Waikiki takes home the title

Open Thread: Hot Stove news of the day
Leyritz: 'I was not at all responsible for the accident'

James Donten has been been photographing High-A Sarasota Reds’ games for the last two seasons, and finally put together a website for his work. You can check out his gallery of Tampa Yanks’ players here.

AzFL Peoria had a scheduled off day.

HWB Waikiki (5-1 win over West Oahu) Waikiki wins the HWB Championship, the first in franchise history, including the league’s first go-around (’93-’97) … the title game was rained out last year and North Shore was given the title by default, so at least this year they actually got the game in
Damon Sublett: 0 for 4

Saturday’s Games

AzFL Peoria (10-8 loss to Surprise)
Kevin Russo: 0 for 5 – hit streak comes to an end at 20 games … well done sir
Austin Jackson: 1 for 5, 1 R, 3 RBI, 2 K – 12 for his last 26 (.462) with 4 doubles & 6 RBI
Kevin Whelan: 1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1-0 GB/FB – 17 of 27 pitches were strikes (63%) … first bad outing in the fall league, his ERa shot up from 0.63 to 2.35

HWB Waikiki (5-4 wn over Honolulu) Waikiki won the HWB East Division on the final day of season when Cubs’ prospect Marquez Smith mashed a pinch hit two-run homer with two outs in the ninth off Phils’ stud Kyle Drabek (Doug’s son) to give the Beach Boys the lead
Damon Sublett: 1 for 1, 1 RBI – delivered a pinch hit RBI single in the 5th
Austin Romine: 0 for 2

Friday’s Games

AzFL Peoria (8-6 win over Surprise)
Juan Miranda: 0 for 4, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K – just 6 for his last 42 (.143)
Phil Hughes: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 3-6 GB/FB – 52 of 80 pitches were strikes (65%) … MLB.com had a nice little write-up on the outing … he lines up to start the Javelinas’ final game of the season this Thursday, and assuming he throws the AzFL max of 5 innings, he’ll finish the year with 107.2 IP

HWB Waikiki (4-1 loss to Honolulu)
Damon Sublett: 0 for 4
Jeremy Bleich: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 5-6 GB/FB – 48 of 85 pitches were strikes (56.5%) … one of the walks was intentional, but even so he allowed just 4 walks in his last 29.2 IP … finished the season with a .216 batting avg against & 31 K in 30.2 IP … next stop, High-A Tampa

Thursday’s Games

AzFL Peoria (9-6 win over the other Peoria)
Kevin Russo: 1 for 3, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K
Austin Jackson: 0 for 4, 3 K – ouch
Humberto Sanchez: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 3-2 GB/FB – 18 of 31 pitches were strikes (58.1%)

HWB Waikiki‘s game with North Shore was cancelled due to “other.” Don’t ask me.

Open Thread: Hot Stove news of the day
Leyritz: 'I was not at all responsible for the accident'
  • A.D.

    Looks like this Bleich guy could have some talent

    • Mike Pop

      Naw he just got lucky… Bust

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

    So does that still leave Hughes at just 140 IP for next year?

    • A.D.

      Figure he probably has additional innings with simulated games etc which the Yankees may count for his jump

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

      I dunno. His career high is 146 (way back in 2006), so maybe they let him go 160-170 innings.

  • Ivan

    It’s good news that he feels stronger physically and his stuff seem to be at the level that he’s acustome to.

    Next season in 09, watch out for my boy Phil “The thrill” Hughes.

  • will

    Does anyone know what’s Bleich’s potential projection?

    • Mike Pop

      Like Andy Pettite without the cut fastball.. But I still dont understand why they took him as early as they did.. People say he would he would have been available later

      • Mike Pop

        I dont think he is projected to be as good as Andy tho.. So thatg might be a bit of a stretch.. Thats from what I have read tho

      • http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/news/2000/01/18/jeter_ap/index.html steve (different one)

        But I still dont understand why they took him as early as they did.. People say he would he would have been available later

        maybe.

        but people also say that he was first round talent, if not for the injury concerns, which are looking to be overblown.

        i don’t think Bleich was really much of an overdraft at all. he would have been a steal in the 2nd round, but he also may not have been there.

  • Jerry

    Any chance they send Phil to another winter league?

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

      Maybe. They’ve done that before, but never with someone as high profile as Hughes. At some point the kid needs to go home for a few months just to chill out and relax a bit. He can’t pitch until mid-to-late January down in the Caribbean somewhere then show up for Spring Training a few weeks later.

      • TurnTwo

        its funny to think that when he’s finally traded for Jake Peavy, none of us will have to worry about Hughes’s innings anymore.

  • peavy for cano

    let him join ipk

  • Mulls

    they should keep kennedy and hughes in AAA for the first half of the season pitching 5 innings per start that’ll get them to like 70 innings then they can pitch for the yanks in the 2nd half or when some one goes down probably burnett haha , i definitely want burnett. let aceves be the mule next year. let hughes and kennedy develop.

    • Mike Pop

      I dont think Hughes or Kennedy have anything more to prove at AAA though and thats the problem.. I wouldnt want Kennedy in the rotation just yet so he could be in AAA but does Hughes have anything left to prove there ?

      • Mulls

        hughes has to prove he can stay healthy besides cc burnett joba wang pettitte he doesnt have a spot anyway

        • Reggie C.

