Results tagged ‘ Freddy Garcia ’

Grab a beer and take the mound…


When I was a kid, the
overweight, aging dude with the beer belly was the starting pitcher on the
local softball team.  Suddenly, I am
faced with the reality that the same guy may be starting for the New York
Yankees.  Yikes!



'BART' ATTACK: Bartolo Colon, who last pitched in the big leagues in 2008, will take the mound today in the Yankees' spring training opener against the Phillies.

Charles Wenzelberg/NY Post



I know that Bartolo Colon
has pitched well this spring, but c’mon. 
I’d rather see him resurrect his career in Kansas City, Seattle, or
Florida.  Heck, maybe even the Mets could
use the arm.  I know that Freddy Garcia
has been rather disappointing the last couple of starts, but I still think that
he’d be the most effective starter over the course of the season.  If the Yankees are concerned about Garcia,
then pull the trigger and sign Kevin Millwood to a major league deal.

My preference for the
rotation is clearly CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova and
Freddy Garcia, with the potential mid-season call-ups of Andrew Brackman or
Dellin Betances.  I’d love to have Manny
Banuelos but he needs to spend a few more years in the minors before he’s ready
to hit the show. 

I know the Yankees will be
players for a starting pitcher at the trading deadline but that’s too difficult
to predict at this point in time.  It
will really depend upon who has given up on the season by July. 

It’s really weird that
Gustavo Molina has emerged as the front-runner for the backup catching
position.  I had fully expected the Yanks
to break camp with Jesus Montero regardless of his offensive struggles this
spring.  Granted, Molina is a temporary
solution but it definitely shows the Yankees were right about signing Russell
Martin to be their catcher, rather than entrusting the starting role to
Montero.  I found it humorous that one
website described Molina as “not an authentic Catching Molina Brother”.  I do have to say that the question did cross
my mind!  LOL!

For as frustrated as Luis
Castillo may be about being dumped by the Mets, how can he be unhappy with the
gift horse that has potentially put him on the NL World Series team?  Also, speaking of the Mets, I am so glad the
Yankees chose not to pursue Oliver Perez. 
I didn’t think the Yankees would be foolish enough to go down that road,
but early speculation through the media indicated Yankee interest.  Fortunately, it was just a fictional
tale.  Good luck to the Nationals as they
look to resurrect Perez’s career. 

As much as I don’t want to
see the Phillies win the World Series (call it anti-Cliff Lee bias), I hate to
see Chase Utley start the season on the DL. 
I do wish him a speedy recovery and hope that he is back at Citizens
Bank Park sooner rather than later.

William Shatner is really 80
years old?  Wow.  Captain Kirk turned 80 on March 22nd.  A belated happy birthday! He was such a huge
part of my childhood but of course I was watching Star Trek through syndication
and not through the first run shows.  Although,
I admit, I could have watched the first run shows.  As a kid, I was always Kirk when we played
Star Trek in the neighborhood so I definitely have an appreciation and fondness
for William Shatner.



–Signed, a Yankees fan
wondering who our #5 starter will be…


Going to battle with a slingshot…


Round 2 of the
pre-season Yankees-Red Sox battle resumes on Monday as the New Yorkers travel
to Fort Myers to play Boston.  The Red Sox won the first exhibition
meeting between the teams, and the odds are stacked against the Yanks as most
of the regulars stayed in Tampa.  



 


Per the LoHud Yankees
Blog
, the following players will not be making the trip to Fort Myers:  Francisco
Cervelli, Russell Martin, Jorge Posada, Robinson Cano, Eric Chavez, Derek
Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Colin Curtis, Greg Golson
and Andruw
Jones.

 

Unfortunately for the
Yankees, both Boston newcomers Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford will be in the
Red Sox lineup.  The pitching match-up
will feature former Yankees starter/reliever Alfredo Aceves versus Sergio
Mitre
. 

 

The regular Yankees
outfielders (Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, and Nick Swisher) will be making
the trip, and will hopefully give the Yankees the offense they need to defeat
the Sox.

