Tuesday, March 15, 2016

New York Yankees news and notes

The Yankees had a rare off day on Monday and they will be back in action tonight when they take on the Boston Red Sox.  It is a rare night game in spring training.  I would say that so far in camp it has been pretty quiet and I think that is a good thing.  There haven't been any major injuries, Alex Rodriguez has continued to go about his business like he did so well last year and nothing else has really popped up.  I guess the biggest story was the 30 game suspension of Aroldis Chapman and he won't be appealing it. 

Chapman is the Yankees closer but will not be eligible to return until May 9th.  He has slowed down his spring training schedule and will stay behind in Tampa to work in extended spring when the team heads north in a couple of weeks.  Andrew Miller will presumably be the closer with Dellin Betances being the main setup guy until his return.  It is interesting because there are at least four other spots open in the bullpen.  It appears that Chasen Shreve will take one of them and they will have some kind of long man.  The interesting thing is will it be Bryan Mitchell serving as the new Adam Warren or will they send him to AAA to keep him as a starter and stretched out.  If they do that will they have Ivan Nova in the bullpen with CC Sabathia as the fifth starter.  If Nova outperforms him will they keep Nova as the fifth starter and put CC in the pen??  These are the biggest questions as the lineup is pretty much set. 

The Yankees bench will carry a backup catcher, right now Austin Romine seems to be winning that battle over Gary Sanchez, Dustin Ackley as the backup first baseman, Aaron Hicks as the fourth outfielder and it looks like Rob Refsnyder may make the team as the backup second and third baseman. 

Brett Gardner has not yet played in a game as they have taken it very slowly with him coming off of a bone bruise in his wrist suffered in last year one game playoff loss.  He has said all along that he is fine and he will finally get into a game on Wednesday. 

Masahiro Tanaka has looked good so far this spring and he appears to be lined up perfectly for Opening Day.  I would expect that to be the case barring any problems, I would think Joe Girardi might state that in the next week or so. 

The Yankees did cut 17 players and send them to minor league camp in their first wave of cuts.  There were some notable names such as Aaron Judge, Jorge Mateo, James Kaprielian and Jacob Lindgren among others.  I am not surprised by any of them other then Lindgren, I thought he had a good shot at making the team and definitely didn't think they would send him back so quick. 

Michael Pineda and Luis Severino have looked good this spring as well.  Severino struggled a little in his first start but has pitched a couple of good games since then.  The Yankees rotation can be very good if healthy and I think the load off of them will help also.  The bullpen is so good that they know if they give six good innings they will be in good shape. 

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