The Bench Takes Shape

The RAB Radio Show: March 28, 2011
Open Thread: Injury Updates

Update (5:43pm): Lots and lots of updates via Bryan Hoch and Ben Shpigel. First of all, that Sanchez trade? Forget it. He’s being sold to a team in Japan, where I assume he’ll have a much greater opportunity. Good luck to him. Fat Sanchezes 4 life.

We also have ourselves a bench now. Jesus Montero, Ramiro Pena, Justin Maxwell, and Doug Bernier were all sent to Triple-A this afternoon while Austin Romine went back to Double-A Trenton. Ronnie Belliard was released (nice knowin’ ya), and Mark Prior is going to hang around in Tampa for a while, which I assume means Extended Spring Training. Based on all that, the big league bench will consist of Chavez, Andruw Jones, Eduardo Nunez, and Gustavo Molina. Curtis Granderson‘s replacement is still TBD, if one is even needed.

Original Post (4:30pm): As Spring Training nears an end, the Yanks’ Opening Day roster and 40-man are starting to take shape. We have a few afternoon updates including news of a new addition to the Yanks. As they announced in their game notes release this afternoon, the Yankees have signed Eric Chavez to a Major League contract and have added him to the 25-man roster. Chavez had been in camp on a minor league deal with a Spring Training invite, and he has impressed everyone this spring. He hit .405/.432/.571 in 42 at bats and will spell A-Rod and Mark Teixeira at the corners this year.

Via Mark Feinsand, we learn that Romulo Sanchez was seen shaking hands and saying his goodbyes in the clubhouse, indicating that the out-of-options right-hander has been traded or released. Problem is the Yankees haven’t announced where to or for what yet, so stay tuned. We first heard that something was up with Romulo yesterday.

Via Bryan Hoch and Ben Shpigel, lefty reliever Pedro Feliciano will stay behind in Tampa when the team heads north for Opening Day and begin the season on the disabled list. He expected to be there “for a few weeks,” which doesn’t sound good but could easily mean the 15-day minimum. Feliciano’s been dealing with a triceps issue and hasn’t appear in the game in about two weeks now. That’s a shame.

The RAB Radio Show: March 28, 2011
Open Thread: Injury Updates
  • Teej

    Any chance it’s Slowey?

    • Teej

      * a Slowey deal

    • Mike Axisa

      Wouldn’t the Twins just keep Slowey in that case?

  • mike_h

    if we get a case of baseballs for Sanchez I’d consider it a successful trade

  • Smallz

    Man we have such terrible luck with left handed relievers *facepalm*

  • Ben

    I know Joel Sherman brought this up, but how much do you think Felician’s (over)use the past few years contributed to his current arm trouble?

  • Tank the Frank

    Maybe the Yankees can swap Sanchez for a lefty reliever. Someone who passes the “better than Garrison” test.

    • Jerome S.


      • Tank the Frank

        Right now, beyond Logan, the only LHP they have for depth is Mr. Garrisson and maybe Sisco but I don’t think he gets any real consideration. Maybe they can swap Sanchez for a lefty who could be a more viable option than Garrison.

    • http://riveravenueblues david McCann

      You don’t trade a potential superstar for a lefty specialist. Also we don’t know how good Garrison is! We can wait. There is no rush.

      • Mike Axisa

        He meant Romulo, not Gary. I think.

      • Tank the Frank

        Yeah I could’ve sworn this post was about Romulo Sanchez. Should’ve specified.

  • Drew

    id assume its Ramulo for a backup catcher that passes the “better than Gustavo test”

    • Tank the Frank

      Either one works.

      • Tank the Frank

        But I don’t really think you’d be able to get a backup catcher any better than Gustavo Molina for a reliever who’s out of options and has 17.2 total major league innings since 2008.

  • Adam

    Sold to a team in Japan, apparently. Also, Ramiro Pena and Montero heading to SWB.

    • MannyGeee

      so apparantly its Ramulo for a basketload of Yen… sooo like $75…

  • Steve in PDX

    Lots of stuff via lohud

    Romulo sold to Japanese team
    Montero & Romine sent down
    Ramiro and Maxwell also sent down

    So Molina as backup C
    Nunez back up INF
    Chavez also added to 40man

  • Gonzo

    Let’s hope the Japanese team paid by the pound.

    • Mike Axisa

      I laughed.

    • MannyGeee

      I keep picturing him showing up on a tuna boat and all the merchants circling around him to buy him…

      great times.

