Rookies steal the show

Yanks' old arms gearing up a final October

After striking out Vernon Wells to open the game, Phil Hughes didn’t fan another Blue Jay. The result say it didn’t matter much, as he went six innings, giving up only two runs. Hey, you kinda hope for more from Hughes, but we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: we can’t be expecting the sun and the moon from a 21-year-old rookie who had two consecutive injuries to the same leg.

Overall, Hughes threw 67 of his 106 pitches for strikes, which would be a good sign if he didn’t use up those 106 pithes in six innings. He walked three and gave up three hits, all of which came in the first two innings. Hughes also used more than half of his pitches — 54 — in those innings. Half of his innings were of the 1-2-3 variety, and he would have retired the side in order from the third through the sixth had Alex not made an error behind him.

So all in all, he did a good job out there, really settling down after allowing two runs. Thankfully, the Yanks had scored three to that point, and would add six to that number, powered by homers from Jorge Posada and Jason Giambi. Alas, even the longball did not make them the stars of the show.

Hughes was followed by Edwar Ramirez, who was absolutely sick. In his two innings he struck out five Blue Jays, while giving up two hits and walking no one. He threw 31 pitches, 23 of which were strikes. This is the Edwar Ramirez we’ve all hoped to see. He has now allowed zero runs in eight of his 13 appearances. Yes, he’s a bit shaky, and if he’s not keeping that 90-91 mph fastball low in the zone, he’s prone to be pounded. But when he’s on, he’s as good as any reliever in the pen not named Mo.

My personal favorite last night was Ross Ohlendorf. I had turned the game off as the Yankees batted in the ninth, and just happened to flip back right as Ross was throwing his first pitch. Ignoring everyone else in the room — and their requests to change the channel, this was a blowout — I watched Ohlendorf throw 11 pitches, seven of which were strikes. His first major league out was a strikeout, and a beauty at that. He annihilated Lyle Overbay with what appeared to be a sharp sinker, though the scouting reports name no mention of such a pitch; a slider is supposedly in his repertoire, along with a changeup. Two groundouts later — one of which was a fine play by the Former Attorney General — and we were finished in Toronto.

I know it’s a long shot, but with Andy Phillips and Carl Pavano on the 60-day DL, the Yanks are afforded the opportunity to take two players to the postseason roster who weren’t on the 25-man on August 31st. If something clicks with Ohlendorf and he pitches well down the stretch, we could certainly see him and IPK pitching in October, should we make it that far. Exciting proposition, huh?

Yanks' old arms gearing up a final October
  • Kyle

    I am just excited at the prospect of Britton, Ramirez, and Ohlendorf in the pen next year. In those three we should have three relievers in addition to Mo who can throw strikes and wont walk loads of people

    • JP

      Hopefully JB Cox will be ready in the second half next year also. Plus who knows if Humberto Sanchez will be in the BP next year, he would deserve a spot in the back of the bullpen. They have some really really good options on the way.

      • dan

        cox should be ready for spring training, he didnt have TJ. he had a slightly less stressful surgery that was said to have him out for 12 months, not the 18 that TJ typically keeps pitchers out.

  • dan

    after the game ohlendorf said that the overbay strikeout pitch was a slider that he’s been working on all year. he was probably just nervous, but in his post-game interview he didn’t exactly sound like a princeton grad.

  • Chofo

    the Yanks are afforded the opportunity to take two players to the postseason roster who weren’t on the 25-man on August 31st.

    Is that the 25-man or the 40-man roster?

    • Joseph P.

      25-man. In order to be eligible for the postseason, you need to be on a team’s active (25-man) roster or the Major League disabled list by midnight on August 31st.

  • John

    Where do you get your scouting reports?
    I seem to recall mention of a sinker somewhere along the line to back up his sick grounder/fly ball ratios.

    • Mike A.

      Ohlie’s a weird guy. Last year Arizona had him throw a sinker when he was a starter, but when the Yanks moved him to the pen, they told him to forget about the sinker and go with a 4-seamer. So he’s got the sinker in his back pocket, but he almost never uses it in relief.

      His stuff was moving all over the place last night though.

    • Joseph P.

      Most of my scouting reports come from Pinstripes Plus and Baseball America. And Mike.

  • Ramadan

    Can we please stop with Chris Britton.

    • Joseph P.

      Stop what with Chris Britton?

      • zack

        Yeah, stop what? Asking him to pitch more? Has he somehow showed to you that he isn’t any good?

  • Styles

    Hmmmmm, I guess Ram is a sentiment for Jared Wright. Maybe he wants to see that guy pitching important september innings for that yanks?

    Like what Edwar is doing, think Ollie can be a pretty damn good long man out the pen, and if you take into account all the innings Kennedy pitched from hawaii all the way to the innings he’ll pitch from starting here in september he could reach or even go beyond the pitch limit that the yanks have for him.

    Playoff rotation would Wang, Pettite, Clemens and Hughes.

    • dan

      cashman said there is no cap in sight for kennedy because of all the innings he’s pitched in the past with USC and team USA as well

  • Dan

    But when he’s on, he’s as good as any reliever in the pen not named Mo.

    I was under the impression there was a guy in the pen named Joba

  • E-ROC

    If Shelley Duncan has a sports hernia, who takes his spot? Any suggestions? That’s a big loss, if he has that injury, IMO.

  • Dude

    Ohlendorf was throwing mostly two-seamers/sinkers last night, with a couple sliders mixed in. if the Yanks are making him 4-seamers as a RP, it didnt show.

    will JB cox start 08 in Trenton or SWB?

    • Mike A.

      JB’s going to be just finishing up rehab when the ’08 season starts. I betcha he spends a month in Extended Spring, then makes a few cameos with Charleston & Tampa before settling in with Trenton around August.

      They say TJ recovery time is 12 months but it’s really not. It takes a few months for guys to get their control back, plus the team will always take it slow with a guy coming back from such a major injury.

      It’s very unlikely that JB will be a factor for the big league team until 2009, which is a shame, because we all know where he’d be right now if he hadn’t gotten hurt…

  • The Scout

    I guess I’m in the minority — I wasn’t that impressed with Ohlendorff. His motion wasn’t fluid; he was falling off the mound toward first base; and his motion seems to use a lot of arm in a whip-like action, rather than body the way Chamberlain does. Of course, this is just an initial impression, and I certainly haven’t examined film on him. But I question whether he has a clean, repeatable delivery. I fear his mechanics and hence is control may easily get out of whack. And the heavy reliance on the arm and the whipping action make me fear for his health long-term.

  • Dude

    but cox had ligament repair surgery, not replacement…