Jul
10

Who will stay and who will go now?

By

Nearly two hours ago, Chad Jennings broke the news that Mark Melancon is heading to Anaheim to help spell the overworked Yankee relievers. After the Yankees basically got through Thursday’s victory over with the Twins by throwing six relievers, Joe Girardi asked for help and got it.

As Thursday’s game unfolded and it became clear that Alfredo Aceves wouldn’t make it through the 4th inning on his 65-70 pitch limit, I wondered about the decision to start him. Perhaps the Yankees should have made a move to bring up a pitcher who could have thrown 100+ pitchers. They have some 40-man flexibility right now, and they could have summoned Sergio Mitre.

A few fellow Yankee fans noted that the start-by-bullpen would probably be more effective than Mitre or Josh Towers, but I thought that was a short-term outlook. After all, while Aceves and the pen would make for a better outing on Thursday, it would handicap the team heading into a key weekend series against a Wild Card competitor that has a history of success against the Yankees. Short-term gains outweighed the long-term benefits, and Aceves it was.

When the game was over, it was clear that the Yankees needed help. Aceves is out until after the break; The Phils and Mariano had pitched in back-to-back games; and Jonathan Albaladejo and David Robertson had throw 28 and 23 pitches respectively. The Yankees were facing the real possibility of heading to Anaheim with just Brett Tomko and Brian Bruney available for long stints. So Mark Melancon was summoned. The question now because who will stay and who will the go. The answers could be intriguing.

First up are the obvious candidates. David Robertson or Jonathan Albaladejo are probably the ones most likely to go. Neither is available to pitch on Friday, and both have ridden the Scranton shuttle this year. Robertson managed to walk in two runs with the bases loaded on Thursday and can’t find consistency. He is brilliant or all over the place. Albaladejo is expendable and could be up shortly after the All Star break.

The Yankees could also choose to DFA Brett Tomko, but for now, they won’t. It would in fact be anathema to their goal. Melancon is up to add an available arm to the pen. By DFAing Tomko, they would be eliminating an available arm. As much as we want to happen, it won’t. Our best hope is for Melancon to throw strikes and get outs so that the Yanks can jettison Tomko in 10 days.

Finally, we arrive at the intriguing names. Either Phil Hughes or Al Aceves could get sent down for a short time. Right now, the Yankees don’t need a 5th starter until July 21, and neither Aceves nor Hughes are stretched out. If the Yanks send Aceves down, he could start for Tampa or Staten Island on Tuesday or Wednesday to get his pitch count up. He would then be ready for a full start of around 100 pitches on the 21.

Sending Hughes down would put him out of commission for a few more days. If the Yanks want to get Hughes ready, he could pitch on Saturday and then again on the 16th before getting ready for a July 21 start. He’d probably be up to around 85 pitches that day, and the Yanks could opt to have him use those pitches against the Orioles.

Just yesterday, Fack Youk expressed dismay over Joe Girardi’s comments on Hughes. The Yanks’ skipper seemed to indicate that Hughes would be in the pen for much of this year because he’s been so dominant. That, however, impacts his innings limit next year. It’s quite easy for the Yanks to change their mind.

In the end, much of this depends upon Chien-Ming Wang. If the Yanks are concerned about his shoulder and if it doesn’t seem as though Wang will be back any time soon, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Aceves or Hughes join the rotation for a while. No matter who it is though, the Yankees have a lot of choices. It is a testament to roster flexibility indeed.

Categories : Pitching
  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    Choices are good.

  • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

    I think it will be D-Rob, and he might return for Tomko after 10 days if Melancon pitches well. If Wang is out longer, it will be Aceves.

    In regard to Hughes, I am still waiting for somebody to show me the article that states that there is an expiration date on a pitcher’s career high innings. Until then, I will assume that his limit will be 180 next year, a perfectly reasonable number for a back of rotation starter. The odds of him exceeding that number are slim anyhow.

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

      I was actually wondering the same thing today out of sheer curiosity. I noticed that Carl Pavano is sitting at 99 IP and hadn’t thrown more than 100 since 2004. Does the innings limit apply to him too? Is he in the red for injury after 130 innings this year?

