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


Laird and Mesa named Player of the Year

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Nov 02, 2010 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Pretty convenient timing. On the day Melky Mesa was added to the Yankees 40-man roster, he was also named the Topps/Minor League Player of the Year for the Florida State League. Brandon Laird was also chosen as a Player of the Year, with his award coming in the Eastern League. Here’s the announcement from MILB.

ph_444859ph_477186The Washington Nationals and New York Yankees each had a pair of their prospects, who also were named their league’s most valuable player, selected as a Topps Player of the Year winner. Fourteen Major League organizations are represented in the annual George M. Trautman Awards, presented in the 16 domestic Minor Leagues by the Topps Company of New York, in conjunction with Minor League Baseball.

Potomac Nationals first baseman Tyler Moore led the Carolina League in home runs, RBIs, doubles, slugging percentage, extra base hits and total bases in being named the Topps Player of the Year in the Class A loop. Randolph Oduber is the other Washington Minor Leaguer to claim a Topps award. Oduber finished in the top five in eight offensive categories in the Gulf Coast League, including leading it in batting average and slugging percentage.

Trenton third baseman Brandon Laird won the Eastern League’s MVP and Rookie of the Year awards. He finished in the top five in the league in homers and RBIs, despite being promoted to Triple-A in early August. The second Yankees honoree is Tampa outfielder Melky Mesa, who was among the Florida State League leaders in home runs, doubles, triples, RBIs, slugging percentage and extra base hits.

Topps salutes the top performances throughout Minor League Baseball, including monthly awards and all-star teams in each classification.

League

Winner

Club/Org.

POS.

International

Dan Johnson

Durham/Tampa Bay

1B

Pacific Coast

J.P. Arencibia

Las Vegas/Toronto

C

Eastern

Brandon Laird

Trenton/New York-AL

3B

Southern

Dave Sappelt

Carolina/Cincinnati

OF

Texas

Mike Moustakas

NW Arkansas/Kansas City

3B

California

Paul Goldschmidt

Visalia/Arizona

1B

Carolina

Tyler Moore

Potomac/Washington

1B

Florida State

Melky Mesa

Tampa/New York-AL

OF

Midwest

Mike Trout

Cedar Rapids/Los Angeles-AL

OF

S. Atlantic

J.D Martinez

Lexington/Houston

OF

NY-Penn

Cory Vaughn

Brooklyn/New York-NL

OF

Northwest

Jared Hoying

Spokane/Texas

OF

Appalachian

Oswaldo Arcia

Elizabethton/Minnesota

OF

Pioneer

Jake Lemmerman

Ogden/Los Angeles-NL

SS

Arizona

Ji-Man Choi

Mariners/Seattle

C

Gulf Coast

Randolph Oduber

Nationals/Washington

OF

Comments

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115 Responses to “Laird and Mesa named Player of the Year”

  1. GreenBeret7 November 2nd, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Chad, not sure if you had the opportunity of watching David Phelps pitch, but, if you did, what are your thoughts on his abilities and chances of making any impact with the Yanks in the next year or so?

  2. elijahandstephensdad November 2nd, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    looking at Mesa’s minor league #’s I wonder where he projects in the future…I have not heard all that much But looks like power is coming along and he has had 31 sb’s in a season with some outfield assists.

    Also looks like he will be 24 next season…

  3. Asd November 2nd, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    Well, that is a good representation of a good farm system.

  4. GreenBeret7 November 2nd, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    Mesa is a senational center fielder. Great arm. He goes back on the ball, to the left and right as well as anybody in baseball.

  5. GreenBeret7 November 2nd, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    ***sensational***

  6. Carl November 2nd, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    Where is Mesa gonna end up next year?

  7. GreenBeret7 November 2nd, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    Trenton

  8. Asd November 2nd, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    I’d assume in a large desert of some sort, Carl.

  9. Asd November 2nd, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    10PM hits on non-game nights, and this place shuts down…

  10. Yanks78 November 2nd, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    SI_JonHeyman
    people close to zack greinke believe there’s no chance hed accept trade to ny. #zero

    Can it end now?

  11. Bring in the Goose November 2nd, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Melky Mesa equals trade bait

  12. Bronx Jeers November 2nd, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    SI_JonHeyman
    people close to zack greinke believe there’s no chance hed accept trade to ny. #zero

    Can it end now?

    —————————————-

    Bret the Hitman is the ripple on the ocean that evolves into the tidal wave.

  13. GreenBeret7 November 2nd, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    Bret’s trade ideas couldn’t make a ripple in a bathtub. He’s trades are as bad as those by Chimp. Why would anybody make such stupid trade thoughts is beyond me. Trade thoughts are fine, as long as they make some sense.

  14. Giuseppe Franco November 2nd, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    I’m not one of those who continues to clamor for Greinke despite the obvious long shot obtaining him would be.

    But, that said, I’m not sure I’d take Jon Heyman’s word as gospel on much of anything.

  15. Vineyard Yankee November 2nd, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    Yanks78
    November 2nd, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    Can it end now?

    ——————–

    Please ? Pretty please………………………..Enough of the Greinke nonsense.

  16. GreenBeret7 November 2nd, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    GF, the only issues that I have with Greinke is the cost in talent to acquire him and the huge drop in production from last year to this year. strange that fans want to unload every yankee that dropped off this year but have zero problem in unloading the farm system for a pitcher that did the same thing. One other thing to remember is that the Yankees dumped his brother after one season in which he got hurt. Both Zack and Luke Greinke had plenty to say about that.

