Open Thread: 3/2 Camp Notes


The totally meaningless Grapefruit League winning streak is up to three games. The Yankees walloped the Blue Jays by the score of 8-2 on Sunday afternoon thanks to homers by Carlos Beltran (solo), Eduardo Nunez (two-run) and John Ryan Murphy (three-run). Nunez and Beltran went back-to-back. Dean Anna also drove in a run with a single.

The box score for today’s game is right here. Vidal Nuno allowed a solo homer to Jose Bautista in two otherwise uneventful innings, striking out three. Bryan Mitchell struck out three in his two scoreless frames and Shane Greene allowed a run in his two innings of work. Bullpen candidate Matt Daley struck out a pair in a perfect ninth inning. Yangervis Solarte went 2-for-2 and is up .857/.875/1.714 so far this spring. Here’s the rest of the news from Tampa.

  • There was a small fire in the clubhouse after the game (the Yankees were on the road in Dunedin). The clubhouse filled with smoke but the players were never told to evacuate. It wound up being no big deal. [Dan Barbarisi]
  • The upcoming rotation: Ivan Nova (Monday), David Phelps (Tuesday), Adam Warren (Wednesday), Masahiro Tanaka (Thursday), and Hiroki Kuroda (Friday). CC Sabathia will throw a simulated game on Thursday. [Meredith Marakovits]
  • Michael Pineda threw a simulated game this morning and everything went well. He will make his spring debut in relief of Kuroda on Friday. Mark Teixeira, meanwhile, will play in his first spring game either Thursday or Friday. [Marakovits, Bryan Hoch]
  • Alfonso Soriano (flu) is feeling better but still days from playing in a game. Scott Sizemore (knee) went through sliding drills and hopes to play in a game next week. Nik Turley (arm tightness) will play catch tomorrow. Bullpen sleeper David Herndon (Tommy John surgery) threw a simulated game. [Chad Jennings]

This is your nightly open thread. MLB Network is showing this afternoon’s game on a tape delay at 8pm ET, if you’re interested. The (hockey) Rangers are playing as well. Talk about those games or anything else right here. Enjoy.


  1. Michael says:

    I know they are showcasing the catchers, but I’d let Cervelli go before Murphy. The question would be if they could get something worthwhile for Cervelli, if it comes to that. Ideally, keep all of them, and let next year or injury sort it out.

    • Preston says:

      Cervelli is out of minor league options though. So if he doesn’t give you the best chance to win as the back up catcher than he’s got to go. I wouldn’t give up John Ryan unless we’re getting something really good in return. But the problem is where do they all get ABs. I mean Murphy needs to start every day at AAA and how is Romine or Cervelli going to get better, or improve their trade value by being the BUC in AAA. Can’t move them down to AA to start because Sanchez getting ABs down there is far more important (and they’ll need to squeeze in ABs for Peter O’Brien as well). I think we know that Romine/Cervelli’s upside is limited enough that I wouldn’t be to sad about parting with either of them. Even if we just got back an interesting AAA reliever.

      • lightSABR says:

        Really? I think we could do better for Cervelli than an interesting AAA reliever. Probably not Romine, though, at least not now.

      • RetroRob says:

        I think we have a good indication of what Cervelli is. I don’t think we have a clear idea what Romine is yet. He was on the top 100 prospect list for all of MLB and then he had a lost year due to injury, and then he really had a lost year in 2013 when he was called into action on the MLB team because of Cervelli’s injury, but then he sat for long stretches and was never really had a chance to play regularly in AAA. Tall order.

        The general assumption is that the man formerly known as J.R. Murphy is the better prospect. That certainly seems the case now. Yet can’t be too sure of that.

        I think Romine would be better served playing more regularly in the minors. 2/3rd split between Murphy and Romine at catcher, and then lots of ABs perhaps at catcher so they are both playing regularly. Although as I write that I do see a problem. If one gets injured catching while the other is DHing, they’d have to slide the DH in at catcher, losing the DH for the game. Yet it’s AAA. They can take that risk more.

        Let’s see what Romine is before giving him up for an interesting AAA reliever.

        • RetroRob says:

          “lots of ABs at DH” when the other is catching. Murphy would have the heavier playing time in the 2/3 split.

