Wang, fearing surgery, gets an ominous third opinion

Yanks nail down seventh straight with 6-3 win
Cashman talks, but not much, about plans for Joba

While the Yanks behind ace CC Sabathia were busy dispatching the A’s, the Front Office had to face some bad news concerning Chien-Ming Wang. After receiving a second opinion from Dr. David Altchek on Wang’s shoulder, the team will consult with Dr. James Andrews as well. Wang himself fears the worst.

Bryan Hoch summarized the bad news late last night:

Chien-Ming Wang is concerned that his 2009 season may be over, having sought a second opinion as he continues to feel discomfort in his right shoulder, and now Dr. James Andrews will get his chance to take a look.

Wang visited on Wednesday with Dr. David Altchek at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York after suffering a setback earlier in the week while playing catch, and Yankees general manager Brian Cashman met with team physician Dr. Chris Ahmad on Thursday to discuss Wang’s situation.

After reviewing Altchek’s findings, the Yankees are next set to confer with Andrews before discussing Wang’s status further. But at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, the 29-year-old Wang said that he is worried that surgery may be necessary. “I don’t know,” Wang said. “The shoulder, the day I played catch, it still feels the same.”

It is worth noting that both Brian Bruney and Damaso Marte have consulted with Dr. Andrews, and neither needed surgery. Wang, however, does not sound like a man confident in his 2009 pitching future, and we all saw this coming.

As Wang struggled early this year after a decent Spring Training, the Yanks tried to blame weak legs and a weak core for Wang’s struggles. Our pitch f/x analysis however — here and here — told a different story. Wang wasn’t releasing the ball where he should have been. When he was a dominant pitcher in 2007, his release point was lower and closer to his body. This year, it was up high and further away. Something was wrong.

Now the Yankees know what it is and the extent of the damage, and soon enough, the rest of us will too. At this point, the Yankees aren’t expecting anything from Wang this year, but they have a larger problem on their hands. With Wang out, Joba nearing his innings and Phil Hughes firmly ensconced in the bullpen, their once-vaunted pitching depth has withered its way down to Sergio Mitre and — I shudder to type it — Kei Igawa.

The Yankees will soon have to get creative, and they will have to acquire a pitcher for the rest of 2009 and into 2010. If Wang’s shoulder is truly as damaged as it sounds, he could be facing surgery and a 10- or 12-month rehab stint. With the trade deadline seven days away, Brian Cashman is probably already on the phone, hunting for that arm the Yanks now need.

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Yanks nail down seventh straight with 6-3 win
Cashman talks, but not much, about plans for Joba
  • the artist formerly known as (sic)

    Of our available options, who do we want? Let’s exclude Halladay from the discussion. There’s Zach Duke (currently on the AL East’s AAA team, the Pirates), Jarrod Washburn, Jonathan Sanchez, Aaron Harang, Bronson Arroyo, John Lannan…

    I’m not terribly psyched about any of those names, except maybe Harang and Duke.

    • Usty

      Why would they trade Zach Duke who is only going to be in his 2nd year of arb and makes 2.2 million? The Pirates are making lots of trades but they seem to be dumping overpaid middling type players for younger, not as well paid, potentially middling type players. Guys like Duke and McCutchen are who they need to build their team around.

  • the artist formerly known as (sic)

    in re: Wang

    Who didn’t see this coming…It’s sad but expected. His timing was off all year, his arm was dragging behind his body, his mechanics were awful…It’s sad. I hope his career can bounce back, but I’m worried for him.

    • The Scout

      What surprises me is that the Yankees let this information become public so near to the trading deadline. When teams know you are in need, they have bargaining leverage — the old principle that the party most in need of a deal gives up more in a negotiaiton.

  • Little Bill

    Joba can NOT be taken out of the rotation. You can’t take him out in September in the middle of a World Series run. He is essential to the stretch run and a possible playoff berth. They’ve made it clear that Hughes will stay in the bullpen so who starts game 3 if the Yankees make the playoffs? It has to be Joba. CC and AJ are a good 1-2. Andy as #3 and either Mitre or Igawa or any scrub they trade for is not as good as Joba.

    • jsbrendog

      joba’s future for the next 10 years cannot/should not and hopfully will not re risked for one ring.

