Q&A with Mark Newman

Yankees Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations Mark Newman, responsible for both player development and scouting, sits down to give us his thoughts on the players that have stood out in Spring Training camp, to give us an update on several of the International players ready to come States-side, what he wants to see from various players in 2011, and much, much more!

PinstripesPlus.com: I wanted to start with some general thoughts on who you thought stood out in camp this year?

Mark Newman: Pirela and Suttle. Pirela has really picked up on his good winter league and Suttle with his second-half [last year], he seems to building on that second-half performance last year now that he's getting farther away from the injuries. That was good. Pitching-wise, Kevin Whelan is throwing more strikes. He's got good stuff and we've seen better command. That was a plus. Carmen Angelini is healthy and playing aggressively. This is a big year for him. Brett Marshall's breaking ball has developed substantially. J.R. Murphy is a more powerful, explosive player physically; arm strength catching and impact offensively, the ability to drive the ball in the gaps and over the fence. He took a significant step forward physically, just maturing I guess and [with] the strength program. I think his throwing arm is a full grade better.

PinstripesPlus.com: With Slade Heathcott and Murphy being held back in Charleston, and now with Bryan Mitchell being held back in Extended, for lack of a better phrase it seems you guys are being more cautious with your high-end, lower level guys. Is that the approach going forward?

Newman: No I wouldn't say that. Each one of these decisions is made on a case by case basis where each player is at in their progression. Austin Jackson went a full year in Charleston and then [another] half year in Charleston and then a half year in Tampa. These guys played very little Gulf Coast League, had some Extended [Spring Training] the next year, and then went to a long-season league. To me it would be rushing them to not give them some more time [in Charleston]. They haven't had very many professional at-bats because they were late signs.

PinstripesPlus.com: Okay a subset question then - I didn't get to see all of the road games this Spring so I hate saying he looked bad, but Heathcott to me certainly didn't have the same kind of great camp he had a year ago. In your opinion has he regressed a little bit?

Newman: If you didn't see the last week here, at the end, he was excellent. He was as good as I've ever seen him; home runs, walks, defensive aggressiveness. He was excellent. He not only hasn't taken a step back, he has taken a step forward.

PinstripesPlus.com: I'm glad I asked that question then. In regards to Mitchell then, who I thought looked tremendous in camp, what do you want to see from him in Extended? Is it the other areas of the game like holding runners, defense, etc?

Newman: It's a lot of that stuff. Obviously he's got a big-time arm and he's got a powerful curveball. He's doing some work on his change, he's working on fastball command, and we're going to give him a little bit more time here and we'll see how it goes. We make judgments on their ability to execute certain individual skills on a more regular basis. That's what we're looking for from him, that's what we're looking for from Cito Culver, etc. Each one of those guys is in a situation in which we make individual assessments on some particular benchmarks we have for them.

PinstripesPlus.com: To me one of the most interesting subplots if you will from camp was the progress made from your college relievers drafted last year - Chase Whitley, Zach Nuding, Danny Burawa had that one fantastic outing - to me they stood out and not as raw as perhaps last year. Are you pleased with their progress as a group?

Newman: It's hard to talk about them as a group because they all have different issues. We have focused all of our attention on Whitley's development with his breaking ball. It improved. We're trying to improve Burawa's breaking ball. That improved. Kahnle's command seems to be going in the right direction. Nuding was a very interesting, pleasant surprise. He touched 98 mph in Spring Training and was around the plate with his breaking ball. His breaking ball has power and depth. He has some work to do with his changeup. He's going to be a starter in Charleston.

PinstripesPlus.com: You mentioned breaking balls and how Marshall's was significantly better. I know that's an issue with Jose Ramirez and to a lesser extent with Graham Stoneburner. Did you see their breaking balls make the progress that you wanted to see?

Newman: Stoneburner made it last year. At the end of last year we were happy with that and we continue to be. Jose Ramirez has more work to do. He's got a great arm, a quality changeup, and we're going to continue to pound away on the breaking ball. There were days and times where you were like 'okay, he's getting it' and there were times you didn't see that. But I have huge, I mean huge confidence in Nardi Contreras and our pitching coaches to help our young pitchers get a more refined sense and feel for spin. They really do a great job with that. We'll see how it goes. Certainly though we've seen that improved ability to spin a ball with guys like Burawa and Marshall.

