• Yanks Great Right Hopes

    Posted by on September 30th, 2010 · Comments (13)

    Here are the Yankees top, higher-level, right handed starting pitcher prospects:

    Rk   Age 5   W L ERA G IP BB SO WHIP SO/9 SO/BB
    1 Warren, Adam 22 H-A,AA 11 7 2.60 25 135.0 33 126 1.141 8.40 3.82
    2 Betances, Dellin 22 H-A,AA 8 1 2.12 17 85.0 22 108 0.882 11.44 4.91
    3 Stoneburner, Graham 22 H-A,L-A 9 8 2.41 26 142.0 34 137 0.993 8.68 4.03
    4 Black, Sean 22 L-A,H-A 8 8 3.69 25 127.0 41 104 1.323 7.37 2.54
    5 Nova, Ivan 23 AAA,MAJ 13 4 3.22 32 184.1 62 140 1.286 6.84 2.26
    6 Phelps, David 23 AA,AAA 10 2 2.51 26 158.0 36 141 1.108 8.03 3.92
    7 Mitchell, D.J. 23 AA,AAA 13 4 4.01 26 150.1 64 112 1.404 6.71 1.75
    8 Noesi, Hector 23 AA,H-A,AAA 14 7 3.21 28 159.2 28 153 1.102 8.62 5.46
    9 Brackman, Andrew 24 AA,H-A 10 11 3.91 27 140.1 39 126 1.304 8.08 3.23
    10 Pendleton, Lance 26 AA,AAA 12 5 3.62 29 154.1 57 133 1.173 7.76 2.33
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 9/30/2010.


    The probably is that maybe three or four of these guys will go on to have a major league career. And, maybe one or two of them will go out to be a front end starting pitcher.

    My guess? Phelps looks good. And, both Betances and Stoneburner should be watched closely next season. After that, Warren comes next on the radar watch. The others? Well, they have some areas of concern – more so than Phelps, Betances, Stoneburner and Warren.

    How about you? Any favs in this bunch? Anyone missing that you would include?

    The Extra Mile?

    Posted by on September 30th, 2010 · Comments (9)

    ESPN Boston just published an abridged transcript of Boston GM Theo Epstein’s radio interview with WEEI-850AM and, among the usual generalities that come with GM-speak, I saw this little nugget:

    On getting outbid by the Yankees for Kerry Wood at the trade deadline:

    “There were four major league relievers who were traded during the year who ended up helping their club, five if you count August, when [Brian] Fuentes was moved. Two of those guys we had given opportunities before…One…we couldn’t have gotten unless we gave up [Daniel] Bard, and Fuentes was behind us in the waiver order, and the last one was Kerry Wood.

    “That was an important decision. We scouted [Wood] on rehab, we liked what we saw. He was available last minute at the deadline … and we put in what I thought was a pretty aggressive financial bid for him and we were outbid by the Yankees when they were willing to take on just a little bit more of his salary. It ended up being a great move for them and cost us.

    I’ve added the emphasis to point out that the Yankees took on $1.5M of the remaining $3.67M on Wood’s contract at the time of the trade.  I find it somewhat hard to believe that Boston couldn’t pony up that kind of money if they felt that Kerry Wood would give them a greater chance to be competitive.  Either Epstein is blowing smoke and trying to deflect criticism by once again evoking the fictional “little Red engine that could” or he never intended to trade for Wood at all.

    What was it that George Steinbrenner once said about Red Sox executive Larry Luccino when the Red Sox famously let Alex Rodriguez end up in New York instead of Boston?  “Unlike the Yankees, he chose not to go the extra mile for his fans in Boston.”

    I never thought Kerry Wood and $1.5M would be another case of the same, sad story in Boston.  They live for self-deception up there in the so-called Hub.

    Backing Berg Bike To Benefit National MS Society

    Posted by on September 30th, 2010 · Comments (12)

    Please consider helping Ted Berg in his fight against MS


    ESPN 30 For 30: The House Of Steinbrenner

    Posted by on September 30th, 2010 · Comments (2)

    I finally got to see this one. I know that the early reviews on this were bad. But, I really liked it.

