Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Aceves Up Their Sleeve
2008-09-09 15:41
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

The Angels can clinch the AL West tonight if they beat the Yankees and Mariners beat the Rangers, but from the Yankees' perspective, the big story is Alfredo Aceves, who will make his first major league start. A 25-year-old Mexican League product, Aceves is in his seventh year of pro ball, but his first in the U.S. He started the year with high-A Tampa, where he posted a 2.11 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, and 4.63 K/BB in eight starts before being promoted to double-A Trenton, where he posted a 1.88 ERA, a 0.86 WHIP, and a 5.83 K/BB in seven starts.

Aceves was promoted again at the end of June, this time to triple-A Sranton, but a groin injury delayed his first triple-A start. After four abbreviated rehab appearances for Scranton, Aceves returned to his normal starting role, but with less success than he'd had at the lower levels. Aceves' first four post-rehab starts saw him allow 16 runs in 20 2/3 innings, but he seemed to make the necessary adjustments from there, posting this combined line in his last two triple-A starts before being called up to the majors: 12 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 16 K. In two major league relief appearances thus far, Aceves has been similarly effective: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 7 K.

Here's a note from Chad Jennings following those final two starts for Scranton:

After his last start . . . Aceves was talking about using his body more to generate a little more velocity on his fastball. There was in fact a little more velocity last time and this time, but Aceves said he has looked at tape of his last start and no longer thinks he's doing anything mechanically different. It just felt that way. The key for him is working faster, getting himself in a groove and not thinking about things too much. He picks the pitch he wants to throw, and he throws it. The game moves faster and he works a lot better.

Earlier in the year, less enthusiastic scouts dismissed Aceves as a strike-throwing junkballer who lacks an out-pitch and tops out as a number-five starter in the majors, but I was at his major league debut, and the Yankee Stadium scoreboard was registering his fastball at 94 to 95 mph. That's likely an inflated number, but there was definitely some zip on his heater, and he complimented it well with his secondary pitches.

Here's a scouting report from his double-A catcher P.J. Pilittere, courtesy of Thunder Thoughts' Mike Ashmore:

He's a guy that's going to have no patterns when he pitches. He's got four pitches that he commands real well, and he can throw them at any time in the count. That's a definite talent to have. He kind of makes my job a little easier because he's got a really good gameplan, and he really knows himself well. He does a good job on his own of trying to set up hitters, so it's different and kind of refreshing, almost, to work with someone like that who's thinking about the game along the same lines I am.

He's got a really good cutter. What makes it so successful, is it's not a lot different in speed off of his fastball. It's pretty similar in miles per hour to his four-seam fastball. His cutter's a good pitch, and when you have command of a pitch like that and you can throw it when you're behind in the count, it can really bail you out of some stuff. Him being able to throw it on both sides of the plate is a definite plus for him.

Because he came on so fast and seemingly out of nowhere, it's hard to say what the Yankees have in Aceves, but with a few good starts in these dog days of September, he could throw his hat in the ring for next year's rotation.

Comments (77)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-09-09 18:37:16
1.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
excited for the Aceves start tonight! even more for a P.J. Pilittere quote..
2008-09-09 18:43:06
2.   cult of basebaal
0 we might not know what he is, but we know what he ain't: darrell rasner.

that's good enough for right now.

2008-09-09 19:06:52
3.   Alex Belth
Well, all they can do is suck again. Maybe they won't suck tonight.

Let's go Yanks!

2008-09-09 19:09:56
4.   Alex Belth
You know the season is dull when it comes down to Jeter passing Ruth on the Yankee hit list being such a big deal. I mean, it's nice, don't get me wrong, but...
2008-09-09 19:13:53
5.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
and Jason Bay puts Boston ahead with a two-run dinger in the 8th....sigh...poor Tampa Bay

i REALLY hope the Cubs get their act together and beat Boston in the WS..

