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


State of the organization: Center field

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Feb 10, 2014 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Jacoby Ellsbury

When the Yankees realized they weren’t going to re-sign Robinson Cano, their immediate reaction was to invest in the outfield. They had a solid center fielder in place already, but the Yankees decided that the best Cano-alternative on the market was a longtime rival who covers a ton of ground and bats at the very top of the order. For $153 million, center field should be locked down for the next seven years.Ellsbury

Top of the depth chart: Jacoby Ellsbury
Backup options: Brett Gardner (maybe Ichiro Suzuki)
Also coming to camp: Slade Heathcott, Mason Williams, Antoan Richardson, Adonis Garcia
Deeper in the system: Jake Cave, Aaron Judge

In some ways, the Yankees know exactly what they’re getting in Jacoby Ellsbury. They’ve certainly seen him enough. He’s a career .297 hitter with terrific speed and strong defense, and he’s done that while playing in the American League East. In other ways, the Yankees can’t be sure about their long-term outfield investment. Ellsbury has battled sometimes unusual injuries over the years, and his best season included a power spike that he’s never come close to repeating. Ellsbury should give the Yankees a left-handed bat at the top of the order for years to come, and if that happens, he could force some of the Yankees top prospects to switch positions (or become trade bait) down the road.

Mason WilliamsLingering question: All about health
Really, there is no lingering question in center field. Not a typical offseason question, anyway. We all know Ellsbury is the everyday guy. We know Brett Gardner is still in place to play some center fielder when Ellsbury’s legs need a rest. We know Ichiro Suzuki has been able fill in at the position from time to time as well, and we know that two of the Yankees better prospects are left-handed center fielders similar to Ellsbury himself. The real center field question heading into spring training is just how many games Ellsbury will be able to play. He’s had more than 600 at-bats in two of his past four seasons (and, to be fair, in four of his past six). As a leadoff hitter, the Yankees are certainly counting on Ellbury to play at least that much. They have another perfectly good center fielder on the roster, but the Yankees invested in Ellsbury expecting some immediate bang for their buck.

Worth watching this spring: The guys you’ve heard all about
Getting adjusted to the sight of Ellsbury in pinstripes should happen fairly quickly. After that, he’ll play center and get ready for the season. Interesting and important, but nothing we haven’t seen before. There will be a different sort of curiosity around Mason Williams and Slade Heathcott. Generally accepted as two of the Yankees top prospects — and certainly two of their best upper-level prospects — Williams and Heathcott are left-handed leadoff types who play good defense in center. The absolute ceiling for each of them is probably something similar to Ellsbury. Both have had somewhat uneven careers marketed by injuries and a few off-the-field problems, but both are talented, and both have been on the prospect radar for years. This would be a good year for a breakout season, and it might as well start with a strong showing in big league camp.

Best-case scenario: MVP candidate up the middle
The Yankees lost their usual MVP contender when Cano signed with the Mariners, but Ellsbury has been in the MVP conversation in two of the past three years, and the could give the Yankees another up-the-middle MVP candidate this year. Even a season like he had in 2013, when Ellsbury was a kind of bottom-of-the-ballot possibility, would be productive and helpful. If he can get closer to his 2011 numbers — maybe run into a few more homers because of Yankee Stadium’s short porch — that would be even better.  With Ellsbury and Gardner covering a ton of ground in the outfield and providing a one-two speed punch on the bases, the Yankees could have an exciting dynamic to their everyday lineup, but it needs to start with Ellsbury being a true standout.

Worst-case scenario: Back of his baseball card
For each position, it’s easy to say that an injury is the worst-case scenario. Obviously that’s always true. In Ellsbury’s case, though, it seems especially relevant. The back of his baseball card shows he played just 18 games in 2010, and that he played less than half of the games in 2012. In fact, I’ll point to 2012 as Ellsbury’s most reasonable worst-case scenario. That season, he played just 74 games, but that’s only half of the problem. The other half is that he hit just .271/.313/.370. He has to get on base more often than that to utilize his speed and become something close to the impact player the Yankees envisioned when they gave him such a massive contract.

