Britton again exiled to AAA

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When Chris Britton received word of his trade from the Orioles to the Yankees, he probably thought he had died and gone to heaven. Escaping Baltimore’s baseball purgatory is a dream come true for any Major Leaguer. Little did Britton, now 25, realize that the Yanks simply wanted him to get outs at AAA. After throwing a few good spring innings and only 12.2 big league innings last year, Britton, who turned in a fine 2006 effort in Baltimore, was sent to AAA today. One day, we’ll understand why the Yanks don’t like Britton as much as his limited numbers would suggest they should.

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  • Ivan

    Personally, I am not a huge Britton fan and I feel that those #’s he put up in AL East, were more admiration than reality.

    I just don’t think that britton is that good. Now I could be wrong but in my opinion I don’t like britton alot.

    • Jamal G.


      • Ivan

        His stuff is not great and his command isn’t special. Yea his Control is good but there is difference between control and command and Britton command isn’t great with his ordinary stuff. Plus, I wasn’t really impress with him when he was up last year.

        Not to mention, while his #’s were good in Triple A, they were not spetacular. If It were my decsion, I would take Patterson over Britton

    • Ben K.

      Admiration? Huh? In what way?

      • Mike A.

        I think he meant “aberration.”

        • Ivan

          thank you

  • barry

    trade him, melky, and maybe even IPK for Markakis

  • zack

    There’s nothing to suggest that Britton isn’t anything but solid. Perhaps not amazing, but solid. He’s pretty much done nothing but get guys out, majors or minors.

    Of course, lots of commentators will have you believe that obviously the reason is that hes too fat, and clearly if he “just showed he cared” and lost some weight, it would be a different story. Please. While that really might be the reason, he’s shown to be able to be an effective reliever at his weight so why mess with it. Wouldn’t you rather have Britton in the pen than Farnsworth, Hawkins, Bruney, Trabor, or Karstens–all guys who either “throw hard” or are lefties or are “long men” but who, basically, suck?

  • CB

    A lot of people last year looked at Britton’s numbers and chalked him not getting called up to Torre. That’s what Britton had against him – he wasn’t one of Torre’s guys, no experience, etc., etc.

    Interesting how Girardi, a manager who is supposed to the polar opposite of Torre, and Eiland, a pitching coach who is supposed to be entirely different than Guidry, came to the same conclusion.

    Britton never was in serious contention from the opening of campl. GIrardi never gave him a true shot. He only got in late in games when the regulars got pulled.

    Baseball guys – whether its Girardi/Eiland or Torre/ Guidry don’t like his stuff, regardless of the numbers he puts up.

    • dan

      Eiland did see him pitch all of last season, he must not like him as a late-inning option very much. And I thought he was sleeping with Cashman’s wife?

      • CB

        Eiland was the pitching coach for Scranton last year. He saw Britton all of last year and knows him very, very well.

        That’s my point. Last year Eiland had limited if any say in who was going to get called up. This year he likely has substantial input in who gets the last spots in the pen.

        After having seen Britton throw all year Eiland clearly wasn’t impressed. Britton got almost no shot. That has nothing to do with him being “fat” or anything – that something fans focus on. I’m sure the club doesn’t like it but I doubt they care about cosmetics if someone can get outs for 1 inning.

        The number of people who were certain that Britton was just getting a raw deal because of Torre or Torre/ Gudiry was very large. People were dead certain of it. No chance it was something other than Torre being “Clueless Joe.”

        But with Girardi and Eiland Britton’s getting the same exact treatment.

        HIs numbers are very good. So clearly this has to do with what multiple people in the organization and talent evaluators think of the quality of his pitches. They just don’t like them. And those type of qualitative things aren’t going to be visible in a box score.

  • Mike A.

    The “he’s fat” argument is such bullshit; he gets people out and that’s all that matters. Who gives a shit that he looks like an average American guy?

    If you took his career numbers and stuck them on Ross Ohlendorf’s body, people would be drooling.

    • mooks

      I agree with you, but the reason the Orioles traded him in the first place was they thought he was to fat.

