Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Tough Love
2008-06-29 18:27
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Joe Girardi has yet to be impressed with Ian Kennedy.

Here is the latest from Tyler Kepner and Pete Abe:

"Right now we're not really thinking of him," he said. "We like the way our other (starters) are throwing the ball. I mean, you have to earn your call-up. … You have to earn your spot back. You have to pitch well to earn your spot back. He has to pitch well. He was optioned out, this is him getting right. This is like the other 175 players in the minor leagues, or however many there are."
2008-06-29 19:26:10
1.   randym77
Chad Jennings posted an update about Alan Horne. He's not injured, he just sucked.

Whether the Yankees were planning to trade him or call him up...not great news.

2008-06-29 20:03:09
2.   Chyll Will
Imagine if they had made rules for Hughes and IPK the same way they did Joba this entire time; protecting their arms and limiting their innings and exposure until the coaches were sure they could handle their roles, then gradually raise their pitch limits. It's a total balldrop the way they've been handled so far, and for some reason they've (Cashman, Girardi, et al) stubbornly refused to alter their approach. If they were so worried about burning out Joba, why not the others? (Hughes was expected to contribute much more than Joba this year, by the way...) Can someone help me on this?
2008-06-29 20:21:06
3.   monkeypants
2 But they did protect Hughes as much as they did Joba. He spent three years in the minor leagues before getting called up to the big club (Joba spent part of one season in MiL). Hughes had his innings increased gradually, 85 INN in 2005 (his first full professional season), 145 INN in 2006. In 2006 in AAA, he averaged only 5.5 INN/start for 21 starts, as they kept his innings down.

Joba pitched about 110 INN in his first professional season, and this year he is on pace for about 140.

If anything, it was Joba who was rushed into the big leagues and used in odd roles out of necessity. That Hughes was somehow rushed more or protected less than Joba is pretty clearly a mistaken notion.

2008-06-29 20:23:06
4.   Start Spreading the News
The yanks have these rules implemented for all their young pitchers. Trying a simple google search before blaming the Yanks.

For example, search term "hughes phil innings limit"
"Phil Hughes: I support whatever the organization feels is enough innings for me. Obviously there will be an innings limit. I'm not going to go out there and throw 200+ innings. Obviously they want to protect my arm for the future. Whether I feel like I can throw more innings is not my call and I'll support whatever route they decide to go."

google search term: "ian kennedy innings limit"
"Like Chamberlain, Hughes will also have an innings limit this year, likely somewhere between 140 and 175. The organization will place a limit on Kennedy as well, but after pitching 165.1 innings between the majors and minors last year, Kennedy will likely be able to pitch close to 200 innings in 2008 and make a significant contribution to the Yankees staff."

2008-06-29 20:29:59
5.   monkeypants
2 Moreover, the only reason the Yankees slowly increased Joba's pitch limits was because they had converted him to a one inning reliever last season (out of desperation), and kept him there this season. He needed to be transitioned back to starting.

Hughes and Kennedy were always starters, so never had to make the conversion to relief pitching (which, you will recall, they had to do with Joba in the minors last year) nor the conversion back to starting.

Also, look at Hughes' gamelogs from 2007: most of his starts were in the 80s and 90s pitches; only a couple exceeded 100. He was handled very carefully.

As for proving he could handle the level, he was pitching a no hitter when he got hurt in 2007, after all.

2008-06-29 20:55:44
6.   Chyll Will
4 ,5 Fair enough, thank you for giving me non-emotional insight.
2008-06-29 21:46:42
7.   weeping for brunnhilde
Hey, check this out from the Kepner piece; "With the news of Saturday's no-hitter loss by the Angels, Yankees fans might recall Andy Hawkins' 8-inning no-hitter in a loss at Chicago in 1990. A Yankees' broadcaster, John Flaherty, was behind the plate for the Red Sox the last time a pitcher lost a no-hitter, catching Matt Young on April 12, 1992. It was Flaherty's major league debut."

I've never heard him speak of this! I'd love to hear his thoughts on catching a no-hitter in his first game. That's incredible.

2008-06-29 21:49:47
8.   weeping for brunnhilde
And speaking of perfect games, why don't fielders involved get some kind of credit?

No one ever says, "Yeah, and man, my defense behind me was incredible."

It's gotta be extremely stressful on the defense.

