Archive for Spring Training
The totally meaningless Grapefruit League winning streak is over at four; the Orioles beat the Yankees 3-2 on Tuesday night. Here’s the box score. David Phelps was in “bend but don’t break” mode, getting knocked around pretty hard (five hits in 2.2 innings) but only surrendering one run. He escaped two on, no outs jams in both the first and second innings. Matt Thornton made his spring debut, throwing one pitch and retiring a lefty with a ground ball.
At the plate, both Jacoby Ellsbury and Derek Jeter went hitless in two at-bats. Ellsbury did draw a walk though, his fifth of the spring (only one strikeout). Carlos Beltran went 0-for-2 with a walk and a whiff. Frankie Cervelli opened the scoring with a solo tater and Spring Training superhero Yangervis Solarte plated another run with a single. Scott Sizemore went 1-for-2 in his spring debut and made a nifty diving stop at second base. Here’s the rest of the day’s news from Tampa.
- Brendan Ryan was hit by a line drive in the left hand while running the bases during batting practice. He was looked at and is fine, so much so that he played in tonight’s game. “It’s sore but okay,” he said. [Andrew Marchand, Erik Boland]
- Mark Teixeira did not take live batting practice as scheduled today because there was literally no one available to pitch. Vidal Nuno, Hiroki Kuroda, and Michael Pineda were among those to throw bullpens sessions. [Chad Jennings]
- Tyler Austin played catch and took dry swings today for the first time since being shut down when his wrist flared up. He said it felt better than expected following the workout. [Jennings]
- Ivan Nova and Phelps will start
Friday and SaturdaySaturday and Sunday, respectively. That means Nuno has been squeezed out of the spring rotation, at least for the time being. [Bryan Hoch]
The Yankees are on the road to play the Rays tomorrow afternoon, but that game will not be televised. Masahiro Tanaka will make his first start and second appearance of the spring on Thursday (CC Sabathia will throw a simulated game that day) while Michael Pineda will make his debut (in relief of Hiroki Kuroda) on Friday. Thursday’s game will be on television, Friday’s will not. For shame.
For the first time this year, the Yankees are playing a night game. Only six of their 31 Grapefruit League will be played at night and that seems low to me, but whatever. Day baseball is better anyway.
Derek Jeter is playing back-to-back games for the first time this spring, though he will only serve as the DH for the first few innings tonight. Two at-bats is my guess. The back-to-back games is something of a milestone following last year’s leg injury fiasco. David Phelps, who I still think is the front-runner for the fifth starter’s job, is making his second start of the exhibition season.
The Orioles are in Tampa for tonight’s game after making the short trip up from Sarasota. As you might expect, their roster for the road night game is not exactly brimming with projected big leaguers. Jemile Weeks, Delmon Young, and starter Wei-Yin Chen are pretty much the only names casual fans may recognize. Here is Joe Girardi‘s starting lineup:
- CF Jacoby Ellsbury
- DH Derek Jeter
- RF Carlos Beltran
- 2B Brian Roberts
- 3B Eduardo Nunez
- C Frankie Cervelli
- SS Brendan Ryan
- 1B Russ Canzler
- LF Yangervis Solarte
And on the mound is the right-hander Phelps, who is likely scheduled for something like three innings or 45 pitches, whichever comes first.
Available Pitchers: LHP Matt Thornton, RHP Brian Gordon, LHP Cesar Cabral, RHP Chris Leroux, RHP Chase Whitley, and RHP Preston Claiborne are all scheduled to pitch. This will be Thornton’s spring debut. RHP Bruce Billings, RHP Graham Stoneburner, LHP Jeremy Bleich, and SwP Pat Venditte are also available if needed.
Available Position Players: C Gary Sanchez, 1B Francisco Arcia, 2B Scott Sizemore, SS Dean Anna, 3B Zelous Wheeler, LF Ramon Flores, CF Mason Williams, RF Antoan Richardson, and DH Brian McCann will all come off the bench. Sizemore will be making his spring debut. C Jose Gil, C Peter O’Brien, C John Ryan Murphy, IF Corban Joseph, UTIL Jose Pirela, OF Adonis Garcia, and UTIL Addison Maruszak are all available as well.
