Thursday Morning Musings

Well the Yankees have officially put that bad stretch in the rearview after completing the sweep on Cleveland last night.  As someone who’s a firm believer in the “it really takes 3 to make it a streak” theory, cheers to the new winning streak!  While the team’s catching some shuteye out in Seattle, let’s take a few minutes to just bask in the aura of victory and talk about some random Yankee stuff.

– That 2-run HR stains the ERA a bit, but CC has looked plenty good in his last 2 starts.  19/1 K/BB ratio is always going to get it done and he’s been far less hittable than he was, giving up 13 in 16.1 IP.  The fastball looks livelier, the slider has been great; it looks like the big guy is starting to put things together.

– Did it bother anybody yesterday, or has it bothered anybody at all this season that Joe always seems to ride CC harder than he probably has to?  Sabathia has thrown 100+ pitches in every start, and while yesterday’s outing wasn’t all that stressful and the bullpen needed rest, does he need to be out there for that long all the time?  I would have been happy seeing him pulled after 80-ish pitches in that bad Tampa start.  No sense wasting wear and tear on his body when he doesn’t have it.

Lyle Overbay in the outfield has to be looked at as another nail in Ichiro’s coffin.  It hasn’t gotten talked about much because C-Grand is back out, but Ichiro still isn’t doing anything with the stick.  .266/.303/.348 (.270 wOBA) in 198 PA and one of the lower LD rates of his career (18.0%).  If Wells hand’t fallen off the map, I don’t think we’d be seeing much of Ichiro right now.

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First Winning Streak Of The Year! Yankees Crush Indians 11-6

The Yankees played in their third home opener of the year this afternoon, a duel between Hiroki Kuroda and Ubaldo Jimenez. Both pitchers came into the game with their own concerns. Last week, Kuroda took a linedrive to his middle finger and was pronounced day-to-day. Meanwhile, Jimenez was coming off a strong outing in Toronto after an awful 2012 season.

The pitching worries were a big part of the first half of today’s game. Jimenez opened up the first inning with an 84 mph fastball, after averaging 96 mph just a few years ago in Colorado. After walking Robinson Cano and allowing a single to Kevin Youkilis, hometown hero Travis Hafner launched a 3-run home run to dead center.

Kuroda lacked control in the first inning, and immediately walked Michael Bourn. What followed was a series of unfortunate events for the right-handed pitcher. There were three ground balls that could have easily been double play balls, but they just happened to bounce off bags and gloves for infield singles. Kuroda’s pitches had the right movement, but defense, bad luck, and wildness helped the Indians tie the game up by the end of the first.

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Briefly Discussing Joba’s Value

Over the last few days, there’s been a little bit of trade discussion surrounding Yankee reliever Joba Chamberlain. Mike touched on this yesterday and I’d like to expand on his value as a trade piece and to the team.

If the Yankees really could get Mike Olt or someone of his ilk for Joba Chamberlain, then there is absolutely no excuse for not executing the trade. But, that is not likely the case. For the Yankees to fetch someone of that caliber, they’d need to give up a lot more than just Joba. The thing is, that’s just not going to happen. As a reliever entering his contract year, he’s none too desirable, at least not right now. If the Yankees fall far out of contention at some point later in the year, say around the trade deadline, maybe they can flip him to a team that needs that one last guy to get it over the hump. Wouldn’t that be something for Joba? Come up in 2007 and help push the Yankees into the playoffs as a reliever, then do the same for another team in 2013? The chances of that happening, though, seem slim. Despite all their supposed and real flaws, the Yankees still have a good shot at making the playoffs. As such, Joba is more important to the team as a pitcher than he is as a trade piece. Continue reading Briefly Discussing Joba’s Value

Who Could The Yankees Want From The Rangers?

Earlier today, George A King of the NY Post reported that the Rangers have been following and scouting Joba Chamberlain. With the type of relief depth the Yankees have, and the offensive needs, it’s no surprise that they’d make Chamberlain available. The question here is what the Yankees want back.

