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Postgame notes: Nuno’s strong spring continues vs. Boston

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Mar 20, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Let’s try a blog post that has nothing to do with Derek Jeter’s ankle. Don’t get me wrong, we’ll be back on that topic soon enough, but just for now let’s discuss…

Vidal Nuno.

This guy has been terrific. Granted, the Red Sox didn’t bring their A lineup to Tampa this afternoon, but Nuno’s five shutout innings weren’t a fluke. He’s allowed one run through 13.1 innings this spring, and that’s not counting the four scoreless he pitched for Team Dominican Republic in an exhibition against the Yankees. Nuno has 13 strikeouts and three walks in the Grapefruit League.

“Everyone has their own path,” he said. “It’s about them taking a chance on you. They gave me all the chances they could, and it’s about working hard every day. Just try to keep up what I’ve been doing, and see how it ends in the season.”

Nuno’s path was different from most. Originally drafted by the Indians, Nuno wound up released and playing independent ball in 2011. That’s when the Yankees signed him, only to have him break out with a 2.45 ERA in Double-A last season.

The secret? The development of his changeup, which he finally came to trust last season, and the addition of a cutter, which he learned from Yankees Double-A pitching coach Tommy Phelps. Nuno now considers those to be his best pitches, complimenting a full arsenal of fastballs, curveballs and sliders.

“When I first got drafted during high school I only had two pitches (fastball and curveball),” he said. “Now I have five. It’s just (being) a smarter pitcher. I don’t think (about trying to) overthrow, and I hit my spots. That’s one key I preach to myself: Just hit location, and make the ball dance, and you’ll get people out.”

• Let’s chat tomorrow. The Yankees have a night game on Thursday, so we’ll do a chat here on the blog at noon tomorrow. Obviously there’s plenty to discuss. Stop by and we’ll try to chat for about an hour or so.

• CC Sabathia started in a minor league game today. He went 6 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K. Sabathia threw 92 pitches, 65 for strikes. “It was a little better today,” Sabathia said. “I was keeping the ball into righties much better. That was the biggest thing. We worked on that today.”

• Sabathia’s final spring start will be on Tuesday.

• Robinson Cano is expected to rejoin the Yankees tomorrow, and Girardi said it’s entirely possible Cano will play tomorrow night.

• Ronnier Mustelier was supposed to play in the outfield today, but the Yankees scratched him because of swelling in his leg. “I expect him to be a player for us tomorrow,” Girardi said. “I could’ve played him if I had to.”

• Obviously Eduardo Nunez’s ability to play shortstop is once again a big issue here. He made his third error today, but it was on a tough ball, and his throwing has been significantly better with his shorter arm action. “I think he’s made a lot of progress,” Girardi said. “I think he’s played a pretty decent shortstop. I know he had an error today, but that’s a tough play. That’s almost like a do or die. You don’t have a chance to really read the hop and there’s topspin. I think he’s done a pretty good job.”

• Brian Cashman on the possibility of signing Chien-Ming Wang: “Not a major league situation,” Cashman said. “Obviously we have vacancies in the rotation in Scranton, so we’re exploring all those options. I think he was as high as 92-93 in the WBC, but we wanted to take a look, and he was agreeable. He obviously had a great time while he was here, so I think there was some interest on his part. I think if he was going to do something, to have to do a minor league deal somewhere, he’d probably prefer it to be here. We’re going to take a futher look at it. So he’s going to throw for our scouts across the street.”

• Reliever David Herndon — coming off Tommy John surgery, claimed off waivers, then signed to a minor league deal this offseason — has thrown five bullpens off a full mound using fastballs and changeups. He’s up to 30 pitches at a time and said he could be in a game at the end of April or the beginning of May.

• Dave Robertson and Joba Chamberlain (who was pitching for the second straight day) each threw a scoreless inning with one strikeout. Mark Montgomery closed out the game with a scoreless ninth, also with one strikeout. In between, lefty Josh Spence retired the one batter he faced — one a comebacker that he knocked down — and Cody Eppley retired the two batters he faced. All told, the Yankees allowed four hits and one walk today.

