Mussina, Yanks roll over Twins


Four starts into the season, things were not looking up for Mike Mussina. The 39-year-old, coming off his worst professional season in 2007, began the year 1-3, and after a three-inning shellacking at the hands of Manny Ramirez and the Red Sox, his ERA stood at 5.75. On April 23, Hank Steinbrenner publicly slammed Mooes.

Well, since then, it’s been an entirely different story. With his eight shut-out innings this afternoon, Mike Mussina improved to 12-3 over his last 17 starts. He’s thrown 101 innings and has an ERA of 2.76 over that stretch. He has struck out 74 while walking just 13, none since his July 5 start against the Red Sox. He’s not giving up free passes; he’s pitching well with runners on base; and much like Old Man River, he just keeps rolling along.

For Mussina, today’s game was something of a milestone. He’s reached 13 wins in 21 starts, and he figures to have another 12 or 13 starts this season. Can he win seven more of those to reach 20 wins for the first time in his career? I’m pulling for him.

The Yanks, meanwhile, had their typical offensive game. Robinson Cano picked up his usual two hits; A-Rod picked up his usual two RBIs. After Glen Perkins stifled the offensive for the first four innings, mental errors doomed the Twins in the 5th, and the Yanks plated three more in the 6th.

While LaTroy Hawkins had to be lifted for Mariano Rivera with two outs in the ninth, the Yanks held on for a 5-1 win. They’ve won six straight since the All Star Break and ten in a row at home. While Tampa overcame a 2-0 deficit to top the A’s and the Mariners and Red Sox are facing off as I write, the Yankees are now in sole possession of second place in the Wild Card. This weekend, needless to say, is huge, and Joba will face Josh Beckett in a marquee match-up on Friday night. Who could ask for anything more?

Open Thread Rumors: With no game this evening, feel free to use this thread for a general baseball discussion. We’ve got rumors and news galore:

  • While Jorge Posada is not quite ready to go under the knife, his days behind the plate this season are over. Ergo, according to RoboKen, the Yankees are looking for a catcher. I think the Molina/Moeller tandem can do well enough behind the dish, and the rest of the lineup should cover the offense. Go pitching, I say.
  • Rumors are floating around the the Rockies are eying Humberto Sanchez as a possible piece to a Brian Fuentes trade. I’m still firmly in the “if ain’t broke, don’t fix it” camp here. The bullpen has been outstanding and shows no signs of slipping. They don’t need a lefty if everyone else is getting outs, and trading a chip for unnecessary piece isn’t a smart baseball move.
  • Manny being Manny. Perhaps he hurt that knee while jaywalking.
  • Melky got a talking-to after his mental error leading off the game yesterday. Oops.

Mike will hit you up with DotF later, and if news breaks, we’ll have something. Otherwise, play nice.

Categories : Game Stories


  1. dkidd says:

    jose vidro making his case!

    • mustang says:

      No Vidro. Not with his numbers it just doesn’t solve the right-hand bat problem.

    • B says:

      Posada needs to suck it up and get the surgery now so he can be healthy for ALL of next year and not miss close to half of it!!!!

      Adding a lefty to our bullpen would be a great addition and make it even stronger than it is. Especially since it would most likely take Hawkins out of it. Sanchez was a main piece of the Sheffield trade and would like to see what hes got before giving him away. Both Fuentes and Marte will be type A free agents in the offseason and net us 2 draft picks if we get one and don’t resign them.

      Like I said once before, we need to be buyers because Tampa was playing over there heads and we were closer than last year. Now look, we are only 3.5 games out of it and the trade deadline is only 8 days away. So lets do this thing!!! We can do it.

  2. Joey H says:

    check out MLBTR ben, prices have dropped on fuentes and nady. arroyo looks like a no go

  3. nick blasioli says:

    a lefty reliever would be great as long as he takes hawkins place….that would really strengthen the pen…i agree that moeller and molina will be ok…

  4. Lanny says:

    They need a lefty. No matter how great the pen has been. The more talent the better there especially with Sid and DR pitching major innings.

    • Jamal G. says:

      No bullpen needs a LHP. No bullpen needs a RHP. Every bullpen needs the seven best relievers that team’s GM can assemble, that’s it.

      • cult of basebaal says:

        nonsense jamal. don’t you remember how important and effective mike myers, sean henn and ron villone have been over the last couple of years. why, think of the 2002 angels. they tried to win without a lefty specialist and look where that got them!

        • Joey H says:

          yeha i have to disagree with jamal thats senseless, tell me now its not like we are getting a lefty specialist, its a damned closer that will be setting up. now when you put fuentes in the 8th that pushes everyone else back E.H. farnsy veras edwar ect.. making the bullpen that much stronger

          • A.D. says:

            But it doesn’t need to be stronger, should the Yankees trade for J.J. Hardy so their back-up SS is stronger?

      • mustang says:


        • Lanny says:

          A great bullpen needs a good lefty. It’s just a fact that lefty’s have a tough time hitting lefty’s. I know the stat geeks say get the best 7 out there but one of the 7 relievers should be a good lefty.

          I think Fuentes or Marte apply.

          • mustang says:

            I been thinking like you for most of the year and at the right price I would do it more for Marte then Fuentes. But this bullpen is getting everyone out and I don’t see the need to give up top prospects to have a lefty.
            I guess this weekend we will see Boston will put this pen to the test.

          • Old Ranger says:

            Sorry Lenny, but I must agree with Mustang.
            A Very Good Lefty would be nice, but not a lefty just to have one. As experience has shown us, just because one gets out LH hitters, doesn’t mean one can do the same with top flight LH hitters. Conversely, if one can get out top hitters L or R handed it doesn’t matter. Is Fuentes/Marte that much better then those we have? Or, one of the guys we give up to get him? Sanchez is projected to be a very good BP guy…maybe even a starter, if he could stay healthy. 27/08??

          • christopher says:

            with fuentes you are getting not only a guy who can get a big lefty out in a big spot, but can also pitch an inning if needed in a pressure situation.

            think we dont need a left – think of how important stanton and lloyd were to the yankees back in the day. lefty vs lefty is just different than righty v righty.

            there are other needs that need to be filled, but i remember hearing that the rockies had interest in IPK and now i hear sanchez. a couple more pieces and maybe we can get the package deal that could put this team over the top.

