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


Thursday morning notes: Borrowed bats and stolen hits

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes on Mar 10, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

It’s not unusual for a hitters to borrow one another’s bats from time to time. Especially in spring training, players like to try different things, and might take an at-bat with a heavier bat or a longer bat just to see how it feels.

This spring, Eric Chavez has been borrowing some of Brett Gardner’s bats, and Chavez is hitting .474 with a lot of sharp line drives.

“He’s taking all my hits,” Gardner said.

Of course, Gardner’s not exactly having a bad spring so far. With his adjusted, two-handed approach, Gardner is batting .286 with a .500 on-base percentage and .571 slugging. He said he’s been comfortable with the mechanical change, but he’s been drawing so many walks that he hasn’t taken quite as many swings as he’d like.

Gardner leads the team with six walks. A sign that his two-handed swing actually is leading to more consistent contact: He’s struck out only once.

• Colin Curtis was diagnosis with a shoulder subluxation. What does that mean? “I don’t know,” Curtis said. He was kidding. Basically, Curtis partially dislocated his shoulder. Looks like he’ll be rehabbing for a month.

• Gardner has yet to play center field this spring, but he’ll probably be there on Saturday. “I don’t feel like I need to,” Gardner said. “But it wouldn’t hurt.”

• Speaking of defensive assignments, Jorge Posada gets his first spring start at first base today. “It just gives us more options,” Joe Girardi said. The Yankees are planning to carry an extra corner infielder — and Nick Swisher can play first — but the Yankees want to give Posada a little bit of time at first, just in case they need to use him there this season.

• Putting Posada in the field seems to be a good sign for his surgically repaired knee. “His knee has not been a hindrance at all,” Girardi said.

• Robinson Cano is on this trip so he can get some time in the field with Ramiro Pena. Girardi said he also wants Cano to get some time with Eduardo Nunez at short, and he wants Derek Jeter to get some time with Pena and Nunez at second.

• The tarp is on the field here in Clearwater, but it seems likely we’ll have a game. These fields drain very well, and the rain seems to have stopped.

Available in the bullpen: Dave Robertson, Mark Prior, Brian Anderson, Eric Wordekemper, Ryan Pope, Romulo Sanchez, David Phelps, Robert Fish and Daniel Turpen.

Off the bench: C Gustavo Molina, 1B Brandon Laird, 2B Kevin Russo, SS Doug Bernier, 3B Bradley Suttle, LF Jordan Parraz, CF Justin Maxwell, RF Daniel Brewer, DH Austin Romine

Tomorrow’s travelers today: With a split squad, most of the Yankees regulars are staying in Tampa for tomorrow’s home game. The only everyday travelers going to Dunedin are Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher.

Pitchers on the road tomorrow: Warner Madrigal, D.J. Mitchell, Ivan Nova, David Phelps, Ryan Pope, Romulo Sanchez, Andy Sisco, Daniel Turpen, Adam Warren and Eric Wordekemper

Players on the road tomorrow: Jose Gil, Kyle Higashioka, Jesus Montero, Ronnie Belliard, Doug Bernier, Eric Chavez, Brandon Laird, Ramiro Pena, Kevin Russo, Jorge Vazquez, Daniel Brewer, Curtis Granderson, Melky Mesa, Jordan Parraz and Nick Swisher.

PHILLIES
Jimmy Rollins SS
Shane Victorino CF
Placido Polanco 3B
Ben Francisco LF
John Mayberry Jr. 1B
Delwyn Young RF
Carlos Ruiz C
Matt Miller DH
Josh Barfield 2B

RHP Roy Halladay

Associated Press photos of Gardner and Posada

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75 Responses to “Thursday morning notes: Borrowed bats and stolen hits”

  1. Erin March 10th, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Ledger_Yankees Tarp still covering the infield here in Clearwater. But the Yankees are starting to stretch in front of their dugout.

  2. randy l. March 10th, 2011 at 11:15 am

    “This was in the Cape Cod Semi-Pro Octogenarian League, right?”

    gb7-

    you’re slowing me down getting out the door to play golf.

    i’m just surprised you could spell ” Octogenarian”.

    those 6 syllable words usually throw you.

  3. Jerkface March 10th, 2011 at 11:18 am

    http://keith.baseballevolution.com/linearw.html

    Here is a link that explains linear weights.

  4. pat March 10th, 2011 at 11:18 am

    On some little league fields, kids heard “You can’t walk off the island” instead of “A hit is as good as a walk”. Different strokes.

