About Brien Jackson

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

Montero would not solve the A-Rod problem

The problem with respect to Montero’s ability to mitigate the problem of A-Rod’s contract is that offensive value isn’t purely fungible, because that offensive value has to be attached to a specific defensive position the player is at least minimally capable of playing. If Montero were able to be even an adequate catcher, he really would have been able to pick up the slack for A-Rod a bit, because his offensive production could have been slotted in at a different position. But if he can’t catch, and if we assume that A-Rod isn’t going to be benched or released when he’s no longer capable of playing the field regularly, then any way you slice it, having Montero on the roster would give the Yankees three players for two positions.

Now, that’s not to say there couldn’t be ways around that. Most obviously you could have just continued putting A-Rod at third so long as he could stand there and swing a bat.… Click here to read the rest

Is A.J. Burnett about to get voted off the island?

Option #1: Keep everybody:

With 12 pitchers for 12 spots on the staff, the Yankees could keep everyone on the roster if they’re willing to use two of Burnett, Phil Hughes, and Freddy Garcia in the bullpen. That’s not unthinkable by any means. One of the non-starters could easily slot into the long reliever/sixth starter role without much of a problem, while the other could become the last man in the bullpen. The problem, however, is that you kind of need that last guy to make actual relief appearances at times, especially with the way Joe Girardi likes to disperse the workload he puts on his bullpen. You can’t merely stash two starting pitchers out there in case they’re needed in the rotation later. So the most likely configuration of this option involves Burnett as the fifth starter, Freddy Garcia is the long reliever role, and Phil Hughes becoming a bona fide relief pitcher. If this reality comes to pass, you can expect me to write something disparaging about it.… Click here to read the rest

Looking at Montero through rose-colored glasses

For one, if the Yankees were going to move a premier hitting piece for a pitcher, I’d have preferred it have been for more of a sure thing. There’s no question Pineda had a great 2011, and while the oft-cited supposed “second-half decline” has been debunked, and I’m aware of the fact that were he still a prospect, he’d be at the top of the Yankees’ top ten list, the fact that he is primarily a righthanded two-pitch pitcher with a bit of a flyball problem coming to Yankee Stadium concerns me. I understand that many feel that Pineda has #1 starter upside, but that upside can only be realized if he is able to develop a functional changeup to help him combat lefties, and as we’ve seen from several of the Yankees’ own starters, the change is one of the hardest pitches to learn.

It’s not I think the substance is wrong here, but I think there’s a double standard being applied to the two players here.… Click here to read the rest