The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


Video: What to do with Granderson (and other random thoughts)

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Apr 25, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

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A few random thoughts on my way back to New York…

• The above video might be premature, but it seems worthwhile because it speaks to the fact that the Yankees are actually somewhat close to getting one of their hitters off the disabled list. Curtis Granderson is taking batting practice indoors, which means he’s basically one step — hitting outdoors — away from appearing in an extended spring training game. Girardi says it’s too early for him to begin thinking about what to do with all the outfielders when Granderson returns, but why should that stop the rest of us from thinking about it?

• Speaking of which… If Ichiro Suzuki can’t sustain a hot streak, and if Vernon Wells keeps hitting pretty well, would the Yankees be willing to play Wells against righties and put Ichiro in a fourth-outfielder role? It’s worth mentioning that Ichiro and Wells are each signed through next season.

• Two really nice plays by Eduardo Nunez last night, one going to his left and one going to his right. Now if only he’d start hitting. Who thought his bat would be the early concern?

• Joba Chamberlain looks pretty good lately, doesn’t he? Impressive fastball velocity. Throwing strikes. He might be the difference for this bullpen, because if he’s able to lock down the seventh, the pen looks awfully deep. If he can’t, it seems really thin outside of Dave Robertson and Mariano Rivera.

• Speaking of the pen, I got an email the other day about Adam Warren’s role with this team. I actually don’t think it’s that odd to have both Warren and David Phelps as long relievers. To me, Phelps is really the only true long man — a go-to relievers capable of giving several innings in a tight game — while Warren is more of a mopup guy at the moment. By having Warren available to eat innings, Girardi is able to use Phelps in bigger situations without having to save him as a just-in-case kind of guy. Maybe it’s worth cycling a few pitchers through that role just so Warren can get more regular work at some point, but I do think there’s some value in having somebody other than Phelps capable of pitching four or five innings if necessary.

• One part of the roster that’s performing more or less as expected: The top of the rotation has been awfully good. CC Sabathia’s had one bad start and one bad inning, and both Hiroki Kuroda and Andy Pettitte dealt with minor injury problems, but if those three can finish the season with ERAs of 3.34, 2.35 and 2.22, the Yankees rotation will be in awfully good shape. Even better if Hughes can build off these past two outings.

• When did this happen? Francisco Cervelli is currently hitting .265/.368/.449, and Chris Stewart is hitting .333/.333/.476. None of the Yankees has a higher batting average than Stewart.

• Ben Francisco’s lack of offense would be one thing if he were a fifth outfielder getting a handful of at-bats against lefties. Clearly 25 at-bats doesn’t mean much — and Francisco might not be a great hitter, but he’s better than an .080 hitter — but if he keeps struggling much longer, surely the Yankees will take a shot on a young guy. Maybe Ronnier Mustelier will be healthy in a week. David Adams is hitting and would give the Yankees some much needed infield depth. Melky Mesa could at least play the field against lefties and give Brett Gardner a breather at DH.

• Speaking of Triple-A options: Vidal Nuno and Mark Montgomery have been awfully good for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Lefties Juan Cedeno and Josh Spence each have reverse splits so far.

• The All-Star ballots were released yesterday. No surprise that Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson are on it and Alex Rodriguez is not. The one oddity is that Stewart is on the ballot and Cervelli is not, although I suppose that’s what happens when the Yankees wait and wait before making it clear that Cervelli is their starter.

• Also, unavoidable that Vernon Wells isn’t on the ballot, but he’s off to a better start than any of the other Yankees outfielders.

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