  5. 108 stitches March 10th, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Girardi will not allow diving outfield plays or looking for an extra base with a daring slide from a meaningless game.
    As long as everybody gets on the bus headed back to Tampa in a healthy state is what counts.

  6. Nick in SF March 10th, 2011 at 11:21 am

    I was once next to a little league field and I heard a woman say “sometimes being team captain means listening to your mother.”

    Her ideas would surely defeat randy’s on the field of play.

  7. Jerkface March 10th, 2011 at 11:25 am

    A walk is as good as a hit. I’m pretty sure if I said that Randy and company would be killing me over it.

  8. Jerkface March 10th, 2011 at 11:26 am

    A walk is as good as a hit except: with runners on, with a sloppy defense, if a hit demoralizes the pitcher, if its a 13 pitch hit, if the hit injures the opposing pitcher, if you do a cool bat flip after the hit, if the hit is off the closer.

  9. GreenBeret7 March 10th, 2011 at 11:26 am

    randy l. March 10th, 2011 at 11:15 am
    “This was in the Cape Cod Semi-Pro Octogenarian League, right?”

    gb7-

    you’re slowing me down getting out the door to play golf.

    ***i’m just surprised you could spell ” Octogenarian”.***

    those 6 syllable words usually throw you.

    ———————————————————————————————————————-

    Blind squirrel and all of that. Sort of like Jerk saying something funny. Say enough crap and something will be funny.

  10. Michelle B. of Yankee Stadium West March 10th, 2011 at 11:28 am

    Just in case you’re wondering.

    A subluxation isnt a partial dislocation. It means that the bone broke through the capsule but instead of staying outside it adjusted itself back to its normal placement. What this means is that the joint capsule has been compromised and once stretched out the capsule never really returns to its normal size. So now Mr. Curtis is more susceptible to subluxxing again or even dislocating. He will have to deal with lots of swelling and pain for a few weeks and will have to do a lot of stregnth training. Most often this is a 4-6 week type of injury.

  11. ZachA March 10th, 2011 at 11:36 am

    which pitcher leads MLB in strikeouts so far in ST? :D

  12. stuckey99 March 10th, 2011 at 11:36 am

    “2002 Boston and Seattle 93 wins and no playoffs
    2003 Seattle 93 wins and no playoffs
    2005 Cleveland 93 wins and no playoffs

    and for good measure the NL LA Doogers 2002 92 wins no playoffs.”

    Now were are getting someplace.

    These are correct.

    5 times in 9 seasons, and not once in the last 5 seasons.

    So the odds are in favor of 92 wins. But if you like, 94 wins makes you a utter lock.

    So I’ll amend my questions.

    If the Yankees win 92 games, are you confident they will make the postseason?

    And how confident are you the Yankees can and will win 94?

    “I look at baseball as an entire season which is why we have to recognize that the great Jeter is getting old and it is time to at least look at a transition. And with such a long season changes can still be made.”

    I agree. So I think we will tend to agree no changes are necessary as of opening day. It would probably be advisable to let Jeter and Gardner play a month and see if 2010 indeed represents a trend, yes?

    As to your injury concerns. This is another canard worrisome fans trip themselves with.

    The Yankees and Red Sox are almost unarguably the deepest teams in baseball. This is fact shelters them from injury better than the other 28 teams.

    Take Cano out of the line-up, and you still have 8 OTHER above average offensive players in the line-up.

    Yankees are LESS susceptible to injury drop-off, not more. That’s what DEPTH gives you.

    And as always, the Yankees have the resources to plug holes if necessary.

  13. Wave Your Hat March 10th, 2011 at 11:46 am

    “i think what bill james did was take something that smart players and students of the game always knew and quantify it in an entertaining way. people are always looking for a secret, some way to know something that others don’t know.”

    I don’t think so. If you read the new biography of Mantle (a very good book by the way) you’ll see Mantle did not understand the value of his walks and thought his strikeouts hurt the team much worse than they actually did.

    It wasn’t limited to Mantle, few people understood the value of walks (in general, not in specific situations) before Bill James came along.

  14. Ys Guy March 10th, 2011 at 11:49 am

    just took a quick peek at pete abe’s blog, now a couple of years into his time there and i notice that he got exactly 31 comments between yesterday’s game post and today’s. and he only posted 3x.

    he used to post constantly here, but got thousands of comments, now he doesnt seem to be putting in the same amount of work since he just can’t seem to draw an audience.

    i wont say poor peter, because he’s home and covering his boyhood team (even though he’s not a fan, lol!) but i’m sure he misses the days when he was a go-to guy.

