• It’s Man-Up Time For Igawa

    Posted by on April 23rd, 2007 · Comments (4)

    Through last night’s game, here is how the Yankees and Red Sox starters stack up – in terms of innings per start:

    YanksSoxSP423.jpg

    Yankees fans can’t get on Wright and Kartsens here (as Wright should be pitching in Double-A now and Karstens was rushed off a rehab). And, sure, it would be nice if Mussina and Pavano were pitching – but, they are hurt. (At least, we think Pavano is hurt.) Of course, yes, Worm Killer Wang coming back this week should help here too.

    But, Rasner and Igawa need to give the Yankees more innings per start. Sure, Rasner has blisters. But, that only flies for one game…in my opinion. You either fix them or go on the D.L. (if you can’t address them). If you’re able to make the start, then you’re on the hook to provide innings.

    It starts for Igawa tonight. He needs to use his pitches in a manner that will allow him to go at least six innings…hopefully seven. If Igawa only pitches five-and-a-third, or less, tonight, he’s clearly this year’s model of Jaret Wright.

    Let’s hope he can show the Yankees something special this evening.

    April 22nd @ The Red Sox

    Posted by on April 22nd, 2007 · Comments (19)

    When the score in this game was tied at four, at the end of five innings, I liked the Yankees chances in the contest. But, New York made the mistake of giving Boston’s Mike Lowell a pitch down-and-in, for the second time, and Lowell did what he does with that ball at Fenway…he hit it over the wall (and it cost the Yankees the game). Still, even with that mistake, it took a great play by the Sox’ Pedroia in the 8th inning to save the game for Boston today…as without his diving grab to end that frame, the two teams would still be playing (and I would not be writing this now).

    On the bright side, watching this game, I finally figured out who Colter Bean reminds me of…and it’s not Dave “The Blade” Rajsich.

    I feel for Chase Wright…becoming the first left-handed pitcher in the history of the game to allow four taters in a row…and only the second pitcher ever to do it (joining Paul Foytack). Hopefully, it does not leave a mark on the kid.

    Speaking of pitchers…the Sox’ Matsuzaka has some tools, no question. But, I was not overly impressed by him tonight…and it’s not because he allowed 6 runs this evening. What was it? Wil Nieves ripping the cover off the ball the first two times he faced Dice-K (albeit for outs). If you’re that great, there’s no way Wil Nieves should ever touch you.

    Getting back to the Yankees, they need three games in a row where their starter goes seven innings…and fast. Proctor has only missed five games this year. Pettitte has come out of the bullpen twice already. The entire pen is about to be burnt for the season and it’s not even May yet. If Igawa is ever going to go deep in a game, tomorrow is the time to do it – even if it means keeping him in there if it kills his ERA. It’s reached that point…where some starter has to take one on the chin, if needed, to help save the pen.

    The Key For Yanks Today Vs. Matsuzaka?

    Posted by on April 22nd, 2007 · Comments (4)

    If they get someone on base, they better take advantage of it…

    from the Boston Herald -

    After Toronto beat Dice-K, 2-1, last Tuesday at Rogers Centre, the Blue Jays strongly hinted that Matsuzaka is most vulnerable when pitching out of the stretch. If nothing else, numbers confirm that his command isn’t as perfect out of the shortened delivery. With the bases empty this season, he has struck out 19 and walked none in 51 batters faced. When a runner reaches first, however, Matsuzaka has walked five and struck out four in 24 plate appearances.

    Then again, this assumes that the Yankees can get some guys on in the first place tonight.

    Sox Look To Break Streak, Even Ledger, Tonight

    Posted by on April 22nd, 2007 · Comments (1)

    From Tom Singer – with a hat tip to BaseballThinkFactory.org

    And if Daisuke Matsuzaka, Boston’s other pitcher from Japan, can seal the Red Sox’s first Fenway Park sweep of New York in 17 years on Sunday night …

    They [Boston] will also have knotted post-2001 business against the Bombers. Since 2002, including their postseason clashes, the Yankees now lead in wins, 56-55.

