Saturday, March 31, 2012


Today was an 8 inning game because of rain... that being said, the Yankees won beating the Astros and Raul Ibanez was apart of it. I kid you not! Both Robinson Cano and Ibanez hit 2 run homers today, but it didn't end there... One of my favorites, Dante Bichette Jr homered and I could not be happier for this kid. We interviewed Bichette in EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: DANTE BICHETTE JR and since then, we realized just how special this kid is. We here at Bleeding Yankee Blue are big fans and want the best for Dante, he's the future and I can't wait. But back to today, even Jose Gil homered today. Gotta love it.

Adam Warren pitched today and gave up 6 runs in 5 2/3 innings. Warren is one of the guys that has a good shot at getting a spot in the Yankees pen. I guess we'll have to see if that actually happens, but for the most part, I love what I see from Warren this spring and me personally...I'm pulling for him. Read more about the Yankees game HERE.
In other news, Michael Pineda was put on the DL because of tendinitis and will start the season there. Read HERE. I noticed that the Seattle Times today had a comments section, all of them talking about Michael Pineda. For the most part, this Pineda story is national, but mostly affecting Seattle and New York. One of the comments took a shot at Bleeding Yankee Blue (Read the forum HERE) because we wrote a piece titled THE LEMON? The comment read like this:

"Yankee nation will come down hard on him and Cashman. Here is a blog where they call him "The Lemon". OUCH!"

I found it weird because if they took the time to read the story, or follow Bleeding Yankee Blue, they'd know I still am a huge supporter of the trade for Michael Pineda because I know how important he will be to the Yankees organization over time. We asked the question THE LEMON? because many on Twitter last night were blasting Pineda. I was asking, is he, meaning, do you readers think he is? BYB doesn't for the record. And we also made it clear last night that no one should blame Brian Cashman, we wrote "All Michael Pineda wanted to do was pitch well and pitch hard to be chosen for the 5th spot of the rotation. Sure, if he felt pain before he went out there, he should have said something, but I don't see how that's Cashman's fault."

For Pineda, right now this is just a bump in the road, he'll learn from this and will grow to be a dominant pitcher for the New York Yankees, just as Jesus Montero will be great for the Mariners. I just wanted to point that out to you. I found it interesting.

Anyway... the Yankees win, I love it.

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In case you missed it, Bartolo Colon pitched a gem Thursday for the Oakland Athletics. It was in the 2nd game of this young baseball season. This is his line: 8 IP 6 K's 3 H 1 BB. Colon was credited with the win.

If the Yankees had re-signed Colon at a very cheap price, similar to before last season, that could have caused the Yankees to potentially have 8 capable starting pitchers on their roster, which would have been way more then they would ever need... Yes, don’t be confused by the title. I am happy that they did not re-sign Colon for this year, but you have to ask why not? Colon would have been cheap and perhaps could have had a better season than last. Sure, we'll never know for sure, but that last start was impressive. OK, enough of playing devil’s advocate…

First of all, I doubt that Colon can keep up this level of play for most of the year, and secondly there wouldn't be anywhere for him to play if the Yankees re-signed him. Colon most likely would have been slotted as the 7th or 8th starter, and would end up not pitching very much, or perhaps come out of the pen on occasion or cut or who knows. Look at the drama Freddy Garcia was dealing with when Andy Pettitte came back, right? Same type of thing in my opinion.

I am happy for the small market A's who have to play "Moneyball" in order to succeed in picking up a quality pitcher like Colon at a cheap price, he fits their needs. So far it is paying off for them and I wish Bartolo nothing but the best this season. I think it’s safe to say many Yankee fans wish him well also.

The Yankees clearly have a starting pitching problem without Colon and it may be a good problem to have, as they have too many starting pitchers for 5 slots; but in the next few days we’ll know exactly what the Yankees want to do with their 5 slots. With the Yankee “good problem”, I’d say it was a smart move not to re-sign Colon early in free agency... it was good to part company when they did. Plus, we can all root for Bartolo as he embarks on a new journey in Oakland. Good Luck to you Bartolo.

--Will Cohen, BYB Staff Writer

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Just in case you’ve forgotten, the Yankees defeated the Phillies 13-9 at The Boss on Friday evening, but that clearly wasn’t the main story following the game. The big story was Michael Pineda’s “sore” shoulder, and what it means in the immediate future to him and the Yankees.

