Tuesday, March 24, 2015
TAMPA — Dellin Betances’ lone major league save came on July 7, and as the right-hander pointed out Monday, it was a two-inning outing.
With the way Joe Girardi is talking this spring, the Yankees may have more non-traditional saves in the works, so the manager can take advantage of having both Betances and lefty Andrew Miller in the back of the bullpen.
“In years past we had a clearly defined closer,’’ the manager said of Mariano Rivera and David Robertson. “There was never a question. In looking at the candidates we have, neither one of them has ever really closed. I know David Robertson hadn’t closed, but he was an eighth-inning guy for five years.’’
The uncertainty doesn’t seem to bother Betances or Miller.
The Yankees are collecting potential closers like the Red Sox used to collect aces.
Monday, March 23, 2015
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Joe Girardi wanted to see versatile Yankees spring sensation Jose Pirela in centerfield. But he certainly didn’t want to see this.
Pirela suffered a concussion and was taken by ambulance to Tradition Medical Center after crashing into the centerfield wall on what turned into an inside-the-park home run for leadoff batter Juan Lagares of the Mets in the first inning.
The Yankees announced Sunday night that Pirela had been discharged from the hospital and that all tests came back normal.
Hopefully he’ll be fine.
Thursday, March 19, 2015
TAMPA − Hal Steinbrenner is fully aware of the lack of customary buzz for this coming Yankee season. He doesn’t have to be told he’s got a lot of bloated contracts on his payroll and that he hasn’t been getting nearly enough bang for his buck from his biggest stars. The Yankee owner and managing general partner knows the days of a consistently sold-out Yankee Stadium are over until further notice — and what a third straight season out of the postseason money will do to his season-ticket fan base. He gets it.
Monday, March 16, 2015
TAMPA — Watching Nathan Eovaldi dominate the Phillies on Sunday at George M. Steinbrenner Field, a question couldn’t be ignored: How does a pitcher with his type of electric stuff take a 15-35 career record into his first Yankees season?
Yes, it was spring training against a split squad of Phillies who had maybe two regulars in the lineup. Yet his fastball danced on the black of the plate at 95 to 98 mph and a hard slider was clocked at 89.
With health questions attached to Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda, Eovaldi didn’t bring that issue with him from the Marlins when the Yankees figured his age (25) and durability were worth sacrificing Martin Prado.
Still, 15-35 in parts of four pitcher-friendly NL seasons certainly drew red flags concerning the right-hander’s ability to win in the AL East.
That remains a question, but Sunday’s electrifying outing can’t be ignored.
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Unsung Yankee History: How a Dramatic Phone Call Saved the 1996 Offseason From Going to the Birds
This is the second in a series of examinations (second in three years, so don’t hold your breath for the third) into different games, events and decisions that impacted Yankees history in some way, shape or form. Stories that are not as famous as, say, “The Flip” or Babe Ruth calling his own shot, but still have a place in Yankees history, especially for die-hard fans.
Today we look at how the Yankees nearly lost David Cone to the Baltimore Orioles before the 1996 season.(Click Comments to read more)
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
TAMPA — For top Yankees hitting prospect Aaron Judge, the miracle already has happened.
No matter what baseball has in store for the massive Judge, who is just 22, grace has touched his life.
Judge knows that, and so do his parents, Patty and Wayne Judge, two recently retired teachers from Linden, Calif.
Walk through the Yankees clubhouse and you will notice Judge quickly has made an impact — not only with his ability and his disciplined yet powerful approach to hitting, but with the way he carries himself.
Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, a man who knows something about the gift of being able to launch a baseball, said this about Judge: “He’s got power like [Willie] Stargell. He’s got outstanding plate discipline. It’s nice to see him at home plate with a 3-1 count.’’
Judge, 6-foot-7, 275 pounds, is ticketed for Double-A Trenton to start the year. Whenever the outfielder gets to The Bronx, you can be sure his parents will be there to enjoy the moment. Patty retired two years ago. Wayne retired this year. Both were physical education teachers.
Monday, March 9, 2015
Hidden by his ubiquitous shades and his Joe McCool manner, Girardi, the Yankees’ 50-year-old manager, runs a team that has more bruised and broken — not to mention decrepit — parts than any man could be expected to keep track of.
He has a coterie of aging stars in possession of spectacular, yes-I’ll-sign-that! long-term contracts. All are in various states of disrepair and hoped-for repair.
His amiable onetime ace C. C. Sabathia, 34, is rehabbing from an operation on a degenerative knee. His new ace, Masahiro Tanaka, has a partially torn elbow ligament. His No. 2 pitcher, Ivan Nova, had a fully torn elbow ligament and is expected back by the summer.
There are promising kids wending their way up through the minor leagues. There is a formidable bullpen, as well as professional hitters and a sweet-fielding new shortstop. But Yankees management has embraced the mausoleum marketing phase of team decline: Unable to flog more retirement tours, they have turned to retiring numbers, planning days to celebrate Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada and Bernie Williams.