why Doc would want to go to Chicago (I love the city). They are not an East Coast team and they don’t train in Florida.

  12. Bill Porter November 20th, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    Don’t worry about Russo he’s got a pretty good hit tool, can run a little and can play around the infield and some outfield. He’s made a number of prospect lists in his own right. He’s valuable and would have been taken; it’s doubtful that we would have gotten him back.

  13. Joe from Long Island November 20th, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    Re: the catching situation –

    I could see Cash signing Molina again, and stashing Cervelli at AAA to start the season. This would provide pretty good insurance at the position. Then, mid-year, depending on how Romine/Montero are progressing, deal Molina (as a vet catcher could be worth his weight in gold to a contender mid-year) for a relative king’s ransom, and promote Cisco.

  14. Yankee Trader November 20th, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    Any interest in FA catcher Yorvit Torrealba .290 BA?

  15. GreenBeret7 November 20th, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    Here’s a quick down and dirty on who needs to be protected and who is open to the Rule 5 draft and a link to the Yankee choices. You can use the baseball-reference.com and pull up the Yanks minor league teams and figure out who needs to be protected.

    http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com.....8;c_id=nyy

    “Under Rule 5 stipulations, any player not on his team’s 40-man roster is eligible to be drafted, as long as he has five years of organizational service time if signed as an 18-year-old or younger, or four years of service time if signed as a 19-year-old or older. The idea is to prevent teams from stockpiling Minor Leaguers who could be useful to other clubs at the Major League level.”

  16. Betsy November 20th, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/.....ings091119

    Good stuff from Stark – and yes, those small-market teams that pocket the $$$ from the big market teams should be penalized.

    In any case, what Stark said about Damon/Matsui is exactly what I’ve been saying they would do.

  17. Rich in NJ November 20th, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    Betsy,

    What does Hairston do well? He isn’t a good infielder; he is an awful OFer, and he’s a below average hitter. Pena is a much better fielder and can be a decent hitter. The only thing Pena lacks is experience which is what you get while you’re gaining experience.

  18. Uncle Ellsworth (much adieu about nothing) November 20th, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    Torre Alba too Hollywood

  19. Rich in NJ November 20th, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    Giving Damon two years isn’t taking a hard line. It’s stupidity.

  20. Betsy November 20th, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Rich, Hairston did a very good job for us…..so we disagree. What makes you think Pena can be a decent hitter? Let him hit in AAA for another year. I like him, don’t get me wrong, but his time is not now. Let him get in another year at AAA……..especially if the Yankees want to start playing him in the OF.

  21. Betsy November 20th, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    It says no more than 2 years……….Stark doesn’t say the Yankees will offer Damon 2 years. I’m not expecting anything more then 1 year and an option……If they offer two, however, I’m not going to call them idiots. I trust Cash to do the right thing.

  22. Uncle Ellsworth (much adieu about nothing) November 20th, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    Seriously Yankee Trader
    he might be good how is his D?
    Does AJ like him?

  23. Rich in NJ November 20th, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    Betsy,

    Hairston had a great August, but that’s it. I want a BUI that he can play defense, and he can’t. Plus, I don’t want Girardi to be tempted to use him in the OF.

    I think Pena is a decent hitter based on watching him swing the bat.

  24. Erin November 20th, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    Betsy-that’s a good article from Stark.

    I know I sound like a broken record, but I really hope they do end up bringing both Matsui and Damon back.

  25. Terry from NH November 20th, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    Believe it or not, Cano to my knowledge wasn’t a very high rated prospect and his hitting definately surprised me. I never knew he’d turn into a 310-315 hitter.. So sometimes guys come out of nowhere..Maybe Russo could surprise us!

  26. Debbie November 20th, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    I have seen Russo and he is the real deal. He is hustle all the time, every minute, he can play short, no biggie. He is so much better than Pina, he just had a lousy spring training last year, great season at SWB. Someone who wanted to be a Yankee since he could stand will do it all for the team.

  27. Rich in NJ November 20th, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    Baseball America had Cano as the Yankees’ 2nd best prospect heading into 2005 (behind Eric Duncan and ahead of Phil Hughes).