      • Chris

        Lester seems to be doing ok this year after blowing past his innings limit last year.

        • jsbrendog

          1 example. look at all the other young pitchers, esp i believe in toronto, who disagree.

        • the artist formerly known as (sic)

          60% of “verducci effect” pitchers going into the 2008 season had some sort of injury. some more serious than others (mcgowan says hello from rehab!)

          • jsbrendog

            this.

            • Chris

              I understand the risks, but you don’t give up a shot at a world series this year to keep him at his innings cap. The right solution (in my mind) is to skip his start a few times during the season – assuming that our lead is safe. Then return him to the rotation in the playoffs. If his limit is 150 innings, and he hits 155 or 160 – then so be it. There’s nothing magical about the innings limit, so going 5 innings too high is only slightly worse than hitting it exactly (but much better than exceeding his limit by 30).

              • jsbrendog

                oh yeah totally, 5 innings isnt optimal but not the biggest deal. i’d sign for that.

    • the artist formerly known as (sic)

      Joba has an innings limit, and he’s about 50 IP from it right now. That spells trouble.

      • TurnTwo

        it spells Francessa’s soggy dream… to the bullpen!

    • Ed

      So you hear that one pitcher on the team might need shoulder surgery, and your response is that the team should risk the health of their young pitchers? Interesting approach…

    • 27 this year

      Someone said this before,

      The Verducci Rule is sort of a misnomer. For any young pitcher, there are like three outcomes for next season. He gets better, he gets worse, or he gets injured. The Verducci Rule is going to be right 66% of the time just because it covers two outcomes, he gets worse or injured.

      • Ed

        The odds of those 3 outcomes aren’t equal. And Verducci’s point is that the odds of a bad outcome shoot up drastically for pitchers that meet his criteria.

  • jsbrendog

    This is so fucking stupid!!!!! put hughes bakc in the goddamned rotation. wtf cashman. seriously….GOD!!!!!

    • Nady Nation

      As much as I wish Hughes was in the rotation right now, I’m starting to grow less and less fond of the idea of him being converted from starter-reliever-starter, all within the same season. The potential injury risk has me concerned, especially given Phil’s age and lack of consistent innings thus far in his career. If Girardi continues to use him for 2 inning stints, I will be much more OK with his presence in the bullpen. Somehow, Cash is gonna have to get creative and address the back end of our rotation/4th starter for the playoffs (assuming Joba is either shut down or moved to the bullpen).

      • Pasqua

        I am inclined to agree with you. I want Hughes in the rotation for the foreseeable future, but it seems risky to do it this year, due to the time it would take to “stretch him out” an the potential risks involved. Considering Cashman’s track record for wheeling and dealing, it seems 100% sensible to concentrate solely on the trade market.

      • Evan NYC

        When you say “Joba is shut down” does that mean he won’t pitch in October or they are going to shut him down in September so he CAN pitch in October?

        • Nady Nation

          I meant it as shutting him down for the year – no October baseball.

  • Jeremy

    Igawa is the bogeyman of the Yankees.

    Watch out and be a good GM … if you don’t have enough pitching depth, IGAWA will come for you …

    • Pasqua

      Just say “7 Earned Runs” in the mirror three times.

  • Teix is the Man

    Lannan would be a good option, but he will problably cost way more than he’s actually worth. Ultimately, Hughes would still be the best choice, even though he isn’t leaving the pen anytime soon.

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

      Why would the Nats ever give up Lannan? He’s a cost-controlled, good young starter and is one of the keys to their putting together a half-decent team. He shouldn’t even be mentioned as a possibility unless you want to grossly overpay for him.

      • the artist formerly known as (sic)

        jeez sorry. why don’t you post your list of acceptable starters that we might trade for so no one ever makes that mistake again.

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

          It’s not about posting my own list of acceptable starters. You just have to assess targets realistically. The Nats are rebuilding, and they have a decent-to-good 24 year old (who incidentally walks too many and doesn’t strike out enough batters). If you were their GM, what would you want in return for a player of that ilk and why would you give up a non-arbitration eligible pitcher making $424,000? That rarely, if ever, happens. That’s my point.