PinstripesPlus.com: When it comes to Cito Culver and Mason Williams in Extended Spring Training, is there something you want to see from them besides more reps at the plate and in the field?

Newman: Consistency offensively and attention to detail on defense, those kinds of things. When you look at the individual skills of those two guys, they're very impressive. There are real nuance subtleties to the game. We want them to be successful when they move up. Mason hasn't had many at-bats but Cito has. Cito is working on some things and Mason's swing is a lot simpler than Cito's. He may not need as many at-bats, but we'll wait and see. We're not going to make any predictions on it. Mason made some plays in Spring Training in the first week where it was one a day that were jaw-droppers where you're like 'holy smoke'. He was very impressive.

PinstripesPlus.com: Each year there's one guy who comes out of Extended and really turns some heads. Is Williams the guy or is there somebody else do you think?

Newman: Mason wouldn't be much of a surprise because people in our business know about him. [Bryan] Mitchell is a guy a whole lot of people haven't talked about yet. There's a guy named Tyler Austin who is a third baseman, a high school kid from Carolina who really has got some power. He could be an interesting guy. Gabe Encinas could be interesting and we've got a bunch of young Dominican, high-caliber arms coming. We'll see how those guys shake out.

PinstripesPlus.com: That's a nice segue into my next question. I know Juan Carlos Paniagua is still going through his investigation by Major League Baseball and then has to get his visa, but overall if he were subjected to the Major League draft, are we talking about a first round type of talent here?

Newman: Oh yeah. Donny Rowland saw him touch 100 mph and I saw him up to 97 mph. We saw command and we saw a really good feel for a changeup. He's going to pitch at 94 mph and when he grunts and maxes out effort-wise you're going to see higher velo numbers.

PinstripesPlus.com: With my background covering the Mets for a number of years, he sounds Jenrry Mejia-like. Is that a comparison you're comfortable with?

Newman: Yeah there are similarities there. Jenrry is a good looking young pitcher.

PinstripesPlus.com: What can you tell me about centerfielder Freiter Marte?

Newman: He can really run and he can really throw. I mean 6.4-60 [yard dash] and a big-time arm in centerfield. He is as they say, 'toolsy'. He's 5-foot-11, strong body, explosive, tightly wound. The early returns [on the bat] are okay, but that's always the issue with these guys. We've got a lot of kids down there that profile defensively in centerfield and we'll see who will step forward with the bat, and this guy could be one of them. Eladio Moronta is another one.

PinstripesPlus.com: Ravel Santana was going to be my next question.

Newman: Ravel Santana is one of those guys as well. We're working on his visa to get him up here. We've got some stuff to do, but he walks, he hits home runs, he can run, and he can really, really throw. He can play centerfield or right field. He's a good looking player.

PinstripesPlus.com: Each Gulf Coast League season it seems a couple of your guys turns out to be a stud prospect that garners attention nationally. Is he the guy we should be looking out for this year should his visa issue get cleared up?

Newman: People ought to pay attention to him because he's really put up numbers down there and he's done what you're supposed to do. And he's not just a true performer and he's not just a tools guy either who has a long way to go fundamentally, so he could be one of those names to emerge.

PinstripesPlus.com: Is Jorge DePaula coming to come here State-side this season do you think?

Newman: We shall see. His investigation is not complete.

PinstripesPlus.com: I know you're a fan of Abraham Almonte. He had another strong camp this year. I've been saying for over a year and a half now that he's a breakout candidate. Now that his injuries are behind him, do you think we'll see that breakout season?

Newman: That's a good call because his Spring Training was really good. He's back healthy, he's explosive, he's hitting the ball over the fence, he can really run, and he can throw. His arm is coming back slowly but it's average now, even after the operation. He's 85 percent through his rehab and the rest he'll tackle with some DH days in the first part of the year. But yeah, he's an athletic, explosive, and exciting guy to watch. That's a good call. I should have thought of him but you're right on him.

PinstripesPlus.com: Would an ideal scenario be where Almonte flourishes in Tampa, Heathcott does the same in Charleston, and then move those two guys up a level and then bring in Mason Williams?

