Mar
02

Spring Training Game Thread: Ivan’s Debut

By
(Star-Ledger)

(Star-Ledger)

Ivan Nova will make his Grapefruit League debut against the Tigers this afternoon, his first real step towards showing the second half of last year was an injury-hampered — remember he missed three weeks with a sore shoulder — fluke and not an indication of his MLB production going forward. We saw how good Nova can be during the second half of 2011, and that’s the guy the Yankees are looking to stick at the back of their rotation this year.

As you surely know by now, Ivan’s strikeout and walk rates took major steps forward last summer despite the disappointing year. He needs to work on his overall command and keeping the ball out of the middle of the plate, the main reason he led the league in extra-base hits allowed despite only throwing 170.1 innings. The first Spring Training outings tells us very little, but it sure would be nice to not see Nova get smacked around again. Here’s the starting line…

  1. CF Brett Gardner
  2. RF Ichiro Suzuki
  3. 2B Robinson Cano
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. 3B Kevin Youkilis
  6. DH Travis Hafner
  7. LF Matt Diaz
  8. SS Jayson Nix
  9. C Chris Stewart

And on the mound is the right-hander from San Cristobal, Ivan Nova. Here is the day’s second string, courtesy of Chad Jennings.

Available Pitchers: LHP Clay Rapada, RHP David Aardsma, RHP Shawn Kelley, RHP Mark Montgomery, RHP Matt Daley, and LHP Francisco Rondon will all come out of the bullpen.

Available Position Players: C Kyle Higashioka, 1B Luke Murton, 2B Corban Joseph, SS Gil Velazquez, 3B Dan Johnson, LF Ramon Flores, CF Adonis Garcia, RF Tyler Austin, and DH Francisco Arcia are all coming off the bench.

Today’s game is scheduled to start a little after 1pm ET and can be seen on YES and MLB.tv (no local blackout). Enjoy.

  • Havok9120

    The MLB lineup minus Jeter, an MLB starter, and a bullpen group that isn’t a complete joke.

    Let us snap the losing streak before the press tour starts in earnest.

  • trr

    as I’m home, and all chores are done, I believe I’ll settle back and watch me some Yankee baseball…hey, they can’t lose 8 in a row…can they?

  • Chip

    You know whats scary? This could absolutely be our opening day lineup (ok put in Nunez for Nix and assume Jeter can’t start the season) and that fact alone scares me. I see maaaaaaybe 150 homeruns from the lineup if you squint really hard. Also, check out the black hole at the bottom.

    • Guns

      It’s downright horrifying. Add in some negative (if not probable) scenarios, like if 38-year-old Jeter reverts to 2010, 2011 form and Youkilis doesn’t have a bounce-back year despite what a gritty, gutty gamer he is. That could be a rough lineup… especially power-wise until Grandy comes back.

    • commerce

      Chip, don’t have to squint hard–assuming we saw the lineup today starting (except) sub in JRivera for Diaz; bench becomes Cervelli, Nunez, Jeter, and Granderson…then discount 1/3 of Jeter and Granderson due to injuries in relation to their career HR/162 games. Leave AlexR out altogether for 2013. Using HR/162 in career for the remaining 23 position players, this crew would mathematically generate 209 HRs. Since no player will play in 162 games (probably), it is reasonable to discount the 209 total by 20%. Look for this group to hit around 170 HR.

      A final point, the World Championship SF Giants hit 103 HRs in 2012 and their opponents, the ALCS Champion Tigers hit 163. The last two standing in 2012 were 30th and 16th in MLB HR rankings!

      If this team doesn’t hit and run and pitch and defend, then they will be unsuccessful–the HRs are just a piece of the action.

      • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

        Oh you and your math.

  • Jersey Joe

    Jayson Nix is definitely going to start the year on the team, right?

    • CountryClub

      In his interview with Francessa, Cash said there’s a good shot that only one of Nix/Nunez will break camp with the team.

    • trr

      yes, and hopefully on the bench. if he’s starting somwhere, we got problems…

    • forensic

      I kind of hope not.

  • Jersey Joe

    I’ve said this a million times, but Dan Johnson must be getting reps in LF.

    I like what Juan Rivera has to offer, but ST is nothing. Anyway, we would need him coming off the bench to sub for Gardner or Ichiro vs. lefties, not to mention splitting time with Hafner at DH.

