espnW’s Amanda Rykoff is at WFAN’s Breakfast with a Champion event in New York this morning, and Yankees GM Brian Cashman is talking to the media. She’s live-tweeting it, and it you can check out her feed now to see what all the columnists will be talking about tomorrow. Among the comments from Cashman that might have some legs:
- WFAN’s Mike Francesca arrived late, turned to Cashman and said “How are you?” Cashman said “I’d be better if I could get a starter.”
- He thinks that Derek Jeter will be moved off shortstop during his current contract period, probably to the outfield.
- Cashman said that that the New York media coverage can wear a guy out. That sound you hear is Bill Madden re-jiggering his “Cashman wants to be a small market GM” column with some extra “I told you so’s.”
- Cashman was asked, once again, about Joba Chamberlain starting. He said that Chamberlain hasn’t been the same pitcher since his injury that occurred in Texas back in 2008. This has been suspected, but I believe it’s the first time that the Yankees have publicly acknowledged that Chamberlain’s injury was a big deal.
- Cashman said that the Red Sox are the better team today, but that the Yankees have a better bullpen. He said that the Yankees are one starter away from being a World Series contender.
- He called Mariano Rivera “The best Yankee I’ve ever seen.” With apologies to Derek Jeter, I’d probably agree with that assessment. I’m not talking about value in some statistical sense — he’s still a closer — but in terms of the awe he inspires, I don’t think any Yankee of the current era comes close to Mo.
Fun stuff. It should give the New York press material until pitchers and catchers report. Thanks for passing it along, Amanda.
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.