Pondering a Joba time frame

Hey-Zeus goes hitless; the apocalyse is imminent
Murcer to return to the booth tonight

In discussing Phil Hughes’ injury this afternoon, I teased you all with a forthcoming post on Joba and the starting rotation, long a favorite RAB topic. What better time than after another 4.2-inning effort by one of the Yankee starters?

Before delving into the fun, let’s revisit tonight. Yanks score in the first and muster nothing offensively the rest of the game. Jonathan Albaladejo is worked well beyond any reasonable workload, and Chris Britton finally pitches in a game. Bad pitching, terrible offense, bad manager. The end.

So that brings to Joba Chamberlain. Currently, the Yankees are searching for answers out of the bullpen. They have Phil Hughes shelved with a fractured rib. Hopefully, he’ll return before the All Star break, but that seems to be a rather optimistic assessment. He’ll need at least a month of training and rehab after his month off for healing. Meanwhile, Ian Kennedy continues to struggle with his pitch counts.

But Joba Chamberlain’s eventually arrival in the starting rotation should happen regardless of the 2008 fates of Kennedy and Hughes. It really is just a matter of innings.

One month into the season, Chamberlain has thrown 11.1 innings in 10 appearances. The goal for him this year is to reach about 145 innings pitched or 30 more than he threw last year. That, according to a whole bunch of recent studies, should help him improve his arm strength without sending him into that danger zone of arm trouble. So how does Joba throw 133 more innings this year?

Well, let’s give him another 13 innings for May. That puts him needing 120 IP from June to September. For the purpose of this exercise, we can’t assume that the Yankees are going to make the playoffs. Outside of their lackluster play recently, Joba needs to be a position to reach 145 innings before the season ends. If the end of the year rolls around and the Yanks are in a position to play in October, they can begin to get creative with Joba’s turn in the rotation.

Now, luckily for us, the Yankees have a good benchmark for starts made in a partial season. We need to look no further than Roger Clemens to see how many innings Joba would pitch over a certain time frame. Between June 9 and Sept. 16 last year, Clemens made 17 starts and threw 98 innings in those starts, averaging 5.78 IP a start. He skipped a start in August and missed four in September. He also threw 15 Minor League innings over the course of three starts.

So now we can go back to those 120 innings Joba needs to throw over the last four months of the season. Let’s say he too needs 12 innings in the Minors covering three starts to stretch it out: one three-inning appearance, one four-inning appearance and one five-inning appearance. We’re now at 108 IP. How about three weeks of relief in June? That’s about 8 innings.

So Joba the starter would have to throw 100 pitches. If he averages around 6 innings a start — and there’s no reason to think he couldn’t — he would have to make between 16 and 17 starts. Using the Roger Clemens gamelog, it seems that Joba should land in the rotation right before the All Star break during the first week of July. If signs don’t point that way by the end of this month and the beginning of the next, then we’ll know something is up with Joba’s move to the pen. I think, however, that the Yanks will pursue this path.

Meanwhile, imagine if the Yanks get Joba into the rotation at around the same time that Phil Hughes makes his injury-free return to the Yankees. It would be like Christmas in July for us.

Hey-Zeus goes hitless; the apocalyse is imminent
Murcer to return to the booth tonight
  • barry

    Joba pitched approximately 115 innings last year, so why not 150 this year? There is no reason he can’t just join the rotation immediately (screw stretching him out in the minors, with the problems we’ve had this year you might as well stretch him out up in the majors) and skip him a couple times with spot starts.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      They could stretch him out to three or four innings in the Majors, but I don’t know if they’d want to throw him out there for a five-inning start against Major Leaguers. And once they send him down, they have to keep him down for 10 days so they may as well lengthen him in the minors. I’ve certainly thought about stretching him out at the big league level.

  • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

    I detailed my probable timetable a couple times here and it seems to line up with yours. It’s going to be hell on Earth when Joba begins his transition as the media are going to go absolutely fucking nuts, it will be fun…There Will Be Blood.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      I drink Joba’s milkshake?

  • Phil McCracken

    It would be Christmas in July if Chamberlain and Hughes were both in the rotation and pitching like seasoned veterans.

    Even before his reported discomfort in Chicago, he still looked completely lost on the mound. He fails to challenge batters in the zone. Only has 2 ML level pitches, and of those two he can’t even locate his fastball.

    Hughes needs serious work in the minors, injury or not. If that can be solved in his rehab, all the better. But as of right now, until he fixes the mechanical and mental problems that he’s burdened with, I don’t want to see him destroying any more of his confidence at the major league level.

  • josh

    Edited by Admin: Please review Section 7 of the RAB Commenting Guidelines and let go of the shift key.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      Seriously, folks, we don’t delete comments, but typing in all capital letters just won’t be tolerated. It’s annoying; it’s unnecessary; it’s sloppy. Make your point without Caps Lock on.

      Now back to your regularly scheduled arguments about Joba.

  • RollignWave

    The whole team is in shambles right now outside of Cabrera and Wang . they need Girardi to rip someone’s head off ( Kyle Farnsy would be a good start… though I suppose they could use Brittton, since they have nothing else to do with him )

  • Matt K

    I’ve been wondering about this for awhile now and finaly decided to ask RAB. Clearly IPK and Hughes inning counts are down pretty low after terrible starts for the both of them. But their pitch counts in these short innings are way up of course. So I guess my question is when Cashman and Eiland look at their innings totals do they factor in that they still threw alot of pitches in their short innings count?

    I dont think innings will be a prob for hughes now. I hope innings problems become a concern for Ian because that would mean he will be doing better.

    Ian’s pitch counts 70 52 94 85 105 96
    Phil’s pitch counts 87 87 65 97 23 82

    Iam realy looking forward to the possibility of christmas in July I think we should throw a huge party for Joba’s first start.

