Feb
18

Open Thread: 2/18 Camp Notes

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Pretty slow day down in Tampa, which isn’t surprising since pitchers and catchers are scheduled to officially report tomorrow. Most of them are probably trying to enjoy the final day of the offseason. Here’s the latest from camp…

  • Hiroki Kuroda arrived yesterday and played catch with Larry Rothschild, and today he got up on the mound and threw a 25-pitch bullpen session. Here’s a photo. “I’m aware there’s a lot of great hitters in the American League East,” he said afterward. “But it’s something I have to be on the mound and feel myself. I’m sure I’ll have that experience.” (David Waldstein & Chad Jennings)
  • Yesterday we learned that Hideki Okajima failed his physical and won’t be in the camp with the Yankees, and apparently it was the MRI on his left shoulder that gave the team pause. I hear left shoulders are important for lefty relievers. (Waldstein)

Here’s your open thread for the night. The Nets already played, so the only local team in action tonight is the Islanders. It’s Saturday though, so I recommended getting out of the house if you can. Talk about anything you want here if you happen to be around.

(h/t to John for the video)

  • brucevodka

    Fantastic!!!!! Bravo!

  • gc

    That Pineda video….

    (insert Homer Simpson drooling sound here)

    I’m so excited to see this guy pitch for the Yanks!

  • TinoBambino24

    I’m going to need a new pair of Haynes…

  • Wil Nieves Number 1 Fan

    I like the part where he struck the batter out.

    • TinoBambino24

      Ha!

  • Jimmy Page

    I hope he is the real deal and not a one year wonder.

    • Jesse

      Don’t we all.

  • Bronx Byte

    Physicals for pitchers and catchers on Sunday.
    First full workouts on Monday.

  • Wil Nieves Number 1 Fan

    Not one Yankee strikeout in that video. SUCK IT, PINEDA!

  • TinoBambino24

    I remember one at-bat between Pineda and Cano, and Pineda blew Cano away and Cano had no idea what hit em’. Pineda will be a beast in the East.

  • Chris

    Pineda and the inverted W scares me a bit.

    • C

      I’ve always wondered why it’s called the inverted W and not the M.

      • Chris

        Cause the head is the center point of the w.
        http://www.chrisoleary.com/pro.....rtedW.html

        • brent

          he has a pretty moderate inverted W. It’s not nearly as extreme as some guys. The guys who people really worry about get their elbows up near their foreheads, or higher. Pineda is almost on a flat plane. Doesn’t worry me at all. Of course he could blow out his elbow or shoulder tommorow but his mechanics look pretty solid to me aside from the fact that his landing leaves him in a dangerous and vulnerable fielding position.

          • Monterowasdinero

            Yes on the landing. Every pitch I’ve seen his back leg swings toward 1B taking his body with him. Joba has similar follow through issues. Hope that doesn’t cause problems-nobody bunts anyway anymore. Otherwise his mechanics/drive/release point look solid.

          • fin

            I like the fact that he clearly gets alot of his power from his legs. His right leg whips through like few I have seen. Its very possible his arm stays healthy for a long time. Give me a guy who generates his power from his legs over his arm any day of the week.

        • Plank

          You trust that site? It seems like snake oil to me.

          http://www.chrisoleary.com/pro.....dPans.html

          Is that serious? That guy is full of it.

          I think a better answer is that pitching is a violent motion and it can damage tendons and ligaments. Repetitive motion injuries are also a concern with such an awkward motion to make. No one knows how to prevent injuries other than conditioning and limiting pitches. Are there other x factors? I’m sure. Does anyone know for sure what they are? No.

          • Bo Knows

            his theory does seem to follow what I and Brent are talking about with Pinedas mechanics that don’t worry us any more than any other pitcher.

    • Bo Knows

      I wouldn’t worry too much, the inverted W is just an overly simplistic excuse on why pitchers blow there arms up. It’s not so much the shape that the arm makes, as much as its the angle in which the hand and elbow are positioned. the inverted W is usually bad because the players that make its shape usually have their elbows end up well above above their shoulders, with the forearm and hand angled downward towards the ground. This forces an unnecessary amount of torque and stress on those areas as the pitcher has to rotate the arm to deliver the ball. Strasburg, Kerry Wood, AJ Burnett and many other pitchers have that high elbow, and downward angled hand. Pineda, while he does technically have the ” inverted w” his elbow stays under the shoulder, while remaining close to his body, with his forearm and hand are angled upward, all this means that his arm isn’t getting hit that it would if he had to rotate his arm and shoulder like Strasburg does.

