Open Thread: 3/7 Camp Notes

THT's Five Questions
The Top Storylines of 2012
(REUTERS/Steve Nesius)

The losing streak now sits at three games after the Rays beat the Yankees by the score of 4-0 this afternoon. Hiroki Kuroda allowed three runs on three hits in the second inning after a perfect first inning, and Rafael Soriano struck out two in his scoreless inning. It was his first game action of the spring. The Yankees only had four hits, including doubles by Nick Swisher and Jose Gil. Andruw Jones had an extra-base hit taken away on a nice running grab by the left fielder with his back to the infield. Clay Rapada retired all four men he faced, striking out the one lefty. Here’s the box score, and here’s the rest from Tampa…

  • Michael Pineda, Manny Banuelos, Brad Meyers (all bullpens), and Adam Miller (simulated game) threw today. CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes, Graham Stoneburner, and Brett Marshall are scheduled for side sessions tomorrow while Mariano Rivera will throw live batting practice. [Chad Jennings]
  • Joba Chamberlain will throw breaking balls for the first time as part of his Tommy John surgery rehab this Saturday. He’ll do so from flat ground first, then get up on a mound. [George King]
  • Mark Teixeira‘s thumb is fine after jamming it on a play at first base yesterday. After Alex Rodriguez‘s thumb issues last season, I was a tad nervous. Tex wasn’t scheduled to play today but is on the travel list for tomorrow’s game. [Sweeny Murti]
  • Eduardo Nunez will take batting practice for the first time tomorrow since getting hit on the right hand with a pitch on Monday. “We’ll see how I feel tomorrow,” he said when asked about possibly playing this weekend. [Anthony McCarron & Erik Boland]
  • Today was motivational speaker day, and the Yankees brought someone in who was apparently tearing phone books in half and rolling frying pans like a fruit roll-up. Whatever works, I guess. [Erik Boland]
  • Yogi Berra arrived at the team’s complex today, which pretty much means that Spring Training is officially underway. [Bryan Hoch]

Here’s tonight’s open thread. Both the Knicks and Nets are playing tonight, but there’s no baseball on MLB Network. That kinda stinks. Talk about whatever your heart desires here, it’s all fair game.

THT's Five Questions
The Top Storylines of 2012
  • nedro

    wait, it’s still March? Never mind.

    • jayd808

      They’ve forgotten how to win. Fire Girardi.

    • Jesse

      If George were here, he wouldn’t allow this consistent losing! The penny pincher Hal Steinbrenner is destroying this franchise!

  • 28 this year

    I am happy to have PIneda but damn, look at this velocity from Noesi.

    Pretty impressive, I hope he does well but dang, he could really take a huge step with that type of velocity.

    • Havok9120

      Be interesting if it holds up under regular season guns. I’m not optimistic, though it would be cool if he blew everyone away.

      Of course, Seattle would get the credit because everyone knows the Yankees can’t grow effective pitchers.

    • trust me im smart

      hes gonna be 87-91 soon enough and go on the DL with “dead arm”

    • CP

      In the second half of last year, Noesi was generally sitting 93-95 with his fastball and was over 95 on some occasions, so those velocity readings aren’t ridiculous. The only other thing to keep in mind is that Kevin Millwood pitched in that game too, and he was sitting 89-91 which is at the high end of his velocity from last season. That could indicate that the pitch f/x was running a little hot in the stadium, or that both of them are already at midseason velocity.

    • pat

      Noesi played winter ball.

  • AWESOME Mike

    More importatnly, it appears Snooki is indeed having a baby and getting married. Congratulations to the most beautiful woman on this planet. I am truly happy i got to hit that 3 years back.

    • Manny’s Banwagon

      You better get HIV tested because I think pretty much everyone in the tri-state area and probably far beyond got to “hit” that short round piece of trash

    • Knoxvillain

      If by “hit” you mean falcon punched in the face, I am proud.

      • Gonzo

        I had to look up “falcon punch.”

    • jsbrendog

      gross dude

  • GardnergoesYardner

    3 losses in a row. Time to break up the team. Let’s see how much Noesi is worth now. Knowing Jack Z, he’ll probably want Pineda back.

    Did anyone watch the miked up game on MLBN at like 3 today? It was DBacks vs. Indians and the mikes did not seem to add that much. Mostly because they picked boring guys to put them on, like Henry Blanco and Aaron Hill.

    There was one funny moment when Jason Kipnis started signing into the mike while waiting for the pitch. Of course, Matt Vascergian ruined it instantly by saying something stupid.

  • forensic

    No games on MLB network? My guide says otherwise.

