Competitions draw to a close as final day of Spring Training arrives

Dellin Betances 2Technically the final day of the exhibition season is tomorrow, but today is the last day the Yankees will play baseball in Florida. Although it’s the last day in camp, there are still jobs to be one and competitions going on but the Yankees will make those decisions either today or tomorrow when the Yankees make a quick trip to Washington to take on the Nationals. One of the competitions came to a close yesterday when the Yankees sent Chase Whitley down to the minors, kept Esmil Rogers as the long man and placed both Chasen Shreve and Chris Martin in the bullpen. However, there are two more competitions in camp that need ironing out.

Who’s The Closer?

— All offseason, the Yankees toyed with the idea of using both Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller as the closers. They both have a locked-in spot on the roster and with the departure of David Robertson, the Yankees figured they would use the “closer by committee”. However, after watching both Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller pitch this Spring, I’m convinced there should only be one closer–and it shouldn’t be Betances. Betances finally broke his streak of giving up a run in every outing, but his most recent outing had two runners on base. After watching Betances pitch all Spring, I wouldn’t feel comfortable sending him out there in the ninth inning, especially since he hasn’t ironed out his mechanics yet. Andrew Miller on the other hand has a 2.57 ERA and struck out eight in seven innings of work. With the season beginning on Monday, I’d feel more comfortable handing the ball off to Miller in the ninth inning. Girardi is still going to do “closer by committee” but unless Betances goes back to his 2014 form, I’ll hold my breath every time he comes in a game.

Who’s the Back-Up Catcher?

— One of the first competitions in camp still has no conclusion and that’s mainly because Joe Girardi plans on announcing the back-up catcher tomorrow evening. All Spring, the competition has been between Austin Romine and John Ryan Murphy and what could be the deciding factor is Romine has no minor league options remaining  Neither Romine or Murphy have looked impressive offensively this Spring, but the offense isn’t what’s going to be the deciding factor.

“€œI think defense has to come first in that situation.” Joe Girardi said. “Pitchers being comfortable, you want them to be able to work. So we have a tough decision.”

With options coming into play, it seems Romine could have the advantage, but as a thought, Romine could be a great option at catcher for any team.

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11 Responses to Competitions draw to a close as final day of Spring Training arrives

  1. Robert Rufa says:

    Speaking of catchers, here are McCann's spring numbers: 37 AB, .243, 2 HR, 6 RBI, .432 SLG, .742 OPS. Is he picking up where he left off last year? By contrast, here are Cervelli's: 32 AB, .344, 4 HR, 8 RBI, .844 SLG, 1.319 OPS. I realize it's only spring training, and I realize what counts is how a player performs when it's for real, but it will be interesting to see if trading Cervelli turns out to be one of NY's most colossal mistakes ever. I've always believed that what Cervelli needed was the chance to be the first-string catcher.

    • Celerino says:

      There have been plenty of opportunities for him to seize the starting job, but he kept getting hurt or suspended. As for how history treats the trade, we can evaluate that now. The best you can realistically expect from him this year is to match his lifetime slash line of 278 /.348 /.381 even though he'll be facing all pitchers, not pick and choose as he was as a backup. Even if he stays healthy for a full year, trading him for a good reliever is a pretty reasonable trade.

    • hotdog says:

      I've always liked Cervelli but you could never count on him to play without some kind of problem ending his season or sidelining him for a long stretch or two…i'm rooting for Cervelli to have an all-star type year as I think he's capable of that but I have no ill feelings about the Yankees moving on…i was not happy about the Yankees signing McCann as I didn't think he'd return to form but he is what he is…the Yankees are still transitioning off Jorge Posada…it will take some time before we have another Yankee catcher that matches with a Posada, at least with offense numbers…i'd like to believe that there's another solid catcher in the system that can play for 15 years and make a name for himself…the Yankees have had a long history of very talented catchers…

    • mikefoxtrot says:

      trading Cervelli wasn't any kind of mistake. Murphy is a far better catchher

    • Mike Sommer says:

      Too little information to go by. Do you know what the 1961 Yankees spring training record was? I'll tell you. 9-20. Things turned out ok that year. Plus, maybe we should check Cervelli for the PEDs again.

  2. Balt Yank says:

    I always liked Cervelli as well. In many ways, he reminds me of Jim Leyritz who was a great slugging back up for us and could have started. Cervelli of course is a solid single, doubles guy who had a lot of injuries. Yes, we will see if McCann is better than either this year.

  3. hotdog says:

    Good to see CC throw some solid innings…i don't count the first…:-)

    Yankees are finishing pretty low in the offensive categories…28th in batting average…i'm hoping this changes for the better and is not an omen of the future…we do have guys that can hit…

    • mick says:

      CC worked hard to go thru his pitch progression. He was terrific after that first inning. Absolutely, the Yankees have hitters in their lineup, and a few in the minors who are close in the next season or two. Refsnyder, Bird, Judge, Jageilo, and my choice, Heathcott are all moving in the right direction. The Yanks also have some solid young pitching to go with those in the Show. I'm thrilled with the kids, and the way the Yanks are allowing them to season in the minors. Kids need to play everyday. The Yanks are far better, bottom to top of the organization, than many think. Good post, hotdog.

  4. Henry says:

    Very nice and wonderful post. Thanks for sharing.

  5. scooter10 says:

    I think it's a no brainer to keep Romine. Let Murphy play every day at AAA and Sanchez play every day at AA. As for the closer by committee concept, I'm open although my pick would be Miller. Betances/Wilson/Carpenter can handle the 7th and 8th innings.

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