Tag Archives: Vazquez

S.T. Game 32 Yanks lose on walkoff in 9th, 7-6; AAA roster cuts needed

In the old days, the Boss might have gone nuts, losing a walkoff to the Mets.

The Yanks lost 7-6 on a walkoff HR by Ike Davis in the bottom of the ninth. It might have taken a while to explain to the boss that a MLB star like Davis went deep off a 21 year old in Mark Montgomery who was pitching in Low A Charleston last year. Um, a 21 year old who was in low A last year pitching in the 9th of an exhibition game isn’t exactly Mo blowing one.

Montgomery was 0-0, 1.91, 15 saves for Staten Island and Charleston last year. He’ll probably be at Charleston or Tampa. He did have 51 K in 28 1/3 IP last year. But still, a legit star in Davis vs. a low-A kid. So take it as that.

The thing that was bothersome today was a poor start by Ivan Nova, who went 2 2/3, 5 R, 8 H, 2 walks and 3 K. A poor performance, and it’s good to get it out of his system now. But Nova has NOT had a good spring, and he has two bullpens to right himself before his first regular season start.

Down 4-0 after three, the Yanks got a solo HR by Swisher (2 hits today) in the fourth.

In the sixth, they scored five runs to take the lead. Andruw Jones had a RBI single, DeWayne Wise was HBP with the bases loaded, Bill Hall had a SF, Doug Bernier (2 hits) had a RBI single and Chris Dickerson had an RBI single. This was all off of Jon Niese of the Mets after the Mets got four good innings out of Pelfrey.

Dave Phelps had relieved Nova in the third. 1 1/3, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 2 K in his bid to become the Yanks’ long man.

He was replaced by D.J. Mitchell, who in his bid to be the long man went 3, 1 R, 2 h, 1 walk and 1 K. He gave up the tying run in the bottom of the sixth.

Pat (ambidextrous) Venditte went 2/3, 0 R, 1 h, 1 walk and 0 k. Branden Pinder went 2/3, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K. Then came Montgomery, and Davis was the only batter he faced.

NOTES: The Yanks drop to 17-12-3 with the loss today. They will end the exhibition season tomorrow with a game vs. the Mets at home in Tampa, then have a workout day at Tropicana on Thursday before starting the season vs. the Rays Friday afternoon. Andy Pettitte is scheduled to pitch one inning tomorrow and expect him to get a huge ovation.

The Yanks released Jorge Vazquez. He hit .262-32-93 at AAA last year, but there is no place for the 30 year old 1B/3B. He has power, but holes in his swing and no patience (30 walks, 166 strikeouts). The Yanks recently signed Steve Pearce, 29, a righty hitting 1B/3b/OF, who has had 465 at bats with the Pirates in his MLB career (2007-2011), .232-9-52, OPS+ 79. He’ll be at 1B for Empire State. Vazquez basically wanted out after realizing he’s not in the Yanks plans at all.

In other minor league news, DeWayne Wise and Jayson Nix went unclaimed by other teams and thus can be sent to Empire State (AAA; and yes, it’ll be strange to write Empire State instead of SWB).

My friends at the BBD blog had this recently for AAA:


PITCHERS: Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, Juan Cedeno, Manny Delcarmen, Adam Miller, Mike O’Connor, Ryan Pope, and Kevin Whelan.

CATCHERS: Ryan Baker.

INFIELDERS: Brandon Laird, Steve Pearce, Ramiro Pena, Kevin Russo, and Jorge Vazquez.

OUTFIELDERS: Dan Brewer, Colin Curtis, Jack Cust, Cole Garner, Austin Krum, and Ray Kruml.

Ok. The losers among Phelps, Warren and Mitchell for the long man spot will go here. Jason Bulger (just signed) will go here soon. Pettitte may go here soon for one start on his way back, then you have the rehab projects later on who could go here late in the year (Aardsma? Joba?). Romine will go here once his back gets better. Recently picked up Craig Tatum will go here to catch (100 mlb games with Cincy/Balt., .223-1-22 in 269 AB). You figure that Doug Bernier goes down here to be another infielder. Bill Hall does NOT have an opt-out clause in his contract and so will be going to Empire State as well, per Chad Jennings of Lohud quoting Brian Cashman. Now add Nix.

Now look at the OF. You see the recently acquired Cust there, and a bunch of others. When Russell Branyan’s back gets better, he has to fit in at 1b/3b or Dh. Now add Wise to that bunch.  Also NOT on the list above is Chris Dickerson or Justin Maxwell.

