The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


Greetings from Gate B-10

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on May 15, 2009 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Good morning from the Dave Stieb International Airport in Toronto. Here we are are, waiting for an early flight home that, sadly, has been delayed for 90 minutes.

As a result, I stopped at one of the ubiquitous Friday’s restaurants you seem to find at every airport to grab some orange juice and a bagel.

So I’m sitting there at the bar, half-awake and contemplating the juice when the guy next to me orders a shot of something, I think it was whiskey. “We don’t serve alcohol until 11 o’clock,” the waitress said.

“OK, make it a coffee,” he says.

The waitress comes back with a cup and the guy drops $10 on the bar and gives her a look. She takes the cup away and comes back with it a few seconds later, having added a little something. The man happily sipped his coffee.

In airports, as elsewhere, there are few problems that currency can not handle.

As for the Yankees, they start a 10-game homestand today against the Twins (4), Orioles (3) and Phillies (3). Winning six or seven of those games would not seem unreasonable.

The next few weeks should feature the return of some important pieces. Brian Bruney is a few days away. Chien-Ming Wang is probably eight days off. Jorge Posada is down in Tampa, doing the rehab thing. Xavier Nady will start taking some swings today and hopes to be back in June.

Alex Rodriguez hit the ball hard three times yesterday and seems to be shaking off the rust. By the time June 15 rolls around, the Yankees should have the team they envisioned back on March 1.

(Meanwhile, did you ever notice that nobody — fans or media — ever asks about a bad player when he is injured? We quiz Joe Girardi every day on Wang, Posada, Jose Molina, Nady and A-Rod. Meanwhile Damaso Marte could be in an iron lung, wearing a full body cast and have a raging case of the Swine Flu for all we know.)

I will not be covering the game today. But as always, the lineup will be posted once it becomes available.

 
 

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86 Responses to “Greetings from Gate B-10”

  1. mko May 15th, 2009 at 7:23 am

    Cool airport story. And how is Marte a bad player now? Maybe you should ask about him…

  2. Crafty Lefty May 15th, 2009 at 7:26 am

    You’re considering Jose Molina as a better player than Marte?? Are you the guy ordering the whiskey?

  3. Jason May 15th, 2009 at 7:38 am

    Has anyone watched Marte pitch for the Yanks? What are YOU guys drinking?

  4. Guy Incognito May 15th, 2009 at 7:48 am

    Nice story, as I sit here at my desk sadly looking into my non-spiked coffee mug.

    Safe flight back to the city.

  5. Crafty Lefty May 15th, 2009 at 7:49 am

    At least Marte’s had the excuse of being hurt. Jose is the Teddy Kennedy of the Molina brothers.

  6. Patrick from CT May 15th, 2009 at 7:50 am

    Have a safe tips home Peter.
    Nice win for the Yankees last night.
    I was surprized both Sui and Jeter were back in there so quickly; it’s a good thing they were.
    Now if A-Rod and Tex can pick it up, CC and the boys can pitch with a little les pressure.
    Lets hope for a good home stand.

  7. ditmars1929 May 15th, 2009 at 7:51 am

    Cool waitress. Would’ve cost a heck of a lot more than $10 in a New York airport.

  8. chr1zisORL May 15th, 2009 at 7:53 am

    Anyone have an idea of what the pitching matchups will look like this weekend?

  9. Crafty Lefty May 15th, 2009 at 7:56 am

    Tonight: Liriano vs. Hughes
    Tomorrow: Blackburn vs. Chamberlain
    Sunday: Slowey vs. Burnett

  10. Kevin S. May 15th, 2009 at 8:02 am

    “At least Marte’s had the excuse of being hurt. Jose is the Teddy Kennedy of the Molina brothers.’

    Seeing as Teddy outlived his brothers by four decades, I’m not so sure that’s a bad thing…

  11. Whitey Fraud May 15th, 2009 at 8:34 am

    You witnessed a crime, then fled across the border?

    What will the children think?

  12. Whatever May 15th, 2009 at 8:35 am

    Cervy for back-up catcher and put Jose in the iron lung.

  13. RussW210 May 15th, 2009 at 8:43 am

    Prediction: 5 for 5 with 5 homeruns for ARod at the new park.

  14. pat May 15th, 2009 at 8:46 am

    Russ

    Way to temper expectations! :wink:

  15. Bad Scooter May 15th, 2009 at 8:47 am

    His average may not indicate it, but Arod’s swing is coming around. He went 0-4 last night, but it was his best day at the plate thus far. Turned on the inside pitch and sort of drove the ball to right on the outside fastball. If he can get that right field swing going at The New Stadium his HR total will increase in a hurry. I expect his second week back will be more productive than his first.

