Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Not Awesome
2008-06-16 10:35
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

It was such a nice Yankee weekend too, wasn't? That is, until the injury to Chien-Ming Wang. Over at Under the Knife, Will "Juicespin" Carroll reports:

Consider this another point for the DH rule, because the Yankees' ace sprained his foot running the bases on Sunday and looks to be headed for the DL. Early reports indicated that Wang heard a "pop" on the top of his foot, a symptom that New Yorkers should be familiar with. If you don't remember that Brian Bruney is already out for the season with a Lisfranc sprain, you might remember that missed season by the recently retired Giant speedrusher Michael Strahan. (Here in Indianapolis, it's Dwight Freeney that comes to mind.) If Wang has injured the Lisfranc ligament or, worse, broken a bone, he's done for the season for all intents and purposes, putting the Yankees in a terrible position as far as their rotation. With Wang on crutches, the team is unlikely to wait and see on this one, and will likely push him to the DL. The calls are already coming out to go after C.C. Sabathia, but the Yankees are going to need immediate answers. Ian Kennedy is making progress, but isn't close enough to fill in for Wang's next scheduled start, leaving Jeff Karstens or Kei Igawa as the most likely fill-ins. We should find out more on how serious Wang's foot problem is in the next few days once the swelling is down enough for clear images. On the assumption that this is a Lisfranc sprain, I'm setting his DXL at three months.

And you thought we'd seen the last of Kei Igawa.


Pete Abe has the latest. The news is not good. Looks like Wang could be done for the year.

Comments (64)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-06-16 10:43:59
1.   monkeypants
Why is this another point for the DH rule? Couldn't it be just as much a point against the DH rule, since NL pitchers do not seem to injure themselves cruising into home because they (presumably) practice things like, say, running between the bases?
2008-06-16 10:46:31
2.   rbj
Kei Igawa? I think Homer Simpson has the right words:

Man, this waiting is almost like Christmas as a kid, but in a bad way.

2008-06-16 10:50:42
3.   Bob Timmermann
Yeah, where there's rash of NL pitchers going down with foot injuries? Or being hurt on the bases in anyway?

Micah Owings was slightly injured this season stretching out a double as a pinch hitter and he didn't miss a start.

2008-06-16 10:52:32
4.   ChrisS
0 I'd rather see Giese or Horne get the shot. I don't know if they'll be decent, but I know Igawa will suck. I'll take the unknown.
2008-06-16 10:53:50
5.   ms october
2 "Man, this waiting is almost like Christmas as a kid, but in a bad way." - agreed.

i hope wang is not still stuck in the cold closed in hell that is an mri tube

2008-06-16 10:55:24
6.   monkeypants
4 for some reason I think the Yankees will choose any and all options before turning back to the Igawa experience. He stunk it up in the bigs, and he's been pretty stinky at AAA. And the Yanks' have been pretty indulgent with young pitchers this season: it took a rib injury and maximum stinkiness to get IPK/Phil out of the rotation. I could be wrong, but barring a plane crash in the Andes, I think that we've seen the last Mr. Igawa.
2008-06-16 11:21:55
7.   Bob B
Please do not mention Igawa. Makes me feel like I ate bad sushi.
2008-06-16 11:35:00
8.   Schteeve
Igawa? Please.
2008-06-16 11:35:36
9.   Schteeve
Also, I love all the diagnosis being done by people who have never examined the dude's foot.
2008-06-16 11:37:29
10.   OldYanksFan
Pop goes the season.
2008-06-16 11:39:48
11.   monkeypants
9 Agreed. Actually, I'll only get really worried if the Yankees say that he's "day to day" or that it's "a little sore" but will get better with "some rest." Then you know it's gonna be doozy of an injury.
2008-06-16 11:39:58
12.   Jorgie Juiced One
I don't think Wang's injury necessarily makes the case for the DH rule; but it sets a circumstance allowing for the discussion.

The DH was an excellent rule change that the NL "purists" won't permit. I know a number of people who regard themselves as "progressives," who, when it comes to pitchers hitting, suddenly start acting as it were an eternal law written into the fabric of the universe.

