Tag Archive | "Curtis Granderson"

Former Yankee Nick Swisher Gets Fresh Start

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Former Yankee Nick Swisher Gets Fresh Start

Posted on 20 March 2013 by Jennifer Gosline

It looks like Nick Swisher got away from the Yankees just in time. They seem to be plummeting down a dark hole at a rapid pace, and it is only Spring Training.

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Injury after injury, they are not having the best of luck right now. With Curtis Granderson‘s broken bone, Mark Teixeria’s injured wrist, and Alex Rodriguez out with hip issues, it seems as though the Yankees are falling apart one accident at a time. Someone over at Yankee stadium needs to turn around twice and tip their hat to the west, or some type of crazy healing superstition to help out this poor team. Thankfully, Derek Jeter’s ankle is healing up well, along with Mariano Rivera’s knee, and CC Sabathia’s elbow. That should put a little spark back into the dragging energy of the team.

They are the Yankees though. They will bounce back, even if they have to dig their way out of this hole using nothing but their helmets as shovels. These guys are fighters. Not lazy players.

While taking that persistent mentality to Cleveland, Nick Swisher hopefully left the unlucky Yankee rabbit foot behind and can start out healthy with the Indians. Superstitions aside, I think the off-season team change for the switch hitter, will work out to be a solid move for both the Indians and Swisher himself. The Indians gained a veteran player with tremendous leadership quality. He has a calming presence, but yet at the same time can rial up the team on the field by simply playing good baseball. It may not be the Hunter Pence football-style huddle of firing up his teammates, but Swisher is certainly capable of getting guys amped for a game.

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Being in New York might have held back his potential with a team full of All-Stars. And of course, that huge Yankee name is hard to live up to. Swisher was good, but now he will have the opportunity to stand out. He can take control a little more with his new team, which will push himself as well as his teammates. While proving his leadership capabilities he will ultimately be enhancing his defensive skills. With intense excitement in his eyes to play for a new team, the 32 year old is not done yet, maybe even demonstrating more power and precision at the plate this season.

Last season, Swisher had 93 RBIs and crossed home plate 75 times. He had a slash line of .272/.364/.473 which has been fairly consistent over the years with his career numbers at .256/.361/.467. Although some may think his age might start to limit him, this is evidence that he can be counted on.

He is already settling into his new uniform nicely smashing 3 home runs along with 10 RBIs in 30 plate appearances this spring. Comparing Spring Training stats, he has had more RBIs this spring since 2010, and more home runs since 2007. I have a good feeling about him.

In 2012, the Indians started out toward the top of their division and made a strong push to take the AL Central title, but could not hold it together in the second half of the season. These guys have ample potential and Swisher might just be the key man to keep them on top of their game. They will likely be a strong contender the entire season with their new addition taking the reins. He will be joining Asdrubal Cabrera, Carlos Santana, and Michael Brantley all with solid careers. And also new to the Indians, Michael Bourn, has some hustle and can give a little extra grit to the club.

Nick Swisher will become an even bigger household name in 2013, as long as having come from New York, he is not infected with the Yankee injury bug that is going around.

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Ouch Goes Grandyman, In Comes Damon?

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Ouch Goes Grandyman, In Comes Damon?

Posted on 26 February 2013 by Bill Ivie

The Yankees disabled list added another big name over the weekend when superstar Curtis Granderson was hit by a pitch that fractured his forearm.

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Reports have Granderson hitting the shelf for at least 10 weeks and many experts will tell you that it is hard to estimate when he will be back up to full speed and strength when coming back from this type of injury.  It appears that the fracture is not one to be overly concerned about and that Granderson should be back in the lineup, and near his All Star form, around the first of May.  If you missed the highlight from over the weekend, here it is, courtesy of MLB.com:

That leaves the world speculating on just who might take over the center field job in Granderson’s absence.  The key component in replacing Granderson is that he is not lost for the season and, ultimately, only lost for the first month or so of it.  Finding a veteran outfielder that is willing to sign a minor league deal with a chance to make the trip north and catch on as an extra oufielder might be the answer.  With very little available in house and an already offense deprived starting lineup, the Yankees may find a familiar name out there in free agency.

Johnny Damon and his 18 year career are trying to find a home this spring, not quite ready to retire yet.  He spent four of those years with the Yankees from 2006-2009 and reports say that he would be open to a reunion to provide the team with some depth until Granderson returned.

