Meky and Sexon Out; Gardner, Ransom, Britton Up August 19, 2008Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Chris Britton, Cody Ransom, Dan Giese, Injuries, Melky Cabrera, Richie Sexson, Transactions.
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Before Friday night’s opener against the opener, OF Melky Cabrera was demoted to AAA and 1B Richie Sexson was waived. To take their place, OF Brett Gardner and INF Cody Ransom were promoted. Cabrera has been a black hole in the lineup since May. Sexson has struck out too much and hasn’t done the job against lefties. Gardner has been deserving, as he’s been great in AAA since his demotion, and Ransom has legitamate pop and should have a .250-ish avg with more speed and versatility than Wilson Betemit.
Britton is up for the umpteenth time this season to replace Dan Giese, who was placed on the 15-day DL on Thursday with rotator cuff tendinitis.
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Had the midges not attacked, we would be leading this series. But let’s not talk of what might have been.
Had the Yankees lost last night, we would be eliminated and Joe Torre out. Again, though, let’s not talk of what might have been.
Roger Clemens started last night, lasting a mere 2.2 innings while giving up a run in all of them. His hamstring flared up, and there is some likelihood he’ll never pitch again (if he doesn’t, at least he struck out some one to end his career.) Phil Hughes then came in, and after allowing a fly ball double to Jhonny Peralta in the third, he threw a very solid 3.1 innings, striking out 4 and walking none, and allowing only one other hit. If Clemens doesn’t pitch in the ALCS, should the Yankees get that far, count Hughes for Game 3 and Ian Kennedy (remember him?) for Game 4.
However, the momentum changed in the fifth. With the Yankees cutting the Indian lead to 3-2, Johnny Damon steps up to the plate with Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera on base. He homers, and, seemingly out of nowhere, the Yankees have a 5-3 lead. Then, in the next inning, with the bases loaded on a questionable IBB for Hideki Matsui, Robinson Cano singles to right, but Trot Nixon lets the ball gets past him and all runners score. With the score then 8-3, the Yankees all but won the game.
Chien-Ming Wang will start tonight, and Andy Pettitte will likely start on Wednesday. However, with Clemens likely out for the rest of the postseason, the Yankees can add another pitcher to take his spot? The four candidates are Ian Kennedy, Chris Britton, Edwar Ramirez, and Ron Villone. It seems, after the first two games, the Yankees needed a long reliever, so that goes for Villone. Joe Torre’s preference for AAAA arms whom he tries to ride out, plus his changeup, states Ramirez’s case. Ian Kennedy gives them another starter, but he has never relieved, shouldn’t relieve with his finesse stuff, and we really don’t need a starter until the ALCS. Britton…well, I have previously written about him. The best bet is for Villone to make it, as he is a lefty, anyway.
George Steinbrenner on multiple topics:
On Joe Torre: “His job is on the line. I think we’re paying him a lot of money. He’s the highest-paid manager in baseball, so I don’t think we’d take him back if we don’t win this series.”
On A-Rod: “I think we’ll re-sign him. I think he’s going to have a good run the rest of the (postseason). I think he realizes New York is the place to be, the place to play. A lot of this (postseason) is laying on his shoulders, you know, but I think he’s up to it.”
On his health: “I’m doing all right. I’m fine.” (Courtesy of Peter Abraham)
94-68, 1st in Wild Card September 30, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Bronson Sardhina, Chris Britton, Edwar Ramirez, Joe Torre, Jose Veras, Kyle Farnsworth, Ross Ohlendorf.
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The Yankees have won the last two nights, 11-10 and 10-4, respectively, to get 94 wins and end the hunt for a playoff roster. Ross Ohlendorf, despite allowing a run and two hits in 1.1 innings, probably sealed his playoff roster spot. Jose Veras, Edwar Ramirez, and Chris Britton probably have to duke it out for the last one. With Britton’s outing today, he probably has eliminated Ramirez. Veras, who has two mop-up saves, did moderately well in both of those appearances, but Britton, his loss nonwithstanding, has done a better job. I hope Britton gets the nod, but, as I have pointed out before, Joe Torre rides out AAAA relievers as long as they can (i.e. C.J. Nitkowski, Sean Henn, need I go further?). My feeling from these last four days is that, like it or not, Veras will make the roster but stink up the joint in the playoffs.
Now, there is another interesting alternative here. Kyle Farnsworth may have tweaked his groin on a pitch in the ninth inning. He seems to always be nicked up, and that, along with his crappy attitude and bad pitching, may keep him from making the postseason roster. Big deal? Well, maybe bigger than you think. I will take a chance here, and risk being disowned by you in the blogging community. Here it is: 7th inning, 5-0 against a staggering Cleveland offense being dominated by [insert Game 3 starter here], and the Yankees are facing Jake Westbrook. Farnsworth’s pitched in the playoffs already. Would you trust him there instead of Chris Britton? Yes. Britton, a strikeout pitcher in the minors this season, has only struck out 3 in 6.2 innings (covering a span of a month, or 7 games. Bad enough that he pitches less than an inning a game without being a specialist, but he also has 6.00 ERA over that span. Moreover, most of those runs come in mop-up situations, the only situation he or Farnsworth would be used for. Before I give more stats, I will state here that a blowout, in this case, specifies a loss of three runs or more when more than 8 runs have been scored by the other team. Mean while, dating back to July, Farnsworth has a 4.50 era in 10 innings while pitching in a blowout. Would I still take Britton? YES, because Britton has pitched well in tight ball games. But Farnsworth makes $6.67 mil, and Torre has something against Britton anyway…
The other note
- Bronson Sardihna has all but locked up a playoff spot with a great performance since his cameo.
