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Blech
2007-04-23 18:25
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

I have to admit, I missed the first six innings of last night's game. Since getting a digital video recorder last August, I've watched very few games live, and I simply forgot to set the thing to record yesterday's game. By the time I tuned in, the Devil Rays were up 7-6. Boy am I glad I forgot to set the DVR.

What I missed was Kei Igawa and Casey Fossum trying to out-awful each other. Fossum started the bidding with Alex Rodriguez's 13th homer of the year, a solo shot to lead off the second. Igawa countered with a three-run shot by Rocco Baldelli in the bottom of the inning that made it 4-1 Rays (two walks and a single preceded the dinger). Fossum gave one of those runs back in the third (a Josh Phelps double plated by a Melky bunt and Jeter sac fly), one in the fourth (singles by Rodriguez and Giambi, sac fly by Matsui), and one in the fifth on a Robinson Cano solo homer.

Igawa gave up another run in the bottom of the fifth on a single by Delmon Young and a double by Akinori Iwamura, then got the hook after 97 pitches. Colter Bean came on and struck out Elijah Dukes, but let Iwamura score on a Josh Paul single before getting out of the inning.

Fossom followed Igawa out of the game in the top of the sixth after allowing another run on a double by Abreu and singles by Rodriguez and Giambi, then plunking Robinson Cano with two outs to load the bases. Gary Glover came on and walked Josh Phelps to force in a run before getting the final out.

That's how it got to be 7-6 Devil Rays.

Brian Bruney and Luis Vizcaino combined to yield three more runs in the seventh, both yielding a walk and a double before Vizcaino recorded the first out of the inning, the big shot being B. J. Upton's bases-clearing double off Vizcaino. After appearing in eight of the Yankees' first 12 games and allowing just six base runners in those 8 1/3 innings, Vizcaino's been terrible in three of his last four outings. Those splits are symptomatic of the way in which the rotation's failures have wreaked havoc on the entire bullpen, which entered the season as one of the best in baseball.

Down four runs, the Yankees rallied in the eighth. After Juan Salas walked Giambi and Matsui, Brian Stokes came in and got Posada to foul out, but Robinson Cano singled to load the bases for Josh Phelps, who had doubled and walked in three trips. Except that Joe Torre sent Johnny Damon up to pinch-hit for Phelps against the right-handed Stokes. Sending Damon up wasn't a bad move, but sending him up for Phelps rather than saving him to hit for the next batter, Melky Cabrera, was. Damon battled Stokes, but fouled out and Cabrera struck out on four pitches to leave the bases loaded.

Against Al Reyes in the ninth, Bobby Abreu drew a one-out walk and Alex Rodriguez delivered yet another home run to pull the Yanks within two, but Jason Giambi struck out and Hideki Matsui popped out to mercifully end the game.

The 10-6 loss to the Rays drops the Yankees to just a half game out of last place in the East. The Yanks have now lost four straight because their pitching staff has allowed an average of 7.75 runs per game over that span. This feels like rock bottom. Here's hoping it is.

Chien-Ming Wang makes his first start of the season tonight. It's not soon enough.

Comments (157)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-04-23 21:06:03
1.   Orly Yarly NoWai
My fucking god. ESPN, in a highlight package about A-Rod's ridikulus hitting tear, just showed Matsuzaka striking him out twice. Good lord.
2007-04-23 21:14:44
2.   yankz
We absolutely need my prediction from the last thread to come through. Here's to you, CMW.
2007-04-23 21:17:00
3.   C2Coke
Arod's been insanely great. Phelps did good in the game as well.

Wang looked relaxed and ready to start his season. And the Yankees world really need a shot of confidence with the pitching.

2007-04-23 21:18:31
4.   C2Coke
1 Technically, that 2K was pretty good considering how surreal Arod's been. Besides, what else do you expect from ESPN?
2007-04-23 21:19:58
5.   monkeypants
3 I think they need a shot of pitching with the pitching.
2007-04-23 21:28:35
6.   Zack
Yahoo is killing me! Phil Hughes isn't available yet, not evne lsited. Other guys who haven't played yet are, but no Hughes. My guess is its a 40 man roster thing. Either way, because I have a crappy waiver priority, I know someone else will nab him and I'll have to offer the world for Hughes...Sigh...

In other news, the rotation still stinks. Hoping for more than out of a rusty and yet to build up strength Wanger tomorrow is silly, methinks. I think Farnsworth and Henn should be available. Maybe Karstens can come in as its his throw day? Actually, I think that was today, oh well...

2007-04-23 21:31:07
7.   SarasotaBB
We need pitching help and quick. Has Torre lost his mind completely?? That bullpen is wasted, but why pull Phelps for Damon when Melky (up next) had already made 2 outs with bases loaded?????
2007-04-23 21:49:08
8.   rabid stan
I'm tired of the garbage the starting rotation has been putting out. Seriously, three weeks of this trash?

Now that I have contributed less than nothing to this conversation, my job is done. If my post were a Yankees start, it would give up 7 earned runs in 4.1 innings.

2007-04-23 21:52:32
9.   yankz
6 I know man, what the hell!
2007-04-23 23:08:01
10.   Mattpat11
7 I still don't have a problem with that. He wanted Johnny Damon to hit. He put Johnny Damon in the best available spot to hit. It didn't work. Shit happens. I'd much rather Damon come up with the bases loaded and one out than sitting on the bench because the platoon player GIDP or coming up with two out and having his chances of success greatly reduced
2007-04-23 23:47:24
11.   monkeypants
10 Why would his chances of success be greatly reduced with two outs? All you lose is the sac fly, but down by four that's not much of a concern.
2007-04-24 00:25:20
12.   thelarmis
blech is right. according to elias sports bureau:

The Yankees have lost four straight games despite scoring at least five runs in each. Only once before in team history did the Yankees score five or more runs in four straight games and lose them all: June 11-15, 1933.

2007-04-24 02:22:11
13.   tommyl
From the NY Times:


Carl Pavano said he continued to feel a grabbing sensation in his right forearm when he threw. He played catch Monday and has still not been cleared for mound work. "I got after it a little more today, but there's definitely something more to work through, that's for sure," Pavano said.
*

I am officially sick of this. Unless Pavano has some condition that prevents him from healing this is absurd. I'm beginning to feel like he wakes up sore one morning and just decides he can't pitch.

2007-04-24 02:28:05
14.   tommyl
I also think this Hughes move reeks of panic and is a mistake. They've been so careful with him so far. The idea this year was to bring him along slow, limit his workload and possibly have him contribute down the stretch. After seeing pitchers like Liriano, and Hernandez experience growing pains, and the total (and sad) destruction of Mark Prior, I'm really worried. What happened to all this preaching of patience? Yes, we've lost four in a row and some of our starts have have been awful, but seriously, lets examine.

First of all throw away any starts made by people like Chase Wright, you can't really expect that to work out. The first trip through the rotation was also a fluke.

Pettite has pitched well and relatively deep. Wang is coming off the DL and I expect him to be fine. Igawa has been up and down, but I expected that of him and well, he's only the fifth starter so that's about right. Mussina getting hurt so early stinks, but he'll come back and likely be ok. So that leaves Pavano's spot, which I think was a mistake from ST to think he could actually contribute. Still, I don't see the need to rush Hughes just yet.

2007-04-24 04:23:23
15.   randym77
Lineup shakeup, anyone?

I tried playing with the Baseball Musings Lineup Analysis Tool:

http://www.baseballmusings.com/cgi-bin/LineupAnalysis.py?

And got this lineup:

Abreu
Giambi
Damon
A-Rod
Posada
Matsui
Cano
Minky
Jeter

(I used Matsui's career numbers, because his season numbers are kind of skewed right now.)

Seems crazy, but they (and others) claim that your worst hitter should bat 8th, not 9th, to maximize runs. The leadoff spot should be your best OBP guy, and the 9th spot should go to a leadoff kind of guy. And the #3 spot should go to a guy who is average in both OBP and SLG.

No, I don't expect Torre to do anything this radical. Just thought it was interesting.

