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


Pinch hitting: Moshe Mandel

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Feb 06, 2010 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Next up in the Pinch Hitters series is Moshe Mandel, who used the career of one young pitcher to evaluate the trade of another young pitcher.

Moshe is a second-year student at Harvard Law School, “and would love to use my legal education to find a job in sports,” he wrote. The law education came in handy when his year-old blog, The Yankee Universe, was given a cease-and-desist from the Yankees, who seemed to have a problem with the blog’s name.

After a name change – to TYU — the blog has continued with a staff of six writers. It’s another of the truly great Yankees blogs out there. Bookmark it.

———

A few weeks ago, John Sickels released his top 20 Yankees prospects list for 2010. One notable omission from the list was Dellin Betances, who was not even referenced as an honorable mention.

It represented a significant fall from grace from Betances, who was drafted by the Yankees in the 8th round of the 2006 draft. He came highly regarded, with a big arm, exciting repertoire, inconsistent mechanics that caused control issues, and some questions about his durability. He quickly made his way onto top prospect lists, coming in at 100 on BA’s 2007 list and getting a very solid B from Sickels, who is not one to hand out rankings like that to pitchers with such limited experience. In 2008, Sickels dropped him to a B- after a 2007 season in which he pitched only 25.1 innings due to a strained elbow. However, he had a solid 2008, and seemed to solve his control problems in the second half as went from 40/64 BB/K in 55 innings before the All Star break to a 19/71 BB/K in 60.1 innings after. Based on that performance, Sickels left Betances at B- but bumped him up to 3rd on the Yankee list for 2009.

Betances’ 2009 was a disaster, as he pitched just 44 innings, saw his K rate drop below 10 for the first time in his career (8.9), and had his BB rate climb back over 5 (5.5). He once again got injured, and the early word was that it was Tommy John surgery. However, it was in fact ligament enhancement surgery (Mariano had the same one near the start of his career), and he should be ready to pitch in High-A Tampa near the start of the year, when he will be 22. Sickels left Dellin off of his 2010 list entirely, and he currently has little trade value.

While he should not be written off and could still turn his career around, it seems that this is one lottery ticket that is probably not going to yield positive results. There is a lesson in Betances’ story for Yankees fans like myself who obsess over the minor league system. There is no such thing as a pitching prospect. To delve deeper, the high-ceilinged, super skilled projects toiling in the lower levels that we get excited about are unlikely to ever see the majors.

Most of those high-risk, high-reward guys are lottery tickets, and the lotto rarely pays off. Betances was a top prospect from the moment he was drafted, sporadically displayed tantalizing potential to maintain that status, and now is a 22 year old who has never been past High-A and is coming back from a fairly significant injury. We get excited about these guys, project them as future aces, and hope that the team refuses to deal them for anyone but the greatest players. The fact of the matter is, many of these lottery tickets should probably be traded in for useful major league players before injuries and ineffectiveness sap them of their value.

It is the job of the general manager to try and maximize the return on investment that can extracted from such players by refraining from falling in love with their potential and then identifying which of these gambles should be cashed in. That is why it made sense to trade Arodys Vizcaino (who is likely a better prospect than Betances was at his age) for Javier Vazquez. You need to give the other club something of value in a trade for an established performer like Vazquez, and relinquishing a Low-A player who is not yet a top 25-type prospect is a prudent use of resources. It is possible that Vizcaino will make the Yankees regret that trade at some point in the future. But as the saga of Dellin Betances shows us, it is unlikely.

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59 Responses to “Pinch hitting: Moshe Mandel”

  1. Bob February 6th, 2010 at 9:38 am

    There is no such thing as a pitching prospect?! Where did you come up with that line, at a Bong party? There is no such thing as a good amateur Blog writer. Never say never.

  2. Y's Guy February 6th, 2010 at 9:43 am

    “We get excited about these guys, project them as future aces, and hope that the team refuses to deal them for anyone but the greatest players. ”

    ….about dellin betances?!? anyone who was that wrapped up in dellin betances needs to get a real job.

  3. SJ44 February 6th, 2010 at 9:44 am

    Outstanding post. The lottery ticket analogy is an accurate one.

    With the high cost of pitching in the marketplace, you stockpile as many young arms as you can. It gives you more options.

    Some you keep, some you trade, and some fall by the wayside.

    Less than 7% of all players drafted each year accumulate more than 3 full years of service time in the majors in their careers.

    It’s why fawning over every prospect is fools gold.

    There is nothing tougher for am athlete than to become a successful major league player.

    The odds, regardless of draft position and talent, are very long.

  4. Captain Chaos February 6th, 2010 at 10:04 am

    I have to agree with your analogy of the lottery ticket, the chances of the next stud pitcher coming along is rare; however, no matter what I find it fascinating to watch. I pull for each of them and never give up on them until they fall off the radar. I have my favorites and Dellin is one of them, Brackman another big fav of mine. I’ll continue to watch what they do this year. I will be watching to see what Dellin and Andrew do this year, and as the eternal optimist will expect great things!!!!

  5. DYD INDA WUL February 6th, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Been reading Lohud for over two years now. I was just able to get my rare attempt to post past the filter.

    It is posts like this one and comments like those of SJ that make me coming back for more.

    Although a staunch bomber fan for over forty years (yes, I’m dating myself), I have neither the first-hand knowledge of, for example minor league prospects, nor the acumen to give much insight or analysis.

    I am, though, a loyal Yankee fan. And I should continue trying to share something of value.

  6. DYD INDA WUL February 6th, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Here’s something apropos of this post about prospects panning out and the Serie del Caribe.

    My family were the owners of the Leones de Caracas, the team representing Venezuela in the series, from the early-50s to the mid-90s.

    In 1970, I spoke to the then owner, Pablo Morales, and he asked me if I liked baseball. I gave him a big yes. He asked me what my team was. The Yankees.

    He then went on to mention something I still carry with me. He said that the Yankees had this can’t-miss prospect- a catcher. He said remember this name: Thurman Munson.

  7. Fran (the original) and OPPC member February 6th, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Excellent post. You have to give something up to get players of value. It is up to the management of the teams to know who to keep and who to trade. Not every player is a keeper.

  8. Tarheelyank February 6th, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Nice job Moshe.

    In Betances case I am assuming it has been injuries alone that have stalled his career.

    I am curious if injuries are to blame for a majority of “Can’t miss prospects” not making it.

    Maybe take the top 5 or 10 picks from the last 10 years as see what actually happened to their careers. Is it Injuries or maybe it’s just as SJ says “There is nothing tougher for am athlete than to become a successful major league player”?

  9. SJ44 February 6th, 2010 at 10:36 am

    It’s both. With pitchers, it’s mostly injuries which derail their careers.

    One could argue that next to AJ Burnett, Christian Garcia, when healthy, has the best pure stuff of any pitcher in the Yankee organization.

    You know what that means? Nothing.

    Garcia can’t stay healthy and at some point you can’t depend on him to be a contributor at the big league level.

    It’s a very tough profession both physically and mentally.

    It’s why GM’s like Cashman, whose job responsibility is to put the parent club in a position to win the WS each year, will trade unknowns for knowns almost 100% of the time.

    If you don’t, you are in a perpetual state of “wait until next year”, like 80% of the teams are, each year.

    Neither ownership nor the fan base tolerates that in NY.

  10. crawdaddy February 6th, 2010 at 10:39 am

    “I am curious if injuries are to blame for a majority of “Can’t miss prospects” not making it.”

    For the “can’t miss pitching prospects” I think injuries are the blame for a good portion of them not making it. For the position players, I don’t think that’s the case. Of course, it’s just my opinion without any data to back it up.

  11. 86w183 February 6th, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Well in Florida the odds of winning the lottery are 14.3 Million to one so pitcher development is far better than that. But it’s true that it is incredibly difficult to project. I once read a study that high school pitchers were the least likely high drafts to make it with high school catchers right behind.

    These truths are why I argued back in the summer that it was pure insanity to consider spending $ 30-50 Million for Aroldys Chapman. The odds are Cincinnati will end up deeply regretting that expenditure.

    It’s also why high ceiling, cost controlled major league pitchers are about the most valuable thing out there. Thus, Hughes and Joba are still in pinstripes.

  12. crawdaddy February 6th, 2010 at 10:41 am

    I agree with SJ which is why I can’t get too upset when Cashman trades a young pitcher that hasn’t pitched above the NY Penn League for an established ML pitcher like Javy.

  13. GreenBeret7 February 6th, 2010 at 10:46 am

    While I can agree with the basic principal that not all draft picks/minor leaguers need to be kept until retirement age and that a good many should be included in trades, I also think they should be given a chance first.

    Betances is just such a case. I know that this isn’t just about Betances, but, felt the need to say something. Personally, I don’t much care for Sickles and his rating system, so, I disregard what he and others like Law say anyway.

    The Yanks got betances for two reasons…signability issues and the fact that everyone was aware of the elbow issues and knew he would need surgery. He probably should have had it right after the draft or 2007 at the latest. It was bothering him, then.

    There is some control issues with him, but, at his youth and size, that shouldn’t come as a surprise. There are a lot of similarities between him and another large young fireballing right hander from Louisiana. The almost 5 walks per 9 innings doesn’t look great, but the 10+ strikeouts per 9 innings does. I fully expect to see the walk rate improve and the strikeout rate remain consistantly high. Two other things to like is that he allows only a half a homer per game and a hit total of 7.8. His only knock is the walks right now, but, for a kid that hasn’t been healthy since signing.

    Kyle Drabek hasn’t had much more success than Betances, other than walks. I believe that Betances will be in Trenton by June if he starts the season in Tampa and healthy. He is one to watch grow.

  14. Tarheelyank February 6th, 2010 at 10:48 am

    “For the “can’t miss pitching prospects” I think injuries are the blame for a good portion of them not making it. For the position players, I don’t think that’s the case. Of course, it’s just my opinion without any data to back it up.”

    Crawdaddy

    That’s my feeling as well. A “majority” of pitchers are de-railed due to injuries. I think it would make a good post to actually try to quantify it. If that’s even possible.

  15. Rick February 6th, 2010 at 10:52 am

    SJ44 makes a valid point when stating that the odds, regardless of draft position and talent, are very long.

    Look at the Yankee draftees since 2000 and it clearly shows that few ever advance as far as High A baseball. A scout sees talent, makes recommendations, and it’s up to the player to work hard enough to rise to his highest talent level.

    http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com.....p?c_id=nyy

  16. DYD INDA WUL February 6th, 2010 at 10:56 am

    There was a glaring hole at the bottom of the rotation. The 2009 post season revealed it. Cashman was not going to go into the season with the fourth and fifth spot given to rookies as he did the last two years IIRC.

    Instead of tying up payroll on an extended K with Lackey as he did with AJ and CC, Cash filled the hole (4th man) with a proven, reliable innings eater, as is Vazquez. He thus saves payroll for 2011 for Crawford, and Lee, not to mention re-upping Jeter and Mo.

    Haven’t seen Vizcaino, nor would I be able to evaluate him in baseball terms, but I believe it was a wise move to placehold Vazquez for 2010, possibly giving him another one-year K, if Pettitte retires, and if both Joba and Hughes don’t stay in the rotation.

  17. 86w183 February 6th, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Rick —-

    That’s somewhat true, but the Yanks have made a lot of poor selections, too. I remember when they chose John Ford Griffin in the first round in 2001. I had seen the guy several times and he was not even an All-Conference caliber player in my view.

    David Parrish is another guy (2000)they drafted that made others shake their heads in disbelief… at least five rounds too early. The next year another guy I saw in college, Brandon Wheeden was a second round choice and he threw as straight a fast ball as you can imagine.

    Yankees fans can be grateful the Tampa Mafia is no longer butchering the draft.

  18. george February 6th, 2010 at 11:01 am

    “That is why it made sense to trade Arodys Vizcaino (who is likely a better prospect than Betances was at his age) for Javier Vazquez”

    that is too absolute a statement; it reminds me of how the Yanks treated prospects in the 1980s. Fred McGriff – he’s a lotto ticket, let’s trade him for Dale Murray. Doug Drabek – he’s lotto ticket, let’s trade him for Rick Rhoden.

    in the Vazquez case, it depends upon how much you value 1 season of an inconsistent 33-year-old – inconsistent meaning he’s slightly below average some seasons, very good in other seasons. it also depends upon who else could have filled the role this season; and if it’s someone not on the roster, what the cost would’ve been.

  19. DYD INDA WUL February 6th, 2010 at 11:10 am

    There is an argument to be made that Vazquez is comparable to Lackey except in the small sample of the post season and in bases loaded situations (see recent RAB post).

    For what was available this year: Lackey-long term deal, Washburn-declinine in second half of season, among a few other middling pitchers who’ve had some recent success, i.e. Pineiro, Cash did well in getting a decent veteran 4th man in the roation for just a one-year deal, without giving up any almost major-league ready farm arms (i.e. McCallister).

    Remember, we should have Joba and Hughes for years to come.

  20. Bronx Jeers February 6th, 2010 at 11:10 am

    “There is nothing tougher for an athlete than to become a successful major league player”

    And in the Yankees organization, as a starting pitcher, it’s damn near impossible.

    But as fans, we have absolutely no reason to complain about that because the team has made the playoffs 14 times out of the last 15 seasons.

    If a team wants to develop it’s own starting pitching,in the Majors, it has to be willing to take some losses, maybe miss out on the playoffs.

    That’s pretty much an unacceptable scenario for the Yankees.

    They’ve spent the last 2 seasons trying to develop Joba into a MLB starter and coming into 2010, there’s a good possibility he may not even crack the rotation. That’s kind of wild.

    Again, I’m not in any way complaining. Just trying to point out that you can’t really have it both ways.

  21. SJ44 February 6th, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Jeers,

    exactly right.

    It’s why every team in baseball would kill for the Yankees results the last 15 years instead of being named “Best Farm System” by Baseball America.

    The two rarely go hand in hand.

  22. stuckey February 6th, 2010 at 11:18 am

    “in the Vazquez case, it depends upon how much you value 1 season of an inconsistent 33-year-old – inconsistent meaning he’s slightly below average some seasons, very good in other seasons.”

    But this is when you need to reconsider your personal criteria for what YOU think is or would like to be below ML average, and what is actually below ML average.

    A starter with a high 4′s ERA (in 200 healthy innings) is NOT below average.

  23. Tom in NJ February 6th, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Happy Birthday Babe Ruth!

  24. Kevin Ocala, Fl February 6th, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Let’s not forget that he’s still only 22 (no shoulder issues, I think), plenty of time to get it together.

  25. 86w183 February 6th, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Fred McGriff and Doug Drabek were major league ready guys… not the same as a low-A prospect by a long shot. Ditto Willie McGee and Jay Buhner

  26. Vader February 6th, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Well it’s February and ST is right around the corner…even though it may not feel like spring in the northeast until late April this year.

    SJ is right about prospects…funny how the most hyped prospects are busts and guys like Cano fly under the radar.

  27. Erin February 6th, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Erica – always OPPC – Wishes Damon would fire Boras and COME HOME!
    February 5th, 2010 at 7:52 pm
    Erin-

    I need the opinion of a fellow popculture monger.

    My EW subscription is up for renewal. The only reason I even subscribed was cause I got an amazing rate. Renewal for a year is very pricey ($68). It gets cheaper per issue if I do alonger term, like two years for $124.

    It makes me happy, but it would be a splurge. Should I go for it???

    ******************************
    Erica-if you’re there, I’m so sorry I didn’t see this last night!! I would go for it, but of course I have an addiction to all things pop culture. lol I did the longer term deal with EW, which I believe is cheaper overall. I think you deserve to treat yourself, especially since you’ve been working such long hours! :)

  28. Mr.Jigginz February 6th, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Well done,Moshe.

  29. Bo knows February 6th, 2010 at 11:29 am

    SJ44 makes a valid point when stating that the odds, regardless of draft position and talent, are very long.
    Look at the Yankee draftees since 2000 and it clearly shows that few ever advance as far as High A baseball. A scout sees talent, makes recommendations, and it’s up to the player to work hard enough to rise to his highest talent level.
    _______________________________________________________

    There are also questions about the drafting by the Yankees. Position players in the last few years are catchers and second basemen. As in Suttle, Sublett, Adam and Joseph. Then the real prize – a raw 5’10 catcher, Murphy. They all can really hit. Okay, but they have no speed and play 2B, maybe. This is drafting utility Infielders for the Majors.

    Then you get the bromide – draft the best player regardless of position. So Murphy was the best player in the 2nd round. A small player who had just taken up catching. And the chances of him beating out the 5 catchers above him are?

    Perkins the Australian player that the Yankees signed two years ago at sixteen is coming to Spring Training. And his position is – Wait one – Catcher. Amazing. And in the Dominican this year they signed, you know this one, a Catcher. Minnesota signed the top position player Sano. I would like to read that hey, the latest and greatest kid can run fast, has a strong arm and is athletic as in the top 100 ballplayers in the country. In the last four years – exactly one, named Heathcott. We needed an OF to replace Jackson.

  30. Don W February 6th, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Is there a more ignorant statement than, “There is no such thing as a pitching prospect.”? Could we just retire it please? Equating the volatility pitching prospects represent to their non-existence is too cute by half and adds nothing to the analysis. It’s like saying, “There’s no such thing as a Hail Mary pass.”, or, “There’s no such thing as betting on a number in Roulette.”
    The stupidest thing about the statement is that it’s proven wrong 25+ times a year as the supposedly non-existent prospects reach the majors and establish themselves.

  31. Bronx Jeers February 6th, 2010 at 11:42 am

    Sometimes I feel the Yankees system gets graded on a somewhat weighted scale.

    Like the guys that do the grading look at the their prospects in terms of their probability of actually helping the Yankees as opposed to their probability of being a MLB player.

    Prospect X may have certain skills and a scout or so called journalist(or whoever comes up with these ratings) may think “This guy might be a MLB player in X amount of years” looks at the same prospect in the Yankees system and thinks” No way this guy plays for the Yankees” Even if it’s on a subconscious level.

    It’s just a theory.

  32. george February 6th, 2010 at 11:42 am

    @stuckey, “A starter with a high 4’s ERA (in 200 healthy innings) is NOT below average.”

    look at Vazquez’s ERA+ from 2005-2009 (from baseball reference). that’s a useful metric to gauge this:

    2005: 100
    2006: 98
    2007: 126
    2008: 98
    2009: 143

    so in 2005, 2006, 2008 he was average to below average. in 2007 and 2009 he had very good seasons.

    i’m being nice to Vazquez in leaving out 2004, because he now claims he was hurt. but the point is that he really hasn’t been consistently good since he left the Expos in 2003, when he was 26.

  33. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day February 6th, 2010 at 11:44 am

    It is nearly impossible for the Yankees to develop young starting pitching which is why I sort of hope at some point that Phil will be traded. I’m not going to apologize for liking Phil. I’m a bigger fan of the Yankees winning than anything else – no player comes first – but he’s going to be 24 years old this year and he’ll have had almost no starting experience. I think this kid (except he’s really no longer a kid anymore) has star potential, but I’m not sure he will ever reach his potential with the Yankees. If Phil is going to be relegated to the pen, then why not trade him to fill holes? Most people here want to re-sign Andy next year if he pitches well (I am not one of those). Then what – you keep Phil in the pen again?

  34. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day February 6th, 2010 at 11:45 am

    The above could probably apply to Joba, except that Joba has gotten his chances.

  35. Bo knows February 6th, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Then there is the stupidity of the Press. The latest and greatest. Put both Joba and Hughes as relievers. There, that will fix the rotation. It is to weep.

  36. Joe from Long Island February 6th, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Very nice post by Moshe. (Law school, huh?)

    Anyway, as we all should know, it’s very hard to predict athletic performance game to game, let alone 3-5 years down the road. I guess that’s what separates the good GMs from the not-so-good ones, the ability to evaluate young talent, and know who to keep vs. use in deals. Obviously, luck plays into it as well – look at the deals that never happened involving Mariano and Jeter.

    Being a GM is a tough job, and not just in Yankeeland.

  37. Bo knows February 6th, 2010 at 11:52 am

    The Yankees wrecked Hughes when they rushed him up the first time in April. And they’ve been jerking him around since. It’s the sure thing that everyone wants.

  38. raymagnetic February 6th, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Does anyone remember when the Yankees developed a “young starting pitcher” by the name of Chien Ming Wang?

    Wang wasn’t a kid anymore when he debuted in the majors. No he was the ripe old age of 25. Yet he turned out to be a star pitcher for the Yankees. In fact the guy once won 19 games in back to back years, despite not being given a chance until he was 25 (OH THE HORROR!!!!).

    Don’t know how the guy ever became good as a ML pitcher despite being so damn ancient when he debuted.

    It was so long ago they developed this “not a kid anymore pitcher” that I’m sure a lot of people have forgotten about it.

  39. Rick February 6th, 2010 at 11:57 am

    The Tampa Mafia as it was commonly called, came to an end once Brian Cashman was given broader responsibilities in 2006 and assembled much of the group held accountable for scouting and minor league operations.
    Obviously Tampa will always be a base of operations with Steinbrenner Field being the home of the Single A Yankees and the minor league complex just one mile away for extended spring training and the Gulf Coast Yankees playing their games there.
    At the same time, Low A Charleston can shuttle players back and forth from Tampa within a day.

  40. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day February 6th, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Bo, I agree. I’m not blaming them for his injury, but Cashman was quoted as saying that Phil wouldn’t see NY until at least September. The rotation fell apart due to injuries – well, Cash (who I love) should have found other options than a 21 year old who had never faced a bases loaded situation in his life. How could he possibly be ready for sustained success in the big leagues? As it turned out, he had good #s overall in his first year – and that includes his bad August when he was recovering from the injuries. That said, it’s now been 3 years and he’s no closer to being a starter than he was then. I hope he’s not one of those kids whose career just never gets off the ground – talk about wasted potential.

  41. Doreen - Ain't it Just "Grand"? February 6th, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Good post Moshe. I have nothing to add to what’s been stated here, insofar as the minor leagues are there for two reasons: to develop into talent that can be used by the big club directly, or indirectly in trade.

    You won’t find me complaining that the Yankees traded Vizcaino, someone who may or may not help the Yankees at some point in the not near future, in a transaction that netted Javy Vazquez, a proven commodity who will, at the very least, protect the bullpen and place save for the following season.

  42. Andy In Sunny Daytona February 6th, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Moshe, according to Dellin, he had both surgeries. He now has two ulnar ligaments in his elbow.

  43. GreenBeret7 February 6th, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    There are also questions about the drafting by the Yankees. Position players in the last few years are catchers and second basemen. As in Suttle, Sublett, Adam and Joseph. Then the real prize – a raw 5?10 catcher, Murphy. They all can really hit. Okay, but they have no speed and play 2B, maybe. This is drafting utility Infielders for the Majors.

    ————————————————————

    Suttle was drafted as a 3rd baseman, Sublett is now an outfielder and since when does size matter in a catcher? He can hit and at age 18, he’s likely to grow to the “magical” 6 foot and 190-200 pounds. Who really gives a rat’s azs about where some clown that’s never seem 90% of the players rank them, anyway?

  44. Bo knows February 6th, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Of course you can blame them for the injury. He overthrew a curveball in April and ripped a hammy. He could just as easily have blown a shoulder. The kid was on an adrenaline high and wasn’t stretched out yet. One of the few times I agreed with PAB. It was criminal bringing him up.

  45. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day February 6th, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    You and Pete can blame them, Bo, I’m not going to. Anyone can take a bad step and tear a hamstring – it happens.

  46. Bronx Jeers February 6th, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Betsy,

    Fortunately for Phil, his biggest competition in joining the Yankees rotation is Joba Chamberlain.

    And it’s not entirely fair to Joba as he’s been baptized by fire here in the Majors but would it surprise anybody if the Yankees internal thinking was that Joba may not be in the long term plans for the rotation?

    Personally, I’d be disappointed but not necessarily shocked.

    Joba’s excelled in the pen as well. His makeup or whatever you want to call it seems to be better fitted for the pen too.

    Phil took leaps and bounds last year in terms of his development even if was out of the pen. He was lousy in the postseason but I don’t think the Yanks see that as anything more than a blip.

    And I believe Girardi and Cashman have already stated that the 5th starters job is an open audition this season.

  47. GreenBeret7 February 6th, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Bo knows
    February 6th, 2010 at 12:05 pm
    Of course you can blame them for the injury. He overthrew a curveball in April and ripped a hammy. He could just as easily have blown a shoulder. The kid was on an adrenaline high and wasn’t stretched out yet. One of the few times I agreed with PAB. It was criminal bringing him up.

    ————————————————————

    That is beyond ridiculous. He could just as easily done the same thing in Scranton. He sure looked like he was being wrecked while knocking down a hard hitting Ranger’s team, didn’t he? In case you had forgotten, the Yanks needed a pitcher. You know…those things that they have in the minors for emergencies.

    Maybe the Yankees should have put Jeter in the minors at the start of 2003 to keep him from getting hurt, or Pettitte should have stayed in Tampa in 2002 and he would have gotten hurt in April.

