Fan Confidence Poll: July 13th, 2009


Record Last Week: 3-4 (44 RS, 45 RA)
Season Record: 51-37 (495 RS, 435 RA), 3.0 GB
Opponents This Week: All Star Break, vs. Detroit (3 games)

Top stories from last week:

Please take a second to answer the poll below and give us an idea of how confident you are in the team. You can view the Fan Confidence Graph anytime via the nav bar above, or by clicking here. Thanks in advance for voting.

Given the team's current roster construction, farm system, management, etc., how confident are you in the Yankees' overall future?
View Results
Categories : Polls


  1. “but spot starter AL Aceves didn’t give the team any length on Thursday as they failed to finish off the sweep.”

    The RAB post headline you linked to:

    Yanks overcome walks, errors to finish sweep of Twins

    You may want to doublecheck that one there, fellas…

  2. Reggie C. says:


    I’m satisfied with the first half efforts delivered by Sabathia and Burnett. They’re a potent 1-2 combo and in a playoff series, we’ll be able to match up against ANY other squad’s respective 1-2.

    Its 3,4,5 that’s got me worried. Joba’s stuff is in serious question. He simply hasn’t harnessed it and has essentially become a 2-pitch pitcher. There’s no curve or change or cutter. There’s confidence issues that have to addressed. I’m more confident that Pettitte will be a positive contributor in the 2nd half. We’ve seen him work the kinks out before. Its not pretty, but I expect him to be better.

    Mitre has earned a call-up. Keep Ace in the ‘pen. Get Hughes down to AAA and stretch him out to a starter. Get Huston Street.

    • I was with you up until you said “Get Huston Street”.

      I love him too, but he’s most certainly not available. The Rox are in full buy mode.

      • Reggie C. says:

        I want Cashman to make a serious offer. At least make that effort. Nobody’s half as good as Huston Street. Try to get the best for the best. If it takes a Zmac, Robertson offer then do it.

        • A.D. says:

          Realistically he’s not available, now if you go down the theory of everyone is available for the right price, that means one would have to overpay for Street, which no one wants to see happen.

          Right now the Rox are in contention & looking for their own bullpen help, they’re not going to trade Street for anything resembling reasonable.

        • Seriously, dude. I doubt they even take ZMac and Robertson at this point. Colorado’s 9 games over .500. They have only 4 fewer wins than we do.

          They’re trying to add a reliever, not subtract one. Street’s probably firmly off the table. They have his rights through next year as well, they’re under no pressure to move him.

          • Here’s some other guys who might be available that I’d love to inquire on:
            Jose Valverde, HOU (still the best option)
            Michael Wuertz, Brad Ziegler, and Craig Breslow, OAK
            Rafael Betancourt, CLE
            Danys Baez, BAL
            Arthur Rhodes and David Weathers, CIN
            John Grabow, PIT

            • Reggie C. says:

              I didnt know Valverde was on the trading block, probably b/c whenever i read MLBTR i look for Street rumors first. Yes. I’m nearly obsessed …

              Valverde’s not bad at all, but the friggin ‘Stros are somehow treading .500. God i hate parity.

              • Yeah, Valverde’s kinda in the same boat as Street: He should be on the block but the Astros keep winning just enough to keep them from committing to selling.

                I’ve gotta figure that come July 31st, though, they realize that they’re not going to make the playoffs, and Valverde’s fat 8M 2009 salary will start to look uglier.

                The Oakland guys intrigue me the most, though. Wuertz has a nasty swing-and-miss slider, Ziegler’s sidearm delivery is filthy, and Breslow’s got a ton of pitches and arm angles; he reminds me of a lefty Al Aceves: nothing truly dominant, but excellent at keeping guys off balance and out of sorts with the ability to throw 4 different pitches for strikes.

                None of them walk guys, and they’re all older guys that Oakland might be willing to move (since they’re most certainly out of it.)

