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


Towers officially joins Yankees

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc, Podcast on Mar 16, 2010 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Towers

In what I guess would be called his introductory press conference, Kevin Towers sat right next to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman in the home dugout here at George M. Steinbrenner Field. The two spoke for about 10 minutes about Towers’ new role as special assignment scout.

“Everybody knows that Kevin and I are the best of friends,” Cashman said. “But I’m not in the business of hiring friends. This is all about business. I’ve got a lot of friends, I just don’t hire all of them. He’s here for professional reasons, to make us better.”

Towers was fired by the San Diego Padres last year, but he has a great reputation for his baseball mind and his scouting eye. He will cover both professional and amateur scouting for the Yankees, and Cashman said he wouldn’t rule out sending him for some international trips.

“It will be a different pool of players that I’ll be focusing on,” Towers said. “In San Diego, the months of November and December for me were trade months. We just weren’t able to be real competitive in the free agent market. Our free agent season was usually late February, who was left over. If anything, I might be able to bring to Cash and his staff here, there is probably a pool of players I focused on that maybe they didn’t focus on. Might be able to find a diamond in the rough.”

Here’s the entire session, with Cashman speaking first, then Towers, then some back and forth between the two.

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198 Responses to “Towers officially joins Yankees”

  1. vinny-b March 16th, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    know this has been posted, but…

    is tonight’s game televised on my9 and/or any other channel ?

    thanks

  2. Jerkface March 16th, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    Where was Kevin Towers when we could have been signing Chapman? Maybe his insight is why we did not sign him. He is supposed to be a pitching guru.

  3. Betsy -Romine wasn't built in a day March 16th, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Finally, lol – it’s like cloak and dagger stuff here; why’d it take so long to make a formal announcement?

    Bronx Jeers, sorry I snapped at you. I should have known better- you’re not like that. You also made good points. I wasn’t trying to make a big deal out of it – I just always ask questions, lol.

    Vinny-b, not that I know of.

  4. Erin March 16th, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    vinny-b
    March 16th, 2010 at 3:41 pm
    know this has been posted, but…

    is tonight’s game televised on my9 and/or any other channel ?

    thanks

    *************************
    sadly, no :(

  5. Bronx Jeers March 16th, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Sid Ponson has just signed with the LI Ducks.

    Talk about Eastbound and Down.

  6. Erin March 16th, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    BryanHoch Kevin Towers: “To me the most important thing was aligning myself with good people.” about 1 minute ago

  7. Betsy -Romine wasn't built in a day March 16th, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    I hope Joe was just being polite about Montero. He’s only 20 years old – can we let him get a full season at AAA under his belt first? He also should spend the season at AAA so he can catch – DHing up here will do him no good in that regard. Oh brother – the expectations for this kid are way out of wack. When he doesn’t prove to be a HOFer right away, fans and mediots are going to freak out.

  8. LGY - Child Prodigy/GB7's Bestest Buddy March 16th, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    “Sherman has never liked Phil, not from the time he made his first ever start against the Jays. Whatever. I hope Phil makes all these mediots look foolish for wanting the Yankees to trade him.”

    ———————————

    There is a difference between wanting the Yankees to trade him and identifying what it would cost to acquire Span. Span is signed through 2015, is a very good young player, and plays a premium position (although his defense may be better suited for corner OF.)
    It is not a ludicrous idea/scenario.

  9. RayVT March 16th, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    upstate kate
    March 16th, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Thanks Kate!

  10. Rich in NJ March 16th, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    I hope towers has very, very significant input into the amateur draft.

  11. m March 16th, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    I dunno, kind of hard to get excited about something we’ve known for months. haha.

    Nice to have the Yankees align themselves with good people.

  12. Jerkface March 16th, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    Span is signed through 2015, is a very good young player, and plays a premium position

    Span is good, but Sherman DID state that they should traded RELIEVER phil hughes in spring for Span to replace Nathan.

    Thats a misallocation of resources, and Hughes shouldn’t be netting a light hitting outfielder. Span is a good player, not Hughes good.

    Plenty right to be annoyed by that trade suggestion.

  13. upstate kate March 16th, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    thanks for the link m, you are the greatest :)

  14. Rich in NJ March 16th, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Trading Hughes for Span would be insane.

  15. Ken March 16th, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Why do you get annoyed with Sherman?

    After all this time you still can’t see these guys fro what they are?

    Instead you play their game and they keep spewing garbage because they know people will eat it up and get all worked up over it.

    In this day and age you have all the info readily available to be able to figure out what is going on without reading the drivel all those hacks put out.

  16. Holden March 16th, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    “This “Holden” fella just made our list. :angry:”
    (why are you incognito, gal, embarrassed?)

    Is that like the “McCarthy List”?

    Why, may I ask, are you so ‘angry’??
    And why did you incorrectly call me a fella?

    Change the acronym to GDL. Wus.

  17. miggs - GTLU Reigning Champion March 16th, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    There’s really no other way to look at it other than acknowledging the Towers signing was a plus.

    As the former GM of a team with a miniscule payroll, Towers brings a different perspective along with a keen eye for talent.

    The Yankees just keep pushing the right bottons.

  18. Roger March 16th, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Special assignment scout for the Yankees…..That sounds like a pretty cool job

  19. m March 16th, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    kate,

    lol, I just have the greatest memory (even though I google-cheated for the shelley piece). ;)

    But something is wrong with my short-term memory. I’ll open up the fridge and say, “What was I looking for again?”

    As for that Shelley piece. I was close to tears reading it. The Yankees get trashed so much, so it’s nice to see genuine affection and appreciation for the organization like that.

  20. Rich in NJ March 16th, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    “Special assignment scout for the Yankees…..That sounds like a pretty cool job”

    Even better than being the assistant to the traveling secretary???

  21. CB March 16th, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    “I hope towers has very, very significant input into the amateur draft.”

    Lot of factors involved with a draft and i don’t know exactly how things were organized in San Diego – but the Padres drafts have been consistently bad to awful over the past several years.

  22. vinny-b March 16th, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Erin, Betsy: ok thanks

  23. Erin March 16th, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Rich in NJ
    March 16th, 2010 at 3:57 pm
    “Special assignment scout for the Yankees…..That sounds like a pretty cool job”

    Even better than being the assistant to the traveling secretary???

    *********************
    No fair-I was just going to post that!! ;)

  24. Rich in NJ March 16th, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    CB

    If that’s true, I’m wrong, but I am of the opinion that while Oppenheimer has improved the Yankees’ prior draft record from the barren period that preceded him, they should be getting more hits than they have been, especially with their ability to draft players with signability issues.

  25. Wha Wha What?!?! March 16th, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    miggs – GTLU Reigning Champion
    March 16th, 2010 at 3:55 pm
    There’s really no other way to look at it other than acknowledging the Towers signing was a plus.

    As the former GM of a team with a miniscule payroll, Towers brings a different perspective along with a keen eye for talent.

    The Yankees just keep pushing the right bottons.
    ************************

    I hope that doesn’t mean they’ll be even more cheap…errr..prudent next year when Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford are available.

  26. Rich in NJ March 16th, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    *shares credit with Erin*

  27. Crawdaddy March 16th, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    “Lot of factors involved with a draft and i don’t know exactly how things were organized in San Diego – but the Padres drafts have been consistently bad to awful over the past several years.”

    Until the last draft, ownership wouldn’t spend the money on the players their scouts recommended.

  28. Crawdaddy March 16th, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    “If that’s true, I’m wrong, but I am of the opinion that while Oppenheimer has improved the Yankees’ prior draft record from the barren period that preceded him, they should be getting more hits than they have been, especially with their ability to draft players with signability issues.”

    Rich,

    If Cole had signed, would that make a difference to you especially if he was an elite professional pitching prospect.

