Results tagged ‘ Phil Hughes ’
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.
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.
Some closing thoughts from Bright House Field, where the Phillies defeated the Yankees with two runs in the ninth inning off Wilkins Arias…
- Nick Johnson is well aware of what the public perception is of his injury problems, and he grinned widely when somebody brought up how – no matter how trivial this back tweak might be – the bottom scroll on the TV news is still going to say that Johnson was scratched with a stiff lower back, and someone will inevitably say, ‘Here we go again.’
“It won’t be too long,” he said. “I’m not really worried about that.”
- Joe Girardi was mentioning how under conditions on a day like today, sometimes the ball can feel a little bit slick – perhaps a hint to not put all that much stock in the pitching. This may not get much sympathy from those of you up north, but some of the Yankees were feeling the chill out in that left-field bullpen. Put it this way – at first pitch, it was 49 degrees. Phillies.com’s Todd Zolecki checked the weather for Philadelphia at the same time and it was 40 degrees. So basically we could have played this one at Citizens Bank Park, as long as they cleared the snow.
- Girardi mentioned Zach McAllister (scoreless fourth), Ivan Nova (scoreless fifth) and Boone Logan (scoreless 1 1/3 innings) under the heading of “a lot of good things.”
- Roy Halladay should wind up being a pretty good deal for the Phillies. 24 pitches, 21 strikes. Girardi said, “He doesn’t change much, that’s for sure.” The Yankees saw him five times out of 18 games against the Blue Jays in 2009 and should be doing handsprings now that the good Doc has departed the American League East.
- Girardi’s message for tomorrow, when Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain will both pitch against the Rays: “No one’s going to be our fifth starter the first time through the rotation. It doesn’t happen that way. They’re going to be competitive, there’s no doubt about it. We’ll watch them closely, but all these guys need to get their arm strength back. Just try not to overthrow tomorrow. Try to stay within yourself.”
Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes offered a group of eight Yankees batters a combined 64 pitches to look at on Friday, and while that wasn’t enough for either of them to gain a percentage point in this great little battle we’re calling a fifth-starter’s race, it certainly gave you something to watch about on a sunny but cool afternoon at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Both pitchers are working on the usual stuff like command, secondary pitches and strength at this point in the campaign, but the Grapefruit League is already upon us next week and it’s certainly not too early to begin looking at human beings in the box.
“It’s still just preparation,” Joe Girardi said. “We don’t want them to try to do too much right now. They’re just preparing for their starts.”
What was Jorge Posada looking at? Well, against Chamberlain he watched a nasty slider buzz his back ankle, and in catching Hughes he saw a pitcher who is developing his own mound presence. Either way, Posada liked what he saw.
“Obviously, right now it’s too early,” Posada said. “But you still want to see all that, how they handle themselves. … They have grown in a good way, both of them. Both of them, you saw it in ’07 with Joba and Phil last year, the way they have grown. You see a lot of good things. You see what the scouts were talking about, how they handle themselves.”
Posada said that Hughes stepped up in the second half last year and showed a lot of maturity in adjusting to being bounced to the bullpen, and offered raves for Chamberlain’s mental approach in tackling the last year of the Joba Rules.
“Joba had no idea what was going to happen with him,” Posada said. “It’s tough to deal with that, it really is. He has handled it real well, not knowing what’s going to happen with the Joba Rules. The pitching coach telling him, ‘You’ve got 20 pitches,’ before an inning starts.
“That’s tough to do, it really is. You can’t pitch like that – ask any of the veterans. He has handled it real well.”
- Confirmed by Dave Eiland – CC Sabathia throws a bullpen tomorrow, with A.J. Burnett throwing Monday, Andy Pettitte Tuesday and Javier Vazquez on Wednesday. Mariano Rivera and Damaso Marte throw their first sides on Monday.
- The Yankees will use the DH rule on March 4, March 12, March 17 and March 20.
- Saw Hector Noesi shyly walk up to Derek Jeter and ask him to sign a baseball in the clubhouse. Noesi tucked it on the top shelf of his locker for safe-keeping.
- Bombers bits: The Yankees plan to use both Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson in left field and center field when Grapefruit League games begin on March 3, looking to evaluate comfort levels. They do not anticipate a scenario where Granderson would not be in center field when Gardner is not playing. … Girardi said that outfielder Jamie Hoffmann’s Rule 5 status will not affect his chances to make the team. “Maybe in some other camps, it might work one way or another, but here we’re going to take what we feel gives us the best team,” he said. …The Yankees will have a team outing on March 2, similar to last year’s billiards tournament.
That was Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes climbing into the bullpen six-pack on Thursday, each throwing 30 fastballs and changeups as they get ready for the competition to be the Yankees’ fifth starter.
And while each one of those pitches met a catcher’s glove under the watchful eye of Joe Girardi and Dave Eiland, you didn’t need to take mental notes from that session. It’s much too early to begin handicapping a race that hasn’t yet begun.