    I thought they did a very good job with the old interview clips of Big Stein. And, the footage of the old Stadium and its demolition were beautiful. The bits with the fans were nice as well. When that one guy, who was working on taking down the old Stadium, said that he hopes, in the future, when his kids go to the new Yankee Stadium, that when they look at the old spot, that they will think of him…well..if that doesn’t tug on your heart strings, what will?

    I also thought it was a very fair job. And, I especially liked the time given to the critics of the new Stadium and the current powers that be in the Yankees front office. Having seen it now, I totally get why the Yankees were not pleased with this film.

    Hal Steinbrenner did come across bad in it. He’s nothing like his old man and probably in over his head right now. Jennifer Steinbrenner-Swindal seems more like her dad and probably would have been a better choice to be in charge. In any event, while Hal was talking about the peace and solitude of flying, it was like listening to Munson back in 1979. The scary part was the picture of Munson over Hal’s right shoulder when he was being interviewed. If I’m Mama Stein, I’m telling Hal to ditch the plane and the wannabe fly-boy routine. Get a new and safer hobby.

    If you haven’t seen this one, and have been scared off by the early reviews, I suggest checking it out and giving it a try. Again, the footage of Big Stein and the old Stadium, alone, make it worth viewing, in my opinion.

    John Sickels On David Phelps Redux

    Posted by on September 30th, 2010 · Comments (2)

    Earlier this year, John Sickels spoke of Yankee RHP David Phelps (Double-A, Trenton Thunder) and put him on the radar for Yankee prospect-watchers.  He also got notice here and here.  Now that the season is over, Sickels comes back for a retrospective look at one of his preseason sleeper picks.

    As Sickels says, there are a few guys ahead of Phelps — Banuelos, Betances, Brackman, too, perhaps — but with another season like the one he just turned in, Phelps should make someone’s rotation by early 2012.  In truth, he’s just the kind of guy the Yanks can afford to deal in a trade down the road.  Just like Ian Kennedy before him, young back-of-the-rotation starters are attractive to teams looking to keep costs down and tend to not have long futures in Pinstripes.

    Slade Heathcott Named To Baseball America’s SAL Top Prospects List

    Posted by on September 30th, 2010 · Comments (9)

    Last week, three Yankees were named to Baseball America’s top-20 list for prospects in the Gulf Coast League.  Earlier this week, the Yanks got shut out of the top-20 honorarium for New York-Penn League prospects due to the fact that their eligible players either joined the team’s affiliate too late to qualify or skipped NYPL play altogether.

    Today, we learn that OF Slade Heathcott (Low-A, Charleston Riverdogs) has been named to Baseball America’s top-20 list of prospects for the South Atlantic League.

    18. Slade Heathcott, OF, Riverdogs
    Bats/Throws: L/L
    Height/Weight: 6’1″/190
    Age: 19
    Drafted: Yankees ’09 (1st Round/29th 0verall)
    2010 Stats: 298 AB, 77 H, 21 XBH, 42 BB, 101 SO, .258/.359/.352

    Regardless of how managers and scouts felt about Heathcott’s talent, they all agreed on one thing: he plays the game hard. A throwback player who attracted comparisons to Lenny Dykstra and Brett Gardner, he combines strength, speed and fast-twitch athleticism.

    Heathcott’s most impressive tool is his speed, though he currently lacks the instincts to make the most of it on the bases and in center field. He shows some patience and unrealized power potential at the plate, but his swing needs a lot of work. His bat doesn’t stay in the hitting zone for long and he struck out 101 times in 298 at-bats. His arm strength is a plus.

    “I think he learned what kind of player he is this year,” Mikulik said. “He needs a lot of polish, but there’s a lot to work with there.”

    This scouting report is in line with what you’d expect from a raw, athletic youngster.  There are clearly things that Heathcott has to improve upon next year and, I assume, he will be repeating Low-A again in order to refine his approach at the plate.  Considering Heathcott signed late in 2009 and barely registered any time at the NYPL level, the Yankees clearly think highly enough of his talents that they let him play his first season of pro ball in the SAL instead of making him go back to Staten Island.

