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Expectations with two weeks to go

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Mar 17, 2014 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Joe Girardi, Rob Thomson

The Yankees last spring game is March 29. They’ll take the day off on the 30th, do a workout in Houston on the 31, and the season opens on April 1. Basically, the Yankees have two weeks to make their final roster decisions. Here are few of my own expectations and observations on this rainy day in Florida.

LINEUP

Derek JeterMy expectation
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Derek Jeter SS
Carlos Beltran RF
Brian McCann C
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alfonso Soriano DH
Kelly Johnson 3B
Brett Gardner LF
Brian Roberts 2B

My explanation
Nothing’s changed, really. Joe Girardi hasn’t exactly tipped his hand about the exact batting order, but it’s clear that came into camp penciled in as a the No. 2 hitter, Ellsbury is the natural choice for the leadoff spot, and Girardi has said that Teixeira’s spring starts as the No. 3 hitter are mostly about getting him at-bats. He’ll likely hit lower than that. Even if the exactly 1 through 9 order isn’t exactly right, the names seem hard to argue. The Yankees have made it clear that Roberts will be the regular second baseman and Johnson will be the vRHP side of a platoon at third base. At the very least, that’s the way the Yankees are planning to open the season. Things could certainly change depending on production, but for now, my expectation for the Opening Day lineup has not really changed since camp opened.

BENCH

Eduardo NunezMy expectation
Francisco Cervelli C
Ichiro Suzuki OF
Eduardo Nunez INF
Brendan Ryan INF

My explanation
Again, nothing in camp has led me to change my mind about who I expect to open the season on the bench. However, I will say that Cervelli’s strong spring — I don’t think it’s crazy for a team to think he could be a solid regular behind the plate — might have boosted his stock enough that the Yankees will get an trade offer worth accepting. I don’t think the Yankees will or should give him away, but there must be a right price that makes too much sense. The idea of trading Ichiro seems far less likely. I just can’t imagine a team willing to pay a significant amount of his salary or give up a legitimately productive player. Because of his speed and defense, Ichiro really isn’t a bad fit as a fifth outfielder.

As for the two infield spots, given the defensive concerns in the infield, carrying Ryan makes good sense to me (and I think he’s basically a lock). The Nunez spot is the one that’s more up for grabs, but I still think Nunez is the favorite. Dean Anna hits left-handed (so he doesn’t really fit the right-handed platoon need), Yangervis Solarte has no big league experience (and his minor league numbers suggest this spring is a bit of a mirage), and Scott Sizemore has hardly played the past two years (so getting his feet under him in Triple-A seems to make sense). Sizemore has an opt-out on May 1, so maybe Nunez gets one month as a kind of final chance to show he fits into the Yankees plans.  He’s played pretty well down here.

ROTATION

Masahiro Tanaka, Ivan NovaMy expectation
CC Sabathia
Hiroki Kuroda
Ivan Nova
Masahiro Tanaka
Michael Pineda

My explanation
I’m not ready to hand Pineda the fifth starter job just yet, mostly because I still think there are some factors that lean in David Phelps’ favor — and Phelps has pitched well — but hearing the Yankees talk about Pineda, it just seems like the job is his for the taking. His post-surgery fastball doesn’t hum in the upper 90s, but it’s not topping out in the upper 80s either. His slider has looked pretty good down here, and his changeup seems to have actually  improved during the past two years. Pineda’s workload will have to be limited at some point, but it seems unlikely that the Yankees will put him into some sort of Joba Rules program. If the Yankees decide he’s the best rotation option out of camp, I think he’ll get the job.

That said, Phelps has been pretty steady. He’s thrown strikes and pitched well, and the Yankees seem to think of him as a guy who can do almost anything, whether that’s starting, pitching in long relief or perhaps evolving into a late-inning setup option. Adam Warren and Vidal Nuno are still competing for jobs, but they don’t have another start listed on the schedule. It really seems to be a two-man race at this point.

BULLPEN

David RobertsonMy expectation
Dave Robertson
Shawn Kelley
Matt Thornton
David Phelps
Adam Warren
Dellin Betances
Vidal Nuno

My explanation
If it is, in fact, Pineda who wins the fifth starter competition, then I think the top five relievers listed here are absolute locks. Girardi has basically said as much. We know Robertson, Kelley and Thornton are heading north with the team, and both Phelps and Warren seem to have one roster spots, it’s just a matter of figuring out which role they’re going to play. The guy who’s really taken advantage of an opportunity here is Betances, who’s pitched extremely well this spring. That, combined with last year’s success and the fact he’s already on the 40-man, seem to make Betances a strong bullpen contender.

If Betances is in place, then there’s only one spot left. Could go to Preston Claiborne, could go to Cesar Cabral, and — if the Yankees can find a way to get one of them on the 40-man — it could go to Chris Leroux, Matt Daley, Yoshinori Tateyama or Jim Miller, all of whom have pitched very well down here. The Yankees wanted some guys to compete for bullpen openings, and that’s certainly happened. Options are emerging, for sure. So why Nuno? Well, I certainly don’t think he’s a lock for the job. I’m not even sure you could call him — or anyone for that matter — a true favorite. I just think Nuno has pitched well enough, and he’s versatile enough, that he might make some sense (being familiar and on the 40-man doesn’t hurt).  He would give the Yankees a second lefty and a third multi-inning reliever, freeing both Phelps and Warren to be tested in short-relief situations. That said, I would not be remotely stunned if someone else won the job. Still a lot of ways that last roster spot could go.

