Mar
20

3/20 Camp Notes: Rotation, Ryan, Ellsbury

By

The Yankees won their fifth straight Grapefruit League game on Thursday night, beating the Red Sox 3-2 in Fort Myers. They’ve outscored their opponents 25-7 during the five wins. Frankie Cervelli hit another homer, this one a solo shot. The other two runs came after the team had two outs and the bases empty thanks to a walk (Zoilo Almonte), a bloop double (Zelous Wheeler), and a two-run single (Ichiro Suzuki). Ichiro, Dean Anna, and Eduardo Nunez all went 1-for-4 while Mark Teixeira went 0-for-3 with a walk.

David Phelps continued to make his case for the fifth starter’s spot with a strong outing, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks in six innings. He struck out three. The two runs came across as he approached his pitch limit in his final inning of work. Chris Leroux retired all four men he faced, Fred Lewis retired two of three batters faced, and Matt Daley retired all three he faced for the all-important Spring Training save. Here’s the box score, here are the video highlights, and here’s the rest from a slow day in Tampa.

  • Joe Girardi indicated the Yankees could make a decision about the fifth starter’s spot as soon as this weekend. “We have a night game (Friday), so we could have some discussions. And we have a home game Sunday, we could have some discussions. And maybe we’ll make the decision by then,” he said. Have to think it’s Michael Pineda‘s job at this point. [Brendan Kuty]
  • Brendan Ryan was scratched from tonight’s lineup with upper back spasms unrelated to his previous oblique injury, and after the game both he and Girardi said they are concerned he won’t be healthy in time for Opening Day. Ryan has only played in four games this spring and the start of the season if only eleven days away. [Sweeny Murti, Dan Barbarisi]
  • If Ryan is not ready for Opening Day, the Yankees will carry two of Nunez, Anna, and Yangervis Solarte. Sounds like Scott Sizemore, who hasn’t played much and is nursing a quad injury, is out of the running for a bench spot. Nunez and Anna are both on the 40-man roster, which could give them a leg up. [Bryan Hoch]
  • In case you missed it earlier, a precautionary MRI on Jacoby Ellsbury‘s calf came back negative and he is still day-to-day.

The Yankees will play another night game on Friday, this one against the Pirates in Tampa. CC Sabathia will be making his fourth Spring Training start (well, fifth counting his simulated game a few weeks ago) and I assume most of the regulars will play. Not sure who will be on the bump for Pittsburgh. Doesn’t matter, really.

Categories : Spring Training
  • Dirk Diggler

    Let’s cut the crap, everybody…

    Pineda pitches well = he’s the fifth starter!

    Phelps pitches well = he’s the fifth starter!

    Rinse, dry, and repeat. It’s comical at this point.

    Pineda is the fifth starter on opening day, unless he transforms into Rick Ankiel every start going forward, period. You know it, I know it, and the Yankees know it.

    Yankees traded the best prospect in the system for Pineda, Pineda has frontline starter potential (something Phelps never has had nor never will have), and has flashed a 94 mph fastball with a turbo slider for strikes and strikeouts thus far.

    It’s no longer a competition.

    Phelps will play the Mendoza role and do so well, Warren is the long man and will be fine, and Vidal Nuno will start the year in AAA, will be stretched out, and will be the first pitcher to get the call if and when a pitcher goes down.

    Betances has a spot, and Claiborne is likely still ahead on the depth chart over Cabral, Lewis, Daley, etc. although Lewis should be made a spot in my opinion…but he won’t and I accept that.

    The bench is still up in the air because of Ryan’s health, but Nunez probably (and unfortunately) has an edge over Anna because he’s been in the system and seniority rules blah blah.

    So far, so good in Yankee Universe. Everything will work itself out.

    • MB923

      “So far, so good in Yankee Universe”

      Except that we lost our best defensive infielder (if not 2nd best to Tex) in what is already a very subpar defensive IF everywhere except at 1B.

      Hope Ryan isn’t out very long.