            • B says:

              Could Kennedy, Sanchez, and another low level prospect net us Holiday and Fuentes? We can throw Hawkins in that trade as well!

  5. JRVJ says:

    IMO, Moose 2008 has more than made up for his lackluster 2007.

    Unless he’s injured or falls of a cliff from here on out, I’d resign him. And if it takes a 2 year, so be it (Moose’s current pitching style is certainly conducive to him remaining effective for 2 years).

  6. Jamal G. says:

    RotoWorld has released their mid-season, top 150-prospects list. Here are the Yankees on the list:

    13. Austin Jackson
    72. Jose Tabata
    100. Mark Melancon
    120. Jesus Montero
    129. Dan McCutchen
    134. Alan Horne

    H/T to nyyfans.com.


    • JRVJ says:

      Melancon’s only 100?

      That seems too low.

    • Jake says:

      Just one player in the top 72 is kind of disappointing.

    • Aaron says:

      Tabata’s done little to warrant being ranked that high. He’s been terribly inconsistent. Personally, with A-Jax and Gardner around I think Tabata’s become a trade chip.

    • christopher says:

      pretty crappy ratings – has the farm fallen that far from last year. is it more to do with the promortions or the injuies

    • Mike A. says:

      Max Scherzer number 6? Huh? He’s been out over a month with a “minor shoulder injury.” Yeah…

      Mike Bowden over Trevor Cahill? That’s utterly insane. Cahill has better stuff, better numbers, a better delivery, AND he’s two years younger. Ridiculous.

      Andrew McCutchen behind Austin Jackson is absolutely delusional. McCutchen’s the better prospect in every single way.

      Jon Meloan on any prospect list is just ignorance of anything beyond name recognition. Talk to me when he’s not walking 2 batters every 3 innings.

      Charlie Zink?!?!?! He’s going to be 29 in a month!!!

      There. I got it out of my system.

  7. mustang says:

    “During last week’s All-Star break, the source said, Hal Steinbrenner instructed Cashman to make whatever moves were necessary before the deadline, even if it meant dealing some of the organization’s highly touted prospects. ”

    “Steinbrenner brothers have been pleased with the team’s recent play, so they want to show the players that they are committed to winning this year by making moves to bolster the roster.”

    Of course there are untouchables Hughes and Mark Melancon were two names, but for a Yankees fan I cannot be any happier with my upper management.
    Now it’s all in Cashman’s hands as it should be.

    • Aaron says:

      I presume that A-Jax and Montero would also be considered “untouchable”.

      • mustang says:

        I would think so.

      • cult of basebaal says:

        fort knox untouchable:


        touchable but gotta be gotta be for a “real” return (what “real” means depends on the player, but it’s not you, brian fuentes):


        abraham lincoln at the ford theatre touchable:
        george kontos
        chase “i’d rather be wrong than” wright
        scary fly ball guy
        sister christian
        specs igawa
        hacky mcheadfirstslide

        • Jamal G. says:

          Phil Hughes and Mark Melancon are “Fort Knox Untouchable”. Hughes for obvious reasons and Melancon because they view him as the heir apparent to Mariano Rivera. The way this reliever’s market is going and the fact that outside of the injury plagued Humberto Sanchez, there is no other reliever in the system with as much upside and talent as Melancon.

          • cult of basebaal says:

            sorry, but not to me. if i can get the right return, hughes goes.

            i think hughes is a 2-3 and melancon isn’t a slam dunk closer candidate. not everybody sees melancon as a closer and frankly, finding a closer in 2011 is so far down the list of priorities on this team, especially with the raft of bullpen arms we’ll accumulate between now, that i’m willing to trade from the obvious strength that we have.

            • cult of basebaal says:

              for example. if i could get matt holliday for a combination of hughes, tabata and melancon, i’d do it.

              of course, i’d rather do it for IPK in the package (and that’s what i’d offer) rather than hughes, but if the above was the price to pay, i’d be willing to do it.

              this year holliday takes left and damon moves to center, which is an easy overall improvement.

              next year he takes over in right, damon in left and melky/jackson in center.

              nobody in the trade above is irreplaceable.

              • Guiseppe Franco says:

                for example. if i could get matt holliday for a combination of hughes, tabata and melancon, i’d do it.

                You would be the only one who’d make that deal because Cashman would hang up the phone if that was the asking price for Holliday.

                Not a chance in hell.

                The only guy I’d consider moving of those three is Tabata.

                Hughes stays and so does Melancon.

                Don’t forget, Holliday is represented by Boras and he will be a FA at the end of 2009 no matter what.

                • TurnTwo says:

                  Holliday was also just on WFAN and said while Boras is his agent, Boras works for him. he also said winning is the most important thing to him, aside from where his family is happy.

                  call me crazy, but i actually wouldnt be surprised if Holliday stays in Colorado.

                  but if he’s traded somewhere where he thinks he has a shot of winning every year, i also think he could sign an extention if he’s happy, and you give him a market offer.

                • Guiseppe Franco says:

                  Name the last high-profile Boras client to not test the free agent waters.

                  Even A-Rod opted out of his contract and he claimed he wanted to come back to the Yanks all along.

                • TurnTwo says:

                  and then ARod dumped Boras to sign his own deal on his own terms.

                • Guiseppe Franco says:


                  And A-Rod signed for even more money than he made under the old contract.

                  The point is this, Holliday is going to be a FA at the end of 2009 no matter where he plays next season.

                  Cashman isn’t going to trade any of his top young prospects for someone who will be a FA in another year.

                  You can bet your ass on that.

                • TurnTwo says:

                  and thats why when you make a trade like that, and it works, you pay the man and extend him. yankees can afford to pay him, so whats the big deal?

              • Joey says:

                You must be smoking some really good stuff or you’re just plain crazy. Plus, have you not seen Holliday’s home/road splits?

              • Hughes/Tabata/Melancon is way too much to pay for Holliday. The Holliday problem is, he’s an all-star based on his overall production, but his production is skewed by Coors. So they’ll value him as a top 8 ML outfielder, but we’d have to discount his value by what we think he’d produce here, which would be lower (better than our current outfielders, yes, but definitely not top 8).

