Fan Confidence Poll: March 5th, 2012

Record Last Week: 2-0 (15 RS, 9 RA)
Spring Training Record: 2-0 (15 RS, 9 RA)
Opponents This Week: @ Phillies (Mon. on MLBN), @ Pirates (Tues.), vs. Rays (Weds. on YES/MLBN), @ Blue Jays (Thurs.), vs. Braves (Fri. on YES/MLBN), @ Braves (Sat.) vs. Twins (one game, Mon.), vs. Rays (four games, Tues. to Thurs., two on Weds.), vs. Red Sox (three games, Fri. to Sun.), @ Twins (Sun. on MLBN, split squad), vs. Twins (Sun. on YES, split squad)

Top stories from last week:

Please take a second to answer the poll below and give us an idea of how confident you are in the team. You can view the interactive Fan Confidence Graph anytime via the nav bar above, or by clicking here. Thanks in advance for voting.

Given the team's current roster construction, farm system, management, etc., how confident are you in the Yankees' overall future?
View Results

Open Thread: 3/4 Camp Notes

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The Yankees beat the Phillies again today, this time by the score of 7-4. Alex Rodriguez was the star of the day, going 3-for-3 with a homer to right-center off Roy Halladay (video) on the first pitch he saw. He also singled to left and doubled into the left field corner. D.J. Mitchell had a nice day on the mound with two scoreless innings, and Clay Rapada retired all three lefties he faced in his perfect inning (two strikeouts). If jersey numbers mean anything, he has a decent chance of making the team with #39. Mike O’Connor is wearing #63, Cesar Cabral #76. Here’s the box score, and here’s all the other news from Tampa…

  • Both Mariano Rivera and Rafael Soriano will throw live batting practice tomorrow. It’s the first time Mo will face hitters and second time for Soriano. [Chad Jennings]
  • Hiroki Kuroda threw a simulated game this morning in preparation for Wednesday’s start. Ivan Nova, Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, and David Phelps will all throw their normal side sessions tomorrow after appearing in yesterday’s game. Brad Meyers will throw off a mound of the first time as well; he hurt his shoulder lifting weights this offseason and is behind everyone else. [Jennings]
  • Mark Teixeira fouled a ball off his foot earlier this week and has been getting treatment. “No worries, no tests,” said Brian Cashman. Tex did play today and even made a nice jumping grab, so the foot can’t be that bad. [George King]

Here is your open thread for the night. The Nets are playing tonight, plus the Twins and Red Sox are on MLB Network. Talk about whatever you like here, enjoy.

On A-Rod’s new workout program with Dr. Clark

Kobe Bryant urged Alex Rodriguez to undergo an experimental procedure on his knee a few months ago, and now another NBA star is giving him training advice. Joel Sherman wrote about A-Rod‘s relationship with Dr. Mike Clark, who started working together after Grant Hill put the two in touch.

Clark, who is CEO of the National Academy of Sports Medicine and formerly the Phoenix Suns’ physical trainer, has a system of treating the body globally rather than focusing on specific parts. With Alex, his workouts have focused on his right big toe, left ankle, right knee, and right hip, which were causing imbalances in his swing and have led to injuries elsewhere in his body. Think of it like a pitcher with a leg issue who puts more stress on his arm. A-Rod is working with a member of Clark’s staff daily this spring after first adjusting his workouts earlier in the offseason. It’s a pretty interesting read, so check it out. It gets RAB’s highest level of recommendation.

ST Game Thread: Freddy’s Gonna Get Sweaty

Freddy does not approve of your stretching routine. (REUTERS/Steve Nesius)

If he had a chance to do it all over again, chances are Freddy Garcia would not have re-signed with the Yankees so early in the offseason. He pitched well last year and certainly earned his raise, but the Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda acquisitions have pushed him out of the rotation and into a (rigged) competition for the fifth starter’s spot. Today is Sweaty Freddy’s first chance to audition for the job he probably has no chance to win. Here’s the lineup, or at least the guys that will play the first few innings…

SS Derek Jeter
2B Robinson Cano
3B Alex Rodriguez
1B Mark Teixeira
LF Andruw Jones
C Frankie Cervelli
RF Chris Dickerson
CF Dewayne Wise
DH Justin Maxwell

RHP Freddy Garcia

Available Pitchers: RHP D.J. Mitchell, LHP Boone Logan, RHP Cory Wade, LHP Clay Rapada, and RHP Kevin Whelan are all scheduled to pitch. RHP Chase Whitley, LHP Juan Cedeno, RHP Adam Miller, RHP Ryan Pope, and RHP Dan Burawa are available if needed.

Available Position Players: C J.R. Murphy, 1B Jose Gil, 2B David Adams, SS Doug Bernier, 3B Corban Joseph, LF Colin Curtis, CF Melky Mesa, and RF Zoilo Almonte will replace the starters. CoJo hasn’t played third in the regular season since 2010 and just six times since 2009.

