The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


Archive for March, 2010

Spring Training Game 25: Yankees at Braves03.30.10

YANKEES
Brett Gardner LF
Nick Swisher RF
Jorge Posada C
Robinson Cano 2B
Curtis Granderson CF
Juan Miranda 1B
Kevin Russo SS
Brandon Laird 3B
CC Sabathia P

RHP CC Sabathia

BRAVES
Melky Cabrera RF
Martin Prado 2B
Chipper Jones 3B
Troy Glaus 1B
Yunel Escobar SS
Matt Diaz LF
Nate McLouth CF
Clint Sammons C
Kenshin Kawakami P

RHP Kenshin Kawakami

TIME/TV: 1:05 p.m./Not in New York

WEATHER: I didn’t know it was possible to be this sunny.

UMPIRES: HP Mike Reilly, 1B Jerry Layne, 2B Jeff Nelson, 3B Toby Basner

ON THE LINE: Not a lot of borderline, trying-to-win-a-spot players in this one. This game is more about CC Sabathia getting his last tune-up and seeing Pat Venditte pitch from both sides.

UPDATE, 1:17 p.m.: This batting fifth thing seems to be working out so far. Robinson Cano just doubled off the top of the wall in right-center, scoring Nick Swisher and giving the Yankees a 1-0 lead in the first inning.

UPDATE, 1:34 p.m.: Sabathia, of course, struck out on three pitches. He basically just stood in the box, not even looking as if he were going to swing the bat. You just know that was killing him.

UPDATE, 1:40 p.m.: Robinson Cano is going to win a Gold Glove this year. That’s my prediction. He just made a great play to end the second inning, catching a shallow pop-up on the run, then turning to throw to first base to double off Matt Diaz. CC Sabathia just stood on the mound pointing to Cano after the play.

UPDATE, 2:28 p.m.: Brandon Laird has been a lot better defensively than I expected. By the way, Venditte is getting loose in the bullpen.

UPDATE, 2:32 p.m.: That’s it for Sabathia this spring. Not the best numbers, but I doubt anyone is concerned. Here’s Venditte.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Gameday Threadwith 359 Comments →

Disabled list not ruled out for Aceves03.30.10

Joe Girardi remains optimistic that Alfredo Aceves will pitch in a spring training game this week, but if that doesn’t happen, it’s entirely possible he could open the season on the disabled list.

“I think we have to have him throw one more time before we leave or he’s probably a candidate,” Girardi said.

Because of the nature of back injuries — it will either hurt or it won’t — Girardi said he doesn’t expect this to affect Aceves ability to pitch multiple innings. If his back feels good one day, he’ll be used the same as always. If it hurts the next day, he probably won’t be able to pitch at all.

• Mark Teixeira is “sore” today, but Girardi said it’s no different from what the Yankees expected yesterday. He’ll go through treatment this afternoon and the Yankees still believe he’ll be able to play on Thursday.

• The Braves did not let the Yankees use a designated hitter today, which is why CC Sabathia is in the lineup. Sabathia can hit, but he’s under order to not swing today. “He’ll get his chances,” Girardi said. “Just not to today.” At one point, Sabathia asked Girardi if he could at least drag bunt. Pretty sure that was a joke.

• Girardi remains incredibly excited about using Pat Venditte. He’s never even seen him warm up and was wondering how Venditte uses his eight warm up pitches. Is it four with each hand? “We’re going to find out,” Girardi said.

• The Yankees lineups for the last 11 games of spring were set before the last off day last week. Girardi said there’s no significance to the fact Curtis Granderson is in center today. In fact, Girardi wasn’t even sure who was starting in center today.

• No list of who’s playing which position, but these are the Yankees bench players for the game: C P.J. Pilittere, C Jeff Farnham, INF Walter Ibarra, INF Justin Snyder, OF Austin Krum, OF David Winfree and OF Ray Kruml.

• Pitchers in the bullpen: RHP Zack Segovia, RHP Ryan Flannery, RHP Cory Arbiso, RHP Ryan Zink and SP Pat Venditte.

• Got to see Jason Heyward up close this morning. I will now be shocked if he doesn’t hit 97 home runs this season. He’s tall and lean and huge. “He look like a little bigger version of Fred McGriff,” Girardi said. A little bigger version of a guy who hit 493 home runs. Impressive.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 50 Comments →

Today’s lineup vs. Atlanta03.30.10

No designated hitter for the Yankees this afternoon.

