Open Thread: March 22nd Camp Notes

The Yankees were three-hit by Matt Harvey and the Mets this afternoon, losing 6-0. CC Sabathia allowed four runs on five hits in 2.2 innings, including three homers. One of the homers was an inside the park job when Jose Pirela crashed into the outfield wall. Sabathia struck out four and was again sitting in the low-90s, which was good to see. I’m not too worried he’s leaving fastballs up after a ten-month layoff. He needs to get that ironed out though, sooner rather than later.

Mark Teixeira, John Ryan Murphy, and Nick Noonan had the three hits, all singles. Chase Headley drew a walk. Teixeira also stole second base for some reason. That seems like an unnecessary risk on March 22nd given his injury issues. Scott Baker allowed one hit across 4.1 scoreless innings and Chasen Shreve allowed two runs on three hits in 0.2 innings. One of the two runs came on Eric Campbell’s solo homer. Campbell’s a righty hitter. Here’s the box score, here are the video highlights, and here’s the rest from Tampa:

  • While the Yankees were on Florida’s east coast, Alex Rodriguez and Carlos Beltran were back in Tampa getting at-bats in minor league camp. A-Rod went 2-for-5 and Beltran went 2-for-4 with a walk, if you’re interested. Masahiro Tanaka, Dellin Betances, Adam Warren, and Chase Whitley were among the guys scheduled to throw bullpen sessions. [Bryan Hoch, Brendan Kuty]
  • Betances will pitch Tuesday and Wednesday, his first set of back-to-back games this spring. Joe Girardi continues to decline to name a closer, meanwhile. “It’s kind of on the backburner for us,” he when asked about a timetable to name a ninth inning guy. [Hoch, Chad Jennings]
  • And finally, Brett Gardner was offered Derek Jeter‘s old locker since he is the longest tenured homegrown Yankee. “I told (equipment manager Rob Cucuzza) I thought he should leave it vacant. But he said he can’t leave it vacant forever, obviously,” said Gardner. What does Girardi think about someone taking Jeter’s spot so soon? “It’s a locker.” Yup. [Ken Davidoff]

This is your open thread for the evening. If you want to see Sabathia’s outing for yourself, this afternoon’s game will be replayed on YES at 7pm ET and both SNY and MLB Network at 8pm ET. The Knicks are playing right now, the (hockey) Rangers players play a little later tonight, and there’s a whole bunch of college hoops on as well. You folks know what to do with these threads by now, so have at it.

Spring Training Game Thread: Meet the Mets

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

The Yankees will be on the east coast of Florida for their next two games, including this afternoon’s match with the Mets in Port St. Lucie. It’s a brand name pitching matchup too: CC Sabathia vs. Matt Harvey. Surely Sabathia is pumped to Harvey, right? “Not really. He’s not on my team. I’m curious to see how Tanaka looks. That’s my guy,” he said to Chad Jennings. Right answer!

Today’s reason to watch: Sabathia vs. Harvey! But mostly Sabathia, who is making his second official spring start and is probably slated to throw three innings and 45 pitches or so. His first Grapefruit League start was a mixed bag — his first inning was excellent, his second not so much — and he said his changeup in particular was not cooperating. So let’s see if Sabathia irons that out this afternoon.

The Mets are playing all of their regulars this afternoon other than Daniel Murphy, who is nursing a hamstring injury. It’ll be a nice test for Sabathia by mid-March standards. Here’s the Mets’ lineup card and here is Joe Girardi‘s starting nine:

  1. SS Didi Gregorius
  2. 2B Stephen Drew
  3. 3B Chase Headley
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. RF Garrett Jones
  6. C John Ryan Murphy
  7. DH Brendan Ryan
  8. CF Jose Pirela
  9. LF Ramon Flores
    LHP CC Sabathia

Available Position Players: C Austin Romine, 1B Francisco Arcia, 2B Rob Refsnyder, SS Nick Noonan, 3B Cole Figueroa, LF Jonathan Galvez, CF Slade Heathcott, RF Aaron Judge, and DH Kyle Higashioka will be the second string off the bench. C Eddy Rodriguez, IF Dan Fiorito, and 1B/OF Tyler Austin drew the short straws and had to make the four-hour bus trip to be the extra players.

Available Pitchers: RHP Scott Baker, RHP Jose Ramirez, LHP Chasen Shreve, and RHP Chris Martin are scheduled to follow Sabathia. RHP Nick Rumbelow, LHP Jacob Lindgren, RHP Nick Goody, LHP Tyler Webb, and RHP Danny Burawa are the extra arms.

