Alex Rodriguez slated to make his Spring debut

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The Yankees are slated to take the field this afternoon at George M. Steinbrenner Field, but the one getting most of the attention is Alex Rodriguez, who hasn’t played in approximately 17 months. If you have access to a television, the game will be on the YES Network at 1:00 p.m.

In the meantime, here are a few thoughts going into today’s game that have to do with Rodriguez–and some of the other Yankees on the roster.

— Rodriguez hasn’t seen Major League pitching in almost two years, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t have a particularly good day at the plate. I’d love for him to have a great day at the plate, but just like everyone else, Rodriguez has some rust to shake off. Even if that rust is two-years worth.

— If you think Rodriguez isn’t nervous about making his  Spring Training game debut in almost two years, then you’re wrong.

“I’ll be a little nervous, for sure,” Rodriguez said to the New York media yesterday morning, prior to the Yankees heading to Clearwater to play the Phillies. “I haven’t been in front of our fans for a long time, I’m excited about that. I have some challenges ahead.”

Nathan Eovaldi is making his Yankees debut, and after watching video of him all winter, I’m excited to see what he has to offer to the Yankees this season. He has a great fastball, has good breaking pitches and throws hard. The Yankees would like Eovaldi to mix in his breaking balls more so he can produce more strikeouts, which is surprising since he throws 98 MPH.

— The Yankees have most of their “A-Lineup” in: Brian McCann is the ..read more

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Yankees prospect Luis Torrens to have season ending shoulder surgery

One of the Yankees top prospects is going to end up missing the entire 2015 season due to shoulder surgery.

The Yankees have announced minor league catching prospect Luis Torrens will undergo season ending surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder. The surgery will be performed by Dr. Steven Altchek at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

Torens, 18,  was pegged as the ninth-best prospect in the Yankees farm system by Baseball America. Among many of his strengths was his powerful throwing arm.

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Judge hits three-run blast in 5-5 tie vs. Phillies

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As the 2015 exhibition season began in Clearwater, the Yankees, like every other team, appeared rusty. But the only way to shake off the rust was to play some baseball. After getting a quick lead in the first, the Yankees failed to score until the ninth inning, but in the end, the game ended on a good note as the Yankees headed home with a 5-5 tie against the Philadelphia Phillies at Brighthouse Field in Clearwater, Florida.

In the first inning, Jose Pirela singled on a ground ball to Domonic Brown, scoring Chris Young. Young was the first Yankee player to have a hit in Spring Training, ironically after he was the only player yesterday to strike out vs. a pitching machine. The Yankees didn’t score again until the ninth inning when Aaron Judge cleared the wall with a three-run home run, scoring Jake Cave and Slade Heathcott.

Adam Warren started the game for the Yankees, going two innings and giving up one hit. Luis Severino made his Spring debut and went 1.1 innings, giving up two runs on four hits and striking out two. Diego Moreno gave up a run on one hit in 1.2 innings, Nick Goody pitched a scoreless inning, Jacob Lindgren gave up two runs after only retiring two batters, Branden Pinder pitched 1.1 scoreless innings and Chasen Shreve closed out the game with a scoreless ninth.

What’s Next?

— The Yankees ..read more

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Yankees head to Clearwater to begin Spring schedule

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Today we have reached another important date in the 2015 season: The Yankees head up to Clearwater to play against the Philadelphia Phillies in their Grapefruit League opener.

Here’s a few thoughts before the Yankees take the field for the first time in 2015:

Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner are both in the lineup, and Joe Girardi has Ellsbury leading off and Gardner batting second. With Ellsbury and Gardner going to Clearwater, it appears Girardi is tinkering with the idea of who should leadoff and who should hit second in the order. Personally, Ellsbury/Gardner is ideal, but this is one thing the Yankees toy with throughout the Spring.

Austin Romine is the staring catcher in today’s game. John Ryan Murphy will get into the game later, but as Joe Girardi said at the beginning of Spring Training, the players aren’t going to impress him the first day of camp or the first week. It took Dellin Betances a few weeks last Spring to impress the Yankees and it looks to be the same thing this season.

Luis Severino and Jacob Lindgren are slated to pitch this afternoon, and personally I’m looking forward to seeing what the both of them have to offer against the Phillies. I’ve seen previous video of the both of them, but today’s the first time I’m going to see them pitch live.  It’s always important to leave a first impression, will the both of them do so?

Rob Refsnyder is also slated to get into the game. Maybe he can ..read more

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Getting to know the Major League roster–with stats

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The New York Yankees released their 2015 New York Yankees Media Guide today and after getting my copy, I skimmed through and found some interesting stats on the players locked to make the 25-man roster. So I decided to share the stats I found the most interesting in the media guide. Who knows, one of these stats could end up being a trivia question on YES this season.

