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Look who’s coming to camp: Corner infielders

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Feb 02, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Seems silly to lump first basemen with shortstops just because they both play in the infield. Based on the current makeup of the Yankees roster, there’s some legitimacy to putting first basemen and third basemen together for a list like this.

40-MAN ROSTER
Assuming health, we know the Yankees starting corner infielders are already on the 40-man roster.

David Adams
Although he can play second base, the Yankees expect Adams to be the regular third baseman in Triple-A. Finally healthy, he’s coming off a terrific year in Double-A and the Arizona Fall League.
Alex Rodriguez
Won’t be playing in spring training, which doesn’t mean he won’t get as much attention as anyone.
Mark Teixeira
The Yankees starting first baseman has four years left on his contract.
Kevin Youkilis
Former Red Sox third baseman was signed after the Yankees found out about Rodriguez’s latest hip problem. Trying to rebound from a bad 2012.

MINOR LEAGUE FREE AGENTS
Clearly the Yankees didn’t focus much offseason attention on minor league corner infielders. They did sign one, though. 

Dan Johnson
The left-handed hitter has played a little bit of third base, but he’s mostly a first baseman and designated hitter. Has some power. Has spent time in the big leagues in seven of the past eight seasons.

ORGANIZATIONAL PROSPECTS
All of the minor league infielders the Yankees invited to camp are generally considered either middle infielders or first basemen (or outfielders in the case of Ronnier Mustelier and Rob Segedin).

Greg Bird
Drafted as a catcher, the Yankees now consider Bird a full-time first baseman. Probably heading for Low-A. Nowhere near the big leagues. Surprised he was invited, but only because he’s so far away. Legit young hitter.
Luke Murton
Led the minor league system in home runs last year. Spent all of last season in Double-A. Will Johnson take away an opportunity in Triple-A this year?
Kyle Roller
Kind of similar to Murton in that he hits for good power but has never been considered a huge prospect. Spent last year in High-A.

COULD SEE TIME AT THE POSITION
Naturally there are a lot of players who aren’t necessarily considered corner infielders who could see some time at the corners at some point. Russ Canzler could fit into this group if he clears waivers and stays with the Yankees.

Jayson Nix
Probably considered more of a shortstop, but will need to play all over the infield to have a chance at winning back his big league utility job.
Eduardo Nunez
Is he really restricted to shortstop at this point? Yankees might have to see whether he deserves another shot at a utility role.
Corban Joseph

A second baseman by trade, he has also spent a little bit of time at third. Showed good power last season and versatility could be the key to a big league job.
Travis Hafner
Pure speculation, but I wonder if the Yankees might want to give him a few reps at first base. They generally like at least a little defensive flexibility from their regular DH.
Ramon Flores
Probably won’t happen in big league camp because of all the other options, but Flores — generally a left fielder — does have experience at first.
Juan Rivera
In camp to try to win a job as a right-handed outfielder. Primarily played first base last year in Los Angeles.
J.R. Murphy
Young catcher who’s played some third base in the minors. And I believe he played at third at one point in big league camp last year when he was called up from minor league camp for a day.
Ronnier Mustelier

Listed as an outfielder, but certainly could be considered a third baseman.
Rob Segedin
Converted from third base to the outfield last year, but still got some time at third.
Gil Velazquez
Has an outside shot at the utility job, so he’ll probably move all around as well. There are other minor league middle infielders who can play third, but there’s little reason for them to do so in big league camp.

Associated Press photo

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29 Responses to “Look who’s coming to camp: Corner infielders”

  1. Against All Odds February 2nd, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    But he has been trying to do that for 7 years, and since that time, not one impact position player or top of the rotation starting pitcher has been integrated on to the roster (Cano came before).

    ————————-

    Ppl see it as bashing but it’s not. He fought for power, got it, and told everyone the system was going to be a pipeline for talent. Seven yrs later and we’re still waiting.

  2. Shame Spencer February 2nd, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    G. Love February 2nd, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    Tex’s comments in that article (not to mention he made them to a Wall Street Journal reporter) are exactly why I’ll never warm up to the guy.

    If Arod made those comments the fanbase would be after him with a pitchfork.

    The guy just set the bar low for the remainder of his playing days as a Yankee. He basically told you it’s hard being the guy who I was to get this contract and I’m getting worse so deal with it better please.

    Jeter should slap him when he sees him this spring.

