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Bronx Tales: With Derek Jeter down, what’s next for the Yankees?

KOBEsh: Derek Jeter out until at least after the All-Star break, if not longer. Vin, where do the Bombers go from here?
 
Vin: Not much of the following will actually answer your question as posed. This is for two reasons, one simple and one so complex even I can’t fully understand it.
 
The simple reason is that it’s not a very hard question to answer. The Captain was supposed to be back by Opening Day. Then he was estimated to be back by sometime in early to mid April. Then people began to accept that he wouldn’t be back until May. Now all we know is the vague and terrifying “sometime after the All-Star break.” But the “next step” for the Yanks never changed with these shifting timetables: Eduardo Nunez needs to fill in for Jeter as the everyday shortstop, just as he did when Jeter went on the DL close to the pinnacle of his 3,000 hit chase in 2011. The Yanks don’t have any other options really, either in house or elsewhere, besides Jayson Nix (and he’ll only get a chance if Nunez proves too error prone with the glove, which I’m less worried about because he’s been solid so far this year).
 
Nunez has always shown potential with the glove, just not consistency, so it’s not as if he can’t do it. And it seems that being at the same position everyday and knowing he will be there indefinitely is helping him to relax. Bottom line: quality major league shortstops are rare. The Yankees are fortunate to have Nunez, who’s struggled at the plate so far this year but whose track record leads one to believe he can produce as an average major league SS, as the next step.
 
The complex reason is that my usual flourish of wordiness above aside, I don’t really care what the Yankees next step is without Jeter. That was the thing I was worried about second most when I got the news Jeter was going back to see his ankle specialist on Thursday, but in a way that the thing you worry about second most when your house burns down is not having a suit for work the next day.
 
The thing I was preoccupied with is what this means for Derek Jeter’s career going forward.… Read more...

Bronx Tales: A-Rod digging himself deeper

Let’s get straight to it. From NYtimes.com:
 

Former employees of a now-shuttered South Florida anti-aging clinic and others who had ties to it have told Major League Baseball that the Yankees’Alex Rodriguez arranged to purchase documents from the clinic to keep them out of the hands of baseball officials, according to two people briefed on the matter.

 
Vin. My man. Thoughts?
 

  1. This is so predictable and pathetic. In fact, I predicted the unnamed player referenced in espn.com’s original article this morning was A-Rod in an email titled “A-Rod is a piece of trash”. Not that that makes me Nostradamus.
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Bronx Tales: Are the surprising contributors here to stay?

KOBEsh: Just a handful of games into the season, the Yankees are doing just about as well can be expected considering all the injuries that sent NY into scramble mode: hovering around .500. But also just like we suspected, the Yanks have had a difficult time scoring runs, topping 4 for the first time on Sunday in a 7-0 explosion against the Tigers.
 
However, there’s been some surprising developments: the two Yanks hit leaders do not include 2B Robinson Cano or OF Brett Gardner. They’re DH Travis Hafner and OF Vernon Wells.
 
Vin, have you seen anything in their ABs to suggest that this might be a sustainable model? Can they keep the boat afloat while Granderson, TeIxeIra and Jeter get back?
 
Vin: As you say, before Robinson Cano’s big game (3/4, 2 HR, 4 R) in the Yanks’ 11-6 pounding of the Tribe yesterday, the young season’s few offensive highlights more or less belonged to Kevin Y (still refusing to type out Youkilis over and over and will not use his Boston given nickname), Money Earnin’ Vernon, Travis Hafner, Francisco Cervelli, and even Lyle Overbay who had a big 2 out hit in the Yanks’ first win.  Cano got off to a rough start, Ichiro has been silent, Gardner hasn’t hit and is 0/2 is stolen base opportunities and Nunez hasn’t done much.
 
Is this a sustainable model?  No. Eventually the guys who the Yanks are depending on will need to start contributing because they can’t expect all those other guys to keep shouldering the load.  As Cano showed yesterday, he’s not someone they need to be concerned with. Hopefully Ichiro picks it up and starts looking more like 2013 Yankee Ichiro than 2012-2013 Mariner Ichiro.  Gardner doesn’t have a long track record, but I expect him to start getting on base more frequently and swiping some bags.  Nunez should still provide pop from time to time.… Read more...

