Yankees Spring Training 2012: Francisco Cervelli Optioned To AAA

The New York Yankees are nearly finished with Spring Training

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Andy Pettitte To Pitch One Inning Wednesday Vs. New York Mets

The New York Yankees’ ho-hum Spring Training finale on Wednesday against the New York Mets now has some intrigue. The recently un-retired Andy Pettitte is scheduled to pitch one inning on Wednesday, his first game action since announcing his return.

Pettitte’s return to the Yankees after a year away from the game is one of the most intriguing stories of the 2012 MLB season. What does the 39-year-old left-hander have left in the tank, and how quickly can he get ready to rejoin the Yankees after deciding to return once Spring Training had already begun?

Pettitte has 240 career victories, 203 of those with the Yankees. In his last season, 2010, he went 11-3 with a 3.28 ERA and made the American League All-Star Team. Pettitte will turn 40 this summer.

The Yankees have a crowded rotation, but will undoubtedly make room for Pettitte once the left-hander is ready to pitch at the big-league level again.

New York opens the regular season Friday against the Tampa Bay Rays


New York Yankees Injuries: Cesar Cabral Has 'Significant' Elbow Injury

Michael Pineda is not the only pitcher the New York Yankees have lost to injury in the past couple of days. Cesar Cabral, a 22-year-old left-hander who had a shot at earning a spot in the bullpen, has a “significant” elbow injury.

Cabral apparently suffered the injury during an appearance on Friday night. The Yankees do not know at this point whether Cabral will require surgery, but they did say he will be sidelined longer than 15 days.

That means journeyman left-hander Clay Rapada, who has not given up a run in 10 spring appearances covering 9.1 innings, is likely to make the team.

The Yankees are looking for a second left-hander to join Boone Logan in their bullpen. They signed Pedro Feliciano prior to the 2011 season, but Feliciano showed up at 2011 Spring Training with a shoulder injury and has never pitched for the Yankees.

Pineda has been diagnosed with tendinitis and is expected to be OK.


Michael Pineda Injury Update: Yankees Place 23-Year-Old Starter On 15-Day DL

The New York Yankees have placed Michael Pineda on the 15-day DL with right shoulder tendinitis, according to multiple reports. The right-hander had an MRI on Saturday morning after being lit up for six runs in two and two-thirds innings on Friday night.

With Pineda now out, Freddy Garcia has seized the final spot in the Yankees rotation and is expected to start the team's fifth game.

Pineda's pitch velocity had been a point of concern all spring training, but he had been adamant about his health before complaining of shoulder soreness after Friday's performance. The 23-year-old, who was acquired in a trade with the Seattle Mariners for Jesus Montero, normally reaches 95 to 97 MPH on the radar gun but had reportedly rarely topped 91 MPH during spring training.

-- For more on the Yankees, be sure to check out Pinstripe Alley and SB Nation New York for news, notes and updates.


Freddy Garcia Trade Rumors: Yankees Fielding Inquiries?

The New York Yankees still have not officially announced their five-man starting rotation for the 2012 season. It seems most people believe, though, that veteran right-hander Freddy Garcia will be the odd man out.

Which begs the question. What do the Yankees do then with the 35-year-old Garcia, who is entering his 14th big league season? They could stick him in the bullpen as the long reliever, but that does not seem practical. He is a soft-tosser who has made two relief appearances in 13 seasons. He has 327 career starts.

Could they trade him? YES Network broadcaster John Flaherty tweeted Thursday about that possibility.

There was a report earlier in Spring Training that the Anaheim Angels had expressed interest in Garcia, possibly in exchange for unhappy outfielder/DH Bobby Abreu, or that the Yankees could send Garcia to the Miami Marlins.

Stay tuned to this one. It seems likely that something will happen here. Garcia went 12-8 with a 3.62 ERA last season, and even if he regresses from that somewhat in 2012 he showed that he can still be an effective starter.


Jack Cust Signing: Yankees Ink Slugger To Minor-League Deal

The New York Yankees have signed left-handed slugger Jack Cust to a minor-league contract, reports WFAN's Sweeny Murti.

Cust, who was released by the Houston Astros on Tuesday, is likely to compete for at-bats as the Yankees left-handed designated hitter. The Yankees signed Raul Ibanez with the idea that he would seize the left-handed DH spot, but the 39-year old has struggled immensely during spring training. In 42 at-bats, Ibanez has managed just three hits for a .071 average to go along with just one home run and 4 RBI.

Cust Is A Bust, Says SB Nation's Jeff Sullivan

Cust, who batted .213 with three home runs last season in 225 at-bats with the Seattle Mariners, has also spent time at first base and in the outfield. The 33-year-old hit a career-high 33 home runs with the Oakland Athletics in 2008, when he led the MLB in both bases on balls and strikeouts.

For more on the Yankees, be sure to check out Pinstripe Alley and SB Nation New York for all your needs.


New York Yankees' 2012 25-Man Roster Projection: No Surprises

The New York Yankees open their 2012 regular-season schedule April 6 in Tampa vs. the Tampa Bay Rays. Between now and then there are not many roster decisions remaining to be made. In truth, there never were many to be made right from the beginning.

Still, there are 29 players remaining on the active roster as of Wednesday morning. So, let’s look at how the Opening Day roster will likely break down.

Related: Jack Cust Signed As DH Insurance

Starting Pitching

CC Sabathia
Hiroki Kuroda
Ivan Nova
Michael Pineda
Phil Hughes

The Yankees have not officially announced it yet, but it would be a stunner if Hughes were sent to the bullpen and Freddy Garcia was left in the rotation. Things will get really interesting when Andy Pettitte is ready to rejoin the team a month or so after the season begins.


Mariano Rivera
David Robertson
Rafael Soriano
Boone Logan
Cory Wade
Clay Rapada
Freddy Garcia

Rapada has earned the final bullpen spot with 8.1 shutout innings over nine spring appearances.


Russell Martin
Francisco Cervelli

Austin Romine had an outside shot at unseating Cervelli for the backup job, but a back injury sidelined him and he never got any spring at-bats.


Mark Teixeira
Robinson Cano
Derek Jeter
Alex Rodriguez
Eduardo Nunez
Eric Chavez

This has been etched in stone since the beginning. Only an injury would change it.


