3/21 Camp Notes: Ellsbury, Nova, Thornton

Spring Training Game Thread: Opening Day-ish
Spring Training Game Thread: Yankees @ Twins

Another day, another win. The Yankees won their sixth consecutive Grapefruit League game on Friday night, shutting out the Pirates four-zip. CC Sabathia was in midseason form, holding the Bucs to four hits and one walk in seven innings of work. He struck out seven and got ten ground ball outs compared to just two in the air. Vintage. The television gun had Sabathia mostly at 88-89 mph but there were a bunch of 90s and 91s mixed in throughout the outing. That’s encouraging. His offspeed stuff was dynamite.

Brett Gardner, Derek Jeter, and Mark Teixeira all went 0-for-3, though the first two drove in runs with ground balls. Jeter fouled two pitches off his left foot/ankle, but told Bryan Hoch he’s fine after the game. He was not scheduled to play Saturday, so Jeter will get a day to rest anyway. Brian McCann doubled in a run and the trio of Carlos Beltran, Alfonso Soriano, and Brian Roberts went 1-for-3. McCann also threw out two attempted base-stealers. Matt Thornton (two outs), Shawn Kelley (one), and David Robertson (three) retired all six batters faced. I hope every game goes this smoothly. Here’s the box score, here are the video highlights, and here’s the rest from Tampa.

  • Before the game, Shane Greene and Greg Bird were named the 2013 Kevin Lawn Award winners as the organization’s minor league pitcher and hitter of the year, respectively. Congrats to them.
  • Jacoby Ellsbury (calf) took batting practice and did some conditioning drills today. Everything went fine, as far as I can tell. Brian Cashman said he’s “not worried” about the injury and Joe Girardi said Ellsbury will likely play in a game either Sunday or Tuesday (they’re off on Monday). I’d put my money on Tuesday. [Jorge Castillo, David Waldstein]
  • In case you missed it earlier, an MRI revealed a pinched nerve in Brendan Ryan‘s back and he is likely to open the season on the DL. Cashman said “all the answers are here in camp” when asked about replacing Ryan, just in case you were hoping they’d make a trade or sign someone. [Bryan Hoch]
  • Ivan Nova will indeed pitch in a minor league game on Monday. That’s how the rotation lines up. Both Vidal Nuno and Adam Warren threw 80+ pitches in a minor league game on Thursday, so they’re staying stretched out. Nova and Michael Pineda threw their scheduled bullpen sessions. [Chad Jennings, Castillo]
  • Thornton will pitch again tomorrow night because Larry Rothschild wants to get him in a set of back-to-back games before the end of camp. [Castillo]
  • One last thing: Friday was the first day teams can place players on the 15-day DL (of backdate the DL stint) if they intend to activate them right when the 15 days are up. Could come into play with Ryan. [Evan Drellich]

The Yankees are on the road to play the Twins in Fort Myers tomorrow afternoon, when Masahiro Tanaka will make his fourth start of the spring (really fifth if you count his simulated game). We’re approaching the point of the spring when the regular start playing two or three days in a row, but I’m not sure how many will make the 2+ hour bus trip south after playing tonight.

Spring Training Game Thread: Opening Day-ish
Spring Training Game Thread: Yankees @ Twins
  • nycsportzfan

    CC Sucks!(sarcasm)

    • Cool Lester Smooth

      WEARS DA V-LO?!!!!

    • forensic

      Hopefully he’s able to continue making adjustments and pumping out results like this.

      I’ve been very happy with what I’ve seen from most of the pitching staff this spring. There’s potential for some seriously great production there.

      Lots will change in about a week and a half though.

      • JGYank

        We really improved the offense in the offseason, and the pitching has been very good in ST. Good signs for sure.

        • forensic

          I’m not quite sure what to make of the offense yet. Namewise, it’s certainly deeper than it was last year, but there are so many questions still remaining that I think it’s a big question mark. I think the pitching might need to carry the offense a bit in the early going (and hopefully they can carry them).

          • JGYank

            The outfield, catching, and rotation will hopefully carry the team. The rest just needs to be close to average. I agree there is a ton of things still up in the air. If I had to bet on it, I think the offense is a very good bet to improve from last year and will score about 675-740 runs while the pitching should be close to last year since the rotation will probably improve overall (CC should be better, full season of nova, tanaka cancels out Pettitte, 5th spot beats Hughes, Kuroda regresses a bit) and the pen should be worse from the loss of Mo and Logan. Maybe give up around 640- 710 runs. But I could be way off since there is so much uncertainty.

          • Cool Lester Smooth

            I don’t think you fully appreciate just how bad our offense was last year.

            Say you’re really bearish on all of the additions: Ellsbury and Roberts miss the full season, so Soriano is the regular LF. Beltran’s wRC+ drops 10 points from last year and so do Soriano’s, Teixiera’s and McCann’s. Jeter’s and Johnson’s are between 85 and 90.

            Diminished McCann is a 50 point improvement in C wRC+.

            Diminished Teixeira is a 20 point improvement in 1B wRC+.

            Diminished Jeter is a 25-30 point improvement in SS wRC+.

            Diminished Johnson is a 15-20 point improvement in 3B wRC+.

            Diminished Beltran is a 52 point improvement in RF wRC+.

            Diminished Soriano is a 20 point improvement in LF wRC+.

            It’s just an absurd improvement from last year.

            I really, really believe that the Yankees will be at least league average offensively this year, with potential for more. That’s a 10 WAR difference from what they were last year.

            • sevrox

              Nice! Thanks for this.

