A-Rod nearing game action

Game 17 Spillover IV: The umps are watching the NFL draft
SWB wins see-saw extra innings affair

As the Yanks limp away from their 16-11 defeat to the Red Sox, how about some good news for a few hours? According to the AP, A-Rod is just days away from a rehab assignment. A-Rod ran the bases again on Saturday, and he reportedly increasing the intensity of his work outs. The Yankees have to tread carefully over the next few weeks with A-Rod though. With Cody Ransom out and Angel Berroa filling in at third, the Yanks are playing with less than a full deck, and the tendency would be to rush A-Rod. I still think he’ll be back before May 15th, but the team will proceed carefully.

Game 17 Spillover IV: The umps are watching the NFL draft
SWB wins see-saw extra innings affair
  • Joey H

    I don’t get why it’ll take so long for him to get into game action(Friday). I understand they want to take a careful approach but if he’s good he’s good. It also doesn’t hurt that they can really use his bat in the middle of the order.

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    They really can’t be too careful here. Although, with our luck thus far…

  • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

    This makes me happy.

  • Drew

    This make a me smile

  • Peter T.

    The biggest mistake would be to rush him back.
    So many more ganes to play.
    Avoid panic mode.

  • Memo

    I know the Yankees have had pitching issues but all I can do is think back to some fools around Yankeeland thinking A-Rod’s absence meant quiet and calm. Some of it was from people who don’t know history and the rest was from wishful thinkers who hoped A-Rod was the reason for all Yankee issues.

    I love when the “excuse” isn’t around to blame. It will be the same with the Cowboys and TO when football starts.

  • Peter T.

    “games” that is

  • E-ROC

    A-Rod shouldn’t be rushed and I don’t think he is being rushed. His return will be a sight to see, but offense isn’t the problem.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      3 for 17 with RISP today. That’s all I’m sayin’.

      • 27 this year

        yea, plus having Arod means Tex is better and gets pitches to hit, plus it moves everyone down and turns two black or three black holes (Gardner, Molina, Berroa, and once Melky cools down, him too) into fewer black holes. Having another feared bat would also help take away pressure on teh staff. And then, the like .230 BA w/ RISP on the season.

      • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

        11 runs should be enough to win you the game no matter what.

        • Rich

          But when it’s not, a world class bat could make a difference.

        • DP

          You would think

      • E-ROC

        And still put up 11 runs on the board, but gave up 16. 11 runs should suffice in any game.

  • El Generalissimo

    Arod coming back is a built in spark. We need our pitching to step up though and put it all together before midseason (based on last few years). We are still off to a so-so start, let’s hope we can salvage tomorrow and do well against detroit.

  • JeffG

    I we made better pitches they would not have won this game. Instead, in leveraged situations, they pitched smart and got us out. That inside fastball to Lowell was just stupid.

    • JeffG

      if we… and this was supposed to be a reply to Ben… ugggh.

    • 27 this year

      honestly, Lowell had a good swing on that. That was high and tight, not an easy pitch to hit. Somehow Lowell got around on it after the previous fastball was blown right by him.

      • El Generalissimo

        Posada set up low and away and Alby completely missed up in the zone… unfortunate but it happens.

        Just like swinging for the fences when AJ throws a fastball down the middle.

        Just bad luck.

  • Tom Zig

    Is our bullpen’s ineffectiveness today due to overuse?

    Our bullpen has thrown 59 innings (5.95 ERA), the innings pitched is the 4th most in the AL, and 4th in the majors.

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

      21 of those innings came in Wang’s three starts.

      • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

        I asked generally before, now I’ll ask you: Over or Under 2.5 weeks til Mike Cameron is a Yankee

        • DP

          Over…I say June 1st just because the Brewers will want to wait til they are completely out of it

        • Rich

          Way over. I don’t think they want to add significant payroll.

          • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

            A half season (or slightly more) of Mike Cameron is not significant payroll. And, if CF remains an offensive black hole, it’ll be well worth it.

            • Joey H

              Yeah, since when is money an issue anyway.

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

          Over, but there’s no way Gardner mans center all year.

      • Tom Zig

        That is a lot of innings for only 3 games. I didn’t even look up how many pitches each pitcher has thrown.

    • A.D.

      Its a cluster fuck of injuries, over use, not being the best, guys slumping.

