• Getting To Know Billy Traber

    Posted by on February 25th, 2008 · Comments (1)

    From Ken Davidoff -

    [Traber has] missed two full major-league seasons, 2004 and 2005, while recovering from Tommy John surgery and spent parts of the last two years with the Nationals as a spot starter-reliever.

    Here with the Yankees, Traber is a non-roster invitee, hoping to make the team as a lefty specialist out of the bullpen. The chalk bet calls for Sean Henn to win that role out of spring training, because he is out of minor-league options, and for Traber, who is not out of options, to be placed on the Yankees’ 40-man roster and optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

    “Just stay healthy and stay on the field. That’s all that matters,” he said. “… If you’re going to be hurt, you’re just going to be miserable. I’m 28 and got gray hair. Ask anyone who’s ever hurt. They’ll tell you they’ll trade all of that time just to get back on the field healthy. Period.”

    In addition to the elbow problems, Traber has an atrophied muscle in his left shoulder, and his violent delivery – a fall-off-the-mound approach, reminiscent of Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams – won’t ever be found in a baseball textbook. But despite lacking a fastball that hits so much as 90 miles per hour, he held lefty hitters to a .567 OPS last year, striking out 15 in 56 plate appearances. “We said, ‘This is a guy we should take a look at,”‘ Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.

    [Cleveland general manager Mark] Shapiro said, “He’s up there as far as the favorite guys we’ve had here,” and Yankees manager Joe Girardi recalled a Traber start against Girardi’s Marlins in 2006, when he tried to pick up a teammate who made an error.

    …Ask anyone who’s ever hurt. They’ll tell you they’ll trade all of that time just to get back on the field healthy. Period…

    Traber’s the anti-Pavano. I like him already.

    Comments on Getting To Know Billy Traber

    1. Yu Hsing Chen
      February 25th, 2008 | 10:11 pm

      It’s hard to hate anyone when the bar is Carl Pavano though ;)

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