Yankees’ Editorial: Bronx is Boiling: Spring Training Questions


Well, New York Yankees fans, the wait is finally over. Pitchers and catchers are reporting shortly and full-blown spring training isn’t that far behind. It is an exciting time of year, especially for the Yankees who have seen quite a bit of change this past offseason.

Day one of the AJ Era (After Jeter, of course) technically begins February 21. That’s the first time we will see Yankees in uniforms without number two out there. We can’t hold on to that all season, so it’s time to focus on what we have, what we as fans have to look forward to with the 2015 New York Yankees. So what are some things to look forward to in spring training? The Bronx is boiling and I need to blow some steam.


One of the first big items of business in spring training will occur in a little over a week. Will the Yankees land Yoan MoncadaI pondered the 19-year old Cuban sensation’s landing spot earlier this week at Grading on the Curve, while Caleb Gebrewold elaborated on it right here at Yanks Go Yard specifying that the Yankees are now front runners. 

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Whatever the case is, the highly touted infield prospect claims he will make a decision on which team will render his services before teams head in for their first full workouts. The Yankees will need to break the bank, and have to essentially pay double for Moncada with international free agency tax rules, and will essentially be eliminated from signing international free agents for some time.

It doesn’t matter. There won’t be a prospect like this over the next few years and, as I mentioned, he is only 19-years old. He already grades 50 or above in every category and has the makings of a five-tool player. The Yanks didn’t break the bank on Max Scherzer or James Shields and this may be why.

The catching situation should be interesting, as two home grown talents will battle it out to see who backs up Brian McCann. If you follow me at all on Yanks Go Yard, you know that I have been team John Ryan Murphy since last spring training. I think he projects better and can be a nice career backup catcher biding his time until opportunity arises. He somewhat proved me right last season, showing an ability to handle big league pitching, both offensively and eventually behind the plate despite a rocky start.

That being said, long-time Yankees “catcher of the future” Austin Romine showed up in camp over a week early and has been working out like a beast already. Romine, over his three chances in the Bronx, has shown little ability to hit big league pitching with a career .204/.247/.529 slash line in 167 at bats, but could arguably be the best defensive backstop on the roster. Will the Yankees roll with three catchers or will Murphy or Romine be hitting the road after camp breaks?

The biggest question of course is the rotation. The Yankees passed on going after any of the big name free agent pitching options and the only addition they made was Nathan Eovaldi. Eovaldi has been known as a pitcher who lets up a lot of hits (his 223 were the most allowed in the National League last season) and quite a few home runs, so he is a questionable call coming to the power-happy AL East. Eovaldi is locked into the rotation, but who else is?

Masahiro Tanaka is clearly the ace if his arm holds up. He passed on big time surgery and this spring will show a lot in regards to how fresh he will be come April. CC Sabathia is claiming he is feeling healhier than ever, but I have already discussed my thoughts on the CC situation in a past Bronx is Boiling. Can Michael Pineda stay on the mound for a full season healthy and sans pine tar? If he does, he may be the best pitcher on the staff.

One of the bigger questions as of late is whether or not Adam Warren will supplant Chris Capuano in the rotation. I am torn on this. Warren excelled in the bullpen in 2014, however, the Yankees beefed up their bullpen this offseason. Now armed with David Carpenter and Jack Wilson in front of Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances, a gamble on Warren in the rotation seems like it make sense. Capuano hasn’t had a good year since 2005 and even then it wasn’t lights out. He is clearly a stop gap until Ivan Nova can return to the rotation, but wouldn’t Warren be a better fit? This way, when and if Nova returns, Warren returns to the bullpen where he is proven to be a quality arm. Capuano has never proven that anywhere that he has pitched.

This time of year is always based heavy on projections and questions marks. No one knows for sure what will unwind in spring training, but by this time next week… we’ll be starting to find out: Baseball is back!

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