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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Extra baseball proves extra bad

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Mar 06, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

The Reds won the game 12-8. Or was it 16-8?

The game was officially over when the Yankees made the third out of the ninth inning. But Joe Girardi wanted to see Steven Jackson pitch and the umpires and Reds agreed to play the bottom of the ninth.

Jackson didn’t take advantage of the chance to impress his new manager as he allowed four runs and got only one out before the game was called. The sellout crowd was befuddled as they made their way to the exits.

Technically, it was 12-8. But you have to respect Girardi trying to give all his players a chance.

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76 Responses to “Extra baseball proves extra bad”

  1. anti-mussina March 6th, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    ouch.

  2. Drew March 6th, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    Heck I could have gone out there and given up those 4.

  3. S.o.S.27 March 6th, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    Have they ever done that before(give them a half inning even when over)? Iv seen it in little league but not in the bigs.

  4. Doreen March 6th, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    Oops.

  5. S.o.S.27 March 6th, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    Drew
    March 6th, 2008 at 4:44 pm
    Heck I could have gone out there and given up those 4.

    Left handed.

  6. Drew March 6th, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    “Left handed”

    It would be my Igawa imitation..ball four!

  7. S.o.S.27 March 6th, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    All i wanna know is did Mo have to come in there and stop the bleading. Or did he not want to waste arms out there so he went with Damon instead.

  8. Paulie March 6th, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    And who said NL hitters were inferior to AL pitching?

  9. The J Train March 6th, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    should i drop joey votto for rick ankiel on my fantasy team?

  10. Drew March 6th, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    “And who said NL hitters were inferior to AL pitching?”

    Everyone, because its true.

  11. Chris Gamble March 6th, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    Joe G…

    “You cant hurry love
    No, you just have to wait
    You got to trust, give it time
    No matter how long it takes”

  12. Jim PA March 6th, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    So Farnsworth says he had a lousy year last season because his manager lost confidence in him? How does Krazy Kyle reconcile in his head that Torre was the reason he sucked last year?

  13. patrick March 6th, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    hey pete im sittin here watching the espn show around the horn and im wondering if you would ever do something like that. they have no ny based writers ever on the show and they could use some good insight on ny sports. I WANNA SEE YOU ON THE TUBE!

  14. Brian March 6th, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    I’ll let Krazy Kyle believe anything he wants if he can go out there and produce for us :)

  15. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 March 6th, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    So I just took three midterms.

    Someone give me some good news.

  16. whozat March 6th, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    Bobby hit a homer and Traber looked good.

  17. Clay Bellinger March 6th, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    Good News? Farnsworth didn’t look bad today.

  18. Jeff NJ March 6th, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    Here you go Rebecca. At least the Yankees are healthy, only Matsui is a few weeks behind. That team in Shea is hurting.

  19. Westerner99 March 6th, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    There have been many instances where MLB teams play out the bottom of the ninth inning during Spring Training games to ensure all of their pitchers get their work.

  20. MikeEff - Shelley at First March 6th, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    congrats on getting the tests under your belt rebecca.

  21. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 March 6th, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    Good news, great news and THANK G-D news.

    So thank you. I can now go to sleep happy tonight.

    Here’s hoping the Wanger just had a bad day.

  22. SJ44 March 6th, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    Rebecca,

    More good news. Looks like we may have a lefty specialist: Billy Traber.

    The pitching seems to be taking shape, numbers-wise.

    Girardi says he is going to carry 12 pitchers.

    Locks: Wang, Pettitte, Mussina, Hughes, Kennedy, Chamberlain, Hawkins, Farnsworth and Rivera.

    Near locks. Or, more appropriately, guys who look like they are going to make the team: Karstans and Traber.

    That leaves, Ohlendorf, Albaladejo, Bruney, Britten and Veras fighting it out for the last spot in the bullpen.

    Going to be some good pitchers going to Scranton this year.

    First time in a long time I remember the Yankees having guys not make the staff who are good enough to do so.

    A nice problem to have for a change.

