Our New York Yankees are about a week into their exhibition season schedule. That makes today a good time to look and see what we have learned about the 2010 team thus far.
- We have learned that controversy will never be far away from Alex Rodriguez. Mike Lupica of the Daily News writes today that A-Rod's silence thus far speaks volumes about the mess that could be brewing.
- The fifth starter? We have learned that Alfredo Aceves might just take care of this whole 'Joba vs. Phil' debate by outpitching both of them and earning the fifth slot. After four perfectinnings Tuesday, Ace has now pitched six innings of perfect baseball this spring. And the Yankee brass has noticed.
"I'd like to start, honestly," Aceves said after his 34-pitch performance as his changeup dominated the young Pirates. "I'll do whatever the team wants. It's not my decision, it's early yet, it's a long spring training, we'll see."
Brian Cashman was impressed.
"He's giving us something to think about," said Cashman, who came to this game and did not stay in Tampa, which tells you something, too.
"Believe me, I feel we have five guys competing for one spot right now that could legitimately be in almost any rotation in the game. We're going to have a tough decisions to make."
- This isn't really something we have learned, more like something that has been re-affirmed. We already knew Nick Johnson was a risky signing because of his injury history. It took one Spring Training game for Nick to remind us, but the Yankees think he can be worth the trouble. Johnson, by the way, returned to the lineup Monday.
- We have learned that Kei Igawa (16.87 ERA in two appearances) is still terrible.
- We have learned that maybe losing weight is not always a good thing. Jonathan Albaladejo lost about 30 pounds this off-season, and now seems to have at least temporarily misplaced his ability to get anyone out. In three games, Albaladejo has pitched 1.1 innings, surrendered 12 (yes, 12) hits and sports a bloated 47.25 ERA. I guess we can scratch him from the competition for the last spot on the pitching staff.
- We have learned the Robinson Cano (a scalding .778 avg.) really loves hitting when there is no pressure. Oops, I think that is another thing we already knew.
- I think we have learned that we might need to worry a bit about our man Francisco Cervelli. Two concussions a few months apart is not cool, even if Cervelli will be back to workouts today. You have to wonder what will happen the next time Frankie is in a home-plate collision or takes a wicked foul ball off the mask.
- We have learned that apparently nobody wants to win the competition for the final outfielder slot on the Opening Day roster. Jamie Hoffman is 1-for-14 (.071) and Marcus Thames is 1-for-9 (.111). In fact, Maybe none of the Yankee outfielders feel like hitting. Curtis Granderson (.000), Brett Gardner (.083) and Randy Winn (.143) are all scuffling.