The Catching Situation

April 28, 2008

 

What would every other MLB team do if they were in the current predicament? So, we’ve lost our starting catcher and now fans are in panic mode(again) over the whole season. Seriously, some fans are like spoilt kids. This situation is exactly why we signed Jose Molina to a longer term deal. This situation is exactly why we have a minor league system. The real worry should be that apparently we have no faith in the catchers we have. Hell, some people on the Yankee forum have been talking about trying to sign Mike Piazza? I think having a concrete block behind home plate may be more effective in getting out runners at 2nd, if only from the ball rebounding.

 

Lets get a few things straight:

 

1 – A lot of teams would love to have Jose Molina as their starting Catcher.

2 – We are still unsure about how serious Jorge’s condition is and we’re already talking about who to acquire when replacing him??

3 – Chad Moeller could very well clear waivers.

4 – Why give up a prospect(if a trade was to be made) when we’re not sure how bad the situation is.

 

Posada will be a huge loss to the Yankees, but please, lets not get too carried away. Molina has done an admirable job this year and he’s actually caught 14 games already. I have every faith he can handle the extra responsibility.


Softball Rivalry

April 28, 2008

Forgetting the side matter of Yankees and Major League Baseball, it’s time for the real competition to begin. If you haven’t already guessed, i am of course talking about the Glasgow Softball league. The schedule was officially released today and has pitted neildo84’s Giants against ph34’s Saltires in a matchup that rivals the Yankees against the Red Sox. 

 

The game, between the top two teams in Glasgow, takes place on Thursday 8th of May and we’ll report back with it’s outcome. The smart money is on the Saltires who are in the middle of a dynastic era with 5 titles in 6 years. The Giants have been the only team to beat them in the league over the previous two years and should not be underestimated.


Showing up the game???

April 28, 2008

On another note….. After all the media crap questioning whether Joba was too emotive on the mound after the Toronto series earlier in the month, I assume the same people that were slamming Joba are going to be jumping on CC Sabathia’s back after his fist pumping and celebrating after getting out of a jam last night?

No?

Thought not….


Ace credentials?

April 28, 2008

Another absolutely dominant performance from Wang last night, and outwith the NY media, the rest of baseball STILL seems to refuse to recognise him as an ace. When you consider the teams that he has picked up W’s against this year, and how potent their offences were tipped to be before the start of the season, this just makes this oversight all the more remarkable.

When you consider the relative struggles of many “Ace” pitchers so far this year, that Wang is still flying under the radar on a nationwide basis is nothing short of a disgrace. It took him significantly longer to reach his 5th W last year, and injury or prolonged slump barring, he could be in for a very big season for the Yankees. Not only does he account for almost half of team wins, but on a night like last night, after the bullpen has been worn out in the few days beforehand, Wang’s value to the team goes far beyond the box score and stat sheet.

They may have been a little bit tight with cash towards him in arbitration this past offseason, but should he keep on putting up anything close to his numbers so far in his career, I sincerely hope the team inks him to a medium-long term extension sooner rather than later.

Other news today is that resulting from Jorge’s injury, Chris Stewart has been called up from AAA to serve as backup to Jose Molina. He’s certainly got a hard act to follow in Chad Moeller!

With Jorge looking to be on the DL for a relatively prolonged spell, the rest of the team really need to pitch in to make up for the offensive shortfall that losing his bat will cause. One player who doesn’t seem to be needing to do any more is Melky Cabrera. There have been plenty of questions about his hitting since he’s been in NY, but ever since he started following A-Rod’s workouts this offseason, the improvement in his game is unmistakeable. That he was able to launch a pitch from Sabathia for a homer is testament to how far he seems to have come. That, and that he could well surpass last year’s HR total by mid-May….

Here’s hoping for another strong outing from Moose tonight to keep the team’s unbeaten series streak at Jacobs/Progressive Field alive!


Yankee Notes

April 27, 2008

 

It would appear that the Yankees are going to lose Jorge Posada for a prolonged period of time after reports of a tear ofhis subscapularis(???) muscle in his shoulder. This is extremely bad news for the Yankees for a few reasons – his bat is very important in the lineup and Chad Moeller, who looked to be a capable backup, may not clear waivers.

 

Chien Ming Wang is now 5-0 and has come up big in games where we really needed a stopper. Today was just an excellent display of pitching from both teams.

 

Aaron Laffey goes against the Yankees tomorrow.  Mike Mussina is on the hill for the Yanks, coming off a 7 inning 2 run performance.

 

Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes should most definitely stay in the rotation. I’d give them both to the end of May before beheading them in Times Square for poor performance. I just can’t believe supporters who are angry about the fact that a 21 and a 23 year old are struggling to come to terms with the NY media and the fans expectations. Not to mention a certain owner who isn’t making their job any easier.

 

 

 

 

 


Injury update

April 25, 2008

According to reports on 1010WINS this evening it seems that Brian Bruney’s injury may be much worse than originally thought, and it may even end his season. Awful news with the team’s Pen in a fragile state already.

