Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Is the Moose an endagered species?

So, Mussina in his Spring debut goes less than 2 and gives up 4. I'm afraid that will be par for the course with him going forward. I thought the guy was done at the end of '06, and said as much. When the Yanks exercised his option and re-signed him, I thought he was over the hill. Well, it looks as if he's at the bottom of that hill now. I foresee one of two scenarios playing out:

1 - Old Prof is right (what?!). Moose uses his Spring Training time not to win a position but to build arm strength, stamina, etc. - and will be ready to go when the regular season starts. Given that Old Prof has already filled his annual accuracy comment quota for the year (Alan Horne), I see a more likely scenario playing out:

2 - Moose has two more Spring starts with similar results. Holds a meeting with Girardi regarding the probable role he may be filling with the team in '08, promptly calls a press conference to announce his retirement.

Look, I want him to regain his '01 to '03 form for the good of the team. I really do. However, outside of a training cycle with the Rocket, I just don't see it happening with him at this stage of the game. Perhaps Girardi will be willing to give him a shot in April because they'll be rotating 6 pitchers in the opening month - I don't know. What I feel though, is that Moose is not a viable every 5th day option any longer (and haven't felt that way since he couldn't hold the two run lead at home vs. the Tigers in October '06). I think it is over for the Moose. Great career, time to move on.

After the first full week of scrimmages, I'd say that based on performance, the leading candidates for a starting appearance in April is: Wang, Pettitte, Hughes, Karstens, Igawa, and Steven White.

***
Rumor mill: I'm hearing from baseball's version of the Drudge Report that scouts like what they see in Tabata and because of that, are warming up to the idea that Melkey can and is being shopped for a top catcher prospect and/or draft picks.

31 comments:

The Scooter said...

You thought you could slip Karstens right by me, didn't you.

I like the idea of Melky being shopped for a catching prospect. Should have moved him for Saltamachia last year.

old professor said...

Some times I think I am in a bad movie written and directed by Yogi Berra and it is entitled "We have been down this road before" - Mid talking up Karstens and Scooter touting Saltamachia.

Tabata may be the real thing, but is thought to be at least one year away from being big league ready (I believe he is only 19). Remember when they thought Melky was ready? It didn't work out at the first run. Don't trade Melky until Tabata has been tested and can prove himself at the big league level.

Crash as a follow-up to your comment on Whitey Ford - We was a good pitcher, but Stengel matched him up when and where he thought he had the best shot at winning (actually did this with all of his pitchers). The fact that Berra has admitted he and Ford also scuffed the baseball on a regular basis didn't hurt either. [Only the last two seasons of his career].

Realistically because of off days and travel time, there are times when a teams number 1 starter finds himself matched up against a number 3 or 4 from the other team and vice versa. Why not have your best go against the best from the other teams every time out??

old professor said...

Six innings of perfect baseball from the Yankees in a rain shortened game against Toronto. Igwa - two innings no hits no walks and two strikeouts.

The Scooter said...

Prof, Igawa's line yesterday means about as much to me as Mussina's the day before....Absolutely nothing!

You can move Melky. If Tabata can't handle the spot, then put Damon back in center. And I think Cory Patterson is still on the FA market. He wouldn't be a horrible short term solution. He can't hit, but he can "go get it".

And Prof, you watch..."Salty" is the next Johnny Bench.....and yes I am old enough to remember Johnny Bench.

Crash said...

No secret that the Rangers are looking to shop Salty, but don't think they really have a need for another OF. They just picked up Josh Hamilton in a trade from the Reds, they signed Milton Bradley in the off season, and last season they acquired Marlon Byrd who is productive. Their #4 OF is Catalanotto who is signed through the at least the 2009 season with an option in 2010. Plus the Yankees actually have 3 catching prospects (Austin Romine, Francisco Cervelli, and Jesus Montero). Unfortunately none will be ready this year (maybe next year) and none are the complete package. Cervelli is a good defender/receiver, Romine is more offensive, and Montero is suppose to be above average in both aspects, but not "superstar".

Given that 3 of the 4 Yankee OF positions are manned by players that will need to steal walkers from a local Tampa senior center, I wouldn't trade Melky or Tabata. You need players who can run, field, and throw. Melky doesn't have HR pop so bat him down in the order and be happy with the .270-.290 he may give you. When Tabata is ready he will serve quite nicely, probably batting in the 6, 7, or 8 spot in the lineup.

Crash said...

