Sunday, February 27, 2011

2011 Spring Training #1

I am sorry I have not written a little more in the off-season; but I do appreciate the many of you asking when the next one will be. I have compiled notes, but I just have struggled getting the time to fire one off. I won’t let this be too long and I will fire off a few in the next few days…Let’s get started.

First, the Yankees did sign Russell Martin and while I said in the off season #3 blog that I was not in favor of it, I said because there was talk of 10 mil a year; the Red Sox and others wanted him. I said at that level it was a bad signing especially with the poor last two years offensively. While I still have not seen him in any action (in fact I have not watched any of the few spring training games yet) signing him at 4 mil with incentives that could get him as high as 5.3 mil or so is good. This is good insurance/depth in case Montero and Romine (Montero being the main guy) are not ready. I know that Cervelli worked his tail off in the offseason, but I think he is just a mediocre backup. Martin has struggled with a bad knee but had surgery and 3 years ago was a very good player. If Martin’s defense is good, he will be helpful and possibly be a guy who we could trade if Montero is ready.

As I also stated in that blog, I am not as down on the Yanks as others. Lee going to Philly hurt and obviously now Pettitte has retired (although I wouldn’t be shocked if we needed him he would come out after the All Star break) but this team still has the best offense in baseball and one of the best defenses to go along with the best bullpen. When you add CC and Hughes, we will win a lot of games. Burnett can’t be any worse and I feel very good about Nova. The Yanks also made a lot of upside moves in signing Prior, Colon and Garcia. Garcia pitched well last year but had about 4 games where he got lit up. The same year would net about 14 wins for Garcia with the Yanks. I also like giving our young guys a chance. We have some lively arms with Betances and Brackman especially for now and perhaps the best in Banuelos for the future. The one thing I didn’t want (and this is one item that almost got me to fire out some emails) is signing Millwood. I have heard this a bunch of times and it would be a very bad move. Our young guys can do better, not just the same as Millwood. I don’t want ANY mediocre retread that is out there. Save the money and retool for when a great guy comes available. On that note and this is really premature, but if Pujols were a free agent, I would make some moves and free up a spot for him.

Back to Nova (these were some of the notes I wrote down weeks ago).
Nova had an OPS against of .729 in about a quarter of a year. I really think Nova will be solid for us this year. What does that mean? Haven’t dug into this, but a quick swag I would say an ERA of 4.50, 150 IP (not sure of any limits) and around 12-14 wins. I have a good feeling about him. He is the type of guy that the Yankees offense can support. He seems like the kind of guy who could go 6 IP with 3 runs or 5 IP with 2-3 runs often. With our bullpen this should translate really well. Nova will be as good or better than any of the retreads out there. At least we are getting the value of grooming our kids if we use the Nova’s of the world, if we use the retreads out there we gain no value and no upside.
Our bullpen is excellent. Girardi’s strength is handling the pen and to think how good this pen is, think about whom the weakest guy in the pen is? Maybe it is Mitre who actually was very good out of the pen last year…could it be Robertson or Joba? Seriously deep and strong and with TWO lefties! Getting Feliciano will really help us.

More coming soon...

I hope everyone is well!