Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Four Yankees Prospects In Baseball America Top 100

Photo Courtesy of @RobbinsDynasty on Twitter
Baseball America has FINALLY released their top 100 prospects list and it contains the same four familiar Yankees prospects on it. Mason Williams is ranked at #32 on BA's list while Gary Sanchez ranks 57th on the list. Slade Heathcott has jumped over Tyler Austin while ranking in at #63 while Tyler finishes the Yankees list out at #77. Baseball America is obviously not as high on Yankees prospects as others but to have four in the top 100 is still an impressive feat for us. BA has also shared their scouts scale for all the players on their list on a scale of 20-80. Here is how our prospects stack up.

Mason Williams 


Gary Sanchez


Slade Heathcott


Tyler Austin


New York Yankees Spring Training Notes 2/19

The Yankees have announced that David Phelps will start the Grapefruit League opener on Saturday. Adam Warren will start the game on Sunday. Both of these guys were considered because of how far ahead of everyone else they were and the fact that they have already faced live hitting factored into the decision as well. Phil Hughes, even before the injury, was not in consideration supposedly for the start even though he was so far ahead of the rest as well.

Austin Romine says he has stopped thinking about his back and thinks that he is 100% past the injury that cost him most of the 2012 season. This is great news if it is true especially going forward for the 2014 season.

Mark Teixeira's last day in Yankees camp will be March 2nd and Robinson Cano's last day in camp will be March 3rd before both men leave for the World Baseball Classic. That will give both players about eight or nine Yankees games before working out for the WBC.

Mark Montgomery played catch today and said everything feels fine other then a little stiffness in his back, which is expected. The Yankees top bullpen prospect and heir apparent to Mariano Rivera needs to be healthy, especially if Mariano retires after this season, so this is good news. He is expected to throw another side session as early as Thursday or Friday.

Adam Warren, Nik Turley, Brett Marshall, and David Phelps all threw simulated games today against live batting practice. David Phelps threw around 40 pitches all told including one that Ronnier Mustelier sent back flying past Phelps head. Thank goodness everyone is fine.

Phil Hughes Hurts Back On Fielding Drills

Phil Hughes is expected to miss a few days after hurting his back while covering first base in a fielding drill yesterday at Yankees Spring Training camp. This is an upper back injury, more near the shoulder blades then anything, rather than a lower back injury which is good because those are usually more minor than the lower back injuries. Hughes was immediately sent to see team doctors as a precaution and will rest it now in hopes of it not flaring up again. Hughes is ahead of schedule already and it is early in camp if you are looking for a bright side here but let's all hope that this is nothing serious.

Individual Game Tickets Go On Sale March 5th

The New York Yankees have announced that individual game tickets will be sold to the public beginning March 5th at 10:00 am ET on Yankees.com, Yankeesbeisbol.com, and on Ticketmaster. The next day, March 6th, the tickets will be available for purchase at the Yankees Stadium Ticket Office and at all Ticketmaster outlets. There will also be a Yankees pre-sale via Mastercard which will run from February 27th until March 3rd and all the details can be seen at www.yankees.com/priceless.

Spring Training Notes 2/19/13: Hughes, Montgomery, Ichiro, Gardner, Phelps, Teixeira, Cano

Phil Hughes

There are a lot of notes from a lot of players today, so let's skip the chit-chat for today and review everything that went on in Yankee camp.

-- Phil Hughes has been shut down by the Yankees for a few days after experiencing soreness in his upper back. However, according to Girardi, we shouldn't worry too much about Hughes's injury since its in the upper part of his back.

"It's upper back, up here by his shoulder blades, so we'll see how he is in a couple of days. The good thing is he was ahead of where he probably would normally be at this time which helps. You're usually more concerned about the lower lingering. But until it's gone, it's going to linger. That's like, a Yogi-ism."

-- After experiencing discomfort in his back, Mark Montgomery played catch today. Montgomery was also throwing to hitters earlier in Spring Training, and the Yankees should expect to get the young pitcher back soon.

-- Ichiro Suzuki is known for his behind his back catches when he's shagging fly balls in the outfield, and Brett Gardner wanted to see it for himself. After the media spotted Ichiro making a catch from behind his back, they went to Gardner who was in the outfield with him during outfield drills, and Gardner admitted that he was the one who told Ichiro to do it, with a smile on his face.

"It's my fault." Gardner laughed. "I told him to do it."

Gardner is already one-up on Joe Girardi, since Girardi has heard of the catches but never had seen one in person. I guess all he has to do to see one is ask Ichiro. Honestly, Ichiro sounds like a lot of fun to be around.

-- Joe Girardi chose David Phelps as the starter for Saturday's game (which is not televised). Adam Warren will pitch in Sunday's game (which is televised on YES).

-- Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano are preparing for the World Baseball Classic, meaning that they both would leave camp earlier this year. Robinson Cano is leaving camp March 2nd while Mark Teixeira is leaving camp March 3rd. That gives both players to get in some Yankees games before heading out and representing their country. Don't worry Yankees fans. Robinson Cano will be back on March 6th when Team Dominican Republic plays the Yankees at GMS Field. Should be a lot of fun.

Kevin Youkilis Shows Off His New Batting Stance

 As we all heard this off season Kevin Youkilis worked with Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long and tweaked his very awkward batting stance. These tweaks were finally on full display today as he took batting practice in the teams first full work out of the spring. The video is courtesy of Chad Jennings and Lohud.com so enjoy!

