Open Thread: 3/1 Camp Notes

GIFs: Masahiro Tanaka's Spring Debut
MLBAM unveils new "player tracker" system
Dean Anna, ladies and gentlemen.
Dean Anna, ladies and gentlemen.

The Yankees won their second straight Grapefruit League game on Saturday afternoon, shutting out the Phillies 4-0. Here’s the box score. The story of the day was Masahiro Tanaka‘s spring debut, and he did not disappoint. Two scoreless innings, two bloop singles, three strikeouts, and about a million cameras clicking with each pitch. Here are select GIFs and here is MLB.com’s brief highlight video. Joe Girardi confirmed Tanaka’s next appearance will be a start, date TBA.

Both CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda fired two scoreless innings and Kuroda appeared to be in midseason form, getting the six outs on only 17 total pitches. He had to go down to the bullpen to get the rest of his throwing in. Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki both singled, Derek Jeter and Kelly Johnson both walked, Brian McCann doubled, and Frankie Cervelli singled and walked. Jeter was actually tested in the field (unlike his first game) and he looked fine, even ranging to the other side of second base to field a slow chopper. Here’s the rest of the day’s news.

  • Tyler Austin received some kind of injection in his troublesome right wrist (it wasn’t cortisone, he says), and he hopes to resuming throwing and swinging a bat on Monday. Apparently tests showed no structural damage. [Chad Jennings]
  • Alfonso Soriano still isn’t 100% following his bout with the flu and he will not make his spring debut tomorrow as scheduled. “We don’t feel he’s quite at full strength, and we don’t want to run him out there,” said Joe Girardi. [George King, Jennings]

Here is your nightly open thread. The Nets are playing and MLB Network will have a Spring Training game on tape delay later tonight. I don’t know who but it won’t be the Yankees. You folks know how these work, so have at it.

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GIFs: Masahiro Tanaka's Spring Debut
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  • TWTR

    I wonder if Austin received PRP?

    • forensic

      Is that one injection and would he be able to play so soon afterward? For some reason I was under the impression that was a bit of a longer process, at least to get the process itself done.

      • TWTR

        I don’t know. It was a guess.

  • dkidd

    that play caused me to go into annaphylactic shock

    boom!

    • vicki

      hiss.

    • Preston

      It’s a little surprising, I hadn’t heard good things about his defense. Looked pretty impressive on that one.

  • Bryan

    Surprised not a mention of CC’s lack of velocity. He was not able to hit 90.

    • forensic

      It’s a touch concerning, only because of what he’s coming off of from last season. But, it’s just his first appearance of the spring. Plenty of time for him to hopefully find a little bit more before it really starts to count again.

    • CashmanNinja

      It was his first appearance of the year. Pitchers are always much, much farther behind than batters right away because pitchers have to build up their arm strength and stamina. Most pitchers don’t go all out in their first few appearances.

      • whitey

        Is this statement for real?

        • jjyank

          Is yours?

          It’s March 1st. His first appearance of the year. I sure hope CC wasn’t going max effort.

          Listen, I think we all need to take a step back and see what he looks like in a couple of weeks. It’s popular to say how little ST stats and performances mean, and I think velocity on the first freaking appearance falls into that category.

    • J

      His breaking stuff looked flat early on too. I hope he rounds into form I really do.

    • BeanTooth

      So, uh, is Vidal Nuno now the harder throwing lefty?

    • random

      Youre surprised? This place was in total denial over Pinedas velo issues in spring training until they finally discovered he was significantly injured.

      I wouldn’t start to worry about cc until he has a few more appearances under his belt. But he needs to regain some of the velocity he lost last year.

      • Hearn

        We are talking about 2 innings. 1st Outing of the Spring. Everyone take a breath and relax.

        • nycsportzfan

          2shutout innings, mind you.

          • Fin

            I think everyone realizes that. However, CC having issues hitting 90, is still concerning. No one is saying he should be sitting at 95, but to not have any concern is putting blinders on. I’m not saying its doom and gloom and that hes done, but it certainly would be nice if he was sitting at a comfortable 91/92.

            • jjyank

              I disagree. I am not in the least bit concerned about CC’s velocity on March 1st. If this is an ongoing issue for a couple of weeks, yes, I will be concerned.

              I think it’s a bit silly to accuse someone of having blinders on based on the first ST appearance on March 1st. Let’s maybe wait until he’s had a couple more appearances to see if this is an actual issue.

