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Known and unknown

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Feb 08, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Three years later and we’re still having the same Joba Chamberlain debate. Amazing. The reasons for the argument have changed — and in many cases, the participants have switched sides — but the essential question remains the same. In January of 2008, Jay could have written more or less the same guest post and been just as relevant.

How in the world did we get from there to here without ever changing the conversation?

2007
Chamberlain breezed through the Yankees system in his first pro season. As he approached his innings limit — a safety measure enforced on a lot of young starters — the Yankees decided not to shut him down, but to move Chamberlain to the bullpen and call him to New York. He pitched 24 big league innings in the regular season, striking out 34, walking six and allowing just 12 hits. He was remarkable. Absolutely remarkable.

Winter 2007-08
Understandably impressed by his bravado and dominance, some fans and reporters called for the Yankees to keep Chamberlain right where he was. He was the heir to Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning. A once-in-a-lifetime talent out of the bullpen.

Understandably convinced that a top-of-the-rotation starter would be more valuable than a closer, the Yankees stuck with Chamberlain’s development plan but added one modification. Instead of getting his final development innings in the minor leagues, Chamberlain would open 2008 as a big league reliever and gradually move into the rotation. Unorthodox? Sure. But it was the best way to let Chamberlain develop without wasting his immediate talent in the minor leagues.

Spring/summer 2008
The Joba Rules might have been frustrating, but they were effective. Chamberlain opened the season as a force out of the bullpen, and when he got himself stretched out as a starter, he was similarly dominant. Through his first two months in the big league rotation, Chamberlain went 3-1 with a 2.23 ERA and 69 strikeouts in 60.2 innings.

August/September 2008
A shoulder injury in Texas changed everything. On August 4, Chamberlain left a game after 93 pitches and didn’t make another start that season. He returned to pitch out of the bullpen down the stretch and the results were more or less the same as they had been in the first half.

2009
The Yankees did not immediately give up on Chamberlain as a starter. He was in the rotation from the beginning of the 2009 season. He again had an innings limit, which was not unusual for a pitcher… 1. Less than three years removed from college, 2. Who had never pitched as many as 115 innings in a season, and 3. Coming off a shoulder injury the previous year.

The Yankees gave Chamberlain a full year as a Major League starter, and the results were not good. Based on everything the Yankees had seen — and everything the fans had seen — a 4.75 ERA and 7.6 strikeouts-per-nine innings were solid indications that something wasn’t quite right. Chamberlain was not the same guy.

Spring 2010
The Yankees elected not to guarantee Chamberlain a spot in the 2010 rotation. They had four starters in place, and an open competition for the fifth spot. Technically a five-man competition, it was realistically a battle of two 20-something prospects, each proven in the bullpen but yet to establish himself in the rotation.

Phil Hughes won. He won because of his results, and he seemed to win because of his raw stuff. Although the Yankees never said Chamberlain was a lesser pitcher, they were quick to praise Hughes for the improvement of his changeup and the development of his cutter. At the end of spring training, pro scouting director Billy Eppler said his personal opinion was that Chamberlain would remain a reliever in 2010 and beyond.

Summer/fall 2010
Chamberlain had plenty of bad outings, but he was generally an effective reliever, probably better than his overall numbers indicated. He was not, however, the lights-out reliever we witnessed in 2007 and 2008. Lower velocity. Not the same sort of slider. At the trade deadline, when Kerry Wood was available for pennies on the dollar, the Yankees made the move and Chamberlain moved easily into a middle-inning role. He was very good in that spot, and there were moments when he showed flashes of his old velocity.

Winter 2010/11
Three years ago, those who questioned the Yankees decision to develop Chamberlain as a starter did so because of what they knew to be true.  The Yankees had seen Chamberlain dominate out of the bullpen, why would they take him out of a role that so perfectly suited his talent and his demeanor. For the record, I was fully in the Joba-should-be-a-starter camp.

Today, those who question the Yankees decision to keep Chamberlain in the bullpen do so because of what they think might happen. The Yankees need a starter, and Chamberlain might very well find that old dominance. Why in the world would the Yankees not give it a shot?

My guess is that the Yankees don’t want to give it a shot because they know more than we know.

I firmly believe that a young starter is more valuable than a young reliever. Cashman, Eppler and the rest of the Yankees decision makers believe  the same thing. They proved it three years ago when they kept developing Chamberlain as a starter. They proved it last year when they moved Hughes back into the rotation. They prove it every year in the minor leagues, developing nearly all of their top young pitchers as starters until they stumble their way into the bullpen.

What the Yankees see in Chamberlain is a pitcher who is not what he was four years ago. He doesn’t have the same “physicality” is the way Cashman explained it to me. The fact Cashman won’t waver at a time when he’s desperate for a starting pitcher tells me all I need to know: The Yankees staff — their scouts, their coaches, their player development gurus — look at Chamberlain see a pitcher who is better suited for the bullpen, plain and simple.

We can play the what-if game with anyone. Boone Logan throws pretty hard from the left side, and he has a quality changeup. Why isn’t he a rotation candidate? Mark Teixeira has a great glove and came up as a third baseman. Why not give him a shot as the guy to spell Alex Rodriguez occasionally at third (it is, after all, much easier to find a first base stand-in). Dellin Betances was brilliant last year in the minor leagues. Why not put him immediately into the big league rotation? It can’t hurt to try, right?

The Yankees make their decisions based on something more than a hunch and a hope. They have scouts and advisors and decision makers who overwhelm themselves with information. In Chamberlain, they once saw what we saw — a young pitcher with top-of-the-rotation stuff — but now they see something different.

“I don’t think that equipment necessarily exists now,” Cashman said.

Is it possible the Yankees are wrong? Absolutely. But they do what they do, they see what they see, and they make a decision. For the Yankees, the Chamberlain debate is over.

Associated Press photos

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135 Responses to “Known and unknown”

  1. Irreverent Discourse February 8th, 2011 at 11:43 am

    My guess is that the Yankees don’t want to give it a shot because they know more than we know.

    I wish some more people around here would come to that conclusion as well.

  2. YsGuy February 8th, 2011 at 11:49 am

    how about 2 thousand word posts about pedro feliciano or boone logan, the guys who populate the same space on the depth chart as chamberlain?

  3. Tom in N.J. February 8th, 2011 at 11:49 am

    “Dirty little secret: Michael Young simply isn’t all that great”

    ‘Among all the hitters with at least 2,000 plate appearances since 2000 his .795 OPS ranks 97th. And even that overstates his production, because Young has benefited tremendously from Texas’ hitter-friendly ballpark.