      That’s the long way of saying, “I don’t know.” I’m not sure how keeping Hughes’ innings total low this year would impact his availability next year. After he has thrown 146 innings, but that was in 2006. He’d be three full seasons removed from it if he stays in the pen this year and goes into the rotation next.

      • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

        This is why it is really hard for us to judge the Yankees handling of Hughes. If his limit next year is 180 anyhow, his great work out of the pen makes what the Yankees are doing with him at worst defensible, and at best the right move. If going 110 innings this year limits him to 140 next season, they will have made a bad mistake. We will see.

        • BklynJt

          Alot will be forgiven if we can win it all this year.

        • Ant

          How is he going to be able to throw 180 innings last year?
          2006- 146 ip
          2007- 109 ip
          2008- 69 ip

          I think 2006 is too many seasons ago to use as a benchmark for innings pitched.

          • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

            Just because you think it doesn’t make it true. It really depends on the benchmark that the Yankees use.

            • Ant

              Obviously. Thats why I said “I think”, which implies that I was stating my opinion.

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

                And that’s why in the third sentence of his initial comment, Moshe asked if anyone had any factual evidence to your point, instead of just “opinions” or “thoughts”.

                • Ant

                  And I asked a question then stated my opinion. Not sure why you are commenting on my response.

              • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

                Yeah, sorry if that came off rude or snarky. I just meant to say that the Yankees certainly have their own rules for this stuff, so what we as fans think about 2006 and its relation to 2010 is not really vital.

                • Jack

                  Yeah, sorry if that came off rude or snarky.

                  http://www.dolland.net/lovelin.....sshole.mp3 (Audio – probably NSFW)

                • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

                  That was uncalled for. Seriously.

                • Ant

                  Not a problem. I totally agree and I hope the yankees know what they are doing. But I just think that 4 years is a long time and hes been through so much since 2006 that I dont think he really would be able to handle 180 innings

                • Jack

                  Sorry Moshe. Just trying to make a joke.

                • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

                  Yeah, sorry, I figured that out afterwords. Too many apologies for me tonight- probably should get some sleep, getting cranky.

                • EB

                  You guys are acting as if the Verducci Effect is an Immutable Law of the Universe.
                  All Verducci states is that it’s dangerous for a pitching to exceed his previous career high IP total by more than 30. Nowhere is there mention of expiry dates etc. I doubt Cashman is on the phone to Verducci asking him to clarify this Immutable Law of the Universe. If the so-called ‘best franchise in sports’ the Red Sox, let Lester throw 225 IP last year, 60 more than his previous high then we shouldnt lose sleep and more importantly games over this. (Lester is has been quite strong so far this year, 4.1 ERA with 123 K’s)

                  Don’t get me wrong, the Verducci effect seems credible and valid, but lets not look past the elusive obvious. Phil Hughes has pitched 146 innings before and had an injury riddled 2 seasons where he’s thrown approx 100IP each year including the AFL. The Yankees know this and arent going to ask him to throw 220 innings this year. Im sure if he hits 110 IP this year, they’d be thrilled for him to throw 170-180 next year.

                  Only a fool would demote Phil to the minors and clearly hurt the 09 team on the thought that his previous career high may have ‘expired’

                  People get a grip.

                • ArodMVP217 Retire 51

                  a bigger fool might not put him in the 09 rotation – j/k, kind of.

                  good point on how people think teh V-rule is irrefutable. it is such a cop-out for V to say that bad things *could* happen if they exceed it.

      • A.D.

        It suppose to be on the highest, and I believe the rule doesn’t apply after a certain age point.

  • UWS

    I will do cartwheels if it is Hughes who goes down. But I just don’t see it happening at this point. Surprise me, Cashman!

    • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

      Out of curiosity, why? I’m just curious why people think it is better for the team to have Phil in the minors/rotation?

      • Zach

        Because Phil as our 5th starter >> Aceves/Mitre/whomever as the 5th starter

        • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

          Phil as a starter was giving you about 5 innings and 3 runs per outing. Since returning, that’s about what they got from Wang. If Wang is coming back soon, I get not wanting to jerk Phil around.

