Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Hinske will be in uniform tonight, Ramiro Pena is being sent down to AAA where he'll get regular playing time. My first reaction is that I like this deal but I didn't look to carefully at the numbers yet.
Monday, June 29, 2009
While it may be a bit of a misnomer to call the 5'10", 155 lbs. lefty "big" in any sense of the word, I cannot help but be genuinely excited by his progress since signing out of Mexico last Spring. As a 17 year-old in the rookie level Gulf Coast League, Banuelos posted the following numbers last summer in twelve games (three starts):
4-1, 42 IP, 32 H, 13 BB, 37 K, .208 BAA, 2.57 ERA, 1.07 WHIP
Impressive doesn't quite cut it, to be perfectly honest. Elisaul Pimentel led the GCL in ERA in 2008, checking in at 2.41 - and he's nearly three years older than Banuelos. The diminutive lefty began 2009 in low Class-A. Check out his numbers thus far, through twelve starts:
5-3, 61 IP, 47 H, 14 BB, 57 K, .207 BAA, 2.51 ERA, 1.00 WHIP
Banuelos is currently sixth in the league in ERA - all five pitchers ahead of him are at least one year older (and two of which are three-plus years older). He is pitching well-ahead of even the most optimistic projections thus far, and I cannot help but think he can be even better with time - after all, he's only 18.
According to the Baseball America Prospect Handbook, Banuelos' fastball sits between 90 and 92 MPH, he changes speeds well, and he should develop a strong breaking ball. Other sources note that he has excellent command and the makings of a fantastic change-up.
First the game though, the Yankees jumped ahead quickly for what felt like the first time in ages. Jeter dismissed worries about his health right away with a leadoff double. Nick Swisher followed with what should have been an easy ground ball out. However, Daniel Murphy tried and failed to get Jeter at third instead. This set up a big Mark Teixeira double that drove in both Swisher and Jeter. Right away this gave them a 2-0 lead and they would get one more run that inning. It looked like the Yankees were going to run away with this one if Wang could just turn a decent outing. That was all the runs they would get though until the eighth when a combination of an error and walks would lead to K-Rod walking in Mariano for his first career RBI.
The Yankees blew several opportunities with men on base and could have scored more but the pitching was good enough for them to get away with it. Chien-Ming Wang turned in his third straight solid start and was good enough to get a win. He gave up nothing to the Mets until the fourth when they tagged him for two runs and really could have finished the sixth if it had not been a one run game at that point. What's important is that he got twelve ground balls, compared to only three fly balls and no line drives. That's vintage Wang right there. He needs to get deeper into games but he seems to have cemented his position in the rotation again and is gaining back some lose trust. The Yankees then attempted to piece together the rest of the game. The two Phils (Coke and Hughes) finished the sixth for Wang, Hughes would also pitch a scoreless seventh. The eighth was the only time the game really seemed in reach for the Mets. Brian Bruney would get two outs, however, he would also walk two and be forced to give way to Mariano Rivera. Mariano, of course, got out of the jam and pitched an uneventful ninth for his 500th save.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Jorge Arangure actually made the twitter post.
I also want to apologize for the missing recaps the past three days. I promise that win or lose I'll have one up tomorrow.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
Xavier Nady's season is over and next year is in question, too, the New York Post has learned.According to several teammates, the Yankees outfielder told them late Thursday night that his right elbow requires Tommy John surgery, a procedure that often takes 12-14 months recovery.Reached today, all Nady said was, "I am going to have a lot of time on my hands."Nady, a free agent at the end of the season, felt something in the elbow in the third inning of a Triple-A rehab game Thursday night and removed himself two innings later. He plans on being at Citi Field today and is scheduled to see Dr. Lewis Yocum in California. Yocum performed the same surgery on Nady in 2001.According to the Nady, "There was no reason to do tests" today."It's disappointing," said Joe Girardi, who didn't confirm that Nady needs surgery to repair a ligament that first bothered him April 14 and forced him from a game against the Rays. "I am more disappointed for him than I am the club. You would love to have him back. He has put a lot of time into this. I know how bad he wants to play."The fact that Nady, 30, is headed to Yocum told Girardi the problem is serious."My gut tells me it is injured again," Girardi said. "Him going to see Yocum tells me it's more than what he felt in Tampa."Though Girardi had Nady only for seven games (in which he hit .286 with two RBIs) and there was no guarantee of having him back at some point, quietly the Yankees were hoping to have Nady's right-handed bat to help out in right field, where switch-hitter Nick Swisher is playing every day.Now that won't happen. And though GM Brian Cashman said this week "a bat isn't needed," knowing that Nady isn't returning might change the Yankees' mind.Nady was acquired from the Pirates with lefty reliever Damaso Marte last July and batted .268 in 59 games. Marte is currently on the disabled list with an injured shoulder and nobody can predict when he will be back.