 

I realize that it is
only a meaningless exhibition game, however, I have placed another wager with
Julia of Julia’s Rants.  Sorry, it’s just
too hard to let any Yankees-Red Sox game go by without a chance to fire a shot
at my friend from Boston!  I guess she
and I are just starting to stretch ourselves out in anticipation of Opening
Day.  For this game, the loser has to
sport the logo of the opposing team on their blog for one day (Tuesday, March
15, 2011).  To take it a step further,
the loser also has to sport the Yankees or Red Sox logo for their FaceBook
profile photo for the same 24 hour period.

 

I don’t want to read
too much into Freddy Garcia‘s pathetic performance today.  He gave up 4 runs on 6 hits, 2 walks and a
hit batter in 2 2/3 innings.  I accept
that Garcia is historically a slow starter in spring training and do not feel
that today’s clunker should define whether or not he loses his grip on the 5th
spot in the starting rotation.  I would
still prefer Ivan Nova and Garcia as the 4th and 5th
starters over any scenario that would allow either Mitre or Bartolo Colon into
the rotation.

 

I had hoped for a better
fate for Rule 5 draftee pitcher Daniel Turpen, but he never really had a chance
when the Yankees bolstered their bullpen (most notably the signing of former
Rays closer Rafael Soriano).  Turpen was
returned to the Red Sox today.  I do wish
him the very best, and I hope that he finds his way to the major leagues sooner
rather than later. 

 

I feel bad for first
baseman Jorge Vazquez.  He has done
everything to prove that he is ready for the major leagues now, but the Yankees
really need to go with former Oakland A’s third baseman Eric Chavez as their
backup corner infielder.  I wish there
was a spot for Vazquez but there just doesn’t appear to be one (barring any
injuries, of course).  I am sure that he’ll
see the pinstripes at some point this season. 

 

I am definitely
looking forward to hearing some good old Frank Sinatra soon…


YouTube by OMyKANG


–Scott


I am not really looking for new cologne…


Can I say that I am quietly rooting against Bartolo
Colon
?  Sorry, but I just don’t want to
see the 5th spot in the starting rotation go to such a high
risk.  I would never fool myself into
believing that a few good spring starts will lead to a replication of Colon’s
2005 Cy Young year with the Los Angeles Angels. 
My personal preference is for the 4th and 5th
spots to go to Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia, respectively.  It’s not outside of the realm of possibility
that both Colon and Garcia head north with the Yankees when camp breaks, but I
hope that it means Garcia is in the rotation and Colon is bumping shoulders
with Sergio Mitre in long relief.


FreddyGarcia.JPG

Noah K. Murray/The Star Ledger


I am not looking for Garcia to be a full season option.  I’d really like to see one of the Killer B’s
(Andrew Brackman, Dellin Betances and Manuel Banuelos) step up at some point in
the season and prove they belong in the majors now.  My favorite among the group is Brackman if
for no other reason that his age (25) and the fact that he’d have the maturity
to handle New York.  My absolute favorite
among the group is Banuelos but I don’t want to see the Yankees rush him too
soon. 


NY Daily News


Although the Yankees rotation looks questionable at this
point, there is definitely the potential that the staff will be among the
league’s best as the season progresses. 
Either the Yankees will reach out at the trading deadline or one of the
Killer B’s takes it to the next level, but the end result will be a much closer
gap between the Red Sox rotation and the Yankees. 

I am very pleased that Eric Chavez has done well so far in
camp.  I am very hopeful that he, along
with Eduardo Nunez, nail down the infield bench roles for the team.  I like what Jorge Vazquez has done, but
unfortunately, there just doesn’t appear to the room on the roster (barring
injury).  It will be interesting to see
what Brian Cashman does with the excess talent (notably Vazquez and catcher
Francisco Cervelli…once the latter recovers from the foot fracture).  Both have proven they are major league ready,
but if Chavez and Jesus Montero make the team, there won’t be any room for
Cervelli or Vazquez.

Congratulations to former Dodgers assistant GM Kim Ng for
her new role with Major League Baseball (Senior Vice President for Baseball
Operations).  She’ll report to former
Yankees and Dodgers manager Joe Torre.  I’ve
read the news reports that Kim took the job with the hopes it will help propel
her to an eventual GM job.  I have had
great respect for Kim since her days with the Yankees, and I am hopeful that
she does become the first woman GM in baseball. 


