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


Look who’s coming to camp: Middle infielders

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

These big league jobs are about as sewn up as they get, but the Yankees still invited a ton of shortstop/second basemen to big league camp as the team begins looking toward a future that (very soon) might not include either of the guys we’re used to seeing at second and short.

40-MAN ROSTER
Robinson Cano is in the last year of his contract and Derek Jeter has one more year — a player option — remaining on his.

Robinson Cano
The Yankees starting second baseman and almost certainly their No. 3 hitter. Really has nothing to prove this spring.
Derek Jeter
Coming back from a broken ankle but expected to be 100 percent this spring. Already going through light drills.
Corban Joseph
Left-handed hitting second baseman who popped 15 home runs last season, most of them in Triple-A. Can play a little third, too. 
Eduardo Nunez
You know the drill. Has the tools. Pretty good bat. Great speed. Inconsistent glove. Yankees aren’t sure he can handle being a utility man.

MINOR LEAGUE FREE AGENTS
I guess Nix wasn’t technically a minor league free agent — avoided arbitration, then accepted an outright assignment after he was designated — but he fits this category better than any of the others.

Jayson Nix
Called up early last season, Nix stuck around the rest of the year as a dependable utility man capable of playing just about anywhere. Trying to win his job back.
Gil Velazquez
Veteran utility infielder played 19 games with the Marlins last year. Can play anywhere in the infield. He’s 33 years old but has very little big league experience.

ORGANIZATIONAL PROSPECTS
Although Ibarra, Maruszak and Pirela spent last season in Double-A, none is assured a Triple-A job this year and the Yankees immediate middle infield depth is probably going to come from the 40-man and the minor league veterans.

Cito Culver
First-round pick in 2010. The Yankees love his glove, but he hit just .215/.321/.283 in Charleston last season.
Walter Ibarra
The 25 year old has spent seven seasons in the minors with only 62 games above Class A. Primarily a shortstop.
Addison Maruszak
Had a breakout season last year in Double-A where he hit .276/.330/.457 and won the everyday shortstop job. Can play all over the place, including a little bit of experience at catcher. Trying to prove last year wasn’t a fluke.
Jose Pirela
Moved away from shortstop last year and had a nice season as a second baseman and occasional left fielder. Might have revived a little bit of prospect status.

COULD SEE TIME AT THE POSITION
If a player can handle a middle infield position, he’s usually listed that way, so this list is pretty small.

David Adams
Moved from second base to third base late last season, and right now it seems the Yankees plan to keep him primarily at third. Will still see some time at second, though.
Ronnier Mustelier
This one is a bit of a reach. Mustelier will almost certainly see all of his time at third and the outfield corners, but he has a little bit of second base experience. I guess the Yankees could put him there just to see if he could handle it on an emergency basis as a bench player.

Associated Press photo

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20 Responses to “Look who’s coming to camp: Middle infielders”

  1. Ys Guy February 2nd, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    so sick of the joba pity party.

  2. Giuseppe Franco February 2nd, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    I’m more sick of the Yanks inability and lack of patience to develop the youngsters.

  3. Rich in NJ February 2nd, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    So sick of the idea that Joba wasn’t mishandled, when he clearly was.

  4. Against All Odds February 2nd, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Ys Guy February 2nd, 2013 at 3:10 pm
    so sick of the joba pity party.

    What pity party??

    Was he handled well?

  5. Ys Guy February 2nd, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    joba’s still pitched more innings as a starter than a reliever and his era as a starter is 1 run higher than his relief era.

    he got 43 starts, ppl on here act like he got 10 starts or something.

    he just wasnt that good at it.

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

    gsters.
    Rich in NJ February 2nd, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    So sick of the idea that Joba wasn’t mishandled, when he clearly was.
    ———-
    Can you point to a post of mine in which I suggested that he wasn’t mishandled?

  7. randy l. February 2nd, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    interesting stats:

    joba career starter era: 4.18

    phil career starter era : 4.68

  8. Against All Odds February 2nd, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Ys Guy February 2nd, 2013 at 3:21 pm
    joba’s still pitched more innings as a starter than a reliever and his era as a starter is 1 run higher than his relief era.

    he got 43 starts, ppl on here act like he got 10 starts or something.

    he just wasnt that good at it.

    ————————

    Ok so if the Yankees gave Manny 43 starts would that be ok?? They are high on Phelps if he was just given 43 starts would that be alright?

    If you’re an organization that preached developing pitching how can you make a high end arm only start for a yr and a half.

    “he just wasnt that good at it.”

    G:43
    W:12
    L:7
    ERA: 4.18
    WHIP: 1.3

    That’s not good enough for a pitcher who was what 23-24 at the time?? The Yankees have some crazy high standards.

  9. Against All Odds February 2nd, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    randy l. February 2nd, 2013 at 3:29 pm
    interesting stats:

    joba career starter era: 4.18

    phil career starter era : 4.68

    —————————–

    The numbers are closer than ppl think. Hughes blows him away in wins though.

  10. Against All Odds February 2nd, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    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.

