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Winter ball updates: Nunez at third, Mustelier in center, Garcia on the radar

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jan 11, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

A few updates on Yankees playing winter ball, where teams have entered into the postseason.

Eduardo Nunez played in 12 regular season games in the Dominican Winter League, and in the last four he started at third base. A team source said the Yankees were fine with the decision to use Nunez at third, but they did not specifically ask the team to play him at third. Nunez has played in only three postseason games — he’s not hurt, just hasn’t been playing every day – all of them back at shortstop.

• A mild whiplash scare didn’t keep Francisco Cervelli from putting up a .305/.432/.525 slash line in Venezuela. He’s expected to rejoin his winter league team but has yet to appear in a postseason game. Even during the regular season, Cervelli basically split time behind the plate with Jesus Flores and Carlos Maldonado.

Adonis Garcia, an under-the-radar prospect out of Cuba, reached Double-A last season, then hit .292/.319/.481 this winter in Puerto Rico. He was off to a solid start in the postseason — four hits including a home run in the first four games — before some tightness in his quad forced him to the bench. Yankees vice president of baseball operations Mark Newman says the injury is “not serious” and that Garcia is worth watching. He can play all three outfield positions, and the Yankees believe he can hit, especially against lefties.

• Speaking of Puerto Rico, one of the Yankees top infield prospects, Angelo Gumbs, was one of Garcia’s teammates in Puerto Rico. Gumbs was basically the second base backup to Royals utility infielder Irving Falu, who’s from Puerto Rico and played second pretty much every day this winter. Gumbs held his own, though, getting into 13 games and hitting .306/.333/.472. Someone said in the blog comments or in an email – can’t remember which – that Gumbs is listed somewhere as being a shortstop in Puerto Rico. That may be true, but all of his time in the field has come at second base.

• Generally viewed as a four-corners utility player, Ronnier Mustelier actually finished the Mexican Winter League regular season as the everyday center fielder for Culiacan (he was the team’s regular third baseman through most of the season). Mustelier hit .284/.345/.471 in the regular season, then hit .385/.500/.692 during a four-game sweep in the first-round of the playoffs. He started at third base for two of those playoff games and in center field for the other two.

Melky Mesa got into just 14 games during the Dominican League regular season, but in that limited playing time he managed 12 RBI, in part because he slugged .482 with five doubles, a triple and two home runs. He’s gotten into only one playoff game and went 3-for-5 with a double and a home run. Just like Nunez, Mesa is not healthy, just not playing regularly.

• A kind of fringey utility prospect, Jose Pirela had a strong Double-A season last year and followed it by hitting .264/.345/.373 as a regular second baseman in Venezuela. He moved to left field late in the season and has mostly stayed through into the playoffs. He’s hitting .304/.429/.435 through seven postseason games.

• Left-handed reliever Juan Cedeno, who was plucked out of obscurity last winter and had a strong Triple-A season, pitched to a 3.48 ERA and .228 opponents’ batting average in the Dominican this winter. Problem is, lefties actually hit .292/.419/.292 against him (righties hit just .208/.279/.260).

• Strong winter for 24-year-old Preston Claiborne, who had a 3.04 ERA and held opponents to a .190 average in Puerto Rico. In his final 10 innings, Claiborne allowed two runs on seven hits, one walk and 12 strikeouts. Both of the runs and four of the hits came in his final outing.

• One of the organization’s wild cards is lefty Vidal Nuno, who signed out of independent ball in 2011, had a 2.45 ERA in 20 Double-A starts last season, and has now pitched to a 2.52 ERA and .193 opponents’ batting average in the Venezuelan Winter League. Nuno worked out of the bullpen this winter and had a 4-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He doesn’t fit the typical prospect profile, but at 25 years old there’s a chance he has enough upside to at least be a big league candidate as a left-handed reliever in the near future.