        • andrew

          you can say goodbye to zach macallister and others, because i dont see a way around acquiring another starter. we did the starter-reliever-starter thing with chamberlain and he screwed his arm up. i do not want to see the same thing with hughes. it sucks because his innings limit next season will be awful. but anyways yea you can kiss some prospects goodbye because its not only this season its next season too. if joba hits his cap this year then what his cap next year will be around 170-180, and hughes will be paltry. so we need a starter and unfortunately most potential options like horne and kronke are injured.

          sigh. i didnt want to see a trade but i guess thats how the chips fall.

          • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

            Actually, if Joba throws 160 innings this year, his cap next year will be 190 to 200, which, for most starters, is essentially a full season.

            But yes, Hughes will be limited to something like 140.

            • Mike

              Hughes inning cap will be around 180 innings. He pitched about 150 in the minors a couple of years back

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      I have to agree here. If you want to acquire a good, inexpensive, under team control, MLB ready pitcher, you have to give up something equivalent. He may literally cost us an Austin Jackson and, no matter how good he looked against us, I’m not willing to take that risk on someone who could just as easily wind up in AAA for us.

      (then again, I could say the same for A-Jax.)

      Maybe the answer really is to swap Phil and Joba the rest of the way. In my simpleton brain, there’s a pretty simple way to do that.

      Other than that, please get me someone who’s actually done something pitching to AL hitters. Please.

  • the artist formerly known as (sic)

    This was a very bad year for sinkerballers.

    • jsbrendog

      SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH….

      except sergio mitre oh great and wonderful (and forgiving and merciful) MO

    • Reggie C.

      You’d think that sinkerballers would age better. Its so odd and upsetting to realize that Wang and Webb are dealing with season ending injuries.

  • Stryker

    wow terrible news for chien-ming wang. i don’t understand what the front office is doing by not inserting hughes back into the rotation. it is far more simpler to acquire a reliever than it is to find a quality starting pitcher. teams with an available guy will/should have an astronomically high asking price now with this news of CMW. a reliever – and it doesn’t even have to be a big name guy – should cost much less with the success of aceves and hughes.

    the answer for the time being is in the bullpen but unfortunately we all know it’s not going to happen.

    • Stryker

      is simpler even a word? i really need my morning coffee before i go and start posting on websites haha

  • Thomas A. Anderson

    Ahh, and here is the waterloo for all of the B-Jobbers and B-Hughesers. Congratulations, you’ve locked down the 8th like no other team in baseball.

    WHO’S GONNA PITCH THE FIRST SEVEN INNINGS YOU KNUCKLEHEADS!?!?!

    Now I hope all of these pillocks (Francessa anyone?) understand why a good starter is more valuable than a good reliever. They’re harder to find. Cause it’s more difficult to do.

    Thank you, I will stand off of my soapbox now — and return it to Curt Schilling from whom I borrowed it.

    • the artist formerly known as (sic)

      IETC

    • JohnnyC

      You fell for Francesa’s masterful checkmate move. So, we need a starter? Arroyaaaaa! He’s a winnnaahhhh!

  • C.Roy

    I could see a deal involving Duke and Grabow happening. What do you think that would take?

    • jsbrendog

      you should wake yourself up then cause there’s no way pittsburgh trades duke unless it is a big haul as usty says in the second comment in the thread

      • Pasqua

        But aren’t the Pirates like the Wal-Mart of Major League Baseball? Everybody shops there, and it never seems to cost too much.

        • JMK

          IETC.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Is that really the answer, though? I can somewhat see the Grabow thing, despite my own beliefs as to middle relievers, but what is Zach Duke really going to bring us that’s an improvement over what we’ve got? While I’m not saying bring in Roy Halladay, we need to think a bit bigger than Zach Duke.

      • C.Roy

        Truefully I dont no anything about deeper stats but looking throw his last 10 games he’s pitched well. If he could come here and pitch 6 innings 3 runs it would be perfect. As for him not being traded, I agree he shouldn’t be in the pirates eyes but his name is being floated as available and the Pirates and the Yankees have matched up twice in the last year.

      • Ed

        Zach Duke’s been solid. Nothing to complain about there. He’s pitching better than Joba and Pettitte have been this year. If he doesn’t regress too badly when hitting the AL, he’d actually be a pretty solid addition to the team.

