Monday, June 30, 2008

Prelude to a Deal

Brett Gardner is headed for the Bronx. The fleet-footed OF was called up by the Yanks yesterday.

It's possible that with Hmat out and Damon old, they just want to have another OF option.

As Gardner is NOT coming up to sit, however it is far more likely that the Yanks are giving him a look to see if he can handle major league pitching before making a deal involving Melky.

There may have been talks started, or Cashman is just anticipating the market. Either way, I think the timing of Gardner's call-up is a sign that Melky's days in pinstripes may be numbered.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Yankees Shouldn't Give up On Edwar

Admittedly Edwar Ramirez has looked a bit lost lately. The double he gave up to Delagado on Friday was the beginning of the end and his June Stats are pretty awful - 9IP 9hits 6bb 12ks. His stuff has not looked as crisp as early on in the season and players are sitting on his change. What can't be forgotten is the way he started the year and the flashes of domination he has shown. People are excited about the arrival of David Robertson and rightfully so; his minor league numbers are sick 136 ip 187ks .92 whip and a 1.12 era. But guess what? Edwar's might be better 56ip 102ks .85 whip and a .79 era in 2007.

He also showed two months of perfection in the majors so its not like his stuff doesn't translate at all to the big league level. His problem has been consistency which is to be expected with a young player. It appears as soon as Edwar has a little trouble his confidence crumbles and he starts to move away from using his fastball. Giradi and co need to be patient with Edwar and let him develop into what I think he could be - a very effective 7th inning pitcher.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ponson Serves up a Little Fool's Gold

There are very few questions that Sidney Ponson is the right answer to. Who can fill a long term void in the Yankee rotation is certainly not one of those questions. He got the Yankees through some innings yesterday while avoiding any damage but he was far from impressive. David Cone even said " Looks like the same Sidney Ponson we have always seen." And who is he?
2007-6.93 era
2006-6.25
2005-6.21
2004-5.30
He also holds a career whip of 1.466. Ponson is no answer and lets hope the Yankees realize that. Personally, I would rather give Giese or Rasner the chance to turn it around and send Sir Sidney packing.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Top 10 Pitchers in Baseball

My blog co-author and I went through an exercise where we picked the pitchers from other teams we would most like to have for the Yanks. While (of course) we don't really agree, below is my list of the top 10 pitchers I would like to have.

First, I discounted National League pitchers some. I figure that the difference in line-ups and the DH inflates AL pitcher's ERA and likewise deflates an NL pitcher's ERA about a half a run each; so an AL pitcher with a 4 era would have a 3.50 in the NL, and an NL pitcher with a 4 ERA would have a 4.50 in the AL. A look at Roger Clemens' numbers is a good place to start when judging this.

For pitchers like Jake Peavy (2.54 in '07 and 2.88 so far in '08) Brandon Webb (3.24 career ERA) and Tim Lincecum (2.54 this year) it doesn't exclude them from the list, but they fall due to this league adjustment.

Another consideration is what I call pressure performance. Having some post season success was also factored into the equation. Many pitchers have come to the Yanks only to see their performance fall apart under the bright lights of NYC and pressure of being a Yankee (this applies to guys like Burnett and Bedard).

I have also included a subjective discount for those pitchers I deem an injury or performance risk (CC and Oswalt, for example).

Youth is an obvious positive, but a having proven their skill is paramount (meaning pitchers like Volquez don't make the cut).

Some of those not making the top 10 -

Joshy (Blisters) Beckett - No, this is not simply a case of hating anyone calling Fenway home. The last 7 seasons Beckett's ERA+ has been 98, 138, 108, 118, 95, 145, 115. One very good to excellent year followed by a rather ordinary year. Until and unless Blisters can show consistent dominance he will not make this list.

Roy Oswalt - In addition to being over 30, Oswalt has only had 2 seasons (out of 8) where he struck out 200 batters. He is still a very good pitcher, but I don't want a guy whose best statistical performance was 7 years ago.

Cole Hamels and Tim Lincecum- Will both make the list with 1 or 2 more seasons like last.

