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


Pregame notes: Rodriguez comes home, Girardi comes back

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Gameday Thread on Apr 01, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

In very different ways, this two-game series in Miami is something of a homecoming for both Joe Girardi and Alex Rodriguez. For Girardi, this is the franchise that gave him his start as a manager, and opening a new ballpark feels likes a significant step in making the Marlins a more powerful presence in the city.

“I think it was important for them to get their own home,” Girardi said. “Because I think for at times they were losing players that they probably would have liked to have held onto just because they didn’t have the revenue sources, so I think it’s really important for the organization. I think everyone saw what they did in free agency, which they haven’t been able to do for a while. I think it’s good for the organization. I think it’s good for the community.”

For Rodriguez, it’s a true return to the city where he grew up and the city where he still lives in the offseason. Rodriguez said he remembers coming into this neighborhood often as a kid, trying to sneak into the old Orange Bowl to watch football games.

“I don’t want to be corny or cheesy because it is a spring training game and all that,” Rodriguez said. “But for me this is a very special day. I grew up in these streets, in these square blocks, taking three or four buses to get to the University of Miami football games, trying to sneak into the Orange Bowl to either watch Dan Marino or Gino Torretta back in the day. I never imagined, as a child, that such a beautiful stadium would be built in the middle of Miami. I’m certainly very proud of the city of Miami and the Marlins to be able to achieve this in my home town.”

Rodriguez said his old high school coach is coming to tomorrow’s game, and he’ll have a lot of friends and family — including his two daughters — at today’s game. He had chances to tour the stadium as it was being built this winter, but he intentionally skipped those opportunities to see it for the first time this weekend.

• Girardi said he expects this to his Opening Day lineup on Friday. No real surprises, but there was some uncertainty about whether Nick Swisher or Raul Ibanez would be batting sixth. Obviously Swisher got the spot ahead of Ibanez.

• The Yankees plan to announce their Opening Day roster before Thursday’s off day. “I think we’ll probably have discussions over the next few days,” Giradri said. “You want to let guys know where they’re going and make sure they’re prepared for their season. I wouldn’t really want to do it Thursday afternoon. I would expect to do it before that.”

• Girardi said Larry Rothschild knows a set pitch count for CC Sabathia, but Girardi didn’t know it. Based on previous conversations, it sounds like he’ll go somewhere around four innings or so. “It will not be 95 or 100 (pitches),” Girardi said. “It will be somewhat abbreviated. Each guy is going to be a little bit different, discussions with Larry and what they feel that they need and how much they want.”

• None of Adam Warren, D.J. Mitchell or David Phelps made the trip to Miami. I believe Phelps and Mitchell will join the team in Port St. Lucie on Tuesday, but ultimately the Yankees seem ready to choose their long man based on previous outings. Girardi said all that’s left is to talk to his staff. They don’t need to see anything more from those three, but clearly one of them will make the team.

• As long as he feels good, Andy Pettitte will pitch in some capacity on Thursday’s off day. The Yankees have ruled out the possibility of him pitching in Wednesday’s spring finale, which seemed possible just a few days ago. “I don’t think it’s a setback at all,” Girardi said. “We’re just keeping him on a five-day rotation, that’s all. We would have had to ask him to come back a day early, and we just don’t feel that that’s really a good idea.”

• Today’s available pitchers: CC Sabathia, Mariano Rivera, Rafael Soriano, Cory Wade, Clay Rapada, George Kontos, Brandon Pinder, Mark Montgomery, Juan Cedeno and Pat Venditte

• Today’s second string: C Francisco Cervelli, 1B Eric Chavez, 2B Doug Bernier, SS Eduardo Nunez, 3B Bill Hall, LF Chris Dickerson, CF Dewayne Wise and RF Justin Maxwell

Associated Press photos

 
 

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22 Responses to “Pregame notes: Rodriguez comes home, Girardi comes back”

  1. jacksquat April 1st, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    • Girardi said he expects this to his Opening Day lineup on Friday. No real surprises, but there was some uncertainty about whether Nick Swisher or Raul Ibanez would be batting sixth. Obviously Swisher got the spot ahead of Ibanez

    Should have been a no brainer.