Bronx Tales: Can the Yankees survive a season without Teixeira? What do they do now?

KOBEsh: The news came out a couple days ago that Mark TeIxeIra’s injury could be much more severe than originally thought–like “season ending” more severe. With an injury as complex as his, there’s no reason to suspect that he’ll be able to get in more than 300 at-bats..and that might be on the optimistic side.
 
That being said, can the Yankees survive with Eduardo Nunez, Juan Rivera and Dan “Only Good on the Last Day of the Season” Johnson getting anywhere between 300 and 500 at-bats? Or maybe more?
 
Moreover, do the Yankees have to make a trade now? What type of players would they be targeting? Or are they going to look more towards a free agent signing in the Scott Rolen, Derrek Lee, Carlos Lee mold?… Read more...

Bronx Tales: With a tidal wave of injuries, what does the Yankees opening day starting line-up look like?

KOBEsh: As unmomentous as the offseason was for the New York Yankees, it appears that spring training might be even worse. The line-up had already suffered losses, including Alex Rodriguez (hip) and a no doubt below-par Derek Jeter (ankle) coming off of surgery. Within a week of each other, Curtis Granderson (forearm) and Mark Teixeira (wrist) hit the disabled list with maladies that will keep them out of action until the early summer.
 
With three regulars out, another recovering from a major injury and two offseason free agents losses in OF Nick Swisher and C Russell Martin…what the hell is the opening day roster going to look like?
 
Vin: First, let’s get the easy part of this out of the way. There is a 0% chance that the average Yankees fan can spell Teixeira. I know this because I have typed “Mark T…” into Google at least a dozen times since he signed with the Yanks around Christmas 2008, and I am no average fan. The “i’s” are the tricky part- particularly the one before the “x.”
 
As to the more difficult part of the question, Jesus Christ. I’m no fan of the Yankees’ new found and well publicized thriftiness, but you almost have to feel bad for Hotel Hal (for those who are unaware, fiscally conscious Hal Steinbrenner’s greatest accomplishment before usurping older brother Hank as King George’s replacement was successfully opening and running several Holiday Inn-esque hotels in Florida and Ohio) regarding the timing of all of this. Right as the Yankees sacrifice roster depth to cut around the edges, it’s tested in the earliest weeks of spring like it never has been before. Losing Granderson and TeIxeIra for the first month leaves them with precisely 1 of the 3 offensive players who were coming into 2013 without significant performance and/or injury issues.… Read more...

Bronx Tales: What To Do Without Curtis Granderson?

KOBEshigawa: After several years toiling away in the Major Leagues, left-handed pitcher J.A. Happ may have made his first significant contribution to the game…but not in a good way.
 
Last Sunday in a spring training game, Happ served up a breaking ball in the most literal of senses, fracturing Curtis Granderson’s right forearm. The Yankees, already having lost the offensive punch of sluggers Nick Swisher, Russ Martin, Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones this offseason, will be without a potential 35-40 home run threat for at least the first five weeks of the season.
 
Knowing full well how competitive the AL East is with five teams that could compete for a playoff spot, the Yankees simply cannot afford to fall behind seven, eight or nine games behind the division leader even as early as April.
 
We of course sent out the Pinstripe-Signal to our man Vin for some insight on the Yanks in this latest edition of MAMBINO’s Bronx Tales.
 
Vin, will the Yanks really miss Curtis Granderson? And who should be the opening day left fielder?
 
Vin: Obviously, the Yankees will definitely miss Curtis Granderson over the first month plus of the season, which seems to be the time he is guaranteed to be sidelined even if he comes back from his broken forearm as quickly as possible. As has been said by many, the only silver lining (playbook) of this injury is that it occurred during Grandy’s first spring AB and thus will missing as few games that actually count as possible. Of course, missing spring training could affect Granderson’s numbers after he returns (presumably he’ll have some rehab games in the minors but nowhere near the preparation time he otherwise would have had), but you’d still rather him miss spring training than larger chunks of actual spring or summer.… Read more...