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Postgame notes: “It’s not a bad plan”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Apr 08, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Tonight’s fun story was all about Travis Hafner, whose first-inning home run prompted a local Cleveland reporter to ask whether it was his plan to return to Progressive Field and immediately suck the air out of the place.

“It’s not a bad plan,” Hafner said.

Tonight’s bigger story was Robinson Cano, who had been a mess at the plate but went 3-for-4 tonight, including two home runs, a double and a first-inning walk that helped set the stage for the Hafner homer. It’s been easy to overlook, but Hafner, Vernon Wells and Kevin Youkilis are actually off to good starts this season. If Cano can join them, the Yankees might actually have a productive core to help bridge the gap until guys get healthy.

“Sometimes you see guys have great spring trainings and the season starts and nothing happens,” Joe Girardi said. “You figure their track record as veterans is going to take over, and I think that’s what is happening.”

Obviously Cano is not a .130 hitter who can’t drive in runs, but that’s what he looked like in the first week of the season. The Yankees need him to be better than that, especially right now.

“I know it was just (six) games,” Cano said. “The last thing you want is to put pressure on yourself. This game today, I was able to get some pitches in the strike zone and be able to not miss them. … I was (last week) chasing pitches out of the strike zone. Everything was together today, and I was able to swing at strikes.”

Girardi said he plans to keep Cano in the No. 2 hole for the time being — “It’s what we feel we need to do,” Girardi said. “We needed him to hit there to get these guys as many at-bats as they can get.” — which means we’re likely to see more of this lineup until Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson or Mark Teixeira comes off the disabled list. It’s unusual, and it has plenty of critics, but it’s been productive the past two nights.

“I’m going to be honest with you guys, I never hit second, (but) I don’t care,” Cano said. “With me, I just go out there, and I know we don’t have the guys back, and I would say it’s going to be different when you get Teixeira, you get Granderson and you get Jeter. … There’s nothing different. Just have to keep the same (approach), just keep working and just go up there and make a good swing and try to make good contact.”

• Hiroki Kuroda said he could still feel some discomfort in his finger, but it was never really bothering him. He said he never thought about it, even during that brutal first inning. “Thanks to the offense, who gave me run support, I was able to regroup myself,” he said.

• Seriously, I didn’t think Kuroda would make it beyond the second inning and wasn’t sure he would even get there. Girardi had Shawn Kelley getting loose in the first inning but said he never thought the finger was the issue. “He was getting ground balls and they just were finding holes,” Girardi said. “And bags.” (that’s a reference to the single that bounced off the second-base bag)

• Of course, Kuroda tried to grab another comebacker with his bare hand, but he missed it this time. Girardi said he feels no need to talk to Kuroda about it. “You can’t tell people not to be instinctual,” Girardi said. “You can say it, but you’ll just waste your breath.”

• What did Girardi say to Joba Chamberlain during that ninth-inning mound visit? “Nothing,” Girardi said. “It was a long nothing.” Well alright then.

• By the way, the dugout phone wasn’t working, so the Yankees couldn’t call down to the bullpen. They used Adam Warren and Ivan Nova as messengers, making the “young guys” — as Girardi called them — run back and forth to relay messages. They’re hoping to have the situation fixed tomorrow.

• Hafner got a huge ovation when he was introduced during the pregame ceremony. He tipped his cap twice, and the Cleveland fans seemed to love having him back. Then he homered in the first inning, and the place booed him the rest of the day. “They’re passionate fans,” Hafner said. “I knew that, me playing for the Yankees, that this wouldn’t go on too long.”

• Odd site, one of the first Indians fans I saw was wearing a Hafner jersey. For whatever it’s worth, he was with a guy wearing a Grady Sizemore jersey. “It’s a little strange seeing people with Hafner Indians jerseys,” Hafner said. “It’s great to see, but kind of strange coming into this clubhouse and this dugout, things like that. So it was a little weird, but overall it was just great to be back and be here.”

• Hafner’s home run was his 100th at Progressive Field, third-most all time behind Jim Thome and Manny Ramirez. According to Elias, Hafner joined Thome as only the second player to ever homer against the Indians after hitting at least 100 home runs for them. He and Cano are the sixth and seventh Yankees to have ever homered against Cleveland in an Indians home opener (Pat Kelly, Matt Nokes and Danny Tartabull did it in 1993; Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams in 1996).

• This was Cano’s 11th career multi-homer game. He’s now hit safely in his past 10 games at Progressive Field, a streak that dates back to 2010.

