Keeping up in the arms race

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Jarrod WashburnBefore we get into this post, let’s make something very clear: The Yankees are not moving Phil Hughes back into the rotation this year. It’s just not happening, no matter how much we want it to. They’ve expressed zero desire to take him out of the bullpen thus far, and there’s no reason to expect that to change. I don’t like it and you probably don’t like it either, but it’s just the way it is. And because of this, the Yankees are in need of another starting pitcher.

Oh sure, Sergio Mitre might do a splendid job filling in for the injured Chien-Ming Wang, and I sure hope he does. The problem is that at some point Joba Chamberlain is going to hit his innings limit (he’s at 95.2 IP right now), and of course there’s always the threat of an injury or two. The Yanks pitching depth is as stretched as stretched can be now that Ian Kennedy is recovering from an aneurysm while Hughes and Al Aceves have become bullpen staples. The team needs another arm to help take the load off the other guys, just because it’s better to be safe than sorry (plus we all hate Sidney Ponson). It doesn’t have to be a Roy Halladay-type (though it would be nice); someone like Jarrod Washburn would be just fine.

The Yanks were reportedly close to completing a deal for Washburn before last year’s deadline, but Seattle got greedy and overplayed their hand. Then-GM Bill Bavasi was fired over the winter and his replacement – former Brewers scouting director Jack Zduriencik – appears to have his head screwed on straight. The Mariners are just four games back in the division and five back for the Wild Card with the league’s third most favorable schedule ahead of them, so there’s a chance Washburn might not even be available at all. However if they tank between now and the deadline, expect the former Angels hurler to be shopped around a bit. A waiver wire deal could also be pulled off after July 31st should the M’s stay in contention passed next Friday.

As for Washburn, the deal makes more sense now than it did last season because he’s actually pitching, you know, effectively. Through his first 18 games last year he had a 4.83 ERA, a 4.37 FIP and a .817 OPS against, but those numbers have dropped to 2.87, 3.77 and .632 in ’09. And while that improvement is nice, it’s even nicer that there’s actual tangible evidence to support it, rather than the usual “maybe he just figured it out” shtick. Washburn’s added about a mile an hour to his heater and two miles an hour to his changeup this year, but the biggest adjustment is the incorporation of a two-seamer into his arsenal.

While he has done a swell job against southpaws in his career, righthanders have hit Washburn up for a .265-.323-.758 batting line. Those problems against righties were exacerbated last year when they pounded him to the tune of .299-.361-.504. The two-seamer has allowed Washburn to neutralize righties better than he has in some time (.252-.307-.382 this year), and he’s been death to lefties (.175-.211-.278). It’s a new pitch hitters haven’t seen before, and they’ve yet to adjust to it. His strikeout rate is up a tick, his walk rate is down nearly a full walk per nine innings, and his BABIP is touch low but not outrageous. The big difference between Washburn’s ERA and FIP can be explained by Seattle’s insanely good defense, particularly in the outfield since he’s a flyball pitcher.

Washburn will be a free agent in the offseason and is making $10.35M this year, so if Zduriencik decides to move him at the deadline he stands to save about $3.5M. Given how the Yanks had the Pirates pay half of Eric Hinke’s measly salary when they picked him up late last month, I don’t think it’s safe to assume the Bombers will just absorb that money. Regardless, I can’t imagine the M’s would expect a significant return since we’re still talking about a soon-to-be 35-yr old pitcher who hasn’t been above league average in four years. Think two low-level minor leaguers, neither of them significant prospects, and salary relief. Something along those lines. Probably the biggest obstacle in any deal for Washburn is his full no-trade clause. That’s just something you worry about when the time comes, but if he wants an extension, then forget it. Obviously.

What do you guys think? Should the Yanks make a move for Washburn to shore up the rotation, or hold off and go with what they have? Any other starters out there you’d like to see them kick the tires on (non-Halladay and Cliff Lee division)?

Photo Credit: Flickr user Saltimbanco

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It's almost too quiet out there
Stadium hits: bowl games, lawsuits and bikes
  • Uncle Pinstripe

    I think getting Washburn would be a mixed bag. He is a lefty, an innings eater type of pitcher, and a great back of the rotation type of guy.
    The downside is that he had a great first half of the season last year, and then tanked. So inconsistency is a fear.

    I would love to see them get Cliff Lee, but he would cost too much.
    But there is no doubt, they need to bolster their rotation for the impending run at the series.

    • Aaron

      If all the Yankees are going to offer is 2 low level prospects for Washburn, there’s no chance of a deal. Even if the M’s lose every game from here on out. The M’s don’t need salary relief. They’re not the Pirates or Marlins. It is either no deal or big prospects, and maybe not even then.

      • wilcymoore

        Agreed. Washburn turns 35 on August 13, but he’s pitched well this year – including his start today, incidentally – and Seattle is 7 games over .500 and only five games behind the Angels. I don’t see the Mariners giving him up for two mid-level prospects and some salary relief.

    • http://deleted RollingWave

      “I think getting Washburn would be a mixed punching bag

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

    Regardless, I can’t imagine the M’s would expect a significant return since we’re still talking about a soon-to-be 35-yr old pitcher who hasn’t been above league average in four years. Think two low-level minor leaguers, neither of them significant prospects, and salary relief. Something along those lines.

    I disagree. I think Zduriencik decides to go for it and keep both Washburn and Bedard. I see them staying and both resigning in the offseason.

    Just my hunch.

    • Reggie C.

      Wii money talks, discontentment walks.

  • Russell NY

    Washburn, Francessa’s Arroyo, maybe kick tires on Harang.

  • A.D.

    My fear is the M’s will want a solid prospect given they are in contention, and could use Washburn in their stretch run, otherwise I’m all for him.

    I think Bannister is a solid option to be at the back of the rotation and eat innings, given the Royals recent trade history he should cost effectively nothing, given they gave up good prospects for one of the worst SS in recent memory.

    • Steve H

      Miranda would be a perfect Royal, though his OBP might be a little high for their liking.

      • http://leegrantphotography.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/madmax.jpg gxpanos

        +1. Oh, Dayton.

      • http://www.teamnerdrage.com leokitty

        They have a guy like Miranda at AAA, Kila Kaaihue and won’t bring him up because I honestly have no idea. Royals.

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

    If you’re right and we refuse to move Hughes out of the pen, here’s the starting pitching options:

    Halladay – too expensive
    Lee – too expensive
    Haren – too expensive
    Bedard – too expensive/possibly not available
    Washburn – possible, but I personally doubt he’s as cheap as you do
    Bannister – not an upgrade over internal options
    Meche – too expensive and hurt
    Doug Davis – ugh, pass
    Jon Garland – even worse than Doug Davis
    Pavano – too risky for multiple reasons
    Harang – too expensive / not pitching well
    Arroyo – even worse than Jon Garland
    Kevin Correia – even worse than Bronson Arroyo

    I think our only real options, and frankly, I’d like to trade for both of them, are Justin Duchsherer and Ian Snell. Both guys have quality stuff but are price-deflated (Duke due to injury and availability concerns, Snell due to recent struggles and unwillingness to return to Pittsburgh).

    I think we can land both of them at lower prices than most of the rest of the guys on the list, and get better returns.

    • jsbrendog

      but ian snell sucking in the nl central = ian snell coming to the al east and being better than in house options?

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

        Ian Snell being cheap + Ian Snell being young = Ian Snell being a good, buy low depth option.

        Good Eric Hinske lightning in a bottle potential.

        • jsbrendog

          fair enough. you make good points sir

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

            THAT IS HOW YOU DEBATE!!!!!

            • jsbrendog

              but the yankees aren’t young, they’re so oooooold!

              /msm

            • kenthadley

              I’ve liked this one for the past few weeks since the possibility floated up……good arm, maybe needs a big time, focused environment to flourish…..provided the Pirates don’t start thinking they need a major prospect for him….

              • jsbrendog

                if they do then cashman can say ok well then have fun keeping him in aaa because he refuses to come up and pitch for you. then hang up and count to 5 before the phone rings again.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      I’d give up just about anything not named “Phil Hughes” for Haren, but it’s not happening.

      I’d kick the tires on an Arroyo, Washburn or Garland, guys who have actually pitched in the American League and have a chance of holding up in the back of the rotation. Like the original post said, we don’t need much, just someone who will keep us in enough games for the rest of the season.

      I’m wary of putting too much stock in a trade for a pitcher who could go either way (I’m also wary of Cliff Lee for completely different reasons, but that’s another post.). I have no many memories of the late Cory Lidle and, gasp, Steve Trout. The impact of anyone may not be that much more than the impact Mitre would make. Rolling the dice on a fifth starter, in my non-statistician opinion (need to make that disclaimer on this site), is about as risky as rolling the dice on a middle reliever mid-season.

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

        I’d kick the tires on an Arroyo, Washburn or Garland, guys who have actually pitched in the American League and have a chance of holding up in the back of the rotation.

