Open Thread: 2/17 Camp Notes

Okajima fails physical, will not be in camp with Yankees
The Morning After: A.J. Burnett
(J. Meric/Getty Images)

The big story of the day is obviously the imminent trading of A.J. Burnett to the Pirates for $13M in salary relief and two “prospects,” a deal that is only pending physicals and MLB approval. Meanwhile, here’s the latest from Tampa…

  • Joba Chamberlain threw off a half-mound again, and he’ll do so three more times next week. He’ll then get up on a full mound for the first time during rehab the following week. “I’ve been very blessed not to have had anything go wrong,” he said. (Anthony McCarron & Erik Boland)
  • Michael Pineda is currently at 280 lbs. but said he’s most comfortable at 270. He’ll drop the ten extra pounds during camp. Remember, he’s 6-foot-7, so his 280 isn’t like Bartolo Colon‘s 280. (Boland)
  • CC Sabathia lost a ton of weight this offseason (again), and he’s had conversations with the Yankees about maintaining his weight during the course of the season. It’s unclear if Sabathia or the team initiated said conversations. (Buster Olney)
  • “I just want to be in the rotation. I don’t mind if I’m number one, two, three, or five,” said Ivan Nova. “I don’t care. I just want to be in the rotation and win games.” My guess? He’ll be the three to open the season, which means nothing. (Boland)
  • There was no on-field batting practice for the big leaguers today, but a bunch of pitchers threw bullpens. Nameless, mystery pitchers. (McCarron)

Here’s your open thread for the night. The Devils and Knicks are playing tonight, and reportedly MSG and Time Warner have struck a deal so New Yorkers can actually see what all this Linsanity stuff is all about. Not sure if the network will be back on in time for tonight’s game, however. Talk about whatever you like here.

Okajima fails physical, will not be in camp with Yankees
The Morning After: A.J. Burnett
  • sevrox

    Any idea where one can go to see online pix of the Yanks at Spring Training? thanks.

    • Betty Lizard was a good source last year of spring training pics and they also had their official team photos.

    • Troll Killer

      You can see them at yahoo.

  • Mister D(elaware)

    So Ivan Nova is refusing to be the 4th starter? Controversy!

    • SevenAces

      Heh, I also found it funny/weird how he skipped 4 on purpose.

  • Paul VuvuZuvella

    Catching up on all the NEWS after a hectic day. Great day for RAB!

  • Rey22

    So who gets the #2 slot? Kuroda or Pineda? I would think they would’ve given it to Nova based on seniority/performance, and he was the #2 for the playoffs. Also, I think I read somewhere it lines him up to start the home opener (not that it means much, but still, better than Pineda facing that pressure to begin the year)

  • Jesse

    Here is my rotation guess….

    1. Sabathia
    2. Pineda
    3. Nova
    4. Kuroda
    5. Hughes

    • Paul VuvuZuvella


    • CJ

      Pineda belongs there and hopefully he will be behind CC in October. But in April I would go
      1. CC
      2. Kuroda
      3. Nova
      4. Pineda
      5. Hughes

      • Jesse

        Yeah, I was thinking Kuroda could get the number 2 spot mostly because of his veteran presents. We’ll see.

        • JoeyA

          What are veteran presents? Like old gifts? :)


          • Tom Zig

            Veteran presents is an old meme.

          • Havok9120

            You just justified the meme.

            • Juke Early

              Let’s just hope his “presents” IS in the present. AND presence enough: or 2012 will be the Yankee year of the old guy who used to be good.

              • Owen Two

                +1 for the homophones.


          • G

            No I’m pretty sure it’s veteran presents. You gotta work on yo English SON.

            Anyway rotation guess:

            1. Sabathia
            2. Kuroda
            3. Pineda
            4. Nova
            5. Hughes

            They can’t slot Pineda as #2, they have to manage expectations. At the same time, if they put him at #4 it looks like they traded Montero for a 4th starter, and then everyone is down on him from the start.

            By the post-season:

            1. Sabathia
            2. Pineda
            3. Nova
            4. Kuroda

            Hughes out of the pen.

        • CJ

          Pineda as the 4 draws favorable pitching matchups with other 4-5 starters which Leads to run support, more wins, more confidence and less pressure. Pitchers do care about the team stat of wins.

          • Jesse

            For the beginning part of the year, yes. But not all number 4 starters face number 4 starters all year long.

          • G

            That doesn’t make sense. Teams don’t have identical schedules; by the end of April a 5th starter could be facing Roy freaking Halladay if schedules line up that way.

