Archive for the ‘Yankees Outlook’ Category

Alfonso Soriano last played for the Yankees a decade ago. Prior to the 2004 season, the Yankees dealt Soriano and Joaquin Árias to the Texas Rangers for Alex Rodriguez. Now, with the Yankees struggling offense, the club is in desperate need of some pop in the lineup and are looking to bring our old friend back.

From George King of the NY Post:

ARLINGTON — In dire need of a bat with thump and an indication the Yankees may believe that Alex Rodriguez isn’t going to play this season, the toothless Bombers are close to acquiring Alfonso Soriano from the Cubs, The Post has learned.

According to a person familiar with the talks, the Cubs will pay the bulk of what is left on Soriano’s contract. He makes $18 million this year and the same for next season.

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Derek Jeter

Photo Courtesy of Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Last week, Derek Jeter held a pregame press conference with the media prior to the team’s game against the Blue Jays. This was the first time he addressed the media after reinjuring his left ankle. When asked if he’d return to the ball club this season, his response was, “no doubt.” He seemed to answer a lot of questions with that same answer. He went onto say, “when you have doubt, that’s when you’re in trouble.” He didn’t want to make any promises on when he would exactly return, but the general consensus is that it will be after the all-star break.

Derek was upbeat throughout the entire interview. He was cracking smiles and making jokes, so it was nice to see him in good spirits. A media member brought up Derek’s “Advanced Age” and said that maybe that’s why this injury occurred, but Jeter insisted it was just a freak thing. If there’s a player out there that hates sitting on the bench, it’s Derek Jeter. We all know about his great work ethic, his dedication to the team and his will to win. There was another question asking whether he would be able to return to form prior to the injury. Derek responded that he fully expects to play at the same level as he did before. At this point, Jeter is still in a walking boot and remains months away from his return. There wasn’t any real groundbreaking news throughout the conference, but the most important thing you saw was that Derek was very positive about his return.

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Without Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson, the Yankees have certainly held their own thus far. They’re playing above .500, rank towards the top of the league in home runs and they’ve got quality pitching from their rotation. Many of these so-called “experts” picked the Toronto Blue Jays as the favorite to win the AL East crown. Meanwhile, they’re laying in last place and sit 5.5 games back out of first place. These same analysts predicted that the Yankees and Red Sox would finish at the bottom of the division. I know it’s very early in the season, but it just goes to show that these wins occur on the ball field, not on paper. With all of these injured players the Yankees expect to come back at some point this season, there’s a positive outlook surrounding this ball club. So far, so good.

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Kevin Youkilis was removed from the game at the start of the sixth inning, and was replaced by Lyle Overbay at first base. According to Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News, Youk left the game with tightness in his lower back. It doesn’t seem too serious, as he’s watching the game from the dugout in the bottom of the 8th inning. Stay tuned for updates.

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Wallace Matthews released the Opening Day roster yesterday afternoon. No Jeter, Rodriguez, Teixeira, Granderson or Hughes. How weird.


2013 New York Yankees

22 Brennan Boesch OF
24 Robinson Cano  INF
29 Francisco Cervelli C
62 Joba Chamberlain RHP
38 Cody Eppley RHP
45 Ben Francisco OF
11 Brett Gardner OF
33 Travis Hafner DH
27 Shawn Kelley RHP
18 Hiroki Kuroda RHP
48 Boone Logan LHP
17 Jayson Nix INF
47 Ivan Nova RHP
26 Eduardo Nunez INF
55 Lyle Overbay INF
46 Andy Pettitte LHP
41 David Phelps RHP
42 Mariano Rivera RHP
30 David Robertson RHP
52 CC Sabathia LHP
19 Chris Stewart C
31 Ichiro Suzuki OF
43 Adam Warren RHP
12 Vernon Wells OF
36 Kevin Youkilis 3B

Yankee Stadium

Photo Courtesy of Peter Abraham

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The Super Bowl is now over. We’re still in the midst of both the hockey and basketball season, but don’t fret Yankees fans. Pitchers and catchers report to Tampa on February 12th. Position players will follow on the 17th (full squad). Opening Day is 56 days away! It can’t come soon enough.

