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Pregame notes: “It’s just too early”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes on Mar 03, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Joe Girardi said this week that Ivan Nova is not guaranteed a rotation spot. So can he start earning his spot today in Clearwater?

“It’s just too early,” Girardi said. “I want to see Nova go out and throw strikes.”

Girardi said he told the pitchers early this spring that their first few outings are strictly preparation. He told them to get ready, stay healthy and prove themselves in the last few weeks of the spring schedule. Nova has two innings today, and it’s more about getting his work in than making an impression.

• Raul Ibanez has his second straight start at DH, and oddly enough, each start has come against a left-handed starter (the Phillies are starting Cole Hamels today). Girardi said he doesn’t get “caught up” in lefty-righty matchups this early in spring training. Even though Ibanez was signed to hit against right-handers, Girardi just wants him to get some at-bats right now.

• Andruw Jones, who isn’t making today’s trip and didn’t get an at-bat yesterday, will start in the outfield tomorrow. Of course, that’s going to be against a right-handed starter.

• Phil Hughes just finished throwing live batting practice — or a sim game, whatever you want to call it — and now Adam Miller is doing the same. Colin Curtis and Francisco Cervelli are the hitters. Larry Rothschild and Triple-A pitching coach Scott Aldred are watching.

• CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda are throwing sides today in Tampa.

• The position players not making the trip will stay behind to go through regular drills. There’s a specific note that Jones and Curtis will get some work in left field. The hitting groups in Tampa:

Group 1: Robinson Cano, Francisco Cervelli, Derek Jeter, Andruw Jones
Group 2: Colin Curtis, Gustavo Molina, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira

• Tomorrow, Adam Warren, Graham Stoneburner and Brett Marshall are each throwing bullpens. Hiroki Kuroda will throw a sim game to Brandon Laird and Zoilo Almonte.

• Today’s available pitchers: Ivan Nova, David Phelps, Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, Cesar Cabral, Michael O’Connor, Chase Whitley, D.J. Mitchell, Juan Cedeno and Clay Rapada. Only the first six are actually expected to pitch.

• Today’s second string: C Gary Sanchez, 1B Jorge Vazquez, 2B Corban Joseph, SS Ramiro Pena, 3B Brandon Laird, LF Chris Dickerson, CF Dewayne Wise, RF Cole Garner, DH Justin Maxwell

UPDATE, 10:52 a.m.: The Phillies are going with Jimmy Rollins plus some outfield regulars.

Jimmy Rollins SS
Shane Victorino CF
Hunter Pence RF
Jim Thome DH
Ty Wigginton 3B
John Mayberry Jr. 1B
Domonic Brown LF
Erik Kratz C
Michael Martinez 2B

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73 Responses to “Pregame notes: “It’s just too early””

  1. blake March 3rd, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Excited to get a first look at Sanchez…..and of course to see the kids pitch.

    BS about Nova not having a rotation spot…..I realize they want to motivate these guys but Nova seems pretty self motivated……if he’s healthy he’s going ti be in the rotation whether he has a 2 spring Era or a 12 spring era.

  2. blake March 3rd, 2012 at 10:02 am

    The best case scenario for the Yankees pitching staff is really good……imagine

    Sabathia
    Kuroda
    Pineda
    Nova
    Hughes
    Garcia
    Phelps
    Warren
    Banuelos

    Rivera
    Robertson
    Soriano
    Joba
    Logan

    That’s 5 starters capable of winning 15 games, 4 deep in quality depth behind them, and 4 closer arms in the bullpen.

  3. Yankee Trader March 3rd, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Joe Girardi said this week that Ivan Nova is not guaranteed a rotation spot.

    Mr Girardi-

    Ivan Nova has certainly earned a starting pitcher position. Gives opposing teams a different look. Improved slider, lot’s of ground ball outs. I know you’re saying that so Garcia doesn’t feel that he’s not in cometition for a starting role.

  4. Yankee Trader March 3rd, 2012 at 10:05 am

    *competition*

    Agree with Blake-Total BS!

  5. MTU March 3rd, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Blake/YT-

    Nova has to earn a spot ?

    Hey Joe. What the hell do you think he was doing last year ?

    Playin’ tiddlywinks.

