Brian Cashman is confused by Chris Britton, too

Yanks drop a Sunday contest in Minneapolis
More Colorado relief rumors

Yankee fans witnessed a rare occurrence yesterday afternoon when Number 47 ambled out of the bullpen to throw the last two innings of a seemingly lost cause. For Chris Britton, it was just his third (!) appearance of this season, and it became increasingly clear that, for whatever reason, Britton is the very last man out of the pen. He didn’t pitch in Saturday’s extra-inning affair, and Scott Patterson got to make his Major League debut in a three-run game before Britton was called upon to pitch. At the end of last week, we learned that Yanks GM Brian Cashman doesn’t understand the Yanks’ manager’s reluctance in using Britton (second item). One day, perhaps, we’ll understand the origins of Britton-gate.

Yanks drop a Sunday contest in Minneapolis
More Colorado relief rumors
  • steve (different one)

    hopefully he earned another appearance with his performance yesterday. if he keeps getting outs, Girardi will use him.

    but yeah, it’s confusing.

    as for Patterson, it’s stupid to make judgments after 1 appearance, but i will be surprised if he sticks around. i just don’t see a lot of consistent strikes coming from that delivery. hope i am wrong, it’s a good story.

    • RustyJohn

      Maybe Joe G. suffers from the same issue that Sweet Lou suffers from- Sweet Lou hated using Lee Gutterman because of some bizarro animus. He felt someone Gutterman’s size should throw harder and refused to use him as often as a result. Who knows if Joe G has some misplaced hatred of fat folks or thinks Britton isn’t effective because someone his size “should” throw harder. There really is no other explanation because his numbers show, as Cashman said, he suceeds at every level.

  • A.D.

    You’d think Britton over Hawkins would be easy, Britton has a better ERA this year (obv small sample size), they had very similar ERA last year, and Britton had a better ERA (by about a run) in 2006 in which both players pitched for the O’s. When you throw in the contracts going forward there is no reason Hawkins should be pitching in a game of consequence before Britton

    • steve (different one)


      although in fairness to Girardi, he does seem to grasp that Hawkins shouldn’t be pitching in games of consequence. that is has happened a few times recently was a result of unusual circumstances where the alternatives became severely limited.

      we can quibble that he went to Hawkins over Veras the other night in Baltimore, but IN GENERAL, Girardi seems to understand that Hawkins is one of his “low leverage” guys.

      that said, he needs to give Britton the chance to move himself above Hawkins on the depth chart. i am confident that this will happen.

  • Tripp

    He just seems like a solid (not spectacular) 6th and 7th inning reliever with the ability to pitch 2 innings at a time. Has to be a better option than Latroy Hawkins who has gotten tons of innings this year.

    Also, I’m sure there are tons of teams who would want Britton. If the Yanks aren’t going to use him then trade him for something.

    • steve (different one)

      you used the word “tons” twice in a post about Britton. coincidence?

      • ctkaiser

        A guy like Girardi who looks to be in great physical condition could have some unfavorable feelings about a guy like Britton who is carrying 20 or so extra pounds. If he pitched like another fat pitcher (David Wells) the weight probably wouldn’t be a problem.

    • TurnTwo

      you only trade him if he has no options left, and you need to remove him from the active roster.

      otherwise, if you can control him, and have the flexibility to option him back and forth, why just give that away because Girardi doesnt feel comfortable with him in a big spot yet? seems silly to me.

  • Z1m

    Britton is very similar to a Paul Quantrill. Doesn’t throw very hard but can get outs in the early innings (6-7) With some starters only giving 5 to 6 innings he could be an asset and keep the others edwar, ohlendorf and veras for spots in the later innings. Power arms are more important at the end of games. Let Britton throw his junk in the middle innings.

    I would look to hold Edwar for the important lefties later in the game. His changeup is tough on them.

    Does Cox, Melancon and Robertson all fit the 7-8 innings of close games?

  • Yankees=warriors

    I don’t understand why no Yankee manager likes to use Britton anymore than why Cashman wanted Betemit so badly.

    • steve (different one)

      and i don’t understand why Yankee fans hate Betemit so badly.

      also, it’s not really rocket science: Betemit was acquired at a time when we had no idea if A-Rod would be back.

      what were the other 3B options on the market this winter? Lowell. then what?

      • Jeff

        Betemit wasn’t going to be a third base solution… if ARod didn’t come back we probably would have tried to trade for a real third baseman. Crede and Cabrerra were the names thrown around while it was unsettled.

        • Old Ranger

          There was talk of moving Cano to 3rd, because there were a lot of 2nd basemen available at the time…but not many (if any) 3rd basemen. 27/08?

        • steve (different one)

          he might not have been THE 3B solution, but he was certainly in the mix. BTW, it took the Tigers about 30 games to figure out that Cabrera is not a 3Bman.

          you can’t go into the off-season needing to make a trade just to field a replacement level player at 3B. you will get bent over a barrell.

          so, you get Betemit, who solidifies up your bench, is an immediate upgrade over Andy Phillips (despite what Torre thought), gives you AT LEAST a replacement level 3Bman if A-Rod leaves, and if A-Rod comes back, he makes a solid utility player.

          the guy is very nice bench player. i just don’t understand why he is so hated by Yankee fans.