    He’s hit .279 with a .322 on-base percentage and .411 slugging percentage on the road during his career for a measly .733 OPS, including a .679 OPS away from home in 2010. Adjusted OPS+ takes ballparks into account and Young’s career mark is 105, which is just slightly better than the average of 100 and ranks second-lowest among all hitters with a .300 batting average and 5,000 plate appearances since the mound was lowered in 1969. His batting averages and hit totals look great, but his overall production is mediocre and has been boosted significantly by a hitter-friendly ballpark.’

    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports......hat-great/

  4. Mell February 8th, 2011 at 11:50 am

    “Mark Teixeira has a great glove and came up as a third baseman…”

    and proved he is a first baseman for a reason.

  5. Against All Odds February 8th, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Back to back Joba posts my head just exploded

  6. Joe from Long Island February 8th, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Chad – Very good summary, and logical conclusions. (I bet you’ve taken some writing courses along the way. ;) )

    There’s nothing more to say.

  7. Mell February 8th, 2011 at 11:54 am

    AAO:

    This has been Chad’s M.O. for the Pinch Hitters Series. He usually follows the pinch hitter with his own take on what he/she just wrote about.

  8. SJ44 February 8th, 2011 at 11:54 am

    That pretty much sums it up Chad

    The Yankees aren’t keeping the “next dominant starter” in the bullpen for spite or stubborn reasons.

    ‘Ya think Cashman wouldn’t LOVE to be able to put Chamberlain, the Chamberlain prior to that night in Texas, back in the rotation? It would solve their problems.

    The fact is, he’s not the same pitcher he was prior to the injury. That’s why he’s in the bullpen.

    In terms of “knowns vs. Unknowns”, I think the Yankees “know” they have a lot of good arms knocking on the door to the Bronx.

    What’s “unknown” is when they will be ready.

    There is power in numbers though.

    With so many arms close to being ready, it’s logical to think a couple will break through this season and help the team in some capacity.

  9. MTU February 8th, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Chad-

    If that’s true (and I have no reason to doubt it) then all we can hope for is that Joba becomes a dominant reliever again.

    That’s what I’m gonna hope for.

    Maybe Rothschild can help him regain his form.

  10. Chip February 8th, 2011 at 11:56 am

    In addition to the O’s finishing with 80 or more wins – here are some other things I’m sure you’ll disagree with:

    In-Season trades:

    Yankees get: Carmona and Sizemore
    Indians get: Gardner, Warren, Joba

    Red Sox get: Jose Reyes
    Mets get: Jacoby Ellsbury and Michael Bowden

    Red Sox get: Ivan Rodriguez or Jason Kendall or Chris Snyder

  11. West Coast Yankee Fan February 8th, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Excellent post Chad. Thanks for reiterating what so many fans have believed to be true for a long time now.

    One thing that sticks out like a sore thumb lately is Cashman saying publicly that Joba is in essence damaged goods. That served no positive purpose at all. It can only have a negative effect on Joba’s trade value and his self-confidence. I doubt Cashman feels that he owes the fans a detailed explanation – so why say it?

  12. MTU February 8th, 2011 at 11:58 am

    SJ-

    GB and I were speculating this morning that the Yanks have as many as 15 quality arms at various levels of the minors.

    Many at the higher levels (The B’s, Phelps, Noesi, Mitchell, Warren).

    Not a bad problem to have.

    ;)

  13. Against All Odds February 8th, 2011 at 11:59 am

    # Mell February 8th, 2011 at 11:54 am

    AAO:

    This has been Chad’s M.O. for the Pinch Hitters Series. He usually follows the pinch hitter with his own take on what he/she just wrote about.

    ——————————–

    I meant it as a joke

  14. Chip February 8th, 2011 at 11:59 am

    •The Yankees signed 20-year-old center fielder Freiter Marte for $100K. Marte had been selected to play in the DPL All-Star Game. – MLB Trade Rumors

  15. Irreverent Discourse February 8th, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Chip – As much as i am looking towards Sizemore’s impending free agency… I would not expect the Indians to move him this year (if he sucks obviously he won’t move, so we are only considering him returning to form) with such a cheap team option coming up next year. Next offseason or midseason I could see him moving though.

  16. Mell February 8th, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    Fangraphs suggest the Stros and Rangers swap Carlos Lee and Michael Young. Kinda half makes sense.

  17. Against All Odds February 8th, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    # MTU February 8th, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Chad-

    If that’s true (and I have no reason to doubt it) then all we can hope for is that Joba becomes a dominant reliever again.

    That’s what I’m gonna hope for.

    Maybe Rothschild can help him regain his form.

    ————————————–

    If he comes dominant again in a weird way I guess everything worked out but if he doesn’t than it’s just another name on a list of pitchers not working out for the Yankees

  18. YsGuy February 8th, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    dear sir,
    i respect your position as my boss, but this is the 4th time you’ve moved my desk and therefore i demand that you find me another job at another firm. i will not release you from our employment contract so whoever you send me to has to pay me the same salary. i realize that my oversized salary means you will have to pay off a huge chunk of the contract to get anyone to accept it, but that’s your problem, not mine.

    oh, and i have the right of first refusal over about 75% of all competing firms, so i will be demanding a bonus to accept your transferring me.

    i realize that the people who have replaced me each time have actually been better performers at those positions and made our firm better, but i was a good soldier about being moved and now i think you owe me big time.
    sincerely,
    your loyalet employee

    think it’ll work?

  19. Shame Spencer February 8th, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    I wanna believe the Rays will be as good as other people seem to think they’ll be this season just because it would create such a headache for the Sox (..wouldn’t create one for us of course ;D).

    I’d really love it if the Sox ended up tanking this season after all the signings they had. Their starters aren’t really that great so a couple injuries and that team could fall apart.

  20. Joe from Long Island February 8th, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Chip – I’ll give you one –

    Red Sox get Jose Reyes and Luis Castillo or Oliver Perez
    Mets get two nobodies
    Fred Wilpon gets much needed salary relief

  21. MTU February 8th, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    AAO-

    The irony is that Joba fell to the Yankees due to an injury.

    I believe he had either triceps or biceps tendonitis but they decided to take a flyer on his otherwise obvious talent.

    He won’t be the first or last not to reach their cieling.

    I just hope his floor is higher.

    I would think this is a make or break season for Joba.

    Too many young arms knocking on the door and he’s getting more expensive all the time.

    I’ll be pulling for him.

