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


Spring decision: Long reliever

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Feb 11, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

This winter, the Yankees put the finishing touches on a deep and potentially overpowering bullpen. They signed the market’s best closer, and moved him into the eighth inning. They signed the market’s most durable lefty, and put him alongside Boone Logan. They moved incumbent setup men Joba Chamberlain and Dave Robertson into the sixth and seventh innings. If all goes to plan, six bullpen spots are accounted for, but a seventh remains up for grabs.

The possibilities
Robertson, Chamberlain and Logan don’t have to be limited to one inning apiece, but they’re much closer to one-inning relievers than three-innings relievers. The Yankees need a long man, and they no longer have Dustin Moseley, Alfredo Aceves or Chad Gaudin to consider for the job. Instead they’ll choose from a long list of candidates including two Rule 5 picks, two potential starters, and a long line of prospects trying to make an impression.

The easy choice
It’s hard to overlook his 2009 struggles, but the truth is, Sergio Mitre pitched pretty well last season. He had a 1.09 WHIP, a 3.33 ERA, and his ground ball rate was better than 50 percent. He doesn’t strikeout a lot of guys, but Mitre was good in this long relief role last season. The easy thing would be to put him back in that spot, assuming the Yankees don’t need him in the rotation.

The alternatives
Three of the alternatives have nowhere else to go in the Yankees organization. Rule 5 picks Robert Fish and Daniel Turpen must be offered back to their original teams — and passed through waivers — before they can be assigned to the minor leagues. Romulo Sanchez is out of options and would have to be traded or designated for assignment if he misses the cut. Turpen and Fish have each been more than one-inning relievers in the minor leagues, and Sanchez spent half of last season in the Triple-A rotation, so it’s not out of the question that one of those three could be a multiple-inning option. Sanchez — a hard-thrower with a better-than-you-might-expect changeup — might be especially interesting in that role.

It’s unclear what the Yankees expect out of Mark Prior, but it’s obviously an intriguing thought that the former prospect starter might impress in camp and be stretched out as a long man. The Yankees, though, have already ruled out the idea of Prior being a starter. Does that limitation extend to multiple innings out of the bullpen?

Of course, it seems like we’ve spent the entire winter hearing about the Yankees young pitching depth. Could a young arm like Hector Noesi or D.J. Mitchell make an impression in camp and sneak away with a big league bullpen job? Also, the assumption seems to be that Ivan Nova will win a rotation job — and I tend to think that’s true — but if he doesn’t win that contest, his consolation prize might be a long relief job in the big league bullpen.

A separate but related issue
Last year, the Yankees broke camp with Mitre, Aceves and Chan Ho Park available for multiple innings out of the bullpen. At one point or another, Gaudin, Nova, Sanchez and Moseley were also available for long relief. Point is, one multi-inning reliever almost certainly won’t be enough to get through the season and it might not be enough to get through April. The Yankees might need to get at least one or two of those late-inning arms stretched out at least a little bit. The time might come when one of them absolutely has to pitch two or more innings just to get through a game.

Associated Press photo of Mitre, picture of Sanchez taken by my buddy Jason Farmer at the Scranton Times-Tribune

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129 Responses to “Spring decision: Long reliever”

  1. Giuseppe Franco February 11th, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Thanks guys for the welcoming party.

    I’m feeling better than I’ve felt in many years, certainly since college (I graduated 12 years ago from Purdue).

    Health didn’t keep me away from here – just pure stupidity day after day. One can only handle so much of that nonsense.

    At least those people didn’t drive all the good folks away.

  2. m February 11th, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    GF,

    I also stepped away because of the stupidity. Sadly, I found that it didn’t disappear. Though it’s better than it was. ;)

    Mitre=long man

  3. Cashmoney February 11th, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    The safe bet seems to be Mitre as he has a ML contract and frankly did do okay despite my unnatural dislike for him. The concern here obviously will be how the back end of Yankee rotation not giving enough inning and the possible need for two long man. We will see how it plays out.

  4. Giuseppe Franco February 11th, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    I must say, I was rather disappointed to see Aceves scooped up by the Red Sox even though he may not even pitch this season.

    He helped this team win a lot of ballgames during his short major league stint. Hopefully, he can get back to full health and help someone else besides the Red Sox.

  5. BoJo February 11th, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    I think Mitre might face a challenge from Prior for the long man role. That Prior experience as an elite starter could play well in the long relief role.