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.
Yankees Lose in Toronto, Go Eat Beans in Boston September 15, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Andy Pettitte, Bobby Abreu, Chien-Ming Wang, Chris Britton, GCL Yankees, Hideki Okajima, Ian Kennedy, Jason Giambi, Johnny Damon, Jonathan Papelbon, Jose Veras, Robinson Cano, Sean Henn.
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The short-handed Yankees lost in the bottom of the ninth, 2-1, with another poor offensive showing. Ian Kennedy was spectacular again, with a line of 7IP 1H 1 ER 7K. AJ Burnett gave up 7 hits in 8 innings, but K’ed 8 and dominated the Yankees. The Yankees weren’t prepared to play extras, so they sent Chris Britton out to lose the game and go to Boston. You may disagree, but come on, it only took five pitches, and it wasn’t exactly a heart breaker.
The Yankees were poised for a blowout loss yesterday, with an ineffective Andy Pettitte starting and Jose Veras and Sean (The Egg-Laying) Henn, then being plagued by Derek Jeter’s throw and Jason Giambi’s glove…or lack of it. After it being 5-1 after four and 7-2 after six, Boston sent out the first-half wunderkind, Hideki Okajima, in the eighth inning. He served up back-to-back jacks to Jason Giambi and Robinson Cano, and then walked the badly slumping Melky Cabrera before everything unraveled, and Johnny Damon (4-6, 2 2B) as well as Derek Jeter got on, and by then it was 7-5. Jonathan Papelbon came in, but that was no relief. Bobby Abreu doubled in the tying runs, and he stole second. A-Rod then singled him in, and after seemingly having lost the game, the Yankees won, 8-7.
All Boston has to do is win one, but they still have a chance. Chien-Ming Wang probably will win today, considering how the Yankees hit Josh Beckett, but I have little confidence in Roger Clemens, as the Yankees will need their longmen (Kei Igawa, Ross Ohlendorf, Sean Henn, Jeff Karstens, Matt DeSalvo) ready in case something happens to the Rocket.
Prediction for today: 6-4 win.
Prediction for Sunday: 8-4 loss.
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.
Yankees Lose to Tampa, Seattle September 3, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Alex Rodriguez, Andy Pettitte, Austin Jackson, Chris Britton, Edwar Ramirez, GCL Yankees, Ichiro, Kyle Farnsworth, Marcos Vechionacci, Mike Mussina, Roger Clemens, Trenton Thunder.
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Andy Pettitte had a nice outing until the seventh, where he served up a fat one to Carlos Pena and he homered as the Yankees lost, 8-2. Melky Cabrera singled in a run and Bobby Abreu tripled in Johnny Damon for the only Yankee runs. On the flip side, Edwar Ramirez pitched, and gave up homers to Josh Wilson and Akinori Iwamura. His fastball is decent and changeup are nice, but he needs to add another pitch–maybe a slider or curveball. Maybe Mo can teach his successor the cutter.
Today, I went to the game, and Rocket was just terrible. His command was spotty, and he served up 8 hits in 4 innings, as well as a homer to Ichiro. His fastball was back down to 89-90, bottoming out at 87 and topping out at 91. His pitches didn’t have much break, but he threw a nice 86 mph splitter to strike out Kenji Johjima in the second.
Mike Mussina relieved–not sure how 7 hits in 3.2 innings can be relief in my heart, but…he gave up 2 runs and 3 doubles before being pulled for Chris Britton. Kyle Farnsworth-less pitched an inning of electric stuff, K’ing 2.
A-Rod singled in a run in the first, and also burned Ichiro trying to stretch a single to a double…after that, it was all Mariners.
Vechionnaci Promoted As I pointed out on August 16th, I speculated that Marcos Vechionnaci, the slick-fielding Yankee shortstop would be promoted to AA due to his advanced fielding and hot hitting. A couple of days ago, he was promoted for the stretch run for AA, which I am glad to see.
Jackson Promoted The Yankees’ beast prospect was promoted to AAA for the stretch run. I’m anxious to see what he does there, because he can begin next year AA and ascend to MLB, almost like Joba and IPK did this year.
Rookie Yanks are GCL Champions The GCL Yankees beat the GCL Dodgers to win the Gulf Coast League Championship. Kudos to them and to Jesus Montero, who seems to have fully recovered from his ankle injury and hit his 4th homer.
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.
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 Get Crushed; Roster Moves August 15, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Chris Britton, Edwar Ramirez, Jeff Karstens, Jim Brower, Kyle Farnsworth, Luis Vizcaino, Ron Villone, Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees, Sean Henn.
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The Yankees were crushed by the Baltimore Orioles yesterday, 12-0, on the night that Phil “Scooter”
Rizzuto passed away. The “Bombers” only managed an infield single by A-Rod and a clean single by Hideki Matsui. I was half-right, in that Jeff Karstens, Jim Brower, and Ron Villone were slugged upon. Kyle Farnsworth is recuperating Torre’s trust with a 9-pitch inning last night, and Luis Vizcaino had an 11-pitch ninth. The latter two should be available.
However, Brower and Karstens won’t be available for Scranton tomorrow. That’s right, both have been demoted, and Edwar Ramirez (THANK GOD!) and Sean Henn have been called up. It’s best that both should stay for a while in New York, and the bullpen is missing one more piece–Chris Britton.