Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 3/22/13

By the time you, dear readers, start perusing this week's Linkapalooza, I'll hopefully be well on my way to a fantastic time drinking as many beers as possible and watching the second day of opening round NCAA tournament action.  I found out on Wednesday that the boss was going to be out of the office on Friday and decided right then and there that I was going to pull the old "bail out of work without telling anybody to go watch the tournament" trick.  I've never done it before and it's something that, as a diehard fan of pretty much every sport, I felt like I owed it to myself to do.  As far as I'm concerned, the opening round Thursday-Friday of the tourney should be a national holiday, similar to the Monday after the Super Bowl.  If you're still stuck in your office or cube reading this, I feel for you, I really do.  I'll make sure to have an extra order of wings for you.  Now onto the links!

- On Tuesday, Bleeding Yankee Blue scored an interview with recent former Yankee outfielder Chris Dickerson.  Kinda wish that guy was still around.

- Derek Albin of Pinstripe Pundits did some research on the history of Mark Teixeira's injury to see just how worried we should be about the change in diagnosis.

- William Juliano of The Captain's Blog compiled all of the Yankees' current injury concerns into one easy-to-use (and easy to drink to) graphic.

- Josh Norris of Minor Matters had a little profile piece on Rob Segedin and the changes he's made physically and positionally to get ready for the 2013 season.

- On Wednesday, Daniel Burch of The Greedy Pinstripes made his 25-man roster prediction.  It's not much different than my last version, with his Nix to my Mustelier for UTIF.

- Abe Froman of NoMaas attended the Yanks-Phils ST game in Clearwater and offered up some observations and visuals from the experience.

- EJ Fagan of IIATMS/TYA debunked the myth that the introduction of the amateur draft hurt baseball in Puerto Rico, an apropos topic considering the rumors of MLB wanting to expand to an international draft.

- On Thursday, Mike Axisa of RAB discussed the major problem the loss or lingering injured-ness of Derek Jeter will cause for a lineup already woefully short on good right-handed hitters.

- Fishjam25 of Yankees Fans Unite asked if the leadership Robinson Cano displayed in the WBC will translate over to the Yankees.  Certainly wouldn't hurt his case for a new contract if it did.

- Chad Jennings of LoHud had some details on the work Eduardo Nunez has put in to improve his defense.  Still waiting for that to show up on the field...

- Hunter Farman of Yanks Go Yard took a look at some MiL guys who don't appear to have anywhere to go in the Yankee organization.

- On Friday, el duque of It Is High... penned an open letter to Hal Steinbrenner comparing him and his team building efforts to that of Isiah Thomas.  That's about the worst insult you can give to somebody in the New York professional sports team management field, and it's not completely inaccurate.

This week's Friday Jam is "These Days" by Alien Ant Farm.  Good tune to kick off a relaxing basketball-filled weekend.

Enjoy your weekends, everybody.

2013 Season Preview: What We Know & What We Don't Know (The Bench)

(Incoming!!  Courtesy of J. Conrad Williams, Jr./Newsday)

The bench has become an increasingly more important part of the Yankee roster in the last 3-5 years as the core of their lineup has aged.  Part of what's helped them maintain top contender status has been the bench's ability to step up and contribute in minor and major roles when the situation called for it and at no time was that more apparent than last season.  Raul Ibanez, Andruw Jones, Eric Chavez.  They all contributed more than their expected share of ABs and it's a fair bet to say the Yankees wouldn't have won the division without them.  This year, things aren't shaping up to be so rosy on the bench, as the Yankees have taken their "build the bench on the cheap" method to a whole new level, a lower level.  The consistency and overall usefulness of this group in general is questionable across the board, which is not a good thing considering all the issues the Bombers have in their starting lineup.

Why A Wang Return Would Be Helpful

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

The biggest non-Jeter's ankle story of yesterday was the return of Chien-Ming Wang to the Yankees.  It wasn't as an official team member, as Wang is still searching for a job offer after a brutal 2012 with the Nationals, but he was there to pitch for team scouts and coaches and hopefully do enough to get himself a contract offer.  The Yankees were connected to Wang recently and scouted him at the WBC, where he was reportedly throwing his sinker high 80s-low 90s and didn't allow a run in 12 IP.  After the dreaded baserunning foot injury of '08 and the awful follow-up performance in '09, a return to the Yankee organization would be a nice little deal for Wang.

It also wouldn't be bad for the Yankees, who are always in the market for pitching depth.  While Wang is certainly not a contender for a Major League rotation spot at this point in his career, or even a 40-man roster spot for that matter, he does represent the type of veteran arm the Yankees have liked to keep stashed in their Triple-A rotation for the last few years.  They find themselves without that arm right now and adding Wang to the mix could be the final piece needed to solidify the top levels of their organizational rotation depth.