Late Night Linkage: Media, Offseason, Prospects

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Here’s some links for you night owls…

Surviving the Media

The New York media can be something else, to put it kindly, so Dan Barbarisi of The Wall Street Journal took a look at what the Yankees are doing to help their players cope with all the attention. It wasn’t until 2007 that the team put some sort of media training in place, when Brian Cashman sat down with media relations guru Jason Zillo to hammer out a plan of attack. Now the club has mandatory training that includes mock interviews, guest speakers, and more, and young players (three or fewer years of service time) are stuck with even more intense training. I recommend giving it a read, stuff like that often goes unnoticed and unappreciated.

Yankees win 2011 Bobby Murcer Award

Two years ago, the Baseball Assistance Team announced the creation of The Bobby Murcer Award, which is given annually to the team whose players contribute the most to B.A.T. through MLB’s payroll deduction program. The Yankees announced yesterday that they have won this year’s award, just like they did in 2010 as well as in 2009. B.A.T. gives aid and support to members of the “baseball family” who are unable to help themselves, and this is an award I hope the Yankees win every year.

MLBTR’s Offseason In Review

We’ve written countless words about the Yankees and their less than stellar offseason here at RAB, but sometimes it’s good to see an outsider’s opinion. Tim Dierkes tackled the subject at MLBTR yesterday, and started out by stating the obvious: “Only the Yankees can spend $130MM on free agents and have it seem like they didn’t do much during the offseason.” He gave the team credit for landing Pedro Feliciano on a two-year deal when inferior relievers were getting three years, but in the end, Tim draws an all too common conclusion: “The main goal may be to wring a couple of good months out of the rotation candidates.” Hopefully the trade market takes shape sooner rather than later.

FanGraphs Top 100 Prospects

Marc Hulet at FanGraphs finally got around to posting his list of the game’s top 100 prospects on Monday, and Jesus Montero came in at number five overall. He trails only Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Jeremy Hellickson, and Domonic Brown. Manny Banuelos placed 18th, Gary Sanchez was 40th, Dellin Betances was 57th, and Austin Romine just made the cut at number 100. Five top 100 prospects seems to be the consensus this offseason, even if it hasn’t always been the same five names in the same order.

Open Thread: Injury Updates

Kevin Millwood made it to Tampa. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

All of the roster and transactions news was posted this afternoon, but Chad Jennings offered up some injury updates as well. Let’s recap it here…

  • Tonight’s game was canceled because it’s pouring in Tampa, so Curtis Granderson was unable to do his scheduled work this afternoon. “Very close to it, if not on it,” said the center fielder, referring to being ready for Opening Day. Grandy wants to play in a game before Opening Day, but the final game of the Grapefruit League schedule will be played tomorrow afternoon. I guess the good news is that he’s not far off from returning. (Update: John Flaherty says Grandy took batting practice inside and could play in a minor league game tomorrow, weather permitting.)
  • Once healthy, Pedro Feliciano says he’ll only need “a couple of bullpens” to get himself into game shape.
  • Chris Dickerson‘s hamstring injury is “manageable” and doesn’t seem to be much of an issue.
  • Frankie Cervelli will be free of his protective walking boot for good tomorrow.

Anyway, that’s it. No game tonight like I said, so you’re going to have to dig around for something else to watch. The only local team in action is the Knicks, who’ve managed to lose nine of their last ten games. Same ol’ Knicks even with Carmelo, eh? You all know what to do, so have at it.

The Bench Takes Shape

Update (5:43pm): Lots and lots of updates via Bryan Hoch and Ben Shpigel. First of all, that Sanchez trade? Forget it. He’s being sold to a team in Japan, where I assume he’ll have a much greater opportunity. Good luck to him. Fat Sanchezes 4 life.

We also have ourselves a bench now. Jesus Montero, Ramiro Pena, Justin Maxwell, and Doug Bernier were all sent to Triple-A this afternoon while Austin Romine went back to Double-A Trenton. Ronnie Belliard was released (nice knowin’ ya), and Mark Prior is going to hang around in Tampa for a while, which I assume means Extended Spring Training. Based on all that, the big league bench will consist of Chavez, Andruw Jones, Eduardo Nunez, and Gustavo Molina. Curtis Granderson‘s replacement is still TBD, if one is even needed.

Original Post (4:30pm): As Spring Training nears an end, the Yanks’ Opening Day roster and 40-man are starting to take shape. We have a few afternoon updates including news of a new addition to the Yanks. As they announced in their game notes release this afternoon, the Yankees have signed Eric Chavez to a Major League contract and have added him to the 25-man roster. Chavez had been in camp on a minor league deal with a Spring Training invite, and he has impressed everyone this spring. He hit .405/.432/.571 in 42 at bats and will spell A-Rod and Mark Teixeira at the corners this year.

Via Mark Feinsand, we learn that Romulo Sanchez was seen shaking hands and saying his goodbyes in the clubhouse, indicating that the out-of-options right-hander has been traded or released. Problem is the Yankees haven’t announced where to or for what yet, so stay tuned. We first heard that something was up with Romulo yesterday.

Via Bryan Hoch and Ben Shpigel, lefty reliever Pedro Feliciano will stay behind in Tampa when the team heads north for Opening Day and begin the season on the disabled list. He expected to be there “for a few weeks,” which doesn’t sound good but could easily mean the 15-day minimum. Feliciano’s been dealing with a triceps issue and hasn’t appear in the game in about two weeks now. That’s a shame.

The RAB Radio Show: March 28, 2011

The Yankees have the roster pretty much figured out. Mike and I open with the rotation and bullpen decisions, which came down over the weekend. That leaves just a few odds and ends to figure out before Thursday.

We discuss the backup catcher situation at length, particularly as it regards Jesus Montero. Plus, if the Yankees are looking to trade Romulo Sanchez, will they get back a catcher better than Gustavo Molina?

Podcast run time 41:14

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Intro music: “Die Hard” courtesy of reader Alex Kresovich. Thanks to Tyler Wilkinson for the graphic.

Simulating the 2011 AL season

Today is a wonderful time if you love season projections and simulations. Which is to say that it’s a great day for the nerdiest of the nerdy. Today at Replacement Level SG has posted his 2011 Diamond Mind simulations for the American League. For those unfamiliar, Diamond Mind is a simulator that takes input stats, runs hundreds of thousands of simulations, and spits out probabilities for wins and losses, among other things. For the inputs he uses five projection systems: Bill James, CAIRO, Marcel, Oliver, and PECOTA.

The Yankees come out with 92.4 wins, two wins behind the Red Sox, but six wins ahead of the Rays. That puts them comfortably into a playoff spot. Make sure to check out the whole post for the full standings. Most of all, check out the disclaimers. SG lays out all the stuff we should know — we can’t predict injuries, these aren’t predictions, etc. — but often forget when looking at simulations.