The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


Three pictures worth a thousand words09.27.11

The Yankees passed along some professional photos of last night’s rookie hazing. It’s rare that every single outfit is hilarious, but these were pretty good selections. Whoever made the decision to make the two tall guys Milli Vanilli … bravo! At one point, Jesus Montero was trying to dance like MC Hammer, and pictures will never fully explain just how hilarious it was to watch Austin Romine try to figure out how to get his costume on.

Andrew Brackman and Dellin Betances as Milli Vanilli
Brandon Laird as Slash
Hector Noesi as Prince
Austin Romine as Madonna
George Kontos as George Michael
Jesus Montero as MC Hammer

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 222 Comments →

Postgame notes: “There is some concern there”09.23.11

Bartolo Colon hasn’t won a game since the beginning of August. He has a 5.09 ERA with a .298 opponents batting average since the all-star break, and he’s lost his past four decisions.

The lightning might be out of the bottle.

“When we went into this year, we weren’t sure how many innings we could get out of him,” Joe Girardi said. “There is some concern there, so we’ll continue to evaluate as we move forward… It’s location, it’s movement and it’s some velocity, as well. That’s why there are concerns.”

Colon seems baffled. He said he never looks at the scoreboard to see velocity, and the fastball seems to be coming out of his hand the same as it was earlier this season. Girardi, though, said the Yankees reports have his fastball a couple of miles per hour slower. Girardi doesn’t believe Colon is hurt, and Colon himself said he feels just fine.

“I feel the ball coming out of my hand well,” he said. “For some reason (it’s not as good). I don’t see anything different, I just need to continue working hard to go back to the way I was before.”

The Yankees will have CC Sabathia pitch a simulated game on Sunday, lining him up to start Game 1 of the division series. Girardi said the rest of his rotation is TBA. Earlier this season, Colon seemed to be the Yankees second-best starter, and at times he still looks like a viable option, but his past two outing have lasted a total of seven innings.

“When I pitched against Anaheim (two weeks ago), I threw the ball and had the movement on the ball and the velocity,” Colon said. “There’s no question that I’m going to get it back.”

Here’s Girardi’s postgame press conference.

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• Girardi said that no one who came out of tonight’s game was removed because of injury. Colon came out because he was ineffective. Derek Jeter, Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira were removed because the game was out of hand.

• CC Sabathia on the decision to throw a sim game instead of make another start: “I want to be on five days going into Game 1, so we’ll do it on Sunday… I think it will be fine. I’ll throw the simulated game, probably 45 pitches, then I’ll be ready to go on Friday.”

• Girardi left open the possibility of using only a three-man rotation in the first round. “It’s possible that you could go with three-man because only one guy would have to pitch on short rest,” Girardi said. “Sabathia, of course, said he would have no problem with that.

• Colon’s explanation of why he fell down in the first inning: “The pitch that I threw to Longoria, I threw the ball and I landed on my heel. My cleat got stuck.”

• The Yankees tied their season-high with 14 strikeouts. They had four players strike out at least twice, including Jorge Posada, who matched his career-high with four strikeouts (this was his sixth career game with four Ks).

• The Yankees also matched their season-high with four errors. It was the fourth time they had four errors in a game this season. In the previous four seasons, they had a total of four games with four errors.

• The Yankees used 16 different pitchers during this four-game series. Only Freddy Garcia, A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes didn’t pitch.

• Ramiro Pena snapped an 0-for-28 with his sixth-inning single. He had another hit in the seventh. All told, Pena has a hit in two big league games this season, tonight and June 15 in Texas. Both were two-hit games.

• Andrew Brackman and Dellin Betances both made their big league debuts. The last time two Yankees pitchers made their debuts in the same game was April 20, 2004 against the White Sox (Alex Graman and Scott Proctor).

• Yes, Proctor pitched in this game as well. Random.

• Derek Jeter had his first two-error game since June 2, 2007. It was the 14th two-error game of his career.

• Jesus Montero now has a hit in 10 of his first 14 career games. He went 3-for-3 and reached base in each of his five plate appearances.

