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


Winfree “has the power to be a big league contributor”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jan 15, 2010 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

This afternoon, I checked with former scout and current AOL Fanhouse writer Frankie Piliere to ask if he’s seen any of the recent Yankees minor league signings. He’s seen most of them only here and there — “never been priority guys,” he said — but outfielder David Winfree seemed to stand out.

“Scouted Winfree in (spring training) actually,” Piliere wrote in an email. “There’s a lot to like there. I’m surprised he was out there, didn’t realize he was. I think he needs to be viewed as a prospect. Above average arm and I think the power plays at the next level. He’s still mainly dead red on the fastball. I’d like to see if he can make enough consistent contact at AAA. If he can he has the power to be a big league contributor. At least a guy worth watching, but obviously as a free agent there are warts. You gotta like getting a guy that’s still pretty young with very good game usable power though. I think it’s a nice pickup.”

Make sure follow Piliere on twitter. While you’re at it, follow the LoHud Yankees Blog. I’ve just started paying attention to this whole Twitter thing, but I think I’m beginning to figure out what it’s all about. I’ll get used to it, and the LoHud twitter will pick up as we get closer to spring training.

———

Speaking of players on minor league deals…

• My good friend Donnie Collins takes an early look at the potential Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees roster. I tend to agree with his picks, and I agree that the Yankees could add an infielder just to give the Triple-A infield a veteran presence.

• The World Series trophy was supposed to be coming to PNC Field this weekend, but the event has been delayed because of the earthquake in Haiti. Instead, the World Series trophies from 1999 and 2000, as well as the 2009 American League Championship Trophy, will be in Scranton this weekend. The 2009 World Series trophy appearance will be rescheduled.

• One last minor league link: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre broadcaster Mike Vander Woude and the rest of the Triple-A media relations staff have started their own blog.

 
 

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60 Responses to “Winfree “has the power to be a big league contributor””

  1. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day January 15th, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    Thanks, Chad!

    Here’s hoping Winfree sticks….

  2. m January 15th, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    Doreen,

    When you catch up, sorry about that in the last thread. If you read something incoherent from me, I’ve either back spaced to edit (badly) or I’m incoherent.

    Chad,

    Thanks for this. Some guys are fillers and some are players. Or as Nick likes to say, “somewhere in between”. It’ll be interesting to see how it all pans out. Do you really think the Damon’s not coming back? I mean it sounds logical and all, but where will he go? Serious question.

  3. Bob Shirley's Rubber Arm January 15th, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    Chad! Take a day off! Tell Borden and Thomson to get off their butts! All these prospects you keep harping on aren’t making the team!

  4. m January 15th, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    Durrr.. meant to ask “where else can he go?”

  5. m January 15th, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/.....id=4828816

    This ex-player is angry!

  6. Nick in SF January 15th, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    I agree that the market for Damon remains fluid.

    Unfortunately, it looks like that fluid they drain from Hideki Matsui’s knees. :(

  7. whatever January 15th, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    hal steinbrenner is so cheap, worst owner in sports.

  8. vinny-b (NJ and Granderson - thank you Cashman!) January 15th, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    “This ex-player is angry!”
    ————————————

    props to Jack Clark.

    today’s world needs individuals like him. Willing to take a stand in the name of principle regardless of offending someone

  9. Doreen January 15th, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    m -

    I just read that article. Whoa. Can’t argue with a thing he said, though.

    And as far as McGwire goes, I said it the other day – 10 years of taking steroids is not a mistake, it’s a career plan. Someone (Rick Sutcliffe, I think it was) on the radio yesterday said they might as well throw a blanket over his (McGwire’s) entire career. Because his entire career was built on PEDs, I don’t think he should be ever considered for the HOF, and also, I question the Cardinals – there is NO ONE else available who would make a good hitting coach for them?

    Truth be told, I don’t deep down believe ARod only took something for that limited a period of time, but I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, I guess.

  10. 28 in 2010 January 15th, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Shelley Duncan V 1.1

  11. vinny-b (NJ and Granderson - thank you Cashman!) January 15th, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    “I question the Cardinals – there is NO ONE else available who would make a good hitting coach for them?”
    ———————————————-

    it’s basically Tony LaRussa. He’s his own little dictator, over there

  12. pat January 15th, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    I took no issue with what Clark said until he mentioned money.

    Being outraged is understandable if it’s based on principle not so much to me if it’s based on bank account.

