Tino Martinez rejoins Yankees as instructor

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Ladies and gentlemen, the “Bamb-Tino” has returned to the Yankees–but just so we’re clear, not to play baseball.

The Yankees have announced Tino Martinez has joined the Yankees as a minor league instructor. He’ll be at the minor league complex until the end of the week and will occasionally visit minor league teams throughout the season.

Martinez is known for helping the Yankees win four World Series championship and five pennants from 1996 to 2001. He previously was a hitting coach for the Miami Marlins in 2013 but re-signed. Just last season, Martinez was honored with a plaque in Monument Park.

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Brian Cashman not concerned with Dellin Betances despite rough spring

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This time last year, Dellin Betances did what seemed to be the impossible: with no options remaining, he was able to win a job out of Spring Training and stay on the roster for the entire season. He became the set-up man to David Robertson, made the All-Star team as a rookie and beat Mariano Rivera‘s strikeout record in a single season. Fast forward to a year later and many wonder where’s the Dellin Betances of last year. He’s given up at least a run in every outing and many are concerned with his fastball. Well, everyone except for Brian Cashman.

“The Betances ‘Where has his velocity gone?’ story is not accurate,” Cashman told the media yesterday. “He’s actually averaging a mile (per hour) higher at this time this spring than last spring. If it’s apples to apples, then he’s right where he was last year. Obviously his performance in the spring is different than the arm strength, but the arm strength is not the issue. Just want to make sure everybody knows that.”

Betances was a game changer during the late innings last season, but the Yankees aren’t going to hold his rough spring against him. In his sophomore year with the team, the Yankees plan on keeping him in the late inning mix, but many question if he’ll be as effective against Major League hitters this season. Every team has seen enough of Betances to make a scouting report on him and if other teams can find cracks in Betances’s armor, it might not be a good thing for the Yankees.

“You just want to make sure it doesn’t affect the confidence,” Cashman said. “I’ve been able to at least ..read more

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Report: Yankees have scouted top Cuban RHP Yadier Alvarez

The Yankees have missed out on multiple big names in the international free agent market, but there’s another player on the organization’s adar.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports is reporting top Cuban RHP Yadier Alvarez is drawing interest from multiple teams, including the Yankees. Other teams interested in Alvarez are the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, Los Angeles Dodgers, Washington Nationals, Texas Rangers, Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Arizona Diamondbacks, Minnesota Twins and the San Francisco Giants.

Alvarez, 19,  throws a fastball consistently at 94-97 MPH but has topped out at 99 MPH. He’s currently petitioning MLB to be made eligible to sign this signing period rather than wait until the next signing period, beginning July 2nd. However, with the Yankees only being able to spend $300,000 during the next signing period,  their only realistic chance of acquiring him is if Alvarez wins his petition to be signed before July 2nd.

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Rodriguez’s first career start at first base was “quite interesting”

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Alex Rodriguez is used to taking the field every game and making routine plays on the infield grass. However during yesterday’s 7-0 win against the Houston Astros, Rodriguez didn’t take grounders at third and instead manned a different position–first base. He made three routine plays at first before he was lifted after three innings; the plan was for Rodriguez to get two at-bats. It just so happened those at-bats came quickly.

Following the game, Rodriguez was surrounded by a barrage of reporters, asking him what were his thoughts of playing first base for the first time in his career. He had to admit it was an interesting experience.

“It was quite interesting after 20 years in the league to see the game from a totally different lens,” Rodriguez said. “It was pretty cool. … Not relieved. It was fun. Any time I get to go out and play the field and play baseball, I have a good time. I do hope, in all seriousness, that I can be an asset for Joe at some point during the year. If Tex or Chase needs a blow at some point, hopefully I can be an asset for Joe at some point.”

The Yankees were rather pleased with what they saw from Rodriguez but they also kept in mind Rodriguez wasn’t going to be manning first often. The job currently belongs to Mark Teixeira and should Teixeira go down, Garrett Jones. Still, having Rodriguez at first base provides the Yankees with more options should they lose their other first basemen to injury, but at the same time they’re not expecting Rodriguez to make flashy Gold-Glove plays.

