Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Yankees Announce A Rod's Hip Surgery Set For Jan 16th

According to Sweeny Murti on Twitter the Yankees have announced that Alex Rodriguez's left hip surgery will be set for January 16th, just 8 days away. With a 4-6 month recovery time that puts A Rod back on the field back in mid May- mid July.

Derek Jeter & Francisco Cervelli Injury Updates

The Yankees heard some encouraging news on the injury front on two of their players today, Derek Jeter and Francisco Cervelli. As you remember Derek Jeter is rehabbing after his broken ankle and subsequent surgery and Francisco Cervelli suffered whiplash after taking a foul tip to the mask in Winter Ball. With Jeter being up there in age and Cervelli's history of concussions any kind of good news on either front is encouraging.

Derek Jeter is still said to be on track for Opening Day according to his agent Casey Close and is coming along just like the doctors intended and had hoped. Derek is out of his walking boot and while he has not done anything baseball related yet, which is not unusual for him at this time in the off season, he has been jogging in a pool and riding a bike.

Cervelli was evaluated both in Venezuela and in Tampa Florida by team doctors and was cleared by both so he is cleared to go back to Venezuela to continue Winter Ball. With his history there is always going to be a cause for concern and you can never be too cautious so I am glad that he is okay. Four concussions in eight years will make any mom, or general manager, a little hesitant.

Yankees Interested In Ben Francisco

The Yankees continue to look for right handed outfield help even after signing Matt Diaz and claiming Russ Canzler and that looks has them looking at Ben Francisco. The Yankees are one of five teams to be interested in the free agent outfielder although Ben himself is looking for the "best opportunity" and "most at bats" so the Yanks do not seem to be a great fit.

Yankees Aggressively Trying To Acquire Michael Morse

We reported earlier that Michael Morse would be made available after the Washington Nationals signed 1B Adam Laroche to a two year deal and the Yankees would be interested. Jim Bowden has reported that the Yankees have been the most active team, followed by the Seattle Mariners and Tampa Bay Rays, trying to acquire the 31 year old outfielder and first baseman. Morse has put up a triple slash of .296/.345/.516 in the last three seasons, can play both corner outfield spots, and can play first base so the interest makes sense as he would be a perfect fit for the Yanks. He is signed for cheap for this season only and in my opinion would not require all that much in a trade with his track record. The Nationals are reportedly looking for starting pitching depth and a left handed reliever so it is just a matter of days before David Phelps and Boone Logan are wearing Nationals jerseys. Check back here for the breaking news.

Yankees & Nationals Will Play Exhibition 3/29/13

The New York Yankees and the Washington Nationals have announced that they will play an exhibition game at Nationals Park in Washington DC on March 29th tat 2:00 pm ET. A portion of the earnings will go to the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation which is a charity that helps kids in the Washington DC area. Single game tickets will go on sale through the Washington Nationals and all details will come at a later date so check in at nationals.com/dream for all the details.

LaRoche Signs With Nats, Morse Available

Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post tweeted that Adam LaRoche and the Nationals have agreed on a two-year contract. The terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed, but one thing is clear now... the Nationals are open to trading Michael Morse. Washington currently has a full outfield (Harper, Span, Werth), and now LaRoche at 1B, leaving Morse without a position there.

Morse hit .291/.321/.470 last season, which includes his lowest on-base percentage in the last three years. Michael also hit 18 home runs in 2012, after hitting 31 in 2011, although last season he played in 44 less games than the year before. And Morse doesn't seem to have a preference of hitting righties or lefties, as he doesn't have a true split (career .292/.343/.487 vs. RHP, and .303/.357/.503 vs. LHP). So his bat would absolutely be nice to have in the Bronx.

The Beast would likely start in right field for the Yankees, seeing as how he's played either 1B or OF since 2006 (he played 450 innings at shortstop in 2005, but don't start thinking he's the heir to Jeter at that position), and it's more plausible that he'll knock Ichiro out of the regular starting lineup than Teixeira. Of course, against righties, I could see Morse DHing so that Gardner, Granderson, and Ichiro would all start in the OF.

Anyway, we'll have to see what happens, as the Yankees are surely not the only team in on Morse.

EDIT: ESPN.com reports that the deal is worth $24 million for two years, with a mutual option for a 3rd year.

Playoffs a Lost Cause for ARod

Alex Rodriguez only came to the plate 27 times during the 2012 postseason, so it's not as if we have a significant sample size, but it was clear to anybody watching that he was pretty much useless. ARod hit .120/.185/.120 with 12 strikeouts, leading to him being pinch hit for and benched. Dr. Bryan Kelly, the man who will be performing ARod's hip surgery, gave us some insight as in to why...
“I was more surprised that he was able to play at all with a hip that looked like that,” Kelly said. “Most people would not be able to play with a hip function like this and the imaging that looked like his.”
Dr. Kelly went on to say that a hip needs at least 25% of internal rotation in order for a player to perform an ideal swing, and that Alex's was operating at well under 25% even in his best years. Rodriguez was opening up his left foot, along with swinging only with his arms, in order to make up for the loss of movement. A high pain tolerance also helped him get over the issue.

All in all, Dr. Kelly believes it was the hip injury that was ARod's problem, not a lack of ability. So let's hope the doctor is really good and can heal Alex, because looking at the current proposed lineup they could really use the ARod of 2008 rather than the ARod of 2012.

Hall Of Fame Voting Rules

Just as an FYI I wanted to post the actual rules that the writers and voters have to abide by when voting players into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. Everybody knows that a player must wait five years after their retirement before being eligible to be voted into the Hall by the Baseball Writers Association of America, or the BBWAA as more commonly known as. If a player dies before his five year waiting period is up, much like Roberto Clemente, then he is eligible for election after six months have passed since his death.  Every voter is allowed a maximum of 10 players on their ballot but you do not have to use all of the votes and I do not think it is a requirement to use any votes at all in a particular ballot. A player must have at least 75% of the vote to be elected into the Hall of Fame and is permanently left of future ballots if the player receives less then 5% of the vote in any ballot.

 If a player is not voted in after twenty times on the ballot he will be eligible for the Veterans Committee ballot but no longer eligible to be on the BBWAA ballot. The Veterans Committee is made up of three subcommittees each of which who consider and vote for candidates from a separate era of baseball. Every three seasons each of the committees and eras are represented and voted on. One committee votes only on pre-World War II players, one for executives and builders like George Steinbrenner for example, and one committee is set up for managers and umpires.

It is a lot to wrap your head around and with new changes and rules coming all the time it is kind of hard to keep up with but here are the current rules for the players being elected into the hall. The vote is set for this Wednesday, 1/9/13, so check here and on MLB Network for the results from what is being called the most controversial Hall of Fame ballot ever.