  • http://yetanotheryankeeblogger.blogspot.com/ Wolf Williams

    I think all Yankee fans are for whatever helps this team get untracked, and the sooner the better. The fact is, no one knows how any of these guys are going to pan out. There were high hopes for Hughes and Kennedy, and you can make the case that they’ve been the worst rookies in the majors this season, at any position. There are high hopes for Chamberlain as a starter — and if that means putting him on a faster track in order to help the team, then so be it. But in the end, it’s just another shot in the dark. We’re all hopeful, but I think this early-season experiment has proven that ‘potential’ is just a French word for ‘ain’t done shit yet.’ Potential is meaningless if people remain stubborn in the face of piss-poor results.

    Cashman has shown his prideful streak in being so determined to stick to this “long-range plan.” That sounds great, but Kennedy stinks, and his comments about going to the minors — “It would just frustrate me more — are selfish. (Well gee whiz, rookie, your frustrations are exactly what the team is worried about. Sorry, didn’t mean to upset you….. What a joke.)

    And as for Hughes…. I was wrong, apparently, in accusing the Yankees of fabricating this injury, but I don’t apologize for the accusation. I think skepticism was warranted given all we’d heard lately in the way of excuses: Hughes doesn’t like the glare from lights; he doesn’t like shadows, yellow M & Ms, blondes with big jugs sitting behind home plate, umpires who wear the wrong cologne, etc., etc…. Why can’t the Yankees just admit that the schedule was too rushed and some mistakes in judgment were made? We would all buy that (since the evidence clearly pre-suggests it).

    And enough, please, with the ‘they’re just 21 and 23 years old’ junk. When I was 21, I was riding across the Iraqi desert getting shot at. There are kids younger than that doing far more high-pressure jobs as we read and write our blogs. Kennedy and Hughes make more money than any ten teachers I work with, and all they have to do is their jobs….. every five days. So cut the age excuses…. because Joba sure isn’t using one.

    I may have one foot in the ‘Joba as starter’ door now, because he can’t possibly suck any worse than these two clowns who are up here now, but I hope there’s a plan to replace him, competently, in the back end of games.

    Because so far this season, the best laid Yankee plans haven’t looked too well laid, or thought out.

    • Phil McCracken

      Riding across the desert being shot at by Iraqis is nothing like a broken rib.

      Every had a broken rib and tried to sleep? Even when its wrapped it still hurts.

      • http://yetanotheryankeeblogger.blogspot.com/ Wolf Williams

        One, I’m not talking about the injury when I mention the age excuse. I meant that their generally poor performance, and their inability to correct themselves in any measurable way, has been excused over and over again by their relative youth, and that’s garbage. Their age has nothing to do with whether or not they’re ready to pitch consistently to major league hitters. Either you’re ready to do it or you’re not. Some, like Gooden, were ready at 19. Others, like Henn, will apparently never be ready. My point was that these guys need less coddling and more kicks in the ass.

        People talk about pitch counts, innings limits, and all that crap…. again, babying these guys. Take a look at these numbers: Tom Seaver, age 22, 251 innings; Dwight Gooden, age 19, 218 innings; Greg Maddux, age 22, 249 innings; Mike mussina, 23, 241 innings; Roger Clemens, age 23, 254 innings.

        Not only did those guys pitch a ton, but they pitched pretty well while doing it. These two rookies get excuse after excuse made for them, and to what end? For investment protection? Please…. If Cashman stopped paying ten-figure salaries to the Carl Pavanos, Kevin Browns, and Kei Igawas, maybe the Yankees wouldn’t be worried about two minimum-salary patsies. Somebody should show these two a video of David Cone throwing 166 pitches, or one-armed Jim Abbott tossing a no-hitter. Where’s the backbone in these two? Instead of toughness, we get Kennedy lamenting a possible trip to Scranton. Hey, Ian, look across the clubhouse. See Chad Moeller? He was asking for a trip to Scranton, just for the privilege of being a Yankee again. Learn something from that, boy.

        And two, since you asked… I’ve had broken ribs, and sure it hurts. No one could pitch with that. If Hughes is really suffering from a cracked rib, then I hope he gets well soon. No one is rooting for an injury. We’re just rooting for some accountability.

        • Micky#7

          Yes, they pitched a lot of innings in the Bigs, but they also pitched a lot of innings in the MiLs also.
          These guys have not pitched very many innings down in the high AA, let alone the AAA. In the minors one can pitch out side the strike zone and the batter will swing…not so in the Bigs. Maybe they are of the same mind set as before, this could be one answer for their high pitch count.
          I noticed Robertson doing that last year. This sort of pitching will not work in the big leagues. Hopefully someone has gotten to Dave on this subject and corrected it. The same with IPK/Phil. 27/08.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos

        Yeah, totally… and have you ever bitten down on the inside of your cheek really hard when eating a sloppy joe?

        Man, that sucks.

    • GoYankees

      … And as for Hughes…. I was wrong, apparently, in accusing the Yankees of fabricating this injury, but I don’t apologize for the accusation. I think skepticism was warranted given all we’d heard lately in the way of excuses

      You just assumed they’re trying to deceive you with excuses? What would that gain them? Perhaps they just didn’t know what to say.

      • http://yetanotheryankeeblogger.blogspot.com/ Wolf Williams

        Let’s be clear…. ‘I’ didn’t think the Yankees were trying to deceive ‘me:’ I’m not paranoid and into conspiracy theories.

        It just seems to me that there was a lot of excuse-making once it became clear that these bad starts were not isolated, but were becoming a pattern.

        I’m sure no one here agrees with me, but Brian Cashman put himself out on a limb by insisting on this course of action for 2008, and he might be reluctant to make an honest assessment once the wheels come off.

