Results tagged ‘ Javier Vazquez ’

Nova replaces Vazquez in Yankees rotation

Ivan Nova has impressed the Yankees enough that he – and not Javier Vazquez – will pitch on Sunday at Chicago, manager Joe Girardi announced today.

Vazquez is moving to the bullpen for now and will be available beginning Wednesday, but Girardi would not commit to them staying with Nova more than one turn. Girardi did say that he is inclined not to use a six-man rotation.

“I’m disappointed, obviously, but I’m also not doing my job so I understand that part,” Vazquez said. “Last time they put me in the ‘pen, it was only one day, but that one day helped me out a little bit. Hopefully this time it will too.”

Jeter’s hand fine, Girardi says

If Derek Jeter’s throwing hand was bothering him at all while playing the field on Thursday, it came as news to Yankees manager Joe Girardi.

Girardi said that he learned there might have been an issue with his shortstop only after he was asked about it on the YES Network, as the telecast caught Jeter wincing and flexing his right hand while manning his position.

“He’s fine,” Girardi said. “I asked him and he said, ‘My hand’s fine.’ I didn’t know about it until they said it [on television] in the fifth inning.”

Jeter never drops hints about possible injuries and left George M. Steinbrenner Field on Thursday without speaking to reporters, but the play in question appeared to happen in the fourth inning, when Jeter dove for a Pat Burrell single.

As Girardi pointed out, Jeter looked good enough in his next at-bat, singling in the bottom half of the fourth off the Rays’ Heath Rollins.

“He got a hit after that,” Girardi said, adding, “He’ll play [Friday].”

Legs under him: Javier Vazquez allowed Carlos Pena’s first hit of the spring after 21 fruitless at-bats, and it went a long way over the right field wall. But other than that, Vazquez was pretty sharp, allowing two hits in three innings while walking two and striking out three.

He said that he felt his mechanics got out of sync at times but overall, Vazquez told pitching coach Dave Eiland that he was feeling pretty good after 60 pitches.

“I felt I could keep going,” Vazquez said. “It felt pretty good today. I feel my legs are strong. I’ve been working hard on them.”

Vazquez mentioned something interesting in that he felt this spring was more predictable than last, because he’d pitched in winter ball to get ready for the World Baseball Classic. But unlike some pitchers, he wasn’t saying the WBC participation was a bad thing.

“I threw a little bit more, and I felt last spring that I was ready quicker than usual,” Vazquez said. “This is just a normal spring for me.”

Cheering section: Chan Ho Park’s Yankees debut was brief, but it had a loud audience in Joba Chamberlain and Dave Robertson, who were impressed watching Park pounce on a fifth-inning Pena tapper and by the movement on a strikeout pitch to Willy Aybar.

“His outing was so sharp, I forgot he pitched,” Girardi said.

Scouting from the press box: Girardi mentioned how he saw Boone Logan pitch for the White Sox during his season as a FOX broadcaster in 2007, and liked his arm then, as he does now. Logan has been asked to make some minor adjustments and is throwing the ball “pretty decent,” striking out the only batter he faced tonight around a passed ball.
Gotcha: If you’d walked by the travel roster for Friday’s game against the Rays in Port Charlotte tonight, the name ‘Rivera, Mariano’ had been circled by a clubhouse prankster. Rivera wasn’t buying it, and after the game, Rob Thomson pitched the altered travel roster in the trash and replaced it with the real deal.

Separated at birth?: A clubhouse suggestion of ‘Step Brothers’ – Dustin Moseley and Will Ferrell. My opinion? “That is bush league.”  

Vazquez working on command

Javier Vazquez came away from his second spring start feeling like he still has some work to do. He completed three innings of two-run ball, touched by Ty Wigginton’s home run in the second inning among the four hits he allowed. Vazquez walked one and struck out two.

“I feel like I need to make better pitches,” Vazquez said. “Some pitches today, I felt like I was rushing too much. My changeup and a few fastballs didn’t have enough movement and were straight. It’s little things like that.”

Vazquez said he threw a better changeup to Matt Wieters during a strikeout at-bat in the third inning and said that his body and arm feel fine.

“As long as you get your six games during the spring, it’s going to be OK,” Vazquez said. “I feel good. I’ve done this for a lot of years, so basically I’m doing what I’m supposed to do.”

Hank: Yanks can repeat

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.

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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