Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Detroit Batters Hughes

While Ian Kennedy may have earned another shot at a start - I don't think Phil made his case Tuesday night vs. the Tigers. Giving up 2 in the first. Having the good fortunes of the team to tie, only to turn around and let up 3 more is not the hallmark of a starting pitcher who is on his game. It is time to make a temporary move is it not? Send Hughes down to work on his mechanics, rebuild his confidence, and perhaps look to bring him back up around June or the Break. Give Karstens, Igawa, or Rassner a couple of turns. Who knows, if they end up doing well, perhaps they could be trade bait for something more meaningful down the road. I don't see a lot of downside in that consideration. Any thoughts?

Ross Ohlendorf is the man. He has the strength to go several innings - what about a turn in the rotation for him?

A-Rod to DL. Posada on the DL. Bruney on the DL. Wilson Betemit on the DL. We had trainer issues last year, I don't think this is a repeat of the situation this year. 27 games in 28 days is enough to put wear and tear on a body regardless of conditioning. Year and year out, I always find myself saying at the end of April - MLB has morons for schedulers.

Is there anyone more comforted with Barry Zito's struggles than Mike Hampton or Carl Pavano? It is great news to them for sure when they hear there is a new member to the "worst contract ever" debate.


57 said...

I'm a little concerned with Santana's propensity for giving up the long ball this year at Shea. Two more last night, and sandman blew a save.

Middle Relief said...

Um, Sandman did not take the mound in last night's game.

old professor said...

At 21, Phil Hughes may not have the mental makeup at this point in his career to pitch at the major league level. At every level of his development he was successful and never failed. Welcome to the show where anyone can turn around a flat fastball and can recognize breaking pitches that will be out of the strike zone. He may be the ace of the Yankees' staff someday in the future, but right now, he is nothing more than a talented confused and depressed 21 year old.

He may need to go back to Triple A for more work and to rebuild his conficence. The same may be true with Kennedy. Rasner and Igwa will give the Yankees has good or better starts than Hughes and Kennedy.

Having said that, if the Yankees can win behind Mussina, Pettitte and Wang, then the four and five positions in the rotation become less important (3 out of 5 wins on a regular basis still works out to a .600 winning percentage.).

Crash said...

It's so frustrating because every once in a while you see the flashes of great stuff that make you say "yeah I see why this kid is up here." I think it was the first inning to Sheffield and he just made him look ridiculous. He went fastball, curveball, fastball, curve and got the K on 4 pitches. Hughes definitely needs to go down to AAA and get straight. It's hard to remember that he didn't really pitch at AAA. He was down there in 2007 but got an April call up. He only logged like 28 innings at Scranton.

Ohlendorf is pitching well. His #'s are a little inflated because he got stretched out in a couple of outings. I think you could get him in the rotation because he has been the long man this year. He's had 3 or 4 appearances that have been 3 innings or more. I would think he's closer to the rotation right now than Joba. But if you move Ohlendorf in, you have to find someone to replace him in the pen and that is already down because of Bruney and Farnsworth.

I thought the Yanks were going to hammer Rogers. He looked real vulnerable early and they just never turned it on.

57 I wouldn't get your panties in a bunch over Santana not pitching to expectations. If you look back at his stats, he has always been a second half pitcher. The best is yet to come for Santana..don't worry. Any chance the Mets would trade him for Hughes?????????

Crash said...

I just read that the Yankees would love to keep Chad Moeller but of all teams...the METS may have interest in him and may claim him...insult to injury. At least it's not the Red Sox.

old professor said...

If there are changes in the rotation it could be Joba moving into the rotation with Olendorf becoming the eighth inning go to guy or possibly Farnsworth every other day. Olendorf will not be put into the rotation. The organization believes mentally and pitching wise he has been more successful out of the pen because he doesn't have to pace himself. He apparently adds two to three miles to his fastball when he comes out of the pen.

Don't be surprised to see Rasner come up. The Yankees have indicated they will add a pitcher with A-Rod going on the DL.

As for Hughes, he did make Sheffield look silly in the first inning. But Shef did have revenge with a 450 ft bomb in the third. Al Leiter made the comment that Hughes threw too many fastballs and became too predictable with his pitches. He threw three curves and two sliders of the 84 pitches thrown. His pitches were all pretty much in the hitting zone. It would also appear that Hughes has lost something on his fastball. When he came up last year, his fastball was clocked at 93-95 consistently. He is now throwing 89-91. Someone needs to ask what happened to the other four miles per hour. He is to young to be throwing Mussina like fastballs (that would be the 39 year old Mussina fastball).