        But having that opinion doesn’t mean I want the wheels to come off. I want every guy in a Yankee uniform to do well (except Randy Johnson, but that season has passed…) I just wonder if anyone will remind Cashman of the John Maynard Keynes line,

        “When the facts change, I change my opinion. What do you do?”

    • Count Zero

      Cashman has shown his prideful streak in being so determined to stick to this “long-range plan.”

      That’s about the most non-sensical thing I ever read. Isn’t the entire point of a “long-range plan” that it works towards a “long-range” goal and therefore should not be abandoned on the basis of its failure to produce results over 33 days?!?

      I’m just speechless at the inanity and lack of any logic behind that statement. Hopefully you don’t change your “long-range” investment plan on the basis of what the market did last month or you’ll be eating Friskies in your old age.

      • Micky#7

        Good shot, very good!

  • Steve S

    All I am asking is that RAB just gets rid of those T-Shirts. I promise Ill buy ten new t-shirts that have nothing to do with these kids. Call me superstitious but they are a mush. I dont agree with this whole Joba going down to the minors. Its a waste to have your best arm in the bullpen, let alone send him to AAA for 2 weeks and lose him all together. Have him stretch out on the ML level on a set schedule regardless of the score. Bring him out for three innings one day, five days later have him come out for four, five days later have him pitch four, and then five days later start him on a strict 90 pitch count. Line it up on a day that Mussina or Kennedy pitch when you know they can only go 5 or 6 innings. And have Joba go the rest of the way regardless of the score. He might as well get his innings and OUTS in New York.

    I think everyone is going a little crazy. They are 2 games under .500 and three games out of first. And considering how things have gone, Im a little surprised that is the result. Whats really killing them is the fact they are missing their best two right handed hitters and arguably their two best hitters. Not to mention Robinson Cano has vanished.

    I see only one problem right now that needs to be resolved- Jason Giambi. The guy just doesnt belong on this team and he really is blackhole on the roster.

    • Phil McCracken

      Part of the problem with Kennedy and Hughes is that they feel the pressure. They may come across being more mature than their age, but make no mistake they feel the pressure. The T-Shirts are just a symbol of that pressure with such high expectations. “The Big 3”. Knowing that they could have been traded for Johan Santana. Knowing that they are 2 pieces of a 5 man rotation along with a real old looking Mike Mussina who could fall apart at any moment.

      Just listen to Ian Kennedy’s post game interview after his game. It almost sounds like he’s crying. He sounds like he has zero confidence. Keep marching these guys out into major league games when they aren’t ready and its going to do permanent damage to their egos.

      • Matt K

        Phil and Kennedy both pitched better at the end of last season when there was alot more pressure as the team was fighting for a playoff spot. Maybe this is different because more is expected of them.

        • Rich

          The perception of pressure is subjective. I think Hughes and Kennedy probably do feel the pressure of expectations more now than they did at the end of last season as a result of a winter of hype, the media coverage of the decision to keep them rather than trading them for Santana, and then the slow start by the team characterized by an impotent offense.

          The Hughes situation is more complicated because we don’t really know how long he has been injured (and he could easily have two wins given his first start and his five effective innings against the O’s), but Kennedy seems to be afraid to throw strikes, which wasn’t an issue for him at the end of last season.

  • Ron

    I don’t think the Yanks can afford the luxury of stretching Joba out in the minors. Their pitching is in such disarray that they can ill-afford to lose one of their best pitchers for 3 starts. I say he pairs with Kennedy (or Moose) and soon – like their next start! Let’s get proactive before the season slips away.

    BTW, I blame Cano as much as the pitching staff for the slow start. Can he suck anymore? There is just no sugar coating 155/212/236 after 110 at bats. At what point does Girardi start giving the former AG Cano’s at bats? I couple of nights ago Sterling said Cano had the lowest BA of any starter in the AL. Again, it’s time to get proactive.

    • http://yetanotheryankeeblogger.blogspot.com/ Wolf Williams

      I’ll say what I’ve been blogging about all week…. Cano needs to sit for a while. Alberto Gonzalez couldn’t hurt us any more than Cano has. If not for two home runs, Cano’s positive impact on this team in 2008 would be zero, so far.

      Just look at his body language whenever he makes contact. He’s lost all confidence in himself. Why reward him with playing time?

      And rememebr what Girardi said about Gonzalez when he was brought in from Scranton? “He didn’t come up here to sit down.” Well, play him then……

    • Chris

      Cano had a hit in his last at bat last night. 1 for 4 on the night and he raised his average…

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      I just don’t see how benching Cano, even temporarily, will help him. It’s something he’s going to have to work through by facing ML pitching. Take the extra BP, do the extra work in the cage, do whatever it takes. The Yanks need Cano to hit with A-Rod and Posada out.

    • Steve S

      You dont take a guy who has hit .300 the first three years of his career and led AL 2b in RBIs last year and sit him after one bad start. Did anyone say the same thing about Jeter a couple of years ago when he started May with .195 batting average. At age 26 you dont all of a sudden forget to hit. Not to mention the fact that he has a history of starting slow. All that being said look at this great replacement, I know everyone is falling for AG, but he couldn’t hit at AAA on an everyday basis, what makes anyone think he could play everyday on a team that needs all the offense it can get.

      Its called a slump and a bad stretch, everyone needs to relax a little bit. I think Girardi needs to move him up in the lineup rather than continually pushing him down. If the team were 5 games above .500 and therefore in first place, no one would say a word above Robbie. And this is all coming from the guy who thought Cano should be the centerpiece to the Santana deal rather than any of the young pitchers.

