Aug 30, 2007


Since 2000, Red Sawx pitchers have hit 85 Yankees. On the other hand, Yankee pitchers have hit 54 Socks hitters.

I don't know what the average is, but that seems like a pretty wide margin. They shouldn't be complaining, but they're probably just frustrated after being swept.

PS: I commented on River Avenue Blues as 'Dude,' with a post similar to this one, and 'Mookie' responded as such:

Since 2000, Sox pitchers have hit 612 batters. With the exception of the Devil Rays, who hit 604 (but had really really really bad pitchers), no other team hit more than 525 (Rangers). After the Rangers and Jays (493), you see a cluster of 7 teams in the 430-460 range, including the Yanks (456), and then a handful of teams with lower totals (Twins at the bottom with 361). So before Youkilis, Beckett and the rest of Red Sox Nation do any pouting, they should realize that the team they play for/root for is easily the head-huntingest team in the American League in recent memory, and that the Yankees are right in the middle of the bell curve.

Wow. So the Sawx are #1 in all baseball for drilling hitters, and they can't claim poor pitching (like Tampa). They shouldn't complain one bit. This info should be passed all over the internet.

Break out the brooms!

The Yanks top three outpitched Boston's top three. Yankee pitchers allowed just six hits in the last two games. Wang pitched six hitless innings today before a 7th inning single. He reached 96 on his sinker, and held David Ortiz hitless (with two Ks). Their offense is very different without Manny (who sat out the last two games with a muscle strain).

Joba may have been throwing at Youkilis. Even though Joba's control isn't great yet, he put two fastballs in the exact same spot (over Youkilis' head) - perhaps it was retaliation for Arod getting hit in game one. However, he is a 21-year-old rookie with just 10 innings of major league experience who throws 95+. Joe Torre made a good point in the postgame show that if the umpire thought there was intent behind the first pitch, why was there no warning issued?

Robbie Cano had a plurality of the offense, crushing two HRs off Schilling (both to Death Valley), which would have been enough but the Yanks tacked on three against
Okajima (who's frankly been pitching over his head most of the year). Edwar relieved Joba and fanned Lowell and popped up Drew to end the game.

Horacio Ramirez goes for Seattle tonight against Cleveland. A loss would give the Yanks sole possession of the wildcard lead.

Phil Hughes goes tomorrow against Tampa's Andy Sonnanstine.

Wheeew... That was close

The Yanks scored three in the 2nd and one in the 7th, and that was it. Fortunately, it was enough as Clemens shut down Boston's lineup for six innings (five without a hit), followed by solid outings from Vizcaino and Mo. Farnsy did his best Eric Gagne impression, giving up a two-run shot to Youkilis in the 8th that brought Boston within one. He k'ed JD Drew, then walked Varitek. Joe brought in Mo for the four-out save. It worked as Mo dominated all four batters he faced - no one even hit a ball out of the infield.

Arod, Matsui and Posada went 6-11, while Melky collected three hits. Despite getting 13 hits off Beckett (a career high for him), they couldn't put the final nail in the coffin, leaving nine runners on base.

ESPN's broadcasters just could not stop talking in disbelief about the 'Joba Rules.' Is it really that hard to believe? He's the best arm in the entire organization, playing in his first professional year, under none other than Joe Torre - he has to be protected. Of course, if the Yanks make the playoffs, I'm sure the rules will be amended to allow for greater freedom. They made on incredibly stupid comment about why would Brian Cashman go along with the 'Joba Rules'? Guys, he's the freakin one who instituted them! They also said something akin to the Yankees minors dictating to the majors - the one who's dictating is the General Manager, not some non-defined 'minors' they were talking about. Given that it was ESPN (featuring Steve Phillips), none of the stupidity really surprised me.

Seattle lost again to Anaheim, so the Yanks are mere percentage points behind them for the wildcard.

Wang vs. Schilling tomorrow afternoon.

Aug 28, 2007

Yanks win, Kennedy coming up

More on tonight's game later.

Ian Kennedy was announced as Saturday's starter against Tampa Bay. Kennedy was selected in the first round of the 2006 draft, and has put up stellar numbers in his first professional year: 146.1 ip, 1.91 era, 91 h, 50 bb, 163 k. He does, however, have a slightly scary groundout-to-flyout ratio of .88. If there's any weakness to his game, it will be the HR.

