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.
Kei Igawa Claimed by Padres August 10, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Kei Igawa, PNC Park, San Diego Padres.
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THANK GOD!!! According to Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors, the Padres were awarded their claim on Kei Igawa. That means the Yankees have 48 hours to trade the ineffective Janapese left-hander. Dierkes speculates that the Yankees may just dump the contract. Good for the Padres, because he could be less homer prone in a huge ballpark like PNC. $4 million a year for him in the NL West at PNC is a..let’s say, a 4.20 ERA, and that’s a bargain.
’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.
Ian Kennedy–When Is He Coming Up? August 9, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Ian Kennedy, Joba Chamberlain, Kei Igawa, Matt DeSalvo, Mike Mussina, Roger Clemens, Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees, Tampa Yankees, Trenton Thunder.
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Yes, we here at Yankees: Looking for the Future, have already had our wishes honored, and Joba Chamberlain has stabilized the Yankee bullpen. However, since we look for the future in the minor leagues to plug holes and potentially entrench spots on the major league roster, I have since turned my attentions, as have some bloggers, to Ian Kennedy.
His pitching line, courtesy of MiLB:
Tampa (FSL) 6-1, 1.29 ERA, 11 G, 10 GS, CG, 63 IP, 39 H, 9 R/9 ER, 2 HR, 22 BB, 72 K, .183 BAA
Trenton (AA) 5-1, 2.59 ERA, 9 G, 9 GS, 0 CG, 48.2 IP, 27 H, 14 R/14 ER, 2 HR, 17 BB, 57 K, .163 BAA
Scranton/Wilkes Barre (AAA) 1-0, 1.06 ERA, 3 G, 3 GS, 0 CG, 17 IP, 12 H, 2 R/ 2ER, 1 HR, 5 BB, 19 K, .203 BAA
Now, the performances in some categories that were good in one level worsened in the other ones, and the opposite is also true. His AAA pitching stats are more representative of his major league stats, except for ERA. He doesn’t allow many hits, and wins most decisions. He did struggle in winter ball, but he did well otherwise.
However, there is one area of concern. His complete game aside, his longest outing of the year in AA and AAA was 6.2 innings, and when he has started, over his last ten games, he has averaged a nudge over 5.1 innings. In 6 of his last 10 starts, between AA and AAA, he has failed to reach the sixth inning. This is due to the amount of pitches he throws–he strikes out many batters, but when he strikes less batters, he also tends to walk one or two more than usual.
Yes, he throws “only” 88-92 MPH on his heat–similar to Kei Igawa (oh no!) but also Mike Mussina in his prime (yay!). He has an excellent change-up, as well as an above-average curveball and slider. There are different takes on his future–BA believes he is a back-of-rotation guy with nice control at best–what we read about Kei Igawa–but EJ Fagan, writer at the Pinstripe Potenials blog and also at MVN, believes this guy is the ace of the future. Only time (and his performance) will tell.
Whatever the case is, if the Rocket can’t go, or anyone else for that matter, or if it is a doubleheader, I hope that Ian Kennedy gets the spot start (NOT Matt DeSalvo), and has a rotation spot in ’08.