Northwest Asian Weekly


I can’t help it but I am definitely pulling for the Los
Angeles Dodgers this year as my favorite NL team.  Go Donnie Baseball! 


Mark Duncan/AP


–Scott

He said what?…


I have to admit that I am embarrassed almost every time Hank
Steinbrenner
opens his mouth.  The latest
comments that seemingly were aimed at Derek Jeter although Hank denied it were
very inappropriate.  2010 was a
disappointing year with the way it ended, but it’s done.  There is nothing more that can be learned or
derived from the loss to the Texas Rangers. 
At this point, it doesn’t matter what happened leading up to that
series.  There are a variety of reasons
for why the Yankees lost, but in the end, they were outplayed by a better
team. 

Hank justified his ‘mansions’ comment by indicating he was simply using
it as a euphemism.   Personally, I think
Hal Steinbrenner is a euphemism for Hank but that’s another matter. 

Back in the days of George Steinbrenner and particularly during the
losing years of the late 1980′s, the Boss used to infuriate fans with his
remarks.  He seemed as though he was
always giving fodder to the press.  As
mad as everyone used to get, I always found an honest truth in George’s
words.  I could never condemn him even
when his popularity at Yankee Stadium was non-existent.  However, I have trouble finding the honest
truth in Hank’s words.  He comes across
as just an arrogant blow-hard.   No
wonder that the family felt that the role of managing general partner was
better suited for the younger Hal. 

To Hank’s defense, I do always believe that ownership has the right to
say whatever they’d like.  It’s their
money and their team.  But when it has
the potential to create a distraction for the team, then I get concerned.  That’s probably where I am right now with
Hank’s words.  There is no question that
the Boston Red Sox have the best team on paper. 
Hank doesn’t need to add to the adversity; he needs to help reduce or
eliminate the talent gap between the two teams.

From the sounds of it, Freddy Garcia is leading the pack for a spot in
the rotation.  I’ve been concerned about Garcia’s
history of poor springs as I’ve felt he had the most to offer in terms of the
competition for the two rotation spots. 
He won 12 games with the Chicago White Sox last year and if he can
duplicate the season again this year, I think the Yankees would be very
pleased.  No offense to Bartolo Colon,
but I really don’t want to see the team break camp with him in the rotation or
the final roster for that matter.  I was
always very pleased to hear that prospect Andrew Brackman has been turning
heads.  He is a top flight talent that
slid in the 2007 draft to the Yankees because of his injury history.  He may not be ready for the major leagues
straight out of spring training but odds are that he’ll experience his Yankees
debut at some point this season. 

Finally, I was saddened to hear that the St. Louis Cardinals have lost
ace Adam Wainwright for the season due to an elbow injury that will require
Tommy John surgery.  I’ve always had a
soft spot for the Cardinals since I saw my first major league baseball game at
the old Busch Stadium in St. Louis when I was a kid.  They are a classy organization with quality
fans.  Losing Wainwright severely
downgrades the Cards’ chances this season and that’s unfortunate.  Hopefully, there is someone in the
organization that is ready to step up their game to help provide a solid bridge
until Wainwright can return in 2012. 

I am ready for some baseball…

 

–Scott

Maybe I should sign with Boras…

All hail the Sultan of $$$$$$$$$$$$…


deadspin.com


Unfortunately, the Yankees are going to be seeing super agent Scott
Boras more than they’d like given his newest clients are Robinson Cano and Nick
Swisher.  I have to admit that I was
dismayed to see the two Yankees sign on with Boras because it will mean the
potential for contentious negotiations in the not-so-distant future.  It also felt like the chances the players
stay in the Bronx behind their current deals lessened substantially when I
heard the news. 

From the players’ standpoint, Boras makes complete sense.  He has shown an uncanny knack for getting the
most for his clients (sometimes in seemingly impossible situations).  While I may not like Boras personally, he is
clearly on a different level than most agents. 
I can only hope that it does not eventually lead to Cano’s departure.