2007-04-24 05:06:02
16.   seamus
4 actually, even with his tear, ARod strikes out a lot. Out of the 18 games, he has 6 2+ strikeout games.
2007-04-24 05:08:29
17.   rbj
Cliff, the score was actually 10-8, not 10-6. Don't cheat A-Rod of his record tying 14th round tripper of April.

I can't get on the bullpen's case, they've been overused, and necessarily so in most cases because the rotation has been horrible.

Soooo, trade Melky for a decent starting pitcher?

Carl should divide his salary amongst 33 starts. Any start below #30 that he doesn't make, he should give back that salary (I'll be charitable and give him 3 misses.)

Glad I went to bed at 10pm last night.

2007-04-24 05:09:53
18.   Sliced Bread
4 I fully expect ESPN's analysts to attribute A-Rod's streak to the Yankees place in the standings: the more home runs he hits, the further his team sinks, and the lower the Yanks go, the more comfortable he becomes.

How A-Rod is killing the Yankees, and showing up his teammates, next Baseball Tonight!

2007-04-24 05:28:43
19.   Sliced Bread
... and with each passing day my Carl Pavano Game Used Authentic NY Yankees Hat increases in value.
2007-04-24 05:29:06
20.   C2Coke
16 Sorry if I didn't sound sarcastic enough. Sliced did a better job in 18.
2007-04-24 05:30:40
21.   mehmattski
6 I hear ya on the Hughes waiver issue. I failed to find anything on Yahoo's help pages about when Minor Leaguers get added. But since Chase Wright wasn't added recently, I suspect you're right about 40-man rosters. For example, Wes Obermuller made his first start for the Marlins on Sunday but wasn't added to the list until today. Not that I want to pick up Wes Obermuller. But it may take until after Hughes' start before he's available...
2007-04-24 05:31:01
22.   seamus
16 yikes. i need coffee.
2007-04-24 05:34:08
23.   C2Coke
I am actually preparing myself for a somewhat rusty Wang (then again, who doesn't love a great surprise), however, I am just simply excited that I will get to watch him pitch again. His games are just entertaining and fun to watch.

21 Hughes isn't really on the team yet, no?

2007-04-24 05:35:44
24.   seamus
hughes is on my fantasy team! Yeah!

I missed my draft and my team has been all kinds of lameness. at least i can get hughes and hope for the best.

2007-04-24 05:36:22
25.   mehmattski
23Don't they have some kind of cream for that?
2007-04-24 05:40:06
26.   Jim Dean
10 First time I disagree with you. I think you have to let Phleps (what about giving him an AB in a big spot for a change?) hit there then you have Daman to hit for Melky.

17 Phil Huge is that decent starting pitcher. Igawa was never expected to be better than a #5. If Moose comes back next week, then you've got a nice rotation of Pettitte, Moose, Wang, and Hughes plus Igawa.

But Tea says Rasner and Karstens are still ahead of Hughes on the depth chart. Seven solid innings on Thursday can change alot.

BTW: The Times piece on Hughes today said he threw 12 changeups in his last start - the most he's ever thrown. Here's hoping he has the confidence in it to throw it to MLB hitters.

Also I think they should send Melky down today. He needs regular AB's and he's not going to get them with Giambi hitting so well as the DH. Thompson is a fine 4th OF.

2007-04-24 05:51:22
27.   monkeypants
The Hughes move does have a little whiff of panic, but that doesn't worry me necessarily. Rather, I am concernd that 1] expectations will be too highif (when?) he struggles, and more importantly 2] I assume that he will remain on a strict pitch count, which all but guarantees that he will only go four or five innings. So, it dosn't really solve the problem of the starters not going deep enough into games. At this exact juncture they would be better off bringing up/acquiring some sort of journeyman innings eater, at least until Mussina comes back.
2007-04-24 06:00:19
28.   monkeypants
27 Or perhaps better, call up one or two more BP arms (and play short on the bench), and try to patchwork the pitching until Mussina returns.
2007-04-24 06:03:21
29.   AbbyNormal821
1 you expect anything less from ESPN? Really, why should they focus on the good that A-Rod is doing? Sports Media Anti-Christs...they make me mad!

My personal opinion about A-Rod is he's proving himself by the simple fact that he is hitting home runs in spite of the fact that they're down a few runs. The pressure doesn't seem to be getting to him as much as last year and if he strikes out a couple of times (even in the clutch) so be it. He's kicking ass and all ESPN seems to do is focus on the bad stuff.

They also have an article on line from Bill Morris predicting that the Yanks won't win the AL East (perhaps, but I'm not that pessimistic)
If I may copy & paste:
"Well, you know what? I don't think it's happening. Not this year. You can play possum too many times. In the big scheme of things, winning the division doesn't mean that much, but it means something, and it would be fun to watch the Yanks slumming it in the wild-card spot for once."

I don't have a good enough comeback for this guy so I'll just say...OH JUST SHUT UP, DUDE!

2007-04-24 06:05:07
30.   AbbyNormal821
18 Bread, thanks - you actually gave the abbreviated version of what I wanted to say. I'm a yenta!
2007-04-24 06:07:09
31.   Jim Dean
27 I don't think they'll keep him on a pitch count. Right now, he's more Moose's replacement than a permanent addition to the staff. Tea said yesterday Karstens is still ahead of Hughes on the depth chart.

The ideal scenario to me is Phil has a solid but not spectacular outing (6-7 IP, 3-4 ER, 5-8 K) then they send him back down to continue work on his change and restrict his IP there. If he pitches better than that they could keep him up, but I suspect they want to first find out what's up with Pavano, Igawa, Karstens, and even Rocket over the next month before they start to depend heavily on Hughes. Not a bad startegy if you ask me - may produce some trade chips while they restrict Phil's innings.

2007-04-24 06:16:31
32.   Knuckles
As excited as I am now to see Hughes, now is not the time to do so.
The need to limit his innings is completely at odds with what is needed for the Yanks' pen right now.
If he goes 6 strong on Thursday, Torre will be tempted to leave him in for 7 or more, to allow the bullpen some rest- not a smart thing when it's April and the kid has about a 180 inning limit.

Bring up Ohlendorf or DeSalvo instead.

2007-04-24 06:29:47
33.   pistolpete
32 I really don't think so - Torre's not a dummy, he realizes this kid is the future of the franchise...
2007-04-24 06:33:43
34.   Simone
Bringing up Hughes so soon smacks of panic. So much for patience. Cashman isn't much different from Steinbrenner at times when it comes to the desperation to win. Even with Hughes, I'm not sure how much the Yankees can do with this starting rotation with Pavano languishing on the DL yet again.
2007-04-24 06:35:23
35.   Sliced Bread
32 I agree to an extent, but there's no guarantee 'Dorf or DeSalvo could give the Yanks even 5 innings against the Jays, so either way the bullpen will likely be burdened.

The way things line up, Hughes appears to be the best bet to win the game on Thursday. Wins are good. We need wins. So why not throw him in the water and see how he swims? Regardless of the result it will be an experience Phil can learn from, and build on.

Welcome to the bigs, kid! Show 'em what you got!

2007-04-24 06:36:57
36.   pistolpete
32 Besides, even if pitches on somewhat of a 'normal' schedule from now until the end of the season, he'll still be on or around 180 innings. If he skips a few turns and/or is limited to 5 IP for a few months, he'll be fine.
2007-04-24 06:39:25
37.   Tarheel
A pitch is a pitch is a pitch, etc. I can't understand what the difference is in throwing pitches in the Minor Leagues and in the Majors. Hughes is going to pitch somewhere, why not in NY? Do Minor League pitchers throw underhanded or something? And if he is so mentally weak that a subpar performance hurts him, maybe he isn't cut out for the big time. It is time to see what he is made of. If he works out, cut bait on Pussy Pavano and Igawa's inconsistency will not matter as much.
2007-04-24 06:43:37
38.   Jim Dean
35 37 Exactly right IMHO.
2007-04-24 06:46:25
39.   williamnyy23
1427 The Hughes move is a sign of panic…but what's wrong with that? When your starters can't go past 4 innings and your manager can't handle the bullpen, well, it's time to panic.

