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

A few injury updates

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on May 13, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Whenever the Yankees play the Rays in St. Petersburg, the injured players on the 40-man roster who are assigned to the team complex in Tampa usually come by.

So here are some updates on those guys:

Jeff Karstens (groin strain): He threw three innings in an extended spring training game over the weekend and is scheduled to go five innings on Wednesday. If that goes well, he will start a rehab assignment with either Trenton or Scranton. Karstens said he feels great physically and it’s now a matter of getting his arm strength back. Karstens is thrilled with how well his friend Darrell Rasner has pitched in the majors. “He approaches it the same way I do, we’re not going to overwhelm you,” he said. “I hope I get my chance to help out.”

Humberto Sanchez (Tommy John surgery): The big guy is throwing off a mound and is scheduled to get in a game around June 10. “I have no idea what my velocity is but the ball is coming out of my hand as good as ever and my breaking pitch and off-speed stuff is good,” he said. “I can’t wait to get with a team and get started.” Sanchez’s wife is due in two weeks, so that will take up some of his time. He is hopeful of getting to the majors in September but that could be a stretch.

Andrew Brackman (Tommy John surgery): He is only nine months removed from his surgery and is still in the process of rehabbing his arm by throwing fastballs off a mound. He will not pitch in any games this season.

Phil Hughes (cracked rib): He still can’t do much beyond conditioning. No throwing, yet. They want to make sure he is fully healed, which they hope an x-ray will show later this month. Hughes was sporting his new glasses, however. He’ll be getting a different pair for when he pitches. It was good to see Phil, who is a favorite among the writers.

The Yankees have a four-field complex across the street from Steinbrenner Field. There are batting cages, a bullpen and a clubhouse with a weight room. That’s where these guys work out.

Along with the rehab guys, there are those players who aren’t assigned to minor-league teams. Most are young prospects or low-level prospects who will be assigned to the Gulf Coast League Yankees or the Staten Island Yankees. Those leagues get started in June after the draft.

There are extended spring training games in the meantime. The Yankees face players from nearby complexes in Dunedin (Blue Jays), Clearwater (Phillies) and St. Peterburg (Rays). There are umpires and the score is kept, but it’s not an official league. Once A-Rod is ready, he’ll play in those games. That way he can bat every inning to get some work in.

So where was Carl Pavano, you ask? The Rajah of Rehab, the American Idle himself? He was not at Tropicana Field. The Yankees don’t want him around and he doesn’t want to be around. He’s recovering from Tommy John Surgery and isn’t supposed to be ready until August. There is little chance that he’ll pitch for the Yankees.





46 Responses to “A few injury updates”

  1. Brandon (supporting "Alex being Alex") (J.Santana HR allowed count: 8 ) May 13th, 2008 at 2:43 am

    Carl Pavano oh boy :lol:

  2. B.Stanley May 13th, 2008 at 3:13 am

    Sheesh Pete, always have to ruin a good story by mentioning Pavano at the ends. ;)

  3. james May 13th, 2008 at 3:18 am

    Write it Pete, get the Pulitzer “WHERE IN THE WORLD IS CARL PAVANO?”

  4. Brandon (supporting "Alex being Alex") (J.Santana HR allowed count: 8 ) May 13th, 2008 at 3:44 am

    Trenton manager Tony Franklin says McCutchen can definitely pitch at a higher level. Tino Martinez, a special assistant for the Yankees, says he could skip Triple A and get big-league hitters out right now.

    Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is intrigued, but not yet ready to say he’s the organization’s next Joba Chamberlain.

    “It’s too early to say that. But he’s certainly throwing very well at Double A right now,” Cashman said. “He opened our eyes in the spring, too. He works fast; he’s got some power stuff that goes with it. He’s got a great mentality. All he’s done is win since he’s been in the pros.”


  5. Matthew Cohen May 13th, 2008 at 4:05 am

    Great post Pete. Thanks a million.

    Your insomnia is our gain. :-)

  6. anonymousfan May 13th, 2008 at 4:42 am

    Thanks for the updates Pete

    aww…for some reason I really want to see what Phil looks like with his glasses

    but he apparently took them off before he went in the dugout :-(

  7. Melky May 13th, 2008 at 5:09 am

    If I were Carl Pavano, in order to regain people’s faith in me, I will pitch totally FREE for one season for the Yankees (that’s okay if they want me to start from AA). And I will pitch to my very best, like 15 wins and ear 2.80, to prove these things were only a bunch of coincidences. And I will be able to pitch well for the many many years to come and make their each penny worthwhile.