      For gods sake Jason Giambi is miserable in field and can barely hit anymore. If we need to address something its the fact that he still has a roster spot let alone gets to play consistently. And his last couple of years dont even compare with Cano’s. At this point Shelley Duncan should be your everyday first baseman until you can find a suitable replacement.

      • http://yetanotheryankeeblogger.blogspot.com/ Wolf Williams

        No one would argue against your point that the Yankees need Cano to pick up some of the A-Rod/Posada slack, but when another viable option exists, why not use it when Cano is the worst hitter in the major leagues at the moment?

        I’m not suggesting benching Cano for a week, but why not sit him for a series and just pinch hit him? I know Girardi won’t bench him tonight because of that last at-bat hit last night; Girardi won’t want to disrupt what might be progress. But when a guy routinely hurts the team by barely connecting with pitches he should be driving, then he slumps his shoulders like a petulant kid and half-runs to first, he isn’t earning his playing time.

        And no matter what you did in season’s past, you still have to earn your spot on the field. Cano isn’t Honus Wagner, for god’s sake.

        • Steve S

          Again, what makes you think Alberto Gonzalez can start on this team and what can he bring. He is at best a number nine hitter. And yes you earn your spot but especially in baseball, your track record earns you some slack. He slumps his shoulder sso he is a petulant kid, how about the guy is a career .300 hitter and is below .200, if you think you are frustrated where is he at?

          I unfortunately didnt get to see Honus Wagner play, but is Ernie Banks or Joe Morgan on the bench? You want a guy who is essentially a defensive sub to fill in for Cano based on him having a bad month. And what leads you to believe that Cano would benefit from sitting? When he struggled last year did they sit him? When he first came up and went 0-22, did they send him back down? Bernie Williams used to struggle every April, barely getting above .200, but he wasnt benched. And to add to that Cano’s defense has been fine.

          How does it benefit a team to sit what is potentially one of their top three offensive players, in favor of a bench player. Its like the people who said Nick Green should play a couple of games at third when Arod was struggling two years ago. Its the typical knee jerk response of Yankee fans who cant comprehend that its a team a game and one player’s failure is only part of the reason for the teams failure. Same thing applies to those kids. And the fact that its 162 game season, and you dont turn your back on 26 year old .300 hitters with pop based on a stretch of 30 bad games. Every player goes through this, some of them get the benefit of the doubt some dont. I think Cano has earned it and even if you dont think he has, then look at his replacement and think of how that could possibly benefit Cano or the team.

          • mike

            Not to totally disagree, but Robbie is not Banks or Morgan. They did not need a baby-sitter like Bowa yelling at them to get their head out of their butt, and I have no doubt that in their 3rd year of ball the manager would have sat them if they were the worst hitter in the league and having crummy at-bats.
            I do seem to remember that Torre – for all his faults – would push a Cairo in the lineup every now-and-then just to keep everyone honest. In business you cannot be held hostage to a reputation or personality – and this is a business – and if Robbie is bringing bad at-bats and hurting the team, then decisions need to be made. It is the successful businesses/teams which have a plan when something goes wrong…and if stay the course because he eventually will come around is the plan, I guess we will see where it leads us!

            • Steve S

              Well last year he played in 160 games so Im not sure how many “series” (which is what was suggested) Robbie missed. I have no issue with him sitting every once and a while, especially against a tough lefty. But thats not what is being discussed here.

              And you missed the point, I wasnt calling Robbie Banks or Morgan, I was saying Alberto Gonzalez is neither of the two and I was saying it tongue firmly planted in cheek. And as a result it wasnt really justified to sit Cano when your only real replacement is a guy who is a defensive sub.

              And everyone needs to relax with this Larry Bowa theory. Cano is a professional athlete and made it all the way through the minors sans Larry Bowa. I know the media likes to portray certain things a certain way. But come on, if Larry Bowa were such a great motivator of young players then why was he never given a managing job after Philly? Im tired of hearing the Joe Torre apologists theories. From ripping on Girardi for certain methods he has, to this whole Larry Bowa was the fuel in Cano’s fire. It all comes from the same bullshit sources. Writers who had an infatuation with Joe Torre because he pretended to be their friends.

          • Ron

            You don’t think AG can hit 155/212/236? He doesn’t have hit hit like Cano did last year, because Cano isn’t hitting like he did last year, and 110 at bats is not an insignificant sample size. I don’t know if it’s the contract he signed or if he’s missing Bowa, or both, and I frankly don’t care. I’m not saying that AG should be his permanent replacement, but since nothing else this year has gotten his head out of his ass, maybe a few games on the bench will.

            • Steve S

              But your suggesting in the midst of an awful collective team slump, when the Yankees are missing their two best hitters, to simply bench a guy who has a great track record in favor of a guy who should be a late inning defensive replacement.

              Its called a slump every player who has ever played the game goes through it. And I have yet to see how a player gets out of slump by sitting for three games.

              And to be quite honest I don’t think Alberto Gonzalez could reach those numbers playing everyday. Nothing would indicate that he could. And to be quite honest the person who buys that concept and believes that a 25 year old hitter who has a track record of being streaky should be benched sounds more like they have their head up their ass.

              • Ron

                And what has his “great track record” produced THIS YEAR? You are correct in that all players go through slumps, but they usually last a week or 2. Cano is now 5 weeks into his slump. Again, all I said was let’s take a proactive approach and give AG some of Cano’s at bats, I didn’t say trade Cano or send him down, but he certainly isn’t helping matters now. AG hit very well while filling in for Jeter earlier in the year. And as far as your comment that nothing would indicate that AG could hit 155/212/236, I suggest you extract your head from your ass. His complete minor league #’s are 277/329/382.

