Thoughts: The Nady and Marte Trade August 8, 2008Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Damaso Marte, Dan McCutchen, Jeff Karstens, Jose Tabata, Ross Ohlendorf, Trade Deadline 2008, Trades, Transactions, Xavier Nady.
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As we know, RF Xavier Nady and LHP Damaso Marte were traded from the Pittsburgh Pirates for OF Jose Tabata, RHP Ross Ohlendorf, RHP Daniel McCutchen, and RHP Jeff Karstens. Tabata hit an extremely disappointing .248/.320/.310, and, coupled with maturity and makeup issues, had his stock fall precipitously this year. Tabata hasn’t developed power as usual and couldn’t even hit for contact. Ohlendorf posted a 36/19 K/BB rate along with a 1.72 WHIP and a 6.53 ERA in 40 MLB innings. Worse than all of this is the 7 homers allowed. In short, he had severe command issues and needs to refine his sinker. McCutchen posted solid peripherals and numbers accross the board: 110/29 K/BB rate along with a 1.18 WHIP and a 3.14 ERA in 123.1 innings between AA and AAA. He is probably ready for a MLB call-up, but wasn’t given a chance by the Yankees. While he’s a bit old (25), he had such talent to be a back-of-the-rotation or solid bullpen pitcher. Since he has posted good numbers and is almost MLB-ready, his loss stings a bit, but he’s not by any means untouchable or unreplaceable. Karstens, after repeated failures last year in the big leagues, is basically a AAAA player at this point, even if he took a perfect game until the 8th inning against Arizona.
Nady has broken out this year, hitting .330/.383/.535 in 327 ABs, with 13 HRs and 57 RBI and a 55/29 K/BB ratio for Pittsburgh. He crushes lefties historically and plays good defense in right. Marte is one of the better left-handed relievers in baseball, death on lefties. He posted 47/16 K/BB rate, a 1.16 WHIP, 18 HLD, and 5 SV in 46.2 innings (47 games) for the Bucs (he was named the closer shortly before the trade). Over the last three years, Marte has held lefties to a .206/.309/.288 line, allowing only 3 homers in 243 AB. He is the lefty needed to neutralize dangerous AL lefties like Josh Hamilton, David Ortiz, Justin Morneau, Grady Sizemore, and others.
This trade is a clear winner for the Yankees. Nady fills the desparate need of a productive, power-hitting corner OF to get Melky Cabrera out of the starting line-up while adding punch against lefties (and, this year, against righties). Marte fills the lefty need from a previously all-righty bullpen, and makes Billy Traber even more useless. Tabata used to be highly regarded before the aforementioned problems, and many (including me) have soured on him. I don’t see how his power develops through all this–he has 3 homers thus far. What’s more, it would be a success if he would be as good as Xavier Nady even before this season, and I’m honestly not sure he will be. Ohlendorf was sinking fast in the organization depth chart with an abysmal season (I will concede that he didn’t have a clear role, and that never helps). Great trade for the Yanks.
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 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.
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.
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.
Jeff Karstens to Start Tonight August 14, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Baltimore Orioles, Daniel Cabrera, Ian Kennedy, Jeff Karstens.
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Jeff Karstens, not Ian Kennedy, will face Daniel Cabrera tonight. Karstens has been ineffective all year long, before and after his stint on the DL. Cabrera struggled against the Yankees in his last start in Baltimore, and always walks a lot of batters. This should be a slugfest.
Edwar Ramirez called up? August 10, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Edwar Ramirez, Jeff Karstens, Jim Brower.
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According to Tyler Kepner, Edwar Ramirez will be called up as soon as today. The likely candidate to be sent down is Jeff Karstens, who, on the season, is:
(According to ESPN.com)
Not impressive, but throughout his brief major league career, he has been more effective as a reliever than as a starter. However, Jim Brower may also be designated for assignment, since he has no real role in his bullpen.
’08 Rotation August 9, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Andy Pettitte, Barry Zito, Carl Pavano, Carlos Zambrano, Chien-Ming Wang, Ian Kennedy, Jeff Karstens, Kei Igawa, Kevin Brown, Mike Hampton, Mike Mussina, Pedro Martinez, Phil Hughes, Roger Clemens.
2008 brings a couple of changes. Andy Pettitte has a player option, and Roger Clemen’s $17-million contract (which is a minor league contract, mind you) expires after the year. That opens up two holes in our rotation. Chien-Ming Wang is not eligible for free agency, Phil Hughes should already be a mainstay, and for some reason, Mike Mussina would still be under contract (and at $11 mil a year, you can’t just DFA him because why would the Yankees eat that much if no one takes him?). That leaves two spots open. Now, we can go two ways here
- The Yankees sign Carlos Zambrano for 5 years – 7 years for $90-126 million, and re-converts Joba Chamberlain to a starter
- The Yankees re-convert Joba Chamberlain to a starter and call up RHP Ian Kennedy to take the 5th spot in the rotation.
Which move do you thinks the Yankees stronger? I think Carlos Zambrano is a liability, because he started off weakly this year, has been rumored to have arm problems for years, has fluctutating velocity, and was a workhorse from the beginning. He still is a great pitcher, but I don’t like him for 4 years, never mind 5-7. Besides, all of the pitchers that have gotten big contracts (Mike Hampton, Kevin Brown, Carl Pavano, Pedro Martinez, Barry Zito, Roger Clemens this year) have not delivered. Bringing up Kennedy makes the Yankees a more homegrown-talent-oriented team, and they develop their prospects better. Kei Igawa should be a longman (albeit an expensive one), and…well, you know what I think of Jeff Karstens based on my Rule 5 draft entry. Either that, or Igawa could be traded (the Mariners and Padres were interested, according to Tim Dierkes at MLB Trade Rumors) and Karstens could be protected. Still, there are other arms/bats that can be protected in Karstens’s place.
Yankees Stink Up the Joint in Toronto August 9, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Blue Jays, Chien-Ming Wang, Hideki Matsui, Jeff Karstens, Kyle Farnsworth, Robinson Cano, Ron Villone.
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Man…the Yankees were just overmatched against their best starting pitcher, Chien-Ming Wang. In case you haven’t heard, the Yankees lost 15-4 last night to the Toronto Blue Jays, with Wang giving up 8 runs (5 earned) in 2.2 innings. His ERA went up to only 3.94, which shows you how well he has pitched. Yet, Jeff Karstens had another bad long relief outing and Ron Villone (1.1 IP, 2 ER) and Kyle Farnsworth (perfect 9th…wow) finished up the job.
Robinson Cano and Hideki Matsui continued their hot hitting, with Cano belting two HR’s and Matsui one.
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.