  23. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 March 6th, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    SJ: Dang, that is great news! It’s hard for me to pick one of the last guys who’s going to make the team, but I’m thining Ohlendorf, Albie or Veras, but I’m far from the most knowledgable. What about you?

  24. MikeEff - Shelley at First March 6th, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    so SJ does it look like they would take Bruney considering that they paid him like 700K?

  25. TP March 6th, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    I’d take Ohlendorf for the last spot in that pen, with Veras close behind.

    Bruney has to continue to prove himself and Britton just doesn’t have the same exciting stuff as Rockin’ Ross Ohlendorf or Mr. Veras

    if Traber doesn’t turn out to be another Henn and Farnsworth can find himself this year, I’m very happy with this bullpen.

  26. CB March 6th, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    I thought I saw yesterday that Veras was scheduled to pitch the ninth today. Maybe I’m wrong about that – but I thought that was the case.

    Wonder why he didn’t get into the game? Perhaps its nothing.

    You get the sense that they may be giving Ohlendorf every chance to win that last spot in the pen.

    Girardi seems set on keeping Farnsworth – we’ll see. His last good year was in the walk year of his contract so maybe his control will reappear. Hard to believe he had a WHIP close to one back in 2005 when he closed for detroit and atlanta.

    It’s nice to be able to be cautiously optimistic about Traber. The thing with him that makes me more enthusiastic than I usually would be with a spring training guy is that over his career he’s always had very good numbers against lefties but has never been used only as a lefty reliever. Righties have killed him but perhaps the lefty specialist role is his ticket to the bigs.

  27. SJ44 March 6th, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    I think its old fashioned competition Rebecca. Whomever pitches the best gets the gig.

    I suspect, if Bruney doesn’t win the job, they will try to trade him, as opposed to just cutting him.

    Its too close to call right now. I like diversity in my bullpens. I like having guys who do different things. With strikethrower the number one thing they must do in order to make my team.

    You have a guy in Hawkins who has become a sinkerball/groundball pitcher. Farnsworth and Joba are the power guys. Mo the closer.

    Albie is pretty much like Hawkins.

    Britton? I’ve watched Chris Britton since he was in high school in South Florida. About 50 pounds ago.

    I’ve always thought of him as a AAA-AAAA type of arm. Nothing really special.

    In the limited amount of time I have seen him as a Yankee, I haven’t seen anything to change my impression of him.

    To his credit, he has lost some weight. Still think he needs to be in AAA throwing regularly and working on his conditioning before he makes the bullpen.

    That leaves Bruney, Ohlendorf and Veras. Three hard throwers.

    JMO but, out of those three, whomever can throw the most strikes may have the edge.

    Ohlendorf was impressive yesterday and throughout camp. But, that’s just one appearance. Gotta do it for 3 more weeks.

    Its a great competition though and that’s what I like best about this camp.

    You become a better team by competing for jobs. Not by having them handed to you.

    Girardi is going about this thing the right way and I believe the results will bear fruit over the course of the season.

  28. Doreen March 6th, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    What did Kyle say? Because it’s interesting; I was just thinking this afternoon (I did not closely follow the blog comments today) while I was catching up on some household projects that just because Torre continued to go to Farnsworth last year does not necessarily demonstrate “confidence.” I was pretty much thinking about the difference in Girardi’s approach to Farnsworth as opposed to Torre’s. I think, and I’m certainly no expert, that it could come down to a person who truly knows you can succeed, as opposed to someone who hopes you do.

    Rebecca – Hope you did well on those mid-terms.

    I’m liking Ohlendorf and Veras so far for that last spot.

    There was a good article in today’s Star Ledger about the Yankees unbelievable schedule in April. Thanks to Pope Benedict’s Mass at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees have something like 19 games in a row and two road trips sandwiched around a 2-game homestand. It is truly an unforgivable month. This is where Girardi will be tested as a tactician, I think. It may also have the added benefit of making the rest of the season seem, well, not easy, but not quite as bad?

    http://www.nj.com/yankees/ledg.....038;coll=1

    I’m sure this has something to do with the number of pitchers being carried. Unlike most years, the Yankees are most definitely going to need 5 starters in April.

