Betemit Signs; Cano, Wang Exchange Figures With Yanks January 19, 2008Posted by Pablo Zevallos in 2008 Arbitration Hearings, Brian Bruney, Chien-Ming Wang, Robinson Cano, Wilson Betemit.
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Wilson Betemit signed a 1-yr, $1.165M deal to be part of the first base platoon. No surprise here.
On the other hand, the Yankees didn’t sign Chien-Ming Wang or Robinson Cano to contracts. By the deadline to submit arbitration figures, Wang asked for $4.6M, while the team offered $4M. There should be a contract settled by the February arbitration hearings. Conversely, Cano asked for $4.55M, with the team offering #3.2. Cano was obviously lowballed, and maybe the Yankees were taking this whole “young, cheap core” thing too seriously. Cano hit .306 and set career-highs with 19 HRs and 97 RBIs. He will be one of the centerpieces of the Yankee offenses of the future. You can make the argument that he lowballed himself, except that Miguel Cabrera only made $11.3M this offseason.
In new no one cares about, Brian Bruney asked for $845,000, while the Yankees offered $640,000. Hmm, I wonder who will win this case…oh yeah, the team.
Split With Jays, But Won the One that Counts in Tampa September 27, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Brian Bruney, Chris Britton, Doug Mientkewicvz, Edwar Ramirez, Jason Giambi, October 2007, Ron Villone, Ross Ohlendorf.
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After a wild, wild series with Toronto (too many details to recount!!!) the Yankees went to Tampa to clinch in front of the ailing George Steinbrenner. He witnessed Jeff Karstens blow another one on Tuesday, but on Wednesday, the Yankees hammered Tampa Bay, 12-4, and have a clinched a playoff spot. Detroit has been eliminated from contention, and the American League, depending on whether Boston wins two of the next four games, is all but set.
Based on the recent bullpen implosions, I hope that the steady Ross Ohlendorf makes the roster and that Brian Bruney and Edwar Ramirez are left off, because they don’t deserve it based on performance. Ron Villone will probably make it (arrgghh), but we can’t do anything about that. Does Britton take the last spot? I hope so.
Does Jason Giambi make the roster? I hope not.
Doug Minky will start in the postseason–mark my words.
Post-Season Roster September 22, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Brian Bruney, Doug Mientkewicvz, Edwar Ramirez, Ian Kennedy, Jason Giambi, Jose Veras, Mike Mussina, Phil Hughes, Postseason, Ron Villone, Shelley Duncan, Wilson Betemit.
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Joe Torre has some interesting choices for his postseason roster. Mike Mussina has dominated his last two outings, but they have been against lesser teams that won’t be seen in the postseason. Ian Kennedy has dominated as well, but that was against Tampa Bay (decent lineup, really), Kansas City, and Toronto. Phil Hughes has had a resurgence of late as well, and he is in the mix.
Relievers: At this point, the remaining reliever spots will be two of Jose Veras, Ron Villone, Brian Bruney, and Edwar Ramirez. My gut tells me Veras is the only guarantee here, because he has impressed Torre a lot in September and is one of those no-namers that Torre rides out as long as he can (Tanyon Sturtze, Jeff Karstens, anyone?). The other three have serious flaws, so it will probably be the second-place finisher between that of Hughes, Mussina, and Kennedy. Kennedy, a finesse guy, probably won’t make the roster unless he is a starter, leaving Hughes and Mussina. Joe Torre always like experience, so I’ll say Mussina starts game 4 and Hughes is the long man. If you wonder why I don’t mention Chris Britton, it’s because he hasn’t exactly dominated outside of his 3 innings of long relief back in May, and Torre and Brian Cashman have held him back so much this season I don’t think he really has a shot.
Bench: There is one juicy debate here. The main point is which three of Jason Giambi, Doug Mientkewicvz (did I spell that right?), Shelley Duncan, or Wilson Betemit make the postseason. Without Betemit, the Yankees have no utility infielder, so I’ll assume he makes it despite his BA since coming to NY. Besides, he was the return for the best non-Mo Rivera reliver they had at the time, Scott Proctor, and Brian Cashman & Joe won’t give up on him that quickly. In the postseason, with groundball pitchers like Wang and Pettitte, fielding is important, so I’ll pick Doug Minky for this one. Last, we have two slumping DH/1B types, Shelley Duncan and Jason Giambi. Giambi is the veteran, but he has done much lately. On the other hand, neither has Duncan, but he has been around the postseason as a kid with his dad Dave Duncan and Tony LaRussa with the A’s (coincidentally, with Giambi). However, Duncan plays hard and can also play the corner OF spots, and he is a RH hitter, so I will pick Duncan to make it over Giambi.