I don't understand the theory that says throwing pitches at the major league level is more taxing the minor league level? The same arm is being used …it's not like Hughes is throwing lefty in Scranton. At this point, Hughes is clearly the Yankees best option (and he could very well be their last hope for this season). Everyone seems to just expect that the team will wakeup in the playoffs in October. If the team has a couple of more weeks like the past two, the only positive outcome would be Cashman would have more time to extend Arod.

The alarmists who keep bring up Liriano and Prior are also missing the obvious fact that they both pitched their first extensive number of MLB innings at age 22. So, does that mean we should hold Hughes down until he is 23, 24 or 25? There are a lot of pitchers who have debuted in their age-21 season and been healthy. Anecdotes can be cited on either side. To this point, Hughes workload has been pristine compared to the likes of Prior (who was worked hard at USC) and Liriano (who pitched winter ball and the WBC before 120 IPs in the majors last year). If you are going to live in fear of an injury, then you might as well not let him pitch at all (or at least learn to throw side arm).

10 It was an awful move. Phelps has hit the ball hard and Melky has been worse than Minky. Also, in 39 PAs as a pinch hitter, Damon has an OPS of .419. In that situation, Phelps was clearly the best option. Damon could have still hit for Melky. You simply can't strategize around avoiding double plays when you are down by 4 runs in the 8th.

32 Hughes is the best young pitcher the Yankees have in their organization. What are we waiting for? Are you prepared to write off this season? I don't foresee Cashman hitting the lottery with Small and Chacon this year, so I wouldn't rest comfortably on the Yankees ability to come back from horrible Aprils in recent years.

2007-04-24 06:46:36
40.   rbj
37 It's less the quality of the pitches, and more the quality of the hitters. It might have been better to start Phil against a barely out of AAA Devil Rays lineup, and save Wang for the Stadium.
2007-04-24 06:47:50
41.   Sliced Bread
34 "Bringing up Hughes so soon smacks of panic."

That's a popular perception, and I can't really argue against it other than to toss out the old "desperate times call for desperate measures." The Yanks are the absolute pits pitching-wise.

If Hughes is the Yanks best bet to notch a win on Thursday, and help the team climb out of the hole, who cares how his call up is perceived?

If he loses on Thursday? So what? At least the Yanks gave it their best shot. It definitely won't be the last we see of Phil Hughes. I can guarantee that.

2007-04-24 06:50:56
42.   Knuckles
What about a two headed monster named HughlenDorf? The 'pen has been getting torched due to overuse, so maybe you ID a guy to pair up with Hughes, and on 'their' start day, you try and do everything you can to get 8 or 9 innings out of those two...
Or, if you don't think Hughes handing off to Dorf or DeSalvo after 5 innings (or vice versa) gives you the best chance to win, then you give Hughes his own starts backed by the bullpen, and line up a swing guy on Igawa's start days.
I'm just saying, you need to be creative. I don't want to waste Hughes' innings in Scranton if possible, but if his continued success in the bigs also involves exacerbating the issue of a tired bullpen, you need to start looking at things from a different point of view.
2007-04-24 06:51:32
43.   seamus
39 the differences are multifold.

In AAA ball, it may take 18 pitches to pitch through a jam. Than can easily turn into 30+ pitches in the majors. IP in MLB = more pitches.

It is not as important that the AAA team wins and therefore there is less pressure on the managers to leave a pitcher in longer than they should.

confidence. Anyone who has ever managed knows that confidence is everything in performance (not just in baseball). If a young pitcher doesn't succeed in MLB, that can affect their confidence if they weren't ready yet.

just some of the ways where things are different...

2007-04-24 06:51:39
44.   Tarheel
40
I understand that, but all this hand wringing over him having a better chance of getting injured in the Majors seems crazy. He will be throwing the same pitches in Scranton as he will in NY. I attend alot of Minor League games in Greensboro and those guys try to throw pitches to get hitters out just like the guys in the Stadium. If he is going to get injured, at least let it happen while he is trying to help the Yankees and not while he is waiting his turn to get there.
2007-04-24 06:55:31
45.   Tarheel
43
It is time to see what he is made of. I really don't see Joe letting him throw too many pitches. He doesn't let any of his starters go past 100, it seems. And if the Yankees piss around too much longer, they will find themselves is too big of a hole to climb out of. Just ask the Phillies last year how that works. Games in April and May are just as important as the games in Sept.
2007-04-24 07:04:56
46.   seamus
45 I agree it is time to bring him up. Just pointing out that pitching in MLB is not the same as pitching in AAA.
2007-04-24 07:08:07
47.   williamnyy23
43 Those are issues that might impact performance, but not strain on the arm of Hughes. Look, if Hughes comes up and throws 100 pitches in 3 innings, then you can adjust your philosophy. But, if he can throw 90 pitches in 5 or 6, well, that would actually be a significant improvement for now. The Yankees CAN manage his workload. If the argument is that Torre can't be trusted to do that, well, then he should be the one to go.
2007-04-24 07:09:23
48.   rbj
44 Granted. A pitch is a pitch. I just don't expect Phil to do as well up in the majors (at lest at first) as he has in the minors -- too many better hitters. I think Torre will need to limit his number of pitches 80-90. 42 Intriguing idea, Knuckles. Say Phil goes 6, you then have the other guy go 2 and hand off to Mo (or go three if Mo isn't available). Just need Wang & Pettitte & Moose to go deep. Oh, and get another starter for the #5 slot. (Is Rasner or Karstens still on for the #5 slot?)
2007-04-24 07:09:53
49.   williamnyy23
Also, the Yankees have had three pitching prospects go down with TJ surgery and all of them had only pitched in the minors. Injuries can and DO happen anywhere. There is no compelling evidence to suggest a young pitcher is more at risk in the major leagues than the minor leagues.
2007-04-24 07:11:25
50.   seamus
47 they affect strain quite clearly. If you are in MLB you are going to throw more pitches. period. that affects strain.

If your confidence is down, you are going to overthrow. That affects strain. period.

etc.. etc...

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-04-24 07:17:26
51.   williamnyy23
50 No...being in MLB doesn't require that you throw more pitches. There isn't a minimum pitch requirement...if the Yankees want to keep him on a pitch count they can. You haven't given me a reason why Hughes HAS to throw more pitches in the majors?

The confidence argument is silly. If Hughes pitches well, he'll be confident, and therefore wont endure the strain of the majors. If he doesn't, he'll be demoted, in which case, he'd long have to endure the strain of the majors.

The only way your argument would make any sense would be if the Yankees plan to trot him out for 7 innings every start, regardless of the game situation. I don't have many nice things to say for Torre's handling of a staff, but he is not Dallas Green.

2007-04-24 07:18:15
52.   monkeypants
42 I really like that idea.

47, 45, 44, et al. The issue is not whether it is more difficult to pitch in MLB v. AAA, or if a 'pitch is a pitch' nomatter where it is thrown. The particular problem the Yankees have right now is that no starter (except Pettitte) is capable of going five innings, let alone six or (gasp) seven, and this is torching the BP. Bringing up Hughes in all likelihood does not address this problem at all, because even if he throws shut-out innings, his pitch/inning limit means that he will still probably only go about five innings, Sure, they may be five shut-out innings (which is better than what we have seen), but that still means four BP innings, or four appearences by Proctor and Bruney if you prefer to see it that way.

So, call up Hughes! I have no problem with this--indeed, I thought he should have started the season as the #4 or #5. But I do not see this move as addressing the systemic pitchings woes that are plaguing the team right now.

2007-04-24 07:18:48
53.   Tarheel
How did the guys "back in the day" ever make it......pitching complete games more often than not, pitching 300+ innings, pitching in 4 man rotations, relieving when needed on their off days, etc.?

Pitchers today are weak.

2007-04-24 07:22:51
54.   williamnyy23
52 Here are the options:

A) Call up Hughes and hope that he really is what the scouts say, in which case, he should be able to give you at least 5 or 6 innings each start.

B) Keep trotting out scary fly ball guys to get waxed so we can watch more Colter Bean in the 4th inning.

