Spring Training Game Thread: A Look At A.J.


(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Just about every Yankees starting pitcher has pitched in a game already, except for one guy: A.J. Burnett. He pops his 2011 cherry against the Astros today, and will hopefully show off some of the things he worked on with new pitching coach Larry Rothschild over the winter. I remember reading somewhere that they focused on driving his front leg towards the plate, rather than swinging it around, so I guess we can keep an eye out for that. I’m hardly an expert on pitching mechanics, so I doubt I’ll pick anything up.

On the offensive side of the ball, Robbie Cano is hitting second between Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira, which probably has more to do with it being Spring Training and wanting to get him as many at-bats as possible before being lifted. It’ll still be interesting to watch though; I made the case that Robbie should hit second full-time in 2011 earlier this winter. Here’s the full starting nine…

Derek Jeter, SS
Robbie Cano, 2B
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Jorge Posada, DH
Andruw Jones, LF
Frankie Cervelli, C
Colin Curtis, RF
Justin Maxwell, CF

Available to Pitch: A.J. Burnett, Sergio Mitre, Joba Chamberlain, Boone Logan, David Phelps, Hector Noesi, Luis Ayala, D.J. Mitchell, Robert Fish, Daniel Turpen, and Adam Warren. Obviously all of them won’t get into the game, but they’re available if needed.

Also Scheduled to Play: Austin Romine (C), Bradley Suttle (1B), Kevin Russo (2B), Eduardo Nunez (SS), Brandon Laird (3B), Dan Brewer (LF), Melky Mesa (CF), Jordan Parraz (RF), and Russell Martin (DH).

At some point today, Jordan Lyles will pitch for Houston. He’s their top prospect and one of the better pitching prospects in the game overall. The kid (deservedly) reached Triple-A as a 19-year-old last year (3.86 FIP in 31.2 IP). Today’s game will be aired live on both YES and MLB Network, and begins at 1:05pm ET. Talk about the game here, enjoy.


  1. ManBan Bet Montero says:

    Houston has a good player?

  2. Mike Axisa says:

    Yeah, A.J.’s delivery is different.

    • gc says:

      I’m not watching, but I hope it’s a more repeatable delivery. That may portend good things if it means he can physically repeat the mechanics easier than he used to.

      • Tank the Frank says:

        It looks like he’s not swaying side-to-side as much and instead driving more directly towards home plate. I’m not sure if that hurts the movement on his fastball, but it looks like his fastball is a bit straighter.

        Amature analysis warning.

  3. Cy Pettitte says:

    Good 1st inning for AJ

  4. JerseyDutch says:

    AJ looking sharp so far.

  5. Mickey Scheister says:

    ….good AJ…..? Okay, I’ll stop. He did grab at his elbow after that breaking pitch, I gulped.

  6. Cy Pettitte says:

    every AB I have seen from Jeter in ST has been a GB to the left side, lol

  7. Tank the Frank says:

    Yankees go down 1-2-3 against the lowly Astros, one day after being shut out by the Pirates, and are in danger of starting spring training 1-4.


  8. mike_h says:

    AJ looking very solid.

  9. Mykey says:

    Time to see how he does from the stretch. Yikes.

  10. pat says:

    Same exact spot as the first bloop.

  11. Mykey says:

    I’ll never get tired of seeing Robby flip it to Jeet for 2.

  12. Tank the Frank says:

    I first noticed this on “Getting to Know Cano” on YES, but Cano is pretty jacked. He’s in great shape.

  13. JerseyDutch says:

    Good to see AJ work out of trouble there.

  14. James A says:

    You wouldn’t expect Burnett’s curve to be at its best on March 2nd (though he had one very nice one for his strikeout), but I thought he looked pretty solid command wise and it was nice to see him touch 94. A solid first appearance

  15. Cy Pettitte says:

    Arod crushed that, wow

  16. Mykey says:

    Hip Hip!

  17. A Rod says:

    Can we start the season tomorrow?

  18. Tank the Frank says:

    Posada career as a DH: .223/.336/.358! in 351 PA. Does this concern anyone else? Because it concerns me. I’ve always heard him say he’s more comfortable as a hitter when he’s catching.

    • NJ_Andy says:

      Nah. He’ll adjust. That’s a misleading sample because it’s from scattered days as DH, not a whole season. Jorge is a pro.

    • pat says:

      Usually he’d be DH’ing when he’s not healthy enough to catch. I don’t think it’s anything to worry about. As long as he’s healthy he’ll hit.

    • Mike Myers says:

      Not really. He always DHs when he looks tired or needs a half day. He should be much better with healthy legs.