It is important to note that this Damon is not the same one that left the Bronx for Detroit a few years ago, he is far less productive at 39 years old.  He played last year, briefly, for the Cleveland Indians before being released on August 9.  In addition, it has been two full seasons since Damon patrolled the center of the diamond, playing left field as well as designated hitter primarily over the last few years.

He is still an option, still has some speed, and may have a little pop left in his bat from time to time.

Are the Yankees willing to get even older than they are with a low risk deal for Damon to prove himself.

It’s your move, Brian Cashman.

Bill Ivie is the editor here at Full Spectrum Baseball
Follow him on Twitter here.

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Dear Yankee Fans….Chill Out

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Dear Yankee Fans….Chill Out

Posted on 12 October 2012 by Trish Vignola

I go to Yankee Stadium for the sushi. I stay for the playoff baseball. Man, what a game it was last night!

So, why was Yankee Stadium a glorified tomb?

Ok. Regardless, they won. Right? After a come from behind win in extra innings, I expected the stadium to be rocking.

(sound of crickets)

Two swings from the bat of Raul Ibanez made Joe Girardi look like a genius. It also diffused a delicate situation in how to handle a struggling Alex Rodriguez.

(sound of crickets)

So, maybe everybody is just conserving energy because it was cold in the stadium. Right? Sports radio will show fans’ true colors.

(sound of crickets)

During the overnight hours, Tony Paige is at the helm of the radio waves at New York’s WFAN. I tuned in during the drive back to Jersey. However, instead of celebration, all I heard was condemnation. No…I’m not talking about a rant by Mr. Paige. He was holding on for dear life as he handled phone call after phone call of the worst fans in baseball today… “Jeter babies.”

I first saw this term coined in a Jason Keidel article. He writes for both WFAN and CBS. Man, I can’t think of a more poignant term to describe these guys…”Jeter babies.”

No disrespect to Mr. Jeter himself. He just happened to come to age in front of a generation of 8-17 year olds, who now think the Yankees should make the playoffs every year.

I’m a Yankee fan.

October is not a god given right.

Remember the Steve Howe years? Anyone?

You would have though the team lost by two touchdowns yesterday.

To be fair though, the old timers (i.e. anyone over the age of 33) calling in were no better either. Keidel mentions how every spot in the lineup — Curtis Granderson, A-Rod, and Nick Swisher – got hammered by people who should know better. I personally had to stop my dad from trying to find A-Rod’s car in the parking lot.

You can’t outrun the cops at 65.

The team is conceivably nine innings away from the American League Championship. Where is your perspective? Better yet, why is no one hammering Mark Teixeira? He seemed to get away unscathed last night. Even better yet, why can’t any of these people have an intelligible conversation without using the term “Core Four”?

Enough already.

Have you gotten a chance to see the documentary “Knuckleball”? There is a part in the film where you hear Red Sox fans calling into radio shows being ridiculous about Tim Wakefield. Yankee fans last night sounded worse.

That’s right, they sounded worse than Red Sox fans. I said it.

To top it all off, why is Keidel the only one to notice that the A’s actually helped the Yankees out last night? By beating Detroit, they are forcing the Tigers to trot out Justin Verlander again. Guess who now can’t start Game 1 of the ALCS? Did anyone mention that on the radio last night?

You’re welcome, you ungrateful —-!

Let’s face it folks. Girardi’s move last night was brilliant. It was bold. It was borderline suicidal. More importantly, it worked. He benched the $30 million man for a 40-year-old bench player and that nobody came through ten-fold. Has your mom every told you to be grateful for what you’ve got? Apparently, not enough mothers in the New York metro area have. Seriously Yankee fans, it’s unbecoming. Let’s take a page from the team we follow and start showing a little more class. Besides, it could always be worse. We could be living in Wrigleyville.

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Line of the Day: Curtis Granderson

Posted on 20 April 2012 by Daniel Aubain

April 19, 2012: Curtis Granderson homered in his first three at bats and finished the game going 5-for-5 with four RBI in the New York Yankees 7-6 victory over the Minnesota Twins. He’s the first person to homer three times in a game at the new Yankee Stadium.

Line: 5 AB | 3 R | 5 H | 4 RBI; 3 HR

My fantasy perspective: Many may have doubted whether Granderson’s 41 home runs in 2011 were for real or not, but with six home runs in 13 games, it’s time to start believing his power is the real deal. He’s 0-for-2 in stolen bases, so far this season, but fantasy owners should be salivating at the possibility of another 40 HR/20 SB season.