• All of the Yankees four runs came in a big second inning when the team sent nine batters to the plate and only one — Kevin Youkilis to end the inning — made an out that didn’t score a run. … Ben Francisco’s double was the Yankees only extra-base hit. … Juan Rivera had another hit and is tied with Ichiro Suzuki for the second-most hits (13) in Yankees camp. Brett Gardner has the most with 14. … Melky Mesa had a hit and was caught stealing. He’s now hitting .196 this spring. Today he played both center field and right field.

Associated Press photos

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83 Responses to “Postgame notes: Nuno’s strong spring continues vs. Boston”

  1. Rich in NJ March 20th, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Teaching the changeup should be the dominant pitching development philosophy in any organization as well as keeping the FB down.

  2. PacoDooley March 20th, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    Against All Odds March 20th, 2013 at 5:34 pm
    blake March 20th, 2013 at 5:25 pm
    I wonder if Detroit would bite on a Castellanos for DRob trade?

    ————-

    They might but we know the Yankees wouldn’t though
    —————————————

    I would trade DRob for Castellanos in a heartbeat. He fills a position of need, has great upside, and costs you a reliever (a very good reliever, but a guy that is likely to pitch 60 innings this year).

  3. Against All Odds March 20th, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    True but the Yankees see Drob as their future closer. He more than likely will replace Mo in 2014. They are very high on him.

  4. blake March 20th, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    All relievers not named Mariano Rivera can be replaced

  5. Against All Odds March 20th, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    True but is that the way the Yankees see Drob. We know that’s how they view Joba, Eppley, etc

  6. champ809 March 20th, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    The Tigers would never do that deal.

    Castellanos is considered by most 1 of the best if not the best pure hitters in the minors. granted he’s blocked by Cabrera @ 3B but it would take more than DRob for them to consider moving him.

    At the end of the day DRob is a 2 pitch RP of which they have 1 of their own in Rondon who throws 100+mph.

  7. PacoDooley March 20th, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    champ809 March 20th, 2013 at 6:33 pm
    The Tigers would never do that deal.
    ———————-

    Agreed 100%, which is why I would do it in a heartbeak – a great deal for NY, not such a great deal for Detroit. He is their top prospect and close to a top 20 prospect overall.

  8. PacoDooley March 20th, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    blake March 20th, 2013 at 6:20 pm
    All relievers not named Mariano Rivera can be replaced
    —————————–

    I am not a big believer in the value of relievers, so I agree. A good bullpen is valuable, but no single reliever is really all that valuable (with occasional exceptions, like DRob in 2011 was worth a lot of wins, and Mariano has had many of those years, but for most guys in the pen, their value is unpredictable and replaceable).

  9. blake March 20th, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    “The Tigers would never do that deal.”

    Probably not but if they wanted to really strengthen their pen they might….they are a win now team and Rondon hasn’t looked great this spring…..Castellanos doesn’t have anywhere to play presently. The only thing about him though is that reviews seem mixed as to whether he can play 3b in the big leagues …..

  10. blake March 20th, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    Robertson is a 2 pitch reliever who posted one of the best seasons ever for a reliever in 2011 so that’s kinda irrelevant…..Relievers don’t need 4 pitches…..

  11. PacoDooley March 20th, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    blake March 20th, 2013 at 6:53 pm
    “The Tigers would never do that deal.”

    Probably not but if they wanted to really strengthen their pen they might….they are a win now team and Rondon hasn’t looked great this spring…..Castellanos doesn’t have anywhere to play presently. The only thing about him though is that reviews seem mixed as to whether he can play 3b in the big leagues …..
    ——————————

    The Yankees also need an outfielder, though I understand that he doesn’t necessarily have corner outfielder power, so he is more attractive at 3B. But he is very young and so could be really worth a gamble if they can make it happen. I would definitely take him over Olt.

