Sunday, March 16, 2014

Experimenting With A Six Man Rotation

The New York Yankees are in a very unique situation where they have may too many major league caliber and ready pitching to fit on the team, keeping someone deserving in the bullpen and someone deserving in the minor leagues. This got me thinking, should the Yankees go to a six man rotation? My initial answer was no because it would take too many starts away from our horses, best pitchers, and highest paid pitchers in CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, and Masahiro Tanaka. Using a modified six man rotation and assuming that Vidal Nuno (for a second lefty) and Michael Pineda make the team the Yankees, if they do read my blogs as much as I think they do, can make this work for everyone involved.

Pineda has pitched somewhere around 40 IP in the last two seasons due to his shoulder capsule surgery before the 2012 season so his stamina will always be an issue and a question mark. Kuroda has had two consecutive seasons in which he has broken down and tired out in August and September so he could also benefit from a skipped start or two or some extra rest. Sabathia has the most innings on his arm of basically anyone in the world in recent memory before an injury riddled and down season from him in 2013, hinting at a decline. Tanaka is a relative unknown and while I do not worry as much about his performance I do worry about him going from starting once a week in Japan to every fifth day here, at least for the first season anyway. Then you through in Nuno, or Adam Warren, who have come out of the pen and the rotation on any amount of rest and still perform and the rotation starts to take form.

Here is my plan for experimenting with the six man rotation for the month of April only. Like? Dislike? Wanna change anything? Drop a line in the comment box.

DATE    OPPONENT            PITCHER                  DAYS REST & HOME/AWAY

4/1      Houston Astros         CC Sabathia                  n/a Away

4/2      Houston Astros        Hiroki Kuroda               n/a Away

4/3      Houston Astros        Ivan Nova                     n/a Away

4/4      Toronto Blue Jays    Masahiro Tanaka           n/a Away

4/5      Toronto Blue Jays    Michael Pineda             n/a Away

4/6      Toronto Blue Jays    Vidal Nuno                   n/a Away

4/7      Baltimore Orioles     CC Sabathia                  5 Home

4/8      Baltimore Orioles     Hiroki Kuroda                   5 Home

4/9      Baltimore Orioles     Ivan Nova                         5 Home

4/10    Boston Red Sox      Masahiro Tanaka              5 Home

4/11    Boston Red Sox      Michael Pineda                 5 Home

4/12    Boston Red Sox      CC Sabathia                    5 Home

4/13    Boston Red Sox      Hiroki Kuroda                 5 Home

4/14   OFF DAY               OFF DAY                      OFF DAY OFF DAY

4/15   Chicago Cubs          Ivan Nova                       6 Home

4/16   Chicago Cubs         Masahiro Tanaka             6 Home

4/17   Tampa Bay Rays    Michael Pineda                6 Away

4/18   Tampa Bay Rays    CC Sabathia                   5 Away

4/19   Tampa Bay Rays    Hiroku Kuroda              5 Away

4/20   Tampa Bay Rays    Ivan Nova                    5 Away

4/21   OFF DAY             OFF DAY                   OFF DAY OFF DAY

4/22   Boston Red Sox    Masahiro Tanaka           6 Away

4/23   Boston Red Sox    Michael Pineda             6 Away

4/24   Boston Red Sox   Vidal Nuno                   n/a Away

4/25   LA Angels            CC Sabathia                6 Home

4/26   LA Angels           Hiroki Kuroda              6 Home

4/27   LA Angels           Ivan Nova                    6 Home

4/28   OFF DAY          OFF DAY                    OFF DAY OFF DAY

4/29   Seattle Mariners  Masahiro Tanaka            6 Home

4/30   Seattle Mariners  Michael Pineda               6 Home

CC holds Marlins hitless through five as Yankees complete 2-0 day

Thanks to five shutout innings in which Miami didn't get a single hit from starter CC Sabathia, RBI Singles from Carlos Beltran and Francisco Cervelli, and a scoreless inning of relief from Closer David Robertson, the Yankees were able to beat the Marlins pretty easily today in Panama City, 7-0. Of the fifteen outs CC recorded in this one, 5 were impressively strikeouts, making everybody now wonder: has he actually lost anything, or was this just his one good game?

Anyway, if you've been paying attention to the Bombers record lately you'd know that this W improves the team's spring record to a winning 11-9-2 (counting the FSU game), so yea, they're looking better than usual right now. Whether or not this'll actually help them in the transition to the regular season is still unknown, but it certainly can't hurt anything, right?

Tanaka pretty good in Yankees win over Braves

Masahiro Tanaka gave up 1 run in 4.1 innings of work today as the Yankees ended their three-game losing streak with a home win over the Braves, 7-4. Now really, Tanaka wasn't that dominant this afternoon, walking 2 while giving up 3 hits, but still, he did manage to strikeout 6, making his overall outing pretty solid. 

Anyway, some notable offensive performances in this one came from Ichiro Suzuki, who went 2-for-3 with a single, a double, and an RBI, Eduardo Nunez, who went 2-for-3 with a run, Mark Teixeira, who went 0-for-2 with a walk, Kelly Johnson, who went 1-for-3 with a run, and Brian McCann, who went 1-for-3 with a two-run double. So yea, I guess this ballgame went alright. All the guys we care about played pretty well, even though Tanaka's pitch count, unfortunately, was much higher than we'd like it to be.

