Sunday, April 08, 2007

NY Yankees Week 1 Review

The first week of 2007 is completed. The record stands at 2 - 3 with one game PPD due to moronic MLB schedulers.

Here's what went right: The Yanks showed that they are never out of a game with this lineup. In 2 of their 3 losses they had a chance to tie or take the lead in innings 8 and 9. Both victories were successful come from behind campaigns as well. Meaning, when facing teams with questionable relief pitching, we will have more than enough opportunities to come away with a victory.

A-Rod and Cano getting off to a fast start. A-Rod with plenty of protection around him in the lineup has a legit shot at another MVP campaign (.381, 4HRs, 11 RBIs - best start to a season in his career.), clutch homer against the O's could prove to be a turning point for this guy's confidence. Cano just keeps hitting the ball where they ain't. No need for power, just wants to get on base - how refreshing.

The Bull Pen - 18 and a third of work giving up only 3 earned runs.

Here's what went wrong: Starting Pitching - to say that it sucked, and sucked bad in week 1 would not be understatement. As good as the relief has been, these guys have to be able to get in at minimum the 6th inning and possibly the 7th inning in terms of a days worth of work. The more we overwork the relief now, will be innings we can't go to them come October. In week 2 they need to get control of their location of pitches and show more endurance.

Giambi - I was thinking this would be the year he tries to boost his average by maybe going opposite field occasionally, no such luck thus far. Every swing is a pull, and every swing he's going for a homer leading to fly ball outs almost every single time - batting a meager .158.

Jeter - Poor defense and a bruised foot left him limping. This might turn out to be his worst season since becoming a "superstar".

Injuries - Damon and Matsui with bad wheels. Karstens and Wang no where to be found.

Cabrera - Not picking up where he left off from last season batting .118. Let's face it, he did not earn his spot on the roster this year and was more than outplayed by Kevin Reese, Kevin Thompson, and Jose Tabata (who is batting .668 right now down in Tampa) during Spring Training. Where are you Bernie Williams?

The Schedulers of MLB. The American League has a few teams with domes or retractable roofs in Toronto, Tampa, Seattle and Minnesota. There a few teams in warmer, or more southern places like Oakland, LA, Texas, and maybe even Baltimore. When that is available to you, why schedule games in the Bronx, Cleveland, and Detroit for the 1st week of April? It has made weather a pretty big story instead of the games themselves.

Final Grade for Week 1: C- (points off for Jeter's poor fielding, the starting pitching, and the three losses)

What's ahead for the coming week: A series with Minnesota and Oakland. Perhaps the warmer atmosphere will lead to longer innings this go around for our starters. This will be Kei Igawa's second, and likely last chance to show he's ready as a big league starter. If he bombs this time around he will be shifted for relief work or down to the farm to make room for Karstens or Hughes. Cabrera needs to prove he can get it back for this road trip or he'll be up for an early trade or a field trip to Scranton. Will A-Rod be able to continue his hot hitting in the dome?

16 comments:

Middle Relief said...

This will not be a surprising statement given the level of support I've given this guy since November -

I was deeply disappointed in Rassner's performance today. After a solid first, apparently developed a blister on throwing hand the cut into ability to make pitches.

Not sure how many more chances this guy will get - he certinaly missed an opp to earn a perm. spot.

Crash said...

Rassner has a blister problem. I hope he gets another chance, but you can bet he lost points with Torre's confidence. If Rassner goes on the DL one of two things happens...either Henn gets moved to the rotation or it's an early call up for Hughes.

They just put Matsui on the DL and called up Thompson. Smart move. Thompson played well this spring.

old professor said...

The starting pitching was a big issue this week. Let's face facts, Pavano probably had the most decent start of all. The weather may have been a problem for the Yankee starters, though it didn't seem to bother the opposition.

Rasner's blister is just one more injury to a long list - he missed a lot of time when he was in the Expos/Nationals system; he missed time last year with the Yankees (anyone remember he went on the 60 day DL after his first or second appearance with the Yankees?); Andy needs more time to build arm strength.

Igwa was not as bad as the number of runs would indicate. They will give him more than one more start.

