Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Andy Pettitte Undecided About 2014

Andy Pettitte quickly made a decision to come back for his age 40 season in 2013 after an injury riddled season in 2012. Andy has not yet made up his mind about what he will do beyond the 2013 season though even though I think that everyone just assumed that this would be his last go at it. Andy does not sound like a man who is ready to hang the cleats up just yet but a productive and strong 2013 season may change that. Nobody wants to go out after a horrible season or after a season sitting on the bench due to injuries so I guess we will just have to enjoy him while we have him and play the "will he, won't he" waiting game next off season.

Yankees Spring Training Notes 2/13

Phil Hughes threw a bullpen today of 40 pitches and told reporters that he had thrown six bullpens already before today. That seems to be quite unusual for a pitcher but in his contract year I guess he is trying to go out and make a big impression in 2012. Clay Rapada also seems to be ahead of schedule as his bullpen consisted of 35 pitches. Clay joked with reporters that he was going to be the Yankees long man reliever this season. David Phelps, Adam Warren, and Chase Whitley have all already faced live batting competition down at the Yankees minor league complex. David and Adam both have legitimate shots at making the big league club so it is a good sign to see them both ahead of schedule.

Andy Pettitte wanted to pitch for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic but the Yankees talked him out of it. As much as I would have liked to see Andy pitch for Team USA I can understand keeping a 40 year old key member of the rotation out of a game that doesn't mean anything, especially after his injury riddled season in 2012. Andy told reporters that he knows he will be limited this season by manager Joe Girardi but wants to and expects to make 30 starts, pitch 200 IP, and win 20 games. I could handle a farewell tour for Andy that involved him winning 20+ games and a World Series ring.

Mariano Rivera Should Announce 2014 Plans Soon

Mariano Rivera was toying with the possibility of retiring after the 2012 season but ultimately decided to come back for another season in 2013. When asked about his plans after this season Rivera tells reporters that he has made up his mind and will not share with the rest of the class until a later time, some time before the beginning of the season starts. Mariano Rivera will be entering his age 43 season and coming off of an ACL surgery you have to wonder how much Mo really has left but I have never been one to doubt the right hand of God and I do not plan on starting now. My gut says that there is no way Rivera comes back for an age 44 season in 2014 but stranger things have happened I guess.

Rivera threw a bullpen today of about 25 pitches which is odd for him on the first day but after missing much of the 2012 season I can see why. Rivera will undoubtedly throw more then he normally does this Spring to knock the rust off his delivery and mechanics but still plans on sticking to about 8 IP of regular Grapefruit League games. Shockingly Rivera still plans on shagging fly balls before games to stay in shape according to what he told reporters today which makes me cringe just thinking about it.

Here's to hoping Mariano has a healthy and effective 2013 season and maybe saves his farewell tour for after the 2014 season.

Yankees Acquire Middle Reliever Shawn Kelley

The New York Yankees have acquired middle reliever Shawn Kelley from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for outfielder Abraham Almonte. The Yankees have added Alex Rodriguez to the 60 day DL to make room for Kelley on the 40 man roster which is currently at full capacity. Kelley will be entering his age 28 season after posting a 2-4 record with a  3.25 ERA in 44.1 IP while striking out 45 batters in 47 appearances last year for the Mariners. Kelley also made 14 appearances for Seattle's AAA team last year going 2-0 with six saves and and 0.90 ERA in 20 IP with 25 strike outs. I am not sure we need another reliever to be honest but with a blog named The Greedy Pinstripes how can I complain, right?

Player Hurt Already

This season, more than any other, keeping players healthy is of the utmost importance. Losing even one of the regular players could mean the difference between playing in the postseason and making plans on where to watch them. Well here we are just one day after pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training, and we've already lost a player for the rest of Spring Training.

Okay, I'm not talking about Derek Jeter or CC Sabathia, but that doesn't make things a whole lot better. It turns out that Dave Adams, a second basemen that hit .306/.385/.450 in 86 games with AA Trenton last year, will not report to Tampa due to a back injury. Chances were slim that Adams would have made the big club anyway, but he likely would have started out in AAA Scranton, and could be key in the future.

Spring Training Notes 2/13/13: Cervelli, Pettitte, Rivera

Day two of Spring Training has come to an end and there were interviews from three different Yankees: Francisco Cervelli, Andy Pettitte and of course Mariano Rivera. Let's cover Francisco Cervelli first and then go from there.

Francisco Cervelli

As we all know, Cervelli's names were handwritten on the Biogenesis report which meant that Cervelli at least visited the Miami clinic after his foot injury.