  8. Patrick Bateman May 13th, 2008 at 6:02 am

    Karstens sounds like a nice guy, but if he really wants to help the team out, he’ll stay in Scranton.

  9. j xi3 May 13th, 2008 at 6:24 am

    When you pitch, it’s not just the ball, but also the hitter. In minor league, the info about the pitcher is limited, it’s more about how you pitch and how the hitter bats. In MLB, it’s also about how much you know the hitter and how much he learns you. Kennedy was doing great in the minor does not mean he will not face the same struggles back in the big stage. Wish him well. Likewise, Joba may have some problem be a starter, no matter how awful he is now. JG really should have him start ASAP to find out what it’s gonna be and get him to adjust quickly. Don’t wait until the second half of the season just to find him struggle with the adjustments when he is mostly needed. As for the McCutchen case, stop the nonsense; get him to AAA to work more, and send him up, get smashed, and get back to adjust. Rome is not, and will never be built in a day.

  10. Kevin May 13th, 2008 at 6:40 am

    Pete are you telling me that Pavano has not a setback from the Tommy John surgery? If that is indeed what you are telling me I am waiting for the setback to occur.

  11. Doreen May 13th, 2008 at 6:44 am

    I came here to post a link to the great story on McCutchen that was the feature story on the front of the sports page in this morning’s Star Ledger, only to find that Brandon beat me to it at 3:44 this morning! Nice work, Brandon! :)

    It would seem Mr. McCutchen is officially on the radar.

  12. j xi3 May 13th, 2008 at 6:47 am

    I like the Yankees and I really like them to win, that means, I want to see Kennedy to win, too. However, it does not seem so optimistic to me. What hides behind the “I will make them all look stupid” thing will likely get back to him. It’s nothing wrong being cocky, but as a pitcher, you are dealing with the hitter, not just the ball or yourself. As a pitcher in Yankees’ rotation with half a season’s records to check, hitters will read you thru. You should deal with the individual hitter, not just yourself. The mentality behind cocky spirit will leave you sees you and the audience only, no hitters there. That’s what gets IPK when the season begins, and it looks like it’s going to get him some time later cause nothing obviously changed for the good performance in the minor actually enhance IPK’s cocky spirits without adjustments.

  13. bphill May 13th, 2008 at 7:27 am

    ah pavano.

  14. Baja May 13th, 2008 at 7:50 am

    Pavano had Tommy John surgery? Huh. All this time I thought he had sand in his lady business.

  15. pat May 13th, 2008 at 7:51 am

    “The Yankees don’t want him around”


    Are you referring to the organization or the players?

  16. Doreen May 13th, 2008 at 7:56 am

    Just as an aside to the article on McCutchen, the front page of the Star Ledger has a blue leader strip at the top of the page that says:

    “The Best Yankee Pitching Prospect You Never Heard Of”

    Well, thanks to SJ44 and several others on this blog, not only have we all heard of McCutchen, but many of you have been saying he should be the next call up!

    This blog is most definitely cutting edge.

  17. Fredo Corleone May 13th, 2008 at 8:10 am

    “As for the McCutchen case, stop the nonsense; get him to AAA to work more, and send him up, get smashed, and get back to adjust. Rome is not, and will never be built in a day.”

    Definitely time to move on him. He’s 26 in September. Not like we’re talking about a youngster. Not much more he can prove in AA.

  18. S.A.-Just win games and trade Igawa for a candy bar May 13th, 2008 at 8:13 am

    Pavano. eek

  19. jennifer May 13th, 2008 at 8:17 am

    HA-HA The Yankees don’t want him around. Ain’t that the truth! Maybe they should have him come around, he could be the punching bag.

  20. jennifer May 13th, 2008 at 8:19 am


    He will have his first setback pitching in a minor league game. He will try to catch a pop up and trip on a blade of grass, that will put him out for the rest of the season.

  21. Russell NY May 13th, 2008 at 8:24 am

    What is the recovery time for laser eye surgery? Since he is not throwing right now, why not opt to go without the glasses?

