Results tagged ‘ Alfredo Aceves ’

Handicapping the fifth starter race

Joe Girardi is planning on meeting for “healthy discussions” tomorrow about the fifth starter competition, and a decision appears to be coming up for Thursday or Friday at the latest.

“We’re going to discuss it in the next couple of days,” Girardi said. “We’ve got to start to iron some things out because we’re running out of innings and we’ve talked about wanting a decision to get the guys in the bullpen.”

It’s always possible that the Yankees could want to see a more starts from their contenders, especially Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes, but it also stands to reason that – at this point – the Yankees know exactly what they have and don’t need any more data to sway their choices.

If that’s the case, then here are the resume bullet points for each of the five pitchers:

Alfredo Aceves, 28, RHP

  • Grapefruit League: 1-1, 3.77 ERA in four games (two starts); 14.1 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 1 HR, 1 BB, 7 SO
  • 2009: Was 10-1 with one save and a 3.54 ERA in 43 appearances (one start).
  • Last outing: Charged with 5 ER in 4 1/3 IP vs. the Astros in Kissimmee.
  • Quote to note: “It’s part of the game. It’s baseball. You always keep
    the bad and the good things. You just fix it to the next game, those
    details. … I don’t want to use that word, ‘happy.’ But so far, it’s been a good Spring Training — for everybody.” – Aceves.

Joba Chamberlain, 24, RHP

  • Grapefruit League: 0-0, 16.20 ERA in three games (one start); 6.2 IP, 10 H, 12 ER, 1 HR, 7 BB, 5 SO.
  • 2009: Was 9-6 with a 4.75 ERA in 32 appearances (31 starts).
  • Last outing: Allowed 2 ER in 5 IP vs. Yankees intrasquad in Tampa
  • Quote to note: “I’ve just been in a routine. It’s just one of
    those questions you’re faced with every day. It’s human nature when you
    get asked every day to think about it, so it’s just something where
    I’ve gone back to having fun. I’m just enjoying being out here, putting
    this uniform on and competing with these guys.”- Chamberlain.

Chad Gaudin, 27, RHP

  • Grapefruit League: 0-3, 8.38 ERA in four games (two starts); 9.1 IP, 16 H, 9 ER, 2 HR, 5 BB, 5 SO. Has been placed on waivers by Yankees, according to a report.
  • 2009: Was 5-10 with a 4.76 ERA as a starter in 2009 with the Padres and Yankees
  • Last outing: Allowed 4 R (3 ER) in 2.1 IP vs. the Rays in Port Charlotte
  • Quote to note: “It’s not that I’m not competing, I’m trying to feel a rhythm. Sometimes it’s there, sometimes it’s not. It’s
    inconsistent. But [Friday], I didn’t get the job done. No excuses.”- Gaudin.

Phil Hughes, 23, RHP

  • Grapefruit League: 0-2, 4.15 ERA in four games (one start); 13.0 IP, 12 H, 6 ER, 5 HR, 2 BB, 10 SO.
  • 2009: Was 8-3 with three saves and a 3.03 ERA in 51 appearances (seven starts).
  • Last outing: Allowed 4 ER in 4.1 IP vs. the Phillies in Clearwater
  • Quote to note: “I’ve done all I can do. We’ll just have to see where
    they want to go from here. … I’ve kind of learned around here just to
    roll with the punches. What you say isn’t going to affect anything. You
    just have to go out and do the best you can, and see what decisions
    come from it.” – Hughes.

Sergio Mitre, 29, RHP

  • Grapefruit League: 0-0, 3.21 ERA in four games (two starts); 14.0 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 1 HR, 3 BB, 14 SO.
  • 2009: Was 3-3 with a 6.79 ERA in 12 appearances (nine starts)
  • Last outing: Allowed 2 R in 5 IP vs. the Rays in Port Charlotte
  • Quote to note: “I would think he’s probably pretty healed. He had the
    offseason to rest, and I think part of it is just the constant grind.
    Having the offseason, I think he’s probably where he’s going to be.
    It’s probably nice for him to feel much better after every start.” – Girardi.

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.”

Simulating innings as Florida stays soggy

Could Andy Pettitte make it through the whole spring without pitching against another team? It’s starting to look that way, but Joe Girardi promises they’ll find a way to get him into a game with four starts remaining.

Baseball wasn’t meant to happen today, though, as the Yankees got about 80 miles up the interstate before spinning the bus back around toward Tampa – washed out against the Nationals in Viera.

Instead, Pettitte threw a three inning simulated game at George M. Steinbrenner Field, the same way that A.J. Burnett did after last night’s washout. Girardi said that he didn’t consider altering the rotation to have Pettitte go Saturday in one of the Yankees’ split-squad games, believing that Pettitte knows how to handle himself after so many springs.

“If it wasn’t a veteran, you might make him pitch tomorrow,” Girardi said.

Javier Vazquez will start against the Orioles tomorrow in Tampa, with Chad Gaudin going against the Tigers in Lakeland. Alfredo Aceves, Royce Ring and Dave Robertson will pitch against Baltimore, while Grant Duff, Boone Logan, Sergio Mitre, Amaury Sanit and Zack Segovia have all been listed on the travel roster to see Detroit.

Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher are among those heading to Tiger Town on what should be a much nicer day for baseball.

Other notes as we close up shop on what might just be a half-day in Tampa (though I’d bet against it…):

  • A-Rod has “a bounce in his step every day,” Girardi said. Rodriguez has been able to limit the amount of hip exercises he does to loosen up compared to last season, and Girardi thinks he looks more like the player who was healthier and more confident in September and October.
  • Aceves has been managing some back stiffness well. He’s been skipping fielding practice on some of the days he pitches, instead heading inside to do core work. It’s not considered a serious issue at this point.
  • Chan Ho Park should throw batting practice tomorrow. That puts him on the Mariano Rivera (3/16) and Damaso Marte (3/17) schedule for getting into games.
  • Girardi’s lineup had Curtis Granderson in left field today, and he might be back there tomorrow with Brett Gardner in center field. Girardi wants to see how Granderson reacts to the balls hit on different angles.
  • “It makes it real easy when you have players that are willing to do anything you ask,” Girardi said. “That’s a manager’s dream. It just shows you that they check their egos when they come in the clubhouse.” 

At least one move to make today?

Repeating from a previous post…

It looks like the Yankees will have a roster move to make today,
finally trimming their pitching staff from 13 pitchers to 12 and
calling up a position player now that Phil Coke’s sinus infection has subsided and Alfredo Aceves is available to pitch.

They want a right-handed bat because the
White Sox are throwing lefties the next three days, so if that move
comes from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, take your pick from Shelley
Duncan, Ramiro Pena and perhaps Austin Jackson if they intend to play
him.

As for a trade? If I had to wager right now, I’d bet against. But never say never.

Aceves: Shoulder feels better

Alfredo Aceves had not even picked up a baseball in four days because of his fatigued right shoulder, but the Yankees reliever made 20 throws off a bullpen mound and also long-tossed at Tropicana Field on Wednesday. He said the ball was “jumping out of my hand.”

“I feel great,” Aceves said. “Today in the morning when I woke up, I felt strong in my shoulder. I thank God.”

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he would probably not use Aceves on Wednesday but that he should be available on Thursday at Chicago, allowing them to consider dropping one of their 13 pitchers and make a move to add a bat off the bench.

Girardi said that the Yankees are “much closer” to addressing that move either Thursday or Friday. The preference is to add a right-handed bat for that series. Shelley Duncan’s name has come up in that discussion, but it is not the only option.

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