Tuesday, February 12, 2013
As you all know the Yankees opened up Spring Training camp today with pitchers and catchers reporting to camp and Joe Girardi having his annual State of the Yankees address. The biggest news to come out of the press conference was that Alex Rodriguez will be doing his rehab from his hip surgery in New York rather than with the team in Tampa. The Yankees say that this has nothing to do with the Biogenesis link and his connection to performance enhancing drugs but I do not think anyone is really buying that one.
The Yankees currently have Curtis Granderson penciled in to play center field with Brett Gardner playing in left field but that is not set in stone. Joe Girardi plans to use the spring to make that decision on who will be in center and who will play left.
The only pitchers that have not reported to camp that have an actual shot at making the roster are Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera. When you are Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera I guess you do what you want and I am not going to be the one to say anything about it. Michael Pineda and Cesar Cabral have made their way to Tampa and are both rehabbing from injuries. Neither are really expected to be in a Spring Training game.
Despite hearing Brian Cashman say that Yankees catching prospect Austin Romine will start in AAA with the Scranton Rail Riders Joe Girardi said today that Romine would get a serious look at being either the every day catcher or a back up catcher. Austin has come to camp after losing weight and says that he feels great and is without any kind of back pain. Austin will be in direct competition with Francisco Cervelli but I think the Yankees may have a change of heart after the Biogenesis link, just a hunch on my part though. Great news for Austin either way though to be healthy and back.
The first work out is tomorrow so we should have more tomorrow. Check back here all Spring Training long!
CC Sabathia has lost 10 pounds this off season and looks slimmer than I think I have ever seen him, well as slim as you can be at 290 lbs. CC says that this is his "ideal weight" after hitting 300+ lbs last season. Gotta lay off the room service and the captain crunch CC.
Today may be the State Of the Union Address for the United States of America, but today was the State of the Yankees Address live from the minor league complex by none other than the Yankees manager Joe Girardi (who might I add is in the final year of his contract). Girardi covered a plethora of topics but one of the biggest topics that Girardi covered was Alex Rodriguez. Here's some notes and news from today.
Girardi on Alex Rodriguez:
"There really isn't a lot to talk about. My concern is for him to get healthy. This club is used to having what people might call distractions."
Girardi hasn't spoken to Alex Rodriguez about the PED topic and has confirmed that Alex Rodriguez will not be in camp this spring. Instead, Rodriguez will rehab in New York.
Girardi on the 2013 team:
"We're going to have to find a different way to score runs. Our offense is going to be different but I believe [we're going to score runs]."
Girardi also believes that the Yankees are going to win 95 games and the World Series. "There's a lot of talent in this room. If we play up to our capabilities, I believe we're a very good team."
Girardi's biggest concern:
Girardi's biggest concern is finding a right-handed DH bat before the actual season begins.
As of today, Brett Gardner will be in LF, Curtis Granderson will be in CF and Ichiro Suzuki will be in RF. There's no plans on moving Gardner and Granderson as of yet, but it could change as he discusses it with his coaches.
He doesn't have any concerns on both Yankees who are coming off of injuries.
MORE AROUND YANKEES CAMP
-- Austin Romine came into camp thirteen pounds lighter and his back in very good shape. He believes he sees an opportunity.
-- CC Sabathia is also 100% after having elbow surgery over the winter. He says that the surgery was a relief and he now has complete mobility of his elbow. Sabathia also lost a lot of weight, now weighing in at 290. His first bullpen session will be on Thursday.
-- We also have new locker arraignments and numbers in Yankees camp. Here they are:
-Travis Hafner takes Nick Swisher's old number and will now wear #33. Hafner's locker is now next to Youkilis, formerly vacated by Eric Chavez.
-Francisco Cervelli will now wear #29, formerly worn by Rafael Soriano.
-David Phelps changed his number to #35. Mike Mussina used to wear #35 back in the day as did Michael Pineda last season (who we never saw during the season).
-Michael Pineda will now wear #43. His previous number was #35.
-Kevin Youkilis wears #36 and now has Nick Swisher's old locker.
- David Aardsma will now wear #34.
- Matt Diaz will now wear #22.
- Dan Johnson will now wear #27.
- Juan Rivera will now wear #54.
