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


Saturday notes: Vazquez keeps hitting

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes on Mar 12, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

It’s impossible to ignore Jorge Vazquez this spring. The guy made a career out of smashing baseballs in Mexico, he’s hit through his first two seasons in the minor leagues, and this spring he’s leading the team in RBI, tied for the team lead in home runs and batting .480.

“He’s played really well for us in spring training. He continues to swing the bat and continues to do what he needs to do,” Joe Girardi said. “This kid has shown that he can hit, and he’s hit at every level that he’s been at.”

Girardi has more than once called Vazquez “more of a first baseman,” but he can play third. If Eric Chavez weren’t also hitting this spring, Vazquez might be playing his way into a strong chance of landing a spot on the Opening Day roster.

Instead, he’s making an impression. The Yankees seem to be heading toward carrying Chavez on the bench, but it’s hard to ignore what Vazquez is doing right now, and it will be hard to forget if/when the Yankees need an extra bat in the middle of the summer.

“We know what he can do, and he’s shown us what he can do,” Girardi said.

• Burnett was most encouraged by his curveball today, but he continued his spring training tradition by working in a few changeups that he said were pretty effective. He threw one to right-handed hitter Ryan Zimmerman, who lined out on the pitch.

• Speaking of the changeup, here’s Burnett talking about pitching to Russell Martin: “He has an idea what I want to do. I faced him a couple of times a long time ago. He’s got an idea what my strengths are, but he wants me to use my changeup. He’s a big believer in that. It’s all confidence with him.”

• One more Burnett note: He has yet to walk anyone, and he seemed realize talking about it probably jinxed it this afternoon. “I haven’t walked anybody yet, have I?” Burnett said. “Well, there goes that.”

• In his first action in center field, Brett Gardner played there through the seventh inning. Eduardo Nunez stayed at shortstop throughout.

• Rule 5 pick Daniel Turpen gave up a walk-off single in the ninth inning, sending the Nationals to a 6-5 win. Not sure how much longer the Yankees will look at Turpen and Robert Fish, but it’s a crowded bullpen as it is, and neither Rule 5 pick has strong numbers this spring.

• Mariano Rivera and Rafael Soriano are both scheduled to pitch tomorrow.

• The Yankees remain excited about what they’ve seen from Chavez, but they decided to play it safe when it came to today’s road trip. “Extremely encouraged,” Girardi said. “I just thought it was silly to put him on a bus for two hours after he played yesterday.”

• When Ramiro Pena popped out in the eighth, he turned and flung his bat back toward the Yankees dugout, a rare show of emotion for the Yankees utility man. Hard not to notice that he’s hitting .154 this spring while Eduardo Nunez has thrived. I still think there’s a chance Pena will be the pick — the utility job is going to be an incredibly minor role, and the Yankees love Pena’s glove at short — but Nunez is clearly outplaying him this spring.

Alfredo Aceves is likely to start against the Yankees on Monday.

• Speaking of former Yankees: Talked to Chien-Ming Wang a little bit before today’s game. He said he’s thrown a sim game this spring and he’s hoping to be game ready early this season. His fastball has been 86-87 mph, and he thinks that will go up as he gains arm strength. “It’s been a long time, but I’ve been patient,” he said.

• I couldn’t see it from the press box, but Gardner said a stealth bomber flew by in the middle of the game. It happened before the bottom of an inning, while he was warming up with Melky Mesa. Gardner told Mesa to turn around and look at it, and Gardner said Mesa’s reaction was priceless. Gardner told him it was a UFO. Mesa’s reaction? “Maybe.”

Associated Press photos of Vazquez with Montero; Burnett’s arm; and Cano laughing after a called strikeout

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62 Responses to “Saturday notes: Vazquez keeps hitting”

  1. E . R . California March 12th, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    ” Fortius Quo Fidelius ”

    Ha .

  2. BoJo March 12th, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    This year’s Jon Weber.

  3. BoJo March 12th, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    The seemingly impossibly high number of times that Ruby Tuesday is able to post the first comment on each thread makes one wonder if Chad has a secret identity as E R Cal…

    JK

    :-)

  4. BoJo March 12th, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    “Wang said he’s thrown a sim game this spring”

    Is that in The Sims 3? If so, I need to upgrade.

  5. m March 12th, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Good stuff, Chad. Gardner/Mesa and AJ/Murti is the kind of stuff we love!

  6. pat March 12th, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    Replay of the game on MLB Network now.

  7. kd March 12th, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    watching the replay. trade jorge vasquez now. his trade value will never be higher

  8. West Coast Yankee Fan March 12th, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    Thanks for highlighting Jorge Vazquez Chad. One never knows, he just might be that good. If he is, they will find a place for him eventually. Hope he continues tearing it up.

