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Henn and Jackson open Girardi’s eyes

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Feb 22, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Pitchers Joe Girardi was impressed with today:

Mike Mussina
Joba Chamberlain
Sean Henn
Steven Jackson (“His sinker was exciting”)

It’ll be interesting to see what pitchers rise in the new regime. Joe Torre and Ron Guidry liked some guys, disliked others. Girardi and Dave Eiland will have their own favorites.





71 Responses to “Henn and Jackson open Girardi’s eyes”

  1. Jeremy February 22nd, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    One of these things is not like the others.

  2. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 February 22nd, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    liked Sean Henn?

  3. Jeff February 22nd, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    Joe G audio please

  4. Jim PA February 22nd, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    Who can fill me in on Steven Jackson? Thanks-

  5. Ricky Rios February 22nd, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    Pete – please don’t let Sean Henn make the team.

  6. babybombertrilogy February 22nd, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    how is sean henn still in the system? i remember going to a game 4 years ago at the stadium and he was a garbage fill in, gave up about 6ER in 3 innings… just let the guy go already.. just because he’s a lefty doesn’t mean he’s any good

  7. kunaldo February 22nd, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    i’m with you ricky…no sean henn…to say he’s mediocre is an understatement

    a WHIP over 2.00 in his mlb career??? that’s absolutely insane

    i mean, i’m all for guys redeeming themselves, but this is crazy…i hope he doesnt become the LOOGY b/c girardi/eiland feel like they need one

  8. Wolf In Pinstripes February 22nd, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    “One of these things is not like the others.”

    Post of the day. 8)

    Man, I really wish the day I don’t hear the name “Henn” comes already. Watch – it’ll be the same story as the last couple of years: he’ll end up looking good in ST, get a shot with the team, and then when it comes to actually pitching big-league games, we’ll be reminded all year long why he shouldn’t have been given a shot.

  9. Boston Dave February 22nd, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    Henn does look like he has pretty good stuff at times. A lefty who can throw 95… but until he gets a secondary pitch and some control he can stay in the minors.

  10. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 February 22nd, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    Well, we can always hope for a miracle, and, yes, that’s supposed to be motivation.

  11. whozat February 22nd, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    “Watch – it’ll be the same story as the last couple of years: he’ll end up looking good in ST, get a shot with the team, bit for a week and a half between appearances and then when it comes to actually pitching big-league games, we’ll be reminded all year long that Joe Torre is terrible at establishing new pitchers in the majors.”

    Fixed that for you.

  12. Boston Dave February 22nd, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    Pete / SJ / Anyone….

    has there been an Albaladejo sighting?

    is he in shape? any chance he makes the team?

  13. whozat February 22nd, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    sit, not bit

  14. Boston Dave February 22nd, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    SJ answered my question 2 posts ago…

    for those who are interested:

    Albaladejo hasn’t thrown with the top groups yet but will soon.

    I will be interested to see if he does well. He could emerge as a dependable bullpen option.

  15. SJ44 February 22nd, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    Here’s the deal with Henn.

    There is a dearth of LH pitchers, good one’s at least, in baseball.

    There are even fewer who throw 95.

    So, a team, especially one short of lefties like the Yankees, are going to give Henn every chance possible to make the team.

    If he was RH, he would be gone already.

    His lefthandedness is giving him another shot. Just have to see what happens.

    Steven Jackson was one of the pitchers acquired in the RJ deal last year.

    He had an off year last year, bouncing around from starter to reliever in AA and AAA.

    Yankees seemed to be unsure where his role was last year. Now, it seems they see him as a relief pitcher.

    He is known as a sinkerball pitcher.

    The question now is, can he gain some consistency to his game. If he can, he is another guy to put in the bullpen mix. Although, I think he starts the year in AAA.

  16. Marcy February 22nd, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    I know they need a lefty but Sean Henn? Pete, what did you think? This just seems so far fetched, I’m at a loss for words.

  17. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 February 22nd, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    I’m personally interested to know if Bruney’s been throwing as good as he’s been looking.

  18. Bill Porter February 22nd, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    Yeah I could see why we wouldn’t want a young lefty who was once a big time prospect to pull things together again. It would be nice if he could figure out how to get a little decent movement on what is still a mid 90′s heater and find a consistent arm slot for his change. But I guess we don’t need that kind of grief.