            • Need Pitching & Hitting

              fwiw, they finished 52 runs below AL average last year.
              Getting just to average would only add about 5 wins, to a team that should have been about a 78-79 win team last year, in need of probably at least a 13 win upgrade to be a playoff team.

              I would expect the current roster to be above average in run production though, and I think a 100-run increase to get in that extra 10 win range from the offense is a possibility. (An extra 100 runs last year would have ranked them 4th in the AL. That seems possible with this group, depending on health)

              • OB/GYN Kenobi

                I’ve been saying this team looks like 85-87, maybe 88 wins all along, and that’s with mostly all going right. For exactly the reasons you outline.

                • lightSABR

                  That’s what I’ve been expecting, but Sabathia, Nova, and Pineda are all outperforming my expectations so far. And Roberts, actually, and Betances. A few weeks ago, I would have said that 90 wins would be nearly impossible with this infield, but now I think it might just happen.

                  Or maybe I’m just overly optimistic because it’s spring training. But regardless, I’m excited.

                • Cool Lester Smooth

                  Yeah, I think we’re an 88 win team on true talent, but over a season we might be 5 wins better or 5 wins worse.

              • Cool Lester Smooth

                Being a league average offense isn’t the same thing as being league average in runs scored.

                An average offense in YSIII will score far, far more runs than a league average offense in PetCo.

            • Cheval Anonyme

              Could you show a little more of how you got that result? How much did the loss of Cano affect the total?

              • Cool Lester Smooth

                I took the team wRC+ for each position on Fangraphs and compared it to the “floor” wRC+ of each player.

                The loss of Cano is only factored in by taking our total team offense from last year and comparing it to us having 0 offensive runs this year, because his numbers are included in last year’s total team offense.

            • Lukaszek

              Nice job on this bro

              • Cool Lester Smooth

                Thanks man.

      • nycsportzfan

        Any way we go into the regular season, I think will be top of league goood. This rosters loaded.

        • Wheels

          fuckin A

  • forensic

    I didn’t get to watch the game yet, but the box score says 4-0, not 6-0.

    Glad it’s just scheduling with Nova, I sometimes get concerned when starters are listed in the header on a day they didn’t start.

    Looks like a nice smooth game. Another 100 or so of these would make for a pretty enjoyable season. :-)

    I didn’t realize that about the DL timing (I knew about the limit on back-dating, not that they could only start putting them on now). Guess maybe that explains why Harvey still isn’t on my fantasy team DL yet (though he’d be 60-day instead of 15-day).

    Last, but not least, real baseball starts in less than 6 hours!!! It’s not the Yankees, but at least it counts.

    • JGYank

      Are the Dodgers and Dbacks going back to ST after this? I’m assuming they do. Why wouldn’t they schedule the games later when Opening day is here or is at least closer?

      • forensic

        Not sure why it’s so far ahead of OD. I’m sure the 6 hour time difference from the west coast contributed, in that they wanted to give them plenty of time to recover afterwards. They probably also wanted to try to keep it on the weekend so it had to go this far out.

        And yes, they both play some ST games after they return before the rest of the season starts up.

  • forensic

    What a great first round (sorry, I’m just not calling this the second round) of the tournament this has been. Tons of close games, OT’s, and upsets.

    And I think it’s safe to say that right now Coastal Carolina is the most popular team in the basketball world. Hey, #16 over #1 has to happen eventually, might as well be tonight.

    • forensic

      Oh well, guess the huge upset isn’t going to happen. They gave it a good shot though.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    Just how in the world is CC going to go out there and pitch with such diminished stuff without getting killed out there? Send him to Extended Spring Training with Gil, Nardi, and Sergio Mitre until he gets it right.

    This just in: all three said “never mind.”


    • mustang

      And a fastball in the low 90’s.

      “His offspeed stuff was dynamite.”

      NOW “That’s encouraging”

      Like Mike “Dead Moose” Mussina and Andy ” He is done in Sept of 2008″ Pettitte the best pitchers can reinvent themselves and still be effective. Hopefully this is the direction CC is going he might not be as dominant as the old CC, but successful never the less.

      • mustang

        CC YANKESS IN 2017:
        Salary $25,000,000 $25M Vesting Option, $5M Buyout 2017 salary guaranteed if he 1) does not end 2016 on the disabled list with a left shoulder injury, 2) does not spend more than 45 days in 2016 on the disabled list with a left shoulder injury or 3) does not make more than six relief appearances in 2016 because of a left shoulder injury

        Apparently the Yankees are not worry about it for another 2 years i think that a safe bit we will see.

        • mustang

          bet not bit

    • Farewell Mo

      Not a bad outcome today considering the Yankees weren’t really playing to win.

  • Clemson Rob

    Any chance they give Solarte a shot with Ryan going on the DL? Guy has been playing hard and deserves a chance.

    • mustang

      I for one would love to see it, but i’m a sucker for long shots.

    • forensic

      Nunez and Anna are both already on the 40-man, so they have a huge built-in lead for those last two spots.

      I’d be extremely surprised if it was any infielder other than the two of them.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Pretty much.

        This is all just Scott Sizemore giving everyone an early lead anyway in order to not make them look too bad later anyway.

  • Tanuki Tanaka (Formerly Bob Buttons)

    I was surfing the net yesterday and found several Blue Jays writers penned several pieces in a series on veteran presents and leadership.

    Made me laugh.

    Namely parts 9 and 10.
    To be fair the writers were directly hired by Rogers, and a lot of their employees are huge hacks like Buck Martinez, who thinks Ryan Goins can get on base.

  • forensic

    A no rain ‘rain delay’? Good to see Australia is right in line with how US teams handle things.

  • OB/GYN Kenobi

    Happy and relieved by CC’s performance.