    There’s no doubt he could’ve used another week or two of rehab, but it is what it is. They are 4-2 since his return and won both road series.

  16. Coach6423 May 15th, 2009 at 8:47 am

    hey, they have to be able to boo..ITS THEIR RIGHT!!!!

  17. Bronx Jeers May 15th, 2009 at 8:48 am

    Interesting story. Very Raymond Carveresque.

    I love a good Bloody Mary in an airport bar. Not sure why. I sometimes get Bloody Mark mix as a beverage on the plane. It’s quite good.

    Miami airport has a Bacardi kiosk where they make a pretty good Mojito. It even has real sugarcane that you can chew on.

  18. Hokiehill May 15th, 2009 at 8:53 am

    Hope to see Hughes have a positive outing…I imagine based on the ups and downs he’s had up here so far he will be a lock to head back to AAA once Wang comes back…it would be great if he could pick up one or two solid outings to head out on a good note

  19. Bad Scooter May 15th, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Thoughts on GGBG. People loved him during spring training. People wanted no part of Melky after last years season. GGBG starts 15-18 major league games and it’s concluded he’s a AAA or AAAA player. Melky gets hot and now he’s the man.

    Why can’t we just root for both players? Melky right now deserves more time in CF, he’s earned that. Gardner should get a couple starts in CF each week though. Not at Melky’s expense though. Swish, Matsui and Damon all could sit once a week. Maybe not Damon at this point, but he can DH in Matsui’s spot and Melky and Gardner can both play the OF.

    I love how Melky’s came back this year and seemed to have learned from his dismal last season. He worked hard and its paid off and he deserves a ton of playing time.

    In regards to GGBG, if you just look at his OPS then you will eternally not like the player, but he gives you more than that. He went 0-2 last night, but still got on base twice. His speed was a factor with the tying run, going first to third on the hit and run. He throws a guy out at the plate, huge play. He doesn’t have the arm of Melky, but that doesn’t mean he has a Damon or Bernie arm. His arm is more than adequate for a CF, but since Melky has a great arm people think Gardy is Damon or Bernie out there. Not true.

  20. 86w183 May 15th, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Six or seven out of ten? Why not eight or more? Greed is good, so sayeth Gordon Gecko.

    If Alex is the DH who sits.. Melky, Gardner or Swisher? Whoever it is it will bring much consternation to this board later in the day.

    Why is Ian Kennedy not on the 60-day DL? That would allow them to add a RH bat in place of Berroa.

  21. Noreaster May 15th, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Bacardi kiosk, that’s when it’s time to look at yourself in the mirror…

  22. hardwired May 15th, 2009 at 8:57 am

    there are few things in this world better than drinking on an empty stomach.

  23. S.A.--Let's get ready to rumble! May 15th, 2009 at 8:59 am

    Have a safe trip Pete.
    I wouldn’t mind a nice Bloody Mary right now.

    So Alex at the new Yankee Stadium, I think he’s gonna like the new place.

    Hughes (1-2) vs. Liriano (2-4)
    Chamberlain (2-1) vs. Blackburn (2-2)
    Burnett (2-1) vs. Slowey (5-1)
    Pettitte (3-1) vs. Perkins (1-2)

    I would love to take 3 out of 4 from the Twins.

    Nervous for Hughesie tonight(as I always am), unlike some, I do think he will bounce back with his performance tonight. Just have to see what happens.

  24. SJ44 May 15th, 2009 at 8:59 am

    He’s not on the 60 Day DL because he wasn’t on the ML roster when he was injured.

    You can’t put a guy not on the 25 man roster when he was injured on the 60 Day DL.

    Bad Scooter,

    Agreed. Both guys wear pinstripes, you root for both guys. That’s the way I see it.

    Let’s not get too carried away with Cervelli. Its nice that the kid has come up and helped the team.

    However, you don’t make sweeping decisions on players after 4-5 games. He’s not as good a catcher, or player, as Jose Molina at this team.

    He may be in the future but, he’s not now.

  25. 86w183 May 15th, 2009 at 9:00 am

    Bad Scooter — Great thoughts on Melky and Gardner. I’ve said all along Gardner can help this team and both need to play to keep legs fresh for Damon, Matsui and Swisher. Well, Swisher needs to sit more because he’s not that good day in and day out.

