Is Hughes the new Joba? Huh?

How do you handle these two young guns? I don’t have the answers. But I keep looking for them.
Do you let them throw as long as they are healthy and effective? Or do you continue to baby the hell out of them, ever fearing the worst? Do you have to develop a way to separate “easy innings” from “high stress” innings. Are “easy innings” innings in which the pitcher gets out in under 12 pitches? Are “high stress” innings those that require greater than 18 pitches? After all, all innings are not created equal.

I’ve listened to/read Goose Gossage, Jim Kaat and Tommy John recently, discussing how they believe pitchers need to train to go longer in games. The old “you don’t train to run a marathon by running 2 miles” analogy. I had been a big believer in the protecting of arms at all costs, but I have come around to more of the old school approach.… Click here to read the rest

Mets search for character via an OF fence: FAIL

This makes sense why? Just to be different? To add character? The ballpark didn’t have to be cookie-cutter and uniform, but why take it to an extreme like this? They could make it deep and have character without these “additions”. Just dumb. Why, too, are the poles and boundary lines in a reddish orange, not yellow?

The rest of the park looks great. I love the dark brickwork. Love the overall look of the stadium, but I just can’t get used to these walls and lines in the OF.

FAIL.… Click here to read the rest

Felix and the future

Here’s Buster Olney (ESPN) discussing Mariners’ ace, Felix Hernandez:

But so long as Hernandez remains healthy, he will continue to climb toward what figures to be a monster contract. He is still just 23 years old, and he is on track to become a free agent after the 2011 season. CC Sabathia Alexander dvdrip

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got a six-year, $161 million contract when he was 28 years old. Johan Santana got his record deal when he was 28 years old.

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Just imagine what the Mets, Angels, Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox or Cubs might be willing to pay Hernandez, as a healthy, elite pitcher at age 25. The economy will have no impact on a 25-year-old who can throw two types of fastballs, his curve and changeup for strikes at any point in the ball-strike count, with conviction and dominance.

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Gene Michael: Yanks almost traded Mo for Wells in ’95

John Harper of The Daily News writes that in 1995, then-GM Gene Michael (who gets a lot of credit for building the Yankee dynasty of the late 90’s), almost traded Rivera (then a minor league starter) for David Wells.  Rivera was not a highly-hyped prospect who was throwing in the low-90’s following elbow surgery.  The Tigers included Rivera on a list of players that they would want in exchange for Wells, but when Michael found out that Rivera began throwing 95-96, he didn’t pull the trigger.

Godzilla’s Revenge hd This very well might have been a franchise-altering move, since Mo was such an essential part of all the Yankee World Series teams from 96-2000, and continues to be a vital member of the Yankee roster today.  Wells, who later signed with the Yanks as a free agent in 1997, was traded for Roger Clemens in 1999, and returned to the Yanks again in 2003 as a free agent. He too was an important component of the championship teams, but did not come at the cost of a future Hall of Fame closer.… Click here to read the rest

Prospect Profile: Ivan Nova

Age:  22

Height:  6’4″

Weight:  210 pounds

Throws: Right

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Current Team:  Scranton/Wilkes Barre Yankees (AAA)

Scouting Report:

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Nova, signed out of the Dominican Republic as a free agent in 2004, seems like he has been around the Yankee system forever.  A tall righty, Nova has always been considered to have some of the best pure stuff in the pitching-heavy Yankee system.  He has a low-90’s 4-seam fastball that reaches 94 with good movement that he uses to record many groundball outs.  He has an above-average changeup with plus potential, as well as a curveball that flashes plus at times.  Nova’s secondary offerings, while promising, have not developed into major strikeout pitches yet, and he tends to pitch more to contact.

Last Year: Nova had an up-and-down 2008 for Tampa, going 8-13 with a 4.36 ERA, and allowing over a hit per inning.  He struck out 109 against 46 walks in 148 2/3 innings, and posted a 1.60 GO/AO ratio. … Click here to read the rest

The Cost Of Looking Good (Guess These Players!!)

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Let’s compare two players without revealing who they are until later, just so that I can surprise you with a point that surprised me. Both players are in their age 28 season and have been in the majors for 6 seasons. Player B’s first two seasons were better than Player A’s, but I am going to ignore that fact and look at the numbers for the last 4 seasons, including the current year.

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OPS+
Player A: 120, 122, 111, 95
Player B: 125, 127, 92, 127

Doubles/Homers/RBI/Runs

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Player A: 142/65/283/311
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Player B: 98/95/281/317

Walks/K’s/Steals
Player A: 157/358/77
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Player B: 329/479/7

Offensively, these two guys are very close. A closer look at the numbers suggests that Player B is the more valuable offensive player who had his numbers dragged down a bit by one poor year.… Click here to read the rest

Yanks Trade for Eric Hinske

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This news from Joel Sherman’s Twitter feed. The Yankees just acquired Eric Hinske from the Pirates for two minor leaguers who were termed by Sherman as being not “significant.” Hinske is a versatile 31 year-old who can put in time at 1b, 3b and OF.  Hinske’s current line sits at .255, .373, .368 which is pretty close to his career averages (a little higher slugging and lower OBP is the norm for him).  He’s a nice, versatile bench player to have on your roster.

With the addition of Hinske, the recent signing of the independent league all-star 3b, and the recent rest A-Rod has been given, you have to wonder if Cashman is a little nervous about A-Rod’s health, and is trying to find options for giving him time off. Sox’ 3b, Mike Lowell is still having trouble with his hip after a full year, and A-Rod had the same procedure only a few months ago. I wonder if all these things are connected.… Click here to read the rest

Papelbon gets it right (for once)

Here’s Jonathan Papelbon discussing Mariano Rivera’s 500th save (via Lisa Winston):

“He’s been able to do it with consistency year in and year out, and that’s what’s really impressive, especially in the American League East,” said Papelbon, who has been named to the AL All-Star team in each of his three full big league seasons and hopes to make it four in a row. “Hopefully I’ll be able to give him personal congratulations in St. Louis.”

Papelbon is on a similar pace, with 35 saves in 2006, 37 in ’07, 41 in ’08 and 18 so far heading into the final week before the All-Star break, to go with a 1.91 ERA.

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Chaos Theory movie And while he thinks the goal is reachable, Papelbon knows that it will take more than just luck.

“It’s realistic because you train yourself to think you’re good enough to do it,” said Papelbon, who turned 28 during the offseason. “But at the same time, to stay healthy for that many years and not only to stay healthy, but to be able to play through pain, when you’re aching day in and day out.

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