  • http://2009 Haggs


    I don’t know what the issue was with Torre, but with Girardi maybe it’s Britton’s weight?

    Everyone seemed to get the message over the winter that they better come to camp in shape (Damon, Bruney, etc…). Britton missed that message.

    Girardi threw all of the fattening foods out of the clubhouse.

    He is fanatic about physical fitness and maybe he’s biased about hefty guys like Britton.

    If he gets people out he’ll be used more, but Girardi has to get over his fat-hating.

    • Joey

      Yea, I think Girardi hates fat people!

    • TurnTwo

      yes, i’m sure thats why Britton isnt logging innings… because Joe Girardi hates fat people.

      • http://2009 Haggs

        There are nutters out there who have no tolerance for fattys. Maybe Girardi’s one of them.

        I can’t think of another fat guy on the Yankees – or their staff.

        • LiveFromNewYork

          It’s absolutely true that Girardi hates fatties.

          • steve (different one)

            Albadalejo pitched plenty of innings before he got hurt.

  • E-ROC

    I thought Britton actually lost weight this past off-season. He looks thinner than last year; thats for sure.

    Isn’t Patterson keeping that bullpen spot warm for Dan Giese?

    What can the Yanks get for Hawkins if he’s traded to the Rockies?

    • TurnTwo

      I heard that the Rockies were looking to unload Wily Tavares to loosen up a logjam in their OF when Holliday comes back from the DL.

      perhaps a Hawkins/Tavares-centered swap to help bolster the bench?

      • Ben K.

        It’s hard to see how someone with a career OBP of .335 and a line this year of .243/.307/.289 while playing home games in Colorado boosts the bench. Pass.

        • TurnTwo

          so what is Shelly Duncan giving the Yankees as the 4th or 5th OF?

          at least Tavares would give us a little speed and defense on the bench… and you’d get a MLB-ish player for someone who’d prob just release anyway.

          • Jon W.

            Taveras would be nothing more than a pinch runner. He’s a speed guy with no power who doesn’t get on base very much. The Yanks would be better served bringing up Jason Lane if they want to send Shelley down.

            • TurnTwo

              isnt that what this bench needs? a pinch runner, or someone who can play a little OF defense late in a game?

              dont we have under-performing sluggers already?

              i’m not saying it has to get done, but if the bench isnt working as currently constructed, what would bringing up Jason Lane do to really change the dynamic of the bench to fix it?

              • Ben K.

                The bench doesn’t need someone with a career OPS+ of 75. If we wanted a guy who can PR and play defense, just call up Brett Gardner. He can’t really be worse than Taveras.

                • steve (different one)

                  i’m not saying it has to get done, but if the bench isnt working as currently constructed, what would bringing up Jason Lane do to really change the dynamic of the bench to fix it?

                  well, the “dynamic” right now is that their RHed bat off the bench is an automatic out.

                  if Lane can “not suck”, he will change that dynamic.

                  can Lane outhit Shelley Duncan? i wouldn’t be opposed to trying to find out.

                • TurnTwo

                  Cashman already said he’s not callin up Brett Gardner to sit on the bench. They view him as a OF prospect, and want to get him regular ABs in Scranton.

                  noone said a guy like Tavares is going to be a savior, but considering you arent going to get more than a bag of balls for Hawkins anyway, you can do worse.

                  “if Lane can “not suck”, he will change that dynamic.”

                  but will he? when is he going to play enough to change the dynamic? unless he becomes a defensive 1B, he’s not playing over Damon and Matsui and Giambi.

          • Jeff

            Shelly can also play first.

            • steve (different one)

              have you been watching him “play” 1B?

              i am not saying Jason Lane is the answer to anything. i am simply saying that the bar to get over to be an improvement over Duncan is REALLY low.

              Lane has played 4 games at 1B in the majors, that probably makes him about as good as Duncan.

  • A-Point

    Funny, since Girardi threw out the “junk food” Damon looks like he has gained weight.

    I wasn’t all that impressed with Patterson’s delivery. It seems very herky – jerky and may cause some of the stuggles with finding the strike zone.

    Britton isn’t a hard thrower, but he moved things right along. It was a quick inning, not much time between pitches. I think overall, that helps keep the fielders in the game. Mussina is very slow working and it shows with poorer play behind him.

    • RustyJohn

      Damon is hiding his food in the clothes dryer in the basement like Ginny Sacramoni.

  • billyball

    turn tow! I agree with you 1000 perecent. It’s something I’ve been stressing, improve the defense. The offense comes and goes but the defense needs to be consistent in order to win those close games. I could care less if the guy is hitting 243 as long as he can track down fly balls, save those extra base hits from falling, steal some bases late in the game. I’m old school national league I guess. We don’t need all power hitting one dimensional no defense players on the bench such as Betemit. During the Yankees dynasty there bench wasn’t loaded with all plus hitting guys. They were loaded with guys with speed who can play some D.