I understand your presentation, but I don't see how Hughes ISN'T the best option to help alleviate some of the pressure.

2007-04-24 07:25:02
55.   seamus
51 You are ignoring realities of pitching in AAA v. MLB. Yes, most pitchers will throw more pitches when pitching in MLB as a result of having to throw more pitches to get throw the same number of innings. Hughes in particular will have to throw more pitches because we'll need him to go deep enough to relieve the bullpen.

As for confidence, Hughes may pitch well and then confidence isn't an issue. But you are more likely to struggle in MLB and this affects confidence. And yes, this can lead to arm strain.

2007-04-24 07:27:22
56.   seamus
55 I'm not sure why we are debating. I support Hughes being called up. I just disagree that all things are equal in AAA v MLB.
2007-04-24 07:28:18
57.   monkeypants
54

C) Call up BP help until the starting rotation is stabalized (which does not preclude calling up Hughes as well).

The pitching is a shambles, so in the short term I would play with a light bench. That probably means sending struggling Melky down and keeping a 13 man staff until the starters shape up. A more radical solution (a la Goldman) would be to send down Melky and useless Nieves and go with a 14 man staff for a week or so. That means Posada every day, or gambling that Phelps can BUC one day.

2007-04-24 07:30:07
58.   Schteeve
15 Do you honestly think a lineup shakeup is what this team needs??? They aren't having trouble scoring runs. They are having trouble preventing them.

Good grief.

2007-04-24 07:41:20
59.   sam2175
I don't see why Phil Hughes being brought up now is a big issue. Should he have been brought up after he had recorded a few multiple double digit strikeout totals in AAA, with trumpets and fanfare? Probably, in ideal circumstances. But right now is not the ideal circumstances, and the Yankee organization needs a capable pitcher who can keep them in the game, and possibly hold a lead, or put up a few zeroes on the box score. Hughes is definitely the best bet to do that. Haven't we seen enough of the rockets hit off of Karstens and Wright (who, by the way, should never have been brought up after a couple of games above A-ball anyways)?

Justin Verlander has never pitched in AAA, he was brought straight up from AA. If Hughes is ready, he is ready. If he is not, he is still the best pitcher in the organization, certainly a lot better than the Karstens and the Chase Wrights.

And I sincerely hope that Torre means that Hughes is better suited for minors at the time when he says he is behind Karstens in depth chart. I would rather have the Ohlendorfs and the Clippards pitch a few games rather than Jeff "I dominated Spring Training" Karstens.

What would have made sense was to have Rasner around. I don't get this Karstens fetish at all, his stuff is scary bad. The only good thing is probably that he doesn't walk many people, which, admittedly, has some value.

2007-04-24 07:43:38
60.   williamnyy23
56 If you remove performance from the equation, yes, they are the same. I agree with you that it takes more picthes to be as successful in the majors as the minors. What I am saying is that if Hughes is going to throw 90 pitches in the minors, then they he might as well use them here. I am hoping those 90 pitches will get us 6 innings. If not, then we can cross that bridge when it comes.

In the meantime, NO ONE is going five, so what would be different about Hughes failing to do the same.

2007-04-24 07:46:21
61.   williamnyy23
57 How do more relievers stabilize the staff if the startes still bow out early? Besides, which two relievers are going to be called up? Remember, not only would they have to pitch, but they'd also have to pitch well.

Let's call up Hughes and Ohlendorf and Clippard. That's fine with me. I just don't want to see Chase Wright get another shot before Hughes does.

2007-04-24 07:55:02
62.   monkeypants
61 The staff stabilizes, presumably, when Mussina and Pavano (ha-ha) come off the DL, since they are more likely to give you six or more innings than Chase Wright of Kei Igawa (who was always slated as the #5, so why is anyone suprised at his performance so far).

The additional BP help gives Torre more cannon fodder so at least he can rest a couple of relievers instead of throwing the same three guys out every night.

You are correct, the relievers would have to pitch well. But the BP is very overworked now and it is showing in their recent performances. So, the bar is pretty low right now for the relief pitching to be as good as (or better than) it has been.

2007-04-24 07:55:39
63.   Cliff Corcoran
Look at the sidebar, this team has had between 8 and 9 releivers for over a week, ever since they replaced Moose (or Pavano) with Chris Britton, then replaced Rasner with Bean. Overall the roster management has been excellent thus far. They're promoting the right people and maximizing the positions where there's need.

Today they'll activate Wang and drop an outfielder (I agree with those that say it should be Melky that gets optioned), which means they'll keep their eight-man pen until Thursday when they call-up Hughes at which point the rotation will be Wang, Pettitte, Hughes, Karstens, Igawa. Sub in Moose and Rasner for Hughes and Karstens next week (I'm hoping on the later, but not hopeful) and things don't look so terrible bad.

2007-04-24 08:05:41
64.   Cliff Corcoran
Oh, and everyone keeps saying Igawa was always the number-five starter. Folks, he's the number-four. I'm fairly certain I said that in the offseason and people scoffed, but when one of the other four is Pavano, Igawa's your number-four.

Wang
Pettitte
Mussina
Igawa
Pavano/Rasner/Karstens

Igawa only becomes number-five if Clemens or Hughes joins the staff on a permanent basis mid-season.

2007-04-24 08:06:17
65.   williamnyy23
63 The roster management has been fine; the game management has been awful. How long is it going to take before Moose and Wang can give the team enough innings to ease the strain. How much rest do Proctor, Bruney and Vizcaino need to return to form? Is Joe capable of giving it to them?

Torre has so muddled the bullpen that I am not so sure these problems are going to go away soon. If the team keeps stumbling (losing another series to Boston in the process), the hole is only going to get deeper. One of these years, they aren't going to be able to climb out.

2007-04-24 08:07:22
66.   williamnyy23
64 Speaking of Clemens, I'd like to think that Cashman, Jeter, Torre and Pettitte have all been leaving voicemails.
2007-04-24 08:11:47
67.   Jim Dean
64 By performance, he's shown himself to be behind Meat/Karstens/Rasner on the depth chart.

Put it this way - if Pavano comes back who's the most likely to get skipped? hat's Igawa.

2007-04-24 08:14:06
68.   Jim Dean
Actually Karsten may be behind igawa. Why did they option rasner and not Karstens? Seems like the latter can work off his rust better with a few AAA starts.
2007-04-24 08:27:17
69.   C2Coke
67 That's one big "if", don't you think?
2007-04-24 08:27:45
70.   Shaun P
68 Rasner's blister issues, which seem to keep his IP count down is my guess. And IIRC, they wanted a reliever for Saturday's game, which Karstens of course started.

I've said all along that Hughes wouldn't come up until September. Boy was I wrong.

But consider this:

Rasner and Jeff Kennard are the only guys on the 40-man who are starters who aren't in the majors right now, or on the DL.

Because Rasner was just sent down, unless the Yanks put someone on the DL, he can't be called back up for 10 days. There's no one to go on the DL, so Rasner's out.

Kennard isn't a bad option, I guess, but he's also never pitched above AA.

That leaves Ohlendorf, Jackson, Clippard, DeSalvo, and Hughes. Jackson just pitched and I don't think would be ready on Thursday. The Yanks could have moved DeSalvo up a day (he's scheduled to start on Friday for SWB), or used Clippard (he's scheduled to start on Thursday), or held Ohlendorf back (he's scheduled to start Tues or Wed).

Why not use Hughes? I don't think it will harm his development, and he probably gives the Yanks the best chance to win.

2007-04-24 08:28:14
71.   sam2175
I think the key, from now on, would be to squeeze 7 innings out of starts made by Wang and Pettitte. Both are reasonably efficient, and should be able to do that around 100 pitches.

Moose hits a wall in a mid-inning practically every start, let's hope he can go 6 consistently.

This is where Johnson was useful last year. We thought 200+ inning at 5+ ERA was easy to replace. Guess not.