The team has some obvious needs offensively. The Yankees are down an outfielder until May and a corner infielder for even longer. If the organization is looking to find an outfielder, they’d likely target a right-hander to compliment the three lefties. They also may be looking younger, as Curtis Granderson will become a free agent in 2014, and Ichiro Suzuki the year after. The problem with acquiring an outfielder from the Rangers is their own needs in replacing Josh Hamilton.

If a corner infielder is what they want, the team is best suited to go with a younger player that can provide depth at third base while Alex Rodriguez‘ hips continue to be minced into pulp. The Rangers have a few corner infield options that could make some players expendable.

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Mike Olt– There’s a bit of hype surrounding the Rangers’ third base prospect, but he’s still a very good player that fits the Yankees’ needs. Both Baseball America and Jonathon Mayo’s ranked Olt the 22nd best prospect in baseball. At 23 years old, the right-handed hitter batted .288/.398/.579 in Double-A Frisco, hitting 28 home runs. The Rangers gave Olt a chance in the Majors at the end of last season, where he only had 5 hits and 5 walks in 40 plate appearances.

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A Dog Chasing Cars

During the day (and night thanks to a certain “media personality”) Tuesday, Joba Chamberlain made some small waves with his comments about his ability to be a starting pitcher; not surprisingly, he still thinks he can start. Obviously, this isn’t going to happen for the Yankees. Joba will be a free agent after this year (time sure flies) and presumably, he’ll look for some team that will let him start. The last thing you need this afternoon is another beating of this long dead horse, but I can’t help it; this situation is still a thorn in my side. Call Continue reading A Dog Chasing Cars

The Importance Of Joba & Aardsma This Season

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod) I’ve made reference multiple times recently to the Yankees having another strong bullpen in 2013, and I strongly believe that’s going to be the case.  They’ve got the greatest closer of all time back for another shot at a last go-round, arguably the best setup man and one of the best pressure relief pitchers in baseball ahead of him, 2 strong lefty specialists to play the late-inning matchup game, what will be a more than serviceable long man in whoever loses the 5th starter competition between Ivan Nova and David Continue reading The Importance Of Joba & Aardsma This Season

2012 Statistical Trends: Joba’s Comeback

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod) 2012 was a rough year for Joba Chamberlain.  After being shut down in 2011 and undergoing Tommy John Surgery, he was in the process of working himself back to full strength to make a summer 2012 return when he suffered his now infamous trampoline accident that resulted in a dislocated ankle.  When reports first came out on that injury, it sounded potentially career-threatening, but follow-up examinations and surgery made it much less so and Joba was able to return to a Major League mound in August.  Joba pitched to a Continue reading 2012 Statistical Trends: Joba’s Comeback

After A Mechanical Change, Joba Looks Unstoppable

It’s hard to believe that Joba Chamberlain returned to this team over a month ago. When he came up on August 1st, things didn’t go too well. He surrendered a homerun immediately to JJ Hardy. In fact, the whole month of August didn’t bode well for the reliever, but through a key mechanical change, he’s picking things up in September. Take a look at the results he’s shown recently. Joba Chamberlain’s 2012 Season  Date G IP H R BB SO HR HBP ERA BA OBP SLG 8/1-9/2 9 7.2 17 9 5 5 2 2 10.57 .447 .522 .684 9/4-9/9 Continue reading After A Mechanical Change, Joba Looks Unstoppable

Randomly rambling

The last two weeks of Yankee baseball have been, well, frustrating is really the only word for them. They can’t see to pitch all the way right or hit all the way right and it’s led to more losses than wins. Let’s ramble a bit, just to get the verbal diarrhea out there and into the open. The Rotation: I think we all know what the issue is here, or rather who the issue is. Despite his bad start last night, Phil Hughes has been pulling his weight in the rotation for a while. CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda are, Continue reading Randomly rambling