Since we’ll soon be swimming in season previews that have the Yankees winning 100 games, the division, the league and probably the World Series, let’s have some fun and see what would happen if absolutely everything went wrong in the Bronx. To that end, here’s Part 1 of NYaT’s “The Yankees Worst Case Scenario.” It’s a lot of this sort of thing:
Brett Gardner – What it would look like: Tony Womack II.
In 2005, the Yankees decided it would be a good idea to give an
everyday spot to a guy who was fast but couldn’t get on base to exploit
that speed. That’s the biggest fear with Gardner. The guy is never
going to hit for power but if he can get on base at a decent clip, he
can be dangerous for the Yankees. Also, if his defense isn’t as good as
the small sample size suggests, that really decreases the value of
Gardner. If he can’t play, the fans will get on him and he’ll face
“Johnny Damon” chants when he bats. That’s nothing good.
There’s one for every position player. Unlike Gardner’s, however, most of the entries involve a good player suddenly reverting to his worst season or partial season, such as Jeter returning to 2008 form and Mark Teixeira putting up a whole season in to match the beginning of 2009. This is highly unlikely to happen, of course, but it is instructive to remember that stars don’t always shine forever and, yes, one or two of these guys aren’t going to be as good in 2010 as they were in 2009.
I presume Part II will be the pitchers. Bookmark it, Orioles and Jays fans! It may be the best you feel all year!
Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?
Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.
Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.
Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.
Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.
Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.
Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.