Keep and eye on this year: Where’s Aaron Judge playing?
Amazing that a guy who hasn’t played a single professional game can already stir such excitement and anticipation, but that’s certainly the case with Aaron Judge. He was the Yankees second pick last year — a supplemental selection — but he didn’t play because of a quad issue. Even so, the Yankees have acknowledged the possibility of pushing Judge all the way to High-A Tampa for his professional debut. He’s a huge guy — 6-foot-7, built like a strong safety — and his power potential is immense. Most expectation is that Judge will settle into right field, but there could be some chance of testing his athleticism in center.

Associated Press photo

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114 Responses to “State of the organization: Center field”

  1. Blojaldo February 10th, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    Against All Odds February 10th, 2014 at 2:57 pm
    What did Herm say??

    “He compared Sam to a player with “off the field” issues . . . and said, “He’s bringing baggage into your locker room.”

  2. Locke February 10th, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    I bet the Yankees claim Emilio Bonifacio off unconditional release waivers. $3.5mm is pretty steep, but he can play 2B, 3B and is only 28 (will be 29 in April).

  3. Locke February 10th, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    He can also backup SS pretty well.

  4. Howler February 10th, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    They pretty much have a number of those types already though.

  5. Against All Odds February 10th, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Blojaldo February 10th, 2014 at 3:00 pm
    Against All Odds February 10th, 2014 at 2:57 pm
    What did Herm say??

    “He compared Sam to a player with “off the field” issues . . . and said, “He’s bringing baggage into your locker room.”

    ———————-

    Yea that’s out of left field. There will be no baggage as long as the locker room accepts him if they don’t then I could see things happening. This is going to die down in a few days but pick up again at draft. Then it becomes who drafts him and what round. Then OTAs. Then first game and last game. If he’s as good of a player as ppl say then his skills will do the talking.

  6. blake February 10th, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    I would try to get Bonofacio on a minor league deal if possible…..he’s like a version of Nunez maybe that can actually play defense

  7. Blojaldo February 10th, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    Against All Odds February 10th, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    It my be a little bit hyperbolic, but it wouldn’t be that far fetched to compare this to Jackie Robinson in some respects. I’m sure Sam will endure a great deal of disturbing hate speech and he will need to ignore it and be nothing but professional in dealing with it.

  8. bbb51 February 10th, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    How do you explain Ellsbury’s 2011? 32 HR, highest in any other season is 9…

    Just a fluke? Felt really good that year? I don’t think it was steroids.

  9. Blojaldo February 10th, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    bbb51 February 10th, 2014 at 3:16 pm
    How do you explain Ellsbury’s 2011? 32 HR, highest in any other season is 9. Just a fluke? Felt really good that year? I don’t think it was steroids.
    _________________

    He just had a very good year, I don’t think there is an explanation and that’s ok. Sometimes athletes over perform in the short term and at other times they under perform.

  10. RhapsodyInBlue February 10th, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    I would agree that Sam will be continually hounded by the press especially in the locker room before and after games. Much like Tebow but for different reasons.

    Every front office will consider whether or not it will be a distraction in deciding whether or not he should be picked.

    I give him credit for coming out but question the wisdom in doing so before the college draft.

  11. J. Alfred Prufrock February 10th, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    blake February 10th, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    I would try to get Bonofacio on a minor league deal if possible…..he’s like a version of Nunez maybe that can actually play defense
    ////

    He’s pretty shaky defensively.

  12. Howler February 10th, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    I think it’d be a story that would come and go very quickly…once the press has their run with it it’ll go away.

