Marte rehab tour heads to Scranton — UPDATE: Wang feels pain


Could the Yankees be getting lefty reliever Damaso Marte back in the near future? He started a rehab assignment last week, and while it got off to a sputtering start, he cruised through his second appearance. Carig tweets that Marte’s next stop is in Scranton on Tuesday. The Yanks have plenty of time to evaluate Marte — his rehab assignment can last through mid-August — and it looks like they’re eager to see how he fares against the best minor league competition. There’s nothing further on when he’ll return, but I’d assume the Yanks want to see him on back to back days first.

Update: It seems Chien-Ming Wang felt pain today while throwing. PeteAbe said Girardi mentioned the rotator cuff, while Hoch says biceps soreness. Either way it’s not a good deal. Girardi then went on to say that Aceves would be easier than to return to the rotation at this point. Which brings up an important question: Do you make the easier move or the better move? I find it hard to believe that even the most staunch B-Hughesers would think that Aceves would be better in the rotation than Hughes.

Categories : Asides


  1. Rich James says:

    i think this is a good thing…he could be a huge help for the pen if healthy

  2. pat says:

    Wanger experienced soreness in the shoulder. Shut down until Friday. No bueno.

    • pat says:

      Or biceps, DUH. My bad.

      • Reggie C. says:

        From LOHUD: “UPDATE, 4:48 p.m.: Wang felt pain. Shut down until Friday. Girardi mentioned rotator cuff issues. At this point, Girardi admitted, anything they get from him is a bonus.

        Girardi said that Aceves would be easier to return to the rotation than Hughes as he is more stretched out. Girardi said he is concerned about their rotation depth.”

        - Rotator Cuff… damn.

    • Reggie C. says:

      Now that we can discount Wang for the season, this should ideally open a spot for Hughes to come right in and relieve Mitre of a rotation spot.

  3. Reggie C. says:

    Joe. Perhaps a Wang-led Headline for this thread is due..

  4. Little Bill says:

    Abraham reported that Wang had a setback. Marte would be good to return to the pen so that they can get Phil Hughes stretched out to go back to the rotation. This is why I wanted Hughes stretched out as soon as Wang went down! I said we couldn’t count on Wang. Now we’re stuck with Mitre. Hughes would have been stretched out by now, but I guess Cashman is content with Mitre over Hughes in the rotation. Ridiculous.

    • Jake H says:

      That sucks. Makes you wonder what the Yanks are going to do before the trade deadline.

      • Little Bill says:

        Well, they’ve painted themselves into a corner now. If they had started to get Hughes stretched out right after Wang went down like I said, we wouldn’t be in this situation. They might be looking to add a reliever, but that’s it.

        People who were against Hughes returning to the rotation were saying that Wang would be back in a month so there was no need. I mentioned that Wang had been off all year and that there was no reason to depend on him returning. It’s too bad this fell on deaf ears.

        • Evan NYC says:

          Next time, hopefully Cashman listens to you…

        • Mike HC says:

          Two things. Wang feeling soreness and being shut down until Friday does not mean he is done for the season. Marte had a setback earlier, and now he is on his way back.

          Two, it is not going to take that long to stretch Hughes out. If he can throw 40 pitches in a relief outing, by the time he starts his third game, he will be basically all ready to go.

          I agree that Hughes should be starting right now, but it is not as big a disaster as you make it out to be.

          • I appreciate this comment.

          • jsbrendog says:

            so, if aceves had a start where he was on a 60 p[itch limit…and hughes just threw 40…then pitch him again at least 2-3 innings tuesday….then…he gets his 60 pitch limit start in 5 days instead of mitre. bam problem solved cause second start he’s up to 80 or so, then his third start he is at 100 and good to go.

            How is pitching aceves in the majors on a 60 pithc limit bette than doing it with hughes?

    • Todd says:

      What about that pretty little pink elephant in the room: our bullpen would suck and there is no way in the world the Yanks would be where they are in the standings.

      While there are pluses and minuses for either direction, I think calling the decision to keep Hughes in the pen “ridiculous” just a bit of a stretch. Is it debateable? I guess. But I agree with the decision to keep Hughes in the pen for the year.

      • Mike HC says:

        Not if Mitre or Aceves is our fifth starter. It would be ridiculous watching either of those two pitch every fifth day with Hughes sitting there from the bullpen and watching.

