Saturday, February 13, 2010

Saturday Afternoon Linkapalooza

* Rob Neyer weighs in on the impact of Phil Hughes working on his changeup as he prepares to compete for the 5th spot in the starting rotation this season.  Neyer also becomes the latest to point out the stupidity of innings limitations.

* George King of the Post speculates on whether or not the Yankees will go after 21-year-old (or his actually 19?) Cuban defector Adeinis Hechavarria, and whether or not Hechavarria will become Jeter's replacement at SS or find his way into the outfield.

* Joe Pawlikowski at River Ave. Blues also weighs in on Hechavarria and provides some video highlights of his play in Cuba.

* Steve S. at TYU breaks down the numbers to examine Robinson Cano's potential as the #2 hitter in the lineup.  (Side Note: While I'm more than willing to look at numbers, I don't want Cano anywhere near the 2-spot in the lineup)

* Jon Heyman is Tweeting that suddenly everybody wants a piece of Johnny Damon.  The smart money would be on this Tweet coming right after Scott Boras took Heyman out for lunch and a massage.

* Matt at Fack Youk looks back at the careers of the retiring Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas, 2 of the only older stars of the 90s that the Yankees didn't sign at some point in the 2000s.

* And Lenny Neslin reminds us that there are only 4 days until we can stop pretending to care about a potential LeBron-Kobe NBA Finals, whether or not Alex Ovechkin will lead the Caps to a Stanley Cup, or if UNC and UConn will miss the NCAA tournament (Secret: they won't).

Enjoy the rest of your weekends and your Valentine's Day, Yankee fans.  Make sure your wives/girlfriends stay the fuck out of the way while the Daytona 500, NBA All-Star Game, and the Olympics are all on tomorrow.  Then make sure you make it up to them for staying out the way by taking them out to a nice dinner and giving them a foot massage.  That should be enough to keep you from spending the night on the couch.  I think.

5th Spot In Rotation TBD At Wrestlmania, UFC 110, or The Rodeo

Joba in an interview with The Sporting News on February 7th:

"It's going to be a battle. The greatest part about it is that not only is going to make the guys who will be fighting for that spot better, but it's going to make our team better."

"I'm going to grab the bull by the horns, get after it in spring training and see what happens."

Hughes to the Post on the 11th:

“I know I’m coming into the spring fighting for a job.... I’m out of the reliever mindset for right now."

What's all this "fighting for a job" nonsense?  Is somebody going to come into the clubhouse and lock the Figure Four on the other?  Are the Yankee pitching coaches going to judge these guys on effective striking, grappling, and octagon control?  Last time I checked, it's probably more important that they come out and throw strikes, make batters work, and make good pitches when they have to.

These guys need to cut the crap with all the cliches and just go out and pitch; the more they focus on the "battle" and "fight," the less they're going to be focusing on doing their job and winning the spot.  And if they are going to stick to cliches, they might want to think about remembering to "give 110%" and "take everything one play at a time."

It's not like either of these guys aren't going to make the 25-man roster, and it's not like the Yankees aren't going to be willing to swap their spots in the rotation and bullpen if they have to, either because of performance or because they have to get creative with Hughes' innings.  Joba can talk all he wants about taking the bull by the horns, but that isn't going to help him become the 5th starter.  Showing a little poise on the mound and the ability to think his way through a lineup the 2nd and 3rd time will.

I still say Hughes is the better option for the 5th spot, but we'll see how this "epic battle" plays out when these boys get into camp in the next few days.