Yanks sign Dan Giese

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Prospect Profile: Austin Romine

Chad Jennings notes that the Yanks signed minor league journeyman reliever Dan Giese to a deal that includes an invite to Spring Training. Giese has rather impressive career numbers (2.97 ERA, 1.64 BBper9, 8.25 Kper9), and was decent in his first taste of the bigs last year with the Giants. Relievers are incredibly volatile, so Cash’s strategy of hording guys like Chris Britton, Jon Albaladejo and now Giese (i.e. inexpensive guys who have good stuff and aren’t afraid to throw strikes) is really the best a GM can do. There are no guarantees that the big name, big money guys will do the job (just look at Eric Gagne), so having options is the key.

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Prospect Profile: Austin Romine
  • Ivan

    Hey Steve Rips Cashman here about the bullpen so far this year.

    • Count Zero

      Why would I ever waste five minutes reading what Steve has to say? If I wanted to read crappy analysis, I could go get the NY Post and at least get better quality prose. :-)

  • Ivan
  • Bo

    The more the merrier out in the pen. It beats giving Scott Linebrink 4 yrs.

  • Rob_in_CT

    Baseball Prospectus has an interview with Giese up (sub req). Nothing earth-shattering in there, but it was a nice enough read. Apparently his primary virtue is strike-throwing. I’m down with that.

  • Yankee Fan in Chicago

    A reliever who strikes batters out and doesn’t walk anybody. How’s this guy gonna fit in with the rest of the pen? No one’ll talk to him outside of Mo.

  • steve (different one)

    everytime i read something new from Lombardy, i am less and less impressed.

    the guy definitely thinks he knows a little more than he actually does.

  • PK

    What are the negatives associated with Giese? Someone who has good K rates and throws strikes doesn’t toil around in the minors that long unless he has some negatives as well.

    Looks like he had a really crappy ERA in the NL last year (although it was only over 9 innings). He throws strikes, but perhaps they are not quality strikes?

    • dan

      don’t try to judge anything based on 9 innings. 44% of his flyballs went for home runs, that’s obviously just insane. His AAA numbers the last two years have been great, he walks absolutely no one.

    • Rob_in_CT

      My guess would be that he’s hittable.

  • kunaldo

    I dunno, i have a feeling that this guy could be Chad Bradford part 2(if you read moneyball, you’ll know what i mean for sure)…maybe “traditional” baseball minds thought this guy didnt have the stuff(read: velocity, movement, whatever) to make it in the bigs, even though he had the stats that suggested otherwise…

    I like the signing…it’s inexpensive, and his stats are promising…(over a large sample size too)

    anybody know his pitches?

    • Stephen

      I get what you’re saying but that might well be the first time someone has been labeled the “next Chad Bradford.”

  • mooks

    He throws a fastball, slider and a curveball.

    I don’t think he gets much velocity on his fastball though.

    • dan

      According to Josh Kalk’s numbers, he thros a fastball and a straight 12-6 curve. It has a half inch horizontal break, and a -1.86 in. vertical break. For those of you who have no idea what that means, his curve is kinda similar to Heath Bell’s or Hideki Okajima’s (I didn’t look for others, I just thought of names and looked up how similar they were). His fastball was 89-90 in his brief stint with the Giants, nothing special. His curve is certainly good, and he obviously throws strikes.

  • kunaldo

    stephen: haha well, i dont mean similar pitching styles, but more the under-the-radar-b/c-of-their-lack-of-raw-talent thing

  • kunaldo

    hey, as long as he gets outs efficiently, i could care less if he throws 60mph or 95mph…whatever works

  • dan

    Semi-random question about hawkins (it relates to the bullpen):

    When did he turn into an absolute groundball beast? 63% groundball rate in ’07 after a career 46% rate and 44% in ’06. Did he add a pitch or something? Btw, 63% is better than Wang’s career and ’07 marks.

  • http://nyyu.blogspot.com Mike

    YOU SAY: “Cash’s strategy of hording guys like Chris Britton, Jon Albaladejo and now Giese (i.e. inexpensive guys who have good stuff and aren’t afraid to throw strikes) is really the best a GM can do. There are no guarantees that the big name, big money guys will do the job (just look at Eric Gagne), so having options is the key.”

    I SAY: “So why LeTroy Hawkins? Cash wasted 3.75 on a guy who will be DFA’d by June and replaced by one of the ‘inexpensive guys’.”

    I like Cash, but his record on finding pitchers stinks.

  • kunaldo

    mike, i agree…hawkins was unnecessary…a player of his level of performance would probably be easily replaceable by someone in the minors…


    To all RAB aficionados:

    Bottom line, Cashman is doing everything he can right now to bridge the gap to Mo. Hawkins was a good, low risk signing. Its only one yr, so if he’s a bust – its goodbye. We can’t go into next season and expect Britton, Henn, Bruney, Farnsworth, Ramirez and Co. to lead the way to Mo. With a pen like that, we’re out of the division race by July. Its an absolute joke. Our offense will have to set all-time scoring records just to keep us competetive (see ’07 when ARod hit 16hrs and 40rbi’s in April and we were still 5 games out).