Ben Sheets - Much like Harden (injuries), but has spent his career in the pitcher-friendly NL.

All of that being said, my 10 :

10. Erik Bedard - At age 28 Bedard had his first truly great season last year. 221 Ks in 182 IP and a 1.088 WHIP in the AL East. Bedard's ERA has gone from 4.00 to 3.76 to 3.16 the past 3 years.

9. Rich Harden - If he could only stay healthy! In 531 career IP he has 514 Ks and only 432 hits allowed with a 3.42 ERA. This year at age 26, Harden has allowed 47 hits and has 83 Ks in 67 ip.

8. Roy Halliday - The 2 things keeping Doc from being higher on the list is his age (31) and some injury issues. Aside from that, Doc is definitely one of the top 5 pitchers in baseball.

7. Jake Peavy - Being a NL guy with the majority of his starts in spacious Petco Park and other cavernous NL west stadiums, and pitching (pretty poorly) in only 2 post season games keeps Peavy down a little at #7.

6. CC Sabathia - Still only 27, CC is a workhorse. Failing to make 30 starts only once in his career (28 in 2006) I am a little concerned about the combination of high innings and a bad body. In 2006 CC threw 192 innings; in 2007 (including the playoffs) that number ballooned to 251 for an increase of 59 innings year over year. When coupled with his rough start to 2008, I believe some caution is called for.

5. Scott Kazmir - Still only 24, the lefty lead the AL with 239 strikeouts, allowed only 196 hits in 206 innings and has a career 3.49 ERA pitching in the AL east. To top it off, Kaz has dominated the Red Sox with a 2.82 ERA and 123 ks in 105 ip. The only negative to Kaz is a career 1.356 whip.

4. Felix Hernandez - King Felix has allowed 562 hits in 573 innings with an ERA of 3.73...and he's still only 22!! The pressure on hm to be an ace from the time he was 20 has made him mentally tough enough to handle NY.

3. Johan Santana - Has been the best pitcher in baseball the past 4 years pitching in the AL. Only minus is a downward trend in some key numbers and a very high HR rate.

2. John Lackey - At this point quite possibly the most underrated pitcher in baseball. 29 years old, an ERA+ of 123, 128, 151 and 239 the past 4 years, a 3.63 post season ERA and 33 starts per year like clockwork. The ONLY negatives to Lackey are a career 6.27 ERA vs the Red Sox and a fairly pedestrian 7.20 k/9.


1. Brandon Webb - Also 29, Webb has a career ERA+ of 143. Webb's dominant sinker produces a career gb/fb rate of 3.71 and translates well in any league. Webb is a more effective CMW with much better K numbers.


Did I leave anyone out? Is my ranking just off-the-charts wrong? Let me know your thoughts.

A Diamond in the Rough

The Yanks signed Alfredo Aceves out of the Mexican League as a 24 year old coming off of an 11-5, 3.64 season in which he allowed 96 hits in 106 innings.

So far this year between A Tampa and AA Trenton, Aceves is 6-3 with a 1.95 ERA. He has allowed only 69 hits in 97 innings while allowing a .201 batting average against.

According to PeteAbe -

Brian Cashman and his people can’t stop talking about him...Aceves could in the big league rotation after the break.

As Darrell Rasner seems to be coming down to earth a little, and Dan Geise is a major question mark, an Aceves sighting after the break may be realistic.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sign Her Up!



It's not real, but still pretty cool!

Hat tip to Deadspin

Monday, June 23, 2008

Windmill Willie

First of all, Willie is one of my all-time favorites. Because of that, I have not been rooting for the Muts to fail these past 4 years. Now that the Mets have yet again proven their lack of class and ability to handle a situation properly I hope they go the rest of the season without winning a game.

While I don't believe that Willie would accept a position on Gen. Joe's staff, I do think the Yanks should put Willie back in pinstripes, let him don his #30 and somehow have him make an appearance at the All-Star game. If given the chance, Yankee fans would welcome Willie home with open arms and help remind him where his true home is.