  6. Ys Guy February 11th, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    i didnt comment on here from august till december. partly because my job at the time required ridiculous hours, but partly because of the stupidity.

    i havent been on here during a game in almmost 2 seasons b/c that’s when it really gets insane (even when they are winning.)

    but i really like alot of the people on here and i read the posts even when i dont comment.

    wb guisseppe

  7. BoJo February 11th, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    BTW–I think Nova would be awesome as a Long reliever…like Rameiro Mendoza from the 90s.

  8. Giuseppe Franco February 11th, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    Disliking Mitre might be unnatural to Cashmoney, but it comes pretty natural to me.

  9. Giuseppe Franco February 11th, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    Thanks, YG.

    Same here regarding the game threads. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve commented on a game thread since the middle of the 2009 season.

  10. Doreen February 11th, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    Fran -

    From last thread -

    The spring training games will not count in the standings. :)

  11. Ys Guy February 11th, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    i think there’s alot more mitre hate around yankeeland than is deserved. i’d prefer to see him be the long man and not in the rotation, but he’s really not horrible.

    kobe on fire early…

  12. Cashmoney February 11th, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Bojo, good point, I forgot about Prior. though I can’t remember the last time Prior was considered having elite stuff or a starter. The safe bet is still prolly on Mitre if there is one spot avail. But let the best man win out!

  13. Joe from Long Island February 11th, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Theoretically, anyone not named Mariano Rivera should be up to go two innings. Practically speaking, I think Joba, DRob, and Logan are the most likely candidates that Joe would turn to for that, depending on their first inning of work, of course.

    I think that one of Mitre and Sanchez makes the team out of the gate; the other gets dealt, and the other might stay on the bubble for a while. With all the arms who could be ready to come through this year, they will need to start making room. Could be a nice problem to have.

  14. BoJo February 11th, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Sanchez was very impressive the few times I saw him last year. But this year, I think the battle is between Mitre and Prior, and either will do a fine job.

    In a year or 2–if not traded, I really do think Nova would be replaced in rotation by Killer Bs and trade pick-ups. He would solidify long relief for 3-4 years.

  15. West Coast Yankee Fan February 11th, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Girardi is the king of mix and match; with so many choices out of the pen this year I anticipate his binder will dictate who pitches to whom and for how long.

  16. BoJo February 11th, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    BTW–I am really looking forward to seeing what the Sisco Kid can bring. I suspect he could be another Boone Logan type call-up during the season.

  17. Cashmoney February 11th, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    Joe, i suspect Mitre will eventually be replaced by some of more lauded youngsters from our farm this year. But the, he has alligator skin has thus far survived 2 off season purge so far.

  18. Ys Guy February 11th, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    omg! kobe hits a fadeaway to end the 1st Q with 19 pts. everybody brings thier A game to the garden.

  19. Ys Guy February 11th, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    i think developing a bullpen out of a collection or arms has been girardi’s best strength as mgr.

  20. BoJo February 11th, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Cashmoney–

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Mitre was replaced by Nova this season depending on what trade acquisitions occur at ASB.

  21. Joe from Long Island February 11th, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Yes, Sanchez didn’t do anything to negatively affect his shot this year. If he’s got a good enough change up, and throws hard enough, he might even be a heavier and harder throwing version of Edwar ;)

  22. Giuseppe Franco February 11th, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    My issue with Sanchez is that he often needs a GPS to find the strike zone.

    Fringy talents like him tend to bounce around the league. Those guys are a dime a dozen.

  23. BoJo February 11th, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    I actually have liked Mitre since he joined us. I could see glimpses in his first year where he was very good in relief role…just had no stamina. Now he should be fully recovered from surgery, and stronger than ever. I wouldn’t even mind if he won a starting rotation job and Nova or Prior went to pen.

  24. BoJo February 11th, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    BTW–Whatever happened to Humberto Sanchez (Or Where In The World Is Humberto Sanchez)? Does even Waldo know?

  25. Joe from Long Island February 11th, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Cashmoney – not saying he’s great, but Mitre has shown he can get play in this league. Even he just plays to his baseball card, I’d have to think some teams would be interested in him. For instance, I think that other team in NY could certainly plug him into their rotation.

  26. Cashmoney February 11th, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Humberto A. Sánchez (born May 28, 1983, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) is a right-handed pitcher, for the La New Bears, a Taiwan Professional Baseball club in CPBL. Sanchez throws a fastball in the low to mid 90s, as well as a low 90s slider, a curveball, and a changeup.