    Separately, I’m disappointed to see that RHP Jose Ramirez or C/DH JR Murphy did not make the SAL list.  In Murphy’s case, his first season of pro ball was somewhat underwhelming (.255/.327/.376) but scouts raved all season long about Ramirez’s (115 IP, 3.60 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 105 K) stuff.  His exclusion is somewhat surprising.

    The prospect lists for the Florida State (High-A) and Eastern (AA) Leagues will be released next Wednesday and Friday, respectively. I expect the Yankees will make some hay there.

    Yankees 2010 ALDS Roster

    Posted by on September 30th, 2010 · Comments (9)

    It’s almost a lock that these guys are going to make it: Cervelli, Posada, Teixeira, Cano, Jeter, Rodriguez, Gardner, Granderson, Swisher, Thames, Berkman, Pena, Kearns, Sabathia, Pettitte, Hughes, Burnett, Rivera, Chamberlain, Robertson, Logan and Wood.

    That leaves three spots open for these six guys: Nunez, Gaudin, Moseley, Mitre, Nova and Vazquez.

    I don’t see how Vazquez makes it. And, I suppose it makes sense to take Nunez so that you don’t get stuck if two non-1B infielders go down in a game. That means it’s two spots with Gaudin, Moseley, Mitre, and Nova fighting it out.

    Girardi seems to like Gaudin. So, he’s probably in. And, that leaves it to Moseley, Mitre, and Nova for the last spot. Me? I would go with Moseley here and tell Mitre and Nova that they’re going to be cheerleaders for the ALDS.

    How would you fill out the Yankees 2010 ALDS roster?

    Pettitte’s Back Bothering Him?

    Posted by on September 30th, 2010 · Comments (0)

    Via Mark Feinsand

    As if two months on the disabled list with a groin injury weren’t enough, Andy Pettitte has been dealing with some minor back problems this week.

    Pettitte’s back stiffened up on him during Friday’s start against the Red Sox, in which he allowed seven runs in 3-1/3 innings. Pettitte said he was “pretty stiff” throughout the game, which could have led to his lack of location.

    “The next day, I knew I was going to be fine,” Pettitte told the Daily News. “But you don’t want to have anything going on, especially after what I’ve been through with my groin.”

    Pettitte was slated to start Wednesday night, but after the Yankees clinched their playoff spot on Tuesday, his start was moved to Friday night. Pettitte threw his bullpen session Wednesday and said he would have no problem taking the ball against the Red Sox.


    My Yankees Fan Cousin, Vinny

    Posted by on September 30th, 2010 · Comments (4)

    Via this blog, discussion forums, and email, I’ve been able to “meet” some really super Yankees fans. One of them is “Vinny.”

    Vinny grew up in Rhode Island and moved to the Montague, Masschusetts, area when he was 22-years old. So, he’s been in Red Sox country his entire life – which is an interesting spot for a Yankees fan. Here’s an example of that, via a story he recently shared with me:

    In 1969, the Yankees lost a big lead against the Red Sox. I knew I was going to be in for it the next day. So, I decided to count how people said something to me the next day. And, I said to them, “You are #15. You are #19.” Between school and then later softball after school, I had 29 people say something to me about that game.

    Vinny recently made his first trip to the new Yankee Stadium – to see the Yankees play Boston, of all teams, and documented his experience. It’s a cool read. Granted, for those who go to the Stadium a lot, now, there’s things in there that we already know. But, I wanted to share it here, anyway, because I thought some out there may find it as enjoyable to read as I did when I saw it.


    A-Rod’s Strong Finish While Yankees Are Losing

    Posted by on September 30th, 2010 · Comments (42)

    In his last 18 games, including last night, Alex Rodriguez’ BA/OBA/SLG line is .290/.378/.667 (in 82 PA).

    And, in fact, A-Rod has slugged 8 homeruns and had 23 RBI in these 18 games.

    However, the Yankees have gone 7-11 in these same 18 games. And, half of those eight big flies by Alex have come in games that the Yankees lost.