    As much as seeing Mesa or Zolio defeat Diaz for that extra spot, we need lefty power in Grandy’s absence.

    DAN JOHNSON FOR LEFT FIELD!

    • Chip

      Dan Johnson isn’t what you would call good. I’d rather have Mesa up who we know will at least be a decent pinch runner and great on defense. If Dan Johnson doesn’t hit, he’s not worth anything

    • trr

      ummmm….no

  • Jersey Joe

    Just saw on MLBTR that Michael Wuertz was just given an invite. Even after 2011’s bad year, I’m surprised a reliever with a 3.71 career ERA couldn’t get back to the bigs. Hm.

  • Jersey Joe

    Where are the commenters?

    • Havok9120

      Preparing lunch.

    • forensic

      I’m trying to comment, but can’t with the site constantly switching between the desktop and mobile version’s. Hopefully they get that sorted out soon…

  • Chip

    Brett Gardner 2013 AL MVP

  • Havok9120

    Now that was pretty much a classic Gardner AB.

  • https://twitter.com/Paddock9652 Stratman9652

    This is possibly the driest booth in all of broadcasting.

  • Havok9120

    “The situational hitting needs to be perfect to take advantage of the situations presented to the club.”

    Right you are, Flash. Right you are.

    • Jersey Joe

      I feel like he doesn’t need to address the casual fans, if it’s ST and we are on a 7 game losing streak. Nobody is watching unless they are true fans.

  • Chip

    Yep, that was way more exciting than a solo homerun

    • Havok9120

      Yeah, that’s my thing. I mean, even if the run had gotten home, is the single to left- stolen base- sack fly- run scores on fielders choice route more dependable or more exciting than if Tex had just jerked one over the wall?

      • forensic

        I don’t care how exciting it is. If they get the job done, that’s all that really matters to me in the end.

        It is kind of ironic, though, that you guys are complaining about the lack of homerun power during the AB’s of their two most powerful healthy bats, neither of whom could get the ball out of the infield.

        If they get plenty of guys over to 3rd with less than 2 outs (or even with 2 outs), they’ll still score runs without waiting for the much lower percentage homerun play.

        • Havok9120

          Oh, no. I’m not complaining about that series. Tex hit that pretty hard and even Cano’s could have snuck through pretty easily. As long as they’re scoring runs, I don’t give a crap.

          But the large group of people saying it’s more exciting to watch and/or a more reliable way to score runs just seem misguided to me. I don’t see the logic of the latter and the former I’m not subjectively convinced of.

          • Chip

            That was my point too. All the people that were complaining about how Granderson isn’t useful because he strikes out a lot just amaze me. They’re about to get their wish with more contact hitters in the lineup and I don’t think they’ll like it

            • forensic

              Personally, I think he’s a bit overrated but it’s not that he’s not useful. It’s just that his useful time are very few and far between since 1/3rd of his AB’s have no chance to impact baserunners and even when it is in play his low average leads you to him not always having hard contact, which is also pretty useless.

              Add in his horrible defense and now invisible baserunning and his random homerun AB’s lose a ton of value to the totality of the rest of his game.

      • commerce

        Teams that hit .280, have a high OBP, put runners in motion, work counts, are very disturbing to the pitcher/defense. Death by a 1,000 cuts. It has been a long time since we wore pitchers down and proved pesky on the bases. Our phenomenal HR rate has carried our offense since the passage of Tino and Paul–but we only have one championship since they left in ’01. The ’96–’01 Yankees were a pain in the ass to pitching staffs–even in postseason. Remember winning 14 straight World Series games?

        • vicki

          despite all the smart stuff you say, i think it’s unfair to say it’s “been a long time since we wore pitchers down.” last season, without ggbg, we had swish, grandy* and teix seeing over 4p/pa, the former two ranking top ten in the league (qualified). more than fair point about the pesky on the bases thing though.

          *it does take at least three pitches to strike out.

  • Havok9120

    Wow. Those were a couple of good plays there by the Tigers.

  • Jersey Joe

    I would say Flash and Bob are probably the most boring….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • Chip

    Wow, the Tigers could be scary good this season

    • mac

      Yeah, the projected lineup and rotation looks powerful. They have alot in the pen with the poss exception of a closer.

