ST Game Thread: Mason’s Debut


(Photo via

The Yankees are on the road tonight, meaning only four regulars are required to be in the lineup and a lot of non-roster/minor league guys will play in the game. One of the guys scheduled to come off the bench is the 20-year-old Mason Williams, one of the team’s very best prospects who is getting his first taste of big league action in camp. I had Williams second on my annual Top 30 Prospects List, mostly because of the athleticism and overwhelming tools. Pretty much the only thing he lacks right now is power, but hopefully that will come at some point. Here’s the starting lineup…

CF Brett Gardner
SS Eduardo Nunez
2B Robinson Cano
1B Mark Teixeira
DH Raul Ibanez
3B Bill Hall
RF Justin Maxwell
LF Dewayne Wise
C Gus Molina

RHP Ivan Nova

Available Pitchers: RHP George Kontos, LHP Clay Rapada, LHP Cesar Cabral, LHP Juan Cedeno, LHP Mike O’Connor, RHP David Phelps, RHP D.J. Mitchell, and RHP Adam Warren are all available.

Available Position Players: C Jose Gil, 1B Jorge Vazquez, 2B Kevin Russo, SS Doug Bernier, 3B Brandon Laird, LF Colin Curtis, CF Mason Williams, RF Chris Dickerson, and DH Cole Garner will replace the starters.

Tonight’s game starts at 7pm ET and can be seen on MLB Network. The blackout has been lifted in the Tri-State Area. Enjoy the game.

David Robertson Update: Robertson threw 25 pitches off a bullpen mound today and felt fine. It was his first time throwing off a mound since suffering that bone bruise in his right foot. His goal is to get in a game by next weekend. [Sweeny Murti]


  1. Mike Axisa says:

    Alfredo Simon shot a guy.

  2. Havok9120 says:

    That was a nice play by the O’s 2B to get Gardner.

  3. Karl Krawfid says:

    Trade Nova.

  4. Needed Pitching says:

    I know its still early, but Nova is certainly making a strong case for being the odd man out. :(

    • Havok9120 says:

      He’s certainly had the most consistently poor performances in the Spring.

    • V says:

      “I know it’s still early, but” nothing.

      Cole Hamels 2011 Spring Training ERA: 6.67
      Matt Garza 2011 Spring Training ERA: 10.38
      CC Sabathia 2010 Spring Training ERA: 7.23

      Spring Training stats for pitchers = worthless.

      • Needed Pitching says:

        except if they are in a competition for a spot, they are slightly less than worthless. All of the players you mention weren’t competing for a spot. (granted I’m not sure Nova is either until Andy is ready, but if Nova continues to get hammered and Garcia gets healthy, he could very well be looking at Triple A.

        • KL says:

          Even then they are worthless. Expect for people for people crazy enough the be watching these games.

          Let Nova work his kinks out now. Isn’t that what SP is for? Oh wait…

          • Needed Pitching says:

            Right, but they have more starters than spots. If Nova continues to not get the kinks worked out, he may be forced to continue working them out in AAA. I’m not saying he’s losing his spot now. I’m saying if he continues like this the rest of spring training, he very well may lose his spot.

  5. Mike Axisa says:

    Nova’s getting hammered. To Triple-A!

  6. 1stbase says:

    Can anyone tell the O’s announcers never have much to cheer for lol

  7. Cy Pettitte says:

    Buck is the only guy besides Valentine that I actually mind losing to in spring training.

  8. Rey22 says:

    Apparently batting practice is running late today.

  9. Cuso says:

    The Homer by Jones was bad pitch selection. Blame Molina. Jones was late on Nova’s fastball.
    Th Wieters bomb was novas fault.

    • Havok9120 says:

      To be fair, its not like the FB has been reliable this Spring. Not wild, but hardly accurate. His offspeed stuff has generally looked much better.

  10. Pinade is greata says:

    Nova the reason Andy is back. Nova’s arm looks tired like pinade and hughes last year. Will the yankees ever learn how to condition young hurlers.

  11. Karl Krawfid says:

    Did Tex just hit a oppo double?

  12. Mike Axisa says:

    Look at that, a double to the opposite field off a righty for Tex.

  13. Tom says:

    Tex going opposite field with power…. if he commits to that he could have a monster year.