    Overall, this season, to date, the Yankees are 18-7 in games when A-Rod hits a homerun. So, this “homering in losses” thing is somewhat isolated to the last 18 games for Rodriguez.

    Of course, if the Yankees were playing better, this would all be moot since then the homeruns would have come in wins. But, clearly, as great as A-Rod has been swinging the bat lately, it hasn’t translated into many wins for the team.

    September 29th @ The Blue Jays

    Posted by on September 30th, 2010 · Comments (7)

    Funny, I could’ve sworn I set the unofficial over/under on last night’s score at eight runs for the Blue Jays.  Sure enough, the Yanks dropped the rubber match to the Jays by a score of 8-4, courtesy of Javier Vazquez’s last performance in pinstripes (one would imagine, anyways).  Coupled with Baltimore’s defeat of Tampa, the Yankees wasted their last and best chance to overtake the Rays in the race for the AL East division title.  Well…at least I know I can fall back into a life of professional gambling if this whole career thing doesn’t work out.

    Apart from Vazquez’s likely final humiliation as a member of the Yankees (4.2 10 7 7 2 0), the only other noteworthy point to make from this game involves A-Rod’s personal milestone.  With his 30th homer of the season, Alex extended his MLB-record streak of consecutive 30 HR/100 RBI seasons to 13 (1998-present) and extended his MLB-record streak of 30 HR/100 RBI seasons to a 14th season, two more than Babe Ruth’s previous record.

    Congrats to Alex!  It hasn’t been an easy year for him but, once again, he reminds us that we are truly lucky to have him as a part of our beloved ballclub.  Alex may not be for everyone but he’s still one hell of a great baseball player.

    How Many Times Have Yanks Won This Season Without Homering?

    Posted by on September 30th, 2010 · Comments (6)

    Here’s the answer.

    Robbie Cano, Where’d Ya Go?

    Posted by on September 29th, 2010 · Comments (15)

    Since August 10th, including tonight’s game, Robinson Cano is batting .280 in his last 186 At Bats. Now, two-eighty ain’t terrible. But, it’s not the .330 that he was batting (on the season) on August 10th. And, in fact, his overall season batting average is now .314 (after tonight’s oh’fer).

    If Cano plays all three of the Yankees remaining games and goes one for thirteen in those contests, his season average will be .309 this year. Again, that’s far from poor. And, it’s one point better than his lifetime average (.308) coming into tonight’s game. But, boy, remember when it looked like he was going to bat three-fifty this year?

    Sympathy For The Devil

    Posted by on September 29th, 2010 · Comments (12)

    Don’t get me wrong. I never want to see Javy Vazquez pitching in a game, ever again, while wearing a Yankees uniform. But, at the same time, I kinda/sorta feel bad for the guy, at this moment, with respect to his 2010 season. I mean, after all, it’s not like he’s doing this on purpose. No one could possibly want to suck as bad as he has sucked this year, right?

    Yankeeland Not Too Confident About Their Team’s Chances In ALDS?

    Posted by on September 29th, 2010 · Comments (20)

    I just had a quick exchange with four other Yankees fans. These four are long-time Yankees fans. Go to a lot of games at the Stadium. Watch just about every game on TV. Wear Yankees gear a lot of the time when not dressed for work. And, two of them have actually traveled to see the team play out west at sundry times.

    Here’s how it went down:

    Steve: So, do you like the Yankees chances in the post-season this year?
    John: No, not at all.
    Tara: I’m not too confident. Minnesota and Texas are so strong, both hitting and pitching. Our pitching is inconsistent, and you know that pitching makes the world go ‘round.
    Carmen: I’m not as confident as last year, that’s for sure. Minnesota is better. I think they are going to regret playing so poorly lately and not winning the division, because having to maybe play a Game Five or Seven on road could come back to burn them.
    Bill: CC and lots of rain…that’s their best chance.

    Sound like a conversation that you’ve had lately with any of your Yankees fan friends?

