May
07

The madness has to end

By

Okay, it’s time for this thirteen man pitching staff experiment to end. The starters have pitched into at least the sixth inning in nine of the last ten games and twelve of the last fourteen, and we’re getting to the point where guys like Mark Melancon and David Robertson are going four or five days between appearances. Even worse, the last two nights we’ve had to watch late inning, potentially game tying and/or game winning rallies die at the hands of Ramiro Pena and Jose Molina. Something has to be done about this.

I’ve long been a Brian Cashman supporter, but he’s asleep at the wheel here. I get that Jorge Posada‘s hurt and I get that A-Rod‘s out and I know Xavier Nady‘s loss was unfortunate, but guess what? The other 29 clubs don’t feel bad for the Yanks. Cash had an opportunity to improve his bench when Jorge Posada hit the DL, but instead opted for the easy paper move of calling up Frankie Cervelli. A spare reliever (coughJoseVerascough) could have been DFA’ed, sending a message to the other assorted crap in the pen as well as freeing up a 40-man spot for PJ Pilittere, who was killing the ball in Triple-A (.317-.349-.488) and is just as capable defensively as Cervelli. Posada’s roster spot could have been used for Juan Miranda, giving the Yanks an actual, real life hitter off the bench. But no, instead Pilittere gets DEMOTED to Double-A to fill Cervelli’s spot. That’s the definition of ass backwards.

There are solutions to the bench problem, but the front office just seems uninterested in pursuing them. Brett Gardner has proven to be utterly useless at anything but running the bases, so why not give Todd Linden a shot? He’s crushing Triple-A (.346-.426-.577, career .873 OPS in AAA), switch hits, plays all three outfield spots, and has been a bench player in the NL his whole career so he knows the routine. Doesn’t it sound like he’d be more useful than the obviously overmatched Gardner? Even John Rodriguez would be better use of a roster spot, but Linden’s got him beat on the versatility front. Do they really like Anthony Claggett so much that they aren’t willing to cut him and free up a 40-man spot?

Instead of carrying thirteen pitchers and three useless players on the bench, they could have been rolling with a bench of Pilittere, Berroa, Linden and Miranda, with seven arms in the bullpen. Then when A-Rod comes back, Berroa goes away and Pena takes over the utility infielder spot. How much different would the last two games have been if you had Miranda available to pinch hit late in the game with runners in scoring position? We’ll never know, but I know I would have certainly felt better about the Yanks’ chances with an actual hitter up there.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do sympathize with Joe Girardi about the bullpen. His two primary set-up are on the DL, and everyone else has been shaky at best. That’s tough for any team to overcome, but the Yanks still have a nice mix out there. Melancon’s way better than he’s shown, Phil Coke’s been rock solid, and even Edwar Ramirez has been effective in short stints. Cash and Girardi are right to be patient with this guys, but man, that doesn’t mean you weaken another part of the team just to carry extra arms.

Roster spots are like outs, they’re precious and need to be maximized because there are a limited amount of them. Instead, the Yanks are wasting several of them on extra relievers or players that really have no business being in the big leagues. Sure, in cases like Angel Berroa that is due to injury, and that’s fine. But the front office is not putting the best available team on the field day in and day out, and that’s frustrating. Frankly, it’s inexcusable for any team, nevermind one that just opening a $1.3B stadium and has $200M tied up in payroll, to get lazy with the roster.

Categories : Rants

164 Comments»

  1. steve (different one) says:

    i largely agree with you here, but the point about Pilittere is kindof nuts.

    this is a guy with a career line of .271/.321/.361 in the minors.

    he’s 27 in AAA and had FORTY good AB’s.

    he sucks.

    they need to make a move, but come on, we’re better than this.

    it’s a meaningless sample. he can’t hit and he’s not GOING TO hit in the big leagues.

    i would rather NOT DFA Veras to call up Pilittere. it’s a waste.

    • i would rather NOT DFA Veras to call up Pilittere. it’s a waste.

      Agreed.

      (although, I could be talked into DFA’ing Claggett or SteJax to call somebody up.)

      But I don’t see the point in the Pillitere move. I want EITHER Cervelli OR Pillitere on the 25 and 40 man, not both of them.

    • Ed says:

      Adding Pilittere would mean 3 backup catchers on the 40 man. Seems like a waste.

    • Chris C. says:

      “i largely agree with you here, but the point about Pilittere is kindof nuts.
      this is a guy with a career line of .271/.321/.361 in the minors.
      he’s 27 in AAA and had FORTY good AB’s.
      he sucks.”