  29. Erin March 16th, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    Rich in NJ
    March 16th, 2010 at 4:01 pm
    *shares credit with Erin*

    *************************
    Awwwww…thanks Rich!! :)

  30. upstate kate March 16th, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    m
    I have a soft spot for Shelley, even tho I know there was no place for him here. On our annual stadium trip in 07, I saw him hit a 3 run HR to tie the game against the Os. (I see so few games in person that I remember the highlights- well the highlights to me anyway)

  31. LGY - Child Prodigy/GB7's Bestest Buddy March 16th, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    “Span is good, but Sherman DID state that they should traded RELIEVER phil hughes in spring for Span to replace Nathan.”

    ——————————

    This is not as clear cut as you make it seem though. Sherman in all likelihood believes that someone like Hughes who can close is very valuable. He also stated that Hughes could return to the rotation in 2011. And he said that the Twins like Hughes given their interest in him during the Santana trade talks when he was solely a SP. I do not believe the trade suggestion was the value of Hughes as a reliever for for Span, but rather Phil Hughes for Span.

    I would not trade Hughes for Span especially since the Yankees have Granderson now, but a 1-1 for trade is not ludicrous. You have to give up value to get guys that are that cheap for the foreseeable future and play premium positions.

  32. LGY - Child Prodigy/GB7's Bestest Buddy March 16th, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    What year did Oppenheimer take over?

  33. teddy March 16th, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    i could of swore yes ran promos for this game, i wonder chat change

  34. Jerkface March 16th, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    You have to give up value to get guys that are that cheap for the foreseeable future and play premium positions.

    But Phil Hughes is worth more than Denard span, or should be. Former #1 pitching prospect in baseball who is under 25.

    I think its fine to diss a sports writer for suggesting that trade.

  35. Roger March 16th, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Rich

    Getting paid to watch Baseball…That sounds like my dream job

  36. ko March 16th, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Just what we need – another empty suit in the front office. The Padres have been pathetic during the Towers regime. I see nothing special. The Yankee front office needs someone with some baseball savvy to augment the accountant in the General Managers office. Another missed opportunity with this one.

  37. Jose March 16th, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    Putting biases aside, can we all agree that Phil hasn’t lived up to his hype yet? Yes, we can blame it on injuries, bad luck etc. But this kid was hyped to be the next Roger Clemens (and looked it @Texas a few years ago), but for whatever reason, his velocity is not 96mph anymore when he starts.

    I believe Hughes will be a good starter in the next year or two, but he’s nowhere near a #1 or #2…as once projected.

    Before Phil lovers jump all over me, picture this scenario…what would you think of Phil’s talent/hype if he played for the Red Sox?

  38. Crawdaddy March 16th, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Oppenheimer took over in 2006

  39. m March 16th, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    K. Went to the nypost front page. Hot topics: Lindsay Lohan, Joba Chamberlain, David Letterman, Scott Brown, Rachel Uchitel

    __________________________________________________________

    As for Sherman, I think he’s a “throw it at the wall to see if it sticks” kind of guy. It’s not so much that he doesn’t like Hughes in this instance, it’s just that he likes Span.

    And of course, from the Yankees POV that would’ve been a misallocation of resources and why the conversation was short.

  40. CB March 16th, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Rich,

    I’d like to see the yankees draft better as well – that’s an area where every team can try to improve its process.

    But I’m just not sure how Towers would fit in. The Padres farm system is very bad and their drafting under Towers wasn’t good.

    They have drafted in the mid to upper first round frequently and they don’t have much to show for it.

    Towers presided over the Matt Bush fiasco, for instance. Now ownership didn’t want to spend money there to pick the right guy, but nonetheless making Bush the alternative guy selected at #1 was just horrible. The Allen Dykstra pick from 2008 turned out to be a very bad one as they didn’t know about his hip condition until after the draft.

    The Pads just haven’t drafted well at all when Towers was there.

    The success they had in SD was largely due to them getting recycled talent from other major league rosters, pitching in particular – not through the draft.

    I think Towers would help much more on the major league side.

  41. Holden March 16th, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    “The GTLU Secret Police” aka Doreen.

    “Get Thee Lost!” That is childish, Doreen.

  42. LGY - Child Prodigy/GB7's Bestest Buddy March 16th, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    “But Phil Hughes is worth more than Denard span, or should be. Former #1 pitching prospect in baseball who is under 25.

    I think its fine to diss a sports writer for suggesting that trade.”

    —————————–

    Hughes was the #1 pitching prospect in 2006. Who he was 4 years ago does not really add to his value today.

    Like I said, I would not make that trade so I obviously have no problem criticizing the idea. But saying he is on acid for suggesting it goes a little overboard IMO especially since Phil Hughes has still not proved really anything at the ML level.

  43. Chris from NJ March 16th, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    I will agree that Hughes no longer appears to have #1 or 2 upside, but more of an Andy Pettite type who was never the anchor of the staff, but a valuable middle of the order piece. There are only maybe 15-20 ace type pitchers in baseball, all of the kids can’t grow up and be one.

    Glad that Towers is on board, San Diego was too tightfisted to draft the best prospects on the board, hopefully we can start drafting more baseball players instead of Brackman-type projects.

  44. Jerkface March 16th, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Putting biases aside, can we all agree that Phil hasn’t lived up to his hype yet? Yes, we can blame it on injuries, bad luck etc. But this kid was hyped to be the next Roger Clemens (and looked it @Texas a few years ago), but for whatever reason, his velocity is not 96mph anymore when he starts.

    Hughes was never throwing 96 in the minor leagues regularly. That just isn’t his normal velocity. He dominated the minors with pin point control of a 92-94 mph fastball that could TOUCH 95-96.

    And he has had starts that showed that potential. Texas 8 IP SHO, Texas NO-NO, Detroit 2009, Toronto 2008.

  45. Keep it March 16th, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    my old job used to give free tickets to LI Ducks games. They had seats in the party deck. Not a bad time. Last former big leaguer I saw there was Lew Ford, formerly of the Twins. Actually, I think Troy Cate started that game. I believe he played somewhere as well.

    The Ducks have had some former (fallen) stars on their team. John Rocker and Carl Everett to name a couple.

  46. miggs - GTLU Reigning Champion March 16th, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    I think Sherman has his fair share of good ideas. He’s hardly as bad as some of the other beat writers.

  47. S.o.S. March 16th, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    So i saw Chads guess the lineup for AAA. I see Igawa didnt make the rotation. Can someone name me a more expensive minor league relief pitcher in history than kei?
    I wonder if Towers make a phone call and ask for a favor from the Padres. That would be a good start.

  48. m March 16th, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Holden,

    I don’t think that was Doreen at all. In fact it wasn’t even a gal. It was someone spoofing the ladies here.

    If you feel that strongly it was Doreen, please e-mail Chad to confirm.

    Because I’m almost 100% certain that wasn’t her and to call her out like that isn’t cool at all.

  49. Jerkface March 16th, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Really? Email chad because someone named Secret GTL Police said something about GTL?

    Come on, now, don’t bother Chad with junk like that.

  50. The GTLU Secret Police March 16th, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    That’s strike two.

    And we’re not “Gals”.

    It’s much worse than the McCarthy list.

    We are angry because you may force us to get our boots dirty.

    We call you “fella” because of your screenname.

    Forget about GTL.

  51. Patrick March 16th, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    No I think it’s very fair to say that whoever suggested Hughes for Span is on acid. Span is a good player but that trade is absurd

  52. Holden March 16th, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    I just thought her behavior was rude…that’s all.

  53. m March 16th, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Okay, don’t e-mail Chad.

    I’ll settle it here. It’s not Doreen. That’s not her style.

  54. Wha Wha What?!?! March 16th, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    S.o.S.
    March 16th, 2010 at 4:13 pm
    So i saw Chads guess the lineup for AAA. I see Igawa didnt make the rotation. Can someone name me a more expensive minor league relief pitcher in history than kei?
    I wonder if Towers make a phone call and ask for a favor from the Padres. That would be a good start.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++

    He also didn’t have Boone Logan in AAA – so I just assumed that he had him on the major league team which means that he thinks Gaudin AND Mitre will be gone. Chad is that thinking too far ahead or was it just an omission on your part and Logan is in AAA?

