Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Matt Tracy & Mark Montgomery Cut From Spring Camp

The Yankees have sent down Matt Tracy and Mark Montgomery to minor league camps and cut them spring training camp. Neither had a shot at making the big league roster but I will say I will miss seeing the future in Mark Montgomery out there for the Yankees.

Yankees Fighting StubHub In Court Over Tickets

The New York Yankees are now suing the ticket marketplace StubHub after they tried to open up a shop near Yankees Stadium so customers could print their Yankees tickets off online that they bought there. The Yankees think that will violate the states scalping laws by being so close to the stadium and by being a reselling spot for Yankees tickets. The Yankees ended up winning the initial court case yesterday and prevents StubHub, temporarily anyway, from working around the Yankees deal with Ticketmaster.

In Wake Of Injuries, Yankees Tickets Drop In Price

By Dan Groob, TiqIQ

Plagued by injuries and controversy, the New York Yankees prepare to enter the 2013 season amidst a cloud of uncertainty. With World Series odds of 13-to-1, just 8th best in baseball, the Yankees find themselves in unfamiliar territory—that of (relatively) low expectations.

While the injuries have piled up for New York, as Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira will join Alex Rodriguez on the disabled list to start the season, the biggest question mark for the Yankees this year may in fact be pitching. Beyond ace CC Sabathia, the rotation becomes quite questionable. Hiroki Kuroda had a fantastic season in 2012, going 16-11 with a 3.32 ERA, but his peripherals (3.86 FIP/4.15 tERA) and age (38) point to some regression. Third starter Andy Pettitte will turn 41 this season. Phil Hughes remains perpetually enigmatic.
With half the offense figuring to be on the DL and no marquee pitchers beyond Sabathia to draw gate receipts, Yankees fans are not exhibiting the same level of excitement for the start of 2013 as they have in years past. According to TiqIQ, New York Yankees tickets at the stadium are currently averaging $89 dollars, well below that of the LA Dodgers who pace the league. Many of the lowest priced series of the season will take place in the opening months.

Cheapest 5 Series (Opponent | Average price | Get-in price)
  • 4/25 - 4/28 vs TOR | $65 | $4
  • 6/4 - 6/5 vs CLE | $64 | $6
  • 5/14 - 5/16 vs SEA | $57 | $4
  • 4/16 - 4/18 vs ARI | $56 | $4
  • 4/29 - 5/1 vs HOU | $49 | $4
It is interesting to see the Toronto Blue Jays on this list of cheap series, because for the first time in a long time, they are the favorites for the AL East crown. The Blue Jays have not won the division since 1993; when they went on to win the World Series. Contrarily, it is not so surprising to see the Houston Astros as the cheapest series of the season. The Astros begin their first year in the American League West after playing in the National League Central for decades. They also figure to be historically bad this season. Naturally, the Astros series possess three of the five cheapest single games of the season at Yankee Stadium.

Cheapest 5 Games (Opponent | Avg. | Get-in)
  • 4/29 vs HOU | $46 | $4
  • 4/30 vs HOU | $48 | $4
  • 4/16 vs ARI | $54 | $4
  • 5/16 vs SEA | $55 | $4
  • 5/1 vs HOU | $56 | $4
While ticket prices are down for the first few months of the season, it is still the age old promise of a new beginning that makes the April 1st home opener the highest priced single game ticket of the season. This also serves to prop up the opening series as the highest priced series at Yankee Stadium this year. Naturally, this game is also against the rival Boston Red Sox, and the three Red Sox series are the three highest priced of the season. Rounding out the top five are series against the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants from Sept 20 to Sept 22, and the crosstown Subway Series against the New York Mets from May 29 to May 30. The Sept 21 contest against the Giants is the only non-Sox game to crack the top five most expensive games of the season at Yankee Stadium. Even in a year where the Red Sox could very well finish in last place in the division, it still takes a champion to put a crack in the ticket pricing of the most storied rivalry in sports.

