Monday, August 30, 2010

August Ending

So exactly where did the summer go?

Couple of random MLB tidbits:

  • Tough luck for Strasburg being told he may have to have Tommy John surgery. Did the Nats rush him to put people in the seats? I started getting my hopes up for this franchises prospects in 2011 with a starting rotation that could have had Strasburg, Marquis, Wang and Livan Hernandez. Now, it's starting to look like it'll just be another year for the Nats.
  • Jeter in his contract year is really picking the wrong time to have a sub-par season. 30 pts below .300 and no where close to 200 hits - will he pick it up?
  • The Yanks are at .619 and 30 games above .500 - which is good. Best in baseball. And they're doing it with Pettitte and A-Rod on the shelf and guys like Mosley, Nova, and Nunez are in the lineup. Makes me wonder if the Yanks are good - or is the league in general just bad??
  • Triple crown talk heating up in the NL. Pujols showing why he is the best ever again. But as life would have it, you know that some guy named Joe will edge him out for it.
  • I have a sinking feeling that right now anyway, it seems the Yanks are struggling to hold on, while the Rays have the momentum. Will Sept. be the month that the injury bug gets behind the Yanks and Jeter rises up - or will they be a Wild Card team??


Crash said...

Mid you're right, right now the Yankees are trying to hold on. This can be seen in a couple of different areas A-Rod on the DL, Tex out right now because of the thumb injury, and Jeter not hitting.

But it's the starting pitching that is really worrisome. In the second half here are the starters ERA's: Sabathia 3.25 (took a big jump because the White Sox hit him a little bit), Hughes 5.19, Vazquez 6.18 and AJ 6.23. Pettitte of course has been on the DL. So essentially you have 3 guys pitching worse then many teams #5 starter. Mosley has been the best starter after CC, his ERA is in the mid 4's. Nova has been impressive but lets not get too excited over 2 starts. Girardi pulled him after 88 pitches yesterday. Vazquez has been sent to the pen and may not be seen again. AJ is getting skipped this time around and Hughes is supposedly on an innings limit.

On the good side Marte should be back soon, he's been on rehab assignment. That's an extra arm in the pen. If he's activated on 9/1 the Yankees don't have to make a roster move. He came up big in the post season and may prove important again as it would give the Yankees 2 lefties from the pen.

Tough month coming up in the schedule.

Crash said...

Any news on September call ups? I would imagine Juan Miranda and Albaladejo would be called up. But not sure after that. I would guess at least 2 of the positional players we saw this year: Curtis, Golson, Russo, Huffman.

Would be interesting to see if Brackman or De La Rossa get the call. Can't see Montero getting a call as he's not on the 40 man.

old professor said...

Crash, the Yankees are indeed in trouble. They have only one series against a sub 500 club the rest of the way and that is Baltimore. There rotation is an absolute mess. CC is the only constant, Mosley would be a suitable #5. Nova has pitched well in his two starts. AJ is a mess and should not be in the rotation. Having said that it is necessary to point out that for his career he is a .500 pitcher.

Hughes is probably hitting a wall. Pettitte now projects two more weeks before coming back - may be too late.

In all likelihood, the Yankees end up as the Wild Card. Boston is now 6.5 games back. Both the Yankees and Sox have 31 games left. If the Yankees win sixteen of those games the sox have to go 21 and 10 the rest of the way to catch them. That is not going to happen. I believe they have one more series against the Rays and two against the Yankees. Yankees have to have a successful homestand over the next ten games (6-4 or 7-3 would be good).

As for call ups, don't look for a lot to occur quickly. SWB is leading their division and have a real shot at winning the international league title. The Yankees will allow most of SWB players to experience that.

Mid said...

Brackman would be interesting - he either puts awesome #s or terrible #s - kind of jeff weaver syndrome -- maybe his game would elevate with the higher level of competition

old professor said...

Mid, Brackman is one year removed from major surgery. He is not ready for prime time just yet. My guess is will be moved up the later next year with the possiblilty of him being with the team by 2012.

As for his starts being either very good or very bad, maybe he is another AJ Burnett.