So on back to back days (Friday and Saturday), the Yanks will send to the hill a 21 (Hughes) and 22-year-old. Who'd have thunk it at the beginning of the year?

PS: Fucking blackout rules will prevent me from watching Saturday's game, so I'll have to wait until archives it.

A little prospect news

- Project Prospect ranks the top 25 prospects every couple weeks, and their latest rankings include a top duo of Yankees - #1 Phil Hughes, #2 Joba Chamberlain.

- The Gulf Coast League playoffs started today, and the Yankees won 6-4, coming behind from a one-run deficit with three in the bottom of the eighth. Jesus Montero (the best power hitter in the Yanks lower minors) had a HR and a walk. Abe Almonte (the fastest player in the entire organization) went 2-5.

- A slew of 2007 draftees made their professional debuts with the GCL Yankees recently. 2nd round catcher Austin Romine went 1-2 with a double, walk and K. 4th round third-baseman Brad Suttle went 0-3 with a K. 10th round shortstop Carmen Angelini went 0-1.

- A good and accurate read on the Trenton Thunder, whose games I regularly attend.

- Alan Horne, of the aforementioned Thunder, was named the Eastern League's Pitcher of the Year.

Ugliest game of the year?

Quite possibly, as the Yanks may look for other options for the fifth starter role after another awful start by Mike Mussina.

In a different time, when the Yankees ere touched by magic, even their horror stories had happy endings. David Cone went from pillar to punching bag in 2000, but his season ended with a clutch relief appearance that helped win the World Series.

This tale seems grimmer. Mike Mussina's rapid decline continued at Comerica Park on Monday in the Yankees’ worst loss of the season, a 16-0 wipeout by the Detroit Tigers. The Yankees staggered home for a series with the Boston Red Sox, a team they trail by eight games in the American League East standings after losing five of seven on the road.

Mussina’s next start is scheduled for Saturday, but there is no guarantee he will make it. He gave up six runs and nine hits in three innings Monday, with no strikeouts and no answers.

“Probably the last nine innings are the worst nine innings that I’ve pitched in my whole career, in a row,” Mussina said. “I don’t even know how to describe it because I’ve never had to deal with it before.”

In his past three starts, Mussina is 0-3 with a 17.69 earned run average, allowing 25 hits and 19 earned runs in nine and two-thirds innings. Opponents are hitting .313 against him this season.

Manager Joe Torre said he would meet Tuesday with Mussina (8-10) and the pitching coach Ron Guidry to discuss what comes next.

Man oh man was that a horrendous showing last night. The (kind of) good news? Seattle also lost (so the Yanks remain two back in the wild card), and Chris Britton was finally called up from Triple-A Scranton to replace the woeful Sean Henn.

- First rounder Andrew Brackman will have Tommy John surgery, so he won't be back at full strength until the start of the 2009 season. Fantastic!

- The Yanks are sending seven minor leaguers to the Arizona Fall League.

Aug 26, 2007

Not a good game

I'd put the blame 60% on Phil Hughes, and 40% on the offense. I really thought Hughes would have a great outing today, being his fifth start since returning from the DL and having his best fastball of the year (outside of the no-hitter) his last time out. He promptly served up a leadoff HR followed by a pair of runs. His line (outside of earned runs) looks great: 6 ip, 4 h, 1 bb, 6 k. That looks like he should have allowed just one or two runs, but three of the four hits happened to be HRs. That was the opposite of his MO in the minors, when he was a groundball machine, but since joining the Yanks he's become a flyball pitcher (today he allowed 11 flyouts to one groundout!). In the minors he consistently pitched low in the zone, but after his first three starts (when he had a 21:9 groundout to flyout ratio), his ratio has skyrocketed (12:37). He allowed just six HR in all of 2006, so he reach half that in just three innings today. I don't mean to kill him (I was disappointed today because I was hoping (and expecting) a better game) - he still has a great k:bb ratio of 3:1, has allowed less hits than innings pitched, did retire 11 of the last 12 hitters and (most of all) is the youngest pitcher in the majors.

