Game Thread: The bragging rights to nothing

Obviously, C.C. won't talk about ’09
You think you play whiffle ball?

At 1:15 p.m., the baseball season has meaning.

No, wait. That’s wrong. No, it doesn’t, but don’t tell that to the folks at urging you to “tune in when the rivalry resumes.” The rivalry for the Grapefruit League sure is a good one. Whoever wins today is clearly the much better team.

In real news, Joba Chamberlain believes he is destined for the bullpen to start the season. I’m fine with this move on one condition: that Joba be moved to the starting rotation sooner rather than later. It’s fine to keep his innings under wraps as a reliever at the beginning of the season. It’s fine to have him thrown the 8th innings the Yanks hopefully get off to a hot start.

But his stuff is too and he’s just too dominant to stay in that role. Unless he can maintain a 0.50 ERA out of the bullpen for an entire season, he is much more valuable to the Yanks as a starter than he is a reliever.

On with the details: Today’s game is on YES and Gameday will be available here soon. The lineups and potential pitchers come to us via PeteAbe:

Damon LF
Jeter SS
Abreu RF
Giambi 1B
Posada C
Matsui DH
Cano 2B
Betemit 3B
Cabrera CF


Lugo SS
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Youkilis 1B
Lowell 3B
Varitek C
Ellsbury CF
Carter LF
Moss RF


And please keep the game thread halfway civilized if possible.

Obviously, C.C. won't talk about ’09
You think you play whiffle ball?
  • Tripp

    I hope we get to see a Traber vs. Ortiz matchup. I’d rather know now if he can get him out instead of when it counts. Hopefully he gets the job done.

    • Ben K.

      I gotta believe that’s the plan. Traber’s pitching to make the team. Let’s see how he handles it.

      • steve (different one)

        of course, even if Ortiz gets a hit, what does that mean? about as much as if he gets him out. nothing.

  • Mike R.


    What the hell is “And please keep the game thread halfway civilized if possible.” supposed to mean? Are you saying I am not civilized? I WILL EAT YOUR CHILDREN!!!!!! How dare you!?!?


    This game will go a long way towards proving which team will have a better March 17, and even recognizing it’s lack of importance I find myself excited to watch.I think I am a Yankeeholic.

  • dm31078

    I am looking forward to seeing Albaledejo. I think hes would be a much better fit than Ramirez could be

  • zack

    Is it really necessary to talk about a guy who nobody wanted this off-season and who is destined for surgery as if the Red Sox “stole” him and could be a great pickup? At least be upfront about it…

    • JCP

      I for one am surprised at the 95 mph. Reports from winter ball had him at 88. Then again, he came back last year throwing 97 and was under 90 by his 10th start, at least if my memory serves me right.

      If Colon is at 95 and can stay there all year, he may well be a steal, as much as it pains me to say that. However, I consider that an unlikely scenario.

      • Ben K.

        Of course, if he’s throwing 95 but giving up hits, walks and runs, it’s not as threatening. He’s over 30 pitches in the first inning.

        • Mike R.

          Thank you Ben. You took the words out of my mouth. I’d rather have a guy throwing 91 with unhittable late movement than a guy throwing 95 with control problems. Based on the observations of Michael Kay, and other people gushing over Colon, Farnsworth will be the bullpen revelation of the year.

          • Ben K.

            Bartolo Colon is not impressing me this inning. He’s getting yanked now after 42 pitches.

          • JCP

            Colon wasn’t impressive, but the whole reason teams were unwilling to give him a shot was that he had reportedly lost all his velocity. It’s a no risk proposition, and with zero risk you don’t have to get much of a return in order to profit. Consider that if he gives them a 5.00 ERA he may actually be a positive for them given the alternatives (if they are serious about holding Buchholz to his limit).

            • zack

              If they can’t find anyone to give them better than a 5.00 ERA than they’re in trouble. Colon can throw as hard as he wants, but he was clearly overthrowing and thus had no command, and doing that will lead to even more arm issues. Plus, the YES gun is ALWAYS at least 2 MPH fast. Colon is destined for surgery, its just a matter of when. And the harder he tries to throw, the more likely its sooner rather than later…

  • JCP

    I agree with Flaherty that if I’m the Red Sox I’m pretty happy at giving a guy a minor league contract who’s won a Cy Young (albeit one that was stolen from Johan Santana) and is still throwing 95.

  • Chris

    Just a thought on the Joba comment. The main goal in deciding when he pitches is to minimize the number of runs allowed.

    In the bullpen, let’s assume he throws 72 innings with an ERA of 1, but in the rotation he’d throw 200 innings with an ERA of 3.5. Compare that to what a reasonable replacement would do, say 3.5 ERA in the bullpen and 4.5 ERA in the rotation.

    Under these conditions, putting Joba in the bullpen would save about 20 runs a year, while putting him in the rotation would save about 22 runs a year. You could easily make an argument that the timing of when the runs are saved would outweigh the couple of extra runs saved with him in the rotation.

    • RollignWave

      having a ERA of 1 is an *extremly* optimistic assumption for ANYONE. Mo has his ERA under 1 exactly 0 time in his caeer. his average of 2.35 ERA (or ERA+ of 194) is the BEST ALL TIME, if Joba can GUARENTEE an ERA under 1, I’d put him in the pen, because if he can consistently pull THAT off, he’s better then Goose + Mo .. COMBINED!

      Joba’s normal projection this year for the pen would be around 2 ish ERA on the optimistic side with the means somewhere in the 3s. he’s projection as a SP is somehwere around high 3s on the optimistic side with a means around the mid 4s.

  • Mike R.