          • ArodMVP217 Retire 51

            don’t overlook the trend in his outings

      • BklynJt

        Everyone is always looking to next year as if its the popular point of view to have, but so many things can happen between now and then. If Hughes makes our bullpen so much better this year in our push to another championship, I think we have to take it. If there was a suitable replacement for him then this would be a different issue.

      • whozat

        Because Joba’s been inconsistent, Andy’s been inconsistent, and I’d feel better about getting to/winning in the postseason with a rotation of CC, AJ, Hughes, Joba, Andy than with CC, AJ, Joba, Andy, Aceves/maybe Wang who’s struggling to find himself again when he comes back in late August.

        • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

          Hughes has been decent in the rotation. Wang was giving you Hughes type performances since returning, and has the possibility of reverting back to the CMW of old. I just dont get the assumption that Hughes will give you more in the rotation than Wang.

          • whozat

            Dominant outings out of the bullpen that include excellent FB command, his curve AND his cutter and slider.

            I expect his velocity will go down to around 93 as a starter, but I think that they can leverage this new pitching approach into much more effective starts than he had before. Unless you think he’ll go right back to nibbling at the corners with 90 MPH fastballs, I don’t see why you think he WOULDN’T be better out of the rotation now than he used to be.

            • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

              They have not leveraged that bullpen performance with Joba thus far, have they? And Hughes has barely used his third and fourth pitches out of the pen. He threw two cutters today in 19 pitches, and one slider. It is an assumption that I do not get. We know that most starters with good stuff will likely pitch better out of the pen. That does not mean they will be better starters when they return to the rotation.

              • Mac

                Amen. Yanks can get a bottom of the rotation starter this year if they need one. Only problem is those guys kill the pen – ala Brad Penny. But Hughes\Joba are doing that anyway, EXCEPT Hughes has been GREAT out of the pen – let him continue.

                This team is poised to win now – next year is next year. Today Joba and Hughes are league average starters at best.

                It could take a few years of consistent pitching in the rotation to see what Hughes and Joba really are – and maybe, just maybe, neither guy becomes a top of the rotation guy.

  • BklynJt

    The way Hughes is pitching, I highly doubtr that the Yankees move him back to the rotation. They have basically taken the opposite approach that they did with joba.

    • Little Bill

      Starting pitcha is more valuable. Hughes needs to be starting. The 8th inning can be filled by Melancon, Bruney, Robertson, Coke, Aceves. Brian Bruney is not going to struggle as much as he has recently. There’s shouldn’t even be an “8th inning guy.” Hughes is a waste of talent in the bullpen.

      • ArodMVP217 Retire 51

        they are actually doing the exact same thing as what was done with Joba; moving a long term starter into the bullpen

  • Ant

    I think the right long term move would be to send Hughes down and stretch him out. IMO, I dont think we see Wang for 2 months, since he has a history of this, so Hughes>Aceves.

    Also I think its important for Hughes to get his innings up for next year.

  • Little Bill

    Hughes needs to be starting. It should be him who goes down and gets stretched out. They need him in that starting rotation. Why won’t it happen? Because Cashman can’t look at Mariano Rivera and tell him he’s going to do what’s best for the team. If Cashman doesn’t have the balls to do what it takes to win, fire him!

    • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

      Everyone is latching onto that throwaway comment like that was the reason. You want to know the reason? Phil’s standard outing was 5 innings 3 runs, something they felt they could get from Wang, and they were right. That’s about what he gave them once coming back. Basically, the idea was, as starters Wang=Hughes, as relievers, Hughes>Wang. It made the decision pretty straightforward for them. I just do not get the sentiment that some have espoused that Hughes to the rotation is the obvious move. I want him there long term, but understand the use of him in the bullpen for this season.

      • Little Bill

        Wang=Hughes as starters? WANG HAS A ERA CLOSE TO 10!!!!! For God’s sake people, it’s not that tough to figure out that Hughes is a better starter than Wang. What happens when Wang comes back? Will he be effective? Who knows? With Hughes, it’s guaranteed. He is a tremendous talent and is being wasted in the bullpen. We had the same argument with Joba. What happens if Wang comes back and gets hurt? Then Joba reaches his inning limit? Will Mitre start game 4 of the division series? God I hope not. Hughes needs to be stretched out NOW!

        • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

          With Hughes it is guaranteed?

          Wang since returning from DL: 36 IP, 22ER, 43 H 13 BB.
          Hughes as a starter all year: 32 IP, 21ER, 37 H 15BB.

          Those are some pretty similar numbers. Wang and Hughes were both starting to look better, and Hughes is the better reliever. This is no slam dunk.

          • BklynJt

            Thank you.

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

            One slight bone to pick with the Hughes stats — and I realize that this is selective statistical presentation — but if you take out Baltimore, his numbers as a starter look far better. It’s a little dishonest to do that, but that was a clear outlier start.

            • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

              That’s a fair point. To be honest, it may be more informative to look at their last 4 starts, as both were starting to get it together.

              Wang: 20.2IP, 12ER, 22H, 7BB

              Hughes: 23IP, 10 ER, 20H, 7BB

              There is some difference there, but again, not a huge amount, and to me, probably not enough to say the Yankees made the wrong choice.

        • JobaWockeeZ

          How the hell can you justify saying Hughes as a “guarantee” when he has at least a 5 ERA as a starter? The thing with Wang is his ERA is going down all the way from 30.00. Unfortunately that won’t go down to 0.00 in one start like what some people expect. Hughes is no where as a guarantee as a success when he too has ups and downs as a starting pitcher. I want him in the rotation but saying he’ll be perfect as a starter is a ridiculous train of thought. If he stays in the bullpen this season so be it.

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

        I think you’re completely right here, Moshe. That’s why I was saying that it depends upon Wang’s time table. I think we’re more likely to see Hughes get stretched out if Wang’s return is questionable. I’m certainly ok with Hughes pitching in the pen this year. He’s been great, and it’s better for him to be attacking MLB hitters than it is for him to dominate MiLB hitters. I just want the Yanks to make sure they’re considering his development as well.

        • whozat

          And I think it’s important to note — because some people respond with “WHO CARES ABOUT HUGHES!??! THE YANKS NEED TO WIN NOW NOW NOW!!!!!” — that Hughes’ development is good for the Yankees.

        • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

          Yeah, if Wang is out a while, they should stretch out Hughes. However, from the way they have been talking about this, either Wang is only gone for a bit, or they are going to go with Aceves, which is probably the wrong move.

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

          This.

    • BklynJt

      Yes everyone knows that SP > RP, but that’s not the point here, at least for this situation. The Yankees have made it clear that they we Hughes as a starting pitcher. The problem is that girardi does not have any other RP minus Mo that he can trust in high leverage situations. Yes he has coke, by he has become somewhat a lefty specialist and is excelling in that role. If we can get another RP arm that can get outs like Hughes, then I have no issue with moving Hughes back to the rotation. If we take out Hughes, our RP responsibility will all shift up 1 spot, and that can have a big affect on our team.

      This season is half way over and everyone is thinking about next year. Let’s win it this year first.

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

        Eh. I disagree. If Hughes moves into the rotation, then Aceves slots back into that Trusted RP role. Hopefully, Bruney can move up a few rungs on the ladder of trust too. Maybe Melancon will impress also. The options are there.

        • BklynJt

          That’s why I said I don’t mind moving Hughes back to rotation if we can replace him with an arm that we can trust to get outs like Hughes has been doing. Hughes has become somewhat of a security blanket for me. With everyone else (minus Mo), my blood pressure rises as they throw ball one, but with Hughes I have this strong sense of calmness watching him pitch.

  • monkeypants

    Another, riskier strategy would be to go with 13 pitchers and DFA (or can they still demote) Ransom. That means having no real BUIF (except emergency Hinske) for the next few games until the ASG, at which point Peña should be eligible to return.

    • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

      Never going to happen, but I like this idea. No one is going to claim Ransom. Nobody.

