Thursday, April 30, 2009

Joba Hurt?

I know the results were good tonight and the radar gun even lit up 95 a couple of times but this is still not the Joba we saw last year. Here are the pitch fx numbers;

Avg fastball Speed - 92.76
Max Speed - 96.3

Not bad numbers but compare that to last years starts;

Best Avg FB Speed - 95.51
Worst ang FB speed - 94.57
Total Avg FB as starter - 95.00

Best Max Speed - 99.6
Worst Max Speed - 97.8
Average Max Speed - 98.86

So where is the other 2 mph? Those 2 are what take him from a very good pitcher to a once in a generation talent. His average FB as a starter last year would put him second in the majors behind only Justin Verlander while his 2009 average only puts him in the top 20. So the question that needs answering is why the drop in velocity? Is he hurt? Is it poor mechanics? Whats the deal with Joba?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Messiah Sighing

Sorry to my more religious friends, but the boy-wonder known to some as "Phil Phranchise" was dubbed "The Messiah" on this website (or simply TM) about 3 years ago and it's just tough to let it go.

Anyway, TM is making his season debut against el Tigros (is that right? I don't speak any Spanish) tonight in the land of unsold inferior cars. I for one, am really looking forward to it. In my opinion, Phil is still every bit the pending stud everyone dubbed him before last season's debaclous showing.

Why, you ask, am I still so high on Phil? How about these numbers so far in 2009 in SWB-

3 wins, vs zero losses
1.86 ERA
17 hits and 3(!!) walks allowed in 19 ip

And just as important as the above...he has yet to turn 23 years old!

I have no doubt that this kid is both the real deal and headed for stardom.

I hope it starts tonight!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Phil Hughes Update

Yankee phenom-in-waiting Phil Hughes pitched Wednesday at Triple-A, improving to 3-0 with 7 2/3 innings of one-run, six-hit ball in a 6-1 victory over Buffalo, walking one and striking out seven in the 105-pitch start.

With Wang looking like Hideki Irabu-redux, might be time for Phil to step in!

Papi on Joba

Via the Post - If young Joba Chamberlain misbehaves tomorrow night, he might face a spanking from someone else's Papi. With Chamberlain scheduled to start for the Yankees in the opener of a three-game series against the Red Sox, David Ortiz yesterday said the talented right-hander should avoid using Kevin Youkilis' head as a bull's-eye. "None of that, man — just play the game the way it's supposed to be, and that's about it," Ortiz said, referring to Chamberlain. "This is a guy, as good as he is, the next step for him will be to earn respect from everybody in the league. He's not a bad guy, but when things like that happen, people get the wrong idea." Considering he has fired four pitches either near Youkilis' head or behind Youkilis in the last 20 months, Chamberlain quickly has emerged as a villain to Red Sox Nation in this rivalry. There were the consecutive pitches to Youkilis — one of which sailed behind him — in August of 2007 that got Chamberlain suspended. Another close call occurred last July at Yankee Stadium, when Chamberlain threw high-and tight to Youkilis, nearly starting a bench clearing brawl. Chamberlain uncorked another fastball three weeks later at Fenway that sent Youkilis to the dirt. Angry glares were exchanged. Why always Youkilis? "I don't have an explanation," Ortiz said. Talking to reporters at his locker for about 20 minutes between games of yesterday's split doubleheader against the Twins — the Yankees' game against the Athletics was on TV in the clubhouse — Ortiz said this weekend will not feel like the normal Yankees-Red Sox circus. "This one is an easy one — they are missing A-Rod," Ortiz said.


Hey Papi, how about hitting a home run before telling other people what to do...just ONE!

You know what Joba...bean em both!

With Nady Out For Season - A Guest Post

Since the Yankees have officially lost Xavier Nady for the season probably due to Tommy John surgery( which is extremely unfortunate!) should the Yanks be looking for another right handed outfielder? I had written a post earlier in the year that the Yankees should have possibly traded for a young and upcoming center fielder such as Rasmus or Maybin, both of which would have cost an arm and a leg plus some more body parts! It now appears though that we need another player that can man the outfield and offer a right handed stick in my humble opinion. If not for all of his legal troubles and dark cloud over him I would suggest Elijah Dukes as a potential prospect considering his tremendous talent and youth, but all things considered I don't feel that is a good idea, especially placing him in a city such as New York where his troubles could multiply exponentially!!! I would still like to make a play for Rasmus with the Cardinals searching for pitching and having a surplus of outfielders, but that isn't going to happen either in my opinion unfortunately. Yet there is an option that most likely isn't that popular, and I am referring to Andruw Jones who is currently sitting in Texas where they have a surplus of young and talented outfielders. I don't think it would take much to attain him and I certainly don't see how it could hurt us to give him a chance. Perhaps I am wrong though, and I look forward to hearing your response.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

How bad has Chien been?

By the numbers

1 - Games before this year where he has pitched less then 4 IP
3 - Games this year where he has pitched less then 4 IP(out of 3 starts)

7 - Career worst game score(happened 2 times, both this year)

8 - Career worst ERs given up in a game for Wang(happened 2 times, all this year)

0- Times a NYY pitcher not named Wang has given up 7 or more runs in 3 consecutive starts

Historically bad

No Pressure at all on AJ today

Not only are we expecting AJ Burnett to pick up Chien-Ming Wang again, but we are praying that he saves us from the ultimate humiliation...losing to Carl Pavano!

Nah - no pressure on AJ today!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

X-man done for the year?

According to reports, Xavier Nady's previously 'Tommy John' repaired right elbow popped when making a throw against the Rays in Tuesday night's game and the surgery may need to be re-done keeping him out the remainder of the year.

Nady is a nice player. At worst he is a top 4th outfielder and excellent trade bait; at best Nady is a 280/25-30/100 producing corner outfielder.

I've heard many people say that his loss is a good thing in that it will insure Nick Swisher gets an everyday job. Let's not go overboard- Swish is on fire, and probably does deserve the everyday job. Saying, however, that the Yanks are better off without Nady is simply not true.

Not only is this extremely poor timing for the pending free-agent, but Nady was slotted to be a nice piece of the puzzle (whether starting or off the bench) that the Yanks will certainly miss as the season goes on.



Update- The guys over at RAB are reporting that Austin Jackson and Kevin Russo have been lifted from today's SWB Yanks game- not sure what that means, but an Ajax sighting at the Stadium Thursday would be fun to watch!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

WWWW?

Wow...2 starts and 2 unbelievably bad performances by the former Yankee ace Chien-Ming Wang. The question is, What's Wrong With Wang?

In addition to the a serious lack of velocity (89-91 instead of 93-95), Wang's signature sinker has had more lateral movement then downward tilt the last 2 games - essentially, the sinker ain't sinking.

A thigh-high 90 mph fastball with only a little in and out movement is gonna get hit hard - and has.

In the past, Wang as shown that he adds velocity as the weather warms. This season, it seems, the heat is even more lacking than usual. Having lost most of last season to injury, I believe that we will see the radar gun light more as Wang gains more arm strength.

As for the sink on the sinker, movement on a pitch is directly related to the amount of spin imparted upon the ball by the pitcher. If a pitcher is lacking arm strength he will usually 'muscle-up' in order to compensate and try and get more velocity. This restricts the free and easy release of the ball and squeezes some spin out of the pitch.

In other words, as we see Wang's arm strength increase I believe not only will the velocity return, but, as a result, we will start to see the downward dart of Wang's sinker return too.

Let's hope it happens sooner rather than later!

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