    I expect both in the lineup, and while fans have been clamoring for one or the other the kids have seemingly really pulled for each other and made each other better players.

    To me the Yankees have five starters for four jobs and that’s not a bad thing. IF/when Nady is back they’ll have six starters for four jobs, making the bench much stronger.

    A cup of coffee with a shot of Bailey’s is a great thing!

  26. 86w183 May 15th, 2009 at 9:04 am

    SJ —

    I didn’t know that. I thought you could do it with anyone on the 40-man. Live and learn, but that’s a dumb rule.

    When does Stephen Jackson become a FA? Expect the Yankees to try to sign him to a Minor League deal?

  27. jennifer May 15th, 2009 at 9:04 am

    The Yankees did not call pitches from the bench, so Cervelli had to be in sync with his pitcher. To make sure, he followed Pettitte into the clubhouse between innings, going over the game plan for the next few hitters.

    “Jorge or Jose don’t normally do it, but Cervy kept coming in here, just wanting to talk about it,” Pettitte said. “I told him to. He’s very confident and he’s doing a great job.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05.....s.html?hpw

    They’ve got a lot of confidence in this kid. Sometimes a bad thing turns out to be good. They got a chance to see this kid play in critical spots. It is still early but he has done very well.

  28. William Buckner May 15th, 2009 at 9:08 am

    “If Alex is the DH who sits.. Melky, Gardner or Swisher? Whoever it is it will bring much consternation to this board later in the day.”

    Matusi. LH DH against a LH pitcher. OF will be Damon, Melky, and Swisher.

  29. jennifer May 15th, 2009 at 9:09 am

    SJ- Could the Yankees have brought him up for a day, than 60 day dl’ed him? Or would they get in trouble for a move like that?

  30. Hokiehill May 15th, 2009 at 9:09 am

    thanks jennifer…whether Cervelli is a long term answer or not, it’s good to see he’s at least taking the right approach to catching a good game and being in tune with his pitcher…

  31. Clay Buchholz Loves Laptops May 15th, 2009 at 9:10 am

    Gee, I hope the guy at the bar wasn’t a pilot.

  32. jennifer May 15th, 2009 at 9:11 am

    Seems like Cervelli will get the bulk of catching time until either Jorge or Jose comes back.

  33. murphydog May 15th, 2009 at 9:14 am

    That waitress vignette reminded me a lot of Todd Drew’s characters, even though our Pete is a little more Raymond Chandler than our friend Todd. Todd was more Jimmy Breslin.

    I’m realizing now that Todd’s take on the new stadium , A-Rod and all the rest of the drama would have been really cool.

    RIP, Mr. Drew. Gone too soon, buddy.

  34. 86w183 May 15th, 2009 at 9:17 am

    Cervelli also has twice as many hits (6) this month than Nick Swisher.

  35. SJ44 May 15th, 2009 at 9:17 am

    This is an important start for Hughes tonight. He has to show that he won’t meltdown when things don’t go well.

    Its tough to make it in MLB. It really is. You have to healthy, productive, lucky, and avoid negative labels. The last point being very significant.

    Right now, for better or worse, Hughes has a label of melting down when things don’t go well.

    Johnny Damon doesn’t talk out of his rear end. What he said last week about Hughes is what guys in the locker room, as well as the manager and coaching staff, feel about the kid. Girardi said as much yesterday, talking about how Hughes has to learn to minimize damage in his start.

    Girardi may have been more PC than Damon. However, the label is still the same. Stop the meltdowns and learn to minimize damage during your bad innings.

    Its not just a youth thing. Joba already does it. That’s what Hughes is up against at the present time.

    Fair? Yes and no. Fact is, Hughes does meltdown too much. Its also a fact that a locker room is a laws of the jungle kind of place. You have earn respect. Its not awarded to you.

    You can’t talk age and inexperience with Hughes and then watch a kid like Cervelli, less experienced than Hughes and playing the most important position on the field, not give in and bow to the pressure.

    At some point, Phil Hughes has to show this organization he is a guy they can count on for the future. If not, then he is the best piece of trade bait to find a corner OF.

    I know it sounds cold and Hughes fans will lose their minds over this post but, that’s how this business works.

    He’s been given a lot of opportunities. You see the talent is there. Is the makeup and grit? That’s what the Yankees need to know from him.

    If he can go out there tonight and pitch well enough to give the team a chance to win the game, that’s a big step in the right direction for him.