                • Ed says:

                  The problem with Valverde is every July since around ’04, Houston looks out of it. Most of those years they’ve made a playoff run. In ’04 and ’05 they made the playoffs, and in ’06 they only got eliminated on the last day of the season. In ’08 they only missed the Wild Card by 3.5 games. ’07 is the only year in that stretch that they actually bombed the way everyone expected them too. So their owner expects them to have a strong finish every year and buys when everyone else says sell.

                • That’s true.

                  Maybe we can convince the Astros to bring Roger Clemens out of retirement to be their new closer, making Valverde expendable. No?

                • According to some ugly, poorly-groomed schlub over at MLBTrade Rumors,

                  The Astros are likely to hold on to LaTroy Hawkins and Jose Valverde, barring a collapse before the trade deadline.

                  Take that with a grain of salt, though; the writer sounds like a Grade-A, first class idiot. With a small manhood that can’t possibly pleasure a woman.


            • Reggie C. says:

              You forgot to mention Chad Qualls, who i want no part of … My fear is that Cashman takes the easy route and calls up the unofficial 4A club to land Grabow.

              • I didn’t forget to mention him. I left him off intentionally.

                His elbow issues and the fact that the D’Bags already traded a premium reliever (Tony Peña) leads me to believe that he’s not on the block, and has too many red flags anyway.

                As for Grabow, I have no problem at all with Cashman flipping some non-prospects for Grabow. He’d be an upgrade over the young guns we have, like Robertson, Claggett, Melancon, etc. in the short term.

  3. For the first time in memory, my Confidence Level is down to a 9.

    I don’t like our growing habit of overemphasizing the bullpen and underemphasizing the rotation. I don’t like it for the short-term; I like it even less for the long-term.

    When CMW went out with an injury, the Yankee braintrust seemed to go to great lengths to eliminate Phil Hughes from contention for the 5th starter spot, because he apparently is a big boon to the bullpen.

    That’s backwards thinking. And, it’s the second time (following Joba) that we’ve chosen to leave a good starter in the bullpen because we think it’s the most optimal way to construct a championship roster. It’s not.

    • JohnnyC says:

      I think it’s that they over-estimate the quality of their starting rotation. Ignoring Joba’s problems, ignoring Andy’s disturbing inconstency (when is inconsistency just inconstency and when is it the result of rapidly deteriorating skill?), forcing the issue with an obviously sub-par Wang…doesn’t this speak to the proposition that they (and Eiland specifically)are making this up as they go along?

      • Chris says:

        How are they ignoring Joba’s problems or Andy’s inconsistency?

        All the work they are(or should) be doing for these two is behind the scenes – bullpens between starts, scouting reports, etc. You could send Joba down to AAA to figure it out, but it’s not clear that there’s a better option for his spot right now. He has to pitch to see if the changes have worked.

        For Andy, there isn’t even the option of sending him down, so you have to work with him between starts and see how that translates to the games.

        Just because the results haven’t been there for the past few weeks doesn’t mean they aren’t trying to fix it, it just means they haven’t succeeded yet.

  4. Frank says:

    Still a 6 for me. The 3rd through 5th starters have to be a major concern. Moving Hughes into the rotation would help, but that would weaken an already shaky BP which essentially consists of Mo, Hughes, Aceves and a bunch of ??. Unless Mitre is the second coming of Aaron Small and Joba and Pettitte improve significantly, this team will have tough time. Also, need to replace Ransom. There has to be a better back up infielder somewhere who can hit a lick. Defense also needs to be more consistent.

  5. JohnnyC says:

    Check out Ivan Nova’s numbers in AAA. If you believe in the hot pitcher concept, Cashman’s better off promoting him rather than the journeyman Mitre. That would be a bold move. Probably not in Cashman’s playbook though.

    • Ed says:

      You might want to check Mitre’s recent performance too. He’s been damn good lately.

      • Frank says:

        True, Mitre has pitched well at AAA and probably deserves a shot. But the fact of the matter is he’s a sub .500 career pitcher with an ERA over 5. He may do well as a 5th starter, but the reality is Pettitte and Joba need to pitch much better.