    Henn’s never had the same stuff since T.J.S. Maybe he never will, and maybe he’ll never be anything but a AAAA reliever. I think ST is where we find out on this guy. It’s his last shot. Personally I hope he’s able to find lightning in a bottle. Do I think he will? No. Do I hope so? You bet I do. Lefty’s with the stuff he still has are a gift from god; you can’t just toss them away without walking all the way down the road with them. I actually admire the patience we’ve displayed with him and the fact that we stuck by one of our injured guys. I can’t be upset with this one. That is until he blows one against the Sawx anyway. :-)

  19. raymagnetic â„¢ February 22nd, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    “a WHIP over 2.00 in his mlb career??? that’s absolutely insane”

    He’s pitched all of 57IP’s in the majors.

  20. RJPinstripes February 22nd, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    For sure SJ44, he’s a lefty, and there aren’t many of those around (esp. on the Yanks and in the farm system). I did like Henn in a few spots last year, but, yes he stunk in many other spots. Also, remember that lefties many times take longer to “find themselves… control, command etc. etc.”, so let’s hope for the best and figure that Henn has found the magic and is ready to roll. It would be awesome if he can contribute on a regular/solid basis. Hey, spring is a “new beginning” so, go Sean Henn !!!

  21. Boston Dave February 22nd, 2008 at 4:41 pm


    none of the LH options are going to seem to be that great. Gotta go with the hot hand. I am guessing it won’t be Henn but if he could ever gain control he could be serviceable (43 walks in 57 career IP.. yikes).

  22. raymagnetic â„¢ February 22nd, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    Actually it’s really hilarious that people are complaining about Sean Henn in spring training. The games haven’t even started as of yet and people are complaining. Sean Henn has thrown 40 BP pitches on February 22 and people want the Yankees to cut him tomorrow.

    The hilarity of it all has got me hysterical right now.

  23. Joe from Long Island February 22nd, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    I remember last year, Henn looked very good in ST, and at the start of the season. He even struck out Big Papi with men on base in one game early on. After that, for some reason, he reverted to form and lost the strike zone, and his spot on the team. Is this his “spring fling”? Who knows, but he’s getting an awful lot of mileage out of being lefthanded.

  24. Boston Dave February 22nd, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    This was probably posted earlier but did anyone hear Jose Molina mention that Hughes is throwing gas already (faster than last season). That Hughes would throw as hard as he did in the minors isn’t a huge suprise, but if he’s already throwing faster this early, that would be a nice surprise.

  25. Wolf In Pinstripes February 22nd, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    lol… point well taken, whozat. Thanks for the editing. ;)

    I’m probably not very fair on my assessment of Henn. I just remember all the rolaids I ate from watching his past appearances. You’re right in that he was poorly utilized and groomed. I won’t be upset if he can prove my doubts to be wrong.

    Thanks for the additional perspective as well, SJ.

  26. Quest of 27 February 22nd, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    Just another reason to hate Manny…
    “Manny Ramirez spoke to reporters about his contractual situation Thursday, but when he did he failed to mention one new revelation: Ramirez is switching agents and has hired Scott Boras”

  27. SJ44 February 22nd, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    This why you have spring training. You give guys a shot and see what they can do.

    Its a new regime people. New manager, pitching coach and coaching staff. Its also a new way of doing things.

    That means, everybody starts with a clean slate and jobs are wide open in the bullpen.

    If you want to trade Jose Tabata, you can have Damaso Marte. That’s who the Pirates want for Marte.

    Me? I hope (even if its futile) Sean Henn can harness his talent enough to give them something positive from the left side out of the ‘pen.

    I’d rather keep every young guy and build so much depth in the system, it removes the need to make panic deals.

  28. Dr. Cox February 22nd, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    I still have no faith in Sean Henn, Im sorry.

  29. SJ44 February 22nd, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    Boras and Theo are tight and do a lot of deals together.

    Perhaps Manny hired Boras because he wants to stay in Boston and believes Boras can work it out with Theo.

  30. Boston Dave February 22nd, 2008 at 4:48 pm


    i don’t think most people are killing henn…. at least not most. i think it’s more the uncertainty with the lefty specialist role. after last year, it would be nice to know we have a guy who can get er’ done.

    but you’re right, its ST… let’s see what happens.

  31. CB February 22nd, 2008 at 4:49 pm


    Gut impression – does Montero stay behind the plate long term or is he just too big?

    Have you seen him throw? What’s the arm/ footwork like?

    His bat has the potential to play anywhere but if he is able to stay behind the plate the yankees could have a very unique asset. Projecting that kind of power above a replacement level catcher would be an enormous relative advantage for the yankees.