  36. curious May 15th, 2009 at 9:18 am

    “In regards to GGBG, if you just look at his OPS then you will eternally not like the player, but he gives you more than that. He went 0-2 last night, but still got on base twice. His speed was a factor with the tying run, going first to third on the hit and run.”

    good post, but any non-Molina goes 1st to 3B on a hit and run.

    that’s what a hit and run is.

    but yeah, i don’t disagree with you that we should be rooting for both guys. and the point about his arm is valid. he has an average arm, better than people think.

  37. William Buckner May 15th, 2009 at 9:19 am

    To me the most important thing to note today is that the Yankees are only 4.5 out of 1st and 3.5 out of WC.

    Many of us here have preached patience. Despite injuries to Arod, Posada, Wang, Nady, Burney, Molina, and Marte; 0-5 against the Red Sox; schedule front loaded with away games; a god awful pen; and the 1B formerly known as Mark Teixera, they are hanging around.

    Within the next 2-3 weeks many of these things will turn around and they will have the chance to make they’re run.

    And those of us who were patience will be rewarded!!

  38. Bad Scooter May 15th, 2009 at 9:21 am

    I think GGBG can be a Brett Butler type player. Not much pop, but pretty good hitter, get on base, steal bases, play solid defense and do some other things that help you win ballgames. He should get his fair share of doubles and triples with his speed, like Brett Butler did.

    The think that’s killing me about GGBG is why is he not bunting at all? I think he’s bunted like once or twice all season. What is that? With his speed all he needs to do is get the ball down. Brett Butler was a great bunter and Gardy has to add that to his game.

    Also, when he was starting he walked like 3 times total. Since then in way less plate appearances he’s walked like 5 or 6 times. I know the pitchers were just pounding the strike zone early when it looked like Brett couldn’t hit his way out of a paper bag, but it’s still a good sign.

  39. SJ44 May 15th, 2009 at 9:22 am

    Jennifer,

    Once he got hurt, they couldn’t bring him up. If he was on the 25 man roster when he got hurt, that’s a different story.

  40. curious May 15th, 2009 at 9:25 am

    “SJ- Could the Yankees have brought him up for a day, than 60 day dl’ed him? Or would they get in trouble for a move like that?”

    yes, they would have gotten in trouble for that. people are already asking questions about their handling of Wang (heh).

  41. five iron from fenway May 15th, 2009 at 9:25 am

    Hughes is frustrating at times.
    I watch many pitchers pitch against the Yankees and go through that line up giving up 2-3 runs. These pitchers do not have nearly the arsenal of Hughes.
    Now back to 93-94 with a killer curve and cutter he should be an excellent pitcher.
    To me this is all mental. He needs to believe in himself that he can get guys out. Don’t nibble.
    Go out, get ball, throw ball, get outs!

  42. Lost in Tex-is May 15th, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Tonight is Phil Hughes make it or break it night. If he gets blown out early, I doubt we will see him back any time soon.

    If that happens I dunno what we’ll do.

  43. jvcelt May 15th, 2009 at 9:27 am

    patience…. waiting for consistency….. ok, i like the sound and the feel of it.

  44. Bad Scooter May 15th, 2009 at 9:27 am

    “curious
    May 15th, 2009 at 9:18 am
    “good post, but any non-Molina goes 1st to 3B on a hit and run.

    that’s what a hit and run is.

    but yeah, i don’t disagree with you that we should be rooting for both guys. and the point about his arm is valid. he has an average arm, better than people think.”

    But it’s more than that curious. The pitchers are preoccupied with keeping Gardner close and worrying about him stealing a bag. Thus they’re really not focused on the batter and they also throw more fastballs to give the catcher a chance. Those are the little things that will not be in any boxscore that GGBG brings to the game.

  45. Coach6423 May 15th, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Bad Scooter,

    When you are a rookie and you win a job, you may tend to press early on if the other players is nipping at your heels. By swinging the bat, you try to make something happen. Pressing derails a well laid plan often. Now that he is trying to earn his way back, he is pressing less, because frankly, he has nothing to lose at this point.

  46. William Buckner May 15th, 2009 at 9:28 am

    “At some point, Phil Hughes has to show this organization he is a guy they can count on for the future. If not, then he is the best piece of trade bait to find a corner OF.”

    I may in fact lose my mind. However, due to some other guys making a push for that 5th starter spot, you are 100% right.

    Now count me as someone who thinks he will be a good starter at some point. But the point to acquiring so much starting pitching depth is to use some as trading chips.