His line for the game:
6.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 WP, 11-2 GB/FB
His season numbers are looking great right now and Trenton is going to need a starter soon. Look for Bleich to get a promotion any day. It'll be interesting to see him tested against AA hitters.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Regardless, somebody is going to get a call up. Another possible effect, the obvious corresponding move to fill the hole in Trenton's rotation would be to promote Jeremy Bleich which is something I'd really love to see. This all just speculation though until something actually happens. They could just sign a random free agent instead.
For the first few innings it looked like we were going to be watching a pitcher's duel in which two or three runs might actually be enough. Not exactly though. The Braves pitcher, Kenshin Kawakami, was hit by a line drive by Joba and immeidately left the game. The Braves next pitcher, Kris Medlen, wasn't really any easier to hit though. In the fifth the tie was broken by a Jeff Franceour solo homer. It wasn't until the sixth that the Yankees finally broke up the perfect game with a seemingly unremarkable walk by Brett Gardner.
One problem I've had with Gardner on the basepaths this year is that he has a tendency to take to big of a lead. Pitchers know that he's going and he gets picked off more than he should. This was the case in last night's game. In what became the game defining play, Medlen fired a throw over to first, Gardner dove back, and the ump called him out. Replays showed he was safe and Girardi certainly thought he was safe but that's not how the ump saw it. Girardi went out their and got ejected, in the process firing up his team. I don't know if that really matters or not but the Yankees definitely seemed more animated today. The next batter, Fransisco Cervelli, hit the first home run of his career to tie it up and the rally would only continue. After singles by Jeter and Damon and a walk of Teixeira A-Rod had the chance to prove a point. As he often does in situations like that, he came through with the big hit and gave Joba a lead to work with. The Yankees would go on to tack on more runs with a Nick Swisher, who was almost benched for the game, home run and more by capitalizing on some mistakes by Atlanta in the later innings.
After the A-Rod hit though, the pitching took over. Joba was very strong through his first six innings. The only run he gave up was on a solo home run to Jeff Franceour and had five strikeouts. What was especially ecnouraging was the fact that he walked none. That's been his biggest problem this year. He was still shaking off Fransisco Cervelli but when he pitches like that, who cares? He did seem to tire though in the seventh. He gave up one earned run in that inning and another unearned run before giving way to Phil Coke who got out of the jam. Bruney almost gave it up in the 8th but Mariano came in and restored order.
Another big game today If they can get a win with Pettitte against Derrek Lowe then they may be ready to go on another one of those winning streak things. They won with the liveblog so for now I guess it stays. Hopefully this time comments will actually work.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
- Nady is starting in the AAA rightfield tonight. I imagine he'll be back quite soon if the Yankees don't start hitting.
- The Yankees had a long overdue team meeting last night. Apparently Mark Teixeira spoke out. If he's already a leader in the clubhouse, as this would indicate, its going to be a good eight years with him in the Bronx.
- Jose Veras was traded to the Indians. All they got in return was cash. Dissapointing considering what they could have gotten a couple months ago but what are you gonna do?
Pitching: RHP Joba Chamberlain (3-2, 3.89).
Pitching: RHP Kenshin Kawakami (4-6, 4.42)
TIME/TV: 7:05 p.m., YES, ESPN2.
Hughes also pitched extremely well again. I'm sure he's keeping Wang on a short leash. He's been just dominating and his numbers are all around very good. Its only a matter of time before somebody gets hurt and Hughes finds his spot in the rotation. I don't think Phil is ever going back to Scranton at this point. He's been the rare bright spot during the Yankees downward spiral.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, tonight during Joba's start we will be resurrecting the liveblog. I assume we'll start around game time, 7:00. Feel free to join us.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Berroa is still milking the ROTY award he stole back in 2003. That's only possible explanation I can see for the fact that anybody would have him as anything other than a minor league filler guy. He serves absolutely no purpose. He can't field at third base, the only spot he's played at this year and C.C. Sabathia would be more productive as a hitter than him. The best way to illustrate how bad he's been is that he hasn't posted a positive WAR since that rookie year in 2003. He just takes playing time away from Ramiro Pena, who at least is good in the field. I'm sure he'll be gone soon as Xavier Nady makes his way back from injury but its annoying for me to see a guy with no value on the ML team while John Rodriguez and Shelley Duncan mash in AAA. John Rodriguez in particular has consistently posted excellent numbers in AAA over the past few years and hit well in his brief ML time. I would love to see him get a shot.
