Sanchez sent to Extended Spring Training due to ‘attitude problems’

Finally, we know exactly what is going on with Gary Sanchez. After hearing that a “stiff lower back” was keeping him on the sidelines, Mark Feinsand reports that Sanchez was actually sent back to Extended Spring Training because of “attitude problems.” Apparently he’d grown frustrated by his slow start (.323 wOBA), which led to two incidents. First he refused to enter a game off the bench, then he refused to catch a bullpen session. That punched his ticket back to ExST, and rightfully so.

Remember, Sanchez is just 18. You hate to see stuff like this because we all want every prospect to be a fine, upstanding citizen that helps old ladies cross the street and volunteers at the local orphanage, but 18-year-olds do stupid stuff and make mistakes. Hopefully he learns from this and avoids similar problems in the future.

2011 Draft: Daniel Norris

The draft is just three days away, so between now and then I’m going to highlight some players individually rather than lump a few together in one post.

Daniel Norris | LHP

After coming into the year as the top high school lefty in the draft class, Norris had a subpar (but not bad) spring at Science Hill High School in Johnson City, Tennessee. He quit playing football after his junior year to focus solely on baseball. He’s committed to Clemson.

Scouting Report
Big and projectable at 6-foot-2 and 180 lbs., Norris has shown three better than average pitches plus a usable fourth offering at times this spring. He legitimately sat 93-96 with his fastball at times, though he mostly worked at 89-92. An upper-70’s curveball with tight spin is his top breaking ball, though he also uses a mid-80’s slider against right-handers. A mid-70’s changeup is his third best pitch and is ahead of the slider. There’s some effort in Norris’ delivery, which leads to inconsistent control and command. He’s athletic though, so adjustments shouldn’t be impossible.

Yesterday we learned that Norris is looking for Tyler Matzek money, referring to the $3.9M the Rockies gave the 11th overall pick in 2009. There’s definite front of the rotation potential here, though he needs to figure out a consistent delivery and shore up that command. Baseball America and Keith Law ranked Norris as the 16th and 33rd best prospect in the draft, respectively, so the Yankees are going to need those bonus demands to scare some teams off if they hope to land him.

2011 Draft: Pirates will take Gerrit Cole first overall

Via Dejan Kovacevic, the Pirates are going to select UCLA RHP Gerrit Cole first overall when the 2011 amateur draft kicks off on Monday. Cole was the Yankees first round pick (28th overall) back in 2008 out of high school, which you surely remember. He turned into the guy the Yankees thought he would while in college, a super hard-throwing righty with two swing-and-miss secondary pitches, which is why he’s going before everyone else this year. Oh well, good for him.

Winning streak ends at four, Yanks fall to Angels

The actual text poll from the Angels' broadcast.

The game started with a 15-pitch at-bat by Derek Jeter, which was pretty awesome. The rest of the game? Not so much. Let’s recap “night game on the west coast” style…

  • Ivan Nova probably did just enough to keep his rotation spot in this game. The Angels tagged him for two runs in the first and another run in the fourth, but the end result was eight hits, two walks, three runs (two earned) in six innings, which is plenty from a fifth starter. Unfortunately, Nova doing just enough to keep his rotation spot is probably bad news for the Yankees overall.
  • Jered Weaver was on the ropes after two innings, having thrown 53 pitches and giving back one of those first inning runs. He rebounded to complete seven innings on 119 pitches, retiring nine of the final ten men he faced. Some hacky at-bats by the Yankees didn’t help matters though.
  • The Yankees only had three hits (but five walks), one of which was a ground rule double by Jorge Posada that absolutely cost them a run. If it doesn’t hop into the stands, Nick Swisher scores from first since he was running on contact with two outs. Dems the breaks.
  • Here’s the box score, here’s the WPA graph.

That’s pretty much all there is to say. There’s no shame in losing to a guy like Weaver, especially when you’re running a rookie like Nova out there. Hell, we should be surprised the score was as close as it was. CC Sabathia gets the ball against (I think) Ervin Santana on Saturday night (it definitely won’t be Dan Haren, I’m sure of that much), another brutal west coast night game. It’s Southern California, don’t they want to play under the sun on a weekend? Lame.

SWB walks off on Charleston’s huge night

Make sure you scroll down for tonight’s game thread.

Double-A Trenton hitting coach Julius Matos has been suspended indefinitely after an altercation with manager Tony Franklin. All the details are here. In happier news, Rob Lyerly was selected for the High-A Florida State League All-Star Game, the only Tampa Yankees to make the team. You can also vote for the Triple-A All-Stars now.

Triple-A Scranton (4-3 win over Toledo, walk-off style) they faced an old pal, who was rehabbing a foot injury
Austin Krum, CF & Kevin Russo, 2B: both 2 for 5 – Krum doubled and whiffed … Russo tripled and scored
Jesus Montero, DH: 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K – seven for his last 21 (.333) with a doubles, triple, and a homer
Jorge Vazquez, 1B: 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Brandon Laird, 3B: 3 for 4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB – walk-off single
Jordan Parraz, RF & Gus Molina, C: both 0 for 3 – Parraz walked and whiffed … Gus drove in a run bit saw just three pitches in his first three at-bats
Dan Brewer, LF & Doug Bernier, SS: both 2 for 4 – Brewer doubled and struck out … Bernier drove in a run, whiffed, and committed a throwing error
David Phelps, RHP: 7.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 7-5 GB/FB – 75 of 111 pitches were strikes (67.6%) … retired a rehabbing big leaguer all three times he faced him, including a three-pitch strikeout
Eric Wordekemper, RHP: 0.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K – five of seven pitches were strikes … that’s his ninth strikeout of the year (23.1 IP)
Kevin Whelan, RHP: 1 IP, zeroes, 1-1 GB/FB – nine of 15 pitches were strikes (60%)

[Read more…]

Game 55: House of Horrors

(Photo Credit: Flickr user via Creative Commons license)

For the longest time, it seemed like Angels Stadium was a complete nightmare for the Yankees. They won just five of 24 games in Anaheim from 2005 through the 2009 All-Star break, which is absolutely dreadful. But for whatever reason, the Angels and their stadium are just like any other team now. I don’t think many of use dread playing the Halos anymore, likely because they’re clearly a team in decline  and (of course) the 2009 ALCS. Good times, good times. Here’s your starting nine…

Derek Jeter, SS
Curtis Granderson, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Russell Martin, C
Nick Swisher, RF
Jorge Posada, DH
Brett Gardner, LF

Ivan Nova, SP

Dan Haren Update: RAB fave Sam Miller reports that Haren will have tomorrow’s scheduled start pushed back to Tuesday because of his back issue. I assume the Angels will just bump Ervin Santana up to Saturday and Joel Pineiro up to Sunday. Thursday’s off day allows them to pitch on normal rest, so that’s not an issue.

2011 Draft: Tyler Beede tells teams he’s going to college

Via Keith Law, high school right-hander Tyler Beede has sent a letter to area scouts informing them that he plans on following through on his commitment to Vanderbilt. High school outfielder Josh Bell did something similar. Beede, who I wrote about a few weeks ago, is a first round arm and this is just a way of building leverage in neogitations. Someone will still draft him high, but anything that could cause him to slide in the draft is good news for the Yankees.