Spring Training Samples


Bust. (AP)

The obvious pro of Spring Training is that baseball is back! Horray! Baseball players! They are truly wonderful and amazing creatures, capable of feats none of us could ever accomplish. I once attempted to play second base in the local rec softball league, constantly mentally telling myself to just do it exactly like Robinson Cano does. As you can imagine, this did not work out, and not only did I make a total idiot of myself, but a ground ball took a funny bounce, destroyed my shin, and had me limping for the rest of the day. After that, I decided to stick to writing about and watching baseball.

Anyway, even in Spring Training, most of the players could probably whoop us, even the veteran double-A guys who don’t know what else to do with themselves. They’re rusty, especially the big-timers like Sabathia. And I think getting on them for having a first poor Spring Training outing is, quite frankly, a little stupid.

First of all, the whole point of Spring Training is to get back into the groove. Baseball’s all timing, and when someone hasn’t thrown a ~90 MPH ball of cork at you in months, it can take some time to get used to that again. Likewise, if you haven’t thrown that ball in a while – not at full speed, facing a live batter, of course – it takes time to put all the parts back together. Throwing a baseball is a complex biomechanical action, and I’m not holding it against anyone who takes a few weeks to get back into the swing of things, consider the minuscule percentage of people who can even figure out what the correct swing of things is.

Secondly, one outing in any event should be treated as too small a sample to judge, and an outing of two innings should be a mere blip on the radar. If it doesn’t count, that seems like it should be even more insignificant on the ‘things Yankees fans should worry about from the team’ checklist. Even if Sabathia had gone out and bombed two innings in a regular season game, there’s simply not enough to worry about.

So, can we stop getting on Nova, Sabathia and Cano for not being able to put it together just yet? They’ve been playing baseball for a week. It doesn’t count. They’re obviously (ok, according to Girardi, not Nova) going to be in the lineup/rotation. It’s not like we’re dealing with scrubs who, if they don’t perform in the spring, aren’t going to be on the team. These guys are using Spring Training to experiment, re-adjust and recalibrate themselves to being utterly awesome. A little turbulence should be expected, in my humble opinion. So chill out.

On the flip side of this, if you do make it your goal in life to be stressed out about five Spring Training innings from your fourth place Cy Young finisher from last year, I have a better place for you to put those feelings. This feeling-adjustment fulfills all the necessary requirements of irrational Spring Training rage: A) The players in question are playing way differently than they’re expected. B) The samples sizes are extremely small. C) We know if they’re going to the Yankees or not.

1. Gus Molina (3-for-3)

Here we have a catcher with some potential, making very good contact and getting on base. Quite frankly, I don’t even know why we bother with Russell Martin behind the plate. It’s obvious Martin has all the power (he’s 2-for-8 with a double and 3 strikeouts) and none of the other skills. He might work out better at first base, because while him and Mark Teixeira have similar numbers, Martin has all the power.

2. Jose Gil (2-for-3)

On second thought, let’s just release Mark Texieira and put Gil at first base. He’s raking in spring training, with two doubles, an RBI, and a walk. That’s the making of a potential MVP right there, I think. Especially considering that he probably won’t bunt as much as Teixeira has been talking about doing. No bunting allowed. Ever.

3. Dan Burawa (0.00 ERA)

Really, those shiny zeroes say it all. Here we have a genuine ace who’s going to toil away at some minor league level where no one can appreciate his genius. Obviously, what the Yankees should do is demote Nova and put Burawa in his pace. While the man has given up three hits, he’s also got a strikeout and generates plenty of groundballs to make a successful job in the majors. Anyone who has a 0.00 ERA is pretty good. Exhibit A: Nick Swisher.

Categories : Musings


  1. PBFog says:

    Hahaha, so true

  2. RetroRob says:

    The rusty AA guys would “probably” whoop us? Ha!

  3. Steve S. says:


  4. Thud says:

    RAB should change the “Musings” classification to “Mindless Drivel”.

    • Sweet Dick Willie says:

      If you don’t like the posts, you can 1) not read them, 2) ask for a refund, or 3)…

    • Havok9120 says:


      Are you mad at daylight savings or something?

      • Thud says:

        So, if a commenter reacts negatively to a post it is because he or she is a woman hater, and not because the content lacks any literary credibility?

        For how long has your “girl” placed you in the “Friend Zone”, forcing you to overcompensate with your over-appreciation for all things feminine?

      • Plank says:

        I just watched way too much Little Rascals. I can’t decide if the portrayal of Buckwheat is racist or not. His hair and name are points in the racist camp, but he really does seem to be an equal of the other boys. I can’t decide.


    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      Like I said before, if a post goes against the circlejerk then other opinions are not allowed.

      What was said here was dickish sure but telling people to stop having opinions is hilarious.

      • Steve S. says:

        “What was said here was dickish..”

        That’s the point, end of story. Nobody objects to someone disagreement with some basis in fact, but this tired act of baseless berating of weekend writers deserves to be mocked. Hannah brings something different to the table. If you don’t like it, read another site.