The Yankees have run into a quite unusual problem as they have too many players invited to Spring Training this year and not enough numbers for players. 83 players have been invited to the big league camp along with the coaches and the retired numbers the Yankees have run out of double digit numbers. The Yankees solution is to let some pitchers and positional players split a number this spring. Should get pretty confusing seeing a guy pitch with the #99 on and then play the outfield the next inning so here is the list of guys sharing numbers for your information.
#87 — C Francisco Arcia and RHP Corey Black
#88 — OF Tyler Austin and LHP Juan Cedeno
#89 — 1B Greg Bird and RHP Preston Claiborne
#90 — SS Cito Culver and RHP Nick Goody
#91 — OF Adonis Garcia and RHP Shane Greene
#92 — OF Slade Heathcott and RHP Tom Kahnle
#93 — SS Walter Ibarra and RHP Bryan Mitchell
#94 — 1B Luke Murton and RHP Mark Montgomery
#95 — OF Ronnier Mustelier and RHP Zach Nuding
#96 — SS Addison Maruszak and LHP Vidal Nuno
#97 — 2B Jose Pirela and RHP Mike O’Brien
#98 — 1B Kyle Roller and RHP Kelvin Perez
#99 — OF Rob Segedin and RHP Branden Pinder
Thank God baseball is finally back with Spring Training officially starting today. The Yankees pitchers and catchers will report to George Steinbrenner Field in Tampa Florida sometime around noon. We will have Joe Girardi's annual State of the Yankees address as well today so keep your eyes out for that. Welcome back to baseball Yankees fans! It's been too long.
Michael Francisco Paulino Pineda was born on January 18th, 1989 in Yaguate, San Cristobal in the Dominican Republic. Pineda has a big and intimidating frame standing at 6'7" and weighing in at 265 lbs and used every bit of that frame to blow Major Leaguers away since the 2011 season with a fastball that averages 94.7 mph. He has yet to appear in a game for the Yankees so it seems almost fitting to re-introduce everybody to the guy that cost us Jesus Montero, Mr. Michael Pineda.
Michael Pineda signed as a International Free Agent with the Seattle Mariners at age 16 in December of 2005 out of the Dominican Republic. Michael would spend the next five seasons in the Mariners system with mixed results. In 2006 and 2007 Michael Pineda dominated the Dominican Summer League with a combined 8-2 record with a sub two point ERA as a starter. In 2008 Pineda made the jump to A Ball and was named the Mariners Minor League Pitcher of the Year while leading the organizations farm system in ERA strike outs, and opposing batting average. Pineda was slowed down in 2009 because of an elbow strain that kept him out a big chunk of that season only allowing him to pitch 47.1 innings that season. Back healthy for the 2012 season Pineda split time between the Mariners AA and AAA affiliates and once again won the organizations Pitcher of the Year award while being a finalist for the USA Today Minor League Player of the Year award before being shut down after 140 IP as a precaution.
The 2011 season would see Michael Pineda make his debut for the big league club Seattle Mariners after five seasons in their minor league system. Pineda would make the All Star Game as a replacement for Justin Verlander in his rookie season and pitched a perfect inning including striking out the National League's Scott Rolen and Rickie Weeks in his frame. Pineda would finish the 2011 season with an unimpressive 9-10 record but with a very impressive 3.74 ERA for a rookie even though he did not record a win in any of his final seven starts of the final two months of the season. Pineda would finish fifth in the Rookie of the Year voting after striking out 173 batters in 171 innings pitched. In January of 2012 the Mariners traded Michael to the New York Yankees along with Jose Campos for catcher and uber-prospect Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi.
Pineda's tenure as a Yankee would not start out on the foot that he probably expected after a less then stellar Spring Training and an extreme loss of velocity and control. The Yankees would eventually put him on the 15 day disabled list with a tendinitis in his right throwing shoulder. This would eventually cost Michael the entire 2012 season after a anterior labral tear caused him to require surgery while he hurt himself in a rehab assignment. Add a DUI arrest for Pineda in August of 2012 and the Yankees not expecting to see him back on a Major League mound before June or July of 2013 and you can understand why some Yankees fans are upset with Michael Pineda. The best thing though is Pineda is still young and will still be under team control for three more seasons after 2013 and has plenty of time to make all the haters forget the beginning of his career and see what he has done lately.