• Cashman: Starting Pitcher Market Limited, Hopefully Kids Step Up

    Posted by on January 20th, 2011 · Comments (17)

    Via Bryan Hoch

    There has been buzz on the Hot Stove about the Yankees potentially showing interest in the Tigers’ Armando Galarraga – he of the imperfect Jim Joyce game – who was designated for assignment. He’s easily one of the more appealing options out there, given the marketplace.

    Regarding another possible upgrade to the rotation, Cashman said: “I hope so. The starter might have to come from within. Hopefully we have some of these young kids answer the bell for us. In the meantime, we’ll still keep our eyes and ears open to the remaining market, which is very limited.”

    He added: “It’s a difficult market to choose from. Listen, if you’re still on the board, there’s a reason for it.”

    And, this is not the same as 2008, how, Brian? Remember using Hughes and Kennedy in the rotation to start that season?

    That year, the Yankees went 2-7 in Kennedy’s first 9 games of the season and they went 1-5 in Hughes first 6 games of the season. And, that had to play a part in the Yankees only going 89-73 overall in 2008.

    Comments on Cashman: Starting Pitcher Market Limited, Hopefully Kids Step Up

    1. MJ Recanati
      January 20th, 2011 | 3:26 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      That year, the Yankees went 2-7 in Kennedy’s first 9 games of the season and they went 1-5 in Hughes first 6 games of the season. And, that had to play a part in the Yankees only going 89-73 overall in 2008.

      We’ve been through this already. The Yankees went 89-73 because their offense struggled. The 2008 Yankees scored 179 fewer runs in 2008 than the previous season AND actually gave up 50 fewer runs in 2008 than the previous season.

      2007: 5.97 RS/G, 4.79 RA/G
      2008: 4.87 RS/G, 4.48 RA/G

      It’s pretty easy to see why the Yankees were “only” 89-73. Their offense scored a full run less per game. Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes had nothing to do with that.

    2. MJ Recanati
      January 20th, 2011 | 3:31 pm

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      Addressing your other point, there really isn’t much Cashman can do other than go with the internal options at this time. I would’ve liked to have seen the Yankees sign Jeff Francis and I can’t really figure out why they didn’t But besides that (and, frankly, even inclusive of that), there just aren’t any other options out there.

      Whether the internal options succeed or fail is ultimately irrelevant at this point in the absence of better alternatives. The Yankees aren’t going to trade (or shouldn’t, in any case) one of their high-ceiling minor leaguers for the likes of some P.O.S. #5 starter.

    3. January 20th, 2011 | 3:36 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:

      They went 3-12 in those early starts when Kennedy and Hughes imploded. Let’s say they went 7-8 instead…not great, but, not outside of a reasonable expectation from your 4th and 5th starters.

      That would give the Yankees 93 wins in 2008 instead of 89. And, that would have put them 2 games out of the post-season instead of 6 games out. That’s a lot better showing than they did.

    4. MJ Recanati
      January 20th, 2011 | 3:43 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      They went 3-12 in those early starts when Kennedy and Hughes imploded. Let’s say they went 7-8 instead…not great, but, not outside of a reasonable expectation from your 4th and 5th starters.That would give the Yankees 93 wins in 2008 instead of 89. And, that would have put them 2 games out of the post-season instead of 6 games out. That’s a lot better showing than they did.

      Without even going into the 2008 game log, I’m sure I can find four instances where the Yankees won games they shouldn’t have won.

      Over the course of a 162-game season, these things even out. The Yankees made a habit of slow starts in 2005, 2006 and 2007 so I hardly see why their slow start in 2008 is to blame for missing the playoffs that season.

      Once again, as I’ve been saying since 2008, the offense was the culprit.

    5. January 20th, 2011 | 4:58 pm

      If the pitching was better, they wouldn’t have needed the offense that was missing in 2008. (And, I do admit that Cano, Cabrera and Molina sucked in 2008.)

      Plus, don’t forget that Hughes and Kennedy were replaced by Rasner and Ponson. So, the failure of the kids meant that two slop pitchers were given too many starts in ’08. Another reason why the win total was under 90 that season.

    6. MJ Recanati
      January 20th, 2011 | 5:26 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      If the pitching was better, they wouldn’t have needed the offense that was missing in 2008. (And, I do admit that Cano, Cabrera and Molina sucked in 2008.)

      But I just showed you that the 2008 Yankees pitching WAS better, by 50 runs, or 0.31 R/G. Again, this has nothing to do with the pitching. The only thing that regressed from 2007 to 2008 was the hitting. If the pitching had been 100-150 runs better than it ended up being, then, maybe the Yanks might’ve made the playoffs that way. But that’s not Hughes and Kennedy’s fault since shaving 100-150 runs would’ve required a #1/#2 caliber starter in addition to the near Cy Young performance of Mike Mussina. In other words, what you’re asking for is unrealistic.

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Plus, don’t forget that Hughes and Kennedy were replaced by Rasner and Ponson. So, the failure of the kids meant that two slop pitchers were given too many starts in ’08. Another reason why the win total was under 90 that season.

