What would Joe Torre do?

With all the hoopla circulating around the state of the Yankees’ 2011 relief core, I couldn’t help but reminisce about bullpen management of years past. Specifically, “WWJD?” No, I’m not referring to the preferences of a long-bearded, destined-to-suffer-for-all-mankind-and-savior-of-some Jesus; I’m talking about former Yankee skipper Joe Torre.

As we are all well aware, popular opinion suggests Torre had a propensity for systematically obliterating each ligament within the throwing appendages that were his pitchers’ arms via excessive workload early on in the season. But was that actually the case or simply another example of mainstream hyperbole? Let’s take a look at some of Torre’s favorite relievers victims and contemplate whether there’s some truth to be found here.

Note: I apologize for the complexity of the table (and all those damn numbers!), but I spent quite a while compiling the data, so now you’ll just have to suffer through it.

The first point to consider is simple enough to understand and the outcome is somewhat predictable; compare the innings pitched of any given reliever under Torre’s supervision against their respective prior seasons’ totals.… Click here to read the rest

The Yankee Front Office Situation

We are family, I got all my sistas and me. We are family, get up everybody, sing!

In recent days, fans and columnists have been speculating about Brian Cashman’s future with the organization because of some of the comments he’s recently made and the way he’s very publicly distanced himself from the Soriano signing. Some see this as a form of disloyalty, this sentiment is especially common among those who supported the Soriano deal. Some of these folks conveniently forget the comments he made just a week prior to the signing, which had to be addressed. Further, Brian aired his dissent publicly at the Soriano press conference, right in front of his bosses. Despite this, Hal Steinbrenner was interviewed by Joel Sherman and quoted saying he has no problem with Brian whatsoever:

“[Cashman] and I have a great working relationship.  There is no problem, right now. I think we have had a bunch of drummed-up drama.”


“I keep reading about dissension and discord.Click here to read the rest

Prospect Lists and the Musings of Joel Sherman

This is the time of year where all the prospect lists start to come out and two notable compilations were posted this week. MLB.com’s list compiled by Jon Mayo came out Tuesday and Keith Law has been rolling out his work at ESPN all week.

It’s no secret that I’m not really a fan of MLB.com’s prospect list which is put together by Jon Mayo who essentially just polls scouts. Last year Montero ranked #19 which a lot of people reacted rather poorly to. This year there was a similar clamor when after many graduations from the list, Montero only moved up to #9. Here are the Yankees that popped up on Mayo’s list:

#9- Jesus Montero

#32- Gary Sanchez

#35- Manuel Banuelos

#52- Dellin Betances

Betances was included in the “just missed” category.

I tend to rely on Keith Law’s list more than others because he actually scouts these players himself. He’s also willing to ask other scouts about certain players just to get a variety of opinions or angles on a prospect.… Click here to read the rest

Make it stop: The “Cashman’s trying to get fired” meme

Let’s start with the headline:

With Brian Cashman’s headline-filled offseason is Yankees GM trying to orchestrate a Bronx goodbye?

And into the nuts and bolts:

And there are people in baseball who wonder if Cashman has begun moving toward the door, if he really does want to go somewhere else and show the whole world that he is more a general manager than a money manager, that he doesn’t need to spend $200 million a year to build winning baseball teams.

“...there are people in baseball…” ARRRGH.  “There are people in baseball” is among the most commonly used crutches to hide behind a flimsy source who just wants to rant over a beverage. Just stop it, already. Please, I am begging you.

Lupica goes on to compare Cashman’s off-season to George Costanza’s attempt to get fired by George Steinbrenner during an episode of “Seinfeld.” I had to stop myself from quoting any more since trying to FJM another of Lupica’s facepalms is not in my schedule today.… Click here to read the rest

Yes Censorship Points To Conflict In Yankee Front Office (UPDATED: RAB Statement)

[image title=”yankees-randy-levine-brian-cashman-17b796d2d3c4b7f1_large” size=”full” id=”24691″ align=”center” linkto=”full” ]I’ve avoided commenting much on Moshe’s post about how YES seemed to have put pressure on two of its blogs, River Ave Blues and The Pinstripe Bible, to wait to see if anyone involved with deny it. The YES Network’s official response was “no comment”, as was the official response from both the writers at River Ave Blues and the Pinstripe Bible. That they refused to deny that something went on, in my mind, is pretty close to confirmation that something did go on.

Some bloggers, promoted by YES, said that the Rafael Soriano deal was a bad decision. They weren’t particularly vitriolic about it, they just disagreed with the signing. At the same time, Brian Cashman publicly, although politely, disagreed with the signing. He said that it was a bad idea, and very blankly stated that he had nothing to do with it. Someone else in the Yankee organization went over his head and convinced ownership to make a bad move.… Click here to read the rest

Keith Law’s MLB prospect manifesto

And the other Yankees prospect who finished in the Top 25, actually an impressive #12 overall: Manny Banuelos:

Banuelos was on the prospect radar last year as a competitive, strike-throwing lefthander with a good changeup and a chance to add velocity. Now he’s a 19-year-old on the cusp of the majors with a three-pitch mix where all three pitches will at least flash above-average.

Banuelos did pick up some velocity and will now work at 90-94 mph with his fastball; he commands the pitch extremely well to both sides of the plate, and its only flaw is a lack of sink. His changeup in the 78-84 range has both excellent arm speed and tremendous fade, and he showed an improved curveball with two-plane break in the upper 70s.

Banuelos’ 2010 season started in June because he had his appendix removed right before the season started, but he had little trouble with high-A hitters and finished strongly in Double-A and in the Arizona Fall League.

Click here to read the rest

Contemplating Colon

The Yankees signed Bartolo Colon to a minor league deal yesterday. Like every minor league deal ever signed, I can’t find any faults with it. Yeah there were other options out there like Justin Duchscherer, but that Colon could be had on a minor league deal alleviates the Yankees of a good amount of risk. It’s damn near impossible to complain about a deal like this. It’s the definition of minimal risk, even if the possibility for reward isn’t all that great. But, that’s the point of minor league signings, right? Think of this signing–and the Mark Prior one–like you’re in a zombie apocalypse and you spot a kick-ass car that can get you out of serious trouble on an empty highway. Do you expect it to have any gas left in the tank? Probably not. But if it has enough to get you out of harm’s way for a bit, you’ll be pumped. We should expect nothing out of Colon and Mark Prior, but we should still be hopeful that they can give the team something.… Click here to read the rest