  13. Yankee Trader February 10th, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Wow, talk about a big spender!

    The Yankees’ new Japanese pitching ace geared up for spring training by chartering a massive, luxury passenger plane to fly him to New York — along with his pet dog.
    Masahiro Tanaka reportedly shelled out $195,000 for the one-way flight from Tokyo on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which seats more than 200 passengers.

    http://nypost.com/2014/02/10/m.....-new-york/

  14. joeman February 10th, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    J. Alfred Prufrock February 10th, 2014 at 3:30 pm
    blake February 10th, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    I would try to get Bonofacio on a minor league deal if possible…..he’s like a version of Nunez maybe that can actually play defense
    ////

    He’s pretty shaky defensively.
    ——————————————–
    stinks is a better word

  15. joeman February 10th, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Bonofacio is dumpster diving

  16. Locke February 10th, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    Jackie Robinson represented a minority when it was socially acceptable for people to harass him. Players and fans that taunted him, intentionally threw at him, etc. weren’t criticized for doing so.

    Not to diminish what Sam will go through, but homosexuality isn’t viewed the same way that color was when Robinson joined baseball. Most players are openly embracing him, while the minority that will persecute him will shy away from doing so in the public because they know they will face a huge backlash.

    Still seems like a great kid and I wish him the best in the NFL. I wouldn’t be mad if my Jaguars picked him up.

  17. blake February 10th, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    He’s pretty shaky defensively.”

    He’s better than nunez

  18. Blojaldo February 10th, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Yankee Trader February 10th, 2014 at 3:35 pm
    Wow, talk about a big spender!

    The Yankees’ new Japanese pitching ace geared up for spring training by chartering a massive, luxury passenger plane to fly him to New York — along with his pet dog.
    Masahiro Tanaka reportedly shelled out $195,000 for the one-way flight from Tokyo on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which seats more than 200 passengers.
    ___________________

    $155,000,000 (-) $195,000 (=) $154,805,000

    Poor Masahiro! :)

  19. Locke February 10th, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    RhapsodyInBlue February 10th, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    I would agree that Sam will be continually hounded by the press especially in the locker room before and after games. Much like Tebow but for different reasons.

    ———-

    I think the Tebow comparison is pretty spot on. Lots of media attention, but a majority will be positive.

  20. joeman February 10th, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Bonofacio….there’s a reason why he’s been with 5 teams in 7 years…OK I’m done

  21. joeman February 10th, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    blake February 10th, 2014 at 3:38 pm
    He’s pretty shaky defensively.”

    He’s better than nunez
    ————————————–
    really

  22. Mike_Boston February 10th, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    My biggest issue with the Cano situation was the FO not getting more for him last year because they clearly didn’t intend on keeping him. The FO needs to formulate a plan and stick with it. They could have gotten a very nice haul for him at the TD but were too scared of the backlash.

    Obviously I will miss his sweet swing and even sweeter glove but at his age and after the Arod debacle they had to show some restraint. Signing Ellesbury might have been a bit excessive but in the grand scheme of things it wasn’t crazy. They had to overpay slightly for a FA, that’s the price of doing biz. The fact that it was a double move, weakening the sox is a nice bonus. 10 years for a 31 year old slugger would have been.

  23. blake February 10th, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    He’s better than nunez
    ————————————–
    really”

    Absolutely

  24. Melkmanisinhotlanta February 10th, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    How much increased value is Ellsbury going to bring over Gardner? That’s what amazes me about the purchase of this guy. Duplication doesn’t make sense.

  25. joeman February 10th, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    blake February 10th, 2014 at 3:46 pm
    He’s better than nunez
    ————————————–
    really”

    Absolutely
    ——————————–
    ok.. if you say so

  26. Mike_Boston February 10th, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    I’ve been a big Gardner supporter for some time, but the fact is he doesn’t get on base enough nor does he have an instinct for stealing bags, he just doesn’t regardless of how fast he is. Gardner will be a FA next year and the bottom line is that Elles was the #1 CF on the FA market because he does everything pretty well. You can’t say that about Gardner.

  27. blake February 10th, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    Defensively I mean….neither can hit a lick

  28. Yankee Trader February 10th, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    Positive news:

    In a tweet last month, Joel Sherman of the New York Post said the comparables he’s heard most often for Tanaka are Hiroki Kuroda and prime-age Dan Haren, plus reliever Bryan Harvey for his splitter. One scout agreed with the Haren comp, noting that Tanaka has more arm strength. Others cited Zack Greinke and Matt Cain.

