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New York Yankees: If Captain Derek Jeter Goes Moving On Down

hen the idea of moving New York Yankees Captain Derek Jeter down in the batting order and letting Brett Gardner take over as the line-up’s leadoff hitter, I got pretty ticked off.

Honestly, my initial reaction was to immediately go on the defense. Considering this is after being subjected to the harsh words used all off-season about the Captain. I just wanted the man to catch a break, after skipper Joe Girardi made it clear that Jeter would be the at the top on Opening Day.

Now that I have had time to digest this idea, it might actually be a good one.

Jeter has only been lead-off since the start of 2009, other than filling in on occasion. He was cemented for the majority of 14 seasons as the Yankees #2.

Moving Jeter doesn’t concern me as much as whether Brett Gardner will be able to handle it. Last season Gardner struggled when atop the Yankee line-up.

Is Gardner speed going to hurt such an offensively dominant group and will his speed get wasted?

This made me wonder with batters like Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano at the heart of your order, wouldn’t attempting to steal a base in essence become redundant?

Jeter has never been a power batter, so what if he starts hitting into double plays, as he did do that more in 2010? That immediately closes the door for Teixeira to hit a sac-fly to move the runners with two outs already.

Question remains if Jeter can still be a pest on the base-pads because we know that Gardner is one of the fastest guys in the league.

Jeter stole 48 bases in 2009-2010, which is almost double what he had in 2007-2008 when he posted 26 combined.

So now my alternative suggestion is, why can’t Curtis Granderson hit leadoff?

Granderson did it for the Detroit Tigers and even though he struggles a lot against lefties, Granderson sustains both power and speed.

Over his career, Granderson has an 81% stolen base rate and against right-handed pitchers he can flat out hit, averaging 25 home-runs, 13 triples and 28 doubles a season over his seven big league seasons. Continue reading ‘New York Yankees: If Captain Derek Jeter Goes Moving On Down’ »

New York Yankees Rumor: Please Pass On Kevin Millwood

Free agent pitcher and ex-Baltimore Oriole Kevin Millwood is back or never left the New York Yankees radar.

According to Joel Sherman of the NY Post the Yankees attended a showcase for pitcher Kevin Millwood on Wednesday at UC-Irvine, according to a source.

Early in the winter, Millwood rejected a minor league offer from the Yankees that was rumored to be in the six figures. Millwood wants a major-league deal somewhere around $4 million bucks, which is way more than he is worth.

Millwood has been a durable pitcher throughout his 14-seasoned career, making an average of 34 starts a season. In 2010, as an Oriole, Millwood had a 5.10 ERA, over 190 innings but posted a record of 4-16. He also gave up 30 home-runs and 108 earned runs, not conducive numbers to bring to Yankee Stadium.

It comes as no surprise that Millwood would be asking for such a high salary since his agent is Scott Boras, who tends to inflate his clients true worth to a point where they believe it. Millwood is not getting any offers at the price he wants and that should speak loudly enough in itself about his unrealistic terms.

Supposedly, Cashman even gave in a little offering Millwood a salary in the low-seven figures but would not budge on signing him to a minor league contract.

All I can say is thank God because the Yankees have better options in Colon, Garcia and Nova. Boras is trying to sell Millwood as an innings eater, but when you lose games because a pitcher is allowing runs to score cancels out that possibility.

No Millwood in pinstripes….PLEASE

New York Yankees: Manny Mania, Manny Rules

I took this picture of Joba Chamberlain on 8/1...

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By now, most of baseball has heard or witnessed New York Yankee pitching prospect Manny Banuelos.

Facing the Red Sox a-lineup this past Sunday night, Banuelos maintained such poise, considering skipper Joe Girardi told him just hours before that Sergio Mitre was scratched with stiffness.

Even though Banuelos gave up three walks against Boston’s best, the 20-year-old looked good. Banuelos didn’t allow a run to score and struck-out two batters. He throws mid-90’s and has a sick change-up.

Banuelos has left quite an impression this Spring Training, and not just with Yankees. Here are a few quotes about Banuelos:

“That guy’s 20 years old? He’s really good, and he seems to have an idea. Shoot, when I was 20, I was swinging with an aluminum bat.” – Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia NY POST

“I like everything about him. The makeup and how he keeps his composure. I notice situations and how you react in situations. Where you make your pitches in tough situations, where you spot your pitches, he has the ability to do that.” Yankees closer Mariano Rivera ESPN

“I think for this young man’s future they should go slow with him, very slow,” – Red Sox manager Terry Francona said with a smile NY POST

It is confirmed from GM Brian Cashman that Banuelos will start in Double A. He has only made three starts total with Trenton, so it makes sense not to rush him.  Banuelos needs to pitching more innings, but it would seem impossible that the Yankees can resist not letting him into the Bronx at all in 2011. Continue reading ‘New York Yankees: Manny Mania, Manny Rules’ »

New York Yankees: Manny Banuelos Update

Thanks to the YES Network, the New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox game was blacked out in New York despite being advertised to be showing on ESPN2.

This was ridiculous of YES to blackout one of the most relevant games of Spring Training and one that fans were very excited to watch. YES had the Nets vs. Celtics game on and ESPN ran SportsCenter for two straight hours.

So, Yankee fans missed watching prospect Manny Banuelos pitch against Boston’s A-line-up. This was announced last yesterday after slated starter Sergio Mitre couldn’t go due to stiffness in his left oblique. The injury is not of any concern according to the Yankees.