  55. m March 16th, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    Holden,

    She gave you the smiley face. That means she was just kidding.

    Not everyone is cool with GTLU (or GTL as you call it). But like the other idiosyncrasies of the blog it’s tolerated for the most part.

  56. Patrick March 16th, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    Wah wah wah someone was mean to me on a blog.

  57. Rich in NJ March 16th, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    Craw

    I don’t blame them for Cole not signing. They got “messed” over by Cole’s father’s need to play out some psychodrama.

  58. Keep it March 16th, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    THE INTERNET IS SERIOUS BUSINESS.

  59. S.o.S. March 16th, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    miggs,
    Hows the east treating you? Im in the process of selling and moving back to Temecula. Cant take the heat and the people here. Hopefully in the next couple months, i will be back to a place i called home.
    Just read yesterday that Riverside county is #3 in the nation for the worst hit forclosures rate. Iv taken a big hit on my investment.

  60. S.o.S. March 16th, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    If it had a smiley face on it. No need to go to the boss with it. It was Doreen. I also dont think she has a bad bone in her body. I wouldnt look too much into the comment.

    CANT WE ALL JUST GET ALONG??!!

  61. Keep it March 16th, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    More tears, please. They sustain me.

  62. m March 16th, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Jerkface,

    BTW, I meant e-mail Chad to see if Doreen changed her screen to tweak him. Because that’s what he was accusing her of.

    Because it was tantamount to blog libel to accuse Doreen of doing such a thing. :P

  63. MTU March 16th, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    S.o.S-

    No need for Towers to make that call.

    I hear Igawa is going to work for Ray Ban.

    Hope you’re feelin better ? :)

  64. miggs - GTLU Reigning Champion March 16th, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    S.O.S. congrats on the sale in Riverside. The fact that you were able to unload that property must be a huge relief. I’m sure you’re happy to be moving back to Temecula.

    I’m about to hop back into the real estate market in southern cal in the next 6 months or so. Prices have stabilized somewhat near the coast and I’m itching to buy again in the Encinitas area. I miss that place.

    The east coast is ehhh but I’m stacking some chips and business is good. I’m just glad winter is over. Ideally I’ll be spending about 5-6 months a year in San Diego in the near future. I have to be able to get away during these miserable winters.

  65. Jerkface is an idiot March 16th, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Jerkface stop being such a jerk

  66. Betsy -Romine wasn't built in a day March 16th, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Phil still has that huge upside, but I’ve come to accept that the majority of fans have given up on him as being a real impact pitcher. Of course, Yankee fans are hardly known for their patience, so the fact that they have given up on Phil being a stud does not surprise me. They’re also way too into velocity. Who cares if Phil doesn’t throw 97? Starting last year, he threw 92-94 and struck out a lot of people – his FB has movement on it and, as Alex said, he throws “easy cheese”. All this kid needs is the opportunity…….and patience.

    CB, it doesn’t sound like you’re too high on Towers.

  67. tk March 16th, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    “He dominated the minors with pin point control of a 92-94 mph fastball that could TOUCH 95-96.
    And he has had starts that showed that potential.”

    Completely agree Jerkface. I think Hughes’ dominant relief performance made a lot of people lose sight of how he pitched leading up to that. In his final three starts, Hughes struck out 21 batters while walking 3. This stretch includes that 8IP, OER performance you pointed out. I thought Hughes looked really great during this stretch. Those starts combined with the confidence he presumably gained while consistently retiring major league hitters out of the bullpen give me reason to be optimistic about his chances of someday becoming a solid #2 starter. (Even though he’s already 23 and hasn’t performed like Casey Kelly.)

  68. tex's friend March 16th, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    “Special assignment scout for the Yankees…..That sounds like a pretty cool job”

    Even better than being the assistant to the traveling secretary???

    _____

    Nothing is better than assistant to the traveling secretary.

  69. MTU March 16th, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Betsy-

    Anyone who has given up on Hughes this soon has been looking into the Sun too long. ;)

  70. Erin March 16th, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    MTU
    March 16th, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    I hear Igawa is going to work for Ray Ban.

    ************************
    :lol:

  71. Jerkface March 16th, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    Jerkface stop being such a jerk

    Something tells me whoever posted this didn’t use their real handle! Time to send an email to Sam, Chad, Cashman, Kevin Towers, Joe Girardi, P-Abe, Igawa-san, INTERPOL, NSA, etc.

  72. Jerkface March 16th, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Hughes last 4 starts before being optioned to the pen:

    23 IP 3.93 ERA 23 K 7 BB 1.93 GB:FB ratio .238 BAA 1.17 WHIP 3:1 K:BB

    Come on, Hughes owns.

  73. Jose March 16th, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    I am not giving up on Hughes at all. I have just come to the realization that he is not a #1…as once projected by many scouts/media. And that’s OK, not many people are.

    Unless he can develop a good change, he will be nothing more than a #4 or worse. I hope I’m wrong, but that’s my gut feeling as of today.

  74. Betsy -Romine wasn't built in a day March 16th, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    M, I think so, lol……maybe they should get a pair of Igawa shades

  75. MTU March 16th, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Jose-

    Don’t worry.

    You’re wrong.

  76. Phil the Thrill March 16th, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Sherman wanted to trade Phil for Ty Wiggington a couple of years ago. He’s trying harder to understand stats but he still has no idea of VALUE.

  77. m March 16th, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    Jerkface,

    Stop being so ridiculous.

    P-Abe doesn’t have that kind of access anymore. Duuh.

  78. S.o.S. March 16th, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    MTU,
    lol. Igawa needs to be working as one of those shooters of shirts and other things at games. But we could eliminate the gun and have him chuck the balls over the right field wall in the seventh inning stretch. Win win. He earns his money and fans finally love him.

    Miggs,
    I actually have the house up right now. I sold in Temecula 6 months ago. Moved to Hemet and am selling again to move back. Talk about playing musical house. Im not really worried about unloading the house. We were dumb enough to put 70k in upgrades into it.
    My employee is selling a house in Rancho Bernardo for 30% less than he purchased it 2 years back. Its a good time to comeback to the sunny side. Make sure not to stare at the sun too long as iv heard it can do some damage to your way of thinking.

  79. Jerkface March 16th, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    He might not have the access, but like the tireless gumshoes of old timey noir flicks, he would do everything in his power to track down these perpetrators. And he’d probably do it in a really snarky way too.

  80. LGY - Child Prodigy/GB7's Bestest Buddy March 16th, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    “Unless he can develop a good change, he will be nothing more than a #4 or worse. I hope I’m wrong, but that’s my gut feeling as of today.”

    —————————–

    There are plenty of good pitches without a changeup. Saying that w/o a changeup he is nothing more than a 4 or worse is crazy. It is not some mystical pitch that makes or breaks a pitcher.

    Oh and someone go check on Betsy to make sure she is still alive and breathing after reading that comment!

  81. Jose March 16th, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    And to add to my point: the Yankees share that same opinion as I do. If they had complete confidence that Phil would be a dominant starter, they wouldn’t have traded for Vazquez.

  82. Doreen - 2010 GTLU March 16th, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    Holden -

    And I said I was kidding, too. Or maybe you didn’t read that part?

    I mistakenly thought you were fooling around, that you were being tongue in cheek about changing GTLU to GTL. Frankly, because I can’t imagine that the name of the game matters as much as the fact the people enjoy participating in the activity. I made the mistake of thinking you were a light-hearted individual joking around, and I responded in kind.

    I guess I was fooled once.

    Won’t be fooled again by you.

  83. S.o.S. March 16th, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    Time to send an email to Sam, Chad, Cashman, Kevin Towers, Joe Girardi, P-Abe, Igawa-san, INTERPOL, NSA, etc.

    ======

    jerkface,
    I would not waste an email to Cash. Hes changed his ways and will not read anything coming from a bad clubhouse guy. Towers wouldnt even bother presenting it to him.

  84. MTU March 16th, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    S.o.S.-

    You know what really gave it away for me on Iggy.

    When he was runnin his machine into the wall at the video arcade and wouldn’t stop. Sparks flyin’ everywhere.

