Archive for Spring Training
The Yankees announced their season-opening rotation earlier today, with Michael Pineda not so surprisingly winning the fifth starter’s job. Adam Warren will move back into the bullpen when the season begins next week but he is making the spot start tonight as guys get lined up during the final week of Spring Training.
The Phillies made the short trip across the causeway from Clearwater for tonight’s game. They brought their A-lineup since this is the final week of camp, so Chase Utley and Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz and all those guys are playing. So is former Yankee Bobby Abreu. Right-hander Jeff Manship will be on the mound as Philadelphia gets a spot start of their own. Here is the lineup Joe Girardi is sending out there. I have to think that’s the Opening Day lineup, only with Jacoby Ellsbury batting leadoff and playing center field and Brett Gardner hitting ninth.
- LF Brett Gardner
- SS Derek Jeter
- DH Carlos Beltran
- 1B Mark Teixeira
- C Brian McCann
- RF Alfonso Soriano
- 3B Kelly Johnson
- 2B Brian Roberts
- CF Ichiro Suzuki
Available Position Players: C Austin Romine, 1B Russ Canzler, 2B Eduardo Nunez, SS Dean Anna, 3B Scott Sizemore, LF Yangervis Solarte, CF Adonis Garcia, RF Zoilo Almonte, and DH Zelous Wheeler will be the second string off the bench. C/1B Jose Gil, 1B/C Tyson Blaser, and OF Antoan Richardson are also available.
Available Pitchers: RHP David Phelps, LHP Vidal Nuno, LHP Matt Thornton, RHP Shawn Kelley, RHP David Robertson, RHP Matt Daley, LHP Fred Lewis, RHP David Herndon, RHP Shane Greene, RHP Jim Miller, RHP Danny Burawa, and RHP Yoshinori Tateyama. So everyone, basically. Everyone’s available.
It’s cool and cloudy in Tampa but there’s no threat of rain. They’ll have no trouble getting tonight’s game in. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm ET and can be seen on YES, MLB Network, and MLB.tv. Enjoy, meaningful baseball is right around the corner.
The Yankees were off on Monday and it was a full day off with no workouts scheduled at big league camp. It has been raining in Tampa for a good part of the day anyway, so even if they were scheduled to play, they likely would have been rained out. Here’s a recap of what did happen in camp today.
- Ivan Nova went eight scoreless innings in an intrasquad minor league game before the rain, allowing four hits and one walk while striking out ten. He threw 91 pitches. Frankie Cervelli caught Nova and homered. [Chad Jennings]
- The upcoming rotation: TBA (Tuesday), Chris Leroux (Wednesday), CC Sabathia (Thursday), Hiroki Kuroda (Friday), and either Nova or Masahiro Tanaka (Saturday, final spring game). David Phelps is lined up for tomorrow, for what it’s worth. Whoever doesn’t start Saturday’s game will likely pitch in a minor league game. Sabathia, Kuroda, and Nova will start the first three games of the regular season based on how they line up. [Jennings]
- More from Jennings: The fifth starter decision has been made and will likely be announced tomorrow, after Girardi talks to the players. I’m pretty sure Phelps is not listed as tomorrow’s starter because he’s about to be moved into the bullpen, but we’ll see. The bullpen and bench decisions have not been made and those situations may not be resolved until the very end of camp.
- Jacoby Ellsbury (calf) will DH in a minor league game tomorrow and get six or seven at-bats. If that goes well, he could return to regular Grapefruit League play on Wednesday. [Wally Matthews]
- Tyler Austin (wrist) hit in a simulated game and could play in a minor league game tomorrow. He’s been working out at third and right field. Greg Bird (back) and Ty Hensley (hernia) will not start the season on time. Hensley is 3-4 weeks from throwing, so he might be out until midseason. It begins. Ronnie Mustelier has a hamstring injury and has not played at all this spring. [Jennings]
- Donnie Collins has some more notes from minor league camp. Looks like Bruce Billings will get the ball on Opening Day for Triple-A Scranton, if you care about such things.
