Camp Notes: Rotation, Burnett, Jeter, CC, More

CC not sounding as decisive about not opting out
Looking at Phil Hughes’ changeup curveball
(Photo Credit: Yankees PR Dept.)

Spring Training has officially begun. Pitchers and catchers reported to the team’s complex in Tampa today, and Joe Girardi held an opening “welcome to 2011” press conference. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that he didn’t really say anything groundbreaking, it was all pretty standard staff. But still, hooray for baseball.

With some help from the unparalleled beat writing crew, let’s recap the presser. Just about every link goes to Twitter, so in all seriousness you don’t have to click them. I’m just giving credit where it’s due …

  • “I feel good about the guys we have in that clubhouse,” said Girardi, with regards to his questionable rotation. “They can get it done.” I wonder if he said that with a straight face. (Mark Feinsand)
  • “[We’re] going to look at everyone in camp,” added the skipper, referring to the fourth and fifth starter’s spot. He called that it an “open competition.” (Erik Boland)
  • Unsurprisingly, Girardi feels good about A.J. Burnett‘s ability to rebound from 2010. “I just have a feeling in my gut that he’s going to have a good year … I know how much A.J. cares.” That and $2.50 will get him on the subway. (Feinsand & Boland)
  • In his second full year as a starter, Phil Hughes will be free of innings limitations. “It’s kind of nice,” said Girardi. I figured Hughes is good for about 200-210 innings last week. (Bryan Hoch & Boland)
  • Girardi was very explicit about who will hit atop the order this year. “[We] signed [Jeter] to be our shortstop and our leadoff hitter.” Surprised? You shouldn’t be. (Ben Shpigel)
  • Girardi danced around a question about CC Sabathia‘s opt-out clause, simply saying that “right now he’s a New York Yankee.” (Hoch)
  • Frankie Cervelli is not guaranteed the backup catcher’s job, supposedly. “That’s going to be a competition,” and Girardi acknowledged that kids like Jesus Montero and Austin Romine are “knocking on door.” Montero, sure, not so sure about Romine. (Boland)
  • Brett Gardner played hurt in the second half last year (wrist), which we knew already. (Boland)
  • “We wouldn’t come to Spring Training if we didn’t expect to win the division.” Amen, championships are not won in February. Yankees fans are far too familiar with that. (Hoch)

Here’s a few miscellaneous notes from throughout the morning…

  • Rumors of Sabathia’s weight loss have been confirmed; just about every reporter in camp said he was noticeably slimmer. “I’m 290, so I’m actually what it says on the back of my card,” said the lefty, who officially dropped 25 lbs and will probably lose another five to ten in camp. “I stopped eating Cap’n Crunch every day … I used to eat that stuff by the box.” CC added that he hopes to play another eight or ten years. (Hoch, Hoch, Feinsand & Boland)
  • Guest instructors this year include Yogi Berra, Tino Martinez, Lee Mazzilli, David Wells, Reggie Jackson, Goose Gossage and Ron Guidry. Boomer and Mazzilli are the first-timers. (Hoch & Marc Carig)
  • Last, but certainly not least, we have new uniform numbers. Eric Chavez gets 12, Andruw Jones 18, Mark Prior 22, Ronnie Belliard 26, Rafael Soriano 29, Pedro Feliciano 31, Freddy Garcia 36, Bartolo Colon 40, and Russell Martin 55. Cervelli now rocks number 17. How dare they disrespect Chris Basak like that! (Feinsand & Hoch)
CC not sounding as decisive about not opting out
Looking at Phil Hughes’ changeup curveball
  • JGS

    55 for Martin?

    ::commence incessant booing for disrespecting True Yankee™ Hideki Matsui::

    • A.D.


      all going down

    • MannyGee

      damn, you beat me to it. Although I was going with a pun about Matsui rolling over in his ‘porn box’

    • Vinny Scafuto

      Either that, or booing for replacing Jorge.

      • bexarama

        the people who would boo Martin for taking Matsui’s number would probably cheer for Posada being replaced

        • Vinny Scafuto

          Mm, true.