  22. Russell NY May 13th, 2008 at 8:25 am

    “He will have his first setback pitching in a minor league game. He will try to catch a pop up and trip on a blade of grass, that will put him out for the rest of the season.”

    I hear they have really big blades of grass in the minor leagues.

  23. jennifer May 13th, 2008 at 8:30 am

    What are they 1/4 oh an inch?

  24. Russell NY May 13th, 2008 at 8:37 am

    5 inches, and sharp as nails.

  25. S.A.-Just win games and trade Igawa for a candy bar May 13th, 2008 at 8:39 am

    “He will try to catch a pop up and trip on a blade of grass, that will put him out for the rest of the season.”

    It’s kinda sad/funny that I could actually see that happening with him.


  26. Yanksrule57 May 13th, 2008 at 8:40 am

    The Yankees minor league complex in Tampa Pete describes has a really small, nondescript building on it. You wouldn’t look twice at it except for the Yankee logo on the side.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if they tore it down and put something nicer up in the future.

    My Dad (a big Rays fan) is giving me major grief over the Rays place in the standings. He is so psyched, he is actually going to a game this week and he rarely goes because virtually all the games are televised locally.

  27. jennifer May 13th, 2008 at 8:41 am

    Russell NY

    So he’ll also cut his leg up on the grass?

  28. Russell NY May 13th, 2008 at 8:42 am

    From the noMaas site:

    “The Yankees record when trailing after specific innings:

    When trailing after the 1st inning, the Yankees are 2-8.
    When trailing after the 2nd inning….2-8
    3rd inning….1-12
    4th inning….1-16
    5th inning….4-17
    6th inning….1-18
    7th inning….0-17
    8th inning….0-18

    (courtesy of Baseball-Reference)

    What this teaches you is that when the Yankees are behind at the end of inning, you should go do something else.”

    Another way of looking at this is: their patient approach in knocking out the SP early is not working. They are getting dominated by teams’ bullpens. Why is that? Because every lefty and their mother is coming out to face the Yanks.

    What the Yankees need is a lefty KILLER.

  29. Victor the Predictor May 13th, 2008 at 8:43 am

    Daniel McCutchen will play a part in a few important Yankee wins before this season is finished.

  30. Matt Lauer May 13th, 2008 at 8:46 am

    ” Where in the world is Carl Pavano ” ????

  31. Y's Guy May 13th, 2008 at 8:57 am

    russel, lefty killer…how about that arod guy, he’s got a pretty good bat. maybe if we could put him in the lineup it would help. or that posada guy…

  32. CB May 13th, 2008 at 9:01 am

    McCutchen’s got good stuff – it’s not anyone single pitch but his entire repertoire along with his plus command that really centers his game.

    In spring training I was hoping McCutchen would have started the season in AAA as i was guessing the yankees might need him to help in the pen. But the team is very conservative with prospect promotion and he may have gotten caught up in a numbers game (yes I think Igawa probably got the spot in the AAA rotation that McCutchen would have otherwise had)

    Hopefully he gets to AAA soon.

    That said – I think it’s important to temper expectations regarding McCutchen.

    He’s not the next Joba – in any way. He has good stuff but it’s not great. Nowhere close to as good as Joba’s or Phil’s.

    In the Start Ledger article it says he has a “mid nineties fastball.” This is incorrect. McCutchen can touch the mid ninties but that’s not where he sits. He sits closer to 91-93. So he’s got a good fastball but it’s not an overpowering one.

    The key with him is that he throws 4 pitches well and has very good command.

    He’s a guy who profiles to be a good #3-4 starter – probably a guy the yankees would want as a #4 more than their #3.

    One other interesting thing on McCutchen – he was drafted in 2006 in the 15th round by the yanks.

    So in 2006 the yankees drafted Joba, Kennedy, and McCutchen – each of whom may be in the rotation at some point this season.

    In addition, they drafted Mark Melancon and Dave Robertson as relief arms in 2006. Robertson has been promoted to AAA already and Melancon has started to pitch very well in his TJ rehab. He’s going to be up to AA soon. Either one could help this year.

    Then they also drafted Zach McCallister and Dellin Betances in 2006 – they are two of the best pitching prospects in low A ball.

    On top of that they signed Jesus Montero and Jairo Heredia in the international signings market that year. Montero is one of the best prospects in the game and Heredia is right there with McCallister and Betances.