      • Cool Lester Smooth says:

        Who cares whether Romine gets better, though? Murphy has a future.

        • forensic says:

          But if Romine gets better he still doesn’t have a future?

        • Preston says:

          If the Yankees still believe in Romine then he needs to play. If they don’t believe in him they need to trade him because spending a year as a BUC in AAA isn’t going to improve his value.

  2. dkidd says:

    can’t wait for pineda

    please no setbacks before friday…

    • forensic says:

      It’s too bad that game isn’t on TV anywhere. Between that and the sim game to start his spring, I actually kind of get the feeling they’re trying to keep him as ‘hidden’ as possible from fans, the media (somewhat), and analysis.

      • CS Yankee says:

        and from radar guns, bars, and Cashman calling him fat.

        Hope the big guy goes beast-mode and wins the 5th spot easily. I would think they should like Kuroda start the season as he has proven he is better than the big lefty.

        would like to see;
        1) Hiro
        2) CC
        3) Tanaka
        4) Nova
        5) Pineda

        Nuno being the first callup with Phelps and Warren pulling the long relief.

        • forensic says:

          The radar guns was one of the big ones that I was just including as part of the analysis (and the other stuff).

        • Preston says:

          CC is getting the ball on day one no matter what.

          • forensic says:

            I agree. And NCS is possibly also right on them splitting up Kuroda and Tanaka. The only unfortunate thing about that, not that it matters much, is that Tanaka then wouldn’t face the Red Sox in their 4-game series in the middle of April (though it would build an extra day of rest into his schedule, which they’d probably also like, before he faces the Cubs after the first off day of the season).

            • vicki says:

              with no days off for the first two weeks of the season the number three starter not only takes the ball against the sox in early april, but does so for the sunday night espn game. it pleases me to believe tanaka wants to be that guy.

        • NCS says:

          Sounds like they’re committed to keeping CC in the one-spot, and Girardi seems on board with the idea that the two Japanese pitchers should be split up, so I bet it’s going to be Nova 3rd and Tanaka 4th.

          • RetroRob says:

            Yup, and that’s fine. The whole order is not that important beyond splitting up Kuroda and Tanaka, but CC does still deserve the respect of being the opening day starter. If he repeats 2013, then he can slip down.

  3. CS Yankee says:

    Don’t recall hearing about Solarte, well ever?

    Is he a waiver pickup, an Itn’l signing, a non-prospect, or what? They must think something of him to be in ST and must not think of anything about Musty.

    What level will he start the year in, AAA?

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      MiLB depth signing. One of those guys where the signing gets crapped on when it happens, then everyone thinks he’s the second coming a few months later.

      I’d love to see a few of these guys wind up being real diamonds in the rough.

      • lightSABR says:

        Me, too, but I’m not expecting it in this case. The guy’s been in the minors for seven seasons, only three of which have been above-average offensively (2007, 2010, and 2011)–though to be fair, it looks like he spent lots of 2008 and 2009 injured. His performance the last two years has been about 91 wRC+ over 1100 PA in the hitter-friendly PCL, which is a plenty large sample size for demonstrating mediocrity.

        I’m loving cheering for the guy right now, but his track record’s long enough that he’s going to have to perform during the actual season before I take him seriously.

        • Preston says:

          If he could put up that 91 wRC+ for us he’d provide more offense than we got from 1b, SS, 3b, C, LF, RF, and DH.

          • lightSABR says:

            Of course. A guy who can play SS or 2B and put up 91 wRC+ in the big leagues is a very valuable player. But he didn’t hit 91 wRC+ in the big leagues. He did it in the PCL. And he’s turning 27 this season – that’s a bit late to suddenly figure out how to use the bat.

            Not that it’s impossible. And I’d certainly love watching it happen.

            • lightSABR says:

              Okay, one more concession. He’s just two seasons removed from an impressive 130 wRC+ in 497 AA plate appearances with the Twins, and he was good the season before that, too. So there’s probably talent there. But if so, why did it vanish the last two years, in a league where Dean Anna hit 140 wRC+?

              • lightSABR says:

                I realize I’m having a conversation with myself at this point, but how about this for weird?