• Really impressive start for Rays rookie Matt Moore, who was starting a big league game for the first time. “The young man has good stuff,” Girardi said. “Eleven strikeouts in five innings. I think we saw as high as 97, a 3-2 changeup. He’s got outstanding stuff.”

• An ugly game for the Yankees, and Girardi said it’s easier to move on because of what happened yesterday. “We got down a lot,” he said. “Our guys tried to chip away and we had some opportunities, it was just too much.”

Associated Press photos

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes, Podcastwith 212 Comments →

Pregame notes: Swisher back in the outfield09.13.11

Three and half hours before first pitch, Joe Girardi still wasn’t sure who would be starting in right field. Nick Swisher was going to make some throws in the outfield, and his availability would depend on how he felt.

Obviously, he felt good enough to get in there.

“Tendinitis is going to go away,” Girardi said. “It could irritate him a little bit. It’s when it irritates him a lot that you worry about. There are a lot of guys that are probably playing with tendinitis in their arm right now, it’s just when it becomes too painful that you can’t do what you need to do.”

Just a few days ago, the Yankees seemed incredibly beat up, but the pieces are slowly falling back into place. Swisher is back in the outfield, Russell Martin is back behind the plate and Alex Rodriguez seems to be getting closer.

“It is good to see,” Girardi said. “It seemed like they all came at once, so we could have two back tonight and maybe a third – Alex – when we get to Toronto.”

• Curtis Granderson has a standard day off. Girardi figured it was a good day — as good as any, anyway — with a left-hander on the mound.

• Initially, the Yankees said Rodriguez would sit out three to four days. This is the fourth game he’s skipped, but Girardi is now planning to give him tomorrow, plus Thursday’s scheduled off day. “I think Friday is reasonable for Alex,” he said.

• Francisco Cervelli has been placed on the disabled list retroactive to Friday.

• Girardi said it’s still uncertain whether the Yankees will get Cervelli back this season. “I think it’s really hard to predict what’s going to happen,” he said. “Concussions today have become so unpredictable, you think you’re getting a guy back, he plays one game and then goes right back to the symptoms. I have no idea.”

• Phil Hughes pitched well last night. Now it’s A.J. Burnett’s turn. “I think he can get better and better,” Girardi said. “His changeup was the best I’ve ever seen it the other day. It still comes down to being able to locate your fastball, and I think his curveball has been better with the depth rather than going across.”

• Both Dellin Betances and Andrew Brackman were getting loose during last night’s game, but neither actually got in. “I thought about using one of them,” Girardi said. “They were just throwing after that.”

• For those of you curious, four first-year pitchers have been carrying kids backpacks to and from the bullpen. George Kontos got Elmo, Hector Noesi got Dora the Explorer, Dellin Betances got Hannah Montana and Andrew Brackman got some sort of fairy character that I’ve never seen before.

MARINERS
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Kyle Seager 3B
Dustin Ackley 2B
Mike Carp LF
Justin Smoak 1B
Miguel Olivo C
Adam Kennedy DH
Casper Wells CF
Brendan Ryan SS

Associated Press photos

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Noteswith 149 Comments →

Yankees at the break: The rotation07.12.11

This was supposed to be the Yankees weakness. It’s become a strength. Because of better-than-expected performances from Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon, the Yankees rotation has been dependable, and it’s grown deep enough that Ivan Nova is tucked away in Triple-A.

First half
This winter, there was one free agent starter who could make the Yankees feel confident about their rotation. He picked Philadelphia, and the Yankees were left scrambling for spare parts. Those spare parts have been outstanding, A.J. Burnett has bounced back from last season’s misery, Nova has been inconsistent but generally pretty good as a rookie, and CC Sabathia is once again an early Cy Young candidate. When Phil Hughes landed on the DL after just three starts, the Yankees rotation was tested, but it rose to the challenge.

