Friday, February 28, 2014

Hiroki Kuroda remains extremely valuable to New York Yankees

When the New York Yankees initially signed Hiroki Kuroda to a one-year deal in 2012, I’m not sure they felt he would still be on the roster in 2014. Based on his performance in his two seasons in the Bronx, I bet they are happy he is still in pinstripes.

Kuroda instantly became a stabilizing force in the rotation in 2012, picking up the slack when necessary en route to a 16-11 record with a nifty 3.32 ERA. From the beginning of the 2013 season through July he was undeniably the team’s best pitcher. He compiled a 10-6 record with a 2.38 ERA during that time. Unfortunately, Kuroda hit a wall after the calendar hit August, going 1-7 with a 5.40 ERA to finish off the season.

Kuroda kept the Yankees in the mix while he was hot and once he trended downward, it was difficult for the team to keep up in the playoff hunt. As Kuroda enters his age-39 season, there are obvious question marks about his ability to provide 30 or more starts and continue to be a major piece of the rotation.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

New York Yankees need CC Sabathia to be their ace again

Sabathia in 2013. Photo courtesy of
Keith Allison via Flickr.
The New York Yankees recently committed $155 million to Japanese star Masahiro Tanaka to be the future anchor of the rotation, but they need CC Sabathia to be the ace of this team in 2014.

After a very disappointing 2013 season, Sabathia is slimmer and more importantly stronger than he’s been as a Yankee. The 6’7” southpaw dropped some weight last year, but did not work as much on his strength and in his eyes it was an issue.

"I feel good. I feel strong," Sabathia told MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch. "I don't feel any fatigue or anything like that. I'm excited.”

Is it enough?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

MLB: Home-plate collision rule is here to stay

Buster Posey: Photo courtesy of scomedy
via Flickr
Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association jointly announced Monday the approval of a new rule in reference to collision plays at home plate. The rule, which has multiple layers, is in "experimental" mode for 2014 to allow for modifications. After reviewing the rule, I believe it is solidly written and could stand without major tweaks. At the least, the rule is here to stay in some fashion.

The MLB Rules Committee had sent the MLBPA a set of rules which prohibited any contact with catchers at home plate by baserunners (and vice versa really). The MLBPA refused to agree to such stringent terms, and thus eliminated plays in which the catcher has the ball in his possession and is blocking the runner from being able to slide into home plate, or when the catcher is forced into the base path to make a play on the ball.

The rules which players must abide to are set forth here via MLB.com:

Monday, February 24, 2014

New York Yankees: Expect a carousel at DH in 2014

Logo courtesy of SportsLogos.net
The last time the New York Yankees had a player reach 500+ plate appearances as a designated hitter was in 2009 when Hideki Matsui did it 504 times.
It seems that the Yankees have gone about business over the last 15 seasons with the DH slot fluid, and 2014 will be no different. Before that, it happened in 1999 when Chili Davis racked up 540 plate appearances as the DH.
Due to an aging roster, one with players recouping from injuries and a glut of potentially productive outfield bats, the Yankees will certainly feature a number of faces at DH once again this season.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

MLB: 30 Spring training questions

Logo courtesy of SportsLogos.net
While the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers reported early, and other teams have plenty of players at their respective camps, the official first day for pitchers and catchers to report is Thursday Feb. 13. Below are questions facing each team as camp begins.




American League East

Baltimore Orioles – Will lack of moves hurt in ultra-competitive division?
Boston Red Sox – What is this year’s gimmick?
New York Yankees – Will Derek Jeter go out on top?
Tampa Bay Rays – Is there any chance they can keep David Price?
Toronto Blue Jays – Can Jose Bautista put in a full season?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

New York Yankees Links

Logo courtesy of SportsLogos.net
You may or may not be aware that I'm a contributor for Yahoo Sports covering the New York Yankees. Over the last few weeks, I've been publishing a series of posts examining each player primed to be the starter at each position in 2014.

The New York Yankees Need Mark Teixeira to Bounce Back in 2014

New York Yankees: The Cavern at Second Base

New York Yankees: Five Reasons to Believe in Derek Jeter