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


Pregame notes: New look at the top

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes on Mar 17, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Brett Gardner is not trying to lead all of baseball in pitches per plate appearance. He did it last year but said that was partially because his injured wrist left him reluctant to swing through the second half of the season.

“I don’t think that’s necessarily a good thing,” he said. “If you told me I could lead off all year or hit ninth or wherever, see five pitches per plate appearance and still get on 38 percent of the time, I’d sign up for it. I don’t think that’s something that’s easy to do. If I had 500 at-bats last year, probably 400-something of those I hit behind in the count. It’s like you’re always uphill. That’s something I want to try to improve on.”

Tonight, the Yankees will take a look at Gardner in the leadoff spot. Joe Girardi said he’ll probably have his everyday guys in the same lineup another eight or nine times this spring, and he’ll continue to play with different batting orders.

Girardi said he has no plans of dropping Derek Jeter out of the top two spots. He also liked Nick Swisher in the No. 2 spot last season, “and we’re not sure we want to upset that,” Girardi said. Based on last year’s numbers, though, Gardner is a prototypical leadoff man, and the Yankees like the fact that his speed opens some holes on the right side of the infield for Jeter.

“We’re trying it because of what he did last year, and the problems that he causes for other teams,” Girardi said. “He puts pressure on the pitcher, and a lot of times pressure leads to mistakes. You get to the guys in the middle of the order, and those mistakes become bigger mistakes. That’s what we want our hitters to be able to do.”

Gardner led the Yankees in on-base percentage last season, and the ability to draw a walk became his greatest weapon in the second half of last season. In the first half, though, he proved he could both take his walks and get his hits. The Yankees have talked to him about bringing back some of that early aggressiveness.

“That’s something we talk about a lot, something I feel I’ve done a little better job of working on this spring,” Gardner said. “I’ve swung at some 2-0 pitches, some 3-1 pitches, 1-0 pitches. Maybe even an 0-0 pitch. I think I’ve been more aggressive this spring at certain times. I know it’s something I need to improve on and I plan to do that this year.”

• For the record, even hitting in front of the 3-4-5 hitters, Girardi said he wants Gardner to run when he gets on base. “I want him to get a bag any time he can get it,” Girardi said. “I don’t want it to take away from his aggressiveness.”

• Sergio Mitre came through yesterday’s bullpen just fine and will pitch tomorrow, probably around 65 pitches, but Girardi wasn’t sure of the number.

• Rafael Soriano pitched at the minor league complex today and said he walked a guy and gave up a double. He said his command wasn’t great, but he also seemed unconcerned. Girardi said he didn’t find it all that unusual that Soriano didn’t want to face an AL East team yesterday.

• Joba Chamberlain is doing long toss and throwing a flat side today. “We’ll make an evaluation with him after today,” Girardi said.

• Phil Hughes is set for 75 to 80 pitches tonight.

• These are the factors Girardi said he thinks about when deciding which lineup is best: “You look at the consistency of your lineup. You look at how easy it is to bring up situational guys to face your guys, how that’s setup. You look at how hitters work together, if it changes a guy’s approach or not (to have someone else hitting in front or behind).”

• Pat Venditte is up from minor league camp for tonight’s game, but he probably won’t pitch. He’s a backup, and Girardi said he would be more likely to give Ryan Pope or Eric Wordekemper a batter or two. RHP Josh Schmidt also up from minor league camp as a backup.

• Today’s outfield off the bench is made entirely of guys who were optioned down last night: Brandon Laird, Melky Mesa and Kevin Russo.

• Greg Golson is able to run and do defensive drills and could begin swinging a bat again in the next day or two.

Off the bench: C Gustavo Molina, 1B Jorge Vazquez, 2B Ramiro Pena, SS Doug Bernier, 3B Eduardo Nunez, LF Brandon Laird, CF Melky Mesa, RF Kevin Russo, DH Jordan Parraz

Out of the bullpen: Boone Logan, Romulo Sanchez, Luis Ayala, Eric Wordekemper, Steve Garrison, Ryan Pope, Pat Venditte and Josh Schmidt.

Tomorrow’s travelers today: The Yankees regular outfielders are going on the road tomorrow to play the Blue Jays.

Pitchers who will be making the trip: A.J. Burnett, Sergio Mitre, Andrew Brackman, Steve Garrison, Ryan Pope, Eric Wordekemper, Amaury Sanit and Kevin Whelan.

Players who will not be making the trip: Austin Romine, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Greg Golson, Francisco Cervelli and Colin Curtis. Walter Ibarra is scheduled to come up from minor league camp to provide infield depth.

RAYS (8-9-1)
Ben Zobrist 2B
Johnny Damon LF
Evan Longoria 3B
Manny Ramirez DH
Matt Joyce RF
B.J. Upton CF
Dan Johnson 1B
Reid Brignac SS
John Jason C

RHP Chris Bootcheck

Associated Press photos

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210 Responses to “Pregame notes: New look at the top”

  1. BeholdArNo March 17th, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    Im excited that Alex got the Directv commercial. Alex is the perfect role model for young kids. He’s just a tremendous human being, has gone through adversity, and has always fought back from adversity. He’s learned from his mistakes and does not shy away from them. He’s a leader.