Associated Press photos

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115 Responses to “Expectations with two weeks to go”

  1. Jerkface March 17th, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    I think it would be foolish for the Yankees to put their 6th, 7th, and 8th starters in the bullpen.

  2. bigdan22 March 17th, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    austinmac March 17th, 2014 at 4:56 pm
    Dan,

    I have saved all my pearls of wisdom. Both of them

    ——

    Haha. Humility is a virtue. One I’m still seeking.

  3. sjb23 March 17th, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    I know this is out-of-the-box thinking, but I sure would like to see a six man rotation that includes Pineda and Nuno, with all six skipping a turn about once a month. I’d like to see Nova stuck in between Kuroda and Tanaka. I’d like to see Phelps in a late inning setup role, and Warren as the long reliever:

    CC Robertson
    Kuroda Phelps
    Nova Kelley
    Tanaka Betances
    Pineda Thornton
    Nuno Warren
    Nuno

  4. stillstuckey March 17th, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    The 6 man rotation – the white whale of MLB fans.

  5. sjb23 March 17th, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    To clarify my previous post:

    Rotation: CC, Kuroda, Nova, Tanaka, Pineda, Nuno

    Bullpen: Robertson, Phelps, Kelley, Betances, Thornton, Warren

  6. hardwired7 March 17th, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    Nuno always seems to have quick, relatively clean innings. I know, SSS and all, but damn, he just seems to get outs.

    I like the thought of having him as a part of the 25-man roster. He belongs with the big boys.

  7. sjb23 March 17th, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    stillstuckey March 17th, 2014 at 5:18 pm
    The 6 man rotation – the white whale of MLB fans
    ****************************
    IMO, if there is ever a situation that calls for it, this is it:

    1- CC, Kuroda, Tanaka and Pineda all need a bit of extra rest every now and then, don’t you agree?

    2- Nuno needs to be kept stretched out in case of injuries, and has pitched well enough to make the team.

  8. PacoDooley March 17th, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    I see one of the extra starters going to AAA to stay stretched out until the season solidifies, and I think it will be Nuno or Pineda (if he still looks a little rusty).

    Would be nice to think that they can make a move to get another better quality infielder, though trading Cervelli means that you are left with a pretty poor backup (presumably Romine at this point).

  9. hardwired7 March 17th, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    “Another quick inning from Vitali Nuno.” – Gary Thorne

  10. MTU March 17th, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Nuno is a pitcher not a thrower.

    He won’t dazzle you but he knows what he is doing out there.

    ;)

  11. bigdan22 March 17th, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Jerkface March 17th, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    “I think it would be foolish for the Yankees to put their 6th, 7th, and 8th starters in the bullpen.”

    ——

    Nuno is not going to the bullpen. He’ll be at Scranton. If the Yanks go with two lefties it will be Cabral. But if Pineda wins the 5th spot I think they’ll go with Claiborne instead of two lefties. The luxury of two lefties is a side benefit of Phelps winning the 5th spot.

    I still think Phelps takes the 5th spot and I don’t think the comp is particularly close. All this good stuff you hear about Pineda from the Yanks is a result of all the goodwill/capital they have tied up with this guy. They are still trying to defend that trade and they need to play him up to compensate for sending him down.

    All you have to do is replay Pineda’s last start. He threw 35 fastballs. More were under 90 than over. Only two or three showed location and velocity. Even Coney was pointing out something wrong with his mechanics causing his fastball to cut. Maybe he was overthrowing his FB to increase velocity. If he tries doing that in the regular season in the starting rotation he might get hurt. Moreover, history hasn’t been too kind with pitchers who can only command one pitch.

    I’ve only seen him once so maybe he’ll look better in his next start. Anything is possible.

  12. tomingeorgia March 17th, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    Two daughters pregnant at the same time (withing wedlock, I might add), one due in August, one in September. Mrs. Tom has already broken out the knitting needles and sewing machine.

  13. MTU March 17th, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Congratulations are in order Mister Tom.

    :)

  14. MTU March 17th, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Fortunately for Mankind our tree is barren and my lineage will be snuffed out after I get my dirt sandwich.

    :)

  15. austinmac March 17th, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    Major congrats to you, Tom. Are they close geographically?

  16. bigdan22 March 17th, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Nuno is ready to be a ML starter. He was ready last year. But he’ll have to wait his turn. All he needs to do is stay healthy.

  17. tomingeorgia March 17th, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    One is in DC, the other in Nazareth, PA.

  18. austinmac March 17th, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Dan,

    I agree on Pineda. He didn’t look like I had hoped. He succeeded to be sure, but this isn’t the Boston or Baltimore regulars he faced. A 90 mph Pineda is not likely to succeed. Time will tell on velocity.

    They may want to keep Nuno stretched out, but I think he would be a valuable bullpen asset. He seems unshakeable and fearless. He’s been in the dumpster. This is all gravy.

  19. Shame Spencer March 17th, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    Congrats on the grandkids tom, but good luck with all those hormones!! I have the emotional range of a serial killer and I’m not pregnant….