    When Jeter couldn’t hit a ball out of the infield and people were questioning him daily if he was done, he never once said “well it’s hard to hit well and I’m old, so back off everyone”.

    I can’t ever think of a Yankee in my life who made such a ridiculous comment about what to expect from them going forward.

    He’s the epitome of a guy who got his money and rested on his laurels.

    Say what you want about Arod, but he goes to every means out there to still try to be the best. Yeah, the PED’s were part of it, but the guy trains like an athlete and is always working on his hitting and ways to improve it.

    Tex is happy with who he is. Fabulous. You’re a shadow of the player you were in 2009 and have declined during your prime years which is a feat all unto itself.

    He’s the albatross contract.

    —————————————–

    GLove keeping it real.

    If Tex is going to focus on his strengths as blake suggested, then we better be getting at least 35 HRs from the guy. He’s never hit more than 43 in his career and if he’s going to just be a slugger with a low average, he better start slugging.

  3. Against All Odds February 2nd, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    I’m not sure that I understand your connection of the mistake with Joba to Melky and Montero.

    ———————-

    Joba not being handled well had some what of a chain reaction. They were looking at him to be their Beckett/Verlander. Because they felt he wasn’t great in 09 they made the decision to put him in the pen way before they actually did it. As a result they needed another starter and targeted Javy. They traded Melky and others for him. Javy bombs and the Yankees are short on pitching over the next couple of seasons. They target Pineda and use Montero to get him. Pineda was suppose to be that guy behind CC just like Joba was suppose to be. If Joba reaches his ceiling to go along with CC, Hughes, Nova, Andy, etc. Do they make the trade for Pineda? Hell do they even sign Kuroda.

  4. Ghostwriter February 2nd, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Against All Odds February 2nd, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    I’m not sure that I understand your connection of the mistake with Joba to Melky and Montero.

    ———————-

    Joba not being handled well had some what of a chain reaction. They were looking at him to be their Beckett/Verlander. Because they felt he wasn’t great in 09 they made the decision to put him in the pen way before they actually did it. As a result they needed another starter and targeted Javy. They traded Melky and others for him. Javy bombs and the Yankees are short on pitching over the next couple of seasons. They target Pineda and use Montero to get him. Pineda was suppose to be that guy behind CC just like Joba was suppose to be. If Joba reaches his ceiling to go along with CC, Hughes, Nova, Andy, etc. Do they make the trade for Pineda? Hell do they even sign Kuroda.
    ================

    I’m sorry, but this argument has too much of a Marty MacFly wrecked the future by leasing a sporting book from the 1980′s in the 1950′s feel to it. You’re basically begging the argument. Even if I accept the assumption that Cashman was compelled to make a series of trades to compensate for Joba washing out as a number-2 starter (which is a heroic assumption), why were these particular players traded, i.e., why was it Melky and Montero? Why not Swisher? Why not somebody else?

  5. Ghostwriter February 2nd, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Typo:

    Marty MacFly wrecked the future by leaving a sporting book from the 1980?s in the 1950?s feel to it

  6. Jerkface February 2nd, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    I dunno GW, it makes sense. The Yankees not hitting immediately on Joba / Hughes / Kennedy led to the Yankees having to put more effort into the pitching staff.

  7. Against All Odds February 2nd, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Ghostwriter February 2nd, 2013 at 2:02 pm
    How could he keep up his end if they had no desire to ever start him again after 2009. In 2011.

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

    The same way that Nova did: By being lights-out when he did get into games, earning more chances to prove that the managment had given up on him to soon, which in turn, could have led to another shot at the rotation when somebody got hurt.

    ——————————–

    Nova was sent down and allowed to actually continue his development.

    Again how could he get another chance to be a starter when they said you’re a reliever and that’s it. He could have walked on water and they wouldn’t have gave him another chance. Do you think if he was lights out as a reliever they would have said ok now be lights out as a starter.

  8. Against All Odds February 2nd, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Ghostwriter February 2nd, 2013 at 2:03 pm
    Against All Odds February 2nd, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    He never really seized his opportunities

    ———————————–

    He wasn’t really given enough opportunities. They even did a dog and pony show in 2010 ST to make it seem like he had a chance. When Joba pitched poorly they critiqued him. But when Hughes pitched poorly they said he gave up “wind aided HRs”
    ————–

    Poor Joba.

    ————–

    Actually it’s poor Yankees they are the ones that have failed miserably at developing pitching. Forget a number 1 or 2 have they even developed a number 3 type pitcher.

