Brett Tomko, closer

And so it begins...
CC Sabathia and the Heating Pad of Doom

Via Chad Jennings, Triple-A Scranton pitching coach Scott Aldred said the team will use veteran Brett Tomko as the closer this year. As Chad noted, they’re using Tomko in that role so they can have some flexibility and control the innings of the younger, higher ceilinged arms like Mark Melancon and David Robertson. This is nothing new; last year the closer at Triple-A was 32-yr old Scott Strickland, the year before it was 34-yr old Jim Brower, and the year before that it was 32-yr old Mark Corey.

And so it begins...
CC Sabathia and the Heating Pad of Doom
  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    As Chad noted, they’re using Tomko in that role so they can have some flexibility and control the innings of the younger, higher ceilinged arms like Mark Melancon and David Robertson.

    That, plus the fact that the closer “role” is really stupid anyway and “saving” your best reliever for the 9th inning (where the game is generally all but decided and even mildly crappy guys like K-Rod can still be super-effective) instead of maintaining the flexibility of using your best reliever wherever the game situation dictates it (including the 6th inning, 7th inning, or ZOMG!!! inning) and then giving the lesser relievers the less important subsequent innings with increased win expectancies is a better way to manage a bullpen…

    • UWS

      Exhibit A: Farnsy last night.

      • Steve O.

        Soria never got the chance to close it out. Soria more than likely would have got out of that situation. Soria should be a starter and not the closer.

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

        Bingo.

        http://www.fangraphs.com/wins.aspx?date=2009-04-07&team=White%20Sox&dh=0&season=2009

        Look at the WPA/LI graph for the Royals/White Sox game. The LI bar is red. IT’S FUCKING RED.

        I mean, on the one hand, it’s a little hard to be mad at the Royals, because at the start of the 8th, it was Fields, Wise, and Getz up in the order, Trey Hillman probably thought he could use Farnsy to get some cheap outs from the scrubs at the bottom before Quentin-Thome-Dye-Konerko came up, but sweet jeebus, after Fields and Getz reached base, why the hell is Soria not in that game?

        There’s two good runners on base at first and third with one out in the ZOMG inning. You’re up a run. The next four scheduled batters have all OPS’d .900 at least once in their careers and finished top 5 in the MVP balloting.

        Sitting in the bullpen, twiddling his thumbs, you have:
        Soria (career FIP: 2.87)

        On the mound, HAVING ALREADY ALLOWED TWO BASERUNNERS IN THREE BATTERS FACED, you have:
        Kyle Farnsworth (career FIP: 4.49)

        • Jack
          • A.D.

            If there’s a single pitcher in the majors who shouldn’t be facing Thome in that situation, it just might be Farnsworth.

            Pretty much sums it up.

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

              I do feel bad for Rob Neyer. It’s a shame that a guy that nice and with such great baseball intellect is stuck rooting for one of the dumbest teams in baseball.

        • A.D.

          I didn’t even know the graph changed colors, impressive.

          • Klemy

            Wouldn’t you know that the first time you see it, Farnsworth is responsible?

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

            I didn’t even know the graph changed colors, impressive.

            Reason #4,080 that you should never sign Kyle Farnsworth: He can do things to WPA/LI graphs that you didn’t know was possible.

        • Steve O.

          What makes it worse is that there was two outs. I guess a four out save is out of the question, isn’t it?

          Thank Mo we have Mo.

          • steve (different one)

            what also makes it worse is that while i agree 100% that using Soria was the best move, he could have simply lucked into the “by the book” move of bringing in the lefty Mahay, and it STILL would have been 1000 X’s better than leaving Farnsworth in.

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

              Perhaps.

              However, here’s the sad Royals fact of the day:

              In the Royals’ 2009 6-man bullpen of Soria, Farnsworth, Mahay, Juan Cruz, Robinson Tejada, and Jamey Wright, Soria and Juan Cruz are the only two with a career FIP below 4.50.

              Cruz’s is 4.13. Yeesh.

  • A.D.

    Only thing that’s a little odd on this is that part of the reason they liked Tomko is his ability to go multiple innings, but they’ll essentially be taking that away.

    • Yankee1010

      I agree with you. It seems like this could rule out the possibility of him being a long reliever, not that the Yanks necessarily need one. However, if they determine that they do in a few weeks, Tomko would seemingly be out of the equation then. Granted, there are others who could fill that role (Aceves and Giese), but I agree that it is a little odd.

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

        The fact that he’s not on the 40 man is probably the biggest 8-ball that he’s behind.

        If the team needs a longman, they’d probably take Aceves over him, even though he’s had a much better spring, simply because that move wouldn’t require exposing a Hacker or a Pena or something to a DFA waiver claim.

        • Yankee1010

          I agree with that too. That being said, if they really felt like Tomko could help the team as a long man and be better than Aceves, I don’t think they’d hesitate to DFA Hacker.

  • Rich

    I would have Kontos at SWB and Tomko DFA’d.

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

      Really?

      It’s April.

      • Rich

        I don’t like the idea of wasting a roster spot at AAA on a fungible, journeyman reliever, and I think that Kontos showed enough at AA last season that he deserved a promotion.

        • Steve O.