Curtis Granderson
Nick Swisher
Brett Gardner
Andruw Jones
Raul Ibanez

Injuries to Swisher and Granderson are cause for concern. Ibanez has had an awful spring, and is likely on a short leash as the left-handed hitting designated hitter.


Yankees Spring Training 2012: Granderson Headed For MRI; Pettitte Takes Next Step

While the New York Yankees were encouraged by Andy Pettitte throwing his second live batting practice of spring training after surprisingly coming out of retirement earlier this month, it wasn't all good news in Tampa, Fla.

Curtis Granderson is scheduled for an MRI after being scratched from Tuesday night's spring training game against the Toronto Blue Jays after experiencing right elbow soreness. According to general manager Brian Cashman, Granderson will have a "precautionary" MRI tomorrow, and the team doesn't believe the issue is anything significant.

When asked how worried he is about Granderson's injury, Cashman said, "Right now, on a scale of one to 10, two or less."

Granderson is off to a strong start in spring training, batting .333 with 11 hits in 33 at-bats. The 31-year-old center fielder is also coming off the best season of his career after recording career-highs with 41 home runs and 119 RBIs in 2011.

Elsewhere in Tampa, Pettitte returned to action after throwing his first bullpen Monday. After spending 18 months in retirement, the 39-year-old lefty is attempting to work his way back to major league strength. Pettitte threw 35 pitches Tuesday afternoon as manager Joe Girardi, pitching coach Larry Rothschild, former Yankee David Wells and others watched closely.

Reviews all around seemed positive, as Pettitte said afterward he felt the session was "another step in the right direction" and Girardi also thought he looked good.

"I thought he looked pretty good," Girardi said. "He was able to throw everything, for the most part, where he wanted to."

While Pettitte also claimed to be seeing the ball off the bat better, he admitted to experiencing some fatigue during his final 15 pitches out of the stretch. Pettite also said his legs felt a little tired during his final pitches.

Ultimately, however, it seems Pettitte's comeback is off to a strong start. Nick Swisher and Chris Dickerson took turns alternating in the batter's box during the session, and Swisher raved about Pettitte's pitching afterward.

"When Swish tells me that it's moving really good, that makes you feel good," Pettitte said. "He said my four-seamer is riding, my sinker is running -- those are all important things that I need. I need the ball to move late, and the hitters so far are telling me that it's doing that. Hopefully, I can just continue to progress the way I am."

The next step for Pettitte is either another batting practice session or a simulated game, the latter of which would likely come Thursday or Friday. Girardi said Pettitte could also get into a spring training game before the season starts, but Pettitte said it's "not really important" for him to get in a game.

-- Check out Pinstripe Alley for more discussion and analysis of the Yankees.


Joba Chamberlain Injury Update: Joba Won't Second-Guess Trampoline Accident

New York Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain, beginning his recovery after suffering an "open dislocation" of his ankle while playing with his son, believes he has a "great chance" to pitch in 2012.

Chamberlain met with reporters at the Yankees spring training complex today. He told reporters that he injured the ankle jumping from trampoline to trampoline with his son. He refused to second-guess the decision.

General manager Brian Cashman would only say "We've got to wait and see," about Chamberlain pitching in 2012.

Chamberlain missed much of the 2011 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He was not expected back from that procedure until around the middle of the season.

As optimistic as Chamberlain is trying to be, you have to believe it will be a bonus if he pitches for the Yankees this season.

-- See Pinstripe Alley for more discussion and analysis of the Yankees


Yankees Spring Training 2012: Phil Hughes Locks Up Rotation Spot?

The New York Yankees won't take the field in meaningful, regular-season action for nearly two weeks, but their starting rotation picture continues to come into focus.

With CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda already guaranteed spots in the rotation -- likely the top two -- three remain up for grabs. Monday evening, the New York Daily News' Mark Feinsand reported Phil Hughes may be the third pitcher to secure his position among the Yankees' starters.

Aside from the 25-year-old righty, the Yankees are looking at some combination of Michael Pineda, Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia to fill out the rotation. Andy Pettitte recently came out of retirement by signing a one-year deal, but he likely won't be ready to pitch in the majors until May at the earliest.

Phil Hughes

#65 / Pitcher / New York Yankees





Jun 24, 1986

For more on the Yankees, be sure to check out Pinstripe Alley and SB Nation New York for news, notes and updates.


Joba Chamberlain Injury: Brian Cashman Speaks About Pitcher After Release From Hospital

Two days after dislocating and breaking his ankle while playing with his son on a trampoline, New York Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain was released from a Tampa Bay hospital on Sunday. Chamberlain, who's career may be in jeopardy after losing "life-threatening" amount of blood, is doing, "as good as can be expected," said Yankees GM Brian Cashman.

"That’s obviously terrific and hopefully it continues that way," added Cashman, who spoke to reporters minutes before Chamberlain was released from St. Joseph’s Hospital. Chamberlain, in white pants, a gray t-shirt and wearing a white Adidas hat, was brought out to a white SUV in a wheelchair Sunday morning, clutching crutches and sporting a large cast on his right root.

According to Anthony McCarron of the Daily News, Cashman said Chamberlain will wear a cast for six weeks before transferring into a weight-bearing boot.

"Obviously he’s been dealing with a lot, but he’s a healer," Cashman said. "He gets hurt, but his healing process is really significant. We’re counting on that in this case, too. That’s why my heart, my guy tells me he’s going to be OK. I hope I’m right on that. I can rely on the history that he’s had a lot of stuff take place and he resolves it. He heals a lot quicker, so hopefully that’ll be the case here."

For more on the Yankees, be sure to check out Pinstripe Alley and SB Nation New York for all your needs.


Freddy Garcia Trade Rumors: To Miami? For Bobby Abreu?

Freddy Garcia looks like the likely odd man out in the New York Yankees starting pitching rotation. The Yankees have six starters for five spots, and the veteran Garcia seems most likely to draw the short straw. Could that short straw end up with Garcia being traded?

There have been reports that the Yankees have tried to deal Garcia to the Miami Marlins, managed by Ozzie Guillen. Garcia pitched for Guillen with the Chicago White Sox. The idea of trading Garcia to Anaheim for unhappy outfielder/designated hitter Bobby Abreu -- a former Yankee -- has also been floated, at least around the Internet.

