Why Is Berroa Still Here?

As Ben at RAB summarized so well, the Yankees are not using their full roster right now. Angel Berroa was virtually unused in the month of May. Jose Veras has allowed runs in the few appearances that Joe Girardi has bothered to give him. Brett Tomko hasn’t been much bet nor frequently used.

The result? The Yankees are essentially playing short handed. We’ve talked at length here about calling up Shelley Duncan or Todd Linden, Mark Melancon, or others. I think that the more interesting question is why the Yankees seem to be going with inferior options.

Angel Berroa?

The Yankees haven’t even made an attempt to keep Berroa fresh. He has just 12 at bats on the year. For some reason, the Yankees don’t want to DFA him and send him to the minor leagues. Why? I can think of three reasons:

  1. They are holding Cody Ransom’s spot on the 40-man roster.
  2. They are afraid of Alex Rodriguez’s hip breaking on them.
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Minors Recap, 5/31

Scranton loses to Louisville, 7-5

  • Josh Towers took the loss, giving up 7 runs (6 earned) on 9 hits and no walks, while striking out 2.
  • Paul Bush, recently signed from Indy ball, struck out 5 in 3 1/3 innings while walking 1, a good debut.
  • Edwar Ramirez struck out 3 in 2 perfect innings.
  • Reegie Corona was 1 for 5.
  • Austin Jackson was 1 for 4 with 2 strikeouts.
  • Shelley Duncan was 1 for 3.
  • Juan Miranda was 0 for 4 with a strikeout.
  • Eric Duncan was 1 for 4, and made a throwing error.

Trenton tops Altoona, 4-1

  • The Zach McAllister train keeps on rolling.  In 6 2/3 innings, McAllister allowed a run on 5 hits and 3 walks, while striking out a season-high 10 batters.  McAllister rarely has many strikeouts, so it would appear that his stuff was good tonight.  He lowered his ERA to 1.84, and with a few more outings like this, he could punch his ticket to Scranton.
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Recap: Yankees Fall To Indians In 9th

  • It was a strange game for Phil Hughes, as he was throwing plenty of strikes and gave up just a few hard hit balls, yet only lasted 5 innings while allowing 4 runs. The results were not great, but the process was fine, and on most days, Phil probably goes 6 and allows just 3 runs with the stuff he had today.
  • The Yankees were awful for most of this game against Carl Pavano, which drove me and every other Yankee fan nuts. Only Mark Teixeira was able to prevent this game from being a total disaster, driving in 4 runs after the 5th and helping the Yankees tie the game entering the 9th. The club stranded him at second after his game tying double in the 8th, and then Posada hit into a DP with runners on the corners in the 9th. Brett Gardner was on first at the time and the steal sign was on, but he just failed to go.
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Recap: CC And Jeter Lead Yanks To 10-5 Victory

  • CC Sabathia was excellent once again, going 7 innings and allowing 3 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks while striking out 8. He did not allow a hit until the Yankees has taken a 7-0 lead, and two of the three runs against him came off seeing eye singles, with a Gardy Sizemore homer accounting for the third. CC has pitched like an ace over the last month, and it is no coincidence that the Yankees have turned it around as a club over that period. THe pitching has stabilized, with Sabathia being at the forefront of that improvement.
  • Derek Jeter is on fire, as he notched another 2 hits and added 2 RBI. As I discussed last week, he looks better in the field as well, and he is likely to finish the season as the best SS in the AL. Those expecting a steep decline for Derek Jeter look like they are going to have to deal with some disapointment.
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Minors Recap, 3/30

Scranton defeats Lousville, 9-1

  • Romulo Sanchez got the start, giving up a run on 3 hits and 2 walks in 2 1/3 innings, while striking out 2.
  • Anthony Claggett walked 2 in 3 hitless innings, and struck out 1.
  • Reegie Corona was 1 for 4.
  • Austin Jackson was 2 for 3 with a walk and 2 stolen bases, raising his average to .353 on the season.
  • Shelley Duncan continued to rake, going 2 for 4 with 2 homers (giving him 18 on the year), and raising his average to .304.
  • Juan Miranda was 1 for 4.
  • John Rodriguez was 1 for 4 with a homer, his 10th.
  • Todd Linden was 1 for 3 with a walk and a homer off of ex-Yankee prospect Jeff Kennard, who was traded for Jose Molina.

Trenton defeats Altoona, 5-3

  • Chris Garic started, and  pitched well, giving up 2 runs (1 earned) on 2 hits and 3 walks in 5 2/3 innings, with 6 strikeouts.
  • Kevin Whelan got the win, striking out 3 in 2 innings of 1-hit ball.
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Minor Notes: Starting Pitcher Optimism

I’m back from the great island of Jamaica, for now. I’m hoping to make it out to a Scranton game this weekend to get some pictures. If anyone is going to be there, let me know.

Ivan Nova Finally Consistent

Ivan Nova has been a bit of a headache for a few years now. He has always had great stuff – a low-90s fastball with lots of movement and two strong offspeed pitches – but was unable to capitalize on it. The Padres took a flyer on him in the Rule V draft, but he failed to make the team. Now, Nova has managed to pitch 47 innings with a 3.26 ERA for Trenton.

The Yankees have steadily promoted Nova even though he was very hittable in A ball and High-A ball, because of his coming Rule V eligiblity. Finally, he has started to produce. Nova is on pace to set career highs in strikeouts, ERA, and innings pitched. Hitters are pounding the ball into the ground, and except for 2 bad starts (11 walks in 10 innings pitched), he has flashed plus control.… Click here to read the rest