Open Thread: 2/21 Camp Notes

Update: Yankees had private workout for Aledmys Diaz on Friday
Saturday Links: Sizemore, Sabathia, Prospects
(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Happy Friday everyone. Spring Training is fully underway now that position players are in camp and in just a few days, the Yankees will open their slate of Grapefruit League games. Here’s the latest from Tampa.

  • Chad Jennings has the day’s workout groups. Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, and Ivan Nova were among those to throw live batting practice. Kelly Johnson spent time working out at first base, which is important because he has 18 career innings at the position and is slated to serve as Mark Teixeira‘s backup this year.
  • Joe Girardi confirmed Tanaka will be allowed to face AL East clubs in exhibition games. The team typically tries to hide their stop starters from rival clubs, but they feel it’s important for Tanaka to face MLB caliber hitters. [Jennings]
  • Teixeira said he is “probably a week to ten days” away from facing live pitchers in batting practice. He won’t get into a Spring Training game until early March, as expected. [George King]
  • Slade Heathcott, meanwhile, still has not started hitting or fielding drills after having offseason knee surgery, so he’s behind the other position players. [Jennings]

Here is your open thread for the night. The Knicks are playing and the Olympics are still going on as well. Talk about those games, Spring Training, or anything else right here. Have at it.

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Update: Yankees had private workout for Aledmys Diaz on Friday
Saturday Links: Sizemore, Sabathia, Prospects
  • Tanuki Tanaka (Formerly Bob Buttons)

    So, the Phillies burned a pretty important bridge this week. Must be nice to be a Phillies fan these days.

    • vicki

      why didn’t we think of blackmail back in 2008??

      kidding. not a good color, philly.

  • pat

    This Tex situation is concerning.

    • Havok9120

      *shrug*

      He’s on the same schedule he’s been on the entire time. It’d be concerning under any circumstances.

      • forensic

        So why the shrug if you admitted it’s concerning?

        • Havok9120

          What is the alternative to a shrug?

          He had surgery. We know this. He’s on the schedule laid out previously. There have been no setbacks.

          Further, what’s the alternative to seeing what happens with it? No corner infielders left on the market, and there really weren’t anything but DH’s with gloves available this offseason anyway. I’m done with hand-wringing, and until we know there’s a problem (and what it is), we can hardly start pitching solutions.

          • forensic

            I took it as a dismissive shrug, that’s all.

            I don’t disagree with anything else you say other than that he’s on the schedule laid out previously. I somewhat question whether it’s moving slower than he and they thought, just based on some interviews earlier in the offseason where he seemed convinced that he’d be closer to a regular schedule with other players at this point.

  • Sportie

    what type of numbers will Slade Heathcott need to put up in order to earn himslef a roster spot?

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Two.

      As in the number of current Yankee outfielders he’d probably have to kill to even be in the conversation right now.

      • forensic

        I think I’d actually say three, instead of two.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          You just killed off Zoilo, didn’t you?

          • forensic

            Slade did/needs to, not me…

            • Robert

              Always liked Slade but now Mason Williams and Tyler Austin have a better chance to see the show than him.Just too much down time.

    • stuckey

      Ellsbury and Garnder would have to start the year on the DL for an extended period AND Heathcott would to slash .375/.425/.450 in a significant number of games to even sniff consideration and even then it’d be highly unlikely.

  • Darren

    So, if you could choose between Jeter having an amazing comeback year but the Yankees miss the playoffs, and Jeter having a horrible year and the Yankees make the playoffs, what would you choose?

    Does your answer change if they make it only to lose in the Wild Card play-in game? What about losing by sweep in the ALDS? Loss in the ALCS? WS loss?

    Let’s assume an awesome year would mean hitting .300, playing in 140 games, 100 of them at SS, MVP of the all star game, and comeback player of the year. Maybe flirting with Joe D’s hit streak for good measure. ;)

    And a bad year would mean he plays in 70 games, hits .230 and doesn’t make the post-season roster because he’s injured.

    I think I would take the amazing year by Jeter, unless the Yankees were guaranteed a World Series appearance where they won at least 2 games. Anything less than a WS Game 6 and I’d rather see the Cap’n go out on a high note.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Sorry, Captain, but I’m taking the playoffs.

      • Darren

        You’d take a sweep in the ALDS or even a loss in the wild card game? That hardly seems worth it.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          This is about team. It’s not about one player. Nothing as to his 2014 performance negatively affects his legacy.

          Yes, I’d take the sweep in the ALDS. You have no way of knowing that’s the result when you enter the playoffs.

