Friday, March 22, 2013

Brennan Boesch Scratched With Sore Rib Cage Muscle

Recently acquired Brennan Boesch has been scratched from today's game with soreness in his left rib cage.  This is scary because Boesch has already had an oblique injury with the Tigers while in their spring camp this season so you never like to hear about any kind of soreness. Boesch missed today's game and will definitely miss tomorrow's game and will be reevaluated by team doctors after that. The last thing the Yankees can do is afford to lose yet another player so lets hope we can file this under the "nothing to see here" category.

Phil Hughes Could Start Season On Disabled List Too

The Yankees and Joe Girardi announced that Phil Hughes is likely to start the season on the disabled list as well after fighting a back injury all spring training long. Hughes threw about 50 pitches today and has time for two more starts before his first scheduled start on April 6th, the Yankees 5th game of the season. That is the first day that a player can be activated from the disabled list that has been backdated and the back dating disabled lists start today as well conveniently. Girardi wants to make sure that Hughes can easily throw around 90 pitches in his first start so they may DL him and bring an extra bullpen guy and let the loser of the Ivan Nova/David Phelps 5th starter competition make his start.

Clay Rapada Will Start 2013 On The Disabled List

Clay Rapada has been shut down for a few weeks now with shoulder bursitis in his left throwing shoulder. Clay has recently started throwing off of flat ground and even threw 15 fastballs off of a mound today but Joe Girardi still expects Clay to start the season on the DL. Clay wants to be sure that he can throw several days in a row without a set back before coming off the DL but claims that he is not that far off. Id rather five healthy months out of Rapada then six mediocre months so this move makes sense to get him right and healthy now while we have plenty of time.

Minor League Camp Updates

With the ML spring training roster dwindling, we're left wondering how the prospects who have been shipped off to their respective groups are doing. Here's a few updates on some of the more familiar names in the Yankee farm system:

Angelo Gumbs

Gumbs was on a tear last year just as he went down with a triceps injury that ended his season. He's jumped right back into the swing of things, collecting a couple of XBH's including a rope shot over the left field wall, a stolen base and some pretty handy defense. Gumbs just missed my predictions list, but make no mistake this kid has the stuff to make an early play for a spot on the Tampa roster. 

Gary Sanchez 

Sanchez has also rung in a couple of XBH's, hitting a two run bomb of his own to left center to go along with a run scoring double. In a recent interview Gary expressed his desire to improve on all facets of his game; his defense took some pretty big strides forward last year with many scouts starting to believe he can stick at the position. Further improvement and the skill to remain a catcher would be a huge boon to the system, making a possible tandem with JR Murphy a formidable pair behind the plate. 

Bryan Mitchell 

Bryan made my prediction list this year, so let's hope he makes me look smart for doing so. He went four innings the other day, allowing four hits of which only one, a leadoff double was a solid hit. He gave up a couple of infield singles and only one run on the outing and struck out three. Bryan went another five innings on Wednesday and pitched his way through a rough inning where he gave up a trio of hits and a free pass, but got back on point the following inning. He's been in the mid 90's this spring with his fastball and is throwing plenty of strikes. His consistency was suspect last year but he did have a tremendous finish to the season. If that carries over he'll be making top ten lists by the end of the year. Part of his issues last year were due to him going max effort, which sapped his command a bit. He eventually got into a more free and easy delivery that allowed him to not only bring the velocity but stay on target. With some of the best raw stuff in the system a big year for him would be great for NY. 

Jose Campos 

Campos was off to a great start last year before hitting the DL with elbow soreness. He tried to pitch through some not so usual pain and it ended up sidelining him for the rest of the year. He arrived in camp ready to go and started out with just a lone inning since last throwing in April. He surrendered a long home run to Gary Sanchez, but then settled in striking out two to end the frame. He then went on to pitch 1 2/3 striking out three straight and giving up one earned. His velocity isn't quite there yet but he has shown plenty of movement and an excellent breaking ball. Health is the key issue with Campos, and if he can stay on the field and his elbow keeps from barking then we'll have another high ceiling guy to root for on his way to the BX. 