  17. Giuseppe Franco November 2nd, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    GB,

    I’m a little biased regarding Greinke simply because I’ve always loved his talent – even before his Cy Young season.

    I’d like to see him pitching with the Yanks but we both know the cost would be huge – probably much more than what Cashman would be willing to trade.

    I just don’t see Greinke as a realistic possibility for a number of reasons and none of it has to do with his SAD. Probably just as much of a long shot as trading for Verlander.

    I do remember his brother getting the axe and it was a bit of a surprise that they gave up on him that quickly.

  18. Pat M. November 2nd, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    GB…….Maybe we should scan over the list for next seasons free agents to see if they could become available now rather than in July……..Yanks strength lies in the areas of catching and pitching …..Two very much desirable commodities……I do think they’ll ink Cliff Lee, or at the very least make a very significant run at him

  19. GreenBeret7 November 2nd, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    GF, getting a pitcher like Verlander and Hernandez is a pipe dream, much like trying to get Halladay last year. Greinke’s a fine talent, but, he has always seemed pretty adament about playing on the East Coast. He wouldn’t be the first player to prefer not playing in the AL East. Greg Maddux backed out on a FA deal with the NYYs for less money from Atlanta because it didn’t suit his comfort level. Personally, I can see him going to the Braves within a year. It has nothing to do with “mental issues” as many keep harping on. He pitches fairly well in front of the big East Coast and California crowds. I think that it’s more the pace of everyday life.

  20. DaSaint007 November 2nd, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    Cashman surprises us with his trades, and that’s fine by me. Typically, you’d take care of FA signings first, but knowing Cash, he’s already had discussions on trades with his counterparts.

    Yankee farm system has come a long way. It’s just too bad that there are not too many openings for some of the talent that’s lined up. Yankees will generally only add 2 or 3 kids to the roster each year.

    Hey GB, is Laird accomplished enough defensively playing 3B and if so could you then see him doing so with Arod DH’ing?

  21. GreenBeret7 November 2nd, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    Pat, I haven’t seen a complete list of this year’s FAs, but, I will. Of the names that I have seen, pitching wise that has more than a reasonable chance at coming to NY is Lee and De La Rosa. I’m not that sold on De La Rosa and I can’t see a chance in Hell of somebody like soriano signing. On offense, the only ones that make even a little sense would be Buck, Olivo as catchers and Werth and Crawford in the outfield. The rest could be pretty much be picked up after the first of the year. Jenks might be worth a shot if he’s willing to set up for a lot less than he got last year…same with Kerry Wood.

  22. GreenBeret7 November 2nd, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    Simon,

    Laird is no Graig Nettles, but, yeah, he can give NYYs better than they got from Pena and probably Nunez on defense, also plays a decent first base as well as left field. He should handle right field pretty well, to. Certainly no worse than Swisher. It’s the power to all fields and run production at every level that tops anything else. He’d be able to fill a lot of holes and Nunez could provide a big lift as a middle infielder, and he’s going to play a lot of outfield in winter ball. Big, big help if he can play there as well.

  23. Pat M. November 2nd, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    GB….I’m wondering about the class of 2011 ?????

  24. GreenBeret7 November 2nd, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    Pat, haven’t even thought about the 2011 FA class. We should know by mid-season what the the needs of the team will be. I feel that Laird/Nunez/Montero will fill a lot of holes in line-up/bench. Both should get close to 250-300 at bats this coming year. They can keep the infield and outfield fresh. It’s the outfield beyond 2011 that could be problematic if Daniel Brewer and Melky Mesa don’t produce at Trenton and scranton.

  25. Pat M. November 3rd, 2010 at 12:09 am

    GB, are you thinking it’s time for Laird to make the big club if all goes well for him during spring camp ??? If Lee goes eleswhere, Cashman will need to make a deal somwhere, some how….Maybe grab a soon to be FA as a rental…Maybe like Javy only will a better outcome…….

  26. GreenBeret7 November 3rd, 2010 at 12:23 am

    Pat, I think that Laird is in NY by late May at worst. NYYs can’t go another year on Pena playing 3rd base. Laird’s bat will make up for any perceived deficiencies with the glove. I know that the Yanks would prefer not to have 3 rookies at the same time, but, replacements will hurt the chances of getting a big pitcher….the thing NY needs more than a bat. One bullpen arm and fill the rest from Scranton. If Lee goes someplace else, De La Rosa might be the best and cheaprst option, but, he’s a gamble.

  27. Pat M. November 3rd, 2010 at 12:26 am

    gb….Also in the rotation equation is the future of one Andy Pettite…..It would be outstanding if Joba Chamberlain dedicated his off season to improving his over conditioning……If so, give him a shot at cracking the rotation…….Laird would be a nice solution and a great upgrade from Pena….

  28. SAS November 3rd, 2010 at 12:34 am

    Hi all late night people,

    I don’t understand for the life of me why people have this need for Greinke, especially if he doesn’t want to be, and the high cost of trading for him. KC is not NY. In the long run, he will probably take less money to stay in the midwest. Not every player cares about the last nickel. I hope this discussion ends soon.

  29. SAS November 3rd, 2010 at 12:35 am

    Pat M.