    The emphasis is on human being. It’s not easy to have all your imperfections broadcast around the world, and own up to them, and come back stronger and better for it. Many people make mistakes, but not many of them have to go through them on the world’s biggest stage and have to deal with the media picking at him at every turn.

    Came out a better person and better leader, and it shows what a great human being he is. He could have taken the easy way out, and hidden behind the union lawyer Michael Weiner a la David Arias Ortiz.

  2. Doreen March 17th, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    BeholdArNo –

    I agree with you about ARod. He showed a lot of character when it counted.

  3. teddy9000 March 17th, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    anyone know if game is on yes

  4. E . R . California March 17th, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    ” Phil Hughes is set for 75 to 80 pitches tonight ”

    That is , for Phil Hughes , it is equivalent to three innings .

  5. Giuseppe Franco March 17th, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    I know this has been mentioned before but it’s quite obvious that Jim Pir-One, CR9, etc., etc has resurrected yet again.

    It’s amazing how one person has to continue to change his moniker to post here.

  6. G. Love March 17th, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    “We’re trying it because of what he did last year, and the problems that he causes for other teams,” Girardi said. “He puts pressure on the pitcher, and a lot of times pressure leads to mistakes. You get to the guys in the middle of the order, and those mistakes become bigger mistakes. That’s what we want our hitters to be able to do.”

    If Girardi doesn’t listen to what he just said right here today and put it into action it’s because of one player’s perceived ego about being moved in the order.

    Gardner is a weapon on top of this lineup and needs as many at bats in the 1st inning this season as possible.

    I hope he can stop worrying about how certain players are going to take a lineup move and do what is best for the team. If these guys are as emotionally fragile about where they hit in the order as Girardi treats them sometimes, it’s really sad.

  7. MTU March 17th, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    chad-

    That’s Jaso at Catcher not Jason, right ?

    Probably a typo ?

  8. Ed H. March 17th, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Behold ArNo,

    I too agree with you. He went from being someone I did not respect to being one of my favorite Yankees. He’s really grown as a person. I admire his courage and his willingness and ability to help Robbie mature also. Funny, he’s the only steroid guy I could support for the HOF.

  9. Giuseppe Franco March 17th, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    There are many ways to describe this ball club, but I tend to believe “emotionally fragile” is not one of those ways.

  10. Ed H. March 17th, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Teddy,

    Tonight’s game is not on YES. According to MLB.TV, it’s only on the Ray’s radio feed.

  11. BeholdArNo March 17th, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    GF I would guess that if someone like that were to make a reappearance, that person would want it to be obvious. Wouldn’t you think? :)

    Ed I completely agree.

  12. teddy9000 March 17th, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    ed, thank you

  13. stuckey99 March 17th, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    “It’s amazing how one person has to continue to change his moniker to post here.”

    Something to behold for sure….

    see what I did there?

  14. BeholdArNo March 17th, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    stuckey – I give you a R 9 out of 10 for that one. C what I did there…

  15. stuckey99 March 17th, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    I am not one of Alex’s critics (frankly, I could care less about any off-field stuff or how he’s handled the press). If he used PED’s that is not to his credit but if he’s walked away from a possible mistake, I give him credit.

    But to wax poetic about his standing as a human being is a bit much.

    Alex Rodriquez bears responsibility as well for the negative attention he’s received, and he’s been very well compensated for the microscope he’s CHOSEN to live under.

    Not sure why Rodriquez can’t simply be a very, very good baseball player.

    Energy spent qualifying him as a person is energy wasted.

  16. Giuseppe Franco March 17th, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    BeholdArNo March 17th, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    GF I would guess that if someone like that were to make a reappearance, that person would want it to be obvious. Wouldn’t you think? :)

    ——-

    I didn’t mention any names. You just hanged yourself.

  17. stuckey99 March 17th, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    “stuckey – I give you a R 9 out of 10 for that one. C what I did there…”

    I do.

    Maybe you’d like to take a moment to explain why you keep returning to where you have been banned in defiance of the TOS and the bloggers you have claimed to so admire … before you need to reregister under another alias, I mean?

  18. Crawdaddy March 17th, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Actually, he hanged himself beforehand with his actual posts.

  19. GreenBeret7 March 17th, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    It would be a lot easier to just rename that idiot “Sybil”.

  20. Giuseppe Franco March 17th, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    He’s got one thing going for him, though – his record for the number of times being banned from the same website.

  21. Crawdaddy March 17th, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    What I don’t understand is how that poster gets kicked off while other Red Sox trolls are allowed to post away without any such action.

  22. BeholdArNo March 17th, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    Sometimes, discretion is the better part of valor. So, moving on… Buchholz is a criminal that stole laptops, and Nova is gonna be stellar in our rotation this year.