    • Reggie C. says:

      No friggin’ way are we going to dog it out with the RS and Rays with a Mitre or Aceves pitching every 5 days. No way.

      I dont think this re-inserts a trade for Halladay as a realistic possibility, but with Girardi’s preference to use Mitre and Aceves ahead of Hughes , I wonder if a trade for a starter is a THE priority. ian snell?

      • Zach says:

        “No way” is a little rough, considering Mitre’s numbers from his last season in the bigs is better then what Boston’s 4th and 5th starters (Smoltz/Penny) are giving them right now

        • Mike HC says:

          I think the Yanks could still compete just fine with Mitre or Aceves as the fifth starter, but there is a far greater chance of thriving with Hughes as the fifth starter. It is a no brainer. What would the Yankees be waiting for?

          • Zach says:

            Dont get me wrong, I want Hughes in the rotation. But Mitre is also 7 GS, 45 IP, 5BB, 35K, 2.40 era, 1.00 WHIP down in AAA so saying our season is over if he is our 5th starter is a little extreme in my opinion.

          • Reggie C. says:

            I could easily see Mitre or Aceves tax the ‘pen to a tune of at least 3 innings per start. That might be good enough to compete on certain nights, but with the Rays looking to make a 2nd half run, Cashman ought to be thinking upgrade. And that’s with Hughes as a starter, or alternatively, pulling off a trade.

            • Zach says:

              “I could easily see Mitre or Aceves tax the ‘pen to a tune of at least 3 innings per start.”

              Hughes averaged 4.9 IP/S this season, so your claim doesnt make sense

      • “No friggin’ way are we going to dog it out with the RS and Rays with a Mitre or Aceves pitching every 5 days. No way.”

        I want Hughes in the rotation, but that statement is a little silly. The Yankees won 89 games last season with guys like Sir Sidney and Rasner making plenty of starts. Even without CMW this rotation still should be better than any rotation the Yanks have fielded in years.

      • matt b says:

        I think you undersell Aceves’s ability to start. He’s not a front end starter, but he’s certainly no Rasner or Ponson. He throws four pitches, and he uses them all. His distribution:


        He’s not a flamethrower, but he’s not your Rasner/Clippard sit at 88, maybe touch 90–he averages 91 and he can touch 93. He’s shown a willingess to throw all of his pitches in any count, and he can throw them all for strikes. He doesn’t walk guys and he’s efficient.

        Look, all things equal, I’d love to let him keep playing the swingman role he’s been so good at it, and obviously he’s not going to pitch to an under 3 as a starter. But I always thought he was lumped in way too quickly in the fringy AAAA starter group. His stuff is average, not fringe, and he has plus command. If you can get excited about IPK, you can get excited about Aceves–maybe Al doesn’t quite have the command that IPK showed when he was tearing up the minors, but his stuff is probably better.

        He’ll be a better than league average #5 starter, I’d be shocked if he’s not. And I’d be shocked if he’s not more effective than Mitre–Mitre would’ve been fine for 3-4 looks, maybe catch lighting. I see no reason why Ace isn’t a legitimate league average starting pitcher.

        But that’s not really the problem here. The problem isn’t #5, it’s 3-4. If the Joba we saw yesterday is going to be the Joba going forward, that problem is solved.

        What hurts with Wang–and the argument for Hughes being stretched–is the upside. Imagine it’s ALDS time (and let’s say Joba’s shut down or at least out of the pen). That’s where the problem manifests itself. I think Andy’s on his last legs, but I’d still probably give him the ball in the post-season. But when you’re talking potentially about a healthy and effective Wang, or alternatively, talking about the Hughes who we were seeing evolve and improve as a starter (and you can throw his ERA as a starter at me all you want, if you don’t think he was progressing nicely, you weren’t watching the games), then you’re talking about a guy who could legitimately start game 3 of a playoff series. The rest of the pack doesn’t have that upside. And basically, if they’re not going to use the opportunities they get to skip Joba (and this is assuming he actually turned a corner yesterday and doesn’t revert back to more of what we’d seen lately), and they don’t make a move, there are significant issues at the back end of the rotation.

