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Yankees 5, Devil Rays 1: Dov' Pavano? Edition
2007-03-09 19:12
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Big story of Friday night's game was that schedule starter Carl Pavano did not take the ball. Instead he was excused from the team to attend to an unspecified personal issue. According to the Yankees, Pavano should return to the team this weekend and his departure had nothing to do with an injury or the lawsuit stemming from his August 2006 car crash, which was made public Friday morning but was actually filed two months ago according to Peter Abraham, who broke the story. Joe Torre supported Pavano's decision to attend to the matter and Brian Cashman, while refusing to divulge Pavano's personal business, described it as a "legitimate reason." As with Meat's "heavy legs" during workouts in late February, this would be something of a non-story had it involved any other player (imagine, for example, that it was Jeffrey Karstens rather than Pavano who missed his scheduled turn tonight for personal reasons and was supported by both the manager and the GM--no big deal, right?).

Update: Per Joe Torre's post-game press conference, Pavano came to him with the issue forty minutes before game time, but was reluctant to leave, only deciding to do so after Torre and Guidry insisted it was the right thing to do. He should return to the team tomorrow and could even pitch in tomorrow's game (Torre said that was unlikely since it will be a day game, but wouldn't rule it out).

Undisturbed by Pavano's departure, the Yanks waltzed to a win against the Devil Rays.

Lineup:

L - Johnny Damon (CF)
R - Derek Jeter (SS)
L - Jason Giambi (DH)
R - Alex Rodriguez (3B)
L - Hideki Matsui (LF)
S - Jorge Posada (C)
L - Robinson Cano (2B)
S - Melky Cabrera (RF)
L - Doug Mientkiewicz (1B)

Pitchers: Jeffrey Karstens, Chase Wright, T.J. Beam, Kyle Farnsworth, Ben Kozlowski, Jose Veras

Subs: Eric Duncan (1B), Chris Basak (2B), Alberto Gonzalez (SS), Angel Chavez (PR/3B), Ben Davis (C), Kevin Thompson (PR/RF), Brett Gardner (CF), Miguel Cairo (LF), Juan Miranda (PR/DH)

Opposition: Most of the last-place D-Ray's starters.

Big Hits: A solo homer by Jorge Posada (1 for 2), his second of the spring. A double by Melky Cabrera (2 for 3). Doug Mientkiewicz walked twice and singled, his first hit of the spring in his 13th at-bat.

Who Pitched Well: Almost everyone. Jeff Karstens allowed just two hits (including a Jonny Gomes double) and walked none while striking out four over his three innings. Three of the other five outs he recorded came on the ground. Chase Wright traded in those two hits for two walks, also striking out four in 2 2/3 innings. T.J. Beam came on to get the final out of the sixth on a grounder. Kyle Farnsworth pitched a perfect seventh, striking out two and getting a groundout. Jose Veras gave up a double and a walk in the ninth, but got a grounder and two strikeouts to end the game.

Who Didn't: Lefty Ben Kozlowski had an odd go in his first appearance of the spring, allowing the only Devil Ray a run on two walks and a hit in his lone inning of work. Then again, he also struck out the side.

Ouchies: Todd Pratt caught a bullpen session yesterday and ran in the outfield with no pain. He'll test himself by running the bases before seeing game action. It turns out Bobby Abreu has not been swinging a broom stick, but has been doing twisting exercises and is indeed hoping to swing a bat this weekend. Mariano Rivera's allergies kept him out of last night's game. He threw in the bullpen instead.

Battles: Ben Davis struck out in his only at-bat and is 0 for 5 this spring. T.J. Beam got the out he was asked to get, though he's only pitched two partial innings this spring. Jeff Karstens has now thrown five scoreless innings this spring allowing four hits, walking none, and striking out five. Darrell Rasner, who pitched on Thursday, has thrown five scoreless innings allowing three hits, walking none, and striking out three.

Comments
2007-03-09 23:17:50
1.   mikeplugh
The Pavano thing is a non-issue. I would prefer to see him out of New York, but whatever happened yesterday is not even a factor in that. I'm more interested in the other pitching options we have is all.

If Phelps hits 2 homers in tomorrow's game and Mientkiewicz continues to hit .077, are we having a controversy, or is Joe already decided as to what he will do for 1B?