    I’m also huge on Zach McCalister. He’ll get promoted to AAA this year and next year you have to choose between he and Hughes for the 5th spot. Wouldn’t you be tempted to see what Zach has first?

    Anyway, I think Hughes has huge up side for trade potential. Could be win-win for us and another team.

  47. pat May 15th, 2009 at 9:29 am

    “To me the most important thing to note today is that the Yankees are only 4.5 out of 1st and 3.5 out of WC.”

    And 3 back in the loss column of Toronto and Boston.

  48. RussW210 May 15th, 2009 at 9:30 am

    Those 2 hits off the end of ARods bat in last nights game would have been easy HR’s in Yankee Stadium. 15 rows back lol

  49. MaineYankee May 15th, 2009 at 9:33 am

    For every one that thinks Gardner can’t hit and is a bad outfielder they should take a close look at Ellsbury.

    He misplayed two balls in the outfield that he probably should have had. He also isn’t setting the world on fire wit his bat.

    Last year they benched him in the playoffs because of his bat. I think both players are similar types but need to keep developing.

    Ellsbury is probably ahead of Gardner right now but I see both being similar type players.

    Gardner needs playing time to develop and if they don’t use him they need to send him down. He probably is a better option than what else they have in the minors.

  50. jvcelt May 15th, 2009 at 9:34 am

    hughes is trade bait like zack greinke (sp?) was a few yrs ago…. i don’t think so. be patient.

  51. SJ44 May 15th, 2009 at 9:34 am

    Alfredo Aceves can be a serviceable 5th starter/swingman when needed.

    That’s where its at with Hughes right now. You can’t be a prospect forever.

    Its not just the Yankees impatience with young players on this issue.

    The Marlins are going through it with two “can’t miss” players of their own: Jeremy Hermida and Cameron Maybin.

    They both possess the same type of tools and hype Hughes possesses. However, like Hughes, neither guy has yet translated those tools into consistent major league success.

    Hermida is getting shopped and Maybin is back in the minors.

    Overcoming that hurdle, definitely more mental than physical, is what seperates guys who have good major league careers and guys who don’t.

    Simply put, Hughes has to be tougher. He has to compete harder and not give in, no matter how bad it gets.

    When guys see that, even when you stink, they will have your back.

    When they don’t, you lose respect in the locker room.

    Its a very fine line and its a tough thing to do.

    However, the guys who do it make it, and the one’s don’t fail to live up to the hype.

  52. SJ44 May 15th, 2009 at 9:39 am

    Hughes isn’t Zach Greinke. Not even close. Never has been.

    That’s one big part of his problem. His hype, even pre-injuries, has always exceeded his reality in the minds of many, many scouts. That has hurt him IMO because the expectations have gotten too out of whack with him.

    From a pure stuff standpoint, Joba is Zach Greinke.

    Patience is fine. However, even patience has its limits.

    When you have needs like the Yankees have, (and getting another corner OF at some point is a need), and you have depth with young RH pitchers, there is a match to be made.

    Patience or not, Hughes has to show he is a guy they can count on. Right now, the jury is out on that.

  53. pat May 15th, 2009 at 9:40 am

    “Meanwhile, did you ever notice that nobody — fans or media — ever asks about a bad player when he is injured?”

    I asked yesterday. Any news on how IPK’s surgery went?

  54. SJ44 May 15th, 2009 at 9:46 am

    Pat,

    As usual, the operation was a “success” according to the doctor.

    Its funny, have you ever heard a player have surgery that wasn’t deemed a “success”? lol

    All accounts though, it went well. He can’t throw a ball for 8-10 weeks. Basically, his season is over.

    Hopefully, he will be healthy enough to throw in the Arizona Fall League and/or Winter Leagues to get innings in this season.

  55. pat May 15th, 2009 at 9:49 am

    SJ
    Thanks for the timetable. That’s what I was looking for.

    I guess as long as the patient lives, any surgery can be called a success. :wink:

  56. MaineYankee May 15th, 2009 at 9:49 am

    SJ44

    Many players with less stuff make it in the majors because of whats inside. I agree Hughes needs more fire in his belly in order to succeed. There are many pitchers that make it with less talent.

  57. JohnC May 15th, 2009 at 9:51 am

    Hard to believe Cervelli was hitting below the Mendoza line at Double A. He has been holding his own at the plate against ML pitching.

  58. Joekuh - Be a man and put your name on it. - Doug Mientkiewicz May 15th, 2009 at 9:52 am

    As much as I hate to say it, SJ’s right about Hughes. I have confidence in him coming through tonight, however. Phrancise, don’t let us down!!!