    • A.D. says:

      If you believe in the hot pitcher concept

      Actually the hot pitcher concept would also support Mitre, where as the developing a young starter would favor Nova to get more innings in AAA.

    • Reggie C. says:

      I agree with Ed. Mitre’s better suited to help this team right now. He’s got ML experience while Nova’s new to AAA. Nova’s ascent has been swift, but he hasnt been so lights out to earn a promotion to the bigs. Mitre would at least be calmer and therefore more focused on the mound.

      • Tony says:

        Time out… they’ve dicked aroun Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain. What makes you think they won’t dick Nova and McAllister around? In fact, I don’t expect those two to be in the organization on August 1.

  6. Ajax says:

    It makes me sick to know that 88 games into the season the Yankees have serious question marks with their 3-4-5 pitchers. After all the discussions that have been had that pitching wins championships, how can anyone be overly confident right now? This doesn’t even take into account the 2-12 record against the Angels and Red Sux, both of which will make the playoffs.

    I hope Cashman is not done dealing yet. Help is needed for this piching staff.

    • If not for unforeseen injuries to Wang, Kennedy, Bruney, and Marte, the staff, both in terms of bullpen quality and starting rotation depth, would look much better. That being said, yeah, we probably need to trade for a pitcher.

      A bullpen pitcher. So that we can move Hughes back into the starting rotation role he should be in.

    • Ajax – This comment is meant to be a general comment about many people using the “2-12″ thing, it’s not just directed at you…

      I find the use of this “the Yankees are only 2-12 against the Angels and Sox” thing to be misleading and dishonest. The Yankees are 0-8 against the Sox and 2-4 against the Angels. Being 2-4 against the Angels isn’t great, but come on, one game goes the other way and they have a .500 record against them. Or, along the same lines, people say “the Yankees are only 3-14 against the Angels, Sox and Phillies.” Again, the Yanks are 1-2 against the Phillies, one game goes the other way and the Yanks are 2-1 against them.

      It’s just a weak attempt to make the Yankees look worse than they are. They’re 0-8 against Boston, which totally sucks, but people need to stop taking that 0-8 and cherry-picking other season series numbers to add to it to make the Yankees’ season look like doom and gloom. You can make any number of combos look bad for the Yanks by combining that 0-8 with other series… For example, the Yanks are only 9-14 against their main division-rivals (Sox, Rays and Jays). But that’s grossly misleading, as the Yanks are 4-4 against the Rays and 5-2 against the Jays.

    • Chris says:

      The problem with the rotation right now is that you have 2 pitchers (3 if you count Wang) that are struggling. Bringing in another pitcher might help, but what would be better is having the starter we have pitch at their expected levels. If Joba and Andy can hold down ERA’s around 4 for the second half, then we’ll be in great shape without a trade.

  7. Matt H. says:

    I voted a 6, only because this team has struggled against the Sox, Rays, and Angels. Granted they took 2 of 3 from Detroit.

    It’s easy to clean up on weaker teams, and they should, but playing the tougher teams is a test, which they have failed this season.

    As it always does, it’s the pitching and defense that seems to be killing this team.

    After CC and AJ it’s basically a crap shoot with Andy and Joba, and the 5th starter spot…who the hell knows.

    You gotta kick the tires with Hallady. I’d be willing to give up Joba and either Montero or AJax, not both, and go from there.

    I personally would look into Bronson Arroyo. Granted he’s got a 5 1/2 ERA, more walks than hits and more hits than IP, but he gives you length (112 innings, 18 starts, including 2 CG and 1 SHO).

    The only thing he cost is money. 09:$9.5M, 10:$11M, 11:$11M club option ($2M buyout), so that’s a little hefty.

    I also like Bannister, who the Royals are pushing apparently. His stats are a little better, and while he has nothing that “wows” you, he seems pretty reliable.

    And at 1.7 million this year, which the yanks would owe about half of that, and he only has a little more that 2 yrs of ML Service, he’s an affordable option going forward.

