Saturday, February 27, 2010

Assorted News

Not a whole lot going on yet, but thankfully games will be starting soon and Chad Jennings has the schedule for starters:

The Yankees have not announced which relievers will be pitching each day. The first time through, their starters will be limited to roughly 35 pitches.
The first name listed is that day’s starter. The other names will pitch in relief.
March 3 vs. Pittsburgh
Chad Gaudin, Sergio Mitre, Alfredo Aceves
March 4 at Philadelphia
CC Sabathia
March 5 vs. Tampa Bay
Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain
March 6 vs. Toronto
A.J. Burnett
March 7 at Minnesota
Sergio Mitre, Chad Gaudin
March 8 vs. Philadelphia (ss)
Javier Vazquez
March 8 at Pittsburgh (ss)
Alfredo Aceves
March 9 vs. Pittsburgh
CC Sabathia
March 10 at Detroit
Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes
March 11 vs. Atlanta
A.J. Burnett
March 12 at Washington
Andy Pettitte

Looks like every game but 3/7 and 3/10 will be televised.

Not surprisingly, Marcus Thames has an opt-out if he doesn't make the club out of ST.

"He was brought in to compete for a spot on the 25-man roster," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Friday. "And at the end of camp, if he makes it, great. If he doesn’t make it, he’s free."

I don't think it will make much of a difference who wins the 5th OF spot. Hoffmann's .815 OPS in AAA last year was actually below average (95 OPS+), since the PCL is a more hitter friendly league than most minor leagues and Albuquerque plays like Coors used to. On the other hand, all Thames offers is power against LHP, his defense the last couple years has been horrid.

Thames might make a bit more sense for this roster, with Granderson's splits and Winn, Gardner, and Granderson all above average defenders, but I doubt the difference is more than 1/2 a win or so.

And changeups galore from a couple of our pitchers:

TAMPA, Fla. -- Encouraged by a full season of watching CC Sabathia dominate hitters with his changeup, Yankees pitcher A.J. Burnett spent his entire offseason trying to improve his own version of the pitch.
Burnett said he's never spent more time trying to refine his changeup, even enlisting the help of an old friend and neighbor, Reds reliever Arthur Rhodes.
"I think it's a big key," said Burnett, who wants the pitch to be reliable enough to use when his curveball is off. "Whether I throw it or not, I don't know. But I've been working it."
In 2005, his last with the Marlins, Burnett threw a career-high 9.9 percent changeups according to FanGraphs. But since that season, that number has slipped. And by 2009, Burnett's first with the Yankees, Burnett threw changeups on only 3.1 percent of his pitches.

Marc Carig

Hughes said that he is trying to focus on commanding his fastball, and believes that his arm speed and velocity are fine for this time in the spring. He said that his breaking ball is bouncing a little more than wanted, though that's better than hanging it.

He is continuing to experiment with yet another changeup grip -- "I've probably had about 29 changeup grips in the last year and a half," he said -- which is more like a straight circle-change and could help him as a fourth pitch.

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