  20. MTU March 17th, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    Here’s my take on the Pitching.

    I think unless Pineda’s arm falls off he is your 5th starter.

    I agree w Chad in that I could see Nuno in the pen as a result of him being versatile and left-handed.

    For those who haven’t gotten the message yet.

    The Yankees are going to take the best 25 guys north.

    You can dislike it all you want but I think that’s the way it will be.

    I actually liked Lewis’s stuff a lot but he is not on the 40 Man I don’t think.

    And Burawa has terrific stuff FWIS.

    High velocity w movement and real nice tight slider.

    I think he is gonna be a good one.

  21. austinmac March 17th, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Tom,

    You can make a swing and see them both. That’s what retirement if for. But, no. Don’t suggest Austinmac as a grandchild name.

  22. Cashmoney March 17th, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    I think unless Pineda’s arm falls off he is your 5th starter.
    —–
    I agree but since there are obvious candidates to replace him, I wonder how long the leash will be if he is healthy. what if he gets hammered out of the gate? how long? a month or 2… we shall see.

  23. Doreen March 17th, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    Tomingeorgia,

    Twice blessed!! Congratulations!!!

  24. MTU March 17th, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    Dan-

    If Nuno is going to start he may need to do it the way Phelps has via the Pen.

    He may be another guy who is a victim of his own versatility.

  25. MTU March 17th, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Cash-

    Why would he get hammered ?

    He has been throwing the ball extremely well from what I can see.

    He will only get tougher as the season moves along.

    His slider is a wipeout pitch.

    Practically unhittable.

  26. PacoDooley March 17th, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    I can still see Phelps as possible trade bait, except his value in NY may be larger than his value via trade. Maybe a package with Phelps and Cervelli can bring back a reasonable option for an infield spot, especially if they can also package in another player (Williams etc).

  27. tomingeorgia March 17th, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    Austin,
    And I can also swing by SWB for a game or two.

    Shame,
    Having raised four girls (and having been a boy myself), I know about raging hormones.

  28. bigdan22 March 17th, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    MTU March 17th, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    “. . .For those who haven’t gotten the message yet.

    The Yankees are going to take the best 25 guys north.

    You can dislike it all you want but I think that’s the way it will be. . . .”

    —–

    MTU, if the Yanks were a true meritocracy, Nuno would be their No. 2 starter!

  29. Durant1985 March 17th, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Oh for the love of God can we stop gushing over Pineda’s velo, plz..? Lol I mean the guy was effective in a ST game. That’s all that matters. He still touched 92-93 a couple times during the game. That will come back, maybe not like his Seattle days, but he doesn’t need it too. The guy has a wicked slider that hitters have proven not to be able to hit. He will be ok. That said, I do like Phelps ALOT. All he does is throws strikes and moves along. I don’t think the Yankees are trying to justify anything, but the fact is Pineda ceiling is higher than Phelps, plus Phelps is more versatile. If that’s the case, why is Nova’s spot not being questioned, cuz the guy got sent down 2 years in a row.

  30. pete2 March 17th, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    ” Jerkface March 17th, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    I think it would be foolish for the Yankees to put their 6th, 7th, and 8th starters in the bullpen.”

    It would be foolish but I don’t think Pineda grabs the 5th spot to be honest, at least not out of the gate, and he would be sent down to start. Not very impressed with his FB or command, he needs to work on that. I think Phelps gets it, although I kind of like Nuno for that spot.

  31. MTU March 17th, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    Dan-

    They will use him the way they think he helps the Team best.

    In this case it may be in a Phelps-like role. He’s versatile.

    Thing is he may be going North.

    That counts for a lot.

    They don’t have a big enough sample on him as a SP just yet.

    He may wind up getting a role like that if he does well enough or the need arises.

  32. jmills March 17th, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    Some good news for you. jmv just sent an e-mail, he says he’s fine for now – said to say hi to everybody :)

  33. austinmac March 17th, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    Durant,

    Thanks for the guarantee Pineda’s velocity comes back. Any basis two years is insufficient but the next few months will do it?

  34. Jerkface March 17th, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    The Yankees always take the best 25 guys north*

    *Subject to Service time, 40 man, contractual obligations, veteran status, HAL’s payroll, void where prohibited.

  35. Jerkface March 17th, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    The “we’re taking the best 25 guys forth” is only an excuse used to derail the development of certain players and put the Yankees into a sub optimal roster configuration. It is never used as a reason to say… not take a guy like Brendan Ryan or Brian Roberts north if better options present themselves.

  36. Against All Odds March 17th, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    Congrats Tom

  37. austinmac March 17th, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    JF does make a good point of not having any of your replacement starters ready to start. However, I think they would simply stretch one out over a few starts. Heck, they would still have an extra long man.

  38. Durant1985 March 17th, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    AustinMac,

    Maybe u didn’t read my entire post. I said I don’t think Pineda’s velo comes back like in his Seattle days, but then again it doesn’t need to. If it does that’s a plus, but a pitcher can still be effective sitting at 90-94 as long as they work the plate and have that out-pitch, which in his case is his slider. I think ppl overworry themselves about a pitchers velo.