  59. Bronx Jeers May 15th, 2009 at 9:52 am

    “Bacardi kiosk, that’s when it’s time to look at yourself in the mirror…”

    Never take food or drink into an airport bathroom is one of my standing orders.

    But if I did catch my refelction I would see a happy guy holding a delicious beverage.

  60. DocBooch May 15th, 2009 at 9:55 am

    Very good point about Hughes SJ, the one bright spot is that its something that can be fixed. It just takes an epiphany by the player. If his stuff wasn’t good it would be a different story. Al Lieter puts alot of his success when he turned his career around to a book he read about the psychology of the game(I forgot the author, but he quotes and mentions it often). What you are saying is exactly what Al preaches from the book.

  61. SJ44 May 15th, 2009 at 9:56 am

    MaineYankee,

    The whole makeup/toughness issue fascinates me in baseball.

    I really think guys have it or they don’t. You can’t “develop” makeup. I think it has to be inside you from the get go.

    I think you can develop a breaking ball, changeup, pitching pattern, etc. Toughness? The ability to grind? JMO but, I don’t see that as something one can develop. It has to be already in you.

    A team can get it out of you in the way they communicate to you. However, if its not there to begin with, I don’t think there is anything anybody can do to get it out of you.

    I don’t know if its in Phil Hughes. I really don’t.

    I hope it is because, if its not, he will never realize his potential.

    I do know, the meltdowns are a bad sign to me. Almost like a warning flare. That’s a part of his game he really has to clean up.

    Tonight is as good as any night to begin to do it.

  62. DocBooch May 15th, 2009 at 10:06 am

    I would hate to give up on Hughes because we don’t think he is tough enough and then have him turn into a front line guy for another team. Too many times thats the match that lights the fire.

  63. Patrick from CT May 15th, 2009 at 10:07 am

    We will need Phil Hughes to be the #6 starter all year. He needs to kick it up a notch tonight. Give us a “Quality Start”, 6 innings 3 runs. That is not too much to ask. SJ is right, he’s not going to be given that many more chances in NY. Ace needs to be in the pen right now and probably for the rest of the year.

  64. Andrew May 15th, 2009 at 10:10 am

    Funny that when Hughes first broke on the scene everyone praised his composure and poise for someone so young, and it was supposed to be a sign of his mental toughness and professionalism and all this business, and more evidence as to why he would eventually become a better-than-good ML pitcher.

    Now, what, all that’s gone because he has shown a penchant for giving up the big inning once in a while over the span of his what, 23 career starts? I don’t buy that he is suddenly a weak-willed pushover on the mound who has no fortitude, and this is what he will be for his career and thus will never realize his potential.

    Clearly he needs to be better about limiting the damage. However, the concept that this is some “make or break” moment seems a little over-dramatic. Even if he pitches great tonight he will still need to be working more and more on his game (and will be doing it at AAA), since the practice of limiting the damage and avoiding the “big inning” would be easier if he had more than 2 above-average pitches developed.

    Since his cutter isn’t perfected yet and he still never throws his change-up, I think we have to wait until his arsenal is fully developed AND he can’t pitch out of jams in the majors before declaring him unfit for duty.

  65. DocBooch May 15th, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Also, as bad as Hughes was last outing…it had a lot to do with how fired up the Orioles were when they came out. They had just gotten shut out by CC the night before and vowed as a team to take care of business the next day. They were relentless. I know Hughes did nothing to stop the bleeding and he is known for it, but perhaps these things happen for a reason. Maybe that experience and Damon calling him out gives him the mental toughness. I’m not giving up on him yet, I still have the Texas and the Detroit game fresh in my mind and know how this kid can dominate. If you don’t learn by your experience then we wouldn’t have veterans.

  66. SJ44 May 15th, 2009 at 10:16 am

    Hughes wouldn’t be the first guy overly hyped to not live up to the hype.

    Homer Bailey, Brandon Wood, and Clay Buchholz are three more.

    Everybody with hype dominates in the minors. That’s why they are hyped. When you watch guys struggle over and over in the majors, that’s when the hype doesn’t match reality.