  15. blake March 10th, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Erin,

    Very astute. That’s where it came from ;)

  16. blake March 10th, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Also, allowing Jeter a chance to bounce back isn’t about Jeter being bigger than the team. If he is back to his normal self in 2011 then the team is better with him hitting near the top of the lineup…..if it turns out that it is actual decline then you make a move but not before allowing the best case scenerio a chance to occur.

  17. Jerkface March 10th, 2011 at 11:52 am

    He apparently makes more money and still is a regular guest on the radio and ESPN so I don’t think he is missing it too much, but he is no longer King of his own blogosphere.

  18. Jerkface March 10th, 2011 at 11:54 am

    If he is back to his normal self in 2011 then the team is better with him hitting near the top of the lineup

    Thats why he should hit second.

  19. Wave Your Hat March 10th, 2011 at 11:54 am

    “Also, allowing Jeter a chance to bounce back isn’t about Jeter being bigger than the team. If he is back to his normal self in 2011 then the team is better with him hitting near the top of the lineup…..if it turns out that it is actual decline then you make a move but not before allowing the best case scenerio a chance to occur.”

    The good news is you could pick the Yanks’ lineup out of a hat and it wouldn’t have much impact on the number of runs they score.

  20. West Coast Yankee Fan March 10th, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Is the game on TV today?

  21. Jerkface March 10th, 2011 at 11:56 am

    The good news is you could pick the Yanks’ lineup out of a hat and it wouldn’t have much impact on the number of runs they score.

    This ignores intangible things though. Gardner at the top could have hidden value that can’t be picked out by simply analyzing slash lines and plugging them into a run matrix.

  22. blake March 10th, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Jerkface,

    You’re arguement is more about getting Gardner to the top of the lineup than moving Jeter to the bottom prematurely…..and that’s fine.

  23. Erin March 10th, 2011 at 11:57 am

    ColinCurtis425 Thanks for the support guys

    Ledger_Yankees And for the record, it’s overcast here in Clearwater. And the tarp’s off.

  24. Wave Your Hat March 10th, 2011 at 11:58 am

    “This ignores intangible things though.”

    I forgot. Intangibles – that is, things that can’t be measured, seen, felt (tasted, heard, etc.) – can’t be ignored.

  25. Erin March 10th, 2011 at 11:58 am

    blake March 10th, 2011 at 11:49 am
    Erin,

    Very astute. That?s where it came from

    *************************
    awesome. :)

  26. Jerkface March 10th, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    I forgot. Intangibles – that is, things that can’t be measured, seen, felt (tasted, heard, etc.) – can’t be ignored.

    Ok it also ignores tangibles :) Gardner’s speed and such. He scored 97 runs in only 560 PA. If Gardner is more likely to score overall when he gets on base, because he can steal, or take an extra base more often than another player, it will provide value.

  27. Jerkface March 10th, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Basically lineup optimizers ignore certain things.

  28. Erin March 10th, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    eboland11 Yogi Berra loaded into private ambulance at Bright House Fld. Clubhouse was closed just before 11:30 when paramedics arrived. No details yet

  29. Wave Your Hat March 10th, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    “If Gardner is more likely to score overall when he gets on base, because he can steal, or take an extra base more often than another player, it will provide value.”

    True, but not enough to get too worked up over, except in the general sense that when merit is not rewarded the conscience is troubled.

    Oh, it might cost the Yanks a game or two, but what’s that amount to? Surely you don’t think the Yanks could miss the WC by a game or two.

  30. Jerkface March 10th, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    Yogi :x

  31. West Coast Yankee Fan March 10th, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Yogi is 86 . . . that’s going to be a very, very sad day when it comes.

  32. Jerkface March 10th, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    I don’t think even small upgrades in the amount of runs scored should be handwaved. We can, because the yankees lineup is awesome, but if its the difference of 20 runs over a season thats 2 wins. And while I don’t think the Yankees are missing the playoffs this year, 2 wins could be the difference in the division, and the lineup itself could be better constructed to have a greater chance of winning in the playoffs.

  33. Wave Your Hat March 10th, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Hope that nothing is seriously wrong with Yogi.

    JF, I don’t believe that Gardner’s batting ninth or first could amount to a 20 run difference. But you are taking me too literally.

  34. Erin March 10th, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    eboland11 Cashman: Berra caught sneaker on carpet and fell. Did NOT hit head. Did not want to go to hosp. Being taken for precautionary reasons.

    eboland11 Girardi said Yogi was smiling and joking afterward :)

  35. Erica in NY March 10th, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Yogi :cry:

  36. blake March 10th, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Hope Yogi is ok….

