Tuesday, January 29, 2013

John Sickels Ranks Yankee Farm System 14th In MLB

(Wildcard, bitches!!  Courtesy of Josh Norris)

We're just over a week removed from the AB4AR Top 30, and just over a month removed from John Sickels releasing his Top 20 Yankee prospects with the bulk of prospect ranking season still to come.  Sickels followed up on his individual rankings yesterday with his organizational farm system rankings, and he had the Yankee system coming in 14th out of 30, up from 16th last season.

Not surprisingly, Sickels identified the core of A-ball hitters as the Yankees' biggest strength and their lack of upper-tier pitching prospects as their biggest weakness.  He also continued to paint Rafael DePaula as the key part to determining where the Yankee system could be heading next year, sticking DePaula with the "wildcard" tag he first gave him last month.

A 14th place ranking is right in line with where most people expected the Yankees to fall (10-15), and as was the case with Baseball America's 11th place ranking I believe this is a positive sign for the Yankee system to move up in the overall organizational rankings a year after losing their previous top 2 prospects.  A strong 2013 season for this group could result in a top 5-10 ranking in 2014.

New Report Connects A-Rod To Additional PED Use

(Get ready for more of this.  Courtesy of the AP)

When the 2012 season ended, I said I wasn't going to spend the entire offseason on this blog talking about Alex Rodriguez and what a bum he was, and promised only to write about him in situations where it was warranted. I think this is one of those situations. In a report released today by the Miami News Times, A-Rod's name was included in a group of professional athletes who have been receiving various performance enhancing drugs from Anthony Bosch, currently under investigation by both MLB and the DEA. Written records from the clinic Bosch runs indicate Rodriguez has been receiving PEDs, including HGH, from Bosch from 2009 through last season. What has already been a tumultuous last few seasons for A-Rod, starting with his original PED outing and admission in 2009, is only going to get worse with the release of this new report.

Pineda To Throw Off Half-Mound Today

(Courtesy of Bobby Martinez/NY Post)

Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter have dominated the injury/recovery headlines for the better part of this offseason, but Michael Pineda's name popped back into the picture yesterday when Dan Barbarisi tweeted out this report that, according to Cash, Pineda is scheduled to throw off a half-mound today for the first time since having shoulder surgery last year.

This marks another step in the right direction for Pineda, who has been working out and throwing on flat ground since September.  The last time we heard about Pineda's progress,Cash was praising how good his arm and his physical conditioning looked, and since we haven't heard anything since then it's a safe assumption to make that everything has been progressing on schedule.

There was no timetable given for how long Pineda will work off the half-mound before returning to throwing off a full mound, and he's still months away from returning to any kind of game action, but this is good news for the Yankee rotation's potential emergency depth.  They will continue to downplay the prospect of Pineda returning this year, but if he stays on schedule and doesn't suffer any setbacks he should still be on track for an early-to-mid summer return.