And the pitchers?

On Monday I discussed how the Yankee hitters have fared in spring training. Today I turn my focus to the pitchers. Before I dive into the breakdown, allow me a moment to say that spring training stats for pitchers are even more meaningless than the stats for hitters. These stats don’t adjust for a pitcher trying to learn a new pitch (A.J. Burnett, Phil Hughes) and they are accumulated over limited innings. But, as with the other day, it’s fun, and if our loyal readership can suggest something more pertinent to post about just before the start to the season Continue reading And the pitchers?

NYTimes grabs three Yankee bloggers to chat

No, I was not included in this roundtable, but they got three good representatives from the Yankosphere to chat about all things Yankee. Here’s part 1:

Q: […] Which of the two [Joba or Hughes] is better suited to be the Yankees’ fifth starting pitcher this season?

Kabak: Both pitchers are perfectly suited for the starting rotation, and both pitchers should be given a fair shot at starting. That said, I’m very mystified by the Yanks’ thinking. At River Ave. Blues, we’ve long been supporters of giving the young pitchers a chance to start. After all, top-notch starting pitching doesn’t grow on trees, and the Yanks have a rare (for them) opportunity to develop two front-line pitchers out of kids who are both under 25. These two have spent their careers starting and should be doing so in the majors.

That said, the Yanks’ decision — seemingly made before spring training — to go with Hughes boggles my mind. I love Hughes; I’m ecstatic to see him in the rotation; but after the Yanks yanked Chamberlain around for the better part of three seasons, they’re willing to move him into the pen for all of 2010. Brian Cashman says he’ll still be a starter when the Yanks need pitchers in 2011, but I’m beginning to doubt the team’s willingness to develop a plan and stick to it for their young pitchers.

Nice job by Ben, Steve and Cliff.

I’ve said similar things about the handling of Joba as Ben did above. Given the chatter from Eiland and from Billy Eppler, you might want to infer that the Yanks have ditched the “Joba-as-a-starter” plan. Of course, Cashman debunked this. Continue reading NYTimes grabs three Yankee bloggers to chat

Somehow, I inspired this

Got this in an email from Tyler Hissey (from BlogTalkRadio):

Your post on Mike Silva saying the Yanks deserve Mauer was my inspiration

Evidently, I was the inspiriation for the following video. I’m flat out giddy.

Now, I will say that I debated running this because it features Hitler (from this movie), but you have to give Tyler credit, he made it hilarious, brilliant, incredible.

(I’m having trouble embedding the video, so just click thru and enjoy!) Continue reading Somehow, I inspired this

Thames must earn it all season

This spring, over 42 at-bats, Marcus Thames, the right-handed, power-hitting outfielder the Yankees signed to a minor-league deal for a base salary of $900k, is hitting a mere .143/.200/.286, while leading the club with 17 strikeouts. Now, spring statistics are generally hollow numbers, however, in some instances, particularly when a player is signed to a minor-league contract with an invite to spring training, the numbers can be poor enough to cause concern. Thames might actually be one of those cases. And, though a roster spot has always seemed within his reach despite the numbers – the Yankees seem to believe Continue reading Thames must earn it all season

A Quick Look at the Revised SP Depth

Last week was rather eventful for the Yankees’ pitching staff. It gained Phil Hughes as its fifth starting pitcher and lost Chad Gaudin as a long man/reliever/whatever he was going to be. Both of these moves obviously affected the Yankees’ depth at starting pitcher, so let’s look at how it’s going to shake out. No matter who won the fifth starter’s competition, Joba or Phil, the pitching depth was likely to be hurt. While Brian Cashman hasn’t ruled out sending Chamberlain to AAA, I still think it’s unlikely (I hope this is what happens, but I’m not holding my breath). Continue reading A Quick Look at the Revised SP Depth

Players to Watch, AL Central

With the start of the regular season less than one week away, I’m starting to wrap up my series on players to watch outside of Yankee-land. Today, we’ll swing into the NL Central: At Target Field, it’s time to put up or shut up for Delmon Young. After lot’s of minor league hype and a respectable showing in 131 ABs in ’06 (.343 wOBA, 4.4 UZR), Young’s fallen off a bit. His wOBAs from ’07-’09 were .315, .324, and .312. This is not what Minnesota expected when they traded Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett to the (Devil) Rays for Young. Continue reading Players to Watch, AL Central

Two-inning appearances for Joba?

Could Joba Chamberlain pitch multiple innings – two at the most, the seventh and the eighth – out of the bullpen this season? According to Joe Girardi, it remains a possibility. “I think it’s something that you can look at,” noted Girardi on Saturday, after Joba’s first “official” appearance as a reliever, in which he tossed a single scoreless inning against Detroit. “A lot of that would depend on the group as a whole, and how they’re doing,” Girardi added. “Mo did it very well in ’96–probably as good as it’s ever been done. Because [Joba] is stretched out, he Continue reading Two-inning appearances for Joba?

Not Feeling a Draft

I’m going to steal an idea from Keith Law for a moment. I don’t know when he first came up with the idea or when he first publicly stated the idea, but the first time I saw it was last summer during the Stephen Strasburg debates (I found it funny that there were vehement arguments stating he should have gotten more money and others barking that he made too much considering he had never thrown a major-league pitch; both seem fairly legitimate to me, but I side with the former).

Initially, I thought it was a terrible idea, but it has grown on me the more I’ve thought about it. We’ve been taught that the draft was the solution to the Yankee domination from the 1920s to the 1960s (they won 20 World Series during that time; only one other team has even won 10 in all of baseball history!). The Yankees had essentially been buying up some talented prospects and using the Kansas City A’s as a farm team, and with everyone tired of it, they instituted the draft (okay, that’s not exactly why it happened, but it’s what we’ve been led to believe; perception is reality). Instituting the draft in 1965 was supposed to redistribute talent throughout baseball, making the game fairer. And you know what, it did (or at least appeared to). It was the right solution. The Yankees have only won 7 World Series since, and the Cardinals have only won 3 (the Cardinals are the team with 10 World Series Championships).

But just because it worked then, does it mean it continues to work now? It’s odd how we perceive things. In this instance, the draft initially worked to create (better) competitive balance, and now as we search for more competitive balance, we can’t let go of the draft. Free-agency for amateurs is what caused the problem necessitating the draft, so how can it be the answer now? How can the draft have been a solution and now be part of the problem? The answer is that times change.

click “view full post” to read more Continue reading Not Feeling a Draft

Venditte to get a look. Or is it two looks?

Like many of you, I’ve been aware of switch-pitcher Pat Venditte for a few years. I mean, how often do you hear of a guy able to throw nearly equally well with both hands anyway? Looks like the big boys wanna take a gander:

Yankees minor league ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte is expected to pitch in his first major league spring training game during Tuesday’s split-squad contest against Atlanta.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi says he has wanted to see Venditte pitch all spring.

I’ll do my best to watch this guy. If you can’t, and if you want to click through, here’s the ESPN piece on him as well as the YouTube classic video below:

(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading Venditte to get a look. Or is it two looks?