Yankees Sweep Series in Houston June 16, 2008Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Alex Rodriguez, Chien-Ming Wang, Houston Astros, Injuries, Robinson Cano, Stupid Bud Selig....
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After a close victory in the first game, the Yankees came from behind off Wandy Rodriguez (with a 1.99 ERA coming in) and beat the Astros, 8-3. Mike Mussina excelled after surrendering a 3-run blast to Carlos Lee in the first inning, and in total allowed 6H, 0BB, and 3ER in 6IP while striking out 4. He only needed 89 pitches, and of those he threw 65 for strikes (73%), along with a 8-5 GB-FB ratio. His command of all his pitches was great, and he is continuing his All-Star season.
Offensively, the team was resilient after a big Houston first. A-Rod hit a homer that barely cleared the stands, with back-to-back Jason Giambi and Melky Cabrera doubles. In the third, for some reason Alex Rodriguez is intentionally walked with Johnny Damon on first (it’s only the third!), and back-to-back walks to Giambi and Cabrera score Damon. Fast forwarding to the eighth, Robinson Cano drives in Cabrera on a pinch-hit single to center, and Wilson Betemit hit a rocket double to drive in Damon and Rodriguez in the ninth.
Yesterday, the Yankees won, 13-0, it’s largest road shutout win since 2002. It was a day full of offense, the highlights being A-Rod and Posada homers (12th and 3rd, respectively) and 2-4 days for Cano (3RBI) and Derek Jeter (2RBI). Besides all the hits (15), the Yankees were patient and took advantage of walks galore (7 issued by Houston pitching) and an ineffective Roy Oswalt.
But all this doesn’t matter with the big news of the day. Chien-Ming Wang was injured rounding 3rd on an RBI hit by Jeter in the 6th, knocking him out of the game. It was his foot, which he needed crutches to walk with and had all iced up after the game. (More info in the next post.) Such pitchers’ injuries speaks to the asinine nature of AL pitchers hitting in interleague play. Pitchers coming up in AL organizations don’t hit in the minors, and there’s a DH in every league in the world except the NL and Japan’s Central League. Pitchers who don’t hit or run the bases are susceptible to this because they’re not used to it, and they don’t have to be–they never do it anyway. AL pitchers don’t take batting practice or run bases in practice until the week of games, so they’re not conditioned (in this case meaning “not trained to,” not “not fit”) to be ready. So why would MLB make them do it? What tradition are we preserving? Are the fans or the players more important? Don’t answer to quickly–without good players there are no fans.
What About C.C? June 11, 2008Posted by Pablo Zevallos in C.C. Sabathia, Dellin Betances, Johan Santana, Jose Tabata, Robinson Cano.
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In a post on his blog today, Peter Abraham thought about the possibility of an acquisition of C.C. Sabathia for the Yankees. The logic is that the Cleveland Indians would rather trade him for prospects rather than get 2009 draft picks, which makes sense to me because the class is said to be even weaker than this year’s class. However, what caused a bit of a stir was this:
This would be my untouchable list: Austin Jackson, Jesus Montero, Phil Hughes, Andrew Brackman and Mark Melancon
Other than that, have at ‘em.
That includes Jose Tabata, Brett Gardner, Robinson Cano, Melky Cabrera, Ian Kennedy, Alan Horne, Dellin Betances, Jose Veras, etc.
They’ll want at least one pitcher. Kennedy, Tabata and Betances. Would that get it done?
Tabata, Betances and Cano. Would you do that? Or do you stay away entirely?
I agree with most of this list. However, there are some things I don’t agree with. First–how is Dellin Betances not untouchable? The dude has a mid-90s fastball with a sick knuckle-curve and a developing, if not plus, changeup. Yes, he has major control issues, but he is 20 years old in Class A, and has the potential to be an ace. If you put Brackman as an untouchable, why not put Betances?
Second, why would you trade Robinson Cano? Cano is a “rhythm and feel” hitter who starts slowly before completely raking to finish the year. Cano has the potential to be a central hitter in the Yankee lineup, particularly in future years, who can hit .300 and hit 25 HR. Last year he struggled before finishing strong to hit .302 with 19 HR and 97 RBI. The year before he started slowly (not as bad, admittedly), and finished third in the batting title race (.342). More than all that, who would you replace him with? Bernie Castro is not a legitimate Major League player, and no one in the lower minors is close to ready. As of now, there is no prospect who can capably replace him in the system in the future, either. Remember, the everyday player is always more valuable than the player who pitches only every five days.