                • Steve S

                  His AAA numbers in 111 games include a 244/ 646, thats at AAA, what do you think that projects to at the Major League level. Your right Im the one who is the jackass because I think Robbie Cano, who has a career .811 OPS might outperform Alberto Gonzalez, a career .277 hitter in the minor leages and his 22 AB this year while filling in for jeter. I have an idea, Nick Green had a great stretch a couple of years ago, lets bring him back to play third or second. Oh wait maybe Andy Stankewitz is still available. You know what, if Rivera slips up at all this year we always have Edwar Ramirez to fill in because he had those couple of appearances last year where he was dominant.

                  Holy shit, excuse my language, but people are actually going to suggest benching Cano in favor of Alberto Gonzalez and they think they know something about the game.

                • Ron

                  Did I say bench Cano in favor of AG? No. I said let’s give AG some of Cano’s at bats. Have you watched any games lately? Cano’s body language looks like crap, every time he he tries to pull an outside pitch and grounds out weekly to second. I’m all for letting a guy work through his problems, but at what point do you say, “let’s change it up a little”? Again, I’m not saying permanently, but give him the weekend off. That’s gonna kill the Yankee offense? Certainly no more than Cano is killing it right now. And you speak like Cano’s a HOFer. He’s had 1700 career ABs fer crissakes. And while he has performed admirably during that short stretch, he hasn’t earned the deference that Jeter has, because Jeter IS a HOFer. Man, all this for having the termerity to suggest that Cano get a series off.

                • Steve S

                  So now your a psyhcologist/ body language reader. You want to sit Cano for three games in a row and start a guy who can hit no higher than ninth. Okay, now if your an expert on baseball psychology, whats the benefit to Cano. If he slumps his shoulders now, sitting for three games will somehow wake him up?

                  The point is that your always gambling on this players and on the good ones they fail 6 times out of ten when they get up there. But when you are placing the best you want to have some known commodity. Cano is a known commodity. So what are the odds are better

                  a) Cano breaks out his slump over this weekend
                  b) Alberto Gonzalez’ offense helps the Yankees win a game over the weekend
                  c) Alberto Gonzalez does nothing with the bat of significance over the weekend and Cano wakes up and come monday or tuesday is on fire
                  d) Alberto Gonzalez does nothing with the bat and Cano slips further into a hole because you sat him for three days which is never good for a hitter and his confidence went to zero.

                  Ill take my chances with choice a) betting on the guy who has a career .801 OPS and at age 25 perhaps hasnt forgotten how to hit. maybe one day off is fine, but a whole series, I just cant comprehend how that helps the yankees or cano.

                • Steve S

                  Also I need to know what is the amount of at bats that gets you the deference you speak of? You have to be over the 5000 Ab mark?

                  I never implied that Cano is a Hall of Famer and if you look I said if you had a viable replacement for three games at this stage I would agree. BUT YOU dont. Its a utility player and I have never seen a player of Cano’s caliber benched for a series in order to get him out of a slump. Exhibit A- David Ortiz who sat for one game and then came back into the lineup. Baseball is a game a rhythm not dumb decisions based on 110 abs.

          • http://yetanotheryankeeblogger.blogspot.com/ Wolf Williams

            You’re right. Maybe sitting Cano won’t help him, and maybe playing Gonzalez won’t improve the offense.

            But how do you know it won’t?

            And this is not a knee-jerk reaction. Thirty games is nearly 20 percent of the season. What’s your cutoff for making a small adjustment for a few days? Fifty games? 81? I don’t think the number of games matters. I think what matters is what you see with a player, and Cano looks pathetic. He has shown no signs of shaking whatever ails him.

            Today is the 69th anniversary of the day Lou Gehrig benched himself “for the good of the team” and voluntarily ended his streak. Maybe Cano doesn’t have Lou Gehrig’s disease, but he’s playing like he does. And he damn near has Gehrig’s batting average the day Gehrig sat down: .143

            • Steve S

              Now we are getting dramatic. How do I know about AG, his career AAA numbers include a .244 BA and a robust .667 OPS. Its called knee jerk when you make a foolish decision based on a small stretch. Benching a career .300 hitter (especially when he has done it for his entire career and is entering his prime) is risky but benching him for a guy who in triple AAA couldnt hit out of a paper bag is a not a just a little ridiculous and to me fits right into knee jerk.

              Its called playing to the back of a baseball card. Like I said before according to you Derek Jeter should have sat three years ago in favor of. Or perhaps when Mariano finished last april with a 10.57 ERA we could have slotted Farnsworth into the closers role. Im not the biggest Cano fan in the world and if you had a viable replacement, then I would say yes but you dont even have that and first three seasons in the majors have warranted patience.

  • ray sam

    jeter is no capt no leadership skills doesnot know how to inspire teamates better days are behind him ewe have to get rid of matsui damon abreu these guys dont bring no energy

    • Matt K

      Idk if I should reply to this because it looks like a 4 yr old wrote it. Have you ever heard of leading by example? Jeter might not get in someones face and yell at them but he does lead by example. Nobody on the team plays as hard as him and nobody takes loses as hard. He is also the first at the top of the dugout to cogratulate someone on a good play.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      Ewe do have to trade Matsui? Since did a female sheep take over as Yankee GM? :-D

  • Relaunch

    Hughes is very dissapointing at least to me. With people I talk to, I have defended him and stated that give him time, its too early to judge, etc. But it was dumb to defend that he isn’t injury prone. He is and its pathetic. How did he pull his hamstring last year that shevled him for awhile? By pitching. How did he fracture his rib? By pitching. He even got hurt in his rehab last year coming back from his hamstring injury.
    Brittle pitcher.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Well, pitchers get hurt, it’s what they do. It’s a very violent and unnatural thing. He’s certainly had a bunch of injuries, but none have really affected his arm. It’s been stubbed toes and sprained hammies and broken ribs. He came down with a sore shoulder in 2005, but that hasn’t bothered him since, so I think you can say it’s behind him.

