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Category Archives: Off-Season

New York Yankees off-season wheelings, dealings and stealings.

The 2014 Yankees opening day lineup

Opening Day is almost here and now, we’ve got a good idea of what we’re going to see on a day to day basis from the Yankees. The only real question is whether or not Jacoby Ellsbury starts the season on a DL.

If Ellsbury does start the season on the DL, think we’ll get this:

LF Brett Gardner
SS Derek Jeter
DH Carlos Beltran/Alfonso Soriano
1B Mark Teixeira
C Brian McCann
RF Alfonso Soriano/Carlos Beltran
3B Kelly Johnson
2B Brian Roberts
CF Ichiro Suzuki

If Ellsbury is healthy, then we’ll get this:

CF Jacoby Ellsbury
SS Derek Jeter
DH Carlos Beltran/Alfonso Soriano
1B Mark Teixeira
C Brian McCann
RF Alfonso Soriano/Carlos Beltran
3B Kelly Johnson
2B Brian Roberts
LF Brett Gardner

I have Beltran and Soriano in the same spot because either could be DH or RF; I think Beltran will bat third and Soriano will bat sixth assuming they’re both in the lineup. Meanwhile, Jeter and Teixeira are both nicely insulated/protected in the lineup, so hopefully, this will get them both some fastballs to hit… who knows what to expect out of either of those guys this year.

On paper, this lineup looks like it can do damage, but in reality… who knows. The good news is, the waiting is almost over!

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Yankees 2014 everyday lineup projection

As the off season draws to a close, the 2014 Yankees position players lineup is shaping up. I’m thinking that the Yankees are going to run something like this out there every day.

Jacoby Ellsbury (CF)
Derek Jeter (SS)
Carlos Beltran (RF/DH)
Brian McCann (c)
Alfonso Soriano (RF/DH)
Mark Teixeira (1B)
Brett Gardner (LF)
Kelly Johnson (3B)
Brian Roberts (2B)

I assume Derek Jeter is the starting short stop and hitting in the two hole until it becomes certain that he is not up to the task. I am not one to ever doubt Jeter, but it’s a fair question: he’s not young and that ankle injury is a serious thing. Who knows what the Yankees will get out of Teixeira following his surgery, and the animated corpse of Brian Roberts… well, that’s a frightening prospect.

There’s a lot of question marks here, but on paper, this could be a great team.

Yankees need to sign a legitimate 5th starter

After the blockbuster signing of Masahiro Tanaka, the Yankees 2014 starting pitching rotation goes a lil’ something like this:

  1. CC Sabathia
  2. Masahiro Tanaka
  3. Hiroki Kuroda
  4. Ivan Nova
  5. ?

As you can see, there’s a hole down there at the bottom, but let’s put that aside for a second and look at the Yankees top four pitchers.

CC Sabathia was kinda stinky last year. True, an off season elbow clean out messed up his off season workouts, but he’s not getting any younger. Now I don’t think Sabathia forgot how to pitch and will be that bad in 2014, but it’s worth mentioning that 2013 was (without looking at the data) probably his worst season ever.

Again, the Yankees have signed international superstar Masahiro Tanaka, but this guy has been the United States like three times in his whole life, never mind the fact that he’s never pitched for an MLB team. Don’t get me wrong, I think he’ll be fine, but we can’t ignore the fact that growing pains should be expected.

I love me some Hiroki Kuroda, but let’s be fair – the guy completely ran out of gas last year. He’s a great pitcher, but he’s not exactly a spring chicken. They’ll need to control his workload carefully to keep him viable for an entire season and, hopefully, the playoffs.

I think Ivan Nova has enormous potential, but the guy has never put together a full season of quality pitching. I think he can and will be an above league average pitcher for a full season and beyond, but until he does it, he remains an unknown quantity.

So there’s a lot of "buts" in there – a lot of question marks, right?

Given all of the aforementioned details, who should the Yankees pick for their 5th starter? Here are the in house candidates and their 2013 innings pitched.

  • Vidal Nuno: 45 IP between the majors and minors
  • David Phelps: 86.2 IP
  • Adam Warren: 77 IP
  • Michael Pineda: 40.2 IP, minors only

Yeah… this seems like a problem to me. I think a lot of these guys have some potential: Pineda obviously has the best overall stuff and I like what I’ve seen out of Nuno (and he’s left handed), where as Phelps probably has pitched the best as a Yankee… I’d probably like to see both Warren and Phelps in the Yankees pen…

The bottom line is the Yankees need something like 150 innings out of one of these guys, and I don’t see that happening. It’d be a huge increase for any of them based off last year’s work load. Maybe they could do some rotation of these guys migrating from long reliever and/or minor league starter to MLB starter… I dunno, but I don’t see one of these guys getting the job out of spring training and keeping it all year.

I don’t know what the answer is, but the Yankees need another reliable starter. The free agent market is thin and the Yankees trade chips are not great… I don’t have any suggestions, but the internal options seem like a pipe dream.

Two Reasons why A-Rod's suspension is important to Yankee fans

Alex Rodriguez has been suspended for what is effectively a year; 162 games and the 2014 playoffs. Both myself and anyone even remotely interested has written about this ad nauseum, so I’ll just assume you’re up to date on the drama and info (or rather, the lack of info) and are sick of the topic from that standpoint. But, no matter how tired we are of this situation, it still matters. Here are two reasons why A-Rod’s suspension is important to Yankee fans:

Read the rest of this entry

The perfect gift for a Yankees or Giants fan

image

The Christmas posts are usually reserved for my other site, CreativeJamie.com. These ornaments, however, seemed more appropriate for this space. I just don’t know what to make of these. I’m sure there is a cross-section of people in the world who like high heeled shoes as much as they like the New York Yankees and the New York Giants, but whoever thought they’d get their ornaments? And yet, they did.
They did.

