Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sunday Spring Training Roster Moves

The New York Yankees have announced a series of roster moves that bring the team that much closer to their 25 man roster for Opening Day.

UPDATE: The Yankees have reassigned Ramon Flores, Nick Rumbelow, Jacob Lindgren, Francisco Arcia, Cole Figueroa, Kyle Higashioka, Jonathan Galvez and Slade Heathcott to minor league camps.

  • The Yankees released Scott Baker but hope to re-sign him to a new minor league deal a la Jared Burton to avoid paying the $100,000 retention bonus. 

  • Bryan Mitchell has been re-assigned to Triple-A Scranton where he will start his season.

  • Kyle Davies has be re-assigned to minor league camp as well. 

  • Brian Cashman hinted that Chase Whitley and Jacob Lindgren may make the Opening Day roster in the bullpen but more cuts are expected after the game this afternoon. 

Recap: Yankees 7, Astros 0

Nathan Eovaldi threw 4 2/3 shutout innings and Chase Headley went 2-for-3 with three RBI Sunday as the Yankees beat up Astros, 7-0, in a one-sided affair in Kissimmee. 

Eovaldi's Gem: Eovaldi struck out five and allowed just three hits during his 14-out performance -- walking none and conceding a wild pitch. He let just one man reach third on the day, and his ERA for the preseason is now an impressive 0.66.

Headley Keeps Hitting: Headley broke a scoreless tie with a solo home run off Scott Feldman in the third, and drove in two more with a bases-loaded single in the sixth. His homer to right was his third of the month -- the highest total on the Yankees. 

A-Rod at First: Alex Rodriguez played first base for three innings in this one -- fielding just one routine grounder in the bottom of the second. Rodriguez picked up the roller without issue and flipped it to the covering Eovaldi -- a relatively-easy out that at least seemed to show Rodriguez's competency.

Rogers Bounces Back: Esmil Rogers retired each of the five Astros he faced in the sixth and seventh -- striking out two to lower his ERA to 2.57. Rogers came in for the sixth after Chase Whitley fanned the last batter of the fifth -- the only out Whitley induced in the contest.

Notable Offense: Slade Heathcott plated Rodriguez with a sharp single in the fourth -- Heathcott's ninth hit in 28 at-bats this spring. Rob Refsnyder also brought in a run with a double in the sixth -- one of four the Yankees scored in the frame.

Next Up: The Yankees are off Monday before heading to Ft. Myers for a 1:05 p.m. meeting with the Twins on Tuesday -- the Yanks' lone visit to Hammond Stadium this season. Masahiro Tanaka is slated to start for the Yankees when they go head-to-head with Minnesota's Tommy Milone -- a matchup you can see live on FS-North as well as MLB Network. 

Should New York Draft Brady Aiken?

The New York Yankees stockpiled all the draft picks they could while still attempting to improve the team this offseason for what I consider to be a nice change of pace. Instead of re-signing David Robertson to a mega deal the team instead took the draft pick compensation for him and signed Andrew Miller to a similar deal. New York now has three picks in the first 60 or so picks of the draft including two in the first round (including the supplemental round) so should one of those picks be used to pick Brady Aiken?

Aiken was the #1 overall pick in 2014 and ultimately did not sign with the Houston Astros due to something on the medicals that the team did not like. Now I think we all know what that was as Aiken underwent Tommy John surgery this week ending his 2015 season. The Yankees have the money and the time to wait on and bring along Aiken slowly so should the team take a chance on drafting him? Absolutely!

If the team took his talent with their first overall pick you would have to assume that he would not sign for slot money or above with the injury. New York could take that extra cash flow and talk a few High School players out of going to college and talk a few committed players into foregoing those commitments for professional baseball.

If New York can get #1 overall talent at the #16 slot and save money to take a bigger name at the #30 slot and get them both signed that would do wonders for what many believe is a Top 20 farm system. The Yankees have a slew of pitchers coming through the system and can wait a season while Aiken mends, he would be three or four months into recovery before the team even drafted him, in what would not be an unprecedented drafting. Many teams have been drafting players they knew needed Tommy John surgery because of the astronomical success rate with the procedure.

It’s not something that everyone is doing yet but it’s something I think the Yankees need to take a chance on. Draft Aiken, wait him out and get another young stud starting pitcher for us all to drool over for the next four or five seasons. It makes too much sense not to. 

Spring: New York Yankees @ Houston Astros 3/29

The New York Yankees and the Houston Astros continue their Grapefruit League schedules this afternoon when the Bronx Bombers travel to Osceola County Stadium to face off with the Astros. The Yankees will send Nathan Eovaldi to the mound for the first time since announcing that he would be the team's fourth starter this season. The Astros will counter Eovaldi with Scott Feldman on the mound for Houston.

The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET and can be seen on MLB TV.