• Another lefty is Francisco Rondon, who does qualify as a prospect after being added to the 40-man roster this offseason. He had 11 strikeouts in just 5.2 innings in the Dominican this winter, but he also walked four and allowed seven hits. He’s pitched one hitless, scoreless, walkless inning in the postseason. Needs to add some control, but Rondon does have a big arm and should be ready for Triple-A this season.

• Zach Arneson, the Yankees ninth-round pick in 2011, missed almost all of last season with neck and shoulder issues. This winter he went to Australia — of all places – and has thrived with a 0.56 ERA, 19 strikeouts, six walks and four hits allowed through 16 innings of relief. The one earned run he’s allowed actually scored on someone else’s watch.

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48 Responses to “Winter ball updates: Nunez at third, Mustelier in center, Garcia on the radar”

  1. trisha - true pinstriped blue January 11th, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    repost:

    mick – yesterday I was about to give grudging praise to the MLB for its latest drug policy – until you said it was already in the CBA and they just waited to announce it. Now I see them as the same losers as always. With all the crap going on, they obviously knew their backs were against the wall. So they had to do something. Instead of announcing it ahead of time, they waited for the vote to come in, probably thinking some of the crud cheaters would be voted in, so they could then announce the plan and explain that it would be the only way to get rid of the cloud of suspicion. In other words, instead of doing it with any integrity and letting the chips fall where they may, they took the easy way out and waited for the vote. MO, anyway.

  2. RMS January 11th, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Eduardo Nunez played in 12 regular season games in the Dominican Winter League, and in the last four he started at third base. A team source said the Yankees were fine with the decision to use Nunez at third, but they did not specifically ask the team to play him at third.
    ——————————————————————————————————
    Do the Yankees know what they want to do with Nunez? They had been saying he would only be used at short. Then Cashman says he will be a utility player, but they didn’t ask his team to play him at third. This sounds similar to what they did with Joba.
    If they want Nunez to be a utility player, play him at different positions.

  3. Rich in NJ January 11th, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    “Do the Yankees know what they want to do with Nunez? ”

    I think they know what they want (a supersub), but they haven’t been willing to pay the price to achieve it.

  4. blake January 11th, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    @JimBowdenESPNxm: Red Sox would like to shorten their deal with Napoli to one-year to make sure the hip will be ok for 2 or 3 seasons without a lot of DL time

    Typical sox

  5. blake January 11th, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Id certainly like Napoli for one year too

  6. Rich in NJ January 11th, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    That’s the tactic Lucchino used with Drew.

  7. The Return of Stoneburner January 11th, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    someone said in the blog comments or in an email – can’t remember which – that Gumbs is listed somewhere as being a shortstop in Puerto Rico.

    *****

    I am hurt Chad that you do not remember it was me – - – -

  8. austinmac January 11th, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    So, Stone, the bad info was from you? :)

  9. The Return of Stoneburner January 11th, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Ken Rosenthal ?@Ken_Rosenthal
    Why Morse makes sense for #RedSox. Story: http://mlbbuzz.yardbarker.com/....._post=true

    ****

    No no no no – - – - -

  10. austinmac January 11th, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Sign him for a year Yankees and he can repay the Sox.

  11. austinmac January 11th, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    I keep repeating ” We’re not done yet” and then the image of chubby Juan Rivera comes to mind. Make it stop.

  12. The Return of Stoneburner January 11th, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    Trailer for the Jackie Robinson movie – - – -

    http://www.aintitcool.com/node/60296

  13. blake January 11th, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    Morse doesn’t make any sense for Boston unless Napoli falls through

  14. austinmac January 11th, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Napoli may fall through at one year. He may be plenty peeved unless the medical is pretty troubling.

  15. blake January 11th, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    Unless the medicals are a real concern….Id rather sign Napoli for a year than trade for morse…..

  16. Rich in NJ January 11th, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Yeah, that conserves their limited player personnel assets.

  17. blake January 11th, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    At some point if im Napoli I say….screw you Boston Im going to look elsewhere

  18. Shame Spencer January 11th, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    blake January 11th, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    At some point if im Napoli I say….screw you Boston Im going to look elsewhere

    ————–

    Dude, if I’m Napoli I’m telling my agent to get the Rangers and Yanks on the horn right now. Even if you need to take a big money one year deal, it might be worth it to not play for those asshats.