  28. GreenBeret7 November 20th, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    In order for NYY to resign any of their own FAs, they’re going to either have to make a multi-player trade of players on the roster or take somebody off the 40 man roster. I can’t imagine that NYY will officially sign/resign anybody until after the Rule 5 Draft on 11 Dec.

  29. Rich in NJ November 20th, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    Debbie

    Russo may be a better hitter than Pena (I assume that’s who you meant), but he isn’t a better fielder.

  30. Yankee Trader November 20th, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    Pena had the worst fielding% on the Yankees .956!

    Good article by Stark. Maybe we should contract those teams that “stink”, shorten the season, and season ticket holders will be watching the best teams for their money!

  31. Uncle Ellsworth (much adieu about nothing) November 20th, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    GB is Cervelli going with our plan to learn to play other poitions? Is he playing winter ball at all?

  32. Rich in NJ November 20th, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    Fielding percentage isn’t a very good stat.

  33. GreenBeret7 November 20th, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    Betsy
    November 20th, 2009 at 8:34 pm
    Rich, Hairston did a very good job for us…..so we disagree. What makes you think Pena can be a decent hitter? Let him hit in AAA for another year. I like him, don’t get me wrong, but his time is not now. Let him get in another year at AAA……..especially if the Yankees want to start playing him in the OF.

    ————————————————————

    Unless I missed something (possible), both Pena and Cervelli are out of options and NYY would need to expose them to waivers or the Rule 5 Draft to get them off of the team. They’re both 5 year vets in pro ball.

  34. Uncle Ellsworth (much adieu about nothing) November 20th, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    are Yanks making a low impact trade this off season? 3 for one deal maybe.

  35. Yankee Trader November 20th, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Good article written two days ago by this author and suggestions on who to protect in the Rule 5 draft.

    http://mvn.com/pendingpinstrip.....s-protect/

  36. Betsy November 20th, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    GB, man- I hope that isn’t the case.

  37. GreenBeret7 November 20th, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    Uncle Ellsworth (much adieu about nothing)
    November 20th, 2009 at 8:48 pm
    GB is Cervelli going with our plan to learn to play other poitions? Is he playing winter ball at all?

    ————————————————————

    Ellie, not sure, but, Cervelli hasn’t played any other positions since turning pro. I do know that he takes grounders at 3rd and 1st bases before games. Don’t know if he also shags balls in the outfield. In a pinch, I’d assume he could do it, though. He’s got the hands and arm, and, he’s not terribly slow.

  38. Rich in NJ November 20th, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    How can Cervelli and Pena be out of options. Cervelli has only played in two ML seasons. Pena has only played in one. I thought you get at least three seasons.

  39. Uncle Ellsworth (much adieu about nothing) November 20th, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    How big is Montero? to hear some people talk he’s CC’s Size

  40. Yankee Trader November 20th, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    He’s no bigger than Joe Mauer or up and coming Oriole Matt Wieters

  41. Yankee Trader November 20th, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    He’s no bigger than Joe Mauer or up and coming Oriole Matt Wieters 6’4″ 225

  42. Uncle Ellsworth (much adieu about nothing) November 20th, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    Thanks YT
    is he on schedule to come up 2011?

  43. Nick in SF in Larkspur November 20th, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    He’s too big for the teams that pocket their revenue shares. :mad:

  44. Yankee Trader November 20th, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    is he[Montero] on schedule to come up 2011?
    ————————————–

    From what I understand Austin Romine is ahead of him, defensively. If GB7 is still on, he’ll have a better idea.

  45. Nick in SF in Larkspur November 20th, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    And he’s way too big to ever be a Blue Jay.

  46. Manu November 20th, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Green beret Cervelli join his team yesterday he play dh and Montero is the bullpen catcher of his winter team :s … Greetings from Venezuela

  47. raymagnetic November 20th, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    “No thanks…..and trading for a catcher would be ridiculous – it would cost the Yankees an arm and a leg.”

    Do you recall who they traded to get Jose Molina?

    Wasn’t an arm or a leg. It was barely a pinky nail.

  48. Uncle Ellsworth (much adieu about nothing) November 20th, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    Manu THanks!

    Where in VZ are you?

    WHich is their team?

  49. Uncle Ellsworth (much adieu about nothing) November 20th, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Romine is supposed to be pretty good hitter too? right?

