For Ace, this wasn’t the place

Aceves.jpgIf Alfredo Aceves is not the Yankees’ choice for the fifth starter’s job, he seems to be a lock to head north anyway as a member of the bullpen.

That didn’t seem like a good consolation prize after he was charged with five runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Astros in Kissimmee, Fla. on Saturday, though, leaving a bases-loaded mess for Mark Melancon and watching the carousel progress.

“I just missed pitches,” Aceves said. “They’ve got good hitters. … I’m not happy with that.”

Regardless, this shouldn’t torpedo Aceves’ chances of helping the Yankees in 2010, at least not based upon Girardi’s glowing scouting report of the righty pre-game.

“He knows how to change speeds, he knows how to change eye level, read
swings,” Girardi said. “He knows how to pitch. He was a big part of our success last
year – 10 wins out of the bullpen. He held teams down and gave us a
chance to come back. I’ve always had a lot of confidence in him.”

Next up in the great fifth starter pitch-off is Phil Hughes, who throws in relief of A.J. Burnett tomorrow. Joba Chamberlain gets a start Monday against the Phillies in Clearwater, and then it’s really time to start hashing things out. Joe Girardi isn’t surprised that the decision is receiving so much attention.

“I think people are interested, that’s why,” Girardi said. “Once that’s set, then you
iron out your bullpen from there. There’s a lot up in the air because
you don’t know exactly who’s going to be in your bullpen because of the
fifth starter [competition].”

A-Rod on the scene: Alex Rodriguez had two doubles and two RBIs in three at-bats Saturday, continuing to heat up in Grapefruit League play.

“He’s starting to swing the bat,” Girardi said. “He’ll play again tomorrow. I talked to him today and physically he feels good. That’s obviously good to hear.”

Go, speed racer: Brett Gardner’s wheels earned him a bunt single on the first pitch of the game, and in the third inning, he tripled to the left-field corner – someplace you don’t usually see three-base hits from.

“That’s what speed does for you,” Girardi said. “I tell him all the time, just get on base, you can make things happen. He has that ability. We see him hitting the ball on the ground a lot harder, bunting for base hits. It’s great.”

The only minus to Gardner’s day was a pickoff after that bunt single, as Astros catcher Humberto Quintero made a snap throw to first base behind the left-handed hitting Nick Johnson and caught Gardner leaning.

  •  Notes & quotes: Assistant trainer Steve Donohue’s report on OF Curtis Granderson was “minor stiffness” in his right hand. He’ll play Sunday vs. Detroit … It’s still too early on a decision for OF Jamie Hoffmann (3-for-23, .130) vs. OF Marcus Thames (3-for-28, .107) in that battle to be the right-handed hitting 25th man on the bench. “We’ve still got time with that,” Girardi said. “That we’re not in such a big hurry to make.”

6 Comments

^^ Agreed.

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andypettitte,

Stop with your insults of other posters on this blog, everyone is tired of them. It’s not like your posts are anything close to being intelligent. Clemens? Wells? Give me a break!!! Sounds like you’re not even a Yankee fan, just a troll who has no credibility. Also, stop with posting your racist views, they just make look like an ignorant fool. KEEP THEM OFF THIS BOARD!!!!

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Aceves needs to be in the bullpen.

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Sorry, but I’m not really excited about the yankees showing in spring training. There have been some positives but a number of negatives as well, not the least is the won/lost record. It’s a matter of momentum going into the regular season. I know some of the bottom teams in spring training can turn it around once the regular season starts but it isn’t always the case. In the past when the Yankees struggled in pre-season they got off to a slow start in the regular season and took some time to catch up. I hope it doesn’t happen this time but I wouldn’t be surprised if it does. It looks like the #5 starter is still up for grabs given Aceves performance today.

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Sure feels good to be back commenting on the best baseball blog out there. Somehow this makes Opening Day feel that much closer, and I am ready for another seaon of Yankee baseball.

Oh, and I don’t know if anyone here might find the idea of baseball growing overseas interesting, but this year has been a good one for British University baseball. The sport is begining to expand here at college level, and hopefully MLB will be able to generate interest in a similar way to the NFL which has hosted regular season games at Wembley Stadium, in front of a packed audience of over 90,000.

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With Hughes on his version of Joba Rules this year, he should start in AAA. Joba should have the 5th spot, and this also allows the Yankees to try out David Robertson at set-up, use Gaudin as spot starter and keep Aceves in the role he had last year.

This system allows the Yankees the greatest flexibility, if Joba doesn’t work out as a starter by midseason the option of shifting him permanently to the bullpen is available as it is easier to go there form the rotation than vice-versa. Similarly for Hughes, regulating his innings early leaves him available to come up later in case of injury or underperformance while leaving him available for a shift to the ‘pen if need be.

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