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Girardi: Pitching staff remains most pressing decision in camp

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Mar 21, 2014 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Ivan Nova

Eleven days from Opening Day, what’s the most pressing issue in Yankees camp?

“I think ironing out your pitching staff is a big one,” Joe Girardi said. “That’s half of your team. What happens to your rotation, and then what happens to your bullpen is a big thing.”

Five pitching decisions to make in the next week and a half…

Michael Pineda1. Who’s the fifth starter?
It seems that Michael Pineda is the favorite, but David Phelps has pitched very well this spring (including last night’s strong start against the Red Sox). Adam Warren and Vidal Nuno are still technically in the mix, but they definitely seem to be odd men out. “I’m starting to formulate what our rotation might be,” Girardi said. “But I don’t want to jump to too quick of a decision without having long discussions with our people, and I’m sure you could go around and ask anyone of our coaches or front office and they might have an opinion but their probably not going to share it at this point.”

2. Can a non-40-man pitcher make the cut?
It seems that five bullpen spots are set: Dave Robertson, Matt Thornton, Shawn Kelley and two of the fifth-starter candidates. For those last two openings, the Yankees have two left-handed candidates on the 40-man roster, and they have two obvious right-handed candidates on the 40-man (Dellin Betances has been terrific this spring; Preston Claiborne has struggled but pitched well in spurts last year). Beyond that, it can’t be overlooked that non-roster invitees Chris Leroux, Matt Daley, Jim Miller, David Herndon and Yoshinori Tateyama each have a WHIP of 1.00 or better this spring. Girardi said only that he’s “leaning” toward certain pitchers, but obviously he’s not going to make any announcement for a while.

3. Is there room for a second lefty?
Aside from the year when both Boone Logan and Clay Rapada were in the bullpen, the Yankees have not prioritized two lefties in recent years. This year, we know Thornton will be there. Is there also room for Vidal Nuno or Cesar Cabral (Fred Lewis has looked good, but he seems far more likely for Triple-A). Might depend on versatility. It’s hard to carry two guys who are strictly left-on-left pitchers. Might also depend on whether the Yankees want Nuno to stay stretched out in the minors. “I think we want to take the 12 best, and when I talk about the 12 best, you think about how you’re going to use them,” Girardi said. “Who fits the mold the best? That’s what you have to look at.”

4. How to handle the eighth inning?
The Yankees no longer have an obvious setup man. Now that Robertson has moved into the closer role, he’s left the eighth inning open to various combinations. Girardi has said that he envisions both Kelley and Thornton getting some opportunities in the eighth, but it also seems entirely possible that the setup role could evolve throughout the season. The Yankees aren’t just picking relievers, they’re basically picking candidates who could spend the first three or four weeks auditioning for a key role in the eighth. “Will it be as clear-cut as last year? Probably not,” Girardi said. “Not in the beginning.”

5. Which young guys have pitched their way onto the radar?
More than 12 guys will pitch for the Yankees this season, and given all of the guys who are pitching well this spring, quite a few are going to vying for those inevitable call-ups. Plenty of veterans have made an impression, but so have some young guys who could be in the mix eventually. You can bet Girardi won’t forget some of these early spring impressions. “We’ve had a lot of guys, some younger guys, that have shown real progress, too, in what they’re capable of doing,” Girardi said. “Whether it’s a (Danny) Burawa or a (Shane) Greene, they’ve shown that they’re getting pretty close and they’re knocking on the door. That gives me confidence.”

Associated Press photos

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81 Responses to “Girardi: Pitching staff remains most pressing decision in camp”

  1. Chip March 21st, 2014 at 11:57 am

    My guess is that Girardi wants the following:

    Sabathia
    Kuroda
    Nova
    Tanaka
    Pineda

    with Phelps, Warren, Betances, Kelley, Robertson, Thornton, Claiborne

    When he says he’s going to have “long talks” I would assume that those conversations will revolve around:

    1. Whether Brian is putting an innings cap on Pineda
    2. Whether the organization is comfortable with both Phelps and Warren as relievers or if they will only let him keep one as a long man while the other starts in Scranton.

