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.
add a comment
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.
BA Yankees Top 10 Prospects January 12, 2008Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Alan Horne, Andrew Brackman, Austin Jackson, Baseball America Top 10 Prospects, Brett Gardner, Ian Kennedy, Joba Chamberlain, Jose Tabata, Ross Ohlendorf, Top 30 Prospects.
This is the Baseball America Yankees Top 10 Prospects list that came out on Monday:
1. Joba Chamberlain, rhp
2. Austin Jackson, of
3. Jose Tabata, of
4. Ian Kennedy, rhp
5. Alan Horne, rhp
6. Jesus Montero, c
7. Jeff Marquez, rhp
8. Brett Gardner, of
9. Ross Ohlendorf, rhp
10. Andrew Brackman, rhp
The list, in general, is only OK. The first five, I must say, are identical to our list. Montero at #6 is a bit high, but nothing really to complain about. Seven through nine, are a problem. John Manuel, managing the Yankees’ prospect list, says in the chat that he puts Marquez this high because Marquez is a pretty sure bet to be a #4/#5 in the Majors, particularly because of his sinker. I don’t buy it. Marquez has a great changeup and sinker, but he doesn’t get enough strikeouts (~5.5) to justify his inconsistent groundball rate, either. Gardner is a fourth outfielder/fringe starter, but Manuel reasons his spot because Gardner is very close to being major-league ready. Ohlendorf, another surprise at #9, maxes out as a solid 7th inning reliever, but Manuel says that Ohlendorf’s pitches each went up a grade since his move to the bullpen. These three reasonings are petty and radical, in my view.
Brackman at #10 is fine (we had him at #11).
However, I have one big problem with the list. There is no Dellin Betances to be found in the Top 10. Granted, while his #3 ranking last year could have been a hype machine result, it was widely known that many of Betances’s mechanical issues (as well as his stuff) was greatly improved after his drafting and being sent to Extended Spring Training. However, in the chat, Manuel states that after talking to people in the know, and watching him pitch, that there are still some concerns about mechanics and his rawness. But isn’t he a better prospect than the #7-10 players???
BA also presents the best tools list:
Best Hitter for Average Jose Tabata
Best Power Hitter Jesus Montero
Best Strike-Zone Discipline Brett Gardner
Fastest Baserunner Brett Gardner
Best Athlete Austin Jackson
Best Fastball Joba Chamberlain
Best Curveball Joba Chamberlain
Best Slider Joba Chamberlain
Best Changeup Edwar Ramirez
Best Control Ian Kennedy
Best Defensive Catcher Francisco Cervelli
Best Defensive Infielder Alberto Gonzalez
Best Infield Arm Marcos Vechionacci
Best Defensive Outfielder Austin Jackson
Best Outfield Arm Seth Fortenberry
I think this is a pretty good list. It differs drastically from the 2007 tools list. As can be seen (and expected), Joba dominates the pitching ranks. Austin Jackson’s improvement is also greatly improved.
The tools list makes up for the faltering of the rankings, making this a solid job by BA. I can’t wait until the book comes out to see what BA has to say on the Top 30 prospects (and who they are, of course).
Top 30 Prospects: #23 Ross Ohlendorf November 5, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Ross Ohlendorf, Top 30 Prospects.
add a comment
Drafted: 4th rd, 2004, out of Princeton
Weight: 235 lbs
Positon: Relief pitcher
Stuff: He throws a grounder-inducing two-seamer (96-97 mph) with a four-seamer that can top out at 98. His sinker is his primary pitch. He has a nasty slurve-like pitch that really causes strikeouts.
Performance/Control: Ohlendorf has only become a pitcher relatively recently, turning to the mound during his high school career. Thus, it was only until this year that he has fully harnessed his stuff. As a starter, he has developed at every stop he has gotten to, from high school to Princeton, and through the minors. However, before he got to the Yankees’ system, his strike out rate was declining to a worrisome rate, but Nardi Contreras and Dave Eiland fixed that up and its back at a normal pace. He has good control, except he can lose it at times. He had a bad start to AAA before getting injured, and then he was converted to the bullpen in about August, since there was where his stuff projected best. Since then he did very will in AAA and was nasty in 4.2 IP of September call-up baseball. In fact, he earned himself a post-season roster before blowing up in the blowout Game 1 v. Cleveland.
Outlook: His lack of abuse on his arm project to nice, healthy seasons to come. He should be a mainstay in the bullpen coming out of spring training, as he is one of the few sure things in a bullpen that has been a weakness 2 years and counting. He has the potential to be a Scot Shields-type, or Scott Proctor without all the walks, in that he has stamina to pitch about 101 innings a year and strike out about 7.2/9. Sometimes, he can lose his control in a pressure situation, so his makeup needs a little work in that respect. He should be a fine reliever for years to come. In fact he busts out, he has an engineering degree from Princeton to fall back on .