Agree with my pick? Disagree? Check out ESPN’s formula for determining the best daily performances and nominate your own Line of the Day player using the comments section below and/or hitting me up on Twitter @DJAubain.

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Drafting From The Dark Side: A Newbie’s View Of First Real Fantasy Action

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Drafting From The Dark Side: A Newbie’s View Of First Real Fantasy Action

Posted on 07 April 2012 by Jeff Coleman

Chapter 1: “The (Clumsy) Arrival Of The Korriban Sith Lords”

As one of the writers for Full Spectrum, and a bit of a baseball / stats nut, I jumped at the chance Daniel offered to be a part of the inaugural FSBB Fantasy Baseball League. I figured it would be a fun and interesting way to interact with my fellow writers and readers, doing something we all feel passionate about. But then it dawned on me.

This would be my first major foray into fantasy baseball. You know, with one’s credibility and heart and knowledge on the line. And since I’m writing for a fantasy baseball site about fantasy baseball…

Hoo’boy.

SO, I decided to do my due diligence and research, looked at some of my normal sites for news and views, and tried to catch the buzz around spring training. But even with all that done, I felt a little under-prepared once March 25th, 5pm rolled around. However, it was too late to turn around at that point… Well, I was the #5 pick of the draft, so I still had time to turn around.

I heard the little jingle that signified it was my turn to pick. Too late now.

So with injury reports in hand (or more appropriately, at my fingertips), a little insider information at my back, and the voice of David Stern in my head…

“With the fifth pick in the 2012 Full Spectrum Fantasy Baseball League, the Korriban Sith Lords select… Curtis Granderson, New York Yankees.”

I hear several of you saying, “Uhm… Jeff…? Wasn’t the Grandy-Man out recently with a sore elbow?” Yes. Yes he was. But not at the time of the draft.

I hear others of you saying, “Jeff…? He’s a Yankee! Why?” These are probably my fellow Indians fans… And the folks that won’t like my second round pick, either.

Granderson is a talent. Good power, above average speed… He’s a run-producer and coming into his own in the peak of his career at age 31. I wouldn’t say keeper league material; the natural fall-off of players is coming soon for him, he has a high number of strikeouts, and his average is a little less than stellar. Overall though, he’s definitely good for a one-year contract for the Sith Lords. Besides… The Yankees, the Evil Empire, Sith Lords. It all makes sense.

Grandy is my Darth Vader.

In the second round, I picked up Kevin Youkilis from the Boston Red Sox. Now this is the pick of my top five that I’m dreading down the road. Youk is known for his hitting prowess, hitting around .280 or above his whole career (save his rookie season and last season). Decent RBI numbers and a reasonable K/BB ratio give a solid overall performer. The only nagging thing is that Youk has been a bit of a ‘porcelain god’ the last few seasons. Injuries have robbed him of some time during those crucial peak years, and he’s already banged up this spring (stiff lower back a few days after the draft). To quote ESPN’s fantasy assessment of Youk: “… While the injury risk is still quite prevalent, when he is on the field, Youkilis should perform at his customary levels…”. I would expect a little tail-off of his numbers due to age and normal decline, but the injury bug distresses me. That is the one thing I can see Spring Training being a sign of, as injuries there tend to either affect a player longer, remain nagging all season, or (at worst) re-occur during the season. I’m hoping for the best from Youk (purely for my team’s sake, of course), but am already plotting out an ‘emergency exit strategy’ as we speak.

My first pitcher came in the next round in the guise of Milwaukee’s Zack Greinke. Transitioning from one league to another is usually a pain for a pitcher, having to learn new batters and getting used to not batting (or in this case, now batting). Zack seemed to take it well in stride, posting numbers (16-6, 3.83 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 19 HR, 201 K, 45 BB) that were comparable to his career averages (10-9, 3.82, 1.26, 16, 142, 41). Greinke was showing signs of steady improvement in Kansas City (save 2010), and I see no reason that Greinke won’t continue that trend with his first year in the NL behind him. Zack is 28, still young;  he bounced back from a fractured rib quite handily in ’10, displaying a resiliency that should keep him in the Brew Crew’s rotation for several full seasons to come. Barring any major arm or elbow injury, he should enjoy continued success at the peak of his career.

