Tuesday, February 11, 2014

New York Yankees news and notes as we head to spring training

New York Yankees news and notes as we head to spring training

The New York Yankees will open up their spring training camp on Friday. Pitchers and catchers report with position players reporting about a week later. Masahiro Tanaka will be the most talked about pitcher and have the most focus on him. CC Sabathia apparently has lost a lot of weight and that will be a big topic as well. I assume David Robertson will also get a lot of attention, as right now he is the closer replacing the legend Mariano Rivera.

Tanaka will have a 1:00PM press conference tomorrow before heading down to Japan. He already made a grand entrance by renting a huge 847 plane to get to New York from Japan. It is a 200-passenger plane that carried him and his entourage. He has already made a grand entrance and he seems like a good fit for the big stage of New York. The first chance to see him will be tomorrow on the YES network.

Derek Jeter continues to participate in pre camp workouts at the minor league camp in Tampa. The reports are encouraging and he appears to be healthy. We won’t really know until he starts getting in games but next week he will report to camp and get it going.

The Yankees do seem like they are done with their winter makeover. They could use another bullpen arm but for now will go with what they have. Robertson as the closer, Thornton as the lefty, Kelley and Claiborne as setup men. Betances is in the mix as well with Phelps or Warren as the long man. I don’t think it is as bad as some others think and bullpens kind of develop as you go along. They just signed a former prospect from the Nationals Cole Kimball to a minor league deal. Manny Banuelos may also be in the mix as a second lefty out of the pen.

Alex Rodriguez dropped all of his lawsuits on Friday and will not be anywhere near spring training camp. He is suspended for all of the 2014 season and the postseason. The Yankees finally have a resolution on this and can move forward. He won’t be a distraction to them this season and they don’t have to worry about anything with him for another year. The question is who plays third base and I think the answer is Kelly Johnson and Eduardo Nunez in a platoon. I think Brian Roberts is the guy for second base and that is more of the question. I think the platoon at third will be a pretty good solution for this season. I am not sure about second base especially with the injury concerns. It will have to play out and the Yankees hope that Roberts is healthy and can at least play a sold defensive second and provide some offense. There really isn’t much going on now until Friday when it all begins and then we will have pretty much daily coverage. It is an exciting time as baseball is almost back.

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