Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius will begin the season on the disabled list with a shoulder injury that is expected to sideline him until May, General Manager Brian Cashman said Tuesday.
Gregorius was found to have a strained right shoulder, his throwing shoulder, which he injured Saturday while playing in an exhibition game for the Netherlands as it prepared for a semifinal of the World Baseball Classic. He will not participate in any baseball activities for two weeks and then will be examined further. He is expected to be out for about six weeks, said Cashman, speaking to reporters in Tampa, Fla.
Cashman said his staff had had a long meeting about how to replace Gregorius. The options are likely to come from within the organization, but they will not include Gleyber Torres, the Yankees’ top prospect, who is having a torrid spring but is only 20 and has not played above Class A. He was assigned to Class AA on Tuesday.
I don’t think this is a major problem, honestly. Even if you think Didi is a 3 win player, a month is only one half of a win. I assume we’ll mostly see Ronald Torreyes at short, with maybe some Starlin Castro.
Monday, March 20, 2017
TAMPA, Fla. — In 2012, virtually all Latin American baseball scouts and their major league employers knew about Gleyber Torres, an athletic 15-year-old born in Caracas, Venezuela, who had supple hands and a potent, well-honed swing. All the big clubs with money to burn envisioned Torres in their own uniforms, and that included the Yankees.
Their international scouting department had targeted Torres as the top free-agent player outside the United States, and the Yankees were prepared to spend lavishly to sign him in July 2013, by which time he would be 16. But before that could happen, the Yankees, by the autumn of 2012, began to pick up some worrisome signals. Torres and his family were not talking to all the scouts the way they once were, and he wasn’t showcasing his talents for public consumption.
“He stopped doing tryouts and everything,” said Brian Cashman, the Yankees’ general manager. “But he was our No. 1 guy. I kept talking to our guys.”
To no avail, however. The Chicago Cubs had managed to gain an inside track with Torres and his family. Everyone else, including the Yankees, was on the outside looking in.
Better late than never. I’m still amazed that the Yankees were able to get Torres and more for a few months of Aroldis Chapman.
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
TAMPA, Fla.—New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi has noticed the young talent this spring has jumped from low tide to high tide. And he has put everyone on notice.
“In a sense, everyone’s job in here is in jeopardy in a year, two years,” he said. “That is the quality of player that we have in camp. People are starting to pass people up.”
Who is most likely to swipe jobs, and who is most likely to lose them? It might not happen this season or at all, but Girardi doesn’t make a statement like that unless he means it. If young players continue to perform and old ones don’t, there could be changes.
For now, we’re not including youngsters Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird and Aaron Judge. Sanchez, barring an injury, will be the starting catcher, and Bird and Judge have the inside track to break camp as starters as well, at first base and right field, respectively. In our minds, they’re already in.
Here are five potential Yankees stars of the future, and whom they could replace.
Jorge Mateo in CF is my favorite on the list.
Monday, March 13, 2017
TAMPA, Fla.—CC Sabathia found a big positive during a rocky spring training outing—no issues with his troublesome right knee.
The New York Yankees left-hander lasted just two-thirds of an inning Sunday, allowing six runs and six hits in a 10-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves.
“The body feels good,” Sabathia said. “I was letting some (pitches) go, and I had no problems. As far as the knee, you want to get that out of the way. Make sure you can push off as hard as you can, land and be good. I wanted to accomplish that in the game and I did.”
Sabathia was making his second exhibition start after having arthroscopic surgery in October on his knee. His ailing knee caused him to go on the disabled list in 2014 and 2015.
On Sunday, he was pulled after 10 batters and 33 pitches.
“I’ve got to do a better job of not letting it unravel,” Sabathia said. “I didn’t make pitches.”
The 36-year-old Sabathia is in the last year of his contract and hasn’t had a winning season since 2013. He made 30 starts in 2016, going 9-12 with a 3.91 ERA. He is 223-141 overall in his 16-year career.