                2013 PCL performance:

                Dean Anna, 140 wRC+
                Yangervis Solarte, 89 wRC+

                Projected 2014 MLB performance (Steamer/Oliver/ZIPS):

                Dean Anna, 99/88/86 wRC+
                Yangervis Solarte, 82/78/83 wRC+

                That is not a big difference compared to the difference between their performance levels in the PCL – especially not for ZIPS (86 v. 83). I wonder what models these guys use to project the possible MLB performance of minor leaguers.

            • Cheval Anonyme says:

              27 doesn’t seem at all late to “figure out how to use the bat”. That seems pretty typical to me, actually.

              • Cheval Anonyme says:

                Just for comparison, Jurickson Profar and Solarte played on the same club last year. Jurky’s line was .278/.370/.438. Solarte was .276/.323/.403. I’m not trying to equate them, just establishing a reference for Solarte vs. last year’s #1 prospect. He has not been a terrible hitter.

                • vicki says:

                  you can’t dismiss the fact that profar just turned twenty-one.

                • Preston says:

                  First, those lines are greatly different, one is 17% above league average, the other is 11% below average. Second, age vs. level matters. Putting up that line at 20 means your team trades away an all-star to make room for you. Putting up that line at 26 means you get released. Doesn’t mean that he can’t be the outlier who puts it together late. But the probability isn’t high.

              • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

                Look at the waiver wire and how many guys at that age are getting picked up on MiLBs by other teams. 25-27 is the age where you either made it with the team you came up with, or you’re cleared out to make room for someone who might.

                Yes, it can be done, but you are far, far more likely to be who you are baseball-wise by that point.

      • RetroRob says:

        That would be great, but I’m pretty sure it’s not Solarte. Eight years in the minors, 26 years old, and a .270/.325/.400 link in the PCL.

        We know what he is…sadly.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

          Of course. I root for all of them to be diamonds in the rough, though. Always.

          • RetroRob says:

            As do I.

            I always try to see something in a player’s background and stats that might indicate he can help. Can’t quite see it Solarte.

            I could, however, see Dean Anna providing value. Maybe not great value, but he seems to have some skills that could translate to the majors.

        • Kevin says:

          Obligatory Jose Bautista mention.

          • vicki says:

            a curious career. but while bats took a couple years to stick in the majors, and got passed around like a bottle of crown; he did hit in the minors, and was a full-timer in the show by age 25.

            maybe yangervis should try a tidy beard.

    • lightSABR says:

      My guess as to why he’s in spring training: he plays 2B, and can apparently cover SS.

  4. Reuben Sierra's Chains says:

    When’s the parade celebrating #28!!! This team wails!!

  5. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    I applaud Girardi’s strategy of having teams not be able to get a good look at Scott Sizemore so early in spring training. It’ll pay dividends when he’s hitting over 1.000 this season.

    • Chip Rodriguez says:

      No sense in letting anyone see Sizemore’s pitching either. Keep him and Pineda hidden as our real aces. (Well, fine, Pineda’s more the #2 starter behind him.)

  6. JRM increasing that trade value!

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      I always thought his value was a bit understated, but it’d definitely increase more if he was seen as an MLB ready catcher with above average potential.

      Other than leading a package for top infield help, and I don’t know who we can pry loose, I’m not sure I’m interested in dealing him anytime soon.

      Hell, I’d rather them put him out there with an infielder’s glove during a split squad game or two and see if there’s anything there. Some positional versatility might be his best friend.

  7. NCS says:

    Does Solarte have an easy-to-pronounce nickname? Yangy?

    He’s a day or two from a large enough sample for the tabloids to call him the Next Big Thing, so I want to be prepared…

  8. hogsmog says:

    I would hate to be Soriano right now, that must be some kinda flu.

    • RetroRob says:

      Sounds like he had the “real” flu.

      People get sick for a day or three during the Wwinter and it’s common to say they had the flu. I used to say that myself. Let me tell you, you will never say that again when you actually get the flu. It will wipe you out for two weeks. I remember walking through NYC one evening about ten years ago recognizing something was seriously wrong, I was collapsing by the minute. I barely made it home, was in bed for five days, and then for the next week after the main illness was gone, I could barely eat, living off soup. It was the flu. I’ve gotten flu shots every year since.

