Results tagged ‘ Curtis Granderson ’
Curtis Granderson departed the stadium before we could talk to him about his afternoon in left field, but from an observer’s point of view, it didn’t seem like he had much trouble at all out there.
Granderson made a nice play in the third inning running toward the seats to snag a Nick Markakis ball near the foul line, and on the next play he had to run back to track down a Miguel Tejada fly. Granderson also snagged a Cesar Izturis fly ball in the fifth inning.
“It was a tough wind & sun day,” Joe Girardi said. “It wasn’t an easy day to play left field. I thought he looked good.”
Girardi said that he’ll mix Granderson and Brett Gardner between left field and center field the rest of the spring.
- When the clubhouse opened to reporters in the fifth inning, Nick Johnson was sprawled on the carpet in a deep stretch, trying to keep flexible between at-bats. He’s looked pretty good so far to Girardi, who says that Johnson “really fits that bill” for the No. 2 spot.
“I’m extremely pleased with what he’s doing,” Girardi said. “A lot of long counts, he’s pulled balls, he’s hit balls over the left fielder’s head and the right fielder’s head, through the middle – quality at-bat after quality at-bat.”
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.”
Curtis Granderson got to exchange hugs and pleasantries with his old Tigers teammates yesterday, and Johnny Damon quipped about his old Yankees buddies secretly missing him as New York and Detroit met for the first time this spring.
It was all feel-good in the sunshine, except for Joba Chamberlain, who may be slipping a touch in the race to be the Yankees’ No. 5 starter. Perhaps Chamberlain is still battling the after-effects of a nasty case of the flu, which he spoke about after the game, but in any event the numbers didn’t look pretty in our writeup:
Chamberlain’s Spring Training ERA sits at 27.00 after he gave up six
runs on five hits and three walks over 2 1/3 innings on Wednesday, but Hughes stepped in and allowed a solo home run among three hits, striking out two and walking none over 2 2/3 innings.
Just for comparison, the New York Post declared that Joba will be facing the biggest Spring Training game of his young career when he faces the Astros on Tuesday.
The positive spin from the Yankees’ perspective is that there is still time for Chamberlain, Hughes and even the other competitors to make their ultimate impression. Girardi said early in camp that he wanted to have a fifth starter picked out by about March 25 or so, making this the official two-week warning for the races.
- Love this quote from Granderson -”On my iPhone, one of my bookmarks is still the Tigers’ Web site. There’s no reason for me to delete it.” I need to ask him if he’s reading Yankees.com too.
So much for that Johnny Damon vs. the Yankees matchup we were talking about. He’s going to sit today’s game out with a case of turf toe. But Curtis Granderson is still in the lineup for the Yankees today at Lakeland, and he’s looking forward to seeing his old Tigers mates:
“I’ve already seen a few of them,” Granderson said of the Tigers, “but
to get a chance to go over to Lakeland, where I trained since 2003, is
going to be exciting. I’m not sure how many people they’re going to
have there tomorrow, but that’s one of the days on the calendar that is
This from yesterday – how would you have liked to get this text message from Nick Johnson: “I was awful. I was embarrassing.” After going 0-for-2 with a walk in an exhibition game? Well, Kevin Long did.
“That’s the type of guy Nick is. He’s hard on himself,” Long said.
“He’s got a little Larry Bowa to him. That’s part of that family, which
I like. He’s going to expect a lot. I think the great ones do that.
That part of him, I wouldn’t change a thing.”
- Also, this note to pass along: YES Network broadcaster and former Yankee John Flaherty will be honored at a March 15 luncheon at Gallagher’s Steak House in New York to benefit Fordham University. Tickets are priced at $75, and include a three course luncheon menu and a donation. For information and tickets call Cirillo World at 212-972-5337 or email email@example.com.
That definitely wasn’t Joba Chamberlain’s best out there this afternoon, and there was a reason for it. After spending two days this week laid up in bed with flu-like symptoms, Chamberlain guessed he was at 60 percent when he took the mound today against the Rays. The results weren’t pretty, as he was rapped for five runs on three hits in 1 1/3 innings.
Chamberlain said that he had barely eaten in three days and almost felt “scared to eat” – yesterday he choked down a Subway sandwich; tonight he planned to dine on mostly Gatorade. It’s a drastic change after being on a daily weightlifting regimen since last month. In all, he said he’s lost eight pounds since this ordeal started, but skipping the start wasn’t an option in his mind.
“You’d probably have to chop my legs off,” he said. “I’m going to take the ball as much as I can and try to get better. I felt strong enough and I felt like I did enough inbetween to try and get ready.”