  32. east side yankee February 22nd, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    Whozat is 100% right. We cannot follow the Torre approach to a bullpen… Which is as follows: If a guy has a bad outing don’t use him again, which will only guarantee that he will suck when you finally use him again in 2 weeks while conversly overusing the guy who has 2 good appearances rendering him completely useless once the playoffs come around.

    We have to be patient with the bullpen folks…a few of them may suck initially…but you ave to keep throwing them out there if for no other reason to keep from overusing your other relievers

  33. Boston Dave February 22nd, 2008 at 4:52 pm


    Theo and Boras may be tight, but I don’t think Boras has given him any deals (except maybe Daisuke but that was a different story). If Theo wants to keep paying 125% for Boras clients, more power to em’.

  34. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 February 22nd, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    Oh, I hope that Henn will get it right and be a nice surprise for us this season, but I’d rather be pleasantly surprised than have my hopes cruelly dashed!

  35. Boston Dave February 22nd, 2008 at 4:54 pm


    SJ44′s opinion trumps mine, but my money would be on 1b (at least more seasons at 1b than C)

  36. SJ44 February 22nd, 2008 at 4:55 pm


    I have to see how Tony Pena works with him this spring before answering.

    He’s a big kid. But, so is Joe Mauer and Sandy Alomar,Jr and both have had nice careers as “big” catchers.

    He throws the ball well but his footwork is shaky. That’s where Tony will help him.

    Surprisingly, he moves well behind the plate. Frames the ball well and blocks ball in the dirt better than the average 18 year old kid.

    He seems to be athletic enough be able to move to first, if need be.

    Personally, I would like to see him stay behind the plate.

    Ideally, he is Jorge’s backup for the last two years of Jorge’s deal. That may be wishful thinking but, its ST. I’m entitled! lol

    If he keeps growing thought, first base will be his future spot.

  37. Ross ( February 22nd, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    Hmmmm.. Dropping hints that Henn will be the obligatory lefty in the pen? I don’t think they NEED a lefty, especially if Henn is as bad as he was last year. I think Ohlendorf, Veras, Ramirez, Rasner, Hawkins, Farnsworth, Mo is probably the best BP

  38. Josh February 22nd, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    I heard great things about jackson from the AAA blog.. hopefully he makes it some point this year

    pete i made a blog about my life as a poker player check it out (put it in as my website)

  39. Boston Dave February 22nd, 2008 at 5:01 pm


    dont forget Joba in that BP (at least to possibly start the season)

    and dont count out “Alby” Albaladejo…

    I personally think only one of Hawkins/Farnsworth should be on the roster at the same time, but we’ll see.

  40. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 February 22nd, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    SJ: You’re always entitled to wishful thinking :-D

  41. CB February 22nd, 2008 at 5:02 pm


    Thanks for the update. When you see Pena work with him let us know.

    My strong preference is for him to stay behind the plate if at all possible. You can probably count the number of catching prospects with 80 power over the past 10 years on one hand.

    The Yankees are demonstrating that not only are they good at identifying pitching talent, but fantastic at developing it. Nardi and Patterson (and eiland) do a great job once the guys get into the system.

    Big question for the organization – can they create as effective and coherent a development program for position players? I think they will but its still something of an open question. All organizations have their strengths and weaknesse when it comes to prospect development.

    Montero will be an interesting test case (as long as he doesn’t keep growing). It sounds like he could stay behind the plate but its going to take a lot of work and coaching.

  42. raymagnetic â„¢ February 22nd, 2008 at 5:02 pm


    I just read your first post. Good luck with medical school. Better luck with the poker thing, you’re gonna need it! :lol:

  43. Boston Dave February 22nd, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    Tough to say this but the Yanks may be well off to watch how the Sox develop their position players. They seem to have a good system for developing their guys and teaching them how to learn (if that makes any sense) and it’s starting to pay off.

  44. Jeff NJ February 22nd, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    Didn’t see it mentioned here but Henn is out of options, so as I understand it, he either makes the Yankees or will be cut and become a free agent. Plus is he not the only lefty in camp?

  45. Boston Dave February 22nd, 2008 at 5:12 pm

    Jeff NJ,

    I think you might be right on that. Can someone confirm?

    Perhaps if they decide they want to cut him, they can trade him to the Orioles a couple days prior for one of their better relievers (just like they did last year with Jaret Wright)…

  46. Brandon (Proud supporter of "Alex being Alex") February 22nd, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    like Sean Henn ? don’t do it Joe :(

  47. CB February 22nd, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    Boston Dave,

    I agree with you on the Sox (unfortunately!). They have really done an excellent job developing position players in their system. The depth and variety of position player prospects they have is very impressive. They seem to have a systematic way of drafting and developing those prospects.

