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Big league bench jobs in reach; but not enough for everyone

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Mar 27, 2014 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Dean Anna

In the Yankees final game before roster decisions are announced, utility infield candidates Eduardo Nunez, Dean Anna and Yangervis Solarte had one last chance to make an impression. Nunez had the best game of the bunch, going 3-for-4 with an RBI and a nice charging play at third base. Anna played well at shortstop, helping turn three different double plays and nearly starting another. Best overall spring of the bunch clearly belongs to Solarte, who’s hitting .415 even after today’s 0-for-4.

The Yankees have room for two of the three (technically Zelous Wheeler is also part of this discussion, but the fact he doesn’t play shortstop and hasn’t spent a full season in Triple-A makes he seem like a relative outsider). The Yankees are expecting to meet tomorrow to finalize their decision, and it won’t be until then that Nunez, Anna and Solarte find out whether they’ve made the team or will end up back in the minors.

Here are the three primary utility candidates talking about their feelings heading into tomorrow’s announcement.

Eduardo NunezEduardo Nunez
“This was not a great spring training for offense, but I’m learning a lot. I got my confidence at third base, and second base too. But I don’t worry about my hitting because I can do better with that. … (There’s no extra pressure) because I do it every time the same thing every year, the same situation. Try to make the team. So nothing difference. Nothing. The last two years, they tell me the last two days of the camp. So, for me, it’s not a surprise. I’ve always been in this situation. Surprise for me would be if they tell (after) a week. Just kidding. Just kidding.”

Dean Anna
“I worked hard all offseason to get to where I’m at right now. I don’t expect to go into my first big league spring training and just get cut the first week. I’m not real shocked, but it’s definitely nice to be at the end, and fighting for a spot. … It’s (my) first big league spring training. You’re going to press a little in the beginning, and that’s normal. But you want to be ready for the season. I feel like I’ve progressed through the whole spring training with my swing, and that’s what I’m really happy about is that I’m peaking where I should be ready for the season, wherever I’m at.”

Yangervis Solarte
“This is the second time I’ve felt like this (at the end of spring training). My first year with Texas I did it that way. I feel like this is one of the best ones because of the opportunities that have been available in the team. Not only because of my performance, but together with the opportunities available on the team. … It gives me more motivation to keep working if I don’t get one of the spots. But it is something that has happened continuously during my career. But I do know that I have to keep working. But it’s better late than never.”

Associated Press photo

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65 Responses to “Big league bench jobs in reach; but not enough for everyone”

  1. kd March 27th, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    they’ll likely pick nunez, girardi seems to like him for some reason. and he’ll play a lot. once a week at ss, 3b, and 2b each. jete’s not playing more than 120 in the field, imo

  2. MTU March 27th, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    I like Anna and Solarte.

    Only reason it will be Anna is because he’s already on the 40 Man.

    I actually like Solarte a little better.

  3. kd March 27th, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    Tony Sanchez ?@Tony26Montana 4m

    After four attempts I’ve finally completed my first spring training without getting the ax.

    Congrats to Tony and SJ44!

  4. MTU March 27th, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    It looks like Mr. Sabbathia has made the necessary adjustments.

    :)

  5. MTU March 27th, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Rangers, Snakes, And White Sox all need catching.

    Mariners and Snakes need a backend SP.

    We can accommodate.

    :)

  6. Ys Guy March 27th, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    i dont know that i believe sabathia’s got it figured out, but i do believe he’ll do better this year and likely mow through the weak astros on opening day.

  7. MTU March 27th, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    Bravos need pitching too.

  8. MTU March 27th, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    I wonder if this is the start of an injury-riddled season for Yu ?

  9. Ys Guy March 27th, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    miguel montero is in the 2nd year of a 6 year, $60M deal. While he had a down year last year, the snakes are likely interested in a backup or a younger guy who could back him up then maybe take over in a year or two.
    They’d likely be more interested in sanchez then murphy or cervelli.

