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Ok so as real baseball approaches the Yankees have some hard decisions to make. Andy Pettitte will not break camp with the club but will be joining the team probably in May. The abundance of pitching will eventually need to be dealt with. At this point the only two that have a spot are CC Sabathia and Hideki Kuroda. Here’s a look at all the rest.
Phil Hughes: I believe that Phil will get a spot in the rotation. He has been the most consistent of the bunch and his velocity seems to be back in the mid 90’s.
Ivan Nova: Nova has pitched better than his 6.88 ERA shows. Its been a few rough innings here or there that have been his downfall. After last nights showing Martin believes he has all four pitches working.
Michael Pineda: Everyone seems to be concerned about Pineda’s lack of velocity except him, His newly developed change-up could be huge for him and If his velocity returns once the regular season begins he could be a legitimate number two in the rotation, if it doesn’t he could have some troubles.
Andy Pettitte: Andy will not be ready for the opening series and may take until late April or May before he joins the rotation, but you can rest assured that the all time post season wins leader will have a spot in the rotation. We may even see him pitch in the final spring training game against the Mets.
Freddy Garcia: If anyone deserves a spot in the rotation its Freddy. Nobody works harder. What you get from Garcia is length and an opportunity to win every time he starts. He’s not overpowering but he goes deep into games and keeps it close.
It was originally thought that the odd man out might become the long man but that is not a guarantee. Michael Phelps and DJ Mitchell are also in consideration to be the long man in the pen. Eventually someone is going to have to be disappointed . I believe that Garcia will be the long man when we break camp and your rotation will look like this. Sabathia, Kudora, Hughes, Nova and Pineda. When Pettitte is ready someone will be going to the minors probably Pineda or Nova, it will certainly be interesting. Get ready for baseball folks and follow us on Twitter at Yankeesmagazine.
Andy Pettitte is arriving in camp today. He will be throwing a bull-pen and settling in today and will address the media around 6pm where he will hold a press conference. The big question will be whether Pettitte will still be the pitcher he was back in 2010. I feel that Andy is the type of pitcher whose stuff will translate well to his getting older. It’s not like he hasn’t been throwing and working out so I think he will be effective. I don’t think he will throw 200 innings but i can see him throwing 140 ish and going 14-6 with an era around 4.00. For 2.5 million I think just about any team would sign up for this out of the back of their rotation. The Yankees feel that he will just pick right up where he left off, the skeptics say he will fall on his face. Most feel that he will land somewhere in the middle. If nothing else he will fill the stands and be a great club house presence. That alone is worth 2.5 million.
The Yankees have signed Pettitte to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. Pettitte was pretty darn good in his last season with the Yankees going 11-3 with an ERA of 3.28. If Pettitte makes the Major league roster it will most likely take him until May to get ready. The contract is worth 2.5 million dollars, but somehow I feel that the money is not the issue hear. Andy truly loves the game and would not be doing this if his heart wasn’t in it 100%.
Of course Dip Shit Valentine had to throw in his big mouth and said “ Is he going to pitch or just come in and pick people off” He went on to say that the Yankees have gone from to much pitching to having too to much pitching. This will be great for baseball if he makes a successful comeback. I for one am very excited, I just wish it had happened before my fantasy baseball draft.
To this point I haven’t paid much attention to spring training except for a couple of innings here or there. Now it gets serious.
The minor league games will begin this weekend so the Yankees likely will begin their first round of cuts. The starters will begin to play a bit longer and the few roster competitions will begin to take form,
Speaking of the Roster lets take a look at what it will likely look like. Here is my prediction for the position players on the twenty five man roster and a little something about each of them.
1. Russell Martin. Has looked healthy this spring and is swinging the bat well. The Yankees talked before the season of working out a new contract for him but will now wait until the off season.
2 . Mark Teixeira : Tex came to camp 15 pounds lighter and hopefully this will add to 15 points added to his batting average from last year. He gives credit for his thinner frame to vegetable juice replacing snacks in his diet.
3. Robinson Cano: Cano should be entering the prime years of his career and I predict will have another all star season and may even compete for an MVP. The Yankees new budget plans for 2014 will need some adjusting if they intend to keep Cano in Pinstripes.
4. Derek Jeter: Every year we go thru the “ How much longer will Jeter play?” Every year he proves why he’s one of the greatest to play the game. News Flash haters Jeter will be the Yankees short stop till he retires, (whenever that may be) If you know something else let me know.
5. Alex Rodriguez: During the offseason Alex when to Europe to have a blood spinning procedure that he claims will revitalize his career. So far this spring his bat has agreed. If he stays healthy I think we will see the Alex of 2009.
6. Nick Swisher: Nick is in the last year of his contract before he becomes a free agent. A huge year is likely to earn him a new one as the Yankees don’t have any surefire outfield prospects in the minors.
7. Curtis Granderson: The Grandy- man has turned out to be one of the best trades that Cashman has made. I’m predicting that you will be hearing his name a lot this season.
8. Brett Gardner: Brett seems to be getting better every year and seems like this year will be no different. He continues to become one of the best defensive players in the game and nobody will talk smack about his speed.
Ok there are the starting position players which are the same as last season. Later we will continue our 25 man layout with pitching. Make sure to follow us on twitter at Yankeesmagazine.
Yeah right. Joe Girardi has said that beyond CC Sabathia and Hideki Kodora the others are competing for spots 3-5. You and I both know this is just BS. I will bet money that the three and four spot go to Michael Pineda and Ivan Nova. Both these guys were double digit winners last season and there is zero chance one of them ends up in the bull pen or the minors. The only possible question will be the fifth spot, which in all likelihood will go to Phil Hughes. This will put Freddy Garcia as the long man and spot starter.
However all eyes will be on Hughes when he takes the mound this spring. If his velocity or control isn’t there than there is a chance for Garcia to muscle the rotation spot away from him.
Spring training is in full swing and beyond the imaginary battle for the fifth spot in the rotation the roster is fairly set. The only competitions are for a bull pen spot and a utility role. The back up infield spots will almost certainly go to Eduardo Nunez and Eric Chavez baring injury, so this is an imaginary battle as well. As far as back up catcher goes it will be Francisco Cervelli. Austin Romaine, although the backstop of the future, has had back issues and likely wont see any playing time until the end of spring.
Newly acquired Pineda took the mound yesterday and pitched two scoreless innings with two strikeouts. One of the concerns with signing Pineda was his inability to throw a quality Change up. Well all that has seemed to change as under the guidance of pitching guru Larry Rothschild Pineda’s changeup looked good if not impressive yesterday as he was able to use it to record two outs.
The Yankees are 2-1 in Grapefruit league action and today will face the Pirates. Tomorrows game will be against the Rays and will be televised on YES.
Make sure to check back later for a wrap up of all of todays events, and follow us on Twitter at Yankeesmagazine.