“It’s not something we’re looking to do,” ..read more

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Yankees cut more players from Major League camp

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As Spring Training begins to wind down, the Yankees continue to make cuts in their attempt to finalize their 25-man roster. Following today’s game, the Yankees made more cuts from Major League camp, ending the players chances of vying for a job on the roster. Here’s were today’s cuts:

— ·Yankees option RHP Bryan Mitchell and OF Ramon Flores to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

— Yankees reassign RHP Kyle Davies,  C Francisco Arcia, INF Cole Figueroa, INF Jonathan Galvez, OF Slade Heathcott, C Kyle Higashioka, LHP Jacob Lindgren and RHP Nick Rumbelow to minor league camp.

As reported this morning, the Yankees also unconditionally released RHP Scott Baker. But Brian Cashman expressed interest in re-signing Baker to a minor league deal.

“We’d like to re-sign Baker,” Cashman said. “We told him we’d like to re-sign him and put him in Triple-A, but obviously he’s going to evaluate the marketplace. I thought he had a good camp. Obviously he took a run at putting himself in the conversation for, at worst, the long man situation that we’re still playing through, whether we take one or two long men. We’ve got more things to work out, but we had to make a call because we were contractually obligated to ..read more

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Headley homers in 7-0 win over Astros

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Today was eventful for the Yankees, varying from Alex Rodriguez playing first base to Mark Teixeira suffering a knee contusion. However, the Yankees ended the day on a good note, beating the Houston Astros 7-0 at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, Florida.

The Yankees put a run on the board in the third inning on a Chase Headley homer, his third home-run of the Spring. In the fourth Slade Heathcott singled and a wild pitch scored Rob Refsnyder. In the top of the six, Refsnyder doubled, Headley singled, and John Ryan Murphy reached on a fielding error which allowed the seventh run to score.

Nathan Eovaldi started the game for the Yankees, going 4.2 scoreless innings while striking out five. Chase Whitley retired the lone batter he faced, Esmil Rogers pitched 1.2 scoreless innings, Chasen Shreve pitched 1.1 scoreless innings and Jose Ramirez pitched a scoreless inning.

What’s Next?

— The Yankees are off tomorrow, but on Tuesday they’ll take on the Minnesota Twins in Fort Meyers. The Yankees have yet to announce a starter but the hitters will face Tommy Milone. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m. and the game will air on MLB ..read more

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Mark Teixeira diagnosed with right knee contusion

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Mark Teixeira was playing in a minor league game early this morning only to be hit on his right knee with a baseball and forcing him out of the game. Just before the first pitch of today’s Yankees/Astros game, the Yankees announced Teixeira was diagnosed with a right knee contusion (bruise).

The Yankees aren’t sending Teixeira to get tests done, but they did give him ice for his knee. Teixeira is expected to be okay.

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Spring Training Notes: Gregorius, Rodriguez and Sabathia

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The Yankees are heading to Kissimmee, Florida this afternoon to take on the Houston Astros, and while most of the regulars aren’t in the lineup, Alex Rodriguez is–but not at third base or DH. Also, there’s an update on Didi Gregorius and CC Sabathia had a choice of words after his lackluster start against a minor league team. Here’s a few quick Spring Training notes before this afternoon’s contest.

— Didi Gregorius entered camp this morning and said his wrist was feeling better. He expects to take BP on Tuesday and hopes to get into a game on Wednesday. Yesterday, Gregorius was nervous about his wrist, especially when it caused him pain on a check-swing.

“I was feeling fine (initially),” Gregorius said. “I could move my hand normally, but on the last swing, the check swing, that’s when it bothered me a little bit. … On the check swing, I couldn’t hold my bat. That’s when I felt like something was wrong. But the X-ray was fine, so I’ll just wait a couple days.”

— Alex Rodriguez is slated to play a few innings at first base today. The Yankees had been toying with the idea all Spring but today they’re finally going to see if Rodriguez is a candidate as a back-up to Garrett Jones who’s the back-up to Mark Teixeira.

— CC Sabathia played in a minor league game yesterday to avoid facing an AL East opponent. The problem was, Sabathia had a mess of an outing, giving up four runs in five innings of work, including a home run. Sabathia insists he’s fine, but for those weighing heavily on his poor Spring, Sabathia ..read more

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