Friday, March 9, 2012

Just A Bone Bruise For D-Rob

(Not pictured: walking boot)

Jack Curry first reported it on YES and now it's been confirmed by Joe to the media.  The latest round of tests on D-Rob's injured foot revealed a bone bruise, which is a far better diagnosis than what could have been.

Robertson will still be out of action for a while, but chances are he'll be ready for the season opener once this heals.  No word on whether or not the Yankees plan on hiring a guy to handle disposing of Robertson's corrugated boxes from now on.

Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 3/9

No time for talk.  To the links we go!

- On Monday, SJK of NoMaas had this gem roasting Josh Beckett, which is a surefire way to get included in the palooza.  Sadly, I'm also bearded and also getting fatter, meaning I share qualities with Josh Beckett.  When this dawned at me at work the other day, I ran to the bathroom and cried.

- Matt S. of Yankees Fans Unite continued their recent streak of good interviews by scoring this one with David Aardsma.  He still has a long way to go, but it's good to read that he's hellbent on returning to the hill this year.

- The boys over at Respect Jeter's Gangster are ramping up their "Rival Review" series, and on Tuesday they put out my personal favorite to date, the second base comparison of Cano and Dahhston Pedroyahh.

- Also on Tuesday, Brien Jackson of IIATMS put the Michael Pineda changeup hype in context by explaining that he doesn't need to be dynamite with it to succeed.

- Larry Koestler of RAB looked at the recent history of production from the DH spot in Yankees lineups and established a baseline for what we can expect from the Ibanez-Jones duo this year.

- On Wednesday, William Juliano of The Captain's Blog debunked the theories that Michael Pineda is at risk this season because of an "injury nexus" for pitchers under the age of 23 and because he's a young pitcher being handled by Joe Girardi.

- On Thursday, Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus released his top Yankee prospects list for 2012.  It's subscriber-only to get the full post, but you can at least get the list of his top 20 without being a subscriber.  Goldstein ranks Gary Sanchez above Dellin Betances.

- Chris McKeown of Pinstripe Alley ran some numbers to see if the Yankees could still be categorized as an "old team."  His research shows that they've done a good job getting younger since the mid-2000s.

- On Friday, Donnie Collins of the SWB Blog used the recent "Empire State Yankees" name change for 2012 as a lead-in to suggest a future, permanent, non-Yankee name change for the team in 2013.

- Mike Silva of NY Baseball Digest questioned whether MLB's regular season schedule should be reduced from 162 games as part of the new playoff expansion.

- Chad Jennings of LoHud has the latest on the D-Rob foot injury, which becomes more confusing by the minute.  Some reports have him feeling totally fine with no swelling, but others have him showing up today in a walking boot and on crutches.

- Marc Hulet of FanGraphs released his Top 30 Organizational Farm Systems list today, with the Yankees checking in at #10.

- As usual, we close with an offering from my TYA cohorts.  On Wednesday, Alex Geshwind attempted to shine a little sunlight on Phil Hughes by pointing out that there are some pitchers who have experienced career paths similar to the one Hughes is on now.

- And on Thursday, Matt Imbrogno started to lay out the potential early-season starting rotation.

For the Friday jam, it only seems appropriate on the anniversary of his death to play some Notorious B.I.G.  For my money he's the best rapper of all time, so I'm going with a double dip of my favorite Biggie collaborations this afternoon.

Enjoy the rest of your Friday afternoons and the entirety of your weekends, people.

Spring Training Storylines: First Time Through The Rotation

Ivan Nova's start yesterday signified the Yankees completing their first cycle through the rotation this spring, and so far so good for the Yankee starters.  The two big themes since last Friday have been changeups and velocity.  Nova, Michael Pineda, and CC were all working on their changeups in their first outing; for Nova and Pineda that pitch will be important for them this year as they attempt to build on their strong rookie campaigns.  Velocity-wise, the big stories were how little Pineda had on Monday (high 80s) and how much Phil Hughes had in his first game action of the year on Tuesday (low 90s, hit 93 more than once), so expect everybody to be watching the gun during their outings this weekend.  First starts of the spring always come with little to no expectations.  Everybody is just working themselves into game shape and finding their stuff and that's what the Yankee starters did this week.

- CC: Allowed 3 hits and a run with one strikeout in 2 innings of work on Tuesday.  Wasn't particularly happy with anything but also didn't mention any glaring problems.  Just ST business as usual for the big man, who takes the mound again on Sunday as part of a split-squad game.

- Kuroda: Sailed smoothly through his first inning of work on Wednesday, throwing only 9 pitches, and then hit a few road bumps in the 2nd as he tried to work on some of his offspeed stuff.  Still needs to find his offspeed command a bit, but don't worry, he's definitely not Kei Igawa.

- Nova: Solid first start of the year last Saturday, save for some command issues and the HR allowed to Hunter Pence.  Different story yesterday, as Nova really struggled with his fastball command and gave up 6 hits and 5 ER in just 2.2 innings of work.  His fastball velocity has been sitting mid 90s, though, so no worries about lingering effects from his forearm injury that knocked him out of last year's ALDS.

- Pineda: Probably had the sharpest outing of anybody, giving up just a solitary hit and no runs in his 2 innings of work on Monday, striking out 2 and walking none.  He received plenty of praise from everybody for his changeup, which already looks like it has the makings of being a useful pitch for him.  All eyes will be on the radar gun during his next start on Saturday.

- Hughes: The man with the most to prove was up and down on Tuesday when he replaced CC, showing rejuvenated life on his fastball but also spotty command.  Hughes threw a lot of pitches, something that will happen when you give up 4 hits, and only made it through 1.1 innings because of his pitch count.  He pitches again on Sunday.

- Garcia: Rough first inning for him last Sunday, as he also gave up a homer to Hunter Pence, but he settled down in the 2nd and picked up a couple of strikeouts as part of a scoreless inning.  Like CC, Freddy was neither really good nor really bad.  For him it's just a matter of whether he'll be the 5th starter or bullpen longman.