Secondly (ok), none of the issues surrounding the Mets were Willie's fault (ok). He was given an old team (ok) without a 1B, a bad bullpen (ok) and a AAA bench; he did abut as well as he could have (ok). The GM (ok) should have been the one to go (ok).

While his comments about SNY and racism were a little odd, and his handling of Reyes could have been better, I think Willie did a very good job with the hand he was dealt.

So Hank - BRING WILLIE BACK!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

# 65 is Back?

On his blog, Phil Hughes intimates that once he returns we will see #65 on his back again instead of the #34 he switched to earlier this year. All of you that bought #34 jerseys look to be SOL.

Whatever works!

THT Anatomy of a Player - Phil Hughes

Great read on The Messiah over at The Hardball Times.

I recommend reading the whole article (and some linked posts), but here is the last bit -

Conclusions

Phil Hughes has a huge amount of upside, but there still are concerns. If he continues to not use his slider and change-up, he effectively becomes a two pitch pitcher. Now despite what you might have heard, starters can make it in this league with only two pitches as long as they are both quality pitches and if he can control them well. Hughes' control doesn't seem to be an issue despite his spate of walks this year. Everything that I read makes me think his control will be between good and great. The quality, though, might be an issue.

The fastball that Hughes has shown so far is average at best. He might be able to spice up the movement with a lowered arm angle or make some mechanical adjustments to get back some lost velocity, but if it continues as it is right now, major league batters will hit it hard. His curve has extraordinary movement but maybe too much movement for his own good. If hitters don't have to worry about the slider and the change, identifying the curve will be that much easier because I don't see a good solution to how he can disguise the pitch any better than he already is.

I feel like it is paramount that he throws his slider or change-up more often (preferably both) to keep hitters honest. Even if neither of these pitches are plus pitches right now, the slider at least has that potential. Most of Phil Hughes' future is ahead of him and he should turn into a great pitcher, but he isn't there yet. Time will tell if he makes it or not.

A-Jax 6th Hottest Propspect at BA



No. 6 AUSTIN JACKSON, CF
YANKEES
Team: Double-A Trenton (Eastern) Age: 21Why He's Here: .357/.400/.786 (10-for-28), 7 R, 4 HR, 8 RBIs, 2 BB, 4 K, 1-for-2 SB
The Scoop: Hitting a home run in four straight games is one good way to navigate your way onto the Hot Sheet, which is what Jackson did this week to earn this spot. With a .282/.362/.443 season line in 280 at-bats, Jackson hit safely in nine straight games until Thursday. With a budding performance record of excellence to complement his outstanding athleticism and tools, Jackson is building a strong case to supplant Joba Chamberlain as the top prospect in the Yankees organization at the conclusion of the season.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Yankees Sign Ponson

Yesterday the Yankees announce that Ice Cream is back, today Ponson joins the organization. Coincidence?

CC? No-No!

I know CC Sabathia is the logical choice if the Yanks are going to dip into their deep farm system and trade for a starter. I have a couple of issues with that, however.

First, Mark Shapiro is gonna want a king's ransom in return. If the Yanks weren't going to open the vault for the undisputed best pitcher in baseball (Johan), then doing so for CC makes no sense.

Second, I am extremely leery of trading a lot of talent for CC and then signing him long term. There is nothing concrete to back up my fears, but the 1500+ career innings, jump from 180 to 256 innings pitched (including playoffs) between '06 and '07, and his remarkably large body all combine to make me very concerned about him breaking down.

Considering my fear of break-down for a career workhorse who averages 218 ip a year, the guy I want instead makes zero sense...that being said, I want the Yanks to go get Rich Harden.

A year younger than CC, Harden has only thrown 518 innings in his career. His career numbers translate into 'staff-ace' designation - 518ip, 425 h, 498k, 224 walks, 3.49 era. The obvious problem is that he has been limited to 518 innings over 5 full seasons due to injury.

Harden is under control through the 2009 season thanks to a $7mm team option after this season. While the cost in terms of prospects will be high, we won't be forced to sign Harden to a $17-$20mm per year contract for 5-7 years immediately. Should he perform and stay healthy through 2009 the Yanks can then sign him; if he turns out to be Carl Pavano redux we are only on the hook for 1 1/2 years.