The Scooter said...


Come on, the kid is going to be fine. All he is is one quality start away from regaining his confidence. The only concern is as Prof points out, his fastball seems to be a little lacking. I'll chalk that up to the cold weather and the fact that he could still be building arm strength.

If you want to call Rassner up and give him a start or two I don't have a problem with that. But Hughes is going to figure it out...believe me.

The quad injuries to A-Rod and Jeter are just bad luck. I think both of these guys reported to camp in great shape. The schedule and cold weather were the cause of those injuries.

Prof, Joba is not moving into the rotation now, no matter how many times you write it as fact. He would need to be stretched out in the minors for at least three or four starts, and there is no way they do that at this point.

Ohlendorf stays in the pen too. If Hughes or Kennedy are passed over it's either going to be Igawa or Rassner who gets the start.

We could use Bettimit's right handed bat with A-Rod on the DL...He must have the worst case of pink-eye ever.

Sign Bonds!

old professor said...

Bettimit has been cleared to begin playing again so he will be headed to SW to begin his rehab session. He had an ulcer on his cornea - not only does that sound painful, but it must have looked like shit.

Another item to keep in mind is that Sean Henn has been rehabbing in the minor leagues. He is out of options and when the rehabbing is done he has to be brought up to the majors or designated for assignment. He has not pitched poorly during his rehab sessions (based on the statistical data).

Scooter, you indicate all it will take is one good start for Hughes to get his confidence back. How long does the team have to wait for that to happen. Should they allow him to go 0-6, 0-10 or 0-16 before he has that one good start? With the Eastern Division being as competitive as it is having a pitcher who is lost and lacks conficence going out every five days is not good for the club.

The kid may not be ready for the major leagues. In a year or two he might be. In a perfect world, he would be pitching lights out, Mussina would be 6-0 and Hughes would be allowed to pitch against other teams #5 starter. But this is not a perfect world. He is getting hammered.

57 said...

um, sandman did take the mound last night. He wears #13 for the METS and he is introduced by the song 'Enter Sandman' by Metallica.

Crash said...

First...there is only one sandman and his name ain't Billy, and he certainly doesn't play in a place named Queens.

Second, I'm shocked that Old Prof actually used "statistics" to back up a statement in support of Henn...He is pitching well at AAA. He's been in 5 games, 6.2IP allowing only 1ER in that span and he's got a good K:BB ratio. The may bring him up soon.

I didn't hear Leiter say that about Hughes but it sounds accurate. I noticed in the first inning he was throwing fastball, curveball, and change up. He was missing badly with the change and went away from that.

I actually agree with both Scooter and Old Prof on the Hughes point. I think he only needs 1 or 2 good outings to get on track, but it may not be at the big league level.

I would give him one more start and if he sucks, you skip him in the rotation. Maybe not send him down immediately but give him more time to figure things out on the side.

Maybe he heard all the talk about keeping his innings count down and he figured this was the way to achieve that. He's only averaging 3+ innings a start. I think Paul Quantril logged more innings as a reliever a couple years ago if Hughes stays at that rate.

Mid said...

I think Steve Balboni was a better first baseman than Keith Hernandez.

57 said...

Mid that is the most ill-informed and erroneous statement that you have ever made. We're all dumber today for actually reading it.

The Scooter said...

Phil Hughes placed on the DL with a strained oblique.

The Scooter said...

From the New York Post:

Chad Moeller cleared waivers and rejoined the Yankees as their backup catcher. Moeller, who signed to a one-year major-league contract yesterday, was with the Yankees earlier in the month, but designated for assignment when Posada was cleared to begin catching again. He had been home in Arizona when he heard Posada was headed to the DL

Mid said...

Phil Hughes - to DL! who gets brought up? Igawa Rassner Karstens???

Crash said...

Here's the quote from Cashman on who they will bring up: "The guy who's pitching the best down there is Darrell Rasner, so that's the guy we're going to tap,"

Kennedy gets the start tonight. If he gets roughed up let's not be surprised if he ends up on the DL as well with a "mild" strain of some sorts.

Mid said...

Glad to hear that we were able to re-sign Moeller.

old professor said...

Strange set of circumstances with Moeller, he cleared waivers and then refused assignment to SW allowing him to become a free agent at which time he signed a major league contract with the Yankees and was added to their 40 man roster. The negative affect of this is someone had to go from the 40 man. The odd man out was Sean Henn who has now been designated for assignment. Too bad the kid was 26 and pitching well in rehab. Chris Britton was brought up with the disabling of A-Rod. No indication as to who they will be bringing up to replace Hughes.