    That is definitely what I would hope for. If Joba can make it, that would be super.

  30. GreenBeret7 November 3rd, 2010 at 12:37 am

    Pat, I think that Pettitte returns for one last turn around the park. If for some reason he doesn’t, then Chamberlain is the best choice. It’s up to him to come to camp in the best shape of his pro career and to listen to instructions…mainly to attack every hitter. after that, my money is on david Phelps and not Nova, who I think gets moved in the off-season.

  31. Nick in SF November 3rd, 2010 at 12:44 am

    Today I voted for my ‘got melky?’ shirt to still be relevant.

    I win!

  32. West Coast Yankee Fan November 3rd, 2010 at 12:47 am

    Cashman has said clearly that Joba is not going to start. I don’t think Pettitte not returning would have anything to do with it. Joba had his shot and the powers that be concluded he failed. You can get a lot of starter for Pettitte’s $11 million dollars.

  33. Pat M. November 3rd, 2010 at 12:52 am

    West Coast Yankee….So there’s CC, Hughes, AJ & Nova in the rotation as it stands right now ???? I for one will be pleasantly surprised if Andy comes back…..Can he hold up for 30 starts in 2011 ??? AJ will bounce back I believe…..

  34. GreenBeret7 November 3rd, 2010 at 12:53 am

    Cashman hasn’t said squat about Chamberlain definitely being out of rotation consideration for 2011. Why do you lie?

  35. Nick in SF November 3rd, 2010 at 12:59 am

    I agree that AJ will bounce back.

    Whether it’s a dead cat bounce remains to be seen. :?

  36. West Coast Yankee Fan November 3rd, 2010 at 1:01 am

    I never used the word definitely, if you have an emergency situation, a couple of pitchers get injured, etc., who knows. But, Cashman and others have been clear in the past that Joba is a relief pitcher.

  37. West Coast Yankee Fan November 3rd, 2010 at 1:04 am

    Pat M. November 3rd, 2010 at 12:52 am

    West Coast Yankee….So there’s CC, Hughes, AJ & Nova in the rotation as it stands right now ???? I for one will be pleasantly surprised if Andy comes back…..Can he hold up for 30 starts in 2011 ??? AJ will bounce back I believe…..

    ************

    Right now there is Sabathia, Hughes and Burnett for sure. It’s hard to know exactly what will happen with the rotation until the Lee drama plays itself out and the Yankees know whether or not Pettitte will return.

    I’m sure Cashman’s goal is this.

    Sabathia
    Lee
    Pettitte
    Hughes
    Burnett

  38. GreenBeret7 November 3rd, 2010 at 1:10 am

    When does “clearly” and “definitely” not mean the same thing? Is that just true only in
    California?

  39. captainB November 3rd, 2010 at 1:12 am

    Chamberlain isn’t in the plans for the rotation in 2011. He’s probably just not in the plans, period.
    I think he’s going to be traded. I’d be surprised if he’s not traded. Face it, he went through a serious demotion in 2010. The Yankees aren’t going to talk about it–because they don’t want to hurt his trade value–but i think that they think he parties too much and lacks the focus and discipline they look for.
    This was an issue with Melky Cabrera, too. And Joba has been more of a disappointment to the Yankees than Melky was because nothing much had ever been expected of Melky. Joba was “supposed” to be a star. As of November 2, 2010, he’s a middle reliever.
    Still, Joba is young and has great trade value.
    As does Gerald Laird. There are ML teams looking for a young third sacker and Laird might fit the bill. I think that Brad Suttle, who is a year older than Laird but a year below him in the system, might be the better prospect, long term, as he’s a smoother fielder and has +power from both sides of the plate.
    Either one of them could get traded this winter. One of them probably will be.

  40. GreenBeret7 November 3rd, 2010 at 1:15 am

    Go troll someplace else. If you’re going to try fooling people with your BS, at least learn the names. Gerald Laird is a catcher for Detroit.

  41. West Coast Yankee Fan November 3rd, 2010 at 1:15 am

    GB7 if you think Joba is a starter go right ahead.

  42. GreenBeret7 November 3rd, 2010 at 1:17 am

    Suttle is a lousy fielder at third and first. He hasn’t proven anything except how to butcher a ground ball.

  43. West Coast Yankee Fan November 3rd, 2010 at 1:18 am

    captainb excellent comments on Joba. You’re exactly right and any fan that has followed the Yankees closely knows that. Girardi didn’t even have any faith in him in “non-critical” situations during the post season.

  44. Pat M. November 3rd, 2010 at 1:27 am

    captainB….You made some good points regarding Joba’s shortcomings to date and the real possibility that he could be moved this winter….I would be stunned if Brandon is moved this winter as not only is he a good ballplayer, he’s going to be counted on to fill the corner infield spots, especially for Alex……GB’s report have always painted Suttle as a lead glove type which is not going to fly in The Bronx…..Laird has been fitted with an OF glove as of late tells me he’s a future Bronx ballplayer…..

  45. DaSaint007 November 3rd, 2010 at 1:31 am

    Joba is still considered a reliever by Yankee hierarchy. Does that mean that he can’t ever be a starter? No. But just not likely in Yankee livery. Robertson has moved past him and Nova may do the same come ST. Besides, he’s not stretched out for starting anymore, so his value as a starter would be for 2012 and beyond, if at all.