      So why do the Yankees bother paying him to play in their organization?? I’m sorry champ, but you don’t demote a guy who’s sitting .317. It sends the wrong message to the rest of the players.

      Nevermind calling the guy up……Cashman sent him DOWN to Double A!!

    • Chris C. says:

      he’s 27 in AAA and had FORTY good AB’s

      You mention “27″ like it’s old. That is not an old age for a catcher. It’s actually the same age both Posada and Varitek were during their first full seasons as starters.
      And players, believe it or not, can improve as they hit their prime.

  2. steve (different one) says:

    agree with calling up J-Rod or Miranda, don’t want you to think i don’t agree with the premise.

    i just think going with Cervelli for now b/c he’s on the 40 man is perfectly acceptable and justified.

  3. MattG says:

    Cervelli vs PJ doesn’t do much for me.

    But, look at 29 yo Todd Linden:

    minor league career, 2533 ABs: .291/.391/.493

    This is an organization that recently gave extended trials to Andy Phillips and Shelley Duncan. What do they have that Linden doesn’t?

  4. Yankeegirl49 says:

    I agree, we need a better bench for sure and if we need to DFA Veras, so be it.

    BTW..tHIS is why I like this site and the job you guys do. You can criticize using logic rather than emotion.

    • Chris C. says:

      “Cash had an opportunity to improve his bench when Jorge Posada hit the DL, but instead opted for the easy paper move of calling up Frankie Cervelli. A spare reliever (coughJoseVerascough) could have been DFA’ed, sending a message to the other assorted crap in the pen as well as freeing up a 40-man spot for PJ Pilittere, who was killing the ball in Triple-A (.317-.349-.488) and is just as capable defensively as Cervelli. Posada’s roster spot could have been used for Juan Miranda, giving the Yanks an actual, real life hitter off the bench. But no, instead Pilittere gets DEMOTED to Double-A to fill Cervelli’s spot. That’s the definition of ass backwards”

      Yeah, the Yankees have a great reward system in place for guys who are succeeding at the level they’re at.

  5. Accent Shallow says:

    Excellent post.

  6. steve (different one) says:

    FWIW according to Abraham, Girardi said changes were coming in a few days.

    i assume they are waiting for that additional roster spot.

    • I’m guessing they’ll overhaul tomorrow when A-Rod returns.

    • I think they were planning on making some potentially controversial and scandalous roster moves (like DFA’ing Claggett, calling up Miranda, and adding Todd Linden to the 40-man roster) that the media would jump all over and sensationalize, so they were waiting for a bigger story to break so they could make the moves in relative obscurity while the sports world was consumed in a bigger story

      OH CRAP HERE’S A BIGGER STORY LET’S MAKE THE MOVES

      • Chris says:

        If I were the Yankees, I would charter a plane to get A-Rod on the field for tonight’s game. Even if he only DHs.

        • steve (different one) says:

          how is this a good idea?

          if he can’t play 3B, we are only looking at A-Rod over Matsui.

          not really worth rushing him if he’s not ready.

          you still have Pena and Molina in the lineup.

          • tim randle says:

            Arod to the bench to PH in the ninth…

            doh, i said it…

            ZOMG, AROD TO THE 9TH!!

          • Chris C. says:

            LMAO!!! Yeah, great idea. AROD taking the place of .300 hitting Matsui will solve all the problems.
            Get that plane chartered!

          • Chris says:

            I think you missed the point… It has nothing to do with winning the game, and everything to do with burying the story.

    • Girardi seemed to be hinting that Brett Tomko is on the way.

      Brett Tomko is 36 and pitching at AAA. That’s not the change the Yankees need.

      • El Generalissimo says:

        But that’s change we can believe in- Obama for 09 Yanks Bullpen.

      • AJ says:

        I understand that argument, but Tomko was solid all spring and has produced in AAA. Why not give him a shot at the big league level over guys who aren’t producing. Right now, with the league’s second worst bullpen, no experiment is a bad experiment.

      • Id rather give Tomko a shot at getting guys out. Just because hes 36 and in AAA doesnt take away that fact that noone is getting anybody out. Tomko is getting people out, even though its at AAA, while guys on the roster dont.

        Cant keep running guys out there hoping that these guys turn their seasons around.

        • I agree that Tomko may get guys out. But who are we DFA’ing for him?