          • Darren

            Come on and play along for a second!
            In my scenario, the choice isn’t the real life situation where if you just get in to the playoffs, anything can happen, including a WS win. I too would take that over Jeter having a great year. In my hypo, you KNOW they’re gonna lose in the playoffs. And the question is how far would they have to go to make it more enjoyable than Jeter having an insanely killer comeback year.

            I can’t imagine that one wild card game where they lost, or getting swept in the ALDS would be worth it. Beyond that, I can see that your mileage may vary.

            • whozat

              You have to take the team success over Jeter success. First of all, Jeter playing badly but them still making the playoffs means that they came up with some middle infield answer, which is probably better for the team in the long term.

              Second, more bad play probably means either rushing young players who aren’t ready (remember Melky in 2005?) or flipping anyone with trade value for big names to try to keep butts in seats.

              Third, missing the playoffs two years in a row would cause more loss of revenue, but still make them feel like they need to DO THINGS to rebound in 2015, which probably leads to schizophrenic player acquisition behavior next offseason, where they need to make a splash but don’t want to spend money because the bottom line is in jeopardy.

              It’s tough to see a scenario where the team playing badly this year and missing the playoffs leads to a rosier future for the Yankees, regardless of what happens with the captain.

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              You’re taking making the playoffs for granted, Darren. You should never do that. It’s bad karma. Do you know what happens when you get bad karma AND you’re Darren? That’s right….the Yanks AND Jeter have a shitty season.

              Maybe we can still reverse this, but I’m not sure. Damn you, Darren.

              Jeter’s tombstone will now read “Here lies Derek Jeter. Darren FUCKED him.”

              • nyyankfan_7

                RIP Derek, I would have thought your legacy and money would lead to a better tombstone slogan but it is fitting.

                Joe D – “I thank the God for making me a Yankee”

                Derek – “Piss on God for making Darren”

            • vicki

              stay gold, darren.

            • jjyank

              What the hell kind of hypothetical is that? If you know the outcome in the end, how is the choice even real? That’s stupid.

              Sorry, Darren. I don’t believe in knowing the outcome before choosing. And that said, I’m taking the playoffs all day, every day, and twice on Sundays.

              • Darren

                None of you bastids are True Yankee Fans! (TM) If you were, you would say that unless we win the World Series, nothing else matters.

                Anyway, we all know what’s gonna happen. Jeter hits grand slam in Game 7 bottom of the 9th to win World Series.

    • forensic

      I’m not surprised in the least at your choice. :-)

      But, like the others, I also easily choose the playoffs and a bad year for him. He’s gone after this year and another bad year will just be a footnote to an otherwise terrific career. The playoffs are good for the team and organization in many different ways though and can carry over year to year.

    • RetroRob

      Derek Jeter would select a bad last year in order to make the playoffs. I can’t go against the Captain.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Exactly.

        Darren defied Jeter. No gift basket for him.

    • Havok9120

      Playoffs of any kind over Jeter. It’s about the team, not him.

      I admit, he’s never been my favorite player. I might have had trouble trading in last year for Mo for a playoff berth.

  • TomG

    It sounds like Jesus Montero lost significant ‘plate discipline’ over the winter. 40 pounds overweight?? I had myself a winter, but that’s just ridiculous.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Disgraceful, ain’t it? Pissing away his potential.

    • mustang

      “I have zero expectations for Jesus Montero,” said Zduriencik. “Any expectations I had are gone.” It would be hard to think of a player who has had a rougher year than Montero, who struggled through injury, PED suspension, and performance issues. Now, he is 40 pounds over his target weight at the start of camp. “After winter ball, all I did was eat,” the catcher forthrightly acknowledged. “We are disappointed in how he came in physically,” said Zduriencik. “He’s got a ton to prove. It’s all on him.”

      WOW just WOW

      Where are all the people who shook off Montero’s behavior issues when he was a Yank in the minors?

      Can’t say the Yanks won this trade yet, but it might be heading in that direction.

      • Tanuki Tanaka (Formerly Bob Buttons)

        Maybe he thought he’s got to prove his worth by gaining a ton (of weight).

      • Monteroisburrito

        Hi there.

        • Betty Lizard

          LOL!

        • Havok9120

          Excellent.

      • RetroRob

        I thought of that, too. The Yankees had concerns about his attitude, commitment and maturity. Fans criticized the Yankees for it, although I have no idea why. It’s clear they were right.

        Have to wonder if that contributed to him being traded.

    • Preston

      To be fair, he’s 40 lbs. over the weight goal the Mariners set for him. Which was probably a mandate to lose weight. They probably wanted him to lose 20 lbs. and he instead gained 20 lbs.

      • Havok9120

        Either way, though.

        You have a terrible year, the team is preparing to ditch you, and so you just kinda let yourself go?