The Yankees signed 39-year-old Raul Ibanez to be their left-handed hitting designated hitter, so a deal for Abreu would likely mean the Yankees would have to have decided that Ibanez' poor 2011 season was more than an aberration.

A deal for Abreu, thus, seems unlikely. Sending Garcia somewhere else, though, seems like a distinct possibility.


Joba Chamberlain Injury Update: What Now For Chamberlain, Yankees?

New York Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain has a long road to recovery ahead after suffering an "open dislocation" of his ankle Thursday, an injury which caused him to lose a life-threatening amount of blood. The Yankees confirmed Saturday that Chamberlain did suffer the injury while playing on a trampoline with his son.

Already recovering from Tommy John surgery, Chamberlain was expected to miss half the season anyway. How long Chamberlain will be out now is anyone's guess, and the Yankees have acknowledged that they really do not know at this point if the injury is career-threatening. Given the evidence it would seem highly unlikely the 26-year-old Chamberlain will pitch in the big leagues in 2012.

So, the question is how much will the Yankees really miss him this season?

Before his 2011 season ended with the Tommy John surgery, Chamberlain had been surpassed in the Yankees bullpen hierarchy by both free-agent acquisition Rafael Soriano and David Robertson. Chamberlain, however, was pitching well. He had a 2.83 ERA in 27 games, a 1.047 WHIP and was surrendering only 7.2 hits per nine innings pitched. His ERA + was 158. All of those numbers were Chamberlain's best since 2008, his first full major-league season.

Chamberlain would likely have pitched some important innings for the Yankees the second half of the season. Soriano had an up-and-down first season in the Bronx and has a history of elbow issues. Robertson can't be expected to pitch to a 1.08 ERA again. Cory Wade and lefties Boone Logan and Clay Rapada are, truthfully, journeyman. So, there would have been a role for Chamberlain during the latter part of the season -- possibly an important one. The Yankees will have to find other pitchers to supplement what they already have in place.

What will the future hold for Chamberlain? No one knows at this point. The stardom he seemed destined for when he arrived in 2007, pitching to a 0.38 ERA in 19 games as a 21-year-old reliever seems like a long, long time ago. Chamberlain and the Yankees can only hope that at this point he is able to return to be a useful major-league pitcher.

This is really not how it was supposed to be for Chamberlain and the Yankees. It is, though, another reminder that a meteoric rise to stardom like the one Chamberlain experienced is no guarantee of long-term success.

Joba Chamberlain

#62 / Pitcher / New York Yankees





Sep 23, 1985


Joba Chamberlain Injury: Pitcher Dislocates Ankle, Has Surgery

According to Jack Curry of the YES Network, Joba Chamberlain – who's already been rehabbing from Tommy John Surgery – has suffered another major injury, dislocating his ankle Thursday while playing on a "trampoline" with his son.

By the sounds of it, this isn't your typical ankle injury. Yankees GM, Brian Cashman, described the injury as an "open dislocation" and said Chamberlain has already had surgery on the ankle. Chamberlain is reportedly in the hospital and will remain there for several days. Cashman would not specify any time frame for Chamberlain's recovery time, and questions were raised whether or not it was career-threatening.

Cashman repeatedly used the word 'significant' when describing the injury.

This is yet another setback for Chamberlain, who created his own 'Joba-mania' when he came to the Yankees as a fireballing reliever in 2007, but whose career has seemed to stall.

For more on the Yankees, be sure to check out Pinstripe Alley and SB Nation New York for all your needs.


Yankees Spring Training: Andy Pettitte Feels As Good As Ever

Fresh out of retirement, Andy Pettitte threw his first bullpen session of spring training Tuesday.

Pettitte threw approximately 50 pitches Tuesday after undergoing a physical earlier in the morning. Pitching coach Larry Rothschild kept a careful eye on Pettitte throughout the session, who said he felt like he had never left the game.

"I am a little surprised that I felt as good as I did today, to tell you the truth," added Pettitte, who stunned Major League Baseball by ending his one-year retirement and re-signing with the New York Yankees on Friday. "So we'll just have to see where it goes -- hopefully it will continue to be that good."

Starting catcher Russell Martin caught the majority of Pettitte's session and was clearly pleased afterward.

"That's as good of a bullpen as I've caught all spring," said Yankees catcher Russell Martin, who caught most of the session. "He threw all his pitches, and just kept executing pitch after pitch after pitch."

Pettitte did throw a secret bullpen session for the Yankees in Tampa last Tuesday, as well as a private one back home Friday. Nevertheless, manager Joe Girardi said he viewed today as Day 1 of Pettitte's spring training.

"I don't think it's unrealistic really to say that we (will) see him in a game before we leave," Girardi added. "But I don't think it's realistic you're gonna see him throw five innings in one start."


Yankees Spring Training, Derek Jeter Injury Update: Shortstop Out Tuesday, Wednesday

Derek Jeter won't return from a stiff left calf as quickly as the New York Yankees expected.

The star shortstop, who hasn't played since last Wednesday, was expected to be available Tuesday night during the Yankees' spring training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. But he is not penciled into the team's lineup for Tuesday night's game and is not on the travel roster for Wednesday's meeting with the Tampa Bay Rays either.

The Yankees seem to be handling Jeter's calf with care and patience, hoping that it won't bother him into the season like it did last year.

Catcher Russell Martin and outfielder Nick Swisher, who are both nursing groin injuries, are in Tuesday's lineup. Robinson Cano is also in the lineup after being hit by a pitch on Sunday.

-- For more on the Yankees, be sure to check out Pinstripe Alley and SB Nation New York for all your needs.


Andy Pettitte: 'Not Scared To Come Back And Fail'

Andy Pettitte is taking a huge risk by trying to come back to the New York Yankees after a full season away from baseball. Pettitte, who will turn 40 this season, appeared on the Michael Kay Show Monday and said he is “not scared to come back and fail.”

“I can tell you, I don’t think I’m going to fail or I wouldn’t comeback to do this. I think that if I can just get myself mentally back to the place that I was,” Pettitte said. “I really believe that the stuff is going to be there because the stuff wasn’t that great anyway [in 2010.] I was putting it in a good spot.”