  39. bigdan22 March 17th, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    It’s St Patty’s Day and I’ve yet in imbibe :).

    I like the cut on this team’s jib. It’s probably because no one has gotten hurt yet but what the hell. I like the starting pitching. I think most teams would kill for this depth. I think the hitting will be good but not great and that should be good enough. I think in a couple months Roberts may be a lot of peoples’ favorite new Yankee. I think Tex will be ok. Johnson will hit some dingers and surprise us with his defense. Ells or Gardner will probably get hurt but if they do maybe Almonte gets a shot. Beltran will lead the team in RBIs and become a clubhouse leader. The bullpen will be a work in progress but the starters will carry this team anyway. Robertson will be good. Betances will be great.

    I worry a little about Jeet. I don’t want this to be bad for him. He’ll field every ground ball hit to him so that’s ok. But will he hit?

  40. Locke March 17th, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    I’m pulling for Solarte to steal a backup role.

  41. Durant1985 March 17th, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    Also let me say this. I think ppl are over-looking Brian Roberts. If this guy is healthy, big if, then he can be effective for us. He still can field with the best of them, and he is hits good for average. That, and I think he has something to prove, especially to B-more.

  42. Durant1985 March 17th, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    Why is Nunez getting all these chances..? Dean Anna anyone?

  43. champ809 March 17th, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    I agree that Pineda is the 5th sp and that’s how it should be. Pineda is good enough to where he can build arm strength while still being a very effective pitcher at the ML level. As he gets his arm strength back he’ll only get more dominant effectively getting better as the season picks up.

    I think you’ll see Pineda get the FB up to 93-95 touching 96 as the season goes on.

    This is the season that the Yanks harvest bears fruit….on all levels of the organization.

  44. Jerkface March 17th, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    If this guy is healthy, big if, then he can be effective for us. He still can field with the best of them, and he is hits good for average.

    He hasn’t hit for average for 3 years and is hitting .200 vs mostly major league pitching so far in spring. This is his age 36 season after lots of injuries.

  45. tomingeorgia March 17th, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    Lots of new folks (or at least new names) around lately. Good!

  46. Against All Odds March 17th, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    tomingeorgia March 17th, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    Lots of new folks (or at least new names) around lately. Good!

    ————–

    Some of them are just the same ppl with another account

  47. Durant1985 March 17th, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    Those were injury-marred seasons. I think he had multiple concussions or something like that. All I’m saying is don’t overlook the guy because he’s scrappy. If we can get him to play in 140 or so games and hit .280 I think we’d take it.

  48. Locke March 17th, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    tomingeorgia – lots of new names in the Yankees clubhouse too. :) I’m ready for this season to start!

  49. stillstuckey March 17th, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    “He hasn’t hit for average for 3 years and is hitting .200 vs mostly major league pitching so far in spring. This is his age 36 season after lots of injuries.”

    How soon we forget Raul Ibanez.

    I’m not saying Roberts is going to hit a lick, who the hell knows, but citing his spring training average is just ridiculous.

    Seriously folks – good or bad, how does this happen EVERY spring? How do people year after year use veterans spring training stats in their arguments?

  50. Jerkface March 17th, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    If we can get him to play in 140 or so games and hit .280 I think we’d take it.

    Uh yea that’d be a resounding success, but what about his history suggests thats the case? In the past 2 years he has missed time with a groin strain and a ruptured knee and you don’t get harder to concuss after you receive 1, you become easier to concuss. The likelihood of Brian Roberts even staying healthy are low, let alone the odds of him actually performing if healthy.

  51. tomingeorgia March 17th, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    AOL,
    That’s obvious, but it happens every year. When they turn into pests, we’ll know who they are.

  52. Locke March 17th, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    stillstuckey – good point. I remember how much I doubted Ibanez. I hated seeing him get hits because I thought it would help Joe make the decision to give a spot to Ibanez over Justin Maxwell. Ibanez proved me wrong.

  53. stillstuckey March 17th, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    The reason the 6th man rotation idea is the white whale is because it always applies. No rotation has 5 young workhorse’s. There’s ALWAYS the guys in the rotation who had a rough September, is coming off an injury, is 36, etc…

    Again, that’s what makes it the white whale – the universal logic of it.

  54. UpState March 17th, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Durant1985 March 17th, 2014 at 6:12 pm
    Why is Nunez getting all these chances..? Dean Anna anyone?
    =======================
    B/C Nunnie is this years Nixy, without the talent. JG loves him. Apparently nothing short of a felony conviction will allow the Yanks to demote him and have him replaced.

    Dino – absolutely. Regardless of numbers; he plays like a ballplayer !

    Solarte – for the last spot ? Here’s a chance to ‘give someone a FIRST try’

    Sizemore – the real possibility …… assuming a felony conviction in the above’s near future.

    ……otherwise were going to get Nunnie shoved down our collective throats once again !

    Thanks, Joe !

  55. champ809 March 17th, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    I am and have been a fan of D Phelps for many years going back to his Tampa days…however at this time I’d be trying to move him quick….so many teams are losing important pitchers to their team plans for the extended time that a gut like Phelps should see a spike in his value.

    If they can get a useful piece or some upside at a MINF position theh they have more than enough cover in Nuno, Warren, Claiborne and even Whitley that Phelps is a valuable luxury to the Yanks.

