Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hughes Heads For SWB

I don't think it is too surprising that Hughes was reassigned to SWB. He had a good spring - we'll see him again when the inevitable arm is needed due to injury.

For me, the most disappointing Spring thus far has been Humberto Sanchez. He didn't throw much due to soreness (not an injury), and now finds himself starting the year in Trenton. When you can't play because of "soreness" - you are saying you can't play because you weren't in shape.

Igawa has thrown 12 scoreless innings. I can't help it, I just cringe at the thought of him running onto the field from the bullpen at a key moment in a game.

The WBC has been pretty good ball - U.S.A in the Semi's against formidable Japan - the story had to compete for time on Sportscenter with Klitschko knocking out some game named Mo in Germany - is baseball still America's game?


Crash said...

I guess this is be where I argue that Joba belongs in the pen setting up Mo and Hughes should be the #5 starter...but why state the obvious.

MId said...

Joba has been getting better - however I believe as well as that he is better served in the pen - has the ability to affect more games.

Mid said...

On our former prospects:

Jose Tabata hit almost .400 for the Pirates during the spring and still got optioned to AA.

Karstens and Ohlendorf are slated to be the 4 and 5 starter for the Pirates.

Crash said...

I don't think there was a question about Tabata getting sent down. They do have LaRoche at 1B, who is their highest paid player. LaRoche is either gone at the trade deadline or at the end of the season, he's on a 1 year deal at $7MM. So Tabata will most likely be called up sometime this year and has a legit chance of making the club in 2010.

old professor said...

Crash, I am not sure, but you made it sound as if LaRoche was blocking Tabata. Tabata plays the outfield and would not be moved to first base should the Pirates trade him.

Odd, the Yankee question about right field could have been answered with Tabata. I cannot remember whether it was Marte or Nady the Yankees got for Tabata, but it was not a good trade: Marte has had some minor arm issues and the team may end up trading Nady. They would have been farther ahead keeping Tabata.

I also agree that Hughes should have been slotted to #5 and Joba to the pen. If Igwa makes the team, he earned it with an outstanding Spring.

Crash said... are completely right Old Prof. I confused Tabata with Juan Miranda. My mistake.

One reason why the Pirates may have sent Tabata down is because of Andrew McCutchen. He was the Pirates top prospect a year ago. They may not want to start the year with 2 rookies in the OF.

The Scooter said...

Joba belongs in the rotation.

Once again, if you question the the value that most teams place on quality starters over quality relievers, just take a look at the respective salaries of the two positions.

The Yankee brass expects Joba to be their Josh Beckett....if he does anything close to that this year, then the Yankees can legitimately have FOUR number one starters....

Let me say that again.....If Joba is what they think he is, the Yankees have FOUR NUMBER ONE STARTERS.

I have all the faith in the world that between Bruney, Marte and whoever else they run out there, the eith inning will be well taken care of.

Crash said...

I agree with your statement that IF Joba does what everyone thinks he's capable of the Yankees could have 4 legit #1, ACE type stuff, pitchers going for them. And Pettitte would be a solid #2 on most staffs.

Just reading some of the columns from the "Bomber Beat" side bar. And I'm so glad CC appears to have the kind of character this team has sorely lacked the last 5 years.

Also, Im glad Jorge was able to test his arm and come out great.

Nady appears to be starting in RF and Gardner starting in CF with just about a week to go.

Did anyone catch the Baseball Tonight show that featured a clip of Stephen Strasburg. He pitches for San Diego St (where Tony Gwynn is the manager). He is being called the best college pitcher, EVER!!! He will be drafted this year, and scouts are saying he could be drafted and immediately step into any rotation and be better than any #2 in the league. Right now he has better "stuff" than AJ Burnette. He has K's about 60% of the batters he faces. Keep in mind this is college where hitters routinely hit about .400, and this kid can't be touched. He struck out 18 in 8 innings the other night. I think te Nats get the first pick this year, they would be stupid not to take this kid...oh yeah forgot to mention he's with Boras and talking about about a 6 year $50MM contract which may or may not include a $20MM signing bonus. The previous high for a drafted rookie is $10MM (Mark Prior).

old professor said...