    Get a clue.

    Gotta run.

    ;)

  6. blake March 3rd, 2012 at 10:06 am

    MTU,

    Its just ST babble

  7. Yankee Trader March 3rd, 2012 at 10:07 am

    MTU-
    Have a great day. I’ll try and update today’s game along with Chad.

  8. MTU March 3rd, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Blake-

    Pure horsecrap.

    Surely he jests.

    ;)

  9. JK March 3rd, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Sabathia
    Kuroda
    Pineda
    Nova
    Hughes
    Garcia
    Phelps
    Warren
    Mitchell
    Banuelos
    Betances

  10. blake March 3rd, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Its incredible the number of pitchers the Yanks have that coukd legitimatey pitch in a big league rotation….. 1-10 in starting pitching they are as deep as anybody and for the regular season marathon that’s invaluable.

  11. Cashmoney March 3rd, 2012 at 10:20 am

    You forgot sergio mitre blake, Joe is but a phone call away to make that happen!

  12. Tar March 3rd, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Ok if Hughes, Pineda and Garcia all out pitch ( by a decent margin ) Nova—

    Does Nova still make the rotation? Who gets bumped? I don’t think it’s “out of the realm of possibility that Nova doesn’t make the starting rotation. Doubt it, but it could happen.

  13. blake March 3rd, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Yes….Meat Tray is always a phone call away!

  14. Cashmoney March 3rd, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Mitre: hey Joe, gotta a gig for me this season.
    Joe: dunno buddy, looks like a tight number squeeze
    Mitre: need some help here Joe…
    Joe: can’t guarantee anything at this point, but if 4-5 of my peeps gets hurt, you be the first one i call
    Mitre: thx Joe, I be on standby! btw, you photos r safe with me!

  15. RadioKev March 3rd, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Good on A-Rod for embracing a larger role in the clubhouse – especially now without Posada.

  16. Bronx Jeers March 3rd, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Girardi said he doesn’t get “caught up” in lefty-righty matchups this early in spring training.

    ————————————–

    Yeah but he makes up for it with an insatiable passion in the regular season. Like Rain Man counting toothpicks on the floor.

    Nova’s got to earn his spot huh? Girardi’s in rare form.

  17. Crawdaddy March 3rd, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Overreacting to manager speak is really a waste of time.

  18. fiveironfromfenway March 3rd, 2012 at 10:37 am

    jk – that’s my list too.
    WAY too many people are sleeping on Betances. Mitchell can be a really valuable swing man out of the bullpen this year too.

  19. luis March 3rd, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Good morning everyone,

    Nova’s spot is not at risk, That’s just BS.

  20. luis March 3rd, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Tar,

    I think if your scenario plays out, i still think that Garcia ends up in the pen…..They need to see what they have with Hughes going forward. In the case of Nova, even if he has a lousy ST, he’ll get his spot….He may be demoted midseason if keeps underperforming though

  21. luis March 3rd, 2012 at 10:57 am

    I think Nova is going to have a very good season by the way

  22. Tar March 3rd, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Hey Luis

    The notion of a “sophomore slump” should not be so quickly and easily dismissed. I don’t think it’s just a cliche. I’m not saying thats what I think is going to happen, just that it’s a lot more real of a possibility than some are making it out to be. For Nova to sustain and improve on last year is not an easy task. I think he’s up for it, but stuff happens. :D

  23. UnKnown March 3rd, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Yankee Trader March 3rd, 2012 at 7:06 am
    The playoffs for this year really are not fair to the team in each league that finishes with the best record and is the #1 seed.

    If the Yankees finish #1, their last game is a 7PM game at home on 10/3/12 against the RS. That might be a pivotal game for the wild card. The season ends and now the Angels end up playing the Rays in a one game playoff10/5/12, in Anaheim. The Yankees are waiting at the airport for a charter. The Angels win in extra innings and now the Yankees who finished their season in NY have to fly cross country on a red-eye to face them for 2 games, starting 10/6/12, and return to NY with no day off, for the possibility of only 1 home game if they return 0-2.

    Tickets for the postseason are not sold. The commish should have kept the current playoff format and started the playoffs a few days later.