      And, again, because you’re not getting this point, even with Hughes, Kennedy, Ponson and Rasner all pitching in 2008, the Yankees still managed to give up 50 fewer runs than the previous season. There’s simply no other way to argue the point Steve. The 2008 Yankees suffered from an offensive drought to the tune of a full run per game. That’s a significant deterioration from one year to the next. The pitching wasn’t the problem.

    7. Evan3457
      January 20th, 2011 | 6:00 pm

      It is valid to say that the poor performances of Hughes and Kennedy hurt the Yanks in ’08, and it is possible that those performances were the difference between making the playoffs and not making them.

      However:

      The injury to Jorge Posada cost the Yanks somewhere between 4 and 5 WAR.
      Robinson Cano’s dreadful cost them another 4 to 5 WAR.
      Derek Jeter’s mediocre year cost them another 2 to 3 WAR.
      Hideki Matsui’s injury cost them another 2 to 4 WAR.

      It’s true that Mussina’s unexpected 20-win finale was 4 WAR better than 2007, but about 2 WAR better than 2004 and 2005, and not much better than 2006. Let’s say they got a bonus 2 to 3 WAR from Mussina. It doesn’t matter, because Wang’s injury gave back 2 to 4 WAR.

      In addition, Steve forgets the 3rd leg of the Big Three; Joba pitched very well as both a starter and a reliever, and was worth an addition 2 WAR over the season before (admittedly, he only pitch about 25 innings the year before). Hughes and Kennedy probably cost the Yanks about 5-6 WAR combined before leaving the rotation.

      The offensive falloffs mentioned above cost the Yanks 12-17 WAR.
      ===================================================
      It is valid to say that the poor performances of Hughes and Kennedy hurt the Yanks in ’08, and it is possible that those performances were the difference between making the playoffs and not making them.

      It is more valid to say that the offensive falloff is what likely did the Yanks in, because if those falloffs are merely cut in half, the Yanks make the playoffs and conceivably win the East outright.

    8. Evan3457
      January 20th, 2011 | 6:04 pm

      Oh, and one more thing.

      Just because it didn’t work in 2008, doesn’t mean it can’t work in 2011.

      The odds are against it, as they would be for any young pitcher, but at least Nova’s had a full year of AAA, and a decent “cup of coffee”, behind him two things that neither Kennedy nor Hughes could say at the start of the 2008 season.

      It might well be that Nova, despite a lower ceiling than Hughes and possibly Kennedy as well, may be better situated to make the jump to the rotation as the #5 this year, Rothchild willing and the creek don’t rise.

    9. Corey Italiano
      January 20th, 2011 | 6:33 pm

      @ Evan3457:
      In addition to what you said, I think Nova has pretty good stuff. Live fastball and a nasty uncle charlie. I also like his mound demeanor. You can’t say that Nova is intimidated by big league hitters. You could say that about the 2008 version of Hughes and Kennedy, though.

    10. LMJ229
      January 20th, 2011 | 6:43 pm

      Why not sign Freddie Garcia? Assuming Petitte stays retired, that would give us 2 veterans for the back end of the rotation (Garcia and Mitre). If either of them fail, in steps Nova. He’s gonna be on an innings limit anyway.

    11. Corey Italiano
      January 20th, 2011 | 6:51 pm

      @ LMJ229:
      I’d rather roll the dice in the beginning of the year with an open battle for the 2 rotation spots and then just claim off waivers or trade for a Garcia type later on if need be. He’s a dime a dozen at this point in his career. Besides, he may be hurt by that time anyway. Garcia has thrown a Pavonian 286 innings in the last 4 years.

    12. Corey Italiano
      January 20th, 2011 | 6:52 pm

      @ Corey Italiano:
      open battle of the youngins***

    13. Evan3457
      January 20th, 2011 | 8:39 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      Why not sign Freddie Garcia? Assuming Petitte stays retired, that would give us 2 veterans for the back end of the rotation (Garcia and Mitre). If either of them fail, in steps Nova. He’s gonna be on an innings limit anyway.

      Actually, Nova threw a fairly hefty 187 innings last year, so the Yanks shouldn’t have any inning limit on him.

      American League hitters might limit his innings, though.

    14. Scout
      January 20th, 2011 | 9:39 pm

      Does anyone seriously believe that the starting rotation as presently constituted will be the rotation on August 1st? I have been in the patience camp ever since the Lee signing and see no reason to push the panic button now. Capable pitchers hit the trade market every season, and it appears the Yankees will have valuable chips to deal when the opportunity arises.

    15. Evan3457
      January 20th, 2011 | 9:56 pm

      Scout wrote:

      Does anyone seriously believe that the starting rotation as presently constituted will be the rotation on August 1st? I have been in the patience camp ever since the Lee signing and see no reason to push the panic button now. Capable pitchers hit the trade market every season, and it appears the Yankees will have valuable chips to deal when the opportunity arises.

      This.
      I just hope it’s the right chips for the right pitcher.

    16. LMJ229
      January 21st, 2011 | 12:33 am

      Evan3457 wrote:

      I just hope it’s the right chips for the right pitcher.

      From your mouth to God’s ears …

    17. BOHAN
      January 21st, 2011 | 5:07 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      And, that would have put them 2 games out of the post-season instead of 6 games out.

      but still out of the playoffs… whats the difference???

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