    Funny, I’m sure, if you asked fans on both sides of this rivalry, many would say that it feels more like the record is 82-29…against the team that they’re rooting for….because the losses feel like they carry 50% more of the normal hurt.

    In About Three Weeks, It Should Be Go Time For Mientkiewicz

    Posted by on April 21st, 2007 · Comments (8)

    Doug Mientkiewicz is batting .128 for the Yankees this season, to date, in 43 Plate Appearances (PA). According to the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia, there’s never been a Yankees non-pitcher with at least 100 PA in a season and a batting average under .130 (for the year). Here’s the list on that:

    Rico128.jpg

    If it were up to me, I would give Mientkiewicz 57 more PA. And, if, after that time, he’s still batting under .130, I would release him on the spot – and ensure that his name would now be # 1 on this list of Yankees who couldn’t hit planet earth if they were dropped out of an airplane.

    April 21st @ The Red Sox

    Posted by on April 21st, 2007 · Comments (5)

    Karstens was not up for the task today. To be honest, the Yankees probably rushed him back too soon. I’m not ready to fold on him yet – because of this game.

    Actually, think of it this way: Karstens was pretty much throwing BP speed and location. The Yankees did not have Posada, Matsui or Damon in the line-up. And, yet, Boston only beat New York by two runs in this game. Further, the Yankees had the winning run at the plate in the 7th (Giambi) and the tying run up at the plate in the 9th (Abreu).

    Give me just two of three from the group of Posada, Matsui and Damon. And, let Mussina or Wang start this game instead of Karstens. You think the outcome would be the same?

    It feels like the Red Sox whipped the Yankees fannies today. But, what the Red Sox really did was that they barely beat a Yankees team that was playing at 60% strength.

    Boston will probably win again tomorrow – and sweep the series. But, if this three game set tells me anything, it tells me that the Yankees should be fine against Boston this season…when New York has a chance to get their tank full again.

    The race doesn’t always go to the swift, but, sometimes to those who keep running. As long as the Yankees can hang close until everyone is back in the line-up, they should be fine.

    And, yes, this is really me and not someone just pretending to be me. And, no, I’m not smoking anything funny nor have I had one drink too many today.

    Thin Bench Coming To Haunt Already

    Posted by on April 21st, 2007 · Comments (5)

    Johnny Damon’s out?

    From the Daily News -

    Damon’s status is a little more uncertain, as the center fielder is battling a tight right hamstring and a sore lower back. Damon, who went 0-for-5, felt a “burning sensation” in his back during the eighth inning, and the hammy grabbed at him a bit after he made a spectacular sliding catch in the fifth inning.

    “I’m hoping my back is all right. I had trouble with it in Minnesota because of the turf,” Damon said. “It doesn’t feel as good as it should.”

    Damon’s back appears to be more of a concern than the hamstring, leaving him unsure whether he will be able to play today.

    Wow. Wil Nieves and Kevin Thompson or Miggy Cairo in the starting line-up now, maybe. Rico Bergan too – since you can’t play Phelps now as he’s the emergency back-up catcher.

    Nieves, Thompson/Cairo, Bergman…that’s nine “free” outs for the Sox today (and maybe tomorrow). It’s like saying the Yankees will only have 6 innings to score runs in the game.

    Plus, this leaves the Yankees with zero bench – should someone else get hurt.

    On the bright side, it means no more pinch-runners for Giambi over the next two days…unless Mr. Green Tea uses a pitcher to run for him.

    April 20th @ The Red Sox

    Posted by on April 20th, 2007 · Comments (10)

    Somebody, somewhere, wanted me to have a bad day, today. Well, they won – but, it took three strikes to get to me. Here’s the story:

    At my new job, they have a deal in the Spring and Summer where you can leave work at 1:30 pm on Fridays, if you’re willing to put some extra time on Monday through Thursday. Well, this was a week for me where things were blowing up, left and right, and I was really looking forward to getting the week over at one-thirty today.

    Not so fast. Another issue came up today that kept me in the office until 4 pm – and ruined some plans that I had with the family this afternoon.

    Strike one.

    Then, on the commute home, I had another problem. The 45-mile drive usually takes about 75 minutes – when there are no issues.

