In Defense of Dante Bichette: The Yankee Analysts defend Dante Bichette Jr. after Keith Law had some discouraging words to say about him, considering him a near non-prospect at this point and not in the Top 15 of the organization. You can see side-by-side comparisons of Bichette's batting stance that clearly shows there has been no significant change, despite Law's insistence that there was. It is possible this stems from his previous success generating a placebo effect where scouts thought his swing was smoother than it actually is. The article also mentions an interesting rule the Yankee organization has in place: Coaches can't change players' mechanics until they've played around 100 games. Why are the people that are paid to form these kids into superstars not allowed to fix a problem when they see it? Is this a fair policy to have in place for the prospects and the fans?
Best Case/Worst Case with the Bullpen: LoHud examines the best/worst case scenarios for the Yankee bullpen in 2013. The best case scenario is pretty damn obvious: Mariano Rivera is back to his old self, Joba Chamberlain and David Aardsma can come back from Tommy John surgery, David Robertson can continue to be one of the best setup men in the game. Even better would be if new blood like Mark Montgomery, Chase Whitley, Francisco Rondon, Preston Claiborne, Kelvin Perez, and Cesar Cabral can contribute to the Major League team. The worst case scenario is basically that everyone but D-Rob is unreliable. Mo could suddenly realize he's old, Joba and Aardsma could struggle, Boone Logan could suffer from being overworked in 2012. Backups like Clay Rapada, Josh Spence and Cody Eppley won't bring that much to the team. Relievers are very unreliable and that could prove doubly so for the Yankee prospects who could help.
Looking at the Defense: The Yankee Analysts look at the Yankee defense situation and examine their ability to prevent runs. Not surprisingly the biggest problems are on the left side of the infield and behind the plate. Thankfully the Yankees have a very solid starting rotation and employ many strikeout pitchers like CC Sabathia, David Robertson, Mariano Rivera, and Joba Chamberlain in order to spare the defense from over exposing its weaknesses.
Where Will Cano Go: ESPN's Andrew Marchand makes a list of five reasons "Why Cano Might Go" when he hits free agency. His reasons include the temptation of Los Angeles Dodger money, Cano not looking to give a hometown discount, the Yankees not wanting another 30-something making top dollar in his declining years, Boras waiting out for as long as possible, and Cano's amazing talent out pricing the Yankees new budget. Will the Yankees play it safe and let him leave, or do they not have a choice because they can't let their best player leave? We'll see.
Cervelli Stays Put: ESPN's Wallace Matthews reminds us that baseball's CBA prevents teams from punishing players for positive PED tests. The Yankees would have no other choice other than to allow MLB to suspend players like Francisco Cervelli, and even Alex Rodriguez, for 50 games. Without an actual positive test it will be harder for the MLB to get a conviction because they now have to turn to sworn testimonies that an independent arbitrator can confirm or deny as credible. In the meantime, the Spring Training catching competition between Cervelli, Chris Stewart, Bobby Wilson, and Austin Romine will continue as planned.
Curtis Granderson, Retired: Yesterday the University of Illinois at Chicago honored Curtis Granderson by retiring his old #28 jersey he wore for three years as a member of the Flames between 2000-2002. The article has a few nice thing to say about Granderson, but I had no idea he has a Business Management and Marketing degree, which he completed while in the Detroit Tigers' minor league system. That's pretty cool. UIC will also be building a new stadium, Curtis Granderson Stadium, around their current field.
Dave for the Cave: The MLB Fan Cave appears to be quite the haven for baseball fanatics, and voting for the Fan Cave has been narrowed to 52 candidates. We're lending a hearty PB thumbs-up to Dave Greenwald, a Yankees fan from Great Neck, New York, who should really get your votes because his video is far more interesting than any of the others. Voting takes place until February 13th, by which point the pool will be trimmed further to 30, all of whom will be invited to audition for the Cave during Spring Training. Vote Dave for the Cave.