2007-04-24 08:31:17
72.   Zack
One more thing on the whole Phil Hughes pitching th eyear in the minors/limiting innings etc. Cashman always said that this was a "theory," a plan, not a rigid imposition. Go back to the quotes. He said ideally, it would be great if he could do that, but obviously the season thus far has been anything but ideal. So yeah, its a panic move I suppose because, well, the staff stinks and needs some help, and hes the available help. But its not a panic move in that they are somehow throwing him to the wolves, abandoning their plan a la Joe with Mo or anything.

Hughes is a different kind of pitcher than any of the kids we have seen sacrificed for a start or two the past few years. He's a power/control pitcher with as level a head as possible.

As Jim D. mentioned, I'd go with a 6 innings, 3-4 ER, 2BB, 6K prediction, which, at this point, is good enough to be our #2, scary as that is (hopefully Wang can change that). Our BP can handle three innings, its 4-5 that kills them...

2007-04-24 08:31:28
73.   Jim Dean
Is it just me or has Torre had a quick hook with the kids? For instance, look at Rasner's lines so far:

4/19: 4.1 IP 4 H 1 ER 1 BB 3 K 81 pitches
4/14: 5.1 IP 5 H 0 ER 0 BB 1 K 78 pitches
4/8: 4.1 IP 8 H 5 ER 2 BB 2 K 76 pitches

Think if Ponson or Erickson had those most recent lines he wouldn't have left them out there for another inning?

Even the 4 HR game - that happens to a vet and doesn't he send them out there again, esp with the state of the bullpen?

2007-04-24 08:32:09
74.   JL25and3
65 I'm not a big fan of Torre as a game manager. But honestly, he's had to get so many innings out of his bullpen that there's only so much he can do.

53 Well, an awful lot of them didn't make it, but those aren't the ones you hear about. For every Jim Kaat, there were a dozen Wally Bunkers.

2007-04-24 08:34:13
75.   Jim Dean
Ok 70 may address 73 if it's been blisters.

Also the sending down part - thanks!

2007-04-24 08:36:16
76.   Sliced Bread
66 I think the standings will have more influence on Roger's decision than any phone calls he might receive from his former teammates. Unless, of course, those phone calls include promises of $7 million dollars a month.

I'd rather see the Yanks try (and even fail) with their young pitchers than bring Clemens back for $1.5 million per start.

2007-04-24 08:38:49
77.   Jim Dean
IMHO the whole panic aspect is overblown. Maybe that was a legit worry if they called up Hughes instead of Wright. But when you're promoting AA guys directly before your top minor league pitcher, I just don't see how that's panicking.

And Shaun lays it out perfectly in 70. They were going to have to add someone to the 40-man (from among Jackson, Clippard, Hughes, and Dorf) - why not their best option?

Me I see no problem or panic. They had a need and they addressed it. I only wish they had done so for Game 4 in Detroit rather than Game X in Trenton.

2007-04-24 08:50:06
78.   sam2175
77 I would say, that promoting a random AA guy above Hughes is sort of babying Phil too much. They are so worried about the fact that he could get bombed in his debut, and are so worried about the fallout that they would rather promote a guy barely above A-ball (where he spent 4 years of professional career by the way). I think that is babying to the extreme, and a stubborn conviction on their part that Hughes (or for that matter, any of the prized prospects in AAA) are likely to be bombed in ML.

So what if they get bombed? Isn't that part of learning process?

2007-04-24 08:53:09
79.   Jim Dean
78 I agree completely. But then I thought they we babying him last year when he absolutely dominated AA.

Sure there's something to be said for protecting his arm. But it's not like he took half the year off - he was pitching the same innings as Jaret Wright!

2007-04-24 08:55:14
80.   markp
Contrary to Torre's abuse of set-up guys, he's historically treated starters with kid gloves. Hughes pitching a game or three in the bigs shouldn't have any negative effect on his development. If he can get through the 6th, he can have a very positive effect on the BP.
2007-04-24 09:03:46
81.   williamnyy23
74 Instead of getting into the whole paper trail of Torre's misuse of the bullpen (it would take too long), just give me a defense for his use of Proctor and Bruney in the Indians' blowouts. Didn't he know what was on the horizon? If those two decisions alone could be retracted, the weekend (and yesterday) might have been different.

I do not subscribe to the "what could Torre do" argument. When starters are going 7, a team can run on autopilot. Now, more than any other time, is when you need good bullpen management. Sure, the ineptitude of the staff presents a challenge, but that doesn't mean we should give Torre a pass.

2007-04-24 09:05:28
82.   williamnyy23
76 You'd rather fail with kids than succeed with Clemens? That's stupid (the best analysis I can come up with for such a statement).
2007-04-24 09:08:16
83.   seamus
82 don't call other people's fan perspectives stupid.
2007-04-24 09:10:58
84.   Jim Dean
You know, no one has mentioned it before, but last night I found myself thinking about Bowa or Pena as the next manager.

Both have done it before.
Both have shown great track records with prized pupils (Cano and Posada)
Both are well-respected.
Either would give Mattingly a few more years of seasoning and teaching.

I don't know about Pena, but I think Bowa's fire breathing could also be a nice change of pace from Torre's sleepiness.

Plus I really don't like Girardi. Yes, he did well with the Marlins but he also showed he's not willing to work with higher management. That I think you need in today's game - using a player the way the GM intended. Further, why did it take a new coach for Jorge to show rapid changes in his defensive approach?

2007-04-24 09:11:25
85.   Cliff Corcoran
Rasner's first start was shortened by blisters, but there was no further mention of them. He was demoted after the Cleveland game to ultimately make room for Karstens because they needed a starter for Saturday and no one, including Rasner, was on proper rest. Besides, Karstens technically won the job in spring training. I think Karstens will be giving the job back to Rasner with a quickness, however.
2007-04-24 09:12:30
86.   Cliff Corcoran
84 to be fair, Girardi did fix Jorge's blocking the plate issues in 2005.
2007-04-24 09:15:45
87.   williamnyy23
83 You're right...it's ridiculous. Sorry.
2007-04-24 09:20:57
88.   Jim Dean
86 But he just forgot about the footwork needed to throw runners out and to block pitches?
2007-04-24 09:46:17
89.   Sliced Bread
82 At the risk of being called "stupid" again ...

Call me ridiculous. Call me crazy. Call me whatever you like. I'd rather try with the kids than rent a 45 year old pitcher for $7 million dollars a month.
Some might even call that logical.

Please don't respond, williamnyy23. You love Clemens. I get it. Love him in Houston or Boston, that's all I request.

2007-04-24 09:52:03
90.   williamnyy23
89 No..you said you'd be happy failing with kids over signing Clemens. I love the Yankees...I want them to win regardless of my own personal player preferences.
2007-04-24 10:01:02
91.   YankeeInMichigan
I think Wright was the team's last-ditch hope for keeping Hughes in the minors a bit longer. After Sunday's third inning, there's no way they can send Wright back in there against Boston.

I'm not thrilled with the thought of sending Karstens out against Boston either. With his fly-ball tendencies, Karstens can dominate Minnesota and Oakland any day, but should not be allowed to pitch to Mssrs. Ortiz and Ramirez.

Why not pitch Karstens against Toronto (on regular rest) and then use Hughes against the Sox? I don't buy the "throwing into the fire" baloney. Randy Keisler debuted in 2000 with a Fenway win. Brad Halsey, in his third start in 2005, matched Pedro inning for inning.

By the way, two things have changed since the Yankees first promoted Wright over Hughes (besides Wright's 3rd-inning implosion):
a) Hughes has notched a dominant win in Scranton.
b) Sanchez has had season-ending surgery. He can now be moved to the 60-day DL to make room for Hughes on the 40-man roster.

There is a falacy in the Verlander/Hughes comparison. Verlander was 23 last year with a college career under his belt.

2007-04-24 10:07:38
92.   nick
cliff, you say "the entire bullpen, which entered the season as one of the best in baseball"--but isn't that assumption kinda unwarranted?

I mean, we knew that we NEEDED to be stronger behind Mo this year--but how much evidence is there that we ARE stronger? The one premium-$ guy, Farns, is now a fragile middle-inning option--everybody else is a castoff. It's potentially a strong bullpen, but it needs sorting out and proper use.