  23. Bx is Burning March 17th, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    E. R. = Execrable Rodent

  24. BeholdArNo March 17th, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    GF – Im guessing for such a person, holding that record wouldn’t concern him in the least bit. No use cr9ing over it!

  25. Giuseppe Franco March 17th, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Chad and Sam don’t rule this place with an iron fist the way Pete did.

    Of course, they are also much more likable.

    And they’ve bludgeoned the competition this spring with outstanding coverage of our beloved Bombers.

  26. m March 17th, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    Meh. Can’t keep out the crazies. Take me for example! :)

  27. Betsy March 17th, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    I saw a similar Banuelos/Hughes discussion on another board, but the thing is – was Piliere comparing Banuelos now to Phil NOW? I didn’t see Phil in the minors, but in the other discussion folks who had said that Phil back then was a superior prospect to any of these kids now (due to, I suppose, a combo of velocity, movement, command, pitches). Phil at this point seems to perhaps have lost some velocity and obviously injuries/whatnot have messed with his breaking pitches, so comparing he’s not going to shine compared to Manny now. That’s how the discussion was going at any rate.

  28. Giuseppe Franco March 17th, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    # BeholdArNo March 17th, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    GF – Im guessing for such a person, holding that record wouldn’t concern him in the least bit.

    ———–

    Obviously. But you should still have the CR9 moniker (and probably others) in working order and you’ve chosen to change it yet again so people would take your comments seriously.

    So it must concern you at least a little bit.

  29. Betsy March 17th, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    I’ve always liked Alex, but he does seem to be a lot freer now that he doesn’t care so much what people think

  30. Rich in NJ March 17th, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    Girardi puts his finger on it. Jeter, at his best, gets on base. Gardner, at his best, gets on base and causes havoc. Jeter can’t do that.

  31. GreenBeret7 March 17th, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Doreen March 17th, 2011 at 4:52 pm
    I’ve always had a soft spot for ARod. There’s something about him – he’s fallible. As great an athlete as he is, he is vulnerable and has made mistakes. He’s human. That’s ultimately more appealing than the ice prince(ss).

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

    Doreen, this is another way that Rodriguez was very much like Mantle. I’m not getting into psychological similarites because I don’t know enough other than what I read about them. As talented as both are, probably two of the most physically gifted baseball players in history the it caused a lot of hatred in fans and more specifically in the media. Nobody outside of Ted Williams got hammered in the press more than Mantle…everything from not living up to impossible expectations to being called a coward, draft dodger and just short of a commie. He was supposed to be the perfect ball player and he wasn’t. What finally won the fans and media over was a screw-up on the playing field. He committed the ultimate sin. He loafed on the field and a teammate hurt got hurt on the play.

    In august of 1960, with Maris on 1st base, Mantle hit a 2 bouncer to 2nd and Maris slid hard into 2nd and Mantle stopped running about 3 steps out of the box, out of frustration. Maris got hurt because the shortstop came down on top of him and cracked Maris’ ribs. Stengel waited until Mantle was in center field and pulled him (Shades of Martin/Jackson). Mantle was booed worse than ever before and the media ripped him apart, headed by Di ck Young and Jimmy Cannon. He was benched the next game. The next day, Mantle apologised to Stengel the players, individually and the to the media and fans in the paper. The next game, he was playing and when his name was announced for his first at bat, he got a standing ovation. he was never booed again anywhere in baseball. Ford and Houk were asked about the reason for the change in the fans so quickly. Houk said, “It’s simple. They just found out that Mick is human.” Ford said, “They saw that nobody’s perfect.” That’s Alex Rodriguez.

  32. BeholdArNo March 17th, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    GF – I would guess that if such a person existed, the change of moniker would not have been to gain approval or legitimacy, but merely to gain access. Again, just speculation ;)

  33. blake March 17th, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    “was Piliere comparing Banuelos now to Phil NOW? ”

    no, as minor leaguers.

  34. Ed H. March 17th, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Rich,

    Bingo.

  35. blake March 17th, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Rich,

    Jeter at his best gets on base and drives the ball.

  36. Giuseppe Franco March 17th, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    My attitude towards A-Rod was like a lot of Yankee fans in 2004, which was kind of “meh.” Didn’t like him but didn’t hate him. Just wanted him to produce like anyone else.

    However, all the unnecessary flak he took from the media and fans (the booing in his own ballpark always irritated me) changed my tune quite a bit and I then became one of his biggest supporters.

  37. Giuseppe Franco March 17th, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    GB,

    Speaking of Mantle….

    Have you read the most recent book about him? I’m going to order it one of these days but I haven’t heard any feedback from those who have read it.

    Gotta order the Mattingly bio as well.

  38. Rich in NJ March 17th, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    blake

    Yes, that’s part of what has made him a great player (especially at SS). It’s also why I once wanted him to bat 3rd.

    In this context, however, I’m not sure how it helps him be a better leadoff hitter than Gardner.

  39. Betsy March 17th, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    Blake, thanks……Didn’t Phil have ridiculous command and a very good curve? I’m kind of surprised Frankie would say that but I admit I have no frame of reference…….

