• May 15th vs. The Twins

    Posted by on May 15th, 2009 · Comments (3)

    It’s mid-May and Brett Gardner now has twice as many homers as Alex Rodrguez. Baseball is a funny game, huh?

    Watching this game, I can’t help but think back to what I wrote about Phil Hughes and Melky Cabrera back on September 15th of last year.

    Back in 2006, I was a big Melky Cabrera fan. But, as I noted last season, Leche was bad in 2007 and terrible in 2008 with the bat. (And, some suggested that his attitude was lacking last season too.) So, what’s got into Cabrera this season? Is it just that he likes wearing the #53? Hey, whatever it is…Melk…keep it up.

    Now, moving on to the favorite mouth-breather of Yankees fanboys across the nation – Keanu Hughes. This is the third bad start in a row for Phil. (When you walk four in five innings with Wally Bell behind that plate, dude, it means you have zero command of your pitches.)

    Here’s the deal with Hughes: He’s proven that he can dominate minor league batters. After all, his career ERA in the bushes is 2.38 in 329.6 IP over six seasons. However, his lifetime big league ERA is about 5.50 over 25 games.

    In the YES coverage this evening, David Cone brought up Edwin Jackson. As I noted last year, Jackson was once the prize pitching prospect of the minor leagues. Yet, it took him over 70 starts in the majors – and until he was 25 years old – for it to all click into place for him…where he started posting big league numbers to match his past promise.

    So, what do the Yankees do with Phil Hughes? Do you send him back down to the minors, where he has nothing to prove? Or, do you keep running him out there, in the majors, pitching to an ERA that’s over five? You could do the latter, if you’re a rebuilding team. But, the Yankees are not…and cannot afford to give a guy another 50 starts in the big leagues with the hope that he uses those to work out his problems.

    Too bad there’s no “Four-A” league out there now. Because, the way he’s pitched, over his whole career, that’s where Phil Hughes belongs…for now.

    Comments on May 15th vs. The Twins

    1. Evan3457
      May 15th, 2009 | 11:55 pm

      It’s mid-May and Brett Gardner now has twice as many homers as Alex Rodrguez. Baseball is a funny game, huh?

      That’s an excellent theme. I think I can improve on it, though…let’s see…

      Brett Gardner also has…um…infinitely more times as many HRs as David Ortiz, who as far as anyone know (*snicker*) has never, ever, ever, ever, ever used (*snort*) steroids.

      HR Challenge Scoreboard as of May 15, 2009:

      Brett Gardner: 2
      Alex Rodriguez: 1
      David Ortiz: 0

    2. Evan3457
      May 16th, 2009 | 12:03 am

      Here’s what you do with Phil Hughes:

      When and if Wang is ready to go, you send him back to AAA until mid-season, and you have him work on some sort of change to use against lefties, over and over again, the way the Tigers handicapped Porcello last season in A ball, until he can command it.

      Then, sometime around July, you CUT either Veras or Ramirez, whichever is pitching the worst, and you use Hughes in middle/long relief, twice a week, to finish his development by letting him throw a couple of innings 2 or 3 times a week, (on his “start” day, and on his “throw” day) to learn how to command his stuff at this level, and get major league hitters out. Hopefully, this will leave him ready to be the #5 man next year, after Andy retires.

      That’s how Earl Weaver used to do it.

      If you don’t do this, you’re going to wind up trading him for 10 cents on the dollar, because he’ll never escape the “AAAA” branding, and he’ll finish his development for some other team…(“Can you say, ‘Oakland A’s’? I knew that you could.”)…who will then trade him as a finished starter just approaching arbitration/free agency for something really valuable.

      And the Yanks will have minimized their maximize….yet again.

    3. G.I. Joey
      May 16th, 2009 | 3:16 am

      While I’m not the biggest Phil fan, I hoped he would have a solid start that would allow me to exhale. Towards the end of last season I couldn’t help but to think what the team would be like if Melky and Hughes weren’t there and Johan Santana was. I was constantly being reminded of that by the gaggle of Twins fans surrounding me tonight. I had hopes tonight, but didn’t know what to expect from Phil and I don’t still don’t know what to do with him now. It seems that his value peaked during that trade talk and he’s our problem to solve. Looks like Evan3457 has a plan and I hope the Yankees do too because it’s clear they need to try something different with him.

      However, I am starting to see what I should expect from Melky in 2009. This was the first time I felt some sort of electricity in the new stadium reminiscent of across the street and it was most def. sparked by Gardner’s inside-the-park HR and exploded when Melky hit that walk-off single. I politely reminded all those Twins fans surrounding me, some in town for the weekend, that it’s never over until it’s over and I don’t give a shit if Joe Nathan is on the mound. Welcome to NY.

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