Open Thread: 2/14 Camp Notes

Tanaka's in the house. (Presswire)

Tanaka’s in the house. So is a small army of Japanese media. (Presswire)

Happy pitchers and catchers day, everyone. Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day as well. But who cares about that. The Yankees officially opened Spring Training this morning and it sounds as though everyone other than Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman reported on time. Their flights from New York were delayed by the weather and they got in later this afternoon. We had a recap of Girardi’s press conference earlier, now here is the first day’s worth of camp notes.

  • The first official workout is tomorrow, but Brian McCann, Frankie Cervelli, and Austin Romine spent time with Kevin Long in the batting cage today while Michael Pineda threw a bullpen session. Adam Warren and David Phelps have been in town for weeks and are already facing hitters. [Chad Jennings]
  • CC Sabathia told reporters he is at 275 lbs., down from 315 lbs. a few years ago and his lowest weight since he was with the Indians. He believes he lost too much weight too quickly last year, costing him power and stamina, so that was his focus this winter. Sabathia also blamed himself for missing the postseason a year ago. He was bad, but that’s a bit much. [Richard Justice & Bob Nightengale]
  • Masahiro Tanaka met with the media and said he’s willing to make whatever adjustments are needed as he transitions to MLB. He has spoken to Hiroki Kuroda about the differences in leagues as well. David Robertson, meanwhile, said he is focused on being more efficient in 2014. [Dan Barbarisi]
  • McCann said the team wasted no time helping him get acclimated with the pitching staff and opposing hitters. “I got an iPad in the mail two days later with everybody’s two good games, two bad games, all the hitters in the AL East,” he said. “As soon as we signed Tanaka, I got all his starts, so I’ve seen it. Now I want to get to know everybody and what their mindset is.” [Bryan Hoch]
  • The Yankees are “quietly encouraged and excited” by what they’ve seen from Pineda so far. He is in better shape than he had been in the past and his velocity has shown signs of increasing. [Buster Olney & Andrew Marchand]
  • If you care about such things, Mariano Rivera‘s old locker went to Tanaka. “I was like, ‘I’m not really sure if I should be here,’” he said when he found out. Alex Rodriguez‘s old locker remains vacant though Carlos Beltran took over the adjacent locker. Jacoby Ellsbury got Kevin Youkilis‘ old spot. [AP]
  • Here is the full list of number assignments [Hoch]. Some notables: Brian Roberts will wear 14, Scott Sizemore 24, Kelly Johnson 33, and Matt Thornton 48. They gave out Robinson Cano‘s number right away, huh? Cold.
  • Position players are scheduled to report next Wednesday and Derek Jeter will hold a press conference to discuss his impending retirement at 11:30am ET that day. He said “everything’s good” with his surgically repaired ankle. [Dan Martin]

Here is your open thread for the night. The NBA (All-Star) and NHL (Olympics) are both on breaks, so the only sports tonight are college basketball and the Olympics. Talk about whatever here. Have at it.


  1. Brian says:

    24 is Tino’s number.

  2. Bronxbomber98 says:

    It’s day 1 of camp (not even for the whole team) and I’m already getting too excited about Pineda with that report.

    • Dropped Third says:

      In shape Pineda > fat Montero = Yankees win trade

      • OldYanksFan says:

        In shape Pineda > (fat Montero + Steroids) = Yankees win trade

        • stuckey says:

          Montero being on another team when he imploded > Yankee fans vilifying him and/or vilifying the Yankees for 2 whole years for not developing him right = We ALL won trade

          • qwerty says:

            Yeah, we won alright. We won a big fat pitcher with shoulder problems that kept him incapacitated for 2 years. I’m sure it’s going to smooth sailing from here on out. Cashman = genius.

            • jjyank says:

              Nobody won the trade. And why the need for the snarky Cashman comment? Is he supposed to have a crystal ball that would tell him that Pineda would get hurt?

        • Farewell Mo says:

          Trading the #3 ranked minor league prospect in all of baseball for a player that hasn’t even thrown a pitch for the Yankees in the 2 years since the trade does not equal winning that trade.

          Not even close, no matter how you spin it.

          They had a tremendously valuable trade chip and got absolutely nothing for it so far.

          • stuckey says:

            Like baseball, its a game between two opponents – you can win 19-18, you can win 1-0 or you can win 19-0.