  40. Ed H. March 17th, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    One of the things that turned me into an ARod supporter was the way that Jeter froze him out when he came to the Yanks. It made me think less of Jeter too.

  41. Doreen March 17th, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    GB7 -

    I didn’t know that about Mantle. I thought he was always beloved by everyone.

    Stuckey -

    I don’t lose sleep over what baseball players do on or off the field. Human nature is just interesting, whether it’s in a ball player or someone I know in “real” life.

  42. Rich in NJ March 17th, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    I suspect that Pilliere’s comment was not meant to diss Phil, but rather to underscore just how good Banuelos can be.

  43. Crawdaddy March 17th, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Betsy,

    A lefty starter with a plus fastball and a plus changeup that can tail away from right-handed batters is golden and this is no offense to what Hughes was in 2007.

  44. blake March 17th, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    I like Gardner leading off and Jeter hitting 2nd against righties but if we are talking about Jeter’s best as in 2009 Jeter then I’m not sure that kind of season is within Gardner’s abilities.

    Against lefties Jeter should still lead off as his OBP was still .393 last year to Gardner’s .353

  45. GreenBeret7 March 17th, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    The hammering Rodriguez took from media and fans for 2004 against Boston was as idiotic as anything I’ve ever seen. They ignored the Minnesota series, they ignored the first 4 games against Boston and they ignored other culprits. It’s the same ones that blamed Torre for not running on Wakefield. Wakefield pitched in two games and got hammered in both…Yanks won both games.

  46. Crawdaddy March 17th, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    “One of the things that turned me into an ARod supporter was the way that Jeter froze him out when he came to the Yanks. It made me think less of Jeter too.”

    Meh, it was a personal issue between those two and it’s over and down with now.

  47. Jerkface March 17th, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    Didn’t Phil have ridiculous command and a very good curve? I’m kind of surprised Frankie would say that but I admit I have no frame of reference…….

    Banuelos has ridiclous command, is a lefty, and has 3 plus pitches. Hughes had a plus fastball and a plus curve and good command of both, but was a righty and lacked a third pitch (he had a change up but it wasn’t plus).

    Its perfectly acceptable to suggest that Banuelos is a better prospect than Hughes even when Hughes was a minor leaguer. It is incredibly high praise.

  48. Crawdaddy March 17th, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    I remembered more whining about not running on Schilling than Wakefield.

  49. Eroc March 17th, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    “Its perfectly acceptable to suggest that Banuelos is a better prospect than Hughes even when Hughes was a minor leaguer. It is incredibly high praise.”

    Absolutely

  50. blake March 17th, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    “Blake, thanks……Didn’t Phil have ridiculous command and a very good curve? ”

    Yes, Hughes dominated minor league hitters…even more than Banuelos has and at higher levels. However being a lefty and already having a truly plus out pitch with that changeup does work in Manny’s favor…..I’ll take them both.

  51. Bronx Jeers March 17th, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    ARod had it as bad as I’ve seen at Yankee Stadium and it made absolutely no sense. He was getting booed and at the same time was leading the Yanks in multiple offensive categories.

    Things changed after the steroids admission. First game back after the hip surgery he got cheered and the booing ended.

  52. Betsy March 17th, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    One guy everyone loves and I hate is Giambi; I never liked him – and then his comments about Alex in SI just made turned me to the dark side. Also, Pete was such a hypocrite about the guy. He liked Giambi, so he overlooked HIS steroids use. Alex? Alex was good for an insult a day.

  53. Rich in NJ March 17th, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    A lot of Yankee fans failed one of life’s IQ tests given the way they have treated Alex.

  54. Chase March 17th, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Why do we have to judge Alex’s behavior, good or bad, at all? Who are any of us fans that think we somehow deserve the right to know what he does or doesn’t do in his personal life?

    Instead of constantly trying to vilify people in this country, we all should look at our own life and worry about that. We’ve got enough problems on our own.

    The guy can never win. Ever. Even when he has all time postseasons like 2009, it’s never enough.

    Probably nobody would be able to live up to the expectation set on A-Rod, constantly having the world wanting him to fail so they could gloat as hit inability to hit “when it matters.”

    This entire country has become about that sort of stuff. Journalism has become more like paparazzi/tabloids every day.

  55. Betsy March 17th, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    LOL Blake, so will I. Ah, to be born a lefty……….

  56. Jerkface March 17th, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    There are lots of righties who can throw a fastball 90+ mph. Hughes prospect status came from the life on the pitch and his command of it. You can count the number of lefties with a 92+ mph fastball AND command of it on one hand.

  57. Betsy March 17th, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Rich, they’d also fail lie detector tests, they hypocrites., I mean, booing him on Opening Day? Then those same clowns cheered him when he did well.

  58. Crawdaddy March 17th, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    Jerkface makes another valid point about fastball velocity and the lack of lefties that have it and can command it.

  59. dan l March 17th, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    Betsy back when Hughes was in AA he was one a few minor league pitchers who had both 50% ground ball outs and 25% K’s.