      • forensic

        Eh, he can’t hit at all and I don’t believe he would be playing much anyway, at least not early in the season when Jeter is still fresh (I don’t think Girardi would remove Jeter late in games for defense much, if at all).

        And even his defensive numbers took a hit last season, though it remains to be seen if that’s a one season hiccup or the start of a trend.

        • MB923

          Which is why I bought up defense. I don’t care about Ryan’s bat at all so long as Jeter is playing and is starting.

          “(I don’t think Girardi would remove Jeter late in games for defense much, if at all).”

          I beg to differ. I think that will happen a lot because of Jeter’s age and recent injuries.

          I’m not saying Jeter won’t ever play the 9th inning of a game defensively, ahead or behind, but it’s a smart move for the team to replace him with Ryan (when Ryan is available of course)

          • forensic

            There are a lot of smart moves that the team could make but doesn’t for a variety of other reasons. I think that’s one of them.

            • TWTR

              True. At least Jeter has earned deference, unlike say Tex who, if he doesn’t hit RHP, should be moved down in the lineup v. RHP.

  • forensic

    It’s hilarious how Singleton and Flaherty continue to cling to the notion that there is (or really ever was) a competition for the backup C spot. And beyond that, they never even mention the competition for the final infield spot, which was at least moderately more believable as an actual competition.

    I’ll give them one thing though, they’re a surefire cure for insomnia. Right up there with the Lorenz/Flaherty combo.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/ Roadgeek Adam

      Any telecast involving John Flaherty is a bore.

      • Dropped Third

        I just hate his know it all attitude. He is so annoying it drives me nuts.

    • Dalek Jeter

      Idk, I like Singleton’s voice. It can definitely knock you out, but it’s very announcer-y. I really don’t like Flash though, he’s got a boring voice and is just boring or annoying.

      • forensic

        His voice is ok sometimes, but what it says is often bland and boring. And if I hear one more Earl Weaver story I might throw something through my TV.

        He really should be calling O’s games, not Yankees games.

        • Cool Lester Smooth

          I thought it was agreed that Singleton and Cone was the best combo?

          • forensic

            Heh, I’m not a big fan of either one, truthfully. I can deal with their games and whatnot, as they’re nowhere near Flaherty’s level, but it’s not great, in my opinion.

          • Wicomico Pinstripes

            I prefer them to pretty much any broadcasting team out there.

          • FIPster Doofus

            They’re excellent.

          • Dropped Third

            + Oneil

          • OB/GYN Kenobi

            Yup I like them a lot.

            Can’t stand Flaherty. Snooze Fest, both the voice and the content.

      • jim p

        Singleton was great with Kaat. Thing is, both of them don’t get blasé about the game; they remember to stay in touch with who is batting and pitching and the details of the game, even interrupting their own stories to say ‘2-2 pitch…foul.’ There’s a respect for the viewers and our interest in the game itself.

        Kaye… he’s bored shitless with baseball games, unless there’s something happens where he can make excited or disapproving sounds. I’ve seen him talk about old baseball stadiums through six batters without once mentioning the count or even the batters names. And how many times can he keep trumping up ‘controversy’ — usually involving some idiot ‘suppose’ situation.

        Singleton though, he remembers he’s there for the viewer and will interrupt himself for the game details. But he’s eroding without Kaat to help keep focus.

        • OB/GYN Kenobi

          +1

    • Farewell Mo

      Flaherty is just plain awful. His nickname shouldn’t be flash, it should be Ambien.

      • MB923

        I must be the only one who actually likes Flaherty. I think he’s actually knowledgeable and provides a great in depth look and analysis. Same for David Cone

        Paul O’Neill really only provides entertainment in the booth. I enjoy it

        • forensic

          I like O’Neill too. You know what to expect with his analysis (though sometimes he hits on good stuff) but at least he’s entertaining. I know it’s mostly blasphemy here, but I’m not a big fan of Cone.

          Al Leiter is easily my favorite color guy. I just wish he would do more games instead of some of the MLBN stuff he does.

        • Dalek Jeter

          My dream booth is Coney, Leiter, and O’Neill. All former Yankee players, all great in the booth in different ways.