    Not so fast. There was an over-turned truck on 287/440 that backed up traffic – very badly. By the time I managed to find a way home, it took me three hours and fifteen minutes make the drive. There’s nothing worse than spending three plus hours in bumper-to-bumper traffic to drive 45 miles, at the end of a long week at work.

    Strike two.

    Next, there was this game tonight. Where do I start?

    Not so fast. First, let’s go back to last February. According to news reports at that time, Joe Torre said “that he plans to limit Rivera to the ninth inning this season.”

    Boy, that lasted a long time, huh? Mr. Green Tea brings in Mo, in the 8th inning of this contest, and again this season, Rivera kills some nice work by Pettitte. The Yankees lose. The Red Sox win. And, it’s a stunner.

    Strike three.

    In this Yankees game, Torre was one thing tonight. And, Rivera was another. There will be lots of talk about both of them. (The whole Kevin Thompson/Josh Phelps thing in the 9th with Torre was maddening.)

    However, there was another play in this loss that I have to question – and I wonder if any others will key on it? With the score 6-4, in favor the Yankees, during the bottom of the 8th, with one out and Boston runners on first and second and Coco Crisp at the plate, why was Rico Bergman playing so far off the line? Late in the game, with the score close, are not the guys on the corners supposed to be positioned right on the line to prevent an extra base hit? As it was, Crisp hit a grounder between Rico and the line that went for a triple and tied the score. That’s a bad play, in my book – especially by a guy who is supposed to provide defense.

    It was just a shame to waste what should have been a win tonight – and a great game, again, from A-Rod (and Pettitte). With the pitching match-ups the next two days, it could be a long series for the Yankees.

    Well, at the least, I don’t have to go to work for the next two days – or sit in killer traffic tie-ups for hours upon hours. Of course, if we find out tomorrow that Posada has a broken left thumb or something, I’ll probably wish I was stuck at work and/or traffic instead of hearing that news.

    For now, it’s time to say good-night, and good riddance, to a long and pain-in-the-ass kind of day. I’ll dust myself off in the morning and get back in the box. Maybe the Yankees can do the same?

    George Kontos Busted

    Posted by on April 20th, 2007 · Comments (9)

    From FOX in Tampa -

    A minor league pitcher with the New York Yankees was arrested early Thursday morning on trespassing and obstruction charges after he refused to leave a Tampa restaurant.

    Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the Green Iguana Bar & Grill on Anderson Road just before 2 a.m. Management at the establishment told investigators that George Kontos attempted to re-enter the business after he was asked to leave.

    The 21-year-old right-hander with the Tampa Yankees of the Class A Florida State League was again asked to leave. A HCSO deputy attempted to escort him from the premises but he kept pulling and was ultimately taken into custody.

    George Kontos is a legit prospect. I hope that he overcomes this issue. Hey, back in May of 1985, Dale Berra and Don Mattingly were both arrested in Kansas City for indecent conduct in public. Boys will be boys. It happens. You just hope that they do grow out of it once they actually run into trouble and learn that you can’t just do what you want all the time.

    Donnie Doubles Up His Uni

    Posted by on April 20th, 2007 · Comments (3)

    Depressed Fan rings in on Donnie Baseball’s B-Day today. He shares what it was like to watch #23 – back in the day – with his Dad. I know that feeling…some of the best times I ever had was just sitting around with my Dad, watching the Yankees on TV.

    When he first came up, Mattingly wore #46. In the 1980′s, #46 was a number that just seemed to end up on the “latest” Yankees rookie…like Joe Lefebvre, Henry Cotto, Mike Pagliarulo, Roberto Kelly, Randy Velarde…and Mattingly…they all wore #46 at one time.

    I wonder if Donnie will think back to that time, now, that he’s actually forty-six?

    It’s sort of weird for me to think of Mattingly as being that age – since I’ll be forty-five later this year. As a kid – and, by kid, I mean up until the time you’re in your early 20′s – you usually think of baseball players as being “men.” As such, they’re all older than you. Therefore, for me, I think that Donnie should be much older than me…but, he’s not. He was a kid – when I was a “kid” watching him.