Newman: That would be nice but that's also unlikely to have three separate individuals reach the same kind of developmental point at the same time.

PinstripesPlus.com: Understanding that then, those three are not tied in together when it comes to promotions?

Newman: No, no, not at all. They've got to be ready to go on their own accord. That can get a little funky because it's like our catching situation. We're starting to building up our centerfield depth that way where they can start bumping into each other. We have to manage our way through that but there are a lot of worse problems to have than having talented guys in the middle of the field and you're trying to find the right at-bats for them. We will. They'll get their at-bats and we'll figure it out. Right now though you can't move one guy just because one guy ahead of him is ready to go.

PinstripesPlus.com: Where are we with the David Adams injury?

Newman: We're hoping he's going to play in some intrasquad games later this week and in some Extended games next week.

PinstripesPlus.com: Just to clarify, is this a plantar faciitis thing or still the ankle injury?

Newman: It's a combination actually. The broken bone was more in his foot more than his ankle, but it's that whole foot-ankle mechanism. You get a little sore, you run differently. He's battling to get through this and he's frustrated, but we don't have any harder workers than him. He's fabulous.

PinstripesPlus.com: I noticed that on the Charleston roster that you only have four outfielders. Am I to assume that Murphy and Rob Segedin are going to see some time in the outfield too?

Newman: Yep.

PinstripesPlus.com: Conversely will the same thing hold true once Adams returns that Corban Joseph and maybe even Jose Pirela might see some time at third base or wherever?

Newman: Yeah we're going to have to massage that one too.

PinstripesPlus.com: I know you said at the end of last season that you had a lot of stars align for you to have such a great year in the farm system, but with the Spring Training you just had, barring massive injuries, do you feel you can have a similar type of season down on the farm overall?

Newman: I think our farm system is really on solid footing right now. I think we've had good drafts, I think we've had good International signings, I think our coaches, trainers, and strength and conditioning guys are all really with the program and doing good work. That's the foundation. The foundation is in talent and then we have to support the talent and we're in a position to do that now. Having a year like last year where all of those guys had significant steps forward in performance, where injuries are low and we had guys come back from injuries? I don't expect that kind of dramatic change in our system now because we're in a different place. We don't have guys like Betances and Banuelos on the DL when the season starts. There's two high-level guys who were in the training room this time a year ago. I think there was a lot of good work done by good people last year, but there was also a lot of good fortune too and I'm not silly enough to think that's going to reappear on a regular basis.

PinstripesPlus.com: You mentioned Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances. I don't want to ask if they're going to be handled with kid gloves, but is there a chance one of these two could reappear with the big league club at some point this season?

Newman: This game is too unpredictable to foreclose options. We don't do that. We'd like them to get a solid foundation in the minor leagues. We want them to develop all of their pitches and throw them for strikes in a variety of counts. We want them to be able to field their position and manage the running game, to be able to handle adversity mentally and emotionally in-game and post-game. So there's a bunch of stuff they still have to learn. How quick they learn them and when they're in New York is a big-time TBA [to be announced]. In terms of handling them with kid gloves, we want to handle them responsibly. That's the key. We want to push them to grow as players but we don't want to push them physically to the point where they have a problem or injury that will delay their development. In any profession, you make the best judgments based on what is in the best interests of the players and the team long-term. In a lot of cases there is no clear-cut answer where you go this is the only way to go and everyone agrees on it. We discuss, 'Cash' and I, Nardi, the pitching coaches, and the big league staff with these high-level guys and we try to do the right thing for the player and the organization.

PinstripesPlus.com: With that in mind, giving those two all of the minor league seasoning they need, how confident are you in your Triple-A rotation - D.J. Mitchell, Adam Warren, Andrew Brackman, David Phelps, and Hector Noesi - that one or more of them could fill in at the big league level should a need arise this year?

Newman: I feel good about what we're doing there. I liked the way Nova pitched [Monday] night and those guys are going through the same things that Nova went through a year ago. When last year started nobody was saying Ivan Nova will be in the rotation in 2011 for sure. I didn't say that and nobody else said that. But as the season went on he made strides and put himself in a good position.

PinstripesPlus.com: So those Triple-A starters, outside of Brackman, don't get the national attention but you're confident in them?