Karstens and Rasner are making it tough on Cashman, aren't they? Who goes down? Who is out of the SWB rotation and headed for AA? Where is there room for all these pitchers? If Clemens comes back it's even more difficult.

2007-03-09 23:21:32
2.   rilkefan
È possibile scrivere "dov'è" qui?
2007-03-09 23:22:24
3.   rilkefan
Go Toaster.
2007-03-09 23:49:37
4.   Rich
Karstens's increased velocity is encouraging. Maybe he can change may perception of him.
2007-03-10 00:48:20
5.   joejoejoe
1 If Cashman has his eyes on Mark Teixeira down the road ('09) then we may be due for a mix and match run of first basemen for the next 2 years. Does anyone think good GMs plot their budget that far out in advance or are there too many variables to be thinking about who to sign for '09?
2007-03-10 01:05:00
6.   Cliff Corcoran
5 I really thing there are to many variables.

2 sì, riparato

2007-03-10 01:23:07
7.   joejoejoe
6 You are probably right. Look at the Abreu and A-Rod deals. I suppose you have to look at the market as it is every day and take the opportunities that present themselves.
2007-03-10 03:55:15
8.   joejoejoe
OT - There's a feature on Jose Tabata by Tyler Kepner in today's NYT.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/10/sports/baseball/10yankees.html

Fun fact - Yankees' Class A hitting coach Torre Tyson is named for Joe Torre. Torre Tyson's father Mike Tyson played with Joe Torre with the Cardinals in the '70s.

2007-03-10 04:38:48
9.   ny2ca2dc
What were Beam's splits last year? Maybe they're trying to turn him into a ROOGY or something w/ the one batter outings? or maybe trying to get him some confidence by only facing one or so batters, hence no opportunity to get in trouble?
2007-03-10 05:16:07
10.   The Mick 536
Wasn't Mike Tyson a boxer?

Very tiring hearing about Pavo. How long will we endure this? I have no patience for him, anymore. Starting to feel the same about first base. The guy isn't in a slump; he just cannot hit.

Not that I care, but 7-1. Don't remember the last time this happened. Used to be, George took the pre-season seriously.

2007-03-10 05:19:22
11.   Jim Dean
Me likey Karstens and Rasner, but their trade value only increases if they're starters in Scranton. If Bruney takes the long man slot, they can still survive a punted start with the 7 relievers.

1 I'm with Cliff - I see no reason why Minky doesn't make the team. Indeed, he's the starter opening day and though May. It's sad they're going to waste a month to six weeks to figure out what we already know. Phelps is making it easier on himself. I think they keep him around so long as he continues to produce. And if Josh fell all the way to the Yanks, Phillips will pass through waviers and land in Scranton. Whether we ever see him again will probably come down to what Phelps does in his limted AB's through May then in his few starts after that.

5 Too many variables, and besides, they're going to punt a position for two years just to sign a free agent?

Oh wait, right, CF, nevermind...

Sexson does fit nicely though. His contract runs through next year and he's a righty bat. That would be some lineup.

2007-03-10 05:29:10
12.   Yu-Hsing Chen
11 and considering that Seattle is both hapless and hopeless and lacking in just about every position, Sexson could indeed be a Yankee sometime in 07. who to trade is a question though, while the M's don't really have any strong spots save the soon departing Ichiro! they don't have any spots that is a complete sinkhole either (save maybe DH) they simply have a team of mediocare but not terrible talents.

Even if Felix breaks out in the next year or two, they gotta find some real impact bats . and sadly Sexson is actually one of their real impact bat... sort of.. but the rest is just too shoddy.

2007-03-10 05:40:29
13.   Jim Dean
12 Yup. But the further problem is that Bavasi knows he's finished if Seattle isn't making playoff noise (or close to it) in August. So I don't see him trading one of those bats for more pitching. Perhaps before they signed Weaver for 9 million - but not now.

Now if Bavasi gets canned with a terrible start...

2007-03-10 08:36:19
14.   Jeteupthemiddle
5 I'm not sure about good GMs having a budget in mind with regards to free agents 2 or so years down the road. With the way things are going now, there is no guarantee that such players will even BE free agents at that time.

However, I do believe that good GMs do have a budget for several years down the road. I remember reading an article (I think from Keith Law) that made a lot of sense. The GMs with the huge splashes and the backloaded deals are the bad GMs trying desparately to hang onto their jobs. If it doesn't work out, they are fired, and the contract is the next GM's problem.

