Sunday, March 22, 2015

Girardi "encouraged" after Sabathia's second start

CC Sabathia might have left some pitches up in his start against the Mets Sunday afternoon, but his manager is still pretty content with what he saw.

Yankees skipper Joe Girardi noticed some good signs during Sabathia's four-run outing in Port St. Lucie, he told reporters after the 6-0 loss. 

"I saw some good things," Girardi said, according to "I saw some good sliders, some good fastballs, change-ups."

Sabathia went 2 2/3 innings and struck out four in Sunday's contest -- giving up five hits while walking none. He allowed a pair of solo home runs to Juan Lagares and Lucas Duda in the bottom of the first, as well as a two-run shot to David Wright in the third.

It was Sabathia's second consecutive game in which he yielded two or more earned runs, and his ERA on the spring is now a hefty 11.57.

"You know, I think we forget: CC didn't pitch much last year," Girardi said. "And for him, it's about getting back to the consistency and getting some work. CC's always thrived on work."

Sabathia is attempting to come back from a knee injury that limited him to just eight starts in 2014, and his primary goal for this month seems to be -- as Girardi says -- re-acquainting himself with the mound. That appears to be the reason for the Yankees' lack of concern over his bad numbers, which include nine hits over 4 2/3 innings. 

So when Sabathia feels good about a particular performance, the team feels good too.

"He feels great, and there's a lot of life to his arm," Girardi said. "So I'm still encouraged."

Recap: Mets 6, Yankees 0

CC Sabathia surrendered four earned runs in 2 2/3 innings and Jose Pirela left the game early with an apparent concussion Sunday as the Yankees fell to the Mets, 6-0, in a one-sided affair at Tradition Field.

Sabathia Struggles: Sabathia gave up three home runs in his relatively-short outing -- including two in the bottom of the first alone. He did strike out four, however, and told Jack Curry after his removal he feels better now than he did last spring.

Pirela's Injury: On the first batter Sabathia faced on the afternoon, Mets CF Juan Lagares lifted a deep fly ball to center -- one Pirela nearly tracked down before slamming hard into the wall. Pirela then laid on the ground for a few minutes as Lagares circled the bases for an inside-the-parker, eventually being taken off in a cart.

Baker's Strong Performance: On a day when plenty of things went wrong for the Yankees, Scott Baker acted as one of the few bright spots -- throwing 4 1/3 shutout innings out of the bullpen while striking out two. In all, Baker retired 13 of 14 Mets between the fourth and eighth -- sitting down nine consecutive at one point while never letting a man reach second.

Offensive Blues: The Yankees mustered just two hits in 5 2/3 frames against Mets starter Matt Harvey -- a pair of routine singles from Mark Teixeira and John Ryan Murphy. They finally threatened in the top of the ninth, but stranded a runner in scoring postion when Rob Refsnyder hit into a double play. 

Teixeira Shows Off His Wheels: Teixeira did put together an interesting moment in the second, though -- collecting a rare stolen base following his knock off Harvey. Teixeira wasn't being held by the Mets' Lucas Duda, strangely, so he sprinted toward second in a nice showing of awareness. 

Next Up: The Yankees will continue their tour of Florida's Atlantic coast Monday when they visit the Nationals in Viera -- a contest you can see live on MLB Network. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. ET -- with Bryan Mitchell slated to start for the Yankees in their lone trip to Washington's complex this month. 

Jacoby Ellsbury May Provide Fantasy Value w/ Injury

Jacoby Ellsbury is still sitting out with a strained oblique muscle and will likely miss a week of spring training action. Ellsbury claims he will be ready for Opening Day, which is a great sign for the New York Yankees, so how will that affect him in your fantasy drafts? Many know how the Yankees tend to downplay their injuries and I think we all know your draft will be over before we know the truth so how will this affect his stock? Will many stay away from in the earlier rounds simply because of the risk?

Any time Ellsbury has an injury you have to worry because he has not been the poster child for durability in his career. Ellsbury has been reasonably healthy for the past two seasons so like AJ Burnett maybe he has finally put it together but it's hard to know if you're drafting that player or the player that played in 18 games in 2010 and 74 games in 2012.

If Ellsbury is there in the first few rounds I am personally taking him but you may be able to grab him later than normal with the injury concerns. Oblique injuries are tough to manage and could pop back up at any moment so I'm saying take the risk because it should be a lesser risk than normal with the injury.