    0.2 IP 3 H 4 ER 3 BB 2 K

    Quite the line there. Alert the media. I think we have our Comeback Player of the Year.

  • Jamal G.

    I’d rather have 5 aces in my rotation (yes that does mean you Bentances, Brackman, and Wang/Christian Garcia) than waste one of those guys in the bullpen because of a need. You place guys where their talent will be most utilized, and 7 innings of #1 stuff is much better than an inning plus.

    • Chris

      It’s nice to say 7 innings of #1 stuff is better, but if you look at the numbers, is it really better? If you save the same number of runs when compared to a reasonable replacement in both situations, then you can’t say one is better than the other.

      • Ben K.

        More on this before the season starts, but a preview: His numbers would have been to superhumanly good in the 8th inning to justify moving him to the pen. If you assume a low 3.00’s ERA as a starter, he would basically have to throw a 0.50 ERA in 70+ bullpen innings to make up for moving to the pen. That’s an unreasonable expectation.

        • Chris

          As I mentioned in my first post, if you assume an ERA of 1 in the pen and 3.5 in the rotation, then they’re about equal in terms of runs prevented compared to a reasonable replacement. If you assume an ERA of 1.35, then being in the bullpen would give up about 5 more runs than in the rotation. Considering that having him in the bullpen allows you to use him only in close games, there seems to be little difference in the value between using him as a starter or reliever.

          I don’t think an ERA of 1.35 would be that unreasonable, considering that’s what Papelbon’s ERA has been as a closer for the Red Sox.

          • Ben K.

            My only complaint with your argument is this: “You could easily make an argument that the timing of when the runs are saved would outweigh the couple of extra runs saved with him in the rotation.”

            I think that’s something of a false premise. A run is a run is a run. A run you give up or prevent in the first inning is worth the same as a run that may or may not score in the 8th.

            • Chris

              If that were true, then why not just schedule Mo to pitch every third day? Why only bring him in with a lead going into the 9th?

              If the Yanks are up 10-0 going to the 8th, they’ll bring in Igawa for the mop-up work, and likely with 10-6. If it’s 1-0 going into the 8th, then they’ll bring in Joba or Mo. Giving up the 6 runs when you already have a 10-0 lead is far better than giving up 2 runs when you have a 1-0 lead.

              • Ben K.

                Well, that’s a situational aspect to the game. You’re comparing one pitcher to another, and I’m comparing one pitcher to himself.

                As for only using Rivera in the 9th, I’m a proponent of a more flexible approach to closing. Your closer should pitch in the highest leverage situation. If that means facing the 3-4-5 hitters in the 8th you do that instead of having him face the 6-7-8 hitters in the 9th.

  • JCP

    Pettitte looks refreshingly nasty.

  • Jamal G.

    PAYBACK IS A BITCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Neil

    YEAH BOBBY!!!! That’s a sweet power stroke. Even sweeter after Jete gets plunked.

  • Jamal G.

    I swear, Pedroia is gonna need hip replacement surgery by the time he’s 29.

    • gisia13

      lol i think he’s gonna corkscrew himself into the ground every time he swings the bat. he looks like a little kid in t-ball.

  • Josh

    Despite Bartolo’s line today, I still wonder why in hell the Yanks didn’t sign him first. Even if Wang/Pettitte give us 32 starts/200 innings per, where are the rest of the innings going to come from? Mussina is iffy at best to be effective all season and the rest of the rotation will be on a strict inning limit. Our rotation seriously needs an innings eater and Colon, when healthy (and I think he is and will be for the whole season), is a horse. He was hitting 94+, showed a decent changeup and curve. Even with the stuff he showed today, Colon could put up decent numbers against any team that’s less patient than the Yanks (which is pretty much anyone else in the AL).

    • Ben K.

      I think we should wait to see what happens with Colon this season before bemoaning the Yanks’ decision not to sign him. When Colon was scouting, he didn’t look good, and to be honest, he didn’t look good today either.

    • steve (different one)

      well, the reports all winter were that just about every team (including the Yankees i am sure) checked out his medical records and they were a “disaster”.

      that was the story all winter.

      now that Schilling went down and the Sox signed him, he is suddenly a hidden gem?

      we’ll see.

      Colon hasn’t been good since 2005, his medical reports were bad, he’s 35, and he generally keeps himself in, we’ll call it, “fat” condition.

      if he does ok, hey, kudos to the Sox. but let’s not forget that he was signed basically out of desperation, not by some stroke of genius.

      • Whitey14

        that’s the real key, if Schilling hadn’t gone down, it’s doubtful they would have signed Colon…there are no geniuses here, he was just who they felt was the best potential bargain out there….

      • nmc

        Red. Sox. bias.

        i guarantee that Colon doesn’t start 15 games. take it to the bank.

  • Jamal G.

    What makes you think Colon will be healthy all season? What makes you think he’s going to give you anywhere in the range of an effective 150 innings?

    As to the game, I’m very confused. Pettitte moved Ortiz off the plate and he didn’t turn into the Cloverfield Monster?

  • Joe

    I’ll take Scott Pattersons 92 with life and deception over Colon’s 95 any day.

  • Jamal G.

    You know what’s real funny is that your hearing so much crap about how the Yankees are being so classless this Spring from the Shelley Duncan events to the Jim Leyritz appearance but anytme a tragedy strikes whether it is the events at Virginia Tech or the Tsunami in Asia, the Yankees are always one of the top monetary donators in the world of sports.

  • Jamal G.

    100 MPH on bacl-to-back pitches in basically same location, just keep it up Bruney.

    • nmc

      No kidding. Am I the only person who is incredibly hopeful about Bruney and Farnsie. i want them to be good SO badly.