  27. BoJo February 11th, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    WHAT!?!?!?!?

    When did that happen?

  28. Ys Guy February 11th, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    i wonder how much girardi had to do with them getting mitre. he had him in fla in 2006

  29. Cashmoney February 11th, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    Joe, I can see Mitre’s stuff plays better in a spacious NL park a la his Marlin days when he had some good games as a starter. He is best suited as a long man in AL East or just AL period IMO. I think that chiefly because his limited sample with the Yanks as a starter has been pretty poopy.

  30. Betsy February 11th, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    SJ, I don’t care what you think about what I think about Phil, but Coney did not sound enthusiastic about Phil. That’s my opinion – and he obviously shares some of the concerns I have. You think I’m over the top negative? Guess what? You’re over the top positive…. I don’t see how Coney’s suggestion that Phil be in the pen has ANYTHING to do with what he said today. By the way, he also said that Phil should remain in the pen permanently……but naturally you ignored that.

    Doreen, it was just the tone in which Cone said what he said. There was no enthusiasm for his stuff – it was just “yeah, I like him”, because what was he going to say to Mike? That he doesn’t like him? You have to read between the lines. He said everything that everyone outside this board has been saying.

  31. BoJo February 11th, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    Just been Googling Humberto–didn’t even know they had a Chinese Professional Baseball League…I wonder if he will ever make it back.

  32. BoJo February 11th, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    Betsy–Cone said Phil should be in pen permanently today? After an 18 win season?

  33. Betsy February 11th, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    Bojo, he said it after 2009 – he didn’t think Phil had what it took to be a starter.

  34. Betsy February 11th, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Also it’s hilarious how if someone critique’s a player it means they are trashing him. I never said Cone trashed Phil – I SAID that he didn’t seem overly enthusiastic. There is a difference, but some people have a hard time discerning that in their haste to lecture from their high horse.

  35. 108 stitches February 11th, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    With good health Mark Prior would be ideal as a long reliever. This is Mitre’s final chance to show his worth. Romulo Sanchez likely part of a late March deal.

  36. Ys Guy February 11th, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    betsy id have to agree that you are taking a positive and turning in to a negative. i respect your opinion on phil even as i totally disagree with it, but i listened and didnt hear what you heard. when you have to start reading between the lines to find slights, maybe you are looking a little too hard.
    i know that in the end, you are hoping for a good year out of phil anyway, like just about everyone else here.

  37. Jackson February 11th, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    Anyone know why there’s no chatter from reporters about Igawa? Such as what are their plans are for him. Are we presuming he’s in exile at SWB?

  38. Giuseppe Franco February 11th, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    So does Betsy share Cone’s opinion regarding what he views as POSITIVES (Joba and Nova)???

    I’m guessing not.

    When 99% of your posts slant negative, whether it’s about Hughes or someone else, other people are going to respond to such gross negativity in kind.

  39. Cashmoney February 11th, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    bojo, i guess they let him go sometimes btw 09 or 10. La New bear sounds absolutely intimidating … hope he has had a good time there.

  40. Betsy February 11th, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Ys Guy, it was obvious to me – when I said reading between the lines, I was referring to the tone of voice. If you disagree, that’s fine – I don’t base my opinions on what others think and I respect differing opinions.

  41. Ys Guy February 11th, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    jackson, i dont think i saw igawa on the invite list. and he’s not on the 40 man, so i’m pretty sure he wont even be in camp

  42. m February 11th, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    I’ll admit I didn’t listen. But I don’t think Cone would say, “yeah, I like him” if he didnt like him.

    I don’t expect every analyst to gush over Phil out of season, so I’ll take what he said at face value.

  43. GreenBeret7 February 11th, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    If Andrew Sisco pitches like he did in Mexico this winter, he may make a run at a rotation spot. He’s learned to control his fastball after sitting out for 3 years with injuries. Upper 90s, good vurve and slider. Another lefty in the rotation or bullpen?

    http://mlb.mlb.com/milb/stats/.....pid=434878

  44. Ys Guy February 11th, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    im glad cone is coming back to do some broadcasts this year. he’s no pro but he’s also not afraid to say anything, unlike so many of the others.

  45. Betsy February 11th, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    M, my real point was that SJ constantly attacks me for saying basically the same things that Coney said today…..

  46. m February 11th, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    And truth be told, there’s nothing flashy or wow or gushable about Phil. He’s also humble and non-controversial.