    Those last two- pretty solid #1′s

    And this:

    TAMPA, Fla. – Four days before the official report date for Yankees and pitchers and catchers, right-hander Michael Pineda – who has been throwing bullpens here since last week – says he’s ready to compete for the No. 5 spot in the rotation.

    Pineda hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2011 with the Mariners, due to right shoulder surgery. But he’s looking fit and says he’s feeling “great.”

    - See more at: http://blog.northjersey.com/ya.....cVqxs.dpuf

  29. Melkmanisinhotlanta February 10th, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    Pineda could finally pay off. Here’s hoping.

  30. J. Alfred Prufrock February 10th, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    blake February 10th, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    He’s pretty shaky defensively.”

    He’s better than nunez
    ///

    He was awful in Jays’ infield.

  31. Blojaldo February 10th, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    Melkmanisinhotlanta February 10th, 2014 at 3:46 pm
    How much increased value is Ellsbury going to bring over Gardner? That’s what amazes me about the purchase of this guy. Duplication doesn’t make sense.
    ____________

    Similar types, but I believe Ellsbury is a better ballplayer. That aside IMHO I don’t think it’s duplication as it gives the Yankees ‘quality depth’ and a trade chip in Gardner if they need it.

  32. J. Alfred Prufrock February 10th, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Gardner was a better hitter last year than he’s ever been in his career, and please don’t quote me his 2010 stats, because he was mechanically worlds better at the plate last year than in 2010.

    I don’t know if it was the time off, or what, but he made a dramatic adjustment and really ceased being that guy who would rise on his toes, get under the ball, and produce feeble popups, taking his legs out of the equation. His swing is more level, stays in hitting zone longer, and he has much better support. Seems he had a ton of xtra base hits last year. Different player.

  33. tomingeorgia February 10th, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Does anyone here understand curling? Born in Minnesota, so I should know, I guess, but I haven’t a clue to how it’s scored, or anything else. Looks like shuffle board with a lot more strategy and a lot of odd hollering and women with brooms.

  34. Howler February 10th, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    I think they’d rather have an upgrade at the position rather than pay Gardner next year. I’d be a bit surprised if he’s part of the team next year.

  35. Against All Odds February 10th, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Blojaldo February 10th, 2014 at 3:15 pm
    Against All Odds February 10th, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    It my be a little bit hyperbolic, but it wouldn’t be that far fetched to compare this to Jackie Robinson in some respects. I’m sure Sam will endure a great deal of disturbing hate speech and he will need to ignore it and be nothing but professional in dealing with it.

    ——————–

    I see where you were going with the comparisons. Being the first is always a big thing.

  36. tomingeorgia February 10th, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    AAO,
    Sam isn’t the first, guaranteed.

  37. joeman February 10th, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Mike_Boston February 10th, 2014 at 3:50 pm
    I’ve been a big Gardner supporter for some time, but the fact is he doesn’t get on base enough nor does he have an instinct for stealing bags, he just doesn’t regardless of how fast he is. Gardner will be a FA next year and the bottom line is that Elles was the #1 CF on the FA market because he does everything pretty well. You can’t say that about Gardner.
    ————————-
    music to my ears…can’t wait for him to leave

  38. Against All Odds February 10th, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    tomingeorgia February 10th, 2014 at 4:28 pm
    AAO,
    Sam isn’t the first, guaranteed.

    ——————-

    True I should have worded that differently.

  39. Locke February 10th, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    tomingeorgia February 10th, 2014 at 4:28 pm
    AAO,
    Sam isn’t the first, guaranteed.

    ——-

    Are you saying that other NFL players are gay (obviously I’d agree). Or that you think somebody else will be openly gay in the NFL before he is drafted?

    I’d imagine that a handful of players will come out this season.

  40. joeman February 10th, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    tom…how you doing ?