  13. m January 15th, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    Doreen,

    It’s just an uncomfortable time all around. I mean, if you used, how can you possibly speak out? Does silence speak volumes?

    I heard a soundbyte of mike & mike talking about how they should put maris back in the books with an asterisk denoting the true record. And how ironic it would be since he had to endure the asterisk for years.

    That led me to the thought of A-rod & the homerun chase. How joyless it’ll be to watch it, knowing that at least a certain portion of it (who really knows how much?) was a sham. And I thought of all the Yankee fans who will brush off the scrutiny because it’s a Yankee. Yet those same fans scoff at the current homerun king.

    Uncomfortable times to be sure.

  14. GreenBeret7 January 15th, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    If Clark knew about it years ago, he’s just as guilty…as is any other player, from Jeter to Al Leiter and the rest of the tongue clickers who zipped their lips, because they all benefitted.

  15. Doreen January 15th, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    m

    I think you you’ve said it about right.

    And, oh, the irony of Maris having an asterisk. Yes.

    Well, the best that can be said is perhaps things have turned around. Though, the cynical part of me does believe that as long as there are people looking for an edge, they will find one that is not detectable for a time, and then move to the next one. And as long as there is so much money involved – and guaranteed contracts, and no real punishment save for hanging one’s head in public for a little while – you can see why there are many who would take the risk.

  16. GreenBeret7 January 15th, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    Mel, there was actually never an asterisk next to Maris’ name. For a few years, there was two lines (names of Maris and Ruth) marking denoting length of season. That was removed more than 30 years ago.

  17. Erica - always OPPC - Bring Johnny Back!!! January 15th, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    GreenBeret7
    January 15th, 2010 at 8:39 pm
    Mel, there was actually never an asterisk next to Maris’ name. For a few years, there was two lines (names of Maris and Ruth) marking denoting length of season. That was removed more than 30 years ago.

    ***************

    It was more than a few years. Haven’t you seen the movie 61*???

    The asterick noted that Maris’ record was actually a new, separate record than the one set by Ruth. The asterick was not removed until after after the death of Maris in 1985. He never knew the record was his

  18. NYY626 January 15th, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    I cry every since time I watch *61. Such a great movie!

  19. Doreen January 15th, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    GB7 -

    What I have a hard time with is all the players who didn’t use – there must have been enough of them to have gotten together and spoken as a group so no one person had to be the “rat fink.”

    There must have been a few who wanted to say something. I wish we could know what stopped them? Surely some went to the union at some point?

    The whole situation is one large mess. No one is without “blame,” from the players who used to those who stayed quiet, to the union, to the owners (management), to the media, to the fans. Moral outrage is definitely misplaced. We all (most) took part in some way.

    I do want to say, though, that there are people saying, look at Yankees fans, how quick they forgave ARod because he helped them with a WS. And to them, I’d say, well, what do you suggest fans do? You know there is nothing you can say or do – it’s out of your control. So you root for your team as it’s made up. I root for ARod as a member of the Yankees. But as far as the other stuff, well, you just shake your head and move on.

    Maybe they need to change the rules – no three chances. You use, you’re out. Period. But they’re too afraid of losing money. And, if times have changed somewhat, then the rule would be too late to do anything about those who’ve already used. it would mostly hopefully serve as a deterrent.

    Ah, I don’t know.

  20. m January 15th, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    I don’t think any of us (especially the ones that p a certain way!) can understand the dynamics of the clubhouse.

    Band of brothers and all that. The fact that some had needles sticking out of their rears didn’t matter much when they’re trying to win.

    I know certain players spoke up, and were promptly shunned. I think I have a problem with the “indignation” now after years of silence. But I don’t have a problem with Jeter, who surely knew it was going on, but who chose not to take it up as a crusade. I do like Jeter’s anger and fire when he said that it’s that the “everyone was doing it” stance is ridiculous.

  21. GreenBeret7 January 15th, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    I won’t argue, the the asterisk was a myth.

    “On top of his lack of popular press coverage, Maris’ chase for 61 hit another roadblock totally out of his control: along with adding two teams to the league, Major League Baseball had added eight games to the schedule. In the middle of the season, baseball commissioner Ford Frick announced that unless Ruth’s record was broken in the first 154 games of the season, the new record would be shown in the record books as having been set in 162 games while the previous record set in 154 games would also be shown. It is an urban legend, probably invented by New York sportswriter Dick Young, that an asterisk would be used to distinguish the new record.”