      • Charlie

        uh, actually someone would claim ransom if he was DFA’d. Ransom is an okay hitter with some pop who can play all the infield positions. i’d be shocked to see him DFA’d, but if he was, he’d get claimed

        • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

          He has a career minor league OPS under .800, and it is at .719 in the majors. He is not a god hitter or fielder, and he is not getting better.

          • Charlie

            i know he’s not good, and i’m not a fan. in fact, i really dislike ransom, but still, i would think that one of the other 29 teams in baseball would be willing to pay $20000 for him

            • monkeypants

              Well, no one claimed Angel Berroa. In any case, if another team claimed Ransom, I’m not sure that it would be much of a loss.

              Anyeay, I was just musing. There is now way the Yankees would go with my DFA Ransom plan.

  • Johan Iz My Brohan

    Would it be possible to use both Hughes and Aceves in a few games and stretch them out together?

    For example:

    Start 1: Aceves – 2 innings; Hughes – 2 innings; relievers – 5 innings
    Start 2: Aceves – 3 innings; Hughes – 3 innings; relievers – 3 innings
    Start 3: Aceves – 4 innings; Hughes – 4 innings; relievers – 1 innings

    I know it is sort of crazy and would/could kill the pen some days, but it would help stretch them out a lot IMO.

    • Charlie

      i guess its possible but we don’t need both starting, so we don’t need both stretched out, so i don’t see the point

  • jersey

    I think obviously whats best for the yankees in 2009 isnt best for the yankees in 2010 and beyond… hughes as a dominant part of the bridge to mo is by far the best thing for this team this year imho because like joba when he was there hughes is absolutely philthy in late game role.. on the other hand thats not best for next year and beyond because hughes is a good to potentially great starter in the bigs atleast i feel that way so him only throwing 110 innings this year would force him to throw what 140 next year? but here’s a question for anyone that knows to answer or simply chime in.. if hughes is in the pen for us throughout the rest of the season and then is still in the pen for the playoffs and what would be hopefully a deep run into october and then goes to pitch in either the arizona/hawaii fall league or winter ball then couldnt he conceivably get his innings up to a point where he could be a legitimate starter for next year in terms of innings

    • Johan Iz My Brohan

      I don’t think innings will be such a problem next year, how many guys honestly go above 160 IP in a season. Beckett only went 174 IP last year.

      Pitching in the AFL or HWL isn’t the best idea. He did it last year and doing it a second year in a row would kill his arm, pitchers need to rest their arms during the offseason.

      • ArodMVP217 Retire 51

        This is a good point, although Josh had blister, other injury concerns last year. take the 08Rays stable e.g. they average 180 innings although they each made >= 28 starts. Ideally, though, you want Phil efficient and healthy enough to make 30starts going 6,7,8 innings deep each time

    • A.D.

      Phil can only pitch in the latin american winter balls, he’s no longer eligible for Arizona, or Hawaii/Florida winter league

  • Jeffrey

    Does Brian Bruney have any options left that he could go down and get straightened out? That frees up the space for Melancon. If Bruney gets consistent and dominant again he pitches the 8th. Then if Wang is out for a while Hughes can get stretched out again and go back to the rotation. That would solve lots of problems.

    Wouldn’t want to see Aceves go down temporarily, but he wouldn’t be available until Monday if there were a game. That could be the best short-term way to free up a spot.

    I’d be reluctant to send down Robertson. Overall he has been really good. It only seems that recently he hit a rough patch.

    The way Girardi has been using Tomko seems to mean they dont view him as a key guy. He only pitches in unimportant innings or blowouts. He would be a good choice to DFA.

    Hopefully there will be a clearer picture before the team come back from break on the 17th with the status of Wang, Hughes, Aceves, etc.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      Does Brian Bruney have any options left that he could go down and get straightened out? That frees up the space for Melancon.

      Melancon is already up. However the people likely to go down would be Albie or David Robertson.

      • Charlie

        i’m still holding out hope that they send down hughes to get “stretched out” or maybe DFA Tomko

  • BigBlueAL

    You know what I dont get???? The extreme double standard between the handling of Joba and Hughes.