  41. MTU February 10th, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    Something for Tanaka junkies :

    “Scouting Report: Three Plus Pitches

    Tanaka’s fastball typically sits between 91-93 miles per hour, with the ability to touch 96 mph. Most of the scouts to whom I spoke graded his fastball as a 6, or plus, though one put a 70 on the heater. One scout praised his fastball in saying he throws a “heavy ball,” though two others noted the pitch can get flat or straight at times. One of those two said Tanaka’s fastball is “probably his most hittable pitch, in a way.”

    Scouts agreed Tanaka has a second or third gear for his fastball. In Japan he’d often be in “cruise control” for the first half of the game, ramping his fastball up into the mid-90s later if he needed to. Noted one scout who loves Tanaka, “When they’re in Japan, they don’t have to throw their best stuff because the league’s not as good.” That figures to change for Tanaka in MLB, given the deeper lineups.

    Tanaka clearly had plus-plus control in Japan, with walk rates below two per nine innings in each of the last four seasons. Scouts feel that will translate to plus in the States. Grading Tanaka’s command, one scout said “60 or 70,” another went with 55, and one gave a 5. The most pessimistic scout elaborated, “I actually thought with the offspeed stuff, the splitter and the slider especially, I thought there was more command of those pitches. And I thought with the fastball he definitely threw strikes to an above average level but I thought the command, pinpointing it, was just average.” When Tanaka does get into trouble in MLB, there’s a good chance it will be the result of throwing hittable fastballs.

    Next is Tanaka’s splitter, by most accounts a nasty pitch. One scout put an 8 on it, suggesting if you don’t put an 8 on this particular pitch, then you might be the type who never gives out 8s. He explained, “It’s not a tumbling pitch. It’s more of a disappearing fastball. It’s not a Contreras splitter that comes out and kind of flutters.” Two others put 7s on the splitter, though one dissented with a 6. That person admitted the split “could be plus-plus,” but unlike his peers, he feels Tanaka’s best pitch is his slider.

    The lone scout who prefers the slider explained, “I think it’s a true slider with a good tilt, he would get depth to it more than ones that are plus-plus.” He feels the slider has a slight lead over the splitter, noting the slider has been Tanaka’s pitch since his high school days. With the other scouts, Tanaka’s slider received a 6 across the board.

    It is generally agreed that Tanaka’s fastball, splitter, and slider are plus pitches, and he’ll get strikeouts with each. For a change of pace, he also throws a slow curveball, described by one scout as “useful.” This pitch grades in the 45-50 range. Tanaka’s ability to throw this pitch for strikes allows him to pitch backward if he chooses. Typically, though, Tanaka’s approach is aggressive, as one scout explained: “He pitches inside, he doesn’t pitch away from contact a lot. Some guys in Japan, they’re not as aggressive. He has more of a Western style that he’s not afraid to go up and in, he’s not afraid to pitch inside. He pitches kind of with a little chip on his shoulder.”

    From MLBTR

    :)

  42. joeman February 10th, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Mike..you have a Tanaka shirt yet ?

  43. MTU February 10th, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    Joeman-

    :)

    I should.

  44. blake February 10th, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    @RiverAveBlues: Wolfson: Yankees recently inquired about Ervin Santana http://t.co/uD7b3QTEwx

  45. tomingeorgia February 10th, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    joeman,
    We’re fine. It will rain tonight, but probably not freeze. Depending on whom you listen to, the main event will start Tuesday afternoon and carry on through Thursday AM. All provisioned, good to go until at least Saturday. Ten years ago, almost to the date, a similarly forecasted storm knocked out power for eight days. Have 500 lbs of ice, gas fireplaces ready, oil lamps fueled. Just wish I’d bought that natural gas backup generator when I had the money to do it. We’ll get by.

    AAO and Locke, My point is, if you can play, and are not an idiot in the clubhouse about it, the vast majority of players couldn’t care less about somebody’s sexual preferences.

  46. joeman February 10th, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    MTU February 10th, 2014 at 5:04 pm
    Joeman-

    :)

    I should.
    ———————–
    no doubt you will

  47. MTU February 10th, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Blake-

    Still an opportunity to load up on more pitching.

    ;)

  48. MTU February 10th, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    Would not shock me in the slightest if we wound up w either Ubaldo or Santana.

