Mar
11

Mo looks fine in bullpen session

By

Despite undergoing minor shoulder surgery after last season, this spring has been pretty typical for Mariano Rivera. As has become his routine in recent years, he doesn’t begin throwing until he gets to camp, and even then he works himself into his full routine. He only pitches in about five games before he’s ready to start the season. So while he’s taking it slow for his rehab, it’s also nothing out of the ordinary. Still, fans have to be just a wee bit anxious to see him get on the mound and test his shoulder. That happened today, and by all accounts Mo’s bullpen session went well.

According to Rivera, via Bryan Hoch, he was at about 90 percent velocity. His command was a bit off, as he missed inside a few times to BP hitters Jesus Montero and John Rodriguez. That’s to be expected at this point, injury or not, as it was Mo’s fourth pitching session of the spring, first with live batters. Afterward, he sounded like a guy on track to start the 2009 season:

“It’s getting stronger,” Rivera said. “Every time I throw, it’s feeling better and better. I have no doubts.”

This should allay any fears at this point. Figure on Mo getting his first game action some time next week — Hoch thinks Monday against the Phillies. He’ll probably go two games a week at that point until the season opens on April 6.

Edwar Ramirez, out since the beginning of camp with shoulder bursitis, threw 30 pitches to live batters as well. He said he felt good as well, though he’s in no position to say otherwise. There’s no word when he’ll see game action, but the sooner the better for him. With plenty of competition for the final four bullpen spots — and Phil Coke is making an emphatic argument for one of them — Edwar needs game action to prove he’s up to snuff.

Categories : Injuries
  • A.D.

    Good news for both Edwar & Mo.

    But Edwar better get back to pitching, else he’ll probably be headed back to AAA, I’m assuming he has options left.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      Yep. He’s got one option left.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        http://riveraveblues.com/2009/.....ions-7511/

        I wanna say I recall us discussing that Melky’s the only young, semi-fringy guy (as in, someone who’s not an obvious lock to make the roster) who’s out of options. Gardner, Veras, Edwar, Bruney, et. al., they all have options left, no?

  • Simon B.

    I’m an Edwar fan—mostly because everybody seems to underrate him (especially Mike. J.B. Cox at #3, and Edwar at #28?!).

  • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    I’m guessing that if Edwar makes it back for opening day, the bullpen master depth chart is:

    1. MoHova
    2. Marte
    3. Bruney
    4. Edwar
    5. Veras
    6. CokeFiend
    7. Robertson
    ———————–
    8. Albaladejo
    9. The Mexican Gangster
    10. Giese
    11. Muh-lan-sin
    12. Tomko
    13. Hungry Hungry
    14. SteJax
    15. Claggett
    16. Dr. Cox
    17. OvuerDunn
    18. WDLR

    … so Albaladejo figures to benefit by making the opening day roster if Edwar’s still gimpy. (Unless we prefer to keep a long-man on the roster, in which case both Robertson and Albaladejo stay in the minors and one of Aceves or Giese takes the last spot in the pen.)

    Sound right?

    • Chris

      I wonder if they’re considering Coke as a long man. He seems to be making longer appearances than most of the other relievers – generally multiple innings.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        That’s the thing, with the quality of our starting pitchers and the depth of our bullpen, I don’t know how much we even need a longman. Say Pettitte bombs out and gives up 10 runs in the first three innings some start; we can just cut up the remaining 6 innings between 2 for Coke, 2 for Robertson, 2 for Veras, or something like that, and still not have a taxed bullpen.

        • Chris

          I guess that was my point. I’d rather have a guy like Coke as the designated long man because he could still be effective in 1 inning stints. I’m not sure that Aceves or Geise would be as effective (of course, bringing in Geise after Burnett or Joba would be a huge change of pace).

          Also, I think we need to consider that Joba will probably get pulled early in some games to keep his innings down.

      • A.D.

        I hope they don’t pull another Ohlendorf. Where they are telling him to prepare as a 1-2 inning reliever, and then make him the long man anyways, thus just fucking with him.

    • A.D.

      Looks good, though I’d put Cox behind Tomko until Humberto does something, but who cares at that point.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        I wonder if Tomko gets jettisoned after camp breaks and he’s offered nothing more than Scranton.

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona

      “Albaladejo” translates to “I leave at dawn”. At least according to Google Translate, which is infallible.
      He needs a nickname.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Hey, Hey, Hey, it’s Fat Albie? (Although, he’s much skinnier now.)

        Speaking of nicknames, I’ve got one for someone else:

        David “Dominance Factor” Robertson.

    • Cor Shep

      You gotta figure Giese or Aceves makes the team as a long man. Robertson won’t make the team i bet.

