Archive for Spring Training
Following Monday’s off-day, the Yankees lost 3-2 to the Nationals this afternoon. CC Sabathia looked pretty bad, allowing three runs on four hits and two walks in three innings. He struck out three, threw his new cutter a handful of times out of 61 total pitches, and sat 86-87 mph while touching 89 with his fastball according to Adam Kilgore. That’s not exactly encouraging.
“I sucked. We can leave it here in Vero or Viera or wherever we are and just go on to the next one,” said Sabathia to Wally Matthews. “I was kind of erratic, like all over the place. I couldn’t get my delivery down, and try to push off, try to get some leverage throwing downhill, it was just hard for me. I don’t know if I was just jumping off the mound, leaving too early. From my point of view, I just felt like I was rushing.”
In other news, Eduardo Nunez tripled for the team’s first base-runner of the game with two outs in the fifth. Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, Mark Teixeira, Brian McCann, and Scott Sizemore went a combined 0-for-16. Dean Anna drove in a run with a single, Gardner plated the other with a sac fly. Five relievers combined to allow one hit in five innings. Here’s the box score and video highlights, and here’s the rest of the day’s news.
- Masahiro Tanaka made his simulated start as scheduled in Tampa while the team was on the road. He allowed three hits, including a solo homer to Jake Cave and two singles by Cito Culver, with nine strikeouts in four simulated innings. Forty-nine of his 63 pitches were strikes. Tanaka’s next start will be Sunday in Florida while most of the team is in Panama. [AP]
- Lots of pitchers needed to get work in following the off-day. David Robertson and Matt Thornton threw simulated games while David Phelps, Adam Warren, Ivan Nova, and Michael Pineda were among those to throw bullpen sessions. Tyler Austin (wrist) hit again as he works his way back. [Chad Jennings]
- Brendan Ryan (oblique) swung a broomstick today. Insert joke about how you wouldn’t be able to the tell the difference between a broomstick and his bat. Ryan is still a day or two away from getting back in a game. [Matthews]
- Mark Teixeira will not make the trip to Panama. He’s staying behind so he can get extra work in as he returns from wrist surgery. Yangervis Solarte, John Ryan Murphy, Jose Gil, Zelous Wheeler, and Gary Sanchez will all be making the trip. [Jennings, Jorge Castillo]
Here is your open thread for the evening. MLB Network will re-air today’s game at 9pm ET, if you’re interested. The Rangers and Devils are both playing as well. Talk about another of those games or anything else right here. Enjoy.
The Yankees made the cross-state trip to Viera to play the Nationals this afternoon, though the game will not be on television anywhere in New York. It will be on MASN for those of you near the beltway, otherwise it’s MLB.tv or nothing. Here are the Yankees and Nationals lineups. CC Sabathia is starting and, if I’m not mistaken, this will be the first time Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner play the outfield together. Time to develop some communication. First pitch is scheduled for a little after 1pm ET. Talk about the game here if you’re watching.
Early on in Spring Training, it was obvious the Yankees were showcasing their young catchers for trades. Gary Sanchez, John Ryan Murphy and Austin Romine were (and still are) playing just about every game, either behind the plate, at DH, or off the bench. It’s no secret the Yankees need infield and bullpen help, and when you sign Brian McCann to an $85M contract, trading a spare backstop for help elsewhere makes sense.
We know at least two teams (Brewers and White Sox), have been scouting the Yankees’ catchers, so all that showcasing is not going to naught. Someone is out there watching and that’s exactly what the Yankees want. They can force anyone to make a trade. The young catchers are not the only guys out there being put on display though. The Yankees are also showcasing their extra outfielders this spring after signing both Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner long-term, as well as sinking big money into Carlos Beltran on a shorter term deal.
Both Ramon Flores and Mason Williams have played in nine of the team’s first dozen Grapefruit League games so far, more than every outfielder in camp other than Adonis Garcia and Antoan Richardson, who have played in ten games each. Flores is second to Ellsbury in plate appearances among outfielders, and he’s played all three outfield spots as well. Williams has played both his usual center field as well as right, where he has zero career games in the minors. Even Ichiro Suzuki, who was shopped all winter, has started a game at each of the three outfield spots this spring as the Yankees continue to look for a taker.
Now, part of the reason why Flores and Williams are playing so much is injury. Had Slade Heathcott (knee) and Tyler Austin (wrist) been healthy this spring, they surely would have grabbed some at-bats and games in the outfield. For the purposes of showcasing their young outfielders — Flores and Williams are the team’s most tradeable outfield prospects in my opinion, though none of these guys are close to untouchable — the injuries allow the Yankees to give Flores and Williams (and even Ichiro) all that playing time. No team will trade for a player based on how he looks in Spring Training, but the extended looks give them a chance to update their internal evaluations. That can be a bad thing in some cases.
