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Problem: Yankees Wasting Pitchers

September 14, 2009 7 comments

The New York Yankees have a great farm system. They develop great players. One thing they cannot say, however is that they hold on to those great pitchers. Most of the AAA Yankees’ roster is now on the MLB Pirates (seriously.) Lets name a few:

RP Steven Jackson (MLB Pirates)
RP Eric Hacker (MLB Pirates)
RP Scott Patterson (MLB Padres at the time, now with the MLB A’s)

The Yankees also made the horrible trade of Jose Tabata, Ross Ohlendorf, Jeff Karstens, and Daniel McCutchen for Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte.

At the time it looked great for both sides, maybe better for the Yankees.

Now Tabata is a top-prospect outfielder (which the Yankees can use besides Austin Jackson,) Ross Ohlendorf is an innings-eating starter in the MLB (Yankees can use that) Jeff Karstens is injured, but a solid 5th starter, and Daniel McCutchen is getting a trial in the MLB.

Meanwhile Nady is hurt and Marte has a horrible contract and a horrible ERA.

I would not be ranting if the Yankees had reasons for these moves. Do the Yankees REALLY need Freddy Guzman? They’re just going to DFA him in the offseason when Kevin Russo, Austin Jackson, Zach Kroenke, etc need 40-man spots. Why not DFA Juan Miranda? They should try to trade him in the offseason. They have first base locked up for the next 7+years.

For all we know Claggett can be a valuable MLB pitcher in the future. The Yankees did not give him, or Jackson, or Hacker, or Patterson a decent shot. That is my problem.

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The Brian Bruney Problem

September 3, 2009 Leave a comment

About a week ago I wrote about the Phil Coke problem. He was not pitching effectively as the main lefty reliever. Now I will talk about Brian Bruney. Bruney is 4-0 with a 4.55 ERA this season. Last season he was 3-0 with a 1.83 ERA. The year before, however, he was 3-2 with a 4.68 ERA. Bruney has shown the ability to be lights-out and started the year as the Yankees set-up man. I felt this was a great idea at the time and that he would be an awesome set-up man. I’ve changed my mind. Since June 28th Bruney has pitched 16.2 innings with a 4.44 ERA. That is mediocre. Bruney had an 11.81 ERA in July and a 0.87 ERA in August. The August ERA looks great. Here are the facts though:

-Bruney has gone 6 innings without recording a strikeout.

-In Bruney’s last 9 appearances, only 2 of them were with a lead of 2 or less runs.

-Joe Girardi has only used Bruney in big lead or low-risk situations.

-Bruney has a 8.71 ERA with runners on when he enters the game.

-Bruney has a 15.00 ERA with runners in scoring position when he enters the game. (The ERA doesn’t include runners that were already on base when he entered the game)

-Bruney has a horrific 38.57 ERA with runners in scoring position and 2 outs when he enters the game.

Pete Abraham listed Bruney as a borderline candidate for a postseason spot. If Girardi isn’t willing to use him in tight situations….how can he help in the postseason?

I’d like to see Bruney be used in close games this month. If he pitches poorly: no playoff spot, if he pitches well: postseason spot. That simple.

Categories: Problems

The Phil Coke Problem

August 28, 2009 Leave a comment

Phil Coke has pitched in 59 games this year, seven more than Mariano Rivera for the team lead. Coke has blown five saves, the next most is one for a combined five pitchers. Coke is 4-3 with a 5.05 ERA following yesterdays horrible outing. Coke does have an impressive .209 Batting Average Against vs. Lefties. Coke is also 4-1 with a 3.19 ERA at home and an 0-2 record with a 7.84 ERA away. The main problem with Coke, however is that he has given up six homeruns to lefty hitters. The Yankees will most likely call-up either Mike Dunn or Zach Kroenke come September, and with Damaso Marte coming back as another lefty he won’t have to pitch as much.