Skipper Joe Girardi decided to start Banuelos in place of Mitre, which means the Yankees have faith in this kid. Banuelos is  something for fans to definetly be excited about, as the just turned 20-year-old has been impressing throughout Spring Training.

Will we see Banuelos in the Bronx during 2011?

Knowing the Yankees it would be doubtful because of he needs more innings in the minors.  Post-All-Star break it would not surprise me if that sentiment changes because Banuelos is that talented and keeping him in the minors is wasting his talents.

Since I could not watch the game here is the NY Post writer Brian Costello’s article of how Banuelos outing went.

Yankees prospect Banuelos hangs tough vs. Red Sox regulars

FORT MYERS, Fla. — With all the hype around Manuel Banuelos, you expected the Yankees prospect to levitate to the mound, turn the water in the cooler into wine and throw lightning bolts from his left hand against the Red Sox last night.
He didn’t quite do all that, but Banuelos was impressive in his first start of the spring. The 20-year-old left-hander struggled with his control, but showed poise when he got into jams and gave glimpses of a filthy fastball and a nasty changeup. He allowed two hits in 2 2/3 shutout innings, striking out two and walking three.

Read the rest of article HERE….

2011 MLB Team Preview: Texas Rangers

There were a lot of ‘firsts’ for the Texas Rangers in 2010.

The team won their first post-season berth, played in their first World Series and for the first time are the reigning AL Champions.

Expectations have certainly gone up for the Rangers heading into 2011, as both the fans and the players got a taste of what it takes to get to the World Series only to lose.

The opportunity to highlight a reputation as one of the best teams in baseball is now deep in the heart of Texas. Let’s take a look at the AL Champs as they try to do it all over again.

The Positives:

The Rangers can hit lead by Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, Michael Young and Ian Kinsler, who all had a batting average above .280, which is not a great stat, as it doesn’t really tell the whole story. Still the Rangers offense can produce big time and will have too.

Also, Rangers rookie Neftali Feliz emerged as one of the best closers in baseball in 2010. At just 22 years old, Feliz had 40 saves and proved to not break under pressure in the post season. Feliz is an asset for the Rangers for years to come.

Leading the rotation are starting pitchers CJ Wilson and Colby Lewis, who both proved to be solid starters at the end of last season. The stuff is there for both and they can both eat 200+ innings in 2011.

Following Wilson and Colby is a new addition, former CY Young winner Brandon Webb. Webb is coming off a major arm trouble could really help the Rangers rotation if he stays healthy. Webb hasn’t pitched in the majors in two years, but so far so good in Spring Training.

Things internally were on shaky ground for the first half of the season, until Nolan Ryan took control of the team. Ryan was one of the best pitchers in baseball back in his heyday. You could not ask for a better owner and Ryan can provide experience to a team who is not used to having success.

The Negatives:

The Rangers lost their ace Cliff Lee, who only brought his talents for second-half of last season. That was long enough for Lee to make a huge difference. Trying to make up for the loss of Lee is no easy task and the Rangers will be noticeably hurt by his absence. Continue reading ‘2011 MLB Team Preview: Texas Rangers’ »

New York Yankees Scouting Carlos Silva Must Be A Joke Not A Rumor

The latest report from MLB Trade Rumors is that a few ball-clubs, one of which is the New York Yankees, are showing interest in Chicago Cubs Carlos Silva.

This didn’t register to me considering the Yankees already have a better version of Silva in Bartolo Colon and Freddie Garcia, but I wouldn’t hold it past GM Brian Cashman especially with the new nursing home he has created down in Tampa.

Silva is owed $12 million on his current contract for 2011 and even though the Yankees can easily pay that, he is definitely not worth it.

Silva is about to turn 32-years-old, has a bad attitude and is overweight at 250 lbs; even at 6’4 that screams out-of-shape.

Also, Silva’s now referred to as his personal catcher, Geovany Soto have to come with him so he doesn’t start fights in the dugout?

I find that pitchers (i.e. Randy Johnson) who have personal catchers to always be a problem. Some people do work better together and if it can change a game’s outcome fine, but out of the two or three catchers already on the roaster.

Look, if the majority of aces like Sabathia, Halladay, Lee, Lester, Johnson etc. can do it than there is no reason that a guy like Silva is living like he is P-Diddy.

Silva is not even a good pitcher. He can’t throw for strikes, doesn’t eat innings and pitches to contact.

Last season, Silva went 10-6 in 21 starts, with a 4.22 ERA, allowing 120 hits, striking out 80 over 113 innings and this was a good year.

In 2009-2008 when Silva was a Seattle mariner he made 36 starts, posting a 5-18 record, a 6.81 ERA, giving-up 254 hits, 139 earned runs and only fanned 79 batters.

Even mentioning the idea of acquiring Silva is just wrong. Silva has never put up solid numbers in his nine-year career, like Colon and Garcia have.

This is NOT a guy the Yankees want or need. He is the definition of a clubhouse cancer, whose antics do not get evened out by his play on the field. He has been god-awful in his first two spring starts and his last one was just okay.

Bottom line is starting a fight in the dugout during Spring Training is something the Yankees don’t want to be a part of.

The Cubs would love to dump Silva and his paycheck literally anywhere and that should be enough of a reason in itself to stay far, far away.