  2. jacksquat April 1st, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    With only 4 spring training games left, shouldn’t the position players start getting used to playing 9 innings?

  3. CountryClub April 1st, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Yanks picked up a failed infielder from the Pirates in Feb named Andury Acevedo and are letting him pitch. Josh Norris just tweeted that he was throwing mid 90′s today with a nasty slider. I assume they’ll have him pitching out of the pen. Not sure which level, though.

  4. RadioKev April 1st, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Ah, didn’t catch that i didn’t post the article. I was just gearing up to do my taxes, guess my mind was on that.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04.....=1&hp

  5. yankeefeminista April 1st, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Acevedo is the pitching project who last Monday, Piliere had topping out at 98 mph and sitting consistently at 95-97.

  6. yankeefeminista April 1st, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Acevedo’s been a pitcher for about a month.

    Et tu, Tino? http://twitter.com/#!/martinezT24

  7. Rich in NJ April 1st, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Despite all the rotation composition questions, it usually seems that they work themselves out. This year is no different. Let’s hope it becomes a lot more difficult when Pettitte is ready.

  8. luis April 1st, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Good afternoon everyone,

    Randy I,

    I spent the last half an hour scrolling the previous threads. I must say that it is very hard to argue with you. Very good posts and very logical conclusions. Again as said to Pat M last night, when you guys talk, i listen. Kudos

    Hi pruf, Yankeefem et al if you are still around.

  9. luis April 1st, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Rich in NJ April 1st, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Despite all the rotation composition questions, it usually seems that they work themselves out. This year is no different. Let’s hope it becomes a lot more difficult when Pettitte is ready.

    ========================

    Hi Rich,

    Spot on on both counts. I wonder if Cashman knew something was wrong when they decided to sign Andy. The good thing about this injury is that it gives time to Pineda to work on his Cu out of the spot light. It gives chances to Phelps, Warren and Mitchell to prove their worth, because they will have more chances to pitch in the bigs. Which in turn raises their trade value or they actually could win a job with the team.

  10. G. Love April 1st, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Wow. I’ve seen some of my quotes parsed since the reaction the other night to the news Pineda had shoulder problems.

    And he does have shoulder problems. If he didn’t have shoulder problems, methinks he’d be in the Yankee rotation throwing bullets, right?

    There’s something not right with his shoulder. That’s a fact.

    First off to Pat M – Cashman compared Montero after the trade to Piazza and Miguel Cabrera. In print. On TV & radio. I, and others, didn’t make that up. I don’t believe he did it to offer an ice cream cone to Seattle fans as you suggest. How do you know you’re right? Do you know the man? I realize you have some connections but I doubt you have direct knowledge that he was comparing Montero to 2 All Star bats because he felt he robbed the poor Mariners. Maybe in his dreams he robbed them.

    Cashman also set the bar incredibly high for Pineda by comparing Montero to those players. If Pineda didn’t prove he was worth 2 of the best RH bats of the last 10 or so years he’s a bust based on what the GM said.

    As for Cashman having enough pitching to not make the Pineda deal, he did. He had Kuroda. Andy was showing interest in coming back. Noesi was prepared to step up. He was throwing “98″ in the winter leagues and appearing to be ready for the back of the rotation at the very least. Phelps, Warren & Mitchell all look capable of doing at worst what AJ did last season and maybe one of them might have developed into something approaching Nova given the chance. Can the Yankees even scout their own pitchers?

    The Yankees made the choice that the guy they brought up to NY in September who was hitting the ball with authority and had their own veterans standing on the top step of the dugout to watch his at bats (I was at the games and the vets were all doing this when Montero came to the plate) needed to be shipped out of NY for a pitcher who had elbow problems in the past and only threw well in his 1st half season in the majors.