                So either we’d be overpaying, or they’d be underselling. Which is why the deal just won’t happen.

                Ditto on Fuentes, but there’s a twist: they’re pricing him as an elite reliever. But even if they priced him as just a decent reliever, history says quite clearly that ALL relievers are overpriced. There isn’t a single baseball trade that works out less frequently than the midseason reliever trade, and there’s not a single baseball position with more volatility and a shorter lifespan than a reliever. Unless you can get a reliever on the super, super cheap (as in like not one of your top 35 prospects kinda cheap), you’re pretty much always better off just promoting from within. Because, you’re probably going to get burned. The bullpen is an area where you should invest free agent dollars and draft picks, but not trades. If we really want a lefty, we should call up Phil Coke, Mike Dunn, Zach Kroenke, Wilkins Arias, or even Kei Igawa before we trade anything of value for a guy who could be Latroy Hawkins or Eric Gagne before you know it.

                Probably no on Holliday, unless we can get a very reasonable price. Definitely no on Fuentes, unless we can get an absolute they’re-giving-him-away-for-peanuts steal.

              • Old Ranger says:

                Those are the kind of statements that make me thank the gods that you are not the Yanks GM. 27/08??

      • mustang says:

        I think if you look at Jamal G. list above those guys probably make up the “untouchable” list.

    • christopher says:

      god bless hank – it is about time he said this – wish he would have said this last offseason when one of the best LF ever was on the market ad went pretty cheap considering.

      lets see if he has the pull his old man did

  8. cult of basebaal says:

    interesting take from the rotoworld writeup on porcello:

    Porcello, though, hasn’t been overpowering as a pro. Billed as a mid-90s guy coming out of high school, he’s usually been in the 91-94 mph range with his fastball in the FSL. Fortunately, he does get sinking movement on the heater and he has three complimentary pitches, including a plus curveball. Because of his ability to induce grounders, he still appears to possess No. 2-starter ability.

    hmmm … now why does that sound familiar???

    • Lanny says:

      I’m curious to see what Brackman does when he gets healthier. Going to compare him and Porcello for a long time.

      Hughes is just 21 so let’s not throw in the towel

      • cult of basebaal says:

        huh? who’s throwing in the towel? i’m merely stating the obvious, he was hyped as throwing mid 90′s and he doesn’t. it doesn’t mean he won’t be a quality ML pitcher, he’s just doesn’t throw that hard and frankly, he projects as a 2-3 to me. those are valuable … they’re just not joba valuable.

        • Jamal G. says:

          Rick Porcello does throw in the mid-90′s but he sits in the 91-94MPH range. People tend to get those misunderstood. Hitting a certain velocity does not mean the pitcher throws that certain velocity.

          • Jamal G. says:

            I made the same mistake, Rick Porcello throws in the 91-94MPH range, but he hits mid-90′s.

            • cult of basebaal says:

              i’m not sure i follow … i think that if porcello sits 91-94 (which i’m sure means somewhere in the 92-93 range generally), he doesn’t throw mid-90s, he “throws” low-90s. would you describe sean gallagher as “throws mid-90s” ? he was sitting 92-93 and touching 95-96 when he needed to during his last start against us, but none of the scouting reports that i read on him referred to him having “mid-90s” stuff.

              joba throws “mid-90s”. not “upper-90s”, even though he can reach back and hit that.

              “throws” (to me) is where you sit, not what you can hit.

              (though i admit, there really needs to be a finer grading of the intermediary steps of the scale … low 90′s seems broad enough to apply to 90-92 as well as 92-94 … which is rather different, imho)

              • Jamal G. says:

                Did you not see my correction? The one you actually replied to?

              • A.D. says:

                Its a “can throw” and thats what ppl latch onto, why, because its sexier, and thats what agents pump

                • cult of basebaal says:

                  ah, yes, it’s the old argument that when delusion becomes reality, why, let’s imagine delusion!

                  but when i know reality, and *you* know reality and everyone around us knows delusion from reality, what point is there in pretending otherwise?


                  “so let us not talk falsely now, the hour’s getting late.”

  9. Tripp says:

    If Mussina keeps it up will anyone look at him as a Cy Young candidate?

  10. Lanny says:

    I kinda chuckle at prospect rankings. I doubt those that come up with the rankings actually watch all those players play. I think a lot is based on rep’s. I take em with a huge grain of salt.

    If they were really right on the all star game would have featured Andy Marte, Edwin Jackson, Homer Baily and Andy Laroche.

  11. Count Zero says:

    Random thoughts…

    This pitching staff is really putting it together of late — could it be that Molina calling games is a factor? Or maybe it’s just the A’s and Twins. Hmmm…don’t mess with it I say. We don’t need no stinking catcher.

    Where are all the people who were calling out Cash for putting together a lousy bullpen now? Can I get a little love for the Cashman pen? We don’t need no stinking lefty in the pen either.

    I’m not a Moose fan, but I gotta’ tip my hat to him. He’s having an incredible year so far. I’m rooting for him to get the 20, too.

    I’m not opposed to a little Nady or Bay help. But I would still rather add Reggie Stocker and not trade anything.

    Posada needs to go have surgery — end of story.

    • Scott says:

      It also may be that they’ve played the weak hitting Athletics and Twinkies…let’s reserve judgement on whole pitching staff till after this weekend

      • steve (different one) says:

        they’ve been pitching well for months. 3 games in that pinball machine shouldn’t sway us too far either way.

      • Chris says:

        The ‘weak hitting Twinkies’ have scored more runs than the Yankees this season (5th most in the AL).

  12. yankee21 says:

    I enjoy this site and as a reader for several months and now a first time poster.

    If the rumor of Sanchez for Fuentes is valid, I do not pull the trigger. Something in my gut tells me Fuentes will not be enough of an impact to give up a guy with the talked about ceiling of Sanchez.

    Fuentes for Hawkins and if necessary a MiL prospect, say the level of Marquez? I do the trade in a flash as Fuentes swaps in for Hawk and if Fuentes leaves, the Yanks will land at least (1) draft choice that could replace a relatively low ceiling guy like Marquez.