      • Tom Zig

        That total didn’t include today’s innings. So we may have the lead by tomorrow, considering the #1 has 61.1 IP

  • A.D.

    A-Rod can’t come soon enough. Can’t wait till the pitching gets in the grove the bats hit, and BAM 10 game win streak.

  • Jaxson

    I’m going to ask the question…

    Would the bullpen be performing so poorly if Joba was a part of it and Phil Hughes was in the rotation since day 1?

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

      Probably not, but then there’d be a lesser pitcher in the rotation which is more important than the bullpen. Any solution to this problem that includes Joba to the bullpen is incredibly short-sighted. Joba is not a reliever.

      • El Generalissimo

        And who would be pitching for wang… Aceves, kennedy? Is that really the outcome you want?

        • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

          Obviously I want Hughes to start for Wang; but that doesn’t change the fact that Chamberlain is better than Hughes. The way they broke camp was absolutely fine with me. If Wang weren’t pitching like a slow-pitch softballer, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.

  • Joey H

    I hate to say it but I am starting to change my stance on Joba in the rotation. I want him in the rotation however, can he really succeed in the rotation? Now I know we are only what 3 or 4 starts in but his fastball is down (though it was expected) and it is mostly straight and his curve ball is what I consider to be below average. Now here is the deal. When he is in the pen, he can rare back and throw 99 MPH right down the middle and get away with it but obviously he can’t do that when starting games. Unless he can get that curve ball tighter and fastball with more movement, I just.. don’t know. Keep in mind I BLAST people for saying Joba should be in the pen. So don’t blast me, just tell me if you see where I’m coming from.

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

      but his fastball is down

      Yes, it’s down, but the difference between his FB and his changeup is at the same mark it was last year, so that’s a plus. He’s still finding a rhythm. If he hasn’t found a lot of velocity or a lot of control in June, then I’ll be worried but not after three starts.

      When he is in the pen, he can rare back and throw 99 MPH right down the middle and get away with it but obviously he can’t do that when starting games.

      And doing something like that is what’s gonna get him hurt. It could also lead to Jose Veras syndrome.

      We need to have patience with Chamberlain; he ain’t gonna be Roger Clemens part two after 15 starts.

      • Joey H

        Alright take 99 back. Put up 95-97MPH. With a great slider and it’s more effective. I know we have to have patience with him. But you get what I am saying. And this has NOTHING to do with how crummy the pen has been.

        • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

          I’d rather have him throwing 92-94 in the rotation for 150-200 innings than 95-97 for 80-90 innings.

          • Joey H

            But here is the thing. What if he isnt all that effective? I want the same thing you do, but I’m starting to see the other side of the argument. His fastball is very straight and with less MPH on it it obviously becomes very hittable. And believe me, I can’t stand when people bring this up but for some reason it’s starting to make sense. Oh well, we can reevaluate this in a couple starts.

            • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

              What do you mean by “isn’t all that effective?” As long as he’s throwing at a league average level, he should stay in the rotation.

              • Jaxson

                Hughes can throw at ‘league average’. Joba can absolutely dominate in the pen at ‘above league average’.

                • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

                  And Chamberlain could be an absolutely dominant starter. Regardless, an average or slightly above average starter is better than a light’s out reliever.

                • Jaxson

                  The way this team has been playing…

                  Scenario A – Joba throws 6 innings and the pen blows the lead 5 times out of 10

                  Scenario B – Hughes throws 6 innings and Joba/Mo preserve the lead 9 times out of 10.

                  I’ll take option B

                • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

                  If you really think the ‘pen is going to blow a lead 50% of the time, you do not watch enough baseball. What’s been going on in the Yankee pen is flukish. It’s the exception, not the rule. We all have a tendency to overreact. Come on. Do you really think the ‘pen is going to be bad all season? I doubt it.

                  And how about scenario C? Hughes and Chamberlain are in the rotation for the next ten years, starting in 2010? I’ll take scenario C.

              • Joey H

                I’m sure we have league average starters in the farm. The point is that if he’s only going to be league average I’ll take the dominant closer. But if he’s going to be an ace. I’ll take the ace.
                Ace > Great Closer > League average pitcher.

                • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

                  Ace>League Average Pitcher>Great Closer.