  9. Ys Guy February 2nd, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    the kennedy assasination was also actually caused by the joba decision through a complicated twist in the time-space contunuum.

  10. Against All Odds February 2nd, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Ghostwriter February 2nd, 2013 at 1:58 pm
    Against All Odds February 2nd, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    I’m not sure that I understand your connection of the mistake with Joba to Melky and Montero.

    ———————-

    Joba not being handled well had some what of a chain reaction. They were looking at him to be their Beckett/Verlander. Because they felt he wasn’t great in 09 they made the decision to put him in the pen way before they actually did it. As a result they needed another starter and targeted Javy. They traded Melky and others for him. Javy bombs and the Yankees are short on pitching over the next couple of seasons. They target Pineda and use Montero to get him. Pineda was suppose to be that guy behind CC just like Joba was suppose to be. If Joba reaches his ceiling to go along with CC, Hughes, Nova, Andy, etc. Do they make the trade for Pineda? Hell do they even sign Kuroda.
    ================

    I’m sorry, but this argument has too much of a Marty MacFly wrecked the future by leasing a sporting book from the 1980?s in the 1950?s feel to it. You’re basically begging the argument. Even if I accept the assumption that Cashman was compelled to make a series of trades to compensate for Joba washing out as a number-2 starter (which is a heroic assumption), why were these particular players traded, i.e., why was it Melky and Montero? Why not Swisher? Why not somebody else?

    ——————————

    Not just Joba but Hughes and Kennedy as well. Why would they trade an affordable player that the team and FO loved. Cashman usually hangs onto guys that he is high on/emotionally attached to. Look how long he has kept Hughes around despite his short comings.

    And when it comes to offense Cashman feels the offense is good enough to pick up the slack or drop in production. I’m not saying it was a crushing blow trading Melky. I liked him when he was here for the time being.

  11. jmills February 2nd, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    YS, I thought Ted Kennedy was that affable captain for the make beLeafs. What do I kno?

  12. Ghostwriter February 2nd, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Jerkface February 2nd, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    I dunno GW, it makes sense. The Yankees not hitting immediately on Joba / Hughes / Kennedy led to the Yankees having to put more effort into the pitching staff.
    =================

    First, you have to assume that Joba had no role in the Yanks giving up on him, and it was all attributable to Yankee mismanagement. (BTW, this assumption is pretty much the whole ballgame; they are essentially assuming their result. I’ll leave that aside for now.)

    Then, you have to ignore the fact that AJ Burnett had been signed to a rather large contract to be the number-two guy.

    Then you have to ignore the fact that the Yanks traded away a heralded pitching prospect (i.e., Kennedy) for an outfielder.

    Then you also have to ignore the fact that nobody was calling on either Joba or Hughes to be the number-2 guy during this period.

    Then you also have to ignore any number of other transactions that occurred during this period.

    Then I guess that it makes sense. As I said, it’s not terribly persuasive to anybody that wasn’t predisposed to agree in the first place.

  13. Ys Guy February 2nd, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    “Why would they trade an affordable player that the team and FO loved.”
    =======================
    obviously they did not ‘love’ him an his 4a perfomance last year might begin to show why.

  14. Ghostwriter February 2nd, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Against All Odds February 2nd, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Ghostwriter February 2nd, 2013 at 2:03 pm
    Against All Odds February 2nd, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    He never really seized his opportunities

    ———————————–

    He wasn’t really given enough opportunities. They even did a dog and pony show in 2010 ST to make it seem like he had a chance. When Joba pitched poorly they critiqued him. But when Hughes pitched poorly they said he gave up “wind aided HRs”
    ————–

    Poor Joba.

    ————–

    Actually it’s poor Yankees they are the ones that have failed miserably at developing pitching. Forget a number 1 or 2 have they even developed a number 3 type pitcher.
    =============

    Joba is not a victim.

  15. Ghostwriter February 2nd, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Again how could he get another chance to be a starter when they said you’re a reliever and that’s it. He could have walked on water and they wouldn’t have gave him another chance. Do you think if he was lights out as a reliever they would have said ok now be lights out as a starter.

    ======

    I missed the part when Joba walked on water. When did that happen?

  16. jmills February 2nd, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Nice snow up here; hope it persists so that I don’t have to do nada ’till the second coming of today. I could lite a fire but that seems too much work, plus, if I let it Simmmer, Charlie, I might gas meself! :)

  17. Against All Odds February 2nd, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Ys Guy February 2nd, 2013 at 2:28 pm
    “Why would they trade an affordable player that the team and FO loved.”
    =======================
    obviously they did not ‘love’ him an his 4a perfomance last year might begin to show why.

