The Chien-Ming Wang era in New York has finally ended (*mixed boos and cheers*). The Yankees decided on not tendering Wangs contract before the 11:59pm deadline Saturday. New York opted to tender contracts to outfielder Melky Cabrera and pitchers Chad Gaudin and Sergio Mitre. The decision basically came down to starters/trade bait. Cabrera is the current left fielder (and trade bait), and Gaudin and Mitre are current candidates for the back of the rotation. Had the Yankees tendered his contract, arbitration would have given him 20% less than his $5 mil. contract for this season.
In 104 career starts as a Yankee, he went 55-26 with a 4.16 ERA in 5 seasons as a Yankee. Of course, his two 19-win seasons were considered his best, and his accuracy was pin-point. He started 2008 8-2 and everyone remembers that one June day in 2008 in Houston when he tore a muscle in his foot and sprained his ankle rounding third base causing him to be out until September. Then this past season came, and he got knocked around and had a record of 1-6 with a 9.64 ERA before he was shut down for the season due to shoulder surgery.
Wang and his agent expect to get offers from other teams very soon, and if it would be from the Yanks it would be for much less money.
Without further ado, here is the interview in its entirety:
1. In a recent blog post I debated whether I would prefer Ryan Howard or Mark Teixeira for this series….which would you take?
Right now I would take Howard. He’s as hot as anyone not named Alex Rodriguez, and he’s even getting Rodriguez a run for his money. I got to see Howard hit quite a bit in Scranton, and he’s more than just a pull-the-ball power hitter. He can go the other way. He can move runners. He’s not awful at first base. On the whole, though, I think Teixeira is a more complete player. Just hard to overlook what Howard’s done this postseason.
2. With Pedro Martinez starting game 2, do you think the Yankees or Pedro have the upper hand? (Which has the advantage in that matchup)
I think Pedro’s a little different pitcher than he used to be. He’s still mixing his pitches, but this isn’t going to be the same Pedro that Jeter and Posada and the rest remember from Boston. I’m not sure the experience against one another plays a huge role, but certainly this is going to be a tough place to pitch for Martinez and this Yankees lineup is awfully dangerous. I’ll take this Yankees lineup over an aging Martinez, but I’ll say that respectfully. The guy can still pitch. Just ask the Dodgers.
3. Do you think the Yankees will go with a 3 man or a 4 man rotation for the World Series? Which would you do?
Four man. That’s what I think they’ll do and that’s what I would do. I would pitch Sabathia in Game 4 and Gaudin in Game 5. That leaves a fully rested Burnett/Pettitte for Game 6, and the off day between 5 and 6 means the Yankees can burn through a ton of relievers without losing them for the next game.
4. Do you think the set-up man role is open right now? Girardi has stuck by Hughes, but if Hughes struggles?
I still think Hughes has the job, mostly because Chamberlain hasn’t been lights out. He’s allowed some hits of his own. I’m a huge Robertson believer, and I think the eighth inning might be his one day, but I’m not sure a few big outs by Robertson and a couple of bad innings by Hughes is enough to swap roles. Hughes earned this spot and I’m not sure anyone has done enough to take it from him.
5. Having covered the Phillies farm system in the past, can you give us some background on their core players?
Utley is the best player I ever saw in Scranton. He and I weren’t especially close — he was never particularly comfortable with the media back then — but he’s a terrific, terrific hitter. I touched on Howard, who can do more than hit home runs. He has a lot of power to left-center. Victorino isn’t so underrated anymore thanks to the all-star game, but he’s had a lot of talent for a long time. Good speed. Good power. Terrific arm. I’ve said before that I think Victorino is the kind of player the Yankees hope Austin Jackson becomes. Don’t count out Carlos Ruiz. His numbers aren’t good, but he’s a dangerous hitter and does good work behind the plate. He works great with pitchers. That’s why he’s remained an everyday catcher.
6. What do you think is the biggest problem for the Yankees going into the World Series?
I think there should be a little bit of concern about the middle of the order, outside of Rodriguez. Teixeira and Matsui got it done this season, but both have been a bit cold in the playoffs and I think the Yankees need both of them to break out oit.
7. For the Phillies?
The bullpen. The rotation has some question marks, but the bullpen is full of them. Brad Lidge has pitched really well this postseason, but I don’t know any Phillies fan who feels particularly comfortable with him in the ninth. And getting to him is hardly a sure thing.
8. Any bold predictions for the series?
Nothing too bold, but I’ll say Teixeira snaps out of it and Utley gives the Yankees more trouble than Howard.
- Who wins, how many games? Yankees in six.
- Best starter? Sabathia.
- Best Hitter? Utley.
- Best Reliever? Rivera, with Hughes getting back on course in the eighth.
- World Series MVP? Jeter.
According to the Star Ledger, Joe Girardi has official announced that CC Sabathia will pitch game 4 of the ALCS. This means that he will be going on 3 days rest. Now in the past, when CC has gone on 3 days rest in the playoffs, it hasn’t worked out well for him (I don’t think I need to go into what happened last year). However, this year is different. The Yankees cautiously gave him lots of rest down the stretch in hopes that it would allow him to pitch better in the playoffs, and so far, they’ve been right.
After looking absolutely dominant in his first two outings, CC will face his first true test as not only will he not be as well-rested, but he’ll be pitching in Angel Stadium for the 3rd time this season. CC is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA at the Big A this season.
