Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Melk is Chillin'
2005-07-07 09:35
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

According to Steve Lombardi, Melky Cabrera is being called up to the Bronx and will start tonight against the Indians. Here is what Bryan Smith had to say about Cabrera yesterday over at The Baseball Analysts:

Normally, when one of my favorite prospects receives word of a promotion, I'm ecstatic. But instead the recent Yankees decision to move Melky Cabrera to AAA leaves me confused and worried. This was not someone that dominated AA by any stretch of the imagination, hitting just .267/.310/.413 with the Trenton Thunder. Granted this was a player hitting just .214 on April 26, I don't believe Melky was showing AAA-caliber play. But, it appears this may be a situation of him proving me wrong and the Yankees right. Since being moved up to Columbus eight games ago, Cabrera is 11/32 with four walks and five extra-base hits, three of them via the home run. The Yankees plan with their young outfielder is anyone's guess at this point, but with a player as talented as Melky, New York is proving that it's hard to look wrong.

Melky, meet Coco; Coco, Melky.

2005-07-07 09:47:28
1.   JohnnyC
I think this means the Yankees are confident Cabrera can partially solve their CF problem...providing major league defense if not offense just yet. Those who think it might just be the team showcasing him as prelude to a trade should consider that if he fails at this level, any possible deal using him is imploded since his potential exposure voids any high value he would have. A 20 year old hitting .200 in the bigs is still a couple of years away but a 20 year old hitting .300 in AAA is "major-league ready."
2005-07-07 09:48:22
2.   alasky
this guy seems waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too raw, and yet I'm incredibly excited. If he can hit as well as Womack, there's really no way to justify not playing him, unless the feeling is that jumping 2 levels so quickly could stunt his development. Things may have just gotten a whole lot easier for the RJs and Pavanos of the world (though he can't catch all those balls they've let fly over the fence)
2005-07-07 09:55:06
3.   NetShrine
Thanks for the credit Alex. But, I heard it from "Jen" - who I would bet heard it in comments here first (Jen, true?) - so, you deserve the find on this one!
2005-07-07 10:18:15
4.   KJC
They only had two good songs, but man, I really dug Audio Two...
2005-07-07 10:38:47
5.   rbj
Considering that the Indians are playing well right now, it looks to be a tough series; not sure that I'd thrust an untried rookie in that spot (start him against Tampa). Perhaps the Yankees, having struck paydirt (fingers still crossed) with Wang & Cano, have decided to try the well one more time.
2005-07-07 10:46:10
6.   Cliff Corcoran
Cabrera is a switch-hitter who won't be old enough to drink for another month and four days. Prior to this year he had never played above A-ball, posting a .296/.352/.414 career line in 194 games with Staten Island, Tampa and Battle Creek. He was not even invited to spring training this year, going 0 for 2 in a pair of cameo at-bats.

After starting the year in AA Trenton, he was promoted to AAA last Tuesday. In 34 at-bats in Columbus, Cabrera hit .324/.425/.647. Five of his six hits went for extra bases (two doubles, three homers), he walked six times and struck out just five times, was successfull in his only steal attempt, and drove in eleven runs in nine games while scoring six more. Somewhere in there he even layed down a sac bunt.

The good news is the Yanks plan on starting him. Cabrera is clearly on a role, and if he can continue to see the ball as well as he clearly has been in Columbus, he could hit the ground running in the Bronx. There's no reason to promote a 20-year-old prospect whose on fire at triple-A to have him sit on the bench.

This seems to be further evidence of the Yankees' radical change of approach inspired by the successes of Cano and Wang and made clear by the DFAing of Quantrill and Stanton. I'm always nervous about rushing talented youngsters, but I can't say I'm not happy to see this.

2005-07-07 11:00:04
7.   NYYBlog
It's true. The Trenton Thunder (Yankees AA affiliate) had a press release. I hope Melky can keep his performance up in the MLB, although I wouldn't mind if he took some time like Robinson Cano.

2005-07-07 11:16:38
8.   Nick from Washington Heights
I'm excited about anything that leads Woemack to the bench, but doesn't the quickness with which they've rushed Melky up speak to the idea that he'll be involved in a trade very soon. Seems like they're showcasing the youngster, and with all this trade talk of late...
2005-07-07 11:27:34
9.   Cliff Corcoran
Nick, I think JohnnyC has it right. If they were looking to trade him, why not let him keep tearing up AAA pitching rather than expose him at the major league level. Think of Ryan Howard, killing AAA he's the hottest chip out there, strugging in the majors, his AAA performance becomes much less enticing.
2005-07-07 11:35:18
10.   Nick from Washington Heights
that makes sense. I didn't see JohnnyC's comments so sorry for bringing up a point that he clearly refuted.

It seems that what came out of those meetings with the Boss in FL was a full-blown embrace of the farm system as problem-solver. Does this mean that Cash and Stick now have the ear of George?

Also, does Melky being brought up mean that Womack is now going to ride the bench? Is he the odd-man out? hopefully?

2005-07-07 11:36:43
11.   Jen
Actually Steve, it was originally mentioned in the comments of the post below. Credit goes to tocho for reporting it and Simone for confirming it.
2005-07-07 11:37:09
12.   Simone
I just hope that Melky performs better than all expectations like Cano and Wang so the Yankees aren't tempted to trade him.

Did you hear that Jay Payton was DFA'd? Unfortunately, there is no chance that the Yankees will get their hands on him.

2005-07-07 11:50:31
13.   Zack
Simone you beat me to it. Payton would seem to be a better short term fix than some of the other options, and it would give Cabrera more time to develop in AAA for better assessment of his status for next year. Payton isn't going to be the answer, but he does provide better defense and better offense and for the rest of the season he could fill in with Bernie.

However, we won't be able to get him unless he becomes a FA...Oh well

2005-07-07 12:01:13
14.   Loogy
Melky - short for Melkiewicz
2005-07-07 12:32:47
15.   NetShrine
//Actually Steve, it was originally mentioned in the comments of the post below. Credit goes to tocho for reporting it and Simone for confirming it.//

thanks to all invloved for sharing - and to Alex and Cliff for having the house to share it in!

2005-07-07 12:43:30
16.   JohnnyC
Jay Payton in a pitcher's park with death valley in left field? His only long-term success has been in Coors. BTW, Red Sox acquired Alex Cora from Cleveland for Ramon Vazquez. Late inning defense and pinch-runner I suppose.
2005-07-07 13:05:20
17.   Alex Belth
Cora is the new version of Pokey Reese, I guess.
2005-07-07 13:13:44
18.   JohnnyC
With Pavano officially on the 15 day DL, who's starting on Saturday? Darrell May? Aaron Small? Kim Jones?
2005-07-07 13:15:15
19.   NetShrine
I thought Kim was going to jail for a year?
2005-07-07 13:19:11
20.   Cliff Corcoran
Cora's much better than Reese. Every now and then, Cora hits. Of course Reese is one of the best fielder's I've ever seen, but he's also one of the worst hitters.
2005-07-07 13:20:47
21.   Cliff Corcoran
Gotta be May.
2005-07-07 17:24:55
22.   femal
Alex: Great stuff. God I love your site. Please more pictures. Can you give me more of that Bronx's really funny when written. You're the best, dude. Keep it up. More Yanks gold! Did I mention you're cute? More pictures, Alex! Gotta go. Love Jeter, too.


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