  29. SJ44 March 6th, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    CB,

    I feel the same way about Traber.

    The guy was 9-51 against lefties last year.

    Surprisingly, no team has ever really considered him for a lefty specialist role.

    If he can put numbers like that together for the Yankees this year, they have themselves a lefty specialist.

    I really hope he can because it would be a great story of perserverance. The guy has been through a lot in his career.

    I firmly believe you need to struggle in this game in order to become successful. Nobody who has ever succeeded in the game hasn’t had periods of great struggle. It builds toughness.

    If you are going to pitch out of the bullpen for a team like the Yankees, you need to have toughness.

    With what Traber has been through, I think he has the toughness to succeed.

    Just has to keep getting outs. That’s what its all about for him right now.

  30. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 March 6th, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    Doreen: I actually sent Pete an email about that the other day.

    The Yankees play only six road games in all of July AND host the All Star game, so it evens out.

  31. Fran March 6th, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    Doreen – that is a good point about the schedule . There are only two off days and one is after the season opener. So there is basically one off day for the entire month of April. The Yankees will certainly need all 5 starters and all of their relievers. The fact that they are on the road will even out in July as Rebecca noted.

    Rebecca – hope that your exams went well

  32. CB March 6th, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    SJ44,

    Usually I don’t get that high on journey men guys who’ve bounced around and then suddenly do well in ST. Especially when they are pitching late in the game against kids. You can never tell with that.

    But his performance in spring coupled with that track record against lefties is different and reason for encouragement. Lefties for his careers have hit .210 off of him – and that’s over 200 hitters.

    Not a huge resume but its something.

    And he’s got good control – only walking around 2/ 9 innings.

    You get the sense that Cash had a plan with these non-roster arms – most of them have very good control over the course of their careers.

    When you get guys off the scrap heap its nice when they have an angle – meaning that they could provide value if they were used in a different way.

    Ensberg is like that given the way he mashes lefties even last year when he had a bad year overall.

    You’re right – Traber has been through a lot and I’m sure that’s a real test. The nationals are terrible and it can’t be easy to get to the bigs in 2003, get sent down for three years, and then have the nationals cut you after two seasons. They’re pitching is awful.

    On the plus side it was bowden who cut him – how does he have a job as a GM? Its mystifying.

    Also speaks really badly for Steve Phillips – Bowden has a job running a club and Phillips can’t get a whiff of anything.

    The yanks haven’t had anyone fill that lefty role in forever. If traber can do it it would be a nice plus. I’m not wedded to always having a lefty in the pen but if you do have a quality arm there its only a plus.

  33. Doreen March 6th, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    Rebecca -

    That’s good to know about July. Actually, you would think July would be the time of year, just starting to really heat up, weatherwise, that more home games would be appreciated.

  34. CB March 6th, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    “You become a better team by competing for jobs. Not by having them handed to you.”

    This is why it still sticks in my throat a bit about Farnsworth.

    Every other roster spot is either being decided because the player has an oustanding track record or based on performance/ competition in spring training.

    Except for Farsworth’s spot – which Girardi early on just handed to him.

    The only other case close to Farnsworth is Giambi’s – clearly with that albatross of a contract he wasn’t going anywhere.

    Nonetheless it was made crystal clear to Giambi that while his spot on the roster was secure his playing time was not in anyway.

    I know its the manager’s perogative, but I just find it so ironic that the least deserving player on the roster of a spot is the one who is essentially guaranteed a role.

  35. SJ44 March 6th, 2008 at 6:57 pm

    CB,

    I think Cash has finally learned that you can’t buy a bullpen.

    You build it from the closer out. The other guys are guys you develop and guys you are “bounce around guys” that you put in there and hope to catch something with them.

    It sounds nuts but, that’s how you build bullpens.

    I see millions and millions of dollars wasted every year on guys in the ‘pen.