  • Yages

    This is a little crazy. Stretch Hughes out, put him back into the rotation, and try different options in the pen until one works. We’ve got a bunch of nice arms to try out in the pen, from Kroenke to Melancon and Claggett. Our starting options are limited, so why not play from a strength?

    • Pasqua

      Problem is, at this point, stretching Hughes out would require extensive use of the ‘pen while he does; a ‘pen that would be weakened by Hughes starting (which I am in favor of, btw). This use of the ‘pen would probably result in a few uncomfortable games, and as the season rolls on there is not much room for patchwork. The Yanks have to decide if they want to deal with that uncertainty while Hughes works his pitch count back up. A trade would allow them to avoid this potential problem.

      • Tampa Yankee

        Honestly I think the Yanks could start stretching out Hughes soon depending on how the next 6 games go IMO.

        The Rays have a tough schedule coming up with facing Halladay and 2 lefties in Toronto this weekend (they are like 16-22 against LHP this year). Then they have to come home and face the Yanks and AJ, CC and Joba.

        The Yanks could put some serious distance between themselves and the Rays making it a Bos vs NYY race for the ALS and WC so if they have some games where they take their lumps trying to stretch Hughes out, it wouldn’t be as bad. Again JMHO

    • http://twitter.com/themanchine Bruno

      Stretch Hughes out, put him back into the rotation,

      That ship sailed with the ASB. That was the ideal time to send him down and stretch him out. This is no longer the case.

      • http://twitter.com/themanchine Bruno

        Using Hughes for 2inn at a time for the rest of the season is the best option for him at this point.

        • Zach

          its the best option for him, for the team? no. you cant have your primary set up guy go 2IP and be unavailable the next day. we all want Hughes’ innings to go up, but do you want him missing a game because he threw 2 IP just to get innings?

  • prime

    The loss of Wang will hurt and is unfortunate, but by no means should they overreact to it and give up too much in a trade. We have to remember that they’ve won 58 games this year and Wang is responsible for only 1 of those, despite his prior trackrecord. The bigger issue is Joba’s innings limit. If you believe that the Yankees will stick to their guns, he is good for 6-7 more starts max (probably looking at 130 at this point). Then you unfortunately move him to the pen to atleast get a few innings out of him. If Joba moves to the pen, the best person to replace him is Aceves (as Hughes isn’t going anywhere).

    If you make the playoffs, you have a rotation of CC, AJ, Andy (despite his record now, you know he’s unbelieveable in the playoffs) and Aceves, but you have a bullpen that is like 1996, if not better. With Joba, Hughes, Coke and Rivera, the starters only need to go 5 innings.

    This way with Joba, you are only risking a few extra innings in relief. Whatever maximum inning he has been prescribed is not an exact science anyway.

    • http://farm1.static.flickr.com/153/413671602_daded72a81_m.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      “The loss of Wang will hurt and is unfortunate, but by no means should they overreact to it and give up too much in a trade. We have to remember that they’ve won 58 games this year and Wang is responsible for only 1 of those, despite his prior trackrecord. The bigger issue is Joba’s innings limit.”

      I hear you and I agree that the loss of Wang isn’t crippling because he was such an integral part of the team this year (i.e. it’s not like the guy was having a good season, anyway), but you touched on the Joba issue (innings limit) and I think there’s more of a connection between the 2 than you allow for. No, Wang wasn’t great this year, but the Joba issue already existed before CMW went down, so CMW’s absence really highlights, and exacerbates, an already-existing problem. They were always going to have to figure out some way to cover Joba’s innings, assuming he hits his limit before the end of the year and postseason, but now whatever resource they had lined up for the Joba situation has to be diverted to covering for CMW’s absence. So, now it’s very possible that the Yanks have to come up with 2 viable rotation options to be used in the second half (and possibly the postseason), while before CMW went down they were faced with plugging in one guy and not, in all likelihood, faced with having to find a 4th starter to pitch in the postseason. And not to be too much of a downer, but if/when Joba hits his limit, now you’re looking at Andy Pettitte as your third starter, with Sergio Mitre and who knows who else filling out the back-end of the rotation.