2008-06-29 22:05:26
9.   cult of basebaal
gardner's been called up!

i wonder if that means matsui's bound for surgery, or if he's just going to replace christian ... hopefully he gets starts right away

2008-06-29 22:26:46
10.   monkeypants
8 It's pretty typical for the pitcher and/or manager to call attention to the defensive play behind a no-no/perfect game. Here are just a few:

Buerle (1991): "Obviously, for a guy like me, I need my defense behind me," Buehrle said."

Verlander (2007) "I've really got to give these guys credit," Verlander said. "Magglio had that great catch. Neifi and Polanco on that double play."

Cone (1999): ''I went 2-0 on him,'' said Cone, who had not thrown two balls with his first two pitches to any other batter. ''I said, 'I got to go for it here. I'm just going to challenge him.' I got the better part of the middle of the plate and he hit it hard up the middle and I thought, there it goes.'' But second baseman Knoblauch ranged far to his right...

Bucholz (2007): "When I jumped and missed that ball, I was thinking, 'Well, it's over,"' Buchholz said. "And then he comes out of nowhere (and makes) probably one of the best plays I've ever seen in 10 years anywhere. When he made that play, I knew that something was meant to happen."

2008-06-29 22:28:52
11.   monkeypants
9 Those are not mutually exclusive. I assume Gardner will replace Christian now that they have faced all the lefties...but we must hope that this silly three catcher era has ended.

I would give Duncan another shot, too, though I don't really expect anything.

2008-06-29 22:30:25
12.   monkeypants
9 More worrisome, is Damon hurt more seriously than he or the team are admitting?
2008-06-29 22:35:18
13.   monkeypants
According to Pete Abe:

"Gardner was at .287/412/.429 through 80 games for
It's uncertain what the corresponding move will be. Joe Girardi said today that they planned to keep three catchers...

Girardi said today that he planned to use Wilson Betemit as the DH in place in Hideki Matsui."

This is just plain kooky talk.

2008-06-30 00:29:48
14.   weeping for brunnhilde
10 Well all right, then!
2008-06-30 04:14:53
15.   RIYank
12 It was a foot injury, and he's been running well, so I'm not too worried about that.
2008-06-30 07:05:46
16.   Sonya Hennys Tutu
13 Agreed. That kooky talk stems from the same POV that generated last night's lineup. Awful.
2008-06-30 07:06:01
17.   Sonya Hennys Tutu
Oh, but I'm happy that they finally called up Gardner.
2008-06-30 07:29:57
18.   3rd gen yankee fan
Is Joe Girardi on crack?
2008-06-30 07:42:40
19.   Rob Middletown CT
More injuries. Sigh.
2008-06-30 07:46:29
20.   Rob Middletown CT
So say Matsui does need surgery...

Bonds, Barry Bonds.

2008-06-30 07:58:47
21.   Zack
Let's be honest. If the Yanks can take a flier on Ponson, they can take a flier on Barry. This team could really use a DH like the Barry, and come on, if there is one thing the Yanks can handle, its media attention and egos.

And wouldn't it be great to see how pissed off it would make Sox fans to see him blast shots out of Fenway, all the while that they try to pretend that they are better than him and wouldn't want him on their team? I mean, its not like they don't already have a home run hitting, large DH whose body is suddenly questionably failing :)

2008-06-30 08:12:47
22.   monkeypants
21 "Let's be honest. If the Yanks can take a flier on Ponson, they can take a flier on Barry."

I'm not sure those are comparable situations.

2008-06-30 08:25:09
23.   Rob Middletown CT
They aren't, but there are similarities.

Nobody likes Bonds, including me. I do, however, like winning.

2008-06-30 08:32:52
24.   Zack
22 23 Right. I don't mean to suggest that there aren't huge differences, but the same principle applies. They're both jerks who nobody really likes but who have the potential to help the team with the only real risk being public relations in the case of Bonds, or simple suckatude in the case of Ponson.

Bonds can help this team far more than he can hurt it. Its not like the Yankees are one of those teams that buys into the hogwash that is "chemistry."

2008-06-30 08:55:20
25.   Rob Middletown CT
Bonds costs money and is a PR issue. That looks pretty attractive to me, when the alternatives are:

1) stand pat; or
2) trade prospects (many of whom are at potential low points in terms of their value, like IPK) for help.

Standing pat may well lead to the first non-playoff season since '95. It's not the end of the world to me. Still, I'd prefer that they make it, and Bonds would help on the field. Sure, he's a PR issue. So is missing the playoffs, dontcha think?

I'm generally anti-trade, largely b/c IPK, Hughes and Tabata - 3 of the major trade chips available, are all down in value this season. I greatly fear a panic trade that ships out guys who then rebound in exchange for a mediocre vet.

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