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News of the Day – 3/20/09
Posted By Diane Firstman On March 20, 2009 @ 8:32 am In Diane Firstman,News of the Day | Comments Disabled
Let’s get right to it ….
One of the points that Burnett has stressed to Wang since arriving in camp has been the urgency of developing his other pitches, playing off a bowling-ball sinker that has been regarded as one of the league’s best.
The suggestion is not a new one for Wang, who was tinkering with his offspeed pitches leading up to a season-ending injury last season. But hearing it from a power pitcher like Burnett may ratchet up the intensity of the message.
“A.J. told me a lot about changing speeds,” Wang said. “More changeups, more sliders.”
As the days of Spring Training begin to wane, Wang is making a conscious effort to mix in more variety. Though Burnett wasn’t in the ballpark on Wednesday — remaining behind with the Yankees in Tampa, Fla. — credit him with a long-distance assist.
Injuries can happen to even the least risky of players. The hip problem was undervalued by the system since he played through it, leaving him green when we ran the rankings in late January. He’s had the ‘hybrid’ surgery now, and while he’ll miss some time at the beginning of the season, there are no comps at all for how he’ll come back, or even when. The prognosis is solid . . . The interesting thing here is that PECOTA catches a comparison of Rodriguez and Henry Aaron, who had a “down” season at a similar age. (Anyone remember why?) One last thing to keep in mind, since we’ve discussed it already, is the “iron man syndrome” we hinted at with Damon and Matsui; Rodriguez hit the DL last year with a bad quad, and now he’ll begin this season on the DL with the hip. Will this be the new norm for him? . . .
Hideki Matsui still hasn’t put his surgically repaired left knee to the full test, saying instead that he is slowly but surely building up steam as he runs the bases.
The 34-year-old slugger enjoyed a well-deserved break on Wednesday, resting after becoming the first Yankee to play in four consecutive games this spring. Driving the baseball and feeling no pain, Matsui is even more encouraged that he will be able to return as a productive player.
“I think it should be fine,” Matsui said through an interpreter. “As long as I don’t have any setbacks and I don’t have any huge problems with my knees, it’s not something that I’m concerned about.”
A bat boy named Ray is the central figure in all three of Negron’s books, the latest of which was released on Tuesday. The co-stars of the others were children stricken with illness, but Steinbrenner shares the lead role this time.
Steinbrenner comforts Ray the bat boy, who cries upon learning that the old ballpark is closing and stages a final game for the Stadium’s ghosts. The emotions were similar for the character’s inspiration.
“It’s my way of being able to finally walk away,” Negron said. “It’s very, very personal.”
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URLs in this post:
 Chien-Ming Wang: http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090318&content_id=4014790&vkey=news_nyy&fext=.jsp&c_id=nyy
 BaseballProspectus.com: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=8638
 Hideki Matsui: http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090318&content_id=4012458&vkey=news_nyy&fext=.jsp&c_id=nyy
 Newsday: http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/yankees/ny-spyanks1912560944mar19,0,3897779.story
 Tyler Kepner: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/19/sports/baseball/19yanks.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss
 MLB.com: http://mlb.mlb.com/minors/fan_forum/moniker_madness/bracket.jsp
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