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Sabathia will get another shot at righting the sinking ship that is the NY Yankees

Yes the Yankees are not looking so hot in the first week of the season but the bombers are no strangers to the slow start. Last season they started 0-3 and ended up just a few games from the World Series.  Nobody can forget 1998 when the Yankees had a 1-4 start and ended up with 114 wins. I’m not going to lie and say that this team is even close to the talent level of that team but I truly believe that once the pitching starts to perform to the level that they should  the Yankees will stay competitive until they get some of their wounded players back on the field.

Yes the Yankees are badly banged up and we all know that with the age of their line up that this has been a risk. The Yankees have a lot of talent on the DL right now with Jeter, Granderson, A-Rod , and Texeria out of the line up how well did you expect them to play. The good news is they are going to get them all back at some point this season and then some. The plan is for Granderson and Texeria to return on or around May 1st. Jeter shortly there afterwords. Then there is Michael Pineda and A-Rod who the Yankees hope to get back around mid season the roster will be dramatically different and obviously of a much higher caliper. This all sounds to optimistic so I’m going to add a few grains of pessimism to it. I don’t believe Jeter will be back any time soon and their is a possibility that he will not return at all or not be effective all season. He is 38 years old and is coming off a serious injury that is going to make his comeback a long hard road. There is also a possibility that Texeria’s injury will require surgery  In order for the Yankees to be competitive they need two of three back between A-Rod ,Texeria and Granderson. Right now they also don’t have Nunez who I have allot more confidence in this year than in the past. He will when healthy be more than an adequate replacement for Jeter and I believe, as do the Yankees, that he will be their shortstop for many years to come. He has proven he can hit and he has great speed. Once he gets over his throwing issues, which is getting much better, he has allot of up side.

Starting tomorrow its back to the top of the Rotation and an opportunity for CC Sabathia to right the ship and pitch like the Ace he is. Its a tough bill consider he is facing Verlander who is probably the only pitcher in the American League who is better than he is. The Yankees just need to stay in the game and let Robertson and Rivera do their thing. Its a tough start to the season but they are against two of the better teams in baseball. Detroit being probably the best in the American League.

It’s easy for me to sit here and say that the Yankees should sign this guy or that they should sign that guy but what it all boils down to is how much do they want to spend? Now of course they could go out and spend huge money on a Prince Fielder to be the new DH, but a new fiscally conservative Yankees are only looking to spend around 2 million dollars. So far I have heard them connected with a few different names. Lets take a look at each of these and the good and bad. Then lets look at why I think the Yankees can do it even better without spending a dime.

Johnny Damon:

The good: Could probably be had in this price range. Damon batted .262 last season which is still respectable. His HR and RBI totals have been fairly consistent and he still has a little speed on the base pads as he showed with 19 stolen bases last year.

The Bad: He is 38, His Batting average has gone down every year since 2008. He can’t play in the field anymore with any consistency due to his loss of range. His OPS and OBP are at an all time low. I love what he did in pinstripes in the past but I feel a return will just disappoint.

 

Carlos Pena:

The Good: Pena is only 30 years old and has had consistent power numbers. You can almost guarantee 30 HR and 80 RBI. He is also a good first baseman who would provide plus defense on those days that Tex needs a rest.

The Bad: He hasn’t hit above .247 since 2007. He is likely to be more expensive than what they Yankee have budgeted due to the fact that he is only 30.

Hideki Matsui:

The Good: The Yankees are familiar with him and he brings a great presence to the club house as well as Japanese media attention. He was always a clutch hitter when the Yankees needed him to be. He still shows glimpses of Power and consistency. Probably fits in the Yankees budget.

The Bad: He is 37, has bad knees, can’t play in the field, and is coming off a bad year with the A’s.

So as you can see the bad outweighs the good in most of these cases. My vote goes to Jorge Vazquez. Vazquez is a corner infielder that the Yankees got out of the Mexican league who has great power and can play first and third base. Last season in AAA he hit 32 HR and 93 RBI. This guy can flat out hit. He did struggle a bit in the first half but ended up batting .262 with a good late season run. He was known in Mexico as El Chato and hits towering HR that often leave even the biggest ballparks. The Yankees already own him why not give the 29 year old power hitter a shot at DH.

Whatever the Yankees decide I for one am excited for spring training to begin. You would have to think with the recent pitching upgrades that the Yankees will be favored to win the AL East. Now the question remains will Boston make a move to try and keep up?