We shouldn’t really care about a spring training shellacking, but I’m not particularly optimistic CC can put up another sub 4 ERA this season even if he was lights-out this spring. CAIRO’s baseline forecast for him is a 4.32 ERA in 155 innings, and that would be worth about 2.0 WAR. I’d take that in a heartbeat.
Thursday, March 9, 2017
Nothing counts under the palm trees, but Sanchez’s performances at the plate and behind it are impossible to ignore. He has quickly morphed into a “Can’t Miss At-Bat’’ the way Darryl Strawberry, Alex Rodriguez and Reggie Jackson once were.
Wednesday, Sanchez drove a pitch from Team Canada’s Shane Dawson for one of the four Yankees homers in a 10-4 win.
While Sanchez’s power is real, it isn’t limited to hitting. Scouts are still buzzing about him throwing Tigers speedster Anthony Gose out at second from his knees on a steal attempt Saturday.
“He was [clocked at] 1.9 [seconds] from his knees, are you kidding me?’’ said a scout sitting behind the plate that day. “Gose got a good jump. I looked at another scout and said, ‘What the hell is going on?’ ”
To put the stopwatch times on Sanchez’s throwing prowess, anything under 2.0 is considered good. This spring he has been timed at 1.82. Hall of Famer Pudge Rodriguez was in the 1.7s.
Sanchez caught 13 of 32 runners (41 percent) attempting to steal last year. The Royals’ Salvador Perez led the 13 catchers in the big leagues who qualified by nabbing 48 percent. Sanchez didn’t qualify.
Is Sanchez the best catcher in baseball today?
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
TAMPA — If you happen upon Cadwell, Ga., a tiny town located 137 miles south of Atlanta, please don’t mention that homegrown product Dustin Fowler is a highly touted baseball prospect.
The Yankees’ center fielder wants to keep it a secret.
“They probably don’t know [of his prospect ranking],” Fowler, whom Baseball America identified as the Yankees’ ninth-best youngster, said of his family. “No one probably knows.”
Down here in George M. Steinbrenner Field, people know. On Tuesday, the 22-year-old anchored an all-rookie, all-hyped outfield, with Clint Frazier in left field and Aaron Judge in right field, and enjoyed the best day of the trio. He contributed two singles in two at-bats to the Yankees’ 10-inning (yeesh), 7-6 Grapefruit League victory over the Rays while recording a pair of putouts.
“He’s swung the bat well,” manager Joe Girardi said of the Yankees’ 18th-round selection in the 2013 amateur draft. “He’s played good defense. He’s run the bases well. You kind of see a young man growing up in front of you, is what we’re seeing.”
“He flies under the radar in a lot of ways. I don’t think he gets the credit that he deserves,” Frazier, who struck out in all three of his at-bats, said of Fowler. “But he’s the most polished player I’ve seen as a position player since I’ve been here. It’s exciting to play alongside of him.”
If only the Yankees had an opening in CF. Maybe in five years.
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Yankees utility man Rob Refsnyder might not have an MLB roster spot available to him this year, but that could change in the upcoming days along with a change of scenery. From the New York Post comes the following trade rumor:
According to a person with knowledge of the situation, the Yankees have let clubs know they are willing to listen to trade offers for infielder/outfielder Rob Refsnyder.
Refsnyder, 25, has played first, second, third, right field and left field in the majors. In 74 big-league games in the last two seasons, he’s hit .262/.332/.354 with 12 doubles, two homers and four steals in 222 plate appearances. He’s a career .290/.369/.419 hitter in Triple-A, so there’s definitely some upside in terms of his ability to get on base at a high rate.
It’s hard to see a role for Refsnyder on the Yankees, so I hope he does get traded for his sake. It’s hard to see him bringing anything of note back on his own, but maybe he could be part of a package. Melky + IPK + Ref = ?????
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