    People saying that Wang and Hughes will give you the same as starters, 5 IP and 3 runs, well really at the moment what the hell is Joba giving the Yankees that is so much better???? His ERA of 4.04 is pure luck because his ERA should be closer to 4.50 and right now he probably wouldnt even be as effective in the bullpen as Hughes is.

    Joba has never carried a No-Hitter into the 7th inning or pitched 8 shutout innings like Hughes has done as a starter. Many people like saying that Hughes hasnt been good as a starter well Joba this season hasnt been that good as a starter either. To me both should be in the rotation and come playoff time assuming they make the playoffs either one will go to the bullpen. I know once Wang comes back it no longer is a debate because the Yankees will move Hughes back to the bullpen. But I really do not like the way now all of a sudden Hughes is no longer a surefire future starter and Joba definitely is.

    • Charlie

      i agree that both should be in the rotation now, but you can’t really call joba’s success pure luck. he’s been a bit lucky, but the guy is 23 and only gonna get better. hughes absolutely should be a surefire future starter, as should jobber.

      • BigBlueAL

        Age is insignificant because Hughes is a year younger than Joba. So why is Joba’s age an excuse for his struggles this season as a SP and not for Hughes’ struggles as a SP in the past?? Again not arguing with you but if saying Joba is 23 and is going to get better well the same goes for Hughes too.

        • Charlie

          i wasn’t trying to imply that the same didn’t go for hughes. i believe both of them will be very good starting pitchaaas and that their early struggles (which haven’t even been that bad) can be attributed to age and inexperience.

          • BigBlueAL

            Totally agree.

    • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

      Joba needs the innings more than Phil does this season. Big difference. He also has better stuff, and has better career numbers as a starter, as well as better numbers as a starter this year.

      • BigBlueAL

        Yeah look I am not saying take Joba out of the rotation but I just dont like the easy assumption that Joba is easily a better SP than Hughes is you know what I mean. Im probably wrong mind you but like I said I was just basically defending Hughes thats all.

        • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

          Oh, I agree that it is not an assumption we can make at this point in their careers. I still think Phil is going to be a very good starter, I just dont think that means he must return to the rotation ASAP.

          • Charlie

            but he should return to the rotation PASB (post all star break)

    • BigBlueAL

      BTW this is NOT a shot at Joba rather defending Hughes and unfortunately in the process talking some negative regarding Joba.

      Again to me both should definitely be in the rotation this season let alone next season but all of a sudden everyone has soured on Hughes the SP and Im hoping thats not the case with the Yankees which I dont think it is. Im assuming/hoping this Hughes in the bullpen is only for this season and if it means a championship for this season than it definitely is well worth it but again my point is right now I am not thrilled with the handling of Hughes is all I am really trying to say.

    • TurboWei

      I don’t think having Hughes in set up role means anything about the long term role of him.

      I think having two young promising rookie starters will be too much for a contending team.

      • Charlie

        well if wanger gets healthy then only one of joba/hughes will be in the playoff rotation at the most. i think its fine to have two young promising rookie starters in a rotation during the regular season, though. but i trust joba/hughes more than petitte in a postseason rotation even if they are young.

        • ArodMVP217 Retire 51

          i still maintain the belief that a set up man is a lot easier to replace than a 5th starter, even if you have the preconceived notion that a 5th starter only has to keep the team in the game.

    • Matt M.

      but teh dueling beckett in fenway…and the fist pumps…and teh 8th inning!!!1!1!!

  • Rich james

    Let’s me get this straight..

    Joba has been a better starter than Phil Hughes has…and they have basically been the same in the bullpen BUT people want Hughes to start and and joba to go back to the pen???

    Yeah that makes sense

    • Charlie

      no one who understands the game of baseball wants joba back in the pen and people should want hughes to start. so, it appears you did not get it straight

      • KayGee

        That’s just a ridiculous statement. Say what you want and have your opinions but get real. You guys can dislike and make fun of Francessa all you want, but he knows baseball and he wants Joba in the pen. So does Gossage and I think he knows a little bit about baseball too. Ozzie Guillen, a nutjob for sure but a good player in his time and a World Series winning manager also has stated he thinks Joba is best used in the bullpen. So relax.