The Yankees continue to let the best of the free agents slip thru their grasp. It’s not that they can’t afford them .It’s either that they don’t feel its a good fit or they feel the price is to high for what you get in return. These are the Pitchers who are already gone:

CJ Wilson: Signed with the Angels , Mark Buehrle signed with the Marlins, Eric Bedard signed with the Pirates,Chris Capuano is now with the Dodgers and Yu Darvish will either be with the Rangers or back in Japan. So lets take a look at the best of whats left.

Bartolo Colon: Colon was with the Yankees last season and had a great first half but after a hamstring injury wasnt as effective in the second half. All in all he is certainly worth consideration for a minor league deal with a spring training invite. However I’m guessing someone will take a chance and give him a major league deal.

Arron Cook: I don’t see the Yankees being interested in a 32-year-old who hasn’t been effective since 2009 but if nobody offers him a deal a non contract invite to spring training wouldn’t hurt.

Jon Garland: Missed most of last season with an oblique injury for the Dodgers. After finishing the season on the DL and only making nine starts the Dodgers failed to exercise their team option they held on the 32-year-old hurler. Garland is an interesting pitcher to me. Prior to last year he hadn’t been on the DL since 2000 and has been a great innings eater pitching more than 2oo innings every year since 2004. He has had success in the American league and in his last full season was 14-12 with an ERA of 3.47 over 33 games. Granted that’s lower than his career average. I think he is definitely worth a look. If his medicals are clean I would love to see him at spring training expecting to win a spot in the rotation.

Edwin Jackson: Probably the best of whats left Jackson is coming off a career year with the Cards that some him go 12-9 with an ERA under four. He pitched 199 innings and had 148 K’s. He did give up a lot of hits but with the Yankees run support I feel that he would instantly become a number three in the rotation behind Ivan Nova. If the Yankees want Jackson they are going to have to pay though. He will be looking for a multi-year deal but I’ll be he would sign a two-year deal with an option for around 14 million.

Hiroki Kudora: We have already beat this horse to death. I hear conflicting reports every day on the Yankees level of interest. I will say that they Yankees almost traded for him last year but he would not waive his no trade clause. Now it seems he is willing to come east. All I can say is we will have to wait and see.

Roy Oswalt.: Another Horse we have already beaten to death. His big question mark comes down to this formula  His age+ His Back Problems+ His never pitching in the AL – His willingness to take a one year deal =?

There are also a few other names out there that could become relevent in an attempt to make spring training a sideshow such as Kevin Millwood, Brad Penny, Joel Pineiro ,Brandon Webb, Livan Hernandez and Micah Owings.

Owings  is an interesting guy. He has done it all , Long man, starter, or pinch hitter. Thats right he is one of those pitchers who is a career .286 hitter. Whatever the Yankees do or don’t do it seems that they are out of the big money loop. Of course we have heard that before havent we?

The Rangers have won the bidding for Yu Darvish with a ridiculous bid of 51.7 million dollars, so what’s next for the bombers?

Could this really be the year that the Yankees stand pat and don’t do anything? Don’t give up on it yet there are still some potential moves out there that the Yankees could make

1. Gio Gonzalez: A young talented lefty from Oakland who would immediately become the number two guy behind Sabathia. But the A’s are asking for Montero, Mason and one of the killer B’s, so unless the price comes down that’s not happening.

2. John Danks: A 26 year old south paw from Chi town who had an off season yesterday on a horrible White Sox team. Again they are asking for the moon but I see this price dropping before Gonzalez’s does. He’s a free agent next year and the Sox will be looking to get something back.

3. Roy Oswalt: Unless he is willing to come down from wanting a three year contract at 34 years old with a bad back I don’t see the Yankees showing a lot of interest.

4. Hiroki Kuroda: This would be a surprisingly nice fit for the Bombers but the price tag for this free agent would be north of 10 million a year and it seems the Yankees are keeping their wallet in their pocket this year.

There are a few others out there that will warrant a look like Garza and Jair Jurrjens and of course it wouldn’t be an offseason without everyone talking about trading the farm for Felix Hernandez. I think with Montero seeing more time at the MLB level his value will only increase and there are enough internal candidates to fill out a formidable rotation.

The Bombers seem to really like Hector Noesi, David Phelps, Adam Warren and D.J. Mitchell, These guys should all get a shot at the Rotation out of spring training if the Yankees don’t make a move.