- Phil Hughes thought he was “OK” in his two innings of one-run ball. That homer he served up to Sean Rodriguez might have been wind-blown a little, and Hughes thought Curtis Granderson had it lined up until it carried over the wall.
“It was all right,” Hughes said. “It was nice to finally get out there in real game situations. My fastball command was all over the place, but I felt like I threw some good changeups. They were swinging early and often, which was good. I got a read on some things.”
- Joe Girardi said that he’ll probably give Nick Johnson until Monday now to rest his stiff lower back. He didn’t want to play Johnson tomorrow vs. the Blue Jays and he definitely doesn’t want him making the long bus ride to Fort Myers for the Twins on Sunday. So, Monday it is.
- Girardi said that he thought Curtis Granderson had “two really good at-bats” vs. left-handed pitching. No hits yet for him, though. … Nick Swisher (wrist) is fine after hitting the ground running the bases.
Here are the winners and runners-up for this morning’s Yankees arcade events:
Indy car: A.J. Burnett wins; Dana Cavalea second place
Skeeball: Andrew Brackman wins; Eduardo Nunez second place
Pop-a-shot: Royce Ring wins; Mark Melancon second place
Here’s some of what Teixeira had to say to the New York Daily News’ Mark Feinsand, who is acting as the pool reporter for the day:
“It was fun. It was good to have a change of scenery from the pool tournament. It was new and fresh and we enjoyed it.”
“The highlights were A.J. Burnett just smoking the field in the video game racing, and Royce Ring being probably the best pop-a-shot basketball player I’ve ever seen. Those two were hands-down the best at those two events. Whenever the basket is moving, Royce takes the cake.”
“It was a great day. The fact that we get three or four hours not to have to worry about baseball and not have to compete on the baseball field, it was fun. Playing video games, we felt like kids again. It promotes a light-hearted atmosphere.”
“The great thing about this kind of atmosphere is that there’s no veterans or rookies, starters or role players, Triple-A or Single-A; everyone is on the same playing field. We’re all having fun, really kind of letting our hair down and getting to know each other without competing on the field.”
“The young guys probably get into it more than anybody. A big-league clubhouse – especially the Yankees’ clubhouse – can be very intimidating. To go off-site to an arcade and enjoy each other, get to know people not as superstars or as New York Yankees, but just as men, it can easily build friendships.”
EDIT 6:02 p.m.: Feinsand checks in with some quotes from Curtis Granderson…
“I thought it was a great idea to get a bunch of guys coming from different sides, whether it’s their first big-league camp, guys that were acquired through trade or free agency and guys that had been there. For everybody to get a chance to meet up and see everyone outside of the intense training baseball mode, we can see that everybody does laugh and have fun. We’re all big kids.”
“The highlight had to be watching Igawa race on the Indy Car. He kept racing up against the wall and damaging his tires. He wouldn’t move off of it. He had his left hand on the wheel and he was just cruising like nothing was wrong. He was doing that for a good three minutes. Everyone was shouting, ‘Turn left! Turn left!’”
“People forget how long the season is. We have the training part that we’re doing now, then we have 30 or so spring training games and we haven’t even started the season. Then it’s 162 games in the regular season and hopefully the playoffs, then the next thing you know, you’re right back at it in 2011. The actual time away from competition is minimal, so to get a chance to go out and have fun in that large a group, it was a great thing. I’m really glad they did it and I would recommend other teams doing it.”
“Andy Pettitte and I sat there and talked before our Indy Car race, and it had nothing to do with baseball. We split up, were playing different games, then battled again on the Pop-a-Shot. I don’t normally see the pitchers during the day, so to get a chance to do that was well worth it.”
“I struggled in my first round of Pop-a-Shot when it counted on the bracket. When we came back for a side competition, that’s when I dominated.”
“Skee ball was difficult. I used to be good at Skee ball, but I was really disappointed at myself for my performance. I’ll need to go back and figure out this Skee ball machine compared to the ones I used to play.”
I’m playing catch-up on this, but Yankees general manager Brian Cashman spoke on Thursday at the University of New Haven in Connecticut and addressed several hot-button topics that fans have been curious about.