Rafael DePaula

For a guy that has yet to appear in a game stateside he's gotten a lot of press. Not surprising, as he has a couple of big league pitches in his pocket and has made mincemeat of his competition. Rafael did more of the same in his debut, pitching against his teammates and rolling through two innings of work so quickly that they threw two more batters at him to get his pitch count up. He tossed three innings in his next outing serving up a solo home run along with two more hits. Aside from the tater he was impressive, working on his delivery he wasn't at max effort but still rang in the low 90's and showed his slurve along with a changeup that flashed plus potential. It's great to see him finally get some work in over here, but he has some pretty big expectations to live up to considering his stuff and age for the level. Blasting his way to Tampa this year would be a good sign and get him on his way to the majors. 

Greg Bird 

Bird was moved off from the catcher position over to first base, so his bat is going to have to carry him if he's to make it to the big time. So far he hasn't disappointed. He's hit the ball hard all week, going opposite field, driving in runs and making all around good contact. Even when he makes outs they're productive; moving runners over or drilling the ball and succumbing to babip luck. Last night he sent a towering home run to right field, and the out he did make was a hard hit grounder. That's exactly what he'll need to do to stay in the mix and so far he's been aces. 

Mason Williams

Coming off of shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder Mason missed a chance at big league camp but is hitting his stride now that he's back in action. He appears to have put on some muscle over the winter thanks to a his workout/rehab program and it's shown in the box. He started off slow but had some good at bats, then the hits started falling. He finished up yesterday with a pair of doubles, a RBI and a run scored, using the whole field and stinging the ball. It will be interesting to see how the extra mass plays into his power game; at first thought of as a minimal power type, he looks like he could get himself into 15-20 HR territory, especially with the help of the short right field porch in YS3. 

Rob Refsnyder 

Making the move to second base Rob took a bit to get used to his new digs, but is looking more comfortable by the day. He made a couple of outstanding plays the other night with the glove, showing of his range and arm. He hasn't looked too bad at the plate either, rounding out his day with a 2-4 performance knocking in two runs that included a double down the left field line. 

Cito Culver 

Quick note on Culver... he ditched the switch hitting and will be going at it solely from the right side from now on. It was something he came to a decision on and approached the team about, which they embraced immediately. He says he's more comfortable from that side, and so far the reports are he looks pretty good. He laced a double to left center off Josh Johnson earlier in the week and has retained his plate discipline drawing a walk later on that day. He followed that up with another hard hit double, driving in two and scoring a pair. Even his outs have been impressive. His defense has never been in question, so if he can get his bat in line he'll be back on the radar.  


Spring Training 3/22/13 Lineup

Eduardo Nunez SS
Brennan Boesch RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Juan Rivera 1B
Ben Francisco LF
Chris Stewart C
Thomas Neal DH
Melky Mesa CF
Ronnier Mustelier 3B

Ivan Nova RHP

Start Time: 1:05 p.m.
T.V: None
Radio: Twins Radio

Some Notes:

-- Add another Yankee to the DL when the Yankees break north for the regular season. Clay Rapada is slated to start the season on the 15-Day DL with shoulder bursitis.

-- Phil Hughes will throw in a minor league game today, according to Joe Girardi. Hughes is expected to go three innings throwing at least 50 pitches.

-- Derek Jeter will not play in another Major League Spring Training game this season. The Yankees are going to send him to minor league camp in case he's not ready for Opening Day and he could be backdated. Backdated simply means that instead of the Yankees getting Jeter back in 15 days if were to go on the DL, he could be back within five to seven days.

Baseball Cards: Phil Hughes

Phil Hughes is getting closer and closer to being in his first Spring Training game and I wanted to share with you some of the Phil Hughes cards from my personal baseball card collection. Enjoy!