        Washburn, yes. Arroyo and Garland, hells no. I don’t have a boot soft enough to kick a tire that decrepit and desiccated.

        Like the original post said, we don’t need much, just someone who will keep us in enough games for the rest of the season.

        Yeah, but we may actually need more than that. As the post said, Joba’s due to get shut down, and if CMW doesn’t come back and Hughes stays in the bullpen, that means Andy Pettitte and Sergio Mitre are our Game 3 and Game 4 starter in the playoffs. I’d like to upgrade that. Snell and Duke could be great upgrade candidates.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          Washburn, yes. Arroyo and Garland, hells no. I don’t have a boot soft enough to kick a tire that decrepit and desiccated.

          Maybe I’m being influenced by watching Arroyo shut out baseball’s version of the New York Knicks in person a couple of weeks back.

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

            Probably. The Mets make everyone look good.

    • JohnnyC

      The buzz was that Cashman’s been looking into Snell. Duchsherer would be a tough get considering Beane’s self-image as the smartest kid in class (he’s not going to roll over like the AAAA franchise in Pittsburgh).

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

        Duchsherer would be a tough get considering Beane’s self-image as the smartest kid in class (he’s not going to roll over like the AAAA franchise in Pittsburgh).

        True, but Beane’s a bit hamstrung here in that Duke likely won’t be ready to pitch until August and he’s a free agent at year’s end. You can’t charge premium prices for a guy who has no guarantee to give you a return.

        • Okula67Fan

          Duchsherer would be a good pickup even if he can contribute little this year. Think Jon Lieber.

          • jsbrendog

            didnt we sign lieber as a free agent klnowing he was injured?

            duke is a free agent. we can’t assume he’ll give anything next year or even sign.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Stats guys: give me examples of starting pitchers with exclusively bad NL team experience who have done well in mid-season trades to AL contenders. I can’t think of any off the top of my plebian head.

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

          Meh, probably none. Which is why I’m not interested in Snell unless he’s cheap.

        • Ed

          Shawn Chacon?

    • Reggie C.

      Dan Haren – Available? I haven’t heard his name in any trade rumors. Young, cheap, signed = why not? Is he not in the Felix, Greinke category of players you’d trade Joba + Montero to acquire? Just asking…

      If Cash is looking at trade candidates, we could do alot worse than Washburn.

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

        Felix is 23. Grienke is 25.

        Haren turns 29 in September. I’m just saying.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Co-sign on this entire comment.

      I’m not even so high on either Duchscherer or Snell, but the market is thin. Even after his struggles in Pittsburgh I think Snell is a bit overrated just because the Pirates held him out as a top of the rotation (well, top of their rotation) option for a couple of years, but I don’t think the stuff or results ever substantiated the rep. But, given the options both in-house and on the market, the Yanks would do well to get a couple of decent and relatively cheap options in Duchscherer and Snell. They’d probably both be relatively versatile, too. We know the Duke can be effective out of the pen, and it’d be worth seeing how Snell would perform in relief as well.

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

        They’d probably both be relatively versatile, too. We know the Duke can be effective out of the pen, and it’d be worth seeing how Snell would perform in relief as well.

        That’s the other reason I like both of those moves; Duke and Snell have both already shown the ability to relieve too. Come October, if our 12-man staff is CC, AJ, Pettitte, Mitre, Hughes, Mariano, Duke, Snell, Aceves, Coke, Bruney, and Marte, I think we’ll be able to cover all those innings. And, if there’s room for Joba left under his innings cap, all the better.

        • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Has Snell been an effective reliever? I’m using my phone while at an incredibly boring seminar, sorry to ask for info like that. I don’t remember him being successful in the pen.

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

            Surprisingly, yeah. Tiny sample size, though.

            Snell as a starter: 4.80 ERA, .283/.356/.457 (.813) against in 668.0 IP
            Snell as a releiver: 3.60 ERA, .186/.311/.384 (.694) against in 25.0 IP

            • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              Yeah… SSS, but definitely not surprising that his stuff would play up a bit out of the pen. 2 relatively cheap, versatile young arms with some warts but the chance for some good upside. I totally agree with you about them (and the downside of the other known options). Sign me up.

              • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                Actually, the Duke’s not that young, is he. Point still stands though, it’s not like we want him because he’s so young and such a long-term investment. He’d be a depth play.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Plus… Didn’t the fictional Yankees in Major League have a reliever nicknamed “The Duke?” Wasn’t he the guy who threw at that washed-up punk Jake Taylor?

                  Clearly another point in Duchscherer’s column.

                • jsbrendog

                  wasn’t he the power htiter on the yankees with the goose like power stache that hit the hr off wild thing earlier in the year and was a total douche? and the second time taylor told him what pitches were coming and he still couldn’t hit them?

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  No that was Clu Haywood, wasn’t it?

                • Steve H

                  Yes, Clu Haywood (played by former Cy winner Pete Vukovich) was the hitter. The Duke was the pitcher who threw at his own kid during the father/son game.

            • Ed

              Isn’t that exactly what you’d expect?

              We’ve been going on for 2 years now that Joba and now Hughes make awesome relievers not because that’s where they’re destined to be, but because all pitchers improve when moved from the rotation to the pen. Throwing only your best pitches at max effort instead of mixing it up and pacing yourself and all that…

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

                Yup. It’s easier to get a guy out when you know you only have to face him once that day and there’s no need to hold anything in reserve. Give him all your best stuff. Only need to fool him one time.

    • http://www.teamnerdrage.com leokitty

      I think Ian Snell is a good idea for 2010 depth but not someone they should acquire with 2009 in mind.

  • Johan Iz My Brohan

    How about Joel Pineiro from the Cards?

    Given I don’t know very much about the Cards’ pitching staff besides Wainwright and a few others, would he be acquirable without giving up much, especially with them in contention? (He is also a FA at the end of the season).

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

      I can’t imagine the Cards being sellers at all.

      • scoopemup

        Dave La Point ????

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

          I’m not sure where you’re going with this.

    • zs190

      If they are in contention, why would they trade away a top starter? (especially since they are still trying to acquire pitching)

      • Johan Iz My Brohan

        Like I said I know very little about the Cardinals pitching staff. I had no idea how good he is, what the Cardinals need or anything. All I know is that it is going to be hard to get somebody with so many teams contending at the moment.

        • zs190

          Some of his numbers are just crazy. Huge spike in groundballs, significant drop in both walks and strikeouts, 3.75 K/9(yikes), 0.88 BB/9(wow). I don’t know if he’s legit, but I’m scared that he’s just a Dave Duncan magical reclamation and is playing way over his head.

    • A.D.

      They’d only sell him if they landed Lee or Halladay first.

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

        Exactly. The Cards aren’t selling any pieces unless they add better pieces first.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

    Actually, flogging the Dolphin might be Washburn’s biggest change this year:

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.c.....cation=rss

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

      Here’s video of the “Dolphin” pitch in action:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdYBEJzy-F0

    • UWS

      Is that anything like spanking the monkey?

      *reads article*

      Oh. How boring.

    • Tampa Yankee

      Love this quote: “Young is a professional hitter.” I’ve never really understood calling a guy that. Aren’t they all supposed to be professional hitters since they are paid, you know, to hit for a living?

  • http://twitter.com/JamalG Jamal G.

    Seeing as how one person already mentioned that annoying prick, Bronson Arroyo, I’d thought I’d use, you know, facts (!) to dispel this myth about him ever being a successful pitcher in the American League East:

    In 132.2 innings vs non-Devil Rays teams in the AL East over his career (and outside of two starts against the Blue Jays in interleague play in 2008 and 2009, all of these starts occured in the 2003-2005 seasons where he was 26-28), Bronson Arroyo has posted the following marks:

    7.76 FIP
    1.62 HR/9
    4.68 K/9
    1.79 K/BB
    1.47 WHIP

    So, in essence, Bronson Arroyo fucking sucked whilst an AL East pitcher; stop rehashing crap from an idiot, it makes you sound worse.

    • jsbrendog

      ::golf clap::

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

      To be fair, he did say he was interested in trading for Francesa’s Arroyo. Since that Arroyo, the one in Francessa’s head, is not the real Arroyo, trading for Francesa’s Arroyo wouldn’t be that bad of a deal.

      I’d personally give up Montero and Joba for Francesa’s Nate McLouth, because that guy is better than Willie Mays and Ken Griffey Jr. combined.

      • JohnnyC

        As Bobby Cox is discovering even now as we discuss it.

  • Eric

    I’d be all for Washburn, but I also don’t think he’d come that cheap and would probably cost at least 1 decent/good prospect, but the M’s would probably have to fall around 6-8 games back by the deadline for it to happen.

    I think the name to still keep an eye on is Ian Snell who is tearing up Triple-A and from what I’ve heard has refused to come back up to play for the Pirates so there is conflict with management who may also only require a decent prospect in order to get rid of their headache.

