Monday, December 11, 2006

Pitching: Mission al-Most Accomplished

In a league where pitchers seem to be getting better with age, I have to admit I am ecstatic over the signing of Andy Pettitte. Nostalgia, sure, veteran pitcher who knows how to step it up when it counts the most - yes.

The starting 4 stands as: Wang, Johnson, Mussina, Pettitte. That leaves Pavano, Karstens, Rasner, Hughes, and if we can sign him, Igawa to compete for starting spot number 5, and, when the inevitable dings happen and a spot starter is needed one of these guys can make a cameo appearance. This is as good as a starting pitching situation than any team in MLB has right now. I actually think that all 5 of the guys competing for spot number 5 have the stuff to make it big if given the chance. Rasner lit it up in the Fall/Winter league, and Karstens was fairly impressive in his starts, and if not for a few errors would have only lost 1 game.

Relief: With Pettitte back, this allows Proctor to be back in the bullpen. In addition to Proctor (who, arguably was one of, if not the most, valuable player for the Bombers last year) you have Farnsworth, Humberto Sanchez, and Brian Bruney as solid Right Handed Relief. On the lefty side, we may be a little light, and that remains one possible whole to look to fill. Anybody hear about the status of Mike Meyers? And we have some guy named Chase Wright who is any body's guess.

Throw in the greatest closer in the game and you have a pitching picture that (health permitting) is looking pretty damn good.

Give us a quality lefty middle reliever and I'm willing to stick the neck out and say this could be the best pitching staff from top to bottom in the last 30 years.


old professor said...

It was good to see the Yankees signed Pettitte. He is a better signing than either Lilly or Meche - even though both have gone to other clubs. It now remains to be seen if the Yankees will sign Igawa.

At best he is projected as a number 4 or 5 starter. The Yankees should be able to produce the same kind of results from within their own system.

Though at age 26 he would give them an option for a lefthanded pitcher in the bullpen until he is needed in 2008.

As for Chas Wright - he had a pretty good Winter league and surprosed Yankee brass with how well he did. I don't see Sanchez with the club to start the season.

MF said...

Chas Wright - he came from the Sheffield deal correct?

I think Igawa should and will likely spend some time in AAA getting up to speed on American MLB.

Still, he should be able to make a few starts should the club need him.

Pitching will not be a weakness in 2007.

old professor said...

Chas Wright was not part of the Sheffield deal (the pitchers received for Sheff were Sanchez, Whelan, and Clagett). Chas Wright pitched in the Yankee system at Tampa last year and went 12-3 with an ERA of 1.88. He also had 100 strikeouts in 119 innings. The year before, he pitched in the Southern League for Charleston. Winter ball allowed the Yankees to put him against stronger competition and he apparently he did extremely well.

We will be in Spring Training but will probably start the year with Trenton or AAA. Just an aside - Chas is his middle name. His First mane is Sebern - no joke.

The Scooter said...

Looks like Cashman is getting ready to make a deal.

There's big buzz that Melky Cabrerea and a minor leaguer will be dealt to the Pirates for left handed reliever Mike Gonzalez.

Gonzalez converted 24 of 24 save chances and opposing batters hit an anemic .213 against him. Lefties were worse, .163. He missed the final five weeks with tendinitis. He is only 28 years old.

If this deal goes down, the Yankees will undoubtedly bring bank Bernie Williams to be their fourth outfielder.

I don't know much about Gonzlaez..I mean has ANYONE watched an inning of a Pirates game over the last couple of years, but the stats look real good and supposedly he has an electric arm. The NY Post went as far as to call him "a fireballer".

Truth is, Melky's value is probably as high as it's ever going to be. I say roll the dice and make the move. With the Red Sox trading for the reliever from the Angels and signing JC Romero (not to mention the D-Mat deal), they have markedly improved their pitching staff. Melky, while a nice player, is expendable. If Gonnzalez pitches to form, the Yankees will have their best bull pen since the days when Mariano set up for Wettland....and they will have numerous viable options if the unthinkable happens and Mariano goes down with an injury.

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