          Which younger reliever who currently isn’t getting guys out but stands a better likelihood of getting guys out at some point in the future do you want to DFA for this older reliever who is currently getting minor league guys out but hasn’t contributed much to anybody’s success recently because he couldn’t get guys out?

          I’ll agree that the 36 year old Tomko may be a better bet right now than the 24 year old Anthony Claggett or the 27 year old Steven Jackson or the 26 year old Jonathan Albaladejo or the 28 year old Edwar Ramirez or the 28 year old Jose Veras… but are you willing to just bounce one of those younger arms to another team to gamble on Tomko outpitching them? How long do you think Tomko can sustain this mini-stretch of dominance against spring training lineups and AAA guys?

          I mean, yeah, Tomko had a great spring and is dominating minor league hitters right now… but he’s also the same 36 year old pitcher who hasn’t had a big league FIP below 3.80 since… NEVER. His career low FIP is 3.97. The year that happened, Chili Davis, Darryl Strawberry, Ruben Sierra and Cecil Fielder were all still MLB regulars.

          • Chris C. says:

            “I agree that Tomko may get guys out. But who are we DFA’ing for him?”

            Someone who can’t get guys out.

            “I’ll agree that the 36 year old Tomko may be a better bet right now than the 24 year old Anthony Claggett or the 27 year old Steven Jackson or the 26 year old Jonathan Albaladejo or the 28 year old Edwar Ramirez or the 28 year old Jose Veras… but are you willing to just bounce one of those younger arms to another team to gamble on Tomko outpitching them?”

            Yes………I’m willing to bounce Veres to another team to make room for Tomko. And I hope that other team faces the Yankees 18 times this year, and Veres appears in at least 15 of those games!

            “How long do you think Tomko can sustain this mini-stretch of dominance against spring training lineups and AAA guys?”

            HE was dominant in spring training too. Yeah, I know it’s only spring training, but he faced major league hitters there too. What did he have, a 1.80 ERA in about 18 innings this spring?

            I mean, yeah, Tomko had a great spring and is dominating minor league hitters right now… but he’s also the same 36 year old pitcher who hasn’t had a big league FIP below 3.80 since…

            Look…..I thought Tomko desered to make the opening day roster, but that’s either here nor there……Cashman didn’t want a long man, and that’s his decision. But if you’re not EVER gonna bring Tomko up, then why the fuck would they ever invite the guy to camp???? I mean geez, the guy has pitched about as well as he’s ever pitched in his life, and it’s not like the Yankees are totally caught off guard that on this day, Brett Tomko is 36 years old. I have a hunch that unlike Soriano, they knew Tomko’s age when they invited him to camp.

      • Chris C. says:

        The change the Yankees need is a guy who can get people out. I don’t care how old he is, where he’s coming from, or what what he did in the past.

        And since signing with the Yankees, Tomko has done nothing but get people out. The only reason he didn’t make the opening day roster is because Cashman didn’t want a long reliever.

  7. Someone’s pissed. Can’t say I disagree, however.

  8. daneptizl says:

    Yes.

  9. Jake K. says:

    I think building a capable bench is probably the one big black mark on Cashman’s otherwise sterling resume (Igawa aside).

    • I don’t think that “building a capable bench” can ever be a “big” black mark on any GM’s resume. Ever.

      It’s a bench. Yeah, it’s good to have a good bench, but not having a good bench doesn’t make a GM good or bad… it’s pretty minor.

      • Bo says:

        It’s minor putting together a full capable roster??? Isn’t it a GM’s job to put together a competent roster? his job isn’t to put 7 stars and the rest scrubs. You’re supposed to fill the whole roster with talent to withstand the season.

        • steve (different one) says:

          which is what Cashman did to start the season.

          unfortunately, we’re not talking about the bench anymore.

          the BENCH is now starting.

          we are talking about having a bench for the bench.

          that’s more difficult.

      • Let's Talk About TEX Baby says:

        The bench has always been a problem, but to be fair, Cashman went into this season with the idea of either Nick Swisher or Xavier Nady being available for most of the pinch hit at bats and that didn’t happen because of Nady’s injury. Our infield going into spring training consisted of 4 stars who never sit so it would have been hard to convince a veteran who wasn’t a career minor leaguer (Mark Loretta for example) to sign knowing he wouldn’t have much of a chance to play except due to injury. Pena really hasn’t been that bad and once Arod’s back in the fold we could do worse than him as a utility infielder.

