Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Pen and Tell Us
2008-06-26 10:44
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Over at BP, Kevin Goldstein has the lowdown on which Yankee farm hands could replace Joba as Mo's set-up guy. In order of "prospecty goodness":

Marc Melancon: Someone didn't give Melancon the note about Tommy John survivors having problems getting their control back. In 54 innings this year, the former University of Arizona star has walked just 10, while limiting opposing batters to a .209 batting average. Both his sinking fastball and his hard curve rate as plus pitches, and with the way he's throwing at Double-A (1.57 ERA in 11 games), he could be in line for a September look.

David Robertson: As a small righty, Robertson doesn't pass the scouting sniff test, but he keeps getting hitters out, easing concerns about his height. In over 130 innings as a pro, he's yet to give up a home run, and in 28 appearances between Double- and Triple-A this year, he has a 1.74 ERA and 71 strikeouts in 49 2/3 innings. With a low-90s fastball and outstanding slider, Robertson may not have Melancon's upside, but he might get the call sooner.

J. Brent Cox: Like Melancon, Cox missed all of last year due to reconstructive elbow surgery, and like Melancon he's impressed people upon his return. Spread across three levels and now at Triple-A, Cox has posted a 1.38 ERA in 22 games. The one knock against him is that he doesn't miss many bats (only 13 in 26 innings), but he makes up for it by inducing a good number of groundballs.

2008-06-26 10:51:00
1.   tommyl
David Robertson hasn't given up a home run as a pro? Seriously? That's insane. Why is he still in AAA and Hawkins on the roster?
2008-06-26 10:54:41
2.   mehmattski
I think Melancon is on the fast-track to get in the bullpen by August. Cox should be a September call-up, and Robertson might get the call first if a number of relievers go down to injuries.
2008-06-26 10:55:54
3.   standuptriple
1 So many questions re: LaTroy. So few answers.
2008-06-26 11:00:02
4.   Shaun P
1 His control is also quite good: 22 BB in those 49.7 IP. Hawkins is a nice guy by all accounts, and I still feel really bad about the #21 thing, but why not give Robertson a chance.
2008-06-26 11:04:08
5.   tommyl
I guess my feeling is, one of these guys has to be at least league average. Hawkins is below that. I see no value in hanging on to him unless they are waiting for some sort of trade.
2008-06-26 11:08:16
6.   OldYanksFan
Cashman has created a monster. We have so many potentially good pitchers (including the Trinity) that it does seem foolish to pay millions, or tens of millions for other team's sloppy seconds.

There are a very few 'let's get that guy!' relievers and so many LaHawkins out there. Cashman is getting blasted for getting Hawkins, and blasted when any kid disappoints. It was a lot easier in the old days when we just gutted the farm and bought the most expensive player available.

If these kids pan out, we are just one SP and one RP away from having a dominating staff.

It seems the concensus is CC is too expensive (and fat)?
What about Bedard? Not 'hip' enough?
Ben Sheets anyone?
Oswalt and Andy are BFFs.

We should all pick one SP and RP (who could realistically be gotten) we would like in Pinstripes next year.

2008-06-26 11:10:22
7.   OldYanksFan
I'm not sure "22 BB in those 49.7 IP" is really good control. Thats 4 BB/9 IP.
2008-06-26 11:15:33
8.   tommyl
6 Phil Hughes and Mark Melancon. They're free too.
2008-06-26 11:16:12
9.   tommyl
7 But much of that came right when he was promoted to AAA. Since then he's BB/9 has gone down a lot.
2008-06-26 11:36:11
10.   JL25and3
6 Hold on there. I'm not sure there's any such consensus about CC, especially not as a free agent.
2008-06-26 11:50:09
11.   vockins
6 Brandon Marrow?
2008-06-26 12:00:15
12.   Raf
5 If they're going to be below league average, I'd rather go with the cheap kid with upside.

6 I have no problem with the Hawkins signing. It was a cheap and puntable contract he was signed to. If Hawkins is blocking an arm @ AAA, then I have a problem with it.

Personally, I think if Britton, Bruney & Albaladejo didn't get hurt, Hawk would've been long gone.

2008-06-26 12:29:27
13.   SF Yanks
12 Who's Britton? I hear he threw a baseball once for the Yankees. Probably a myth.
2008-06-26 12:45:47
14.   Shaun P
6 Very off the cuff here, but:

Sheets is too injury prone, so no.
Oswalt seems to be in a decline phase, and is going to be 31.
And both would be moving to the tougher league.

Bedard concerns me, but he's not a free agent until after next year anyway.

CC . . . I don't know. I think a 6-year deal might be too risky, but maybe he's a guy who can do it.

The only other free agent starters who interest me would be Jason Jennings, and only on the cheap (because he's been hurt the last two years, but pitched well before that), and Oliver Perez. But only if Eiland thinks he could help him with his control, and only if his money is reasonable too. Which, if his ERA stays over 5, it will be.

Hey, maybe he'd listen to Mo . . .

The Yanks don't need any free agent relievers. Let the kids do their thing.

2008-06-26 12:47:10
15.   Rob Middletown CT
What 12 said. However, it's time now to go ahead and punt said contract, and replace it with Mr. Roberston.

And yeah, 13 wtf is up with the org's dislike for Britton?

2008-06-26 12:54:12
16.   Shaun P
14 Oh. My big concern with CC is the loss of the 1st round draft pick. Now, if one or Abreu/Giambi/Pettitte/Moose is declared a Type A free agent, and signs elsewhere with a team not picking in the top 15 of next year's draft, this is not an issue.