    What stands out for me and makes him more than a spring training wonder is that as Girardi pointed out, “he’s hit at every level that he’s been at.”

  9. m March 12th, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    He’s like Juan Miranda. Who just happens to be the favorite for the Dback’s 1B job.

  10. Fran the original March 12th, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    Hi mel,

    Haven’t been on since yesterday. Glad to see you. Everybody in your family ok?

  11. GreenBeret7 March 12th, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    They won’t be adding Vazquez to any trades before the end of July. They’ll wait until they see if Chavez stays healthy and Laird gets some more experience.

  12. m March 12th, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    Yes, Fran. Thanks for asking!

  13. Fran the original March 12th, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    Mel,

    Glad to hear that :)

  14. Jerkface March 12th, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Vazquez should work on his plate discipline in AAA.

  15. blake March 12th, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    Vasquez and Igawa for Liriano….1b insurance for Morneu and an ace for their AAA club :)

  16. tyanksfan36 March 12th, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Just got home from the long trip. It was a great trip and definitely worth the 5 hour drive even though we lost. Now I’ve got a funky sunburn on one leg and pictures of Bryce Harper. You should look for me on the broadcast, I was sitting in the front row, second to last seat by the Nationals bullpen. I couldn’t have asked for better seats on such a beautiful day. And AJ pitched great, the wind was just carrying balls out of that place.

  17. Fran the original March 12th, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    tyanks,

    Glad you enjoyed even though the Yanks lost. When is your next game?

  18. LGY March 12th, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    Alright, going to be out of the country until Friday.

    Don’t be too nice to each other while I’m gone.

  19. Joe from Long Island March 12th, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    tyanksfan36 – sorry about the sunburn, but glad you had a great time. I’m envious.

  20. m March 12th, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    Just read the Boston trading block article. Dice K’s velocity is down. :)

    Aceves might start out in AAA as a starter, waiting in the wings while Dice flames and crashes.

    Edes also called Darnell McDonald a veteran. Seriously? Wouldn’t “journeyman” be more accurate?

  21. Doreen March 12th, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Hey all.

    Just got home from White Plains myself. Boy can my daughter play a mean game of basketball! She is good. :)

    ****

    m -

    So glad and relieved to hear you and your family are well.

    ****

    tyanksfan36 -

    Happy you’re home safe and had a good day.

    *****

    I just read through Chad’s posts, but no comments aside from this thread, so I thought the Yankees won, but either way, good for AJ and good for Vazquez today.

  22. ron March 12th, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    I have a gut feeling that the rs are going to have bigtime pitching issues this year.

    Lester & buchholz i think will be ok,but dice,wake,becket,lackey,i think are going to be terrible.

    Imo we will end up having a deeper staff.

  23. tyanksfan36 March 12th, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Fran

    I’m going to tomorrows game. It is the only one that I actually planned on attending, got my tickets back in December. My tickets for today, I didn’t even know we actually had them until I picked my friend up this morning. It was so cool, we got to park where the players park at their training facility.

    Joe

    What I wouldn’t give to be able to see the Yankees in New York. Spring training is as close as ill get for a long time.

  24. GreenBeret7 March 12th, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    The people writing these Red Sox articles are either trying to convince their fans, themselves or other teams that they have high quality talent that everyone is just panting to own. They have more value to their tissue thin farm system than they do to any other team.

  25. Fran the original March 12th, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    tyanks,

    You get to see the Twins. Hope Mauer is there. Know you like him.

  26. m March 12th, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    ron,

    Oh yeah! I forgot to mention that the pen is Pap, Bard, Jenks, and Wheeler. Add in Wakefield. Other possibles are Albers, Atchinson, Rich Hill, and Randy Williams.

  27. m March 12th, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Hi, Doreen!

  28. LGY March 12th, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    Would be hilarious if the Red Sox traded off Wakefield after giving the Red Sox such ridiculously team friendly deals his entire career.

  29. blake March 12th, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    LGY,

    which country is the sabermetric convention this year?

  30. Doreen March 12th, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    Just saw Vazquez’ HR. Wow!

  31. tyanksfan36 March 12th, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    Fran

    The twins are splitsquad tomorrow so if mauer were playing it would be in ft. Myers, sadly. I probably won’t get to see Morneau either. But the Yankees should be full squad being none of them really played today.

  32. LGY March 12th, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    Wakefield has been with the Red Sox for 16 years and has a 108 ERA+ averaging about 180 innings per season, yet has only made about $50 million.

  33. m March 12th, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    Wake is in the pen because he refuses to play for any other team. Deviant. :mad:

  34. upstate kate March 12th, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Tyanks
    Have a great time tomorrow (again!) I am really enjoying your blog.

    Wakie has been one of my favorite red sox, well him and Lowell. I hope they treat him properly.