      Actually, they gave him a low class cheap shot when they traded him by saying he gasses out running from the bullpen to the mound.

      He wouldn’t lose weight for them, and they got ticked, now how the hell that matters for a reliever, you got me.

      I’m not sure what the Yankees issue is with him though.

  • LBA Prequel

    Interesting. Again, I figured it was the Torre factor that perpetuated the glass ceiling for Britton, especially after Edwar Ramirez got the call and Britton really didn’t. But I wonder if Eiland and the gang are seeing something we’re not?

    Although Henn still being there and Britton being off makes no sense to me. Why not have an average (if not possibly effective) righty than an overwhelmingly horrible lefty?

    Unless they figure that Patterson “stole” Britton’s role in the pen? But I didn’t think the slots were so few that they had to send some guys down already.

    So this makes the ‘pen look like:


    With decisions to be made for the following:


    • LBA Prequel

      Oh, and throw Heath Phillips in there…how could I forget him? :-p

      • Ben K.

        Heath got sent down today as well.

    • dan

      They’re not carrying 13 pitchers.

      • LBA Prequel

        Right. My list gives 8 *locks* with the rest TBD. I’m just trying to identify the candidates.

        Oh, and thanks Ben (about Phillips), I didn’t realize that.

        • J.R.

          Dude, you only carry 7 relievers.

          • LBA Prequel

            That’s not a rule though (unless I’m missing something), I don’t see why they couldn’t carry one less bench player and have eight guys in the bullpen. But if that’s the case, then either Ohlendorf or Albaladejo will be heading to AAA, maybe both if they decide to carry Traber or (yikes) Igawa.

            But why wouldn’t they carry 8 if Girardi is interested in keeping a long man as we’ve heard?

    • Count Zero

      This is the “lock”

      There are only three spots left. One will be a long man, which means it is most likely:

      The last two are up for grabs at this point:

      If I was a betting man, I would bet on Traber and Bruney. (God it pains me to say that!) If it were up to me, it would be Patterson and Ohlendorf, but I would keep reservations open for both of them to be on the SWB shuttle if either of them falter out of the gate. My first callup would likely be Traber or whoever is doing the best at SWB.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    I heard that Henn is going on the DL and Girardi loved Iggy’s outing (yesterday was it? I was watching hoops) but Rasner has a slight edge on Karstens. And in the last group I would say it’s Veras.

  • stefan

    Let’s think back to the Britton trade, back in November of 2006:

    1. Ohlendorf, who hadn’t been acquired yet, was still a starter
    2. Scott Patterson was a solid but not spectacular reliever slated for another year at AA
    3. Nobody knew what to expect from Edwar Ramirez, who I don’t think was even signed yet
    4. Joba was still that fat Nebraskan with good stuff

    A LOT has changed since that trade. Suffice to say. Unfortunately, Britton will have to fight for a spot once again. But all it takes is for one guy to struggle, and he could very well be the first one up. We’ll see.

    Just to put it in perspective, Britton still has a better chance of making this bullpen than he did prior to the 2007 season. The bullpen of Rivera-Farnsworth-Vizcaino-Proctor-Bruney-Myers-Henn was supposed to be devastating, yet there were openings left and right. I’m sure the 3 open spots in the 2008 bullpen will be just as fluid.

    • J.R.

      Agreed, some of these young guys will struggle, or we’ll get to May and not need a true long-man out of the pen. And all except, Henn, Farns, La Troy, have options left. And in June or July Chamberlin moves out of the penn. The penn will be very fluid.

  • mustang


    I keep jumping between Patterson and Bruney.

  • Joe

    I don’t think there is even a competition between Patterson and Bruney…at least numbers and history would say that. Unfortunately for the Yankees, there is a chance that a guy like Bruney and his 100+ walks in under 150 innings will be trying to get outs in key situations. Karstens…lots of H/IP, low K/IP to go with a high ERA….Farnsworth…Igawa…If Patterson gets sent down to go with Britton, I don’t think the Yankees bullpen is as solid as I am reading from posts on the blogs.

  • Mrs. Peterson-Kekich

    For a while I kept confusing Bruney and Britton, but I eventually figured it out.

