Thursday, March 6, 2014

And The Left-Handed Jedi Passes On His Greatest Lesson...

Via George King, it sounds like there was a very specific purpose for Andy Pettitte's ST guest instructor visit this year:

“I always have conversations about pitching [with Pettitte],” Sabathia said of the retired left-hander who was in Yankees camp this week and threw batting practice. “He showed me the grip for the cutter. I used it [Thursday in a simulated game] and I am going to take it into the game.’’

Awesome.  Love it.  Regardless of whether the velocity comes up from 88 or not, adding a cutter should help keep hitters honest against CC's fastball this year and thereby make his slider and changeup more effective.  If it proves to be an effective pitch for the big fella, the Steinbrenners might have to give Andy another few million just as a thank you.

"The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together."

Early Spring Training Winners And Losers

(Yangervis Solarte, Spring Training MVP.  Courtesy of US Presswire)

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

The Spring Training game schedule is now a shade over a week old after yesterday's game.  Not all of the starting pitchers have made 2 appearances yet, not all of the starting position players have seen a ton of action yet, and there's still a handful of players who have yet to make their 2014 debut.  In so many words, it's still very early.  With only 9 games down and another 3+ weeks to go, Spring Training 2014 and all its associated roster battles are not even close to being over, and what will happen over the next 3+ weeks will surely factor more heavily into the final 25-man decisions than what's happened over the last 9 games.  That said, it's not like the first 9 games have been completely meaningless.  Here are some of the early spring camp winners and losers thus far.

Report: Mariners Scouting David Phelps

Via George King:

"The Mariners had a scout watch Phelps, who is the leading candidate to be the Yankees’ fifth starter but who could be expandable with Adam Warren or, possibly, Michael Pineda finding his way into that slot."

It's no secret that Seattle is hurting big time for starting pitching right now.  It's also no secret that the Yankees have very good depth at that spot and there's a long recent history of the M's and Yanks as trade partners, so it's only natural that Seattle would be scouting the Yankee staff.  King's report makes David Phelps the target and in theory this could be a good match.  Phelps would be an upgrade over every non-King Felix pitcher currently penciled into the Seattle rotation and Nick Franklin, former top infield prospect who's become expendable as a result of the Robbie Cano signing, would be an ideal player for the Yankees to target for their infield.

Between this and the continued scouting and rumors involving the Brewers, ChiSox, and D'backs, it's looking more and more like we're going to see a trade at some point before the end of Spring Training.

Spring Training News And Notes: 3/5/14

- Yanks took a 5-4 loss yesterday thanks to Robert Coello giving up 4 ER in 0.1 innings.  Adam Warren made his second spring start and gave up 1 ER on 4 hits in 2.1 innings of work, walking none and striking out 2.

- Eduardo Nunez was the big offensive star, going 3-3 with a double and a R scored.  He's having a nice little start to his 2014 campaign.

- Back at camp, Mark Teixeira was a little testy after a second straight day of limited-to-no BP for him.  He got just 5 swings due to a lack of available pitchers, but is still slated to play his first ST game today.

- Yesterday's bullpens: Jose Campos, ManBan, Nova, D-Rob, Shawn Kelley

- Masahiro Tanaka makes his second appearances and first start as a Yankee today.  He's scheduled for 3 innings and probably 40-45 pitches.