        I agree about the 13 pitcher thing being an issue. I wouldn’t give up on Veras because he was good last year for the most part, but I see Girardi developing a Torre-Proctor like obsession with Jonathan Albaladejo so I would like to see him sent down, although I don’t know if he has options. Having Aceves and/or Tomko in the pen should eliminate the need for extra relievers because they could absorb the short starts by starters without having to use 7 pitchers.

    • steve (different one) says:

      ironically, this years bench, before the injury bug, looked pretty good.

      Nady
      Molina
      Melky
      Pena

      unfortunately, all 4 of those guys are now STARTING or on the DL.

      the way Pena has played, it kindof looks like Cashman was justified not signing another UTI. he looks like he is pretty well suited for that role, and i say this as someone who was OPPOSED to putting him on the team.

      Pena looks JUST as good as someone like Alex Cora, who they would have had to pay $2M.

      point to Cashman.

      Melky has been awesome, yet many were opposed to him making the team. another point to Cashman.

      he’s not going to keep this up, but he DOES look like a capable 4th OFer.

      finally, it looks pretty smart that he kept both Nady and Swisher.

      this has been a tough start to the season, and they will get through it, but going into the season, this wasn’t a typical yankee bench.

      • Double-J says:

        Alex Cora wins ballgames. :p

      • Chris C. says:

        “the way Pena has played, it kindof looks like Cashman was justified not signing another UTI. he looks like he is pretty well suited for that role, and i say this as someone who was OPPOSED to putting him on the team.”

        Yeah, I remember the handful or morons who were clammoring for Gruzd or Teahan or anyone else outside the oganization with a pulse. Just because Cashman is smarter than them isn’t saying much.

        “Melky has been awesome, yet many were opposed to him making the team. another point to Cashman”

        Who was opposed to him making the team? He’s got the tools to be one of the best 4th outfielders in the game, and he’s dirt cheap. He’s IDEAL for any team……maybe not as a starter, but certainly not a guy you’d trade. Only the morons calling for Mike Cameron wanted Melky gone.
        It’s not rocket sceince to realise that Cabrera is an asset coming off the bench.

        “finally, it looks pretty smart that he kept both Nady and Swisher.”

        I never understood why the Yankees needed to get rid of one of them in the first place…….especially since they knew Matsui would not be playing any defense.

    • Before the season, the Yanks had a bench that, on any given day, would have consisted of some of the following:

      Matsui
      Nady
      Swisher
      Melky
      Gardner
      Ransom
      Molina

      That’s a very, very strong bench/platoon source. Unfortunately, injuries have decimated the team, and I don’t know any MLB GM who can put together a good third-string back-up bench.

      The problem now though is that, in light of the injuries, the Yanks’ roster is not constructed particularly well.

      • steve (different one) says:

        yes, i think this is the best take on it.

        for whatever reason, and i would guess the reason is that they are loathe to cut anyone else from the 40 man, for what they hope is a short-term problem, they have been slow to add position players.

        for example, if they know Nady is coming back in 2 weeks, do you want to DFA Claggett to add J-Rod or Duncan??

        or do you just ride it out?

        i think we, as fans, are impatient as hell and can’t accept that, but i think it’s a legitimate questions.

        if the Yankee FO like Anthony Claggett’s prospects, should they be so cavalier about tossing him aside? how many people would have thought twice about releasing Phil Coke about 10 months ago?

        there are moves to be made, and i suspect they will be made in the next few days.

        but some of you guys expect a player to be on his way before Posada even sees a doctor. he got hurt on monday. it’s thursday. it takes a little time to see how bad he is injured and make some assessments. Nady is having the platelet procedure. perhaps they were waiting on his medicals.

        the starters need to step up and win games. it’s that simple.

  10. Bryan says:

    Too bad Steinbrenner isnt in charge anymore, he would have called up Montero by now.

  11. B.George says:

    Great article Mike…..totally agre. Our 3 bench players really shouldnt be in the Major Leagues but we dont even try anything new. Obviously it isnt working out we haveno pop anywhere and the last 2 batters are automatic outs. And why isnt Brett Tomko being called out to try and be a middle reliever? Its not like he can be much worse the Jose Veras.

  12. Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

    Mike, I agree with you 100%. Someone in the bullpen needs to go. I’m sure they could trade Veras, Ramirez or any other reliever of the FO’s choice to any number of teams. All teams are looking to take a flier on a good arm, and just about every team feels they can fix said arm.

  13. Cam says:

    After watching what happened to that rally with the bottom of the order last night, you basically just put into words exactly how I was feeling. Great post.

