Diving into the depths: New York Yankees

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This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training.
New York Yankees
Rotation
1. CC Sabathia
2. A.J. Burnett
3. Andy Pettitte
4. Javier Vazquez
5. Joba Chamberlain
6. Phil Hughes
7. Chad Gaudin
8. Sergio Mitre
9. Chan Ho Park
10. Alfredo Aceves
11. Zach McAllister
12. Kei Igawa
13. Dustin Moseley
14. Jason Hirsh
15. George Kontos
16. Ivan Nova
I think I’d rather see Hughes in the rotation if there’s only room for one, but Chamberlain appears to have the edge for the fifth spot at the start of camp. The loser in the competition will likely function as the team’s eighth-inning guy. The Yankees don’t intend to send either back to Triple-A to work as a starter.
Bullpen
1. Mariano Rivera
2. Phil Hughes/Joba Chamberlain
3. Damaso Marte
4. Chan Ho Park
5. David Robertson
6. Alfredo Aceves
7. Chad Gaudin
8. Edwar Ramirez
9. Boone Logan
10. Sergio Mitre
11. Jonathan Albaladejo
12. Mark Melancon
13. Dustin Moseley
14. Romulo Sanchez
15. Royce Ring
16. Kei Igawa
17. Kevin Whelan
18. Jason Hirsh
19. Christian Garcia
20. Zack Segovia
21. Wilkin De La Rosa
Park’s addition means another very qualified reliever is going to be left out on Opening Day. Gaudin is due $2.95 million this year, a salary that would seem to make him a lock. However, his contract isn’t guaranteed. Same goes for Mitre. Either could be cut or traded at the end of the spring.


Catcher
1. Jorge Posada
2. Francisco Cervelli
3. Mike Rivera
First base
1. Mark Teixeira
2. Nick Johnson
3. Juan Miranda
Second base
1. Robinson Cano
2. Ramiro Pena
3. Kevin Russo
4. Reegie Corona
Third base
1. Alex Rodriguez
2. Ramiro Pena
3. Kevin Russo
Shortstop
1. Derek Jeter
2. Ramiro Pena
3. Eduardo Nunez
Pena is currently set to occupy a utility role, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Yankees trade a reliever for a veteran backup late in the spring. Pena offers a lot defensively, but he’s far from an ideal option to play regularly in the event of an injury.
Left field
1. Brett Gardner
2. Randy Winn
3. Marcus Thames
4. Jamie Hoffmann
5. Reid Gorecki
Center field
1. Curtis Granderson
2. Brett Gardner
3. Randy Winn
4. Greg Golson
5. Reid Gorecki
Right field
1. Nick Swisher
2. Randy Winn
3. Marcus Thames
4. Jamie Hoffmann
5. David Winfree
Designated hitter
1. Nick Johnson
2. Marcus Thames
3. Jorge Posada
4. Alex Rodriguez
5. Nick Swisher
Hoffman, the first overall pick in the Rule 5 draft, seems like a big long shot to make the team now with Winn and Thames in camp. Thames makes plenty of sense as a left fielder and DH against lefties, though Winn still could end up as Gardner’s platoon partner. I imagine that manager Joe Girardi will just ride the hot hand between the three of them.

The Braves are banning outside food. And they’re probably lying about why they’re doing it.

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Here’s a thing a lot of people don’t realize: there are a lot of ballparks that allow you to bring in outside food.

Not all of them, but a lot do. They don’t publicize it, obviously, because they want you to buy their expensive food, but if you go to the concessions policy page on most team’s websites, you can get the scoop. It often lists “soft-sided coolers” under “permitted items,” which is code for “yes, you can bring your own food in.” Some may specifically limit THAT to sealed plastic water bottles, but for the most part, if you can bring soft-sided coolers into the park, that means it’s OK to bring in grandma’s potato salad and a few sandwiches. They may check your coolers, of course, to make sure you’re not bringing in alcohol or whatever.

The Atlanta Braves have always allowed food into the ballpark. But thats going to change in shiny new Sun Trust Park. The AJC reports that the Braves have announced a new policy via which ticket holders will not be allowed to bring in outside food. Exceptions will be made for infant food and for special dietary restriction items.

Which, OK, it’s their park and their rules. If they want to cut out the PB&J for junior and force you to buy him a $9 “kids pack” — or if they want you to forego grandma’s potato salad to buy that pork chop sandwich we mentioned yesterday — that’s their choice. Everything else about the Braves new stadium has been about extracting money from fans, so why not the concessions policy too?

My beef with this is less about the policy. It’s about their stated reason for it:

The changes are a result of tighter security being put into place this season throughout the league, said the Braves spokesperson.

This, as the French say, is horses**t.

We know it is because not all teams are prohibiting outside food. If there are tighter security measures across the board, other teams are implementing them without the food restriction. Even the Yankees, who take security theater to extreme heights as it is, are still allowing fans to bring in their own food.

The Braves, I strongly suspect, are using these measures as an excuse to cut down on competition for their concessions. Which, like I said, go for it. Just be honest about what you’re doing and stop blaming “tightened security” for your cash grab.

Yadier Molina says Adam Jones “has to apologize to the Puerto Rican people”

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After the U.S. won the World Baseball Classic on Wednesday night, Adam Jones told a reporter that he and his teammates were motivated in part by the fact that Puerto Rico already had championship t-shirts printed up and plans for a parade/celebration in Puerto Rico in place beforehand.

Which, OK, whatever you need to motivate you, Adam, but all of that seems complicated by the fact that (a) ALL teams playing for a championship have pre-printed gear, thus enabling them to be put on moments after the final out; and (b) Puerto Rico’s celebration plans were not contingent on winning or losing. In fact, they went ahead and had a parade/celebration even though they lost. The WBC was a big deal to them in ways it simply wasn’t to the U.S., so it makes sense.

Yadier Molina of Team Puerto Rico did not take kindly to Jones’ comments. He tells ESPN Deportes this:

“Adam Jones … is talking about things he doesn’t know about,” Molina told ESPN. “He really has to get informed because he shouldn’t have said those comments, let alone in public and mocking the way [preparations] were made . . . He has to apologize to the Puerto Rican people,” Molina said. “Obviously, you wanted to win; he didn’t know what this means to [our] people.”

Kind of a messy little controversy, eh?

My feeling about it is that Jones probably didn’t know the whole story about Puerto Rico’s plans and misinterpreted celebration for arrogance. I also suspect that most players motivate themselves in all manner of irrational ways like this, but we just don’t hear about it all that much. Jones can do whatever he wants to psych himself up, but it changes the equation a bit when you talk about it to the press. Perceived slights that an athlete uses internally can seem petty once exposed to the light of day.

Either way: Jones does not have a reputation for being insulting or disrespectful, so I seriously doubt that was his intent here. I also think that, while Molina has a right to be miffed, the “he must apologize to the Puerto Rican people” thing is laying it on a bit thick. Maybe Jones can just text Molina and some P.R. players and say he was sorry, followed by a “we’re all good, man” and this can end? That makes the most sense.

If not, well, the Orioles do play the Cardinals in an interleague series this summer, so maybe we’ll see some fireworks.