It also looks as if Dave Eiland has fixed the mechanical flaw in Vasquez. He has pitched extremely well in relief and may be ready to return to the rotation. He is a proven starter and should be in the rotation. In addition, Mosley has struggled somewhat the last two outtings (even though he did get a win in his start before last night).

Maybe the team should have Dave Eiland work with Jeter on his hitting mechanics. He is below
.270 in average and is really struggling. In a night where the team was hitting everything hard, he went 0.4 and really seems to be pressing. Maybe age has finally caught up with him.

Crash said...

Old Prof said..."Maybe the team should have Dave Eiland work with Jeter on his hitting mechanics."

I can never tell if you're being sarcastic...but having the pitching coach work with Jeter's hitting may be of value since Kevin Long hasn't been able to figure anything out yet.

I'm cautiously optimistic with Vazquez's performance last night. 4.2, 2 hits, 1 run.

As good as CC has been in August, his career splits indicate he's going to be even better in September (ERA lower by about a half run and even a higher winning %). I think giving Vazquez and Burnett a skip in the rotation will do each of them good. The Yankees have to start thinking about Hughes though. If he's on that' limit he will need to be skipped a couple of times. I can see them skipping him definitely when Andy comes back and maybe once before then if the schedule allows it. They should ride the hot hand of Nova for as long as they can.

old professor said...

Crash, you have known me long enough I am being sarcastic. Jeter is out of sorts with his mechanics and swing. He is opening up instead of going the other way (which he usually does) and he is not being as patient as in the past. He also appears to be almost jumping at pitches.

It would seem he either is refusing to seek help or no one feels they can approach him due to his standing. Either way something has to be done. He is not advancing runners and is hitting into a lot of double plays -which usually kills rallies.

You also mentioned the Yankees have three more years of AJ and need to get him straight. Don't be surprised if he is moved in the off season.

Crash said...

If Burnett is moved, I would guess the Yankees need to eat some of the contract. There isn't a team out there that would be willing/able to take the full $49.5MM ($16.5 per year)remaining. Is there a big market team desperate for pitching??? Maybe the Dodgers, Cubs, Texas (after they lose Cliff Lee)...

Mid said...

Jeter could go 0 for his next 150, finish the season at .225 and it still wouldn't matter - because come playoff time, he'll come up in a clutch situation make a diving catch into the stands or get a hit and drive a run in - and that's all people will remember and think what a great season.

Paul O'Neil was terrible I think down the stretch in either the '99 or '00 season, but came up big in the WS. so all was forgiven.

Jeter will do the same, and get a fat contract extension for 4 years in the process.

Anonymous said...

Looks like I might be headed to Philly for the weekend.

I'm hitting the steakhouse place and catching a game as well.

Mid said...

That was me headed to Philly - just noticed it was posted as anon.


Not for nothing but how about the O's with a winning % of .548 since Showalter took them over.

It'd be nice to have them in the mix again - I'm bored with the Sox - and The Rays I just don't take as a serious consistent long term rival. . . so go O's and go Jays.

old professor said...

After last night's results it would take an absolute collapse by the Yankees or Rays for one of them not to make the playoffs.

The team closest to either of those teams for the wild card is Boston. If the Yankees play .500 ball the rest of the way they will end up with 97 wins. Boston would have to go 23-7 just to tie them -ain't going to happen.

Mid Jeter is not the player he used to be. He is now 35 with his best years behind him. He is struggling and in mnay instances looks overmatched. He may be tired or hurt, either way he is not helping this team offensively.

It was a class act to see Hughes waiting for teammates to thank them for picking him up after a difficult start.

Aceves and Berkman back today. Rumors have Golson, Curtis, Miranda and Moeller coming up. It also looks as if Marte is headed to the 60 day DL versus joining the team.

Crash said...

I think Hughes is tired. He just doesn't have the same life on any of his pitches his last handful of starts. His location has been way off recently. He was getting away with mistakes last night. He won't be able to do that against the upcoming schedule of Texas, Toronto, Boston, and Tampa. Those teams can hit.

Marte must have had a set back. Too bad the team could always use another lefty in the pen.

