DotF when you need it the most

Game 125: A long-awaited return and an audition
Yanks finding new and creative ways to lose

Whatever you do, don’t look at Baseball America‘s front page

Triple-A Scranton (3-1 loss to Rochester) Jason Lane was released, and he’s since signed with Boston
Melky, Shelley & Nick Green: all 1 for 4 – Melky K’ed twice, Shelley once … Green doubled & K’ed twice
Matt Carson & Chad Moeller: both 0 for 4 – Carson K’ed once, Moeller twice
Juan Miranda: 0 for 1, 1 R, 3 BB
Ben Broussard & Chris Basak: both 0 for 3, 1 BB, 1 K
Eric Duncan: 1 for 3, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 E (fielding) – raised his avg to .232
Al Aceves: 6 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 8 K, 5-5 GB/FB – 70 of 108 pitches were strikes (64.8%) … easily his best outing in AAA
Mark Melancon: 2 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 2-3 GB/FB – 15 of 19 pitches were strikes (79.0%)
Steven Jackson: 1 IP, zeroes, 2 K – 7 of 9 pitches were strikes (77.8%)

Double-A Trenton (6-4 win over Harrisburg)
Reegie Corona, PJ Pilittere & Cody Ehlers: all 0 for 3 – Corona drew a walk … PJ scored a run, drove one in & K’ed … Ehlers drew a walk & K’ed twice
Kevin Russo: 1 for 5, 1 RBI, 2 K
Austin Jackson: 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 SB – ZOMG HE SHOULD PLAY TEH CF NOT DAMON!1!11!
Chris Malec: 1 for 2, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 HBP
Colin Curtis: 3 for 4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K – 6 for his last 14 (.429) with 2 homers after a 4 for 25 stretch
Edwar Gonzalez: 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 RBI – what, no homer tonight?
James Cooper: 1 for 3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
George Kontos: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 5-8 GB/FB – 28-9 K/BB ratio in his last 26 IP
Anthony Claggett: 2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 2-2 GB/FB
Kevin Whelan: 1 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 4 WP – yes, that’s 4 wild pitches … someone should tell him you can’t creat your own save chances

High-A Tampa had a scheduled off day. The entire Florida State League was off, and I’m not sure if they cancelled all the games because of Tropical Storm Fay, or if this is just one hell of a coincidence.

Low-A Charleston had a scheduled off day.

Short Season Staten Island is off until Thursday for the All-Star break. The NL All-Stars beat the AL All-Stars 4-3 on a walk-off double. The 2010 game will be played in SI.
Brian Baisley: 1 for 1, 1 2B, 1 BB – started at DH and batted 5th
Mike Lyon (24): 1 for 3 – took over at the hot corner in the top of the 5th … he was shutout in the HR Derby, but don’t laugh, the winner hit a grand total of 2
David Phelps (14): 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 3-0 GB/FB – 6 of 6 pitches were strikes (66.7) … pitched the 2nd
Pat Venditte (20): 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HB – 14 of 27 pitches were strikes (51.9%) … threw the 7th
Andy Shive (35): 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HB – 15 of 27 pitches were strikes (55.6%) … threw the 8th
Addison Maruszack (17) did not play.

The Rookie GCL Yanks were rained out by TSF, as was the entire Gulf Coast League.

Game 125: A long-awaited return and an audition
Yanks finding new and creative ways to lose
  • Steve

    Oh yes. . . . the DotF. . . . . . I can breathe . . . . . . . .

  • D.B.

    Come on Mike, why did you have to bring up Cole.

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

      I told you not to look, did I not?

      • http://tynansanger.com Ethan

        I suppose we shouldn’t think of White Elephants either.

        • The Scout

          It’s the pink ones that get you in trouble.

      • pat

        does he get the JD Drew in philly treatment if he ever plays a game in ny?

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

          I doubt it, Drew’s situation was unique. He was a superstar coming out of Florida State, everyone knew him. His negotiations were ugly, they had a deal, then they didn’t.

          • pat

            well ill always have a special battery with his name on it

  • D.B.

    True, if the yankees have a chance to draft him in the 2011 draft, should they?

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

      No, that ship has sailed. If he burns them now, then they offer up big money in 3 years, what kind of money does that send to future draftees? They need to make an example of the kid.