  • EndlessMikeJr

    Keep Jesus Montero in Triple A as a catcher and then trade him. He looks like a future Victor Martinez or even a Joe Mauer. A decent ctacher who is destined to first base.

    • Bruno (The Manchine)

      A decent ctacher catcher who is destined to first base.

      Mauer is a stellar defensive catcher, while Martinez is horrible. If Jesus ends up decent behind the plate, I think we’d all take it in a cocaine heartbeat.

    • KG

      Montero looks like a future Mauer and we should trade him? Really? A three time reigning GG winner and a guy that got 99 percent of the MVP vote two years ago? Sure… Lincecum and Cain!

    • theyankeewarrior

      I laughed. And then choked on my laugh and began coughing. This is the comment of the year.

  • Mickey “BadaBling King” Scheister

    I’m sad. I really wanted Teh Hey-Zeus on the Big Team. So when the non Molina brother, Molina hits .097/.124/.129 in April we’ll all be excited for the offensive minded back-up, Cervy to return. It’ll just make Frankie bat look that much more Monterian.

  • Coolerking101

    Can you imagine the sort of eating tag team Sanchez and Colon would have made? They would have struck fear into the hearts of all you can eat restaurants up and down the east coast.

    • NJYankeeFan

      Try adding Carlos Silva and those 2 and you have 4/5ths of an offensive line that would make the Giants proud.

      • Jerome S.


  • Dan

    Im really disappointed after reading this.

    Gustavo Molina and his .90 spring avg.. and his stellar(sarcastic)mlb career.

    Come on….
    maybe April fools came early but the yankees sent down Jesus Montero and kept Gustavo Molina as the backup catcher.

    most idiotic move of the spring hands down for a yankee fan.

    1) they should ease Montero into big league pitching and games like they did with Posada in 96.(posada wasn’t even on 96 playoff roster but played reg games)

    2) molina is going to see a lot more playing time then a reg backup catcher becaue R. Martin won’t be playing 5-7 games a week.

    3) Molina hit .90 in the spring and is a career POOP**** hitter.last mlb at bats were with the red sox.. anyone remember him??? 13 at bats???

    what a Sh$T**** ****ing move this is.. this kid better be IROD behind the dish.. hits .90 behind the plate and will catch 2 games a week…

    who the **** made this decision?

    ease montero into the big leagues… wtf****… or even Austin Romine who is a better defensive catcher then montero and can actually hit a baseball unlike Molina.

    • Stratman9652

      Nobody has explained the whole backup role to you have they? Quick question for you: In one, maybe two games a week which would you rather have… a defensive specialist who can’t hit or a kid who is barely passable behind the plate and will spend most of his limited at bats adjusting to ML pitching? Seems pretty obvious to me.

      • S

        The guys isn’t even a great defender, he’s essentially someone who shouldn’t even be in baseball because he he can’t hit, his defense is average which isn’t enough to offset anything, and has no potential to do anything valuable at all.

      • Dan

        First off,don’t talk to me like im an idiot

        Im on this site and mlbtraderumors everyday.

        Last time i checked one of the writers discussed what I explained in my previous post earlier in march:
        Montero playing a few games a week just like Posada did in 96′(backing Girardi) so he can get his feet wet and a feel for big league life as a catcher.

        Having Molina who can’t hit a beach ball starting 2 maybe 3 games a week on a potential playoff team does not seem obvious at all to me and a lot of the readers.

    • Jorge

      Yes…..let’s absolutely have Jesus Montero be a two-week fill-in for Frankie Cervelli.

      When Montero comes up, it will be to replace Russell Martin.

      • Dan

        oh boy.. 2 week fill in for Frankie Cervelli??

        you mean the Frankie Cervelli of last year who hit,.271(.316 BABIP) and had 13 errors, 2 pass balls, and a 14% caught stealing rate in 637 chances during the 2010 season

        come on people.. take the Shutters off…

        seriously.. Frankie Cervelli.. lol

    • bexarama

      If Molina hits .90 that’s pretty good.

      • Jerome S.

        i lol’d

    • NJYankeeFan

      Montero belongs in AAA until he proves he’s ready.
      He’s only had half a season of hitting well at AAA.
      He still needs to work on his defense, which by every report over the last few weeks isn’t MLB ready and wait until he starts raking for Scranton before bringing him up.
      There’s no need to rush him at age 21.