The offense should have been able to scratch a run across after the fourth inning though. You just have to find a way to tie the game there. If this game was played six days later (after rosters expand to 40), speedy Brett Gardner (who has stole 105 bases in the minors with a 83% success rate) would have pinch-ran for Giambi in the ninth (not Duncan) and given Torre a better alternative to steal a base and stay out of the DP (which Cano grounded into).

Aug 25, 2007

Stats Inc. must have read this blog

I said days ago that no one had yet to touch Joba's slider, and apparently Stats Inc. picked up on it yesterday evening. Not to boast, but I was the first person I know to identify this feat. They owe me something (at least a footnote I should think)...

I only saw about three innings, so here's the recap -

If the Yankees were dragging from their early-morning exit from Comerica Park on Saturday, their offense lent few signs of needing a pick-me-up.

Melky Cabrera legged out a three-run triple and Johnny Damon also tripled and homered for the Yankees, who gleaned eight solid innings from 15-game winner Chien-Ming Wang in a 7-2 victory over the Tigers.

Backing Wang (15-6), the Yankees opened up the game in the sixth with a rarity of back-to-back triples off Tigers starter Jeremy Bonderman, who lost his sixth consecutive decision.

Cabrera sliced a bases-loaded drive down the right-field line for a three-base hit; Bonderman's next pitch was ripped to center field, where Curtis Granderson attempted a diving catch, but the ball ticked off his glove and fell to the ground as Damon raced for third.

Bonderman (10-7) allowed seven runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings, walking four and striking out none. He surrendered a two-run double up the left-center-field gap to Hideki Matsui in the first inning -- one of three hits for Matsui, who has hit safely in 44 of 48 games -- before Damon hit a solo home run, his eighth, leading off the third.

Wang had won four of his last five decisions but, over that span, struggled at times with aggressiveness and trusting his sinker.

He was much improved on Saturday, limiting Detroit to two runs (one earned) and five hits in an eight-inning, two-walk, six-strikeout performance that helped the Yankees bounce back from a crushing extra-inning loss that spilled into Saturday morning.

Phil Hughes tomorrow. And Seattle is currently tied at three with Texas in the sixth.

Aug 24, 2007

First pitch scheduled for 11 p.m.

According to the Yanks official site. Only four hours after the scheduled start time. Detroit really doesn't want to play a doubleheader.

Aug 23, 2007

Interesting read on (possibly) the newest addition to the system

He is a 16-year-old Dominican shortstop named Edward Salcedo, who is represented by none other than Scott Boras and whom the Yanks are expected to sign for $4.5 million (a record for an international free agent). I really have no idea if he's worth it, but the scouting report is high on him, and I'd be fine with the deal as long as it's not a major league deal.

Aug 22, 2007

Pettitte the Stopper

Andy saved the Yanks hide last night, providing seven innings of one run ball to prevent the sweep. He's been doing that his whole career. Joba pitched the eighth and struck out the side on 15 pitches (including a three pitch K of Vlad Guerrero). He hit 99 mph on the gun and hitters have yet to make contact with his slider - unreal.

- Texas scored 30 runs to break the AL record set in 1950 (29). The strangest part is that Wes Littleton got the save with a 27 run lead (because he pitched three scoreless innings to end the game). My favorite line: "Things started off well for the O's. Baltimore had a three-run lead by the third inning, but starter Daniel Cabrera and the bullpen surrendered 30 unanswered runs."

- Mark Melancon, one of the Yanks top relief prospects, is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery throwing bullpen sessions down in Tampa. He has nasty stuff and could be a major factor in the Yanks pen next year, ala Joba Chamberlain (although not quite to that extent).

In defense of the Joba Laws

Pete Abraham is dead on. That Joba is even helping the Yanks this year is a huge bonus, and therefore should not be abused.

There are a pack of folks who want the “Joba Rules” suspended and for Joba Chamberlain to become the Native American Jeff Nelson and pitch whenever needed.

Two words for you: Cole Hamels. Philadelphia’s prized rookie is headed to the MRI tube tomorrow because of a sore elbow. The Phillies are praying it’s not a torn ligament.

The Phillies deserve no breaks, however. Hamels threw 35 innings in 2005 because of a hand and back injuries. Yet he was allowed to throw 181.1 innings in 2006 and 167.1 this season. Oh, by the way, he’s 23.