    It’s something that you really start to get perspective on when you turn forty…this game is really being played by kids, and not men, for the most part. When I think of it that way, it seems odd to get on the players sometimes…because they are just kids. I wouldn’t rag on a Little Leaguer or some High School player. So, then, why is it right to rag on a big leaguer? The money, I suppose, is the difference. It kind of makes you forget that they’re just kids.

    While that sounds bad, it’s true in just about anything…and not limited to baseball. See cases like Britney Spears, who is 26, and, Lindsay Lohan, who is 21. You would think that people would just write them off as young kids making mistakes…and leave them alone. But, it doesn’t happen. So, why should baseball players be any different?

    Anyway, back to Donnie – I hope he gets a nice present from the Yankees today…from another #46 (Pettitte)…in the form of a win. Happy B-Day Don.

    Another Alex Story

    Posted by on April 20th, 2007 · Comments (0)

    Former Yankees Alex Burr, Homer Thompson, and Charlie Fallon each got the Moonlight Graham shaft (in terms of appearing in just one big league game in their career – and never having a chance to bat).

    Well, technically, Thompson and Fallon were members of the New York Highlanders when it happened. So, there’s a trick trivia question for you: Who is the only ‘Yankee‘ non-pitcher to have played just one game in his major league career and who never came to bat?

    A: Alex Burr…

    …who, by the way, died on October 12, 1918 in Cazaux, France, when his plane crashed into a lake during the final month of World War One. (His body was never recovered.) He was 24-years old at the time.

    When it comes to getting the short straw, poor Alex Burr had it all covered.

    Turning Second, Going For Three

    Posted by on April 20th, 2007 · Comments (6)

    Two years ago today, I decided to start this blog. When it went ‘live,’ back in April 2005, this site averaged around 200 unique visitors per day.

    One year ago today, this blog celebrated its first anniversary. At that time, back in April 2006, this site averaged around 1,600 unique visitors per day.

    Today, in April 2007, this site averages over 5,000 unique visitors per day. That’s a sweet little jump (from 200 to 1,600 to 5,000) in just 24 months time. I’m still not 100% sure how or why this result has happened. But, given that it’s reality, and an upward trend line, it is neat to see such results.

    Back on ‘Day 1,’ I wrote: “…my intent for this blog is to provide running commentary, personal musings, and the like, on the Yankees.” If I must say so myself, my aim (with regard to sticking to that intent) has been true these past 730 days.

    I am sure that some consider me to be too ‘Anti-Pollyanna’ at times here with my Yankees-blogging. I can understand that – as I’ve never been one who believed that Yankees fans must only say “positive” things about the Yankees and their players – even if the player was a dud or if the Yankees made a terrible move, etc. (Further, I believe it’s wrong, should a Yankees fan share something that was not all “hugs and kisses” about the team, that they should then have their “Yankee-fan-dom” questioned to the N-th degree.)

    However, in terms of appraising the Yankees, where John Sterling (whose real name is Harold Moskowitz – did you know that?) sits on one end of the spectrum and Jerome (“from Manhattan”) Mittelman sits on the other, I like to consider myself as having residence somewhere around the mid-point between them. Sure, from day-to-day, I may sometimes stray a bit from being dead center on that line. But, when that migration happens, it’s not too long before I get back to my preferred position. Being in the middle is a good spot to work from – because it does allow room for that lateral movement when it’s required.

    If someone or thing in Yankeeland is going well, I’m more than happy to cite their achievement. Conversely, if there’s something or one in Yankeeland that deserves to be razzed, I’m up for that as well. After all, you can put a pig in a party dress, but, it’s still just a pig. I’m not in the business of handing out buddy-passes to people just because they have an interlocking “NY” on their chest. In any event, regardless of the type of dish that I’m presenting on a given day, I do try and make it entertaining here for readers (via some humor and/or enlightenment).

    The feedback to my offerings, over all this time, has been very appreciated (by me) – and telling (to me). When I first started blogging here, it was very common to see comments (left to entries) like: “I love your blog!” or “This is my favorite Yankees blog.” (What’s not to like about hearing that?) Granted, recently, it seems as if I do get more comments like: “I can’t believe you get as many hits as you do publishing such nonsense.” or “That’s it – I’m never reading this A-Rod bashing blog again!” Such a shift is concerning…but, just to a point…because, after all, the hits (meaning visit counts) keep coming. So, whether I’m the one that people love, or the one they love to hate, I must be doing something well here – or at least well enough to make people want to check it out.