Before we get to Pineda let’s recap the slug fest quickly. The Yanks and Phillies combined for 31 hits and 22 runs. Derek Jeter had two of those hits, as well as Russell Martin, Eric Chavez, and Dewayne Wise. Wise, who has no shot of making the team, hit two homers last night while driving in three runs. Curtis Granderson also provided a dinger, as he took Jonathan Papelbon yard in the fourth. It’s always nice to see a Yankee hit a homer off Papelbon, spring training or not. Justin Maxwell also kept his hot spring up as he went 1-for-2 with 3 RBI. Be sure to read WHAT TO DO WITH JUSTIN MAXWELL and his situation.

Now, onto the bigger story; Michael Pineda. Before Friday’s game Joe Girardi said Pineda’s start was an important one and it seemed as though the rotation competition was down to Freddy Garcia and Michael Pineda and if Pineda pitched poorly he’d end up in the minors. Unfortunately, Pineda struggled pretty mightily as he failed to get out of the third inning while allowing six runs. Maybe that was the final blow for Pineda’s chances to make the rotation. However, during the game it was reported that Pineda had soreness in the back part of his right shoulder (Read HERE) and he didn’t tell Cashman he was sore until after the game. Was it sore before the game? Has it been sore all spring? For now, no one knows, maybe we’ll learn more as time moves along.
BYB favorite Jack Curry also reported that Girardi told him that “it’s very possible” that Pineda’s injury decided the fate of the rest of the Yankees rotation (Read HERE). Girardi also said “I’m concerned, we will know more tomorrow (Saturday) obviously” (Read HERE).

Pineda wasn’t the only player that got injured. Lefty Cesar Cabral, who was fighting for the second lefty job out of the ‘pen with Clay Rapada, has pain in his left elbow and he will go for an MRI. He was also spotted wearing a sling (Read HERE). Obviously, this does not sound good, so it may be safe to say that Clay Rapada will end up making the team, though that’s certainly not a bad thing.

Yanks play the Astros today at 1 EST, but the game’s not televised. When we get word on the Pineda and Cabral injuries we’ll keep you covered here at BYB. Stay tuned.

--Jesse Schindler, BYB Lead Staff Writer
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Friday, March 30, 2012


"Montero was supposed to be a superstar in pinstripes. In the end, the Yankees needed to make a hard choice and we did... we got some pitching in Michael Pineda and Jose Campos and Jesus will now rise in Seattle. I see it now, one bad outing by Michael Pineda in pinstripes and Yankeeland will scream bloody murder..."

I wrote that on January 17th in a piece called WHY TRADING MONTERO ALLOWS ROMINE TO SHINE. As you can see, it's happened. I have never seen Twitter quite like I see it right now... Yankeeland has erupted and no one is happy. Half are blaming Brian Cashman... Why? How would he have predicted an injury to young Pineda. All Michael Pineda wanted to do was pitch well and pitch hard to be chosen for the 5th spot of the rotation. Sure, if he felt pain before he went out there, he should have said something, but I don't see how that's Cashman's fault.

Some are suggesting maybe it was him being overweight that injured him. I don't know. Some suggested he should have said something if he was hurt before his outing. They're correct! I suggested just a few hours ago that it almost seemed like Pineda's mechanics were off. Read WHY MICHAEL PINEDA JUST MISSED HIS SHOT. And some are even suggesting that Pineda's problems are the same as Phil Hughes problems 1 year ago. I don't know... I'm waiting for official word. The good thing is, all the top sports writers are scrambling, do their best to get Yankee fans the info they need, and thank God for them. One thing's for sure though, this is no laughing matter. No one likes to see an athlete hurt and no one wants to see a 23 year old with a sparkle in his eye, eager to impress, hurt either.Yankeeland had high hopes, we knew trading Jesus Montero was a roll of the dice, because while we knew what we were getting with Michael Pineda, who really knew, right? I was worried early on and expressed concern about innings load when looking at his innings increase from 2009 to 2010. Read WHY THE INNINGS LOAD FOR PINEDA & NOVA WORRIES ME . I have no idea if that contributed to it, but one thing is for sure, if Michael Pineda felt soreness in his shoulder before he went out on the mound, he should have said something. Not saying something not only hurts the Yankees, but could essentially hurt his career.

