Monday, March 19, 2012

YCN - Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The Southpaw

Okay, so the above title got rejected by Yahoo for being too vague. But you can read what I wrote up about "Andy Pettitte Ready to Saddle Up Again For Yankees" by clicking here.

Plenty of talk these days of who Pettitte will replace in the rotation - Michael Pineda, Freddy Garcia, Phil Hughes, or Ivan Nova.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Mariano Is Ready For His Close Up

One of the rites of spring, along with seeing the first robin, is when Mariano Rivera toes the rubber in a Spring Training game. That day has come as Rivera will face the Philadelphia Phillies today in Tampa. The game will be televised on YES at 1 pm. Rivera will likely pitch in the middle innings like he starts out every year.

Watch it and appreciate it, because it may be a "last first".

Relieved Reliever:

It looks like David Robertson can somewhat breathe a sigh of relief. D-Rob injured his foot in a fall while trying to be ecologically responsible (throwing out recycling). The Yankees had cause for concern from an MRI, but the righty is done with his crutches and hopes to shed the walking boot soon after being diagnosed with a bone bruise. The Yankees will take it slowly with him.

Rotate on this:

CC Sabathia will also face the Phils while Phil Hughes takes the bus ride to Ft. Myers for a game with the Twins. Hughes needs to have a good outing after looking a little shaky his first time out. The one plus from that first game, which came in relief of Sabathia, was that his fastball was 92-93 mph. A good start today would go a long way towards helping his confidence.

Hughes would also like to have a good day after Freddy Garcia, his competition for the five spot in the rotation, threw three scoreless innings against the Braves on Friday.

Ivan Nova is looking to show that last season's 16 game output was no fluke, but the right-hander struggled on Thursday. Location, location, location is the key to pitch and so far Nova's hasn't been there.

I can hear the complaints already, but anyone who does complain is being ridiculous. I am, of course, talking about Michael Pineda's spring thus far. The Jesus Montero lovers, who already have him in the Hall of Fame, must bash Pineda in return. But the kid tends tonot have his fastball up to snuff early in spring training and has admitted to taking it slow. And that's just fine with the Yankees. This kid is the real deal. That is my mantra and I'll stand by it.

Hiroki Kuroda, a lock for the #2 spot in the rotoation, looked pretty good his first time out and should be no worries.


Good interview by the Star-Ledger's Jeff Bradley with Eric Chavez, particularly about the movie Moneyball. Chavez was on that 2002 A's team and didn't give the movie a full thumbs up. Check it out here.

Eduardo Nunez isn't ready to hit yet after being hit with a pitch on the hand and is still in pain. He's planning on getting it re-checked on Sunday.

Friday, March 9, 2012

YCN: No One Hits Home Runs Like The Yankees

Ever wonder who the Yankees' top 10 franchise leaders in home runs are? I'm sure you know where Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle are on the list, but what about Graig Nettles, Derek Jeter, and Jorge Posada.

That was the latest assignment for the Yahoo Contributor Network. Unfortunately, I was limited to 400 words and the first draft was over 1,000. Still I hope you find it interesting.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Yankees Take Grapefruit Opener

There are some basic rules in Spring Training:

1. Stay healthy. This rule far exceeds any other.

2. Get your batting eye ready; get your swing set; get your fielding down; get your pitches in and throw strikes.

3. Don't get hurt. Yes I said it already...still can't stress it enough. Just ask Austin Romine (back) and George Kontos (oblique) about that.

4. If you weren't in shape, get in shape. NOW. Michael Pineda wants (needs) to lose 10 pounds.

5. Make people take notice of you...and be sure it's in a positive way.

Won/Lost record is not on the list of rules. George Steinbrenner would totally disagree, but it doesn't matter. You want to be sure to play well, but the won/loss record does not matter, even if you play the Red Sox or Mets or whomever.

The Yankees did win today, 8-5 over the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater, but the play wasn't all positive. The Yankees made three errors, including Eduardo Nunez booting the first ball of the game at shortstop.

On the up side, Curtis Granderson picked up where he left off last season, with a home run and two hits. On a day the wind helped many a baseball elude fielders, free agent signee Cole Garner needed no help in ripping a 2-run home run to left.

Ivan Nova started for the Bronx Bombers and looked pretty good. He allowed two runs, one earned, in two innings of worked. Manny Banuelos and David Phelps threw a couple of scoreless innings apiece as they followed Nova in the pecking order.

Dellin Betances struggled with mechanics and control in an inning of work, but induced a double play to put a goose egg up on the scoreboard. A couple of lefties had mixed results in the last two innings.

Rule V pick (from Boston ) Cesar Cabrel got off to a good start in his bid to make the Yankees bullpen with a scoreless 8th inning, but Mike O'Connor was not so fortunate. The 31-yr old, who pitched in parts of three seasons with the Nationals and Mets, allowed three runs on three hits and a walk to make things interesting in the 9th.

Brett Gardner (0-3), Nick Swisher (0-3), and Russell Martin (0-2) were the only returning lineup regulars to accompany Granderson on the trip. Newbie, and former Phillies outfielder, Raul Ibanez made his Yankees' debut with a 1-3 afternoon that included an RBI.

Yankees on MLB, Saturday at 1

After playing the Univ. of So. Florida on a Friday (an 11-0 win), the Yankees begin the exhibition season against the big boys today.

Ivan Nova will get the start as the Yankees face the Philadelphia Phillies at 1 pm ET on the MLB Network. Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, and David Phelps are all expected to pitch and half dozen regulars are expected to play.