  2. Chip March 21st, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    austinmac March 21st, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Cashman said a few days ago he has has no calls on Cervelli. Could it be all the other 29 GMs are unaware how good he is? Or maybe Yankee fans overvalue him? Hmmm. Tough one.
    ————————-

    Best catcher since Jesus Montero.

  3. BoJo March 21st, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Chip March 21st, 2014 at 11:27 am
    BoJo March 21st, 2014 at 11:23 am

    Chip–
    Cervelli (and Cano) reinvented his swing before last season. You are totally discounting that improvement.
    ——————-

    I’m not discounting anything. I’m just saying that the notion that 52 at bats in 2013 and 31 at bats this spring has somehow ballooned his value from that of BUC to that of solid regular in the eyes of rival GMs is fallacy.
    ===
    We can agree to disagree, and at the end of the season, one of us can call the other a fool.

  4. DONNYBROOK March 21st, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    With Pineda having the shoulder surgery/durability question in addition to Tanaka adjusting physically to pitching every 5th day, makes me open the season with Pineda in the pen, and Phelps getting the 5 Slot. Should Phelps be traded, then Pineda gets the 5 Slot.

  5. Hankflorida March 21st, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Hank, thank you for your addition. I like a well-rounded offense and I feel like that’s what the Yankees have. They can work a walk, score from 1st on a double, go gap to gap, and also bomb a three run shot. Assuming the health of the starters – the only “easy out” in the lineup is Roberts who still has the ability to be a pesky hitter and get on base.

    Chip, I really hope your right that this is a clutch team, but it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks as I am used to The Bronx Bombers and not The Bronx banjo hitters as was the case last year. You have four guys on this team that may give you over twenty homers which differs greatly from the 2012 team that had seven. Is their any doubt that the amount of runs that the 2012 team produced would give us the division title with the pitching that we have now. How many runs will this team produce with less emphasis on the long ball?

  6. dan l March 21st, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Why would you want Pineda in the pen when he has never done that before? If he is innings limited the Yankees should follow the Cardinals Wacha plan.

  7. bbb51 March 21st, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Chip March 21st, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Best catcher since Jesus Montero.

    Jesus Montero is not a catcher.

  8. sjb23 March 21st, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    re-post:

    sjb23 March 21st, 2014 at 12:11 pm
    Chip March 21st, 2014 at 11:51 am
    sjb23 March 21st, 2014 at 11:45 am
    Cervelli may well be one of the best backup catchers in MLB.
    ————————–
    Based on what?

    My opinion, for what it’s worth, and when I try to objectively compare him to other backup catchers around the league. Usually the role of backup catcher is filled by an aging veteran, a defensive specialist that can’t hit, a AAAA-level catcher that will never improve enough to become a starter, or an unproven prospect.
    *************************************
    The last time Cervelli played a full season as a BUC was 2011. In 2012 the Yankees sent him to the minors for the year, choosing to go with Chris Stewart instead and last year he played 17 games.
    *************************************
    All this history you present is obviously accurate, but it doesn’t take into consideration improvement, maturity, and experience – these are areas that Cervelli has grown in, and once again IMO he has more value to the team than what he’ll bring back via trade.

  9. bigdan22 March 21st, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    austinmac March 21st, 2014 at 11:52 am
    Cashman said a few days ago he has has no calls on Cervelli. Could it be all the other 29 GMs are unaware how good he is? Or maybe Yankee fans overvalue him? Hmmm. Tough one

    ——

    Does anybody even use a phone anymore lol? Every time I see Cash on camera he’s texting. Even Jeter had to text Hal to tell him about his retirement because Hal wouldn’t pick up the phone haha. If you’re expecting a play by play on trade negotiations from Cashman I think you’ll be disappointed.

    In the interest of clarity, when I started this discussion I never said that the Yanks can reasonable expect to trade Cervelli as a starter right now. What I said was trading him as anything less right now would be foolish. His value is not likely to decline later in the season. It either remains the same or increases. So if all you can get as a return now is the return as BUC, then it pays to wait since the Yanks have no real need to trade anybody at the present.

    The Yanks need market Cervelli as a young, starting ML catcher who can hit, an extremelty rare commodity. And as I and others have pointed, there is more than enough evidence available for that characterization to pass the smell test. If they find a partner now, pull the trigger. If not, there’s no downside in waiting.