  10. Tackelberry March 27th, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    Rangers, Snakes, And White Sox all need catching.

    Mariners and Snakes need a backend SP.

    We can accommodate.

    _________________________________

    We can, but it depends on what we can get in return. Everyone wants something for nothing

  11. MTU March 27th, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    Y’s-

    We’ve got a surplus.

    ;)

  12. MTU March 27th, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    Tackel-

    Then so can we.

    ;)

  13. Ys Guy March 27th, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    i dont believe that phelps can be seen as expendable on this team. if someone wants to pay for warren or nuno, i’d be interested, but i consider it highly unlikely that the yankees starting 5 will just roll through the season without some significant down time.

    i dont trust nuno or warren in the rotation for any length of time at this point. i can be convinced otherwise but i wouldnt let go of phelps and hope it works out.

  14. MTU March 27th, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    When the fruit on a tree is ripe you either pick it or it rots on the tree and goes to waste.

  15. Barry March 27th, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    Nunez and Anna make the team, pending Ryan’s return.

  16. MTU March 27th, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    Y’s-

    Fine.

    Both Nuno and Warren definitely have value.

    Especially when packaged.

  17. MTU March 27th, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    I wish Ryan wouldn’t return.

    And I wish Almonte were playing in place of Suzuki.

    And I hope AR does not come back.

  18. Against All Odds March 27th, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    kd March 27th, 2014 at 4:37 pm
    Tony Sanchez ?@Tony26Montana 4m

    After four attempts I’ve finally completed my first spring training without getting the ax.

    Congrats to Tony and SJ44!

    ———————

    Yes congratulations are in order

  19. Ys Guy March 27th, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    congrats to casale and sanchez!

  20. MTU March 27th, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    +1

    Wish SJ were here so I could congratulate him LoHud style.

    ;)

  21. MTU March 27th, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    Who is the Yankees SS when Jeter retires ?

  22. Ys Guy March 27th, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    im sure sj is not shorting himself on the self-congratulations…

  23. MTU March 27th, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    Very exciting time for SJ and Family.

    I remember when Sanchez broke his jaw early on.

    And here he is.

    :)

  24. MTU March 27th, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Y’s-

    Did Glenn ever come by for a meal ?

  25. Ys Guy March 27th, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    not yet mtu. dont know if he came up here yet or not. i keep telling him breakfast is on me if he makes it.

  26. MTU March 27th, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    Y’s-

    Sounds inviting.

    I’d take you up on it if I were him.

    ;)

  27. MTU March 27th, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    “Meanwhile, LaFromboise is a 27-year-old lefty who has seen only ten chances to make a big league appearance, all in a brief stint in the Mariners pen last year. He has put up some solid numbers in the upper minors in recent seasons, working to a 3.39 ERA in 61 innings at Triple-A last year and putting up a 1.36 mark in 66 1/3 innings at Double-A and Triple-A in 2012. LaFromboise has averaged better than nine strikeous and less than three free passes per nine innings in both of the last two years.”

    This guy has been DFA’ed.

    Maybe we should grab him ?

    Can always use another lefty.

  28. kd March 27th, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    MTU,

    when jeter retires, the world will end. kidding.

    i really hope they can pry castro away from the cubs

  29. dan l March 27th, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    If you are to rank Nuno, Warren and Phelps value going forward into 2015 Phelps would come in last. He should be traded especially if the Yankees have high hopes for Banuelos and Greene to project for 2015 as well.

  30. MTU March 27th, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    kd-

    It won’t be Nunez, Ryan, Anna, or Solarte will it ?

    So something major has to happen.

    Might be Asdrubal, Hardy, Hanley, or Tulo.

    Maybe a Castro type via trade.

    Gonna be interesting. Real interesting.

  31. Ys Guy March 27th, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Is LaFrambois out of options?

  32. MTU March 27th, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Maybe Ian Desmond ?

    FA next year ?

    Couldn’t swing an extension w the Nats.

    Bad blood may now exist.