Scooter, Patterson is no longer available, he signed with the Reds to be with Dusty Baker.

The Scooter said...

Thanks for the update, Crash.

I'm sure the Yankees could put a couple of tier "B" young pitchers together for Salty.

Here's the way I see it. You can keep him on the bench this year as a third catcher, pinch hitter, back up 1st baseman (OK, so that would probably mean the end of Shelly Duncan's Yankee career).

Then next year, he becomes your 2nd string catcher. I see him getting plenty of time as Posada is used more and more as a DH.

2010 he splits time equally with Posada behind the plate, at DH and at 1st base and by 2011 he is your full time catcher.

Posada shared time with (and learned a hell of a lot from) Girardi when he first came up. I think he would be a wonderful tutor for Salty and I'm sure he would be more than willing to help pass the torch as Girardi did for him.

Crash said...

The Rangers do need pitching. And that sounds like a realistic plan to get him playing time. Though I don't think I would wait that long to get him that playing time, especially with his bat. If they get Salty, Molina is gone in a second. I sign Salty to a long term deal and have him start catching Hughes and Kennedy immediately. Next year Posada is DH/1B and the #2 catcher. Salty getting most of the time behind the plate.

Prof., Scooter is right Saltalamacchia is real good...maybe not the next Johnny Bench, but real good...better than Posada on his best day.

old professor said...

Glad you guys are writing Posada off. He has consistently caught more games over the last five years than anyother catcher in baseball and had a career year last year. Salty was so good the Braves were willing to deal him and now the Rangers are willing to deal him too. Anyone want to ask why?? Two years on the bigs as a backup and you want to compare him to a Hall of Famer, whatever you are consuming could be considered illegal. By the time Posada is ready to step into a DH role, Montero will be ready.

As for Damon being put back in centerfield. He does not have the range to play center anymore nor can he throw.

Mid said...

Posada good for offense - bad for defense. Hate to re-open old wound, but he did, more than any other player cost the team the series against Cleveland.

57 said...

Props to Hillary Clinton for winning Texas and Ohio and the exposure of who Obama really is. If McCain has any chance in November, he'll need to choose a conservative as his Veep.

If she can win Pennsylvania, she is in good shape. My prediction is that she just wrapped up the nomination last night.

KEEP IN MIND!! She won Florida and Michigan but the delgates are not being counted. You bet your ass she'll file suit to get those delegates counted... How democratic is it for a candidate not to win the nomination because of buraeucracy?!?! Fact is, she wont those states fair and square.. why SHOULDN'T they count.

Bubba is back!

The Scooter said...

Come on 57, you know as well as I do that the Democratic Party's nominee is irrelevant. Neither of them are electable in a general election.

And thanks for the great insight on McCain's running mate...I thought he would pick a liberal.

old professor said...

Mid, exactly what post-season series were you watching? Posada did more to cost them the Cleveland series than anyone else? Let's get real, A-Rod didn't hit, Jeter didn't hit, first base didn't hit, Wang did not pitch and the bugs drove Joba over the edge - and this was all Posada's fault. Do you actually think before you write??

Crash said...

He's still upset over a wild pitch or 2.

Crash said...

Nice pitching line for Joba today. Looks like he's getting advice from Mussina...

IP 2.0, H 2, R 2, ER 2, BB 1, SO 1, HR 1, ERA 9.00

Kennedy gave up a long ball too...

The Scooter said...

Very interesting news coming out of Mets camp. With the realization that Moises Alou is going to miss 6-8 weeks, the Mets are shopping for a right handed power bat who can play first and the outfield corner positions.........Now I know the Mets and Yanks haven't historically been big trading partners, but I think they have what each other needs in this situation.

How about Shelley Duncan for Aaron Heilman...straight up?

Come on, it makes sense for both. The Yanks could throw Heilman in the 8th inning mix along with Farnsworth and Hawkins (allowing Joba to take his rightful spot in the rotation) and the Mets can give Duncan 120 games between first and the outfield.

OK boys...shoot it down...I'm ready.

Crash said...

If the Yankees could get that deal do it in a second. I think the Mets would want more in return though. Duncan is just a kid who basically had a good couple of games in his first call up. Heilman is more proven than that. Plus isn't the bullpen a concern for the Mets? Since the Mets just busted their farm system for Santana, they could be interested in Duncan plus a B level prospect.