    • mustang says:

      The Rockies are not going to give up Fuentes (a top guy on the market) for LaTroy ” garbage time ” Hawkins and Jeffrey ” 6-7 with 4.69 era in AAA” Marquez. I know they are trying to get a good deal, but so is the other side.

    • Radnom says:

      “I do the trade in a flash as Fuentes swaps in for Hawk and if Fuentes leaves, the Yanks will land at least (1) draft choice that could replace a relatively low ceiling guy like Marquez.”

      Which is exactly why this senario is stupid to consider. If you are the rockies, why do you swap Fuentes out of your bullpen for Hawkins for the next two months, and then only get Marquez type player back. Like you said, they can easily get that with the picks they would get in the offseason, so why would they prefer two months of Hawkins as opposed to Fuentes?

    • Radnom says:

      haha I wouldn’t have been so harsh if I saw the “first time poster” earlier.


    • Old Ranger says:

      Sorry guys…
      Sanchez has a much higher ceiling, Fuentes is not worth him. Who else is, I don’t know? 27/08??

    • A.D. says:

      I think that the rumor is less a straight swap, as Sanchez could be a piece the Rockies value why others don’t. If it were a straight swap, one would figure the 2 picks you get for Fuentes (he will be an A) would be greater than Sanchez expected, weighted, return

      • Old Ranger says:

        Can’t argue the point, but again…is Fuentes that good? I must say with honesty, I don’t know that much about him…that is why I kept asking, how good is he? 27/08??

  13. Jake H says:

    Reason that Mark Melancon is ranked so high is he isnt projected as a setup man. Scouts are saying he’s the heir to Mariano. Guy has 2 plus pitches with a change up they are hoping becomes an average pitch. If the guy was pitching just 1 inning my guess is his era would be closer to 1.00 then 2.00

    BP is strong and dominate this season. No guy is overworked and there are some great arms in their.

  14. yankee21 says:

    Anyone else there think Posada and Matsui each go under the knife once the Yankees finish any trades contemplated this month? The Yankees may have asked each to hold off and at least publicly “give it a go” to give them at least a degree of leverage in any trade talks.

    There is no advantage to either of these guys coming back if they can’t contribute as intended, they’ll just create a further logjam at 1B, DH or where-ever and in Posada’s case, clearly jeopardize his 2009 preparation.

  15. E-ROC says:

    Ichiro is a beast.

    • … at slugging lower than .400.

      If all you’re going to do is get on base via singles, even if you steal every single base, but you never ever drive the ball to knock in runs, you have to get on base EVERY TIME in order to be valuable. So, when Ichiro is hitting .350, he’s one of the best players in baseball.

      When he’s hitting .302, he’s not that special.

  16. Jake H says:

    Baseball prospectus is having a free week of all their articles.

  17. TurnTwo says:

    couple items ive read today:

    people think Arroy and Dunn wuld be perfect for the Yankees. awful.

    i read that the Dodgers would be interested in Alberto Gonzalez if they cant get Jack Wilson, Orlando Cabrera, or another MLB SS. interesting.

    Heyman and Rosenthal continue to insist the Yankees are looking for a catcher. bad idea. dont need a catcher.

    i still want the yankees to take a shot at Holliday or Bay, personally.

    and if the yankees can make a play for Lowe or Tim Hudson, they should.

    i agree with most… i think Matsui and Jorge are helping play the game for Cashman, and both are sched for surgery August 2nd.

    • A.D. says:

      Anyone who thinks Hudson is being traded is wrong. You don’t want to see D-Lowe out of the NL and out of Chavez ravine

    • christopher says:

      may get a discount on dunn if they take aroyo…i love dunn despite everything said about his attitude. being on a winning team can change that really quickly

    • Adam Dunn is either the greatest bad player in history, or the worst great player in history.

      He manages to hit less than .250 every year, strike out a ton, and yet still be on base constantly and pound the crap out of the ball and rack up XBH’s.

      His contact is so horrible that you don’t want him as a middle of the order bat, but if you can put him 5th or 6th, he’ll end up with 130 RBI’s.

  18. TurnTwo says:

    and you cant make all your valuable prospects untouchable. need to give value to get value.

    i personally think they should throw Hughes out there, and see if they can reel in a big fish. dont get me wrong, you arent giving him away, but if Colorado will give you Matt Holliday for Hughes and a couple lower level guys, id do it kind of thing.

    like someone said before, Cashman’s got the go ahead from the Steinbrenners, so lets see him get to work and see what he can come up with.

    • Old Ranger says:

      I don’t give up a #2 or #3 pitcher for a hitter (DH/1st). He can’t play the OF well enough to make a difference in the team…those thinking of him in LF and Johnny in CF are out of your minds. 27/08??

      • TurnTwo says:

        Holliday is in LF, Damon is the DH this year if they were to make that trade, or vice versa.

        Damon isnt a CF’er anymore.

      • TurnTwo says:

        like i said below, Holliday is 29 and a perennial All Star OF, which the last time i looked, we dont have much prospect of developing in our system.

        use a strength of the system to deal for a weakness.

  19. The Fallen Phoenix says:

    Zach McAllister just gets no love, from anyone.

    And projecting Hughes as a 2/3 is really silly. Of course he’d look like a 2/3 when he isn’t up to full strength (e.g., pitching with a broken rib), or even pitching *at* full strength in a small sample size. If he’s not untouchable in the Yankee system, I honestly don’t know what is.

    Case-in-point: Mike Mussina looked like a No. 5 starter until early May. Hughes didn’t even really get the chance to move beyond a horrid (and injury-plagued) April, and he’s a pitcher who has generally gotten off to a slow start in each season of his professional career.

    Oh, and he’s only 22.

    • cult of basebaal says:

      uh, no. he projects as a 2-3, because whether it be last year or this, he shows the stuff that a 2-3 starter has.

      that’s not a bad thing or an insult, but it’s a reality.

      think of the the guys with #1 stuff around MLB: santana, halladay, zambrano, harden, webb, penny (when healthy), beckett, hernandez, lackey, e.santana, billingham, oswalt, lincecum, peavy, joba, et.al.

      which of those guys are you going to compare hughes to?

      • Radnom says:

        Oh I forgot you were a scout. You know what “number one stuff” looks like, much better than all those pro scouts who, watching his stuff throughout the minors, rated his ceiling as that of an ace.

