Wednesday, February 19, 2014

More News & Notes From Spring Training 2/19/14

We had a few more Spring Training camp details come in so here they are in case you missed them.

Eduardo Nunez took ground balls at both shortstop and third base today and of course botched one. Not much to make of it honestly but it's pretty much a running joke at this point with Nunez so we had to point it out.

Manny Banuelos threw live batting practice for the first time this spring and came out of it feeling great about his progress. Manny said he wasn't throwing 100% but felt good with where he was, great news.

Finally Derek Jeter called Hal Steinbrenner the night before he announced his retirement and left him a voicemail that was never checked or returned by Steinbrenner. Jeter text Steinbrenner the next day and Hal called him back to hear the news before it was leaked on Jeter's Turn 2 Facebook page.

Full workout for the first time this spring is tomorrow so we should have more to speak on that tomorrow.

ICYMI: The Derek Jeter Retirement Press Conference

Earlier we promised to bring you the video of the Derek Jeter conference today and we don't make promises that we don't keep, so here it is. Jeter seemed like he did not want to do this, to have all the attention on him, and to keep his teammates out of spring training camp. Jeter also did not seem comfortable talking about his legacy, his rank in Yankees history, and all the topics you will watch here. It's been a very emotional day and I honestly haven't watched this and I don't think I can, or will. For all that can though, enjoy.


Big Papi Seems Ready To Be A Yankee Next Year

David Ortiz arrived at Boston Red Sox camp today and did not mince words, sugar coat, or take his time getting his thoughts out. Ortiz was pissed to say the least and he let it go today. Boston will either do one of two things cave and give him the extension he wants or let him walk, the latter of the two seems more likely to me. We just so happen to have guys like Alfonso Soriano and Derek Jeter coming off the books next season and a little more room for a full time designated hitter, enter Ortiz? One can hope... Here are the quotes from Ortiz at spring camp today via Star Ledger:

 “I don’t even know why they’re bitching about me talking about contracts,” Ortiz said. “Guys putting up my numbers, they’re making $25, $30 million. I’m not asking for that. I’m asking for half of it. And they’re still (complaining) about it? (Expletive) them. I’m tired of hearing them talk (expletive) about me when I talk about my contract. Hey, every time I talk about my contract, I earn it, (expletive). So don’t be giving me that (expletive).”

Spring Training News & Notes 2/19/14

Happy position players reporting to camp day in Yankees spring training camp, the day has finally arrived. Here are a few news and notes for all who missed the days action.

Ichiro has made it his mission to earn his playing time this season and has reportedly done a ton of work this offseason to improve. Chad Jennings said Ichiro looked considerably stronger this season so there is always that, especially since it is highly unlikely that all of the Yankees outfielders will be available for all 162 games.

Brett Gardner offered to play right field if that's what Joe Girardi thought was best today, class act and definitely deserving of the pinstripes. I can see Gardner getting some time there with Alfonso Soriano basically a left fielder or DH at this point in his career. When Beltran needs a day off expect Gardner manning right field for roll call.

Tyler Austin's wrist is 100%, for real this time. Tyler said he felt pain in it from early June 2013 all the way through the Arizona Fall League but says it is finally healed. We need him to have a huge bounce back season, absolutely.

Once again thank you to Chad Jennings for the bullpen session assignments and such seen below:

 Today’s bullpens (all of which happened earlier this morning)
Jose Campos (to Francisco Cervelli)
Dave Robertson (to John Ryan Murphy)
Matt Thornton (to Brian McCann)
Chris Leroux (to Jose Gil)
David Phelps (to Austin Romine)
Yoshinori Tateyama (to Roman Rodriguez)
· Live batting practice at the minor league complex
Manny Banuelos
Cesar Cabral
Matt Daley
Brian Gordon
Shawn Kelley
Mark Montgomery

Williams & Sanchez Place In MLB Top 100 has released their annual list of the Top 100 prospects in baseball and two New York Yankees, Mason Williams and Gary Sanchez, cracked the list. Sanchez makes his spot on the list at #47 while Williams comes in at the #75 spot. Masahiro Tanaka will be eligible for the Rookie of the Year Award this year but was not eligible for this list for whatever reason since he played so much in Japan.

The Twins Byron Buxton tops the list as expected. The Red Sox, Astros, and Cubs have 23 out of the top 100 prospects which speaks volumes to how strong their farm systems are. Sanchez was ranked as the fourth best catcher in all of baseball and Yankees first basemen Greg Bird ranked seventh at his position.