If the kid is a Boras client, watch the teams that shy away. The Nats can't afford to shell out that kind of money. There are about four teams in baseball that can: Boston, LA (maybe), Yankees and the Angels.

It is still a big step from college ball to the major leagues. Since you mention Prior, you may remember, the Yankees actually drafted him, but he didn't want to play for them. He waited a year and went with the Cubs. Had everything going for him but his health. Where is he now??

Crash said...

San Diego.

Crash said...

So Yankee tickets went on sale today to the general public. I hop online to see if I can grab anything...apparently there are plenty of seats in the $2,600-$1000 range still available. But God forbid if I only want to spend $90-150 a ticket. Just for kicks, go on there and pick any game, even Red Sox or Mets and pick "Best Available". I'm sure you'll be offered the best seats in the house too.

These ticket prices are insane.

old professor said...

Real strange story coming out of Pittsburgh regarding former Yankee prospect Jose Tabata. His wife was arrested for allegedly stealing a two month old baby. Here is the real kicker. Tabata is 20, his wife is 43. Yikes!!!!

Crash, if you think Yankee prices are bad, compare them to the Giants and Jets tickets.

The Scooter said...

Prof, that Nady/Marte trade is looking better and better, isn't it.

The Yankees seemed to have questions about Tabata's makeup, which is why they were not incredibly reluctant to deal him.

Maybe the fact that he is married to a woman twice his age who has various aliases and who had been in prison from 1999 to 2003 for arson had something to do with them pawning him off on Pitt.

Crash said...

Yeah the Giants tickets are more expensive per game when you take into consideration the PSL. The best seats in the house will run you an avg of $3,200 per game. YIKES!!!

Has Girardi given the CF job to Gardner yet? Don't know what he is waiting for. At least Cash has publicly stated (again) there is no Cameron deal pending. That has to make both Gardner and Melky feel a little better.

old professor said...

Doesn't matter whether it is Gardner or Cabrera, because before the end of the year, Austin Jackson will be roaming the outfield.

If I were Cody Ransom, I might want to keep my bags packed. While he has done well this spring, A-Rod is expected back by May 15th and the Yankees have to be very pleased with the showing of Angel Berroa, who will probably break camp with the Yankees as the backup infielder until A-Rod's return.

old professor said...

Just an after thought - has 57 fallen off the face of the earth or has he decided to seek therapy because of the Mets rotation? In addition, his blog hasn't been changed since last AUGUST.

Mid said...

Wow - Igawa got re-assigned to minor league camp. Not sure he could have put in a better Spring.

Has to be demoralizing when merit doesn't dictate where you go.

Crash said...

AJax will not be called up anytime soon. The Yankees have 2 OF on their bench with Melky and Swisher, and another DH'ing.

Berroa did have a decent spring but he is purely a SS, no threat to Ransom. In fact I think Ransom is the better bench player because he offers greater flexibility. He can play any IF position, Berroa can't.

If Igawa has been reassigned, who is the long man out of the pen, Tomko maybe? It can't be Giese, he's been lit up (19H, 11R, 5HR in 13IP). A little related to this topic...what are the Rays thinking sending down David Price???

The Scooter said...

Crash, as far as David Price is concerned....this from John Heyman:

"The Rays' decision to send down David Price was done to be cautious but also to save prospects Jeff Niemann and Jason Hammel, who are out of options."

Crash said...

Looks like Girardi has announced that Gardner has won the CF competition. Melky will make the roster as their 4th OF. I didn't realize Melky has his spring avg up to .345. I think just a couple of weeks ago he was in the low .200's somewhere.

Also Jonathan Albaladejo appears to be in line to break spring training with the big club and land a spot in the bullpen, and would effectively send Giese, Aceves, and Tomko to the minors.

So I think the bullpen is: Albaladejo, Coke, Bruney, Ramirez, Veras, Marte, & Mo.

The rest of the roster is pretty much set, Ransom is already listed on the active roster, so it's just a matter of who will fill A-Rod's roster spot while on the DL.

The Scooter said...

I know everyone has fallen in love with Gardner and I am inclined (as apparently is Girardi)to run him out there in Center field for a few weeks to see if he hits enough....

