Results tagged ‘ Kerry Wood ’

Quick hits on the pitching front

Some quick-hit items and rumors from around the Yankees, on a day when Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven meet the media in New York as Hall of Famers:

  • Could Jeremy Bonderman be on the Yankees’ radar to add starting pitching depth? Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York thinks so. There have been reports of the Yankees’ interest in Bonderman, who was 8-10 with a 5.53 ERA in 30 games (29 starts) for the Tigers last year.
  • If Andy Pettitte doesn’t return, Jon Heyman of SI.com believes they will sign free agent Rafael Soriano as a setup man. Cashman had said earlier this winter that he wasn’t inclined to spend closer money on a setup man, but that was in Kerry Wood‘s case — before Cliff Lee came off the board — so perhaps that stance is flexible. 
  • Cashman told us this week that he’d prefer to sign a starter over a reliever, and the Yankees are also reported to have “a modicum” of interest in Freddy Garcia and Kevin Millwood, according to Heyman.
  • Brian Schlitter is the newest Yankee, claimed off waivers from the Cubs on Wednesday. He figures to get a look in Spring Training and might pop up in the Bronx at some point this season. Schlitter had a 12.38 ERA in seven big league outings last year, but had a 3.15 ERA and 13 saves at Triple-A. Here’s a Q&A with Schlitter.
  • Nick Swisher will play himself in two episodes of ABC’s ‘Better with You,’ joining his new wife, Joanna Garcia. They’ll be set to air in February. 

A.J.’s barn, Joba’s pen and more

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. 
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