2008-09-09 19:15:58
6.   SF Yanks
Damn, that was a wicked changeup.
2008-09-09 19:16:44
7.   Alex Belth
Tampa is gagging...
2008-09-09 19:20:44
8.   OldYanksFan
Too bad we have played so shitty the last 2 weeks. We have 3 against TB left and the Sox have 4 more. TB are catchable... or were. I can't feel sorry for them as they still have a pretty good grip on the WC. But they could lose that too.
2008-09-09 19:22:37
9.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
Riverdance gives up a homer, tie-game! Rays needed that..
2008-09-09 19:26:42
10.   tommyl
Hell of an AB by A-Rod there. What was that 12 pitches?
2008-09-09 19:29:01
11.   Just fair
Well, they're not good so they may as well be lucky.
2008-09-09 19:29:53
12.   OldYanksFan
Papsmear gives up another. TB up 5-4, man on 2nd, 1 out.
2008-09-09 19:37:10
13.   tommyl
Hey, its the 2008 Yankees. 2nd and 3rd nobody out. No runs! Great job there guys! Why do I continue to subject myself to this?
2008-09-09 19:37:25
14.   OldYanksFan
Freaking Cano trying to hook an outside pitch. Jeez!
2008-09-09 19:38:09
15.   OldYanksFan
And Percy walks the Sox leadoof man. Tek up.
2008-09-09 19:41:06
16.   OldYanksFan
1 Out. Papi up.
2008-09-09 19:45:52
17.   OldYanksFan
Papi strike out, Navaro throws the ball into CF. Man on 3rd, 2 out.
2008-09-09 19:47:09
18.   OldYanksFan
Sox lose. Paps with the loss.
2008-09-09 19:47:22
19.   pistolpete
Scranton beats Durham with a thrilling 9th-inning 2-run rally. 8-7. Eric Duncan delivers the game winner.
2008-09-09 19:50:43
20.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
neighbor going for the miso ramen, I'm thinking the 48-ingredient salad...yawn...
2008-09-09 19:51:07
21.   tommyl
Dear Bobby Abreu,

If you continue to run like a dumbass we do not want you back. That was retarded.

This game is a microcosm of the 2008 season. 2nd, 3rd no out, no runs. A-Rod up with 2 outs, Abreu attempts to steal and gets gunned down. Now we just need Cano to let a ball go between his legs and we're all set.

2008-09-09 19:55:42
22.   nick
kid throws strikes-when was the last time the Yanks had a significant Mexican pitcher?
2008-09-09 19:56:05
23.   Just fair
Ross Ohlendorf gave up six runs and nine hits in just four innings of the Pirates' 9-3 loss to the Houston Astros tonight at Minute Maid Park.
2008-09-09 20:00:27
24.   tommyl
He vaguely reminds me of El Duque. All sorts of pitches, throws them in every count. Looks mean as hell on the mound.
2008-09-09 20:04:26
25.   williamnyy23
23 I like Ross, but after how well Tabata has played, someone from that deal has to bomb.
2008-09-09 20:04:49
26.   Max
I know it's a crazy longshot, but the Jays could make the WC race semi-interesting, now that the Yanks and Twins have faded. Halladay tomorrow, and then seven of the next ten against Boston. They're the hottest team in baseball right now.
2008-09-09 20:09:36
27.   Schteeve
I like the looks of Aceves, tough, determined, workmanlike.
2008-09-09 20:11:19
28.   williamnyy23's amazing how sloppy this team has been.
2008-09-09 20:11:35
29.   Just fair
Why the hell is Betemit at short?
2008-09-09 20:11:45
30.   tommyl
Ah, there we go, a botched DP ball. Now a 3 run HR and we should be all set.
2008-09-09 20:15:44
31.   OldYanksFan
21 Cano looks good. You will have to settle for a dropped ball by Jeter.
2008-09-09 20:16:43
32.   tommyl
31 Eh, potato, potatoe
2008-09-09 20:22:30
33.   OldYanksFan
AA looking pretty good.
2008-09-09 20:26:31
34.   tommyl
There's a blown call against the Yankees. This game has everything! Errors, inability to hit with RISP, botched DPs. Woo!
2008-09-09 20:29:42
35.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
27 he's got a fierce Gameday photo too..nice if he and Joba can add some fire to the staff next year..
2008-09-09 20:30:10
36.   nick
the Giambino blocks the bag and applies the first
2008-09-09 20:36:17
37.   nick
32-yr old hitter about to pass George Brett and Mike Schmidt in RBIs, yet he has a rep as a choker--pretty fucking amazing when you step back and think about--YES!
2008-09-09 20:36:31
38.   tommyl
Wasn't two outs, wasn't bottom of the ninth. Bah, not clutch.
2008-09-09 20:39:49
39.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
A-Rod MUST be the bus drive cause he just took Erwin to school!!
2008-09-09 20:53:15
40.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
39 er..guess the Stu Scott quote cleared the Banter...
great stuff from Aceves so far, at 83 pitches he should comeo ut for the 7th..
2008-09-09 20:57:19
41.   thelarmis
37 yeah, a-rod is about to become only the 30th player ever w/ 1,600 rbi. incredible!