      Is he going to have to shake the injury prone tag? Absolutely.

      And for the record, you have no idea how he fractured his rib. The injury could have started when Shelley gave him a bear hug for all we know. Pitching certainly didn’t help it, but no one credits him for trying to pitch through it.

      • Relaunch

        I understand what you are saying but its not like he has some reasons for why they happened. He himself says he has absolutely no idea. His track record from 04 has been injuries except 06. It is kind of like saying Alou is unfortunate because he didn’t do anything to cause the injuries, same thing about Hampton, Pavano.
        I was all for keeping Huhges and not trading Kennedy for Satana. But when it seems every year we have scene Hughes go through some kind of injury and kennedy resembling nothing of what he has shown in the past, it makes you questions when there could have been the best pitcher on the planet in the rotation. With his track record, Hughes will be on track to throw 200innings in 2013.

    • Chris

      Josh Beckett was (maybe still is) a brittle pitcher…

      The good news about all of his injuries are that they are not arm injuries. The bad news is that you’re likely to see a DL stint from Hughes every year based on his history. As long as they’re relatively short (1 month or so) it shouldn’t be a big deal.

  • mike

    Rnning thru the above comments,I believe there is one thing which we are seeing – Girardi is not making the tough decisions which need to be made, so that begs the question is he or Cash pulling the strings, and worse – are their heads in the sand.
    If the plan is “hey Giambi has got to get 200 ab’s under his belt and he will hit because we do not have another 1B and we’re paying him too much to sit” then the person maing that decision shoudl be fired immediately. we are suffering absolutely no production from a position which every other team gets mojo from, dragging down the plus contributions from catcher/3B. For the loyalty the team has shown Giambi – steroids, not going to minors, begging out of games, nightlife, not hitting the other way – we are not getting much back, and Im somewhat tired of it.
    Same with Robbie. He looks like his dog got hit by a car, and i do not think he has had good back-to-back AB’s all season. The manager has to put the best team on the field, and continuing to play the worst hitting player in the league when the team is starved for offense is not the right move. Maybe sit Robbie for a week?
    Jeter has to be told to see more pitches – I know he is agressive blah blah, but as he continues to not see many pitches, and his big production is dragging grounders thru the hole at short, we need him to become a litle more selective, because the rest of the lineup is not working the pitchers at all.
    This is the manager’s call – and he needs to act. we al remember the coup which brought Robbie and Wang to the Bronx a few years ago, but that was cash’s statement tto Torre that Bernie and Miggie couldn’t cut it – now with a hand-picked manager, why is there this disconnect?
    I keep hearing about “good at-bats” – what is this Little League?? These guys get paid to produce runs, not credible attempts.

  • Count Zero

    And this is why you can’t rebuild in NY folks. :-)

    We are posting a team OPS+ of 101 at the moment. This team is supposed to hit a lot better than that. A-Rod (128) and Jorge (120) are currently on the DL. Of the major culprits, Molina (61), Jeter (85), and Cano (23!!!), only Cano is remotely in the category of “let him ride some pine” right now. Like Mike A., I’m not convinced it would help him and he has always been a slow starter.

    Two weeks ago, everyone was calling for Ensberg to get PT — he’s posting a whopping 55 in 49 PAs — great upgrade there.

    The rotation has been totally out of sorts (other than CMW), and kids have been shaky for a team ERA+ of 90. Ugly, but then again we weren’t expecting to be dominant in the pitching department.

    And when it’s all said and done, we’re 3GB in the AL East. If you didn’t know going into this season that there was a good chance the Yankees would miss the playoffs this year, you know it now. And that was even with the expectation that this team would hit a lot better than a 101 OPS+. That was the consensus opinion all along. 3GB and half of you guys are screaming at the front office to “DO SOMETHING NOW!”

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — you don’t make strategic decisions based on short term results. It’s an oxymoron.

  • JT

    I think the news of the rib injury is a blessing in disguise for the Yankees and more importantly, Hughes.

    First off, the injury was already there, so I’m not saying him getting injured is a blessing in disguise but instead finding out that there was a rib injury. It was apparent to everyone that Hughes is not the same pitcher he was last year or in the spring training. He has completely lost command of his pitches. Everyone, from analyst to fans to the coaching staff to Hughes themselves had no idea where his command went all of a sudden. This news gives Yankee fans a reason to believe that Hughes can still be what he has been projected to be. More importantly, this gives Hughes a reason to believe that he can still be what he has been projected to be. It gives him a reason to believe that his poor performance isnt because he cant hang with the big boys, but that there was an injury involved.

    “Disappointed more than anything. But at least I have an answer for what was going on in there,” Hughes said. “I was worried about what it was.”

    The only problem now is that this gives some the impression that Hughes is vulnerable injuries…

  • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

    You would think last season would really put the value of an 162 game season in perspective for us Yankees fans but I guess not. I’m not even going to waste any effort defending Jason Giambi again because I made my points before and the rest of you have don an adequate job defending Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy.

    The one thing that really got me pissed is Wolf William’s comments.

    “And enough, please, with the ‘they’re just 21 and 23 years old’ junk. When I was 21, I was riding across the Iraqi desert getting shot at. There are kids younger than that doing far more high-pressure jobs as we read and write our blogs. Kennedy and Hughes make more money than any ten teachers I work with, and all they have to do is their jobs…..”