    Frankly, I think the Yankees made a mistake of not demoting him to Scranton last year when they should have. Regardless, it is, what it is. If Wood can be persuaded to return, great. If not, I think Fuentes is a more dependable arm anyway. Not necessarily better, but more dependable than Wood, who’s been prone to injury. Let’s not do another Marte deal.

    Rivera, Fuentes, Robertson, Logan, Omhan/Tankersly, Aceves and Nova would be just fine with me for the pen, and would complement CC, Lee, Hughes, Burnett, and Pettitte.

  46. GreenBeret7 November 3rd, 2010 at 1:40 am

    The only reason that Chamberlain wasn’t in the rotation this past season is because Hughes outpitched him in ST. He came to camp in shape, busted a gut to learn. Chamberlain wasn’t in the same condition and though I have no proof of his thinking, quite possibly thought he would get the job regardless. He has a shot this ST to prove them wrong. It’s on him. Robertson did well for the most part, but, he slipped back somewhat late in the season and especially in the PS. Regardkess of what spot Chamberlain ends up in, NYYs need both him and Robertson to improve.

  47. AldotheApache November 3rd, 2010 at 1:40 am

    GreenBeret7 November 3rd, 2010 at 12:53 am
    Cashman hasn’t said squat about Chamberlain definitely being out of rotation consideration for 2011.

    ————————————————-

    West Coast Yankee Fan November 3rd, 2010 at 1:15 am
    GB7 if you think Joba is a starter go right ahead.

    ============================

    west coast nancy = loser

  48. DaSaint007 November 3rd, 2010 at 1:47 am

    Some people were just deprived of attention from their parents when they were youngsters. Now they seek attention, but shield themselves and yet talk about inner conscience. Ironic, yet sad. So so sad.

  49. GreenBeret7 November 3rd, 2010 at 1:52 am

    No problem. This was forwarded to LoHud and the feds. He’ll be gone soon.

  50. AldotheApache November 3rd, 2010 at 1:52 am

    I have been one of Joba’s biggest critics for most of the past year. But I’m not about to buy into the simple-minded supposition that a player’s performance cannot change radically from year to year. Take Greinke’s ’09 season versus his ’10 season, for example.

    Joba is young. He can develop. If he steps forward and learns to harness his talent, he can contribute mightily.

    My favorite example … once upon a time, there was an immensely talented left-handed fireballer who ALSO could not harness his talent, and could not even muster a .500 record through SEVEN seasons, despite pitching on TWO World Championship teams, turning in a W-L of 36-40 during that time.

    Can you imagine what west coast nancy would be saying about him?

    His name is Sandy Koufax.

  51. AldotheApache November 3rd, 2010 at 1:54 am

    Correction … m.r.o.m.g. = weirdo and freak

  52. AldotheApache November 3rd, 2010 at 1:57 am

    Correction on Koufax’ early, developing seasons … it was throgh his first SIX years, not seven, that he went 36-40.

  53. Pat M. November 3rd, 2010 at 1:58 am

    What is going on here ???? Ever since the Yanks won last year the LoHud has been a breading ground for nut jobs…..So I guess the baseball discussions are done for the night ???? I’ve been Joba Chamberlain’s harshest critic due to his failure to live up to his talent level, I do hope the light goes on upstairs before it’s too late in Yankee Pinstripes…..I do think he’s a candidate to be moved this winter though…..Wasted talent is a terrible sin….” A Bronx Tale “

  54. GreenBeret7 November 3rd, 2010 at 1:59 am

    Chamberlain, as well as being in less than stellar condition seems to be more afraid of making connect than anything. His stuff, he he just lets it fly is swing and miss. He gets in trouble when he tries to trick the hitters…..much like Burnett.

  55. Dylan November 3rd, 2010 at 2:05 am

    Just curious, but when you guys say that you think AJ will “bounce back” what exactly do you mean? Do you think he will go back to being a great pitcher like in 2008, or do you think we will just see a little more of good AJ then bad AJ. Honestly, I just don’t think he is a very good pitcher. He is normally a sub .500 pitcher with an ERA of around 4. I don’t think he is going to have a great season next year, because I don’t think he is all that good. He has great stuff, but he never has really put it together. I would be very happy with a .500 season and an ERA in the low 4′s. Who knows though, maybe (insert name of pitching coach here) can work his magic.

  56. AldotheApache November 3rd, 2010 at 2:07 am

    GB7, imho, it’s such a cliche, I’m reluctant to use the phrase, but I think it’s evident that at this point Joba is just a thrower, not a pitcher, i.e., not a clue on how to set up a hitter with certain pitches and locations.

    I would love to see him have a breakthrough season, I don’t care if it’s from the pen, as a spot starter, or in the rotation, if for nothing else just to shut up the front-running fair weather “fans.”

  57. GreenBeret7 November 3rd, 2010 at 2:09 am

    Burnett was really not much different in 2009 than he was in 2008. I’ll happily settle for the middle ground in those two seasons.

  58. AldotheApache November 3rd, 2010 at 2:11 am

    Dylan, with this offense, Phil Hughes turned in an 18-8 record “with an ERA of around 4.” AJ can do that. He was 18-10 (I think) in his his walk year with the Jays, with a similar ERA.

    I believe he can do that.