Top 5 Series (Opponent | Avg. | Get-in)
  • 4/1 - 4/4 vs BOS | $154 | $19
  • 9/5 - 9/8 vs BOS | $137 | $19
  • 5/31 - 6/2 vs BOS | $124 | $24
  • 9/20 - 9/22 vs SFG | $124 | $16
  • 5/29 - 5/30 vs NYM | $116 | $28
Top 5 Games (Opponent | Avg. | Get-in)
  • 4/1 vs BOS | $220 | $52
  • 9/8 vs BOS | $146 | $29
  • 9/7 vs BOS | $143 | $25
  • 9/6 vs BOS | $137 | $27
  • 9/21 vs SFG | $135 | $25
Remember, for the best deals on MLB tickets, or tickets to any event, visit, and for even more deals visit them on Google+

Wang Working Out In Tampa

Since he left the Yankees after the 2009 season, Chien-Ming Wang has put up an ERA of 4.94 and WHIP of 1.532 over 16 starts with the Nationals in 2011 and 2012. 2012 was a particularly rough season as hitters tagged Wang for a line of .376/.442/.586 in 32.1 innings.

It's safe to say that CMW has yet to bounce back from his lisfranc injury while running the bases in Houston in 2009. However, Wang had a really good showing for Chinese Taipei in the WBC, throwing 12 scoreless innings across 2 starts. So that bounce back may be about to hit, and the Yankees are right there to take advantage.

According to Josh Norris, CMW will work out with the Yankees in Tampa today, throwing some bullpens and stuff. Ken Davidoff told us that there is no deal in place at the moment, but if Wang can continue what he did in the WBC then this could be a huge pickup for the Bombers. Maybe not so much for this year, but for next year when the team will possibly lose Hiroki Kuroda and Andy Pettitte.

Derek Jeter May Start 2013 On DL

Derek Jeter was scratched from yesterday's start against the Phillies with what was described as a cranky ankle. He was sent to see team doctors and precautionary x rays and an MRI was done showing nothing but inflammation. Jeter was listed as day to day yesterday and everything seemed routine and normal until we learned today that he also received a cortisone shot in that left ankle. Brian Cashman acknowledged that it is quite possible that Derek will start the 2013 season on the disabled list. It looks like the best case scenario right now is he is the starting designated hitter when we open the season at home against the Boston Red Sox on April Fools day. Oh joy...

Roster Starting to Take Shape

With less than two weeks until Opening Day, the Yankees have a little bit more clarity on who will be playing where when the season begins. Injuries to Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson have opened up more spots and competition than there has been in a Yankees camp in a long time. Obviously, there is still time for things to change due to injuries or play on the field, but it looks like some favorites have emerged for the open positional spots on the Yankees.

Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart will be the two catchers on the roster ahead of Austin Romine. Cervelli probably has an edge to start over Stewart, due to his much improved defensive play in the spring, and because he probably has a slightly better bat. I have been a skeptic of Cervelli, but if he can keep up this improved defensive play, letting go of Russell Martin might not be the awful decision that I and many others thought it was. However, given regular AB’s, I still think Cervelli will hit closer to .220 rather than his .271 career average.

Brennan Boesch was a solid low risk pickup by the Yankees and he is the favorite to start in one of the corner outfield spots. I think Boesch will be in right field and the stronger defender Ichiro will be in left field.

Boesch is another lefty, but he actually hits lefties better in his career (.286/.348/.420/.767) than righties (.250/.305/.412/.717), so he has no real platoon split.  He is only 27 years old, so he is still in the prime in his career. Boesch has averaged 14 home runs per season in his three seasons at spacious Comerica Park, so at Yankee Stadium he might be able to hit 20 home runs this season.

Boesch had an awful 2012 season by hitting only 12 home runs and having a slash line of .240/.286/.373/.659. However, Boesch had surgery in the 2011 offseason to repair a torn ligament in his thumb. This may have had a negative effect on his season, as hand and wrist injuries are tough to deal with for a hitter.  If Boesch can repeat his 2011 season of 16 home runs and a slash line of .283/.341/.458/.799 the Yankees would be thrilled.

Matt Diaz has been released, and Zolio Almonte and Slade Heathcott have been sent to the minor league camp, so that leaves Boesch, Ben Francisco, Melky Mesa and Thomas Neal in the competition for the outfield spots. You can probably rule out Neal, although he has had a nice spring. With Boesch starting in right, that leaves Francisco and Mesa to battle it out for right-handed outfield/DH role. The Yankees always seem to lean toward the veteran in these situations and Francisco (.345/.441/.586/1.027) has greatly outperformed Mesa (.186/.239/.395/.634) at the plate this spring. By keeping Francisco on the major league team and sending Mesa down the Yankees can afford to keep both players, since Francisco does not have any options remaining and Mesa does. This is good for depth purposes.