The forecast for Tampa tonight calls for cloudy skies and temperatures in the upper-60s but not rain, thankfully. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm ET and the game can be seen live on YES, MLB Network, and MLB.tv. Enjoy.
Via the AP: Orlando Hernandez has joined the Yankees as a Spring Training minor league pitching instructor. The 48-year-old retired in 2011 and last pitched in the big leagues in 2007. This will be El Duque’s first coaching gig as far as I can tell and he’s slated to remain in Tampa for several weeks. Since he’s working with minor leaguers, I wonder if Hernandez will stick around for all or part of Extended Spring Training as well.
This past weekend, in his first outing of the spring, CC Sabathia chucked two scoreless and relatively uneventful innings against the Phillies. Uneventful unless you were watching the radar gun, of course. Sabathia topped out at 88 mph with his fastball on Saturday and sat mostly in the 86-88 mph range, which is far below what you want to see, even on March 1st. And everyone did see it thanks in no small part to the Michael Pineda velocity fiasco of 2012. The radar gun has become a focal point in Spring Training.
“My fastball is what it is. If it gets better, it will. If it’s not, it won’t. I can pitch. I’m fine. As long as I’m healthy I’ll be good,” said Sabathia to Chad Jennings after Saturday’s game because what is he supposed to say? No this is terrifying and I don’t think I’ll ever be effective again? C’mon now. It takes a lot of confidence and a certain level of arrogance to be an elite pro athlete, and part of that is never doubting your own ability despite signs of decline. Of course Sabathia is unconcerned about his fastball.
I am concerned about Sabathia’s fastball, however. Well, concerned isn’t the right word. I’m keeping my eye on it. That’s better. I wanted to go back and compare CC’s early spring velocity to past years, but there’s a bit of a problem: there isn’t any Grapefruit League pitch data out there. We’re limited to MLB.tv archives and the YES Network gun because there’s no PitchFX. Sabathia did not appear in a YES broadcast game until the middle of March in both 2012 and 2013, so we can’t even compare early spring velocities. We’re stuck lumping it all under a big “Spring Training velocity” umbrella. Here’s what we’re left with:
Sabathia did not pitch in a YES televised game in Spring Training 2011, so we can’t go back any further. I’m not sure how useful anything from pre-2012 would be anyway.
Just to give you an idea of how unprecise this is, Sabathia had one fastball clocked at 94 mph in the 2013 start and another clocked at 57 mph (!) in the 2012 game. I can buy 94 mph, but the most relevant thing is that he was consistently in that 89-90 range with a handful of 91s during the five-inning outing. I can’t buy 57 mph, but again, Sabathia was regularly in that 89-92 range with a smattering of 93s back in 2012. That’s what’s important.
Sabathia’s velocity in his first televised Spring Training game, as questionable as it may be given the source, was right in line with his PitchFX recorded April velocity in both 2012 and 2013. He held that Spring Training velocity through the season’s first month before adding another tick or two in the summer months, after the weather warmed up and he got into midseason form. That alone makes you want to see Sabathia get his heater closer to 90 mph this month.
Because of who he is and how important he is to the 2014 Yankees, Sabathia is going to be under the microscope this spring. His first outing was less than encouraging because his fastball was a little short, but it was only March 1st. I want to see how he looks after another outing or two before getting … well … concerned. I don’t think the fastball he showed on Saturday is full freakout worthy, but as much I hate Spring Training velocity watches, I don’t think we can simply sweep it under the rug just because it’s early-March either.
The winning streak is up to four. The Yankees beat the Nationals 4-2 on Monday afternoon thanks to an extended second inning rally against lefty Ross Detwiler. Kelly Johnson (double) and Corban Joseph (single) sandwiched run-scoring hits around a two-run error by shortstop Zach Walters. Johnson, Brett Gardner, Francisco Cervelli, and Zoilo Almonte all had doubles and all except Cervelli’s were to the opposite field. Zoilo and Cervelli had two hits apiece.
Here is the box score for this afternoon’s game. Ivan Nova looked very, very sharp in his three innings of work, striking out four and allowing only one base-runner (CoJo error). David Robertson hit a batter in an otherwise perfect inning in his spring debut and Shawn Kelley surrendered a solo homer in his inning. Danny Burawa looked good despite allowing a run because ground balls kept finding holes (or being bobbled for errors). Here’s the rest from Tampa.