Oh, and just to be ornery, I agree with 89 100%. Clemens is such a prima donna--I DESPISE this retire, sit around, come back as a mercenary routine. I root for homegrown talent--as, surely, do most serious fans. Now, I know that ain't always realistic. But I'm so damn sick of the wooing Roger nonsense--will he or won't he?--the coy virgin. Bleh.

2007-04-24 10:08:52
93.   williamnyy23
91 A college career is not necessarily a good thing. Pitchers get worked hard in college. By comparison, Hughes arm has endured much less than someone like Verlander or Prior.
2007-04-24 10:09:32
94.   mainmanmaitland
What Clemens does is buy the Yankees time, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

He would (hopefully) keep the Yanks from leaning too heavily on their young prospects for innings or bringing them up to the majors too soon. Also he would only cost money not talent to acquire (unlike making a play for Santana, who I would love to have but know would cost an army of prospects to get).

I would love to see the holes in the rotation filled from within but I wouldn't be opposed to Clemens helping to stablize the situation.

2007-04-24 10:13:06
95.   williamnyy23
92 The question ins't whether you root for home grown talent..it's do you root for the Yankees to win. I'd much rather have Clemens come here and win then lose with young talent. Apparently, not everyone prefers having the Yankees win, but that is my main objective.
2007-04-24 10:14:33
96.   JL25and3
81 And I think that if those two decisions had been retracted, there wouldn't have been all that much difference over the weekend. Right now he's flailing, but I think any manager would be. I'm not giving him a pass, I've been criticizing his bullpen management for years. I just don't think that's anywhere near the biggest problem right now.

Actually, I think I could argue that his bullpen management is even worse when his starters go 7. Then he has options, but he'll still use Scott Proctor every day.

2007-04-24 10:19:38
97.   Max Nomad
O-KAY, just got here, looks like there's plenty to talk about.

I guess losing 4 in a row to bad pitching stings, huh? We'll get'em tonight, Wang (I think) has only given up more than 6 runs/game once, and with our offense, if he's half of himself, we got this one tonight.

Just remember everybody, like Clemens and Jeter, GoosFRAba...

71 Pettitte replaced Johnson, and is doing a fine job.

2007-04-24 10:19:39
98.   Sliced Bread
94 I wouldn't count on a 45 year old pitcher to stabilize the situation.

95 Do I really have to explain to you that I want the Yanks to win? Really, william.

And why do you insist the Yanks will win with Clemens? They didn't win with him when he was 4 years younger. Why would they win with him now?

I don't want him because he's old and expensive. If you disagree that's fine, but don't call me stupid, and don't say I don't want the Yanks to win because I don't want Clemens. Who's being ridiculous fella?

2007-04-24 10:21:22
99.   Max Nomad
98 Come on now, Clemens is a circumstantial pitcher. If he's got a lot of run support, he'll have a higher ERA because he can. And he wasn't a 6-inning pitcher with the Yanks like he became in Houston.
2007-04-24 10:21:40
100.   Shaun P
78 79 I don't think it was babying, I think it was roster moves. Like I said in 70 Wright was on the 40-man, and Hughes wasn't.

84 Jim, I remember Bowa managing in Philly, and he was pretty awful from a communication standpoint as well as a tactical standpoint. You think Torre can't manage a bullpen? Bowa might have been worse, IIRC.

Pena I could see, maybe. But not Bowa.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-04-24 10:22:29
101.   nick
95 we all want the Yanks to win....but are there NO circumstances under which you'd not want a certain player? What if we signed the Todd Bertuzzi of baseball? Let people have their irrational feelings, william--it's part of being a sports fan....
2007-04-24 10:24:32
102.   YankeeInMichigan
85 Did Torre ever explain his short leash (81 pitches) on Rasner last Thursday?
2007-04-24 10:28:39
103.   sam2175
91
Verlander, at age 20, pitched 116.1 innings for Old Dominion, which was the highest number of innings pitched for him at lower than MLB level. Hughes pitched 156 innings at two levels combined at age 20. He is already at an advanced stage than Verlander at a similar age, and is poised to go about 180 innings for the year, which was what Verlander went last year. So, they are at about the same situation, workload wise.

The only question is whether Hughes has the same preparedness for the ML level as Verlander did. Tigers took a chance and were successful with Verlander. We will find out about Hughes.

2007-04-24 10:32:24
104.   sam2175
100 Humberto Sanchez could have been moved to 60 day DL in light of his TJ surgery. I am not buying the 40-man BS. If need be, they can make room for a guy in 40 man roster. What are they worried about, somebody will claim the invaluable Chase Wright/Jeff Kennard?

It is babying to the extreme.

2007-04-24 10:50:07
105.   Jim Dean
100 I don't think we can trust that assessment of Bowa coming through the the lens of Philly fans and media. And I can't imagine him as any worse for in-game management than Torre - witness Damon for Phelps last night.

If anything, I remember hearing the Philly players tuned Bowa out. Me, I think the Yanks could use some fire under their asses - I've felt that way for a few years actually.

2007-04-24 10:54:21
106.   Andre
Just wanted to say that I LOVE Girardi in the booth. I switched back & forth last night between YES and ESPN for the game, and I was really impressed with the insightful comments Girardi was making. I felt like I was learning by listening to him. I can't recall specific comments right now, but at the time, I kept thinking that what he was saying took me into a manager's and player's mind for a while. He may not be the most exciting person to listen to, but if I have to hear commentary during a game, I'd prefer it to be of the type Girardi brings to the table. The contrast was especially glaring when switching back & forth to ESPN - their guys were listenable too, but if I could have gotten the Hi-DEF feed on YES (I'm on the cable co EI package) I would have easily stayed with that over ESPN. Based on last night's game, I now prefer listening to Girardi over any color man I've heard so far (although Jim Kaat gives him a run for his money in my book).
2007-04-24 10:57:23
107.   Andre
Also, I'm glad they are bringing up Hughes. I don't care if he's too young, too fragile, too whatever. I'm tired of watching the team lose and if Hughes is their best available pitcher than that's who I want to see. Melky's first appearance with the bigs at Fenway park was basically a disaster, and maybe Hughes' will be too, but I'd rather watch him try than see Karstens, Rasner, Wright fail again.
2007-04-24 10:57:34
108.   Jim Dean
Me personally, I'd rather have Hughes starting and learning down the stretch than Clemens.
2007-04-24 11:01:21
109.   tommyl
The main difference between AAA and MLB to me is how Torre will use Hughes. At AAA he was on a very strict pitch/innings count, so no matter how well he was pitching he's been lifted. Will Torre continue to do that? I just don't see Hughes pitching the rest of the season at the MLB level (and hopefully the postseason) and staying under 180. Had he been brought up in June, he might have. He's a long term investment and I'd just hate to see him burned for a few wins in April.
2007-04-24 11:03:09
110.   rbj
What's wrong with having Hughes learn from Clemens? Have 'em both, have Igawa in the pen to take the 7th & 8th innings for Phil -- so he won't be over taxed. How soon until Moose comes back?
2007-04-24 11:08:11
111.   williamnyy23
98 Sliced...if you want to back track from your original statement that's fine fella. But, in case you forgot, you said this:

"I'd rather see the Yanks try (and even fail) with their young pitchers than bring Clemens back for $1.5 million per start."

That sure seems to me as if you'd rather the team "fail" than even try to sign Clemens. If I knew an option was going to fail, I'd advocate trying just about anything else.

You're original statement did imply you had concerns above and beyond winning. Don't blame for your own statement.

As for "they didn't win when he was 4 years younger", you are joking right? What do you call 101 wins? I think that's another statement from which you might want to back track.

2007-04-24 11:09:33
112.   Sliced Bread
110 What would Hughes learn from Clemens that he couldn't learn from another veteran pitcher? How to turn his back on his team, and expect special treatment, and millions of dollars in return? No thanks. Hughes will be fine without the great Roger Clemens.
2007-04-24 11:12:52
113.   williamnyy23
103 What about pitches though? Hughes has been on a pitch count in the minors. His 156 IP might actually be fewer pitches. College pitchers are pitching to win; minor league pitchers are preparing for the big leagues.
2007-04-24 11:19:50
114.   AbbyNormal821
106 I like Girardi too. I always find it more interesting to hear a player/former player's perspective on the how and why things are done. (you hear me, Michael Kay?)