        • Esteban

          I’ll never forgive LaTroy Hawkins for spitting on the memory of St. Paul

  • MannyGee

    I just have a feeling in my gut that he’s going to have a good year … I know how much A.J. cares.”

    yeah, managing by gut huh? what happened to your binder?

  • John

    Maybe Joba agreed to exchange pounds with Sabathia. (safe)

    • UncleArgyle

      Holy Crap, Joba looks likes his Hutt name sake. I’m half expecting him to walk to the mound with a half naked Carrie Fisher chained to him.

      • Esteban

        That could be his mound entrance. Love it, but would need someone younger than Carrie Fisher.

      • I am not the droids you’re looking for

        Love it. In my alternate reality, wherein I am a shutdown reliever, my entrance music is the Empire’s theme.

        • vin

          You were so much better as a starter.

          Free I am not the droids you’re looking for!

        • BigDavey88

          In my alternate reality when I’m a shutdown reliever, my entrance music would be something ridiculous like the Simpons theme song, or N*SYNC, whatever. Just something that would go WTF.

          Then I would strikeout every batter I faced for 30 years…

          • BigDavey88

            * something that would make people in the stands go WTF.

            Bleh, typos.

            • Doug

              Let’s think of the most incongruous closer music.

              I’d enter to the theme from “Friends.”

              • Klemy

                Jeebus. lol

  • Elliot

    They couldn’t have give Raphael Soriano the number 12 jersey? My old Soriano T-Shirt from 2001 would have been current again.

    • rbizzler

      Ha, I still have an early Sori jersey featuring #33. I guess I lost my chance at rebirth as well. No worries, as I will continue to refer to mine as a ‘collector’s item’ when I wear it out and people question it.

  • Monteroisdinero

    Jeter will not leadoff the game with a gdp.


  • Mike HC

    CC is 290 and he plans on losing another 5-10? ha. Am I the only only to find this at least a bit comical. He can gain 25 pounds back in a day or two. I guess losing any weight is good, but come on here. That is such a drop in the bucket it is almost negligible. One good team buffet and he is back where he started, ha.

    • JGS

      Dropping 8% of your body weight is not negligible. And no, he can’t gain 25 pounds in two days.

      • Mike HC

        He can come damn close. And it is negligible when you are 290 and plan on losing another 5 pounds. Then what, he is going to maintain at 285?

        I guess I should just let my criticism of the CC is in the best shape of his life at 290 pounds storyline die. Good for him.

        • BigDavey88

          You’re forgetting that some of his weight can be attributed to his height at 6’7″. Even Randy Johnson, skinny as he looked, was 225 pounds.

          Now, dropping 20-25 pounds at his weight may seem insignificant to you, but at what his current BMI institutes, that’s a monumental step, a positive one at that, and a great START. Whether or not he plans on losing more remains to be seen.

          Still, losing that much weight for anyone is liberating, even if you weigh 300 pounds. So no, it’s not just a drop in the bucket.

          • Mike HC

            That is a good point. I didn’t give his height enough credit. And I just saw a picture of him and the weight loss definitely looks to have made a legitimate positive impact. I am wrong here. All you guys were right for getting on me here.

      • OldYanksFan

        No he can’t. Girardi has banned Captain Crunch from the clubhouse.

        • mattdamonwayans

          Captain Crunch is like a clubhouse cancer. Or maybe like clubhouse diabetes?

    • bexarama

      I know it’s easier to put it back on than it is to take it off, but I’m willing to guess that if CC gains 25 pounds in two days, he’s doing something that’s very wrong for the team.

      • Mike HC

        haha. Well, that is certainly true. But it is also not so difficult to lose 25 pounds when you start at 315.

        • king of fruitless hypotheticals

          Mike, you sound like you really know what you’re talking about…I’m on a weightloss quest right now, can you help? I was wondering if you were a sports trainer or dietician or something. I know we’ve got lots of medical folks on here?

