Tagged: Garret Anderson

Sunday wrap

By Jon Lane

From the hold your breath department: Derek Jeter has a sore right hamstring. He took part in all drills except for running and told reporters in Tampa, “It’s no big deal” and “it’s really not an issue.”
Jeter could have a broken leg and insist he’d be back on the field the next day, but hamstrings are always a concern, especially this early in the Grapefruit season. And while he’s scheduled to represent the United States in next month’s World Baseball Classic, Yankees manager Joe Girardi is not taking any chances:
“We will talk and make sure he’s healthy,” Girardi said. “It’s awful early to be playing meaningful games. Is his hamstring bad? No. It does concern me because the last thing we want is some player getting hurt during the WBC because that affects our whole season.”
Expect the Captain to suit up for Team USA, but also for the Yankees to not fool around. Any trace of lingering discomfort and they will pull Jeter out of the competition without blinking an eye.
Other Sunday news and notes from Peter Abraham:
• Jorge Posada went through a throwing program, working his way out to 220 feet. All indications are that Posada is coming along very nicely from his shoulder surgery.
• The Yankees’ rotation for their first four spring games have been set:
Wednesday at Toronto: Brett Tomko
Thursday vs. Tampa (YES HD, 1:15 p.m.): Phil Hughes
Friday at Minnesota: Ian Kennedy
Saturday vs. Minnesota (YES HD, 1:15 p.m.): Joba Chamberlain 
• Right-handed reliever Edwar Ramirez cut short his bullpen session due to a sore right shoulder and will be examined by a doctor on Monday. I’ll get more in-depth on how the arms behind Mariano Rivera may line up, but given that there is no middle ground with Ramirez – he’s either real good or real bad – Dave Robertson and Mark Melancon, among others, will get extra long looks.
Updating a post from last Thursday: Forget about Garret Anderson. The veteran outfielder agreed to a one-year deal with the Braves worth approximately $2.5 million, reports the the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Figuring out the outfield puzzle

melky_375_021809.jpgBy Jon Lane
Barring a trade, or the Yankees plucking a stop-gap veteran off the scrap heap, Brett Gardner or Melky Cabrera will be the team’s starting center fielder.

Many people wanted to pull the plug on Cabrera; he was almost shipped
to Milwaukee for Mike Cameron. Why give up so soon? He’s only 24 and
had one bad season, which made nearly everyone forget his 16 assists
and 73 RBIs the year before, as well as those sparkling catches in
center that had fans enamored with him. Cabrera’s biggest issue is
maturity, so you hope his demotion to Triple-A last August humbled him.

From the looks of his Dominican League numbers (.312-1-12 in 24 games
for Aguilas Cibaenas) the prognosis is encouraging. Also helping
Cabrera’s cause is him pulling out of the World Baseball Classic. It’s
admirable Cabrera wanted to represent his native Dominican Republic,
but he has too much to prove to the Yankees – and to himself.

There is a lot to like about Gardner’s game. He’s a demon on the bases and goes all-out in every area. He just has to hit; a .228 batting average in 42 games isn’t what the Yankees are accustomed to in center field.

Why trade either Xavier Nady or Nick Swisher? Either (likely Nady) will start in right field. Both offer depth and in Swisher’s case, flexibility. Bear in mind that Hideki Matsui will not see any action in the outfield all spring. He’s coming off knee surgery, so he’ll be a DH for the foreseeable future.

I’m expecting a bounce-back season for Swisher (.219-24-69 in ’08), a genial person who needed a fresh start after his fallout with Ozzie Guillen in Chicago. He’s only 28 and two seasons removed from slugging 35 home runs with 95 RBIs.

A friend of mine had this idea the other day: The Yankees sign free agent Garret Anderson. In theory it’s great. At age 36, Anderson batted .293 with 15 home runs and 84 RBIs, second on the club to Vladimir Guerrero’s 91. When the Angels decided to decline picking up their option on Anderson’s contract, Anderson left Southern California as the franchise’ leader in games played, at-bats, hits, total bases, singles, doubles, grand slams, extra-base hits, career RBI, single-game RBI, and consecutive games (12) with an RBI.

In practice it’s unlikely, though you never know. Anderson would have made $14 million in 2009 and the Yankees do not want to add more to their bloated payroll. Nady or Swisher would have to be dealt and Anderson would have to play every day. He turns 37 in June, so how productive would he truly be?

One person who will not be roaming the outfield for the Yankees: Bernie Williams. The fan favorite was with the team in Tampa today, but he’s not on the roster. He’s working out in preparation for Team Puerto Rico in the WBC.