Two more words for you: Kerry Wood. Do I need to go on? Research has shown that young pitchers who add more than 30 or 40 innings from one season to the next tend to suffer more arm injuries.

Chamberlain had arm trouble at Nebraska in 2006 that limited him to 89.1 innings. He then signed late and didn’t pitch pro ball until going to the winter league in Hawaii in October, four months after he had last pitched in college. He picked up 37 innings there.

So far this season he has thrown 95.1 innings. The Yankees want to cap him around 130 before the playoffs. This is also the first time in his life that he has been worked as a reliever, so they are making sure he gets enough rest between appearances.

I understand that as fans you want the Yankees to win as many games as they can. But do you want them to have a 22-year-old starter who can win 15 games next season? Because that’s what Chamberlain could well be.

Or you can be waiting for news of his MRI.

Look at Chamberlain this way: any innings he pitches are a bonus. This is a kid who was on the disabled list for Class A Tampa when the season started with a sore hamstring. It’s a great story that he’s blowing away big-league hitters. But it’ll be a better story if he’s starting the third game of the season next April, not chilling in the Legends Field trainers room with Carl Pavano.

By the way, I can't recall a single hitter this year making contact with his slider. I think Kevin Millar grounded out on a curve (it had more 12-6 action and was only 81 mph), so assuming that was not a slider, no batter has has touched his slider. Wow...

Aug 21, 2007


The baseball gods just love the Angels (at least when they play the Yanks). Mike Mussina hasn't walked a leadoff batter of any inning this year - what happened tonight? He walked the first batter of the game. He left after just 1.2 innings, the shortest start of his career (although, as usual, he was squeezed on several calls). EDIT: Newsday reports it was Mussina's shortest start since 2005 (Anaheim's announcers incorrectly stated it was the shortest of his career).

It seems like every freakin' ball the Angel hitters touch found a hole in the defense. How is it possible?

The frustration was too much so I stopped watching at 7-1 so as to not break my new TV...

Phil's bad luck continues

Yes, Phil Hughes has a 4.94 era, and yes he has walked 14 in just 32.2 innings, but let me tell you why he'll be an ace within a couple years.

A large reason he's not an ace already is bad luck. For instance, did you know he has the lowest OPS Against of any Yankee starter? And did you know he has the second lowest WHIP among Yankee starters (just .01 behind Clemens)?

Plus Hughes just turned the legal drinking age two months ago (in fact he's the youngest pitcher in baseball) and he's ninth in baseball in starters' batting average against and OPS against.

Aug 19, 2007

Three out of four

And the pitching reigns supreme! Three games, six runs allowed by Yankee pitchers. That's enormously impressive considering Detroit's potent offense (even without All-Star Placido Polanco).
And the bullpen - no reliever allowed a single run in the last three contests. They excelled again today (an inning from Joba and two from Edwar): three perfect innings, five strikeouts.

The turning point was an error made by third-basemen Brandon Inge on what seemed a routine grounder - it took a bad hop and bounded between his legs. That kept the inning alive and allowed the Yanks to tie the game at three. Damon broke the tie with a solo shot into the third deck in the sixth. They then broke the game open in the seventh and eighth with five runs (including a bases loaded double by Betemit; the 2008 first-base platoon has to be Betemit and Duncan - Andy Phillips is a nice player, but that's it).

Phil Hughes goes tomorrow in Anaheim.

Aug 18, 2007

A good, good, good, good win

Against a good team. Solid starting pitching, timely hitting and good D won out today (how sweet was that strikeout-caught stealing?). Abreu's foul-pole HR (at left) could prove to be the turning point of the series. Over the last two days, Yankee pitching has allowed just three runs - thanks to Andy, Roger, Joba, Farnsy (you heard right), 'Caino and Mo.

- Down in Scranton, Ian Kennedy pitched another gem: 6 ip, 2 h, 1 er, 0 bb, 6 k. His era on the year is a minscule 1.86 with 87 hits, six HRs, 48 bb, 156 Ks and a .181 batting average against in 140.2 innings (that's a .96 whip!).