I know, he was trying to impress...maybe make the rotation and not go to AAA, I get that, but now we have a bigger problem, don't we? Pineda's out most likely with an MRI scheduled for tomorrow on that right shoulder, what a mess.

Sure, the Yankees move forward, they have enough pitching and they'll be fine, but Pineda now must go through a recovery just sucks. Look, the title of this piece is called The Lemon? and that's because there are too many questions right now on this hurt pitcher, but at the end of the day, if Pineda did this to himself, it will be a mess in the Bronx. People will not only be calling for Pineda's head, but they'll be calling for Cashman's as well.

As things develop we'll bring it to you here at Bleeding Yankee Blue. But don't forget, it's not like we just sit and wait... the Yankees move on, with or without Pineda. After all, we have a championship to win this season. So right now the best thing to do it sit back, wait for a report and suck down a scotch. No doubt, things will work out, but unfortunately, it's not the way any of us expected it. Oh well, that's baseball... you never can predict it.

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This is our second installment of Yankee Shorts, stories from the past 2 weeks that we put together in a top list for you. Have fun!

10. ARod and WrestleMania…What?

Relax fellow Yankee fans, ARod has no plans to enter the ring anytime soon. But it’s being reported HERE that he will join his lady friend ringside for WrestleMania in Miami most likely on April 1st. April Fool’s joke? No actually. Yankees are scheduled to play the Marlins in Miami on that day. Hey ARod, be careful but be sure to let us know if you smell what the Rock is cooking, OK?

9. Bronx Zoo?

Too much pitching….a so called problem the Yankees haven’t had in a while. Rumors have spread that Michael Pineda, Phil Hughes, Freddy Garcia and Ivan Nova were not thrilled with the arrival of Mr. Andy Pettitte. With that being said, the Skipper Joe Girardi has served up a dose of humble pie saying to his pitchers earn your spot, read that HERE.

So in the words of Jay Z……Show Me What Ya Got!!

8. There’s No Crying in Baseball!

Remember that silly rant by Bobby Valentine when the Yankees didn’t play the 10th inning of the tie game against the Red Sox…IN THE SPRING? We wrote about it HERE. Bobby blabbed that Joe Girardi was not very courteous and that he had to answer to the pitcher trying to make the team. Really? You need a 10th inning to determine if that pitcher is going to make the cut? If that’s the case the Red Sox have bigger issues! With all due respect Bobby Valentine… there is no crying in baseball.

7. Hey Boo Boo!

The bear has spoken… well Yogi Berra that is. In true Yankee fashion, Yogi checks up on the boys at Spring training. When asked how they look he replies “Fine, good. We’ll find out when they start. That’s when it counts." Read HERE. However he was also quick to say “They better be good” and I agree with that statement. So guys take heed because the legend has spoken.

6. Pavano’s back? Not exactly

Carl Pavano is back in the news because it appears he’s the target of an extortion plot. Read about it HERE. Bleeding Yankee Blue believes in keeping private lives private and it’s just a shame that someone is out to try and ruin Carl Pavano. Say what you will about Pavano, but one thing he doesn’t need is to have his name dragged through the dirt like this… Oh wait…that’s been done? When he was with the Yankees? The New York sports media did it? Oh yeah… my mistake.

5. Grandeur

When Curtis Granderson states he hopes to build on success you know it’s going to be a great season. Read HERE. It’s not an easy task filling the shoes of legends like DiMaggio and Mantle but one I do feel #14 is capable of handling. His outstanding 2011 season makes me say Granderson is Grandeur in his own way!

4. No Respect!

The debate continues over Derek Jeter. Read HERE. Is he still as good as he once was? I will promptly answer YES!!!!! His batting average may not be what it was ten years ago and yes he will be 38 this year but the man’s still got it!! Come on, it’s not like he has one foot in the grave even though that’s the way the critics portray it. So here’s my message to you Mr. Jeter….I hope you have one hell of a year so that all the critics out there can eat a mouthful of Jeter crow!!