  59. Dylan November 3rd, 2010 at 2:17 am

    # AldotheApache November 3rd, 2010 at 2:11 am

    Dylan, with this offense, Phil Hughes turned in an 18-8 record “with an ERA of around 4.” AJ can do that. He was 18-10 (I think) in his his walk year with the Jays, with a similar ERA.

    I believe he can do that.
    _______________________________________________________________________

    I hope so. Hopefully putting him at the back end of the rotation will help him, because he will probably get more run support. The big difference between Hughes and AJ though, is that Hughes can normally keep them in the game when he doesn’t have his best stuff, but AJ will give up a couple hits, and it will turn into a six run inning. He isn’t going anywhere though, so all we can do is hope that he can fix his mistakes and give us some quality starts. I’m not sure if I am expecting him to improve dramatically, but I am definitely hoping that he can. As we saw this year, pitching wins championships.

  60. West Coast Yankee Fan November 3rd, 2010 at 2:17 am

    Prediction for the vault! AJ will go 18-8 with an ERA of 4.00 in 2011!

    LMAO! You can’t make this stuff up.

  61. Dylan November 3rd, 2010 at 2:19 am

    # GreenBeret7 November 3rd, 2010 at 2:09 am

    Burnett was really not much different in 2009 than he was in 2008. I’ll happily settle for the middle ground in those two seasons.
    ____________________________________________________________________

    I would be very happy with that. All I ask for is more wins then losses. I don’t even care about his ERA. As a bottom of the rotation guy, all he needs to do is give the team a chance to win.

  62. Pat M. November 3rd, 2010 at 2:20 am

    Dylan, two years ago, myself and CB were trying to sell the members here the merits of signingg Burnett rather than Lowe….It was our belief that he had turned the corner much like Curt Schilling did at about the same age…..It’s apparent that we were wrong about him taking that path….However, I do beleieve that he could be a plus 5 type pitcher ( 5 wins over .500 ) who can deliver 200 innings, pitch to a 4.25 era and have 7-8 dominating outings out of his 30 starts…….What still confuses me was how great he was coming out of the gate this season, as he was outstanding untill mid May or so……..17-12 for him in 2011…..He owes to himself, the club and to his critics……

  63. AldotheApache November 3rd, 2010 at 2:22 am

    First twisting GB7′s words around … then doing the same with mine. A regular one trick pony, this west coast nancy fella.

    Freak.

  64. West Coast Yankee Fan November 3rd, 2010 at 2:24 am

    AldotheApache
    November 3rd, 2010 at 2:11 am

    “Phil Hughes turned in an 18-8 record with an ERA of around 4. AJ can do that”.

    LMAO!

  65. Dylan November 3rd, 2010 at 2:24 am

    # Pat M. November 3rd, 2010 at 2:20 am

    Dylan, two years ago, myself and CB were trying to sell the members here the merits of signingg Burnett rather than Lowe….It was our belief that he had turned the corner much like Curt Schilling did at about the same age…..It’s apparent that we were wrong about him taking that path….However, I do beleieve that he could be a plus 5 type pitcher ( 5 wins over .500 ) who can deliver 200 innings, pitch to a 4.25 era and have 7-8 dominating outings out of his 30 starts…….What still confuses me was how great he was coming out of the gate this season, as he was outstanding untill mid May or so……..17-12 for him in 2011…..He owes to himself, the club and to his critics……
    ______________________________________________________________________

    I hope that he can do that. I have zero confidence in AJ, but all we can do is hope that he is able to correct some of the mistakes he is making. Its so frustrating though, because his stuff will look great, and then all of a sudden the other team will put up 5 runs in an inning. I’m not sure whether its mechanical or mental, but hopefully the new pitching coach will be able to correct some things.

  66. AldotheApache November 3rd, 2010 at 2:25 am

    Dylan November 3rd, 2010 at 2:19 am
    As a bottom of the rotation guy, all he needs to do is give the team a chance to win.

    —————————

    Exactly. And who knows?

    AJ is a competitor. I want to believe he will be on a mission next year.

  67. GreenBeret7 November 3rd, 2010 at 2:26 am

    Burnett’s downturn in 2010 started about the same time as Hughes, for whatever reason. It’s like somebody tried to fine tune something with them that didn’t need fine tuning. Did Eiland try fixing something that wasn’t wrong? It wasn’t much after then that Eiland disappeared for a month and a half.

  68. West Coast Yankee Fan November 3rd, 2010 at 2:30 am

    AJ tried hard this year, I don’t know what would lead anyone to think he would be any different next year.

    Good stuff in the major leagues is not enough, success IMO is predicated primarily on consistent command and AJ’s is generally atrocious. He may have an inning or two or three here and there but that’s about it.

  69. Pat M. November 3rd, 2010 at 2:30 am

    Time for AJ to call upon his professional pride and make a comeback …..I think he can and will……It was his health that was the biggest issue 2 years ago and that hasn’t been the case…….

  70. AldotheApache November 3rd, 2010 at 2:44 am

    GreenBeret7 November 3rd, 2010 at 2:26 am
    Burnett’s downturn in 2010 started about the same time as Hughes, for whatever reason. It’s like somebody tried to fine tune something with them that didn’t need fine tuning. Did Eiland try fixing something that wasn’t wrong? It wasn’t much after then that Eiland disappeared for a month and a half.