• Beginning with the second out of the first inning, Kuroda retired 15 of the last 19 batters he faced. He now has a win in every American League ballpark except Comerica Park, Fenway Park, Kauffman Stadium and Rangers Ballpark. Not bad for a guy who spent most of his career in the National League.

• Final word goes to Hafner: “My whole approach right now is to keep things as simple as possible. I wasn’t really brought in to hit in the middle of the order, I was kind of expecting to hit down further. But it’s a great opportunity for me, so I’m just trying to contribute the best I can to the team.”

Associated Press photos

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58 Responses to “Postgame notes: “It’s not a bad plan””

  1. J. Alfred Prufrock April 8th, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    Obviously Cano is not a .130 hitter who can’t drive in runs, but that’s what he looked like in the first week of the season. The Yankees need him to be better than that, especially right now.

    “I know it was just (six) games,” Cano said. “The last thing you want is to put pressure on yourself. This game today, I was able to get some pitches in the strike zone and be able to not miss them. … I was (last week) chasing pitches out of the strike zone. Everything was together today, and I was able to swing at strikes.”
    ////

    Cano is now hitting .222, which means his day caused his average to jump nearly 100 points, which means it is ridiculously early. Cano is the least of this team’s problems.

  2. Duh Innings II April 8th, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    35 runs and 10 HR in the first seven games for 5 RPG and a 230 HR pace : )

    I think they’d be 4-3 or 5-2 if Sabathia was on on Opening Day and Kuroda had lasted more than an inning and a third last Wednesday.

  3. UnKnown April 8th, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    “Benny, I said that maybe it was too cold for him.”

    In reference to Cano, I guess I have full confidence that he can hit in cold weather or warm weather. To say that Cano can’t hit if the weather is cold, is pretty sad and disappointing.

    I guess some have more confidence in this team than to always look at the weather as a determining factor. :grin:

  4. luis April 8th, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    Cano is the best player on this team and the best 2nd baseman in the league. This is a game of streaks, some hot and some cold. He will be fine in the end.

    I was impressed with Wells at bats. Maybe he surprises me.

    I saw a couple of good plays from Nunez on the field.

  5. tucker April 8th, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    No cell phones in the dugout and bullpen?

  6. Zach S April 8th, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Any response to Joe getting frustrated with Joba in the 9th? That was pretty funny.

  7. Ghostwriter April 8th, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    Duh Innings II April 8th, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    35 runs and 10 HR in the first seven games for 5 RPG and a 230 HR pace : )

    I think they’d be 4-3 or 5-2 if Sabathia was on on Opening Day and Kuroda had lasted more than an inning and a third last Wednesday.
    ============================

    The offense looks like it has plenty of juice, barring any more significant injuries. I like the kind of ball that the Yanks are playing, even though it was looking pretty ugly a couple of days ago. Now, it looks like we’ve got our big three pitchers on track. Once the back of the rotation and the bullpen starts to settle down, we could get on a bit of roll.

    Offensively, it’s nice to see a guys taking what the pitcher gives them, instead of trying to pull everything. Getting Jeter and Tex back should be a big shot in the arm, particularly against lefties.

  8. BD (Boston Dave) April 8th, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    Russell Martin now 0 – 16 to start the season

    nobody not named McCutchen in that lineup really hitting though

  9. Rich in NJ April 8th, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    Martin OPS’d .963 in his first month in NY in 2011 and we are told that he was the long-term answer here at C.

    That was as unrepresentative of his true talent as what he is doing now.

  10. Ghostwriter April 8th, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    BD (Boston Dave) April 8th, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    Russell Martin now 0 – 16 to start the season

    nobody not named McCutchen in that lineup really hitting though
    ——————

    REgardless of what Martin does this year, I still think that letting him go, and giving Cervy a shot was the right thing to do. We may have lost some power as a result of the move, but I thionk that Cervy’s timely hitting will more than make up for the lost production. Now, if they would only play him…

  11. njsketch April 8th, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    not sure if anyone caught the end of the rays/rangers game, but that third strike call was one of the worst game ending strike three calls i have ever seen. shame on marty foster.

  12. Rich in NJ April 8th, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    I’m pro-robot.

  13. Rich in NJ April 8th, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    Given that Cashman was unsure whether or not Cervelli had an option remaining, it’s hard to imagine that he was an importatn consideration in the Martin decision:

    http://riveraveblues.com/2013/.....ing-82274/

    February 9th: Via Chad Jennings: Brian Cashman confirmed that Frankie Cervelli has a minor league option remaining.

    February 24th: Cashman misspoke and confirmed to Jack Curry that Cervelli does not have an option remaining.