        • vicki

          (psst. you know the captain is back on grantland.)

          • Havok9120

            WHAT?

            Yays. All of them.

    • forensic

      I still don’t like the trade, but it’s sad what Seattle and/or he did to himself.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        I honestly can’t understand how a player like Montero, who still hasn’t proven a thing in his career, shows up to camp like that.

        Perhaps he’s depressed or something, but there’s zero excuse for that. That’s shitting away an opportunity so many young players would kill for.

        • vicki

          dude. obviously he’s bored.

          • Havok9120

            Well…it is Seattle.

  • Giancarlo Murphy

    I think I found a new screen that beats out “MonteroIsMierdo”.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Clever screenname. I like.

  • http://riveravenueblues Blubber123

    just a thought:

    .272/.313/.414

    vs.

    .272/.357/.422

    Fairly comparable right?

    The top is Nunez career vs. LHP, the bottom is Sizemore.

    If it comes down to the final infield spot going to the player who could best platoon with Johnson at 3rd, couldn’t a case be made for Nunez? Especially when you consider his large speed advantage and ability to play SS (sort of)?

    Joe says Nuni played well at 3B last year. And while I have zero problem with Sizemore winning the roster spot assuming he’s healthy, I gotta wonder: how’s his range after blowing out his knee – twice?

    I guess that’s what spring training is for.

    • vicki

      tis. but don’t minimize .044 of obp.

      • http://riveravenueblues Blubber123

        Yep, very fair point. But while Sizemore walks more, he also K’s more. You could argue Nunez is more likely to advance a runner by putting the ball in play and unlikely to hit into DP with his speed.

        Again no problem with Sizemore if healthy just thought it was an interesting comp.

        • vicki

          i know it’s not the main point you’re making but both nuni and sizemore have average gidp rates. plus research says that speedy base-stealing types are no more proficient at avoiding the double play than big, lumbering guys.

          • http://riveravenueblues Blubber123

            Interesting. Never heard that research before but gotta believe that’s because (at least in part) the speedy guys are more likely to hit for more contact and the lumbering guys more likely to K or hit the ball in the air.

            Anyway, good stuff

            • vicki

              yep, all that. a willingness to take the k rather than reach for the outside pitch.

              (there’s an advantage to hitting lefty too, for obvious reasons.)

              • http://riveravenueblues Blubber123

                You know, my whole Nunez vs. Sizemore as a platoon partner for Johnson thing might be somewhat of moot point anyway – at least statistically speaking.

                In looking at Johnson’s career splits, I was surprised to see that he actually has a .276/.336/.434 slash line against LHP. That’s better than his career slash line vs RHP and comparable if not better than both Sizemore and Nunez.

                Screw it. Let Girardi figure it out.

    • forensic

      Well, 50 points of OPS is a somewhat sizable gap, though the speed and contact (and maybe versatility) advantage does go to Nunez.

      But there’s also more to it than that. Nunez is already on the 40-man and under control for more years than Sizemore, so he’s theoretically a bit more important to the organization’s long-term future.

      • Preston

        The difference is defense. Eduardo Nunez doesn’t have good range, he doesn’t have good glove-work and he can’t throw. That’s the negative trifecta.

        Eduardo Nunez UZR/150
        2B- -12.9
        SS- -33.9
        3B- -24.9

        That’s ridiculously bad.

        Scott Sizemore

        2B- -5.7
        3B- -12.6

        Not great, but not as historically bad as Nunez.

        • forensic

          I never denied Nunez is bad in the field, and I even softened his stance on the potential versatility.

          But, regardless, I question just how much stock you can put into those numbers. Nunez’ have come in a total of a touch more innings than a regular would get in just one full season (split between 6 total positions) and Sizemore’s have come in even less time than that (split between 2 positions).

          I don’t know who would be better (especially since Johnson isn’t bad against lefties which was his initial premise for his comment), but there are certainly built-in advantages for Nunez, regardless of his deficiencies. Who knows, maybe Girardi won’t even lock himself into a full platoon, though given some of his track record (and their intimations in interviews) that may be hard to believe.

  • forensic

    Watching the countdown of the Top 50 Firsts in MLB History and one of them was Ichiro hitting the first inside-the-park homerun in ASG history. And who scored in front of him? Brian Roberts.

    Lets see a regular season repeat of that this year!!!

    • http://riveravenueblues Blubber123

      Or I’ll take a bottom of the ninth, WS game 7 repeat of that.

  • Mandy Stankiewicz

    Just the read the Mariners thoughts on Montero. Wow. http://seattletimes.com/html/m.....21xml.html

    • Mandy Stankiewicz

      Ah, I just scrolled up and saw the same post.