Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Curious Case of Chien-Ming Wang

Weekly Grade - I know it is not a full week yet but it doesn't matter. Regardless of the team's result on Sunday, they're getting an F. You don't get slapped around like a step child twice on your opening season series.

Saturday was embarrassment. The Indians showed up like Indians, the Yanks took the form of Custer, and the Stadium was the Little Bighorn. . . If the boss were in his prime - Girardi would have been fired twice by now.

We get lots of reminders that life is unscripted and unpredictable. Of all the things I was wondering before the season started, it was not what do we do with Wang after his third start (0-3, 34.50 ERA).

His delivery is not the same after the injury from last season. My recommendation is to rest him have him skip a start, let him re-tune the mechanics. Phil Hughes is 2-0, 2.31 down in SWB, bring him up and let him go until Wang is right.

Two starts in - I still say Joba (0-0, 5.63 ERA) belongs as the 8th inning guy. Ian Kennedy has made two starts so far and is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA after 12 innings. I'd rather see him in the rotation right now than Joba.

Former AL Rookie of the Year Angel Berroa is batting .381 down in SWB. Bring him up, send Pena down.

Brett Gardner has shown to me that despite his speed, he just doesn't have the goods to be a quality MLBer on a daily basis. It looks like Melkey has learned from his prior ways and should be the full time starter in center, if not maybe consider bringing up Austin Jackson who is hitting a cool .480 down in SWB.

Speaking of SWB - they're undefeated 10 games in.

Stadium - There's lots I don't like (mainly referring to opening day ceremony, ticket prices etc.) but that is a post for a different day. However, I did want to add - is it me, or are the balls flying out of the new stadium as if they were in Denver? 16 HRs in the first 3 games.

A-Rod alert - a report came out yesterday that A-Rod may be ready to join the minor leagues for rehab work in a week. If they put him with Scranton, then that means he'll be here for a three game set in Rochester. Hope it happens.

And on a side note, the Joe Torre managed Dodgers have won their 7th straight, are in first place in their division with a 9-3 record.



old professor said...


Wang is not the same pitcher he was pre-injury. Whether he is not pushing off or is afraid to put to much pressure on the foot, his mechanics are out of wack. Yankees cannot continue to send him out every fifth day and get clobbered. Hughes may be the answer. Regarding Joba - at what point did they decide to move him into the #2 slot following Sabathia and drop Burnett to the #4 slot - which is where he has pitched since his first outting. Pettitte now slots into the #5 spot in the rotation.

With the way the bullpen has imploded over the last week, it appears the Yankees are again experimenting with youth. Robertson up then down, Claggett up and probably down. They need a consistent long reliever in the pen. I also agree with our assessment on Berroa - with the exception it may be Ransom that gets shipped out. Pena is the long term solution DEFENSIVELY to the eventual move out of ss of Jeter (note Scooter I said the defensive replacement).

The Scooter said...

I'm not even going to talk about Saturday's debacle. It was obviously an aberration and can be laid at the feet of one man...Wang. He probably gets one more start to show he can turn it around before they send him down for Hughes.

I do agree with you Mid in that if George was still in charge, Bobby V would have been on the red eye from Tokyo to JFK Saturday Night.

Nice bounce back game on Sunday...

-AJ didn't have his best stuff, but kept them in the game.

-GREAT glove work by Teixiera

-Nice work by Jessica Alba(ladejo) coming in with one out in the 7th and the bases loaded and escaping with no damage done. Plus she looks great in a bikini.

-hip hip JORGE

-good to see Jeffrey Maier back in the Bronx

57 said...

It was NOT a HR!

On a lighter note, Alyssa Milano was at Citi on Saturday opening her clothing store at the stadium. My God did she look incredible. Too bad she's a Dodgers fan.

Mid said...

What do you guys think about bringing up Berrora or Jackson?

The Scooter said...

I don't really have a problem with bringing up Berroa or A-Jax. I think the outfielder would have more of an impact. Ransom seems to be having better at bats lately and his defense has improved as well. I think they would prefer to stick with Pena, as he gives them some speed off the bench.

As for Jackson, I know he is putting up some good numbers at AAA, but I am sure that they would rather give him a full season down there where he can get four at bats per game, rather than bringing him up as a fifth outfielder.