If we are going to send some of our minor league talent packing, I firmly believe Phil Phranchise, A-Jax, Jesus and Melancon need to be untouchable. Hopefully a package of Horne, Tabata, Cervelli and Betances gets it done.

Horne should be major league ready for the '09 season, Tabata is having some issues, but is still only 19, Cervelli is a still-developing good young catcher, and Betances has top of the rotation potential. I think that would wet Beane's whistle sufficiently.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Today's Reading

Update on J.B. Cox
By Tyler Kepner

International Free Agent Season Approaches
By Eric Schultz Pending Pinstripes

Hughes hoping to accelerate return
By Peter Abraham

Game 67: Observing a trend
Posted by: Joseph P. RAB

Ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte headed to Staten Island Yankees
BY Anthony McCarron

CC Bronx-bound?

With the Indians 6.5 games behind the pale hose, and Victor Martinez headed for season-ending elbow surgery, Tyler Kepner speculates that Mark Shapiro may be putting CC Sabathia up for grabs.

Sabathia would be perfect for what ails the Yanks. A true lefty ace to pitch in front of Wang, Pettitte, Joba and Moose would make the Yankee rotation extremely formidable. The obvious question is - what would we have to give up to get him?

Kepner throws the name Robbie Cano out there - is he nuts? Yeah, Robbie has struggled mightily this year; but to trade a young, somewhat proven middle infielder for 3 months of even Sandy Koufax makes no sense.

If we can get CC for a package of say Horne, McCutchen (or Wordekemper) and a lower level bat not named Jesus - I would do it.

Having depth in the farm system allows for action in exactly this type of opportunity. We all know that not every prospect the Yanks have is going to develop into a major leaguer. And while it's only 3 months of CC, it would not only give us a leg-up on signing him long term, but also make us a much stronger team this year.

Completely Average

8 series wins, 8 series losses and 5 series ties - 1 game over .500 after 67 games...completely and utterly average.

We need The Streak...where is The Streak!

I think the 2 of 3 in Oakland was a good sign. 2 of 3 again in Houston and then a good homestand vs the Pirates and dying Mets would put us in very good shape.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Interview With A-Jax

Tyler Kepner interviewed the #2 rated prospect in the Yankee system, Austin Jackson:

Q: What’s been going so well for you this year?

A: I think just working in the cage, trying to get something that feels comfortable and translates into the game. Not trying to do too much, stay within myself. I’m trying to kind of calm the game down, not make it so fast for me. A lot of working in the cage, that’s really been helping me offensively.

Q: You played two sports in high school, baseball and basketball. Now that you’ve had a chance to devote yourself to baseball, what kind of talent are you tapping into?

A: I think I’m starting to definitely become a smarter baseball player. In rookie ball, I knew how to hit, but I didn’t know how to work the count. I’d swing early in the count, maybe at a bad pitch, because I was just a ballplayer. But I’m starting to study the game a lot more, know what the pitchers have, things like that. I think I’m definitely becoming a better baseball player as opposed to just an athlete.

Q: Do you know now that you made the right decision?

A: I think I made the right choice. I wanted to make a choice and stick with it, and not go back in the past. I think I made the right decision. I’m definitely having fun now, knowing that one day I might be playing outfield for the Yankees. It’s definitely fun. It’s a grind in the minor leagues, but it’s just something everybody has to go through.

Q: You’re two levels away, but when you’re having success here and you see young guys up in the majors, do you think it’s possible that you might get a chance really soon?


A: Yeah, especially when you look at the pitchers; they’re calling young guys up and they’re making an impact. It’s kind of given them a spark. They’re definitely giving the younger guys a chance as the older guys start heading out. It’s definitely something to look forward to. You never know in this game. Hopefully nobody gets hurt, but if somebody does, they’re calling guys up to replace them all the time.

Q: Whether it’s you or Brett Gardner at AAA, what can your kind of speed do to change a game?

