Monday, April 26, 2010

Week in Review

Yankees go 3-3 on this west coast trip not bad but a little disappointing. They had a chance to sweep the A's and couldn't do it. That game kind of changed the whole momentum of the road trip. It seemed that the bats cooled down after that game, then they got crappy pitching from AJ and Javy, and Joba made 1 mistake pitch, that Morales hit toward Mexico and it still hasn't landed.

Javy looks real bad right now. I was hoping he had turned the corner after getting that first win, but it looks like he took a step backwards. He was not throwing his fastball at all yesterday. He was relying too much on his offspeed and breaking pitches. I think the leash is getting shorter on Javy. He probably gets 1 or 2 more start before we see him get sent to the bullpen to work things out and re-establish that fastball velocity. Mitre probably has earned a spot start. If Javy goes to the pen. I'm sure if Hughes started out like that everyone would be calling for Joba to be in the rotation.

Things that went real well on the road trip...Cano continues to hit the cover off the ball. Driving in runs when they are in scoring position. A-Rod...big hits, he was 7-20 going into yesterday (then took an 0-fer). Cervelli, big hits when the Yankees needed them and nice game calling, yesterday's game is on Javy not Cervelli. If he continues to perform at this level, look for Posada to get more AB's as the DH. Pettitte...having the best start of his career. He actually leads the league in ERA right now with 1.29 and is 3-0, with 22 K's. Phil hit bid against the A's, he's 2-0 with an ERA of 2.19.

Things that didn't go real well...Marcus Thames in LF. He looked really bad on a couple plays. Brett Gardner is hitting .327 and leading the league in SB. He should be the everyday LF. Javy Vazques (see above). Nick Johnson, hurt again, so much for that theory of DH'ing would limit his injuries. AJ pitched mediocre at best. The Yankees gave him a lead and he promptly gave it back.

Looking ahead...Yankees are at the White house today in recognition of the Championship. They finish the road trip in Baltimore then it's home for a series with the White Sox. Both the O's and White Sox are struggling, so I look for the Yankees to get back on track and winning each series here. Hughes goes against Millwood (0-3 but with a 3.36 ERA)in game 1 tomorrow night. Hughes should dominate this lineup, they are free swingers and as a result strikeout a lot. If he doesn't walk batters he should have a monster game.


old professor said...

As I said in the last post, Javy Vasquez is not suited to pitch for NY. You are accurate that is fastball is not where it should be, however, it isn't going to get better until he starts to throw it and he relies to much on his breaking stuff. His mechanics are not sound and his head may not be in the right place. The only upside to the Javy trade is the individual they traded for him - Melky, is hitting .153 with only 8 hits on the season and on base percentage under 3.00. Apparently he has not mentally recovered from the shock of being traded.

The signing of Johnson and allowing Matsui to leave is going to come back to haunt the Yankees. Matsui is the consumate professional and is hitting over .300. Johnson even as DH cannot stay healthy.

Correct me if I am wrong, but there are still some very serviceable free agent pitchers on the market that the Yankees could bring in and get more productivity than Javy: Jarrod Washburn is still out there (I believe) as is Pedro Martinez. Vasquez is a one year rental anyways give him two more starts and cut the loses by dealing him (Texas may want him as would Baltimore).

It would appear the Red Sox are a mess. Ortiz is not hitting, Martinez can hit but can't throw runners out Varitek is making waves and Wakefield has been sent to the pen. Mike Lowell is rotting on the bench. Four veteran players that are on the downside of careers, add to that that Ellsbury and Cameron are out for a period of time.

Crash said...

Yeah Melky batting .153 eases the pain a little...what doesn't ease the pain is Austin Jackson batting .316 and Johnny Damon batting .323, Matsui batting .293...

I've heard that Pedro is in talks with the Phillies and it is looking like a July debut. Washburn only wants to pitch for Seattle or LA. There really isn't a lot on the vine right now...Paul Byrd, Eric Milton, Jason Schmidt, John Smoltz, Washburn and Pedro are the names out there. As for trades, I always wondered why the Yankees never went for a guy like Kevin Millwood. He has a tendency to got dinged by the injury bug, but not like a Ben Sheets or Nick Johnson. Now given the opportunity to land Millwood or Vazquez I would have done Vazquez. But now, maybe a Vazquez for Millwood wouldn't be a bad idea. And the other thing is, this was completely a Cashman deal. He is the one that has been pursuing Vazquez for years.

old professor said...