          I wouldn’t call it wasting, there are many reasons why these journeymen veterans are helpful to the team. If Kontos falters in AAA, then back to AA, opening up a spot in AAA. Veterans help a lot, Giese and Ransom were veterans in AAA last year, and look how much they have contributed. Ransom’s the starting 3rd baseman, Giese was a more than serviceable reliever last season.

          Kontos may have shown enough to merit a promotion, but I’m sure the Yankees know what they’re doing.

          • Rich

            They probably do, but the Yankees have had a history of tying up mL slots with aging veterans, which is the reason for my skepticism.

    • Steve O.

      A lot of improvement can be made in Trenton. Just because he has put up good numbers in Trenton doesn’t mean it’s no longer a challenge. Kontos will get his chance in SWB eventually.

    • A.D.

      Well Tomko isn’t taking Kontos’s spot, if they DFA Tomko they still don’t have a rotation spot for Kontos, and they’re not going to bring him up to AAA to close.

      Jason Johnson is the one who essentially took Kontos’s spot. Personally I’d prefer Kontos at AAA than Johnson, but hopefully something will right itself where Kontos goes to AAA and Garcia can slide into AA.

      • Rich

        I don’t understand why Johnson is around either.

        Young pitching depth is the strength of the organization. Let them pitch at the highest level they are capable of pitching at, unblocked by older guys with undistinguished talent.

        It’s not like last year when they had to scramble for Sidney Ponson. They have adequate young depth to cover any number of contingencies.

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

          On that note, I agree with you.

          Tomko pitched well. Even though we don’t have much room for him now, the fact that he pitched well means we should keep him around for when attrition thins the ranks as it invariably does.

          I’d kick Johnson to the curb in a second, though, and move Tomko up.

          But it will probably shake itself out that way over the next two months. Like I said before, it’s April.

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

          I don’t see the point in getting all worked up over having a veteran fifth starter in Triple-A. Pitching depth has a way of disappearing real quick, and they’re not going to let Johnson block Kontos. If he’s tearing up Double-A, they’ll move him up.

          • Rich

            I’m not worked up, just a little disappointed in their thought process.

        • Dave M

          I’d rather see them DFA Johnson and keep Tomko, for now any way. I think Tomko pitched well enough in ST to make the majors. But they had no spot for him. So they might was well keep him in AAA in case they need a long reliever. After the first two games. They might need one pretty soon. Then we’d probably lose him once we had to send him back down.

  • Brooklyn Ed

    watching the Marlins vs Nats game now, D-Cab (remember him) plunked Cantu right on the hand. I was like “its ok, that happens alot to Jeter 18x per year”. I guess Daniel found him a new Jeter, LOL.

  • yankeefan91 Arod fan

    I remember when in 07 kyle farnsworth gave mi a sign baseball that was the first time i got a sign baseball.

    • radnom

      Who was it signed by? And who hit it out?

      • yankeefan91 Arod fan

        Dis was during batting practice hes was cathing fly balls and he was by the third base line by the outfiels i said hey kyle llet me get a baseball and he like he siad ok in the next one and he gave it to me and ask me for a pen and i said here and he signed it preety bad handriting he has

      • UWS

        Well played.

  • Yankeegirl49

    FransworthLESS signed my ticketstub up at Fenway last season. He was traded a few days later. Had I known thats all it took, I would have stalked his @ss for a signature 2 years ago!!!!
    He might just be my most hated Yankee ever.

    • yankeefan91 Arod fan

      yep hes really a nice person hes was by the third base side i ask him for a ball he gave it to me hes like do u have a pen and he signed it and then he had a 2minutes convo wit me i was really surprised cuz hes none to like to fight alot.

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

        http://pro.corbis.com/images/42-18850794.jpg?size=572&uid={75122A01-9A4B-47A4-90EB-CFE8BF398CA9}

        ——————————-

        Yep, he’s really a nice person.

        He was by the third base side of the stands; I asked him for a ball, he gave it to me, then he said, “Do you have a pen?” and he signed it.

        Then he had a two minute conversation with me. I was really surprised because he’s KNOWN to like to fight a lot.

      • Dave M

        He always seem like a nice guy to me (based on when I’ve seen him interviewed). So I can’t really say I hate the guy, but he did frustrate me often.

  • yankeefan91 Arod fan

    Thanks for fixing that for me.

  • steve (different one)
    • jsbrendog

      uh papelboner?

  • Joe the Jumper

    I feel like you guys post everything Pete Abe does, except 12 hours later. Is it me or is that ture? Love the stuff though, just saying…

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

      He covers the Yankees, we write about the Yankees. We’re bound to post the same stuff as him. Brett Tomko just isn’t all that important, but it’s noteworthy. We posted the more important stuff first.

      • Joe the Jumper

        Fair enough. Thanks for clearing it up Mike. Keep writing, we’ll keep reading.

        • jsbrendog

          stay classy socialist internet blogosphere

    • Steve O.

      I think it may have to do with the simple fact that they both happen to cover the same team. I’m sure if this were more important news it would have been posted immediately.

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

      I feel like you guys post everything Pete Abe does, except 12 hours later.

      Probably.

      Mike’s sexier, though.

  • jim (ny,ny)

    Does anyone have a problem of the text of the post not showing on their black berry?