Melky Mesa withdraws from World Baseball Classic

Open Thread: 3/1 Camp Notes
Spring Training Game Thread: Ivan's Debut

Via Chad Jennings: Melky Mesa has informed the Yankees he will skip the World Baseball Classic. He made the decision on his own and wasn’t asked by the team to skip the event. A little more than a week ago we heard the outfielder was planning to suit up for the Dominican Republic.

Mesa, 26, is 4-for-15 (.267) with two homers and two steals in Spring Training so far. He has a decent chance of making the big league team thanks to Curtis Granderson‘s fractured forearm, so it seems like a wise move on his part to skip the tournament and remain with the Yankees. It’ll be difficult to beat out veterans Matt Diaz and Juan Rivera, but Mesa is the most well-rounded player in the outfield competition thanks to his power, speed, defense, and throwing arm. I ranked him 26th on my preseason top 30 prospects list.

Open Thread: 3/1 Camp Notes
Spring Training Game Thread: Ivan's Debut
  • trr

    perhaps he senses the opportunity here?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      He damn well should. What have the vets done to distinguish themselves as of yet?

      • Steve (different one)

        Not that it means a damn thing but Juan Rivera IS hitting .462/.500/.692….

  • Manny’s BanWagon

    Good for him giving this his best effort to make the team. If the competition is close, I hope he gets the spot over some washed up vet like Diaz and Rivera.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I don’t think they’re washed up, but I don’t want either starting. For six to eight weeks.

      • Manny’s BanWagon

        Neither has been any good since 2009. About the best you could hope for is league average against LHP, well below against RHP, below average defensive in the outfield and nothing on the bases.

        Not exactly what you’d hope for in a corner outfielder.

        • Havok9120

          I will say that Diaz’s constant hand problems since the palm tree mean that we can’t really know what to expect from him if they actually got it all out this last time. Healthy Diaz could be significantly better than the kids.

        • Get Phelps Up

          Rivera has been good against LHP every year since then.

    • ClusterDuck

      The Yanks seem to always go with the vet over the young guy from their system. I understand the option factor and the depth factor but those factors also need to be a balanced with the benefit of giving the young guys a shot.

      In this case, with Grandy gone for a month, and with two spots open, I would pick one from column “A”, Rivera/Diaz and one from column “B”, Mesa/Almonte/Mustelier/Garcia.

      • Steve (different one)

        Last year there were injuries in the rotation, and Phelps and Warren both got the call over Ramon Ortiz. When they signed Lowe, they put Phelps in the rotation and made Lowe the long man.

        It is true that they often opt for vets over some guys, but IF they stick to their budget, this is GOING to change. Simply no other way to get there. It’s basic math.

        There are 40 man implications to consider here too. You don’t want to add a guy to the roster and send him down when Granderson comes back, and now you have one less spot to play with. That’s why the two most likely scenarios IMO are:

        1. Take Diaz and Rivera, DFA the one who hits less when Granderson gets back
        2. Take Melky and one of Diaz/Rivera. It could be Zoilo instead of Melky, I suppose.

        Don’t see too many other possibilities, but I’ve been wrong before. Too many times to count.

        • CS Yankee

          Level-headed logic, FTW

          Now, if they could just actually win?

  • Travis L.

    Based on what we’ve seen…Melky 2.0 over “Zorro” Almonte?

    • Monty

      They seem to be doing fairly well. Melky hit a nice home run yesterday but he also left a bunch on base yesterday as well. Zoilo would be better off playing in AAA this year. I think its pointless though. You can bet an autographed Joe Girardi Binder that Juan Rivera gets the job over the “kids”.

  • Alkaline

    I think I’m pulling for him to get the first chance at the job.

  • Monterowasnotdinero

    That’s. the. Melky. Mesa. Weysa!

    Touch third baby!

  • Sam

    Comments over at lohud seem to prefer Mustelier over Melky. Melky had more HRs and double SBs and last season’s numbers suggest he’s better defensively. Maybe it has no bearing but he’s also got 3″ and 20 lbs less on him. With the age on the team, I’m a bit hung up on athleticism at the moment.

    I’m thinking they’ll go with one vet (Rivera) and one youngster, slim to nil chances they go Mesa/Mustelier.

    • Cris Pengiucci

      I understand the preference of Ronnie of Mesa. I’ll take the better plate discipline over the better defense due to the speed and strong D already in the OF with Gardner & Ichiro. However, since he’s on the 40-man, if a younger kid is chosen, I suspect it will be Mesa. I also suspect the vets will be chosen over the kids, however.

  • Yankonymous

    The Grand Mesa

  • Rizi Walnuts

    I’m skipping the WBC too.

  • Who hates bunts more? Axisa or Earl Weaver? (Formerly Austin Aunelowitzky)

    Smart move. Good to see a kid make a smart decision that could positively influence their future.

  • jg233

    I would throw Mason Williams out there for a month and see what happens. The yankees dont think that way though…lol

    • Havok9120

      Thank God.

  • Joe

    Mason Williams is no where near MLB ready playing wise or attitude. He didnt even get a ST invite why would they pick him? Use some baseball knowledge when posting.

    • CS Yankee

      Brutal (but correct) response.

      My SWAG is that Juan gets LF, and Diaz, Melky or Ronnie becomes the 4th OFer…unless they go super-utility and use Nix everywhere.

  • 42isNotMortal

    Give him some credit sure, but the choice between a chance to make a tough to crack big league club like the Yankees and riding the bench for a glorified exhibition tournament isn’t exactly a DNR decision.

    • Havok9120

      Didn’t the DR’s roster get hit pretty hard with turned down invites? I was under the impression that there was a decent chance of him starting.

  • Johnny

    i really hope one of the young guys does the club as a starter. I would prefer Mesa since he has some experience at AAA. I would rather have Almonte get some seasoning in AAA and then when he is ready they can bring him up. As for the competition between Diaz and Rivera, it doesnt matter as long as they can contribute as a RHB off the bench when a lefty starts. I hope it is not both of them and that neither of them start. We all know what they are going to give when given the opportunity to start which is not much. However, we dont know what Mesa can do so lets give him a chance. We may get rewarded. I know its wishful thinking but what do they have to lose? Nothing but they have all to gain. Once May gets here Grandy will be back and if Mesa hits well then we have another option waiting.