Brett Gardner LF
Nick Swisher RF
Jorge Posada C
Robinson Cano 2B
Curtis Granderson CF
Juan Miranda 1B
Kevin Russo SS
Brandon Laird 3B
CC Sabathia P

RHP CC Sabathia

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 144 Comments →

Today in The Journal News03.30.10

The Yankees are over in Lake Buena Vista this afternoon and much of my morning will be spent driving. There won’t be any notes or anything on the blog until closer to noon.

CC Sabathia has the start on the road against the Braves. Sergio Mitre is starting tonight’s  7:05 game at home against the Blue Jays. I’ll have lineups when I get to Braves camp.

Until then, Brett Gardner wasn’t the fastest man in the Yankees clubhouse yesterday. Four-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson came to George M. Steinbrenner Field to talk to the team about what it takes to repeat as champions. “They have to have a new goal,” Johnson said. “It’s not enough to just say, hey let’s be world champions. You’ve done that before.”

The bad news on Monday was that Alfredo Aceves is having more trouble with his back and will skip today’s scheduled relief appearance. The good news is that Mark Teixeira has only a bruise after being hit by a pitch in the elbow. The notebook also has items on a good day for home runs, pending decisions in the bullpen and in center field, and a unique one-day addition to the Yankees bullpen.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Today in the Journal Newswith 134 Comments →

Notes from Monday03.29.10

APTOPIX Yankees Orioles Baseball

Sounds like Mark Teixeira is going to be OK. He was checked out by the Orioles team orthopedist, Tim Johnson, and it was determined that no x-rays were necessary. They did some strength tests and moved the elbow around, but Teixeira is fine.

“We did all the different tests and it’s just going to be sore for a couple of days,” he said. “Just going to do treatment all day tomorrow, reassess it on Wednesday and at the very least I’ll play Thursday.”

The pitch hit Teixeira directly on the bone. Not above or below the elbow, but right on the elbow. You could hear it in the stadium. He’s keeping it wrapped and elevated to keep the swelling to a minimum.

“It looks pretty nasty,” he said.

Here’s the Teixeira audio. He talked a little bit about why he doesn’t wear protection on his elbow.

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Yankees Orioles Baseball

• Four home runs for the Yankees tonight: Robinson Cano, Marcus Thames, David Winfree and P.J. Pilittere. “I was thinking 24-16,” Girardi said.

• Girardi said he decided immediately that Teixeira was coming out of the game after being hit. In a regular season game he would have evaluated first, but in spring training, “He was done.”

• As for Girardi’s rant when Francisco Cervelli was hit: “If you’re having a hard time commanding the fastball inside, I don’t think this is the time to work on it,” he said. “…I know Jeremy Guthrie’s not trying to hit someone, but it’s frustrating.” Girardi said his dugout rant was just venting. “I was actually facing the water cooler,” he said.

• The Yankees had Joba Chamberlain at 93 mph tonight.

• Javier Vazquez’s final spring training start will be Saturday’s game against Yankees minor leaguers. He said he’s only building arm strength tonight. Because of the wind, tonight was a tough night for him to throw anything but fastballs. “It was a tough day to throw the breaking pitches, especially the curveball,” he said.

• Pitchers making the road trip to play Atlanta tomorrow: CC Sabathia, Zack Segovia, Ryan Flannery, Ryan Zink, Cory Arbiso and Pat Venditte.

• Position players making the trip to play Atlanta: C P.J. Pilittere, C Jorge Posada, C Jeff Farnham, INF Robinson Cano, INF Juan Miranda, INF Kevin Russo, INF Brandon Laird, INF Justin Snyder, INF Walter Ibarra, OF Brett Gardner, OF Curtis Granderson, OF Nick Swisher, OF Jon Weber, OF David Winfree, OF Austin Krum. No specific positions listed for the infielders, but I’d bet on Miranda starting at first, Cano at second, Russo at short and Laird at third.

• The position players in camp who aren’t making the road trip will play in the night split squad game at home. Not sure which minor leaguers will be brought up for that game.