  60. Rich in NJ March 17th, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    “This entire country has become about that sort of stuff. Journalism has become more like paparazzi/tabloids every day.”

    That’s true, but in sports coverage, it has no real consequence (it’s just annoying). In real news coverage, it’s serving to further dumb down the national discourse at great cost.

  61. Crawdaddy March 17th, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    I have no use for any Yankee fan that boos his own player unless that player fails to hustle or intentionally does something detrimental to the team.

  62. Jerkface March 17th, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    I have no use for any Yankee fan that boos his own player unless that player fails to hustle or intentionally does something detrimental to the team.

    Whew that second clause gives me wiggle room to boo jeter :x

  63. Chase March 17th, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    “In real news coverage, it’s serving to further dumb down the national discourse at great cost.”

    Couldn’t agree with you more, Rich. Really sad to see.

  64. GreenBeret7 March 17th, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Giuseppe Franco March 17th, 2011 at 6:01 pm
    GB,

    Speaking of Mantle….

    Have you read the most recent book about him? I’m going to order it one of these days but I haven’t heard any feedback from those who have read it.

    Gotta order the Mattingly bio as well.

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

    GF, Jane Leavy wrote a great book. Much more personal than just recounting his onfield exploits. The book is worth twice the cost. I recommend her book on Sandy Koufax, too. A few years ago, Tony Castro wrote a book on Mantle, Mickey Mantle: America’s Prodigal Son. Highly recommended. For fun reading, if you can find it, “Explosion” by Mark Galligher is great. Mainly describes all of his homers, with input from players, friend and foe. The number of 500 foot homers is staggering.

    Here’s a short piece:

    http://www.lamblion.com/articl.....ocial7.php

  65. Betsy March 17th, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    Jerkface, so you’re saying that Banuelos is a better prospect than Phil was? Whether he was or wasn’t really doesn’t matter at this point since prospect Phil has long ago passed into history and current Phil replaced him

  66. blake March 17th, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    “You can count the number of lefties with a 92+ mph fastball AND command of it on one hand.”

    sounds crazy but it’s true.

  67. Betsy March 17th, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Dan, I really wish Phil would use a 2- seamer. He picked up the cutter quickly, I think he could pick up the 2-seamer; he’d be a better pitcher using that pitch – because then he would get groundballs.

  68. Crawdaddy March 17th, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    By the way, those that have seen ManBan more than a few times, say he still has to improve his fastball command with his increased velocity as his command isn’t what it was a few years ago.

  69. Betsy March 17th, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    I think the 2-seamer is my new toy – I’m kind of down on the cutter unless it’s thrown by Mo or Andy or Lester, lol

  70. GreenBeret7 March 17th, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Crawdaddy March 17th, 2011 at 6:08 pm
    I remembered more whining about not running on Schilling than Wakefield.

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

    The complaint was not bunting on Schilling. There weren’t enough runners getting on to run.

  71. Crawdaddy March 17th, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    “The complaint was not bunting on Schilling. There weren’t enough runners getting on to run.”

    Right, my mistake.

  72. GreenBeret7 March 17th, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    BryanHoch Bryan Hoch
    Leonel Vinas, signed from Hank Steinbrenner’s “Hank’s Yanks” team, debuted today: threw an inning for Charleston vs. Tampa (0 H, 0 R, 1 K)

  73. Bronx Jeers March 17th, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    Apparently Torre is back at GMS field for the first time since his departure.

    Some of the writers are tweeting that he’s in the clubhouse

  74. Ed H. March 17th, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    Chase,

    For better or for worse, the changes you describe are real. This flood of information that we get about players can’t help but influence how we view them. Most of us on this blog are here and read twitter and other sources to maximize the info that we receive. When I became a Yankees fan 50 years ago, we only got sanitized (and minimal) info about the players as people and about their interactions with teammates, the press and fans. It was a very different experience.

  75. BIG AL March 17th, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    GF -

    If you are referring to “The Last Boy Mivkey Mantle”, by Jane Leavy, I highly recommend it, great reading.

  76. GreenBeret7 March 17th, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    pcaldera Pete Caldera
    Joe Torre, with Cashman, just walked into Girardi’s office at GMS Field.

  77. blake March 17th, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Can’t believe this game isn’t on TV

  78. Jerkface March 17th, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Jerkface, so you’re saying that Banuelos is a better prospect than Phil was? Whether he was or wasn’t really doesn’t matter at this point since prospect Phil has long ago passed into history and current Phil replaced him

    Yes, Banuelos is a better prospect in my estimation than Phil. I would not trade either of them. Banuelos is a lefty who has an amazing change up and a great third pitch and command of an above average fastball. The only thing holding him back is his size, which I think his delivery will help mitigate.

    Phil has everything you want from a pitcher, he is a smart, motivated player with a huge physical base to work off of. But he isn’t left handed. I hope that one day Phil and Banuelos are in the same rotation going back to back at the top of it.

