I try and answer every e-mail that comes my way — at least the reasonable ones — and figured I might as well throw today’s Q&A session on the blog. So here’s a quick little mailbag:
Question: I know Damso Marte is currently pitching in AAA; any timetable for a return to the majors or does he just have to prove to the Yankees that he can be that Marte with a career 3.43 ERA? And talk anywhere about Edwar Ramirez? When that guy was going strong, he was unhittable. Any plans on a promotion, maybe a September call-up?
Answer: Marte is toiling away at Scranton (10 appearances, 2.70 ERA) and the Yankees seem largely uninterested. However his rehab assignment is close to being finished, so they’ll have to figure something out soon. As for Edwar, he’s a classic AAAA player. He dominates in the minors with his changeup but any sort of good hitter figures it out quickly in the majors because his fastball is below average. He could get called up as bullpen fodder in September.
Question: The Chad Gaudin trade made me wonder how do “player to be named later” deals work? Is there a list of players, prospects, cash, or combinations of all three agreed to by the respective GM’s that they agree to agree on in the future? Or are the players, etc. to be exchanged more or less wide open?
Answer: Good question. In this case, they likely agreed on a player. But because that player would have had to clear waivers, they’ll just hold off and complete the deal down the road. That’s usually how it works. In some cases, if the GMs are buddies, they’ll base it on how the player performed.
Question: I am a little confused with how the league handles retaliation from pitchers. A.J. Burnett and Josh Beckett were both suspended this year after an incident where they didn’t hit the batter in question and didn’t admit to trying to hit the batter. Matt Garza not only hit the batter in question, but said after the game that he intentionally hit him. Yet Garza was fined and not suspended. Is there some part of the rule that is not apparent to fans?
Answer: There are no rules, there is only the discretion of Bob Watson. From what I can tell, he punishes more severely based on the location of the ball. Guys who throws balls near the heads of batters seem to get longer suspensions. I think past offenders get more days, too.