      • MattG

        It will happen. It is stupid, but Giese or Aceves is assured a spot if for no other reason than they can pitch 3 innings.

        This ignores the fact that any name on that list can pitch 3 innings, but will never be asked to.

        Not only do the Yankees not need a longman, they do not even need a seventh man. I’d rather they park Miranda’s bat on the bench, or sign German as the 25th man, super-U, pinch-runner.

        Rivera, Marte, Bruney, Robertson, Ramirez, Coke. That’ll do nicely.

        • Ed

          Coke will be asked to do multiple innings. That’s one of the big draws of putting him on the roster.

          But most relievers can’t do 3 innings. When Girardi stretched Marte last season, he hurt his elbow. Most relievers aren’t conditioned for a long workload – they go all out for one inning, maybe two, and then they’re spent.

          • MattG

            I totally disagree with this. And for proof, you need only look back about 15 years, when 3 innings was very common for a middle reliever. Hell, Torre routinely used Mendoza, Nelson and Stanton for 3 innings, or close to it, during ‘the run.’

            • MattG

              Actually, let me specify–because what you wrote is accurate. I disagree that relievers should be conditioned for use this way. I believe they should all be throwing multiple innings in the minor leagues, and used to multiple innings. There is no reason to think this would lead to more injury, if it was what they were used to.

              Take a look at Joba–2.60 ERA, 99 MPH as a reliever…2.60 ERA, 99 MPH as a starter. I think max effort is something of a myth, provided you are properly conditioned.

              • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

                Joba was sitting around 98 as a reliever, and around 94-95 as a starter (which is completely acceptable of course). Maybe he touched 99 as a starter a few times but its an important distinction to make.

              • Ed

                There is no reason to think this would lead to more injury, if it was what they were used to.

                Which brings us back to my original comment, “Most relievers aren’t conditioned for a long workload”.

                Keep in mind though that some guys are relievers specifically because their body can’t handle multiple inning stints. For example, when the Red Sox tried putting Papelbon back in the rotation, he was consistently losing velocity in the 3rd inning.

                Take a look at Joba–2.60 ERA, 99 MPH as a reliever…2.60 ERA, 99 MPH as a starter. I think max effort is something of a myth, provided you are properly conditioned.

                Joba was consistently throwing around 99 as a reliever. As a starter he was throwing around 95 most of the time, only occasionally hitting the upper 90’s.

            • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Hell, Torre routinely used Mendoza, Nelson and Stanton for 3 innings, or close to it, during ‘the run.’

              Fun Fact of the Day: From 1996-2002, during their combined Yankee careers, Jeff Nelson and Mike Stanton made a combined 734 relief appearances. Of those 734, they pitched more than two innings exactly THREE times: A three inning save for Nelson on 5/7/96, a three inning loss for Nelson on 4/11/97, and a three inning win for Stanton on 5/27/00.

              The other 99.59% of the time, Stanton or Nelson pitched two innings or less, the overwhelming majority of those outings one inning or less.

              You may notice that I left Ramiro Mendoza out of this statement. There’s an important reason for that. Unlike Stanton or Nelson, who are situational relief pitchers, RAMIRO MENDOZA IS A LONGMAN. He pitches longer outings because he’s a starter in the bullpen, expected to come in and pitch 3+ innings with regularity and pick up spot starts.

              Different animal.

              • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

                Bonus fun fact: Ramiro Mendoza is the only player to ever win a world series with both The Yankees and Red Sox.

                • pat

                  theres another guy

                • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

                  Wikipedia LIED TO ME!!!!

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  *cough*Babe Ruth*cough*

                • pat

                  Heh its ok Ryan the other person is some no-name pitcher lost in the annuls of history.

                • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

                  Hahaha I knew immediately who it was when you said there was another guy. /facepalm

                • pat

                  Babe Ruth postseason pitching stats: 31ip 0.87 era 8k 10BB.. 1916 he pitched a 14 inning shutout in game 2 of the world series.

                • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

                  Decent at the plate for a pitcher too.

                • pat

                  Allegedly.

                • http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/9273/immagineus7.jpg Mike Pop

                  Ryan if I gave you some money out of my wallet, would that help ease the pain?

                • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

                  I think the only way to redeem myself is to commit seppuku. Or to just let everyone forgot about my comment in like 4 or 5 hours.

                • pat

                  It’s ok a few nights ago I replied to someones comment and dickishly tried so correct them only to spell the word wrong myself and look like an idiot, it happens.

                • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

                  Hahaha oooooooooh I know. Its neither the most stupid thing I’ve said in these forums, and it is assuredly not the last time either.

