Monday, March 26, 2012

Off Day Open Thread

Bernie Williams on 3/21 played the song "No Way Out" with the Allman Brothers Band at the Beacon Theater. Enjoy and talk about anything on this Spring Training Off Day.

Joba Chamberlain Update

From Buster Olney:
Joba Chamberlain is likely to speak to reporters later in the week, and he's expected to tell them his life was never in jeopardy after his accident last Thursday.

Making an Impression

I put very little stock into Spring Training numbers, as I've probably mentioned a time or two. However, that doesn't mean I'm not impressed with some of the young guys we've seen so far.

Jose Gil
In 16 at bats Jose has put up a line of .563/.526/.750, which includes 3 doubles. Gil is a 25 year old catcher that's been with the Yankee organization since 2005. He's struggled since his debut in rookie ball, but last season he did put up a triple-slash of .253/.344/.394 to go along with 6HR in 249 at bats. He could emerge from the shadow created by fellow catching prospects Austin Romine and Gary Sanchez.

Doug Bernier
Okay, he'll be 32 years old in June, so calling him "young" is a bit of a stretch. But this is a guy that's spent 10 years in the minor leagues, while only getting 4 MLB at bats in 2008 with the Rockies. I'm surprised that's all he got in MLB, as he put up a line of .310/.396/.407 with AAA Colorado Springs the season before. But I know very little about the Rockies, so perhaps it was simply a matter of not having a spot for him. Anyway, Doug has hit .385/.429/.538 with 4 doubles this spring, and he has plenty of experience at all four infield positions.

Justin Maxwell
It's too bad that Justin Maxwell is out of options, because I'd love to keep him in the organization. He's hit .429/.508/.607 this spring, to go along with 4 stolen bases. In 48 games with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last year he hit .260/.358/.588 with 16 home runs and 11 stolen bases. Justin's had 260 MLB plate appearances, so there's no doubt that other teams are going to jump all over him if he hits waivers (looking at the projected Yankee bench, that seems to be an inevitability).

Cesar Cabral
Cesar has not played above AA ball, having spent his entire career up to this point in the Red Sox organization, but he's made a strong case for being one of 25 players that will go North. In 9.1 innings pitched Cabral has only give up 2 earned runs, while ringing up a very impressive 12 strikeouts while giving up only 1 walk. The .270 batting average against isn't great, but he looks like a Rule V pick well worth holding onto.

Clay Rapada
Rapada, like Bernier, is not exactly "young". Baltimore DFA'd Clay on February 15th, and the Yankees wasted little time in signing him to a minor-league deal 5 days later. His 10 Ks to go along with 3 BBs looks good this spring, along with the fact he's yet to give up any earned runs in 7.1 innings, but it's his .120 batting average against that really caught my eye. If he can keep his walks down he could be a nice addition to the Yankee bullpen.

David Phelps
David's walked a few more guys this spring than he has in his minor league career. In 4 seasons with the Yankees farm system his BB/9 is 2.0, while he's walked 4 batters in 11 innings this spring (a rate of 3.27 per 9IP). It's a very small sample size, so I expect that walk-rate to lower. His batting average against is only .200, so he's making a good case to get a call-up should the need for a starter arise during 2012. He's either going to be a good challenger for a rotation spot for the Yankees as soon as next season, or he's going to make another team pretty happy.