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Yanks Sign 2 to Minor League Contracts

December 6, 2009 Leave a comment

The Yankees have signed Eladio Moronta, a Dominican outfielder, and outfielder Jon Weber.

Moronta, who is just 20 years old, was suspended from baseball for a full season for misrepresenting his age as 17. He has been compared to Raul Mondesi with a better arm and blinding speed.

Weber, 31, spent the last 3 seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays’ AAA club Durham Bulls. The Bulls defeated the SWB Yankees in the Governors’ Cup (IL Championship). Weber won the Bulls team MVP, hitting .302 with 14 HR 69 RBI and 60 extra-base hits.

These additions likely officially mark the end of the Shelley Duncan era, as you can expect Weber to take his place both in the lineup and in the field.

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MY MVP Voting

November 23, 2009 Leave a comment

Photo courtesy of SI

Here is how I would have voted for the MVP:

1. Joe Mauer C- Minnesota Twins

2. Derek Jeter SS- New York Yankees

3. Mark Teixeira 1B- New York Yankees

4. Kendry Morales 1B- Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

5. Kevin Youkillis 1B- Boston Red Sox

6. Ben Zobrist SS- Tampa Bay Rays

7. Alex Rodriguez 3B- New York Yankees

8. Michael Young SS- Texas Rangers

9. Aaron Hill 2B- Toronto Blue Jays

10. Ichiro CF- Seattle Mariners

Big question: Why no Miguel Cabrera?

You may have heard that he had a fight with his wife the night before one of the last games of the season. He was busy getting drunk while the rest of the teammates were working hard to make the playoffs. I don’t care about stats, that is the poorest excuse of a teammate I have ever seen and that shows no respect for your teammates or your team. No value in that at all.

The Future of Jon Papelbon

October 12, 2009 1 comment

With the Yankees win over the Minnesota Twins yesterday, they will go to the ALCS to play the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Once the Angels swept the Redsox, an interesting question came up: Will this be the last game Jon Papelbon pitches in a Redsox uniform? I hope so!

Here are teams that would be good fits for Papelbon:

TAMPA BAY RAYS: Would be a great fit, but would NEVER ever happen.

DETROIT TIGERS: May be the best fit if the Redsox are willing to send him to an AL team.

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES: Great fit if the Phillies are willing to do it. They would have to get rid of Lidge first.

CHICAGO CUBS: Maybe the Cubs would be a good fit, but they have both Kevin Gregg and Carlos Marmol.

HOUSTON ASTROS: Need a closer with Jose Valverde becoming a free agent.

PREDICTION: The Redsox keep Papelbon and let Billy Wagner go as a free agent.

UPDATE 9:08 PM EST: The reason the Redsox would get rid of Papelbon is because they feel that Daniel Bard is a capable MLB closer.

UPDATE 9:10 PM EST: Check out this prediction in the Miami Herald….bottom of the article…CRAZY!

Series Preview: 9/7-9/9 Tampa Bay Rays AT New York Yankees

September 7, 2009 Leave a comment

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.

PREDICTIONS:

MONDAY: (GAME 1): Yankees 4, Rays 0

MONDAY: (GAME 2): Yankees 8, Rays 5

TUESDAY: Rays 6, Yankees 2

WEDNESDAY: Yankees 10, Rays 6

Edited Version of Importance of Role Player’s Post

August 18, 2009 2 comments

Connor Reed who wrote the original post has added new information, so I will re-post it.

The importance of a role-player is commonly overlooked. They deliver when you need them, but they don’t play everyday, or enough to make All-star teams, and don’t make big pay checks, which leaves them out of the spotlight. However, they can easily change an outcome, which they commonly do.

Take the 2004 Boston Red Sox as an example. The team was loaded with stars (Ortiz, Pedro, Manny, Varitek, Damon, Schilling). But when the entire season’s work was on the line, a man making less than a million bucks came through: Dave Roberts.