                  Take last year’s Phillies, for example. Brad Lidge was arguably the league’s best closer, correct? He was worth 2.2 Wins Above Replacement. Jamie Moyer, with an ERA+ of just 118 was worth 2.6 WAR. Even Joe Blanton, who put up an 89 ERA+ between the Phils and the A’s, was worth 2.3 WAR. Joe Blanton’s 4.69 ERA and 4.52 ERA was worth a tenth of a win more than Brad Lidge’s 1.95 ERA and 2.41 FIP.

                  Want a Yankee example? Andy Pettitte and his 4.54 ERA and 3.71 FIP were worth 4.4 WAR. Mo’s inhuman 1.40 ERA and 2.03 FIP were worth 3.1 WAR.

                • Jaxson

                  Exactly. ‘

                • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

                  No, not exactly. In fact, not at all.

            • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

              Joba’s been smacked around a bit, has looked uncomfortable on the mound, has not hard sharp stuff at all this season, is giving up tons of hits and walks and striking out few………….and has an ERA at 3.94. Think about that- he’s been terrible yet has found a way to the limit the damage. These complaints about his stuff as a starter are silly just because he had no such issues when starting last season. Once he settles in, he should be dominant. I’ve actually been encouraged thus far by his ability to get out of jams and battle.

              • Joey H

                Last season was last season man. He was already sharp because he was throwing outstanding out of the pen. Like I said. Ace > Closer > Average starting pitcher.

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

                  I hate to break it to you, but in the realm of pitching, the appropriate chain is basically Ace > Average Starting Pitcher >> Closer.

                  You’re overvaluing one-inning contributors who generally don’t pitch in high-pressure situations.

                • Jaxson

                  That’s your opinion. You say it like it’s set in stone. Don’t give me your “I hate to break it to you”.

                • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

                  Well, it is fact. Look at the examples I posted before. League average pitching for 150-200 innings is better than incredible, disgusting, ridiculous pitching for 70-80 innings.

                • Jaxson

                  PS – Tell that to the 2008 Mets who had 4 ‘average starting pitchers’ (all with ERA under 4.23) and had their pen screw them out of the playoffs.

                • Joey H

                  No. Not when you are replacing the best relief pitcher of all time it isn’t.
                  And did you read what you said? “one-inning contributors who generally don’t pitch in high-pressure situations.”

                  We aren’t talking about a middle reliever here. How many times have you heard how Mariano is the MVP of the dynasty years? I’m pretty sure being a closer is a high pressure job being that just about every single time you take the mound the game is on the line.

                  However, having said all this, I still want him in the rotation.

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

                  No. It’s not an opinion. It’s a fact of baseball. 30 out of 30 GMs agree.

                  The Mets? Look at their pen? That’s great. Look at how utterly awful their starting pitching’s been.

                • Jaxson

                  2008 I said. Please explain why they didnt make the playoffs with 4 starting pitchers who had an era under 4.23.

                • Joey H

                  Ben you know it goes both ways. The situation was pretty much reversed last season and it was horrible. But you are talking like there will never be another starting pitcher to come up in the minors. Now that can go both ways with Joba but these young guns on their way up won’t be MLB ready to assume the closers role when Mo retires.

                • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

                  That bad of a bullpen was the exception, not the norm. Look at the Mets this year: awesome bullpen and bad starting pitching outside of Johan. Let’s see how far it gets them! Look at the Royals of 2008. Joakim Soria was incredible last year. He was filthy. And, the rest of their pen was pretty good, too. So why weren’t they good? Oh yeah, their starters were pretty crappy outside of Gil Meche and Zach Greinke…that and their bad offense. But, yeah, who was closer to the playoffs–the Mets w/a good rotation and bad bullpen or the Royals with a good ‘pen and bad rotation?

                • Joey H

                  But you are talking about a team who has a farm system rich in pitching prospects. And not to mention an essentially unlimited budget compared to the Royals, the Pirates and what have you.

                • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

                  We aren’t talking about a middle reliever here. How many times have you heard how Mariano is the MVP of the dynasty years? I’m pretty sure being a closer is a high pressure job being that just about every single time you take the mound the game is on the line.

                  Saying that Mo is the MVP of the dynasty years is false. The MVP of those teams was either Bernie or Jeets. And, go look at the WPA Calculator* and check out a typical closer’s situation (up one, bottom of the ninth for example) and see how often the team winning wins.

                  http://winexp.walkoffbalk.com/expectancy/search

                • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

                  What does “last season was last season, man” mean? Do you think he got less talented? Or that having pitched in the bullpen magically made him a better starter? It is silly. He showed last season that he has the skill to be a great starter. He looks uncomfortable so far, but so does CC and so does Wang, obviously. Pitchers sometimes take time to find their ryhthm, and I think he has done an admiarable job of working through the issues while he finds his groove.