There may be some hope for the Mussina supporters...I was reading something at CBS Sportsline. They looked at the ever popular H/BIP stat. That's Hit Balls In Play. It's basically a stat that measures how many outs are made on balls hit into play. Mussina was 5% above the league average. What does that mean, his bloated 5.15 ERA should most likely been back in the 4's. So he wasn't really as bad as perceived, and could be a contender to bounce back.

Anonymous said...

Mid, Rasner is scheduled to get some time in today against the Reds. He's looked sharp early let's see if he can continue.

Mid said...

Duncan is just a kid who had a couple of good games.

What! Excuse me? Are you talking to me? Did you rub my lamp? Did you wake me up?

In addition to what he did last season, he is 7 for 11 this preseason. I don't know anything about this Aaron Heilman, probably like all the other players at AA.

I like our team. Lets get rid of Melkey and move on.

Anonymous said...

You know what was a little surprising, Heilman ended up with 7 losses last year. That's a lot for someone that didn't start a single game.

57 you're the AA expert. Did Willie abuse Heilman last year a la Torre, did those L's came in the collapse. What's your take on this Duncan for Heilman discussion.

old professor said...

Well today's game against the Reds was over after the first inning. Wang gave up six runs in 2/3 of an inning and in the fourth inning Rasner gave up four more. Score after five is 12-0 Yanks have two hits. And Mid is worried about Mussina's performance?

Crash said...

Pettitte gets his second spring start today. Mo scheduled to make his first appearance.

A pretty flattering comment for a Yankee OF prospect:

"He is the best athlete in the organization. He moves like [Chargers running back] LaDainian Tomlinson. He glides and moves like Devon White and Gary Pettis." -- Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, on Yankees outfield prospect Austin Jackson

57 said...

Well, I have to say, I attended my first Bruce Springsteen concert last night and at 58, the Boss can still jam! Little Stevie (Silvio for the Soprano fans out there) entertained as well. They have all aged, however, but the boys (and girl) from Jersey put on a whale of a show. From The River to Because the Night to Born to Run... he brought the place down. I kept screaming "JERSEY RULES" after every song!! You can't beat that arguably 2 of the top 5 bands of all time are from NJ!!!

Lord, you can take me now.... but wait until the Mets win it all this year.

57 said...

I think Duncan will be a welcomed addition who knows where his place would be with the Mets. You see, Heilman is a little baby that thinks he deserves to be in the rotation and that the pen is beneath him. THAT led to his collapse...he was not there mentally... I want Heilman out of NY, and I still think he thinks he should be in the rotation and wont take one for the team... team first, anything else can hit the 7 train.

57 said...

Top 5 Bands of all time:
1) Stones
2) U2
3) Jovi
4) Bruce
5) Halen

just missing top five: Aerosmith

The Scooter said...

Here are the top Five Bands...not necessarily my favorite five...but the top five nonetheless:

1. Zep
2. Stones
3. beatles
4. Nirvana
5. Van Halen

While I am a big fan of both boys from Jersey, a glance at the list above shows that Bruce and Jon Bon just don't make the cut.

And the Van Halen pick is strictly WITH Roth..none of that Van Hagar crap.

57 said...

how in the world does Nirvana beat out U2?? Is this because Nirvana changed a culture at the time or because Kobain blew his brains out.

Shame on me for forgetting the Beatles...

The Scooter said...

about Nirvana....probably a little bit of both. They certainly changed not only the music industry but as you rightfully point out, the entire culture of the '90s....and it certainly didn't hurt that Kobain died such a narcissistic and tragic death.

But the music is the key...the music is just extraordinary and totally unique to anything that came before it.

U2 does nothing for me. Most overrated band of all time.

57 said...

Im sorry, while I respect that opinion, I cannot rightfully agree to equate grunge and rock & roll. It put KISS before Kobain.

Bono is a rock God.

Crash said...

The most overrated band has to be Led Zep.

1. Beatles
2. Stones (I hate the Stones)
3. Kiss
4. Black Sabbath
5. Aerosmith

Nirvana is trash. Pearl Jam did more to change the culture than Nirvana. Nirvana had 1 song come out at the absolute most perfect time. That does not make them great. Just missing Van Halen, Guns, Def Lep, Bon Jovi.

Crash said...

Any comments on Coughlins new deal...4 years/$21M. I think if he can keep the same attitude as last year and can get the team into the playoffs each year it will be fine. If he goes back to his old ways it's going to be a long 4 years.

57 glad to see you recognize a true rock legend like Kiss over Nirvana.

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