    (though personally I do think his pinpoint accuracy is pretty sexy)

  47. Ys Guy February 11th, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    sj has probably attacked every person on here at some point or another.

    he has good insight, but he thinks it makes him something special.

    if he’d just stick with his knowlege and analysis he’d be great but the personal attacks are just bush league.

  48. Giuseppe Franco February 11th, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    I love Cone in the booth. He’s hilarious and he’s very candid.

    My personal favorite YES trio would be Singleton, Leiter, and Cone with Michael Kay going on a season long honeymoon.

  49. Betsy February 11th, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    Ys Guy, every time he responds to me, it’s to lecture me and to imply I’m an idiot. There’s never a discussion to be had, never an honest exchange of ideas – it’s just not possible with with him.

  50. m February 11th, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    I’m sure SJ will give Coney an earful the next time he sees him. ;)

    I’m going to listen for myself to see if I hear anything. I’m definitely coming down on you for your impressions.

  51. RMS February 11th, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Betsy

    I remember when you were a great Phil supporter. What happened?

  52. Cashmoney February 11th, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    kay is married?

  53. Betsy February 11th, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    M, it’s just that I compared it to how enthusiastic he seemed about Joba and Nova, that’s all. If you don’t see it the way I did, that’s fine.

  54. Betsy February 11th, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    RMS, I changed my mind for now, that’s all. He’s fine – he could be a nice, solid pitcher in the future. I don’t see him as a perennial all-star type pitcher or a real Cy Young contender……If others do, that’s fine – I’m not asking them to change their opinions. I simply don’t see anything overly special about him – and there’s nothing wrong with being a middle of the rotation pitcher, which is about where I see him (and SJ said this same thing last year, only now when I suggest that’s where Phil is headed, it’s supposed to be a bad thing). I just don’t see this incredible stuff that people thought he had in the minors, that’s all.

  55. Ys Guy February 11th, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    gf, good call on the announcing. if only murcer was here, you sub him for leiter and you have a GREAT team, but i’ll take your 3 anytime over all the other possibliities.

    oniell is HORRIBLE!

  56. Betsy February 11th, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Coney and Singleton are the best – I’m really glad Coney is back.

  57. BoJo February 11th, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    GreenBeret7 February 11th, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    If Andrew Sisco pitches like he did in Mexico this winter, he may make a run at a rotation spot. He’s learned to control his fastball after sitting out for 3 years with injuries. Upper 90s, good vurve and slider. Another lefty in the rotation or bullpen?

    http://mlb.mlb.com/milb/stats/…..pid=434878
    ++++++++++++++++++
    For some reason, I get a Chuck Cary vibe when I think of this guy. And Chuck had a pretty good run for a short while.

  58. Cashmoney February 11th, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    I thought Tino was pretty bad LY. But most because his nasal vocal which prevented me from actually listening to his takes.

  59. RMS February 11th, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    Betsy

    Cone didn’t seem too enthusiastic about AJ, did he?

  60. SJ44 February 11th, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Do you want me to dig up past posts? You have been trashing him for months. Everybody on this board has noticed it.

    Let’s not play the victim again.

    Cone never said Hughes didn’t have what it takes to be a starter. he wanted him to stay in the pen for a year believing it would make him a better pitcher.

    Cone has gone to bat with Hughes numerous times with Girardi and Eiland. He has always been a Hughes supporter.

    There was nothing wrong with his “tone” today. He talked about what the kid needs to do to take
    the next step in his development.

    Honestly, off the season he had last year how can you not be positive with his progress.

    I told you the other day to do some research on how many 24 or under starters in the last 10 years who were 10 games or over .500 and made the all star team there has been.

    You refused to do it saying you didn’t think he should have been on the all star team.

    You didn’t do it because it would highlight just how off you are in your criticisms of him.

    Hughes is only the third 24 or under starter who, in his first full year as a starter made the all star team and finished ten games over .500 since 2000.

    That tells me he’s progressing nicely.

  61. Giuseppe Franco February 11th, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    # Ys Guy February 11th, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    gf, good call on the announcing. if only murcer was here, you sub him for leiter and you have a GREAT team, but i’ll take your 3 anytime over all the other possibliities.

    oniell is HORRIBLE!

    ————

    Yeah, O’Neill is pretty vanilla in the booth. At least he and Kay have amusing exchanges at times.

    Listening to Flaherty is kind of like listening to my old high school math Algebra teacher.