Via the Register Citizen’s Joe Morelli, with a hat tip to the iYankees blog for linking it first:
On not negotiating new contracts with Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera right now, and some more context about Johnny Damon —
“The industry the last two free agent markets seems to be going
downward and the player’s ages are going upward,” Cashman said. “It
makes more sense to be patient. My attitude is if this is the place you
want to be, you will make it happen. Johnny Damon professed his love
for the Yankees, wanted to be here and was given every chance to be
here. He’s not here anymore and I don’t feel that is the Yankees’
fault. They have to reconcile why they are not here, not me.
people want to be here and be a part of something, then find a way to
work it out. Of course we want (Jeter, Rivera and Girardi) back, but we
choose to delay that until the end of the year.”
On the Yankees’ two-year, $14 million offer to Damon –
“I told (Damon and Boras), ‘I don’t know if Hal (Steinbrenner, the
team’s part owner) would approve it, but I’m not going to fight for it
unless we know you will do it,’” Cashman said. “Scott Boras said,
‘Bobby Abreu’s (new) contract is $9 million a year right now on the
table so why would we do that? So I expect to see a Bobby Abreu
contract.’ … I hope he does not sign for something less than our
offer. That means he should have been a Yankee and that’s not our
On how the Yankees’ budget looks for 2010 —
“If you ask everyone in the room if they would rather not have Curtis
Granderson because he costs X amount of dollars and Andy Pettitte
because he costs X amount, that gives you more money to sign the left
fielder who is dear to your heart in Johnny Damon,” Cashman said. “If
you ask most people right now, what would you rather have moving
forward, I think they would say they need Andy Pettitte for the
rotation and Curtis Granderson because he’s an all-star center fielder
who hit 30 homers at Comerica Park last year, who steals bases and is
(7) years younger. You can’t have everything.”
Hank Steinbrenner believes the Yankees are in position to repeat as World Series champions after adding pitcher Javier Vazquez and outfielder Curtis Granderson during the offseason.
The Yankees co-chairman spoke with the Associated Press on Thursday in Tampa, Fla., speaking highly of general manager’s Brian Cashman’s offseason moves to bolstered the rotation and change the appearance of New York’s outfield.
“The two trades that Brian did I was really pleased with and very proud of,” Steinbrenner told the AP. “I think that is going to make a big difference for us.”
Acquired from the Braves, Vazquez will slide into a rotation that already includes CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettitte, with the fifth starter still yet to be decided.
The hope is that Vazquez solves an issue the Yankees had last October, when they had to lean on a three-man rotation to get through the playoffs and World Series.
“We needed another top-notch starter and got one,” Steinbrenner said.
Now that the door has finally closed on all speculation of Johnny Damon’s return to the Yankees, it appears that GM Brian Cashman has completed the majority of the workload of the offseason, with only minor tweaking heading into the spring.
Randy Winn turned out to be the right-handed outfield bat that Cashman had been talking about, though he’s actually a switch-hitter. While Winn is coming off one of the most disappointing seasons of his career and was actually horrid against left-handed pitching (.158), he provides the Yankees with a good defensive option to complement Brett Gardner in the outfield as well as a veteran option and sharp baserunning instincts.
He could share time with Gardner in left field or center field, depending on where the Yankees decide to play him, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility to think that Winn might beat out Gardner for a job outright (be it left field or center field).
The Yankees haven’t officially announced the Winn move – he took his physical on Thursday in New York – but it’s only a matter of time. Even Joe Girardi acknowledged the transaction in an interview on Thursday with WFAN.
Cashman popped on with the Yankees Hot Stove crew Thursday night and went over a variety of issues in a 10-minute interview, noting that the book closed on Damon “a long time ago,” though the he-said, he-said drama between Cashman and agent Scott Boras continues to percolate.
Though no one can really be sure of everything that transpired, I have to imagine that Damon was genuine in his desire to return to the Yankees, based upon all of his conversations with the media. Certainly, the Yankees’ players were hoping he’d work something out, and on some level Cashman would have liked him back as well – but at his price, which they never really got close to.
“We had a strong desire to have Johnny back, but not at all costs,” Cashman said on YES.
The latest rumors have the Blue Jays and Rays among the clubs that could provide soft landing spots for Damon, and while I’m sure Damon would absolutely love playing for the Rays and commuting from his Orlando, Fla. home (as he did during Spring Training), 81 games on artificial turf at either stadium probably isn’t the ideal setting for a player who has been hampered by painful calf issues.
Remember, Damon even had to leave the clinching game of the World Series because of the calf problems, limping to the pile after Mark Teixeira caught the final out to end the Fall Classic.
Here’s a few other links from around the Yankees blogosphere that might be of interest:
- Baseball Prospectus has picked the Yankees to finish third in the American League East at 93-69, behind the Rays (96-66) and Red Sox (95-67). While I have some debate with that prediction, if the top three teams in the division are separated by three wins when the season comes to an end, buckle up for one heck of a pennant race.