Gaudin, Vazquez, and Mitre have been doing a decent job out of the pen recently. Gaudin gave up a homer but big deal. He was throwing strikes. He wasn't walking people. He was getting a head and pounding the zone.

Mid, there may be a decent steakhouse in Philly, but you need to try the CHEESESTEAKS. Go to Geno's and then Pat's. I believe they're literally across the street from each other. They are THE 2 best places in Philly and have have a cheesesteak rivalry going for years.

old professor said...

Visited both of the places in Philly you mention. Good cheese steak and one of them has pretty good pizza as well.

Mid, in the same area is an indoor market that has all kinds of food vendors: Italian, Greek, Middle Eastern, Pizza, Ice Cream, etc... if you can't find it in this market place, you will never find it.

old professor said...

Wow!!!! A.J. Burnett actually wins a game and didn't throw like Carol Burnett. Vasquez back in the rotation on Saturday - good move. He was brought in to be the fourth starter in the playoffs.

The September 1 callups saved Posada's bacon last night. Pitch hits and gets thrown out of the game after arguing a called third strike - call was awful, but consistent with the umpiring we have seen all season. Maybe Posada didn't really want to catch the ninth.

Crash said...

I'm not overly excited by Hughes' or Burnette's performance against the A's. Certainly glad they got wins and kept the runs to a minimum, but they were not sharp. Oakland is not a great offensive club, they win with pitching and defense (neither of which of shown up yet in Yankee Stadium). Hughes and AJ pitch like that against Boston, Toronto, or Tampa and they will get lit up. Yankees really need to close out this series with a sweep.

Tampa has a .766 winning percentage at home in the second half...good thing they are going on a 9 game road trip now where they face everyone in the AL East (except the Yankees). Conveniently the first home games for Tampa after that road trip is with the Yankees.

I have no doubt that the Yankees and Rays are making the playoffs. But they will be battling right down the last week for the AL East title and home field advantage.

Crash said...

What a solid outing by CC. 8IP, 1H, 3BB, 5K's, 0ER. He's the first to 19W's on the season lowers his ERA to 3.02. If he gets that down into the 2's he wins the CY Young easily.

Nice sweep for the Yanks. The destroyed a team they should have and that's how you win the division.

old professor said...

Can't argue with how good CC was. Yanks have to take care of business with the Jays. Led is now 1.5 games. Team has won six in a row. It would be nice to see them win another two or three to add to the winning streak.

Boston players starting to sound as if they know it is over. Yankees have 28 games left. For Boston to tie them the sox have to go 22-6 NOT going to happen.

Crash said...

I think we all have a hatred for the Red Sox...but I can't believe that they have stayed in the race this long. With the amount of injuries they have had, including key losses with Pedroia and Yukillis...they lost 2/3 of their starting OF, Beckett has been hurt and not pitched well I think he's only 4-4 with an ERA above 6, Lackey hasn't pitched all that well (12 wins ERA near 5, Dice-K has only 9 W's and and ERA around 5. Lester and Bucholz have really carried the pitching staff.

If Boston and Toronto were in any other division they're battling for the lead. That's pretty impressive.

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old professor said...

Yankee rotation still a major concern. Hughes gives up two bombs on 0-2 counts and can't go more than six. Burnett pitches better (???) but still takes the lose and Vasquez goes 4.2 innings and gets lifted.

Pettitte to make rehab start this week and CC goes for number 20. I wonder if this years team will harken back to the 58 Braves (Mid, Crash that is when they were in located in Wisconsin) when it wa Spahn and Sain and pray for rain. This may be CC and pray for four days of rain.

Crash said...

The Yankees pick a fine time to hit a little slump. CC hasn't pitched all that well for a couple starts now and the offense couldn't bail him out this time. Just saw a stat that the Orioles have the best record in the AL East since Buck took over.

The good thing is the Yankees had to Texas after this series and the Rangers have been struggling big time. Their young pitching is hitting a wall and Cliff Lee may not start because of a balky back. Then it's off to Tampa. I would love for the Yankees to gain a game or 2 between now and the Tampa trip and then (obviously) sweep. That would essentially relegate the Rays to the wild card. If the Yankees can take care of business the next 7 games, the may be able to cost into October. If they don't it's going down to the wire.

old professor said...

