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

Pregame notes: Spring training blessing in disguise

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes on Jul 20, 2010 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

AlbyYou might remember Jonathan Albaladejo’s spring training. It was beyond awful. Probably the worst spring of anyone in Yankees camp. He pitched five times, got eight outs, and allowed 10 earned runs on 16 hits.

“Nobody here has seen something like that,” Albaladejo said. “It was terrible.”

It was his two-seamer — the go-to pitch that originally got him to the big leagues — that was being knocked around, and when Albaladejo was sent down to the minor league complex, he decided he had to make a change. He couldn’t keep getting beat on the same pitch over and over again, so he started throwing his four-seamer. That’s the pitch that seems to have made all the difference.

It’s not so much velocity, Albaladejo said, it’s control. He can spot the pitch, and he’s been mixing it with his usual slider and an improving curveball. He started mixing the two-seamer again in the past month or so, and it’s been effective.

“That struggle in spring training probably helped me learn how to pitch, I guess it was to my advantage,” he said.

I find it hard to believe, but Albaladejo said he wasn’t getting antsy in Scranton. His numbers are overwhelming, but he kept waiting for an opportunity. “I just want to do my job in Triple-A,” he said. “And whenever they decide they need me, I’ll be ready.”

Here’s the guy they call Alby talking pregame. He very nearly cursed at one point, but he managed to censor himself.

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• Sergio Mitre said he feels good after last night’s final rehab start with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He was asked about filling Andy Pettitte’s spot on the team: “I’m trying to fill my own spot right now,” he said. “I’ve been out for a while. That’s going to be a tough loss for the next month. I’m not trying to fill anybody’s show, especially his. They’re pretty big.”

• How does losing Pettitte affect Phil Hughes and his pitch limit? “The way we treat Phil is going to be the way we treat Phil whether Andy is healthy or not,” Joe Girardi said.

• Albaladejo has been used primarily as a long-ish reliever when he’s been in New York. That might not be the case this time. “He gives us another option considered more of a one-inning guy,” Girardi said. “Maybe you push him a little bit beyond that, but as a closer down there, that’s basically what he’s been doing.”

• Another day, another question about Joba Chamberlain. “At times he doesn’t get out there as far as he needs to get out there (in his delivery),” Girardi said. “What happens is his fastball drifts and he doesn’t have the depth on his slider. So we need to make those mechanics more consistent.”

• There aren’t many specifics about Pettitte’s road back from this groin injury — he hasn’t met with Dr. Ahmad yet — but Girardi did give an idea of what makes this injury different from a pitcher, who has to worry about striding toward the plate over and over again. “The difficult thing with a groin strain for a pitcher is, not only does it have to heal, but then you have to build it back up,” Girardi said.

No move has been made to fill Albaladejo’s spot in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

UPDATE, 6:06 p.m.: Angels lineup

Erick Aybar SS
Howie Kendrick 2B
Bobby Abreu RF
Torii Hunter CF
Hideki Matsui DH
Mike Napoli 1B
Juan Rivera LF
Maicer Izturis 3B
Jeff Mathis C

RHP Sean O’Sullivan (0-0, 1.29)

Scranton Times-Tribune picture of Albaladejo.





40 Responses to “Pregame notes: Spring training blessing in disguise”

  1. P July 20th, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    mobile test

  2. Bret The Hitman July 20th, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    We’ll see if he’s an Edwar Ramirez incarnate.

  3. Erin July 20th, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Pettitte thinking sooner rather than later

    I have to say, this was a very nice post to come home to. :)

  4. Irreverent Discourse July 20th, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    I’m out for the day, enjoy the game.

  5. Erin July 20th, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Ledger_Yankees Cashman on the trade market: “Right now, it’s dead out there for us.” Drew comparison to ’09 when Hairston, Hinske, Gaudin were the moves.

  6. Doreen July 20th, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    You have to give a guy a lot of credit for realizing he needed to do something and doing it. I am hoping “Dejo” gets it going for the Yankees this time. :)

  7. JM July 20th, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    Go Dejo Go!

  8. Irreverent Discourse July 20th, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    Let me leave you with this, good article for the Dunn pushers.