(Obviously, there is no way either Farnsworth or Pavano, the Yanks' other free agents, qualifies at Type A.)

2008-06-26 13:01:06
17.   Bama Yankee

2008-06-26 13:06:12
18.   RIYank
17 Waaiiit a minute... one of those is a fake picture!
2008-06-26 13:06:35
19.   JL25and3
16 A late first-round pick for CC? I'll do that in a heartbeat.
2008-06-26 13:12:36
20.   mehmattski
17 I Want to Believe!
2008-06-26 13:14:33
21.   pistolpete
17 The first 3, absolutely.

But that last one? Preposterous!!!

2008-06-26 13:14:50
22.   OldYanksFan
Another question is if Andy wants another year. What would he be worth? $12m? And what would his 2009 level be (like a #3?).
Same with Moose. I think he sees another 10-12 wins in 2009 being important to his HOF chances. 280 Wins looks much better then 268.
What's Moose worth in 2009 as a #5/#6 guy? $6m? $8m?


Is that enough (quality)?

2008-06-26 13:28:15
23.   tommyl
Did anyone else catch that EDSP was just placed on the DL. In the quote Joe T cited his "belly full of guts and all that...".

Wow, its like a 2006 Banter post.

2008-06-26 13:32:33
24.   mehmattski
Meanwhile, Mark Newman says that Melancon "could stay there [Scranton] all year."

2008-06-26 13:35:27
25.   Shaun P
23 Torre really said "belly full of guts"? tinyurl link, please - I've got to see that with my own eyes!

19 Hitting depth in the Yanks system scares me. Best way to bump it up is a 1st round pick. The Yanks don't have a CC down on the farm (except maybe Hughes), but they have plenty of pitching depth. On the hitting side the only probable MLB guys are Jackson and Montero, and Montero is still just 18, so I'm not sure he should count.

Besides, if the season ended today, the Yanks would pick mid-first round (20th), not late. Most of me hopes they finish higher than that, but if they stay in the 15-20 range . . . do you still say sign CC?

2008-06-26 13:36:07
26.   mehmattski
And by Scranton I mean Trenton. Newman also suggests that Robertson and Cox could see time in the big leagues, but overall he preaches patience. Joba and IPK were exceptions.

Relatedly, Chad Jennings has one of the most insightful blogs anywhere. Those not reading it are missing out.

2008-06-26 13:39:32
27.   Shaun P
22 If Moose would stay for $6-$8M (plus incentives?), why not? He's getting by a-ok.

If Pettitte stays, I hope he would resign for ~$10M (again, maybe plus incentives).

24 Newman also (same link) "acknowledged that Scranton/Wilkes-Barre relievers J.B. Cox and David Robertson (left) could each end up in New York this season. . . . Newman wouldn't say which pitcher is closer to the big leagues, but he did say: "We need to see more from Cox because he's been down a little bit, so we need to be patient.""

Hmm . . .

2008-06-26 13:43:10
28.   Shaun P
26 I should refresh more often.

You're right about Jennings' blog, its a great resource. Its very nice to have a guy who's constantly getting the goods from the minor league development folks. We're lucky, too; I don't know if Columbus had someone covering the team so closely and blogging as well as Jennings does.

2008-06-26 14:00:49
29.   Mattpat11
Is there some reason to think the setup man at the end of the year won't be Farnsworth?
2008-06-26 14:11:59
30.   RIYank
29 Ptomaine poisoning.
2008-06-26 14:43:45
31.   cult of basebaal
24 one of the posters over at RAB noted that Newman has a past habit of making declarations about where players were, or were not, going to be playing, that turn out not to be the case.

an example from this year is where Newman claimed that McCutcheon was not going to AAA anytime soon, 9 days later he started in SWB.

I think generally, they're trying to slow down peoples expectations, but they're still promoting some players aggressively. aceves, for one.

2008-06-26 14:58:17
32.   OldYanksFan
25 I agree. Our issue going forward is offense. We have very little on the farm. We need Tex and an impact OFer, especially after 2009. With Tex onboard, our INF is good until 'the Jeter issue'. If we get a stud OFer, we can make another 3 OFers out of Tabata, AJax, Melky, Gardner and Christian.

What's going on with Sanchez? I thought it was hoped he would succeed Mariano. Is he throwing yet?

2008-06-26 15:20:43
33.   cult of basebaal
32 just appeared in his first game back, on strict pitch counts, probably looking at A ball until next year.
2008-06-26 16:02:44
34.   tommyl
2008-06-27 06:36:14
35.   horace-clarke-era
I'd be very surprised if Cash didn't run hard over the winter at a major bat (Teixeira's the obvious) and a major starter, ditto CC. This leaves an oddly set-up outfield, depending who comes back among Abreu/Damon/Matsui/Melky/kidlets. This could all be 'off' if they get 140+ games at the current level from Giambi and decide he has 1-2 more years like this left, in which case they might chase an OF instead. But I'd be very worried about committing too much to the 'stacheman, much as I'm enjoying his season.

I'd say if Moose hangs in till fall, he's a very good candidate for another year at a fair cost, with incentives. I expect Pettitte to retire ... he was close to it this winter, remember. (Though some of that may have been the Roger crap.) The amount of money on the table had to play a role in his return, and if we scale that back to a 'proper' level, it makes for a lot less reason to come back.

Alas, I agree that my own wish list topper, for right NOW, a good set-up guy, is not easy to find. If Seattle is indeed abut to do a firesale, Morrow is possible BUT he's not expensive and could close for them next year, in which case Putz could go ... not sure what his deal is. Anyone know? Besides, he's still hurting. (So's Morrow, actually.)

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