      • RetroRob says:

        If someone says something stupid — or “dickish” as you call it — then why are you worried if other posters hit him back? That’s a very different situation than having a different point of view on baseball.

      • Plank says:

        The commenters here aren’t a monolith. Some people try to squash views that oppose their own, but I don’t think that’s the majority let alone the M.O. of this site.

        I hate when people tell people to stop, too, but that’s not indicative of or limited to this site. I would say RAB is more accepting of disparate viewpoints than most other sports blogs.

    • Spiff says:

      Kettle meet pot

  5. thurdonpaul says:

    i enjoyed that article, thanks Hannah

  6. Holy Ghost says:

    After one Spring Training game, Yoenis Cespedes looks like a potential MVP… j/k

    But it does look like the A’s signed a solid ballplayer…

  7. Steve S. says:

    I should call this David Pankin fellow. I really need to take control of my foy-nancys.

  8. ahinds says:

    well. idk hannah, yesterday verlander threw 4 innings and had 4 strikeouts and hit 101 and yesterday this young mariners prospect drove in like 3 or 300 runs. it looks like he’s going to be the next right handed mike piazza or something…

    and nova and nova he has no control at all right now and earlier this week i read something on a baseball blog that said that control is what a sign of elbow problems and with a loss of velocity is the problem the shoulder. so obviously ivan nova is headed toward tommy john or horrible sophmore slum a la phil hughes thanks to the horrible yankees mgmt of young arms. i mean remember him leaving game 4 last year??

    and pineda has a bad shoulder… i hate and love spring training

  9. Another Bronx Dynasty says:

    Menawhile ont he other side of this trade Montero is hitting .400 & drove in 3 runs yesterday.

    I think we need to replace Nardi Contreas and stop babying our pitching prospects. Their all requirinf TJ surgery? My guess is bc their being coddled in the minors. Nolan Ryan & the Rangers seem to have the polar opposite views on pitching prospects?;c_id=sea

    • Steve S. says:

      No chance this gets annoying by the end of camp. None.

    • Slugger27 says:

      huh?? i was under the impression nolan ryan had nothing to do with player development… do you have a link?

      • DM says:

        The Ryan theory boils down to “more is better” when it comes to work. Personally, I don’t buy it as a blanket approach to developing your pitchers. But since Ryan had a rubber arm himself, and threw a lot, he thinks every pitcher should be weaned on that protocol. Hence, the idea of converting CJ Wilson to a starter without worrying about the massive increase in innings. Same with Feliz. They’re not scared of innings or pitch counts.

  10. RetroRob says:

    I’m sorry, but CC has lost more than 15 pounds, no matter what he says. Fifteen pounds on a 6’7″, 300 lb. man wouldn’t even be that noticeable.

    And, yes, I’m turning this into a game thread, even if I’m by myself!

    • Steve S. says:

      What do you think of Sweet Lou so far?

      Very relaxed, good listen, but not exactly breaking any ground with his analysis.

      • RetroRob says:

        For someone who was so firey as both a player and a manager, I was always surprised how relaxed he comes off when being interviewed, or when doing the few national TV games I’ve heard him on.

        The new guy in the booth always has to figure out how to fit into the existing crew, but he should be fine. As soon as I heard Tino a few years back I knew he wasn’t going to last. Won’t be a problem for Lou.

        I do want to hear how Piniella and O’Neill will work together since they two do have a history.

      • DM says:

        Too soon to tell – but I’ve never been a fan.

        Cone and Flaherty have interesting things to say. I’d like Leiter more but he goes off on too many inside buddy tangents with Kay.
        I think Curry will be good in the Kim Jones role.

        • RetroRob says:

          So no replacement for Kim? I thought Curry was a great addition, but I don’t might having a female in the mix, too.

    • Mike HC says:

      Tex looked like he tried to take that pitch the other way.

  11. Another Bronx Dynasty says:

    OK and then there is this about Jesus;c_id=sea

    Can we get him back?????

  12. RetroRob says:

    Four SBs for Martin in spring training. Any chance he will continue this in season? I seem to remember he started out running last year and then shut it down.

    I have Martin as a keeper in my fantasy league, so SBs is good.

    • DM says:

      I wish he’d shut it down now. I understand Gardner needing to get that going — but I cringe on those slides. And I didn’t like AJ being waved home for a play at the plate. It’s ST. Relax.

  13. Fin says:

    Its just spring training and early ST at that so I’m not really concerned about anything yet. However, Ibanez is looking god awful. If he keeps up this performance it would be nice if the Yankees could just drop him, but the guaranteed contract will assure we would get to watch a month or 2 of him doing this during the regular season. If he flops, I dont blame the Yankees as none of the choices they had were pretty. It would be nice if Branyan didnt get hurt and they at least had another option.

    • RetroRob says:

      I wouldn’t be too concerned yet. I mean, I’m concerned about him because he’s 40 and looked like a player past his prime last year, but I’m not concerned because what he’s doing in March.

      Ibanez is known for having having poor Springs, even during the years when he was good.