    And, it’s my intent, now, to keep doing what I have been doing – since it seems to be working (in the sense that people are interested enough to check out the site each day). Thanks to all for their interest in WasWatching.com over these past two years. If you keep showing up, I’ll be here with something for you. Lastly, please, keep the comments coming. Those, along with the visitor counts, keep reminding that I’m not spending a lot of time here doing something absent of reason. As long as my fellow Yankees and/or baseball fans get something out of this, that’s a great reason to keep doing it.

    Derek Meets “Mr. White”

    Posted by on April 19th, 2007 · Comments (0)

    From the Chicago Sun Times -

    Gatorade hearing voices in spots

    Element 79/Chicago uses familiar faces, high energy level to make the play in new ad series for the king of sports drinks

    This week, the second in Gatorade’s inner voices series breaks with a somewhat different style. This one, called “Thief,” is set on a baseball field and stars New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. In the new spot, two inner voices have been reduced to just one portrayed by actor Harvey Keitel, who is spiffily attired in suit and tie while channeling Marlon Brando in this very mannered turn before the cameras.

    Here Keitel is apparently assuming a bit of both the good and the bad voices in advising Jeter about whether to steal a base. There’s no shortage of tension in the set-up as Keitel colorfully explains to Jeter what he’s up against should he decide to steal the base.

    Finally, as Keitel so emphatically puts it, Jeter’s gotta do what he’s gotta do. And the player’s successful attempt to steal the base is captured with some nice camera work and slo-mo effects. Then, it’s left to Keitel to wrap up things with his rather smug expression of approval for the big steal.

    I just caught this spot for the first time tonight. Very nicely done. What’s the under/over line for how soon it’s on YouTube?

    Who Will Be The Hot Sticks In Boston?

    Posted by on April 19th, 2007 · Comments (5)

    Alex Rodriguez has been on fire this entire month. Ditto, albeit to a somewhat lesser level, Jorge Posada.

    Derek Jeter has a 10-game hitting streak going. Bobby Abreu has 16 hits in his last 10 games. And, Jason Giambi has 9 hits in his last 6 games as well.

    A-Rod, Posada, Jeter, Abreu and Giambi have basically carried the Yankees, offensively, over the last 10 games. Now, this gang of five heads into Boston to face Curt Schilling, Josh Beckett and Daisuke Matsuzaka.

    It will be interesting to see which of these five stays hot in Fenway – and who does not. Of course, just watch, Damon, Cano, Melky and Mientkiewicz will end up with more hits than the “Hot Five” in this series.

    I’m going to take a guess: The big bats in this series for the Yankees will be Posada, Giambi, Cano and Abreu. Maybe Johnny Damon as well. Boston will key on Jeter and A-Rod and that will allow the others to do their thing.

    One thing to note, Mr. Torre – if you’re listening. “The ESB” is a career .353 hitter against Curt Schilling. You may want to get him in the line-up tomorrow over Rico Bergman. But, since when does Mr. Green Tea listen to me?

    Humberto Sanchez Cooked

    Posted by on April 19th, 2007 · Comments (7)

    From the AP -

    Another injured Yankees pitcher, right-hander Humberto Sanchez, had elbow ligament-replacement surgery Wednesday and will miss the rest of the season.

    Cashman said Dr. James Andrews operated Wednesday in Birmingham, Ala. While three scans didn’t show ligament damage, Cashman said the need for ligament replacement became clear when Andrews operated Wednesday.

    Hey, I called it – and I’m no genius. No one on the Yankees should be shocked by this – unless his name is Cashman, I suppose.

    April 19th vs. The Indians

    Posted by on April 19th, 2007 · Comments (15)

    I swear, I started writing this entry during the bottom of the 9th today, after Phelps’ HR with 2-outs….and it started like this:

    El Diario Vizcaino,” he, he not so good today, amigo.