      • Cool Lester Smooth says:

        I got swine flu in high school. It knocked me out for a couple of days, but I bounced back pretty quickly.

        (I had to stay home a full week, though. They were freaking out about that stuff).

        • RetroRob says:

          Swine flu? That was the big fear at one time. Then there was bird flu. Fortunately that never gained traction, at least so far.

          You are correct, though, in that not all flus are created equal. Which ever one I had was nasty. Appears that Soriano has a nasty one, too.

      • Larry Love says:

        Yeah have had real flu about 2 times in my life. It knocks you out for a week. It’s no joke.

  9. SteveP says:

    I think the big news of the day is re: Peralta and the Yankees.. Apparently they offered him “3 years and a promise to play third”…not to read too much into things but this was back in dec before anyone knew what was happening w a-rod

    I’m thinking this might one of the first clearer indication that A-Rod will prob never be playing for the Yankees again…

    • forensic says:

      The tweet I saw from the writer said a ‘chance’ to play third, not a ‘promise’.

      Either way though, I wouldn’t read much into it. The Yankees likely just didn’t believe that the suspension would be overturned.

      I still think there’s a better than 50% chance he’s playing for the Yankees again next year.

      The bigger news is that Ichiro wants to play ‘many’ more years. I still like him, but I have a hard time seeing any teams that would really still employ him for much more than maybe one more season as a good, veteran influence on a young team as a 3rd/4th OFer, at best.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

        I’d imagine Ichiro playing one more season after this…..for Seattle. I’d say that’s be a fitting end.

        • RetroRob says:

          It would be, but I wonder if they could fit him anywhere.

          Looks like Ichiro is from the mold of: You will have to tear the uniform off me.

          The only way I can see him playing in MLB next year is if he takes well to the roll of reserve OFer, puts up okay numbers and remains effective in the OF and on the bases. Then I can see other teams bringing him in. Just feels unlikely.

          I wonder if he’s consider ending his career in Japan? I’m sure he’d love to get to 3,000 hits in MLB, and equally would love to pass by Rose in combined total hits. Meaningless, but I’m sure it has meaning to him.

          • Tanakapalooza Floozy says:

            It’d be interesting to see what kind of line he could put up in Japan at this point.

            Overall though I too found that comment from him pretty shocking. Not sure how he defines ‘many’ but it’s tough to see unless he is incredibly adept at a bench/4th outfielder/veteran presents role.

  10. stuckey says:

    I’m a fierce advocate of Alex Rodriquez never playing another inning as a New York Yankee.

    But couldn’t they have been thinking play him at third for a year, then move him back to SS?

    In other words, I wouldn’t read that much into it.

    • RetroRob says:

      Agreed. I’ve mentioned before that while media members and many fans may have made up their minds that A-Rod won’t play for the Yankees in 2015, I just don’t think the Yankees have given it any serious thought. It’s too far off and they’re focused on the 2014 team.

      As you noted, signing Peralta would give them a RH’d bat who could play 3B this year, perhaps 3B or SS next year, or split time at both.

      • Tanakapalooza Floozy says:

        Agreed. Since we’ll owe him $60mm (or more with HR bonuses) over 3 years I believe they’ll see how he looks in ST in 2015. If he’s totally cooked, maybe they just buy him out to go away. But if he’s serviceable or better I think he plays. $60mm is a lot of dough, even to the brothers Stein.

  11. Found this while clicking around Youtube:

    My first exposure to RAB.

  12. 461deep says:

    Agree that Cervelli brings the most as a catcher offered except Sanchez.Since Romine does not appear to be in the running for back-up catcher he & team should benefit by a trade. Team looked good today with fine pitching & 3 homers. Saturday, CC did okay but time will tell on him. Tananka was good. Like his delivery which is fairly quiet so perhaps less stressful. Kuroda very good. Ichiro will be hard pressed to get 3,000 hits but if regardless of how he does this year, he gets picked-up by another team next year he’ll have a shot because of being close enough to another offer in 2016. What no flu shots for Yankees. Yo Hal, line em up at Rite Aid.

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