  62. BoJo February 11th, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Giuseppe Franco February 11th, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    I love Cone in the booth. He’s hilarious and he’s very candid.

    My personal favorite YES trio would be Singleton, Leiter, and Cone with Michael Kay going on a season long honeymoon.
    ______________________
    That sure would be a talkative bunch…Between Leiter and Coney, I don’t know if Kenny would get a word in.

    I like Flash too for his insights, although he is pretty dull to the ears.

  63. m February 11th, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Nobody is saying Phil is perennial all-star or cy young material.

    I think people are preaching patience. Besides Phil isn’t the first and won’t be the last to not dominate the majors like he did the minors.

    I’m curios about your comment about Cone. When did he say that Phil should stay in the bullpen? Was it around the time that Phil dominated in the bullpen as the EIG? Or more recent?

  64. RMS February 11th, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    I also think Cone and Singleton are the best.

    The worst trio are Kay, Leiter and O’neill. They talk, talk, talk. Even the game doesn’t get in their way.

  65. West Coast Yankee Fan February 11th, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Well, Cone was wrong about Hughes if he said he didn’t have what he took to be a starter, that’s been proven conclusively. I did hear the comments he made and didn’t hear any tone of any kind. I love Cone in the booth, great guy, good broadcaster.

  66. Betsy February 11th, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    RMS (I keep wanting to type Titanic when I type your screen name), he said that AJ needs another pitch, but that he also thinks that he throws too many different types of FBs (a four seamer and a 2 seamer) and that AJ should stick to one type. He didn’t really seem high or low on AJ – Mike was the one who was asking why a pitcher that talented struggles. Mike also said AJ has a great curve, but AJ’s curve was hideous last year.

  67. Betsy February 11th, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    M, it was in 2009 – he said Phil didn’t have the pitches to be a starter (among other things, but this was the major thing I took from his comments).

  68. SJ44 February 11th, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Cone never said Hughes didn’t have what it takes to be a starter.

  69. Cashmoney February 11th, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    I miss Jim Kaat, i def learned quite a bit about baseball whilst he was a yankee announcer.

  70. Betsy February 11th, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    M, the hype surrounding Phil was that he was going to be a stud for a long time, so I think the expectations for him have always been extremely high. Now, as with every player, expectations change depending on performance. I am not suggesting he should be a Cy Young winner already, but I’ll say what I’ve said for awhile: I’m playing a wait and see game with him. If some want to think that’s trashing him, well I can’t help how they feel.

  71. SJ44 February 11th, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Cone said he needed more EFFECTIVE pitches to be a starter. That’s why he said he wanted Hughes to stay in the pen in 2009. He never said he wanted him to stay in the pen permanently.

    Just as with his “tone” today, you tend find the negative in everything. Even when a negative doesn’t exist.

  72. m February 11th, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Betsy,

    That’s what I figured. You can’t really use that as a counterpoint to SJ. That was almost two years ago. I’m sure Coney believes that Hughes has what out takes to be a starter now. And if doesn’t, he wouldn’t just be in the minority, he’d be stranded on an island by himself.

  73. Betsy February 11th, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    SJ, he said Phil should be a reliever permanently – he said it whether you want to believe it or not. Don’t give me the “don’t play the victim card”. Every post you direct to me is condescending. I hate it when my parents lecture me and I absolutely hate it when a total stranger lectures me. You have every right to think highly of Phil, but you can’t abide my opinion of him and so you take it out on me in all your posts. We really have nothing to say to each other. You are simply not interested in conversation with someone who has a difference of opinion. So, in the interests of not cluttering the blog any further with time-consuming, boring fights that will never get resolved, we should probably just drop this permanently.

  74. Tom in N.J. February 11th, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    I’ve been listening to the Cone interview today. He’s talked about Burnett-inconsistent, needs a changeup, Nova- Cone said he ‘likes’ Nova-and Joba-he was better than his numbers. Now he’s talking about the Mets. Did he even talk about Hughes toay?

  75. SJ44 February 11th, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    When a guy in his first full year as a starter does what only 2 other pitchers have done since 2000, it’s safe to say that if he continues to improve at his present pace, he’s a top of the rotation starting pitcher.

    His performance last season, despite struggling a bit in the second half, hasn’t taken him off that path.

  76. Betsy February 11th, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    SJ, I don’t care whether you like the reasons for my not doing the research or not.

