Wednesday, February 13, 2008

1 Day, 1 Player: Nick Green

Everyday until spring training begins the "Respect Jeter's Gangster" blog will review one player from the Yankees roster. We will review a total of 27 players, the 25 we believe will be on the active roster after spring training, and 2 we believe should be on the active roster but won't be for one reason or another. Our reviews are all edited by Carl Pavano himself to insure they're up to the stringent "Pavano Tough" standards.

Spring Training is upon us! If you live in the Northeast, this may come as a surprise since we have been inundated with freezing rain and snow. In any event, on to our last player review of Nick Green. This is a player who probably should make the roster but won't.

Some may remember Nick Green from 2006 when the Yankees picked him up to be a utility infielder. He was let go by the Devil Rays at the time (not a good sign) when he batted .077, but the Yankees didn't sign him for his bat. Nick Green can play second, short, and third base, and is a pretty solid defender. He's had some experience at first and in the outfield as well. He batted .240 with 2 homeruns for the Yankees in 75 at bats in 2006. He spent the majority of last season in the Mariners minor league system.

So why do I think he should be on the roster? Because I think he will be a better defensive glove than Betemit as a utility guy. Betemit is a good pinch hitter type off the bench, but do you really want him replacing Cano, Jeter, or A-Rod late in a game with groundball Wang pitching? The Yankees signed Chris Woodward, and have some minor league players who could fit the utility role, but I think Green would fit the best.

My Fearless Prediction:

Green will eventually end up on the roster, and play some decent defense while striking out too much to be used for long stretches. He will not end up on the opening day roster.

Little Know Nick Green Fact: Green used to strengthen his throwing arm by standing in the lanes of bowling alleys, picking up the bowling balls rolled to him, and throwing them to pretend first baseman near the arcade.


Anonymous said...

Unless Wang is pitching a complete game, I dont think it would be a good idea to replace Cano, Jeter, or AROD with a guy whose offensive output is the equivalent of a pitcher. Unless the game is close in the 9th inning with a yankee lead, but at that point you would have the strikeout/flyball pitcher Mariano Rivera on the mound anyway. Plus its not as if those 3 guys are slouches with the glove (Jeters overrated, but still not terrible). To sum it up, to replace any of those guys bats with Greens would just be plain silly.

Fernando Alejandro said...

You don't want to replace their bats, but you would want to replace their defense. Your right in saying that all three of those guys are solid defensive players, but when they're getting replaced its typically to give them a breather. The other reason would be that because of injury/age whatever, their range might be hindered, and you want a guy to reach the balls they couldn't. I used Wang as an example because he tends to pitch deeper into games, and he gets a lot of ground balls. Also, contrary to popular belief, Rivera is and has always been a ground ball guy. It makes sense if you think about it. What happens when batters hit his cutter? Their bats shatter and the ball dribbles slowly across the infield. That's why he doesn't typically give up a lot of homeruns. If you take a look at his stats over the last 5 years, he recorded more outs by groundballs than he did flyballs or strikeouts.

Anonymous said...

Good point. Perhaps my thinking was that i've seen him saw off so many guys bats that lead to a lot of very weak popups. Perhaps flyball was not the best choice of words. I definately agree with giving them a breather, i can see your point there. I guess as long as he isnt going up to the plate, then there is no harm. The funny thing about this is that I'm a red sox fan (a very sane and rational one, not a "yankees suck even though they have 26 championships" one), but I stumbled across your blog and found it pretty humorous and interesting, so I check it every day now because i just like reading about baseball, and occasionally having debates about it.

Anonymous said...

on a side note: I find it amazing that rivera strikes out so many people, being as he throws his cutter (for the most part) the majority of the time, they know its coming, yet they still swing and miss. Guess he just locates like a mofo.

Fernando Alejandro said...

Well you know, I can appreciate good baseball conversations even with Red Sox fans! I live in Red Sox territory so the vast majority of my friends are Sox fans. I think that Yankee fans and Red Sox fans are equally passionate about their teams and expect a lot from their teams. Its funner to talk to Sox fans for that reason, since fans from other teams may not have the passion we have.

As for Rivera's cutter, you're right. Everyone knows its coming, but they can't do much with it. He also throws it hard, in the mid to high nineties which accounts for the strikeouts. Also, in more recent times, he's been throwing a hard 4-seamer to vary.

You're also right about Green's bat. Girardi would be insane to lift A-Rod out of a game for pinch hitter Nick Green. They would tear him apart in New York!