Despite those numbers, I still feel it’s the right move for Joe Girardi. Say the Halos win tomorrow afternoon, making the series 2-1 Yankees. Would you really feel safe handing the ball to Chad Gaudin with the Angels oh-so-close to evening the series? If that were to happen, pitching CC in game 5 would be a lot less significant. The Yankees might be able to notch a win but would then be throwing the always-frustrating A.J. Burnett out there for game 6. Plus if CC were to lose, then those two games would become must-wins for the Yanks, a situation I can assure you they do not want to be in.
Now there is another side to this argument and that is Chad Gaudin and the Yankees bullpen. Gaudin pitched extremely well down the stretch, going into the 6th inning in 3 of his last 4 starts. Plus he didn’t pitch in last night’s bullpen extravaganza so he would be very well rested. If he can give the Yankees 6 quality innings (which he’s proven to be able to do, even if he later falters in the 7th) then Girardi could turn it over to the ‘pen to close it out.
That’s one of the key advantages the Yankees have this post-season: their bullpen. Joba Chamberlain to Phil Hughes to Mariano Rivera makes up on the best back-end bullpens we’ve seen in a very long time. So if Chad Gaudin could go 6 or even 5 (don’t forget about K-Rob) the Yanks would still have a good shot at winning. However, all of that goes down the drain if John Lackey can pitch the way he did against the Red Sox in the ALDS.
Going with Sabathia gives the Yankees their best shot at winning and I believe this to be a good move by Joe Girardi. However, my feelings don’t matter in this situation. All that matters now is how Andy Pettitte the Yankees can fare in game three against Jared Weaver and his halos. Get pumped for a good one and I’ll CC you in game 4
-Ian Kennedy was officially added to the active roster yesterday. He hopes to get work in as a long-reliever.
-Joba Chamberlain will try to go at least 5 innings today
-Matt Carson made it to the MLB with the Oakland A’s. Carson, a former Yankees farm-hand, was a Shelley Duncan type player for the A’s.
-Chad Gaudin has officially become the Yankees 5th starter, with Sergio Mitre going to the bullpen.
-I will not be able to post tomorrow, as I am going to the Mets game.
The Yankees start a two game set at home tonight against the Toronto Blue Jays. Here is my preview:
Tonight: RHP Sergio Mitre (3-2, 7.02) vs. RHP Roy Halladay (14-9, 3.03)
Wednesday: Chad Gaudin (5-10, 4.81) vs. LHP Brian Tallet (7-9, 5.26)
Tonight: Sergio Mitre made his last start against the Blue Jays, pitching 4.1 Innings, giving up 11 hits and 11 runs (9 earned.) In Halladay’s last start vs. the Yankees he pitched 9 innings giving up only 1 hit and 0 earned runs.
Wednesday: Gaudin pitched 3.2 innings giving up 4 hits and 3 earned runs in his last start vs. the Blue Jays. He is 1-0 with a 4.10 ERA in 26 lifetime appearances vs. the Blue Jays. Tallet faced Mitre in his last start giving up 5 earned runs in 5 innings.
Tonight: Blue Jays win 10-2
Wednesday: Yankees win 9-3
-If you aren’t/weren’t watching the game tonight….you missed out. Chad Gaudin threw an absolute gem tonight and may have pitched himself into a playoff roster spot. After Sergio Mitre’s horrid start Sunday and Gaudin’s terrific start tonight….I don’t see why not.
–David Robertson will visit Dr. James Andrews with tightness in his arm.
-The Pinstriper will be posting only between 3-11ish on weeknights and any time during the weekends. Sorry, but work is important too.
MONDAY GAME 1: TB: Matt Garza (7-9, 4.01) AT NYY: CC Sabathia (16-7, 3.48)
-Garza is 0-1 with a 2.84 ERA against the Yankees this year. Sabathia is 0-1 with a 5.93 ERA vs. Tampa Bay this year. In his career Sabathia is 7-2 with a 2.95 ERA vs. the Rays. Sabathia is also 20-11 with a 2.80 ERA in September in his career.
MONDAY GAME 2: TB: Andy Sonnanstine (6-8, 6.62) AT NYY: A.J. Burnett (10-8, 4.29)
-Sonnanstine is 0-1 with a 4.19 ERA against the Yankees this year, while Burnett is 2-0 with a 2.14 ERA against the Rays this year.
TUESDAY: TB: David Price (7-7, 4.75) AT NYY: Chad Gaudin (1-0, 4.08)
-Price has only faced the Yankees twice in his career (once starting once in relief). The start came this year, as he went 5.2 IP giving up 2 hits and 1 ER. Gaudin hasn’t faced the Rays this year, he is 1-2 with a 4.61 ERA in 4 games pitched against the Rays in his career (2 starts).
WEDNESDAY: TB: Jeff Niemann (12-5, 3.67) AT NYY: Joba Chamberlain (8-5, 4.41)
-Niemann faced the Yankees once in his career pitching 3.1 Innings while giving up 3 hits and 2 ER. I refuse to give any stats about Joba Chamberlain, as I am too dissapointed in him to talk about him. If you want his stats go here.
MONDAY: (GAME 1): Yankees 4, Rays 0
MONDAY: (GAME 2): Yankees 8, Rays 5
TUESDAY: Rays 6, Yankees 2
WEDNESDAY: Yankees 10, Rays 6