A: It can change the outcome of a game, one stolen base, getting yourself into scoring position, that puts a burden on the pitcher and the guy hitting behind you can drive in a run. It’s definitely good to have speed. It helps out in all aspects of the game. They say speed kills. It’s the one part of my game that I can rely on.

Q: If you’d stayed with basketball, do you think you could be in the NBA right now?

A: (laughs) I think I could. I’ve been checking out some of the talent in college basketball, I’ve been sizing them up. I think I’d have what it takes.


A-Jax is an exciting prospect; the combination of power and speed with an ability to hit for a high average puts him as a potential Bernie Williams type player.

Assuming all goes to plan, a September call-up with a spot on the 2009 opening day roster could be in the cards.

Mo Love


7 pitches, the first 5 clocked by MLB at 93, and the last 2 at 95 and 94.

7 pitches to get 3 outs in the 9th.

At ths rate the 3 year contract may be too short!

The Beast Shows His Teeth


Everyone got a taste of Joba the Starter yesterday and boy was it great.

His performance was ok...3R and 5H in 4.1IP - but his stuff was off the charts.

Joba's 77th pitch was a 96 MPH fastball to David Jesus that the Royals' best hitter was able to foul off. Pitch 78 (his last) was a 76 MPH curve that came out of his hand a little too early for ball 4. 20 MPH separation...20! Roger Clemens used to talk about needing 12 MPH separation between heat and splitter for him to be at top effectiveness. 20!

Keep in mind, that the 20 MPH separation was almost 80 pitches into his day.

Once Joba gets a better feel for the pitches he neglected as a reliever (curve and change) we will see the results improve. The fact that he was still throwing 96 in the 5th inning is major reason to be optimistic.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Cuban Defector on Yanks' Radar?


From MLB Trade Rumors, 19 year old Dayan Viciendo (pictured left) has defected from Cuba and may be available to sign as an MLB free agent.
(Agent Jaime) Torres said that Viciedo is in Miami with him. In fact, he asserts that Viciedo was in the U.S. before the 2008 draft, coming into the country in late May. "He was processed at the end of May. To me, he was not drafted and should be a undrafted free agent. We’ll see if the union agrees with me."


Dayan played SS, 3B and OF for the Cuban National Team and at 16 was the youngest All-Star in Cuban baseball history.
"His body could go the same route as Livan Hernandez, and when I saw him in Mexico, he wasn’t very good at third base anymore," one international scouting director said. "But he can really hit; in fact, I think he’s probably a better hitter than (Giant prospect Angel) Villalona."


Villolona received a $2.1mm signing bonus from the Giants and is currently playing at low Class A Augusta.
Ben Beadler of BA wrote of Viciedo -


Viciedo burst on the scene as a 15-year-old, when he was MVP of the World Junior Championships as a 15-year-old. In Serie Nacional in 2005-2006, he made the all-star team while playing for Villa Clara, and he almost made Cuba’s World Baseball Classic roster in 2006. He played in the ‘06 World Juniors as well, with a confrontation with current Rangers righthander Blake Beavan chronicled here. His Villa Clara manager, former national team star Victor Mesa, told Cuba’s Granma news in 2006 that Viciedo has “a good arm and tremendous power. He’s got excellent technique, but at the same time is surprisingly calm for his young age and very secure in defense.”


As it looks like it will only cost dollars to sign him, the Yanks will obviously be involved.

Deadline Deals

A completely mediocre team through the first 62 games of the season, the Yanks and GM Brian Cashman will be looking to improve at the July 31 trade deadline. Some ideas for trades-

1. Send Jose Tabata, Alan Horne and JB Cox to the A's for Huston Street.
The 25 year old Street has allowed 170 hits in his 226 career major league innings while striking out 234. His career 2.70 era is above Mo's 2.31 career mark, but still exceptional. Street is under team control through the 2010 season and would create the best 1-2 bullpen tandem in the bigs. Also, Mo's new 3 year deal runs out after 2010, so Street would have plenty of reason to want to sign an extension.