Pitchers can't hit. Each time a pitcher comes to the plate, we observe a non-MLB caliber competition take place. There's nothing at all interesting about having the 7-hitter smack a double with 2 outs, sending the guy on first to third, then watching the 8-hitter intentionally walked so that the pitcher can strike out on 4 pitches.

Yes, I know pitchers get a fluke hit once in a while that gets people excited the way I recently did watching my one-year old take his first steps. But the reaction only serves to substantiate the fact that no one actually takes pitchers seriously as hitters.

Pitchers also can't run the bases. The only thing anyone hopes when a pitcher is on base is that he won't get in the way of any runner that comes up behind, doesn't tire himself out to pitch the next inning and (yes) that he doesn't get hurt.

The idea that pitchers not hitting makes them incomplete ballplayers is tired rhetoric. The fact of the matter is that a pitcher controls the outcome of each game he participates in in a way no one else on the field does. The essence of the game is the pitcher-hitter matchup. Pitchers are rightly evaluated on their ability to pitch and not on a bunch of either stuff they, as athletes, do awkwardly and, quite frankly, embarassingly.

As for "strategy," the double switch and all its variations are not that complicated and not really interesting. In addition, a pitcher should stay or leave the game based on his pitching effectiveness and not whether his spot happens to be coming up in the batting order.

In the days when the NL was ascendant, it was somewhat understandable that the league's high self-regard would cause it to look askance at the DH. But now that the NL has been getting abused (not because of the absence of a DH) every which way for the past 15 years, maybe a little humility and reasonableness are in order.

2008-06-16 11:46:11
13.   monkeypants
12 "The fact of the matter is that a pitcher controls the outcome of each game he participates in in a way no one else on the field does."

True, but therein lies the balance. Because he does so, teams are willing to carry his (mostly) ineffective bat in the lineup. This seems (to me anyway) not only more fair but also more elegant.

Moreover, there is a chance that eliminating the DH would also tend to limit the endless pitching changes, the LOOGY, and the 13 man staff. For that, I would gladly watch a pitcher bat a couple of times a game (and in general, unless the pitcher is absolutely cruising, he rarely bats more than twice a game anyway).

As for whether one likes to see a pitcher hit, that's an ideological and aesthetic argument.

2008-06-16 11:49:59
14.   monkeypants
12 "..a pitcher should stay or leave the game based on his pitching effectiveness and not whether his spot happens to be coming up in the batting order."

Why? All of the other spots in the lineup are evaluated on a combination of offensive potential, matchups, and defense. I could only agree with this statement if you went all the way and argued that the hitting lineup and fielding lineup should be complete divorced from each other, which would be an interesting conceptualization of the game that would introduce very intriguing strategic decisions (especially if the rosters stayed at 25, rather than expanding endlessly like they have in the NFL).

2008-06-16 11:52:33
15.   Cliff Corcoran
I do think we've seen the last of Kei Igawa, but then I'm an optimist.
2008-06-16 11:52:39
16.   Schteeve
I would like to change the subject for a second while we wait for the Grim Reaper to come knockin'.

If you haven't read the piece on about the relationship between A-Rod and Pete Rose, do it. Even if you loathe Rose which I kinda do, understanding the obsession and dedication A-Rod has with and to hitting a baseball should open the eyes of even the most cynical A-Rod hater.

That guy's dedication to his craft is beyond rational, I daresay he cares more about being great at what he does than 99% of the people on earth.

It's fascinating.

2008-06-16 11:54:39
17.   monkeypants
The Grim Reaper has knocked and the Yankees have answered the door: Pete Abe reports "at least 10 weeks" after the MRI results returned. I'll let y'all read the frustrating details.
2008-06-16 11:57:40
18.   kylepetterson
Sell, sell, sell!
2008-06-16 11:58:35
19.   kylepetterson
I thought we traded Igawa for a Pitchback or was that just a dream?
2008-06-16 11:58:51
20.   monkeypants
On a perfectly selfish note, I am going to two games at the Stadium this summer--the first time years that I will attend more than one--and I was really, really excited to see Hughes or Kennedy or Wang or Joba. My odds just got a lot longer.
2008-06-16 11:59:37
21.   Cliff Corcoran
This is where Ian Kennedy rides to the rescue and makes everyone sorry for doubting him. And suddenly Joba's the ace, and Kennedy's a solid contributer, and the build-around-the-kids strategy enjoys a quick vindication. Just a vibe I'm getting . . .
2008-06-16 11:59:50
22.   kylepetterson
15 I have to agree. I know history says that it's possible, but I have a hard time believing that somebody can be as good as he has been at AAA and be as bad as he has been in the majors.
2008-06-16 12:01:35
23.   Cliff Corcoran
18 You buying?
2008-06-16 12:02:00
24.   Schteeve
Ok so Wang's gone for the season. Tough break. Giese or someone needs to keep games close, Yank's need to hit. All there is to it.
2008-06-16 12:04:44
25.   pistolpete
21 At this point, I'll even take from Kennedy what Rasner's done.