The weather is nice in Port St. Lucie this afternoon. Mostly sunny with temperatures in the mid-to-high-80s but not oppressive humidity. This afternoon’s game is scheduled to begin at 1:10pm ET and can be seen on both YES and SNY locally as well as MLB.tv nationally. There’s no local blackout for MLB.tv. Enjoy the game, folks.

Open Thread: March 21st Camp Notes

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Thanks to a three-run rally in the bottom of the ninth, the Yankees walked off with a 3-2 win over the Astros this afternoon. Eddy Rodriguez doubled in two runs to tie the game and Jake Cave sealed the win with a sacrifice fly. Carlos Beltran went 1-for-3, Mark Teixeira went 2-for-3, and both Brian McCann and Didi Gregorius went 1-for-2. Brett Gardner, Chase Headley, Chris Young, and Stephen Drew were all hitless.

Michael Pineda started and allowed two runs on four hits in 3.2 innings. Both runs and three of the four hits came in the first inning. Pineda struck out six. Justin Wilson (1.1 innings), Andrew Miller (one inning), and Andrew Bailey (one inning) each struck out two and did not allow a run. Jacob Lindgren fanned one and allowed a hit in his scoreless inning. The bullpen allowed one hit, one walk, and struck out eight in 5.1 innings. Here’s the box score — the game wasn’t on television so are no video highlights available — and here’s the rest from Tampa:

  • Jose Ramirez was optioned to Triple-A, the Yankees announced. He’s officially out of the running for a bullpen spot. By my unofficial count, there are still 47 players in big league camp.
  • Bryan Mitchell and Masahiro Tanaka are starting Monday and Wednesday, respectively. Nathan Eovaldi, Esmil Rogers, and Mitchell were among the pitchers to throw bullpen sessions. [Sweeny Murti, Brendan Kuty, Chad Jennings]
  • The next two games are on Florida’s east coast, so the minor leaguers making the trip will play both games and stay in a hotel rather than ride the bus back and forth to Tampa. [Jennings]

This is your open thread for the evening. All the local hockey and basketball teams are in action except the Knicks. MLB Network is replaying some games tonight (not the Yankees) and of course there’s March Madness as well. Talk about whatever.

Open Thread: March 20th Camp Notes

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

The Yankees wrecked the Tigers this afternoon, beating them 11-2 thanks to a six-run first inning against Alfredo Simon in Lakeland. Alex Rodriguez (solo) and Rob Refsnyder (two-run) both went deep while Brett Gardner, Jonathan Galvez, and Slade Heathcott tripled. Brendan Ryan went 1-for-3 with a double in his Grapefruit League debut after dealing with a back problem for a few weeks. Brian McCann also went 1-for-2 with a walk.

Adam Warren started and took a firm hold on the fifth starter’s spot with five innings of one-run ball, striking out three and scattering four hits. Chase Whitley threw three scoreless innings out of the bullpen and is a long shot for the fifth starter’s job, but we shouldn’t forget about him either. One more pitching injury thrusts him into a more prominent role. There are no video highlights of this afternoon’s game because there was no broadcast, but here’s the box score and here are the rest of the day’s notes from Tampa:

  • The Yankees announced another round of roster cuts today: Tyler Austin, Danny Burawa, and Jose DePaula were all optioned to Triple-A while Mason Williams was optioned to Double-A. Wilking Rodriguez was reassigned to minor league camp as well. There are still 48 players in big league camp by my unofficial count.
  • Dellin Betances threw a simulated game this afternoon. His last two Grapefruit League outings were shaky and a simulated game better allows him to work with coaches and tweak his mechanics than a regular game. Ivan Nova, Jose Ramirez, and Vicente Campos threw bullpens today. [Brendan Kuty, Chad Jennings]
  • Joe Girardi remains non-committal about his Opening Day starter. Both CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka line up to pitch that day — Sabathia if he stays on a regular five-day schedule for the rest of spring, Tanaka if he stays on a six-day schedule as planned — and Girardi says they’ve yet to make a decision “because we haven’t got them built up enough to feel comfortable that they’re ready to go.” [Bryan Hoch, Jennings]
  • Jacoby Ellsbury (oblique) told reporters yesterday he feels better and is “fully confident” he will be ready in time for Opening Day. The Yankees say they won’t worry unless he isn’t ready to return to game action by April 1st, five days before the start of the season. [Bryan Hoch]
  • The Yankees will be on Florida’s east coast the next two days, so A-Rod and Carlos Beltran will stay behind in Tampa and get a bunch of at-bats in minor league games. Alex is coming off his suspension and Beltran is coming back from offseason elbow surgery. [Mark Didtler]
  • Ty Hensley was among those to pitch in minor league camp today, which is great news. He was viciously attacked over the holidays and had his jaw wired shut, but he’s recovered well enough to return to game action. Great news. [Josh Norris]

Here is your open thread for the evening. MLB Network is showing the Reds and Giants live later tonight, if you’re desperate to see some baseball. The Devils, Knicks, and Nets are all playing and you’ve got a full slate of March Madness to watch as well. Have at it.