          Staying healthy in the minors? Hughes has always stayed healthy in the minors. That’s whats so maddening. The injuries hit him up here in the Bx, which clouds the real issue as to how fast Hughes can adjust during games. Since he’s always been hurt, nobody has seen anything but flashes of effectiveness.

          If you stick Hughes in AAA for half a season, I guarantee you he makes all his starts and pitches lights out … just like 2006.

      • Steve

        Not prove, but both have things they need to work on. Hughes is working on his cutter and IPK is working on his curveball. So a season in AAA makes sense for both.

        • B.George

          everyone of Hughes injuries have beem freal injuries…..one thing to count on is that his arm has always been intact

  • peavy for cano

    why burnett c’mon

  • Reggie C.

    So is the HWB finished? No more Brackman starts! Aww man … dog days of the off-season have begun.

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

      Yeah, no more HWB. The AzFL will be finished this week too.

      • Reggie C.

        Mike,

        Do you think brackman is done pitching in winter leagues till ST ?

        • Andy In Sunny Daytona

          Brackman had 13 wild pitches in 34 innings in Hawaii. I think we have our very own Ricky Vaughn. Just a matter of time before he starts banging the third baseman’s girl. So Madonna, watch out.

          • B.George

            lmao…one of the funniest comments I have ever read

  • SWB

    This may be a dumb idea but what about letting Joba and Phil pitch on the same day until someone gets hurt or one of them is ineffective. Joba could go 5 innings then Phil could go the final four then the next start Joba goes 4 and Phil goes 5. This way they both keep innings down for awhile, face major league hitters, and both get to use there innings in a effective way rather than pitching in AAA and the ML bullpen. Also it would build in an off day for the bullpen

    • AndrewYF

      That’s not how major league games are played.

      • Jack

        What’s your point?

    • Reggie C.

      What about those times when Hughes goes 4 innings of shut-out ball against a quality team? Don’t you want to see how he finishes that game; whether it be in the 6th/7th inning? The thing with Hughes is that when he’s on , he’s very efficient; more so than Joba. Pitching counts become irrelevant. Its that 5th and 6th inning that bcomes crucial to Hughes’s development.

      • SWB

        I agree with that. Just thinking outside the box b/c sometimes it seems that Hughes and Kennedy need to work on is challenging big league hitters and throwing strikes not striking out 10 in a AAA game

    • Jack

      I like it. That way, if another starter gets hurt, you can just split them up.

      • whozat

        So, you’re suggesting that they play with a PLAN to regularly pull Joba from a start, regardless of how well he’s doing, when he’s not yet tired out, so that hughes can throw 60-80 pitches that same day?

        One of the biggest steps in learning to pitch is how to turn a big-league lineup over a third or fourth time. Another is how to continue to get outs with pitches 80-100, when your stuff might be falling off a bit.

        If the whole point of playing a MLB season was to get 150 innings in and go home…ok, this might make sense. But, honestly, having them pitch full starts — even in AAA — would be better for them than this plan.

    • Steve

      The way they would do that is to have a 6 man rotation, which has been kicked around from time to time but never happens.

      • emac2

        It may be a far better idea now that “all” the steroids and greenies are out of the game.

  • Peter Lacock

    Girardi said they would have to get ‘creative’ with Joba’s innings limit to get him thru the season and splitting starts with Hughes certainly fits that description. That said, it won’t happen that way for all the reasons already mentioned by AndrewYF, Reggie C. and whozat. Hughes and IPK need to have productive and healthy seasons in AAA, work on their control and prove that they can be consistent. Splitting starts in the majors with anyone will hinder this process. On the other hand, Joba almost never gets hit hard. He still needs to improve his control but he has already proven he can consistently get major league batters out and only needs to learn how to do that without hurting himself. The simplest solutions to the innings limit is to occasionally skip a turn, give him an extra day between starts here and there and keep his starts short thru the first quarter to one third of the season. I can see someone like Aceves having a big hand in picking him up but in general the bullpen will cover for him. If the goal of having four other good, veteran starters that consistently pitch deep into games is achieved, the bullpen will need the work anyway.

    • SWB

      I agree with that. Just thinking outside the box b/c sometimes it seems that Hughes and Kennedy need to work on is challenging big league hitters and throwing strikes not striking out 10 in a AAA game

    • Rick in Boston

      Something that’s ‘creative’ would be using Joba the same way the Yankees used Pettitte at times over the last few years: have him pitch on his throwing day.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      I floated this idea earlier in the year… How about just starting Joba a month and a half later than everyone else?

      Instead of reporting mid-February, he reports at the end of March (or reports the same time as everyone else but doesn’t throw until the end of March); when camp breaks and the team goes north April 1, he stays in Tampa and does extended spring training, does his standard cycling-up of innings in April, and joins the club as a starter sometime around May 15. If you lop off six weeks at the start of the season, he’d be in line for somewhere around 24 starts, no? 24 x 6IP = 144 IP.

      • Peter Lacock

        Well they certainly could do that but he would still have to report with everyone else. It is a job after all and a team, special treatment would cause resentment with someone. He needs to be as close to normal as possible. They could keep him out of games as you suggest but then you would need another starter to temporarily take his place. What if that starter does great?

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

          “What if that starter does great?”

          That’s an awesome problem to have.

          • B.George

            what happens if Joba reports late but gets hurt and his innings are down? You are going to have the same problem as this year with his innings limits……rather have him report on time start the season with us but skip his starts in the national league parks so he doesnt have to hit…pull him from games when we are winning by a lot if that occurs…and skip a start every so often