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


Notes from Friday

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Feb 19, 2010 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

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While Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes were throwing their first official bullpen of the spring, Andy Pettitte followed the lead of CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Javier Vazquez. He stayed off the mound on Friday and will wait a few days before he starts his spring training throwing schedule.

“My body’s feeling good,” Pettitte said. “Everything feels good coming into the spring. I feel real good about that.”

Pettitte said the extra workload of the playoffs shouldn’t bother him because the Yankees did a good job of keeping their three-man, postseason rotation well rested at the end of the regular season. He feels fresh, and he was happy to see the team add another durable arm in Javier Vazquez. Those two had never met another until this winter, but they’ve already played golf together.

“You can’t ever have enough pitching, and not only is he a great pitcher, he’s a quality human being,” Pettitte said. “He’s going to be great here.”

• Joe Girardi on whether he’ll carry two lefties in the bullpen: “In a perfect world, you’d like to have two lefties. Last year we went with one lefty most of the time, and we were able to do it. We believe that our right-handers get left-handers out very well. You look at what Robertson did down there getting left-handers out, he was very successful. But in a perfect world, you’d love to have two because it gives you so many more options.”

• What’s the first thing Girardi looks for in his pitchers during spring training? “To me early, I want to see command of the fastball,” he said. “That’s extremely important. And that you pitch inside effectively. That’s important to us with all of our pitchers.”

• Yogi Berra was in the clubhouse this morning.

• Add David Winfree to the list of outfielders who have popped into the clubhouse. I really wish I could have covered him in Scranton. I went to say hello and it turned into a five minute conversation. Very easy to talk to. Also, he’s a big dude. I have absolutely no trouble believing he can hit a few balls out of the park. And he’s really excited about being a Yankee. He talked about the prestige of wearing the pinstripes.

• Greg Golson was also around for a little bit this afternoon. He popped in and out a few days ago, but I wasn’t sure it was him. This time I said hello, and Golson said he has something to prove after two teams sent him elsewhere. He was a lot like Winfree, very easy to talk to, seems to be out to prove himself. This could be a good situation for him because of that spot on the 40-man.

• Kind of a funny line from Girardi, asked if anything jumped out this early in camp: “A lot of good arms in camp. You look at some of the sizes of these guys. Those are some pretty intimidating figures on the mound. I need a step stool to go talk to them.” He didn’t name names, but I’m thinking Jason Hirsh, Andrew Brackman, Grant Duff, Jonathan Albaladejo and Romulo Sanchez.

• Finally met Kyle Higashioka and Jeremy Bleich today. They’ve been around, but I hadn’t said hello. For the record, their names are  pronounce He-ga-she-oh-ka and Bly-sh.

• Pitchers who threw in the bullpen today:
First group: Chamberlain, Garcia, Hughes, Ramirez
Second group: Igawa, Melancon, Logan, Moseley
Third group: McAllister, Nova, Whelan
Fourth group: Bleich, De La Rosa, Mitchell, Noesi

• Like yesterday, I only wrote down the catchers for the first group: Posada caught Chamberlain, Rivera caught Garcia, Montero caught Hughes and Romine caught Ramirez.

• In the picture up top, Girardi and Dave Eiland are on the far left of the group of coaches watching pitchers get loose.

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80 Responses to “Notes from Friday”

  1. Betsy -Romine wasn't built in a day February 19th, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    Chad, thanks. How did Phil and Joba look? Have you had a chance to talk to AJ?

  2. Patrick February 19th, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Thanks for the great coverage Chad, I’m getting psyched!

  3. Boston Dave XXVII February 19th, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    “If I’m the Tigers, I’d be pretty ticked off”

    ————–

    why? they are now the ONLY team with an offer to Damon and in the driver seat.

    They don’t NEED Damon. He needs them.

    They could cave, of course, but that’s on them if they do. If they hold firm with a 1yr/$7M deal, Damon will either accept it or sit out and get $0.