  10. bbb51 March 21st, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    Chip, do you watch when Cervelli plays, or are you just going by stats?

  11. blake March 21st, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    “Uh, blake, people haven’t been just talking about getting a high draft pick for Cervelli, they talk about him like he is superfluous and use him to get just about anything that might maybe be a little useful”

    I haven’t read a lot of that…..Cervelli might really could start for some teams…..but again he is coming off a PED suspension and didn’t even play last year and has never been a starting catcher in the big leagues. That’s why his trade value is limited……

    I think it’s best to just hang on to him and let him be the back up this year…..I don’t know what they are gonna do with Romine though

  12. austinmac March 21st, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    I must defer to the opinion of Cervelli around baseball to those who can spot the hidden talent. Again, as Bowden says, a player is as good as the other teams say he is. There are no more secrets. There are still fans who use March as a predictor, however.

  13. Shame Spencer March 21st, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    but again he is coming off a PED suspension and didn’t even play last year and has never been a starting catcher in the big leagues.

    ——————–

    This is important.

  14. austinmac March 21st, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    I don’t disagree Cervelli has value to the Yankees and should only be traded for someone valuable. I simply don’t think any team will give up a lot.

  15. bbb51 March 21st, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    Well since spring training is completely useless I feel bad for Girardi who has to make decisions based on nothing.

  16. blake March 21st, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    I think with the 8th inning you probably go with Kelly to lead off the season but if Betances is pitching well I’d try him in that role…..he has the most upside and that’s the ideal situation is for him to grow in to that role. Get his feet wet early in some lower leverage jobs but if he’s handling that then challenge himm

  17. bbb51 March 21st, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Cervelli won the starting catcher job last year until he got injured.

  18. bigdan22 March 21st, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    austinmac March 21st, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    “I must defer to the opinion of Cervelli around baseball to those who can spot the hidden talent. Again, as Bowden says, a player is as good as the other teams say he is. There are no more secrets. There are still fans who use March as a predictor, however.”

    —-

    And as I said a few minutes ago, a rival GM’s view your prospect’s value will never be any higher than what you set it to be. And quite honestly, I think I’m a hell of a lot smarter than Bowden.

  19. Shame Spencer March 21st, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    bbb51 March 21st, 2014 at 12:20 pm
    Well since spring training is completely useless I feel bad for Girardi who has to make decisions based on nothing.

    —————–

    This is being kind of glib… Cervelli didn’t just show up this spring, there is plenty to evaluate him on going back a couple years now.

  20. Shame Spencer March 21st, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    bbb51 March 21st, 2014 at 12:21 pm
    Cervelli won the starting catcher job last year until he got injured.

    ————–

    His competition was Chris Stewart…?

  21. Ys Guy March 21st, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    I hate to bring up unpleasantness, but if I’m not a Yankees fan and I suddenly notice 4 ST HR’s for Cervelli, before I’m thinking growth, maturity, experience, I’m thinking PED’s.

  22. austinmac March 21st, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Dan,

    You may be smarter, but he has spent a lifetime in baseball and you none. Reality, please.

  23. bbb51 March 21st, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    The fact remains he has been a starting catcher, it was just cut short by injury.

    I guess when Cervelli plays, due to his past, you now just think “oh that’s just Cervelli”, no matter what he does, in last years spring training, last year in April, or again this year in spring training. He is not the same player. If anyone is paying attention and can evaluate they would notice.

  24. bigdan22 March 21st, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    I’m sure Bowden’s has tons of baseball experience. I know lots of folks with experience in lots of things but who are completely unimpressive. When I hear Bowden say something insightful or original about the game of baseball it will be the first time.

  25. austinmac March 21st, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Cervelli beat out Stewie last year. That tells us he is better than a poor BUC.

    Do you all really believe you can assess future ability better than the professionals? Have an opinion. We all do. Just remember no one in baseball values it. Mine included.

  26. bigdan22 March 21st, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    I’m pleased Girardi singled out Burawa and Greene in referring to young pitchers who have stood out. Outside of that one off the charts appearance by Betances about a week ago, Burawa has consistently shown the best stuff in camp. And Greene’s 94 mph sinking fastball looks to me to be the best single pitch in this camp other than Pineda’s slider and Tanaka’s split.

