Open Thread: 3/28 Camp Notes

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

The Yankees are done with Spring Training in Florida and they might already be in Washington D.C. by time you read this. They lost to the Pirates in this afternoon’s Grapefruit League finale, a game that had “hurry up and swing, I’ve got an 8pm reservation at Komi” written all over it. Hiroki Kuroda was magnificent, allowing one base-runner (a single) and striking out five in six scoreless innings. Brennan Boesch hit a double and Frankie Cervelli hit a triple, and that’s pretty much it. Not the most exciting game. Here’s the box score and here’s the rest from Tampa…

  • In case you missed it earlier, Juan Rivera was released and the bench started to come into focus. Nothing is official yet, but it sure looks like Lyle Overbay, Ben Francisco, and Boesch will make the team.
  • Ronnie Mustelier has a bone bruise in his knee, and Joe Girardi confirmed the injury takes him out of the running for a bench spot. That really stinks, he had a legit chance to break camp with the club. [Bryan Hoch]
  • Vidal Nuno has won the James P. Dawson award as the top rookie in camp, the team announced. David Phelps won the award last year, and previous winners include Manny Banuelos, Jon Weber (!), Brett Gardner, Shelley Duncan, and Jorge Posada.
  • The Yankees will play an exhibition game against the Nationals in Nationals Park tomorrow afternoon (2pm ET). Andy Pettitte will get the start and the game will be broadcast on YES.

Here is your open thread for the evening. The Rangers and Islanders are both playing, plus MLB Network will air a Spring Training game as well. Looks like the Twins and Red Sox. Talk about any of those games and more right here. Go nuts.


  1. Chris says:

    How about Johan Santana tearing his shoulder again…

    • Pat D says:

      Best non-move Cashman ever made, methinks.

      • trr says:

        It was, wasn’t it?

      • The Big City of Dreams says:

        No doubt about that. I still can’t believe some Yankee fans feel the trade should have been made. Even though Hughes has been up and down he helped us in the 09 season and a couple of good yrs as a starting pitcher.

        • LK says:

          Just to play devil’s advocate…

          Had they traded for Santana, but let him walk after ’08 and signed CC, they would’ve made the playoffs in 2008, and likely still won the WS in 2009 since Hughes wasn’t all that great in the playoffs that year. I don’t think there’s any way that’s how it would’ve played out (meaning letting Santana walk and signing CC), but that’s at least one way it could’ve more or less worked out.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Really feel bad for him, and for Mets fans. Wanted him to have a happier comeback. At least he’s got the no-hitter.

      Get well, Johan. I hope we haven’t seen the last of you.

      • The Big City of Dreams says:

        I feel really bad for him because this is his life and career but f the Mets and their fans.

        • Bo Knows says:

          At the same time, he has over $150 million dollars in the bank, and is at an age where Pro-athletes are looking into life after the game. It’s a shame his career is probably over, but at least he and his family are set for a long long time.

          • The Big City of Dreams says:

            True he can take some solace in that but man he must be go crazy right now dealing with all those injuries.

          • MannyGeee says:

            In fairness, while I cannot argue the financial benefit he has gained from his career choice, I GUARANTEE you it kills him to not be out there.

            You have to go on the assumption that a vast majority of pro athletes are competitive and WANT to be on the mound every 5 days (or in the line up, or the starting 5, or the front line, or get the looks/snaps/minutes/shots/ABs… you get the point).

            Got to feel bad for dude that he never got to achieve that level over the past 5 years…

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          Like I’ve said before, I’m a New Yorker, and my friends are just as likely to be Mets fans as they are Yankee fans. Much love to them.

  2. jjyank says:

    Really wished I shelled out some bucks for the game tomorrow. Only shot I have to see them this year unless I get someone to go to Baltimore with.

  3. Sweet Dick Willie says:

    Several comments in the previous thread about how lousy Ben Francisco is. Not being familiar with him, I looked him up on b-ref.

    Career numbers:

    Ben Francisco – 257/326/425 101 OPS+
    Justin Maxwell – 217/310/427 98 OPS+
    Chris Dickerson – 266/352/407 101OPS+

    So let me get this straight. Francisco is not worthy of wearing the pinstripes, but Cashman is TEH SUXSOR! for letting Maxwell and Dickerson go?

    Am I missing something? Other than the fact that some people like to bitch just for the sake of bitching?

    • The Real Me (Formerly Cris Pengiucci) says:

      I think that sums it up perfectly. People bitch just because they want to, not because the facts support them.

      Francisco is nothing special, but he is simply a bench player that is about league average offensively. Could be worse. Not likely to get something better for a bench role.

      • trr says:

        I doubt if he’ll last the year.
        Hell, I doubt if he’ll last the first half…

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          He won’t, but that’s why guys like Ben Francisco exist.