"When I got my foot injured in 2011, I checked with doctors and someone recommended me Biogenesis. I went there for maybe suggestions, and that's it. I walked away without nothing in my hands. I just went there and talked, that's it." Cervelli said during the 11 minute press conference.

"Right now, I realize that it was a mistake to go there, but it already happened so what can I do?"

Cervelli wouldn't say who recommended him to go to the Miami clinic but he did say that it wasn't a player (and it wasn't Alex Rodriguez). Cervelli went to Biogenesis once and he met with Anthony Bosch during that one visit.

"Sometimes when we've got injuries, we get a little desperate to come back quick and we always want a second opinion. I went there. Someone told me. I take my responsibility. Nobody put a gun to my head to go there. And that's it."

Andy Pettitte

Now, let's move on to a non-controversial topic: Andy Pettitte. Pettitte threw a bullpen session today and then met with the media about how he's feeling along with if he plans to retire in 2014.

"I feel like I'm better than I am at age 30. Heck, I want to win 20 games. That's it." Pettitte said during his 11 minute press conference. Joe Girardi even spoke about Pettitte during another press conference this morning in Tampa.

On the topic of whether Pettitte will retire in 2014, Girardi said "I think Andy still loves to compete." To be honest, I wouldn't be surprised to see Andy Pettitte return in 2014. That's a true competitor right there.

Mariano Rivera

And last but definitely not least, everyone's favorite closer: Mariano Rivera. Mariano Rivera said that he made a decision on whether or not he will pitch next season--but he's not telling anyone just yet. However, he did say that he was going to reveal whether he planned to retire or not before the season begins.

"You guys have been patient enough." Rivera said during his press conference. When it came to rating how his knee was doing, he said it was a 9 out of 10 but by the time Opening Day rolls around, Rivera plans to feel 100%. He's doing agility drills and threw a bullpen session his first day of camp, which is out of the norm for Rivera since he doesn't throw bullpen sessions his first day.

Now, the main question that came from Rivera's press conference: will he shag fly balls this season even though he tore his ACL doing what he loved last season? Yes. He will. He will just have to be careful about it when he's in the outfield. It didn't take much convincing for Joe GIrardi to let him shag again.

"I don't want to take it away from him." That's the verdict from Girardi--but with one small, tiny exception. "Just not in Kansas City."

Courtesy of Bryan Hoch from, here are some pictures from today's Spring Training's events:

[gallery type="slideshow" ids="14807,14808,14809,14810,14811,14812"]

Yankees teammates double up jersey numbers

With Spring Training entering it's second day, the roster for everyone who was invited to Spring Training was released. Here are the jersey numbers for all players. Keep in mind, some of them doubled up numbers since there were more people at camp this year than previous years.