3. Pinstriped Brothers

Entering into their 18th season together as a New York Yankee, Jeter and Mariano Rivera is a dynamic duo unlike any other. The Captain and The Closer discuss their careers together. They both express appreciation for each other’s solid work ethic and class. The exact traits which have earned them the fans love and respect. Mariano don’t forget Jeter‘s signed jersey!

2. “How Do I Look?”

Here’s a story from a couple of weeks ago that I must share. Ladies… How many men do you know that likes shopping? Well Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli is a self proclaimed shopaholic. Read HERE. So, Derek Jeter this breaking news may just put “Gazoo” in the running for your title of New York’s most eligible bachelor. A shopping enthusiast and New York Yankee….What more can a girl wish for?

1. Real Men Wear Pink

MLB and our Yankees have joined the fight against Breast Cancer. Usually around Mother’s Day the players join the fight and sport their pink attire. They also select an honorary bat girl from a slew of entries. So many people are affected in some way with cancer. Show your support and buy yourself some pink baseball attire and be sure to nominate or enter the batgirl contest. Entries accepted through April 6th. Read about it HERE. It's important.

We'll have the third installment of Yankee Shorts in 2 weeks. I can't wait to bring it to you.

--Kate Munrow, BYB Staff Writer

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91 on the radar gun doesn't cut it. Michael Pineda had a huge opportunity to make a rotation spot tonight, but there is one thing wrong in my opinion with Michael Pineda's velocity... his mechanics...and now his confidence. There will be talk about this performance over the weekend when it's announced that he will start the season in AAA. Look, Pineda doesn't look good tonight, but it's something that the Yankees will fix, don't worry. One thing is clear though... pitching for the New York Yankees will be much different than pitching for the Seattle Mariners...that is evident.

There is groaning and anger right now on Twitter and I get it. Much like I suggested once the Montero for Pineda trade was complete, Yankee fans think about what could have been in Jesus Montero, not so much about what could be with Pineda.

Listen, don't worry... don't panic. It's not the end of the world right now and over time you will understand the meaning to the Yankees madness. They're not interested in Michael Pineda striking out 18 batters in April as much as they are in June, August, October and beyond, although if he were, that would be a bonus. This is a long term investment. This is a guy the Yankees see a future in, let's just hope Pineda can handle the pressures of New York, becomes confident and does well for himself. Otherwise we traded away AJ Burnett for well, an AJ Burnett...a good pitcher who may not be able to handle the New York scene.

We here at BYB believe that if a 23 year old Michael Pineda needed to go down to the minors to start the season, it wouldn’t exactly be the worst thing in the world, but Lord knows it would deflate his confidence a bit, considering he had a pretty damn good rookie season with the Mariners and showed up to Yankees camp early, ready to impress. I say some extra time for tweaking is never a bad thing. Look at Ivan Nova last year. Hell, look at all these professionals, they are always trying to fix something and get better.

Bottom line, Pineda will succeed... just not now. No, right now he needs to forget this outing, take his lumps and go improve. Otherwise, we won't see this kid in the Yankees rotation for a while.

You know who's laughing right now? Jack Zduriencik... the GM for the Seattle Mariners. You know who's not? Brian Cashman... but he will be soon... I promise.

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Spring is where you try to improve and in some cases, make a ball club. Justin Maxwell just blew everyone out of the water this spring. There is something to be said about kids who just want to make it and put everything they have into something they love. Someone once said “I’ve never worked a day in my life” because they loved going to work and did their best every day. Sure, some days don’t always work out the way you want them to, but you never go home and say "I quit." Instead, you say, tomorrow will be better. And it usually is. Justin Maxwell’s been having several of those days this spring and it is my feeling that Maxwell deserves a shot with the New York Yankees. I would love to see this guy on the already crowded bench. In fact, without even thinking about whether or not the Yankees even have the room, I feel like they should make room. Bottom line... he's a long shot and it's almost not fair, but that being said, he's earned it.

Now there’s been plenty of talk that the Maxwell is getting plenty of interest for his talent from other clubs. George King III of the New York Post suggests that both the Orioles and the Astros have interest. Read about it HERE. King also says that Maxwell is out of options so you never know, he could be traded soon. No doubt the Yankees want to hear that, Cashman is always looking for a deal, but the question is, will the Yankees offer up Justin Maxwell some something else they might need, be it pitching or something else? No doubt, if they were willing to deal him, out of the 2 teams that King suggests, you can't deal within the AL East so naturally, the Yanks would have to unload him to Houston. But then again, will the Yankees hold onto the kid and stick him down in Scranton for the appropriate call up? A lot of questions, and more than I thought we’d ever hear when talking about Justin Maxwell, but the kid derserves a lot of credit, he’s done quite well.