This is your open thread for the night. MLB Network will re-air two games tonight plus both the Nets and (hockey) Rangers are playing. Talk about whatever you like here.
The Blue Jays snapped the Yankees’ seven-game winning streak with a 3-1 win on Sunday. Michael Pineda had his worst outing of the spring, allowing three runs on six hits and a hit batsman in six innings. He struck out two and walked no one, getting a dozen outs on the ground compared to only two in the air. Jorge Castillo says he threw 57 of 80 pitches for strikes. Pineda was mostly 88-91 mph on the YES gun with a few 92s and 93s mixed in. Not the best outing, but he held his own against Toronto’s mostly A-lineup.
The Yankees scored their only run on a Derek Jeter double play ball. He went 0-for-3 and it sure would be comforting if he started hitting soon. Brett Gardner and Carlos Beltran both went 2-for-3, Brian McCann and Alfonso Soriano both went 1-for-3, and Brian Roberts and Mark Teixeira went a combined 0-for-7. Grapefruit League MVP Yangervis Solarte struck out with the tying run on base to end the game. Dellin Betances further locked up a bullpen job by inheriting a bases loaded, one out jam, and escaping with a strikeout (Jose Bautista) and fly out (Edwin Encarnacion). Here’s the box score, here are the video highlights, and here’s the rest from Tampa.
- Jacoby Ellsbury (calf) will play in a minor league game on Tuesday. If he plays in a regular Grapefruit League at some point, the Yankees won’t be able to backdate a potential DL stint. Minor league games it is. Brendan Ryan (back) is feeling a little better but won’t play at all this week. [Wally Matthews, Castillo]
- Beltran is hosting an event to encourage and motivate the team’s minor leaguers, and today he was recruiting teammates to participate. He recently hosted a catered event for Latino players in the organization, with guest speakers and a band. Pretty neat. [Castillo, Chad Jennings]
- Donnie Collins has some notes from minor league camp, if you’re interested. Manny Banuelos hit 95 mph for the first time since Tommy John surgery in today’s three-inning outing.
- The Yankees do not have a game on Monday, but Ivan Nova will pitch in a minor league game. Not sure if any other workouts are planned.
Here is your open thread for the night. This afternoon’s game will be replayed on YES at 10:30pm ET, and MLB Network will re-air a different game later tonight. The Devils, Knicks, and Nets are all playing as well. Talk about anything and everything right here.
The Grapefruit League winning streak is up to seven after the Yankees beat the Twins 5-4 on Saturday afternoon. Masahiro Tanaka had his worst start of the spring, allowing three runs on five hits, one walk, and one hit batsman in 5.2 innings before hitting his pitch count. He struck out six, got six ground ball outs, and four fly ball outs. Tanaka got burned by the shaky infield defense a few times but he was also behind in the count quite a bit early. He wasn’t sharp but it was hardly a disaster.
Zoilo Almonte and Zelous Wheeler both had a pair of hits, including a double. Scott Sizemore singled in two runs. Brett Gardner went 0-for-3 and both Eduardo Nunez and Kelly Johnson went 1-for-4 with a run scored. Frankie Cervelli had a rough day physically, getting hit by a pitch in the left hand and also getting hit by a few foul tips. He remained in the game through it all, so I guess he’s fine. Cervelli went 0-for-2 with a run scored and the hit-by-pitch at the plate. Here’s the box score, here are the video highlights, and here’s the rest from camp.
- While Tanaka was pitching against the Twins, Hiroki Kuroda started a minor league game in Tampa. He allowed two runs in six innings and threw 84 pitches. “I feel like I’m all set,” he said afterward. Shawn Kelley, Matt Thornton, Dellin Betances, Preston Claiborne, and Cesar Cabral all threw perfect innings in a minor league game. [Jorge Castillo, Donnie Collins]
- Derek Jeter took batting practice today and said he’s fine. He fouled two pitches off his left foot/ankle in last night’s game (in the same at-bat, so one right after the other), the ankle he had surgically repaired in October 2012. [Dan Martin]
- As expected, Joe Girardi officially named CC Sabathia the team’s Opening Day starter. Girardi said the rest of the rotation could be announced on Tuesday — “Maybe Tuesday we’ll announce it, would be my guess.” — though the bullpen and bench decisions are still a ways off. [Chad Jennings]
- And finally, Collins has a bunch of notes from the minor league complex, if you’re interested.