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

                  Joey, you say: “And did you read what you said? “one-inning contributors who generally don’t pitch in high-pressure situations.””

                  When I’m talking about one-inning contributors who don’t pitch in high-pressure situations, I mean closers. Closers don’t face the tying run in the vast majority of appearances. I counted in 2007. I think it ended up being in about 1/4 of all appearances, and the difference between a top-flight ace reliever and a mediocre reliever in that situation is seriously about two wins a season. You can choose to believe that or not, but the same holds true for the 8th inning.

                  Joba a starter is far more valuable than Joba the reliever. This isn’t an incremental thing. We’re talking degrees of value.

                • Joey H

                  No kidding, I’m talking from a relief pitching standpoint. If they just had any old average closer in there they would have not of won like they did.

                • Jaxson

                  Ben said ’30 out of 30 GMs agree’ – I’m sick of hearing these “absolutes” when Joakim Soria is a clear example that at least 1 does not agree.

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

                  Jaxson: Have you stopped beating your wife?

                  And with that, I’m done with this argument. It’s no use.

                • Joey H

                  Ben, you can count a decade’s worth the save chances, what I am saying is that you saying that it’s not a high pressure situation is a joke. Whether it’s 1 run or 2 its a pressure situation. Now, I’m not taking away from what a starter has to do but it’s more about his stuff. His curve ball was never outstanding. His slider might be one of the best in the league but his fastball is kind of flat. We’re starting to take this whole argument out of context. It’s more of what Joba has to improve on and not about where he has to be, because we can sit here and argue this all night but when it’s all said and done he’s going to be in the rotation.

                • Jaxson

                  Jaxson: Have you stopped beating your wife?

                  And with that, I’m done with this argument. It’s no use.

                  Try using that line in court, shithead. Do me a favor too – explain why the 2008 Mets missed the playoffs with their above average starting pitching.

                  I honestly want you to be a man and explain that to me.

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

                  We were having a very civil conversation, and you had to resort to cursing and name-calling. Enjoy your commenting time out. If you care to discuss this, my e-mail address is up above. You should know that my comment wasn’t intended to belittle anything. Having this argument is generally pointless. You’re picking out exceptions to the rule. There’s no way to respond to that, and I was simply pointing out the differences in our base questions. I’m through discussing it though. Nothing that happened gave you carte blanche to start attacking people.

                  I know you’re new here, but that doesn’t excuse the disrespect and the unwillingness to follow our community standards. If anything, you should familiarize yourself with the rules of the board before commenting.

                • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

                  The Mets were extremely unlucky in ’08. The chances of a bullpen blowing that many saves again is pretty unlikely. Let’s see how far they get this year with an awesome bullpen and only one top notch starter. Hell, what about the Yankees last year? Very successful bullpen, but incredibly mediocre starting pitching…they missed the playoffs. If Wang hadn’t gotten hurt and Chamberlain was in the rotation the whole year, the Yankees probably make the playoffs.

                • Ace

                  Brewers win!! What a sick game.

  • Jaxson

    Matt ACTY – your entire last post is why you cannot absolutely say that anyone should or should not be a reliever or starting pitcher.

    Thank you.

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

      What do you mean?

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

      Allow me to expand: even a situation where a closer would traditionally be used, the team with the lead is probably gonna win most of the time. For a situation like that, why would you waste someone with immense talent, like Joba, when he could be affecting 6 or 7 out of 9 innings? That’s a much better use of resources. Mariano isn’t a starter because he couldn’t nail down a third pitch or get through the batting order more than once. Go look at Mo’s numbers as a starter in the minors. If he could’ve done that as a starter in the majors, don’t you think he would’ve been that instead of a closer? Joba has more than two effective pitches and is developing a fourth. Joba =/= Mo.

  • Joey H

    The argument isn’t worth having. I just think Joba needs to work on his fastball moving. Because he clearly does have much confidence it. He’s walking too many batters and it’s turning into this huge mechanical thing where he’s grabbing it at his release. I want the guy to be a great starter if that’s what he’s going to be.

  • Ace

    Anyone else see/listen to that brew crew game?