  77. Cashmoney February 11th, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    No Tom, I am pretty sure i listened to the same thing u did. Hughes’ name was not mentioned. But apparently in 09 he did.

  78. RMS February 11th, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    I think some are forgetting that Hughes is still a youngster and still learning. He will continue to get better and I think will be a top of the rotation pitcher.

  79. m February 11th, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    Betsy,
    That’s the point. You seem to be disappointed that Phil isn’t that stud. You’ve never said it, but reading between the lines, a lot if us read it that way. Personally? I’m just happy he stayed healthy, didnt embarrass himself, and won us a lot of games.

    I think a lot of us wish that you could enjoy watching Phil like a fan instead of a scout.

  80. Betsy February 11th, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    You still wanted me to do the research even though I felt he shouldn’t be an all-star ; that makes absolutely no sense.

  81. Betsy February 11th, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    M, ok that’s fine, but I stand by my opinion about Cone’s comments. It’s no big deal – if other people don’t agree, it’s fine.

  82. Betsy February 11th, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Yes, Coney talked about him today

  83. SJ44 February 11th, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Save the victim crap. That doesn’t play with me.

    In the past week alone, you have concluded that Hughes is “too bulky on top”, doesn’t extend his arm enough, should dump his cutter, has a terrible curveball and isn’t anything special to you.

    It’s ok to have that opinion if you feel that way.

    But, you then can’t say you are taking a wait and see attitude when you are reaching those conclusions.

    You also can’t get upset at media people who write something you don’t like about him since you write something negative about the guy everyday here.

  84. Betsy February 11th, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    RMS, well for me I need to see him improve his breaking pitches a lot before I make that pronunciation; I’m not going to assume he’ll improve just because he’s young. If that’s the case, why aren’t all young pitchers good? There are young mediocre/bad pitchers out there. I’m not saying he won’t improve, but just like you (for instance) assume he will, I’m going to wait and see. There are other things I’m waiting to see improvement on and I hope I do see it.

  85. Betsy February 11th, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    Again with the victim crap, lol. Well anyway, we clearly have nothing to say to each other and I think that’s patently obvious.

  86. Tom in N.J. February 11th, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    Cone did talk about Hughes. He said he liked what he sees from Hughes, He praised Hughes ‘slider’. And said he needs to continue to develop.

    Francesa talked about Hughes not being as good as his numbers because of his run support..

  87. SJ44 February 11th, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    Whether you think he should have been an all star or not is immaterial.

    The point is, the guy accomplished something last year only TWO other pitchers have achieved since 2000.

    Believe it or not, that’s a good thing.

  88. m February 11th, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    CC in da house…er..Garden

  89. Jerkface February 11th, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    Just listened to the Cone interview. This is written as close to on message as possible.

    Do you like what you’ve seen from Hughes? “I do, I still think he needs to continue to develop, that slider (cutter) that he picked up the last few years has been a big pitch for him because that knuckle curve can come and go. Some days its great and some days you don’t know if its gonna be there. Hughes has that little slider and he has shown a propensity to throw a change up but he needs to continue to develop and learn how to pitch and mix his pitches.”

    His tone and overall message is positive. The 24 year old pitcher has to continue to develop? No way!

  90. Nick in SF February 11th, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    CC just shown on ESPN at the Garden.

    Looks like 23 lbs lost.

  91. Betsy February 11th, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    M, no – I’m not expecting him to be a stud right away, I just wanted to see that kind of potential. Aside from his first 6 starts when teams didn’t have a handle on him, I didn’t see “top of the rotation” potential – if others did, that’s fine. I care about the team winning and so I hope he pitches well because that will help the team.

  92. BoJo February 11th, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    Just for a little perspective. Some might recall when Phil was a top ranked prospect, that th eReds had an equally highly ranked pitching prospect about the same age by the name of Homer Bailey. I believe he was the #1 top prospect in baseball at one time.

    Check out his stats and see how another kid is doing, and then you might apprecaite Phil Hughes and where he is at in his development.

    http://www.baseball-reference......ho02.shtml

  93. Betsy February 11th, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Tom, Coney also said Phil was lucky. I know Coney said he liked Phil, but to me it seemed a bit wishy-washy. In any case, clearly we’re all interpreting this differently – I don’t think anyone is right or wrong because it’s all subjective.