    We are talking 5th spot here…or 4th depending on Joba. You’ve made you bed with Andy, so he’ gonna get the ball every 5th day, and is def your option in the playoffs.

    The bullpen outside of Ace, Hughes, Mo and Coke is a train wreck. But those are 4 solid arms, and if the starts go 6, you can mix and match for 9 outs.

    I think it’s key to come out hot in the Bronx, taking 7 of 10 would be key.

    • You gotta kick the tires with Hallady. I’d be willing to give up Joba and either Montero or AJax, not both, and go from there.

      No. Not remotely. No to that.

      I personally would look into Bronson Arroyo. Granted he’s got a 5 1/2 ERA, more walks than hits and more hits than IP, but he gives you length (112 innings, 18 starts, including 2 CG and 1 SHO).

      Ugh, no to that as well.

      • Matt H. says:

        I realize he’s risky, but he’s given more innings than Joba consistently, and with this offense, I’d take his 4 over 6 over Joba’s 4 over 4.

        • I’d be willing to wager the entire reason Arroyo currently pitches deeper into games than Joba Chamberlain does is because Joba faces the DH and Arroyo faces the pitcher.

          I’d rather not see how Arroyo’s 4.99 ERA, 1.452 WHIP, and 1.4 HR/9 over the past season and a half translates to the AL East. Pass.

          • Matt H. says:

            He’s proven himself in the division before, but that’s a fair point.

            What about Bannister?

            • Depends on the price. I’d rather trade for a reliever than a starter, though. That’s where we need more help (since Bruney and Marte have been washouts thus far) and have less depth (since Aceves, Hughes, Mitre, and Nova can be a 5th starter), and it allows us to kill two birds with one stone by freeing Hughes to go back to the rotation.

              Trading for Valverde, Wuertz, Ziegler or Baez >>>>> trading for Bannister

        • Ed says:

          If Arroyo is pitching to a 5.38 ERA / 1.48 WHIP in the NL, he’s going to get slaughtered in the AL East.

        • Chris says:

          Number of times Arroyo has given up 4+ runs: 9
          Number of times Joba has given up 4+ runs: 4

          Yes, Joba doesn’t go deep into games. Yes, he’s had 2 really bad starts, but at the end of June his ERA was 3.89, which would be the third best starter right now behind CC (3.86) and AJ (3.77).

    • YankeeScribe says:

      As it always does, it’s the pitching and defense that seems to be killing this team.

      I agree. It’s frustrating because Cashman has emphasized improving the team’s pitching depth over the past year or so. The fact that we’ll probably have to make a trade for a starter by the deadline is quite disappointing. I wouldn’t give Joba, Montero, or Jackson up for anyone but Halladay. I think we can make a trade for a solid #4 or 5 starter without giving up any major prospects.

    • Jordan says:

      Bronson Arroyo to the Yanks is a Mike Francesa wet dream. He says it all the time. Please don’t argue complete and utter nonsense. Livan Hernandez is known to eat innings too, doesn’t mean we need him instead of the real answer, moving Hughes back to the rotation.

  8. Frank says:

    The irony in all this is the Yanks commit over 250M to 2 starting pitchers and the rotation is still a major concern.

  9. BklynJT says:

    If Ace finds his way back into the pen, my confidence is an 8, otherwise its at a 7. Spot starting Ace against Minnesota was a terrible decision.

  10. Link says:

    My confidence is a bit shaken right now as well. We are putting alot of hopes and wishes on big second halves from CC and AJ. No one beyond those two as of late have pitched consistently well in the rotation and even those two have not been completely consistent.

  11. zs190 says:

    Can’t give more than a 7. Right now we have 2 legit starters if playoffs start and both of them have issues as well. CC’s K/9 is way down and AJ is piling up the walks, he has the stuff to get by but any given start he can give you a gem or a stinker, that’s not very reassuring. Joba’s command is off and velocity is down and we still don’t know why, Phil Hughes is not stretched out and most likely won’t start again this season, and Andy is what he is now, a 4th-5th starter with fringe stuff.

