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Tag: Dave Eiland

Pink Slip

Dave Eiland will not return in 2011 as the pitching coach for the Bombers.

[Photo Credit: Zell’s Pinstripe Blog]

I Want to Know For Sure

AJ Burnett, the Yankees’ lasted version of Nuke LaLoosh, must pitch well if the Yanks are going to repeat as Whirled Champs. The crazy part is, he’s capable of going on a run. He goes tonight in Baltimore. Mark Feinsand reports the latest from pitching coach Dave Eiland:

“I think his confidence and conviction in his pitches is a lot better,” Eiland said. “When he believes in every pitch he throws and trusts that good stuff he has, he’s successful. When he tries to throw a strike, that’s when he gets in trouble, because he backs off a bit. Just trust it and go get ’em.”

Burnett should have that confidence against the Orioles, having pitched to a 2.48 ERA while going 2-2 in four starts against Baltimore this season, including one of his best games of 2010, an eight-inning shutout performance at Camden Yards back on April 29.

“A.J. needs to see the glove and throw right through it,” Eiland said. “Believe in it. Think, ‘I’m better than you and this pitch is going to beat you.’ As long as A.J. is healthy, he has a chance to dominate somebody every time he walks out of that dugout.”

Quick Change

Yankee pitching coach Dave Eiland, who always looks irritated, in an old-school, tough guy way, has been working with AJ Burnett on a change-up.

From John Harper in the Daily News:

Eiland chuckled after the game when asked about needing to sell Burnett on the changeup, and insisted it was more about getting him to throw it with the right mechanics and timing so that it sinks late and hard.

“When he throws it right, like he did tonight,” said Eiland, “it’s almost like a splitter – it’s a great pitch. It all starts with his fastball command, with getting out over the rubber and releasing the ball out in front of him.

“When he doesn’t do that, when his arm drags, he doesn’t have command of the fastball, and when he throws the changeup it’s just a flat fader. Tonight he was out in front and on time with everything. He only threw four changeups, but on three of them he got outs with it.”

Hey, makes sense to me. Meanwhile, Andy Pettitte threw again yesterday with good results. And Alex Rodriguez is coming along too, although he’s cautious not to push-it. Javier Vazquez is back in the rotation for now and he’ll start Saturday. Finally, our man Cliff Corcoran was at the Stadium last night. Dig what he saw and heard.

Yankee Panky: Spring Flinging

A month into spring training has yielded little in terms of newsworthy occurrences in Yankee camp.

The team announced it would not discuss or negotiate contract extensions for Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, or manager Joe Girardi until after the season, which is consistent with recent club policy. Nick Johnson missed time with back stiffness (uh-oh), but then rejoined the lineup (phew!). Indications, per Girardi, are that Johnson will bat second and that speed isn’t important, since Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez are hitting behind him. That means Curtis Granderson, who Girardi hinted would be the team’s starting center fielder, will likely bat seventh or eighth, depending on Nick Swisher’s exploits. Granderson in center, coupled with Brett Gardner’s wet-noodle bat, means Randy Winn, um, win(n)s the left field job.

That brings us to the first of three major subsections of this week’s column.


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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver