Sunday, March 14, 2010

Yankee Blogosphere Linkapalooza For The Week That Was (March 8-14)

First, the round-up from the crew at The Yankee U:

- Moshe Mandel compares the careers of Nomahhhhh and Jeter to determine who was the better player.  In their primes, Nomar was definitely the better all-around player and his value over replacement shows that.  But the fact that Nomar did spend the last 5 years of his career injured and had to retire while Jeter is still at the top of his game and staring down 3,000 hits ends that argument right there.  Over the long haul, Jeter IS the better player.

- Chris H. breaks down the relationship between Mo's decreased velocity and increased contact rates in 2009.  The numbers are worth noting, as they were significant.  But you have to remember Mo was coming off of shoulder surgery before 2009 so it's expected at his age he would experience a decrease in velocity as a result.  I personally could care less if Mo never strikes a guy out ever again; as long as he's sawing guys off and getting the 1-2-3 in the 9th, that's all that matters.

- Moshe Mandel joins the discussion at TYU about who the 5th starter should be and makes a 5-pointed argument for why it should be Joba.  I can't say I agree with any of the 5 points Mandel makes, but I'm sure some of those thoughts are being discussed internally amongst the Yankee brass and will most likely play a big factor in making Joba the 5th starter (since his on-field performance to date certainly hasn't earned him anything).

- Joe Pawlikowski at River Ave. Blues projects Curtis Granderson's 2010 season.  I, like Joe, expect C-Grand to improve upon his 2009 and his career splits to date.  If he does, it's important to note Joe's point that the Yankees have him for a few more years to come in the prime of his career, something they would not have with Matsui or Damon.

- Joba could probably learn something about pitching by reading this Joe P. post from RAB about Tim Lincecum adjusting his approach after losing some velocity.  So far Joba still hasn't figured out how to harness his secondary pitches when he can't throw 96-97 all the time.  If he wants to stay in the discussion for the 5th spot, he better damn well start harnessing.

- Roberto at Respect Jeter's Gangster is already bored with Spring Training.  Can't say I blame the guy, but there's only 21 games until the season starts so hang in there, bud.

- Jason Kozlowski at Bronx Baseball Daily profiles Spring Training bright spot Zach McAllister.  Something tells me this kid is going to be the early favorite for the 5th spot in the rotation in 2011, especially if Pettitte and Vazquez retire.

- My main man Lenny Neslin reviews the Yankees 2009 World Series DVD, something I am still kicking myself for not buying for 45 bucks after Christmas.  IT'S GOT SPANISH COMMENTARY!!!!

- Scott Ham at The Bronx View pokes a little fun at the Joba-Hughes debate and then proceeds to write a well thought out piece that ends with Joba in the rotation and Hughes in the 'pen.

- iYankees explains how Dave Robertson is pretty much the 2nd lefty out of the bullpen.  I'm a huge Robertson fan and love anything that sings his praises.  Boone Logan, however, might want to skip this article.

- Dan LaTorraca at Was Watching previews the 2010 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees.  Always good to know what the future holds, especially when it comes to the Almighty Jesus.

- And even though I hate to end on a sour note, it appears Cuban SS prospect Adeinis Hechavarria has decided to sign with Toronto instead of the Bombers because he is concerned Jeter's new contract will block him from playing sooner.  Rob from BBD has his two cents on the situation here.  It's tough to lose a guy who could have been the perfect replacement for Jeter whenever he did have to move away from the hole, but since he hasn't completely broken down yet, why fix what isn't broken?

Enjoy the rest of your evening, Yankee fans.  Check out the Reggie Miller-NY Knicks doc on ESPN and then fill out your NCAA brackets.  Mine already has the Yankees winning it all.  Beat that.

Snap Judgements From The First 2 Weeks Of Spring Training

- Joba, flu or no flu, still doesn't seem like he approaches the game as a starter the same way he does as a reliever.  The velocity being down is understandable, you want to keep something in the tank.  But the aggression, the intensity, and the attitude just isn't there.  I know starters are always more valuable than relievers, but if this is how Joba is going to pitch this year then he definitely has more value in the 'pen.

- After recovering from his brain fart in the batting cage, Nick Johnson has looked solid at the plate and should be the favorite to bat 2nd behind Jeter.  He isn't fast, but you can't ignore the high OBP and the number of extra chances it gives Teix and The Horse to drive in runs.

- That being said, C-Grand's performance so far should earn him a spot somewhere between 5-7 in the lineup.  And with the way he's played in the outfield so far (see: great catch in deep center for Phil Hughes on Thursday), expect Granderson to at least start the season as the everyday centerfielder.

- Regardless of who ends up winning the competition for the 5th spot in the rotation, the bullpen is going to be STACKED this year, and Park and Mo haven't even pitched to live batters yet.

- You always have to take Spring Training results, good or bad, with a grain of salt, but Robinson Cano has looked great so far.  He's as locked in at the plate as he has ever been, and that should bode well for him as he is usually a very slow starter.

- Why does everybody think they're CC this spring?  Burnett, Vazquez, Hughes, and more are all working on adding a changeup to their repertoire. 

- Is Randy Winn even in camp?  I haven't heard his name mentioned once so that definitely bodes well for Brett Gardner, who's continued solid defense and improved bunting has been on display all spring so far.

- It almost seems like Winn, Thames, and Hoffman are trying to see who can play bad enough to NOT make the team.  Seriously, guys.  You're playing for a spot on the team that's going to win the World Series!!!  Wake up!!

- I think it's safe to say the days of the Chase Wrights and Matt DeSalvos pitching meaningful innings in the big leagues are over.  With Mark Melancon, Zach McAllister, Ivan Nova, Grant Duff, Royce Ring, Dustin Moseley all pitching relatively well this spring, the Yankees shouldn't have to scramble and pray if they experience a freak rash of injuries to their pitching staff.

- I still say we're going to see Jesus on the Major League roster at some point this year.  When you add up Johnson's injury proneness (probably not a real word), Cervelli turning into a walking concussion, and the anticipated lack of pop off the bench, it's the perfect situation for Jesus to step in and provide a spark.

- Not hearing about how Jeter, A-Rod, Jorge, and Teix are doing is a good thing.  These guys are the ultimate professionals; I could care less if they don't get a hit between them all spring.

- Can we clone Aceves?  That guy is just a beast.

- He might not hit much, but Ramiro Pena's defensive wizardry has already ended the competition for utility infielder off the bench.

- Regardless of how well he continues to pitch, there won't be a spot for Mitre on the Opening Day roster.  Those 12 pitchers are going to be: CC, A.J., Andy, Javy, Hughes, Mo, Joba, Marte, Ace, Robertson, Park, and Gaudin.