Aceves and Marte update

According to Bryan Hoch, Alfredo Aceves’ shoulder felt better today after a 20-pitch bullpen session.

In addition, from PA, we learn that Damaso Marte was throwing 88 mph meatballs last night (he gave up 2 homers). Marte has now given up 3 ER over 4 2/3 IP with Scranton. He usually throws around 92 mph, so maybe it’s just a bit of rust. However, as PA states, I don’t think the Yankees can count on him coming back anytime soon. His latest outing may force them to pursue another lefty via trade.… Click here to read the rest

What The Lee Trade Proves About A Halladay Deal

Cliff Lee was traded this afternoon for the following package:

Triple-A right-hander Carlos Carrasco, Class A righty Jason Knapp, catcher Lou Marson — the likely heir apparent to Victor Martinez — and shortstop Jason Donald will be sent to Cleveland.

Philadelphia has 3 top 25 type prospects (Kyle Drabek, Dominic Brown, Michael Taylor) and one prospect pitching incredibly well in the majors (J.A. Happ), and gave up none in the deal for Lee and Ben Francisco. An equivalent package from the Yankees might be Austin Jackson, Austin Romine, Zach McCallister, and Dellin Betances. While Cliff Lee is not Roy Halladay’s equal, he is a front of the rotation starter signed cheaply through next season. What does this tell us about him?

It confirms what I have been saying for a while, and what Steve illustrated in this column:

So in concluding, the framework of a deal seems to include one top flight minor leaguer, surrounded by filler of various levels of floors and ceilings.

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Yanks acquire Jason Hirsh

Not the blockbuster you’ve been hoping for, I’m sure, but from Tyler Kepner’s Twitter page, we learn that the Yankees have traded for right-hander Jason Hirsh of the Colorado Rockies. Kepner notes that the trade is for “depth at AAA.” Hirsh, 27 (and 6′ 8”), was actually a good pitcher with Houston before joining the Rockies, so maybe the change in scenery (i.e., altitude) will help him regain his form. Bryan Hoch says that Hirsh was traded for a PTBNL (player to be named later) and has been assigned to Scranton.

Also, Marc Carig tweets that Brett Tomko has been released.

(props to MLBTR)Click here to read the rest

Anonymous Scout: Joba =/= Beckett

In the past, I have been very critical of writers for presenting opinions from anonymous scouts without providing us with the scout’s credentials. This is a tactic that allows a writer to spout off about whatever they so choose, as the following quote from Jayson Stark’s most recent column illustrates perfectly:

On Joba Chamberlain: “They’re waiting for him to become the next Josh Beckett, and it ain’t gonna happen. He just doesn’t have the power stuff Beckett has. He doesn’t have the delivery. He’s not the athlete Beckett is. And he doesn’t have the breaking stuff. If they ever get smart, they’ll put him back in the bullpen and let [Alfredo] Aceves be the [No.] 3-4 starter he ought to be.”

Firstly, advocating that Joba go back to the bullpen so Aceves can start is ridiculous. Aceves is excellent in the bullpen, and probably would be a 4 type starter, while Joba has ace potential. Whoever this scout is, he does not know much about maximizing value.… Click here to read the rest

Swisher, Damon and Defense

While watching last night’s game, a few things struck me in relation to Nick Swisher and Johnny Damon.

First, regarding Nick Swisher—who had his moments in the OF—earlier in the season I defended Swisher’s defense. Generally, whenever a ball landed in his vicinity out in right field, he made every defensive play look like an adventure straight out of a Peter Jackson movie, but his ultimate zone rating seemed to indicate that he was a pretty average outfielder (and in seasons passed, he’s been an above average defensive player in right field). Now, whenever a ball lands in right, Swisher still makes it look like an adventure, however, his updated UZR of -3.2 and UZR/150 of -4.7 tells us that his defense has gotten progressively worse. At this point, there’s really no defending Swisher’s play in the outfield. He has not been good there, so we can stop being nice (our eyes and the advanced stats are finally in agreement). His range is fine, yet his arm and his errors are costing the Yankees runs.… Click here to read the rest

Game 100: Yanks 2, Rays 6

Bad News:

CC: In 5.2 innings pitched he gave up 9 hits, 6 runs (5 earned), walked two and struck out 6. He wasn’t helped by the poor defense, but it was clear CC didn’t have it last night.

Defense: The Yankee defense has really improved from the last couple seasons. Obviously Teixeira is a big part of that, but there are some throws even he can’t stop. Jeter and A-Rod both threw the ball away for errors, but there were other poor defensive plays that certainly did not help. Zobrist’s triple was mostly due to Nick Swisher misplaying a hit down the first baseline and then doing his best Bobby Abreu while he tried to catch up with the ball.

Offense: Kazmir definitely looked better than he has this season, however, the Yankees batters did not capitalize on his mistakes. Jeter, Damon, Cano and Cabrera all went 3-0 and the Yankees as a team went 2-7 with runners in scoring position.… Click here to read the rest