    • JerseyDutch says:

      Yes, but he’s never been a fulltime DH. He’ll find a rhythm.

    • bonestock94 says:

      I don’t see how being worn down from catching will make you a better hitter.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      It’s 351 PA spread over 16 years. Only twice in his career has he played more than 10 games at DH in a single season.

    • Tank the Frank says:

      All good points. The fact that the numbers are so spread out puts it in better context. We’ll see how he does in a full season.

    • Big Apple says:

      I’m going to say that Posada will be more comfortable hitting this year when he’s not hurt or suffering from concussion symptoms!

      not worried about jorge!

  19. Cy Pettitte says:

    Frankie looks hurt…..put in Jesus

  20. JerseyDutch says:

    And our fifth starter takes the mound…

  21. Mickey Scheister says:

    Meat-tray in mid-season form.

  22. Cy Pettitte says:

    nice piece of hitting by Maxwell

  23. JerseyDutch says:

    Jeter hits one out of the infield!!!!!

  24. Mike Axisa says:

    Look at that, Jeter can still sting a ball on occasion.

  25. Cy Pettitte says:

    Romine behind the plate, nice

  26. pat says:

    Romine. w00t.

  27. Fair Weather Freddy says:


    What is your impression of Justin Maxwell? Looks like he can swing the bat. Is he a better option than Golson?

  28. Mike HC says:

    I’m always excited to see Joba pitch. Even in Spring Training. Something exciting about the guy

    • Mike HC says:

      I still think he will be an all star level pitcher one day, either as a starter, or reliever. Or maybe even both.

    • Big Apple says:

      me too. i got to meet him last spring at Mom’s restaurant. it was pretty exciting. we’re sitting there eating and i look up at the mirror on the wall and Joba walks in. A pretty neat experience and my kids thought it was so cool. I hope he turns the corner this year.

  29. Tank the Frank says:

    Damn, that hook almost looks like the kind of third pitch a starter would use.

  30. MattG says:

    This is real interesting and all, but I don;t think Teixeira’s slow starts have to do with a lack of hitting. I think it’s weather, getting used to travel again, and so forth. FWIW, I seem to recall Teixeira doing fine in March, down in balmy FL.

    • Tank the Frank says:

      I’m pretty sure he’s admitted to having trouble with getting both of his swings down, being a switch hitter. Not all switch hitters get off to slow starts, but he does for some reason. It’s just one of those things.

    • Mike Myers says:

      They should put him on a plane every day in spring training. Just circle the town then send him out to hit.

  31. NJ_Andy says:

    “I thought it was rubbish myself”

    You know, he’s a pain sometimes, but I love having Burnett on this team.

  32. bills says:

    MLB Gameday still tuning up during spring training. Keeps saying every AB is one pitch. Fastest game ever.

  33. pat says:


  34. Cy Pettitte says:

    Logan….not so good

  35. Cy Pettitte says:

    Romine is putting on a show behind the plate

  36. ManBan Bet Montero says:

    That side by side of A-Rod and Maxwell was creepy.

    Jeter first hit, no longer should anyone be worried.

  37. pat says:

    Warren. w00t.

  38. PhillyMatt says:

    Good inning from Phelps.

  39. Raza says:

    So I’m assuming Romine is looking good behind the plate? (Can’t watch the game). A small scouting report on how he’s doing? Like his fluidity, arm, how he frames pitches, etc…

  40. Cy Pettitte says:

    Wow, Martin saying Banuelos > Kershaw. Hype around him this ST is unreal, hope he lives up to it

  41. Cy Pettitte says:

    brutal inning for Phelps

  42. Big Apple says:

    Scott Proctor sighting in the braves/red sox game…thought his arm fell off.

  43. Cy Pettitte says:

    time for an epic come back

  44. Cy Pettitte says:

    the Melk man delivers

    I guess I’m the only one still watching, lol

  45. pat says:

    Gritty gutty AB from the melkman.

  46. Mike Axisa says:

    And the Melkman delivers.

  47. mike_h says:

    I smell walkoff!! come on Russo

  48. mike_h says:

    bases loaded Russel Martin up!!!

  49. pat says:

    One ball away from the W!!!!!

  50. Cy Pettitte says:

    everyone isn’t gonna run out to celebrate on the field? that’s disappointing, lol

  51. JerseyDutch says:

    That was nutty.

  52. mike_h says:

    ball game over! Yankees win DDDDAAAAAAAAAAAA Yankees win!!!!! Walk off Russel Martin walked in bottom of 9th with bases loaded, come from behind victory!!!

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