  50. Rich in NJ November 20th, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Kevin Goldstein in a recent chat:

    Kevin Goldstein: You know, as good as Montero was with the bat this year, the defense made great strides as well. Not that he’s good back there or even average, but more and more people think he can at least stick there, which makes his bat that much more valuable. I talked to a scout the other day who thought he was a better defensive catcher than Austin Romine.”

  51. Manu November 20th, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    Uncle Ellsworth Cervelli plays for the (name in spanish) Cardenales de Lara and the manager is former Yankee Luis Sojo. Montero plays for the Navegantes del Magallanes. Im from Caracas!

  52. Nick in SF in Larkspur November 20th, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    Is it true that Venezuelan women are the most beautiful in South America?

    (don’t get mad, columbia yankee fans)

  53. 7789 November 20th, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    Hairston hit around 250 for the yanks. He could play a lot of different position but was not very good defensively at any of them. You could put Russo in that same role and he will give you that same kind of production for less money.

    And Pena and Cervelli did a very nice job last year I dont see how they wont be bench players next year.

  54. Uncle Ellsworth (much adieu about nothing) November 20th, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    Im from Caracas!

    do you Know Bejuma?

  55. Manu November 20th, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    Lol no lo conosco es en Carabobo no? Todavia vives en Venezuela?

  56. GreenBeret7 November 20th, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    Rich in NJ
    November 20th, 2009 at 8:56 pm
    How can Cervelli and Pena be out of options. Cervelli has only played in two ML seasons. Pena has only played in one. I thought you get at least three seasons.

    ————————————————————

    They’ve both been in pro ball for at least 5 years.

  57. murphydog November 20th, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    Joe from Long Island:

    re: catching

    Mauer is a free agent after 2010 if no extension is signed. Can we rule out a blockbuster trade during next season while the Twinkies can still get their pick of players for him?

    Mauer has said he wants to play with a regular contender and only a few teams have the pieces and cash to trade for him/sign an extension or to buy him up as a FA. If, however, Cash gets a chance to make such a trade, I think he does it. Gotta figure no names are off the table for Mauer.

  58. Uncle Ellsworth (much adieu about nothing) November 20th, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    Manu
    November 20th, 2009 at 9:41 pm
    Lol no lo conosco es en Carabobo no? Todavia vives en Venezuela?

    Yes in Carabobo. My buddy the Twins fan is from there. He lives in NY now.

  59. Manu November 20th, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    Wow sorry Nick but yes we have very beautiful womens!!! We have back to back miss universe for a reason :) but colombia, argentina and brazil have very beautiful womens too!

  60. Uncle Ellsworth (much adieu about nothing) November 20th, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    Manu
    come back with some updates on VZ beisbol

  61. GreenBeret7 November 20th, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    Yankee Trader
    November 20th, 2009 at 9:09 pm
    is he[Montero] on schedule to come up 2011?
    ————————————–

    From what I understand Austin Romine is ahead of him, defensively. If GB7 is still on, he’ll have a better idea.

    ————————————————————

    They both need work on defense. The problem is that other than the training camps and a traveling catching instructor, there aren’t any former catchers coaching in the system other than Butch Wynager, who’s at Scranton.

    As far as Romine and Montero goes, Montero’s probably a little better. He’s goy quicker feet and hands. Both have strong arms…not cannons, but, strong. Romine has real problems with low pitches and pitches in the dirt. 134 games, 29 passed balls and 16 errors. Montero’s got 153 games with 7 errors and 26 passed balls. One error and 4 passed balls came in 23 games when he was 17. One thing, though. these young guys can hit, and Romine has speed.

  62. Nick in SF in Larkspur November 20th, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Good answer, Manu. Honest but diplomatic. Thanks for your contributions, it’s nice to hear from a Yankee fan down there.

    How did you come to like the Yankees?

  63. Manu November 20th, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    Ok no problem! Pat Venditte left the Zulia team like two weeks ago he was very regular not the best reliever but his switch pitching was very useful. Reggie Corona is also here but i dont know his numbers.

  64. GreenBeret7 November 20th, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    I wouldn’t be overly concerned about veteran catchers for AAA. There are 14 catchers on the FA market and only about 3 of them would/could be starters somewhere.

