The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


Archive for March, 2010

Notes from Wednesday03.31.10

We ran into some technical issues here at the LoHud Yankees Blog. No one could login to update a post or add a new one, and since that’s a pretty important part of what we do around here, we’ve gone back to the original format. Still hoping to have all the bugs worked out soon.

Speaking of technical issues, Francisco Cervelli has run into some, but it doesn’t seem serious. He felt a little something in his left hamstring yesterday, and so the Yankees sent him for a precautionary MRI this afternoon.

“Let’s be safe instead of sorry because if he had a Grade 1 you’d hate to run him out there,” Joe Girardi said. “He called it a little pinch, but it didn’t bother him. We just decided, let’s go get an MRI just to be sure.”

The plan is for Cervelli to go through the normal drills the next two days — batting practice, catching bullpens — and for him to play on Saturday. The Yankees are only worried about him running the bases, and they aren’t even especially worried about that, just want to play it safe.

Sabathia Chicago Wausau High School Baseball• Turns out CC Sabathia met with some high school players while at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex for yesterday’s game against the Braves. The AP had this picture.

• Phil Hughes pitched pretty well today, but the first inning got a little bit out of hand when four straight batters reached base with two outs. He said the problem was his curveball, which he wasn’t able to bury in the dirt when he needed to. Otherwise, he was pretty happy with the outing. He threw 88 pitches, 61 for strikes.

• Is it possible Hughes’ curveball suffered a setback because of his focus on the changeup? “I don’t think so,” Hughes said. “I didn’t command it all that well today, but I feel like the spin’s been fine on it. I kind of know I can find the feel for my breaking ball as the game goes on, so I really focused on other things. Cutter. Changeup. Fastball command. The curveball is kind of one of those things, it kind of comes and goes for me, but when it’s on it seems to snowball and will be on for a while. The biggest thing for me is being able to throw all four pitches for strikes.”

• The latest on Mark Teixeira: “Tex will play tomorrow,” Girardi said. “I saw him after he did his cage work. He said he felt OK.”

• The latest on Alfredo Aceves: “He’s on target for Friday,” Girardi said. “We’re obviously going to check on how he is tomorrow after today’s activity.” That activity included pitching off a mound.

• Girardi will announce his center fielder tomorrow. Asked if today’s lineup — Granderson in center and Gardner in left — was an indication, Girardi said, “You can make an assumption.”

• Although Girardi indicated yesterday that Joba Chamberlain was unlikely to pitch back-to-back days, Chamberlain, Chan Ho Park, Dave Robertson and Royce Ring will all make the trip tomorrow with the chance of pitching a second day in a row. “If the situation arises, I will definitely do it,” Girardi said. “I’d like to see it.”

• Mariano Rivera and Damaso Marte will pitch Friday.

• Girardi’s quick take on Chamberlain: “Throwing a lot of strikes. His slider has been better.”

• The Yankees want to make sure Aceves is healthy before settling on their Opening Day bullpen. Boone Logan pitched for a second day in a row this afternoon and struck out Jason Kubel. Royce Ring pitched a hitless inning. “We’re still going to watch a couple of more days, just to see,” Girardi said. “Obviously we’re leaning one way, but in fairness to the guys, they’ve pitched very well and you want to see everything.”

• Position players not making the trip tomorrow: Mike Rivera, Francisco Cervelli, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez. The rest of the big league regulars will be there.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Noteswith 235 Comments →

The plan for Hughes03.31.10

Phil Hughes will make his first regular season start on April 15. Until then, he will make two extended spring starts in Florida. He will, however, break camp on the active roster.

Here’s the full plan for Hughes.

April 5: He will throw 90 to 100 pitches in extended spring training. Those games are played against other teams, just like a minor league spring training game. It’s not intrasquad. After the game, Hughes will fly to Boston to join the Yankees.

April 10: In the middle of the Yankees series against the Rays in St. Pete, Hughes will make another extended spring start in Tampa. He will likely be backed off to around 70 pitches, just like the other Yankees starters in their final spring training starts.

April 15: Hughes will make his regular season debut at home against the Angels. That’s the last game of that Anaheim series. He will be properly stretched out, ready to throw as many pitches as the other Yankees starters.

Why do it this way?
Girardi said this allows the Yankees to further control Hughes’ innings. The starts in extended spring training don’t count toward his innings limit, but they will keep him fresh. “There were times when he threw only 50 pitches (in spring training) when he other guys were throwing 70,” Girardi said. “We feel like this is good to get him up to where he needs to be.”

Why don’t the extended spring innings count?
Because they are in a controlled, low-stress environment. “You can manage a game,” Girardi said. “Let’s say he goes 25 pitches, you can stop the inning. You can do a lot of things that you can’t do in a real game.”