  19. blake January 11th, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    For real…, unless of course his hip is really screwed up

  20. The Return of Stoneburner January 11th, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Yankeesource ?@YankeeSource
    @jerktweets Yankees have found excellent relievers over the years for cheap. No reason to doubt them on that.

    *****

    Nodding head – - – -

  21. The Return of Stoneburner January 11th, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    Yankeesource ?@YankeeSource
    @jcelizarraras Phelps, Aardsma, Joba, Robertson, Logan, Rapada, Eppley. They aren’t going to add any more middle relievers.

    4h Yankeesource ?@YankeeSource
    You would test your luck by spending on mid-relief in FA? That never works. RT @jcelizarraras b/c we have been just lucky with them.

    4h Yankeesource ?@YankeeSource
    Yankees have one of the better bullpens in baseball. Why spend on middle relief? RT @jcelizarraras With the $ we have, better mid relief.

  22. joeman January 11th, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    blake January 11th, 2013 at 6:47 pm
    Morse doesn’t make any sense for Boston unless Napoli falls through

    —————————————–
    if they can turn Napoli to a 1 year deal ..then Morse will make sence

  23. Shame Spencer January 11th, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    blake January 11th, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    For real…, unless of course his hip is really screwed up

    ——————

    All I know is that if I’m Mrs. Napoli, I’m starting to get pretty antsy right now. Happy wife, happy life. Take a big one year pay day and figure out where you’re gonna live next season asap.

  24. Shame Spencer January 11th, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    ?@MarcCarig

    Sources say the Mets are again interested in trading for Justin Upton. But it’s a longshot that they’ll give up enough prospects for a deal.

    —————

    If the METS sign Justin Upton my head will explode. You will need to wipe Shame’s brain off this blog.

  25. Nick in SF January 11th, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    I was hoping to see Montero’s name in the Seattle Upton package for just that result, but alas, it was not to be.

  26. mick January 11th, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    yeah trish not sure why no one else picked up on that but like many non responses here we can only imagine…

    …looked like a strategic move to announce “new” drug policy and lead sheep to believe it was an innovative idea in lieu of the recent HOF shutout.

    another knee jerk reaction like making the ASG count for HFA.

    merely was an implication of the original CBA….timing is everything.

  27. mick January 11th, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    it might be worth it to not play for those asshats.
    ===============================
    have to look up the origins of that word.

  28. Rich in NJ January 11th, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    Yankee Source isn’t fooling anyone.

  29. mick January 11th, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    Urban Dictionary: asshat
    http://www.urbandictionary.com.....erm=asshat
    One who has their head up their ass. Thus wearing their ass as a hat. Asshat.
    =================================
    seems like you can buy these hats online.

  30. blake January 11th, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    —————————————–
    “if they can turn Napoli to a 1 year deal ..then Morse will make sence”

    Where will he play? Their outfield is full….Ortiz is the DH…..morse could play 1B I guess when Napoli catches and play a little outfield but seems redundant to trade for him if they sign Napoli

  31. blake January 11th, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    On clubhouse confidential they compared Mussina and Glavine and I was pretty surprised at how favorably moose stacked up…..better in pretty much everything but wins

  32. mick January 11th, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    when mussina retired he was considerd a longshot for the Hall.
    now he is strongly considered.
    sez who?
    the media?
    they love their power…some should be taken away.

  33. blake January 11th, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    “when mussina retired he was considerd a longshot for the Hall.
    now he is strongly considered.”

    When you compare his numbers to guys that are in they compare favorably…..and he pitched his entire career in the AL and the PED era.

    He never really felt like a HOFer to me when he played…..but he was very good for a long time and as time goes by the numbers tend to speak louder than memories of watching them.