• For those of you back in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area, tickets for the annual Meet the Yankees event are now on sale. Go see for yourself how big Jesus Montero is.

Thanks to The Associated Press for the photos.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Noteswith 211 Comments →

Spring Training Game 24: Yankees at Orioles (with Teixeira update)03.29.10

YANKEES
Derek Jeter SS
Nick Johnson DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Marcus Thames LF
Randy Winn RF
Francisco Cervelli C
Greg Golson CF

RHP Javy Vazquez

ORIOLES
Brian Roberts 2B
Adam Jones CF
Nick Markakis RF
Miguel Tejeda 3B
Luke Scott 1B
Matt Wieters C
Garrett Atkins DH
Nolan Reimold LF
Cesar Izturis SS

RHP Jeremy Guthrie

TIME/TV: 7:05 p.m./MASN in the Baltimore area

WEATHER: Windy and a little chilly — for Florida, I’m still wearing short sleeves — but no real chance of rain. They’ll play this one.

UMPIRES: HP Tom Welke, 1B Chad Fairchild, 3B Marvin Hudson

ON THE LINE: Royce Ring made the trip. Boone Logan has gotten most of the attention in the competition to (potentially) be the second lefty in the bullpen, but Ring has pretty good numbers himself. Through 5.2 innings he’s allowed three hits, walked one and struck out seven.

UPDATE, 7:18 p.m.: Two-out, three-run home run by Robinson Cano in the first inning. That seems to be the kind of thing you’re looking for in a No. 5 hitter.

UPDATE, 7:39 p.m.: Mark Teixeira is coming out of the game after being hit by a pitch. It looked like it got him in the right elbow. Teixeira nearly slammed his helmet to the ground he was so upset. I’ll try to have an update as soon as possible.

UPDATE, 8:07 p.m.: Still no news on Teixeira, but Javier Vazquez looks pretty solid. Two-hard hit balls that went for doubles, but otherwise he’s been pretty good through three innings.

UPDATE, 8:10 p.m.: Francisco Cervelli was just hit by a pitch. It wasn’t bad and Cervelli stayed in the game, but Joe Girardi did start shouting and motioning from the dugout. It takes a lot to get Girardi mad, but he was pretty hot.

UPDATE, 8:33 p.m.: Teixeira has a right elbow contusion. No x-rays were taken. He will be reevaluated tomorrow.

UPDATE, 8:47 p.m.: I’ve said it before, Adam Jones is a lot bigger in person than I expected. He just crushed a three-run homer off Vazquez, pulling the Orioles within 5-4 in the fifth.

UPDATE, 9:03 p.m.: There’s the power we’ve heard about. David Winfree just smoked a three-run home run to center field. The wind has died down quite  bit, so I’m still giving Winfree credit for “smoking” the ball.

UPDATE, 9:24 p.m.: Speaking of power, Marcus Thames just hit his second home run of the spring and the Yankees have a 9-4 lead in the seventh. Joba Chamberlain got the final two outs of the sixth, but there’s no stadium radar gun here in Sarasota, so I have no idea how hard he was throwing.

UPDATE, 9:26 p.m.: Fair question from our pal Sweeny Murti: When’s the last time a catcher had a stolen base and an infield single in the same game? Francisco Cervelli has pulled it off tonight.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Gameday Threadwith 568 Comments →

Horne’s long road continues03.29.10

Just rolled into Sarasota where the wind is howling out to center field. Even I could hit a ball at least over the second baseman’s head (my baseball goals are very low).

ph_458951

The big pitching news of the day out of Yankees camp has to be Alfredo Aceves and his balky back, but the big news out of the minor league complex is Alan Horne and his torn rotator cuff.

“It never felt great last year,” Horne said. “But that was to be expected. I took a break this fall before I began to really get after it in the weight room. It felt great and I started throwing around December 1. It felt fine for the first two months but started to go downhill fast at the beginning of spring.”

Horne had mild shoulder surgery after the 2008 season. He tried to pitch last year, but the shoulder and a strained hamstring limited him to 14 outings between rookie ball and Double-A. He’s now scheduled for surgery with Dr. Andrews on April 9, and it will definitely knock him out for the season. When he can get back on a depends on the severity of the injury.