      I don’t mean to be alarmist, but there is certainly an issue here to be addressed. Personally, I don’t think (and never thought) that Hughes ever should have been sent to the ‘pen, since this rotation depth issue was foreseeable all season long, and it’s also unfortunate that so many possible fill-in options ran into trouble this season (IPK, Kontos, even Horne, etc.). But, such is life, and at this point, the way things have been shaping up this season due to personnel decisions (like Hughes) and injuries, there’s a depth issue (made all the worse by CMW’s absence).

      (On a related note, everyone needs to pray to Mo that CC, AJ and Andy have smooth sailing, health-wise, from here on out. It’s easy to feel good about things when the team is in first and on a winning streak, but it’s a long season and things could change very quickly.)

  • jsbrendog

    i am a staunch cashman supporter because I believe he usually makes the right, or if not right then the most well informed, decision.

    hiyeva, at this junction, he is killing me. I do not understand what the hell is going on in that front office right now….

    • jsbrendog

      but at the same time I continue, from the day it happened, to give him hig marks for the hinske trade. and hinske is only making it look better and better

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

      What are you taking about? This might be one of the more cryptic comments in RAB history. Because Cashman isn’t broadcasting his ever phone call and trade target, you “do not understand what the hell is going on in that front office right now”? Or is there something else you didn’t mention?

      • jsbrendog

        this is in reference to putting the 6th and7th starters in the pen and leaving them there. for good. and then allowing the 9th (mitre cause kennedy was 8th but got hurt) to start and then paving the way for mr igawa to start once joba gets shut down. The decision to hamstring the team with two serviceable starters in the bullpen with no itnentions of stretchingthem out to start and fill aneed is absolutely mind numbing.

        there are literally 10 guys who could fill a role in the pen that those two are currently filling meaning one of them could at least be good enough to justify putting hughes back i the rotation. If a team has no mroe starters but 10 extra relievers and 2 starters-turned relievers in the pen, why in gods name would you make a trade and pony up value instead of transitioning one of 2 said starter-turned-relievers bakc into a starter and replacin them with whoever of the 10 replacements cna handle it??

        MULTIPLE INTERROBANGS!!111!!!!?????

      • jsbrendog

        ps do i get a crypticity award?

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

          Yes. You do.

          I don’t think the Yankees are actually going to allow Kei Igawa to pitch though. We’ve heard – but have been unable to confirm – that Hughes is next in line if the Yanks need another starter, and I’m sure that’s their plan once Joba is nearing his innings limit. As much as I don’t want to see it happen, flipping Joba and Phil in a few weeks will solve quite a few of the Yankees’ depth problems in the short term.

          Patience. They have a plan.

          • Klemy

            This is pretty much as I’m expecting and I hope you’re right.

          • jsbrendog

            Yes. You do.

            heh, a sanctioned RAB crypticity award.

            Thank you, thank you. First off I’d like to thank mike, ben, and joe for making this a possibility. Also, all te other great commentors here. and finally, the yankees for pushing me to the edge of my frustration levels and confusing my mind to type out nonsense jargon.

            WE DID IT!

            • http://twitter.com/themanchine Bruno

              You forgot to thank Mo and Jesus. BLASPHEMY!

          • PeteN

            What about Jon Garland for some junk prospects? I mean he’s only filling in the 4th/5th spot in the rotation.

      • JohnnyC

        Maybe Cashman should go to Scarnton, rip his shirt off and challenge Igawa to a fight. That’ll motivate him to pitch at a major league average level. Couldn’t hurt.

        • the artist formerly known as (sic)

          IETC as well

        • Pasqua

          Who, in their right mind, would do something like that? What employee of a major market, professional baseball team would even THINK to do something like that?

          • Zach

            What employee of any company in America not named WWE would do that?

        • jsbrendog

          i enjoyed this comment oh so very much. so awesome.

          ps the same gut tried to pick a fight with k-rod too

          http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07.....ref=sports

    • Nady Nation

      http://www.nydailynews.com/spo....._play.html

      Check out this article. Cashman makes it clear that there is a distinct plan in place for Joba and his innings limit, and that in turn has effected Hughes’ role. Let’s wait and see what said plan entails before questioning if the front office knows what it’s doing. If they botch the next move in regards to Joba and/or Hughes though, then I’ll agree with you.