    • MB923

      I’m not sure why people think CC’s bad year last year was due to his velocity drop. It dropped just over 1 MPH. King Felix and Cliff Lee saw a bigger drop in their fastballs but still had great years. Why? Their other pitches worked for them. CC’s, Did Not

      CC’s Sabathia’s fastball stats the past 3 season (2011-2013)

      wRC Against His Fastball – 128, 125, 126
      BA against his fastball – .285, .289, .293
      OPS against his fastball – .815/.805/.804

      Now let’s check his changeup stats the past 3 seasons in the same categories

      wRC against his Changeup – 82, 35, 144
      BA against his changeup – .273, .181, .314
      OPS against his changeup – .655, .483, .872

      As you can see, his FB stats have basically been the same the past 3 years. His changeup, on the other hand as you can all see, was crushed last year.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting

        His changeup, on the other hand as you can all see, was crushed last year.

        fwiw, that could be impacted by the drop in fastball velo. Hitters don’t have to gear up as much for his fastball, which would give them more time to adjust to his offspeed offerings.

        Or one could have little to do with the other.

        Also, fwiw, his wFB/c was a career worst last year.

        • MB923

          “fwiw, that could be impacted by the drop in fastball velo.”

          Possibly, but fwiw, King Felix and Cliff Lee saw bigger drops in their fastball velo. Cliff Lee’s FB velo is slower, Felix’s is the same speed.

          • MB923

            To clarify, I meant Cliff Lee’s FB is slower than CC’s (90.4), King Felix’s FB velo was the same speed as CC’s (91.3)

            • Need Pitching & Hitting

              Sure. It’s not that pitchers can’t remain successful with a drop in velocity. Many do, at least to some degree.

              The question is, how successful can CC be at a reduced velocity?

              That remains to be seen.

            • Tanakapalooza Floozy

              I think the point has more to do with the relative differences in pitch speeds between fastball and change up. That one guy lost more speed off his FB than another doesn’t tell us the whole story. If that one guy still had a 13 mph difference in speeds he’d likely (or may) be more effective in this evaluation than the guy who lost less FB speed but was left with say a 7 mph difference.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        You and your facts. Denial! Denial!

        In all seriousness, I’d have preferred it as well if he came out there throwing a bit harder. Like you said, it was more than that last season, though, and making too much out of, like nycsportzphan said, two shutout innings at this point is ignoring context completely. Let’s revisit this later and see where it stands.

    • Dalek Jeter

      I’m not overly concerned at CC’s lack of velocity, I am however slightly concerned about how aloof he is about it “Yankees hurler CC Sabathia wasn’t concerned after his fastball topped out at 88 MPH in his first Spring Training outing, Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News reports. “My fastball is what it is. If it gets better, it will. If it’s not, it won’t,” Sabathia commented.” (mlbtr)

      • And in merrie olde England

        How do you suggest he does anything more than what he has over the offseason? He’s purportedly stronger and obviously leaner than he ever has been for the Yankees. I’d be more concerned if he was out on the ledge after 2 innings.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        That’s the confidence a pitcher with his experience should be exuding.

        Far more preferable than him saying, “yeah, if this doesn’t get better, I wonder if Arby’s is hiring.”

  • dkidd

    is cervelli going to be tanaka’s personal catcher?

    • vicki

      it does seem to be in the air. not that anyone is ever anyone’s personal catcher, right, joe?

      • dkidd

        how did that happen so quickly? did mccann do something wrong in a bullpen session?

        • Need Pitching & Hitting

          Not sure it’s actually happening, but it does make some sense.
          Tanaka has a big transition to make, and Girardi may feel that transition could be aided by having one C devoting the bulk of his preparation time to him.

          • random

            It makes a lot of sense. Brian has a transition of his own learning the rest of the staff plus the back up C has to play sometime.

            • vicki

              only if you assume a level of fragility in tanaka. what makes more sense is a good ol’ straight platoon between the catchers.

          • dkidd

            i hate this idea (if indeed it happens)

            cervelli can play against the occasional tough lefty, otherwise i want mccann in the line-up (i’m scarred from last year)

            • Need Pitching & Hitting

              Given Girardi’s history, I’d say a personal C situation is more likely than a platoon situation.
              Maybe the occasional days McCann gets off without whoever Cervelli’s personal pitcher pitching will be timed to be against a LHP, but I wouldn’t expect much more than that.

              Or maybe the giant gap in talent between McCann and the BUC will prompt Girardi to change his ways.

              • https://twitter.com/missvykki vicki

                speaking of girardi’s history, i did some digging around on a hunch. joe was not pussy toad’s personal catcher on his arrival in 1997, nor el duque’s in 1998.

                but starting in 1996 he sure was coney’s. even in 1998 after he’d been supplanted by jorgie as starter. by 1999 joe’s offense was so pathetic torre had to bust them up, though of course girardi caught the perfecto.

                • Jorge Steinbrenner

                  ….but there are no pasty white guys in the rotation this season.