    “Maris failed to reach 61 in 154 games (he had only 59 after 154 games). He hit his 61st on October 1, 1961, in the fourth inning of the last game of the season, a contest between the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium in front of 23,154 fans.[2] Tracy Stallard was the pitcher who gave up Maris’s 61st home run. No asterisk was subsequently used in any record books — Major League Baseball itself had no official record book, and Frick later acknowledged that there never was official qualification of Maris’ accomplishment. However, Maris remained bitter about the experience. Speaking at the 1980 All-Star game, he said of that season, “They acted as though I was doing something wrong, poisoning the record books or something. Do you know what I have to show for 61 home runs? Nothing. Exactly nothing.”

    Ford Frick was a close friend of Ruth’s and his widow, Clare Ruth. He was also the commissioner.

    Ironically, he made no distinction when Maury wills broke Ty Cobb’s stolen base record the following season (Frick hated Cobb).

  22. Doreen January 15th, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    m -

    You’re right about that. Some of us will never really be able to understand the code of the clubhouse. :)

    I guess it’s really no different for the clean players as it is for most people – you shake your head and you move on, and you do your job. It does take a team to win, and if individuals are pointing fingers, well, so much for “team chemistry.”

    It’s really a mess. :lol:

  23. Neil January 15th, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    GB – 7

    I can’t recall ever seeing a player with just an average lead off 1st base get to 3rd base with a hit through the infield as well as Maris did.
    Once he cranked up his leg strength making the turn at 2nd base, it was like trying to stop a freight train.

  24. NYY626 January 15th, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Honestly, you cant really blame the clean players for not talking. If I was in that situation, I would never rat out a “coworker”, but I would hope that my boss ( attention: managers, coaches, owners) would step in and do something about the situation. This is just my opinion though.

  25. GreenBeret7 January 15th, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Doreen
    January 15th, 2010 at 8:47 pm
    GB7 -

    What I have a hard time with is all the players who didn’t use – there must have been enough of them to have gotten together and spoken as a group so no one person had to be the “rat fink.”

    ————————————————————

    Rumors were that Rick Helling brought up the issues to the union in a player rep meeting back in the 90s when he was the player rep for Texas. Helling started the rumor. Al Leiter, last week said that Helling never mentioned any such thing. They were both player reps.

  26. mick January 15th, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    Talking about “chemistry.” The lack of Damon will hurt the Yanks, as well as put added pressure on Granderson to produce. Johnson will have Matsui’s shadow to live up to. I think they are underestimating Damon’s contributions as well as Matsui’s. Their prescence will be missed.

  27. GreenBeret7 January 15th, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    Neil
    January 15th, 2010 at 8:57 pm
    GB – 7

    I can’t recall ever seeing a player with just an average lead off 1st base get to 3rd base with a hit through the infield as well as Maris did.
    Once he cranked up his leg strength making the turn at 2nd base, it was like trying to stop a freight train.

    ————————————————————

    Mantle was faster and a great base runner, but, Maris was about a half a step behind Mantle. he never received the credit for being such a great all around ball player. One of the greatest right fielders that I ever saw. Maris almost never made a mental mistake during any game that I ever saw him play.

  28. mick January 15th, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    Maris had a great arm. Accurate and strong. An underrated ballplayer. Lived in Mantle’s shadow and catapulted Mantle’s popularity.

  29. lets go yankees January 15th, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    “I heard a soundbyte of mike & mike talking about how they should put maris back in the books with an asterisk denoting the true record. And how ironic it would be since he had to endure the asterisk for years.”

    —————————-

    What is funny about the talk of Maris being the true record holder is that his 1961 season is a bit suspicious, no?

  30. mick January 15th, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    Maris took advantage of the porch. Perfect YS swing. He never did much anywhere else.

  31. Rich in NJ January 15th, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    m

    “I know certain players spoke up, and were promptly shunned. I think I have a problem with the “indignation” now after years of silence. But I don’t have a problem with Jeter, who surely knew it was going on, but who chose not to take it up as a crusade. I do like Jeter’s anger and fire when he said that it’s that the “everyone was doing it” stance is ridiculous.”

    I do have a problem with Jeter’s “anger” because he can’t have it both ways. Either you speak up and pressure the MLBPA to police it’s own, or you forfeit your right to complain and be angry. He should really be angry at himself for remaining silent.

    We don’t even know that he (or anyone else) were totally clean. I don’t think he used, but I don’t know it.