- Mark Teixeira faced live pitching in batting practice for the first time, though he only took three swings from each side of the plate. Teixeira said the plan is the take more live batting practice the next two days before playing in Thursday’s game. [Bryan Hoch]
- CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka both threw their regular between-starts bullpen sessions. Jose Campos and Manny Banuelos, who will hopefully get in a game soon because I want to see them pitch, threw live batting practice to Teixeira and others. [Chad Jennings]
- Alfonso Soriano (flu from hell) is feeling better and was able to get all his work in today. He is tentatively scheduled to play in Thursday’s game, Joe Girardi announced after the win. [Sweeny Murti]
- Derek Jeter will DH in tomorrow night’s game against the Orioles, the first time he’ll play back-to-back games this spring. Playing back-to-back games at short will be the real test. [Hoch]
- And finally, Andy Pettitte arrived in camp as a guest instructor and threw batting practice this morning. “There’s nothing in the works, I promise y’all,” he joked. [Dan Barbarisi]
This is your open thread for the evening. Both the Knicks and Nets are playing, plus MLB Network will re-air a Spring Training game later tonight. This afternoon’s win over the Nats is not being replayed anywhere. Use this thread to talk about whatever you like. Have at it.
The first week of Grapefruit League games is not yet complete but it still feels like the day-to-day grind of baseball has returned. It’s wonderful. Meaningless Spring Training games are not for everyone, I get that, but I’ve always felt these games are fun in their own way. We get to see a bunch of prospects we otherwise never get to see and the results don’t mean anything. You can just sit back and enjoy some baseball. It’s wonderful.
This afternoon’s game will be Derek Jeter‘s third at shortstop this spring. He made it through the first two just fine following his lost leg injury plagued season, but obviously there is a long way to go before he’s ready to play nine-inning games on an everyday basis. That’s what these next four weeks will be all about. Ivan Nova has a rotation spot already locked up, he’ll just be preparing for the season and getting work in today. He says he feels like he’s competing for a job, but we all know that’s not the case.
The Nationals made the long trip across the state from Viera for today’s game, so their roster is a skeleton crew. None of their best players made the trip. Denard Span, Danny Espinosa, Scott Hairston, and Jose Lobaton are the only guys in the starting lineup who remotely qualify as MLB regulars. Left-hander Ross Detwiler will be on the mound for Washington. Here is the Yankees’ starting lineup:
- CF Brett Gardner
- SS Derek Jeter
- C Brian McCann
- 2B Brian Roberts
- DH Frankie Cervelli
- 3B Kelly Johnson
- RF Ichiro Suzuki
- LF Zoilo Almonte
- 1B Corban Joseph
And on the mound is Nova. Since this is his second Spring Training outing, he’s probably scheduled for something like three innings or 50 pitches, whichever comes first. Don’t hold me to that though.
Available Pitchers: RHP David Robertson, RHP Shawn Kelley, RHP Danny Burawa, RHP Yoshinori Tateyama, RHP Robert Coello, and RHP Jim Miller are all scheduled to pitch. This will be Robertson’s spring debut and Kelley’s second outing. Matt Thornton can’t be too far behind. RHP Chase Whitley, RHP Mark Montgomery, and RHP Brian Gordon are also available if needed.
Available Position Players: C John Ryan Murphy, 1B Jose Gil, 2B Zelous Wheeler, SS Addison Maruszak, 3B Jose Pirela, LF Ramon Flores, CF Mason Williams, and RF Adonis Garcia will all come off the bench to replace the starters. C Francisco Arcia, C Peter O’Brien, C Gary Sanchez, IF Dean Anna, IF Yangervis Solarte, and OF Antoan Richardson are also on the bench.
They play these games in Florida (and Arizona) for a reason, and that’s because the weather is just perfect for baseball. It’s in the mid-70s with a few scattered clouds in Tampa. Can’t wait until that weather hits New York. This afternoon’s game will begin a little after 1pm ET and can be seen live on YES, MLB Network, and MLB.tv. Enjoy.
The totally meaningless Grapefruit League winning streak is up to three games. The Yankees walloped the Blue Jays by the score of 8-2 on Sunday afternoon thanks to homers by Carlos Beltran (solo), Eduardo Nunez (two-run) and John Ryan Murphy (three-run). Nunez and Beltran went back-to-back. Dean Anna also drove in a run with a single.