A couple of other solid picks in the draft were the Seattle Mariners’ Ichiro Suzuki (Round 5) and Carlos Beltran from the St. Louis Cardinals (Round 9). Ichiro had an atypical off-year batting average wise. At 38 years of age, most fans would probably say that Ichiro is on the verge of becoming a non-factor. However, he was his normal speedster self (40/47 SB), and most of the rest of his offensive production was similar to his career averages with only one game played less. While Ichiro is certainly in the twilight of his career, he is more than capable of touching .300 again, adding in solid production numbers across the board and his trademark speed. Carlos Beltran came back like gangbusters after microfracture surgery, batting .300 overall in 142 games. Beltran played in more games last season than he had since ’08 (161). Another player that has crested his best years, the fact that he played the majority of the season after major surgery gives good hope for continued resiliency and opportunity to produce for the Cards. His overall numbers may diminish, and he is definitely not the running threat he once was, but Carlos is still a viable, solid hitter. The Cards will need a good year out of Beltran to return to playoff contention in the post-Pujols era, and Carlos looks poised to deliver.

While I managed to avoid the “Home Team Syndrome” that new fantasy players can fall into, I did pick up two familiar names to Cleveland Indians fans: Ubaldo Jimenez and Vinnie Pestano. Pestano I have lauded over in two of my previous articles, and was a pretty easy choice to make: I have to back up all my love for the “Bullpen Mafioso”. Ubaldo, however, would seem like a head-scratcher of a choice, given the league and team adjustment after a mid-season trade, diminished velocity on his fastball, and now a looming 5-game suspension from the MLB front offices. Looking at Jimenez in Spring Training this year, he found a good chunk of the speed he had originally “lost”. This bodes well in a pitcher’s park like Progressive Field. Ubaldo also showed a bit for fire and vinegar with the plunk of Troy Tulowitzki in his last spring start. I won’t vilify or condone the action itself, but I will say that it is nice to see someone with a fire in them on the Indians squad. That kind of thing is contagious, and was something the team lacked a bit of last year as they were plummeting out of the AL Central race. Jimenez won’t be a leader in the clubhouse, but I feel he will be a much-needed spark and a more than serviceable pitcher. Not league-best, but mid-3 ERA with 150+ Ks.

Here is the complete rundown of how my draft evolved:

Pick #5 (Round #1) Curtis Granderson (CF, NYY)
Pick #28 (Round #2) Kevin Youkilis (3B, BOS)
Pick #37 (Round #3) Zack Greinke (SP, MIL)
Pick #60 (Round #4) Chris Young (CF, ARI)
Pick #69 (Round #5) Ichiro Suzuki (RF, SEA)
Pick #92 (Round #6) Howard Kendrick (2B, LAA)
Pick #101 (Round #7) Ubaldo Jimenez (SP, CLE)
Pick #124 (Round #8) Neil Walker (2B, PIT)
Pick #133 (Round #9) Carlos Beltran (RF, STL)
Pick #156 (Round #10) Brandon Beachy (SP, ATL)
Pick #165 (Round #11) Jordan Walden (RP, LAA)
Pick #188 (Round #12) Adam Dunn (1B, CWS)
Pick #197 (Round #13) Daniel Bard (RP, BOS)
Pick #220 (Round #14) Yadier Molina (C, STL)
Pick #229 (Round #15) Vinnie Pestano (RP, CLE)
Pick #252 (Round #16) Sean Rodriguez (SS, TB)
Pick #261 (Round #17) Alex Rios (CF, CWS)
Pick #284 (Round #18) Chris Davis (3B, BAL)
Pick #293 (Round #19) J.D. Martinez (LF, HOU)
Pick #316 (Round #20) Scott Downs (RP, LAA)
Pick #325 (Round #21) Will Venable (RF, SD)
Pick #348 (Round #22) Fernando Salas (RP, STL)
Pick #357 (Round #23) Alfredo Aceves (RP, BOS)
Pick #380 (Round #24) Chris Capuano (SP, LAD)
Pick #389 (Round #25) Brad Peacock (SP, OAK)

 

Overall not too bad of a draft. I only had to make one post-draft move (Brad Peacock didn’t make the Oakland roster, so he was dropped in favor of Matt Harrison, starting pitcher from Texas). But I could always use a little draft grading.

Any pick-ups that look suspect? Any sleepers I stumbled upon? Give me a comment below, or hit me up at Twitter at @JCPronkFan48!

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