If you had a chance to view last nights game, you would have seen just some very bad luck. For example runners on first and third with one out - A-Rod pitch hits and hits a line shot that the third baseman drops and it dribbles away, but the birds were still able to get Granderson going into second and Berkman had to hold at third. One inch differen or starting Granderson and you get a run and men on first and second. The first couple of innings seemed to go similar to that scenario. Runners on hard hit ball and all you get is a double play.

Regardless of what happens over the next couple of days and barring a complete collapse by the Rays or Yankees, both teams will be in the playoffs and probably meet in the AL Championship series.

The difference will be will the Yankees play the Rangers or Twins in the first series. Neither of those two teams should come close to beating the Yankees.

old professor said...

Boston does NY a favor by beating the Rays and Swisher comes through with a walkoff - not bad for a mid week moment.

Decision has been made to skip over Hughes and go with Mosley for one start. I still can not figure out the innings issue and maybe somebody can explain it to me. The team seems concerned with innings total but do not seem to consider the number of pitches thrown. Is it worse for someone to throw 100 pitches in six innings or 100 pitches in 9 innings?? Stress on the arm comes from throwing pitches not innings.

Crash said...

I agree Old Prof with the innings vs. pitches. But either way Hughes looks tired. He's been missing location , badly at times, and is getting hit hard. His ERA is near 6 since the All Star Break. I think it would do CC good to give him a skip if the Yankees can find a way. Gaudin has pitched better recently maybe they give him a spot start or something. I know the division isn't wrapped up by any stretch but if they take 2 of 3, or sweep, from the Rays it gives them a little wiggle room to start to rest a player occasionally.

I think I heard Pettitte is doing a rehab start during the minor league playoffs. If I was the opposing team I would be pretty ticked off at that. You have a major league All-Star, borderline Hall of Famer, pitching in the minors for the championship. That's mighty convenient.

Rangers and then Rays. Big road trip.

old professor said...

The road trip is coming at a good time. The rangers have been struggling and the Rays have had their pitchers ripped in two of three while in Boston.

You could be right about CC all of those innings over the last three years could be catching up with him. Girardi also needs to get his rotation set in a more logical order. CC is #1, but they have Nova in the #2 slot with Hughes in the #3 slot Vasquez #4 and Burnett #5. Part of Hughes problem could be the Yankees face most teams #1 or 2 when he pitches. When he started the year he was always facing the number 5 starter there is a big difference in how teams react offensively when they have their ace or #2 on the mound versus a #5.

As for Pettitte he needs a rehab start and it is unusual for it to be in a playoff game, but he should be able to experiment with all of his pitches plus he is only going four innings at best.

Too bad about Aceves probably needing surgery on his back. It should have been done earlier in the season thus giving him a better chance at being ready for Spring Training. Marte is probably done with the Yankees. He has indicated his arm does not feel right even with all of the time off and strenghening activities. He will probably have shoulder surgery in the off season and be finished.

Crash said...

Pettitte's outing was positive, but it sounds like at least one more rehab start on Tuesday before they consider bringing him back to NY.

Tonight is Vazquez on the mound in Texas. Javy seems to give up a couple runs in the first inning then settles down. The Texas hitters seem to be coming out of there slump. Hope Javy pitches well tonight. It would be good to start the trip with a W.

old professor said...

It has been reported that Pettitte is in Texas awaiting a decision by Girardi and Eiland as to whether he will join the team or pitch in a game at single A (another playoff game).

He threw a lot of strikes but apparently still feels out of shape. This is a big road trip they will either pad their division lead or begin planning to be the wildcard.

Crash said...

Yeah I hope they do not rush him back. They need him healthy for late September and into October, not necessarily for this week.

I like Cashman throwing down some tough words, almost directly calling out AJ and Javy. Stating if your name isn't CC or Mo you're fighting for the chance to pitch in the offseason. Don't care how much money you make, we're going with the guys that are going to win. To me that says AJ you're making $16.5 and Javy you're making $12 start earning your money or you're in the pen.

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