    But, on the flip side, it was not as if the Yankees bats were exactly “En fuego!” either today. One Han Solo by Giambi, another late by “The ESB” – with an Abreu RBI-single on top. Dat’s it.

    Now, the seven-and-seven Yanks head to Beantown for three at the Fens. I’ll be happy with one win this weekend – and thrilled if they can get two….

    Then, Posada singled. And, Damon walked. That was followed by singles from Jeter and Abreu…leading to…Alex Rodriguez.

    Oh, my, god, what a finish!

    I said it four days ago, and, I’ll say it again. Alex Rodriguez has turned into Roy Hobbs. It’s incredible. What a story this has become…it’s hard for me to even type this, as my hands are shaking. Really, they’re shaking.

    What a moment. I’m pretty speechless at this point. If I can get my composure, I’ll add more to this in the comments section later. I gotta go find someone to high-five now and get this out of my system.

    Getting MIMS-sical On 46

    Posted by on April 19th, 2007 · Comments (0)

    Dom Amore details why Andy Pettitte is so much better to have around than Randy Johnson.

    Can you just picture Andy singing to Unit:

    I’m hot cuz I’m fly.
    You aint cuz you’re not.
    This is why,
    This is why,
    This is why I’m hot.

    Nah, neither can I……

    April 18th vs. The Indians

    Posted by on April 18th, 2007 · Comments (16)

    What’s not to be excited about now?

    A-Rod homers – again. Last season, Albert Pujols set the “April HR” record with 14. (The A.L. record for April taters is 13 – by Ken Griffey Jr. in 1997.) Alex has a shot at coming close to those marks.

    Igawa did a good job. I think that DP in the third saved his bacon tonight. (It would have been interesting if the umps had ruled that he threw his glove at that ball and awarded the batter three bases – which is the rule when a fielder throws his glove at a batted ball.)

    Giambi now has 8 hits in his last 5 games – a sign that he’s starting to heat up.

    Torre used the right guys to close out a 9-2 win: Henn and Britton.

    Really, the only bummer at the close of business today is this…even with the Yankees playing great the last two days, their record is only 7-6 on the season to date.

    Those one-run losses on April 5th, 13th and 15th have not helped. If the Yankees were 10-3 now, they would be in first place with a two-game lead on the Red Sox. Oh, well, a nice game from Rasner tomorrow will help take some of the sting away from this one little, less than exciting, fact.

    June & August Are Months To Watch A-Rod

    Posted by on April 18th, 2007 · Comments (5)

    Alex Rodriquez’ OPS this month, to date, is 1.427 – which is off the charts.

    This made me wonder: How many times has A-Rod had an OPS of .900 (or better) in a month for the Yankees? Here’s the answer:

    ARodByMonth.jpg

    If you throw out October 2005 (due to the small number of ABs that month), you can see this has happened ten times. Half of those ten times happened in 2005.

    The interesting thing on this chart is the month of May. Alex has always had a great May while playing in the Bronx. Should he continue this trend, Alex Rodriguez just may post the greatest “first-half” stats in his Yankees career this season. And, considering that A-Rod has usually been a strong July and September performer for the Yankees, Rodriguez may just post his greatest Yankees season (to date) this year. The key will be how he does in June and August.

    When A-Rod was the MVP in 2005, he had big months in June and August. If he does that again this June and August, he could be looking at another MVP for his trophy case.

    April 17th vs. The Indians

    Posted by on April 17th, 2007 · Comments (12)

    A nice “bend, but, don’t break” performance from Chase Wright. I think I saw a little Ed Figueroa mixed with some Kenny Rogers in Wright, tonight. And, I mean all the good things that Figgy and Rogers provided.

    So, what will Chase Wright be? Kevin Mmahat or Ted Lilly? Ed Yarnall or Andy Pettitte? Randy Keisler or Doug Drabek? Sam Militello or Dave Righetti? For one night, who cares? He helped the team win today – when they really needed help. That’s all that really matters now.

    Sign of how old I am: I was probably more pumped this evening watching Wright’s dad in the stands, reacting to his son, than I was just watching Wright pitch.

