-Wonderful piece by Jack Curry, walking you through the signing of Manny Banuelos. This is the first one of its sort I’ve seen, filling in many of the blanks on his background, how they found him, and what they liked so much about him. We still don’t know what his signing bonus was, however (BR doesn’t even have it on his player page). If anyone can track that down, please leave a comment.
-Don’t get too excited about this. Bryce Harper has 3 levels of the minors and 6 years of MLB service time before he can think about playing in pinstripes. Cano will probably be retired by then.
-The D-Train is back on track so far this spring.
Willis has pitched five scoreless innings and walked only one of the 19 batters he faced in Cactus League play. It’s a small sample size, to be sure, but Willis’ performance is encouraging. He has pitched so well that he is beginning to put himself in position to win a second left-handed spot in the Reds’ bullpen alongside flame-throwing rookie Aroldis Chapman.
“He’s been the biggest surprise of our camp,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said Thursday before his team lost to the Giants 7-0 at Goodyear Ballpark. “We didn’t know what we were going to get when we signed him but we felt he was worth taking a look. He’s pitched great so far.”
Here’s to hoping he carries that success into the regular season. Still just 29 years old.
-The Yanks announced a round of cuts this morning, including Adam Warren, David Mitchell, David Phelps, Andy Sisco, Brian Anderson, Buddy Carlysle and Hector Noesi.
-Ken Rosenthal passes along an interesting note on Montero:
Lefty CC Sabathia is perhaps the only one of the Yankees’ top three starters who is low-maintenance for a catcher. Righty Phil Hughes is still developing as a pitcher, and A.J. Burnett, also requires veteran guidance.
-Chien Ming Wang is still trying to get back to the majors, with a fastball sitting around 86-87 MPH
-In Red Sox camp, Alfredo Aceves has had a nice spring and is even being considered as a replacement for Dice-K in the Red Sox rotation. But as we plan to break camp with Freddy Garcia as our #5, don’t get too upset at Brian Cashman just yet. Ace had a number of stints last year where he looked healthy, only to re-injure his back again and again. As we saw with Wang, fans would be well advised to trust the Yankees judgment on medical issues.
-Since I made reference to this in my trivia question last night, check out William J’s terrific post on Larry MacPhail and the post-war Yankees.
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