“I honestly have no idea until he gets in there and sees how bad things are and what time of repair has to be made,” Horne said. “All of that determines down time.”

Back in 2007, Horne was outstanding in the Double-A Eastern League. He went 12-4 with a 3.11 ERA and 165 strikeouts in 153.1 innings and was named the league’s Pitcher of the Year. In 2008 he ranked ahead of Jesus Montero, Brett Gardner, Ross Ohlendorf and Andrew Brackman on Baseball America’s Yankees prospect list, and he might have been one of the slew of big league call-ups that year had he not strained his biceps in his second Triple-A start.

“It’s been a long road for me over the past 10 years,” Horne said.

When he’s been healthy, Horne has been a young pitcher on a no-doubt course to the big leagues, but his body has had  way of letting him down. He’s already come back from Tommy John surgery, now he’ll have to come back from this.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 140 Comments →

Aceves day-to-day with sore back03.29.10

Alfredo Aceves will skip tomorrow’s scheduled relief appearance because of a sore back. Joe Girardi said Aceves has been tight and “a little out of line” for a few days and the Yankees decided today to give him a few days off.

It’s possible the problem could keep Aceves off the Opening Day roster, but Girardi said right now he believes Aceves will pitch later this week and be ready for the opener.

The problem started in September and Aceves saw a doctor in January. Girardi said Aceves is better today than he was over the weekend.

“It’s something we’re going to have to manage,” he said.

• Girardi said the team will likely wait until Thursday or Friday before finalizing their roster. “I imagine we’ll go pretty far,” Girardi said.

• The idea of starting Phil Hughes in the minor leagues and calling him up when the Yankees need a fifth starter remains a possibility. “I have not had a chance to talk to Cash about it yet, (to finalize) how we’re going to do it.”

• Who starts in center field? “I’m not quite read to make that decision,” Girardi said. “But I’m definitely leaning one way.” If I had to guess, I’d say it’s Curtis Granderson. Joel Sherman has reported that a source told him the organization is leaning that way.

• On the travel roster for tomorrow’s split-squad game against the Braves is switch-pitcher Pat Venditte, and Girardi is pumped. “I’ve wanted to see it all spring,” he said. “I’d like to put him in against a left, right, left.”

• Available to pitch today: Javier Vazquez, Joba Chamberlain, Dave Robertson, Grant Duff and Royce Ring.

• Available off the bench: C P.J. Pilittere, C Ryan Baker, INF Ramiro Pena, INF Jose Pirela, INF Justin Snyder, INF Marcos Vechionacci, OF Jon Weber, OF David Winfree, OF Edwar Gonzalez and OF Ray Kruml.

• I’ll have more on it later tonight, but former Eastern League Pitcher of the Year Alan Horne is scheduled for rotator cuff surgery on April 9. He has more than an 80 percent tear. It’s a brutal blow for a very good pitcher who’s had trouble staying healthy the past two years.

With that, I’m getting in a car with Erik Boland and making the drive to Sarasota. I’ll be back with more from down there.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 296 Comments →

Lineup today in Sarasota03.29.10

Derek Jeter SS
Nick Johnson DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Marcus Thames LF
Randy Winn RF
Francisco Cervelli C
Greg Golson CF

RHP Javy Vazquez

UPDATE, 1:30 p.m.: Former Olympic sprinter Michael Johnson is here to address the Yankees before the road trip.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 90 Comments →

Rounding out the bullpen03.29.10

The Yankees have a night game in Sarasota, so there’s not much going on this morning. To kill some time before we get lineups, I’ll ask this question.

Do the Yankees need a second lefty?

They went through most of last season with only Phil Coke, and they’ve established that Damaso Marte is going to be used more as a matchup lefty than as a setup reliever. It’s hard to carry a second left-hander unless he can also pitch in long relief or in late-inning situations against both lefties and righties.

Boone Logan and Royce Ring have each pitched well this spring, but both can also be sent to Triple-A without passing through waivers. If it comes down to a second lefty or a traditional long man, who would you rather carry? There are basically two spots* for Logan, Ring, Sergio Mitre and Alfredo Aceves. Mitre is the only one who can’t be sent to the minors.

* Granted, the Yankees could open with an eight-man bullpen until their fifth starter is needed, but eventually there will be only seven.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 321 Comments →

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