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Postgame notes: “This year may have taken a little bit longer”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Mar 26, 2014 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter just played his final spring training road game, and no, he did not take a souvenir. Jeter left Florida Auto Exchange Stadium with a single and a walk and that’s it.

“I’ve just tried to not look forward to everything being over,” he said. “If you call that soaking it in in spring training, I guess (that’s happened). I’m just trying to enjoy my time and not looking forward to it being over. That’s the best way to put it.”

With hits in back-to-back games — a night game followed by a day game, which seems at least a little bit significant — Jeter is now hitting .143, which seems nearly Jeter-like compared to the .114 batting average he was sporting just three days ago. Jeter has not had a good spring, but he said he’s had a productive spring.

Derek Jeter, Brian Roberts“This year may have taken a little bit longer,” he said. “But first you want to make sure you’re seeing the ball. Then it’s, you want to make sure you’re swinging at good pitches. Then it’s contact. Driving balls in the air is usually the last thing that comes. It’s usually been like that every spring. This year, maybe it’s taken a little bit longer than other ones, but I think that’s understandable considering I haven’t played in quite some time.”

Last night, Jon Heyman quoted two scouts saying Jeter has looked slower this spring, which shouldn’t come as much surprise considering age and injuries. I talked to one scout who’s seen a lot of the Yankees games this spring, and he felt that in the field Jeter has shown the same limited range he’s had in recent years without a significant change. The same scout noted that Jeter positions himself well enough to help make up for it.

“I thought he was doing well considering his age and the serious injury he had,” the scout said. “Bucky Dent was the master at defensive positioning, and Jeter obviously could have the same tool in his bag.”

Jeter is scheduled to be off on Thursday before playing the final two spring home games on Friday and Saturday. Opening Day is five days away, and there’s little indication that Jeter will not be playing shortstop and batting second.

“The big thing for me is, he’s healthy,” manager Joe Girardi said. “He’s responding day after day, coming back, playing four out of five days. I think he’s starting to swing the bat a little bit better. He’s starting to get the ball in the air, line drives. I don’t worry too much about spring training for veteran guys, especially a guy who’s missed a (lot of time), really (hasn’t) played in a year and a half. I don’t worry about it. We’ve talked about his timing. He feels it’s better and better, and I think it will continue to improve, and he’ll be fine.”

Preston Claiborne· Preston Claiborne came into camp as one of a handful of returning relievers who actually got significant big league time last season. I’m not sure he was an overwhelming favorite to break camp with the Yankees, but he certainly had a good chance. Claiborne’s spring, though, has been pretty bad, capped by today debacle of a fifth inning in which he got no outs and was charged with six runs. “The stuff has not been the same for whatever reason,” Girardi said. “When we got him up last year he had been on a roll and he was throwing the ball very well. He has not been able to do that this spring, and it’s something that we’ve looked at.”

· Dellin Betances on the other hand pitched another scoreless inning that included another strikeout. “He’s thrown the ball well, there’s no doubt about it,” Girardi said.

· Final bullpen and bench decisions will come on Friday at the latest, and Girardi said they could come as early as Thursday night. “These guys do have to pack for a road trip on Saturday,” Girardi said. “Probably help them if we could make it by Friday.”

· Watching Jacoby Ellsbury play at the minor league complex in Tampa, Brian Cashman confirmed that Brendan Ryan will in fact open the season on the disabled list. Certainly comes as no surprise.

· Cashman also said that teams have been calling to ask about the availability of both Austin Romine and John Ryan Murphy. Those two have been optioned to Triple-A, leaving Francisco Cervelli to be the big league backup. “If something made sense, we’d consider it,” Cashman told Wally Matthews. “But right now, we’re happy with what we’ve got.”

· Speaking of that minor league game, Ellsbury played five innings in center field and went 1-for-4 with a walk. If he plays tomorrow, it will be in another minor league game. The Yankees continue to say that they’re confident he’ll be ready for Opening Day.

Matt Daley· Dave Robertson also got some work in at the minor league complex. In big league camp, Robertson’s allowed one hit through six scoreless innings. In minor league camp today, two-thirds of an inning, two hits and one run. He did strike out two guys today.

· Box score notes: Making his first start of the spring, Chris Leroux allowed his first runs. He gave up two runs on five hits — and he was hit by two comebackers — in three innings. The Yankees had an early lead, but it crumbled in the fifth inning and they lost 10-6. … Matt Daley retired the only hitter he faced, and Betances, Yoshinori Tateyama, Dan Burawa and Jim Miller each pitched a scoreless inning (Miller’s came while cleaning up the mess in the fifth). Two of the runs in that fifth inning were charged to Fred Lewis, who let three batters reach base in two-thirds of an inning. … Carlos Beltran had a two-hit game and has his spring average up to .292. Dean Anna also had another hit, this one a double, to continue making his case for a roster spot (of course, Yangervis Solarte also had another hit). Kelly Johnson drove in two runs. … Hasn’t gotten nearly the same attention as Solarte, but Adonis Garcia has had a monster spring. He hit his third double today, and he’s batting .419.

· Jeter gets the final word: “I like the guys that we have. I’ve said that. We have a lot of talent here. We’ve got to stay healthy. It seems like every team says the same thing. That applies to us as well. We need to stay healthy because there are always going to be injuries, but you’ve got to try to limit those injuries. But yeah, I think we have a lot of talent here, a lot of optimism. The bottom line is, you have to perform on the field, but I like the guys that we have.”

Associated Press photos

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21 Responses to “Postgame notes: “This year may have taken a little bit longer””

  1. Hankflorida March 26th, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    J. Alfred Prufrock March 26th, 2014 at 5:50 pm
    Hank – I doubt I’ll see another Cano in my lifetime.

