Mussina Gets Violated, Replaced by Ian Kennedy August 29, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in AL East, Andy Pettitte, Boston Red Sox, Ian Kennedy, Johnny Damon, Mike Mussina.
According to Baseball Tonight and Peter Abraham, Ian Kennedy has been called up to take Mike Mussina’s rotation spot, at least for not. I’m not sure who they sent down by I’ll have that for you later.
This is only natural since IPK is the best pitcher in this farm system and is more than ready to take control of MLB hitters–his ratios are insane, but he just needs to work on throwing less pitches. Mussina has gotten violated in his last three starts, and he has no fastball and has been hugely inconsistent. And, he’s 38 years, too.
Rants of the Day:
At least the deficit is now only 7 games behind Boston after a nice win yesterday.
Seems like Andy Pettitte might actually get to 200 wins this year after all, as he is at 198 already.
I don’t know…maybe Johnny Damon can actually play. Sorry folks, I only mean left field and DH..
Sorry for the delay August 27, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Andy Pettitte, Detroit Tigers, Hideki Matsui, Houston Astros, Mike Mussina, Phil Garner, Phil Hughes, Roger Clemens, Tim Purpura.
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Readers, I apologize for the delay in posting. The Yankees have, as you know, lost two of three as so far against the Detroit Tigers. Phil Franchise was decent, as Hideki Matsui misplayed the inside-the-park-homer, and the two home runs were the only blemish. I’m not concerned, and I think he’ll straighten himself out.
The now I’m-not-worried-about-my-job-although-I-should-be Mike Mussina is on the hill tonight. If the Yankees would’ve won the first three games, I would be rooting for him to get blasted so we can have Steven White or anyone takeover. However, he and his 85 MPH fastball are going to have to eat it and win today…or else.
In other news
1) Over at Minor League Ball, there was a piece about future lineups for every team, and here is the Yankees’ part, done by. If you have been faithfully reading this blog (which I hope you do), I have done many pieces on the Yankees and their minor league system (hence the name, Yankees: Looking to the Future) and our current overpaid stars’ future replacements.
2) Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte must be sad today. Their former Houston Astros manager and general manger, Phil Garner and Tim Purpura, respectively, have been fired. Well, the Astros have stunk for the last two years–what can I say.
Mike Mussina’s Rotation Spot in Danger August 24, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Ian Kennedy, Sean Henn, Chris Britton, Brian Bruney, Steven White, Jeff Karstens, Ron Villone, Kei Igawa, Mike Mussina, Pittsburgh Pirates, Bret Prinz, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox.
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Mike Mussina may not be a rotation member if he struggles in his next start, according to the NY Daily News and the NY Post. Mussina has been blitzed in his last two starts, allowing 14 earned runs in his last 6.2 innings pitched. “After his next start, we’re going to talk,” Joe Torre said. “If he feels good, the ability to pitch and pitch well is in there somewhere. I think he just needs to trust his stuff.” Finally, this has come to light, as the Yankees now have the gall to bring in younger players to replace washed-up veterans, the first time I have ever seen this as a Yankee fan.
Some candidates: Steven White, Ian Kennedy, Jeff Karstens, Kei Igawa
Steven White–I must be honest, I don’t know much about Steven White. However, he has done a great job for the Yankees, and was a top-10 prospect for them in 2004, according to the Baseball America. He should be the left-handed longman, and has better control than Ron Villone. However, he doesn’t strikeout many batters, but his GO/AO ratio is only .92, which may lead to trouble. Moreover, he allows just under a hit per inning (79.2 IP, 72 H), which also may lead to trouble. However, he has not responded well to a promotion mid-season throughout his minor league career. Please note, however, that 2004 was his “top-prospect” year, and that his start in Tampa was a rehab assignment. I’m not sure on what the injury was, but his lack of K’s this year may have something to do with it.
Ian Kennedy–We have talked about him before. Just click on the label below and you’ll see all I’ve written about him. However, bringing up a kid who throws 100mph is easier than bringing up a kid who throws 88-91, so there’s a chance he may struggle a bit.
Jeff Karstens–I’m sick of this guy. Last season, he had a decent year, and he has a great minor league track record, but this year it hasn’t translated into success. However, you can tell me about the Monday morning quarterback feeling, but this guy struck out only 3.37/9 innings, or roughly one every three. That’s embarassing, and he has only a .064 GO/AO ratio this season, so stats can make sense of his season with a 11.20 ERA. I think he’s not coming back to the Bronx, especially for an extended stay.
Kei Igawa–Inconsistency has followed this guy to the minors. He has been good, bad, great, and God-awful all in 54.2 IP. The Yankees should have just shipped him out to San Diego for Clay Hensley and ended it at that. But no, not even the immortal Nardi Contreras can fix this one. He’s screwed, and he’s the spot start guy for the rest of his Yankee tenure, until some West Coast team with a huge ballpark (Seattle, San Diego?) can take him.