:-)

2007-04-24 11:22:47
115.   Andre
"I'd rather see the Yanks try (and even fail) with their young pitchers than bring Clemens back for $1.5 million per start."

I don't understand what's wrong with that statement. Some of us find it enjoyable to watch a team try and win with unproven rookies than clobber teams with all-stars all the time. That's what I liked about last year bringing up Cano, Melky and Wang. Of course I wanted the Yanks to win, but it was even more exciting to me to watch the young guys try, and it was awesome when they turned out to be better than advertised. Same holds true for me with Hughes. In Clemens, I know what we're getting for the most part. There's no surprise when I watch a game. We'll either win or lose with him, but there's really nothing exciting about him. Hughes, however, is someone that is completely new to most people and it will be fun to see if he can live up to the hype. If he comes out and dominates, I'll certainly have more fun watching than if Clemens comes in and does the same. Also, even if he comes in and loses, I want to see him try. Finally, there's something special for me watching home grown rookies succeed. I was psyched for Chase Wright's 1st two starts just because he was someone new that I hadn't heard of. I was psyched when Pettitte came back because even though he's not a rookie, he was never a hired gun in the past - he was home grown and he had a lot of history here. Clemens has never been a person that I thought of when I thought of the Yankees. He's not in the Bernie, Posada, Jeter mix. He didn't face adversity in coming to the Yanks (unlike A Rod in a weird sort of way). So, I have to agree with Sliced - I want the Yankees to win, but I also want to be entertained, and the most entertaining thing for me is watching newbies and homegrown talent succeed and watching other people overcome adversity.

The only exception to everything I've said is Carl Pavano.

2007-04-24 11:23:22
116.   rbj
112 Turn his back on his team? What?
I think learning how to win 350 games in the majors, the importance of a correct fitness routine -- and sure, how to parlay that into millions of dollars (ball players do go through all that hard work in order to make gobs of money).

Clemens is no longer a 200 IP pitcher, he can at best go 20 starts, 6 IP per. Sure it is overpriced, but I'd rather have Rocket out there than Karstens, Rasner, or Igawa at this point. Put them in the pen and learn to pitch in the bigs from that vantage point.

2007-04-24 11:25:32
117.   williamnyy23
115 There's nothing wrong with "I'd rather win with home grown talent than Clemens".

There is something wrong with "I'd rather fail with home grown talent than even try Clemens".

Your point is valid...the original statement to which I was referring seemed illogical to me.

2007-04-24 11:37:12
118.   Sliced Bread
115 Exactly!

I couldn't be bothered explaining that to william. He lost me at "stupid."

2007-04-24 11:47:55
119.   Andre
117 I think you're missing the key part of the sentence - "try (and fail)"
2007-04-24 11:50:22
120.   williamnyy23
119 I am not missing it...it's there. If I knew that trying something was going to fail, I wouldn't advocate it over another option. If your objective is the Yankees winning, the statement was ridiculous. If you hate Clemens more than you want the Yankees to win, I understand it perfectly. I just hope anyone silly to take such a stance doesn't celebrate the 1999 and 2000 World Series.
2007-04-24 11:50:46
121.   nick
Are we at a point with Pavano where we should just push him out there? I mean, this sounds crazy, but he's basically untradeable and we're paying him--suppose the guy has 1000 pitches left on his arm, lifetime?--we get to use him up, right? we bought him.....normally, you're very careful with slight injuries, because you think longterm, but what if "forearm discomfort" persists? at what point do we just say he's an exception to the rule?
2007-04-24 11:52:48
122.   Shaun P
105 Actually, that assessment of Bowa's managing in Philly is not from the Philly media or Philly phans. Its my own observation, from watching many Phillies games back then (my old roommate was a Mets fan) - and what I remember was that tactically, Bowa was awful.

If you really think the Yanks need a screamer as their next manager - I don't - then I'd like to see a guy who's at least tactically proficient, and can properly handle young pitching and a bullpen. And the NY media. Bowa isn't that guy, IMHO.

In fact, I'm not sure who is. We'll find out someday.

2007-04-24 11:56:19
123.   JL25and3
120 When you try something, you don't know it's going to fail. You know it might fail, and you're willing to take that chance. Many of us are. If that means we're just not as good fans as you are, I guess I can live with that.
2007-04-24 11:57:22
124.   nick
120 please, don't take it so literally, don't obsess: no pitcher on the Yankees staff is guaranteed to fail...(though I invoke the Pavano Exception)....when people say things like "I'd rather try and fail with x" they mean that they'd feel OK having made an honest effort to do it the right way.

And you didn't answer my Todd Bertuzzi question. What if Pacman Jones was a capable #3 starter: do you sign him tomorrow?

2007-04-24 12:02:59
125.   Jim Dean
122 Fair enough. Though Tea is pretty bad tactically too.
2007-04-24 12:04:08
126.   Sliced Bread
119 123 124
Thanks for trying guys, but please don't try to reason with william nyy23 about Clemens. He knows everything.

You're right, william. Fans who don't want Clemens don't want the Yanks to win. Roger = winning. He's the greatest pitcher the Yanks have ever had. He is worth every penny, and he's getting younger by the minute! We didn't realize any of this until you explained this to us. I thank the Good Lord for making Roger Clemens a Yankee! I thank the Good Lord for fans like you.

Please come back, Roger Clemens! Please please please please PLEASE come back!

2007-04-24 12:08:19
127.   SarasotaBB
Torre has continued to mismanage the bullpen and his starters; there was no justification in taking Petite out so early last Friday. He has been managing like it's October and it's only April. Every decision he's making right now seems to be the wrong one like lifting Phelps for Damon instead of Melky. Any body remember how bad Torre looked last October?????....it's more and more of the same old same old bad decison making that he has been getting away with because of his reputation. He deserved the free passes at one time. It's time for a change, and it's also time for Cashman to start taking some heat.
2007-04-24 12:08:57
128.   Shaun P
125 Exactly! Why replace one poor tactician with another?

So . . . Tiger Wang returns tonight. A lefty starts for Tampa Bay. Who plays first, Mientkiewicz or Phelps?

My gut feeling is because Wang usually pitches poorly on the road (3.22 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, .252 BAA in 184.7 IP at home, vs. 4.45 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, .291 BAA in 149.7 IP on the road), I'd start Phelps and try to slug out a win.

I could also see the argument for playing Minky's glove and making sure its a smooth night defensively on that Field Turf.

2007-04-24 12:15:51
129.   Jim Dean
128 Phelps didn't look too bad last night. In fact, I think he's looked pretty decent overall.

Meanwhile, we ever get an explanation on why Mfhiogks wasn't playing the line against Crisp?

2007-04-24 12:17:22
130.   Sliced Bread
128 I'd start Phelps too, but I'm guessing Joe goes with Minky's magical glove behind C.M. Wang.

Figure Phelps might come in as a late inning offensive replacement for Dougie Defense.

2007-04-24 12:17:50
131.   JL25and3
Personally, I don't think a screamer is a good fit at all for this team. Oh, some feistier arguments with umpires would be fun to watch, but hotheaded managers have a tendency to scream at players as well as managers. I don't think that's a good match for this professional, veteran team.

Joe may be a lousy game manager - and I think he's gotten worse with time - but his skills at handling the media and the front office, and keeping that pressure off his team, shouldn't be overlooked. I've said it before, I'll say it again: I think that Joe's laissez-faire approach was essential to the Yankees' winning last year. Billy Martin would have been a twitchy, paranoid wreck by July.

Now, bench coach is a different story. I think a fiery tactician - Zimmer - really helps Joe there. Since Zim, though, the job has become an apprenticeship, which is a terrible idea. I love Mattingly, but Bowa should have been made bench coach.