    In the radio pre-game, Suzyn Waldman was asking Sean Henn about Wright – since they’ve known each other for eight years or so and have the same agent. Henn said that he was probably more nervous than Wright today – since Wright was sleeping on a couch in the clubhouse at the same time Henn was being questioned by Waldman.

    I would bet that no one was more nervous than Wright’s father tonight. It was sweet to see his dream come true this evening along with Chase’s dream.

    Lastly, this guy the Yankees have playing third this season – he looks really good. Anyone know anything about him?

    CTR: Looks forward to the 2007 Yankees

    Posted by on April 17th, 2007 · Comments (2)

    Providing yet another opportunity for readers to call me names, I decided to participate in Count the Rings™ – “Looks forward to the 2007 Yankees.” To see it all, click here. Thanks to Sean for asking me to be part of his panel. It was fun – even if he did make me look up “irascible.” {wink}

    Basak Or Gonzalez?

    Posted by on April 17th, 2007 · Comments (6)

    Assume that Robinson Cano is hurt. The Yankees would need someone to play second.

    At Triple-A, presently, there are three middle infielders: Alberto Gonzalez, Angel Chavez and Chris Basak.

    Each is hitting over .300 at the moment. (Chris Basak is the only one showing some pop while he’s doing it.) If the Yankees had to make a call for help, it would be between Basak and Gonzalez.

    Basak is your typical Four-A utility player. Gonzalez is a legit prospect at short. This tells me that the Yankees would go for Basak, if they needed to replace Cano on the roster (with Cairo becoming the starting second baseman). It does make sense to let the prospect play everyday, etc.

    But, it would be interesting to see what would happen if the Yankees did call up Alberto Gonzalez and let him play second while Cano was out. What would happen if Gonzalez showed Pokey Reese-like range around the middle of the diamond and hit .280-ish over a 30 game period with the Yankees? It would add a whole new level to a certain debate, for sure. Throw in continued struggles for the Yankees first basemen and it would get even more interesting.

    Hopefully, Cano is fine and it’s all moot. But, it’s a fun “What if?” nonetheless.

    Looking Ahead To The First Red Sox Series – Again

    Posted by on April 17th, 2007 · Comments (2)

    From The Post -

    Jeff Karstens pitched in a minor-league rehab game for Tampa (Single-A) last night and could start for the Yankees Saturday in Boston. However, Cashman wanted to see how the right-hander’s elbow tendinitis came through the test before anointing him.

    “I couldn’t say, we will see how he looks,” Cashman said. “Saturday is a possibility.”

    Karstens pitched four innings, allowing three hits and one walk. He struck out five and didn’t allow a run against Clearwater.

    This would make the Fenway series now look like:

    Pettitte vs. Schilling, Karstens vs. Beckett, and Wright (?) vs. Matsuzaka. That’s a lot of pressure for Pettitte to have a good game on Friday. Then again, that’s why he’s here.

    Just for fun: How much of a kick would it be if Wright out-pitches Matsuzaka on Sunday?

    Project – D23?

    Posted by on April 17th, 2007 · Comments (3)

    Cool site. I dig the shirts too.

    Chase Wright & Erik Bedard

    Posted by on April 17th, 2007 · Comments (12)

    Two days ago, I suggested that the Yankees Chase Wright could be considered as an “Erik Bedard” type pitcher. The feedback to that suggestion was interesting. Many did not agree with my suggestion. Therefore, in an effort to try and explain how it was derived, I worked up the following chart:

    WrightComp.jpg

    I think the issue for some here is that Bedard was one of the twenty best pitchers in the league last season – and that’s what they’re using in their mind when they think of Bedard.

    But, that’s not what I’m saying about Wright. He will not be one of the twenty best pitchers in the league this season. Most likely, Wright will return to the minors this year – like Bedard did after 2002. More so, what I am suggesting is that Wright could be back in the majors in a year or two – and be a useful pitcher…and, maybe, some time around 2010, he could have a very good season in the bigs (like Bedard last year).

    If a pitcher like Erik Bedard can make it in the majors, there’s no reason why a pitcher like Chase Wright cannot as well – in due time.