In other news
BRUNEY BACK–According to Peter Abraham of the LoHud Yankees blog, Brian Bruney is back with the Yankees, probably at the expense of Ron Villone or Sean Henn. He was ineffective for Scranton, and my guess is that they just want a fresh arm from which they know what to expect after the horror series in Anaheim. Since this is probably just a one or two day move, I would guess it’s Henn. However, Villone has been so ineffective, and Henn is a young pitcher with a future with the Yankees, Villone could be DFA’ed as well. My question, though, is WHY CAN’T THEY JUST BRING UP CHRIS BRITTON!!!
BRET PRINZ UPDATE–This probably goes under useless info, but I’ve always liked this guy’s stuff, so I’ll just post this. According to Wikipedia (yes, you’re open to question my sources), after he was DFA’ed by the White Sox, he signed a minor-league deal with the Chicago Cubs to pitch at AAA Iowa. However, he was released and has signed on to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Pretty sad that this is what we got for Raul Mondesi, though.
Yankees Get Crushed by Angels August 22, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Alex Rodriguez, Chris Britton, Garret Anderson, LA Angels, Mike Mussina, Ron Villone, Sean Henn, Steven White.
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We should be calling for Mike Mussina’s head by now. He has allowed 7 earned in back to back appearances, except he taxed the bullpen by only pitching 1.2 innings. This is the third of the last four years he has had a bad year. Hang up the cleats? How ’bout a nice DFA–I don’t know, I just think Steven White or IPK should replace this guy presto.
Ron Villone–you’re only supposed to walk dogs, not batters. Five earned in .1 innings. Let’s DFA him.
Sean Henn–same crap like yesterday–option him and bring up Steven White or Chris Britton.
Yeah, A-Rod hit two homers, but Garret Anderson, the declining slugger, had 10 RBI. At least Andy Pettitte’s pitching tomorrow.
Yankees Lose Tough one in Anaheim August 21, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Alex Rodriguez, Edwar Ramirez, Gary Matthews Jr., Joba Rules, Joe Torre, LA Angels, Mike Mussina, Phil Hughes, Sean Henn.
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A-Rod was the first to 40 HR’s, but Joe Torre couldn’t make the most of his short-handed bullpen as the Yankees come back but lose in 10, as Torre, for some reason, didn’t let Mo pitch two innings and give the Yanks a chance to win in the 11th.
Phil Hughes didn’t pitch as bad as the numbers look, as the first three runs were set up by a misplay by Robinson Cano that turned into a double on a groundball up the middle by Gary Matthews Jr. Then, when he left, Luis Vizcaino allowed the two runners he inherited plus one more.
Then, tomorrow, if you get 6 from Mussina, Edwar pitches an innings and Joba pitches the 8th and 9th for the save. But no, he has to use the only sure thing in that bullpen (Viz blew it and Farns was in trouble) for only 1 inning and use Sean Henn for the 10th? I mean, he’s more effective than Ron Villone, but the bullpen is better tomorrow if you can avoid using him in a sudden death situation.
Just bad bullpen management–the reason the Joba Rules were created.
Formatting Change August 20, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Formatting Change, Pablo Zevallos, Yankees: Looking to the Future.
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Starting today, I will relinquish using my alias, bobbymcnally, and I’ll just use plain old Pablo Zevallos to publish my posts, because it’s pretty useless to post on my blog and use a username as opposed to my real name.
Sorry, bloggers… August 20, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Chien-Ming Wang, Detroit Tigers, Jeff Karstens, Jose Tabata, Steven White.
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…but weekends aren’t my thing…I will try to rectify myself, but darn it is hard.
As you know, the Yankees won a HUGE series against the Detroit Tigers, 3-1, from Thursday to Sunday. It was a good series overall, with good offensive and pitching performances, except Chien-Ming Wang.
Also, Jose Tabata is out for the year with the long-rumored hamate bone injury, and he had surgery to remove it. Hopefully he can leave Tampa next year and race through the Yankees’ system.
Steven White should replace Jeff Karstens as the long man/spot starter, as EJ Fagan at MVN Pending Pinstripes pointed out, and he is a lefty. Karstens’s 2006 season was a fluke, but White has had a solid minor league career.
Mussina Got Rocked August 17, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Bobby Abreu, Carlos Guillen, Detroit Tigers, Gary Sheffield, Mike Mussina, Rain Delay.
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I’m sick today, so I’ll keep this very brief. Mike Mussina got rocked, with 7 runs (6 earned) in 5 innings, and the Yankees’ “rally” fell short in the ninth. Carlos Guillen hit a grand slam in the first, and Gary Sheffield was quiet at the plate. Bobby Abreu hit a HR, his 13th.
The game, as of this writing, is being delayed due to rain.
Marcos Vechionacci Promotion Looming? August 16, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in 2007 MLB Draft, Austin Romine, Brad Suttle, Carmen Angelini, Chase Weems, Marcos Vechionacci, Taylor Grote.
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Marcos Vechionacci, the Yankees’ best fielding infield prospect, is currently at Hi-A Tampa. He started the year batting .197, but has gotten his average all the way up to .263. Albeit still modest, the Yankees need this guy, since Eric Duncan is a bust, to fill the ’09 third base or shortstop hole, since A-Rod might be gone and Derek Jeter may not have great fielding skills anymore. I think a AA promotion is well deserved after many seasons in the low minors.