Newman: They're not getting all of the hype that Banuelos and Betances are getting, but there are some guys there. There are some guys there who can really pitch.

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Pinstripes Plus Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: I wanted to start with some general thoughts on who you thought stood out in camp this year?
\r\n
\r\nMark Newman: Pirela and Suttle. Pirela has really picked up on his good winter league and Suttle with his second-half [last year], he seems to building on that second-half performance last year now that he's getting farther away from the injuries. That was good. Pitching-wise, Kevin Whelan is throwing more strikes. He's got good stuff and we've seen better command. That was a plus. Carmen Angelini is healthy and playing aggressively. This is a big year for him. Brett Marshall's breaking ball has developed substantially. J.R. Murphy is a more powerful, explosive player physically; arm strength catching and impact offensively, the ability to drive the ball in the gaps and over the fence. He took a significant step forward physically, just maturing I guess and [with] the strength program. I think his throwing arm is a full grade better.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: With Slade Heathcott and Murphy being held back in Charleston, and now with Bryan Mitchell being held back in Extended, for lack of a better phrase it seems you guys are being more cautious with your high-end, lower level guys. Is that the approach going forward?
\r\n
\r\nNewman: No I wouldn't say that. Each one of these decisions is made on a case by case basis where each player is at in their progression. Austin Jackson went a full year in Charleston and then [another] half year in Charleston and then a half year in Tampa. These guys played very little Gulf Coast League, had some Extended [Spring Training] the next year, and then went to a long-season league. To me it would be rushing them to not give them some more time [in Charleston]. They haven't had very many professional at-bats because they were late signs.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Okay a subset question then - I didn't get to see all of the road games this Spring so I hate saying he looked bad, but Heathcott to me certainly didn't have the same kind of great camp he had a year ago. In your opinion has he regressed a little bit?
\r\n
\r\nNewman: If you didn't see the last week here, at the end, he was excellent. He was as good as I've ever seen him; home runs, walks, defensive aggressiveness. He was excellent. He not only hasn't taken a step back, he has taken a step forward.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: I'm glad I asked that question then. In regards to Mitchell then, who I thought looked tremendous in camp, what do you want to see from him in Extended? Is it the other areas of the game like holding runners, defense, etc?
\r\n
\r\nNewman: It's a lot of that stuff. Obviously he's got a big-time arm and he's got a powerful curveball. He's doing some work on his change, he's working on fastball command, and we're going to give him a little bit more time here and we'll see how it goes. We make judgments on their ability to execute certain individual skills on a more regular basis. That's what we're looking for from him, that's what we're looking for from Cito Culver, etc. Each one of those guys is in a situation in which we make individual assessments on some particular benchmarks we have for them.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: To me one of the most interesting subplots if you will from camp was the progress made from your college relievers drafted last year - Chase Whitley, Zach Nuding, Danny Burawa had that one fantastic outing - to me they stood out and not as raw as perhaps last year. Are you pleased with their progress as a group?
\r\n
\r\nNewman: It's hard to talk about them as a group because they all have different issues. We have focused all of our attention on Whitley's development with his breaking ball. It improved. We're trying to improve Burawa's breaking ball. That improved. Kahnle's command seems to be going in the right direction. Nuding was a very interesting, pleasant surprise. He touched 98 mph in Spring Training and was around the plate with his breaking ball. His breaking ball has power and depth. He has some work to do with his changeup. He's going to be a starter in Charleston.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: You mentioned breaking balls and how Marshall's was significantly better. I know that's an issue with Jose Ramirez and to a lesser extent with Graham Stoneburner. Did you see their breaking balls make the progress that you wanted to see?
\r\n
\r\nNewman: Stoneburner made it last year. At the end of last year we were happy with that and we continue to be. Jose Ramirez has more work to do. He's got a great arm, a quality changeup, and we're going to continue to pound away on the breaking ball. There were days and times where you were like 'okay, he's getting it' and there were times you didn't see that. But I have huge, I mean huge confidence in Nardi Contreras and our pitching coaches to help our young pitchers get a more refined sense and feel for spin. They really do a great job with that. We'll see how it goes. Certainly though we've seen that improved ability to spin a ball with guys like Burawa and Marshall.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: When it comes to Cito Culver and Mason Williams in Extended Spring Training, is there something you want to see from them besides more reps at the plate and in the field?