Pettitte tames Tigers

I know, a lame title. But Pettitte pitched one of his best games of the year when the Yanks needed him most - he prevented a four-game losing streak. He went eight and handed the ball to Joba who closed out the 6-1 victory.

The bottom of the order did most of the damage as Giambi homered twice (both were crushed), Cano had two hits and Andy Phillips had three. I didn't understand playing three lefties (Damon, Abreu, Giambi) with Detroit's pitcher being lefty and quality righties on the bench (Melky, Duncan), but it paid off.

- Elsewhere, two top prospects are having surgery: Jose Tabata is having a bone removed from his hand, and Chris Garcia is undergoing knee surgery. Tabata was suffering from a lack of power this year (slugging just .392), so hopefully helping his ailment will improve his power. To make up for lost time, he may play Winter ball (he played in the Venezuelan Winter League last year).
Garcia already underwent Tommy John surgery and won't be seen until next season anyway, so the knee surgery shouldn't keep him out any longer than was originally planned.

- The Cubbies signed Carlos Zambrano to a five-year extension (six with an option). Damn, there goes the best free agent of the offseason (barring Arod's out-out of course).

Aug 16, 2007

More draft stuff

Scouting reports and video of the Yanks draftees.

Part of first-round pick Andrew Brackman's deal is that he is immediately added to the 40-man roster (which happened today as Chris Basak was designated for assignment).

He might undergo Tommy John surgery within the coming weeks - he was inspected by Dr. James Andrews (who is the king of TJ surgery).

Aug 15, 2007

Random thoughts

- 2008 first base platoon: some combination of Shelley Duncan, Wilson Betemit, Andy Phillips and Juan Miranda perhaps?

- Phil Hughes is allowing a lot more flyballs than he did in the minors, today being the biggest disparity: 10 flyouts to one groundout (and his last start was 10:2). For the year his groundout to airout rate is .93. That's not so good, but considering his minor league stats say he gets groundballs about 55-60% of the time, I think it's just a matter of him adjusting to the Bigs.
He also occasionally gets into funks where he'll lose the strikezone for 5-10 pitches. It happened today - he walked consecutive batters in the 2nd (then he k'ed the next two). He still needs to improve his command consistency to become an ace. But don't forget, Hughes' MO is that at each new level he has a period of adjustment where he pitches mediocre to bad, then all of a sudden it clicks and he dominates.

- Draft update: the best picks from the June amateur draft were officially signed today.

Rest In Peace Scooter

From the Times -

Phil Rizzuto, the sure-handed Hall of Fame Yankees shortstop nicknamed the Scooter who extended his Yankee life as a popular, even beloved, broadcaster, punctuating his game calls with birthday wishes to fans and exclamations of “Holy cow!” died Monday night. He was 89.

The cause was pneumonia, his daughter Patricia said yesterday. Rizzuto, who had been in declining health for several years, died at a residential facility in West Orange, N.J. He had lived in Hillside, N.J.

Monday was the 12th anniversary of the death of Rizzuto’s teammate, Mickey Mantle.

Rizzuto joined the Yankees in 1941 and played 13 seasons (he missed three while in the Navy during World War II) until 1956. His departure was abrupt. No longer willing to carry an aging, seldom-used infielder, the Yankees cut him on Old-Timers’ Day. Soon after, he began calling Yankee games for WPIX-TV Channel 11 and remained in that job until 1996.

Rizzuto played an integral role on the dynastic Yankees before and after World War II. He was a masterly bunter and defensive specialist for teams that steamrolled to 10 American League pennants and won 8 World Series championships, including 5 in a row from 1949 to 1953.

My favorite part -

In 1993, Tom Peyer and Hart Seely edited Phil Rizzuto’s actual broadcast commentary into verse for a book called “O Holy Cow! The Selected Verse of Phil Rizzuto.” Here is an excerpt.
What kind is it?
Holy cow!
What happened?
Base hit!
A little disconcerting,
Smelling that pizza,
And trying
To do a ballgame.

He will be missed.

