Links: Darvish, Cashman On Burnett, Gardner's and Martin's Defense, Cito Culver

There were a few interesting articles today that I wanted to highlight: 1) Here Comes Darvish From Joel Sherman: One player the Yankees have scouted heavily is Yu Darvish. And there is strong belief around the game that the top starter in Japan will, indeed, be posted this offseason and come to the States. “He is coming, period,” one personnel man said. The Yankees have had sour experience with high-profile Japanese pitchers Hideki Irabu and Kei Igawa, whose five-year contract finally expires this year. And the last can’t-miss Japanese pitcher to come to the majors, Daisuke Matsuzaka, was hardly a Continue reading Links: Darvish, Cashman On Burnett, Gardner's and Martin's Defense, Cito Culver

Meeting baseball’s Yoda in San Diego

Originally posted here.

I had the opportunity to witness Trevor Hoffman’s retirement ceremony on Sunday in person. That alone makes for a special day at the ballpark. Despite my childhood affiliation with my hometown Yankees, I have always been a Trevor Hoffman fan. His approach, his focus, his sense of humor, his ability to reinvent himself — from a shortstop to a pitcher, from a flamethrower to a guy with the most devastating changeup in the land — always endeared himself to me. Being in the stadium when No. 51 was retired was going to be special. What came next put the day over the top.

Thanks to the great folks at the Padres, I had insider access in the press box. Seated in the second row, I was joined by a gentleman named David Garcia. Mr. Garcia introduced himself to me by stating matter-of-factly: “I’ve been in baseball longer than anyone alive and I’ve seen every living Hall of Famer play … most of the dead ones, too.” You sir, can have a seat.

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How well-rounded are the 2011 Yankees compared to previous Yankee teams?

This past Sunday RAB’s Stephen Rhoads took a look at the 2011 Yankee team offense’s place in baseball’s Expansion Era. Given this year’s team’s lethal offensive attack (currently sitting at a robust 119 wRC+) as well as the fact that the team has pitched far better than anyone could have ever hoped for — due in part to an absurdly strong bullpen — and also anecdotally seems to boast one of the better baserunning games in the league, Stephen’s post inspired me to take a look at just how well-rounded this 2011 Yankee team actually is, compared to previous Yankee Continue reading How well-rounded are the 2011 Yankees compared to previous Yankee teams?

Earthquake!

So I was writing a post about blogger Murray Chass’ latest internet column, and felt compelled to declare the column “reasonable.” Not 30 seconds after I finished writing that sentence, my desk started shaking, and the next thing I know the entire house was rocking. So I’d just like to say, I’m sorry about that eastern seaboard, it will never happen again. And unfortunately I lost my whole train of thought, so I’ll never actually finish that post. Apparently, that’s in everyone’s best interests.

(And before anyone complains about it in the comments, this story is 100% true, and I just couldn’t resist sharing the irony with everyone. Carry on.) Continue reading Earthquake!

Will Selig cause a work stoppage in baseball?

Presently, discussions between MLB and MLBPA about a new collective bargaining agreement have been remarkably peaceful and without incident. And indeed, there aren’t a whole lot of issues likely to be on the table that look to develop into real flashpoints between the two sides. One of the few issues that has, however, is the question of hard-slotting of bonuses for draft picks. Commissioner Selig has long been a major proponent of slotting, and the union has often referred to a hard slotting system as a form of a salary cap, which is a philosophical non-starter for the players.

Many have suspected that this could become a major issue between the two sides, but I’ve been much more sanguine about it, assuming that the distance between the two sides and the fact that the vast majority of teams have demonstrated no inclination to support the current soft-slotting system meant that there wasn’t going to be any real stomach for a fight over the matter.

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Waiver wire wishing?

Yesterday, word came down that a bunch of players were put on waivers with some likely to clear soon. The list includes Jim Thome, Wandy Rodriguez, Heath Bell, Carlos Pena, and Jason Kubel. Each one of those players could help the Yankees in some tangible capacity. Heath Bell would add to an already lethal late-game/high-leverage bullpen combination of David Robertson, Rafael Soriano, and Mariano Rivera (and, let’s be honest, Boone Logan who’s pitched well of late). However, Bell indicated before that he would consider accepting arbitration. That wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world because he’s making just $7.5M Continue reading Waiver wire wishing?

Taking stock of the October rotation

So not that long ago I wrote that it was too early to start worrying about the Yankees’ postseason rotation. Today? Today sounds like a good time to start thinking of it. All of the starters have about 5 starts remaining, give or take, and over the course of the next month the playoff rotation should start to come into focus a little bit more.

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Yankees vs. A's III: Thank you, MLB schedule-makers

I don’t know who the Yankees have to thank, but after three games against the Royals and four against the Twins, the Bombers not only get to come back home and play the A’s this week, a team they basically dominate just as much as they do the Twins, but then get five games against the O’s at Camden yards this weekend!. Per RAB, the Yankees are 59-19 against Ron Gardenhire‘s Twins (including the playoffs), and by my own calculations 53-35 against Oakland during that same time period, including an insane 26-5 since the beginning of 2008. When the Yankees Continue reading Yankees vs. A's III: Thank you, MLB schedule-makers

The Farm Report 08/22/11 – Montero goes nuts

Lots of rainouts and scheduled offdays, for everyone except Scranton, Trenton, and Staten Island.

Triple-A Scranton played a doubleheader against Rochester and won the first game 11-2…
Scranton scored five runs in both the third and fifth; in the third, a Jesus Montero homer and Jorge Vazquez double made the difference, and in the fifth, it was a Montero double and Vazquez double. Montero had a huge day, going 3-for-5 overall with three runs, a double, two home runs, and six runs batted in. Think he sees that open 40-man spot with Laffey gone? Freddy Garcia threw four relief innings in this one, giving up eight hits, two runs, and walking one while striking out none. Andrew Brackman threw three relief innings, giving up only one hit, striking out two, and walking no one (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!).

…and won the second game 9-4.
Scranton scored on a Chris Dickerson homer in the bottom of the first, and then, after Rochester tied it then went ahead 3-1, took control of the game with a six-run fourth inning, highlighted by a Kevin Russo triple and Jesus Montero double. Manny Banuelos went five innings, giving up six hits, three runs, three walks, and striking out three. Scott Proctor gave up two hits and a run in a relief inning. Continue reading The Farm Report 08/22/11 – Montero goes nuts