Might this be the factor that makes the team get more aggressive in pushing to trade Betemit for some bullpen help, and keep Alberto Gonzalez up as a backup infielder? Something must be done for the medium-long term if Bruney is going to miss the rest of the year.

On another note – after listening to the White Sox coverage over the past few nights, I’ve re-found this great site with a more than justified motive…..

Heave the Hawk – It wouldn’t be a minute too late either….


Time for some moves to be made

April 25, 2008

 

After staying up through both rain delays just to watch the Yankees lose to the White Sox last night, the only relatively well rounded thought i could come up with at 5:45am was that the Yankees need to make some moves to bolster their roster. After a quick look at our AAA roster it became fairly apparent that we have multiple options in our farm system to do just that.

 

PITCHERS:      W     L     ERA       IP     K     WHIP

Igawa              2       2      2.93     27.2   29     0.98     

Rasner            3        0      0.72      25     21     0.72

Geise               1       0      0.86      21     22     0.90

Phillips            2       0      2.19      12.1   10     0.57   

Britton             2       1      2.45       11     10     1.36

Veras               0       0      1.80       10     16     0.90       

Ramirez           1       0       0.00       9       13     0.33

Horne              1       0       3.38       8        8      1.38

Albaladejo       0       0       1.29       7        5      1.29

Henn                0       0      1.59       5.2     6      1.06

 

Some of these are admittedly small samples and some of the players may not be deemed ready for the Major leagues. After the recent struggles of the bullpen it would be hard to argue that many players from the list above don’t deserve a decent shot in the bigs.        

 

POSITION PLAYERS         AVG     HR      RBI     OBP      SLG

Duncan                             .309        6         17       .426      .745

Gardner                             .319        2         11       .380      .565

Stewart                             .294        0         2         .415      .382

 

Surely it is time to bring Duncan back up!!! Or are we just going to leave him down there so he can attempt to break some minor league records – as Crash Davis said in Bull Durham(when talking about holding the minor league record for HR’s) – its a “dubious honour”. Gardner is having a strong season and although i’d like to see him up at some point it may be better that he logs AB’s at AAA rather than become a pinch runner/defensive replacement in the Bronx. I put Chris Stewart in as there has been speculation that if we send Moeller down we may lose him altogether. If that were to happen and Posada/Molina had injury recurrences there has been opinions that we would not have a 3rd catcher to bring up. While Stewart has not been spectacular, he is having a tidy season.

 

With all of that said, these are the moves i would make –

Shelley Duncan for Chad Moeller

Edwar Ramirez for Kyle Farnsworth(his elbow concern is a great excuse for putting him on DL)

Darrell Rasner for Ross Ohlendorf or Brian Bruney – Bruney may be headed to the DL with a foot injury or possibly to the badly titled “bereavement list” for a family member who is having serious medical difficulties. We, of course, wish his Uncle a speedy recovery. I feel bad for Ross Ohlendorf. He has repeatedly been asked to pitch in long relief when he has not been prepared to do so. I think that he will make a highly effective middle reliever this year and could possibly be a candidate for the 8th inning after Joba makes his transition to the rotation. 

 

 


Down on the farm

April 23, 2008

Following on from PH34’s comment on our distinct need for a long reliever/spot starter, how about the numbers Darrell Rasner’s putting up in Scranton!?

W    L     ERA     IP      H     R    HR   ER     SO     WHIP

3     0    0.72     25.0   13    2     0     2       21     0.72

Surely only a matter of time before he sees some time in New York…


Yankee thoughts

April 23, 2008

 

1 – How is it that the Yankees can justify having the most used bullpen(by innings pitched) and not have a long reliever? Seems a little odd.

 

2 – I think we should all just give Kyle Farnsworth a break. I personally just think he likes giving Mariano Rivera save opportunities.

 

3 – Shelley Duncan is currently hitting .271 with 4 homers and 11rbi’s in 13 games at Scranton. His slugging is .646 and his OPS is 1.046. With Giambi struggling so badly, what message does this send to young players? Is it a case of no matter what Duncan does, he isn’t going to get time at 1st with the Yankees because that seems to be the way this is playing out. With Giambi gone next year would it not at least make sense to platoon the two of them?

 

4 – It was great to see Johnny Damon swinging a hot bat again. If his slump had gotten any worse i would have been advocating a call up for Brett Gardner. Gardner is carrying on all his good work from spring training, batting .333 with a .400 OBP and a .567 slugging% at AAA.

 


A small, but consequential milestone for Wang

April 23, 2008

With last night’s win, Chien Ming Wang notched up his 50th of his career. Depending on how you look at it, this could be considered fairly significant in comparison with some of the team’s all time greats.

Wang’s 50th win came in just 68 decisions, which is the fastest a Yankee has ever reached that win total in. However, if you look at it in terms of starts, he’s just eclipsed by Ron Guidry, who got his 50th win in just 82 starts (as opposed to Wang’s 85 starts).

Whether you look at it in terms of decisions or starts, it’s a damn impressive feat. To be compared to someone like Guidry at any time in your career has got to be considered a pretty big compliment