    Yankees Best Starting Rotation Plan For ALDS

    Posted by on September 29th, 2010 · Comments (28)

    There’s a lot of different ways that the Yankees can go with their ALDS starting rotation. Here’s a few:

    Plan A:
    Game 1  10/06/10 Sabathia
    Game 2  10/07/10 Pettitte
            10/08/10 NO GAME SCHEDULED
    Game 3  10/09/10 Hughes
    Game 4* 10/10/10 Sabathia on 3-days rest
            10/11/10 NO GAME SCHEDULED
    Game 5* 10/12/10 Pettitte 
    Plan B:
    Game 1  10/06/10 Sabathia
    Game 2  10/07/10 Hughes
            10/08/10 NO GAME SCHEDULED
    Game 3  10/09/10 Pettitte
    Game 4* 10/10/10 Sabathia on 3-days rest
            10/11/10 NO GAME SCHEDULED
    Game 5* 10/12/10 Hughes
    Plan C:
    Game 1  10/06/10 Sabathia
    Game 2  10/07/10 Hughes
            10/08/10 NO GAME SCHEDULED
    Game 3  10/09/10 Pettitte
    Game 4* 10/10/10 Burnett
            10/11/10 NO GAME SCHEDULED
    Game 5* 10/12/10 Sabathia
    Plan D:
    Game 1  10/06/10 Sabathia
    Game 2  10/07/10 Pettitte
            10/08/10 NO GAME SCHEDULED
    Game 3  10/09/10 Hughes
    Game 4* 10/10/10 Burnett
            10/11/10 NO GAME SCHEDULED
    Game 5* 10/12/10 Sabathia

    Me? I’d go with Plan A – because I don’t want to give Burnett a start in a five-game series and I want Andy Pettitte pitching Game 5, if necessary. How about you, what way would you go?

    How Strange Of A Ring Would That Be?

    Posted by on September 29th, 2010 · Comments (0)

    Assuming the Yankees are the A.L. Wildcard team in the post-season this year, their schedule would be as follows:

    Game 1  10/06/10 Away Game
    Game 2  10/07/10 Away Game
            10/08/10 NO GAME SCHEDULED
    Game 3  10/09/10 Yankee Stadium
    Game 4* 10/10/10 Yankee Stadium
            10/11/10 NO GAME SCHEDULED
    Game 5* 10/12/10 Away Game 
    Game 1  10/15/10 Away Game
    Game 2  10/16/10 Away Game
            10/17/10 NO GAME SCHEDULED
    Game 3  10/18/10 Yankee Stadium
    Game 4  10/19/10 Yankee Stadium
    Game 5* 10/20/10 Yankee Stadium
            10/21/10 NO GAME SCHEDULED
    Game 6* 10/22/10 Away Game
    Game 7* 10/23/10 Away Game 
    World Series
    Game 1  10/27/10 National League City
    Game 2  10/28/10 National League City
            10/29/10 NO GAME SCHEDULED
    Game 3  10/30/10 Yankee Stadium
    Game 4  10/31/10 Yankee Stadium
    Game 5* 11/01/10 Yankee Stadium
            11/02/10 NO GAME SCHEDULED
    Game 6* 11/03/10 National League City
    Game 7* 11/04/10 National League City 
    *if necessary

    Now, let’s say that EVERYTHING goes PERFECT for the Yankees this post-season. And, by this, I mean, let’s say they win every game they play this October and never lose one – on the way to getting their 28th ring.

    If they did that, it would mean that they got a ring and played only five games in Yankee Stadium: one in the ALDS and two in each the ALCS and World Series. Man, that would be strange – but, at least, all the clinchers would be at home.

    Yanks Will Have To Be Road Warriors This October

    Posted by on September 29th, 2010 · Comments (0)

    Well, now we know, for sure, that the Yankees, Rays, Rangers and Twins will be fighting it out in the 2010 ALDS. But, as the numbers below show, there’s still the issue of who in the A.L. will have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

    Rk    Tm  W  L W-L%
    1    TBR 94 63 .599
    2    NYY 94 64 .595
    3    MIN 92 65 .586
    4    TEX 87 70 .554
    5    BOS 87 70 .554
    6    CHW 84 73 .535
    7    TOR 81 76 .516
    8    DET 80 76 .513
    9    OAK 77 80 .490
    10   LAA 77 80 .490
    11   CLE 66 91 .420
    12   KCR 65 92 .414
    13   BAL 62 95 .395
    14   SEA 61 96 .389

    Expect the Yankees to lose tonight’s game. Between hangovers and Javy Vazquez, it’s bound to happen. That would leave the Yankees with 94 wins and three games left to play – all up in Fenway Park against the Red Sox.

