Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Yankees Have Options for the Pen

If there is such a thing as having to many options when it comes to the bullpen, then it's safe to say the Yankees currently have that problem.. The bullpen is such a vital part of a team. The Yankees will probably have some tough choices to make once Spring Training ends.

By all accounts, the bullpen has 3 spots that are up for the taking. Girardi has said he won't necessarily put a left handed specialist in the pen, unless someone really stands out to him.

Today, the Yankees play an intrasquad game. There are 13 pitchers due to pitch today, and 12 of them are fighting for those 3 bullpen spots.

But that's only part of the list of players fighting for a spot. There is also Chase Wright, Kei Igawa, Brian Bruney, Chris Britton, Jose Veras and Jeffrey Marquez (Though he is real a long-shot).
All of them are sure to get work in the next few days as the Yankees try and make a choice on who to take with them when they had north to New York.

If I had to guess, I'd say the Yankees would first look to take one long-relief man. That would have to be either Rasner, Igawa or Karstens.. I'll just guess it's Karstens because he has the experience and pitched pretty well over the winter for Team USA

I also think the Yankees will give Edwar Ramirez a shot early on in the season. He has a bit of MLB experience and offers a change of pace from all the hard stuff the rest of the bullpen throws. He got knocked around pretty hard in the majors, but its hard to ignore his numbers in the minor leagues

I also think that Giradri will decide to take at least one left hander. Again, I think Igawa has a chance at this spot. The Yankees will give him every chance to succeed. I think the wild card here will be Billy Traber. He has had a spotty career, but has always handled left handed hitters fairly well. That said, there has been word that Sean Henn has been pitching well in the early going, so it wouldn't surprise me if he made the team too. He's also out of options, so he could be gone if they don't add him to the MLB roster.

Who do you think should fill in the last 3 bullpen spots?

Friday, February 15, 2008

A Sign of Spring

This is a fantastic day..

Pitchers and catchers checked in yesterday, but today marks the first full day of practice and drills..

This has to be one of my favorite parts of the season. Every team comes in with a clean slate.

In the next few days we'll be hearing interviews and reports from all the camps, we'll get a look at the new comers on the team. We'll get to see what a Joe Giradri led Yankee team looks like. Things will slowly start to take shape, we'll get a feel for what the lineup will look like, as well as the rotation and bullpen.

This is a team that is a lot different from the last few years. It is filled with youth, but still has the solid veteran presence that we're use to.. Slowly this Yankee team will develop an identity of it's own that it will carry through this season.. And that all starts today.

Heres a link to NewsDay who have some pictures from yesterday.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Someone to Keep an Eye on This Spring..

In the middle of January the Yankees signed a 27 year old pitcher named Billy Traber, and invited him to Spring Training..

Traber was a first round pick back in 2000, but never lived up to his hype.. Hes been floating around different minor league systems ever since.

So why should we keep an eye on him? Because he is a lefty.

If Giradri goes the route of 'matchups' then the Yankees have Traber, Sean Henn, Kei Igawa, and Chase Wright competing for the 'lefty-specialist' spot on the roster..

Here's what left-handed batters hit off of these four pitchers last season:

Traber: .176 Avg
Chase Wright: .250 Avg
Sean Henn: .288 Avg
Kei Igawa: .320 Avg (wow)

Numbers do mean little when it comes down to it, and these are limited samples... But right now, of those pitchers it's Traber that has had the best success, in general, against lefties.

They'll give Igawa a big chance, because of the money they have wrapped up in him.. But keep your eye on Billy Traber