Some great points from Ken Davidoff this morning regarding Hank Steinbrenner running off at the mouth yesterday. The upshot: though it’s hard to ignore what Hank Steinbrenner says because of his name and the sometimes outrageous nature of his remarks, we really can’t give them any weight beyond their entertainment value because the dude really has no power whatsoever in the Yankees organization.
I thought about this last night when a commenter said something about how Hank should have “kept this stuff in-house.” Actually, there is no “in-house” for this stuff. If Hank said it behind closed doors it would still be of no moment. No team executive with any power at all would actually criticize his star player for “building mansions.” In this, Hank’s ravings are no different than a fan hanging out with his buddies or a caller on a talk radio show. But he has the name and he has the office and he looks and carries himself way more like Big Stein than his brother Hal does, so we all understandably flock to it.
I don’t think it’s possible to ignore Hank Steinbrenner, if for no other reason than it would be kind of rude, after all of this time, for the beat writers to treat him as though he’s totally unimportant. He is notable in that way celebrities who don’t do anything are notable and nothing will ever change that. When he talks people will hold up the microphone, and I have no problem at all with this. But unless there’s a palace coup and Hank truly takes over, our analysis of Hank Steinbrenner’s comments should always end at “heh, that’s pretty funny/obnoxious/bizarrely insightful.” At no point should it extend to “what are the implications of what he said for the Yankees.”
As Davidoff notes, today people will ask Derek Jeter and Brian Cashman about what Hank said. They’ll dutifully respond because they’re professionals. My guess is the response will be akin to “he’s Mr. Steinbrenner and he can say what he likes and we understand that.” But they know and we should all realize that there is no actual significance to anything Hank Steinbrenner said as it relates to the Yankees.
The Diamondbacks have signed free agent left-hander Jorge De La Rosa to a minor league deal, per a team announcement on Sunday. The contract includes an invitation to spring training. Nick Piecoro of AZCentral.com adds that De La Rosa stands to make $2.25 million if he secures a spot on the major league roster, with up to $600,000 in incentives if he pitches out of the bullpen and up to $1 million in incentives if he pitches out of the starting rotation.
The 35-year-old is expected to compete for a bullpen role after spending the better part of a decade in the Rockies’ rotation. He capped a nine-year run with Colorado in 2016, finishing the year with a 5.51 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 over 134 innings. Despite his struggles out of the rotation, he found limited success in a three-game stint in the bullpen, striking out 10 of 26 batters and holding the opposition to just three hits and one earned run in eight innings.
The veteran lefty is set to join a bullpen comprised of right-handers Randall Delgado, Jake Barrett and Fernando Rodney, along with a number of unproven candidates on similar minor league contracts. His age and command issues may be off-putting, but the promise he showed as a reliever should give the Diamondbacks some upside as they attempt to redeem a league-worst bullpen in 2017.
Blue Jays’ third baseman Josh Donaldson is expected to miss up to three weeks with a right calf strain, reports John Lott. Donaldson reportedly felt some discomfort in his calf during sprinting drills on Friday and was diagnosed with what looked like a mild strain after undergoing an MRI on Saturday. According to Lott, the 31-year-old is on crutches for the next few days and will likely miss 2-3 weeks of spring training.
Donaldson had a similar scare at the start of the 2016 season, when he limped out of the batter’s box during the Blue Jays’ first regular season road trip with a right calf strain. He returned to DH two days later, however, and was back on the field in less than a week’s time. Blue Jays’ GM Ross Atkins told MLB.com’s Corey Long that the two calf injuries are unrelated, and expects that Donaldson will recover in similar fashion this spring — well before Opening Day comes around.