        • RetroRob

          Kuroda should be the number two. He’s not only the second-most successful pitcher in the rotation, but he comes with unrestricted innings.

          Pineda, however, is coming off a career-high in innings last year, I don’t see the Yankees pushing Pineda more than 180 regular-season innings this year.

          Yankees have hopes for Pineda to be a *future* front-end pitcher; he’s not there yet.

          • Havok9120

            I thought he threw 170-80 last year? If so, he’s free to throw whatever he might need to.

          • Bo Knows

            That’s great but no one in the rotation is on restrictions. Pineda threw 180 innings last year, Nova threw 180 innings, Hughes isn’t on a limit either.

            The one positive thing you can say about the Mariners is that they know how to manage their young guys workloads and get them ready for 200 innings

            • RetroRob

              His innings will be monitored and restricted, even if it’s at the higher end. He’s only 23, coming off a career-high in innings, and has already missed much of a a full season (2009) due to elbow issues after the first time he set a new career high in innings.

              He pitched 171 innings last year, all regular season. The Yankees have to plan for the possibility of multiple postseason rounds, and while that adds another week or month into the equation, they are not going to take Pineda up to 200 regular season innings in only his second season in MLB. Remember, the Mariners only had him pitch 58 innings the second half, and in his final start he was under instructions to basically pitch at 90%.

              He is a very valuable commodity and is still learning and developing. You’re right, the Mariners have been good at gradually building up innings, but look no further than King Felix. He pitched 172 innings in 2005, split between minors and majors. The next season they upped him to 191, a ninteen inning bump. The Mariners were probably looking at a similar innings bump for Pineda this year, but once again, they don’t have to factor in the additional postseason innings. That’s why I believe the Yankees will have Pineda capped somewhere in the 180 inning range for the regular season.

              The ideal situation is have Kuroda come out of the gate as the #2 guy who will give 200 innings behind CC’s 230. Nova pitched 181 regular season innings last year, has pitched into October, and is 25, so from a workload side I’d slot him #3. He’s now another 200-inning option. I’d have Pineda at #4, even if for no other reason than managing expectations so early on in NY. Best of all, if Hughes is the #5, he’s been as high at 176 regular-season innings, so he shouldn’t under any major restrictions now that he is also 25.

              • Bo Knows

                His issues are three years, 3 inches and 50+ (probably even more) lbs ago, and it was a minor strain that the mariners decided to be careful with. To just say Pinedas grown is an understatement, his body is nothing like it was from 3 years ago.

                The mariners carefully monitored his innings increase with no year having him throw more than a 30 inning increase, including this past year which was about 31 more than 2010.

                -He’s thrown 110 pitches once
                -he had seven starts where he threw between 100-106
                – his remaining 19 starts have taken 99 or fewer pitches; 13 of those starts requiring 95 or fewer pitches.

                Pineda has been brought along gently and gradually
                in every conceivable manner, and on top of that has a fairly fluid delivery and a massive, mature (and sturdy) frame to go along. A single minor injury three years ago when his body was far smaller and scrawnier does not outweigh all the healthy starts he’s done since.

                • Bo Knows

                  Also Felix was a different situation considering he was barely 20 years old at the time, and got his ass handed to him more than a few times that year (which also also helped keep his innings down)

                • RetroRob

                  Your post actually supports what I’m saying.

                  • Bo Knows

                    Not sure how, I was stating why he’ll be fine to throw 200, his innings and pitches were carefully monitored.

      • fin

        Who cares? The only thing that matters is whos pitching in the playoffs. I dont care if they start cc as the 5th and give Hughes the opening day start. All the matchup stuff is crap, teams have different days off, give certain pitchers days of to start the season. You are just as liable to have a teams ace against your 2,3,4 or 5 by july as you are to have ace to ace. What I want/hope is by the end of the season, when the Yankees are lining up their staff for the playoffs…is


        IF they all pitch well, thats the best case.

  • Mike c

    pineda is 280? that’s gigantic

    • Chrisis

      Eh, for a 6-foot-7 athlete not so much. He’s more of a muscular 280, whereas CC just looks fat at 280.

      • CMP

        CC hasn’t been 280 since he was in high school.

        I’d bet anything he’s not a pound under 300.

    • Monterowasdinero

      Do not have CC & Pineda room on the road during the season. How much weight did CC put on during the season last year? I’m guessing 30 lbs. He was SO thin in ST. Somebody needs to watch him at breakfast and block that room service.

