Feb
14

The Joe Giradi effect

By

Kat O’Brien checked in with Brian Bruney today:

Brian Bruney has dropped significant weight. He says he lost 18 pounds and should be down 20 before the season. He wanted to get to 240 and is at 237, and looks even leaner…He also said he focused on his nutrition.

“I’m just in all-around better shape,” he said. “I’ve never really pitched in good physical shape before. I’ve always been kind of average. I knew going in that Joe [Girardi] was kind of a stickler for that, so that was one reason, but mostly I just wanted to do it for myself.”

Infamously last season, Bruney and Joe Torre did not get along. If Bruney shows up willing to pitch and throws strikes, the Yankee bullpen stands to benefit. We may yet see the Joe Girardi Effect on this team fairly quickly.

Categories : Asides

25 Comments»

  1. It doesn’t mean that good things are going to happen, but Brian Bruney showing up in good shape can’t be bad thing! He knows he is gonna have to fight for a chance at the bullpen.

    He has shown in the past that he can be effective, he just has to regain that. New pitching coach, new work ethic, its all a good start.

  2. dan says:

    Now let’s see if he can get the ball over the plate.

  3. dan says:

    Hold on a second, if he’s getting to 235 and will have lost 20 pounds when he does so, then he weighed 255 pounds last season!? It’s not like he’s that tall. Just as a reference, picture Jason Giambi plus 20 pounds.

  4. Guiseppe Franco says:

    Getting in shape was only half the battle with Bruney.

    He can’t throw strikes and had a terrible attitude to boot. Maybe getting into shape is a sign that his attitude has changed.

    Somehow I tend to doubt it.

  5. eli says:

    Bruney…throwing strikes remains the main issue…but if he can I’d love to have him around. Hes got a live arm. not to mention the killer ‘stache and penchant for snot rockets…thats the kind of vintage player i love.

  6. Ivan says:

    I am one of the few guys who actually likes bruney or at least have not lost hope for him.

    His fastball has alot of late life and it explodes.

    I think if he command the FB and get consistency in his secondary pitches, I think he can be dynomite.

  7. LiveFromNewYork says:

    Well it at least shows that he’s taking Girardi seriously. Something tells me he knows that Girardi will make him kiss concrete before Girardi puts up with his tude. Girardi is not Torre. He has that whole Marine sargeant thing going on.

  8. mooks says:

    If his weight was interfering with his mechanics (which happens and is common enough) or his stamina (which happens all the time), then this could be important.

    If it is important here then, the 2 big things are this.

    1) Don’t keep shoveling food onto your plate.

    2) Now get the ball over the plate.

    That said, I am not sure his weight actually affected his pitching all that much in a negative way, and we have to hope what he dropped was fat and not muscle and that he doesn’t lose velocity or throw his mechanics off even more off by having changed his body size.

  9. jboogz says:

    For some reason I feel like some of this should be attributed to The Big Three. Hughes and Chamberlain have been in Tampa training for about 2 weeks already; not sure about IPK. Think about it, if you are fringe guy like BB, and last year you’re kicked back to the minors and everytime you open up a website/newspaper now its Phil Hughes this, Joba that, IPK – well he only pitched 19 innings but we liked what we saw, wouldn’t you want to get you some of that good pub?

    If that doesn’t get his fat self in shape then cut him loose.

    Also, what would have happened last year if BB called the manager Joe? I’m thinking Jeter would have popped him right in the jaw.

  10. steve (different one) says:

    Torre was way too classy to ask his players to work out in the offseason.

  11. Mike R. says:

    I think Bruney’s main problem was discipline. He let his emotions control him out there and the less control he had the harder he through either to compensate or out of frustration, and of course throwing harder gave him even less control. It was a horrible cycle that he didn’t have the discipline or mental toughness to snap out of.

    I think showing up in better shape is a great sign. It not only benefits him physically , but it also shows signs of emotional growth and maturity.

  12. Jeff says:

    Sounds good to me… now let’s hope Damond and Abreau haven’t spent the offseaon on a pizza and asian whore diet. Last year they looked bad – Jeter too for that matter.

    • mooks says:

      Damon may not be in the best shape ever even this year, last time he talked to the press, he was still over the weight they wanted him at, and he gave up running after 3 days because he said he was gaining weight.

      That said, when I saw him personally at the BBWAA dinner, he didn’t seem heavy, he seemed like a big guy (but then again, I’m only 6 feet and about 170 pounds), but he didn’t look fat or anything (he was wearing a suit, so I can’t tell).

      He was though a very nice guy, hopefully he will be/get in shape.

    • Spike says:

      Jeter needs to stop banging everything that walks and lift a weight or two.

  13. Jeff says:

    That was kind of racist… my appologies.

  14. jboogz says:

    LOL, great line. Abreu has always had the same body type. Damon tried to coast into last season coming off his career offensive season in ’06 and it just didn’t happen.

  15. E-ROC says:

    Bruney has always had good stuff. His attitude has pretty much held him back. Plus, he wasn’t listening to his coaches last season.

    I wonder if Chris Britton lost some weight. He probably doesn’t think he’ll get a fair shake this season. I hope he does though.