    —————————————

    After 4 yrs sure they got tired of his short comings but they didn’t see him that way when they acquired him.

  18. Against All Odds February 2nd, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    I missed the part when Joba walked on water. When did that happen?

    Joba is not a victim.

    ——————————-

    I was exaggerating.

    Who said he was?? I pointed out his failures in the previous thread.

  19. Ghostwriter February 2nd, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    Not just Joba but Hughes and Kennedy as well. Why would they trade an affordable player that the team and FO loved. Cashman usually hangs onto guys that he is high on/emotionally attached to. Look how long he has kept Hughes around despite his short comings.

    ========

    They needed a centerfielder in 2010, and AJax wasn’t quite ready for the gig. So, they traded for Granderson. I guess that questioning that trade is fair game, but then you’re pretty much arguing about preferences over time: Is consumption today more important than consumption tomorrow? Given the options that Cashman had in 2010, trading for Granderson was pretty good move, even if it did cost us some good prospects. However, in hindsight, I don’t think that I would have made that deal, because the Yanks weren’t good enough to win it all in 2010, and Granderson was the difference-maker.

  20. Ghostwriter February 2nd, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Against All Odds February 2nd, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    I missed the part when Joba walked on water. When did that happen?

    Joba is not a victim.

    ——————————-

    I was exaggerating.

    Who said he was?? I pointed out his failures in the previous thread.
    ==============

    You have been suggesting that the blame for his failure to become a top of the rotation starter lies primarily with management. You’ve also suggested that he was somehow unfairly treated–that Hughes got chances that Joba never did.

    Maybe Joba got all the chances he deserved. Maybe Hughes did more with his chances than Joba did. Maybe Hughes did more to convince management that he would put it together. In fact, it does look like Hughes does appear to be blossoming into a solid big league starter.

    The fact is that ever since Joba was sent to the ‘pen, he hasn’t been all that good, never mind walking on water.

  21. Against All Odds February 2nd, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Then you also have to ignore the fact that nobody was calling on either Joba or Hughes to be the number-2 guy during this period.

    Then, you have to ignore the fact that AJ Burnett had been signed to a rather large contract to be the number-two guy.
    ————————-

    So then Why did they throw them into the fire in 2008? They expected them to be key factors sooner rather than later. An organization now known for having yoing players was now giving all of them a shot in the same season.

    His signing was mainly due to Hughes and Kennedy not living up to the FO expectations. They basically became the red head step child no one wants after they didn’t perform well in 2008.

  22. Rich in NJ February 2nd, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Jesus Montero
    Austin Jackson
    Ian Kennedy

    According to some here, these were great prospects and Cashman just made a mistake trading them away.

    Either he is developing top players and trading them away, or those aren’t top players from our system. Can’t have it both ways. Some people need to choose from which angle they wish to bash Cashman.
    __

    The flaw in your logic is that the Yankees would have been able to finish off their development. We hardly know that, and given their lack of patience, I think it’s unlikely.

    But even if we say that they are fruits of their system, is that enough of a yield for 7 years?

    I don’t think so.

    Finally, to call Cashman’s record bashing is a b astardization of the language to the max.

  23. Rich in NJ February 2nd, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Edit: Finally, to call Cashman’s record pedestrian, bashing is a b astardization of the language to the max.

  24. Ghostwriter February 2nd, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Against All Odds February 2nd, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Then you also have to ignore the fact that nobody was calling on either Joba or Hughes to be the number-2 guy during this period.

    Then, you have to ignore the fact that AJ Burnett had been signed to a rather large contract to be the number-two guy.
    ————————-

    So then Why did they throw them into the fire in 2008? They expected them to be key factors sooner rather than later. An organization now known for having yoing players was now giving all of them a shot in the same season.

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

    They didn’t want to trade them for Johan, and they were waiting for Sabathia. And as I recall, that experiment in 2008 was rather short-lived. Moreover, that club had Mussina, Pettite, and Wang as starters. Which one of these was Joba supposed to pass on by to become the “number-2″ starter?

  25. Against All Odds February 2nd, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    You have been suggesting that the blame for his failure to become a top of the rotation starter lies primarily with management

    i think it does. They were the ones in charge of handling him. They set the rules and guidelines. If Joba had a Jamarcus(sp) Russell type career then yes the blame would primarily fall on his shoulders but that’s not the case.