      • cult of basebaal

        it’s still a completely hypothetical question.

        if cole’s any good, he won’t be there for the yankees to draft, unless they completely and unexpectedly collapse into sub-mediocrity

        and if he’s there where they draft, it’ll be because he have fallen drastically from the performance that he projects out of high school

    • Steve

      Can you imagine wasting TWO 1st round draft picks on the guy? Even if he says “I will definitely sign” what difference would that make? He was supposed to sign this go round.

      One way I could see it happening is if he will commit to only sign with the Yanks and they take him with a lower pick (and still pay him). Other than that, I don’t see it. Especially with Boras involved, which makes any of this unlikely.

    • A.D.

      I lot can happen then, he could easily get used to death by his coach, and be throwing 92 when he graduates

      • Andy in Soon To Be Windblown Daytona

        My prediction is he plays one year at UCLA, transfers to a JC, and becomes draft elegible in 2 years. Just thinking about the contract he should have signed the entire time.

  • CB

    Stephen Jackson is having a nice season. Really turned things around from last year.

    Does he get added to the 40 man roster this off season?

    If not I think he’ll get taken in the rule V draft. Relievers are too hard to come by for teams to pass on a guy like Jackson.

    Interesting note in that painful story over at BA about kids who passed on the pros to go to college.

    Not only did the Royals give Hosmer $6M and Tim Melville $1.25M, they offered Jason Esposito who they drafted in the 7th round $1.4M. I had no idea the Royals had offered him that much money to break his commitment to Vandy.

    The draft is a different landscape now. The Royals spent close to $10M on their draft this year and offered their 7th round pick $1.4M in addition to that $10M. Perhaps if Esposito signs they don’t go after some other players – but nonetheless the days of the yankees getting players by simply paying over slot are likely over.

    The competitive landscape is different now than it was in 2005-2007.

    • cult of basebaal

      true. but the yankees still have waaay more money to spend on draft picks, because they have waaay more money to spend on everything.

      if i’m the yankees i make the point to spend $20 million on the draft next year.

      the advantage is still there, it just costs more to exert it …

      • D.B.

        I agree, 20 million at the very least.

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

          $20M in one draft is impossible to do. It’s one thing to go after guys with questionable signability and offer big money, it’s another thing all together to throw money around wildly. You shouldn’t pay more than what you feel the guy is worth, that’s just good business.

          • cult of basebaal

            actually, i’d say it’s very easily defensible as good business.

            if the yankees have 2 or 3 or 4 times the amount of revenue that other teams do, that means that *if* they can afford to overspend (by their own financial calculations) and thus *inflate* the market, they once again can exert their advantage over their competitors in the long run …

            it’s no different than a larger company choosing to sell its products at a loss over the short term to drive a smaller competitor out of business …

          • Emac2

            Impossible?

            You can argue it is unwise but it isn’t impossible and isn’t even a bad idea in my opinion.

            Consider what you get in free agency with 20 mil and then consider what it buys you in the draft. It’s a no brainer.

        • bklynJT

          20 mil thats it!!! Giambi’s salary alone covers that draft. We won’t be resigning Pavano, why not make it 30 mil!

        • CB

          The problem isn’t how much money you’re willing to spend. The draft functions to destroy the “market” for amateur talent.

          That’s the purpose of any draft.

          There would be almost no rational way to spend $20M in the draft because once a player is off the board he’s off the board. It’s not as if that player can refuse to sign knowing the yankees would pay him more.

          It’s nothing like free agency – it’s not a true market where financial resources will directly translate into competitive advantage.

          It’s a much more complicated challenge now than it was from 2005-2007.

          • cult of basebaal

            actually, what i think you wanted is that a player couldn’t refuse to be drafted knowing the yankees would pay more.

            but, he VERY easily could refuse to sign (in most cases) unless the drafting team agreed to pay him the amount the yankees were willing to pay … which is to the benefit of the yankees, because draft bonus inflation is in the favor of the yankees, because they will always have more money to spend on the draft than any other team (if they choose) and the more bonuses are inflated, the more it cripples *other* teams and forces them to look towards signability draftees …

            • bklynJT

              Unfortunately, a lot of small market teams have shown that they aren’t afraid to spend top dollar for a top notch prospect. It seems to me that the Yankees have lost their advantage in the draft, now that the KC’s, Reds, and Pirates of the worlds are catching on and going over slot on players. Just take a look at the past couple drafts.. it’s the small market teams shelling out the huge paydays, not the Yankees.