26 twins may be fading, but the pale hose aren't doing so great themselves. quentin's most likely done for the year and konerko got hurt today (sprained MCL). central is up for grabs still...

ACEves kicking ass in front of family & friends!

4 jeter's ascent up the yankee charts is pretty impressive at 34. as far as career hits, he's still 350+ hits behind the babe

2008-09-09 20:57:33
42.   OldYanksFan
ARod looks like he can keep the streak alive. It's 35/100/100, right?
2008-09-09 20:58:30
43.   nick
41--Alex and Cliff need to get a Stu Scott filter installed ;^)
2008-09-09 20:59:40
44.   Schteeve
Did Damon just hit an inside the parker? That's what Gamecast is showing.
2008-09-09 21:00:18
45.   thelarmis
damon is having a helluva year!
2008-09-09 21:01:02
46.   OldYanksFan
ARod currently at 33/99/95. Just another day at the factory.
2008-09-09 21:01:50
47.   thelarmis
42 yup, this will be his 11 straight year. he's just a few away in each category. should make it!
2008-09-09 21:10:38
48.   thelarmis
king felix getting rocked by the rangers.

manny hit a solo shot for torre's dodgers. la down 2-1...

brew crew in the 11th inning...

2008-09-09 21:13:10
49.   pistolpete
So, is this what we all meant when we speculated about how 'fun' it would be to watch the "kids" work in September...? ;-D
2008-09-09 21:15:20
50.   thelarmis
holy quick inning. nice!
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-09-09 21:17:12
51.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
49 Yes! Hai! Si! Oui! what a pleasure not seeing Ponson, Rasner,Shawn Chacon, Jaret Wright, Pavano, Zambrano, etc etc..
2008-09-09 21:21:43
52.   OldYanksFan
It's a good lesson about trading farmhands. While it seems obvious that Phil is our prize, it's really hard to know who will eventually be a playa.

The Yankees have an infielder with a MiLB career line of: .278 .331 .425 .756.
Not that exciting. But you never know. Robinson Cano might turn into a good ball player.

People criticize Cashman for loving all his kids, but the truth is, which just don't really know who the good ones will be.

2008-09-09 21:22:43
53.   OldYanksFan
Man, this must be a great day for AA's parents. Quite a well pitched game against a good team.
2008-09-09 21:24:16
54.   OldYanksFan
Any guesses as to why Joba isn't starting? Are we babying him?
2008-09-09 21:26:39
55.   OldYanksFan
Wow... did that wall just jump out and attack Abreu?
2008-09-09 21:27:55
56.   Vandelay Industries
Manny puts the Dodgers up 3-2 down in SD.
2008-09-09 21:36:11
57.   thelarmis
damonic! nomaas wants to trade him in the offseason. he'd probably bring back a better bounty than matsui, but i think we should keep johnny around next year...
2008-09-09 21:36:52
58.   thelarmis
56 and the snakes just fell behind 2 runs to the giants. 3 more outs for AZ...
2008-09-09 21:38:17
59.   Schteeve
57 That Torre Losses thing really worked out pretty well for those NoMaas guys.
2008-09-09 21:40:05
60.   thelarmis
59 yeah, they've just moved on to making fun of pete abe...
2008-09-09 21:41:41
61.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
60 why do people hate Pete Abe so much? I like his blog he unpleasant in person?
2008-09-09 21:45:28
62.   Schteeve
61 Well my read is that he gets out of his depth pretty quickly when he does analysis.

NoMaas doesn't like him because they need someone to pick on, and he was allegedly trolling their board or something.