    You’ve also suggested that he was somehow unfairly treated–that Hughes got chances that Joba never did.

    It’s a fact though Hughes has been given more chances than Joba. As a matter of fact he has started games every yr he has been with the team.

    Maybe Joba got all the chances he deserved.

    .He only deserved to start for a yr and a half?? If the organization was serious about developing pitching because it’s the keys to the kingdom how do you start a high end guy for a yr and change and then pull the plug??

    Maybe Hughes did more with his chances than Joba did.

    Not maybe because he did. He was given a chance every single yr to start no matter what he did the precious yr. Even when he came into camp out of shape the Yankees simply said he’s filling out as a starter and growing into his body

    The fact is that ever since Joba was sent to the ‘pen, he hasn’t been all that good, never mind walking on water.

    He hasn’t been bad as a reliever.

    http://www.baseball-reference......g_standard

  26. Against All Odds February 2nd, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Ghostwriter February 2nd, 2013 at 2:57 pm
    Against All Odds February 2nd, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Then you also have to ignore the fact that nobody was calling on either Joba or Hughes to be the number-2 guy during this period.

    Then, you have to ignore the fact that AJ Burnett had been signed to a rather large contract to be the number-two guy.
    ————————-

    So then Why did they throw them into the fire in 2008? They expected them to be key factors sooner rather than later. An organization now known for having yoing players was now giving all of them a shot in the same season.

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

    They didn’t want to trade them for Johan, and they were waiting for Sabathia. And as I recall, that experiment in 2008 was rather short-lived. Moreover, that club had Mussina, Pettite, and Wang as starters. Which one of these was Joba supposed to pass on by to become the “number-2? starter?

    ——————————

    So because they didn’t want to trade those guys for Johan they foolishly rushed them to big leagues and then gave up on them the first sign of trouble. And this is an organization that’s suppose to be relying on young players. LOL when the kids in A ball don’t pan out how long before we hear this guy has attitude problems or this guy needs to go to fat camp.

    Andy had a bad 2008 due to and Wang was injured. When Joba was pitching in 2008 he was probably the 2nd or 3rd best pitcher on the staff.

  27. Against All Odds February 2nd, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Damn it can someone close the bold tag. I left it open by mistake

  28. Ghostwriter February 2nd, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    So because they didn’t want to trade those guys for Johan they foolishly rushed them to big leagues and then gave up on them the first sign of trouble. And this is an organization that’s suppose to be relying on young players. LOL when the kids in A ball don’t pan out how long before we hear this guy has attitude problems or this guy needs to go to fat camp.

    Andy had a bad 2008 due to and Wang was injured. When Joba was pitching in 2008 he was probably the 2nd or 3rd best pitcher on the staff.

    ==========

    The point is that the Yanks had three established starters on the staff, and nobody was calling for him to be the number-2 guy, whatever you may have thought of him.

  29. Ghostwriter February 2nd, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    You have been suggesting that the blame for his failure to become a top of the rotation starter lies primarily with management

    i think it does. They were the ones in charge of handling him. They set the rules and guidelines. If Joba had a Jamarcus(sp) Russell type career then yes the blame would primarily fall on his shoulders but that’s not the case.

    You’ve also suggested that he was somehow unfairly treated–that Hughes got chances that Joba never did.

    It’s a fact though Hughes has been given more chances than Joba. As a matter of fact he has started games every yr he has been with the team.

    Maybe Joba got all the chances he deserved.

    .He only deserved to start for a yr and a half?? If the organization was serious about developing pitching because it’s the keys to the kingdom how do you start a high end guy for a yr and change and then pull the plug??

    Maybe Hughes did more with his chances than Joba did.

    Not maybe because he did. He was given a chance every single yr to start no matter what he did the precious yr. Even when he came into camp out of shape the Yankees simply said he’s filling out as a starter and growing into his body

    The fact is that ever since Joba was sent to the ‘pen, he hasn’t been all that good, never mind walking on water.

    He hasn’t been bad as a reliever.

    http://www.baseball-reference……g_standard
    ============

    We’re going in circles. You obviously view Joba as some sort of victim, but object to anybody pointing it out. My point is that Joba isn’t a victim. Joba is a guy that failed to become a solid big league starter, and he–and nobody else– owns primary responsibility for that failure.

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