    • steve (different one) says:

      don’t forget that some of that is because Swisher got himself tossed from the game.

      also, Pena was safe. the ump blew the call.

      yes, i hope they add a bat tomorrow.

      but let’s not blame the 25th man on the roster when Mark Teixeira, who makes $22M/year, couldn’t get a run in from 3B with 1 out.

      it’s so easy to blame the manager or the FO, but ultimately your superstars need to get the job done.

  14. E-ROC says:

    I agree with promoting Todd Linden, John Rodriguez, or Juan Miranda. I don’t think PJ Pilittere would play even if promoted. He would probably play as much as Molina did before Posada’s injury. The effect would be nil, IMO.

  15. Bo says:

    Gardner is the same guy they thought should be the starting CF. So, thats what we are dealing with in regards to roster construction. Don’t get the hopes up.

  16. V says:

    I’m a J-Rod fan from his Cardinals’ days. Check out his 2005 AAA line: 17 HR in 120 AB.

    http://www.thebaseballcube.com.....ez-1.shtml

    He has a 110 OPS+ in 332 ABs in 2005-2006.

    Surprised he hasn’t gotten more shots as a bench guy since the Cardinals ditched him.

  17. Kevin M. says:

    Word. I’m a big Cash fan but he’s really absoultely been terrible this season.

    Not only does having 8 relievers hurt our bench….but it actually hurts the pen too because guys just rot out there and have no conrol when they do get a chance to pitch.

    Just totally inexcusable…..and all done so we don’t have to lose a total scrub like Claggett or Jackson. Ridiculous.

    • Not cutting Cashman any slack for having his #2 and #3 relief pitchers hurt, are ya?

      Do I think we should be carrying 8 relievers permanently? No. But, there have been many games so far, especially early in the season, where I think it’s appropriate to carry a big bullpen.

      With 6 starters so far who either haven’t been sharp and have been lifted early or are young and have closely monitored pitch counts + early season rain delays and possible rainouts + being short your two best relievers not named Mariano + Mariano himself recovering from shoulder surgery, yeah, having an 8-man pen isn’t a bad idea so far.

      Now that our rotation is beginning to pitch deeper into games, NOW I think we should drop back down to a smaller pen. But no, we shouldn’t have the longknives out for Cashman based on a hardluck April.

  18. A.D. says:

    I completely agree, they don’t need an 8 man bullpen with one of the guys being a long man, it actually hurts the pen because then no one can get regular work, especially since the rotation is giving solid innings. Keep Aceves up for a bit since he can piggyback a low inning effort by Hughes or Joba (or someone else). And send down 2 other guys, there will be plenty of innings, and get some guys with serviceable bats up.

  19. AJ says:

    The thing with PJ Pilittere is his defense. He gave up six steals the other night for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yanks. I understand he wouldn’t play all the time, but the Yanks don’t want it to be a track meet when he’s out there.

    I completely agree that changes need to be made. Send Gardner back down to AAA (if possible) and call up Todd Linden or Juan Miranda. Have we all forgot about Shelley Duncan? He’s crushing the ball in AAA (10 HRS in 99 ABS) and he’s hitting .333. I know he’s been hot and cold up in the big leagues, but the kid can hit. He provides more punch than Pena or Molina.

  20. Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

    It’s obviously time for “Melvinmania” to make an appearance in the Bronx.

  21. yankeefan91 Arod fan says:

    So manny took a woman’s fertility drug y the hell would he take dat drug isnt that for woman who are pregnant.

    • steve (different one) says:

      it’s hormones that guys take when coming off a steroid cycle.

      *IF* it’s true, it means he’s a juicer, no doubt about it.

      • Tampa Yankee says:

        If it’s true… he deserves as much heat, if not more ARod. Manny tested positive while they were banned, ARod hasn’t. Also, the Suxs rings and team come into question and make me believe Ortiz juiced even more than before.

        • Also, the Suxs rings and team come into question and make me believe Ortiz juiced even more than before.

          No, they don’t.

          Every team in baseball had juicers on it. ALL OF THEM.

          Nobody’s rings should “come into question” because, even if you feel that steroids give an individual player a competitive advantage, no TEAM gets a competitive advantage over other teams because all the teams have players with unfair advantages on them. They cancel each other out.

          No team’s titles are tarnished, besmirched, diminished, minimized, asterisked, or in any way called into question via the revelation of a confirmed PED user on that team.

          • steve (different one) says:

            while you are 100% right, can’t you suspend your intelligent rational response for just ONE day to join the unwashed mob???

