Open Thread: 2/28 Camp Notes



The losing streak is over! The Yankees won their first Grapefruit League game in three tries on Friday, beating the Tigers by the score of 7-4. Brian McCann and Gary Sanchez each hit a solo homer within the first three innings — the team’s catchers hit eight dingers all of last season — and both Jose Pirela and Yangervis Solarte went deep as well. It was Solarte’s second homer in as many games. He’s the early favorite for the “random guy tears the cover off the ball in camp and everyone says he should make the team” award.

The box score is right here. Adam Warren allowed two hits and two walks in two scoreless innings, then Shawn Kelley, Mark Montgomery, Danny Burawa, Fred Lewis, Chase Whitley, and Preston Claiborne followed his scoreless frames of their own. Brian Gordon took one on the chin, allowing all four of Detroit’s runs in his inning of work. Zoilo Almonte and Ramon Flores threw runners out at the plate. The trio of Jacoby Ellsbury, Eduardo Nunez, and Carlos Beltran went a combined 0-for-7 with a walk (Ellsbury). Here is your daily update on the rest of Spring Training.

  • The Yankees used one of their young catchers (Sanchez, Austin Romine, John Ryan Murphy) at DH for the fourth time in four exhibition games, prompting one scout to say they are “clearly showcasing” these guys for potential trades. Well, duh. [Erik Boland]
  • As always, Chad Jennings has the day’s workout groups. David Robertson threw live batting practice while Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda, and Manny Banuelos threw bullpen sessions. After CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, and Masahiro Tanaka pitch tomorrow, the rotation will be Vidal Nuno, Nova, David Phelps, and Warren the following four days.
  • Pineda will throw a simulated game on Sunday and then will likely pitch in a real game next week. The Yankees seem to be taking it slow with him in camp, which is understandable following his injury. [George King, Jennings]
  • The MRIs on Jose Ramirez back and oblique came back clean, though he is still “sore” and will be out at least another few days. He said it feels similar to the oblique problem that cost him two months last season. [Wally Matthews, Marly Rivera]
  • Slade Heathcott played catch and took dry swings for the first time today. He had his knee cleaned up over the winter and was unable to perform baseball activities early in camp. [Jennings]
  • No surprise here, but Joe Girardi said “it’s pretty safe to say” Tanaka will start either the third or fourth game of the regular season. I’m guessing it’ll be the third. [Bryan Hoch]

This is the open thread for the night. The Knicks are playing and MLB Network will have a Spring Training game on tape delay later tonight. Not sure what teams, but it won’t be the Yankees. Talk about whatever you want right here. Have at it.


  1. lightSABR says:

    My man Solarte for the Weber/Poser award! His slash line so far: .800/.800/2.000.

    That’s John Weber and Scott Pose, plus an r.

  2. forensic says:

    “Showcasing” them would probably work better if either Romine or Murphy could actually hit…


    • lightSABR says:

      Why do you think Murphy can’t hit?

      • Cool Lester Smooth says:

        I’m assuming he does think that Murphy can hit, and just wants to rile us up.

        • lightSABR says:

          You’re kidding, right? People really do that on the internet?

          • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

            Next he’ll tell us his name’s not actually Cool Lester Smooth.

            • lightSABR says:

              And here I went and legally changed my name to lightSABR so that I could comment here.

              (And I’m not even much of a Star Wars fan. I really need a new handle.)

              • vicki says:

                “I’m not even much of a Star Wars fan.”

                trolling the nerds?

                • lightSABR says:

                  Ha. No. Just confessing embarrassment that I’m still going by a lame pun that I made up on the spur of the moment, long before I started commenting regularly. Someday I’ll come up with something better.

                  And besides, do Star Wars fans actually watch sports? Or even know what they are? I’m sure there aren’t any of them around here.

                  (Just kidding. THAT was trolling the nerds.)

        • forensic says:

          No, actually I’m not sure he can hit. It’ll take more than basically one season of somewhat actual hitting (I know, standards are a bit different for catchers) for me to believe he can actually hit. Especially when half of that one season was a repeat of AA.

          Maybe he can hit, and he’s just now developing something. It’s certainly possible at his age. But I’m not convinced yet.

          I figured I would’ve been enough of a ‘regular’ to have avoided basically being called a troll just for having a different opinion.

          • lightSABR says:

            Okay, fair, but I wouldn’t hold the repeat of AA against him for two reasons:

            1) He’d only been in AA for less than half a season before repeating it.

            2) He performed just as well in AAA last year as in AA (117 wRC+ vs. 116 wRC+).

            • Deep Thoughts says:

              You realize his handle is “forensic” right?

              His style is actually more dialectic but I’m sure I’ll now get 250 words on the topic “No It Isn’t.”

              • forensic says:

                I don’t know what my handle has to do with my style. If I changed it, I’d still write the same way with the same opinions.

                But, anyway, it doesn’t seem too far off. “Any formal system of reasoning that arrives at a truth by the exchange of logical arguments.” and “The dialectical method is discourse between two or more people holding different points of view about a subject, who wish to establish the truth of the matter guided by reasoned arguments.” don’t exactly sound like bad way to try to analyze and discuss/debate things at all.

                Of course, it seems to mostly be applied to philosophy and not so much personal opinions on something such as baseball. Either way, doesn’t sound like a bad thing or an insult (though I’m not sure if you were trying to insult me, other than assuming I’d just randomly start a fight with you for some reason).

                I bet this all just supports your comment though, except at least it’s not 250 words…

          • Preston says:

            The one thing I would say is that scouts always liked his bat even when he wasn’t producing. And he also had a nice offensive year in 2011 (albeit also repeating the level). And he’s made huge strides defensively at C in the minors, so a huge portion of time that regular position players would spend in the cage has been spent working on his defense.

