Sunday, January 18, 2015

Beltran trying to get healthy after injury-filled 2014

Carlos Beltran might not be the healthiest player in the world right now, but that doesn't mean he's ready to give up on his career. 

The veteran Yankees outfielder, 37, is still going through his normal winter program despite having undergone surgery to remove a bone spur in his elbow September 30, he recently revealed in an interview with the YES Network. Beltran, who is set to make $30 million over the next two seasons, played in just 109 games in 2014 due to multiple injuries, and didn't exactly compensate for that missed time with his .233 batting average.

"The strengthening program, you know, we kind of basically did everything," Beltran said, via's Bryan Hoch. "So the range of motion is there, bending is there. That's the most important part of rehab, trying to be able to get that range of motion back."

Being able to start Beltran every day would certainly help out the Yankees, seeing as the team's current bench isn't guaranteed to succeed. 

Chris Young was solid during his brief stint with the Yankees last fall, but besides that, struggled during the year. He hit just .205/.283/.346 in 88 contests with the Mets, possibly putting even more pressure on Beltran to stay on the field. 

And he's doing his best to ensure he can, but admits he is changing up his routine this offseason to counter his aging. 

"There were things that I used to do that I don't do now," he said. "I used to go to the track a lot and do a lot of jumping, a lot of running. But I don't do that. I do it in the pool, less impact. I try to train smart." 

Beltran disappointed in his first season with the Yankees last year, connecting on just 15 home runs while recording 49 RBI. In both 2012 and 2013 with the Cardinals, those numbers repectively read at least 24 and 84 for him, making his sudden struggles with New York a surprise to many.

Still, Beltran has his head up.

"I didn't have the year that I was looking forward to having [last year]," he said. "This year, I just feel like I need to prove myself again. That's how it is." 

Will the Yankees hit successfully in 2015?

By Eddie Sapienza
In this article I will go over all the hitter who should be in the Yankees lineup and if they will succeed or not.
1. Jacoby Ellsbury
• Jacoby is great at stealing bases and if his hitting is bad at least he can steal bases. His speed also helps him play defense. His hitting in 2014 was very good but could me much better.
2. Brett Gardner
• Brett is another guy who steals bases very well but he usually doesn't steal much. The key to his success on the bases is to be more aggressive. His power numbers were higher than ever in 2014. The power caused him to get a little off and his average tailed down a bit. This is a very good 1-2 punch in the lineup
3. Brian McCann
•McCann would've done much better in 2014 if the shift wasn't in place most of the time. The shift is not going away and that's going to be a nightmare for McCann. His average isn't going to be great but the power will be their.
4. Mark Texeira
• Teixeira has been injury prone since his wrist surgery in 2013. In 2014 he just wasn't the same and his performance showed it. He led the team in home runs but was injured and hardly got any base hits.
5. Carlos Beltran
• Beltran had a good season in 2014 besides the elbow inury. If he was healthy he could've done much better that's why his numbers weren't great. Every time he received a cortisone shot he hit very well. That just shows that Beltran can have a good season at the plate this year.
6. Alex Rodriguez
From taking PEDs to peeing on his cousins wall A-Rod has been in lots of news this year and none of it good. Still I believe that's all in the past and I know it won't bother him. I've shared my thoughts on what I think about him a few times and I think he'll be good.
7. Chase Headley
• With Alex Rodriguez coming back I didn't expect Chase Headley to be signed. Although they did which means it'll be a competition for the starting third baseman which I believe Headley will win.
8. Didi Gregourious
• Gregourious is going to be the replacement for Derek Jeter. Everyone knows he is and will never be no Jeter. From what I've heard his defense is good but his hitting not yet. I think it'll take a bit to figure out his hitting and I'm not sure about this new hitting coach. 2015 probably won't be the year for him.
9. Stephen Drew
• Stephen Drew was with the Yankees for part of the season and hit horrificly. It was a big mistake resigning him and he shouldn't be a part of this team.
If this team is healthy they have a chance to make the playoffs in 2015.

The New York Yankees Have Won w/ Less

I was as upset as the next guy when the New York Yankees signed Chris Capuano to basically be the teams fifth starter but since then I have calmed down and gathered my thoughts. I have come to the conclusion that if you look at history the Yankees have won a whole lot with a whole lot less in the fifth spot of the rotation. Sure the Yankees have plenty of question marks in the rotation and sure Capuano is probably just keeping the seat warm for Ivan Nova's return from Tommy John surgery but I don't think the Yankees season hinges on Capuano like some of the comments I have been reading.

My initial thoughts went to the 2000 season when the Yankees ace Roger Clemens lost a start in the Subway World Series the night before Denny Neagle, the same Denny Neagle that went 7-7 with a 5.81 ERA in the Bronx, won a World Series game as the Yankees fifth starter.

Just the season before Hideki Irabu got a World Series ring in New York as a fifth starter pitching to a 11-7 record and a 4.84 ERA. The 1998 Yankees fifth starter was also Irabu although he did pitch better with a 13-7 record with an ERA barely over four which looks like the exception and not the rule. You see Irabu as the exception even more when you look at the Yankees 1997 fifth starter Kenny Rogers who went 6-7 with a 5.65 ERA.

What do all these teams have in common? They were all successful with a veteran inning eating presence at the end of the rotation. What else do these teams have in common? A shut down bullpen that allowed these starters to come out after five or even six innings a night and still give the team a shot to win. In closing, back off of Capuano. If you want to blame the successes, or failures, of the 2015 season on anyone blame it on Michael Pineda, CC Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka and Nathan Eovaldi.

Kevin Long: Getting fired by Yankees hurt me

Kevin Long was admittedly upset when the Yankees fired him.