  22. Cashmoney February 8th, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Repost
    Cashmoney February 8th, 2011 at 12:13 pm
    Not too high on the Rays. I think offensively they will be more than okay with Damon and Manny. But the BP is shaky at best. Farnsworth is not a closer and not tier one closer by that extension. I think Rays will miss Gaza a great deal. That said… i think 82-85 wins is a reasonable projection. On paper, I think Sox has the best team in AL East, but that’s not any revelation. so … let’s play on the field.

    Young’s drama doesn’t interest me at all. I think of it as a marriage gone bad. whichever both side felt that they are aggrieved by the other prolly has some form of merits. It’s pointless to play the blame game. it is of some interest to see where he goes. I hope he be happy elsewhere and do his thing.

  23. Chip February 8th, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    Mell February 8th, 2011 at 12:05 pm
    Fangraphs suggest the Stros and Rangers swap Carlos Lee and Michael Young. Kinda half makes sense.

    —————–

    Why?

    Astros aren’t going to compete for anything and right now they have two young, inexpensive options at the corners in Wallace and Johnson.

    Texas will have a DH with or without Young in Napoli and LF is covered by Murphy/Borbon so they don’t need Lee

  24. Cashmoney February 8th, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Isn’t Naopli their everyday catcher Chip?

  25. YsGuy February 8th, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    joe, even the wilpons have to know better than that. if they trade reyes now, they are likely to lose as much in ticket sales as they are going to gain in salary relief.

    the mets will move reyes at the trade deadline and get real prospects (probably from boston)

  26. Irreverent Discourse February 8th, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Rangers signed Torreabla

  27. Irreverent Discourse February 8th, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Boston will be very excited to find out they still have real prospects. :)

  28. Against All Odds February 8th, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    # MTU February 8th, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    AAO-

    The irony is that Joba fell to the Yankees due to an injury.

    I believe he had either triceps or biceps tendonitis but they decided to take a flyer on his otherwise obvious talent.

    He won’t be the first or last not to reach their cieling.

    I just hope his floor is higher.

    I would think this is a make or break season for Joba.

    Too many young arms knocking on the door and he’s getting more expensive all the time.

    I’ll be pulling for him.

    ———————————

    Yea that is ironic.

    I’m pulling for him too but him being a reliever just pisses me off. I didn’t want him pitching the 8th but dealt with it because it’s the 8th inning.

  29. Mell February 8th, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    “Astros aren’t going to compete for anything and right now they have two young, inexpensive options at the corners in Wallace and Johnson.”

    Niether is very good, and Bill Hall at 2B is no prize either.

    “Texas will have a DH with or without Young in Napoli and LF is covered by Murphy/Borbon so they don’t need Lee”

    Napoli sucks. Lee is a much better hitter and made to DH

    As important as anything is that the money works. It’s two lousy contracts with 3 years remaining on them.

  30. ConcernedCitizen February 8th, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    “My guess is that the Yankees don’t want to give it a shot because they know more than we know.”

    Gotta admit, that’s a perfectly logical conclusion.

  31. G. Love February 8th, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Chad’s summation feels spot on. The Yankees are so desperate for starting pitching they invited Colon to camp. If Joba was physically capable of being a league average starter they would be forced to put him in the rotation. The fact that they haven’t speaks volumes.

    That said, I still am not 100% convinced that the Yankees don’t stretch him out for multiple innings this spring. If he shows great stuff in multi-inning stints there’s always a chance they could reevaluate him. They’ve done it before. Nothing is ever written in stone here.

    I think if it’s ever going to be considered it’s going to happen under the radar and the Yankees will be very coy about it.

    Of course they could trade him just as easily or just keep him in the pen until he hits free agency and walks.

    It’s actually kind of sad when you think about the stuff this guy came into the league with and how his career is becoming more and more ordinary by the day.

    A 7th inning reliever is not something any pitcher aspires to become and that’s basically where he’s landed. While it’s an important role on the team, the fact is he came up with stuff that suggested top of the rotation/closer and now is asked to hand the ball to the two best pitchers in the pen.

    It’ll be interesting to see if this season he takes a step forward or if he keeps slipping into obscurity as a Yankee.

    He’s kind of like the Gregg Jeffries of pitchers.

  32. MTU February 8th, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    AAO-

    If Joba can become a dominant middle man that would still be valuable.

    Our pen will need to be as strong as possible just in case our question marks don’t pan out as well as we’re hoping.

  33. Irreverent Discourse February 8th, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Mell – Napoli does not in fact suck, only as a catcher… and only according to Scosia.

    Lee is 35, and has trended down for 3 straight seasons (being worth negative WAR last year). He plays one field position (left field) poorly.

    Napoli is 29, has averaged .251/.346/.485 and 29HR’s per 162 games of his career. He can back up catch and play first.

    Napoli is set to make $10mill LESS than Lee this season. No reason to trade for Lee at all if you are Texas.

  34. Chip February 8th, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Mell February 8th, 2011 at 12:24 pm
    “Astros aren’t going to compete for anything and right now they have two young, inexpensive options at the corners in Wallace and Johnson.”

    Niether is very good, and Bill Hall at 2B is no prize either.

    Since they’re not going to compete this year anyway they can afford to let Wallace and Johnson develop

    “Texas will have a DH with or without Young in Napoli and LF is covered by Murphy/Borbon so they don’t need Lee”

    Napoli sucks. Lee is a much better hitter and made to DH

    as you say, money’s important here – the Rangers aren’t going to pay Napoli 6 mil to sit on the bench

    As important as anything is that the money works. It’s two lousy contracts with 3 years remaining on them
    If Houston is going to unload Lee it will be to clear salary – this trade doesn’t help them

  35. Chip February 8th, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Cashmoney February 8th, 2011 at 12:20 pm
    Isn’t Naopli their everyday catcher Chip?

    ———————-

    They signed Yorvit Torrelaba earlier this winter.

  36. ac1 February 8th, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    still say Montero starts the year on the Yankees. Posada went the same route, playing behind Girardi while he learned. Montero doesnt have to play everyday in AAA to learn more about catching. He can learn on the field, and on the bench, from Posada, Girardi and Pena, and watching our pitchers so he is ready when called on.

  37. West Coast Yankee Fan February 8th, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Joba will probably get more than a few two inning, mid-game stints with our mediocre rotation.

  38. Cashmoney February 8th, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Napoli sucks. Lee is a much better hitter and made to DH

    Dunno about that. Checking some of the recent stats. Lee kinda sux as well. at one point he was pretty good. He is prolly made to DH at this point, but i rather have Branyan if i were Texas and is indeed looking for a DH. I think Napoli’s value much higher if he is at the catcher position. Thx for the info about Torrealba Irre. Dunno if he is a back up option or starter for TX.

