Looks Like This Is The End… November 2, 2008Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Uncategorized.
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As you’ve noticed, I haven’t written on the site for over a month now. I haven’t been able to update it as I’ve liked, even with the constraints I wanted to set for myself
But this is also about something else. I don’t have a desire to write about the Yankees any more. I’m instead writing about politics. For those of you interested, you can follow my work at Liberal Musings, a political blog from a liberal point of view.
I may decide to eventually come back tot his. But for now, Yankees: Looking for the Future is being set aside. It was great while it lasted.
Thanks to all who have read, from start to finish. This wasn’t an easy decision but one I felt had to be made.
Looking at Yankees Playoff Prospects August 29, 2008Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Uncategorized.
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Well, the Yankees needed to win 2 of 3. Even Joe Girardi said it. And it was, as I said, in their best interest to sweep. Unfortunately, neither of that happened. The Yankees lost 2 of 3, and now stand 6 games out of the wild card and 10.5 out of the division with 29 to go. The division, if it wasn’t already, is completely out of the question. Six games is not undoable, but it’s certainly be a big hole to climb. Remember three things to keep you inspired:
- Yankees led the Red Sox, 3-0 in 2004 ALCS; Red Sox won 4-3 in the first ever 3-0 comeback in baseball and second of all in sports
- 17-game winning streak by the 2007 Rockies to capture the Wild Card
- Mets had 7 game lead with 17 left to play, but Phillies won the division
The difference with all this is that we have to leapfrog two teams–the Red Sox and the loser of the AL Central–bur I think it can be done. The Bombers have great momentum from the dramatic walk-off win against Jonathan Papelbon in the last game of the rivalry at the old Yankee Stadium. Let’s go Yanks!
Yankees Rebound from Road Trip, Win 2 of 3 from Royals August 19, 2008Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Uncategorized.
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The Yankees had a terrible road trip, going 3-7 and losing 16 of their last 19 games overall at that point. They blew a few games they should have won, the games with the walk-off grand slam from Marlon Byrd, the legendary bullpen meltdown in Anaheim (8 runs allowed in 2 innings), the walk-off 10-hopper from Chone Figgins, and the last of Delmon Young’s 3-run homers. Except for the first two games in Texas, none of the games had been high-scoring, and the team struggled with RISP.
The same was to be true in the first game of the series against KC. The Yankees were 3/13 w/RISP, and were dumbfounded by Gil Meche in the first inning. More than that, Mo Rivera continued his struggles in tied games, and uncorked his first wild pitch in the top of the 9th to lose the game.
But in the next game, despite the struggles w/RISP, the Yankees had enough grittiness and relief pitching to win. The Yankees won 3-2 with a dramatic single through the left-side hole by Brett Gardner, who also got a walk-off hit of Jonathan Papelbon (both hits drove in Robinson Cano). That swayed the momentum to Sunday’s game, where the Yankees touched Brian Bannister for ten runs over 1+ IP. RISP didn’t matter with 15 runs and 5 RBI from A-Rod and a grand slam from Jason Giambi (not to count Cody Ransom’s 1st MLB HR).
The Yankees have crushed a bad team, which is what they’re supposed to do. Now they have to carry that momentum over to Toronto, and win at least 2 of 3 (most likely the Rasner v. Burnett and Ponson v. Purcey starts) against the Blue Jays.
Thoughts: State of the Minors August 13, 2008Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Uncategorized.
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Let’s do a state of the minors now. I’ll go over each level with some notes on the prospects on the team.
AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre: RHP Phil Hughes should be at around 100 pitches in his next rehab start. He has been impressive so far, with a 0.90 WHIP, 1.11 GO/AO rate, a 2.0 K/BB rate, and a 2.70 ERA….RHP Mark Melancon has continued to dominate so far in AAA, with a 0.62 WHIP, 1.71 GO/AO rate, a 5.0 K/BB rate, and a 0.92 ERA in 9.2 IP. He has now started to come in during the middle of an inning….RHP Al Aceves has come back to earth, with a 1.36 WHIP, 0.76 GO/AO rate, and 4.91 ERA since being promoted to AAA (25.2 IP). The 3.42 K/BB rate is encouraging, though….After a rough debut after being promoted full-time, LHP Phil Coke has pitched 6.1 scoreless innings (0.31 WHIP, 0.67 GO/AO, 7.0 K/BB rate)….RHP J.B. Cox has pitched only 3 times in 12 August days (5 IP)….RHP Steven Jackson has actually been pretty good in Scranton, and over his last 10 appearances, has a 0.75 ERA and a 13/3 K/BB rate (12 IP)….RHP Ian Kennedy did well at AAA to earn a call-up–he nearly had a 7 IP no-hitter–but struggled and was sent back….LHP Chase Wright has a 3.06 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP since getting called to Scranton (17.2 IP)….1B Eric Duncan continues his 4-year long struggles after a nice start, with a .228/.290/.371 line with 10 HR and 50 RBI, and a 94:30 K:BB rate in 372 AB–ouch….1B Juan Miranda has made a nice return, hitting .300/.387/.455 with 9 HR and 45 RBI, and 29 XBH a not-bad 62:43 K:BB rate in 303 AB. He’s doing better against lefties but he probably ends up a platoon player (.220/.271/.320)….OF Brett Gardner has been hitting .310/.420/.333 since being demoted
AA Trenton Thunder: RHP George Kontos rebounded very well from a rough start, and it showed in his last two starts: (15 IP, 5 H, 3 BB, 18 K, 0.00 ERA)….RHP Anthony Claggett has been very impressive this season in the Trenton bullpen, with a 7.51 H/9 rate and a 8.57 K/9 rate to go with a 1.71 ERA. He could use lowering the walk rate (4.53 BB/9)….The oft-injured RHP Eric Hacker has rebounded nicely this season, with a 1.24 WHIP, 3:1 K:BB rate and a 2.71 ERA since being called up to Trenton. He’s lost too much time to have any future in the Yankee pitching staff, though….RHP Kevin Whelan has been sick since joining Trenton, allowing 3.55 H/9 and posting a 11.37 K/9 rate along with a 1.42 ERA in 12.2 IP. As is usual with him, he needs to walk less people (8 in 12.2 iP)….OF Austin Jackson is hitting a very empry .286/.279/.381 with no homers and 4 RBI in August
Hi-A Tampa: RHP Zach McAllister has seen his k-rate fall from 7.56 to 6.21 in Tampa, but otherwise his peripherals are very good and has had a very good break-out season for the Yankee organization…RHP Ivan Nova isn’t developing as planned, being too hittable with a 9.79 H/9 rate and a .285 BAA. There are positives, and I have him as a sleeper for next year, though….RHP Ryan Pope hasn’t been quite what we thought he would be this season, but he hasn’t been bad at all, either. Pope owns a .250 BAA, 3.39 K/BB rate and a 1.29 WHIP, but he only has a 6.88 K/9 rate to go with a 0.94 GO/AO rate and a 9.7 H/9 rate. That adds up to a 3.86 ERA. Another sleeper for next year….LHP Wilkins De La Rosa has been quite impressive this year, his best thus far in his conversion to pitching. De La Rosa, before just being promoted to Hi A Tampa, posted a 1.10 WHIP, a 10.96 K/9 rate, a 1.07 GO/AO rate, and a .189 BAA that amounts to a 1.69 ERA in 90.1 IP. Before we get too excited, it’s only A-ball, and the important thing is to see how he responds to the higher levels….On the other side, LHP Mike Dunn, once the best lefty on the Yankees, has posted a 4.74 ERA, a 1.50 WHIP, and a 9.25 H/9 rate. His peripherals aren’t as bad as the ERA would indicate, but either way, he has disappointed this year….RHP Chris Garcia is back from injury, and has made two starts since then….For infielders Mitch Hilligoss and Damon Sublett, the season can’t end early enough, as they have been quite disappointing based on their performance last year. Sublett, though, has played in only 42 games this year due to health issues