  33. MTU March 27th, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Do not know Y’s.

  34. ADam March 27th, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    Should be Anna and Solarte for the last 2 bench spots but will be Anna and Nunez because the Yanks are hell bent on shoving Nunez down everyone’s throat to “prove” they have mlb ready players that have come through the system

    Rant’d

  35. MTU March 27th, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Almonte has a beautiful swing from the left side.

    Hate to see it go to waste.

    :(

  36. bigdan22 March 27th, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    If you’ve been watching these ST games and reading my posts, you’ll see almost every game an example of topics I’ve been regularly discussing. Today’s game there were two such examples. I’ll start with one explain the other in my next post.

    Today’s game was yet another illustration of how relatively poor infield defense often does not figure into the results of games and is very often negated by good pitching. Although there were no errors by today’s infielders, I counted possibly four miss or non-plays. Because the Yanks demonstrated superior pitching today, those four mis-plays resulted in a grand total of two extra outs and less than 10 extra pitches. It’s pretty much been like this all Spring.

    The first two occurred in the 4th inning. With a man on, Anna made a nice play at short, got the ball to Solarte for the force but Solarte made a bad throw to first. That should have been a double play. The next hitter hit a ball into the hole that I believe a superior SS would have fielded for one out but Anna was only able to knock it down. That’s the second infield misplay of the inning which could have led to at least two runs. CC, however, was sharp. The next hitter hit into an inning-ending double play. No harm, no foul. Good pitching trumps bad fielding once again.

    Then in the 7th, Solarte made a nice play fielding a ball up the middle but his throw to first which was in time was off the bag, a play Cano would have made in his sleep. But Warren was good today the next batter promptly hit into a double play. The next hitter hit a ball to Nunie that a good 3b would have charged and made an easy throw for an out. But Nunie let the ball play him and his throw was late. The next hitter flew out to center. Once again, no harm, no foul.

    This has become a pattern almost every game. The Yanks are not getting quality infield defense. I’m not talking about errors. There’s been some of those, but there have been more than a few non or mis-plays. Yet their pitching has been strong all Spring which supports my proposition that for this team, it is pitching that will be the key.

  37. kd March 27th, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    they should put arod at ss next year and shame him into retirement

  38. Tackelberry March 27th, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Stephen Drew will be our SS next year. Sorry Blake, you’ll have to wait a year

  39. MTU March 27th, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Dan-

    IMO you cannot count on Pitchers bailing out their IF all the time.

    Those situations against higher levels of competition might have turned out differently.

    This staff would profit most from a superior IF.

    They do not have one.

  40. MTU March 27th, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    And Dan.

    Do us a favor and shorten up your posts a little please.

    They seem like dissertations.

    :)

  41. MTU March 27th, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    Or legal briefs.

    :)

  42. MTU March 27th, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    Stephen Drew is not a long term solution.

  43. Ys Guy March 27th, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    solarte had some decent #’s in the PCL the past 2 seasons (except for those gidp’s) and played in an organization that was going nowhere. Why was he not tried out at the MLB level?

  44. Cashmoney March 27th, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    kd i get your drift, but in what fashion can you ‘shame’ the rod in giving up 60 mils or anyone else for that matter within legal boundaries. especially an absolute narcissist (IMO) like Rod.

  45. MTU March 27th, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Y’s-

    The Rangers are/were very talent top heavy.

    They have a number of very good/great IF guys.

    If I had to guess I’d say Solarte was blocked by one or more of them.

  46. Ys Guy March 27th, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    dozier, florimon and plouffe are ok but all played less than 135 games in the twins infield last season. they were spelled by guys like jamey caroll and eduardo escobar. why did solarte not get a shot on the big club during 2 aaa seasons?

  47. hardwired7 March 27th, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    “Maybe Ian Desmond ?”

    Ideally, I’d say J.J. Hardy. Very good SS and it takes away a strength from the O’s. Plus, unlike Desmond, he’ll be a free agent after 2014.

