Doctor’s Note: Bruney, A-Rod, Wang

The Hammer of God in Pitch f/x form
Game 19: Winning is the best recovery

Lots of injuries; lots of recovery. Let’s jump in.

  • Brian Bruney is currently on the 15-day DL with what the Yankees are calling a strained flexor muscle in or near his elbow. Marc Craig at The Star-Ledger spoke to the Yanks’ set-up man, and Bruney blamed his intense workload between games. Apparently, Bruney really dials it up during his pen sessions and may be putting too much pressure on his arm. He will probably be activated when the 15 days are up.
  • Alex Rodriguez‘s return is growing closer. The Yanks’ third baseman ran the bases again today and will soon take live batting practice. He could be in games by the end of this week and back with the Yanks sometime next week. I still think he’ll be back well before the May 15th day the Yanks continue to push. Marc Carig — a busy man apparently — wonders what happened to all the people who thought the Yanks were better off without A-Rod.
  • Meanwhile, the Yanks’ Billy Connors says that Chien-Ming Wang is “doing great.” The Yankees say they’re trying to get Wang’s velocity and stamina back up to where it needs to be. I hope they’re focusing on his release point and mechanics as well.
The Hammer of God in Pitch f/x form
Game 19: Winning is the best recovery
  • Joey H

    Lets hope that the problem is definitely in the body of CMW and not in his head. That’s something rehab probably can’t fix.

  • Dan2

    is CMW just on the 15 day DL?

    • Joey H

      Well, why on God’s green earth would be be on the 60?

  • Jake H

    Hopefully Wang gets his act together. The guy has been everything we could have wanted before this year.

    • Joey H

      It actually makes all the sense in the world that the problem is in his hips. I expect vintage CMW by the middle of May.

  • Joe W

    Actually glad that there’s something wrong with Wang physically. Mental stuff are hard to fix.

    • Accent Shallow

      Well, with pitchers, you tend to get Steve Blass disease, rather than Batting Practice Pitcher Syndrome.

  • Accent Shallow

    It’s really interesting how Bruney blames his injury on being a perfectionist while practicing. Hopefully he can be as effective as he has been this year with a reduced practice workload.

  • hornblower

    Can we renew a discussion of the weakness of the Yankee outfield? It’s Apr. 27 and Damon is already falling apart. Swisher is back to normal and Gardner and Melky are trying hard but limited. When it’s time lets see some young players. The Yankees do not have to win every year or else it prompts a congressional investigation. It takes time to develop a team you can’t buy one.

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

      What young players?

    • whozat

      Which young players? If you truly advocate developing from within, then you need to understand that guys need to be brought along at a pace that matches their development. Tossing a guy in over his head is BAD for him. It’s not like Jackson is languishing in AAA because he’s blocked by Damon or something…he’s in AAA because THAT IS WHERE HE SHOULD BE. He’s 22 years old.

      Nick Swisher is 28. He’s in the prime of his career. Who are these “young players” you think they’re avoiding?

      We’ve had the Yankee OF discussion a zillion times. Cameron is interesting and will likely be available. He will probably help now while neither costing us anything we like NOR blocking any young players. Any other realistic options? Or did you just want to complain that Cashman should have known that Nady would get injured?

      • Lanny

        If they had any stud young players, they’d be playing right now.

        • whozat

          Well, one of them is in the rotation right now, one is joining the rotation Tuesday, and another just made his debut in the pen yesterday. And another is playing 2B. They have young studs…just most of them are pitchers.

  • Ed

    The team is definitely better with A-Rod, but let’s be fair to the people who wanted him gone. No one ever said “let’s replace A-Rod with a utility infielder.” It was always “let’s replace A-Rod with an average-to-good 3B and spend the rest of the money on improving another position.”

    Calling out the A-Rod bashers the way Marc Carig did is silly.

    • Joey H

      It doesn’t exactly take a genius to realize that replacing arguably the best player in the game with a career MiL journeyman would be a disaster.

    • whozat

      The funny thing about this is that no one ever had an answer for who this 3B would be. They also gleefully ignored that ARod’s contract hasn’t prevented the team from spending anywhere else. What, did they not upgrade the rotation or first base because of ARod’s big contract? Was there some awesome CFer on the market this offseason that they passed on?

      • Lanny

        The people who wanted him replaced with a scrub like Ransom are based in Boston.

      • AndrewYF

        I heard Joe Crede’s name thrown about alot.

        Joe Crede 2009: .204/.306/.370

        Yeah, it’s still okay to make fun of anyone who says the Yankees are better off without A-Rod.