    Pineda is coming.. by the season’s end the Yanks will have a rotation that consists of #2 starters ( Nova, Tanaka, Pineda ), a former ace CC in a bounceback #2 type starter performance, and a former #2/now a #3 in Kuroda.

  56. bigdan22 March 17th, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    You can’t look at average in ST. You look at ABs. Watching a game about a week ago Kenny looked at Flores’ .150 avg and said, “gee it seems like he’s hitting better than that.” He was and then the hits started dropping in. Irrespective of hitting .550, Solarte has looked real good at the plate. Not a lot of cheap hits there. Consistent hard contact. Same with Almonte. Pulling inside fastballs and hitting outside pitches the other way.

    Roberts has had a lot of good, long ABs. Has squared up a lot of balls that haven’t dropped in yet. Controlling the strike zone. Jeter, on the other hand. . . .

  57. Durant1985 March 17th, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    Once again, I said its a BIG IF. Lol let’s read the whole post here guys…

  58. Durant1985 March 17th, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    Brian Roberts has always been a scrappy hitter. The issue obvi is his health.

  59. stillstuckey March 17th, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    Games started by 7 and 8th (and 9th) starters in recent seasons combined:

    648 games

    7th: 23

    8th: 11

  60. Durant1985 March 17th, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    Also, I wanna say this. I’ll be hella upset if Ichiro takes ab’s away from Zoilo Almonte. Lol

  61. Giuseppe Franco March 17th, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    stillstuckey March 17th, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    How soon we forget Raul Ibanez.

    I’m not saying Roberts is going to hit a lick, who the hell knows, but citing his spring training average is just ridiculous.

    Seriously folks – good or bad, how does this happen EVERY spring? How do people year after year use veterans spring training stats in their arguments?

    —-

    That’s a valid point but I seem to recall that the Yanks’ front office used ST stats (with the help of scouting) precisely one year ago to determine that Vernon Wells was worth acquiring.

    We know how well that worked out.

    Its true that you can’t put a ton of stock in ST numbers but they can and do influence front office decision-making.

  62. Against All Odds March 17th, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    @ Tom true ppl can only hide for so long

  63. Durant1985 March 17th, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    Vernon Wells. Man that name alone makes me wanna puke…

  64. Locke March 17th, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    Giuseppe Franco – Could Dan Uggla be this years Vernan Wells? He’s hitting well in ST, was horrible last year, ATL would love to get some of the money back, and he fits a need on the Yankees. If the Yankees did take him, they would regret it (I’m sure tomingeorgia will back me up on this).

  65. stillstuckey March 17th, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    GF, fair enough, that sort of makes my point for me, however.

    Not excusing ML front offices any more than fans, and two wrongs don’t make a right.

    What we ALL should know for certain:

    1.) Somebody hitting a ton in ST will have an awful year the plate.

    2.) Someone who looks terrible will have a good year.

    THESE are the things we CAN count on.

    Problem is picking them out ahead of time, which is almost impossible.

  66. Giuseppe Franco March 17th, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    Locke March 17th, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    Giuseppe Franco – Could Dan Uggla be this years Vernan Wells? He’s hitting well in ST, was horrible last year, ATL would love to get some of the money back, and he fits a need on the Yankees. If the Yankees did take him, they would regret it (I’m sure tomingeorgia will back me up on this).

    —-

    Yeah, I definitely don’t want any part of Uggla.

    But, unlike Roberts, he’d probably be healthy enough to stay on the field for an extensive period (producing awful numbers).

    I don’t see Roberts doing that.

  67. stillstuckey March 17th, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Games started by 7 and 8th (and 9th) starters in recent seasons combined:

    648 games

    7th: 23

    8th: 11

    EDIT: Sorry, that was 2010-2013.

    In other words, Yankees have used more than 6 starters an average of 8.5 starts a season.

  68. Locke March 17th, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    I’d rather give the job to Nunez, Solarte, or even Soriano before we picked up Uggla. He was soooo bad last year.

  69. tomingeorgia March 17th, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    Giuseppe,
    I;m with you..

  70. Cashmoney March 17th, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    Roberts looks like he still has good bat speed and the eyes to go with it. Roberts, when he was health was one of the tough outs in AL. Watching A.J. Pierzynski today, kind of reminds me that.
    Same with Knobbie and Gardner (when he first came up), that counts for something in my book, P/PA.

  71. UpState March 17th, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Koyie Hill :

    This 35 YO BUC with a lifetime .206 average just got traded to the Phillies.

    One less potential trading partner for our ‘excess’.

  72. Cashmoney March 17th, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    MTU, I guess it’s a difference of opinions, I see a guy who you might have to worry about stamina, velo and repertoire against good offensive lineup for 6-7, that is Pineda. That’s opinion once the season gets kick off.

  73. Cashmoney March 17th, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    *that’s my

  74. Jarak March 17th, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    If someone gets put on 60day DL give Solarte the slot and shot. Nunez has an option left. Could always release Solarte after a month if he’s a mirage and bring up Nunez or Anna later. Kid was blocked w Rangers middle infield talent.

  75. Hans Davenport March 17th, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Is Brendan Ryan even healthy enough to play yet? I read today it isn’t his oblique but possibly a lumbar.