    I was going to games in 1937, and that year was Roger Hornsby’s last season with the St Louis Browns. Between then and now, that is a lot of years not to have a high average home run hitting 2nd basemen with the glove to play that position. I was too young to appreciate Hornsby but I have seen many a golden glove pla

  2. Hankflorida March 26th, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    I have seen many golden glove players at 2nd, and Cano is the only one in Hornsby’s class.

  3. arjay March 26th, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    Well that’s certainly saying a lot… even so given what you say is true, we should be glad to have had Robbie’s best years and not his declining years.

  4. pete2 March 26th, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Robbie should have a few good years to come. Fans are accepting of Jeters declining years where he has made 63 million for 4.3 WAR over the last 4 years. Whats the difference?. In fact through their age 30 season Cano and Jeter have basically the same WAR (45)

  5. Against All Odds March 26th, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    hope that Ellsbury will give us HOF numbers in the next seven years.

    —————————-

    Hopefully he does because they need him going forward.

  6. raymagnetic March 26th, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    “Fans are accepting of Jeters declining years where he has made 63 million for 4.3 WAR over the last 4 years.”

    Lol, what fans have you been reading? You certainly haven’t been reading the lohud blog the last few years.

  7. Hankflorida March 26th, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    Trisha, I was thinking of your hybrid team versus the 21st century Yankee power boys. It came to mind that the Mantle era Yankees had two players in the outfield that were power bats and one table setter. Martin, McDougnal, Richardson, Colemen and Carey who played in that era in the infield were also table setters and Berra and Skowron were power guys. This was before the DH but the mix was still a balanced team which seems similar to your definition of a hybrid. If as you say Ellsbury can give us power numbers with Beltran and with Gardener, Johnson, Roberts and Jeter playing similar roles to the players at the positions of the Mantle era, this is still a formula for a winning and a balanced team. The 1990′s championship Yankees also stayed with that formula of 2nd, SS, 3rd and one LF being table setters. The equation changed with A-Rod and Cano but the Yankee never made the adjustment and went for more power which failed in October baseball. Losing Cano, cannot cause the Yankees to go the other way with more table setters as their has to be a balance.

  8. Revenge of Stoneburner March 26th, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Fun fact from trade rumors:

    Rangers pitcher Tanner Scheppers has not only made his team’s rotation, but he’ll be Texas’ Opening Day starter after Yu Darvish injured his neck. Scheppers has never started a game in the big leagues, having appeared in 115 games in the past two seasons as a reliever. As Elias notes (via FOX Sports Southwest’s Anthony Andro on Twitter), that’s unusual — the last pitcher to make his MLB starting debut on Opening Day was former Dodgers phenom Fernando Valenzuela, all the way back in 1981.

    Power to the bullpen!! Betances and Ramirez – wonderful future additions!! This needed to happen!!!

  9. BoJo March 26th, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    Jerkface March 26th, 2014 at 3:12 pm
    Betances just destroyed Adam Lind. Adam Lind is now a series of discrete particles slowly expanding in the void of space, to eventually land on a barren planetoid and begin the circle of adam lind again with tiny adam lind fungal sprouts and microbes with horrible chin beards.
    ====
    You took the words right out of my mouth.

  10. arjay March 26th, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    pete2 March 26th, 2014 at 6:42 pm
    Robbie should have a few good years to come. Fans are accepting of Jeters declining years where he has made 63 million for 4.3 WAR over the last 4 years. Whats the difference?

    W-I-N-N-E-R

  11. pete2 March 26th, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    ” raymagnetic March 26th, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    “Lol, what fans have you been reading? You certainly haven’t been reading the lohud blog the last few years.”
    ======================

    Got to admit I have not read Lohud much before the past year, but I never heard anyone say the Yankees should not resign Jeter. No real angst over him getting a raise to 12 million this year despite 189 still being a goal (at the time). Nobody questions, except in a very passive way Jeter batting 2nd. The idea of moving him to 3B generated outrage earlier in the offseason. Can’t sign Drew as it might hurt his feelings said some. Perhaps you were not around this offseason.

    My point being not that anyone should have a problem with Jeter getting the respect he deserves. My point was that given the similarities of their career paths through age 30, albeit with 3 fewer rings at the same age, why all the angst of Cano being signed to some unproductive years when he still had a few good years left in him as Jeter did.

  12. BoJo March 26th, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    If Robbie Cano has several good years left, it will actually be against most historical precedent. As a 2B, he is much more likely to suffer a knee injury and see his effectiveness decline. There are numerous examples of offensive 2B declining quickly when they reach 31 or so…

    This may have been a small factor in the Yankees assessment of his future value.

  13. kd March 26th, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    prediction time: jram is a monster in the bullpen and a solid addition by july

    cano has two great years in seattle, 2 good years, switches to 3b and plays out his contract. HOF in a Yankee hat

  14. sigiqaped March 26th, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    Jeter, Cano is not.

  15. sigiqaped March 26th, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    The situations aren’t the same.

  16. Jerkface March 26th, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    Got to admit I have not read Lohud much before the past year, but I never heard anyone say the Yankees should not resign Jeter. No real angst over him getting a raise to 12 million this year despite 189 still being a goal (at the time). Nobody questions, except in a very passive way Jeter batting 2nd. The idea of moving him to 3B generated outrage earlier in the offseason. Can’t sign Drew as it might hurt his feelings said some. Perhaps you were not around this offseason.

    I was probably the most vocal against Jeter batting 2nd/getting his last 2 contracts.

  17. BoJo March 26th, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    I guess Gwyneth Paltrow finally got around to listening to Coldplay…

  18. sigiqaped March 26th, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    You didn’t want Jeter to be a career Yankee, Jerkface? That actually means something, as opposed to being a career (insert most other teams here).

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