In descending order, who pitched the worst today

1. Mo - 1 ip, 3 h, 3 er, 0 bb, 0 k

2. Phil Hughes - 5 ip, 6 h, 2 er, 2 bb, 4 k
3. Sean Henn, 1.2 ip, 2 h, 0 r, 0 bb, 0 k
4. Edwar, 2.1 ip, 1 h, 0 r, 0 bb, 3 k

Wow. That was disappointing to say the least. The Yanks scratched and clawed their way back into the game only for Mo to blow it one inning later. Looking back on it, perhaps Joba would have been a better choice in the 10th than Mo.

Phil Hughes' misplay at first cost the Yanks two runs. That's a rookie mistake so I can't kill him for it (plus Tike Redman is superfast). Despite Hughes not looking great, he still pitched five solid innings, and if not for one mistake, would have allowed just one run.

Yankee batters hit a lot of balls hard, but didn't get many breaks - it seemed like every other line drive was right at someone, e.g. Andy Phillips, Melky (twice), Posada, etc.

The only real excitement came on Shelley Duncan's two-out, bottom of the 9th, game-tying homer. For some reason, I still didn't have much confidence going into the 10th - the O's just seem to be a one of those comeback spoiler teams this year and Mo hasn't exactly instilled confidence the last few games.

It sucks losing day games (especially ones like this) because that 'icky' feeling lasts a whole day and a half. If I had a choice, I'd much rather lose a night game and win a day game than vice versa.

At least Edwar pitched well (are you listening Joe?), Joba is well rested, and... and... oh, and Arod is in the midst of a hot streak (18-43, .419 with four HR and six walks in his last 12 games).

P.S. - Interesting read comparing Joba's and Hughes' mechanics.

Aug 14, 2007

Yanks win back-and-forth contest

Mo blew his first save in 20 chances, but the Yanks scratched across a run in the bottom of the 9th to win nine of their last 10.

Wow! It's almost unfair. He was sitting 95-99 mph with his fastball and threw a few sliders/slurves between 81 and 88. One perfect inning, two strikeouts, one groundout. And I love the screaming fist-pump after the second K. Some good restrictions have been placed on him to prevent Torre from overworking him: 1. he can't pitch more than two innings, 2. for every inning he pitches, he must get at least one day of rest before his next outing, 3. he can only start innings, he can't be brought in mid-inning.

Wilson Betemit
The King of the Three True Outcomes (strikeout, homerun and walk). He had three plate appearances last night and had one of each (in order): two-run HR, walk and K. Getting him for Scott Proctor is looking like a steal.

What more can you say about him? He made a very nice sliding catch, extended his hitting streak to 18 games, threw out a runner at home, and scored the winning run. He's all over!

How ugly was that 'art' they gave him? No offense to art enthusiasts (or the artist), but those paintings and the sculpture would go straight into my basement.

Aug 12, 2007

91 mph

That's what Moose's fastball topped out at last night - a big reason he pitched one of his best games of the year. Hopefully those early season starts when his fastball topped out at 86 mph are ancient history.

Aug 10, 2007

Phil + Joba + Mo = win

First off, a Steve Phillips sighting. So I was walking in a strip mall in Corolla (pronounced Car-Allah), North Carolina, passing a Dairy Queen when I almost bumped into former Mets GM (and current ESPN broadcaster) Steve Phillips. He was with his kids. I was wearing my Yankee cap and he looked at it, then at me, but didn't say anything. And I didn't know what (if anything) to say either. It probably would have been something akin to: "You're an idiot."

As for tonight's game (which I watched on's Gameday), it was a beautiful thing 'watching' Phil Hughes go a solid six innings, hand the ball to Joba for a perfect two, then to Mo to close it out. Phil threw a ridiculous percentage of strikes, 66 of 95 (69 %), and allowed the only Cleveland run of the game on a fourth inning Josh Barfield solo shot. He k'ed six and gave up just one walk and four hits. Joba pitched the seventh and eighth - he k'ed four and walked none. Torre should have let Farnsworth pitch the ninth, considering the Yanks were up by five, but in the interest of keeping Mo sharp, called on him and he delivered a perfect inning. Three Yankee farmhands combined for an 11 strikeout, four hit, one walk, one run game. A thing of beauty!

The offense consisted of three hits from DJ, a solo shot and two walks from Arod, an rbi triple from Abreu, and two hits from Cano.