I think the more pressing question is what are they going to do with Wang? There is talk that they will skip his next start being that Thursday is an off day and the rotation will stay on turn.

Crash said...

Just as an fyi, they can't send Wang down to the minors.

Hughes won't get the first call just to fill in for Wang. Girardi has already said the next time Hughes comes up it will be to stay.

I don't think Jackson is ready yet. Rumor has it they he is playing both CF and LF. Which means the Yankees want him prepared to play LF when he gets the call up. Given that it's a new position for him, I can't see him getting the call anytime soon.

If the bullpen keeps blowing up, look for Melancon to get the call up. Albaledejo did well. Now if Veras, Coke, and Marte can be consistently good. Just glad we don't have Fansworth (now 0-3 with an ERA around 19.00).

It does no good for Pena to be sitting on the bench. He needs to be playing everyday. If Berrora can play 3B, then bring him back up, if he can't it doesn't serve a need.

Mid I'm agreeing that if the real Boss was still in charge, Girardi may have been fired Saturday night. But given the fact the Yankees don't have A-Rod, Wang has "pitched" (if you want to call it that) so poorly and the bullpen has been unstable, yet the Yankees are above .500, they're in second place in the East, not trailing either Boston or Tampa, it's not as bad as it could be.

old professor said...

Yanks do bring up a Jackson, but it is Steven Jackson. Jackson was an afterthought invitee to spring training because of his age (27), but was extremely impressive everytime out. Crash, why can't they send Wang down - is he out of options??

The bottom line regarding Wang, they can't afford to keep sending someone out that can't give them more than 1.3 innings.

Regarding Berroa, they would have to make a 40 man roster move and I don't think they want to do that (unless Nady ends up on the 60 day dl). In addition, he can't play third and had some trouble this Spring at second.

Crash said...

Old Prof.
Wang is out of options and would need to clear through waivers. Despite the fact that he is 0-3 with an ERA of 34.50, there is no way he would make it through waivers unclaimed. There is no possible scenario out there even if Wang would agree to be sent down and avoid the waiver process.

If you recall a couple of years ago the Yankees wanted to send Giambi down, but due to service time he would have to agree to it and he would still need to clear waivers. The Yankees were sure no team would claim him at $21MM, Wang makes $5MM a very reasonable risk/investment for any team to claim him.

I see that Jackson was called up yesterday who was sent down, Clagget?

The Scooter said...

Yes, Clagget got a bus ticket to WB. Good info on Wang, Crash...I wasn't aware of that.

Looks like the Orioles are crashing back to Earth (The Sox are crushing them as we speak), the Blue Jays are now on the clock.

Isn't anyone going to wish me a Happy Patriots' Day?

Crash said...

Just an FYI...tonight's game has been postponed. That's good for brownie points with the Mrs, as I will forgo watching the game so she can watch House.

Scooter I need some education here, is Patriots Day to commemorate the start of the Revolutionary War with the Battle of Lexington and Concord or is it to celebrate the Patriots Super Bowl victories (which didn't happen against the Giants in 2008...just in case you forgot)? Is it safe to assume that someone from Kenya won the Boston Marathon today>?

57 said...

I have to say, I love the series 'The Bronx is Burning'.. they showed it again last night on MSG. I hate Reggie Jackson, and if Thurmon Munson was portreyed properly in that show, then I am a HUGE fan of his. Mickey Rivers was an idiot, and Fran Healey was a puppet.

They need to do a series on the '86Mets.

The Scooter said...

In a shocker, the Boston Marathon was won by......wait for Ethiopian. No worries for Kenya though, the #1 woman finisher is Kenyan.

...and if I remember correctly, I think I was on the Big Blue Bandwagon in 2008.

57, didn't the already make a movie about the '86 Mets? It was called Scarface.

They are also shopping a series on the '07 and '08 Mets...called "CHOKE"

old professor said...

Quick note for 57 - If the muts need a left handed starter, the Yankees could make Kei Igwa available and probably at a bargain basement price - by the way when was the last time anyone ever saw a starting pitcher pitch from the stretch from first to last pitch? that would be Figerora for the Mets!.

Crash said...

I think I heard this morning that the engineers of Yankee Stadium are coming under fire from the club because of the jet stream to right field. Talking about putting up a wind screen somewhere. Whatever they put up I hope it fits in with the Stadium decor/environment.