        Give me a break. If he continues to mature, stay healthy and develop command on the track he was before he got hurt this year (HUGE if’s, but hey we are dealing with prospects here), he will be an ace.

        Your list is ridiculous anyway, you list a whole assortment of guys with stuff that not even comparable. How about Wang, Maddux or Mussina or Glavine in their primes, etc. Did they have “number 1 stuff” just by velocity or how much their curve ball breaks? Its the complete package that makes the pitcher.

        • TurnTwo says:

          Hughes isnt a number 1. i think 2-3 is fair, and its not a knock. he can still be a great pitcher… but joba is an ace… hughes is not.

          • Stephen says:

            Can a pitcher be great and NOT an ace? That doesn’t jive to me. Hughes is only 22, c’mon guys. What do you all mean by 2-3 or a #1 starter anyway? Is a #1 starter top 15 pitcher, top 30?

            • christopher says:

              why is it such an insult to call hughes a 2p-3 starter and what in his history in MLB has shown he is an ace

              • giselle says:

                how about the no-hit bid vs texas? looked like an ace to me that night. i know it’s just one start, but you seem to be judging him from a small sample size as well…

                • cult of basebaal says:

                  wow, really? you want to use the random concept of throwing 9 no hit innings as the criteria to determine who is or isn’t a number 1 starter?

                  i mean, joe cowley once threw more consecutive no hit innings in a start than phil hughes ever has, does that make him a better pitcher and more worthy to front a rotation?

        • cult of basebaal says:

          awww, does reality hurt ur wittle feewings?

          well, you keep believing in razzleberry waterfalls and heaven’s chimney and uncle melky’s gonna bring you a super-awesome pony!

        • christopher says:

          moose had a killer cureve and threw in the low 90s and maddu had maybe the best cutter i have ever seen. wang has a k bown in his prime sinker.

          as for glavine, i have always been puzzled as to he ever got anyone out. all batters had to do was not swing at an outside pitch

      • TurnTwo says:

        billingham? you mean billingsley?

        and ervin santana does not have #1 stuff. stop it.

        • cult of basebaal says:

          yeah, billingsley’s what i wanted … so sue me, i’m a bottle of wine into the evening …

          as to e. santana’s stuff, i LIVE in LA and have gotten to see him start for the last 3 years … his stuff is better than any yankees’ starter in that period except for joba … if you think hughes compares to him, well, let me show you latest line of bridges i have for sale …

          • TurnTwo says:

            just stop it. Ervin Santana is not a #1. no chance.

            • cult of basebaal says:

              $1000 says ervin santana wins more games in his MLB career from 7/23/08 forward than does phil hughes.

              hell, i’ll take action that hughes doesn’t even win 100 games.

              • TurnTwo says:

                what you are arguing isnt the same thing.

                just because he wins 100 games doesnt mean he has #1 stuff.

                and i never said Hughes was a number 1, and even if i did just because he doesnt win 100 games doesnt mean he cant have #1 stuff.

                • TurnTwo says:

                  “just because he wins 100 games doesnt mean he has #1 stuff.”

                  or E. Santana wins more games than Hughes over their career* doesnt mean he has #1 stuff.

                • cult of basebaal says:

                  oh, whatever, you’re about as good a judge of pitching as all-you-can-eat pete … “edwar “independant leagues” ramirez will NEVER suceed in the majors with just 1 pitch!”

                  fine, you don’t like wins, i’ll go ERA+ (adjusted for innings)

                • TurnTwo says:

                  so you realize you arent making any sense and decide to attack my judgement on player talent?

                  you know how silly that makes you sound, right?

          • greg says:

            baseball america ranked santana at #29 at his peak, and hughes #4.

            • cult of basebaal says:

              career win shares for pitcher rated before ervin santana in BA’s top 100 for 2004, through 7/10/08:

              4. Edwin Jackson rhp, Dodgers – 11
              8. Greg Miller lhp, Dodgers -0
              12. Scott Kazmir lhp, Mets -52
              13. Adam Loewen lhp, Orioles – 5
              14. Zack Greinke rhp, Royals – 34
              17. Cole Hamels lhp, Phillies -34
              18. Dustin McGowan rhp, Blue Jays -16
              23. Gavin Floyd rhp, Phillies -9
              24. Chin-Hui Tsao rhp, Rockies – 0
              26. Angel Guzman rhp, Cubs – 0
              29. Ervin Santana rhp, Angels – 33

              yup, rankings sure do matter in the end …

              Phil Hughes – 3

              • christopher says:

                i think MLB success is a bit more telling than mino league numbers – just ask IPK

                • cult of basebaal says:

                  well, duh! thanks for making the point i just did. minor league numbers and minor league rankings don’t necessarily mean shit. moneyball can be wrong (just ask jeremy brown AND jeremy bonderman) and scouts can be wrong … more than that, they’re wrong more often than right … so using some silly scouting ranking across multiple years is silly than belief … but i’m sure that’s actually what you were saying in your own inestimable way …)

                • Ben K. says:

                  You’ve missed the point of Moneyball if you’re pointing out individual efforts as proof that Billy Beane’s methods are wrong.

                • cult of basebaal says:

                  nonsense. moneyball (as beane actually practices, as opposed to what phillips or morgan posits it as) is an ever changing set of actualities (as to an ever changing philosophy) that can be wrong in the short run, but that corrects in the long term.

                  in referring to it, i was referring to it as the mistaken meta-concept, rather than the actual evolving practice; the static rather than the evolving actuality based around a philosophically consistant concept.

            • Mike A. says:

              That means nothing. The talent level fluctuates from year to year. Number 29 one year could be number 10 in a different year depending on the talent pool in the minors.

        • Mike A. says:

          Ervin Santana? Without question he has number 1 stuff.

          • cult of basebaal says:

            thank you, mike. not for the right or wrong of it, but rather for the acknowledgment of the reality of it …

          • FWIW, during that ever-so-brief period of insanity where we were afraid ARod was going to opt out and we contemplated dealing him in order to get something in return, we talked to the Angels about a package built around Ervin Santana.

            He’s pretty damn filthy. And, I’d call him a damn good comp for Hughes, btw.

      • Radnom says:

        By the way, hes only 22 you dolt, and I’m sure you were not saying this last year (or the year before).