            Yankees made a trade with Seattle. Seattle got nothing out of but negative WAR for 2 years.

            So between two opponents, I currently like the Yankees odds of ultimately getting more outta the trade.

            • The Great Gonzo says:

              Yeah, I agree with Fake Ted, if I’m being honest. Pineda’s potential, not to mention there seem to be free agents every year that fit the Jesus mold (big bats, little to no glove), make the upside for NYY much higher than that of Seattle today.

            • hogsmog says:

              This line of reasoning is silly though. It wasn’t ‘Yankees vs Seattle’, it was ‘Yankees vs Rest of Baseball’, in which they could have traded Montero for quite a bit, with just about anyone. The same is true for Seattle and Pineda- it’s quite possible that both teams ‘lost’ this trade, because they both could have easily gotten much better returns for what they gave up.

              • Farewell Mo says:


              • pinch hitter says:

                We don’t know any of that’s true because we don’t know how other teams valued him. Here’s more speculation: they couldn’t have traded him to any NL team because none of those teams believed he had a position; they wouldn’t have traded him to anyone in AL east; they could only trade him to a team that had an opening at DH. That leaves about 6 teams. One of who was Seattle.

          • JRod says:

            Whether or not some entity at some point ranked Montero the #3 minor league prospect in baseball is thoroughly irrelevant, unless you believe that MLB GMs operate based on blog rankings of prospects. I believe that the Yankees correctly assessed that Montero could not play the position, that what they had on their hands was a AAAA DH at best. It’s likely other organizations made this same correct assessment. In that instance a commodity such as Montero is still subject to the Greater Fool Theory, as long as you act quickly enough in unloading it. In this case, it’s eminently possible that Seattle WAS the Greatest Fool. The trade was a NYY win from jump street, and I posted to that effect at the time. Unless you believe that somehow Cashman should have known that Pineda would get hurt, which is utterly fatuous, it was a win then and it’s a win now.

            • The Great Gonzo says:

              “I believe that the Yankees correctly assessed that Montero could not play the position, that what they had on their hands was a AAAA DH at best,

              Don’t completely agree… I think they believed Jesus’ bat was legit, but knew that he was a man with no position. They saw an opportunity to trade that for an “above average to elite” arm and jumped on it. In a bubble, you make that move 100 times out of 100.

              • jjyank says:

                “In a bubble, you make that move 100 times out of 100.”

                Absolutely agree. The girl I was dating at the time had a friend who was dating Montero in Scranton. I got an autographed baseball card of his for Christmas. I was a huge Montero fan, and I was sad to see him leave the organization. But, I was in favor of the trade once my initial shock and awe wore off. It made sense, and I’d probably do it again if I didn’t have any hindsight.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

            The key term there is “so far,” and, yeah, I’ll believe it when I see it with Pineda, but I just wish we’d all move on from who won that trade. I’ve come to terms with it at this point. It took a heavy amount of therapy.

            • Farewell Mo says:

              IMO, both teams lost that trade sent away valuable commodities from each side for no return so far.

              I just found it kind of assinine to proclaim the Yankees the victor of that trade because Montero is now a fat lazy PED user and Pineda actually might throw a pitch for the major league club sometime this year.

          • jjyank says:

            I agree, but I also think that we can’t evaluate the winner quite yet. And I also think that who we could have gotten for Montero is just speculation outside of Cliff Lee, and Montero wasn’t the issue there anyway.

            • Farewell Mo says:

              Definitely true and I’d rather be on the Yanks side of that trade right now though that could change with the next pitch Pineda throws.

  3. Dropped Third says:

    I like sabathia taking responsibility for the team missing the post season. #Leadership

  4. vin says:

    I’m glad they gave out Robbie’s number. It’s like taking off a Band-Aid. Do it fast and get it over with.

    Happy to hear about Pineda. Life is so much easier if he’s a viable starter. Phelps and Warren can be in the pen with Nuno in SWB. As is always the case though… now we just need the starter to stay reasonably healthy.

    • Kiko Jones says:

      That they didn’t give 24 to a big name signing is a further plus in my book.

      • jjyank says:

        And a negative in mine. Robbie was a great player for this team for a long time. His number should have gone to a better player, in my opinion.