Spring: New York Yankees vs. New York Mets 3/22

The Subway Series is being played once again but instead of being played inside Citi Field or Yankee Stadium this time the game will take place in Tradition Field. This will be the latest Spring Training game as a part of the Grapefruit League and the game will ultimately mean nothing in the grand scheme of things.

The game will be played at 1:10 pm ET and will showcase a great pitching matchup with CC Sabathia making his second start for the Yankees against the Mets future Matt Harvey.

Kevin Long Compares Michael Cuddyer to Derek Jeter

The title is not a typo, the former hitting coach for the New York Yankees really did compare new Mets outfielder Michael Cuddyer to former Yankees captain Derek Jeter. When you read the quote you can see that ultimately Long may or may not be right but he of all people should have had a little better judgement. There are plenty of hardworking players out there that truly love the game and play the game the way it's supposed to be played. Why compare him to Jeter? Anyway, here is the direct quote from Long who just can't seem to stop talking:

"I didn't know Michael at all but he reminds me of Jeet in a lot of ways. His demeanor, his mentality; he's a gamer. He brings it every day. And he goes to the plate every time with a total belief in himself. It's a mentality that 'I'm better than the pitcher.' With Jeet I couldn't tell whether he was 20-for-20 or 0-for-20; his mind-set never changed. He went to the plate in his next at-bat convinced he was better than the guy on the mound. Michael's got that too."

Yankees Trying to Get Under Luxury Tax Again

I think everyone had this looming in the back of their heads but it hasn't been put to paper until now, the New York Yankees will once again attempt to get under the luxury tax in two years or so. The Yankees have an absolute ton of money, maybe literally, coming off the books after the 2016 and 2017 seasons including the bulky contracts of four of their top seven paid players. That's not including Masahiro Tanaka who may opt out of his current deal with the team after 2017 season meaning if the Yankees are going to get under the cap for the fiscal resets the time may never be better than now.

The Collective Bargaining Agreement ends after the 2016 season where the luxury tax threshold is expected to be raised giving New York a little more wiggle room. Mike Axisa even writes that he expects the number to be around the $200 - $210 million range due to soaring revenues and payrolls around Major League Baseball. Coming off the books after the 2016 and 2017 seasons in terms of AAV are Mark Teixeira ($22.5 M), Carlos Beltran ($15 M), CC Sabathia ($24.4 M), Alex Rodriguez ($27.5 M), and possibly Tanaka's $22.5 M.

If they are going to do it and still have that whole World Series caliber team then the time to strike is approaching. If the team could be smart about it they could have a 2009-esque spending spree and make the fans happy while making Hal Steinbrenner happy with a better bottom line. The key phrase here is if they do it smart and that remains to be seen if that can be done or not.

Here is a direct quote from Steinbrenner:

“I found (being called cheap) very interesting,” he said, smiling, “given that we offered $25 million (for Moncada) and spent substantially in the international market (a reported $26.82 million in bonuses and penalties for greatly exceeding their bonus allotment). I’m not saying we’ll never give another seven-year contract, but going in you know you’re probably only going to get three-four good years out of it. It remains my goal to get under that $189 million (luxury-tax threshold), but it’s not going to happen for at least two more years when these big contracts we have expire. But I’ve continued to say you shouldn’t need $200 million to win a championship.”

TGP Daily Poll: CC Sabathia Takes the Next Step

CC Sabathia is set to make his second start of the spring on Sunday against Matt Harvey and the New York Yankees. Sabathia will take the next step to pitching in his 7th straight Opening Day with the Yankees by pitching at least 3 IP and allowing one run or less.

Vote in our prediction poll on

How Scouts Knew Carlos Beltran Was Going to Make it

CC Sabathia, you reading this?

This Day In New York Yankees History 3/22: Britt Burns Pulls an Alex Rodriguez

On this day in 1986 the Yankees 18 game winner Britt Burns announces he will miss the entire coming season due to a degenerative hip condition.

Also on this day in 1972 the Yankees trade first baseman Danny Cater to the Red Sox for left handed reliever Albert Walter Lyle. Over the next seven years Albert, you may know him as Sparky, will pitch in 420 games in relief with a 57-40 record and a 2.41 ERA with 141 saves. Lyle appeared in three World Series with the Yankees and won two of them while with New York.

Finally on this day in 1962 the New York Mets defeat the New York Yankees the first ever time the two New York teams would meet. It was just a spring training game but the Yankees were the reigning World Series champions so that is worth mentioning. The former Yankee manager Casey Stengel and the Mets would beat the Bronx Bombers 4-3.