Brett Tomko's presence makes a bit more sense but not much. He has a career of mediocore starting behind him at least rather than complete futility, got unlucky last year on balls in play, and dominated AAA. However, he's proven pretty clearly he can't get ML hitters out this year. I thought he would be gone in a matter of hours after his game blowing performance against the Marlins. Apparently not though. He's been really bad. He can't even keep a team in the game and give them innings if a starter comes out early as his most recent job indicated. With so many former starters in the bullpen, they don't need a guy that give them mop-up innings. So, why not call up Claggett or Melancon, hell even Edwar is working his way back into a ML job somewhere. If they're desperate for a long man, Sergio Mitre makes sense.
The Yankees are always slow to cut away guys that aren't producing. Why? I have no idea but they'd do well to replace these two.
Monday, June 22, 2009
First, lets look at some FIP's for the rotation.
Sabathia has been the only reliable pitcher for the Yankees throughout the year. He would face no challenge to his spot but now he's hurt. We don't know how bad it is. He claims he will make his next start but Girardi isn't quite so sure. Obviously, we hope he can make the start against the Mets. I have no problem with C.C though.
Well, can you believe it? Joba's beent he Yankees second best pitcher. With the way I've heard people talking, I'd though he had suddenly turned into Sidney Ponson and his destroyed, hopeless career could only be salvaged coming out of the bullpen. No, Joba's just a young guy who's going to go through struggles before emerging into the ace he can become. For now though, he's still a solid pitcher who anybody would be happy with at the back-end of the rotation if everybody else was doing their job. You guys know my stance of Joba, if he started challenging guys more and shaking Posada off less, he could take a big step forward.
Before his last start, Pettitte had a lot of people worried, including myself. We were hearing whispers about back problems and not seeing many results. However, his last start was about as dominant as Pettitte will be for what's left of his career. I expect Pettitte's numbers to get a bit bettter as the season goes on. I also think that Girardi and co. are going to try and keep him away from Yankee Stadium as much as possible. His numbers are vastly better on the road than at home and I think that would be a big help to him.
Burnett is not the guy I wanted in the offseason. He had never been the ace some people made him out to be and I still have big injury concerns about him. Watching Burnett nibble and give up runs is painful when Derrek Lowe, who's sinker ball style seems tailor made for Yankee Stadium, has an FIP of 3.42 for the Braves. Burnett's not going to be this bad though. His problem is his ridiculous walk totals. Like Joba, he's a flamethrower that needs to trust his stuff and through the ball in the strikezone. I assume that Eiland, Posada, or Girardi will notice this before long if they haven't already. I'm not positive but I think he's generally better in the second half anyway so I'm sure he'll be all right.
At this point in the season, we have to start considering the possibility that Wang sucks. He's shown very little signs of being the pitcher he was before his injury and I think this next start is going to be his last for a long time unless he can put together a good outing. However, their are encouraging signs. He finally gave the Yankees a quality start last time out and I'm hoping he may have turned a corner. If they could get him going again it would be a huge boost to this team and could trigger a turnaround. Big start for Wang coming up.
So what can the Yankees really do? I guess Wang will get one more start and if he gets hit hard again he'll make way for Phil Hughes. What about the others though? Its tough to see them yanking Burnett from the rotation and anybody else wouldn't really make much sense. We'll jut have to hope that they can magically start pitching better.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
BTW happy father's day.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
The Yankees have been after him hard for a while now so I'm sure they're happy about this.
UPDATE, 6:13 p.m.: Mark Teixeira just left BP after fouling a ball off that glanced off the cage and caught him in a bad place. No word on whether he’ll stay in the lineup yet.
UPDATE, 7:10 p.m.: We’re underway here in Miami. Teixeira remains in the lineup. I guess you can say he’s showing a lot of … um … fortitude.
For once the offense actually got ahead early as well. I know, shocking. Everybody in the lineup got a hit, including a big double from Pettitte. Jeter's long double in the first really set the tone for the whole game. Michael Kay kept repeating that it felt like a blowout but wasn't and he was right. The lack of hitting with RISP kept it interesting but five runs was enough for tonight. The Yankees needed a win like this one after nearly blowing three straight series, with only a couple of those games being blowouts.
Friday, June 19, 2009
"Not only the Bronx, but anywhere. I think anywhere is a possibility. You always have to keep that in the back of your mind because you can't just be one-sided and think that, "Oh, I'm going to be in a Red Sox uniform my entire career" because nowadays that is very, very rare and hopefully we can because there's no question I would love to stay in a Boston Red Sox uniform but I have to do what's best for me and play in an atmosphere where I'm wanted."
