This update is powered by . . . my favorite Natalie Merchant song:
- What do some of the Yankee coaches think about Jesus Montero:
(Batting Coach Kevin) Long said Montero reminded him of Robinson Cano — “another kid who can wake up out of bed and hit.” He has already shown a consistent ability to put the barrel of his bat on pitches and hit to the opposite field, and the Yankees are most impressed with his gift for making adjustments from at-bat to at-bat and from pitch to pitch.
Cashman recalled an instance from last Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Twins, when Montero, after falling behind to Jesse Crain, 0-2, sensed that an outside breaking ball was coming. It did, and Montero poked it down the right-field line for a double.
“It’s amazing that at 20 years old he’s a .320 lifetime hitter,” Long said. (Montero’s career average is actually .325.) “But he’s got to get his body in shape and turn from being a soft kid to a hard-nosed man. He’s got to do it in a hurry because he owes it to the organization. He owes it to everybody around him.”
. . . According to the Yankees, Montero usually needs 1.9 to 2.0 seconds to catch and throw the ball to second base, whereas an elite catcher, like Yadier Molina of the St. Louis Cardinals, can do it in about 1.7. Long after his teammates had finished their morning workout Saturday, Montero remained in the Yankees’ bullpen to work on his throwing technique with Girardi.
(Catching instructor Tony) Pena said: “He has a strong arm — a very strong arm — but he can’t rely on that. If he has the proper mechanics, everything else will take over, and then we’ll have what we like.”
- Girardi on Alfredo Aceves:
“He’s just doing what he does,” Girardi said, adding: “What I’m most happy about is he’s ahead in the count all the time. He’s strike one, 1-2, lot of 1-2 counts, 0-1 counts. That’s what you love to see. Guys love to play behind those types of guys, too.”
- Curtis Granderson on “the Yankee way”:
“Everything that is done here is done with a purpose. Everything. We have a team full of guys who have had great success in their careers and that won a World Series last year. These guys act like they haven’t accomplished anything, though. It’s really been an amazing thing to see.”
- Kevin Goldstein examines his 2009 Yankee prospect list, and how it compares to this year’s:
How’d I Do in 2009?: I set Montero as the overwhelming favorite to be the best, but that wasn’t very hard, and things go downhill from there, with Dellin Betances and Andrew Brackman also getting good odds. Little known coming into the year, Arodys Vizcaino, now with the Braves, was given breakout potential.
The Incumbent: Montero is the only Top 101 prospect in the system, and it’s hard to see a scenario where he gets 130 at-bats with the Yankees this year.
Other Possibilities: If it’s not Montero, it’s a wide open race. The Yankees have a lot of young talent with plenty of promise but little in the way of a pedigree.
Trade Bait: The Yankees have the prospects to make moves come July, just not a big one without including Montero, which seems unlikely.
Best Chance To Move Into The Top 101: The Yankees’ 2009 first-round pick, Slade Heathcott, offers easy Top 101 tools; he just needs to perform now.
- A feature read on Mariano Rivera, from his humble beginnings to his dominance as a closer, from the Daily News’ Christian Red.
- Boss George to show up for Opening Day at the Stadium?
- Big book news: Banter columnist Emma Span‘s book “90% of the Game is Half Mental” is being released tomorrow (available on Kindle too!). I hope you all support this witty and wise writer.
- Happy 50th birthday to Mike Pagliarulo.
- Wayne Granger (seven games with the ’73 Yanks) turns 66 today.
Back on Thursday.