  14. Tar April 8th, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    Congrats to the Cardinals and especially to the Lohud contingent of Louisville fans.

    “Regardless of what Martin does this year, I still think that letting him go, and giving Cervy a shot was the right thing to do.”

    It was, and is a risky move. Not just the letting Martin go part but also not signing any other catcher. The move or non move was born not from and any great faith in Cervelli or Stewart, but in trying to save a buck. Cervelli may just make it work, but it’s still really early in the game.

  15. Rich in NJ April 8th, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    I would still have liked to see Ross split time with Cervelli.

  16. Ghostwriter April 8th, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    People misspeak. It happens. I don’t see what that proves. Even so, letting Martin go makes a lot of sense in its own right. Despite his occasional power, letting a guy with a .224 batting average walk is a no-brainer, for a team with championship aspirations.

  17. Rich in NJ April 9th, 2013 at 12:00 am

    GMs know the mL status of young players they rely on.

  18. Ghostwriter April 9th, 2013 at 12:05 am

    Tar April 8th, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    It was, and is a risky move. Not just the letting Martin go part but also not signing any other catcher. The move or non move was born not from and any great faith in Cervelli or Stewart, but in trying to save a buck. Cervelli may just make it work, but it’s still really early in the game.

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

    I’m not sure that I see what’s so risky about it. It’s not as if the Yanks were counting on his offense. (At least, they shouldn’t have.) It would be much riskier to bring him back in the expectation that he could hit 20 home runs again. Cervy or Stewart are just as capable as Martin of hitting .220.

    I don’t see how Cashman’s motives are germane. It’s either a good decision or bad decision, regardless of the motivation for it. If he makes a good decision for the wrong reasons, it’s still a good decision, at least in terms of the outcome.

  19. Ghostwriter April 9th, 2013 at 12:06 am

    Rich in NJ April 9th, 2013 at 12:00 am

    GMs know the mL status of young players they rely on.
    =======

    I see. And they never misspeak?

  20. Rich in NJ April 9th, 2013 at 12:08 am

    A team with championship aspirations let’s go of a catcher who the GM inexplicably compared to Thurman Munson, but then relies on a catcher who put up this slash line last season in the mL: .246 .341 .316 .657 and another who is basically replacement level or worse.

    That’s a bit of a stretch.

  21. Rich in NJ April 9th, 2013 at 12:08 am

    “I see. And they never misspeak?”

    The excuses for Cashman never end.

  22. Bo knows April 9th, 2013 at 12:08 am

    I’m still enthralled by the Wellsian opposite field hits. Boys we have a player, first week and all.

    Beware – that way lie monsters. All this based on six games. He still has the quick hands and no expectations.

    Miss Martin – hah. Missing those torqued up swings is a blessing.

    And Boesch striking out on a mighty swing with man on third and one out, was deja vu all over again.

  23. Bo knows April 9th, 2013 at 12:14 am

    The score was a blowout later on but Kuroda had some runs to work with, in his struggles for control. Didn’t happen often last year.

    Watching quality at bats has a lot to recommend it

  24. Tar April 9th, 2013 at 12:18 am

    ” If he makes a good decision for the wrong reasons, it’s still a good decision, at least in terms of the outcome.”

    I usually call that luck. But I understand what you are trying to say.

    “And Boesch striking out on a mighty swing with man on third and one out, was deja vu all over again.”

    SO far not impressed at all.

    “The score was a blowout later on but Kuroda had some runs to work with, in his struggles for control. Didn’t happen often last year.”

    Good point, the offense owed Kurodasan some runs.

    Good night all.

  25. Rich in NJ April 9th, 2013 at 12:21 am

    Luck isn’t generalizable. So it’s meaningless in terms of evaluation, except perhaps while playing a slot machine.

    GN, Tar.

  26. jacksquat April 9th, 2013 at 12:56 am

    Shame Spencer April 8th, 2013 at 8:01 pm
    Yeah no idea why Mo was doing any tossing in the pen.

    That’s the way Joe does it. Often as soon as it is an official save situation, Joe will bring in Mo, or one batter later. Joba put two runners on, he got Mo up, because if Joba had put another guy on, then the tying run would have been on deck, and that’s an official save situation. iirc he is pretty rigid about how he does it, which is not surprising.

  27. jacksquat April 9th, 2013 at 12:58 am

    As for Cervelli, they probably saw that he was playing better defense in the minors, and that had a lot more to do with the decision to play him than how he was hitting, since they say that defense is most important. Plus Cervelli had somewhat of a track record of hitting decently (for a catcher) in the majors.