As with the catchers, the Yankees have a decent amount of outfield depth in the minors. They have a better (but more injury prone) version of Williams in Heathcott, who is also one level closer to the big leagues. Flores had an okay year in Double-A last season but he and Austin are similar players, though they bat from different sides of the plate. Holding onto every prospect isn’t a good idea no matter how badly you need homegrown players. Not at all. Some of them are going to flame out through normal attrition and knowing when to cut bait is just as important as knowing who the keep*.
* The Cardinals are great player development organization and it’s not just because of the guys they produce. When a Brett Wallace (2008 first round) or Zach Cox (2010 first round) goes bad, they get rid of them quickly (for Matt Holliday in 2009 and Edward Mujica in 2012, respectively). The Yankees did this with C.J. Henry (2005 first rounder, for Bobby Abreu in 2006) back in the day. Knowing your own players and being honest about their ability is super important.
What could the Yankees get for Flores or Williams? Who knows. A scout recently told Peter Gammons the Yankees “could be a player” for Astros third baseman Matt Dominguez, who fits their need for a young infielder. The 24-year-old Dominguez is a top notch defender with some power (21 homers in 2013) but a questionable bat in general. Would I trade Williams for five years of Dominguez? Yeah, I probably would. Double-A prospect for a young guy who can step right into the MLB lineup to fill a position of need? What else should are they supposed to trade him for? That’s just one example of a potential trade match that, as far as we know, isn’t actually on the table.
Anyway, the point is that the Yankees have some extra young outfielders and are giving teams an opportunity to scout them this spring. They’re doing the same for their extra young catchers. Given the obvious needs on the infield (and also in the bullpen, but less so) and the team’s depth in the outfield and behind the plate, showcasing these guys makes all the sense in the world. It’s due diligence, only the other way around. Instead of asking about guys, they’re letting other teams see their players. This is the time of year to showcase people, and so far the Yankees have done a lot of it.
Guess what? There are no camp notes. The Yankees were off today for the first time since Grapefruit League games started, and it was a full day off. There were no workouts scheduled or anything. Just a day to recharge the batteries. With the Panama trip coming up and the next off-day two weeks away, a day of rest is a good thing. No news is good news and that’s exactly what we have today.
There is one thing I do want to take a second to point out: RAB turned seven years old on
January February 20th. I am terrible at dates and I completely forgot. Just realized it today. Thanks for reading and making RAB part of your day. The site has grown far more than Ben, Joe, or myself ever expected when we launched, and I think I speak for everyone here when I say the best parts of RAB are the friends I’ve made and all the great people I’ve met these last seven years. It’s been pretty awesome.
Anyway, here is your open thread for the night. MLB Network will replay a game later tonight and SNY will re-air this afternoon’s Mets game as well, if you’re really desperate for some baseball. Old pals Bartolo Colon and Curtis Granderson both played. This happened too. The Islanders, Knicks, and Nets are all playing as well. Talk about whatever you like here. Enjoy.
(I’m re-posting that video because it was easy to overlook last Friday night. I enjoyed it.)
In what was easily the most competitive game of the spring, the Yankees and Rays played to a 3-3 tie this afternoon. Joe Girardi managed to win, pinch-running when the Yankees were down a run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. He also pinch-hit Scott Sizemore for Mason Williams to get the platoon advantage. The pinch-runner (Antoan Richardson) came around to score on a wild pitch. Pretty fun.
David Phelps was very strong, allowing three hits in five scoreless innings. He struck out one, walked zero, and recorded eight ground ball outs. Jacoby Ellsbury doubled and struck out twice, Alfonso Soriano singled twice in three at-bats, and both Carlos Beltran and Derek Jeter took an 0-for-3. Jose Pirela had two hits off the bench. Dellin Betances continued his strong spring with another scoreless inning, striking out one and pitching around a double. Matt Daley chucked a scoreless frame as well. Here are the box score and video highlights, and here’s the rest from Tampa.
- The Yankees announced the first roster cuts of the year: Jose Ramirez (oblique) and Francisco Rondon (shoulder). Both have been sent down to minor league camp. Neither pitched this spring due to their injuries. Ramirez is on the 40-man roster, so was optioned down. There are still 64 players in big league camp.