  4. lets go yankees February 19th, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Since I forgot about Upton:

    I amend my statement to, I am comfortable saying Choo is the 2nd best RF in baseball.

    Wave, I responded to your effort with GB in the last thread.

  5. Pat M. February 19th, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    CB, Welecome to Spring Training LoHud style….Make certain you wear a batting helmet and you have a bike on, it’s a tough place lately…..Good to have here as always….

  6. Jerkface February 19th, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    There’s just no reason to trade off a young pitcher that can give you very good to great pitching for the next 10 years for an outfielder that NYY can replace with better in one year…in fact, NYYs can replace both corner outfielders for nothing more than money in about 10 months.

    Wow Joba is going to pitch for 10 years?! Thats awfully bullish.

  7. Betsy -Romine wasn't built in a day February 19th, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com.....8;c_id=nyy

    For Hughes, this spring may alter the progression of his entire career. If he loses the fifth-starter competition, he will either join the bullpen as a setup man or head back down to Triple-A. Either way, the former first-round Draft pick would enter his mid-20s without much significant Major League starting pitching experience.

    ***Brian Hoch needs to cut the dramatics. He makes it sound like Phil will be a reliever for good if he loses the competition. Still, I agree with his last point. He’s not a baby anymore.

  8. lets go yankees February 19th, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Ethier is a good player, but he does not excel at anything except hitting for power offensively or defensively. Like someone else said he is a slightly better version of Swisher.

  9. Betsy -Romine wasn't built in a day February 19th, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    BD, Why? Because Boras is asking them to add another year and take the deferred $$ out. I sort of hope they pull their offer.

  10. Rich in NJ February 19th, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Ben Shpigel had this note in the NYT:

    This early in camp, they threw hardly at full speed and only fastballs and changeups. Sliders and curves will come later. Jorge Posada caught Chamberlain. Jesus Montero, the top prospect, caught Hughes in a possible glimpse into 2011 and beyond.

    The idea of a Montero/Hughes battery makes me warm on a cold winter day.

  11. Wave Your Hat February 19th, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    “NYYs can replace both corner outfielders for nothing more than money in about 10 months.”

    We heard about the Yanks’ budget from Cashman all winter and how he didn’t have more than a certain amount to spend.

    Well, Pence, Choo and Cruz are good and cheap and will be for a long time.

    Meanwhile, the Yanks can’t make up their mind what to do with Joba and Phil and it seems like by the time they get it all straightened out, if they ever do, they’ll both be free agents or close to it.

    Anyway, that’s where I’m coming from. I’m taking off so I’ll give you the last word if you want it.

  12. Jerkface February 19th, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    The guy I’d really want from the Dodgers outfield is Kemp. I’d trade Joba Chamberlain for Matt Kemp.

  13. Pat M. February 19th, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Except for the fact that Andre Ethier hit 18 hr’s ( of his 31 ) that either tied the game or gave the Dodgers the lead…..I’m not saying he’s the best…However he’s a 30 plus HR go who produces 200 runs a season and is reaching his prime years soon…..His name wasn’t even mentioned by all of the experts here….

  14. GreenBeret7 February 19th, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    WOW!!!! Only one lousy picture from a distance? They won’t even give you guys a decent camera to take pix? You guys are too cheap to go buy one?

    j/k guys.

    OK!! Now that it’s been said once, perhaps those three idiots from last night won’t feel the need to reply about the pix.

    Great insight, photos and coverage today, guys. Love the interviews with them. Any chance that you guys will be doing indepth recorded interviews with the lesser known kids and a few of the regs? Hearing from the kids is always the best interviews when attending their camps on the way up the ladder.

  15. TD February 19th, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Chad,

    You have done great on this blog. and I really love the ST coverage.

    To me there is nothing better than the last few days. Being able to check in several times a day, and know what’s going on adds alot of pleasure to my day. And makes me feel like I am at Steinbrenner Field myself.