          I was thinking of losing right around 30 like his plan is–I know he was concerned about protecting his knees (probably among other things)…do you have any numbers I could share with my wife about how many tons of force those 30 pounds would shed from his pitching so I can compare them to my walking over the course of a season?

          thanks for the help.

          • Mike HC

            haha … fair enough. I’m just some dipshit shooting off at the mouth on a blog. I stick to my story. You guys can celebrate the triumphant weight loss if you like.

          • Esteban

            Diet and Exercise.
            And speed.

          • Sayid J.

            Touche sir.

  • Monteroisdinero

    CC’s weight loss….is he ready to be our lefty batter off the bench? Any other candidates?

    As for Soriano’s #, next year he can give it to Girardi :-)

    • vin

      They don’t really need a left batter off the bench. The only guys Girardi might consider pinch hitting for are already lefties (Gardner and Granderson) or play a key position like C (Martin) that isn’t like to get pinch hit for except in some unique cases.

    • fire levine

      That’s why he got the opt out clauses, so girardi can have his #29

  • Dream of Electric Sheeps

    Do you think Posada can stay healthy and be productive as a DH? That’s the question I would have asked Joe. follow up, Do you see time for Montero at DH and catching when he is ready.

  • Esteban

    So Yogi’s gonna teach Jesus how to catch like Bill Dickey taught Yogi. It’s the circle of life.

    • Monteroisdinero

      I don’t think Yogi teaches anything anymore. He is there as the oldest/greatest Yankee.

      For teaching we have Pena, Girardi, Wynegar etc…

      • jr

        and Posada…

        • Kiersten

          How is Posada gonna teach someone else to catch when he can’t even catch himself?*

          *this is a joke

  • Beamish

    David Wells? Guest instructor?!

    I don’t recall anyone lauding the cerebral side of his pitching or the way he helped tutor younger pitchers. Boomer always seemed to be a “natural” and not someone who worked at the craft of pitching. He was a rubber armed lefty who pitched to contact with excellent control (660 games, 5.8 K/9, 1.9 BB/9) – I just don’t see that translating into a “coach-able” skill set.

    I hope I am wrong and he give some value to the guys he works with.

    • Esteban

      Someone needs to show the rookies the best strip clubs and bars around Tampa right?

      • Andy in Sunny Daytona

        You have to go about a mile away to find them.

    • Accent Shallow

      I dunno, he was crafty, maybe some of that will rub off.

  • OldYanksFan

    CC wants to play another 8 or 10 years?
    Cashman should just write him a check now for 3/$70m.

  • Opus

    Now we know CC doesn’t stand for “Carsten Charles”

    If he starts the season 0-3, he’ll be running to the store to buy as many boxes of Cap’n Crunch as he can.

    • Accent Shallow

      Relevant, although only about half. The last sentence you need to read is

      They will tell him they were just teasing and then take him into the bar to talk him down.

  • Chris

    That and $2.50 will get him on the subway.

    Eh, they’ll probably raise the fares before the end of spring training so it won’t even get him that.

  • Fair Weather Freddy

    Why would CC close the door on opting out and give up that leverage? That would be a dumb business decision on his part. I bet he stays, but the Yanks end up giving him a 3 year extension.

    • Evan3457

      Has this thread shifted on a quantum level without telling anyone?

  • Brendan

    Saw that goof Kevin Kernan dropped a recorder in front of Cliff Lee at Phils camp and tried to find more angles as to why he didn’t sign with the Yanks. He(Lee) stated he saw the potential to win multiple rings in Philly over any place else. Duh. Thanks Captain Obvious. The NL is the J.V league with no DH. It’s them and the Giants and a bunch of bums for teams. Hell Toronto would make the playoffs in the NL. The guy didn’t sign here. He is a bit of a weirdo, clearly soft and his wife wears the pants in his house. Jimminy Christmas let’s move on already

  • Bronx Ralphie

    of all the new jersey numbers, did any players wear those numbers last year? I know Kearns was 26, Berkman was 17. Did anybody wear the others?