Feb
14

Open Thread: 2/14 Camp Notes

By
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.

  • Brian

    24 is Tino’s number.

    • Chip Rodriguez

      Yup. Could have been Robbie’s forever, but good luck to him batting around Logan Morrison and whoever else Seattle has.

    • cr1

      Yep, 24 was Tino’s all along to me – I never saw it on Cano without a tiny itch of annoyance, and am glad I have not had to experoence the same with 21.

      I have promised myself to give up those amd similar attachments when Jeter, the last – the baby, in fact – of that dynasty, says goodby.

      • Kramerica Industries

        Someone has erased LaTroy Hawkins as a Yankee from their memory banks.

        • cr1

          Mea culpa.

        • DakotahJohn

          LOL……..like LaTroy was a Yankee about 3 weeks, or maybe on the Roster 3-4 months??

          • jjyank

            So? They still reissued #21.

    • Kiko Jones

      Glad to see they gave up that number quickly. Gotta move on.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Yeah. Fine by me. Either it’s in Monument Park or it’s fair game. Plenty of #24’s before Robbie and, sorry folks, before Tino as well.

        • jjyank

          I get that, I just wanted it to go to a better player.

          Sorry for being a shitty Team Sizemore member, but you all know how I feel about Cano. At least, the people who still remember me as a regular do.

          • Cool Lester Smooth

            Do you even go here?

            • jjyank

              Funny guy :P

              • Cool Lester Smooth

                I really can’t talk. I only just came back from the wilderness of football blogs and Minor League Ball.

                • jjyank

                  All good man. My hours at work are all over the place now, so it makes being a regular difficult. I try to find the time though!

                  • Alkaline

                    Priorities man!

    • jjyank

      I loved Tino, but I disagree whole heartedly.

  • Bronxbomber98

    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

      In shape Pineda > fat Montero = Yankees win trade

      • OldYanksFan

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

        • stuckey

          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

            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

              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

          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

            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

              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

              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

                Bingo.

              • pinch hitter

                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

            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

              “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

                “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.

                • Cool Lester Smooth

                  Yeah, especially considering that they tossed in Campos.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            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

              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

            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

              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.

  • Dropped Third

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

    • Kiko Jones

      Me too.

    • jjyank

      So do I. It’s obviously more complicated than that, but I do like my team’s athletes take on the blame and promise to do better in the face of failure. Warranted or not, that is something a leader does.

      • Dropped Third

        With the core four leaving it will be interesting to see who steps up into a leadership role. Mccann? Ellsfairy? Tanaka? Beltran?

  • vin

    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

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

      • jjyank

        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.

        • lightSABR

          You’ve just made me glad that my only jersey is a 42.

  • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

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

    • nycsportzfan

      As they have.

    • jjyank

      ROVP in fighting, commence.

  • The Other Mister D

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

    • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

      We all know the reasons why.

    • Kiko Jones

      I did not like the fan reaction to LaTroy Hawkins wearing 21, nor did O’Neill step up and back the guy up, who was only paying tribute to Roberto Clemente. Retire the damn number or move on. Jeez…

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        This.

        I love Paulie. He doesn’t belong in Monument Park. Give out the damn number.

        • jjyank

          I like the idea of a number being kept out of circulation for a few years out of respect, but it’s clearly gone on too long in this case.

  • Tanuki Tanaka (Formerly Bob Buttons)

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

  • Captain Turbo

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

  • dkidd

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

    • lightSABR

      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.

  • OldYanksFan

    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
    http://espn.go.com/new-york/ml.....rk-yankees

    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

      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.

      • stuckey

        “How Nova and PINEDA have the talent to become the best HOMEgrown starting tandem in a while”

        Huhwhatnow?

        • Chris H

          If he becomes good again shouldn’t we sort of get credit for redeveloping him? I mean yeah we broke him in the first place but we put the pieces back together, rehabbed him, and sent him back through the minors again haha.

          • stuckey

            “homebuilt” then maybe?

            • jjyank

              Semantics.

    • cr1

      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.

      • cr1

        That big Al is entirely incapable of appreciating – or even recognizing – the nuances of gentlemanly assumptions will make it even more attractive a choice for them.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        She doesn’t look Drewish.

        #spaceballs

    • The Great Gonzo

      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?

      • jjyank

        I highly doubt he’s showing up, but he is still technically on the team. Makes sense not to give out his locker.

    • JRod
    • Chris

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

  • http://www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew)

    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

      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

      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.

  • http://www.timeanddate.com/countdown/generic?iso=20140401T19&p0=179&msg=Opening+Day%21 Get Phelps Up

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

    • Chip Rodriguez

      Cano already wore Tino’s number for a few years.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        I’d say Rickey Henderson would have a word with both Tino and Robbie about that number.

        45 players have worn #24.

    • jjyank

      That’s because I haven’t gotten here until now :P

  • The Other Mister D

    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?

    • RetroRob

      Reporters like to ask their own questions.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    These updates are manna from the GODZ.

    • jjyank

      Seriously. I appreciate old highlight clips as much as anyone, but boy am I glad to get open threads with Camp notes again.

  • Wheels

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

    • algernon blackwood

      Signing Youkilis and Ellsbury were the bad omens…

      • jjyank

        Ellsbury hasn’t even played a game in pinstripes yet.

  • http://blogsurface.com/ CDR

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

  • Alkaline

    Somebody stop the snow!

    • Ahk

      *Poof* Done.