Ceiling: B/ Health: A/Comparison: Luis Vizcaino
Yankees Eliminated, Torre’s Future in Doubt October 14, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Austin Jackson, Brett Gardner, Chien-Ming Wang, Eric Duncan, Humberto Sanchez, Ian Kennedy, J. Brent Cox, Joba Chamberlain, Joe Torre, Johan Santana, Jose Tabata, Postseason, Ross Ohlendorf.
add a comment
Due to the lack of updating, again, I haven’t mentioned a key event–the Yankees were eliminated. Now, this team had a couple of questions with them–Chien-Ming Wang (after the first game and based on his only other performance against Cleveland), the potential need to overuse Joba with a badly-timed slump by the Viz and the constant ineffectiveness of Farnsworth, and the revitalization of the offense after facing two Cy Young candidates. I felt that if the Yankees would have found a way to win this series, they were going all the way. Of course, they didn’t, and they are now stuck looking forward to Spring Training.
This loss doesn’t hurt as much as others, a point on which I agree on with the folks at the Bronx Block. Yes, what could have been is intriguing, but in a way, I was looking forward to see the likes of Marcos V. (can’t spell his last name), Eric Duncan, Juan Miranda, Ross Ohlendorf, and Alan Horne get their appropriate roles assigned, as well as seing Humberto Sanchez and J. Brent Cox come back from elbow surgery and win bullpen spots. There’s also David Robertson seemingly coming out of nowhere. Then there’s Jose Tabata, AJax, and Brett Gardner getting to big league camp and going off to their appropriate levels (that is, Tabata-AA, AJax–AA, Gardner–AAA/MLB). And, most obviously, I look forward to Mike Mussina being gone, Chien-Ming Wang packaged with Jeff Marquez or someone else for Johan Santan (just dreaming…), and Phil Hughes, Joba, and IPK winning rotation spots. Yankee fans, whether this loss is disheartening or not, there is a very bright future ahead of us.
Joe Torre’s future is also in doubt. If he leaves, I am ambivalent, because as nice a guy he is with great people skills, he’s 67 and won’t manage forever. That said, I am not thrilled with the Phil Garners or, until yesterday, Dusty Bakers of the world. Tony LaRussa, as a scout told the Daily News the other day, is not a long-term solution with horrible people skills. Don Mattingly probably needs another year or two as bench coach to be ready to manage, and Joe Girardi’s problems with Florida ownership scare me. The best bet is Torre for two years.
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.
add a comment
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.
Yankees Eliminated from East, ALPicture Set September 29, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Alex Rodriguez, Baltimore Orioles, Edwar Ramirez, Jay Payton, Johnny Damon, Jose Veras, Mariano Rivera, Mets, Phillies, Ron Villone, Ross Ohlendorf, Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
add a comment
The Yankees won 2 of 3 from Tampa Bay, but lost a very winnable game yesterday to the Baltimore Orioles. Mo Rivera (him?) allowed a triple to Jay Payton (his second of the night) to tie what was once a 9-6 lead. Then Edwar Ramirez all but completed his pitching himself off a playoff roster, as Ross Ohlendorf is picking up on him and Jose Veras, despite Veras getting the save on Wednesday (I called it first, here at YLF!). His spot on the 40-man eligibility for the postseason will substitute Carl Pavano, although Pavano would still get a ring if the Yankees get so far.
In other news:
- Ron Villone has all but made the postseason roster.
- A-Rod homered #54, and Johnny Damon was the first player this season to hit a ball out to Utah Street. Not a bad season for him, eh?
- The Mets lost last night but won today, and, looking at the Phillies right now, probably will tie it again.
- The Yankees are debating whether to take 5 bench players or 7 relievers. The seven would probably include various options of Britton, Veras, and Igawa, while the fifth bench player would likely be Alberto Gonzales (at least this one doesn’t lie!)
To let you faithful readers know in advance, on October 8th (my next off day) I will start a segment of top 10 Yankees prospects.
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.
add a comment
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.
add a comment
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.
add a comment
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.
Joba’s Future (add-on to "’08 Rotation" post) August 9, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Andy Pettitte, Chris Britton, Edwar Ramirez, Ian Kennedy, Joba Chamberlain, Ross Ohlendorf.
add a comment
Whether there is a spot for Joba is not really the Yankee’s choice–it’s a player option for Pettitte. Cashman said he projected Joba to be a starter, and he’s right. Joba has four good pitches, and to develop them best he needs to be a starter. Also, he helps you more as a starter than a reliever…although he is going down the same path as Jon Papelbon and Frankie Rodriguez. Besides, as I stated in my Ian Kennedy post, I think he needs more stamina first.
The Yankees have plenty of future closers available–Edwar Ramirez, Chris Britton, Ross Ohlendorf (he is better as a reliever), so no need to use a good, stamina arm in the bullpen.