Second half
The Yankees have obvious rotation depth heading into the second half of the season. Nova was crowded out of the rotation despite success, so he’s ready to step in if the Yankees need someone. Based on results, there’s little reason to doubt Colon and Garcia, but their age and recent injuries raise some obvious red flags. The biggest question, though, is probably Hughes. He’s made just one start since coming off the disabled list, and although his velocity was much better than it was in April, he didn’t exactly plow through the Indians lineup. The Yankees are hoping that the Hughes saw in last year’s first half shows up for this year’s second half.

The minors
D.J. Mitchell, David Phelps, Adam Warren and Lance Pendleton each have ERAs of 3.38 or lower in Triple-A. Now they’re joined by Nova to give the Yankees a good, young Triple-A rotation. Their success helps cover the fact that Andrew Brackman has been surprisingly bad, losing his rotation spot and struggling to find consistency as a reliever.

The bigger names are in Double-A, where Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances have each pitched well – Betances especially – but their control issues are proof that they’re still young and have some work to do. Both have 40 walks in fewer than 80 innings this season. In the lower levels, Mikey O’Brien, Josh Romanski and Nik Turley have pitched their way into call-ups. A few other standouts whose names might not be familiar: Craig Heyer (Fall League selection with a 3.19 ERA in Double-A), Jairo Heredia (improving prospect with a 3.29 ERA in High-A) and Brett Marshall (outstanding since the end of April in High-A).

One question
What happens if Nova dominates in Triple-A?
In his return to Triple-A, Nova struck out 10 and walked none through 7.2 innings that proved he was a Major League pitcher in a minor league game. If that pace continues and one of the Yankees starters slips – doesn’t get hurt, doesn’t fall apart completely, just starts allowing four runs every time out – how quickly would the Yankees make a change and decide they need to move Nova back into the big league rotation?

The future
It will be interesting to see whether the Yankees push either Betances or Banuelos in the second half. It’s entirely possible that they’ll be big league ready at some point next year, but it might not be at the start of the season unless they get at least a half season at Triple-A. It’ll also be interesting to see if Phelps, Mitchell or Warren gets some big league time kind of like Nova did last year. The bigger question, though, centers on Sabathia, who can opt out of his contract at the end of this season. Even if Sabathia opts out, the Yankees would remain a favorite to bring him back, but it’s an issue that could have a significant impact on the next five or six years (maybe more).

Associated Press photos of Sabathia and Colon, headshots of Mitchell, Banuelos and Nova

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Second-half question: What to do with Montero?07.11.11

No second-half question affects the Yankees long-term future quite like this one: Is Jesus Montero’s greatest value as a trade chip or as the future of the Yankees lineup?

In other words, should the Yankees think of Montero as a potential impact hitter in the second half, or should they think of him as the bait that brings an impact hitter — or pitcher — in the second half?

Similar questions could be asked about Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances, who have clearly set themselves apart as the top two pitching prospects in the system. Andrew Brackman was right there with them for a while, but his season has been a significant disappointment. Montero’s season has been only partially disappointing. He’s gone through stretches of as-expected production, but his .419 slugging percentage is uninspiring. Right now he’s on the disabled list with a sore back.

Russell Martin is an all-star, and the Yankees love him behind the plate, but he hasn’t hit much since the end of April. Francisco Cervelli is hitting just .214 as Martin’s backup. There’s certainly the opportunity for an offensive upgrade behind the plate, and the designated hitter spot could be fairly open next season if not immediately.

It’s certainly possible to envision a big league role for Montero sooner rather than later. It’s also possible to envision a significant trade target with Montero as the asking price.

If the Yankees still believe in Montero but don’t think he’s quite ready, then it’s worth keeping him in Triple-A and postponing the question and its inevitable answer. But if the Yankees have made up their mind one way or the other, Montero could be an immediate help. The only question is how to use him.

Associated Press photo

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Notes from Newman: Brackman, Sanchez, Heathcott and more05.27.11

At the very top of the Yankees minor league system, two Triple-A starters — Andrew Brackman and Adam Warren — are top five in the International League in walks. Down in Low-A, one of the Yankees best young catchers — Gary Sanchez — is hitting just .238 with 37 strikeouts in 32 games.