      That said, I’d keep Damon on speed dial as long as he remains unsigned.

      BTW Where is Branyan? I haven’t seen him swing the bat once.

      • Fin says:

        Yea, hes the only one concerning me because of his age and he was showing signs of being at the end of the line last year. I think Branyon’s injury is suppose to keep him out for another week or two. Since hes going to miss so much of ST and be behind when he gets back, I dont think we can really expect much out of him.

    • Havok9120 says:

      A lot of the offense has looked pretty poor so far. I remain unconcerned. Even if he looks totally terrible for the entirety of the Spring, that is not a basis for release given how much the Yankees like him. That would be true even without a guaranteed contract methinks. This is especially true with Branyan hurt.

  14. Manny's BanWagon says:

    Nice Article.

    It’s crazy how much stock people put in a good or bad performance or lack of velocity in the first few outings of spring training.

  15. Fin says:

    Sanchez looks good at the plate. With the Yankees looking like they are going to need young cheap hitters and soon, I wonder how long they stick with him at C. It seems he will be able to contribute to the Yankees with his bat long before he is able to with the glove behind home plate. From what I’ve read he is athletic enough to be converted to a corner OF position. Anyone think this could be a make or break year for Sanchez as a catcher?

    • Havok9120 says:

      Eh. Possibly. It depends how married to the idea of him catching they are, and I’ve not heard anything either way on that. I think the only way its make or break is if he totally bombs this season. Like, Tony Pena dies of apoplexy bombs. Sure, it could happen, but far more likely is that he has a middling-to-bad year and he sticks at C for the next level.

      • Chrisis says:

        The dude’s 19. Let’s just not forget that.

        • Fin says:

          I wasnt suggesting that he cant be a big league catcher or they should pull the plug. What I’m asking is if his bat will be too valuable to MLB team in the near future to continue letting him develop behind the plate.
          Say he can hit MlB in 2yrs with his bat, but will take 4yrs to become a MLB ready catcher, what do the Yankees do? With Montero there were at least 2 differences in the situations. 1. Montero is not athletic and C/1B were his only real defensive options. From what I’ve read Sanchez is athletic and could play the OF 2. The Yankees offense was loaded and they could wait for Montero’s bat,while giving him time to develop into a MLB C. It remains to be seen what type of condition the offense with be in when 2014 rolls around. There is a very real chance it could be a weakness and in dire need of a Sanchez type bat. The possible third difference is that the Yankees needed pitching bad, and seemed bound and determined to trade Montero for said pitching. Likely, that kept Montero in the minors longer than he should have been. He could very well have been the MLB full time DH for at least most of the 2011 season, but they kept his value up in the minors by keeping him behind the plate. It seems the pitching is in much better position to be strong going into 2014 than the hitting is.

          • Havok9120 says:

            That’s gonna depend on how the Old Dudes look as their contracts plod along. If ARod and Jeter are both clearly done and the O needs some pop, I can maybe see him becoming backup C/DH and them all but abandoning his future as a C.

            I think their overall patience with Montero (to the point of blocking Romine just to give Monty every opportunity) shows that they’re really committed to building the Catcher of the Future even at the expense of other aspects of the franchise and even the MLB team.

            As always, we’ll see I suppose.

            • Plank says:

              Romine didn’t really force the Yankees hand by blowing away the competition in AA.

            • Fin says:

              I think its more than just the old guys its the possibility of loosing 2 of the 3 current out fielders Via FA. If they move Sanchez from behind the plate I dont see them doing it for 1B/DH/BUC, I see it for the outfield.

  16. Havok9120 says:

    Hughes apparently looked pretty good. Still just as hard to be encouraged by that as it is to be discouraged by earlier starts.

    God I hate Spring Training. Start the season darn it!

    • G says:

      In Hughes’ case it’s easy to be encouraged of you ask me. He couldn’t break 90 at this point last year, but he’s touching 94 already.

      • Havok9120 says:


        I really do like Hughes, and I AM very encouraged by the effects of not being injured and being in shape. But I’m trying not to get my hopes up involving his performance on the mound.

  17. Tyrone Sharpton says:

    never saw a woman play second like Cano. maybe caster semenya can be the first! girl powah. great post

  18. Tyrone Sharpton says:

    “because while him and Mark Teixeira have similar numbers, Martin has all the power”

    In this case, you should write “because while he and Mark Teixeira.” “He” is the subject of the verb….would you say “him have similar numbers” or “because he has similar numbers”? That is all.

  19. Tyrone Sharpton says:

    btw I think Burawa’s actually a good prospect. You also have to realize that unlike the RAB writers, the people writing ESPN or NY Post articles need to write to make their living. Gotta respect them for just doing their jobs.

  20. Steven Gray says:

    Nice article. Too much stock is given in the first few outings, they do not predict the game. Not so much at least. The Yankees are one of my favourite teams. I have a whole range of their stuff that I got from

  21. JohnC says:

    I think Brett Marshall has been the most impressive young pitcher so far this camp

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