    This is going to be a good team. A little tinkering during the offseason, some interesting new pieces, and what seems to be ‘good guys’…joining the team.

    I look forward to 2010. And appreciate the good work on the Lohud Blog.

  16. Pat M. February 19th, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Jerkface, Matt Kemp is an incredible talent…..I mentioned him last winter and got my brains kicked in over him……He’s the real deal, what an arm !!!

  17. champ809 February 19th, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Ethier is a better player than Choo.

    Choo is a very good looking young player but he is far from the 2nd best RF in Baseball. Ethier is a good defensive player,a true power hitter and a high average hitter as well. He also seems to have a lot of “clutch” in his DNA!

    Wave

    “In fact, I would not be surprised if Cashman has already tried to move him for one of those guys and couldn’t do it.”

    I respect you as it seems you know the game of baseball but I hav to say that your argument that the Yanks would be better of trading the “loser” of the #5 spot comp for an OF’er is myopic and wrong….and that statement right there up top is one of the dumbest(excuse me for saying like that)tht anyone has sid on this blog in awhile.

    If Cash were to offer Joba or Hughes straightup for either Choo,Cruz or Pence before he could hang up the phone those teams would have had the respective OF’er fedex overnighted with a Yankees uniform already on.

  18. Jerkface February 19th, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Ethier was mentioned by Patrick and Lets Go Yankees! He just wasn’t name ‘the best’. Nothing wrong with being good.

  19. Jerkface February 19th, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Ethier is a good defensive player,

    UZR and Plus / Minus say no. He made some boneheaded plays in the playoffs as well.

  20. lets go yankees February 19th, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Pat,

    Ethier’s name was not mentioned because we were talking about the best RF in baseball. He is definitely not in the Top 3 and I think you can make a convincing argument that he does not even belong in the Top 5.

  21. lets go yankees February 19th, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    champ809
    February 19th, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Ethier is a better player than Choo.
    Choo is a very good looking young player but he is far from the 2nd best RF in Baseball. Ethier is a good defensive player,a true power hitter and a high average hitter as well. He also seems to have a lot of “clutch” in his DNA!

    ————————

    Do you have anyway to back up your statement? If you can, great. If not, it is not a very responsible statement.

    And Ethier is not a high average hitter. He hit .272 last year.

  22. GreenBeret7 February 19th, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    Still wanting Shoo, but, not responding that there is a very good chance that he’s back in the ROK for two years of service if he loses his appeal? an appeal that has been going on for a year. Of course, he could renounce his ROK citizenship to get out of the draft for something that only benefits him.

  23. Jerkface February 19th, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    24 of Swishers HRs came when the came was tied or within 1 run.

    Choo hit .300, hit 20 HRs, and stole 21 bases and played better defense. 38 doubles, 6 triples. I’ll take the extra speed and versatility of Choo over Ethier.

  24. lets go yankees February 19th, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    Not to mention Choo has elite on base skills. His OBP last year was .394.

  25. Jerkface February 19th, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    Choo has something for everyone.

    21 steals, only caught twice.
    Lots of doubles, triples, and HRs,
    high average
    high on base
    good defense
    strong arm
    He hit .405 .542 .541 1.082 late and close

    He should be beloved by sabremetronomes and belly full o gutsers alike!

  26. Pat M. February 19th, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    So Jerkface, are you saying you rather Nick Swisher than Andre Ethier ???? Just wondering, that’s all

  27. Pat M. February 19th, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    Jerkface, I refuse to view myself as, how did you phrase it, Belly full o gusters ????

  28. lets go yankees February 19th, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    “If Cash were to offer Joba or Hughes straightup for either Choo,Cruz or Pence before he could hang up the phone those teams would have had the respective OF’er fedex overnighted with a Yankees uniform already on.”

    ————————–

    This is not true at all. There is no way you could trade Joba or Hughes for Choo. Not even close to being a good enough package.

    Joba/Hughes + Montero and that probably just starts the conversation.