BUT...because there is always a but with me....Word out of Anaheim is that Gary Matthews Jr. is very unhappy with the news that he is now the Angel's 5th outfielder, and is willing to waive his "no-trade" for a team who needs a starting CF.

Yes, he has three years and $33mm left on his deal, but the Yanks were considering Mike Cameron at $10 mm...I think Matthews is a much better option than Cameron.

Plus the Angel's might be willing to take back one of the Yankee's bad contracts, making it a little more palatable for the Bombers.

How about Igawa (2 years $8mm left on his deal) and Melky (a true 5th outfielder) for Matthews.

The Angels' are in dire need of pitching and Igawa has had a good Spring.

I know Prof will jump all over me for this suggestion, but I would rather go into the season with a healthy Matthews with something to prove, then a guy who has like 100 MLB plate appearances.

old professor said...

Scooter, I will not jump all over you, BUT - Matthews had a big year in his walk year and greatly failed the Angels after signing the big contract. The questions to be asked (a) now that he has the big money and a no-trade clause, does he need to perform or sit back and collect? and (b) was his dropoff in production linked to not taking PEDS. He was linked to steroid use while in Texas (was there anyone on that team not taking steroids?).

Gardner will give you the same defense as Matthews and steal more bases (provided he gets on base) and may prove to be more durable than Matthews - who has a history of injury and a history of wearing out his welcome wherever he goes.

The Scooter said...

Prof, your point is well taken regarding the PED's...I honestly have no idea if any decrease in productions stems from the fact that he may have once been a juicer.

Your other point however, doesn't hold water. If he was content with just sitting back and collecting the remainder of his big contract, then he would have no problem with the Angel's making him their fifth outfielder.

This guy (after being hurt last year) has TONS to prove.

Listen, I'm not saying this deal would be a slam dunk for the Yankees, all I know is that Igawa doesn't have a place on this team, and other than A-Rod's hip and Posada's shoulder, Center Field is the BIGGEST question mark on this Yankee team.

Crash said...

Scooter I believe you have said a couple of times that a guy will hit what his baseball card says.

Flip over that Matthews card and see that he is nothing more than .250 hitter, who averages 10 HR and 9 SB. Did I mention he'll be turning 35 before the end of the season and 37 by the end of the contract. No thanks. The Yankees had that production out of Melky (who made about $8.5MM less than Matthews last season) and sent him down to the minors for poor performance.

I would much rather have a 25 year old CF who isn't due $33M, and if he can produce at the MLB level like he did in the minors you have a .290 hitter, with a .400 OBP, and potentially 60+ steals.

I know I have said I would trade Melky, Kennedy, and Igawa for a bag of balls, but you couldn't get a bag of balls for Matthews.

I don't think the Phillies would let him go...but how about Jason Werth. He's 29 years old, he'll hit .270, 25 HRs, and 20 SB. He's signed through next season ($7MM). How about Swisher or Melky and Igawa for Werth?

The Scooter said...

Crash, touche on the back of the baseball card stuff....but let's be fair: Over the last four years of his career, Matthews is more like a .275 hitter who averages about 15 hr's. I don't think anyone will go out on a limb and say that you expect those kind of numbers from Gardner. And let's not forget, he can GO AND GET IT in Center Field.

He would NO DOUBT be an upgrade at the position...the legitimate question is How much of an upgrade?

The guy I really want is Rick Ankiel.

old professor said...

Scooter, if the Yankees want Matthews, they may now be able to get him for a lot less than what his value may have been. Seems he has asked for and been granted permission to leave camp to "cool down". Apparently he can't deal with being the #5 outfielder with the Angels. I don't see the logic behind thinking the #5 outfielder for the Angels could be the salvation to a perceived question on the team's centerfield position.

Worse case scenario, slot Swisher into centerfield.

On another issue is Chamberlain's velocity, which seems to have declined dramatically. Yes, I realize there is a difference in going out and throwing fifteen to twenty pitches in an inning, which allows you to put maximum effort behind a fastball (thus 98-99 mph)and having to pace yourself for six to seven innings. But there has to be some concern when his velocity is 88-92 consistently. That velocity is good, but nothing more than any pitcher brings to the mound (okay Jamie Moyer is an exception).

