Thursday, February 2, 2012

Start of Spring Training is Almost Here

I'll take a break from my player analysis tonight and write about something that is nearing. Pitchers and catchers report dates are almost upon us. Players are getting ready to pack their bags and to say good-bye to their families in hopes that they will return in November as World Series champions. The Yankees are no exception. Derek Jeter firmly believes that a year where the Bombers do not win it all is a failed season. I could not agree more with the Captain. The Yankees are a team that is built on winning and winning consistently.

Yankees pitchers, catchers, and injured players report to George M. Steinbrenner Field in sunny Tampa, Florida on Sunday, February 20th. The initial report date is just for weigh-ins and player photos. The players and coaching staff talk to beat reporters and discuss what they expect the upcoming year. Shortly after, the rest of the gang joins pitchers and catchers and workouts begin.

It is always interesting to see which players gained weight and lost weight. Last season, Joba Chamberlain entered camp looking bulkier. Reports speculated that he did not take care of himself and that it would affect his season. The truth was that it was mostly muscle and his season ended prematurely because of an elbow problem. Moving on, CC Sabathia came to spring training last year about 30 pounds lighter. His first half of 2011 was one for the ages. Later on, his first half form was no longer there and reports surfaced that he gained back the weight he lost. According to CC, as of two weeks ago he lost 15 pounds. Phil Hughes came into camp last year looking like he sat on the couch all winter. It showed in the regular season when he went 5-5 with a 5.79 ERA. Hughes says he feels better than he has ever felt before and I genuinely believe that he will bounce back this year. Mark Teixeira says that he lost 14 pounds this off-season. I love that he is dedicating himself to his figure. His numbers need to go up this year to end talks of a decline.

In other news around the league,
  • Edwin Jackson has agreed to a 1-year deal with the Washington Nationals worth approximately $10 million.
  • Casey Kotchman is going to the Cleveland Indians on a one-year pact worth $3 million plus incentives.
  • Mark Teixeira may introduce a new side to his game: bunting. He wants to use the shift to his advantage by laying down a few bunts down the third base line to keep opposing infielders on their toes.
*UPDATE- 2/3/11-11:29 AM* Edwin Jackson will receive an $11 million salary with $9 million being paid in 2012, according to Jim Duquette.

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