Meet A Prospect: David Robertson

Robertson spent his college years at the hometown University of Alabama and
as a freshman in 2005 appeared in a team high 32 games, three of them as a
starter. Robertson put up a 7-5 record with eight saves and a 2.92 ERA
leading the South Eastern Conference in batting average against, holding
batters to a .183 BAA and was named Freshman All-SEC and Freshman
All-America by Baseball America. He followed up the success in his freshman
year by leading the Crimson Tide to their 25th SEC Championship in baseball
spearing in 29 games. Robertson put up a 4-4 record with a 3.02 ERA leading
the SEC with 10 saves. Robertson was 21 years old at the time of the 2006
MLB First Year Players Draft making him eligible for the draft. The Yankees
jumped all over this loophole and drafted Robertson in the 17th round and
sent him to play summer league games in Cape Cod, in which he was named MVP
of the Cape Cod League playoffs. 

Robertson made his professional debut in 2007 pitching across three minor
league affiliates compiling a combined 8-3 record with four saves and a
Mariano Rivera like 0.96 ERA in 84.1 IP. Robertson only allowed 45 hits all
season long while striking out 114 batters that season. Robertson pitched
for two more affiliates in 2008 and went 4-0 with three save and a 1.68 ERA
in 53.2 IP allowing 28 hits and striking out 77 more batters. Robertson did
make his first appearance with the big league club in 2008 when the Yankees
called him up from AAA on June 28, 2008 only to send him back down on August
28 only to bring him right back to the Bronx on September 13. Heading into
the 2009 season, fresh off a marriage to his wife Erin, Robertson was
recalled to the majors on April 16 to replace Xavier Nady who was placed on
the 15 day disabled list. It lasted a day as he was sent back down the very
next day to make room for first basemen Juan Miranda. Another injury opened
the door for Robertson on May 25 as Brian Bruney was injured and Robertson
was here to stay. Robertson finished the 2009 season with a 3.30 ERA and
13.0 strikeouts per nine innings in 43.2 IP and a World Series ring. In the
2009 playoffs Robertson entered two games in high pressure situations with
multiple runners on base, once in each of the ALDS and ALCS, and managed to
escape both innings without letting a runner cross the plate and receiving
the win in both games. The fireman was born although most simply referred to
him as Houdini. 

Robertson followed up with a 2010 campaign that saw his ERA rise to 3.82 and
his strikeouts drop to a very good 10.4 K/9 in 61.1 IP as he saw himself
transition into Mariano Rivera's set up man and probable eventual
replacement. The Yankees added pitchers Pedro Feliciano and Rafael Soriano
in 2011 and Robertson lost out to Joba Chamberain as the 7th inning pitcher
as he saw his 8th inning spot go to the recently acquired Soriano. Injuries
to Soriano, Feliciano, and Chamberlain put D Rob right back in the 8th
inning role where he struck out 55 batters halfway through the season.
Robertson was named to the 2011 All Star Game to replace David Price for his
first All Star Game appearance of his career. Robertson finished the season
with 100 strikeouts becoming the first Yankee reliever since Mariano in 1996
to hit the century mark in strike outs in a single season. Robertson
finished 2011 leading the league in ERA with a 1.08 average and holds with
34.  Robertson finished second in the AL with a 13.5 K/9 ratio and lead all
of baseball in ERA+ with a staggering 410. Robertson received one point in
both the AL Cy Young Award and AL Most Valuable Player Award voting and won
the This Year In Baseball Setup Man of the Year Award. The Yankees gave
Robertson a contract worth $1.6 million plus $25 K in incentives for his
work and to avoid arbitration for his first year. Rivera was injured in 2012
and his season was over with an ACL injury and Robertson, along with
Soriano, were informed they would be sharing the closing duties for the
remainder of the season. Robertson would be placed on the 15 day DL on May
15 after straining a muscle in his ribcage, a mere twelve days after
Rivera's season ended, and returned to action on June 15 only to soon become
the setup man once again. Robertson was groomed to be the closer by Rivera
himself during his farewell tour in 2013 and goes to Spring Training camp
looking to finally get his full shot at the job this season.

Robertson and his wife Erin, both seen on the Wives and Girlfriends section
of the site, married in January of 2009 and celebrated the honeymoon with a
World Series victory. They have since had their first child, an adorable
little boy named Luke Joseph, on August 12, 2012. Robertson is very active
in the community and has started his own foundation, High Socks for Hope,
which I am a huge supporter of since it helps those in his hometown of
Tuscaloosa, Alabama deal with the tornado strikes in 2011. Robertson agreed
to donate $100 for every strike out that he tallied in 2011, finishing with
100 on the nose, and was nominated for the Marvin Miller Man of the Year
Award for his work. Now Robertson finds himself proving himself all over
again as Mariano Rivera has retired and the Yankees seem skeptical about
handing him the closers job. Whatever inning Robertson pitches in, the 8th
or the 9th, the fireman that they call D Rob will be up to the task.

Yankees Made Offer To Drew

Well, well, well...

Joel Sherman reported that the Yankees made Stephen Drew a two or three-year contract offer earlier this offseason. However, the team said that offers would be pulled as things progressed, and we all know that things certainly did progress.

At the time Drew was thinking he could land a better deal, but in the end it may have cost him. 

Sherman also backed up reports of the Yankees no longer being interested in the shortstop, as he said that Hal Steinbrenner has put a halt to spending, and they won't be "bending for Drew". 

But don't worry, folks, Hal doesn't think the team is 100%. He went on to say the following..
"No team is without concerns. We will address those concerns as we go, just as we did in several areas last year. ... I am comfortable with our payroll as it stands now. ... We have a very good club and we will continue to improve in areas that we see need it; not just in areas that need it on paper. We need to see what actually transpires in those areas and react."

The Captain Prepares To Say Goodbye On YES

Derek Jeter will finally address the media in a press conference about his retirement here in 30 minutes on the YES Network. I am sure that even ESPN and for sure MLB Network will at least cut in for the press conference as the goodbye tour officially starts here. Derek is down in Tampa at the Yankees George Steinbrenner Field working out getting ready for his season but will take the time to explain himself and his decision on the YES Network at 11:30 am ET. I am sure we will have a link up later for those who missed it so be on the look out for that.

Yankee Stadium Legacy: #40 Clete Boyer

Clete Boyer was a sure handed third basemen for the New York Yankees during the 1960's. Boyer came through with the bat in 1962 when the Yankees went to the World Series again banging out seven hits, one home run, and drove in four RBI's. The Yankees would beat San Francisco in seven games to clinch the title. In Game 7 of the 1964 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals where his brother, Ken Boyer, was playing. Both brothers hit a home run in the same game to become the first pair of brothers to do so in a Fall Classic game.

40 days until Yankees Opening Day

Prospects Month: Top 28 Yankees Prospects List #10

Continuing our look at The Greedy Pinstripes Top 28 prospects list as a part of Prospects Month we name our #10 prospect, Manny Banuelos!

Here is the complete up to date list. Check back every day as the list fills out and we continue our look at the prospects in the New York Yankees system during Prospects Month here on TGP.

10. Manny Banuelos
11. Jose Campos
12. Gosuke Katoh
13. Shane Greene
14. Jose Ramirez
15. Peter O'Brien
16. Aaron Judge
17. Ty Hensley
18. Luis Severino
19. Abiatal Avelino
20. Rob Refsnyder
21. Nik Turley
22. Cito Culver
23. Ramon Flores
24. Mark Montgomery
25. Rookie Davis
26. Jake Cave
27. Ben Gamel
28. Angelo Gumbs

Exclusive Interview w/ SI Yankees David Palladino

For the first time we bring you an interview with Yankees prospect and recently drafted David Palladino. David was taken in the fifth round of the 2013 MLB First Year Players Draft and is currently a member of the Staten Island Yankees. We hope that you enjoy the interview as much as I enjoyed doing it, so get to reading and enjoy!

The Greedy Pinstripes: David Palladino, how are you today sir? How is your offseason going?

David Palladino: I’m great thanks for asking. My offseason has been great, I love working and training to become a better player at the game I love so much. What about yourself?

TGP: We have had an awesome year and an even more awesome offseason, you're the first to ask so we thank you for that. 

TGP:  How important is your family to you in your life and especially in your career?

DP: My family is everything to me. I have two brothers as well and it’s great that we are so close that we practically do everything together. My parents are my biggest supporters, they have been through everything with me and I couldn’t ask for a better family to be a part of. In my career my family is behind my back 100% and are very honest with me with I am not playing up to my ability. They push me to become the best ballplayer I can be but also become the best man I can become.

TGP: How do you think your faith has helped you in your career?

