Yankees decline Marte’s option

No surprise here, the Yankees have declined their 2012 option for left-handed reliever Damaso Marte. Marte has spent the bulk of the past three seasons on the disabled list after the Yankees acquired him from the Pirates in 2008, and was set to earn $4 million in 2012 if the option was exercised, as opposed to a buyout of just $250,000. So this was a foregone conclusion, to say the least.

At least he’ll always have the 2009 World Series.
Continue reading Yankees decline Marte’s option

2011 season profile: The bullpen

Entering 2011, the Yankees’ bullpen was supposed to be one of the team’s strengths, especially with a trio of good right-handers at the back end. Sure enough, things went more or less that way in the aggregate, even if the specifics weren’t exactly what everyone suspected with Rafael Soriano struggling through most of the season and Joba Chamberlain suffering a season ending injury in the first third of the year.

Bullpens are funny things over the course of any season. People shuttle in and out, guys go from being effective to be let go, and a number of different players find action over 162 games. How many people remember Brett Tomko pitching out of the bullpen in 2009 (or want to)? This year was no different, with such luminaries as Lance Pendleton, Scott Proctor, and Amauri Sanit making appearances for the Bombers, but for the sake of this post I’m going to focus only on the pitchers who logged at least 30 innings of relief work.

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This Time, It Counted: All Star Game Reverberations Being Felt in Postseason

(The following is being syndicated from The Captain’s Blog). Tonight’s World Series opens up in St. Louis because the National League won the 2011 All Star Game. For many in and around the game, linking home field advantage in October to an outcome in July is the height of folly, but this season at least, the symmetry is almost perfect. In order to advance to the World Series, the Cardinals had to beat the Milwaukee Brewers, the team that currently employs Prince Fielder. As some might recall, it was Fielder’s three-run home run that propelled the National League to victory at the Continue reading This Time, It Counted: All Star Game Reverberations Being Felt in Postseason

24 compelling reasons to care about this year’s World Series

The postseason is an elitist’s party, no doubt about it. A select few are invited and only one can be lucky enough to steal the limelight. Yankee fans have joined the ranks of the disgruntled as St. Louis prepares to host the Rangers in the World Series (the Allstar game counts folks!). If you’re like my father, you’ve already retreated to the comforts of another sport with baseball quietly hibernating in the back of mind until next spring. If you’re like me, you’re watching the remainder of the playoffs with a sense of mild amusement. For those of you on Continue reading 24 compelling reasons to care about this year’s World Series

Craziest. Offseason. Quote. Ever!

I meant to get to this yesterday and didn’t find the time for it, but this column by Joel Sherman might be my favorite piece of silly season writing ever. It’s packed so full of strange assertions and weird assumptions (most of them things people have told Sherman, I’m not saying this is his mess), I’m not sure I’ve fully processed it even now. What do you say we just pick a few of them out for the heck of it?

A few factors, though, are making the Yankees less zealous [than in 2008]. They are worried about his weight gain and what it means moving forward for a pitcher who already has had two knee surgeries. And even the more aggressive elements within the Yankees hierarchy are chilled by the ramifications of extending Alex Rodriguez after he opted out; A-Rod still has six years at $143 million left as his body and skills seem to be declining.

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2011 season profile: Joba Chamberlain

It’s funny, in a way, that for as much attention has been focused on Joba Chamberlain since his arrival in the Bronx four years ago, he’s in many ways the forgotten man now. With the emergence of David Robertson as a top tier relief pitcher and the solid performance of the rest of the middle relief corp, the loss of Joba to season ending Tommy John surgery didn’t create the kind of hole in the bullpen it otherwise might have. Honestly, it was easy to forget at times that he wasn’t there.

There’s not much in the way of playing time to analyze with Joba. Though his bottom line performance was pretty good, his peripherals were down a bit from where they were in 2010, but with just 28.2 innings pitched, that’s pretty much meaningless. Suffice it to say, Joba appeared to be pitching well enough before the injury and would figure to be a major asset when he returns next year. But not in the bullpen. No, the Yankees already have more than enough talent there, and adding a fourth major right-handed reliever doesn’t figure to provide much in the way of a marginal upgrade. What do they need? A starting pitcher.

Yep, I’m going there. Continue reading 2011 season profile: Joba Chamberlain

Starring Mark Teixeira as Jason Giambi (hopefully)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. The Yankees sign a big-name free agent first baseman coming off an MVP-caliber year to a mammoth long-term deal that will keep him in the Bronx well past the point he’s still worth his salary. The slugger goes crazy in his first season in pinstripes, putting up yet another MVP-caliber season. The first baseman’s second season in pinstripes is still very good, though perhaps a slight disappointment based on previous expectations. Things continue to go in the wrong direction in the third season, prompting the Yankee faithful to start wondering whether their Continue reading Starring Mark Teixeira as Jason Giambi (hopefully)

Montero will not play winter ball

This is from yesterday, but Chad Jennings spoke to Brian Cashman, and reports that Jesus Montero won’t be playing winter ball this year:

The Yankees have decided not to have Jesus Montero play winter ball this offseason. Between Triple-A and the big leagues, Montero played in 127 games this season, and he caught most of them.

General manager Brian Cashman said the Yankees will have Montero maintain his strength and conditioning, but they don’t want him to continue playing in games.

That seems a little odd to me. Yes, most of those games were spent catching, but Montero has caught sporadically at best since being called up to the majors on September 1st. He’s basically had a month and a half break from the position right now, in other words, and given that defense is the last big question about his game, you’d think the goal would be to get him reps behind the plate.

Not that this is a big deal, especially if something else is going on, I’m just wondering if the Yankees aren’t beginning to give up on the idea of Montero making it as a catcher.

Also, Cashman indicated that the Yankees dictated that Hector Noesi be used as a starter, and that using him as a mop up man wasn’t part of the original plan for 2011. The team still views Noesi as a starting pitching prospect, according to Cashman. Continue reading Montero will not play winter ball

2011 season profile: C.C. Sabathia

It’s a good thing C.C. Sabathia is a big guy, because he entered 2011 with a lot of weight on his shoulders. No, that’s not a Captain Crunch joke, I’m referring to the pressure on Sabathia to perform at the start of the season. With three or four question marks joining him in the Opening Day rotation, all of Yankeedom was counting on Sabathia to be the one constant, the ace the team could count on every fifth day.

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