Pinstripe Pride  > Group Message Board  > What to watch for in Tampa
January 23, 2008, 01:45 PM
What to watch for in Tampa


Can't do this all in one post, so I'll have to do it in piece work.LOL...

1)If you were to go solely based on what has been reported over the past couple of months, you'd think that the usage of Joba Chamberlain would be the only issue that the Yankees will have to deal with once Spring Training rolls around a few weeks from now. Aside from the daily updates on the Johan Santana sweepstakes, whether or not they contradict each other, the starter-or-reliever debate engulfing Chamberlain's golden right arm is the most talked-about topic concerning last year's AL Wild Card winners.
However, there are other matters that will be worth keeping more than just a passing eye on once pitchers, catchers, and all other players assemble in Tampa starting on Valentine's Day. Here's five important ones.

1- The Kyle Farnsworth Salvage Project
After two largely disappointing seasons in pinstripes, Kyle Farnsworth is in the final year of the three-year, $17 million contract that he signed following a fantastic season in which he split time with Detroit and Atlanta. Last year was especially rough for him, as Farnsworth appeared to be in and out of Joe Torre's doghouse while permanently taking up residence in the negative graces of the media. It might have seemed like the hard-throwing yet erratic right-hander was a lock not to be with the team in '08, but new manager Joe Girardi appears to be committed to straightening out Farnsworth for good.

"I had a chance to catch Kyle when he was in Chicago when he was dominant. I've always had a lot of confidence in what he can do," Girardi said during a chat session with the media during the Winter Meetings. "I know Kyle's personality. I kind of know what makes Kyle tick from that standpoint because obviously we are 61 feet apart a lot of days. I'll use the things that I know about Kyle to instill confidence and motivate him."

That little issue of Chamberlain possibly being needed in the bullpen would quiet down heavily if Girardi can help harness all of Farnsworth's raw ability and get the 6'4, 235-pounder back into top form.

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