    Bullpen is fine, I don’t think we need anyone in particular. We’ve shown that our bullpen is good enough if they are not overexposed by bad performances from the starters. I don’t think we can make any trade that make sense though, we just need to get Wang healthy, straighten out whatever is causing Joba problems, and if Wang can’t get healthy, then stretch Hughes out to be a starter and trade for a bullpen arm.

    Offensively I am pleased with our lineup and we are leading a lot of major offensive categories(including the all important runs scored). We have above average hitting at every single position except CF(where we have a platoon that gives league average hitting and above average defense). If we can play Cody Ransom less(get Pena back soon, play Hinske more, any way is fine), I think we would be set offensively.

    Farm wise, love what I’m seeing in Nova, Montero and encouraged by arms in the lower levels like Arodys, ManBan, Turley, Richardson, and Mitchell. Disappointed by Brackman but this isn’t totally out of whack for post-TJ performances, still, it’s worrisome. I recall some of the prospects gurus mention that exceptionally tall starters don’t do well usually because it’s harder for them to repeat their delivery and command well, I hope Brackman will be able to get better soon. (he’s 23 and half already and struggling in low A)

    • zs190 says:

      One silver lining for Brackman, Randy Johnson did not figure it out until his age 29 season so there is still hope.

  12. E-ROC says:

    My confidence level is still 9. Cashman needs to remove Hughes from the bullpen, and make him a starting pitcher again. Have Mitre take Wang’s spot. The rotation has to improve before the bullpen can improve no matter who they acquire for the latter.

  13. Stryker says:

    as always, i’m at an 8. the yanks have the 3rd best record in the majors with a healthy 5 day break from baseball. it gives a lot of these guys some welcomed time off, obviously. i’m beginning to question pettitte and the notion of inconsistency vs. rapidly deteriorating skill as well, seeing as he’s becoming a shell of himself.

    i’m more willing to be patient with joba’s inconsistency going forward than i am with the hughes in the bullpen situation. they’ve dicked around with that concept more than enough already and while some may think it helps the team NOW (whether or not it helps is arguable — i’m more inclined to say it doesn’t given the poor results from the 3-5 spots in the rotation), it SEVERELY hurts the team for the future. there’s no way at this rate hughes can/will reach his innings limit this season in the bullpen. that will mean next year, when he (hopefully) is inserted into the rotation to take the spot of a retiring andy pettitte, he’ll STILL be limited to throwing a certain amount of innings and the yankees are stuck in the same goddamn situation allllll over again. you have NO IDEA how much this frustrates me. i don’t think this warrants a move to AAA because, come on, what does mowing down AAA hitters do for his development at this point? the bullpen move has been a shot of confidence for the guy, but i really think phranchise needs to go back into the rotation to take wang’s place. it’s this short-sightedness on behalf of the yankees that will continue to hurt them going forward.

  14. YankeeScribe says:

    While I like the idea of adding a solid 8th inning guy to allow Hughes to go back to being a starter, I think it’s unrealistic to think that it’s easier to aquire a solid reliever than a solid starter.

    Plus, relief pitchers are only worth trading for if you don’t have to give up anything for them. They tend to be streaky and more risky investments than starters.

    Right now, Hughes is the most reliable arm out of the pen after Rivera and he’ll most likely remain there for the rest of the season.

    • I think it’s unrealistic to think that it’s easier to aquire a solid reliever than a solid starter.

      But, that’s been the case for about the past 15-20 years. Relievers are almost always cheaper than starters. The only relievers that would have a lower prospect cost than a good reliever are totally crappy back end starters like a Doug Davis or something.

      Seriously, what starter would you rather trade for?

