Saturday, February 16, 2013

Kevin Youkilis In Yankees Gear For First Time

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and if you do not believe it just ask any Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees fan that just looked at this picture...

Does Cervelli Have A Minor League Option Left Or Not?

A few weeks back we heard that Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman confirm, or so I thought, that Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli has one minor league option remaining and could be sent down to the minor leagues this season. Chad Jennings from Lohud reported this in an interview with Brian Cashman, seen HERE, and one would think that Brian Cashman would know better then anyone but I read a conflicting story from another source that I highly trust. MLB Trade Rumors posted their list of players that are out of options and out of curiosity I went and looked at the Yankees players, seen HERE, and saw Francisco Cervelli listed as a player OUT of minor league options. Again, I trust Brian Cashman more then I do Tim Dierkes over at MLB Trade Rumors but that does not mean that I am not now thoroughly confused concerning whether Cervelli has an option left or not.

Francisco Cervelli Withdraws From WBC & Team Italy

Francisco Cervelli has told the manager of Team Italy that he will be withdrawing from the World Baseball Classic. Cervelli is going to use the time to good use and fight for the starting catcher job for the New York Yankees. The Yankees gave their permission for Cervelli to play in the WBC this year but has decided that competing with Austin Romine, Chris Stewart, and others like Bobby Wilson. Also I am sure the Biogenesis clinic down in Miami had something to do with it. Either way I am glad to see Cervelli taking this Spring Training seriously.

New York Yankees Spring Training Notes 2/16

CC Sabathia threw his first bullpen session since having elbow surgery in the off season which consisted of 29 pitches, all fastballs and change ups. Sabathia said that he felt nervous when he started to throw but immediately felt good and comfortable after throwing a few pitches. Great news that he was pain and complication free because in a season that is going to be filled with question marks we need CC Sabathia to once again be the rock of the rotation.

Joe Girardi said that both CC Sabathia and Mariano Rivera will be skipped during the first time in the Yankees Spring Training rotation. Girardi said that neither are likely to throw their first Grapefruit League pitches until at least March.

Speaking of Mariano Rivera he threw roughly 30 pitches today in a bullpen side session. He also came through it pain and complication free so the Sandman looks to be healthy and back for the 2013 season after losing most of the 2012 season to an ACL surgery.

Spring Training Notes 2/16/13: Rivera, Sabathia, Chamberlain, Cervelli

[caption id="attachment_14875" align="aligncenter" width="225"]Mariano Rivera watching Andy Pettitte throw a bullpen session Mariano Rivera watching Andy Pettitte throw a bullpen session[/caption]

The main event for the Yankees today was the bullpen pitching, provided by none other than Andy Pettitte, CC Sabathia and Mariano Rivera. Rivera threw his second official bullpen of the Spring, and feeling more and more comfortable on the mound.

"There's no piece of mind when I say 'OK, I feel good now." Rivera said. "No, I knew the job that I put in during the whole year, it's been a hard job and I always tell you guys I trust myself. I trust God first, then I trust myself. I'm capable to do this. I was expecting this, it feels good. I feel good."

So what would be the biggest test for Rivera as he gets ready for the season while wearing a knee brace?

"Bunting. Comeback liners. Cover first. All that stuff. You can't think, you have to react." Rivera said. "That will be, what I think, the biggest test."

CC Sabathia is also coming back from surgery, and hopes to make all his starts while staying healthy.

"After the season I had last year, being on the DL a couple of times, getting a little older, I just want to concentrate on staying healthy." Sabathia said. "Any kind of numbers I feel will be there if I'm healthy, so that's the only thing I'm worried about."

-- Francisco Cervelli has confirmed that he will not play in the World Baseball Classic for Team Italy and made sure that he let the manager know.

"I talked to the manager a couple of days ago, and he understood the situation."

So what was the situation? Apparently, Cervelli wants to win the catching job with the Yankees in Spring Training.

"This is what I've been waiting for."

--, Joba Chamberlain has been reportedly been acting a little--out there at camp today. According to Bryan Hoch, he got into a laundry cart and asked Boone Logan to push him in it. That just shows that 1) Chamberlain has an awesome child-like imagination and 2) it's not all work and no play with that guy.

-- Even the manager of the Yankees has to get in some Spring Training workouts this season. After workouts were finished, Joe Girardi spent time doing batting practice with his son Dante, warming up his catching arm. I wonder if Girardi is considering the role of 'emergency catcher' this season. I think he still has some game in him.

On This Day in History | 2004

[caption id="attachment_14870" align="aligncenter" width="604"]A-Rod strokes his 600th HR (Photo courtesy of Flickr) A-Rod strokes his 600th HR (Photo courtesy of Flickr)[/caption]

On this day 9 years ago the Yankees finalized a deal that brought Alex Rodriguez to New York for Alfonso Soriano and a player to be named later.  The framework of the deal included Texas agreeing to pay $67 million of the $179 million left on his contract, giving A-Rod roughly $16 million a year, or $14,403 per nine innings.

Has it really been 9 years?

During that span we have seen one of the greatest players of all-time (even if you don't like the guy you have to admit this) win two MVPs, destroy everyone in the 2009 postseason, and hit his 400th, 500th, and 600th career home runs. We have also seen him disappear in more than a few postseasons, admit to taking PEDs, date Madonna, and slap the ball out of Bronson Arroyo's glove. Has there ever been a more schizophrenic career in the history of baseball? (Don't say Milton Bradley because he may have actually been schizophrenic.)

There are two interesting subplots to this story that are often forgotten. The first is that the Yankees were not even in the market for a third baseman until Aaron Boone tore his ACL during a pickup basketball game in late January, an unfortunate injury that not only ended his season but violated his contract with the Yanks. All of sudden there was a hole to fill.

Secondly, Boston blew it. They had A-Rod locked up and I spent most of the '04 Christmas season petrified that A-Rod would end up with Sox and hit pop flies onto Lansdowne Street for the next ten years; but Boston couldn't get out of its own way. They nearly landed Rodriguez in December, but a proposed deal fell through that would have sent Manny Ramirez to Texas. Boston was golden until the Players' Association stymied their attempt to restructure Rodriguez's monster $252 million contract that apparently would have lowered its value by roughly $32 million. Ten months later the Sox didn't look so foolish as they wrapped up their World Series sweep, giving them their first title in 86 years, nevertheless, it's an interesting backdrop to one of the biggest trades in Yankee history.

What are your favorite/least favorite A-Rod moments? Share them in the comments section below.

Meet A Prospect : Zoilo Almonte

Zoilo Almonte was born on June 10th, 1989 in Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, Dominican Republic. Zoilo has been in the Yankees system since 2007 when he signed as an International Free Agent at age 16. He has consistently flown under the radar for the Yankees in their system being overshadowed by a deep outfield class but had a coming out party in the 2011 season, his age 22 season. In that 2011 season Zoilo put up a triple slash of .298/.373/.522 and has instantly put himself on the Yankees radar as far as potential bench players and mid season call ups as soon as this season. 

Almonte is considered to have a plus arm with a very athletic build at 6'0" and 200 lbs and has been called a great defender. He is also a switch hitter who has shown great plate discipline for such a young player and is considered to be mature beyond his time when it comes to his baseball skilss. He has great BB% and power numbers in his career despite his smallish frame. This will be Zoilo's second season on the 40 man roster and under Rule 5 Draft protection and will start the season in Scranton after playing over 100 games in Trenton last season putting up a .277/.322/.487 to go with his .808 OPS. 

ETA : Late 2013 - Mid 2014