  39. CCBiggs February 8th, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    I agree that Joba’s August 08 injury must have had a lasting effect. I just can’t believe that the Yanks would NOT move Joba back into the rotation if they thought he could do it. It’s not a question of whether Joba is better suited to the rotation or the pen. The Yanks have a desperate need for a starter, and they’d certainly move him back into the rotation if they thought his arm could handle it.

  40. West Coast Yankee Fan February 8th, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Lakers now in the running for Melo (what he score 50 last night?)

  41. pat February 8th, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    BrianCoz Montero looks like he lost weight. Said he’s focused on making the majors this year. Feels ready. #yankees

    BrianCoz Montero on being trade bait: “I want to stay with the Yankees my whole career.” #yankees

    Ledger_Yankees RT @BrianCoz: Martin did MMA training and said it’s helped endurance. “I never got tired.” #yankees

    Ledger_Yankees RT @BrianCoz: Martin said he weighs 215, 15 pounds less than last year. #yankees – BSOHL! :wink:

  42. RadioKev February 8th, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    I don’t see the Yankees not putting Joba in the rotation as a matter of him not being able to be average.

    I don’t believe they think Joba wouldn’t be a league average starter, I think they just see he has a larger upside in the pen than his upside in the rotation.

  43. Cashmoney February 8th, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    If Joba as a starter is a dead issue for the Yankee Brass who happens to control his designation and destiny, it’s moot for me to argue otherwise. So it is, Jobawockeez in da pen. So it will be …

  44. MTU February 8th, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Off topic:

    Just curious.

    Anyone seen Blake around ?

    He usually checks in every day And I haven’t seen him in a while.

    Thanks.

  45. Chip February 8th, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    ac1 February 8th, 2011 at 12:35 pm
    still say Montero starts the year on the Yankees. Posada went the same route, playing behind Girardi while he learned. Montero doesnt have to play everyday in AAA to learn more about catching. He can learn on the field, and on the bench, from Posada, Girardi and Pena, and watching our pitchers so he is ready when called on.

    ——————

    If the plan is to break him in slowly then there’s no reason to call him up until June for service time purposes.

    If he’s tearing the cover off the ball, playing solid defense and in general just making it impossible to send him to AAA then I would do it – but only if he’s going to be playing regularly from the start of the season on.

  46. Against All Odds February 8th, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    # MTU February 8th, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    AAO-

    If Joba can become a dominant middle man that would still be valuable.

    Our pen will need to be as strong as possible just in case our question marks don’t pan out as well as we’re hoping.

    ————————————————

    True it does has value because it makes the pen deeper but I’m not high on him being a middle man. If he elevated himself back to the 8th then I’d be fine with that

  47. hardwired7 February 8th, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    What’s up w/the mound in Arlington?

    First a nascent Phil Hughes, then next-big-cog Joba.

    That thing is like a grinder. Thankfully YMH has been able to come back to full form.

  48. Against All Odds February 8th, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    # RadioKev February 8th, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    I don’t see the Yankees not putting Joba in the rotation as a matter of him not being able to be average.

    I don’t believe they think Joba wouldn’t be a league average starter, I think they just see he has a larger upside in the pen than his upside in the rotation.

    —————————-

    Upside in the pen as a mop up guy?

  49. GreenBeret7 February 8th, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Joe from Long Island February 8th, 2011 at 11:51 am
    Chad – Very good summary, ***and logical conclusions***. (I bet you’ve taken some writing courses along the way. )

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

    So. you’ve come to the same conclusion that I did. Chad has a Vulcan father and an Earthling mother. Live long and prosper, Chad.

  50. Against All Odds February 8th, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    # West Coast Yankee Fan February 8th, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Lakers now in the running for Melo (what he score 50 last night?)

    ——————————————

    Yea Melo had a big game last night. From what’s being reported now the Lakers rejected a trade that would send Bynum to DEN and Melo to LA.

  51. Chip February 8th, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Mell -

    One more thing on the Young to Astros deal – I don’t think that Young would approve it. Why would he want to go to a team with no chance to compete?

  52. charlestonchew February 8th, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    I just wanted to revisit these rankings on MLB.com.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/articl.....8;c_id=mlb

    Man. Our backstop is going to be good for a long time, unless we end up trading some of these guys (please, Jesus, no!).

  53. MTU February 8th, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    AAO-

    I understand your diasappoinment.

    With as far as Joba’s star has fallen I’ll take any improvement we can get.

    He can always try to build on that next season if conditions are appropriate.

    One step, or should I say inning, at a time.

    He’s not exactly in strong position right now.

  54. MTU February 8th, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    HW-

    It’s boobytrapped.

    :)

  55. hardwired7 February 8th, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Either that or cursed, MTU.

  56. Against All Odds February 8th, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    # MTU February 8th, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    AAO-

    I understand your diasappoinment.

    With as far as Joba’s star has fallen I’ll take any improvement we can get.

    He can always try to build on that next season if conditions are appropriate.

    One step, or should I say inning, at a time.

    He’s not exactly in strong position right now.

    —————————————————–

    Yea he’s not in a strong position right now. At the moment he has to show and prove when he comes into camp. Hopefully he puts his best foot forward

  57. Patrick February 8th, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    The Rays are better than people think. They have great pitching and it’s not like they are losing a ton of defense without Pena and Crawford. They are replacing that with Ramirez, Damon and Jennings. I don’t know who’s playing 1B for Tampa though, anyone care to enlighten me?

    I could definitely see Boston trading for Reyes, seems like a perfect fit.

    I doubt the Yankees go after Sizemore but Carmona looks like a good target.

  58. Mell February 8th, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Chip:

    Qualified my Lee/Young thing with “kinda half”. Makes most sense from a $$$ and needed change of scenery (or in Lee’s case, job description) standpoint, but probably doesn’t make sense for many of the reasons you’ve enumerated. My bad for not realizing how much Lee struggled last year.

  59. Patrick February 8th, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    meant to say “It’s not like they are losing a ton of offense without Pena and Crawford”

  60. MTU February 8th, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    I got to run soon.

    Have a good day.

    GB-

    Have you seen Blake around in the past few days ?

    He seems conspicuously absent.

  61. Mell February 8th, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    “They are replacing that with Ramirez, Damon and Jennings. I don’t know who’s playing 1B for Tampa though, anyone care to enlighten me?”

    I believe first in line right now is the immortal Dan Johnson. BTW, appears Jennings is ticketed for Durham at least to start the year.