“It’s like somebody trying to lose weight and looking at the scale every day,” vice president of baseball operations Mark Newman said. “It’ll drive you nuts.”

Less than two months into the minor league season, the big picture is nowhere near coming into focus, and Newman said this part of the season is still about making initial adjustments to a new level. The Yankees focus more on the second-half results for most of their minor leaguers, curious to see how they adjust and adapt.

Right now, Warren is eight walks away from his total for last season. Brackman is 12 away from his 2010 total. From the outside, the Brackman number is more glaring because, 1. His ERA is three runs higher than Warren’s, and 2. He had similar control issues in 2009.

“I don’t think it’s going to be an issue long term, because he’s showing he can throw strikes,” Newman said. “He’s just got to get back (to last year’s command). His mark right now is well above where we want it to be, but I don’t think it’s going to stay there.”

As for Sanchez, he was hitting .314 with three home runs in his previous 10 games before going on the disabled list a week ago. More importantly, he’s 18 years old.

“He’s swinging it good now,” Newman said. “He’s like a high school senior playing in that league. He’s doing well.”

• Speaking of letting the big picture come into focus… Slade Heathcott and J.R. Murphy were the Yankees first- and second-round picks in the 2009 draft, and both are off to eye-opening starts in Charleston. Newman called it little more than the natural progression of two talented kids who had very little little experience when they put up pedestrian numbers in Charleston last season. “That was a helluva challenge,” Newman said. “Now they’re getting a little experience, and we’re seeing what kind of players they are. There’s nothing particularly surprising about it.”

• As you might expect, Newman said both Heathcott and Murphy will “probably” jump to Tampa midseason.

• As previously reported, Newman said Sanchez has a “stiff lower back” that he’s trying to work through in extended spring training. Once he’s through that, Sanchez will return to Charleston.

• In the wake of the Buster Posey injury, Newman said the Yankees have not discussed moving any of their catchers from behind the plate just to avoid injury. “Not because of health concerns,” he said. “All of our catchers do work at first base. We have a lot of young catching prospects. Who knows who’s going to catch, who’s going to play first base and who’s going to DH?” Newman once again stressed that the Yankees believe Jesus Montero can catch.

• Other injury updates:

Greg Golson: About a week away from playing in games.
Mark Prior: “Not throwing (off a mound),” Newman said. “He’s really struggling with this kind of hip, abdominal thing. Hard to nail it down.
Alan Horne:
Throwing in extended spring and building arm strength.
Graham Stoneburner, Steve Garrison, Jeremy Bleich: “Still a ways to go,” Newman said.
David Adams:
Having some leg problems that the Yankees believe to be related to the ankle injury that forced him to miss most of last season. He was back and playing, but then the leg started bothering him. Not sure how close he is to returning.

• Carlos Silva can opt out in mid-June and pitched well last night. “This is a contingency plan,” Newman said. “You never know what’s going to happen.”

• Veteran Brad Halsey, signed to a minor league deal earlier this month, is throwing in Tampa, basically going through his own spring training.

• Outfielder Damon Sublett has been throwing some bullpens in Double-A. He was a closer in college and hasn’t been getting a ton of playing time as a position player, so he asked the Yankees if he could start working out on the mound. “We’re just checking it out, getting his arm in shape,” Newman said.

• Newman said there’s no one in extended spring training who’s “setting any world records or anything,” but the name-to-know that jumped to his mind was starting pitcher Bryan Mitchell. “He’s got electric stuff,” Newman said. “He’s got the stuff to be the next Banuelos, Betances. The high-end guy. That’s Mitchell.”

Brackman photo from my friends at the Scranton Times-Tribune

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Buckeyes best in Brackman’s bracket03.17.11

Andrew Brackman played in two NCAA tournaments at North Carolina State. In the Yankees clubhouse, he’s as much of a college basketball expert as anyone.

His pick to win this year? Ohio State.

And it drives him crazy.