Also some BA draft scouting reports for Yankees 2007 draftees.
• California high school catcher Austin Romine, second round ($500,000).
Romine’s brother Andrew is Arizona State’s starting shortstop, and his dad Kevin played there before his brief big league career. Austin also has committed to the Sun Devils, but the consensus in Southern California is he’ll never make it to Tempe. That’s despite a left hand injury that has plagued him all season. In May, he reaggravated what was diagnosed as a torn ligament in his thumb and had surgery. Rather than sit out the rest of the season, he focused on being El Toro’s closer. His arm is his best tool, among the most powerful in a strong draft crop of catchers. Romine’s pop times to second base have ranged from 1.78 to 1.85 seconds, putting him near an 80 on the 20-80 scouting scale. Romine’s receiving is less advanced, but he’s no slouch there and has the athletic ability to improve his deficient footwork. Offensively, Romine has gap power and makes consistent contact, and he’s got enough strength to project to hit for average home run power down the road.
• Texas third baseman Brad Suttle, fourth round ($1,300,000). His bonus is a record for the fourth round.
There’s a debate among scouts about who’s better, Suttle or his Longhorns teammate, Kyle Russell. Suttle doesn’t have Russell’s power ceiling, but he’s a better bet to hit in the major leagues. He’s a pure hitter and switch-hitter to boot, with scouts preferring his stroke from the left side. He has a strong 6-foot-2, 213-pound frame, though his inside-out swing doesn’t have much lift and somewhat limits his power. He drives more balls into the gaps than over the fence. The biggest knocks on Suttle are his heavy legs and lack of speed. That limits his range at third base, though he has a strong arm (clocked up to 92 mph when he was a high school pitcher) and soft hands. Some teams may be wary of him because he’s a Type 1 diabetic, but he hasn’t let if affect his career. The Hendricks brothers, his advisers, have put a $1 million price tag on Suttle, and he does have extra leverage as a draft-eligible sophomore. But clubs expect he’ll sign if he’s taken in the upper half of the sandwich round.
• Georgia high school catcher Chase Weems, sixth round ($450,000).
Weems could be the Thomas Hickman of this year’s Georgia draft class. Hickman remained tucked away in the hills of north Georgia last year until his stock soared in the weeks before the draft and he was taken by the Marlins in the second round. Weems’ Columbus High made a late surge into the 3-A semifinals, and he was the Hornets’ catalyst. He has athleticism and a sound swing from the left side, but his best tool is his arm strength, which grades as a 65 on the 20-80 scale. His footwork is fine behind the plate, but he has stiff hands and he’s not an adept receiver, leading to questions about his ability to stay behind the plate. He’s committed to Alabama, and it could take second-round money to get him signed.
• Texas high school outfielder Taylor Grote, eighth round ($250,000).
Taylor Grote’s stock has slipped a little, as scouts say he doesn’t get the barrel of his bat on the ball consistently. He’ll have to make adjustments to his stroke, adding more lift and reducing a bat wrap that makes his swing too long. Grote is athletic, but he may not have the speed to play center field or the true power to play on an outfield corner. He makes plays on defense, though more on instincts than pure range or arm strength. He has kept his college options open by committing to both San Jacinto (Texas) Junior College and Texas.
• Louisiana high school shortstop Carmen Angelini, 10th round ($1,000,000).
Angelini played third base as a high school junior in deference to Josh Prince (now starting at the University of Texas), and he’ll face tough competition with Texas high schooler Rick Hague for Rice’s shortstop job next spring if he attends college. Scouts have no question that Angelini can handle the position, as he has a plus arm and solid range. He has no glaring weakness in his game. He’s more ready than Hague to contribute offensively at the college level, with superior speed and raw power. As much as scouts like Angelini, some question whether he’s going to be more than just a good college player–though that seems to be selling him short. He’s not considered as tough to sign as Hague, but it will be difficult to lure Angelini away from the Owls.
Yankees Lose to Baltimore Again, Sign Brackman August 15, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Andrew Brackman, Andy Sonnanstine, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Mariano Rivera, Phil Hughes, Shelley Duncan.
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The Yankees had another demoralizing loss today, 6-3, in 10 innings. After Phil Hughes was seemingly on the ropes all day, and gave up 3 runs (2 earned) in five innings, the Yankees were still shut out with two outs, 3-0, in the bottom of the 9th inning. With two on, Shelley Duncan hit a bomb to left to tie the game (sorry, no curtain call), and Mo blew it yet again. He allowed three runs and three hits in the tenth inning. The Yankees went down in order in the 10th, and lost again.
Thankfully, though, Andy Sonnanstine (of all people) outdueled the $100M Japanese import Daisuke Matsuzaka, and though Boston rallied in the eighth and ninth, Tampa held on to win, 6-5.
In good news, however, according to the always-reliable Peter Abraham of the Yankees LoHud Blog, as well as SI’s John Heyman, says that Andrew Brackman, the TJ-surgery candidate 1st-round 30th-overall pick of the Yankees.