      • A.D. says:

        WHo is Billingham? IS that Billingsley? from LA, cause Hughes has all the stuff he has

        • cult of basebaal says:

          uh, no. he doesn’t. billingsley consitently sits 2-3 mph higher.

          • Old Ranger says:

            What is the fascination for speed? There have been (and are) many pitchers that are considered #1s and don’t hit the low 90s very often, if at all. Just Yanks; Eddie Lopat, Whitey Ford, Vic Raschi, Johnny Sain, Friz Peterson, Gidry and Stodalmyer (spelling). None of these guys were in the mid 90s…three of them could hit 90s once in a while. 27/08??

            • cult of basebaal says:

              man, you can belivee whatever your want, but i will tell you, as a yankees fan, and baseball fan, living in LA, who gets to watch santana, billingsley and hughes whenever they pitch, phillip has the the least amount of “stuff” of the three.

              again, as i’ve said repeatedly, that doesn’t make him a bad pitcher, just the pitcher with the lowest ceiling …

          • A.D. says:

            Actually the average fastball for the 2 pitchers has a difference of 1.5 mph, and Billingsley has less break, so i’d generally take that tradeoff

            • Thank you, A.D., you’re right. It’s not velocity, it’s break.

              Hughes, Billingsley, Santana, Kershaw, Porcello, Cueto, Homer Bailey, David Price, etc. etc. etc…. EVERY SINGLE pitching prospect EVER who’s deemed as a future ace throws in the 90-95 range. What makes one better than the other isn’t which one sits at 92 and which one sits at 94. It’s which one has command, location, and late movement or life, which one has better breaking stuff, and who has more polish.

              Phil Hughes throws both a four seamer and two seamer and AT THE AGE OF 19 in the minor leagues was spotting both of them brilliantly and putting away guys 3-5 years his senior. AND, he had a hammer curve that was a better pitch than all of those guys AND a decent slider and change. And all of his pitches had good movement on them.

              As fans of a team that has had both Armando Benitez and Mariano Rivera on it, I would think that most people here would recognize that a straight 98 mph fastball is much, much more hittable than a 93 mph cutter that looks like it’s coming right down the middle before it breaks in on a hitter’s hands.

              The reason that, for most of the second half of this decade, only Homer Bailey has consistently graded higher than Phil Hughes is that both of them have excellent movement (and not just velocity) on their fastballs and they both have deceptive, almost unhittable breaking pitches that are made more dominant by the effectiveness of their fastballs.

              The difference between 91 and 94 is infinitesimal compared to the difference between pitches that break and those that don’t.

  20. E-ROC says:

    Willie Bloomquist blows!!

  21. McCaff says:

    I don’t think we should pull the trigger on a trade if it involves Ajax, Montero, Melancon, Tabata(ehh maybe, depends i guess), Hughes, Cox, or Brackman. The Yankees are 3.5 out, and after this weekend could find themselves even closer. Our bullpen is solid, and with Bruney and Cox to be helping us out in the last run of the season, there is no reason to trade for Fuentes. I think we stay put with our team right now, our bats can carry us, and our pitching is as good as anyones recently with starters 1-3. Sir Sidney is ok to have as our 5th starter, and i would like to see one of our young guys come up ie. McCutchen, Horne, Igawa (ha joking i’d rather have Henry Rollengardner). I say we sit tight, do what we should be capable of this year, and then we are still set up for the next two years with our farm.

  22. Bill N says:

    Assbag cf for the mariners just gave the sux the game, mother fer

  23. Bill N says:

    In other news brett myers trip to the minors did not help so much.

  24. To touch upon the dodgers’ supposed interest in the attorney general,what do you all think of the yanks’ chances of a prosp for prosp trade to get kemp? Normally I would consider someone like kemp untouchable, but the dodgers (and torre) seem to place disproportionate value on veterans at the expense of younger players. How about AG, Sanchez, and a MLB reliever (Veras, Ramirez, Robertson)? If there’s one area where the yanks have a surplus, it’s the bullpen. With Brunney and Britton coming back (not to mention Strickland, Cox, and McCutchen knocking on the door), bullpen is shockingly the resource that would best absorb the blow. Kemp mans a corner spot for years, and if need be, those comp picks for Abreu replenish the close-to-major-league-ready bullpen options via a college closer or two. To make this happen I would even include someone like Horne if need be. Curious to hear what you all think.

    • cult of basebaal says:

      ummm, no, i won’t say it, but … i live in LA and believe me, i’m aware of the kemp hate from some out here, but the idea that we could get kemp for a couple of spare parts is just plain silly. it’s not gonna happen.

      now, if you wanna offer something like AG, Veras and Jackson +something, there might be a conversation.

      • cult of basebaal says:

        (to follow up) but probably not, because if Colletti doesn’t make the playoffs this year, he’s very likely fired.

        whatever he does has to make sense for this year and beyond …

      • Greg says:

        I wouldn’t quite refer to the other players I mentioned as spare parts, but i would agree there’s not a stud per-se going to LA. Hence, the mention of Horne as well. If bigger piece is required, i would tkae from the pitching side of the ledger. Substitute Jackson with IPK (or a comparable player). Again, this is predicated on the notion that LA is not in love with Kemp. Similar to the Ari situation with Quentin. I had hoped that the yanks would have made a move for him last fall. good looking player, but for whatever reason Ari undervalued him. As a result, they traded him for much less than most scouts objectively thought he was worth. Just looking to capitalize on a (perhaps) similar situation.

        • cult of basebaal says:

          IPK is pocket lint right now.

          he’s couch change.

          LA might not be in love with kemp, but colletti needs a piece that helps him NOW … and IPK and horne and everything else you basically mentioned, doesnt …

          • steve (different one) says:

            it’s true.

            were matsui healthy, there could be something there.

            but he’s not.

          • Greg says:

            I would think that the veras/robertson and AG components of the trade help la now, no? Saito and Furcal are out. Nomar at short? He makes our captain look like adam everett in comparison.