Why not option Hughes and carry an extra reliever?
There will be nights when Hughes is available as an emergency, extra-innings reliever. “There’s a situation that could arise where you might need him to make a spot start, or you get rained out and they want to play a double header,” Girardi said. If Hughes were optioned, the Yankees would have to wait 10 days before calling him up (unless someone got hurt).

UPDATE, 4:35 p.m.: Here’s the Girardi audio explaining the situation and why the Yankees made this decision.

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Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 501 Comments →

Spring Training Game 27: Yankees vs. Twins03.31.10

YANKEES
Derek Jeter SS
Marcus Thames DH
Jorge Posada C
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Nick Swisher RF
Curtis Granderson CF
Brett Gardner LF
Ramiro Pena 2B
Juan Miranda 1B

RHP Phil Hughes

TWINS
Denard Span CF
Orlando Hudson 2B
J.J. Hardy SS
Jason Kubel DH
Delmon Young LF
Brendan Harris 3B
Brock Peterson 1B
Juan Portes RF
Drew Butera C

LHP Brian Duensing

TIME/TV: 1:05 p.m./YES Network

WEATHER: A few light clouds in the distance, but otherwise another bright and sunny day here in Tampa. Spring training started with some chilly days, but these last few weeks have been outstanding.

UMPIRES: HP Vic Carapazza, 1B Eric Cooper, 2B Andy Fletcher, 3B Damien Beal

ON THE LINE: In terms of roster decisions, the most interesting thing to watch in Yankees camp might be Marcus Thames at-bats against lefties. He’ll face another left-hander today, and he’s looked pretty good against them lately… Also worth watching left-handed reliever Boone Logan and Royce Ring. The Yankees are still determining whether they have room for one of them in the bullpen.

UPDATE, 1:15 p.m.: Denard Span just lined a ball into the stands and hit a woman who’s wearing a Span jersey. Turns out, it was a member of Span’s family, possibly his mother. Jorge Posada immediately ran over there, then Span ran into the stands to check on her. She seems to be OK, but that was pretty crazy.

UPDATE, 1:31 p.m.: That was in fact Span’s mother. She was hit in the chest, but did not go to the hospital. She’s back in the stands, just not as close to the field as before.

UPDATE, 2:15 p.m.: Since that two-out, two-run stretch in the first inning, Phil Hughes has retired 10 of the past 11 Twins. He’s struck out five through four innings. I really think he can be a very good pitcher in the major leagues, and I think we’ll see it happen this year.

UPDATE, 2:20 p.m.: That’s spring home run No. 2 for Alex Rodriguez. He’s now tied with Robinson Cano for the team lead in RBI with 9. Nick Swisher has eight and Nick Johnson has seven.

UPDATE, 2:29 p.m.: He didn’t get the out, but Ramiro Pena just made a nice relay throw to third to very nearly get Orlando Hudson. The guy can play some defense, no doubt.

UPDATE, 2:35 p.m.: After Hughes was chased from the game, Boone Logan struck out Jason Kubel to strand a runner at second and keep the Twins lead at 3-1 in the fifth. I’ve done a complete 360 on Logan. I came to camp expecting him to make the team, then I thought he’d be crowded out by fifth-starter candidates, and now I think they’ll find a way to at least carry him until they need a fifth starter.

UPDATE, 3:01 p.m.: Joba Chamberlain is in to pitch for the Yankees. Brandon Laird is in the game at third and Jose Pirela is in at shortstop.

UPDATE, 3:15 p.m.: More unusual to see a switch-pitcher or a 5-foot-3 second baseman?

UPDATE, 3:24 p.m.: Apparently ESPN just listed Clay Condrey as a Yankees reliever. Condrey is with the Twins after establishing himself with the Phillies. Don’t worry, he’s not going to beat out Mo.

UPDATE, 3:25 p.m.: Nice game for Juan Miranda, who just homered to pull the Yankees within 4-2.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Gameday Threadwith 417 Comments →

Teixeira “very encouraged” by elbow’s progress03.31.10

Mark Teixeira hopes to take swings off a tee today, and he firmly believes he’ll be in the Yankees lineup tomorrow against the Blue Jays.

“Very lucky,” he said. “Any time you get hit on a bone, a lot of bad things can happen.”

Teixeira reported to camp with very little swelling on Tuesday, and the swelling is still minimal today. He said his range of motion is good and said he’s “very encouraged” by how well it has rebounded after being hit by a pitch on Monday. The bruise, though, is still pretty nasty.

“You can still see the seams in there,” he said.

Teixeira will wear a protective sleeve for the next few days, just to make sure he doesn’t take a direct another direct hit, but he has no plans of wearing protection during the regular season. He doesn’t like the way it feels at the plate.

Someone joked that if he got hit there again he might charge the mound. “I’ll be crying on the ground is what I’ll be doing,” he said.