- Kelly Johnson left today’s game after taking a fastball to the back, but he is fine. It was probably going to be his final at-bat of the day anyway. Johnson had an uneventful first day at first base, making all the routine plays. [Andrew Marchand]
- Hiroki Kuroda, David Robertson, and Matt Thornton all threw their scheduled bullpens. Tyler Austin (wrist) hit, either in the cage or regular batting practice. Scott Sizemore has been playing with a brace on his left knee following back-to-back torn ACLs. [Chad Jennings]
- Brendan Ryan (oblique) is feeling better and better. He hopes to return to game action on Wednesday. [Bryan Hoch]
- Tomorrow is the team’s first off-day of the Grapefruit League schedule and it’s a total off-day. A few guys might come in for extra work or medical treatment, but there are no workouts are scheduled at all.
Here is your nightly open thread. This afternoon’s game will
not be replayed on television anywhere replayed at midnight on MLB Network, after they re-air the Mets and Braves later tonight. The Nets are playing as well. You folks know how this works by now, so have at it.
Now that Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, Manny Banuelos, and Mark Teixeira have made their Spring Training debuts, I feel like all the major milestones have passed. Well, we still haven’t seen Pineda pitch in a televised game, but that’ll happen Thursday. Eyes were on those guys for obvious reasons these last few weeks and now that they’ve all gotten their first games under the belt, it’s back to business as usual and preparing for the season.
Kelly Johnson will start this afternoon’s game at first base for the first time this spring and only the third time in his career. He played three games (two starts) and 18 total innings at first last season, his only other experience at the position. Given the roster, Johnson is Teixeira’s backup at first pretty much by default, so learning the position and getting comfortable around the bag will be pretty important. His first real test of the spring is today.
The Rays are up from Port Charlotte for this afternoon’s game and they brought a pretty representative squad. Desmond Jennings, Matt Joyce, Wil Myers, James Loney, Ryan Hanigan, and Jose Molina all made the trip. Former Yankee Jayson Nix will be in the starting lineup as well. Chris Archer, who dominated the Yankees in three starts last summer (three runs and 12 hits in 22 innings), will be on the mound. Here is Joe Girardi‘s starting lineup:
- CF Jacoby Ellsbury
- SS Derek Jeter
- RF Carlos Beltran
- C Brian McCann
- LF Alfonso Soriano
- 1B Kelly Johnson
- 2B Brian Roberts
- DH Ichiro Suzuki
- 3B Yangervis Solarte
And on the mound is right-hander David Phelps, whose has some more serious competition for the fifth starter’s spot now that Pineda is pitching in games. Phelps is likely scheduled for four innings or 60-65 pitches, give or take.
Available Pitchers: RHP Dellin Betances, RHP Mark Montgomery, RHP Bruce Billings, RHP Danny Burawa, and RHP Matt Daley are all scheduled to pitch. RHP Preston Claiborne, RHP Branden Pinder, LHP Jeremy Bleich, and SwP Pat Venditte are the extra arms.
Available Position Players: C J.R. Murphy, 1B Russ Canzler, 2B Zelous Wheeler, SS Dean Anna, 3B Jose Pirela, LF Ramon Flores, CF Mason Williams, RF Adonis Garcia, and DH Jose Gil will be the second string off the bench. C Francisco Arcia, C Peter O’Brien, C Gary Sanchez, IF Corban Joseph, OF Zoilo Almonte, and OF Antoan Richardson are also available if needed.
It’s nice and sunny down in Tampa, with temperatures in the mid-70s. No chance of rain or anything like that. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05pm ET and the game will be broadcast live on YES and MLB.tv. Enjoy.
The Yankees won their third straight Grapefruit League game this afternoon, beating the Astros 9-6 in a back and forth affair. Ivan Nova got hit around really hard in the first inning but settled down in the next three. His finished with three runs allowed on eight hits in four innings, striking out five and walking zero. Manny Banuelos got roughed up in his spring debut. Five relievers combined to allow only two hits in the final 4.1 innings.
At the plate, Brett Gardner went 1-for-4 with a single while Mark Teixeira went 1-for-2 with a double off the wall (as a right-handed batter), a walk, and a strikeout. Kelly Johnson had a walk and a two-run homer in three plate appearances. Dean Anna and Austin Romine both had two singles and Mason Williams had the double off the wall you see in the video above. He also got picked off first base later in the game. Here’s the box score and video highlights, and here’s the rest from Tampa.