  62. Chip February 8th, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Mell February 8th, 2011 at 1:13 pm
    Chip:

    Qualified my Lee/Young thing with “kinda half”. Makes most sense from a $$$ and needed change of scenery (or in Lee’s case, job description) standpoint, but probably doesn’t make sense for many of the reasons you’ve enumerated. My bad for not realizing how much Lee struggled last year.

    ——————

    No worries.

    If it weren’t for the fact that Tejada’s their short stop which would mean it would be a brutal middle infield I would say that he would make some sense going to the Giants.

  63. SJ44 February 8th, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    They are moving Zobrist to 1B.

    At least thats the plan going into the Spring.

  64. Chip February 8th, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Patrick February 8th, 2011 at 1:13 pm
    The Rays are better than people think. They have great pitching and it’s not like they are losing a ton of defense without Pena and Crawford. They are replacing that with Ramirez, Damon and Jennings. I don’t know who’s playing 1B for Tampa though, anyone care to enlighten me?

    ——————

    Ben Zobrist will be the starting 1b.

    If I had to guess at alignment:

    1b: Zobrist
    2b: Rodriguez
    ss: Brignac
    3b: Longoria
    C: Jaso
    RF: Jennings
    CF: Upton
    LF: Damon
    DH: Manny

  65. Irreverent Discourse February 8th, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Ramirez and Damon will struggle enough just to replace the offense lost from either Crawford OR Pena. Forget replacing both.

  66. Cashmoney February 8th, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Without counting Montero’s possible contributions. Do you guys think offensively we have a better team as it is currently constructed than LY or about the same.

  67. GreenBeret7 February 8th, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    MTU February 8th, 2011 at 1:15 pm
    I got to run soon.

    Have a good day.

    GB-

    Have you seen Blake around in the past few days ?

    He seems conspicuously absent.

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

    MTU,

    No I haven’t. I fear that a renegare Hokie might have kidnapped him and is holding him hostage for two Yankee stadium hotdogs…with onions, mustard and kraut.

  68. Bronx Jeers February 8th, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Cashman:

    ” Look, kid, I – how much you weigh, son? When you weighed two hundred and eight pounds you were beautiful. You coulda been another Clemens, and that skunk you had for a manager, he brought you along too fast. ”

    Joba:

    “It wasn’t him, Cash, it was you. Remember that Spring in Tampa you came down to my locker and you said, “Joba, this ain’t your season. We’re going for the price on Hughes.” You remember that? “This ain’t your season”! My season! I coulda taken Hughes apart! So what happens? He gets the starter shot on the big stage and what do I get? A one-way ticket to Palooka-ville! You was my GM, Brian, you shoulda looked out for me a little bit. You shoulda taken care of me just a little bit so I wouldn’t have to pitch in relief for the short-end money.”

    Cashman:

    “Oh I had some starts down for you. You saw some money. ”

    Joba:

    ” You don’t understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let’s face it. It was you, Cashman”

    :wink:

  69. Patrick February 8th, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Ramirez and Damon will struggle enough just to replace the offense lost from either Crawford OR Pena. Forget replacing both.

    Really? Look at their 2010 stats. Keep in mind Manny had his worst year and Crawford had his best year. I’d expect Crawford to get worse and Manny to get better.

    Pena:
    .196/.325/.407

    Crawford
    .307/.356/.495

    Damon:
    .271/.355/.401

    Ramirez:
    .298/.409/.460

  70. GreenBeret7 February 8th, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    I fear that a ***renegade***

  71. MTU February 8th, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    GB-

    Wow. That’s a King’s ransom.

    Won’t be easy to put something like that together.

    Hope he’ll be alright.

    Thanks. Got to run.

    Later.

    :)

  72. upstate kate February 8th, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    MTU
    now that you mention it, I haven’t seen Blake

    Tampa’s downfall, as in the past, will be the lack of a decent bullpen

  73. MTU February 8th, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    kate-

    Maybe he hit lotto and is in Tahiti.

  74. Betsy February 8th, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Kind of Joba’d out as far as this debate goes. The Yankees have been so firm on this that I have to believe they know something and that they honestly don’t think he can hold up over the course of a season as a starter.

  75. Irreverent Discourse February 8th, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    patrick – slash lines don’t really indicate enough to make that conclusion… especially crawfords speed game and damons current lack of it.

    You also aren’t allowed to “expect crawford to get worse and manny to get better”. Crawford/Pena’s stats from last season don’t change. Manny/Damon have to make up for what those contributions were last year, not what they “would have been” this year.

    Alot of the success of the Rays recently has been due to their flexibility. Now they have 2 DH’s that can barely play left field.

  76. Patrick February 8th, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    I really think a lot of people are sleeping on Tampa. They will contend for a playoff spot up to the end of the season.

  77. Irreverent Discourse February 8th, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    patrick – i cut that a little short… i would expect Pena/Manny to be a wash. It’s replacing crawford with damon that they will be most hurt.

  78. Patrick February 8th, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    ID,

    Did you not see me post what all 4 guys did last year? If Manny and Damon do the same thing they did last year it will more than make up for Crawford and Pena, even if you account for “speed game”

  79. Mell February 8th, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    “I really think a lot of people are sleeping on Tampa. They will contend for a playoff spot up to the end of the season”

    I don’t know. I see them as their 2009 edition, only a little worse.

  80. Betsy February 8th, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Patrick, I don’t get how the Rays have great pitching. They have Price and Davis. Neimman and Sonnenstine didn’t have good years and Sheilds has to bounce back. Hellickson had all of 4 starts last year – it’s rather annoying how everyone (not directing this at you) assumes he’s going to go through 2011 with few blips – he’s no different than any young pitcher.

  81. Patrick February 8th, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    You think Manny is going to hit .196/.325/.407? Please

  82. Betsy February 8th, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    I don’t underestimate Tampa, but I just don’t think they have this great pitching. Still, I do think they will be in it all season.

    As to Carmona, I’m not interested in trading anything of value for him.

  83. Against All Odds February 8th, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    @ Bronx Jeers your post made my afternoon. :D

  84. Irreverent Discourse February 8th, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    patrick – did you not see the part where i said “just looking at slash lines is not enough”? Because it never is.

    Expecting a comeback from Manny is foolhardy.

  85. Irreverent Discourse February 8th, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    patrick – manny does not play first base. it’s not a straight swap of contributions to their lineup.

  86. Chip February 8th, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    Mell February 8th, 2011 at 1:32 pm
    “I really think a lot of people are sleeping on Tampa. They will contend for a playoff spot up to the end of the season”

    I don’t know. I see them as their 2009 edition, only a little worse.