Photo by Matt Roth

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Ron Antonelli/New York Daily News

The week leading up to Super Bowl XLVII, Alex Rodriguez takes over the New York Sports scene, and not for reasons we’d have hoped for. Apparently, Alex has now been linked to taking performance enhancing drugs through a Miami clinic. His name supposedly appears 16 times throughout records reviewed by the Miami New Times.

This was the last thing the Yankees needed going into the new season. You might be asking yourself…can the Yankees void his contract? What are the chances that can happen? The consensus among  New York media outlets is that it would be very difficult for that to occur. The story really isn’t shocking, but it leaves you scratching your head. He already admitted to using steroids from 2001-2003…did he not learn anything from that?

Via ESPN.com News Services:

Records from an anti-aging clinic in Miami list the names of prominent baseball players — including Alex Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera and Gio Gonzalez — and detail performance-enhancing drugs administered to them and others, according to a report Tuesday by the Miami New Times.

The names were on records Miami New Times said were given to them by an employee who worked at Biogenesis of America before it closed last month. Miami New Times reported that the records show the firm sold performance-enhancing drugs, including human growth hormone, testosterone and anabolic steroids.

Anthony Bosch, the 49-year-old head of the clinic, was connected to Manny Ramirez when the former MLB star was suspended for 50 games for violating baseball’s drug policy in 2009. Bosch has never been charged by local or federal officials.

Miami New Times said it conducted a three-month investigation before releasing its 5,400-word story online on Tuesday.

Saturday, ESPN’s Outside The Lines reported that Major League Baseball was investigating multiple wellness clinics in South Florida, as well as individuals with potential ties to players. The report said that the area from Boca Raton to Miami is “ground zero” for performance-enhancing drugs still filtering into the game.

Rodriguez, the New York Yankees slugger who ended 2012 injured and on the bench during the playoffs, has admitted to using steroids from 2001-03, but he has said he has not used PEDs since. The New Times report said that Rodriguez’s name shows up 16 times in the records it reviewed. One record, which the newspaper reported was part of Bosch’s private notebooks, indicated Rodriguez paid Bosch $3,500 for “1.5/1.5 HGH (sports perf.), creams test., glut., MIC, supplement, sports perf. Diet.” HGH is banned by MLB.

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Pitchers: #62 Chamberlain, Joba #65 Hughes, Phil #18 Kuroda, Hiroki #48 Logan, Boone #34 Lowe, Derek #46 Pettitte, Andy #41 Phelps, David #39 Rapada, Clay #30 Robertson, David #52 Sabathia, CC #29 Soriano, Rafael

Catchers: #55 Martin, Russell #19 Stewart, Chris

Infielders: #24 Cano, Robinson #12 Chavez, Eric #2 Jeter, Derek #17 Nix, Jayson #26 Nunez, Eduardo #13 Rodriguez, Alex #25 Teixeira, Mark

Ooutfielders: #11 Gardner, Brett #14 Granderson, Curtis #27 Ibanez, Raul #31 Suzuki, Ichiro #33 Swisher, Nick

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)


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Photo by Jason Szenes/Getty Images

Andy Pettitte returned this year because he had “the itch” to pitch in the major leagues again. All was going well until he took a  liner off his left ankle during a start against the Cleveland Indians back on June 27th. He had a fractured left fibula (ankle injury), which was initially supposed to keep him out for only six weeks, but that turned into 12 weeks after a few minor setbacks and a rehab program.

Pettitte pitched the first game of a day-night  double header against the Toronto Blue Jays yesterday in his return, tossing 5 scoreless frames, allowing 4 hits, 2 walks and struck  out 3 batters. He picked up the win, pushing his W-L record to (4-3) on the season. It was almost as if he never left. Whenever they seem to need a victory in a big spot, he usually delivers.


Mike Francesa had Andy on the air following yesterday’s start. When asked if he was thinking about pitching in 2013, he said, “It’s definitely a consideration now.”

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Photo Courtesy of Kevin Rozell

When Hiroki Kuroda signed a one-year contract with the Yankees this past January, my initial reaction wasn’t so great. I’ve never been a fan of pitchers transfering from the National League to the American League. It just didn”t sit well with me, and we’ve seen plenty of pitchers come over and you see a big spike in their numbers; especially when they enter the AL East. You just think, “Here we go again.”