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

                It all boils down to scouting. You can spend all the money in the world on the draft, but you don’t have people who know what they’re doing, then the money is useless.

                • BklynJT

                  With the rising prices on the free agent market for mediocre players, i dont see how all small market teams dont invest heavily on their player development programs. The rays and marlins are prime examples.

                • pat

                  i dont see how ALL teams dont invest heavily in player development

  • Ivan

    Hey Mike A, obviously A-Jax will start the season at Triple A, lets say the yanks start the 09 season with Gardner and it’s June and A-Jax is playing extremely well, will they call him up or just leave him there for the season?

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

      I guess it depends. I think he needs a full year in AAA, but I’ve thought that about other guys and have been dead wrong before (coughcanocough). I’m expecting him to stuggle out of the gate next year, many of the pitchers he’s going to face ill have MLB experience, and that can be tough on a young guy who’s still kinda raw.

      • Ivan

        Speaking of A-Jax.

        Hey Mike A, another comparison for A-Jax could be Granderson? Agreed?

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

          That’s close, but I think Jackson has more power, and less speed, obviously. His plate discipline is better too.

          • Ivan

            Yea it’s close. Granderson is a better player than I thought he was.

      • A.D.

        Probably depends on Gardner, or whomever is playing CF, if Gardner is putting up a .280 + avg, getting his walks, showing the speed, the yanks will be unlikely to mess with him

        Chanches A-Jax can get his shot from an inevitable injury to Damon & Matsui

        • Ivan

          Yea I can certainly see that.

  • A.D.

    Hopefully Aceves it beginning to figure out AAA

  • A.D.

    That Pitt trade still has Kontos fired up

    • Nickel

      Yeah…I was at the Trenton game tonight and thought he looked good (although I’m certainly no scout). Most of his strikeouts were swing-and-miss. The weird thing was he had three walks but they were all to the same Harrisburg hitter. He got 1st-and-2nd with no out in the 1st and then struck out the side.

      Kevin Whelan, on the other hand,…yikes. I actually thought I counted 5 wild pitches but I guess one was scored a passed ball, maybe? Strange inning, especially when considering he wound up striking out the side.

  • CLT_JR

    It amazes me how efficient Melancon is. It seems like every game he goes 2 innings and throws less than 20 pitches.

    • Ivan

      Can’t wait to see him next year.

      Hey you think Melancon starts the season in AAA or with the Big League Club?

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

        I think he’ll be given every opportunity to win a job in ST, so it depends how he does in camp.

  • pat

    worst thing to see when reading DoF
    “charleston had a scheduled night off”
    The rise of Jesus Monero has made this season bearable

  • D.B.

    Hey Mike, Dellin Betances or Zach McCallister in five years?

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

      McAllister. Betances has more upside, but is much less likely to reach the bigs.

      • http://www.blogtalkradio.com/baseballdigestdaily Eric SanInocencio

        I’ll take Betances. We ought to make some kind of proposal on this Mike. If I win I get to be guest editor for a month, and if ZMac is better you host my show for a month. Something like that, what do you think?

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

          I’m down, but we have to wait 5 years to settle this one though. ;)

          • http://www.blogtalkradio.com/baseballdigestdaily Eric SanInocencio

            Good. River Ave will be the best Yanks blog in the world by then (I think its up there now). And who knows, maybe I’ll be hosting a show on ESPN Radio somewhere. We can dream can’t we?

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

              Yes, yes we can. Today, a Yankee blog. Tomorrow, Microsoft!

              • http://www.blogtalkradio.com/baseballdigestdaily Eric SanInocencio

                Mike, I forgot to tell you I got Lars Anderson (I know) for this week’s show. Plus I have a good shot at Aaron Crow. I’ve tried to track down Jesus or Betances this year and its been difficult. I told their people we can do it in Spanish! I can see why they protect them so much.

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

                  Oooo Crow would be interesting. They were only like, $500,000 apart in negotiations. When you’re already going to pay him $4-5M, what’s another $500k?

                • Bo

                  500 is a lot of dough and why settle? Bowden was terrible during those negotiations with him and only added to the offer after other picks received more.