    • Little Bill

      I agree, Rich. Very nonsensical. And Hughes has better numbers than Wang this year as a starter! And people want Wang to start over Hughes! It just boggles my mind how people can’t understand the value of a good starting pitcher over a reliever. They need to put Hughes in that starting role. BUT WHO WILL PITCH THE 8TH? ONLY HUGHES AND JOBA ARE CAPABALE!!!! YOU HAVE TO HAVE ICE WATER IN YOUR VEINS!

      • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

        No one here said that. Since coming back from the DL, Wang his pitched about as well as Hughes did as a starter. People understand the value of a starter over a reliever. But if you have two pitchers who can be similar starters, but one who can be a great reliever, you maximize the value by putting that guy in the pen.

  • BigBlueAL

    One last thing I just realized, where are the Hughes Rules???? When Joba was transitioned into the bullpen it was treated with such delicate care it was incredible. I loved the Joba Rules T-shirts.

    Hughes has basically just been thrown out there, throwing back-to-back days and coming into the middle of innings all the time. We need Hughes Rules T-shirts!!!! LOL

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

      To be honest, I think Phil Hughes is under the same set of usage guidelines as Joba Chamberlain was in 2007, the only difference being that Joe Girardi isn’t as much of a fucking blabbermouth like Joe Torre is.

      I remember Brian Cashman publicly expressed his frustrations that Torre decided to make the “Joba Rules” public. So, my thinking is that the same set of rules apply, it’s just that this time they were kept under wraps.

      • BigBlueAL

        Well I just looked it up, Joba only pitched in back-to-back days once which came in his 17th and 18th outings (about 6 weeks into his time with the Yankees) while Hughes today pitched in back-to-back days for the 2nd time already (they both have happened in the past week) and he has had only 12 outings out of the pen so far in exactly 4 weeks time.

        Also I know the rule was Joba never warmed up and not pitched where as Hughes has done so a couple of times already where he warmed up and didnt enter the game. Again I dont care and dont think its a big deal but to me its another example of the differences in the way they have handled Joba and Hughes.

        • V

          Joba was near his innings cap of the year. Hughes ain’t anywhere close to his.

      • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

        Exactly, I’m sure they’re in place but we have a manager who’s on board this time around, so its not an issue.

    • A.D.

      Yeah there’s less of an innings situation, and Giaradi doesn’t have a history of riding relievers into the ground.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    Maybe I spent too much time arguing with B-Jobbers but I don’t really have the stomach for the Phil argument. I think that
    the Yankeesa are going to do what the Yankees are going to do and I trust that Cashman didn’t protect Phranchise from trades just to have him be an arm out of the pen.

    Phil is lights out because, like Joba, he’s good enough to be a starter and BP arms typically are not of starter caliber. I think that developing as a starter takes time and work whereas a decent starting pitcher can rise above most BP arms to be the “star” right out of the gate throwing an inning of relief. It’s much harder to be a young pitcher and maintain that kind of success over 5-7 innings.

    Continuing to compare the two is just crazy.

  • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

    “The Yankees could also choose to DFA Brett Tomko, but for now, they won’t. It would in fact be anathema to their goal. Melancon is up to add an available arm to the pen. By DFAing Tomko, they would be eliminating an available arm.”

    Damn, that was my first thought but you’re right about that.

    The fact that Girardi doesn’t use Tomko all that much tells me what he thinks of him, so it may not be that big a loss. But as you said, when you’re shorthanded, the last thing you want to do is make yourself more so.

  • Chris

    Why not just DFA Aceves?

    Assuming that he’s the 5th starter until Wang returns, then his 10 days will be up before he needs to pitch again. Also, he’s the only pitcher that would be unavailable for the entire Angels series. While some pitchers (Hughes, Robertson, etc) may not be available tonight, they all should be able to pitch later this weekend.

    • Chris

      not DFA… option…

  • Bo

    if they go by who’s actually pitching better than you send Robertson down and teach him not to be afraid to throw strikes and let batters make contact.

    • Tank Foster

      Wasn’t watching on TV yesterday, but FWIW on the ESPN pitch tracker thing, that ump had a weird strike zone. Half of those pitches he called balls were strikes according to the K-zone.