\r\n
\r\nNewman: Consistency offensively and attention to detail on defense, those kinds of things. When you look at the individual skills of those two guys, they're very impressive. There are real nuance subtleties to the game. We want them to be successful when they move up. Mason hasn't had many at-bats but Cito has. Cito is working on some things and Mason's swing is a lot simpler than Cito's. He may not need as many at-bats, but we'll wait and see. We're not going to make any predictions on it. Mason made some plays in Spring Training in the first week where it was one a day that were jaw-droppers where you're like 'holy smoke'. He was very impressive.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Each year there's one guy who comes out of Extended and really turns some heads. Is Williams the guy or is there somebody else do you think?
\r\n
\r\nNewman: Mason wouldn't be much of a surprise because people in our business know about him. [Bryan] Mitchell is a guy a whole lot of people haven't talked about yet. There's a guy named Tyler Austin who is a third baseman, a high school kid from Carolina who really has got some power. He could be an interesting guy. Gabe Encinas could be interesting and we've got a bunch of young Dominican, high-caliber arms coming. We'll see how those guys shake out.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: That's a nice segue into my next question. I know Juan Carlos Paniagua is still going through his investigation by Major League Baseball and then has to get his visa, but overall if he were subjected to the Major League draft, are we talking about a first round type of talent here?
\r\n
\r\nNewman: Oh yeah. Donny Rowland saw him touch 100 mph and I saw him up to 97 mph. We saw command and we saw a really good feel for a changeup. He's going to pitch at 94 mph and when he grunts and maxes out effort-wise you're going to see higher velo numbers.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: With my background covering the Mets for a number of years, he sounds Jenrry Mejia-like. Is that a comparison you're comfortable with?
\r\n
\r\nNewman: Yeah there are similarities there. Jenrry is a good looking young pitcher.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: What can you tell me about centerfielder Freiter Marte?
\r\n
\r\nNewman: He can really run and he can really throw. I mean 6.4-60 [yard dash] and a big-time arm in centerfield. He is as they say, 'toolsy'. He's 5-foot-11, strong body, explosive, tightly wound. The early returns [on the bat] are okay, but that's always the issue with these guys. We've got a lot of kids down there that profile defensively in centerfield and we'll see who will step forward with the bat, and this guy could be one of them. Eladio Moronta is another one.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Ravel Santana was going to be my next question.
\r\n
\r\nNewman: Ravel Santana is one of those guys as well. We're working on his visa to get him up here. We've got some stuff to do, but he walks, he hits home runs, he can run, and he can really, really throw. He can play centerfield or right field. He's a good looking player.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Each Gulf Coast League season it seems a couple of your guys turns out to be a stud prospect that garners attention nationally. Is he the guy we should be looking out for this year should his visa issue get cleared up?
\r\n
\r\nNewman: People ought to pay attention to him because he's really put up numbers down there and he's done what you're supposed to do. And he's not just a true performer and he's not just a tools guy either who has a long way to go fundamentally, so he could be one of those names to emerge.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Is Jorge DePaula coming to come here State-side this season do you think?
\r\n
\r\nNewman: We shall see. His investigation is not complete.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: I know you're a fan of Abraham Almonte. He had another strong camp this year. I've been saying for over a year and a half now that he's a breakout candidate. Now that his injuries are behind him, do you think we'll see that breakout season?
\r\n
\r\nNewman: That's a good call because his Spring Training was really good. He's back healthy, he's explosive, he's hitting the ball over the fence, he can really run, and he can throw. His arm is coming back slowly but it's average now, even after the operation. He's 85 percent through his rehab and the rest he'll tackle with some DH days in the first part of the year. But yeah, he's an athletic, explosive, and exciting guy to watch. That's a good call. I should have thought of him but you're right on him.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Would an ideal scenario be where Almonte flourishes in Tampa, Heathcott does the same in Charleston, and then move those two guys up a level and then bring in Mason Williams?
\r\n
\r\nNewman: That would be nice but that's also unlikely to have three separate individuals reach the same kind of developmental point at the same time.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Understanding that then, those three are not tied in together when it comes to promotions?
\r\n