Pettitte is shooting for a return to the Yankees around May 1. He is scheduled to throw his first bullpen of Spring Training for the Yankees on Tuesday.

— See Pinstripe Alley for more discussion and analysis of the Yankees


Robinson Cano Injury Update: X-Rays Negative On Left Hand

After having some very anxious moments on Sunday, the New York Yankees and their fans can breathe easy.

Robinson Cano has no broken bones in his left hand after being hit by a Troy Patton fastball in Sunday night's 6-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles, according to ESPN.com.

The star second baseman left the game in the sixth inning, immediately after being struck with the pitch. Cano was in obvious pain, but x-rays showed nothing more than a bothersome contusion.

Cano will likely miss a few days to heal the injury with some rest, but luckily for the Yankees it's nothing serious. While the lineup is loaded, losing Cano would be a massive blow.

With a few more weeks to play in Spring Training, New York won't have to worry about Cano missing any time once the regular season rolls around.

The scoreboard says the Yankees lost last night, but they most certainly didn't.

For more on the Yankees, be sure to check out Pinstripe Alley and SB Nation New York for all your needs.


Andy Pettitte Ends Retirement: Brian Cashman Talks About Pettite's Return To New York Yankees

The shocking news of Andy Pettitte ending his retirement and signing a one-year, $2.5 million, minor-league deal with the New York Yankees Friday is something that fans and media members will be talking about for the next few days. Of course, one of the biggest questions, especially since Pettitte decided to not return last year, is how did this decision come to fruition? .

Luckily, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman join the YES Network crew during the broadcast of New York's Spring Training game against the Washington Nationals and explained the process:

"I got a call from Andy in late December," said Cashman, "and actually said based on a radio interview he heard with our buddy Michael Kay that I did. Michael asked me about our pitching issues and would I ever check with Andy and I said I wasn't going to bother Andy in his retirement. I said, if he wants to play he knows how to call us."

Cashman admitted in the interview that he believed Pettitte had retired early and if the lefty ever wanted to rejoin the Yankees pitching rotation the door was open.

"Andy said that got his juices flowing to hear me say that," said Cashman. "I was caught off guard, so I said, 'are you willing to commit to playing?' and he said, 'no, I'd like to work out for six weeks or so and get a sense of how my body is and if I can match my mind up. I am thinking about it.'"

Cashman mentions that at the time he actually offered Pettitte a significant contract, one very similar to the $12 million he turned down last offseason before he decided to retire.

Six weeks later, Cashman continued, the Yankees had made a move for Hiroki Kuroda and Michael Pineda and told Pettitte they were done looking for pitching help, so Pettitte shut his training program down.

"Then he shows up in Spring Training as a guest instructor," said Cashman, "(he) got all wrapped up in the excitement, what we got going on, the specialty players we got, the teammates, comradery, and said, 'Hey, I got to meet with you.'"

Cashman then explained that he and Pettitte met in the office of manager Joe Giaradi and it was there the left-hander began to make his case for a return, saying he stopped working out briefly and missed it, so he started up again. Pettitte then said now that he was here at Spring Training he wanted to play.

"I was like man, I don't know what to do about this," said Cashman, who made it clear to Pettitte that he couldn't make the eight-figure offer he could before and the Yankees were set when it came to making pitching moves.

"We talked a lot since then, with Andy, with ownership," continued Cashman, "to the Steinbrenner credit, Hal Steinbrenner stretched a bit for who (Andy) is and did a minor-league contract."

At the end of the interview, Cashman mentioned the Yankees should expect Pettitte to be in Tampa, FL sometime next week and the team will slowly progress him to be a member of the rotation.

-- For more on Andy Pettitte ending his retirement, check back to this SB Nation New York StoryStream. For more reaction, check out the SB Nation blog Pinstripe Alley.


Andy Pettitte Unretires: YES Networks' Jack Curry Breaks Story, Then Reacts

About a half hour before the YES Network was set to broadcast a New York Yankees Spring Training game against the Washington Nationals Friday, analyst Jack Curry broke the news about veteran left-handed pitcher Andy Pettitte ending his retirement and signing a one-year, $2.5 million, minor-league deal with the Yankees.

"The newest face of the Yankees is an old face," said Curry during the YES Network's pre-game opening with play-by-play announcer Ken Singleton and analyst John Flaherty. "Yankee fans are used to seeing this guy, a 240-game winner... We know he didn't pitch last year, he had the itch to comeback and do it, the Yankees always had the invitation out there. He's coming back to the Yankees."

Curry then took to Twitter to say more:

For more on Andy Pettitte ending his retirement, check back to this SB Nation New York StoryStream. For more reaction, check out the SB Nation blog Pinstripe Alley.


Andy Pettitte Ends Retirement: Yankees Sign Veteran Left-Hander To 1-Year, Minor-League Contract

Andy Pettitte retired just over a year ago and even though he was certain about his decision last Feburary, he never ruled out a possible return. And on Friday, the 39-year-old left-handed veteran officially ended his brief retirement inking a one-year, $2.5 million, minor-league deal with the New York Yankees. The news was first reported by YES Network's Jack Curry via Twitter.

By signing a minor league deal, Pettitte can take his time in getting prepared to pitch in the Major Leagues again. The Yankees view Pettitte as an excellent addition to a deep rotation, a familiar face and, more importantly, a familiar arm to have for the 2012 season.

Pettitte returns to New York after taking a full year off after putting together a solid "final" season going 11-3 with a 3.28 ERA. During all of last year, the Yankee organization tried to coax the lefty back into pinstripes as injuries plagued their pitching staff, however, Pettitte didn't bite.

Now, after saying no to a $12 million contract in the 2011 offseason and electing to retire, Pettite agrees to a deal 1/6 the size.

Last Feb., Pettitte retired as the all-time leader in postseason wins (19), starts (42) and innings pitched (263). The lefty also is third all-time in victories for a Yankees pitcher and helped New York collect five World Series titles.

In time, Pettitte will join a five-man pitching rotation that will feature C.C. Sabathia, newly acquired Hiroki Kuroda and Michael Pineda, and sophomore Ivan Nova. He will also be reunited with good friends shortstop Derek Jeter and cloers Mariano Rivera, however, for the first time in a long time, he will not be throwing to catcher Jorge Posada, who retired in late January.