Brackman was born in Cincinnati, but he was never an Ohio State fan. He didn’t want to admit it, but Brackman said he likes what he’s seen from the Buckeyes.

“I feel like they’re going to be the one to win it,” he said. “They play with a lot of energy. They play together. They have everything they need to win.”

Showed a little NC State bias, Brackman said it seems Duke gets an easy draw every year, but then he shook his head and agreed that bit of expert analysis was probably tainted.

“I don’t want Carolina or Duke to win it,” he said. “That’s all I care about.”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 71 Comments →

Sunday night links: Prospects, lineups and the Captain03.13.11

The Yankees top three pitching prospects survived today’s first wave of cuts, just like they survived this winter’s search for proven big league starters. In a Q&A with Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger, general manager Brian Cashman said he’s confident his young pitching would be enough to trade for a short-term rotation upgrade, but he’s more focused on the long-term impact of keeping his best pitchers in the organization.

“I have enough chips,” Cashman said. “But if people want to demand certain bullets, those certain bullets I’m not going to shoot… There are untouchables here.”

Cashman didn’t name names, but clearly Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances and Andrew Brackman have made strong impressions this spring. Brackman had some control issues today, but he’s clearly opened some eyes. The “Killer Bs” are widely considered the top pitching prospects in a pitching-rich system, and all three were kept in camp through this morning’s round of seven cuts, and the afternoon’s round of three more.

• More good stuff from Carig, who took a look at the remarkably small impact a lineup change is likely to have on the Yankees. The Yankees could make a change this season, but is it worth rocking the boat — and maybe pushing some of the wrong emotional buttons — for what could be such marginal improvement? Maybe, maybe not.

• Ben Shpigel of the Times stayed behind in Tampa yesterday and wrote a nice piece about Derek Jeter’s increasing comfort at the plate. “Early on, he told me, ‘I’ll probably take a lot of pitches during spring training until I get comfortable,’” Kevin Long said. “He’s not taking those pitches anymore.” Jeter swung at the first pitch he saw this afternoon and drove a fly ball to center field for an out.

Nice stuff from my old friend Donnie Collins about his immediate thoughts after seeing news about the earthquake in Japan. For Donnie and I, who spent a lot of time around Kei Igawa the past few years, it was impossible not to worry about Igawa on what had to be a terrible day for him. It was also great to hear that both Jonathan Albaladejo and Darrell Rasner were safe and largely unaffected.

• Supporting everything we’ve seen and heard in Yankees camp, Buster Olney talked to one evaluator who said Eric Chavez has looked good while “hitting the ball hard” this spring. He really does seem to be an ideal fit on the Yankees bench.

• The Royals put a pitcher on the 60-day disabled list to make room for Robert Fish.

• In former Yankees news: Despite the fact Russell Branyan is making a strong impression in Diamondbacks camp, Juan Miranda remains the favorite to be Arizona’s starting first baseman. With the Padres, Dustin Moseley is keeping himself in the rotation mix and has “all but guaranteed” a spot in the bullpen.

• It’s not a link, but here’s a leftover quote from today that I thought was funny. Russell Martin was asked about calling pitches for Mariano Rivera: “It’s cutter or sinker,” Martin said. “It’s pretty basic. Cutter on one side. If he doesn’t want that, it’s a cutter on the other side. And then it’s a sinker. If he shakes more than twice, I’m putting down the wrong signs.”

My high school won its first boys basketball state championship this weekend. I saw the team play when I went home for my friend’s wedding a few weeks ago. They went 10 players deep, substituted five at a time, and pressed the entire game until the game was no longer in doubt it was too cruel to keep up that frantic pace. They were fun to watch. Go Bulldogs!

Associated Press photo of Jeter meeting Dave Stevens from Easthaven, Conn., who was born without legs and participates in sports using a wheelchair

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Noteswith 161 Comments →

Sunday notes: Garcia stumbles in third start03.13.11

For the first time this spring, one of the starters fighting for a spot in the Yankees rotation truly struggled. Bartolo Colon had his rocky inning, but he bounced back immediately. Ivan Nova was only so-so last time out, but he still allowed just two runs and got through three innings.