Weekly Check In With Luis Severino

We have been checking in all weekend with a few key Yankees prospects including Jacob Lindgren and Robert Refsnyder so we will finish this weekly check in with Luis Severino. Severino will not start the season in the Bronx unfortunately but he seems to be a shoe in for at least a September call up which is encouraging. Without further delay let's see what Severino has done to date this season in Yankees spring training camp.

G: 2
ERA: 6.75
IP: 2.2 IP
K: 5
BB: 1
WHIP: 2.625
K/9: 16.9
H: 6

Predicting the Rookies of the Year in 2015

The Rookie of the Year award is probably far and away the hardest to predict every single season, and I show that almost every single season with the wrong predictions. A ton can happen between now and the end of the 2015 season and a lot of it comes out of nowhere. There is always the Josh Harrison that comes out of nowhere that I didn’t see coming and there is always the disappointment in Billy Hamilton that, well, disappointed me. Then there is always the rookie that gets kept down in Triple-A for too long and doesn’t have enough time to showcase enough to win the award and then there is always the guy that wins a job out of camp and shocks the baseball world for three or four months to win the award. I am going to take my best shot at these predictions but I am warning you not to go all Pete Rose and bet on the game because it is very likely I will be completely off base when we revisit this post in November.

For the American League I chose Francisco Lindor of the Cleveland Indians almost by default. I wanted to go with Rusney Castillo of the Boston Red Sox simply because Lindor is a glove first type shortstop but the Indians lineup should be deeper than last season and much improved. Lindor, even hitting near the bottom of the order, should be able to use his speed and his legs to get him a few base hits and keep a respectable average, runs scored, stolen base and RBI count. Lindor may not run away with the award but I think at the end of the day he takes it home for Cleveland.

For the National League Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs is becoming a household name after hitting an absolute ton of home runs in the Cactus League this spring. Bryant is the obvious pick and the safe pick but I honestly don’t know enough about the various farms around the league to go against him. I almost wanted to go with his teammate Jorge Soler just because it would be bold and different but then he went and swatted eight home runs in a few weeks’ time and I knew I had to go with Bryant in 2015. 

Alex Rodriguez Will Never Get His Chance on The Player's Tribune

I have been reading anything and everything that I can regarding David Ortiz's article that he posted on Derek Jeter's The Player's Tribune. Whether it be the article itself, the rebuttal's going all over the internet by that "red headed jheri curled reporter" or just plain old opinion articles from bloggers like myself I cannot get enough of this right now. When I originally saw the article on the blog I rolled my eyes and kept scrolling but what ultimately sparked my interest was an article posted on another blog, Bleeding Yankee Blue.

Robert Casey, my friend, was blatantly attacked on Twitter and on email apparently because he wrote an article labeled "Jeter's Big Mistake" which showed the utmost respect for Jeter while questioning why Alex Rodriguez was not given a shot to tell his side of the story. Jeter will never give Rodriguez that opportunity.

Vote in our prediction poll on

Who's On First?!?!? Alex Rodriguez!

Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira

I have been saying for about a week now that I am growing tired of the spring training games, competitions and activities and I am really just ready for the games to count for something. Well today is going to be a little different as Alex Rodriguez gets his first time in his career at first base. Granted it's a spring training game against the Houston Astros but A Rod is playing first base nonetheless.

The Yankees have Mark Teixeira at first base and Garrett Jones backing up the position so this means little in the grand scheme of things. I think the only reason Rodriguez is even getting some reps at the position is so the team can keep Brendan Ryan on the bench and Brian McCann behind the plate. A Rod is basically the third string there, if that, but it's still interesting to see a (soon to be) 40 year old player learning a new position for the first time.

It's enough to get me watching, oh yeah someone decided this game shouldn't be televised. How disappointing, and convenient.

This Day In New York Yankees History 3/29:

On this day in 2009 the Evil Empire struck again as they placed a permanent September 11 memorial at the entrance of George M. Steinbrenner Field, the Yankees Spring Training home in Tampa, Florida. The tribute showcased a foundation in the shape of the Pentagon that supported two towers made from steel from the World Trade Center that was placed on a grassy spot representing where United Flight 93 was hijacked and flown into the Earth in Pennsylvania. The Red Sox did nothing.

Also on this day in 1975 the Yankees released Mel Stottlemyre after he tore his rotator cuff. Mel finished with a 164-139 record and a 2.97 ERA with 40 shutouts before he became New York's pitching coach.

Finally on this day in 1948 the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox played an exceptionally long exhibition game that went 17 innings, unheard of nowadays. The game still ended in a 2-2 tie in a four hour and two minute game. The Yankees scored a run in each of the bottom of the ninth and tenth innings to keep the game tied and moving along. New York had the winning run at third base in the bottom of the 17th inning but Frank Crosetti attempted a bunt to squeeze the runner home and failed.