    ——-

    Actually in the scenario above, the Yankees would not start their series until 10/7/12. So there would be a day for travel. Winner of the 1 game series gets a day off as well. Still not fair at all to the 1 seed in the playoffs.

  24. Bronx Jeers March 3rd, 2012 at 11:10 am

    This guy knows what’s up.

    “It’s time for new Yankee leadership, dammit!

    I’m tired of reading in the anti-Yankee mainstream media that our owners – or better put, “the dead owner’s sons” – are apologizing for past Yankee policy: “We must cut payroll, we had to trade Jesus, forgive us for hurting the ball when we hit it so hard, blah-blah-blah.”

    ——-

    http://johnsterling.blogspot.c.....l-not.html

  25. luis March 3rd, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Tar March 3rd, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Totally agree with you about the sophomore slump….But look how they allowed Hughes to stay in the rotation last season, even though his velocity was way down and his pitches had no movement….I guess that for Nova to be out of a spot he has to throw really but really bad.

    I also think that he is up to it as well…..I love his demeanor on the mound….I think he was so under rated for so long that he has that as an extra motivation.

  26. Stoneburner March 3rd, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Yankeesource ? @YankeeSource Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    @N15NY @BC101089 If he failed at catching in the majors then would his value be the same? That was also something Yankees considered.
    In reply to The Captain

    12h Yankeesource ? @YankeeSource Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    @BC101089 @N15NY I’m pro trade as well, sometimes tough decisions have to be made and this was one of those cases.
    In reply to Barry Cohen

    12h Yankeesource ? @YankeeSource Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    @N15NY @BC101089 Definitely can turn either way. But the Yankees rotation looks strong for years to come as currently constituted.
    In reply to The Captain

    13h Yankeesource ? @YankeeSource Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    Russell Martin was going to catch this year. And I highly doubt Girardi trusted Montero behind the plate. He had more faith in Romine.
    13h Yankeesource ? @YankeeSource Reply Retweet Favorite · Open

    @MichaelPawluk Pineda filled a serious need in the rotation. I love Montero but it all starts with pitching. Cashman made a great trade.

  27. stuckey March 3rd, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Bronx, I trust this link is in the same spirit of the linked post? :-)

  28. stuckey March 3rd, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Is there any statistical evidence of the sophomore slump?

    Real document phenomena?

    Or baseball old wives’ tale?

    I’m open-minded…

  29. vinslol March 3rd, 2012 at 11:19 am

    i don’t blame girardi’s comments

    if hughes’ lack of conditioning last year was the reason for his awful year they can’t even hint at anyone not needing to ‘earn’ anything. it’s basically to make up for the last go-round – not to sleight or disparage anyone

  30. luis March 3rd, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Stoneburner,

    The yankee source is someone working in the Yankees organization?

  31. luis March 3rd, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Stuckey,

    Did a bit of a little research….I have to say it was inconclusive…..some have it in their sophomore year ( Halladay), some have it on their third season ( C Lee, M Mussina ), some just became better and better (Clemens, Maddux, Guidry)…..Maybe it’s just ald wives tale

  32. luis March 3rd, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Off course i only check those names, maybe a more wider sample would back up the Sophomore slump, i just picked the names of very good pitchers

  33. DONNYBROOK March 3rd, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Thought the Yankees had a “facial hair” policy??? Ibanez looks like a street person that found a Yankee Home Uni. George woulda Never tolerated a guy looking like Ibanez does in pinstripes. Yanks need to make it madatory that new Yankee players attend an Orientation Presentation stressing Mandatory standards of grooming, dress, decorum, and general Yankee history. Even Johnny Damon shed his beloved locks when he signed with the Yankees. Ibanez is making Joh Kruk look GQ worthy.

  34. Ys Guy March 3rd, 2012 at 11:50 am

    “If you haven’t already, check out Tim Brown’s story about Alex Rodriguez speaking to the team before yesterday’s game. Certainly wouldn’t have expected that.”
    ======================================

    im really happy to hear that alex is ‘all in’ and wants everyone else in, too. Nice to see him step up into a leadership role, it’s been sort of murky for him coming to jeter’s team.

    i do find it odd that the only reporter that heard about it was a guy from yahoo. nothing in the times, post, ledger about it. (less surprised not to hear anything about it on WFAN or on here till the day after.)

