• Mark Melancon – A Year After Tommy John

    Posted by on November 24th, 2007 · Comments (3)

    An update on Mark Melancon, via George King in Baseball America

    Though the Yankees are high on righthander Mark Melancon, don’t go looking for his 2007 statistics.

    He missed the entire season after having Tommy John surgery in November 2006. But when spring training opens in February, it’s likely the 2006 ninth-round pick from Arizona will be in major league camp—despite having just seven games for short-season Staten Island under his belt.

    “This guy’s makeup is off the charts,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said of Melancon, who went 0-1, 3.52 in seven relief appearances in the New York-Penn League in 2006.

    Coming out of Arizona, where he held the single-season and career saves records when he left, the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Melancon had first-round stuff. The barking elbow scared other teams, but the Yankees thought so much of Melancon that they gave him supplemental first-round money to sign.

    “We knew the elbow was going to go. It was a matter of not if but when,” farm director Mark Newman said.

    Elbow woes don’t frighten the Yankees. They wanted righthander Humberto Sanchez from the Tigers in the Gary Sheffield deal, knowing he needed surgery. Righthander Andrew Brackman, taken in the first round of the 2007 draft from North Carolina State, had the surgery as well, and likely won’t pitch until 2009.

    And while they were impressed with Melancon’s physical equipment—94 mph fastball, curveball and changeup—the Yankees gush about his work ethic and makeup.

    “Since I have been here, he is in the top two or three guys as far as working,” Newman said.

    Prior to attending the organization’s Dominican instructional league in early November, Melancon spent time at the complex in Tampa. “He is clearly ahead of the rehab schedule,” Newman said. “He works and is very competitive.”

    Still, it’s a looooong way from the New York-Penn League to the majors. Don’t count on him making the big league team out of Spring Training.

    Comments on Mark Melancon – A Year After Tommy John

    1. Rich
      November 24th, 2007 | 10:08 pm

      I think Melancon can contribute by the AS break. That’s one reason why I don’t think they should allocate resources toward signing veteran relievers, especially since the market will be inflated after the Linebrink contract. Altough it’s apparent that the contract they gave Rivera contributed to that inflation.

    2. Yu Hsing Chen
      November 25th, 2007 | 12:52 am

      The good news is that the Yankees have a boatload of guys next year that if they take one step forward should be ready to help in the big league. they really just need 1 or 2 of them to pull a Scott Proctor 06 and they’re in great shape.

    3. baileywalk
      November 25th, 2007 | 2:05 am

      He doesn’t have to make the team out of spring training. He has to show he’s healthy in the minors and he’ll move quickly. If he performs well, he will be in AAA in the blink of an eye. And the trip from AAA to the majors for a bullpen guy is a short one.

      It really looks like the Yankees’ ‘pen is going to be a rookie-fest: Ohlendorf, Veras, Ramirez, and potentially others (Robertson, Whelan) and more down the road. Mo is going to feel like an old, old man in that bullpen…

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