    ————————————————

    GB7, AJ’s downturn started earlier, I think. He was 4-0, 1.99 through his first 6 starts, and 6-2, 3.28 through his first 11 starts. Then he lost 5 straight in June. It was mostly downhill from there.

    Phil Hughes was 10-1, 3.17 through the end of June, and was only .500 for the rest of the season, but he had imo about 10 ‘decent’ starts the rest of the way, including a 3-2 loss to TB and a 2-1 loss to Boston.

  71. blake November 3rd, 2010 at 7:39 am

    Morning all….regarding Joba, I’ve said several times that if he isn’t traded and there is a spot open in the rotation…then they should tell him to get in the best shape of his life and report to ST ready to compete for it. I just don’t see the downside of doing that.

    I also would expect AJ to be better next year. He’s never been a great pitcher and he’s always been inconsistent but he’s never been.anywhere close to as bad as he was in 2010. As GB said last night….he was very good at the beggining of last year and I remember having discussions on whether AJ had turned the corner and was settled in as a Yankee in his second year……then the wheels came off for whatever reason. I think think the clean slate of a new season could do him some good and I was actually encouraged by his playoff start. Not expecting 2008 numbers but I could see him being solid at the back end of the rotation.

  72. Doreen November 3rd, 2010 at 7:49 am

    Good Morning!

    I want to say that I heard Brian Cashman in an interview with Francesa right after they ALCS loss. Francesa asked about Joba and Cashman said Joba was in the bullpen – that after he lost the competition to Hughes they told Joba he was in the bullpen.

    However, I take everything Cashman says with regard to roster makeup with a grain of salt – no a box of salt.

    What possible good would it do, PR-wise, for Cashman to be waffling on Joba’s role in 2011? Anyway, whether or not Joba gets another opportunity to start, he could benefit from a better winter program, as could the Yankees. If his role is indeed in the bullpen with the Yankees for as long as he is a Yankee, he should work to be the best he can be in that role.

    I think you might as well toss it all up in the air though. Trade, relief, start. Who knows?

  73. upstate kate November 3rd, 2010 at 7:50 am

    good morning Blake
    Joba is wasted as a middle reliever, he has so much potential. And hopefully being put in that role this past season motivates him to come to ST in shape and with a new mind set. He is so dominant when he comes out and throws quickly and w/ conviction.

    With AJ, it appears there were things going on behind the scenes, hopefully they are resolved…another guy w/ so much potential.

  74. Doreen November 3rd, 2010 at 7:51 am

    blake -

    Yeah – AJ started out so well, you do have to wonder, what the h— happened?????

  75. upstate kate November 3rd, 2010 at 7:51 am

    and good morning Doreen, and anyone else lurking around this cold and sunny am :)

  76. Doreen November 3rd, 2010 at 7:54 am

    Interesting – JP Ricciardi is joining the Mets as a special assistant to Alderson. He was expected to go to Boston.

  77. blake November 3rd, 2010 at 7:55 am

    Doreen,

    I really have no idea what happened with him. Its like it all went away at once…..I think some things probably went on that we don’t know about. Hopefully they will get resolved and he can report ready to go next year…

  78. Rich in NJ November 3rd, 2010 at 8:01 am

    One of the things that happened to AJ is that his FB velo is declining:

    2007: 95.9 mph
    2010: 93.1 mph

    So he can no longer get away with poorly commanded FBs.

  79. JCPD November 3rd, 2010 at 8:11 am

    I’m lurking kate, it’s cold but a London type fog here. No sun in my neck of the woods. It would be interesting to know what really happened with Eiland, if there was anything that actually went on between him and AJ. I do however very much appreciate the professionalism of Cashman, Girardi and the Yankees to not let it get out into the media. Screw the media. (Sorry Chad and Sam). Sorry, but most of the media spews too much BS just to sell a story.

  80. Betsy November 3rd, 2010 at 8:12 am

    WC, I hope so. If we get Lee, but Andy retires, I still do not want another kid in the rotation – be it Joba, Nova or anyone else. I would want a solid veteran to fill that spot. Joba is not going to get that chance anyway – as Cash said, he’s a reliever now.

  81. Betsy November 3rd, 2010 at 8:18 am

    Blake, they aren’t going to give that #5 spot (if Andy retires and Lee signs) to another kid…………that includes Joba. Telling someone that he’s got a chance at something when he really doesn’t,would be worse than not giving someone a shot at all. Joba should concentrate on getting in shape and taking care of business as a reliever – that’s his priority. If he can’t even do that, then he’s not going to ever be a good pitcher, period.

    Phil struggled because he didn’t adjust to teams adjusting to him- it’s as simple as that.

  82. Betsy November 3rd, 2010 at 8:19 am

    I have no expectations for AJ – other than that he’ll be a bad #4 or a #5. Maybe he’ll improve next year, but that’s only because he can’t possibly get any worse. I like the guy a lot – and I know he cares – and the Yankees need him, so I hope he can be at least decent.

  83. Betsy November 3rd, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Kate, that word potential is a trap. Sure he has a lot of talent, but Joba has no clue how to use it. Overweight doesn’t describe him – he’s enormous now, for whatever reason. Motivation? He wasn’t motivated to lose weight and perform well when he was in a competition with Phil? If that didn’t do it, nothing will. I don’t buy for a moment that the competition was fixed……………P

  84. Doreen November 3rd, 2010 at 8:27 am

    Rich in NJ -

    Then I guess there are two questions that follow from that.