              • MattG

                That does not include Stanton’s starts, I take it.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Correct. That does not include the ONE game that Mike Stanton started in his big league career, that ONE SINGLE start that happened with the Yankees. In that ONE SINGLE SOLO SOLITARY start that he had in 1999, he did throw 4 innings.

                  Thus, changing the percentage of appearances by Stanton and Nelson that are greater than 2 innings from 3 out of 734 (0.41%) to 4 out of 735 (0.54%.)

                  Sorry for the omission.

                  (rolls eyes)

                • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

                  You’ve lost absolutely all credibility now. How can I trust you ever again?

                • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

                  (said by the guy who forgot Babe Ruth won a World Series with the Red Sox). I just had to point out the irony of my own sarcasm.

                • MattG

                  I bet you feel stupid now!

                  (I know I do…)

          • Cor Shep

            well if they aren’t adding a long man than alby and coke can each put up 2 inning – which is 4 innings which is what a long reliever can do.

            So mo – bruney – marte – veras – edwar – coke – abla

            Sound good cuz coke and ably can pitch multiple innings if needed.

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Exactly. Some of the worst relief outings we’ve had in recent history came from overtaxed relievers who are used to facing only 3-5 batters at max effort and collapse on batters #6 and above.

            There is a logical benefit to a long-man. The question is merely, by having 7 quality relievers and 5 quality starters, how much can we minimize the need for a long-man? Because we don’t want to tax the pen, we don’t want the pen members pitching long outings, and we don’t want to tax the starters either.

            • MattG

              That’s funny, I seem to remember better the ‘take-out-the-good-righty-for-the-shitty-lefty-because -an-MVP-candidate-who-hits-left-handed-is-up’ hurting much more than any relievers running out of gas.

              I’m not saying throw them 3 innings if there’s no reason. But if a guy comes in in the 5th, and is breezing into the 7th, let him pitch.

              • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                “That’s funny, I seem to remember better the ‘take-out-the-good-righty-for-the-shitty-lefty-because -an-MVP-candidate-who-hits-left-handed-is-up’ hurting much more than any relievers running out of gas.”

                Nobody argued that Girardi should be a slave to “handedness” matchups.
                See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw-man

                • MattG

                  Straw man? Are you that single minded? The discussion is about the value of a longman. The point being a longman helps keep other relievers fresh, so presumably they can pitch longer. Which would be relevant, except relievers (other than closers) aren’t asked to throw more than 15 pitches anymore. It’s a joke.

                  The worst relief performances happen when a manager quickly rifles through his good relievers trying to get a platoon advantage, and ends up with a rotten matchup–usually his longman with men on base.

                  The moral is get a bunch of good relievers, and condition them to through more than 15 pitches. If this means they can’t get use max effort to get people out, then get other relievers.

                  Why is it the longman is always the worst guy in the pen? Essentially, the guy who can throw the most innings, at a stage in the game when you still have the greatest opportunity for a comeback, is the last guy on your team you want to use. I mean, what is wrong with this philosophy?

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  The worst relief performances happen when a manager quickly rifles through his good relievers trying to get a platoon advantage, and ends up with a rotten matchup–usually his longman with men on base.

                  This whole paragraph literally screams out STRAWMAN ARGUMENT!!!! STRAWMAN ARGUMENT!!!!!

                • MattG

                  Maybe you’re joking or maybe I don’t really know what a strawman argument means.

                  I hope your joking, because I’m beginning to get PISSED OFF >|

                  ( is >| a good mad face? )

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  I’m not joking. Perhaps you don’t know what a strawman argument means, I don’t know.

                  You’re arguing that modern bullpens are managed poorly for two reasons: 1) typical relievers should be able to pitch multiple innings and they don’t anymore, and 2) typical bullpens carry longmen, who are generally bad pitchers and the worst pitchers in the pen.

                  Not only are both of those premises HIGHLY questionable and probably false, your argument you use to claim to prove the validity of those premises, and your conclusion, is that paragraph saying that managers use their multiple relievers for left/right handedness issues and thus burn through their relievers faster and resulting in managers being forced to put in inferior pitchers more quickly.

                  This specific chain of events is NOT the predominant way relievers are used. Most relievers face multiple batters of both handedness. You picked a small subset of the greater possibility of chains of events, and one that was only tangentially related to your premises and your conclusion, and appealed to emotion to claim that since the scenario you described (which is easily refuted as objectionable) is bad, that means your overall argument is correct.

                  That’s a strawman argument. You proposed a worst case scenario that all of us can agree is bad and then complained about how bad it is, equating your worst-case scenario with the larger, more complex issue. Tony LaRussa using three relievers to get three outs in one inning against a righty-lefty-righty lineup and thus, emptying his bullpen – that’s NOT a valid indictment against the larger bullpen strategies of the rest of baseball, nor does it have ANYTHING to do with a longman.

                • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  TSJC – It’s very nice when you take the time to write out a long, reasoned response when I’m too lazy to even bother. You’re the man like that. No homo.

                • MattG

                  Except when it fails.

                  So you’re saying I have a straw argument because my premise is weak, and supported by poor data. I don’t agree. Relievers are asked to get outs. If they succeed, any strategy employed is perfectly fine. In this case, the manager can only do wrong by using his reliever too long.

                  But if the reliever does not succeed, the manager may often have a choice–that being to use a loogy, or allow his opponent to have a platoon advantage.

                  I do not know how you miss something so obvious, but it is not the advancement of baseball knowledge that has led to 12 man pitching staffs–it is the desire to always have the platoon advantage. If the loogy fails, the manager can blame the player. But if he leaves in his right-hander, the manager has no one to blame but himself.

                  There is ample evidence from SABRs to show that the use of loogys is counter-productive, on both ends of the diamond. It gains the platoon advantage, but often at a reduction in ability that negates it. It also removes an opportunity for a platoon advantage on the other side of the ball, by employing players that shouldn’t have roster spots.

                  And it appears it has a third negative effect: conditioning relievers to shorter outings, necessitating long men.

                  I am sorry you see this as a straw argument. I am relatively certain there is a lot of truth in this comment.

                  I must go have dinner now, I’ve debated too long. Have a good evening.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  There is a lot of truth in that argument, but it’s still NOT THE CENTRAL ARGUMENT AT HAND, it’s just a tangential argument full of emotion and obviously unwanted tautologies. Hence, it’s STILL a strawman.

                  Sorry, wrong again.

                • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  “I am sorry you see this as a straw argument. I am relatively certain there is a lot of truth in this comment.”

                  Whether or not there is any truth in your comment has nothing to do with whether it’s a straw-man argument. This argument about whether your comment contained a straw-man argument is silly and tangential in and of itself, but I’m pretty sure you just don’t understand what a straw-man argument is. Just look it up and let’s be done with this.

                • MattG

                  There is a logical benefit to a long-man.

                  This is the sentence I disagree with. This is the sentence I am arguing. In order for me to present a straw-man argument, I must be arguing a distortion of this sentence.

                  The problem is not that I distorted the sentence, the problem is that you and Tommie Smith aren’t able to see that the longman is a necessity born out of an absurd evolution of an overly specialized bullpen model. By limiting the good relievers on the staff to one inning, you’ve created an illogical benefit to a longman. If instead you allowed your relievers to throw 20+ pitches per outing, you can eliminate the longman entirely.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Again, Matt, that’s a strawman argument.

                  You’re arguing that there isn’t a benefit of a longman by saying that non-longman relievers should be able to throw more pitches and go deeper into their appearances.

                  You may be right that believers should be able to throw more pitches and go deeper into their appearances, but THAT DOESN’T MEAN THERE ISN’T A BENEFIT TO A LONGMAN. Those are two different arguments, and you’re refuting the weaker of the two (that modern relief pitchers don’t pitch as well or as long as their forebearers did) and claiming that this proves the more central argument (that there is no benefit to the longman).

                  You’re avoiding the central argument by creating a tangentially related argument that’s easier to refute and claiming you’ve refuted the central argument. That’s a strawman.

                  You may be right that it would be good if modern relievers could pitch longer, and you may be right that the longman was created as a result of the changing uses of relievers. This does NOT mean that longmen do not have a benefit. They do.

        • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

          Were we to only have 6th relievers and no swingman, that final spot should probably go to Kevin Cash, at least for the beginning of the season.

        • Chris C.

          “It will happen. It is stupid, but Giese or Aceves is assured a spot if for no other reason than they can pitch 3 innings.”

          Why is that stupid?
          You’d rather replace a reliever who can go three or more innings with another shmuck who can’t pitch more than 1-2?
          The pen is already full of those guys.
          What if a starter gets lit up through the first two innings? What about extra inning games?

          “This ignores the fact that any name on that list can pitch 3 innings, but will never be asked to.”

          Oh, they’ve been asked to before. They’re just ineffective when doing so. Remember when they used to “ask” Kyle Farnsworth to give tham more than an inning? Big mistake.

    • jsbrendog

      i just don’t like veras, i know his numbers have been pretty good but i feel by the end of the year albaladejo will be the better option and i want to see him in the pen.

      again, just my opinion based on nothing but my own musings

      • Drew

        I don’t trust Veras at all. Maybe if he gets better control of both his pitches he’ll be better but I kringe when he comes in.

