Friday, March 1, 2013

The Captain and Cash Visit With Francesa



Mike Francesa opened his WFAN radio show on Thursday with the Captain himself, Derek Jeter, and then brought on GM Brian Cashman to discuss the upcoming season.

Jeter maintains he will be ready for opening day, hedging just a little in saying he will need to get enough at-bats. Among the things Jeter discussed were:

1. He knew his ankle was broken in the ALCS the instant it happened. He was afraid to look at it though in case it was pointing in the wrong direction.

2. He likes the makeup of the current Yankees. It reminds him of the early teams he was on when the Yankees didn't need to rely so much on home runs to win games. Jeter further stated he prefers to play the type of baseball the Yankees will need to now play with so many home run bats missing from last year's lineup.

You can more of the interview at the YES Network.

Among the things that we learned from Cashman were:

1. The catching job will be held down by Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart. Why? Because they are out of options. Cashman didn't feel Austin Romine had any shot at the job when queried by Francesa. Since he has options and basically no Major League experience, Romine needs to start the season in Triple-A.

2. Cash was really hoping Russell Martin would return, but things couldn't be worked out. Francesa asked if there was any miscommunication between the Yankees and Martin, but Cash said there was none.

3. You can tell Cash does not love the WBC, but he has become accustomed to it and shrugged it off.

4. Cash expects Curtis Granderson back the first week of May. Until them the team will "evaluate what we have" and they will also check the waiver wires. Right now there is no player ahead of the others to win the left field job.

5. Francesa asked, "Is Nunez your insurance policy at shortstop?" - Cash said Nunez or (Jayson) Nix and said that the team may only carry one of them. Francesa also asked if Eduardo Nunez had the chance to be the right-handed DH. Cash said he wanted something more, which I would interrupt as someone with the more pop/power in his bat.

You can hear more of the interview at the YES Network website.

Thursday games wrap up

The wins and losses don't matter during Spring Training, but the efforts do. Though the Yankees lost both games on Thursday (against the Astros and Blue Jays), there were some high notes.

David Phelps tossed three scoreless innings in 1-0 loss to Toronto. He allowed a couple of hits, walked a batter and struck one out.  Reliever David Aardsma tossed a scoreless inning and Juan Rivera was 2-2.

The Yankees lost to the Astros 7-6 after they had built a 5-1 lead. All fives runs came in the 6th inning when Melky Mesa belted a 3-run home run. Mesa, who's full first name is Melquisedec, has been mentioned as a possible fill-in in left field until Curtis Granderson returns. Mesa only hit .230 in 33 games after an in-season promotion to Scranton last year, but had 9 HR and 21 RBI.  Zoilo Almonte continued to impress with a pair of hits and an RBI.

Not such a great start for Dellin Betances, who showed the control trouble he struggled with last year. In one inning against the Astros Betances walked two and struck out two. Betances averaged 8.3 walks per nine innings at Triple-A last year, which led to a demotion to Trenton. He was a little better there with an average of 4.8 walks per nine innings.

Chris Stewart did something you don't see too often in Spring Training. He was ejected for arguing a call at first base.

Go to Mo

Mariano Rivera took the next step in his return by throwing an 18 pitch simulated game.

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