  94. GreenBeret7 February 11th, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    Tom, that interview that I posted a little earlier is apparently not the complete interview. They spent 5-6 minutes talking about Hughes. The main thing that he mentioned was that he changed the frip on his curve and said he went to a slider, though, he may have meant cutter. He said when the knuckle curve would desert him, he was lwft with two pitches. Can’t remember whether he talked about the change-up or not. Hardly damaging. Just that he’s got to finish developing his other pitches fully.

  95. BoJo February 11th, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    And BTW, I’d welcome a Homer Bailey acquisition any day.

  96. Betsy February 11th, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    Bojo, but what’s the deal here, really? Is it really a big deal to say someone is not some potential stud? Is there something wrong with being a middle of the rotation pitcher? The implication by some is that there is something wrong with it.

  97. West Coast Yankee Fan February 11th, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    I’m not sure it matters what Francesa or Cone said in off the cuff remarks about Hughes. What does that have to do with the Brooklyn Bridge? I also don’t recall anyone anointing Hughes as the next coming of Cy Young; just that he was a very highly rated young prospect with a great future ahead of him.

    For a 24 year old pitching in the AL East, he has gotten through his inning restrictions and his future is as bright as can be. Big deal, he tired the second half last year. The fact that his secondary pitches are still works in progress is normal for a developing talent. With his fastball and physical ability to throw a breaking ball, cutter and change, it’s likely only a matter of time before he gets to the next level.

    What club wouldn’t want Phil Hughes? Not one.

  98. Tom in N.J. February 11th, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Betsy, He said Hughes might have ‘caught some breaks’ and his numbers were ‘a little inflated.”

    He also said Hughes was a bulldog early in the year before the ‘Joba Rules situation” took over and interfered with his season.

  99. GreenBeret7 February 11th, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    He said he was lucky later in the season because of run support, but go back and look at that run support. A little over 30% of those runs came after he was out of the game. He also said that he was really good early in the season. God forbid the guy wasn’t exceptional all season, in his first full yer starting.

  100. m February 11th, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    Hughes wasn’t lucky in the first half. He was good. But he didn’t win all 18 games because of breaks.

  101. Tom in N.J. February 11th, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    Here’s the link to the whole interview. All in all Cone spent about 2 minutes talking about Hughes:

    http://newyork.cbslocal.com/au.....ancesa-1/#

  102. SJ44 February 11th, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    Clearly, Betsy’s interpretation of the Cone interview, and what he actually said, are on two different planes.

    Surprising.

  103. RMS February 11th, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    Betsy

    Maybe I should have said young, talented and still learning.

    I would be more concerned about AJ.

  104. Betsy February 11th, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    No, it’s just subjective, SJ, but then that’s a concept you clearly have a hard time grasping.

  105. Tom in N.J. February 11th, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    Hughes only won 1 game last season where he gave up more than 3 runs. People act as if he was winning games he shouldn’t have. When he gave up 3 or less runs, he won. And if he gave up 4 or more he lost.

  106. Betsy February 11th, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    Tom, I really don’t think the skipped starts were a big deal except in perhaps the first start after an extended break. It’s just too convenient to blame a young pitcher’s struggles on the innings limits; I thought the Yanks did a good job managing Phil’s limits last year.

  107. GreenBeret7 February 11th, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    So, once Hughes ERA went over 1.38 he began to stink? That is your cutoff point.

    http://www.baseball-reference......;year=2010

  108. West Coast Yankee Fan February 11th, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    I just listened to it three times. Cone said he liked Hughes, said he was a bulldog early, said he likes what he sees from Hughes, likes his slider. He said nothing negative at all.

    There was absolutely no negative tone at all to his voice; nothing. As a matter of fact it was enthusiastic if anything.

  109. SJ44 February 11th, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    I deal in reality Betsy. Something, at least when it come to Phil Hughes, you have difficulty handling.

    Its ok. You just can’t get upset anymore with media people who criticize Hughes since there is no bigger critic of Hughes than you.

  110. Cashmoney February 11th, 2011 at 10:08 pm

  111. West Coast Yankee Fan February 11th, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    Betsy, looking for common ground, can we agree given Burnett and the four and five spots that Hughes is the least of the Yankees pitching worries this season?

  112. Betsy February 11th, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    Just because you think one way about Phil doesn’t make it reality, SJ; there are plenty of people who want to see Phil improve before they label him some young stud, but then I guess those people are all wrong. You’re motto should be “it’s my way or the highway” because you are always right – at least in your mind you are

  113. Betsy February 11th, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    WC, IMO the whole staff is a ? after CC. I never said that AJ and the 4/5 spots weren’t bigger concerns than Phil so I’m not sure why you are making it sound like I have.