      • brent

        heh I just posted the exact same thing. I posted it before scrolling down to see your comment. Great minds think alike I suppose

        • Bo Knows

          yeah, good to know others notice the flaw in the “inverted w” theory

          • qwerty

            Patterns exist for a reason. Every single pitcher who has had the inverted w pitching motion has eventually had surgery to repair their elbows and shoulders. Does anyone care to explain that? That’s one heck of a coincidence.

            • Bo Knows

              did you read my full explanation? its the elbow and arm angle something Pineda doesn’t do, also not every inverted w has surgery, they may be more likely but a blanket statement like that simply isn’t true.

            • knucklehead

              you’re sheep.

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

              Every single pitcher who has had the inverted w pitching motion has eventually had surgery to repair their elbows and shoulders.

              Tom Glavine had the “inverted w” and made 34 starts a year for two decades.

              • Plank

                Yeah, but where is he now?

                • Jesse

                  Waiting to get his ticket punched into the Hall of Fame.

      • fin

        it may very well be the same issue..but I tend to think pitchers who use thier legs to generate power, rather than their arms, end up not having arm issues. If u watch Pineda pitch, he is clearly generating his power with his lower body. Clemens also was clearly a lower body pitcher. ITs not a hard and fast rule, as Randy Johsnon clearly got his power from his arm.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      “That pitcher is going to get hurt” is the safest bet in sports. Yeah, some guys are more at risk than others, but I’ve stopped worrying about it. Trying to predict who will and who won’t get hurt is damn near impossible.

    • Jimmy McNulty

      Yes. That’s what’s scary about pitchers, injuries…I think it’s possible to know what type of mechanics are or are not more injury prone, but I’m not sure what they are. Strassburg’s inverted W though is a cautionary tale.

  • pat

    One thing that he has in his favor is that he now gets to see the Mariners offense a couple times a year.

  • Monterowasdinero

    On Damon: What is so terrible about him wanting to reach 3000 hits as soon as possible? Isn’t that a good thing that he has a goal like that before he retires? Why not play him everyday as a DH except when ARod needs a day? Have Andruw play LF against lefties and Gardner come in in the late innings as a pinch runner or defensive replacement. Gardy could use the rest over a long season and he will probably get in most of the games in this scenario anyway.

    Don’t like Ibanez.

    • http://www.bronxbombersreport.com Craig Maduro

      That’s why he should play somewhere else. I’m in no way a big Ibanez fan, but I do like him over Damon if we’re stuck with an old DH.

      • Mattchu12

        I’d trade Betances for Chase Headley, but I don’t have high hopes for Betances.

        • http://www.bronxbombersreport.com Craig Maduro

          I’m not quite that close to jumping on the Headley bandwagon.

          • Mattchu12

            I’m a big fan because of his ability to sub in at 3B, 1B, and LF while being the main DH against LHP pitching. I sense a lot of Nick Swisher in that guy, and considering that the Nick Swisher that we have is potentially leaving, I’m all about taking a chance on him.

            But like I said, I’m not a Betances fan and want to sell high.

    • fin

      I dont think there is anything wrong with JD wanting 3k hits. I’m pretty sure the Yankees dont care either. I think its contracts that the Yankees care about. Damon will not only cost more more than Ibanez, but will get a major league contract. We have to assume Ibanez will get a minor legue deal. There is no risk with Ibanez. I’m thinking the Yankees are done eating money, and wont take the risk of eating, even a couple million more. They both have about the same chance of sucking and the yankees can drop Ibanez and not pay.

  • jsbrendog

    good, the yankees can’t afford a dh and a bench player so they won’t be dumb enough to sign chavez. It looks like Ibanez will be the last piece. If they do sign another utility guy I would say aaron miles over chavez. at least he can stay healthy

  • DM

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/.....nkees.html

    Thatta boy, Cash. I agree 100%.

    • Mattchu12

      I admit that Damon is hardly an ideal DH option, but Ibanez? I prefer Johnny over Ibanez, I probably even prefer Matsui over Ibanez. I’d like to give Branyan a good look too.

      At least neither Damon or Matsui had a sub-.300 OBP.

      • Robert

        I would rather have Maxwell or Dickerson over all of them.

      • DM

        I think Ibanez gives you more options and flexibility than Damon or Matsui. He was a full-time outfielder last year. Also, none of these players will get full-time ABs at DH on the Yankees this year — so it’s hard to judge how effective they’ll be in a more limited role. And Chavez plays 3rd base (in addition to being a lefty hitter) which fits nicely with gimpy A-Rod who’ll get significant DH time.

        Even though Branyan can play 1st — and 3rd in a pinch — I don’t put him in the same sentence as the others. His track record doesn’t warrant that inclusion.

