Results tagged ‘ Brian Cashman ’
Last night, before Brian Cashman got busy working his shift at Foley’s New York on West 33rd Street, I asked him to clarify the comment he made earlier in the week about the Red Sox.
“The question I was asked was, if you had to look the rosters on on paper, you’d have to say the Red Sox are better than the Yankees. Would you agree? And I agreed, because they have a deeper starting rotation right now. Pitching is the key to the kingdom. I’m not saying they’re going to beat us – we’re not conceding anything. But if somebody asked me right now, they might be a finished product, we’re an unfinished product. But you don’t win championships in the winter, you win them in the summer. We’re looking forward to going head-to-head with everybody and anybody. I’m not taking a back seat to anybody, but at the same time, if somebody wants to ask me about right now – hey, they’ve gotten some things accomplished and finished off ahead of us. That’s true, but the season hasn’t started yet.”
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman made some headlines Tuesday morning at a breakfast Q&A event. Who knows what he might say tonight?
It was a busy Wednesday morning in the Bronx, as the Yankees introduced Rafael Soriano to the New York media, a signing that Brian Cashman acknowledged makes the team better but one that he had still vocally opposed because of the contract value and a lost first-round Draft pick.
Then, just for good measure, Cashman acknowledged that he indeed had several discussions about bringing Carl Pavano back to the Yankees, looking for someone to upgrade a rotation that still figures to include both Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre if the season started today.
Pavano signed a two-year deal with the Twins later in the day, but like we said, it was a busy morning. Here are some of the other tidbits that might have been overlooked:
Cashman: “Joba’s in the bullpen, for the 200th time” – a.k.a., The Debate is Over
Joba Chamberlain will be in the bullpen and there is no chance of him starting for the Yankees in 2011, both Cashman and Girardi said.
Here’s Girardi’s explanation: “I think Joba is going to be an important part of our bullpen. For me, I like to shorten the game as much as I can. He has a chance to be an outstanding reliever for us and I think his second half was better than his first half. I think we could really have a close down bullpen where the game gets really short. When you’re called upon to pitch, your inning is just as important. If you give up runs in the sixth, you never get to the eighth. Sometimes in the seventh you might face a tougher part of the order than the eighth.”
Asked if there was some physical reason the Yankees wouldn’t consider starting Chamberlain, Girardi answered, “No, not necessarily. It’s probably hard to bounce back and forth all the time. Then you end up with an innings limitation again. I think it’s really important that you have an awesome bullpen and I think he can be a big part of that. … We just decided at this point that’s where he fits the best and that’s where we’re going to put him.”
Responding to a similar question, Cashman said, “I think we’ve seen over time now that his stuff plays so much better as a reliever than as a starter … As a result of everything leading up to and including last spring.”
A reporter then tried to float the case that Chamberlain’s numbers as a starter compared favorably to what Ivan Nova or Sergio Mitre might provide.
“He’s in the bullpen,” Cashman said.
Did Boston’s big winter push the Soriano deal?
Cashman said he never heard that the Yankees needed to react to Boston’s moves specifically, but Hal Steinbrenner felt that there needed to be an upgrade of some kind for the fan base. The decision went beyond just the baseball operations department, he added.
“I think [Steinbrenner] just felt we needed to do something, regardless,” Cashman said. “That’s how it was conveyed; ‘We’re not going to go into Spring Training without us doing something big.’ And this is big.”
Will Soriano fit in the clubhouse? Sure, Girardi says
There have been whispers that Soriano has had trouble with previous managers, including being upset with coming into non-save situations and being asked to pitch more than one inning. You would think that will be different with Mariano Rivera in New York.
Girardi said that reputation won’t be a problem, as he wants to “give everyone a clean slate” and tries to get to know each of his players as much as possible.
Are the Yankees a better team today?
Girardi figures the ’11 team is better than the one that walked off the field after Game 6 of the 2010 ALCS. “I think we’ve added to our bullpen, added another left-hander (in Pedro Feliciano), and I think we’re a better club because we’ve been through it,” he said.
More pitching on the way?
There has been buzz on the Hot Stove about the Yankees potentially showing interest in the Tigers’ Armando Galarraga – he of the imperfect Jim Joyce game – who was designated for assignment. He’s easily one of the more appealing options out there, given the marketplace.
Regarding another possible upgrade to the rotation, Cashman said: “I hope so. The starter might have to come from within. Hopefully we have some of these young kids answer the bell for us. In the meantime, we’ll still keep our eyes and ears open to the remaining market, which is very limited.”
He added: “It’s a difficult market to choose from. Listen, if you’re still on the board, there’s a reason for it.”