            Manny was the 2004 World Series MVP. if he juiced, and it’s looking like he did, the “good guys triumph over the Evil Empire” mythos takes a bit of a hit, no??

            come on, grab a pitchfork. it’s kindof fun.

          • Tampa Yankee says:

            All I meant was that the Yanks a ton my crap (at least here in Tampa) for their teams “harboring” PED users. I’ll I’m saying is that the Sox, including the Angels, should be scrutinized as much as the Yanks are or for people to back off the Yanks for the reasons you mentioned.

        • Ed says:

          Manny tested positive while they were banned, ARod hasn’t.

          Can we please stop this stupidity? Steroids have been banned for decades by baseball and the federal government.

          Manny tested positive when there was a formalized testing system with standardized punishments in place.

          A-Rod tested positive in the development stages of that system, on a test that was intended to not have any punishments. If A-Rod had left his steroids visible in his locker, he would have been suspended.

  22. dan says:

    Maybe they’re waiting for A-Rod to come back to do anything. When he comes back, they release Berroa, send down Claggett, call up Miranda and add a catcher to the roster other than Cervelli. Or maybe just keep Cervelli there and call up Linden, I don’t know.

    But the whole thing becomes less messy once A-Rod comes back and Berroa is off the 40-man

  23. Jamal G. says:

    Cut Anthony Claggett? He’s in his age-24 season and has pitched 16 innings above the Double-A level, cutting him for a minor roster adjustment for a bench spot is unnecessary.

  24. dee says:

    i agree 100%. the fact that the cashman is so stupid truly bothers me. we have options and the yankees are not taking advantage of them. we have talent and the yankees are not taking advantage of them. i just don’t understand how the fans know better than these people getting millions of dollars to make these poor decisions. hopefully someone will knock some sense into them and do exactly what you say because it is what NEEDS to be done. yes arod is coming back but he is not the answer to all of these problems. it needs to change and it needs to change fast.

    • Drew says:

      You claim our GM is “stupid?” eesh. One more thing, punctuation.

      • Drew says:

        Actually I think your punctuation is spot on, it’s the capitalization. I digress…

        • dee says:

          Yes, I currently think our GM is “stupid”. He’s not doing his job right now. I wish I was getting millions of dollars to sit back and watch this team fail when there are viable options that can help the Yankees.

          Oh and I fixed the capitalization for you. I forgot I was only writing a comment rather than a published article. Hope that’s better.

          • pat says:

            Dee what other options would you suggest?

            • dee says:

              DFA Erick Hacker, not Veras (yet). Make room on the 40-roster for either Juan Miranda or Shelley Duncan or someone else with a pop. We absolutely need someone to come in and PH, especially with Posada out for the next few weeks.

  25. JobaWockeeZ says:

    JOBA TO THE PEN! His spot in the rotation is the source of all our loses!!11! The 8th >>>>> Every other inning left in this season except the 8th.

    Anyways I don’t thin we should take drastic measures with the bullpen except for sending pepole down. I don’t think they’re all going to suck forever but I agree that we have too many relievers for the mix matching Girardi does.

    • RobC says:

      OK then who takes Joba’s spot in the rotation?
      Is Joba the set up man or fireman?

    • SJ44 says:

      There is a saying that goes like this….

      “The worst thing about a bench is playing it too much”.

      Unfortunately, the Yankees have had to play their bench too much this season due to the injuries.

      That said, the overabundance of pitchers on the 40 man roster, as well as having 13 pitchers on the ML roster really hurts this team.

      It hamstrings Girardi on game nights and just makes it tougher to win games.

      The Yankees do the big (ie: FA signings, deadline trades) things very well.

      What they do poorly is, the little things.

      They don’t handle the roster well and their contingency plans often fall flat.

      For example, how can they NOT know Wang’s foot wasn’t strong leaving ST? He was coming off a serious injury. Wouldn’t you think, as an important member of the team, he would be monitored closely? That’s just one example.

      They have to straighten out the roster. Not a month from now….now.

      Give the manager a roster that doesn’t leave him shorthanded every night.

      • AJ says:

        I generally agree, but Wang pitched o.k. in Spring Training. He had an ERA in the four range, and they thought he was back on track. So I don’t think it’s the teams fault Wang decided to get conscious of his foot and tinker with his mechanics.

      • steve (different one) says:

        OH SHIT, has SJ44 tired of trying to talk sense into the mouth breathers over at LoHud and he’s going to post here now?

        bring over CB, and you can torch that place.