Most if not all of the deals in the off season were Cashman's. He went after Nick Johnson and had some kind of time frame in mind - the first one to respond to an offer or psuedo-offer (johnson or damon) would be signed the other would be given the cold shoulder.

I will never understand why they did not make an offer to Matsui. We accepted a contract with LA for the same amount the Yankees gave to Johnson. Matsui even with his age and leg issues is a far better choice than Johnson. As for him playing the outfield as the rationale for going to LA, how much time has he spent in the field?

Having a DH hitting under .200 cannot be a long-term view at being patient. The only question is who else can they now look to putting there? At Scranton, John Weber is hittiing .160 with an OBP of .200. Montero is hitting .237 with a .308 OBP. Colin Curtis however is hitting .315 with an OBP of .426.

To make matters worse, most of the triple A starters are getting knocked around pretty hard. Though Ivan Nova is averaging more than a strikeout per inning.

Crash said...

I can't believe the Yankees lost that game.

old professor said...

Look at the box score. The top four hitters in the line up Jeter, Gardner, Tex and A-Rod went a combined 1 for 18. The one hit being Texiera's single in the ninth.

You are not going to win games when you have those kind of results. And after all of the hot hitting to start the season most of the order has cooled off. I believe that Cano is the only batter hitting over .300.

The team needs to have Texiera come out of his funk and there is a need for a consistent DH in the line up who is going to HIT. Let's face reality, Johnson's OBP is because he is walking-. His walking actually hurts the offense because he clogs the bases with his complete lack of speed.

The bullpen whether it be because of a lack of work or because they are actually pitching to the type of pitchers they are in reality.

old professor said...

CC looked good last night, the bats woke up (except for Texiera)and the Yankees won a game they are expected to win.

The Rays are hot as any team in baseball. The national league shows how weak it really is when the Mets can actually lead the division.

Crash said...

The Mets will win as long as they keep pitching like this...Pelfry hasn't allowed a run in 3 games. I think it will turn around.

The Rays are playing real well, scoring a bunch of runs, but I think their pitching is overachieving right now. They're good, but not this good.

Yankee bats need to wake up...Cano is the only one hitting right now. A-Rod and Teixeira are both having bad months. A-Rod is a career .309 hitter in April and averages 5 HR, he's hitting .260 with just 2 HRs...Teixeira has always struggled in April but this is his worst April ever.

Crash said...

AJ looked real good last night. The big thing with him only 1 walk. Ummm...Cano is batting .407 with 8 HRs, UNREAL start to the season for him. Teixeira had a big hit, hopefully this starts him heating up.

Yankees should absolutely smoke the White Sox in this upcoming series. Hope Andy can continue his hot start as well.

old professor said...

While I was not able to watch last night's game (teaching then dinner), I was able to listen to the last two innings on the radio. It would appear the AJ Burnett had his best game as a Yankee and the team continued to hit. Thames as a dh provided a little more offense than Nick Johnson.

It is a shame that for all intense and purposes, Baltimore's season is over with no hope of major improvement or a dream of competing for a playoff spot. It is really a shame that a once great franchise with one of the best venues in baseball has fallen to the depths that it has - it can be laid at the feet of the owner.

Would be nice to see the Yankees end the road trip with another win for Pettitte.

Never thought I would say this, but the bullpen needs to get work.

old professor said...

Yankees take another series (2 of 3 from white sox) and win the opener against the birds.

Age is beginning to creep in - at 40 Mo has a stiff side, Posada
[39] is nursing a stiff calf.

Granderson going on the DL is bad news. However it may be time to start rethinking some of these off season trades. Damon is doing well, Matsui is doing well and Austin Jackson is having an outstanding rookie season so far. Javy is being his normal NY self with four loses, Granderson still can't hit lefties. And Johnson is hitting .139.

Cashman's moves really need to be reviewed and he has to be held accountable. If he decides to move Vasquez he won't be able to get anywhere near what he gave up.

Crash said...