2. Send Daniel McCutchen and Mitch Hilligoss to the Pirates for Damaso Marte.
Having lacked a reliable lefty out of the 'pen, Marte would be a valuable addition. At 33 Marte could be the left handed answer for the Yanks for the next 2-3 years.

3. Hope the Indians fall totally out of contention and try and get CC Sabathia.
At 28-34 Cleveland is 7.5 games behind the White Sox in the AL Central. Should they continue to stink and Chicago keeps playing well, Mark Shapiro might be inclined to deal the Ace lefty instead of settling for draft picks after the season.

4. Find a speed guy for the bench.
I looked around some and couldn't find the right name. I'm sure, however, that here are a number of back-up players with great speed that could be had for a reasonable price. As much as I like Shelley's energy and underdog story, his lack of production has been painful so far this year. Betemit's bat has come around and he can play all of the infield positions. open the roster spot for this speed player by sending Dunc back to SWB. Brett Gardner is an obvious option here, but having him player everyday is important to his continued development.

The lineup/offense needs no help; it's the pitching that needs help. Marte and Street would make the 'pen a force, and if we were able to get Sabathia the rotation would obviously be much stronger.

I tried to offer fair deals - do you think these trades are fair? If you have any trade ideas let us know!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Yanks Draft Ambidextrous Pitcher

A couple of artiles about Yankee draft choice Pat Venditte:

Pat Venditte: the Switch Pitcher

Throwing Batters Curves Before Throwing a Pitch

The Yanks drafted ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte in the '07 draft, but he did not sign. When Venditte was available after his senior season in round 20 (pick # 620) the Yanks picked him again.

A natural righty, Venditte began throwing lefty as well at the age of 3. From the right side, Venditte has an 88-91 mph fastball and a 12-6 curve. From the left side his fastball tops out between 78-82 and he throws a sidearm slurve.

If nothing else it will be fun to track Venditte's progress!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Baseball America Draft Blog

Baseball America had a draft blog and I read through it for the Yankee related items;

At 28, the Yankees took Gerrit Cole, no surprise. A Scott Boras Corporation client who fell for signability reasons, Cole also fell for his immaturity and mound demeanor, which didn’t endear him to many scouts and teams. That said, Cole has the biggest arm in the prep class, and he fell to the Yankees, and that’s probably win-win for the Yanks, SBC and Cole.

The Clemson Tigers see their first player selected as righthander D.J. Mitchell is picked by the Yankees at 320. Mitchell is a 6-foot starter throwing close to 90 mph but with tremendous life and sink. Mitchell was the ace of a Tiger team that had a disappointing season this year, missing regional play for the first time after 21 consecutive trips.

Florida State’s Jack Rye goes to the Yankees at pick 410. Rye is a lefthanded hitting outfielder with some power and hitability. He has played for the Seminoles for four years and will be a good senior sign for the Yankees.

The Yankees took Chris Smith of Compton’s Centennial High, a lefthanded hitter who batted better than .700 this spring. He’s a lefthanded hitter with good "now" hitting tools whose best tool is his bat

Yanks Fail to Gain Momentum

So tonight the Yankees get shut down by Kyle Davies, fail numerous times to get the runner in from third and lose another game. This loss is especially disappointing after the jubilation of yesterday it really felt like the Yankees might finally start rolling; but a really bad call and another (!) lackluster offensive performance wasted a solid outing from Rasner. At this point it doesn't matter how, the Yankees simply need to win before its too late. Bad calls need to be overcome, average pitchers need to be hit, and teams like the Royals need to be swept (2-15 before tonight's win).

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Bombers GM Calls Yankee Draft Pick


Back on May 30, my Yankee compadre correctly predicted the Yankee 1st round draft pick. Take a look at his short scouting report here.


The Giambino!

BIG win for the Yanks today. Don't be surprised to see an extended winning streak off of a game like this!

Who Is This Man?

Warning! An impostor has invaded Yankees uniform number 35 and is winning with a high degree of regularity!

A league leading 9 wins and a 4 era...whooda thunk it?