    Farnsworth, Bob Howry, Scott Eyre, Octavio Dotel, Scott Linebrink (Kenny Williams will find out this expensive lession this year), are just some of the names who have cashed in but aren’t that good. Plus, those contracts tend to saddle a team for years, furthering affecting the way they can build their teams.

    If you can develop your own, which the Yankees are doing with guys like Veras, Ohlendorf, Melancon, etc, and either make a smart trade or two, find a couple of scrap heap guys or sign a CHEAP (as in a one year deal) type of free agent, its the best way to build a ‘pen.

  36. Doreen March 6th, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    CB -

    I understand your frustration. It seems clear to me that Girardi must think that Farnsworth has somehow been mishandled the last couple of years. And the thing is, if Girardi can manage to get Kyle to do what he has the talent to do, then it’s a project worth doing. There are no sure arms in this bullpen, with the exception of Mo, and he’s aging, so he’s not as sure as he has been in the past.

    Plus, money and contracts always seem to be a factor, don’t they?

  37. SJ44 March 6th, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    He’s not handing him a role. He’s handing him a roster spot.

    The contract dictates the roster spot. The role? That’s what he is competing for at this time.

    They can’t trade him unless they eat money. They aren’t willing to do that and I don’t blame them.

    Next best thing to do is to try and prop him up mentally (which is why Girardi is praising him so much publicly), fix him mechanically, and see how it shakes out.

  38. Fran March 6th, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    CB – I think that part of Girardi’s thinking is that he knows Farnsworth and can change him and make him effective. But I really think that if Farnsworth is awful and doesn’t improve then I am sure Girardi will make adjustments to the staff.

  39. Doreen March 6th, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    SJ44 -

    Over the last number of years, if one thing’s become crystal clear it’s that middle relief pitchers all seem to be flashes in the pan. Good one year, not so good the next. None of them seem worth a long-term investment. But one has to have watched this over the last few seasons and on more teams than just the Yankees to know that it’s a valid phenomenon and not just bad luck for NY.

    It makes you really, really appreciate when you find a good one.

    In that regard, as bad as Kyle Farnsworth was at times, he did show signs of being something better. I guess this would be the third time today that I’ve said I’m for Girardi trying to “fix” Kyle. :lol:

  40. Doreen March 6th, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    So, SJ44 -

    Kyle will be on the relief staff, but not necessarily as the 8th inning guy? Maybe just plain vanilla middle relief?

  41. B-D-4 trains March 6th, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    Mike Myers as a specialist was easy for the average hitter to figure. Once they blocked out the submarine delivery it was only a question of timing his 88-90 mph “heater”.
    In the case of Billy Traber, he has a deceptive delivery and changes speeds well which is why he gets the attention of Girardi / Eiland.
    Sean Henn has a 95-96 mph fastball but with no movement.

  42. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 March 6th, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    Is it me or are we all still really spoiled from the days when our ‘pen was Stanton, Nelson, Mendoza and even Grimsley?

  43. CB March 6th, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    SJ44,

    I agree on the pen – and this is one of the things I really appreciate about Cash. He’s not a rigid thinker. He’s willing to learn new things and try new things.

    He tried the free agent market – didn’t work and on top he saw the impact that revenue sharing was going to have. So he shifted strategy to development.

    Now he’s tried an entirely different way of going about the pen.

    Kevin Towers did a great job leading the way with constructing a pen this way – but Cash saw the model and learned from it. Just like he learned from Terry Ryan even though no teams could be more different than the Twins and Yanks.

    You mentioned Scott Linebrink – you know – if you look at his transactions I think it will prove to be a case study in how not to get relief help.

    A couple of years ago he was terrific. But has thrown a lot of innings and has clearly been in decline.

    Towers trades him at the dealine – and he actually gets Will Inman for him from the Brewers. Think about that – because of their deficit in pitching the brewers traded perhaps their best pitching prospect (gallardo was in the majors by then) for an aging reliever in decline.

    Then Linebrink proves too expensive and signs that absurd deal with the ChiSox that they will be regretting for years.

