Results tagged ‘ Hiroki Kuroda ’
Good stuff from Anthony McCarron in today’s New York Daily News on new Yankees right-hander Hiroki Kuroda. McCarron reached Bombers catcher Russell Martin, who offered good reviews of their time together with the Dodgers and said that he’s excited to have Kuroda as a batterymate again.
“He can pitch, man,” Martin said in a recent telephone interview. “When he’s really on, his splitty is on. It gets him out of trouble. He can throw his fastball at 94 or 95 (miles per hour), though he’s mostly at 92 or 93, so it’s impressive. His slider is different, a really short break. It’s not a strikeout pitch, but it gets a lot of balls off the end of the bat, and his splitty is nasty against lefties or righties.”
Martin mentions to McCarron that in 2008, the Dodgers had Kuroda wear an Elvis Presley outfit to take part in an ‘American Idol’-themed rookie hazing.
“He performed in front of all the guys and embraced it,” Martin said, chuckling at the memory. “He was a veteran from Japan, but he put his ego behind him and had fun with it. I don’t know if he knew all the lyrics, but he got after it.
“That’s who he is — quiet at first, then you get to know him and he’s hilarious and then on the mound it’s total focus and concentration. He was a great teammate, I love that guy and I was extremely happy that we’ve got him now.”
In a conference call with reporters discussing the Michael Pineda trade on Monday, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that he’d be more inclined to trade from his pitching depth to acquire a designated hitter than to sign one on the open free agent market.
When the Yankees officially announce the signing of right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, they’ll have seven starters vying for five spots. CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Pineda, Phil Hughes, A.J. Burnett and Freddy Garcia are also in that mix.
“Maybe I use our excess pitching to find a bat,” Cashman said. “That’s a possibility. … We stretched the payroll to get [Kuroda] done, so I’m not sure what we have financially. I think we’ll look at the trade market first and foremost and see where that takes us.”
Among the DH options out there, the Yankees have reportedly heard from Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, Vladimir Guerrero and Raul Ibanez, but are not thought to consider any of them an urgent priority.
“I think [the free agent market] would be secondary,” Cashman said. “Not that any of those players aren’t quality, but I do think it’s probably in our interest to first and foremost see what’s available in the trade market, because we have excess starter. There should be a demand and an interest at the various levels in our starting pitching that might prove beneficial.”
If the season started today, the Yankees would likely go with Andruw Jones as their DH, though they are curious about Minor League slugger Jorge Vazquez.
This shouldn’t be a surprise, but new Red Sox manager and noted sandwich wrap inventor Bobby Valentine wasn’t exactly turning cartwheels this morning over the Yankees’ moves to acquire Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda. That didn’t stop Valentine from weighing in, as Ian Browne passes along:
“Pineda, when I saw him the first half, he looked unhittable,” Valentine said. “Second half, he looked OK. [The Mariners] saw a lot of him and they traded him. Kuroda is a good pitcher [but] a year older than he was last year [and] pitching in the American League and not the National League.
“[Going from] pitching in not a great pitchers ballpark from a great pitchers ballpark. They’re probably an upgrade from [Bartolo] Colon and [Freddy] Garcia. Probably, I don’t know. It seems it.”
The Yankees are balking at a high asking price for the Cubs’ Matt Garza and have instead turned their attention to free agent right-hander Edwin Jackson, CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman reported Tuesday.
Noting that the Yankees and Jackson “aren’t in any way close to a deal,” Heyman suggests that New York and agent Scott Boras could eventually find middle ground. Boras has been reported to be looking for a four or five year pact for Jackson worth approximately $15 million per season.
That could prove too high for the Yankees, who have been preaching fiscal responsibility this winter and would not get involved with free agents C.J. Wilson or Mark Buehrle, despite their stated need for a starting pitcher to slot behind CC Sabathia in the rotation.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post noted on Tuesday that the Yankees like Jackson, but not enough to give him a big multi-year contract. They’d be more inclined to offer Hiroki Kuroda a one-year contract, but even that is too costly for their budget at the time.
NEW YORK – The Yankees have not made an offer to free agent right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, according to a person with knowledge of the club’s thinking.
A report by the Japanese news outlet Sponichi suggested that the Yankees had already presented a one-year, $12 million offer to the hurler, who turns 37 in February.
The Yankees continue to look for ways to add starting pitching that could slide behind ace CC Sabathia, and they did show a level of trade interest in Kuroda last summer when he was with the Dodgers. But the person said that the report of an offer is not true.
Kuroda finished 2011 with a 13-16 record and 3.07 ERA in 32 starts for Los Angeles, striking out 161 and walking 49 in 202 innings.
In four Major League seasons, Kuroda is 41-46 with a 3.45 ERA in 115 games (114 starts). His catcher for the first three seasons with the Dodgers was Russell Martin, who is entering his second season in New York.