Who says we want you here?
Instead they've ended up with one of the highest team ERA's in baseball and have become increasingly reliant on a bullpen ranging from mediocore to bad. Mostly bad. Of the four "aces" the Yankees had only C.C. has delivered in any sense of the word. Burnett and Joba have been dissapointingly mediocore and nobody can seem to figure out what's wrong with Wang. Meanwhile, Pettitte appears to running on fumes, Kennedy is hurt, and Hughes, Coke, and Aceves have become the only trustworthy relievers the Yankees have.
So why the sudden turn of events? The Yankees power pitchers are nibbling at the strikezone. Other than C.C., all of the Yankees pitchers have unusually high walk rates. Pettitte's is the highest of his career, Burnett is rivaling and sometimes even topping his earliest years when he was a young flamethrower for the Marlins, Joba has added over a full BB/9 over last year, and I'm not even going to mention Wang's numbers until next year if I can help it. Burnett has the highest BB/9 among qualifying pitchers in the AL. However, if Joba or Wang qualified then both of them would be ahead of him. Pettitte is also among league leaders which is especially bad news for him.
My theory is that pitchers are afraid of the ballpark. They see the ridiculous home run totals and are afraid of giving them up, so they do their best Mike Mussina impression and nibble. For Burnett and Joba who are capable of throwing mid 90's fastballs this is one of the worst mistakes they could make. Burnett and Joba just need to relax and do what they do best. Sure, they'll give up some homers but the other guy will to. When you walk in a run with the bases loaded though, that pisses me off. If they can get Wang right, he'll be fine. Obviously, its tough to hit a groundball home run. The only guy that I see no solution for is Andy Pettitte. If he throws strikes, guys are going to crush his 88 mph fastball and throwing balls is, generally speaking, a bad idea. If the other three guys are on track though then they should be able to keep him away from the stadium. I don't really think that the Yankees pitching woes are a result of a lack of talent so much as a poor approach. I think with some work, Dave Eiland and Joe Girardi can turn this stadium into an advantage.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Joba Chamberlain muddled his way through six innings. He wasn't great but he got by. His control was off and, again, he seemed to be shaking off his catcher a lot. He gave the Yankees a chance to win though. If you're starter goes six innings and gives up only three runs against the Nationals. You should win. Particularly when your bullpen doesn't give up any runs and you're facing a pitcher with an ERA approaching six. Not to mention their bullpen.
However, the Yankees didn't show a single sign of life until the seventh when they nearly scored on a handful of hits. That impossible dream was killed by an incredible catch made to prevent what would have been a sure double by A-Rod. I know all about the Fucking Fallacy of the Goddamned Preditermined Outcome (FFOFGPO) but its easy to imagine them scoring a couple runs that inning and going on to win the game. Then in the bottom of the ninth they showed some signs of life with a leadoff hit, followed by a near walk turned double play from Nick Swisher and a flyout from Matsui.
I really don't feel like getting all that detailed analyzing this game. It was a microsm of the series, or even the whole season. They do nothing for six innings and show to little to late at the end of the game. Had Luis Castillo not misplayed a certain pop fly, they would be looking at three straight series losses against the Red Sox, Mets, and Nationals. It doesn't get much worse than that. Its still early but I'd like to see the Yankees start a turnaround before things start spiraling out of control.
- Gardner CF
- Damon LF
- Teixeira 1B
- Rodriguez 3B
- Cano 2B
- Swisher RF
- Matsui DH
- Cervelli C
- Pena SS
4.0 IP, 2 ER/Dec = ND
- Guzman SS
- Johnson 1B
- Zimmerman 3B
- Dunn DH
- Kearns RF
- Patterson CF
- Harris LF
- Belliard 2B
- Nieves C
6/12 at TAM
5.1 IP, 2 ER/Dec = ND
So, I want to take this moment to appreciate the Yankees MVP, Mark Teixeira. He's given us gold glove level defense and silver slugger worthy offense. He doesn't have Alex Rodriguez's flair for the dramatic but last night really was a great example of the type of player he is. He made a great play on defense that could have saved an extra base hit and almost started a rally to win the game in the 9th. A quietly excellent producer who everybody kind of forgot about after his April struggles. Worth every penny, at least so far.
Wang pitched fine for once. He kept the Yankees in the game and I assume he will get another start (against the Braves?) but I already adressed Wang's performance. The bullpen also came through big. Phil Hughes continued to establish himself as a reliable bullpen arm with another two shutout innings. In the bullpen he can rely solely on his fastball and curveball rather than being forced to rely on his weaker pitches like his changeup and cutter.