As the season has gone on, I’ve watched this guy and have been more than impressed. His W/L record doesn’t do him justice, and sometimes that’s beyond his control. He’s also on the verge of having a sub-3.00ERA. Maybe he’s not our so-called “ace,” as that’s really supposed to be CC’s rank, but he’s sure pitching like one. Let’s hope the best is yet to come.

Kuroda’s 2012 Stats: 159.0IP  (W-L) 11-8  3.06ERA  54ER  38BB  121K

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Just a few weeks ago, the Baltimore Orioles sat 10 games back in the Al East. Now, they sit 4.5 games back. If the Yankees want to take home the division crown, they better get their act together quickly. Winning only 3 of their last 10 games, and currently riding a two game losing streak, Sabathia gets the nod tonight against the Tigers to set things straight. Here’s the matchup.

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Remember when, during the original Star Wars (Episode IV for you younger fans), Ben Kenobi pulls a Jedi mind trick on a pair of stormtroopers? “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for,” he intones – and the troopers repeat mindlessly after him. We Yankee fans are wondering if ol’ General Obi Wan was employed by the Yankee front office to pull a similar trick on us during the off-season. “These aren’t the pitchers you’re looking for…”

After twelve games, the Yankees are 6-6. While a .500 is hardly the record that the team’s fans expect, the Yanks could be worse off. Equally unsteady play from the rest of the AL East means they haven’t dug themselves a major hole – they’re only a game from first place (but also only two from last). That being said, the fans are grumbling and we all know that in days of yore, King George would have Joe Binder on speed dial.

Much of the grumbling seems to be centering on the offense. While it’s sputtered at times, and Yankee hitters have done a miserable job with RISP (their team .240 batting average in such situations is 26 points below the league average), the offense has still scored the second most runs in the league. Simply put, even if A-Rod and Robbie Cano continue to have dismal 2012 seasons, the rest of the team should still score enough to keep the team in any game.

No, the problem has been the starting pitching. 12 starts, but only four of them have been “quality starts” – that is, at least 6 innings and no more than 3 runs allowed. At this point, only one starter has a better than league average ERA (Ivan Nova, at 4.15). The rest of the rotation have ERA’s north of 5. The back end, featuring Freddy Garcia and Phil Hughes have been particularly putrid so far: the pair have combined to allow 34 baserunners, 17 runs and 5 home runs in only 18 innings over 4 games. It’s gotten to the point that the Yankee hitters have to feel as if they’re down by four before they even leave the clubhouse on days when either of the duo pitches. The rest of the staff hasn’t been much better, although CC Sabathia seemed to finally wake up in his last start. The book is still out on Hiroki Kuroda: he threw a game for the ages during the home opener, but followed it up by throwing batting practice to the Twins last night.

And right now, hopes are pinned on the returns of Andy Pettitte and Michael Pineda. While you would be hard pressed to say either can be worse than the current fourth and fifth starters, a dose of realism is in order. Pettitte is returning from retirement, will be 40 in June and hasn’t thrown 200 innings since 2008. Pineda was a phenom for Seattle during the first half last year. His fastball disappeared after the 2011 All-Star break, along with his success. The Yankees diagnosed him with a shoulder strain during Spring Training, which is why he is currently on the DL. If Pettitte is a victim of Father Time and/or Pineda can’t rediscover the velocity that made him a feared righty last year, then the Yankees season might well be sunk. Because let’s face it: Kuroda might be experienced, but he lacks the stuff to be a true number 2. Nova is probably in the right spot as a number 3 guy. But Garcia is quickly proving that last year’s high batting average against isn’t something that you can pitch around consistently. Hughes is showing that 2010 wasn’t a break-out season for him, but rather a wondrous year in an otherwise sub-par career.

Tonight is another game and another start for Hughes. It’s time for he and Garcia to prove they can get guys out in the major leagues. If they can’t, then 2012 is going to be a long season.

***UPDATE: Game in progress, top 1st. Hughes wasn’t helped by an Eduardo Nunez error, but he’s allowed four runs. ***

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