  32. m January 15th, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    I understand what you’re trying to say, mick.

    But what does chemistry have to do with ‘pressure’? Nick Swisher couldn’t handle the pressure at (sometimes crucial) points of the season, but it mattered naught.

    Hideki will definitely be missed in the clubhouse, I think. If Damon doesn’t come back, same there. But each year’s got a new crop of guys, and the returning ones have no problem with chemistry or making newcomers feel welcome.

  33. m January 15th, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    Rich,

    I don’t think Jeter complained about anything. His only reaction was, “No, not everyone was doing it.”

    Got no problem Jeter. He knew the score.

  34. Rich in NJ January 15th, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    Edit: he was

  35. GreenBeret7 January 15th, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    Doreen: “I do want to say, though, that there are people saying, look at Yankees fans, how quick they forgave ARod because he helped them with a WS. And to them, I’d say, well, what do you suggest fans do? You know there is nothing you can say or do – it’s out of your control. So you root for your team as it’s made up. I root for ARod as a member of the Yankees. But as far as the other stuff, well, you just shake your head and move on.”

    ————————————————————

    You’ll always see that name mentioned but only as a Yankee. Yankee fans never liked Rodriguez in the first place because they thought he was going to steal Jeter’s light. He’ll get booed again, next year. I don’t think he even cares anymore.

    The part of it all that makes you sick are the ones that deny that their team was clean or hammer other teams while ignoring their favorite team.

    I’ve said before, that personally, I don’t care about the steroid use, because I don’t think that they were that much of a help.

    People always talk about power spikes in players that used, but, Rodriguez never had a spike. On the other hand, Ken Griffey did. Was he using? I don’t know. Griffey wasn’t that much better than others, as great as he was. They ralk about players breaking down from use. Nobody broke down faster than Griffey.

  36. Uncle Ellsworth (Expert textpert choking smokers, don't you think the joker laughs at you) January 15th, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    catapulted Mantle’s popularity. ???
    http://keymancollectibles.com/.....record.htm

    I think he was a legend by that time
    GB???

    Goodnight

  37. Rich in NJ January 15th, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    m

    I would like to ask him if he thinks he bears some responsibility for the perception that he is dissenting from.

    OT: Alonzo Mourning is on Larry King from Haiti. That’s impressive.

  38. mick January 15th, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    My point is that they will be missed. Perhaps Damon more than Matsui. First year players on the Yankees always seem to get off to slow starts. Swisher underachieved at the Stadium , homerun-wise.
    A slow start in NY is unacceptable adding pressure to the newcomers which some will interpret as bad chemistry.

  39. GreenBeret7 January 15th, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    Correction:

    The part of it all that makes you sick are the ones that deny that their team was ***dirty*** or hammer other teams while ignoring their favorite team.

  40. m January 15th, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    Rich,

    Why single him out? Seriously!

  41. mick January 15th, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    uncle e

    Mantle became even more popular when Maris threatened his throne. He was booed regularly at the Stadium before Maris arrived.

  42. Rich in NJ January 15th, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    m

    I’m not singling him out. He’s the only player I know that said that not everyone was doing PEDs. If there is another player who is saying the same thing, especially one with some stature, my feelings about them are exactly the same.

  43. Nick in SF January 15th, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    Non-sarcastic question: how was Nick Swisher unable to handle the pressure?

  44. GreenBeret7 January 15th, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    Uncle Ellsworth (Expert textpert choking smokers, don’t you think the joker laughs at you)
    January 15th, 2010 at 9:18 pm
    catapulted Mantle’s popularity. ???
    http://keymancollectibles.com/…..record.htm

    I think he was a legend by that time
    GB???

    Goodnight

    ————————————————————

    Mantle was a legend long before Maris showed up. He was hated by opposing fans out of respect. NYY and NY fans disliked him because of writers like Dick Young, Jimmy Cannon, Oscar Fraley and Henry Hecht told them to. They spent 6 years telling everybody that he was a coward and a draft dodger. He had the misfortune of not being DiMaggio (who hated writers – ironic, huh?). Of course they failed to mention that Mantle failed 4 thorough exams by military doctors and that he had tried to enlist 3 times. Never mentioned that in WWII, Ted Williams never left the US or Joe DiMaggio only played baseball for Army exhibition games.