        Again, none of this is guaranteed-Wang could come back and suck and Hughes may not fully figure it out as a starter this year. And I love what Phil’s done in the pen. But if Wang is really off the table, and they really think they’re getting a healthy Marte back, it’s a no brainer IMHO to stretch out Phil, get Marte back and trade for another quality reliever. Then you’re AJ/CC/Andy/Joba/Phil at least for the regular season, and you have the luxury of having Ace around if Joba needs to be shut down or if Andy is just never right again.

      • ian snell?

        Depends on the price, but I’m on board.

  5. Rich James says:

    sounds like Wang may be done folks…

    i would think a Halladay deal could be more likely now…cause gods knows the yankees will not go the rest of the season with Sergio Mitre as the 5th starter..

    • Little Bill says:

      And they’d have to give up Joba or Hughes. That makes no sense because they’d still be short on starters. Why deplete the minor league prospects when the answer is already on the team- Phil Hughes. It’s better to move Hughes to the rotation and keep the prospects.

  6. Angel says:

    stay Hughes in the pen this season….and go for a pitcher: Doc, Lee, etc…

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      We get a good reliever to replace Hughes as he goes to the rotation saving our farm from being depleted.

    • Zach says:

      you cant get Doc or Lee without giving up Joba (creating another hole in the rotation) or giving up Hughes (which does away with your Hughes in the pen all season)

    • Joe R says:

      That doesnt make any sense. Because 1 of either Hughes or Joba is leaving. So either way we’re taking a hit. Either replacing Joba with Doc and still need another starter or put Doc in the rotation with Hughes gone and a weaker bullpen. The only plus is that if Marte gets back to Marte we can stretch out Hughes and still have a decent bullpen

  7. The Scout says:

    I doubt this alters the team’s view of Halladay. The back end of the rotation needs shoring up, not the top. Of greater concern is the modest supply on the trade market of 4th and 5th starter types who can eat innings and help preserve the bull pen over the rest of the season. For example, Meche recently went on the DL. Cashman seems determined to try to recapture the luck of Chacon and Small with Mitre. Hope his gamble pays off.

    • Reggie C. says:

      DAMN…i would’ve loved Meche as a trading deadline pickup, but apparently he’s really been pitching hurt. Explains the ineffectiveness.

      Catching lightning in a bottle from a passed-over vet rarely happens. Its not something a GM should EVER do as strategy. It rarely ever happens.

      • Zach says:

        “You’re not going to see us unloading Gil Meche and Zack Greinke and Joakim Soria and Alex Gordon and Billy Butler,” Moore [Royals GM] said. “You’re not going to see us doing that. You’re just not.”

        • Reggie C. says:

          Yeah. I’m not Moore but everything’s negotiable and Meche’s 2 remaining years on that team doesn’t make sense. He’s hurt and DL’d, so yeah, his trade value is down and now is not the time to shop him. I understand and believe that.

          • Zach says:

            that was said last Thursday. They just traded for Betancourt (still wondering why) and have Ponson and Chen in their rotation, for whatever reason they’re not sellers so you would have to blow them away to move Meche.

  8. BX 2009 says:

    Little Bill says:

    This is why I wanted Hughes stretched out as soon as Wang went down! I said we couldn’t count on Wang. .

    LOL Dude its not like you have a say in it anyways! This is WHY I, settle down you are not Brian Cashman!

  9. Evan NYC says:

    Listen, Wang has given us nothing all year so why is everyone so up in arms about this? It’s not like he was going to magically pop back into 2007 form. If he came back in mid-August, how much were we going to get out of him anyway? He wasn’t going to pitch in October, he is a disaster there. Whatever we get out of Mitre should be fine. I don’t think this is such a big deal. Keeping Hughes in the pen for now (2009) makes us have one of the most solid bullpens in baseball. Let’s hope that Joba continues to build off of his last start and we can ride this into October. Once October gets here we fall to a 3/4 man rotation anyway so Wang would become obsolete.

    • jsbrendog says:

      starters >>>>>>> bullpen

      Hughes i rotation >>>>>>> hughes in bullpen

      marte comes back, boom, hughes to the rotation.

      • Evan NYC says:

        Who says Marte is coming back anytime soon? And when he does, how do you know he will be any good? I’m all for putting the best product on the field and I think Hughes is going to be an amazing starter…in 2010.

