Spring Training was barely underway for a few hours before we got the quote of the year:
Seriously, how the hell are we going to top that? I love it. In any case, a number of Yanks reported to camp today and there were obviously a bit of news items to come out of all that. Here were most interesting nuggets to come out of the media scrums today. Feel free to let me know if I missed anything.
1. Aaron Boone’s Press Conference: Aaron Boone held his annual kick-off presser at GMS Field today at 1:30 pm. As you can imagine, it covered the basics. The Yankees skipper is always good in these situations and today was no different. Here are the highlights as I took them:
- Boone is feeling a wide range of emotions following the sign-stealing revelations — he would not say whether or not he believed they used buzzers — but noted that “there’s a time to move on.” (Lindsey Adler)
- Domingo Germán, who is suspended under the league’s domestic violence policy, will work out at the team’s complex in the Dominican Republic. He will not join the team this spring. (Brendan Kuty)
- James Paxton did not have surgery earlier because the doctors believed he could get away with a cortisone shot. However, it acted up again when he started throwing a few weeks ago. Early returns on the surgery are good, at least. (Kuty)
- We should expect to see Giancarlo Stanton serve as the team’s designated hitter quite a bit in 2020, according to Aaron Boone. (Lucas Apostoleris) He’s healthy, though. (Kristie Ackert) As Lucas notes, that leaves the outfield depth a bit thin, at least until Hicks returns — unless, of course, the team trades for Joc Peterson. Randy explored that option earlier today, so check that out if you missed it.
- Finally, Boone weighed in on the fifth starter competition. He said that the team feels very excited by a many of their young guys but it sure sounded to me like Jordan Montgomery is the favorite at this point. Here’s some video:
2. Gary Sánchez and Tanner Swanson: Ask and ye shall receive, my friends. In today’s thoughts post, I said I was excited to see what new catching coordinator Tanner Swanson was up to with Yanks’ catchers. Turns out, all I had to do was wait an hour. Sánchez, who often been an unfair target for his defense, has been working with Swanson for “a week now.” He’s working to adapt a similar routine to former Swanson student Mitch Garver, which Derek covered here. That includes a “one-knee stance.” (Lindsey Adler)
Here’s a cool thing: we can already see it in action! Check out this video of Gerrit Cole’s first NYY bullpen (!), courtesy of YES:
Yup. That’s the one-knee down stance in action. Gary says he hopes it will give him more flexibility. The idea is that it will keep him lower to the ground and boost pitch framing at the bottom part of the zone. (Adler) Pitch framing in practice! Nerds like me love to see it.
3. Gerrit Cole Emerges: As you saw above, Gerrit Cole threw a bullpen today. Very exciting. Not sure that there’s much more to add to this one aside from some video. So here’s one video:
Here’s another one:
And here’s a few photos of Cole wearing that good ol’ interlocking NY (note the new Spring Training hat):
4. FanGraphs’ Top 100 Prospects: A few days after I wrote about all of the Top 100 prospect lists, FanGraphs came out with their list. Go figure. Anyway, theirs is free to read, unlike BPro or BA, so check out the whole list for yourself. In any case, their list diverges quite a bit from the others. Here are the Yankees they included in the Top 100:
- Deivi Garcia (42)
- Jasson Dominguez (49)
- Kevin Alcantara (81)
- Ezequiel Duran (85)
- Alexander Vargas (90)
Yeah, that’s a lot different. First, there’s no Clarke Schmidt. That’s one thing. Another altogether is the inclusion of Alcantara, Duran, and Vargas who appeared on none of the others. Interesting. As I’ve said, we’ll do a mega-preview of the prospects at some point in the spring that will cover all of these guys in more detail, but yeah. This is interesting.
Here’s the other interesting nuggets we learned today:
- Luis Severino was understandably angry about the Astros sign-stealing scandal when he learned about it. He said that he believed he was tipping pitches. It’s unclear when — I can only assume the 2017 ALCS, though the 2018 ALDS also applies — but yeah. (Kristie Ackert) For what it’s worth, Severino gave up 4 runs in 8.2 IP (4.15 ERA) in two games started in the 2017 ALCS, both of which he pitched in
Lemonade ParkMinute-Maid Stadium. More tellingly, he did walk 6 batters to only 3 strikeouts.
- So long, Cameron Maybin, who signed a deal today with the Detroit Tigers. (Jon Heyman) I thought for sure that Maybin would be back once we learned Hicks was going on the shelf. Shows what I know. Anyway, best wishes to him. Fun dude who was a great part of the 2019 team.
- Did you notice the Nike swoosh on the jerseys until I said it? Didn’t think so. That won’t stop people from complaining about it on the Internet for the next few weeks I’m sure. Not here, though.
- The Yankees signed RHP Tony Zych to a MiLB deal with an invite to MLB camp, per the team. (Yankees PR) Zych has been with Seattle since 2015, with brief MLB stints in 2015, 16, and 17. He has not appeared in a game since the 2017 season and was released by Seattle in May 2018 after battling injuries in 2017 and 18. Also, there is this:
- The new rules are in effect. Here’s the press release that outlines them all, in case you forgot:
- Finally, here is the list of guest instructors at camp:
And, with that, baseball season is back. Feels good. We’ll have one of these recaps a day moving forward now. Let’s go Yankees.