Open Thread: 2/17 Camp Notes

This has buddy cop movie potential. (Presswire)

This has buddy cop movie potential. (Presswire)

Twenty-four years ago today, the Yankees signed Mariano Rivera as a 20-year-old amateur free agent out of Panama. He received a bonus somewhere around $2,500, so by today’s standards he was old and very cheap for an international player. Man, I’m really going to miss Mo. Here’s a recap of the day in Tampa:

  • As usual, Chad Jennings has the day’s bullpen and batting practice groups. Michael Pineda threw a bullpen session while Adam Warren, David Phelps, Vidal Nuno, and several others faced hitters in live batting practice.
  • Pineda is open to pitching out of the bullpen and said he is motivated to return this year because he wants to play with Derek Jeter before he retires. “When I heard I was traded to the Yankees, I was thinking, ‘I get to play with Mariano Rivera, with Jeter,’” he said. “That’s what I’ve always wanted.” [Dan Barbarisi, Buster Olney]
  • Brian Roberts said the Yankees reached out to him even before Robinson Cano signed with the Mariners, but he didn’t expect anything to come of it because he assumed they’d re-sign Cano. Brendan Ryan, meanwhile, thinks he might be used off the bench to replace Jeter for defense in the late innings. The team hasn’t said anything about that though. [Jorge Castillo, Anthony Rieber]
  • And finally, former head trainer Gene Michael Monahan was at the complex today and will spend Spring Training with the team. [Meredith Marakovits]

This is your nightly open thread. The Olympics and college basketball are the only sports on television tonight, so it’s a good night to catch up on some sleep or House of Cards or whatever. Talk about anything and everything right here. Go nuts.


  1. joe kay says:

    You mean Gene Monohan. Gene michael was the gm

  2. W.B. Mason Williams says:

    Well there goes me rooting for Ubaldo to put it all together again.

    Maybe just against the Red Sox.

  3. Farewell Mo says:

    So the Orioles sign Jimenez for 4/$48 million. Good value IMO. They’d done almost nothing to get better this off season so this was really a move they had to make

    • W.B. Mason Williams says:

      $12 million just kind of “feels” right.

      $20 million for part of his history and upside

      $0 for the other part of his history.

      Definitely a gamble, but they gotta be happy they’re not just paying for the upside half.

      • Havok9120 says:

        It could be a steal. But man…48 million is a lot for a franchise like Baltimore if he busts.

        • The Great Gonzo says:

          EXACTLY This. If he is good Ubaldo, then 48M is a steal. But if he is bad (and we’ve all seen what he looks likes in bad form), he could cripple a team that doesn’t have the spending power to hide his warts (read: NOt the Yankees, Red Sox or Dodgers)

          • KyleLitke says:

            Fair point. 12 million a year for four years is nothing to a team with a high payroll, but it could hurt the Orioles. That said, I still like the move for them. It’s definitely risky, but I think Ubaldo has a better chance to be good for them than Santana pitching in a hitters park in the AL East, and I do think the Orioles needed another starter.

  4. Tanakapalooza Floozy says:

    Pineda to the pen……….. I guess that’s better than nothing but, yeesh.

    Also, did we ever learn definitively what it was that took Monahan from the team? They were pretty hush hush as I recall. I respect the privacy thing, though it’s surprising in this day and age when stuff is actually kept, you know, private.

    • sevrox says:

      As I recall, Monahan wanted to retire from the daily grind of being the primary on-field medical guy for a MLB team. He did some work in the NASCAR circuit for awhile – nothing nefarious re: his departure from the Yanks.

    • nsalem says:

      There was nothing private. He was 66 years old, was recovering form the ordeal of throat cancer and had been in the orginazation hs whole adult life. He has a family andhe wanted to spend time with them while he was still healthy. Surviving cancer gives people a different perspective on life. Those guys have an intense schedule with incredible responsibilities. They are the first ones there in the morning and the last to leave at night

    • Steve_Balboni says:

      Monohan had throat cancer, he had to retire in 2011 I believe because he was undergoing radiation therapy. So it sounds like he must have done well since he is back at Spring Training. Good news.

    • RetroRob says:

      It appears Pineda is offering to go to the pen if that’s what it takes to make the team. Similar to the Banuelos story a week or so back, that doesn’t mean the Yankees have any intention of doing that. They want both as starters.

      I see almost no chance of Banuelos breaking camp as a starter, but that’s not the case with Pineda. If he’s looks good in ST, he is at the front of the line for the 5th spot. If he needs some work, he’ll be sent to the minors.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

        Exactly. I can’t imagine pitchers wanting to stick in the majors saying anything else.

      • KyleLitke says:

        Agreed. If he looks like he’s ready to go, there’s virtually no reason why Pineda shouldn’t be the 5th starter…he has the highest upside by far of the other options. If he doesn’t, then he should be in the minors, because there’s really no reason to just throw away his potential as a starter this quickly when he hasn’t even had time to really come back from his surgery yet.

    • jjyank says:

      Who said Pineda is going to the pen? Pineda just said all the right things and that he’d be willing to do it if need be. Nothing to see here.

  5. Bo Knows says:

    I can hear the movie guy’s voice now…

  6. W.B. Mason Williams says:

    Man I don’t know if it’s the lighting in that picture but it sure looks like Kuroda is sporting some pearly whites while Tanaka needs to floss more.

    Where was the dental scouting report?