  76. Hans Davenport March 17th, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    Jarak March 17th, 2014 at 6:57 pm
    If someone gets put on 60day DL give Solarte the slot and shot. Nunez has an option left. Could always release Solarte after a month if he’s a mirage and bring up Nunez or Anna later. Kid was blocked w Rangers middle infield talent.

    I hope if an OF does go down (hopefully not) Almonte gets the call for DH or OF and Suzuki stays on the bench.

  77. UpState March 17th, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    Cannot see Almonte as a DH.

    Too many others to use as a straight DH or use the slot to give a day of ‘semi-rest’ to others.

  78. tucker March 17th, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    “Jerkface March 17th, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    I think it would be foolish for the Yankees to put their 6th, 7th, and 8th starters in the bullpen.”

    This is true. They need to keep someone stretched out in AAA in case Pineda or another starter falters.

    Wouldn’t mind seeing Nuno as the 5th starter at the beginning of the season. He just gets outs, works quickly and would give them two lefties among the starting 5.

    To me, Pineda should spend the first month or so in AAA to shake off the rust of a two-year absence. Give him a strict innings limit in AAA. Once he’s in a good groove, put him in the rotation in May or June. He has the most upside of any of the 5th starter candidates, but make sure he builds up arm strength and the command and control are there before he’s ready to face MLB hitters.

  79. Howler March 17th, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    I can just see it now…Dad…we love to have you visit…but why does the baby always have barbecue sauce on it’s bib when you’re around?
    Congrats Tom.

  80. chicken_stanley March 17th, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    Congrats Tom!

  81. tomingeorgia March 17th, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    Howler,
    My kids all had bbq sauce on their bibs, too.

  82. MTU March 17th, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    The Yankees want Pineda w the Parent club ASAP.

    It’s his job to lose.

    Baring a setback that is the most likely scenario.

  83. tomingeorgia March 17th, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    Thanks for all the nice words, folks. In fact, all it involved was a few hours of pleasure, followed by 30 years if insolvency.

  84. pete2 March 17th, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    ” stillstuckey March 17th, 2014 at 6:42 pm
    In other words, Yankees have used more than 6 starters an average of 8.5 starts a season.”
    ================================

    They have been very fortunate. On average, a team uses 8-10 starters per year with the #8 starter getting at least 6 starts. 40% of the average teams starters goes on the DL in any given year, for at least 15 days.

    Despite all the injuries to position players last year, the Yankees pitching was relatively healthy last year, and ultimately it was the pitching that let them down in the end.

    My point being you can’t count on it continuing, as they should eventually regress to league averages.

  85. RhapsodyInBlue March 17th, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    Tom, Congrats Gramps!

  86. tomingeorgia March 17th, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    RIB,
    Catch that first trout in a couple of weeks, then we roll to victory!

  87. tomingeorgia March 17th, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    RIB,
    I’ve already had five grandkids, so I’m not a rookie. The Christmas list is way too full.

  88. Cashmoney March 17th, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    Congrats Tom, just read about the grand kids bit…

  89. stillstuckey March 17th, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    pete2,

    Well, signing guys like Sabathia and Kuroda does have advantages. No pitcher is infallible, but workhorses get their reputations for a reason.

    That said, and understand I too suspect Nuno will begin the year in AAA, I’m not an advocate of playing the actuarial tables and making risk assessment your top priority in ‘roster building’ for the simple, indisputable reason there are too many unknown variables.

    Trying to assess the variable in March is a conceit of amusement. Its actual worth is highly questionable.

    Now let’s just take the mythical 7 and 8th starter for example, and for sake of discussion, we’ll say it’s Nuno. Now, there’s a few things we CAN assume.

    1.) If we’re focused on micro-managing the roster so that a capable starter is kept in AAA for ‘when and if’, we can further assume such micromanagement is only really necessary for a team we expect to be competitive. And IF this Yankees team is going to be competitive, a safe assumption will be they’ll get good starting pitching.

    The reason conditional assumption this is significant is because the 12th pitcher – the long man – won’t have to pitch often. He won’t be trotted out there every other day like the top 5-6 guys. His routine will be to workout like a longman/starter, and given the sort of guys we’re talking about (Nuno, Warren, etc), the Yankees will let a guy like that go out there and throw 80 pitches his FIRST spot start. Next start, he’ll be up to 90+.

    The point being, the need for a “stretched out” starter doesn’t really apply to a 6th, 7th, 8th starter expected to be in the rotation for weeks at a time. A guy like Nuno or Warren can make a spot start and pretty much be up to full speed by this next start, 3rd at most.

    So true advantage of having a guy in AAA ‘stretched out’ is not for ALL the starts starters #6 plus will make, it’s for their their first, first couple tops.

    2.) The biggest glaring problem is the assumption (let’s again say Nuno for sake of discussion) is FAR and away the most qualified guy you could possibly have at Scranton and again, that’s the sot of mistake people trying to project May-September in March make.

    I can almost guarantee Scranton will have a starter or 2 throwing decent. Maybe it’s Ramirez putting it together, maybe ‘s Mitchell and his new cutter. Maybe Stoneburner finds something, but it’s Aaron Small-ish AAAA guy who gets hot.