    It was then I knew he would never have control.

    Thank G-d it was only a video game.

  85. Patrick March 16th, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Hughes is going to be an ace this year, screw the haters

  86. Doreen - 2010 GTLU March 16th, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    m -

    I did post “Get Thee Lost” (GTL) to Holden, but I was kidding, and I said so, just underneath, in parentheses. I really thought she was joking around about GTL/GTLU.

  87. Jerkface March 16th, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    I don’t think the Yankees share the opinion that Hughes is going to be a #4. The average #4 in the majors the past 3 years has average around a 5.5+ era.

    There are also the millions of tweets and blogs that say the yankees ‘secretly have already all but given hughes the 5 spot’

  88. LGY - Child Prodigy/GB7's Bestest Buddy March 16th, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    “And to add to my point: the Yankees share that same opinion as I do. If they had complete confidence that Phil would be a dominant starter, they wouldn’t have traded for Vazquez.”

    —————————-

    I am going to go out on a limb here and say the Yankees definitely do not share the same opinion as you and I am glad they do not.

    There were a number of reasons to trade for Vazquez and Hughes may or may not have been one of them.

  89. Keep it March 16th, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Jose
    March 16th, 2010 at 4:48 pm
    And to add to my point: the Yankees share that same opinion as I do. If they had complete confidence that Phil would be a dominant starter, they wouldn’t have traded for Vazquez.
    ——————————-

    They are still developing Phil. He’s 23. Maybe 24. I don’t think they share the same opinion you do. And Thank God for that.

  90. Betsy -Romine wasn't built in a day March 16th, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    LOL LGY – I just came back from banging my head against the wall. Given Jose’s last comment, I need to go back there again.

  91. tk March 16th, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    “Phil still has that huge upside, but I’ve come to accept that the majority of fans have given up on him as being a real impact pitcher.”

    I hope that isn’t the case. It would be remarkably stupid to give up on Hughes considering his age and performance. Unfortunately, people do look at his 5.5 ERA as a starter and read way too much into it. That inflated figure is really the result of his 1 2/3 inning 8ER performance against BAL. Outside of that start, he had a stellar year–starting – 3.55 ERA, 8.45 K/9, 3.55 BB/9, 31:13 K/BB; reliever – 51 IP, 65K, 13BB, 11.4 K/9, 5 K/BB, and held opponents to .172/.228/.228/.456. I would love to see Joba fulfill his talent and earn the 5th spot, but I don’t think that is going happen. On the bright side, Hughes will probably get a shot to pitch 150+ innings and will have people tripping over themselves to get back on the bandwagon.

  92. Jerkface March 16th, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Oh S.O.S. I bet you could hardly contain yourself as you wrote up that revenge masterstroke.

  93. Chad Jennings March 16th, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Just rewrote this post with full audio from Brian Cashman and Kevin Towers. Pretty good stuff from Towers. He seems very easy to deal with.

  94. Doreen - 2010 GTLU March 16th, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    m -

    I haven’t been on here in a couple of hours – I just scrolled and saw the Secret Police thing. THAT IS NOT ME. NOT ME. I never post under an alias. And I never insult people. Now I have to scroll up and see what the person wrote.

    Holden -

    I posted the original Get The Lost (with the Just kidding part) as a joke, but nothing after that.

  95. S.o.S. March 16th, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    If they had complete confidence that Phil would be a dominant starter, they wouldn’t have traded for Vazquez.

    =====

    Not true. They needed a #4 starter. It has more to do with not wanting Joba and Phil to hold the 4 and 5 spots. It burned them a couple years back. Dont blame them. They spot was Jobas to lose not Phils. And it looks like that will be the case.

  96. Patrick March 16th, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Towers was always one of the better GM’s in the league. Not one of the best but easily top third. I’m glad he’s with us now.

  97. randy l. March 16th, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    i don’t know much about towers at all. i’m assuming he’s a friend of cashman who cashman trusts.

    i’ve always felt cashman doesn’t let anyone in the organization who is talented enough to replace him.

    i’ve also thought that the yankees are undermanned sometimes because of this.

    towers can obviously handle things cashman delegates to him so i look at this as a good move . delegating some things should alloy cashman to get more done.

    it’ll be interesting seeing how the relationship between cashman and towers plays out.
    towers is used to being in charge , and that’s not going to happen in new york.
    as i said, it’s going to be interesting.

  98. Erica - always OPPC March 16th, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    This is kind of comical-

    May I suggest a compromise….

    Anyone who is truly offended and bothered by the nickname of GTLU, should punish the people who play it by not participating.

  99. Patrick March 16th, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    The Yankees realized that they have too many resources to give 2 rotation spots to unproven starters. It makes no sense to award guys that haven’t earned a thing. I see Hughes winning the job this year and establishing himself with Joba taking a rotation spot in 2011. The Yanks have the luxury of breaking guys in one at a time.

  100. m March 16th, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    Secretly, I think a lot of people think like Jose does. In fact there were legions like him when Joba cast his shadow over Phil.

    But Phil is the same Phil. The difference is he’s healthy. He only worries about himself and what he can control.

    He has a quiet confidence that I love. I think he feels like he belongs in the Bronx, and no one can take that away from him.

  101. Erica - always OPPC March 16th, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    For the record-

    Doreen would never intentionally be mean to anyone

    And I am not the GTLU Secret Police either. I have the nerve to post whatever I have to say under my own name. Seriously…. I have a lot of nerve :-)

  102. Maverick March 16th, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    Holden,

    In case you missed it earlier, I’ll re-post for you edification:

    In the military we had A LOT of acronyms. There are no specific rules for creating them. Proper spelling has nothing to do with which letters are included, it is up to the creator of the acronym. PERIOD

    (For example, I worked on a program with the USAF & NASA known as SPADVOS. SPADVOS stands for Spaceborne Direct Viewing Optical System.)

    You have already been told NO to GTL. So I have to ask, WHAT PART OF THE WORD “NO” DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND?

    I suspect when you were a child you also threw a tantrum then when you didn’t get your way….or did your mother just forget to changed your diapers this morning?

  103. Betsy -Romine wasn't built in a day March 16th, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    TK, good points. Phil’s problem is that people remember him in the minors apparently throwing 96 and completely dominating. They think now that Eiland has screwed him up (and Joba)…….and they think he’s been a failure as a starter. The poor kid has not even had the chance Joba had last year, whether due to injuries or circumstances (last year, being put in the pen). I don’t know what some fans want out of young players…….

  104. S.o.S. March 16th, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    jerkface,
    Dont hate the player. Hate the game.
    BTW, do i get a point for that one? Whats the score now?

  105. m March 16th, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    Doreen,

    I couldn’t let anyone get away with harrassing my east coast twin. ;)

    Using Jose’s logic, it would have more to do in how the Yankees feel about Joba than Phil.

  106. m March 16th, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Thanks, Chad. Quick guys, over/under on the word “process”.

  107. MTU March 16th, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Betsy-

    ” I don’t know what some fans want out of young players…….”

    BLOOD. every last drop. :)

  108. Doreen - 2010 GTLU March 16th, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    m -

    Thanks!

    It’s nice to know my honor is defended when I’m not here!

    Who would have thought a simple acronym would cause so much grief? Whew.

    :S

  109. Rich in NJ March 16th, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    “Something tells me whoever posted this didn’t use their real handle! Time to send an email to Sam, Chad, Cashman, Kevin Towers, Joe Girardi, P-Abe, Igawa-san, INTERPOL, NSA, etc.”

    You don’t think they monitor this blog??????????

  110. Betsy -Romine wasn't built in a day March 16th, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    M, yes I agree – I also think that Joba has legions of fans because of his outgoing personality. Fans will tolerate from Joba what they won’t from Phil because of this and b ecause they see GREAT, ACE POTENTIAL in Joba whereas Phil is AN OVERHYPED #3 STARTER. Why ? VELOCITY…it’s sexy. Personally, I think Phil painting the black with 95 MPH heat was beautiful to watch – and he can do the same thing as a starter at 92-93 as long as he’s healthy and his stuff is good.