My bold prediction is going to be that Manny Banualos blows everyone away this spring and makes the team out of the gate. I’m not at all worried about a rotation that looks like this

!. Sabathia

2. Nova

3. Burnett

4. Garcia

5. Hughes/Banualos

All it will really take for the rotation to be truly feared is for Phil Hughes to return to the guy who won 18 games two years ago. With Montero filling the DH/back up catcher role I really don’t see the need for the Yankees to make a big splash at all. That being said I’m sure Danks or Gonzalez will be in pinstripes for the new year.

 

 

UPDATE: It is being reported that Roy Oswalt may be interested in a one year contract. Will the Yankees be interested???

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It seems that the Yankees can afford to approach the offseason with great caution now that CC Sabathia is locked up. Cashman has reached out to the agents of CJ Wilson and Edwin Jackson just to let them know that he is interested in talking to them. I’m sure the Yankees also have a foot in the Yu Darvish sweepstakes should he be posted from the Japan league and they are going to watch a private workout from Yeonis Cespedes, a cuban defector who is a rare five tool outfielder.

I suspect the Yankees will take a cautious approach to the off-season. Hopefully they don’t wait to long as other teams are also going to be looking at these players. It won’t surprise me if they offer Freddy Garcia a one year deal for something in the range of 2m. He would give them an option in the rotation or the bull pen if needed. Currently the rotation is CC, Nova, AJ,Hughes and ? I think it will be CJ Wilson but I would kinda like to see Darvish. Either way all we can do right now is sit and wait.

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The amount of players on the DL for the Yankees is astonishing yet they keep finding ways to win. they have won six of their last ten and five of their last six games including a sweep of the defending AL Champion Texas Rangers. They have found some new players on the waiver wire and have promoted from within to patch their bull pen and rotation and frankly I have to hand it to the Yankees scouts they can spot a bargain. The recent acquisitions of Brian Gordon and Corey Wade have paid off big dividends. Currently the DL looks like this:

Joba Chamberlain: Out for season

Derek Jeter : 15 day with Calf strain will report to Tampa for treatment and will not be on the current road trip

Rafael Soriano: Elbow moved to the 60 day to open up a roster spot. (does not sound promising
Eric Chavez:  Foot  also moved to the 60 day DL.

Phil Hughes: On the 60 day but beginning Rehab starts

Damoso Marte :60 day DL but starting to play catch.

Pedro Feliciano: 15 day shoulder. Has he even pitched this year? It’s been so long I can’t remember.

Bartolo Colon: 15 day with a hamstring injury. So far so good sounds like he will only be out the 15 days but we shall see. Hamstrings can be tricky.

Russel Martin: Lower back D2D back in the line up but may get an extra day off on this road trip just to be safe.

The Yankees have gotten good production out of Eduardo Nunez in Jeters absence as he has shown a great arm, stellar defence and timely hitting. Nunez batted 333 with Two RBI and a HR over the past week. This also included two stolen bases putting his total to eight for the year. Now don’t get me wrong I LOVE Derek Jeter, but could this ki be our next SS? I think so, The Yankees must think so too. One of the reasons we didnt get Cliff Lee via trade last season is that they wanted Nunez and the Yankees wouldnt give him up. But don’t think he is untouchable everyone has a price.

The Yankees goe back to inter-league play this afternoon against the hapless Cubs. Freddie Garcia will face off against 0-5  Doug Davis who is fighting to keep his job having only gone 29 total innings in 5 appearances cannot be a good thing. Davis was brought in on a minor league deal a couple of months ago and has not been good. To tell the truth he has never been good. He won 13 games in 2007 and that was his highlight reel. In his last three outing he has gone 5+ innings twice. If I could say one good think about Davis its that he doesn’t seem to be giving up a lot of HR. Look for the Yankees to change that today as I predict the Bombers will be all over the Cubbies. Prediction Yankees 8 Cubbies 3
Update: The Cubs got thier three the Yankees just failed to get thier eight. Hats off to Davis who pitched the game of his life.

Yes its true the Yankees have clinched at least a wildcard birth with CC Sabathia’s 21st win yesterday. At only a half game out of first place and the Rays losing a golden opportunity existed to reclaim the American league east lead. However it was not meant to be as Javy Vazquez offered the Blue Jays batting practice and probably pitched his way off the playoff roster and probably out of NY. Joe Girardi says that he may use him out out of the bullpen and still has a chance to make the playoff roster. This makes me wonder if he was even watching the same game that all of you witnessed. Javy should and probably will go back to the National league where he has had some success. As for his time as a Yankee I have to say ” stick a fork in him hes done”
Tomorrow is a day off and then its Boston for one last tune up before the playoffs and hopes that they also come out with a division crown. Even without playing a loss by Tampa tomorrow will make the division a tie. Ultimately to me it doesn’t matter all that much whether or not they win the Division or go in as the Wildcard. Tomorrow I will give my prediction of the playoff roster. goodnight.

