NY Spring Training News and Notes

ThePrideofShiner

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Lets kick it off with some injury news:


Sherman: Prospect Mike King has a stress reaction in elbow and is shut down for 3 weeks b4 MRI to determine next step
 

jon abbey

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I think the whole Ellsbury situation has been very suspicious for more than a year now, I'm not sure how many of these injuries are actually real. I don't know why he'd agree to go along with it, but it's just too odd, he comes up with an injury every time he gets close to joining the team. Also he basically never even visited the team last year (and the one time he did in Tampa, they immediately went on a losing streak, heh).

The Mike King thing is a bummer, a bit similar to Chance Adams who dominated every level up through AAA in 2017, then got hurt that offseason and has yet to recover. Hopefully King gets back to himself quicker...
 

crow216

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Worst Yankee free agent signing ever? I know that covers some ground but Ellsbury seems a clear-cut choice.
It is. I can't think of a single signing that comes close. In relative dollars and value he provided, he is a total waste of payroll space.
 

jon abbey

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That whole winter wasn’t really his fault if you recall. Hal wanted to get under $189M or whatever it was then, NY had a ton of injuries to prospects and it was clear maybe a year earlier that it wasn’t going to work but they persisted anyway, until pivoting on a dime that Nov or Dec and throwing money at whoever would take it.
 

jon abbey

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They’re getting insurance money for him so I’m sure the insurance company will investigate it. It does all seem really dubious from afar.
 

crow216

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It's possible that the Yankees are slowrolling his injuries. Perhaps he could have taken care of the plantar issue last year or months ago and they chose to wait. I agree this is all pretty fishy, especially when you consider that Cashman never even pretends to consider Ellsbury as a viable option for the roster. During none of his interviews had he ever brought up that Ellsbury would be competing in spring training for a roster spot or outfield spot.
 

jon abbey

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In totally coincidental news, teams can now put players on the 60 day DL again to free up 40 man roster spots. The spot opens up immediately but the 60 days starts on Opening Day, Jordan Montgomery would likely be first to go for NY (expected back around the ASB).
 

Whiteroom802

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I wish it was like a normal job. You don't perform, you get fired with very little severance package. That money should go to someone deserving like Aaron Judge.
You want professional sports to be 'at will' emloyment? Think that through to the end.
 

EvilEmpire

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I wonder how that would work out if on the other side of the ledger teams couldn't lock up young talent at fixed rates and if all players could opt out of contracts every year.
 

Couperin47

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I wonder how that would work out if on the other side of the ledger teams couldn't lock up young talent at fixed rates and if all players could opt out of contracts every year.
A system in which the teams have almost no protection from their own stupidity and all but the current proven stars have zero security ? As it is baseball has enough problems attracting top domestic athletes, sounds like an excellent plan to further it's decline.
 

joe dokes

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I wish it was like a normal job. You don't perform, you get fired with very little severance package. That money should go to someone deserving like Aaron Judge.
Very few people consider the NFL a "normal job."


I wonder how that would work out if on the other side of the ledger teams couldn't lock up young talent at fixed rates and if all players could opt out of contracts every year.
Wasn't that Charley Finley's proposal to kill off the MLBPA -- declare all players free agents at the same time?
 

BigMike

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A system in which the teams have almost no protection from their own stupidity and all but the current proven stars have zero security ? As it is baseball has enough problems attracting top domestic athletes, sounds like an excellent plan to further it's decline.
And make no mistake it was their own stupidity when they signed him. Elsbury had one great year, a couple ok years, and a couple injured years, in his 7.5 major league seasons, and the Yankees gave him 7/153, and guess what he has had a couple of ok year, a couple bad years, and now a couple injured. Just a baffling signing at the time, and they got exactly what most would have predicted they were going to get
 

moondog80

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Cashman’s tombstone will read: Shrewd GM except for signing Ellsbury.
Deals like this and Sanodval are simply the cost of doing business for high revenue teams. Once you decide that you are going to play the mega-contract game (and there is no other way to take advantage of huge revenues), it is inevitable that you will have one or two of these on the payroll at any given moment.
 

jon abbey

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OK, there are other threads for this discussion, let's keep this one to NY spring training.
 

NYCSox

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That whole winter wasn’t really his fault if you recall. Hal wanted to get under $189M or whatever it was then, NY had a ton of injuries to prospects and it was clear maybe a year earlier that it wasn’t going to work but they persisted anyway, until pivoting on a dime that Nov or Dec and throwing money at whoever would take it.
Man, I've got to find a job where I can get credit for every positive thing and avoid blame for any negative thing.
 

jon abbey

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Man, I've got to find a job where I can get credit for every positive thing and avoid blame for any negative thing.
Except that’s not what’s happening, Hal stopped interfering soon after that and everything for at least the last 2 1/2 years is solely on Cashman, including the non-Machado/Harper moves.
 

crow216

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Sabathia will hold a press conference Saturday to announce this is his last season.
Silly. He's been saying it on every podcast.

By the way, no matter what team you root for, R2C2 is an amazing podcast. The guests and conversations are so damn candid and interesting.
 

jon abbey

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My guess is he's doing it more to lock himself into it than anything else, he talked about last year being his last too and then seemed to change his mind once the BOS/NY games in London were announced.
 

jon abbey

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I saw a promising interview with Zacc Britton and Peter Gammons on MLBN, he said he wasn't able to consistently plant and drive all last season. He didn't say it, but presumably this is why he lost the plate so badly at times. He said his doctor had told him all along it would take him probably a full year to get back to full strength and he thinks that is where he is again now {he tore his Achilles in Dec 2017). If he is back to prime Britton from a few years ago, and that is our seventh inning guy, yes please.

