Thursday, March 15, 2007

Spring Briefing

First the Good:

Jose Tabata - Number 92 - The 18 year old, and Yankees number 2 prospect behind Phil Hughes, batted over .450 in 9 pre-season games before being sent down to the farm. All signs pointing to a legend in the making thus far.

Jeff Karstens - As reported here back in November, this kid is ready to make a run in the bigs. So far in 9 innings he has a couple of wins, no walks, no earned runs and with 17 days away from opening day has likely played his way into the starting rotation. What? Yes, the starting rotation.

Next, The OK:

Phil Hughes was OK nothing great - lacked control.

The disappointing:

Kei Igawa: First and foremost, Yankee management has said all along he is a #5 starter - with that said, in my opinion, I feel as though he has been been unimpressive even for a #5. Today for example, he gave up 4 walks in 3 innings, and has an ERA above 5 in his total Spring production. As Crash pointed out, maybe he gets a couple of starts before his ticket to Scranton is punched - maybe less, as Karstens has earned his shot no doubt.


old professor said...

Igwa showed a couple of things in his last outing: first he is having trouble with location, which was the cause for the four walks; second, he also struck out four batters in the first two innings and was able to pitch under pressure without giving up a run.

In time, he will be a serviceable number 4 or 5 starter. he not only has to adjust to a new league and hitters, but he must also adjust to a different type of baseball and a completely different culture.

Let's remember the closer for Seattle two years ago was very successful, but could not adjust to being away from Japan - he left after one year to return to Japan.

Karstens has proven he can be reliable and has the mental toughness to pitch, but there isn't room in the rotation for him unless the Yankees want to go to a six man rotation (Mussina would go nuts!!).

While you are touting the hitting of Tabata don't forget the kid from Hawaii who has played a solid right field and dh and is hitting over .400.

It would be unfortunate, but it would appear that some of the young talent that has been showcased this Spring may be future trade bait later this year.

The Scooter said...

Torre and Gator already stated that they would prefer not to carry Karstens as the long it's rotation or bust for him. He starts the year in AAA and if Igawa is still struggling by mid May Karstens will be brought up...That is, of course if they decide NOT to go directly to Hughes.

Strangely enough, Karstens' strong spring might be his ticket out of New York. I can't see his value getting any higher than it is right now. I say trade him...preferably for a young catcher (I'm not sold on Nieves as the longterm solution). you're talking. Along with Hughes, these two are the future of the Yankees. I think this kid is all but untouchable. Unless of course you can put a big deal together with the Marlins.

How about this:

Tabata, Melky, Karstens and Humberto Sanchez for Dontrelle and Miguel Cabrera. If the Marlins are out of it by the summer, the rumblings are that they will look to trade one or both. Dontrelle would absolutely OWN New York with his free spirit and bubbly personality. Miguel would replace A-Rod at third base when he decides to exercise his option and he could DH until then (yea I know, it puts Giambi back at 1st base).

Anonymous said...

Was wondering if Melkey is on the block now given how well Reese has been playing.

Perhaps a deal for Mekley and a Rassner or Karstens for a Dontrelle or a top level prospect for catcher.

old professor said...

I believe the fan base of New York would be hunting Cashman if he traded Cabrera. It is more likely the Yankees would look to trade Thompson or Reese (or both).

Rasner will be a long shot to see time this year in a Yankee uniform. Karstens, Hughes and probably Clemens are all in his way.

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