    With Detroit in a win now mode and a weak bullpen, maybe they would take DRob and Joba. That would leave a big hole in NY, but they could try Nuno, or Montgomery, and they have an abundance of decent, if not fantastic, arms already bound for the bullpen (not to mention the likelihood of Phelps in long relief).

  12. Jerkface March 20th, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Rondon is a 1 pitch relief pitcher. He has a fastball and nothing much else to back it up. D-rob has a good fastball, a plus curve, a good changeup, and a cutter. Most relievers are 2 pitch guys, but the key is that both pitches should be pretty good (or passable fb and great secondary pitch). Rondon only has the FB.

  13. blake March 20th, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    At the very least Cashman should be asking about Castellanos and Olt both…Rendon too though that ship has probably sailed now that he’s healthy

  14. blake March 20th, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    Rondon has a 100 mph straight fastball that he doesn’t command great…..Robertson would greatly upgrade Detroits pen…..it would also make the Yankees kinda suck though so you’d have to get a legit guy like Castellanos back

  15. ron March 20th, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    If you can get Castellanos with robertson,you do it without even thinking about it.
    You drive robertson to the airport,and kick him out the passenger side,without stopping,if need be.
    It would take more than robertson.

  16. austinmac March 20th, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    How about Culver for Castellanos?

  17. ron March 20th, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    Robertson is very good,and his walks have come way down where he might make a good closer,but he will probably never be a starter,so if you can get a potential allstar 3b,maybe the top 3b prospect in the game,and a top overall prospect for a 60 inning pitcher,you do it in a second.

  18. MTU March 20th, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    How about Mustelier ?

    That way we don’t have to trade anyone away.

    ;)

  19. blake March 20th, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    austinmac says:
    March 20, 2013 at 7:10 pm
    How about Culver for Castellanos?

    Aka the choice the Yanks made in the 2010 draft…..sigh

  20. blake March 20th, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    MTU,
    We all love the Must man…,but he’s 28 (could be 33 for all we know) and isnt really a long term solution at 3B most likely…..I’m all for him playing right now though

  21. MTU March 20th, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    Blake-

    I’d like to see if he can hold the Fort for a few years.

    Buys us time for one of our own to develop.

    We can find someone else later on when we really need to.

  22. blake March 20th, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    I do hope musty makes the team

  23. tomingeorgia March 20th, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    MTU,
    He IS one of our own.

  24. MTU March 20th, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Tom-

    True. But I agree w. Blake that he is likely not a longterm solution.

    A few years yes. He’s 28. Maybe more ?

  25. tomingeorgia March 20th, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    MTU,
    If he can hit as he has everywhere he’s been, he’s OK with me.

  26. Doreen March 20th, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    I vote for Mustelier for now and passing the the hot potato on long term solutions for now. It’s just not the best time.

  27. MG March 20th, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    I only saw Nuno pitch one inning today but he impressed me as a guy who knows how to miss bats consistently.

    It seemed like each of the 3 batters he got out got great swings against him but didn’t get the fat part of the bat on the ball.

    Let’s hope they put him at AAA to start in rotation and not in the bullpen as a long guy or specialist.

  28. MG March 20th, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    I hope Mustelier makes the team (by earning it) but he’s as likely to be 28 as El Duque was to be 28 when he joined the Yankees…

  29. MTU March 20th, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    Doreen-

    I’m w you. Let’s see if we can get past 189 and we can go from there.

    Maybe the cash spigot re-opens after that.

    If it does we might be able to buy ourselves a longterm 3B if we still need one.

  30. blake March 20th, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    “I only saw Nuno pitch one inning today but he impressed me as a guy who knows how to miss bats consistently.”

    He’s crafty

  31. PacoDooley March 20th, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    MG March 20th, 2013 at 7:32 pm
    I hope Mustelier makes the team (by earning it) but he’s as likely to be 28 as El Duque was to be 28 when he joined the Yankees…
    ——————–

    I doubt it – US immigration has become much more serious about visa and passport fraud, and MLB has been more aggressive about paperwork. I assume he is who he says he is.

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