Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Monday @Tigers and Tuesday @ Pirates.

The important things to take away from the 6-2 loss to the Tigers are clear. Pitching is clearly ahead of hitting but don't worry, that's just how it works in spring.

C.C. Sabathia went 2 scoreless inning. He was noticibly thinner and looks strong. His pitches looked sharp and he worked quickly. Next time through the rotation, the starters will likely pitch 3 innings each.

Manny Banuelos made his spring debut as well and let's just say it went the exact same way as Bryce Harper's debut; strikeouts. Considering Banuelos is a lefty pitcher, strikeouts are good. He first got Victor Martinez to ground out weakly to short, clearly fooling him with a changeup. Next up was Jhonny Peralta. Banuelos quickly froze him in place with a curveball that can only be described as disgusting. Strike three looking on Peralta. Brandon Inge had the same fate as he froze staring at Banuelos' curve for strike three, as well. 1-2-3 for the 19 year old who is clearly making a case to be a late season call up with fellow teammate, Dellin Betances.

As far as hitting goes, Mark Teixeira's swing is in mid-season form. So far he is batting .600 and will likely see a lot of playing time to gear him up to hopefully have a strong April.

Alex Rodriguez is also hitting very well. Even his outs look good. He is clearly driving the ball well. A-Rod looks poised to have a big year.

Andruw Jones got his first unofficial hit as a Yankee as well as his first RBI. He drove in the Yanks' final run with a sharp single.

Ok, I'm going to address it just because apparently it's a big story. Derek Jeter has had 6 at bats and only one has been a hit. Even more troubling is the fact that all 6 at bats have resulted in ground balls. First let's focus on the fact that none were strikeouts. He's seeing the ball fine. The truth is, Jeter is still getting used to a stride-less swing. It's difficult when you have been doing something one way for so long then u cut out a large part of it. He is Derek Jeter and he has 4 weeks to figure it out. It's called spring training for a reason.

Francisco Cervelli is someone that has to be mentioned. Cervi is ripping the ball every time he hits it, which has been often. It seems that all his extra work with Robinson Cano has payed off. Cervelli started working at the begining of December with Cano in the D.R. Cervi's hands look much quicker than they have been which will result in more hard hits down the line. He does not seem ready to accept a back up job.

The hitting news in the 2-0 loss to the Pirates is almost non-existent. Actually, it seems the biggest news is probably Jorge Vasquez. This was his fourth appearance of the spring and he made his first out. Vasquez has been a pleasant surprise this spring. He homered in his first and second game and had a two hit day in his third game despite being put in the game late. This kid seems to be someone to keep an eye on.

Once again, the focus should be on pitching. Phil Hughes looked real sharp with two no-hit innings. He issued just 1 walk but looked dominant. Hughes was particularly satisfied with his outing having mixed in his new change up 3 times in his two innings. He says that he is aware it won't be his go to pitch but he wants to be able to use it occasionally to make him more of a dangerous pitcher.

Dave Robertson also made an appearance, his second of the spring and the only thing I can deduce from his outings are that he plans on striking everyone out this year. His put away ability is definitely there which inspires even more faith in this seemingly invincible bullpen.

Today the Yankees play at 1:05. The game will be televised on YES and the MLB network. A.J. Burnett will get the start. Details will be posted later on facebook and twitter.

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