Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Spring Training Headlines: NYY

I never put much stock into spring training performances (neither should you). But Yankee fans are positioned for an interesting spring this year with many key notes to watch for as the Bombers make their way through the Grapefruit League schedule.

1. Oh Captain, my Captain
Derek Jeter played in a whopping 17 games in 2013. That's not Derek Jeter, the Captain has been working out at the teams training complex in Tampa for several weeks now and some early birds who have already arrived at camp say Jeter looks great. A few days ago the Daily News caught up with starting pitcher David Phelps who has been working out at the teams minor league complex in Tampa, FL. Phelps told the Daily News, “Derek looks amazing. That’s awesome.” These words are probably uplifting to many Yankee fans but the reality of the situation is that Jeter turns 40 this summer and his hour glass is running out. It's going to be interesting to see how Jeter moves in spring training and I have a feeling we will have a better idea of what's to come from the Captain come April 1st.

2. Money Talks, but does it perform?
This off-season the Steinbrenner family generously opened their wallets to acquire some big name free agents. I can at least speak for myself when I say that I am excited/anxious to see how the new acquisitions (Ellsbury, McCann, Beltran,Tanaka, Johnson, Roberts) adapt to their new surroundings. These names are sure to play a big role this spring and it's gonna be exciting, to say the least, to see these names in action.

3. Tanaka
Japanese sensation Masahiro Tanaka took baseball by the reigns this off season and became the most sought after player out there. The Yankees ended up the lucky suitors but with just a few days until Pitchers and Catchers report to Tampa, FL, many of us have to be curious as to how well/quickly Tanaka will adapt to MLB standards. There will probably be an obvious adjustment period but I think the thing Yankee fans will be most interested in this spring is how Tanaka performs against his first taste of MLB talent.

4. State of the Bullpen
It's no secret that the Yankees did not make any improvements to their bullpen this off-season. Although my gut tells me to just hold on and wait because something's going to happen between now and April. I can't help but wonder how our current bullpen would hold up under a full seasons workload. As of right now we have David Robertson as our closer and I am perfectly content with that but let's look at the rest. Sliding into the eighth inning will probably be Shawn Kelley with a very attractive 12 K/9 rate and lefty specialist Matt Thorton who essentially replaced Boone Logan when he packed his bags for Colorado. Besides that nothing is a lock, the main candidates to get the remaining bullpen jobs are Preston Claiborne, Ceasar Cabral, Dellin Betances, Mark Montgomery and whom ever is the loser of the fifth starter spot whether that be David Phelps/Adam Warren/Vidal Nuno/Michael Pineda. Yankees fans should keep a close eye on these guys this spring as their success will determine ours in 2014.

5. Infield
If the Yankees aren't going into 2014 concerned about their bullpen then they should be going in concerned about their infield. Mark Teixera will surely be dealing with lingering wrist issues, Brian Roberts will surely be dealing with SOMETHING, Derek Jeter is turning 40 and Kelly Johnson has to prove himself. What part of that screams success? Brendan Ryan, Eduardo Nunez and Dean Anna will have their chances to shine this spring but it's a little concerning that this is what the opening day infield is going to consist of. Emilio Bonofacio is now up for grabs, he won't bring much to the table but anything is better than Nunez. I'll certainly be watching the infield closely in March.


  1. Very enlightening post Thomas and about what I expect from you...very good writing and you had a few salient points!
    One thing about it is Nunez last year and the last time he played 3rd base he had 2 errors each time. The bad thing was he had the lowest BA in his short Yankee tenure.
    Many other Bloggers think he is the one for 3rd base, as do I. Unless he is injured (as he was last year) or traded I think he is the guy for 3rd base.

  2. Rocket Reed....3rd base is an enigma, at the moment. Ride this nor'easter out. Stay well.

    1. True but, enigmas are what I solve and have for years. I just think Nunez has the potential to be a very versatile player for us.
      What did you think of Thomas' Posting?
      I thought it was great!

  3. Rocket Reed....Yes, Mr. Tommy Culkin is a great addition to this squad. The comment section
    is starting to fill out nicely. There would be more, but with what you do to the English language,
    many run away......screaming.
    Still with Nunez ? I waffle with him. He can be so awful at times. I still think he will be traded
    away at some point.
    All my trees are bent over with the heavy snow, and ice. Not a beach day.
    Oil your walker, it may start moving.........................................................stay well.

    1. Patrick...
      Why for yo says igot bad englis, it goot as yous!
      Speaking of England, have you ever been to Ireland? I was going to ask you many times...but, i forgot.
      I was there a generation or two ago! We had war games with the SAS...the bad boys of the British Army! Some of the very best, more than a match for us guys but it ended up being 3-4. We were the 3...we would have been 4-3 if...oh well, orders are orders!

  4. my Naval youth, also a lifetime ago, I was having a great time in a saloon, in Genoa, Italy. Cold beers, chasing the women.....and they would let you catch them. Could not ask for more.
    If it was a would of been named "Sailors Gone Wild."
    All this ended abruptly, when the bar filled with English Sea Going Marines. ( yes, they do exist )
    You had to be over 6' to be one of them, and they had been out at sea for weeks.
    This was not going to end well, for light weight fleet sailors.

    They took our women, they blocked off access to the bar....all that was left was to be given
    a royal ass kicking. Stand, and fight....only to be thrown out a window ?
    I may be black Irish, but I am not dumb......retreat !
    We found another saloon across town, and continued our merry ways.
    I think the women I ended up dancing with, later that night, was a man. Women do have mustaches ?
    But that's a story for another day.

    1. Patrick...
      I have one for you;
      In Spain I was hooked up with a sweet thing and one day the Commander came to me and said "You are on the next plain to England"! It seems, she was the mistress to some political big wig!
      That was your lucky day when you got out of that bar! Those guy are not nice to play with, unlike us, they are violent individuals.
      Also, I am not reading anymore Jeter stuff, it is sickening to see people make him into a god like, never anyone better than he has been, ever, player! My goodness he was a great SS but the greatest Yankee ever...give me a break!
      He will be greatly missed and welcome to the HoF jeter, you worked hard for it!

    2. ROCKET REED....Glad you escaped. Was she spell bound, when you told her, you
      were General Lee's first choice to lead what turned out to be Pickets Charge, at Gettysburg ?
      Or, did you numb into unconsciousness, with your command of the English language ?
      Or...was it just, your western New York Irish charm ?

    3. Patrick...
      Young man, with a woman like her, one doesn't do a lot of talking.
      But, as a consolation prize, I got the better part of the deal...a pair of hand made shoes that were soft and flexible, only put them on for dancing. Had them for over 30 years...until my wife decided they had to go! And I know who the boss is, and it ain't me!

  5. LATIN JINX ?....maybe so.
    Three times now I have put up a..." hot-hot hot !! " rumor, from the Latin Post, from over
    at MLB Trade Rumors. Only to have it go pssssssst!
    That is why I will take a different tack this time.
    I will tell you nothing, except that the rumor is about...................................................Ubaldo Jimenez.


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)