The 48-year-old ex-player, now the hitting coach of the Mets, said being axed by the Yankees "sucked" when asked about it earlier this week, though he still took the time to express his appreciation for the team during the discussion. Long, who had held the same position with New York since 2007 before the two parted ways in October, helped the Yankees bat at least .263 each year from 2007-2012, but seemed to watch his popularity diminish this past season when that average dropped to just .245.

"At first I masked [being fired]," Long told The New York Daily News' John Harper. "I said, 'it's part of the game, it happens.' But you know what, yeah, it hurt. I've never been fired before. I've never been cut from a team. I've always been the first one picked."

The Yankees hit .290 under Long in 2007, leading all of baseball in that category. In 2009, they impressed again with a .283 line, so it certainly wasn't all bad when Long was in their dugout. 

Long said he is thankful for the time he got to work with the Yankees, and received a nice goodbye from them.  

"I don't have hard feelings now," he said. "I'm grateful for the years I had with the Yankees. But it was hard accepting that I had been fired, for whatever reasons they want to come up with. I got a lot of heartfelt texts from players I'd worked with, though, and then it was nice having all these teams calling me and saying very complimentary things about my work."

Long was hired by the Mets October 23, just 13 days after his departure from the Yankees. The details of his deal with them have not yet been released, but it reportedly pays less than the one he had with the Pinstripes

Long's contract with the Yankees still has one year and $750,000 left on it, possibly the reason for that occurrence.  

Yankees Offense is What the Yankees Offense is

Chad Jennings of the Yankees Lohud blog took a look at the best of what's rest on the free agent market as far as positional players go and it was a pretty eye opening read if you haven't read it already. The free agent market for positional players is looking pretty barren right now and I cannot see a single player that would or could upgrade over what the Yankees currently have. Let's see if you agree:

RF Ichiro Suzuki
SS Everth Cabrera
CF Colby Rasmus
LF Ryan Ludwick
1B Lyle Overbay
DH Jonny Gomes
2B Rickie Weeks
3B Gordon Beckham
C Geovany Soto
C John Buck
INF Kelly Johnson
OF Eric Young Jr.
UT Donnie Murphy

To me, in my personal opinion, the only real every day player here is Colby Rasmus. Rasmus comes with his own set of concerns and question marks which really drives the point home that the Yankees offense is what the Yankees offense is, for better or worse.

*Note Yoan Moncada has not been cleared and neither has Hector Olivera so they have not been included in this list. 

Yankees Sign Outfielder Robert Hernandez

According to Baseball America's minor league transaction log the New York Yankees have signed outfielder Robert Hernandez. I won't pretend like I know who he is because he has been out of the game since the 2009 season and never reach above A Ball so I'll let Matt Eddy tell you about him below:

The Yankees signed 26-year-old Robert Hernandez as an outfielder after he hit .264/.350/.358 in 20 games for Zulia in his native Venezuela this winter. The outfielder bit is key because he worked as a pitcher in the Cubs system from 2006 through 2009, making it as far as low Class A Peoria as a starter, but he hasn’t played affiliated ball in any of the past five seasons. The obvious parallel for Hernandez is Diamondbacks outfielder David Peralta, who flamed out as a Cardinals pitcher, took three years off, toiled as an outfielder for two and half years in independent ball, then got noticed by Arizona scouts in 2013. Now he’s a big leaguer coming off a successful rookie campaign in 2014.

Look Back in the TGP Archives: January 18

It's a slow Sunday morning for news and there isn't much going on inside Yankeeland right now but it wasn't always like this. We decided on this Sunday morning to go back in time and take a quick look at what happened on this day inside the Yankees TGP archive.

We showed our Yankee Stadium legacy to start the morning by highlighting Bernie Williams postseason numbers. Spoiler alert, they are great. 

A former writer of ours asked the question, "ARod... the movie?"

In typical offseason fashion earlier in the morning we reported THE CUBS WERE IN THE LEAD FOR TANAKA before pretty much recanting the statement by reporting that the Yankees OFFERED $120 MILLION PLUS FOR TANAKA. I think we all know how that turned out.

We'll give the final say to Derek Jeter as he speaks on Tanaka, Robinson Cano and Alex Rodriguez. 

Moneyball: The Yankees Are Doing it Wrong

This was an interesting graphic that I stumbled upon and just had to share with the class. Looking at the above graphic can be a bit overwhelming but don't worry I will walk you through it. All the teams on the right side of the vertical line should at least contend in 2015 while the teams to the left of the vertical line probably will not. All the teams above the horizontal line are considered "aging" or old not only on the 25 man roster but in the upper levels of their farm systems. If your team lacks the MLB ready prospects you will be higher on the line and if your farm is stocked with young talent you will be on the lower end of the spectrum.

Looking at the graphic the Yankees should contend in 2015 but, even after all the trades, still have a lot of work to do to get younger. Personally I think the Yankees are far from "hella old" but it's not my graphic.

Nationals and Tigers World Series in 2015?

This Day In New York Yankees History 1/18: Rafael Soriano

On this day in 2011 the New York Yankees announced the signing of the highest paid 6th and 7th inning pitcher in the history of the world in Rafael Soriano. A management driven deal was struck for Soriano for three years and $35 million after he led the American Leagues in saves with 45 in 2010.

Also on this day in 1947 there was a bit of a Yankees related misunderstanding going down in Detroit. The Tigers owner thought Hank Greenberg had posed in a Yankees jersey and sold the 1946 American League home run leader, 44 home runs, to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Greenberg joined the National League home run leader from 1946 in Ralph Kiner who hit 23 home runs.