  14. Cuso says:

    NICE SWING by Tex there. Like seeing that from the left side. Channeling his inner Paulie O

  15. Pinade is greata says:


  16. Karl Krawfid says:

    Mason up

  17. Pinade is greata says:

    I like hall too bad he can not play short anymore or nunez would be aaa bound

  18. Havok9120 says:

    Please tell me that this won’t be one of THOSE broadcasts, where we have interviews virtually every inning. I mean, seriously, why are we talking to the 3B coach in the top of the 2nd?

  19. Cuso says:

    Dwayne Wise lost his slim chance with hoe he played that base hit last innings, btw.

  20. Tom says:

    Do the Yankees teach pitchers to field bare handed? CC did it a bunch last year (and dropped a few of them); AJ use to do it, Nova did it here for no reason (he had plenty of time).

    Can’t they teach these guys to use the glove unless it’s going to be a bang bang play?

    • Havok9120 says:

      CC likes using his bare hand for random stuff.\. He even catches balls with it when he’s pitching.

      I can’t speak to the rest.

    • nedro says:

      You bare-hand the slow rollers. Bang-bang or not. It’s how the game is played.

      • Tom says:

        ? (is this sarcasm?)

        Not only is it more reliable to use your glove, you can actually control the grip on the ball when you pull it out of the glove as opposed to having three or 4 fingers (in addition to the thumb) on the ball and throwing wildly.

        • nedro says:

          Absolutely not sarcasm. Any good ballplayer knows how to quickly and accurately change his grip on the ball without having to put it in his glove. Go ahead and watch A rod handle a ball bare handed. As a coach, I instruct my kids to toss a ball up and down with their throwing hand, quickly finding the seams with their fingers between tosses. Doesn’t take too long to be able to do it quickly without looking at the ball. Fielding the ball with your glove and then having to take it out = wasted time.

          • Tom says:

            Which is why I said “if it’s not a bang bang play”

            The skill you refer to is possessed by infielders who routinely take groundballs, not pitchers. Are you seriously comparing the skill of an infielder to that of a starting pitcher in terms of fielding ground balls?

            Also it’s not “wasted time” when it’s not a bang bang play. If you have time, what exactly is the downside of using your glove?

            • nedro says:

              I really didn’t want to argue about this, and I won’t anymore, but you seem to be forgetting that, after he releases the ball, a pitcher is, for all intents and purposes, an infielder, and just as responsible for fielding ground balls as the rest of them. Furthermore, a slow roller on the infield is, almost by definition, with few exceptions, a bang-bang play.

              • Tom says:

                Perhaps you should read your comment again:

                “You bare-hand the slow rollers. Bang-bang or not. It’s how the game is played.”

                There is no reason to field something barehanded if you have time… if you are teaching kids to do it no matter what, frankly you are doing them a disservice.

                If you have time there is no reason not to use your glove.

                And quite a few slow rollers back to a pitcher are not bang-bang… especially ones that are not up or down one of the fouls lines. To other infielders…. sure (they tend to not be 50 feet away from homeplate when the ball struck though).

  21. Cuso says:

    Yikes. How many options does he have left?

  22. Needed Pitching says:

    nice throw

  23. Cy Pettitte says:

    Gardy! man is he awesome.

  24. Needed Pitching says:

    Did the announcer really just say Gardner has one of the best arms in the majors??

  25. Monterowasdinero says:

    Gardy the new Golson!

  26. Pinade is greata says:

    Gardy>Grandy in CF No?

  27. Jared says:

    What are the odds the NY Post uses “pinata” on the back page the first time he gets lit up?

  28. Cuso says:

    Wade Boggs? Really?

    • RetroRob says:

      Totally mystified by that comment from the Orioles’ broadcasters. Boggs? If they wanted to go off the grid from the “core four,” they could have at least said Bernie Williams.

  29. Pinade is greata says:

    Poor O’s dont have any pitching so they rip pettitte

  30. CJ says:

    How pissed is Freddy Garcia? When asked about Andy signing “I really don’t care. That’s their decision.” whenever the best answer one can come up with is “I dont care” He is fed up and pissed off

    • Pinade is greata says:

      Freddy will make the rotation coming out of ST. Yankees will send pinade on the new york state yankees tour until he can show some pop in that arm. This will feed the montero lovers for awhile.

  31. mike_h says:

    hoping for a Nova strikeout of Jones

  32. Pinade is greata says:

    Starting rotation out of ST
    At the end of may
    End of June

    • RetroRob says:

      Pineda will be there at the start. Even with his decreased velocity in the early going, he does two things well. Throws strikes, and generates lots of swings and misses with the slider (not to mention his change up has looked pretty good.)