  114. GreenBeret7 February 11th, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    I’ll take three more question marks like Hughes any day.

  115. West Coast Yankee Fan February 11th, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    I don’t recall you saying anything about what spots were a bigger concern. I’m just wondering if you could agree that Burnett and the unknowns pitching in the four and five spots are bigger concerns than Hughes?

  116. Betsy February 11th, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    WC, of course I think that. I don’t think Phil is a ? like the others – but since he’s the #2 (and he is the #2 because he’s better than AJ), he has to pitch like one and I need to see that he can do it before I say that he will do it. That’s all I’m saying. Absolutely the others are far bigger ?

  117. SJ44 February 11th, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    You began this evening telling everyone Cone was not enthusiastic about Hughes and hevsaid he was “lucky”.

    Two things that EVERYBODY on here who listened to the interview didn’t find……..except you.

    Now, you are back to playing the “young stud” game.

    Nobody has said Hughes doesn’t need to improve.

    When a 24 year old kid is 18-8 and makes the all star team in his first full year as a starter, something only two other pitchers in similar circumstances have done since 2000, guess what?

    He already is a “young stud”.

    Now the challenge is to build on it.

  118. West Coast Yankee Fan February 11th, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Betsy February 11th, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    WC, of course I think that. I don’t think Phil is a ? like the others – but since he’s the #2 (and he is the #2 because he’s better than AJ), he has to pitch like one and I need to see that he can do it before I say that he will do it. That’s all I’m saying. Absolutely the others are far bigger ?

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

    Well that’s reasonable, I agree, I don’t think Hughes is a question mark either. I don’t think Hughes is the number two necessarily though, (not that the designation matters much) if I had to bet I would think Burnett goes after Sabathia game two this season.

  119. GreenBeret7 February 11th, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Would you take Wade Davis, Mark Buehrle, Gavin Floyd, Brett Cecil, Randy Wolf, Matt Garza or Zack Greinke over Hughes season?

  120. BoJo February 11th, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Betsy February 11th, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    Bojo, but what’s the deal here, really? Is it really a big deal to say someone is not some potential stud? Is there something wrong with being a middle of the rotation pitcher? The implication by some is that there is something wrong with it.
    +++++++++++++
    Betsy–I would actually agree that Phil will be a solid #3. I was hoping at one time that Joba would be #1 (the pre-injury Joba), and that CC would be #2. I think of Phil as a present day Mike Mussina.

  121. BoJo February 11th, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    I’d take Zack Greinke over Hughes…if we are talking about going forward.

  122. BoJo February 11th, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    BTW–Mike Mussina IMO is a HOFer, so the Hughes comparison is no slam.

  123. Betsy February 11th, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    Bojo, Mike Mussina was a tremendous pitcher, definitely not a #3. I thought Joba and Phil would both be #1 types, but things change, ceilings change. It’s not too late for Phil, but I’m just going to wait and see on that.

    WC, you’re probably right, but it would be ridiculous to me for Joe to designate AJ, after his god-awful year last year, the #2……..It doesn’t mean much, I suppose, but still – I think it means something to the pitchers.

  124. GreenBeret7 February 11th, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    The only ones that care what number is attached to there name is the number of starts they get. Only the media and fans give a damned about #1 thru #5.

  125. Jackson February 11th, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    new post ——->

  126. West Coast Yankee Fan February 11th, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    Ah yes, the pre-injury Joba. The “million dollar arm” right?

  127. BoJo February 11th, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    Betsy–

    Perhaps we have different definitions for the #3 type on the Yankees staff…

    I think the #1 guy is a power pitcher like Clemens or Randy Johnson.

    The #2 pitcher should be the Curt Shilling/Ron Guidry type

    #3 doesn’t need to be overwhelmingly powerful, but has control and command and a variety of pitches. I think of Mussina and Andy Pettitte as solid #3s.

  128. Ys Guy February 11th, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    just listened to cone again. its just not there. i respect anyone’s right to think whatever they want but there is no negative tone there, imo.

  129. Betsy February 11th, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    Bojo, I think it just comes down to performance. I don’t see why a pitcher who isn’t a flame thrower but is outstanding has to be relegated to #2 and why a #3 has to be something like an artist. A #1 type/ace is just an outstanding pitcher, period, regardless of style. A #3 is solid, but nothing special – just someone steady and reliable.

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