Today, Freddy Garcia was pretty bad. He couldn’t locate his fastball — especially inside — and didn’t make it out of the third inning. He pitched 2.2 innings allowing four runs on six hits, two walks and a hit batter.

“I couldn’t make a pitch,” Garcia said. “I had a couple guys 0-2 or 1-2, but I’d walk a guy or hit a guy. I wasn’t executing a pitch when I needed it… I didn’t pitch the way I wanted to pitch. There’s nothing I can do. I know I have to pitch good to try to win a spot, but it was one of those days. I have to forget about it, come back tomorrow and try to do my job in my next start.”

Joe Girardi said Garcia “wasn’t quite as sharp as he’s been,” and was pretty obvious from the beginning. His fastball was bad, so he was leaning on his secondary pitches, and those were only marginally effective.

“It’s way too early,” Girardi said. “He’s got more starts to go. We don’t expect any of our starters to be perfect. We know there are going to be bumps in the road in spring training. You have to deal with it and you have to develop arm strength. There are a lot of things you have to get going, but you’re trying to get to the last half of it where you start throwing better the last half.”

Girardi said he didn’t feel the need to talk to Garcia about the outing. Veteran pitchers understand what’s going on, and Girardi said at this point he’s just interested in seeing how Garcia bounces back.

“I have to move on,” Garcia said. “What can I do about pitching bad today? I have to take it out of my mind, try to focus on my next game.”

Here’s Garcia.

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• It’s easy to overlook given what Mariano Rivera did in the very next inning, but Rafael Soriano had another impressive inning today, allowing one stranded hit in the fifth. Soriano has allowed two hits and no walks through three innings. “I like his style,” Russell Martin said. “He’s aggressive. He goes right after hitters. He doesn’t fool around, throws his best stuff at you and makes you swing the bat. It’s good.”

• Rivera was asked whether Soriano has the stuff to thrive in New York. “He has the abilities,” Rivera said. “He has everything to succeed here. I don’t see why not.”

• By the way, Rivera said we might see more of the high socks this season.

• Dave Robertson bounced back from his previous outing when faced one batter and allowed a triple. This time, Robertson pitched a hitless seventh inning, striking out one and walking none. Martin said he was happy that he got to catch a bunch of relievers today. He’s trying to get familiar with everyone.

• Andrew Brackman was noticeably upset with himself after his inning and two-thirds. He walked two, gave up two hits and allowed one unearned run. “He got behind in some counts,” Girardi said. “He had a chance to get out of that inning. We dropped a fly ball. We didn’t turn a double play. He fought his way through it, but he’s not as sharp as he’s going to be, and he understands that. But I think it’s still frustrating for him.”

• Alex Rodriguez hit his second spring homer, continuing his strong month of March. Mark Teixeira’s double was the only other Yankees hit. Kevin Russo’s sacrifice fly drove in their only other run.

• Another hit for both Derek Jeter and Eric Chavez. Robinson Cano also singled.

• Jeter dropped a popup that should have ended the fourth inning without a Twins run. The error led to four unearned runs when Eric Wordekemper followed with a hanging slider that Brian Dinkelman hit for a home run. “Once I started backpedaling, I was in trouble,” Jeter said. “To be honest with you, I wouldn’t have thought about it again unless you guys brought it up.”

• Both Rule 5 picks are out of Yankees camp. Although Robert Fish showed some flashes of good stuff, he and Daniel Turpen combined for 8.1 IP, 12 H, 9 R, 8 ER, 7 BB and 7 K. They never had a realistic shot of making the roster, but neither showed enough to stick around any longer.

• Of the position players cut today, Daniel Brewer made the best impression. He hit .364/.364/.455. Austin Krum and Bradley Suttle each batted .154 with no extra-base hits.

• Martin had not caught Rivera this spring, not even in the bullpen. He went to the mound at the beginning of Rivera’s inning, and Martin said the conversation was short and sweet. “I just asked him, what’s the cutter (sign), and what’s the sinker?” Martin said. “(Rivera said) this is cutter, this is sinker, and that’s it. He’s like, ‘Go behind there.’ I was like, all right, see you later.”