Yankees 2013 Christmas Wish List

Once you actually look at what the Yankees need in a list format – well, it’s daunting to say the least! Getting everything they need while meeting their payroll goal just doesn’t seem likely.

Jay Z is pitching Robinson Cano to the Mets because… I dunno

According to numerous reports, Jay Z met with New York Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon, general manager Sandy Alderson and assistant GM John Ricco to discuss current unrestricted free-agent Robinson Cano, because… uhm… actually, I have no idea why this meeting occurred.

I get that the Mets are not exactly tight at second base, but their financial issues have been well documented – as well documented at the $300 million/10 year deal Jay Z is seeking for Cano. When you couple these two things together, it’s hard to understand why Jay Z would initiate a dinner meeting with the Mets and then pitch Cano to them. Here is an example of the Mets current frugal-ness:

The Mets have been on austerity for years. The largest contract Alderson has handed out to a free agent in four offseasons as the Mets’ general manager was to Frank Francisco, who received a two-year, $12 million contract during the 2011-12 offseason.

Now, you may counter that since this meeting was promptly leaked to the press – and not leaked by the Mets, mind you – it’s easy to start putting two and two together and calculate that Jay Z is trying to create urgency in the marketplace for his client. This seems like a fine strategy… if Jay Z was meeting with the deep pocketed Dodgers, not the bargain basement retreads, we’re seeking a partner to sell part of the team to, thank god our rookie pitching is working out Mets. This gives off the appearance that Jay Z is not aware of the realities around the league. Oh, and speaking of realities around the league, the Dodgers have publicly stated that they have no interest in signing Cano.

It’s not unusual for the free agent market to take this long to take shape – things don’t usually start happening until during or after MLB’s winter meetings, but so far, I’m not sure I understand Jay Z’s strategy… or his new single, for that matter.

Somebody save us from the injury onslaught!

I think that, before spring training started, Yankee fans were experiencing some… trepidation about the team’s 2013 hopes. We saw the Yankees downgrade at catcher and right field while bringing back an aging line up that includes Derek Jeter coming back from a severe ankle injury (the dude has a plate in his foot!) and CC Sabathis coming back from a minor elbow surgery. And now, as we know, things are worse.

First, the Yankees lost Alex Rodriguez to hip surgery, probably for half the season, if not longer. As if the Yankees didn’t have enough problems in the power department (not that ARod provides much power these days), Curtis Granderson (the team’s best power hitter) sounds like he’s going to miss all of April after getting hit by a pitch and receiving a fractured forearm. And now Mark Teixeira is going to also miss April with a wrist aliment.

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!

The Yankees don’t seem to have any internal options for first base, but they should be able to at least run out a replacement level outfielder and of course, Kevin Youkalis will man 3rd base. Still, no Grandreson and no Teixeira is bad news for a team that was going to have enough trouble scoring runs as it is – losing two middle of the order bats is a straight up disaster.

And I haven’t even mentioned… whatever the hell is wrong with Phil Hughes’ back. (Although, is Hughes isn’t ready to start the season, I’m fine with Ivan Nova getting his spot. For some reason, I believe that guy is going to blossom into a serviceable middle of the rotation starter.) And, not to be left out, Brian Cashman messed up his ankle sky diving to bring awareness to the Wounded Warriors program, which is a worthy cause, but was skydiving really the only way to get attention for this? Hopefully the pain won’t cloud his judgement…

Spring Training is supposed to be boring and when it’s not, it’s a damn panic. April is going to be a rough month for the Yankees. The starting pitchers are going to have to pick up a lot of slack, that’s for sure. Blah.

COMING UP
The next post will be about the 2013 volume of Baseball Prospectus – unless another disaster strikes.

Raissman is advocating… I dunno… Jeter contract extension, ownership of Yankees?

This is a little old, but whatever. This was written in reaction to the latest ARod/PED thing.

I’m pretty sure Bob Raissman got one of those famous Derek Jeter gift baskets for writing this article…

"Yankees brass should figure out a way — quickly — to keep Jeter long-term, past whenever he decides to call it a day."

[snip]

"The next time around, it’s worth considering his value as the face of the franchise. It must be factored in. His contract would be a bargain.

"The Yankees need Derek Jeter.

"For moments like these."

I’m sure Hal & Cash will jump right on that. They’ll just back up a dump truck of money onto Jeter’s front lawn and throw in partial ownership of the Yankees for fun. No problem.

I like Derek Jeter too, but sheesh.

Wallace Matthews: “Derek Jeter is a Liberal Spendocrat who believes in Climate Change”

derek-jeter-captain-planetOh, was that how he phrased it?  Right, I remember now – he called Jeter Captain Planet.

Tomato, to-mat-oh.

The Worldwide Leader’s Wallace Matthews caught Jeter red-handed in a post he titles Captain Planet: Jeter on climate change.  The following Jeter quote is from his appearance at the World Economic Forum… in Switerland… where he spoke to a reporter from another publication.  (Obviously, Wally can’t do any of his own reporting or write more than 250 words.)

“I was in New York for Hurricane Sandy,” Jeter told The Dispatch. “It’s just something that’s gotten so much attention. Regardless of how you feel about it, it’s something that needs to be addressed because we’re seeing more and more natural disasters each year, it seems like. Something has to be causing it.”

Whoa Derek, settle down there!

Jeter sounds like some sort of crazy liberal pinko commie.  He might as well be Al Gore at this point.  Next thing you know, Jeter will be organizing screenings of An Inconvenient Truth on the jumbo-tron at Yankee Stadium.

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