    • JohnnyC

      This is Pittsburgh we’re talking about. They just traded LaRoche for the proverbial bag of balls.

      • MattG

        What kind of balls? Are they official league?

        I think I’d rather have the balls.

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

          Yeah, it’s not like LaRoche was a great player or anything. They were trying to clear a spot at first for Steve Pearce or Ryan Doumit, who may not go back to catcher since Jaramillo and Diaz have been doing well. And, they got Argenis Diaz, who’s probably a slight upgrade over Ramiro Peña.

          Getting a legit excellent gloveman for an overrated, overpaid 1B that you have no use for isn’t that bad of a deal. I love how the MSM is shitting all over all the Pirates trades this year, but all of them have actually been pretty good, all things considered. (Well, except for Hinske.)

          • jsbrendog

            eh but hinske was a dumb signing for them in the first place. he’s old, not that good, and what is he doing on a go nowhere team since he has no upside to them. Him being a free agent, useless to them, not playing much, and having 1 hr means getting anything for him is better than letting him leave as a free agent and failed free agent signing.

            • rbizzler

              I disagree that Hinske was a dumb signing for the Pirates. Assuming that you aren’t blocking the development of a young player(s), rebuilding teams should sign mediocre veterans like Hinske, give them some run in the first half and then move them for any asset they can get at the deadline.

              The problem is that crappy org’s like the Natinals and KC fall in love with the scrubs and don’t move them while their value is highest.

              Pitt should be cleaning house as they are a 70 win team with all of their over-rated vets (Jack Wilson anyone). They need to add talent to the org any way possible (ie not drafting Sanchez #4), but trading dead weight is a fine idea.

              • jsbrendog

                my point was he only played in 54 games. he wasn’t playing, or producing .255/.373 with one hr. the signing was a failure and dumb because they didn’t have him out there. what does a team like the pirates need with bench depth?

                but we do agree on the fact that getting anything for him is a coup under the circumstances. that is the part of tjsc’s argument i was refuting, ihm saying the hinske deal wasn’t a good deal for them.

                “I love how the MSM is shitting all over all the Pirates trades this year, but all of them have actually been pretty good, all things considered. (Well, except for Hinske.)”

                • rbizzler

                  I agree that they should have been playing him in order to showcase him (as much as one can showcase Hinske). Right now, the Natinals have been starting Josh Willingham over Dukes in an effort to raise his value and move him at the deadline. Good move on their part, with the caveat being that they must move him and get Dukes some AB’s down the stretch

      • Eric

        Lol good point JohnnyC, and Snell has shown he has the potential to be dominant (even if it was 2 years ago at the major league level) so I personally wouldn’t mind that trade.

  • MattG

    I am not sure I agree with the premise. While I do agree the Yankees will not create a hole in their bullpen, if Huston Street can be had, I would expect to see Hughes back in the rotation this season.

    There are more options for reliever than there are for starter, so I think that is still option #1. I wouldn’t expect the Yankees to be public about it.

    Option 2 is probably internal. Ivan Nova, Zach McCallister, and (gulp) Josh Towers are all options.

    Starting pitching is a sellers market, and it has to be option 3.

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

      While I do agree the Yankees will not create a hole in their bullpen, if Huston Street can be had, I would expect to see Hughes back in the rotation this season.

      Yeah, but Huston Street can’t be had. Neither can Chad Qualls or Jose Valverde. Had we traded for any of those three, or if Bruney had come back lights out, I bet Hughes back to the rotation would still be an idea in contention.

  • zs190

    I like Aaron Harang, 4.17 ERA, 3.95 FIP. Very good peripherals and ERA suffer from a high .BABIP, .347, significantly higher than career norms. Durable guy with good track record. A little expensive but not really overpaid by much(if any) given a guy of his track record.

    Reds are 44-50, 5.5 games back with a lot of teams in front of them, there’s been articles on MLBTR that they’ve been trying to trade some of their expensive starters to play the younger guys more(Why would do this with Dusty Baker as your manager is beyond me).

  • My Pet Goat

    I’d like to see the Yanks be bold and go all-in on a young, well-regarded power-arm. The kind of starter with an outstanding MiLB track record that’s shown flashes of dominance at the big league level. And I’d be willing to pay through the nose to get him, like possibly our lights-out setup man. I know Phil has been awesome, but you have to give up something to get something.

    • Johan Iz My Brohan

      I can haz yer drugs plz?

    • JohnnyC

      So you’d trade Phil Hughes for…Phil Hughes?

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

        This is the best idea ever.

        • jsbrendog

          i would trade this current phil hughes bullpen pitcher for phil hughes the starter in a heartbeat, or as tommie says, 7 days a week and twice on sundays…….

          but for some reason, cashman won’t….

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

            He’s afraid of Mariano smiting him.

      • My Pet Goat

        Thanks for checkin’ in.

    • Yuri

      “a young, well-regarded power-arm. The kind of starter with an outstanding MiLB track record that’s shown flashes of dominance at the big league level” = PHIL HUGHES

      • jsbrendog

        + all the money in my wallet.

        as i said above, for all the moves cashman is looking at tradewise, he won’t trade a reliever for a huge upside young starter.

        • jsbrendog

          meaning rp hughes for sp hughes

      • My Pet Goat

        I’d like to thank everyone that took the time to explicate my sarcasm. You guys are the best. xoxoxoxo

  • Chris

    No.

    I would have been ok with him last season but not now. In the old stadium, his flyballs probably wouldn’t be a big issue, but in the new stadium he’d get whiplash from all of the home runs.

    His performance this season is probably due in large part to the improvements in the Mariners outfield defense. His BABIP is down to .259 this year, compared to .309 last year and a .281 career mark.

    • http://www.teamnerdrage.com leokitty

      Since Washburn so no he probably wouldn’t. The problem is right field, so if they’re really hitting it that hard off him consistently than we’re doomed anyway.

      Pettitte is giving up a ton of homeruns because he is generally pitching badly.

      • http://www.teamnerdrage.com leokitty

        *Since Washburn is a lefty

  • Ed

    I just can’t see Washburn being that cheap. He’s pitching really well this year, and all the better pitchers than him on the trading block are going to require huge packages. Last year we expected to get him cheap because he was pitching like a #4/#5 starter. This year he’s pitching like a #2/#3.

    I’d imagine a package like Z-Mac + 1 would be what it takes, assuming Seattle gives up on the season.

  • ChrisS

    http://ussmariner.com/2008/08/.....white-sox/

    Furthermore, did you know he’s now throwing a splitter? Yup. Just like Silva was and then wasn’t, it’s a key reason why Jarrod’s success is sustainable, a fact now recognized by others).

    How good is his splitter? It’s that good. Look through the pitch logs and check it out. It’s crazy. It’s seemingly logged as a changeup, a cutter, and a slider! It’s so deceptive that it has essentially the same characteristics as other pitches. That’s what’s putting the fear into batters. How can they know if a pitch that looks the same has one of two different names? That’s messing with their heads.

    Even worse than ‘the usual “maybe he just figured it out” shtick”‘ is the he learned a new pitch schtick.

    No thanks, I’d rather have Hughes. That the Yankees are unwilling to move their most promising starting pitcher from the bullpen to the rotation where he belongs is a strike against them, IMO. And my opinion means precisely dick, so whatevs.

    • My Pet Goat

      If only Theo was our GM. Then we’d know that Phil is in the pen for reasons far beyond our simpleton minds. But we don’t so we’re left wondering whether or not Cashman crossed some gypsie that put a hex on all of his young “starters.”. He should think about sacrificing some chickens or maybe even his dog. This kind of curse means seriously bad juju.

    • yankees09

      I would not want Washburn. My preference is to leave the team as is. Halladay would cost the farm for the Yanks. If the Team must make a move, I would prefer trading for a bullpen guy instead of a starter. Maybe for a guy like Huston Street so we can insert Hughes back in the rotation and see if he can incorporate what he learned in the pen and see if it would translate well for him as a starter.

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

        Again, Street is not available. The Rockies are buyers.

  • Jared

    “The big difference between Washburn’s ERA and FIP can be explained by Seattle’s insanely good defense, particularly in the outfield since he’s a flyball pitcher.”

    You turned me off at flyball pitcher. I think they the New Yankee Stadium is where they go to die.

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

      It is worth noting that the Mariners team UZR is +33.8 and our team UZR is -12.1.

      And that Safeco Field is giving up 0.901 HR/G (23rd) while YS3 is at 1.466 HR/G (1st).

      The Washburn you see in Seattle’s probably not the one you see here.

  • A.D.

    I haven’t seen enough about what it could cost, but a Cliff Lee deal could be interesting, especially since the Indians, want pitching, which would be dealing from the Yankees strength. CC, AJ, Lee would be a damn nice top of the rotation.