For more on Andy Pettitte ending his retirement, check back to this SB Nation New York StoryStream. For more reaction, check out the SB Nation blog Pinstripe Alley.


David Robertson Injury Update: Reliever Targets Opening Day

New York Yankees' relief pitcher David Robertson, sidelined for the past few days after a fall down a flight of stairs at his apartment, expects to be ready by Opening Day.

"I think I'll easily be ready for Opening Day," Robertson said. "As long as I have no setbacks, I don't see why I wouldn't [be]. As long as I can play catch a few times, get back on the mound and get a few outings in the games, I'll be set."

Robertson is no longer wearing a walking boot to protect the bone bruise he suffered in his fall.

Robertson was 4-0 with a 1.08 ERA for the Yankees last season in 66 games. He was named to the American League All-Star Team. He is the Yankees' primary setup man for closer Mariano Rivera.

The Yankees had initially feared Robertson's injury was much worse than a bone bruise.

-- See Pinstripe Alley for more discussion and analysis of the Yankees


Yankees Spring Training 2012 Stats: Alex Rodriguez Off To Good Start

One of the biggest questions surrounding the New York Yankees entering the 2012 season is what kind of production will New York get from Alex Rodriguez? The 36-year-old third baseman suffered through an injury-plagued 2011, playing in just 99 games and posting the worst power numbers of his career with only 16 home runs and 62 RBI.

Ten Spring Training games and 13 at-bats is hardly enough to declare A-Rod ready for a monster comeback season. So far, so good, however. Rodriguez has five hits in those 13 at-bats (a .385 average). More importantly to the Yankees three of those hits are for extra bases -- a home run and two doubles for a current slugging percentage of .769.

Related: Complete Yankees Spring Training Stats

Here are a few other notables Spring Training stats for the Yankees at this point:

  • Curtis Granderson and Derek Jeter are off to good starts, each hitting .308 (4-for-13).
  • Robinson Cano has just two hits in 13 at-bats (.154).
  • New left-handed hitting designated hitter Raul Ibanez is just 2-for-18 (.111).
  • Right-handed hitting designated hitter Andruw Jones is even worse, hitting .067 (1-for-15).
  • Clay Rapada, bidding for a spot as a lefty specialist in the bullpen, has surrendered just one hit in 3.1 innings pitched.
  • Hiroki Kuroda was hit hard in his one start thus far. The free-agent acquisition surrendered three runs in two inning for an ERA of 13.50.
  • Highly-touted rookies Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances have not yet been scored upon. Banuelos has two appearances covering four innings, and Betances two appearances covering two innings.

-- See Pinstripe Alley for more discussion and analysis of the Yankees


David Robertson Injury Update: 'Some Cause For Concern'

The New York Yankees are crossing their fingers today and hoping for good news about the condition of reliever David Robertson, who injured his right foot in a fall Wednesday. Reports indicate that initial tests show “some cause for concern,” according to manager Joe Girardi.

Results of more tests are expected to be available Friday, at which time the Yankees should know how long they will be without Robertson, who pitched to a 1.08 ERA in 2011 and made the All-Star Team as a setup man for Mariano Rivera.

If the Yankees are without Robertson for any length of time that puts pressure on Rafael Soriano, who had a disappointing first season in New York in 2011 after signing a three-year, $35-million contract. Soriano was expected to be the Yankees’ eighth-inning reliever, but injuries and inconsistency opened the door for Robertson.

Now — pardon the pun — the shoe might be on the other foot.


David Robertson Injury Update: Foot Injury Sidelines Reliever

David Robertson, who made the American League All-Star Team in 2011 setting up for New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, reportedly suffered a foot injury Wednesday in a fall down a flight of stairs.

Per the New York Times, the Yankees are calling the injury a “midfoot sprain” and have placed Robertson’s foot in a protective boot.

Robertson, who turns 27 next month, was 4-0 with a 1.08 ERA in 70 games covering 66.2 innings last season. He had one save.

The Yankees — and their fans — will hold their breath and hope that an MRI does not show the dreaded Lisfranc sprain, which cost Chien-Ming Wang a full year a few seasons back and ultimately derailed what had been a promising start to his career. Wang has never made it all the way back, suffering a series of other injuries along the way.

— See Pinstripe Alley for complete discussion and analysis of the Yankees


Yankees Spring Training 2012: Pineda Sharp In Debut; Nunez Avoids Major Injury

Three games into spring training, the New York Yankees finally got a look at their biggest offseason acquisition.

Michael Pineda held the Philadelphia Phillies to just one hit over two shutout innings, but the Phillies (1-2) beat the Yankees (2-1) 9-3 (box score here) in exhibition play Monday afternoon in Clearwater, Fla.

Related: What To Expect This Season From Pineda

Pineda, the 23-year-old right-hander acquired in a trade with the Seattle Mariners for top catching prospect Jesus Montero and two other players, allowed a lead-off ground-ball single to shortstop Jimmy Rollins but struck out Shane Victorino and Jim Thome back-to-back to end the first inning. According to ESPN New York's Wallace Matthews, Pineda used the brief stint to experiment with his new changeup.

Pineda also appeared to try out his new changeup a couple of times, including once to Thome, resulting in a softly hit foul grounder on an awkward swing.

Scouts sitting behind home plate clocked Pineda's cutter at between 90-91 mph, his splitter at 86 and his curve ranging from 79-82.

Aside from Pineda, who seemed to be the main source of positive news for the Yankees Monday, the biggest news of the day came in the fifth inning. Yankees utility man Eduardo Nunez was hit near the pinky on his right hand by a pitch from Phillies reliever Austin Hyatt, forcing him out of the game in obvious pain. X-rays ultimately came back negative, and the Yankees are calling the injury a contusion.

"He said he was going to play tomorrow," Joe Girardi said. "When you get hit in the hand, you're always a little bit nervous about that. We'll see what happens."

Though Nunez appears likely to see most of his playing time coming off the bench, The Star-Ledger's Marc Carig writes that Girardi doesn't necessarily agree.

"He has a chance to play a real important role for us," said manager Joe Girardi, who called Nunez "more than just a utility guy."

For more Yankees and Spring Training coverage, be sure to check out Pinstripe Alley and SB Nation New York.