  67. bodhisattva May 15th, 2009 at 10:17 am

    Andrew
    May 15th, 2009 at 10:10 am
    Funny that when Hughes first broke on the scene everyone praised his composure and poise for someone so young, and it was supposed to be a sign of his mental toughness and professionalism and all this business, and more evidence as to why he would eventually become a better-than-good ML pitcher.
    Now, what, all that’s gone because he has shown a penchant for giving up the big inning once in a while over the span of his what, 23 career starts? I don’t buy that he is suddenly a weak-willed pushover on the mound who has no fortitude, and this is what he will be for his career and thus will never realize his potential.
    ========

    It does make you chuckle. How about the nonsense on here recently that, a). not only is he soft, but b). we can confidently attribute his softness to his “privileged” socio-economic background.

    Wonder how the blue boy managed to take care of Cleveland in that Game 3 pressure cooker in the real Yankee Stadium, with 50,000 people screaming his name?

  68. SJ44 May 15th, 2009 at 10:24 am

    You can think its nonsense but, results are results.

    He has had numerous chances with the Yankees and, aside from 2-3 good outings, has been a disappointment.

    That’s a fact.

    Is that because he is young? Perhaps.

    Is that because he is soft? Perhaps.

    His teammates think he is soft. His manager is probably on the fence.

    Bottom line, you can scoff at the theories if you want but, his results don’t match his hype. Not even close.

    Hopefully someday, it does. Tonight would be a good place for it to start because they really need a good start out of him this evening.

    The team is finally getting some confidence and they don’t need another one of his meltdowns this evening.

  69. DocBooch May 15th, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Very true Andrew, he is still wet behind the ears and will be sent down as soon as Wang is ready. But make no mistake, he has got the stuff to get major league hitters out. AAA is a walk in the park for him, it doesn’t give him a=enough challenge. There is a reason that both him and Kennedy dominate at that level, their stuff is that good. They both just lacked the mental makeup to get ML hitters out. Tried so hard they hurt themselves last year. At this level, the game is alot more mental than physical.

  70. RussW210 May 15th, 2009 at 10:28 am

    “Hard to believe Cervelli was hitting below the Mendoza line at Double A. He has been holding his own at the plate against ML pitching.”

    That brings an interesting debate. Guys have played mediocre in the minors then have come up and played well and had a good career. Still, with Cervelli it is a small sample size.

    You have to ask yourself though – do players become complacent playing in the minors with no Major League debut in sight? It happens.

  71. 86w183 May 15th, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Turns out the instant success against Texas might have been the worst thing for Hughes. Not only did he get hurt, he might have gotten the idea it was going to be easy.

    Still, he’s just a puppy and there’s no reason to put any sort of label on him right away. Just need him to pitch well this evening and show a little more mental toughness and competitiveness.

  72. Andrew May 15th, 2009 at 10:32 am

    I just scoff because I know that the players and manager’s perceptions would switch in a heartbeat if he pitched consistently well. All the talk of him being soft would vanish with a string of good starts in the majors.

    However, it’s an impossible situation, because to me it is still premature to expect him to be able to have no problem putting together a string of numerous good starts in the majors due to the fact that he has had no consistent opportunity to work his way into a major league groove in his entire career.

    The two previous years it was injuries and ineffectiveness. This year he is filling in for Wang and Wang is coming back. It seems ridiculous, no matter how much hype and ability Hughes has, to expect him to be able to just jump up from AAA for a few spot starts and be done with the typical growing pains of a young starter transitioning into the major leagues.

    I definitely understand waving proverbial red flags about how he’s had his chances but not done anything with them, and how he is prone to the big inning and all that. But I refuse to believe that he is at some “make or break” point in his career, and in danger of being banished in Yankee-dom and forever given the label of soft or what have you. It’s just way too premature.

  73. DocBooch May 15th, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Btw, I know Cervelli is half italian, but that accent is clearly South American. I remember someone on here saying he had an italian accent. Not that it matters, just saying

  74. DocBooch May 15th, 2009 at 10:35 am

    andrew, what you mean like Joba did?

  75. DocBooch May 15th, 2009 at 10:37 am

    It is way too premature and he will be given many more oppurtunities. It would just be nice to see him overcome them now. I don’t think it’s important for Hughes but its is definetely important for the Yanks and the way they are playing now. SJ is right, they are starting to build some confidence and a Hughes meltdown will have that erode some.

  76. Andrew May 15th, 2009 at 10:38 am

    Joba is a whole different ballgame, and the two situations couldn’t be more different.

  77. DocBooch May 15th, 2009 at 10:43 am

    “It seems ridiculous, no matter how much hype and ability Hughes has, to expect him to be able to just jump up from AAA for a few spot starts and be done with the typical growing pains of a young starter transitioning into the major leagues. ”

    He wasn’t given a few spot starts last year, he was given the 4th spot in the rotation with no back up plan. He brought the injury and ineffectiveness upon himself. As did Kennedy.