- The upcoming rotation: David Phelps (Sunday), Monday off, CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka (Tuesday, Tanaka will throw a simulated game), Hiroki Kuroda (Wednesday), Michael Pineda and Nova (Thursday, split squad games), Phelps (Friday), Vidal Nuno and Adam Warren (Saturday, Tampa and Panama), Tanaka and Sabathia (Sunday, Tampa and Panama). [Chad Jennings]
- Because of the Panama games, the first round of roster cuts will come later than usual this spring. They simply need the extra bodies since they’ll be playing seven games in four days from Thursday through Sunday. Joe Girardi is heading to Panama and third base coach Rob Thomson will serve as manager for the games in Tampa. [George King]
- Johnson will get his first start at first base tomorrow. He’s the backup first baseman by default. Bench coach Tony Pena ran him through a scooping drill today by hitting hard hit ground balls at him from second base. [Jorge Castillo]
- Brendan Ryan is “nicked up” and will be out until the middle of next week with a back/oblique issue. It isn’t considered a long-term problem. [Erik Boland]
- Sabathia and Tanaka threw their usual between-starts bullpen sessions. Tyler Austin did not hit today, but it was a scheduled day off for him and his balky wrist, not a setback. [Jennings]
This is your nightly open thread. This afternoon’s game will not be replayed anywhere, though MLB Network will carry and the Mariners and Dodgers live later tonight. The Devils and Knicks are both playing as well. Talk about anything and everything right here.
It didn’t go particularly well, but left-hander Manny Banuelos made his first spring appearance of the year this afternoon. He has missed nearly two full years following a pair of elbow injuries (bone bruise and Tommy John surgery). The first three batters he faced reached base, including a double by Jose Altuve (GIF) and a three-run blast by Chris Carter (video). Banuelos settled down to retire the next two batters before reaching his pitch count and being lifted.
I unofficially had Banuelos at eleven strikes and nine balls in the 20-pitch outing. He threw almost all fastballs with a handful curveballs but no changeups, his trademark pitch. Erik Boland says a scout had him at 92-94 mph with “no reason to think he can’t rebound” from the injuries. Banuelos was a little wild but that isn’t too surprising after missing two years. Hopefully he throws a few more innings in camp and fares a little better. Either way, the Yankees have already said he’s all but a lock to start the season in Triple-A. Makes sense.
There are a few more GIFs after the jump. As you can see, the camera angle during the broadcast was just awful. The center field camera must have been out in the parking lot somewhere. You can click each GIF for a larger view.
Last night, Michael Pineda return to a Spring Training mound for the first time in nearly two full years following shoulder surgery. He was impressive, or so we’ve heard. The game was not televised but the always fun anonymous scout quotes indicated he looked strong and better than he did the last time we saw him, in the weeks before he blew out his shoulder.
This afternoon, another one of the Yankees’ promising young starters will return to the mound. Left-hander Manny Banuelos is scheduled to throw an inning after missing most of the last two years with elbow problems, first a bone bruise and then Tommy John surgery. He threw in simulated games and in Instructional League last fall, but this is his first time in something that resembles a competitive environment. It’s easy to forget Banuelos is still only 22 after all the lost time. Getting him back and healthy would be a big boost to the organization going forward.
The Yankees are on the road this afternoon, making the short-ish trip up to Kissimmee to play the Astros. Mark Teixeira is in the lineup for the second time as he works his way back from wrist surgery, and Scott Sizemore is starting a game for the first time this spring. He’s missed most of the last two years due to back-to-back torn left ACLs. Dexter Fowler, Jose Altuve, and Jason Castro are all in Houston’s lineup. Hard-throwing righty Jarred Cosart will be on the hill for them. Here’s the Yankees’ starting lineup:
- CF Brett Gardner
- 2B Eduardo Nunez
- 1B Mark Teixeira
- DH Kelly Johnson
- C Frankie Cervelli
- SS Dean Anna
- 3B Scott Sizemore
- LF Zoilo Almonte
- RF Mason Williams
And on the mound is right-hander Ivan Nova, who was very impressive last time out. As good as I’ve ever seen him, regular season or otherwise. He’s probably scheduled for something like four innings or 65 pitches.
Available Pitchers: LHP Manny Banuelos, LHP Cesar Cabral, RHP David Herndon, and LHP Fred Lewis are all scheduled to pitch. Herndon, a sleeper for one of the open bullpen spots, will be making his spring debut after missing most of last season due to Tommy John surgery. RHP Chase Whitley, RHP Chris Leroux, RHP Mark Montgomery, and RHP Danny Burawa also made the trip and are available if needed.
Available Position Players: C Austin Romine, 1B Corban Joseph, 2B Jose Pirela, SS Yangervis Solarte, 3B Zelous Wheeler, LF Ramon Flores, CF Antoan Richardson, RF Adonis Garcia, and DH Peter O’Brien will all come off the bench to replace the starters. C Francisco Arcia, C/1B Jose Gil, and C Gary Sanchez also made the trip.
It’s sunny with temperatures in the upper-60s in Kissimmee, so good weather for baseball. Today’s game will be broadcast live on MLB Network and MLB.tv, but not the YES Network. YES usually doesn’t travel for Spring Training games. First pitch is scheduled for a little after 1pm ET and, by the way, the new expanded replay system will be available. Enjoy the game.
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.