  29. CB February 19th, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    Pat M.,

    I check in here the past few days. The tone has taken a very negative direction.

    It’s really early for things to be so contentious.

  30. Jerkface February 19th, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    Well I love Nick Swisher, as a human being and as a player, if you gave me a choice of Ethier or Swisher I’d have to think about it. If it was for free (like literally, you get 1 or the other), I’d probably go for Ethier.

    I’m just illustrating that a statement like “X number of Ethier’s HRs tied or gave the Dodgers the lead” can be said for other players as well.

    Swisher played better defense, by my eye and stats, than Ethier last season (though not throwing), and had an identical OPS. He has more raw power than Ethier but less contact ability.

  31. Boston Dave XXVII February 19th, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    “Joba/Hughes + Montero and that probably just starts the conversation.”

    ————–

    and with that… maybe we should just end this conversation because it’s getting more and more ridiculous by the minute.

  32. Rich in NJ February 19th, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    “Joba/Hughes + Montero and that probably just starts the conversation.”

    If I trade Montero (and I don’t want), it’s for Hanley Ramirez.

  33. lets go yankees February 19th, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    Rich,

    I am not saying I would do that trade. I am just saying what it would take to get Choo.

  34. Pat M. February 19th, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    CB, I’ll be seeking you out for consultation regarding a baseball investment pool I’m entering….The premise is you invest 1 grand, and you have to pick the over / under team wins for the season…….At least 25.00 on a team….I’m certain they’ll be a few that are a toss up in my mind, so I be seeking you and a few others out for your feedback….The lines are set by a Casino sports book….I need to find a few break out clubs, as that’s how you make your money

  35. champ809 February 19th, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    He hit .305 the year before Ethier. He pretty much carried the Dodgers when Manny was suspended and when ManRam “returned”.
    Choo had a good season for a team whose entire season was meaningless whereas Ethier was an offensive force on the best team in the NL record wise.

    Ethier’s home park is one of the best “pitchers parks” in the league whereas Choo’s home park is a hitter’s band box.
    The point is if Ethier isn’t in the top 5 RF’ers in the game Choo is even further down the list

  36. CB February 19th, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    Pat M.,

    I would be honored! I feel like I’ve joined the esteemed company of our mutual friend in SF regarding the world of wagering.

  37. lets go yankees February 19th, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    Boston Dave,

    If you think that is ridiculous then you are severely underestimating what it takes to get a player of Choo’s level on the trade market especially when said player made $400,000 last year.

  38. GreenBeret7 February 19th, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Somebody’s getting smart involving the Damon fiasco.

    ESPN’s Buster Olney spoke to one executive involved in Damon talks in recent months who said, “There is so much BS out there, and [I] don’t want to contribute to it.”

    also, with just one suiter left, Boaes wants Detroit to junk the deferred money portion of the contract and add a second year at $7 mil per.

  39. randy l. February 19th, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    “And Ethier is not a high average hitter. He hit .272 last year.”

    let’s go yankees-

    first you say ” woops, forgot who the best right fielder is”, and now you use batting average to make a point against someone.

    you’re not on your game tonight so far.

    batting average?

    i thought that doesn’t count in your world.

  40. lets go yankees February 19th, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    Champ,

    Choo hit significantly better on the road then he did at home in 2009.

    That is some nice anecdotal evidence, but I do not see any real evidence in your post.

  41. lets go yankees February 19th, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    randy,

    I forgot Upton, because I was just responding to GB’s post who did not mention Upton.

  42. CB February 19th, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    The quality of RF play/talent right now in the majors is fairly poor.

    There basically a couple of guys who are on their own level and then the rest fall into a next rung of talent where it’s hard to distinguish one from the other without splitting hairs.

    Corner OF play right now in the majors on the whole isn’t very strong at all. It’s been one of the real areas hit in the post steroids era of play.

    There simply aren’t that many very good to great OF out there right now.