It looks like Joba will start the Red Sox series, followed by Pettitte, and CC (for ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball). Not sure how that lines up against the Sox rotation, they have a day off on Thursday. Despite being suspended for 5 games Beckett is schedule to start Saturday I think. Though a Sunday night match up between CC and Beckett is what ESPN is hoping for.

Curious to hear how the fans receive Gimabi tonight. I'm guessing he's getting a standing ovation for his first AB. I can almost guarantee he hits one out to RF tonight (assuming they get the game in).

Crash said...

I keep seeing that the Yankees may be interested in Austin Kearns to add depth to their OF/bench.

This to me says A-Jax is not ready and they don't plan on him being ready anytime soon. They no longer have a need for or see value in Shelly Duncan.

Why would they bring in another OF when they still have Swisher, Damon, Melky, Gardner, and Matsui (granted he may never play the OF this season)? Doesn't make sense to me.

The Scooter said...

Crash, I think they definitely need another outfielder/DH. With Nady gone for an extended period (if not for the rest of the year) and with the health concerns of Matsui, they are short at both spots.

I don't know about Kearns though. I know he has some pop, but isn't he like a .220 hitter? I think you are right in that Shelly Duncan could probably come in and hit .220 and provide a little power off the bench.

The Scooter said...

This just in....

Nady avoids surgery. Looks like it's only a partial tear and he will rehab it instead. Will probably be lost from 3-6 weeks.

Crash said...

If Nady is only out for a month the Yanks will certainly not make a trade.

Tonight's game is just another example of why Joba belongs in the pen.

Mid said...

Wang skipped for Friday's start

Send Joba to the Pen, bring up Hughes.

The Scooter said...

-Another well pitched game by Andy Pettitte, who just happens to be the best $5mil pitcher in baseball.

-Good game by Gardner. GREAT catch to rob the Giambino and a big hit in the second inning.

-Teixiera continues to AMAZE with the glove. He is the first baseman that Keith Hernandez always wanted to be.

-If Cody Ransom can't field a ground ball, exactly why is he playing?

And if 57 is reading this, I have an idea for the Mets.

How about Sheffield as a defensive replacement for Murphy in late innings of tight games HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. Murphy makes Sheff look like Roberto Clemente.

57 said...

That will do ZERO for Wang's confidence.

Anyone want to take Oliver Perez? I certainly dont want him and I don't think Queens does either. He's through as far as Im concerned.

Murphy is NOT an outfielder... put him a second base.. trade Castillo right now because he is hot.. get Peavy and or Holliday and put Sheff in left. Do it Omar! DO IT!!

57 said...

well Scooter, we're on the same wavelength... last night's game was on of the worst I have seen in a LONG time.

Bad News Bears comes to mind, and I think I saw Walter Matheau in the dugout.

57 said...

And also, Tex needs to win TWO WS before he can hold Hernandez's cigarette....

The Scooter said...

I was ready to come on here and absolutely kill Melky for a horrible at bat with the bases loaded and no outs in the seventh...and then he goes and hits the walk-off.

Great day for the bullpen (Veras was outstanding) and although the bats fell asleep from the seventh to the 13th it's nice to get a win with the off day tomorrow and the Red Sox looming.

I can't wait until May so we can see the real CC

Crash said...

That 7th inning was terrible. no outs bases loaded and they can't get the run in.

The bullpen was very good., going 7+ innings and no runs. I was a little surprised to see Veras be out there that long, but he looked good and it worked out.

Looking forward to this series with the Sox.

Crash said...

The NY Post is saying Wang could be going to the DL, and Phil Hughes will be called up to start Tuesday's game in Detroit.

I'm going way out on a limb here, but if Hughes pitches real well, they move Joba to the pen.

57 said...

If the Mets lose 2 of 3 to the Nats this weekend, it is time to get rid of Minaya and Manuel. Is it a little early? Yes. Should a team play PISSED OFF that they choked the past two years? Without a doubt. Good News: Beltran is in MVP form, and Castillo is playing tremendous September like baseball. Bad News: Struggling to get a win from a starting pitcher without number 57 on his back. Why did Minaya not pay Lowe?????

It's only April, however. But if we lose the NL East or Wildcard by 3 games... I will look to these three April games in St. Louis in October.

The Scooter said...

57, while we are real early in the season, and yes, the Yankees have shown some flaws too, I have to say The Mets starting pitching is as awful as we expected it to be.