  • Ace

    What was the point of signing Mitre? This was a perfect situation to use him. I admit I don’t know what kind of groove/condition he is in right now, but it seems like this would have been the ideal spot to have him make a start.

  • Tank Foster

    “Why not DFA Aceves.”

    [pauses before slitting own throat with straight razor]

    Glad you cleared that up with “option.” ;-)

  • Tank Foster

    I am coming in late (or early, I guess) on this thread, but I have a few thoughts:

    1. Over all, I agree with the people who think you can make a case that Hughes has been better as a starter than Chamberlain. Both have had a couple of dominant games, and have had games where they’ve struggled. At the least, there isn’t too much difference between them. Right now, Hughes is pitching better.

    2. Screw the Verducci rule. Most of the arguments have been stated in this thread, so I won’t repeat them. The only thing I’ll add is that maybe since he’s been put in the bullpen, the safest thing to do is to keep him there for now. Jerking him from starter to reliever back to starter might be a bad move, especially since his likely usage in the playoffs might be more as a reliever. Maybe let him pitch mostly bullpen this year, then start in the offseason and in the spring stretching him out again. There is no rush, he’s only 23.

    3. The more I think about it, Wang is the key to this season. If he comes back and can pitch injury free the rest of the season, the Yankees are going to be very strong in the AL East; it’s hard to see them losing. Obviously that assumes alot, like ARod and the rest of the offense staying healthy, and the big 3 starters staying healthy as well. But having 2 very good-to-dominant starters and 2 solid, inning-consuming starters would put the Yankees so far ahead of the rest of the division it’s tough to see them losing.

    • Ace

      But having 2 very good-to-dominant starters and 2 solid, inning-consuming starters would put the Yankees so far ahead of the rest of the division it’s tough to see them losing.

      I wouldn’t go that far. The Red Sox are a pretty solid team. Respect the opponent.

      • Tank Foster

        You’re right. The Rays are a good team, too…maybe better than Boston since recovering from an awful start.

        I happen to think Boston is playing over their heads right now. Wishful thinking, maybe.

  • ChrisS

    BUt whose gonnae pitche the 8th??!!!!??

  • A.D.

    I’d say gotta be D-Rob, basically just losing out because he hasn’t pitched well lately.

  • DaveinMD

    Hughes could easily get close to the innings he needs if Girardi would use him for 2 innings at a time like Mo in 96.

  • Rich in NYC

    I personally would have brought up Towers. For the following reasons:
    -You now lose Aceves for a few games.
    -You were only going to get him for 4 innings.
    -The bullpen is stretched with using Bruney sparingly.
    -Though Mitre is a potential stud he still needs consistent work.
    -Towers has been in the majors and has the experience.
    -Not the ideal choice, but I felt the best. Especially since we don’t know when Wang will be back ( if at all).

    • http://phabfour.blogspot.com/ Double-J

      Mitre is a potential stud

      At 28 years old with a 5+ ERA?

  • Kyle R.

    I would love to see the right thing done with Hughes. Send him down, stretch him out, back in the rotation when we need him. He has proven he is capable of going deeper into games than Joba, has shown marked improvement this year, and has shown he is indeed philthy at times. Bullpen arms are not paid large amounts because they aren’t the best pitchers on the staff… and I think Hughes could be.

  • John in Houston

    Hughes needs another pitch to be an effective starter. He needs a change up or a split or something that moves left to right. He’s a good relief pitcher with the fast ball and curve. (the “cutter” barely qualifies as a third pitch.)
    When he has the third pitch he’ll be a good starter. Till then, he’s a reliever.

  • David

    I think the Yanks did the right thing in giving Aceves a start. He earned it.

    Even if you think they should have given that start to someone else, once they gave Aceves one start they almost have to give him another start. It would be foolish to reject him as a starter based on 3 innings. So, I think they should send Aceves down to make room for Melancon. He can make one minor league start on Tuesday with an innings limit of 70 – 75 pitches. Then Aceves can start for the Yanks on Sunday or Monday after the ASG, with his pitch limit up to 80 or 85.