    Why the decrease in velocity? Health? Age? Mechanics? Unknown?

    And the second – can he make the necessary adjustments if the velocity doesn’t come back?

    As I’ve said before, I’m not looking for a miracle with AJ. I’d be happy with something along the lines of his 2009 season, which was just a tick more up than down. And if he’s toward the back end of the rotation, I think that would be acceptable in a way that it’s not if he’s the second in the rotation.

    His last start was encouraging. He wasn’t particularly sharp, but he was able to contain damage (until the last pitch he threw, which I blame on Girardi not taking him out earlier – either to start the inning or right after the first hitter reached base, even though he was able to get the next 2 hitters out).

  85. upstate kate November 3rd, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Betsy
    I thought it was a true competition between Phil and Joba, not the other 3. It appeared as if the Yankees were grooming Joba for that #5 spot, but Phil was the better pitcher. What that means going forward, I have no idea. I just hate to see his talent wasted.

  86. Betsy November 3rd, 2010 at 8:33 am

    Kate, we’re in the minority because most think the Yankees wanted to give the spot to Phil. I just don’t believe that. Admittedly, Joba did not pitch badly in ST – he pitched about the same as Phil, frankly.

    I think, though it will never happen, that Joba should be sent to the minors to start. He didn’t get enough time down there (neither did Phil, but that’s another story). I don’t think he’s guaranteed to be anything more than an ok or good starter, but it disturbs me that the Yankees gave up on him so quickly. What does that say about how they’ll treat their other young pitchers? It’s one and done, apparently. Now Joba is very much out of shape – he’s obese, actually, when you compare him to 2007. Maybe the Yankees got tired of constantly having to prod him – I don’t blame them; they aren’t babysitters. By now Joba should be a real professional in all aspects.

  87. blake November 3rd, 2010 at 8:33 am

    Rich,

    Thats very true. We don’t know however the cause of that decrease….could be age related…could be mechanical or other cause. I don’t think he will ever be great because he never has been but I do think he could be a serviceable back end guy….especially if he gets it through his head that his change up is a good pitch and mixes it in more.

  88. blake November 3rd, 2010 at 8:36 am

    Betsy,

    I disagree and very well think they could give it to a kid if Andy retires….especially if they are able to sign Lee. CC, Lee, Hughes on the front end would give them the stability to endure some growing pains and.save some money on the back end.

  89. Betsy November 3rd, 2010 at 8:42 am

    Blake, if I felt the same way about the rotation, then I would give it to a kid, but I don’t, so I wouldn’t. I don’t agree that the Yankees will do that because, IMO, I don’t think they think Phil is established as at least a real middle of the rotation pitcher. I’m not saying they think he had a bad year or that he won’t improve, but with AJ in the rotation and a kid (whoever it is ) as 2nd #5, they’d have to be absolutely, 100% certain that Phil won’t regress (due to heavy workload this year or whatever). I think they will beg Andy to return if for no other reason than to buy them time.

  90. Doreen November 3rd, 2010 at 8:42 am

    Obese?

    He may be heavier but he’s not obese.

  91. SJ44 November 3rd, 2010 at 8:43 am

    If they sign Lee, economics, and logic, dictate one of the younger arms will end up being the fifth starter.

    You can’t have high salaried, veteran players at every spot on the roster.

    The fifth starter spot is the ideal place to break in a young arm because of lower expectations and innings limits that come with breaking in young pitching.

    This team doesn’t need wholesale changes.

    It needs a return to health from some players, and a return to form from others.

    That, along with the addition of Lee and a couple of other tweaks, and they would be good to go in 2011.

  92. GreenBeret7 November 3rd, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Burnett went from age 30 to age 33. 4 years and you are surprised that he lost 2.5 MPH. Hardly a shock. Was that 2 seam or 4 seam….or added together? He threw more 4 seam fastballs earlier in his career. Do they count his sinker as a fastball or as another pitch?

  93. GreenBeret7 November 3rd, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Obese is Joe West. Obese would be Chamberlain’s father. Joba Chamberlain is just heavy. He needs to drop 20 or so pounds. Losing any more than that and you are likely to have a pitcher that fatigues more easily. Let him lose anther 15 pounds next yea. Anything more than 20 pounds invites the same problems that hurt Brian Bruney. Loss of strength and stamina.

  94. SJ44 November 3rd, 2010 at 8:50 am

    The Yankees think more highly of Phil Hughes than you do Betsy.

    They see him as a Top 3 guy right now.

    Unlike you, they don’t believe he had a bad year nor is incapable of improvement.

    In fact, everyone around the Yankees are excited about what he brings to the table.

    Unlike many fans, GM’s and baseball people don’t get overblown by playoff performances, good or bad.

    They realize it’s a very small sample size and it’s impossible to draw reasonable conclusions.

    They look at the overall player.

    In Hughes’ case, they see a kid who won 19 games in his first full year as a starter and is still learning and growing as a pitcher.

    Yankee fans have zero patience when it comes to young players.

    Fortunately, they aren’t running the team.

  95. DocTodd November 3rd, 2010 at 8:50 am

    If they can’t sign Lee, (I think we sign him), Cashman better have a darn good plan B..

