Houston general manager Ed Wade told MLB.com that he tried to work out a trade to keep Rule 5 pick Lance Pendleton, but the Astros and Yankees couldn’t come up a deal.
Instead, Pendleton was sent back to the Yankees this afternoon. He was assigned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, a pitching staff that’s overflowing as it is.
“I was thinking they might be able to work out a trade for me and be able to send me to Oklahoma City,” Pendleton told Brian McTaggart. “But you just never know. I figured that’s what they were waiting for to see if something like that was going to happen. I wasn’t surprised.”
In the next week, the Yankees will have to make some tough decisions about the Triple-A pitching staff. The addition of Kevin Millwood at least temporarily confuses a rotation that seemed more or less set with Andrew Brackman, Hector Noesi, David Phelps, D.J. Mitchell and Adam Warren.
That’s a minor, short-term issue, though. It’s the bullpen that’s especially tough to predict.
Luis Ayala, Mark Prior and Andy Sisco showed some things in big league camp suggest they could pitch their way to New York this season. I’d peg Ayala for the Triple-A closer role — just a guess on my part — while Prior and Sisco would give the Yankees experienced depth from the right and left side.
The Yankees must like new lefty Jose Ortegano or they wouldn’t have claimed him off waivers, and returned Rule 5 picks Pendleton and George Kontos also deserve Triple-A spots.
That leaves one open bullpen job for someone from this group: Ryan Pope, Brian Anderson, Buddy Carlyle, Eric Wordekemper, Kei Igawa, Amaury Sanit, Kevin Whelan, Grant Duff, Josh Schmidt and Wilkins Arias. That’s 10 names, and I might very well be leaving someone off the list. Being released wouldn’t be the worst thing for some of these guys. It’s too crowded in this organization.
• Jerry Crasnick reports that former Yankees prospect Jeff Marquez has been placed on waivers. Just yesterday, Marquez seemed to be in line for the White Sox long relief job.
• By the way, that Nick Swisher trade just keeps looking better and better for the Yankees. I’m sure Marquez can still play a role in the big leagues, but that’s still an absolute steal for the Yankees.
• Robert Fish has finally made his way back to the Angels. The Yankees took him in the Rule 5, the Royals claimed him off waivers, and now he’s been returned to Anaheim. Given the Pedro Feliciano injury, Fish might actually have made the Yankees bullpen with a strong spring. Nice guy, just didn’t show much this spring.
• Another former Yankees reliever has been released. The Braves let Scott Proctor go today.
• Good friend Donnie Collins reports that Jorge Vazquez is still hitting big home runs down at the minor league complex.
• Meant to link to this a couple of days ago: The Wall Street Journal’s new Yankees beat writer Dan Barbarisi did a cool story on the media training that takes place in Yankees camp.
• Finally, Jack Curry reports that the Yankees have no interest in released Cubs pitcher Carlos Silva. This is all Joe Girardi had to say about Silva this morning: “I don’t really have any thoughts on him because I have not seen a lot of him.”
That’s an AP photo of Pendleton doing sliding drills in Astros camp. That training will not come in handy this season.