Update: Apparently there is one video highlight from today’s game. Here’s A-Rod’s homer:

Spring Training Game Thread: Fifth Starter Competition Continues

(Presswire)
Rogers. (Presswire)

With Chris Capuano out of action for a few weeks, the Yankees are holding a competition for the fifth starter’s spot, a competition Joe Girardi said more or less begins in earnest this week. “The competition’s on now, in a sense,” said the skipper to Chad Jennings last night. “These guys are competing for jobs. Even if they felt it before, this is when we’re really going to start playing attention.”

Fifth starter candidate Esmil Rogers is on the bump tonight — fellow fifth starter candidate Adam Warren starts tomorrow — and he’s pitched well so far in camp, striking out six and walking none in five scoreless innings. He’s made some mechanical changes at the behest of pitching coach Larry Rothschild (he doesn’t bring his hands over his head anymore) and supposedly his control has been good this spring. We’ll see.

Tonight’s reason to watch: Rogers, if only because he’s a serious candidate for the rotation at the moment. Jose Pirela is also scheduled to come off the bench to play center field tonight after starting in left field last night. He’s played both positions before in the minors, but Girardi & Co. want to see Pirela out there for themselves. He might work his way onto the bench at some point. If not Opening Day, then later in the season.

The Phillies are visiting from Clearwater and brought most of their regulars. Here’s their lineup card and here is Girardi’s starting lineup:

  1. SS Didi Gregorius
  2. 2B Stephen Drew
  3. RF Carlos Beltran
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. 3B Chase Headley
  6. DH Alex Rodriguez
  7. C Austin Romine
  8. LF Ramon Flores
  9. CF Slade Heathcott
    RHP Esmil Rogers

Available Position Players: C John Ryan Murphy, 1B Francisco Arcia, 2B Rob Refsnyder, SS Nick Noonan, 3B Cole Figueroa, LF Jonathan Galvez, CF Jose Pirela, and RF Tyler Austin will be the second string off the bench. C Kyle Higashioka, C Eddy Rodriguez, IF Ali Castillo, and OF Mason Williams are the extra players.

Available Pitchers: RHP David Carpenter and LHP Chasen Shreve are the only pitchers scheduled to follow Rogers. RHP Chris Martin, RHP Danny Burawa, RHP Cesar Vargas, RHP Nick Goody, LHP Jacob Lindgren, LHP Fred Lewis, and LHP Tyler Webb are the extra arms. I’m sure a few of them will get in the game as well.

It’s warm and a bit humid in Tampa this evening, but there’s no rain in the forecast. Tonight’s game will begin at 7:05pm ET, and you can watch on YES locally and both ESPN and MLB.tv nationally. MLB.tv will not be blacked out in the Yankees’ home market but I’m not sure about ESPN. Enjoy the game.

March 19th Camp Notes: Eovaldi, Ryan, Burton, DePaula

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

The Phillies are traveling over from Clearwater to play the Yankees in Tampa tonight. The game is scheduled to begin a bit after 7pm ET, so the regular game thread will be along a little closer to game time. Until then, here is a recap of the day’s news and notes from Spring Training.

  • Nathan Eovaldi threw a simulated game afternoon. I’m not sure how many innings or anything like that, though I would guess it was four or five innings or so. Esmil Rogers is starting tonight and he’s competing for a rotation spot. Eovaldi isn’t, hence the simulated game to get work in. CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda, Andrew Miller, Justin Wilson, and Bryan Mitchell were among those to throw bullpen sessions. [Chad Jennings, Brendan Kuty]
  • Brendan Ryan (mid-back sprain) is on the travel roster for tomorrow afternoon’s game against the Tigers in Lakeland. He’ll be making his Grapefruit League debut after dealing with that back problem the last few weeks. Girardi made it clear Ryan will be the team’s backup infield if healthy, unsurprisingly. [Hoch, Jennings]
  • Jared Burton has a strained lat and is heading for an MRI. He’s in camp on a minor league contract and the Yankees have to pay him a $100,000 bonus to send him to the minors. If the injury is serious and a long-term thing, they might release him rather than pay the bonus. [Bryan Hoch]
  • Jose DePaula got good news from today’s MRI on his left shoulder. I have no idea what exactly that news is, but he feels good and the tests showed no significant injury. [Kuty]

Also, tonight’s game is your last chance to see the Yankees for a while. There will be no video broadcast for either Friday’s game or Saturday’s game. No YES, no MLB.tv, nothing. Next time we’ll see the Yankees after tonight is Sunday, when CC Sabathia faces Matt Harvey in Port St. Lucie.