        • lmao. Did you see the game-thread last night? It was like a mass LoHud migration to RAB, every other comment was: “Hey RAB, I come from LoHud, but the people there are so crazy I can’t take it anymore.” Clearly, Rebecca is to blame. (Kidding, the more the merrier.)

  26. SJ44 says:

    I gotta recruit CB Steve. I will try.

    • Hey… Use the “reply” button in the lower-right corner of the comment boxes to reply to specific comments. Makes it easier for everyone to follow the conversations.

    • rbizzler says:

      Please don’t recruit too many LoHudders, especially not ‘randyl.’ Steer him over to WasWatching so him and Lombardi can join forces in their hate for all things Cashman.

      As for the roster, I agree that something needs to happen. Guys like Melancon and Robertson are sitting out there for days then being thrown into the tenuous situations. Cash needs to figure this out fast.

  27. Brooklyn Ed says:

    seriously, the Yanks gotta bring up Miranda to pinch hit. He’s been raking in AAA, and now its time to see what he does in the ML level.

    • I agree.

      While Miranda has some shortcomings and he’s not a long term solution, he does have a role that this team could use. If we’re going to roll with some combo of Molina/Cervelli/Pillitere at catcher, we need at least one good PH bat off the bench.

      Added bonus: We can showcase him for a trade.

  28. Charlie says:

    Great post, i agree with pretty much everything here. Veras and Molina make me throw up every time they blow a game/kill a rally.

  29. CG says:

    This is definitely the place to be now. LoHud has gotten crazy.

    RAB is a wonderful site.

  30. pat says:

    I hope people are sending emails to the lohud converts because all the other assholes are gonna follow them right over if they’re posted in the comments section.

  31. cult of basebaal says:

    Here’s your DFA candidate … Eric Hacker.

    there’s 0 reason for him to be on the 40 man.

    He’s barely a AAA arm, let alone a viable ML starting option.

    If for some unknown reason somebody picked up off waivers, then sign the next Casey Fossum, no loss.

  32. BigBlueAL says:

    Ive been saying this forever. Dunno about the backup catcher thing. Just call-up Cervelli is fine, no need to make a 40-man move for essentially a 4th string catcher. But the whole 13 man pitching staff is absurd. Heck many teams carry 11 pitchers, which is something the Yankees of the late 90′s who actually had a very good bench, routinely did. With a rotation that should eventually turn out 6 to 7 inning starts on a nightly basis carrying 13 pitchers is truly absurd.

    • steve (different one) says:

      Heck many teams carry 11 pitchers

      i’m not going to support this with any research, but i doubt any teams do this anymore.

      i actually agree with you that teams could get by with 11 pitchers.

      but i think 12 is basically the standard in 2009 and has been for the last few years.

      especially in the AL.

      • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops says:

        It’s pretty stupid, too, in the AL. With the DH, you have ten guys playing instead of nine in the NL, so your bench is one man short anyway.

        • steve (different one) says:

          sure, but you also don’t need as many bench players, since you never have to PH for your pitchers….

          • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops says:

            Good point. On the other hand, by pinch-hitting for the pitcher you are bound to need more pitchers per game. I just don’t see a real reason why AL teams should carry more pitchers than NL teams.

  33. [...] quite recovered. Things aren’t as bad as they were in early April — as Mike mentioned, the pitchers have been going deeper lately. Yet they haven’t shown the dominance which we imagined heading into the [...]

  34. Bob Michaels says:

    The Yankees carry 13 pitchers because Joe Girardi is Captain Hook.

    • The Yankees carry 13 pitchers because Joe Girardi is Captain Hook. we’ve had injuries to position players but no replacement position players on the 40-man, and it’s too early to be DFA’ing guys willy-nilly to plug short-term holes on the offense, particularly when we don’t have oodles of position players not on the 40-man who look like locks to produce.

      Fixed.

  35. CG says:

    It would seem to me that Cashman is reticent to let go of some of pitching prospects, or at least admit they’re not panning out.

    At times it’s as if he’s trying to prove something to everyone about his prospects.

    I believe he gets in the way of himself at times.

  36. steve (different one) says:

    let me add one final thought on this idea that the yankee should simply DFA Jose Veras or Edwar Ramirez to fill what is hopefully a short-term need.

    over the last 3-4 seasons, i have read SO MANY calls for a player to be DFA’ed, only to see them rebound and be productive once they were given a little time.

    in 2007, it was Jose Vizcaino. in 2008, it was Farnsworth. there were people earlier this season who wanted Hideki Matsui released. before last season, half of RAB wanted Mike Mussina dumped. Giambi? MELKY?!!!