• Alfredo Aceves was also feeling good this morning. He’s been doing exercises twice a day to strengthen and stretch his lower back. He plans to throw off a mound today and pitch in a game on Friday.

• Phil Hughes has not been told when he’ll make his first regular season start. He’s making what should be his final spring start this afternoon.

• Still no official word on an opening day center fielder, but Curtis Granderson is back in center field today, with Brett Gardner starting in left.

• Available to pitch out of the bullpen: Joba Chamberlain, Chan Ho Park, Dave Robertson, Royce Ring and Boone Logan.

• Available off the bench: C P.J. Pilittere, C Jose Gil, INF Brandon Laird, INF Jose Pirela, INF Luis Nunez, OF Randy Winn, OF Reid Gorecki and OF Edwar Gonzalez.

• Twins lineup:

Denard Span CF
Orlando Hudson 2B
J.J. Hardy SS
Jason Kubel DH
Delmon Young LF
Brendan Harris 3B
Brock Peterson 1B
Juan Portes RF
Drew Butera C

LHP Brian Duensing

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Noteswith 155 Comments →

Lineup vs. Twins03.31.10

Derek Jeter SS
Marcus Thames DH
Jorge Posada C
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Nick Swisher RF
Curtis Granderson CF
Brett Gardner LF
Ramiro Pena 2B
Juan Miranda 1B

RHP Phil Hughes

Mark Teixeira is listed in the third batting practice group, which seems to be a good sign that his elbow is alright.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 49 Comments →

Today in The Journal News03.31.10

Joe Girardi had been excited all spring to see Pat Venditte, and on Tuesday he got his chance. The only switch pitcher in baseball was called up for the day and created quite a stir in the Yankees clubhouse when he faced the Braves.

CC Sabathia got the start against Atlanta. It was his last spring start before Opening Day, and although he struggled in Florida, the Yankees seem unconcerned about their ace. The notebook also has items on Mark Teixeira, Alfredo Aceves and the latest cuts from big league camp.

You can always check out pictures in our daily Yankees gallery.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Today in the Journal Newswith 46 Comments →

Notes from Tuesday03.30.10

The Yankees reassigned outfielders David Winfree and Jon Weber to minor camp after tonight’s game. Those were the last non-roster outfielders — other than Marcus Thames — who were left in camp, but Joe Girardi said the moves don’t necessarily mean Thames has made the team.

“We haven’t made any final cuts yet,” Girardi said. “But Marcus swung the bat against the lefties today, and we have to make some decisions. We’re going to meet pretty soon.”

Weber hit .483 this spring, and he’s tied for the team lead with four doubles. Problem is he’s a left-handed hitter trying to make a team that needs a right-handed hitter.

“He did everything he could do,” Girardi said. “He’s definitely opened some eyes, for sure.”

Weber had become one of the feel-good stories of the spring. He’s a 32-year-old without a single day in the big leagues, but he made a big impression this spring. Chris Coste was 33 years old without a single day in the big leagues when he made a big impression with the Phillies in the spring of 2007, and he got a call-up later that year.

“It was the best time in my life, in my career, that I’ve ever had,” Weber said. “I made it to the final week with the New York Yankees.”

Here’s the Weber audio. If you want to root for a guy, give this a listen.

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Orioles Yankees Baseball

• Sergio Mitre allowed a two-run home run in the fourth inning but rebounded to finish with two runs on three hits and no walks through six innings. “That one inning that they scored, my pitches were just up a little bit,” Mitre said. His strong spring continues.

• When Joe Girardi got to this afternoon’s game, he only knew Mark Teixeira was sore after being hit by a pitch yesterday. By the time the night game started, Girardi had learned that Teixeira actually reported to camp with no swelling. The situation actually seems better than might have been expected.

• “Ace was better too,” Girardi said. There’s even a chance Alfredo Aceves will play catch tomorrow.

• CC Sabathia hasn’t had the best spring — his 7.23 ERA doesn’t include his ugly outing in minor league camp — but absolutely no one in Yankees camp seems concerned. “CC needs the adrenalin, and I’m pretty sure he’s going to get it in Boston,” Jorge Posada said.

• Joba Chamberlain “probably won’t” pitch in back-to-back games this spring.

• A decision on whether Phil Hughes will open on the big league roster or be optioned to the minor leagues until the Yankees need a fifth starter may be coming soon. “I think we’re about done with that,” Girardi said. “We should have that for you shortly.”

• Speaking of that decision, Boone Logan pitched another scoreless inning. He has made a strong case to be a second left-handed reliever, and it would be very easy to carry him if Hughes opens in the minors.

• It was an ex-Yankees massacre today in Pirates camp. Jeff Karstens, Steven Jackson and Anthony Claggett were among seven pitchers sent down.

• After today’s day-night double header, the Yankees are reporting to camp late tomorrow morning. They’ll take batting practice on a back field. “We’ve seen enough baseball the last 24 hours,” Girardi said.

