Wednesday, March 27, 2013

2013 AB4AR Season Preview: The Bullpen

(No mustache, dude?  For shame.  Courtesy of Reuters)

Lineup?  Check.  Rotation?  Check.  Time to move on to the bullpen.  It comes as no surprise anymore that the Yankees possess one of the strongest bullpens in baseball year in and year out.  They've consistently been able to draft, develop, and sign quality relief pitchers, and when you've got the greatest closer of all time handling the 9th inning it makes it much easier to fill in the other pieces around him.  This year will mark the end of that great closing career, and could mark the end of a couple other Yankee bullpen tenures, so in a way 2013 could be a transition year.  Before that happens, though, there are leads to hold and games to save, and this year's edition of the Yankee 'pen should be more than up to the task.

David Adams Release Reaction

(Photo courtesy of Jordan Megenhardt/

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

The Irrational Fan's Take:

'"What are the Yankees doing??  Why would they get rid of Adams?  He's only 25 years old and he's coming off the best year of his career.  He hit .306/.385/.450 and he can play second base and third base.  The Yankees are going to need infield depth this season and possibly next depending on what happens with A-Rod and Cano and they just gave away one of their top young players at those positions to clear a roster spot for Vernon Wells!  That guy Brad V. from IIATMS/TYA ranked Adams 14th in his Top 30 Prospects this year, so he's gotta be good.

Not to mention the fact that Adams and Corban Joseph could have made a nice lefty/righty platoon DH on the bench if Hafner got hurt this season and then transitioned to second in 2014 if Cano doesn't get re-signed.  I don't get it.  How can they start playing Adams at third base last season and then just dump him for a player they didn't even need?  This is why the Yankees never develop any good young position players.  They never give them a real shot.  They've got a bunch of kids in the Minors who can play and now they're getting rid of them to get older.  Horrible move.  Cashman should be fired right now."

The Rational Fan's Take:

Spring Training Game 31 Wrap-Up: NYY 4 HOU 4

(Courtesy of the AP)

After pitching in a few MiL games to avoid facing AL East rivals, CC Sabathia was back on the mound against a Major League team last night for his final Spring Training tuneup.  Well, he was on the mound against the Houston Astros, and I guess technically they still qualify as a Major League team since they're in the AL West but whatever.  While it was CC's final spring game before the start of the regular season, it was Vernon Wells' first spring game as a Yankee, so there's no shortage of juicy talking points from last night.  It might actually have been one of the most interesting games the Astros will be involved in all year.

Game Notes:

- Sabathia wasn't sharp in the 1st inning, giving up 3 earned runs on 4 hits (3 of them doubles) and a leadoff walk.  He wasn't locating his breaking pitches well and the Astro hitters were just professional enough to make him pay.

- The big fella got some help from his offense to make up for the early runs.  Brett Gardner went 2-3 with a triple and an RBI, continuing to strengthen his case for the leadoff spot on Opening Day, and Travis Hafner woke up from his spring slumber with a 3-hit day of his own.

- Wells got the start in left field and hit sixth in the batting order.  He had a relatively uneventful 0-3 night at the dish, but did drive in a run with an RBI groundout in the bottom of the 6th.

- Final line for CC: 5 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 K.  Not great, but he's way past the point of needing to be great in ST.  As long as he's healthy and ready to go Monday, that's all that matters.

- Strong performance behind CC from an almost all-Major League bullpen.  Mo, D-Rob, Joba, Logan, and Vidal Nuno combined to throw 5 scoreless innings with 5 K and 1 BB before the teams decided enough was enough after 10.