“The ball was coming out of their hands well, and that was encouraging,” Girardi said.
As for Girardi’s presence behind both pitchers, that also shouldn’t have racked the nerves of either right-hander. After all, they both did pitch in the World Series last year, when there were slightly more eyes fixed upon their actions.
There’s still more than a month to figure it all out, but Chamberlain said that he “feels good at this point” and Hughes agreed that everything “feels right about on pace.”
Really, all a guy can do with this session today is prove he can throw a fastball for strikes and pitch inside to a phantom hitter. It makes it pretty hard to read. We could use one of those wooden stand-in batters that Charlie Sheen decapitated in Major League as a reference tool.
Hughes joked that there should be a meter somewhere, with an arrow pointing to the winning player’s name, kind of like a popularity contest. So who’s winning on Feb. 19? Call it even for now.
“I don’t think any jobs are awarded on your bullpens or your BPs,” Hughes said.
- Nick Swisher made another appearance in the clubhouse today – seems like you just can’t keep him away, even though position players don’t have to get to George M. Steinbrenner Field until next week. Swisher says he’s 12 pounds lighter and Girardi believes he can be more productive than he was in ’09, though he was “pretty good” as the right fielder.
- We haven’t talked too much about the bullpen yet, but Girardi did acknowledge today that in a perfect world, he’d like to have two left-handed pitchers to create more options. Of course, there’s right-handers who can get lefties out like Dave Robertson, but Boone Logan will get a serious look during camp. Girardi said that Logan was acquired with the idea that he could do “big things” for the Yankees.
- Guest instructor Yogi Berra arrived today, and I didn’t see his golf clubs on Girardi’s couch. I thought for sure that they’d be safely stored in the building somewhere, but it turns out that Yogi’s saving his strength for the summer. That’ll give him more time to watch BP from behind the batting cage, we guess.
Reporting day for pitchers and catchers is one of those things we all like to circle on the calendar when there’s two feet of snow on the ground and you think the winter is never going to end, but the dirty little secret of it all is that it’s actually pretty anti-climactic once it arrives.
For a date that is so synonymous with baseball — who amongst us hasn’t said something like, “Only 44 days until pitchers and catchers!” — there’s actually very little baseball going on. But you know that the end of winter is just hours away, and we can get back to doing what we’re supposed to.
For the Yankees, the technical definition of the P&C report date is that the players simply need to be within the city limits of Tampa and announce their arrival to the team, so they don’t necessarily even need to come to the stadium. A 30-second cell phone conversation of, “Hey, I’m here, see you tomorrow,” is just fine.
That said, a few guys wandered over to drop bags and check out their locker assignments before departing for one of their remaining days of freedom.
CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain all threw bullpen sessions at George M. Steinbrenner Field, Javier Vazquez said he was excited to be back, and Jorge Posada checked out some fresh shin guards that are destined to be destroyed by blocking drills and bouncing sliders all too soon.
Posada knows better than most that the demand of a World Series repeat will be an uphill charge.
“It’s probably the toughest thing to try to do it again,” Posada said. “Everybody plays you a little different when we come to town. You have to be ready, because they’re trying to get you. You’re the world champions and they’re trying to play a little better. It’s very challenging.”
The offseason was definitely quicker than it usually is, thanks to that little November Fall Classic, and in a strange way it almost felt like we’d never left this little perch overlooking the Dale Mabry Highway.
For the first time, Joe Girardi put on equipment that was marked with No. 28, as sure a sign as any that the new season is upon us.
“That’s basically just a message that we are not complacent,” Girardi said during a 30-plus minute chat with reporters. “We do want to move forward and try to win No. 28 for this organization and the great city of New York. We have a wonderful group here and wonderful fans, and it’s a reminder every day of why we’re out there.”
Phil Hughes checked in with The Associated Press down in the shadows of George M. Steinbrenner Field today, saying that he’s ready to battle Joba Chamberlain and others to be the Yankees’ fifth starter come Opening Day.
“I know I’m coming into the spring fighting for a job,” Hughes told the AP after a pre-spring training workout on Thursday. “I’m out of the
reliever mindset for right now. Anytime nothing is going to be handed
to you, you strive to be a little bit better.”
Hughes started throwing in mid-December and has thrown fastballs off a mound a couple of times this month. He said that last year’s success in a bullpen assignment helped his confidence.
“I definitely feel at a point where I’ve never been, having the
experience of consistently getting big league guys out,” Hughes said.
“It helps, and obviously winning the World Series also helps.”
Hughes guesses that his innings count could be between 175 and 180 if he makes the rotation.
- We launched a story on MLB.com looking ahead to the fifth starter battle today with a little more detail, and I jumped on with Noah Coslov and Pete McCarthy to talk about the negotiations – or lack thereof – with Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera right now.