          He’s here because there was an injury. Guys like Francisco make a living filling out rosters when there’s a need. It’s a nice way to make a living.

          I know I just about said this verbatim last year about DeWayne Wise.

          Watch when they DFA him. OMGZ YOU LET HIM GOOOO!

    • Pat D says:

      Someone mentioned something about Dickerson being better defensively and profiling as a platoon bat, which Francisco does not.

      But I still think it’s bitching for the sake of bitching.

      • The Real Me (Formerly Cris Pengiucci) says:

        Looking at the amount of playing time/ABs Francisco will get, I doubt having Dickerson in his place would add even 1 more win. So, yeah, bitching for the sake of bitching.

      • MannyGeee says:

        It is bitching for the sake of bitching. The reason they were let go/traded/sold for scrap metal is because they are the type of player that is easily replaceable: A 4OF on a good to great team, or a semi regular starter on a mediocre team.

        Proof in point… They signed 3 of them this winter to fight for the spot in Rivera/Francisco/Boesch.

    • Laz says:

      Ops forgets the fact that obp is more important than slg.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

        True, but:

        CDick: 103 wRC+
        Francisco: 101 wRC+
        Maxwell: 98 wRC+

        Not much of a difference.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

      Maxwell and Dickerson both add baserunning and defensive value.
      Francisco lacks that.
      Also, splits factor in. Maxwell is probably the best of the 3 vs. LHP, Dickerson vs. RHP. So as role players, those guys make more sense, depending on the role needed.

      But a lot of it is the last part as well.

    • LK says:

      I think people are underrating Francisco because he was pretty terrible last year.

    • Scott says:

      Yes, you most definitely are “missing something,” to answer your rhetorical question: while Dickerson and Francisco both hit below-average for an OF,

      (1) Francisco sucks defensively and has no platoon split, so he’s just sucky anywhere/anytime you play him, but

      (2) Dickerson is good defensively and hits righties well but lefties not at all — so if you play him in the right spots, he really adds above-average value.

      • Steve (different one) says:

        Right, but the problem is that the Yankees have Dickerson’s platoon side covered. They don’t need another LHer. But that is specific to this team, and you are right, in general Dickerson is likely the better player.

        Also, if Francisco has been a league average hitter, and has no platoon split, doesn’t that mean he’s about average all the time? When did league average become “sucky”?

        I really don’t have a huge dog in this fight, I don’t care if Francisco makes the team or not, but the reason I brought it up in the other thread was that I felt they were somewhat comparable players, even if one is a little better. Both are decent 4th OFers. One is LHed, one is rHed. Before Granderson got hurt, the Yankees needed a RHed 4th OFer more than a LHed one. That’s all.

        I actually think the current Yankee bench isn’t bad….if it was backing up a better starting lineup.

    • dalelama says:

      As they both suck it doesn’t really matter.

  4. The Real Me (Formerly Cris Pengiucci) says:

    OK folks, if you like live rock and like Cheap Trick (and other ’70s-era rock) and you’re able to get to midtown Manhattan next Thursday or Red Bank NJ on Saturday, The Robin Zander Band is playing at BB King’s on Thurs and the Count Basie Theater on Saturday. Should be some good shows. Unfortunately I won’t be in town, but am hoping to get them to play out here. Robin’s band mates for this mini-tour are exceptional musicians. It’ll be worth your time.

  5. Who hates bunts more? Axisa or Earl Weaver? says:

    All in all, with the horendous austerity driven off-season and all the mistakes made that look brutal in hindsight (not giving Martin a 1 year deal and many others) followed by the hellish injuries this Spring…I think they did a pretty damn good job pulling together a team that will hold it’s own and keep them around .500 and in striking distance by the time Tex is back. Still like the chances of a Wild Card here.

    • nsalem says:

      Considering the cost would have been approximately the same. Would you rather have Swisher and
      Cervelli or Ichiro and Martin.

      • Improbable Island's Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR) says:

        Swisher and Cervelli, and I didn’t need to think particularly hard either.

        • nsalem says:


        • jjyank says:

          Also agreed.

        • BigLoving says:

          Even considering all the bomb shells that have been dropped on the Yanks thus far I am still happy they let Swisher go. He was a solid player during the regular season but he just fell apart under the pressure of the postseason. I hate to sound like a Yankee homer……but the postseason really is just as important to the team as the regular season, especially in this day in age where it is much easier to make the postseason considering 5 teams in each league get a ticket to the dance.

          • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

            It’s more important to win the division in the new format though. And I think this year’s team will have more difficulty making the postseason than they would winning in the postseason (not that that would be easy).

          • Robinson Tilapia says:

            How is that sounding like a homer?

            Also, why it may be “easier” to make the postseason, the odds are decidedly against you making it. It’s not easy in the least to make the postseason.

