Off-Topic: Pats go Undedfeated, Jets Screw Themselves Over December 31, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Football, Off-Topic.
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Anytime any team goes undefeated in any sport merits mentioning. So here it is. The Patriots barely beat the Giants on Saturday, 38-35, sealing a 16-0 undefeated season. Nice job, cheaters! (I am a Jets fan, so I hate them )
And, well, the Jets were the Jets. Yes, they beat Herm Edwards, but damn, they could have lost (big whoop) and gotten Darren McFadden with the 3rd pick overall. Instead, they now pick 6th, unless they trade up with a trade piece, or have McFadden or Chris Long, the highly regarded DE out of Virginia fall into their lap. QB Matt Ryan probably won’t make it past the 49ers, Chiefs or Falcons, which ever team gets that pick, but Brian Brohm could be available. If the Jets aren’t happy with LT D’Brickashaw Ferguson, the could also go with Michigan OT Jake Long.
Gerardo Rodriguez Released? December 31, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Gerardo Rodriguez.
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This from a YES Network Message Board post. Gerardo Rodriguez, along with 32 other minor leaguers, were released from the lower levels of the system. Rodriguez highlights the list, as he has very good power potential, and is a big, strong, righty bat who played C/1B. However, he didn’t show much at GCL. The list doesn’t show other major players who have been released. Rodriguez should catch up with another team, though. Not much here.
Guest Blogging on Peter Abraham’s Blog December 31, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Yankees: Looking to the Future.
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On Friday, Peter Abraham extended his hand to the community of bloggers and asked for some guest bloggers during the slow month of January. I emailed him, expressing interest, and he e-mailed me back, along with others, to tell us that we were chosen and give us our schedule to write our pieces. Mine is due on January 17th, and the topic is about prospects (we are Yankees: Looking for the Future, ya know!). I will soon start to work on my draft and e-mail it to him, so it can be published on 01/17/08.
Yankees Pull Cano Out of Winter Ball December 29, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Melky Cabrera, Robinson Cano, Winter League Baseball.
Per Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes, the Yankees have pulled Robinson Cano out of Winter League Baseball in the Dominican Republic. The Yankees didn’t give Cano a reason, but Cano reportedly told his teammates that it was a precautionary move to avoid aggravating an old ankle injury.
Since the Yankees are interested in Johan Santana, and trade chip Melky Cabrera has also been pulled out of Winter Ball, then one can speculate whether this is for trade purposes. But Cano is a rising star and the offensive future of the Yankees, so there is no doubt as to why the Yankees wouldn’t want to aggravate this injury.
Merry Christmas December 25, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Uncategorized.
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to all those who celebrate! I hope that all of you enjoy this wonderful holiday with your loved ones! Also, an early happy Kwanzaa!
Hank: No Mark Prior, “Outside Chance” at Santana December 21, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Hank Steinbrenner, Johan Santana, Mark Prior.
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Hank Steinbrenner revealed that the Yankees are currently not interested in non-tendered, oft-injured RHP Mark Prior. This is a dumb move. Prior has ace stuff and was just messed up because of the wrath of Dusty Baker. All of his injuries are a relation to that. There is a chance that his injury string is over, and he can start again. If not, he would certainly be an intriguing bullpen option.
Steinbrenner also said that the Yankees have an “outside chance” at acquiring Johan Santana. We’ve known that since, oh, about a month ago. Anything else?
Mark Newman Reveals Plans for Top Prospects December 21, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Alan Horne, Bronson Sardhina, Humberto Sanchez, J. Brent Cox, Jeff Marquez, Juan Miranda, Mark Melancon, Nick Green.
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In an interview with Yankees Senior VP of Baseball Operations Mark Newman, Chad Jennings found out where some of the Yankees top prospects will start next year. My take is in italics.
Juan Miranda: Miranda will start the season at AAA, according to Newman. He and Eric Duncan will play every day, alternating between 1B and DH. Miranda has more upside than a Shelley Duncan/Wilson Betemit/Jason Giambi tandem, and should be the starter at 1B by mid-season.
Mark Melancon and J. Brent Cox: Both relievers will be ready on Opening Day after missing 2007 with elbow surgery. Both will also start in Tampa to avoid the cold weather at AA Trenton and AAA Scranton, but will advance throughout the year. Melancon, a closer drafted in the 9th round out of U of Arizona in 2006, is a high-ceiling player who projects to be a closer. This will be a setback for Cox, as he has gone as far as AA in 2006. Hopefully, he still has the stuff and control that made people say he had the potential to be better than Huston Street.
Humberto Sanchez: Sanchez will not be ready opening day after Tommy John surgery. He has been oft-injured throughout his minor league career, and it has derailed him from realizing his potential. With Anthony Claggett a non-prospect, and Sanchez and Kevin Whelan not sure things, the Gary Sheffield trade isn’t looking so good right now.
Alan Horne and Jeff Marquez: Newman notes that both Alan Horne and Jeff Marquez could make the Yankees out of Spring Training as relievers. He says that the club could do another starter-to-late-season reliever conversion, like that of Joba Chamberlain. Horne’s stuff is good for the bullpen, but last year had a 5.04 BB/9 rate in the 1st inning of starts, so his control might not be good as it takes him time to settle in. Marquez would be the groundball machine, but the Yankees’ bullpen doesn’t strike anyone out, and they already have LaTroy Hawkins to get a lot of groundballs.