        • MattG

          Yet Veras’s control seems superior to Bruney’s, yes?

          The Yankees have 5-6 totally interchangeable right-handed relievers. That’s why they should only carry 3 of them, plus Rivera, Marte and Coke, and keep Continental’s Scranton-LaGuardia route well-funded.

          • Drew

            Not in my opinion, Bruney’s fastball is little more straight but he’s generally on target.

            • MattG

              Are you talking about Brian Bruney, with a career 6.4 BB/9 (Veras–4.7 BB/9)?

              • Drew

                From the most recent sample Bruney showed good control. With Veras, he generally misses with his fastball and it will be up in the zone or over the plate so he gets hit hard.
                I prefaced my last comment with saying it was my opinion, if you’d rather Veras than Bruney that’s your prerogative.

              • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                Good thing you chose to use career BB/9 numbers instead of looking at the most recent season.

                Bruney
                2008 – 4.19

                Veras
                2008 – 4.52

                That’s not to say Bruney is some master of control while Veras is wild. Just saying, those numbers aren’t nearly as convincing as you insinuated.

                • Drew

                  Yes, what’s his career average weight? 240? going by career numbers, especially with young players doesn’t always tell the true story.

                • MattG

                  That 4.2/9 was compiled in 32 innings. The season before, in 58 innings, he compiled a 6.7 BB/9. The 6.4 mark is in 186 career ML innings. How about minor league, you ask? 5.5 in 247 innings.

                  Let’s say this–Bruney ain’t no better at throwing strikes than Veras. But maybe he’s ‘effectively wild.’ Bruney, Veras, Ramirez, Robertson, Albaladejo…as of now, they’re interchangeable.

                • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Ok. I’ll just repeat myself: “That’s not to say Bruney is some master of control while Veras is wild. Just saying, those numbers aren’t nearly as convincing as you insinuated.”

            • jsbrendog

              agreed. again, small asample size but bruney was lights out last yr while veras was good but visibly shaky at times. also granted is because of his injury bruney didnt have a chance to regress bakc to the norm after his atmospheric beginning to the yr….so until theyre both out therei uess its all subjective…but still, veras consistently worries me

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            I’ve got to disagree with you on your six-man-bullpen concept. The 7th bullpen arm is much more valuable to this team than the 5th bench player. Particularly if that bench player is Juan Miranda, as you suggest.

            David Robertson, Jonathan Albaladejo, Al Aceves, or Dan Giese, whomever it is, will all eat up and use more innings, and thus, help ease the burden on our other 11 pitchers, much more than Juan Miranda will get the occasional pinch hit.

            As a first baseman, he’d already be behind Tex, Posada, Swisher, and Nady in terms of getting starts at 1B, he has no value as a defensive replacement, and he can’t play 3B (or even free up anybody at 1B who could play 3B.

            I’ll take a 7th reliever or a longman over Miranda every time.

            • A.D.

              On top of that, most days Nady or Swish will be on the bench, so Miranda will be the #2 pinch hitter, for a team that really doesn’t need to pinch hit very often.

              • pat

                Not to mention with Joba being on an inning limit he is likely to get lifted from games early putting extra strain on the pen.

              • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

                To me, the only reason we’d need a 5th guy on the bench is if we needed a 3rd catcher … and I don’t think we do (but we’ll have a better idea once Jorge starts to catch in ST)

            • MattG

              I don’t disagree with this. The Yankees have little need for pinch hitters. A 12th pitcher would have more value.

              But there are many teams–NL in purpose–that could use another bench player, but instead carry a ridiculous LOOGY just because it’s what’s done.

              • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                “I don’t disagree with this. The Yankees have little need for pinch hitters. A 12th pitcher would have more value.”

                Ok… Except you do disagree with it. In your words:

                “The Yankees have 5-6 totally interchangeable right-handed relievers. That’s why they should only carry 3 of them, plus Rivera, Marte and Coke, and keep Continental’s Scranton-LaGuardia route well-funded.”

                Sorry to be a dick, but you can’t say something and then claim you don’t disagree with the opposite argument.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Also, Matt, kudos for trying to bolster your argument by pointing out that NL teams carry 5 bench players.

                  Because clearly, when discussing whether the Yankees should or should not carry a 7th bullpen arm, we were discussing National League teams.

                  (rolls eyes)

                • Thomas

                  National league teams can carry five bench players and still have a sufficiently deep bullpen, because they don’t have a DH.

                • MattG

                  Old Ranger–I can’t say something, and not disagree with a counter argument? Why not? I am supposed to be some stubborn ass mule that knows everything and is always right?