  28. Rich in NJ April 9th, 2013 at 1:25 am

    I like Cervelii more than most people, I also wish the Yankees had trusted more gifted prospects who they have instead traded in recent years.

    But the idea that Cervelli would be thought of as t the primary catcher going into the season “for a team with championship aspirations” over Martin or Ross, is kind of bizarre.

  29. jacksquat April 9th, 2013 at 1:34 am

    Ross’ age makes him only a nice secondary catcher. He started only 47 games at C last year and hasn’t started more than that since 2007. Not that I wouldn’t have liked getting him, but they still would have need someone else to catch over 100 games. I was not sad to see Martin go and I would not be surprised if Cervelli is nearly as or more valuable than Martin is this year, on a per start basis at least.

  30. UnKnown April 9th, 2013 at 1:46 am

    Congrats to the Cardinals and especially to the Lohud contingent of Louisville fans.
    ———–

    Awesome Awesome game. This Louisville team was dynamite all year. You could see it was very good last year already, but they couldn’t get past Kentucky. This year nobody was stopping them. So happy for Siva as a Senior and dominating like he did tonight.

    The game itself was very entertaining. The best National Championship game I can remember for a long time. GO CARDS!!

  31. sammiejohnson April 9th, 2013 at 1:56 am

    Rich in NJ April 9th, 2013 at 1:25 am

    I like Cervelii more than most people, I also wish the Yankees had trusted more gifted prospects who they have instead traded in recent years.

    —————————-
    2013

    Montero, Jesus SEA C .182 .182 .182 .364

    2012

    Montero, Jesus SEA C/DH .260 .298 .386 .685

    Just wondering if this is one of the “more gifted prospects who they have instead traded in recent years” that you are referring to?

  32. tomingeorgia April 9th, 2013 at 4:49 am

    It’s Masters week in Georgia. Time to make the donuts. Entertaining game yesterday. Let’s put together a streak.

  33. Ghostwriter April 9th, 2013 at 5:19 am

    Rich in NJ April 9th, 2013 at 12:08 am

    “I see. And they never misspeak?”

    The excuses for Cashman never end.
    =================================

    Who’s making excuses? I’m simply pointing out the deficiencies in your reasoning. Frankly, the idea that the primary catcher in Triple A wasn’t being considered as a replacement for Martin is absurd on the face of it, given that Cashman didn’t bring in anybody from the outside to compete for the job.

  34. PacoDooley April 9th, 2013 at 5:24 am

    Rich in NJ April 9th, 2013 at 1:25 am
    I like Cervelii more than most people, I also wish the Yankees had trusted more gifted prospects who they have instead traded in recent years.

    But the idea that Cervelli would be thought of as t the primary catcher going into the season “for a team with championship aspirations” over Martin or Ross, is kind of bizarre.
    —————————————————

    I still don’t get this belief that not signing Martin was a mistake. Mark my words, he will have an awful season and make the NYY look prescient.

  35. Madrugador April 9th, 2013 at 6:03 am

    Nobody up this early?
    What a bunch of fair weather fans we are.
    Against good pitching we look awful- a last place team.
    Against bad pitching and suddenly we are playoff contenders.
    It is 162 games in a season. Cano has a contract to sign and there will be a lot of holes to fill. Should be fun because…. It’s baseball.

  36. Tackelberry April 9th, 2013 at 6:05 am

    Boesch off to a slow start but at least he is showing more patience at the plate and working the count more. in ST he was swinging at everything. Fielder made a great stab to rob him of a big hit in that game Saturday. Hope to see him play a little more before I judge him. Has looked decent in the outfield as well.

  37. Abe Peterham April 9th, 2013 at 6:34 am

    Did Joe really go to the mound and say ZERO to joba??
    I know he was upset, but that seems over the top no respect for Joba.

  38. Doreen April 9th, 2013 at 6:48 am

    Who knows, but it just may be nothing he wanted to share.

  39. Ghostwriter April 9th, 2013 at 6:54 am

    If you’ve got nothing nice to say…

  40. Doreen April 9th, 2013 at 6:56 am

    Ghostwriter

    :)

  41. MG April 9th, 2013 at 7:09 am

    160 .160 .160 .320

    there must be some generational bats out there with termites in them…

  42. Mike Ri April 9th, 2013 at 7:25 am

    Nice win !!!! .. Nice to see Cano break out ! . Lets get to .500 today baby !!

  43. Tar April 9th, 2013 at 7:26 am

    “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.”

    Good Morning everybody, just a little Confucius quote to start the day.