Is 6.2 innings and 2 or 3 runs too much to ask?

2008-06-16 12:05:58
26.   dianagramr
Minimum 6 weeks for Wang

2008-06-16 12:06:08
27.   monkeypants
22 Are you being sarcastic? If you look at his numbers, he has not really been that good in the MiL. His ERA is OK and he Ks a lot, but he still gives up plenty-o-hits.
2008-06-16 12:06:45
28.   rbj
So Wang will be able to return Aug 25, more likely Sept. 1 and eat up the innings that Joba's been limited out of and he'll pitch great down the stretch launching the Yankees to the division crown and to winning the World Series.

Please don't take my fantasy away from me.

2008-06-16 12:07:13
29.   pistolpete
I think I just heard a collective whooping sound coming from every host city in the AL East.
2008-06-16 12:07:30
30.   Bob B
Middle foot sprain with a tear of the tendon-looks like he might get back mid-September
2008-06-16 12:07:39
31.   kylepetterson
23 No, but I've heard that this guy Pavano is loaded.
2008-06-16 12:08:18
32.   monkeypants
24 You've hit the nail on the head: the Yanks need to hit. Even if they pick up CC (shudder at the cost), unless Moose continues the magic carpet ride, they need to hit better if they plan to compete for real this season. And that means Messrs. Cano, Cabrera and Jeter have to contribute more.
2008-06-16 12:10:12
33.   Jeb
Go get CC. Look, we probably needed him anyway to have a legitimate shot this year. I'd offer the house in terms of minor leaguers.

Horne + Betances + Ajax + Montero + Marquez + Tabata.

Okay, y'all can mock me for my ridiculously high bid, but I hope no one says, "you don't really think the Tribe would take that do you?" because it's an insanely high offer.

Seriously, I wouldn't go that high, but there must be a level of prospects that would get this done.

2008-06-16 12:10:33
34.   kylepetterson
27 I'm not saying he's been great, I'm just saying there is pretty big difference between the two.
2008-06-16 12:10:42
35.   dianagramr
Time to go to Med school:
2008-06-16 12:11:27
36.   monkeypants
21 Cliff, I dig your vibe. What does your spidey-sense say about Phil Hughes? If (a big if) he comes back in August, then the team only needs to patch things together for a month or so.

Hey, that's my fantasy 28 .

2008-06-16 12:13:16
37.   monkeypants
33 I think now is exactly not the time to go for CC, because his price will be very high and the Yanks' chances this season are now very low. He should only be sought if 1] it's a multi-year extension deal, and 2] not too costly in terms of prospects.
2008-06-16 12:15:18
38.   ChuckM
3 Owings has pretty much pitched like crap since the ankle injury, so I'm not sure if that's the best example.

13 Considering that the Brewers and the Cards have had 14 and 13 pitchers on their roster this year, respectively, I think that sort of puts that theory about the DH to rest.

2008-06-16 12:16:17
39.   dianagramr

but he'd be our best hitter! :-)

2008-06-16 12:27:52
40.   monkeypants
38 Let's not be selective with data. According to my count, currently 12 out 16 teams in the NL are carrying staffs of 12 or fewer pitchers. So sure, some teams will carry more because of injury or ineffectiveness or peculiar usage (LaRussa's BP, for example), but overall it is harder to carry 13 or 14 (!) pitchers if you do not have a DH.
2008-06-16 12:29:29
41.   Ali Nagib
Lisfranc it is! Chalk another one up for WC.