    So essentially the Padres got Inman – who may not have great stuff but is considered a top 100 prospect – for nothing!

    That chain of transactions says everything to me about what not to do – both on Melvin’s part and Williams part.

    Linebrink didn’t pitch well for the Brewers and now they have less young pitching than they had before. The ChiSox have a litany of awful contracts for old veterans – and now they have another.

  44. Doreen March 6th, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    CB -

    Good point about Cashman. You can’t always “set” a trend, but it’s just as important to recognize a trend, evaluate it and decide whether or not to implement. Cash is a fast learner.

    Also, reading yours and SJ’s posts, I learned the rhyme and reason to some of these pitchers being acquired or invited to camp. It’s nice to know it didn’t go unnoticed that the Yankees bullpen could not throw strikes last season, and not only that, but that the deficit is being addressed (or at least the attempt is made).

  45. CB March 6th, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    “And the thing is, if Girardi can manage to get Kyle to do what he has the talent to do, then it’s a project worth doing.”

    I know you guys are right – those are just the realities of farnsworth.

    But one of the things that concerns me is the issue Doreen brought up earlier.

    They’re early season schedule is anything but the usual early season schedule where you don’t even need a 5th starter.

    Very few days off, some type of caps on Hughes and Kennedy, and the Joba rules.

    All of these things spell a lot of work for the pen early on.

    Letting Kyle see if he can figure things out could be an expensive proposition because if he falters like last year and Girardi shies away from using him then the rest of the pen really gets a lot of work.

    that’s what burned out the pen last year and started the a chain of events they were trying to catch up on all season.

    They need to get off to a better start this season and with that packed early schedule the bull pen will be tested and will have a large workload.

  46. Doreen March 6th, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    Rebecca -

    I think the fans (or many of them) are finally coming to realize what a rare bullpen that was!

  47. CB March 6th, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    “It’s nice to know it didn’t go unnoticed that the Yankees bullpen could not throw strikes last season, and not only that, but that the deficit is being addressed (or at least the attempt is made).”

    Last season the Yankees did something very unusual in terms of player development that I think tell a lot about how Cash is working and how he’s evolved as a whole.

    Last year the yankees acquired 3 decent to good pitching prospects from the independent league – Edwar, Scott Paterson and Stephen Aretz (low A ball).

    All of those guys were very impressive in the minors in their own ways. None of them are perfect. But they were acquired for essentially nothing.

    Any other team could have signed them – and no one did. The vast majority of teams don’t get any useful prospects from the independent league over the course of a season.

    The yankees got three. Basically the way they did it was Cash put into place a program to data mine statistics from the independent league to look for outliers.

    That’s just speaks volumes to me about the sophisticated, efficient way the organization is working now.

  48. Doreen March 6th, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    CB –

    All the more reason for a long-man out of the bullpen, especially in April. No starter is going to be able to go more than 7, and most will go 6. Even Petttite and Wang are not going to go as far as needed the first couple of weeks. Also good that Joba will start in the pen, but will he be used for short-term (one-inning) or longer (two and perhaps into a third)?

    It’s surely going to be a test. But if everyone is healthy, that will be a plus (duh!). Girardi will have his work cut out keeping everyone fresh and not letting them overextend themselves. Anyway, I’d love to think that last year was a real aberration, and a real low-point in slow starts. Ahem.

  49. Jeff NJ March 6th, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    SJ, I think you forgot to mention Edwar. Man, I don’t think Scranton can fit all the near major league ready arms the Yankees have. Unfortunately or maybe fortunately, the major league team doesn’t have really any trade-fixable holes. So unless the Yankees can package multiple players for a very good player, or trades down to get lower level players, I think there is actually a pitching glut right now.

  50. SJ44 March 6th, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    Doreen,

    I think, aside from Mo, the roles are still to be fleshed out in the bullpen.

    I do though think, there will be roles.

    One of my biggest beefs with Joe Torre the last 3 years has been the lack of defined roles in the bullpen.

    You can’t just, “go with the hot hand” all the time.