        • Jon Targaryen

          You forgot the quotation marks on “outfielder”

          • DM

            They’d be even more appropriate if I described Damon’s and Matsui’s escapades in left. But I’ll send a raven to King’s Landing with a revision if you want.

            • Jon Targaryen

              Definitely Matsui, but I doubt Damon would have been worth almost -2 wins in the outfield last year.

              …and I would prefer you sent the raven to the Wall, if you would.

              • DM

                Damn — I was going to say the Wall but I switched. But in case you haven’t heard, Winter is coming — and War too.

            • RetroRob

              …actually, Damon can still run down baseballs in the OF. Ibanez can’t. He’s horrible. He’ll need his stronger arm after the ball the flys up the gap that Damon would have caught but he missed, to try and throw the runner out at second or third.

              • DM

                I think it’s hard to compare b/c Ibanez plays the position every day — which Damon no longer does. If he had the exposure Ibanez did last year, I don’t think it would be any prettier. You have to realize that Ibanez won’t play nearly as much in the field in a current Yankee role. But at least I know Ibanez is physically capable of playing many games out there. I can’t say the same for Damon or Matsui. Ibanez gives you better backup coverage in case of injury.

        • Mattchu12

          I am all for signing Chavez. He was great when he was healthy. And I’m really hoping that Nunez has focused on his defense this offseason, because I’d really like to see his bat in the lineup more often. I’m looking at this as strictly a “who DH’s against LHP”.

          Damon and Matsui are hardly a pretty sight in the outfield, but neither is Ibanez. If the Phillies could have made him a DH or suffered losing his bat, I doubt he’d have been out there last year. I’m not even sure he’s better than Damon.

          • Mattchu12

            In all honestly, I would like to see us get Chase Headley. He’d be a great back-up at 3B, 1B, and LF with a chance to be a very good DH. I sense a lot of Swisher in him, and I’d love to get another one of them.

            • DM

              I have nothing against any lefty bat that can do more than DH. The Yankees were afraid to play Matsui in the field when he was here. I don’t think Damon or Matsui could’ve played the number of games in the OF that Ibanez did last year. Jones and Ibanez would be great insurance against injury to the starting OF. Damon and Matsui don’t provide that. And I could see a platoon of Jones and Ibanez in left when/if Gardner goes into one of his offensive funks. But the key is the ability to do more than one thing. Flexibility gives Girardi options on a daily basis. And like I mentioned before, Ibanez is a high character, grinder type who’ll be down with the program. I think Cashman had his fill of the Damon/Boras rap during their showdown 2 years ago. Let’s give Ibanez a chance against righties. The short porch will favor him as much as it did Damon.

              • Mattchu12

                I hear you loud and clear.

                Ibanez will get more power at Yankee Stadium, I just worry about the OBP being so low. Either way, I don’t worry about it since I’d love to see Nunez get plenty of at-bats with the rest of the infield getting time at DH to really dial up his trade value down the road should he hit well.

        • fin

          You forgot to mention, they would be backing up a “gimpy A-Rod” with a gimpy Chavez. Not to mention Chavez sucks when he is healthy. Much rather see Nunez in the game than Chavez. Maybe they want Chavez to back up Nunez, incase of catastrophe.

          • DM

            The gimpy factor is lessened by limited exposure. We all know Chavez’s injury history — but he’s a bench guy now. And the gimpy footed Chavez who came back off the DL last year still played a 3rd base light years ahead of Nunez. We both may cross our fingers hoping Chavez won’t pull up lame — but I cross my fingers every time a ball is it Nunez’s way. Some guys need to be in there every day to play good defense. Chavez can fall out of bed and still play a good 3rd base.

  • John
    • CS Yankee

      Great stuff!

      Thanks

    • pat

      <3<3<3<3<3 @ 2:32.

    • http://www.bronxbombersreport.com Craig Maduro

      Definitely a nice video.

      I will say this though: you can make any pitcher look studly by just showing his strikeouts for two minutes. That’s not meant as a knock by the way.

      • Jimmy McNulty

        I recall seeing an old Phil Hughes highlight video of just his strikeouts and he didn’t look all that studly, you could still see the scoreboard.

  • Rookie

    I gather that nobody’s worried about Ibanez’s awful road splits the past two years?

  • Manning to Manningham

    Interesting video on the Montero-Pineda trade I just found: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....ata_player

  • Jimmy McNulty

    On the podcast, I don’t think Girardi will bat Damon second. I think he’s pretty clearly the seven/eight hitter. Damon is the perfect fit for the Yankees. Pretty much the only guy I’d like for the Yankees. You know he’ll hit double digit HRs, have about a .340/.350 OBP, he’s competent on the basepaths, and can fake left field if you needed him to. He’s exactly what they need.