        • Joe R says:

          Considering he’s about to throw in Scranton, if that goes well i’m sure he’ll be back relatively soon. They’re not going to let him pitch here if he’s getting bombed in AAA.

        • Chris says:

          His first rehab start was early July (I forget the exact date). That starts his rehab clock, so he has to be activated within 1 month – so he will be back within roughly 2 weeks.

          The question about whether he’ll be any good is not as clear, although his track record suggests he’ll be good as long as he’s truly healthy.

  10. Rich James says:

    ok so some of you don’t want Doc…fine…lets just stick with Mitre in the rotation!

  11. pollo says:

    I read this and I think in my head: It’s time to step the fuck up Melancon; time to start earning that skrill, Marte. We need Melancon to start pitching like he’s been hyped to be and it’s time to stretch out Hughes.

  12. thebusiness says:

    Marte Melancon and Coke can handle the 7th/8th. Hughes to the RoRo

  13. pat says:

    We do have a 29 year old lefty, currently sporting a nice 1.23 WHIP and 3.70 ERA in AAA. Why not give him a shot?

  14. andrew says:

    i say then trade for quallis, and move hughes into the rotation. 7th ace, 8th quallis, 9th mo. with hughes in the rotation.

  15. Pasqua says:

    That comment that Girardi made about being “concerned” regarding the rotation depth is interesting. Without trying to sound like a conspiracy theorist, might that be the acknowledgment to the media of what Cashman and Co. are thinking about as the trade deadline approaches?

    And I’m not suggesting Halladay, just a focus on starting pitching.

  16. Simon B. says:

    Get Hughes into the bleeping rotation. I’m really annoyed at the Yankees, and can’t believe how many people seem to think setup guys are so important.

    In a given year, even the best closers tend to be worth less than a solid #3.

    • Hova says:

      Think about how much weaker the bullpen automatically becomes once Hughes gets moved into the rotation. He is the perfect setup guy for Mo right now. That is going to be huge in the playoffs. If we can find a 5th starter on the trade market or through waivers, isn’t that better? The 5th starter isn’t even that important in the playoffs, but the bullpen vital.

      • Simon B. says:

        That assumes they get to the playoffs, in which case Hughes goes to the bullpen anyway and they don’t have to spend any trade chips on some lousy 5th starter.

        You may feel safer with Hughes in the bullpen, but in terms of real value, he has contributed very little above who would pitch in his place. I don’t think the same can be said about who starts in front of Hughes in the rotation.

        That doesn’t even factor in the fact that this screws up Hughes development because his innings limit will still be very low next year.

      • Marcos says:

        The only problem with the Hughes to the Bullpen/Rotation debate is that people always argue that “Hughes can be the great 8th innning guy” but who’s going to get you to the 8th inning without a solid starter? I’d rather blow 5-10 games because of the all important 8th than lose 10-15 games before the 6th inning.
        Just my $.02

  17. Nick says:

    who’s to say the yanks don’t do something along the lines of what they did with Joba in 08 when they slowly stretched him for around 3 innings and eased him back into starting

    I think there best bet is Hughes and they should stretch him out then when Marte is ready to return send Hughes down for a start or 2 then bring him back up and send Mitre down…allowing Marte/Bruney/Coke to begin the 7th/8th inning guys

    Don’t forget that the Yanks know how good Hughes can be in the bullpen so whose to say they don’t send him back to the pen for there playoff run and go with a playoff rotation of CC/AJ/Andy/Joba

  18. Jon G says:

    Here’s how I see the situation leading up to the Trade Deadline):
    - Hughes to the rotation (if Mitre falters, especially – first they’ll see how he does). We’re talking filling a bottom end of the rotation slot here, NOT needing to mortgage the farm for DOC.

    - If they make a trade, it’s to replace Hughes in the 8th slot, not for a starter at the level of Wang or Hughes, which will be MUCH more expensive. Earlier this year, Aceves was doing GREAT in the 8th slot, and I think they’re better with him there and Hughes in the rotation than visa versa. Hughes is a better starter and Aceves was a comparable reliever. So you’re stronger with Hughes in the rotation.

    - They need to see if they can get Melancon comfortable and in swing at the MLB level. Right now, he needs appearances in low-pressure situations to get acclimated to the majors, like they gave Joba when he first came up. If he’s to take the 7th or 8th, he needs to earn it. It may or may not be this year, but I think he’ll do it by next year (and hope he can do it this year, Joba style).