Maxwell was signed last year. He’s a former Washington National and spent the entire 2011 season in AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre. Well, Cash, here me now... I’d love to see this guy on the big club, some how, some way. Can’t you make it happen? Stay tuned...

By the way, if you want to great a great piece about Justin Maxwell, be sure to read THIS piece in the Scranton Times Tribune by Conor Foley. Great reading about this kid.

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It was originally Ivan Nova’s turn to pitch Thursday night against the Baltimore Orioles, but because it was against the Orioles, a team he could possibly face for his first start in 2012, the Yankees held him back. He went 7.1 innings allowing three runs in a minor league game. But he wasn’t the story on Thursday night, David Phelps was.

There have been stories floating around the Inter-webs that one of David Phelps, Adam Warren, or DJ Mitchell could make the team as a reliever out of camp, and while we don’t know if that’s true or not, Phelps certainly made his case. David went 5 innings, allowing three runs (two earned), on seven hits while striking out four and not allowing a walk. But what really impressed me, and I’m sure it impressed Joe Girardi and Larry Rothschild as well, was when after Phelps allowed runners to reach second and third to start the fifth he went on to strike out Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, and Matt Wieters to get out of the jam. It’s great to see a kid show some poise in a tough spot especially to three pretty good hitters.

Another possible candidate to make the team out of camp, as noted earlier, is DJ Mitchell. Girardi wants to see how he handles a relief role, so in the seventh with two out Mitchell came on and got the final out before pitching the eighth and ninth. Mitchell ended up allowing a run in those 2.1 innings, while striking out three and walking two on two hits. Mitchell is scheduled to make another relief appearance on Saturday. Mariano Rivera and Boone Logan each had scoreless outings as Phelps and Mitchell sandwiched them in this game.The majority of the offense came off Raul Ibanez’s bat, and while I never liked the Ibanez signing, it was nice to see his bat come alive. He absolutely mashed a solo home run in the second inning, and he also drove in a run on an RBI single in the sixth. Good for Raul.

Yankees lose 4-3 to the Orioles. Michael Pineda starts on Friday against the Phillies, so hopefully everyone has their radar guns ready.

--Jesse Schindler, BYB Lead Staff Writer
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First off, I’m sorry. Many of you are mocking me, saying I’ve been a grouch the past week. I guess the Joba Chamberlain news aggravated me a bit, but I apologize if I was harsh. I’m a fan that wants everything to always be perfect, I guess I was annoyed. I just want to see Joba succeed. Plus, I am tired of hearing about Michael Pineda and his velocity. I realized that I’ve jumped on that same bandwagon too much as well, so maybe that was bothering me. Sorry, I’ll lay off.

It’s true that Bleeding Yankee Blue was meant to be a rant site, an outlet for me to get things off my chest and that all started with Sergio Mitre back on September 14, 2010 (WHY LAST NIGHT WAS IMPORTANT.) It’s amazing that Mitre was the guy to get me fired up enough to put this whole site together, but he did. Overall, I just wanted to meet other Yankee fans who bleed blue as much as me. I have found them and I cannot be happier.

But yes, my grouchiness is clear in my work lately and so, I’ll be sure to tone is down a bit. I’m actually quite a happy guy, maybe sleep deprived, but for the most part, life is good, the families good and all of you guys reading and commenting is great, thank you.

I guess I see that Yankee baseball is about to start officially. Yankee baseball is always the best. I love any baseball, but there is something very special about our Yankees, and Yankees Opening day at Yankee Stadium, or seeing your kid eating an ice cream in the nose bleeds at the park. Me, I’m a huge fan of the pulled pork sandwich with Carolina sauce and a nice brew. We’ve also written about the Turkey legs here (Read QUEST FOR TURKEY LEGS!) and sometimes you can find them at the stadium, but sometimes you can’t. It doesn’t matter, Yankee stadium is the greatest place on earth and I love the baseball season.

