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Blog Entry

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

Posted on: April 4, 2011 12:09 pm
Edited on: April 4, 2011 12:46 pm
 
The biggest concern of the Yankees' opening weekend was Phil Hughes, whose startling spring training decline in velocity continued into an ugly first start of the regular season.

But what about Derek Jeter?

It's only three games, and it was cold, and everything could change a month from now, or even a week from now. But in the Yankees' first three games of the season -- and they won two of them, don't forget -- one of the most stunning sights was Jeter's lack of mobility at shortstop.

"I'm shocked," said one Northeast-based scout who has followed Jeter's career. "I know there's been a lot of talk about his range the last few years, and I didn't really buy it until last year. But [this weekend], it was really down. He didn't react to balls off the bat.

"He almost looks overmatched by the ball."

Again, it's possible this is just an early-season blip. A scout who watched the Yankees this spring in Tampa said that while Jeter's range was a little down, it wasn't shockingly bad.

Jeter didn't look good at the plate against the Tigers, either (2-for-10), but that's less of a concern now than his defense -- even if the defense is a long-term concern.

Hughes' lack of velocity is already significant.

Scouts noticed it all spring in Florida, when he was throwing his fastball 87-89 mph (as he did in Sunday's loss to the Tigers). The Yankees played it down publicly at that point, but as Joel Sherman revealed in Monday's New York Post , even during the spring Hughes and new pitching coach Larry Rothschild worked on his mechanics in an attempt to get the velocity back (Hughes regularly hit 94 mph last year).

As Hughes told reporters Sunday, "It is tough for me to pitch at this velocity."

*****

A few other opening weekend thoughts:

-- The Giants' defense is a serious issue, enough so that it could end up being the reason they don't repeat. One scout who watched their opening weekend series in Los Angeles came away convinced that the Giants are below average defensively at almost every position in the field. "Barry Zito pitched a very good game [Sunday], and he should have won the game," the scout said. "[Zito] competes with the stuff he has. If the defense makes the plays behind him, he'll compete enough to be a fourth or fifth starter."

-- The Angels bullpen was bad against the scrappy Royals, but one scout who watched them came away talking more about how bad Scott Kazmir looked. "Terrible. No velocity. No command. No nothing," the scout said.

-- When I wrote last week about teams that benefit from fast starts, I really should have mentioned the Orioles as a team that would be interesting to watch this year. It's going to be hard to do in the AL East, but the O's have the good young pitching that can help carry the momentum when a team starts strong (e.g. Padres 2010). One thing to remember about the O's: If they somehow stay in the race through midseason, you can count on them to be aggressive in the July trade market. "We'll be all-in," one O's person said.

-- One more thing about the O's. Scouts who watched them this spring were not surprised to see Zach Britton pitch so well Sunday against the Rays. One scout said Britton was the Orioles' best pitcher this spring, and two more said that they liked Britton ahead of Yankees superprospect Manuel Banuelos, who got more attention. Britton only started Sunday because Brian Matusz was hurt, but there's already speculation that he'll stay in the rotation even when Matusz returns.

Comments

Since: May 30, 2010
Posted on: April 4, 2011 4:54 pm
 

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

3 games in???? Are you that desperate for something to write about... What a joke buddy get a job




Since: Sep 13, 2007
Posted on: April 4, 2011 4:38 pm
 

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

Who Cares ?

Knobler gets paid to write. So, he writes.  Most of the time, his written contribution is far more masterbation than mastery. Knobler and similar parasites write to incite the largest media market they can-the East Coast. They play to the philosophy that bad PR is better than no PR. 

The days of sportswriters being knowledgeable AND credible are over. Most are neither. They should stick to giving bad fantasy baseball advise to naiive customers less likely to complain. 

Derek Jeter's reduced range isn't breaking news. Phil Hughes' loss of 4 mph in March isn't news. The sky isn't falling, but if it were, CBSSports would report it as something the Yankees and/or Redsox were invloved in.
Good points. I would also add that someone always wants to be the first to write about someone's decline. They'll usually write something later in the year pointing back to a column they wrote back in April telling us they were on the decline. Didn't anything happen over the first weekend of the season that was more news worthy? I think a better overblown question would have been, Is the Redsox pitching as deep as we thought? Just like Jeter, the Redsox pitching is fine. Can't anyone get off to a slow start?


The days of sportswriters being knowledgeable AND credible are over. Most are neither.
Right on! I wish they would report something that was actually meaningful. They get, or have access to info that most don't, and they publish something like this? 



Since: Dec 14, 2006
Posted on: April 4, 2011 4:33 pm
 

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

These writers get worse every year. 3 games have been played. If this was 7/1 - 7/3 , no one would care. To make any value judgements this early is ludicrcous. You still have 98.1% of the season left you alarmists.



Since: Apr 14, 2010
Posted on: April 4, 2011 4:26 pm
 

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

I can answer this tune in 1 word

NO/

unless Boston should be worried about Youk, Pedroia and Crawfors, TB about Longo and Manny R, Minn. about Mauer and Morneau. Detroit about VMart and Ordonez, Texas about Beltre, Young and Hamilton

any of this sinking in here?



Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: April 4, 2011 3:58 pm
 

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

Who Cares ?

Knobler gets paid to write. So, he writes.  Most of the time, his written contribution is far more masterbation than mastery. Knobler and similar parasites write to incite the largest media market they can-the East Coast. They play to the philosophy that bad PR is better than no PR. 

The days of sportswriters being knowledgeable AND credible are over. Most are neither. They should stick to giving bad fantasy baseball advise to naiive customers less likely to complain. 

Derek Jeter's reduced range isn't breaking news. Phil Hughes' loss of 4 mph in March isn't news. The sky isn't falling, but if it were, CBSSports would report it as something the Yankees and/or Redsox were invloved in.




Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: April 4, 2011 3:54 pm
 

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?




Since: Nov 21, 2010
Posted on: April 4, 2011 3:54 pm
 

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

The Phil Hughes phenomenon was the definition of drinking your own Kool Aid.  He had a high ERA.  When he had good run support, he won games.  He was named to the All Star team despite his high ERA due to his great won loss record.  Then, they decided to start him in the play-offs.  Then, they declined to trade him in the off season. 




Since: Aug 18, 2008
Posted on: April 4, 2011 3:47 pm
 

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

Danny Knobler aka The Knob Gobbler.  Wink

3 days into the season and everyone's ready to crown champions, claim the ends of eras, and villify anyone they can get their hands on. 
Don't get your panties in a bunch yet people.  Just laugh at the ass clowns that write these articles because they're proven wrong at almost every turn.  But, hey, they DO get lucky every once in a while...




Since: Feb 28, 2010
Posted on: April 4, 2011 3:46 pm
 

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

jeter signed his "huge contract" 10 years ago and only slowed down for 1 year of it. he is 37(?) years old now which is a normal age to start to decline for people that aren't on a massive regimine of steroids. he looks visibly old this year, but it is too early in the year to say he is finished



Since: Dec 10, 2006
Posted on: April 4, 2011 3:41 pm
 

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

Jeter was just trying to have a nap with dollar signs rather than sheep in the cloud over his head. Once these guys sign their huge contracts it is amazing how much they slow down. If Jeter and others were struggling to put food on the table maybe they would go all out all the time. Got to love NCAA and pros BEFORE the big contract.


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