  43. GreenBeret7 February 19th, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    ***Boras*** wants Detroit

  44. lets go yankees February 19th, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    randy,

    I also know that you are busting my chops.

    See, I am getting better at that

  45. lets go yankees February 19th, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    CB,

    Who would you say are the couple of guys on their own level?

    It is also interesting how many great 2b there are right now as compared to years past.

  46. Phil the Thrill February 19th, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    CB

    That’s why Heyward is an exciting prospect: a good old fashioned OF who can mash! I think we’re currently seeing the lowest concentration of OF talent in my lifetime.

  47. Phil the Thrill February 19th, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    Let’s go…

    one of the reasons we’re seeing fewer OF’s is because more big kids are realizing they can play 2B, SS and C.

  48. CB February 19th, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    “Who would you say are the couple of guys on their own level? ”

    Upton and Ichiro.

    I like Choo a lot as well. He’d probably be third on my list but I think there’s a something of a drop off there. If Choo has another year like he did in 2009 he’d close the gap some. Upton doesn’t have an extensive track record either but he has some prodigious talent you throw that out the window a bit. Choo doesn’t get that benefit of the doubt for me.

    But distinguishing who is the better RF gets a bit murky very quickly. There’s a great deal of overlapping expected variance.

    I think Choo is a better player than Eithier but I really can’t say that very definitively. If Eithier had the better year I’d be a bit surprised but certainly not shocked. Same with say Markakis, etc.

  49. Pat M. February 19th, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Thank’s CB, I’ll be seeking you, Randy, GB, SJ & a few other baseball guys…I’ve already mentioned this to Nick in SF….I have to play every team at some compacity, so any sleeper type teams is what I’ll be looking for….

  50. m1kew February 19th, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    Hi Chad – I really appreciate your efforts on our behalf. Can you please add more pics and audios. Like they say – 1 picture is worth a 1000 words and hearing the voice with inflection and emphasis truly enriches the experience even more. As much as I hate to admit it I can see the value added of the video stuff that Boston.com offers daily and would love to see video reports from you too if that is possible. Many thanks.

  51. Bronx Jeers February 19th, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    I’ve also heard that the majority of Ethier’s 106 RBIs were of the bogus variety. Too bad for him.

  52. CB February 19th, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    “I think we’re currently seeing the lowest concentration of OF talent in my lifetime.”

    Phil,

    I’m with you. OF play as a whole in the corners is a bit depressing to watch right now.

    There’s a couple of special guys – Upton, Ichiro, Braun, Holliday. I think that’s about it then there’s a significant drop off to Crawford, Choo, etc.

    At the same time CF is quite strong right now (given how historically weak the position has been with the lumber). Real nice crop of CF in the game.

    It’s cyclical with position strength I guess. You can see it already happening with talent in the minors.

    As you mentioned Heyward – what a unbelievable talent. He is going to be great. Best young OF since Upton was in the minors. Stanton of course is just so talented (though his contact skils concern me…). Desmond Jennings goes in that group if you think he’ll wind up being a corner in TB.

    But right now in the majors corner OF aren’t strong or deep.

  53. randy l. February 19th, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    pat m-

    are you looking also for sleeper teams in reverse?
    teams that do worse than expected.

    if you are, i think the red sox have the potential to be a lot worse than they are projected simply because the defensive direction they’ve gone in is so trendy and may not work out like they think it will.

  54. CB February 19th, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    “I have to play every team at some compacity, so any sleeper type teams is what I’ll be looking for….”

    If you have to play every team that seems rough. I’d have to think about it, but it seems like they can basically cook the math to make it very tough to get one over on the house.

  55. GreenBeret7 February 19th, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Weaknesses in the outfield corners will be one reason that younger players in the minors will be moving there as long as the bats carry them there. This is especially true when these players are blocked at the MLB level. It’s a major reason that I believe that NYYs have players like Romine and Laird among others getting a lot of outfield time from this point on.