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

          But Crede can still pick it. He’s at 40.1 UZR/150 right now. Holy crap (9.3 for his career).

        • andrew

          You can’t really base any of this off ’09 numbers. Not only it is an incredibly small sample size, but the call for replacement players took place before the season began.

          • AndrewYF

            So what? The call for replacement players included specifically Joe Crede. It’s only fair to use the numbers he’s posted so far, if we’re going to use the numbers Ransom posted in the same sample.

      • Ed

        Well, a few years ago people were suggesting trading A-Rod for a package built around Brandon Wood & Ervin Santana.

        And the Yankees have been sitting at their payroll limit for years. Remember passing on Beltran because of budget?

        • whozat

          Was there any reason to believe that was actually on the table? Or was that what Yankee fans wanted done?

          Who’d have been playing third for the last several years? Brandon Wood isn’t even starting for the Angels yet, and they’re tremendously power-starved.

          And yes, I do remember Beltran. I also remember that the Yanks were paying ARod about a third of what Jeter, Giambi and Moose were making at the time. And they had just signed up to give too much money to Randy Johnson because George had wanted him for four years.

          • whozat

            Sorry, about a third LESS. They were paying ARod about a third LESS than Jeter, Giambi and Moose.

          • Ed

            Was there any reason to believe that was actually on the table? Or was that what Yankee fans wanted done?

            Who knows. You just asked if anyone had an answer, so I threw out one of the more popular answers people gave.

            And yes, I do remember Beltran. I also remember that the Yanks were paying ARod about a third of what Jeter, Giambi and Moose were making at the time. And they had just signed up to give too much money to Randy Johnson because George had wanted him for four years.

            That’s a combination of overstating your case and the fact that Jeter and Giambi had really backloaded contracts. That doesn’t mean A-Rod wasn’t making a significant amount.

            And “other people made a lot of money too” is irrelevant to the question of whether keeping A-Rod was the right decision or not.

    • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

      “replace A-Rod with an average-to-good 3B”

      Like whom? Adrian Beltre? It’s not like anybody was available who could even nearly replace Arod’s production when Arod was a free agent.

      • AndrewYF

        Adrian Beltre 2009: .176/.215/.243

        That, plus the major prospect it would have taken to get him (he’s justifiably well-loved in Seattle).

        • andrew

          Adrian Beltre career: .270/.325/.457 2 gold gloves

          I’m not advocating us trading for Beltre (now, or before the season began) but the stats you cite mean very little

          • AndrewYF

            That .325 OBP is so much better than A-Rod’s .389!

            I really don’t see the argument. A-Rod is worth very, very much more than Adrian Beltre.

            The fact is this: replacing A-Rod with an average MLB 3B-man makes the Yankees worse. There are zero valid arguments against this.

            • andrew

              if you’ve read any of my posts in this thread, I’m not arguing against it. As I said below

              So while they are still probably wrong, having Ransom suck for a month isn’t what we should be saying to prove it.

              Similarly, while they are still probably wrong, you pointing to Crede’s and Beltre’s stats through 18 games this year doesn’t prove it. Yes, the team is much better off with ARod. Is it because of Beltre and Crede’s stats through 20 games? No.

              • AndrewYF

                Let us make peace. We have the same name, after all. We’re like internet brothers.

            • Ed

              The fact is this: replacing A-Rod with an average MLB 3B-man makes the Yankees worse. There are zero valid arguments against this.

              Right, which is why we’re not discussing that.

              The discussion was more along the lines of replacing A-Rod with a lesser (but not bad) 3B and spending the rest of the money elsewhere.

      • andrew

        Well that’s kind of the point… all of the people who said the Yankees were better off without ARod meant that they’d be better off with an avg 3rd basemen, not Ransom/Berroa, but because that average 3rd basemen doesn’t exist, it renders the complaint meaningless.

        I think the idea behind his post is that we can’t run around being like “are you guys who thought the Yankees would be better off with ARod happy now?” because they never claimed/advocated replacing ARod with Ransom would be good for the team. They wanted Arod to be replaced by a MLB quality player, and he wasn’t. So while they are still probably wrong, having Ransom suck for a month isn’t what we should be saying to prove it.

        • Ed

          So while they are still probably wrong, having Ransom suck for a month isn’t what we should be saying to prove it.

          Bingo. That’s what I was getting at.

        • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

          I know nobody wanted to replace Arod with below-replacement-level-players like Berroa or Ransom, but it’s not like there were a lot of players available. I’d just like to hear some names the Yankees could have had. And what it would have cost to get them. The asking-price would have started with Hughes even for some mediocre player like Casey Blake cause the Yankees had no leverage in a negotiation.