          • MB923

            Leiter is okay. The thing he is great at…..is arguing with Michael Kay nonstop. I think they hate each other LOL

        • pft2

          I have learned a lot from Flaherty. Singleton is old school and has little insight into todays game. He is a fanboy announcer which is fine if you like the Hawk Harrelsons and Jerry Remy types. Kay at least calls it like it is once in awhile, not afraid to call out Girardi or the FO, and he is good at letting everyone express their opinion. Love Cone and Leiter as well for their insight.

    • FIPster Doofus

      Flaherty is awful. Singleton is the opposite of awful.

      • pft2

        I feel the opposite. LOL, matter of taste I guess.

    • pft2

      Flaherty is best as part of a threesome, preferably Kay and Cone. Its hard to work with Singleton when he is in Kays spot since I am sure Flaherty disagrees with everything out of his mouth, and Singleton makes it hard to get in any decent analysis since all he understands are Wins, HR and RBI’s having never really worked with pitchers and lacks much understanding of today’s game. He can watch a replay and see the Yankees got a break from a wrong call but will never say anything but they got it right (and make some funny throat noises)

  • Wicomico Pinstripes

    “Sounds like Scott Sizemore, who hasn’t played much and is nursing a quad injury, is out of the running for a bench spot.”

    Mr. Axisa, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

    • TWTR

      Baseball blog as morality play. Jeez, I’m out.

      • forensic

        Are you not familiar with the reference from Billy Madison?

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hfYJsQAhl0

        • Yankee$ (Formerly Pseudoyanks)

          Wow, That’s so good. I bookmarked it. I have a neurotic Yankee fan childhood friend who takes to ranting and raving emails when CC gives up a run (among many other regular baseball instances that he views as signs of the coming apocalypse) …this link will be my go to reply all season. Thanks for posting.

        • TWTR

          Ohhhhhhhhhh

    • Dalek Jeter

      That. Was. Perfect.

      • OB/GYN Kenobi

        +1

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Everyone’s going to be pretty shocked when the Yanks try to take the field on Opening Day and Sizemore’s already standing on third base.

      • OB/GYN Kenobi

        I laughed.

  • NCS

    Earlier today you thought Nunez was already the unspoken winner of the one ostensibly open bench spot. Now, if there are two open bench spots, he “might have a leg up” on the competition for one of them.

    Cryptic.

  • Fin

    I have to say with the needs that the Yankees have in the infield and pen, I would be very surprised if both Phelps and Cervelli are with the Yankees on opening day. Both have looked very good, and seem they could bring something back more valuable than their roles will be with the team. I don’t think there are too many pitching staffs in baseball that Phelps couldt slide into and the way Cervelli played to start last year and continuing it this spring, I have to think he has some real value at this point.

    • forensic

      With how late it is in the spring, I’d be very surprised if they both weren’t still with the Yankees on opening day.

      As it is right now, I think Phelps is arguably the 2nd or 3rd best guy in the bullpen (assuming Pineda is given the 5th starter spot) and can play numerous different roles out there (in addition to potentially being stretched back out should a long-term starter replacement be needed). Cervelli is probably in the group of the best back-up catchers in the majors right now, and that’s a nice advantage to have given how much back-up catchers are guaranteed to play (and that’s not even considering McCann’s issues with lefties and some of his recent injury time which could make the back-up catcher the starter in no time).

      Those are two pretty important pieces and I’m not so sure that their value is high enough to get something in return that would make as big a difference as they could. If Roberts were already hurt or Johnson was a disaster at third, maybe it’d be a different story, but given the current status of everyone I don’t think the organization seems too interested in finding anything other than clear upgrades to those guys (and I don’t think you’d get those kind of guys for Cervelli or Phelps, even though I’m a huge fan of both).

      • Fin

        I think the organization is interested in finding upgrades and while Phelps/Cervelli may not land that on their own, as part of a package they certainly could. For example, at this point I would have to think a package of Phelps/Murphy has a lot of value. I do not think they would trade both players, but I do think they will trade one of them. I think it will be Phelps as I think he will have more value because of the years of control left, and he isn’t quite as important in his role as Cervelli is this year.