    In the end, I think Joba is going to have to go to the pen and we’re going to need Moose to be the 5th starter. Having a lights out bridge to your closer is INVALUABLE (much more important than a guy who pitches once a week). Need evidence? – See ’96/’98/’99/’00. Each one of those years, the Yankees had the best BULLPEN in baseball (not starting pitching). It was the Pen that saved them then, and its the pen that can only save us now. JOBA HAS TO BE THE 7-8TH INNIN GUY. Last year, we lost far too many games in the 6th, 7th and 8th innings. It was a joke until Joba showed up.

    Best case scenario, Joba would start. But as the team is set up right now, thats not going to happen. If anything, this is all the more reason why we should make a trade for another “proven” starting pitcher. We need someone who we can rely on to to go a solid 6-7 innings every fifth day. Right now, we have NOBODY who can fit that bill. If we were to pull in a Santana type picther, that would make it much easier to put Joba in the Pen. For example, you dont need Joba to pitch 200 innings as a starter if you have a rotation that includes Pettitte (200 innings); Wang (200 innings); and Santana (minimum 220 innings). With guys like the aforementioned, you can afford to have picthers like Kennedy and Mussin in the 4 and 5 holes since their not going to see any action in October anyway. A team with 3 bona fide studs (like the Yankees would have in this scenario) would be much better suited having a lock down reliever, than a 4th (possible) stud. The pen is where its at. The proof lies hanging from the raftors at Yankee Stadium – it reads: 1996, 1998, 1999, and 2000.


    • zack

      If you trade for Santana, you are giving up Hughes, and then you CAN’T put Joba in the pen b/c you need him in the rotation…It simply doesn’t work that simply

    • Rob_in_CT


      Joba is most likely wasted as a reliever. If Joba is as good a starter as it is thought he can be, he will give you ~7 good innings, though admittedly not this season (too many innings). If he turns out to be a mediocre starter, fine, stick him back in the ‘pen, where he’s a dominant reliever. But it’s important to make sure he’s not an ace starter first. Sticking him in the ‘pen again will further harm his development as a starter (he needs to build innings, and he needs to work on his other pitches – curve/change).

      First off, the team does have at least one starter who can be counted on for 6-7 innings/start: Wang. So your assertion that the team has “NO ONE!!!111!!” who can do that is incorrect. Pettitte may also be able to do it (he did last year). Other than those two, yeah, there is the potential for short outings. Which is why I’d like to use Mussina as a tandem starter for Hughes and/or Joba.

      The dynasty Yankees won (for lots of reasons, but a big one is:) because their starting pitching was good and pitched fairly deep into games. The bullpen wasn’t asked to pitch 4 innings a night. I agree that the ‘pen was better back then, but it was also helped by not being overexposed. The team’s defense was probably better, too (maybe not by 2000).

      There were years when Mike Stanton or Jeff Nelson weren’t very good, but the team won anyway (and then Stanton rocked in the playoffs). In 1998, Mike Stanton’s ERA was 5.47. He threw 79 innings of that. The year before, his ERA had been 2.57. In 1999, it was 4.33. Welcome to reliever volatility.

      His WHIPs in those years:

      1997 – 1.26
      1998 – 1.228 (lower whip, double the ERA, heh)
      1999 – 1.428
      2000 – 1.353

      Going on a more advanced metric (BP’s Adjusted Runs Prevented), the best Yankee relievers in 1998 were Mo and Graeme Lloyd. Mendoza was 3rd, with a solid 9 ARP in 110 innings (comparison: Luis Vizcaino last year – 11 APR in 77 innings). Stanton and Nelson were back to back with 5.8 and 3.8 ARPs – decidedly mediocre, albeit better than Farnsworthless.

      1998 starters innings:

      Pettitte: 216 1/3
      Wells: 214 1/3
      Cone: 207 2/3
      Irabu: 173
      El Duque: 141
      Mendoza: ? 14 starts, 27 other appearances, 130 1/3 total innings. Figure he threw ~75 innings as a starter (5.3 innings/start).

      Compare to the 2007 Yankees.

      Pettitte: 215 1/3
      Wang: 199 1/3
      Mussina: 152
      Clemens: 99
      Hughes: 72 2/3
      Igawa: 67 2/3
      Clippard: 27
      DeSalvo: 27 2/3
      Rasner: 24 2/3

      I think Wang and Pettitte are each good for ~200 innings again, obviously barring major injury. Kennedy (again, barring injury) should be good for ~190 (having thrown 165 this past year). Hughes and Chamberlain are set up for the 140-150 range. Moose is probably ok for 150ish, but may not be any good.

      To sum up, the 2008 Yanks are not set up to be the 1998 Yanks. On the other hand, they’re set up to be rather good, and there’s a very good chance their pitching will be better than the 2007 club.

  • Ivan

    Fixing a bullpen is arguebaly the hardest thing to fix in baseball.