  56. Phil the Thrill February 19th, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    Croban Joseph is gonna get work in left going forward.

  57. Phil the Thrill February 19th, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    eek, Corban. I’ll take that nap afterall.

  58. KO February 19th, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    blue jays signed Molina

  59. Pat M. February 19th, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    Randy I, It’s all based on the over / under on team wins…I have to make that choice….A tie I pay the juice / vig ( 10 % ) of what $ value I place on that team…..So it’s either or…..For example, will the Orioles win 75 games, over or under and how much money do I value that decision ….

  60. warren February 19th, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    some pics from today’s session here:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/teams/nyy/gallery

  61. Doreen February 19th, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    Warren -

    great pics. thanks.

    Hey CB. Good to “see” you. :)

  62. DaSaint007 February 19th, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    Welcome back CB.

    I now predict that Damon ends up in Chicago.
    Ask me Monday, and I’ll say Detroit.

    He probably should just hang out until the end of Spring Training. Someone in the AL’s going to need to fill an injury in the OF, and will overpay to do so.

  63. GreenBeret7 February 19th, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Simon, Chicago has given Damon until Sunday to accept their offer after Boras told them that it wasn’t enough money. Boras apparently also told Detroit that there would be no deferred money on the $7 mil offer and they had to add another year. Can you picture Michelle Damon shopping on the Ginza?

  64. m1kew February 19th, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    A couple of interesting quotes from Chamberlin plus video of Chamberlin and Hughes throwing with Girardi stnding behind them.

    http://www.nj.com/yankees/inde.....d_a_h.html

    All this coverage makes me feel like a kid on Christmas morning opening presents.

  65. stuckey February 19th, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    The now seemingly acknowledged league-wide lack of outfield talent is precisely why I’ve been on the Gardner isn’t as bad as you might think bandwagon.

    Relativity.

    In another era, Gardner may indeed have been a 4th/not everyday outfielder. These days? He doesn’t look that bad.

  66. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day February 19th, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    I loved hearing the pop of the ball hitting the mitt when watching the Phil/Joba video – there’s not a nicer sound in the world.

  67. DaSaint007 February 19th, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    Damon needs a $6+ million, non-deferred contract to save face. Apparently, no one’s offering more than $4-4.5MM guaranteed, with the remainder deferred.

    Can anyone see any possible scenario that would allow Cashman to reconsider were Damon willing to accept an identical offer from the Yanks?

  68. kd February 19th, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    stukey,

    too true.

    post steroids, 20 hrs are a lot. gone are the days that brady anderson will go from 10 to 50 in one year.

    gardner has a shot to do something special, steal every time he gets on base against victor martinez, forcing the red sox to make a desperate trade for a catcher

  69. m1kew February 19th, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    from MLBTrades – http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/.....day-1.html

    “ESPN.com’s Buster Olney hears that Scott Boras wants two things from the Tigers. First, he’s asking them to remove all deferred money from the one-year $7MM deal they have offered. Second, he wants the Tigers to add a second year (Twitter links).”

    Sounds like Boras wants what the Yankees offered a month ago. Great job by a super agent!

  70. kd February 19th, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    saint,

    one of the current outfielders would have to get hurt. probably swisher

  71. Chad Jennings February 19th, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    New post with audio from Joba and Phil.

  72. stuckey February 19th, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    Randy, I’m going by memory here, but I’m not sure you got the point of my Lackey comparison. The point was to illustrate that the perceived chasm between the approach required for starting pitching the relieving isn’t as bit as some imagine.

    As a 1 inning reliever, Hughes threw his 1st and 2nd pitches at about the same rate as a starter. As a reliever, he simply didn’t use his 4th pitch much, which for a comparable starter equated to 4 pitches per 100.

    The point was, I don’t think his time spend in the bullpen was time completely wasted in his development. In fact, I believe it made him focus on maximizing the two pitches he’s going to throw 82% of the time as a starter.

