Wednesday, August 27, 2008

No Longer the Stopper

When the Yanks needed a win, was there a better pitcher to turn to than Andy Pettitte? --

Times change, as has his effectiveness. Pettitte is no longer who he was - no longer the stopper the team needs him to be.

Forget for a moment about the familar box score of A-Rod and Giambi putting up blanks on the box score (0 for 9). I think the most important stat is the rally killing DPs A-Rod seems to find, as well as 9 men left on base between the two of them. I don't have the time to prove it, but suspect if we looked at half of the losses this season, they probably could have been wins, and can be chalked up to the failure for these two guys to come through with men on base. Perhaps its time for Girardi to pull a Torre and move these two guys down or out of the line up. Nady and Matsui should be our 4 and 5 hitters for now, because, well, they hit.

On the Cano being moved story - his fate has already been decided, he's gone before spring training starts next year. - $3mm is not that much to swallow. I think the future of the infield is going to fall on the shoulders of Cody Ransom (2B) and Jaun Miranda (1B), two guys whose work ethic will not be questioned once at the Show.

What a lousy way to start an important series.


Mid said...

Check out Extra Mustard on

old professor said...

Mid, your are right with your analysis of A.P. he is beginning to show his age. Though one must wonder if the offense showed any life this year what his record would be. His ERA and performance probably is close to what he has done in the past - the big difference is the sporadic and sometimes complete lack of offensive support.

I need to disagree with you regarding second base - Ransom has been a journeyman backup his entire career. He is 32 years old and one has to wonder if he is nothing more than a career minor leaguer. He has performed well as a fill-in and has proven he can play all of the infield positions. He may end up the replacement for Bettimet next year. Miranda may be the answer at first, unless the Yankees sign a BIG free agent who happens to be represented by Scott Boras. (I believe Boras may have a fractured relationship with the Yankees due to the A-Rod opt out issue and his representing both of the Yankees top two draft picks neither of which signed.

The Yankees will have to address several needs in the off-season. Offense (first base definately), do they bring Abreu back?, pitching: will Sabathia be in pinstripes? Will Joba hold up physically as a starter for a complete season?? and the bullpen - what a mess!!

Interesting article in the Sporting News regarding the impact the new stadium will have on the Yankees ability to attract and sign new free agents. The article tends to believe the revenue from the new stadium will tip the balance of power back toward NY and will push MLB toward a salary cap structure.

Crash said...

It is a sad state In Yankee-land where we are addressing the teams needs for next season and its still only August.

Looking at the rotation next year, I think you seriously only start with Wang and Joba. Maybe you bring back Ponson as a #5 and sign a couple of big names for the other spots.

For offense I would look at 3 stats: RISP avg, RISP with 2 outs, and OPS. Just the splits against AL East teams over the last 3 years.

David in Syracuse said...

I have been asked to say a few words in response to last nights extremely dissapointing loss.

It is not the loss itself that is hard to swallow, it is the way they lost that it hard to fathom. Granted, this team, if it makes the playoffs, is too flawed to win it all but it has Playoff talent that is not stepping up when it matters. A-Rod can say all he wnats about his talent but when you hit into two, count them two DP with men on base in crucial times of the game what is there to say but that you are not living up to your talent.

I still have faith they can make a dramatic turn around but that window is rapidly closing and we move into September.

David in Syracuse.

crash said...

This isn't a new trend for A-Rod...he actually leads the league in double plays this month.

Welcome to the board David. Nice to get a new voice.

Mid said...


old professor said...

Well if Tuesday's game was hard to take, last night's was even worse. An 11-3 blowout. And since there has been a lot about A-Rod not producing, let's look at who produced last night: A-Rod drove in a run and scored a run. And other than Giambi's meaningless homerun in the 9th inning there was no other offense.

The Scooter said...

Dandy Don Meredith said it best:

Turn out the Lights.....the Party's Over!

Let's throw our support to Torre and the Dodgers!

crash said...

Well now that they're out of contention, at least in September we can see what some of the call-ups can do in the bigs. Maybe it will put some of these under-producing veterans on notice.

Giambi's performance down the stretch has all but guaranteed he won't get an offer from the Yankees. They may offer Abreu a deal but only if they can move other OFs this offseason.