  27. bbb51 March 21st, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Not future ability, present ability.

  28. austinmac March 21st, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    I think the only move that might be made is Romine for something of minimal value. If the like Murphy he must play 2/3 of the games at SWB.

  29. Can of Corn March 21st, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    Jeter batting .132 ?

    Has Blake signed Drew yet ?

  30. Shame Spencer March 21st, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Burawa has looked very, very good.

    And I like saying his name.

  31. Shame Spencer March 21st, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    Jeter is probably going to get a lot of rope. Tex too. Just gotta hope they can get things going early and that the pitching holds things down.

  32. Can of Corn March 21st, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Just wait till they start bustin Tex inside, then we will see how well the wrist is healed

  33. blake March 21st, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    “Cervelli won the starting catcher job last year until he got injured.”

    yea against Chris Stewart! Cervelli was the better back up of the back ups

  34. austinmac March 21st, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    bbb,

    You believe you can evaluate ability better than the pros? Watching TV? Please explain the source of your skills and whether anyone has ever agreed you have such mastery.

  35. blake March 21st, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    “I’m sure Bowden’s has tons of baseball experience. I know lots of folks with experience in lots of things but who are completely unimpressive. When I hear Bowden say something insightful or original about the game of baseball it will be the first time.”

    ive heard him say lots of smart things…..he says dumb things too sometimes but so does everyone. He wasn’t as bad a GM as he’s made out to be….

  36. Can of Corn March 21st, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Blake whats holding you up from signing Drew ? ?

    Not money I hope

  37. blake March 21st, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Jeter batting .132 ?”

    Ortiz is hitting like .068 or something this spring.

  38. blake March 21st, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    “Blake whats holding you up from signing Drew ? ?”

    Hal’s bank statments.

  39. Can of Corn March 21st, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    He doesn’t read the statements anyway

    Didn’t you take the checkbook from Cash ?

  40. Can of Corn March 21st, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    ‘Ortiz is hitting like .068 or something this spring’

    Difference being he plays for the enemy and if he lands on the DL i throw a party !

  41. bbb51 March 21st, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    austinmac March 21st, 2014 at 12:46 pm
    bbb,

    You believe you can evaluate ability better than the pros? Watching TV? Please explain the source of your skills and whether anyone has ever agreed you have such mastery.

    So you are saying you have no ability to tell whether a player is good or not?

    Just stating my opinion here, we’ll see if I’m right, Cervelli will play for the Yankees or someone else.

  42. blake March 21st, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    Hal reads the bank statments carefully…..they are locked away in his money bin where he counts his gold.

  43. bbb51 March 21st, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    Can of Corn March 21st, 2014 at 12:53 pm
    ‘Ortiz is hitting like .068 or something this spring’

    Maybe his shipment was lost in the mail and he needs to make a short trip back to the Dominican…

  44. pkyankfan69 March 21st, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Mercer only down by 1 to Duke at the half… Pretty entertaining first half

  45. Hankflorida March 21st, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Based on ST, I would play Cervelli more often during the regular season as having him in the same lineup with McCaan, Soriano, Text, Beltran on certain days gives the Yankees the semblance of having another power bat in the lineup.
    Johnson is an interesting player when it comes to hitting with power as being a 2nd basemen is usually in the category of table setter. He did hit 16 homers the last few years but his BA average was around .230. He is definely not a Scott Brossius or a Gregg Nettles even if his fielding improves. I think that he is a weak link in this lineup as being less dependable with men on base and that does not fit into the new clutch Yankees.

  46. austinmac March 21st, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    bbb,

    I don’t doubt you can make judgments, but we get to see so little. We have no stopwatch, gun, ability to measure bat speed etc. they can be wrong and you right. That would likely be unusual.

  47. Shame Spencer March 21st, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Can of Corn March 21st, 2014 at 12:53 pm
    ‘Ortiz is hitting like .068 or something this spring’

    Difference being he plays for the enemy and if he lands on the DL i throw a party !

    —————

    Don’t they do a fair bit of PED testing in ST…?