I do not believe you will see Hughes this early nor do I believe they will put Henn in the rotation, they spent too much time on converting him to the bullpen and he is now very happy with only having to concentrate on two pitches. Tyler Clippard may be the first to get the call or even the kid they got from Arizona.

Two more weeks and Wang will be back. The only question is how long will it take for him to build arm stregth and get game ready. If the Yankees stay with Igwa, Karstens will remain in the minors. Cabrera could be headed down as well to get his swing and timing back.

If there is a bright spot from the first five games, it is how well the bullpen performed. Hopefully they will not be burned out by the end of May.

Faith said...

Just flipped to your blog from PeterN's where you posted:

Middle Relief said...
big boos for the entire series for Kevin Millar at the stadium.


May I ask WHY?????

Mid Relief said...

Millar - booed bcuz of his tenure with Red Sox and how productive he was against the Yanks in clutch moments..

he promptly responded with a HR and a double on the first two pitches he saw on Sunday - he is a Yankee killer.

57 said...

The Mets are 5-2 and if you want to learn more about a great team... please go to http://www.nycmets.blogspot.com

57 said...

The team from Queens is 5-2. If you would like to learn more about how great they are, please go to http://www.nycmets.blogspot.com

Mid R. said...

Pavano stepped it up - and clearly A-Rod is going to win the AL MVP for a third time.

Faith said...

Oh Good, so Boo away MR, boo till you Boo Hoo Hoo

I like the idea of having a Yankee Killer among us.

Thanks
Faithy

old professor said...

Pavano gave the Yankees what they needed - seven strong innings. The mystery is way was he taken out after throwing just 79 pitches.

The bullepen continued to be strong closing out the last two innings without giving up a run.

Cabrera goes 0-4 and lowers his batting average to .083. Don't be surprised if Thompson gets a start or two. If he produces Melky is on his way to Scranton.

The game was also error free for the infield.

By the way, who let the Mets fans on this site? Only a Mutts, sorry, Mets fan can get excited with a 5-2 record. Real strong division they play in with the Phillies, Nationals and Marlins.

57 said...

Don't forget the Braves! It is not just a 5-2 record, it is a 5-2 record while outscoring our opponents 42-8 in the victories. 'Let's Go Mets Go' (one of the greatest baseball songs ever) can be found here

http://www.newyorkmets.org/images/LetsGoMets.mp3

Mid said...

Pettitte and Pavano just getting done against the Twins - Yanks laying a beat down on them so far.

I thought the National League was contracted???

Mid said...

Anyone see Jeff Weaver's line of work he put up in Boston??

2 innings, 7 Runs, working smooth ERA of 31.50 for the year. wow.

old professor said...

Two games in a row where the starting pitching has come through. Hopefully Mussina can give the team a third quality start. 80-85 mph fastballs won't get Mussina out of the third inning.

The game also marks the second straight game without the infield committing an error.

With his hot start, hopefully, A-Rod can quiet some of his critics and concentrate on just playing baseball.

Even Kevin Thompson contributed a big hit in the game. Wonder if it is a coincidence that Melky gets three hits the day after Thompson gets the call-up?

Anonymous said...

at this rate, A-Rod could become the first ever 60 / 60 guy.

The Scooter said...

Prof,

Moose's arm strength should be rounding into form now. If he can get to 87 or 88 on his fastball he can be effective as long as he can locate as well as he has in the past.

Good too see Jete's defense vastly improved from the first few games. He made a few sparkling plays last night, including a couple where he ranged well to his left (certainly his weakness).

I'm coming around on "Minky" at first base. He really is a whiz with the glove and he has been having some quality at bats, which I don't think any of us expected. And if he anything whatsoever to do with A-Rod feeling a little more comfortable in New York (as you know they have been friends since High School), he's worth his contract in that sense alone.

Nice to see Cabrerra have a good game at the plate and he got a great jump on that ball (I think it was in the eight) and saved an extra base hit.

I'm anxious to see if Igawa can get his curve over the next time he takes the mound. If not, he will have a hard time staying in the rotation once Wang and Karstens comes back. WOuldn't be surprised to see Rassner hit the DL with his blister problems, these can last all year long if they don't get calloused fairly quickly.

Anybody want to give an over/under until how long JD Drew winds up on the the DL himself? I say he strains a quad by mid-May.

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