Saturday, March 30, 2013

David Aardsma Is A Class Act

These are tweets sent from recently DFA'd Yankee David Aardsma. Now I could on a rant where I complain about why we bothered to sign the guy and let him get healthy and put all that time and effort and money into a player for someone else to reap the benefits but instead I will just say thank you to David personally because I know he is reading. Thank you for being a class act and a stand up guy and basically being everything that makes a regular player into a Yankee. You always took the time to talk with us on twitter and be a all around good guy. The Yankees are damn fools for letting you go and I wish you nothing but the best and for success in both your baseball career and your personal life.

Eppley & Warren Make Final Roster Spots

Even though Cody Eppley got bombed much of the spring, although in his defense he did get better as the spring went on, he was told that he made the team out of camp this year. Adam Warren was also told that he has made the team out of camp, although probably just until Phil Hughes can make his first scheduled start on April 6th or April 11th.

I cannot make a case for Eppley over David Aardsma because where David lacks in the ability to pitch multiple innings Cody Eppley lacks in the ability to get left handed hitting out. Eppley's "stamina" because a moot point when you have three or four lefties in a row in a lineup late in a game or in extra innings.

Travis Hafner Scratched W/ "General Stiffness"

Travis Hafner has been scratched from the Yankees final tune up before the regular season with the Army Black Knights with what is being described as "general stiffness" insert joke here. I am hoping that this is just being cautious and not yet another one biting the hypothetical dust. I am sure we won't get any new news until after the game so stay tuned.

Some notes to end the Spring: Hafner, Eppley, Warren, Boesch, Rodriguez, Gardner

Spring Training officially came to a close today after an exciting day with the Yankees playing (and winning) against Army. Here were some final notes from the Spring Training front on who got the last three roster spots for the Yankees.

1. Brennan Boesch made the team as the player on the bench but Boesch is the only player who doesn't really have a specific role. Girardi could DH him, start him in the outfield, pinch hit him. The possibilities for the Yankees and Boesch are endless.

2. Cody Eppley and Adam Warren both got the final two spots on the roster. The Yankees gave Eppley the benefit of the doubt after a bad Spring, but he looked sharp in his final outing, getting all four hitters he faced.

3. Travis Hafner was scratched from the lineup today due to some stiffness but it's nothing to worry about. The Yankees simply said Hafner didn't have enough time to loosen up. He should be fine for Monday's opener.

4. Alex Rodriguez is expected to be with the team on Monday for the Opening Day festivities.  Yankees however aren't sure if he'll address the media or not.

5. An interesting fact that I got from YES today. The only player that had actually faced Army (However, not the current 2013 team) was Brett Gardner. In 2005 he was apart of the NCAA with the College of Charleston and one of their opponents was Army.

6. One final note: the Yankees start the home opener on Monday, but there are only two players that are expected to start Opening Day that played last season: Brett Gardner and Robinson Cano. So we lost 7 of the guys to either the DL or to other teams.

Enjoy your night everyone and I will see you back here Monday morning where I will be blogging (and tweeting) about the home opener with the Yankees against the Red Sox!

Trenton Thunder Name Starting Rotation

The Trenton Thunder have named their starting rotation. Spoiler alert it will not, initially anyway, include Jose Ramirez after a stellar spring. He is dinged up a little and is expected to be held back and make sure everything is okay. Here is the rotation:

  1. Nik Turley
  2. Matt Tracy
  3. Zach Nuding
  4. Francisco Rondon
  5. Caleb Cotham

New York Yankees vs. Army Black Knight 3/30

In the Yankees final tune up before the real games start they will take on the Army Black Knights baseball team today at their baseball field in West Point, New York. The Yankees will send Adam Warren to the mound to take on the Black Knights. The game will be televised at 2:05 pm ET on YES.

2013 MLB First Year Player's Draft Order Set

With the signing of Kyle Lohse, the final player to reject a qualifying offer and the last player being linked to draft pick compensation, the 2013 draft order is now finally set. Obviously the competitive balance lottery picks that were added from the new collective bargaining agreement can be traded between now and the summer draft but I can't really see that affecting the Yankees unless they dump someone for a later pick.