The quietly important David Carpenter is opening eyes this spring, apparently

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

As the Yankees overhauled their bullpen this past offseason, they focused on adding power left-handed relievers, specifically guys who can get both righties and lefties out. Andrew Miller and Justin Wilson have both done that at the MLB level and Chasen Shreve projects to be that type of pitcher as well. Handedness doesn’t really matter if you have no platoon split, but quality lefties are harder to find than quality righties, so they’re good to have.

In addition to those lefties, the Yankees added one bonafide big league right-handed reliever in David Carpenter, who came over from the Braves with Shreve in the Manny Banuelos trade. Carpenter spent the last two years setting up Craig Kimbrel and he’ll slot into a similar setup role with the Yankees, basically replacing Shawn Kelley. That’s fitting because they’re both fastball/slider pitchers with fly ball tendencies, though Carpenter is slightly younger and cheaper (and under control two extra years).

According to Buster Olney, scouts have been impressed by the 29-year-old Carpenter in the early going this spring. He expanded on that ever so slightly in his Insider-only blog yesterday:

Evaluators have been greatly impressed with the spring showing of Yankees reliever David Carpenter, who has been working to add a splitter to his power stuff in his first season with New York. Carpenter mentioned in conversation how good it is to be teaming up again with catcher Brian McCann, who caught Carpenter when both were with the Braves during Carpenter’s impressive 2013 season.

Carpenter has only made four appearances this spring, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks in four innings, striking out three. His first two outings were very good, the last two were kinda duds. Whatever. Results don’t really mean much in March. Someone, somewhere was impressed by Carpenter according to Olney. That’s sort of cool but spring is always full of “this random guy looks great” stories.

Regardless of how he’s looked this spring, Carpenter is filling an important role with the Yankees as the No. 2 right-handed reliever behind Dellin Betances. Pretty quietly too. Carpenter hasn’t gotten as much press as Miller, Shreve, Jacob Lindgren, or pretty much every reliever in camp so far this spring. I guess that makes sense — Miller was a big free agent pickup, Shreve is trying to make the team, and Lindgren was the team’s top draft pick this year.

Carpenter had a 1.78 ERA in 2013 and a 3.54 ERA in 2014, but his peripherals were very close those two seasons: 28.9 and 25.9 K%, 7.8 and 6.2 BB%, 38.2 and 37.6 GB%, 0.69 and 0.74 HR/9, and 2.83 and 2.94 FIP. There’s a little of the normal year to year fluctuation in there but for the most part his 2013 performance was in line with his 2014 performance aside from the whole runs allowed thing. More importantly, look at Carpenter’s platoon splits across 2013-14.

IP wOBA FIP K% BB% GB% HR/FB%
vs. RHP 72.1 .265 2.52 28.0% 5.4% 37.7% 7.2%
vs. LHP 54.1 .284 3.37 26.6% 9.2% 38.2% 8.8%

Like most relievers, especially fastball/slider guys, Carpenter is less effective against hitters of the opposite hand. It’s not a huge platoon split, but it’s enough of a split that Joe Girardi will probably opt for Miller or Wilson against a tough lefty in a big situation in the late innings of a close games.

The new splitter could be a difference-maker for Carpenter, however. It could better allow him to combat left-handed hitters and become an even greater weapon late in the ballgame. And maybe the pitch is something McCann can help him develop. Carpenter has said he greatly enjoyed throwing to McCann while with the Braves and perhaps he’s more comfortable using the splitter in meaningful games with his old friend behind the plate. It’s one thing to toy with it in Spring Training, it’s another to use it in the seventh inning of a one-run game in the regular season.

Either way, splitter or no splitter, Carpenter has the tools to be an effective late-inning reliever. He’s done it the last two years and he’ll be expected to do it again in 2015. If he can develop that splitter a little bit — it doesn’t need to be a great pitch, just something to put in the back of a left-handed hitter’s mind to keep him off the fastball and slider — Carpenter would become even more of a weapon for Girardi. For now, he’s the No. 2 righty behind Betances, and that itself is a pretty significant role.