Don’t worry, it’s only spring training.
Andy Pettitte pitched 6 1/3 innings, giving up 4 runs, striking out 5, and walking 1. There is nothing more to see here than an off-day. He wasn’t actually the problem, it was the 5 ER that Cody Eppley allowed in the seventh without getting one out that sealed the game for the Tigers.
On a higher note, the bats were alive today, as the team managed to produce 14 hits for 6 runs. Eduardo Nunez managed an RBI-single in the third, scoring Chris Stewart, signs that the shortstop isn’t totally useless. Ben Francisco homered in the top of the fourth, doubling the Yankees lead to two. In the top of the fifth, Kevin Youkilis drove in Brett Gardner and Eduardo Nunez on a double. I hope this is indicative of the kind of production he will be having during the regular season. With the Yankees down 9-4 in the top of the eighth, Ben Francisco went yard yet again, this time for 2 runs.
Not a terrible day for our boys, minus Cody Eppley.
Derek Jeter is expected to only play in minor-league games until the start of the season.
I know, I know. It’s old news, but because Jeter has been my favorite player my entire life, I cannot put it off any more. Derek told reporters yesterday during yesterday’s morning workout that, as everybody in the Yankees organization keeps saying, it will continue to be sore, but his ankle is not broken and there is nothing beyond that soreness wrong with his tendons. I know that Derek doesn’t B.S. us and he is telling the truth, and clearly getting sick of the doubt surrounding his abilities. If Derek says he will be fine, then he will be. As of now he is day-to-day and expected to only play in minor-league games until opening day. I still think he will get at least 190 hits this season.
DON’T WORRY ABOUT JETER.
Chien-Ming Wang went 61-32 in ’06 and ’07 for the Yankees before becoming riddled with injuries.
John Heyman reported last night on CBSSports.com that Chien-Ming Wang has signed a minor-league deal with the Yankees. Wang, who was the foundation of the Bombers’ rotation in 2006 and 2007, going 38-13 with a mid-3.00s ERA. His last two seasons with New York were riddled with hip, shoulder, and foot injuries, limiting him to 27 appearances.
Since then he has played two partial seasons – 2011, 2012 – with the Washington Nationals, with only 20 appearances. His career numbers are 61-32 with a 4.26 ERA.
I think this could only be a positive move for the Yankees. While the team appears to have depth in the starting rotation, an effective and healthy Chien-Ming Wang eases some of the worries of the fragility of guys like Andy Pettitte, CC Sabathia, and Phil Hughes. He also provides a nice option – assuming he regains some of his form – to take some innings for younger players like Ivan Nova or David Phelps. It is important to remember that he is not a strikeout pitcher – 104 Ks in 2007 is his single-season high – but he can eat innings and relieve some of the pressure on the rest of the rotation.
It’s no secret that the greatest rivalry in all of professional sports has been stale since 2004. There have been no fights, Roger Clemens retired, and A-Rod has been on his best behavior. As much as Manny Ramirez is my least favorite baseball player of all time, but he was good for the rivalry because he gave Yankees fans a reason to detest the Red Sox. Now, I kind of just feel bad for them.
Anyway. Today, Felix Doubront (Bos) and Vidal Nuno (NYY) square off in a rubber match for the ages. The lineups are as follows:
New York Yankees
1. Brett Garnder, LF
2. Eduardo Nunez, SS
3. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
4. Juan Rivera, 1B
5. Ben Francisco, RF
6. Jayson Nix, 2B
7. Chris Stewart, C
8. Thomas Neil, DH
9. Melky Mesa, CF
Boston Red Sox
1. Brock Holt, 2B
2. Daniel Nava, 1B
3. Jackie Bradley, CF
4. Mauro Gomez, DH
5. Mike Carp, LF
6. David Ross, C
7. Ryan Sweeney, RF
8. Drew Sutton, 3B
9. Jose Iglesias, SS
Derek Jeter and Chase Utley are both expected to start in Tuesday’s game.
Today at 1:05 PM ET, two eerily similar teams, the Yankees and Phillies, meet for a Grapefruit League match. Much like our beloved Yankees, the Phillies are growing older, yet trying desperately to regain their 2008/2009/2010 glory. Ryan Howard has been showing formidable power, reminiscent of those glory days, but his heel will remain a concern. Chase Utley is the only second baseman in history to successfully make a major league roster without any knees and he will likely be on the DL soon. Cole Hamels is the Phils only ace in a staff that once had four, Roy Halladay is looking spent and Cliff Lee is overrated.
My position on the Yankees’ weaknesses are quite clear: offense and health. As I have explained extensively in previous posts, the Yankees’ power has all but left, with the exception of Robinson Cano and (maybe) Kevin Youkilis. The pitching staff, while seemingly fragile, is definitely a strong point, but with the lack of offense the truth in that will be revealed much too soon.
With the Yankees’ Adam Warren facing off against Kyle Kendrick on the mound, the Yankees and Phillies are not likely to inspire.
Hiroki Kuroda threw four scoreless innings against St. Louis, while scattering three hits and striking out six. I was skeptical last offseason when we signed Kuroda, but he has been more consistent and effective than I could have hoped.
Brett Gardner continued his torrid spring with one hit in three at-bats and a run scored. Even Kevin Youkilis showed some life, going 1-2 with a solo homerun and a sac fly, good for two steaks. Jeter went 0-2, which is not a big deal, I am simply giving an update.
It’s only spring, but the Yankees are looking less fragile (so far).
Yesterday was a promising day in the life of this pinstriped Bostonian. Both Mariano and Jeter made their spring debuts after recovering from gruesome leg injuries. Mo’ struck out two batters looking for a perfect fifth inning and El Capitan went 1-2 with a single on the very first pitch that he saw. Small steps.