Good morning, Pinstripe Alley readers. Here's your usual morning news for March 7th, 2012, as Hiroki Kuroda prepares to make his Yankees debut.
- Marc Craig of The Star-Ledger wrote that shortly after Phil Hughes finished his first Spring outing, he wanted to know if his fastball was as good as he felt it was coming out of his hand. Hughes hit 93 mph multiple times, and says he feels much better this Spring than last. Who would have guessed that Phil Hughes would be throwing harder than Michael Pineda in their first starts.
- More on Hughes, as Wallace Matthews of ESPN wrote that the Yankees need him to take strides in a positive direction this season.
Joe Girardi says he hopes the young guns were listening when Hal Steinbrenner stated he hopes to get under the $189M payroll mark. It was a clear message sent to all the young pitchers in the organization. They will be getting their chances, and it'll be up to them to take advantage of them. So, Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes, Michael Pineda, Manny Banuelos, and Dellin Betances, were you listening?
- According to Jared Diamond of The Wall Street Journal, Freddy Garcia is Michael Pineda's guide to the New York media circus.
- Over at The Yankee Analysts, Matt Imbrogno wrote that the stat to watch for Robinson Cano this season is his unintentional walk rate. If there's a flaw in Cano offensive game, it's his inability to take walks. If he could bring it up to league average, he'd be an even more potent hitter.