Putting Hughes on the DL seems to allow everyone to save face - he is removed from the rotation for a while. Will be allowed to rehab in the minors to get his head straight and will for all intent will remain on the major league roster though not active. Watching him laugh on the bench last night did not have the appearance of someone who is hurting or has a ERA of 13.00. It would appear his loses don't phase him at all. If not, there will be no urgency to improve.

Crash said...

All Star voting has begun. Usually at this time I could litter my ballot with Yankee position players. However, this year I could not select a single Yankee position player with their performance. Matsui may be the closest statistically, .322 4HR 13RBI and 10R. Can I vote for Chad Moellerand his .350 avg????

The only players deserving of an All-Star appearance are Wang, Joba, and Mo...and fans don't vote on pitchers.

How bad/embarrassing will it be if no Yankee position players make the team when the Stadium is hosting the game!?!?!

old professor said...

Crash, don't be surprised to see A-Rod and Jeter being selected. (Both of which would be a travisty. A-Rod will not put up numbers like he did in the past based mainly on the injury issue and Jeter looks like an old 34. His range is awful and his bat has slowed.). First, the votes that will pour in from NYC will tip the scales and secondly, the manager will be allowed to select his bench.

Let's be realistic about some of the American League All-stars; many of them have very poor statistics as we go through the first part of this year. David Ortiz is not hitting his weight, Travis Hafner is hitting about 175, the third baseman for KC is a trainwreck defensively. The only regular All-stars that seeme to be having a decent season are Vernon Wells, Alex Rios, and Matsui. Your observation about the Yankees points out why many sports analysists believe they will not make the playoffs - their position players are either old or ordinary and their pitching rotation doesn't scare anyone.

By the way 57 you seem very quiet today. Could that be because of the nine unearned runs the muts gave up in getting their posteriors soundly kicked.

The Scooter said...

Prof, your scouting report on Jeter is laughable. Do you even watch the games?

His range this year is much improved over the last few years, due mostly to an off-season workout program that emphasized "first step quickness". I haven't seen too many balls hit this year that he should have gotten to and didn't.

And "his bat has slowed"????? Where the hell did that come from? He's hitting .277 over the first month of the season in which he suffered a quad injury, a brutal schedule and cold cold weather. His bat speed looks fine to me, in fact he turned around a Sabathia 97 MPH fastball and hit it off the wall last week.

Prof, we love ya, but you are certainly no Gene Michael.

Mid said...

Right around the end of the 2nd inning I was all set to put a post up that it looks like Kennedy has improved. Then the third inning happened. . . here we go again.

Going out on a limb again I see by saying A-Rod won't be putting up last year's numbers.

Crash said...

Old Prof is one of those guys that will hate on Jeter until he retires. Then when he gets into the HOF he'll be saying Jeter was the greatest shortstop he'd ever seen.

I was actually relieved to hear that Hughes was out until at least July.

Outside of Wang this is the worse starting pitching I've seen in years. I think Cashman and Girardi will start to feel the heat in a couple weeks if things don't drastically improve.

Mid said...

I think Girardi should be fired, then we trade Kennedy to the Dodgers for Torre.

The Scooter said...

Crash, I guess I just don't understand how one could be a Yankee fan and not be a fan of Jeter, considering he did more than anyone not named Mariano Rivera to ensure that they won four Championships.

The Scooter said...

Dare I say it for the third time in his last three starts.......


57 said...

Fire Randolph.

Middle Relief said...

The Return of my man RASSNER!!!

My prediction: 6 2/3, zero earned, one half of a hit, and leaves to a standing o.

The Scooter said...

Not THAT good, Mid...but pretty damn good, just the same. Ras really made only one mistake. A much needed boost to the rotation...let's hope he can sustain it.

The bullpen continues to dominate.

Jeter's "slow bat" goes 4 for 5.

Kennedy sent down.

Crash said...

I can't believe Kennedy said he was "surprised" he was being sent down. He said he was close. Yeah because 0-3 with an era around 8.50 is oh so close to working it out.

Hopefully he can decide not to pout, "find it", and actually help the club with some decent pitching.

Looks like Rasner earned another start and it sounded like Igawa will be called up and get at least 1 start this weekend. He pitched today in AAA, so he and Rasner will split the starts this Friday & Saturday.

I think Jeter is only batting .500 over his last 4 games. It must be his age...

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