  48. ortforshort February 6th, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    The problem is in the over-hyping of prospects to make it look like you’re doing something. That works for a while (people actually thought that the Yankee farm system was turning things around), but after a few years, the realization comes that you’ve produced very little – pretty much where the current Yankee regime finds itself now. Pitching prospects actually do exist and there are organizations that somehow find a way to produce a steady stream of major leaguers despite drafting low in the order (see California and Boston). The two big differences between them and the Yankees are (1) they don’t over-hype and (2) they produce

  49. DaSaint007 February 6th, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Disclaimer: I’m no expert on the Yankee minor league system.
    Statement: I like seeing our minor leaguers make it to the big team.
    Fact: 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, LF/CF are locked up for at least 4 years.
    Reality: Of the ‘available’ 2 OF positions, both will probably be filled by FA or Trade aquisitions for at least 4 years beginning 2011.
    Fact: 2 of 5 Starting rotation slots atre locked up for at least 4 more years.
    Reality: 1 more starting rotation slot is likely to be filled for another 4 years starting 2011 due to a FA pickup next offseason.
    Reality: Due to the high price of quality starting pitching, the last 2 slots need to be filled by affordable pitchers who can contribute quality pitching.

    The reality is that prospects can only look at Catcher, Utility infield, bullpen and outfield depth, due to the high price of quality pitching, and the investment made in the Yankee infield. That’s why Cash has stocked the system with arms and catchers.

  50. DaSaint007 February 6th, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    It appears to me that the Cashman ‘formula for success’ is 3 quality arms on long-term contracts at 1-2-3 in the rotation, 1 veteran arm on a 1 year contract at the #4, and a young arm at #5.

    Can someone tell me when Hughes and Joba qualify for arbitration, and start qualifying contracts that may affect decision-making?

  51. ksturni February 6th, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    “The problem is in the over-hyping of prospects to make it look like you’re doing something. That works for a while (people actually thought that the Yankee farm system was turning things around), but after a few years, the realization comes that you’ve produced very little – pretty much where the current Yankee regime finds itself now. Pitching prospects actually do exist and there are organizations that somehow find a way to produce a steady stream of major leaguers despite drafting low in the order (see California and Boston). The two big differences between them and the Yankees are (1) they don’t over-hype and (2) they produce”

    Red Socks are actually masterminds at hype and propaganda.
    and the Angels just don’t trade anything, and keep them in the minors for as long as it takes.

  52. Moshe Mandel February 6th, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    “Is there a more ignorant statement than, “There is no such thing as a pitching prospect.”? Could we just retire it please? Equating the volatility pitching prospects represent to their non-existence is too cute by half and adds nothing to the analysis. It’s like saying, “There’s no such thing as a Hail Mary pass.”, or, “There’s no such thing as betting on a number in Roulette.”
    The stupidest thing about the statement is that it’s proven wrong 25+ times a year as the supposedly non-existent prospects reach the majors and establish themselves.”

    Obviously there are pitching prospects that pan out. I was using the commonly used refrain that because pitching prospects are incredibly volatile, it is hard to depend on them as “prospects” in the same sense as we do for hitters. I’ll agree that the saying is overly broad.

  53. Moshe Mandel February 6th, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    “….about dellin betances?!? anyone who was that wrapped up in dellin betances needs to get a real job.”

    You must not have been following the minors very long. Betances, as I detailed, was much hyped as a draftee, and was considered a high upside guy in the minors. After his great 2nd half in terms of control in ’08, many were excited about him.

  54. yankee86 February 6th, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    a gite vuch reb moshe, gut gezugt!

  55. Moshe Mandel February 6th, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    Oh, and much thanks for the kind words from most of you. Those who had issues/questions, feel free to email me at the address provided at TYU, and I would be glad to further explore the issue.

  56. RollingWave February 8th, 2010 at 3:08 am

    “that is too absolute a statement; it reminds me of how the Yanks treated prospects in the 1980s. Fred McGriff – he’s a lotto ticket, let’s trade him for Dale Murray. Doug Drabek – he’s lotto ticket, let’s trade him for Rick Rhoden. ”

    While that’s not a bad example in principal, there is a fine line at some point, McGriff was a gamble at that point, but fielders are not nearly as risky as pitchers, and whats more, Murray was a middling reliever at best, probably the most useless and fungible commodity on the MLB market. where as Vazquez is a very useful starting pitcher, one of the most useful commodity outside of young super stars.

    Doug Drabek had already made the majors when the Yanks traded him, and he pitched pretty well at that point. I guess I could see the logic of trading for Rhoden, who was very good in 3 of the past 4 year dispite entering his mid 30s. that trade in itself was as terrible logic wise. they still had Winfield / Henderson / Mattingly / Randolph at that point and in their prime, and the Yanks in the mix of a long stretch of fruitless run, I can see the logic of going for that trade.

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