Contrary to others, though, I have no problems trading Tabata. Yes, he is getting hot, but he is pretty fat and nonchalant. The pissy attitude he carries doesn’t help at all, either, and he’s fallen from grace among the Yankees and us Yankee fans. By no means have I given up on him, but I don’t think he’s indispensable as far as prospects are concerned.
Either way, I wouldn’t give up anything for Sabathia. I would rather trade for him than Johan Santana, as Sabathia is in his prime while Santana’s stuff is declining. Sabathia looks flat-out dominating when you take out his early-season struggles, while Santana has allowed 12 HR in the NL. Instead, I’d rather sign Sabathia in the offseason. At the right contract I wouldn’t have an issue giving up a first rounder for him, considering we could get other(s) with the contracts coming of the book after the year. I’d be concerned about his weight in the future and I’d include a related clause in his next contract, but otherwise I think the Yankees could definitely use him as he’d make a huge impact in the AL East.
Tomorrow I’ll detail who I may like Sabathia.
Mailbag #2 January 27, 2008Posted by Pablo Zevallos in 30-rule for Pitchers, Alan Horne, Andy Pettitte, Chien-Ming Wang, Ian Kennedy, Jeff Marquez, Joba Chamberlain, Mike Mussina, Phil Hughes, Robinson Cano.
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Presenting…our second mailbag.
What will the Yankees do with the six major league starters they have on the roster? Does Kennedy get demoted? Or do they skip starts with Chamberlain and Hughes using Kennedy to fill in?–Eric
No one has a definitive answer on that one yet. I think they could extend Hughes to about 160 innings, considering he threw ~146 in 2006 and ~110 this year. Ian Kennedy will be able to throw ~195 innings after throwing ~165 this year. Joba Chamberlain, who threw 112 innings this year, won’t go more than about 140 innings this year. Assuming a healthy starter throws 200 innings a year, and Andy Pettitte and Chien Ming-Wang match their innings total from last year, that leaves 147 innings to be accounted for. This number increases if you account for Joba Chamberlain either starting or finishing the year in the bullpen–let’s say he pitches 100 in the rotation and 40 in the bullpen. That now leaves us with 187 innings to fill. Mike Mussina doesn’t have the stuff, endurance, or adaptability to pitch that much, so let’s say he pitches 140 innings. That now leaves us with 47 innings. Jeff Marquez and Alan Horne will probably be major-league ready by October, and either could pitch in the bullpen in 2008 to start or end the year, and their innings cap will be around 180-185, so either one could step in. So, if you really think about it, you would need seven pitchers to get through the year–meaning Mike Mussina needs to come through.
Maybe you could show some of the commenter’s why the 30 rule is new wave. Look up just a few of them;
W. Ford 112 r, 207, 210, 230 ave.
B. Turley 7.3r, 60.3, 247.3, 212 ave.
M. Stottlemyer, 96.0r, 291.0, 252.7 ave.
F. Peterson, 215.0r, 181.3, 220 ave.
Pettitte, 175.0r, 221.0, 215.7 ave.
Moose, 87.7r, 241.0, 227 ave.
Now, I understand there is much more money involved with pitchers. If the other guys could do it, why can’t the big 3? I realize that one would have to evaluate each pitcher on the merits of pushing them (just a little bit) longer.–Old Ranger
The 30-rule is in place because studies on pitchers have proven that increasing a pitcher’s woarkload by my more than 30 innings a year gives him a significantly higher injury risk for the following season. Throwing a baseball isn’t a natural motion–throwing underhand is. Since most pitchers pitch over-the-top, there is increased stress on the shoulder and elbows when pitching, so it must be controlled. Otherwise, again, there will be injury.
Will Cano be keeping his number, 24? or switching back to 22?–Aubrey
Probably 24–I see no reason to change numbers.
Cano, Yankees Agree to 4yr/$28M deal January 25, 2008Posted by Pablo Zevallos in 2008 Arbitration Hearings, Chien-Ming Wang, Robinson Cano.
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Per multiple sources, the Yankees have agreed to a 4yr/$28M deal with 2B Robinson Cano. There are club options in 2012 for $13M and 2013 for $15M. This also buys 4 years of arbitration and, potentially, two years of free agency.
This is a great deal for the Yankees. They sign one of the centerpieces of the Yankee lineup for a long time, and at a slightly below-market deal at that. I don’t think the Yankees should go long-term with Chien-Ming Wang, though, which they probably won’t anyway. Wang is a pitcher who has experienced various injuries over the last couple of years, and won’t be in his prime through the end of his deal. If indeed he is doing his groundball act with smoke and mirrors, it would surely be exposed by then. The Yankees also have top prospects with higher upside (Dellin Betances, maybe Jairo Heredia?) who will be ready to take over his spot in the rotation.
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.
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.
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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)
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 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.