So maybe keeping the budget in mind isn't necessarily the sign of a good GM (though, I do believe nearly all (if not all) the good GMs do have some sort of budget), but of a sign of job security.

2007-03-10 08:51:13
15.   Reader11722
Re: Pavano and his car accident.

How did Pavano keep this accident covered-up? You'd think the media would have found out about this accident before 2 months passed. It's either a sad commentary on the news or deliberately held out. After all, censorship is becoming America's favorite past-time. The US gov't (and their corporate friends), already detain protesters, ban books like "America Deceived" from Wikipedia, and fire 21-year tenured, BYU physics professor Steven Jones because he proved explosives, thermite in particular, took down the WTC buildings. Anyway, can we trade Pavano for 'three magic beans'?
Last link (before Google Books caves to pressure and drops the title):
http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?&isbn=0-595-38523-0

2007-03-10 09:52:15
16.   nemecizer
Is it just me, or does the lineup for this year seem largely set?

Also, it's great to see how many young power arms we have. Thanks, Ca$hman!

I have a very, very good feeling about this year.

2007-03-10 09:54:18
17.   Shaun P
15 Not this guy again.

To be honest, I don't see the Yanks getting Sexson unless Seattle offers to foot much of the bill, and I don't see that happening.

Cashman has said again and again that he wants to reduce payroll, not increase it. Mo and Posada are both due new contracts; let's assume they'll make about what they're making now. Otherwise, who will be free agents after '07? Abreu, if the Yanks don't pick up his option; Pettitte if he doesn't take his option; Vizcaino; Mientkiewicz; Myers; and Cairo. That's it.

Assuming Pettitte and Abreu stay, the Yanks will be cutting ~$6M in payroll. Adding Sexson at his current costs ($14M in '08) eats up those savings and more.

Maybe if the Mariners were to take Pavano . . . then I could see it.

Fitting in Teixeira, or any other big-money free agent for '08, is going to require similar moves, or maybe backloading the contracts, to get the payroll to go down. Don't get your hopes up yet.

2007-03-10 10:31:07
18.   Jeteupthemiddle
17 Free Agents after 2007 ( denotes team option * denotes player option) (2007 actual salary)

Pettitte** ($16M)
Rivera (10.5M)
Myers (1.25M)
Vizcaino (3M)
Posada (12M)
Abreu* (15M)
Phelps (.38M)
Cairo (.75M)
Mientkiewicz (1.5M)

Of those players, Pettitte will probably exercise his option for $16M. I could see the Yankees exercising Abreu's option for $16M. Rivera and Posada will obviously be resigned for just about what they are making now. However, everyone else on the list, can probably be replaced in 2008 by someone in the farm making the minimum.

So assuming the options are picked up and Rivera and Posada are resigned, that looks like $6.88M coming off the books with slightly less than $2M coming on (if all the remaining players are replaced by AAA guys).

So there is a savings of approximately $5M there. However, that savings will quickly go to Wang and Cano who will be going to either arbitration or receiving long term contracts.

So that is my long winded way of saying, that I agree with you. If the Yankees sole goal is to reduce payroll, it is impossible to do it with Sexson on the team at his current salary and the Yankees wouldn't do it.

Of course, if the Mariners took back Pavano in any such deal, that is a whole new economic ball game.

2007-03-10 10:32:53
19.   Jeteupthemiddle
hmm...I wish I knew what I did to make it bold.

That was not my intention, but I always wondered how it happened.

Obviously Abreu holds the team option and Pettitte owns the player option.

2007-03-10 10:46:44
20.   RIYank
Ah. Surrounding the expression by asterisks emboldens it, here in Toaster comments.

Thanks for the info. It's hard for me to imagine the Ms taking Pavano.

2007-03-10 12:48:55
21.   OldYanksFan
errr....
I don't want to talk politics here, but:
"fire 21-year tenured, BYU physics professor Steven Jones because he proved explosives, thermite in particular, took down the WTC buildings"

Never heard this. Sounds UNreal. Got any links to back this up?

2007-03-10 12:56:10
22.   OldYanksFan
Yanks win 5-3, but with only 4 hits.
Duncan with a PH 2 run HR in the 9th.
2007-03-10 13:27:12
23.   rbj
I just hope the team remembers to save some wins for the regular and post seasons.

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