    That leads to the 8 games in 10 for the Proctor’s and Vizcaino’s of the world. While other guys are drydocked for a bad performance.

    Players perform best when roles are defined.

    By the end of camp, the bullpen will have defined roles. They will change over the course of the season, depending on injuries, results, callups, etc.

    But, there will be roles and that’s an improvement from years past.

    CB,

    My simple theory on bullpen acquisitions. If Kevin Towers gets rid of a guy, he can’t pitch anymore.

    He’s the best builder of bullpens in the game. Once I hear he is shopping someone, I know that guy is done.

  51. CB March 6th, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    “All the more reason for a long-man out of the bullpen, especially in April. No starter is going to be able to go more than 7, and most will go 6.”

    Absolutely – it’s critical if they aren’t going to burn out Hawkins the way they did to Vizcaino last year to start the year.

    “If Kevin Towers gets rid of a guy, he can’t pitch anymore.”

    I completely agree. If he brings up a deal I would just walk away. He is a terrific GM and knows pitching value (and how to leverage the weather in San Diego) like few others.

    The Maddux deal, the Peavey extension…. That Heath Bell may have been one of the most important trades in the NL last year. Bell stays on the mets – they may win the division.

    How did Omar give up Heath Bell and Brian Bannister in the same year?

  52. SJ44 March 6th, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    Jeff,

    I didn’t mention Edwar because I don’t think he is an option.

    I think he’s ticketed for AAA.

    Not enough juice on his fastball and not enough consistency in the strikezone with it to be in the mix, IMO.

    I really can’t tell folks how excited I am about this team.

    Things really are going in the right direction.

    There is now balance throughout the farm system. Solid competition for jobs at camp. Still a roster full of great players.

    Now, a manager closer to age to a lot of these guys and possessing the aggressiveness (in terms of his style) that I think Torre had when he first came on board but lost over time.

    There will be rough patches and guys will have struggles. But, I think this team will have more versatility than the past several Yankee teams.

    To me, the key is the start. Get off to a good start and be in position to make a big run when the schedule gets favorable in July.

  53. Doreen March 6th, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    CB -

    Kevin Towers…” knows pitching value (and how to leverage the weather in San Diego)”

    I had to laugh! My brother lives in San Diego, and that weather is an EASY sell! Not to mention that general lifestyle.

  54. SJ44 March 6th, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    CB,

    Not only does Omar give both of those guys up for nothing, he gets no heat about it from the NY media.

    Cashman makes a bad deal, they kill him for it.

    Omar? A complete free pass.

    They suffer the biggest collapse in history, he drains the farm system, and he still gets zero criticism from the NY media.

    The guy is the Golden Boy and he hasn’t won a thing.

  55. Drive 4-5 March 6th, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    Has Humberto Sanchez thrown off a mound yet? He could be another arrow in the quiver come August.

  56. SJ44 March 6th, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    He’s supposed to start throwing off the mound sometime this month. Not throwing off the mound as of yet.

  57. anti-mussina March 6th, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    If only cashman signed okajima instead of igawa… what a big disaster he’s been. i say release him now.

  58. SJ44 March 6th, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    What’s the point of releasing him? You eat 18 million dollars.

    There is no point in releasing him.

    You put him in the AAA rotation and see how he pans out.

    Its all you can do.

    Eating contracts isn’t the answer.

    The Okajima stuff is the classic second guess.

    At the end of ST last year, the Red Sox had no idea he would be as good as he was for the first four months of the season. They didn’t even know what role he would have in the bullpen.

    But, the guy wasn’t that highly sought after by anybody.

    Sometimes, you get lucky.

    That’s what happened with Okajima.

    The Oke

  59. Drive 4-5 March 6th, 2008 at 8:15 pm

    As far as Igawa goes, very few people thought he was even close to being DiceK quality. Most scouts thought of him as a #4 or $5 at best and many didn’t see him as a major league pitcher at all. Kei Igawa was a mistake. His signing was a kneejerk reaction to the Red Sox winning the posting bid.