The Yankees own three picks in the first 33 slots after losing Rafael Soriano and Nick Swisher to free agency. The Yankees kept their own pick at #26 and received the #32 pick for Nick Swisher and the #33 pick for Rafael Soriano's departure. The Yankees have four picks in the top 66 picks with their second rounder and have five picks in the top 103 picks.

The Yankees are looking at having around $7.3 million in cap space for this years draft including $1.5 million for each of their first three picks in the first 33 slots. The Yankees have the money now to take high end talent that may be a little farther away with the first three picks and take the safer picks that can fly through the system with the second round and beyond picks. We all saw how well the Yankees navigated the draft last year signing big talent for slot money or below and I expect nothing less this year from Brian Cashman and co.

2014 Predictions: The Roster

Burch has been predicting what will happen in MLB this season, whether that be with awards or in the standings. I thought about writing my own thoughts on those subjects, but I decided to go another direction when it comes to predictions. Now, a lot of things can and likely will happen before the end of the season, so this may all be for nothing. But who cares? It's fun playing fantasy GM.

For starters, I really don't see a big trade happening with the Yankees this season. And by "big" I mean bringing in Curtis Granderson's replacement. Justin Upton seemed like the guy to do that, as the Diamondbacks were clearly looking to move the guy, but that ship has sailed. Looking around the league at other outfielders, I don't see anybody that could be what the Yankees will need to replace Grandy. There just aren't any players of that magnitude that seem available, as they are already locked up due to being younger and/or on a good contract. Not that Granderson is on the same level as these guys, but the team could really use somebody behind Robinson Cano that scares people. I'm looking at players like Ryan Braun, Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen, Josh Hamilton, and Matt Holliday. Guys that can not only hit the ball out of the park, but also have a batting average of .290 or higher. You know, the type of hitter Alex Rodriguez was in 2009 and before.

"Have you seen this man?"

Pitching-wise the team seems to be set. In fact, by mid-season the team could be overflowing with starters. CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte, Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova, David Phelps, and Michael Pineda could all be fighting for only five jobs. Even looking at 2014 the team could be just fine to use CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda, a re-signed Phil Hughes (I think he will be back), Ivan Nova, and David Phelps. There's a chance, albeit a slight one, that Chien-Ming Wang becomes a good rotation option too. Sure, I can see the Yanks adding a veteran pitcher like  Kuroda or Pettitte, but it's the type of move that may be able to be put on the back-burner.

Going back to the hole that will be left by Curtis Granderson, I really want the Yankees to sign Shin-Soo Choo when he hits free agency. The Reds will likely be in the hunt the entire season, so I wouldn't count on them looking to trade Choo. I suppose Cincinnati may be interested in re-signing him, or possibly extending him before he becomes a free agent, but if a bidding war develops for the outfielder I can see the Reds backing off.

As for Shin-Soo's credentials, in eight MLB seasons his triple-slash is .289/.381/.465. Choo is not a stranger to hitting home runs either, as he's currently projected by ZiPS to hit 21 of them. He will be 31 in July, meaning the Yankees should be able to sign him to a contract which will allow them to miss his big decline years. In fact, the only stat I see going down throughout his next contract is his stolen base total.

I think it's highly probably that the team does something about third base. Alex Rodriguez is a huge health concern at this point, and I just don't see him being able to play the field 125+ games a season. And seeing as how he is set to be paid another $86 milion, for four more years, the Yankees have to figure out a way to keep him not just healthy but effective. And being the team's regular DH may be the only way. Let's keep in mind that ARod is not "done", though. Sure, he's unlikely to hit 30+ home runs a season, but seeing that he had a 19% Line Drive percentage last season, which is his career average, I think there's a good possibility that his last 4 seasons will not be a total waste at all. I can totally see him lowering his strikeout rate a bit, while lowering the number of infield fly balls, making him a bit of a threat once again.

"I'm glad somebody thinks I can still get it done, but what I want to know is this... What do you think about the suit? Sexy, isn't it?"

Eduardo Nunez, Jayson Nix, and Ronnier Mustelier are hardly good options to be the regular third baseman for the Yankees in 2014. Nunez and Nix are fine backups, but starters? No thanks. And I believe Mustelier's bat may play well in MLB, but if he breaks into the big leagues it will likely be as an outfielder instead of third baseman, as his defense is already suspect.