    After today, the Rays and Twins each have four games left. Minnesota will be hosting the Blue Jays for four games and Tampa Bay heads to Kansas City for four games.

    My estimation is that it will take at least 96 wins to win home-field advantage for the A.L. post-season this year. And, I think that means the Twins are out of it – as I see Minny ending up with 95 wins this season when it’s all said and done.

    So, for New York to be in the hunt for “home-field,” they’re going to have to take two of three from the Red Sox. In fact, maybe they’re going to need a sweep if the Royals roll over for the Rays.

    Yesterday, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that having the best record, and home-field, was important. But, he also said that he’s seeing a lot of tired bodies out there when the Yankees are in the field. Hearing this, and knowing that the Yankees would need a big series in Fenway to get home-field, I’m thinking the odds are in favor of the Rays ending up with the best record in the league.

    And, this would make the ALDS match-ups: Rangers-Rays and Yankees-Twins, with the Yankees never having home-field advantage in the post-season, at all.

    September 28th @ The Blue Jays

    Posted by on September 28th, 2010 · Comments (30)

    It took WAY longer than it should’ve but, finally, the Yankees punched their ticket to the 2010 playoffs by beating the Blue Jays 6-1.  In holding down the Blue Jays through eight full innings, CC Sabathia (8.1 3 1 1 2 8 ) put on a clinic of dominance and efficiency until finally losing a bit of steam in the bottom of the ninth inning.

    Offensively, the Yankees were effective enough (although by no means perfect) in support of Sabathia’s gem.  So, with the win, the good starting pitching and the workmanlike effort by the lineup, all is well, right?  Well, almost.

    After watching Mariano Rivera look shaky over his past few outings, I would’ve preferred that the Yankees throw cannon fodder out for the last two outs of the game instead of spending the valuable bullets remaining in Rivera’s gun.  And therein lies my frustration with Joe Girardi.  In high leverage spots over the past two weeks, Girardi has routinely gone to some of his least-qualified options.  Tonight, in a game where the Yankees needed two outs before they gave up five runs, Girardi went to Rivera.  Perplexing, at least to me.

    In any case, the Yankees are now playing for another World Series.  It was a tough road to get here but hopefully this is the sign of better days ahead.

    And, Now, The Yankees Can Dance

    Posted by on September 28th, 2010 · Comments (1)

    It took 158 games, but, this season’s deed is done – and the New York Yankees will play in the post-season for the 15th time in the last 16 years.

    Now, the only questions that remain are…who will they face in the ALDS, the Rangers or the Twins, and how far into the post-season will the Yankees travel?

    Ken Burns “The Tenth Inning” Missing The Big Question

    Posted by on September 28th, 2010 · Comments (27)

    So, I’m sitting here watching Ken Burns “The Tenth Inning,” on PBS, and have to confess, while listening to the narration, all I can think of is, when are they going to ask: Is it the frank or the beans?

    Am I alone on this one?

    O.K., that issue aside, 50 minutes into it, I’m finding it to be not great, but, not bad. How about you? What did you think of the first showing?

    Maybe This One Will Get The Yankees Going Tonight?

    Posted by on September 28th, 2010 · Comments (0)

    Yankees Septembers Since 1990

    Posted by on September 28th, 2010 · Comments (9)

    The Yankees are currently 11-14 for the month of September – with two games left to be played this month. Therefore, this will be the first September since 2000 where New York did not play at least .500 baseball in September.

    Below is the Yankees record in the month of September for every season between 1990 and 2009.