So that's it for the pitching, the real problem was the incredible lack of offense. For the first eight innings nothing happened. Robinson Cano (who may be starting to heat up a bit) hit a solo homer for their only run but besides that they didn't give Yankees fans much to root for, A-Rod got some boos but that's not even notable anymore. Of course, as these Yankees always seem to do. They came alive in the 9th. Johnny Damon led off the inning with a home run to bring the score to 3-2. Thus waking up all of the sleeping Yankee fans at the stadium and nearly inciting a comeback win. Mark Teixeira hit a single with one out and Brett Gardner pinch ran for him. After two stolen bases Gardner ended up on third for Alex Rodriguez with only one out. Instead of getting teh walkoff home run everybody at the stadium was expecting though, he works a walk. Setting up a game ending double play from Robinson Cano.
Another ugly loss but at 1:00 today they have a chance to reverse that. Win today and everybody forgets about it.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Not a really great start but it marks a huge improvement for Wang and if he can turn things around, this start is going to be remembered as the first step in the right direction. He was a borderline ace a year ago and its tough to give up on him.
Now hopefully the Yanks have another late innings come back in them tonight.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
C. C. Sabathia turned in another nice start today. The only mistake he made was the home run he gave up to Anderson Hernandez. However, he went deep into the game again and gave up only three runs. It was a long time before he gave up his one walk of the night. The only concern I have is that he only K'ed two guys. So far C. C. has been good and a big innings eater. However, not the ace we have hoped for. Hopefully, he will repeat his second half surge of last year, to some degree. The return of Brian Bruney to get the last out of the eighth was notable and Mariano turned in a typical 1-2-3 inning for the save.
Cano hasn't been hitting lately much at all lately but today may mark the start of a turnaround. If he could get going it would be huge for the Yankees and any time a guy goes 4-4 its a good day. His double at the end of the game essentially put the game away. Texeira also made some nice stretches in the field in contrast to his Washinton counterpart, Nick Johnson, and blasted a HIGH double to left center.
All in all, a nondescript win for the Yankees but still a if they lost it would have put them three behind Boston. Nobody wants to blow the series opener against Washington at home either.
- Jeter SS
- Damon LF
- Teixeira 1B
- Rodriguez 3B
- Cano 2B
- Posada C
- Matsui DH
- Swisher RF
- Cabrera CF
6/11 at BOS
7.0 IP, 4 ER/Dec = Loss
- Guzman DH
- Johnson 1B
- Zimmerman 3B
- Dukes CF
- Dunn LF
- Kearns RF
- Gonzalez SS
- Nieves C
- Hernandez 2B
6/10 vs CIN
7.0 IP, 2 ER/Dec = ND
Monday, June 15, 2009
The Yankees pitching staff, thought to be a strength heading into 2009, has been among the worst in Major League Baseball thus far. Both the bullpen and the rotation have experienced significant struggles, and there appears to be a dire lack of "sure things" in either. Rivera has faltered, Sabathia has been up and down, and everyone between the team's two aces has been hurt, inconsistent, or both.
In my mind, the rotation will sort itself out. The Yankees Major League roster has seven pitchers capable of starting, with Wang, Hughes, and Aceves deserving a look for the fifth and final spot. Personally, I would like to see Hughes there (as I believe he is ready, and needs to take his lumps). Wang's velocity would be up in the bullpen, and he would have more time to work on his mechanics, and Aceves has proven to be very valuable in high-leverage situations.
The bullpen, then, is my concern. I believe that Melancon and Robertson need to stay on the roster, and Veras needs to go. I do see another pitcher that should get a look, though, that has skirted under the radar - and that is the titular Alan Horne.
Horne has been in the Yankees organization for four seasons now, and has been ineffective for three. He is injury-prone and inconsistent, and his stuff has suffered a bit following his second major arm-surgery last season. At 26, this trend is unlikely to reverse itself, leaving Horne's value as minimal, at best. I believe that, much like Phil Coke, Horne could be a very good reliever.
For those of you that don't know much about Horne, he is a power pitcher, and his mechanics leave him very prone to injury. At the same time, though, this makes him an ideal reliever. His velocity peaks at 95 in the rotation, his power slider and hard curve have been rated between average and plus, and he has a surprisingly effective change-up. He struggles with control at times, and his fastball sits below 90 at times. In the bullpen, Horne's velocity would likely increase, he would be less likely to strain himself with high pitch-counts, and he may be able to help the team fairly soon.