    They Yankees need to set up a similar system. They’ve done it with pitching and now they are clearly turning their attention to position players (especially with power) but its a work in progress.

    That’s why Jackson’s progress last season was particularly encouraging. With him things seemed to click into place – a lot of that is talent but a lot of that is also good coaching and development.

  48. jason February 22nd, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    The Yankees actually have built themselves an incredible deep prospect roster at catcher. If Cervelli can hit like his first half last year, and with his defense, he is already above average. Austine Romine is touted as having the whole package but is still awhile away. Then there are others who have defense and may break out, Weems, Anson etc.
    Montero’s power is clearly the best of the bunch. But with a defensive wiz like Cervelli or Romine behind the plate and a monster bat like Montero at first wow.

  49. Boston Dave February 22nd, 2008 at 5:21 pm


    At least the Yanks seem to have the edge in scouting and nabbing the Latin American prospects. I guess it wouldn’t be any skin off my back if they want to pony up 5 mil for Salcedo… and you made a good point earlier about Shapiro’s interest being a good sign that he could be the real deal.

  50. Gus G. February 22nd, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    Boston Dave,

    Yes, I can confirm that. Sean Henn is the only Yankee on the roster that is currently out of options.

  51. Mr. Faded Glory February 22nd, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    Torre only had two ways to use young pitchers – everyday or not at all.

    I’m hopign Girardi doesn’t have “favorites” and instead just picks the right matchups

  52. desti(NY) 2008 February 22nd, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    One batting practice session is no judge. Joe Girardi said himself that nobody makes the team the 1st week of spring training.
    Much more to see with many players. They put themselves on and take themselves off the bubble. The stretching stage is about to end. Players will soon start pitching and hitting with a plan.

  53. whozat February 22nd, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    “They Yankees need to set up a similar system. ”

    It’s not an issue of a “system”, it’s an issue of guys in the pipeline. The Yankees have only been drafting well for a few years, and even college bats rarely get to the majors that quick. Besides…it’s VASLTY more preferable to sign position players in FA than it is to sign pitchers, so the urgency is lesser.

    Of COURSE I’d prefer it if they had a promising AA/AAA SS and catcher right now. But, you can’t have everything.

  54. Josh February 22nd, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    haha, thanks raymagnetic..

    dont worry tho, If i lose everything im still set, im not playing with money i need to live off of.. But ive been playing poker irregularly for 5 years, im pretty good :p

  55. Samples February 22nd, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    Off topic: Does anybody know where on the ‘net I can find game pitching logs, showing velocity thrown by pitch? I’m arguing with someone that doesn’t believe Hughes hit 96 consistently in the game against the Rangers. I could be crazy, but I remember that he was throwing gas that game.

  56. Sean Serritella - YankeesDaily February 22nd, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    I just saw Joba’s audio on top.

  57. Kill-Schill(ing) February 22nd, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    Someone refresh my recollection, but wasn’t Steven Jackson one of the pitchers the Yankees acquired in The Wall Unit trade?

  58. Thrillington February 22nd, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Sean Henn will be cut by the Yanks, picked up by the Sox, steal a Mac AirBook and pitch a no hitter.

    Happens all the time.

  59. Kill-Schill(ing) February 22nd, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    I regularly confuse Steven Jackson and Steven White.

  60. mickey's monkey February 22nd, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    Regarding all these negative comments about Sean Henn, I don’t get it. Yes, he’s been pretty bad. But the Yanks really, REALLY need LH relief. Throw around all the stats you want, but I can’t remember the Yanks winning a world series without having had TWO LH relievers on their staff. As of now, they’ve got NONE. Henn is 26, an age when a lot of LH relievers have, finally, come into their own. He throws hard and, actually, was pretty good in AAA under the tutelage of Dave Eiland. Ron Guidry got nowhere with him last year, but Guidry didn’t seem to get anywhere with anyone. Sean Henn’s got +stuff, but has been pitching scared. And Torre didn’t help matters there by using Henn erratically. Henn had an excellent Spring in 2007 and was very good early in the season. Why he wound up stinking up the joint is anyone’s guess, but, clearly, there was no effective pitching coach on the team who could have made any difference. Perhaps this year will be different. Dave Eiland eems like he just might have that special, Leo Mazzone-like magic touch with young pitchers. If Henn has a good spring, he’s going north with the team. If that happens, I’m his fan. The Yankees need for him to be good, and he’s got at least as good a shot at being good at does Chase Wright, Billy Traber, or Heath Phillips.
    That is, indeed, a pretty pathetic list of candidates. As Yankees’ fans, we’ve got to hope for the best.