            • forensic says:

              He was repeating in 2011, as you said, and it was also low-A. I’m not putting much stock in a performance that far away.

              • Cool Lester Smooth says:

                Well, Jorge Alfaro having pretty much the same year (with more power, less average and twice as many Ks) while repeating Low-A as a 20 year old apparently makes him a borderline Top-50 prospect for a lot of people!

                I don’t get it either.

              • Preston says:

                I get it and your criticism is valid. But you said he had one season of actual hitting and that’s not true, he also hit in 2011. And no hitting at low A doesn’t translate to MLB. But it does make it more likely that his 2013 is real and that he’s finally tapping into the skills he showed in 2011 and that scouts have always said were there.

          • lightSABR says:

            Oh, and catchers averaged a 92 wRC+ last year, which surprised me a bit. I thought it’d be lower. The average 2B and SS are actually worse, at 91 and 85.

            • forensic says:

              I’m not surprised. It’s part of why I think Roberts might actually be able to be around a league average offensive 2B. That is, of course, if he can actually stay on the field for any length of time.

              I will say, though, that the catcher’s number is possibly skewed a bit as there are several really good hitters who are still considered catchers while there are maybe 1-2 really good hitters at 2B (ok, arguably 3), and even less than that at SS who can actually stay on the field before being replaced by the Brendan Ryan’s of the world.

          • Cool Lester Smooth says:

            At the risk of piling on:

            He’s always scouted well; he’s always been young; and he’s never been below average over a significant sample size.

            Last year wasn’t out of the blue by any means.

            Also, I know you’re not a troll, forensic. I was just saying you might have been being a dick to get someone who doesn’t know you to overreact.

          • Bo Knows says:

            He played 43 games in Double AA his first time through, it’s not unusual for teams to promote guys mid-season and have them start the following year at that same level; actually that’s a common practice. This isn’t like he spent the whole season in AA, sucked and then had to repeat it. He’s been solid his entire career, decent walk rates, decent power, doesn’t strike out much.

            • Cool Lester Smooth says:

              Yeah, he’s pretty much spent a full season at each level. It’s just that each has been spread out over 2 years.

  3. nycsportzfan says:

    Following Mark Montgomery really closely. Glad he put up scoreless inning, hopefully he keeps it up. Important yr for the kid with the best slider in the system.

  4. TWTR says:

    I’m hoping that Tanaks starts the last game of the (post)season.

  5. forensic says:

    Please, just keep Brian Gordon to all the non-televised games. If I have to see him pitch in another game as a Yankee I might throw something at my TV.

  6. SteveP says:

    Saw/read all the stuff on the Diamondbacks this morning and got me thinking….

    Since they do have quite a bit of infield depth as referenced, maybe a more likely target would be Aaron Hill. He might cost a little bit less than Owings would, and they would just then play Owings/Prado at second to replace Hill.

    I like most would prefer younger and cost controlled, but I’m sure the Diamondbacks would too so he just seems more likely available I would think and would not cost arms/leg.

    So how bout Hill, decent power/OBP recently

    • jjyank says:

      I was literally about to reply how this was a bad idea because Aaron Hill isn’t that good, but I fact checked myself first. His last two seasons were pretty damn good. He only played in 87 games last year (and I’m too lazy to research why, because fuck you it’s Friday), but his 2012 was pretty great.

      I say this having not following the Diamondbacks or Hill whatsoever. But his numbers the last two years are intriguing.

      • lightSABR says:

        He broke a bone in his hand in April and lost 10 weeks.

        After that he had a bunch of little things that kept him out for a few games at a time: hamstring injury, groin injury, etc.

    • lightSABR says:

      I don’t think Hill would come cheaper because he’s so much better than Owings. 2Bs who play passable (if somewhat below-average) defense and hit 130 wRC+ are not easy to come by.

  7. Wait Sanchez hit a HR in Spring Training? Lets trade him Tulo! The Rockies has a young stud catcher already? Well the Rockies will do it anyway because Tulo looked up to Jeter! LOLZ

  8. TWTR says:

    The building that houses perhaps the worst run sports organization (dollar for dollar) in professional sports, has made a change at the top President of the Garden Is Replaced by an Executive at Cablevision.

  9. SteveP says:

    Yea wasn’t thinking as a middle of the order bat or anything but seems like a decent 2 year solution and realistic more than anything who is better and more reliable I’m guessing than Roberts.

    He honestly has similar actual numbers to Martin Prado..who I think is held in much higher regard and hill is only a year older

    Also would just be fun to have hill and Kelly Johnson in the same infield and playing well to piss off any blue jay fans cause why not lol

  10. TWTR says:

    Knicks quit…again.

  11. “He’s the early favorite for the “random guy tears the cover off the ball in camp and everyone says he should make the team” award.”

    You mean the Future Hall of Famer Ronnier Mustiler award?

    • lightSABR says:

      I’ve been calling it the Weber/Poser, but it’s a great award. It can handle having more than one name.

  12. Cano Cango says:

    Why don’t MLB teams do more Prospect for Prospect trades? Yanks for example would do great to trade 1 or 2 C prospects for SS/2B even a 3B prospect or two..

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      Everyone values their own guys more than someone else’s.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      Also, conventional wisdom decided that you use your chips to get bigger pieces, not exchange chips.

      I don’t really think I’d ever consider it outside of AAA on the cusp kind of players and, if someone’s that good, you’ve probably figured out what to do with them already.

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