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


Wednesday notes: Rivera travels, Jones arrives, Cotts leaves

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes on Feb 16, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Get that Enter Sandman track ready to play.

Mariano Rivera is expected to arrive in Yankees camp tomorrow. He talked to Joe Girardi last night and said he would fly to Tampa tonight, arriving in time to report to camp in the morning. He’s been away to stay with one of his kids, who’s sick with something flu-like.

“Whenever Mo gets here is fine,” Brian Cashman said.

Truth is, Rivera wouldn’t be pitching right now even if he were in camp. He follows his own schedule and doesn’t start throwing until much later. This early in camp, all he does is long toss and fielding drills. In theory, how long could he wait to actually show up?

“As long as we don’t let it out – I don’t want him getting any ideas next year – he could have went for a while,” Joe Girardi said.

• Sounds like the infield is a priority for the Yankees bench. Girardi said the team might very well carry Andrew Jones as the only reserve outfielder, leaving room for both a utility man and a second backup infielder (maybe Eric Chavez or Ronnie Belliard). “The dynamics of how many outfielders we carry probably depends on the infielders,” Girardi said.

• Speaking of Jones, he stopped by the clubhouse this afternoon and said he chose the Yankees largely because he thought it was a good opportunity to get fairly regular playing time. “I look at him more as a corner guy that’s going to play against lefties, a lot sometimes,” Girardi said. Girardi said he doesn’t need Jones in center field — “Not with the two guys that we have,” he said — so he’ll simply move Brett Gardner to center field on the days Curtis Granderson gets a day off.

• Girardi said the Yankees could find creative ways to get Jesus Montero or Austin Romine at-bats if they were to break camp as the backup catcher. “You can develop a lot playing twice a week too at this level,” Girardi said.

• Girardi said it’s “fair to say” it’s a three-man race for the backup catching job: Montero, Romine and Francisco Cervelli.

• Cashman on releasing Neal Cotts: “You go through the medicals for a reason. He had his physical, and from that, we decided to release him.”

• Hector Noesi is still dealing with visa issues. It’s unclear when he’ll actually arrive in Tampa.

• The New York Post reported this morning that catching prospect Gary Sanchez was sent for medical tests on his heart, but the test revealed nothing serious. “There’s no worries now with Gary Sanchez,” Cashman said. “Simple as that. Nothing more to talk about.”

• Nick Swisher was among the position players hitting at the Yankees minor league complex today.

• One non-weight note about Joba Chamberlain: He’s made a small adjustment with his hands during his delivery. “When I talked to (Larry Rothschild) about the idea, he said yeah, that was one of the things that I noticed,” Chamberlain said. “Just my hands traveling away from the center of my body, and that’s when your hand doesn’t catch up. And that’s where they were when I first got called up. I thought I’d go back and try that to get away from my hands being back up here because I bounce a lot and don’t get over the rubber.”

Associated Press photos: Cashman, Billy Eppler and Girardi watching the bullpen sessions; Pedro Feliciano throwing a bullpen

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54 Responses to “Wednesday notes: Rivera travels, Jones arrives, Cotts leaves”

  1. Chip February 16th, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    Chip February 16th, 2011 at 4:57 pm
    Rich in NJ February 16th, 2011 at 4:50 pm
    Fat pitchers are often more durable than skinnny ones.

    ——————

    Listen – I don’t need every ball player to be in Derek Jeter, A-Rod type of shape – CC Sabathia, David Wells – these are fantastic pitchers. Even Bartolo Colon had his run.

    But the perception is the problem with Chamberlain.

    We’re talking about a guy who went from being a can’t miss ACE to a middle reliever in the span of 3 years. And this winter – with giant holes in the rotation – the Yankees didn’t consider him an option. Nor did they consider him an option as the EIG setting up Rivera – you would like to see him respond a certain way but instead he just comes in and says that he’s fine with whatever and oh by the way he looks heavier than he’s ever been…that doesn’t show a competative spirit that really gives anyone the feeling he’s in this for more than a paycheck.

  2. Erin February 16th, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    Hector Noesi is still dealing with visa issues

    **********************************
    He should switch to Mastercard. ;)

    Everybody have a good night and remember to watch Swish on Better With You!!!

  3. Chip February 16th, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Blake -

    I agree with you – Joba has loads of talent. That’s what makes this all so frustrating. If he was some no talent schlub (Chris Britton) you could wash your hands and be done with him but the talent is there – we all know it…the Yankees know it which is why they’re sticking with him.