    ———————-

    You think they’re a world series contender?

  87. Chip February 8th, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Chip February 8th, 2011 at 1:37 pm
    Mell February 8th, 2011 at 1:32 pm
    “I really think a lot of people are sleeping on Tampa. They will contend for a playoff spot up to the end of the season”

    I don’t know. I see them as their 2009 edition, only a little worse.

    ———————-

    You think they’re a world series contender?
    —————

    Sorry – thought that was an 8 not a 9

  88. Patrick February 8th, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Betsy,

    Because Price is already one of the best pitchers in the league and he’s only getting better. Davis is another young guy that you can expect to take another step forward. Hellickson is a top prospect for a reason and Shields had a down year in 2010 but he’s usually pretty good.

    Tampa also has like 5 top pitching prospects, one or two of which will help in 2011.

  89. Shame Spencer February 8th, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Is it just me, or is it a lot harder to evaluate good teams when you’re a Yankee fan?

    To me, the bar is just set ridiculously high. I think Tampa and Boston are good, but I’m not sleeping on either. I expect both to be competitive and make the year interesting.. but I also thought the same would happen last year and Boston pretty much fell apart (relatively early in the race, at that).

    Bottom line when it comes to the Yanks/Rays/Sox: Whichever team is able to avoid injury/compensate for injuries ends up on top. A couple key injuries to the Sox, with a pitching staff already prone to spending time on the DL, and Boston falls out of it. Same for the Rays if the guys they need to be power bats end up pulling or tweaking the wrong muscle at the wrong time of year.

  90. Chip February 8th, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Irreverent Discourse February 8th, 2011 at 1:34 pm
    patrick – did you not see the part where i said “just looking at slash lines is not enough”? Because it never is.

    Expecting a comeback from Manny is foolhardy.

    ————————-

    I would argue that trying to predict what you can expect from Manny one way or another is foolhardy

  91. Shame Spencer February 8th, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    should be: *AND I’m not sleeping on either..

  92. Mell February 8th, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    “You think they’re a world series contender?”

    No.

  93. Patrick February 8th, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    patrick – manny does not play first base. it’s not a straight swap of contributions to their lineup.

    Yes you can because Zobrist, who was playing RF last year is the starting 1B this year. So the only difference would be losing Pena and gaining Manny. Even if Manny doesn’t have a “comeback” his stats in 2010 are pretty damn good. Far better than Pena.

    And I already acknowledged the “speed game” which is almost a non-factor when you look at how much more offense Damon/Manny will give you.

    You are also completely neglecting to mention Desmond Jennings who is a very good player. Mid-year he’s your starting LF, not Damon. And he has a good “speed game”

  94. Chip February 8th, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Patrick February 8th, 2011 at 1:42 pm
    patrick – manny does not play first base. it’s not a straight swap of contributions to their lineup.

    Yes you can because Zobrist, who was playing RF last year is the starting 1B this year. So the only difference would be losing Pena and gaining Manny. Even if Manny doesn’t have a “comeback” his stats in 2010 are pretty damn good. Far better than Pena.

    And I already acknowledged the “speed game” which is almost a non-factor when you look at how much more offense Damon/Manny will give you.

    You are also completely neglecting to mention Desmond Jennings who is a very good player. Mid-year he’s your starting LF, not Damon. And he has a good “speed game”

    —————-

    I’m pretty sure with Zobrist moving to 1b Jennings is going to be the starting RF.

  95. Betsy February 8th, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Patrick, you don’t have to sell me on Price or Davis, but are you assuming that Hellickson is going to be great this year? You’re still counting on Shields to make a bounce back and for their prospects to pan out this year. I didn’t say they wouldn’t be good, but great? I guess I don’t see what you described as being a “great” rotation.

  96. Yankee Trader February 8th, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Anyone care to comment?

    AL East Bullpens[best to worst]: Yanks, Sox, Blue Jays, Orioles, Rays
    Starting Pitching:Sox, Rays, Yanks, Blue Jays, Orioles
    Hitting: Yanks, Sox, Blue Jays, Orioles, Rays

    Don’t think as rosters currently stand that the Rays have a strong enough bullpen to vie for a playoff spot.

  97. Mell February 8th, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Surprised to see that the Rays got 97 RBI out of there DH spot last year. Not sure Ramirez will produce to much more than that, but he should top the .713 OPS posted by Rays DH’s.

  98. Chip February 8th, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Mell February 8th, 2011 at 1:41 pm
    “You think they’re a world series contender?”

    No.

    ————-

    Yeah I thought you said 2008 not 2009

  99. Patrick February 8th, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    I’m pretty sure with Zobrist moving to 1b Jennings is going to be the starting RF.

    I wouldn’t bet on it. Tampa will probably bring him up sometime in the summer.

  100. Chip February 8th, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    Yankee Trader February 8th, 2011 at 1:43 pm
    Anyone care to comment?

    AL East Bullpens[best to worst]: Yanks, Sox, Blue Jays, Orioles, Rays Agree
    Starting Pitching:Sox, Rays, Yanks, Blue Jays, Orioles Sox, Jays, Rays, Yankees, O’s
    Hitting: Yanks, Sox, Blue Jays, Orioles, Rays Agree

    Don’t think as rosters currently stand that the Rays have a strong enough bullpen to vie for a playoff spot.

  101. Chip February 8th, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Mell February 8th, 2011 at 1:43 pm
    Surprised to see that the Rays got 97 RBI out of there DH spot last year. Not sure Ramirez will produce to much more than that, but he should top the .713 OPS posted by Rays DH’s
    ——————-

    Well the RBI’s will depend heavily on how the guys in front of Manny perform.

  102. Doreen February 8th, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    Just got home. Haven’t ready any one else’s response yet.

    Chad,

    That is perhaps the best piece, most well-thought out well-written description of the Joba Chamberlain story. Thank you.

  103. Patrick February 8th, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Betsy,

    I’m expecting Price, Davis and Shields to get better in 2011. Price and Davis because they are young and young pitchers generally progress after their rookie years. Shields because he isn’t an old guy yet and it’s pretty likely he’ll pitch closer to his career numbers than his 2010 numbers.

    Then they have Hellickson in the 4 spot and I think we can expect at least 2010 Wade Davis numbers from him which is a good 4th starter. Niemann or whoever is a fine 5th starter.

    I don’t know, that looks like a really good rotation to me…

  104. 108 stitches February 8th, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    re: Joba

    The question remains. Why hasn’t the pitcher himself made it known that he’d like another shot at the rotation ? Unless he’s lived under a rock since last October, he knows there’s at least one starting spot available.
    There has to be more to the question that some including himself have not discussed. Shoulder issues ? Personal issues ? Whenever the starting rotation is discussed by Girardi / Cashman, his name is never in the mix. Once Rafael Soriano was signed it put to bed who would lead to Mariano and share some of the save opportunites.