    First off, I can not stand it when people use extreme examples to try and minimize or devalue the effect a situation has on a person. That’s like saying 90% of the kids in America shouldn’t worry or fret over a single thing because they are not living in Uganda where those kids have to worry about being kidnapped in the middle of the night with guys carrying AK-47s that will make them child-soldiers. So because kids in America aren’t going through that they should be perfectly fine with everything in their lives? Statements like that are so non-sensical, don’t you think that pressure is of the beholder? Do you honestly believe pressure loses its value based on comparisons that the beholder has not experienced? Obviously if Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy had gone what you went through I’m sure they wouldn’t find as much pressure in doing what they are right now, but they didn’t.

    A 19-year old kid growing up in Crown Heights, Brooklyn has to worry about who is walking behind him when he comes home late at night. A 16-year old kid in Salt Lake City, Utah has too worry about his parents kicking his ass if he comes home to late at night. Does that mean one situation means more than the other? Hell no, it makes no sense to compare stories of completely different worlds and determine which has more pressure. It’s pretty arrogant for one to do that as well when you are trying to minimize the pressure of another situation by doing so.

    • Micky#7

      Go Jamal G, very good.
      Some of the people calling for the heads of IPK/Phil are the same ones who defended Cashs’ non-trade last year. I went through many tours in VN (and others), could someone tell me that I am mentally prepared to handle the pressure of pitching for the greatest team in sports? I don’t think so. 27/08.

  • A.D.

    3 Injuries isn’t something to get worried about, Wang had shoulder trouble coming up which kept him under the radar, Halladay has had injury trouble in the past and now hes a horse, Hughes has had 3 injuries (counting the 2 last year) which are a bit off the beaten path (and most importantly nothing to do with the arm), this isn’t how Giambi & Alou hurt a groin every year, or Ben Sheets’ arm always has soreness, it’s not something to worry about yet.

    Someone made the “This is why you can’t rebuild in the Bronx” which could be accutrate, if theis team had decided to rebuild, but it didn’t it decided to not trade young starters for a stud pitcher, we dont have 4 position players who haven’t started before going out there, the full plan is to win a World Series this year, and not in the sense that is always the plan, but in it is expected, so the frustration of fans isn’t because we are rebuilding, but because we aren’t rebuilding.

    With Joba, I think it is worth stretching him out and starting him the 2nd half of this year (depending how the 1st half goes) the yanks you could have him throw 1 or 2 3 inning stints in the majors, send him down to pitch 4 or 5 right before the AS break, then make a minor league start right after the all star break, come up and be in the rotation for the 2nd half. You get around loosing him for a prolonged period, and the 10 day rule. Meanwhile I think you bring up Robertson as he has the most potential to be a lights out 8th inning guy. IPK pitches in scranton, and maybe he wins Mussina’s vacated spot next year.

    • A.D.

      kinda ironic that I misspelled accurate

  • Thomas

    There is no way in knowing that Joba will be any better than Hughes or Kennedy! I would start looking at other teams and a trade for a 5th starter!

    The new manager looks worse than the old manager. The third base coach has no clue!

    • A.D.

      It’s true, but we have to find out, it’s farily easy to move him back to the pen.

      And Girardi definitly isn’t making things happen, like he was brought in for, we see very few hit & runs or steals.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      There is also no way in knowing that the sun will rise tomorrow morning in advance, or that some crazy person won’t sneak into your house, Thomas, and bash you on the head with a frying pan. It’s called THE FUTURE; we have to wait to see what happens. That doesn’t mean that since we don’t know the certainty of an outcome in advance, we should do nothing at all…

      We don’t know that ARod will be a better 3B than Wilson Betemit, but we have a fairly good hunch of it, based on the fact that he’s been better for the past decade…


    “Meanwhile, imagine if the Yanks get Joba into the rotation at around the same time that Phil Hughes makes his injury-free return to the Yankees. It would be like Christmas in July for us.” – Ben K.

    That’s pretty optimistic Ben, if not downright misleading. What’s to say Hughes comes back at all this season? He’s suffered three relatively major injuries in the past 10 months – can anyone say Carl Pavano Jr.? It’s an ominous sign when a young picther show’s signs of frailty and is consistently injured (Woods, Prior?). I’m not saying that Hughes will end up like Woods, Prior, or Pavano – but its certainly more plausible at this time than a “Christmas in July” scenario.

    p.s. Assuming Hughes makes it back before August, what’s to say that he picthes well at all? I’ve seen no evidence that Hughes will be the dominating picther that everyobody says he’ll be. His stuff is average and he has gotten pounded his second time around the league. For the Yankees sake, I truly hope that he can turn this around and Generation Trey doesn’t become Generation Uno (as you can see, I’ve already conceded that IPK will not amount to more than a #4,#5 starter).

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      Downright misleading? I don’t think you know what that means. Sorry for trying to be a bit optimistic. You can go back to pretending the sky is falling now.

      • Relaunch

        Maybe not misleading, but saying it will be Christmas when someone who has been average at best returns is also being far too optimistic.

    • keith

      The fuck does the ABUSE of Mark Prior and Kerry Wood’s arms have to do with a broken rib? Or Carl Pavano crashing his car into a pole and breaking his rib? Another sweet post from big Llyod.

      Hughes showed his plus control and nasty breaking stuff in the playoffs. Did that just disappear? The kid is 21, he could put up an ERA of 6+ when he comes back over 15 starts and STILL not be a bust, he could then come back next year and pitch to a 4.5-5+ ERA and, guess what? He still wouldn’t be a bust. Eventually, yeah, you have to see his stuff but, jesus christ, he’s the second youngest player in MLB. You should head over to big Pete’s blog- you’d fit right in over there. Unbelievable.

      • LLOYD


        Obviously you are very uneducated and probably unemployed. The comparison I was clearly making between Hughes and Pavano/Woods/Prior is that they are all PRONE TO INJURY! Am I wrong? And your comment about Pavano was retarded, he’s suffered a myriad of injuries, the car accident only being one of them.