    It’s refreshing to see that Cashman and the Yanks seemed to have learned a lesson and dint go fishing for the Lohse’s of the free agent market this year.

  60. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 March 6th, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    Isn’t that, like, what kinda sorta happened to Mo? They tried to make him a starter, it failed, and then out of nowhere he starts throwing crazy fast?

  61. Drive 4-5 March 6th, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    Do Yankee starters pitch every 6 days in Spring Training. I have tix for next Wednesday & Thursday and was trying to figure out who I might see pitch. I’m wondering if CMW will pitch sooner than that given his short outing today.

  62. Boston Dave March 6th, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    Drive 4-5,

    But will they throw bushels of money if Yu Darvish posts?

  63. SJ44 March 6th, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    The only thing you can do with Igawa at this point is try to develop him. If, for no other reason, to trade him.

    Just releasing him means you eat a ton of money. Not the move you make.

    The better he pitches in AAA, the better chance another team sees him as an option.

    Or…..a starter goes down for a spell and he spot starts in NY.

    All you can do is try to make the best of a bad signing.

    That AAA rotation has a chance to be pretty good.

    Horne, White, Igawa, Chase Wright and perhaps McCutcheon. A bullpen of Jackson, two of Veras, Ohlendorf and Albaladejo, Heath Phillips.

    Not a bad pitching staff for a AAA team.

  64. Andrea - anti-anti March 6th, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    Rebecca: not exactly. Mo had one great pitch, but that was it. He was a crappy starter, so they let him in the ‘pen. His one pitch is great for closing. When you’re in the pen, you naturally throw faster, I think. I’m not sure anyone thought of that as “out of nowhere.” but I’m also not sure anyone expected him to be the greatest of all time!

  65. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 March 6th, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    SJ: Heh, some teams would probably kill to have that as their starting rotation

  66. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 March 6th, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    Andrea: Yeah. I’m a little kinda sorta prone to exaggeration :-D

  67. Bronxbyte March 6th, 2008 at 8:30 pm

    Joe Girardi’s good communication skills will see him make good use of the bullpen. He and Dave Eiland will get together with the bullpen crew on a game-by-game basis and define the potential roles each pitcher will have based on scenarios of the game. The pitchers are then mentally prepared.
    It’s not that Torre didn’t do a similar thing but Girardi is more detail oriented.

  68. Steve March 6th, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    Do you think it is worth signing Lohse for a small, 1 year five million deal?

    Heart me out. Mussina looks finished from last year, and with Joba/Ian/Phil all on innings control, the Yankees will be hurting for innings come the end of the season. Do we really want to see Igawaa, Karstens, Rasner pitching or spend minor cash to get Lohse? Or even Freddy Garcia.

    The Yankees pitching staff is most likely going to get thin at some point this season, especially if Mussina sucks again. Getting a starter like Loshe would not hurt. And what is $5 million.

  69. SJ44 March 6th, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    No on Lohse.

    One ST outing is no indication on Mussina.

    Kyle Lohse is not a good pitcher.

    If he was any good, with the shortage of pitching in the game, he would have a deal already.

  70. CB March 6th, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    “But will they throw bushels of money if Yu Darvish posts?”

    Please no. Absolutely not. Use that money and allocate it to pay over slot in the draft or the international market.

    I would not go in deep again in that lame brain posting system for pitching.

    No track record.

    Is Yu Darvish really better than Dellin Betances, or someone similar?

  71. Boston Dave March 6th, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    CB,

    Of course this is Gammons, who has lost a sense of reality over the past few years, but I believe he actually said Darvish could bring a $100M posting fee. As you know, that is probably absurd but we’ll see what some team is willing to pay if/when he does post.

    I wonder how long it is and how much $$ is spent on Japanese pitchers before teams figure out that it’s not a sure thing.

  72. SJ44 March 6th, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    Let the Red Sox pay sign him. Its a waste of money.

    To justify that kind of money, plus what it will take to sign him, one is saying this guy is as good (or better) than Johan Santana, Jake Peavy and CC Sabathia.

    Sorry but, there is no way he is that good. Its hype and nothing more.