From LoHud:

Cashman said he has not gotten any calls on outfielder Justin Maxwell. Despite a great spring, it seems that the Yankees have no spot on the roster for Maxwell, who’s out of options. Is Cashman surprised teams aren’t calling about him? “I don’t know what other people’s needs are out there,” he said.

In short… that AAA roster looks crowded. We’ll see what happens as far as narrowing that roster down.


S.T. Game 25. CC shaky, bats quiet in 4-3 loss

CC went six, and it seemed like one of those games in the course of a season where he doesn’t have his best stuff but he keeps you in the ballgame kind of nights.

The Yanks lost 4-3 to drop their spring training record to 13-10-2.

CC gave up a leadoff triple, and an RBI groundout made it 1-0. He gave up a triple with one out in the second, but that runner was left stranded.

In the bottom of the second, Martin drew a two-out walk and Andruw Jones singled. Gardner singled, but Martin was gunned down at the plate.

CC began the third by giving up a double and single and it was 2-0 Toronto. Another run in the fourth made it 3-0 Blue Jays.

The Yanks got 1st and 2nd, no one out in the fourth but didn’t score. I’ve been happy with the pitching this spring, but a bit disappointed in the bats. One thing I’m concerned with is that I wonder how many of the bats have seen their better days and how much is left in the tank of those hitters (Jeter, A-Rod, Chavez, Ibanez, Jones). Ibanez was 0-2 (both strikeouts) and a walk. He’s now 3 for 42 for S.T. Paging Damon!

One thing to mention… Granderson was a late scratch tonight with a sore elbow. Teix was moved up to the 2 spot. Gardner slid over to CF, Maxwell played LF. From 5-9, the lineup was readjusted. It seems minor.

CC went six, 3 R, 6 h, 0 walks and 5 K. Not vintage CC, but as I mentioned, the “I’m off but I’ll keep you in the game” CC.

Robertson pitched a scoreless 7th, no hits, 1 walk, 1 K.

The Yanks finally got on the board in the 7th on a single by Martin, a SB by PR Dickerson, and a single by Gardner.

Cesar Cabral, the Rule 5 lefty from Boston who is fighting Clay Rapada to make the team (and if he doesn’t, the Yanks must offer him back to Boston), got two out in the 8th, but then Maxwell made a two-base error. After a walk, Cabral gave up an RBI single. 4-1 Jays. Cabral 1 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 h, 1 walk, no K. I think he may lose out to Rapada, but I really hate losing him back to Boston.

Rapada pitched the ninth. 1-2-3 with a K.

The Yanks scrubbinis made it interesting in the 9th. Dickerson was HBP and went to 2nd on a WP. Nunez singled. Dickerson scored and Nunez went to second on an E-8. Two groundouts scored Nunez but the rally would come up short.

Jorge Vazquez (having a bad spring) was sent back to minor league camp. He’s in his late 20’s, hits in the .260s (albeit with 32 HR at AAA last year) but is a 30 walk, 160 strikeout guy who’s not that good defensively. You feel sorry for the guy, but there’s no place for him.

The Yanks will be on ESPN tomorrow (Wed.) at 1:05 p.m. vs. the Braves.

S.T. Game 19 Hughes strong in Yanks 5-2 win

Phil Hughes had another strong outing, and is making his case for a spot in the rotation. He pitched 5 innings today, and made just 1 mistake. 2 R, 3 H, 1 walk and 3 K.

Clay Rapada and Rule 5 pick Cesar Cabral are in an interesting competition to be the second lefty out of the bullpen. Rapada had a 1-2-3 inning with 2 K. Meanwhile Cabral pitched two scoreless innings, gave up two hits and a walk, and recorded all six of his outs via the strikeout.

Mike O’Connor wrapped up with a scoreless inning, 1 H, 1 K.

Hughes gave up a 2-run HR to Matt Joyce in the second.

The Yanks tied it in the sixth on an RBI groundout by Ibanez with the bases loaded. The key hit of the inning was a ground-rule double by A-Rod. Ibanez was o for 3, and once again didn’t look good. At least the groundout was pulled. He was late on his first two at bats, flying out to left both times. His S.T. batting average is now .059.

Jorge Vazquez had an RBI double in the seventh.

The Yanks won it in the 9th on an RBI double by Justin Maxwell and a 2-Run HR by Gus Molina.

The win puts the Yanks’ exhibition season record at 10-9. Tomorrow night they’ll be on ESPN vs. Boston, with Dave Phelps scheduled to start.

It’s been an interesting NFL day. Tebow traded to the Jets, but it could fall through…and Saints’ coach Sean Payton suspended for a whole year—and he’s not the only one involved in that Saints’ bounty who got suspended.