  • Anchen

    Anyone catch Darvish’s debut? I only saw highlights, was wondering anyone who watched, how did he look?

    • first name only male – Retire 21

      I live in Dallas and the local ESPN radio guys here were raving. It seems he looked great.

      • Rookie

        In the video on, his stuff looked to me like it matched the description in the title to the piece on how he did in his debut when it used the word “electric”. In the last pitch on the video, I thought the movement was EXTREMELY nasty.

        • Anchen

          Yeah I saw the highlights. Was more about whether he was hitting his spots, challenging hitters, etc. Looks like he got ahead early, and was doing pretty well. I still wonder back if getting yu and keeping montero woulda been better.

          • Havok9120

            While half the money would not have gone into the salary cap, 100 million is still 100 million. This way we pay nothing. That is more conducive to the franchise’s current plans.

            • Anchen

              By the later parts of his contract his annual salary than pineda’s probably. Although I guess Montero’s woulda gone up around the same as Pineda unless either of them suck. It may match the team’s current plans, but we’ll still have to fill in a hitter at some point especially as the team gets ever older.

              • Havok9120

                And we’d have had to fill in a cheap pitcher at some point instead. And we’d still have had to meet all the same salary obligations we have to now. We already can’t keep everyone, adding an expensive pitcher only ensures we keep fewer people.

                And yes, that same logic applies to Hamels, et al.

                • Anchen

                  10 million for Yu Darvish per year is a pretty reasonable and relatively cheap deal. Is whatever bat we get for 10 million going to be better than Montero (assuming Pineda and Montero arbitration raises are a wash, which Pineda would actually have a year more service time and start getting bigger money earlier).

                  • Anchen

                    And just to make it clear, I completely agree and understand that the Yankees goal is to shed money for the austerity plan or whatever. I just think they are going to have some awfully big holes to fill, and having both a bat and pitcher locked up at reasonable deals instead of just a pitcher would have been better. Soriano and presumably Rivera (sigh) going off the books that’s quite a bit in relievers that could theoretically be replaced by cheaper players. Swisher and/or granderson might not be re-signed either. What’s it all mean in the end? I dunno. Obviously I am speaking as a fan and not someone as a budget, it just seems like taking a few reasonable contracts now woulda been better.

                • Rookie

                  Why is it either/or? Why not get Darvish AND Pineda, too, and have TWO cost controlled stud pitchers locked up on favorable contracts for the next 5-6 years?

                  • Anchen

                    It’s a possibility I suppose, which I assume would mean not picking up Kuroda now. I dunno, I still favor a bat and a pitcher but the potential obviously was there.

      • Rookie

        I still don’t understand why the Yankees weren’t more aggressive in trying to acquire Darvish. I figure the Rangers got him for the equivalent of $19-21 million per year total. And because only $9 to $9.22 million of that is included in the luxury tax calculation, if you factor in 40% luxury tax savings on the $10-12 million per year amortized cost of the posting fee, it’s like paying him an effective salary of only $15-16 million.

        And if you figure that the Yankees won’t be paying a luxury tax, or paying a reduced one, he’s arguably even more valuable if he’s the real deal (as I believe he is) because he gives you an ace for only $9 to $9.22 million per year added to your player compensation for luxury tax calculations and is therefore extremely valuable to any team (like the Yankees) eager to get or stay below the luxury tax threshold.

        If he pitches to a 2-something ERA and stays healthy, not going after him could, in hindsight, be one of the biggest blunders of all time for Cashman and the Yankees.

        That said, we won’t really have a very good idea about whether it was or not for 30 months or so — because even if he dominates for a year or two, that doesn’t mean his arm holds up to pitching every fifth day or he follows the pattern of some other Japanese pitchers who, even when they did well, faded after a couple of years.

        I trust Cashman, but I wish it’d been the Yankees who’d taken the flyer on Darvish and not the Rangers, all the more so given that a long-term contract to ANY pitcher — including CC with his knee/weight issue — is anything but a certainty.

        Then again, maybe one reason that the Yankees weren’t more aggressive is that they thought MLB would change the rules and amortize the posting fee and count it in the luxury tax calculation if they’d been the high bidder.

        • Havok9120

          In their view, they didn’t need the young bat, it was a fantastic luxury, but it wasn’t a necessity. What they NEEDED was a young, awesome pitcher that let them retain some flexibility under their budget.

          Just because the posting fee wasn’t taxed doesn’t mean that there’s no budget. Generally speaking, if you’re strictly budgeting one aspect of the team you’re doing the same with ALL of them.

          This way, we got our young pitcher for free, and gave up a luxury for him. To the ownership, that’s an enormous coup, and worth far more than Darvish/Montero/100 million dollars.

