Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Robbie Cano Dumps Scott Boras, Signs With Hova

It's the R-O-C, bitches!

Well not exactly.  Technically Robinson Cano signed with Roc Nation Sports, which is supported by CAA Sports.  And technically it will be CAA Sports agent Brodie Van Wagenen who will handle the duties of negotiating Cano's new contract and not Jay-Z.  But it's still pretty cool.

As first reported by Buster Olney this morning, Cano decided to ditch Boras in favor of becoming the first official client of Roc Nation Sports, a new sports management and marketing firm owned by Jay-Z.  This comes as a pretty big surprise, as it was only recently that Cano signed on with Boras in what we all believed was a shrewd business move designed to guarantee himself the biggest and best deal possible when he hit the free agent market after this season.  Now, like Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez before him, Cano has kicked Boras to the curb to apparently take a more active approach in managing his career.

At face value, this looks like a major win for the Yankees.  Van Wagenen and CAA Sports currently have multiple MLB clients like Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Braun, and the recently re-upped Buster Posey, who all signed big deals to stay with their current teams before hitting the open market.  Cano choosing this path should greatly increase the chances that he re-signs with the Yankees and could increase the chance that he re-signs for a deal that is friendlier to the Yankees' payroll plans than any open market bidding war headed up by Boras would have been.  But there is always the chance that those things don't happen and until the ink is signed on a new contract nothing is a guarantee.  Still, Cash and the Yankee ownership group has to be happy with this news.  Now somebody hit the music!

Was CC's Pitch Mix Yesterday A Sign Of Anything?

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

If there's one dominant talking point from yesterday's game, it's easily CC Sabathia's subpar performance.  I talked about it a lot during the live blog yesterday and earlier this morning over at IIATMS/TYA, and I'm going to talk about it again right now.

My concern with CC yesterday has nothing to do with his fastball velocity or command, both of which were suspect and both of which were worse than they were at the end of 2012 according to Texas Leaguers.  I've grown accustomed to CC's slow April starts and was fully expecting to see him be a little behind where he usually is because of his offseason elbow surgery, the subsequent delay in the start of his offseason throwing program, and the extra special care the Yankee coaching staff took to limit his ST workload and exposure to AL East competition.  If we're sitting here two months from now talking about CC throwing high-80s heat, then I'll be worried.

My area of interested is in CC's pitch selection yesterday, specifically the use of his slider and changeup.  He was throwing a lot more changeups yesterday than I remember seeing from him, especially with 2 strikes, and I can't help but wonder if that was a coincidence or another example of his elbow/workload being protected.

Some Positive Off-The-Field News

(Coming back soon?  Courtesy of the AP)

The on-field storylines weren't all that positive after yesterday's season opener, but at least the Yankees got some good news off the field on the injury front.  In case you missed any of that:

Game 1 Wrap-Up: BOS 8 NYY 2

(Courtesy of the AP)

It's difficult to find too many positive things to say about yesterday's Opening Day loss.  All the negative things about this team were on display offensively and CC Sabathia, in his first start back from offseason elbow surgery, wasn't particularly sharp against the righty-heavy Bahhston lineup.  That being said, it was just 1 game out of 162 and there's a long way to go before anybody starts freaking out.  If you were unable to join the fun during yesterday's live blog, here's what you missed.

Game Notes:

- CC was his typical early April self yesterday.  His fastball velocity wasn't much, his location was inconsistent, and he wasn't able to make the few pitches he needed to limit damage.  A liner that glanced off Jayson Nix's glove and a few well-placed singles into the holes at short and second led to 4 Fraud Sawck runs in the 2nd, and that was all they would need.

- The offense did their best to chip in, making Jon Lester work in his 5 innings.  They put a runner on base in each of the first 4 innings, but it wasn't until Francisco Cervelli hit a 2-run single with 2 outs in the 4th that they got on the board.

- Sabathia settled down a bit through the 3rd and 4th innings, then got into trouble again in the 5th after giving up a double and a couple walks (one intentional).  He worked out of it and his day was over after 5 IP, 4 ER, and 102 pitches.

- The best chance the offense had was in the 7th, when both Cervelli and Brett Gardner reached with leadoff walks.  They stayed where they were, though, as Bahhston pitching mowed down Eduardo Nunez, Robinson Cano, and Kevin Youkilis in order to end the threat.

- Tough day for the Yankee bullpen.  David Phelps gave up a run on a hit and 2 walks, and Joba Chamberlain unraveled after not getting a close strike call and allowed 3 more runs on 3 hits and 2 more walks to put the game out of reach in the top of the 9th.