The box score for today’s game is right here. Vidal Nuno allowed a solo homer to Jose Bautista in two otherwise uneventful innings, striking out three. Bryan Mitchell struck out three in his two scoreless frames and Shane Greene allowed a run in his two innings of work. Bullpen candidate Matt Daley struck out a pair in a perfect ninth inning. Yangervis Solarte went 2-for-2 and is up .857/.875/1.714 so far this spring. Here’s the rest of the news from Tampa.
- There was a small fire in the clubhouse after the game (the Yankees were on the road in Dunedin). The clubhouse filled with smoke but the players were never told to evacuate. It wound up being no big deal. [Dan Barbarisi]
- The upcoming rotation: Ivan Nova (Monday), David Phelps (Tuesday), Adam Warren (Wednesday), Masahiro Tanaka (Thursday), and Hiroki Kuroda (Friday). CC Sabathia will throw a simulated game on Thursday. [Meredith Marakovits]
- Michael Pineda threw a simulated game this morning and everything went well. He will make his spring debut in relief of Kuroda on Friday. Mark Teixeira, meanwhile, will play in his first spring game either Thursday or Friday. [Marakovits, Bryan Hoch]
- Alfonso Soriano (flu) is feeling better but still days from playing in a game. Scott Sizemore (knee) went through sliding drills and hopes to play in a game next week. Nik Turley (arm tightness) will play catch tomorrow. Bullpen sleeper David Herndon (Tommy John surgery) threw a simulated game. [Chad Jennings]
This is your nightly open thread. MLB Network is showing this afternoon’s game on a tape delay at 8pm ET, if you’re interested. The (hockey) Rangers are playing as well. Talk about those games or anything else right here. Enjoy.
The Yankees are in Dunedin to play the Blue Jays at 1pm ET this afternoon, though the game will not be broadcast locally on YES or nationally on MLB Network. It is available on MLB.tv only. (MLBN will re-air it on a tape delay at 8pm ET.) Here is the starting lineup and available players. Fifth starter candidate Vidal Nuno is on the bump. Talk about the game here if you’re watching.
The Yankees won their second straight Grapefruit League game on Saturday afternoon, shutting out the Phillies 4-0. Here’s the box score. The story of the day was Masahiro Tanaka‘s spring debut, and he did not disappoint. Two scoreless innings, two bloop singles, three strikeouts, and about a million cameras clicking with each pitch. Here are select GIFs and here is MLB.com’s brief highlight video. Joe Girardi confirmed Tanaka’s next appearance will be a start, date TBA.
Both CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda fired two scoreless innings and Kuroda appeared to be in midseason form, getting the six outs on only 17 total pitches. He had to go down to the bullpen to get the rest of his throwing in. Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki both singled, Derek Jeter and Kelly Johnson both walked, Brian McCann doubled, and Frankie Cervelli singled and walked. Jeter was actually tested in the field (unlike his first game) and he looked fine, even ranging to the other side of second base to field a slow chopper. Here’s the rest of the day’s news.
- Tyler Austin received some kind of injection in his troublesome right wrist (it wasn’t cortisone, he says), and he hopes to resuming throwing and swinging a bat on Monday. Apparently tests showed no structural damage. [Chad Jennings]
- Alfonso Soriano still isn’t 100% following his bout with the flu and he will not make his spring debut tomorrow as scheduled. “We don’t feel he’s quite at full strength, and we don’t want to run him out there,” said Joe Girardi. [George King, Jennings]
Here is your nightly open thread. The Nets are playing and MLB Network will have a Spring Training game on tape delay later tonight. I don’t know who but it won’t be the Yankees. You folks know how these work, so have at it.
As expected, Masahiro Tanaka made his Grapefruit League debut this afternoon, allowing a pair of bloop hits (on 0-2 fastballs) in two scoreless innings. He struck out three, including one on that nasty splitter above. Considering it was his first outing of the year, Tanaka looked pretty good. I’m not kidding when I say you could hear the camera clicks with every pitch.
Bunch more GIFs after the jump. Sorry about the quality, HD was in and out on MLB.tv for me.