    Mussina had more Ks, a better ERA , better ERA + and better WHIP than Glavine…..and Glavine pitched in the NL and is considered a first ballot lock guy by most

  34. tomingeorgia January 11th, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    “Wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin’
    Plannin’ and dreamin’ each night” defines lohud in midwinter, this year and every year. I can hardly wait until there’s a real game tomorrow, even if it’s just Spring Training.

  35. Rich in NJ January 11th, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    I think Mussina is also a “victim” of media not liking him because he comes off as aloof. That can matter in close cases like him, but his body type may help him now.

  36. blake January 11th, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    Mussina’s personality kinda made him easy to forget also….he just consistently was really really good….never the best pitcher in baseball but was one of the best for years.

  37. joeman January 11th, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    blake January 11th, 2013 at 7:50 pm
    —————————————–
    “if they can turn Napoli to a 1 year deal ..then Morse will make sence”

    Where will he play? Their outfield is full….Ortiz is the DH…..morse could play 1B I guess when Napoli catches and play a little outfield but seems redundant to trade for him if they sign Napoli

    ——————————————-
    Morse is better than any LFer they have now..

  38. blake January 11th, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    ——————————————-
    “Morse is better than any LFer they have now..”

    But they are paying them ….they just gave Victorino 39 million bucks

  39. austinmac January 11th, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    The pitchers who no one suspects of PEDs, Maddux, Glavine and Mussina will all get bonus Hall votes for succeeding against the PED sluggers.

  40. joeman January 11th, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    right now J Gomez is their starting LFer…backed up by Nava

  41. blake January 11th, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    joeman says:
    January 11, 2013 at 8:32 pm
    right now J Gomez is their starting LFer…backed up by Nava

    Morse is a pretty bad outfielder…..I just think he’s redundant with what they have if try sign Napoli….now if they don’t…. Different story

  42. joeman January 11th, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    blake January 11th, 2013 at 8:35 pm
    joeman says:
    January 11, 2013 at 8:32 pm
    right now J Gomez is their starting LFer…backed up by Nava

    Morse is a pretty bad outfielder…..I just think he’s redundant with what they have if try sign Napoli….now if they don’t…. Different story
    ———————
    all I said if they can get Napoli to do a 1 year contract Morse wouldn’t be a bad add in a trade…play OF,1st base and DH

  43. blake January 11th, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    austinmac says:
    January 11, 2013 at 8:31 pm
    The pitchers who no one suspects of PEDs, Maddux, Glavine and Mussina will all get bonus Hall votes for succeeding against the PED sluggers.

    Yup……I think the saber crowd will really benefit Mussina ….and more and more writers and listening to them….

  44. blake January 11th, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    “all I said if they can get Napoli to do a 1 year contract Morse wouldn’t be a bad add in a trade…play OF,1st base and DH”

    Yea but he’d be a luxury for them more or less….in mean they could…..just think it makes a lot more sense if naopli falls through

  45. Hassey January 11th, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    I ended up seeing Guidry pitch against Scott McGregor an inordinate amount of times and then the same with Mussina and Pedro. I guarantee you Pedro hated starting against Mussina- Moose always seemed to be on Against Boston, especially when he still threw hard. Saw him blow some people away in early ’00s, like the game where Pedro put Soriano AND Jete in hospital but Moose dominated and Yanks won anyway on eventual Walker error at 2b in Ninth

  46. jacksquat January 11th, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    JackCurryYES Nugget from Yogi Berra or @Yogi_Museum: He looked to bunt. If infielders were giving him a freebie hit, Yogi felt it was his duty to take it

    pls forward to Mark Teixeira.

  47. Pat M. January 11th, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    Looks like The Knickerbockers ( – 5 ) are going to extend my losing streak to 4 games with The Lakers on deck getting 6 at home. I think The Moose gets the invite to Copperstown in 2015. Freaking Carl Everett

  48. The Return of Stoneburner January 11th, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    The Moose gets the invite to Copperstown in 2015. Freaking Carl Everett

    ********

    SMH with anger – - – -

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoLh73UJbpI

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