      • Ed

        It’s not like anybody was available who could even nearly replace Arod’s production when Arod was a free agent.

        Nope, there wasn’t. But people have been yelling loudly to get rid of him since the ’04 offseason. You can’t say that there never was a chance to get another 3rd baseman, especially not if trading A-Rod is part of the equation. And when A-Rod had Texas subsidizing his contract, he could have gotten good value in a trade.

        • Accent Shallow

          This is an entirely different (and completely ridiculous) argument.

          • Ed

            This is an entirely different (and completely ridiculous) argument.

            No, it’s not a ridiculous argument, and it was the original argument.

            If anyone actually did think simply getting rid of A-Rod and not replacing him was a good thing, that’s just stupid and was never worth mentioning, let alone discussing.

    • Accent Shallow

      Average to good 3Bs don’t exactly grow on trees, and they’re certainly not freely available two weeks into Spring Training.

      Not to mention, such a player becomes relatively superfluous when A-Rod returns, no?

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

      Let’s be fair to the people who wanted him gone.

      I’m not talking about the people who wanted him gone when he opted out in 2007. I’m talking about the people — including many RAB commenters — who thought having A-Rod out would be good for the team because it would improve chemistry and force them to play better. It would show the Yanks that they don’t need A-Rod to win.

      That, my friends, is and always will be a load of bullshit.

      The 2007 debate we could have forever. There’s no way to resolve that.

      • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

        Wanting anybody over A-Rod on any team in the league is and always will be a load of bullshit. Even if you already have Pujols and Hanley, the only two players on the same level as A-Rod, on your team, adding A-Rod over your current 3rd baseman makes the team better.

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

          It’s only not bullshit if you factor in cost. A-Rod costs a lot and gives the Yanks less payroll flexibility. It’s possible to be a better team without A-Rod if you find a cost-effective way to replace him while at the same time using the savings to bolster other parts of the club.

          This is admittedly less of an issue for the Yanks than for other teams with more limited financial resources.

          • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

            You’re right, the salary should be factored in. We made the mistake of bidding against ourself in 2007 and it might come back to haunt us in the future. He is still the best 3rd baseman in the game and I’m glad to see him play for the next 9 years.

      • Ed

        I’m talking about the people — including many RAB commenters — who thought having A-Rod out would be good for the team because it would improve chemistry and force them to play better. It would show the Yanks that they don’t need A-Rod to win.

        That, my friends, is and always will be a load of bullshit.

        If there really are any significant number of people that felt that way, I’m shocked. You are completely right, that is total bullshit. That’s a stupid enough belief that I never even considered that it was what you were referring to.

        I assumed you were talking about the people who have been talking non-stop since the end of the 2004 season about finding a way to trade or not re-sign A-Rod. Those people have occasionally had a point.

  • Rich

    If what Bruney is saying is an accurate reflection of reality, then the Yankees are fortunate that the cost of learning this lesson wasn’t higher.

    I wasn’t sure if the Connors cure was still be offered.

  • Tripp

    What does that really mean for Wang? Is he lifting weights with his lower body or throwing pitches to strengthen his arm?

  • Lanny

    The Bruney thing is a head scratcher. What other reliever has this from being too pumped and too much of a worker? Sounds real strange.

  • http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/00mwbIM15ofMv/340x.jpg Mike Pop

    Ugh, I just puked in my mouth watching Brian Kenny and Gammons talk on ESPN.

    Jesus, so bad. “Ellisbury stealing home is an example of the young, athletic Red Sox and the old and slow Yankees.”

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

      They’re going to talk about that steal til June.

      • AndrewYF

        He was nearly caught stealing too. Had Pettitte thrown a fastball, Boston would have scored only one run that inning. Ellsbury stealing was a risky move that ended up making precisely zero difference in the game. But you can count on ESPN not to realize that.

    • Rich

      I expect gross overstatements from anyone employed by ESPN, but, sadly, Francesa said the same thing today. If the Yankees had won Friday night’s game, none of these mediots would have opened their mouth.

      • whozat

        you don’t expect idiocy from Francesa? Really?

    • AndrewYF

      Weighted average age of Boston batters in 2009: 30.2
      SB by Boston in 2009: 15 (10 of which are Ellsbury’s)

      Weighted average age of Yankee batters in 2009: 30.9
      SB by Yankees in 2009: 14 (only 5 of which are Gardner’s)

      Oh, and the Yankees have only been caught stealing twice. Boston? EIGHT.

    • Coach6423

      Dont forget this Gammons gem…

      “Damaso garcias roll is lefty lost….”