Although I don't expect Kevin Youkilis to return in 2014, it wouldn't surprise me if the Yankees brought him back should he have a good 2013 season. Kevin is only 34 years old as well. But there may be something better....

I'm going to say that the Yankees are in the market for a third baseman. Looking at the list of free agents, though, I don't see anything compelling. Wilson Betamit, Eric Chavez, Mark DeRosa, Mike Fontenot, Jerry Hairston Jr, Brandon Inge, Placido Polanco, Mark Reynolds, Juan Uribe, Michael Young... none of them stand out to me. This is an area where I see Cashman looking to make a deal.

Even though the Padres have said they are not looking at trading Chase Headley, I just don't believe it. Headley will make $8.575 million this season, making him the 2nd highest paid player on the Padres, and that salary is likely to go over $10 million in 2014. San Diego will also need to either re-sign or replace 1B Yonder Alonso, as well as starting pitchers Edinson Volquez and Jason Marquis. After finishing the 2012 season 18 games out of first place, I doubt they are thinking about contending again soon, so they would likely want to make moves for a few years down the road. Since I highly doubt they'd give Headley what he'll command as a free agent, they may want to move on now.

"Yeah, sorry Chase, there's nothing in here for you. Guess we'll just trade you to the Yankees."

And as for their future, Jedd Gyorko, the Padres #3 prospect according to Baseball America, is ready for MLB. Jedd is set to start at second base for San Diego this season, however I can see the team wanting to get 2B/3B Logan Forsythe some more playing time. To do that either Gyorko would have to move to 3B, where he played most of the time while in the minors, or Logan would have to play 3B. Forsythe isn't the greatest thing to have ever touched a baseball bat, but his OBP of .445 in AAA in 2011 and .419 in AAA last season, as well as improvements across the board at the MLB level between 2011 to 2012, makes me believe the Pads would like to get him more playing time.

Trade proposals by people on the internet are generally terrible, and mine is probably no different. But what if the Yankees packaged a couple young pitchers like Ivan Nova and Brett Marshall, who could fill the spots left by Edinson Volquez and Jason Marquis, as well as one of the Yankees' young outfielders like Slade Heathcott or Tyler Austin, for Headley? Perhaps Eduardo Nunez could be thrown into the deal. The Yankees seem to really want him to be the heir to Derek Jeter at short, but I just don't see it happening. Eduardo would certainly be an improvement over the Padres current shortstop... Everth Cabrera, who has hit .240/.321/.327 in over 1100 MLB plate appearances.

Anyway, as I said, a lot can happen between now and the end of the season, so this bit of fantasy GM may turn out to be moot. But wouldn't you feel really good about the team rolling out this lineup in 2014?

1. Brett Gardner - CF
2. Shin-Soo Choo - RF
3. Robinson Cano - 2B
4. Chase Headley - 3B
5. Mark Teixeira - 1B
6. Derek Jeter - SS
7. Alex Rodriguez - DH
8. Ichiro Suzuki - LF
9. Francisco Cervelli - C

Alex Rodriguez Rehab Starts

Alex Rodriguez posted on facebook, tagging the New York Yankees, that his rehab back from a second hip surgery in five seasons has begun. This cannot be bad news for Alex or the Yankees because love him or hate him he helps the team when he is right and he is healthy. 

Exhibition Game 2: Yankees vs. Army Lineup

Brett Gardner CF
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Kevin Youkilis 3B
Travis Hafner DH
Vernon Wells LF
Lyle Overbay 1B
Eduardo Nunez SS
Francisco Cervelli C

LHP Vidal Nuno

Scranton Railriders Roster Almost Complete

The Yankees AAA affiliate the Scranton Railriders roster is almost set with now 23 of their 25 man roster set in stone. I expect the final two spots to be filled by either Jose Pirela, Ronnier Mustelier, or Reggie Corona. If I had to guess I would think that the latter, Reggie Corona, would be left off the roster unless Ronnier starts the season on the DL. If David Aardsma clears waivers and heads down to AAA then that starts a whole new debate for another day. Let's look at the roster:


Vidal Nuno
Dellin Betances
Brett Marshall
Chien-Ming Wang
Jim Miller
Preston Claiborne
Juan Cedeno
Josh Spence
Sam Demel
Chase Whitley
Mark Montgomery
Chris Bootcheck


Austin Romine
Bobby Wilson


Dan Johnson
Gil Velazquez
David Adams
Corban Joseph
Luke Murton
Addison Maruszak


Melky Mesa
Thomas Neal
Zoilo Almonte

Opening Day Roster: Agree or Disagree?