Associated Press photos of Garcia, Rivera and Francisco Cervelli

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Yankees clubhouse thinning out after first cuts03.13.11

Mark Prior is all alone in one corner of the Yankees clubhouse. All around him are empty lockers, most of them cleared out this morning through the Yankees first round of cuts.

Prior’s neighbor, Neal Cotts, didn’t make it through the first week of camp. The next three lockers in his row belonged to Buddy Carlyle, Brian Anderson and Andy Sisco but they’re all gone now. In the middle of the clubhouse, empty lockers belonging to Adam Warren, David Phelps and D.J. Mitchell are clustered together.

There seems to have been a bit of a system to the first round of cuts. Of the pitcher in camp on a minor league deals, only Warner Madrigal — who’s dealt with an injury — has fewer innings than Carlyle, Anderson and Sisco. Those three weren’t pitching much anyway. The other four cuts were minor league starters — Phelps, Mitchell, Warren and Hector Noesi — who just pitched either Friday or Saturday. They won’t pitch again for a few days, and with the big league starters stretched out to four-plus innings, it was becoming difficult to get those four stretched out as well.

Still waiting for word on whether any of the seven cuts were released. The assumption is that all seven were simply reassigned (or optioned) to minor league camp.

• The only minor league starters still in big league camp are Andrew Brackman, Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos (and maybe Steve Garrison, depending on how the Yankees plan to use him this season). Might not be long before the Yankees have to send some of the Killer Bs down as well to give them innings.

• Banuelos turns 20 years old today. He’s the youngest guy in camp.

• Combined spring numbers for Mitchell and Warren: 8 G, 10.2 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 10 K, 2.53 ERA. Mitchell walked no one. Warren allowed just one earned run.

• Sisco didn’t allow a hit in big league camp, but he did walk four through 3.1 innings.

• Greg Golson said he’s still not able to do much with that oblique injury. He said it feels better day after day, but he’s not able to swing or doing any real baseball activity until it’s back to 100 percent. “Whenever this thing lets me,” he said.

• Today’s sides: Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova, Bartolo Colon, Pedro Feliciano, Mitchell and Phelps.

• Mariano Rivera will make his spring training debut this afternoon against the Twins. We’ll see a lot of the regular Yankees bullpen, with Rafael Soriano, Joba Chamberlain and Dave Robertson also scheduled to pitch. None of the big league relievers is scheduled to make tomorrow’s trip to Fort Myers (except starter Sergio Mitre).

• Minor league utility man Justin Snyder is on the list of players making tomorrow’s trip to play the Red Sox. The Yankees are taking their regular outfielders, but none of the other everyday guys.

Available in the bullpen today: Rivera, Soriano, Chamberlain, Robertson, Brackman, Romulo Sanchez, Steve Garrison, Ryan Pope, Eric Wordekemper and Dellin Betances. Everyone after Brackman seems to be a backup.

Off the bench: C Gustavo Molina, 1B Eric Chavez, 2B Ronnie Belliard, SS Eduardo Nunez, 3B Kevin Russo, LF Melky Mesa, CF Austin Krum, RF Daniel Brewer and DH Kyle Higashioka.

Tomorrow’s travelers today: Tomorrow the Yankees have their second long road trip in three days. They’ll travel to Fort Myers to play the Red Sox before an off day Tuesday. There will be a workout at the stadium in Tampa on Monday afternoon before the bus leaves.

Pitchers who will be making the trip: Sergio Mitre, Luis Ayala, Dellin Betances, Manny Banuelos, Steve Garrison, Ryan Pope, Mark Prior, Romulo Sanchez and Eric Wordekemper.

Players who will not be making the trip: Francisco Cervelli, Russell Martin, Jorge Posada, Robinson Cano, Eric Chavez, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Colin Curtis, Greg Golson and Andruw Jones.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Noteswith 187 Comments →

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