    There were red flags on Pineda and now there will be more since no one knows how his shoulder will bounce back into shape during rehab. Hughes didn’t get his velocity back with 6 weeks of rehab in the Florida sun. It took awhile and he’s still trying to catch up development wise.

    The fact that Pineda is sitting it out right now with shoulder problems is a pretty much worst case scenario for our GM. The only thing worse would be a tear or the elbow needing TJ at this point.

    If you believe you have “Piazza & Cabrera” in a young cost controlled player and you trade him, you better get something of a sure thing back.

    There are loads of question marks with Pineda as it stands. Why did he show up out of shape? Is his arm sound? Is this the Verducci effect? Where’s the velocity he lost at mid season in Seattle that hasn’t yet returned?

    The only question marks the M’s have with Montero is do we let him catch a little or just DH him or give him a 1b mitt if Smoak doesn’t pan out. The guy will hit. We saw it in September. That wasn’t a power pulling display a la Shane Spencer/Kevin Maas. He wasn’t just hitting HR’s. He was barreling up the ball like not many guys can on this team and he was going to all fields with power.

    I’m pulling for Pineda. I want him to be a beast. I’m just not sure our GM knows jack about scouting his own pitching or another’s pitching. He sacrificed a lot, in my opinion, for Pineda and he deserves all the criticism as well as credit he gets for this move in the now and in the future.

  11. yankeefeminista April 1st, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Hi Luis! I’m watching an important hockey game, but peeking in; I’ll watch Yanks simultaneously, but they’ll be on the computer today.

    Rich, would that it were the same for the hitting; Trenton and SWB are so barren that my AA and AAA minor league sched solely revolves around what pitchers are pitching.

  12. Rich in NJ April 1st, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Luis!!!

    My guess is no. I think Pettitte, both with his track record and being LH, was too compelling an option to turn down. Plus, you know, there’s the “you can never have too much pitching” thing.

    From Girardi’s comments, I think they realized that Pineda’s innings load last season might hinder him, but they have been surprised by the extent of the issues that have arisen.

    There probably were red flags early on. Whether or not they saw them but prefer not to comment on them, remains an uknown.

    I agree with you that there is a silver lining to Pineda’s injury. They can take it very slow with him, nurture his change, and then not bring him up until he is running on all cylinders.

  13. Crawdaddy April 1st, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Just fire Cashman and get on with it!

  14. luis April 1st, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    he team.
    G. Love April 1st, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++1

    Very good post, the only thing that i don’t agree with, is the part that Cashman should get any credit if Pineda becomes a beast. I’ll use an analogy to explain myself: “If you jump out of an airplane without a parachute, you are going to die. If you survive, it was sheer luck and it doesn’t make the jump the right call”.

  15. Rich in NJ April 1st, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    yf

    Alas.

    It’s all in Charleston, right? We need the current group to hold the fort for like three years on offense, and be smart about the money they pay marginal players so that they have some payroll flexibility until then.

    Also, if their high end pitching performs as expected, they should have some trade chips. The key will be to self-scout.

  16. randy l. April 1st, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    luis-

    i spent a lot of boring repetitive time with pitchers for sometimes hundreds of hours throwing with them as they rehabbed from injuries.

    i have a few instincts that i’ve developed over the years, but no one knows exactly how to develop and maintain pitching health.

    i juts absolutely know the yankees don’t have a clue how to do it. they’re just winging it. people ask how could someone outside the system know more than they do?

    i don’t, but i can tell when something isn’t working.

    it’s the same way the head of the federal reserve bernanke let the US economy be run right into the ground with all the shenanigans with the housing industry and the subprime market.

    experts screw up sometimes.

    i always say “question authority” in every walk of life.

    now this drives some people crazy here on this blog because they don’t live their life that way.