I didn't get to watch much of the game last night, but I saw some of it. Not sure how much of this was discussed, but my observation is that the Yankee starts except for Vazquez are really lights out(I know Captain Obvious, right). But it's the way they're doing it. CC and AJ use to go 6 or maybe 7 and have huge pitch counts. It looks like both of them are "trusting their stuff", throwing more strikes, not trying to make that "perfect pitch". They're not trying to strike everyone out. So as a result they have fewer K's, but also fewer walks, going deeper into games with a lower pitch count. This is great pitching.

Javy gets skipped in Boston. Posada should be fine, Rivera should be fine. The Granderson injury looked pretty significant. They may need a long term fix if he's going to be out for more than a month..though Cashman openly stated they are not in the trade market yet.

old professor said...

Crash,I agree the starters are going deep into the games and have increased their pitch count. Serious question to consider - how will this play out long term? Will the starters be gassed by the time August and September roll around? It also has an affect on the bullpen. While it is not good to overuse the pen, they need innings as well to stay sharp. I appreciate that AJ and CC want to complete games, but long term there could be serious consequences. It is a fine line betwen the rotation going deep and being over extended.

I am not concerned about Granderson's injury. They will give him the time needed. In addition they will alternate between Wynn (who career wise is a .268 hitter) Thames and now even Golson (mostly for defensive purposes).

I really like the energy Cervelli is bringing to the game. He seems to be having fun, he calls a great game and he shows a lot of enthusiasm. We may be seeing the beginning of the transition of Posada out of the every day line up.

I have also been impressed with Joba closing the last two games. His fastball is coming in at 95 and 96 mph with movement. We could also be witnessing the transition of Mo becoming expendable. (Almost like Mo and Wetland in 1996). Though I believe Mo will be a Yankee for as long as he wants.[Rumors do persist that this is his last year].

Crash said...

Actually that's not what I was saying...their are going deeper into games but with a lower pitch count. Fewer walks and fewer strikeouts means less pitches. Both CC and AJ went to the 8th inning and were right around 100 pitches (CC at 106 and AJ 107) last year they would have been at 120+. And AJ wouldn't even make the 8th inning he'd be out by 6 or 7 because of 5 or 6 walks.

Joba's fastball is back to where it was. It's pretty clear this is where he belongs.

Pettitte's injury is "mild inflammation" he may or may not end up on the DL next week. I would guess Mitre gets his start in Detroit.

Crash said...

I can't believe the Yankees are playing .700 ball (with Tex and ARod not hitting) and are in SECOND PLACE...behind the Rays by a game.

old professor said...

Pettitte was pitching well it was a good precautionary move to get him out ofthe game. While it is a mild inflammation, it moved from the front to the back of the arm which could indicate there is something moving around causing the stiffness.

Robertson continues to struggle out of the pen - one has to think it is becoming a mental thing.

How long has Chad Moeller been back? Apparently he is on the AAA roster and if Posada has issues this week in Boston (or can't go in any of the games) the indication is the Yankees will call him up. He has appeared in five games with Scranton.

old professor said...

The Rays cannot keep playing at the level they are playing at. In addition they have not had the same difficult schedule the Yankees have had. Somewhere down the line, they will get to the meat of the schedule and falter.

old professor said...

Well, we can start judging the big off season moves by Cashman: Granderson (the young athletic savior for centerfield) is hitting .225 and is on the disabled list; Javy is 1-4 with an era near saturn and finally Nick Johnson the replacement for the reliable and clutch Matsui - hitting .135 and is back on the DL for what Cashman calls "weeks".

As the Yankees head to Detroit, they will get a look at the individual they traded to the Tigers for Granderson - Austin Jackson is leading the league in hitting. He has hit in 27 of the first 29 games yes he is on track to strikeout 200 times, but he has a cannon of an arm, speed to burn and will be around a long long time. The Yankees will also meet up with Damon who continues to play solid defense and is hitting well.

AJ Burnett did his best rendition of Javy in Boston.

Crash said...

While Cashman may have hit the proverbial HR in the '08-'09 offseason (by signing CC, AJ, and Tex), he is taking the golden sombrero with his transactions in the '09-'10 offseason.

I would have resigned both Matsui and Damon and would not have moved Jackson. Melky I can do without and Ian Kennedy needed to be moved. Losing Coke and getting Logan is a wash.

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