This is your open thread for the evening. This afternoon’s game will not be replayed anywhere, but MLB Network will show the Dodgers and Diamondbacks live from Australia at 10pm ET (Ryu vs. Cahill). That’s a regular season game and the second of the two-game series — the Dodgers won the first game of the year this morning. The Devils and Rangers are playing (each other) as well, so talk about these games or anything else here.
Two days after traveling to Fort Myers to play the Red Sox, the Yankees are back in town this afternoon to play the Twins. Masahiro Tanaka is making his third “real” start of the spring and his fifth overall appearance. He’s scheduled to throw 90 pitches, so this will basically be a full start. As you might expect, the Bombers did not send many of their regulars on the 2+ hour bus trip after playing last night. Here are the Yankees and Twins lineups. First pitch is scheduled for a little after 1pm ET and the game can be seen on MLB.tv. There is no live YES or MLB Network broadcast. Enjoy the game if you’re watching.
Update: Whoops, apparently the game is live on MLB Network. My bad.
Another day, another win. The Yankees won their sixth consecutive Grapefruit League game on Friday night, shutting out the Pirates four-zip. CC Sabathia was in midseason form, holding the Bucs to four hits and one walk in seven innings of work. He struck out seven and got ten ground ball outs compared to just two in the air. Vintage. The television gun had Sabathia mostly at 88-89 mph but there were a bunch of 90s and 91s mixed in throughout the outing. That’s encouraging. His offspeed stuff was dynamite.
Brett Gardner, Derek Jeter, and Mark Teixeira all went 0-for-3, though the first two drove in runs with ground balls. Jeter fouled two pitches off his left foot/ankle, but told Bryan Hoch he’s fine after the game. He was not scheduled to play Saturday, so Jeter will get a day to rest anyway. Brian McCann doubled in a run and the trio of Carlos Beltran, Alfonso Soriano, and Brian Roberts went 1-for-3. McCann also threw out two attempted base-stealers. Matt Thornton (two outs), Shawn Kelley (one), and David Robertson (three) retired all six batters faced. I hope every game goes this smoothly. Here’s the box score, here are the video highlights, and here’s the rest from Tampa.
- Before the game, Shane Greene and Greg Bird were named the 2013 Kevin Lawn Award winners as the organization’s minor league pitcher and hitter of the year, respectively. Congrats to them.
- Jacoby Ellsbury (calf) took batting practice and did some conditioning drills today. Everything went fine, as far as I can tell. Brian Cashman said he’s “not worried” about the injury and Joe Girardi said Ellsbury will likely play in a game either Sunday or Tuesday (they’re off on Monday). I’d put my money on Tuesday. [Jorge Castillo, David Waldstein]
- In case you missed it earlier, an MRI revealed a pinched nerve in Brendan Ryan‘s back and he is likely to open the season on the DL. Cashman said “all the answers are here in camp” when asked about replacing Ryan, just in case you were hoping they’d make a trade or sign someone. [Bryan Hoch]
- Ivan Nova will indeed pitch in a minor league game on Monday. That’s how the rotation lines up. Both Vidal Nuno and Adam Warren threw 80+ pitches in a minor league game on Thursday, so they’re staying stretched out. Nova and Michael Pineda threw their scheduled bullpen sessions. [Chad Jennings, Castillo]
- Thornton will pitch again tomorrow night because Larry Rothschild wants to get him in a set of back-to-back games before the end of camp. [Castillo]
- One last thing: Friday was the first day teams can place players on the 15-day DL (of backdate the DL stint) if they intend to activate them right when the 15 days are up. Could come into play with Ryan. [Evan Drellich]
The Yankees are on the road to play the Twins in Fort Myers tomorrow afternoon, when Masahiro Tanaka will make his fourth start of the spring (really fifth if you count his simulated game). We’re approaching the point of the spring when the regular start playing two or three days in a row, but I’m not sure how many will make the 2+ hour bus trip south after playing tonight.