  35. BD (Boston Dave) March 3rd, 2012 at 11:53 am

    “The commish should have kept the current playoff format and started the playoffs a few days later.”

    ———-

    With one stroke, Selig made extra money for MLB… and drastically weakened the playoff system.

    Money > Fairness

  36. Tar March 3rd, 2012 at 11:55 am

    “Is there any statistical evidence of the sophomore slump?”

    Had a feeling you were going to jump on that.

    I will say for me I don’t take the time frame so literally. In other words— a fast start as a rookie followed by a pronounced slump. The time frame of the fast start and pronounced slump is open for debate and may go beyond the sophomore year.

    As for statistical evidence… I know you are into doing a lot of research, go for it. I have a busy day.

  37. Cashmoney March 3rd, 2012 at 11:56 am

    I did not realize thome signed with the Phils, he might be better off as dh for the Yanks. Oh, I forgot, we need Ibanez to play D.

  38. BD (Boston Dave) March 3rd, 2012 at 11:56 am

    “Ibanez is making Joh Kruk look GQ worthy.”

    ——

    hah, not so sure about that. Kruk is almost as hideous on the outside as he is on the inside.

  39. DONNYBROOK March 3rd, 2012 at 11:57 am

    - BD -
    Kruk’s baseball acumen is certainly ESPN worthy.

  40. BD (Boston Dave) March 3rd, 2012 at 11:58 am

    “I did not realize thome signed with the Phils, he might be better off as dh for the Yanks. Oh, I forgot, we need Ibanez to play D.”

    ———-

    Thome didn’t really give anyone a chance. He signed with the Phillies immediately after the World Series last year.

    It’s not like he played the free agent market and the Yanks didn’t try to sign him.

  41. Cashmoney March 3rd, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Kripy kreme prolly could use Kruk as their national …

  42. Ys Guy March 3rd, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    mlb isnt the only one making money on the expanded playoffs. the players agreed to the format and want thier cut of the money, too. As does fox, espn and whoever else is making money off the playoffs. its not like the evil commissioner is forcing unfair working conditions on the poor players, they wanted the money as much as the owners did.

  43. Cashmoney March 3rd, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Thanks for the info Dave.

  44. luis March 3rd, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    I didn’t know that Thome signed with the Phillies either….What position is he going to play?, Howard is on first…..Part time player/ pinch hitter?

  45. BD (Boston Dave) March 3rd, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Cashmoney,

    that said, you’re right… Thome would have been a great fit at DH for the yanks.

    Just wish he had given other teams a chance. I think he sees the Phils (correctly) as a pretty good shot to see some playoff action.

    The National League is a relative joke compared to the AL this season.

  46. luis March 3rd, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    BD,

    The Phillies still have a very good rotation, but a very left handed lineup though

  47. BD (Boston Dave) March 3rd, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Another reason I don’t like the new playoff rules.

    6 of the best 7 teams in baseball are in the AL

    That makes is highly likely that 2 elite teams will have their seasons riding on a 1 game series.

  48. Cashmoney March 3rd, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Dave, I guess he want to with a team that certainly is going to contend and erstwhile to be on a team in which he has some history with. I guess it’s understandable at this junction of his career. HOF in my book.

  49. BD (Boston Dave) March 3rd, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    luis,

    sure…. but with 2 wildcard teams? they can decide not to play their last 20 games and still make the playoffs in the weak NL

  50. Best To Ever Do It March 3rd, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    luis March 3rd, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    I didn’t know that Thome signed with the Phillies either….What position is he going to play?, Howard is on first…..Part time player/ pinch hitter?

    ————————–

    Pinch hit and a little first since Howard isn’t going to be ready for the start of the season

  51. CompassRosy March 3rd, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Noesi gets his first start in Cactus League play today and, it looks like Jesus is okay after literally taking it on the chin (twice!) yesterday…

    http://tinyurl.com/7c4k2lx

    ::::::::::”I’m fine now. It hit me right here,”Montero said, pointing to the tip of his chin. “The manager said, ‘You’re not going to finish today because you did everything already and we’re going to protect you. We don’t want anything to happen to you. So I said, ‘OK.’ Nothing happened though, thank God. Everything is good.”