    Have a good day :D

  44. Bad Scooter April 9th, 2013 at 8:14 am

    The “irreplaceable” Russell Martin off to a slow 0-17 start.

  45. Abe Peterham April 9th, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Hopefully Joba learns to throw strikes after an 0-2 count. I’d hate to see him in the dog house, he may already be there

  46. Shame Spencer April 9th, 2013 at 8:46 am

    What did Girardi say to Joba Chamberlain during that ninth-inning mound visit? “Nothing,” Girardi said. “It was a long nothing.” Well alright then.

    —————-

    LOL. Sometimes I still like Joe.

    I shouldn’t really put it in those terms… I’ll always like Joe to a degree. I just wonder if his first experience with the Marlins didn’t change his approach to managing. He did an incredible job with those kids on that team but clashed with management… I dunno if the Yankee job is just the one he wanted so badly he’d bend to the point of breaking or if he felt like he got burned by management in the last job and did a 180.

  47. Tackelberry April 9th, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Hopefully Joba learns to throw strikes after an 0-2 count. I’d hate to see him in the dog house, he may already be there

    _______________________________

    He better get his act together with MOntgomery and Claiborne knocking on the door at Scranton

  48. Shame Spencer April 9th, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Lol, Tar bringing the philosophy this morning.

    I hope last night was just a preview of things to come! :twisted:

  49. Against All Odds April 9th, 2013 at 8:48 am

    I’ll never understand why some fans take swipes at Montero as if he did something wrong.

  50. Shame Spencer April 9th, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Montgomery didn’t have a great spring but with the way the majority of the pen has looked I wouldn’t be opposed to throwing him out there to see what he can give you. Joe will be careful with the younger guys anyway. I do think the pen situation will straighten itself out within a few weeks.

  51. Doreen April 9th, 2013 at 8:51 am

    Shame, what’s really interesting to me is the Girardi won manager of the year managing a team full of kids that weren’t on the team he signed on to manage. Shortly after he was hired, the Marlins, as they are wont to do, started dropping players and “rebuilding.”

    The Yankees he signed on to manage are a and were a veteran team and really I think the way you manage is different. Plus it’s AL versus NL.

    What would be really interesting would be to see if the Yankees next year brought up a lot of youngsters to see what Girardi could do with them. He’s shown he has the skillset to do that. But I am not sure he’s going to be rehired. I guess we’ll find out what the next chapter holds when we get to it. No reading ahead in this book!!!

  52. Doreen April 9th, 2013 at 8:52 am

    Against All Odds -

    At this point, it is not really about Montero. It’s something else. I think…

  53. Shame Spencer April 9th, 2013 at 8:52 am

    Against All Odds April 9th, 2013 at 8:48 am

    I’ll never understand why some fans take swipes at Montero as if he did something wrong.

    —————–

    Lol, it’s not really about Montero anymore, it’s about taking swipes at those on both sides of the great Montero debate! This is a debate we’ll be having for another 4-5 seasons. I hope everyone is excited about that prospect as I am!! :D

  54. Shame Spencer April 9th, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Doreen – He’s had a few kids come up in his tenure here so far and he basically employs them the way upper management dictates. Nothing wrong with that, IMO, as everybody’s gotta eat and what not, but I wish he had more freedom because I don’t think we got the same manager. Like you said it could be a number of factors that explain why (different org/expectations, league, personnel, etc).. I think his break up with the Marlins could be one of them.

    There he was a thorn in management’s side… here he’s their lap dog. It’s just not who I thought we’d be getting.

  55. Against All Odds April 9th, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Shame Spencer April 9th, 2013 at 8:52 am
    Against All Odds April 9th, 2013 at 8:48 am

    I’ll never understand why some fans take swipes at Montero as if he did something wrong.

    —————–

    Lol, it’s not really about Montero anymore, it’s about taking swipes at those on both sides of the great Montero debate! This is a debate we’ll be having for another 4-5 seasons. I hope everyone is excited about that prospect as I am!!

    ————————-

    4-5 yrs??? lol. Shame the Joba debate still pops up on this board and others. I’ll put the Montero debate at 10-15 yrs max :)

  56. Against All Odds April 9th, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Doreen April 9th, 2013 at 8:52 am
    Against All Odds -

    At this point, it is not really about Montero. It’s something else. I think…

    —————————-

    I see what you’re saying Doreen.

  57. pkyankfan69 April 9th, 2013 at 9:03 am

    Through 25 AB’s this season Montero has a sparkling .320 OPS… I still think he will become a very good hitter but he sure is off to a lousy start.

  58. Shame Spencer April 9th, 2013 at 9:04 am

    :arrow:

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