  • Glen L

    Washburn’s 40.5% FB rate would likely be an adventure in Yankee Stadium Mach III; there’s no way his HR/FB stays around its current 7.4% … i don’t hate the idea at all if the cost is garbage and salary relief … but i’m not sure how well he’ll pitch here

    • ChrisS

      but i’m not sure how well he’ll pitch here

      Probably a couple of 2-4 run outings sandwiched around a couple of 8+ run outings when the jet stream heats up at YS III or he faces a good offense.

      Which = 5th starter. Which = Sergio Mitre.

      And, not directed at you, it’s trade for the sake of making a trade and paying a lot of money for the privilege. A million or three may still be chump change to the Yankees, but it’s $3 million dollars. Paying $250k a start or a maybe a million for a win when they can probably get the same production at ~$200k total is bad business.

      The Yankees have the depth they need. How they’re choosing to apply that depth is questionable.

  • yankees09

    Sorry. Inserted my comment in the wrong place.

    July 23rd, 2009 at 10:26 am I would not want Washburn. My preference is to leave the team as is. Halladay would cost the farm for the Yanks. If the Team must make a move, I would prefer trading for a bullpen guy instead of a starter. Maybe for a guy like Huston Street so we can insert Hughes back in the rotation and see if he can incorporate what he learned in the pen and see if it would translate well for him as a starter.

  • GG

    Just go get the Doc, find a way to make it happen Cash

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

      I agree.

      We need to find a way to sign Doc Gooden. Make it happen, Cash.

      • Nady Nation

        How about Doc Howard? Put in a call to Donnie Walsh, Cashman.

  • Steve H

    Duke or Snell. Or bullpen help, but only if very cheap prospect-wise.

  • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

    You guys want I should scout any pitchers at todays Jays/Indians game?

    /lameattempttostayontopicandbragaboutgame:)

    • jsbrendog

      well played

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

      That’s probably the first time anyone’s ever bragged about going to a Cleveland Indians/Toronto Blue Jays game.

      I’m literally trying to remember a time both those teams were good, or even exciting, at the same time.

  • Dingleberry-G

    I th’o’t da Yankees should jet afta Duchscherer or Snell, like many o’ ya gots proposed. Both prob’ly won’t cost much an’ they’re low-risk decisions. otay buh-weet

    • Glen L

      …is this a joke? or do you actually write this way? if the latter is true …heavens…

  • Mike

    First i think we can all agree the Yankees need another starter. We need the insurance policy.

    that being said . I like Washburn. we could do alot worse.

    BUT the pitcher i think if we could pull the right strings is Zach Duke. .i’d love to see him on the yanks ! ( its a major long shot ).

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

      It is a major long shot.

      Why would the Pirates trade a young, cost controlled, effective lefty? They wouldn’t. They’re building around Duke.

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

        And that’s exactly why they’re doomed to suck for all of eternity.

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

          Meh, if you have no clear-cut superstars, you have to build around an accumulation of solid young talent.

          They’ve got great young outfielders (even if Tabata never pans out), quality young catchers, picked up some decent pitchers in the McLouth haul… if Pedro Alvarez can play third and they sign Sano, maybe pick up a few more pieces for Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez, maybe they’re competitive in a year or two.

          There’s a few green shoots there.

          • http://www.teamnerdrage.com leokitty

            Duke shouldn’t be the one they “build around” and hold onto, Paul Maholm should.

      • jsbrendog

        via mlbtr:

        “neal huntington tells mlb.com’s jesse sanchez that none of his players are untouchable”

        just sayin’

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

          Okay, then. I sit corrected.

          (Andrew McCutchen is untouchable, though. That’s a fact, regardless of what Huntington says.)

          • Tom Zig

            IPK + Melky for McCutchen

  • Thee4stringking

    I can’t see getting Washburn, a huge flyball pitcher in Yankee stadium.

    It’s basic economics people! His value is inflated!

    (Also, i see you guys ok’ing Washburn, but not Doug Davis?)

    • jsbrendog

      Doug davis this yr, in the nl wst (8 starts combined against the padres, giants, braves, all bad offensive teams) :

      1.496 whip
      1.56 so/bb ratio
      a hit per inning
      ERA+ 114

      Washburn in the AL west (9 starts combined, 50% of them, against Yankees, Angels, Orioles, Rangers, Rays, all good offensive teams) :

      1.092 WHIP
      2.68 SO/BB ratio
      17 less hits than innings pitched
      ERA+ 148

      both are free agents so we don’t care what their history or futures are. so yes, washburn, and NO Davis

      • Thee4stringking

        And yet you ignore my first two statements?

        My point is that you shouldn’t want EITHER of them

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

          My point is that you shouldn’t want EITHER of them

          It was? Really? You said:

          “I can’t see getting Washburn, a huge flyball pitcher in Yankee stadium.”
          Meaning: You shouldn’t want Washburn. He’s not a good fit here.

          “It’s basic economics people! His value is inflated!”
          Meaning: Washburn is worse than he looks. You shouldn’t want him.

          “(Also, i see you guys ok’ing Washburn, but not Doug Davis?)”
          Meaning: I think Doug Davis is better than Washburn. He should be who you want insted of Washburn.

          • Paul Nussbaum

            I think Washburn makes a lot of sense and will and should be pursued but the price will be steeper than you’ve suggested.
            I think it will take Melky, a AAA arm or Mitre and one of the lower level catching prospects (not Montero, Romaine or Sanchez)..even at that price i’d pull the trigger …Between Joba’s innings, Wang out and Andy P’s age we gamble the playoffs if we don’t make the move.
            Lee and Hallady are too expensive.

  • Dela G

    If CMW comes back healthy, we’ll only need one more bullpen arm other than marte. One more right hander that can supplant robertson and let the kid go back to AAA and get more innings

    i am praying CMW is able to come back this friday and not feel pain while throwing catch

  • JohnC

    Mark Mulder!!!!!

    • Steve H

      Loud noises!!!

      • jsbrendog

        Steve Perry!!

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

          MATT DAMON!!!

          • Reggie C.

            LUKE SCOTT!!

            (passes out)

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

              Reggie, are you wearing any pants?

              /Axl’d

              • Rick in Boston

                You’d like that, wouldn’t you pansy?

                /Ironhorse’d

  • Johan Iz My Brohan

    From our good friends at ESPN

    http://sports.espn.go.com/spor.....ootb090723

    “In the American League East race, the Red Sox just made their break from the pack.”

    “Now it’s up to the Yankees and Rays. Are they content to sit back and watch, assuming they will falter, fade and eventually disappear from the rearview mirror entirely? Will they counter with any moves of their own, perhaps in the form of a Canadian pitcher? Or does Boston have one more gear left in the tank, and are just waiting for the right moment to spring it on their competition?”

    ——-

    Do ESPN writers regularly check the standings? Because as far as I know, the Red Sox did not break away from the pack. In fact, right before this was written they were falling behind the AL East leading Yankees.

    So what is it guys, what ever shall we do?

    • JohnnyC

      There’s a solution to this, you know. Convince Disney that it makes more economic sense to relocate ESPN headquarters from Connecticut to the West Coast along with its other studio assets. You’d purge the grubby, verging on pathetic Red Sox virus that’s infected ESPN because of its accident of geography. Of course, you’d get a strong Dodger bias creeping in but that’s a whole lot easier to take.

      • jsbrendog

        it was great to read a sox bashing article for a change on espn. Granted it is about them like 50+ yrs ago and how they were the last team to integrate and are basically just totally super rascist douchenozzles but it was a great read.

        fun fact from the article:

        Coco Crisp is the ONLY African American player the Sox have employed full time since 2002 (TWO THOUSAND AND TWO).

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

          What about Devern Hansack? He’s pretty dark-skinned, at least… No? Nothing?

          http://www.instantcrickets.com

        • Tampa Yankee

          Check out the graphic over an NoMass. It’s funny because it true.

    • DisplacedYanksFan

      ESPN is a card carrying member of Red Sox Nation – they are so unbelievably biased that it is almost ridiculous.

      On the pitching topic, don’t add anyone. All you need in the post season is a four starter rotation and the Yanks have that. Leave it alone. Don’t add a sub-par pitcher just to add someone.

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

        Who’s that foursome? CC, AJ, Pettitte, and…

      • Mike

        You need an insurance policy

  • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

    Really not getting the Ian Snell love.He had one decent season (3.76 ERA in NL Central). His next best ERA is 4.74. Never had a FIP below 4. Only once had a WHIP under 1.46 (1.33). I know he’s a young arm and would come cheap, but I don’t really see him being any better than a healthy Mitre.

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

      That’s the reason for the love. He’s cheap, and while he’s probably no better than Sergio Mitre. we probably need two Sergio Mitres, not just one.

      • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

        That’s fair. I just think that some people hear Ian Snell and remember that one solid season, and think we might be getting that. The odds of that are highly unlikely. His ERA+ for the last two seasons is 75. Yeesh.

        • jsbrendog

          he’s no doug davis! in a bad way!

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

            jsb, I’m gonna be honest with you, Doug Davis smells like pure gasoline.