    But that’s also the problem – the perception based on his increasing weight and lack of progression is that Joba appears as if he’s relying on raw talent and not working to improve himself and you just can’t do that at this level.

    Night folks.

  4. LGY February 16th, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    “So let’s recap what we’ve learned. One, fat pitchers generally perform better than any other group and are the most likely to stick in the major leagues for a long time. Two, extreme pitchers, other than thin ones, tend to have much higher strikeout rates than average, and allow fewer runs. And three, thin pitchers are much less likely to have long careers than any other group, and those that do stay around are much more likely to end up in relief.”

    http://www.hardballtimes.com/m.....er-part-5/

  5. Chip February 16th, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Erin February 16th, 2011 at 5:00 pm
    Hector Noesi is still dealing with visa issues

    **********************************
    He should switch to Mastercard.

    Everybody have a good night and remember to watch Swish on Better With You!!!

    ——————

    Actually since he’s trying to get to the States quickly – perhaps American Express.

  6. Against All Odds February 16th, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    My question is what happened to his competitive spirit? Did it die on the mound on that night in Texas?

  7. Tom in N.J. February 16th, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    Hector Noesi is still dealing with visa issues

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

    What causes a player to have visa issues?

    Is it the fact he failed a drug test 4 years ago?

  8. Chip February 16th, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    LGY February 16th, 2011 at 5:01 pm
    “So let’s recap what we’ve learned. One, fat pitchers generally perform better than any other group and are the most likely to stick in the major leagues for a long time. Two, extreme pitchers, other than thin ones, tend to have much higher strikeout rates than average, and allow fewer runs. And three, thin pitchers are much less likely to have long careers than any other group, and those that do stay around are much more likely to end up in relief.”

    —————–

    How much do you wish a team would hire that computer Watson as its GM…more than you wanted the Yankees to sign Thome?

  9. SJ44 February 16th, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    None of it matters if he pitches well Chip.

    If he doesn’t, I suspect it will be more physical and mechanical than weight related.

    As an aside, what if he’s right? What if getting bigger up top, along with his mechanical change, allows his to get back to 2007-2008 levels?

    If that happens, do you think anybody is going to care what he weighs?

    Here is the way I look at it…….

    Joba doesn’t have to be a math major to see where he stands on the pecking order in the bullpen.

    If he wants to pitch himself into a relevant role on this team, he’s going to have to pitch well.

    I might add, even if he wanted to get traded, he’s going to have to pitch well because he has no market value right now.

    Either way, it’s in his best interests to pitch really, really well.

    That’s why I’m not ready to conclude he’s not “in shape” because he’s bigger right now.

    If he fails conditioning drills, or his bullpens aren’t good, and you can bet the house that stuff would get leaked if true, why not adopt a “wait and see” attitude?

  10. Pat M. February 16th, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Chip….This whole weight thing with Joba is more about his core and trunk muscles…..All athletes need to have a solid core and especially for pitchers as you pitch with your legs and then your stomach and back muscles…….That’s what did David Wells in as his back finally gave way even with his great mechanics and his smooth delivery……The great concern with his conditioning in this regards is he’s going to either strain lower back or even his shoulder as he compensates for his less than ideal core muscle strength…..Anyone who has pitched will attest to this…Randy I as a catcher could chime in as well as SJ as he oversaw Tony’s conditioning programs……..

  11. m February 16th, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    We didn’t sign Soriano to a potentially 3 year deal because of Joba. It has more to do with Mo’s age than Joba’s tumble down the depth charts. And Soriano’s, you know, pretty good.

  12. Yankee Trader February 16th, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    Chip-

    “How much do you wish a team would hire that computer Watson as its GM…”

    The computer Watson, would fit nicely in the gargantuan Yankees clubhouse and could finally replace Girardi’s notebook! We did have a Watson as GM, Bob Watson I presume.

  13. West Coast Yankee Fan February 16th, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    BIG AL February 16th, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    I don’t remember David Wells being ripped about for those extra pounds he carried around.

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

    I guess when Joba comes close to Boomer’s career one could make that comparison.

  14. SJ44 February 16th, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    m,

    It also had to do with Joba.

    Believe me, if Joba was throwing at 2007-2008 levels, they wouldn’t have spent over 30 million on Soriano. That was supposed to be Joba’s role.

    Joel Sherman is right. They have little confidence and he is going to have to earn it back.