I have to admit that it looks strange to see former Oakland A’s third
baseman Eric Chavez in Yankees gear. 
Chavez was always an Athletic that I held high regard for, but as with
former Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra, injuries have taken their toll on a
once outstanding career.  I am really
pulling Chavez and I hope that he earns a bench role for the Yankees (even at
the expense of Ramiro Pena).  I’d like to
see Chavez backing up the corner positions, with Eduardo Nunez covering the
middle infield positions. 


Chavez n Swish.JPG

daylife.com


Of the other players in camp on minor league deals, I’d say that I am
most supportive of former Chicago White Sox pitcher Freddy Garcia.  If the Yankees don’t trade for a starting
pitcher or sign someone like Kevin Millwood, I’d like to see Garcia earn a spot
in the rotation ahead of Sergio Mitre and the other cast of characters.  While I recognize that the other spot will
most likely go to Ivan Nova, I am very intrigued by Hector Noesi and I am
looking forward to seeing what he can do in camp.  Of the younger guys, I most excited about lefty
Manny Banuelos but he is still a few years away from the majors.

It was tough to see Alfredo Aceves sign with the Boston Red Sox.  I know the Yankees were interested in
bringing Aceves back, but Boston’s willingness to extend a major league
contract was the difference maker. 

It’s hard to believe that pitchers and catchers report on Monday but I’m
ready for the new season.  I still think
that the Boston Red Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies have the best teams on
paper but there’s still a lot that can happen between now and October.  And, oh yeah, they still have to play the
games…


–Scott


 

Andy will be missed…so will the pitcher…


A day after Andy Pettitte’s retirement announcement, it is sad to think
that he’ll no longer be part of the team. 
As much as I would have liked him back, I didn’t want him to return if
there was any doubt in his mind so all things considered, the retirement was
probably the best thing for both Andy and the team.  If he had any doubts in his mind entering the
season, he most likely would not have performed at the level we’ve been
accustomed to over the years. 


Andy Pettitte dealt the Yankees starting rotation a crucial blow with his retirement (below) and he seemed sincere, but he may have left the door open for a comeback at Friday's press conference.

Sipkin/News

I will miss the personal attributes that went with being Andy
Pettitte.  He was universally respected
and from afar it was apparent that he was a man of high integrity and very
respectful of others.  I had admiration
for the way he was non-judgmental and would form his own opinions and beliefs
regardless of how others felt.  I
recognize that Andy admitted steroid use, but it is a testament to the man that
he did come clean with full honesty and disclosure.  Never for a minute have I believed Andy
misled or was less than honest with the fans. 
He is a class act and will be hard to replace on the team without even
getting into what he meant to the team as a player and pitcher. 

While I am hopeful that Andy stays in baseball in some capacity, it
really sounded like he was closing the door on life in baseball after his playing
days.  I think he’d make a terrific
pitching coach if he ever wanted to get back into the game once his children
are older.  He has so much to offer
younger players, and particularly those who are not as naturally gifted as
someone like Stephen Strasberg or Tim Lincecum. 

I can still remember when Don Mattingly wore #46 before taking #23, but
I hope that Donnie Baseball was the last player to wear the number before or
after Andy.  Andy deserves his place in
Monument Park and I look forward to the day of his induction.


98730903, Sports Illustrated/Getty Images /Sports Illustrated

Getty Images


When you hear the pitching options available to the Yankees, it is
rather disappointing.  I am not looking
forward to the back end of the rotation being filled by Sergio Mitre, Bartolo
Colon, Freddy Garcia, and/or Ivan Nova. 
While I wouldn’t mind either Garcia or Nova in the #5 spot, I am hopeful
that the #4 starter is not on the roster right now.  Ideally, I’d like a #3 starter in front of
A.J. Burnett, but again, the options just don’t look that appealing.  Even the San Francisco Chronicle was speculating
if the Yankees would look at taking Barry Zito and his mammoth contract off
their hands.  Please, I hope not.  I still think that the best case scenario, if
they could convince Cleveland to trade him, is to acquire Fausto Carmona.  I really think that Carmona could flourish
under CC Sabatia’s wing.  Okay, best case
scenario is actually Seattle’s Felix Hernandez, but I don’t see any way to
convince the Mariners to trade him.  So,
Carmona represents the best realistic option.