  37. Erica in NY March 10th, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Erin March 10th, 2011 at 12:10 pm
    eboland11 Cashman: Berra caught sneaker on carpet and fell. Did NOT hit head. Did not want to go to hosp. Being taken for precautionary reasons.

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

    Okay- then I will revoke the crying face

  38. stuckey99 March 10th, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    re: Jeter/Gardner.

    There are two dynamics here. Managing the line-up and managing the clubhouse.

    I know the latter is much harder to qualify and quantify but it should be easier for Yankees fans because Joe Torre’s greatest strength was also the latter.

    Yankees are a veteran team and no one commands more respect than Jeter. To move him down the line-up (to the bottom third I mean) after an off-year (which wasn’t relatively awful by any means, just measured against himself) would be unpopular with veterans and plant the seed of how quickly their role would change if they had an off first-half or year.

    The player’s having respect for Girardi’s and the organization’s decision-making is considerable factor.

    It’s something of the same dynamic of leaving Teixeira where he was despite his early struggles.

    You don’t show panic or impatience.

    Again, fans can demonize it by labeling it with the pejorative “status”, but Jeter’s track record means something and respecting it has tangible real value in optimizing the Yankees performance.

    You just don’t make that move … yet.

  39. Joe from Long Island March 10th, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Best news about Yogi.

  40. Nick in SF March 10th, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    I would feel more relieved if Girardi didn’t have such a well-documented history of lying about injuries. :mad:

  41. blake March 10th, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Stuckey,

    Well said..

  42. West Coast Yankee Fan March 10th, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Good news about Yogi! Make that great news.

  43. LGY March 10th, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Torres greatest strength was managing the clubhouse?

    Then why was the clubhouse a complete mess in his later years and he treated the Yankees best player like crap?

  44. Wave Your Hat March 10th, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    “To move him down the line-up (to the bottom third I mean) after an off-year (which wasn’t relatively awful by any means, just measured against himself) would be unpopular with veterans and plant the seed of how quickly their role would change if they had an off first-half or year.”

    Although batting Jeter 1st or 2nd doesn’t trouble me, I believe in baseball it has always been thus. I don’t think moving Jeter down would have any serious negative consequences on others.

  45. GreenBeret7 March 10th, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    One field change that should have been in all ball parks is to screen in the front of all dugouts. Amazing that nobody has been more seriously hurt or killed in all of these years. One other thing is that it would slow down full bench field rushes

  46. stuckey99 March 10th, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    “Torres greatest strength was managing the clubhouse?

    Then why was the clubhouse a complete mess in his later years and he treated the Yankees best player like crap?”

    Joe Torre never panicked. He RARELY made rash moves. Yes. He moved A-Rod down the line-up in the play-offs once. Guilty as charged.

    But his full body of work (which was VERY successful btw) displayed a calm, non-panic disposition, which was my point.

  47. hardwired7 March 10th, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    I wonder if Yogi had Gator drive the ambulance?

  48. Niblick March 10th, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    hardwired: that’s a good one!

  49. GreenBeret7 March 10th, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Torre forgot how to separate personal feelings from professional feelings.

  50. upstate kate March 10th, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    clever hardwired
    glad to hear it was nothing serious w/ Yogi

  51. Erin March 10th, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    hardwired7 March 10th, 2011 at 12:31 pm
    I wonder if Yogi had Gator drive the ambulance?

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

    :)

  52. Bronx Jeers March 10th, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    But his full body of work (which was VERY successful btw) displayed a calm, non-panic disposition, which was my point.

    ————————————————————————————————————–

    As opposed to Girardi’s Captain Queeg late last season.

  53. Triple Short of a Cycle March 10th, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    does anyone know what happened to CR9 that used to post here? Hopefully he found a man to calm himself down

  54. SJ44 March 10th, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    GB is right.

    Torre’s greatest strength WAS managing the clubhouse.

    The last 3 yrs in NY? It was his greatest weakness and it impacted the team in a negative way.

    Itmhappens when you stay too long running a team in any sport IMO.

    You end up being unable to separate personal and professional feelings and the players eventually tune you out.

  55. RadioKev March 10th, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    The Jeter Gardener issue shouldn’t be an issue. Gardener should be the lead off man, because that’s clearly far and away his best fit on the team. What about Jeter lends himself to being a lead off man versus the number two hitter?

    Drop him to two, and if he can’t handle it for a good chunk of the year, then he’s gotta drop down further. However, I do believe Jeter will bounce back (comparatively) this year. I don’t think he’s over the hill quite yet.

