2/28 – Yankees vs. Twins

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Tampa.jpgGreetings from Steinbrenner Field, where the Yankees are set to play the Twins for the second consecutive day — Minnesota returning the favor from that five-hour round trip on Interstates 75 and 275.

Prior to today’s game, the Yankees will announce that Brett Gardner and Phil Coke have been named the winners of the 2008 Kevin Lawn Awards as the club’s Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year.

Here are the lineups:

Saturday, February 28 — George M. Steinbrenner Field — Tampa, Fla.

MINNESOTA TWINS
Denard Span RF
Nick Punto SS
Delmon Young LF
Jason Kubel DH
Brian Buscher 1B
Luke Hughes 3B
Matt Tolbert 2B
Drew Butera C
Carlos Gomez CF

Francisco Liriano LHP

NEW YORK YANKEES
(edited after Posada scratch)
Johnny Damon LF
Derek Jeter SS
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Nick Swisher RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Jose Molina C
Shelley Duncan DH
Melky Cabrera RF

Joba Chamberlain RHP

Yankees pitching today: Joba Chamberlain, Michael Dunn, Jose Veras, Dan Giese, Kei Igawa, Dave Robrertson, Steven Jackson, Kanekoa Texeira.

21 Comments

Regarding Melancon, Sanchez, obviouoslyu meant for BP.

Cano also could significatly change the Farm System product equation with a “bounce back year.” Before 2008, he projected as a potential League batting champ down the line, and at least future #3 hitter.

Also, regarding the future of Yank’s OF, it is entirely conceivable that at some point Jeter transitions from SS to CF, and the Yanks go out sign a FA SS.

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Regarding Prospects, The Baseball America Prospect Handbook, which I’ve gotten every year for awhile often is wrong.

Also, the Yankees have lost a lot of top draft picks because of Free Agent signings, as well as bad picks.

Lately, the Yanks (esp since Cashman has been given control) have concentrated on stockpiling Pitchers (including those that would need TJ surgery and were more than a few years away).

As a result, they have Chamberlain, Hughes, Kennedy, Brackman and Batances in the pipeline as potential quality starters. As well, Melancon, Sanchez, Coke.

They also have collected a number of potential catching successors to Posada, including Montero, Romine and Cerveli.

Beyond that they seem content to fill the other ranks with trades (e.g., Nady, Marte, Swisher) or Free Agents (Sabathia, Teixeria, Burnett).

Note that after the 2009 Season the Yanks will again have a number of big contracts coming off the books (Damon, Matsui, Pettitte, Nady), clearing the way for substitute FA signings.

Much as Sabathia and Teixeria seemed like sure things after 2008, it would seem that Matt Holliday is destined to be a prime 2009 FA target and the Yanks’ probable 2010 LF (if he has a decent year away from Colo in Oak); tho resigning Damon for 2010 is also an option.

Swisher’s versatility, clubhouse chemestry, SH, three year contract makes him a keeper, and the likdely RF in 2010 if not 2009.

The jury is out on Gardner, Cabrera and Jackson. Time and performance will tell.

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RSRay,
My response was just sent. As you will see there are substantial differences with Matt’s assessment but links are provided to read for yourself.

As far as your post about Epstein, all I can say is he had a three years head start on Cashman building a farm system because of a meddlesome owner. Buchholz is far from proven and Lester took six years to develop. Papelbon took four years and has questionable durability. And those five number 1 draft picks in 2005 were a huge windfall including Pedroia.

We may be still a little behind you, but we’re closing fast!!!

BTW, why haven’t I seen you on Brownie Points?

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Power. Power. Corner OF need to hit more than 10 HR a year, esp. in the AL.

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What you mean not enough power? He has a good arm.

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Melky doesn’t have enough power for RF. You can’t play him and Gardner at the same time unless it’s late in a game for defensive purposes. Having a starting OF of Damon, Gardner and Melky leaves you no power in the OF. Swisher or Nady must be in RF.

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Bonds shouls try out with the Newark Bears ala Henderson

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DOn’t know much about the prospects but why didn’t y’all bring back Dro so we can hit him and Wake.

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Robert, I am not sure we will keep the loser. Gardner would go to AAA, while Cabrera could be moved or released. I would like to keep him over Swisher as a backup OF and future RF.

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RSRay,
Sure, I feel the same as you about the Sox prospects. Assuming the above is a real E-mail address, I’ll put something together and send it to you. If it is not, send me a real one, mine is below.

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BP & Matt,
The action so far and for the next two weeks in CF doesn’t mean all that much as both players round into playing shape. The real test will be from mid-March to opening day and the last two games against the Cubs at the new stadium will be critical.

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Matt, I said it seems like Gardner is heading towards locking it up not locked it up. I think Melky would great in right.
Clearly the Bonds comment was a joke based on the fact that his ego and Manny’s are similar.

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Pedro’s associates approach the Red Sox about a return and was told the staff is full.

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LOL. For Giambi, it would a great catcher. For a gold glover, its just another day at the yard.

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Mark Teixeira just made a diving catch on a popped up bunt. Imagine Jason Giambi doing that?

Via Joe Girardi, here was Kevin Long’s nickname for Giambi’s defense: “Big bear stabbing salmon.” What a visual!

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The Cabrera-Gardner battle:
The argument for Gardner:
– GIRARDI LIKES HIS SPEED AND HUSTLE
– Stopgap to Jackson.
– Inexpensive
– Cabrera could a long term RF option that can be set in motion sooner.
-Played well and showed improvement last year.
-Might have Papelbum’s number
The argument for Cabrera:
-HIGH SALARY
-Out of minor league options
-Experience (3+years)
-Excellent defense
-The Psyche of good friend Robinson Cano.
-Gardner is probably easier to trade

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While wrapped up in the nfl free agency frency, I missed the Manny I am Boras redux drama. Dodgers should walk away and create a non voluntary retirement. Bonds is now available for them instead.

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Time has come to make Melky Cabrera a RF’er. He has an excellent arm but struggles in shallow center. This year Nady starts at RF but we need to look at Melky for next year. Gardner seems headed to locking up CF, move Swisher house and lets go.

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Do the guys leave tomorrow for the WBC?

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

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I look forward to watching Joba pitch. It doesn’t look like he’ll face that scary of a lineup.

Sean Serritella

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