    ———————————–

    Ok whatever you say GW they were just looking for him to blend in. :D

  11. Ys Guy February 2nd, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    personally i dont care if they start him or have joba in the BP. he wasnt that good as a starter, he made me want to pull my eyeballs out of their sockets with those constant 20 pitch innings, but so do many others.

    imo he wasn’t good enough as a starter to have people screaming that he had to be in the rotation, but he’s also not so indispensible to the bullpen that it would kill them to have him start if they needed him to.

    so either way is ok with me except the part about having to watch him start.

    but to me, joba made himself what joba is.

  12. Against All Odds February 2nd, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    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.

    ————————

    He would have been if he was Eddy Curry of the Knicks that ate himself out of the league. No he was not the primary reason. He played a role but I can’t blame him for nothing he had control over. The Yankees were the ones that made him pitch in relief in a lost season when he could barely crack 92-93 on the gun. How dumb was that.

  13. Against All Odds February 2nd, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    personally i dont care if they start him or have joba in the BP. he wasnt that good as a starter, he made me want to pull my eyeballs out of their sockets with those constant 20 pitch innings, but so do many others.

    —————————

    Pretty weird coming from a guy that is in favor of young kids getting a chance. You have infinite patience for Nunez despite him thinking he’s playing QB for the Jets.

  14. Ys Guy February 2nd, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    i was all good with the yankees pulling nunez and sending him down last year. he wasn’t getting the job done.

    but i also think he’s going to overcome his problems this season.

    i also want them to make romine earn a spot on the roster rather than just give it to him.

    i want to see young guys get a chance when they earn one, but i dont think the team owes them any set amount of innings, games or at-bats. they get what they get and then they either earn more time or earn thier way back to scranton.

  15. Against All Odds February 2nd, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Romine isn’t going to earn a spot. He’s starting the yr in AAA.

  16. mick February 2nd, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    joba was consistently at 100 pitches thru the 5th.

  17. Against All Odds February 2nd, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    he made me want to pull my eyeballs out of their sockets with those constant 20 pitch innings,

    ——————

    That’s the life of a young pitcher. Ppl wanted to pull their eyes out with Hughes and Nova.

  18. jmills February 2nd, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    http://www.youtube.com/embed/C.....#038;rel=0

  19. Yankees88 February 2nd, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Do you guys really think Jeter is almost finished? Chad makes it sound in most of his posts like the end of the line is very soon – I remember him saying if Jeter has a good year in 2013 and declines his option in search of a multi-year deal he might get the “Bernie treatment.” I know he’s old but he’s still productive and there really isn’t too much SS talent on this team or in the majors in general. My personal opinion, he plays 4 more years.

  20. J. Alfred Prufrock February 2nd, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    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.
    ///

    Ghost,

    You’ve got to be kidding!

    You want to compare Joba and Nova, as having been given equal opportunity to develop as starting pitchers?

    I was wrong earlier: Joba did not have even 88 miL innings. He had under 84 IP in the minors.

    How many did Nova have? BEFORE they sent him down for tweaking?

    574.4 IP.

    He debuted in 2010 and was sent down in 2011, where he got to develop his slider.

    You talk about lack of persuasiveness, but all you’ve had to say about Chamberlain is that he got many chances – where are those chances??

    When a starter in the making struggles at the ML level – especially one who put together such a stellar rookie season, and one who can hit 100 mph on the gun and who has a fabulous secondary offering, plus a CB and changeup – he’s sent to the minors for further construction, retool, to get more innings in a less stressful environment, etc.

    What’d they do?? They put a 24 year old into the bullpen and threw away the key! After 84 miL innings (again: Nova: 574.4 miL innings, plus 16 more innings when he was sent down in 2011).

    Care to explain, again, how Joba’s primarily responsible for not developing enough in their split-second time frame to become a front-end answer?

    You really think this wasn’t worth another trip to the minors for further cultivation?

    10.58 K/9 (a 3.03 K/BB rate/ 2.96 as starter), 52 % GB rate, .45 HR/9 (this is a young righty power pitcher whose home starts are in Yankee Stadium, mind you), .265 FIP, LD rate under 15 percent, 1.24 (1.30 as starter). WHIP – in 100.1 IP (65 as starter) 2008. OPS+ against 71.

    Do you think, maybe, he might have been allowed some hiccups in 2009? Most young pitchers have a tougher time in their second season. Instead, they tried to reinvent the wheel with those 4 inning stints that even Andy Pettitte and CC Sabathia rolled their eyes at.

    Eppler and Eiland steered the ship on this: and they blew it.

    When a talented young starter like Joba coughs – guess what? That’s where development STARTS; not where you fold your tent and go home.

    Development of young arms – especially from a guy who spouts such sophomoric nonsense as “Pitching is the key to the kingdom” and “I have a dream,” of all things – really should be made of sterner stuff.

    Cashman either didn’t have enough backbone to oppose Eppler/Eiland, or was just too inexperienced to stay with his original stance that he would be reared as a starter and that relief work was a temporary thing. Maybe his original “tough” stance really had no conviction behind it, to begin with.

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