    2009:  19-9
    2008:  17-9
    2007:  19-8
    2006:  18-11
    2005:  19-9
    2004:  19-9
    2003:  18-9
    2002:  19-8
    2001:  12-6
    2000:  13-17
    1999:  15-13
    1998:  16-11
    1997:  17-11
    1996:  16-11
    1995:  21-6
    1994:  No Games
    1993:  11-15
    1992:  14-13
    1991:  9-19
    1990:  10-18

    Note that, between 1995 and 2009, the Yankees averaged 17 wins in the month of September.

    Ken Burns’s “10th Inning” To Air Tonight, Tomorrow

    Posted by on September 28th, 2010 · Comments (2)

    This post is as much a reminder for myself and for Steve as it is for the rest of WW.com readership.  As the headline states, Ken Burns’s addendum to his 1994 documentary will air over the next two nights on your local public television station.

    If you liked the original from ’94, or if you’re just a baseball fan, make sure to set your DVR’s!

    Yankee Farmhands Shut Out Of NYPL Prospects List

    Posted by on September 28th, 2010 · Comments (4)

    Last week I mentioned that Baseball America was releasing its top-20 lists for each of the affiliated minor leagues.  In that post, I also revealed the upcoming schedule for the prospect honorarium.

    Sadly, no members of the Staten Island Yankees made the list of prospects in the New York-Penn League.  However sad this news may be, the reason is simply because most of the team’s 2009 draft class skipped the NYPL entirely, playing their first season of pro ball with the Charleston River Dogs in the South Atlantic League.

    Further, as most of the team’s top picks in the 2010 draft class were so young and raw, those players got their first taste of organized professional baseball at the aforementioned Gulf Coast League level.  By the time guys like Cito Culver and Gary Sanchez were ready to move up to Staten Island, their window to make this top-20 list had closed.

    It’s 22 Years Since Yanks Had Duo As Bad As Burnett & Vazquez

    Posted by on September 28th, 2010 · Comments (11)

    Both A.J. Burnett and Javier Vazquez have logged 150+ IP for the Yankees this season, to date, and their ERA+ is less than 90. When was the last time the Yankees had two players with 150+ IP and an ERA+ of 90 or less in the same season? We have to go back 22 years to find another such dud duo in Yankeeland. See the following list of times the Yankees had 2+ pitchers in a season with 150+ IP and an ERA+ of 90 or less.

    Rk Year Tm #Matching  
    1 1908 New York Highlanders 4 Jack Chesbro / Bill Hogg / Joe Lake / Rube Manning
    2 2010 New York Yankees 2 A.J. Burnett / Javier Vazquez
    3 1988 New York Yankees 2 Richard Dotson / Tommy John
    4 1945 New York Yankees 2 Monk Dubiel / Al Gettel
    5 1940 New York Yankees 2 Marv Breuer / Spud Chandler
    6 1930 New York Yankees 2 Roy Sherid / Ed Wells
    7 1929 New York Yankees 2 Herb Pennock / Ed Wells
    8 1910 New York Highlanders 2 Tom Hughes / Jack Warhop
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 9/28/2010.


    In that 1988 season, Tommy John was 45-years old and Rich Dotson’s shoulder was toast. And, to find a time when the Yankees had two pitchers like this in a season before 1988, you have to go back to when rosters were hurting because of WWII.

    So, what’s the excuse for Burnett and Vazquez this year?

    September 27th @ The Blue Jays

    Posted by on September 28th, 2010 · Comments (6)

    Look out, Melido Perez, you might have company. Thanks to Burnett’s atrocious outing last night (2.1 7 7 7 1 1) the Yankees lost 7-5 and Burnett now sits one loss behind Perez’s mark for most losses by a Yankee pitcher (16) since 1992. Some other sorry facts and figures regarding Burnett’s abysmal performance (courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information):

    • Burnett has allowed at least 6 ER in 10 starts this season, the most such starts in a single season since Eric Milton had 10 in 2005 and the most in the AL since Sidney Ponson had 10 in 2004.
    • Only 3 AL pitchers since 1940 have had more starts with at least 6 ER in a season: David Cone (2000), Tim Belcher (1997) and Jim Bibby (1974) each had 11.
    • Since 1920 among Yankees, only David Cone with 11 in 2000, has more than Burnett’s 10.

