Quick Bits: Pettitte, Dunn, Gardner

Three quick items to end the night:

  • In 8 IP, Andy Pettitte was perfect for 6 2/3 of them until a Jerry Hairston Jr. error and a Nick Markakis single ultimately ended the fun. Andy was still stellar, though, striking out 8 and giving up 1 ER on 2 hits (0 BB). The Yankee offense, led by Nick Swisher, took care of the rest as the team won, 5-1. Andy hasn’t just been the best Yankee pitcher since the break, he’s been the best pitcher in the AL, period. Let’s hope the ride continues into September.
  • Tyler Kepner informs us that Mike Dunn, who is already on the 40-man roster, will be one of Tuesday’s callups (EJ listed Dunn as a possibility last week). Dunn, a lefty, was originally an outfielder before the Yankees converted him to a starting pitcher in 2006. He was then transitioned into the ‘pen. As a starter, he usually threw in the 90-93 mph range, but, since making the move to the bullpen, Dunn has been able to top out in the 94-95 mph range.
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Yanks acquire Guzman; interested in Garland

Via Marc Carig, we learn that the Yankees have acquired Freddy Guzman (not Christian Guzman) from the Orioles for a PTBNL. Guzman’s wheels appear to be his best asset, as his offense is extremely limited (I use that phrase kindly). Carig notes that Guzman will head to Scranton.

Also, from Jon Heyman, we learn that the Yankees have inquired about Arizona’s Jon Garland (along with the Rockies). Garland has a 3.86 ERA since the All-Star break, but, in the end, he’s still Jon Garland. He’s a rubber arm without much use beyond that and, when one considers his less than impressive performance in the NL West, it seems doubtful that he could serve as an actual upgrade over Gaudin or Mitre (or Aceves, or anyone). If a trade is to occur, however, it’ll have to be tonight in order for him to be available for the postseason.

UPDATE – The Dodgers have acquired Garland (as well as Jim Thome).… Click here to read the rest

Series Preview: @ Baltimore 8/31-9/2


Team wOBA: .329. 14th in MLB, 9th in the AL.

The Orioles have a roughly league average offense. Unfortunately for them, that puts them fifth in the American League East. The Birds lineup is littered with interesting names, from up and comers like Nolan Reimold, Matt Wieters, and Adam Jones to stars like Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis. Complimenting them are players like Luke Scott (team leading .362 wOBA and twenty homers) and Melvin Mora. This is a lineup that could become very dangerous as soon as next year, and can burst out against any one pitcher, as CC Sabathia discovered on opening day. For now, they have good power throughout the order without relying on any one player. After Scott, Jones has nineteen home runs, followed by Markakis with sixteen, Roberts with fourteen, and Reimold with twelve. The Orioles are tenth in the league in steals, with Roberts (twenty-seven out of thirty-three) being a legitimate threat to run. Cesar Izturis (eleven steals) and Jones (ten) are the only other real threats to run.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees Playoff Tickets Not That Pricey

From Darren Rovell:

Those expecting to hear of a price gouge for Yankees postseason tickets might be surprised.

It’s not coming.

CNBC has seen the final face value prices that the Yankees submitted to Major League Baseball and increases will be much smaller than the jump season ticket holders saw for home games played at the old Yankee Stadium in the 2007 postseason, the last time the Yankees were in the playoffs. In fact, some 2009 postseason seats will cost LESS than this year’s regular season prices.

Wow. The big bad Yankees are not raising ticket prices on most seats for the ALDS, and had to be forced by MLB to have a minimum ticket price of $50 on bleacher seats for the World Series (fingers crossed). I wonder if this story gets as much play nationally as the original Yankees ticket price stories did, or if it becomes a note at the end of a few stories in tomorrow’s dailies and then fades away as if it never happened.… Click here to read the rest

Orioles and Blue Jays

Is it too much to ask for a seven-game sweep this week? Obviously we’re bound to lose at least one of these games, but the way the Yankees have been playing, they really should go 6-1, and honestly, I’ll be pretty disappointed if they don’t go 7-0, because you know the Red Sox absolutely would if they had seven straight games against these two miserable teams.… Click here to read the rest

Joba’s fastball does not rule

Here’s Ben over at RAB on Joba’s latest start:

For Joba, the problem seemed to be one of velocity. While he was throwing more strikes, he averaged below 92 with his fastball and peaked at around 94.4. His changeup, slider and curve were all working nicely, but I still wonder, as I have many times this season, where Joba’s 97 mph fastball went. He threw it last year regularly as a starter but only occasionally this year.

Now here are some interesting numbers on Joba’s fastball via FanGraphs:

Picture 4

From 2007-2008, Joba famously started as a reliever and he then transitioned into the rotation in ’08. Therefore, the velocity on his fastball during those years is somewhat inflated. This season, Joba is a full-time starter and we’ve seen a noticeable drop in velocity. That is to be expected, of course. However, as Ben notes, Joba’s dominant heat—the velocity he brought to the table last year as a starter—has all but vanished.… Click here to read the rest

Planning Joba's Remaining Starts

With the new and improved Joba Rules now in place, the Yankees have a plan to keep Joba Chamberlain on regular rest while limiting his innings. Let’s look at the remainder of his scheduled starts and try to determine what that plan might be.

It seems evident that Joba’s limit is somewhere around 160 innings, and is currently at 133.2, leaving him with 27 innings for the regular season. This is how I would like his remaining starts to go:

September 4th at Toronto: 3 IP
September 9th vs Tampa: 3 IP
September 15th vs Toronto: 4 IP or 60 pitches, whichever comes first.
September 21st at LA: 5 IP or 75 pitches
September 27th vs Boston: 6 IP or 90 pitches
October 3rd at Tampa: 6 IP or 100+ pitches

This plan would allow Joba to build back towards full strength as the playoffs near, while keeping him in the rhythm that most pitchers find necessary to success. I think that this is the best way for the Yankees to meet all of their needs as well as protect their investment in Chamberlain.… Click here to read the rest

The Joba Conundrum

Really? This is “The Plan”? The almighty Joba Rules? And here’s my conundrum: I like it and hate it at the same time. I have no idea how to reconcile this, either.

I’m glad the Yanks are being careful with this kid. I wish they’d take the training wheels off and let him get the seasoning in, though. Perhaps this is a necessary evil for this year in order to turn him loose in 2010. Or, are the Yanks merely being overprotective?

King Felix, younger than Joba, has already become a beast. After 84.1 IP at age 19, Felix has pitched 191.0, 190.1, 200.2 and 185.1 (this year) innings. Is comparing Joba to Felix a fair comparison? Well, I could have picked Mark Prior… Or Tim Lincecum. Lincecum’s a year older and jumped from 146.1 IP his rookie season to 227.0 in his Cy Young winning 2008 season and already has 193.1 IP this season. Could Felix and Lincecum be more of a “horse” than Joba?… Click here to read the rest