    I think a winter phone call informing the Yankees of his off-season program would have really helped him in this situation.

  15. SJ44 February 16th, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Two problems with the Boomer argument. One, Boomer stopped doing his team prescribed back exercises in the middle of the 2003 season.

    Consequently, his back gave out and probably cost the Yankees the 2003 WS.

    The second problem is, Boomer, unlike Joba, had flawless mechanics. It’s why he never had an arm injury in 20 years as a pro.

    In theory, Joba being thicker up top can help him. Especially from a strength standpoint.

    He also has tomhave a stronger core to be able to handle the additional weight and strength.

    We don’t know yet if he strengthened his core. We will know by yet end of Spring though.

  16. MTU February 16th, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    SJ/ Pat M./Randy-

    Do any of the ballplayers you know have personal trainers they use in the off season ?

  17. Mike_Boston February 16th, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    SJ44 February 16th, 2011 at 5:14 pm
    I think a winter phone call informing the Yankees of his off-season program would have really helped him in this situation.
    ————————————————————————————–

    SJ,
    Do you think some of this blame can be laid on Yankee management too? I assumed players, especially younger ones, were given a workout plan for the off season by the trainers with certain goals, besides the mechanics part of things with their positional coaches. Is that not the case in MLB?
    I remember feeling that Yankee management failed Wang big time allowing him to get atrophy in his hips!

  18. rodg12 February 16th, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    MTU -

    While that last comment wasn’t directed at me, I know Carl Crawford uses one.

  19. SJ44 February 16th, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    MTU,

    Most of the guys I know do.

    They usually fall into two categories…………

    Guys either have a team prescribed program and have a PT assist them in executing it. Those usually are guys who are under team control financially and want to stay in the good graces of the team.

    The other group are more established guys (Arod, Jeter, Damon for example) who have had their own program and/or trainer for years and nobody with the team messes with that.

  20. MTU February 16th, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Rodg12-

    Yes, I remember seeing a piece on him and his
    training.

  21. MTU February 16th, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    SJ-

    Thanks. Do you happen to know if Joba employs one ? (serious question).

  22. hardwired7 February 16th, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    “…a lot sometimes.”

    Move over Yogi.

  23. BoJo February 16th, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Interesting that Joba himself came up with the change in his hand positioning without coaching…Shows to me that he studied tapes and has a desire to get better.

    I’ll hold my stock.

  24. Niblick February 16th, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Maybe Joba just doesn’t have the discipline or self-control to keep from overeating. Good opportunity for a deal with Jenny Craig.

  25. MTU February 16th, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Bojo-

    That adjustment was taught to Joba by Eiland.

  26. SJ44 February 16th, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    This one isn’t on the Yankees.

    This is pro baseball folks. It’s not a babysitting academy. Teams check in on rehabbing players (who do have a program to follow).

    For the most part though, it’s on the players to keep themselves in shape.

    For example, nobody on the Yankees told CC Sabathia tom lose weight. He did that on his own.

    With my nephew for example, the Pirates didn’t give him any program to follow. We have one of our own he follows.

    We kept the Pirates in the loop but, that’s about it.

    We did ask for permission, which they granted, for him to have Lasix surgery.

    Other than that, he was on his own in the off-season.

  27. m February 16th, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    SJ,

    In that sense, yes, it’s right. But when did the Yankees see him as Mo’s heir? The saw him a’s a starter, then he got injured. And, well, a lot of other stuff happened. Can’t really do the what-if with Joba. Especially since the overlap between his dominance and Mo’s eventual demise weren’t anywhere near each other.

  28. Betsy February 16th, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Wow, Sherman just figured out that the Yankees don’t trust Joba? It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out – and he earned every bit of that mistrust. I don’t think he had a particularly good year – he started to do better when he was placed in lower leverage situations. Right now that’s where he’s best suited. Maybe he’ll get a chance to prove himself again, but right now his job is to set back up the starters and get it to the set up men – hopefully he’ll do that well. It doesn’t speak well of him that he came into camp overweight, but then Cash did mention that he wasn’t the only one. I was ticked off at Abreu and Damon when they did the same – I’d love to know who the other players are.

    One thing that’s tiresome and that’s hearing how the Yankees ruined Joba (La Greca and Steven A. Smith brought that topic up again today, but they are hardly the only ones – genuis Bobby V. said the same thing yesterday). I’d like to know when Joba gets to take responsibility for his career. Phil has also been yanked around somewhat, but what – the Yankees haven’t ruined him?

