Results tagged ‘ Jamie Hoffmann ’

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.”

A-Bomb’s away!

arod 32010.jpgAlex Rodriguez knew it as soon as ball met wood. This one was headed a long way.

Rodriguez’s shot off the Tigers’ Rick Porcello cleared the left-field scoreboard at George M. Steinbrenner Field on Friday, letting the Yankees slugger glow a little bit about it: “That one felt good, because it wasn’t an everyday home run.”

Actually, for A-Rod, it was the first home run in 2010, leaving the Yankees hoping there will be many more to come. He said that he has been spending more time in the cage now after focusing on conditioning early.

“I’ve been swinging OK,” Rodriguez said. “My emphasis the first part of Spring Training is to make sure I get all my work in, and that [begins] early in the morning. As you get closer to Opening Day, you want to make sure you hone in on your swing, and so far so good.

“I had a really good session with Kevin Long and Reggie [Jackson] on one of the back fields a couple of days ago, and we’re on schedule. … You just make sure that your legs are under you and you’re in
great condition to play six or seven days a week every day.”

Rodriguez said that there are still some limitations to what he can do one year after right hip surgery, but it is not that he can’t do certain things – he’s just trying for quality over quantity, as prescribed by Dr. Marc Philippon.
 

“You’ve just got to work a little bit more diligently,” A-Rod said. “Overall, it
was good to get back a full winter of training. You just cut your
swings in half and ground balls, you just can’t go and do all the crazy
things you did before and take 100 swings a day. Every swing, you’ve
got to make it count.”

Asked if that’s hard for him to swallow after doing it so many years his own way, Rodriguez said that these are the ‘Philippon Rules’ and he has to stick to them.
 

“He didn’t give me an option,” Rodriguez said. “Philippon was very specific about the
workload and I thought it was a plan that I put into play last year. It
worked and I’m very comfortable with it. I’m used to it now.”

  • Notes & quotes: Mariano Rivera said “everything was good” in his 10-pitch inning and he’ll take the mound again on Sunday … Girardi said that he’s OK with Marcus Thames’ performance so far in a small sample size (3-for-25, .120), saying that he’s had good at-bats and some line-outs. He’s competing with Jamie Hoffmann (3-for-22, .136) to be the right-handed bat off the bench … Jon Weber (10-for-17, .588) is having a “great spring” and it would have been “very possible” that he could have been considered if he wasn’t left-handed, Girardi said. Termed a “survivor” by the skipper, Weber is slated to open at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Yankees sticking to tight left field budget

Reposting this from the MLB.com Hot Stove Blog:

Despite heavy fan speculation to the contrary, the Yankees are
stressing the point that they will not get involved with a bid for a
big ticket left fielder.

“No chance on Matt Holliday, no chance
on Jason Bay,” a Yankees official told the New York Daily News on
Monday. “Zero. None. Underline it.”

To take the point further,
the Yankees’ budget for left field is so tight, the newspaper reports
that they would not have matched the offer the Giants made for Mark
DeRosa – $12 million over two years. Yankees general manager Brian
Cashman told MLB.com on Monday that even Xavier Nady, coming off Tommy
John surgery, is asking too much for New York’s budget.

The
same appears true for veteran Jermaine Dye, and Johnny Damon has
already acknowledged that he does not fit into the Yankees’ payroll
planning.

If the season started today, the Yankees would be
preparing to go with Brett Gardner and Jamie Hoffmann in left field.
The Daily News suggests that the Yankees are also considering cheaper
free agent options like Reed Johnson or Jerry Hairston, Jr. to add to
the mix.  

“There’s plenty of time,” the official told the
newspaper. “There’s no hurry. And there are a ton of outfielders out
there. We are just tweaking at this point. We’ll sign an outfielder
between now and spring training.”

Bits and pieces about left field

I answered a question about Xavier Nady in today’s Inbox as follows:

Why wouldn’t the Yankees look at Xavier Nady for left field? They
would get a right-handed bat with good power who can handle New York.
Is his injury still a factor or is he looking for more than the Yankees
want to pay?
– Pete N., Syracuse N.Y.

Right now, it appears the hold-up would be more financial than
physical. General manager Brian Cashman said on Monday that Nady’s
price is above the Yankees’ current budget, which explains why they
have not been seriously linked to him while some other clubs have.

Remembering that Scott Boras is Nady’s agent and we all know where that’s taking them in the Johnny Damon situation, it makes sense that the Yankees are playing the ‘not interested’ card. After all, you’re looking at a position player who is coming off his second Tommy John surgery. That’s a big question mark and if the dollar signs are large as well, it might not be a match.

So where are the Yankees going to head from here? It’s looking more and more like Mark DeRosa is off the table, taking a physical with the Giants, and I just don’t know if all that Jermaine Dye talk was serious.

So… Brett Gardner and Jamie Hoffman, eh? As of Dec. 28, that’s where it is. Stay tuned.

State of the Yankees update – Javier Vazquez edition

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
too often.”

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.”

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