Monday, February 18, 2013
The witch hunt is beginning after the fall out from the Biogenesis clinic information being leaked to the public. Robinson Cano, who is openly close to Melky Cabrera and Alex Rodriguez, was asked today by reporters if he had any link to Biogenesis and Tony Bosch and had ever taken any kind of performance enhancing drugs. His answer did not satisfy a lot of reporters when he said "the first time I heard (about Biogenesis)was when the thing came out" so three reporters followed him out to the parking lot reiterating the question about whether he had used PED's before. Cano responded with a "no" every time he was asked and refused to speak about Alex Rodriguez or Melky Cabrera because it was their personal business. This is a dangerous precedence to start if you are the media by harassing a guy and making him guilty by association.
All the talk of the Yankees getting old, playing with fire with aging players coming back from injuries, having a quiet off season, not making a big splash, and blah blah blah has not effected the Yankees in the PECOTA department. Seen HERE you can see that the Yankees will still be the beasts of the AL East and will be affected that much by the loss of guys like Nick Swisher, Russell Martin, and Alex Rodriguez.
Now everyone says that PECOTA is "deadly accuracte" but for the first time in recent memory PECOTA is giving me a "huh?" feelings with these projections. The Toronto Blue Jays are still a fourth place team and only improve by 12 games after a 73-89 record in 2012. The Baltimore Orioles go from a 93 win team and a Wild Card to last place 74 win team, a 19 loss differential? The rest is not worth arguing about but these two are really eye openers for me.
According to PECOTA the Yankees will still score 805 runs in 2013 which is an improvement over the 804 scored in 2012. 805 runs would put the Yankees 4th in the American League behind the Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers, and Boston Red Sox respectively. The Yankees pitching and defense is only projected to allow 689 runs which is only one more run then the 688 runs that they allowed last season. 689 runs allowed would rank the Yankees 2nd in the American League behind only the Tampa Bay Rays.
If PECOTA is as accurate as everyone says it is then we should all start pre-ordering our playoff ticket packages and AL East Division T-Shirts now.
You never want to hear about any player getting scratched for any kind of injury, however minor, but we heard that Mark Montgomery was scratched from his live batting practice session yesterday due to a back issue. Snap Dragon Monty, as he is known as on twitter, is entering his age 22 season and is ranked as the Yankees top bullpen pitching prospect. Mark has told reporters that it is "a 48-hour thing" and expects to be back to pitching as early as tomorrow. Mark strikes out about 40% of the batters he faces and with this more then likely being Mariano Rivera's final season this is a make or break season for the Yankees and Mark Montgomery so let's hope this back strain is no big deal.
If you are a MasterCard holder, the Yankees will have a special pre-sale staring February 27, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. The general public will be able to purchase tickets on March 5th at 10:00 a.m. For more details visit www.yankees.com/priceless.
For more information you can call the Yankees at 212-YANKEES or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Before today, the last time Joe Girardi saw Derek Jeter on a baseball diamond was in Game 1 of the ALCS, where he had to carry him off the field due to him shattering his ankle. Today was a friendlier and warmer sight for the team to see, Jeter warming up with his teammates, getting in shape for the season as if everything was normal. Well, almost normal. Derek Jeter still can't run the bases and can't run around the field like the rest of his teammates. However, that's not slowing down the Captain, as he's progressing o get back on the field.
"I already said to myself I'm good to go." Jeter said. "There's steps along the way, but there's always steps along the way in the offseason before you play. You run the bases. You go first to third. You make different plays in the field. Those are all things you have to do, so I have to progress to that, but I don't have to convince myself that I'm ready."
The good news? Derek Jeter's ankle feels great. And it should feel great: his ankle has bolts and screws inside to prevent it from breaking again.
--Robinson Cano spoke to the media today after working out with his teammates, and the questions that were mostly asked was about the Biogenesis report. Cano's name isn't in the reports, but two of his closest friends Alex Rodriguez & Melky Cabrera's were, the latter being suspended 50 games last season after testing positive for PED's.
"They are still my friends." Cano said to the media. "You have to be with your friends through the good times and bad. I have to stay with my friends. I don't have any reaction. I would say that's a personal matter and to let them handle that."
-- And the award for the most clever yet innocent remark of the day goes to...Ichiro! As we all know, Derek Jeter made the back cover of the New York Post over the winter where it infamously showed him "out of shape." Ichiro said what was the most clever, funny and innocent comment I've heard all Spring.
"Jeter was not the eater the media portrayed him to be." Ichiro said. "That was good to see."
-- And the last tidbit of the day goes to none other than Brett Gardner. Gardner didn't speak to a crowd of reporters like the others, bu he did disclose that he would prefer to play his natural position (center field). However, he'll help anyway he can help the team, even if that means him playing in left field while Curtis Granderson patrols center.
-- Pat Borzi of The New York Times has a good article on the challenges of Jeter's recovery.
-- Wallace Matthews of ESPN NY writes that Jeter is taken for granted.
-- Bryan Hoch of MLB.com has a bunch of Yankee notes in this article.
Nikolas C. Turley was born on September 11th, 1989 in La Canada, California where he attended Harvard-Westlake High School in California. With a 6'7" frame and weighing in at 230 lbs while throwing three plus pitches from the left side and has drawn comparisons to a young Andy Pettitte you can understand why the Yankees drafted him in the 50th round of the 2008 MLB First Year Players Draft. The Yankees offered him enough money, thankfully, to get him out of his written commitment to BYU and become a professional baseball player. With his three plus pitches, amazing pitchers frame, and the fact that he throws for control from the left side I cannot see how he fell to the 50th round but I am glad the Yankees scooped him up.
Nik only saw 8 IP in his first professional season for the Gulf Coast Yankees and put up a 2-1 record with a 1.13 ERA in four games, one of them as a starter. He stayed in the GCL in 2009 where he compiled 54.1 IP to go with a 2-3 record and a 2.82 ERA. Nik would start the 2010 season in the GCL once again but was not long for the league as the Yankees moved him up to the Staten Island Yankees where he put up a 4-4 record with a 4.38 ERA in 61.2 IP. By the end of the 2012 season Nik had made it all the way to the Trenton Thunder AA affiliate where he only got to pitch 5 IP before the season ended. In 2012 Nik had a combined record of 10-5 with an 3.00 ERA in 117 IP while splitting time with Tampa and Trenton.
Nik is an intimidating prescence on the mound when he comes out there at 6'7" and throws a 2 seam fastball that sits in the 91-92 mph range. He also throws a nice changeup that sits in the 79-81 mph range and has a big looping curveball that is by far his best pitch. Unlike many tall pitchers in baseball, see Andrew Brackman, Nik has shown to be consistent with his control and his ability to repeat his mechanics and stay on top of the ball. Nik is a ground ball machine so he projects to do very well in the new Yankees Stadium if he can keep the ball down and make hitters pound the ball into the ground a la Chein-Ming Wang or Ivan Nova. Nik projects to be a middle of the rotation kind of starter and if everything goes as planned that will be in the Bronx for the New York Yankees.