Saturday, March 12, 2011
The New York Yankees lost to the Washington Nationals by the score of 6-5 on Saturday afternoon. They lost on a walk-off single. A.J. Burnett pitched well once again though and that is more of a story. Burnett did give up two runs on two hits but after giving up the runs he retired the last nine batters he faced. One of the biggest problems he had last season was letting things get out of hand, not being able to stop the bleeding so that is a good sign. Here are some news and notes from Saturday. Kei Igawa was able to get in touch with his family and left for Japan, he will get as much time as he needs before returning to the Yankees. I am not going to make any jokes with this one as he is going through a very tough time and he should be given the right to do what he needs to do. Derek Jeter has been adjusting to swinging without a stride and after starting out slowly is hitting 333. He has only struck out once and only has one extra base hit. He has never been a power guy but wants to show more of that, it will come though. Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson also have new mechanics, Granderson started his change at the end of last season and he has continued to do well with it this spring leading the team in runs scored and batting 348. Gardner is hitting 273. Jorge Vazquez won't win a spot on the team unless there is an injury but he isn't being ignored. He is hitting 480 on the spring and hit his third home run of the spring on Saturday. Burnett talked well about Russel Martin saying he knows what he wants to do back there and he knows Burnett pretty well. He said confidence is a big thing with him. Burnett has yet to walk anyone in the spring which is amazing for him, he realized when talking about it and saying I guess I jinxed it now. Robert Fish and Daniel Turpin are two Rule Five picks the Yankees got this year, they have both been pretty bad and it looks like they will be gone soon. Mariano Rivera is scheduled to get in his first game tomorrow afternoon. Rafael Soriano is expected to be in the game as well. Eric Chavez was in the orginal lineup for today but the Yankees decided against it since it is a long bus ride and maybe not the best idea for a guy with a history of back problems. He is not hurt they were just being cautious. Ramiro Pena is only hitting 154 this spring, Eduardo Nunez is thriving, I don't know what they will do but by the numbers Nunez is clearly leading for the backup infielder job. Pena has been doing it the last couple of years though and has never been much of a hitter. He is known for his defense and the Yankees may value that more.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
The New York Yankees have started to play better ball in the last couple of days. The offense is starting to get it together and the pitching has been impressive. Here are some notes from Wednesday. Mariano Rivera had high praise for prize prospect Manny Banuelos calling him the best prospect he has ever seen. He is about to turn 20, he will begin the year in AA but I wouldn't be suprised to see him in AAA and the majors probably by next season. Brian Cashman said most likely they will go with what they have, it is possible that something happens by the end of March but not likely. He is talking about the pitching situation. Cashman has to feel good about what he has seen so far though with Garcia, Colon, Nova and even Mitre all pitching very well. The young kids have been impressive also so the Yankees know they are coming. Girardi said this could be the best bullpen he has had. I would agree with that with a dominant eighth and ninth inning and very good relievers in front of the two closers at the end. Joba, Dave Robertson, Boone Logan and Pedro Feliciano are all good relievers. Girardi said he was impressed with Sorianos debut, he didn't expect much else then what he saw. Eduardo Nunez played left field and caught the only ball that was hit to him out there. The Yankees want him and Ramiro Pena to play there this spring just in case they are needed in a pinch this year. Nunez raised his spring average to 375 with five stolen bases, he has been impressive and he may supplant Pena as the utility guy on the team. Russel Martin and Andruw Jones hit their first homeruns as Yankees. The Yankees had seven starters in the lineup tonight and they all had at least one hit.