No. 2 — SS Derek Jeter
No. 11 — OF Brett Gardner
No. 13 — 3B Alex Rodriguez
No. 14 — OF Curtis Granderson
No. 17 – UT Jayson Nix
No. 18 — RHP Hiroki Kuroda
No. 19 — C Chris Stewart
No. 22 — OF Matt Diaz
No. 24 — 2B Robinson Cano
No. 25 — 1B Mark Teixeira
No. 26 — SS Eduardo Nunez
No. 27 — 1B Dan Johnson (listed as INF/OF)
No. 28 — Mgr. Joe Girardi
No. 29 — C Francisco Cervelli
No. 30 — RHP Dave Robertson
No. 31 — OF Ichiro Suzuki
No. 33 — DH Travis Hafner (listed as strictly a DH)
No. 34 — RHP David Aardsma
No. 35 — RHP David Phelps
No. 36 — 3B Kevin Youkilis
No. 38 — RHP Cody Eppley
No. 39 — LHP Clay Rapada
No. 40 — RHP Matt Daley
No. 41 — RHP Jim Miller
No. 42 — RHP Mariano Rivera
No. 43 — RHP Michael Pineda
No. 45 — C Bobby Wilson
No. 47 — RHP Ivan Nova
No. 48 — LHP Boone Logan
No. 50 — 1BC Mick Kelleher
No. 52 — LHP CC Sabathia
No. 53 — LHP Josh Spence
No. 54 — HC Kevin Long
No. 54 — OF Juan Rivera 
No. 55 — RHP David Herndon
No. 56 — BNC Tony Pena
No. 57 — BPC Mike Harkey
No. 58 — PC Larry Rothschild
No. 59 — 3BC Rob Thomson
No. 60 — OF Thomas Neal
No. 61 — RHP Adam Warren
No. 62 — RHP Joba Chamberlain
No. 63 — OF Melky Mesa
No. 65 — RHP Phil Hughes
No. 66 — C Austin Romine
No. 67 — LHP Manny Banuelos
No. 68 — RHP Dellin Betances
No. 70 — RHP Brett Marshall
No. 71 — LHP Cesar Cabral
No. 72 — RHP Jose Ramirez
No. 73 — 3B David Adams
No. 74 — LHP Francisco Rondon
No. 75 — LHP Nik Turley
No. 76 — C J.R. Murphy
No. 77 — 2B Corban Joseph
No. 78 — OF Zoilo Almonte
No. 79 — OF Ramon Flores
No. 80 — C Gary Sanchez
No. 81 — RHP Chase Whitley
No. 82 — RHP Ryan Pope
No. 83 — C Kyle Higashioka
No. 84 — RHP Matt Tracy
No. 85 — INF Gil Velazquez
No. 86 — OF Abe Almonte
No. 87 — C Francisco Arcia and RHP Corey Black
No. 88 — OF Tyler Austin and LHP Juan Cedeno
No. 89 — 1B Greg Bird and RHP Preston Claiborne
No. 90 — SS Cito Culver and RHP Nick Goody
No. 91 — OF Adonis Garcia and RHP Shane Greene
No. 92 — OF Slade Heathcott and RHP Tom Kahnle
No. 93 — SS Walter Ibarra and RHP Bryan Mitchell
No. 94 — 1B Luke Murton and RHP Mark Montgomery
No. 95 — OF/3B Ronnier Mustelier and RHP Zach Nuding (Mustelier is listed as an OF)
No. 96 — SS Addison Maruszak and LHP Vidal Nuno
No. 97 — 2B/OF Jose Pirela and RHP Mike O’Brien (Pirela is listed as an INF)
No. 98 — 1B Kyle Roller and RHP Kelvin Perez
No. 99 — OF/3B Rob Segedin and RHP Branden Pinder (Segedin is listed as an INF)

Morning Bits: Swisher, Can this team win a title?, Cutting of payroll

mug3Good morning all.   Day 2 of spring training is here.  Stay here with us for the latest.  Now let's get right to the links....

-- Andrew Machand of ESPN NY writes that Swish is not missed.

-- Bryan Hoch of writes that the Yankees feel they have pieces in place to win a title.

-- Paul White of The USA Today writes that the Bombers are trying to stay a cut above, despite lowering payroll.

Meet A Prospect : Clay Rapada

Clayton Anthony Rapada was born on March 9th, 1981 in Portsmouth, VA where he went to High School at Deep Creek High School in Chesapeake, VA. With his 6'5" 200 lb frame he took him and his left handed throwing arm to Virginia State University for his college days. The Chicago Cubs can be credited with finding Rapada as they signed him as an amateur free agent in 2002. After a strong and somewhat unlikely season in 2012 for the Yankees allow me to reintroduce to you Mr. Clay Rapada.

Clay would spend parts of six seasons in the minor leagues with the Cubs before making it to the majors. It was not until the 2004 season that the Cubs suggested he try his now custom side arm delivery that has worked so well for him. In June of 2007 Rapada would make it all the way to the Majors with the Cubs facing former Yankee and teammate Raul Ibanez, inducing a line out to Cliff Floyd. He would be sent down after that one batter and would not make another appearance for the Cubs in the majors.

In August of 2007 the Cubs traded Clay to the Detroit Tigers for Craig Monroe as a player to be named later. On September 9th of 2007 Clay would be called up and once again would only face one batter and once again that batter was Raul Ibanez. This time Raul would get the best of him by hitting a three run home run and ending Clay's season in the majors with the Tigers. He would spend time in and out of the minors with the Tigers until he was traded before the 2010 to the Texas Rangers for cash considerations. Rapada would be called up to the majors as a September call up that season and was even listed as an alternate during the Postseason and the World Series, the first one in the teams history, that the Rangers would eventually lose to the San Francisco Giants.  The Rangers released Rapada before the 2011 season and he stuck on with the Baltimore Orioles and essentially won a job off of a Spring Training invite. He would be designated for assignment twice by the Orioles before leaving Baltimore.

The New York Yankees signed him in February of 2012 with another invite to Spring Training and this time Rapada would win the job and be on the Opening Day roster as the Yankees second left handed reliever and LOOGY. Rapada looks to be written in ink for the 2013 Yankees bullpen once again as a second left handed reliever and LOOGY.