Although the Yankees havent been lighting it up lately neither has the Rays who have lost four in a row complements of the Red Hot Blue Jays. With the Yankees win today it puts thier lead back at a game and a half. The Red Sox on the other hand fall back to six games out and the door seems to be closing on whatever slim playoff hopes they had.
The Yankees even with the best record in baseball are not without their concerns. First of all is that Alex Rodriguez was hit by a line drive during batting practice today that has him day to day with a contusion. Also Javy Vazquez seems to be experiencing a bit of dead arm as he was unable to hit 90 on the gun in his loss to the Red Sox the other day. Vazquez has been the Yankees second best starter of late winning four of his last six starts with an ERA of 3.83 and has lowered his ERA for the season to 4.69. The Yankees believe its a mild case of dead arm that he will be able to work through by lightening his workload between starts.
On a good note Andy Pettitte pitched a bull pen without feeling any pain and may be only about a week away from returning to the rotation. Alfredo Aceves whose importance is immeasurable may be headed to a rehab assignment and will hopefully be back with the team for the stretch run to the playoffs. Newly acquired Kerry Wood has been working with Yankees pitching coach Dave Iiland who immediately was able to correct some minor mechanical problems that have already started to show results as he looked pretty sharp in his last outing.
After Sabathia’s win today ,his 150th of his career ,the Yankees tie the series at one. Tomorrow night two former marlin teammates in Josh Beckett and AJ Burnett will face off against each other on Sunday night baseball on espn at 8:00pm

An A Bomb from A-Rod

The Yankees looked more like the Yankees in their impressive 4-2 victory over the Mariners. CC Sabathia pitched his heart out going 7 and 2/3 shut out innings before a pass pass ball and a single tied the game. In the Bottom of the eighth his teammates picked him up and a Texeira single and an A-Bomb gave the Yankees the 4-2 Victory that Mariano put away in the ninth for his 18th Save lowering his ERA to .083, which is amazing to me that at 40 he most likely will have 40 saves this year.

Multi hit games from Texeria (who has a 12 game hitting streak) and A-Rod were crutial to this victory. The middle of the order which was sluggish out of the gate this year is starting to pick up steam. Robinson Cano (who has not been sluggish at all) hit another home run as well his 16th of the year and his 54th Rbi which for a couple of innings led the Yankees until Arod took the RBI lead back with his eighth inning winning HR. Cano is batting .353 with 53 RBI and 16 HR, where did this guy come from. Last season he hit 25 HR and 85 RBI this year Im predicting 40HR and 125 RBI. Prior to 2009 his highest HR total in previous four years was 19 with his average being 14. Whatever they are feeding second baseman in the DR they need to give some to the rest of the team.  Gardner was back in the line-up and although he was 0-3 he should have been 1-3 as he was robbed by a diving catch. He didn’t appear to have any ill effects from his sore wrist and looked fine. Nick Swisher is another guy that has been a pleasant surprise for the Yankees this year batting .287 currently and has 79 hits. He is a career .250 hitter and has a chance of having 200 hits this year and I suspect close to 30 HR and 100 RBI’s.

This confuses the off-season for the Yankees who were projected to go after Crawford but with him swinging the bat well and playing solid defense perhaps he gets another contract offer. I like having Gardner play every day but if they signed Crawford would you rather have Gardener or Granderson as an everyday guy? Tough tough call. I think the off-season will see the Yankees make a big splash in pitching and a smaller splash for a veteran outfielder who can DH and act as a fourth spelling the end of the Nick Johnson fiasco. Now that you think about it this wouldn’t be such a bad move at the trade deadline. Can anyone say Jose’ Guillen . I have heard some people speculate that the Yankees might trade for Cliff Lee prior to the deadline. Why would this make any sense. They can pick him up in the off-season as a free agent and keep their  best prospects. Lee will go to a team that is on the fringe of contention that is willing to give up their best young talent for a shot at the WS this year. My best guess Rangers or Mets.

That being said some bull pen help wouldn’t be a bad move. Chan Ho Park has been an embarrassment. There are some quality guys out their that could help the Yankees and wouldn’t cost the farm.Did anyone notice that Mark Prior is available for a low risk deal and showed the ability to throw in the 90’s at a workout. Yankees should think about that .

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