After a spring where Moose losing his rotation spot was an eventual certainty, and after an April BP session with Manny Ramirez that caused NASA some concern for the Hubble Space Telescope, Moose has reinvented himself and is again enjoying success.
Much like the youngsters need time to figure out how to win in the bigs, Moose apparently needed a little time to figure out how to win with very different stuff than he enjoyed as a younger man.
A fastball that sits 85-89 is no longer the strikeout pitch it was 5-7 years ago when he would easily hit 93. Instead, Moose has come up with a Maddux-like 2-seamer and relies on a slow curveball and a slower than slow changeup to keep hitters off balance.
To lefties, Moose is using a 2 seam fastball that he throws at the front knee of the hitter and has it break over the inside corner for a strike. Once the lefties are inside conscious, he floats the changeup away. He is now smartly staying away from the curve to lefty hitters.
To righties (much like Mo), he is cutting the fastball on the outside corner and sinking the 2 seamer in. Once he has established the heater to both sides of the plate, he drops that great knuckle curve as a knee-buckling out pitch. He has also added an element to the curve in that he now also throws one with more 2-8 break from a lower arm angle in addition to the 12-8, straight over the top curve.
Having to rely as much as he does on his off-speed pitches, there will undoubtedly still be nights where the secondary pitches are not working for him and he gets hit hard. These nights, however, are becoming fewer and further between.
I'm really happy for Moose; he was one of the best starters in baseball for 10 years and deserves to have some success now. As far as the Yanks are concerned, enjoy the success for the rest of the year and wish him luck pitching for the Phills in '09.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A Closer Look at the Box Score

Yup, Joba pitched pretty poorly. A ton of pitches, deep counts, 4 walks (!) and only 2.1 innings. He didn't get hit, which is a very good sign, but he was obviously nervous. Aside from not getting the 5ip, 15K performance we all hoped for, there was something very positive in the pitcher part of the box score last night.

Chris Britton was actually called upon to pitch for the Yankees. Granted the game was out of reach by the time Gen Joe decided to let Britton pitch, but all Chris did was what he seemingly does every time he's allowed to grace the mound at the big stadium in the Bronx - pitch effectively.

1IP, 0ER, 0BB and 2Ks - a good night. He did allow 2 hits, but he kept the Jays from plating any additional runs.

In his career Britton has thrown 73.1 major league innings, allowed 58 hits and has a 3.19 ERA.

Britton needs to be given more of a chance to pitch meaningful innings for this Yankee bullpen.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Roster Moves

In light of Joba being on a pretty strict pitch count, the Yanks have called up reliever Scott Patterson from SWB. To make room on the 25 man roster, we designated Morgan Ensberg for assignment.

Letting Ensberg go is a good idea. The ex-Atty. General (Gonzalez) has shown to be a capable 3B fill-in for A-Rod and has been better both in the field and at the plate then Ensberg. Having Betemit, Duncan and Ensberg is a waste of a roster spot.

The 29 year old Patterson has a career 1.76 ERA in the minors. In 138ip, he's allowed 92 hits, 28 walks and 156 strike outs. Scott's first appearance for the Yanks this year will be his major league debut.

Today's Reading

Baseball beat: Cashman, Yankees won't take draft lightly
On The Mend - Bob Sheppard
Meeting Set to Discuss Future of Maple Bats
Ballparks Come, Ballparks Go, the Memories Are Forever
METS, YANKS SEARCH FOR NEXT BIG STAR
Posada passes test in Tampa
Yankee notes: Matsui leading the league

Captain My Captain - What Ails Thee?

Is it just me, or is there something wrong with our captain? He looks bad at the plate. He's unable to get around on an inside pitch, he is weakly grounding out to second base on his bread and butter inside out swing to right instead of banging line drives, and he seems to be lacking energy.

From PeteAbe -

Derek Jeter's single in the 12th inning gave him four hits in his last 37 at-bats. He has not looked good at the plate since being hit on the left hand by a pitch from Baltimore's Daniel Cabrera on May 20. "That has nothing to do with it," Jeter said. "I just haven't been hitting. That happens from time to time." The skid dropped Jeter's batting average from .312 to .272.

It would not surprise me at all if he is battling through a bad left shoulder.

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