  49. Blojaldo February 10th, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    I’m not so sure what the reaction will be. Mixed at best.

    - Giants defensive back Charles James:
    “Your business is your business I don’t care! When did this become a heroic act? I just want to come out and let everybody know that I am straight as hell.”

    - New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma:
    “Imagine if he’s the guy next to me, and you know, I get dressed, naked, taking a shower, the whole nine, and it just so happens he looks at me, how am I supposed to respond?

    James Brown, the host of “The NFL Today” on CBS Sports and a CBS News special correspondent: “Vilma is not in the minority with respect to that attitude. That will be the kind of environment by and large that Mr. Sam, if he makes a team, will be walking into. A very macho environment, testosterone laden and players will be looking with raised eyebrows, by and large, for sure.”

  50. tomingeorgia February 10th, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    Watching the US women play hockey against the against Switzerland, damn, they’re fast and tough.

  51. Howler February 10th, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    Even the doggie is going to have Tanaka shirts

  52. Against All Odds February 10th, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Blojaldo February 10th, 2014 at 5:16 pm
    I’m not so sure what the reaction will be. Mixed at best

    —————–

    Kinda similar to when Magic announced he was HIV positive or was that all negative

  53. blake February 10th, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Santana or Ubaldo on short deals would be ok…..I wouldn’t go beyond 3 years for either though

  54. MTU February 10th, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    By the way, That report was incomplete as there was not even a mention of Tanka’s “shuuto”
    or running FB.

    I’m gonna bet it grades out as at least + as well.

    That’s 4 + to ++ pitches.

    With plus command.

    Lot’s of ways to skin the cat w that type of arsenal.

    ;)

  55. MTU February 10th, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    Blake-

    Could easily happen.

    ;)

  56. Blojaldo February 10th, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    I would really love it if the Yankees picked up Santana or Ubaldo! It would provide much needed pitching depth to protect against injuries, a slow Pineda recovery and perhaps some bullpen options.

    Sabathia, Kuroda, Tanaka, Nova, Pineda, Santana or Ubaldo (David Phelps, Adam Warren, Michael Pineda and Vidal Nuno.)

  57. Howler February 10th, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    I’d see a trade in ST if that were to happen.

  58. MTU February 10th, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Howler-

    A shirt for that Horse ?

    Gonna cost you a fortune.

    Not even sure they make ‘em that big.

    :)

  59. MTU February 10th, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    The thing a Ubaldo or Santana acquisition does is free up Nova for trade.

    ;)

  60. Howler February 10th, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    She actually grew again…but I figured you’d want one, so you’d all match. She isn’t quite as big as you think though. She’ll probably get there though.
    Time for a nice woman to beat me up…and I actually pay for it (a real massage).

  61. blake February 10th, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    I honestly think it would be wiser to spend on Drew than the back end of the rotation though…..Id rather keep money available to potentially chase Sherzer or Bailey than spend it on Ubaldo or Santana

  62. Howler February 10th, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Nova, Phelps or Warren..Warren would be of interest because he has a high upside, young and under team control for a long time.

  63. tomingeorgia February 10th, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    Is anybody streaming the Tanaka presser tomorrow at 1?

  64. MTU February 10th, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    Howler-

    Must be nice to be rich.

    :)

  65. bbb51 February 10th, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    I’d rather have Aramis Ramirez for one year than another pitcher.

  66. MTU February 10th, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    Blake-

    They are going to get Bailey if Kuroda moves on.

    For the next few years it’s about value not just #’s for a change.

    ;)

  67. joeman February 10th, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    tomingeorgia February 10th, 2014 at 5:05 pm
    joeman,
    We’re fine. It will rain tonight, but probably not freeze. Depending on whom you listen to, the main event will start Tuesday afternoon and carry on through Thursday AM. All provisioned, good to go until at least Saturday. Ten years ago, almost to the date, a similarly forecasted storm knocked out power for eight days. Have 500 lbs of ice, gas fireplaces ready, oil lamps fueled. Just wish I’d bought that natural gas backup generator when I had the money to do it. We’ll get by.
    —————————————
    you in the area of Athens

  68. MTU February 10th, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Tanaka:

    Pitchibility- 80

    Competitiveness- 80

    Deameanor- 80

    :)

  69. tomingeorgia February 10th, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    joeman,
    44 miles SE.

