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New York Yankees News: Kevin Millwood, Phil Hughes and Spring Training notes

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Kevin Millwood rejected the Yankees' minor league offer to him, which was similar to Freddy Garcia's deal ($1.5M if he makes the team with $3.6M available via incentives).

  • A Q&A with no. 2 starter Phil Hughes.
  • A-Rod is one of the few Yankees who lost weight during the off-season.
  • A new sign in the Yankee clubhouse says one word: "Compete." Really, that's it? Not "Win"? Or "Play Like Champions"? Were they not competing before the sign?
  • Brett Gardner is one of the best "grinders" in all MLB (ranking first in pitches/PA and ninth in walk rate - and we haven't even mentioned his speed). Yet there's a good chance he'll still be condemned to the no. 9 spot in the lineup.
  • Steven Goldman looked at the frequency of "over-the-hill" pitchers having bounce-back years -

The answer, if the recent past is any guide, is that it's not bloody likely...

[How many] pitchers who had at least a league-average ERA+ mark in 162 innings the year after having had a below-average adjusted ERA and less than 100 innings the year before? We found just three pitchers who answered this description in the same 1995-present time period...

If one believes that the performance indicators of the Yankees' top Double- and Triple-A pitching prospects of last year are even remotely accurate... they should be able to exceed the handicap offered to the veterans. If, in order to justify the oldsters' presence, you must pardon them for a 5.00 ERA while simultaneously admitting that the kids could surely do better, than what real purpose do the veterans serve?...

There is an opportunity cost even to spring training auditions: every turn on the big-league mound the retreads get is one less chance for a newcomer to establish his bona fides in front of the coaching staff.

There are some slight advantages to using "retreads" as opposed to rookies; there are no worries about: minor league options being used, an innings cap, pitches-per-start, or their confidence if they have a bad outing. You just throw them out there and hope they pitch well, unlike a rookie where many more factors come into play.