    But I get the feeling the Yankees’ brass hasn’t yet — to me, that’s the only reason that Bruney is still there instead of Britton.

  • A-Point

    Seems to me that the Yankees, who get to see him regularly, and Eiland who saw him for almost all of last year, would have a slight advantage in knowing who would do better than people who just look at stats. No?

    Maybe its a simple matter that he needs more development. Maybe he just doesn’t have enough to push him over that edge.

    I think I would trust Girardi and Eiland to do more than just pick a name out of a hat to include in their bullpen.

  • steve (different one)

    Britton will get a shot at some point this season. there is a numbers crunch right now.

    last year there was anything but a numbers crunch.

    the 2 situations are not really the same.

    Britton will get his shot this year.

  • RustyJohn

    It isn’t as if he had just a few innings last year, he put in a solid season with Baltimore so I don’t know how 54 innings in 2006 with a WHIP of around 1.2 makes him an aberration. He posted decent numbers in spring training and would have rather seen him instead of this ungodly infatuation with a long man in the form of Karstens or Igawa or Rasner. What is the use of a long man if they give up three runs in an inning and you have to bring in one of the other relievers anyhow?

    • Count Zero

      You still want a long man because sometimes it’s a blowout and you just want someone to go out there and suck up three or four innings. If he gets hit, he gets hit.

      That’s precisely what JT didn’t do last year — he would be losing in a blowout and he would keep using pitchers for one or at most two innings, burning through the entire pen in a game that was already lost.

    • steve (different one)

      What is the use of a long man if they give up three runs in an inning and you have to bring in one of the other relievers anyhow?

      that’s just it. you need to leave that guy in the game even if he gives up 6-7 runs in 3-4 innings.

      that’s the point of having a long man. you’re basically conceding the game to rest your bullpen.

      look at the April schedule. they may have to do that once or twice.

      i think they may need the long man in April. after that, send him down.

  • JeffG

    Britton… forgone conclusion – we have better now. Would you prefer Olendorf, Patterson, or Traber to lose a spot to him?

    As for the full pen I’d still prefer we carry 13 seeing Giardi wants a long man… unless that long man could be Olendorf. Not sure how Rock ‘n would handel that role though. Further reasoning behind this is that Betemit and Duncan can cover in my mind. Plus the more at bats they can get to keep them sharp the better. (Also this would be just to start the season – as guys wear down an extra sub would be needed)

    If I’m Giardi I take:

    Mo, Joba, Farns, Hawkins, Patterson, Olendorf, Traber, Rasner.

    • stefan

      The Yankees are not carrying 13 pitchers. Period.

  • Joe

    It’s easy to say “the coaches have a better idea about who should get the spot”. But since mistakes ARE made, and there is a guy who has done nothing but get outs and get positive results losing a spot to guys that have trouble getting outs and have had trouble throwing strikes yet continue to get chances. Good fans are enamored less with stuff and more with getting outs and winning games.

  • stuart

    henn stinks and they should let him go, it has been 4 yrs. for him.

    Britton has done nothing not to get him a chance…

    I think ramirez is much more inconsistent then Britton..

    play whoever produces better for the last 3 spots, no more torre’s vet bias….

  • Bruno

    Rivera, Ohlendorf, Farnsworth, Hawkins, Patterson, Traber, JOBA SHOULD BE THE LONGMAN for innings-sake.

  • Bruno

    Britton should be first up from AAA.

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  • Fuzzy

    Britton has become the NYY bullpen version of the backup quarterback. He always looks better on the bench than he will on the mound. Above average speed on the FB (but it is straight) and nothing else above average adds up to an average bullpen pitcher. NYY are hoping for more from their bullpen (and should). Britton is no more than AAA depth who could be traded for another non-prospect when he runs out of options.

  • Tripp

    Trade him. Any team would love him.

  • Sam

    It’s gotta be Bruney’s awesome tattoos on his arms. Torre / Girardi must love a guy who has the potential to look mean. I don’t mind Bruney up, but as soon as he starts walking batters (and we all know he will) the Yanks need to put someone else in there.