Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
2004-01-23 08:46
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez threw 35 pitches in front of a group of scouts yesterday at the University of Miami. The headline in The Times today reads, "Hernandez's Workout Hard to Rate," which seems appropriate because so much about El Duque has always been hard to figure. The scouts were divided on what they saw. According to Charlie Nobles in The Times:

[El Duque's] less-than-inspiring velocity left some teams wondering how to rate him.

"It's tough to evaluate that performance," said Mark Wiedemaier, a special assistant to the Los Angeles Dodgers' general manager. "It looked like he was playing catch."

Al Goldis, the recently hired talent assessor serving as a high-level assistant to Mets General Manager Jim Duquette, chose his words carefully in describing his reaction to Hernández's effort. "Obviously, he's not in the shape we expected him to be in," Goldis said.

However, The Daily News reports that the Yankees were more impressed with the workout:

The Yankees had at least three representatives on hand, including VP of major league scouting Damon Oppenheimer. "He looks like he's in really good shape," Oppenheimer said.

Would you rather see Hernandez as the Yankees' sixth starter, or John Burkett? What about Rick Reed? Well according to Mark Hale in The Post, the Mets have apparently offered Reed, as well as former Yankee outfielder Shane Spencer, contracts (details have not been disclosed). How about Maels Rodriguez? The young Cuban worked out for scouts yesterday in El Salvador.

If you were running the Yankees, which pitcher would you try to sign?

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