  79. m1kew March 17th, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    Does anyone know if we can see tonight’s game vs. the Rays on phstream?

  80. Crawdaddy March 17th, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    The game isn’t being televised by anybody.

  81. GreenBeret7 March 17th, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    BryanHoch Bryan Hoch
    Joe Torre says he will attend Yankees Old Timers Day

  82. stuckey99 March 17th, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    “Whether he was or wasn’t really doesn’t matter at this point since prospect Phil has long ago passed into history and current Phil replaced him.”

    Betsy, I believe you just got to the very heart of why you speak of and ask so many questions about Phil Hughes.

    He didn’t look like a stud, #1-in-the-making to you last year, either in raw or refined stuff, and you’re still trying to figure out if the scouting reports overhyped him back in the day, or if he’s lost something since then.

    Isn’t that about right? (none of which is “wrong” btw).

  83. Crawdaddy March 17th, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    I know certain Yankee fans don’t like this, but Torre’s feud with the Yankees is over with.

  84. blake March 17th, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    “Joe Torre says he will attend Yankees Old Timers Day”

    good, water under the bridge….time to move on.

  85. stuckey99 March 17th, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    Speaking of prospects and ceilings.

    Perhaps I’m a bit behind the curve, and I don’t mean this in any negative sense at all, but I’m wondering if the admiration scouts have for Banuelos poise at this young age is being confused with how is “ceiling” is being described.

    Even in the mostly glowing reports, I’m not sure I’ve seen him referred often as having ace ceiling.

    I see more #2 type projections for him, which I’m perfectly happy with mind you.

    Genuinely asking if I just haven’t seen some of the reports you guys have?

  86. Chase March 17th, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Everyone better roar loudly in the stadium for Torre when he comes back. Better not be any boo’s.

  87. blake March 17th, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    “Perhaps I’m a bit behind the curve”

    co-signed :)

  88. Ed H. March 17th, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Other factors aside, given Torre’s new position with MLB, any feud has to be over.

  89. Jerkface March 17th, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Even in the mostly glowing reports, I’m not sure I’ve seen him referred often as having ace ceiling.

    He has been compared to Johan Santana and Clayton Kershaw, who are ace types. Where are these #2 projections? Honestly I’d rather look at what the pitchers have and make my own assumptions on where they would slot into a rotation. Banuelos is a lefty who doesnt walk guys, gets ground balls, and strikes batters out and has command of 3 pitches.

    That screams ace to me.

  90. blake March 17th, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    but seriously…..

    [Comment From Chicago MarkChicago Mark: ]
    follow up on MIller, Banuelos, Parker…… Who has the highest upside of the 3?
    Thursday March 17, 2011 12:13 Chicago Mark
    12:13

    Frankie Piliere:
    Banuelos. I know that might be slightly against the grain but I feel as strongly about Banuelos as a future #1 as any pitching prospect out there.

    Law likes him a lot as well for whatever thats worth (not all that much to me)

  91. Betsy March 17th, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    Craw, it appears so…………and if that’s the case, then who am I to be angry about it anymore?

    Jerkface, can’t argue with that…..though is the physical thing really a big deal? I mean, I’d rather be smaller and have more “ability” than be bigger (and this goes in general, NOT for just Manny and Phil)..

    Stuckey, I think that’s probably fair. As I’ve said, I thought Phil emerged as a legitimate major league pitcher last year – that’s really good. I just didn’t see, short of the first 6 starts (which were phenomenal) this great stuff from him. I’ve never trashed him, not ever – unless you call saying someone is a middle of the rotation pitcher trashing him. He’s a very good kid and represents the franchise very well. I’ve said this numerous times, but some people choose to ignore this.

  92. Jerkface March 17th, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    Goldstein ranked Banuelos as a 5-star prospect, which for a starter basically means ace. Montero is a 5 star hitter.

  93. stuckey99 March 17th, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    Joe Torre gets a prolonged standing O from me on Old Timer’s Day.

    I suspect other Yankee fans will great his similarly.

    Not going to lose sleep over it either way.

  94. Betsy March 17th, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    I admit, I’m very happy about Joe attending OTD…………

  95. Jerkface March 17th, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Jerkface, can’t argue with that…..though is the physical thing really a big deal? I mean, I’d rather be smaller and have more “ability” than be bigger (and this goes in general, NOT for just Manny and Phil)..

    It matters because you want to have a lot of body to work off of in a sport that takes its toll like baseball. I am not saying small players cannot succeed, and infact it may have become a self fulfilling prophecy where small guys don’t get the same chances as big guys (due to scouts prejudice), but I think it makes sense in a way. In the end it comes down to the individual players ability, but small guys have a lot stacked against them.

  96. blake March 17th, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    I don’t think size matters nearly as much as stuff or delivery. In an ideal world size is great if you have everything else….but often it’s also tougher to keep mechanics in sync the taller you are.

  97. stuckey99 March 17th, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    JF, thanks, I’ll look it up.

