Saturday, March 5, 2011

Yanks Fall to Sox; Banuelos Impresses

Yesterday the Yankees took on the Red Sox for the first time this year. Well they didn't actually take on the Red Sox since the only real Boston player to make the trip was starter Clay Buchholz, still they fell 5-3 on the strength of a Boone Logan seventh inning implosion.

Despite that, the Yankees did see some stellar pitching. Bartolo Colon threw three scoreless innings while striking out five Red Sox scrubs. More on him in a minute.

To me the real stellar pitching came from 19-year-old Manny Banuelos. Banuelos was impressive. Not just because he threw his second scoreless appearance this spring but becaus eof how he did it. Unlike Colon, ManBan hit his spots with a crisp 93-96 MPH fastball, and had exception movement on his breaking pitches, which he also threw for quality strikes. Russell Martin even raved about how polished the youngster is, comparing him to another hard throwing young lefty.

The young lefty's mechanics were also something to marvel at. He possesses a very easy delivery and it surprises you how hard his fastball comes out of his small frame. Banuelos didn't pitch the last time Trenton was in New Britain, but you better believe I am eyeing their return in mid-June. Though, I wont count on ManBan still being there come June. The way he pitches, he may force a promotion before then.

Colon is a bit of a different story. While the numbers looked good, Colon was all over the place, especially in his third inning of work. He was bailed out by some bad swings from the Red Sox. Colon may be pitching better than the Yankees expected, but Girardi and Cashman will take note of his lack of command within the strike zone. The big guy always seemed to be trailing in the race for the fifth starter spot and he hasn't done enough to change that perception yet.

Some the pitching has been decent, but the bats have continued to struggle. The only hitter who has looked ready for the start of the season is Alex Rodriguez. He hit the ball hard again on Friday night. A bullet single through the right side and then a double off the wall in left-center. A-Rod looks like he may still have some elite level production left in his bones. I'm always an optomist at this point in the season, but I really think he's going to put himself back in the discussion as one of the best hitters in baseball.

Today's action features CC Sabathia on the mound and Jesus Montero behind the plate. Unfortunately the game isn't on YES today, so we'll have to wait till next week to see the Yanks in action again.

1 comment:

Dennis said...

I think A-Rod is still one of the best hitters in the league, but if his hip doesn't hold up his numbers will fall off, like they did last season. If we're honest, at this point in his career he would probably be best-served by DHing 3 or 4 times a week.