    A-Rod: Getting It Done On The First Date

    Posted by on April 16th, 2007 · Comments (10)

    Since 2002, each year, about one-half of Alex Rodriguez’ At Bats in a season have come when he is facing a pitcher for the first time in a game. Call this snapshot “vs. P, 1st time in G” for short. Here are the “vs. P, 1st time in G” stats for A-Rod, since 2002 (with 2007 being to date):

    ARod1stdate.jpg

    Note that in 2004 and 2006, Alex batted like a “mortal” in these situations – whereas in 2002, 2003, 2005, and (so far in) 2007, Alex was “A-Rod!

    Perhaps, coming off bad seasons in 2004 and 2006, pitchers were willing to challenge A-Rod during 2005 and 2007 – and he made them pay for that? Related, coming off good seasons in 2003 and 2005, perhaps pitchers were afraid to pitch to Alex and that resulted in him chasing bad pitches in 2004 and 2006? These are just theories – wild guesses, actually.

    It’s an interesting stat split, nonetheless. There’s something going on here, for sure. Small sample size stuff at work? Maybe in 2007 – but, in all the other seasons we’re looking at over 300 ABs for each stat line. There’s something real here. If anyone has ideas, please do share them here.

    Robinson Cano Injury?

    Posted by on April 16th, 2007 · Comments (1)

    In case you missed it, Robbie Cano was not running well when he grounded into a double play during the 9th inning of yesterday’s game. It looked like he either cramped up or had a strain. I did not catch the post-game on YES – so, I have no idea if this was addressed. But, I can confirm that I’ve yet to find any news stories on it today. Maybe it’s nothing? Or, maybe it’s going to be something? Can this team handle another leg issue at this point? Remember: Cano missed 35 games last year because of a hammy situation. It would be a shame to see that repeat this season.

    April 2007 Survey Question #2

    Posted by on April 16th, 2007 · Comments (0)

    During his big league career, Derek Jeter has usually been charged with 15-20 fielding errors over the course of a full season. With 6 errors in his first 11 games this year, Jeter is on pace to be charged with 81 fielding errors in 2007.

    How many errors (in total) do YOU THINK Derek Jeter will have charged to him by the end of the 2007 season?

    Update, 5/10/07: This poll is now closed. Click on the thumbnail below to see the results:

    April 2007 Survey Question #1

    Posted by on April 16th, 2007 · Comments (4)

    Carl Pavano, on his latest injury, via Peter Abraham -

    “It doesn’t feel good to have this when guys are going down. But it’s not something that’s going to get any better by going there and trying to be a hero,” Pavano said. “I’m out there throwing and it’s not getting any looser. It doesn’t feel right at all.”

    The poll: When do YOU THINK Carl Pavano will pitch again for the New York Yankees?

    Update, 4/30/07: This poll is now closed. Click on the thumbnail below to see the results:

    Interesting…over 1/3 think that he’ll be back next month (May)…yet nearly another 1/3 thinks he’ll never pitch for New York again.

    Chase Wright

    Posted by on April 15th, 2007 · Comments (18)

    Who is Chase Wright?

    I was just reading up on young Mr. Wright in John Sickels’ The Baseball Prospect Book 2007. Here’s what John had to say:

    “…component ratios [in 2006] were just slightly better than league average…fastball is average…good curveball…keeps the ball low…some sleeper potential.”

    Baseball Prospectus says:

    “Chase Wright, FSL pitcher of the year, has a great curve and little else.”

    Baseball Amercia says:

    “Chase Wright has one of the better changeups in the minors.”

    And, what did Wright have to say about himself just the other day, in terms of his stuff? Read on:

    “I throw a lot of two-seamers, so I usually get a majority of groundballs,” Wright said. “I am actually kind of surprised with the strikeouts I have been getting [in Double-A this year, to date]. In this cold weather, I have been going right at them. I was trying to get them to put it in play and work as fast as I can. I am effective when I am getting groundball outs.”

    Summing it all up, it appears that Wright is a lefty who relies on a curve and a sinking fastball to get hitters out. If you’re asking me, at this point, I say “Think ‘Erik Bedard‘ for a likely comp.”

    « Previous PageNext Page »