  29. Pat M. February 16th, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    MTU……I see quite a few guys working out at 24 hour fitness during the offseason working with and without their PT’s…..Then there’s the Scott Boras Complex in Mission Viejo where alot of the younger guys work out during the winter…..

  30. West Coast Yankee Fan February 16th, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    It’s just amazing that we (including me) spend such an inordinate amount of time talking about a rather unimportant sixth inning relief pitcher. It makes me think back upon some of the posts I remember reading about Joba in the past, “he has a million dollar arm”, and predictions last spring that he would start and win 15 games. How far and how fast did he fall.

  31. Betsy February 16th, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Nice to be back, lol

  32. blake February 16th, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Ok who crashed Lohud?

  33. SAS February 16th, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Agree with that Betsy. I always think it is my computer.

  34. MTU February 16th, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Guess the blog went down.

  35. MTU February 16th, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Pat M.-

    Thanks for the info.

  36. SAS February 16th, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    MTU,

    Glad I am on when you are. I saw that you are hiking down here this weekend. The weather is not supposed to be good. I don’t know how much rain in Tucson, but about 1/2 inch here. Imagine that.

  37. Betsy February 16th, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    SAS, lol, me too………..although all my other sites were working, so I knew this time it wasn’t me.

  38. Doreen February 16th, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    It wasn’t me!!!!

    :lol:

  39. Ys Guy February 16th, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    damn, bojo, i thought sure you’d sell me your joba stock…

    im still buying…

  40. SAS February 16th, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Well, I could have been studying for my fantasy league, but I just played hearts. That’s the way I have always studied…lol.

  41. trisha - true pinstriped blue February 16th, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    “a rather unimportant sixth inning relief pitcher”

    Wow that’s not too shortsighted!

    :roll:

    I forgot that one of your many talents is knowing the future. You should be as unimportant as Joba is. Can’t wait for him to shove those words far down your throat.

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

    I predict Joba is going to have a great season and prove all of the skeptics wrong.

    GO JOBA!!!!

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

    Off to a meeting.

  42. MTU February 16th, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    SAS-

    Yes that’s right.

    Fri. looks good. Sat OK. Sun not so good.

    I’ll have foul weather gear with me.

    Thanks for thinking of me.

    :)

  43. trisha - true pinstriped blue February 16th, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    I’d say the person who crashed lohud was the last person to post when it went down. No time to check who it is…

    :D

    Later.

  44. SAS February 16th, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    Doreen,

    How the heck am I supposed to figure out a group of pitchers from 30 different teams???

  45. SAS February 16th, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    MTU,

    I was going to send you an email, but at least I got the info to you. It may rain tonight a bit, but I tend to doubt it. It is windy and kind of ugly out. I am sooo spoiled.

  46. Ys Guy February 16th, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    wouldnt you know it was west coast yankees fan who broke lohud…

    figures… :)

  47. SAS February 16th, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Jones: “My manager is the catcher that I played against” :arrow:

  48. GreenBeret7 February 16th, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    I think a couple of trolls from west of the Mississippi river got caught in the wires and choked. Sort of like rats that get caught in between the walls and die. Starts to stink.

  49. 108 stitches February 16th, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Hughes and Chamberlain. Two pitchers that traveled the same path. One took his career seriously and has attended the Athletes Performance Institute in Phoenix, took an option in AAA, listened, worked out of the bullpen successfully, and earned a starter’s job in 2010 and performed very well.
    The other strayed off the path, preferred to rest on some limited success and will now need to fight for a chance to stay with the Yankees.

  50. Doreen February 16th, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    SAS -

    I don’t know!

    I don’t know if you’re supposed to pick all starters and one or two closers or 5 starters and 2 closers and 2 relief pitchers.

    I haven’t gotten to pitchers yet; I was working on Catchers and infielders. then I’ll do outfield. then pitching.

    We have a month. :)

  51. West Coast Yankee Fan February 16th, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    Yes, it was me. Be very afraid!

  52. Vineyard Yankee February 16th, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    trisha – true pinstriped blue February 16th, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    More of your genuine baseball acumen eh Trish ? LMAOAY !

  53. BIG AL February 16th, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Joined at the hip, if one gets put down, the alter ego comes to back him up.

    This is just too difficult to figure out, LMAO.

  54. Vineyard Yankee February 16th, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    Little Al and his 2 cents………..LMAO !

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