    but the fact is that when you get into almost anything as an outsider you see things that are surprising.

    as regular people we can’t look into everything. there has to be some trust of authority, but the fact is i at one time got pretty close to what was going on on the yankee system and it was not “rocket surgery” they were doing .

    it was a long time ago( early 90′s), but for years i was throwing every day in the winter with the bullpen catcher, #1 batting practice pitcher, and video coordinator. this was all one person.

    yes, times have changed, but not so much that i don’t see that they’re still doing it with smoke and mirrors sometimes.

    foe some people without the experience i can see it’s easier to just blindly trust the yankees. it is entertainment after all, but i’ve seen behind the curtain enough to know that the present yankee hierarchy is not as sharp as it should be considering their resources.

    the yankees really have to take a more critical look at themselves as far as developing young pitchers.

  17. randy l. April 1st, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    “I’m pulling for Pineda. I want him to be a beast.”

    i second that.

  18. Rich in NJ April 1st, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    “it’s the same way the head of the federal reserve bernanke let the US economy be run right into the ground with all the shenanigans with the housing industry and the subprime market.”

    Started much earlier. That’s all I’m going to say

  19. randy l. April 1st, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    “Started much earlier. That’s all I’m going to say”

    alan greenspan wasn’t an innocent either.

    where my analogy falls short is i see how bankers make money even when the system falls apart.

    i’m not sure how the yankees make money with their young pitchers falling apart.

    my bigger message is just simply that experts are sometimes totally wrong on things they shouldn’t be.

  20. luis April 1st, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Randy I,

    I played ball but just on HS and a little in college, because i got hurt ( shoulder ), so i don’t have the insight that you have. In short i am just a fan. But what you say is troubling in my mind. If they don’t have a clue about it (I know is an inexact science), then they should reassess their policies in view of their constant failures ( pitching side ). To be fair, i think they are trying to do a better job with the next wave of talent, and they certainly can show some cases of success ( Nova, Drob, ).

    But the trade showed IMO, that they are a little missguided, for me the logical premises where this:

    1) Pitching was the Yankees strength, they had plenty of arms in the minors.
    2) They only ha one bat that could help in the near future
    3) Pitching talent is riskier
    4) They have an aging offense

    As i have stated earlier, Management should try to enhance both strengths and weaknesses, but never enhance a strength at the expense of a witness because it makes you vulnerable.

    I think they did this in this trade. That’s why i think the trade was wrong regardless if Pineda turns out to be a beast. It was philosophically wrong, regardless of results.

    I do hope that they learn form this, and that Pineda becomes the ace that we are all hoping for.

  21. luis April 1st, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    randy I,

    I am posting here because i don’t want to clog the game thread with this. My previous post more than to complain is to ask you where to i have it wrong in your view?…Am i missing something?

  22. randy l. April 1st, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    ” If they don’t have a clue about it (I know is an inexact science), then they should reassess their policies in view of their constant failures ( pitching side ). To be fair, i think they are trying to do a better job with the next wave of talent, and they certainly can show some cases of success ( Nova, Drob, ).”

    luis-

    i agree they are doing a better job with being patient with the two B”S.

    i had said that i though they would rush pineda at his expense so they could take their time with baneulos and betances.

    the problem as i see it is that cashman has too many yes men kissing up to him. there simply isn’t enough independent thinking in the organization.

    they mess up with pineda and they just do PR damage control and move on

    so do their supporters. it’s crazy. the yankees need to be held accountable how they burn young pitchers that they rush.

    as far as trading an ofensive player like montero for a young pitcher like pineada, i agree with you and would not do it.

    pineda is going to be a lightning rod for discussion for a long time. i really think he’s going to be a high maintenance guy who is going to need a lot of supervision.

    he’s already having tears when facing problems. i feel bad for the kid. it’s too much too soon for him.

    let’s hope this set back is a blessing in disguise.


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