Also someone finally asked Chapman about his knee which he does not like to talk about if at all possible, and he gave the detailed and lengthy answer of 'it's good'. So we'll see there too, I wish someone smarter than Boone was in charge, no matter how much he is prepped beforehand. On the other hand, Cashman has made the bullpen as hard to mess up as any ever, they can even go with a third lefty if they want in Tarpley.
 

jon abbey

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First NY game is Saturday, I believe, Tulowitzki's first game will be Monday or Tuesday. Boone said he wants to give him two days off a week to start the season.
 

terrynever

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I saw a promising interview with Zacc Britton and Peter Gammons on MLBN, he said he wasn't able to consistently plant and drive all last season. He didn't say it, but presumably this is why he lost the plate so badly at times. He said his doctor had told him all along it would take him probably a full year to get back to full strength and he thinks that is where he is again now {he tore his Achilles in Dec 2017). If he is back to prime Britton from a few years ago, and that is our seventh inning guy, yes please.

Also someone finally asked Chapman about his knee which he does not like to talk about if at all possible, and he gave the detailed and lengthy answer of 'it's good'. So we'll see there too, I wish someone smarter than Boone was in charge, no matter how much he is prepped beforehand. On the other hand, Cashman has made the bullpen as hard to mess up as any ever, they can even go with a third lefty if they want in Tarpley.
Saw that Britton comment, too. If he reverts back to his prime, that’s going to be awesome.
 

jon abbey

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One interesting detail from this first week is that LeMahieu will be 3B/2B/1B only, Gleyber is the backup SS (and then DJL can play his best position). Also Boone said they have LeMahieu starting 145 games if healthy, so I will guess something like this is the current infield plan:

1B: Voit or Bird 130, LeMahieu 32
2B: Gleyber 120, LeMahieu 42
SS: something like Tulo 70, Gleyber 30 and by then hopefully Didi is back
3B: Andujar 89, LeMahieu 73 (Andujar gets another 60 at DH, Stanton goes to LF on those days)

That seems like too many for LeMahieu overall, but some metrics really love him, including presumably the Yankees'. BP's new DRA system had him as the 25th most valuable position player in MLB last year:

https://legacy.baseballprospectus.com/sortable/index.php?cid=2763380

NY has one position player spot open if no one is hurt: Sanchez, Voit or Bird, Gleyber, Tulo, Andujar, Stanton, Hicks, Judge, LeMahieu, Gardner, Romine is 11 and with a 8 man bullpen, there are only 12 position players. Clint Frazier winning the LF job would be the best case scenario except that would mean more Andujar at 3B, so Wade may be more likely at this point and I can still see a case for Gio Urshela, who could play 3B, Andujar to DH, Stanton to LF, Gardner to the bench. LeMahieu can do this too, but then he can't back up 2B and 1B.
 

jon abbey

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Reports are that MLB is now not asking for a 20 second pitch clock until 2022, which would make Tanaka (27) and Chapman (29) both very happy.
 

jon abbey

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3 1/2 weeks until Opening Day, and NY's roster is looking fairly locked in. There is one position player spot open (Bird I think is leading here) and the final two bullpen spots (Kahnle and Cessa are both out of options and have looked solid so far)

Hicks CF
Judge RF
Stanton LF
Andujar 3B
Voit DH
Sanchez C
Bird 1B
Tulo SS
Gleyber 2B

Bench: LeMahieu, Gardner, Romine (those three back up everywhere except SS, which is Gleyber and LeMahieu to 2B).

Severino
Paxton
Tanaka
Happ
CC

Cessa
Kahnle
Holder
Green
Ottavino
Britton
Betances
Chapman

AAA: Frazier, Wade, Loaisiga, German, Tarpley (all with chances to make the team but also all have options).
 

RedOctober3829

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Luis Severino has "rotator cuff inflammation," Aaron Boone says. He's shut down for two weeks.

My guess is that if it's just inflammation that Severino won't return until late April at the earliest. He's going to have to start from scratch after being shut down for 2 weeks(if that's all he's down for).
 

crow216

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Bryan Hoch saying the prognosis is generally optimistic. Huge blow in March if its anything serious at all. Late April is fine, would probably only cost 2-3 starts if that's the case.
 

RedOctober3829

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Bryan Hoch saying the prognosis is generally optimistic. Huge blow in March if its anything serious at all. Late April is fine, would probably only cost 2-3 starts if that's the case.
The only thing I wonder is if there's an issue in the shoulder that stems from last year's struggles and they might find it after the shoulder calms down.
 

jon abbey

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Kind of ‘funny’ that both Hicks and he signed extensions and immediately got hurt, albeit hopefully minor things.
 

pokey_reese

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Given all of the early off days and likelihood of weather postponements, resting him in April gives him the best shot to be healthier down the stretch without sacrificing many wins at the beginning of the season. Assuming it's actually just some inflammation, makes sense to just lighten the load. Would anyone be that shocked if Sale had some early fatigue and skipped a start or two in ST/April, just to be cautious?
 

crow216

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Given all of the early off days and likelihood of weather postponements, resting him in April gives him the best shot to be healthier down the stretch without sacrificing many wins at the beginning of the season. Assuming it's actually just some inflammation, makes sense to just lighten the load. Would anyone be that shocked if Sale had some early fatigue and skipped a start or two in ST/April, just to be cautious?
Good points but you still don’t want to see any important players start the year off with concerns. I know I’ll be holding my breath until we get a good month out of Severino throwing 98mph.

I also think his velocity did see a very slight drop late last season.
 

jon abbey

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Sabathia will start the season on the DL.
FWIW, this has been the plan all along after his surgery, that he is a week or two behind. Once he is activated, he has a 5 game suspension to serve also, where NY will have to go with a 24 man roster.