When Do You Have Too Much Starting Pitching?

There’s a saying in baseball that you can never have too much starting pitching. It’s hard to disagree with that statement. Pitchers are highly volatile players when it comes to both performance and health. Ballparks, defense, opponents, and a number of small sample size factors can easily trick the most attentive analyst into thinking a pitcher is more or less effective than they actually are. The rate of injury for pitchers also far outweighs that of position players, and this season pitchers are clocking in around 50% more days on the DL.

starters

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

In general, it’s good to have excess pitching, but the Yankees are in a circumstance that puts even more emphasis on their young arms. As the rotation stands, Hiroki Kuroda and Andy Pettitte have been their two most reliable pitchers after CC Sabathia. Kuroda, 38 years old, and Pettitte, 41 years old, just happen to be two of the oldest pitchers in baseball, meanwhile the team’s ace, Sabathia, is fresh off elbow surgery.…

Read more

Give A Call To Adam Warren

Austin Romine, Adam Warren

(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

It’s only 7 appearances, and there’s some slight suggestion of BABIP and SSS luck working in his favor, but it would be wrong to not point out the great job Adam Warren has done so far this season.  After having a relatively stagnant year in 2012 in his second Triple-A season, Warren has blossomed and carved out a nice role for himself in the Major League bullpen this season.  His early career path has been very similar to the one David Phelps used to break into the show last year.

Like Phelps, Warren has shown an ability to be flexible in his relief roles and effective in multiple types of scenarios.  He’s been good in short appearances and he’s been very good in long appearances, like his first of the year coming in for Hiroki or his 4-inning save last Tuesday evening.  Like Phelps, his stuff has also played up a bit coming out of the ‘pen, particularly his fastball velocity.  …

Read more

Rotation Issues Creating An Extra Need For Middle Relief, An Opportunity For Young Pitchers

Phelps vs BAL

Last Tuesday, in light of the middle relief corps’ poor start, I questioned the decision making in letting pitchers like David Aardsma and the still injured at the time Clay Rapada go in favor of guys like Shawn Kelley and Cody Eppley.  I also quickly questioned the logic in keeping the team’s top two spot starters, David Phelps and Adam Warren, together in the bullpen as long relievers rather than sending one of them down to stay stretched out in case the Yankees needed a spot start or two.  The middle relief issue has faded to the background a bit as the Yankees have gone on a nice little 6-1 run since their rough start, and Eppley has been banished to Triple-A thanks to the return of Phil Hughes to the rotation.  But as that rotation has come together and everybody has gone through at least twice, the need for strong middle relief, particularly long relief, has continued to be put on display.…

Read more

Warren, Joseph, And Almonte Optioned Down To Triple-A

According to Joel Sherman, the Yankees have optioned Adam Warren, Corban Joseph, and Zoilo Almonte to Triple-A.

There was some belief that Almonte had a chance to win the outfield spot, but the switch hitter has hit just .190/.227/.333 in 22 plate appearances. Almonte has never played above Double-A, so he’ll have a chance to compete out of Scranton now. The third outfield spot is looking more and more like Melky Mesa‘s spot to lose.

Corban Joseph was also an option at third base, but his defense this Spring was proven awful. Joseph also put up an unimpressive .200/.286/.200 in his 28 plate appearances, but showed off a much stronger bat in last year’s season in Scranton.

Finally, Warren will now enter his third year in Triple-A. He wasn’t spectacular in his 3 starts (5.00 ERA but a 1.000 WHIP), but he’d have a chance at a starting job on most other teams. At 25 years old, Warren still has some value, and could be a trade chip with the Yankees’ starting depth.…

Read more

The Shallow Depths

Though the season hasn’t even started, the Yankees have already had their depth tested in two positions. Curtis Granderson‘s injury has opened up a spot in the outfield, and the catching situation has been much maligned since the Yankees declined to re-sign Russell Martin and passed on signing A.J. Pierzynski. And with Derek Jeter‘s ankle injury, we’ll see the infield depth tested as Eduardo Nunez and/or Jayson Nix get some time at short to spell the Captain.  On the other hand, the pitching seems to be fairly deep.

The bullpen is well-stocked and some pitchers (think Clay Rapada and Cody Eppley) will not last the year on the 25-man roster. Likewise, though not quite as widely, the starting rotation is considered to be an area of strength. It’s certainly a talented rotation featuring CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, and Hiroki Kuroda. But is it as deep as we think?

Phil Hughes has already suffered an injury.…

Read more

More musings on Upton

Yesterday morning, Steve posted about trading for Justin Upton. I’m all for this idea; Upton’s a great talent who’s still under 25 (for about a month or so more) and he’s under team control through 2015. He’d make the Yankees better just like he’d make every other team in the...

Read more

Previewing Adam Warren

With CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte on the DL and David Phelps still getting stretched out in the minors, 24 year-old righty Adam Warren will be making his major league debut tonight against the White Sox.  Drafted in the 4th round as a senior from baseball powerhouse UNC, Warren has steadily progressed through the Yankee...

Read more

Waxing poetic on Adam Warren’s first start

I can imagine nothing more nerve-racking in the game of baseball than a player or pitcher’s first plate appearance or first start. Like many, I try to imagine what he’s going through and what he’s thinking, yet I still can’t fathom it. The swirl of opposing emotions must be the most conflicting thing that this...

Read more