  48. Ys Guy March 27th, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    ok i didnt notice he was with texas, they did have alot of good IF’ers.

    still to let him go after 2 good aaa seasons and no mlb appearances…something’s fishy there.

  49. MTU March 27th, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    Y’s-

    Solarte comes out of the Rangers org.

    Not the Twins.

  50. bigdan22 March 27th, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    The next recurring theme of mine deals with my favorite ST player–Zoilo. Zoilo has very clearly demonstrated a concept I introduced a couple weeks ago–the increasing value of the Undefined Hitter.

    Sophisticated defensive alignments are killing batting averages. I don’t know what Tex will hit this year left-handed. McCann is probably in trouble too. They better hit a lot of balls out of the park because they aren’t going to hit many singles. Defensive strategy is effectively taking away one of the biggest advantages left-hand hitters have had in baseball history. The hole on the right side. But watch when Zoilo bats. Only two fielders on the right side of the infield. That may mean to him maybe 10-20 extra batting average points over someone who’s facing the new alignment. And sure enough, almost on cue, Zoilo used that hole for a single today. He also had two other hits to left field.

    Zoilo’s batted ball distribution cannot be defined sufficiently to allow defenses to employ average-killing shifts. This is the exact type of hitter the Yanks need. His value has not only risen to the Yankees, but it has also appreciated to other teams as well in direct proportion to the increase usage of sophisticated defensive alignments. I’ve said before I think the Yanks should incorporate this hitting style into their player development strategy to obtain a competitive advantage as defensive strategies continues to evolve.

  51. MTU March 27th, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Nothing fishy Y’s when you’ve had guys like Kinsler, Andrus, Profar, and Odor ahead of you.

    With Beltre at 3b.

    No real place.

  52. MTU March 27th, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    Dan-

    Try a little self-deprecating humor.

    It will work better for dummies like me.

    ;)

  53. Ys Guy March 27th, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    ill bet the rangers are wishing they still had solarte now with kinsler gone and profar on the shelf.

  54. CountryClub March 27th, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    @jonmorosi: Tigers, Miguel Cabrera close to an extension, source confirms @JonHeymanCBS report. The AAV of new years expected to be around $30MM.

  55. MTU March 27th, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Y’s-

    Odor is a 2b.

    And they still have Andrus.

    Maybe.

  56. Ys Guy March 27th, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    as much as i love me some miguel cabrera, i would not want to be paying him $30M starting at age 33. i wonder how many years they’re going to pay him that.

  57. bigdan22 March 27th, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Ok, done with the long stuff. Other thoughts today:

    –Boy is CC turning into Pettitte or what? Lots of cutters today to right-handers. On both sides of the plate. Not much usage of his slider or curve. FB mostly 88/89. Looking forward to seeing how the new CC performs this year.

    –Just when I start turning on Nunie he rises again. Today with 3 hits. I can’t wait for his farewell retirement tour, say 2021?

    –Betances is a good pitcher.

    –Nice bounce-back performance by Nuno. Got all four pitches over for strikes. FB 88-90. He’s not a relief pitcher. He’s a surgeon.

    –I’ve always liked Ichiro with a runner is scoring position and two outs. Very hard to strike out, even against top relievers and singles are what he’s good at.

    –Adonis is playing like he wants a summer job in baseball.

  58. Ys Guy March 27th, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    odor only has 30 games at aa, they need someone to fill in for profar for about 6-8 weeks. But add them to the pile not interested in someone who shall not be named.

  59. MTU March 27th, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    New one ——>

  60. Ys Guy March 27th, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    sorry 10-12 weeks for profar. almost half the season!

  61. mick March 27th, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    One reason Jeter could be retiring IMO is his dislike or should I say, lack of respect, for Arod.
    The Circus will be in Full Force as the Media will feed on ArodMania next year and Jete will not want to be around it.

    This is his final bow, all his, without the distraction of arod, and I wouldn’t doubt if he is a factor in his retirement.

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