Manny Banuelos Sent Down To The Minors

According to Wally Matthews of the New York Yankees have sent Manny Banuelos to the minor leagues, removing him from big league camp. Banuelos has struggled and has a 63.00 ERA while trying to return from Tommy John surgery and had an outside shot at making the team out of camp if he impressed, but he didn't so is headed down.

There is some speculation that Banuelos may go all the way down to Tampa in High A ball to take advantage of the warmer weather for longer and to build innings and confidence. Banuelos will be back by midseason, I have no doubt in my mind, i just hope that Yankees fans don't turn their backs on Banuelos after two appearances and one inning this spring.

New York Yankees Spring Training News & Notes 3/16

Jacoby Ellsbury was scratched form today's game with a tight calf, a calf injury that apparently he could play through. Interim manager Rob Thomson said that Ellsbury could have played through it had this been the regular season but since it was the spring the Yankees wanted to be cautious. Understandable I guess since it's only the middle of March, long season to go.

Tyler Austin is supposed to take batting practice tomorrow on the field and could be in games next week, great news after his wrist has hampered him once again this spring. Brendan Ryan is doing tee and toss today and is ready for a full team workout tomorrow. Ryan could also be in a game somewhere around Wednesday next week.

Chad Jennings with the assignments from the day:

Today’s bullpen sessions:
Fred Lewis (to Wes Wilson)
Ivan Nova (to Austin Romine)
David Phelps (to Pete O’Brien)
Michael Pineda (to Francisco Arcia)
Manny Banuelos (to Wilson)
· Today’s second string: C Francisco Arcia, 1B Kyle Roller, 2B none, SS Carmen Angelini, 3B Rob Segedin, LF Ben Gamel, CF none (Mason Williams was listed), RF Taylor Dugas
· Today’s available relievers: Matt Thornton, Dellin Betances, Shawn Kelley, Shane Greene (with Caleb Cotham, Aaron Dott, Tyler Webb and Pat Venditte up from minor league camp just in case they’re needed)
· Travel squad to Bradenton tomorrow:
Pitchers: Robert Coello, Brian Gordon, David Herndon, Hiroki Kuroda, Fred Lewis, Mark Montgomery, Yoshinori Tateyama, Chase Whitley
Catchers: Francisco Arcia, Jose Gil, John Ryan Murphy, Pete O’Brien, Austin Romine, Gary Sanchez
Infielders: Dean Anna, Corban Joseph, Eduardo Nunez, Jose Pirela, Brian Roberts, Yangervis Solarte, Mark Teixeira, Zelous Wheeler
Outfielders: Zoilo Almonte, Ramon Flores, Adonis Garcia, Antoan Richardson, Mason Williams
From minor league camp: INF Casey Stevensen, OF Yeral Sanchez, RHP Branden Pinder, LHP James Pazos, RHP Manny Barreda

New York Yankees vs. Miami Marlins 3/16

Another day and another split squad game for the Yankees so Masahiro Tanaka will be on the mound in the states facing off with the Braves while CC Sabathia will be on the mound against the Miami Marlins in the final game in Panama. The Legend Series has been nothing but successful for the country of Panama, for both teams, and for Mariano Rivera. I am truly honored to be a fan of this team because, Evil Empire moniker and all, the New York Yankees always do the right thing.

The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET locally here on the East Coast and, again, to the best of my knowledge will not be televised anywhere unfortunately. Enjoy the day Yankees fans!

New York Yankees vs. Atlanta Braves 3/16

The New York Yankees split squad here in the states host the Atlanta Braves in the latest spring training game in the Grapefruit League. Masahiro Tanaka will be on the mound facing off against the Braves in front of the home town crowd at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. The game will be televised at 1:05 pm ET on the YES Network and MLB Network.

Here is the Yankees lineup

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Kelly Johnson 3B
Eduardo Nunez SS
Ramon Flores LF
Pete O’Brien DH
Ali Castillo 2B

ICYMI: Yankees Add Seven To MLB Spring Camp

In case you missed it yesterday the New York Yankees added seven minor league players to major league camp as insurance in case they are needed. The list includes first basemen Kyle Roller, shortstop Cito Culver, third basemen Zach Wilson, RHP Joel De La Cruz, RHP Charley Short, RHP Graham Stoneburner, and shortstop Dan Fiorito. These men were called up just to fill in for all the split squad games the Yankees are playing lately but it was still cool to see Culver in Panama last night, even if the Yankees got no hit.

Yankee Stadium Legacy: #15 Red Rolfe

Red Rolfe was a very capable lead off hitter for the New York Yankees during the 1930's. Rolfe came around to score a whole lot for a lead off hitter topping 100 runs scored in seven straight seasons from 1935. Rolfe set a career high in runs scored, again in the lead off spot, with 143 runs scored in 1937, unheard of. Rolfe led the American League in runs with 139, hits with 213, and doubles with 46 in 1939 playing third base for the Yankees.

15 days until Yankees Opening Day.

This Day In New York Yankees History 3/16

On this day in 1932 Babe Ruth signed a deal for $75,000 and a percentage of the exhibition gate. Ruth signed a black contract with the amount filled in later by Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert. Talk about trust.