GM Brian Cashman: 'We're Still The Yankees,' Even With A Budget

Hal Steinbrenner wants to put the New York Yankees on a diet, making them a lean, mean budgetary machine. General manager Brian Cashman understands the edict from his boss, but he says never fear -- budget or no budget, the Yankees will always act like the Yankees.

"We’re still the Yankees," Cashman said. "We’re still going to outspend everybody else. That’s not going to change. We’re still going to be there for our fan base, and try to make sure that every year is a year that they have legitimate hope that this could be a special season. "That’s never going to change."

Phew! Can't have the Yankees morphing into the Kansas City Royals or Minnesota Twins, but being budget-conscious can't be a bad thing. Can it? Nor can the increased emphasis Cashman has been trying to put on using Yankee resources in scouting and player development, especially in the international market.


Yankees Spring Training: Jeter, Granderson Make Appearances In 11-0 Rout

Baseball's back, and with it comes the onset of spring training "competition."

The sarcastic quotation marks make an appearance due to the reality evidenced Friday afternoon in Tampa, where the New York Yankees geared up for major-league spring training games with an 11-0 win in a tune-up game against the University of South Florida.

Curtis Granderson hit an RBI single in the first inning, driving home Derek Jeter in his only at-bat of the game. Jeter reached base on a throwing error, and was 0-for-2. In total, seven Yankee regulars had either one or two at-bats. Robinson Cano, who missed three days of camp to attend his great-grandmother's funeral in the Dominican Republic, did not play. According to ESPN New York's Wallace Matthews, Cano will not play until Sunday. Here's how the rest of the Yankees' first lineup of the spring shook out (box score here):

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Raul Ibanez DH
Nick Swisher RF
Brett Gardner LF
Eduardo Nunez 2B
Gustavo Molina C
Adam Warren RHP

Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. ET, the Yankees will send Ivan Nova to the mound against the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater, Fla. According to NJ.com's Marc Carig, Nova is slated to pitch two innings, though he does have an overriding 35-pitch limit. Prospects David Phelps, Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances are also scheduled to pitch for the Yankees.

Cole Hamels will start for the Phillies. Former Boston Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon is one of seven pitchers also slated to pitch.

For more coverage of the New York Yankees' offseason, stay tuned to our StoryStream. For more Yankees coverage, visit our team page or our blog, Pinstripe Alley.


Yankees Spring Training 2012: Alex Rodriguez 'Cool' With Jason Varitek

Alex Rodriguez has thrown gasoline on plenty of fires throughout his illustrious, and sometimes controversial career. The New York Yankees third baseman didn't, however, want anything to do with responding to the recent comments aimed at him by Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine.

Asked about the comments during an appearance on The Michael Kay Show on ESPN Radio New York, A-Rod said "I've really learned to stay in my lane and really stay in my circle."

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Rodriguez also said he "loved" Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek, who he fought with during his first year in New York.

"I thought he was one of the best game callers and generals that I ever played against. He was obviously the captain for a reason and he brought them 2 World Championships. He was one of the main reasons, the catalysts, of why they were World Champs," Rodriguez said.

Yankee fans hope Rodriguez stays in his circle, and stays in the hitting zone this season, too.


Yankees Spring Training 2012: How Would You Set The Lineup?

Is Alex Rodriguez still a cleanup hitter? Should Robinson Cano permanently hit third? Does Mark Teixeira need to be moved down in the batting order? If you were in Joe Girardi’s shoes how would you set the New York Yankees batting order in 2012?

Here’s how I would do it.

Against Lefties

Derek Jeter (SS)
Nick Swisher (RF)
Robinson Cano (2B)
Alex Rodriguez (3B)
Mark Teixeira (1B)
Curtis Granderson (CF)
Andruw Jones (DH)
Russell Martin ©
Brett Gardner (LF)

Of course there will be a lot of days Eduardo Nunez plays third base or shortstop and Jeter or Rodriguez is the DH, pushing Jones to the outfield and Gardner to the bench.

Against Righties

Gardner (LF)
Jeter (SS)
Cano (2B)
Rodriguez (3B)
Granderson (CF)
Teixeira (1B)
Nick Swisher (RF)
Raul Ibanez (DH)
Russell Martin ©

I have Teieira sixth in this lineup. It is time to get him out of the third spot and get him into the fifth or sixth slot in the lineup. He goes through too many long, unproductive streaks.


Yankees News: David Aardsma Signs With New York Yankees

Looking for a low-risk, high-reward addition to their bullpen, the New York Yankees signed relief pitcher David Aardsma to a contract that will pay him a base salary of $500,000 this season.

The hard-throwing righty missed all of last season due to Tommy John surgery, and the Yankees don't expect him to make an instant impact.

Rather, they inked Aardsma with an eye to the future.

"Nothing ventured, nothing gained,'' general manager Brian Cashman said. "He's a power arm we picked up for $100,000 over the minimum (salary) and we feel it could have a nice payoff down the road.''

The 30-year-old saved 69 games for the Seattle Mariners during the 2009 and 2010 seasons. His best season came in 2009, when he saved 38 games with a 2.52 ERA and 80 strikeouts in 71.1 innings.

For more coverage of the New York Yankees' offseason, stay tuned to our StoryStream. For more Yankees coverage, visit our team page or our blog Pinstripe Alley.


Yankees Spring Training: Chavez Returning To The Bronx; Robertson After Mo?

Since the New York Yankees' acquisition of Michael Pineda, very few of their offseason transactions have come as surprises.

Tuesday night, the re-signing of reserve infielder Eric Chavez became the latest move many saw coming for the defending American League East champions. Chavez agreed to a one-year contract worth $900,000 plus incentives, a source told Newsday's Erik Boland. The deal is not official until Chavez, who has dealt with injuries in each of the last five seasons, passes a physical.

Chavez, 34, hit .263 last season with two homers and 26 RBIs in 58 games. He spent a significant portion of May, June and July on the disabled list with a fractured left foot.

Robertson: "It's an honor to be in the conversation" | The LoHud Yankees Blog

"You're talking about replacing a guy like Mariano Rivera," Robertson said this morning, looking - as always - stunned that a massive group of reporters wanted to interview him. "I don't know if it can ever be done. I really don't think so."