    A line up would likely be:

    Jeter
    Granderson
    Cano
    Rodriguez
    Teixeira
    Swisher
    Damon
    Gardner
    Martin

    I think Martin has a rebound if he doesn’t catch 130 games a year, that’s a line up I can get behind.

    Still miss Montero.

    • brent

      too many stacked lefties.

      vs lhp

      jeter
      swisher
      cano
      rodriguez
      texiera
      granderson
      jones
      martin
      gardner

      vs rhp

      Garnder
      Jeter
      Cano
      Rodriguez
      Granderson
      Texiera
      Ibanez/Branyan
      Swisher
      martin

      even with ibanez those are two fantastic lineups.

      We are talking about a MARGINAL differnce between Ibanez and Damon. I’m fine with Ibanez or Branyan until the inevitable June 28th acquisition of Travis Hafner for Adam Warren.

      • brent

        I made a mistake on vs RHP

        Gardner
        JEter
        Cano
        ROdriguez
        Granderson
        Texiera
        Swisher
        Ibanez/Branyan
        Martin.

        Vs LHP

        Jeter
        Swisher
        Cano
        Rodriguez
        Texiera
        Granderson
        Jones
        Martin
        Gardner

        Again these lineups are top to bottom easily a top 3 lineup in the game.

        Speed, power, patience decent averages.

        The only lineups in their class are Boston and Texas.

        with Toronto Detroit, Anaheim being pretty clearly a tier below the top 3 offenses.

        Looking objectively it seems to me that Texas, Boston New York and Anaheim are clearlyt he best AL teams with TB and Detroit both being good teams with a chance to be amongst the best if things break right (with Detroits pitching and TB’s offense)

        Toronto is the only team I see with a real possibility of having a surprising 89-92 win season if everyting is PERFECT.

        But probably the NY and Detroit are locks. IF there is one wildcard you’re looking at a battle for two spots between Tex, ana and Bos. and if they add the second wc those three teams are pretty clearly all gettin in.

        • Mattchu12

          Boston is in pretty rough shape offensively though. They have huge holes at C, SS, and RF with Carl Crawford being a huge question mark (though I have to imagine he bounces back) and Youkilis getting hurt a lot.

          Ortiz is probably going to Aubrey Huff out this year too, so I think their contentionr rests on Lester-Beckett-Buchholz being Aces.

    • Mattchu12

      Dream lineup?

      vs RHP: Gardner-Jeter-Cano-Rodriguez-Granderson-Teixeira-Swisher-DH-Martin

      vs LHP: Jeter-Granderson-Rodriguez-Cano-Teixeira-Jones-Swisher-Martin-Gardner

  • Jimmy McNulty

    Another question:

    Did Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain cost the Yankees Montero?

    • Mattchu12

      How do you figure that? You don’t want Santana for Hughes, and who knows what extent the Joba for Haren talks went (and I seriously doubt it would have been just Joba).

      Honestly, I still have high hopes for Hughes and still see him as a potential 2/3 starter if he can build on the second half of 2011 and Pineda has 1/2 potential. I’d definitely take that over a guy who can only DH since we have Teix.

      • fin

        I think the Yankees would have traded Hughes and Joba for Santana. Howver, the Yankees felt Santana’s arm and was going to break down. Clearly they were right. If they thought he was healthy, the Yankees past and present might be much different.

    • brent

      I don’t know. YOu can say that about everyone ever. DId Homer Bailey cost the Reds Josh Hamilton?

      I mean when you consider that the BEST prospects of Hughes era were Bailey, Hochecvar and Hughes it shows that sometimes shit doesn’t work out. what are you gonna do?

    • MannyGeee

      oh how soon we forget… It was joba OR Hughes…

      Blame Javy

    • Plank

      Even if talent-wise Pineda would be our fifth starter (how awesome would that be?), I still think it was a good move.

      In reality, if they had both emerged as aces, I bet they wouldn’t have made the trade.

      So in answer to your question, I would say yes though the answer should be no. Is that confusing enough?

    • RetroRob

      In answer to your question, I believe it was Thurman Munson who brought the Yankees Pineda.

  • http://abovetheyankeedugout.com/ Carl

    It’s Pitchers and Catchers Day.

  • Aaron

    Noticed a lot of Nationals striking out in that video and I was curious how many he actually K’d that day. 9 K’s, 7 IP, 4 H, and 1 BB… and the Mariners lost 1-0.

    http://www.baseball-reference......6230.shtml

  • SAL

    After watching Michael Pineda 2011 Seattle Mariners Highlights the one thing I noticed was the scores of the games . it seemed it was Someone 2 Sea 0 or 0-0 or 0-1