  70. joeman February 10th, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    Amazon has a bunch of #19 shirts

  71. J. Alfred Prufrock February 10th, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    - Giants defensive back Charles James:
    “Your business is your business I don’t care! When did this become a heroic act? I just want to come out and let everybody know that I am straight as hell.”
    ///

    Idiot.

  72. MTU February 10th, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    Thanks Joeman.

    I may have to re-institute my “tribute” program in a case like this.

    ;)

  73. tomingeorgia February 10th, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    If it’s heroic to say you are gay, why is it idiotic to say you’re straight? I don’t care either way.

  74. J. Alfred Prufrock February 10th, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Vilma = bigger idiot.

  75. Jerkface February 10th, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    If it’s heroic to say you are gay, why is it idiotic to say you’re straight? I don’t care either way.

    People aren’t beaten up, shunned, killed, etc for being straight, so mocking the idea of the heroism of coming out is idiotic.

  76. J. Alfred Prufrock February 10th, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    I doubt Sam referred to himself as “heroic.”

    Does this really require explanation?

    No one’s going to oppress a straight person for declaring their preference?? No one’s going to try to intimidate, ridicule, even kill them, for it?

    People who are gay and don’t reveal it are living an outward lie, so declaring it, and risking all of that bigoted crap from bigoted jerks, means they took a stand?

    So, someone might call risking all that – even perhaps his career – in the name of being true to oneself, heroic?

    Something like that.

  77. J. Alfred Prufrock February 10th, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    People aren’t beaten up, shunned, killed, etc for being straight, so mocking the idea of the heroism of coming out is idiotic.
    ///

    Uh, yeah, pretty much this.

  78. joeman February 10th, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    I’m straight..

  79. Revenge of Stoneburner February 10th, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    Generally a pretty good summation of Scott Sizemore – interesting little writeup included from BA way back from Detroit’s prospect list:

    “The two lost years mean Sizemore will come to camp next week as a complete unknown. Sure, that 2011 effort with Oakland was promising, but it was only 355 plate appearances and that doesn’t mean much of anything. Baseball America (no subs. req’d) called him a “blue-collar grinder who comes to the park ready to play every day” and a potential “steady if not spectacular regular,” but that was four years ago now.”

    http://riveraveblues.com/2014/.....pot-99353/

  80. Giuseppe Franco February 10th, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    joeman February 10th, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Mike_Boston February 10th, 2014 at 3:50 pm
    I’ve been a big Gardner supporter for some time, but the fact is he doesn’t get on base enough nor does he have an instinct for stealing bags, he just doesn’t regardless of how fast he is. Gardner will be a FA next year and the bottom line is that Elles was the #1 CF on the FA market because he does everything pretty well. You can’t say that about Gardner.
    ————————-
    music to my ears…can’t wait for him to leave

    —–

    Wait a sec….didn’t Gardner get traded after they signed Ellsbury?

    Then he was sent packing yet again after they signed Beltran?

    At least according to what Bret kept telling us.

  81. J. Alfred Prufrock February 10th, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    Speaking of the “shunned,” Jeter has exchanged texts with Alex.

    Woo woo! How can he consort with the Devil? :roll:

    Meanwhile, Kay stated that C.C. and Alex are “very close.”

    Shouldn’t we get rid of Sabathia, then?

    :mrgreen:

  82. J. Alfred Prufrock February 10th, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    When is the Tanaka thing on?

  83. MTU February 10th, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    Yangervis Solarte just has an ML ring to it.

    Doesn’t it ?

    Absolutely cool name.

    Almost as good as “Slade”.