                  TSJC–why do you suppose I am arguing? The Yankees don’t need another bench player because they have superstars at every position. They can afford to carry a 7th bullpen pitcher. I understand that. I am suggesting that they have really good starting pitching, and whomever gets left off the roster is just as good as any other non-Mo reliever on the roster. When you look at this, you realize they don’t need a 7th reliever, either–they could have a new guy up here every 10 days if they didn’t mind all the transaction fees (are there transaction fees in major league baseball?).

                  11 seasons ago, the Yankees played a whole season with 10 pitchers, and had a bench that could’ve started for half the teams in the league. That team did pretty well. 11 years later, everyone is suddenly convinced that you gotta have a longman, a 6th inning man, two lefties, etc. This, despite plenty of evidence that every platoon advantage you gain while fielding you give back while hitting, and more.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  11 seasons ago, the Yankees played a whole season with 10 pitchers, and had a bench that could’ve started for half the teams in the league. That team did pretty well.

                  The Yankees never used a 10 man pitching staff.

                  The 1997 Yankees used a 12 man pitching staff.
                  1. Cone
                  2. Pettitte
                  3. Rogers
                  4. Wells
                  5. Gooden
                  ———-
                  6. Mo
                  7. Stanton
                  8. Nelson
                  9. Mendoza
                  10. Mecir
                  11. Boeringher
                  12. Lloyd

                  The 1998 Yankees used a 12 man pitching staff.
                  1. Cone
                  2. Pettitte
                  3. Wells
                  4. El Duque
                  5. Irabu
                  ———-
                  6. Mo
                  7. Stanton
                  8. Nelson
                  9. Mendoza
                  10. Lloyd
                  11. Holmes
                  12. Buddie

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  I stand corrected: Buddie and Holmes were up and down in 1998. So, let’s say that in 1998, the Yankees used an 11 man staff and did carry a 5 man bench. You have a point there.

                  But no, the fact that we used an 11 man staff back in 1998 does not necessarily mean it’s a good idea. 1998 is the exception, not the rule.

                • MattG

                  This can’t be right. How did they have all these players on the roster at various times with a 12 man staff: Strawberry, Raines, Davis, Sojo, Curtis, and Ledee?

                  I didn’t mean to imply the had a 10 man staff–I meant to say they had significant roles for 10 pitchers. I expect that they spent most of the season with 10 pitchers, some of it with 11, but none of it with 12. I am going off memory–you seem to know where to look this up.

                  And if I picked a bad example, then thats all it is–a bad example. I still believe that within the offensive era (about ’93) there have been teams with great success that had essentially 10 man staffs. I do not believe baseball has changed enough in 15 years that relievers can only throw 15 pitches an outing to be successful. Instead, I think it is a silly evolution of bullpen usage.

                • MattG

                  Piggy-backing posts.

                  But you realize that 11 man staffs used to be the rule, right? And you realize it was during the era of offensive we are currently enjoying?

                  I think German would be an intriguing guy for the spot that will go to Giese or Aceves. But, the nature of the Yankee lineup, I don’t know that German could add more value then a longman. If there is a team that could go with 11 pitchers and not feel a thing, its this team.

                • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  “Old Ranger–I can’t say something, and not disagree with a counter argument? Why not? I am supposed to be some stubborn ass mule that knows everything and is always right?”

                  Of course you can, and should, if convinced otherwise. Clearly I thought you were acting as if you never made the initial statement and then acting like you always agreed with the counter-argument. If that’s what happened, then that’s my bad and I agree with you that your initial statement was incorrect.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  I do not believe baseball has changed enough in 15 years that relievers can only throw 15 pitches an outing to be successful. Instead, I think it is a silly evolution of bullpen usage.

                  It’s not about the evolution of bullpen usage where relievers can’t pitch more than 2 innings, it’s about the evolution of baseball analysis that has discovered that relievers are far less effective the longer they pitch, so it makes sense to carry a larger bullpen so you can limit the exposure of these pitchers to the period of their maximum effectiveness.

                  But even all of this is a tangential argument. You’re saying you’d rather have the 2009 Yankees carry a 6 man pen and a 5 man bench not because you think it’s best for the team in practice, but merely in philosophy. You’re opposed to the concept of carrying a long man and would rather have us carry an extra hitter, like Miranda or German, even though fairly basic analysis says that the benefit to THIS TEAM of having a longman (namely, the innings limits on Joba, the uncertainty of Pettitte, and the fragility of Burnett) probably greatly outweighs whatever value Miranda adds.

                  You want Miranda over Aceves/Robertson because you find it objectionable that relief pitchers don’t go multiple innings like they used to, not because Miranda is actually more valuable to this team than Aceves/Robertson. He’s clearly not.

