Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Rollercoaster

The past week in Yankeeland has had more peaks and valleys than any we've seen in a very long time. Great news was later overshadowed by not-so great news, and vice versa. The season is almost upon us, and I just want for everything to be on course when the Yankees take the field in their first, official game. Here are some of the big headlines from the past week.

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Joba could pitch - News of Joba Chamberlain's ankle injury spread like a wildfire, leaving some folks feeling sympathetic, and some outraged that he would put himself in a position to be hurt. Amidst talk of Joba possibly being out for the season, Joe Girardi "lightened things up" a bit with his assessment that Joba could possibly pitch come July or later. Because the open dislocation of Joba's ankle left no microfractures, Girardi believes Joba could pitch this year, barring any infection of the ankle area. Joba was released from the hospital Sunday, and will be in a cast for six weeks.

Andy still grooving - Andy Pettitte's comeback has seen much success thus far. He was so impressive in his first bullpen session last week, that he's already thrown one live batting practice and is expected to throw his second today. It's common for pitchers to throw in a game after a second LBP, so it will be interesting to see if Andy sneaks one in before the season starts. Girardi has already been vocal in saying that he believes he will.

Ibanez' coming out party - It's been a ghastly Spring Training so far for Raul Ibanez. Heading into Saturday's game against Detroit, Ibanez was hitting to an .054 AVG with a .103 OBP. But he managed to finally show some power, and connected on a 2-run shot in the Yankees' 4-2 win. Don't get excited yet; it was Ibanez' only hit of the game. He went 1-for-3, and boosted his AVG to a mere .075

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A-Rod gets plunked - As usual, there's not a month during the baseball season where Alex Rodriguez won't feel the back-end of a fastball pitch inside. It would amaze me more if Alex were to escape getting hit, than him actually playing 162 games this year. Seriously. He was drilled on Sunday by a 95 mph pitch from Detroit's Bryan Villareal, but is okay, and is expected to play in tonight's game.

Garcia makes his mark after trade rumor - The battle for a rotation spot won't be easily decided if Freddy Garcia has anything to say about it. Reports of the Yankees actively trying to trade The Chief came out Friday, and Garcia answered with a stellar performance in Saturday's win against Detroit. In 4.1 innings, Garcia allowed only one hit. no runs and struck out four. Yes, if you were betting on who would be pushed out of the rotation, the easy money would be placed on Garcia. But he's giving the Yankees reason to maybe reconsider making any moves until Pettitte's return forces a decision.

Associated Press
The Captain returns - Derek Jeter returned to play on Friday against the Minnesota Twins after rehabbing from a calf injury.  He went 1-for-2 against the Twins, then went 2-for-3 on Sunday against Detroit. Looks like The Capatian is doing just fine. David Robertson also made only his second appearance of the Spring on Sunday, after missing three weeks following a foot injury. He pitched one inning, striking out one and allowing no runs.

Player dealings - The Yankees made several moves last week, optioning players back to Triple-A and reassigning others to minor league camp. Among the notables were Dellin Betances, David Phelps, Ramiro Pena and Brandon Laird; all optioned to Scranton Wilkes-Barre. The New York Post's George King III reported Sunday that the Phillies are interested in acquiring Pena, who would fill in for the ailing Chase Utley at second base.

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