      • jsbrendog

        where’s victor zambrano when we need him

  • http://leegrantphotography.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/madmax.jpg gxpanos

    Washburn would get knocked around at YS3. A flyball pitcher who’s getting a boost from a pitcher’s park and a ridic defensive OF.

    But what about Bannister? This site (or maybe it’s just TSJC) hate on him a lot. I don’t think he’s all smoke and mirrors though. BB/9 under 3, his GB/FB is 1.4 (that might go down a bit, in his career he’s been a flyball guy; not sure what’s going on this year). He’s outperforming his FIP by just a little (4.02 FIP, 3.76 ERA) and his BABIP is in line with his career. And behind him is a shit defense (outside of DeJesus). Frankly, I think we’re seeing the real Bannister. In ’07 he was better than the real Bannister, and in ’08, he was worse. You wish he K’d more guys and had a lower WHIP (1.30), but as a back-end guy, I like him. Plus, how hard would he be to get? It’s the Royals.

    • jsbrendog

      man, thank god the mets don’t need any starting pitching help and ambroix burgos is lights out in their bullpen or minaya might regret being the worst gm ever and trading bannister for him. phew that was close.

      • http://leegrantphotography.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/madmax.jpg gxpanos

        Imagine getting fleeced by Moore. It’s like Minaya won the Shitty GM World Series.

        • JohnnyC

          Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips, and Grady Sizemore for Bartolo Colon. Now that took vision!

          • ChrisS

            All things considered, the Expos were staring at being eliminated from MLB, were owned by MLB, and didn’t have much of a future. So, trading their future players wasn’t all that much of a worry.

            Their chance to win was that year and that year only. They finished 2nd, missed the WC, and that was it.

    • whozat

      He’s relatively young and relatively cost-controlled, right? I can’t see him coming cheap, and he’s just not enough of an upgrade to be worth that much. If I recall, his BABiP was really low in 2007. If it still is, looking at his stuff, I’d be more inclined to say that he’s due for correction than that he’s figured out a way to consistently depress BABiP with underwhelming stuff.

      I dunno. With Wang and Kennedy returning from injury next season, Hughes going back to the rotation, and ZMac coming up to AAA with Nova (and Mitre back at AAA, probably), Bannister has little utility beyond this season. So it doesn’t make sense to pay in prospects to buy a guy that won’t be a FA in November, because all we want is a rental for the next few months.

  • zack

    SO basically what we are saying is what we already know, that the best option out there is Hughes, but that the Yankees are being both incredibly short sighted AND potentially hurting the team by flatly refusing to move him from the pen.

    • yankees09

      Hughes has had a major impact for the yankees in the pen. I believe he has been a major factor for the yankees being in 1st place. This is why i beleive we should get more bullpen help so the yankees can indeed move Hughes to the rotation. If we get another starter then Hughes will just get his shot next season. Right now the way the team is set up, there is no way Hughes comes back to the rotation.

  • Tank Foster

    Going from Mike Axisa’s post, I’d say yes to Washburn. I do happen to think he’d go fairly cheap. If he wanted a contract extension, I don’t know. No problem with keeping him next year, though, if he’s under contract for 2010.

    But I think I’d say I might not completely agree with the premise of the post. Did I miss something? Has it been said, specifically, that the Yankees have no intention of taking Hughes out of the bullpen at any point this season whatsoever?

    I just assumed they might – might – be keeping him in the pen now and simply waiting for Joba to reach his limit, and then Hughes would begin starting.

    I suppose that even if this were the plan, we’d still be needing another starting pitcher, since maybe you can’t count on getting anything from Wang this year.

    • Mike HC

      The Yanks just keep basically saying there are no plans to move Hughes out of the pen. They don’t want to lock themselves into some arbitrary time limit of schedule. The Yanks are going to roll with the punches. Everything is going good right now, so they don’t want to mess it up. Let’s see what happens down the line.

  • Tank Foster

    And not to dredge up old arguments, but while I was firmly in the camp of keeping Hughes as a starter this year whenever possible, his success in the bullpen has me thinking that it isn’t so bad if he stays there all year.

    It might fubar the attempt to get him to be a full fledged, full season starter next year, but I’m not sure that’s so bad. If he had a limit of 150 innings next year, I’m not sure that isn’t so bad. While the Verducci rules are quite specific about usage, the general principle is that young arms are fragile and need lots of care before you let them pitch full seasons in the majors. It may be better, in the long run, that Hughes takes an additional year working his way toward full starter-dom.

    • JohnnyC

      Don’t you think it’s ironic to use Michael Kay’s favorite word that Verducci is Torre’s BFF considering their rather divergent views on pitcher abuse? I guess a six-figure advance will do that to your principles.

    • Mike HC

      I just don’t see Joba being shut down for the year at all. I think the chances of him continuing as a starter for as deep as the Yanks go is greater than putting him in a bullpen with Mo, Aceves and Hughes. If everything stays the same, Joba will be redundant in the bullpen and necessary as a starter. Lester blew up his little Verducci inning limit thing and is looking just fine so far this year. Obviously the year is not over, so you never know. The Yanks have been pretty careful with Joba this year, not overworking him in any one start, and should be ok. All of you who believe the Verducci rule is the word of god will have plenty to yell about here when he does not get shut down.

      • whozat

        A) It’s not a rule, it’s a guideline.
        B) Look a little further north to see a raft of young pitchers whose drastically increased workloads blew them out.
        C) Yes, I will be yelling if they double Joba’s workload year-over-year, because I expect it will dramatically increase the likelihood that he will need significant shoulder or elbow surgery.

        • Mike HC

          He is going to need that at some point anyway. Name me a pitcher who has gone his entire career without any shoulder or elbow surgeries. It is going to happen whether you like it or not.

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

            Name me a pitcher who has gone his entire career without any shoulder or elbow surgeries. It is going to happen whether you like it or not.

            You gotta be shitting me. You did not just pooh-pooh elbow and shoulder surgery. That can’t be serious.

            • Mike HC

              ahahaha … I was not being totally serious, no, but kinda. You have to be careful with a young pitcher, but I don’t think you should be so ridiculously careful that it can hurt our chances of winning a World Series. I’m sure there have been some pitchers who never needed major surgery although I don’t know any of the top of my head. My poorly made point was that elbow and shoulder surgery may be inevitable no matter what we do.

              • Tank Foster

                That’s a very interesting opinion–thinking that you don’t risk missing a shot at a WS because of concerns over an injury. I think that might be right, but most people, today anyway, look at it the other way around. Specifically, talking about a young pitcher, that you don’t risk a serious injury for a shot at a World Series.

                • Tank Foster

                  Oh and I agree with Mike HC in his skepticism about the Verducci rule. The rule says a pitcher with dramatically increased workload has a high risk of being injured OR having decreased effectiveness the next season. Well, uh, that pretty much covers 2/3 of the possibilities for ANY pitcher…you either get better, get worse, or get injured. So just by chance, Verducci is going to be right 2/3 of the time. Some rule.

  • Tank Foster

    I said “I’m not sure that isn’t so bad” too many times. This blog engine needs a means of editing posts….

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

      Agreed. I’m not sure that wouldn’t be so bad.

  • nycornerstones

    get zitto he has been pitching better, plus hes a flake could come up big, plus he is due

    • Johan Iz My Brohan

      That’s a horrible idea. Zito is owed $$$$$$$$$$$ and is under contract beyond 2010

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

        And he sucks. That’s the key part. He’s utterly awful. He would get utterly tattooed in New Yankee Stadium facing AL teams.

        • Mike HC

          But he is due. It is tough to argue with that.

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

            Krusty’s Lawyer: Let me get this straight: you took all the money you made franchising your name and bet it AGAINST the Harlem Globetrotters?

            Krusty: Oh, I thought the Generals were due!
            [TV shows a Globetrotter spinning the ball as Generals watch]
            HE’S SPINNING THE BALL ON HIS FINGER!!! JUST TAKE IT, TAKE THE BALL!!!!!

    • Aaron

      Yes, please get Zito. Then the Yanks will be stuck with another horrendous contract for a crappy player.

    • Tampa Yankee

      That is all batshit insane!

      (Copyrighted TSJC 2009, all rights reserved)

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

        Thank you, thank you.

    • whozat

      …Giants fan?

  • Stryker

    i think the way the new ballpark has been playing it’d be wise to go for a strikeout pitcher. considering that CMW may be out for more than we would like and the fact that joba’s innings limit is rearing its ugly head, the rotation needs someone that will go out there and give innings.

    i think the answer for this is aaron harang. i’ve always been a fan of the guy going back to his time on the A’s.

    the reds have him locked up pretty tight so i’m not sure he’s even attainable – but someone of his ilk (primarily strikeout pitcher, innings eater) is what the rotation would need.

    • whozat

      Who’s trading innings-eating strikeout artists?