I think it's safe to say that beyond Jeter, A-Rod, Nady, and Posada every other spot is open.

old professor said...

Crash, don't think that Posada is a lock to return as a catcher next year. The surgery he had was pretty significant and could bring an end to his days as a catcher (let's hope not). Pudge has been a disappointment with the Yankees. He is hitting under 190 since being brought in. Part of the issue may be he is not playing everyday and has been relegated to catching Rasner, Ponson, and Pavano (who may be headed to the Muts). That kind of faith by the manager can't rest very well with him. Giambi has been a oolossal flop the second half of the season. Abreu should be brought back and unless they are willing to commit to bringing in a free agent, Damon will be the centerfielder next year.

Mid said...

I'm bitter. I applied for media credentials for the SWB game in Rochester and was turned down.

I think Chase Wright is on the hill.

Mid said...

Bottom of 1st, 2 on 1 out with A-Rod to the plate - who strikes out - big surprise

The Scooter said...

I guess the postmortem can begin. Next step is to look towards next year's wish list:

-at least ONE top end starter-
at this stage I would be surprised if it was NOT Sabathia

-new first baseman-
10 years at $20 mil per will be ALOT to give Texiera.....but I would not rule it out.

-stud bench player-
like maybe a Frank Catalanotto and/or a David Ekstein

I have no idea what they are going to do with their outfield mess. I think the only one guaranteed to come back is Nady.

Abreu is still a professional hitter, but I think that they may finally tire of his subpar defense.

Damon should be a full time DH but ONLY if you have a center fielder who can hit. I think Melky probably gets another shot out there, considering that his trade value is now next to nothing.

A pitching rotation of Sabathia, Wang, Joba, Hughes and Moose or Pettitte would probably work just fine.

And you can take this to the bank...there is NO WAY they will give up on Cano. He is not going anywhere unless its in a blockbuster for a HUGE young pitcher....Linsecum, Kazmir or someone like that.

Mid said...

Bottom of the 4th - A-Rod strikes out looking.


Scoots - I agree with everything you said except for Cano - he's a goner.

crash said...

Old Prof I never said Posada would return as the catcher, only that he would return.

I would trade Melky, Cano, and Kennedy for a bag of BP balls right now.

Scooter I agree with you on the Free Agent front. They will do everything to sign 1, if not 2 or EVEN 3 front end guys. If Burnett opts out of Toronto, don't be surprised if they make a serious run at Sabbathia, Sheets, and Burnett, then round out with Wang and Joba.

Outfield is just a mess. They have 3 subpar defensive OFs (Abreu, Damon, and Matsui) and one offensively inept OF (Melky). How many times have we seen Abreu go to the wall and look intimidated by the W.B. Mason and Modells signs??? And his arm strength has slipped a bit. I like his bat but we can't bring him back, even if it is at half his current value.

5th inning 2-0 Sox...I'm sure it's A-Rod's fault somehow...

crash said...

Yankees brought up Alfredo Aceves and sent down Robertson.

Mid said...

McCain to pick Palin - who's kind of hot.

Anonymous said...

Pavano for Cy Young!

old professor said...

The Yanks have been touting Aceves for a few months. Signed out of the Mexican league it will be interesting to see how he does.

Anyone notice that Pavano is now 2-0. Both Cashman and Girardi seem to be stroking this guys ego a lot. (Dare I say it, don't be surprised to see him in pinstripes next year). Regarding the other free agent arms: In the past, Sheets has shown to be fragile as has Burnett. I believe Burnett would be a better fit for the Yankees. Sabathia has already indicated his preference to stay in the National League. In addition has anyone taken note of how many pitches he has been throwing in his outings. I believe he is averaging over 120 pitches since going to the Brewers.

Crash said...

Brewers will ride Sabbathia into the ground this year if it means they make the playoffs.

Pettitte should not get a contract from the Yankees next season. Neither should Mussina for that matter. I'm sure that will make me real popular.

The Yankees need some heart for next season. They had it '96-'03. The Red Sox have it now with guys like Beckett, Yuek, and Pedrioa. Without it, this non-playoff season will be repeated for many seasons to come.

Crash said...

Very telling that Hughes, Kennedy, and Melky did not get the September call up.

Support the Troops