  111. tk March 16th, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    “And to add to my point: the Yankees share that same opinion as I do. If they had complete confidence that Phil would be a dominant starter, they wouldn’t have traded for Vazquez.”

    I think people infer far too much from the Javy trade. Making a reasonable trade to acquire a standout pitcher is not necessarily a condemnation of the current staff. Cash understands how brutal a 162 season in the AL East is and how pitching depth can turn into a need with a single injury. Let’s assume the Yankees feel Joba & Hughes could dominate out the #4/#5 slots. Even then should they be comfortable trusting these slots to a pitcher who hasn’t started 200 innings in a season and another who hasn’t started 150? Both of whom would be pitching behind 3 guys who endured very heavy workloads the previous season. The Yankees may view these guys a perennial Cy Young candidates or as middle relievers, I have no idea. However, I’m fairly confident we can’t use the Javy trade as a gauge for their perception.

  112. Rich in NJ March 16th, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    “The Yankees realized that they have too many resources to give 2 rotation spots to unproven starters”

    If so, then the money is a curse as well as a blessing.

  113. Betsy -Romine wasn't built in a day March 16th, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Yep, MTU – I wouldn’t want to be their children. If the kids don’t ace their kindergarten coloring test, the Yankee fan parents will boo them unmercifully.

  114. Betsy -Romine wasn't built in a day March 16th, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    Chad, good stuff – thanks! I think Cash should hire all his friends, including Theo.

  115. Rich in NJ March 16th, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    Joba’s mystique flows from his first year as a reliever and his stint as a starter in 2008. He was all-world. It’s as simple as that.

  116. Jerkface March 16th, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    If the Yankees didn’t believe in Joba or Hughes they’d have traded them already. The Yankees have had ample opportunities to unload both of them over the past 4 seasons.

  117. MTU March 16th, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    Betsy-

    The only people who would downgrade Phil’s obvious talent are the ones who have chewed too many of the magic mushrooms.

    And forgot not to stare into the Sun during the last total eclipse. :)

  118. Bronx Jeers March 16th, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    Ok, I’ll admit it.

    I’m the secret police.

    But seriously, it was just a joke.

    Doreen, I’m sorry. It had nothing to do with you. It was more of a joke regarding Erica’s former “reign”

    And I thought that guy (or girl)was kidding as well. Re-name GTLU? It’s gotta be a joke right?

    Anyway, sorry if I screwed up your first big GTLU day.

    GTLU Forever! :lol:

  119. Pat M. March 16th, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    Randy I, Do you have anyway on contacting GB ????

  120. CB March 16th, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    “Phil’s problem is that people remember him in the minors apparently throwing 96 and completely dominating. ”

    No his problem is very much the internet. Someone makes up some story and it just takes on a life of its own that will never go away.

    Last year in all of the majors one pitcher threw an average fastball of 96 mph or over. One.

    Justin Verlander has as gifted an arm as we’ve seen enter the majors over the past 10 years. He’s half robot. He’s topped 100 in the 9nth inning.

    Last year was the best Verlander’s thrown bar none. It was also the hardest he’s every thrown. That game he threw at Fenway last August was amongst the handful of most impressive games as anyone threw in the majors last year.

    Verlander didn’t average 96. For his career Verlander’s average fastball isn’t even 95 (it’s close but still a shade under at 94.8).

    Very few human beings in history – even amongst power pitchers – have every been able to consistently throw 96.

    Fans consistently over rate how fast power pitcher’s throw because fans – especially fans of a particular team – only remember the outliers on the gun – not the most frequent velocities.

    And this is partly what makes the evolution of Joba’s career so potentially disappointing.

    It appeared that the Yankees had a starting pitcher who had that kind of Verlanderesque arm. Not a bull pen pitcher – a starting pitcher.

    And those are exceedingly rare to find. But now that potential seems to be potentially be ebbing away.

  121. MTU March 16th, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Pat M.-

    If Randy doesn’t I would think Dennis Costanza would have a way.

    I think GB was in for a tuneup.

  122. Erica - always OPPC March 16th, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Bronx Jeers-

    I thought it was funny… :lol:

  123. randy l. March 16th, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    “Randy I, Do you have anyway on contacting GB ????”

    pat m-

    yeah, i just need to slow down when he’s chasing me with his blunderbuss.

    why? hasn’t he been on the blog recently?

  124. Patrick March 16th, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    “If so, then the money is a curse as well as a blessing.”

    This is false.

  125. Rich in NJ March 16th, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    “Verlander didn’t average 96. For his career Verlander’s average fastball isn’t even 95 (it’s close but still a shade under at 94.8).

    Very few human beings in history – even amongst power pitchers – have every been able to consistently throw 96.”

    That’s why Joba’s 2008 starts were so tantalizing; his average FB velo was approx. 95.

    The interesting thing about Verlander (and perhaps a tie-in to Joba) is that his velo was down at the end of 2008, only to return in 2009.

  126. Doreen - 2010 GTLU March 16th, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Bronx Jeers -

    Believe me, I have more in life to be concerned about than this whole thing. Water under the bridge.

    :)

  127. Rich in NJ March 16th, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    “This is false.”

    That’s easy to say but hard to prove.

    There is nothing more valuable in MLB than cost-controlled young starters, even to a big market team like the NYY. It enables a team to spend money elsewhere, it allows them to minimize the risk of over paying established starers in their decline phase, and it provides tremendous trade chips to fill any need.

    So instead of just saying it’s false, I would appreciate a point by point rebuttal.

  128. CB March 16th, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    Rich,

    What was particularly interesting about Verlander’s 2008 was that it was actually the beginning of the season when his velocity was at its worst.

    He was really low 90′s at the start of that season. He picked up a few ticks as the season went on. But watching him throw in april and may of 2008 – he looked like a guy on his way to DL or even shoulder surgery.

    Unfortunately, Joba didn’t show many signs of getting back his old stuff last year.

  129. Rich in NJ March 16th, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    CB

    Was an injury involved in Verlander’s decreased velo?

  130. Patrick March 16th, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    Oh sorry rich i was emulating your style of commenting.

    It’s true that young, talented starting pitching is the most valuable thing in baseball. However, it’s never a good idea to give a roster spot to a guy that doesn’t earn it. Hughes and Kennedy were given spots in the rotation with basically no competition back in 2008 and they both flamed out. They were clearly not ready to play pivotal roles on a playoff team.

    Excessive money allows the Yankees to work 1 guy per year into the rotation while maintaining championship aspirations. Do you see the red sox giving 2/5ths of their rotation to rookies? Or any big market team for that matter?

    Basically by disagreeing with this you are saying you’d rather have Joba in the rotation as opposed to Javier Vazquez which is utterly insane.

  131. randy l. March 16th, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    cb-

    as joba has dropped down it seems lester has increased his velocity.

    i don’t think joba is in shape to throw at near maximum velocity for much more than an inning .

    he just may not have it in him to work really hard at being in starter shape.

    people can say what they want about body type, but joba looks like he’s 40 years old.

    i suppose he could pitch himself into shape , but it’s just disappointing to see someone like lester get a little better each year to be a solid #2 while joba is regressing rather than improving.

  132. MTU March 16th, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    CB/Rich-

    Wasn’t it Cone who said it can take a year to recover fully from shoulder tendonitis ?

  133. CB March 16th, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Rich,

    No. Both Verlander and Detroit were pretty adamant about him not being hurt. He never went on the DL, IIRC.

    Just guessing – but I’d have to guess he had a dead arm for some reason. But even after he got his velocity up, his fastball was still kind of flat and he wasn’t that great in 2008.

