Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Ervin Santana Comes Off The Yankees Board, For Real This Time

The last time we had this discussion we were fed some bad information that Ervin Santana had agreed upon a one year deal worth $14 million with the Toronto Blue Jays, that obviously was not true. Almost a week later Santana was signed today by the Atlanta Braves on a one year deal worth exactly $14.1 million, a qualifying offer in 2014 and much like the one Santana rejected from the Kansas City Royals way back in November.

The Braves likely Opening Day starter Kris Medlen left a spring training game with pitching stiffness in his arm and is likely to require a second Tommy John surgery to repair the ligament. Atlanta wasted no time jumping into the Santana sweepstakes and swooped him up today to bring him to Turner Field.

The Yankees never really seemed interested in Santana, whether they should have been or not is another discussion for another post, but this discussion has officially bee put to bed. Santana is in Atlanta for at least the 2014 season.

Yankees Option Sanchez, Heathcott, & Turley To Minor League Camps

The New York Yankees have made at least three more cuts from Major League Spring Training camp today assigning Gary Sanchez to AA Trenton and Nik Turley and Slade Heathcott to AAA Scranton Wilkes Barre. This coming from transactions page, seen HERE.

Turley has been shut down with left arm tightness and has been inactive for most of the spring, supposedly the Yankees are just being overly cautious with him though. Heathcott has been moved along slowly, and I mean slowly, this spring after coming off a minor knee surgery in the winter to clean up his knee. Sanchez, while is fun to watch, has no chance of breaking camp with the Yankees so will benefit more from minor league camps when they open up soon.

Three more cuts today and none of them major yet, I don't expect we will see any of those until after the Panama series and all the players are back and rested. Ranks Top 20 Yankees Prospects By Tools released their Top 20 Prospects for all 30 teams and ranked them by tools using the 20-80 scale that many scouts use. I have embedded the links to read the full write ups but I will include the lists, without the grades, here for you to read. Enjoy..

1. Gary Sanchez
2. Mason Williams
3. Slade Heathcott
4. John Ryan Murphy
5. Eric Jagielo
6. Tyler Austin
7. Greg Bird
8. Ian Clarkin
9. Aaron Judge
10. Luis Severino
11. Gosuke Katoh
12. Manny Banuelos
13. Jose Ramirez
14. Bryan Mitchell
15. Mark Montgomery
16. Rafael DePaula
17. Luis Torrens
18. Abi Avelino
19. Miguel Andujar
20. Jose Campos

New York Yankees Spring Training News & Notes 3/12

Brendan Ryan took some light swings after suffering an oblique injury last week and feels no ill effects from the activity. Ryan says the injury is more in his lower back than his oblique so maybe this will not be a lingering kind of injury.

Tyler Austin is hitting flips in the batting cage, which is basically a modified version of tee and toss. His right wrist feels good and has no lingering soreness.

Jose Campos made his spring debut for the Yankees today pitching in the 7-7 tie.

Dellin Betances threw a simulated game today to Peter O'Brien and faced Jose Pirela and Francisco Arcia.

Francisco Cervelli hit two more home runs today and is batting an even .500 for the spring while leading the team in slugging percentage. Cervelli is being scouted by other teams and is said to be readily available for the right price.

Dean Anna has a stiff neck, not great news for him. Dino needs to be in every game and every inning he can if he wants to win a spot on the team and cannot afford to miss any time. Anna is still expected to make the trip to Panama though so that's great news.

Another day and another hit for Yangervis Solarte, he also walked once in the game as well. Pretty soon we have to stop reminding you that it's early in spring and start recognizing that this guy is killing the ball.

Chad Jennings with the daily assignments:

Tomorrow’s travel squad to Clearwater:
Pitchers: Danny Burawa, Preston Claiborne, Shane Greene, Fred Lewis, Bryan Mitchell, Mark Montgomery, Ivan Nova
Catchers: Francisco Arcia, Francisco Cervelli, Pete O’Brien, Austin Romine
Infielders: Kelly Johnson, Scott Sizemore, Yangervis Solarte, Mark Teixeira
Outfielders: Jacoby Ellsbury, Ramon Flores, Ichiro Suzuki, Mason Williams
· Today’s second string: C Austin Romine, 1B Jose Gil, 2B Zelous Wheeler, SS Dean Anna, 3B Jose Pirela, LF Yangervis Solarte, CF Antoan Richardson, RF Adonis Garcia, DH John Ryan Murphy
· Today’s scheduled relievers: Shawn Kelley, Jose Campos, Robert Coello, Yoshinori Tateyama, Fred Lewis
· Batting practice groups:
Group 1: Derek Jeter, Carlos Beltran, Brian Roberts, Alfonso Soriano, Ichiro Suzuki
Group 2: Russ Canzler, Kelly Johnson, Mason Williams, Francisco Cervelli
Group 3: Zoilo Almonte, Eduardo Nunez, Scott Sizemore, Austin Romine
Group 4: Francisco Arcia, Adonis Garcia, Zelous Wheeler, John Ryan Murphy
Group 5: Antoan Richardson, Yangervis Solarte, Jose Pirela, Jose Gil
Group 6: Ramon Flores, Corban Joseph, Francisco Arcia, Pete O’Brien, Gary Sanchez

Yankees rally late to tie Tigers, 7-7

Despite getting just 3.2 innings of six-run ball (10 hits, no walks, 1 strikeout) from starter Hiroki Kuroda, the Yankees tied with the Tigers today at Steinbrenner Field, 7-7. Now let's be honest, this is just spring training, but still, those numbers are terrible. What got into #18 today? 

Anyway, as the title clearly states, the Pinstripes did still come back to force a tie in this one, as Francisco Cervelli hit two solo homers, Zealous Wheeler drove in two runs with a double, Austin Romine pushed across a run with a groundout, and Zoilo Almonte tied the game with a two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth. So yea, overall I'd say this game went alright. I mean, the offense and every pitcher but Kuroda did pretty well, wouldn't you say so?

New York Yankees vs. Detroit Tigers 3/12

The Yankees struggled yesterday offensively and with the starting pitching and look to rebound today as they take on the Detroit Tigers. Hiroki Kuroda will make the start for the New York Yankees after pitching well, although struggling with control a little, against the Detroit Tigers on Friday. The game will be televised at 1:05 pm ET on the YES Network, MLB TV, and MLB Network.

Babe Ruth & Why He Never Managed

Babe Ruth was interested in managing a club, namely the New York Yankees, after his playing career ended and there is a very big reason why that never happened, the club feared that Ruth would break the color barrier and allow and play black players on the team. This shocking story came from Babe's daughter herself, Julia Ruth Stevens, at 97 years old. Ruth Stevens was speaking with the New York Times when he told the story to the times Peter Kerasotis, SEEN HERE.

Here are a few quotes from Ruth Stevens:

"Daddy would have had blacks on his team, definitely," she said. "He really thought he deserved to manage. Daddy knew baseball. He always felt he would be a better manager than Joe McCarthy. He always talked about that." 

"Ruth also was known to frequent New York City’s Cotton Club and befriended black athletes and celebrities," Kerasotis wrote. "He once brought Bill Robinson, a tap-dancer and actor known as Bojangles, into the Yankees’ clubhouse. Robinson also was with Ruth during the 1932 World Series in Chicago, and at the game when Ruth was said to have called his home run. When Ruth died in August 1948, Robinson was an honorary pallbearer."

It's really hard to fathom now the blatant ignorance and racism that was all over the game and the country at this time, it really is. Who knows what Ruth could have done if he was a manager, but then again who really knows if this was the real reason. We will never know but either way it's a shame. Jackie Robinson would break the color barrier in 1947, a full ten years after Ruth retired and a year before Ruth passed away.

Yankee Stadium Legacy: #19 Spud Chandler

Spud Chandler, given name Spurgeon, pitched each of his 11 Major League seasons with the New York Yankees, twice winning 20 games in a season. Spud finished his career with a .717 winning percentage, second highest in Major League history. Spud was the American League MVP in 1943 after going 20-4 with 20 complete games, five shutouts, and a 1.64 ERA.

19 days until Yankees Opening Day.

This Day In New York Yankees History 3/12

On this day in 1903 the New York Highlanders, soon to be renamed the Yankees in 1913, were approved to be admitted into the American League.

On this day in 2008 the benches cleared in a rare spring training brawl between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees. New York's Shelley Duncan slid into second base with his spikes aimed at Rays infielder Akinori Iwamura after being thrown out by a wide margin. Four days earlier the Rays played aggressively and injured Francisco Cervelli with a home plate collision.