Nick Green Signed: Green agreed on a minor league contract with the Yankees. On that note, Bronson Sardhina is being pursued as well on a minor-league deal. Newman notes that many of these fringe players don’t like to sign with the Yankees because the Yankees are very set with their lineups and pitching, so they won’t get much of an opportunity. Well, Nick Green isn’t a top prospect–he’s a fringe player, really–but he’s back with the Yankees, and could make the club out of Spring Training in the utility role as opposed to Alberto Gonzales.
Roger Clemens Denies Using Steroids December 21, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Roger Clemens, Steroids.
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The statement from yours truly, Roger Clemens:
“I want to state clearly and without qualification: I did not take steroids, human growth hormone or any other banned substances at any time in my baseball career or, in fact, my entire life. Those substances represent a dangerous and destructive shortcut no athlete should ever take.
“I am disappointed that my 25 years in public life have apparently not earned me the benefit of the doubt, but I understand Senator Mitchell’s report has raised many serious questions. I plan to publicly answer all of those questions at the appropriate time in the appropriate way. I only ask that in the meantime people not rush to judgment.” (Source)
I would love to believe him, but the evidence all points the other way. At least he wasn’t named in Jason Grimsley’s report, who was with the Yankees at the time that Clemens allegedly used steroids.
Last Wednesday’s Non-Tenders December 21, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Bronson Sardhina, Darell Rasner, Matt DeSalvo, TJ Beam.
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Last Wednesday, four players were non-tendered from the Yankees. They were Darrell Rasner, TJ Beam, Matt DeSalvo, and Bronson Sadhina. Some analysis on it:
Rasner was the biggest surprise of all, considering he was decent when he was healthy, but he came back on a minor-league deal.
Beam left for Pittsburgh. Good for him–he looked to have a somewhat promising career a couple of years back, but after a horrible 2006 major league stint, he hasn’t and wouldn’t have gotten a chance with the big club.
DeSalvo is only intriguing because he throws every pitch in the book. To me, he’s a AAAA pitcher. Hopefully we can get him back on a minor-league deal, because he is useful as a 1- or 2-start replacement-level pitcher, though is a lot of depth in front of him.
Sardhina was already DFA’d to make room for Andy Pettitte. He has a chance, but is looking more and more like a bust to me. The Yankees are looking to get him on a minor league deal, but he isn’t so sure.
Personally, I hoped Brian Bruney would be another non-tender. He has a bad attitude and no control. Hopefully Dave Eiland can fix him up (that’s what everyone is saying lately…).
Fringe-Player Theory December 21, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Fringe-Player Theory, Jeremy Giambi, Shane Spencer.
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Not every major leaguer is a superstar. Not every minor leaguer is a top prospect. And not every major leaguer or minor leaguer is an average player, either. There are fringe players, and they are often the 12th pitcher, the last bench bat, or the 25th man on a major league roster.
Because these players aren’t especially talented, or are late-bloomers who have to fight for chances, or who are toolsy but will never figure out how to use them, or rapidly decline, they are fringe players. These players don’t have especially long careers. Here is where my theory comes in.
I preface this theory by saying that I haven’t read any article–be it Bill James, Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, etc.–that has provided me with the basis of this theory. I simply have it through looking at players’ stats at BaseballReference.com
To begin, there are cycles of 4 and/or 6 years–1993-1998, 1998-2003, 2004-2007, and continuing–where these fringe players have their careers. There are such players who figure it out (somehow) and have nice careers as bench bats or decent pitchers (Ricky Bones and Randy Velarde, both who happen to be alleged steroid users), but that is not the norm. The fringe players who stay as fringe players have careers that are within the ranges above. Of course, there are players who start in 1997 and end in 2002, or have a seven year career, but generally such players have very short MLB careers.
Take Jeremy Giambi, for example. Giambi debuted in 1998 with the Kansas City Royals. He didn’t have a good 18-game debut, so he only played in 90 games the next season with KC. He was then traded to the Oakland A’s in 2000, and decent year as a bench bat in limited duty. In 2001, in more playing time, he had a nice year that culminated with being thrown out at the plate with “the flip”, the throw from Paul O’Neill to Derek Jeter to Jorge Posada that nailed him at the plate and allowed the Yankees to win the 2001 ALDS. In 2002 he had a career-high 20 HRs in 2002, but lacked the run production to justify the starting role that Oakland gave him in early 2002. He was then traded to Philadelphia, where he was again a bench bat with increased production. In his last season, 2003, he was traded to Boston for the now-deceased Josh Hancock, and had a dismal year before getting released at season’s end. He then signed a minor-league contract in 2004 for the Dodgers again in 2005 for the White Sox before getting released in May 2005. And that was the end for him–at age 30, theoretically in his prime.
Giambi is the prime example for this theory. Other players who have similar careers are Kevin Maas, Kevin Reimer, and Shane Spencer.
Average or below-average players who quickly decline have about a 4-6 year span as fringe players before they are out of the game. This applies to Chad Curtis, Todd Hollandsworth, Gerald Williams, and others.
Now, this is useless unless we can use it for projecting. For example, Shelley Duncan’s track record is similar to that of Giambi, Mass, Reimer, and Spencer, so I will project Shelley Duncan to have a brief career.
Not bad, eh?