This has been a weird spring for CC Sabathia, this evening’s starter. His fastball continues to sit in the upper-80s and that remains a concern, but he has been excellent in two of three outings, including retiring 15 of 16 batters faced in his last start. (The one was an error by the third baseman.) Baseball Reference’s opponent quality stat says Sabathia has been facing almost all big leaguers too. I’d like to see more velocity, but at the end of the day outs are outs. If he gets them throwing 88 mph, who am I to complain?
The Pirates are in Tampa for tonight’s game. Even though it’s a night game and they had to make an hour bus trip up from Bradenton, they did bring a few of their regulars, including Neil Walker, reigning NL MVP Andrew McCutchen, and former Yankees farmhand Jose Tanaka. Edinson Volquez will be on the mound. I have no idea why the Pirates a) gave him $5M, and b) are expecting him to be in their rotation. That’s a move the pre-2013 Pirates would make. Whatever. Here’s the starting lineup, which looks an awful lot like what we figure to see come Opening Day:
- CF Brett Gardner
- SS Derek Jeter
- RF Carlos Beltran
- 1B Mark Teixeira
- C Brian McCann
- LF Alfonso Soriano
- 3B Kelly Johnson
- 2B Brian Roberts
- DH Ichiro Suzuki
LHP CC Sabathia
Available Pitchers: RHP David Herndon, LHP Matt Thornton, RHP Shawn Kelley, and RHP David Robertson are all scheduled to pitch. RHP Danny Burawa, RHP Shane Greene, and LHP Fred Lewis are the extra arms.
Available Position Players: C John Ryan Murphy, 1B Russ Canzler, 2B Yangervis Solarte, SS Dean Anna, 3B Zelous Wheeler, LF Zoilo Almonte, CF Antoan Richardson, and RF Adonis Garcia will be the second string off the bench. C Austin Romine, C/1B Jose Gil, C Peter O’Brien, and UTIL Casey Stevenson are also available.
The weather is fine in Tampa. Some clouds and temperatures in the mid-to-highs-70, but no threat of rain. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm ET and you can watch live on both MLB Network and MLB.tv. There is no YES broadcast even though it’s a home game. Enjoy.
The Yankees won their fifth straight Grapefruit League game on Thursday night, beating the Red Sox 3-2 in Fort Myers. They’ve outscored their opponents 25-7 during the five wins. Frankie Cervelli hit another homer, this one a solo shot. The other two runs came after the team had two outs and the bases empty thanks to a walk (Zoilo Almonte), a bloop double (Zelous Wheeler), and a two-run single (Ichiro Suzuki). Ichiro, Dean Anna, and Eduardo Nunez all went 1-for-4 while Mark Teixeira went 0-for-3 with a walk.
David Phelps continued to make his case for the fifth starter’s spot with a strong outing, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks in six innings. He struck out three. The two runs came across as he approached his pitch limit in his final inning of work. Chris Leroux retired all four men he faced, Fred Lewis retired two of three batters faced, and Matt Daley retired all three he faced for the all-important Spring Training save. Here’s the box score, here are the video highlights, and here’s the rest from a slow day in Tampa.
- Joe Girardi indicated the Yankees could make a decision about the fifth starter’s spot as soon as this weekend. “We have a night game (Friday), so we could have some discussions. And we have a home game Sunday, we could have some discussions. And maybe we’ll make the decision by then,” he said. Have to think it’s Michael Pineda‘s job at this point. [Brendan Kuty]
- Brendan Ryan was scratched from tonight’s lineup with upper back spasms unrelated to his previous oblique injury, and after the game both he and Girardi said they are concerned he won’t be healthy in time for Opening Day. Ryan has only played in four games this spring and the start of the season if only eleven days away. [Sweeny Murti, Dan Barbarisi]
- If Ryan is not ready for Opening Day, the Yankees will carry two of Nunez, Anna, and Yangervis Solarte. Sounds like Scott Sizemore, who hasn’t played much and is nursing a quad injury, is out of the running for a bench spot. Nunez and Anna are both on the 40-man roster, which could give them a leg up. [Bryan Hoch]
- In case you missed it earlier, a precautionary MRI on Jacoby Ellsbury‘s calf came back negative and he is still day-to-day.