S.T. Game #17. Nova struggles as Yanks lose, 6-3

The first six batters Ivan Nova faced tonight did some damage: single, double, K, 3-Run HR, Groundout HR. Down 4-0, two outs in the first.

The Yanks never recovered, and lost 6-3 to the Orioles tonight, dropping their spring training record to 8-9. Good point from someone on Twitter: Nova did a good job keeping the ball in the park last year, but has given up 4 HR in 9 IP this spring.

Nova went 4, 5 R, 7 H, 0 walks and 4 K. Despite going 16-4 last year, he has options and if he struggles and Pettitte is ready in early May, who knows? Sophomore Jinx?

In the second, Teix doubled (to LCF, a good sign, going the other way against the shift) and scored on a groundout. 4-1. Nova gave up his fifth run in the second, and after two it was 5-1 Birdies.

Dave Phelps went 2/3, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 1 K, and made an error.

Clay Rapada faced one batter and got a groundout.

D.J. Mitchell went 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 walk and 3 K.

The Yanks got lucky. Robbie Cano took a pitch off the hand. Thankfully, x-rays were negative.

The Yanks scored two in the 7th on a double by DeWayne Wise and a SF by Jose Gil. Wise, a .219 career hitter mostly known for his speed and defense (he saved that Buehrle perfecto with a tremendous catch) is hitting .474 this spring.

George Kontos pitched a 1-2-3 eighth with a K.

Jorge Vazquez is now at .053 for spring training. So much for the remote possibility (after the Montero trade and before the Ibanez signing) that he’d be the DH. Speaking of Ibanez, he was 0 for 3, is down to .065 for the spring, and a friend who has MLB (I don’t) says he hasn’t hit a ball hard all spring and has rarely got around and pulled a ball. I hope that Cashman has Johnny Damon on speed-dial.

The youngster, Mason “Classical Gas” Williams, got a CS, but did get a hit.

The Yanks are off tomorrow, but expect more cuts. Time to get really serious.

S.T.: Yanks 8, Phils 5

The young pitching did pretty well today, as for the first 7 innings, Nova, Phelps, Banuelos and Betances gave up 2 R, 1 ER, on 3 H. Nice to see.

Curtis Granderson had a double and a solo HR. In 3 at bats so far this spring, CG has a single, double and HR.

CG, DeWayne Wise and Cole Garner had two hits each. Garner, like CG, went yard.

In the first, Granderson doubled (nice to see him rip a double off a tough lefty in Hamels…remember when CG had trouble vs. lefties?) and Ibanez blooped a double.

Nova was pretty good today, I thought. In the first, Nunez made an error (shades of last season) and Nova gave up a HR on a 3-0 pitch. The Phils gave Pence the green light, Nova was trying to throw a strike…

It was very windy at Clearwater today. Anyway, Nova, for the first time out, threw some nice breaking pitches. 2 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 H, 0 walks and 2 K.

Granderson’s HR tied it in the 3rd.

David Phelps pitched two scoreless innings. Overshadowed by the killer B’s, Banuelos and Betances, Phelps is a decent prospect in his own right (25, 7-7, 2.99 last year, Rk/AAA). 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 1 K.

Banuelos came in and had a 1-2-3 fifth. In the sixth, he ran into trouble. He gave up a one-out double, and with two out, walked two batters to load the bases. Girardi stuck with him, which I liked. After all, it is just spring training. Let’s see what moxie the kid (21 later this month) has. Let’s see him work his way out of it. It’s how he learns. Banuelos got a popup.

Banuelos 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 walks, 0 K.

Meanwhile, in the top of the sixth, Cole Garner doubled and Jorge Vazquez singled to give the Yanks a 3-2 win. Banuelos would end up getting the win. It was a nice piece of hitting by Vazquez, who went the other way with two strikes on him.

Garner, 27, is an OF that was in Colorado’s system. In 46 minor league games last year, he hit .330-8-35 (AAA). At AAA in 2010, he hit .304-13-61. He was .288-16-64 for AA in 2010. He only has had a cup of tea in the majors, going 2 for 9, six strikeouts, 3 RBI last year. He is a .286 hitter in the minors. Garner most likely won’t make the team, and is probably AAA bound, but putting up a good impression now could lead to a callup in case of injury come midseason.

In the top of the 7th,  Dickerson doubled, Wise got an RBI single, and Garner hit a 2-run HR. 6-2, Yanks.

Dellin Betances struggled a bit in the bottom of the 7th. He threw eight consecutive balls to walk the first two hitters before getting a DP and a flyout.