In the infield it appears as though Juan Rivera and Kevin Youkilis will be starting at the corners at this point. Dan Johnson has been egregious this spring (.069/.270.069/.339) and Ronnie Mustelier’s injury might have cost him a chance to start at third base if the Yankees wanted to move Youkilis to first. Rivera has hit for a decent average this spring (.286), but he has hit for no power. It is unknown at this point whether Jayson Nix or Eduardo Nunez will be the utility infielder or maybe both make the roster.

The corner infield is the place that the Yankees really should look to upgrade before the season begins. The Yankees can get by with Boesch and Francisco replacing Granderson for a month, but Rivera starting at first base is really not acceptable. This is why the Texiera injury hurts so much. Losing a guy who you can pencil in for 35 home runs, over 100 RBI and gold glove defense and replacing him with Rivera is really going to hurt your team.

The Yankees should look for an upgrade at first or at third and move Youkilis over to first because it sounds like the Teixeira injury might be a long term thing, so you cannot worry about having a surplus once he gets back because you have no idea when that will be at this point. These are certainly some different and unusual players who will be in the Yankees starting lineup on Opening Day, but this is what we have to live with at this point.

Team Dominican Republic Wins WBC, Cano Wins MVP

The Dominicans completed the World baseball Classic tournament with an 8-0 record winning their first World Baseball Classic. Yankees star Robinson Cano was named the tournament MVP putting up a .469 average (15-32) and hitting four doubles and two home runs in eight games. Robby Cano looks locked in already and it's a sight for sore Yankees fans eyes. Congratulations to Robinson Cano and Team Dominican Republic on their World Baseball Classic dominance.

Spring Training 3/20/13 Lineup

Brett Gardner LF
Eduardo Nunez SS
Kevin Youkilis 3B
Juan Rivera 1B
Ben Francisco RF
Jayson Nix 2B
Chris Stewart C
Thomas Neal DH
Melky Mesa CF

LHP Vidal Nuno

Start Time: 1:05 p.m.
T.V: YES Network / ESPN

Predicting The New York Yankees Opening Day Roster

Obviously a lot can change between now and the Yankees opener on April 1st at home against the Boston Red Sox because a lot has changed since the last time I typed up this post. I had Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira penciled into the middle of the line up, had Dan Johnson winning a bench spot, Clay Rapada winning a bullpen spot, and Brennan Boesch was no where to be found. Let's try this again, shall we?

C - Francisco Cervelli
1B - Juan Rivera
2B - Robinson Cano
SS - Derek Jeter
3B - Kevin Youkilis
LF - Brett Gardner
CF - Melky Mesa
RF - Ichiro Suzuki
DH - Travis Hafner

BN - Chris Stewart
BN - Brennan Boesch
BN - Eduardo Nunez
BN - Jayson Nix

SP - CC Sabathia
SP - Hiroki Kuroda
SP - Andy Pettitte
SP - Phil Hughes
SP - Ivan Nova

LR - David Phelps
MR - Boone Logan
MR - Joba Chamberlain
MR - David Aardsma
MR - Jim Miller
SU - David Robertson
CL - Mariano Rivera

Jim Miller has pitched well enough to earn a spot, albeit not a huge spot, in the Yankees roster. Joe Girardi has already said that he plans to use a veteran righty in place of Clay Rapada so I think that guy will be Jim Miller. Cody Eppley and Shawn Kelley are also vying for that spot but they have minor league options remaining where Jim Miller does not and I think that is the ultimate decision maker.

Brennan Boesch was basically guaranteed a spot on the Opening Day roster when he signed a minor league contract last week. He will platoon with Ichiro Suzuki in right field if I had to guess and will fill in whenever Melky Mesa is not playing and Brett Gardner is in center field.

No other big surprises here if you ask me. It is a forgone conclusion that Juan Rivera will win the first base job, Melky Mesa will win the center field job, and I think the Yankees will carry both Jayson Nix and Eduardo Nunez out of camp. This is not a common occurrence in Yankees camp having a prospect and a guy on a minor league job winning big spots out of spring but I guess when injuries pile up the depth is tested. I just hope the Yankees can survive a touch early schedule with a 25 man roster like this...

Baseball Cards : Yankees Legends

The latest share of my baseball card collect will be Yankees Legends. Included are the likes of Roger Maris, Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, and Lou Gehrig. Enjoy!