  • pft2

    Phelps faced more MLB hitters in 3 inning today than Pineda has all ST. I will hold off my support for Pineda until he faces a decent lineup. Not impressed with his FB at all and players will soon learn to stop chasing the slider.

    • forensic

      For what it’s worth (entering tonight since it’s not updated yet), the opponent’s quality that Pineda has faced this spring has been 8.7 while Phelps has been 8.6. They’ve basically faced the same competition based on where the hitters played last season.

      I too have some skepticism of Pineda until it gets into the regular season, but that’s largely because of the totality of what you can (or can’t) really get from spring training and what has happened to him in the last couple of years, not necessarily because he’s faced a few minor leaguers (which every starter in baseball has during the spring).

      Incidentally, Kuroda is the only other guy among the top 8 starters who has also faced an opp. quality under 9 (at 8.9).

    • Steve (different one)

      The assertion that players will “learn to stop chasing the slider” is based on what, exactly?

      He has a plus slider. Players haven’t learned to stop chasing sliders in decades.

    • BFDeal

      I find it difficult to take anything you say seriously after you argued on MLBTR that MLB moved the pitching mounds back 6 inches in 1968.

  • 461deep

    Team on a nice roll. Frankie homers gain so should be a lock for back-up catcher. Pineda’s innings limit management not fully determined as mentioned in the broadcast but agree he will get 5th starter role. Been mentioned that Tanaka’s innings will be watched as well plus missed starts for various reasons will allow Phelps a fair share of starts. Why does the game report not mentioned the name of 1 opposition player? This a sports board not a meeting of a Hold A Grudge Club.

    • forensic

      This a sports board not a meeting of a Hold A Grudge Club.

      Not that I’m Mike or this is my site, but…

      Actually, first and foremost, it’s a Yankees blog. That means that the most important information will involve Yankees. Plus, it’s spring training. These aren’t full game recaps or anything. It’s just the nuts and bolts of what Yankees who are prepping for opening day did. I’d guess that nearly every ‘camp notes’ post after a game this spring failed to mention the opposing players, which also means it has nothing to do with a ‘hold a grudge club’.

    • pat

      Who gives a shit about the other team? If you want to read about their post game you can go to overthemonster.com

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      It’s a Yankee board. There’s a pretty big difference.

      Also, Scott Sizemore left nothing of them after the game, so what’s the point in talking about the Red Sox anymore.

      • OB/GYN Kenobi

        This never gets old.

  • fred robbins

    are the Yankees the worst managed club outside of the Marlins? I don’t know– but why is that Boston signs the Right Seizmore, Grady- who will probably hit 300 and 20 home runs while the 153 million dollar injury magnet, Jacoby will be on the bench. It is just sickening to me the way this team operates.
    Girardi is famous from breaking a players spirit and heart– and if he sends down Pineda to keep Phelps, it will just be another in a long list of signs that this team deserves no fans.

    • SamVa

      I hope this is a joke.. You realize Girardi made a team competitive for most of last year without it’s 2,4,5,6,7 hitters…

      He manages the pen extremely well and he made waves on the bayside of the ocean…

      This is spring training, If Sizemore hits .300 during the season, awesome for him, but you have to remember Solarte is hitting .450+ and there is about a 99% chance he will never impact the major league team. Don’t hate on Girardi and use a comp about an unproven player.

    • BFDeal

      Pathetic troll attempt.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      You make feel so sad for those much older than me. All those years, so little in the brain to show for it.

  • fred robbins

    I was talking about Yankee front office management–not the on field management…. I’m not sure what unproven major league player you are referring to from my comments about boston signing Grady S and the Yankees signing the one who is not even playing yet. That’s all. Yankees signed a guy who is hurt more often than not– and for 7 years on top of that! Tell me what is good about that signing.

    • BFDeal

      Who is this player that is hurt more often than not? Please show the number of games he’s played and the number of days on the DL.