            • JRod

              You can choose to be as scarred as you want, but it would be fatuous to attribute it to Cervelli, who basically raked in the brief period before he was injured.

  • vicki

    even through a translator tanaka gives good interview.

    today, basically, “yeah, i know it’s my first appearance in a spring training game, but every time i step on the mound i just want to get batters out.”

    he’s fiery.

  • DIrk Diggler

    Can we all agree Anna should already have leapfrogged Nunez on the “depth chart”?

    We’ll see how Sizemore plays but Anna surely caught Girardi’s eye today.

    • BFDeal

      Anna only made that play because his glove had been blessed with sweat from Sizemore’s brow.

      • DIrk Diggler

        Haroogah!

        BFD!

        • Silvio

          TRK!!

    • vicki

      yep, he looked like a monster hitting and stealing on poor jeremy horst, who is returning from elbow problems and fighting (not awfully successfully so far) for the twenty-fifth spot on the roster.

      • DIrk Diggler

        STILL better than below replacement level Nunez…

        • vicki

          that may be, but it would still say more about nuni than about dean anna. as of right now, at least.

    • Preston

      Can we all agree that Anna should probably leapfrog Brian Roberts too?

      • vicki

        still holding out irrational hope for a little pinstripe magic there.

        • Preston

          The pinstripe magic is that Anna is going to be a solid, cost controlled 2b for the next six years.

    • forensic

      Because he made one nice play? Does he then drop back beneath him because he screwed up the routine grounder on the next batter?

      • DIrk Diggler

        No, because Nunez is all kinds of awful and no where near a major league caliber baseball player.

    • stuckey

      So long as we can agree that Yangervis Solarte is now the odds on favorite to start at 2nd base for the AL ALL-STAR team, then sure, the Yankees depth chart has changed since Thursday, why not?

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Just the way Sizemore wants you to think.

        Is that Scott Sizemore right behind you? NO! But it could have been.

        Mind tricks.

  • Preston

    http://www.sbnation.com/lookit.....rgery-scar

    How did I miss this? Also, think he looks better with a beard.

    • Deep Thoughts

      Speaking of beards and surprising tats, this was amusing:

      http://www.quickmeme.com/Phil-Hughes-Sucks

      Of course there are no beards or tats at that link but Phil is now phuzzy and has Fillippians 4:13 on his phorearm.

      • Dalek Jeter

        Wow. Some Yankee fans hated sir Phillip of Hughes with such a venom that it’s almost like they were happy he failed/was failing. I mean, he was not good, but from 2009-2013 he was a “solid starter” and good for 2+fWAR a year. That’s not world beating..but it certianly has value. I wouldn’t have resigned him after his subpar 2013, especially to the contract he got…but I really would not be shocked if he puts up 3-5 fWAR for the Twins in 2014.

        • Deep Thoughts

          Agree 100%. The “Potential” thing made me laugh though.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          This was still hilarious.

    • Tanakapalooza Floozy

      Man. Those pictures paint a pretty dim picture of his progressive conditioning (or lack thereof) over his years with us. He looks a lot better now, like he did in that first Yanks picture.

  • dkidd

    fair to say murphy and romine have zero chance of going north?

    • Deep Thoughts

      Together, no. But I don’t think Cervelli’s ever made it out of a Spring Training completely healthy, and he’s a concussion or two away from being out of baseball.

      Let’s just see what happens with injuries and trades.

      • dkidd

        but what will tanaka do without his personal caddie???

        i need to relax about this…

  • Slu

    Please tell me every article isn’t going to have a gif this season.

  • Rick

    Off to Tampa tomorrow to catch some games. Can’t wait to leave the cold.

    • https://twitter.com/missvykki vicki

      send me your email address!

    • Dalek Jeter

      Hopefully you guys don’t get caught up in this stupid weather that’s supposedly coming back to the NE. Have fun in ST!

  • whitey

    Rick: I’m headed out in two weeks! Enjoy!

  • Deep Thoughts

    Awkward moment at Ms-Angels game in Peoria: Carlos Pena holding on Robinson Cano at first (like Cano is stealing in Spring Training Game #2), both of them looking uncomfortable and a little embarrassed to be meeting outside of the AL East.

    Cano of course nearly gets thrown out at third base after misreading a bloop single to left. He got on with an RBI single up the middle with that sweet swing though. Sigh.

  • Smallz

    Does Dean Anna have options? He’d be a nice little peice to store in AAA considering someone gets hurt (he’s already on the 40 man)

    • forensic

      He has all three options left. The Padres didn’t want to use a 40-man spot for him, so they traded him to the Yankees who did want to use a 40-man spot for him.