1B - Lyle Overbay

How in the world did Lyle Overbay make the team over Juan Rivera? Juan Rivera had a wonderful spring while Lyle Overbay had a terrible spring. While I, in no way, expect Juan Rivera to come anywhere near hitting .300 in the season like he did in the spring but I do, in fact, expect Lyle Overbay to struggle to stay over the Mendoza line like he did this spring. It is not even a veteran over a prospect kind of thing because Rivera is 34 years old and has played multiple positions for multiple teams over the years including having success with the Yankees.

UTIL - Jayson Nix

Jayson Nix I agree with only because Eduardo Nunez is the short stop on Opening Day. Jayson proved he could handle the New York pressure last year and can play defense at multiple positions. I think Jayson is on the team for the long haul as I see Nunez being sent down once again when Derek Jeter finally returns and personally that makes me happy. For what he is, a utility infielder and a bench player, Jayson Nix is good at what he does and is a perfect fit in New York.

RP - Shawn Kelly

I know that you should not put much stock into spring numbers but Shawn Kelly is pushing towards a 6.00 ERA. If it was him making the team for a injured Clay Rapada that would be one thing but he is essentially replacing David Aardsma and that just really pisses me off, pardon my french. Aardsma is on a very team friendly $500K one year contract and seems to be healthy after coming back from Tommy John surgery. Also David was never known for his control and such so what he did this spring should not come as a surprise to anybody.

BN - Ben Francisco

I cannot really agree or disagree with this move because I am so indifferent. I like his ability to hit for power off the bench and play the corner outfield positions but I would have really liked to see Melky Mesa in this spot. Melky Mesa can play center field and has the speed that will keep the Yankees in the outfield and on the base paths that will keep the Yankees versatile. It is hard to complain about a 4th or 5th outfielder though especially in a platoon situation, no?

2013 Predictions : Alex Rodriguez Potential Milestones

2013 could be a real special season for a couple Yankees but none more then Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez. Maybe for just a few nights we can all forget about the 5 years and $114 million left on his contract with the Yankees through his age 42 season. Let us take a closer look at how many entries Alex Rodriguez may be making in the history books in 2013, even with his second hip surgery in the last five seasons. The point of this post may all be moot if he misses the entire 2013 season or never comes back at all but I am willing to be optimistic here so here goes:

  • Alex Rodriguez will enter 2013 with 647 home runs which is only 13 home runs away from tying Willie Mays for 4th on the all time list. Even with a semi healthy season Alex should have no problem passing Willie Mays in 2013. Even if he misses half of the season with the surgery he may still have a shot at it, see 2009. He enters 67 home runs away from Babe Ruth for 3rd all time just as an FYI.

  • Alex Rodriguez has quietly crept up on the 3000 hit plateau entering 2013 with 2901 hits, only 99 away from the milestone. Somewhere after the All Star break we will see Alex get his this historic hit. My prediction will be August 8th at home against the Detroit Tigers barring any kind of setbacks or additional injuries. 

  • Alex sits in 6th place all time in RBIs with 1950. That is 1 behind Stan Musial for the 5th spot, 45 behind Lou Gehrig for the 4th spot, and 46 behind Barry Bonds for 3rd all time. These are all within reach in 2013 barring a catastrophic injury. He still sits 263 RBIs behind Babe Ruth for 2nd all time.

  • Alex sits 10th all time on the runs scored list with 1898 runs scored in his career. He has averaged 100 runs scored over the past 5-6 seasons so if we make it an even 2000 runs scored after this season that would place him at 8th on the all time list. Stan Musial and Cap Anson would each take a step back on the list while Alex passes them.