DP: Faith is everything. Everything I do is because of God. I have a cross that was given to me from my family, and it never leaves my neck, if I don’t have it on, I don’t feel right. I bring it everywhere I go.  I truly believe that God has a plan for me and whatever it is I would like to work to become the best I can be at whatever he has in stored for my future. Most importantly, faith has helped me out so much because all the tough times I had growing up from baseball and in school. I would always say, “Its okay, I will get stronger from this.” I had many injuries which doctors didn’t think I would play again and I had to overcome these injuries to be where I am today.  Before each time I step onto the mound, I say a prayer and when things are tough I say the same prayer, “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”

TGP:  What's your best memory attending Howard College? Do you miss the whole college experience sometimes?

DP: My best memory of Howard college was towards the end of the year, when we were in Fort worth, Texas. We were in the tournament to get to Grand Junction, we lost but I felt that we all became so close those last few games, that is was unbelievable how we played. Everyone left it out there on the field, none of us have regrets. That is what the game is all about, and I will never forget that. I do miss college sometimes because of the school work and everything that goes about it. At the same time, playing professional baseball was everything I always dreamed of coming from a small town.

TGP: Have you ever considered going back and coaching? Maybe mentoring? Either in the offseason or after baseball?

DP: I actually want to open my own place one day, because I think it would be great teaching the younger players everything I have learned from my experiences. I would want to run teams through it and have all of the strength and conditioning trainers the players would need, so they could reach their full potential as I am working to do. Also currently with this being my first offseason, after all the training and throwing, I have been helping around running some camps and lessons, and I couldn’t be happier.

TGP:  What teams and sports did you root for and watch growing up?

DP: I am a big sports fan. I was always a Devils fan for hockey, Barcelona fan for Soccer, Yankees fan for baseball, Giants fan for football, Knicks fan for basketball.

TGP: As a recent draft pick I would love to hear about your thoughts on the new draft rules, the slots, allocated money, and all that? Does it help or hurt the game and the players in your opinion?

DP: I really don’t have much to say on the draft rules. I love playing the game to much to worry about the money amount playing. I received an opportunity to be a part of what I think is the greatest organization of Major League Baseball, and wearing that jersey is an honor. I am just looking forward to work hard and play in Yankee stadium one day.

TGP: Do you have a girlfriend/wife waiting for you at home while you are on the road so much?

DP: I do have a girlfriend. She’s a great girl and is very passionate in what she loves to do and has many goals for herself which I would help push her towards, at the same time her family and she understand what it takes for me to be where I want to be and support me. I’ve known her for years which is great because we were always great friends. It makes it a lot easier when being away doesn’t cause fights because were both working hard to reach our own goals but at the same time pushing each other.

TGP: What are you doing this offseason to improve on your 2013 season?

DP: I am doing palates once a week, Yoga two times a week, Strength and conditioning five times a week, throwing bullpens, lots of pfp work and long toss. Also been reading some books to help with the mental side of baseball and pitching.

TGP: What do you do during the offseason to keep yourself occupied?

DP: I am always on my feet, I love doing outdoor activities such as paintball, golf, basketball(Only HORSE though so I don’t roll an ankle), etc.. Also since we have a lot of snow,  I like doing manual labor which would involve snow plowing, and shoveling. Besides all that I love to work on things to get better and that’s why I put so much time into working out and doing different types of training to become a better athlete and ball player.

TGP: Favorite restaurant to eat at?

DP: Sushi

TGP: What current Major League player do you think you compare to the most?

DP: I have always said to myself one day I want to be able to pitch like Roger Clemens, He was my idle growing up. But current major leaguer I would have to say Felix Hernandez.

TGP: Do you have a plan yet for after baseball? Or maybe even a Plan B?

DP: In life you always have to have a Plan B, and I do for sure. I would want to open that baseball place as I explained earlier but also go back and finish my degree. I want to get a minor in business and go to law school and become a lawyer.

TGP: Do you have anything embarrassing that most people would not know about you that you wouldn't mind sharing?

DP: I am a New Jersey guy but loves country music.

TGP: Most embarrassing song in your iPod?

DP: Taylor Swift- We are never getting back together.

TGP: We'll finish with this one, where do you see yourself in life and your career in five years?

DP: I see myself in five years, pitching in Yankee Stadium.

Thank you once again David for taking the time to do this for us, it is truly appreciated. We wish for nothing but the best for you this coming season and in everything you do outside of the baseball field. You can follow David on Twitter by following @dpall2

This Day In New York Yankees History 2/19

On this day in 1935 the New York Yankees signed Lou Gehrig to a one year deal worth $30,000. The season before the All Star first basemen hit .363 with 49 home runs and led the American League with 165 RBI's. Underpaid much?