    Veras isn’t the best guy to make this point with, b/c he’s not THAT good, but yankee fans have become increasingly impatient, spoiled, and petulant every year.

    granted, Veras has had a lousy 10 innings.

    but once you cut someone, they’re gone. you can’t get them back.

    and that, no matter how “pissed” you are at that player, HAS to be considered in the decision making process.

    our job as internet GM is SOOOOO much easier than Cashman’s, b/c his decision to release someone is final and has real world consequences.

    if Veras comes back and pitches lights out, hey, no one is going to remember that some poster on RAB would have released him in April. but if he is pitching well for another team, and the yankee bullpen still stinks, then cashman takes the heat for that.

    • Mike Pop says:

      JoseLuis Vizcaino

    • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops says:

      Great comment. Veras seems to be the scapegoat for everything that is going wrong at the moment. I don’t see how cutting Veras would magically make the team better when there is not really anybody who could replace him that would really be better.

    • Agreed with everything you said, and that reminds me:

      I must have missed it with all the Cinco de Mayo festivities, but apparently we signed the recently DFA’d Hungry Hungry Humberto to a minor league deal. This pleases me, I always liked that fat fuck.

      I hope he finally gets healthy, because he’s like the overweight reliever version of Chris Garcia – the stuff is tantalizing (if he can manage to walk down the street without injuring himself).

      Which makes me wonder: We can’t DFA Veras, because somebody would snatch him up, but I wonder which of the other relievers on the 40-man we could possibly DFA and then still resign, Dirty Sanchez style?

      Would Hacker or SteJax take an MiL deal? My guess is… no. The fact that they’re healthy means someone would take them, right?

      • Hacker or SteJax might not have a choice. If the Yankees DFA’d them they would place them on waivers. A team might pick them up, might not. If they don’t, the Yanks could outright them.

        If they went down the same road as Humberto with those guys, I’m guessing they’d sign elsewhere. Sanchez stayed because he’s hurt.

        • Exactly.

          With 29 other teams, the majority of them with unsettled bullpens, I’m thinking SteJax gets claimed if we DFA him.

          Hacker, I wonder… he is super raw. He’s kinda dead weight on our 40 man, but he’s likely to be dead weight on other team’s 40-man rosters too.

          It’s moot, because if we lose him, it’s no great shakes, IMO.

          So, DFA Hacker, and add your choice of Linden, J-Rod, Pillitere, Shelley, or E-Dunc.

          My choice is Linden – let’s add the guy who’s hottest right now, and also has the smallest window of REMAINING good going forward (i.e., someone like Hacker who we’d have no qualms DFA’ing again later when we get other guys back…)

    • steve (different one) says:

      Veras isn’t the best guy to make this point with, b/c he’s not THAT good, but yankee fans have become increasingly impatient, spoiled, and petulant every year.

      let me just add that in NO WAY did i mean that Mike A. was “petulant” for writing this article.

      it was a good article. and perhaps Veras SHOULD be DFA’ed.

      i was just pointing out how this has become a disturbing trend.

      4 weeks ago, i was literally reading “if the Tigers can eat $14M to cut Sheffield, why can’t the Yankees eat $13M and cut Matsui??”

  37. Bill says:

    Cashman is next on the block to go. He should be taking more heat than Girardi

  38. JP says:

    Big picture: Since Bernie, Jeter, Pettitte, and Rivera, all Gene Michael era guys, has the Yankee system produced even a single impact player? Wang and Cano are good, but neither has become an impact player.

    I don’t know who is responsible for scouting talent and drafting players. If Cashman is in charge of everything in player development, then he needs to go. He’s good at working with the owners, and has shown he can negotiate and obtain free agents. But you can’t win anymore without young, durable talent, and the Yankees seem to be pretty mediocre in this department. Either Cashman or whomever runs scouting and player development needs to go.

  39. [...] River Ave. Blues argues that the Yankees have gotten lazy with the roster and have missed opportunities to improve the bench. [...]

  40. Sean says:

    Sory people. 200 million just doesn’t buy waht it used to. 3rd place team at best.

  41. [...] At this point he could be a better option at fourth outfielder than Brett Gardner, as Mike said on Thursday. In any case he’s a good guy to have in your [...]

  42. steve (different one) says:

    just don’t understand how the fans know better than these people getting millions of dollars to make these poor decisions.

    that’s because 99.999999% of the time, they don’t.

    you are overreacting.

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