Saturday, April 3, 2010

Saturday News, Notes, & Links

Tomorrow may be Easter, but I'm feeling like a kid on Christmas Eve knowing that Opening Day is just one sleep away. Here are some news, notes, and links on the one year anniversary of the first game ever played at the new Yankee Stadium. I had great seats for that game, my father, brothers and I were in the second row on the field level, directly behind the left field foul pole. Cody Ransom rang a dinger off that pole later in the game; sadly that was the high water mark of his 2009 season. Still, I'll never forget walking onto the concourse and getting my first glimpse of the new Stadium.

  • As we mentioned earlier, the Yankees have essentially finalized their roster, and it's no different than what we thought a week and a half ago. Marcus Thames was officially added the 40 man roster this morning, and Boone Logan was optioned to AAA. All the players who have been nursing injuries: Posada, Cervelli, Aceves, Marte, and Johnson, should be ready to go tomorrow night.

  • Also, as we mentioned earlier, the Yankees signed Chad Moeller to a minor league deal. Moeller lost out on the back up job in Baltimore and asked for his release rather than go to the minors. He's not as good offensively as Mike Rivera, but he has the reputation of a solid defender. He should be a good mentor to Jesus Montero. I'm hopeful that Moeller's contract does not include the opt out clause that many veteran players get on minor league deals. I think it's important the club have a good mentor for Montero all year, as well as a viable emergency option should Posada or Cervelli get injured.

  • The Yankees added another player to the Scranton roster today, when they acquired Robby Hammock. Chad Jennings reported it as a free agent signing, but The Times Pat Borzi says Hammock was acquired via a trade with Colorado for a player to be named later. Hammock has 180 games of Major League experience over five seasons, but none since 2008. He's capable of playing behind the plate and at the infield and outfield corners. He's reportedly ticketed for Scranton, where Jorge Vazquez will start the season on the DL.

  • With the addition of Hammock, Scranton's roster is jam packed with guys who should be playing nearly everyday. Juan Miranda will be the first baseman, but Vazquez will see some time there as well. Kevin Russo, Reegie Corona, and Eduardo Nunez will make up the remainder of the infield, and they should be rotating through the positions to increase their versatility as utility options. But Vazquez and Hammock will also presumably see time at third. In the outfield, Colin Curtis, Jon Weber, Greg Golson, Reid Gorecki, and David Winfree all figure to be on the roster, and Russo may also see time in the corners. Monetro and Moeller will be the catchers, and P.J. Pilittere may also see time behind the plate.

  • The Yankees have officially lost both their Rule Five picks. Kanekoa Texeira used an impressive spring to win a spot in the Mariners' bullpen. The Diamondbacks waived lefty Zach Kroenke, but he went unclaimed and accepted an assignment to AAA in exchange for keeping his spot on the 40 man roster. By right, the Yankees could have brought him back for $25K once he cleared waivers, but as a two time Rule 5 pick Kroenke had the right to declare free agency if that happened. By going unclaimed on waivers and keeping a 40 man spot with the Dbacks, he likely got the best possible deal for himself.

  • For the second time this spring, things got a little heated between the Yankees and Orioles yesterday. As Marc Carig points out, these two clubs have built up a bit of a history over the last year, from Aubrey Huff's fist pumps to A.J. Burnett gesticulating in the general direction of Felix Pie. The Girardi Yankees haven't been shy about coming inside over the past two seasons; this will be something to watch as 2010 unfolds.

  • Jack Curry of the YES Network has a story on Andy Pettitte in which Pettitte drops some more retirement hits. Nothing to see here folks. Firstly, Pettitte says nothing definitive. Secondly, this is no different than anything Pettitte has said each of the last four off-seasons as he's done the Brett Favre dance. Thirdly, there's no reason to believe that it won't continue. The guy can still pitch, and if he didn't want to go out on top after winning each of the three clinching games in the 2009 post-season, there's no reason to believe that this year is any more likely to be his last than 2009 or 2008 or 2007 was. Let's wait until a few pitches are thrown first.

  • Finally, Fangraphs has completed their organizational rankings series, with the Yankees taking the top prize. Here's Fangraphs' look at both the current talent and future talent.

That's it for today Fackers. We'll be back in the morning with all sorts of Opening Day goodness.

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