The Scooter said...

mechanics mechanics mechanics, Prof. Joba still has plenty of time before he is slated to open the season. It usually takes big guys like him a little longer to get the arm into regular season form. I'm not inclined to panic yet.

Crash said...

I'm not worried about Joba yet. I think he is actually trying to learn how to pitch rather than throw it by everyone.

The Tigers have released Gary Sheffield, they would rather eat his $14MM than have him on the roster. He's apparently healthy. I haven't followed the Tiger spring training but that seems surprising to me.

The Angels were trying to trade Matthews to the Reds for Arroyo or Harang. Reds were not interested. If that's the Angels asking price for their 5th OF, forget it. Like I said yesterday he's not worth it.

Does anyone know if the exhibition games with the Cubs at the new Stadium will be broadcast on YES? I want to get a good look at the new place.

The Scooter said...

WOW, I wonder where Sheff will wind up.

Here are some possibilities:

With Torre in LA....they didn't always get along, but imagine him batting before Manny.

SF Giants....have built a great pitching staff with absolutely NO OFFENSE. Sheff would immediately make them a contender in the west.

The NY 57's....Ryan Church and David Murphy....enough said. Makes too much sense for it to actually happen.

Crash, I'm pretty sure that YES plans on carrying the Cubs game.

old professor said...

Crash, Sheff's Spring was nothing to write home about. He hit .178 had three homeruns and according to MLB, two were in the same game. At 40 years old, he is not able to play consistently in the outfield. And one has to factor in his club house demeanor. Not necessarily a good citizen and maybe the Tigers got tired of the Me First attitude. Too bad, he has 499 homeruns (who really wants to bring in an aging selfish ballpalyer just to see him hit #500?).

The Scooter said...

Prof, I didn't realize Sheff was 40. You're probably right about not being an every day outfielder anymore. Better suited for a DH.

Someone will give him a shot. Doesn't the Oakland A's like to give old guys their last hurrah (Frank Thomas, Piazza)?

Crash said...

With him getting his full $14MM from Detroit, it's a no risk proposition with some decent reward upside. That sounds totally like Oakland. They would have to platoon at the DH spot though with Giambi already there. Toronto is another team that may take a shot at him.

By the way I may be at the New Stadium for this Saturday's game.

The Scooter said...

Looks like Joba is going to be OK. Fastball topped out at 96 mph yesterday. I think we can expect him to consistently be at around 94 with an extra 3 or 4 mph available when he needs it.

Once again boys...the sky did not fall.

oh and by the way..the slider was said to be "NASTY"

Crash said...

So Girardi is going to bat Jeter lead-off and Damon in the 2 spot...not sure why Girardi wants to do this.

Jeter's stats from the leadoff spot are pretty consistent with his normal #2 spot. His avg and OPS are within percentage points HR's would be about the same as well if you average them out to the same # of games.

Damon's #s on the other hand drop a little bit.

Jeter's #'s actually are the best from the #3 spot.

old professor said...

Crash, they experimented with Jeter in the lead-off spot for the last 7 or 8 games. He has a slightly better on-base percentage than Damon and believe Damon has the better ability to spray the ball around. Gardner will be batting 9th.

The Yankees finish with the best record in the Grapefruit League which is impressive, but as they say doesn't mean a thing. A number of pitchers not coming north had excellent springs: Hughes pitched well, Melancon was lights out in relief, and Stephen Jackson (27 years old) was also outstanding. Even Igwa pitched well. On the flip side, Marte was not really impressive.

Crash said...

Don't forget Tomko. He was great this spring (1.17 ERA in 15 innings over 7 games). He should be the first call up for an injured pitcher.

Jeter has a higher OBP than Damon in each of the top 3 spots. So I still don't get why he would flip could be Jeter's negative trending on hitting into double plays. Last year he hit into 24 DP's vs. Damon's 5.

Crash said...

It's official...I will be at the exhibition game Saturday afternoon at the New Stadium against the Cubs. Can't wait to see the new place!!!

The Scooter said...

Take a couple pictures for the blog, Crash. and have fun!

Crash said...

Phil Hughes continues his great spring. He went 5.1 IP with 7Ks 1BB and 1ER against the Pirates AAA club. In the first inning he struck out the side...on 10 pitches!!!

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