      • Dan

        Frankie Cervelli!!!!!!

        and whopping!!! WHOPPING!!! 325 slugging percentage!!!!!

        thank god he can throw up 14% of the runners who attempt to steal… if not we’d be in big trouble!!!!!

        Frankie Cervelli!!!!

        • Dan

          i meant 335 slugging percentage.. ooops

    • MannyGeee

      I am alright with Montero as a ‘Super Two’ call-up in June…

  • Dan

    i apologize for my previous anger.. i took some Pepto and im OK now.. not great.. but OK

  • Adam

    On the bright side, Romulo could have a promising sumo career in front of him if the whole baseball thing doesn’t work out.

  • pete

    re: Montero vs. Gustavo:

    Jesus hit like shit this spring. Does that make him a lesser prospect? No. Does that change his outlook for the season? No. Does that mean that he’s cold right now and probably won’t get hot by getting 4-8 ABs per week against better pitching than he’s ever faced? Yes.

    The fifty or so plate appearances that get sacrificed early will be well worth it if Montero comes up and rakes later.

    • NJYankeeFan

      Let him get hot at AAA and work on his defense playing everyday for the next 6 weeks before bringing him up.

      • KeithK

        Even better if they wait long enough to call him up that he’s under team control through 2017 rather than 2016. (All assuming he turns into the Olympian we’re expecting…)

  • Nick

    What happened to Manny?

  • Pat D

    A bit surprised to see Nunez stay and Pena go.

    I thought they think Nunez has upside. Pena clearly is nothing more than a middle infielder. So why have Nunez play 1-2 times a week rather than every day at Scranton?

    I’m terribly vexed.

    • Pat D

      Shoot, that should say “utility infielder” rather than “middle infielder.”

    • pete

      well they’ve been playing him a bunch in the OF and at 2B too, and Girardi’s talked some about getting Cano more rest than in past years and obviously Jeter and Alex aren’t going to start 162 games. My guess is Nunez gets ~350 PAs this year, which ought to be fine. He’s never going to be Hanley Ramirez anyway; use him in a role that helps the team the most.

      • Total Dominication

        No way in hell should he get that many plate appearances. Chavez is backing up Tex and A-rod. Jones is backing up the OF. Cano will is less than 10 games, Jeter probably about the same. If Nunez gets more than 200 ab’s, than Jeter is injured.

  • Dan

    who better to learn from then Pena, girardi, posada and Martin at the big league level?

    how is playing at AAA going to make him a better catcher in 2 months? 4 months? 6 Months?

    all the scouts proclaim him ready offensively now.. he has nothing else to prove at the minor league level.

    i’ll throw out my Posada example again.
    he came up in 96 played a few games a week as Joe Girardis back up.. eased him into a full role as a catcher…

    if Montero is a terrible catcher now.. he won’t be any better in june or september… and probably not good enough to start then next year.. so either trade him or make him your DH for the next 10 years and call it a day.
    he isn’t going to turn into Ivan Rodriguez behind the dish being in AAA for half a yr.

    • Pat D

      I understand your point, but your facts are wrong.

      In 1996, Jorge played in a mere 8 games with only 15 plate appearances. Jim Leyritz was still the backup catcher in 1996.

      It was in 1997 that Jorge became the backup catcher.

    • MannyGeee

      he’ll get here… relax! Let his bat warm up and when the big club starts dealing with injuries and things of the like come June (or the Mariners are out of it and Felix Hernandez demands a trade ;) ) you will see Montero…

  • Ross

    Top 10 Reasons Gustavo Molina makes 25-man roster:
    10) They think he’s a Molina brother
    9) To get Russell Martin a huge applause when the starting lineup is announced
    8) To prove the Yankees don’t buy all the best talent.
    7) To get more hype surrounding Jesus Montero’s arrival.
    6) They really want Brett Gardner batting leadoff.
    5) He’s got naked pictures of Larry Rothschild.
    4) Sabathia promised not to use Opt-Out if he’s allowed to pinch hit.
    3) Cashman lost Super Bowl bet to Theo Epstein.
    2) Girardi’s planning a comeback!
    1) They want to prove the sacrifice bunt really is a good strategy.

  • MidlandTX

    The Rockies released Chad Moeller two weeks ago. He already knows most of the staff, and his .640 OPS makes him look like Johnny Bench compared to Gustavo. I’m sure he could be had for close to league minimum. Get it done Cash.

    • MannyGeee

      AJ’s Personal Catcher!!!!!!