  9. Yankee Trader July 20th, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    Dunn’s price will come down closer to the deadline, if they really want to move him, but the Yankees won’t be involved.

  10. Warning Track Power July 20th, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    I’m looking forward to hearing/watching the loud ovation for Matsui again during the series

  11. sandman July 20th, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    I hope Albaladejo does good this time around, if he’s shutout from here on out maybe he could be our 8th inning man, or might even be able to stay as a long man

  12. BD (Boston Dave) July 20th, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Yankees don’t necessarily need Adam Dunn.

    It’s natural to look at the BEST available bats at the deadline and hope for them…

    but they need complimentary role players.

    This offense is great – it just needs another cog in the wheel to minimize the risk of slumps and keep this train a rollin’.

    The Hinske/Hairston comparisons seem valid.

    I hope they can keep the farm and still add some league average type bench players as salary dumps.

  13. BD (Boston Dave) July 20th, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    “I hope Albaladejo does good this time around”


    I’ll admit, I was an Alby supporter from the day they signed him.

    I had seen him pitch for the Nationals (limited, I know) but his stuff looked good.

    I can’t explain why he didnt put it together for the Yanks but I always thought his stuff was good enough to be an effective middle reliever.

    I’ll be pushing for him this time for sure.

    Go Alby! Our bullpen turns it’s lonely eyes to you!

  14. YankFanCA July 20th, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    I’m willing to bet that J.A. will be a step up in quality from J.C. and his nearly 6 ERA. We’ve all seen enough of Chamberlain and his eighth inning meltdowns. Time to start stretching out Chamberlain as the 6th – 7th inning guy. He cannot be trusted down the stretch.

  15. MTU July 20th, 2010 at 6:24 pm


    getting back to you from a prior thread.

    “Why did I ask ?”

    Because SAS said you were thinking of retiring in AZ., and I wondered if you had been out my way.


    from that same thread:

    “Has anybody ? ” “Ever ?”

    Not completely, but I’m working on it. ;)

  16. BIG AL July 20th, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Alby as the EIG, Joba to sit and take notes.

  17. Brad Toughy July 20th, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    BD (Boston Dave) July 20th, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    I’ll admit, I was an Alby supporter from the day they signed him.


    Didn’t sign him .. acquired him from Washington for Tyler Clippard.

  18. Jerkface July 20th, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    The Hinske/Hairston comparisons seem valid.

    These kinds of bats aren’t going to help the team not slump. They were good for the 09 yankees because they upgraded the bench, which rarely played…The 09 yankees were insane.

    The 10 yankees need an average to above average hitter. Maybe not THE BEST hitter. But perhaps Cody Ross/Dan Uggla or the like.

  19. BD (Boston Dave) July 20th, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    “Didn’t sign him .. acquired him from Washington for Tyler Clippard.”


    thanks – that’s what I meant.

    I actually remember Tyler Clippard’s mom coming on this blog the day he was traded to thank us fans for supporting him.

    Seemed like a very nice lady and I’ve rooted for him as well.

  20. MTU July 20th, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    OK Phil. The usual deal.

    You do your thing and I’ll keep up my end of it. I’m so confident in you that I will be ready to pay you tribute right away.

    Watch your control tonite. You’ve been off for a while. Don’t overthrow and don’t press. Mix in the curve and the change to keep
    those hitters honest.

    Best of luck. :)

  21. Disco July 20th, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    I like the way our lineup looks. Depending on righty/lefty you can play Miranda/Thames at DH.

    That is our best lineup at this point in time.

  22. LGY July 20th, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    I see 2 “Alby’s” in this thread :mad:

    Who is this Alby you speak of?

  23. Nick in SF July 20th, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    Registration will make it less likely that any player’s mom will come to the blog to comment after he gets traded.


  24. LGY July 20th, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Funny I change Albaledejo’s nickname and a week later he gets called up.

    Coincidence? I think not.

    Cashman saw that Dejo takes him to the next level as a feared pitcher.

  25. BD (Boston Dave) July 20th, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    “The 10 yankees need an average to above average hitter. Maybe not THE BEST hitter. But perhaps Cody Ross/Dan Uggla or the like.”


    Cody Ross, perhaps. But not Dan Uggla (a perennial 27+ HR guy).