A Charleston: RHP Dellin Betances is finishing the season strong, and has found the plate, allowing only 3.22 BB/9 since the start of July, also posting a 7.06 hit rate, a 10.38 K rate, and 2.70 ERA in 43.1 IP….RHP Jairo Heredia has been great in this season, with a 1.38 WHIP, a 1.98 GO/AO rate, a 8.38 K rate, and a 2.15 K:BB rate in 92.1 IP this season. I’m sure this wasn’t his breakout season yet….RHP Ryan Zink has returned from Tommy John surgery, and LHP Angel Reyes has returned from an injury and steroid suspension….C Jesus Montero has hit a godly (hehe) .435/.490/.674 with 2 HR, 7 RBI and 7 XBH in August….C Austin Romine has seen his power show in the second half, hitting all 7 of his homers since the All-Star break….SS Carmen Angelini is having a miserable season in his first full pro season, hitting .238/.300/.295 with 3 HR and 37 RBI and 16 XBH. Remember, he’s only 19….1B Brandon Laird has well this season, posting a .258/.311/.469, with 18 HR and 64 RBI with 45 XBH. I don’t think he’ll ever hit for average, but he’ll always have power to rely on….INF Justin Snyder has had a solid season, hitting .287/.356/.413 with 7 HR, and looks to be a solid utility guy in the future….After missing a lot of games, 3B Bradley Suttle is hitting .200/.255/.480 with 2 HR and 5 RBI and 10 XBH in August, but he’s done pretty well on the season….OF Abe Almonte’s season has fallen off a cliff after doing very well through early June. Since then, he is hitting a miserable .189/.291/.266. He definitely has the talent and tools to do better, and has started to come around a bit in August, hitting .242/.359/.485 with 2 HR and 3 RBI in 33 August ABs.
Lo-A SI Yankees: Twentieth rounder RHP/LHP Pat Venditte is having a great season as SI’s closer, posting a 12.15 K/9 rate, a 0.88 WHIP, and 14 SV in 22.2 IP….Third rounder SS David Adams is hitting .255/.333/.394 with 3 HR and 19 RBI since signing (188 ABs). The near 2:1 K:BB rate is disappointing. Seventeenth rounder SS Addison Maruszak is hitting .322/.376/.497 with 5 HR and 27 RBI and was named an NY-Penn Leage All-Star….2007 8th rounder OF Taylor Grote is hitting quite disappointingly in his pro debut, hitting .223/.308/.281 in 139 ABs with 1 HR and 15 RBI and a near 3:1 K:BB rate…ouch.
Remember that all Lo-A stats scream sample size issues.
Rk Yankees: RHP Manny Barreda, who may be the next big thing in terms of Yankees’ Dominican signings, has a 2.65 ERA in 17 IP….Tenth rounder RHP Mikey O’Brien has a 0.90 ERA in 10 IP….Fourteenth rounder RHP Matt Richardson has a 3.52 ERA in 7.2 IP….RHP Humberto Sanchez is rehabbing, and in the process is only doing 1-inning stints. After an interruption from a barking elbow, he resumed rehab on Monday….Seventh rounder C Kyle Higashioka recently signed and just joined the team….C Chase Weems is hitting .250/.385/.375 with a homer and 10 RBI in his debut….Fourth rounder SS Corban Joseph is tearing the cover off the ball, with 19 XBH in only 140 AB, projecting to 67 over 500 AB….”.800 man” and fifth rounder OF Chris Smith is only hitting .140 in 86 ABs.
So far good stuff in the minors, with no major disappointments now that Tabata’s gone, and let’s hope they all finish the season strong.
Not back…yet July 15, 2008Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Uncategorized.
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Well folks, I last posted on June 20th that I was going away to Ecuador for almost a month. But, among other things, I´m having the time of my life, so I extended the trip until August 7th. With that out of the way, back to baseball.