  • Havok9120

    It’s going to be a good day for baseball when producers figure out that there’s plenty of room underneath that rotation graph for all of W/L Record, ERA, AND FIP.

  • gageagainstthemachine

    Can’t wait to see some “hot .gif on .gif action” from this game! Oh yeah!

  • forensic

    Nice to see Nova look solid for his 2 innings, even if it’s not exactly Fielder/Cabrera facing him.

    • trr

      yup

    • Chip

      Love to see the ball staying down in the zone. I’d rather he give up little infield hits rather than rockets

  • Havok9120

    Dang, Ivan. Looking good.

  • forensic

    Definitely a smart move by Mesa to skip the WBC, but I’m still just not sold he’ll make nearly enough contact in the majors to really be helpful. It’s tough to balance that with some extra speed and defense in contrast to maybe Almonte or Mustelier.

    • Havok9120

      I’m sold on Mesa > FHFRM, at least to start. I’ll take the multifaceted guy over another all-bat type. But I see no reason to give Mesa more than 2-4 weeks worth of leash if he just can’t handle the contact side of things and RM is raking in AAA. We can always find RM a roster spot and play the Scranton Shuttle Game every 10 days.

      • forensic

        Yeah, I could deal with seeing him for a couple weeks, but still not quite sure. Especially when people push for both Mesa and Almonte to go north with the team. That’s just too much. I could go for either one of them with someone like Mustelier or Nunez, if he’s not already on the roster. And though he’s looked kind of bad so far, I’m kind of curious to see Diaz over the next couple weeks to see if he’s got anything left (not much interest in Rivera).

        • Havok9120

          I’m about where you are. I want one of Mesa/Almonte and one of RM, Diaz, and Rivera. I prefer Diaz to Rivera and it might be possible to convince me that RM should be competing for the Mesa/Almonte slot, but I doubt it.

          And yeah, I’m just assuming Nunez heads north already. Nix, too. I’d love to see CoJo or Adams shock the world and wind up with Nix’s spot, but given the plans they’ve laid out for Nunez and the way they’re talking about Jeter, I have to think Nunez is in no matter what.

          • forensic

            I’m with you on a lot of that, but unfortunately I don’t think Nunez will be going north unless something unforeseen happens. I think they’re way too hooked on Nix and will add him to the 40-man, take him north, and keep Nunez in AAA again (again, barring something happening that slows Jeter down).

            • Need Pitching & Hitting (mostly hitting)

              So who gets the last roster spot in that scenario?
              I was thinking they’d likely carry 2 BUIF and only 1 BUOF, with Nix and Nunez being the frontrunners for the BUIF spots (with CoJo or Johnson being possible if the Yankees actually think either could handle third).

              • forensic

                It’s possible, but I’m not so sure. I think with the Grandy injury and the likelihood of there being a huge question mark in LF that they might be more likely to bring 2 OFer’s and one IFer. Of course, this is part of why I would give Mustelier a shot since he at least has experience standing at 2 of the IF positions.

                Given the choice between Mustelier and Nunez, I’d certainly take Nunez, but I’m not sure they’d let him go anywhere but SS, even though that clearly hasn’t been his issue.

            • Havok9120

              I’m pretty sure they had room for both of them plus one of Diaz/Rivera even before Granderson got hurt. Or are they going with a 13 pitchers? I always forget.

              • forensic

                There are so many different possibilities right now, it’s hard to really narrow it down to one or two.

                Hell, given their love of old guys, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if they brought both Rivera and Diaz north until Grandy is healthy, which would leave only one more spot (I believe, assuming Nix is also going).

                • Nice Guy Eddie

                  I still think that they’ll make some sort of move at the end of spring to address the Grandy situation. There are sure to be guys that are DFA’d by other teams that are way better options than what the Yankees have at the moment.

  • forensic

    BBBOOOOOOOOO!!!

    Where was the homerun??? ;-)

    • Havok9120

      I’m sold!

      :P

      • forensic

        Good, how could you not be enthralled by this inning? single, single, error, walk!!!

        WOOHOO! :-)

        • Havok9120

          One of my favorite parts of the whole situation is that one of my biggest joke targets are Mets rallies, and we could be watching a lot of those with this lineup.