The Yankees will play another night game on Friday, this one against the Pirates in Tampa. CC Sabathia will be making his fourth Spring Training start (well, fifth counting his simulated game a few weeks ago) and I assume most of the regulars will play. Not sure who will be on the bump for Pittsburgh. Doesn’t matter, really.
For the second time in three days, the Yankees are playing the Red Sox in a Spring Training game that more than a few people will try to pass off as meaningful. Gotta shove the rivalry down everyone’s throat. David Phelps is making his fifth start of the spring as he looks to edge out Michael Pineda for the final rotation spot, though that might be a lost cause at this point. Boston is playing most of their regulars, so it’ll be a good tune-up for Phelps, who is probably scheduled for something like six innings or 90 pitches.
Because it’s a night game and the Yankees had to travel two hours south to Fort Myers, they sent a skeleton crew roster. Whoever drew the short straw, basically. The biggest name to make the trip is Mark Teixeira, who still needs a lot of at-bats after missing all but 15 games last season due to his wrist injury. Otherwise it’s a bunch of bench players and non-roster invitees. Star and scrubs as the title says, only the star really isn’t a star anymore. Here’s the starting nine:
- CF Ichiro Suzuki
SS Brendan RyanSS Dean Anna – Ryan was a late scratch with upper back spasms unrelated to his previous oblique problem
- 3B Eduardo Nunez
- 1B Mark Teixeira
- C Frankie Cervelli
- 2B Scott Sizemore
- LF Yangervis Solarte
- RF Zoilo Almonte
- DH Zelous Wheeler
SP David Phelps
Available Pitchers: RHP Matt Daley, RHP Chris Leroux, RHP Yoshinori Tateyama, and LHP Fred Lewis are all scheduled to pitch. RHP Branden Pinder, LHP James Pazos, RHP Manny Barreda, and RHP Caleb Cotham are the extra arms.
Available Position Players: C Austin Romine, 1B Jose Gil, 2B Jose Pirela, SS Carmen Angelini,
3B Dean Anna, LF Ben Gamel, CF Antoan Richardson, RF Adonis Garcia, and DH John Ryan Murphy will be the second string off the bench. C/1B Tyson Blaser and UTIL Ali Castillo are also available.
The weather in Fort Myers is quite lovely this evening, with no clouds and temperatures in the upper-60s/low-70s. Not bad. Not bad at all. You can watch the game live on YES locally and both ESPN and MLB.tv nationally. Enjoy.
The Yankees have swung a trade late in Spring Training in each of the last three seasons, and if they’re going to do the same this spring, they’ll have to do it soon. Opening Day in Houston is only 12 days away. Infield help figures to be the top priority at this point but adding another arm, specifically for the bullpen, wouldn’t be a bad idea. It’s not like you can have too many relievers.
This time of year, most trades involve players who are out of options and can’t go to the minors without passing through waivers. Teams don’t want to lose them for nothing, so they’re traded if don’t make the roster. That’s how the Yankees wound up with Chris Stewart in Spring Training 2012 and why they traded away Sergio Mitre in Spring Training 2011. MLBTR has this year’s list of out of options players and one of the most well-stocked teams is the Pirates, who have four out of options pitchers for three bullpen spots. Both Travis Sawchik and Tim Williams expect a trade before Opening Day, not someone to be placed on waivers. Is there a trade match with the Yankees? Let’s look.