    • steve (different one) says:

      E-ROC my man, those days are OVER. Britton *will* get a fair shake.

      there will be a competition in spring training and Girardi will select the pitchers he feels are the best.

      the days of leaving a pitcher who is kicking ass all year in AAA for no good reason are over.

  16. Rob_in_CT says:

    I dunno if losing 20 lbs is going to make him throw more strikes, but hey, it probably can’t hurt.

  17. JohnC says:

    Bruney was lights out in 2006. No reason why he can’t return to that kind of form again. Dropping the weight can’t hurt. I’m sure Girardi and Eiland will work closely with him, going over his mechanics and delivery to get him straightened out. If so, he can be a real asset to the pen this year. Also, watch for Scott Strickland. THis is his 2nd year after TJ surgery, so he should be back at full strength. David Cone mentioned him as his darkhorse candidate for the pen on Yankees Hot Stove last week.

  18. eric from morrisania says:

    That’s great… now, all he needs to do is learn to pitch with his left hand, and he’s GOLD, JERRY! GOLD!

    Seriously, though: Igawa, Henn, and Wright on the 40 man, Heath Phillips and Billy Traber in camp… any shot that any of these losers can at least be a halfway decent LOOGY? Or are we going to have to deal for a lefty reliever at the deadline? I think we all know the answer to that (even the optimists), so here’s what’s out there, from teams likely to be sellers come July:

    Phillies: J.C. Romero
    Twins – Dennys Reyes
    Rockies: Brian Fuentes

    Orioles: George Sherrill and Jamie Walker
    White Sox – Matt Thorton
    Royals: Ron Mahay, John Bale, and Jimmy Gobble
    A’s: Alan Embree
    Rangers: Eddie Guardado, C.J. WIlson
    Reds: Jeremy Affeldt
    Pirates: John Grabow, Damaso Marte
    Giants: Steve Kline, Jonathan Sanchez

    Of those, Romero and Reyes stand the best chance of not hitting the market, as the Phils and Twins will likely be competitive through the deadline and not sellers. The Rockies should also be in the race, but they have Manny Corpas in house and would move Fuentes if the price was right. Fuentes is clearly the best option, but he would cost an MLB player the Rocks could plug right into the lineup, and their needs (2B, C, SP) don’t match up with the expendable ML talent we have, so I don’t see it. The other teams are all dead in the water from day one and would always listen to offers for their (relatively) higher-prices lefty relievers for young talent for the rebuilding project (although Sherril and Walker would likely cost more since Angelos doesn’t like to deal with us)… SO…

    In order of desirablility, the big four are really: Damaso Marte, George Sherrill, C.J. Wilson, and Ron Mahay. Jeremy Affeldt, Jonathan Sanchez and Jamie Walker could jump into that convo if they have good first halves, though, and Sherrill may not hit the market at all since he’s not getting paid a ton and he’s only 30. To get one of those 4, we need to send at least one premium prospect (and maybe a second fringe one).

    Looking at Mike’s big 30, I’d be willing to deal any TWO the following for Marte/Sherrill/Wilson/Mahay: 15-Dan McCutchen, 16-Juan Miranda, 17-Kevin Whelan, 19-Brett Gardner, 23-Damon Sublett, 24-Dave Robertson, 25-Ryan Pope, 28-Mitch Hillgoss, 30-Edwar Ramirez, 31-Scott Patterson, 32-Eric Duncan, 33-Steve White, 34-Marcos Vechionacci, 35-Brad Suttle, plus Alberto the Attorney, Steven White, Steven Jackson, George Kontos, Eric Wordekemper, P.J. Pilittere, Justin Christian, Colin Curtis, and all the usual suspects (Bruney, Britton, Rasner, Karstens, Veras, Henn, Igawa, etc.)

    —————–

    btw, my favorite part of Heath Phillips’ page on yankees.com? Down at the bottom, where it says “Fantasy Comparison:

    Jake Peavy – 1682.5
    J.J. Putz – 1670
    Jose Valverde – 1545.5
    Francisco Rodriguez – 1509.5
    Heath Phillips – 19.5

    Oh, is that all? Well, we’re set then!

  19. eric from morrisania says:

    That’s great… now, all he needs to do is learn to pitch with his left hand, and he’s GOLD, JERRY! GOLD!

    Seriously, though: Igawa, Henn, and Wright on the 40 man, Heath Phillips and Billy Traber in camp… any shot that any of these losers can at least be a halfway decent LOOGY? Or are we going to have to deal for a lefty reliever at the deadline? I think we all know the answer to that (even the optimists), so here’s what’s out there, from teams likely to be sellers come July:

    Phillies: J.C. Romero
    Twins – Dennys Reyes
    Rockies: Brian Fuentes

    Orioles: George Sherrill and Jamie Walker
    White Sox – Matt Thorton
    Royals: Ron Mahay, John Bale, and Jimmy Gobble
    A’s: Alan Embree
    Rangers: Eddie Guardado, C.J. WIlson
    Reds: Jeremy Affeldt
    Pirates: John Grabow, Damaso Marte
    Giants: Steve Kline, Jonathan Sanchez

  20. [...] we heard about Brian Bruney losing weight. Good news, for sure. If anything, it shows that he’s at least a bit motivated. It’s [...]

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