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

        Joe’s got a post on that set for 11:30. We’ll have more soon.

        • Klemy

          But I need my fix now Ben! lol

          • jsbrendog

            is it 11:30 yet?

  • Tampa Yankee

    I know Duchscherer’s name was brought up recently as a possibility for the 5th spot but did anyone see this article form NESN that the Yanks were scouting him on Sunday?

    http://www.nesn.com/2009/07/ya.....r.html?mtr

    If so, I apologize for rehashing old news. I think he’d fill in nicely as the 5th starter if the FO is not going to put Hughes back in the rotation, especially now that CMW may be done. I just hope Marte can come back a contribute so Hughes can go back to the rotation.

    • JohnnyC

      If we can get Duchscherer for a package similar to the usual bag of balls Boston hands out for their deals, that’d be optimal. But Beane’s going to extort us, even for a guy who’s rehabbing and might not be ready to pitch until sometime in August.

      • jsbrendog

        This could be why Snell might be a better option. He is in aaa and won’t come back up to pitch for the pirates. Call up huntington and the second he wants anything remotely useful just tell him have fun paying him to pitch in aaa and hang up then count to 5 til the phone rings again.

        • Mike Pop

          Get them both!

          • jsbrendog

            three team trade. a’s get melky, we get duscherer, pirates get a nomar bobblehead, we get snell.

            • Mike Pop

              Do it up Cash!

            • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

              Wait, I thought every deal had to include Melky AND IPK?

  • Jeremy

    It’s hard to believe just how good a season Washburn is having. Too bad Seattle is in contention, or he would be an ideal salary dump acquisition.

    • JohnnyC

      I think they’ll trade Bedard after the season but it wouldn’t surprise me if they re-signed Washburn…bad move but they might buy into this whole dolphin flip bs.

      • V

        Um, Bedard’s a Free Agent after the season.

      • Mike Pop

        Bedard is a free agent.

  • Sean A

    Both Doc and Wells numbers are retired in the Bronx. any guesses on what numbers they’ll take when they get here next week. I am saying 31 for Doc, and since we will have to give them Gardner over Melky 11 for Wells

    • Stryker

      i really hope you’re not serious. really, i do. vernon wells’ contract, as currently constructed, is one of the WORST in all of baseball. the yankees have money, sure. but every team has a limit and it’s hard to believe they’re not very, very close to that limit as it is.

      i’d rather stick with that platoon of melky/gardner because right now the two combined are giving the same production – if not better – that wells would give PLUS they’re both far better defensively. no thanks.

      • Sean A

        Wells could thrive in NY with serious protection in the line up. he has not had anything to play for (outside of a big contract) in his entire career. and who knows maybe we make them take Igawa. Toronto is paractcally like playing in Japan LOL

        • Manimal

          Too many false assumptions in your logic. Nobody would just take Igawa because he has absolutely no value. Your also assuming Wells “thrives in NY”. He is already on a steady decline while his contract is expected to explode over the next couple years.

          09:$1.5M, 10:$12.5M, 11:$23M, 12:$21M, 13:$21M, 14:$21M

          Who would ever want to pay him 12.5 mil in 2010 and then 20+ mil until 2014? He is already on a decline with is 89 OPS+(which by the way, is worse than Gardner(96) and Melky(99)) so who knows how bad he will be in 2012, never mind 2014.

        • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

          He had protection all year (batting in front of Rolen and Lind) and still couldn’t perform.

          The Yanks just escaped a period when they were choked by bad long-term contracts. And they took on a bunch of new (hopefully good) long-term contracts last off-season.

          Unless Toronto is going to pick up most or all of Wells’s contract (which they have no reason to do), there is no way Cash agrees to take on Wells (and his odious contract), even in a deal for Halladay.

        • Mike Pop

          No. Wells would be a horrid idea. Unless they pay like 80 million owed to him and the Yanks get Halladay without giving up Hughes, Joba, Montero, and Jackson.

          That isn’t happening. So, Wells is not an option.

          • jsbrendog

            toronto can only hope wells either sucks so bad he retires, or gets injured and has to retire.