\r\nNewman: No, no, not at all. They've got to be ready to go on their own accord. That can get a little funky because it's like our catching situation. We're starting to building up our centerfield depth that way where they can start bumping into each other. We have to manage our way through that but there are a lot of worse problems to have than having talented guys in the middle of the field and you're trying to find the right at-bats for them. We will. They'll get their at-bats and we'll figure it out. Right now though you can't move one guy just because one guy ahead of him is ready to go.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Where are we with the David Adams injury?
\r\n
\r\nNewman: We're hoping he's going to play in some intrasquad games later this week and in some Extended games next week.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Just to clarify, is this a plantar faciitis thing or still the ankle injury?
\r\n
\r\nNewman: It's a combination actually. The broken bone was more in his foot more than his ankle, but it's that whole foot-ankle mechanism. You get a little sore, you run differently. He's battling to get through this and he's frustrated, but we don't have any harder workers than him. He's fabulous.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: I noticed that on the Charleston roster that you only have four outfielders. Am I to assume that Murphy and Rob Segedin are going to see some time in the outfield too?
\r\n
\r\nNewman: Yep.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Conversely will the same thing hold true once Adams returns that Corban Joseph and maybe even Jose Pirela might see some time at third base or wherever?
\r\n
\r\nNewman: Yeah we're going to have to massage that one too.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: I know you said at the end of last season that you had a lot of stars align for you to have such a great year in the farm system, but with the Spring Training you just had, barring massive injuries, do you feel you can have a similar type of season down on the farm overall?
\r\n
\r\nNewman: I think our farm system is really on solid footing right now. I think we've had good drafts, I think we've had good International signings, I think our coaches, trainers, and strength and conditioning guys are all really with the program and doing good work. That's the foundation. The foundation is in talent and then we have to support the talent and we're in a position to do that now. Having a year like last year where all of those guys had significant steps forward in performance, where injuries are low and we had guys come back from injuries? I don't expect that kind of dramatic change in our system now because we're in a different place. We don't have guys like Betances and Banuelos on the DL when the season starts. There's two high-level guys who were in the training room this time a year ago. I think there was a lot of good work done by good people last year, but there was also a lot of good fortune too and I'm not silly enough to think that's going to reappear on a regular basis.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: You mentioned Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances. I don't want to ask if they're going to be handled with kid gloves, but is there a chance one of these two could reappear with the big league club at some point this season?
\r\n
\r\nNewman: This game is too unpredictable to foreclose options. We don't do that. We'd like them to get a solid foundation in the minor leagues. We want them to develop all of their pitches and throw them for strikes in a variety of counts. We want them to be able to field their position and manage the running game, to be able to handle adversity mentally and emotionally in-game and post-game. So there's a bunch of stuff they still have to learn. How quick they learn them and when they're in New York is a big-time TBA [to be announced]. In terms of handling them with kid gloves, we want to handle them responsibly. That's the key. We want to push them to grow as players but we don't want to push them physically to the point where they have a problem or injury that will delay their development. In any profession, you make the best judgments based on what is in the best interests of the players and the team long-term. In a lot of cases there is no clear-cut answer where you go this is the only way to go and everyone agrees on it. We discuss, 'Cash' and I, Nardi, the pitching coaches, and the big league staff with these high-level guys and we try to do the right thing for the player and the organization.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: With that in mind, giving those two all of the minor league seasoning they need, how confident are you in your Triple-A rotation - D.J. Mitchell, Adam Warren, Andrew Brackman, David Phelps, and Hector Noesi - that one or more of them could fill in at the big league level should a need arise this year?
\r\n
\r\nNewman: I feel good about what we're doing there. I liked the way Nova pitched [Monday] night and those guys are going through the same things that Nova went through a year ago. When last year started nobody was saying Ivan Nova will be in the rotation in 2011 for sure. I didn't say that and nobody else said that. But as the season went on he made strides and put himself in a good position.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: So those Triple-A starters, outside of Brackman, don't get the national attention but you're confident in them?
\r\n
\r\nNewman: They're not getting all of the hype that Banuelos and Betances are getting, but there are some guys there. There are some guys there who can really pitch.
\r\n
\r\n

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