  48. RadioKev March 21st, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    This has been about as good of a spring as the Yankees could hope for, if Ellsbury is fine.

    Watch now that I’ve jinxed it…

  49. blake March 21st, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    “Don’t they do a fair bit of PED testing in ST…?”

    Not red socks

  50. Tackelberry March 21st, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    The TJ surgery bug bites again. Tigers cloer Bruce ROndon is apparently headed for TJ surgery, meaning that Joba suddenly has a very important role in the Tigers pen.

  51. blake March 21st, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Tackelberry says:
    March 21, 2014 at 1:19 pm
    The TJ surgery bug bites again. Tigers cloer Bruce ROndon is apparently headed for TJ surgery, meaning that Joba suddenly has a very important role in the Tigers pen.

    Lol good luck with that Tigers

  52. austinmac March 21st, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    The Tigers have been hit hard by long term injuries. Things can change in a hurry. How many pitchers have we heard are having TJS this spring? It seems like a new one daily.

  53. blake March 21st, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    A LOT will have to go wrong for the Yankees to only win 83 games

  54. blake March 21st, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    It’s becoming more and more clear that teams have no idea how to prevent pitcher injuries…..so when they preach in I vs limits and pitch counts etc they are shooting in the dark

  55. RadioKev March 21st, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    blake March 21st, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    A LOT will have to go wrong for the Yankees to only win 83 games
    —————

    I get it, though. The Yankees carry a lot of risk. Most projections are factoring in that some things will go wrong, and some might go right. Tex, Roberts, Jeter, and Johnson all carry risk, the whole infield. Ellsbury is risky. Sabathia is risky. The bullpen will mostly be unproven. Nova, Tanaka, and the 5th starter are all unknown quantities.

    If Tex and Ellsbury hold up, I like our chances.

  56. RadioKev March 21st, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    blake March 21st, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    It’s becoming more and more clear that teams have no idea how to prevent pitcher injuries…..so when they preach in I vs limits and pitch counts etc they are shooting in the dark
    ————-

    Eh. Pitch counts, innings, stress are all FACTORS. There are just many, many factors in pitching, and the least quantified one might be the most critical, biomechanics.

  57. pkyankfan69 March 21st, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    I don’t put too much stock in those team win projections… How many games did Fangraphs project the 2013 Red Sox to win? I’m sure it was nowhere near 97

  58. blake March 21st, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    The yanks were terrible last year and won 85 games

  59. blake March 21st, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    “Eh. Pitch counts, innings, stress are all FACTORS. There are just many, many factors in pitching, and the least quantified one might be the most critical, biomechanics.”

    Genetics is the # 1 factor IMO

  60. Howe Farr March 21st, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    if you actually look at these projections, they rate like 20 teams winning 80 games. Its not alarming at all that they have the yankees at that win total. I dont know why people are freaking out about that.

  61. trisha - true pinstriped blue March 21st, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    Hit and run today but I just had to share some great local news. Yes, there is a God.

    http://www.providencejournal.c.....s-door.ece

  62. trisha - true pinstriped blue March 21st, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    latest update

    You have until first pitch of Opening Day to add or change.

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  63. RadioKev March 21st, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    “Genetics is the # 1 factor IMO”

    I would bet the things we don’t know are the things that are most important (when it comes to pitching). I imagine teams are right now looking to quantify genetics and biomechanics to gain an edge.

  64. trisha - true pinstriped blue March 21st, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    “I don’t put too much stock in those team win projections”

    Look at all the projections for the Sux in 2011. Then tell me what genius puts stock in those predictions.

    Anyone “touting” all the lowball predictions is someone who undoubtedly wants the Yankees to fail.

    Big surprise there.

    Later y’all.

  65. pkyankfan69 March 21st, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    Duke game is over. Mercer’s won. Duke can’t play any defense without getting whistled for fouls, they can’t buy any fouls on the interior. Parker with 3 and on the bench. The 3?s they hit in the 1st half won’t be falling in the 2nd half.
    ——–
    Maybe if Duke would drive the ball more instead of settling for 3 after 3 they would draw some more fouls…. Silly to say a 2 point game is over with 15 minutes left… Duke will still probably win

  66. blake March 21st, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    @ESPNNYYankees: The Yankees probably should have been this cautious about Ellsbury before they signed him

  67. Tackelberry March 21st, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    MH370 March 21st, 2014 at 1:33 pm
    Duke game is over. Mercer’s won. Duke can’t play any defense without getting whistled for fouls, they can’t buy any fouls on the interior. Parker with 3 and on the bench. The 3?s they hit in the 1st half won’t be falling in the 2nd half.