      • Havok9120

        Well, he only LOST 30 pounds last offseason. Gaining that back wouldnt be a huge deal.

        I’d prefer he keep it off during the season, but it doesn’t matter as much as a lot of people seem to think.

    • The Guns of Navarone

      And losing ten pounds when you’re 280 is not the same as losing ten pounds when you’re 160. That kid’s bodyweight fluctuates ten pounds by the week I bet.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      Someone isn’t familiar with how insanely small that would be for even a college lineman.

      • Mike Axisa

        Friend of mine used to cover baseball but later switched to the NFL beat. Said in ten years covering baseball, he only saw one guy as big as Sabathia. First day in an NFL locker room, there were about 20 guys CC’s size.

  • John
    • Monterowasdinero

      Great. Thanks for sharing. He can destroy hitters with offspeed stuff with 2 strikes. They looked helpless. And he got a hit too! I guess he, CC and Kuroda are not automatic outs in interleague play.

      • The Guns of Navarone

        I’m liking how helpless they look swinging through the fastball. He’s dotting it on the corners, so it’s a strike anyway, and they swing right through it. I’m so excited for this kid.

  • Monterowasdinero

    And as Montero begins his 6 year major league career before he finishes it out as a Yankee, the Mariners are impressed with his work behind the plate and in the cage so far.

    • Havok9120

      Links about his “work behind the plate?”

    • Bo Knows

      Dude seriously, get over it he’s gone…we don’t need to hear about every single damn thing Montero does every fricken day.

  • CT Yankee

    Like most of us, I too have been pondering how the rotation plays out after today’s developments. That’s if Selig lets them develop.

    The problem(s) I’m stuck on is Freddy Garcia. We paid him $4 mil to come back. That’s back end starter money and all, but does he get put into the #5 spot by default? Is Hughes going to compete for the #5 spot?

    I may be thinking too far ahead, but I like Phil Hughes as much as the next guy. If things don’t work out in camp, is he expendable? And by that I mean banished back to the bullpen, gets traded away?

    Just something to think about.

    • Countryclub

      Don’t forget that you really need 6 starters (if not 7). Injuries, poor performance, whatever. Garcia will get his shot one way or the other.

      • CJ

        I dont know how they are going to keep Freddy Garcia sharp, healthy and ready without pitching him as a starter every 5th day. He’s old and has arm problems that will keep him from being a long man, too long to warm up and will need more than 1-2 days rest to pitch again. 6th-7th starters are best filled by phelps, Warren, betances.

        • Countryclub

          I truly don’t know. Those are valid concerns. But if Hughes and Garcia are both pitching well, I think Garcia will be the odd man out. Hughes still has a future in front of him and we know that Freddy is at the end of the road.

          But they all have to get through the spring healthy before this becomes a real problem.

          • Preston

            Except that we don’t really care the way we would with a young guy. He’s a guy at the end of his career on a one year deal. We will keep him in the pen as a long man and then when we need him we’ll start him.

      • hogsmog

        Is there no shot of a 6 man rotation to keep Hughes and Pineda from getting tired down the stretch?

    • Monterowasdinero

      I like Freddy. He is a craftsman and he kept us in just about every game he started last year. I would also like to slot him between hard throwing CC and Pineda in the rotation. Any little edge to mess up hitters’ timing.

    • CP

      $4M isn’t backend starter money, it’s LOOGY money.

      • Tom

        I laughed.

      • Reggie C.

        Comment of the night.

        Definitely made me laugh.

  • Countryclub

    I’m sure most of you know this already, but the Phillies were the mystery team in on AJ (according to Buster).

    • Granderslam

      Burnett for Dom Brown!


      • RetroRob

        Burnett for Hamels!

        It would be interesting to know what Philly was offering. Supposedly they are looking to move Blanton, who is making $8.5 million this year, for salary relief as they are up against the luxury tax, and since the Yankees have no need for Blanton, then the Phillies must have been planning to insert AJ in the rotation and then dump Blanton on another team, perhaps even the Pirates.

        If that’s the case, then they must have been looking for the Yankees to eat a much larger piece of AJ’s contract than the Pirates. So the question is, what were they offering back? If it was Dom Brown, I sure hope the Yankees would have considered eating most of AJ’s contract. Since there was no deal, it probably means the Phillies didn’t offer much of substance back.

        • Jesse

          Burnett for Dom Brown AND Hamels!


    • Jesse

      I remember someone guessed on a Thread last night that the Phillies would be the mystery team.