  96. Crawdaddy November 3rd, 2010 at 8:50 am

    I disagree with Betsy too about the 5th spot if Pettitte retires this offseason. However, I don’t think he retires and will pitch one more season. With all of this young pitching, I think Cashman would like to break in a young pitcher in the 5th spot that in which they take the places of Pettitte and AJ in the next 2-3 years by breaking in one young starter each season.

    Just as an example to my thought process:

    2011:
    CC
    Lee
    Hughes
    Pettitte (retires after 2011 season)
    Burnett

    2012:
    CC
    Lee
    Hughes
    Burnett (traded after 2012 season)
    Betances

    2013:
    CC
    Lee
    Hughes
    Betances
    Banuelos

  97. GreenBeret7 November 3rd, 2010 at 8:53 am

    Adding a pitcher like Lee, bringing back Pettitte and added experience for hughes and Burnett of 2008-2009 will take a huge load off of the bullpen and allow the Yanks to break in some of the kids like Phelps and Nova/Noesi. Don’t bet against Burnett rebounding.

  98. upstate kate November 3rd, 2010 at 8:54 am

    SJ
    I saw a nice clip of your nephew on Yardbarker, it showed him catching and batting…sounds like he has recovered quite nicely from the broken jaw.

  99. Doreen November 3rd, 2010 at 8:55 am

    GB7 or SJ44 -

    Since the Yankees were pleased with the way 2009 worked out for Phil Hughes coming out of the bullpen, which youngster do you think might get that opportunity this season, perhaps as preparation for joining the rotation in 2012?

  100. blake November 3rd, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Betsy,

    This may just be a fundamental difference of opinion…..but id be quite comfortable with a rotation of:

    Sabathia
    Lee
    Hughes
    Burnett
    Nova/Chamberlain/whoever.

    I hope Andy comes.back but if he doesn’t then this would still be quite good.

  101. Crawdaddy November 3rd, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Nova is a good candidate for the bullpen in 2011 if he doesn’t get traded.

  102. GreenBeret7 November 3rd, 2010 at 8:58 am

    I’m guessing that David Phelps gets the first call-up to help the rotation if needed. Nova is a likely choice to be traded and Betance in mid-2012 would be perfect since he’ll be on innings limits this year and in Hughes 2010 limits range in 2012.

  103. GreenBeret7 November 3rd, 2010 at 9:00 am

    Doreen, my bet is on Phelps. Very much a young Mussina type pitcher. He’s smart, but, has no problems pitching inside.

  104. SJ44 November 3rd, 2010 at 9:01 am

    The 2010 Yankees…..

    Tex, Jeter, and Arod had off years…..

    They got nothing out of the DH spot. Especially since Nick Johnson got hurt early and was done for the year.

    Posada was hurt much of the year, Cervelli came down to earth, and both were awful defensively.

    AJ and Javy became the two worst starters in the AL.

    Jobs didn’t start pitching well until late July.

    CC pitched on a bad knee since May.

    Granderson didn’t start hitting until Mid-August.

    YET, despite ALL that, this team was TWO wins away from going to the World Series.

    My point is, this team is not in dire need of wholesale changes.

    A few signings, a few tweaks and better health, and they will be fine.

  105. JoeyA November 3rd, 2010 at 9:02 am

    SJ,
    So is signing Cliff Lee not the foregone conclusion everyone believed it to be earlier in the season?

  106. Doreen November 3rd, 2010 at 9:04 am

    GB7 -

    You think he starts out with the big club or is brought up at some point?

  107. GreenBeret7 November 3rd, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Dorren, unless something goes wrong in ST or Pettitte/Lee aren’t on the roster, I’m guessing Phelps comes up before mid-season.

  108. SJ44 November 3rd, 2010 at 9:06 am

    I still believe the Yankees will sign Lee.

    I have not heard anything in the past month that would lead me to believe otherwise.

    Doreen,

    I think kids like Brackman, Phelps and Noesi are guys that could start out in the pen with an eye toward future rotation spots.

  109. Doreen November 3rd, 2010 at 9:08 am

    How do the Yankees balance go full-tilt after Cliff Lee with making sure Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera are also job one?

  110. GreenBeret7 November 3rd, 2010 at 9:09 am

    I’m also loving the news that along with Laird, eduardo Nunez will get a lot of outfield play in winter ball. That can only help him and the team.

  111. Doreen November 3rd, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Thanks, SJ & GB7.

  112. GreenBeret7 November 3rd, 2010 at 9:12 am

    randy l. November 3rd, 2010 at 9:09 am
    “Me too. I’m going by the name of Randy Ladd, Jr. Can you send me my weekly allowance, Dad?”

    sure, son.

    but you have to clean my house my midnight first.

    ———————————————————————————————————————-

    Oh, man!!! I have to do everything. None of the other kids have to do anything for their allowance. Don’t you believe in child-labor laws?

  113. GreenBeret7 November 3rd, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Any time, Doreen. Keep in mind, the only inside info I get is from Chip, West Coast, Bret and that ilk.

    I never trusted ilk until I started coming on here.

  114. Vineyard Yankee November 3rd, 2010 at 9:29 am

    Can I be a dependent too ? Allowance paid for schuffin off ? Wow?

  115. West Coast Yankee Fan November 3rd, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Well GB your “ilk” just can’t handle intelligent and reasoned disagreement can it? And, if you don’t like it “here” you do know how to leave don’t you?

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