Carlos Beltran: Carlos Beltran has the fourth-most home runs by a switch hitter in all of baseball with 373. He’s behind Mickey Mantle (536), Eddie Murray (504) and Chipper Jones (468). To round out the top five, Beltran has more home runs than Lance Berkman (366).

Dellin Betances: Dellin Betances holds the third lowest single-season H/9.0IP ratio in Major League history with a minimum of 75 IP. Betances (2014, 4.60, 46H, 90 IP) is behind Eric Gagne (2003, 4.04, 37H, 82.1 IP) and Carlos Marmol (2008, 4.12, 40H, 87.1 IP).

Chris Capuano: Chris Capuano has 36 career pickoffs, which is tied for third among all Major League pitchers since 2003.

David Carpenter: David Carpenter was drafted as a catcher and remained at the position until the 2008 season. As a catcher, he hit .208 (64-for-308) with 2 HR’s, 25 RBI’s and 17 doubles from 2006 – 2008.

Stephen Drew: Stephen Drew is the only Major Leaguer to record double-digits in doubles, triples and home-runs from 2008 – 2010.

Jacoby Ellsbury: Jacoby Ellsbury has the highest single-season stolen base percentage in ..read more

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Alex Rodriguez to make Spring debut on Wednesday

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After the Yankees completed their intrasquad game, Joe Girardi announced Alex Rodriguez was going to make his Spring debut on Wednesday at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Interestingly enough, the game on Wednesday is being televised on the YES Network and Nathan Eovaldi is slated to start that game.

And for those wondering, which I know you were, Rodriguez did participate in the intrasquad game and went 0-for-2. Rodriguez playing in the intrasquad game was the first time he saw pitching in almost two years. (By the way, no one started the game, the hitters faced a pitching machine).

Carlos Beltran didn’t play in the intrasquad game this afternoon and Joe Girardi said he plans on leaving Beltran out of games until Friday. Beltran says he feels good when it comes to hitting and throwing, but Joe Girardi wants Beltran to take things slow.

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Random thoughts going into tomorrow’s Spring opener

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The Yankees are playing an intrasquad game today in preparation for their Grapefruit League opener tomorrow. It would be the first “baseball game” the Yankees have played since last September, and for Alex Rodriguez, it would be the first game he’s played in almost two years. As the games begin tomorrow, I had some thoughts about what happened over the last week and a half and I figured I’d share some of my musings before the baseball season begins tomorrow.

— A lot of the focus has been on Alex Rodriguez, and I mean a lot. Over the last week, there has been non-stop coverage of A-Rod and fairly so: he’s been out of the game for the last two years and everyone is interested in seeing whether he can return to playing form. So far, I’ve heard Rodriguez is doing pretty well: he’s been hitting batting practice homers and fielding grounders. It’s not the same as actually getting into a Spring Training game, but it’s something.

— The attention surrounding Didi Gregorius has almost been mute, which is the opposite of what people were expecting. Greogrius is replacing Derek Jeter, so you would think Gregorius would get most of the attention. But because of Alex Rodriguez’s return to baseball, Gregorius–like most of the Yankees–have flown under the radar.

Joe Girardi announced who he was taking with him to Clearwater tomorrow as the team faces the Philadelphia Phillies. The list included Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, Chris Young, Garrett Jones, Rob Refsnyder, ..read more

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Yankees unsure when Alex Rodriguez will make Spring debut

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Earlier today, the Yankees announced their starters for the first three games of Spring Training. However, one thing that wasn’t disclosed was when Alex Rodriguez would play his first Spring game.

Manager Joe Girardi toyed with the idea of having Rodriguez go with the team on Tuesday to Clearwater when the Yankees play the Philadelphia Phillies since Girardi is under the impression the Yankees can use the DH rule in a National League ballpark. If not, Rodriguez could start Wednesday at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

In the meantime, the Yankees are playing an intrasquad game tomorrow, but Girardi said he was unsure whether Rodriguez was going to participate. Although Rodriguez’s Spring debut is questionable, he did take grounders at first base–with a third base glove. He’ll most likely use a first base glove when he seriously mans the position but for now it’s just about him getting comfortable at the position.

Some Notes

— Joe Girardi said he wasn’t sure when CC Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda and Chris Capuano would make their Spring debuts. Tanaka is slated to throw a bullpen tomorrow and Pineda threw a bullpen today.

“His [Pineda] command was outstanding,” Girardi said. “The movement was great. His slider was good. His changeup was good. Threw a ton of strikes. I mean, he’s a strike thrower. You look at a lot of his games last year, there is not a high pitch count in his games. He is very efficient. He’s great.”

— Tuesday’s game will be the first time most of the players will see live pitching since the end of last season, but Girardi isn’t ..read more

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