• The Associated Press paired two shots of Pat Venditte throwing from each side this afternoon. That’s also an AP photo of Sergio Mitre

Yankees Braves Spring Baseball

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc, Noteswith 259 Comments →

Spring Training Game 26: Yankees vs. Blue Jays03.30.10

YANKEES
Derek Jeter SS
Nick Johnson 1B
Marcus Thames LF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Randy Winn RF
Ramiro Pena 2B
Jon Weber DH
Francisco Cervelli C
Greg Golson CF

RHP Sergio Mitre

BLUE JAYS
Jose Bautista RF
Aaron Hill 2B
Adam Lind DH
Vernon Wells CF
Lyle Overbay 1B
Edwin Encarnacion 3B
Travis Snider LF
Alex Gonzalez SS
Raul Chavez C

LHP Marc Rzepczynski

TIME/TV: 7:05 p.m./YES Network

WEATHER: Not much different than it was for the afternoon game. Not a cloud in the sky with temperatures in the high 60s, dropping into the low 60s in the later innings. Wind is blowing out to right field.

UMPIRES: HP Mark Wegner, 1B Andy Fletcher, 2B Damien Beal, 3B Vic Carapazza

ON THE LINE: You could argue that Sergio Mitre is pitching for a spot on the team, trying to prove it’s better to keep him instead of a second lefty. That might be true, but I tend to think he’s made it… Marcus Thames is facing another lefty, with a chance to make another solid impression.

UPDATE, 6:21 p.m.: Joe Girardi said Mark Teixeira actually showed up today with no swelling. Sounds pretty encouraging.

By the way, Jose Molina is on the travel roster for the Blue Jays. So is Sean Henn, who’s up for the day from their minor league complex.

UPDATE, 7:52 p.m.: I know what his number were last year, but Sergio Mitre really does look like a different pitcher this spring. He’s locating that fastball down in the zone, and he keeps getting ground balls. He’s works his way through three hitless innings so far today.

UPDATE, 8:06 p.m.: Looks like I spoke too soon. A two-run homer in the fourth has put the Blue Jays in the lead, 2-1, but Ramiro Pena made a nice play at second to end the inning.

UPDATE, 8:30 p.m.: Nick Johnson. Aggressive on the bases as always.

UPDATE, 8:37 p.m.: Not exactly textbook baseball taking place right now.

UPDATE, 8:39 p.m.: Blue Jays pitcher lets a comebacker hit his pitching hand… not exactly textbook baseball taking place right now.

UPDATE, 8:59 p.m.: Damaso Marte is in for the Yankees. Nice night for Mitre: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K.

UPDATE, 9:15 p.m.: Mariano Rivera is now pitching for the Yankees. Colin Curtis is in left, Jorge Vazquez is at first, Austin Romine is catching, Eduardo Nunez is at short, Reegie Corona is at second and Ramiro Pena has moved to third.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Gameday Threadwith 370 Comments →

New look for LHYB03.30.10

Hey everybody,

Jeff The Tech Guy here. Sometime tomorrow, we’ll be switching over to a new set of templates for The LoHud Yankees Blog. These templates are cleaner looking, load faster and allow us to feature more useful information. It also includes the Facebook Connect button, which will allow you to post comments with your Facebook account (You won’t be required to do this. It is optional).

Here is a preview of what the new blog will look like:
http://whiteplains.lohudblogs.com/

We’ll be adjusting it and building in new features as the season rolls along.

Feel free to send your questions and comments to jmarx@lohud.com. I’ll do my best to respond quickly, but it is a pretty busy time of year for us, as I’m sure you can imagine.

Posted by: - Posted in Miscwith 58 Comments →

Venditte steals the show03.30.10

CC Sabathia struggled with his fastball command and left a few changeups up in the zone. Nick Swisher and Jorge Posada hit their first spring home runs. Robinson Cano stayed hot with a 2-for-4 afternoon. Zack Segovia took the loss by allowing three runs in the eighth.

But it was switch pitcher Pat Venditte who stole the show.

Swisher said he and the other outfielders were talking to one another when Venditte was on the mound in the sixth.

“We were like, he’s about to switch, he’s about to switch right now!” Swisher said.

Sabathia had no idea Venditte could pitch with both hands. When he came out of he game, Sabathia saw a left-handed pitcher coming in from the bullpen. Then he saw a right-handed pitcher on the mound.

“I was like, maybe that guy got hurt,” Sabathia said.

Venditte allowed one run on two hits and a walk through an inning and a third. Jorge Posada said Venditte promised him he usually has better command. Afterward, Venditte seemed humbled by the experience and said it’s up to him to make himself more than a sideshow. Here’s the audio. I’m out the door on my way back to Tampa for tonight’s game against Toronto.

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Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 51 Comments →

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