The Farm Report, 07/23/11

Triple-A Scranton beat Syracuse 5-2
Jesus Montero doubled and walked, and Kevin Russo was 2-for-4 with a double and a walk. Greg Golson tripled. Doug Bernier was 2-for-3. Greg Smith threw six innings of four-hit, two-run ball, with seven strikeouts and just one walk. Buddy Carlyle walked three in 1.1 innings, but gave up no runs. Kevin Whelan struck a batter out in a perfect relief appearance. Continue reading The Farm Report, 07/23/11

Yankees strand 11, fall to the A’s 4-3

This was a frustrating loss. Just one day after the Yankee bats exploded for 17 runs, the Bomber offense fell silent, unable to come up with big hits with runners in scoring position. Rich Harden took a vacation from the DL to pitch 5.1 innings of two run ball, which isn’t good, but A.J. Burnett was no better, giving up three runs in 5.2 innings of work. Derek Jeter had a strong day, going three for four with a double. Robinson Cano also looked good with the lumber, going two for five with a two-bagger of his own. To the extent Continue reading Yankees strand 11, fall to the A’s 4-3

The ballad of Kei Igawa

Bill Pennington had a great story in today’s New York Times about the forgotten $46 million dollar man, Kei Igawa, who has been toiling away in Scranton over the past few years.  The absolute failure of his major league career did not sour Igawa on American baseball, Pennington writes, and he has continued to work hard in Scranton despite being surpassed by many younger and more successful pitchers.  According to the article, Igawa still lives in Manhattan, and commutes to Trenton or Scranton daily for games.  Pennington paints Igawa as somewhat of a tragic figure, not a guy who has Continue reading The ballad of Kei Igawa

Game 98-Hot for pitching

If you had any doubt the Yanks need to acquire a starter, Phil Hughes should have answered them for you last night. Staked to a 14-2 lead, he was unable to last the required 5 innings to pick up the win. We can’t have much confidence in Hughes, we don’t know if Colon’s stem cell repaired shoulder will hold up, we don’t like Garcia facing the better lineups, and AJ….is who he is. The Yanks have one pitcher they can count on right now, and teams like that usually don’t go very far in October. But enough of me bitching. Continue reading Game 98-Hot for pitching

Yankees pummel A’s, 17 – 7

Well, that happened. On the one hand, the tired Yankee bats exploded for 17 runs, with Mark Teixeira‘s grand slam serving as the highlight. On the other hand, Phil Hughes sucked. Franchise allowed seven runs and nine hits in just 4.1 innings of work. At this rate, the Yankees are having second thoughts about trading Ivan Nova. There’s no way to sugar coat Hughes’ performance. Allowing seven runs to any team — never mind the offensively challenged A’s — is bad. The only reason the Yankees won is because they lit Trevor Cahill up to the tune of ten runs Continue reading Yankees pummel A’s, 17 – 7

Jesus Montero’s Declining Stock

  Following up on Larry’s piece on prospect hugging, I wanted to insert another reality check about a prominent member of the Yankee farm system. For years, we’ve heard about Jesus Montero’s “can’t miss bat” from respected sources like Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus. Scouts and talent evaluators all agreed (or did at one point) that whatever his shortcomings may be defensively, whether he sticks at Catcher or not, the dude can flat out rake. When trade proposals would be floated among Yankee fans online, a common argument against trading him would be “you don’t give up an elite bat Continue reading Jesus Montero’s Declining Stock

Jesus Montero's Declining Stock

  Following up on Larry’s piece on prospect hugging, I wanted to insert another reality check about a prominent member of the Yankee farm system. For years, we’ve heard about Jesus Montero’s “can’t miss bat” from respected sources like Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus. Scouts and talent evaluators all agreed (or did at one point) that whatever his shortcomings may be defensively, whether he sticks at Catcher or not, the dude can flat out rake. When trade proposals would be floated among Yankee fans online, a common argument against trading him would be “you don’t give up an elite bat Continue reading Jesus Montero's Declining Stock

The Farm Report, 07/22/11

Triple-A Scranton lost to Syracuse, 8-3
Adam Warren, supposedly tabbed to start one of the Yankees’ games against the Orioles next weekend, threw one inning, giving up a hit and striking out a batter. Greg Golson was 2-for-4 and Doug Bernier doubled. George Kontos gave up three runs in 3.1 innings, JC Romero gave up a run in 1.2 innings with a strikeout, Logan Kensing gave up three runs, none earned, in 1.1 innings, and Logan Kensing gave up a run in 1.2 innings. Continue reading The Farm Report, 07/22/11

Bats come up big, but Hughes still struggles

Normally it’s hard to come up with much of anything to complain about when your team scores 17 runs or wins by 10. But tonight, with Phil Hughes on the mound for the third time since coming off of the disabled list, winning wasn’t everything. The Yankees certainly wanted to see a good outing from Hughes against the A’s meager offense, but instead got anything but that.

Hughes’ final line was ugly; 7 runs allowed on 9 hits, 4 walks, and a home run with just 3 strike outs in 4.1 innings, and what went in to the performance wasn’t any better. According to Brooks, Hughes’ fastball had a linear weight of over +3.3, which is just horrific. From a visual standpoint, Hughes’ fastball was about as bad as I’ve ever seen it, outside of this April anyway. Hughes averaged 90.87 MPH with the pitch and it topped out at just 92.5 MPH. Oakland hitters were having no trouble with it whatsoever, and indeed Hughes failed to get a single swinging strike with the pitch.

Again, you hate to complain too much following a big win like this, and it’s probably still too soon to know whether Hughes is going to be able to find his stuff before the end of this season, but right now I have very little faith in him. He doesn’t seem to be able to get the fastball velocity up consistently, and his secondary stuff still just isn’t very good. At this point, I’m honestly not sure if Hughes isn’t the sixth best starter in the Yankees’ organization, and if Ivan Nova shouldn’t be brought to the big leagues sooner rather than later. Maybe a stint in the bullpen or something will help Hughes out. I don’t know what’s wrong with him, if anything, but he still doesn’t seem quite right.

Right now the Yankees should make sure everything is a-okay with Hughes’ arm first and foremost. If that means putting him in the bullpen or shutting him down, I’m okay with that. If it means letting him start, I’m okay with that too, at least until it’s not feasible in terms of wins-and-losses. And then maybe in the offseason Hughes can take another crack at finally getting that changeup down. Until then, I don’t know what to make of him right now. But I’m definitely worried. Continue reading Bats come up big, but Hughes still struggles