    The point is, in MARCH Nuno-Warren-Phelps look like the class of the AAA-ML bubble guys, but that can QUICKLY change – who at this time this year thought we’d even be factoring in Nuno and Warren like we are now?

    So the question becomes, how much are we SO certain a Nuno is going to represent such a significant upgrade over other AAA options, that we’re going to park him in AAA for that first start or 2 so that he’s not limited to 5 then 6 innings (not even mentioning the ikelihood of 6th or 7th starter being asked or allowed to pitch into the 7th or 8th under any circumstance).

    The point is, what you’re gaining just isn’t all that much, and once again that’s assuming NO other starting options present themselves at AAA.

    THAT’s the argument for talking the ‘best 25′ (or in this case, the 12). The benefit you’re tying to hedge just isn’t that great, and there’s too much information NOBODY has to accurately project what the need will be, when it will be needed, and would best represent the solution to PLAN for those occasions.

  90. jmills March 17th, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    Happy health to the new family members, Tom. Goodnight.

  91. tomingeorgia March 17th, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    jmills,
    see ya around.

  92. pete2 March 17th, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    stillsuckey. In April there are usually enough off days having someone ready to go right away is not a big issue. My preference is for Pineda to start in Scranton, not Nuno.

    As for anyone else who might surprise in Scranton, they can’t help if they are not on the 40 man, and its unlike someone gets added to the 40 man for only a start or two unless someone goes on the 60 day DL.

    Contingency planning is a big part of management. You can’t always predict who and when, but the law of averages tell you that health can not be assumed, and you have to be ready for it. Bench players and minor league depth get so many PA/IP nowadays, they can be the difference between making the post season and not making it. Especially with a team that has some age and players with an injury history.

    In an ideal world, the opening day lineup starts 162 games and the opening day rotation makes all their starts. Alas, that’s the complete team in only 70% of your games in most cases, and while it may win 60% of the time, its the 30% of games started by your depth or with players like Ichiro and Nunez in the lineup that determines your fate.

  93. BoJo March 17th, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    tomingeorgia March 17th, 2014 at 5:30 pm
    Two daughters pregnant at the same time (withing wedlock, I might add), one due in August, one in September. Mrs. Tom has already broken out the knitting needles and sewing machine.
    ===
    I have an alibi. Congrats!

  94. BoJo March 17th, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    tomingeorgia March 17th, 2014 at 8:04 pm
    Thanks for all the nice words, folks. In fact, all it involved was a few hours of pleasure, followed by 30 years if insolvency.
    —-
    Hours? You sure your watch didn’t stop?

  95. bigdan22 March 17th, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    The Yankees roster construction basically takes place in the office season. It’s reflected in the construction of the 40 man roster. Exceptional performance by a non-roster player (Solarte) is not going to overturn those off season decisions. When it comes down to the 25, there’s really only 2 or three decisions that need be made from the 40 man players.

    But ST isn’t totally irrelevant. Something significant is happening as we speak regarding the Yankees roster construction and his name is Ramon Flores. Before this spring, he was probably in the range of 2-4 on the 40 man casualty list. In the short list after Anna with Turley, Greene, Cabral. But after what’s happened this spring, Flores has moved to the bottom of that list. And that’s a list you want to be on the bottom of. Even Heathcott may be ahead of him now. No way the Yanks are releasing this guy this year unless he hits like .200 in the minors. In fact, I think there’s a good chance he starts out in AAA especially with Heathcott being out. Nobody, including Solarte, has helped their stock more this ST than Flores.

    On a related note, as tight at the Yank 40 man is, you have to start to think of, and maybe hope for, some 60 day DL candidates. The 60 day DL effectively expands the 40 man roster. If you want to promote a Lewis or a Solarte, you may need a 60 day candidate. Turley? How about Ramirez? Heathcott? Something to watch.

  96. cogen777 March 17th, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    Cashmoney March 17th, 2014 at 12:52 pm
    Cano, Soriano, Posada, Jeter, Rivera, Williams, Mattingly
    ———
    the common denominator here is that you need to perform and show results rather quickly as a Yankees homegrown player. The logic is rather simple, team is always in contention. Yanks will stick with the knowns til abysmal failures before giving a chance to their prospects, that is especially true in the case of what was regarded as a fringe prospect in Almonte

    Bernie Williams was not a starter for 4 years. The difference being he had the good fortune to come up when Stick, Buck and Bob Watson were in charge. He would have never lasted under any Steinbrenner/Cashman type regime.

    Those guys stuck with him and had patience. They could judge talent.

  97. stillstuckey March 18th, 2014 at 12:13 am

    “Contingency planning is a big part of management.”

    That’s fine, but it doesn’t change the fact the “stretched out in AAA” meme is overblown.

    Every year the same contingent of fans advocate leaving certain players in AAA to be “stretched out “and the players rarely are. You’d think history would demonstrate teams view “contingency planning” differently than fans.

    And point taken about the 40 man, but between Mitchell, Greene, Banuelos, Ramirez, Turley, and Campos its not inconceivable a couple of arms emerge. 40 man roster construction ALREADY is about having enough arms on the roster, contingency is built in.

    Again, I think Nuno starts the year in AAA, but I’d neither be shocked or terribly concerned if he doesn’t.