Today’s game begins at 1:05pm ET and can be seen on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy.

Mailbag & Poll: Trading A Core Player

(AP Photo/Wally Santana)

Daniel asks: With an eye on the 2014 budget, do you think the Yankees would consider trading a core player (Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson) for a haul of inexpensive, but talented players?

I’m sure they would consider it — it’s Brian Cashman‘s job to consider anything that could potentially improve the team — but it would really, really surprise me if they did something big like that. The Yankees usually aren’t sellers; only when they have an older, expensive player they don’t want or need anymore (A.J. Burnett, Gary Sheffield). I think they would sooner try to win with both guys the next two years and let one of them walk as a free agent for payroll reasons after 2013 than trade one of them after 2012 just to make sure they get some kind of return that fits into the future budget. The Yankees are still all about winning.

One thing to keep in mind about Cano and Granderson is that they are both scheduled to become free agents after 2013 (assuming their options are picked up next winter, which they will be) and won’t bring a huge return in a trade. The Mark Teixeira trade (from the Rangers to Braves) is the gold standard in situations like this, but that’s a once in a lifetime thing. Franchise-altering hauls like that are very rare, and if someone wanted to offer the Yankees a similar package for Granderson (I’m sure they’re going to re-sign Cano), then by all means explore the possibility. I just can’t see them hooking up with another contender (since that would be the kind of team looking to add that kind of player) for a trade of that magnitude.

Looking beyond Teixeira, other star-caliber position players traded one season prior to free agency in recent years includes Adrian Gonzalez, Dan Uggla, Jason Bay, and Matt Holliday. All four deals returned useful players (to varying degrees), but Carlos Gonzalez (from Athletics to Rockies for Holliday) is the only guy that qualifies as an above average big leaguer. There’s a lot of risk in making a trade like that, especially for a perennial contender like the Yankees. Keeping Granderson (and Cano) around and trying to win with him in 2013 makes more sense than hoping to luck into a Teixeira-type haul. Anyway, let’s poll…

What would you rather see the Yankees do?
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Open Thread: 3/3 Camp Notes

Jorge Vazquez doubled off Dontrelle Willis. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The Yankees beat the Phillies 8-5 in the their first official Grapefruit League game this afternoon. Cole Garner (2-for-2 with a bomb to left and a big league bat flip) is the early favorite for the Jon Weber Memorial He Should Make The Team! Award, and Curtis Granderson (2-for-2 with a double to right-center and a homer to left) did some nice things as well. It was really windy in Clearwater, everything hit in the air was an adventure.

Ivan Nova sure looked like a pitcher in his first Spring Training outing, leaving a lot of breaking balls up in the zone. I did see one really nice changeup for a swing-and-miss though. Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances were all over the place, but I thought David Phelps looked surprisingly good for early-March. He was probably the most impressive pitcher of the day, for either team. Eduardo Nunez (booted a grounder), Jayson Nix (airmailed a throw), and Nova (threw away a pickoff throw) all made errors early on. Here’s the box score, and here’s the non-game news from Tampa…

  • Phil Hughes and some minor leaguers/non-roster invitees threw live batting practice today while Michael Pineda and CC Sabathia threw in the bullpen. Pineda will start Monday’s game while Hughes and Sabathia are scheduled to pitch on Tuesday. All the position players didn’t make the trip to Clearwater hit at the home base. [Chad Jennings]
  • Hiroki Kuroda will throw a simulated game tomorrow with his first Spring Training start scheduled for Wednesday. Adam Warren, Graham Stoneburner, and Brett Marshall will all throw bullpens tomorrow after pitching against the University of South Florida yesterday. [also Jennings]
  • Pretty neat story from Tim Brown about Alex Rodriguez, who gave the team a bit of a motivational speech prior to yesterday’s game against USF.

Here’s tonight’s open thread. None of the hockey or basketball locals are playing tonight, but MLB Network is showing a replay of this afternoon’s Yankees-Phillies game. You folks know what to do by now, so have it.

It’s official: New playoff system in place for 2012

MLB officially announced yesterday that the new ten-playoff system will be implemented in 2012. The LDS rounds are going to a 2-3 format for travel purposes, meaning the team with the better record will play the first two games on the road and the final three at home. I don’t like it, but it is what it is. The 2-2-1 format will return next year thankfully. The LCS and World Series formats are unchanged. If two clubs are tied atop the division at the end of the season, they will play a one-game tiebreaker to determine the division winner even if both clubs are guaranteed to make the postseason as at least a Wild Card club. Head-to-head record doesn’t matter anymore. For more on the new system, read my post from earlier this week and Barry Bloom’s breakdown.