  • The Guns of Navarone

    Has anyone else’s browser been jumping to the top 2 or 3 times when loading a new page once you try and scroll down? It’s happened on two different PCs now so I don’t think it’s just me.

  • ThatstheMelkyMesaWaysa

    I never realized that Pineda was that tall. 280 still worries me though. Shades of Bartolo Get Me Another Donut Colon… This, of course, is aside from the fact that Pineda is young and talented.

    • Havok9120

      His build is the same as CC’s. I’m no more worried about him than I am about our ace.

      What’s Colon? 5’11”? That isn’t even on the same PLANET in terms of build.

    • RetroRob

      Take a look at the pitcure of him in the video. He’s hardly heavy. Adding/losing ten pounds on that size body and that age is not all that signficant.

    • Bo Knows

      he’s 9 inches taller than Colon, 280 lb’s isn’t terrible for someone that big and with that large a frame, and when he drops down to 270 that’s even less of issue.

    • James

      I’m more worried about his arm with all those sliders than his build

  • Johnny

    From MLBTR:

    “The other team involved in the A.J. Burnett talks was the Phillies, tweets Buster Olney of However, the club would’ve had to clear Joe Blanton’s to make the deal work.”

    DIDN’T I TELL YOU PEOPLE THAT THE PHILLIES WERE STUPID ENOUGH TO WANT BURNETT!? I mean, I meant it ironically, but I guess even I underestimated the big PH. GD is their team going to be a shambles in four years time.

    • Jesse

      Yes you did, I remember you saying that.

    • STONE COLD Austin Romine


      … Bro , Breh , Dude , Homie …. I don’t even know you man.

  • Virgil Earp

    Nova doesn’t have to worry about being in the rotation and neither does CC, Pineda, Kuroda, or Freddy. The rotation is pretty much set going into spring training. If anyone suffers an injury you’ll see Hughes get a spot start but for the most part Phil will be in the pen if they don’t trade him for a bat. Cashman has assembled a great rotation with 2 big additions and 1 even bigger subtraction.

    • Havok9120

      You believe the Yankees have set aside Hughes based on…..?

  • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

    While we have a moment, let’s thank Tim Wakefield for 2003 one last time.

    • Owen Two

      Aaron Boone sent him a nice card.

  • pistol pete

    Don’t sign Ibanez. He had a terrible year last year in a hitters park in an excellent lineup. He’s 39 and on the downside. He can’t hit leftys, can’t run, and can’t field. Please don’t sign him. Sign Damon. He can still hit, runs very well for his age, can play the outfield in a pinch and doesn’t necessarily have to be platooned because he actually hits leftys better than rightys. He can handle NY and is playoff proven. There is no reason not to sign him. He’s well liked in NY and a great clubhouse guy. I hope Cashman doesn’t let his petty personal feelings get in the way of an experienced flexible player for a relatively cheap price. Sign Damon.

    • JohnnyC

      What petty personal feelings? And how would you know his feelings, personal or not?

  • YankeesIslesGiantsNets101

    So AJ’s now the Pied Piper of Pittsburgh, now say that 10 times fast.

  • Bronx Byte

    The biggest battle of the spring will be Hughes and Garcia for the No. 5 rotation spot.
    Fortunately Burnett is out of the way to complicate things even more.

  • hawkins44

    Is Ibanez that much better defensively than Damon? Their statistics are not close last year offensively…. he (Ibanez) really fell off a cliff.

    • Monterowasdinero

      Damon is the better option but $$$ and 3000 hits seem to be the albatross around Johnny’s neck. Why not just DH him against lefties too and play Andruw in the outfield against lefties? Gardy can be a late game pinch runner and/ defensive replacement in those situations. He could use a little rest over a long season anyway. Also, pitchers never finish games and chances are a righty or two comes in in relief.

      3000 hits for Johnny is good for us.

  • gargoyle

    Gotta love Nova’s attitude. No to Ibanez.

  • Alibaba

    Lin-sanity seems to be over! But, I guess we did not expect him not to lay an egg ever. I don’t know how great he will be, but even the all-time greats had bad games.

    • Bo Knows

      he had 26 pts and 5 assists he was still Linsanity the Knicks just lost; the turnovers are bad but its no different than what he’s done before, and turning the ball over is a very correctable issue anyway

  • Alibaba

    His assist-to-TO ratio is bit low: 1.6. But, it is probably a bit skewed by a couple of high turnover games. As long as it rises to over 2 without any drop in playmaking, he will be effective.