  • Havok9120

    Shawn Kelley should get into the game today. Will this be the first time we’ve seen him? That’d be cool.

  • Winter

    I’m only on gameday, but was that at bat as bad as it looked?

    • Havok9120

      Diaz? The last strike was borderline. The only part of it that looked terrible was the huuuge wiff he had for the second strike. I thought he might corkscrew into the ground.

      • Winter

        Ah. Gameday lied and said he took 3 straight called strikes.

  • http://twitter.com/Paddock9652 Stratman9652

    Since when is Kevin Russo a tiger?

    • forensic

      November 18, 2012. :-)

  • forensic

    Who says there’s no power on this team?????

  • Need Pitching & Hitting (mostly hitting)

    Did Flaherty really just say Stewart swung the bat great last year?

    • http://twitter.com/Paddock9652 Stratman9652

      Compared to how Flash could swing a bat, yeah, he swung it great.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting (mostly hitting)

        Stewart was even worse.
        Flash career: 252/290/377, 71 wRC+
        Stewart last year: 241/292/319, 65 wRC+

        • Havok9120

          Stewart’s season is gonna be lodged in my head for awhile because he kept each segment of his triple slash identical for longer than I’ve ever seen a player manage.

    • Havok9120

      Yeah, that had me giggling.

    • Hey Now

      Flaherty is as vanilla as they come. He never has anything negative to say.

      A guy could bounce into a game-ending DP and Flaherty would say, “I thought he put a nice swing on the ball.”

  • Winter

    For everyone saying there isn’t enough power in our lineup, I present the 2013 AL home rune king-to-be Chris Stewart.

    • Winter

      Stupid phone. Obviously Chris Stewart isn’t a rune king.

      • Havok9120

        You never know, he might be able to write runes.

        • Winter

          Perhaps he has a leg up for the starting job because he is a warlock.

  • Havok9120

    Hahahahaha

    GONE! Wind was blowing in the other direction too.

  • Wayne

    When is José Ramírez going to pitch again?

    • vicki

      tomorrow.

  • Havok9120

    Richard Gere just chillin’ with his sons.

    • forensic

      To each their own, but if his son there is 13, then he had him when he was 50 years old.

      Also, everything online (it’s always right) says he has one kid, but he had two of them there with him?

      • Havok9120

        Yeah, he had two. Pretty sure he ID’d both as his sons, but I wasn’t paying all that much attention.

      • Betty Lizard

        Richard Gere’s son Homer was born in 2000.
        And yes, Gere is 63.

        • Havok9120

          There was a Daniel there as well.

          • Betty Lizard

            Wasn’t trying to correct you but rather to point out to forensic that yes, Gerechad a son at age 50. :-)

  • Havok9120

    Oh, ho. You’ll enjoy a nice BRRRUNCH, will you? Perhaps with some custard and jam? Eh? EH?

    My God. This booth.

    • vicki

      i opted for john & suzyn audio. synchronization be damned. i (alone, i guess) enjoy them. there was a myrna loy citation today.

      • Rooting for U.S. Steel

        I could see that wearing a little thin, man.

  • http://twitter.com/Paddock9652 Stratman9652

    Quit staring at Meridith’s boobs Ivan.

    • Havok9120

      The camera originally cut to him while he appeared to be picking his nose, so I suppose ogling the interviewer is a step in the right direction.

  • Havok9120

    This Matt Daley guy that I’ve never heard of had a very nice inning.

  • http://twitter.com/Paddock9652 Stratman9652

    Flash’s man crush on Chris Stewart is getting a little excessive.

    • Barry

      He’s paid to push team policy..

      • vicki

        girardi was in the radio booth when stewie went yard. he sounded smug. no other word for it.

    • WhittakerWalt

      Catchers who can’t hit love other catchers who can’t hit.
      Torre’s love for Girardi was the exception, not the rule.

  • Nice Guy Eddie

    Having Flash on the broadcast does nothing but conjure up images the big unit and his sweatsuit

  • Havok9120

    “Tyler Austin delivering a….touchdown? Eh? EHH?”

    Holy crap.

  • Need Pitching & Hitting (mostly hitting)

    I see why Dan Johnson doesn’t play 3rd much.