New York Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson (14) prior to their game against the Baltimore Orioles at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
Spring Training is almost over for the New York Yankees. An exhibition game Monday against the Miami Marlins, then a pair against the New York Mets Tuesday and Wednesday before the regular season opens Friday in Tampa against the Tampa Bay Rays.
With that in mind, let's look back at Spring Training 'Kudos & Wet Willies' style. If you're not familiar, 'Kudos' go to players who did well and deserve praise. 'Wet Willies' go to those who have not performed well and have earned our wrath. Spring stats entering Monday will be in parenthesis.
'Kudos' To ...
Curtis Granderson (.378 average, 2 homers, 7 RBI): Granderson had a career year in 2011 with 41 home runs and 119 RBI. He seems hell-bent on proving it wasn't an aberration.
Justin Maxwell (.317, 0 homers, 11 RBI): Maxwell probably won't make the team, and he is out of options. He might, however, have played well enough that the Yankees could get something via trade in return for the young outfielder.
Jose Gil (.455, 1 homer, 6 RBI): Won't unseat Francisco Cervelli, and won't get much attention in a Yankee system flush with catching prospects. Still, a spring that will put the 25-year-old on the team's radar.
Alex Rodriguez (.289, 2 homers, 11 RBI): A-Rod is coming off his worst season and there are questions about how much he has left. If he can duplicate his .509 slugging percentage this spring during the regular season that would be Rodriguez' best work since 2009.
Andy Pettitte: Simply for deciding to come back.
Clay Rapada (1-0, 0.93 ERA): The journeyman lefty specialist earned a roster spot with a terrific spring.
Dellin Betances (0-0, 0.00 ERA): In five appearances covering eight innings Betances did not give up a run. Could the highly-regarded 24-year-old pitch himself into a spot in the Yankee bullpen before the season is over? Maybe.
Phil Hughes (0-1, 2.03 ERA): Hughes had a 5.79 ERA a season ago, but threw the ball much better this spring. His velocity, missing much of last season, was better. The Yankees need Hughes to pitch more like he did in 2010, when he won 18 games.
'Wet Willies' To ...
Raul Ibanez (.167, 3 homers, 10 RBI): Ibanez has hit better the past few days, but his body of work has led to questions about whether the 39-year-old outfielder/designated hitter has much left to give.
Jorge Vasquez (.091, 0 homers, 2 RBI): A year after hitting .412 in Spring Training, the young first baseman flamed out this spring. If Ibanez flops as the lefty hitting DH the Yankees will be looking for an alternative. Vasquez had a chance this spring to stamp himself as a possibility and didn't get the job done.
Ivan Nova (1-2, 6.86 ERA): If Nova had not gone 16-4 a season a spring like this could have gotten him bumped down to AAA. As it is, he is solidly in the starting rotation and the spring will be forgotten if he pitches well once the season begins.