- The AP also notes that Jesus Montero is working out at first base. It seems like a good idea for him to get acclimated there if possible, but with Mark Teixeira and Nick Johnson there for 2010 (plus Nick Swisher in an emergency), don’t look for that to be his calling card to the Bronx. Either way, Montero’s big bat will be what punches his ticket to the big leagues, maybe as soon as this year.
- How many miles do you figure the World Series trophy has traveled this winter? Here’s a couple of more appearances on the agenda to pass on from the Yankees… the trophy will be on display at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow (Friday, 2/12) at the Connecticut Sports Foundation Dinner at Mohegan Sun.
On Saturday (2/13), it will be on display and available for the public to take pictures with just outside of the Box Office in The Shops at Mohegan Sun from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. General public looking for additional information should call 1.888.226.7711.
The Blue Jays’ asking price for Roy Halladay is too rich for the
Yankees to stomach at this moment, and as was widely believed, Toronto
is asking for the cream of New York’s young talent.
reported confirmation on Friday that the Blue Jays’ request of the
Yankees for Halladay is that New York should structure a deal around
either Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes, plus catcher Jesus Montero and
MLB.com has reported that the Blue Jays are enamored
especially by Montero, a power-hitting prospect whose bat is close to
Major League ready at this time. There is some question if Montero will
physically be able to catch at the big league level, and could become a
first baseman somewhere down the line.
manager Brian Cashman said that he is aware of the request for talent
on the pitching front and called it “pricey.” Cashman is still smarting
somewhat from dealing three young players for Curtis Granderson, but
said he would be willing to dip into the farm again if needed.
hesitant to move certain young players because of what they can do for
us in the future,” Cashman said. “At the same time, for the right
player, I’ll move anybody.”
Scott Boras made the rounds in Chicago yesterday, giving the writers something to chew on with Johnny Damon. Whether you read it frokm Joel Sherman in the New York Post, Mark Feinsand in the Daily News or David Waldstein in the New York Times, here’s the bottom line — Boras is drawing comparisons between his client, Damon, and what the Yankees have done and will do with Derek Jeter.
Boras’ argument, according to Sherman, is that Damon and Jeter worked so well atop the lineup in 2009, they should be viewed as a tandem. He also notes that that Damon has historic durability and that past three seasons equate well for both Damon and Jeter, and so they should be paid similarly. And Boras, of course, does not want Damon to take a pay cut from his $13 million annual salary (no one pays Boras’ commission to take a pay cut).
Here’s the problem, as I see it. The Yankees are going to overpay Derek Jeter. There’s no question about it, they’re going to give him one of those sweetheart deals where they pay him a lot for the future as a thank you for being the captain and leader of past teams, because they don’t want to see him getting his 3,000th hit in another uniform.
That’s fine, we all accept it, and if there’s one guy you’re going to do that to, it’s Jeter. OK, maybe they did it a little to not see Mariano Rivera — and especially Jorge Posada — in other uniforms too.
Point is, Damon doesn’t have that same cache with the Yankees. He was a very good player, a very productive player, over those four years. But he’s no franchise talent. A one or two-year deal is probably all that the Yankees are going to bring to the table with Damon. If Boras is intent on getting more, Damon is likely to be playing elsewhere in 2010 and beyond.
– Sherman also notes the Yankees intend to either pick up Sergio Mitre’s $1.25 million option by next week’s deadline or offer him arbitration, keeping him around as rotation depth. As expected, the Yankees also plan on non-tendering Chien-Ming Wang and then considering offering him a smaller money deal to return.
– Cashman on Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain, via Feinsand: “I look at them as starters that can relieve. We haven’t had our meetings, but I would anticipate going to spring training with as much starting depth as possible.”
Cashman also told reporters that he’s not actively shopping Ian Kennedy, but teams have called with interest.
Remember when Phil Hughes was the lockdown bridge to Mariano Rivera? Lately … not so much.
Last night’s two walk appearance in the eighth inning marked a continuation of postseason struggles for Hughes. After recording a 3.04 ERA during the regular season, he has a 9.64 playoff ERA and has retired just 14 of the 27 batters he’s faced in the postseason.
“It’s on me. I didn’t execute my pitches,” Hughes said. “Walks are killers and we really can’t afford to have those, especially when we’re trying to keep the game at 2-0 like it was. We’ve done a great job of coming back here and to let those four runs come across hurt us.”
Yankees pitching coach Dave Eiland said that some of Hughes’ earlier troubles had been related to a mechanical flaw, rushing his delivery and costing crispness. Not so on Wednesday, as both Eiland and Hughes thought that he was trying to be too fine with the Philadelphia hitters.
“Sometimes I try to go with scouting reports instead of just being aggressive like I have been all year,” Hughes said. “The biggest thing for me is to attack the zone and not really worry about the hitters’ weaknesses, but my strengths. That’s just something I need to get back to, and I have no doubt I’ll be able to do that going forward.”