  7. Dalek Jeter says:

    Somebody mentioned in the last thread that the term “career year” gets thrown around too much, especially relating to the 2013 Red Sox. So I did some research and the following guys all had the best year of their career in 2013 (according to fWAR) on the 2013 Red Sox World Series roster:

    Felix Doubront
    Koji Uehara
    Jarrod Saltalamacchia (BY FAR)
    Mike Carp
    Daniel Nava
    Shane Victorino

    That’s over 1/5th of their World Series roster, and it doesn’t include guys like Buchholz(2013:3.2 Best year 3.5) Napoli(2013:3.9 Best year:5.7) and Drew(2013: 3.4 Best year: 4.7) who had their second best year and whose fWARs for last year and their best year are still WAY outside their career norms.

    Now I’m not saying that the 2013 RedSox weren’t a good team, its impossible to win the World Series without being at least above average…but if you examine their team you can see that they had every potential to go the other way last season.

    • The Great Gonzo says:

      Which is somewhat what we expected from the 2013 Red Sox.

    • Dalek Jeter says:

      You can throw Ellsbury on that second list too, I completely forgot to check his numbers. His best year was obviously 2011 when he posted a 9.1fWAR, but last season he posted a 5.8. Those are the only two seasons he’s been worth anything near 5 years.

      • Dalek Jeter says:

        nearly 5 Wins. I’m an idiot.

        • Dalek Jeter says:

          NEAR*** 5 WINS.

          • jjyank says:

            Some editor :P

            • Dalek Jeter says:

              My physics professor likes to bust on me for being an editor all the time, mostly because when he said “there ain’t no do overs” at the beginning of the semester I responded “well then I’m looking forward to having do overs for exams. That is a huge load off of my mind.” Today he said “more better” after I had spent all morning editing and having a few beers at lunch and it took all of my restraint to not call him out.

              • jjyank says:

                Heh. I would have. But I was also the class clown who had that relationship with teachers/professors. I had no shame.

                • Dalek Jeter says:

                  I probably should have, because he said it intentionally, but I was a wee tipsy so I didn’t want to call any attention to myself.

                  • jjyank says:

                    Tipsy, eh? I gotta say, I never went to class after drinking. But…I went more times than I recall on, uh, something else.

                    • Dalek Jeter says:

                      Yeah, I have a 3 hour break before classes and Zinburger has $5 real pints of some really good beers on tap so a few of the other of age members of the news paper and I had what we called a “business lunch.” (It was basically beer and burgers.)

                    • jjyank says:

                      I wish I had more business lunches.

                      I’m also really upset that my above statement (and this one) excludes the letter “f”.

    • KyleLitke says:

      Well, the 2013 Red Sox were unquestionably a very strong team. The real question is whether that team did what it was expected to do, or whether they got lucky. I think it’s somewhere in the middle…the team was absolutely better than people were giving them credit for pre season, and some of those guys are legitimately good players who, while they may have had career years (or close to it), are still very good (Uehara is an example…career year? Yes, but he’s also got a career ERA under 2.00 as a reliever; he was a very underrated pitcher prior to last year).

      That said, they also lost some players without really adding anything. Pierzynski is a downgrade, Bogaerts definitely has great potential, but in his first season, hard to assume he’ll repeat. And JBJ could be good, but he’s likely a downgrade over Ellsbury too.

      • Dalek Jeter says:

        A lot of those guys aren’t that great though…for example, before last season Doubront never had an fWAR above 2 and had one of 2.9 last season. The best example though is Daniel Nava, whose fWAR is hurt massively by his defense, but offensively the dude was a juggernaut for them last season posting up a wRC+ of 128 and a wOBA of .366 after never posting a wRC+ above 104 or a wOBA above .330 in his age 30 season.

  8. jjyank says:

    Guys. I really think the 2014 season is saved. We get a whole year of Alphonso Soriano.

  9. nsalem says:

    Sometimes when it’s late at night and I am alone with my thoughts, I wonder what Alfonso’s career would have been like if he didn’t chase low and outside curves and sliders like a dog in heat. I think of a Braves right fielder with a number 44 on his back. Then my thoughts wander somewhere.

  10. nsalem says:

    More snow coming to Northern Westchester tomorrow. “Another few inches at this point what’s the big deal”

  11. nsalem says:

    I think the Yankees lack of interest in Drew and Jiminez are for reasons that have nothing to do with their numbers.

  12. Farewell Mo says:

    I imagine Santana will sign within the next week now that pitchers and catchers are reporting, which would leave just Morales and Stephen Drew (who is such a perfect fit for the Yankees that I can’t fathom their apparent disinterest) among major free agents left unsigned.

    Keith Law today on ESPN.

    • nsalem says:

      I think the Yankees lack of interest in Drew, Santana and Jiminez are for reasons that have nothing to do with their numbers.

      • nycsportzfan says:

        I think they just realize you gotta go with some of ur own guys. You cant always just sign a guy. Sure, its a way we acquire many of our players, but there is a point, even the yankees say, lets go with internal options the rest of the way.

        Have you ever looked at other teams depth charts? Even big money teams gotta go with guys who are far from sure things and haven’t dominated in the minors yet. The tigers depth chart has Nick Castellanos at 3rd base, and he only hit 279 in tripAAA last yr. Andy Dirks is in LF for them, and hes far from a sure thing, and there are guys scattered throughout the starting rotation and bullpen that have been brought up through the ranks, and some of em were not stud prospects who were supposed be good.

        The yanks have one position that has say Ryan/Roberts platoon and there doomed!(sarcasm). I think the reason they aren’t intrested in those guys you listed is simply they got enough talent through the FA pool, and that is it.

  13. nsalem says:

    Nick Castellanos is across the board more highly regarded prospect than each and every prospect in the entire Yankee orginazation. He is a top 25 rated prospect something the Yankees presently dont have.

  14. bheem says:

    Does anyone know what happened to NYYFans? I used to go their fairly often, but have gotten away from there this offseason. I tried to go to the site a few times over the last week, and I’m just getting DNS errors. Did SNY shut it down?

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