    ____________________________________________

    Its tied 45-45 with 14 minutes left. YOu kidding or what?

  68. blake March 21st, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    One day teams will take pitchers blood samples before the draft and be like…..nope you have Mark Prioritis……pass

  69. blake March 21st, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    Go Mercer! I want to see K’s whine face early this year.

  70. Giuseppe Franco March 21st, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    blake March 21st, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    @ESPNNYYankees: The Yankees probably should have been this cautious about Ellsbury before they signed him

    —-

    Yeah, ain’t that the truth.

  71. BoJo March 21st, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    Tackelberry March 21st, 2014 at 1:19 pm
    The TJ surgery bug bites again. Tigers cloer Bruce ROndon is apparently headed for TJ surgery, meaning that Joba suddenly has a very important role in the Tigers pen.
    ====
    At last! My plan is finally coming to fruition! Hahahahahah (evil laughter)!

  72. austinmac March 21st, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    I like Burawa’s fastball. Hard with movement. It looks to me he needs to work on his slider from my limited view.

  73. pkyankfan69 March 21st, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    Did drive the ball and not getting foul calls. A foul every possession down the court for Mercer.
    ———

    Oh Please

    14 fouls on Duke
    12 fouls on Mercer

    Duke has taken 27 – 3′s

  74. BoJo March 21st, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    blake March 21st, 2014 at 1:33 pm
    “Eh. Pitch counts, innings, stress are all FACTORS. There are just many, many factors in pitching, and the least quantified one might be the most critical, biomechanics.”

    Genetics is the # 1 factor IMO
    ====
    Getting injured is the number 1 factor IMO.

  75. pkyankfan69 March 21st, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Either you’re trolling or you are the whiniest person on earth

  76. Chip March 21st, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    I get the enthusiasm of fans for “home grown” players, but why do you have to take it so far? Cervelli is a nice back up catcher. In this league that has value. Could he, maybe, play every day? Perhaps, the position is thin with teams no longer wanting to keep top talent behind the plate so that they can extend a hitter’s career (think Joe Mauer, Victor Martinez and Carlos Santana) and so yes, some team might think that Cervelli is good enough to start for them so that they can protect a better hitter by moving him to another position.

    In his limited exposure, Cervelli hit fairly well for a back-up prior to the 2012 season with an OBP around .335 (give or take). And of course, as players mature they can improve.

    But the Cervelli that some of you have conjured in your heads just doesn’t exist. You’re basing your beliefs on last season and this spring training. He played 17 games last year before missing the rest of the season, and yes in those 17 games he hit .270 with a .380 OBP, saying he would have kept that up all season long is pure speculation. By comparison, Vernon Wells over that same stretch of games hit .300 with a .911 OPS – how did that work out when stretched over a full season?

    This year he’s crushing the ball in spring training. How many players have hit in spring training and then vanished? Do you really believe that Yangervis Solarte is a stud infielder because he’s raking in spring training?

    Cervelli is a BUC – that’s how teams view him. It’s not a throw away position but it also isn’t a position that’s going to land you a stud prospect in return. Accept it and move on.

  77. RadioKev March 21st, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    It is not encouraging how shifty the team is being about Ellsbury. Not wanting to rush a guy back in Spring Training? Makes sense. Precautionary MRIs, constantly saying a guy is fine, and the guy never playing? Hmm…

  78. BoJo March 21st, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    pkyankfan69 March 21st, 2014 at 1:52 pm
    Either you’re trolling or you are the whiniest person on earth

    Why is it one or the other? Don’t you recognize the source?

  79. austinmac March 21st, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Chip, I agree with all of that.

  80. pkyankfan69 March 21st, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    Don’t you recognize the source?
    —–
    I actually have no idea who that is…I guess a common troll here?

  81. BoJo March 21st, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Not saying….(but yes!)

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