Trailing by one in the ninth inning of game four, just an inning from elimination, he came in to run for Kevin Millar. Mariano Rivera twice attempted to pick him off with no avail, and Roberts took off on the first pitch, beating Jorge Posada’s near perfect throw by centimeters. Roberts scored from there on Bill Mueller’s line drive, tying the game, which allowed Ortiz to win the game three innings later. In the eighth inning of the following game, Roberts again came in to replace Millar. Pitcher Tom Gordon was so paranoid by Dave’s presence he threw three consecutive balls in the dirt. When he finally got a strike, Roberts was off, racing to third on Nixon’s single, and later scoring the tying run on a Jason Varitek sacrifice fly. Five innings, later, thanks to Roberts, David Ortiz was able to win it again.

Avid baseball fans remember these events. Just as they remembered how Herb Washington, a track star with no baseball experience, was hired as a “designated pinch-hitter” for the Athletics in 1974 and 1975, appearing in 105 games despite lacking a defensive inning or at-bat. They remember how Manny Mota, Gates Brown, Rusty Staub, and Lenny Harris were excellent pinch-hitters. They know how important these guys are to winning a championship.
PH OBP Bunt Singles PH PA SB as a Sub
2008 Rays 298 21 131 5
2007 Rays 253 9 69 1

The Rays do too. When you don’t have much money to spend, you can’t buy big name players. You have to change the management’s style. Look at these differences (PH = pinch-hitters).

So, who are the role players in the game today? Willie Bloomquist and Eric Bruntlett play every infield and outfield position, Mike Redmond bats .268 against righties and .331 against southpaws, Joey Gathright is an excellent pinch-runner, Brad Ausmus is a defensive upgrade to basically any catcher, and Johnny Gomes can give a manager more power. These aren’t the only guys, though. Alex Cora, Ryan Spilborghs, Eric Hinske, Omar Infante, Brett Gardner, Joey Inglett, Alex Amezaga, Hector Luna, Jolbert Cabrera, Willie Harris, Mark Loretta, Matt Stairs, Mark DeRosa and Greg Norton – all guys who are unknown to many fans – also can be called role-players.

All in All, these underrated players are needed on a championship team, and most helpful to teams like the Rangers, who don’t have many big-name stars.

*This post was written by Connor Reed*

Yankees Acquire Chad Gaudin….Is That it for Sergio Mitre?

August 7, 2009 Leave a comment

Here is the press release from the Yankees:

The New York Yankees tonight announced they have acquired right-handed pitcher Chad Gaudin from the San Diego Padres in exchange for a player to be named later.

Gaudin (pronounced Go-DAN), 26, was 4-10 with a 5.13 ERA (105.1 IP, 60 ER), 105 strikeouts and 56 walks in 20 games (19 starts) with the San Diego Padres this season. He held his opponents to three earned runs or less in 12 of his 19 starts, including five straight from July 8-31, and earned National League “co-Player of the Week” honors (with Florida’s Hanley Ramirez) for the period ending June 28, after going 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA and striking out 20 batters in 15.0 innings pitched.

He owns a 32-35 career record with two saves and a 4.58 ERA in 205 games (69 starts) over parts of seven seasons with Tampa Bay (2003-04), Toronto (2005), Oakland (2006-08), Chicago-NL (2008) and San Diego (2009). In 69 career starts, Gaudin is 20-28 with a 4.85 ERA, striking out 306 batters in 378.2 innings pitched with a .276 opponent’s batting average. He is 12-7 with a 4.00 ERA in 136 relief appearances, striking out 125 batters in 175.2 innings pitched with a .260 opponent’s average.

In addition, Gaudin made three scoreless relief appearances for the Athletics in the 2006 American League Championship Series against Detroit (3.1 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 1 K). Born in New Orleans, La., he was originally selected by Tampa Bay in the 34th round of the 2001 First-Year Player Draft.
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Personally, I love this move for the Yankees. It allows them to use Gaudin as a fifth starter, if neccessary, and adds pressure to Sergio Mitre to step it up a notch. Of course, Gaudin could be used out of the MLB rotation immediately as a fifth-starter, or they can take the opposite approach and start him out in the bullpen. Either way, this move adds depth and you can never have too much depth!