    Montero had hit a home run in the top of that inning on a blast to deep right-center field. In his first at-bat, he drove a ball to the warning track in center and he reached base on an error and scored in the fourth.

    “I got some pretty good at-bats yesterday,” he said. “I hit the ball hard. That’s what I was looking for. And at the end, I got a home run. That was a good pitch to hit and I hit it out.”

    Montero isn’t scheduled to play in today’s rematch against the A’s at Peoria Stadium, as Eric Wedge is going with almost an entirely different lineup after playing a lot of backups on Friday. In fact, today’s group looks largely like what might be used when the regular-season opens, outside of Carlos Peguero at DH where Montero likely will slot in.:::::::::::::

  52. luis March 3rd, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Thanks Best, i had forgotten that Howard got hurt in the last game of the Phillies PS.

    BD,

    Yes this two WC teams suck from the game standpoint, but it sure means more money for the teams and the players.

  53. Best To Ever Do It March 3rd, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    You’re welcome Luis

  54. Bronx Jeers March 3rd, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Ibanez looks like a street person that found a Yankee Home Uni.

    ———————————————-

    I’m still not 100% positive if you’re just trying to be a moron in order to attract attention or you’re an actual moron. I’m leaning towards the latter.

  55. DONNYBROOK March 3rd, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Montero showing off his defensive prowess yesterday. Yankee braintrust probably saw the 2 bell ringers and nodded at each other.

  56. DONNYBROOK March 3rd, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    - Jeers -
    Cease the name calling. If you know if the Yanks have a ‘facial hair” policy speak up. Otherwise, hike your leg on some other fire hydrant.

  57. luis March 3rd, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    DONNYBROOK,

    Nobody is saying that Montero is going to be the next Johnny Bench or Thurman Munson, but he is going to catch reasonably well for his bat to offset any miscues at catching…..Besides, Yogui Berra when he came up was a very lousy catcher, look how he didi later on…..

  58. Rich in NJ March 3rd, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    “I did not realize thome signed with the Phils, he might be better off as dh for the Yanks. ”

    Thome would have been a perfect fit.

  59. Ys Guy March 3rd, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    howard just got back from having an additional proceedure done to his ankle to deal with a poorly healing wound from the surgery, so he’s set back again. achillies injuries are very hard to predict, so signing thome to the thier 1bman is a very smart move by the phils. no way to know when howard will be back or what kind of workload he can handle when he does.

  60. versonine March 3rd, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    23 minutes…

  61. Ys Guy March 3rd, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    i’m one who is very skeptical about montero ever being more than a hitter wearing catching gear, but you can’t fault a catcher for being hit on foul tips. there’s no way a catcher can react fast enough to catch or block most foul tips. it has nothing to do with ability (or lack thereof) to catch.

  62. DONNYBROOK March 3rd, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    No way Thome plays at 1B onna consistent basis for the Phils. He physically will break down. Rumor has it the Phils brought Thome him in to see Dr. Greg House, and after a thorough examination of Thome, House just threw his hands up and said, ” I am not the droid you’re looking for”.

  63. luis March 3rd, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Ys Guy March 3rd, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Have you seen Montero Play?

  64. randy l. March 3rd, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Y’s guy

    As long as it’s not while the catcher is blinking foul tips are very easy to catch :)

  65. Jerkface March 3rd, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Right behind home plate \o/

  66. DONNYBROOK March 3rd, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    I seem to recall the Montero Huggers around here claiming Montero “would hit”, Not “be hit”. Guess the Scouts slumin’ it here missed that one.

  67. luis March 3rd, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Play ball guys!!

  68. Bronx Jeers March 3rd, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    That photo of Ibanez was published here before he even showed up to camp. Do you need for me to explain to you how that’s possible?

  69. luis March 3rd, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Y’s guy,

    I meant the question honestly, just want to know your take about the kid behind the plate.

  70. GreenBeret7 March 3rd, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Until Howard is healthy enough to play, Philadelpia will rotate John Mayberry and Thome at first base. Mayberry, like his father came up as a first baseman. Unlike his dad, though, he has speed plus a good amount of power.

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