                • MattG

                  I see that the Yankees do not have a player for the 25th bench spot. German intrigues me, but Aceves is probably a better choice. In that, I do not argue.

                  But I also do not see why the Yankees need a 12th pitcher. They don’t. Aceves will add little. In fact, if Girardi insists on using him just because its the 4th inning, he might detract.

                  So I agree with what TSJC wrote, might as well give it to a pitcher, but I do not agree with the idea that is HAS to go to a pitcher.

                • MattG

                  It’s not about the evolution of bullpen usage where relievers can’t pitch more than 2 innings, it’s about the evolution of baseball analysis that has discovered that relievers are far less effective the longer they pitch

                  You believe this? I do not.

                  I am sure there are iffy relievers that have discovered a way to max out their ability for 15 pitches, and I am sure some of them have crafted out major league careers doing it.

                  I am sure there are plenty of other pitchers pigeon-holed because of this.

                  If you look at recent Yankee farm-hands, aren’t they all throwing multiple innings? Are the Yankees going to turn Melancon into a 15 pitch and dash guy too? Isn’t this a waste of resources?

                  Miranda, no. German…especially with Rodriguez out…still no. Aceves is the best man for the job. But that makes the Yankees the exception–they actually have a decent 12th pitcher on the roster.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  I am sure there are iffy relievers that have discovered a way to max out their ability for 15 pitches, and I am sure some of them have crafted out major league careers doing it.

                  You’re sure of that because you WANT to be sure of that. It dovetails nicely with your argument. But no, there are no pitchers anywhere saying to themselves, “all i have to do is be really good for 15 pitches and I’ve got it made!” Every LOOGY doesn’t want to be a LOOGY. He wants to keep pitching. No GM is looking to acquire a guy who only goes 15 pitches and then hits a wall. You’re not speaking in reality. You’re speaking in hyperbole because it appears to bolster your argument.

                  I am sure there are plenty of other pitchers pigeon-holed because of this.

                  There aren’t.

                  If you look at recent Yankee farm-hands, aren’t they all throwing multiple innings?

                  Yes.

                  Are the Yankees going to turn Melancon into a 15 pitch and dash guy too?

                  No. He’s a 15-pitch and dash guy because he’s good, that’s the only reason his outings are limited.

                  Isn’t this a waste of resources?

                  Perhaps. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, though, it could be the least of many evils, the bad choice that’s a good choice because the other choices are even worse. Isn’t the older practice from the previous generation of beating relief pitchers like rented mules until they broke down and retired in their late 20’s also a waste of resources?

                • MattG

                  This is just retarded now.

                  It dovetails nicely with your argument.

                  Its not my argument–its yours. I’m the one that said max effort is mostly a myth. You’re the one that said the worst relief outings in recent memory came from throwing relievers multiple innings.

                  Isn’t the older practice from the previous generation of beating relief pitchers like rented mules until they broke down and retired in their late 20’s also a waste of resources?

                  What is this in reference to? You think the optimal use of a reliever is 60 innings in 60 games? Thats fine. I’m telling you 70 innings in 50 games won’t do any harm to anyone, the extra Loogy isn’t necessary–it actually hurts most teams–and finally, if you take a loogy, a long man, and the other five guys, and replace them with 6 guys that would throw 70 innings in 50 games you’d have the same amount of innings, one extra roster spot, and a better team.

                  And I don’t care if wasn’t the argument at hand. It is what I am debating, and you keep responding, so that MAKES IT the argument at hand.

                • MattG

                  I’ve got to comment on this too:

                  No GM is looking to acquire a guy who only goes 15 pitches and then hits a wall.

                  That exactly what every GM is doing. You realize 15 pitches = 1 inning, right? Minaya just gave F Rodriguez $11/12M (whatever it was) to throw roughly 900 pitches next year–15 pitches in the 9th inning. Then he traded to get Putz to throw 900 pitches in the 8th inning. This is exactly what GMs are looking to acquire–a guy for the 9th, 8th, 7th and 6th innings, one guy to get a lefty, another exchangeable part and a long man. This is precisely the point, it is batshit insane, and it is what the whole game is doing.

                  Melancon threw 95 innings over 44 relief appearances in 2008. It is moronic to make him into a one inning reliever. Absolutely…batshit…insane.

                • Chris C.

                  “But I also do not see why the Yankees need a 12th pitcher. They don’t.”

                  Dude, if they don’t need it, they can always swap out later. But early in the season, you should always carry more pitchers on your staff, because you are not having your starters go deep into April and May ballgames.

                • Chris C.

                  “Melancon threw 95 innings over 44 relief appearances in 2008. It is moronic to make him into a one inning reliever. Absolutely…batshit…insane.”