2008-09-09 21:48:44
63.   thelarmis
61 i dunno. i LOVE his blog updates and check his site umpteen times per day. i've also emailed him personally a handful of times over the last coupla seasons and have always gotten a terrific and timely response from him.

personally, i think he's great! maybe not the best baseball instincts, but he doesn't claim to be a baseball brainiac or sabermetrician. i think he does a more than admirable job and am greatly indebted to his Yankee info!

but, as far as nomaas is concerned, pete wrote into them under the commenter tag of "interested reader" and ripped them apart or questioned them, or something like that. nomaas just ran with it as their wont to do. ho-hum...

2008-09-09 21:48:54
64.   cult of basebaal
54 because there's absolutely NO reason to take ANY chances with Joba this season? because there wasn't time or point to try and stretch him out before the end of this season???
2008-09-09 21:50:38
65.   cult of basebaal
i was noticing tonite that brian bruney looks like a slimmer, less-hairy version of petey
2008-09-09 21:51:32
66.   thelarmis
cult - tonite woulda been a good game for you to attend! : )
2008-09-09 21:52:32
67.   thelarmis
snakes tied it up in the 9th... dodgers still up by 1 in their game; also in the 9th...
2008-09-09 21:59:23
68.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
63 never read through NoMaas..but sounds a bit lame...

64 ahrd to believe he has thrown so few innings this year!

2008-09-09 22:00:55
69.   Mattpat11

It really is beyond amazing.

2008-09-09 22:04:24
70.   thelarmis
68 they can be pretty damn funny at times and they're photoshop geniuses, for whatever that's worth. they seem to know their sabermetrics pretty well and they certainly cover the yankees draft exceptionally well. they also have a list of current yankees headlines on the side that get updated constantly. so it's definitely worth a check...

snakes lost in the bottom of the 9th... dodgers blowing it open in their half of the 9th... houston just 4 games behind brew crew...

2008-09-09 22:09:38
71.   thelarmis
69 and 1 year from now:


soon to pass gehrig for most hits at Yankee Stadium. i hope he does it in the current cathedral next week...

next season, he'll probably pass bernie, babe & yogi in games played. he should also pass babe in doubles, maybe donnie baseball too. he'll pass bernie in total bases, to join the top 5 there. he'll end up w/ the most at-bats ever in a yankee uniform and he already has way more singles than any yankee ever, for whatever that's worth...

2008-09-09 22:12:12
72.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
71 amaing indeed...

still think Johnny Mac was better than Hendrix, thelarmis? :)

2008-09-09 22:16:42
73.   thelarmis
72 johnny mac?

i'll tell ya what - i played Spanish Castle Magic saturday night on a gig and absolutely loved it! i really dig the lyric about the 'dragonfly' too : )

hey, it's really in the infant stages and i shouldn't talk about it, but i guess there's a possibility i get to tour Asia next spring. if so, i'm sure Tokyo will be on the bill. i'll definitely be in touch with you - off the banter - if it comes to fruition. will you still be living there next spring?

2008-09-09 22:28:37
74.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
73 you bet. I've got a jazz/rock&soul bar crawl map waiting for you if you get too if it the season started, a Japanese game is not to be missed
2008-09-09 22:32:36
75.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
70 ok, checked out NoMaas, pretty funny. love their handles.."Lacy Underall"?? wowza!!
2008-09-09 22:34:45
76.   thelarmis
74 that sounds great, many thanks! i'm always skeptical about these tours and never really believe they're going to happen until everything's in place. it's possible it does happen and, if so, i'll be glad - would be a wonderful experience! we'll see...

of course, if i am there, it'd mostly be about business and i wouldn't have too much time for outside endeavors, but you never know! i don't know how the itinerary would work...

2008-09-09 22:37:38
77.   thelarmis
75 yeah, it is pretty funny! i check there regularly, but it's not as essential as Bronx Banter & Pete Abe's blog...

you hear much about the rock guitarist Paul Gilbert by you? he's HUGE there and i'm a massive fan of his. apparently there's a new 3-song live promo cd - Triumphant Return - that comes along with his new instrumental disc, but i'm not sure how legit it is...

i haven't seen the Hank Mobley Essential Blue cd compilation on Blue Note lately either - it's a Jap only release...

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