  • Steve S

    I think this innings limit is going to get skirted. Not to say its right but they’ll come up with some kind of justification in September if Joba is pitching well. I just cant see him throwing 10 more starts (lets just say) and it being the second to last week in September and they just decide to shut him down for the rest of the year. Not a chance and they should try and find someone, but there is no one out there (who you can get without giving up Joba) that could then be slotted in. I think they will get to the end of the regular season, see how he is pitching and then roll the dice. Girardi and Cashman talking about innings limit seems to me to be more of a back door to the bullpen for Joba if he continues to struggle. The way they handled Hughes this year makes it apparent that Cashman is hedging on this proclaimed commitment to the future. Especially now when it has become so obvious that Phil Hughes should have been moved back into the rotation the minute Wang and shoulder came up.

  • A.D.

    Shame so many prospect pitchers on the DL yanks could have made a decent package for Lee

    • JohnnyC

      The adage about no such thing as a pitching prospect rings so true. Kontos and Garcia could have not only been excellent trade bait but might have been bullpen options as well. OTOH, Alan Horne is back early. Who knows, maybe he can get back on track.

    • 27 this year

      Heyman said the Yanks asked about Lee but were told Joba or Hughes was necessary to complete a deal so the Yanks hung up.

  • Tony

    Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa…

    People thought Wang was coming back as a servicable option this year? Wow, bros. Wow. Nothing changed yesterday.

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

      Cool. I hope you keep stopping by.

      Bro.

  • V

    Cross Cliff Lee off your lists. MLBTradeRumors says Cleveland wants Joba or Hughes PLUS more.

    As soon as Cashman heard ‘Joba or Hughes’ he should have hung up.

    • Manimal

      Last time I checked, He won the Cy Young last year… Its hard to see a package for Lee that doesn’t include a major league ready pitcher and other prospects.

      • V

        I don’t care what awards someone has won (Bartolo Colon beating out Mariano GRR!). He’s a good pitcher, certainly, but I ain’t giving up 4-5 years Joba or Hughes for less than 1.5 of a more expensive Lee.

      • Reggie C.

        Meh… Cliff Lee’s 31 years old. Even if Lee gave us CC’esque type numbers, we’ll then be talking extending a 33 year old. Unfortunately, Lee’s a couple years older than what I’d want.

        I’d strongly consider trading Joba or Hughes for an elite arm (Dan Haren??) who might be available, but the man’s simply cannot be on the wrong side of 30 right now.

  • Manimal

    I dont care who it is, we need someone who could be a Major League average pitcher who could wait in the wings down in AAA just in case something happens. Does Paul Byrd have a job right now?

    • jsbrendog

      nope, and he won’t in a month either.

    • Jeremy

      That would be nice, but reliable major league average pitchers make $6-10 million a season. We shell out that kind of money for a guy, we need him to be in the rotation.

      • jsbrendog

        meh, it’d be prorated and if pedro only got a prorated 2 mill contract byrd isn’t looking at much. even so though, I pass.

      • Manimal

        Pay Byrd 2 million for half a year. He would do it.

        • thebusiness

          He would also stink

        • Jeremy

          I understand the appeal but it can’t be that simple. A league-average pitcher would improve just about every rotation in baseball, and most teams have $2 million to spend. If Byrd were available AND he were a good bet to be average, lots of teams would be showing interest.

          If all that were the case, though, his asking price would be more than $2 million.

          If Pedro, who might be cooked, can get $2 million, a guy who is a safe bet to post a 100 ERA+ and make all his starts will make more, and the Yankees won’t be the only team bidding for him. I don’t think Byrd is such a guy, the facts don’t fit.

  • Yanks Fan

    Instead of going after a starter that would cost the Yankees to many prospects, why not look at a reliever that could pitch the 8th inning for them? It probably won’t cost them nearly as much as an established starter in the majors. If we can land a Chad Qualls or someone of equal value, then the Yankeess can let Hughes get stretched out in Triple A and go back to being a starter. If Marte can be effective when he gets back it would also make room for Hughes or even Aceves to get streched out in the minors.

    • Bo

      Not going to happen. have you seen how this team has played since Hughes took over in the pen? Theres a better chance of Swisher starting.

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

        Wow.

