Is Sergio Mitre this year’s Chad Gaudin? • 06.28.11
Spring training opened with Mitre as a heavy favorite to win a long relief job in the Yankees bullpen, but Bartolo Colon was outstanding, and when the Yankees decided they might not have room for Mitre, they traded him to Milwaukee.* With the Brewers, he’s actually been pretty effective with a 3.27 ERA through 22 appearances. He’s pitched as many as three innings at a time.
With a placeholder already in the rotation, and a series of long relievers coming and going from the minor league system, would the Yankees prefer a guy who they already know and saw pitch pretty well last year? For all the grief he gets in the fan base, Mitre did have a 3.33 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and .223 opponents batting average last year.
The situation reminds me of Chad Gaudin. The Yankees released Gaudin last spring, but they remembered that he pitched well at the end of 2009, and when Gaudin was released by the Athletics in mid-May, the Yankees signed him five days later. He made 30 appearances for the Yankees, pitching in more games than Mitre and throwing more innings than Boone Logan, Chan-Ho Park, Ivan Nova or Kerry Wood.
Could Mitre fall into a similar situation?
* Wonder if Mitre would have made the Opening Day bullpen ahead of Luis Ayala had he stuck around.
Brett Gardner LF
Nick Swisher RF
Curtis Granderson CF
Jorge Posada DH
Eric Chavez 3B
Jesus Montero C
Eduardo Nunez 2B
Jorge Vazquez 1B
Ramiro Pena SS
LHP CC Sabathia (0-0, 0.00)
Sabathia vs. Nationals
Jerry Hairston Jr. CF
Ian Desmond SS
Ryan Zimmerman 3B
Michael Morse RF
Ivan Rodriguez C
Derek Norris DH
Chris Marrero 1B
Jeff Frazier LF
Brian Bixler 2B
RHP Chad Gaudin (0-0, 6.00)
Gaudin vs. Yankees
TIME/TV: 7:05 p.m., YES Network
WEATHER: Pretty cloudy day here in Tampa, but it’s still in the upper 70s with a chance of getting into the low 80s. Very light breeze blowing from right to left.
UMPIRES: HP Manny Gonzalez, 1B Mark Carlson, 2B Dan Iassogna, 3B Tyler Funneman
ON THE LINE: Jesus Montero and Austin Romine are both scheduled to play today, and obviously their at-bats have taken more importance now that Francisco Cervelli is officially out of the mix. Also, Eduardo Nunez and Ramiro Pena continue to start together, battling for the utility infield job.
SIGN OF THINGS TO COME: Pretty good indication that the first series of Yankees cuts could be coming in the next few days: The Nationals made their first cuts yesterday, assigning three pitchers to minor league camp. Yankees minor league camp opens Monday.
OUT OF THE BULLPEN FOR THE YANKEES: Joba Chamberlain, Dave Robertson, Romulo Sanchez and Ryan Pope seem to be first out of the pen for the Yankees.
BULLPEN FOR THE NATIONALS: Craig Stammen, JD Martin, Sean Burnett and Tim Wood. Burnett is the only lefty.
UPDATE, 1:09 p.m.: Double and an RBI single kicks off the first inning against Sabathia. The Nationals took an early 1-0 lead before Sabathia got a shallow fly ball and a double play to end the inning.
UPDATE, 1:30 p.m.: The Yankees are being shutdown by their old mopup man Gaudin, who’s faced the minimum through two innings.
UPDATE, 1:32 p.m.: Sabathia’s not having nearly the same success. He just gave up a solo home run to Jeff Frazier, giving the Nationals a 2-0 lead in the top of the third.
UPDATE, 1:45 p.m.: After a two-out walk in the third inning, Sabathia’s day is done a little sooner than expected. He was actually knocked around a little bit, allowing six hits and five runs through 2.2 innings. Even his last out — immediately before the walk — was a pretty hard-hit ball to right field. I can’t imagine the Yankees are worried about Sabathia, but there’s always some intrigue when a big name struggles like this in a spring outing. Probably meaningless, but it makes you raise an eyebrow a little bit.
UPDATE, 1:47 p.m.: Joba Chamberlain is in. He came to the mound to Indian Outlaw.
UPDATE, 2:27 p.m.: Sabathia said he’s not going to lose any sleep after being knocked around this afternoon. “As long as I’m feeling good (physically), I feel fine,” he said. Sabathia said he simply couldn’t get anything working today.
“It kind of felt like I was just pushing the ball up there instead of throwing the ball downhill,” he said.
UPDATE, 2:38 p.m.: The Yankees offense finally decided to show up. The Yankees have already scored eight runs in the fourth inning, and there’s still only one out. Brett Gardner just put the Yankees in the lead with an RBI triple, making this an 8-7 game. It had been 7-0 when the inning started. Gardner led off the inning with a double.
UPDATE, 3:15 p.m.: Here comes Bryce Harper. Of all the people for him to face, it’s Rule 5 pick Daniel Turpen.