In the end, there's no real reason not to make the move with Horne. I dislike giving up on starting pitchers, but Horne has fallen behind several other prospects, and it seems unlikely that he will be able to right the ship at 26. That being said, he has the stuff to be a light's-out reliever, and it could very well save his career.
Its pretty obvious that some players are just not getting the job done and their are other guys languishing away in the minor leagues, waiting for a shot. Jose Veras, Phil Coke (more on him later), and Brett Tomko have just been awful. Replacing them with a few guys that can actually pitch would go a long way towards solving our bullpen issues.
First of all, we have the obvious. Brian Bruney will make his return tomorrow and if he can pitch anything like he did last year and the start of this year, he will quickly find his way back to the eight inning role (although I could change my mind tomorrow on that). I have high hopes for Bruney and believe that he, not Melancon or Joba, will be the next Yankees closer. His fastball velocity has steadily been rising over the years and at 27, is in the prime of his career.
Next is Mark Melancon to most Yankees fans he is the heir apparent to Mariano Rivera. I was calling for his promotion last September and now I definitely think he's ready. He didn't really get much of a shot in his brief ML stint this year but I think with time he will establish himself as a reliable cog in that bullpen. Anthony Claggett and Edwar Ramirez would also be in line for this spot.
Finally, we need a guy that can go multiple innings to take Tomko's place. That guy, for me, is Sergio Mitre. He has two good starts under his belt now in AAA and about nine innings of A ball in which he posted an FIP of 2.45. In his last ML stint in Florida, since then he's been hurt, he posted a deceptively high, but still solid, ERA of 4.65. I say deceptively high because his FIP was two ticks under four.
I doubt Coke will go because his ERA is low and he has earned Girardi's trust but Tomko and Veras for Mitre and Bruney would be an excellent trade off. I really don't care how good Veras' stuff is, he doesn't get outs and that's the bottom line.
BTW, this is the 1,000th post on the Chuck Knoblog. Its come a long way since I first joined Charlie and Nate back in August of last year and even longer since Nate launched the latest and greatest unnecesary Yankees blog. Its been great and I hope we can keep going for another 1,000 posts.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
A.J. Burnett finally showed fans why he's getting paid all that money. Anytime your starter goes seven innings without giving up a run, you've got to be happy. Other than the top of the third he really had no trouble at all. That one inning ended up being huge though. If you remember, the score was 4-0 at the time and A.J. loaded the bases with nobody out. Had he given it away their, then he might have been out the game early this post might be lamenting the horrorshow that is Brett Tomko. He got through it though with two of his eight K's and gave the Yankees the length they needed so desperately today.
We then got treated to two pitchers who deserve to be a much bigger part of the bullpen then they currently are. David Robertson and Phil Hughes combined for two shutout innings with 2 K's each and no BB's. Tomorrow is an off day and the Yankees will look forward to a series against the Nationals, in which a sweep is a real possibility if Chien Ming Wang can find himself in what probably amounts to a last chance for him.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
- Papelbon didn't jackoff/fistpump once!
- Brett Tomko didn't give up a single run!
- Chien Ming Wang's ERA is down all the way to 14.34
- Mo didn't blow a save!
- No Jobber to the bullpen controversy!
- Ortiz doesn't hit anybody else anymore!
- Soon Brad Penny will be replaced in Boston's rotation by John Smoltz.
- Kei Igawa is dominating AAA.
- Carl Pavano is finally healthy and pitching well!
- We had an opportunity to draft Tanner Scheppers!
They have until August before they play Boston again. By that time this team is going to look a lot different. They need to figure things out by then. I really hate to find myself agreeing with Steve Lombardi, but these Yankees don't look like they can handle the AL's top teams. I mean, David Ortiz is getting hits against us. Hopefully, they can just go out and get a win tomorrow.
- Jeter SS
- Damon LF
- Teixeira 1B
- Rodriguez 3B
- Cano 2B
- Swisher RF
- Matsui DH
- Cabrera CF
- Cervelli C
8.0 IP, 4 ER/Dec = ND
- Pedroia 2B
- Drew RF
- Youkilis 1B
- Bay LF
- Lowell 3B
- Ortiz DH
- Varitek C
- Baldelli CF
- Green SS
5.2 IP, 5 ER/Dec = Loss
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Its really inexplicable for me. We know why they're getting hits/runs off of him. The Pitch F/X data clearly shows his sinker isn't sinking and that his control is off. Why though? How does somebody who was so good just a year ago come to this, at age 29? This is a major concern for the Yankees going forward. I really don't think he's done. I have to imagine that he's hurt or something because a guy like that just doesn't forget how to pitch. However, he's given us plenty of a reason to worry. Not to be overly dramatic, but Wang's next start is huge for him. If he fails again, expect another DL trip for him.