  61. fleas February 22nd, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    Uhm, the yankees really really need a lefty!!

    No kidding, wasn’t there just a very very very great one on the trade block. I seem to remember that the Yankee’s had their chance to aquire a great lefty named Johan Santana..

    Now we are saying that we need to give a garbage pitcher like Henn a shot because we have a dyer need for a lefty?

    OMG.. I’ll say it again. Not getting Johan was a very BAD and DUMB move. I am not talking about trading Hughes either. He could’ve stayed.

    My daughter is 2 1/2 and lefty, should I contact the Yankees? She could probably compete with Henn’s stats.

    Hank said he may regret not getting Johan, he and everyone else will.

    Jorge Posada said we need him.. Jorge knows the arms we have better than anyone else. If Jorge said we need him.. argue all we want.. but if that is what Jorge says, I’d bet on that.

    &$%* Yes, I am still angry we didn’t get Johan and I have this feeling it is only going to get worse.

  62. fleas February 22nd, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    I’d like nothing more than to eat those words ^

  63. kunaldo February 22nd, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    the thing that bothers me is when people do things b/c that’s the way it’s been done(tradition)….so everyone always feels the need to have a lefty in the pen, just because…if that lefty is any good, and can get out lefties, then sure, it’s not a bad idea…but if you have a righty to replace him, that’s a better pitcher than him, what’s the point of keeping the lesser pitcher around?…b/c that’s how it’s always been done?

    in a somewhat related story, i wonder how much better we could have done had rivera been used as a true relief ace rather than a closer….if the top of the lineup is coming up in the 8th inning, does it make sense to send out anybody other than your top pitcher in the pen? i mean, why take the risk of sending out vizcaino/gordon/farnsworth/whoever, just for the sake of keeping rivera for the ninth for the save, when the game could be blown in the 8th(or 7th)?

    obviously, the best solution for this is to have a lot of great bullpen options, but the whole “closer” thing is a bit weird if you think about it…why is the ninth inning so much harder to pitch in? i dunno, i just feel as though rivera could have been better utilized…(and going forward whoever our bullpen ace is)

    i wonder if girardi will bring some forward-thinking to the yanks…

  64. kunaldo February 22nd, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    by the way, lefties have had an .896 OPS career vs. henn…yeah, small sample size, but damn man…

  65. fleas February 22nd, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    Henn burned all of his chances with me last year. Not only did he burn them, it was like a nuclear explosion!

  66. Hockey February 22nd, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    Why oh WHY is Sean Henn a favorite again?!?!?!? Geez, a higher force may need to step in in order to get rid of that guy. He stinks.

  67. hmmm February 22nd, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    who knew the yankees were looking at Santana for the bullpen…

  68. mickey's monkey February 22nd, 2008 at 10:01 pm


    who knew the yankees were looking at Santana for the bullpen…

    Fleas knew, obviously.

  69. mickey's monkey February 22nd, 2008 at 10:08 pm


    the thing that bothers me is when people do things b/c that’s the way it’s been done(tradition)….so everyone always feels the need to have a lefty in the pen, just because…if that lefty is any good, and can get out lefties, then sure, it’s not a bad idea…but if you have a righty to replace him, that’s a better pitcher than him, what’s the point of keeping the lesser pitcher around?…b/c that’s how it’s always been done?>>>>>>

    I’m not suggesting that. Don’t think anyone else is, either. I haven’t read that anyone here thinks the Yanks need a bad LH pitcher in the bullpen. I think they need a GOOD lefty in the ‘pen, even two of ‘em. As of right now, Henn is one of the candidates and the pickins ARE pretty slim. But why not hope that Henn turns out to be good? As for the “tradition” thing, I think there’s plenty of data to support the idea that LH hitters don’t tend to fare as well against LH pitchers as they do righties, and that there are plenty of LH batters who can hit even really good righties better than they can decent lefties. Maybe it doesn’t matter, but I can’t think of ANY team in recent years which has won a WS and didn’t have at least one reliable lefty reliever–most of ‘em have had 2.

  70. filthy slider February 27th, 2008 at 9:47 am

    Oh God, please don’t tell me Henn has fooled another Yankee Mgr.

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