      He’s the opposite of Hughes, who has had trouble putting people away once he gets ahead. Pineda’s slider can be quite nasty.

  33. 1stbase says:


  34. Cuso says:

    May never know the answer to this question, but does every other gram’s commentary seem slanted and crappy? It doesn’t seem like the YES crew ever takes potshots at other teams. Or is that just because I’m a Yankee fan? I don’t feel like it is.

    PS Ibanez….yikes.

    • Cuso says:

      Gram? I meant team.

      My bad. I have cocaine on the brain.

    • RetroRob says:

      I think you’re correct. I actually listen to other teams’ broadcasters on, and about 90% of them make derogatory comments about the Yankees and also Yankees fans.

      • Cuso says:

        I live in Florida now. I can tell you without hesitation, that Tampa Bay is by far the worst. Dwayne Staats & company constantly bitch and cry about ball/strike calls throughout thegame. Staats is bitter about getting fired from MSG.

  35. Tom says:

    Nova looks like he’s been working on the change… not sure if the 0-2 pitch that Weiters hit out was a change, but it looks like he’s making progress on it.

  36. Avi says:

    I know I’m late but.. ANDY PETTITTE!!

  37. RetroRob says:

    I like the MLB 2012 ad with the Cubs winning. If not the Yankees, I’d like to see the Cubs win. Yet it’s sad that there is zero chance the Cubs will have a shot at winning the World Series for at least five years. Total rebuild mode now.

  38. Pinade is greata says:

    Ibanez is done how big a hit would it be to dump him from ST?
    Posada maybe?

  39. Pineda is greata says:

    Bean ball starts early

  40. RetroRob says:

    Harper optioned down by the Nats? No surprise. He looked overmatched by some of the Yankees lefties the other day.

    I’d send him back to AA for a couple months, and if he looks good, bring him up to AAA before a late-season call-up. Even A-Rod was a bit overmatched when he was 19…before destroying the league at 20.

    • Tom says:

      If they wait a few months it will also help avoid Super Two status (3 arbritration years instead of 4), and may push out his free agency a year.

      • RetroRob says:

        True. Even if Harper was tearing it up, he was going to be sent to the minors for purely business reasons.

        • Tom says:

          This unfortunately also may be a secondary consideration for optioning down any of the Yankee starters with options (Nova, Hughes, Pineda).

          (Though I really hope that is not what would drive a decision)

  41. RetroRob says:

    O-M-G. Get the microphone away from the woman with the annoying voice. It’s like Rosanne Barr near the mic.

  42. mike_h says:

    come on Phelps, you had him wtf?

  43. Pineda is greata says:

    Phelps needs a trade to the NL West

  44. Karl Krawfid says:

    Rapada is so underrated.

  45. RetroRob says:

    BTW Why does Kate Upton appear to be as tall as Verlander, who is 6’5″? And just how the f tall is that “bodyguard?”

    • Havok9120 says:

      Camera angles are fun.

      And the bouncer, if he’s anything like the bouncers here (New Orleans), will be Really Darn Tall. I’m 6’6″ and they sometimes tower over me.

      • RetroRob says:

        Note to self: Next time in New Orleans, do not anger bouncers.

        I just Googled Kate Upton (and some how I’m guessing I’m not the first person to ever do that) and she’s listed at 5’10″. Quite tall for a girl, but Verlander should tower over her. We never actually see her feet, so she may be wearing heels, or she may be standing on a platform. It probably would have looked odd with the 7′ bouncer and the 6’5″ Verlander. Height disparity also creates problems when filming, which is why many actors are much shorter than we assume, and fit within a general range. Extreme height is bad if you’re planning a career in movies!

  46. Will says:

    Umm. I know it’s only ST but what happened to Nova? And what’s up with our lack of hitting?

    • Havok9120 says:

      Hitting: Have you seen the lineup we put out there today? Or most days? No one is getting any regular ABs, so no one’s getting into a grove. They’re either hot or they ain’t.

      Nova is a more interesting question. Its obviously his FB control more than anything, and the fact that most offspeed and breaking pitches feed off your ability to locate your FB, its cascading badly through his innings. The cause of that? Haven’t the foggiest. It could be almost anything.

    • mike_h says:

      looks like he made an adjustment, his later innings were better

  47. pistol pete says:

    I love Nova but the Yanks have proven to him he can easily be odd manned out if he does not pitch well and he has struggled this spring. Last years forearm injury, the longest season of his career, coupled with the dreaded sophmore jinx and Ivan could easily be the odd man out and be back at AAA.