  15. Ian says:

    Despite their recent troubles, the Yankees still do have the second best record in the AL. Their main problem as of late has been getting adequate length out of the rotation. Sabathia is pretty much a lock for seven or more innings, and Burnett can go fairly deep into games as well. As has been noted, the problems lie with Pettitte, who has been giving up far too many free passes for a veteran, and Chamberlain, who seems to be unable to finish hitters off. If the Yanks can manage to get these guys through at least the six inning, Girardi can tap into the Coke-Hughes-Rivera tandem, which was working well up until a few days ago. With the way Mitre has been pitching in AAA, I’m fairly confident that we can get at least one decent start out of him before (a) Wang returns (b) Yankees trade. Like any other year, if there is a team that can get the player they want before the deadline, it’s the Yankees.

    Going after Halladay would not be the best route, honestly. The Jays understandably want a bevy of top-notch prospects, and I just cannot see the Yankees’ brass parting with the likes of Hughes, Austin Jackson, Jesus Montero, etc. Looking forward to the offseason, I believe John Lackey may be available, who the Yanks could make a run at, to help keep Hughes in the bullpen, where I honestly think he would see much more success. We might be able to put an end to Joba’s bullpen-rotation debate, if that happens.

    Anyway, you have to give the Yankees credit. They lost their cleanup man for upwards of a month (who has not reached his peak fitness level as of yet), watched at their ace for a few seasons start of the year in a simply horrid fashion (and has struggled since), will be without Nady — expected originally to platoon or start ahead of Swisher — for essentially the entire year, and lost Damaso Marte, expected to take up a key role in the route to Mariano. Despite all of this, the team is in contention for the AL East crown, and has a decent lead in the Wild Card.

    • Looking forward to the offseason, I believe John Lackey may be available, who the Yanks could make a run at, to help keep Hughes in the bullpen, where I honestly think he would see much more success. We might be able to put an end to Joba’s bullpen-rotation debate, if that happens.

      No to that.

      If we’re going to look towards the offseason fixes, why sign Lackey to big bucks and leave Hughes in the bullpen, when we could move Hughes back to the rotation and sign one of the Jose Valverde/Mike Gonzalez/Rafael Soriano/Matt Thorton/John Grabow/Danys Baez/Rafael Betancourt deep list of quality relievers and save a ton of money and risk?

      • Ian says:

        Due to the fact that after two seasons of disappointing starts, Hughes has found a niche in which he has become an incredibly valuable asset. A switch to the pen has enabled him to be more aggressive, throw harder, and focus on utilizing his best pitches.

        • Klemy says:

          “A switch to the pen has enabled him to be more aggressive, throw harder, and focus on utilizing his best pitches.”

          Why should he not be able to do that as a starter?

          • Ian says:

            Starters need to conserve energy if they wish to go a reasonable distance, and need to employ a greater variety of pitches. What has happened to Hughes is essentially to opposite of what Joba’s going through: decreased velocity, lack of consistent secondary pitches, and timidness.

  16. Klemy says:

    Down to a 7 after the weekend series.

    I’m very upset that Hughes has not returned to the rotation, when our rotation needs an arm so badly. I would rather Aceves not be spot starting and stayed in the pen.

    I’m willing to wait on Joba’s building right now. He frustrates me all to hell with some of these recent bad innings where he seems like he is just mentally to weak to pitch himself out of jams. I’d like to see his fire and some velocity back.

    Andy has lost me. I just think he’s of the downhill with no brakes at this point in his career.

    I think AJ and CC are coming around and will be great the 2nd half.

    I get frustrated with some of the day off scenarios going in to the break too. I have questions about Girardi’s managing decisions now and then to the point that I’m yelling, “Are you seriously that stupid?” at the TV some nights. Sometimes it seems like he’s making great decisions and other times it seems like he’s giving up the game to me. I don’t know if it’s fair or not, but it’s how I feel.

  17. Little Bill says:

    Still a 10 for me, just like every week. This is a great team, probably the best in baseball.

  18. Andrew Berry says:

    Offensively we are the best, our relievers have gotten a bit better, but we need someone new in the starting rotation and get Joba out of the starting rotation, he does well his first four innings and then loses his fastball speed and fall apart. Sign Roy Halladay and we are perfect.

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