      • Who hates bunts more? Axisa or Earl Weaver? says:

        Certainly Swisher and Cervelli….But there was never an option to get Swish for 1 Year. According to RAB from a day or two ago, Martin would have come back for a 1 Year (8M or 9M ??) Deal.

        • Tom from England says:

          yeah – loved that sub .200 batting average for most of last season. We need some real baseball and soon…mighty fatigued with offseason master commentary like this.

          • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

            Yeah, I can’t wait to see more of Chris Stewart’s hitting instead.

            • Tom from England says:

              Yes, Stewart’s low .200′s avg will be/would have been so much different from what Martin provided last year. But like most things, that’s ground horsemeat it’s been so beat up.

              Monday can’t come soon enough.

              Stewart will go 3 for 4 with 2 doubles and a homerun – knocking in 7 for a Yankee 7-6 win over the hapless Sox…

  6. Yogiism says:

    An additional thought/comment with regards to the earlier thread about Rivera being released. Lots of fans clamoring about Nix getting a roster spot. Not sure what Yank team some people have been watching in recent years, but they always ALWAYS have a super utility guy on the bench. It’s just the way the Yanks do things. I’m actually a Nix fan and I think he is a nice little player. For those who think that he’ll be DA’d or something once the other walking wounded come back, I think you’re wrong. I have no idea how they’ll make room, but I see a combination of Francisco and Overbay being first to go in that order. For better or worse, Nunez is pretty much with the team for the entire season. Regardless if Jeter comes back in a little better shape there is zero chance Girardi puts Jeter out there for 3 or 4 consecutive games. It’s just not happening. My money is on them getting about 80 games a piece. No one knows.

    As someone else pointed out, having to carry Nix is the unfortunately circumstance of Nunez being unable to field another position away from SS and I agree with that, but Nix will be on that bench for at least 150 games this season.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Francisco and Overbay are here only as long as the players they’re filling in for are injured. They are total DFA fodder unless they completely overachieve and someone such as Hafner tanks.

      I like Nix. He’s a useful guy to always have around, but you wind up turning him loose after a while when he becomes a victim of the numbers game.

    • vicki says:

      i love the superfluous y!!!!

  7. iceman says:

    Watching moneyball I like the movie but way too much emphasis on scott hatteberg. I know he was a good player on that team but he was hardly the difference. I have to give beane credit for turning down the 12.5 million to stay in oakland.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      The book focuses on him a ton too. Him and Swisher were the successes from that book. I guess Chad Bradford was as well if you squint hard enough.

  8. Mickey Scheister says:

    I saw on they posted a projected opening day line-up of

    1. CF: Brett Gardner
    2. RF: Ichiro Suzuki
    3. 2B: Robinson Cano
    4. 1B: Kevin Youkilis
    5. DH: Travis Hafner
    6. LF: Vernon Wells
    7. 3B: Jayson Nix
    8. SS: Eduardo Nunez
    9. C: Chris Stewart

    I understand the Stewart thing since he catches CC, okay. But Youk at first and Nix at third seems odd. I’d prefer Overbay at first and Youk at third. With the “power-outage” at least Overbay could pop a double or two, Nix should be on the bench, IMHO. It would’ve been great to see Ronnier M make the club as he is versatile and provides a much higher ceiling. I may be splitting hairs but, eh, that line-up won’t scare any SP’ers.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

      Nix over Overbay is just because they are facing a lefty.
      Last 3 years vs. LHP:
      Nix – 248/313/424 100 wRC+
      Overbay – 230/295/375 84 wRC+

    • BigLoving says:

      Mustelier getting hurt was the biggest disappointment of the spring for me (barring Grandy, Tex, Jeter, Arod getting/staying hurt). I think he really could have been a good piece for the team. This “bone bruise” makes me nervous though, I have heard that before from the Yanks……

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        Sometimes, it really is a bone bruise.

        I write this several times a day, it seems like, but Ronnie Mustelier will get his shot with the New York Yankees at some point.

      • forensic says:

        That was disappointing, but the plethora of ‘garbage’ and dumpster diving is easily the biggest disappointment for me this ST. Just 2-3 weeks ago, four guys who will make the roster weren’t even in the organization. Two of those 4 will start after no other teams wanted to have any of the 4 near their opening rosters. It’s pretty embarrassing and continues my view of them that it seems as if they just go for everything on spur of the moment decisions, with no discernible plan in place. Yes, injuries were a factor, but they also failed to plan any semblance of depth or replacement options.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          Counterpoint: They never stopped looking at how to upgrade and thought the guys who became available due to roster crunches at the end were better fits that the guys they brought in initially on MiLB deals. It makes sense to me.

          There’s a non-zero chance they even find another first baseman before Opening Day.

