Yanks choose Gardner, Sheriff in Good Shape.

April 1, 2009

The battle for the distinguished New York Yankee’s centerfield position was won by Brett Gardner after he and Melky Cabrera both had solid springs.  Both will be in the Bronx for the start of the season and Melky will provide a switch-hitting spark off the bench and could be utilized defensively late in games.

Melky had a tough season in ’08.  After showing power early, Cabrera fell off offensively which led to the emergence of Gardner.  Gardner did absolutely nothing in his first trip up to the big club.  His patience at the plate didn’t get much respect from Major League umpires or pitchers, and he took many a looking K.  He saw better success when he came up at the end of the season, though still ending up with an anemic .228 average.

Gardner’s three homers in the spring also came as a pleasant surprise for Girardi.  If Gardner can stay in the lineup, he may even be a good fantasy acquisition.  In limited time last season he was 13 of 14 in stolen base attempts, and his .448 obp this spring shows he is finally getting a feel for the major league zone.  If he can keep getting on, Girardi will send him.  It is a big if, though.

In news that proves that most of spring training is useless,
“I’ve been encouraged,  I know actually he’s got some errors, but I think on both ends of it he’s getting a little tougher and not letting it affect him as much.”  That’s Bob Melvin speaking of “The Sheriff” Mark Reynolds and his seven errors in limited time at third base in nineteen games.  The Dbacks are also encouraged by the fact that Reynolds, a rising star when it comes to the three true outcomes, is only striking out 28% of the time this spring as opposed to around 40% of the time last season.   So Jack Cust and Russell Branyan no longer have to worry about losing their 3TO crowns.

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Cutler Checks His Blood Sugar and Checks it Often, Apparently Not His Voicemail, though.

April 1, 2009

The Jay Cutler era is seemingly over in Denver.  The whole debacle has dragged on for far too long and has ended with the whining 25-year old poised to get his way.  I think there must be more to this than meets the eye.  Josh McDaniels is said to have fielded an offer from another team involving a Cutler for Matt Cassel exchange, and then Cutler demanded a trade.  Cutler then proceeded to cry in his room with his cell phone off for two weeks.

If this is the whole story then the Broncos shouldn’t trade him.  They should just bench him, and have him back up for Dan Orlovsky or Chris Simms. They should embarrass the kid.  Jay Cutler had a very good year last year, but I don’t think he’s worth the number one pick to the Lions when Matthew Stafford is available.  He has a history of being a pain in the ass, is apparently somewhat of a virus, a diabetic (which is not so much a knock of character as much as longevity, sorry Wilford), and allegedly a slight boozehound.

Cutler would be a high risk pickup for any team looking between him, Mark Sanchez, and Stafford.  Draft picks bust all the time, but giving up a first rounder for Cutler would get a GM canned down the road if Cutler turns out to be the jackass he is showing himself to be.

Jay will not even talk to his owner at this point.  He has not even given the Broncos a chance from the start, and its gotten out of hand.  While I think McDaniels could have nipped this in the butt from the start by just kissing the young QB’s ass, most of the blame has to go on the naive Cutler.  Or, it must be assumed that Cutler wanted out before all this, and saw an opportunity when the rumors of his exchange came out earlier this offseason.
There are a few teams interested in Cutler.  Agent Bus Cook is said to be hoping he goes to the Lions as he could score 12-points per TD pass to Calvin Johnson on his client fantasy team.  The Broncos would probably hope for this as well because it would mean Cutler would be out of their league, Denver would get something good in exchange, and there’s a good chance Cutler will die behind the Detroit O-line.

The Redskins are also rumored to be interested in Cutler and Mark Sanchez.  This is despite the fact that they have a starter in Jason Campbell.  Campbell has shown some signs of life in his young career, but Daniel Snyder has a notoriously itchy trigger finger.  Hopefully Jason Campbell doesn’t hear the news and pull a Cutler.