There is no way you guys can get to the playoffs without a MAJOR trade happening...sooner rather than later. I really think you need to move one of the "Big Three" for a Number 1a starter that you can stand up next to Santana.

Beltran is playing like one of the best players in the game, so I guess you'll want to keep him...that leaves Wright or Reyes. I say you package Reyes and one of your mediocre starters and you go get Peavy/Oswalt. I mean Reyes is only the third best shortstop in the NL East anyway.

You know who needs a shortstop? The Red Sox. I wonder if they would do Lester for Reyes, straight up?

Sorry guys, this is what happens when the Yankees have an off day...I wind up watching the Muts

Crash said...

I happened to catch Peter Gammons a couple of times this week and he was really critical of Mets pitching, especially Perez. He was saying that the Mets overpaid him (agreed) it's a terrible contract (agreed), he's not nearly consistent enough (agreed), he's at best a #5 starter (agreed) and if he were pitching in the AL he would have an ERA around 6.50 (I think that's generous it would be over 7).

I think Scooter is right. They need to trade Wright or Reyes for a big time stud pitcher like Peavy. Beltran has a full no trade clause by the way.

Rumors have Cliff Lee on the block, not sure that fits the Mets but it's an upgrade to what they have. I like Reyes for Peavy.

57 said...

Interesting... you know, to me, Reyes has lost his luster. If the Mets gave up Wright, i would not watch them for the rest of the year..not one game.

I still say trade Castillo right now (his stock has gone way up) and Daniel Murphy and Perez to get Peavy or Halliday.... will the Jays give him up?

This is pure proof that Minaya is a freaking idiot and I am beginning to think that Randolph was not that bad. The Randolph firing helped one player.. Delgado. Jerry Manuel is a PUSH-OVER... Santana is a leader, but we need an every-day leader...I think Wright can get there.

Hey, how about Reyes for Jeter?

The Scooter said...

57 can you please stop talking about Castillo and the silliness that "his stock is way up"?

He's hit well for two weeks. If he is still hitting like this in July, then you can think about moving him, but we all know he will be back to .240 by then.

It will take Fernando Martinez and Pelfrey (and probably Murphy too) to even BEGIN the conversation for a front line starter.

Castillo, Murphy and Perez??? I'm laughing my ass off.

old professor said...

Wang pitched in an extended Spring Training game in Tampa. While he felt his slider was better, most observers are still concerned with arm strength and lack of velocity. It does look like he is headed to the DL and then sent to Tampa to work on getting back to where he needs to be. Odd but it could be he will never regain the velocity that made him successful.

lot of speculation that Hughes will get the call and once up he will not be going back down.

Crash said...

Scooter said
"Castillo, Murphy and Perez??? I'm laughing my ass off."
For a minute there I thought it was Wednesday because that's when everyone puts out their garbage.

There's about 0% chance Toronto parts with Doc. Regardless of how far they fall out of the AL East Race. If the Mets can tread water until June or July they may want to look into signing Ben Sheets for the second half.

Crash said...

Girardi should be fired.

57 said...

Well, I am kind of wondering the same thing... I was rather suprised after turning on the game, after the Mets, to see Rivera in the 8th. Was there an alternative or did Girardi just blow that decision? Now he might be lost for tomorrow afternoon, right?

old professor said...

Wang to the DL, Robertson gets called up and Bruney is scheduled for an MRI because of a sore elbow. Just what the Yankees need when playing in Boston.

For those of you who said Chamberlain would be okay with velocity, you may want to rethink that. His fastball is still coming in at 89-91 and is very hitable. He is carrying an ERA over 5.00 and has yet to win a game. NOT want the team would have expected by now. His lack of endurance (has yet to get out of the sixth inning this year) and his lack of velocity may be indications he is better suited for the bullpen - where he can come out for one inning and let things fly. (Possibility that his shoulder is still barking???)

The Scooter said...

Prof, it's STILL very early in the year for a power pitcher coming off an injury. Even Cone said that you should see Joba's velocity increase as his arm strength gets stronger. I thought he pitched well last into and out of some jams. Showed some intestinal fortitude.

Too many men left on base and I might have to admit that the Sox are in Mariano's head.

That's BAD BAD BAD news about Bruney. I hope it's just a tired arm. He is critical to their success this year.

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