          • forensic says:

            That’d be all well and good if I thought any of these guys were upgrades, which I’m not so sure of.

            • Sweet Dick Willie says:

              But how often is an injury replacement an upgrade?

              • Robinson Tilapia says:

                I think he means more if Overbay is really an upgrade over Rivera, etc.

              • forensic says:

                Are you trying to imply that I said they should be upgrades over the original guy? Of course they’re not upgrades over that. I’m talking about upgrades over what they already had available internally or other potential options they might have been able to have given better planning.

                • Robinson Tilapia says:

                  The latter is pretty hard to discuss, as it’s hard to conceptualize what those potential options would have been.

                  Better than the internal options? I think the internal OF options were pretty thin so, yes, I think the external guys are an upgrade. Could Musty have faked first? I’m not sure.

                  I could understand Mesa making the team over one outfielder, but that’s about it as far as internals go.

                  • forensic says:

                    Or, put Mustelier at 3B and move Youkilis to 1B, which is what they’re going to do half the time anyway, just with an even bigger downgrade in Nix.

                    Mesa I’m in between on. I would rather see him in the 4th/5th OF role than either Boesch or Francisco given his skillset and potential contributions of baserunning and defense. But, as an everyday player, it’s hard for me to really push hard for given his extreme difficulty making contact.

            • Robinson Tilapia says:

              I think Overbay’s definitely a defensive upgrade, and I don’t have a clue what either guy was/is going to offer offensively.

              I like Boesch. I like that he even still has options left.

              I’ll learn to live with Vernon Wells eventually.

              Yeah, though, it’s hard to say what’s an upgrade because we haven’t a clue who, of these guys, is going to over or underperform. Overbay, even at the last minute, probably does meet the skillset of what the team wants for first base, though.

    • Who hates bunts more? Axisa or Earl Weaver? says:

      This is the lineup vs Lester. Vs a RHP it would be Youk at 3B and Overbay at 1B.

    • forensic says:

      Girardi/Cashman have said that against lefties Youkilis will typically place 1B and Nix will start at 3B.

    • hogsmog says:

      Why does Nunez bat behind Nix?

      • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

        Yeah, I don’t think they stack lefties at the top against a lefty either. That lineup probably has the right players, but I don’t think that’s the likely order.

        • forensic says:

          I remember Girardi saying something a day or two ago about those 3 lefties at the top and that though he doesn’t like doing it, he may need to given the players available to him. He’s been using that lineup recently for that very reason.

          • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

            Wow. Surprising. I could see it against RHP, not sure it makes any sense against LHP.

  9. Jimmy says:

    So this is the team that a $2.3B franchise can afford? Blech.

    Still beats the days of Omar Moreno as CF.

  10. Havok9120 says:

    I’m still expecting us to blow this lead and win by, like, two points, but MAN ‘Cuse is looking good tonight.

  11. MickeyP says:

    Does anybody think Lincecum might be worth looking into this offseason? Obviously I’d like to see what he can do this season and I’m not saying give him 100 million dollars. But, he won’t be thirty until the middle of next year and has two Cy youngs under his belt.

    • Havok9120 says:

      His mechanics have always been so violent (and his body type is so…fragile) that he scares the crap out of me. Part of it is definitely confirmation bias, but I can’t help but feel as if any mid-term contract with him will end disastrously at the prices FA starters are going for these days.

      • MickeyP says:

        I understand your hesitation and I feel the same way. But, with that being said, if he can stabilize his velocity and put up season numbers similar to that of 2010 I would have no problem with at least looking into him. I would guess most GMs are as skeptical of him as we are so I don’t think he would get a Sanchez type of deal. I would be willing to go as far as 4 and 65 maybe 70 if he put up 2010 type numbers. With this market that still would probably not get it done.

        • Bo Knows says:

          What’s strange about Lincecum is that, I don’t think his body is breaking down, I think the problem with why his velocity has been dropping is that I think he’s losing flexibility. His entire delivery essentially depends on using his body like a sling shot. When your younger the body is naturally more flexible, but as you get older (although he’s still relatively young) that flexibility starts to disappear and like an old rubber band, it’s starting to lose the elastic recoil. His velocity will stabilize, but I think his issue will be him learning to trust his fastball at 89-91 rather than the 93+ it was just a few years ago; because its obvious he doesn’t trust it.

          Heck, attending some Yoga classes might not be a bad idea for him

          • MickeyP says:

            That’s an interesting way to view his situation. If flexibility is his only issue I say sign him. Ichiro will have him doing splits in no time.

  12. Danny Bloom says:

    wang name order brewhaha Taiwan — see letter two: —

Leave a Reply

You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

If this is your first time commenting on River Ave. Blues, please review the RAB Commenter Guidelines. Login for commenting features. Register for RAB.