      Besides, Harang took a turn for the worse after Baker used him for a lengthy relief stint in an extra inning game last year. He was a good bet to bounce back after the offseason of rest, but he hasn’t, really. He’s not the guy he was at the beginning of 2008, but he’s still valued like he is.

  • Mike HC

    I just don’t see the Yanks trading for a middling starting pitcher. I don’t think it wil happen. They will either go bargain basement as they did with Mitre, or go big time for Halladay, which I don’t think is going to happen. Washburn sounds like a good guy to get, but the Yanks will have to give up something valuable besides paying the rest of his deal. I don’t see Seattle doing that deal for nothing. I think the answer is to keep pitching Joba, whether that is a good move or not. That is how I see it playing out.

  • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

    I’m not a big Washburn fan. I think he’s pitching over his head and he’s due to come back to Earth. His FIP may be alright, but his tRA is pushing 5.

  • mryankee

    If the team wont aquire Lee or Hallady is there anyone out there worth it? There is a difference between needing to trade someone and wanting to trade someone. The Indians do not need to trade Lee or Martinez-they are asking for the world and if anyone is dumb enoughto give them what they want then fine. As far as Halladay the Yanks have to saty in the hunt ifonly to drive up the prioe and keep an eye on the sox, if he goes to Boston I am not sure how the Yanks counteract that rotation.

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

      If the team wont aquire Lee or Hallady is there anyone out there worth it?

      Eric Hinske was not “worth it” in the abstract. He was worth in actuality it because he cost the equivalent of nothing and presented a risk-free marginal upgrade.

      There is a difference between needing to trade someone and wanting to trade someone.

      Just like there’s a difference between needing to be a better team and wanting to be a better team. Wants aren’t pressing, so they should only be met if the opportunity cost of meeting them is minimal. If we’re trading non-prospects for marginal upgrades, that’s a reasonable opportunity cost.

      So, just like we didn’t need to trade for Hinske but wanted to, we don’t need to trade for Ian Snell or Justin Duchsherer but we should want to.

      • mryankee

        Would you agree that if Halladay or Lee were on the verge or possibly going to the Red Sox or Angels or any team you would consider an impediment to going to the world series, the Yankees would have to consider jumping into the discusson? I also imagine that just beacuse the fans assume that Montero or Hughes or Chamberlain would have to be included in any deal, is not absolutely true. I think if a deal can be done for one of the two(assuming lee is available) then the Yankees have to be in on it until the end.

        • jsbrendog

          “Would you agree that if Halladay or Lee were on the verge or possibly going to the Red Sox or Angels or any team you would consider an impediment to going to the world series, the Yankees would have to consider jumping into the discusson? ”

          no.

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

          Would you agree that if Halladay or Lee were on the verge or possibly going to the Red Sox or Angels or any team you would consider an impediment to going to the world series, the Yankees would have to consider jumping into the discusson?

          Only to drive up the price. Not to actually trade for them, no.

          I also imagine that just beacuse the fans assume that Montero or Hughes or Chamberlain would have to be included in any deal, is not absolutely true. I think if a deal can be done for one of the two(assuming lee is available) then the Yankees have to be in on it until the end.

          I’ve said from the beginning that I’m only against Halladay or Lee if it means surrendering Joba, Hughes, or Montero. Those three are untouchable. If we can get one of them without surrendering those three, fine. I just don’t see it, though.

      • Thee4stringking

        Hence why I think we should take a stab at Duchscherer, TSJC

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

          You: a preacher
          Me: the choir

  • Pingback: Arms race doesn’t just mean starters for Yanks | River Avenue Blues

  • Andrew

    Why on earth would someone want Hughes moved back to the rotation this year? He’s single handedly turned our bullpen into a strength, and now you want to go and mess with that? That’s ridiculous.

    • Andrew

      And not to mention… he was subpar as a starter, and he’s spectacular as a reliever. His development is not going to be screwed up by one year in the pen, don’t overreact.

      • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

        Yeah because we haven’t seen one guy this year who’s been a little inconsistent/struggling w/his development after most of the previous year in the bullpen.

        What’s that…? Oh yeah…

        • Andrew

          Jesus. OK. So what’s more important to you… Phil Hughes’ development – which you seem to think will be hindered by his role in the pen… or the chance to win a WS?

          Seriously. To suggest that Hughes be taken out of the bullpen at this point is outrageous. Think.

          • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

            Phil Hughes’ development because it a) puts a better starter than the current 5th option into the rotation, giving the Yankees a better chance to win this year and b) increases the Yankees’ chances of winning championships down the line because of having another young, cost-controlled, top of the rotation starter.

            • Andrew

              You think taking Phil Hughes out of the bullpen after he has nearly single handedly turned it to one of the best in baseball helps us this year? Well, you’re wrong.

              And it doesn’t necessarily increase the chance the Yankees will win championships down the line. Heck, David Cone said pitching out of the bullpen taught him how to get big outs and big situations, and helped mold him into a great starting pitcher. So, really, you’re just speculating.

              Seriously. You CAN’T mess with a bullpen that has been the best in baseball for the past month, especially after the crap we saw from them early in the year. It would be beyond stupid to do so.

              • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

                You think taking Phil Hughes out of the bullpen after he has nearly single handedly turned it to one of the best in baseball helps us this year? Well, you’re wrong.

                Did I say putting Hughes in the rotation immediately makes the Yankees the WS winner? No, I didn’t. I believe that it would help them because it would give them a better fifth starter than what they have.

                And it doesn’t necessarily increase the chance the Yankees will win championships down the line. Heck, David Cone said pitching out of the bullpen taught him how to get big outs and big situations, and helped mold him into a great starting pitcher. So, really, you’re just speculating.

                And so are you. Just because it helped Cone doesn’t mean it’s going to help Hughes down the line.

                Seriously. You CAN’T mess with a bullpen that has been the best in baseball for the past month, especially after the crap we saw from them early in the year. It would be beyond stupid to do so.

                The bullpen was shitty in the beginning of the year because they got pretty over-worked because of ineffectiveness from more than one starting pitcher. With Pettitte and Joba scuffling a bit (excluding each of their last starts) and now Mitre (who probably won’t give much length either), the ‘pen could be exposed again. I think giving Hughes starts instead of Mitre would help the rotation and the bullpen.

                • Andrew

                  1. The bullpen was shitty at the beginning of the year because it had shitty pitchers. Jose Veras, Edwar Ramirez, Albaladejo, etc… Now, they have good pitchers, like Hughes… and imagine that, it’s good. It had very little to do with being overworked.

                  2. On the Cone thing I wasn’t speculating, you said that moving Hughes to the rotation right now would further his development, I simply pointed out that that’s not always the case, and that sometimes meaningful innings out of the pen can be very beneficial to a pitcher.

                  3. A 5th starter is never as important as your main setup guy, especially when said setup guy has thrown about 16 straight scoreless innings. It would be comical if the Yankees were to put him in the rotation after seeing his dominance out of the pen – and that’s exactly why they’re not going to do it.

                  Don’t know what else to say. This whole debate is a bit outrageous, to tell you the truth.

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

                  I love Andrew’s arguments.

                  It’s this way because I say it’s this way. Things are ridiculous because I say they’re ridiculous.

                  Andrew, do you believe that the dinosaurs once roamed the earth?

                • Andrew

                  Great post as usual, Joe. Just a source of pertinent information.

                  Move Hughes out of the pen! He’s only been the best reliever in baseball for the past month after putting up subpar numbers as a starter.

                • Andrew

                  Gotta love the herd mentality around here.

                  Talk to 95% of Yankees fans and they’ll probably say Hughes should not be messed with judging by how well he’s done out of the pen, and how his success has coincided with an 18-5 stretch for the Yanks. However, come to RAB, and PHIL HUGHES IS A STAWTING PITCHA!!!!1

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

                  And as usual you circumvent the point.

                  We know Hughes has been a lights out reliever. But what good is a lights out reliever if you have an incomplete staff? If Mitre bombs, what do you do then? Tank every fifth game?

                  The best part of this whole argument is that those who want Phil in the rotation are willing to accept him in the bullpen. Those who want him in the bullpen think that it’s self-evident that he be there.

                • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

                  1. The bullpen was shitty at the beginning of the year because it had shitty pitchers. Jose Veras, Edwar Ramirez, Albaladejo, etc… Now, they have good pitchers, like Hughes… and imagine that, it’s good. It had very little to do with being overworked.

                  The relievers averaged almost 3.3 innings per game in April. That’s more than any other month this season. The overuse and overexposure of guys like Ramirez and Veras hurt a lot.

                  2. On the Cone thing I wasn’t speculating, you said that moving Hughes to the rotation right now would further his development, I simply pointed out that that’s not always the case, and that sometimes meaningful innings out of the pen can be very beneficial to a pitcher.

                  Yes, I believe it would. It would help Hughes develop arm strength by pitching more than one to two innings at a time and would allow him to use his secondary pitches (cutter, changeup) more often so that they’re not rusty next season upon re-entering the rotation.