This means that the Yankees have four bench players (13 batters) and 12 pitchers. In the postseason, idyllically one would have 13 pitchers and 12 batters, so maybe if one of Villone, Ramirez, or Bruney outshine Giambi/Duncan in the last few days, a pitcher could be taken. However, Ramirez gave up a home run to Alex Rios yesterday in the 8th inning, severely hurting his chances for a roster berth.
Yankees Sweep Baltimore, then Lose Heartbreaker in 14 September 22, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Andy Pettitte, Baltimore Orioles, Brian Bruney, Chien-Ming Wang, Edwar Ramirez, Greg Zaun, Hideki Matsui, Jason Frasor, Joe Kennedy, Melky Cabrera, Mike Mussina, Phil Hughes, Roy Halladay.
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The Yankees swept Baltimore between Monday and Wednesday, receiving great pitching from Phil Hughes, Mike Mussina, and Andy Pettitte. The offense clicked in the first two games before Brian Burres shut down the Yankees again despite losing. Hideki Matsui seems to have climbed out of his funk, while Melky Cabrera continues to sink into his. A-Rod set his career-high in RBI’s last night, but before his 2-6 yesterday he was slumping as well.
Yesterday, Chien-Ming Wang gave up 6 H and 2 runs (1 earned) in 7 innings, K’ing 4 and walking 1. Edwar Ramirez relieved him only to give up another home run. However, no offense through the first 8 innings had Roy Halladay, Toronto’s ace, pitching in the 9th inning with a 4-run lead. With an error by Aaron Hill, the Yankees then crept up and tied it in the 9th, before sending it to extras.
The Yankees only managed a hit and a walk against the 5 Toronto pitchers, and while the Yankee pitchers were on a similar pace, Brian Bruney, gave up a homer to Greg Zaun (sad, ain’t it?) and then Joe Kennedy (not, not JFK’s daddy) and Jason Frasor shut them down. Horrible loss
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The Yankees lost a long, bad game to Boston, 10-1, effectively ending their division hopes as it reminded them that there are some bullpen members who continue to struggle.
In the 7th inning, when the Yankees let up 4 runs to break open what was a 5-1 game, this was the line of the pitchers that inning (not including their performances in previous innings):
Edwar Ramirez 0.1 IP, 0 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Ron Villone 0.0 IP, 0 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
Brian Bruney 0.1 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Sean Henn 0.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
Ross Ohlendorf 0.1 IP 0 H, 1 BB, 1 K
(Courtesy of ESPN.com)
According to the FOX telecast, the Yankees threw 45 pitches in a 25 innings. Sad, isn’t it, that the Yankees continue with AAAA arms like Henn and Villone. Bruney can be fixed, I think, but Sean Henn, in 33.2 IP, has allowed 43 H and 26 BB, a WHIP of 2.05. A WHIP of 1.50 isn’t great, forget a WHIP that high. In August and September, in 8 G and 9.1 IP, he has allowed 21 H, 18 R (16 ER), 2 HR, 10 BB, and 9 K’s. He should be DFA’ed for a better pitcher (T.J. Beam? Darrell Rasner?). However, the most telling stat is that he has thrown 214 pitches, laboring a lot through his innings.
The bright spot was Derek Jeter’s homer to center, a good sign his knee is getting better. There were some flashes of rivalry, as Kevin Youkilis was hit in his wrist (day-to-day with a contusion) and Jason Giambi was hit in his elbow. Moreover, Eric Hinske totally barreled into Jorge Posada…at least he was out.
Another brightspot, though, was Ross Ohlendorf. All his 4 outs were on K’s, and he should a live fastball and sinker. I think he did a nice job, sans the homer to Hinske, and he should be a good arm to come out of the bullpen.
Overall not a very good game, and they must hope Roger Clemens goes 6 innings today because the bullpen has been taxed.
