Wednesday, February 26, 2014

2014 Spring Training Roster Battles: Utility Infielder

(Knee me up, Scotty!  Nailed it.  Courtesy of the AP)

Truth be told, I'm scared to death about the projected starting infield this year.  75% of it consists of mid-30s and older guys who have struggled with injuries over the last 1-4 years, and 2 of those players played a combined 32 games in 2013.  The one healthy starter is stepping into a full-time role at a position he's only played 18 games at in his career, so yeah, things aren't exactly on solid ground with respect to anticipated infield production.

That being the case, the Yankees are going to need a solid infield bench behind this group and the utility infield role will be the most important role of the bunch.  Shortstop is already locked down with Brendan Ryan.  What the Yankees really need is a guy who can be a reliable backup to Brian Roberts at second and Kelly Johnson at third, and maybe have the ability to throw a first baseman's glove on in a pinch.  Out of all the candidates for the job, there are 3 who stand out as the real competitors.  I expect they'll all get a long look at each and every infield position at some point this spring to determine who is the best option.

Yanks Still Mining For Injured/Rehabbing Roster Gold

(Pass.  Courtesy of Howard Simmons/NY Daily News)

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

In the never-ending quest to add more pitching depth, the Yankees were among several teams on hand to watch Johan Santana throw in Florida yesterday.  He's attempting to work his way back from a second shoulder capsule surgery in less than 3 years and the Yanks have been linked to him for months.  According to George King, Santana was sitting 77-78 MPH with his velocity and he maxed out at 81.  That is a far cry from the upper-80s he was throwing the last time he was on a Major League mound, and while King did say his changeup looked "impressive", I question whether Major League hitters would feel the same when it's coming at them at basically the same speed as his fastball.

Spring Training News And Notes: 2/25/14

(Courtesy of the AP)

- The Yanks won their ST opener 8-3 against Jameis Winston and Florida State yesterday.  Highlights included 2 scoreless innings with 3 K from Vidal Nuno, a 2-2 day for John Ryan Murphy with 2 doubles, and a 2-2 day with a homer from Ramon Flores.

- Ivan Nova starts today's game, which will feature Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Carlos Beltran in the starting lineup.  3 Yankee debuts in 1 game.  Nice.

- The rest of the team got a full morning workout in before the game.  Shawn Kelley and David Robertson threw BP and Alfonso Soriano took some hacks.  He should be back to full, regular activity today.

- Joe announced that CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, and Masahiro Tanaka would all be making their ST debuts in Saturday's game.  Sabathia will start, Hirok and Tanaka will come out of the 'pen, all will start innings to simulate a real game situation.  Eventually this will work into their regular ST rotation when the extra rest days kick in.