    It’s safe to say that, if not for the $87.5M contract he signed last year, the Yanks should’ve thought about skipping Burnett at some point this year and relegated him to the bullpen.  That they didn’t shows a total lack of regard for Javier Vazquez’s feelings because he’s had the better MLB career but wasn’t spared that humiliation on two separate occasions this year.

    As for the rest of the game, Toronto starter Marc Rzepczynski (5 4 2 2 3 9) absolutely shut down Yankee hitters over the first four innings until the lineup made hay in the 5th and 7th innings.  There’s just not much to say here.  If Burnett pitches like a decent MLB pitcher, the Yanks probably win this game.

    Coupled with Baltimore’s win over Tampa, Burnett’s stinker hurts just a little bit more.  It’s painful to think that the Yanks could’ve re-taken first place but blew their opportunity.

    Cashman: Betances May Be Best Yanks Prospect Ever

    Posted by on September 28th, 2010 · Comments (7)

    I saw this in the recent print edition of Baseball America

    Ivan Nova had the best year in the system, but according to [Brian] Cashman, 6-foot-4 righthander Dellin Betances is the organization’s best pitching prospect. “He might be our best pitching prospect ever,” the GM said.

    Betances had Tommy John surgery in 2009 and made just 11 starts. But the ’06 eighth-round pick made up for lost time this season, earning his first promotion to Double-A Trenton, where he struck out 20 and walked three over 14 innings.

    The 22-year-old Betances spent most of the year befuddling high Class A Florida State League hitters for Tampa. In 14 starts, he went 8-1, 1.77 with 88 strikeouts and 19 walks in 71 innings. Opposing batters hit just .169 against him.

    Yeah, Yankees G.M. Brian Cashman said “[Dellin Betances] might be our best pitching prospect ever.”

    I’m not sure if that’s praise for Betances or commentary on the history of Cashman’s past pitching prospects…

    Yanks To Use CC For The Hopeful Clincher

    Posted by on September 27th, 2010 · Comments (7)

    Via Ben Shpigel

    [Today’s loss has] undermined the Yankees’ possible plans of holding C. C. Sabathia out of his scheduled start Tuesday. Instead of having his next outing delayed three days (to Friday in Boston) to put him in line to work the Oct. 6 opener on regular rest — as he preferred — Sabathia is set to climb the Rogers Centre mound, in his left arm the Yankees trust.

    “I think anytime you have a chance to set something up, you’d prefer to set something up,” Manager Joe Girardi said before the game. “But the first thing is you have to get in before you do any of that.”

    Of course, the last 55 batters to face CC have a collective BA/OBA/SLG line of .354/.389/.458, and, over his last 6 starts, Sabathia’s ERA is 4.32 (in 41.6 IP). So, who knows what will really happen on Tuesday? It’s not like he’s been a lock to shut people down lately, right?

    Yankees To Flip Rookie Hazing

    Posted by on September 27th, 2010 · Comments (5)

    As you may know, many baseball teams, during their last road trip of the season, will hide their rookies’ street clothes and replace them with funny/embarrasing costumes – and then force the rooks to parade about in public in their new threads. Well, this season, the Yankees are flipping on that, and making their veterans play dress up. Here’s what I’ve heard on that, so far…just the plans for some Yankees pitchers…

    Joba Chamberlain has to dress up like Brian Bruney.
    A.J. Burnett has to dress up like Jeff Weaver.
    Javier Vazquez has to dress up like Carl Pavano.
    Jonathan Albaladejo has to dress up like Colter Bean.
    Chad Gaudin has to dress up like Tanyon Sturtze.
    Sergio Mitre has to dress up like Esteban Loaiza.
    Damaso Marte has to dress up like Felix Heredia.
    Dustin Moseley has to dress up like Dan Giese.
    Alfredo Aceves has to dress up like Ramiro Mendoza.
    And, Chan Ho Park will be invited back to dress up like Kei Igawa. Or, was it Igawa being invited back to dress up like Park?

    If we find out any more on the plans, you’ll be the first to know…

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