UPDATE, 3:17 p.m.: And Turpen makes the team! He got Harper to ground harmlessly to the right side.
UPDATE, 3:22 p.m.: It’s been all downhill since Harper. Turpen has now allowed three straight hits since getting the uber-prospect to ground out. The Nationals just tied the game at 8 on an RBI double by Matt Stairs.
UPDATE, 3:31 p.m.: Could be wrong, but it looks like Golson is wearing the Gazoo helmet that Cervelli had to wear last year.
Francisco Cervelli was pretty stunned yesterday. He said he woke up in the morning convinced his left foot was bruised and not broken — it was sore but not especially painful, there had been no significant swelling — but the news from the Yankees medical staff was a sobering reminder that spring training is not good for him.
Three of the past four years Cervelli’s been injured in spring training, always on or around his birthday, which is tomorrow. When he wasn’t hurt in spring of 2009, he was terribly sick leading up to the World Baseball Classic.
“I think I’m going to change my birthday,” he said.
Cervelli turns 25 tomorrow, and a lot of family flew into Tampa to celebrate. This was supposed to be a good weekend. Instead, Cervelli came hobbling into the Yankees clubhouse on crutches.
“A little sad yesterday,” Cervelli said. “But I talked to my mom. It’s good when I have my family here. Today’s different. I’m positive. A lot of people in the world, they don’t have legs, they don’t have arms. I’m healthy. I just have something in my foot, and it’s going to be OK.”
Is he confident his job will be waiting for him when the crutches are gone and the boot comes off?
“I hope, but if it’s not, I’ll fight again,” Cervelli said. “This is me. You have to fight every year for something. I’m not going to cry because somebody is going to take my job. No. I’m going to charge back.”
• Andrew Brackman faced hitters this morning. He threw roughly 30 pitches in the bullpen, then threw 25 to Austin Krum and Brandon Laird. “It was good,” Brackman said. “No problems.” He hopes to pitch in a game within a few days.
• Warner Madrigal also threw live BP this morning. Freddy Garcia, Ivan Nova, Dellin Betances and Adam Warren threw sides.
• A lot of former Yankees roaming around in the Nationals clubhouse. Chad Gaudin is starting for Washington. He’ll be pitching to Ivan Rodriguez, with Jerry Hairston Jr. playing center field. Alberto Gonzalez is on the Nationals bench. Former Yankees Chien-Ming Wang and Tyler Clippard are in camp with Washington but didn’t make the trip.
• Scheduled to play off the bench: C Austin Romine, 1B Brandon Laird, 2B Kevin Russo, SS Doug Bernier, 3B Brad Suttle, LF Justin Maxwell, CF Melky Mesa, RF Colin Curtis, DH Greg Golson
• Available out of the bullpen: Joba Chamberlain, Dave Robertson, Romulo Sanchez, Ryan Pope, Robert Fish, Steve Garrison, Daniel Turpen, David Phelps and D.J. Mitchell
• Tomorrow’s travelers today: The Yankees have a road game against the Astros in Kissimmee tomorrow. Phil Hughes starts for the Yankees, Brett Myers for Houston.
Pitchers who are making the trip: Brian Anderson, Steve Garrison, Phil Hughes, D.J. Mitchell, Hector Noesi, David Phelps, Andy Sisco, Adam Warren and Eric Wordekemper
Position players who are not making the trip: Francisco Cervelli, Jorge Posada, Austin Romine, Ronnie Belliard, Ramiro Pena, Jorge Vazquez, Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher
Postgame notes: The Grandy man can • 09.21.10
At this point, Curtis Granderson’s slash line is basically the exact same as it was at the end of last season. He hasn’t duplicated his 2007 numbers, but he’s been more or less exactly what the Yankees must have expected when they got him. He’s shown a lot of range in the outfield, flashed some speed on the bases and hit for considerable power for a center fielder.
And he’s been terrific down the stretch. When he reworked his swing in August, Granderson tried to keep himself more compact to help make better contact. Improved power has come with it.
“It’s one of the things that’s been able to happen,” he said. “Compact the swing a little bit makes myself a little quicker, and therefore I get myself out in front of the ball. When we go ahead and keep ourselves compact, we’re out in front the right way.”
Since making those mechanical adjustments, Granderson has hit .273 with 11 home runs and 26 RBI in 37 games. Tonight he went deep twice, once to give the Yankees an early lead, and then to give them the breathing room they ultimately needed.
“It’s been real important,” Joe Girardi said. “Just the way he’s been playing, swinging the bat since he made those adjustments. He bought into it. He’s playing exteremly well. His numbers have been real good for us.”
The Yankees really couldn’t lose on the night George Steinbrenner’s monument was unveiled, and it was Granderson who made sure they didn’t.
“One thing I’ve found out being over here with the Yankees organization is they respect everyone playing hard,” Granderson said. “That’s what the owner would have liked.”
Here’s Granderson’s postgame.