  134. MTU March 16th, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Randy-

    Give Joba the Grand Canyon treatment.:)

  135. Betsy -Romine wasn't built in a day March 16th, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    CB, I was specifically talking about Phil and why he’s been given the shaft by so many Yankee fans. I keep hearing about Phil throwing 95/96 MPH in the minors and that this is the kid that dominated. I don’t believe Phil ever said he threw that hard all the time – not that it matters. He still completely dominated and that’s why he was the best pitching prospect in the game. Fans and mediots are absolutely clueless. Phil suffered severe injuries in 2007 – no wonder he struggled in August of that year. To hear Kay and the dopey scouts (sorry, but scouts should know better) tell it, Phil just suffered a bee sting or something minor and what happened was that he just lost his stuff/talent/whatever. It made no sense whatsoever.

  136. Pat M. March 16th, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    Tin Cup, He hasn’t been around lately…..I Know he had some follow results…It’s unsual that he hasn’t checked in….

  137. Rich in NJ March 16th, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Patrick

    OK, my bad in this instance.

    As for earning a spot, I think it depends on what the meaning of earn is.

    Both Hughes and Kennedy had an exemplary mL body of work. With that in mind, it was reasonable to give them starting spots in the hope that they could establish themselves in the ML. Unfortunately, bad luck (injuries) intervened, and perhaps they misjudged IPK’s ability to handle the pressure of playing in NY at that stage of his development.

    But is it really any worse than force feeding Wang back into the rotation last season despite the fact that it quickly became apparent that he wasn’t capable of getting ML hitters out?

    As for the 1 starter at a time question, I think it depends on circumstances. In 2008, they didn’t have the luxury of going that route given the available options.

    In 2010, Vazquez’s availability (as well as price and contract) presented a unique opportunity, but I don’t think that scenario offers a model that can necessarily be repeated every time there is an opening in the rotation. Plus, Joba’s precarious situation in terms of becoming a starter is sort of unique so I’m not sure we can be sure whether that is an explication of the general rule or an exception to it.

    My point really was made in terms of the general rule. A major reason why they didn’t win rings from 2001-08 is that they didn’t draft and develop ML starting pitching. With that in mind, sometimes you have to offer young starters patience even if it costs a little in the short-term. IMO, that is a worthwhile strategy, even if a team has the resources to go the veteran route.

  138. randy l. March 16th, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    on the other hand lester has had in age 24 and 25 years and joba hasn’t .

    there is a two year age difference.

  139. Rich in NJ March 16th, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    MTU

    Ye, Cone.

  140. MTU March 16th, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    Rich-

    SJ has pointed out that it has been a while since Joba was able to produce his current velocity this early in a season.

    Perhaps, that is an indicator that Cone was right and that Joba is now fully recovered.

    If true his FB velocity should continue to rise well above it’s former mediocrity.

    He has 2 more weeks for it to show.

  141. randy l. March 16th, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    “Give Joba the Grand Canyon treatment”
    mtu-

    up and down for joba with just water and he’d drop 10 pounds .

    three times and he’d be a new man.

  142. CB March 16th, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    randy,

    I think 3 things have happened with Lester with respect to his velocity.

    First, obviously, he got through the cancer. But even with that – he’s throwing harder now than he did in the minors or his first year in the majors which predate the Cancer. So clearly that not all of it.

    The second thing – he has really gotten much bigger, much more muscular and fit.

    The biggest thing is the third – his mechanics have gotten so much better. His delivery is more compact and he repeats is better.

    Lester has drastically expanded his repertoire of pitches while at the same time drastically improved his control and command.

    He used to throw a ton of pitches, many of which missed spots and not last past the 5th/ 6th inning.

    But now he can put the ball where he wants it.

    Command and velocity both have their roots in good mechanics. Just a guess, but I’d guess that Lester probably feels much more comfortable now with his command and as such doesn’t need to “aim” the ball and can utilize more of his core to generate power and transfer it to his arm. Before when his mechanics were more shaky and he didn’t know where the ball was going he might have felt less able to control the central power he generated.

    I’d also guess that he can now generate more power. But more than that it’s his ability to efficiently transfer that generated power to his arm in a controlled fashion. That’s given him much more velocity and much more command.

    And Joba has been the exact opposite. His fastball velocity is the most noticeably different. But just as big a problem – if not worse – is that his fastball command decayed as well.

    Joba’s velocity and command got much worse and did so jointly. I’d guess there is a common root cause and it’s his mechanics. Joba didn’t repeat his delivery well at all last year and hasn’t this spring either. He looks awkward out there on the mound now.

    So I completely agree with your evaluation on Joba, his conditioning and his mechanics.

    It’s exactly the opposite of the evolution of Lester.

    And it’s extremely disappointing. If it doesn’t happen for Joba it really is on him and how badly he wanted it.

  143. Patrick March 16th, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    “A major reason why they didn’t win rings from 2001-08 is that they didn’t draft and develop ML starting pitching.”

    I agree with this and I think the Yankees have learned their lesson here. They’ve also learned that young starters are risky.

    My point is that although Hughes and Kennedy were great in the minors and showed flairs of brilliance in the majors, it was still a big risk to give them both spots in the rotation. It’s much less of a risk to have 4 veteran starters and give one spot to a young unproven guy. Last year Joba was a mixed bag, some good and some bad but it didn’t really change the outcome of the season.

    The original point I was trying to make is that I feel the Yankees have learned how to balance the need to introduce young pitching with the ability to supplement the team with veteran starters. They have plenty of money so there is no urgent financial need to develop young starters. It has to be done, but it doesn’t have to be done all at once.

  144. MTU March 16th, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Rich-

    One more thing on Joba.

    After he injured his shoulder he needed a lot longer to loosen up.

    I wonder if his warmup time has been reduced again ?

    If it is that might be another indicator that the shoulder is healthy again.

  145. MTU March 16th, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    Randy-

    “up and down for joba with just water and he’d drop 10 pounds .

    three times and he’d be a new man.”

    That, and if he isn’t allowed to shake off the mules and he is forced to the outside.

    That will definitely make him into a new man.

    Send it in to girardi for approval.

  146. randy l. March 16th, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    “Tin Cup, He hasn’t been around lately…..I Know he had some follow results…It’s unsual that he hasn’t checked in….”

    pat m-

    maybe nurse karloff has kidnapped him and having her way with him :)

    that would be the best case scenario.

    not from gb7′s point of view though.

    hopefully he’ll check in soon and all will be well.

  147. RayVT March 16th, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    IMO, great pitching comes in stages.
    1. Raw Talent
    2. Learning how to pitch
    3. Learning 3 to 4 solid pitches.
    4. Location or control of the pitches
    5. Confidence.
    6. Stay in Pitching Shape (Legs)

    With Phil & Joba they kind of gained things in a different order. They both started with (1.). They both had (4.) down as well and the bullpen role pushed them over the top on item (5.) Confidence.

    Phil is in great shape (Item 6), but injuries have held him back. Joba was in great shape in 2007, but not since which has hurt him IMO.

    Unlike some of you, I think both Joba & Phil are potential number 1 caliber starters. They are both methodically learning items 2 & 3, learning how to pitch & mastery of 3 to 4 pitches. Joba needs the get in shape, but I believe he is in much better shape than last year still. He is close.

    I think the Yankees are so excited about having both of them as starters they can hardly stand it, but don’t want to be over zealous either. We have all witnessed their potential and weknesses, but I feel they sky is the limit for both of them.

  148. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day March 16th, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    Patrick, I thought Phil had earned a spot in the rotation in 2008. Ian? Off of 3 starts in September? Not so much.

    I’m very skeptical of the Yankees and their ability to develop pitching. I do not blame them for Joba’s iffy year last year or his drop in velocity. I don’t blame them for Phil’s injuries. However, I think they’ve handled Phil poorly from the very beginning. I don’t care that he almost had a no-hitter in Texas; it doesn’t mean that he was ready to go out and be competitive (even as a fifth starter) at the tender age of 20. He would have remained in the minors until September if not for injuries; Cash should have scoured the market to find anyone to bring up instead of rushing Phil. I thought it was a bad idea to leave him in the pen last year; it worked for last year, but he has lost a year of development and may lose another if he doesn’t get the spot this year. I think he became the forgotten man when Joba came up – and he’s still trying to reclaim the favored son position. I think another year as set up man would be total confirmation that the Yankees have no clue; it will set him back tremendously.