If you live on the East coast, you know we had a pretty mild winter, Spring baseball just kind of happened. In the past, during those horrendous winters with snow all over the place, it was torture to get to the point of pitchers & catchers. This year, it just popped up, a much smoother transition for me. It’s funny, I’ve lived on the East coast almost my entire life, I hate the weather. My wife and I joke about how we’ll probably move to Florida when the kids are grown, but we won’t, because we’ve been saying we were going to move to Florida in our 20’s…it just ain’t happening. I can’t imagine Yankee baseball outside the Tri-state area, but so many of you are diehards and you literally live all over the world… the fan base is amazing.

So yeah, while my grouchiness is evident, I just wrote this piece and I feel pretty good right now. Maybe I just needed to get it down on paper, talk out my feelings about the New York Yankees and how, in the end, everything is going to be alright in 2012. The Yankees will compete hard again this year, after all, it’s #28 we’re after. I know we can do it this year…you know why? Because we’re the God damn New York Yankees…that’s why.

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Thursday, March 29, 2012


Before everyone in Yankeeland screams bloody murder that Michael Pineda may go to AAA, let’s all take a deep breath and get some unique perspective on the entire Pineda saga…from non-other than... me.

Look Ladies and Gentlemen, the Yankees made a big trade this winter. Now, ultimately the majority of you were against it. I saw the good and bad of the trade, but it is what it is and now I'm Team Pineda. But I saw the concern, after all, giving up our coveted Jesus Montero was the crazy... he was the future of the New York Yankees. He understood the Yankee way, plus he knew how to swing a bat and many of us pictured 40 home runs a season for the kid, and he only had a brief time in the majors last September...think about that. It’s fun how our minds wondered though, but we got way ahead of ourselves.

Ultimately, when we lost the playoffs in 2011, we realized that we didn’t hit a hell of a lot, but we also needed pitching. It’s something that I feel like we always need, but finding good pitchers are hard to find and sometimes when you find a guy that’s worthy, well, you have to give up someone good for someone good. The Yankees did that with Jesus Montero and received Michael Pineda, a 23 year old pitcher with a ton of potential and a great rookie season under his belt with the Mariners. OK, now take a deep breath…

Pineda game into camp as not only as one of the first guys, but a guy trying to make a good first impression and get acquainted with his teammates. He also came in overweight and lacking alittle velocity. By the way, I am now under the opinion that the velocity story is grossly overblown, but whatever… I’m just a blogger, what the hell do I know? OK... take a deep breath…

Pineda impressed the Yankees this spring, make no mistake and his velocity and coming along nicely. Hey, I think that we are so hyper sensitive about velocity since last season with Phil Hughes, and I think that if Pineda’s body works the way it does and his velocity takes a few extra weeks to get to where it needs to be, we need to let it happen. Well, it’s happening. But of course, after the Andrew Marchand story a few weeks ago about the possibility of Pineda starting the season in the minors, the craziness began (Read HERE), and I said it would happen, Yankee fans would go crazy knowing that Montero gets his season on the pro Mariner team and we got a guy in Pineda, not ready for the big leagues. Breathe in...and... exhale…

So what am I getting at? This… so what if Pineda starts in AAA? What if? What the hell's the big deal? We have CC, Hughes, Nova, Freddy Garcia, Andy Pettitte, Ivan Nova and Michael Pineda. We have a lot of pitching. The Yankees have a good problem.

Let’s not forget that sometimes getting away from the New York Yankees and going to AAA can actually help…if you don’t believe me, ask Ivan Nova who came back from AAA and ended up being 16 – 4 last year. Good thinks can happen, plus, as much as we want to win right now in 2012, which we can do with the pitching by the way, what’s the rush if Pineda starts in AAA...ultimately Pineda is a long term investment.

(In Photo: Dellin Betances)

Sure, if he could help immediately, he will, but Pineda will one day help lead with the charge with CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova to help groom guys like Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances. There is no doubt in my mind by 2014, our pitching staff will be young and stellar. Look, if I’m wrong, I’m wrong, but I feel like I’m right about this one.

So yeah, the more I got to thinking about it, the more I’m fine with it. Michael Pineda to start in AAA? Well, It’s not the worst thing in the world, it could just be the best thing and I’m OK with that. At the end of the day... everything's going to work out fine...I feel it.

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