New York Yankees News & Notes: 2/25/13


Evaluating Centerfield: The metrics tell us that Curtis Granderson was a bad center fielder in 2012, but he's also been a very good center fielder too. Metrics such as UZR are considered the foremost authority on evaluating fielding talent, but it is still a work in progress and can be very inconsistent at times. Granderson might actually just be league average, but it still would leave him inferior to Brett Gardner, at least where UZR metrics are concerned.

Not An Easy Decision: The Captain's Blog considers whether or not switch Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson will really improve the team. Gardner is obviously the better defender, but with left field being notoriously difficult to play at Yankee Stadium, is it worth the risk? The goal of an outfield alignment is to optimize its ability to get outs, so if Gardner does well and Granderson struggles with his new position due to inexperience, the team will suffer overall.

Injury Prone: Phil Hughes has avoided being labeled as "injury prone" in his short MLB career, but the long list of injuries could catch up to him eventually. The injuries have mostly come from freak accidents, and not troubling health concerns and most of his injuries have not limited his playing time due to the time they occurred. However, he has missed around 1.5-2 years of accumulative playing time and with his latest back injury is beginning to show signs of a pitcher with potentially recurring back problems.

A Satisfactory Retirement: Jorge Posada believes he made the right decision to retire at the end of the 2011 season. He has no plans to make a comeback, like his longtime teammate, Andy Pettitte; he's enjoying retirement and enjoy being in camp as an instructor. Though he enjoys being an instructor, Posada has no plans to be involved with baseball on a full time basis, but he did state that he is talking with the organization and discussing a potential role he might have.

Ring for Sale: The World Series ring replica that Alex Rodriguez gave to his cousin, Yuri Sucart, has been sold to a collector and now is headed to auction. The ring is estimated to fetch around $40,000, with the opening bid set at $5,000 on Monday and ending April 5th.

Slade on the Rise: Joel Sherman chronicles Slade Heathcott's rise from problem child to mature, responsible athlete. He's a person marred with mistakes and tragedy, family trouble, gun control, alcohol, but after finding God he has taken a new lease on life. The Yankee organization has certainly helped mold him into the person he has become, but it is his own drive to better himself and make good on past mistakes that make him truly worth the risk.

Work Ethic: When his teammates do fielding drills, Travis Hafner diverts from the group and works on his hitting. He stays in the batting cages, talks with Kevin Long, and works on his swing because there is no other side to his game. Hafner will be effective, but he will also limit the roster flexibility and it is always a concern that he might get injured again.

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