  149. CB March 16th, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    MTU,

    The thing with Joba’s shoulder tendinitis – it really wasn’t that bad. It was a fairly mild case.

    I’d be surprised for shoulder tendinitis of that variety would take a year to recover from.

    Just me – but I think his shoulder injury may have affected him in another way.

    It almost looked to me that Joba decided to change his style of pitching after he got hurt in order to protect his arm in some way. The pause in his delivery was more pronounced and he wasn’t generating as much momentum going forward to the plate. It just looked like he was throwing more cautiously rather than trying to throw hard consistently.

    In turn that may have thrown off his mechanics and made him over think what he was doing out there.

  150. MTU March 16th, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    Randy-

    Hopefully, GB has been cleared for action.

    He has been like the “Bubble boy” confined to quarters.

    Freedom from that might explain things.

    Even for GB, it might take a while to polish off a case of beer.

    He’s out of practice.

    They better hide all the Pizza in his entire town.

  151. MTU March 16th, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    CB-

    yeah, maybe he was afraid to re-injure ?

    I want to see that Boston Joba again. Hope it happens.

  152. Tank March 16th, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    We were much better equipped to handle 2 kids in the rotation this year with CC and AJ at the top of our rotation, rather than 2008 with Wang and a 36 yr old Andy Pettitte. Mussina was also coming off a year where he got demoted to the pen with a 5 ERA and we had no idea what to expect from him.

    Hughes was basically penciled into be the #3 starter in 2008. Perhaps even #2 if you thought he could outperform an aging Pettitte.

  153. Y26 March 16th, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    Why can’t they just tell Joba to go back to his old mechanics? Why hasn’t Eliand identified why his mechanics has changed?

  154. Bronx Jeers March 16th, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Last year was a very good year for Phil.

    Sure, he wasn’t starting but he was getting outs consistently enough to use as a springboard for this year.

    It doesn’t matter what the fans or the analysts think about Phil. It matters what the Yanks think.

    And they think he can be a starter. That’s why the deck is stacked in his favor this Spring.

    My only hope is that he’s good enough to the point that they might consider giving Joba another shot next season.

  155. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day March 16th, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    CB, we’re very lucky that Phil didn’t suffer any arm injuries after his brutal leg problems. I was afraid that would happen – he didn’t just rip his hamstring, he suffered I believe the worst kind of sprained ankle. I don’t know if it’s because Phil’s mechanics are so good or because he’s got a good build and is in shape, but given the lack of confidence he had in his legs when he returned, it’s surprising that Phil didn’t overcompensate.

  156. Rich in NJ March 16th, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    Patrick

    If it was Hughes and Joba (pre-injury) going into the rotation would you feel the same way?

    I don’t think the Yankees’ mindset has changed so much as they have been the victim of bad luck to their pitching prospects.

    I think they over corrected last season because they didn’t make the playoffs in 2008 and they were opening a new stadium in 2009.

    I don’t think that will necessarily be an enduring trend.

  157. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day March 16th, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Bronx, if Joba had just been solid last year, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion – and we wouldn’t have Javy. It was an excellent year for Phil – not least of which is that he stayed healthy.

  158. RayVT March 16th, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    CB
    March 16th, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    I believe as do some others on this, that Joba’s legs aren’t strong enough (last year) to support his mechanics. If the legs aren’t ready, nothing works. Hopefully, his legs are ready now and we can see Joba & Phil tighten up their mechanics and do well this year. Both are still very young!

  159. Doreen - 2010 GTLU March 16th, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    There really weren’t alternatives to Phil and IPK in the rotation that year. The thinking was, I believe, that they would struggle, but the offense would kind of get them through it.

    They struggled even more than it was anticipated; Phil had a rib injury that he tried to pitch through but could not; IPK was being too fine and had PR difficulties (which I don’t understand why people give him such a hard time about that – he’s a kid, he would learn, plus I always understood he was trying to put the best fact on things – he would have learned better), AND to top it all off, if I recall correctly, the offense in April of 2008 took a holiday.

    Perhaps I’m more sanguine about these things – best laid plans and all.

    But the Yankees learned that you can’t take certain things for granted, least of all the patience (or impatience) of the fanbase.

    It’s a different animal developing pitchers for the NY Yankees. There is no wiggle room.

    I think for Joba the biggest plus was getting through last season without injury. Let’s see how the rest of the spring goes, what kind of progress he makes. But it’s not just one thing with Joba, so I really don’t know what they’ll end up doing. If they believe he’s healthy, I seriously think they should consider sending him to AAA (or wherever) to get back to basics out of the spotlight (or out of the direct spotlight, because you know there’ll be reports strictly on Joba development detail).

    If only they hadn’t traded for Pudge…

  160. Rich in NJ March 16th, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    MTU

    I think both the early show of velo and the warm up time issue may be promising signs. We’ll see if they presage a return of the old Joba.

    As for the severity of the tendinitis issue that CB raised, as I have posted before, it is a catch-all diagnosis. MRIs are so advanced as to fully reveal the severity of the injury.

  161. Rich in NJ March 16th, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    Edit:

    MRIs are NOT so advanced as to fully reveal the severity of the injury.

  162. CB March 16th, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    MRI’s are actually hypersensitive to tendinitis in the shoulder. They’ll pick stuff up that people don’t even feel.

    Joba was back pitching within 4 weeks. That’s not a real long time for shoulder tendinitis. It’s primarily from that I’m inferring that his tendinitis wasn’t too bad.

  163. randy l. March 16th, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    “Why can’t they just tell Joba to go back to his old mechanics? Why hasn’t Eliand identified why his mechanics has changed?”

    mechanical things are not so easy to fix sometimes.

    you may know what you’re supposed to do , but it can be hard to do it and harder to repeat it.

    something as simple as thinking right foot pressure or landing in a certain way can totally change how a pitcher pitches. breaking the hands a certain way or simply relaxing the muscles and letting your body do the work. the slightest change in mechanics can throw a pitcher off or make him better.

    at some point a pitcher has to find a way to put all the mechanics together in a way that works and feels natural to the pitcher so he can focus on pitching.

    as cb has said, joba seems out of sync and seems to be over thinking.

    my impression of joba is that he thinks he knows more than he does.

    it’s probably not in his best interests to think too much.

    he probably need to keep it simple and stick to the basics.

    i think the first thing he needs to do is get his fastball and his fastball command back.

    once he does then he’ll have a base he can build on.

    i’m pulling for joba to be a starter, but it does feel like pushing a rock up hill.

  164. m March 16th, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    CB,

    Are you implying that Joba’s injury wasn’t that severe? Was it tendinitis or a tear?

  165. MTU March 16th, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    Randy-

    “i’m pulling for joba to be a starter, but it does feel like pushing a rock up hill.”

    A pretty good sized rock at that !

  166. RS March 16th, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    I kind of wish that Joba would start next year just to see what he would do without any pitch count or innings limits. If I’m not mistaken, he had a 3.58 ERA around the first week of August, which happened to be his last “normal” start before the crazy rules started going into effect.

    At the same time, I would rather see Hughes in the rotation and Joba in the bullpen if it comes down to only one of them getting a shot at starting. Long term, I feel it is a safer decision to invest in Hughes as a starter and Joba as a reliever. The only thing that concerns me is seeing Hughes have to go through everything Joba went through last season. If the Yankees do put an innings cap on him, I hope they treat him like the Tigers treated Porcello last year (equal restrictions throughout the season rather than an abrupt schedule change in August/September).

  167. Steve March 16th, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    An earlier post said Sidney Ponson signed on with the L.I. Ducks.
    This could open doors to also resurrect the careers of Wilson Betemit and Richie Sexson.
    Rumor has Mo Vaughn signing on as a pinch running specialist.

  168. m March 16th, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    I think part of the reason why they got Vazquez is so that we’d have 4 solid playoff starters that weren’t on any kind of inning restrictions.

  169. Rich in NJ March 16th, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    “MRI’s are actually hypersensitive to tendinitis in the shoulder. They’ll pick stuff up that people don’t even feel.”