  65. Rich in NJ November 20th, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    GreenBeret7

    They’ve both been in pro ball for at least 5 years.
    __

    How many years were each on the 40 man roster while not being on the 25 man roster?

  66. Joe from Long Island November 20th, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    murphydog – You can never say never, especially when it comes to the Yankees and top-flight players like Mauer. However, there are a couple of things to consider 1)He’s a Minnesota boy, from St. Paul, I believe, playing for the team he grew up rooting for; I think they may have talked about signing an extension (Can you imagine the uproar in Minnesota if the Twins let him get away?); and 2)it might block Montero – Tex takes care of 1st, and they would need to rotate Jeter, Tex, Alex through the DH spot. I know Montero is still a projection, Mauer the real deal, but given the much lower costs with Montero, the Yanks might conceivably go that route and elect to save the $$$ for where they have no alternative.

    Re: Romine – I think GB7 said at one point that the Yanks were considering to try him in the OF (good arm, athletic and speed). Given the dearth of OF prospects in the system, that might speed Romine’s path to the Bronx.

  67. Manu November 20th, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    In Venezuela we are BIG fans of baseball! My grandpa made a big yankee fan but i also root for Santana and the mets unless they are playing the Yanks.

  68. GreenBeret7 November 20th, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Here’s another good article on the players for the Rule 5 Draft. Not many names included, but, on the left side is the number of protected players for each team.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/articl.....8;c_id=mlb

  69. GreenBeret7 November 20th, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    Rich in NJ
    November 20th, 2009 at 10:01 pm
    GreenBeret7

    They’ve both been in pro ball for at least 5 years.
    __

    How many years were each on the 40 man roster while not being on the 25 man roster?

    ————————————————————

    With few exception, players that were drafted or sign in 2005 and not on the 40 man roster will be eligible to be picked. One exception are kids signed out of high school and foreign born players signed at age 16-17. They get 6 years. I’d need to locate the exact rules, but, it is in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

  70. GreenBeret7 November 20th, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    Here’s a little more on the Rule 5 selections. It’s on Wiki, but. pulled from the CBA.

    “Selection eligibility Players are eligible for selection in the Rule 5 draft who are not on their major league organization’s forty man roster and:

    - were signed at age 19 or older and have been in the organization for three years; or

    - were signed at age 18 or younger and have been in the organization for four years.

    The exemption periods were extended by one year in October 2006 as part of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The change took effect immediately, exempting many players from the 2006 Rule 5 draft even though they had been signed in some cases more than four years before the new agreement came into effect. Prior to the rule change, players were exempt from the first two or three Rule 5 drafts held after their signing (regardless of the year they were drafted), rather than from the first three or four Rule 5 drafts after their signing.”

    http://baseball.wikia.com/wiki/Rule_5_draft

  71. Doreen November 20th, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    Also keep in mind Mauer has had issues with his back; in fact, he missed the first part of the season with a back problem.

    But I don’t see Minny letting that one go. Also, as far a Mauer wanting to be with a contender, Minny is amost always a contender. ;)

  72. Manu November 20th, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    Who is Mauer agent?

  73. Manu November 20th, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Who is Mauers agent?

  74. UtilityMan November 20th, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    Jose Molina was acquired by the Yanks for Jeff Kennard RHP
    7/21/07

  75. Betsy November 20th, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    Forget Mauer – I would be floored if he doesn’t re-sign with the Twins.

    Doreen, Mauer had kidney problems that affected his back…..He’s fine now.

  76. Betsy November 20th, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    http://twitter.com/TBrownYahoo/statuses/5907900574

    Dodgers/Jays talk…….

  77. G-C November 21st, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    I’d feel very comfortable that Damon would continue to produce for the length of a two year contract. A lot of that rests in that this is a guy who (albeit undeservingly) could make a serious push for the Hall of Fame if he stays in shape and continues to produce for the next four years.

    He currently is sitting at 2425 hits, leaving him 575 short of 3000. If he can average 143 hits over the next four years he’ll get there.

    Its no surprise that Boras is asking for a four year deal. He won’t get it, but it means Johnny clearly intends to play that much longer for a shot at 3000 (and the HOF autobid it entails).


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