Boy, oh boy, Yankees fans. Now you get to have this discussion -- who will replace Mariano Rivera?

It's not quite panic time yet, but given Rivera's eery-sounding quotes from Monday, it might be one year from now. Rivera turns 43 in November, and though he's been purely ageless throughout his tenure in Pinstripes, he's a renowned family man who's made no secret of his longing for more time with wife and children.

In true New York fashion, talk has already turned to his potential successor. There's no clear-cut agreement, though the frontrunners do have one thing in common -- they both appear to already be on the Yankees' roster.

After his brilliant turn as the Bombers' set-up man in 2011, David Robertson has to be included near the top of the shortlist of replacements. Robertson finished with a 1.08 ERA (lower than Rivera's 1.91) and 1.13 WHIP last season while proving to have the ideal composure and makeup for a closer under the bright, bright lights of Yankee Stadium.

The other possibility, ESPN New York's Wallace Matthews asserts, is current Yankees reliever Rafael Soriano. Matthews poses an intriguing argument -- would the Yankees really want to risk ruining Robertson's bright future by throwing him to the proverbial wolves as the successor to The Great Closer Ever? Soriano, who turns 33 in December, will be entering the final year of the pricy three-year, $35 million contract he signed prior to last season. Depending on how next offseason shakes out, Soriano could be the least risky option for the Yanks -- should Mo go, of course.

Write it in ink: Yankees lineups set | ESPN New York

"The expected addition of Eric Chavez, as-yet-unsigned although the manager blurted out his name today as if he were already in the clubhouse, gives the Yankees further flexibility in terms of resting/DH-ing Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira."

With Chavez back in the fold, Matthews also predicts that the Yankees' lineup will rarely, if ever, hold many surprises. With Raul Ibanez also now in pinstripes, the veteran left-handed hitter figures to start against right-handed pitching. When the Yanks face a lefty starter, Andruw Jones likely will fill that spot -- which Matthews figures will be the seventh in the order.

Yankees outfielder Andruw Jones feels recovered after knee surgery | The Star-Ledger

"I'm just ready for whatever," Jones said.

Speaking of Jones, Marc Carig of The Star-Ledger writes that the soon-to-be 35-year-old veteran outfielder is expecting a much smoother season after undergoing offseason surgery on a small tear in his left knee. Jones says he has also dropped 10 pounds in the offseason, giving him hope that he can play in the outfield more in 2012.


Mariano Rivera And Retirement? Yankees Fans Better Start Thinking About It

New York Yankees fans do not want to hear the words Mariano Rivera and retirement in the same sentence. Ever. The great Rivera, though, is 42 years old and when he arrived in Tampa, Fla. today for Spring Training the best reliever of all time told reporters he has already decided whether or not 2012 will be his last season.

Rivera, in the final year of his contract, just isn’t ready to tell anyone.

“I know now. I just don’t want to tell you,” Rivera said after arriving at spring training in Tampa. “I know now. I will let you guys know when I think I should tell you.”

So, now let’s look at what else Rivera said and play the read-between-the-lines game.

“It is hard when you have the ability to continue and you have to make that decision … baseball is not everything. There are a lot of more things than baseball. I’ve been blessed.”

“It doesn’t depend on how I’m going to pitch. Always I want to do my job, but I’ve made my decision already,” he said.

“It is important for me to leave the game on top if God allows me to do that."

I don’t know about you, Yankee fans. To me, though, that sounds like a man who has decided to walk away from the game after this season.


Raul Ibanez Signing: Yankees Officially Ink Veteran Hitter

The first domino from the New York Yankees trade of A.J. Burnett to the Pittsburgh Pirates has fallen. The Yankees, as had been rumored for weeks, have signed veteran Raul Ibanez to be a left-handed hitting designated hitter and occasional outfielder.

The Yankees bypassed two former Yankees to sign the 39-year-old Ibanez. They chose him instead of the begging Johnny Damon and former World Series hero Hideki Matsui.

Ibanez hit .245/.289/.419 with 20 home runs and 84 RBIs in 144 games for the Philadelphia Philliesin 2011. For his career, Ibanez is .280/.342/.471. The Yankees will obviously hope the 16-year veteran rebounds from his worst season since hitting .229 back in 2000.

The Yankees had been expected to use some of the $13 million they saved by trading Burnett to sign a designated hitter. ESPN reported that Ibanez will sign for around $1 million.

New York holds its first pitchers and catchers workout of Spring Training today in Tampa, Fla.


Yankees Spring Training: Rotation Rounds Into Shape With Burnett Deal Final; Cashman Keeping Focus On Job

Nice knowing you, A.J. Burnett.

The wildly inconsistent veteran pitcher was officially traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates Sunday after days of reports signaling the deal as all but done. The trade was agreed to Friday, but the finalization was pending Burnett's physical, which he took Sunday at Pirates camp as pitchers and catchers held their first workout in Bradenton, Fla.

Looking to stabilize a starting rotation weakened by Burnett's erratic performances and second-half swoons, the Yankees placed the veteran right-hander on the trading block for the majority of the offseason. After several weeks of blowing in the proverbial trade winds, the Yanks sent Burnett to the Pirates in exchange for two prospects, 25-year-old right-hander Diego Moreno and and 20-year-old outfielder Exicardo Cayones. Both are considered low-level prospects, though Pittsburgh is reportedly paying $13 million of the $31.1 million remaining on Burnett's contract.

"A.J. Burnett is a solid veteran starting pitcher with an above average pitch repertoire and potential to provide us with significant quality innings from our starting rotation," Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said in a statement released by the team.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman declined to comment on Burnett's tenure in New York Sunday, saying he would instead do so Monday.

"Believe me, it won't be a bash," he said.

Cashman originally signed Burnett to a five-year, $82.5 million contract before the 2009 season. That first year was Burnett's best in pinstripes, as he finished 13-9 with a 4.04 ERA on a team that went on to win the World Series. Burnett's best moment in the Bronx also came that year in Game 2 of the Fall Classic, as he out-dueled Philadelphia Phillies starter Pedro Martinez in a 3-1 win that evened the series at 1-1.

Burnett's inconsistency quickly emerged into a significant problem for the Yankees, however. In 2010, Burnett finished 10-15 with a 5.26 ERA. The following year, he was 11-11 with a 5.15 ERA.

