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New York Yankees News & Notes: 1/29/13

Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

Reunited and It Feel So Good: The New York Yankees have signed former farmhand Juan Rivera to a minor league deal. Rivera will seemingly compete with the likes of Matt Diaz and Russ Canzler to be a right handed hitting outfielder. Rivera has always been above average against left handers, but of course, struggles a good amount against right handers.

Nick Johnson has retired: Former promising Yankee prospect and eventual Yankee castoff, Nick Johnson, has retired from Major League baseball. The hopeful mainstay never reached his full potential due to a career almost entirely spent on the DL. Having injured every body part possible, Johnson hadn't played over 100 games since 2009. After a failed return to the Yankees he spent most of the 2011 season on Cleveland's AAA team before going to the Orioles in 2012, where he never made it out of June. It's unfortunate that such a promising career ended this way. It shows that even when the talent is there, injury can easily derail a career. Lets all look back at his 1999 AA line (.345/.525/.548, 123 BB, 88 K, 37 HBP) and think 'what could have been.'

Phil Hughes Phigures It Out: Phil Hughes needs an out pitch. We all know this. NoMaas takes a look at his over reliance on his fastball, which leads to trouble quite often. It also doesn't help that Hughes has the highest foul/swing rate (43.58%) in the MLB. He's tried a curveball, he's tried a cutter, but now it seems that he has rediscovered a slider that he used to throw in the minors. This new pitch may have had something to do with his late season success, though NoMaas cautions that the small sample size promises nothing. Here's hoping that maybe Phil finally figured it out just in time to get a big pay day from some other team next year.

Missing Martin: As part of a countdown to Yankees Spring Training, Andrew Marchand of ESPN presents a list of reasons why the Yankees will miss Russell Martin in 2013. He mentions a few stupid things like Thurman Munson, game planning behind the plate, clutch home runs, and "Good media guy" as all actual reasons. I believe the Yankees could very realistically miss Russell Martin, but that's mostly because they don't have an actual starting catcher. Will the Yankees miss Russell Martin?

More Michael Kay: Everyone's favorite television announcer has signed a contract extension with the YES Network. Look forward to seeing more Michael Kay and his big stupid head for many more years to come. No one seems to say how long the contract is for, so I'll just submit to the idea of it being forever and try to come to terms with it.

Rehabbing: Michael Pineda is on the road to recovery. He has finished his flat ground throwing sessions yesterday and will be moving on to a half mound this week. It is still believed that he could return before the All-Star Break.

The Mighty Return of Ivan the Terrible: The Pinstripe Pundits compare Nova's 2011 and 2012 seasons to figure out what happened to him after such a promising year. Not only does it have to do with his home run/fly ball rate (we knew this), but also the usage of his slider and change up. It seems like Ivan Nova has all the tools needed to be successful, he just needs to figure out how to utilize them correctly.