  98. Hankflorida March 18th, 2014 at 12:14 am

    If Ellsbury or Gardener are unable to play, Ichiro can replace them and continue the ability to manufacture runs that this team is built for. If Beltran is rested, it would be difficult to go with three table setters in the outfield. There is definitely a power outage on this team compared to past Yankee teams, and Soriano would have to take Beltran’s place with Cervelli catching and McCaan at DH.

  99. DaSaint007 March 18th, 2014 at 12:29 am

    Tom, congrats to you and the misses on the additions to the family. 2 more grandchildren!

    Saint

  100. Tar March 18th, 2014 at 12:55 am

    “That’s fine, but it doesn’t change the fact the “stretched out in AAA” meme is overblown.”

    While I agree with a lot of what you said, I think the term being stretched is not just talking about the physical aspect. Staying sharp by getting regular work is also very important. Hard to get work being the 12th man to get the call.

    Lets say Phelps and Warren are in the pen, Nuno is starting and pitching great in AAA. Now an injury happens to the staff, Nuno would make the most sense because not only can he come up and start, but he can also give you length. Warren and Phelps would most likely tax your pen.

    I don’t think being stretched out is overblown at all. At least 1( and maybe 2) of the candidates for the 5th spot should be in AAA.

    Good night everyone. oh yeah… Congrats Tom…Christmas should be fun :D

  101. bbb51 March 18th, 2014 at 12:56 am

    With Almonte on the team instead of Ichiro, it would be eaiser to rest Beltran/Soriano/Ellsbury/Gardner more and not have as big a drop in offense potential. I think he could get 200+ pa.

  102. pete2 March 18th, 2014 at 1:04 am

    “There is definitely a power outage on this team compared to past Yankee teams,”

    In 219 ST AB the expected starting lineup has 5 HR. Only ST of course, but I figured posting this will lead to a HR explosion against the Red Sox today. Baseball is like Quantum Mechanics, in which the simple act of observing a particle will cause it to change its state. In baseball, once you observe so and so is not hitting, or so and so is hitting like the next coming of Mickey Mantle, the one not hitting hits like Micky Mantle, and the guy who looked like Mickey Mantle hits like Brendan Ryan

  103. Mottsx March 18th, 2014 at 7:06 am

    Ichiro for jimmy Rollins anyone?

  104. GregD March 18th, 2014 at 7:55 am

    Jerkface March 17th, 2014 at 5:07 pm
    I think it would be foolish for the Yankees to put their 6th, 7th, and 8th starters in the bullpen.
    ———-
    100% agree……Chads plan won’t happen

  105. blake March 18th, 2014 at 8:02 am

    Mottsx says:
    March 18, 2014 at 7:06 am
    Ichiro for jimmy Rollins anyone?

    Rollins might be a worse hitter than Ichiro at this point…..it’s close. They have Ryan and I doubt Rollins would want to play another position.

  106. bbb51 March 18th, 2014 at 8:28 am

    “J-Roll” is startin’ or he ain’t departin’.

  107. blake March 18th, 2014 at 8:52 am

    I think I would just sign Drew

  108. stillstuckey March 18th, 2014 at 9:07 am

    Apparently you know something the 30 ML teams don’t blake :-)

  109. Tackelberry March 18th, 2014 at 9:07 am

    Girardi busy making cuts this morning according to twitter, Chase Whitley amongf them. Probably guys like O’Brien and Coello too.

  110. Ys Guy March 18th, 2014 at 9:11 am

    “GregD March 18th, 2014 at 7:55 am
    Jerkface March 17th, 2014 at 5:07 pm
    I think it would be foolish for the Yankees to put their 6th, 7th, and 8th starters in the bullpen.
    ———-
    100% agree……Chads plan won’t happen”
    ——————————————-
    thats exactly what i was thinking as I was reading it.

  111. Shame Spencer March 18th, 2014 at 9:20 am

    I hope you guys are right, but they do some dumb things.

  112. Mottsx March 18th, 2014 at 9:25 am

    Just for arguments sake, let’s say they moved Ichiro for Rollins and moved him to 3B… He couldn’t potentially play a better 3B that Nunnie and Johnson? In Theory.

  113. AAA March 18th, 2014 at 9:36 am

    Just for arguments sake, let’s say they moved Ichiro for Rollins and moved him to 3B… He couldn’t potentially play a better 3B that Nunnie and Johnson? In Theory

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

    Better 3B? Probably. Better bat? No chance. I’d take Johnson’s admittedly slightly less than ordinary bat over Rollins’ at this point. Further, whoever has Rollins can’t give him regular plate appearances. If he sees more than 433 PA’s in 2014, his 2015 option year is vested at $11M.

  114. jmills March 18th, 2014 at 9:36 am

    Romero goes today. Maybe the Jays are trying to build a new kind of mystery, but I think the league has long figured out to come armed with LH bats. I hope as in many moments of my history I’m wrong. Yesterday, Buck Martinez was urging Aaron Sanchez as the 5th starter ( apparently the best arm in camp ). …wow

  115. blake March 18th, 2014 at 9:37 am

    stillstuckey says:
    March 18, 2014 at 9:07 am
    Apparently you know something the 30 ML teams don’t blake

    Nah everyone knows the Yankees infield is a disaster waiting to happen

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