  78. bodhisattva May 15th, 2009 at 10:44 am

    If you were paying attention to what was going on, you would know that Phil Hughes was intended to remain in AAA to continue to air out his developing arsenal, not to be yanked up here prematurely.

    Not only is he coming back from last year’s injury, they’ve tightened his curveball, and his changeup is still evolving. He was called up because there was a need – Wang’s injury.

    Phil Hughes continues to be a work in progress.

    What does that mean? That means that sometimes, the knuckle curve, which isn’t in muscle memory territory yet; illudes him and he caves into the temptation is to revert back to his loopy curve.

    Even in WB, there were complaints he didn’t throw the changeup enough. He threw it sparingly in the Baltimore start, and in that start he couldn’t get his curve over for strikes, so he got repetitive w/his cutter.

    Guess what? He’s still learning. What’s funny to me is the same criticism was leveled at Joba after the midge game. Someone said, a kid with more resolve wouldn’t have let the bugs uproot him.

    This stuff gets more and more fantastic. Concluding that Hughes is “soft” is a leap – how do you know what is inside him? You don’t.

    But chalking up his “softness” to socio-economics is another wild swing that has no evidential basis. In fact, there have been stories I’ve read about how steely Hughes was growing up, what a “tough” kid he was.

    My observations tell me that it isn’t “softness”, but a kind of perfectionism that gets Hughes in trouble, which makes sense because he’s always had success. Well, this will be part of the learning process that is ONGOING.

    How about resisting sweeping judgments about a young man who is still trying to get a handle on his secondary pitches?

  79. RustyJohn May 15th, 2009 at 10:48 am

    That’s not true- I bet Ron Gardenhire has to give updates to Minnesota media three times a day on the progress of Boof Bonser.

  80. deangelo May 15th, 2009 at 10:49 am

    Pete why not do your job and ask about marte? Giradi said yesterday marte hasn’t thrown yet and is a “ways away”. Pete you are a hack..

  81. murphydog May 15th, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Cervelli? Born in Valencia, Venezuela as per ESPN

  82. bodhisattva May 15th, 2009 at 10:53 am

    Andrew
    May 15th, 2009 at 10:32 am
    I just scoff because I know that the players and manager’s perceptions would switch in a heartbeat if he pitched consistently well. All the talk of him being soft would vanish with a string of good starts in the majors.

    However, it’s an impossible situation, because to me it is still premature to expect him to be able to have no problem putting together a string of numerous good starts in the majors due to the fact that he has had no consistent opportunity to work his way into a major league groove in his entire career.
    =============================

    What’s even faultier is when he doesn’t pitch consistently well, he comes under character assassination.

    People just cannot resist the pigeon-hole act, even when it’s wildly inappropriate, as it is here.

    I saw Hughes pitch in Pennsylvania on Easter Sunday. The rain and wind didn’t allow him to use his breaking stuff. Despite some rocky stretches, he really bore down, and found a way to get guys out. You can say he’s facing AAA hitters, and you’d be correct.

    But what was insightful was the way he coped with the situation he was in. The Baltimore game got away from him. It happens. But based on what I’ve seen from him lately, I don’t expect him to be terminally undone by that game.

  83. Jones May 15th, 2009 at 10:58 am

    Cisco is Italian-Venezuelan.

    Can someone tell me how old Montero is? Just wondering Thanks

  84. Vince May 15th, 2009 at 11:18 am

    Some players just don’t flourish in the minor leagues even though they show potential. There’s been many of those types.
    Let’s hope that Frankie Cervelli finds that the major leagues is where he belongs to bring out the best in him.
    He’ll never be a Jesus Montero but could be a good backup for many more years and he’s only 23.
    Jose Molina’s contract runs out after this year.

  85. Vince May 15th, 2009 at 11:21 am

    Jesus Montero was born on 11/28/89 in Guarcara, Venezuela.

  86. saucy May 15th, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    i didn’t read this whole comment thread, but the fact that Kennedy can’t go on the 60 Day DL makes no sense to me.

    He’s on the 40 man roster. the purpose of the 40 man is to a) have your 25 man roster, and b) have some capable backups.

    Kennedy is no longer a capable backup.

    it makes 0 sense.

    what happens if all of our 40-man roster guys in minors get hurt? what to we do then when a capable backup is needed? DFA all of them?


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