    • Ben K.

      That “reply to this comment” function really comes in handy sometimes :)

      Anyway, comparing Tavares to the guys on the Yankee dynasty is a terrible comparison. Tim Raines, your speedy defensive replacement, hit .299/.395/.429 while on the Yankees. Tavares is barely a Major Leaguer. He doesn’t improve any team that he’s on.

      • TurnTwo

        yeah, i’m not going to say tavares helps the yankees return to their dynasty roots, but i still think there is a role for a guy like him on the bench, esp if you are only moving Hawkins to get it done.

        • Ben K.

          But here’s the thing about Tavares: He makes the Yankees a worse team. He doesn’t contribute a positive value to the team. You can like him for his speed, his supposed defense or his hustle a la David Eckstein. But the fact is that he produces at a level worse than average and at replacement level. That makes the Yanks worse.

          • TurnTwo

            compared to what they currently get from their bench? impossible.

            • Ben K.

              Perhaps so, but it’s not an upgrade if you guy from one guy who sucks to another.

          • A.D.

            But it’s getting something for Hawkins, you have a guy you don’t need who isn’t an A or B free agent, you get something for him, and you can always try to spin Taveras later, in the mean time yes he may produce at below avg, but he runs & defends well above avg. Meaning he can be a late inning replacement defensively, and give you pure speed & SB for late in games running for guys like Matsui, Giambi & whoever is catching late in games.

            So getting a below avg player is still better than getting nothing at all

  • billyball

    I agee by the way, Peterson will not last with that stuff he was throwing. It’s a great story but his fastball tops at 90 and his secondary pitches are avg at best like that hanging curve he throws. He is gonna get lit up.

  • Chris

    Completely off topic…but is anyone going to the game tomorrow. I just bought tix…i must see joba mania in person.

  • billyball

    Our biggest defensive weakness position by position is as follows: 1st base is atrocious, we can all agree that it is below avg and at least every other game we are getting a costly mistake from that position. 2nd bas is avg and should get better as Cano is still young. What he lacks is top range which hurts because we all know Jeter is avg at best at SS. Those 2 positions are set and you live and die with what you get. 3rd base is avg as well, some may disagree with me but Arod has never stood out defensively to me and that play the other night almost cost the game against minnesota. Once again he is Arod and you live and die with him. Overall the infield defense is avg at best with below avg range.

    The outfield:
    Lf is another position that scares me. Damon has played good but he truthfully is the scariest OF outside of Manny tracking down balls. He runs with his glove over his head, its amusing. He has no arm. CF is above avg but what Melky lacks is that extra gear to cover allot of ground so his range is adequate but not good enough to negate those gappers like an Ellsbury or Beltran. Overall he is still above avg. RF is also below avg as Abreu who has speed seems to run like he is avoiding mines and potholes. His arm is excellent like Melky’s but his range is questionable. Overall the Yankee OF defense is avg at best with 2 great arms and below avg range. If you look at the Sox, the Angels, the Blue Jays, there team defense is better. We can afford to keep guys on the bench with speed and plus defense to improve our defense in late inning close games!

  • billyball

    As far as Raines is concerned, he was more off a everyday player, and there are not too many Tim Raines out there. We use to have your Homer Bush, Randy Velarde who played excellent defense no matter where you put him. Those guys get you through the long haul 162 game season. Not Betemit and Duncan who I happen to like. I know we don’t want to bring Gardner up yet to have him sit on the bench, but I do believe he is 24 or 25. He just may wind up a 4th Of in the majors anyhow. He has plus plus range and an above avg arm for a CF with top 10 speed in all of baseball. I have a feeling the Yankees plan on bringing him up when the rosters expand. I wouldn’t mind doing it sooner and trying to unload some of these bats like Betemit to make room for those defensive players like a Gardner or Gonzalez. We definitely need a late inning defensive preferably RH 1st baseman as well. Any one have any names in mind?

  • nick blasioli

    lets face it..cashman doesnt understand anything…he screwed up this year big time…

    • Geno

      You crack me up, Blasioli. Where do you hail from, Boston?

  • Old Ranger

    I agree, somewhat to bringing Brett up…very good eye, ave., OBP; ave+, arm, with speed to burn. Drawback; LH hitter, but hits ok against LH.
    Justin is a RH bat; bit more power, not as good of a OBP/Ave. He is has a bit less speed, but better arm and is older (28).
    In case no one has been watching, Eric Duncan is hitting;.258/.374/.416 with a OPS of.790 and a 1.000 FP…1st base anyone? Gardner is;.288/.381/.449 with OPS.830, not bad for a 4th OF with speed. 27/08?

  • nick blasioli

    from ny geno..if you dont think that cashman screwed up you dont know baseball as you think you do….all of the sports writers say they should have made the santana deal and what about a lefty releiver out of the pen…its better rethink your baseball…