          • Rookie

            My understanding of the Yankees’ finances with Yes included is that there’s plenty of money available, but that they don’t want to pay tens of millions in luxury taxes and forego tens of millions of goodies.

            If they’d spent $50-something million on the posting fee to get the rights to Darvish and signed him to a contract similar to the one he signed with the Rangers, in my view it HELPS their budget if he’s worth $20 million a year, luxury taxes aside. It would have helped them sustain their $189 million watusi that much longer.

            If Darvish could sustain ace-level performance for 5-6 years, having him and Pineda under contract could have been wonderful. Then again, the history of ANY pitcher on a long-term contract isn’t pretty. So who knows? You can even argue that Darvish was a safer bet than CC given his knee/weight issues. That’s actually the way it looks to me.

            But I trust Cashman to make better decisions based on better information than any of us will ever have. But I was/am shocked that the Yankees weren’t more aggressive with Darvish.

            Maybe they even thought he was the real deal, but didn’t want to take, say, a 20% chance of being wrong. Who knows?

        • Anchen

          I forget but I thought the new CBA was already decided by the time Darvish was posted? Wouldn’t they have already known i the posting fee would or wouldn’t count? I’m pretty sure as Havok says it was purely an ownership decision and being scared of japanese import pitchers for big money after Igawa and seeing Daisuke break down.

          • Rookie

            I put nothing past Chairman Bud.

            • Rookie

              Witness them starting the extra Wild Card team one year early and a Brewer being the first to get off without punishment for a positive steroid test.

              • jsbrendog

                braun’s getting off had nothing to do with bud selig. try reading about it first.

                • Rookie

                  If you say so…

                  These are not the droids you’re looking for.

          • Plank

            The mid-market Yankees can’t keep up with the big boys.

        • Rookie

          P.S. The way they structured the contract, unless Darvish (a) won the Cy Young one year and was in the top four in Cy Young voting in another year in the first five years or (b) was in the top four in the Cy Young voting in three of the first five years, the $51 million got amortized over six years; and I figure the effective cost was the lower of the figures above — $19 million and $15 million per year as opposed to $21 million and $16 million.

          • Rookie

            Correction: The (a) option above specified finishing second in another year, not top four.

  • Carl LaFong

    I’m hoping Adam Miller sticks & gets his baseball career back on track!

  • Grit for Brains

    Is 2014 a key year for anything other than internal reasons? I’ve heard about lux tax and rev sharing resetting (I probably don’t fully understand this) but can that just happen in any other year as well? Like if they sign Cole for 6 years could they hope for the same goals in 2018? Much more realistic without some the current contracts on the books

    • Havok9120

      Yes, it could happen any other year. The difference is that 2014 is the first year where the new CBA’s provisions on the luxury tax (increased limit) and revenue sharing kick in, so they want to nip it in the bud. I think Hal just really wanted to get payroll under control anyway and the new CBA gives him the impetus to get it done in 2014.

      • GardnergoesYardner

        I just voted on a poll over at MLBTR, and about 70% of the people don’t think the Yankees can get under 189 mil by 2014.

        Of course, they forgot to put in the follow up poll, “Of those who voted no, how many are Red Sox fans?”

        • Plank

          I voted ‘no’.

  • Steve D

    Im going to the game on Friday. Anyone know who is lined up to pitch?

    • Mike E

      Gonna assume you’ll see Freddy Garcia and DJ Mitchell.

      • Steve D

        Thanks, not very excited about Freddy. But have read a few good things about DJ.( I think i have)

  • Thomas

    Today was motivational speaker day, and the Yankees brought someone in who was apparently tearing phone books in half and rolling frying pans like a fruit roll-up. Whatever works, I guess.

    Steve Sparks tried to tear a phone book in half to motivate the Brewers, but tore his rotator cuff instead.

  • first name only male – Retire 21

    With the 30th pick in the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft, the New York Yankees select…

    • Gonzo

      They don’t have the money to pay him.

      • Jake

        What prevents the Yankees (or any other big market team) from picking him, getting him to sign a contract, and promising him by the end of the year, he’d be in the majors. Once he reaches the majors, go for a Longoria type contract, then use option years to groom him in the minors? I know it’s a bit risky with HS arms, especially one with UCL problems now. But if he does need TJ, I don’t think that counts towards option years if he is out the whole year, right? Not saying it’s ideal, but wouldn’t it be a way to circumvent the rule?

        • Plank

          Circumventing the rules is against the rules in the new CBA.

  • Doug

    Robertson sprained his foot last nite at home. Getting MRI.