Archive for Asides
In his first Grapefruit League game in nearly two years, Michael Pineda struck out four and allowed a single in two scoreless innings of work against the Tigers on Friday night. The four hitters he struck out were Austin Jackson, Danny Worth, Rajai Davis, and Miguel Cabrera. Three legit big leaguers, including the best hitter on the planet. Not bad. Twenty-one of his 27 pitches were strikes.
According to Joel Sherman, Pineda’s fastball was clocked mostly in the 90-92 mph range with one 93. His slider was 80-82 mph. Not bad velocity following shoulder surgery but obviously not where he was sitting during his All-Star rookie season in 2011. “If I’m the Yankees, I’m pleased. Enough velocity. Sharp with slider and location. Appeared confident and aggressive,” said a scout to Sherman. So far, so good. Pineda’s next start will be Thursday’s game, which will air on YES and MLB.tv.
Yogi Berra’s wife Carmen has passed away due to complications from a stroke suffered earlier this year, reports the Daily News. She was 85. The two celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on January 26th. “She died peacefully — she went the way she would have wanted to. We’re grateful that she and dad were able to spend some good time together (Thursday),” said Larry Berra, their son.
Carmen and Yogi met in St. Louis in the 1940s, at a restaurant where she worked as a waitress. Yogi was a minor leaguer and had just returned from serving in World War II at the time. Carmen played a big role in the operation of the Yogi Berra Museum in New Jersey, primarily working with donors and fund-raising events. Our condolences go out to Yogi, his family, and friends.
I skipped last week’s chat, so there should be plenty to talk about today. Spring Training, Masahiro Tanaka‘s two outings, the unstoppable Yangervis Solarte, you name it. Chat starts at 12:30pm ET today, so an hour earlier than usual. See you then.
Via the AP: Orlando Hernandez has joined the Yankees as a Spring Training minor league pitching instructor. The 48-year-old retired in 2011 and last pitched in the big leagues in 2007. This will be El Duque’s first coaching gig as far as I can tell and he’s slated to remain in Tampa for several weeks. Since he’s working with minor leaguers, I wonder if Hernandez will stick around for all or part of Extended Spring Training as well.
When Baseball America released their annual top 100 prospects list last month, the Yankees only had two representatives, and one (RHP Masahiro Tanaka) isn’t really a prospect. C Gary Sanchez was the only true prospect to make the list but he was far from the only Yankees’ farmhand to receive consideration. In fact, nine others were within shouting distance of the top 100.
J.J. Cooper published the top 100 also-rans list today, meaning the players who appeared on the personal top 150 prospects lists of the various editors but not the final top 100. The nine Yankees: OF Aaron Judge (one vote, peaked at #150), 3B Eric Jagielo (four, 131), 2B Gosuke Katoh (one, 147), 1B Greg Bird (one, 97), LHP Ian Clarkin (one, 135), C John Ryan Murphy (two, 122), RHP Luis Severino (one, 150), OF Mason Williams (six, 90), and OF Slade Heathcott (six, 89). Seems like Williams and Heathcott were the closest to the top 100, understandably so.
Via Wally Matthews: Ichiro Suzuki wants to play “many” more seasons after 2014. “Retirement from baseball is something I haven’t even thought about,” he said. “[I want to play] not just a few [more years]. Many. For me, I feel there’s no reason for me to retire right now.”
Ichiro, 40, has already been pushed into a fifth outfielder role and his last three years have not been good at all (80 wRC+ in 1,939 PA). He is only 258 hits away from 3,000 though, so he’ll need to hang around through at least 2015 to get to the milestone. Ichiro’s contract is up after the season and it’s hard to see the Yankees bringing him back, so he’ll have to hope another team picks him up next winter.
Baseball Prospectus published their top 25 and under talent rankings earlier today, and the list is free for everyone. You don’t need a subscription. The Cardinals and their bevy of youngsters sit atop the list while the Nationals and Braves round out the top three. No surprises there; those clubs have some seriously great players and prospects on the right side of 25.
The Yankees rank 28th, better than only the Phillies and Brewers. New York actually ranked 30th in the initial post, which accidentally omitted Masahiro Tanaka. The team moved up two spots when he was added to the revised version. Tanaka is the only player age 25 or younger who is a lock to be on the active big league roster this season, with Michael Pineda the only other strong possibility. The Yankees are an old team, this isn’t a secret, and the rankings reflect that.
The Yankees are in Dunedin to play the Blue Jays at 1pm ET this afternoon, though the game will not be broadcast locally on YES or nationally on MLB Network. It is available on MLB.tv only. (MLBN will re-air it on a tape delay at 8pm ET.) Here is the starting lineup and available players. Fifth starter candidate Vidal Nuno is on the bump. Talk about the game here if you’re watching.
FOX released their 2014 broadcast schedule on Thursday and the Yankees will be featured at least eleven times this season, thrice on FOX and eight times on the new FOX Sports 1 channel. Some late September dates are still TBA. Maury Brown has the full schedule, if you’re curious.
More important that the broadcast schedule are the new blackout rules. MLB Extra Innings and MLB.tv subscribers will now be able to watch most out-of-market Saturday FOX games, though there are still a few restrictions based on local broadcasting rights. In the past you were stuck with whatever game was showing on television, so this is a very welcome change. Very good news for you out of town fans.
No surprise here, but Mariano Rivera told Anthony Rieber there is “no chance” he will pitch when the Yankees play a pair of exhibition games in his native Panama next month. Mo will be there as a promoter and to do charity work, but not play. Not gonna lie, it would have been neat to see him on the mound one more time, even in a meaningless game.
The Yankees and Marlins will play two games at Rod Carew Stadium in Panama City on March 15th and 16th. Those will be split squad games — the Yankees have regular Grapefruit League games scheduled for those two days as well.