Wang coming up with Cano in 2005 was a big part of forcing the Yankees move to rebuilding their farm system. I've always loved watching him pitch and have defended him as much as I possibly could in past years to doubters. The Yankees have to be close to pushing the panic button on him though.
- Slade Heathcott, CF
- John Murphy, C
- Adam Warren, RHP
- Caleb Cotham, RHP
- Robert Lyerly, 3B
- Sean Black, RHP
- Samuel Elam, LHP
- Gavin Brooks, LHP
- Tyler Lyons, LHP
- Neil Medchill, LF
- Brett Gerritse, RHP
- Deangelo Mack, LF
- Graham Stoneburner, RHP
- Shane Green, RHP
- Bryan Mitchell, RHP
- Chad Thompson, RHP
In short, I believe that the direction the Yankees have chosen for the draft is fantastic. Great pitching is much harder to come by than great hitting - particularly on the market. The demand for pitching is much higher than the demand for hitting, and the cost of pitching is greater than the cost of hitting. At the core of this is the fact that the attrition rate of pitching is much greater than that of hitters. Most of the well-known busts of the last dozen years or so have been pitchers, and most of the successful teams over that time have developed most of their pitching.
The Yankees began that route in 2006 (with a remarkable draft that included Ian Kennedy, Joba Chamberlain, Zach McAllister, George Kontos, Dellin Betances, Mark Melancon, and David Robertson), and have continued it with this draft, with eleven pitchers drafted thus far. While the Sabathia and Burnett signings run counter to this strategy, let's not forget that Wang and Chamberlain are in the rotation, Hughes is set to take over for Pettitte, and the bullpen is mostly homegrown. By the time Sabathia and Burnett are done in pinstripes (for whatever reason), the Yankees should have the depth to make up for their losses.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
- Derek Jeter SS
- Johnny Damon DH
- Mark Teuxeira 1B
- Alex Rodriguez 3B
- Robinson Cano 2B
- Jorge Posada C
- Nick Swisher LF
- Melky Cabrera RF
- Brett Gardner CF
6/02 vs TEX/7.0 IP, 3 ER
Dec = Win
- Dustin Pedroia 2B
- J.D. Drew RF
- Kevin Youkilis 1B
- Jason Bay LF
- Mike Lowell 3B
- David Ortiz DH
- Jason Varitek C
- Mark Kotsay CF
- Nick Green SS
6/03 at DET
7.2 IP, 0 ER/Dec = Win
Personally, I'm going to have to go with the same hopes as Nomaas. Joseph in the first round and Renfroe in the second. I know you go best player available but I'm concerned about what comes after Posada's done which won't be long now. Montero is crushing the ball right now but who knows if he can stay behind the plate. Besides, this year's pick in unprotected and I don't want to see them lose it on a guy like Purke. I wouldn't object to Heathcott or a similar outfielder though. David Renfroe would be a steal in the second round. This organization lacks a true SS prospect. Carmen Angelini has been a bust of the worst kind and Ramiro Pena can't hit for his life. I'll probably be over at RAB and Nomaas for most of the draft so feel free to join me there.
EDIT 7:46 PM: I've had a sudden change of heart. Scheppers is my guy.
Monday, June 8, 2009
- Jeter SS
- Damon LF
- Teixeira 1B
- Rodriguez 3B
- Cano 2B
- Posada C
- Matsui DH
- Swisher RF
- Cabrera CF
- Upton CF
- Crawford LF
- Longoria 3B
- Pena 1B
- Aybar 2B
- Zobrist SS
- Dillon DH
- Kapler RF
- Hernandez C
Sunday, June 7, 2009
What was interesting about today was that nobody really stood out. Alfredo Aceves was the player of the game which can really sum things up. Joba had a good start but faltered towards the end, as young pitchers often do. Three runs in six innings is nothing to sneeze at. However, its not dominating like his last start. Nick Swisher hit a solo shot in the third and nearly made a very nice play in the field. Melky Cabrera's diving catch was also a big moment. However, this was really a team effort.
The big rally came in the bottom of the eighth but it lacked a big hero. With one out and nobody on Damon got things started with a single and Mark Texeira followed things with another hit. Thus setting the stage for Alex Rodriguez. In very un-A-Rod like fashion though he laid off some bad breaking balls and worked a walk. Robinson Cano showed some of his newfound plate disciplince and walked in a run. The next two runs were really a function of some good luck for the Yankees. On a possible DP ball, Akiniori Iwamura booted a ball and let everybody reach safely. This gave Hideki Matsui a shot against J.P. Howell to beat out a double play attempt that would have been an inning ending ground out other wise. That was the end of the scoring for the Yanks but one run was enough for Mariano today.