    - They need to see if Marte can come back and be effective in the 7th or 8th.

    These are all pieces that Cash must be looking at as he formulates a plan for closing out 2009 strong, while also keeping key future pieces in place.

  19. Hova says:

    I’m starting to think that having an effective Wang this year is becoming more of a pipe-dream. The guy hasn’t been right for a long time now, and I don’t see him coming back and being the “old Wang” this year.

    There has to be a number 5 starter out there that the Yankees can trade for. With the current economic situation plaguing a lot of teams, I’m sure there are bloated salary guys they are looking to unload for very little to nothing in return.

    This bullpen is bulletproof right now with Mo, Hughes, Ace and Coke. I don’t want to rely on Bruney getting healthy if Hughes gets moved to the starting rotation. Keep Hughes in the rotation for the rest of this year and go out and find a 5th starter on the trade market.

    • Hova says:

      *I meant keep him in the bullpen

    • On the trade market, here’s what’s available, generally speaking:
      1) Elite front-end starters that cost multiple good prospects
      2) Crappy back-end starters that still cost maybe one good prospect
      3) Elite relievers that cost one good prospect
      4) Good but volatile relievers that cost fringy prospects
      5) Crappy relievers that cost non-prospects

      That’s why we should be shopping for an elite reliever, like a Chad Qualls or a Michael Wuertz, or even a good reliever like a John Grabow or a Jon Rauch: because not only will they cost less than a 5th starter like a Washburn or a Doug Davis, but they’ll probably pitch better in their limited role than that 5th starter will in that larger role.

      We have a massive advantange in being able to move Hughes from the pen to the rotation. It allows us to upgrade our team by adding a reliever rather than a starter, which gives us a bigger bang for a smaller buck.

  20. BigBlueAL says:

    I know this may not be a popular opinion, but give Mitre a chance. Ive seen him pitch before for the Marlins and he may not be as bad as you all assume he will be as the 5th starter.

    • Jon G says:

      Yep — and that’s what they’re doing… He could be this year’s Chacon or Small.

      Here’s another thought for the 8th. How many innings until Joba gets close enough to his innings cap that he has to be moved to the bullpen? Is that what they’d do?

      • Simon B. says:

        You can never count on a Chacon or a Small. Those are freak instances.

        In fact, it’s far more likely that some lowlife will be great in the bullpen for a half-season than as a starter.

        AND we don’t have lowlifes in the bullpen. The Yankee organization is stacked to the brim with bullpen talent. There’s only one Hughes in the organization, and he is far better serving to the team in the rotation whereas there are any number of guys who could very reasonably match his production in the bullpen.

    • Zach says:

      Agree. 7 GS, 45 IP, 5BB, 35K, 2.40 era, 1.00 WHIP in AAA and his numbers for the Marlins are better then Boston’s 4th and 5th starters this season

    • If Mitre pitches well, I’ve got no problem putting him in the bullpen.

    • mustang says:

      Agree. The kid hasn’t thrown a pitch and he really DOA.

  21. Jon G says:

    Joba is currently at 95.2 IP for the season.

    Is he capped at 150 for this year? That would mean he has 9 or 10 starts left max before he reaches 150…

    Hughes is at 56 IP for the season.

    At some point, do the two of them switch — to keep Joba from pitching unsafely over his cap, while also giving Hughes more innings?

  22. Mike Axisa says:

    Well it’s a good thing Aceves is more stretched out. I wouldn’t want Brian Cashman to have to tell Mariano Rivera he’s taking Phil Hughes out of his bullpen.

  23. Nady Nation says:

    Kepner calling it “bicep tenderness” for Wang.


  24. gio says:

    Wang’s success is so crucial to this team. If he comes back and is close to the Wang of old, literally every problem of the team is solved. Joba and Huges in the postseason bullpen would be filthy, and the rotation would be way above average.

  25. [...] couple of hours before the Yanks and Orioles squared off last night, the Yankees announced a setback for Chien-Ming Wang. Their erstwhile ace, on the DL since July 4 with a strained right shoulder, [...]

  26. [...] word of Chien-Ming Wang’s latest setback coming yesterday, it looks like newcomer Sergio Mitre might be sticking around for a while. I [...]

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