                  3. A 5th starter is never as important as your main setup guy, especially when said setup guy has thrown about 16 straight scoreless innings. It would be comical if the Yankees were to put him in the rotation after seeing his dominance out of the pen – and that’s exactly why they’re not going to do it.

                  Yeah it’d be so comical to put a stronger starter into a situation where he can throw more innings and be more valuable to the team. That’d be soooooo comical. If there were five starters better than Phil Hughes on the Yankees, I’d have much less a problem (as well as if he was being used for more than one inning) with him being in the bullpen. In my opinion, there aren’t five starters better than Phil Hughes on the Yankees.

                  Don’t know what else to say. This whole debate is a bit outrageous, to tell you the truth.

                  Well I’m very sorry for having the audacity to disagree with you.

                • Andrew

                  Has Mitre bombed yet? No. In fact, he won his first game. Furthermore, the Yankees are likely to make a move for a starter before the deadline, so why worry about a potentially incomplete staff right now? Especially since the Yankees staff has given up 10 ER’s since the ASB.

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

                  Damn, Matt. You disagreed with Andrew. Now you’ve proven you don’t know baseball.

                • Andrew

                  If there were five starters better than Hughes on the Yankees

                  There may very well be. Phil Hughes the starter to this point in his career has been a completely different pitcher than Phil Hughes the reliever. Mitre was relatively effective in his first outing, why not give him a look before you yank our best reliever out of the bullpen?

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

                  I’m not plugging through this whole thread, but has anyone argued that the Yanks should swap Hughes and Mitre right now? If so, I’d disagree. Might as well give Mitre a few starts if you’re going to give him one.

                • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

                  Has Mitre bombed yet?

                  So they should sit and wait til he does so?

                  Furthermore, the Yankees are likely to make a move for a starter before the deadline

                  Now who’s speculating? How do you know they’re “likely” to trade for a starting pitcher? What are you reading that we’re not?

                  so why worry about a potentially incomplete staff right now? Especially since the Yankees staff has given up 10 ER’s since the ASB.

                  Fixing a potential problem before if even happens is usually a good thing.

                • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

                  There may very well be. Phil Hughes the starter to this point in his career has been a completely different pitcher than Phil Hughes the reliever. Mitre was relatively effective in his first outing, why not give him a look before you yank our best reliever out of the bullpen?

                  I agree that Mitre should get more than just the one start, but only because he was already given the first. I would’ve much preferred it if Phil Hughes was the one starting on Tuesday instead of Sergio Mitre. So, to answer Joe’s point, no I’m not saying they should swap them out immediately, I just think it should’ve been Hughes before Mitre.

                • Andrew

                  ^ There’s your answer, Joe.

                • Andrew

                  And there’s a reason it wasn’t… that’s all I’m saying. Despite the herd mentality around here, there is a very good argument for keeping Hughes in the pen.

                • Andrew

                  *he, not “it”

                • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

                  The reason it wasn’t Hughes is not because of his lack of ability as a starter but rather the rash decision to bring Wang back and rush him along and fuck with his rehab the way the Yankees did.

      • Rob in CT

        I’m not necessarily against the idea of using Hughes as a reliever (though I’d like to see more multi-inning stints) for the rest of the year, but there are a couple of problems with what you’ve said:

        1) Hughes > Sergio Mitre
        2) Hughes has not single-handedly fixed the bullpen. Al Aceves & Phil Coke have had something to do with it (Aceves most of all). Removing him from the ‘pen doesn’t mean disaster.

        With their #2 starter on the shelf indefinitely and their… oh, let’s say 8th starter (IPK) rehabbing, the Yanks have a depth problem. Their 6th and 7th starters are in the bullpen doing really well. So their 9th starter is pitching in the rotation at the moment. That’s sub-optimal.

        • Andrew

          I said nearly single handedly fixed the pen. Aceves and Coke deserve credit, too, but Hughes has been straight dominant. He’s been the best setup man in the game for a month now. You want to mess with that? OK, that’s fine, but no ML team would ever do that, and that’s why he’s staying where he is.

          • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

            Didn’t the Yankees do the exact same thing that you’re arguing against last year? Plus, after that, the Yankee bullpen did just fine when a kickass set up man was taken out of the bullpen in favor of being put in the rotation.

            • Andrew

              And the guy who was taken out of the bullpen midseason ended up hurt… that’s what happens when you keep ushering guys back and forth from the rotation to the pen throughout the season. Hughes has found his niche, and he’s embraced it. Why can’t you let a strength be a strength, especially with how good our starting rotation has looked coming out of the break? I’m sorry if I’m coming off as arrogant or rude, but that just doesn’t make sense to me.

              • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

                And the guy who was taken out of the bullpen midseason ended up hurt…

                He should’ve never been in the bullpen to begin with and neither should Hughes. This may not hurt him this year if he’s a reliever all season, but it could very well hurt him next year, not just injury wise either. His secondary pitches could become weaker and that will hurt him when he’s facing a lineup more than one time.

                especially with how good our starting rotation has looked coming out of the break?

                I’m not expecting Pettitte and Chamberlain to be as sharp as they were in their last starts. Granted, I’m more confident in Chamberlain than I am Pettitte, but you know what I mean.

              • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

                “I’m sorry if I’m coming off as arrogant or rude, but that just doesn’t make sense to me.”

                That’s really the only reason I get on you sometimes about comments. I love view points that contradict my own — sometimes they even sway me to a new way of thinking about an issue. But when you try to cut off any debate on the issue by calling it “outrageous,” you cross a line.

                Say what you want to say, back it up with some evidence, and let the debate continue. Don’t punctuate your thoughts with the idea that there’s only one right answer. And please, for the love of Mo, don’t tell people they don’t know baseball. That’s all.

                • Andrew

                  Fair enough. Believe it or not, though, a lot of the people you agree with are just as arrogant and rude, but it goes largely unnoticed. Vald point, though.

          • Rob in CT

            No, actually I’d prefer not to mess with it. I’d prefer to have another qualify starter so that Hughes could stay where he is. I’d like to have a rotation of Cy Young candidates, while I’m at it. But right now Sergio Mitre is in the rotation and he’s a disaster waiting to happen.

            If the Yanks can upgrade the rotation via trade (without totally mortgaging the future), great. Another option is to get a reliever and move Hughes back to starting. Yet another option is to do this all internally by starting Hughes and replacing him in the ‘pen with other (lesser) guys like Robertson and Melancon (yes, I know, they’ve been bad so far).

            I don’t want to mess with Hughes (though one could argue that putting him in the ‘pen was “messing with him”), but I also want to win.

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      Because he’s probably a better starting pitcher than Sergio Mitre.

      • Andrew

        Um, so?

        If we take Hughes out of the pen, who can Girardi go to in the 7th and 8th innings of close games? Coke is the only other reliable guy out there (not including Mo of course). There’s a reason there’s no chance the Yankees will move Hughes out of the pen – because it’s the smart thing to do. You don’t mess with a bullpen that’s been probably the best in baseball for the past month.

        • Andrew

          Addendum: Aceves is reliable, too, but I don’t think he’s suited for late and close situations. Would much rather utilize the length he can give us, and then have Hughes/Coke poised for the big hitters the other team sends up there.

          • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

            I’d have much less of a problem with Hughes in the bullpen if he were used in a more Aceves-like role. I think it’s silly that he’s only used for one inning.

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          Um, so?

          Um, so starters are more important than relievers. I’d rather have Phil Hughes in the rotation and Alphabet in the bullpen than Mitre in the rotation and Hughes in the ‘pen.

          • Andrew

            A top flight reliever is more important than a 5th starter.

            • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

              Hughes is a fifth starter in name only, IMO.

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

              No. There you are just plain wrong. A top-flight reliever is never more important than a starting pitcher. But clearly since you’re still arguing this after two hours, you don’t care/don’t care to know/won’t listen.

              • Andrew

                Not arrogant at all there!! And yes, a top flight reliever is more important than a 5th starter. 5th starters don’t even pitch in the playoffs, yet they’re more important than your #1 or #2 guy out of the pen? OK, man.

                • Andrew

                  Guys, Sergio Mitre is more important than Mariano Rivera, per Ben. Great post.

                • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

                  Andy Pettitte, in one of his worst seasons ever in 2008, was worth 4.4 wins over a replacement player. In one of his best seasons ever, Mariano Rivera was worth 3.1 wins over a replacement player in 2008. Both Joe Blanton and Jamie Moyer contributed more to the Phillies making the playoffs last season than Brad Lidge. There is actual evidence to show that starters, any starters, are worth more than relievers. While I find Ben’s answer blunt and borderline rude, he at least has evidence on his side rather than just a sweeping statement.

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

                  What part about quality starters being more important than quality relievers is so hard to understand?

                  If Mo goes down, Phil Hughes steps in as closer and they don’t even miss a beat. If Mitre goes down, who fills in? Igawa?

                  Mo’s great obviously, but he’s still just a one inning reliever.