        Have you SEEN how well the team has played since Melancon’s been rotting in the BP? Let’s make him the full-time “BP Rotter” and the Yanks won’t lose a game.

        Correlation causation isn’t. It’s the post-ASB STARTING PITCHING that’s winning games.

  • Mike Pop

    Where’s Sidney?

  • Sam

    Doubt this would be in the Yankees thinking at all, but what if they piggy-backed Joba and Hughes to have them switch roles. Have Joba go 6, Phil go 3,
    then Joba go 5, Phil go 4,
    then Phil go 5, Joba go 4,
    then Phil go 6, Joba go 3
    and BOOM. They’re switched and Joba can pitch out of the pen while still getting 18 innings closer to his innings limit. I would wait a few more starts to do this until Joba has about 110. Then after this Joba would have about 128 innings and assuming he threw about 20 more in September/the playoffs he’d be right at his limit

    • Sam

      Thoughts?

    • Mike Pop

      But by doing this, will you be sacrificing games? It just won’t work, you can’t assume Phil would be able to last 6 or Joba lasting 3 without letting the game get away. Plus you use 2 arms every 5 days instead of one and having the other available during others.

      • Bo

        Why are u over thinking this?

        Just get a back end starter and leave Hughes where he is. The team would revolt if you moved him.

        • Mike Pop

          Why are u over thinking this?

          My bad, thought this was a discussion board.

        • jsbrendog

          the team would revolt? you have no idea what you are talking about. that is the argument of the fool who has no facts.

    • thebusiness

      This has been bandied about. But no way they give up the game and force only two guys to pitch. It’d be more like

      Joba 5 – Phil ~3 (45 pitches)
      Phil ~4 (60 pitches) – Joba 3
      Phil ~4 (75 pitches) – Joba 2
      Phil 5 (90 pitches)- Regular Bullpen

    • prime

      I agree with the approach for Joba, but suggest that they replace Hughes with Aceves. Aceves has a better track record as a starter than Hughes and with the way this team is winning, I dont think they should mess with what they have going with Hughes. Granted I want Hughes to start next year, we’ve seen (ie Joba 2008) that moving from pen to starter isn’t perfect and can lead to injuries. Aceves will do just fine as a starter, and you can wait until spring training to turn hughes into a starter.

      As for Mitre, you just hope he does what he did last start and if you can, skip the 5th starter. If they make the playoffs, you dont need the 5th starter.

  • K.Rose

    What about Jon Garland? He should come cheap from the floundering D-Backs he has just publicly criticized, especially if we take on the $3M or so left of his salary. The dude eats innings, and could maybe, just maybe, be a Type B free agent. Imagine turning, say, Anthony Claggett, into a sandwich pick. The buyout of the mutual option sucks though.

    • thebusiness

      Jesus H. Montero what is the fascination with Jon Garland? He’d be terrible and no better than Mitre. In fact you can probably call up Nova (Cashman did mention him) to pitch to a 5 ERA if you want.

    • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

      Garland is pitching to a 1.463 and 102 ERA+ in the NL West.

      In the AL West last year, those numbers were 1.505 and 91.

      The last thing we need is Garland.

      • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

        Sorry, that was 1.463 WHIP.

  • Sic

    CY young is soooo over rated. Cliff Lee was a POS 2 years ago

    • V

      He was also solidly above average before that.

  • mryankee

    I have been a huge proponent of getting Lee, Left hander who has success in A/L and pitched in playoffs. Of course it does not appear he is available, Please nobody from the Pirates -I kind of like Mark Guthrie I know his numbers arent great but he has good stuff, has pitched in the al east

  • cuponoodles

    I really don’t see the big problem here. Why can’t you, a couple of starts from now, start pitching Hughes more in Joba’s place, and gradually transition Hughes to the rotation while Joba goes to the bullpen. We know Hughes can throw about 40 pitches now, so it’ll take about 4 starts to stretch him out completely. Do something like:

    Start 1:
    Hughes 2-3 IP/Joba 3-5 IP

    Start 2:
    Hughes 3-4 IP/Joba 4-5 IP

    Start 3:
    Hughes 4-5 IP/Joba 2-3 IP

    Start 4:
    Hughes 6+ IP/Joba 1-2 IP

    I don’t really see the problem.