            • cult of basebaal says:

              sweet christ. step back and look at this with an unjaundiced view. the AG can’t hit like a starting SS at a MLB level. he can’t. if he could, he’d be up instead of betemit, with us, right now.

              they’ve got all-field,no-can-hit fucking berroa already, and guys who can man the position while they suck up outs in the order are a dime a dozen.


              veras is a decent part with saito out, but he’s an additive, not a primary.

              they may think kemp is not the right fit, but they *know* that other people covet kemp … he’s not going anywhere except for something that matters …

              give me something that matters and then we’ll talk

              • DP says:

                Why are you so angry? You are making good points but the fact that you are getting defensive for no reason takes away from it

                • cult of basebaal says:


                  that’s pretty amusing, i’m long past getting angry about opinions that aren’t relevant in the slightest

                  derisive …

                  that’s a *much* better description for what you were trying to describe …

              • Greg says:

                Cult, must you not debate, but piss on everyone who doesn’t agree with you? I ,personally, would not put the mexican gangster in the same class of “touchable” trade-wise as hughes, melancon, tabata, et al. However, I see no one here roasting you or accusing you of wearing yankee-colored glasses. To your point regarding AG vs.betimit, they’re leaving him in triple a to get at-bats and develop, much in the same way they were loath to call up Gardner until he would get at least semi-regular at-bats. That’s no indictment of AG’s hitting skills, that’s sound prospect development. To your last point, LA may “know” that other people covet Kemp, but Ari “knew” that other teams coveted Quentin, didn’t they? I recall after that trade teams were lamenting not having a shot to better the offer they accepted from Chi. I never suggested a Kemp deal is likely, but trades like this do happen every year, leaving many to scratch their heads. Why not see if the yanks have a fit w/LA?

  25. Henry Chinaski says:

    someone posted on another site that Yankees OF prospect and big July 2nd guy from a couple of years ago OF Carlos Urena was shot in the chest. The guy is usually reliable, hope it’s not true but I figured I’d put it out there see if anyone can confirm?

  26. dkidd says:

    i’d be surprised if anything happened this deadline. i feel like cashman in his heart of hearts has always been willing to sacrifice this year, despite it being the last at the stadium, in order to clear payroll and go crazy in the off-season. it’s going to have to be a total no-brainer for him to pull the trigger on anything more than giving up $$$ for a slightly upgraded fourth starter. if they don’t make the playoffs, he can justifiably point to unexpected injuries. also, i think he’d be crazy to trade hughes, even for a holliday, when we still don’t know what he looks like healthy and confident (playoffs against cleveland was close) and he’s freaking 22!

    • TurnTwo says:

      and Holliday is 29 and a perennial All Star OF, which the last time i looked, we dont have much prospect of developing in our system.

      use a strength to deal for a weakness.

      • Even though I disagree with you on Holliday (I’d prefer a less expensive option, since I don’t think he’ll put up his current production at Yankee Stadium)…

        … if you’re going to keep advocating for him, you should at least make your argument as good as it can be.

        Matt Holliday is 28, not 29. Born January 15, 1980.

  27. Brian says:

    interesting and surprising stat (I think):

    Yankees lead the AL East in 1-Run games with a 19-11 record (Rays are 18-11, Sox are 14-16).

    • Mike A. says:

      I’m not surprised. Tampa’s bullpen leads MLB with a .646 OPS against, and the Yanks are second at .659. Boston is middle of the pack at .705. There’s the source of those 1-Run game records right there.

  28. r.w.g. says:

    I don’t know if the Fuentes deal would be terrible. It’s true, it would be a sort of luxury trade. If all the Rockies want is Humberto Sanchez, that’s not real expensive at all. I’m not sure Sanchez’s value as a trade chip would really land a better player than Fuentes anyway.

    It depends on what Colorado wants. You can’t do an Eric Gagne trade, but Sanchez +1 for Fuentes doesn’t seem like it would have any long-term effects on the system. Isn’t Sanchez already like 27 years old?

    • steve (different one) says:

      he just turned 25.

      i agree that Sanchez should be a dealable chip, but not for a reliever.

      there are only 60 games left, what are you trading for, 25 innings?

      • Chip says:

        I agree that we don’t necessarily need Fuentes but we’d get 2 draft picks for him which could be a better deal than keeping Sanchez

      • r.w.g. says:

        Yeah for the most part I agree. I just don’t think it’s ever a bad idea for the Yankees to just amass talent where ever possible.

        I don’t think trading for a reliever, luxury or not, would preclude the team from making other moves.. unless there is some information I don’t have..?

        If Humberto Sanchez is the key player a team wants to land the bat the team is looking for, stick him in that deal.

        They don’t have to trade for Fuentes. I wouldn’t be broken up if they don’t get a reliever. Hawkins can stay on the team for the rest of the year for all I care. I’m just saying.. Sanchez isn’t a big deal at all. He’s done almost nothing in pro ball. He’s exactly the kind of guy that’s traded for 25 innings of a guy like Fuentes.

        • christopher says:

          too bD THEY COULDNT DEAL sanchez for a hitter like sheffield, but no team wouldbe dumb enough to do that deal

          • cult of basebaal says:

            damn, you’re almost as close to andy kaufman as joel h is … just one hint though, you shouldn’t be so obvious …

  29. marc ack says:

    Hey, JAMAL G was that you today on the espn jim callis chat?

    • Brian says:

      our very own…he talked about it in the game thread

      I second that A-Jax is going to be of the Club of Very Good, but in terms of power he’s several ticks off from an elite player.

  30. Jamal G. says:

    Interesting, the Yankees are listing Sunday’s starter as “TBD” while listing Monday’s starter (versus the Orioles) as Darrell Rasner. According to Chad Jennings, Ian Kennedy’s next scheduled start on Thursday was listed as “TBD” as well.

    Something is afoot.

    • Jamal G. says:

      Nevermind about Kennedy, CJ says he will start the second game of a double-header tomorrow (Yanks’ Triple-A game was rained out today, Ross Ohlendorf will start the first contest).

      Still, it is very odd that the Yankees are listing their starters for Games one and two of the Boston series, not Game three, and listing Game one for the Baltimore series at home.

      Just to speculate a bit here, Jarrod Washburn last pitched on July 21st. Five days from then would be Sunday, July 27th, the “TBD” start.