2008-06-16 12:38:24
42.   monkeypants
40 But now I'll contradict myself, since by my count as many or more teams in the AL have 12 or fewer pitchers.

OK, I was wrong about that.

Now, back to grieving.

2008-06-16 12:44:27
43.   JL25and3
September is a best-case scenario at this point. I think we have to be prepared for Wang to be out the entire season, and pleasantly surprised if he comes back at all.

37 I understand what you're saying. But, unfortunately, now is the time to go after Sabathia, because now is when they need him.

The alternative, I believe, is to be willing to write off this season pretty soon. Pettitte, Mussina, Chamberlain, Rasner and ????

2008-06-16 12:49:24
44.   monkeypants
43 I think that they have to write off the season. Look at it this way, if I asked you before Wang's injury: Do the Yankees have enough to win this season? The answer would probably be no.

If I then asked you: Do the Yankees have enough to win this season if they trade Wang for CC Sabathia? The answer would probably still be no.

If that is the case, then getting him now--at an ever steeper price--still means that they probably do not win this season. Sometimes the best thing you can do is pull the plug.

That being said, I would not be opposed to trying a patchwork solution over the next month. If the team is still competing, then maybe go for Sabathia as the difference maker. But paying a premium for him just to finish in third place...I don't see the point.

2008-06-16 12:53:06
45.   ChrisS
43 So what's your limit on what would be an acceptable price for CC? Anything goes?

Shapiro has probably the hottest commodity in baseball and a handful of suitors, including the Red Sox. CC is not going to be had for cheap or even soon.

Trading for Sabathia now is much, much easier said then done.

2008-06-16 12:54:36
46.   Raf
43 Some combination of the following; Hughes, Kennedy, Igawa, Kartsens, Giese, an arm from AA or AAA.

Someone who can pitch, and keep the team in the game.

The season is far from being written off. Take a note of some of the guys who've started for the Yanks in recent years; Sidney Ponson, Al Leiter, Kris Wilson, Darrell May, Tim Redding, etc, etc, etc

2008-06-16 12:55:08
47.   Yankee Fan In Boston
let's go rays!
2008-06-16 13:03:16
48.   rbj
Man, what a terrible thing it is to lose one's Wang.
2008-06-16 13:07:19
49.   Yankee Fan In Boston
48 ...and to have your wang limp off the field of play, as well. not a comforting experience.
2008-06-16 13:13:30
50.   JL25and3
45 I don't know, I'm not sure I can answer that. I'd go higher if they can sign him to a long-term deal. In either case, I'd say Cano is definitely off the table, which might be a deal-breaker right there.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-06-16 13:15:00
51.   JL25and3
45 , 50 PS - Sure, there are limits, and Cleveland might demand too much. But until they do, I'd pursue this.
2008-06-16 13:22:36
52.   ChrisS
51 I'm sure that Cashman is, he'd have to be unconscious to not do so.

However, the point is remains that there is a high probably that it won't get done regardless of how dogged Cashman is.

2008-06-16 13:26:06
53.   JL25and3
52 I won't deny that. The Indians are in desperate need of a second baseman. I'm reacting more to the people who are saying a flat-out No to the idea of getting Sabathia.
2008-06-16 13:31:02
54.   ChrisS
53 In a perfect world, they would take AG. Unfortunately, I think it's going to take Cano to get Shapiro to move as quickly as we'd like him to.
2008-06-16 13:39:13
55.   Eirias
So now the Yankees are underdogs, right? This feels weird.
2008-06-16 14:33:38
56.   OldYanksFan
To the illegitimate spawns of George Steinbrenner:
Guys... don't panic. Take a dozen qualuuds. Have some kinky sex. Relax. It's just ONE year. Our future may be brighter without CC and the $120m he will cost, and with our best prospects.

And we can still win, although the odds are long. As Monkeypants said, "Messrs. Cano, Cabrera and Jeter have to contribute more." If IPK can pitch to a 5 ERA, he could win 1/2 his games, which is just fine for a #5.

This team, and I mean our offense, will just have to decide if the want to eat Tampa Bay's dust or not. It's a big blow, but between an August return from Wang, Phil, IPK and maybe lightning in a bottle from the farm...the Fat Lady has not sung yet.