Settle down, Dellin. 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 walks, 0 K.

So today we saw 7 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 hits from Nova (25, 16-4, 3.70 for the Yanks last year), Phelps (see above, 25), Banuelos (see above, 21 in a few days) and Betances (24 in a few weeks) combined. That was very encouraging.

Cesar Cabral, a rule 5 lefty from Boston, pitched the 8th. Flyout, single, flyout, single, flyout. 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 walks, 0 K.

In the 9th, Dickerson walked, Wise singled, and Zoilo Almonte (he of  yesterday’s 4 RBI) hit a 2-run double. Nice from Almonte, probably AA bound. (22, .276-15-77, 18 SB at A+/AA last year).  8-2.

Lefty Mike O’Connor finished up with a sloppy 9th. 1 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 1 walk and 1 K for the final score of 8-5.

Garcia starts tomorrow. Halladay for the Phils.


Could Jorge Vazquez be Yanks 2012 DH?

From Twitter:

Buster_ESPNBuster Olney

Here’s guy who may well get first shot to be the Yankees DH: Jorge Vazquez. http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=vazque002jor WBC MVP, dominant winter numbers. …

Talent evaluator on Jorge Vazquez, NYY DH candidate: “He doesn’t have a position, but he can flat-out rake. He just mashes.”

Jorge Vazquez’s winter ball stats: Lots of power, OPS over 1.000, lots of strikeouts.

Vazquez will be 30 in March. At AAA last year, he hit .262-32-93 in 118 games. Not good plate discipline (30 walks, 166 K) but when he makes contact, that ball is hit hard. Can play 1B and 3B (worse at 3B) but most likely would DH.

The year before, Vazquez had 86 games (AA/AAA). .284-18-68, 18 walks, 103 K.


Power outage and who’s left on the market.

As a Yankees fan, I have to wonder about A-Rod in 2012. For one thing, he turns 37 in July of 2012. For another, consider this:

In 2007, his phenomenal MVP year (54 HR, 156 RBI), he played in 158 games.

Since then?

138 in 2008.

124 in 2009, when he missed the first month with the hip surgery. Granted the Yanks won the WS that year, but…

137 in 2010.

99 in 2011.

Hmmmm….. how many games will he play in 2012?

Not only that, but the power dropped in 2011. He did have years of 35, 30 and 30 HR despite the diminished time from 2008-2010 and granted he only played in 99 games in 2011, but his 2011 HR total was just 16.

In his last 41 games played in 2011 (not counting the playoffs), A-Rod had 3 HR. Let me repeat that. Three. Count the playoffs and it’s 46 games with 3 HR. A quarter of the season. .270-3-25. The RBI is OK. 41 games, 25 RBI, almost 100 for 162 games. The average a little below par, but .270 isn’t awful. But the power.

629 career HR, a cleanup hitter just 107 RBI away from 2000 (which only Aaron and Ruth have accomplished). But just 3 HR in his last 170 AB or so.

Yes, he was hurt with that knee. But with him turning 37 next July, you have to wonder if the power is sapped and also how many games he will play in.

Can he give 150 games and 35 HR? Or will it be 108 games and 18 HR?

Will he be the old A-Rod, or an old A-Rod?

Other news: Big Ben out tomorrow for Pittsburgh. Unless a miracle happens, they are locked into the #5 seed for the AFC. Charlie Batch starts. Even at that, the Steelers should beat the Rams. Resting Ben may be for the best. But Pittsburgh’s biggest problem could be this. Even with him healthy, there is no bye. As of now, postseason game #1 would be @ Denver. Ok, probably a low scoring game, but they can beat the Broncos. After that, with the #5 seed, maybe @ New England. They beat the Patriots before this year (at Pittsburgh) but in New England, vs. Brady… tough game. The Pats D isn’t great so even if Pittsburgh wins that one there most likely would be a third straight road game….most likely @ Baltimore, who beat the Steelers twice this season. That Monday night loss to the 49ers really hurts. Had the Steelers won, they’d have the inside position for the #1 seed, home field throughout, and a bye. Instead, consider the road I just laid out…

Remember when I wrote about 10 players taking up $161.25 million of the Yanks’ 2012 payroll? Four were pitchers. Two starters (CC/AJ) and two relievers (Mo/Soriano).

Lastly, a look at the top free agents left. Fielder, of course, tops the list. Then comes Edwin Jackson, Ryan Madson, Hiroki Kuroda, and Roy Oswalt. There are concerns over Oswalt’s back.

Then there is Javy Vazquez, who a) is considering retirement, and b) Yankee fans would NEVER give a third chance to….