    Phil Hughes I believe took a step forward as a major league PITCHER in 2009, the step forward we’ll all been expecting. he just so happened to do it as a reliever.

    Will be need to adjust to perhaps losing 2 MPH off his fastball as a starter? Absolutely. Which in fact makes his progress locating it and having confidence in it ALL the more vital.

    I’ll repeat the overall point. The difference between a guy who pitched 80 innings 1 inning at a time and the guy who pitched 224 innings over 35 starts was 4 change-ups per 100 pitches.

    Phil Hughes became a better pitcher in 2009, perhaps even BECAUSE of how he spent his year, not despite it.

    Short relieving (at least how Phil Hughes practiced the craft) and starting as not completely different disciplines. They’re much more alike than they are different.

    Is Phil Hughes path to the eventual rotation perhaps a little unusual? Yeah, okay, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a bad path.

    If anyone told you they knew a tried and sure way of having a young player with stuff make the huge leap to consistent major league starter, they’d be lying.

    I think people are rejecting the reliever-to-starter path because there isn’t much contemporary precedence, and because the fallacy that his pitch selection %’s would be vastly different in one role and another.

    The stats (just people counting and recording pitches, not interpreting) just don’t bear that out.

  73. Doreen February 19th, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    DaSaint -

    The last offer the Yankees made to Damon had deferred money involved, I believe, so I don’t think at this point they’d make him a better deal than they already tried to.

  74. GreenBeret7 February 19th, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    DaSaint007
    February 19th, 2010 at 7:31 pm
    Damon needs a $6+ million, non-deferred contract to save face. Apparently, no one’s offering more than $4-4.5MM guaranteed, with the remainder deferred.

    Can anyone see any possible scenario that would allow Cashman to reconsider were Damon willing to accept an identical offer from the Yanks?

    ————————————————————

    Perhaps if they can unload Mitre, Hoffmann and Igawa to a team like the Cubs or Houston for some minor league prosects of some value (not necessarily top of the line, but maybe somewhere far down the ready line or middle of the pack prospects). Both teams need pitching help and outfield help. That moves about 6 mil from the payroll.

  75. champ809 February 19th, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    Jason Werth is a better RF’er than Choo

    JD Drew when healthy is a better RF’er than Choo

    Josh Hamilton who will play in RF this year is a better RF’er than Choo.

    The point is while Choo is a good young player,who I happen to like alot he’s not the 2nd or 3rd best RF’er in baseball.
    If all Rf’ers were FA right now Choo would not be awarded the 3rd highest contract by teams and gms

  76. DaSaint007 February 19th, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    •GM Alex Anthopoulos would like to focus on speed, athleticism, and strong baserunning throughout the Blue Jays’ organization, writes MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian.

    The Blue Jays signed Jose Molina to a one-year deal that includes a club option for 2011, according to MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian.

    Umm, yeah, that fits the plan.

  77. champ809 February 19th, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Phil

    I didnt hear that about Corban….Actually they seemed to be really pleased with at 3rd this year and heard they thought he may be a better defensive player at 3rd than 2nd.

  78. GreenBeret7 February 19th, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    DaSaint007
    February 19th, 2010 at 8:05 pm
    •GM Alex Anthopoulos would like to focus on speed, athleticism, and strong baserunning throughout the Blue Jays’ organization, writes MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian.

    The Blue Jays signed Jose Molina to a one-year deal that includes a club option for 2011, according to MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian.

    Umm, yeah, that fits the plan.

    ————————————————————

    Three Molina catching brothers and the Yanks got the slowest one and the only that can’t hit.

    A match race to the “death”. Jose Molina vs HOF catcher, Ernie Lombardi in his prime. My money is on Lombardi and he’s been dead for 33 years. Ernie wins in a roll over.

  79. Joltin' Joe February 19th, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    That must be Girardi wearing #28 – I LOVE IT!!!!

  80. warren February 19th, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    Damon will be having an early retirement.
    Cashman already has passed that fork in the road.

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