Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Not So Odd Couple

Hideki Matsui receives his 2009 WS ring at Yankees 2010 home opener.

Despite a language barrier, it didn't take Hideki Matsui long to fit in with his New York Yankees teammates upon his arrival in 2003. He quickly became one of the favorite teammates of many of the players, including the captain, Derek Jeter.

So it comes as no surprise that the two are now working together to help the victims of Japan's devastating earthquake and Tsunami of 2011. Jeter, who recently held a major fund raising event for his Turn2 Foundation, will help aid the survivors of Japan's Tohoku region by participating in baseball clinics and a home run derby (move the right field fence in).

Jeter compared the victims' plight, especially the children, to those of 9/11.
''The kids will never forget what happened,'' Jeter said. ''But if they can come out and have fun and enjoy themselves through the sport of baseball, that's what we're trying to do here.''
15,000 people were killed when tragedy struck on March 11, 2011. Among other fund raising events will be a baseball game Sunday at the Tokyo Dome. The teams will be made up of players from the Tohoku region. In non-related news, Jeter said he needed "a break from the game", but hopes to return at some point as an owner.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Eovaldi Impressive In Yankees Debut

The Yankees parted with a valuable piece when they dealt Martin Prado to the Miami Marlins for Nathan Eovaldi and others during the offseason. In his first start of Spring Training, Eovaldi already had his fastball fully gassed in the Yankees home opener against the Clearwater Phillies. He consistently threw his number one in the mid-90's, and topped out at 98.

Eovaldi also tossed a 90 mph curve and a changeup between 84 and 89 to keep the hitters off-balance. He allowed a run on two hits, the first of which may have been caught had right fielder Tyler Austin taken a better route to the ball.

The only other batter that reached safely did so on a Stephen Drew error.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Yankees Tie As Judge Makes The Final Decision

Aaron Judge cuts an imposing figure.

The Yankees opened their 2015 Grapefruit League schedule Tuesday, in Clearwater, FL, against the Philadelphia Phillies with a 5-5 tie. The game was called after nine innings, which is not unusual during Spring Training.

Highly touted pitching prospect Luis Severino tossed 1.1 innings and Adam Warren threw two scoreless innings as he battles for a spot in the rotation. But it was Aaron Judge everyone was talking about afterwards.

Judge, a first round draft pick (32nd overall) by the Yankees in 2013, hit a three-run home run in the top of the 9th inning as the Yankees rallied from a four run deficit to tie the game at five apiece.

The 6'7", 230 lb outfielder split 131 games between Single-A Charleston (SAL) and Advanced-A Tampa (FSL) last year. In his first year of professional ball, the right fielder hit 17 home runs and drove in 79 runs. He produced a slash line of .333/.428/.530 for the RiverDogs before his promotion to Tampa. There he put up a slash line of .283/.411/.442. Though Judge struck out 131 times in 467 at-bats, he also walked 89 times and stroked 24 doubles.

It's only one game, but it's the first game and Judge make a quick, positive expression Tuesday.

Severino didn't fare as well. The Yankees top prospect gave up two runs on four hits. The Yankees had 13 hits, led by Slade Heathcott and Greg Bird with two apiece. Future second basemen Jose Pirela and Rob Refsnyder both committed errors in the game.