2007-04-24 12:23:35
132.   JL25and3
128 I'll go with your second argument. Much as I resent having Joe Bftsplk taking up a roster spot, he should play when Wang pitches.
2007-04-24 12:30:28
133.   Sliced Bread
I hope Girardi's the next manager of the Yanks.
He was on Michael Kay's radio show yesterday, and Kay asked him about bullpen managment.
Girardi acknowledged how difficult it is, but I got the sense that he would have an intelligent approach to the pitchers, and not just grind the hottest bullpen hand into the ground.
Plus, unless Posada is replaced by a veteran, the Yanks will have a young catcher after Torre is gone. Girardi would be well-suited to develop the Yanks next great catcher.
2007-04-24 12:36:09
134.   Shaun P
129 Re: Minky not playing Coco on the line - I haven't heard an explanation. Who on the coaching staff is responsible for infield positioning? Or is it up to Minky himself?
2007-04-24 12:41:26
135.   Jim Dean
132 How many hits + throws do you think Mhfdxlkhgl has actually saved this year? Because right now he has a RATE2 of 84 - that friends is 16 runs below average.

Meawhile, Phelps is sporting a .900 OPS as 3/4/5 (and a 81 RATE2). Phleps is the answer for the next month.

133 I disagree wholeheartedly on that last point.

Explain to me how Girardi helped Jorge if it took Girardi leaving, and Pena as his new coach, to find the best defensive season of his career at age 35?

2007-04-24 12:43:59
136.   JL25and3
135 It's a good question, but a tough one to answer. I don't put much stock in any of the fielding stats I've seen, and even less so over a 3-week span.
2007-04-24 12:48:22
137.   vockins
Hughes now available on yahoo leagues.
2007-04-24 12:56:06
138.   Sliced Bread
135 I think that's easy to explain. Pena was a better coach for Posada in 2006 than Girardi was in the late 90's. Though I wouldn't blame Po's early fielding struggles on Girardi. Do you?

Even if Girardi failed Posada as a catcher coach could he do the job now? I think so.

I am certainly better suited to teach someone in my field than I was 10 years ago.

2007-04-24 12:59:17
139.   Shaun P
137 Thanks - if only I didn't have such a crappy waiver priority . . . ! Hopefully no one is paying attention.
2007-04-24 13:01:24
140.   Jim Dean
136 Look at it this way:

Mfhsdjkg has reached base 10 times out of 49 plate appearances.

Phleps has reached base 10 times out of 24 plate appearances.

So to interpolate Phelps over twice as many AB's (20 times reached based in 48 PA), has Mfgjdkgk saved 10 hits or throws over what Phleps would offer in the field?

My guess is Mfghdkj hasn't even saved half of that (5 hits and throws). In Phelps, you get twice the hitter with maybe a small step down in defense. More please...

2007-04-24 13:04:52
141.   Jim Dean
138 Girardi was the bench coach in 2005 and presumably had just as much of a chance to coach Jorge then. One year later, and Girardi in FLA, and Jorge has the best defensive season of his career?

Meanwhile, Girardi has already shown he doesn't give a crap what upper management thinks. That's why he got fired. Me, I'd rather have the manager and GM on the same page.

2007-04-24 13:10:30
142.   Sliced Bread
141 Right, Pena got through to Posada in a way that Girardi didn't or couldn't. But that doesn't mean Girardi couldnt be successful with another young catcher.

I wouldn't give a crap what the Marlins upper management thought of me either. Fug the Marlins.

Girardi is certainly on the same page as the Yanks brass.

2007-04-24 13:23:34
143.   Shaun P
141 142 Girardi's problems were with Jeffrey Loria, the Marlins' owner, and his son-in-law, team pres David Sampson.

Do a google search on those two and read some of the things they've said over the years. Neither is, shall we say, a baseball luminary. In fact, they remind me of Steinbrenner at his worst.

OTOH, Larry Beinfest, the Marlins' GM - who is a pretty smart baseball guy - had no problems with Girardi, and Girardi had no problems with him.

I think a Girardi-Cashman team would work very well together.

2007-04-24 13:26:05
144.   Zack
Thanks for the heads up on Hughes. Of course, since I have 7 our of 10 waiver priority and the waiver period is liek 3 days long in our league, I stand no shot what so ever of landing him, especially since his waiver period goes through his first start, so any under the wireness will be killed there. Sigh, I guess I can offer A-Rod for him, right?
2007-04-24 13:28:28
145.   Sliced Bread
143 Word. Loria's a nitwit. Steinbrenner at his worst? I'd say that was the Winfield thing, but yeah, I could see Loria pulling a similar stunt.
Girardi should be proud of his work in Miami.

It'll be very interesting to see who gets Torre's job when the time comes.

2007-04-24 13:33:00
146.   Jim Dean
143 That's inherently not true. Girardi and Beinfest stopped talking mid-season.

"Beginning in spring training, Beinfest clashed with Girardi over personnel decisions, and during the second half of the season the general manager was rarely seen in the clubhouse or manager's office."

Sorry, that's the best I could do in a few minutes. The point is: They didn't get along - not in the least.

2007-04-24 13:39:00
147.   Jim Dean
April 13, 2007 Sun-Sentinel:
http://tinyurl.com/2gaz3r

"The frost has lifted. The wall has come down.

Larry Beinfest is welcome again in the office of the Marlins' manager."

"Whether this helps the Marlins win more games than they did a year ago, when Beinfest was feuding with Joe Girardi, is unknown."

"According to sources, Beinfest and Girardi had some of their biggest clashes during spring training, when there was still uncertainty about where to play Josh Willingham and Dan Uggla and whether to carry Mike Jacobs on the big-league roster."

2007-04-24 13:39:42
148.   JL25and3
146 I got the sense of Girardi as a Showalter-type manager: an extremely bright, hardworking, micromanaging control freak.
2007-04-24 13:41:23
149.   Shaun P
146 I could be wrong. Everything I found in just a little searching myself said that Loria was constantly badgering Girardi with orders to do such and such, and arguing managerial philosophies with him. I didn't find anything about Beinfest.

In any case, its hard to evaluate what really happened, because its in the best interests of the folks who cover the Marlins to play nice with their FO.

2007-04-24 13:41:47
150.   Andre
Once the GM gets the best possible players he can, do you really want the GM that involved in day to day? I'd prefer to let the manager manage with the tools he's got. Although Torre needed Cashman to set him straight re: Cano v. Womack & to bring up Wang & Melky, I would want that to be the exception to the rule. Everything I've read tells me that the players loved Girardi. I'm just not so sure a guy as relatively young as Girardi could manage a team of legit superstars like ARod, Jeter, etc. - I think you need a much more seasoned manager for a team like this. Girardi was dealing with almost all rookies so the fit was better there in my opinion. I think Girardi probably would be good for the DRays.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-04-24 13:44:22
151.   Andre
Love the headline over at YES - Ace Freely returns to Yanks.

You might have to be a KISS fan to get it.

2007-04-24 13:47:02
152.   Jim Dean
149 See 147.

148 I agree. Works well with rooks, not so much with veterans or an involved GM.

2007-04-24 13:51:17
153.   Jim Dean
150 If the manager is starting Cairo at first , or LF, because he doesn't believe in Andy Phillips, or Melky, then the GM should speak up.
2007-04-24 13:55:42
154.   Bama Yankee
151 Since Nieves has the bad thumb, maybe we could sign one of these guys to be the BUC:
Ted Simmons
Mike Stanley
and possibly one of this guy's descendants:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/c/crissdo01.shtml
;-)
2007-04-24 14:01:12
155.   Andre
154 nice ; )
2007-04-24 14:09:40
156.   Bama Yankee
155 Thanks.

BTW, how's the EI package working out for you? It took my cable company a few days to get it going, but they finally got it working (except for those games that are on the Game 11-14 channels, they are still working on those). I guess the fact that I almost did not get it this year makes me appreciate it more.

2007-04-24 14:31:13
157.   Andre
My cable co finally got it right the day after the free preview ended. I heard that you could get some of the games in high def if you get the package on DTV, but Comcast doesn't offer that. It's a bummer, but I'm just happy to get the games on tv. I definitely appreciate having it - I would have been pissed if I missed all of A Rod's homeruns because of MLB greed.

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