2008-06-16 14:34:58
57.   Raf
I'd say hit up the M's (they just fired Bavasi), but they have nothing on the pitching front to trade...
2008-06-16 14:46:15
58.   monkeypants
56 (Scooter voice) Holy Cow...OYF agreed with Monkeypants twice in the same day!!!

RLY has an interesting post suggesting (based on projections) that Wang replaced by in-house solutions may only be a two or three game downgrade; and they argue that adding CC would only be a slight upgrade to having Wang. This may not be as crippling as it seems on the surface.

2008-06-16 14:48:28
59.   ny2ca2dc
57 Presumably sarcasm! Someone pointed out that Bedard is already somewhat old, so hell, I wonder what it would cost to get frigin Felix. Maybe less than Peavey, but obviously more than Bedard. Is this Felix's first arb year? What about the A- types of pitchers, like Harang, or (these days) Oswalt. My goal would still be to sign CC in the off season and trade half the farm for a young stud guy now (vs. trade a third of the farm for CC now). Gotta think about next year, when the offense is going to be merely good. Per Cash via PeteAbe (and recent history that I can recall), there is no trade market at all right now - so regardless there is going to have to be some patching until the deadline. At that time the Yanks just might be sellers, and that might not be the worst thing anyway.

This is all so agonizing. I think Pete's estimate of 10 weeks is pretty optimistic - maybe more like 10-12. His foot/ankle will be a mess when the boot comes off, even if it heals in 6 weeks. I just got a boot off (was on for 6 weeks) and it's taken 2 weeks to be able to walk without too much of a limp, much less pitch on a bad push foot.

2008-06-16 14:53:14
60.   OldYanksFan
Wow... PeteAbe made his post at 2:47, and he's got over 430 responses. I have not read them all, but I will quote 2, the good and the bad of it:

"It is an opportunity for someone to step up and show what they can do. Remember a couple of years ago, when Matsui and Sheffield went down within days? Melky Cabrera, who had been chased out the previous season, came up big time."

"Finding a bridge and buying some rope."

2008-06-16 16:36:05
61.   horace-clarke-era
56 I'm with the old-timer over there.

Everyone-gets-injuries. Everyone-gets-injuries. Repeat as needed. Boston have no Schilling all year to this point, and it is too easy to say he might have been mediocre. They have Ortiz down and wobbly for a time, and Manny now ailing. Cleveland, as noted, has been hammered (and theirs are so cumulative they may indeed be done in by them).

We are chasing the Tampa Bay Rays, and maybe Oakland and maybe the reviving Tigers. Not one of these teams is a ballclub that should strike us full of terror, lead to thoughts of bridges and ropes - in June. They have (and will have) their own damage to contend with. They don't have the budget NY does (not that this is something to actually brag about, but it is true) or the farm team depth to deal from, thanks to Cash.

This is lousy news, it happened in a frustrating way, but this is (drumroll) a long season.

Yes, a couple of people will have to play (and pitch) better, and we can't get MORE crippling injuries. But remember the teams we're battling. And that the BoSox MUST (it is in the game's charter) have a late summer swoon.

2008-06-16 17:35:50
62.   williamnyy23
Well, I hope that extra run was worth it. Maybe the extra RBI will get the Captain going? Sad, but really just stupid.
2008-06-16 23:15:44
63.   nick
if we want to make the playoffs, we can do it without Wang, though it'll be significantly tougher: the problem comes in a postseason series when (as has been the case this millenium) our top 3 starters fail to match up with the guys our opponents throw at us.....only way around this is if by the end of the season Joba is the kind of guy who can dominate for 7-8 innings.
2008-06-17 06:02:33
64.   Bagel Boy
Everyone seems to assume that CC is a #1, but I just don't see it. Sure, he won a CY but so too did many non-#1's. He's had two very good seasons but last was alot of mileage (270 IP after 193 IP in 2006) on his arm then he pooped in the post-season. I have no problem getting him with cash. I have a big problem trading prospects AND giving cash.

I'm going to take the lead of 21 . Develop the organization. Give guys shots. If the team wins , it's a great fun ride. If not, they have a built-in excuse AND they still see what they've got and whether they should re-sign Moose and Abreu.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.