Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Being borrowed from our friends over at Yankees Fans Unite who want to look at our options for RF in 2013. It really is a great read from a great site so I suggest that you check out both. Anyway, here is the write up.
New York Should Be Saluting You Back Nick
"Injury" Is The Word
Today Joe Girardi announced that Joba Chamberlain would throw from a full mound for the first time tomorrow and remains on schedule to be back before the all star break, a mere 12 months since Tommy John surgery. For those that do not know 12 months is way ahead of schedule for a guy to be back in the big league after a Tommy John surgery so I think that should show everyone just how much Joba has worked hard to get back to the team.
George Kontos felt some stiffness in his oblique while throwing a bullpen session which is not good for him since he was in line for the last bullpen slot, which is wide open right now. He is going to sit and rest it for a week and see how it feels after that and hopefully that does not set him behind schedule too much because he is already 27 years old, holds a valuable 40 man roster spot, and not earning it thus far. The clock is ticking for George Kontos and this season is definitely his last hurrah. He knew this also and it shows because he came into camp ahead of about everyone else since he has been throwing for months before camp.
Bill Hall and Chris Dickerson were the two newest Yankees to arrive at Yankees camp for spring training. While I wrote here that I was not crazy about the signing of Bill Hall I do follow the guy on twitter and he has a great attitude, especially about being a Yankee. According to his twitter he has lost 20 pounds this offseason so he can be better in the field and specifically he wants to steal more bases for the Yankees. He is also a great person to interact with, retweeting his fans and talking to them. He seems to be quickly becoming a fan favorite (on twitter anyway) although I do not really see a position for him on the team when Eric Chavez signs. He does have the ability to go to the minors for a very short time but I do see him exercising that opt out clause if he is not called up by May 1.
"Would you extend me? I'd extend me."
Yesterday we saw reports that the Yankees had spoken to Russell Martin about signing an extension (you can read the one from River Ave Blues here). Which got me thinking... should they? Personally, I don't think so.
One reason is that Martin just turned 29, and would be 30 years old when the extension starts. I'm sure you've heard many people talk about a player's prime, which usually comes between the ages of 27-29. That would mean that the Yankees would have signed Russell to an extension starting the year after his prime. That doesn't seem like a great idea. What could make it worse is that Martin has started 735 games behind the plate, and it's no secret the the game is harder on catchers than any other position. It may not be as bad as signing somebody at that age to a contract of 5+ years, but that reason does make me think it's something the Yankees should not jump at.
Also, keep in mind that Russell Martin did only hit .237/.324/.408 last season (although the 18 HR were pretty sweet). I'm expecting a boost in those numbers to occur in 2012 (Bill James predicts a line of .256/.355/.400 with 14 HR), but it's not as if he's blowing people away with his bat, and therefore should be locked up for 2-3 more years. I may eat those words if Martin is able to replicate his 2007 season (.293/.374/.469, with 19 HR), but again... I see no reason for the Yankees to jump the gun here.
As for an option, Austin Romine could at least turn into a serviceable catcher. He's pretty much on the same level as Martin defensively, as Austin was ranked by Baseball America as the team's best defensive catching prospect. And remember that Joe Girardi values defense in his catchers above offense. However, due to Romine's offense (he's struggled above AA), I don't expect him to be a long-term solution. But I believe Austin could be a stop-gap to Gary Sanchez.
And of course there's the austerity budget looming. I don't believe the Yankees would sacrifice their on-field product to get there, but it's something for the team to keep in mind. And every little bit counts when it comes to the team's payroll, and getting to $189 million for 2014. Especially if the team wants to sign a Cole Hamels after this season.
So my hope is the team has put off an extension for good, and will wait to see how 2012 plays out. If Austin Romine improves with the bat, and keeps up his defense, then I'd like to see them let Russell Martin walk. But if Romine takes a step back, while Martin improves or at least maintains solid numbers, then bring Russell back. But no need to jump on anything right now.
We've been working hard to create a great payroll and roster page. I want it to be a page that fans bookmark in order quickly get information regarding player contracts, team payroll, roster updates, as well as links to each players' Baseball Reference page (I believe B-R is the best resource for player and team statistics). However, I don't expect that page to replace Cot's Baseball Contracts when it comes to detailed information on player contracts.
I like where the page is at, but I wanted to ask our readers if there was anything you believe would be a good addition to the page. On the right side, below our Twitter feed and the picture of Joe Girardi looking at the Steinbrenner plaque, you can contact us four different ways.