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“Next in line” for the bullpen

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Feb 12, 2010 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Interesting list over at USA Today, ranking 100 Names You Need to Know for the upcoming baseball season. It’s not a ranking of prospect talent, but rather a ranking of which young players could have the biggest impact this season. To be included, a player had to have more innings or at-bats in the minor leagues last season than during all of his major league career.

Phil Hughes doesn’t fit that standard, neither does Brett Gardner. The highest Yankee on USA Today’s list is Mark Melancon at No. 52.

Next in line to continue the run of success the Yankees had last season with young pitchers setting up in front of closer Mariano Rivera, Melancon, 24, should fill one of the openings. He’s a hard thrower with a sharp-breaking curve. Groomed as a reliever since turning pro in 2006, he has bounced back well from missing 2007 after Tommy John elbow surgery.”

I’ve written before that it wouldn’t surprise me to see Melancon open the season in Triple-A but finish it in a key spot in the big league bullpen. That’s the path Dave Robertson followed last year, and I could see the same happening with Melancon. There’s a lot of talent there, and those two could really solidify the seventh and eighth innings.

Other Yankees on the list:

• No. 56, Zach McAllister: “Among the first to be considered if there’s a need for a major league starter.”

• No. 58, Jamie Hoffmann: “Has plenty of speed and is a consistent contact hitter.”

• No. 66, Jesus Montero: “Barring an emergency, his initial stay won’t be long because he has had only a half-season at Class AA and needs to continue developing his defensive game.”

For whatever it’s worth, I actually think Montero might be ranked a bit too high, only because I don’t see him having a significant impact this season. Hoffmann is also probably too high now that Marcus Thames is in the mix. If I could add a name to the list, it would probably be Ivan Nova. He looked good enough at the end of last season to suggest he could play a role either as an emergency starter or as a reliever.

Other familiar names on the USA Today list: Austin Jackson at No. 19, Dan McCutchen at No. 84 and Jose Tabata at No. 86.

The whole list is pretty interesting. Thanks to mlbtraderumors for linking to it. That’s where I first saw it.

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83 Responses to ““Next in line” for the bullpen”

  1. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day February 12th, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    For some reason, Melancon inspires more confidence than he warrants. I’m not saying he’s not talented, I’m not saying he won’t be very good. However, I think it is really jumping the gun to say he’s going to play a key role in the pen this year. At this point, I would be surprised. First thing he has to do is learn how to throw the ball without hitting batters. I really do hope Melancon has a good spring as I’d like to see him make the team, but he’s no lock. Even if he makes the team, he’ll be thrust into the lowest of low-leverage situations (and rightly so). Let him do well there for awhile before we give this kid a position of trust in the pen.

  2. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day February 12th, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    What are you, Charlie Brown, Nick? What’s your problem ? I meant to put a smiley after my IT comment as I was being somewhat facetious, but I still think it’s a bad idea.

  3. jake February 12th, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    Their comments about Jamie Hoffman are interesting. I’ve never seen the kid play, but I’ve never before heard him described as a “consistent contact hitter,” either. I have heard him described as being an excellent outfielder, whether in CF or the corners, having plus speed for a big guy, and having some good power, but also as having a hole in his swing that may well be highly exploitable by major league pitchers. Guys with holes in their swings are, typically, power guys with high-K rates, not good contact hitters. If Hoffman is a good contact hitter, I can’t imagine why the Yanks signed Randy Winn, that’s for sure. I mean, why sign a good defensive outfielder with good speed who is a contact hitter for $1mil+ when you’ve already got one who is earning only the ML minimum?

  4. Nick in SF February 12th, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    What are you, Lucy Van Pelt, Betsy? That missing smiley face might have been a good idea.

  5. Joe from Long Island February 12th, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    I think Jamie Hoffmann will get every opportunity to show what he’s got, and not just because of the Rule V. I think the Yanks want to get better OF defense, the younger and more athletic, run prevention shtick, and Hoffmann and Gardner are in keeping with that. And, yes, Randy Winn is not exactly young, but he can play corner OF positions a heck of a lot better than what we’ve seen over the past few years. If the amphetamine-deficiency is here to stay, then guys like this are the future.

  6. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day February 12th, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    I guess so Nick, lol, I pulled that smiley away like Lucy pulls the football….I’m sorry I snapped at you. It’s not your fault (or is it?) that I left out the smiley. I do appreciate the fact that the IT guys (or gals) are trying to make things easier – I really didn’t mean to come across as being ungrateful.

  7. jake February 12th, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    I didn’t read that anyone was calling Melancon a “lock” to make the bullpen. But, otherwise, your point is well taken. I like Melancon a lot, but realize he has a little ways to go. He has, however, often been flat-out dominating in AAA, getting batter after batter to hit weak groundballs with his very good, hard, moving sinker or take ugly swings at his hammer curve. In AAA, he’s been a strike-throwing machine, too, not so dominating in terms of Ks, just a guy who gets batters out very efficiently. Because he throws 4 different pitches, he’s the kind of guy who can be effective more than once around the order, and may profile better as a utility guy like Aceves rather than as a shut-down reliever. I, too, think he’s going to be a solid contributor to the bullpen sometime in 2010. If Melancon had been 100% healthy his last year in college, he might have been a first round draft pick, after all. He’s a guy whom scouts have always seen as a future ML pitcher, health-permitting.

  8. Nick in SF February 12th, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    Maybe we both learned a valuable lesson.

  9. jake February 12th, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Yes, I agree. Hoffmann will get every opportunity. But they’ve signed both Thames and Winn, the former because he brings RH power to the bench, the latter because he brings good outfield D and a mediocre, but ML-quality, bat. If Hoffmann really is a “consistent contact hitter,” Winn is superfluous. It’d be a real kick to see Hoffmann make the team.
    I’d also love to see Marcus Thames give them a good year as a PH/DH, pop 12 homeruns in 150 at bats, and drive in 25 late-in-the-game runs. That’d be real sweet, too. Nothing like the erstwhile farmhand coming back home to help with the fall harvest.

  10. Twitter THIS February 12th, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    johnny damon !

  11. pat February 12th, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    We have contests for everything here but no contest for who lights the Olympic Torch?

    Hmmmm…a famous Canadian….Gretzky? Celine Dion?

  12. Nick in SF February 12th, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    Wow, you posted that comment at 9:08…. 908 is the area code of the cell phone of a girl I used to be in love with… memories, happy and sad, just came flooding back to me… will the same thing happen when we see Johnny Damon in another uniform next season???

  13. Erica - always OPPC - aka Simon February 12th, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    Nick-

    I saw your earlier battle of the inner Nick. You allright there buddy???

    And stop sneaking in comments about the Muppets when I am not looking!

  14. Nick in SF February 12th, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    I’m fine, but I’m not so sure about the other guy.

  15. pat February 12th, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    You fell in love with a Jersey Girl

    Sha la la la la la la la

  16. Erica - always OPPC - aka Simon February 12th, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    Bryan Adams!!!

  17. Erica - always OPPC - aka Simon February 12th, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    I hope you defeated him. He had a lousy attitude!

  18. Nick in SF February 12th, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    This is true, although she and I never spent any time together in New Jersey. Except passing through on a train, I guess.

  19. Nick in SF February 12th, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    Tell me about it!

  20. Pat M. February 12th, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    She once was a true love of mine ……The Graduate

  21. pat February 12th, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Jason Bay?

  22. Nick in SF February 12th, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    Didn’t Bob Dylan write that line first in “Girl From North Country”???

  23. Erica - always OPPC - aka Simon February 12th, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    Sounds like a movie plot from a chick flick Nick

  24. Nick in SF February 12th, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    I suppose so… there was romance and tears and nothing got blown up. But I think it was more like the plot from an early Elvis Costello song. :(

  25. Erica - always OPPC - aka Simon February 12th, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    What’s so funny about peace, love and understanding???

  26. Erica - always OPPC - aka Simon February 12th, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    Completely off topic, but I need to vent

    I am a CPA. I deal with millions of dollars everyday.

    So why is it I can never figure out my stupid checkbook??? ARGH!!!!

  27. Nick in SF February 12th, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    No, and Nick Lowe wrote that song anyway.

  28. Tom in NJ February 12th, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    I recommend online banking.

  29. Erica - always OPPC - aka Simon February 12th, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    ARGH- I knew that!!!!

    I am delusionally tired. I messed up the words to a Fleetwood Mac song before. If thats not a sign, I don’t know what is

  30. Pat M. February 12th, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    Paul Simon

  31. Erica - always OPPC - aka Simon February 12th, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    I had to sign up for it because as it was I would reconcile weekly and was always off. And If I ever let it go more than a week, it would be a disaster. And since I am so obsessive, if its off by a penny I sit there and find it

    However, even with the online banking I still couldn’t figure out why I was off.

    It took me 15 minutes but finally I realized that two checks didn’t clear and 7 minus 7 is not 1…

    But it drives me crazy, I feel like its an embarrassment because this should not be so difficult for me

  32. Nick in SF February 12th, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    But the song “Girl From the North Country” by Bob Dylan has a line “she once was a true love of mine”.

  33. Nick in SF February 12th, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    Nobody has to know. Unless they read this nested thread.

  34. pat February 12th, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    Gardner arrived in camp and hasn’t cut his hair since the season ended? Having a hard time imagining that look.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/blo.....nt=Twitter

  35. Rich in NJ February 12th, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Get a brokerage account and have the money invested in some non-cash asset. The account will fluctuate so much that there is no need to even try to figure out a checkbook. All you have to do is to look at your monthly statements and trust that they are accurate.

  36. randy l. February 12th, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    The Graduate is what sent me out to california back in 68.

    after watching it when it first came out with my girlfriend we drove home through the back roads of northern Ct to her parent’s house in my 64 corvette with the top down in february.

    she was not happy when i sold it and bought a vw bus and headed to california a few months later.

    ended up in manhattan beach living on the strand.

    ahh, the good old days.

  37. Pat M. February 12th, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    Nick in SF, Yes he did….

  38. randy l. February 12th, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    “Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
    Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
    Remember me to one who lives there
    She once was a true love of mine”

    scarborough fair
    simon & garfunkel

  39. daled February 12th, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    And Girl from the North Country was post the Graduate….
    so ? whats the real story?

  40. Nick in SF February 12th, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    I don’t dispute the Paul Simon used that line too, I just wonder if he got it from Bob Dylan. I think Dylan used it first. Maybe they were both getting it from somewhere else.

  41. Melkman is in Hotlanta February 12th, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    Maybe you need a checking account bailout? We hear that our prez has a huge slush fund to help you with!!!

  42. Nick in SF February 12th, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    No, it was on “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan”, which came out in… 1963.

  43. Rich in NJ February 12th, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    You post the dumbest stuff.

  44. who? February 12th, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    j.d. 2 x!!!

  45. Tom in NJ February 12th, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    True, but the ballad ‘Scarborough Fair’ has been around since the 13th century. I don’t know when the lyrics became ‘set’ so to speak.

    Martin Carthy was singing it in England during the early 60s. A young Paul Simon learned it from him.

  46. Melkman is in Hotlanta February 12th, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    His power numbers should move up nicely this year especially with the locks floating on the jet stream!

  47. Melkman is in Hotlanta February 12th, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    Just following your example.

  48. Nick in SF February 12th, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    Ahhhh, the truth comes out: the line was not written by Dylan OR Paul Simon:

    “Carthy exposed Dylan to a repertoire of traditional English ballads, including Carthy’s own arrangement of “Scarborough Fair,” which Dylan drew upon for aspects of the melody and lyrics of “Girl from the North Country,” including the line from the refrain “Remember me to one who lives there, she once was a true love of mine”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G.....th_Country

  49. Rich in NJ February 12th, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    Ouch. What a comeback.

  50. Bronx Jeers February 12th, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Well he was pretty much bald or close to it in October so how long would it be now?

    Teixeira length?

  51. Erica - always OPPC - aka Simon February 12th, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    Not a terrible idea, but I need to know exactly how much I have in flexible cash all of the time.

    I have been strictly budgeting the last few months

  52. Melkman is in Hotlanta February 12th, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    You like? Good! Tuff and scary guys like you are hard to please.

  53. TJ February 12th, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    Is it true that Jose Tabata is older than Angel Berroa??
    That would explain that old,used up bag he was married to.

  54. Rich in NJ February 12th, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    You could instruct your financial advisor to keep a given amount in a money market fund.

  55. Nick in SF February 12th, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    Threaded commenting has led us to the truth.

    Nonetheless, Paul Simon did write some fine songs.

  56. Rich in NJ February 12th, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    *yawn*

  57. Melkman is in Hotlanta February 12th, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    Wow…sage advice! Try a Vanguard Prime Money Market at their website and avoid the commissions dummy suggests you pay for a financial advisor to do what you can do on your own.

  58. randy l. February 12th, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    “The arrangement made famous by Simon & Garfunkel’s “Scarborough Fair/Canticle” originated in the mid-20th century. Paul Simon learned it in 1965 in London from Martin Carthy. Then Art Garfunkel set it in counterpoint with “Canticle”, a reworking of Simon’s 1963 song “The Side of a Hill” with new, anti-war lyrics. It was the lead track of the 1966 album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, and was released as a single after being featured on the soundtrack to The Graduate in 1968. The copyright credited only Simon and Garfunkel as the authors, causing ill-feeling on the part of Carthy, who felt the “traditional” source should have been credited. This rift remained until Simon invited Carthy to duet the song with him at a London concert in 2000.

    Prior to Simon’s learning the song, Bob Dylan had borrowed the melody and several lines from Carthy’s arrangement in creating his song, “Girl from the North Country”, which appeared on The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963), Nashville Skyline (1969) (together with Johnny Cash), Real Live (1984) and The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration (1993).” wikepedia

  59. Melkman is in Hotlanta February 12th, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    Garlic isn’t your friend!

  60. Rose February 12th, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    Not a nice thing to say.

  61. Rich in NJ February 12th, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    You’re hurting my feelings.

    I don’t pay any commissions.

  62. bottom line February 12th, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    Off-topic, open question: Does anybody know where Baseball America ranked the Yankees system in its organizational rankings?

  63. Nick in SF February 12th, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    Yes, two years after Dylan had used the same lyric, taken from the same source.

  64. Tom in NJ February 12th, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    In an article for SI.com a BA writer had them in the ’6-15′ range. I do not know where they officially rank:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.c.....ems/1.html

  65. bottom line February 12th, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    Thanks, Tom. I guess I should spring for the Prospect Handbook. That’s where they publish it.

  66. Jerkface February 12th, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    Where is that rascal TOM B? He said I was a fool and illogical for railing against threaded posts, and he said that were they to ‘bump’ threads when new posts were added I’d have nothing to complain about. He said this at 3:24 PM.

    Except I already said that would be an effective solution at 12:26 PM.

    I guess he didn’t see it because the current threaded solution is terrible >:)

  67. Nick in SF February 12th, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    Never give up, Jerkface.

  68. Foster February 12th, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    Dude,

    He was scratchin’ his arm like he had a bad itch and sort of shifting from foot to foot, ya’ know, and he looked a little pale and shaky maybe, and then he mumbled sometin’ ’bout a place he needed to be before it got too late…then, well, then he was gone. Maybe he be back. Maybe not.

  69. m February 13th, 2010 at 12:07 am

    Is anyone around? Or is everyone nesting? =)

  70. Pat M. February 13th, 2010 at 12:17 am

    m, I’m watching the Olympic Opening Ceremony…..It’s been another evening of bickering and in fighting….

  71. m February 13th, 2010 at 12:48 am

    Pat,

    Couple of hours behind you. Hasn’t started yet. Can’t compete with Beijing, but it’s still a tradition to watch it.

    As for the other stuff, I noticed that the format is tailor made for people to go at each other.

  72. Pat M. February 13th, 2010 at 1:06 am

    m, that is what has happened today….It’s almost like putting people in a ring and let them go at it…..Kobe is really hurting, however the Lakers are so deep they can afford time for him to heal…..I need 65 wins to pull off my investment…..Tricia was only here for a few minutes today from what I observed, howevere this format is primed for those who desire to take aim at her or anyone else to rows upstream at times…..

  73. crawdaddy February 13th, 2010 at 3:41 am

    The Yankees are ranked 18th in the 2010 Prospect Handbook.

  74. crawdaddy February 13th, 2010 at 3:42 am

    The 2010 Prospect Handbook ranks the Yankees at 18th.

  75. m1kew February 13th, 2010 at 6:01 am

    Off topic butlate last night Jayson Stark said:

    BORAS FIRED

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/.....id=4910475

  76. hobbie February 13th, 2010 at 7:52 am

    Interesting thread. You can always learn something interesting here. Today we learned that young men use lines, often the same lines, and they get their lines from the same place.

    Now if they used the same line on the same girl would they wind up getting the same thing?

  77. pat February 13th, 2010 at 9:08 am

    Yankees interested in Cuban defector Adeinis Hechavarria as future SS or CFer?

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports.....CcBA6XHaiO

  78. Rich in NJ February 13th, 2010 at 9:11 am

    Has anyone ever looked at whether Boras’s lower case clients do less well (compared with the players of similar ability represented by other agents) than his top tier clients?

    For example, iirc, Cairo, who was also represented by Boras, lost money a few years ago when he didn’t accept the Yankees’ initial offer.

  79. Rich in NJ February 13th, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Yeah, that article has a strange headline. It touts him as having the potential to be Jeter’s replacement, then the article goes on to report that he may not project as a ML SS.

  80. Erica - always OPPC - aka Simon February 13th, 2010 at 9:21 am

    I am taking off for the weekend to get my gambling on. Atlantic City here I come!!!

    Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

  81. Doreen February 13th, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Hope you have a successful weekend! Have fun.

  82. upstate kate February 13th, 2010 at 9:25 am

    good luck :)
    I like the “simon says”

  83. The Dude February 13th, 2010 at 11:29 am

    I really hope to see some great things from Robertson this year. I think he can be a late inning force in the pen.

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