  45. mick January 15th, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    m

    “I know certain players spoke up, and were promptly shunned. I think I have a problem with the “indignation” now after years of silence. But I don’t have a problem with Jeter, who surely knew it was going on, but who chose not to take it up as a crusade. I do like Jeter’s anger and fire when he said that it’s that the “everyone was doing it” stance is ridiculous.”
    =====================================================
    What Jeter was saying is that he wasn’t doing it. He didn’t want to be included in the “everyone’s doing it” club.

  46. Rich in NJ January 15th, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    “A slow start in NY is unacceptable adding pressure to the newcomers which some will interpret as bad chemistry.”

    Teix and CC overcame a slow start, as have many other stars.

    Vazquez started off great in 2004. It didn’t change most fans’ perception of him.

  47. Frank January 15th, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    “Non-sarcastic question: how was Nick Swisher unable to handle the pressure?”

    People are probably thinking about his postseason disappearance when suggesting this.

  48. mick January 15th, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    Nick in SF January 15th, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    Non-sarcastic question: how was Nick Swisher unable to handle the pressure?
    ————————————————————–
    Non sarcastic answer: why couldn’t he hit homers at the Stadium?

  49. pat January 15th, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    “Teix and CC overcame a slow start, as have many other stars.”

    If the Yankees hadn’t won the WS, how kind do you think people would have been to Tex this off season?

  50. GreenBeret7 January 15th, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    Actually, in 1960, nothing had changed about the amount of booing that Mantle got. The fans loved Maris. It all changed one might when Mantle hit a grounder and loafed down the first base line. Maris slid into 2nd to break up the DP, but, Mantle was out. He stopped half way to first. The only thing Maris broke was 3 ribs and it cost him the homer title to Mantle.

    Mantle was pulled from the game and benched. Mantle apologized to the team, Stengel, Maris and in the papers, to the fans. he was never booed again. He was loved for being human. Finally. Maris’ booing started because of the same four writers that buried Mantle in the papers.

  51. mick January 15th, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    Mantle was a legend long before Maris showed up. He was hated by opposing fans out of respect
    ————————————————————
    The point is that Mantle was booed at the Stadium until Maris arrived. That is when his legend became mythical.

  52. mick January 15th, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    If the Yankees hadn’t won the WS, how kind do you think people would have been to Tex this off season?
    ———————————————————–
    Imagine if Arod didnt show up to protect Tex.

  53. Rich in NJ January 15th, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    “If the Yankees hadn’t won the WS, how kind do you think people would have been to Tex this off season?”

    That’s a separate question, having nothing to do with the slow start issue that mick raised.

    Obviously, the myopic segment of the fanbase would have been cruel.

  54. Chad Jennings January 15th, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    One last post for the day. If you hadn’t heard, Gaudin and Logan filed for arbitration. It means practically nothing, but still…

  55. YANKEE POWERHOUSE 2010 January 15th, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    CHAD JENNINGS … THE MASTER
    BEST IN THE BUSINESS.
    HANDS DOWN…

  56. mick January 15th, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    Originally I mentioned how the Yanks are underestimating the value of Damon. He probably feels the same way he did when the RS let him go. He seems like a sensitive soul. If they get off to a slow start, the bridge jumpers will no doubt say he is missed and clubhouse chemistry or team looseness has been affected. This will put pressure on Granderson and if he is slumping, god forbid, as he is in effect replacing Damon.

  57. gfd January 15th, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    Why are my post , not showing up? testing

  58. Damon enjoy 27....think 28 January 15th, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    The toronto star says Cashman offered Montero straight up for Halladay. A prospect for an ace, really !

  59. m1kew January 16th, 2010 at 10:07 am

    1/16/10 – check out Chad’s story on Brett Gardner.

    http://www.lohud.com/article/2.....for-a-spot

    Glad to have something new to read.

  60. RS January 16th, 2010 at 10:15 am

    I think it’s silly to get too caught up in Damon and Matsui’s departures, simply because of chemistry. Were they great players who produced under the heat of NY? Yes.

    But every year teams lose players, and you can’t hold on forever. One year from now, there’s a small chance that both Pettitte and Rivera will be gone, and the team will have to move on from that as well.

    It’s not like we’re letting go of two great personalities and bringing in a cancer. Curtis Granderson is one of the most well-liked players in baseball, and Vazquez and Johnson already have relationships with current teammates. And really, this time is overflowing with veteran leadership (Jeter, Posada, Arod, Teixeira, Sabathia, Burnett, Pettitte, Rivera).


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