  35. LGY March 12th, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    blake,

    Jamaica. Unfortunately I am going to have to leave my calculator and all fangraphs ready devices at home :(

    Trisha’s tales of swimming naked in caves and feeding fresh fruit to chiseled Jamaican men inspired a last minute trip yesterday.

  36. Fran the original March 12th, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    tyanks,

    Well at least you’ll get to see the Yankee regulars. Who is pitching tomorrow?

  37. upstate kate March 12th, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    LGY
    Who is going to take Stuckey on while you are gone?

  38. tyanksfan36 March 12th, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Kate

    Thanks, have you seen the recent entries? I’ve been trying to keep up with it now that the season is getting close, I’m going to write about my trip and post pictures when I feel like sitting down. Seriously, I sat today for probably 8 or 9 hours between the car and game.

  39. m March 12th, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    LGY wants to feed fruit to chiseled Jamaican men?

  40. tyanksfan36 March 12th, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    Fran

    I think Mitre is pitching for NY but not sure about the Twins.

  41. upstate kate March 12th, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Tyanks
    Yes, I liked the entry about winning the jersey…partly b/c I like Jimmy Buffett and manatees.

  42. tyanksfan36 March 12th, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Romines at-bat in the 9th inning was amazing, I was hoping it would end with something other then a caught foul ball, the look on his face at first said the same thing.

  43. Bo knows March 12th, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    Boy, is Mesa the jitterbug special, the Anti-Long devotee of hitting. He looks like Joba in Cleveland on midge night.

    I felt like running up there with a 2xplank and whacking him between the running lights to get his attention. “Okay, now swing!

    The Yankees have hitting coaches in the minors, Riiight. That’s like military intelligence – with apologies to GB

  44. blake March 12th, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    have fun LGY….

  45. E . R . California March 12th, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    Beware .

    You know the maxim :

    Expectation and Reality . . .

  46. LGY March 12th, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    GY wants to feed fruit to chiseled Jamaican men?

    ****

    Yikes. Made that way too easy for that one :???:

  47. tyanksfan36 March 12th, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    Kate

    Who doesn’t like Jimmy Buffet? My parents have video of me and my brother singing “cheeseburger in paradise” when I was probably 5.

  48. tyanksfan36 March 12th, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    Bo knows

    Why the Mesa hate? j/k. He does have some hitting issues hough he did hit 19 homeruns last year and was the FSL player of the year. And he raised his BA a lot last year. I like him.

  49. Fran the original March 12th, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    tyanks,

    The game is on YES. Maybe you’ll be on TV again :)
    Have fun.

  50. pat March 12th, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Remember to “spring” ahead tonight.

  51. LGY March 12th, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    Kate

    It will take a full team effort to step up and counteract stuckeys annoyingness.

    I think you guys can handle it :)

  52. Bo knows March 12th, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    ty

    I like him just fine, played a very nice OF. But you would think with the Long success that they would implement that throughout the system. Can you imagine what he could do with a proper setup? With all those moving parts he must have fast twitch muscles in the top 5 percentile to hit 19 HRs. He’s last year’s Curtis x 2. Why would you handicap a kid like that?Long must get the flying twitches watching him hit.

  53. Fran the original March 12th, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    LGY,

    Enjoy your vacation :)

  54. Bo knows March 12th, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    Yep, Melky Mesa – a product of Yankee hitting instruction. It’s embarasking.

  55. LGY March 12th, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Thanks Blake and Fran.

  56. Pat M. March 12th, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    lgy…Safe travels

  57. trisha - true pinstriped blue March 12th, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    No idea how the Yanks or AJ did today and don’t want to know. I actually DVRd the game and am now watching it. I just saw AJ’s first inning and was blown away by his 3 Ks.

    That’s all. Hope it lasts.

    I still have Rothschild cannonized. St. Lawrence.

    :)

    Back to the game…

  58. tyanksfan36 March 12th, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Bo knows

    Well Mesa has been in camp with K-Long since spring training started, you would think he would have made a point to get with him for a BP session.

  59. trisha - true pinstriped blue March 12th, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    Oh yeah. I could point out that I said I thought AJ was going to have a great season but someone could come back and say I predict that for all Yankees and it could be close to correct!

    :)

    But since I’ve been dubbed someone who LOVES to say “I told you so” and LOVES to pat myself on the back (by one person by the way…) :roll” I think I will take the time to say I TOLD YOU SO about AJ, and pat myself on the back.

    Despite the fact that I just saw AJ give up his first runs on the season.

    I STILL believe he is going to have one of the highest win records in the rotation this year.

    :)

  60. pat March 12th, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    How LGY got his groove back?

    Have fun.

  61. Fran the original March 12th, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    New post :arrow:

  62. GreenBeret7 March 12th, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    Rap Master Ronnie

    Enjoy it. Play the others on the right side

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgS0ZkgEcL4

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