Yankees Win First 2 From KC; Seattle Loses September 9, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in AAA S/WB, Andy Pettitte, Brian Bruney, Bronson Sardhina, Chris Britton, Derek Jeter, Ian Kennedy, Jeff Karstens, Kei Igawa, Kevin Youkilis, Ross Ohlendorf, Sean Henn, Trenton Thunder.
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The Yankees have won the first two games of their three-gamer from Kansas City. A-Rod has three homers in those games, breaking the Yankees record for a right-handed hitter (held previously by himself and Joe D.) and the major league record for a third-basemen (held previously by Mike Schmidt).
Ian Kennedy did a decent job, going 5, walking 3, K’ing only two, and allowing 7 hits and two runs. I don’t think he’s always going to be this, or always going to be what he was in his first game at Tampa Bay, but he’ll be somewhere in between, which is still nice. In that game Jorge Posada also homered and Bobby Abreu drove in Jeter with a game-breaking double in the seventh.
Yesterday, Andy Pettite went 6.1 innings, allowing 7 hits, two runs, two walks, and striking out four. Brian Bruney had a horrible game, relieving Chris Britton after 1.2 innings of work. Bruney went a third of an inning, walking three, although he gave up no hits and allowed two runs. He even debated with an umpire over a high pitch six inches over the strike zone. In this game, Wilson Betemit and Johnny Damon also homered.
- Derek Jeter left last night’s game in the fifth due to patellar (knee) tendinitis, and won’t play today and he’ll rest somewhat on Toronto’s artificial turf.
- The S/WB Yankees (AAA) lost to Richmond, 4-3, eliminating them from the playoffs. Disappointing, but when you consider how close the games were with the talent they lost through injury or promotion, they must really be commended for their work this season.
- I didn’t know this, but Austin Jackson is with Trenton (AA) for the playoffs and is doing a very nice job.
- According to Peter Abraham, since the S/WB Yankees’ season is over, The Yankees will call up LHP Kei Igawa, LHP Sean Henn (he doesn’t deserve it), RHP Jeff Karstens (since he threw last night, he’ll arrive on Tuesday), RHP Ross Ohlendorf, and OF Bronson Sardhina before today’s game. Nice crop of players once you include Ohlendorf an Sardhina, who have a nice future with the Yankees.
- Let’-Play-Tag-Kevin Youkilis would love to know why we Yankee fans and the Yankees hate him. He compared his moody style of playing to Paul O’Neill. I’m not sure I even want to go there, but obviously that big head of his is empty.
Mike Mussina’s Rotation Spot in Danger August 24, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Bret Prinz, Brian Bruney, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Chris Britton, Ian Kennedy, Jeff Karstens, Kei Igawa, Mike Mussina, Pittsburgh Pirates, Ron Villone, Sean Henn, Steven White.
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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.
Rule 5 Draft August 8, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Brian Bruney, Ferdin Tejeda, Frankie Cervelli, Jeff Karstens, Jeff Marquez, Matt DeSalvo, Ross Ohlendorf, Rule 5 Draft, Steven White.
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Exemptions to Selection Eligibility
Players signed at age 19 or older are exempt from the Rule 5 draft for four years after being drafted (in the amateur draft) or signed by their current organization; players drafted or signed at age 18 or younger are exempt for five years. For example, players drafted in 2004 (or later) at age 19 (or older) will be exempt from the 2007 Rule 5 draft, as will players drafted in 2003 (or later) at age 18 (or younger).
The exemption periods were extended by one year in October 2006 as part of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The change took effect immediately, exempting many players from the 2006 Rule 5 draft even though they had been signed in some cases more than four years before the new agreement came into effect. Prior to the rule change, players were exempt for three or four years after the year they were signed (regardless of the year they were drafted), rather than four or five years.