    Betsy, again, with all genuine intentions, I think the flack you get is a byproduct of a seeming reversal of course on the guy, and something of what I perceive as a fatalist view, I think in a attempt to temper your own future expectations.

    In other words, you preached patience, but now seem fairly well convinced his ceiling has been somewhat established.

    There is nothing wrong with a #3, but its your frequent implication you think that’s all he can ever be is what rubs people the wrong way.

  98. BeholdArNo March 17th, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    Im very excited at the Torre news. Good for him, and glad they’ve accepted back with open arms.

  99. Betsy March 17th, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Jerkface, I agree that in an ideal world it’s better to be say 6’5 than 5’10 (Manny has no business being in the rotation amongts our redwoods, lol)……….Of course, all things aren’t always equal.

    Blake, true. I guess Phil can curse that he wasn’t lefty, but on the other hand he was blessed with perfect height, lol. I wouldn’t want to be 6’8 or 6’9…………not as a pitcher.

  100. Bo knows March 17th, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Banuelos isn’t small, just short and that easy motion is just rockin chair.

  101. Bronx Jeers March 17th, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    I believe I’ve seen Banuelos mentioned as a “Johan Santana type”

    Would that qualify as an ace ceiling?

  102. E . R . California March 17th, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    I fear that J*hn L*ck*y will have a huge year — maybe > 20 wins , E . R . A < 2.70 .

  103. MTU March 17th, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    Blake-

    Banuelos’s delivery is effortless.

    Everything looks the same coming out of his hand.

    That’s one of the reason’s his CU is so devasting.

    One scout said he was tempted to rate it 80 out 80.

    His curveball is the pitch that really surprised me.

    Above average with break along two planes.

    The kid is scary good. Just has to stay healthy.

  104. Betsy March 17th, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    Stuckey, then that’s their problem. I’m allowed to have an opinion that differs from other people. I mean, people saying Phil is a frontline starter don’t bug me – I respect their opinion. If some folks here just want a board where everyone agrees on everything, well – that’s fantasyland. I love Phil personally whether some people think so or not.

  105. Giuseppe Franco March 17th, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    # GreenBeret7 March 17th, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Giuseppe Franco March 17th, 2011 at 6:01 pm
    GB,

    Speaking of Mantle….

    Have you read the most recent book about him? I’m going to order it one of these days but I haven’t heard any feedback from those who have read it.

    Gotta order the Mattingly bio as well.

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

    GF, Jane Leavy wrote a great book. Much more personal than just recounting his onfield exploits. The book is worth twice the cost. I recommend her book on Sandy Koufax, too. A few years ago, Tony Castro wrote a book on Mantle, Mickey Mantle: America’s Prodigal Son. Highly recommended. For fun reading, if you can find it, “Explosion” by Mark Galligher is great. Mainly describes all of his homers, with input from players, friend and foe. The number of 500 foot homers is staggering.

    Here’s a short piece:

    http://www.lamblion.com/articl…..ocial7.php

    ———–

    Thanks for the info and link. Never heard of “Explosion.” I’ll have to look for that one.

    I have the Castro book on Mantle in my library. It was indeed a great read.

    We’ve talked about this on several occasions, but Mantle has always fascinated me more than any other ballplayer who has ever played this game.

    Going by the number of times you’ve talked about him within these walls, you must feel the same way.

    Unfortunately, I never got to see him play. I wasn’t born until 1974 – which I believe is the year he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

  106. MTU March 17th, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Everything about Banuelos is + or ++.

    :)

  107. Chase March 17th, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    [Comment From Mark: ]
    follow up on MIller, Banuelos, Parker…… Who has the highest upside of the 3?

    Frankie Piliere:
    Banuelos. I know that might be slightly against the grain but I feel as strongly about Banuelos as a future #1 as any pitching prospect out there.

  108. GreenBeret7 March 17th, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Daisy,

    You’d be better off worrying about suffering from terminal stupidity than Lackey winning 20 with a 2.70 ERA.

  109. Yogi Mantle March 17th, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    Giuseppe Franco March 17th, 2011 at 6:01 pm
    GB,

    Speaking of Mantle….

    Have you read the most recent book about him? I’m going to order it one of these days but I haven’t heard any feedback from those who have read it.

    Gotta order the Mattingly bio as well.
    ________

    I read the Jane Levy book. There were some really good parts to the book, but I felt there was some going over the edge about the off field stuff.

    One of the first things that Jane talks about is how she remembered when she met Mantle at a Golf event, where she was to interview him. Her initial memory was flawed, once she saw some pictures and other things. Then she goes on to be ultra sure that all the things she collected, which also were opinions, and states them as facts.

    There were some portions that I felt contradicted themselves. In a later portion in the book there is a bit about her personal experience with Mantle making a pass at her. Once I read that portion, it started to bring me to feel that it was that moment that colored her view of Mantle, and not in a positive way.

    The bias is worked to be kept somewhat minimal, but as with the Roberts book on Alex, biases will change the focus and thrust of the book, and have you looking for things that might not be there.