Since the last time I´ve posted, there hasn´t been much in the way of good things to say about the Yankees. They´ve lost embarassing games to the Reds, Pirates, Mets, and Blue Jays. The only bright spot was an 18-7 victory against the Rangers on 07/02, and the 4-game streak against the Red Sox and Rays. We have Sidney Ponson and Darrel Rasner posting terrible peripherals in the rotation, while the offense can´t hit or score after Johnny Damon (shoulder) and Hideki Matsui (knee) went down. Melky Cabrera continues his 3-month slump. And Cano started his umpteenth mini-hot streak before cooling off again. Thus, the Yankees lose close games.
However, there are bright spots. The bullpen has been great, and (gasp!) Kyle Farnsworth has been near-great in the bullpen. Dan Giese has been good in limited duty since moving back to the pen, and Jose Veras has been a stud. While it´s clear that LaTroy Hawkins and Billy Traber have no place on this team, on the bright side, one of the young relievers was promoted. David Robertson, 23 and with a stud curveball, was promoted on June 29th, and while he hasn´t been used much (8IP since then), he´s been great in that time. Moreover, Mike Mussina has continued his dominance in the rotation, and Andy Pettitte has been dependable. Joba needs to throw more strikes but otherwise seems to have grasped the art of starting and is excelling at it as well. A-Rod and Jason Giambi have slowed down a bit but they keep producing in the Yankee lineup.
Justin Christian and Brett Gardner were called-up from AAA Scranton on June 25th and 30th, respectively, to replace Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui. Christian, the former Indy Leaguer, is hitting .222 in 18 ABs. Gardner has been a disappointment with the bat, hitting .167 in 36 ABs, striking 11 times (almost 33%). Ian Kennedy was activated from the DL on June 24th and sent to A Tampa (ouch) to regroup on mechanics. He will be forced to pitch his way back through the system and regain confidence. Three days later Ross Ohlendorf was sent down to AAA in favor of Billy Traber. Ohlendorf is starting but is still viewed as a reliever.
Back with more tomorrow.
Going Away June 20, 2008Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Uncategorized.
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Hey all: I’ll be away in Ecuador until July 15th, so I won’t be able to post frequently, if at all. I’ll try to have someone cover with some of our stuff while I’m gone. Hopefully everything will be alright.
Yankees Sign Some Draft Picks June 10, 2008Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Uncategorized.
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According to NYY Fans’ MiLB forum via River Ave. Blues, the Yankees have signed 3rd round pick 2B David Adams and 17th rounder SS Addison Maruszack. Adams fell in the draft after posting a sub-par junior year and Maruszack played against the Yankees for USF in spring training. Mike at RAB says that he’s a prime candidate to convert to catcher.
Moreover, according to PeteAbe at LoHud, the Yankees have signed high school 4th round SS Corban Joseph. BA on Joseph:
In a competitive field, shortstop Corban Joseph distinguished himself as the top prep position player in the state because he plays a premium position and swings lefthanded. Joseph has plus bat speed and routinely squares balls up, hitting for power and average to all fields with a short swing. Joseph is an average runner, but speed will never be his game. He has a chance to stay at shortstop but will always be known for his offense than his defense.
In today’s Q&A with the fans, Damon Oppenheimer, Director of Scouting in the organization, stated that both Joseph and 1B Luke Anders, a 16th rounder out of Texas A&M, have plus power potential.
Joba Will Now Be a Starter May 21, 2008Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Uncategorized.
According to what Joe Girardi said after tonight’s win, tonight’s 35-pitch, 2 inning outing for Joba Chamberlain has begun the process of him being a starter. YESS!!
Question is…who do they send down when he’s ready, assuming Ian Kennedy is ready and Darrell Rasner keeps being good? Thoughts?
Just an Idea… May 18, 2008Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Uncategorized.
Note: This is just an idea, NOT an established rumor from anywhere.