Oh, and just one more thing. Boston's big trade deadline acquisition, Eric Gagne (who Fenway fans gave a standing ovation to before ever throwing a pitch), was hammered in Baltimore [:) ]. He allowed four earned runs and recorded just one out. Baltimore was down 5-1 in the bottom of the 9th, and came back to tie it. They're now in the bottom of the 10th. Update 10:33 - Baltimore scored off Okajima to win the game 6-5. The Yanks are five games back in the division.

More news:
- Kei Igawa was claimed off waivers by San Diego. The two teams have until Sunday night to work out a deal that would send the Japanese lefty to pitcher-friendly Petco Park. Great news, although I don't think it will happen. San Diego would probably not pay any of Igawa's $26 million posting fee (and who knows how much of his salary?), and Cash (and I) still think he could be a useful pitcher one day.
- If Arod opts out after the season and signs elsewhere, the Yanks will receive compensatory draft picks (in the first and sandwich rounds). More great news, because I was under the impression that he had the same deal that Scott Boras' other player, J.D. Drew, had (that the Dodgers could not receive compensatory draft picks if he signed elsewhere).

Aug 8, 2007

As we wait

for Phil Hughes' next start (after the off day), let's look at the Yankee leaders through August 8th:

VORP (value over replacement player)
Arod is worth 60.8 runs over a replacement level third-baseman
Posada 54.4
Jeter 40.3

Wang 30.8
Pettitte 26.3
Mo 16.4

WPA (win probability)
Arod 4.78
Jeter 2.32
Posada 1.54

Mo 1.38
Wang 1.20
Vizcaino 0.96

Win Shares
Arod 23
Jeter 18
Posada 17

Wang 11.2
Pettitte 8.3
Mo 5.5

Fielding Runs Above Average
Cano 15
Melky 11
Damon 5

Fielding Win Shares
Cano 4.5
Posada 4.4
Jeter 4.3


Reliever Expected Runs
Mo 14.1
Vizcaino 13.6
Bruney 5.6

Aug 7, 2007

Busy game

Unfortunately, I was not able to watch tonight's 9-2 win (as I am on vacation in North Carolina), so I had to settle for's Gameday. Where to start?

Clemens pitched an outstanding game: 6 ip, 1 r, 2 h, 1 bb, 6 k. And he rightly retaliated for Arod's beaning by hitting Alex Rios to lead off the 7th. He and Torre were ejected.

He was beaned on the knee a day after being thrown behind. The benches cleared but no one was ejected. A really stupid move by Toronto and the home plate umpire. This is the second straight game they tried to hit him. I understand they're still pissed about Arod's 'HA!', but you throw at him once, not twice. Josh Towers should have been ejected right then - an obvious intentional beaning. Jorge made him pay as he hit a two-run double that gave the Yanks a 3-0 lead.

It kind of got lost in the mix, but Joba Chamberlain made his major league debut, pitching the 8th and 9th innings. He allowed a hit, two walks and two strikeouts. I don't know how high on the radar gun he touched (Gameday didn't have pitch speeds), but he got a lot of swinging strikes. The two walks seemed more like nerves (he rarely walks guys in the minors), and it's not like he was missing by much, only mere inches (at least that's how it looked on Gameday).

Melky and Cano
These two are carrying the offense. They went a combined: 3-5, 3b, 2 2b, 3 bb, hbp, 3 r and a steal for good measure (they reached base seven out of nine times). Don't look now, but Melky has a better slugging average than Abreu (and has nearly surpassed Jeter, while Cano is well ahead of both).

Yanks make right moves

Giambi, Joba in, Cairo, Bruney out.

This is what most fans have been wanting: Betemit's arrival signaled the end of Cairo's reign as utility infielder. Along with Andy Phillips, they cover the entire infield and hit far better than Cairo. This also allows Shelley Duncan (and his tremendous power) to stay up. Damon now really becomes the 4th outfielder and pinch-runner.

The ideal lineup would be:
CF Melky
SS Jeter
RF Abreu
3b Arod
DH Giambi
C Posada
LF Mastui
1b Duncan
2b Cano

With Damon subbing in for Matsui and Giambi on occasion. Also, Betemit could sub in for Duncan, Jeter, Arod and Cano on occasion.