    These interviews took place after Mantle was dead. In many cases decades past the time frames being talked about, and an interviewer who has an agenda, even if it isn’t at the forefront, can steer thoughts and memories.

    It seemed as if Jane was working as hard to make the book about her as it was about Mantle.

    I, for one, am glad that I took it out of the library, rather than purchasing it. It has some value, but I’ve found other books about him to be more enjoyable. That is my taste though.

  110. MTU March 17th, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Forget what the scouts say about Manny.

    Just watch him pitch.

    That’s all you’ll need to become convinced of his ability and potential.

  111. tomingeorgia March 17th, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Does anybody remember Bobby Shantz, Whitey Ford, or Ron Guidry?

  112. stuckey99 March 17th, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Betsy, I’m not taking sides. I’m merely observing.

    And again, I think the reason you ask SO many questions about Phil, is because you WANT to hear someone say something that registers with you, something that answers your questions about how Hughes can have a sustained career as an ace, if he’s eventually going to lose some velocity of what you anticipated would be a harder fastball in his 20′s, and lack of refinement of the secondary stuff.

    Again, not picking sides, I think understanding just breeds peace.

  113. Bo knows March 17th, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    No, the Parachute King gets no respect from me. Cashman had his back for years and the payback was in cheap lucre. How did he do in LA where he inherited a set team again?

  114. MTU March 17th, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Tom-

    Never heard of them.

    Were they any good ?

  115. Chase March 17th, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Showing the intelligence of Red Sox fans everywhere: California predicting 20 wins with a 2.70 ERA for John “Horse-mouth” Lackey.

  116. blake March 17th, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    MTU,

    Yup….all those things and he is able to get a downward plane and can throw his fastball to both sides of the plate. I said this the other night but the most impressive pitch to me wasn’t the 3-2 changeup to Youkallis (although it was nasty), its was the way he jammed Pedroia on an inside heater to get out of trouble……that is impressive and not something many lefties are willing or able to do.

  117. MTU March 17th, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    game thread up.

    Enjoy the game folks.

  118. tomingeorgia March 17th, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    MTU,
    They weren’t too bad, but they were too small to be stars.

  119. blake March 17th, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    more realistic projection for Lackey…..12 wins, 4.3 Era, 135 K’s…..a 3 or 4 in the AL east, that’s about what he is

  120. tyanksfan36 March 17th, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    MTU says:

    March 17, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Everything about Banuelos is + or ++.

    ?

    —–

    Even his smile. Lol.(I’m a girl, sorry)

    Also MTU. Our arch nemesis is gonna be out there tonight. I bet he makes some stupid comment to make himself sound smarter. Too bad I’m not there, I’ve got some good throwing tomatoes.

  121. MTU March 17th, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Blake-

    Manny may not be big but he’s built like a little Mexican Tank.

    He’s still filling out and just getting stronger.

    Wouldn’t surprise me if his velocity continued to rise (not that he needs it).

    I’d like to see him add a 2 seamer to use against lefties and to induce GB’s.

    Easy pitch to learn.

  122. MTU March 17th, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    Tom-

    You can add Lincecum to that list even though he’s a righty.

    TY-

    You’ve earned the right to use them.

  123. blake March 17th, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    MTU,

    I think Mannys arm angle is gonna make life rough on lefties anyway…..perhaps he could one day get some advise from Mo and Pettite about how to eat righties alive with a cutter. ;)

  124. MTU March 17th, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    Blake-

    That change will kill most righties.

    I want something that fades away against lefties.

    That would be a 2 seamer.

  125. m1kew March 17th, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    Crawdaddy March 17th, 2011 at 6:30 pm
    The game isn’t being televised by anybody.

    Thanks

  126. GreenBeret7 March 17th, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    GF, early in Castro’s book, he talked about two of the greatest players in history being two of the most insure players about their true talents that he’s ever seen. Not something that you;d ever think of those two. I wonder if they and Rodriguez were afraid that someday soon they’d lose all of that talent, though, with Mantle, it was the spectre of an early death and he didn’t want to be cheated. Leavy’s book touches on this and other things about Mantle.

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/f.....A9649C8B63

  127. blake March 17th, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    MTu,

    Actually a 2 seamer would fade into lefties from a Lefty.

  128. tomingeorgia March 17th, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Pedro Martinez and Billy Wagner, if we’re adding right handers, as well as Mike Hampton come to mind.

  129. Doreen March 17th, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    It warms my heart that Torre will be at Old Timer’s Day.

    It’s the way it should always have been.

  130. BeholdArNo March 17th, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Last

  131. MTU March 17th, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    Blake-

    Guess I’m off on that one.

    Cutter it is then.

    Thanks for the correction.

  132. GreenBeret7 March 17th, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    Hughes pitching

    Zobrist grounder to 1st

    Damon single on dribbler up 3rd base line

    Longoria single down 3rd base line, hits the chalk, Damon to 3rd

    Ramirez sac fly to right on soft liner

    Joyce grounder to first

    Not real lucky on the 2 singles

  133. BeholdArNo March 17th, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    last..

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