• There is a report out of Ohio that Andrew Brackman has been called up. “If it is, you got he report before I did,” Girardi said. “If it happens, I’ll know tomorrow I guess.” The move wouldn’t come as much of a surprise since Brackman is already on the 40-man. It would be hard to see him playing a huge role, though. UPDATE: Josh Norris talked to Brackman who said it’s not happening.
• According to Elias, the Yankees won on the day every monument was unveiled with one exception: They lost n the day of Mickey Mantle’s dedication in 1999.
• Wouldn’t be a Yankees game in September without asking Girardi about a bullpen decision. Using Chad Gaudin in the sixth? “I liked the matchup,” Girardi said. “I liked his stuff against Upton and Bartlett, and that was the rationale basically.”
• Ivan Nova got through four scoreless innings last time, and he got through five tonight. At this rate, give him a start in the World Series and he’ll pitch a shutout. “That inning I started too slow,” Nova said. “I didn’t attack the hitters that inning. When you don’t attack the hitter, you make mistakes… You feel bad because I was pitching good the first five innings, and then one inning, boom, it’s gone. I have to keep working and try to take that away.”
• The obvious question is, do those first few innings of dominance setup Nova for a bullpen role later this season and into the playoffs? “Right now we have him penciled in as a starter,” Girardi said. “Is (moving him to he bullpen) something we might possibly look at? Yes.”
• Girardi said the Yankees absolutely consider Nova a starter long-term.
• Derek Jeter had two more hits and has been a little better at the plate lately. He tied Mantle for third place on the Yankees all-time runs scored list with the 1,677th of his career tonight. Only Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig have scored more.
• Boone Logan didn’t retired any of the lefties he faced. This was his third straight appearance allowing a run after going 25 straight without a run. “He just gave up some hits off the end of the bat,” Girardi said. “It wasn’t like he was hit hard to say, OK, I’m concerned.”
• Joba Chamberlain was not available tonight.
• Francisco Cervelli went 3-for-4 and tied a career-high with three runs. According to the Yankees, this was the first time a Yankees catcher had three hits and three runs in a game since Jose Molina in 2008.
• Mariano Rivera is now 57-for-58 in save opportunities against the Rays.
• We’ll end with Derek Jeter’s take on Steinbrenner’s monument:
“It was big,” Jeter said. “Probably just how The Boss wanted it. The biggest one out there.”
Would Steinbrenner have liked that idea?
“It probably was his idea.”
Associated Press photos of Granderson with Cervelli and Jeter, Brett Gardner and Nova. You can get more pictures from tonight in our online Yankees gallery.
Notes from Tuesday • 03.02.10
As you might expect, there wasn’t much news coming out of the Yankees spring training complex today. The big baseball news was the possibility of Joba Chamberlain being pushed back a day or two because of a mild illness, but even that will become a complete non-story if he shows up healthy tomorrow.
Otherwise, it was all fun and games today. The Yankees start the games that (sort of) matter on Wednesday.
“It’s going to be competitive,” Game 1 starter Chad Gaudin said. “I’m going to compete, but I’m not going to prepare the same way I would for a normal start. Physically I’m going to prepare the same way, but as far as having a game plan going against hitters, you’re not going to have that.”
Here’s the Joe Girardi audio from today. Most of it is about the team outing to the arcade, with a few nuts and bolts at the end.
• It rained heavily through the night, but the back field was dry enough for Andy Pettitte to throw his scheduled batting practice session. He threw to two hitters, right-hander Jamie Hoffmann and lefty Juan Miranda.
• Girardi wouldn’t announce tomorrow’s lineup, but said the Yankees have already decided on lineups for the first five spring games. “You’ll see five or six guys that you would anticipate being possibly in the opening-day lineup,” Girardi said.
• He couldn’t remember whether Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson are in the outfield together tomorrow, but Girardi said the Yankees will “definitely” play them together this spring.
• It’s amazing that the Internet has made people aware of 17-year-old Dominican pitchers, but I’ve gotten several emails and read multiple comments about Rafael DePaula and whether the Yankees have signed him or will sign him. “He has not signed (with anyone),” Mark Newman said in an email. “We have seen him several times.”
• Odd story about Yankees minor leaguer Justin Milo, who also played hockey at the University of Vermont before being kicked off the team today. You have to read pretty deep into the story to get a Yankees reference. Thanks to Russel for emailing the link.
• Looks like some of the individual Yankees are going to have to pay back some of their World Series winnings.
• At the very least, Rocco Baldelli drew some Yankees interest on this blog, but it seems he might not be able to play this season. For now, he’s taking a job in the Rays front office.
Today in The Journal News • 02.26.10
After a year of the lowest lows and the highest highs, Alex Rodriguez addressed the media on Thursday from the same spot where he last year admitted using steroids. This time, the scene could hardly have been more different. One year ago, 2009 was shaping up as a year to forget, but Rodriguez now seems happy to relive it.
On the field, the Yankees hitters faced live pitching for the first time. The notebook also has items on the spring training rotation, Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson taking fly balls in left field, Andy Pettitte working in the bullpen and Reggie Jackson arriving in camp.