The Yankees training camp is going to be filled with former major league
stars.  The latest to sign a minor league
deal is former Oakland A’s slugger Eric Chavez. 
I’ve always liked Chavez as a player but injuries have definitely taken
their toll in recent years.  It would be
great to see him excel at a reserve role behind Alex Rodriguez and Mark
Teixeira, however, I am not expecting a lot. 
Hopefully, Eric will surprise me. 
The Yankees are also bringing in former Los Angeles Dodgers infielder
Ronnie Belliard.  It will be interesting
to see if these players motivate Eduardo Nunez and/or Ramiro Pena to take their
game to the next level. 


Sports Illustrated/Getty Images


With all the attention that the Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles and
Tampa Bay Rays have gotten this off-season, the Toronto Blue Jays are
definitely flying under the radar with a team that is fully capable of
challenging in the division.  The AL East
is going to be a beast this year, and of course, it makes you wonder if
everyone will be beat each other up so badly that the Wild Card will come from
another division.  Boston does look like
the favorite, but it wouldn’t take too many injuries to bring them back to the
pack.  This should be a long, grueling
race for October…


–Scott


Adding more fodder to the fire…

The crowd begins to gather…

Of course, the crowd is the wrong-side of 30 pitching club led by Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia.  I had been hoping for a younger pitcher with the potential for a breakout but rather we’ll see pitchers who were great…5-10 years ago.  Of the two, I liked Garcia better than Colon.  He won 12 games last year after a few unproductive years due to injury.  I am not convinced that Colon has anything left.  Fortunately, both contracts are minor league deals so there wasn’t a substantial commitment by the Yankees.  If it works, wonderful.  If it doesn’t, time to look for the next option.
I’d still like to see the Yankees pursue another starting pitcher with “promise”.  I recognize that they cannot acquire a frontline starter or a high end youthful starter at this point in the season but they should be able to uncover a diamond in the rough.  I wish that Dellin Betances or Manny Banuelos were closer to the majors, but I still think the Yankees could find a guy with the potential to make a difference.  
I wonder what’s taking the Yankees so long to announce the signing of outfielder Andruw Jones?  Word had leaked that the Yankees had signed Jones before the surprise announcement came out that the Tampa Bay Rays had signed the duo of Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez.  Both were introduced in Tampa today as the newest Rays but there has been nothing about Jones.  I know that one problem is the full 40 man roster and Jones addition means that someone has to be removed.  That move might be the reason for the delay, but it would be nice to put this one to bed.  I’d hate to see the Jones signing fall apart at this late hour when other prior options like Damon are off the board.
I’ve said it before but I really wish the St. Louis Cardinals would sign Albert Pujols…
But probably a greater concern, I wish Andy Pettitte would hurry up and make those flight reservations for Tampa…
–Scott

A Newfound Respect and Appreciation for Levine…


I have to admit that I have never really taken the time to know or understand Yankees president Randy Levine.  I took a dislike to him without really giving him a chance to prove himself.  I don’t know if it was something he said or a certain look that he gave during a press conference or if I really had any reason at all.  But within the last couple of weeks, I have gained a newfound appreciation and respect for Levine.  A week or so ago, I was reading a column by one of the Yankees beat writers (I don’t recall which one) and it referenced that the writer had bumped into Levine and he made a comment about how easy and comfortable it is to talk with Levine.  Somehow, I had expected him to be “standoffish” and arrogant.  But today, when he stood up to Rangers owner Chuck Greenberg, he showed that he is the right man for the job.  