The diary was largely concerned about the Yankees and the prospects they could lose through the Rule 5 draft. The exemption period doesn’t affect many Yankee prospects, and anyone not exempt and not on the 40-man roster is free for the vultures. The Yankees have many good prospects off the 40-man roster (Jeff Marquez, Ferdin Tejeda, Ross Ohlendorf, Frankie Cervelli, Steven White) and some organization players on it (TJ Beam, Brian Bruney, Matt DeSalvo, Chase Wright, Jose Veras, Jeff Karstens, Andy Phillips, Chris Basak, Kevin Reese, Kevin Thompson). However, some busts that still have time to pan out–Eric Duncan and Tim Battle–might not be spared. It is possible that Brian Cashman will re-align his 40-man roster to protect his players of the future and get rid of the AAAA players, but it isn’t certain. There are others, like Reggie Corona, and Brett Smith, that are good but not elite prospects, and their success may not translate to MLB success. However, there are others, like Steven Jackson, that are simply so ineffective that it really doesn’t matter whether anyone takes them or not. However, one thing to consider is that not all of these prospects are major league ready, and the key to the Rule V draft is that the players taken must stay on the MLB roster the whole year, whether on the DL or active, or they must be returned to their original club. The only prospects that aren’t MLB-ready in the least, though are Cervelli and Tejeda. The others–Ohlendorf, Marquez, and White–have reached at least AA or AAA and could conceivably be used some how in an MLB pitching staff.
Joba is Here August 7, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Brian Bruney, Jason Giambi, Joba Chamberlain, Miguel Cairo.
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Joba (The Hutt) Chamberlain has arrived. The highly-touted starter-temporarily turned-reliever is 9-2 with a a 2.45 ERA in the minors, and in 88.1 IP, he has struck out 135, and walked 27. Brian Bruney, ineffective all year long, was sent down to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Now the bullpen may actually be a strength, and Joba should succeed, assuming Torre uses him wisely (always a challenge).
UPDATE: Jason Giambi was activated off the DL, Miguel Cairo being DFA’ed
A Pinstriped Logjam II: Who to send down when Joba comes up? August 3, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Brian Bruney, Chris Britton, Edwar Ramirez, Jason Giambi, Jim Brower, Joba Chamberlain, Kyle Farnsworth, Mike Myers, Sean Henn.
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Joba Chamberlain is being converted into a reliever to help the Yankees this season down the stretch. No doubt that they could use him, but, like when Giambi comes back, this creates a bullpen logjam as well. These are the probable candidates to be DFA’d, or optioned, to make room for The Hutt.
(All statistics according to ESPN.com)
|B. Bruney 48G||2W||1L||0SV||5HLD||40.2 IP
See those walks? Typical of a guy with a high heater. Doesn’t have much of an offspeed or breaking pitch either–just mostly fastballs. As mentioned in the previous Logjam Edition, he has as many walks as K’s, and a man with his heater should strike out a man an inning, not 6.42/9. The WHIP is very high–and Torre doesn’t have much confidence in him, as can be told by the innings to games ratio. He has also been used in mop-up issues, and has given up a lot of runs of late.
|K. Farnsworth 46G||1W||1L||0SV||11HLD||43.1IP||49H||7HR||21BB||29K||6.02K/9||1.62 WHIP
Now, here we’re not talking about a man who just has a 100MPH fastball, but has a nasty slider and good bite to his splitter…but has no command or control. His attitude sucks, and he could be traded, and, if Cashman is that desperate, DFA’d. Also, if he would pitch a full-fledged 215 innings as a starter, he would give up 35 HR’s, which would have led the American league last year…not good
|Sean Henn 21G||2W||0L||0SV||2HLD||25.1IP||22H||3HR||16BB||19K||6.75K/9||1.50WHIP||4.26ERA|
Nothing really wrong with him. Throws decently hard (93-94MPH), is a lefty, giving him more chances at The Show. However, he’s a long man/starter, a Ron Villone type, so he could succeed Villone next year when he leaves. He has a good slider, a decent changeup, but gives up a lot of walks and has a high WHIP as a result. If he can lower his walks and baserunners his ERA will lower as well. More strikeout should be expected.
|Mike Myers 52G||0W||2L||0SV||4HLD||39.0IP||35H||3HR||15BB||19K||4.38K/9||1.28WHIP||2.54ERA|
This man is a sidearming 38 years old, and has a 77MPH fastball, as well as a 68MPH slider with less sweep than before. He has a .296 BAA against lefties, with .358OBP, and he’s supposed to be a lefty specialist. However, he has .187 BAA against righties, with a .262OBP. Weird, eh? There are NL teams interested in him, and he can very easily be claimed. He is in the last year of his contract, and should retire at the end of this year.
Easily, or two of these men can be demoted, and then Joba can be promoted with another truly deserving Scranton reliever–Jim Brower, Chris Britton, or Edwar Ramirez