    I realize they are prone to slumps but it’s still the highest scoring offense in all of MLB (runs per game).

    I’m not saying an above average bat wouldn’t be a nice addition, I’m saying it’s more of a “nice to have” than a necessity.

  26. Nick in SF July 20th, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Mostly because I’ve already registered all the players’ moms’ names.

  27. Tyler July 20th, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Would Uggla DH then? Is he a free agent after the season? I can’t imagine he would come cheaply from the Marlins…

  28. BD (Boston Dave) July 20th, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    “Registration will make it less likely that any player’s mom will come to the blog to comment after he gets traded.”



    Losing moms > trolls > imitators > CR9


  29. Chip July 20th, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    Ok, silliness aside ? I think the Yankees should make yet another deal with the Pirates, a deal in fact for two guys they got from the Nationals last year:

    Lastings Milledge and Joel Hanrahan.

    Milledge would be an interesting option as a guy to play in the OF against a tough lefty (.942 OPS vs. LHP)

    Hanrahan has thrown 39.2 IP, 28 hits, 14 BB, 54 K, and a .193 Batting Average Against

    The Yankees and Pirates have done a lot of deals in the last few years, I think it?s time for another.

  30. mick July 20th, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    Who is this Alby you speak of?
    I will show you the Stooges.

  31. BD (Boston Dave) July 20th, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    “Depending on righty/lefty you can play Miranda/Thames at DH.”


    And DH is really the only position that needs an upgrade at this moment in time.

    The bench could also use an addition or two, of course.

    IMO, finding a team to dump a viable DH, utility guy, and bench bat at the deadline in a salary dump should be no problem.

    There’s no need to target the big names right now and pay top dollar in terms of prospects.

    This sellers market will likely become a buyer’s market once the big names are gone and the deadline approaches and some teams start to fall out of the race.

  32. BD (Boston Dave) July 20th, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    I think Chip might be on the right track.

    I would have said no way to Milledge a year or two ago but I think he’s shown he could have some value in the right role.

    Hanrahan, I believe, has always been decent and those #s speak for themselves.

  33. Joe from Long Island July 20th, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Hi – Watching YES pregame, and they’re showing Matsui’s numbers. Boy, what a dropoff. His OPS is less than .700.

    Remember when everyone was castigating the Yanks for letting him get away? Maybe Cash and the scouts were on to something. Matsui, being so proud, must be feeling bad, but it’s part of an athlete’s life. Hope he gets better, just not against us.

  34. BD (Boston Dave) July 20th, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    “Remember when everyone was castigating the Yanks for letting him get away?”


    you mean when Cashman was the worst GM in baseball because Matsui had a very good April?

    yeah, I remember.

  35. Fondo Motz July 20th, 2010 at 6:46 pm


  36. Erica in NY July 20th, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    Game thread up :arrow:

  37. Joe from Long Island July 20th, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    Funny, I had the same thought about Milledge last year, but he quickly showed why Cash is the GM and not me. Still, sometimes guys pick up their game. Given all the good things I’ve read about Billy Eppler and the scouting dept., I’d think they’ve checked him out. Maybe he is an option. We only know a tiny fraction of what goes on in the Yanks’ talent evaluations….

  38. stuckey99 July 20th, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    “The Yankees are 31-25 vs teams over .500″

    I tend to latch onto ideas I hear and this one has stuck out at me in the previous thread.

    As for context, this was presented to me as evidence the Yankees in fact have weaknesses they need to address during the postseason – that being 31-25 is a sign they might not fair well in the play-offs against the league’s best teams.

    So let’s look at that.

    As presented previously, 31-25 is a .554 wining %.

    6 teams in ML baseball are playing better than .554 overall right now.

    .554 gets you the division lead in the AL Central.

    It puts you in the Wildcard lead in the NL, and 1.5 games behind Boston in the AL.

    They don’t play AS well compared to sub-.500 teams, but that’s they way it’s suppose to be.

    Play well at home and beat up on the bad teams. Hold your own on the road and against the .500 teams.

    Time-tested formula. They do the former and more than enough of the latter.

    If there are any perceptions the Yanks don’t play “well” against .500 or better teams, can it end tonight please?

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