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


(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)
Categories : News, Spring Training


  1. JGS says:

    55 for Martin?

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

  2. MannyGee says:

    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?

  3. John says:

    Maybe Joba agreed to exchange pounds with Sabathia.

    http://twitpic.com/3zs2v7 (safe)

  4. Elliot says:

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

    • rbizzler says:

      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.

  5. Monteroisdinero says:

    Jeter will not leadoff the game with a gdp.


  6. Mike HC says:

    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 says:

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

      • Mike HC says:

        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 says:

          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 says:

            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 says:

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

    • bexarama says:

      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 says:

        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 says:

          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.

  7. Monteroisdinero says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

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

  8. Dream of Electric Sheeps says:

    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.

  9. Esteban says:

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

  10. Beamish says:

    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.

  11. OldYanksFan says:

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

  12. Opus says:

    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 says:

      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.

  13. Chris says:

    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.

  14. Fair Weather Freddy says:

    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.

  15. Brendan says:

    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

  16. Bronx Ralphie says:

    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?

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