    :)

  84. Revenge of Stoneburner February 10th, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Another potential guy to take a look at in ST:

    “Kimball had a torn rotator cuff in July, 2011 and has hardly pitched since then, just 5.7 IP in 2012 and 28.3 IP in 2013. Though he had an 8.06 ERA and 1.753 WHIP in 25.7 IP in AAA in 2013, numbers that do not inspire confidence, in his last seven appearances in AAA in 2013 he had a 0.00 ERA and 0.600 WHIP, allowing no runs on four hits and a walk in 8.3 IP while striking out 13. Batters hit .143/.172/.143 vs Kimball in those 7 appearances, 4 for 28, one walk, no extra base hits. It does seem like was healthy at the end of the 2013 season and that when healthy and back in the swing of things, he is pretty good – which he was in 2010 and 2011 before his injury.”

  85. joeman February 10th, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Giuseppe Franco February 10th, 2014 at 5:53 pm
    joeman February 10th, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Mike_Boston February 10th, 2014 at 3:50 pm
    I’ve been a big Gardner supporter for some time, but the fact is he doesn’t get on base enough nor does he have an instinct for stealing bags, he just doesn’t regardless of how fast he is. Gardner will be a FA next year and the bottom line is that Elles was the #1 CF on the FA market because he does everything pretty well. You can’t say that about Gardner.
    ————————-
    music to my ears…can’t wait for him to leave

    —–

    Wait a sec….didn’t Gardner get traded after they signed Ellsbury?

    Then he was sent packing yet again after they signed Beltran?

    At least according to what Bret kept telling us.
    —————————————————————–

    he now says he’ll leave after the 14 season

  86. Revenge of Stoneburner February 10th, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Yangervis Solarte just has an ML ring to it.

    Doesn’t it ?

    Absolutely cool name.

    Almost as good as “Slade”.

    *****

    Slade feels like more a character from “Escape from New York” or “Blade”

  87. joeman February 10th, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    at least there’s one other person that wants Gardner out of here besides myself…I don’t feel alone anymore

  88. MTU February 10th, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Stones-

    “Slade the Blade”.

    ;)

  89. MTU February 10th, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    El nexto —>

  90. pete2 February 10th, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    “By the way, That report was incomplete as there was not even a mention of Tanka’s “shuuto”
    or running FB.”

    I don’t think MLB hitters have trouble with a running FB, or a 2 seamer with little sink. Its the sink that gets them. Word is he apparently gets more sink with the MLB ball, which is good.

    I found a You tube clip of all 200 strike outs last year. I did not seem him throw many FB over 90 mph, although maybe the velocity readings in Japan are on the low side (MLB pitch f/x reports velocity at the release point using cameras to measure 1 ft away and an algorithm to calculate velocity at release, while in Japan they may use radar guns and measure halfway between the mound and plate which would lop a couple of miles/hr off his FB). He got most of his K’s on the split and slider, and most of the splits were out of the zone. Most of his FB’s for swinging K’s were in the zone, and they looked hittable, but I suspect batters were worried about the split. He also got a few generous calls, although hard to tell with the camera angle. I wonder if the strike zone is a bit different than MLB.

    The splits the key for him, and he probably is going to need to throw it in the zone more than in Japan as batters will learn to avoid swinging at it. Uehara for example throws his split in the zone quite a but so batters have to try and hit it, with little success.

    It will definitely be an interesting ST and early start to the season watching him.

  91. pete2 February 10th, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    Yankee Trader February 10th, 2014 at 3:35 pm
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    The Yankees’ new Japanese pitching ace geared up for spring training by chartering a massive, luxury passenger plane to fly him to New York — along with his pet dog.
    Masahiro Tanaka reportedly shelled out $195,000 for the one-way flight from Tokyo on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which seats more than 200 passengers.”

    Maybe the Yankees are paying for that?. Even if not, he probably had a lot of stuff to move and little time to ship it by ocean freight, and it would have been very expensive to send via air. Might have been bringing a bunch of relatives with his dog as well (10 first class tickets would cost 50K), and maybe he is charging reporters who want to tail along to offset the cost. And if he could write it off his taxable income in some way that reduces the actual cost a bit more.

    No question it’s an extravagance though. But hey, if you got that kind of money you might as well enjoy it.

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