  • http://tynansanger.com Ethan

    Hey Mike, do you think Melancon will be a September callup? It’s too late for him to have a Joba impact (Joba may have that role next anyway), but with all the IP he’s racked up so far, would it be worth seeing him face off against MLB talent or would it be smarter to shut him down for the season.

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

      I don’t think so, at least not in the traditional sense. He might come up to hang out in the clubhouse and shag flies during BP and stuff, but he shouldn’t pitch in a game. No need to use up the 40 man spot a year too soon, plus he’s thrown a ton of innings, like you said.

    • bklynJT

      Melancon should be near his cap in innings, I doubt the Yankees bring him up unless they are deep in the race, but that’s assuming they feel he will have a Joba like impact. Is it just me, or do the Yankee’s just find ways to lose these games.

      • Ivan

        It seems that way that the yanks find ways to lose. It’s atribute to below average play and bad luck.

  • D.B.

    Mike last one, Arodys Vizcaino or Manuel Banuelos?

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

      I can’t answer that, I don’t know nearly enough about either kid. Sorry.

  • D.B.

    O yeah do you think Nik Turley can become our Andrew Miller?

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

      Not at all. Andrew Miller is as special as pitchers get.

      • Ivan

        Miller has alot of potential. Yes he hasn’t harness it yet and put it together but if he does watch out alla Hughes.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594331910 Jamal G.

          I just want to see how the fuck anybody in the N.L. East will compete with Marlins in the next 4-6 years.

          • Ivan

            The most impressive pitcher to me might be Chris Volstad. Love the hard 2Seam Fastball Curve. Reminds me of Halladay.

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

              That’s a good comp. Of course Halladay’s repertoire is 4 pitches deep, with command.

              • Ivan

                true. Nevertheless, Im really impress with Volstad. Im also impress with Josh Johnson. I really like his arm as well.

      • cult of basebaal

        clayton kershaw laughs and say HI!

        • Jake K.

          At the risk of sounding like an idiot, who’s Nik Turley?

          • D.B.

            6’7 195 lefty 50th round projectable and 18

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

            The third to last player taken in the draft.

            • Josh W

              Why did he go so late?

              • ChrisS

                Signability. He was committed to BYU and most people thought there was very little chance to sign him. He’s still a very raw pitcher, but he could end up being that guy that “comes from nowhere” and explodes on the scene in AA a few years from now. Don’t know much more about him, though.

  • Ivan

    The most impressive thing about Montero this year is that he has hit for a pretty high average and just has an advance approach to hitting for his age to say the least. In the Future Games I was impress with the hit the other way.

    The guy has the type of poential in the bat to hit 35+HR and not crazy to say win a Batting Title.

    • pat

      obviously i know its waaaay too early to decide this but I wish they would just convert him into DH right now so the kid eats drinks and sleeps hitting for the rest of his career

      • Ivan

        You gotta let em Catch, at least until he shows you he can’t do it. All your asking Montero to be average behind the plate. Nothing more, nothing less. He has the type of potential with the bat that if put him in the catcher position is invaluable. Nevertheless, catcher or not, the guy can just kill a ball.

        • http://www.blogtalkradio.com/baseballdigestdaily Eric SanInocencio

          Having Romine there is a nice safety blanket just in case the Montero catcher experiment doesn’t work out. That’s why I think its important that they stay paired up if possible during their tours in the minor leagues. Nice guy that we always forget about. Romine makes this easier for Jesus.

          • Ivan

            agreed. Romine is a pretty impressive prospect no doubt. Im just saying you gotta give Montero a chance to prove he can be a average catcher. Romine is sure a very good security blanket at the C position.

        • pat

          youre right he should catch but in my bizzaro fantasy world austin romine is a .300 15 hr guy with plus defense

  • D.B.

    Phil hughes or pavano on sat?

    • Ivan

      Seem like Pavano.

      • Miles Roche

        According to The Abe, Carl Pavano skipped his bullpen session today with neck stiffness. So hold your assumptions until it becomes official (and even after that, cuz hey, you never know.) . . . . .

      • giselle

        i thought pavano was suffering from a stiff neck? he can’t be starting.

        • http://mvn.com/milb-yankees Eric

          Stiff neck? No, he just got a Viagra stuck in his throat.

          • Steve

            That old gag.

            and I do mean ‘gag’.