  48. Rey22 says:

    God dammit, what is it with Yankees and hands this spring!?

  49. Karl Krawfid says:

    Cano turned into that :(

  50. Havok9120 says:

    And the moral of the story is, leave Matt Weiters alone unless you’ve got Teh Wheelz.

    • Tom says:

      Mitchell still looks pretty good… If Girardi wasn’t mired in his endless search for that 2nd lefty, I wonder if he might have had a shot at the last spot in the pen.

      With Hall and Nunez locking down the left side of the infield he had no chance to put up a scoreless inning.

  51. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Missed the Cano HBP. How bad does it look?

    Nice recovery by Nova today. This is the time to work the kinks out. If he’s doing this regularly in, say, May, then we begin to worry and think about digging into the big bag of starters.

    I understand wanting to take a look at Rapada in the position he’d likely to play at the start of the season, but I was left wanting to see whether Phelps could have gotten out of that inning.

    • RetroRob says:

      He seemed to be in quite a bit of pain. Reminded me of when Nunez got hit, and he was out for almost two weeks.

      Hopefully just a bruise.

    • Havok9120 says:

      There’s no way to know. Hand hits are just way to random. He looked like he’d taken a ball to the hand. If he broke something, he was acting pretty stoic. Donohue hustled him off cradling his hand before we got to see much.

  52. RetroRob says:

    Thought for second both runners were going to head for the plate and get thrown out.

    I was at a game in 1985 in which Dale Berra and Bobby Meacham were thrown out at home plate on one throw. If I remember correctly, it was against the White Sox and Carlton Fisk was catching. The crowd was a bit stunned. It’s only happened maybe a six or seven times in MLB history.

    • Paul VuvuZuvella says:

      oh dude, reliving that just now is worse than a bad acid flash back.

      • RetroRob says:

        Somehow, when I recount rare events in baseball games I’ve attended, I for some reason always forget about this play, and for good reason.

        My image is not the one most people have, which is the TV replay. The image frozen in my mind was roughly 1/4 of the way between home plate and the third base bag, giving me a perfect view of the play as it was unfolding. At first I’m stunned that the slow-running Berra and the fast Meacham were suddenly somehow in a sprint with each other toward home plate, and as soon as both moved past third base I knew it was over…and it was.

    • Steve S. says:

      It was Fisk, and that was one of the rarest plays I’ve ever witnessed. I think it’s so rare because no two players could be that stupid and still be major leaguers.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      …..and yet one of those guys became a third base coach in the major leagues.

  53. Needed Pitching says:

    Mason up next

  54. mike_h says:

    nice hit mason

  55. Tom says:

    Good to see Kontos back on the mound.

    Shame no one’s told him he needs how to learn to throw with his left hand to impress Girardi.

  56. Paul VuvuZuvella says:

    I’m not watching. Did Mason look buff?

  57. Havok9120 says:

    Did anyone watch the start of Dodgers/Angels? The announcer’s intro of Ellis was like watching a car wreck. I just couldn’t turn it off.

  58. Steve S. says:

    Barring injury, CC Sabathia and probably Hiroki Kuroda have immunity. Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova and Michael Pineda each can be optioned to the minors. Freddy Garcia has just a one-year, $4 million contract and the Yankees feel no long-term commitment to him. Thus, that foursome is vulnerable to demotion to Triple-A or the bullpen while Garcia and Hughes, in particular, could emerge as trade candidates.

    One thing right away. Trading Garcia solves nothing, he’s already the odd man out of the rotation. When Andy’s ready you have 6 men for 5 spots WITH Garcia as the long man. You have to either demote or deal someone, barring injury or ineffectiveness, in which case the decision is made for you.

  59. Karl Krawfid says:

    Bill Hall ? @BillHall_III
    If I knew my name?? Lol RT @MikeNash15: @BillHall_III what did girardi and the trainer ask you after you got hit?

  60. Monterowasdinero says:

    I heard a week or so back, that Freddy has the second most wins for an AL starter in the last 11-12 years. Halladay is #1.

    Freddy is better than most think.

    • nsalem says:

      He was also 18th in quality starts last year. Better than Price, Lester, Lewis and Gio. I’m not claiming he is a top of the rotation guy , but he is a valuable piece and gets very little respect. He is intelligent and also seemingly willing to pitch where an when the Yankee’s need him. There will be a time this season when we need him and he will more than likely be ready for it. I think he has several good years left in him and I hope it is New York. I think the Yankee front to office knows his worth

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