    In essence – in one single year – 2006 – the yankees drafted or signed what could be the core of a starting staff, bullpen and their future clean up hitter.

    When you look at the Rays and how young and dynamic they look – remember that assembling that team took years and years of patience.

    The yankees have tremendous talent in the pipeline. And players only drafted 2 years ago are already proving to be key cogs in this years team. That is very, very unusual.

    The talent is there. The future looks good. It’s about getting through the present.

  33. jennifer May 13th, 2008 at 9:05 am

    Matt Lauer

    I saw him parked next to a garbage truck sitting in his brand new Porche.

  34. DMan May 13th, 2008 at 9:05 am

    Did anyone else think the Yankees just looked bored playing baseball last night?

  35. Ian May 13th, 2008 at 9:12 am

    I’m one who doesn’t go crazy this early in the season. We are only one game back of .500, better than we were last year, without two of our best hitters. However I was really let down last night. Tropicana is a place the Yankees normally hit very well. I thought with the extra days rest from the rainout and the Yankees going inside the bats would heat up. I don’t know why but for some reason last night’s loss really let a lot of wind out of my sails. I really thought we would win 3 out of 4 and use it as a springboard. It could still happen, but last night was rough.

  36. longtime May 13th, 2008 at 9:22 am

    Good starting pitching will make a team look bored. But that’s allright because we have Joba for the 8th

  37. DMan May 13th, 2008 at 9:25 am

    I think the Yankees will be fine too.

    It’s hard to get inspired though when you see a team look as bad as the Yankees did last night.

    It’s not really fair of me to assume they weren’t playing hard last night, but it came across that way. They just looked and acted as though it was a spring training game or something.

    When they lost A-Rod and Posada and when the starting pitching was hurting, I expected them to drop some games.

    But it’s disapointing when I watch and feel like they’re just going through the motions out there.

  38. Yanksrule57 May 13th, 2008 at 9:31 am

    The team always looks bad when they are not hitting.

    In previous years the Yanks would rack up runs early, get into a teams bullpen and pound the opposition into giving up.
    This year they have struggled to score, especially early.

    If the pitching holds up this well all year they will be fine as the offense will eventually return to form.

  39. Whitey Fraud May 13th, 2008 at 9:48 am

    Pavano ought to apply for the Witness Protection program, or volunteer to search for Bin Laden. Something,,,

  40. Micky#7--Old Ranger May 13th, 2008 at 10:08 am

    CB… You are good!
    Things happen for a reason, like injuries! If they can get over the injury bug and players start returning, the team should pick it up. The return of A-Rod/Jorge will not give the team wins, but having them back will get some life into the team.
    Many people; CB, SJ, and myself have been writing of McCutchen and Robertson for some time, let’s hope the Yanks don’t rush them to the Majors. There is plenty of time for them to move up, even this year…maybe.
    CB is right, I have been watching the Yanks since the 50s’, this is the best farm they have ever had…talent wise. 27/08

  41. JeterMack Clutch May 13th, 2008 at 10:12 am


  42. dennis May 13th, 2008 at 10:40 am

    September 2009 Bullpen: Melancon, Robertson, Sanchez,Brackman(call up like Joba), Mo. :)

  43. mark May 13th, 2008 at 11:42 am

    per tyler kepner of NY Times:

    “Then there is Carl Pavano, whose $39.95 million contract expires after this season. He has not shown up during the Yankees’ two trips here so far. Pavano — another Tommy John surgery patient — works out daily in Tampa but is not expected to pitch competitively until August.”

    so, i guess he works out in tampa but not at the yankees complex?

  44. Charles May 13th, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Re: Phil Hughes. “He’ll be getting a different pair for when he pitches.” Insert “growing” for “getting” and Yankee fans everywhere will be extremely pleased.

  45. Will Carroll May 13th, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    Dammit … quit doing my job, Pete! :)

  46. Stan May 13th, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    You know it occurred to me, I think Igawa doesn’t like living in America. It doesn’t happen often but sometimes, you get a player who thought he wanted to be in America but now feels he’d rather just “get the contract over with” and get back to Japan, or “earn the bucks” and cash out. He had a huge fan base back home in Japan (rightly so) and right now I really think he’d rather be there. His comments after his bad game show that he has no fire and no drive. It’s such a shame…to think that some of us thought there would be a great rivalry between Igawa and Matsuzaka…

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