    • Chip says:

      I would think that Rasner would be bumped before Ponson but that’s just me. I’d imagine it’s nothing big, Kennedy isn’t ready yet

      • cult of basebaal says:

        kennedy can get in line. he’s #2 behind aceves.

        who, for the record, is shadowing rasner, not ponson (to go to your point).

  31. Jake H says:

    Hughes stuff is considered number 1 starter potential. The reason is because his command is suppose to be above mlb average which makes his 91-94 mph fb play up. He also commands his curve very well since he only has been throwing it for 3 yrs. Also his change should be a plus pitch once he throws it more.

  32. greg says:

    Scranton game was postponed, meaning Bruney didn’t get to go back to back days. Looks like we have at least 3 more games with Hawkins :(

  33. A.D. says:

    “I’d really be disappointed if they made a trade for me. I feel like honestly if you trade me, you’re going ahead and saying we’re not going to build a winning team here…If you go ahead and trade me out now, you’re cashing in the money for a losing team.”

    That from Arroyo on the Reds trading him. Honestly who the hell does guy think he is, he’s really not that good

    • Jamal G. says:

      He must think Mike Francessa is the smartest man in baseball. You know Fatso is still advocating a deal for him? Wow.

      • TurnTwo says:

        he cant just give up on it now. he’ll hold out knowing they wont make a deal, and then if it bites them in the ass come september, he’ll be glad to say i told you so… and if everything works out fine, it’ll fade away and he wont have to worry about getting called out on it, because he just wont take that phone call on air.

  34. Jamal G. says:

    Billy Wagner’s thoughts as he’s being interviewed by Erin Andrews: “Damn, I wish she was my cousin!”

  35. Manimal says:

    HA redsox are interested in Uribe… good luck with that.

    • Jamal G. says:

      It’s funny how nobody likes to mention that horrible, horrible Julio Lugo deal for four years.

      • Manimal says:

        hes the joke of the town. Honestly whenever I play a game of baseball with some friends and someone drops the ball we call them Julio Lugo for the rest of the day. No lie.

      • TurnTwo says:

        in the end it doesnt matter, because winning World Series trumps a bad signing.

        now if they hadnt won the WS, Wonder Boy would be hearing it much more publically, id imagine.

  36. Manimal says:

    Do you guys really trust guys like Veras and Ramirez in the Playoffs? I would rather trust Fuentes then both of them combined, they are still young and are very prone to overthrowing their pitches.

    • Old Ranger says:

      Some said the same thing about Joba. It was the nats that got him. 27/08??

    • Jamal G. says:

      Outside of 2.1-IP in the 2007 NLDS (scoreless but still walked three), Brian Fuentes has been horrible in October. A 7.36-ERA in 3.2-IP in the ’07 NLCS and a 9.82-ERA in 3.2-IP in the ’07 World Series.

      I’d rather have Veras and Ramirez who have been pitching in New York all year and pitching to A.L. hitters all year.

      • swo says:

        Yeah, I’m struggling here to think of the last deadline deal for a reliever that really made a difference for a team………..

        I keep remembering Eric Gagne and I just can’t stop laughing……

    • cult of basebaal says:

      yes, yes i do … and no, no i don’t. i trust good pitchers over handed pitchers.

  37. Would anyone trade Hughes for Liriano? He not only helps us in our push to win the division (yikes who woulda thought we would say that 20 days ago on July 4th?!), but he is also a premier lefty that is only 24.

    I know that liriano just had tommy john, but hughes is pretty injury prone himself (only going one year as a pro without sitting a signifigant time with an injury). I’de love to hear someone else’s opinion on this.

    -the ghost of samiam

  38. roller says:

    it’s not soooo farfetched …. i mean liriano and the twins are having trouble because of the whole keeping him in the minors because of his contract with arbitration… so throw in a prospect with hughes and try to get it done

  39. Bonos says:

    What about something out of the box. You trade for Fuentes then pick up his option and package him for a top of the line OF this winter, someone like Rasmus in St Louis where he’s blocked.

  40. Brad says:

    I think Phil has the talent of a #1 starter. I think he’s very comparable to Roy Halladay. Low 90′s fastball with a lot of tailing/sinking movement that touches 95 and a very good curveball, plus a changeup that should be a plus pitch as he continues to develop.
    Like Halladay, his first year was successful, but his second year he bombed and many were considering bringing him back from A ball the way they did to Halladay, just to get his head and mechanics right. We all know the story with Halladay.

    That being said, I still would trade Hughes for a Jason Bay/Matt Holliday type player (preferably Bay) because of his injury issues. The amount of problems he’s had are staggering. Even The Hardball Times had an article in ’07 about how his mechanics might lead to decreased velocity and injuries. I might wait till the year is done and Phil (hopefully) is throwing well, then see if an increase in his perceived value might lead another team to bite.

    Also, the Fuentes move would make sense if it’s not much more than Humberto Sanchez. Those two picks would be more than enough of a return if we choose to let him go, and he could definitely be a big help if Farnsworth goes back down to earth (as I expect cause he still sort of walks a lot of guys).

    • The Fallen Phoenix says:

      I think every team in baseball would be willing to bite on Hughes, right now. The question has always been whether the Yankees would be willing to give him up, and the answer has always been a resounding no.

  41. Brad says:

    Also, I think Bronson Arroyo might not be a terrible pickup if you don’t give up much. In fact, I’d wager that the Reds are selling low since I believe he’s one of the higher-paid guys on the roster and his ERA is over 5. However, the guy’s xFIP is 4.38, and his GB % is 38.4, which would be his highest since his rookie year. His K rates are still pretty solid, and probably would be the highest on the Yankee staff behind Joba. He’s 31 yrs old, and I’d wager this year is sort of fluky. The Yankee defense aint great, but Damon and Gardner alone would help Arroyo cut down his RA. At worst, he can throw 7 innings of 5 run ball, and at best, he’s a mid rotation starter on a championship squad Let’s not be too anti-Red Sox to see that Arroyo could help.

  42. roller says:

    brad, matt holliday is 50 times better than jason bay… jason bay is better bec hes cheaper and they wont have to give up nearly as much to get him…. holliday is not going to the yanks they wont kill their farm system for him… they have too much pithing down there and they need to trade for ssome position players already

  43. roller says:

    arroyo had some success in the AL and hes definately better than darryl rasner or sydney ponson

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