Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Curtis Granderson Scratched

Curtis Granderson was scratched from tonight's game with a sore right elbow. He will be sent for precautionary MRI's but neither Brian Cashman or Joe Girardi seem worried about it. Better safe then to be sorry I guess, especially this early in the year. Updates to come later.

Yankees Release 3 Players

Grant Duff, who has been battling injuries the last two seasons with his shoulder, has been released by the New York Yankees. As one of my old man crushes and my friend on facebook I cannot say that I am pleased with this news. I understand it though with him just pitching around 46 IP the last two seasons and less then half of those have been effective.

Reggie Corona has also been released by the Yankees along with Don Mattingly's son, Preston Mattingly. I never understood why we even signed Preston Mattingly but it is a moot point now. He never appeared in an official game for the Yankees. Maybe the Dodgers will pick him up?

First 2 Spots In Rotation Set

CC Sabathia will be pitching on opening day... shocker. It will be his 4th consecutive opening day start for the Yankees.

The one that shocked me was Hiroki Kuroda starting game #2. I know he was one of the two to be guaranteed a starting rotation spot but I am still in utter shock that he was essentially, whether directly or indirectly, named the Yankees #2 starter.

I know that Ivan Nova has easily had the worst spring as a Yankee but I am willing to ignore some of that and look at what he did last season. I can see a Kuroda pick over Phil Hughes but Michael Pineda too? I cannot say that I necessarily agree with this but hey... It's March right? A lot can change between then and when it REALLY matters.

Spring Training 3/27/12

Tonight the Yankees play the Toronto Blue Jays at George Steinbrenner Field at 7:05 pm ET on the YES Network. Here is the lineup

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Russell Martin C
Raul Ibanez DH
Andruw Jones RF
Brett Gardner LF
Pitching: LHP C.C. Sabathia

Take out Jones and put Swisher in RF and flip flop him and Russell Martin and Id say you have your opening day lineup. 

Why Make a Sideways Deal?

Why are people giving up on me already? It's only Spring Training.

The Yankees have extra pitching, so it's no surprise that people are thinking about dealing some of that extra pitching in order to fill a need. I'm not part of this group, but there are those that see a need when it comes to a DH to hit against RHP.

Raul Ibanez was brought in to fill that role, and I was one of the few that was good with that decision. Although Raul's numbers vs. RHP last season were far from eye-popping (his line was .256/.307/.440), in his career he's hit RHP to the tune of .286/.351/.488. His home run total vs. RHP last season was 16 in 437 PA, which is right in line with his career average of 17 HR/437 PA. Not that I was expecting him to match that career triple-slash vs. RHP, but looking at the projections at Fangraph's it seems like a line vs. RHP of .266/.332/.451 is about right (I looked at the average change in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage by the 4 projections from 2011 to 2012, and then added them to his triple-slash vs. RHP last season).

Lately the talk has been trading for Bobby Abreu, as he's clearly not happy with what will most likely be a part-time role on the Angels, thanks to the OF being full and Kendry Morales looking good this spring. Initially I saw this idea as another nostalgic move, like how so many Yankee fans longed for Johnny Damon's return while citing what he did for the team 2+ years ago, rather than what would be best for the team. But I decided to take a look and see if Abreu would be a better alternative anyway.

Bobby Abreu's 2011 vs. RHP was .259/.366/.400. Looking at his projections, like I did for Ibanez, the only true change I see for Bobby is to up his slugging percentage a bit. So chances are, at this point, he's not an improvement over what the team has anyway. I think the Yankees should just hold onto that extra pitching, and see what Ibanez can do during the regular season. If after a month or so he proves to not be the answer they were looking for, and Abreu is still available, then look at using the extra pitching to acquire him.

Besides, if Ibanez is looking okay (especially considering he'll be batting in the lower third of the lineup), then that extra pitching could be used on a future replacement for Nick Swisher or Russell Martin.