Captain leading off
As of this moment, Girardi says he has Derek Jeter penciled in to be the Yankees’ leadoff hitter. Hitting coach Kevin Long has said that he’d like to use Spring Training to experiment with different combinations.
He really, really likes ‘Sweet Caroline.’ As in, the Neil Diamond song and Fenway Park eighth-inning fan anthem.“The first time I heard that I [was] with Seattle in ’02,” Soriano said in August. “I [saw] everybody going crazy singing that song in Boston. Every time I pitched the eighth, I [heard] the words. I like it, I like it. It makes me feel good.”So good – so good?He’s extremely confident – and, apparently, crushes breakfast.“I think he absolutely feels like he’s the man,” Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey said. “But I can remember as far back as Spring Training saying that he [exudes confidence even] at the breakfast table. And he really does. The scowl and the cocksure attitude are not just a ploy for the ninth inning. That’s the way that he walks around. I think that’s more of his personality than it is a game-time mechanism for him to get up for the ballgame.”He has mysterious gestures on the mound, and won’t tell you what they mean.I’ll let MLB.com’s Bill Chastain explain:When Soriano enters the game, he bends over and uses his right index finger to scribble something in the dirt on the backside of the mound. He then removes his hat, appearing to read some message on the underside of the brim. When asked what he is doing in either case, Soriano smiled.“That is for Soriano,” he said. “I keep that for me. That would be something that’s mine. A lot of people ask me about it. That’s mine, I don’t [tell anyone].”
As the Yankees have been since the final out of the American League Championship Series, they continue to leave the light on for Andy Pettitte to return. But it seems that Pettitte is no closer to putting the uniform back on than he was that evening in Arlington, when he said he just wasn’t sure what he was going to do.
Matt Garza has changed uniforms, moving from the Tampa Bay Rays to the Chicago Cubs, and Yankees general manager Brian Cashman tells the New York Daily News that they were never close to putting the right-hander into pinstripes instead.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has decided that the team will not surrender its top Draft pick as compensation, effectively taking them out of the running for free agent Rafael Soriano, the top reliever on the remaining free agent market.
Some additional notes from today’s event in Washington Heights, where the Yankees moved 19-year-old right-hander Leonel Vinas from “Hank’s Yanks” to the Gulf Coast League Yanks, and Brian Cashman said once again that they’re preparing for ’11 without Andy Pettitte:
- A.J. Burnett knows his rebound is important. He’s remodeled a barn at his Maryland home into an indoor pitching facility and is expecting new pitching coach Larry Rothschild to drop by for about a week next month. Cashman said:
“We need A.J. to come back to his previous form, there’s no doubt about it. I believe he will, but we need that to happen, too. We signed A.J. not to pitch toward the back of the rotation, to be a front of the rotation starter. That’s what his abilities are, that’s what he’s capable of doing. That’s what we expect. I believe you’ll see that again, but that means a lot of hard work. I know he’s up for it. I’ve talked to A.J. several times now and met with him in person in Maryland. He knows the responsibility he has to us and this fan base. He’s committed.”
- Joba Chamberlain will be in the bullpen for 2011 and the future. Cashman told a reporter to “bite your tongue” when it was suggested that Chamberlain might be called in to fix the rotation problems, and later explained:
“His stuff plays so much more significantly out of the ‘pen. We’ve given him the opportunity to show what he can do out of the rotation, and the velocity dropped. It’s just not the same stuff.”
- Food for thought: Even if Pettitte says he’s done pitching before the Yankees get to Spring Training, it’s not completely out of the realm of possibility that he could “unretire” – hey, Roger Clemens did it – if the Yankees rotation cries out for him. The GM wouldn’t shoot down the suggestion outright, saying, “I don’t want to speculate on stuff like that. I guess we’ll see where we’re sitting in May.”
- The Yankees were never close on a deal with Kerry Wood, who wound up taking much less than everyone expected to go back to the Chicago Cubs. Here’s Cashman one more time:
“We never got close because, in talking to his agents, it was going to cost $5.5 million a year or more on a multi-year basis. We weren’t interested in that level. But they said that it was what it was going to take. When we saw he signed with the Cubs at $1.5 million, I called right away and said, ‘Hey, what’s going on here?’ They said the Yankee price was the Yankee price; no different than the Red Sox price or the White Sox price. The bottom line is, he moved his family from Phoenix to Chicago and he’s going to be a Cub for life now. This had a lot to do with non-baseball related stuff, too. I can understand that.”
- Alex Rodriguez saw Dr. Marc Philippon after the season and was given a clean bill of health on his right hip. The Yankees expect no problems with him being ready for the spring.
The Yankees have made an offer to free agent left-hander Cliff Lee, general manager Brian Cashman has confirmed.