  56. RadioKev March 10th, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    SJ44 March 10th, 2011 at 12:40 pm
    GB is right.

    Torre’s greatest strength WAS managing the clubhouse.

    The last 3 yrs in NY? It was his greatest weakness and it impacted the team in a negative way.

    Itmhappens when you stay too long running a team in any sport IMO.

    You end up being unable to separate personal and professional feelings and the players eventually tune you out.
    —————-

    Agreed, Torre had his run, and it was great, but it was time for a change of scenery for all parties. It was an ugly split, but that’s business sometimes.

  57. Shame Spencer March 10th, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    “Torre forgot how to separate personal feelings from professional feelings.”

    GB7 – Surely you jest, sir!!

  58. stuckey99 March 10th, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    “Torre’s greatest strength WAS managing the clubhouse.

    The last 3 yrs in NY? It was his greatest weakness and it impacted the team in a negative way.”

    No argument here.

  59. Bronx Jeers March 10th, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    The chasm between Arod-Jeter didn’t help him any but yeah I definitely agree that there is an expiration date for any head coach/manager.

  60. SportsGeek March 10th, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    I hate to make negative comments… But, let me say what I have been missing from the blog during Spring Training…

    There don’t seem to be many comments from the players themselves, especially not the core players. If there is anything, it’s a one-liner. Not much in depth.

    What about some reporting from the various Press Conferences. Or maybe they haven’t had any.

    Thanks.
    SportsGeek

  61. Jerkface March 10th, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    SportsGeek, you seem to have filed that comment in the wrong thread.

  62. stuckey99 March 10th, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    “The Jeter Gardener issue shouldn’t be an issue. Gardener should be the lead off man, because that’s clearly far and away his best fit on the team.”

    Understand I’m not pinning this on you Radio, because I don’t know what your position was a year ago, but I do find it amusing that on a forum that largely didn’t think he could hold down starting job from the 9 hole last year, the consensus has turned to anointing him the lead-off hitter.

    Let’s give Gardner time to show his OBP is going to stay this far north.

  63. Erin March 10th, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Ledger_Yankees Yogi’s OK. At hospital now after falling in clubhouse. More precautionary than anything else. Was talking, responsive, all good things.

  64. LGY March 10th, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Stuckey

    If Jeter bounces back what do you think he bounces back to. 2009 levels? 2008?

  65. tampayank March 10th, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    stormed hard overnight but looks like it has passed, will just be a gray day but hopefully no more rain for the game

  66. GreenBeret7 March 10th, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    Not sure that there was as deep a clubhouse chasm between Jeter and Rodriguez as was being reported over the last 3-4 years of the Torre run. Certainly not as big as fans and media seemed to desire there was.

  67. stuckey99 March 10th, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    LGY,

    Yeah, 2008 is probably the sweet spot. The optimist is me tends to think Jeter probably has a tremendous chip on his shoulder, and might will himself into something between 2008 and 2009 levels.

    But my wide net is – Upside: between 2008-2009.

    Downside: Between 2008 and 2010.

  68. randy l. March 10th, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    “It happens when you stay too long running a team in any sport IMO.”

    is that for gms too?

  69. West Coast Yankee Fan March 10th, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    “It happens when you stay too long running a team in any sport IMO.”

    . . . and bloggers?

  70. SJ44 March 10th, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    There are no ST PC’s after the opening PC’s.

    Most of the regulars are gone after they get taken out games. Especially at home.

  71. Ys Guy March 10th, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    randy be good, you said you can almost, sort of buy in on cash if the arms keep developing, and they are…

  72. yankeefeminista March 10th, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Erica, they are interviewing Damon on mlb network. :)

    Rays-Red Sox game on there in a few minutes.

  73. SJ44 March 10th, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Less so for GM’s because they aren’t dealing daily with the players.

    I don’t care how good a coach you are, eventually, you make it too personal with players, and they tune you out and you get stale.

    It not only happened to Torre. It happened to guys like Phil Jackson, Riley, Parcells, even Vince Lombardi.

    It spans all sports and all generations. It’s even more defined today because of all the media and attention that exists.

    It’s just real difficult to deal with today’s athletes, and the distractions that go with it, for a long period of time.

    John Madden used to say it you shouldnt stay in a job longer than 10 years. I think it’s down to 8 now with all you have to deal with these days.

  74. LGY March 10th, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    :arrow:

  75. West Coast Yankee Fan March 10th, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Montero looks too fidgety at the plate to me. Swaying back and forth, tapping his food, lots of movement.

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