    I have had shoulder problems, and my orthopedist (and the he sent me to for a second opinion) told me the opposite.

    They can’t distinguish between a small tear and inflammation. What they pick up are “hot spots.”

  170. MTU March 16th, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    m-

    One indication of the severity of Joba’s injury might be the fact that he could no longer get loose quickly after it.

    He required a extra long time to warm up where before he did not.

    Perhaps, it was just a precaution but I do not think so. It reflected an after effect of the injury.

  171. Encinitan March 16th, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    I so hate how you guys hijack threads. The blog note you should be commenting about involves Kevin Towers.

  172. CB March 16th, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    m,

    As an outsider with no special knowledge of the case, it didn’t strike me that Joba’s shoulder tendinitis was all that severe.

    If it had been severe the Yankees would have shut him down for the year. Instead he was out for a month and then came back pitching. Now, he came back on a very modified schedule and in the pen – but that seemed to be at least in part due to the fact that the season was basically over when he came back.

    4 weeks isn’t that long a time to be out with shoulder tendinitis. It’s not insignificant but it’s not extensive either for that injury (just comparing it to how other pitchers do with shoulder tendinitis). It’s a moderate amount of time.

    That season John Maine had shoulder tendinitis – and his was much worse and really did seem to affect him longer term. But his was also caused by a very large bone spur in his shoulder.

    Joba’s situation didn’t require anything that drastic. He basically had conservative treatment and was proscribed a shoulder strengthening program.

    It didn’t strike me as out of the ordinary, but I obviously don’t have any particular information on the exact nature of his condition.

  173. m March 16th, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    mtu,

    maybe, but there shouldn’t be any effects this far out from the injury. unless it’s a chronic thing.

    i think Joba’s problem is his mechanics.

    another thing could be his control, from what i understand wasn’t the greatest.

    without his “primo” stuff, he might not have the confidence to attack the hitters, thus leading to high pitch counts, high WHIP, and early exits.

  174. Holden March 16th, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    Erica,

    I don’t think anyone was “truly offended and bothered by the nickname of GTLU.” Rather, I think some posters suggested the name to be changed to correct the aberrant spelling. Was just an opinion of a few. Hopefully though, we all know that the baseball word ‘lineup’ is not spelled ‘line up.’

    Maverick: no need for you to be so child-like. We are here to talk Yankee baseball, not to attempt to insult people. OK?

    Secret Police indeed!

  175. rjphilly March 16th, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    Get over it. It’s a conversation. Please, enlighten us with your Kevin Towers commentary.

  176. MTU March 16th, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    m-

    I am not a Dr.

    Joba has 2 more starts to show what he can do.

    And so does Phil.

    Decision in 2 weeks, or so.

  177. m March 16th, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    “I so hate how you guys hijack threads.”

    Guilty as charged. :oops:

  178. Rich in NJ March 16th, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    I don’t think severe is that useful a word in this instance. That basically means that Joba didn’t require surgery. Yet there are a range of shoulder conditions short of a tear that don’t require surgical intervention that an MRI can distinguish.

    If it was so minor, why did the Yankees consult with Dr. Andrews for advice on how he should be used in 2009.

    Equally important, even if Joba’s injury was merely tendinitis, it caused diminished arm strength, which David Cone has said, based on his experience with shoulder issues, can take a year to return.

  179. CB March 16th, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    “They can’t distinguish between a small tear and inflammation. What they pick up are “hot spots.””

    That’s true. But I believe in those cases people generally continue to have persistent physical problems.

    If Joba did have a small tear in his shoulder it would have likely continued to bother him and get worse as he threw more.

    I think he would have wound up back on the DL at some point or at least would have been complaining about pain/ looked less comfortable on the mound. Joba never looked like he was pitching in pain. There were no reports of him getting extra ice or additional precautions taken after games, etc.

    But that’s just speculation on my part.

    At the same time – if he does have a small tear or fraying in his shoulder then that’s really, really bad news. If that’s the case and it’s a tear that’s caused his loss of velocity then I wouldn’t count on him getting back to what he was before.

  180. randy l. March 16th, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    “I so hate how you guys hijack threads. The blog note you should be commenting about involves Kevin Towers.”

    and your thoughts on towers is___________ ?

  181. RayVT March 16th, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    All this speculation over Joba versus Phil is quite interesting. I wonder if April will see Joba & Phil pitching the same games (½ each) for the whole month before letting one move to the pen. Aceves may be tied to Pettite to do the same thing. Gaudin or Mitre could be long man & Robertson the Setup guy for the month. I believe the Yanks want to see how April goes for their decisions.

  182. RayVT March 16th, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    I prefer to call it Lojacking myself!! I mean we all have our own keyboards!

  183. m March 16th, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    RayVT,

    They’re going to make their decision by the 24th (?) so that they can prepare for their respective roles.

  184. randy l. March 16th, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    “A pretty good sized rock at that ”

    yes , eiland might be getting a little tired pushing such a big rock up the hill.

    at some point the bullpen might seem easier for everyone including joba.

  185. blake March 16th, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    I think one of Joba’s problems is that he seems to have no idea how to carry out a game plan or pace himself as a starter. He seems to have real trouble when its not max effort, its like he doesn’t know how hard he should be throwing it or something…kinda like me when I’m in between clubs on the golf course.

  186. CB March 16th, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    randy,

    BTW if you want to read some interesting, well written articles on math I highly recommend Steven Strogatz’s guest blog posts on the NY Times this past month. He’s filling in on their opinionator blog for a few weeks.

    It’s very good stuff. Strogatz is an interesting guy. An expert in non-linear dynamics and “chaos.”

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytim.....-strogatz/

  187. RayVT March 16th, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    Personally, I don’t think Joba or Phil have a problem. They need to mature more into great pitchers, but that takes time usually. Both have excelled & needed improvement. I look forward to watching them both do great this year & many years to come! The ones that need patience is us! (Fans!)

  188. SJ44 March 16th, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Ray,

    Ding, ding ding, we have a winner!

    Joba’s shoulder is fine. He’s 100% healthy.

    Once he makes a mechanical adjustment, he will be good to go.

    It just may be out of the pen though.

  189. pistol pete March 16th, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    It’s incomprehensible all the chatter about Joba. He’s never ever come close to the form he had when he arrived. He wasn’t a good starter last year and as a reliever was a little better than ok but not dominate. His era is 27 this spring, he’s lost the bite on his slider, his velocity isn’t near when he 1st came up, and it’s time to stop making excuses. At best he ends up in the bullpen, he really should go down to see if he can regain his form. That would allow the Yankees a spot for someone who actually pitched well this spring and to see if they can stick at the major league level. There will still be time for Joba to come up if he gets right.

  190. randy l. March 16th, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    blake-

    you may be right about joba and maximum effort.

    when i was playing a lot of golf, i played with maximum effort and it was a constant. i got down to a five that way and i asked a senior tour player how to get lower.

    he said “you have to take your 210 yard high 7 iron and learn to hit half and three quarter shots with it. ”

    half and three quarter shots are an advanced skill that i never mastered.

    i suppose in pitching it’s adding and subtracting with your fastball and other pitches.

    steady progress is not a given in golf or pitching.

    joba is obviously struggling with learning to pitch.

    if he’s the starter he’ll be doing it at age 25.

    lester had his first good year at age 25.

    so joba has time if the yankees give it to him, but he may not get the chance.

  191. randy l. March 16th, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    “It’s very good stuff. Strogatz is an interesting guy. An expert in non-linear dynamics and “chaos.” ”

    cb-
    i checked it out and there was a nice article on geometry and the pythagorean theorem and how right brain and left brain are used with geometry. good stuff.

    the problem i have now with mathematical things is if i don’t already understand something it seems like life is to short to learn new math skills with intuition being a lot quicker.

    however this is probably an impulse i should ignore and slow down and focus and learn the new stuff.

    just my luck i’ll live another 50 years ( who knows, once they start making spare parts) ,
    and it wouldn’t be good to go another 50 years and not learn anything.

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