The Brewers have bullpen needs, with free-agent acquisitions David Riske (4.71 ERA, 1.43 WHIP) and Eric Gagne (6.27 ERA, 1.87 WHIP) not pitching as expected. The bullpen owns a 4.39ERA, and the only dependable piece, Solomon Torres, is 36 and has pitched in almost half the team’s games. They also have top 1B/LF prospect Matt LaPorta, who is hitting .313/.428/.619 with 10HRs and 38RBI and 25BB:25K at AA and is, by all accounts, almost Major League-ready. The Brewers have star 1B Prince Fielder and also capable starters in CF–Mike Cameron for this year, Gabe Kapler, and top prospect Corey Gillespie hitting .273/.359/.531with 8HRs and 31RBI at AA as well.
The Yankees have two relief pitcher prospects rising through the system–Mark Melancon and J.B. Cox. Cox is already at AAA and Melancon is at AA. Both will be Major-League ready soon. Moreover, the Yankees have two relievers, RHP Kyle Farnsworth (4.05 ERA, and it was 2.84 before yesterday, with a 1.45 WHIP)and RHP LaTroy Hawkins(6.05 ERA, 1.35 WHIP), both whom are unreliable and one (Hawkins) who is old and on the decline. However, both have had recent success in the National League. In 2005, Farnsworth had a career half -year with the Braves (he was also excellent with the Tigers that year), pitching 27.1 innings and posting a 1.98 ERA, allowing 15H and 7BB while striking out 32. Hawkins pitched last year for the NL Champ Rockies, posting a 3.42 ERA in 55.1 innings, allowing 52H and 16BB while striking out 29, but also posting a 65% GB rate.
You might think, well, two spare part mid-30s relievers and a blocked top prospect might not match well together. Here’s where our new farm system comes in:
If the Brewers truly believe that Cameron, Kapler, and Gillespie aren’t enough to play CF for a contender, then they may ask for a CF in return. In that case Brett Gardner, who has found some power to go along with blazing speed and solid defense, may be offered.
Or the Brewers may find that they need more pitching prospects in the organization, as Carlos Villanueva, Manny Parra, and Dave Bush aren’t doing well, and top prospect Jeremy Jeffress is in his umpteenth drug supsension. Then we may offer Jeff Marquez, whose value is better than it really should be. He is having a career worst 5.60 FIP, 41% GB rate (bad for a sinkerballer), and only 4.9 K/9. While I think this is his true self, maybe the Brewers think they can fix him up and make him something useful–a back-end starter or perhaps relief help.
At this point we have Farnsworth, Hawkins, and Marquez/Gardner for LaPorta. That may not seem like a lot, but if Farnsworth pitches well he could snag Type B FA status and a supplemental 1st round draft pick.The match-ups present financial problems, as the Brewers are a small market payroll team coming in at $80.9M, and Farnsworth and Hawkins make $8.75M, nearly 10% of their current payroll. We can assume that the Yankees can eat $4-$5M dollars, and that makes everyone happy. It should be noted that Farnsworth and Hawkins are on one-year deals, so there is no long-term commitment.
Information from FirstInning.com and Cot’s Baseball Contracts was used in this post.
Series Recaps, vs. Cleveland, @ Detroit, @ Tampa Bay May 17, 2008Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Uncategorized.
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The Yankees won 1 of 3 against Cleveland, 1 of 2 against Detroit, and 1 of 4 against Tampa Bay, adding up to a 3-9 record over the last 12 games. The pitching has been mostly adequate, save for Andy Pettitte’s rough outings against Cleveland ant TB and Kei Igawa getting rocked in Detroit. However, the offense has been stagnant, scoring 2.8 runs per game in this span, and the constant problem is hitting with runners with scoring position, with a line of .249/.334/.386 over the season. The line drops to .228/.328/.346 with RISP w/ 2 outs. Granted, Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada are on the DL, but the rest of the team has talented players–Johnny Damon, Derek Jeter, Bobby Abreu, Robinson Cano, Jason Giambi, with even Melky Cabrera showing what he can do–who should be able to pick up the slack. The pitching isn’t good enough–yet–to win us a championship.