If the name rings a bell, it’s probably because Gomez threw a perfect game against Double-A Trenton back in May 2009. The 26-year-old right-hander was the Pirates swingman last summer, pitching to a 3.35 ERA (3.85 FIP) in 80.2 innings across eight starts and 26 relief appearances. Gomez is a classic low-90s sinker, low-80s slider, low-80s changeup guy who gets grounders (55.4%) but doesn’t miss bats (15.9 K%) or really limit walks (8.4 BB%). On the bright side, he did not have much of a platoon split last year, holding righties to a .269 wOBA and lefties to a .278 wOBA. Not the sexiest pitcher in the world, but for a swingman, you could do worse.
Mazzaro, 27, is local guy from Hackensack who really blossomed after moving in the bullpen full time last year, posting a 2.81 ERA (3.31 FIP) in 73.2 innings. He’s a low strikeout (15.1 K%), low walk (6.9 BB%), high ground ball (52.2%) pitcher despite a mid-90s two-seamer and upper-80s slider. Mazzaro had a small reverse platoon split in 2013, holding righties to .286 wOBA and lefties to a .269 wOBA. Given his two power pitches, there’s a chance the Yankees and pitching coach Larry Rothschild would be able to really unlock his strikeout potential, something they’ve done with guys like Shawn Kelley and Boone Logan in recent years.
Morris came over from the Dodgers in the Jason Bay/Manny Ramirez trade way back in the day, but it wasn’t until last season that he got extended time in the big leagues. The 26-year-old had a 3.46 ERA (4.89 FIP) in 65 innings, getting … wait for it … lots of grounders (57.5%) but few strikeouts (13.7 K%). His walk rate (10.4 BB%) was really high and lefties gave him a bit of a hard time (.320 wOBA) as well (.295 for RHB).
The numbers aren’t anything special but what makes Morris interesting is that he’s shown increased velocity and a new pitch in camp. Sawchik says scouts have clocked Morris’ four-seamer at 97 mph and his cutter at 91 mph this spring, both up 2-3 from last season. He’s also added a two-seamer in the mid-90s. A hard low-90s slider is his breaking ball. Morris has battled elbow and shoulder problems over the years and once upon a time Baseball America (subs. req’d) said he had “a 92-94 mph fastball that has hit 96 mph” and “the stuff of a frontline starter.” It could simply be that his old velocity has just started to fully return now that he’s a few years away from his last arm injury.
Pimentel, 24, was part of last winter’s Mark Melancon-Joel Hanrahan trade. He made his big league debut last September (1.93 ERA and 1.76 FIP in 9.1 innings) after pitching to a 3.35 ERA (~3.96 FIP) in 169.1 innings split between Double-A and Triple-A. His minor league strikeout (17.3 K%) and walk (7.9 BB%) weren’t anything to write home about. In their 2014 Prospect Handbook, Baseball America said Pimentel “sits at 92-94 mph … topping out at 95″ and has an “excellent, mid-80s split-changeup,” though they caution “he’s probably not quite ready for prime time” and will “have to earn his stripes in low-leverage work.”
* * *
The Yankees have several guys just like Gomez in David Phelps, Adam Warren, and Vidal Nuno, and as interesting as his two-pitch mix may be, Pimentel wouldn’t really move the bullpen needle all that much this year. Mazzaro and Morris are decent middle relievers with the type of power stuff the Yankees love, though the strikeout numbers don’t back it up. It’s obvious New York values having strikeout pitchers in their bullpen for what I think are obvious reasons. For what it’s worth, Rob Biertempfel and Ken Davidoff say everyone but Pimentel is available.
What would the Pirates want in exchange for Mazzaro or Morris? How do you value an out of options middle reliever? Stewart had knee surgery and will likely miss 4-6 weeks according to Sawchik, but would the Yankees really deal a spare catcher for a middle reliever who might not last the season? Maybe Austin Romine, but even then that feels like a stretch. Remember, the Yankees have a full 40-man roster, so they’d not only have to give up something in a trade for these guys, but they’d have to clear a 40-man spot as well (which they could do in the trade, obviously). Pittsburgh has some extra interesting arms, but I have a hard time seeing a trade fit here. Then again, the Yankees and Pirates get together for a trade every other week it seems, so who knows what’s cooking now.