                • Andrew

                  Um… he said any starter is more valuable than any reliever. So, while you may have win replacement on your side (although I doubt Sergio Mitre or many starters equal Mo, even in that ridiculous stat), Mariano Rivera pitches in the playoffs, in the most meaningful situations of the year. Phil Hughes would do the same. All the while, your all-important starter would be relegated to mop up duty… and you’d still be on here telling me that said starter is more important than Mariano Rivera. Make any sense?

                • Andrew

                  Mike, where did he say anyting about a quality starter? He said any starter is more important than any reliever, which is wrong.

                  And Mo goes down and we don’t miss a beat? Well, OK, if you say so.

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

                  We’re not talking about the playoffs. We’re talking about over the course of a 162-game season. Any starter good enough to throw 150+ innings is going to be more valuable to a team than any reliever throwing 60-70 innings. That’s just a fact of baseball and not really a point worth arguing.

                  But feel free to not listen by calling people names. It’s fine. Oh, wait. No, it’s not.

                • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

                  even in that ridiculous stat

                  And now the debate becomes pointless because you won’t accept something that goes against your predisposition. http://www.hardballtimes.com/m.....-the-well/

                  in the most meaningful situations of the year.

                  This is debatable considering many times, the most meaningful situation comes up well before Mariano Rivera is even in the game.

                  I also tend to agree with Mike’s point. It’s much easier to replace a one inning guy than a five to seven inning guy.

                • Andrew

                  Insane. Where did I call people names? You’re out of your mind.

                  And who decided we’re not talking about the playoffs? We’re talking about which is more important to a team, but the playoffs shouldn’t factor into that equation according to you?

                  Do you guys just pretend to know what you’re talking about?

                • Andrew

                  I also tend to agree with Mike’s point

                  NO WAY!!!! Upset of the year, there.

                  You do realize Ben is dismissing my argument in much the same way I’m dismissing yours, don’t you?

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

                  Ugh.

                  The first eight innings of the game are more important than the ninth. If you don’t have good pitching for those first eight innings, the final one is irrelevant. So irrelevant in fact, that the rules say you don’t even have to play it in certain situations.

                • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

                  You’ve got to get to the playoffs first, right? Having a stronger rotation makes that task a lot easier. The starting pitchers bear the brunt of the responsibility of getting a team to the playoffs. Also, yeah, I think Hughes, as he’s pitching right now, could fill in for an injured Mariano Rivera just fine.

                • Andrew

                  And I’m not dismissing the importance of stats, even a stat like win replacement, but stats are meant to back up arguments, not make them. You want to argue that any starter who throws 150+ innings is more reliable than Mariano Rivera? Really? Even though a th starter doesn’t pitch in the playoffs (which, despite Ben’s ridiculous contention, is included in determining value to a team), you need more than a win replacement stat.

                • Andrew

                  Matt, yeah, he could fill in for Mo, but you are aware that there would be a void in Hughes’ previous role, too, right?

                • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

                  You do realize Ben is dismissing my argument in much the same way I’m dismissing yours, don’t you?

                  Am I Ben? I’m not making his argument for him, I’m simply expanding on it to give it some evidence and maybe a little more voice so it’s not just “I say so, therefore it’s correct. Also, I’ve made only one comment about the manner in which you’re arguing because I thought it was a statement that was uncalled for. I’d rather attack your argument itself than the style of said argument, which I think I’ve done.

                • Andrew

                  And I think I’ve effectively countered yours, so obviously we’re not going to convince one another.

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

                  Matt, yeah, he could fill in for Mo, but you are aware that there would be a void in Hughes’ previous role, too, right?

                  Yeah, but it’s a one inning void. If a starter goes down, it’s a five, six, seven inning void.

                • Andrew

                  I understand that, but some starters are largely ineffective. A top flight reliever is top flight for a reason – he’s extremely effective. Extremely effective reliever > Ineffective starter.

                • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

                  Matt, yeah, he could fill in for Mo, but you are aware that there would be a void in Hughes’ previous role, too, right?

                  And that’s a role that could be easily filled with a Hughes departure.

                  And I’m not dismissing the importance of stats, even a stat like win replacement, but stats are meant to back up arguments, not make them.

                  Which is exactly what my employment of that stat was. I said that starters are more valuable than relievers and used and example of when a mediocre starter was better than an incredible closer. I’d say that’s backing up an argument.

                  You want to argue that any starter who throws 150+ innings is more reliable than Mariano Rivera? Really? Even though a th starter doesn’t pitch in the playoffs (which, despite Ben’s ridiculous contention, is included in determining value to a team)

                  Mariano Rivera becomes a whole lot less important if there aren’t the guys in front of him to pitch the 7-8 innings that happen before he comes in the game. What good is a dynamite closer when your starters aren’t good enough to get him the ball a lot (see: Royals, Padres)? That counts for the playoffs as well. Without someone to give the closer the ball, his role is incredibly diminished.

                  you need more than a win replacement stat.

                  And you need an argument that isn’t just “because Andrew says so.”

                • Andrew

                  Bro, I’ve provided plenty of valid points that have backed up my argument.

                  You say that any starter is more valuable than any reliever, no matter how effective or ineffective each is, I happen to disagree.

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

                  For purposes of pure statistical analysis, Andrew, the calculation of value for relievers and starters does not include playoffs. You know what the funny thing about playoffs are? You have to win in the regular season to get there. For that – the ultimate goal of the regular season – Phil Hughes the fifth starter is far more valuable than Phil Hughes the reliever.

                  In the end, you’re simply ignoring the reality that even the best of relievers pitch in high leverage situations just about 25 percent of the time. A perfect example of this is Brian Bruney’s appearance yesterday. He was terrible, right? He came in with a four-run lead and gave up back-to-back jacks to cut the Yanks lead to just two runs. You know what his ultimate impact on the Yanks’ chances at winning the game was? It was positive. “Bad” relievers can do the same job with the same impact on a team’s chances. Phil Hughes just makes it look good, and A.J. Burnett’s role was far more important as was Sergio Mitre’s the day before. For the purposes of getting to the playoffs, effective starters are far more valuable than effective relievers. No doubt about it.

                  On another note, cool it with the “arrogant/ridiculous/insane” comments. Statements such as “Do you guys just pretend to know what you’re talking about?” are really pushing the line. If you can’t argue respectfully, you’ll get a time out. That’s a warning, and it’s not open for debate.

                • Andrew

                  BTW, you complain about my harsh responses, but you come across as pretty condescending yourself. Not once have I said “because I said so, and I’ve provided plenty of backing of my argument.

                • Andrew

                  lol at Ben. Those comments were a result of your ridiculous assertion that I had been name calling, when I hadn’t. Grow up, dude. I don’t care one bit about this site, or if you ban me. You’re still a nerd who has never played this game at the end of the day, and has no hope of understanding it. Your statement that any starter is more valuable than any reliever is just further proof of that.

                  And by the way, after your “for purposes of pure statistical analysis” statement, I just skipped the entire post until that last paragraph. We were talk about importance to a team, and now you’re morphing it into a statistical analysis debate… do you not see how mindless that is?

                  Peace, brother. Try and lighten up and start actually watching the games instead of pouring over various benign stats and other nonsense.

                • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

                  You did insinuate that because I disagreed with you, the debate is “outrageous.” That comes across as you saying that anyone who disagrees with you has to be wrong because it goes against what you think.

                • Andrew

                  Because you don’t mess with a strength, especially when the team has won 18 out of 23 or whatever it is. It doesn’t make sense, and that’s why the Yankees aren’t doing it.

                • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

                  You’re still a nerd who has never played this game at the end of the day, and has no hope of understanding it

                  Just because one doesn’t have the ability to play doesn’t mean one lacks the ability to properly understand and analyze the game. I agree with Ben’s point and played baseball from the time I was five to the time I was 19 and I still play softball. Validity of argument should not be based on whether or not one has participated in the act he or she is talking about. I’ve never run for office; does that mean I shouldn’t be allowed to talk about politics? Also, how do you know Ben never played (unless he’s said as much and I missed it)?

                • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

                  It doesn’t make sense, and that’s why the Yankees aren’t doing it.

                  But not fixing a weakness (or a potential one) doesn’t make much sense either.

                • Mike HC

                  Andrew, you definitely crossed a line there, this coming from an entertained comment reader right now. AFter you called Ben out on making a crappy argument, he stepped his game up for you by using stats and putting some research in. You then made fun of him. You were doing alright and I kinda agreed with you, even though I believe Hughes should be in the rotation, until that last post.

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

                  Mike, I really appreciate that. Coming from a guy who doesn’t hesitate to call us out when we say something stupid, it means a lot.

  • Mike HC

    No problem Joe. I try to stay unbiased and call a spade a spade (please excuse the shitty metaphor)

    • Mike HC

      Except with Jeter though of course. That guy can be playing shortstop when he is 60 and with only one leg and I would still want to re-sign him to a 10 year extension.

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