  105. Patrick February 8th, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    AL East Bullpens[best to worst]: Yanks, Sox, Blue Jays, Orioles, Rays Agree
    Starting Pitching:Sox, Rays, Yanks, Blue Jays, Orioles Sox, Jays, Rays, Yankees, O’s
    Hitting: Yanks, Sox, Blue Jays, Orioles, Rays Agree

    I’d go with

    Yankees, Sox, don’t really care
    Rays, Sox, Yankees, Blue Jays, Orioles
    Yankees, Sox, Rays, Blue Jays, Orioles

  106. Shame Spencer February 8th, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    If healthy, I agree the Sox rotation is the best in the AL East. That being said, I’ll eat my James Gang hoodie if both Beckett and Lackey pitch for a full year this year. I’d also bet heavily that Dice-K makes at least one trip to the DL during the season.

    The Sox rotation is only as good as the guys they get to replace Beckett/Lackey/DiceK this year.

  107. Yankee Trader February 8th, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Patrick-

    You really think that the Rays have more hitting than the upgraded Orioles or the Blue jays, even without Wells?

  108. ron February 8th, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    The same thing will happen to the rays that happens every year.
    They don’t have the payroll to pass the rs & yankees & everything has to go right for them.
    Very difficult for them to have good pitching,offense & everything go right at the same time with their payroll.
    All of their prospects are not going to become elite players & if they do the rays can’t hang onto them for a long time.

    Once they stop getting top draft picks they are in trouble.

    Are they going to pay price 20 million a year?
    No way.

    They will use his team controlled years,then he is gone.

  109. Betsy February 8th, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Patrick, that’s fair – and I agree with you. The fact is, whether I thought their rotation was great or not, I definitely didn’t think they were going to be pushovers this year. No – I don’t think any team in this division is, even the Orioles.

  110. Yankee Trader February 8th, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Of course the yankees will have the best starting rotation in the AL East and maybe in baseball “IF” they get their best years out of CC, Hughes, AJ, Colon and Garcia!! :)

  111. Cashmoney February 8th, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    I think RS might be a better offensive team than the Yanks. but over all I see RS or Yankees BP and Offense interchangeable in terms of ranking. The starting rotation is where it’s at. Adv Sox on paper.

  112. Patrick February 8th, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    You really think that the Rays have more hitting than the upgraded Orioles or the Blue jays, even without Wells?

    Yes I do.

    2010 runs scored:

    Rays – 802
    Blue Jays – 755
    Orioles – 613

    I don’t think the changes in lineups will change that order at all

  113. Irreverent Discourse February 8th, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    patrick – Zobrist will be playing RF, unless they acquired another OF I don’t know about.

    When Jennings gets called up Zobrist might slide out of the OF if they decide to put Upton or Jennings in RF… but Damon is the LF all year and Manny is the DH all year. They have little to no backup plan for those 2 players, they HAVE to perform. They are OLD. Like, really OLD. They WILL miss games, and they will only have overmatched young players to replace them with.

    Manny has been a shell of himself since the fertility drug incident… and his power all but disappeared last year due to a mystery “hernia” that he supposedly played all year with.

    Damon/Manny will have a hard enough time replacing Crawford’s contributions to the offense. Strictly speaking WAR value-wise here (i don’t care if you don’t accept it as a stat, that’s not your call to make), Crawford was worth more then both of those players combined last year.

  114. Yankee Trader February 8th, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Patrick-

    Orioles added Lee, Vlad and Reynolds.
    Rays lost Crawford and Pena. You believe Damon and Manny will make up for that loss? l

  115. Mell February 8th, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    “I think RS might be a better offensive team than the Yanks”

    More holes than the Yankees, IMO.

  116. Patrick February 8th, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Rays lost Crawford and Pena. You believe Damon and Manny will make up for that loss? l

    And Jennings. Have you been reading the rest of the posts in this thread? I responded on this very topic several times.

    ID,

    Well one person in this thread said Zobrist is going to 1B in spring training, another person said Dan Johnson. I doubt Tampa goes with Jennings out of spring training.

    Also, WAR includes defense and we are talking about offense here… Most of Crawford’s WAR is due to defense so it’s kind of a bad comparison.

  117. Yankee Trader February 8th, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    “I think RS might be a better offensive team than the Yanks”

    ——————————————————-

    If theYankees and Red Sox both are healthy and the players at each position play to their norms, I believe the Yankees have more clear cut offense at catcher and SS while the only clear cut advantage the Sox have is Crawford over Gardner, and that is only in power numbers.

  118. Joe from Long Island February 8th, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    YsGuy from 12:20 – sorry, I’ve been busy and just saw your post –

    I know what you mean, it’s just that I think the Red Sox – if they were willing to take on Castillo’s or Perez’ salary in full – would have Fred by the gonads. Given his financial situation, I think he would be desperate to unload that much salary obligation and go for it.

    I think the Wilpons are – or will be – that desperate.

  119. Irreverent Discourse February 8th, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    I think the RS lineup now might be a better offensive team than the Yankees were last year.

    This Yankee lineup is better on paper than it was going into last year, so barring Teix/Arod/Jeter/Granderson having piss poor first halves again (or whole seasons in teixeira’s case), top to bottom it should outproduce the RS with no problem.

  120. Cashmoney February 8th, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    I see ur point trader. Not counting in Jesus’s possible contributions. I don’t know if I can say there is a clear adv for Yanks at catcher at this point, that’s only cuz Martin, in my recollection, has been pretty meek hitter last couple years. btw, who is catching for the sox?

  121. Patrick February 8th, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Cashmoney,

    Varitek and Saltalamacchia

  122. tampayank February 8th, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    “# Yankee Trader February 8th, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Anyone care to comment?

    AL East Bullpens[best to worst]: Yanks, Sox, Blue Jays, Orioles, Rays
    Starting Pitching:Sox, Rays, Yanks, Blue Jays, Orioles
    Hitting: Yanks, Sox, Blue Jays, Orioles, Rays

    Don’t think as rosters currently stand that the Rays have a strong enough bullpen to vie for a playoff spot.

    I don’t think the Rays would have the worst bullpen in the division, aren’t they getting JP Howell back?

  123. Irreverent Discourse February 8th, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    patrick – sorry, i misspoke. I was only looking at oWAR on B-R.com, not the fielding component.

