All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Monday, October 09, 2006

Winter Is Coming

And it looks like it's going to be a long and eventful winter in Yankeeland. Whether Torre goes or stays, I suspect the winds of change will be blowing in the Bronx.

So, what's Bubba doing in the off-season? Haven't a clue, actually. I looked at some of the winter league sites, and didn't see his name. He has played winter ball in the past, though not regularly.

Here's a March 11, 2005 article from the New York Post:

Crosby Holds Hope Of Being Fourth OF

Bubba Crosby doesn't normally swing a bat after the season ends, but this past offseason was different.

Crosby was frozen out from hitting for as many as 19 days during the 2004 season and didn't want a repeat in 2005. So once the Yankees' postseason ended, Crosby worked out for three weeks at his Houston home and went to Puerto Rico to play winter ball for Ponce.

"I realized being the fifth outfielder, I was specifically a role player," Crosby said yesterday. "I was there for pinch-running purposes and defensive purposes.

"So I felt like I had kind of a lost a season offensively."

Determined to hone his swing, he trained up until Thanksgiving. He took a break when tendinitis flared up in his left elbow, but arrived here to work out on Feb. 13 — before the reporting date for pitchers and catchers.

So far, it has paid off. Five games into the Grapefruit League season, Crosby has a leg up on his backup outfield competition of Doug Glanville and Damian Rolls. After going 0-for-1 last night in the Yanks' 8-0 win over the Blue Jays, Crosby is batting .286 (4-for-14) with a homer and six RBIs.

He played in the Puerto Rican League, for the Ponce Lions. I found his stats. Only two games - dunno if the stats are incomplete, or if that's all he played (due to the tendonitis mentioned in the above article). Nice stats, though:

.444 .444 .444

He also had two stolen bases and two RBI. Not bad for only two games.

Then there's this Las Vegas Review-Journal article, from his minor league days.

Tuesday, April 16, 2002
Crosby bounces back from setbacks with 51s

Outfielder returns after hamstring injury, tough move up in '01

Making the progression from Double-A to Triple-A can be daunting, but at least outfielder Bubba Crosby had the chance to discover the differences when he was promoted to the 51s last August.

That experience, as well as winter ball in Venezuela, gave him an understanding of what to expect this season when he started in Las Vegas, the Los Angeles Dodgers' top farm club.

"I kind of got overpowered a little bit and humbled a lot when I first got here last year," Crosby said before Monday's game against Fresno at Cashman Field. "Balls got on me a lot quicker than I expected, and there were a few pitches out there that I didn't see that much of in Double-A.

"I think having the month out here last year and going and playing winter ball helped prepare me a lot for this year."

Crosby was the Dodgers' first-round pick of the 1998 draft, and he is listed by Baseball America as the organization's No. 24 prospect.

After working his way to Double-A last season, he batted .302 at Jacksonville, Fla. His promotion to Las Vegas was difficult, with a .214 average to underscore the leap. Crosby rejoined Jacksonville for the playoffs and went 5-for-13 for four RBIs.

With the 51s this season, Crosby has three hits in 12 at-bats, including going 1-for-3 on Monday.

"Seeing him in spring training and now, the talent he does have, you see it's there," 51s manager Brad Mills said. "You've just got to try to get him to be consistent and use the ability that he has. He can run, he has a chance to hit, he's got a good arm. So those types of things, you just try to utilize. You know he swings the bat well because of the numbers he's had in the past."

This season didn't begin the way Crosby had hoped because of a hamstring injury suffered in spring training. He went on the disabled list, and didn't come off until Saturday.

"It did set him back because he was late starting the season," Mills said. "I asked him today how he felt -- and he's played, what, two or three days in a row now -- and he said, `I felt like I ran a marathon.'"

The problem with hamstring injuries is they often linger.

"I'm glad it only took two weeks," Crosby said. "Hamstrings can take longer than that. I'm glad I'm playing now because it could've been a lot worse.

"I have some tightness. I've pulled my hamstring before, and it usually takes a couple of weeks after you actually get out there. It protects itself. I'd say I'm still maybe a week and a half or so from being right at game speed where I'd like to be."

Haven't found his Venezuelan League stats.

I did find that Hawai`i Winter Baseball has started up again. (I'm from Hawai`i.) Lots of Japanese players, as you might expect. Most of the players seem to be Single-A prospects.

And in other news...Joe Girardi interviewed with the Cubs today.

posted by BubbaFan, 6:52 PM


Add a comment