All this gave Joe Girardi his 200th win as a manager and with a Boston loss today they are now barely in sole possession of first place by a half of a game. The Yankees aren't blowing people away but they're still winning.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Friday, June 5, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009
- Jeter SS
- Swisher RF
- Teixeira 1B
- Rodriguez DH
- Posada C
- Cano 2B
- Cabrera LF
- Berroa 3B
- Gardner CF
Dec = ND
5/25 vs TAM/5.0 IP, 0 ER
Dec = Win
Hopefully, this would not be a permanent move for Phil but it makes sense in the short term for a few reasons which I'll adress in quick and easy bulleted form.
- He clearly has nothing left to prove in AAA. Minor leaguers are helpless against him and their's nothing left to learn from that level. This way he can build up his innings totals and still get valuable ML experience.
- Wang had been one of the best pitchers in baseball for three years straight before getting hurt last year. Since he's come back he seems to have found himself again and does not belong wasting away in the bullpen.
- Hughes has been mediocore thus far in the rotation. He has shown flashes of greatness but, like most 23 year olds, has been inconsistent. Their is no reason to believe he is any better than any of the Yankees' other five starters right now.
- The bullpen needs some help from somewhere. Having another guy, in addition to Aceves, that can go multiple innings in a big spot would be huge. Hughes has been mediocore in the rotation but mediocore starters often dominate in the bullpen.
Keep in mind, this would be a very temporary solution. Somebody will get hurt eventually and Hughes can then switch back into the rotation. Even if nobody gets hurt, this would be a one year solution until a spot opens up next year. Its worth a shot and I think it would solve a lot of the Yankees' problems. Thoughts?
With roughly one-third of the season on the books, we are at an awkward point in terms of gauging what needs to be done. While each player has over one-hundred games left to turn himself around, this first chunk of the season provides a fair sample size for projection, with some accounting for regressions and progressions. Given that the bullpen's performance declined after the All-Star Break last season, I believe that it is reasonable to say that some change is necessary.
- Mariano Rivera - Well, duh.
- Alfredo Aceves - I trust Aceves in high-leverage situations. He's smart, and his starting experience should allow him to come in at any point in the game and pitch for however long is necessary. I view him as a less erratic Ramiro Mendoza.
- Edwar Ramirez - Inconsistent, but effective against righties and lefties. Notwithstanding Girardi using him for 3.1 IP on 9 May, Ramirez has been excellent since the end of April.
- David Robertson - Great in the minors, he has nothing left to prove at Triple-A.
- Jose Veras - He has a 5.90 ERA since August 2008, and has been awful in every situation thus far this season. While his stuff is solid, the Yankees appear to have much better options.
- Damaso Marte - While bad luck is partially to blame for his struggles, Marte hasn't done much to encourage Yankees fans, either. Between his lack of production and Girardi's inconsistent use of him, this may be addition by subtraction.
- Jonathan Albaladejo - He has middling stuff, middling control, and a fairly extensive injury history. His lack of results make this a fairly easy decision.
- Brett Tomko - Tomko is a decent option to have in the minors, but he doesn't belong on a major league roster - particularly one with Wang and Aceves... and even one with just Aceves.
The Final Two:
- Mark Melancon - While I think he could still use a bit of seasoning at Triple-A, I also believe that he is better than at least three pitchers currently on the roster. It's just a matter of time, I suppose.
- Phil Coke - I see him and Ramirez as nearly interchangeable, with Coke having a higher upside. I prefer Ramirez for the time being, as Coke is less consistent, but I believe there is a great deal of value in having both, due to their effectiveness against righties and lefties.
- Brian Bruney - He's injured now, and I didn't list him as a keeper due to his injury history and bouts with inconsistency. That being said, a healthy Bruney has the chance to be a fantastic set-up reliever, and with a bit of health he'll find himself right below Rivera.
- Kei Igawa - The Yankees need to get their value somehow... Igawa's been very good in the minors, and seems to be strong his first time through a line-up.
I didn't consider Hughes or Wang here, as I believe that Hughes will head down when Wang is deemed healthy (and justifiably so). I hope to see Hughes fill Pettitte's spot in the rotation in 2010, and I think consistent work at Triple-A will be better than inconsistent relief appearances in working towards that goal.
In the end, I think the Yankees could be very strong with a six-man bullpen. Things are questionable after Rivera, but I have faith in the talents of those pitchers that I want to keep around, and think they can help the Yankees immensely with a bit of consistency.