Aug 6, 2007

Joba promoted to the Big Club

Story broken by the Omaha World-Herald (with a hat tip to RAB):

Joba Chamberlain has been summoned to the major leagues and is scheduled to pitch in relief of Roger Clemens Tuesday night as the New York Yankees visit the Toronto Blue Jays.
Chamberlain, a 21-year-old former Nebraska All-American, received word of the promotion Monday, according to his father, Harlan Chamberlain, and immediately flew from Scranton, Pa., to Toronto.
The Yankees have not officially announced the move.
"To be happening this quick, it's just a dream," the elder Chamberlain said. "It's a dream that was always there, but to achieve it this quick, it's unbelievable. It's surreal."

Road to 200

Andy Pettitte is now at career win #194 (after the Yanks won a hard fought game) and has a realistic shot at 200 this year. Just keeping y'all up to date.

Aug 5, 2007


On a less historic note, Hideki Matsui hit his 100th career homerun today in the 3rd inning. Mussina pitched another solid game (albeit against Kansas City again), but those darn middle relievers sucked so Mo had to be called in to close out the 8-5 win.

Aug 4, 2007


The recap. Unfortunately, Phil Hughes didn't fare as well as the offense - he allowed six earned runs in 4.2 innings. But I woulnd't look too much into it - his first start against Toronto in April was very similar, and then he pitched a 6.1 inning no-hitter his next time out.

- Elsewhere, Joba pitched in relief duty again, and needless to say, made more AAA hitters look foolish: 2 ip, 1 h, 0 r, 0 bb, 5 k.

Aug 3, 2007

New Yankee Stadium - construction photos

More pics of the new Stadium (which may be behind schedule).

And a few other things -

1. As you may or may not know, Michael Strahan is holding out of training camp, hoping to get a pay increase. Could his divorce be the primary reason? Assuming Tom Coughlin is as bad as he was last year, I wouldn't be too disappointed (or surprised) to finish with the worst record in football - because it means Darren McFadden (video) in 2008 (and a new head coach: Belichick and Cowher may be available). Of course, even without Strahan, Tiki and with Coughlin's ineptitude, there are still several horrible teams out there, e.g. Oakland, Detroit, Cleveland.

2. A good read on Phil Hughes, as he prepares to make his third start of the season tomorrow (after three months on the DL). He compares very favorably (in terms of minor league stats) to some of the best pitchers of this era.

3. D-Mint could return from the DL soon. If they ever put him on the active roster, I'll lose my mind. I know he plays great D, but so does Andy Phillips (who can actually hit). And then there's even Shelley Duncan, who plays a passable 1b but hits far better than DMint. And there's also Wilson Betemit, who's a solid third-baseman, and the transition from 3b to 1b is one of the easier position changes in baseball - he's just 25, his D I'm sure will be fine, and he's a better hitter than probably all of the other three options (unless Duncan continues his incredible power pace).

Aug 2, 2007

Nine runs and they lose

The pitching fell apart today, but with Wang and Hughes going the next two games against Kansas City, today's loss wasn't too tough.

- Robbie Cano's error was a killer, but I won't kill him because he's played the best defense on the team this year (and the ball took a bad bounce).

- Wow, does Wilson Betemit have power. He took a nice easy swing and launched a HR to the deepest part of the park (in his first Yankee at-bat no less).

- I can't wait until Saturday for Hughes' start. Hopefully it'll be more like his second start (the Texas no-hitter) than his first (the short outing against Toronto).

- In Scranton, Edwar continues to excel: one perfect inning, two strikeouts. Are you listening, Joe?

Encore performance by the Bombers

13 homeruns in two games, which ties a franchise record. Danks pitched well his last time against the Yanks, but far from it tonight. He lasted just four innings and allowed five earned runs. On the other side, Andy Pettitte pitched a stellar game: 7 ip, 6 h, 1 er, 2 bb, 6 k. Cano, Duncan and Jeter each homered once, but Posada went deep twice (including the go-ahead shot in the 2nd).

- Joba Chamberlain made his second relief appearance, this time for Double-A Trenton (instead of Triple-A Scranton because of scheduling or passport issues - Scranton is on a road trip in Ottawa), and dominated once again: one perfect inning, two strikeouts.