Spanning the Yankee Blogs: Cano, Cabral, Free-Agents & more...

Spanning the Yankee Blogs

Every Tuesday at Noon we do this article.  If you want to be included feel free to email me.   Thanks.

* An A-blog for A-Rod reminds Yankee fans not to forget about Cesar Cabral.

* Bleeding Yankee Blue asks that Cano's new deal should be in NY.

* Bronx Baseball Daily looks into the 2013 Seattle Mariners.

* Pinstripe Alley looks into why that Yankees confuse the heck out of us.

* River Ave Blues checks into the other Yankee impending free-agents.

* The Yankee Analysts see improvements from Nova in 2013.


How Is Kyle Lohse Still A Free Agent, Brian Cashman?

How in the world is free agent starting pitcher Kyle Lohse still a free agent and why is Brian Cashman not doing anything about it? Kyle Lohse is the only player left that declined a qualifying offer and is linked to some sort of draft pick compensation, something that the Yankees can afford to lose since we received compensation for Nick Swisher and Rafael Soriano, and a Scott Boras client which does not look to be willing to sign a one year deal, and frankly he should not have to.

In the last five seasons Lohse has pitched at least 188 innings three times including each of the last two seasons while winning at least 15 games in three of those five seasons as well. His 2012 line alone should be garnering him more interest from clubs after going 16-3 for the St. Louis Cardinals with a 2.86 ERA in 33 starts and 211 IP. With a very impressive 1.09 WHIP and an ERA+ of 134 and a 7th place finish in the National League Cy Young vote it just boggles my mind how Kyle is still a free agent this deep into February.

With the impending free agency of Phil Hughes after the 2013 season and the uncertainty behind Ivan Nova I cannot fathom why the Yankees are at least not, reportedly anyway, kicking the tires on this guy. Hiroki Kuroda and Andy Pettitte also look like they will be on their pinstripe farewell tour as well this season so the Yankees will need some veteran presence in the rotation beyond CC Sabathia in 2014. The only thing that could be keeping Cashman from getting involved is the switch from the American League to the National League and Kyle's sub .500 W/L% career in the American League but then again it wasn't until he reached St. Louis until his career took off so I am willing to take the chance. If we can get Lohse at a reasonable price for three years or less I do not see how we don't send Nova or Phelps out in a trade or some how make room for a guy like Kyle Lohse. This seems like the perfect kind of move that Ninja Cashman would make and this would really improve the team for 2013 and beyond so get it done Cash!

Plus I wouldn't mind adding him and his wife to the Wives & Girlfriends section of the site, I'm just saying.

Morning Bits: Cano & Jeter

mug3Good morning all.  Let's get right to the links...

-- Scott Cacciola of The New York Times writes that for Cano, status and pressure are rising.

-- John Harper of The Daily News write that the Yankees will have to sign Cano and hope he turns out more like Jeter than A-Rod.

-- Harvey Araton of The New York Times has an article about Jeter being back on the field and keeping the faith.

Meet A Prospect : Jose A. Ramirez

Jose Altagracia Ramirez was born on January 21st, 1990 in Yaguate, San Cristobal, Dominican Republic. The Yankees must have loved his 6'1" 155 lb frame pitching from the right side because they signed Jose as an International Free Agent in June of 2007. The Yankees added him to the 40 man roster this year to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft so time is almost up for Jose and it seems like it is 2012 or never for this guy. Personally after winning the Florida State League Pitcher of the Week twice last year for the Tampa Yankees I think it may be a bit premature to write this guy off.

Jose Ramirez started his professional baseball career in 2008 in the Dominican Summer League with the Yankees 2nd DSL team. He would get 39 IP under his belt with an unimpressive 0-3 record and a 4.15 ERA with 39 strikes outs. The Yankees moved him up to the Gulf Coast League for 2009 where he spent 61 IP and compiled a 6-0 record with a 1.48 ERA earning him a late season promotion to the Tampa Yankees, skipping Low A Charleston. While only pitching 3 IP with the Tampa Yankees the Yankees started him out with the Low A Charleston Riverdogs for the 2012 season where he went 6-5 with a 3.60 ERA in 2010 in 115 IP and 105 strike outs. Jose would start the 2011 season back in Charleston where he went 79 IP and had a 5-7 record with a 4.90 ERA before being promoted back to the Tampa Yankees where he went 0-5 with an 8.14 ERA in 24.1 IP. Jose had a bounce back season in 2012 with the Tampa Yankees after going 7-6 with a 3.19 ERA in 98.2 IP and striking out 94 batters. Jose could start as high as AA Trenton in 2013. 

It is speculated that Jose A. Ramirez was the reason the Yankees seemed so willing to let go of Arodys Vizcaino in the Javier Vazquez trade with the Atlanta Braves. It is looking better for us all the time as Jose Ramirez is hitting 100 mph in instructs and Arodys is set to miss the 2013 season with Tommy John surgery after the Braves put him in the bullpen and he blew out his elbow. Ramirez comes in with three plus pitches including hist traditional four seam fastball that touches 98-100 mph but sits consistently at 93-96 mph. He also junked a slurve for a traditional curve ball that he also struggled with so he decided to throw a true slider that he has made major strides with at instructs before the 2012 season. His third pitch has always been considered to be his best pitch which is a power change up that he throws from the same arm slot as his fastball that sits in the 80-84 mph range. His change up as even been compared to Manny Banuelos's change up and has rivaled his as the best change up in the Yankees farm system.

ETA : Late 2014 - Early 2015