    Damon – 1.7
    Manny – 2.2
    Crawford – 4.7
    Pena – 1.5

    You and I both know there is no chance that Tampa, of all teams, calls up a player out of spring training. Whatever day it was that Longoria was called up, Jennings will follow.

    Damon and Manny are also both moving into a division with better pitching than they saw last season, and facing teams that are well accustomed to their abilities and limitations. Have to keep that in mind.

  124. 108 stitches February 8th, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    The Rays shouldn’t be underestimated. Their glaring weakness is the bullpen which at present is a closer by committee. Like the Yankees, they have some flexibility with Zobrist, and Rodriquez being able to play multiple positions. Matt Joyce can play either OF corner.
    Crawford was the face of their franchise but he’ll be replaced in LF with Damon’s weak arm the only issue at the position.
    Given the upside of their starting rotation and strong farm system, it’s better than Boston’s with less question marks.
    Boston will need virtually 100% good health and some rebounds from their starting 1-5.

  125. ron February 8th, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    I just don’t see the rs as a better offensive team & if they are it will be so close that pitching will decide it.

    The only place that i see the rs better is lf.

    I think we are better at 3b,ss,2b,catcher,rf,cf.

    The thing is that they are very close at every position,production wise.

    The yankees are going to upgrade the pitching,count on it.
    If the rs get real good pitching & becket & lackey get better they will be tough.

    But if buchholz takes a step back & becket,lackey,dice don’t get better they will struggle.

    I think we are seeing the end of becket,lackey,dice as good pitchers.

    If lester is great but the rest struggle the rs could be in rough shape with not much in their farm system,a growing payroll & a huge contract coming up for adrian gonzalez.
    Gonzalez,crawford,becket,lackey will cost about 77 million alone with a lot of years left.
    Youk,drew,ortiz are getting old,pedroia plays a very violent style of baseball & is coming off of some injuries.

    They will need a catcher,dh,rf,ss in the near future.

  126. G. Love February 8th, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    I really think it’s a fallacy that the Red Sox could possibly have a better offense than the Yankees.

    Let’s go position by position;

    C – Martin/Montero/Cervelli vs. Salty/Varitek – You can’t give them an edge here. This leans to the Yankees but depends on what Martin does and if Montero sticks at C. If Montero is at C I imagine this is a clear win for the Yankees offense.

    1b- Tex vs. Gonzalez – I’ll give them an edge because Gonzalez hits for average and power and Texeira is turning into one of those pull into the shift power hitters which if he doesn’t fix will keep his average low. That said, Gonzalez may not even be healthy enough to start the season.

    2b- Cano vs. Pedroia – Any GM in the league would take Cano over Pedroia including Theo.

    SS – Jeter vs. Scutaro/Lowrie – Red Sox don’t get an edge here at all. Based on last season they are comparable. I’ll call it even for now but Jeter could rebound. Scutaro isn’t going to outhit what he normally does and Lowrie is more of the UTIF for them than a starter.

    3b – Arod vs. Youk – When both are healthy, I’ll take Arod. Slight edge to Yanks here.

    LF – Gardner vs. Crawford – closer than you think, but edge goes to Red Sox. That said, if Gardner hits like he did prior to the wrist injury this gets close to even.

    CF – Granderson vs. Ellsbury – Granderson hands down. His power in CF is rare in the league. Ellsbury almost played himself out of Boston before his injury stuff happened. They signed Cameron to replace him and move him to LF. This isn’t even close.

    RF – Swisher vs. Drew/Kalish – Considering Drew is already coming up lame for spring training, I’ll take Swisher’s power and on base in the regular season here.

    DH – Posada vs. Ortiz – Slight edge to Ortiz because he’s done this before and is a DH. There’s a question that Posada will take to the role.

    So in 3 positions out of 9 spots in the order (1b, LF and DH) I’ll concede the Red Sox are better.

    So how is their offense better than the Yankees? Again, some Yankee fans assume guys like Ellsbury will have career years but guys like Jeter will be worse.

    Not to mention if Tex’s injuries caused his average to plummet last season as has been mentioned, he is a huge bounce back candidate and could even up the 1b comparison.

    I wouldn’t want the Red Sox offense. I wouldn’t want their pen. The back end of their rotation is better than ours on paper, but it was better than most of the league’s on paper last year and it didn’t live up to the hype.

  127. tampayank February 8th, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    ^I think Pedroia is prone to more injuries w/ that swing

  128. Irreverent Discourse February 8th, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    joe from LI – The financial trouble the Wilpons are in extends WAY beyond the reach of moving one or 2 players worth of salary. He is being sued for $1b. The mets were only valued at $800mil by forbes last year, and both SNY and the Mets franchises already have massive loans taken out against them.

    The $17mil these 2 players are making are largely irrelevant.

  129. Patrick February 8th, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    ID,

    Thanks for posting those numbers.

    I think one thing we have to take into consideration is that Manny only played 90 games in 2010. If he’s healthy for a bigger chunk of the season I think he will be very good for Tampa.

    I just think that with the additions of Damon, Ramirez and Jennings they aren’t losing a ton of offense.

    It’s also very possible that Upton and Zobrist have better years at the plate

  130. Patrick February 8th, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    G. Love,

    I think that’s very generous to the Red Sox. I’d say 1B is a push and the Yanks have a clear advantage at SS.

  131. Irreverent Discourse February 8th, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    patrick – Another thing we have passed over is the effect of the turf on Damon’s calves. He could end up missing significant time is Maddon isn’t careful about it.

  132. Irreverent Discourse February 8th, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    patrick – oh yes, i’m totally banking on zobrist’s bounceback. i bought in on him as a SS in my dynasty league 2 years ago :/

  133. Patrick February 8th, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    ID,

    I think Damon is going to be a first half player… he’ll be on the bench by mid-year.

  134. Irreverent Discourse February 8th, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    patrick – By my count that leaves the Rays short an outfielder. I do believe Zobrist will end up at 1B eventually (honestly how long could you start dan johnson there and expect to compete), but start the season in RF. If Damon gets hurt, then they have to keep Johnson in the lineup when they call up Jennings.

  135. Patrick February 8th, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    ID,

    Start of the year: Johnson 1B, Damon/Upton/Zobrist in the outfield
    In June sometime it will go to: Johnson 1B, Jennings/Upton/Zobrist in the outfield.

    Zobrist has always been a utility guy for Tampa so I could see him taking starts in RF and 1B. You’re right though, Dan Johnson is a pretty bad hitter as far as 1B’s go so the Rays will probably try to get him out of the lineup as much as possible.

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