Burnett particularly struggled in the second halves of his three seasons in New York. Over the past two Augusts, Burnett was 1-6 with a 9.56 ERA.

Elsewhere in the Yankees rotation, ace CC Sabathia reported to camp Sunday saying he had lost 10-15 pounds over the offseason. After Sabathia's weight seemed to blossom in the second half of last season as his performance dipped, Cashman, manager Joe Girardi and head trainer Steve Donahue met with the veteran lefty in October to discuss the issue.

"I can't tell you it did or didn't (affect Sabathia)," Cashman said. "I just know we thought it was important enough to have the conversation because obviously in the second half he got bigger after the All-Star break."

Some more links and notes from the first day of spring training:

Yankees GM says personal struggles 'not going to affect my job' | New York Post

"I have a professional life and a personal life, and I will continue to do the job to the best of my ability like I always have," said Cashman, who called the last few weeks of his life "difficult."

Throughout the offseason, Cashman's personal life has provided a not-so-pleasant undercurrent to the Yankees' offseason. After his marriage collapsed due to an affair with Louise Meanwell, a British woman with a history of harassing her exes, Cashman has had to face several questions he probably would prefer to avoid. Meanwell is currently locked up in Rikers Island after being caught up in what the Post termed a "stalking-and-shakedown sex mess."

Cash: We have to tame Joba | ESPN New York

"For all of our sakes, we just have to be careful for him and for us," Cashman said. "It was a huge loss when we lost him last year and it will be a huge gain when we get him this year. We just have to make sure that when we get him back, he is here to stay."

Joba Chamberlain's rehab from Tommy John surgery is reportedly going according to plan, though Cashman said the righty reliever won't be back until June at the earliest. Yankees fans can take heart, however, in knowing that Chamberlain has been diligent in working his way back to earning what could be a valuable spot out of the bullpen.

"If you want to have a scale from 1-to-10 with 10 being the best with someone fully committed to doing the rehab and not cutting any corners and doing everything done that he needs to do, he checked off at the highest level of that scale," Cashman said. "That still doesn't erase the typical time-frame of this surgery."

Yankees' Michael Pineda expected to give team some fire behind CC Sabathia | The Star-Ledger

"You don't get a young kid like Pineda with an arm like that every day," Rothschild said upon getting his initial look. "Just seeing him (last week), he can spin the ball pretty well. He's a young guy with a big upside."

When the Yankees traded top prospect Jesus Montero for Seattle Mariners righty Michael Pineda, the deal was widely asserted as a boon for both teams. New York received a remarkably promising young pitcher with the potential to develop into a future ace, while Seattle gained a player widely perceived to be among the top up-and-coming players in the league.

While Pineda might not necessarily be pegged as the No. 2 starter as many expected, he has earned raves for a fastball that reaches 94 miles per hour and a devastating slider that carried him to a 9-10 rookie season and a 3.74 ERA. Pineda made 28 starts last year, and while his ERA was lower in the first half of the season, his 9.11 strikeouts per nine innings stood out as a sign of his immense talent.

Only 23 years old, Pineda has earned comparisons to the Yankees' current ace, Sabathia, because of his size. Pineda is listed at 6-foot-7, 280 pounds, and as The Star Ledger's Marc Carig writes, his size is the undeniable first impression he leaves.

At age 14, before anybody could imagine that someday he'd pitch for the Yankees, his frame already stretched out to a lanky 6-2. At age 16, it was decided his powerful arm was being wasted in the infield, and that his future would be as a pitcher. He'd sign his first contract with the Seattle Mariners less than a year later.

Rivera Rules: He'll show up to camp when he wants | ESPN New York

Mariano Rivera was the only pitcher or catcher to not report Sunday, though as any half-sane Yankee fan would say, he's earned the right.

At the Baseball Writers dinner last month, Mariano Rivera sidled up to Yankees GM Brian Cashman and whispered in his ear.

"He said, 'Cash, I want to give you a heads up, I might be a little late,'" Cashman said. "Just tell me when you are coming. What am I going to do? It's Mariano Rivera."

Cashman expressed zero concern about Rivera's reporting date, calling the 42-year-old legend the No. 1 story in his tenure as Yankees' general manger.

-- Check out SB Nation's Pinstripe Alley for more discussion and analysis of the Yankees


Yankees Spring Training 2012: 10 Questions For The 2012 Season

Check our Pinstripe Alley for Yankees analysis and discussion.


Yankees Spring Training: A Look At The Pitchers, Catchers

Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training for the New York Yankees on Sunday. The first workout in Tampa, Fla. is scheduled for Monday. Here is a look at the pitchers and catchers who will be in camp for the defending American League East champions.


(40-man roster)

Dellin Betances
Cesar Cabral
Joba Chamberlain
Pedro Feliciano
Freddy Garcia
Phil Hughes
George Kontos
Boone Logan
Brad Meyers
D.J. Mitchell
Ivan Nova
David Phelps
Michael Pineda
Clay Rapada
Mariano Rivera
David Robertson
CC Sabathia
Rafael Soriano
Cory Wade

Non-roster Invitees

Manny Banuelos
Daniel Burawa
Juan Cedeno
Matt Daley
Manny Delcarmen
Brett Marshall
Adam Miller
Mike O'Connor
Ryan Pope
Graham Stoneburner
Adam Warren
Chase Whitley

Players To Watch: Pineda and Kuroda are the new additions to the starting rotation ... It looks as if Hughes and Garcia will fight for the fifth starter role ... The progress of Banuelos and Betances, the most highly-regarded pitching prospects in the organization, will be worth watching ... Chamberlain is coming back from Tommy John surgery ... Can the just-signed Rapada make the team as a lefty specialist?


(40-man roster)

Francisco Cervelli
Russell Martin
Austin Romine

(Non-roster Invitees)

Jose Gil
Kyle Higashioka
Gustavo Molina
J.R. Murphy
Gary Sanchez

Players To Watch: Does Romine have any shot at unseating Cervelli for the backup catcher role? He is the most major-league ready of all of the Yankees catching prospects, and might have a chance here ... Speaking of those catching prospects both Sanchez and Murphy are highly-regarded, particularly Sanchez at this time. Let's see if either can make an impression during the early part of camp.

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