        Now I’m sure that my post really upset you because you probably just sit around your Mom’s house all day and listen to talk radio and read Yankees blogs, and anything but good news about the Yankees just kills your day. However, I am a realist. And the reality is that Hughes and IPK are absolutely killing the Yankees and have been worse that anyone could have imagined (Who would have thought that BOTH of them would be subject to being sent down after April!).

        You can take my post anyway you want, but know that I am huge Yankee fan who is very disappointed with how things have started. Its not beyond reason for me to voice my frustration and bring delusional people, like yourself, back to Earth. I guess the truth hurts. Be that as it may, quit your cryin and don’t forget to help your Mom with the laundry.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

          No personal attacks. Give it a rest.

  • Floyd D.

    I think the timetable that Cash has set is a good one…….I’m really getting sick of the 2 idiots on the FAN drivetime show preaching about how Joba should be kept in the 7/8th inning slot…..Why would you waste a top of the rotation guy on 70 innings….PLEASE!!!…I truly believe there is something mechanically wrong w/ Philfranchise….I think they messed with his throwing motion when he was down with the hammy….He is not the same pitcher I saw in Trenton and Lakewood way back when….He has no late life on his fastball anymore…Anyone agree?????????

    • Micky#7

      I have seen some very wild motions over the years. I am not (and don’t claim to be) a pitching guru, but I think you put Phil back to his natural delivery and see if he is better. I don’t recall him having arm trouble before, anyone hear of any? If it ain’t broke………! 27/08.

  • JohnC

    Good chance Cano sits tonight with a tough lefty in Bedard going for Seattle.

  • nick blasioli

    there are two huge holes in the pitching staff…if rasner fails..what then…cashman better get off his ass and see if he can salvage a dieing team…giambi should be put on waivers….and i agree with sitting cano down until he learns what the hell is wrong…i dont buy this unlucky bull shit…why wait until the yankees are fifty games back before doing something…they need a new face and a new pitcher….ensberg doesnt show me anything either….

  • nick blasioli

    oh sure hughes and kennedy are just great…lets give them time to mature and then they will be pitching with a different team behind them..keep them in the minors until they are ready and not before.

  • RustyJohn

    I’m all for having Joba starting the transition to the rotation now- that way, come July, there are more options. If IPK is sucking it up, Phil takes his spot, if Joba is sucking it up, Phil takes his spot. Right now I am concerned that if IPK sucks donkey nuts that we have a rotation that has the names Rasner and Igawa in it.

  • Beau

    I just seem to think that the situation with the team is unfortunate regarding Hughes, Joba, and IPK. We don’t know what they will bring to the big league table. Nobody does. It is too much to ask for, relying on three rookies to carry a struggling team. I really like the concept of having three very young pitching prospects, regardless of what their ceiling is. They still need to develop to see what their true potential is. As a Yankee fan it’s easy to get spoiled with 13 consecutive trips to the post-season. Unfortunately this is a team trying to rebuild and restock their young talent. I am frustrated to say the least but we just have to remember that the Yanks can’t do this overnight. The big money veteran concept seems to be a thing of the past, which we all wanted a few months ago.

  • chris

    Can the Yankees finally just admit that they are rebuilding? It was obvious when they didn’t pull off the deal fo Johan that this was a lost season. The best thing out of this artile was sayin the team pobably won’t make the playoffs. Its a shame bcause the AL seems relatively week this season with the Indians and Tigers stuggling so much.

    Leu\t Hughes rehab and when he gets back put him back inthe otation. With any hope Connnors can fix whatever is wrong with his delivery unless the reports of the great fastball were all nonsese to begin with. I’d love to see him learn to trow a splitter. With his love for thorwing fastballs to the outside corner – it seems a split would be a perfect ptch for him. it would also help nutrelize leftis. perhaps that can be his 3rd pitch?

    kennedy is a finesse pitcher and needs time to learn to pitch. he is a very smart guy and I am confident he will get it together, but needs this season to learn.

    Joba needs to go into the rotation. the sooner this team admits it is not a playoff contender the sooner this 8th inning talk will stop.

    they need to play giambi. i know he is a bum, but we need to hope he starts hitting a little so that they may be able to make a deal even if it is for nothing.

    lets hope moose’s stats keep looking okay even if his fastball is batting practice at best. he should be shopped (obviously he would have to improve it, but if he is told he is out of the rotation come August he may agree) he could help an NL team if not maybe we get a draftpick for him.

    Damon/Matsui/Abreu I would like to see two of these three dealt away. If they can put together good first halves maybe we can get some good prospects in return.

    Even Petitte, if the team is out of it, could net a very good prospect in return for a team headed to the postseason.

    I am not talking firesale, but if this team could land sone top prospects for Petitte ], Abeau, and Matsui or decent prospects for Giambi (provided he starts using roids again) or Mussina then they need to explore it and get young hitters in year.

    This league has become a young hitters game – perhaps it has something to do with HGH o the lack there of available, but look aound the league at young hitters teaing it up. the yanks have the pitching and lets see what they can do. try to make some trades this offseason fo wither propects or to unload more salary.

    Take stock in what they have and go out next season and spend that money. no more pissing contests between cash and theo memo to cash – theo is smarter than you are. let us use our resources – money to sign guys and money to sweeten a deal and get a better prospect in return (btw… I don’t know how accuate it was and i dont want to take anything away from what olendorf has done, but I remember reading that had the Ynks paid more of RJs salary we could have gotten Micah Owings from the DBacks, but Cash has to prove he can do more than write checks.)

    Oh and stop it about Cano. He stunk at the beginning of last season. He has a sweet swing and his numbes thus far in his career have earned him the right to go through a slump – even if it is an extendeded one