- Cliff Corcoran compares Randy Winn to Melky Cabrera – just a decade older and on the wrong side of the production curve.
- Joel Sherman notes that the Yankees are still in play on Jonny Gomes, as well as considering Rocco Baldelli and Marcus Thames. If they do really go after Gomes, it’s a good thing Shelley Duncan has moved on to a new home.
- This isn’t Yankees-related, but former Bomber Tim Redding is calling out Mike Bacsik for – he believes – intentionally giving up Barry Bonds’ 756th home run. I covered Bacsik a little bit with the Mets (including his first big league win) and he was one of the nicest guys in that clubhouse, but it certainly isn’t out of the realm of possibility that he could have missed his location with a meaty fastball to Bonds.
Brian Cashman spent more than 20 minutes on a conference call with the Yankees’ beat reporters this evening, beginning by discussing Javier Vazquez – the first player traded for twice by the Bombers since Jeff Nelson, for whatever that’s worth. Here are the short hops on the state of the Yankees updates, as we summarize the new landscape:
No second half thoughts: Cashman said that Vazquez’s second half of ’04 was not a major concern as the Yankees pulled the trigger on this trade.
“He’s a tremendous pitcher that has a long career of success and durability,” Cashman said. “Really, the second half of ’04 – which was poor – cannot erase the long success that he’s had as a Major League pitcher, both in the American and National Leagues.
“When you sit down and listen to the scouts and have them describe his abilities, and look at his production and how he’s performed, he is one of the better pitchers in the game. We look forward to having him join our staff.”
Back end rotation ripple: Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes will now be in competition for the fifth spot in the rotation, “and whoever loses that competition either goes to the bullpen or goes to Triple-A.” Don’t forget, Alfredo Aceves, Chad Gaudin and Sergio Mitre have to be considered in that mix too. Toss Zach McAllister and Ivan Nova in as well.
“The main focus of what we’ve done today was to solidify, strengthen
and deepen our rotation,” Cashman said. “We went with a three-man staff
as we went for the jugular in the World Series. This staff, if it can
stay healthy, is a lot better equipped right now as we move forward to
not be in a position to have to give the ball on short rest to someone
Dollars and sense for left field: Last winter was “once in a lifetime” in terms of budget. The Yankees have Brett Gardner and Jamie Hoffmann right now to play left field, in what Cashman called “an evolving situation.” They could upgrade (of course … and I’d be very surprised if Gardner is actually the Opening Day left fielder at Fenway Park), but Cashman downplayed the idea of getting a big-dollar free agent like Jason Bay or Matt Holliday.
“I will continue to look at any remaining piece, but it won’t be a big
piece,” Cashman said. “Any speculation about some high-end player who has big ability
and dollars attached on a large scale would be inappropriate.”
It sounds a lot like even Johnny Damon’s offer (two years, $20 million) could be too much. What about the Yankees’ offer of two years and $14 million for Damon? Does Scott Boras dare let his client take a pay cut of $6 million per year to play where it seems like he wants to be?
If not, maybe Mark DeRosa fits? Jermaine Dye’s name was out there in reports too. By the way, the Yankees traded for Curtis Granderson to play center field, so don’t get too creative penciling Gardner into center.
“Pitching, pitching, pitching, and then left field”: Remember that quote from the Winter Meetings? You know, before the Yankees traded for Granderson (OK, and to be fair, before they re-signed Andy Pettitte too). Here’s a little more on the rationale for the Vazquez trade, and why it was OK to subtract Melky Cabrera.
“Trying to strengthen the rotation with quality pitching is harder to do than trying to find someone to play left field,” Cashman said. “Left field is an important portion of the team, but the pitching market is a lot thinner. There might be a lot of choices out there, but the amount of quality choices out there is certainly a smaller list on the pitching front.”
Turning the power down: I was among those who wondered what Granderson will do in Yankee Stadium, given that he hit 30 homers last year playing half his games in Comerica Park, not nearly the launching pad he’ll call home in the Bronx. Turns out, the GM isn’t looking for a whole lot more in terms of power production from the Grandyman.
“Curtis Granderson is not going to hit 40 home runs here,” Cashman said. “He’s going to be someone who’s going to track fly balls down in the outfield for us, he’s going to hit anywhere from 20 to 30 home runs. We know he’s got some power from the left side for us. He’s going to provide solid defense and great athleticism on the basepaths, and complement the rest of his teammates around him.”