  73. nyyfaninlaaland March 6th, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    I love all the bullpen talk here. There are so many variables and still plenty of time to make a final decision about who breaks with the team, but history tells us plenty of guys wil see time, and it looks like we have the guys.

    CB & SJ – great stuff, but some other points. It takes a lot of middle relievers until their late 20′s to hit their stride. Towers seems to have noticed this – he’s been a master of picking up guys (Bell, Cameron, Hampson) that have good minors track records but haven’t yet gotten a full shot or were minors FA’s. That may be why he took Gardner in the Rule 5. These are the guys (27-31 in age) that make up a big chunk of mid pens. But lets also not forget that Petco is the most extreme pitchers park in baseball, so everybody looks better there – hell, Seanez has built a couple of contracts off them. The best guys, those that are somewhat consistent year to year, often arrive a little earlier and last longer – the big bucks guys. Linebrink’s now a big bucks guy, and built his career in SD. But if you look closely at his peripherals, and generally at his ERA’s, he really isn’t showing a big decline in performance, just some erosion. Of course, that bandbox in ChiTown ain’t gonna help. But he has shown the kind of consistency over time that tends to earn the big number. Some of the others mentioned have also performed decently, even in less favorable surroundings, like Howry. Actually Hawkins, with an exception of a season or 2, and the Viz also fit this description to an extent.

    It seems when we look at pen performance, sometimes we expect too much. We want ERA’s in the 3′s, but that’s not the right standard of performance. Low to mid 4′s can be fine, particularly on an offensive team. So how do we look? Well most of our guys are a bit young – Patterson fits the age mold, but hasn’t pitched above AA yet – so either we’re early on them, they’re gonna be good ones, or we’ll have forgotten them in 2 years. 2 out of 3 ain’t bad. We’ve also got a ton of guys at lower levels we’re barely talkin’ about beyond Melancon, so the competion should keep up for a few years.

    And SJ, seems to me Marquez hits the AAA rotation before McCutcheon. But both may be in AA if Rasner / Karstens / Phillips are used as rotation insurance rather than long relief. Marquez is young, so it’s okay if he repeats for awhile though he doesn’t deserve such, and McCutcheon had less than 1/2 a season there.

  74. The South March 6th, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    SJ44…..I am an avid reader of this blog but have never posted before. I must admit, that I always look for and enjoy your comments. You are truly the voice of reason most of the time. Everyone who steps foot on a baseball field wants to be successful, but baseball game is more a game of failure than success. How many players go through a season without an error, get a hit every time they bat, or pitch a perfect game/inning every time? It is how you deal with the failure that determines your ultimate success, I believe. Stay positive, Yankee fans.

  75. SJ44 March 6th, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    Good point on Marquez. I forgot about him.

    He will definitely start the season in the Scranton rotation.

    That probably bumps McCutcheon to Trenton for the first half of the year.

  76. CB March 6th, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    “It seems when we look at pen performance, sometimes we expect too much. We want ERA’s in the 3’s, but that’s not the right standard of performance. Low to mid 4’s can be fine, particularly on an offensive team.”

    A number of good points nyfaninlaland. Petco is definitely a factor.

    Overall I don’t pay too much attention to ERA for relief pitchers. As they only pitch fractions of innings more and more the number becomes more arbitrary.

    Now that said, let’s take a look at Heath Bell. I don’t think people have a good sense of how dominant he was last year.

    His ERA+ was 200. That is crazy. ERA+ adjusts a pitchers ERA for effect of the park (I always look at that for pitchers at petco). That was one of the highest ERA+ in all of baseball. An ERA+ of 100 is average – so his ERA (which was 2.00) was twice as good as the average pitcher even taking petco into account.

    His WHIP was .96. Again, fantastic. His k/9- 9.8 and he only walked 2.9/9 innings. And hitters could never get the ball in the air off of him – 61% of contact off Bell produced ground ball.

    So many of those peripherals have nothing to do with the park.

    Bell was not just good – he was utterly dominant and they got him for nothing.

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