        For the organization, it’s probably meaningless. But the #24 Cano jersey I have hanging on the wall behind the chair I’m sitting in does not appreciate being handed to a guy that’s not even on the 40 man roster.

  5. Macho Man "Randy Levine" says:

    They had to re-issue Cano’s number right away. Let’s everyone know they’ve moved on.

  6. The Other Mister D says:

    Also gave out Swisher’s and Granderson’s numbers, yet 21 remains forbidden.

  7. Tanuki Tanaka (Formerly Bob Buttons) says:

    3 catchers worked out with Long ahead of time. Coincidence?

  8. Captain Turbo says:

    Very exciting. That report has my leg tingling. God, I hope it isn’t the polio again…

  9. dkidd says:

    must manage expectations of tanaka and pineda…
    must manage expectations of tanaka and pineda…
    must manage expectations of tanaka and pineda…

    • lightSABR says:

      So hard to do when the rotation has so much upside potential – even if there’s so little chance that all of that potential is realized.

  10. OldYanksFan says:

    The MSM simply can’t go a day without writing something about ARod.
    Today’s scandalous headline:
    A-Rod’s locker left vacant in Tampa

    Yup…. leaving his locker empty is pretty newsworthy. Groundbreaking.
    Which has me wondering….
    Just what should we do with ARod’s locker?

    1) Gift wrap it and send it to the Red Sox
    2) Before each game, sacrifice a live chicken to Juju
    3) Let Jeter use it to store Gift Boxes (just in case..)
    4) Make it a ‘medicine’ cabinet
    5) Save it for Robbie in case the M’s trade him back to us.

    Just what the hell should with do with this locker???

    • Kiko Jones says:

      Have these people nothing else to write about? Actually, they do:

      - Jeter’s last spring training;
      - Tanaka’s arrival;
      - CC’s weight loss and how it will affect his pitching;
      - Whether Tex will be in top shape;
      - How Nova and Pineda have the talent to become the best homegrown starting tandem in a while;
      - New guys on the team, particularly the infield, and what they could contribute;

      etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

    • cr1 says:

      I can think of several things they could and perhaps should do; example, turn it over to Drew or whatever Drewish infield aquisition they make. But what they will do is leave it open in the gentlemanly assumption that his absence is temporary – until it isn’t. Anything else would be low class by NYY standards.

    • The Great Gonzo says:

      Is it at all possible that since A Rod can “technically” come to spring training, they may be trying to avoid a shred of awkwardness should he decide to be a dick and show up anyhow?

    • Chris says:

      I think we should put a replica of Pedro Cerrano’s Jobu idol in there.

  11. I think if CC pitched like CC last year the Yankees would have squeezed into the postseason. Wins and loses don’t mean anything but CC went from having 6 loses kn 2012 to 13 in 2013. Yankees were 7 games from a wildcard spot. #youcandriveatruckthroughmyargumentbutyougetwhatiamsaying

    • The Great Gonzo says:

      I appreciate the fact that you’re calling out your own flawed theory, but it’s possible. Especially if you consider how many of those 13 were division games. And you also do not take into account all the NO Decision games he chucked up there.

      So yeah, if CC pitches like CC circa any other year, an argument could be made that the season may not have ended in September.

    • RetroRob says:

      I think vintage CC might have added another three to four wins to the team. That’s a lot. Also leaves them short of the postseason by two or three games.

      Let’s put it this way. CC would have given them a fighting chance. It’s also impossible to figure out if there might have been a cascading impact. CC pitching more innings, and more quality innings, might have saved the bullpen on one day, allowing them to pitch another day and win a game they lost.

      Yet, I still don’t see a seven game swing.

  12. I’m legit surprised that nobody has made a big fuss about the Yankees re-issuing Cano’s number.

  13. The Other Mister D says:

    Why exactly does Jeter need to give a press conference about his retirement? I mean, isn’t it pretty much all there in the FB post?

  14. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    These updates are manna from the GODZ.

  15. Wheels says:

    Ellsbury gets Youkilis’ old locker huh, hope that’s not some sort of bad omen.

  16. CDR says:

    Masahiro Tanaka is going to be such a great boost for the Yankees’ rotation. It’s the offense that is a bit shaky.

  17. Alkaline says:

    Somebody stop the snow!

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.