  • D.B.

    dammit i hate pavano

  • Ivan

    Hey guys I have a question. Would you rather have a Perenial All-Star SS, CF or Catcher?

    • http://www.blogtalkradio.com/baseballdigestdaily Eric SanInocencio

      I’d take the shortstop, assuming that by All-Star you mean upper level production offensively. Catchers are tough to build around because the inherent time they’ll need off in order to remain fresh. Centerfielders seem easier to fill, and the production most teams get from their corner outfielders can cover up a less than powerful bat in CF. Tough choice, but give me the up the middle guy that’s one of the bet in the league.

      That’s like asking whether you’d take Hanley, Grady or Mauer. I think Mauer is the clear third choice there.

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

      Shortstop, look how scarce the position is.

      • Ivan

        To be fair, there’s gonna be years where the SS positions looks fruitful and scarce and the same can be said for Catchers.

        My head said SS, but my heart said Catchers because for some reason having a big time catcher it just seem the teams wins alot. Some intagible stuff.

    • Emac2

      Catcher – No question.

      That assumes he is an all star offensivly and defensivly however.

      …and assumes he is an all star in ability not just popularity…

      This opinion doesn’t hold for fantasy but it holds true in the real world.

      a medium SS can hit for average and steal bases. A medium catcher either can’t hit or can’t throw.

  • 27’Yanks

    Hey Mike I was reading Thunder Thoughts and in the comments they were talking about Wordekemper and how he would not want to come back next year. If he is under the Yanks control does he have an out or do players just have to show up in ST? Didn’t CJ Henry get out of his minor league contract with the Phils.

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

      He has every right to retire if he wants, but if he’s under control he has to show up to ST, otherwise they can suspend him without pay. Henry asked for his release, and the Phils gave it to him.

      • Rafi

        Isn’t he Rule V eligible this year? Not saying that he’ll definitely be taken, but I’m sure that SOMEONE can use him as a reliever. Can’t imagine the Yankees use a 40-spot, can you?

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

          Yeah, he’ll be Rule V eligible this year, but there’s dozens of Eric Wordekemper-types available every year in the Rule V. They won’t protect him, nor should they (no offense to Eric).

          • Rafi

            I’m not saying that he’ll be the next great reliever, but looking at some bullpens around baseball(Mets, Nats, etc…..), some team might go for him. Especially since they can then waive him, and the Yankees will prob. let them(as opposed to paying 25 grand i think to get him back)

    • 27’Yanks

      Yeah my question wasn’t really directed towards him but he was an example of what I was asking. People who don’t really have a future in an organization because of a talented group in front of him who may be able to move up in other organizations. I didn’t know if they had any other outs because it probably would be in the players best interest if they could play elsewhere and the organization is only using the player as filler material.

  • Chris

    I was thinking about it, and I’m wondering if the situation with Cole messed with the international signing period too. If the Yanks expected to drop 4+ million on him, it may have led them to be more restrained in the international signings. They certainly didn’t make a big splash in the international signings, which could be some amount of fiscal restraint. Of course, it could also have been related to the talent level available.

    • pat

      instead on paying like 4 million for one “stud” IFA they went out and signed like 3 or 4 players for half that pric total. With the difficulty it is to predict success from such an early age they went for quantity over quality. (Not that arias and co. arent talented just less known compared to a yorman rodriguez.)

  • bill

    Ooh… I shouldve listened to the warning. I hate that asshole and I hope he gets bombed by USC. Aceves pitched well tonight. Anyone thinks he should see some time in the show this year?

  • Bo

    This has been a horrendous year for the yankee organization.

    The team itself will be lucky to win 84 games.

    Hughes and kennedy have zero wins between them. Kennedy looks like a total bust who has no mental makeup and Hughes has another lost season of development.

    They failed to sign Cole and their 3rd rounder. They failed to draft/sign any players in Law’s top 80.

    They failed to sign Inoa or any top Latin FA.

    Cano has regressed and isn’t that #3 hitter every projected.

    Cabrera now has little trade value.

    • Emac2

      This is your big chance to hop on the bankwagon of another team. Clearly the Yanks just aren’t able to meet your expectations.

  • JohnC

    Volstad was another near miss for us. Yanks were gonna take him and the Marlins grabbed him 1 pick ahead of us, and we ended up with CJ Henry.