Greenberg recently commented about how his second visit to Cliff Lee in Arkansas distracted the pitcher who had seemed destined to sign with New York.  The distraction gave the Phillies enough time to slip in and seal the deal to return Lee to Philly.  In response, Levine called Greenberg “delusional” and made a comment about how he has been an owner for a few minutes and seems to know what everyone is thinking.  The comment about how he’d be impressed if the Rangers could get off “welfare” for three consecutive years was classic.  The Yankees subsidize the Rangers existence, but for whatever reason, Greenberg feels the need to bite the hand that feeds him.  Levine’s comments were very appropriate and I applaud him for the great defense of the Yankees and its fans.  

The funny thing about the spat with the Rangers is the ongoing flow of “love” the Yankees seem to say about the Boston Red Sox organization.  The most recent was Brian Cashman saying that the Red Sox had the best team.  Of course, in his classy and professional way, Red Sox manager Terry Francona said that the comments won’t give them any extra runs or help them win a lot of games.  I can’t believe that I despise the Rangers more than I do the Red Sox right now, but then again, it’s only January 28th so I’m sure that I’ll get my “Red Sox Hater” cap on between now and Opening Day…

Recent comments make me believe that Freddy Garcia wants to be a Yankee.  I am not sure if the team has the same interest, but I’d be happy to see them take a flier on Garcia or Tigers free pitcher Jeremy Bonderman.  The latter would be very ironic considering that the Yankees played a part in his trade from the Oakland A’s to Detroit in the deal that brought Jeff Weaver to New York.  Either Garcia or Bonderman would be an upgrade to either Bartolo Colon or Sergio Mitre.

I am happy that the recent news about Andy Pettitte’s possible return has been positive but c’mon, let’s have the news of the decision.  Please don’t let me know the groundhog before Andy announces whether or not he is going to retire!

I am glad the Yankees signed Russell Martin and I am looking forward to seeing if he can restore his promise in New York, but I’d have to say that I am starting to get excited about the impending arrival of Jesus Montero and his bat.  I know that Montero’s emergence will probably mean the end of Jorge Posada’s career with the Yankees but it is getting close to baton time.

–Scott

Freddy Garcia is not the answer…

The news is becoming more and more pessimistic of the Yankees’ chances to re-sign Andy Pettitte.  Either way, I wish something would happen sooner rather than later.  I saw speculation that the Yanks might have interest in Freddy Garcia.  It’s hard to get excited about that one.  Peter Abraham wrote a good blog today about how the Yankees starting rotation stacks up against Boston.  Sabathia, Burnett, Wang and Chamberlain match up well against Beckett, Dice-K, Lester, and Wakefield.  But there is clearly separation in Boston’s favor when you get to the 5th spot, and the potential starters in the pen. 

I am watching the 1996 World Series between the Yankees and Atlanta Braves.  It is amazing how much different Andrew Jones looked as a 19 year old phenom, with two home runs in his first two WS at-bats.  Physically, you can see how much he has deteriorated over the years.  It really makes you wonder what kind of career he could have had or sustained if he had taken better care of himself.  Jon Heyman is reporting that the Dodgers will release Andruw tomorrow…

Andruw Jones watches his three-run home run in the third inning of Game 1 of the World Series against the New York Yankees in New York, in this Oct. 20, 1996 file photo. At right is Yankees catcher Jim Leyritz. The Atlanta Braves are cutting ties with  Jones, saying they can't afford to keep the perennial Gold Glove center fielder who's spent his entire career with the organization. From AP Photo by MARK LENNIHAN.

 

If the Yankees were willing to offer Ben Sheets a two year deal in December for $12-$13 million per year, why don’t they revisit that possibility given the drop in prices for available free agents?

I read a good blog the other day on River Ave. Blues about the Yankees difficulty in making any additional moves due to the current 40 man roster and the players that would have to be DFA to open any spots (unless the team can free up some space by moving players such as Xavier Nady or Nick Swisher).  I still think that an addition of someone like P Juan Cruz makes so much sense when it would only cost you a fourth round draft pick (the upside potential far offsets the cost). 

Watching the Arizona Cardinals toward the end of the season, I never would have dreamed that they’d be hosting their first NFC Championship Game in January.  Still, I expect the dream to end with the Philadelphia Eagles advancing to the Super Bowl to face Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens.  I’d like the Steelers if Big Ben were healthier…

That’s it for now.  Have a good night! 

 

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