                  This I agree with. I hate when teams turn a guy with some stamina into a short performer. If Melencon can go 2-3 strong, please do not turn him into K-Rod!

                  That exactly what every GM is doing. You realize 15 pitches = 1 inning, right? Minaya just gave F Rodriguez $11/12M (whatever it was) to throw roughly 900 pitches next year–15 pitches in the 9th inning.

                  That’s because Omar Minaya is a desperate hombre who paid no attention to K-Rod’s BB/K ratio, WHIP, or penchant for blowing saves.
                  He only cared about 2 things: Wagner is out, and K-Rod had 62 saves.

            • Chris C.

              “I’ve got to disagree with you on your six-man-bullpen concept. The 7th bullpen arm is much more valuable to this team than the 5th bench player. Particularly if that bench player is Juan Miranda, as you suggest.”

              The Yankees would have more use for Carmen Miranda, and she’s been dead for 50 years.

    • http://ranger2709.blogspot.com Old Ranger

      I would put Melancon in the place of Albaladejo, just because he is showing his dominance in ST. Granted he faces the AAA, AA guys (most of the time), I want to see him face the big boys before I move him into the BP.
      Actually I like your line-up, until I see what Melancon can do…good picks!

      • Rich

        Given that they will probably have to be careful with Rivera in April, it strengthens the case for putting Melancon on the 25 man roster.

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Not really.

          Whatever innings we take away from Mo are going to go to Bruney and Marte first, which just means that the innings Bruney and Marte would pitch would go to the Veras/Edwar/Coke/Robertson crew.

          Artificially reducing Mo’s workload just means that more lower guys get more workload, it doesn’t mean we start skipping established relief options (like Marte) in order to give those innings to unproven, albeit talented, neophytes (like Melancon).

          • http://ranger2709.blogspot.com Old Ranger

            True!

      • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

        Albie is a groundball guy though, which we could use in the ‘pen, and he was freaking lights out in the Dominican Winter Leagues. I’d like to see both guys make the team, but Albie is above Melancon to me.

        • A.D.

          Melancon is better than Alby, but Alby has a better chance of making the team, since he is already on the 40-man

          • Chris C.

            “Melancon is better than Alby”

            Based on what, hype?

            “but Alby has a better chance of making the team, since he is already on the 40-man”

            Uhh, yeah…..that’s why. The fact that he’s shown the Yankees he can perform well on the major league level I’m sure has nothing to do with it.

        • anonymous

          Malancon is a gunslinger baby. Let’em sling!

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            We will.

            In June.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        For the record, Melancon is artificially lowered on my list because I assume the team will take their time with him and allow him most of the first half of the season to keep getting experience/health under his belt before throwing him into the fire.

        On pure talent and ability, he’d already be in the top seven, but I bet the Yankees make him wait his turn.

        • http://ranger2709.blogspot.com Old Ranger

          Yup! Two +/- months at AAA would work wonders for him. What did he have at AAA last year…10/15 or so innings, if that?
          Rushing him is not a good thing…see; Phil and IPK.

      • Chris C.

        “I would put Melancon in the place of Albaladejo, just because he is showing his dominance in ST.”

        Everyone’s a scout except for the REAL scouts.
        Albaladejo was getting everyone out last year before his injury, but now he’s shit.

  • Drew

    I should probably know this but, when a player is sent through waivers, does the team that claims him have to offer a major league deal or can they offer minor league deal?

    • Whozat

      They have to put him on the 40 man by giving him a major league deal.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        And, since the player is probably out of options (which is why they were put on waivers in the first place), you’ve also got to put them on the active 25-man as well, otherwise you’re just going to put the player right back on waivers when he refuses a minor league assignment.

        • Drew

          Okay, so maybe there’s a chance he would clear waivers.

          • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

            Just curious, is there a specific player you’re about this in regards to?

            • Drew

              The Melk Man

              • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

                I figured. I’m fairly confident that he wouldn’t clear waivers, unfortunately. Seems like at least a few teams would have enough interest in him to offer him a 25-man roster spot.

                • whozat

                  Yeah, aren’t the reds currently going with Corey Patterson or Willy Tavares in their CF spot?

                • A.D.

                  Willy Taveras, but they just signed him to a 2 year deal, so he’s there to stay

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  You mean the same Willy Taveras who just ran the Dominican team out of the WBC, and the same Corey Patterson who couldn’t find a home in the Cubs and Orioles craptastic outfields?

                • Chris C.

                  I love that the Dominican team is out of the WBC.

                  This is the first time I’m letting that be known in print.

  • A.D.

    75 comments on 4 posts…well done